Friday, December 28, 2001, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S



Sikh census ploy to delay DSGMC polls?
R. Suryamurthy
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 27
The much-publicised enumeration of Sikhs in the Capital by the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) has come under criticism for its alleged technical flaws and also due to doubts that it is another attempt to delay the long overdue DSGMC polls.

While there was unanimity among various factions that the Sikh community in the Capital had been underrepresented in the Census 2001, the two major factions of the Shiromani Akali Dal differed on the methodology to be adopted to counter the Census figures.

The elections to the DSGMC, sources in both the factions of the Shiromani Akali Dal said, could be postponed on the pretext that a large number of Sikhs would lose their franchise “as they have been underrepresented”.

The sample enumeration in the Tilak Nagar area, scheduled to be carried out from February 1 to February 28, would be used to drive home the point that the new committee would not be truly representative of the community and there is a need to revise the electoral list based on the fresh enumeration, sources said.

The president of the pro-Tohra Shiromani Akali Dal Delhi, Mr Paramjit Singh Sarna, said, “The Census figures should be contested after they are officially announced and the recount matter should be taken up with the Centre. What is the legal standing of the head count being undertaken by the committee?”

Mr Harinder Pal Singh, a member of the SGPC, said the under-representation of the community in the Census indicated that the DSGMC had failed to educate the people about the importance of the Census enumeration. “The awareness campaign being launched by the DSGMC should have been undertaken before the Census 2001,” he said.

Though the issue of holding elections to the DSGMC is pending in the Delhi High Court and it has asked the government to hold the polls before March 15, the state government had stated in the assembly recently that holding of elections before June end was not practically possible. The elections to the DSGMC were last held in 1995 after a gap of 16 years. Though the term of the committee is four years, the elections are generally held after the mandated period.

The sub-committee of the DSGMC formed to undertake the Census operation has decided to launch an awareness programme in the constituency from January 15 to January 30. The drive would highlight the importance of the Census enumeration among the people and the importance of the date in the policy decisions of the government. The sub-committee members said the enumerators would visit the residence of the members of the community and the data would reflect only the number of Sikhs in the area. It would not give comparative figures as to how many members of other communities reside in the area. The collected data would be scrutinised and time would be given to the people to seek amendments or raise objections.


Yamuna pollution: Onus on six Haryana towns
Bijendra Ahlawat
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, December 27
Six out of the 15 main towns responsible for polluting the Yamuna are located in Haryana, the vice-president of Sulabh International, the NGO which has been asked to run the awareness campaign under the Yamuna Action Plan, has said. The Japan Government has allocated Rs 211.56 crore for cleaning the river under the plan.

The vice-president of Sulabh said that the Yamuna, the lifeline for lakhs of people, had turned into a big “drain of sewer.” This was primarily due to lackadaisical monitoring of garbage and industrial waste discharged into it. The disposal of sewer waste and even carcasses of animals has led to a perceptible deterioration.

Although the Pollution Control Board and its offices are functional at various state headquarters, pollution of both underground and river water has been going on unabated. While the industrial units have been directed to install treatment plants for the effluents and waste released by them, several of the units have been violating the norms, according to industry sources.

There are a large number of chemical and electroplating units located in the town and nearby areas, which have been found responsible for polluting the underground water in Faridabad. The plan to relocate such units and to provide treatment units to such factories has not taken off yet.

Faridabad is one of the towns in the northern region where the underground water had become highly polluted and unfit for drinking. The Yamuna Action Plan has allocated Rs 72.02 crore for cleaning the river and to stop its pollution in the future. A sewerage treatment plant is likely to be set up to decrease the pollution level of underground water from 200 micrograms (MCG) per litre to 30 MCG per litre.

