Saturday, November 24, 2001, Chandigarh, India

 

N C R   S T O R I E S

 

 

BJP wants Shastri’s scalp
Ramesh Ramachandran
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 23
With the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) elections barely months away, the Lokayukta’s order against Food and Civil Supplies Minister Yoganand Shastri comes at an inopportune time for the Congress-ruled Government of NCT of Delhi.

Having got a handle to beat the Congress with, the Opposition seems to have lost no time in asking for the minister’s scalp. Adding to the problems of Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit is the clamour within her own party for seeing the back of Mr Shastri. A section of Congressmen feels that he could become a liability for the party in a run-up to the polls.

The Lokayukta, who is inquiring into the allegations of corruption and favouritism in the recruitment and business deals of the Delhi Consumer Co-operative Wholesale Store Limited, had in his interim order on Thursday made adverse remarks against the minister. Not only were “favoured persons” from the minister’s constituency appointed on various posts in the store, the firm owned by the minister’s son-in-law had been “preferred” over others in making supplies worth several lakhs to the store.

Demanding the minister’s resignation on moral grounds, the Leader of Opposition in the Assembly, Prof Jagdish Mukhi, told NCR Tribune on Friday that Mr Shastri had foisted his cronies on various posts in the co-operative store and colluded with others in siphoning off money. N. K. Garg, chief whip of the BJP Legislature Party, said that the issue could be raised in the forthcoming session of the Assembly if the minister did not step down on his own. The Assembly session begins on December 18.

Upping the ante, Prof Mukhi said, “The Lokayukta’s order is self-explanatory. There can be no defence of the manner in which rules and guidelines were bent to help his kith and kin. His was a deliberate ploy to defraud the co-operative store.”

The Lokayukta, he said, had found not one but several instances of irregularities during the minister’s tenure. “Not only did the son-in-law give a false affidavit, the minister had the gall to feign ignorance about the activities of the store and disclaim any hand in his son-in-law’s getting orders for bulk supplies, that too at inflated prices,” Prof Mukhi said.

Continuing in the same vein, he said, “The minister issued circulars during the pendency of the inquiry, telling all departments under his administrative charge not to give any preferential treatment to the persons representing themselves as members of his family, relatives or friends. He also asked his son-in-law to return the monies to the store. If this is not a confession of guilt, then what it is?”

Not wanting to let go of this opportunity to score brownie points ahead of the MCD polls, the Delhi unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party has approached the party’s top leadership. Union Home Minister L. K. Advani has, in a letter written to a senior BJP leader, promised to conduct an inquiry into the cases against Mr Shastri.

The matter is also likely to figure in a meeting of BJP workers on Saturday, called ostensibly to chalk out a strategy for the polls. 
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MPs get wake-up call from bonded kids
Gaurav Choudhury
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 23
The country’s lawmakers today woke up to the grim reality of bonded labour as scores of children made a concerted attempt to arouse the official establishment out of its collective slumber.

Fifteen groups of children, comprising freed bonded child labourers and slum children, today literally woke up 118 members of Parliament by visiting their cosy abode in the sylvan environs of South Avenue adjoining Parliament House.

Even as it came as surprise for most of the MPs, the innocent visage of denuded children on a misty November morning provided food for introspection as the children handed over a memorandum demanding changes in the proposed 93rd Constitutional Amendment Bill.

The proposed Bill seeks to confer Right to Education as a fundamental right on all citizens of the country.

“The issue needs to be highlighted and I will leave no stone unturned to meet my colleagues in Parliament and convince them about these issues,” the member of Parliament, Mr Ravi Prakash Verma, said.

The children, who submitted the memorandum under the aegis of South Asian Coalition on Child Servitude (SACCS) and other NGOs, demanded “equitable and quality for all” among other things.

“Education is not a charity but a right. In order to get this birthright, we will wage a long battle not only in Parliament but also on the streets,” the chairperson of SACCS, Mr Kailash Satyarthi said, adding that “with reference to compulsory education, the onus should lie with the state first and parents later”.

