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

DDA earns Rs 325 crore from auction of plots
New Delhi, December 8
The Delhi Development Authority (DDA) has added Rs 325 crore to its coffers, selling nine business plots in the Capital in an auction on Thursday that witnessed high drama with a section of traders protesting against the exercise.
In video (56k)

High Court
HC allows schools to ‘interact’ with parents
New Delhi, December 8
In what is being considered as a major relief to unaided private schools in the city, Delhi High Court today granted them permission to have an ‘interaction’ with parents interested in admitting their wards to nursery classes.

Khora a safe haven for fugitives in NCR
Ghaziabad, December 8
The sprawling Khora Makanpur Colony between Ghaziabad, Noida and Delhi seems to have become a haven for criminals running away from the law. For a population of over 5 lakh, there are just 25 constables–one constable taking responsibility for the security of 16,000 people. Noida also has almost the same number of people where there are 580 constables and six police stations to maintain law and order.


EARLIER STORIES


In Parliament
1,400 acres of DDA land encroached upon: Maken
New Delhi, December 8
About 1,400 acres of land belonging to the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) has been encroached upon.

Some traders affected by the ongoing sealing drive protest outside Vikas Sadan against auction of plots by DDA.
Some traders affected by the ongoing sealing drive protest outside Vikas Sadan against auction of plots by DDA. — A Tribune photograph

No fresh taxes proposed in MCD budget
New Delhi, December 8
No fresh taxes have been proposed in the Municipal Corporation of Delhi’s budget for 2007-2008.

NHRC seeks report on 13 juveniles in Tihar Jail
New Delhi, December 8
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has asked the Chief Secretary, Delhi to give within two weeks his comments on the reported imprisonment of 13 juveniles in Tihar jail.

MCD engineers protest assault by councillor
New Delhi, December 8
The proceedings of MCD Standing Committee were disrupted today when engineers of the civic body stormed the House to protest against the alleged assault of one of their colleagues by a councillor.

SC turns down plea to unseal banquet hall
New Delhi, December 8
The Supreme Court today refused to unseal a banquet hall which was operating from a plot in an industrial area in Central Delhi observing that it was illegally running in connivance with the civic authority.

Hoax bomb call in Parliament
New Delhi, December 8
An anonymous call by a woman about a bomb in Parliament complex kept the police and fire department on their toes in the Capital today.

‘Only Amritdhari Sikhs should contest DSGMC polls’
New Delhi, December 8
The Shiromani Gurdwara Sewadar Committee has unanimously decided to request the election officer to allow only Amritdhari Sikhs to contest in the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee elections due later this month.


 

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DDA earns Rs 325 crore from auction of plots
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 8
The Delhi Development Authority (DDA) has added Rs 325 crore to its coffers, selling nine business plots in the Capital in an auction on Thursday that witnessed high drama with a section of traders protesting against the exercise. Amidst disruption of the auction because of protests, a plot in Rohini which went under the hammer with a reserved price of Rs 87 crore fetched a whopping Rs 232 crore for the DDA. The reserved price for the nine plots was Rs 312 crore and the DDA could get only Rs 13 crore more than the fixed price. Some plots could fetch only about Rs two lakh more than the reserved price.

The DDA had put up 15 plots for today’s auction. Six remained unsold.

The auction was disrupted briefly as a group of traders protested against the auction of commercial plots by the DDA alleging that the process favoured “big fish” only.

As the situation got out of control, the police were called in and order was restored subsequently.

Meanwhile, traders affected by the sealing drive, under the aegis of the Confederation of All India Traders, announced that they would stage a dharna at the DDA headquarters demanding a one-year moratorium on auctioning of commercial plots.

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High Court
HC allows schools to ‘interact’ with parents
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 8
In what is being considered as a major relief to unaided private schools in the city, Delhi High Court today granted them permission to have an ‘interaction’ with parents interested in admitting their wards to nursery classes.

Delhi High Court today permitted unaided public schools in the Capital to conduct an ‘interactive’ session with parents to ‘verify veracity of the facts in the forms’ before admitting their wards to join nursery class.

