SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI



THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
D E L H I   A N D   N E I G H B O U R H O O D

Discoms not private concerns: CIC
New Delhi, December 3
Giving power distribution companies two months to set up infrastructure to entertain applications under the Right to Information Act, the Central Information Commission (CIC) has ruled they, including the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC), are public authorities.

Threat to blow up railway stations
Ghaziabad, December 3
Once again the terrorists seem to have shaken the whole system by holding out a threat to blow up Muradabad, Delhi, Bulandshahr and Aligarh railway stations.

Delhi Govt awaits funds for Games
New Delhi, December 3
With just four years left for the Commonwealth Games 2010 to be hosted by the Capital, there is a big question mark over the funding for the projects to be undertaken by the Delhi Government for the proposed rehauling of Delhi.

Dr Mukundakam Sharma is CJ of Delhi High Court
New Delhi, December 3
Dr Mukundakam Sharma will take over as the new Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court tomorrow. The Haryana Governor, Dr A. R. Kidwai, who is the officiating Lt-Governor of Delhi at present, will administer the oath of office to the new Chief Justice at Raj Niwas here.

Tourist guide for the disabled visiting Delhi
New Delhi, December 3
A large number of persons with disabilities within the country and abroad who wish to visit Indian cities often face a problem in deciding a suitable place to stay and visit places of interest in the city.

DU ties up with technology firm to develop STD Biochip
New Delhi, December 3
The University of Delhi and Globionic Technological Pvt Ltd have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the development of Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD) Biochip.

Two municipal primary schools open
New Delhi, December 3
The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) today dedicated buildings of two municipal primary schools at Sudama Puri and Nand Nagri in Shahdara North Zone.


Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit along with differently abled children flying balloons on the occasion of World Disability Day at India Gate on Sunday.
Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit along with differently abled children flying balloons on the occasion of World Disability Day at India Gate on Sunday. — Tribune photo by Rajeev Tyagi

EARLIER STORIES




Uditraj, Chairman, SC/ST Employees Confederation and president of Insaaf Party, at a rally to demand reservation in private sector and condemn the atrocities on Dalits in India, at Parliament Street in the Capital on Sunday.
Uditraj, Chairman, SC/ST Employees Confederation and president of Insaaf Party, at a rally to demand reservation in private sector and condemn the atrocities on Dalits in India, at Parliament Street in the Capital on Sunday. —  Tribune photo by Rajeev Tyagi

‘NCR has seen explosive growth in real estate’
Noida, December 3
The daylong conference organized by the Delhi-NCR chapter of Credai (Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Associations of India) on “Real Estate Trends in NCR” in New Delhi and NCR region underscored that the NCR’s real estate landscape was set to change drastically in the near future and made an appeal to consult the real estate industry in formulation of the Real Estate Management (Regulation & Control) Bill.

Media Centre inaugurated
New Delhi, December 3
The Delhi Media Centre for Research and Development was today inaugurated in the office of the Delhi Union of Journalists.

Assistive devices to suit individual needs
New Delhi, December 3
In order to make technology a regular part of the lives of persons with disabilities and others who need wheelchairs, crutches or other assistive devices to lead normal lives, the Indian Spinal Injuries Centre (ISIC) has recently set up the Department of Assistive Technology (DAT) in collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh, USA.

Master Plan Draft suggests law to prevent groundwater depletion
New Delhi, December 3
Even as a controversial bill to regulate indiscriminate exploitation of groundwater in the national Capital has been opposed by some MLAs, a similar legislation has been suggested by the Master Plan Draft (MPD) for 2021.

Leader for debate on ‘gurdwara mismanagement’ issue
New Delhi, December 3
The former head of Akal Takht, Mr Ranjit Singh, today asked the Chairman of Delhi Gurdwara Management Committee (DGMC), Mr Harvinder Singh Sarna, to come to a public platform to debate on the issue of alleged mismanagement of gurdwaras in the Capital.

‘Indian beauty market is worth $1.5 billion’
Greater Noida, December 3
Inaugurating the International Professional Beauty India Exhibition 2006 at India Expo Centre and Mart in Greater Noida today, Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Ashwani Kumar said analysts have estimated that the Indian beauty market is worth $1.5 billion and is growing at 20 per cent a year—twice as fast as the US and Europe markets.