The list of demands calls for the inclusion of children in the age group of 0 to 6 and 14 to 18 in the proposed Amendment Bill. The children also espoused the cause for “broadening the definition of the term fee. Apart from tuition waiver, the term fee should also include mid-day meals, uniforms, stationery etc”.

The Union Cabinet has taken a decision to support the passage of 93rd Constitutional Amendment Bill in the current (winter) session of Parliament, which will confer the fundamental right to education on citizens.

“The proposed Bill has totally ignored the interests of the children in the age group of 0 to 6 due to the fact that they have been relegated to the Directive Principles of State Policy under Article 45 of the Constitution, which are not enforceable in a court of law and hence lack teeth,” the memorandum said.

Further, it (the proposed Bill) has not taken note of the interest of the children in the age group of 15 to 18. “This is contradictory to India’s commitment towards United Nation Child Rights Convention and its support to ILO convention – 182,” SACCS general secretary R S Chaurasia said.

Urging the Government to come out with a time-bound national action plan to provide “education for all”, the memorandum called for levying education cess on multi-national corporate houses while simultaneously increasing the budgetary allocation for education to at least eight per cent of GDP.
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Power sector thrown open, efficiency new mantra
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 23
In a move to streamline power distribution in the National Capital Territory, the Delhi Government today invited bids from six companies to speed up the sector’s privatisation process.

However, the privatisation process would not result in an immediate hike in the power tariff for the consumers. The six short-listed companies are AES (India) Pvt Ltd, BSES Ltd, CESCON Ltd, China Light and Power International Ltd, Reliance Power Ltd and Tata Power Co Ltd.

“The Delhi Vidyut Board would be split into one generation company, one transmission company and three distribution companies,” the Chief Minister, Ms Sheila Dikshit, announced here.

She said, “We shall not transfer more than two distribution companies to any one bidder.” The private companies would have 51 per cent equity in the distribution companies.

The companies would have to send in their bids by January 31. A high-level committee of the Delhi Government headed by the chief secretary would evaluate the bids and send its recommendations by February 15. The agreement of handing over the distribution companies would be signed on February 28.

The Chief Minister said that the main focus was on efficiency. The successful bidder for each company would be the one who offered the greatest efficiency improvement over a period of five years, above the prescribed minimum level.

“The companies have to work out the minimum efficiency gain that is required for turnaround at the end of five years, so that thereafter further government assistance is not required. The company, which offers the highest achievement in reducing the losses, will be selected,” she said.

Ms Dikshit said that the Government was committed to providing loan support of about Rs 2,600 crore to the transmission companies during the first three years. She ruled out an immediate hike in tariff.
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Central bonanza for Mewat
Ravi S.Singh
Tribune News Service

Gurgaon, November 23
Showing sensibility to the acute socio-economic backwardness and high rate of illiteracy in the Mewat area, spanning over Gurgaon and Faridabad districts of Haryana, the Centre has sanctioned more than five and a half crores of rupees as financial assistance to Mewat Development Agency (MDA). This is considered to be a big bonanza for the people of Mewat, dominated by the Meo Muslims.

The grant to the MDA has been made through the Haryana Government. The MDA is an agency of the state, set up for the development of Mewat area. The central assistance has been made to the MDA under its scheme of "Area Intensive Programme for Educationally Backward Minorities".

The Centre is understood to have made the sanction after much follow-ups by the MDA.
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Why does NDMC love traffic jams?
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 23
Traffic in the entire New Delhi area was thrown in disarray because of the diversions for the India International Trade Fair (IITF) and a three-day musical extravaganza organised on the sprawling India Gate lawns, which began this evening.

It took motorists more than an hour to negotiate their way through a kilometer long stretch during the peak evening hours. At many places the traffic remained stationary for hours, creating a nightmare for the policemen.

Irate motorists, caught in the jam, questioned the judiciousness of the authorities in permitting the musical show even as the trade fair was in full swing. Incidentally, the show organised by a leading media group is jointly sponsored by the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) and the Delhi Tourism and Development Corporation (DTDC).

