Wednesday, November 14,  2001, Chandigarh, India





National Capital Region--Delhi

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N A T I O N

UK: end support to terrorism in J&K

New Delhi, November 13
Criticising the external support being lent to terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir, Britain today declared that the campaign against terrorism will not end in Afghanistan and the scrouge will be dealt with everywhere. 

British Defence Secretary Geoffrey Hoon is in Delhi for a day's visit. He met with Defence Minster George Fernandes and Home Minister L K Advani.
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British Defence Secretary Geoffrey Hoon (R) and Indian Defence Minister George Fernandes address a joint news conference in New Delhi on Tuesday. — Reuters photo

Infiltration wells give water to Kumaon
Almora (Uttaranchal)
It’s ironic that people in a region that sources water for the rest of the country have to struggle for basic drinking water. Out of 16,000 villages and hamlets in the Kumaon region, at least 12,000 do not receive drinking water.

A market is illuminated on the eve of Divali in Calcutta on Monday.
— Reuters

 

 

 

EARLIER STORIES

 

A woman holds her sick child who fell ill after being given Vitamin A in a hospital in Nagoan, Assam, on Monday. As many as 10,000 children have fallen sick and one girl has died in the state since Sunday after being given Vitamin A in a UN-sponsored drive to protect against blindness, officials said on Tuesday. 
— Reuters

Notice to govt in Bhadra firing case
Hanumangarh, November 13
The Jodhpur High Court has sought an explanation from the state government in the Bhadra firing case that took place last year. Mr Shakeel Ahmad had filed the PIL. His brother Aslam had died in the police firing.

AIADMK pulls out of Pondy Govt
Pondicherry, November 13
The three-member AIADMK today withdrew its support to the Congress ministry headed by Mr N. Rangaswamy in Pondicherry, but there was no threat to the survival of the government.

Famine hits trade, industry
Hanumangarh, November 13
“It appears as curfew has been imposed, and markets have turned desolate”, the words sum up the situation in the markets of the region, which has been hit by famine for the past three consecutive years.

Jagat flags off trekking expedition
New Delhi, November 13
The BSF Director-General, Mr Gurbachan Singh Jagat, here today flagged off the 339-km BSF trekking expedition from Uttarkashi to Joshimath.



The Muslim Medicos Association, a group of Muslim doctors in Mumbai, boycott drugs manufactured by US and British companies.
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Bhopal's fire-cracker market bears the brunt of a cracker-weary people of Bhopal. Divali, this season, has failed to attract customers.
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UK: end support to terrorism in J&K
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 13
Criticising the external support being lent to terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir, Britain today declared that the campaign against terrorism will not end in Afghanistan and the scrouge will be dealt with everywhere. In what was the first public indictment of Pakistan for its support to terrorism, British Defence Minister Geoffrey Hoon said, “the UK and India are united in the war against terrorism. You have suffered, so have we...We have long called for an end to external support to terrorism in Kashmir and we condemn all acts of violence there”. The British Defence Minister went on to say, “I unreservedly condemn terrorism and I unreservedly condemn those who foster terrorism not only in their country, but also in other countries”. He added that Britain and India were one in the fight against terrorism. The British leader’s candid comments on Pakistan’s support to cross-border terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir came a day after Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee held talks in London with Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Addressing a joint press conference along with Defence Minister George Fernandes, after their one-and-half hour meeting at South Block, Mr Hoon said,” We will use all our influence to ensure that terrorism cannot continue as it has operated in the past.’’

The 48-year-old Defence Minister, on a day’s visit to India for talks with Mr Fernandes and Home Minister L.K. Advani, said both India and Britain had appalling experiences because of terrorism.

“What is being achieved in Afghanistan should send a strong message to terrorists worldwide,” the British Defence Minister said.

He lauded Mr Vajpayee’s peace initiatives with Pakistan, stating that a peaceful future for the region would only be attained through a dialogue.

Mr Hoon said the progress being made in Afghanistan was good and the space for Osama bin Laden to survive was being reduced and the allied forces would be waiting either for him to be handed over or his capture. Both India and Britain rejected the idea of formation of a new government in Afghanistan by the Northern Alliance on its own and asserted that any dispensation must be broad-based reflecting the ethnic diversity in the war-ravaged country.

India and Britain also agreed that the Taliban should not be involved in any form in a new political structure in Kabul and that all ethnic groups in Afghanistan should be represented.

Asked if the UK would accept a sole Northern Alliance government in Afghanistan after its forces captured Kabul today, the British Defence Minister said that it would “not satisfy” the key conditions and would not be sustainable.

Mr Fernandes said India had the same views. The Defence Minister made it clear that “we in India want the Taliban to be kept out”.

This was the first reaction by New Delhi on the fall of Kabul to the Alliance and the successes achieved by it in Kandahar, the stronghold of the Taliban.

Mr Hoon said, “India has an important voice in political arrangements for post-Taliban Afghanistan. The UK and India are consulting closely on the future of Afghanistan”.

India and Britain also expressed confidence for resolving the long-standing dispute over the sale of advance jet trainer (AJT), British Hawk. The British Defence Minister expressed confidence that the $ 1 billion deal for 66 aircraft would be clinched soon.

“The Hawk figured during our talks. We are looking at this question which has been on the agenda since 1983. For a long time it has been waiting for a solution. We both believe there will be a solution in the future.”

Reflecting on the extended negotiations between the two countries for the AJT, Mr Hoon said “Indians are a patient people and so also people from the UK. This is an issue that has gone on for many years. It will be resolved quickly...but it will not be resolved today”. Noting that India had quite a lot of defence procurement from Britain, Mr Fernandes admitted that there had been some problems. But the two countries have been able to deal with them and defence cooperation was heading for a deep relationship in the coming days.

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Infiltration wells give water to Kumaon
Kulwinder Sandhu
Tribune News Service

Almora (Uttaranchal)
It’s ironic that people in a region that sources water for the rest of the country have to struggle for basic drinking water. Out of 16,000 villages and hamlets in the Kumaon region, at least 12,000 do not receive drinking water.

Traditionally, the only source of drinking water in the region has been the naula, stone structures used to intercept groundwater. But every summer, naulas in the region go dry. Any village would normally settle down as a particular location because there was some water to begin with. Just to meet their needs, they used to dig for three or four feet and stone pitch it so that the water was clean. But over the years, the population in the villages has increased and four or five naulas that existed in a village are not meeting the requirement.

Secondly, with environmental degradation and soil erosion the naulas get choked.

Infiltration wells fitted with handpumps, introduced since 1995 by the government with the help of NGOs in 500 hamlets in Kumaon, have made it possible for over 55,000 persons in the region to access drinking water in the last few years.

An infiltration well goes down to a depth of 25 feet to tap ground water capillaries. It has a sand filter that is protected by a ferro cement cap and a masonry wall to protect the water from impurities. The water is dispensed through a hand pump.

“Earlier, we used to get tap water, but soon the pipes broke and we faced problems. Since we have installed this hand pump, there has been a huge difference. Now we get water all through the day,” says Seema Shah, a resident of Garmpani village in Almora district.

The conventional method of providing drinking water through long distance piped water supply schemes is both cost intensive and prone to recurring faults in the hilly regions. Infiltration wells, in comparison, cost a fraction — while piped water comes at a per capita cost of Rs 8,000, infiltration wells cost Rs 500 per head.

Apart from the higher costs, in a number of cases, the Jal Nigam’s water programmes have glaring engineering flaws.

At Chamini village, the Jal Nigam had constructed a gravity flow water scheme that would supply surface water from a nearby stream to the village. But the system collapsed within a few months. It didn’t work here for several reasons. If you don’t protect the catchment area where you are trapping the water, the surface water may go underground by two or three feet. That has happened over here. The whole structure is lying defunct.

“For three months, there was water. Let’s say there was an attempt to provide water, taps were installed but we had no water and then the new scheme came to our village. We have benefited a lot from the infiltration well scheme. Now the village has control over the water,” says a resident.

For decades, the residents of Chamini had to walk nearly 10 km to reach water. But with the construction of the infiltration well, 400 litres of drinking water is available every day to the 68 households living in Chamini. “The people from the village contributed 10 per cent of the capital cost and 90 per cent of the work was done by voluntary service. The gravity line from where the water flows was dug by village youth and then the well was dug,” says Heera Singh, a resident of the village.

With water reaching Chamini, the villagers have begun a massive afforestation programme to protect the gadheras (the natural catchment areas) from where water flows into their homesteads.

Ganesh, another resident of Chamini village says, “We have been facing chronic water shortage for years. People in the village have now decided that it is imperative to save the catchment area. They are saving the area by plantation, making check dams and planting those species of trees that hold water. This would ensure that there won’t be a water shortage in the future.”

Driven by the success of the scheme in Kumaon, infiltration wells are now being introduced in many villages of Garhwal and Himachal hills also.

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Notice to govt in Bhadra firing case
Our Correspondent

Hanumangarh, November 13
The Jodhpur High Court has sought an explanation from the state government in the Bhadra firing case that took place last year. Mr Shakeel Ahmad had filed the PIL. His brother Aslam had died in the police firing.

In the PIL, Mr Ahmad alleged that the police killed Aslam after Renu, a student, was killed in the police firing. An FIR was filed against DSP Rachpal Singh Poonia, CI Bhagwan Das Godara and havildar Dharam Pal under Sections 302 and 34, IPC, on November 8, 2000.

According to the petition, the complainant had repeatedly requested the police to take action on the FIR and the Human Rights Commission directed the DGP to investigate the firing incident, but nothing had been done.

