Monday, December 10, 2001, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S



CM braces for next hurdle
DPCC waiting to be recast
Ramesh Ramachandran
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 9
Having weathered the storm over the Cabinet reshuffle, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit is bracing up for the next hurdle: Constituting the Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee (DPCC). She needs to surmount this hurdle if she is to cruise through the remaining two years in office. Her chances depend on how well she wins friends and influences people, given the dissidence that is threatening to raise its ugly head.

The constitution of the DPCC (with the exception of the president’s post that is held by Mr Subhash Chopra) has been pending for the last two years. The hitherto rudderless organisation needs to be strengthened as the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) elections are barely two months away.

According to party sources, the list is likely to be released sometime in the coming week. With multiple claimants for the few organisational posts that are to be filled, the Chief Minister would have to walk a tight rope and not only accommodate the disgruntled elements in the party but also rehabilitate a few of heavyweights dropped from the Cabinet.

It is not even a week since the new look Cabinet was put in place and already the quartet of Mr Narendra Nath, Mr Yoganand Shastri, Mr Krishna Tirath and Mr Pervez Hashmi has bared its fangs. The foursome has been holding parleys discreetly and meeting with senior party leaders.

The Cabinet reshuffle has also ruffled the feathers of the Sajjan Kumar-Jagdish Tytler axis in the faction-ridden Congress. Besides, it has also antagonised the Vaish community and the OBCs who resent the preponderance of representatives of other communities and castes in the reconstituted Council of Ministers.

Mr Narendra Nath, who represented the Vaish community in the Cabinet before being dropped, is likely to be included in the list though he has made it known that an organisational post would be of little consolation. He has directed his ire at the All India Congress Committee general secretary in charge of Delhi affairs, Mr Kamal Nath, who prevailed over the party high command, to remove him.

For the Chief Minister, the Lokayukta report could be godsend after a fortnight marked by troughs. The prolonged discussions on Cabinet formation, the party high command’s insistence on a radical revamp and the first signs of dissidence after the reshuffle had threatened to overwhelm her and diminish her stature. All that is behind her now as the Lokayukta report, to be made public tomorrow, is reported to have cast no aspersion on her credentials.

The DPCC reconstitution and the nominations to the various boards and corporations would help Ms Dikshit consolidate her hold on the party and position it for the MCD and Assembly elections. Negotiating the ‘challenge’ successfully would also help silence her critics, who had begun insinuating that her ties with 10 Janpath were under a strain.


Incorrigible Khurana, Sahib at it again
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 9
The game of one-upmanship between the two senior BJP leaders of the National Capital Territory resurfaced today with Madan Lal Khurana postponing his agitational programme till Wednesday and Sahib Singh Verma boycotting the Sunday’s public rally, as he feels it would send a wrong message that Centre was responsible for the problems faced by the people of Delhi.

Mr Khurana would be meeting the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, and the Union Home Minister, Mr Lal Krishna Advani, on Wednesday to sort out the problems faced by the people of the Capital.

Delhi BJP sources claimed that the Central leadership had given a cold shoulder to Mr Sahib Singh Verma as “he has not been called for the Wednesday meeting even though the party president, Mr Jana Krishnamurthy, had a word with him on the issues facing the Capital on Saturday evening”.

When informed about the meeting, Mr Sahib Singh fumbled for words and said, “I am not aware of this development. Let us wait and watch.”

On the other hand, Mr Khurana said, “I had called this rally to outline the next course of action and to resolve the problems faced by Delhiites. Last night, Mr Advani and Mr Krishnamurthy telephoned me to postpone the agitational programme and resolve the issue through a dialogue.”

The former Chief Minister said: “I have decided to postpone the next course of action as I have been assured that the problems could be sorted out with the help of the Prime Minister.”

Mr Sahib Singh Verma, who was also scheduled to address the rally, dropped out at the last moment. “The rally would have sent a wrong message that we are attacking the Centre for the problems faced by the Delhi’ites. This was the message that was being received ever since Mr Khurana made public his letter to Mr Advani, highlighting the problems faced by the people of the Capital ,” he said.

The “Sankalp public meeting” had been called to highlight five main issues – definition of polluting small scale and cottage industrial units, removal of the monopoly of CNG and issuance of an Ordinance permitting the use of ultra low Sulphur diesel, regularisation of unauthorised colonies in Delhi, full statehood for Delhi and immediate solution to the water and power problems in the Capital.

Mr Khurana had written a letter to the Union Home Minister highlighting these issues, which was endorsed by Mr Sahib Singh.

Mr Sahib Singh, the BJP vice-president, said the BJP central leadership, including the party president, had expressed concern that the issues raised in the letter and in other forums were sending a wrong message.

“Had I attended the rally, the wrong message would have got reinforced that we are raising our voice against the Centre and its failure to solve Delhi’s problems. In fact, it is the Delhi government which has failed to raise this issue and make an effort to resolve it,” he said.

Mr Khurana said the issues raised in the letter were in the party’s manifesto and the move could not be dubbed an anti-party activity.

He stated that “If the CNG issue is not sorted out soon, it could prove to be the `onion’ for the BJP in the forthcoming polls to the Municipal Corporation of Delhi.”

A chief minister for two years, Mr Sahib Singh, said, “Initiative for resolving the problems must come from the Delhi government. The Centre cannot act on its own, if there is no initiative from the state government.”

Among those who attended the rally included the Lok Janshakti party national general secretary, Mr Ramvir Singh Bidhuri, former Delhi Ministers, Mr S P Ratawal and Mr Harsharan Singh Balli.


DSGMC Sikh census from Feb 1
R. Suryamurthy
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 9
The Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee will conduct its own census of the Sikhs in Delhi from February 1 to February 28, to contest the “under representation” of the community in Census 2001 of the Centre.

This was decided at a meeting of the DSGMC, which was attended by leaders from the Congress, Bharatiya Janata Party and the Namdhari Sikhs. The Tilak Nagar assembly constituency in West Delhi has been selected for the enumeration. A member of the DSGMC Census Committee, Mr Pushpinder Singh, told the NCR Tribune that the enumerators would use a questionnaire similar to the one used by the Census Commission of India. However, it would have columns on religion and language, which would be given more emphasis, he added.

“The enumerators would only cover Sikhs residing in the area. The members of other community would not be included in the process, he said, adding that the area Singh Sabhas had the addresses of the local Sikhs.

Asked whether there would be a column on family income and caste in the questionnaire, he said: “Though there would be a column for family income, we would not insist on information under this head as people could have apprehensions.”

There will be no column on caste as Sikhism is antithetical to Hindu ritualism and its rigid caste structure, he said. The meeting decided to launch an awareness programme in the constituency from January 15 to January 30. The drive would highlight the importance of the census. It would be carried out by 25 specially hired young Sikhs.

Asked about the budget, he said: “The DSGMC has given an open cheque for the enumeration process. It has agreed to bear all expenses, even though no estimates have been made so far.”

The data would be scrutinised and time would be given to the people to seek amendments and raise objections. The final census would be made public on March 31.

Census 1991 pegged the number of Sikhs at 4.52 lakh in the 94 lakh population of the Capital, making it the single largest group of Sikhs outside Punjab. However, in Census 2001, out of the Delhi’s total population of 1.33 crore, the Sikhs are said to be 5,99,557, Muslims 1,338,297 and Christians 117,701.Though the official community specific Census 2001 figures have not been published yet by the government, the DSGMC has been informed about the low representation of the Sikh community by the members of the Delhi Minority Commission. The Commission has been given provisional figures by the government and these figures have a sample error of a few percentage points. The official community Census figures are likely to be available by July 2002.


HUDA robs residents of green lung
Ravi S. Singh
Tribune News Service

Gurgaon, December 9
Residents of the posh Sector 14 of the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) have realised that all that glitters is not gold. They strongly feel that they have been “duped” by the HUDA in the matter of amenities. Incidentally, the sector is one of the oldest residential pockets of the HUDA. It was a dream come true for those who got an allotment. Now, the original allottees, who perhaps bent over backwards to get plots, find themselves being stabbed in the back.

All was hunky-dory when the sector was floated; HUDA provided 23.5 acres for a park, which was to be the respiratory tract of the area. The cost of the park was adjusted in the plots’ price, collected from the original allottees. However, immediately after the sector was floated and allotments were made, the place caught the fancy of many bigwigs. About a score of them had to be adjusted. The authorities found a dubious way out. The late entrants were given plots in 2.5 acres of land originally allotted to the DAV Public school. And the school was compensated by allowing it to encroach on an equivalent amount of land in the green belt. The greenery was wiped out to accommodate the school. Original allottees believe that HUDA adjusted the bigwigs in the school’s share. HUDA, in turn, tried to justify the encroachment by espousing the cause of school children. Alarmed over the alleged moves, the general secretary of the Urban Estate Welfare Association of the sector, Prof P. K. Sharma, filed a suit in the district court. During the proceedings, HUDA, in a written statement, assured residents that the green belt would not be disturbed and that the original plan would be adhered to. Also, no plot would be carved out of the green belt. However, despite assurances, HUDA went ahead and allowed the school to take possession of a part of the park. HUDA, then, set up a nursery in the park, which is run on commercial lines. The residents’ cup of woes began to overflow when the park was thrown open to the public. Now, the park, already shrunk, is chock-a-block throughout the day.


Sahib clamours for CM’s resignation on Jal Board scam
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 9
The BJP Vice-President, Mr Sahib Singh Verma, continued his tirade against the Delhi Chief Minister, Ms Sheila Dikshit, by demanding her resignation following the alleged involvement of Delhi Jal Board officials in the “trenchless technology tender” scam.

“The Chief Minister should submit her resignation as the Lokayukta has reportedly indicted DJB officials in the scam,” Mr Sahib Singh Verma told newspersons here today.

He said, “Ms Dikshit is also the Chairman of the Delhi Jal Board and she cannot shy away from taking responsibility when the Lokayukta has indicted the officials, on the plea that she be given a clean chit.”

Drawing attention to the resignation of Lal Bahadur Shastri as the Railway Minister after a train accident, Mr Sahib Singh said, “The noted freedom fighter did not say ‘why should I resign, I was not driving the train’. Similarly, Ms Dikshit should take moral the responsibility for any act of omission or commission which takes place under her leadership.”

The former Delhi Chief Minister said that his stand of large-scale irregularities in the award of contract in the trenchless technology contract has been vindicated as the Lokayukta has reportedly found the DJB officials guilty of misusing their position in awarding the contract.

The case pertains to contracts awarded to Cemcon Builders Private Limited, Werm India Limited and Advanced Ocean System Private Limited for undertaking works on sewer lines of the DJB using “trenchless technology”.

The contracts were awarded between May and September 2000. These sewer lines were on Bhairon Road near Pragati Maidan and on Mathura Road.

Using the trenchless technology, the sewer lines are repaired and desilted without having to dig earth. Since the technology, in vogue in the West, is new to the country, bids were invited, which were found to be on the higher side.

The Lokayukta had initiated an inquiry into the allegations of corruption following accusation by the Timarpur MLA, Mr Jagdish Anand. He had alleged the involvement of Delhi Chief Minister and her Officer on Special Duty in the scam.

On the Cabinet reshuffle in Delhi government, Mr Sahib Singh said, “The ministers, who were dropped, were allegedly involved in some scam or the other or had not come up to the expectations of even the party. In the eyes of the people, the Congress Government has failed on all fronts and must seek fresh mandate from the people.”

“Two-thirds of the Cabinet have been changed by the Congress, which itself indicates the poor performance of the government. Should such a government, which has failed on all fronts, and tacitly admitted the fact, continue in power,” Mr Sahib Singh asked.


She stands tall on one leg, winning laurels 
Smriti Kak

New Delhi, December 9
Almost a decade ago, a young and vivacious little girl was going home with her mother on a cycle rickshaw. She had just finished her Kathak practice, as she always dreamt of becoming a dancer. As luck would have it, their rickshaw met with an accident and she lost a leg which shattered her dream. However, the traumatic experience could not rob her of her courage and determination to take on the challenge and overcome her handicap.

That little girl is Shweta Choudhary, a class XII student of Apeejay School, Pitampura. Now, she is the school badminton champion and regularly dances for fun. She has retained her zeal to live life to its fullest. From a little girl bewildered at her loss, she has now transformed herself into an inspiration for others with her indomitable spirit.

“I was young, I couldn’t understand what had happened. I felt sorry, but I never gave up hope. I now feel that I was born with it. However, I strove hard and tried to do what other normal students could do,” says the 17-year-old achiever.

Thanks to her Jaipur Foot, Shweta can tread across the path of life with ease. “I have tried a number of prosthesis, but none of them were comfortable. I had to depend on crutches to move around. But when I was in class X, I came across a British company called Endolite. It gave me my present limb,” she says. Shweta has excelled not just in academics, but has left her mark in the sports field as well. “I play badminton, but face some problems while playing. However, I am comfortable playing table tennis,” says the modest girl, who has recently won the doubles championship in badminton, defeating able-bodied children.

Shweta’s achievements have been duly acknowledged and appreciated. She was conferred the coveted ‘Principal’s Special Award’ by her school recently. “I am an average student. Like any other normal student, I do what they do. No one treats me differently. I am one of them,” explains Shweta.

Ask her does she miss dancing and pat comes the reply, “ I can dance. Though I am not able to perform Kathak, I still can dance for fun.” Like the other kids of her age, this teenager loves to listen to music and dance. “I don’t like reading, but I like watching films. My favourite actor is Arjun Rampal. Madhuri Dixit is my favourite actress,” gushes Shweta. The future too has been meticulously planned out by this bright young girl. “I am interested in pursuing a fashion designing course from NIFT or going in for bachelor of business studies. And if I fail to get through to these two courses, then I have to go for B.Com Hons,” says this commerce student.

“I want to tell all those who are handicapped that they should never give up hope. Life is a challenge, which they must take on. They should never think that they are different. They can do whatever other do and even do it better,” says Shweta.


Growing at a snail’s pace, Kundli waits for a push
R. D. Sapra

Sonepat, December 9
The Haryana State Industrial Development Corporation (HSIDC) complex at Kundli village, along the Haryana-Delhi border, the much touted growth centre that has been on the threshold of industrialisation, has neither witnessed any improvement in the quality of life nor growth of industrial culture, thanks to the failure of the authorities concerned to take concrete steps for providing basic amenities to the industrialists.

The industrialists and the local residents remain two distinct entities. Industrialists and their workers mostly commute between Delhi and Kundli, as there are no residential facilities at Kundli. Kundli has in all about 100 industrial units, some of which are outside the industrial complex, employing at least 8,000 workers.

Being right on the Haryana border with Delhi, it has a great potential for industrial growth but it has so far not been in a position to develop any industrial culture and is facing several problems and bottlenecks in its growth as an industrial centre.

Many industrialists alleged that the authorities of the HSIDC had adopted an indifferent attitude towards their problems and they had utterly failed to solve them despite repeated representations made to them from time to time.

It was in 1979 that the HSIDC advertised in newspapers that “three years from now this name (Kundli) will be a landmark on the industrial map of the country. Just 1 km short of the Haryana-Delhi border, the HSIDC takes a giant leap in offering fully developed industrial plots, internal roads, electricity, drinking water, sewerage, stormwater drains etc, it had claimed.

Now after about 21 years, one finds that Kundli in spite of its prime location and great potential for industrial development has been growing at a snail’s pace. The promise of providing the basic facilities has not been kept. The internal roads are in a bad shape. The power supply is inadequate and erratic. Sewerage system is incomplete and inadequate and stormwater drains are either not there or are choked, wherever laid.

The HSIDC complex lacks a fire brigade and medical facilities for the workers. The housing accommodation was not available to the workers.

Transport is a big handicap faced by the industrialists. Transport operators are charging higher rates for carrying goods of industrialists. The pool among the truck operators is stated to be a constant headache for the entrepreneurs. The union allegedly allows its members to charge freight for both the sides-up and down- while the authorities have chosen to remain silent on the issue. Some of the industrialists have shifted their vehicles to Delhi for other business.

Many industrialists lamented the lack of various facilities at this place. They said that the ESI dispensary had not been useful for the workers as it was always short of life-saving drugs and the patients had to be shifted either to Sonepat or Delhi. Moreover, the village too does not have any hospital.

There is no residential colony and as such no senior secondary school. It has no market for meeting the requirements of the industrial units. There is no shop for hardware or a workshop for carrying out even minor industrial repairs.

Industrial workers are quite unhappy with the bus service as no bus passes through the industrial complex. Most of the workers come from Delhi but the DTC bus service terminates at the Singhu border, 2 km short of the village. The workers have to walk from there.

The industrialists demanded uninterrupted power supply right through the week and sought an end to voltage fluctuations, which, they said, had damaged their machines.

They also wanted the construction of stormwater drains and a sewerage system. Many industrialists said that the telephone services are far from satisfactory and the staff was not available on Saturdays and Sundays, which are holidays. Kundli has no telegraph office and the nearest telegraph office is 22 km away at Sonepat or 8 km away at Narela (Delhi).

