Saturday, November 3, 2001, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S



For cops, murder is the same as suicide
Parmindar Singh

Ghaziabad, November 2
Bizarre as it may sound, a youth allegedly killed his friend for giving ‘candies to his mother’ and threw him into a burning pyre. The police, on being informed of the ‘cremation’, reached the spot but simply watched the body burn, believing it to be a case of suicide. This happened in Tumdhel village near here on October 19.

Dub it callousness on the part of the police or pin it down on sheer inefficiency, but the fact remains that Mr Parmanand Tyagi of Rampur village lost his son, Monu, to the flames without even a whiff of an FIR. Only now, days later, the police has registered an FIR and arrested Kuldip Yadav, Monu’s friend.

Mr Tyagi and villagers of Tumdhel say the behaviour of the police was not above board. They believe that the police was either fighting shy of filing an FIR or was simply inefficient. Even if the police jumped to the conclusion that it was a suicide, they should have taken possession of the half-burnt body and send it for a post-mortem examination, point out the villagers.

According to police sources, some people noticed flames rising from a small structure in Bunga on the outskirts of Tumdhel village in the afternoon of October 19. A group of villagers ran towards the spot to extinguish the fire, but were shocked to see the body of a youth on a pyre. They tried to put out the fire and also informed the police station.

When the Sub Inspector and a few constables from the Hafizpur police station reached the spot, the body was already half-burnt. The villagers told the police that they did not know anything about the man being burnt. Some others informed the police that they had heard two gunshots a little while earlier.

Despite this disclosure, the police forced some persons to give it in writing that “an unknown youth had committed suicide and his body was burnt in our presence”.

Around this time on October 19, Mr Parmanand Tyagi and his family were searching for their 22-year-old son Monu. They later learnt that Monu was seen with his friend Kuldip Yadav in Tumdhel village. On hearing about the half-burnt body in Bunga, the family got suspicious.

When they reached the spot, they came across Monu's chappals, but could not get gather any further evidence that it was Monu’s body which was burnt.

They immediately got in touch with the Circle Officer, Mr Alok Priyadarshi, who sent his men to Tumdhel for an inquiry and ordered the Hafizpur police to arrest Monu's friend Kuldip and interrogate him. Finally, the Hafizpur police arrested Kuldip. During interrogation, Kuldip confessed that he had shot Monu with his revolver and threw his body into the pyre. The reason for the murder, according to Kuldip, was that he did not like Monu presenting “candies to his mother”.

Faced with criticism from the villagers for its role, Mr Itwari Lal, in charge of the Hafizpur police station on the fateful day, now claims that “the body had been burnt before the police reached the village”. “It is not correct to say the body was burnt in the presence of the police officials. His family also did not know till then that Monu was missing and that he had been murdered. So we believed the villagers when they dubbed it a suicide" says Mr Itwari Lal. But Parmanand Tyagi and other residents of Tumdhel village doubt the police version.



MLA gets the cake, rest the crumbs
Ramesh Ramachandran
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 2
Having a VIP resident in one’s locality might be god-send, if it would ensure the amenities of life. But for residents of Raj Park Society in Sultanpuri, a VIP resident is only a sad reminder of the inequities that divide the elected and the electorate.

Whereas women of the locality trudge long distances every morning and evening to fetch a bucketful of potable water, or wait endlessly for the water tankers to arrive, the VIP inmate of House No A-140 has a secure pipeline with uninterrupted water supply round the clock. However, care has been taken by dutiful officials of agencies concerned to ensure that the pipeline reaches two more houses, so that besides routine chores, there is water for bathing the cattle reared by the VIP’s aides. Also, the only two roads constructed so far in the locality lead up to this house, to facilitate entry and exit of the VIP’s motorcade.

The address, A-140, stands. And the privileged occupants of this house, passers-by remind you, are the Congress MLA, Mrs Sushila Devi, and Mr Jai Kishan, her husband and a former legislator. Their residence in Raj Park Society is a veritable oasis in an otherwise parched landscape.

This has been the fate of the residents here despite paying close to Rs 7 lakh to the Delhi Jal Board as deposit for water supply. Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit’s protestations against the Centre for doling out Rs 100 crore to the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) – which is dominated by Bharatiya Janata party (BJP) councilors – and her rantings at the improper utilisation of funds would come unstuck, if what the residents here say is any benchmark.

Recalling their tale of woes, a resident said that such is the official apathy that houses that lie on the either side of the legislator’s house go without water, as do the 320-odd houses that have been built in the society. The colony that falls in Sultanpur Majra (Ward No 40) was authorised by the agencies concerned about two years back, and a no-objection certificate issued by the town planner.