Sulabh International claims to have laid 23.60-km long sewer lines, besides constructing crematoriums in Sector 18, Mathura Road, Ballabgarh and Sector 22 here. Over 47,000 trees have also been planted in the district under the plan. Three treatment plants have been set up to treat about 20 million litres of wastewater in three zones covering nearly all sectors and the NIT area. The organisation has launched an awareness drive with the authorities and has decided to lay a large sewer drain covering several districts at a cost of Rs 20.65 crore.


Maken to give pictorial proof of CNG queues
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 27
The Transport Minister has sought physical verification of the CNG filling stations and ordered that photographs be taken of the “long queues” to impress upon the Centre the “ground realities” and also apprise the Union Petroleum Ministry of the Government of NCT of Delhi’s “genuine” concerns.

Joining issue with the Indraprastha Gas Limited (IGL) that had, in a report published in these columns, claimed no shortage of CNG and threatened to seek relief from courts if the CNG buses were not picked up, the Transport Minister, Mr Ajay Maken, today said he would be writing to the IGL, asking them to refrain from making “misleading” statements. Incidentally, the IGL is a joint venture of GAIL, BPCL and the Government of NCT of Delhi.

Likening them to a many-headed hydra, Mr Maken came down hard on the Union Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas and the IGL for speaking in different voices and precipitating an avoidable crisis. He said: “On one hand, we have the IGL that claims it can ensure adequate supplies of CNG and, on the other, the Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister says he can only supply so much.”

IGL sources, however, have reiterated their stand and claimed that there is no shortage of CNG. They also dismissed the minister’s claims of buses having to line up in long queues at filling stations.

Meanwhile, the much-expected report of Dr R. A. Mashelkar, Director General of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, is likely to be submitted to the Centre by early next week.


Dacoit gang busted at Sainik Farms
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 27
With the arrest of five dacoits, the South District police today claimed to have solved a dacoity at Sanik Farms and averted another in the farm house area of Mehrauli. The police have recovered three .315 bore loaded country guns, a Mouser and a knife from their possession besides seizing looted property worth Rs four lakh.

The dacoits – Zakir alias Meethu, Furkhan alias Munna, Salam alias Salim, Sageer and Ibrahim were arrested by a special team of South District led by ACP Sanjay Bhatia and other officials.

On December 26, around 7 pm, the Mehrauli police received a tip off that some armed dacoits would assemble in a deserted room near Bandh Road, Joanapur, to plan a dacoity in a farm house.

The police team, upon reaching the spot around 8.15 pm, surrounded the room and eavesdropped on the gang. Zakir, the gang leader, was heard instructing his accomplices about their plan to commit a dacoity in a farm house in Mehrauli.

When he directed his associates to check their arms and ammunition, the police team swung into action and nabbed the dacoits. On sustained interrogation, the dacoits confessed that they had committed dacoities and thefts in Sainik Farms, Faridabad and other areas in Delhi. The modus operandi was to threaten the family members with country made pistols and tie them up during the commission of crime.


Armed youth loot train passengers
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, December 27
Passengers of a New-Delhi passenger train were reportedly looted between Rajlu Garhi and Sandal Kalan railway stations, 8 km from here, by four unidentified armed youth last night.

A youth, Surinder, sustained injuries when he resisted the miscreants. The assailants roughed him up and snatched Rs 1,000 before fleeing.

The miscreants had boarded the train at Rajlu Garhi railway station. As the train left the station, they pulled out pistols and other weapons and threatened the passengers with dire consequences. When the train stopped at Sandal Kalan railway station, they disembarked and escaped under the cover of darkness.

The incident was reported to the Government Railway Police (GRP) at Sonepat. Though the police swung into action immediately, they failed to apprehend the culprits.

The incident has caused panic among the commuters here as similar incidents have occurred in the past, too.


Driver succumbs to burns
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, December 27
The tempo driver, Krishan, who tried to immolate himself on Monday here, succumbed to his injuries at a Delhi hospital yesterday. He had allegedly taken recourse to the extreme step because of the harassment by the District Transport Officer, Sonepat.