Some industrial units have their own fax facility but there is no common fax facility for industrialists or the general public.

The HSIDC has so far failed to construct a common effluent treatment plant with a World Bank loan. Some units have their own effluent treatment plants. The HSIDC should also construct residential colonies for accommodating the industrial workers and other officers.

Many industrialists said that they had already converted their units into godowns or shifted their offices elsewhere due to non-provision of facilities by the HSIDC.


Trader’s wife robbed, murdered
Bijendra Ahlawat

Faridabad, December 9
A cement trader’s wife was robbed of her jewellery and murdered while she was alone in her house at Palwal town yesterday. The crime took place in broad daylight. Preeti, wife of Kanwar Bhan, a resident of Jhabar Nagar locality of Palwal town, about 35 km from here, was preparing lunch in her kitchen when the incident took place. It is learnt an unidentified number of robbers entered the house at about 1 pm and asked the woman to hand over all the cash and valuables on knifepoint. They snatched the jewellery worn by the victim, which included gold bangles, earrings, a gold chain and rings, before making good their escape.


Rs 40-lakh stamp duty scam
Our Correspondent

Noida, December 9
An evasion of stamp paper duty to the tune of Rs 40 lakh has been detected in Gautam Budh Nagar district. A minister of the state government reportedly exerted his influence over the officials of the registry office in the whole affair.

According to registry office sources, the circle rate of land in Atta Market in Sector 27, Noida, is Rs 45,000 per sq metre. In any sale or purchase, a stamp duty at this land rate is to be paid. The market rate in Sector 15, across the road, is reported to be Rs 62,000 per sq metre.

But a commercial place – the Radhika Market – covering an area of 418 sq metre and falling in the Atta Market, has been disposed of as a rural area. The place has been sold by Braham Pal through two “agreements to sell”.

According to the first “agreement to sell”, Braham Pal, son of Jagmal, resident of Atta, Gautam Budh Nagger district, has sold 209 sq mtr to Mrs Jagriti Kasana, wife of Rajinder Singh Kasana, resident of Raj Nagar, Ghaziabad, for Rs 18.52 lakh. The stamp duty on this land, shown in ‘Abadi area’, has been calculated at Rs 1.48 lakh.

For calculating the stamp duty of this land, the parties have dwelt on the village circle rate of the Atta

village. This circle rate, worked out in Sector 27, is only Rs 8 thousand per sq mtr. The constructed part of the premises shown as 100 sq mtr has also been completely ignored in this transaction under the agreement to sell, whereas 17 shops and a one-and-a-half storey building have been constructed on the commercial premises.

The officials of the registry office, without visiting the site, have thus provided an opportunity to buyers and sellers to save Rs 40 lakh by way of stamp duty evasion, thus putting the state to loss of the same amount. According to officials of the registry office, an influential minister of the state Cabinet tried to put pressure in this case. Some party workers have also allegedly helped at a local level, on the “instructions from Lucknow.


Seminar salutes achievers
Nalini Ranjan

New Delhi, December 9
Shakarpur-based Indian Achievers Forum (IAF) and Indian Economic Development & Research Association (IEDRA) organised the 5th National Seminar on the topic of “Individual Achievements and National Development”.

The seminar highlighted the contribution of individuals and organisations in the fields of industry, commerce, health education, technology, engineering, information technology, sports, tourism, etc.

The chief executives, directors and promoters of various organisations participated in this seminar from all over the country and abroad. Also present at this seminar were leading technocrats, doctors, educationists and other professionals.

The seminar was organised to bring entrepreneurs and organisations on to a common platform to recognise their achievements. The Indian Achievers Forum and IEDRA are promoting many such organisations in their activities. Many ministers present at the seminar, spoke on various economic issues facing the country today.

The chief guest of this seminar was Sharad Yadav, Union Minister of Labour. Other guests included Mr B.S. Rawat, Minister of State for Science & Technology, Mr Ramesh Bais, Minister of Information & Broadcasting, Mr Rama Kant Yadav, Member of Parliament, Mr Harish Chandra, Executive Director, IAF, Mr J L Uniyal, CPROQ, Mr Ranjan Uberoi, Secretary-General of IEDRA.

Speaking on the occasion, Union Labour Minister Sharad Yadav expressed his views on the current economic situation and the efforts put in by the NDA Government in boosting the national programmes.

Later, Mr Rama Kant Yadav said that the Central Government had committed crores of rupees for the development of roads and highways. He added that the Government would work hard to see that the entire country was covered by science & technology development programmes.

Later, the chief guest Sharad Yadav and other ministers presented awards to individuals and organisations from different fields for their achievements. The names of some of the awardees include Dr B.K. Sahi, Principal Scientist & Head, Sugarcane Breading Institute, Karnal; Mr Sunil Kumar, Chairman, Rama Dairy Products Ltd; Mr Manishpatwardhan,

Managing Director, Ayurveda Rasashala, Pune; and Dr M.R. Sarangapani, Chairman, Merit International Education Foundation, Ooty.


Here, everyday is a field day for the ticketless
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, December 9
The Sonepat railway station is fast turning into a haven for ticketless passengers. Although the Railways has appointed three ticket collectors at this station, none of them turns up when the incoming and outgoing trains arrive. As a result, ticketless passengers have a field day on all weekdays. A few passengers are even able to carry huge consignments of goods in the absence of any ticket collector at the main gate. However, such passengers are hauled up by the railway police or the Railway Protection Force (RPF), which collects small sums from them as nazrana.

Unlicensed hawkers sell their foodstuff and other goods on the premises of the railway station in connivance with the railway officials and the police. This has been causing a huge loss to the licensed hawkers who look on helplessly.

Unlicensed hawkers, again with the connivance of the railway officials, also sell food items in running trains. Such hawkers mint money as they charge exorbitant rates. Representatives of the Daily Railway Passengers’ Welfare Association have demanded immediate transfer of the railway officials found indulging in such malpractices.

Meanwhile, pulling the chain in trains running between Panipat and Subzi Mandi (Delhi) has become a routine affair due to the failure of the railway police to check the menace, resulting in most of the trains running behind schedule. Repeated complaints sent to the higher authorities have fallen on deaf ears.


Rally against killings of Hindus in B’desh
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, December 9
A large number of workers affiliated to the RSS and other Hindu organisations took out a joint procession here last evening in protest against the alleged atrocities and killings of Hindus in Bangladesh.

Carrying placards and raising slogans against the Bangladesh Government, they marched through the main bazars of the city, reached the mini-secretariat where they submitted a memorandum to the district authorities for forwarding it to the President and the Prime Minister.

The memorandum demanded an immediate stoppage of killings and atrocities on Hindus in Bangladesh and warned that if this was not done, the situation in India would worsen.

Earlier, a rally was also held. It was addressed by the leaders of various Hindu organisations who strongly condemned the atrocities on Hindus in Bangladesh.

Four held for murder

The Sadar police have arrested four youths namely Vipin, Ashok, Mahesh and Nafe Singh of Rathdhanna village in connection with the alleged murder of a youth, Sandeep alias Bitoo of the same village.

According to a report, the youth, a student of 10th class, was waylaid and shot dead by the culprits because of an old enmity.

Succumbs to Injuries

A youth, Randhir Singh, succumbed to the injuries in a hospital here yesterday. According to a report, he along with two others were injured in a road accident near Rajpur village of this district a few days ago. The condition of two others are stated to be out of danger.

Bhajan Lal for CBI probe

A former Haryana Chief Minister, Mr Bhajan Lal, has demanded a CBI probe in the sensational day-light murder of Joginder Kaur on the premises of the Panipat court complex on November 26 last and announced that if the demand was not fulfilled, the party would launch a statewide agitation on this issue.

Talking to mediapersons at Jatola village about 30 km from here last evening, he also announced that the Congress legislators would also gherao the speaker in the assembly.

He said that the people of the state had lost confidence in the inquiry agencies as these had become the tools of the ruling party. The CBI, he said, was capable to hold an independent inquiry and expose the persons involved in the murder.

He lashed out at the INLD-BJP alliance Government in Haryana and said that a reign of terror had let loose on the people, particularly the leaders of the Opposition parties. The leaders were feeling insecure.

LPG tanker overturns

An LPG tanker was overturned on the Sonepat-Gohana road near Barwasni village about 5 km from here last night. The driver escaped unhurt. According to a report, the tanker was on its way from Ghaziabad to Jind.

Two youths hurt in clash

Two youths namely Jagpal and Karam Singh sustained knife injuries when they clashed with each other at Joshi Chauhan village about 12 km from here yesterday.

According to a report, both the injured persons were immediately taken to a hospital. They are stated to be out of danger. However, the police have not yet registered any case.

Suicide attempt

A youth Sonu was reported to have made an attempt to commit suicide by taking sulphas tablets in his house at Mahra village about 15 km from here yesterday.

According to a report, the youth was rushed to the local civil hospital where he is progressing well. The police have registered the case and further investigations were in progress.

Alleges police harassment

Mr Krishan Puri Ranjha, President of the city Yuva Congress alleged here today that he was being harassed by the local police on one pretext or the other.

Talking to mediapersons here, he said that he has informed the President of All India Youth Congress, Mr Randeep Singh Surjewala, about it.

He urged the district and police authorities to take stern action against the officials responsible for it.

Textile mill gutted

A textile mill was destroyed in a devastating fire caused by the short circuit on the G.T. Road near Murthal about 12 km from here last evening.

According to a report, the fire brigade from Sonepat reached the site immediately after receiving the information and brought the fire under control after about three hours. The loss is being ascertained by the owner of the factory.


Board to develop rural areas
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 9
Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit on Sunday said that a Rural Development Board would be constituted soon on the pattern of Trans-Yamuna Development Board. The notification for which has already been issued.

Addressing a function hosted by the Directorate of Health Services at the Rao Tula Ram Memorial Hospital in Jafarpur, South-West Delhi, to mark the 176th birth anniversary of Amar Shaheed Rao Tula Ram, Ms Dikshit said that the Government of NCT of Delhi was committed to developing the rural areas so that villagers might not have to travel to Delhi for their day-to-day needs.

A committee, she said, had been constituted for extending “Lal Dora”. The compensation for the land acquired had also been increased from Rs 9 lakh to Rs 14 lakh and it had further been raised to Rs 23 lakh per acre.

The Government, she informed the gathering, was also planning to constitute three councils in place of panchayats for which the Constitution would have to be amended first.

On the occasion, the Chief Minister inaugurated the work of laying water pipelines for the Rao Tula Ram Memorial Hospital. The Delhi Jal Board undertakes the project, estimated to cost Rs 51 lakh.


Two killed in road accident
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 9
Two persons were killed yesterday afternoon, when their scooter was hit by a speeding truck at Ring Road near Chandgi Ram Akhara.

The victims were identified as Deepak Kumar (20), resident of Hissar, and Lok Nandan (45), resident of Tamil Nadu. Deepak was declared brought dead at the Trauma Centre Hospital and Lok Nandan succumbed to his injuries. The Civil Lines police have registered a case of rash and negligent driving and arrested the truck driver Kuldeep Singh (40), resident of Hamirpur.


Businessman shot at by ex-associate 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 9
A businessman had a narrow escape last night when his former associate shot at the car in which he was travelling after they parted ways over some money transactions. Police said that the incident occurred at around 11.45 last night, when the businessman Rajkumar, residing in Rohini, was returning home from Paschim Vihar. A commission agent, Dhiraj, who used to work with him, tried to kill him. However, Rajkumar escaped though his car’s side shield had broken.


3 burglars held; nine cases solved 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 9
The South Delhi police have busted a gang of burglars who were involved in nine cases of burglaries at Hauz Kaus, Malviya Nagar and Vasant Vihar. Police have arrested three persons in this connection and recovered jewellery and other articles worth Rs 4 lakh and Rs 48,882 in cash.

Police said that one of their associates was arrested last month by the customs officials while, Imran Seikh alias Yassin, tried to cross the border to go to Bangladesh. They recovered US $10,000 and large quantity of gold and other articles from his possession, which were stolen from Satsang Vihar on the night of November 10. With the arrest of Anwar Hussian (24), originally from West Bengal and now a resident of Gandhi Nagar, Naiemuddin (41), resident of Chandni Mahal and Mohammad Hasrat (30), orginally from West Bengal and now a resident of Temur Nagar, the South Delhi district police today claimed to have solved nine cases of burglaries. The gang’s modus operandi was to locate an area and move around in the daytime in an auto to identify houses that were locked for a day or two. They also select houses where light is switched off at night.


A snazzy car audio system from Kenwood that lifts your spirits

Kenwood has come out with a snazzy new car audio system. The KDC-5018 rated as the number one CD changer by Auto Car India, is a part of their latest range of car entertainment equipment.

Features like 3-D display and variable colour LCD add to the attraction. In addition to this, it is compatible with MP3 and CD-R/ CD-RW formats, delivering the expanded multimedia capability.