Artscape
Kala Mandir honours ‘Devi of Abhinayam’
New Delhi, December 3
Being the first Punjabi to learn Bharatnatyam way back in 1948, Rekha Malhotra always stood out as a novelty amid the dance scene, then mostly dominated by South Indian artistes.

Free check-up camp
New Delhi, December 3
To mark the occasion of taking over ceremony of Deepak Memoriam Hospital, Karkardooma, by Noida-based Kailash Hospital and Research Centre, a free check up camp was organised today in the hospital campus.

Free eye treatment camp in Faridabad
Faridabad, December 3
Manav Sewa Samiti, an NGO based at Sector 10 here, has announced a free eye treatment camp for the poor from December 6.

Policemen inspecting the body of a youth found Youth found dead
New Delhi, December 3
The body of a 25-year-old youth was found near multi-storeyed Aditya Tower in Preet Vihar area of East Delhi today by the police.

Policemen inspecting the body of a youth found
dead near a multi-storeyed building in East Delhi on Sunday. — A Tribune photograph
 
                                                                                     

Six get life for killings over property dispute
New Delhi, December 3
The law finally caught up with six persons who had fired shots at each other during a property dispute more than two decades ago, resulting in the death of two, when a court here awarded them life imprisonment.

Lid off murder case, three held
Faridabad, December 3
Three persons have been arrested in connection with the loot and murder that took place in Sector 15 here on November 24.

Fake placement agency busted, 3 held
New Delhi, December 3
With the arrest of three persons – Tuntun Singh (28), Sameer Khan (24) and Reena (19), all residents of Jharkhand, the South district police today claimed to have busted a fake placement agency that was running from Kalkaji area.

Auto lifter arrested
New Delhi, December 3
The North-East district police today claimed to have arrested one auto lifter Haneef (33), a resident of Ghaziabad, from G. T.Road. One motor vehicle theft case has been worked out with his arrest. Two motorcycles have been recovered at his instance.

 

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Discoms not private concerns: CIC
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 3
Giving power distribution companies two months to set up infrastructure to entertain applications under the Right to Information Act, the Central Information Commission (CIC) has ruled they, including the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC), are public authorities.

The CIC bench headed by Chief Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah rejected the contention of discoms — the three power distribution companies of BSES Yamuna Power, BSES Rajdhani Power and North Delhi Power — that they were private concerns and not obliged to divulge information to applicants under the RTI.

“There remains no doubt that discoms are substantially financed, directly or indirectly by the Delhi Government,” it said.

The CIC asked the companies to set up necessary infrastructure within 60 days so that applicants could get requisite information from them. The commission ordered a copy of its order be served to the Chief Secretary of the Delhi Government for ensuring compliance.

The CIC bench, which also included Information Commissioners O. P. Kejariwal, Padma Balasubramanian and M. M. Ansari, noted these companies were using government land and infrastructure for their activities.

The order came in response to an appeal filed by Sarabjit Roy, a resident of Defence Colony in South Delhi, who was denied information regarding the discoms by the DERC.

The DERC, however, had divulged information related to its activities. But it did not provide information related to the discoms, saying that they were private companies and did not fall under the purview of the Right to Information Act.

The commission rejected this contention and held the companies, which were created by a government notification, had been receiving finances from the government and could not escape their duty to share information under the Act.

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Delhi Govt awaits funds for Games
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 3
With just four years left for the Commonwealth Games 2010 to be hosted by the Capital, there is a big question mark over the funding for the projects to be undertaken by the Delhi Government for the proposed rehauling of Delhi.

Of the total amount of Rs 2,600 crore which the Delhi Government has estimated as its requirement to prepare for the Games, the Centre has allocated to it only Rs 130 crore. The Delhi Government is spending from its own coffers to carry on with the works.

The city government has received very less money from the central government till now, Delhi Urban Development Minister A. K. Walia said.

The estimated requirement of the city government was Rs 2,600 crore, but it had been given only Rs 130 crore, he said.

The Delhi Government had approached the Planning Commission to ensure funds for the preparations for the Games, he said.