According to a report received here, the Delhi Police have sent the body for a post-mortem examination. The parents of the deceased have rushed to Delhi for bringing the body to the city for cremation.

The news about the death of Krishan spread like wildfire and angry tempo drivers decided to continue their strike for the fourth day today. A deputation of the tempo drivers called on the Deputy Commissioner, Mr S. N. Roy, and an Independent MLA, Mr Dev Raj Dewan, here yesterday and demanded immediate financial assistance to the members of the bereaved family and a job for at least one member of his family. The Deputy Commissioner assured the members of the deputation that he would try to fulfil their demands at the earliest.

Meanwhile, Mr Rajiv Jain, general secretary of the Haryana Vikas Party, today demanded immediate withdrawal of the “false” criminal cases instituted by the police against the tempo drivers and suspension of the District Transport Officer responsible for the death of the “harassed” tempo driver. In a press statement, he also urged the state government to order a high-level inquiry into the entire episode and transfer the official concerned. This, he said, would satisfy the irate tempo drivers and the residents of the city. Mr Jain also threatened to launch an agitation if the state government did not accept the demands.


Delhi to be touted as favoured tourist spot
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 3
Hinting at a substantial hike in the tourism budget for the year 2002-03, the Chief Minister, Ms Sheila Dikshit, has said the Delhi Government is making concerted efforts to promote the National Capital Territory as the most-favoured tourist destination in the country. She was speaking after releasing the calendar and diary brought out by the Delhi Tourism and Transport Development Corporation (DTTDC) here today.

She said for the purpose, a coordination council would be constituted with representatives from all sectors related to the tourism industry, including the state government, MCD, NDMC, civil aviation and industry.

Ms Dikshit said that a USP for tourism in the Capital would be developed so as to change the image of Delhi from a mere gateway for travelling to Jaipur, Agra and other cities of tourist interest.

Realising the need for active nightlife to attract tourists to extend their stay in Delhi beyond a day, the DTTDC was already working on developing packages to effectively promote Delhi as a destination for a longer duration of stay, she said.

The PHDCCI suggested that as a conscious policy, the government should consolidate the resource with the Centre and neighbouring states while developing the strategy for promoting Delhi as a tourist destination. Awareness should be created about the lesser-known sites in Delhi so that visitors were encouraged to extend their stay.

There was also a need to create greater awareness regarding the four new Dilli Haats that are being constructed in the state and also projects such as Azad Hind Gram, Garden of Five Senses and other upcoming projects like Mini-India Heritage complexes among the tour operators.

Mr V. N. Dalmia, chairman of the tourism and civil aviation committee, PHDCCI, suggested that combined entrance ticket applicable to all monuments in Delhi should be evolved and made available at discounted rates. Responding to the suggestion made by the chamber to beautify the entrance points, the Chief Minister said the government was actively considering construction of a millennium gate in Delhi.


Martyrdom day observed
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 27
The martyrdom day of Guru Gobind Singh’s son was observed in the Capital with large number of Sikhs congregating at Gurudwara Mata Sundari and offering prayers.

Guru Gobind Singh’s four sons were Ajit Singh, Jhujhar Singh, Zorawar Singh and Fateh Singh.

While Ajit Singh and Jhujhar Singh died fighting with the Aurangzeb’s army in the battle of Shamkur Sahib, the two younger sons Zorawar Singh and Fateh Singh were buried alive at Sirhind.

The spiritual kirtan by renowned ragi jathas rent the air since morning and large number of people turned up to pay homage to the four martyrs, who laid down their lives for the protection of the religion.

DSGMC president, Avtar Singh Hit, general secretary Kulmohan Singh, attended the function among others.


Water contamination raises fear of epidemic in Sonepat
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, December 27
Certain areas, particularly the Prabhu Nagar locality in this city are facing an acute problem of contaminated drinking water for the past three weeks. The sewage water has been mixed up with the tap water, leading to the contamination of the drinking water in the city. Effectively, there is a major water crisis, particularly for cooking and bathing.