The agitated commuters alleged that the NDMC, which had banned the posters and banners in Lutyen’s Delhi, itself was violating the law as thousands of posters and banners had come up at the historical India Gate.
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Police sniff out drunk drivers
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 23
Barely two days after initiating the drive against drunken driving in the city, the traffic police officials claimed to have challaned around 200 people found to be driving under the influence of liquor near more than 15 hotels and bars. The police officials were keeping a vigil at discotheques for youngsters driving in an inebriated state.

Officials refused to give the names of the joints and hotels. They said: “We have nothing against these joints as our only concern is to bring strict discipline on roads, in the general interest of the public.
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Security man held for murder
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 23
The Special Cell of city police today arrested chairman of Cobra Securities, Sajjan Kumar, and a security guard, Pradeep, on the charge of kidnapping and murdering a retired Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) of Delhi, P.L. Chaudhary, who worked as a senior manager, Administration, in Win Cable and DATA Com Pvt Ltd. P.L. Chaudhary was reportedly kidnapped from Yashwant Place in Chanakaya Puri and strangulated in Sonepat on Saturday night, the police said.

The vice-president of Win Cable and DATA Com Pvt Ltd , Mr S.N. Sharma, lodged a complaint that P.L. Chaudhary had been abducted on Saturday. He went to meet Sajjan Kumar at Yashwant Place in Chanakya Puri in an official vehicle, from where he was abducted. Mr S.N. Sharma had received a call on his mobile phone from the mafia that P.L. Chaudhary was with him. The caller directed Mr Sharma to resign from the company along with his team. The caller also told him that if he did not follow the direction he would face dire consequences.

The call from the underworld, Mr Sharma suspects, could be at the behest of a rival company. 
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IN PARLIAMENT
Shocking pollution in Yamuna
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 23
Water in the river Yamuna contains coliform beyond the permissible level of 5,000 per ml, the Parliament was informed today. The dissolved oxygen level has been `Nil’ or below the minimum desirable limit of four milligram per litre at all the monitoring locations, the Minister of Environment and Forests, Mr T. R. Baalu told the Rajya Sabha in a written reply.

The Central Pollution Control Board is regularly monitoring the water quality of the river Yamuna from its origin to its confluence with the river Ganga at Allahabad including the Delhi stretch, the Minister said.

To ensure unpolluted water supply to Delhi’s population and to restore the water quality of river Yamuna in Delhi stretch, the Government is planning to complete desilting and rehabilitation of trunk sewers by December, 2003.

The other measures include augmentation of sewage treatment capacity to 726.4 million gallon per day and ancillaries works such as sewage pumping stations, rising mains and trunk sewers etc by December, 2005, the Minister informed.

Moreover, subject to technical feasibility, sewerage facilities in the remaining 165 out of 567 unauthorised and regularised colonies, 43 out of 135 urban villages and four out of 44 resettlement colonies will be provided by December 2005, the Minister said.

Further, there will be interception and diversion of municipal wastewater flowing through 19 drains into Delhi stretch of the river and conveyance of this wastewater to the sewage treatment plants, the Parliament was told.

There is no proposal under consideration to determine the fees charged by private institutes and coaching centres in Delhi for providing coaching to Engineering entrance examinations, the Parliament was informed today.

According to information furnished by the Delhi Government, they do not exercise any control over private centres providing coaching to the aspirants for appearing in any engineering entrance examination, Minister of State for Human Resource Development, Prof Rita Verma told the Rajya Sabha in a written reply. The proximity of national Capital Delhi to international borders and well-established air linkages with foreign countries make it vulnerable to drug trafficking, the Lok Sabha was told today.

In a written reply, Minister of State for Finance Gingee N. Ramachandran said the government has formulated several measures to check drug trafficking. The measures include quarterly cross-border meetings of Indian and Pakistani anti-narcotics agencies as part of border meetings of the Border Security Force (BSF) and Pakistan Rangers, holding of operation level meetings with Myanmar officials and providing them sniffer dogs and training dog handlers, the minister said.

School timings of Kendriya Vidyalayas in Delhi region have been advanced to 7.30 am in order to give sufficient time to children to pursue their study in the afternoon, the Minister of State for Human Resource Development, Prof Rita Verma told the Rajya Sabha today. The timings have been changed to bring them at par with most public schools of Delhi which have been having these timings for very long because they have considered it to be most suitable for the education of school children, the Minister said.

Total loss from the intact return milk of the Delhi Milk Scheme (DMS) during the last 18 months is estimated at Rs 6.35 lakhs as against deficit of Rs 12 crore, the Minister of Agriculture, Mr Ajit Singh informed the Rajya Sabha in a written reply today.

The returned milk is reprocessed and sold and whenever a complaint is received, the matter is looked into. The intact return of milk is inherent in the system of milk distribution in polythene pouches and therefore, there is no question of fixing the responsibility.
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COMMUNITY

Bylaws be damned! Pavements are for private gardens
Rohit Wadhwaney

New Delhi, November 23
The desire for a little more of this and a little bit of that extra among 30 per cent of the residents of Anand Niketan has made life much difficult for the remaining 70 per cent. The culprit here is the all-pervasive encroachment bug. That's what has the 30 per cent hungering for more. Building bylaws be damned! The 70 can go take a walk!

The local Residents' Welfare Association (RWA) of Anand Niketan, one of the most posh localities of South Delhi, identified 30 per cent of the houses in a total of 415 that have owners who have encroached on public land.

The residents of the colony at the time of its inception in 1960 were given permission for building one-storied houses but today permission has been granted for two to three storeys as well, which puts too much pressure on the basic infrastructure that has not kept pace with the change.

The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) roads in the colony have become narrower owing to the encroachments. Rainwater drains have been covered with concrete and that leads to waterlogging whenever it rains, which only damages the roads further.

Most of the pavements of the colony have turned into private gardens of the ones that have encroached on them. Some have even gone further and gobbled up a piece of the road.

The posh colony has everything to make life easy – a club, a shopping centre, a post office, a school and parks. But because of those who have made encroachments, life is not as comfortable as it should be there.

Three years ago, a resolution signed by the president of the local RWA and the Chairman of the housing society asking for the immediate removal of the encroachments was submitted to the Deputy Commissioner of the MCD and was also brought to the notice of the municipal councillor of the area.

Nothing to improve the situation has happened so far. The MCD has turned a deaf ear to the residents' problems. Residents say if the situation does not improve, in no time the posh colony, located in the heart of South Delhi, will be like any other congested colony of Delhi.

There are about 12 MCD parks in Anand Niketan. Ten of these are in a very bad shape. The reason: the MCD does the job of maintaining them.

Compare the Dasehra Park, as it is called, with MCD parks and it won't be very tough to make out who the caretaker is - the RWA or the MCD?

The Dasehra Park is as beautiful as a park can be – levelled green grass, clean benches to sit on and properly trimmed trees - absolutely spic and span.

And the MCD parks? As dirty as can be – wild grass, broken benches, stray dogs - more like garbage dumps than parks.

The parks of Block B and Block E are in the process of being taken over by the RWA from the MCD through a memorandum of understanding (MoU). "This is the only way we can keep our colony clean and green. We cannot expect anything from the MCD. They are least bothered," said Mr R.L. Nandwani, secretary of the RWA.

Residents said the Horticulture Department had employed gardeners to take care of the parks. But the fact is that these MCD gardeners are mostly engaged by the affluent resident of the adjoining colony—West End—to look after the lawns in their palatial houses.

"Residents of West End, who are very rich and are mostly foreigners working in embassies, bribe them (MCD gardeners) heavily." So when you never find any MCD karamchari in Anand Niketan you can guess where they have headed for.

The area councillor holds monthly meetings with the RWA and the housing society. The lowest of the MCD officials are present at the meetings, which seems nothing more than eyewash because their presence at the meetings hardly results in any improvement of the colony. This and all that an MCD official had to say was, "There are all influential people living in Anand Niketan. Whenever we try to take up the matter of demolishing the encroachments they succeed in getting it stopped. As long as people who are always ready to play with the law exist nothing can ever change anywhere. Does anyone respect the law in India?"
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Faridabad roads a death trap
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, November 23
Roads in this industrial hub of Haryana are very unsafe as a large number of persons fall victim to road accidents here every year.

The rail track passing from the town has also been claiming a large number of lives as it dissects the town vertically.

According to past records and reports, at least 35 to 40 persons die either in road mishaps or on the rail track every month. While the number of deaths on the rail track is almost equal, it may exceed sometimes. As per figures the deaths on road could be around 20 on an average each month.

While the experts blame mainly the traffic congestion and indiscipline on the roads for a majority of the accidents, some of the deaths on the rail tracks are claimed as suicides. More than 150 persons died in road accidents last year, while about 155 persons were run over by trains in this period. The number of victims of rail tracks this year has already reached the figure of 185.

The number of road accidents and their victims has also been on the increase. There are several cases that go unreported.

Although the Union Government and the state government are working on a plan to widen the existing national highway (Mathura Road) and provide subways at some busy points the work on the schemes is reported to be very slow. The Union Government has also proposed to construct a flyover at the Badarpur border and construct a bypass expressway from the Noida toll bridge, near Kalindi Enclave in Delhi, to Jharsentli village in the district to decongest traffic on the highway. But then any work on this ambitious project is yet to take off.

Reaching Ashram Chowk in Delhi from NIT Faridabad in the morning and evening may take about an hour or even more as there is heavy traffic on Mathura Road during peak hours, said a local businessman. The length of rail tracks passing through the district is almost 45 km and it touches residential areas all along its length. There are only four overbridges over rail lines, but lack of such a facility in densely populated areas, including old Faridabad and Mujesar village, has led to several accidents. While about 250 trains pass from here the daily open access to tracks poses a major danger, said a retired railway official.

Lack of adequate number of traffic policemen and a proper system to check traffic violations is also responsible for the `mess', commented a local resident.
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Five dead in mishaps
Tribune News Service

New Delhi November 23
In the past 24 hours, at least five persons were reported victims to fatal accidents in different places of the city, making the Delhi roads more unsafe, as the death toll mounted to 18, in the past week.

The first incident occurred, when an DTC contracted bus knocked down an unidentified motor cyclist in the Subzi Mandi area of North Delhi District. Police said that the incident occurred near Burfkhana Chowk, this morning, when a bus plying between ISBT to Jhagola Gaon, hit the motor cycle from behind.

Both the motor cyclist and the driver sustained serious injuries, and were taken to the nearby hospital, by a PCR van, where the motor cyclist was declared brought dead and the driver is still under treatment. Police are still trying to ascertain the identity of the deceased, and have registered a case of rash and negligent driving against the driver of the bus.

In the second incident, an overspeeding truck at Rohtak Road has reportedly crushed a cyclist late last night. The victim was identified as Dileep, and police said that the incident occurred in Madipur T- point. The cyclist died on the spot.

In another incident, a scooterist was hit by an unknown speeding vehicle in the early hours today in the Sultanpuri area of North-West district.
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SONEPAT
Youth killed in revenge
Our Correspondent

A youth was allegedly murdered with sharp-edged weapons by five persons including a woman at Bhuri village about 10 km from here last night. According to a report, Mr Ramesh Kumar, the victim was waylaid and assaulted with lathis and sharp-edged weapons. As a result Mr Kumar was seriously injured and later succumbed to his injuries.

The alleged assailants, however, managed to escape immediately after the murder. The police has registered a case against the alleged assailants who are still at large.

The police has also launched a massive hunt to apprehend them. According to the police, the victim had allegedly murdered one Dharamvir of the village in 1991 and later on he was convicted and sentenced by a court. The victim was released on parole for 15 days and was staying in his house in the village.

The culprits had taken revenge for his past act and murdered him, it is alleged.

Held ticketless

More than 150 ticketless travellers were caught red-handed by the railway checking staff at the railway station here yesterday. According to a report, the checking staff, headed by a Railway Magistrate, checked all the incoming and outgoing trains.

The ticketless travellers were produced before the Railway Magistrate who imposed a fine on them. As many as 82 ticketless travellers paid the amount of the fare and the resultant fine and subsequently were let off. The remaining persons were sent to Ambala jail.