The Plan panel, he said, had suggested to the Delhi Government it should approach the Union Urban Development Ministry for funds under the ambitious Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) which has been set up with the aim of overhauling the urban infrastructure.

The proposals for the development of the city, including building of flyovers, underpasses, new roads, public toilets, bus stops and new signages, are being undertaken by the Delhi Government.

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Tourist guide for the disabled visiting Delhi
Vibha Sharma
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 3
A large number of persons with disabilities within the country and abroad who wish to visit Indian cities often face a problem in deciding a suitable place to stay and visit places of interest in the city.

While Delhi is attempting to be more disabled-friendly, the Office of the Chief Commissioner for persons with disabilities under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has now come out with a ‘Disabled friendly tourist guide for Delhi’.

‘Poorn Samadhan’ has carried out the survey and evaluation of the information.

The tourist guide has been designed to enable persons with disabilities plan and make informed decisions about their visit to the Capital and contains information about accessible hotels, restaurants, tourist places like monuments, parks, gardens, museums, emporia, transport etc.

The guide has comprehensive information regarding parking, access and also suggests time to visit monuments like Red Fort, Qutub Minar, Humayun’s Tomb, Jantar Mantar, Safdarjung Tomb and Purana Quila.

There are also inputs regarding facilities, like ramps, available at the site besides how different areas in each complex can be accessed by persons with disabilities.

The guide also has details about the Delhi Metro
and the barrier-free DTC buses with numbers and routes.

Besides Delhi Haat, the guide has information about different hotels and restaurants in different parts of the Capital, with a complete advisory about accessibility, rooms, tariff and help available.

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Threat to blow up railway stations
Parmindar Singh

Ghaziabad, December 3
Once again the terrorists seem to have shaken the whole system by holding out a threat to blow up Muradabad, Delhi, Bulandshahr and Aligarh railway stations.

A threat letter has been received by the Superintendent of Muradabad railway station to this effect. The letter also threatened to destroy offices of VHP, Shiv Sena and the residences of Praveen Togadya and Mukhtar Abbas Nagvi.

Taking a grim view of the threats, the railways have declared a red alert and all the trains passing through the division are being subjected to checking with the help of local police.

The station superintendent had received a handwritten message on a lined paper at 11.30 last night.

A shocked station superintendent had informed all the officers. The staff members were seen on the railway station in a few minutes. The threat purported to be by Lakshre-e-Murad, Aligarh, had linked this issue to the demolition of the disputed structure of Ayodya. “The Babri Mosque will be rebuilt at the old site and the state will have a blood bath,” the message said.

It had created a commotion among the railway authorities. Immediate police presence and patrolling was increased on the station. Even checking at roadways was also increased.

The GRP CO Vinode Kumar, however, said the letter appeared to be some prank, but the authorities are not taking it lightly. All precautionary steps have been taken to beef up the security.

The district administration has also increased vigilance on the highways and suspicious persons are being rounded up.

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DU ties up with technology firm to develop STD Biochip
Our Correspondent

New Delhi, December 3
The University of Delhi and Globionic Technological Pvt Ltd have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the development of Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD) Biochip.

The work will be carried out at the B. R. Ambedkar Centre for Biomedical Research, University of Delhi, under the leadership of Dr Daman Saluja. The aim of this joint venture is to meet the increasing demands of the knowledge economy by supporting the transformation of results of fundamental research of life sciences into commercially viable diagnostic products.

On the occasion, Professor M.K. Bhan, Secretary, Department of Biotechnology, highlighted that diagnostics was an area where the country needed to concentrate. He also emphasised that the country needed to develop indigenous diagnostic tools that were reliable, simple and affordable.

The methods should be robust so that a clinician with minimum input and training should be able to conduct it with little infrastructure and even in the field.

Although, presently such methods for infectious diseases are non-existent, the Biochip may provide a solution in some of the areas. He further emphasised that the country needed to develop such innovative techniques to find out solutions in the field of disgnostics.

Professor S.K. Tandon, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, University of Delhi, emphasised on the need for inter disciplinary areas for research. He further complemented the Ambedkar Centre and Globionic Technoligies Pvt Ltd for initiating this new University-Industry interaction so as to bring commercial product for the benefit of common man out of the basic research. The primary focus of the research under this joint venture will be development of Biochip for STD.

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Two municipal primary schools open
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 3
The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) today dedicated buildings of two municipal primary schools at Sudama Puri and Nand Nagri in Shahdara North Zone.

The president of Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee, Mr Ram Babu Sharma, inaugurated the school buildings.

The Sudama Puri municipal school building at C-Block of Gamri Extention comprises 30 classrooms, two multi-purpose halls, two office rooms and toilet block at each floor. The construction work of this building was completed within 24 months at a cost of Rs 1.31 crore.

Another municipal primary school building at D-4 Nand Nagri comprises 20 classrooms, one hall, two Headmaster rooms, two staff rooms, two store rooms, two libraries, science room, computer room and toilet blocks.

This double-storey building was constructed at a cost of Rs 86 lakh within a period of 18 months.

Meanwhile, the 25th branch of Hardayal Municipal Public Library was also dedicated to the public recently by the DPCC chief. The branch has been opened at Community Hall of Block X of Brahmpuri in the Shahdara zone.

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Dr Mukundakam Sharma is CJ of Delhi High Court
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 3
Dr Mukundakam Sharma will take over as the new Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court tomorrow.

The Haryana Governor, Dr A. R. Kidwai, who is the officiating Lt-Governor of Delhi at present, will administer the oath of office to the new Chief Justice at Raj Niwas here.

A sitting judge of the Delhi High Court, Dr Sharma takes the place of Mr Justice Virender Jain who has now been appointed the Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court. Mr Justice Jain was until now the acting Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court.

Dr Sharma has served as a judge of the Guwahati and the Patna High Court and at present is the chairman of the Delhi High Court Legal Services Committee.

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Media Centre inaugurated
Our Correspondent

New Delhi, December 3
The Delhi Media Centre for Research and Development was today inaugurated in the office of the Delhi Union of Journalists.

It was inaugurated by veteran journalist and the president of the organisation Mr S. K. Pandey.

Mr Pandey elaborated on the concept of Delhi’s first media centre by and for journalists. The amphitheatre, he said, would host discussions on matters related to media and highlight issues of contemporary interest and controversy.

Lok Sabha Speaker Mr Somnath Chatterjee had sent a special message for the occasion that read, “A constructive and socially responsible media serves as the harbinger of new ideas that helps in building public opinion and safeguarding the rights and liberties of citizens. Due to its varied roles, media has emerged as an indispensable means that leads to the success of a vibrant democracy.”

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Assistive devices to suit individual needs
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 3
In order to make technology a regular part of the lives of persons with disabilities and others who need wheelchairs, crutches or other assistive devices to lead normal lives, the Indian Spinal Injuries Centre (ISIC) has recently set up the Department of Assistive Technology (DAT) in collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh, USA.

The department, the only one of its kind in India, is devoted to the innovative and advanced system of assistive technology delivery system for improving the lives of those who need assistive devices.

Working on the ‘patient-driven approach’ where a patient will be clinically evaluated for the appropriate assistive devices and based on that, the quality device will be recommended as per his/her needs. In other words, the technology will be shaped around the patient and his/her lifestyle. The centre will also ensure the technology is made available to patients keeping in mind the Indian physical environment coupled with the low cost factor affordable to Indian consumers.

“Assistive devices, although they look simple, are being customised across the globe according to individual requirements. In India, we need to put more emphasis on their selection and usage, as these devices invariably act as body parts and any trouble with them could mean trouble for the individual who is using them,” says Major H. P. S. Ahluwalia, Chairman, Indian Spinal Injuries Centre.

According to national statistics on disability, there are eight million potential wheelchair users in India (National Sample Survey Report 2002) at present. A majority of them, who already possess these devices, are unable to use them due to inappropriate configuration resulting in pain, fatigue and secondary injuries.

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Master Plan Draft suggests law to prevent groundwater depletion
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 3
Even as a controversial bill to regulate indiscriminate exploitation of groundwater in the national Capital has been opposed by some MLAs, a similar legislation has been suggested by the Master Plan Draft (MPD) for 2021.