In May 2000, nearly 185 residents deposited the requisite amount as advance towards getting a water connection. While the Jal Board was prompt in laying a pipeline soon after the constituency returned the Congress nominee eight years back (after Mr Jai Kishan was denied a ticket in the 1998 assembly poll), the remaining houses had to go without proper water connections. The official explanation offered by the Jal Board, say residents, is that the colony is among the listed 1,071 colonies that would be regularised and, hence, the delay.

Residents have made several written representations to the authorities concerned, including the Chief Minister, who is the chairperson of the Delhi Jal Board, but to no avail. Their cup of woes is indeed overflowing as the former MLA allegedly made them pay the deposit amount at Rs 110 per square unit as against Rs 55 per square unit usually sought by the Jal Board, which the ex-MLA denies.

“When we have paid the money, why isn’t the Jal Board giving us the water connection? And in any case, why isn’t the law applicable to the legislator?” wonder the hapless residents. Further, they allege, the MLA has made available water supply to select houses in the colony on the pretext of providing them with a “public tap”.

A Congress councillor of the area told The Tribune that the fault lay with the MCD, which has so far not undertaken any development work, except for building a few roads. When contacted, a Jal Board official said that the general paucity of water, owing to falling groundwater reserves coupled with the fact that Delhi has to ‘import’ almost all of its requirement, had contributed to the delay! The official, however, could not explain why water does not cease to flow in the taps installed in the legislator’s residence. Meanwhile, the residents continue to suffer.



Blame it all on the residents
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 2
Getting through to the Congress MLA, Mrs Susheela Devi, isn’t as much a problem as eliciting comments from her. One is curtly told by her aides to approach her husband, Mr Jai Kishan, a former legislator. This is what Mr Jai Kishan had to say in response to allegations levelled by residents of the society:

Q. Residents claim they have made payments to you and to the Delhi Jal Board for getting water supply. Is it true?

They (residents of Raj Park Society) have made no payments. If they had, water would have been supplied to their homes by now. The problem is they do not want to pay. I have spoken with the executive engineer, chief engineer and other officials of Delhi Jal Board. These officials say water supply would be given the moment residents pay even a nominal amount. But even that is not forthcoming.

Q. Your comments on the acute water crisis in the locality ?

I realise there is a crisis and I am doing everything I can. What can I do if the residents of the society do not co-operate?

Q.What do you say to the allegation that you haven’t undertaken any development projects?

Roads have been constructed and electricity supply regularised to the society and adjoining areas. As far as water supply is concerned, I have called the officials and told them of the hardships being faced by the residents. But what can I do if there are a lot of corrupt officials? Also, the party is neglecting me. Mein party ka sipahi hoon, par mere liye anushasan bhang karne ke alaawa aur koi chaara nahin bachega (I am a committed party leader but if things remain the same I would be left with no other option but to break the party discipline.)



Panel favours giving more schools to DPS
Ravi S. Singh
Tribune News Service

Ferozepur (Gurgaon), November 2
The high-powered committee, constituted by the Haryana Government to inquire into various aspects relating to Mewat government model schools in this district managed by Delhi Public School Society, has expressed satisfaction over the all-round development of children in these schools.

In a letter to the Chairman of the Mewat Development Agency, a government body, set up for the overall development of the Mewat areas, Mr P.K.Chaudhary, who headed the committee, recommended to the MDA to associate itself with the DPS with other government models schools of Punhana and Hathin for the larger interest of education.

There are six government model schools in Mewat spanning over Gurgaon and Faridabad districts. The schools are located in Nuh,Taoru, Ferozepur Jhirkha, Nagina and Punhana (Gurgaon), and Hathin (Faridabad).

About five years ago, the state government handed over the schools in Nuh, Taoru and Ferozepur Jhirka to the DPSS from the managerial jurisdiction of the MDA. Recently there were doubts in some quarters over the performance of the DPSS-managed schools. The Mewat Development Board (MDB), headed by the Chief Minster of Haryana, took up the issues relating to the schools in its recent meeting.



Politicians are passe, celebrities the rage
Gaurav Choudhury
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 2
Politicians are passe, celebrities are in. Result: A new trend is discernible – Film icons, sports stars and beauty queens are being increasingly roped in to cut the crimson ribbon during inauguration of stores and complexes.

Trade watchers and communication experts attribute the trend to greater pin-up value of celebrities vis-à-vis politicians. “Politicians are not looked upon as role models by youngsters, especially in the current age of scams and muddles. Sports icons and film personalities, on the other hand, have a greater brand recall value.

This explains why celebrities from the tinsel world are called in to do the inaugural honours,” a Delhi- based communication consultant said.

In recent times, even politicians have fallen back on film personalities to lure the crowd, especially during rallies. In the last Lok Sabha elections, Chandni Chowk MP, Mr Vijay Goel, had roped in several actresses, including Pooja Batra, who escorted him during campaigning.

