Sunday, October 21, 2001, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


Believe it or not, the rich too steal power!
Ramesh Ramachandran
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 20
Beware of the midnight knock, for the Delhi Vidyut Board is in hot pursuit of errant consumers and defaulters. Particularly so, if you happen to reside in any of the posh colonies.


Findings of a special drive for detection of theft in 
posh residential colonies and industries

Period Total cases of theft  Theft cases in posh areas Percentage
January 1267 210 16.57
February 1093 193 17.66
March 1247 252 20.21
April 1012 204 20.16
May 1181 202 17.10

Thrilled by the "excellent results" offered by vigorous night operations during the past month, DVB sources say posh residential colonies and industrial areas would come for special attention from enforcement squads during these late night raids. Distribution engineers have been specifically told to identify pockets that are theft-prone.

Where two years back the DVB was recovering about Rs 175 crore as revenue assessed for theft bills, it is now realising over Rs 325 crore. In September alone, 75 per cent of the cases of theft detected by the enforcement wing were reported from New Friends Colony, South Extension, Greater Kailash and East of Kailash.

During nine days of operations, between September 15 and 29, theft of electricity worth Rs 5.29 crore (6,334 KW) was detected. In Shalimar Bagh, New Friends Colony and adjoining areas, pilferage to the tune of Rs 1.28 crore (2549 KW) was detected in a single day -- which is a record haul for the DVB.

Officials say the rising incidence of detection of thefts in these areas is a disturbing trend. "One had erroneously come to believe that only the unauthorised villages and JJ clusters accounted for a majority of theft cases but, as the figures suggest (see table), the menace has not spared the affluent sections of society," says an enforcement officer.

Incidentally, pilferage of electricity reported from slums has shown a marginal decline whereas incidence of theft in posh colonies remains correspondingly higher. This is being attributed to the electrification project launched on a turnkey basis in JJ clusters to bring the nearly 45 per cent of an estimated 1.35 crore population of Delhi in the billing net. Already 800 single point connections have been released in slums and many more given during the numerous single-window camps set up in their areas. Between January 2000 and August this year, 55,000 connections have been released from which the security amount itself works out to about Rs 29 crore.

"The drive has encouraged many to come under the billing net rather than risk penal action," says an official. Under the project, slum-dwellers can either appoint a contractor from amongst themselves or an outsider acceptable to them to whom payments would have to be made.

Even as substantial progress was being made in this regard, the affluent classes of consumers remained relatively untouched which situation the DVB now wants to rectify. Also, the enforcement wing plans to strictly adhere to the disconnection drive that would be completed by the 15th of a month.

And just in case a consumer decides to drop names or intimidate officials, DVB has ensured that the enforcement squads are equipped with wireless sets linked to the headquarter and are accompanied by personnel drawn from either the Central Industrial Security Force or the Home Guards.


No scheduled tribes, yet Delhi Govt revives quota
R. Suryamurthy
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 20
The Congress-led Delhi government’s move to restore reservation to Scheduled Tribes (STs) appears to be politically motivated, as there are no notified STs in the state in the scheduled list.

With polls for the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) round the corner, the Congress plans to project this as an achievement before going to the electorate for the mandate. The MCD is presently dominated by the BJP.

Former Delhi Chief Minister Sahib Singh Verma told The Tribune that he had not discontinued the ST quota as only the Centre could take such a decision. The Congress government’s move was politically motivated, as they did not have any achievement to take to the people, he said.

The Delhi Government on Friday announced the restoration of reservation to STs with immediate effect. The government said Mr Verma had scrapped reservation to the STs in October 1997.

“We had only requested the Centre to discontinue with the ST reservation as it was blocking the employment opportunities for other categories of people,” Mr Verma said.

The Sheila Dikshit government stated that the then government took the decision despite the state Law Department clearly stating that the reservation to STs should not be stopped until the Centre modified or amended the criterion for the percentage of reservation prescribed on all-India basis.