Taking a cue from Chandigarh, which enacted a law to prevent groundwater depletion, the MPD 2021 has emphasised the need for a similar law in the Capital, sources said.

Local MLAs, however, have opposed even the Delhi Jal Board (Amendment) Bill 2005.

Except for a ban on borewells in specific pockets by the Control Ground Water Authority, there is no check on groundwater extraction. Hence it is necessary to bring groundwater under the purview of the DJB. A Bill in this regard should be immediately announced, MPD emphasised.

The Master Plan has sought stringent steps to check the rampant pilferage and theft of water in the city.

There is a need to amend the Delhi Jal Board Act to ensure strict action against elements involved in stealing and exploiting water, the Master Plan recommended.

The MPD has also emphasised the need for a more effective system to detect and control water leakage.

It is necessary to develop an effective system to check water leakages. For this, investment is required to install meters and pressure gauges in a large scale, said the Master Plan, which has listed several steps for better water management in the Capital.

To meet water requirements for 2011, when the demand is likely to be 1,840 million gallons a day, the plan has recommended the setting up of water harvesting systems and construction of treatment plants at Dwarka, Bawana and Okhla with capacities of 40, 20 and 20 mgd respectively. 

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Leader for debate on ‘gurdwara mismanagement’ issue
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 3
The former head of Akal Takht, Mr Ranjit Singh, today asked the Chairman of Delhi Gurdwara Management Committee (DGMC), Mr Harvinder Singh Sarna, to come to a public platform to debate on the issue of alleged mismanagement of gurdwaras in the Capital.

It is being alleged that the management of several gurdwaras, which have offerings running into several crores of rupees, had been involved in corruption practices. Apart from huge offerings, the committee manages many educational institutions, including schools and colleges.

Mr Ranjit Singh said that the present committee would get a chance to come clean by entering into such a debate.

Earlier, Mr Sarna had also levelled charges of corruption against Mr Ranjit Singh.

The action of allegations and counter-allegations by different groups has gained momentum in view of the forthcoming the gurdwara elections.

Ranjit Singh alleged that many of the promises made by the present committee when it assumed the office had remained unfulfilled.

These included visible improvement in the functioning of educational institutions and implementing programmes to improve the lot of ordinary man in the community. He said that he would support Shiromani Akali Dal (Panthic) headed by Mr Manit Singh in the coming DSGMC elections. 

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‘NCR has seen explosive growth in real estate’
Our Correspondent

Noida, December 3
The daylong conference organized by the Delhi-NCR chapter of Credai (Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Associations of India) on “Real Estate Trends in NCR” in New Delhi and NCR region underscored that the NCR’s real estate landscape was set to change drastically in the near future and made an appeal to consult the real estate industry in formulation of the Real Estate Management (Regulation & Control) Bill.

Mr Ramani Sastri, president, Credai, said the past few years have seen tremendous changes in this region, especially the explosive growth that the city and its suburbs have seen in the last decade.

With the development of satellite areas like Noida, Gurgaon and Faridabad, Greater Noida and Ghaziabad, the NCR has become alive and seen rapid real estate development in commercial, retail and residential segments.

In Noida and Greater Noida, the government developed infrastructure and then brought in private players, leading to a more cohesive development.

Mr Ramani Sastri, president, Credai, said the Delhi Metro has brought relief to the people here and the one thing that the residents are really proud of is that Gurgaon and Noida are also going to get the Metro soon, and “I am sure this will resolve huge issues of connectivity and reduce the load on infrastructure. For Credai as well, the NCR is an important hub because this is where we network with the policy makers to leverage better and more forward looking policies for the real estate sector,” Mr Sastri added.

The Credai Code of Conduct emphasizes transparency in dealings and makes it binding on the developer to follow all the conditions laid out in the agreement that they sign with the buyer. Credai has suggested that the government take up this Code, modify it, and adopt it across the board instead of slapping a whole new set of regulations on developers.

“We are trying to persuade the government to consult the stakeholders before passing a Bill of this nature that will increase the red tape and require more approvals and paperwork for developers,” Mr Shastri said.