“In a country, where there is a dearth of role models, sports and film stars often acquire a demi-god status and have a tremendous fan following; nothing can be more handy for a brand promotion exercise than their presence,” an analyst said.

In the recent weeks, the Capital has witnessed many such promotional lulus. While Pooja Batra was in the town to promote Coca-Cola, former Miss India Gul Panag launched trinkets for a jewellery outfit.

While in both these cases the celebrities were brand ambassadors for the products and were being paid for their services, there are instances where stand-alone events, especially inauguration of stores and shopping malls, center around celebrity appearances.

Reams of publicity is the primary reason for this growing penchant. “If a beauty queen or a film actress is visiting a store, chances are high that it will hit the pages of most of the newspapers with a photograph thrown in. This brings down the cost of publicity manifold. As against this, much more expenditure would have to be incurred if the same space was being booked for an advertisement. Moreover, advertisements involve other overheads,’’ according to a communication expert.

In the case of celebrities, the expenses include the fee to be paid to the personality, the travel and lodging costs, monies paid to the event and publicity managers and sundry expenditure. This works out much cheaper than advertising in print or electronic media.



Kapil set to prove he is true all-rounder
Our Sports Reporter

New Delhi, November 2
Kapil Dev was an avid participant on day two of the Rs 30-lakh prize money Honda-Siel Golf Championship at the Delhi Golf Club course here today.

The former Indian captain has made the cut, and has been placed tied-third in the amateur section, while he has done quite well in the pro section too, considering the formidable field he had to battle against, securing a tied 21st position.

Kapil Dev might have distanced himself from cricket after the match-fixing scandal had dragged his name , but cricket’s loss has turned out to be golf’s gain as the legendary cricketer is now devoting a lot of time in perfecting his golfing skills.

Incidentally, his name has since been completely cleared of the match-fixing allegations by the Madhavan enquiry committee constituted by the Board of Control for Cricket in India to probe the match-fixing allegations.

Kapil has proved that "once a sportsman, always a sportsman", as he spends nearly four hours on the fairways of the Delhi Golf Club every day to hone up his skills, and has made quite an improvement. Recently, he won the UTI "Best Net Scores" competition, organised at the DLF Golf and Country Club.

But the "Haryana hurricane" will not rest content with minor pickings, and his endeavour is to break into the elite group of top pros, to prove himself all over again that it's for nothing that he's known as one of
the best "all rounders in
the world". Kapil is playing faultless golf just as he has proved his cricketing acumen in the field.



A bit fast on fasting this Karva Chauth
Rohit Wadhwaney

New Delhi, November 2
With Karva Chauth just a day away, it’s time to pull a fast one on the sly. Of course, for unmarried girls. Along with married women, unmarried girls in the Capital are going chirpy about how good it feels to fast for your boyfriend. And many of them are quite sure they “will fast” this time. Some others, of course, differ.

Ask 20-year-old Rowena Uppal, a public relations officer. She’ll tell you how much “satisfaction” she gets by praying for her boyfriend’s long life. “It is the cutest festival in the world. It is definitely better than Holi or Divali where you just throw balloons or burst crackers and waste money,” Rowena says.

“When I go on a fast for the man I love, I am doing something for him. Maybe, it doesn’t come true. Maybe, the festival is applicable only to married women, but so what? At least, it gives me satisfaction,” she says.

Every year on Karva Chauth, most of the married women wear flashy saris and after a long day of fasting come out in the night to see the moon appear. Then, the husbands feed them the first bite of the day, or night. This happens in the open.

But tiptoe into the back lanes of colonies or at secluded spots, and one will find lots of young women trying to perform the ceremony with their boyfriends.

Shilpi Sethi (19), a second year degree student, explains: “I like to do it but it is definitely embarrassing. I remember the last time I walked out in the night with all the married women to see the moon and I became the laughing stock of the town. Fasting on that day gives me satisfaction and I don’t have to show it to anybody.”

However, Priyanka Sabharwal (20), an advertising student, feels Karva Chauth is a “crap” and it has “nothing to do with reality”. “I have seen people keeping Karva Chauth for their boyfriends. First of all, it is meant only for married women. The unmarried ones who go on a fast are just trying to show someone something. They want to show others either that they are different or that their love is more pure than those who don’t fast,” she says.

There are many like Priyanka who feel fasting for anyone’s long life is “stupid”, be it husband or boyfriend.

“With all due respects to those who fast, don’t they think the ones they love will live long enough otherwise?” asks 18-year-old Namrata Nayyar, a first-year degree student.

Pankaj Kapoor (21) doesn’t let his girlfriend fast even though “she wants to” because he says, “It doesn’t mean anything”. “If everyone would have a longer life than they might have otherwise just because some women fast for them, then every dying man in this world would have hungry wives on the day. Why isn’t this accepted and believed in the West? It’s because they are educated,” he says.