Mr Verma said several posts in the local bodies, undertakings and organisations under the ST quota had been lying vacant when his government sought the Centre’s permission to fill up those vacancies with other categories of people. The posts continue to be vacant.

He said that though Delhi now had a State Service Commission, many of the posts would remain vacant, as they were reserved under the ST quota. Had the government persuaded the Centre to fill up these posts from the SC or OBC category, it would have helped the people of Delhi, he said.

The Constitution, with the objective to uplift the depressed sections of the society, has provided for reservation of 7.5 per cent for STs, 15 per cent for Scheduled Castes and 27 for Other Backward Classes in employment and admissions.


Remembering a martyr

Gurdwara Rakab Ganj : (situated near Parliament) - When Guru Tegh Bahadur was beheaded in Chandni Chowk and the lamenting and wailing crowd surged forward to have a closer look at the martyred prophet, a man named Bhai Jaita picked up the head of the Guru and disappeared into the grief-stricken crowd. Lakhi Shah, a Sikh devotee, under the cover of darkness carried away the body of Guru Tegh Bahadur to his residence, the present site of Rakab Ganj Gurdwara.

He reverently placed the body of the Guru on a pile of sandalwood and set fire to the whole house, put the remains of the Guru in an urn and buried it on the very spot where the body was cremated. The head of the Guru was taken by his disciple Bhai Jaita to Anandpur, where Guru Gobind Singh cremated it near the place where the Guru used to meditate in a cell.


Squabbles block Khalsa College auditorium
Gaurav Choudhury
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 20
Squabbles within the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) have ensured that the picturesque campus of Shri Guru Teg Bahadur Khalsa College on the North Campus of Delhi University will have one black spot – an uncompleted auditorium.

Ironically, close to Rs 1 crore, earmarked for building a state-of-the-art auditorium for the college, which is celebrating its golden jubilee this year, is lying unused in banks.

Work for the two-storied auditorium, to be named the Master Tara Singh Auditorium, began way back in 1996 and was designed to accommodate 800 persons at full capacity with 12 rooms and two conference rooms on the first floor.

The Principal of the college, Dr D S Claire, puts the blame squarely on the differences within the DSGMC for the delay in the work.

“They (DSGMC members) are unable to sort out their own differences although we (college authorities) are keen that a fully functional auditorium is ready as soon as possible,” Dr Claire told The Tribune.

“More than Rs 80 lakh are lying in the banks specifically for the purpose. The fund was granted by the then president of DSGMC, Mr Paramjit Singh Sarna, whose brainchild the auditorium was in the first place,” he said.

Mr Sarna, an alumnus of the same college, said that the new committee, which was formed after his presidency ended last year, was primarily responsible for the delay in the construction of the auditorium.

“There appears to be too much of favoritism within the current DSGMC so far as granting of work for the completion of project is concerned. This is affecting the college in the final analysis,” Mr Sarna said.

The present president of the DSGMC, Mr Avtar Singh Hit, however, appeared optimistic that the project would be completed soon. “Hopefully, the auditorium will become functional within the next couple of months and tenders will be called from qualified civil contractors shortly,” Mr Hit said.

The chairman of the Governing Body of the college, Mr Harmanjeet Singh, observed that differences among DSGMC members were mostly to blame for the state of affairs.

“Left to myself, I would call for an open tender and offer the project to the most competitive bidder at the lowest price,” he said.

Sources in the college, however, expressed concern that there was more than necessary interference from the DSGMC in the day-to-day running of the college. “Otherwise how would one explain the expenditure of several lakhs of rupees just for the renovation of the Principal’s office? It resembles a five-star hotel. What the college needed more was better washroom and drinking-water facilities for both students and teachers alike,” they said.

“They ( DSGMC ) have their own kind of priorities which are not necessarily academic. We are concerned about these developments, more so being a Khalsa institution.”


This bar has nothing to hide, it is an open secret
Rohit Wadhwaney
Tribune news Service

New Delhi, October 20
If you want to drink and don’t have a place, if the bars are not affordable, and if the hotels are too plush for you to stay in, nary a worry. There is a watering hole under the sun -- an open-air “bar” at a stone’s throw from the Super Bazaar in Connaught Place, which will take care of your parched throat.

Of course, it is a racket. The dramatis personae are the bystanders holding innocuous glasses, taking sips on the sly; the vendors, who keep the colas and the fruit juice flowing, without which the heady mix would lose much of its fizz; the Delhi Vidyut Board (DVB), which keep the deed literally in the dark; and a host of men in uniform, who milk the vendors dry.

A daily ritual, this small market near the Super Bazaar parking area is buzzing with activity in the evening. But not a single female is in sight, except the lone passer-by. The men carry rather conspicuous plastic Pepsi containers in their hands, which gives the game away. And to give them the right ‘Zayaka’ are an assortment of boiled eggs, Chole Bhature, Rajma Chawal, Bhel Puri and the ubiquitous cigarette. That is the open-air bar.

“It has been there for about four years. Cops religiously patrol their beat, but the bar never catches their eye. Or does it?” demanded a skeptical shopkeeper, whose outfir is right opposite this “bar.” Incidentally, The Tribune eavesdropped on policemen gulping down “juice” at the bar, for free.

The streetlights hovering over the “bar” were off, and the ones on were for some inexplicable reason directing their glare towards the road. Though a DVB official referred to the allegation as “absolutely rubbish,” sources confirmed that the DVB was indeed involved.

A Sikh, who runs a juice shop at this “bar,” said: “If you are buying Pepsi from here, you will have to pay entertainment tax, which means for a bottle of Pepsi you have to cough up Rs 7 extra. If we don’t charge extra, we will be deep in the red.’’ He laments that the police asks them to shell out a lot of money. `` But if you are drinking here and a policeman comes along and inquires, all you have to say is that ‘Sardar ki dukaan se pee raha hoon,’ and they will not say anything to you,” he said.

Sources said the police collect about Rs 30,000 every month from each shop in the market. On occasions the “bar” has been raided, but nothing has come out of the raids. Deputy Commissioner of Police Mukesh Meena said he was not aware of the racket, but has promised to look into the matter.

“The Bacchus lovers, of course, have to organise their own liquor at the “bar”. The bottles are passed on to the juice vendor, who plays the barman. Aamir, one of the regulars at the bar, dropped a pearl of wisdom: “It is great to drink here. You can sit here for as long as you want. These shopkeepers mix our drinks and it turns out to be much cheaper than going to a bar. In fact, come to think of it, is this joint any less than a bar?”


Despite Noida tragedy, hooch flows in Gurgaon
Our Correspondent

Gurgaon, October, 20
The recent hooch tragedy in Noida, which claimed over 25 lives, hasn’t opened the eyes of the district administration here as illicit liquor is flowing in various places of the district. The police and the administration have not taken any effective step to stem the flow.

The result is that not only illicitly brewed country-made liquor but spurious bottles of Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) were also easily available at more than 30 places in the city. The illegal business was flourishing allegedly in connivance with the police, sources said.

A visit to Jharsa, Gurgaon, Arjun Nagar, Bhim Nagar, Jacobpura, Om Nagar, New Colony, Subhash Nagar, the Railway station area and Rajiv Nagar confirmed that both illicitly brewed country-made liquor and IMFL of selected brands were available at these places for about 40 to 60 per cent cheaper rate than the standard “market” rate.

For instance, a quarter bottle of any well-known brand of IMFL is sold between Rs 25 and Rs 30 in these “outlets” when the original would cost Rs 50-60. Similarly, the 180-ml bottles of two brands of country-made liquor ‘Saufi’ and ‘Mastana’ manufactured by a company in Faridabad are available for Rs 10 per pouch at these outlets when they cost Rs 20 in licensed shops.

A seller, who runs his “business” in the heart of the city, revealed the existence of many wholesale dealers of such illicit liquor. They would purchase liquor in large quantity and supply it at different points in the city, he added.