The conference had brought together the top industry peers, consultants, architects, town planners and research professionals and government officials from the NCR region.

On the real estate trends in NCR, special focus was infrastructure development for the Commonwealth Games 2010.

The speakers in this session were Prof. Subir Saha, Director, SPA, Dr Sanjukta Bhaduri, Asst. Prof of Urban Planning SPA, Mr P.R. Mehta, ex-President Counsel of Architect of India and Prof. K.T. Ravindran, Dean of Studies, School of Planning and Architecture.

The conference underlined that there was an urgent need for the government to consult the Indian real estate industry on the proposed Real Estate Management (Regulation and Control) Bill.

Mr Surender Gupta, president, Credai NCR, in his welcoming address said, “Credai NCR is slowly emerging as the leading platform for addressing problems related to the real estate industry in NCR. But we have a long way to go in terms of making our presence felt on core issues affecting the real estate industry in the NCR region.”

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‘Indian beauty market is worth $1.5 billion’
Our Correspondent

Greater Noida, December 3
Inaugurating the International Professional Beauty India Exhibition 2006 at India Expo Centre and Mart in Greater Noida today, Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Ashwani Kumar said analysts have estimated that the Indian beauty market is worth $1.5 billion and is growing at 20 per cent a year—twice as fast as the US and Europe markets. It is poised to grow due to the rising incomes of the ever larger number of middle-class and urban consumers. The skin care market is estimated at Rs 8.5 bn in India.

He said some 60 Indian and international companies were participating in the exhibition organized by Trade Exhibitions UK and Expo-media Events India.

The three-day exhibition will provide a great sourcing opportunity for trade visitors with a wide range of products on display under one roof. The exhibits range from beauty treatments, spa and medi-spa, hair care, cosmetics, toiletries, furniture to exquisite aromatherapy products.

Most consumers use only face cream and moisturisers in the off-city areas. The demand of sunscreens, toners, cleansers, astringents, dark circle removing creams, anti-wrinkle creams, day and night creams are having a steady growth in recent years. Moisturising lotions, fairness creams and face cleaner are the popular categories in the skin care segment and account for approximately 60% of skin care segment, Mr Kumar said.

The size of hair care market above is estimated at more than Rs 10 bn, 50% of which comprises shampoo. The high growth segments in the cosmetic sector—enamels and lipsticks account for around 65% of total colour cosmetic sales in India.

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Artscape
Kala Mandir honours ‘Devi of Abhinayam’
Ravi Bhatia
Tribune News Service

Rekha Malhotra strikes a pose.
Rekha Malhotra strikes a pose.

New Delhi, December 3
Being the first Punjabi to learn Bharatnatyam way back in 1948, Rekha Malhotra always stood out as a novelty amid the dance scene, then mostly dominated by South Indian artistes.

Subsequently, she continued to enthrall audiences during her over four-decade-long career till age and ill health forced her to take it easy. For her, the dance and the drama were now only a memory. However, she was in for a pleasant surprise last week when Kala Mandir, on the occasion of its golden jubilee, honoured her at her home. The senior artiste herself describes it as the “most fantastic day in my life.”

Wife of veteran journalist, columnist and author Inder Malhotra, Rekha said she was both amazed and fascinated with Bharatnatyam performed by Tara Choudhury which she witnessed while in school in Lahore. After the trauma of Partition when the family had moved to Punjab, she went to Mumbai (then Bombay) to learn the exquisite dance form at Sri Raja Rajeswari Bharatha Natya Kala Mandir and gave her first performance at the Wavell theatre in 1950. Her gurus, Govindraj Pillai and Karnambal, were extremely fond of Rekha. She was the only privileged protege treated to a cup of South Indian coffee after a strenuous practice session at Kala Mandir, which celebrated its golden jubilee in the Capital on November 26.

Rekha was in for a surprise when she received a telephone call from Kala Mandir that they wanted to honour her on this occasion. As Rekha was not well, the guru came to her residence and presented her a brocade shawl and a memento.

Overwhelmed by the gesture and her eyes welling up, Rekha acceded to the request to perform Abhinayam. Kalyanasunderam, the youngest brother of Govindraj Pillai, described her as the “Devi of Abhinayam”.

