Saturday, December 1, 2001, Chandigarh, India

 

N C R   S T O R I E S

 

 

CM left with little room on reshuffle
Caste or calibre is the problem
Ramesh Ramachandran
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 30
Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit has very little room to manoeuvre which clashes with her desire to strike the right balance of youth and experience by inducting new faces and reshuffling the portfolios of senior Cabinet colleagues. To cap it, her detractors are just waiting to label the whole exercise of Cabinet formation as the one which would be performed keeping in mind the caste considerations and equitable representation to different communities.

Although the Sheila loyalists insist that merit would be the sole criterion, yet what preoccupies the Chief Minister’s mind and that of her inner circle is finding the suitable replacements from the communities, represented by at least two of the ministers who are apparently on their way out.

The Chief Minister met with the All India General Secretary in-charge of Delhi affairs, Mr Kamal Nath, on Friday afternoon. After the meeting that lasted a little over half an hour, Mr Kamal Nath said that due consideration would be given to the image and the ability to deliver while arriving at the right blend of youth and experience.

Mr Nath told reporters that “clean image” and “performance” would take precedence over other factors while finalising the names. “To strengthen the organisation, there is a need to induct younger leaders also as it has been decided that a review would be held on the completion of three years,” he said.

Dismissing reports that the resignations were precipitated by the charges of corruption against the ministers, he said, “No minister can be declared corrupt on the basis of allegations levelled by the Opposition or till the final orders of the Lokayukta are passed.”

The Chief Minister also met with Congress President Sonia Gandhi in the evening though the meeting was held in a function, organised to mark the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak.

She also called on Lieutenant-Governor Vijai Kapoor later in the evening. Though the meeting, described by officials at the Chief Minister’s residence as routine, was deferred. No official response was forthcoming for the cancellation of the meeting.

Party sources, meanwhile, concede that with a Cabinet that consists of six ministers, each of a different caste / community, a “please-all” Council of Ministers might take priority even as a section of the legislators, considered loyal to the Chief Minister, are seeking a performance-oriented Cabinet.

The six ministers belong to the Jat, Scheduled Caste, Punjabi, Sikh, Bania and the Muslim communities. Dismissing all such reports as baseless, a Sheila loyalist said that the community would not be a consideration. Performance and credibility, instead, would be the deciding factors. Ridiculing the demands by a section of the Congressmen that a minister of a particular community be replaced by persons from that community only, the loyalist said that there was no justification for insisting on having a Jat minister when the Jats constituted only four lakh out of Delhi’s population of 1.5 crore. On the other hand, a 90-lakh strong Punjabi community also was represented by a lone minister. Meanwhile, hectic lobbying continued on Friday as the legislators hobnobbed with the senior Congress leaders. There was a steady stream of Congress hopefuls at the residence of Mr Kamal Nath throughout the day. Leading the pack was Mr Mukesh Sharma who showed up with his confidants in tow
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Recalling a Guru’s vision of truth
Tribune News Service

Devotees at a langar at a local gurdwara in the Capital on the occasion of Gurpurab.
Devotees at a langar at a local gurdwara in the Capital on the occasion of Gurpurab. — Tribune Photo

New Delhi, November 30
Gurpurab was celebrated in the National Capital Territory today with religious fervour and gaiety with devotees thronging gurdwaras since early morning.

An atmosphere of festivity enveloped the areas near gurdwaras and the Sikh-dominated pockets in the Capital.

The gurdwaras had organised gurbani and langar while devotees had set up stalls in different parts of the Capital to distribute sweets and sherbet.

Thousands of people gathered at Gurdwara Rakab Ganj to pay obeisance to Guru Nanak for providing a vision to those in quest of truth.

Several prominent ragis and parcharks mesmerised the devotees, who had gathered in large numbers, with their kirtan and katha.

A delegation of Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) and members of the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee called on the Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee at his residence on the occasion of the 533rd birth anniversary of Guru Nanak. Mr Vajpayee was presented with a siropa, a kirpan, a shawl and a photograph of Guru Nanak Dev.

The delegation was led by Shiromani Akali Dal general Secretary, Mr Onkar Singh Thapar.

The other members of the delegation included, Mr Harmanjit Singh, Mr Manmohan Singh Sachdev, Mr Hari Singh Kumar, Mr Amarjit Singh Chatwal, Mr Gurdeep Singh and Mr Jaspal Singh. The DSGMC member, Mr Kuldip Singh, along with other prominent Sikh leaders met the Prime Minister and greeted him on the occasion. The delegation thanked Mr Vajpayee for the Rs 1500-crore development package for Punjab and other measures taken by the Centre for the welfare of the state.

Several functions were organised in different gurdwaras in the Capital and several persons, including Mr Didar Singh Bains, president of World Sikh Council, were honoured for their contribution to Sikhism.