In this moment of crisis, many residents alleged that the SDO and the Junior Engineer of the Public Health Department were indifferent to their complaints in this regard. Residents of the area met Dev Raj Dewan, an independent MLA on Wednesday and showed him a sample of the sewage mixed water. Surprised to see a clear proof of carelessness on the part of the civic authorities, Mr Dewan promised to take up the matter with the Deputy Commissioner and the Superintending Engineer of the Public Health Department for redressing the grievances of the people in the area.

Residents also demanded immediate steps for the supply of potable water and suspension of the officials responsible for not taking remedial steps to stop the supply of contaminated water.

Sonepat has been facing the problem of contaminated drinking water for many years due to the faulty laying of the city sewerage system. At the time of the installation, sewerage pipes were unimaginatively laid down next to drinking water pipelines.

In due course, when the waterline developed cracks at various points, it got mixed up with sewerage water, that was already leaking from the sewerage pipes at several points. Though the authorities had taken some measures to separate these two parallel lines at various sites, number of areas in the city continues to have both the lines running parallel to each other. The situation has assumed such alarming proportions in certain part of the city that the outbreak of epidemic is feared. Agitated residents of Prabhu Nagar in the mandi area have threatened to gherao the officials and block the road if the district administration failed to rectify the problem immediately.

Meanwhile, the functioning of the Public Health Department has come in for intense public criticism as the water supply and the sewerage in the city are plagued with plethora of problems. The residents complained that while shortage of water supply in the city was a regular feature, the contamination of drinking water has awakened them to the pathetic state of affairs of the civic authorities.

Sometimes, there was no water supply for several days in the evenings. Consequently, they feared a major outbreak of water-borne diseases in the city if the contamination of the water supply is not checked immediately. The sewers in most parts of the city are more than three-decade old and have been badly damaged due to poor maintenance and misuse. They get clogged frequently, flooding the roads and streets.

In the old Housing Board colony and some other areas of the city, residents complained that no desilting of sewer lines took place, leading to water pipes being corroded. The water pressure is so low that even people living on the ground floor are unable to get water. Consequently, they have to store water in ground tanks and then pump it to the overhead tank by installing booster pumps. The local water reservoir was built at a time when there was a population of just 35,000 in the city. With the increase in population and construction of multi-storeyed buildings over the years, the old infrastructure related to water supply has predictably proved inadequate. Moreover, the extension of water pipelines to other areas of the city by the Public Health Department has only added to the problem. Consequently, water pressure is very low in the pipelines. With most of the residents using suction pumps connected to the main pipelines, many of the residents are unable to get adequate water supply. According to some residents of Prabhu Nagar mandi area, water reaching their homes through the main line is extremely contaminated and cannot be used for drinking purpose.

The colour of the water is almost black and residents fear there is some inter-mixing between the sewage and water lines. They alleged that even after repeated complaints to the authorities of the PHD, there has been no response from them to rectify the situation. They have hardly bothered to read their complaint letters. “What if there is an outbreak of a disease. Who would then be held responsible”, they asked.

Residents of old Housing Board colony said that the sewage flows back into their houses and the water pipes are situated near the sewers. This causes intermixing and pollution of the water, alleged the residents.


No drinking water in Lajpat Nagar pocket for a decade!
Rohit Wadhwaney

New Delhi, December 27
Ms Deepa Gupta, a resident of Lajpat Nagar IV, has been buying mineral water everyday to quench her thirst for the last three years, ever since she started living there. The reason is that drinking water has not flowed through the taps of this flourishing colony of south Delhi for “almost a decade” now.

She says, “I have no other choice than to buy mineral water from outside. I haven’t seen clear water running from my tap ever since I came here. First of all, there is hardly any water throughout the day. And when there is, it’s yellow in colour.”