However, postgraduate student Aastha Kapoor (21) differs and offers another interesting perspective. “It is just an expression of love. It is one of the ways of showing you care and it doesn’t necessarily have to be for a man you are married to or will get married to. I am keeping it for my father and mother both for their long life.” She says. “People in India take wrong meanings out of everything. In fact, they cannot even understand the verses in the Bible, Gita or Quran. They take everything that is written literally. But one actually has to put it in the context required and then believe in it.

“You can give Karva Chauth any other name or even leave it nameless, it will still remain a way of showing love. It doesn’t actually mean that if your husband is in the last stages of cancer, he’ll survive. He won’t. But you just might make his last moments a lot happier by showing him in some way that you care,” Aastha says.



Saket shopkeepers feel cordoned off
Our Correspondent

New Delhi, November 2
The shopkeepers of the DDA Market in H-Block, Saket in south Delhi are on a warpath with the residents of the colony.

They have threatened to move the court against the Residents’ Welfare Association (RWA) because most of the colony gates remain locked during the daytime, making it extremely difficult for the residents of the other blocks of the area to reach the market. In effect, there are hardly any customers flocking to the market. About four years ago, all the gates of the block used to be wide open and the market saw customers not only from H-Block but also from other blocks nearby, the shopkeepers said. “But ever since the decision of keeping only one gate open was taken by the RWA of H-Block, our profit margins has dropped drastically.”

“Previously, there were nearly 300 people visiting the market, now not even 20 come in a whole day,” said Sushil Choudhry, a shopkeeper.

Entry to the colony is allowed only through one out of the four gates. “If residents from other blocks, which are in front of the closed gates, want to buy something, why would they take such a long route to come to the market,” said another shopkeeper.

“When we complain to the Residents’ Welfare Association, they say the gates have been closed for security reasons. What is the point of such security when just last week, there was a robbery inside the colony? If closing the gates is not serving any purpose, then why do it?” asked S.S. Sukheja, president of the market association.

There are more than 50 garages and servant quarters where various people including office bearers of the RWA are carrying on unauthorised commercial activities and businesses, the shopkeepers alleged. “But the RWA officials somehow don’t find anything wrong with that,” said Sukheja.

The closed gates are also causing the residents quite a few problems. “Since the gates are locked, and only one gate is open, we are forced to take a long detour to enter the colony,” said Ved Prakash, a resident. To add to the complexities, two parallel Residents’ Welfare Associations have been formed in the colony. “Both the associations are fighting for power and claim to be the legitimate and elected RWA. And in their fight for power, they totally forget the interest of residents,” said Mr Prakash.

M.P. Kohli, a representative of one of the RWAs, said: “We have locked the gates only for security reasons. And anyway, the market is meant just for H-Block residents, so why should the shopkeepers even expect people from other blocks to come to their market?” “There was a robbery recently, but does that mean if we couldn’t stop it from happening once, we stop taking precautions altogether?,” he asked.

A DDA official told The Tribune that the residents must solve such “petty matters” among themselves. “The authorities cannot solve every problem that arises in the colony.”

“If there are disputes between two RWAs in a colony and between the residents and the shopkeepers, what can the DDA do? If the RWA wants to keep the gates closed, the DDA cannot come and get them opened. These matters have to be discussed amongst the residents and the shopkeepers and they should arrive at a mutually acceptable solution on their own. They can’t be spoon fed all the time,” said the DDA official.

But the market association is very much concerned about keeping the gates of the colony locked during the peak shopping hours.

“We are sitting here in our shops only to save our pride. We will not run away and we will fight for our legitimate right,” said Sukheja.

“It is our demand to open all the four gates during daytime as per Delhi shopkeepers’ working hours, otherwise we will have no option but to adopt an aggressive attitude to get our demand accepted.” he said.



DSGMC to run train for bicentenary
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 2
The Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee is organising a special train for those willing to attend the Maharaja Ranjit Singh bicentennial celebrations to be held in Amritsar this month.

The DSGMC president, Mr Avtar Singh Hit, said the committee would bear all expenses of those willing to travel to Amritsar to attend the function.

The special train would leave Delhi on November 17 and would also pick up people from Ambala, Ludhiana and Amritsar. The train would reach the holy city the same night.

The passengers would be brought back to the Capital the next evening after they attend the celebrations.

The committee is sponsoring the langar at Amritsar for the thousands of people who are expected to attend the function.

The Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, the Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, and other senior functionaries are expected to attend the function.

Mr Paramjit Singh Sarna, president of the Shiromani Akali Dal, Delhi, had raised objection to the utilisation of the DSGMC funds outside the Capital.

“If the committee has abundant resources, why don’t they give it for the betterment of gurdwaras in Delhi?” Mr Sarna asked.