At dusk, the historic gurdwaras in the Capital sparkled with special lighting. Many traveled long distances to have a glimpse of the lighting.

Speakers recalled Guru Nanak’s contribution in spreading the world’s youngest religion amongst masses amidst adverse conditions.

Born in 1469 at Talwandi (Nankana Sahib), Guru Nanak believed in the eternal truth and brotherhood of man. He did not claim to be the sole mediator between god and the people; nor does he take the responsibility for the sins of his followers.

His words, ``There is neither any Hindu, nor any Muslim. We are all human beings,’’ are as relevant in his times as they are now.

Guru Nanak Dev came out strongly against ritualism and caste practices and this forms the essence of Sikhism.
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PM wants to lessen kids’ load of worries
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 30
Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee today expressed concern over the increase in the load of books being carried by the schoolchildren and called for the development of an alternative model where children may be required to carry less study material.

Speaking at the inaugural ceremony of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations of Shri Ram College of Commerce (SRCC) here, the Prime Minister said that a method should be developed where “the same things could be imparted in lesser words”.

This will reduce the load of books for children, who seem prepared to carry the load in spite of the weight, he said.

Underlining the need for a sound education system in the country, the Prime Minister said, “The pace at which the world is moving, we should ensure that we are not left behind in the race.”

Mr Vajpayee said, “The world has become very competitive. There is continual race taking place between individuals, societies and nations. In this race, a second position commands no value. We, as a nation, should ensure that we do not lag behind in the race.”

Expressing concern over the trend that even the students securing high percentage of marks, fail to get admission in good colleges, the Prime Minister said that there was a need to developed a system where such students get quality education. He, however, hastened to add that such a task was not easy and might be fraught with difficulties.

Paying rich tributes to the teachers in general, he said, “There is an enormous contribution of my teacher in my achievements.”

Emphasising the importance of science education in the country, the Prime Minister said that sufficient focus should be laid on imparting scientific training, as the 21st century was the age of science and technology.

Union Minister of Law, Justice and Company Affairs Arun Jaitley, a former student of SRCC, said that the one of the greatest challenges facing the country was the establishment of institutions which can provide quality education.

Referring to the 93rd Constitutional Amendment Bill conferring the right to education as fundamental right on the citizens, Mr Jaitley said that while on the one hand, the country was seeking to create a wider pool of educated manpower, it was equally important to have centres of excellence for the standard training at higher levels.

The Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office, Mr Vijay Goel, also a former student of the college, underlined the need to introduce value-based education while giving sufficient importance to the students who fail to secure admission in the best of colleges despite scoring high marks in examinations.
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A growing interest in an adolescent problem
Smriti Kak

New Delhi, November 30
Eighteen-year-old Vinita (name changed), a schizophrenic, believed she was a boy trapped in a girl’s body. She dressed and behaved like a boy and even had her name changed to Rajesh. Attempts by family and friends failed to convince Vinita that she was not trapped in a girl’s body, but was indeed one. Vinita’s family took medical help when she started exerting pressure on them to allow her to marry her girl friend.

Kamal, a 17-year-old from a neighbouring state, had a peculiar problem. He caught lizards, killed them and dried them before powdering them. He would then fill his cigarette with that powder. He came for help when he couldn’t find any more lizards.

These cases of mental disorder are among the hundreds of others which have been treated or are still under medical supervision in the Capital’s G.B. Pant Hospital’s psychiatric department. The hospital has started special OPDs to help adolescents with psychiatric disorders. These clinics function four days a week from Monday to Thursday.

“We have always been concerned that for a population of more than a billion, there are just about thousand or so psychiatrics. There is a need to start more clinics and OPDs to cater to psychiatric patients”, said Dr R.C. Jiloha, head of the psychiatric department in G.B. Pant.

“The OPDs for adolescents were started in August this year and till date have treated more than a hundred patients. Adolescents are more vulnerable. Owing to the peculiar nature of their mental and physical state, they are prone to psychiatric and psychological disorders. They need time and attention, keeping this in mind, we started the special OPDs,” added Dr Jiloh.

What are reasons that drive the adolescents to the brink of psychiatric disorder? It may be a failed love affair, poor performance in examination, or adjustment problems within the family. Adolescents suffer emotional upheavals for reasons, which may not hold any meaning for adults.

“Sometimes they reveal serious problems of substance abuse, sexual abuse and even exhibit the Oedipus complex. Alcoholics as young as 15-16 or those addicted to prescription drugs are also treated. School dropouts and suicide attempts are also responsible for nervous disorders,” said a Delhi-based psychiatrist.

The treatment provided to these adolescents depends on the condition of the patient and the extent and nature of his disease. “Psycho-therauptic intervention is used apart from cognitive therapy and drug prescription. There are cases where we have to use hypnotic therapy to detect unidentified conflicts, which are not visible on the surface,” pointed out Dr Jiloha.

There are many instances where along with the child even the parents are counselled, especially in cases where the parents are separated. If a child complains of a biased treatment or neglect, the family is advised to take care of the child who questions everything, sometimes even the very reason for his existence.

“We have sent circulars to most of the hospitals in Delhi, and also general practitioners, to inform them of these special clinics. Most of the cases that we have received so far have been referral. To create awareness and also to educate general practitioners about how to handle psychiatric cases, we are also organising a four-week workshop,” pointed out Dr. Jiloha.

Even though a lot of research has been done in the west about adolescent problems, back home the situation is far from satisfactory.

In our country, psychiatric problems are hushed up for fear of social ostracism with the result that often the patient’s mental health gets worse . With the increase in awareness and with treatment clinics in vogue, there is reason for hope.
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Far-Index fair off amidst recession
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, November 30
The Faridabad Industrial Expo, popularly known as ‘Far-Index’ will not be held this year. Once hailed by the authorities as the pride of the region, the fair has succumbed to overall recession and negative mood prevailing in the industry.

Various industry associations, which have been organising the annual fair with the help of the district administration, have claimed that a unanimous decision was held recently not to hold `Far-Index’ this year.

The acute recession in the industry is the main reason behind the cancellation. “The lack of interest on the part of the district authorities had also led to speculation that Far-Index will not be held this year,” said a regular visitor to the annual fair.

However, district officials have claimed that the industry associations, responsible for holding the fair, were disinterested this year.

Far-Index was launched in 1993 by the then Deputy Commissioner on the lines of the India International Trade Fair held at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi, with a view to promoting trade and business in Faridabad and adjoining areas.

While the fair has drawn local traders and shopkeepers, the industrialists are dissatisfied as they feel it has not served their business interests.
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Four held for Ghaziabad doctor’s murder
Our Correspondent

Ghaziabad, November 30
By arresting four of the five criminals involved in the murder of Dr Verinder Kapur yesterday, the Ghaziabad police today claimed to have solved the sensational murder which had taken place in Dr Kapur’s clinic in posh Kavi Nagar area.

Police have also recovered two revolvers used in the crime besides one of the two motorcycles of the murderers.

The main accused Rakesh Gujjar is absconding. The two killers have been identified as Rakesh Gujjar and Vipin Sharma who had actually fired on the doctor.

SP Ashok Kumar said that the murder had its links in 1991 dacoity at Dr Kapur’s house in which the criminals had decamped with money and jewellery worth lakhs and injured Dr Kapur’s wife.

Rakesh Gujjar was one of those arrested and jailed for five years. Dr Kapur had beaten Rakesh Gujjar and his father Jaypal Gujjar with shoes in the Kavi Nagar police station while identifying the criminals. This murder was to avenge that insult, Dr Ashok Raghav added.
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COMMUNITY

Making a beeline for Greater Noida
Parmindar Singh

Noida, November 30
The venture that had started with a seed capital of Rs 20 crore in 1991 by the Greater Noida Industrial Development Authority (GNIDA) has invested a staggering Rs 1,000 crore during the last 10 year to develop Greater Noida.

“We plan to invest Rs 350 crore this year and have an ambitious plans to turn it into a model township known for its “greenery, landscaping and urban design” says the Chief Executive Officer of Greater Noida, Brijesh Kumar.

Designed as the preferred destination for investors, GNIDA has completed the planning and development of 20 residential sectors.

Ecotech, GNIDA’s prime industrial complex, has attracted investments worth Rs 10,500 crore from well-known corporates, like LG Electronics and Daewoo Motors.

GNIDA was set up in 1991 with the mandate of developing an integrated industrial township near Delhi on par with international townships.

“In phase one, we had planned for 5,000 hectares and a population of 3 lakh. We have sold off the entire residential land of phase one. By the time work on phase II is taken up in January next year, we hope to sell the remaining land also,” said Mr Kumar.

A biotechnology and IT park has also been started in GNIDA. All other basic amenities like roads, drinking water, electricity and wayside conveniences have been put in place.

“We have charted a master plan till 2021 which has been approved by the Greater Noida Board. Now it is awaiting clearance from National Capital Region (NCR) Board,” said the CEO

In phase II, during 2002-20011 the area will extend to 12,000 hectares for a population of 6.5 lakh. By the time, the third phase begins in the year 2012, the plan area will increase to 20,000 hectares to house a population of around 12 lakh.

“Development of routes has engaged our special attention. We are planning four access routes to Greater Noida, all within a travel time of 15-20 minutes,” said Mr Kumar.

The 550-metre long eight-lane-Noida-Toll Bridge across river Yamuna connecting Maharani Bagh in Delhi to Noida has already reduced the distance, time and cost of commuting to Delhi.

A 20-km six-lane Greater Noida expressway is under construction. This will connect it directly to Delhi, reducing travel time to about 20 minutes. The expressway is slated to be operational by September 2002.

“A railway line from Howrah to Delhi passes through this area. The new projects in the pipeline would help connect Greater Noida with eastern and western main lines. We are also asking the Railway Board for a commuter rail service, which is expected to come up in around 5 years time,” says the CEO of Greater Noida.

The National Highway (NH), 3C NH-2, Link Road, Kondli Road and the proposed Noida-Agra-Mathura expressway will also provide inter-road linkages to all parts of the country from Greater Noida.

There is a proposal for an international airport 8-10 kms south of Greater Noida. Presently, its feasibility report has been compiled. The airport is expected to come up in 5-10 years time.

As regards private participation in services and infrastructure, electricity in this area is being handled by private sector. The collection of solid waste is also being taken care of by a private company. There is a proposal to set up a waste treatment plant in Greater Noida. “We have floated tenders for setting up and maintenance of a waste treatment plant”. We hope to finalise the tender in three to six months. Even the convergence network is being handled by RPG Netcom.

Another significant aspect of development is the rural development. There are 125 villages in the area being developed by the authority.

“We are spending roughly Rs 6 crore every year on the integration of these villages. Within five to six years, we aim to cover the phase 1 and phase II villages” said the CEO. In another seven years time, Greater Noida will require extra water supply. Planning for the future requirement of water in Greater Noida is already underway. A technical feasibility study is being undertaken by the Stupa Consultants for tapping water from the Ganga. We hope to be in a position to invite bids in a year’s time for this project, adds Mr Kumar.
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Khurana raps policies of Centre, state
Fears CNG crisis, industrial units’ closure will prove the ‘onion’ for BJP in MCD poll
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 30
Policies of the Centre and Delhi Government came in for sharp criticism from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP from Delhi and the former state Chief Minister, Mr Madan Lal Khurana, here today as he blamed certain decisions of both for the problems faced by the people of the National Capital Territory (NCT).

“We would hold a public meeting next week to highlight the problems faced by the people and urge the government to solve them,” Mr Khurana told newspersons.

He expressed concern that the CNG crisis and the closure of polluting small scale and cottage industrial units “will result in our (BJP) defeat in the forthcoming elections to the Municipal Corporation of Delhi. He recalled that the onion crisis had resulted in the defeat of the party in the last assembly poll.

The main issues concerning Delhi, he said, were the need for a precise definition of polluting small scale and cottage industrial units, removal of the monopoly of compressed natural gas (CNG), regularisation of unauthorised colonies and granting of full statehood to the NCT.

He said a joint action committee had been formed with transporters, the Delhi Auto Rickshaw Sangh, Delhi Factory Owners’ Federation, Delhi Unauthorised Colonies Federation, Delhi Vikas Mahasangh and Uttaranchal Mahasangh to force the government’s hands on these issues.

The precise definition of polluting small scale and cottage industrial units had not been made even though almost a year had passed since the issue came up, he said. “More than 25,000 small scale and cottage industrial units were either sealed or closed which rendered about 2.5 lakh workers unemployed,” he said.

The former Chief Minister said it was agreed at a meeting in the presence of the Prime Minister in December last year that the Lt Governor of Delhi would provide the definition of pollution. Almost a year had passed since then, yet the definition had not been provided, he said.

On the CNG issue, he said the Centre had indicated that an ordinance would be issued permitting the use of ultra-low sulphur diesel (0.5 per cent), but no such measure had been taken so far, which was hurting the transporters.

The problems faced by the people of Delhi could be solved if full statehood was granted to Delhi. “There is no state in the world which does not have law and order and land under its domain. Unfortunately, Delhi has been conferred with a truncated Vidhan Sabha with limited powers, because of which the problems are getting worse,” he said.
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‘Mai Bap Sarkar’ at the people’s door
Jatinder Sharma

Rohtak, November 30
After the success of “Sarkar Aap Ke Dwar,” it is now the turn of “Parshashan Aap Ke Dwar” (Administration at your door step) programme in Haryana.

Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala has advised the Deputy Commissioners in the state to hold their offices in the rural areas so as to redress the problems of the villagers at their door-step.

The Deputy Commissioners and Heads of various government departments located at the district headquarters would also be holding their offices in the village.

The Deputy Commissioner and other officers along with their subordinate staff would be staying for the night in the village with a view to acquaint themselves with the life style of the rural people.

The first such camp in Rohtak would be held at Sampla, 20 km from here, on December 5-6, the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Anil Malik said. He said that similar camps would be held regularly in other villages also.

Immediately after taking over as Chief Minister in 1999, Mr Om Prakash Chautala had launched the “Sarkar Aap Ke Dwar” programme so as to reach the people and solve their problems at their door step.

The ‘administration at your door step’ programme was initially started by Ch Devi Lal after his famous victory in the 1987 ‘Nayaye Yudh.’ The author of the unique programme was the then SDM, Mahendergarh Mr Ram Niwas.

The programme had become very popular among the rural people and attendance of villagers at such camp had then presented the look of a ‘mela.’ The programme, however, died an “untimely death” in 1989 because of the frequent changes in political leadership in the state following the decision of Ch Devi Lal to join the national politics at Delhi.

Mr Malik said that registration of mutations, issuing of driving and arms licences and releasing of drinking water connections would be done at the proposed December 5 camp.

The Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (UHBVN) will issue new power connections under its “tatkal scheme” on the spot during the two day camp at Sampla.

The defaulting power consumers would be motivated to clear the outstanding electricity bills, Mr Malik said.

The Superintendent of Police, Mr Atar Singh Ahlawat would also hold his office on December 5 and 6 at Sampla and would persuade the villagers to co-operate with the police in maintaining law and order and identification of the criminals and anti-social elements.
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SPEAKING OUT

Easier to fly to Mumbai than travel to Delhi airport

Do You Have A Grouse?

Do you have a grouse against the apathetic attitude of the authorities? Are you fed up with the dilly-dallying tactics of officialdom and the stranglehold of red tapism? If so please write to us. We have a full half page every week reserved just for you. The letters should be clearly marked Speaking out, NCR Tribune, First Floor, Dyal Singh Library Building, 1 Deen Dayal Upadhaya Marg, New Delhi-110002.

For a person residing in Gurgaon and wishing to go to Mumbai, it takes longer to reach Delhi Airport than to fly to Bombay from Delhi, thanks to the frequent traffic jams on National Highway 8 between Gurgaon and Delhi.

The worst hit portion, an around 10-km-long stretch between IFFCO Chowk, Gurgaon, to Airport T-junction in Delhi belies the fact that one is driving on the national highway of a country.

During the daytime, long queues of trucks can be seen at the border waiting for their entry into Delhi, permission for which is given only after 9 at night. The moment the clock strikes 9, the trucks parked at the border try to overtake one another, creating a total mess on the stretch. As time passes, the intensity of the chaos increases. After midnight, it becomes almost impossible to drive, as there is a total traffic jam on the road. It is not a once- in-a-while incident; it is a daily occurrence.

The people who are well aware of the scene make their schedule well in advance so that they can reach their destination in time. But what can one do with medical emergency cases where even one second matters. There are reports that certain serious patients, who are referred to Delhi hospitals, die on the way as they get caught up in the inextricable traffic jam. As a result of congestion, hundreds of people complain that they miss their flights at night. The main factor contributing to the jam is the toll tax collection booth put up by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) at the entrance to the Delhi border at Rajokari on NH-8. Except private vehicles, all public vehicles, including government-run buses and other vehicles, have to pay a prescribed fee for using Delhi roads.

Toll Tax Inspector (TTI) Jagat Ram, posted at the Rajokari toll tax booth, informed that around 5,000 vehicles pass the toll tax booth daily. At the border, one has to stop one’s vehicle, pay the prescribed fee and take the coupon to pass on the road.

Giving figures of the vehicles which passed on November 25 on the road, he said the number of taxis, tempos, Tata 407s, three-wheeler public carriers and similar vehicles, which have to pay Rs 25 per entry, was 530.The number of buses, trucks, Nissams, Tata 709s, canters and similar vehicles, which have to pay Rs 50, was 283.Six- wheelers trucks, which have to pay Rs 100,were 786 in number, 10-wheeler trucks, which pay Rs 200, were 148 in number.

He further said that there was also a provision of monthly and quarterly coupons for the vehicles that had to pass on the road regularly. He suggested to owners of these vehicles to take monthly or quarterly passes, as it would save time and money. He revealed that around 2,000 vehicles, which carry monthly/quarterly coupons, passed NH-8 daily. The inspector informed that taxis and six-wheeler trucks were the maximum in number as far as paying toll tax was concerned. Daily commuters observed that the Sales Tax Department added fuel to the fire when officials from that department descended at night to net sales tax evaders. They resorted to checking the trucks at random, which also contributed to the traffic jam.

The traffic police of Gurgaon district allegedly frequently stop the movement of vehicles on the national highway illegally to pave a clear way for the VIPs, such as Haryana Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala and his two sons Ajay and Abhay. The commuters also pinpointed that there are a number of small hotels falling in the Delhi territory and a wine shop in Gurgaon on the Gurgaon-Delhi border, which also contribute towards stopping the free movement of the vehicles on the stretch.

There are three roads connecting Gurgaon to Delhi. As National Highway -8 at Rajokari becomes a nightmare during night, people have started using the other two borders, the Kapashera-Old Delhi road and the Aya Nagar-Mehrauli road, for going to Delhi. But there two borders also witness traffic jams during the night.

The department has provided four booths on two lanes but they have proved inefficient in managing the heavy rush on NH-8. The observers feel that the third road where work had started some time back but was left midway should be completed as soon as possible.

In the meantime, the third lane is out of the reckoning. Out of the two lanes, one lane should exclusively be devoted to private vehicles at the border so that they do not get jammed in the traffic snarls, suggested the daily commuters.

They further opined that all barriers put up the police near the traffic lights on the stretch should be dismantled as the movement of traffic becomes difficult when there is a green light on these chowks. They also suggested that no checking of vehicles by the traffic cops should be allowed when there is a rush of vehicles on the road. They further said that all hotels and wine shops should be removed from the border. The movement of vehicles should not be stopped at all even to make way for VIPs, said the commuters.

A. Jain, Gurgaon

No repair on road for 16 yrs

A 45-ft-wide road between house nos. 158 and 190 on the one side and house nos. 132 and 191 on the other side has been lying unrepaired since 1985. There are huge pits at many places in the road. Water from the sewers in addition to rainwater stagnates in these damaged places during the rainy season. Recently, lying of telephone cables by the Telephone Department has further damaged the road at many places. Shree Ramsarnam Sabha Complex and Little Columbus School are also situated on this road. These being public utility premises, the traffic on this road increases manifold during working days and at the time when functions are held. Traffic is also at its peak at the start and close of classes.

Recently, it came to our notice that the repair work for this road had been allotted to a contractor, but he is not being allowed to take it into hand on the pretext that a few people have not paid house tax. In this context, it is stated that the recovery of house tax from the defaulters is the responsibility of the Municipal Corporation, Faridabad. Our grouse is why should those persons who have paid house tax in time suffer on account of the fault of those who have not paid it.

The officers concerned should note that this is the only road which has not been repaired even after 16 years when all other roads in the vicinity have been repaired and carpeted twice and even thrice.

A.S. Mehta, Faridabad

Admn apathy hurts kids

The administrative authorities at the divisional, district and subdivisional level felt the need of constructing additional accommodation to provide facilities to maximum number of children for receiving training in various arts skills introduced at Bal Bhawan, Palwal. Luckily, with the strenuous and persistent endeavour of Mr Ajay Chautala, MP, a grant worth several lakhs was released and placed at the disposal of the Engineering Department, Municipal Council, Palwal. Unfortunately, the construction work has not been completed so far, failing which the purpose of providing facilities to the children has been defeated. The inaction of the Engineering Department has resulted in depriving a number of students of their right to brighten their educational career. The children are feeling harassed and worried at the sad state of affairs.

The Citizen Rights Protection Council at Palwal has urged the authorities in the Palwal Municipal Corporation to shun apathetic and callous attitude set on whims and caprices and initiate immediate steps to complete the rooms so that they may be put to use for children in the best possible manner.

Trilok Chand, Palwal

Kudos for NCR Tribune

Your paper has done a yeoman’s service by highlighting the cause of the 1984 riot victims in Delhi (apropos recent write-up in NCR Tribune). The Tribune remembered these victims even 17 years after the anti-Sikh violence. Could we expect a similar coverage by your paper on the plight of victims of communal violence residing at Janata Mazdoor Colony, Welcome Colony and Seelampur, Delhi? Violence had occurred in these places consequent to the demolition of Babri Masjid in December 1992. Many of the widows have yet to receive compensation after their husbands were killed in police firing.

Dr P.S. Sahni, New Delhi

Plea by an aged widow

I am an aged widow residing in Mehrauli. In a free country like ours even today one who speaks the truth has to face oppression.

My son, Jasvinder Singh, alias Jassa, has been confined to Tihar Jail for the past four years. He has been accused of the murder of Mehrauli BJP councillor Harish Arora. His case is still under trial. For the past three years everything had been fine but since 2001 he fears there is a conspiracy by jail officials to eliminate him for political motives.

On January 7, 2001, while he was asleep, the police officials tried to shoot him. But, by God’s grace he woke up and the plan was unsuccessful. Recently, on November 6 he was taken to Tihar Jail Hospital as he had a severe stomach- ache. There he was given an insulin injection although my son is not diabetic. This would have killed him.

Tell me, when the case is in the trial stage why are the police officials out to kill my son? Not only my son, but there are many other innocent prisoners who are beaten cruelly by Tihar Jail officials. Just because such prisoners are innocent and poor, the police officials dare to do anything. Where is equality in our democratic country?

Please help me in saving my son, who is innocent. Kindly help me in conveying the truth to the public through your newspaper.

Gurmeet Kaur, New Delhi
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SONEPAT
Housing Board Karnal office shifted
Our Correspondent

The Haryana Government has ordered the shifting of the divisional office of the Haryana Housing Board from Karnal to Sonepat with immediate effect.

According to official sources, the decision to this effect has been taken following the failure of the board to undertake the construction of houses and other projects at Karnal since the creation of a separate division there.

The entire staff of the Karnal division including an Executive Engineer, a head clerk, an accountant, an assistant accountant, designers and junior engineers has been transferred to Sonepat. The State Housing Board has created three sub-divisions at Sonepat to look after projects worth Rs 9.16 crore to be undertaken by it here.

With the shifting of the Karnal division to Sonepat, five divisions of the board have been left in the entire state of Haryana, i.e., one each at Panchkula, Gurgaon and Rohtak and two at Faridabad.

Balmikis attack police party

A large number of irate Balmikis went on a rampage and pelted stones at a police party and damaged two police jeeps at Balmiki Basti in Gohana town, 35 km from here, Thursday evening.

According to reports reaching here, the trouble arose when a police party, led by Mr Amar Singh, SHO, Gohana police station, tried to forcibly take away Mr Mangal Dass Balmiki, president of the Gohana Balmiki Sabha, to the police station for interrogation in a case of looting. On seeing the police, a large number of Balmikis arrived on the scene and resisted the police action.

Housewife set on fire

A housewife received 80 per cent burns after she was allegedly set ablaze by members of her husband’s family at Larsauli village, about 15 km from here, on Thursday. According to a report, members of her husband’s family poured kerosene on her and set her on fire in a closed room of their house. She was rushed to a hospital in Delhi and her condition is stated to be serious. The police believe it to be a case of dowry harassment.

Student hurt in attack

Rajesh Kumar, a student of class X sustained serious knife injuries when he was attacked by students belonging to a rival group at Rajlu Garhi village, about 10 km from here, on Thursday. According to a report, the injured student was immediately hospitalised and he is stated to be out of danger.

The police have registered a case and further investigations are in progress. However, no arrest has been made in this connection. The reason behind the assault is still not known.

Two hurt in group clash

Two youths, Sonu and Satish, sustained serious injuries in a clash between two groups at Murthal, about 8 km from here, on Thursday. A land dispute is said to be the main cause of the clash. The police have registered a case and further investigations are on.
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Even self-reliance needs a helping hand
Our Correspondent

New Delhi, November 30
Under the aegis of the well known NGO ‘Sadiq Mashi Medical Social Servant Organisation,’ a new vocational training programme ‘Apna Haath Jagannath’ was launched at the Tirlokpuri based Basti Vikas Kendra. According to the secretary of the organisation, Vinay Kumar, the organisation is going to introduce job courses of short duration like beautician, painting, and sewing for unemployed girls and women of this area. It is primarily aimed at making these women self reliant.

This programme will be run on ‘no profit, no loss’ basis. The Councillor of this area, Mr Praveen Messay and president of this organisation, James Betlario were also present on the occasion.
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Noida voters list by Jan 7
Our Correspondent

Noida, November 30
All shortcomings in the voters lists of the district will be removed and the list will be published by January 7, 2002, the District Magistrate, Mr Gautam Budh Nagar, has said.

All errors in the list would be rectified with the cooperation of the residents welfare associations and leaders of the political parties before the assembly elections in the state, Mr Nagar said. Moreover, the list would be posted on the district’s website.

There are 6.68 lakh voters in the district out of which 1.24 lakh are in the Javer, 1.29 lakh in Secunderabad and 4.149 lakh in Dadri assembly segments and 3.618 lakh in parts of Ghaziabad which fall under the assembly constituencies in the district.

He said that the voters list was being corrected and updated in keeping with the instructions received from the Central Election Commission. “Election staff will go from door to door for recording corrections and latest data pertaining to the voters which will be recorded up to January 5, 2002 and the final list will be published by January 7,” he said.

At present, there are many discrepancies in the voters list because the list prepared prior to November 1999 was sent to Lucknow for computerisation. The list contains errors pertaining to the residential addresses, house numbers etc. In some cases, a large number of voters are shown as residing in the same house and in certain others, the house numbers are not at all recorded.

Mr Deepak Kumar said that the campaign to revise voters list therefore had become all the more important. Meetings of resident welfare associations and representatives of political parties had been held four times for the purpose, he informed. The district voters list would be made available on the district’s website shortly.