Not only does it retain the highly evaluated performance and convenience of the previous D-Boost system, but also delivers improved sound quality, versatility and enhanced control capability.

The general features of the KDC- 5018, priced at Rs 16,490 are a DOT matrix multi-coloured LCD with LED backlight, an 11 step contrast control, key illumination, mask with faceplate and security code system and is supplied with a remote control.

Chic watches

Known for their gold-plated watches, Bentex has now launched an exclusive and premium collection of steel and rodium-plated formal wrist-watches.

These watches have exquisite looks, elegant styles and international quality for both men and women. The sleek steel collection in metal and leather strap is a perfect amalgamation of beauty and technological advancement. It is ideal for corporate executives, college students and the party-goers.

With over 100 designs, Bentex has a complete repertoire of chic and stylish watches to suit all ages, styles, occasions and even moods.

Priced between Rs 1500 and Rs 3500, the steel and rodium collection is available at all leading outlets.

Rainwater harvester

Water Pvt. Ltd., a water solution company, has launched a unique rainwater harvester attuned to the Indian conditions and requirements.

The rainwater harvester uses an advanced technology that ensures a large quantum of recharge. It utilises the pressure filters for filtering the rain water run-off before it is discharged into the ground water aquifer. For collecting the run-off from roads and other surfaces that have vehicular traffic, it provides an add-on oil and grease trap that separates the mobile fluids from the run-off waters.

The system is easily affordable and is almost equivalent to the cost of traditional natural filters, simultaneously ensuring no ground water contamination.

Intelligent taps

Jaquar has launched sensor taps that can be turned on and off automatically. Popularly known as the intelligent taps, they use the world’s foremost sensor technology from Aquis for automatic flow control and are fitted with special advanced microchips.

These sensor microchips are not only convenient and hygienic, but also act as excellent water-saving devices. They work under normal water pressure and function like distance and timing can be easily set with a remote.

The price range of this exquisite collection is from Rs 14,500 to Rs 16750, depending on the colour.

Home theatre

Sony has incorporated ‘Cinema Studio EX’ in its home theater systems. The advanced breakthrough brings home movies with all their emotional and artistic impact intended.

Using a combination of Cinema Studio reverberation, virtual multi dimension and screen depth matching technology, Cinema Studio EX, utilises simultaneous DSP processing to reproduce the unique acoustical environment of a movie theater right at home.

The mini home theater DAV-S300 priced at Rs. 39,990 is a complete audio-video combine for the entry level of the home theater enthusiasts.

Online UPS

Su-Kam has launched ‘Always On-Line UPS’, which is also described as, ‘technology at its best’.

This UPS is engineered to provide total protection to electronic equipment like computers, servers and telecommunication systems. Made after extensive research and development, the USP is equipped with a highly sophisticated microprocessor for unmatched efficiency and smart controls. The UPS is also designed to prevent spikes, surges, sags, swells, voltage fluctuations and other power disturbances.

Notable features of the UPS are its pocket-friendly cost, true regenerative on-line design, microprocessor control and extended battery option. A wide input range, auto shutdown, multi-level of built-in surge protection and ergonomic design and light-weight all add to its quality.

Water purifier

To provide superior water quality and great natural taste NUVAC has launched a ‘Reverse Osmosis’ water purification system.

Popularly known as R.O. System, it provides five stag multi-protections to ensure safe and pure drinking water. Physical impurities like sand, silt and dust are removed at stage I while organic and colour odour is removed at stage II.

The protective mechanism at stage III preserves the highly sensitive RO membranes in the water and removal of dissolved chemical impurities takes place at stage IV. Prevention of the possible growth of bacteria at the point of use is checked by stage V.

The water purifier is priced at Rs. 19,990.

Exciting toys

For the babies, LEGO has come out with a whole new range of exciting toys. The LEGO-BABY range caters to 0-24 month and is specially designed to suit the development needs of little babies.

The LEGO-BABY has varied designs to offer, from a caterpillar, which teaches the child crawling to stacking tower that enables the child to learn the concept of stacking and building. For the little girls, LEGO SCALA brings delight. Horses and dolls, camping sets and tents, all add to the fun of these young ones. In the LEGO TECHNIC range, there are priests and soldiers to fight the evil power in the legendary island of Mata Nui.

LEGO caters to children across continents, providing them with the right amount of fun and learning.

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