The amount estimated to be spent was over Rs 1 crore, he added.

He said the DSGMC president should call for a general house meeting and seek its approval before the funds.

Mr Avtar Singh, countering the points raised by the Tohra faction leader, said he would get the clearance from the executive body before utilising the funds.

He said the Tohra faction had spent about Rs 60 lakh for langar during the Khalsa tercentenary celebrations.

“Did they call for a general house meeting before spending that amount? Why are they pointing fingers at us,” he asked.



JD (S) protests against POTO
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 2
In order to mark protests against the Prevention of Terrorism Ordinance (POTO), a massive public demonstration was held in the Capital by the Janata Dal on Friday.

Delhi Pradesh Janata Dal (Secular) President Shoaib Iqbal, MLA, cautioned that POTO was a more dangerous Act than TADA. It was aimed at harassing the minority community on the pretext of terrorism.

Mr Iqbal said the BJP had an ulterior motive for bringing in this ordinance. It had conspired to implement it before the winter session of Parliament. In fact, under TADA only an individual or a particular person was targeted .At least 75 innocent persons had fallen victim to TADA. Under POTO groups or organisations could be targeted, and there could be a chance of grave misuse of POTO, to victimise a wider section of people.

A Union Minister had assured journalists that amendments would be made in POTO after consultations with a cross-section of the media.



Pranksters spreading powder of fear
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, November 2
Certain pranksters seem to be involved in taking undue advantage of the prevailing anthrax scare in the town. Two cases of receiving suspicious letters containing some powder have been received in the past 10 days.

The first such letter was received by a retired Army officer in Sector 15-A on October 23.The second such incident was reported yesterday in NH-II locality of NIT area here. In both the cases, the letter had been despatched to the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences (PGIMS), Rohtak, for chemical testing as the district has no such facility. The police was also contacted but no case has been booked. While the local post office denied delivering any such letter yesterday, certain experts believe it could be the handiwork of some anti-social elements that want to create a scare among some targeted persons. Although initially a section of the staff handling foreign post had sought gloves and masks at present work in the postal department was going as usual, according to an official.



Jhajjar bandh gets mixed response
Our Correspondent

Jhajjar, November 2
Shops and business establishment s remained closed here today following the bandh call given by the Congress in protest against the new house tax policy framed by the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) government.

Markets in the city including the main bazar, Silani Gate, near Rohtak Chowk and around the old and new bus stands wore a deserted look as shops and other business establishments downed their shutters throughout the day. A few shops were opened towards the evening after 4 p.m.

The bandh evoked a good response in the city even though no Congress leaders or workers were seen forcing the shopkeepers and traders to close their shops.

Meanwhile, the bandh call evoked a mixed response in other towns of the district. While a partial bandh was reported in the Beri township, no significant impact was witnessed in the subdivisional town of Bahadur Garh.



Subway in dark

New Delhi, November 2
The only subway in the Laxmi Nagar area is kept closed after 5 pm when traffic is at its peak. Reason: there is no electricity to light this subway. Since its opening way back in 1996 its electricity bills have not been paid. It is precisely for this reason that the electricity connection was eventually cut off. The chowkidar of this subway, Mr Majid Ahmed, says, "What can we do in the evening? We have no other alternative but to down the shutter.”



Spurious liquor is consuming Faridabad

Faridabad is perched on a dangerous keg. The NOIDA-type human tragedy, caused by the consumption of spurious liquor, may happen here any day.

The preliminary investigation by the NOIDA police that a part of the killer-brew, which claimed 28 lives, came from Faridabad, makes a startling revelation.

According to the available statistics, the Faridabad police booked 817 cases of liquor smuggling in 1999, which increased to 1,760 cases in 2000. It is an increase of over 120 per cent in one year. And what is disconcerting is that the police booked almost the same number of cases of liquor smuggling (exactly 1,750 cases, that is 6 to 7 cases a day), in the first nine months of 2001.

In the last fortnight alone, the police booked 77 cases, and confiscated 53 bottles and about 5,000 pouches of spurious liquor. The brew smuggled into Faridabad from the adjoining states, is available in pouches of 250 grams, priced at Rs 10 per pouch. Almost 10 per cent of the total population of this town, living in jhuggi clusters and colonies drink this cheap booze. From Faridabad, this liquor is also smuggled into Delhi and other satellite towns.

Faridabad is a dying city. Dengue has already spread its tentacles here. So far, 48 cases - 28 in the local Escorts Hospital, 12 in the government-run B.K. Hospital, and 8 in a private nursing home, have been tested positive and treated for dengue. The town presently resembles the pre-plague Surat in Gujarat. If things worsen, both Surat and NOIDA might happen here any day.

C.D. VERMA, Faridabad.

Diabetics aplenty

The World Diabetes Day is observed on November 14. A number of seminars are organised which show an increase in awareness of the disease among the public.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) report, India is likely to have 57 million diabetics by 2025. This may
just be the tip of an iceberg. Screenings indicate that the unknown-to-known diabetes ratio is about 1:1 in urban areas. It could be as high as 3:1 in the rural population.

Why does diabetes get top billing in India? Doctors believe that Indians may be genetically susceptible to it. And it strikes Indians at a much younger age than it does elsewhere. While the peak age for a person getting diabetes in the US is between 60 and 70, it's 40-50 years in India.

In other words, the exponential increase in disease has changed diabetes from an individual problem to an alarming public health worry!

Hence, a lot more needs to be done. For example, the Ministry of Social Welfare should take note of the fact that besides hereditary factors, social and economic conditions also aggravate risk of diabetes. Jobs involving strenuous long hours, adulteration in food-stuffs, pollution, malnutrition in childhood, etc. do weaken the digestive system and may cause too much or insufficient secretion of insulin which results in diabetes in the long run. But ultimately it's the individual who suffers. This must disturb everyone. NGOs and social service organisations have a special responsibility in this regard.

The Supreme Court or HRD Ministry may consider issuing specific guidelines that diabetic employees/officers are not discriminated in the matter of promotions. Some organisations may not treat diabetic employees as "assets" as they feel hungry if a meeting or a conference goes on for long. They can't sit too late in the evening or tour extensively because of fatigue or other complications. How can their standards of performance be the same as those of normal, healthy people? "Empathy" is also needed as anybody at any time may be affected by diabetes.


Kudos for cops

My Maruti 800 was stolen from Rose Garden, near IIT, in the morning on October 9, 2001.I lodged a report with the Police Station, Hauz Khas. They told me, “Please give us time, we shall see what can be done.”

As I understand, during the night of October 13, PCR personnel spotted my car. There were two other cars. Computer confirmed their status as stolen.

In the morning on October 14, my car, though a little damaged, was back with me.

The Police Department deserves full marks for quick action and courteous behaviour. We, as citizens, should do our best to help them, so that Delhi becomes a safer place to live in.


Hellish road

The users of Gupta Ganj Road, Palwal, are a frustrated lot and for a good reason. This road is badly damaged. The shopkeepers bordering the road are harassed. Drains overflows. Result? Vehicles always splash slush on pedestrians. The authorities have so far turned a Nelson’s eye to the plight of the people despite several pleas. Will the powers-that-be take the responsibility now to construct the stretch of road once again.

B.G. SAINI, Palwal




Gurgaon: A millennium city in the making

The chances of Gurgaon measuring up to the Haryana Government’s ‘Millennium City' tag one day are considerably brighter because of the recent brainstorming sessions between senior officers of the state and NGOs based in the city.

This process was started on March 1 when a team of secretaries and officers led by the Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister, Mr S Y Quereshi, had a lengthy meeting in Chandigarh, with representatives of the Society for Urban Regeneration of Gurgaon (SURGE) and the Federation of Residents’ Welfare Associations (FORWA).

An 8-point agenda for the development of Gurgaon was chalked out. Several others followed this meeting with local officers in Gurgaon in April and May. Mr Quereshi has been visiting Gurgaon regularly since then to follow up on the items on this agenda. The report card on these eight issues so far reads thus:

Water: The officials of HUDA claim that the Yamuna canal water is being supplied to most of the town, even though some problems of pressure and flow remain. The boosting station in Sector 16, to take water across the highway and the uphill slope of the new colonies, is in operation.

Pipes have now been laid for the supply to DLF III and Garden Estate. After receiving the green light, the developers have to connect them to their tanks. "These are teething problems," says HUDA Administrator Anurag Aggarwal."Once these are solved there will be enough water for the town. The three-stage plan caters to a population of up to 12 lakh."

Legislation making rainwater harvesting compulsory in every building to be constructed in Haryana in the future ‘is ready for enactment'. All residents' associations have unanimously endorsed it.

Since Gurgaon is full of ravines and gullies, it was decided that check dams would be constructed to store water and work on the first of these would start this year near the Ansal Institute of Technology.

The large pond in Sukhrali village is to be filled up by diverting rain water from surrounding areas. Some action has been initiated, but result will only be visible during the next monsoon.

Sewerage: Gurgaon does have a disposal yard across the railway line in the west, but connectivity has been a problem. Though the Railways gave the permission to cross the line many months ago, several HUDA sectors have still not been connected to the disposal network. They continue to disgorge sewage on the colonies' roads. Solid waste management: A landfill site has been identified near village Gairatpur off Sohna road. According to DC, Apoorva Singh, the site will have sufficient insulation to protect the environment below and around it.

However, the municipality does not have the right kind of dumpers to transport the city's garbage there. It has no money for them. Till they come, waste will putrefy all over the town or in the dump off Basai Road.