So far, only 8,301 voters had got their names registered while 798 voters had requested for deletion of their names and 313 others had asked for correction in the voters list, the District Magistrate added.
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NCR BRIEFS

Burglary an insider job?

New Delhi: The police interrogated more than half a dozen persons in connection with the Rs 1-crore burglary in the Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited’s Laxmi Nagar exchange. The four guards and the electrician were among those questioned. The police were also trying to match the fingerprints of some of the employees with those lifted from the strong box and room.

2 killed in accident

Faridabad: Two persons, including a passenger of Madhya Pradesh Roadways bus, were killed and about 10 injured in an accident between a bus and a tractor-trolley. The tractor was laden with iron rods on the national highway.
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CRIME

Four decamp with jewellery, cash worth Rs 2 lakh
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 30
Four unidentified youths barged into a house in Indira Puram in the Gokulpuri area and decamped with cash and jewellery worth Rs 2 lakh late last night.

According to the DCP North-East, Mr Vivek Gogia, robbers armed with knives and country-made revolvers, entered the house of Mr Wazid Ali around 9 pm and threatened him and family members with dire consequences if they refuse to part with the money and valuables.

Mr Wazid runs a construction material shop and is a property dealer in the same area. “Since the area is adjoining the Uttar Pradesh border, it appears that the miscreants might hail from that state,” said Mr Gogia.

The Gokulpuri police have registered a case of robbery and launched a manhunt for the culprits.

Youth found murdered

A youth was found murdered with multiple injuries in the stomach in the South district last night. The police said preliminary investigations showed that the marks were of bullet injuries.

The youth was identified as Ravinder (25), resident of Kazipur. He served as a car driver of Mr Sunil, a resident of Isapur. According to the South district police, Mr Sunil had said that Ravinder went with a marriage party, which hired the vehicle to Jhazzar in Haryana on November 27. But two days later, the same car was found abandoned in the Bahadur Ganj area of Haryana.

A case of murder has been registered in the local police station and police are investigating the case but not ruled out Sunil’s involvement and questioning him. 

Dreaded criminal held

Ashok Kumar, a dreaded criminal involved in more than 10 cases of murder and attempt to murder and kidnapping was nabbed by a team of special cell officials from the Sarojini Nagar area of South district. Acting on a secret information, the ASI, Mr Ombir Singh apprehended Ashok, alias Sudhir (38), an active criminal in Meerut in Uttar Pradesh, when his TSR was parked opposite to the Sarojini Nagar bus depot.

During interrogation, he revealed that he started his criminal career in 1986, when he along with his associates kidnapped a minor girl from neighbouring Kallina village in Meerut and raped her. He also disclosed his involvement in committing murders and attempts to murder in the Meerut area. He had shifted his base to Haryana to evade arrest by the Uttar Pradesh police and had started working as a labourer in an iron factory. After a few months, he decided to shift to Delhi where again he started working as a labourer for some time.
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Lottery dealer shot at
Our Correspondent

Rohtak, November 30
Mr Anil Kumar (28), a government lottery dealer, was injured seriously when an unidentified person fired at him at the Shivaji colony here on Thursday night.

According to the police, two persons went to the residence of Anil Kumar at about 10.30 pm and took him along for playing cards. One of them allegedly shot at Anil Kumar from behind. The bullet hit him in the backbone.

He has been admitted to the local Post-Graduate Institute of Medical sciences (PGIMS) where he is struggling for life. The police have registered a case under Sections 307 and 24 of the IPC and Arms Act against the duo.
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BUSINESS

‘Give tax holiday for auto LPG kits’
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 30
The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham) has recommended a tax holiday for auto LPG kits and dispensing equipment and availability of interest-free credit with long spreads to popularise the use of LPG in vehicles.

The Assocham, in its recommendation to the Ministries of Finance and Petroleum and Natural Gas, said that the government must reconsider its decision not to allow the use of auto LPG for three-wheelers. It said that a three-wheeler, because of its lower capacity engine and passenger carrying capacity equal to taxis of engine above 1000cc, was a far less polluting option for Indian conditions.

Since cooking LPG and auto LPG differ in gas composition and have different BIS standards, there is a need for awareness that using cooking LPG for automotive uses, with experimental kits, was not only dangerous but also extremely detrimental for auto engines, the Chamber said.

The Assocham suggested that the term `cylinder’ should not be used for auto LPG. Instead a term like “exchangeable container” could be used to avoid confusion.

Moreover, the chamber recommended that the government must not order the phasing out of vehicles on the ground of being older than 15 years.

Economic measures such as parking charges linked to the size of the vehicle and road tax linked to the emission level of the vehicles might be much more effective in this regard, it was pointed out.
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