Vend looted

Two unidentified armed youths are reported to have looted a liquor vend at Palri Khurd village about 15 km from here last night. According to a report, the miscreants also assaulted the servant Naresh Kumar with a knife and took away the cash from the vend. The injured youth was immediately hospitalised and he is stated to be out of danger. The Rai Police has registered the case and further investigations were in progress. However, no arrest has been made in this connection.

Three killed

Three persons were killed and five others injured in different road accidents in this district yesterday. According to a report, a patwari Mr Satbir was killed when his motor cycle was hit by a Tata 407 vehicle near Gohana town about 40 km from here yesterday. The victim was travelling from Rohtak to Gohana on the motor cycle. The police has registered a case and further investigations were in progress.

According to another report, the police has recovered the body of an unidentified body of a man lying on the road near Gohana town and sent it for post-mortem examination.
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Book released

Punjabi author and Rajya Sabha member Dr Kartar Singh Duggal’s new book “God Is” was released by Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha, Najma Heptulla. TNS
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SPEAKING OUT

Durga Puja functions: A fountainhead of charity

Community functions like Durga Puja can also be a source of spreading charities and funding socially important projects. Vinay Nagger Sarbojanin Durga Puja Committee of New Delhi has proved this. Besides, earning the distinction of being one of the most well-organised Durga Puja celebrations in the capital, the committee has collected a sum of Rs 1 lakh as a contribution for the construction of a new building complex at the Rama Krishna Mission in New Delhi.

A cheque of Rs 1 lakh was presented to Swami Gokulanandji, head of the Rama Krishna Mission by the president of the committee, Mr Supriyo Dhar, in New Delhi today.

Presenting the cheque, Mr Dhar told Swamiji that this had been possible by observing various austerity measures without compromising the quality of arrangements at this year’s celebrations.

Last year, the committee had donated an equal amount to the Flood Relief Fund. The office-bearers of the committee feel that they can continue this practice in the coming years as well.

Prof. S.B. Ghosh
New Delhi

Hospital has no medicines

The General Hospital Palwal located at old G.T. Road, is quite developed and equipped with modern infrastructure. Facilities to check blood, urine and stool samples and conduct post-mortem are available here. Well-maintained operation theatre and X-ray department are doing yeoman’s service to the general public. Except three, the vacancies of doctors have recently been filled in. Under the administrative control of Dr Ramesh Leeka, SMO, 10 doctors assigned with different departments, are on the establishment to treat indoor and outdoor patients.

The patients are sometimes asked to purchase medicines on their own from the open market which, no doubt, add to their problems. The patients have the right to receive timely attention and free-aid from qualified doctors in government hospitals.

The authorities responsible for providing the medicines should take notice of poor supply of medicines. Good health is necessary for purposeful existence.

Besides, there are no specialists and surgeons to treat eye ailments and orthopaedic diseases. Though there are three vacancies for qualified doctors. We see several bone dislocation and fracture cases every day in the hospital.

Lack of specialists and surgeons always compel the frustrated patients to go to private clinics/hospitals for treatment where they are fleeced.

Will the authorities fill in the posts of specialists and surgeons to protect the right of health care of citizens.

Trilok Chand Gupta,
Palwal

A quality paper

It is very gratifying that the quality of your paper and the recently added pull-out are both of excellent quality and provide reading to meeting varied tastes.

N N Vohra,
Director,
India International Centre.

Good write-ups

On the auspicious day of Divali I came across an article "From a village boy to a scholar" and it was a pleasure reading the contents.

Such write-ups are a real source of encouragement for the readers. All credit goes to The Tribune which publish such articles.

On October 20, The Tribune has given a very good coverage to our trust "Human Care Charitable Trust" of which I am Managing Trustee.

N P Thareja,
New Delhi

Exciting pull-out

I would like to congratulate you on launching the NCR Tribune for Delhi and south Haryana. This will certainly enhance the prestige and popularity of The Tribune even in remote areas. Our children were also excited to see the additional four-page pull-out.

We ought to cover the problems and struggles of the masses of this area through this venture. With good wishes.

R B Yadav Dehati,
Rewari.

Special place

I am delighted by the news that The Tribune will now have a National Capital Region edition. The Tribune has a very special place among newspapers in the country.

Mrinal Miri,
Shillong.

More news from Himachal

It gives me an immense pleasure to congratulate you and the entire family of The Tribune Trust on bringing out The Tribune from Delhi.

It will, of course, cater to the long-felt demands of readers in Delhi. I am confident the NCR Tribune will definitely carve out a niche for itself among the readers of Delhi. I wish The Tribune to be the "best" newspaper of Delhi as well.

I am emotionally attached to The Tribune; and shall continue to be the same. I trust you will continue to give more and more news of Himachal Pradesh to fulfil the demands of Himachalis here in Delhi.

Your editorials satisfy the intellectual hunger. Being a regular reader of The Tribune I find the editorials immense informative and educative. I believe The Tribune really stand by the words "A matter of trust" as stated by you.

I am confident under your able leadership The Tribune will achieve many more such innings in the years to come. I wish you and the entire family of The Tribune Trust all the best in your venture.

Chanderlok Nainta,
New Delhi.

Kudos to NCR team

Congratulations on the new addition to the stable. Although I have not had much time to look too carefully. I was travelling to Taiwan when I had a look at the NCR pages. They look good and ought to offer more than value for money to the loyal Tribune readers. I am sure the hard work put in by your team will pay off and bring new laurels to the paper.

Shanta Serbjeet Singh
New Delhi-49.

Great coverage

Kindly accept my heartiest congratulations on launching The Tribune from the National Capital also. This step was long overdue as a paper like The Tribune deserves to be circulated in all parts of India. The Tribune has made great advancement in news coverage, thought-provoking articles and editorials on vital issues concerning the nation, under your able guidance and supervision. I am sure that this news venture will raise The Tribune to new heights in the times to come.

With best wishes

Shiv Kumar Sharma
Yamuna Nagar, Haryana

Hats off to edition

I was very happy to learn that you have now launched the National Capital Region edition from Delhi. I have always been a reader of The Tribune since my childhood and have noticed its development with great interest and admiration. I do hope that the newspaper will continue to provide such excellent service in the future as well.

R.S. Kalha,
New Delhi.

Latest trend

You have done well having started the NCR Tribune. This will bring your paper in line with the latest trends of bringing out pull-outs.

Pappu Antewala,
New Delhi.

Congrats on launch

I congratulate you on launching the NCR edition of The Tribune. I thank you for inviting me to get the feel of the paper.

S S Gill ,
New Delhi-66.

Known for its credibility

The Tribune has always been known to maintain its credibility. It is a forward-thinking paper, successfully meeting the aspirations of the people from the crosssection of society.

P. Bakshi,
New Delhi.

Brickbats, too

Apropos The Tribune, titled "BP petroleum" on 9.11.01. We are indeed very unhappy to note that an esteemed publication like yours has carried our company’s name BP as Bharat Petroleum.

This error has serious implications jeopardising the identity of our company and is bound to cause a lot of confusion among your readers and our customers.

All communication regarding this programme was printed on our corporate stationery and our logo is unmistakably distinct from any other company. Just by way of clarification, we would like to apprise you of the factual data. BP is among the world’s largest energy companies with an annual group turnover of over 131 billion US dollar. It is the 7th largest company in the world and is present in more than 100 countries.

K.R. Venkataraman
G M (Marketing & Sales) BP

Do You Have A Grouse?

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NCR BRIEFS

23,000 AIDS cases detected in NCT
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 23
The National Capital Territory has more than 23,000 HIV positive cases and 600 people have AIDS, Delhi Health Minister, Dr A. K. Walia said here today.

The Health Minister gave the figures of the HIV cases, while flagging off an Aids Awareness Rally, which would highlight measures that needs to be taken to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS.

About 500 students of various schools participated in the rally, which was flagged off from Dilli Haat in South Delhi.

The rally had been organised as part of ‘Schools AIDS Awareness week’, being observed in the National Capital Territory of Delhi till November 27.

Delhi has about 23,000 HIV positive cases and 600 people have AIDS. Globally there are 36.8 million HIV positive cases and India has 10 per cent cases

Unsafe sex is the main cause for the spread of HIV/AIDS. Other factors are infected syringes/blood, from affected mother to her baby, he said.

About 450 schools in association with 15 Non Government Organisation (NGO) are participating in the awareness week. The focus during the week would be on intensive awareness programme in schools through various curricula activities like posters, essay competitions, debates, skits on HIV/AIDS and screening of films.

Magical tour

Fifty-five children from Mobile Creches, Deepalaya and Apeejay school had a gala time today, at an event, ‘Magical Mystery Tour,’ organised by the city-based artist Bulbul Sharma.

Ajay, a seventh standard student of DAV school, sporting a ‘Titanic,’ T-shirt, jeans and jacket, surprised many in the gathering as he walked like Salman Khan. Ajay said he wants to be an engineer.

“I began working with children 10-15 years ago and especially work with those who don’t have access to such opportunities. Moreover, kids who study in elitist schools have a very limited attention span because they’re used to high-tech means of entertainment such as television,” said Sharma.

She said, for me the inspiration came when, “I had gone to watch a play by the Salaam Balak Trust and they asked me to come to their workplace. When I agreed, one of the children said that people promise to come but never turn up. According to Ms Sharma, those words of the child had touched her, inspiring her to undertake this event.

NIIT in Tihar

Though inmates of Tihar Jail are behind the four walls of prison cell, they are not behind in the Information Technology revolution sweeping the world.

The IT training major, NIIT, has launched a computer training programme to make the inmates computer literate as part of the company’s `World Computer Literacy Day’ programme.

“he participation of Tihar inmates in this literacy campaign would not only help them in becoming computer literate, but also introduce them to a new skill area – Information Technology,” Mr P Rajendran, the CEO of NIIT said.

The Director General of Tihar Jail, Mr Ajay Aggarwal, said “this initiative would equip these inmates with computer skills, much desired in today’s evolving technology led world. And, this will go a long way in opening doors for a better brighter future for all of them.”

Twenty inmates, trained by the company today, were given a basic knowledge about computers, which would generate interest among them to know more about the IT world and encourage them to take a plunge into the world of bits and bytes.
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CRIME

Delhi metro worker killed
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 23
A labourer was killed and two seriously injured when an iron girder fell on them while at their work at the Metro Rail Project in Rohini. The Metro rail work is in progress at road number 41 near Ambedkar hospital.

The victims, Chander Dev, Ramesh and Nirmal were taken to hospital where doctors declared Chander brought dead. Even as the work was in progress, an earth remover accidentally hit him and the iron girder fell on the labourers working at the site, police said.

Youth murdered
Raj Kumar (25) was reportedly bludgeoned to death by four employees of a chicken shop, “Karara Chicken Corner” in Sonia Complex near Vikaspuri. The victim and his two friends went to the chicken shop to enquire about the rate of chicken. An altercation broke out between the victim and the manager of the shop, Amrit Pal Singh which soon turned into a scuffle. The manager of the shop and its employees, Laxman, Kishan and Vishnu started beating the victim who fell unconscious.

A passer by reported the matter to the police. The police took the victim to DDU hospital where he was declared brought dead. The manager of the shop has been arrested while the employees are absconding.

Suicide bid
Ravinder (44), a resident of St Johns Church compound in Mehrauli reportedly committed suicide by hanging himself with a “chunni” from a ceiling fan last night. He took this extreme step when his family members were watching TV in adjacent room. In a drunken state Ravinder bolted the door from inside before committing suicide. The incident came to light when his family members tried to find out his whereabouts. They suspected something wrong when they found the victim’s room bolted from inside. They broke open the door and saw Ravinder hanging with the ceiling fan. He was taken to hospital where he was declared brought dead. The case is being enquired by the Mehrauli police.

Man robbed
At least Rs 1.5 lakh and some jewellery were robbed from house of a businessman in Madhu Vihar in East Delhi this afternoon. The house owner and members of his family had gone out for a meeting when the robbery took place. The East district police has constituted a special team to work out the case. 

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