Inder Malhotra said his wife was on the floor performing the Abhinayam for nearly 45 minutes. Even though she did not know Tamil, Telegu or Kannada, yet she chanted the songs in rhythm to the dance steps. After Bharatnatyam, she went on to learn Kuchipudi as well.

Rockers from across border enthral

Mittal Gardens on Mehrauli- Gurgaon Road here came alive to the rollicking beat of the Pakistani rock band, Jal, as it performed at A-Maze, the annual fest of the Indian Institute of Planning and Management, last week.

Comprising Goher Mumtaz, lead composer and lyricist, Farhan Saeed Butt, lead vocalist, and Shazi ( Aamir), lead guitarist, the trio vowed the audience at the show which was co-sponsored by the Aurobindo Chaudhuri Great Indian Dream Foundation, an NGO engaged in spreading awareness about HIV-AIDs in the country. Jal is known for the simplicity of their lyrics and the vitality of their music.

It joins a long list of boy bands from across the border inspiring Indian music-makers and promoting harmony between the two countries.

Ram Kinkar Baij’s centenary celebrations

Bronze, a special show to celebrate the centenary year of the noted artist, Ram Kinkar Baij, was unveiled at Rabindra Bhawan, Lalit Kala Akademi here, last week. The show, curated by Madan Lal, has on display creations by more than 12 noted artists and will continue till December 12. The show has been sponsored by Gallery Espace.

Art gallery for aspiring artists

Fox Mondal Little, one of the oldest law firms in the country, has launched an art gallery at its offices in Sector 9, Noida, to promote and encourage young, aspiring Indian artists. The gallery is part of the corporate social responsibility of the firm. As an opener, FM Gallery is showcasing the works of six young artists from December 2 to 9. The creations of some well-known Indian artists, like Jaspal Singh, Mazher Nizar, Sanjeev Verma and Proloy Kundu, will also be on display.

The sea is his inspiration

Kerkar’s painting
Kerkar’s painting

The Italian Ambassador here, Mr Antonio Armellini, last week inaugurated “Earth and Water”, a solo show of 17 paintings, mostly acrylics on canvas, and 10 sculptures by Goa-based artist Subodh Kerkar at Gallery 302 in Defence Colony here.

Curated by Bernadette DaCunha, the exhibition will be on till December 15. Doctor-turned-painter, Subodh Kerkar’s paintings have a three-dimensional effect because of the intricate relief-like quality created through multiple layers of paint. Most of Kerkar’s paintings have been inspired by the sea that he has grown up with. For the painter, the sea has been a friend, teacher and inspiration to him.

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Free check-up camp
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 3
To mark the occasion of taking over ceremony of Deepak Memoriam Hospital, Karkardooma, by Noida-based Kailash Hospital and Research Centre, a free check up camp was organised today in the hospital campus.

The camp was inaugurated by the president of Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee, Mr Ram Babu Sharma.

The Health Minister of Delhi Dr Yoganand Shastri inaugurated some new health care facilities in the hospital.

The Finance Minister of Delhi Dr A. K. Walia, local MP Mr Sandeep Dikshit and local MLA Mr Naseeb Singh also graced the occasion.

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Free eye treatment camp in Faridabad
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, December 3
Manav Sewa Samiti, an NGO based at Sector 10 here, has announced a free eye treatment camp for the poor from December 6.

It will arrange to pick up the patients requiring cataract operation from their doorsteps and would drop them back after the treatment at AIIMS, Delhi. This is perhaps the first time that an NGO has announced such a service for the poor, especially those hailing from the rural parts.

According to president of the Samiti, Mr Arun Bajaj, the society will hold the eye camp from December 6 onwards.

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Youth found dead

New Delhi, December 3
The body of a 25-year-old youth was found near multi-storeyed Aditya Tower in Preet Vihar area of East Delhi today by the police.

The police suspected that it was a case of suicide.

According to the locals, the deceased had jumped from the sixth floor of a complex.

However, the body has not been identified yet. “He appears to be a labourer,” said a police official. — OC

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Six get life for killings over property dispute
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 3
The law finally caught up with six persons who had fired shots at each other during a property dispute more than two decades ago, resulting in the death of two, when a court here awarded them life imprisonment.

