|Friday, February 18, 2000,
SC bans slums in Delhi
Adhere to code of conduct: EC
Poll brings hope to Kalahandi
Water will be shot in
Tax service sectors: research body
3 FCI officials suspended
SC ruling on trial
ISRO test-fires GSLV engine
Cabinet finalises Presidents
SC bans slums in Delhi
NEW DELHI, Feb 17 (PTI) Taking serious note of filth and garbage in the capital, the Supreme Court has banned mushrooming of any new slum and asked the authorities to impose a penalty of Rs 50 on persons found littering.
"We direct Union of India, Delhi Government, Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) and other statutory authorities like the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) and Railways to take appropriate steps for preventing any fresh encroachment or unauthorised occupation of public land for the purpose of dwelling resulting in the creation of a slum," the court said in an order recently.
For any person found littering or violating sanitation laws, a three-Judge Bench headed by Mr Justice B.N.Kirpal directed the civic authorities to frame a scheme "to levy and recover charges and cost" from him.
"Till the scheme is framed and published, the authorities named above would recover Rs 50 as charges and costs from any person littering or violating provisions of the Municipal Corporation Act, bye-laws, regulations relating to sanitation and health," Mr Justice Kirpal, who wrote the judgement for the Bench, said.
Adhere to code of conduct: EC
NEW DELHI, Feb 17 Reacting to complaints on misuse of official machinery in Haryana, the Election Commission has asked the Chief Secretary of the state to ensure adherence to the model code of conduct and has said that any deviation would be viewed seriously.
Sources in the Commission said the EC had received complaints alleging that projects not yet sanctioned in Haryana were being moved to villages to induce voters.
In a letter sent to the Chief Secretary of Haryana, Mr R S Varma, the EC has said that all district officers including district magistrates, senior superintendents of police, executive engineers and all officials concerned should be directed to ensure that no action is taken in violation of the model code of conduct. Any such deviation will be viewed seriously by the EC.
Sources in the
Commission said the EC had acted on complaints regarding
misuse of official machinery and issuance of various
sanctions in violation of the model code of conduct.
Sources said that these complaints related to sanction of
old age pension and construction of material for
Centre denies saffronising history
NEW DELHI, Feb 17 (PTI) The government today categorically denied the charge of its trying to "saffronise" of the Indian history even as two noted historians, publication of whose work has been stopped by the Indian Council for Historical Research (ICHR), allege the move "as part of the plan to spread a distorted and fictitious history of the national movement."
Denying the allegation that the decision was taken on the HRD Ministrys instigation, Human Resource Development Minister Murli Manohar Joshi said "The ICHR is an autonomous body. Whatever decision they take, the ministry doesnt have a say in it."
Eminent historian K.N.Panikkar, who is one of the editors of two-volume book "Towards Freedom" which is being withdrawn by the ICHR, describes the step as a move by the BJP to change the history as per their "perception and policy".
Warning that changing of history could have broader implications on the future generations, Mr Panikkar said "They want to project RSS leaders as great freedom fighters whereas the fact is that they were not even near the struggle."
"On the contrary the RSS leaders were helping the colonial regime to crush the Independence move," he charged.
Sumit Sarkar, co-editor, flaying the move, challenged constitution of the review committee to go into the book and said "what can you expect from such a committee which has not even a single historian."
The ICHR had started a project "Towards Freedom" which was taken up in late 1970s to chronicle the 10 years leading to Indian Independence.
The ICHR, in an order, had asked the Oxford University Press to stop publication of volumes for the year 1940 to 1946, saying that the two volumes had to be referred to a review committee.
Meanwhile, the BJP today asserted that neither it nor the Centre had any role in withdrawal of certain projects aided by the ICHR.
"Only the ICHR looks after these projects, party spokesman M. Venkaiah Naidu said.
Referring to the
criticism by the Congress and Left parties of the
government with regard to halting of some ICHR projects
relating to history, Mr Naidu said that it was not the
first time that projects had been withdrawn by the
Poll brings hope to Kalahandi
BHUBANESWAR, Feb 17 The Kalahandi region which hit headlines for its starvation deaths a few years ago, has come into focus once again, due to the Assembly elections.
The issue at hand is the implementation of an ambitious development programme for the Kalahandi-Bolangir-Koraput region, popularly known as the KBK project, which was launched by Rajiv Gandhi, when he was Prime Minister.
The state government had set up a Western Orissa Development Council to implement the programme, but, over the years it ran into problems due to political bickering.
The programme came into limelight once again when the Congress President, Mrs Sonia Gandhi, raked up the issue during her election speeches in Koraput.
Accusing the Vajpayee government of neglecting the KBK region, Mrs Sonia Gandhi said that the NDA government was not cooperating with the state government for implementing the all-round development programme for the backward areas.
The Congress claimed that the state government had not received the required assistance from the Central Government as a result of which the state faced much hardship and had to undergo financial burden to implement various poverty amelioration programmes in the region.
Taking cue from Mrs Sonia Gandhi, the Congress leaders had been telling the electorate that the Vajpayee government had no sympathy for the poorer sections of the society.
Realising this that the KBK programme was turning into a big issue in western Orissa, the BJP leader and Central Tribal Welfare Minister, Mr Juel Oram, took it upon himself to set the records right.
He told an election rally of the BJP at Bhawanipatna that the Vajpayee government had approved a long-term action plan of Rs 9510 crore for the KBK and had already released Rs 325 crore out of this to the state government.
According to Mr Oram, the state government was reluctant to provide the utilisation certificate, without which further funds could not be released.
Further, despite directions from the Central Government, the state government was not opening the KBK Administrators office in the region and was instead operating from Bhubaneswar, he alleged.
For the electorate of the KBK region, the war of words over the programme at least ensured that it came to the limelight in the Assembly elections.
"At least people are talking about it and we can hope that the winning parties would do something about it" Mr G.Pati, a resident of Koraput, said.
Before Mrs Sonia Gandhi raked up the issue, the KBK programme was hardly being mentioned by local leaders during their election campaign, he added.
For instance, the Congress candidates contesting from the constituencies of undivided Kalahandi district were till now too busy with factional fighting.
The Congress at present, has four factions, each led by a senior leader. A former Lok Sabha member, Mr Subash Nayak heads one faction while the others are headed by the State Revenue Minister, Mr Jagannath Patnaik, the Public Works Minister, Mr Bhupinder Singh and a former PCC General Secretary, Mr Bhakta Charan Das, respectively. With such rampant factionalism, the leaders have little time to solve burning issues, a Congress worker here lamented.
The scene is no different in the seven Assembly constituencies of the Koraput Lok Sabha seat, which goes to polls on February 17.
The tribal-dominated region is seeing a straight contest between the Congress and the BJD-BJP alliance nominees. The NDA alliance has sought to highlight the non-implementation of the KBK programme to unseat the Congress from the seven seats it won in the 1995 polls.
Hoping to cash in on the anti-incumbency factor, the BJD-BJP combine is stressing that the Congress has failed to give the tribals of the region the much wanted loans for agriculture activities and rice at below poverty level rates.
The fact that the former Chief Minister, Mr Giridhar Gamang, entered the Assembly in a byelection from Laxmipur Assembly seat in the region, has also come in handy for the NDA partners. Mr Gamangs failure to keep up the promises he made to the electorate before getting elected is being exploited to the hilt by the Opposition.
Water will be shot in India: Mehta
NEW DELHI, Feb 17 (PTI) Despite bad experiences in Varanasi where she was forced to abandon its shooting, Deepa Mehta has ruled out shooting her controversial movie Water outside India and asserted that the film will be made "very soon" in this country.
Describing the experience in Varanasi as "absolutely horrific", she said, "sometimes, I feel I am in the middle of Kafkas castle because I have all these imaginary enemies whose faces I cannot see but who I can feel, who at every turn stop me from doing what I am doing."
"It is tough to re-assemble the unit and go for it, but if anything my resolve has not changed at all. I definitely will make Water," she said in an interview with Karan Thapar in BBCs Hardtalk India programme to be telecast on Saturday (February 19).
Asked if she would consider shooting abroad, Mehta said, "The film has to be made in India for more than one reason. But whether it is Madhya Pradesh or West Bengal, it is more a creative decision, now that I have got a political sort of okay from them." Once the "right places" were located, "we will make the film," she said.
Mehta accused the Uttar Pradesh Government of "concocting" a law and order problem to scuttle the filming in Varanasi.
She also alleged that state Tourism Minister Ashok Yadav put a spoke on the shooting as she did not accede to his "lackeys" demands, including the movies distribution rights in the state.
Asked whether the Centre left her in the lurch after reapproving her revised script, Mehta said, "I think they did whatever they could. I did not ever feel abandoned by Information and Broadcasting Minister Arun Jaitley. He did speak to Chief Minister Ram Prakash Gupta saying that he has given permission let them do it."
She alleged that a "lackey" of Tourism Minister Yadav had demanded that she cast his friends wife as a star in the film, make him responsible for hiring all extras in the film, besides giving him the films distribution rights for Uttar Pradesh.
The filmmaker claimed she had informed Mr Yadav about it and he promised to keep his lackey away, which he did. However, later District Magistrate Alok Kumar did not allow the shooting saying that Mr Yadav had informed him of some FERA irregularities committed by the film crew.
Refuting the charge that
her film was offensive of the Hindu shastras, she said
highly respected scholars of Varanasi including Mahant
Veerbhadra Mishra of Sankat Mochan temple had seen the
script and found nothing objectionable.
Tax service sectors: research body
NEW DELHI, Feb 17 (PTI) The government should bring seven major service sectors, including Life Insurance and Port Trusts into the tax net, a pro-BJP social research body said today.
In its pre-budget memorandum, Surya Foundation said the seven service sectors - Insurance, Port Trusts, services rendered by the airport authorities, private broadcasting and telecast services of electronic media, domestic software services, film and television production and nursing homes should be taxed.
Referring to the report of the government expert group on service tax, the foundation said that an estimated Rs 20,000 crore increase in revenue generation per annum was possible by 2003, by taxing the service sector.
"The government can also impose user charges on public services and utilities like electricity, telecom, water and state transport based on costs and market prices," foundation chairman Jaiprakash told reporters here.
While foreign travel tax could be raised by 50 per cent to mop up an additional Rs 300 crore, the air travel tax can also be raised by 15-20 per cent to generate another Rs 200 crore, he said.
"The concept of zero-budgeting should be rigorously enforced in allocating funds in all departments and a target of 10 per cent reduction in overall expenditure should be followed by the government," he added.
3 FCI officials suspended
NEW DELHI, Feb 17 Three officials of the Food Corporation of India (FCI) at a depot in Guruharsahai, Ferozepore district, in Punjab have been suspended on charges of lack of supervision on despatch of foodgrains for distribution under the public distribution system.
The District Manager and the Deputy Manager (Quality Control) of the depot have been chargesheeted, an official note said.
The action against these officials were taken following an inspection of an FCI godown at Kuttipuram in Kerala by the Minister of Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution, Mr Shanta Kumar.
The Kuttipuram depot had received substandard stock of par boiled rice from the Guruharsahai depot.
The stock comprising 13,352 bags of substandard par boiled rice grade "A" present at the Kuttipuram depot belonged to the crop year 1998-99 which did not conform to the relaxed specifications. It even exceeded the limit of PFA norms with regard to damaged grains, the note added.
The Union Minister
finding the stock unfit for human consumption according
to the findings of the Central Grain Analysis Laboratory
(CGAL), New Delhi, ordered an inquiry into the matter
which led to the suspension of these officials.
SC ruling on trial proceedings
NEW DELHI, Feb 17 (PTI) The Supreme Court today ruled that if trial proceedings had reached an advanced stage, trial courts should refrain from using their powers to name the new accused as it would entail huge loss of time and money.
"Unless the court is hopeful that there is reasonable prospect of the case, as against the newly brought accused, ending in conviction... we would say that the court should refrain from adopting such a course of action," a Bench comprising Mr Justice K.T. Thomas and Mr Justice A.P. Misra said.
Mr Justice Thomas, writing the judgement for the Bench, said "if the witnesses already examined are quite a large number, the court must seriously consider whether the objects sought to be achieved by such an exercise is worth wasting the whole labour already undertaken."
The court was considering whether a magistrate was justified in summoning two new accused in a Rs 50 lakh bank fraud case in Mumbai when the trial in a criminal case against four accused persons proceeded to the penultimate stage after examining 54 witnesses by then.
The court said, "If
the order of the magistrate is to sustain, proceedings in
respect of the newly added persons are to be recommenced
afresh, which means that the entire massive evidence thus
far collected and time which the court has thus far spent
for recording the evidence of such a large number of
witnesses, besides the cost involved for all concerned to
reach up to the present stage, would all become, for all
practical purposes a waste colossal waste."
ISRO test-fires GSLV engine
BANGALORE, Feb 17 (UNI) The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) achieved an important milestone in the development of indigenous cryogenic upper stage for the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) when the first engine employing liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen was ignited at its Mahendragiri complex in Tamil Nadu yesterday.
Announcing this here today, ISRO said the test, however, had to be aborted after 15 seconds instead of the planned duration of 30 seconds. The engine had a thrust capacity of 7.5 tonne.
The firing, carried out at the Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre at Mahendraguri, however, had provided voluminous data that would be analysed to pin-point the anomaly during the test and take suitable corrective action, ISRO said in a note.
Besides developing simultaneously the cryogenic engine that would inject communication satellites into geosynchronous orbit, ISRO is acquiring seven cryogenic engines from Russia for its GSLV programme scheduled to take off from the middle of this year when the first launch has been planned.
ISRO said the test
firing of the first indigenous cryogenic engine had
several accomplishments. They included the fabrication,
assembly and integration of the complete cryogenic
engine, validation and commissioning of the test stand,
chill down trials of the engine and associated system,
production of cryogenic propellants to required
specifications and validation of appropriate safety
procedures, besides collection of data during the 15
Cabinet finalises Presidents speech
NEW DELHI, Feb 17 (PTI) The Union Cabinet today finalised the Presidents speech to be delivered at the joint sitting of both Houses of Parliament on the opening day of the Budget session on February 23.
"The Cabinet gave final shape to the Presidents Address which will spell out the governments policies relating to various areas in the coming year", Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pramod Mahajan told reporters here after a nearly three-hour long Cabinet meeting.
Blair airport under CISF charge
5 NLFT men
from Feb 18
promote TV channel
saving Indian bustard
back to eighth century
|| Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
| Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh Tribune | In Spotlight |
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
| 119 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |