Thursday, November 1, 2001, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S



Two more abductions, but cops crack the cases
Bijendra Ahlawat
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, October 31
The recent surge in kidnapping of minor children for ransom has not only sent the residents here scurrying, but the untoward trend has also put the police department on its toes. At least three such cases have been reported in the last one month.

Two such cases took place last week, sending shivers down the residents’ spine. However, the safe recovery of the victims and prompt action by the police have helped people heave a sigh of relief. The first case took place at Palwal town, about 35 km from here, when a minor son of a doctor couple was kidnapped. The boy was recovered in Mathura within two days with the help of the UP police.

In the second incident, an 11-year-old son of a garment manufacturer was kidnapped at gunpoint in broad daylight from his house in Sector-29 here on October 25 by four persons.

One of the accused, arrested by the police, included a worker of the manufacturer. Even as the police was ‘celebrating' the safe recovery of the boy within two hours, another boy of about three-and-a-half years was kidnapped the very next day from Nahar Singh Colony in Ballabgarh town.

The police were able to recover the boy from a place in Badayun district in UP yesterday. The boy was handed over to the parents in presence of the SSP. It was revealed that while a ransom of Rs 20 to Rs 30 lakh was demanded in the earlier two cases, in the latest incident, the kidnappers, including a neighbour of the family, asked a ransom of Rs three lakhs.

The SSP, Mr Ranbir Sharma, has appealed to the local residents to be alert and inform the police about the movement of suspicious elements.

The National Capital Territory (NCT) and the satellite cities of Ghaziabad, Noida, Gurgaon and Faridabad have become a hunting-ground for gangs engaged in kidnapping for the last couple of years and the number of such incidents has shown a steady increase .

Senior police officers claim that regular coordination meetings were being held among the police officers of Delhi, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh to share intelligence and launch joint operations to eliminate such gangs.


Gurgaon MLA backs HUDA demolitions
Ravi S. Singh
Tribune News Service

Gurgaon, October 31
The residents of the unauthorised colonies, faced with the spectre of demolition, today received a jolt when the Deputy Speaker of the Haryana

Vidhan Sabha and local MLA, Mr Gopi Chand Gehlot, asserted that the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) must secure possession of its land that had been encroached upon.

The residents of the unauthorised colonies, angry with the administration because of the ongoing demolitions, had been anxiously awaiting the return of Mr Gehlot.

Mr Gehlot returned yesterday from his fortnightly trip abroad. However, in the first public statement after his return, he sided with HUDA in its move to secure its land from illegal possessions. Incidentally, the demolitions started in Surya Vihar Colony and on Basai Road immediately after Mr Gehlot had left for his foreign tour.

However, he said that no injustice would be done to persons who are in legal possession of land in Surya Vihar Colony and elsewhere in the city.

He clarified that a number of persons who had filed petitions for a stay order in the court against proceedings for evacuations, had sold their plots in Surya Vihar Colony. A large number of residents were served with notice for the evacuation.

However, the petitioners in the case sold their plot during the pendency of the case. The case was not pursued in the court, resulting in ex parte decision of the court in favour of HUDA a few months back. No one challenged the court. Consequently, HUDA initiated a demolition drive to clear the encroachments.

He alleged that vested interests were misleading the public and innocent residents to derive political mileage.

In response to a question, he said that on account of urbanisation of some of the villages in Gurgaon district, the move to expand the “Lal Dora”, the boundary limits of the villages for construction of houses, had lost the sanctity. The only solution lies in exempting such constructions from governmental acquisitions.

According to him, the government has already constituted a committee to survey such construction in the villages. To start with, the committee has surveyed in Kanhai and Carterpuri villages. Its report is awaited.

He further said that he had suggested to the government to conduct "physical survey" of the land to be acquired in the villages by HUDA before issuing the notification under Section 4 for the Land Acquisition Act.

Without mincing words, he said that there was a lacuna in the acquisition proceedings of HUDA. The main problem is that it acts according to the status of the land as was the case in 1877.The reality is that the status of the land in the villages has undergone a change since then.


Seven killed in head-on collision

Gurgaon, Oct 31
Seven persons died and four were injured when there was a head-on collision between a Tata Sumo and a dumper on the Gurgaon-Alwar road, around 30 km away from here in the afternoon today.

According to police sources, a Tata Sumo, registration no. HR 20 C 1514, carrying around 15 passengers, was heading from Firojpur Zirka towards Sohna. As the vehicle approached Roz Ka Me industrial area, a speeding truck, HR 47 – 5738, heading for Firozpur Zirka, collided head on with the Sumo.

Seven persons, including the driver of the Sumo, died on the spot while four persons were injured.



40-minute shootout in Jhajjar court
Our Correspondent

Jhajjar, October 31
At least four persons sustained bullet injuries in a major shoot-out between two gangs inside the Civil Courts premises here today.

According to sources, Vazir Singh and his accomplices, accused in the Pahwa abduction case, arrested here in October 1998, were brought to the local court. Vazir is lodged in the Sonepat jail while others are out on bail.

Apprehending an attack from the rival gang, this group, numbering between 5 and 20, had come prepared.

However, as they entered the court premises around 12 noon, the other gang of around 10 persons opened indiscriminate fire. The Vazir group also fired in retaliation.

Four accomplices of Vazir were injured in the shoot-out and rushed to PGIMS in Rohtak. They were identified as Baljeet, Rakesh, Harpal of Jind district and Sanjay from Chimani village here.

Mr Mohammed Akil, SSP, said that though armed policemen were present on the spot, they were not able to retaliate as they were escorting the other accused.

He said that firing had stopped when he reached within 15 minutes of the shooting. Only Vazir group was present on the spot.

Three of the assailants have been identified as Sombir, Dharmandra and Tagbbir -- all proclaimed offenders in various cases, including a murder in Jind. Around 12 empty shells of bullets fired from 12-bore and 315-bore pistol and revolvers and three live cartridges were recovered from the spot.

A case under Section 307 IPC had been registered against the attackers and several police parties had been dispatched in their search.

However, according to the eyewitnesses, the shoot-out continued for around 40 minutes and the policemen remained passive spectators. The district police also arrived very late and did not act swiftly.

Meanwhile, the local bar association held a meeting chaired by Mr Ranbir Singh and held the district police responsible for the incident. Mr Ranbir Singh told that the bar association had gone on an indefinite strike demanding the transfer of superintendent.


If summer persists, can winter be far behind?
R. Suryamurthy
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 31
Almost fed up with the prolonged humid summer, which continues to linger on and on, the Delhiites can now look forward to some relief. Cool breeze and fall in temperature will mark the festival of lights, Divali, this year, if the projections of the Meteorological Department turn out to be correct.

The mist in the air, which surfaced on Wednesday, is the first indication of the likely fall in temperature in the coming days.

The temperature would fall by about three to four degree Celsius by the end of next week and the air would become colder by the middle of November, Mr S C Gupta, Director, Indian Meteorological Department, told The Tribune.

“The mist surfaced because of the intermingling of the moist winds from the Bay of Bengal and the dry winds from the North Western region,” Mr Gupta, who heads the department overseeing the climatic condition in North India, said.

He said the mist had reduced visibility and the trend is likely to continue in the coming days.

Westerly disturbance is likely to occur in the next 72 hours and would result in light rain in North India, especially in Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab. This would result in increased humidity and further lowering of temperature, he said.

The transition from summer to winter occurs in October and the weather settles down in December. By the middle of next month, the maximum temperature would be around 26 to 28 degrees Celsius and the minimum would dip to 15 degree Celsius, he said.

“For the last three years, October has been quite a warm month. In 1997 it rained during the month, heralding winter conditions,” he recalled.

This year several parts of Rajasthan experienced temperatures around 40 degree Celsius, which is six degrees above normal.

Asked whether the increase in temperature at this time of the year was due to global warming, Mr Gupta denied there was any direct correlation between the two.

“The global warming could be having some effect on the surging mercury. But, we do not have enough data to state emphatically that the rise in temperature during the last three years in Northern India is due to global warming or not,” he said.

On the carpet bombing in Afghanistan and its likely impact on the regional weather system, he said: “Impact on weather is a result of several factors. The heat generated by these bombs is unlikely to change the weather system significantly.”

On the limited use of nuclear bombs in the war-ravaged country and its impact on the regional weather, Mr Gupta said: “It is too early to assess or comment on its impact.”


Abandoned by parents, adopted by society
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 31
Had it not been for some duty conscious cops, doctors who still believe in the Hippocratic oath and a couple of Good Samaritans, Priyanka, a girl-child, abandoned by her parents shortly after birth, would not have lived to see the ensuing day.

Draped in a plastic wrapper, Priyanka was apparently dumped by her biological parents and left to fend for herself. On October 13, dogs on the prowl pounced upon the defenceless foundling. Even as the dogs were settling down to a gory meal, weak but shrill cries of the baby drew bystanders to a nondescript corner of a road in Badarpur area bordering Haryana.

The pack of dogs were still gnawing at her frail limbs when the police and bystanders descended on the scene and managed to shoo them away. To their utter surprise, they discovered a badly bruised infant wailing for help, as if trying to recount the grotesque saga to the rest of the world.

Horrified and moved by the sight, the police immediately swung into action and took her to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), where the doctors, contrary to popular perception, sprang immediately to her attention.

For full 10 days, she was the centre of attention of the doctors and the nursing staff at AIIMS with extensive treatment being given to her to neutralise the effects of dog bite and rabies.

Today, she is recuperating in a welfare home for children in Sarita Vihar, where the staff christened her Priyanka; the staff have also gladly undertaken the responsibility of looking after her, till she finds foster parents. That the girl is well cared for is evident from the fact that when she was found she weighed only 2 kg and was anaemic. Today, she weighs about 2.3 kg with her hemoglobin level rising steadily.



Rumour has women flocking to temples

New Delhi, October 31
Women thronged various temples scattered across the city on Wednesday following rumours that the forthcoming Karwa Chauth puja would prove inauspicious for many. No sooner the word spread like wildfire, after an ‘elusive’ Panditjji reportedly made the ‘prediction,’ than women made a beeline for the nearest temple. Women were particularly ‘told’ to offer puja and ‘daan’ to ward off bad omen. Women trooped to the Chattarpur and Birla temples. Reports of similar scenes outside temples were received from the outskirts of Delhi, including Faridabad, Gurgaon, Noida and Ghaziabad. TNS


Fresh probe sought into 1984 riots
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 31
A large number of 1984 riot victims took out a procession today to protest against the injustice done to them 17 years ago and demanded punishment to the guilty. They also demanded a fresh inquiry into the riots by the CBI.

Observing the October 31 as a “black day”, the protestors carrying placard demanding action against the perpetrators, raised slogans against the government for doing little for the riot victims.

Protestors led by the All India Shiromani Akali Dal (Babbar) President, Gurcharan Singh Babbar marched from Gurdwara Bangla Sahib towards the residence of Prime Minister to submit a memorandum.

The memorandum said that several persons who carried out the massacre are still at large. A fresh inquiry into the riots by the CBI be instituted as several commissions and inquiries have not produced the desired results.

“Those found guilty by the CBI should be tried by a Special Court,” the memorandum added.

The Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal ) Delhi unit president Mr Avtar Singh Hit, demanded that the Nanavati Commission should submit its report at the earliest.

“It has been more than a year since the Nanavati Commission started its inquiry into the riots. For the families of riot victims, 17 years have passed. So we demand that Nanavati Commission should submit its report at the earliest,” he said.

Mr Kuldeep Singh Bhogal, president of All India Riot Victim Relief Committee, said the compensation announced by government have not reached many riot victims. Even the enhanced compensation announced by the Delhi High Court has not been given to many.

“Several families, who were given the initial compensation sum of Rs 20,000, were later denied the enhanced compensation on ground or another,” he said. Mr Bhogal said the government had agreed to write off the loans of the families of riot victims. However, they did not keep up the promise and only Rs 50,000 loan was written off by the government.

The government has sealed several houses as they have failed to meet the demands of the government, Mr Bhogal added.

More than 3000 Sikhs were killed in the riots, following the assassination of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on October 31, 1984.

The families were promised residential premises, but that has not been fulfilled. Some of the persons, who were given houses, were being asked to pay for these accommodations, which is an unjustified demand, he stated.


DSGMC to sponsor langar to honour Ranjit Singh
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 31
The president of Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee, Mr Avtar Singh Hit said today that they would sponsor the langar during the bi-centenary celebrations of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, to be held in Amritsar in November.

Dismissing the charges of the rival Tohra faction, Mr Avtar Singh, who is also the president of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) said, “this is not the first time that the DSGMC is planning to provide langar for the people to attend a function”.

Shiromani Akali Dal Delhi president Paramjit Singh Sarna had alleged that, the DSGMC plans to spend Rs one crore for langar in Amritsar even though it is an official function of the state government.

Mr Singh said “the DSGMC would spend the money after getting the approval of the executive committee.”

Rejecting the demand of Mr Sarna to call an general house before taking any decision on spending the DSGMC fund for use outside Delhi, the DSGMC president said Mr Sarna, when he was heading the committee, had spent over Rs 50 lakhs during the tercentenary of Khalsa Panth.

“Then, he had not called any general council to approve the spending,” he added.

Mr Avtar Singh said the Tohra faction had opposed the computerisation of the Gurdwara.

“Following computerisation the earning from four Gurdwaras – Gurdwara Bangla Sahib, Gurdwara Sis Ganj, Gurdwara Rakab Ganj and Gurdwara Nanak Piao, have shown an increase of Rs 10 lakh per month,” he said.

On the DSGMC polls, Mr Avtar Singh appealed to the Delhi government to hold early general elections as they are long over due.

“The state government can hold the polls in December itself, if they feel that in February they would be too busy with the Municipal Corporation of Delhi polls,” he added.

Expressing concern that several Sikhs were stranded in Pakistan for want of visa, the DSGMC urged the government to expedite the process.

“We also urge the government to provide adequate relief to the Afghan Sikhs who are coming here. If they government does not provide adequate relief, the DSGMC would provide food and shelter to them,” he said.

Mr Nanak Singh, president of the Afghan Sikh Society, said, “we have urged the DSGMC
to come forward and help the Sikhs coming from the war
torn country.”

He told The Tribune that “several Sikhs who had come
to India in 1992 are still languishing without job and proper shelter.

Nothing has been done for his or her welfare so far by anybody. We do hope that those Afghan Sikhs are coming to India this time do get some benefit.” 


Traders flay NDMC parking plan
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 31
The tussle between the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) and the New Delhi Traders Association (NDTA) has taken a confrontationist approach as the council’s new parking policy poses a threat to the trading community in the NDMC areas. The association has accused the council for its unilateral approach over the formulation of the new policy and has said the council is planning to ruin their business to the core.

In the existing policy, only Rs 10 are charged for parking of any vehicle. But if the new parking policy, which is still in the formulation stage, gets implemented in the NDMC areas then every visitor will have to shell out Rs 50 as parking charges in the Connaught Place area.

“Let the council explain to us what its motive is behind this policy. If this charge is uniform in all areas in Delhi then we will not oppose it. Why only in Connaught Place, why not anywhere else. This is a ploy to destroy us,” quipped Mr Manoj Agarwal, general secretary of the association.

“We had already requested the Chairman of the NDMC, we would again request him to come out with a practical solution keeping in mind the welfare of the trading community and consumers,” added Mr Agarwal.

But the care taking department of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) said it was not hiking the parking fee in the MCD areas.

According to Mr Agarwal, the council is trying to hike the fee as it incurs heavy losses in the underground parking. Instead of improving the conditions of the underground parking the council is unnecessarily making efforts to charge more for surface parking. If the business in Connaught Place suffers then the government bodies, including the NDMC, will suffer a heavy loss.

“The council should work together with the association for mutual benefit. Our suggestion is let the council enhance the facilities in underground parking – it should be well laid, clean, well manned and should be open for 24 hours. There should be a car-calling system in each block. This would solve all the existing problems like theft and other irregularities. Plus, we also propose monthly pass system at a subsidised rate with multiple entry for shopkeepers of Connaught Place, Mr Agarwal said.

“We only want the charge to be Rs 10 for surface parking and Rs 5 for underground parking. But we support the meter parking system – Rs 10 is charged for first two hours and Rs 5 is charged for every hour.” In fact, about 3,000 cars of officer- goers are parked here. In addition, 32,000 cars come to the CP area every day, and every one hour 4,000 change in working hours.

Mr Agarwal also severely criticised the comment of a senior traffic police official who said if one could spend Rs 10 on pan masala then why not spend Rs 50 for parking. 



Butcher stabbed to death by friend
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 31
A 25 - year- old youth, Mehboob, was reportedly stabbed to death by his friend on Tuesday night in the Trilokpuri area of East Delhi. There was resentment between Mehboob and his friend Mohammad on a trivial matter. They had an argument on Tuesday night following which Mohammad stabbed him. The victim was taken to a nearby hospital where he was declared brought dead. Both were butchers and they had their shops in the Trilokpuri area. A case of murder has been registered against Mohammad who is absconding, the police said.

Fake currency

With the arrest of a youth, Gulam Hasan, the Delhi Police claim to have unearthed a racket of counterfeit currency notes. The youth belonged to Jammu and Kashmir and was at present settled in the Mustafabad area of North-East district. The police seized 440 fake currency notes of Rs 100 denomination.

During interrogation, he disclosed he had earlier been arrested under the NDPS Act. He was in judicial custody for eight months. After being released from jail he was involved in the counterfeit currency racket.

Heroin seized

The Narcotics Branch of the Delhi Police arrested Mohammad Idris, a resident of Bulandshahr, and seized 500 gm of heroin of fine quality from his possession. He was arrested while he was going to deliver the consignment. Besides him, the police arrested three others— Kaushal, Ashok and Murari Lal— from Ashram Chowk in South Delhi and seized 5-kg opium.

Doctor robbed

Four unidentified youths armed with a toy pistol robbed gold jewellery and Rs 4,000 in cash from a house in Lakshmi Nagar in East Delhi. The suspects entered the house of Dr Piyush Mehrotra and beat him up mercilessly. Later, they took away the jewellery of his wife Madhu and his mother. While the suspects were ransacking the house of the victim, two computer mechanics came to repair the computer of Dr Piyush. The robbers caught them also and took their cell phone and equipment.

Husband stabbed

A 43-year old woman, Sureshi, allegedly stabbed to death her husband, Brahmprakash, after an argument on a trivial matter.

When the incident occurred the woman, her husband and their son Pawan were working in their field in Najafgarh. Pawan also allegedly helped the woman in killing Brahmprakash Sureshi and Pawan have been arrested.


2 Pak nationals held outside Lodhi Gardens
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 31
The Crime Branch of the Delhi Police claims to have arrested two Pakistani nationals after a brief encounter in which the suspects fired several rounds outside Lodhi Gardens on the evening of October 29. No one was injured in the firing as the police managed to overpower the suspects before they could do some real damage.

The suspects were identified as Arshad Khan and Miraj. Subsequently, the police claims to have arrested a woman accomplice from Kolkata following their interrogation. She is being brought to the Capital for further investigations.

The police said two handgrenades and two pistols with two live cartridges were seized from the suspects along with a two- wheeler scooter on which they were travelling.

The scooter had no numberplates, which is what alerted the police.


Gandhi Nagar: A story of rags-to-riches
Nalini Ranjan

New Delhi, October 31
Gandhi Nagar in East Delhi is deemed as not only the biggest market in Asia but one of the world’s biggest for wholesale ready-made garments. Till the early 1970s, it was a residential area and only some local people used to sell ready-made garments from door to door, bought from Chandni Chowk and other parts of the city. It was confined mainly to Ashok Gali, which later on became the Ashok Bazar.

In its transition from Ashok Bazar to Gandhi Nagar Market, this market has come a long way. In 1975, there were about 150 ready-made garment shops in this area and they were catering mainly to petty shopkeepers of Patra Bazar.

In 1980, at least 300 ready-made garment shops were well established in this area. In 1982-83, a large number of businessmen came here from Punjab and Assam due to the socio-political unrest in those areas. In those days, the market in Punjab and Assam were badly affected due to the continuing problem of law and order.

As a result, this market saw an influx of Punjabi businessmen from Ludhiana and Marwari from Assam. Many of the businessmen here belonged to pre-partition West Punjab, who had migrated here after the creation of Pakistan.

They had great expertise in their trade and brought about a dramatic transformation in this market. Consequently, the early 1980s could be regarded as the golden period as far as the expansion of this market was concerned. Now the situation is that about 6,000 shops and 10,000 small units are successfully running here. More than 4,00,000 people are dependent for their bread and butter on these small and big enterprises.

Arbinder Singh Lovely, the MLA of this constituency said that business in this area had expanded to such an extent that even residential areas like Kailash Nagar, Dharampura, Ajit Nagar, Raghupura Seelampur, Shanti Mohalla, Ram Nagar, Subhash Road, Ashok Road, had turned into commercial areas.

The most significant thing about this market is that one can purchase everything here related to ready-made garments, ranging from button to Bawa suits, and all at a reasonable price. For instance, a good shirt is available here from Rs 60 to Rs 70 and suits for kids in the price range of Rs 20 and Rs 60.

As a result, this market has become a good purchasing point for low-end customers also. Both manufacturing and trading are carried out here.

Among some of the major items coming here from other parts of the country include frocks from Calcutta, kurta pyjamas from Lucknow, woollen garments from Ludhiana and fancy dresses from Ulhas Nagar of Mumbai. Even though this market is basically a domestic market, many exporters come here to place their orders.

Statistically, the daily turnover of this market is Rs 10 crore. Jeans is one of the favourite item as far as export is concerned.

Jeans has a big demand in Dubai and other overseas markets mainly due to its reasonable price as also its good quality.


Gloom and doom scenario for garment units 

THE Association of Wholesale Ready-Made Garments Dealers is the oldest and the only association of Gandhi Nagar wholesale ready-made garments market. It took shape way back in 1975 with only 20 members. Presently, its membership has risen to 1600. Kamawal Kumar Balli is the president of this association since 1987. Even though the term of the president is of two years but Mr Balli has been continuously winning this coveted post. He is also the Vice-President of Delhi Vypaar Mahasangh and the Founder Chairman of Delhi Hosiery and Readymade Garments manufacturers Association. He has kept a close watch on these market from the very beginning. He talked to The Tribune on different aspects of this market. Excerpts from this interview:

Q: After the Black Tuesday terrorists attack on America, what kind of impact have you noticed over your market?

A: The garment industry is reeling under negative growth, right now. From April-September, 2001 of this current fiscal year, this industry has witnessed about 23 per cent negative growth rate. The incident of terrorist attack on America has only fuelled this trend further. Though we are not directly involved with exports, but our items are regularly exported to the American market. Most of the festivals in America fall into this season and we were expecting much from it. In the aftermath of the terrorist attack, export orders have been drastically cut.

Q: What in your opinion, are other threats this industry is facing at the moment ?

A: European Union has removed all tarrifs on clothing’s from Pakistan and Pakistan would now give zero rates on duties on his value added exports to European Union countries. Our neighbouring countries like Bangladesh and Sri Lanka are already enjoying a duty free and quota free access of their textile and clothing exports to European Union. The immediate affect on Indian garments exports would be a loss of Rs 2200 crores alone in this financial year to European Union. In addition to it, this would also take away the employment from the garment industry, particularly affecting the weaker sections of the society as most of the factories would have to shut down on account of insufficient orders. More interestingly, USA is also considering extending a similar treatment of duty free access of Pakistani garments. This would mean a diversion of another Rs 7500 crores worth of garments business from India to elsewhere. Now, the situation is that the buyers are not travelling to India and are even hesitant to buy goods marked with ‘India label.’

Q: Presently, what are the major difficulties your market is facing?

A: After the announcement of uniform sales tax scheme, sales tax has been raised to 4 per cent from 2 per cent. This move has adversely affected our industry. After this, we need C-Form. It is very difficult to get this form. In the absence of this form, businessmen from other parts of the country have to pay 10 per cent sales tax. This C-Form is not a must in other states like Maharashtra, Karnataka and Punjab. Parking is a major problem related to this market. The government has been able to provide parking capacity for only 200 cars. It is not sufficient. Every day thousands of cars and two wheelers come to this market. Seeing this figure, new parking stands should be made. Unauthorised rickshawas and mobile shops have also created major obstacles for traffic. They should be removed from this area. We are also facing acute power and water shortage. Sanitation is also not up to the mark.

Q: This market is assumed as a major fire prone area. What precautionary steps have you taken to solve this problem?

A: There is one small fire extinguisher vehicle in Gandhi Nagar Market which is not sufficient. It has to go to Shahadara for water. There is no other water point in Trans-Yamuna. Keeping this in mind, we have installed a pumping set in Ashok Gali. It is connected with a long plastic pipe which can cover the whole market.

Q: Any other problems you would like to highlight in particular.

A: Government is going to introduce Value Added Tax (VAT) on our products. Apart from this, we will have to pay Central sales tax also. It is not justifiable. In other countries where VAT is in practice, there is no sales tax there. Our market has not been regularised so far. The government has already given permission to 70 per cent pollution free small-scale units to function in residential areas also. Since our units are totally pollution free, these units should be regularised and declared commercial.



Traders plea

New Delhi, October 31
A delegation of businessmen on Wednesday met with the Delhi State Industrial Development Corporation (DSIDC) chairman.


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