The incident occurred on March 27, 1984, when Rattan Lal Verma, his sons and others attempted to occupy the ground floor from their tenant, Suresh C Kakkar, who ran a scooter and motorcycle dealership from there.

“Since both parties were armed with pistols and guns at the time of the incident, a large amount of firing took place, resulting in the death of one member from both parties and injuries to others,” Additional Sessions Judge Bharat Parashar observed last week while holding both the parties guilty. The court found that landlord Verma fired at the brother of the showroom owner while Kakkar fired at Verma and two of his sons, Vijay and Sunil. Kakkar and Vijay died in hospital because of bullet injuries. The police, which arrived at the spot after the incident, found a briefcase containing 45 live bullets.

Two separate cases were registered at the police station in Rajouri Garden on the basis of complaints by Verma and Panna Lal Chopra, manager of the two-wheeler dealership.

After a 22-year trial, the court awarded life term to five persons from Verma’s group and one from Kakkar’s group, holding them guilty under Sections 302 and 307 and others provisions of the IPC. 

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Lid off murder case, three held
Bijendra Ahlawat
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, December 3
Three persons have been arrested in connection with the loot and murder that took place in Sector 15 here on November 24.

The police have recovered Rs 1 lakh stolen from the house where the accused had stabbed to death the domestic help who resisted the robbery attempt.

The criminals have admitted to their involvement in at least two other cases of robbery that took place in the city earlier this year, claimed the police.

According to SSP, the accused who were arrested from Azad Colony near Ajronda village, had told the police that they had entered the house number 663 in Sector 15, posing as cablemen and overpowered the servant identified as Neeraj, who was alone at that time. It is stated that as they started their search for cash and jewellery in the rooms, Neeraj tried to resist.

The police officials said while about Rs 1 lakh and a mobile phone got into the hands of the criminals, they stabbed the servant after they failed to enter another room of the house and break open the almirah.

The SSP said the accused identified as Sunder of Azad Colony and Manoj of Palwal town had admitted to their involvement in at least two similar incidents, which took place in Sector 14 and Sector 7 in March and July. While Rs 1.77 lakh was looted from an employee of a petrol pump on March 23, the accused had struck in a house in Sector 14 on July 20, in which they had looted Rs 20,000 and some jewellery worth Rs 35,000.

Meanwhile, the police department claimed to have solved as many 37 cases of crime in November and recovered stolen property worth about 25.24 lakh in various cases.

As many as 104 cases were booked during the period which included 74 cases of vehicle theft and 26 cases of burglary. Stolen vehicles worth Rs 20 lakh were recovered in the past month. 

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Fake placement agency busted, 3 held
Our Correspondent

New Delhi, December 3
With the arrest of three persons – Tuntun Singh (28), Sameer Khan (24) and Reena (19), all residents of Jharkhand, the South district police today claimed to have busted a fake placement agency that was running from Kalkaji area.

The accused claimed to provide maid servants through their agency.

They had also employed a few poor girls from Jharkhand.

The agency sent a maid servant, Reena, at the residence of one Mr R.K. Singhal and took an amount of Rs 6,200 from him.

After working for five days, the maid left the job on the pretext that she was pregnant and unable to continue the assigned work.

Subsequently, the agency was not found at the given address published in the newspaper advertisement. 

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Auto lifter arrested
Our Correspondent

New Delhi, December 3
The North-East district police today claimed to have arrested one auto lifter Haneef (33), a resident of Ghaziabad, from G. T.Road. One motor vehicle theft case has been worked out with his arrest. Two motorcycles have been recovered at his instance.

He was apprehended while routine checking near Shyam Lal College on G. T. Road. After seeing the police party, he tried to escape, but was apprehended after a brief chase. He could produce neither any document of the motorcycle he was riding nor give any satisfactory reply. On verification, the vehicle was found to be stolen from Geeta Colony area.

He allegedly confessed that he used to work in an auto repair workshop in Loni area. To meet the day-to-day expenses of his family, he started stealing motorcycles and used to dispose them of in the rural areas, said a police officer.

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