Due to the shortage of drinking water, mineral water sellers were doing great business in the area, Ms Gupta says. In fact, several sellers have fixed customers to whom they supply bottles of mineral water every week.

“It is a matter of surprise that we call ourselves a nuclear power. How can a country, where even drinking water is not available, be any power at all?” asks an angry Ms Gupta, who says she has to spend nearly a quarter of her salary in buying water.

Ms Gupta is not the only angry woman who spends money to quench her thirst. Almost every household in Lajpat Nagar IV, where the water shortage is at its gravest, is waiting for the day when drinking water will run from the taps.

“The water comes for no more than an hour a day. And the condition of it is such that even the water purifier cannot clear it. We have tried it,” says Ms Rupender Kaur, a resident.

Ms Kaur has been living in the colony for the past 23 years and she says the condition of the water has not changed since “a whole decade”. “About 10-11 years ago, the water used to be clear. Then the condition started deteriorating and today even the sight of the water we get is disgusting, leave alone drinking it,” she says.

Ms Kaur says she along with other residents of the colony has no other alternative than to buy mineral water everyday from vendors. “There are times when we have to wash our faces and brush our teeth with mineral water,” she says.

Mr G. P. Mandal, president of the Lajpat Nagar IV Residents Welfare Association, says they had complained to the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), the agency responsible for water supply in the area, on several occasions. “In fact, there was a time when we used to go to the MCD office everyday. Sometimes they would say the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) is responsible, and other days they would promise that they would check the problem soon. Nothing ever happened. The worst part is that there is nothing we can do about it other than just sit and hope,” says Mr Mandal.

Residents of Lajpat Nagar 1, 11 and 111 say the problem is not all that serious as compared to that in Lajpat Nagar IV. Mr Gulab Rai, president of the Lajpat Nagar III RWA, says though there was shortage of water, the problem has not “as of yet” reached a stage where they have to buy water from outside.

Though a senior MCD official, on condition of anonymity, admitted that there was shortage in water supply in Lajpat Nagar, he denied that the problem in any part of the colony was so grave that the residents had to buy mineral water everyday or every week. And he blames the shortage on the rampant commercialisation and encroachments in the residential colony which is dotted with hundreds of shops.

“Obviously, if 20 people are using what four people were supposed to use, there will be shortage. Everywhere, people have encroached on drains and pavements. Everything in Lajpat Nagar is getting commercialised. What else do you expect?” he defended the corporation.

“But the (MCD) Commissioner has given us orders to clear the place. We will soon see the encroachers marching. The water shortage will ease once the encroachments are removed. At the same time, we have to know that the water table in Delhi has gone down drastically. The residents must stop the use of boosters in the pipes to extract more water. They will have to share whatever there is equally, or else Delhi will see utter chaos in a few years,” he elaborated.


Rs 500 cr WB loan for UP Power Corporation
Parmindar Singh

Noida, December 27
A hefty loan of Rs 500 crore from the World Bank has enabled the Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation to take a number of steps to improve the availability of power and its distribution in the state. The Chairman of UP Power Corporation, Mr R. K. Narayan, said that the World Bank had agreed to give the corporation a loan of Rs 550 crore to improve its various systems, including distribution.

The Power Finance Corporation would also get a loan of Rs 750 crore from the World Bank. This loan would help in the installation of over 30 lakh electric metres in all the cities and villages of the state by 2004. Saharanpur and Kanpur Dehat had also been included in the ambit of the APDP, which so far had only Moradabad, Barielly and Gorakhpur districts.

Mr Narayan said that the linking of the 800-megawatt power project in Meerut, which is under construction, with Tehri's 1000-megawatt power project would take care of all the power needs of western UP. Two powerhouses of 400 KV and 220 KV would be set up and would be linked with the 400 KV powerhouse at Mandola in Delhi which is under construction. Besides, a 400 KV powerhouse had also been set up in Muzzafanagar, he said.