The local industrialists are in touch with a company from Gujarat to transport their hazardous waste to a separate site between Gurgaon and Faridabad.This operation will be subsidised by the Government.

Roads and transport: Gurgaon has no local public transport worth the name. Two round trip Mudrika bus services, moving in opposite directions were envisaged, connecting the old town with the new colonies. They were announced with great fanfare, but never really got off the ground with full complement of buses. Haryana Roadways complain that commuters do not show interest in them. Some of these vehicles have now been diverted to other routes.

There has been some progress on removing congestion and traffic jams on the two roads to Delhi. A second bridge has, finally, come up on the culvert near Sikanderpur village, even though the approach road caved in soon after its inauguration.

Fortunately, this road has been taken over by HUDA from the cash-strapped PWD. The former has already sent papers to Chandigarh for initiating land acquisition proceedings for a by-pass around Sikanderpur.

The Union cabinet has approved a plan for 8-laning the Jaipur Highway from Palam to near Manesar, with six or seven flyovers to ensure uninterrupted traffic flow. This is a Rs 400-crore project. The contract had almost been awarded, but the deal failed to materialise and tenders have been called afresh for this project.

The Haryana Government has also given its assent to toll-free movement of taxis and autos to and from Delhi.

Misuse of residences for commerce: The NGOs stressed at various meetings that action should be taken before the problem becomes too big to handle. The Commissioner and Secretary, Urban Development, Mr Bhaskar Chatterji, is said to have taken a very stern line and asked officers of his department to identify rule violators and take punitive action. The department made one attempt to identify violators and went around demanding completion certificates as a prelude to disconnecting water and sewage, but were stymied when some people protested and took the matter to court.

The High Court gave them a stay till November 5, when the matter will be reviewed. The HUDA Administrator claims that 323 people running businesses in residential premises have been served notices in DLF City, Sushant Lok and Palam Vihar.

Law and order: The strength of the police force is far below requirements of the growing population. Some new recruitment has been done recently. The NGOs suggested setting up of more police stations. Also, there was a consensus that the working of private security agencies should be properly scrutinised as many of them employ people who are most unsuited for this kind of work.

Administrative reorganisation: Gurgaon is a hotch-potch of various agencies handling civic matters in different areas. HUDA, private colonisers, Municipal Council, village panchayats and the Housing Board have their separate little kingdoms, unlike Noida which has one authority in charge of all administration.

The Government has decided to merge all these agencies and set up a Gurgaon Corporation. A bill to this effect is likely to come up in the winter session of the state legislature. The 35 villages who will now come under its purview have been assured that they will retain some of their special privileges even in the proposed set-up.

Rural-urban divide: All new private colonies and several HUDA sectors have been set up on village land. Although the rural folks made good money out of these deals, much of their earnings have already been squandered. Besides, the co-existence of the conservative Haryana social order in the villages and the new urban culture in the colonies, close to each other, creates a divide that has the potential to become a cause of social tensions. There are 27 villages whose land is now partly under new colonies.

Delhi has a similar lal dora problem, but the village constituent is much more dominant in Gurgaon. A specific blueprint for integrating the two parts of Gurgaon's society has yet to emerge.




Friend turns fiend, shoots youth
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 2
A youth was allegedly shot dead by his friend in the Nangloi area of West Delhi, last night. Budh Narain, a resident of Adhyapak Nagar in Nangloi, identified as the victim, hailed from Allahabad and was staying in Delhi with his family.

Narain had a friend, Vinod, who was also residing in the same locality. Vinod used to visit him quite often at home. After a few days, Narain suspected Vinod of having an illicit relations with his wife and when Narain confronted him with the matter, Vinod threatened to kill Narain.

According to Police, Vinod along with his two associates hatched a conspiracy to kill Narain.. Narain was shot with a country made weapon and the three fled the spot. Narain, was rushed to the nearby hospital, but was declared brought dead.

But, Vinod and one his associate Ashok was nabbed by the police acting on the information provided by the family members of Narain. A case of murder has been registered against the accused in the local police station.

Held for graft

An official of the Delhi Vidyut Board, Mr Ram Niwas Gupta, was arrested by sleuths of the Anti-Corruption Branch of the Delhi Government for allegedly taking a bribe of Rs 2,500 from a complainant, Purshottam Kumar.

The complainant is a factory owner who approached Gupta for reducing the excess electricity charge. To solve his problem, Ramniwas allegedly demanded Rs 3,000 but he agreed for Rs 2,500. He was arrested on Thursday while accepting the bribe, Deputy Commissioner of Police Nuzhat Hassan said.