That the “business” is expanding at a rapid pace can be judged from the fact that the sale at various licensed shops in the city has gone down by nearly 50 per cent in the last three years. At present, a licensed shop in the city does business in the range of Rs 10,000-20,000 per day in comparison to Rs 30,000- 50,000 earnings four years ago.

Several illicit liquor sellers told NCR Tribune that the police knew about their activities but they were able to keep them at bay by paying a fixed amount to local officers.

Most of the illicit liquor was being supplied by distilleries in the neighbouring states of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, sources added. They could arrange labels, corks and bottles of all brands on demand. These distillers were capable of producing pouches of all country-made liquor brands.


Misgivings over anthrax allayed
Ramesh Ramachandran
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 20
The Delhi Government on Saturday said that four of the several letters or parcels suspected of anthrax contamination sent to the National Institute of Communicable Diseases for tests had proved negative. Health Minister AK Walia reiterated that the scare was unfounded and that there was no cause for panic.

Head of the National Institute of Communicable Diseases Dr K K Dutta told The Tribune that the results of the remaining cases would be known in a couple of days.

"The tests may take some time anything from 24 hours to may be four days," he said. Dr Dutta however conceded that the delay could also be attributed to the fewer machines available with his Institute. "We have the expertise," he said "but high-end technology including equipment and machines are not readily available."

He said that there has been no recorded evidence of an outbreak of anthrax in Delhi or north India. "So far cases of anthrax have only been reported from south India."

According to documented data, the first case of anthrax was reported from a hamlet 80 kilometres from Mysore, Karnataka, in 1999. Five people had died than and three had recovered. The second and third instances of anthrax were reported from Midnapore in May last year and Kolar, Karnataka, in August this year that claimed three and two lives, respectively.

In most of these cases, he noted, the custom of butchering and eating roasted meat of dead animals infected with the bacterium resulted into deaths.

The Delhi Government has said there was no shortage of antibiotics to meet with the eventuality of spread of anthrax and hospitals had already been told to ensure adequate stocks.

A meeting was held at the Delhi Secretariat in the evening which was chaired by Health Minister AK Walia and attended exclusively by physicians and a few police officers.


Final touches being given to Phoolan case chargesheet
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 20
The Delhi Police are giving final touches to the chargesheet of Phoolan Devi murder case, which is to be submitted to the court before October 25 even as the key witness, Shravan Kumar is still at large.

The chargesheet is primarily focussing on the prime suspect Pankaj alias Sher Singh Rana who allegedly shot dead Phoolan Devi outside her residence on Ashoka Road on July 25. Pankaj is at present in the judicial custody.

There is no mention of any politician in the chargesheet as the police believe Phoolan Devi did not have the political stature to harm any political party or political personality to invite their wrath.

The chargesheet is totally based on the interrogation of Pankaj a residence of Roorkee and his accomplices.

There is no word in the chargesheet about Shravan Kumar who posed as Sher Singh Rana to prove he was at Hardwar jail on July 25 when Phoolan Devi was shot dead.

Shravan Kumar had worked in the liquor shop of Sher Singh Rana in Roorkee. And he is suspected to have been eliminated to hide the actual cause of murder.

It is mentioned in the chargesheet that the murder of Phoolan Devi was a revenge of Behmai mass murder case. A large number of Thakurs were shot dead by Bandit Queen, Phoolan Devi at Behami.

During interrogation, Sher Singh Rana told the police that he had killed Phoolan Devi to take revenge of the mass murder of Thakurs at Behami.

A total of ten suspects were arrested by Crime Branch of the Delhi Police in connection with the case. All the suspects except Sher Singh Rana have been released on bail.

Sher Singh Rana came to Phoolan’s residence along with Uma Kashyap and her husband, Vijay Kashyap of Dehradoon to discuss the functioning of Eklavya Sena, a socio political organisation run by Phoolan.

Uma Kashyap was chief of Eklavya Sena in Roorkee. When the murder took place Uma and her husband were inside the MP’s house. They had also been questioned by the police.

Sher Singh Rana and his accomplices muffled their faces and fired at Phoolan outside her residence on her way back to home from Parliament. While fleeing from the spot the suspects left their Maruti Car near Pandit Pant Marg. 