A Division Bench comprising Mr Justice Rajesh Balia and Mr Justice Harbans Singh has issued notices to persons whose names were mentioned in the FIR and the state government seeking an explanation.

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AIADMK pulls out of Pondy Govt

Pondicherry, November 13
The three-member AIADMK today withdrew its support to the Congress ministry headed by Mr N. Rangaswamy in Pondicherry, but there was no threat to the survival of the government.

The letter to this effect from party General-Secretary Jayalalithaa, addressed to the Lieut-Governor, Dr Rajani Rai, who is out of station, was handed over by AIADMK state committee secretary K. Natarajan to the Lieut-Governor’s Secretary at Raj Nivas.

Mr Natarajan told reporters that Pondicherry Congress leader V. Narayanaswamy had “not kept the promise given to Ms Jayalalithaa and hence the decision to withdraw support. He alleged that Mr Narayanaswamy had given ‘false information’ to Ms Jayalalithaa on retaining the status quo of the participation of the AIADMK in the Congress ministry.

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Famine hits trade, industry
Our Correspondent

Hanumangarh, November 13
“It appears as curfew has been imposed, and markets have turned desolate”, the words sum up the situation in the markets of the region, which has been hit by famine for the past three consecutive years.

Mr Neelkanth Sharma, who owns a furniture house, revealed that in the past there used to be so much workload that he had to employ extra labour to finish the work, but this year even during the festival season the business has not been good.

Owner of Jodhpur Misthan Bhandar, a sweets shop, said his sales had gone down by 25 per cent as compared to last year.

Mr Vijay Singh Indora, a municipal councilor, who owns a gun house, commented that his sales had suffered because of the famine.

He said money-lenders had been giving loans to the farmers in the hope of getting good interest but with the area ruling under famine for the past three consecutive years and the crop not being good this year too. They were hesitant to lend money to cultivators.

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Jagat flags off trekking expedition
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 13
The BSF Director-General, Mr Gurbachan Singh Jagat, here today flagged off the 339-km BSF trekking expedition from Uttarkashi to Joshimath.

“The expedition is a symbol of the tradition of vigilance and courage,” Mr Jagat said. This expedition was the first phase of the 8,000 km Trans-Himalayan Traverse. In the remaining phases a mountaineering team would be prepared for scaling the Mount Everest in 2003, he said.

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NATIONAL BRIEFS

RANVIR SENA AREA COMMANDER KILLED
PATNA:
A self-styled area commander of the Ranvir Sena and prime suspect in the March 1997 Haivaspur massacre of 10 persons, was killed by suspected CPI-ML (Liberation) activists in Bihar’s Bhojpur district, the police said on Tuesday. Langar Singh, area commander of the sena, a private militia of landlords, was killed at Banchuli Paswan Tola on Monday, the police said. PTI

COUPLE POISONS KIDS, COMMITS SUICIDE
JAIPUR:
A couple allegedly committed suicide after poisoning their two sons in Ajmer, the police said here on Tuesday. The bodies of all the four members of he family from Bikaner were found in an inn where they had been staying for the past two days, the police said. A note left behind by the husband stated he was leaving behind Rs 8,000 to be used for performing their last rites. PTI

EX-VC OF AGRA VARSITY DEAD
AGRA:
Noted educationist and former Vice-Chancellor of Agra-University B.P. Jauhari died after a prolonged illness at his residence here on Monday. He was 92. Mr Jauhari served as the Principal of Dayalbagh Degree College here before being appointed the Vice-Chancellor of Agra University. He is survived by a son and a daughter. UNI

ACTRESS KARUNA BANDYOPADHYAY DEAD
KOLKATA: Noted Bengali film actress Karuna Bandyopadhyay, who had played Apu’s mother in Satyajit Ray’s classic “Pather Panchali, died after a prolonged illness at her residence here on Tuesday, family sources said. Besides working for the Oscar-winning director’s other films like “Kanchanjungha,” Bandyopadhyay also worked for other great directors, including Mrinal Sen. PTI

FIRE CLAIMS TWO LIVES
BADAUN: Two persons were charred to death while property worth Rs 2,00,000 was burnt to ashes when some houses caught fire at Lehra Ladpur village here in the wee hours on Tuesday. Police sources said the house of Ram Singh caught fire which, due to strong winds, spread rapidly engulfing a few more houses in the vicinity. A 72-year-old woman Khillo Devi and two-year-old boy Ballu were burnt alive in the fire. UNI

ONE KILLED IN BLAST
KANPUR: A person was killed and another was injured in a cracker explosion at a house in the Gammu Khan Ka Hata locality here, the police said on Tuesday. Mr B.N. Singh SSP, said the incident occurred on Monday when some persons were allegedly making crackers illegally in the house and the explosive material burst, killing the man and injuring another. PTI

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