A division bench of Chief Justice M K Sharma and Justice Hima Kohli said there should not be any interview of the children by the schools.

The ‘interactive sessions’ would be limited to the facts stated in the forms filled up by the parents seeking admission of their children, said the Court.

The Ashok Ganguly Committee in its report had said it would put forth various parameters on a scale of 1 to 100 for the schools while admitting students in nursery classes.

Distance from the school, sibling in the school, parents’ alumni status would be given weightage while selecting a child, said the report.

Students residing within 3 kms radius of the school would be getting 20 points and no weightage at all if staying beyond 10 kms, said the report.

The child of a single parent who happens to be an alumni of the same school, would get 20 points and either parent would get 5 points each.

Girls and disabled children are to be preferred, earning with five points each.

The parental education level would fetch maximum 20 points, while the school is not supposed to ask for any financial contributions.

The High Court had asked public schools in the Capital to formulate a transparent policy on admitting students in nursery class without subjecting them to the rigours of an interview. In an affidavit filed in the High Court through counsel Ashok Agrawal, group secretary Radhika Menon said the schools should not ask ‘non-essential’ questions about parents’ jobs, salaries, car brands and ‘what can you do for schools?’ in the registration forms. Mr Agrawal said that by subjecting the children to interviews, public schools were also violating recommendations of Kothari Commission (1964-66) and Yashpal Committee (1993) and urged the court to direct the schools to give admission in pre-primary classes by draw of lots only.

The court was hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking directions to the schools to stop parent’s interview at the time of admission of their children in nursery class.

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Khora a safe haven for fugitives in NCR
Parmindar Singh

Ghaziabad, December 8
The sprawling Khora Makanpur Colony between Ghaziabad, Noida and Delhi seems to have become a haven for criminals running away from the law. For a population of over 5 lakh, there are just 25 constables–one constable taking responsibility for the security of 16,000 people. Noida also has almost the same number of people where there are 580 constables and six police stations to maintain law and order.

Given the surroundings of west UP, a colony with little security will naturally be at the mercy of dacoits, kidnappers and murderers who find it a safe haven.

Since the colony is between Ghaziabad and Noida, it has long been considered a ‘no man’s land’ from the point of view of law and order.

A colony with almost 5 lakh population has a lone police post with 25 constables for the security of its residents. The controlling police station is also quite far off. In spite of residents’ repeated demands, no police station has ever been located here. In spite of the fact that Khora Colony is located on the borders of Delhi, Noida and Ghaziabad, its security infrastructure has never been spruced up nor the number of policemen increased.

In a gas cylinder explosion that had taken place in Tuesday market, the police did come, but simply inspected the site from a safe distance of 300 metre. Residents cite dozens of such incidents indicating the inadequate policing here. The colony is controlled by Ghaziabad’s Indirapuram police station situated across NH-24.

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In Parliament
1,400 acres of DDA land encroached upon: Maken
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 8
About 1,400 acres of land belonging to the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) has been encroached upon.

Giving the information in a written reply in Lok Sabha today, the Minister of State for Urban Development, Mr Ajay Maken, said that the encroached land was located in various revenue villages.

The nature of encroachment is mainly in the form of JJ clusters, unauthorised colonies, and commercial and religious structures.

As many as 228 unauthorised colonies in development area and 128 such settlements outside it are situated either fully or partly on DDA land.

Schools: Public schools in the Capital that have been allotted land by DDA have given a representation to the government for conversion of the properties from leasehold to freehold.

The representation was given by the Federation of Public Schools last month, Mr Maken told the House in reply to another question.

He said the current policy of conversion from leasehold to freehold was not applicable to land allotted for institutional purposes and the representation had been referred to DDA for comments.

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No fresh taxes proposed in MCD budget
Our Correspondent

New Delhi, December 8
No fresh taxes have been proposed in the Municipal Corporation of Delhi’s budget for 2007-2008.

Unveiling the revised budget estimates for 2006-2007 with an outlay of over Rs 40 billion, the MCD chief said that there was expected to be a several fold increase in revenue from advertisement tax.

Steps towards use of IT for efficient municipal administration and better civic services and construction of new community halls to meet needs for religious functions are among other proposals in the budget which was announced by the MCD Commissioner in the Standing Committee today along with the revised budget estimates for 2006-2007.

Also proposed in the budget are introduction of a scheme of cash incentive of Rs 300 to each girl child from the new academic session and building CNG crematoriums at Nigambodh Ghat and Punjabi Bagh.

There is also a proposal to build 30 new schools catering to hundreds of students in 2007. The civic body will also build at least 20 community centres across its 12 zones. A provision of Rs 1.2 billion has been earmarked for the construction of roads in rural areas, he said.

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NHRC seeks report on 13 juveniles in Tihar Jail
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 8
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has asked the Chief Secretary, Delhi to give within two weeks his comments on the reported imprisonment of 13 juveniles in Tihar jail.

Taking suo motu cognisance of news report which said that 13 juvenile delinquents have been sent to Tihar Jail for one to five years, the Commission said that if the contents of the report are true, they raise a serious issue of violation of human rights of juveniles.

The report said that despite stringent law and Supreme Court directives, the delinquents have been lodged in Tihar Jail alongwith hardened criminals.

According to the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000, juvenile delinquents should be kept away from hardened criminals in observation homes during trial and special home after conviction.

The report said that despite repeated reminders by Tihar Jail authorities and a notice by the Juvenile Justice Board, Delhi Government’s social welfare department has not created any ‘place of safety’ for convicted juvenile delinquents.

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MCD engineers protest assault by councillor
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 8
The proceedings of MCD Standing Committee were disrupted today when engineers of the civic body stormed the House to protest against the alleged assault of one of their colleagues by a councillor.

The agitated engineers alleged that the councillor, Mr Prem Kumar, abused and assaulted their colleague Mr Rajiv Jain, posted in Shahdara South Zone, yesterday after he refused to sign certain files as demanded by the councillor.

Furious engineers stalled the proceedings of the House demanding the immediate arrest of the councillor.

“We want to work with dignity. We will not allow the proceedings of the Standing Committee to take place until action is taken against the councillor,” Mr A P Khan, general secretary of the MCD Engineers Forum, said.

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SC turns down plea to unseal banquet hall

New Delhi, December 8
The Supreme Court today refused to unseal a banquet hall which was operating from a plot in an industrial area in Central Delhi observing that it was illegally running in connivance with the civic authority.

Perusing the report of its monitoring committee, a Bench headed by Chief Justice Y K Sabharwal said there was a total fraud as the licence for running it had expired in 1968.

”Is banquet hall an industrial activity,” the Bench observed, and dismissed the plea of the owners of Alfa Garden at Pusa Road.

The owner had sought de-sealing of the banquet hall as it was the venue for his daughter’s marriage scheduled for December 11.

Municipal Corporation of Delhi has only allowed the running of restaurant at Alfa Garden and has sealed the rest of the premises. — PTI

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Hoax bomb call in Parliament

New Delhi, December 8
An anonymous call by a woman about a bomb in Parliament complex kept the police and fire department on their toes in the Capital today.

The Fire Control Room got a call from the unidentified woman at around 2 p.m.

Five fire tenders were rushed to the complex, but no search was carried out as the Parliament Security officials had no information in this regard.

“There was a phone call about a bomb, but it turned out to be a hoax,” the Chief Fire Officer said.

Fire Department sources said the call was made from a mobile phone and details about it had been given to the police. — OC

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‘Only Amritdhari Sikhs should contest DSGMC polls’
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 8
The Shiromani Gurdwara Sewadar Committee has unanimously decided to request the election officer to allow only Amritdhari Sikhs to contest in the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) elections due later this month.

In a meeting held at Bhogal Gurdwara under the chairmanship of Bibi Ravinder Kaur, the sewadar committee members urged the authorities to allow only those Sikhs to participate in the elections who observe ‘Raiyat and Mariyada’ of the religion.

The DSGMC controls a large number of educational institutes, gurdwaras and hospitals in the national Capital.

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