At Loni and Hapur in Ghaziabad district, three 132 KV powerhouses would be set up, the CMD added. The National Capital Region Board had sanctioned Rs 300 crore for the improvement of power supply and distribution in Ghaziabad, Meerut, Gautam Budh Nagar, Bulandshahar and Bagpet, he added.

The CMD said that the launch of various schemes of prepaid metres in the state would be started from Noida. Under these, the corporation would issue cards, which would enable the consumers to use power up to the amount mentioned in it.

If in the absence of a new card, the old card's limit was exhausted, the power supply would automatically get snapped.

Though the metre would cost Rs 9,000, power tariff at concession rates would be applicable to those consumers who opt for the metre. The Power Corporation would also not charge any security from such consumers. A private company would over-see the operation of the whole system, he said.

Mr Narayan said that the maintenance of the powerhouse had been handed over to a private company on an annual fee. Besides the metre reading, issuing bills, distribution of bills, feeding them on computers, revenue collection and power supply had also been handed over to private companies.

The CMD said the corporation was considering using insulated wire in areas with more incidences of power thefts. The MCBs had been made compulsory for consumers with 4 kilowatt or higher load.

Computerised billing centres had been started in Noida, Ghaziabad, Meerut, Moradabad, Saharanpur etc. to augment the collection of revenue. When this system becomes operational, a Ghaziabad consumer would be able to deposit his bill from Noida and vice versa. The number of on-line centres, first started in Lucknow, has been increased from eight to 20, he added.

The CMD said that the corporation would also take steps to increase revenue and reduce the incidences of power thefts.

About 83 per cent of the power bills of the private sector, while in the government sector, the revenue receipt had been only 40 per cent. On the whole, there had been an increase of 8 per cent in revenue receipt, Mr Narayan added.


MCD budget is BJP poll stunt: Cong
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 27
The Congress today dismissed the budget proposals of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) as “election oriented” at the Standing Committee meeting. Lambasting the Standing Committee of the MCD, Mr Ram Babu Sharma, Congress Councillor, said, “It is a tax-free budget, which pointed out that there was political pressure on the Commissioner to make it so.”

The Bharatiya Janata Party-dominated MCD, Mr Sharma alleged, had pressured the Commissioner to make an “election budget” to evoke goodwill among the people for the party.

The budget proposals were discussed at length at a meeting of the Standing Committee today, but there were several speakers who wanted to raise several contentious issues and the discussions remained inconclusive. The BJP councillors would reply to the charges levelled by the Opposition on the last day of the budget session of the corporation.

Mr Sharma, the leader of the Congress in the MCD, said the budget proposals had not allocated any sum for the uplift of schools and slum areas. Though heavy taxes were imposed on Delhiites in the previous budgets on the pretext of financial crisis in the corporation, this time the BJP had given a tax-free budget to make the electorate happy as the party could not meet its promises made during the last elections, he said.

There was no separate budget for the development of slum areas where a large number of citizens live, he said and added all citizens of the Capital were not provided identity cards. During the last elections, the BJP also said that it would decentralise the corporation but nothing had been done.

Highlighting the areas where the ruling party has failed to fulfil their promises made during the last elections despite being in power with a sizeable majority, Mr Sharma said basic facilities were not provided to the corporation schools. The students were not provided school uniforms, books and other stationery as promised by the BJP.

Assailing the BJP councillors, Mr Sharma said that by abolishing the transfer duty, the corporation had lost it’s a good part of its revenue. The corporation collected Rs 92.72 crore through transfer duty last year. This amount would be reduced from this year’s income of the corporation.

The budget of the 2001 was of Rs 1,947.83, crore while the expenditure was shown as Rs 1,947.45 crore. The budget of the year 2002-2003 has been estimated as Rs 1,849.54 crore and the estimated expenditure was Rs 1,849.46 crore.

