Monday, December 31, 2001, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


MCD polls likely by February-end
Chief Minister prefers Feb 24
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 30
The elections to the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) would be held in the last week of February, preferably on February 24, if the Delhi Chief Minister, Ms Sheila Dikshit, has her way.

The Chief Minister has reportedly asked the State Election Commission, which comes under the Delhi Government’s purview, to hold elections to the MCD along with the Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Uttaranchal.

Sources said that the Chief Minister had asked the Commission to hold elections to the Corporation between February 17 and February 24. She has, however, indicated her preference for February 24. Apart from the day being a Sunday, what other factors make this day a choice of the Delhi Chief Minister are not known. The Congress sources indicated that the party was prepared for the polls and its prospects of “emerging victorious are bright if the polls are held in the fourth Sunday of February” despite the internal dissensions which continue to plague the Delhi unit.

The much-awaited reorganisation of the Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee is yet to take place despite the fact that the general secretary in charge of Delhi, Mr Kamal Nath, had assured the workers earlier this month that it would be carried out soon and to the satisfaction of all.

The party is hopeful that apart from the planetary and astrological calculations, the anti-incumbency factor could work against the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the polls. And, if the elections were held along with the Assembly polls, the Congress could ride on the anti-BJP wave, which is likely to emerge in different states going to the polls in February, sources added.

However, the stumbling block faced by the State Election Commission for the announcement of election date is a petition pending before the Delhi High Court, challenging the Union Home Ministry’s order staying the rotation of seats in the MCD. Mr Sunil Kumar, a resident of Gulmohar Park in South Delhi, has challenged the Centre’s order staying the rotation of seats for the next 10 years. At present, the Gulmohar Park counsellor seat is reserved for a woman candidate.

According to the scheme of rotation of reservation of seats, the seat is to be declared a general one in this election. The court has issued notices and would hear the case on January 23. Cutting across party lines, the MCD had passed a resolution to discontinue with the rotation of seats.

Both the Congress and the BJP are optimistic that the court would pass an order on that day and this would enable the Delhi Government to issue the notification for the polls.

A BJP counsellor, Mr Prithivi Singh Chauhan, said according to the MCD Act, the new committee of the counsellors was to be elected by April 1. Keeping this in mind, the elections must be held before March 31.


Afghan refugees in no mood to return
Bijendra Ahlawat
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, December 30
At least 3000 Afghan nationals, who had taken refuge here in the past years due to the hostile regime and harsh political conditions, seem in no mood to return to Afghanistan in the near future even as the Taliban rule has been thrown out there.

These refugees comprise mostly Sikhs and Hindus. They are not mentally prepared to go back as they prefer to wait and watch till a good opportunity comes their way. “Its too early to think of going back to a war ravaged country where the democratic rule is yet to come up and which can ensure safety

and security to its citizens, said Mr Gur Pratap Singh, who along with his family had left Kabul about six years ago when political instability had hit Afghanistan. He said a majority of the family which had left Afghanistan in the past 10 years had been left with no house or property as the Taliban had either destroyed or looted what was left there.

Sohan Singh, another Sikh, who had been running a shop there, says that supporters of Taliban rulers had captured their shops and business and it was perhaps not possible to get these back now. He said his family had almost settled here as he had purchased a shop in NH-five locality here and his children were going to a nearby school. These families are residing mainly in NH-one, NH-five, Sanjay Gandhi Memorial (SGM) Nagar and some of the sectors here.

Some of families, which belong to `Khost’ biradari, are settled in A-block of SGM Nagar, where they have their own gurdwara. Many of the Sikhs who had come here are Sehajdari ones.

It is a matter of fact that these ‘migrants’ have not been given Indian citizenship so far, but it does not seem to affect them. Most of them have adapted to local conditions.

They have been earning their living through various means. Their work includes trading, shopkeeping and even driving three-wheeler autorickshaws. Some affluent families have bought good houses and a regular business.

But many of these families, including Hindus, are not happy with the treatment meted out to them. Their complaint is that because they do not have ration cards and other facilities the future of their children is not safe, although they originally hail from India. Neighbouring Delhi has more than 1,000 such persons. Some of the families have also alleged that financial help given by the United Nations meant for refugees was not made available to them. At least 90 students from such families are reported to be getting financial aid from a UN agency at present.


Court orders FIR against ACP
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 30
A city court has directed the SHO of R. K. Puram police station to register an FIR against ACP R. S. Meena under appropriate sections of law and place the file before the Police Commissioner for necessary action. The Metropolitan Magistrate, Mr Kamini Lau, observed, “I feel pained to note that no one of the provisions of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) had been invoked (against the ACP) despite a complaint has disclosed the commission (by the ACP) of a cognizable offence.”

In a complaint to the police, one Mr Jaswinder Pal Singh had alleged that Mr Meena had hit his car from behind on the night of December 17 at Moti Bagh, when he along with his family, was waiting for one of his friends. Mr Meena, after dashing his Gypsy into his Alto, fled the scene, he had alleged.

The complaint also had said that after a brief chase, he managed to catch the Gypsy (DL-IV-3825) near Sangam Cinema Hall with inscription “Delhi Police” on it. Mr Meena, who was at the wheel, got angry on his being chased and slapped him claiming he was a DCP and the other person was a senior police official, Mr Singh had complained. Pointing out the non-registration of the FIR and other lacunae, including avoiding the mechanical inspection of both the vehicles, improper medical examination of the police officer, the court said, “The complaint prima facie discloses the accused ACP, Mr R. S. Meena, is apparently involved in a case of rash and negligent driving for which the provisions of Section 279, IPC, are liable to be invoked.”

The court further said since the accused had assaulted the complainant by slapping him, the provisions of Section 323, IPC, (punishment for voluntary causing hurt) was liable to be invoked and observed that he had impersonated himself as the DCP of the area.

Stating that it was apparent from the information given by the Sub-Inspector, Mr Anil Kumar, that the police Gypsy was taken away from the police station unauthorisedly without the permission of the SHO or the investigation officer in violation of required formalities, the court said, “The accused is also liable to be hauled up for theft.” Expressing concern over the failure of the police to take action as per the law, the court observed, “The investigating officer is of the rank of SI, whereas both the persons in the offending vehicle were of the rank of ACP. The exercise of undue influence by virtue of the dominant position of the accused cannot be ruled out more so as the investigations are not up to the mark and have been done in a most casual manner.”

Criticising the police highhandedness in dealing with the case, the court observed, “It is a sad day when law enforcers turn into law breakers. It is much more sadder that such law enforcers try to get away with the violation committed by them but it would be a disaster if they are allowed to get away.”

“The duty imposed upon such officials whether they belonged to the police or to the judiciary or to any other institution responsible for the enforcement or the implementation of law is much more than the duty imposed upon any other ordinary citizen as such officers are expected to be vigilant and upright as they are in public gaze at all time,” the Magistrate said.


Little Shivangi Amrit: Music is her middle name
Priyanka Gupta

New Delhi, December 30
At a young age of 12, children usually think about games, kitchen sets and dolls but she is the one who thinks of music only and wants to make it her career. Bubbly and sweet-looking, this girl has a resonance in her voice and has won many prizes. She has been titled as ‘Kuchi- Kuchi Rakamma’ by the teachers of her school.

She has several sobriquets. She is the ‘Nightingale’ and ‘Manav Sur Sadhika’ of Manavsthali School, New Rajindra Nagar. She is Shivangi Amrit, a resident of Hakikat Nagar, Kingsway Camp.

Shivangi started learning music at a tender age of 5. She never looked back since and has traversed a long path. Besides the music classes in her school, she has not joined any professional institute. Shivangi can dabble in western music also apart from singing Indian and traditional songs.

However, patriotic songs interest her the most. Versatility is her middle name. No wonder, she is a known personality in her school and has received many awards in many a competition, including Pepsi Storm Competition. To cap it, she has been awarded a trophy for her performance in Summer Fields School in 1997.

In 1999, she got a set of books in Kabir Pad Gyan Competition. In Inter-School Literacy Competition, she bagged the IInd prize for solo performance. Again, IInd prize in Inter-School Cultural Week Patriotic Song competition.

Shivangi said, “Lata Mangeshkar is my greatest inspiration, but I cannot sing like her. My grandparents support me a lot. Now, my parents ask me to join Gandharva Mahavidalya to have a professional training. This will help me learn more. I learn from my mistakes and try not to repeat them.”

Shivangi has assumed an optimistic attitude thanks to her upbringing. At a young age, she has good general knowledge and even dreams of doing a research on the cause of thalessemia and its remedy. She said, “I want to do research on the disease and find the cause and its remedy as well. My teachers are also very cooperative.”

Shivangi has learnt how to play casio and compose tunes herself. Apart from singing, she is also good at dancing and recitation. She has bagged several awards in recitation.

She appreciates the voices of Sonu Nigam, Udit Narayan, Alka Yagnik, Kishor Kumar and Sunidhi Chauhan. “Sunidhi has stretch in her voice and her voice is very confident, this is why I like her. I often sing patriotic songs. My teacher, Miss Manjari also sings well and inspires me a great deal. I am grateful to my teachers for making me so strong,” she said.

Shivangi sang one of the most difficult compositions of Lata Mangeshkar ‘Ai Mere Watan Ke Logon’ on Kargil Day, celebrated by her school. The song is one of her all-time favourites. She practises hard during competitions.

Her mother Poonam said, “I am proud of my girl and want her to reach new heights in her field. Sadly, I cannot devote much time to her because of my tight schedule. I never thought that my child had such a sweet voice. Now when I have found her talent, I would like her to pursue music only as her profession.”


Recession forces hotels to play down New Year
A. Jain

Gurgaon, December 30
The ongoing economic recession has cast its shadow over the New Year eve celebrations at the leading hotels, resorts and clubs here. The managements of these (picnic) spots are not organising any programme with the apprehension that the once-in-a-year event might not attract the required customers to meet the expenses. However, some will have New Year-eve celebrations, though at a lesser scale.

The prominent places where no event would be held include DLF Golf and Country Club, 32 Miles Stone Hotel and DLF Gymkhana Club. The 32 Miles Stone Hotel on the National Highway, which used to organise the event on a grand scale, will have no programme at all.

DLF Gymkhana Club, the only club which caters to the thousands of people living in different phases of DLF City, will close down the latest by 10.30 pm on December 31. However, the management of DLF Gymkhana Club has a distinct reason for doing so. The manager of the club informed that on the basis of complaints of local residents, the police have directed them not to create any noise pollution after 10.30 pm. The New Year eve could not be celebrated without music and that was why the club decided not to have any event, said the manager. The economic recession was another reason. Meanwhile, DLF Golf and Country Club will also have no programme on the New Year eve. According to its staff, they initially planned to hold some event but have to cancel it, as they did not receive encouraging response from their members.

Bristol Hotel at DLF City, Unitech Country Club at South City and Chancellor Club, Palam Vihar are also not holding any special programmes on the eve except some routine events.


Lifer commits suicide
Our Correspondent

Jhajjar, December 30
A person who was sentenced to life imprisonment and was released on parole reportedly committed suicide by consuming celphos tablets in Gola Kalan village of the district last evening. He took the extreme step on the eve of the last day of his parole. A police spokesman said here today that Mahabir Nambardar (45) was sentenced to life term on the charges of murdering his wife around nine years ago. He was released on parole and was scheduled to go back to Rohtak Jail today. However, he consumed poisonous tablets last evening under depression.

Villagers rushed him to the community health centre in Bahadurgarh town where the doctors referred him to PGIMS, Rohtak. However, he died on the way.


Shots fired

New Delhi, December 30
There was considerable panic near the main crossing in Punjabi Bagh when some young occupants of a car fired several shots in the air following a quarrel among them. No one was injured in the incident. They had reportedly driven to the Capital from Punjab. TNS


Special team to arrest cyber crimes
Ravi S. Singh
Tribune News Service

Gurgaon, December 30
The Gurgaon police are planning to set up a team to deal exclusively with the cyber crimes. The police have already sent a number of personnel in the rank of Investigating Officers (IOs) to Delhi for necessary training to cope with the increasing number of cyber-related crimes.

According to the district police chief, Mr Kuldip Singh Sihag, the police could set up a special team to deal with this crime. Incidentally, Gurgaon, is the only district in the state where a case relating to cyber crime was recently registered.

Talking to newsmen today, he clarified that presently, there was no need for setting up a separate police station to deal with cyber crimes. Taking stock of the achievements of the Gurgaon police in this year, he said that a year-long drive was on to upgrade the skills of the IOs to make them efficient enough to prepare fool-proof cases, right from the investigation to prosecution.

The district police had been able to complete investigations in 26 cases this year while they could finish only seven cases last year. He claimed that almost all the cases in the heinous categories had been solved.

According to Mr Sihag, although the number of FIRs registered this year was marginally on the higher side this year, the cases under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) came down. There had been rise in the number of cases under the local and special laws, he added.

He also stressed that the police would track down proclaimed offenders (POs) in the coming year.

Mr Sihag said that the police’s thrust area this year had been to reduce the number of road accidents. Integrated to it was ensuring smooth flow of traffic in Gurgaon. To this effect, the measures taken, included installing red lights, loud speakers at the main crossings (to address the public about traffic rules), beat box for traffic constables, bar lights to control traffic at night, reflective cross belts for constables, PCR shelters at critical joints on the Delhi-Jaipur highway, and in the city area totalling 26 in all.

In response to a question, he detailed all the posts and persons that were authorised to have red or blue lights on their vehicles in Gurgaon and cautioned that the police would soon launch a drive against those who violated the rule in this connection.

Reacting to a pointer that the police sometimes did not register FIRs promptly, he appealed to the public to directly approach him or his office staff, in case they faced any problem on the issue.


Prolonged power cuts fail to wake up powers that be
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, December 30
Regular power supply has become a dream for the people of this fast-growing industrial city and elsewhere in the district.

The crisis has become acute following the switching off the supply by the Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (UHBVN),not only during the day but at night also. This has been a routine for the last few days.

Many residents alleged that the unscheduled load sheddings were not confined to a particular area. In fact, the entire city and its suburbs had been affected.

The situation in the rural areas is alarming as the authorities of the UHBVN have to impose restrictions on the supply in the wake of reduced power quota to the Sonepat circle of the UHBVN.

Though the UHBVN has launched a massive campaign to check power theft, there has been no perceptible improvement in the supply to the domestic sector. The current year has been cruel for the people both in the urban and rural areas as they had faced the unprecedented power and water shortage.

And since the feeders of tubewells are connected to domestic feeders, the drinking water supply to the city is disrupted. The tubewells at the main waterworks, Murthal, have not been linked with diesel generators and this was the main cause in the disruption of water supply system whenever there was no power supply.

Meanwhile, the crisis has dealt a serious blow to the industries in the region. Besides, disrupting the industrial growth, it has made a large number of industrial workers jobless. Several small-scale units are reported to have already been closed down and more are on the verge of closure.

Many entrepreneurs are finding it difficult even to pay the wages to their workers. Unemployment

looms large in every part of the state. As a result of long spell of closure of the units, the entrepreneurs are unable to repay the loan instalments to the financing agencies. Hence, a substantial amount of bank finances is in jeopardy.

A majority of workers find it tough to make both ends’ meet due to unprecedented lay-offs in the industrial units. On an average, at least 5,000 workers face lay-offs every day, driving their families to the point of starvation.

Many industrialists maintain that they are not happy with retrenchments, but they are helpless on account of erratic power supply.

The production in their units has slumped and if the situation does not improve, many industrial units in this belt and elsewhere would be shut down. This would mean a big loss to the industrialists, workers and also to the state economy.

It is high time the Haryana Government should find a solution to the problem. The sooner the Government finds a way to control the deteriorating power situation, the better it would be for the state and its people. The Congress and other opposition parties threatened that people might come on the road and teach the government a lesson in the polls.


Faridabad colonies to get drains at last
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, December 30
Nearly half of the total population of this industrial town is living without the basic facility of a proper sewerage. The authorities have chalked out a plan to lay sewer lines in about 100 colonies with a budget of Rs 60 crore in the near future. The project has been prepared and sent for final approval. A major part of the plan is likely to be funded under a scheme of the Union Urban Development Ministry.

It is learnt that only 55 per cent of the urban population in the town have got proper sewerage. This is mainly available in the sectors developed by the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA), New Industrial Township (NIT), Old Faridabad and Ballabgarh towns. However, several large colonies, which got developed in an improper manner, could not get the facility due to various reasons. It is reported that a meeting is likely to be held in New Delhi in this connection and a final decision would be taken then. Faridabad, which has a Municipal Corporation, is the only town which has been selected for such a project. The Municipal Corporation (MCF) covers about 32 villages of which only 11 have got proper sewerage at present.

Residents of several villages and outer colonies have been residing in `slum’ like conditions due to the lack of basic civic amenities. Almost all the remaining villages which fall within the MCF limits and a large number of regularised colonies are included in the proposed project.


From eunuchs to vendors, traffic intersections beg attention

A new feature has been added to the scene at the road intersections of Delhi which offers the residents and visitors an idea of what the place is like at any one moment of the day. Recently, this writer came across eunuchs asking the motorists for money at least at two intersections of Ring Road.

They were well dressed and behaved decently. They did not pester the motorists like most other beggars do. Apparently, they did not want to behave like beggars. They, perhaps, did not want to lower the dignity of their vocation. They just put forward their hand before the car window and moved on if they did not find the response. It was an unusual sight indeed.

Normally, they visit houses where marriages take place or there is a newborn child and demand their tip by way of right. That they should take to the road is a reflection on the public response to their vocation of singing and dancing at such households. Or is it just that they feel the pinch of hard days like the rest of the residents as far as the cost of living is concerned? One does not know as yet if the trend will catch on or they will give up the effort to earn something from the roadside. In any case, there is a tough competition at the road intersections among beggars of many kinds and vendors selling a variety of goods.

The beggars have been there from as long as there have been intersections with traffic lights and there were enough motorists and two-wheelerwalas to stop at the red light. There are the ones with infants crying for food. There are the old and young persons with disability, women showing signs of infancy, children of all ages, ill-clad and ill-fed, and also some well-fed, well-dressed persons, who are supposed to have lost their purse and have to go back to their native place and want just enough money to pay for their fare back home. It is another thing that a regular road user finds them back at some other stop again asking for the fare to go back home.

The authorities have tried some time to remove them from these road intersections because it is an offence to beg. They had done it very successfully at the time of President Clinton’s visit to Delhi, at least from the roads he was likely to travel on. Of course, they were back on the same spots soon after he left. Maybe, they had reached a fair understanding with the authorities. Incidentally, most of these road intersections are manned by the traffic cops and the presence of urchins and other beggars criss-crossing rows of vehicles can be a traffic hazard.

Yet another kind of activity which goes on uninterrupted but with some variation is the vending of a variety of things. There are vendors of eatables like cool coconut pieces in summer and groundnut packets in winter. They sell car accessories like tissue paper, dusters and sun shields. There are some spots like at Mahipalpur where somebody approaches you in a discreet manner asking if you want to buy a new tyre for your car. Surely, they cannot be representatives of regular dealers.

Then there are sellers of flowers for adults and toys for children. A new item is masks. Besides, magazines, even expensive ones, have been on sale with these vendors who once used to sell only evening newspapers. Some people tell me that there are sellers of spicy and hot stuff too at some points known more to buyers of such stuff. But I have no personal knowledge of such activity.


Some young persons from Kashmir made big news at the time of a terrorist attack on Parliament House and after. But the other kind, more decent and law-abiding ones, living in and around Delhi have hardly been noticed. They are trying to live as well as they can at home away from home. One group of 42 families which had migrated from the Valley in 1990-91 settled in Bahadurgarh near Delhi. They purchased small plots of land and built dwelling units for them. Most of them come to Delhi for work. Recently, they organised a small function to affiliate their group with the All-India Kashmiri Samaj, a central body of Kashmiris working for their interests.

Heads of at least 31 families attended this induction function which was attended by the working president of the Samaj, Mr Gautam Kaul, who explained the objectives and activities of the organisation and also the ways it can benefit them. The representatives of the groups were prompt in bringing some of their problems like pensions due from the Jammu and Kashmir Government to his attention.

The All India Kashmiri Samaj has 45 units affiliated to it, the farthest being in Bangalore with 150 families as members while the Delhi Samiti affiliated to it has about 5,000 families registered with it. It also has affiliated units in Australia and New Zealand. There are different organisations with members in America and Europe. An initiative is already afoot to have a world body to which all such bodies can be affiliated.


There are people like Col. Narjit Behl in Noida who have felt touched by the plight of the victims of terrorism in Kashmir and have wanted to do something for them. After his retirement from the Army, he had worked for a multinational for a while. But he had something else in his mind. He also went through a health problem and realised the importance of doing something for others.

He set up an NGO to undertake social service. He named it Harmony and looked around for a worthy cause. He was open to ideas and even hosted a dinner for fellow retired officers in the Defence Officers’ Club in Noida. He invited those he knew well and not so well. It was a sort of a general invitation. The guests enjoyed the drinks and food and thanked him. As for the NGO work, there were not many takers. He decided to go it alone, of course, with the help of his wife and some other close relations and friends. He decided to help the victims of Kashmir terrorism through monetary assistance for education of their children, marriage of girls and vocational training for widows. The Union Home Ministry’s scheme to fund such schemes came handy and he started the work right away.

He is spending a lot of time and energy for Harmony. He feels satisfied and even enjoys his work. He admits that the inspiration came from within after an operation. It is natural that he has also started a polyclinic as part of the organisation. He, however, wishes that more people like him should be thinking of such initiatives for there are many in need of help.


This is what is painted in bold letters in DLF City Phase III on an impressive looking gate along a boundary wall. It relates to a rural scheme, yet it does not look out of place here. The reason: the spot is in what used to be Nathupur village. It still is a village and the right place for the scheme which provides some sort of memory parks in rural areas of Haryana.

It is part of the Green Haryana programme. These parks or tree plantations are to be provided of village common land and the village youth clubs and NSS are supposed to maintain them. The idea is to encourage the people of the village to plant trees on special occasions in their life. The special occasions are birth of a child, marriage of a young person and death of a member of the family. The trees to be planted by families on these three occasions are one, two and three respectively.

In course of time, they will become mini-forests or green areas where various trees will be dedicated to different families. The people of the place will identify them with these plantations and will naturally care for them and protect them. Such places have been developed at many places in the state though not all of them are as attractive as they should be. An effort is being made to beautify these spots so that those who want to plant trees there to remember a special occasion should feel attracted towards them. The programme also aims at involving the youth in the rural development campaign. It was initiated by the Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan as part of the Youth Environment Movement.


The present government in Haryana is very keen to raise the standard of education in the state and has taken up a number of programmes for the purpose. It is a noble task and one wishes success in the state government’s efforts. After all, there is Haryana on three sides of the National Capital and what goes on there affects Delhi.

Encouraged by the improvement programmes, we tried to find out from some college students of Faridabad, most of them from villages nearby, as to the aim of getting education in a college. The reply is revealing. Some said that they studied here while waiting for a job. The other group said they came here to escape household and farming chores back home. The third set of students said they came to look at girls and to have some work-free time. Who says they are not a motivated lot?




State govt has fulfilled all promises: Rajnath
Our Correspondent

Ghaziabad, December 30
“BJP will fully preserve the interest of business community. Full protection and the dignity will be accorded to them”, said UP Chief Minister Rajnath Singh, while addressing the Vaish Awareness conference (Maha Samallan) in the Ramlila ground here today.

“The facilities and concessions provided to the businessmen and traders, should indeed have been given to them much earlier. My government has just done the duty, it is no favour to anybody”, the Chief Minister said.

He said that for the first time in the history, the state government tried to address the problems of all the communities sincerely.

The CM asserted that he wanted to introduce many reforms in the state, but he will certainly improve his performance if the people of the state again repose their faith in BJP and him and elect him to serve the State again. All the 137 promises made by the government, had been fulfiled so far. The government has issued orders for their implementations. The government has already declared 892 industries as tax-free, which include industries in Ghaziabad and Noida area. And steps have been taken for employment generation and for attracting more investment in the state, the CM claimed.

Mr Singh said that a country cannot progress economically if the rights of the businessmen are not protected. “My government has accepted all the challenges in the state. The government had promised 40,000 jobs and we have fulfilled it in some extent”, the CM said.


BJP leader calls for probe into DDA’s pricing of flats
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 30
Accusing the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) of committing irregularities in the construction and sale of flats, the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Karol Bagh District General Secretary Ashok Gupta has sought a high-level inquiry into the “inflated” prices quoted by DDA for the sale of five-storeyed flats in Sector 4 of Rohini.

According to Mr Gupta, the cost of these flats, allotted to oustees of Motiakhan JJ clusters, worked out to an estimated Rs 1.42 lakh but the price quoted by the authority was upwards of Rs 2 lakh. Why was this staggering difference, he wanted to know. And to buttress his argument, he cited the instance of flats built by the Slum Department of Municipal Corporation of Delhi, also for slum oustees, that are priced at Rs 70,000 only.


BKU to revive agitation against government
Our Correspondent

Rohtak, December 30
The Haryana unit of Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) has decided to revive the agitation against the state government.

A decision to this effect was taken at an emergency meeting of the union held at Kandela in Jind today. The BKU leaders expressed strong resentment against the government for not accepting their long pending demands of waiving off the power arrears and reduction in power tariff for the farming community in the region.

Divulging details of the resolution passed at the meeting, Mr Dharamveer Hooda, district president of the BKU, said a public meeting had been convened at Kandela on January 8, to mobilise people against the `anti-farmer’ policies of the government.

He said a statewide agitational plan would be chalked out at the meeting.

Mr Hooda said that Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala was following the same tactics against the farmers as adopted by the former Chief Ministers, Mr Bhajan Lal and Mr Bansi Lal.

He warned Mr Chautala that he would meet the same fate if he continued the `faulty’ policies.

The BKU leader said the farmers throughout the state would launch an agitation if the demands of the BKU were not accepted by January 8.

He also appealed to the farmers to gather at Kandela in large numbers for the proposed meeting so as to make the farmers agitation a success.


Fog disrupts normal life, causes mishaps
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, December 30
Normal life in the city and the nearby regions was thrown out of gear today on account of thick fog and poor visibility. Both the rail and road traffic remained disrupted for the fourth consecutive day.

According to a report, most of the residents remained indoors. They were unable to come out for several hours as the cold wave sweeping the region restricted outdoor movements.

Almost all the incoming and outgoing long-distance and suburban trains from Sonepat were behind schedule, some late by as much as two to five hours. The Northern Railway rescheduled several trains due to poor visibility that caused delay to most of the trains. Those delayed included Shatabdi Express and many super fast trains.

Meanwhile, bus services to Delhi and other places in the region were also badly hit by dense fog, which considerably reduced visibility. The vehicle drivers switched on their headlights in order to avert accidents.

However, a number of vehicles were involved in accidents last night on the National Highway No. 1 and other state highways passing through Sonepat district. However, casualty figures were not yet known.

Impersonator held

A patwari of Shastri Colony, Ram Dhan, was arrested by the police today for posing himself as a building inspector of the Sonepat Municipal Council.

According to a report, the arrest followed a complaint made by Mr Subhash Relan, a resident of Sikka Colony, alleging that the accused had approached him for verification of the map of the building, which was under construction. When he declined to do so, the accused demanded bribe. Thereupon, he got suspicious and handed him over to the police with the help of his neighbours.

Fake documents

On the complaint made by the director-cum-principal of R. R. State College of Engineering, Murthal (Sonepat), the Murthal police have registered a case under Sections 467, 468, 471 and 420 of the IPC (cheating and preparing fake documents) against three students, including a girl, of the college. The police have started investigations.

According to a report, the names of the students are: Ms

Anita Punia (Rank No. 27968): Kunal Kaushik (Rank No. 5775) and Radha Krishan (Rank No. 4053). All these students had got admission to the college on submitting false and fake domicile certificates by showing themselves to be residents of Murthal village in the district.

The state government had reserved two seats in the college for applicants from Murthal village. At least five students, including the three students identified, had applied for these seats by submitting false domicile certificates. However, during the interview, these students were apprehended.

Sex in hostel

A boy and a girl were caught red-handed in a compromising position at the boys hostel No. 3 of C. R. State College of Engineering at Murthal, 8 km from here, yesterday night.

According to a report, both of them were found in a compromising position when a raid was conducted by the officiating principal of the college on a complaint.

However, the college authorities decided to cover up the matter and it was not referred to the police. This has caused resentment among students of the college.

One killed

One person, Manoj Kumar, died after sustaining serious burns when his clothes caught fire while sitting near a fire in a village, about 10 km from here, yesterday evening.

According to a report, he was immediately rushed to the local civil hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries. The victim belonged to Bihar and was employed a few months back.


CM greeted

New Delhi, December 30
On the occasion of her felicitation by the Narela Foodgrain Dealers Association for having constituted the Narela Agriculture Produce Marketing Committee, Ms Sheila Dikshit said as part of her government's attempts to bring about rapid development in rural areas of the NCT,an Industrial Training Institute (ITI), schools and colleges would be set up for Narela students. TNS


Mother Dairy launches chocolate flavour milk

HERE is good news for milk lovers and for those who aren’t. Mother Dairy has launched chocolate-flavoured milk, which means a treat for all, especially kids.

The milk comes in attractive pouches of 300 ml and is priced at an equally attractive Rs 10 per pouch. The chocolate flavour is the latest addition to the existing range comprising of Kesar Elaichi, Milk Masala and Vanilla.

With a shelf life of about 21 days without refrigeration, the milk pouches are available in all Mother Dairy booths as well as retail shops.


Makers of finest quality shirts Zodiac have announced the launch of their Autumn Winter ’01 – ‘Structured Collection’. A unique feature of the collection is the wide variety of collar styles like the Italian cut away collar, Kent collar and the button down collar, suited for formal occasions.

Available in the colours of the season such as mint, coral and lilac, the distinctive fashion colours such as British tan, French blue and sky also find a place in the collection. The shirts are designed with the help of a variety of weaves in the fabric. The range includes wide and narrow herringbones, twills, super fine twills, stripes and dobbies. The shirts are priced at Rs 1,075 each.


Oral-B has given the Indian consumer a reason to smile with the launch of its new extra offer pack. The special offer comprises an Oral-B Advantage toothbrush worth Rs 33 free with every purchase of two Oral-B Indicator brushes.

The whole pack comes at a neat Rs 48, translating into a saving of 65 per cent. The idea is sure to make you smile while you shine your 32 whites.


This one is sure to find its way into your home to keep an eye and ear to the sounds outside. Owners of the Voltas AC and Tata Honeywell bring its state-of-the-art video door phones to enhance your lifestyle and security requirements.

The phone enables you to see and talk to the visitors without having to open the door. Another feature of the door phone is that if interfaced with an electronic door lock, you can even open the door without having to go near it. What’s more a 15 per cent discount is being offered to all Voltas family members.


Hair Care Impex has launched its massage oil, ‘Massage All’. The oil is ideal for all kinds of body and hair massages and is also non-greasy.

A blend of coconut oil, eucalyptus extract, vitamin E, evening primrose oil and cyclomethicone, which promotes blood circulation in the body to relieve tension and stress, the oil is fragrant enough to relax and sooth.

Its natural ingredients make it nourishing and anti-oxidant and also perfect for moisturising during winters. A 285-ml bottle costs Rs 185.


Carbon, a brand of lifestyle accessories, has unveiled Persona Collection for women. Inspired by the many facets of a woman, the collection is based on the dipstick research across a section of male consumers, where five facets of a woman were identified, which are ideally suited to create expressions.

The Persona Collection emerged with five pendants crafted in 18 k gold to depict the five different persona — sensual, bold, nurturer, innocent and enigmatic.

Crafted in 18 k gold, each pendant with a chain is priced at Rs 3,950. Also available is a set of five pendants, which comes at a price of Rs 12,950 in an exclusive handcrafted wooden box.


The Kodak India Limited on Sunday announced the launch of a Pro Lab, equipped with the hi-speed digital LED printer in the Capital. The LED printer is targeted at the quality conscious high volume labs across the country which are looking at delivering high quality collages, retouched prints, digital and passport composites.

This digital photographic solution integrates the entire print production process, from scanning to printing. In addition to offering high quality digital portrait and commercial prints, it also is fit for school portraits, wedding and studio photography. To provide clients with the best quality pictures, photographers can also colour-correct photographs, restore damaged photos and improve images.

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