3 die in mishaps

Three people died in three road accidents reported in the last 24-hours in the Capital. The first casualty was reported at the Alipur crossing in North-West Delhi, when Prabhu Dayal, a resident of Sonipat, Haryana, was killed when the scooter on which he was travelling was hit by a speeding truck from behind. Police have arrested the driver Vinod, and registered a case of causing death due to rash and negligent driving.

In another incident, Ram Prasad, 50, resident of NTPC colony, Badarpur was crushed to death while he was walking on Mathura Road, in Badarpur, by an unknown vehicle.

In a similar incident, Babu 23, resident of JJ cluster at Indira Camp, was crushed by an unknown vehicle near Patparganj depot.

Saving act

“With you, for you, always.” Yes, the Delhi Police PCR van is always with you. If Vicky Chaudhry, a resident of Ghaziabad, could save Rs 10,000 by alerting the PCR van when four persons robbed him of the amount on Thursday you can also try and alert the PCR when you are in distress.

Vicky boarded a taxi scooter rickshaw (TSR) from the Sarai Kale Khan bus terminal on Thursday morning to go to Shahdara. He was carrying a bag containing Rs 10,000. The driver, Shiv Ram, got suspicious as Vicky was holding the bag close to him. After a short distance, the driver stopped the vehicle in a deserted area where another man boarded the vehicle. In addition, near Noida T- point and Mayur Vihar two more persons were picked up. Finally, the four decided to rob Vicky.

Vicky was helpless as he was outnumbered. When Vicky spotted a PCR van near Ghazipur he immediately raised the alarm. The scooter-rickshaw was forced to stop. The police nabbed all three after a long chase.

All four, including the driver, were handed over to the Mandavli police station and a case of robbery was registered against them.

Bribe: JE held

The Haryana State Vigilance Bureau on Friday nabbed a Junior Engineer of Dakshini Haryana Vidyut Prasaran Nigam (DHVPN), Mr Maroo Ram, in Pataudi, near here, while accepting bribe from an electricity consumer.

The Deputy Superintendent of Police of the Bureau, Mr Ravinder Kumar, told TNS that Mr Nanak Chand, a resident of Chillar village in the Pataudi area, complained that Mr Maroo Ram was demanding Rs 1000 as graft for connecting his tubewell with the adjoining transformer to restore supply of electricity. A few days back someone had stolen the cable connecting the transformer with the tubewell.

The personnel of the bureau along with the area’s naib tehsildar raided the office of the junior engineer while he was accepting the graft money.

Doctor gets bail

Two persons, including a doctor, who were booked by the District Health Authorities in the `Pre-Natal Diagnostic Tests (PNDT) Act, a few months ago, was given ‘bail’ by the local court on Friday.

The accused, Dr S N Indora and Rohit Sharma of Narain Laboratory in NH (NIT) area, had moved the bail application on Friday. It was the first case of PNDT Act booked in Haryana in July this year.

The authorities had charged the accused with violating PNDT Act by doing sonography on pregnant women illegally. The health officials filed a case in the CJM Court against Dr Indora, Rohit Sharma, Parveen, a Laboratory Technician and two laboratories, namely Narain Laboratory and City Ultrasound.

Body found

While a person died under mysterious circumstances two others got injured in road mishaps in the district on Friday. According to reports, a 33- year- old resident of Seekri village of Ballabhgarh subdivision, identified as Bhanwar Pal, was found dead at his rented house.

Reportedly, his body was found hanging with a wire around his neck. But it is learnt that doctors found no injury marks, creating a doubt about the police theory that the victim had hanged himself.

Road mishaps

Jaipal of Nehru Colony and Kishore of Sector 7 were injured in two separate road accidents. An unidentified body was also recovered from the green belt of the bypass road behind Sector 14 on Friday. The victim, aged about 38, is suspected to have been murdered.



CBI chargesheets IT officer
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 2
More than one and a half years after a case of graft was registered, the Anti-Corruption Branch of the CBI has finally filed a charge sheet before a special court here against the accused Rajesh Gupta, an Assistant Commissioner of Income Tax, New Delhi.

The 1995 batch officer of Indian Revenue Service has been accused of demanding and accepting a bribe of Rs 15,000 from an assessee in March 2000.

The CBI in its charge sheet filed before the Special Judge in Tis Hazari Courts, charged that Gupta had abused his official position as a public servant while serving as Assistant Commissioner of Income Tax, Circle No.20 (1), New Delhi, and demanded an illegal gratification of Rs 75,000 from the complainant for showing her official favour on March 7, 2000.

The complainant was running a packing/shipping and travel agency and filed income tax returns for assessment years 1997-98 which were under scrutiny and processed by the accused Rajesh Gupta, the CBI said. The complainant had alleged that when she met the accused he repeated the demand of bribe and agreed to reduce it to Rs 50,000 at her request. He asked the complainant to come to his office with the bribe amount otherwise he would decide the case by March 11, 2000, it said.


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