Mr Sharma said that the total income of the corporation through tax this year was Rs 1,109.20 crore. The corporation had collected Rs 348 crore till December 21. The remaining money, which is to be collected within three months, was Rs 760.01 crore. The time given to the corporation was not enough and the money would go waste, he said.

Besides, the corporation had to collect hundreds of crores of rupees from different departments of the Delhi Government as well as the Central Government. Had this money been collected by the corporation timely, it could have done better development in Delhi, Mr Sharma said. 


BJP cell wants stern action against Pak
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, Dec 27
The minority cell of the Bharatiya Janata Party today demanded stern action against Pakistan for its alleged role in Dec 13 attack on Indian Parliament and the recent spurt in cross-border terrorism.

Addressing a demonstration held here to highlight the “nefarious designs” of Pakistan, M S Usmani, President, BJP minority cells, said, “Our patience has run out after the attack on Parliament. We can no longer remain mute spectators, situation demands stern action against Pakistan.”

Terming Pakistan’ acts as “un-Islamic”, he said, “Gen Musharraf would be living in a “fool’s paradise,” if he presumed that Indian Muslims “sympathised” with Pakistan’s “nefarious designs”.

“We had expected that Musharraf’s anti-India mindset may have toned down a bit after he enjoyed the splendid hospitality doled out by us during the Agra summit meet. But he continues to be treacherous as ever,” he said.

“Unfortunately, the visit to his ancestoral home Naharweli Haveli and Taj Mahal has had no impact on his conscience,” Usmani said.

The Delhi BJP President Mange Ram Garg said that Pakistan was provoking India by not taking effective actions against outfits involved in attack on Parliament, and instead opting to build up troops along the border.


What’s in a name? For weatherman, Kolkata is still Calcutta
Our Correspondent

New Delhi, December 27
It has been more than a year since Calcutta has had its name changed to Kolkata and Madras to Chennai, but our Weather Department seems oblivious of the fact.

The weather maps that are being supplied by the department continue to use old names like Calcutta and Bombay. Incidentally, the website has got most of the names correct, however, for some strange reason, Kolkata continues to be Calcutta.

The Deputy Director General, Mr Kalsi told The NCR Tribune, “ it is a plain error. We will immediately notify the concerned authorities and get it rectified.” Dismissing it as something they have failed to notice, he said that there is no motive behind sticking to old names.

The Director, S. C. Sharma, when contacted for his version said, “ it is an error, but since you have noticed it, you must make the corrections yourself. No one has pointed it out to us till date so it has escaped our notice”

However, another official at the department said that they are merely finishing the old stock of printed maps. According to him, the Weather Department had got a huge consignment of these maps printed well in advance and to prevent them from getting wasted they are continuing to use the ones with old names.

These weather maps are supplied to newspapers, television stations and radio stations, railways and the airport authorities, apart from various other offices including the courts, where weather maps are required to counter check information provided by witnesses.


Rs 10.88 lakh recovered from 333 challaned vehicles
Our Correspondent

Rohtak, December 27
The district administration has recovered an amount of Rs 10.88 lakh from 333 vehicles challaned for plying illegally.

A spokesman of the district administration said on Thursday that 14 cooperative buses, 3 private buses and 224 maxi cabs plying illegally were challaned under the campaign started by the Transport Department. He said 3 FIRs were also registered in this regard. He said the government had already banned the use of tractor trailers for ferrying goods without permit and as mobile flour mills. More than 60 tractor trailers had been challaned for violating these norms so far, he added.

Besides, he said, 19 vehicles were challaned which were being used by educational institutions for transporting students without permit. He also informed that goods vehicles numbering 40 were also challaned.


Man found dead

The police found the body of a 27- year-old man, Narinder, from the bushes at Ahulana village, about 40 km from here, yesterday. According to the police, the youth had been reportedly missing from his house since December 14. The police believe that it is a case of murder, and further investigations are in progress.