A treasure trove of Sikh artefacts
R. Suryamurthy
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 20
A Sikh Museum portraying the community's history, the valuable contribution of Sikh gurus for the spread of religion and other historical personalities associated with Sikhism has come up in Delhi.

The museum, which would be inaugurated by the Lt Governor, Mr Vijai Kapoor tomorrow, would have an exhaustive collection of paintings and artefacts of the historical figures.

Talking to The Tribune, the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee president, Mr Avtar Singh Hit said, that the museum would provide an opportunity to the members of the community to have some knowledge about the sacrifices made by Sikh Gurus for the spread of Sikhism.

The museum would also provide through paintings a glimpse of torture they underwent for the spread of Sikhism.

The Sikh Museum also has photographs of freedom fighters like Shaheed Bhagat Singh, who fought bravely against the British Raj, he added. The museum, situated opposite Bhai Mati Das Chowk, Chandni Chowk, has a collection of over 250 paintings and photographs placed in two floors of the building.

The museum has been dedicated in memory of Bhai Mati Das, Bhai Sati Das and Bhai Dyala, who were tortured to death.

Bhai Mati Das was sown alive in jail in Chandni Chowk as he refused to embrace Islam.

Bhai Sati Das was covered with cotton pieces and burnt to death in Delhi kotwali as he refused to embrace Islam. Bhai Dyala was boiled alive in a huge cauldron after he refused to embrace Islam.

The museum has paintings depicting the gruesome manner in which the three close associates of Guru Tegh Bahadur were killed during the Mughal era for their opposition to embrace Islam.

Painters and photographers like Kirpal Singh, Bodh Raj, Davinder Singh, Amolak Singh, Mehar Singh and Balbir Singh have provided their art photographs to the exhibition.


DDA offer of flats leaves Kashmiri migrants divided
Smriti Kak

New Delhi, October 20
Thrown out of their hearths and homes, Kashmiri migrants living in Delhi had been praying for decent accommodations that would take them out of the squalid camps where they are now cramped in. However, when the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) finally announced plans to provide flats to residents of such camps in the Capital, not many are euphoric. Worse, the news has been damaging in more ways than one for the community.

Though the DDA decision has cheered some, the plan itself is not foolproof as the authority is offering flats at far-flung areas like Rohini, Narela and Dwarka. The migrants, of course, will have to furnish proof of being residents in the camps in Delhi. And they will be allotted flats subject to the availability in these places.

Now as the DDA began allotting the flats, the atmosphere in the camps has turned ugly as many residents are left out of the list prepared by the DDA. According to these people, all the residents must have been included in the list. Of the 17 families residing in the Krishna Market camp, only 10 will be provided accommodation. This has generated a lot of ill will among the camp residents.

Apprehensions that they would be left out are giving rise to insecurity and even jealousy. “People are gripped with an unusual fear. Neighbours in the squalid camps, who have stood by each other till now, are now seen engaging in verbal duels and bickering,” says a resident refusing to be named.

In the South Extension camp where 12 families are putting up, only five will be allotted a place to live in. “We are old and have no children. We have nowhere to go. My pension money goes to pay my medical bills. Has the government washed its hands off me?” asks a retired teacher who is as thin as a skeleton.

“The government must ensure that each and every family gets its due. How can they rehabilitate only a few and leave the others to rot?” asks a visibly upset Badri Devi, showing the cracks in her part of the camp. Like Babri Devi, there are several others who are keeping their fingers crossed.

The condition in the other camps is also not different. Many of the residents in these camps have not been included in the list.

They are angry that instead of all the registered migrants, only a handful is being considered for getting flats.

Some of the camp residents say the decision to rehabilitate them is merely eyewash on the part of the government. “If they are so concerned, why don’t they provide us flats free of cost or at least at affordable rates?” they ask. 
Some others are worried about the places chosen by the DDA. “I walk down from my camp in South Extension to my shop in INA. If I am allotted a place in Narela or Rohini, how will I commute?” asks Raju.

The basis on which the allotments are going to be made is not clear. Despite repeated attempts, the DDA officials could not be reached for their version.

Meanwhile, camp residents are seen in serpentine queues outside the DDA office. The rehabilitation of these migrants has been on the government agenda for the past 11 years but is becoming a reality only now. Now, what remains to be seen is whether the houses will remain etched only on paper or will the hundreds of homeless Kashmiri migrants actually get their much-awaited homes.


Anti-terrorism policy attacked
Our Correspondent

Ghaziabad, October 20
“Terrorism has struck its roots in India due to the lack of a well-considered national policy on it and the lukewarm approach of the government,” said Mr B. S. Bedi, former Director-General of Police of Jammu and Kashmir.

The government’s decision to initiate a dialogue with those who actually promote terrorism in India had demoralised the armed forces, he said. It was high time the country tackled terrorists and their centres in a decisive and aggressive way. He said: “We as a nation should be capable of taking hard and unpleasant decisions. But, unfortunately, what happens is that the government after initiating anti-terrorist operations on ground soon starts the process of dialogue which sends wrong signals to the terrorists outfits too. “Just when the armed forces are able to create panic among terrorists, the government would order halt to the action which boosts the morale of terrorists.”


Crackdown on rickshaws
Ravi S. Singh
Tribune News Service

Gurgaon, October 20
The Improvement Trust has decided to crack the whip against unauthorised rickshawpullers in the city.

The Chairman of the trust, Mr Ram Niwas Mangla, said rickshaws were the biggest traffic hazard as they created chaos on the city roads.

They added to the traffic snarl on almost all roads.

He said henceforth the trust would ensure the rickshaws were registered and that all operators obtained licences from the municipality.

However, the general allegation was the unauthorised operators could not have come on the scene without the collusion of the municipality authorities and the police personnel.

The trust has recommendatory powers on various issues relating to improvement and smooth functioning of the city. It has already taken up the issue with the local municipality.

At present there are more than 8,000 rickshaws operating in the city. However, according to Mr Mangla, only about 21 of the operators have licences.

The trust personnel also feel certain rickshawpullers contribute to the occurrence of crimes.

Mr Mangla gave the argument that as one did not know the identities of the operators it could prove to be dangerous for law and order in the fast expanding Gurgaon. He echoed the apprehension in some quarters that certain operators had a hand in small crimes like chain snatching and thefts.

In the last couple of years there has indeed been mushroom growth of rickshaws in the city.

Scores of them can be found parked in various residential sectors of the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) and colonies.

Mr Mangla, perhaps, has a point. Recently, the municipality had impounded about 80 rickshaws but no one turned up to claim them.


Drive to decongest Patparganj
Nalini Ranjan
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 20
The Delhi Traffic Police have drawn up a plan to ease traffic congestion on the Patparganj Road connecting NOIDA and Vikas Marg, but chances of its implementation seem to be bleak.

One of the major changes proposed is the shifting of the Mother Dairy Plant gate on the Patparganj Road to the Narvana Road, opposite Aditi Apartments.

However, a top official of Mother Dairy said on the condition of anonymity that it was only a proposal and they were not bound to follow it.

“I want to make it clear that we did not like the change of location sought by the traffic police,” he said.

Commuters and drivers claim the present location of the gate is a major cause of jams in the area especially when milk tanks come out through the gate.

Another proposal is the shifting of electric poles. When contacted, the Chief Engineer of the Delhi Vidyut Board for the area, Mr Narula, said it was a welcome step but the board would need some time.

The shifting of the road divider by five feet towards the carriage way on Mother Dairy and reduction of the T-point of the traffic island are also among the proposals. 


Family commits suicide

Buried deep in debt, four members of a family residing in Uttam Nagar in West Delhi committed suicide here today evening by consuming poisonous tablets.

Yashpal (55), his wife Shanti (50) and their two daughters, Navin (23) and Munia (17) died at a hospital a few minutes after they were brought in.

Another member of the family, Geeta (19), is fighting for her life, according to the police. Investigations have revealed that the deceased had consumed the tablets at 6 pm. TNS


Press adviser
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 20
The Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee has appointed former diplomat Dr Komal Avtar Singh as press advisor to the DSGMC. He has also been nominated as member of the Dharam Prachar Committee as the former Indian Foreign Service officer has vast knowledge about Gurmat.


Businessman robbed at Loni Road
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 20
A businessman of Ashok Vihar was reportedly robbed of Rs 3.5 lakh and a two- wheeler from Loni Road area of North East district.

The victim, Chetan Goel, who supplied his products in Shahadar and Loni areas was robbed of while he was going to his residence in Ashok Nagar after collecting money from his clients.

The robbers stopped the businessman on Loni Road while he was on his two wheeler. They robbed his scooter and the money he was keeping in his scooter.

In a separate incident, a Nepali servant looted household articles worth lakhs of rupees of Narender Kaushik a resident of Anand Vihar in East district after serving poison in food. Mr Kaushik and his three family members became unconscious after taking their dinner last night which was prepared by the servant.

In yet another incident of robbery, police arrested two persons who were fleeing after reportedly robbing an artificial jewellery shop in Jama Masjid area of Central Delhi. 


WTC fallout: units move out of Faridabad
Jatinder Sharma

Faridabad, October 20
The terrorist attack on the World Trade Centre (WTC) in New York on September 11 has put India’s export-oriented units situated at Faridabad in a quandary. The US traders have, in fact, cancelled most of the export orders.

The cancellation of orders by American businessmen has also affected India’s exports to the West Asian countries. The acceptance of Indian products by the US results in their getting automatic approval in the West Asian countries.

These units export goods worth Rs 400 crore every year to these countries, an official of the Faridabad Industries Association told The Tribune.

The industrial scene, particularly in the automobile and the textile sector, is very gloomy. There has been virtually no sale of tractors manufactured at Faridabad by Escorts and Eicher. The Escorts group is facing a drop in sales as well as industrial unrest.

Eicher, another giant in the tractor industry, too has cut short its production targets. The deteriorating picture is having its effect on small and medium industries as well as the employment market.

The worst sufferers of the terrorist attack on the WTC are the automobile and textile units. Many of these industries are facing a cash crunch and are out for grabs. But there are no buyers.

With a view to overcoming the cash crunch, certain large industries have started selling their fixed assets. Many industries in the city were considering expanding their activities but now they had decided to opt out of Haryana. For instance, Whirlpool, manufacturer of refrigerators and washing machines, plans to set its unit at Aurangabad in Maharashtra.

Eicher, the tractor giant, has opted for Indore in Madhya Pradesh whereas Goodyear is set to install another unit at Aurangabad involving an investment of Rs. 600 crore.

Mr Rajiv Chawla, general secretary of the Faridabad Small Industries Association, feels that after the September 11 attack, economic and business strategies need to be recast. There is recession in the consumer products industry, stagnation in software and a substantial fall in the tourism industry.


Jewellery for working women on display
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, October 20
Indradhanush, an exhibition of contemporary jewellery, opened at Gymkhana Club here today.

Being the first exhibition of its kind by designer Sudha Jain, elaborate use of myriad colours of genuine gemstones and diamonds has been made on necklaces, bangles, earrings and pendants, claimed the organisers.

Ms Sudha Jain told The Tribune while the demand for diamond jewellery had gone up by 300 per cent that for gold jewellery had gone down by at least 50 per cent in the past few years.

She said in view of the growing insecurity and stagnant price of gold over the recent years, working women wanted to have wearable jewellery as ornaments kept in lockers had hardly any value for consumers.

Moreover, the jewellery was customised. The designer had kept in mind the need and outlook of women, they said.

The exhibition, which was inaugurated by the Deputy Commissioner, has put a large number of designs on display for sale. Ms Jain, a resident of Faridabad, said the price range of the jewellery ranged between Rs 1,000 and Rs 2 lakh.

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