Employee injured

Mr Ramesh, an employee of the Public Relations Department, was injured when he was hit by a four-wheeler on the Sonepat-Rathdhanna road yesterday. Mr Ramesh was employed in Chandigarh and he had come to the village on leave. The errant driver of the four-wheeler escaped immediately after the accident.

Foundation day

Faridabad: The National Council for Cement and Building Material (NCB) observed its foundation day yesterday in its complex at Ballabgarh. Mr K. M. Sahid, Director, Industrial Policy and Promotion, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, appreciated the achievements of the institutions and said it was one of the outstanding organisations of its kind. The NCB was started in 1962 to promote research in cement and building materials. Prizes were given to several employees and officials on the occasion. TNS

Minor raped, murdered

Faridabad: Panic gripped Manpur village in the Hathin sub-division of the district after the body of a 10-year-old girl was found from a field there. The police suspect that it is a case of rape and murder. The victim has not been identified so far. According to a report, the half-naked body of the girl was lying in a sugarcane field when it was noticed by a farmer, who informed the villagers and the police. Although the body has been sent for a post-mortem examination, the police requisitioned the services of the dog squad and crime branch to track down the culprits.

MCF owes Rs 10 crore

The Municipal Corporation of Faridabad owes around Rs 10 crore to its contractors as pending payments for the works done by them. Some of the payments have been pending for several years. TNS


Youth knocked down by truck on Nizamuddin bridge
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 27
A youth was reportedly knocked down by a truck on the Nizamuddin bridge between Ashram Chowk and Bhogal last night. Police said he was immediately rushed to AIIMS, where he was declared brought dead.

The deceased is yet to be identified. Sriniwas Puri police have registered a case of causing death due to rash and negligent driving and arrested the erring driver, Nand Kishore, resident of Sari Kale Khan.

Cheats arrested
Two persons were arrested for their alleged involvement in a cheating case amounting to more than Rs 3 crore. With the arrest of the duo, the East Delhi police have claimed to have busted a gang involved in organized crime.

Police said that the duo, Gurdeep Singh and Satish Sharma, proprietors of Dexon Traders and Music Bank were arrested after complaints from many people that the company has been cheating innocent people on the pretext of selling TV cameras and other electronics items through postal service.

Clerk held
A person employed as Lower Division Clerk at Delhi Scheduled Caste Financial and Development Corporation Ltd (DSFDC), of Nand Nagari branch was held on December 19, for demanding and accepting Rs 3000 as illegal gratification to facilitate his bank loan.

The Anti Corruption branch has arrested the accused, Virender Kumar Singh (31), resident of Shahdara, while he was in the process of receiving the money from the complainant, Kamal Singh.

When Virender realised that a trap had been laid, he threw the money and ran away by jumping off his office balcony. Subsequently, the money was recovered from his table.


Lord Krishna Bank opens branch
Our Correspondent

New Delhi, December 27
A new branch of Lord Krishna Bank Ltd was inaugurated at Preet Vihar by Mr Vijay Goel, Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office, today. The new venture is another step towards its proclaimed aim of becoming one of the largest and most well-connected private banks in the country.

Lord Krishna Bank was established in 1940 at Kodungallur in Thrissur district of Kerala. Although the bank started at a very modest level, by the end of 1960s, the bank was in a position to take over three commercial banks, Thiyya Bank, Josna Bank and Kerala Union Bank.

Apart from providing 24-hour ATM and seven-day banking service, the branch will offer complete range of corporate and retail banking products and services.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Goel said, “The modern-day technology has become all-pervasive and is being used to meet many useful goals in the banking sector. It is important that the technology is brought closer to the common people and allow them to make full use of it. Lord Krishna Bank would be making this possible through its new branch. I am sure that it would continue to grow in this direction.”

Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | In Spotlight | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
121 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |