Saturday, January 26, 2002, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


Sikh census will paint social canvas
R. Suryamurthy
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 25
The Sikh census being undertaken in the Capital would provide rich sociological data of the Tilak Nagar area, and subsequently benefit market analysts and social researchers, apart from countering the Census 2001 official figures.

“The data generated by the enumeration could be used to understand the social profile of Tilak Nagar ward, education qualifications of the residents and the sex ratio,” Ms Manisha Sharma, the director of Min Mec Consultancy, told the NCR Tribune.

The private firm has been given the contract to carry out the Census enumeration by the DSGMC and they would conduct the headcount from February 1 to 28 in two phases. The enumeration is being conducted by the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee to prove its contention that the Sikh community has been under represented in Census 2001. The committee is going ahead with its agenda despite a request by the Registrar General and Census Commission of India to refrain from a headcount.

The committee is undertaking the census operation to prove the under representation of the community in Census 2001 as the population figures are used in policy formulation by the government and other agencies. The issue of granting Punjabi a second language status in Delhi has been questioned on the grounds that Sikhs do not constitute more than five per cent of the population.

In the 1991 Census, Sikhs were 4.52 lakhs out of the 94 lakh population of the Capital, making it the single largest group out side Punjab. In the Census 2001, out of Delhi’s total population of 1.33 crore, the Sikhs are said to be 599,557, Muslims 1,338,297 and Christians 117,701.While the data could be used by the Sikh political leaders to bargain for more seats in the MCD or Assembly in the National Capital Territory of Delhi, the data could be used by market researchers to target a product at a select segment. Social researchers could utilise the data to understand the profile of the area and the transformation taking place in the society and the future trends indicated by the data.

Ms Sharma pointed out that the data generated by the enumeration would be helpful in drawing an age-sex pyramid, an education profile analysis, a professional practice graph, household dependence chart and other sociological data. “A two-member reconnaissance team will identify the Sikh families living in the ward through an on-site survey with the aid of secondary sources as well. A group of about 20 surveyors will then target these households and fill in an 11-point questionnaire for these households,” she said.

Asked about the margin of error in the enumeration, she said, “In such data it could be around one per cent. As the surveyors would be filling in the data from pre-determined households, the margin of error is minimal.”

To ensure objective enumeration, Ms Sharma said each surveyor would be visiting only 15 households in a day. The data would be cross-checked at different levels to minimise the error.

A DSGMC official said: “The present operation is only a sample survey of one ward of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi. If need be, we would undertake the enumeration of the Sikh Community through the Capital.”

The DSGMC has prepared an 11-point questionnaire, which would seek information like name, address, religion, mother tongue, number of years in the area, household details and educational qualification. The questionnaire would also have a column whether the Census officials had visited them for the Census 2001 operations. The questionnaire would not collect data on individual or household income.

The collected data would be scrutinised and time given to the people to make amendments or raise objections. It would be placed before eminent demographers to analyse the data before being made public on March 31 and the further course of action would also be announced, the official added. 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 in the census 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. It took almost four years for the community census figures to be provided after the 1991 Census.


MCF freezes all projects as its funds dry up
Bijendra Ahlawat
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, January 25
The Municipal Corporation of Faridabad (MCF) is facing a severe financial crisis. Result: It has decided to stop work on all developmental projects for the time being. Also, the process of formalising new proposals, preparing estimates and floating of tenders has been shelved.

The MCF, which has an annual budget of Rs 120 crore, recently received a jolt when the Punjab and Haryana High Court stayed the recovery of house tax on an enhanced rate in response to a petition filed by a former minister. The house tax was increased last year, leading to a ten-fold jump in collections under this head.

In fact, Faridabad was the only town where the house tax structure had not been altered, despite protests by various sections. While local residents had been demanding a decrease in the tax, a former minister and Congress party leader from NIT here, Mr A C Chaudhary, took up the matter in the High Court. As a result, the recovery of tax under this category has come to a halt.

Another decision of the same court, pertaining to extension of salary benefits to MCF employees, as per the recommendations of the Fifth Pay Commission, has come as a shock to the fund-starved corporation, which does not seem to be in a position to implement the recent order.

The corporation has decided to halt work on various schemes now. The written order in this regard has sent `shivers’ down the spine of the corporation, especially the elected members who are already up in arms against the Mayor for the tardy progress on projects in their respective wards.

It is stated that the corporation is now worried about the release of a pending payment of Rs six crore to contractors; also, it has to deposit Rs two crore in the PF account of its staff. The corporation also owes a big amount in power dues. It is also concerned about timely release of salaries to employees.

Only last month, at the time of the civic bodies’ minister’s visit, senior officials had been claiming that the financial health of MCF was good.


CBI swoops down on illegal mines
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, January 25
A team of senior officials of the CBI today visited several mining areas here and interrogated some officials in connection with a probe into the allegations of illegal mining by some influential persons in the region, including a Haryana minister.

It is reported that the team, headed by an official of the SP rank, had arrived here yesterday and conducted the inquiries today also.

It may be recalled that on a petition filed by a local journalist, Mr Subhash Sharma, the Punjab and Haryana High Court had ordered a CBI probe into the mining in the area.

The petitioner had alleged that a minister of Haryana and some of his relatives had been involved in illegal mining in Ishaq Mandi of Manger area.

The team questioned some officials of the mining department and examined the documents and records of the office.

It also visited other mining areas, including Bhadkhal, Ankhir, Anangpur and Surajkund.

Complaints of overloading and extracting minerals illegally have been common here; a mafia with police links has allegedly been operative for the last many years.

The underworld has developed some routes in the area to avoid checking and supervision. While it is not clear for how many days the team will stay here, its presence is likely to slow down the work of illegal mining for some days.


Sharpshooters take positions at vantage points in city
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 25
A virtual security blanket has been thrown over the nine-km stretch of the Republic Day parade, from Rajpath to the historic Red Fort, with the entire area sanitized for explosives and improvised explosive devices (IEDs) on the eve of the annual event. From early evening, armed policemen and commandos from the various para-military forces started taking up positions, which they will maintain till the culmination of the celebrations tomorrow. The entire stretch has been barricaded and pill boxes with sandbags erected for installing heavy machine guns. The approach roads have also been cleared of all encroachments.

Teams of security experts along with senior officers inspected the various high rise buildings all along the route and earmarked certain strategic points for deploying sharpshooters. The sharpshooters will be equipped with sophisticated telescopic rifles for precision shooting, if the need so arose.

While spot checking of members of the public started late tonight, specific search operations will be conducted in the wee hours of the morning before the ceremonial start of the parade. In order to avoid any interference in the communications, the authorities have warned the public against carrying cellular phones, remote controlled car lock keys or transistors to the venue.

All these items can be used as triggering devices and carrying them could interfere with the functioning of the jammer vehicles, which will accompany the VIPs and also precede the parade.

A similar exercise is also being conducted in several areas, which have been identified as possible launching sites for missiles by terrorists.


16-yr-old strangles cousin over trivia
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 25
In a bizarre incident, a 16-year-old boy strangulated his 12-year-old cousin sister over a trivial matter in Patel Nagar area of West district. The accused has been arrested. Since he is a minor, he has been detained a juvenile court.

The accused, who was a student of Class X in a government school in Shadipur, lived with his uncle, Haider Ali.

His father lived in Nainital. Since he did not keep good company in Nainital, his father sent him to Delhi, so that he could concentrate on his studies. His father would send him money for tuition and other expenses, but he spent it on calling his friends in Nainital, the police said.

The accused hatched a conspiracy to force his uncle to send him back to Nainital. He reportedly strangled his cousin on January 21 when she was alone in the house. The victims’ parents had gone to meet some relative in the same locality. When they returned, they found the victim unconscious. She was taken to a hospital where doctors on duty declared her brought dead.

The accused said he was ignorant of the circumstances of her death. However, the post-mortem examination report stated that she was strangulated to death by an insider.

Under sustained interrogation, the accused confessed to his involvement in the murder case and described how he committed the crime.


Child labour issue bogged down in wranglings over law 
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, January 25
Exploitation of children in factories, hotels, dhabas and restaurants continues as the efforts of the state government for eradication of child labour have been caught in wrangling over the existing labour laws in Haryana.

According to a report, due to the pressure from vested interests, particularly from factory and restaurants owners, the state government has failed to conduct the survey for detection and identification of child labour.

The issue has come into focus as number of children working in factories and eating establishments have died following illness or incidents of fire.

The state government is reported to have taken a serious note of public complaints about the exploitation of child labour by owners of factories and ancillary units as well as the eating establishments and directed the authorities of the Labour Department to take stern actions against those owners who are found guilty of exploiting child labour.

It is also learnt that the state government intended to register cases against those owners of the factories and eating establishments which employ children below 14 years of age.

The state government has also received complaints about the exploitation of women workers by employees of industrial units where they have been denied the minimum wages fixed by the state government. It is alleged that many of these employees are forcing women workers to work for more than 10 hours a day on fixed salary.

Apparently, the women workers are being harassed on some pretext or the other. Any attempt by the women workers to raise their voice against these exploitations, have led to their retrenchment without the payment of their pending salary and other emoluments.

Representatives of various trade unions have expressed grave concern over the continuing harassment and exploitation of child labour and women workers by the employees and have urged the state government to take stringent measures against the erring employees.

They have demanded the registration of criminal cases against them. They have threatened to launch a statewide agitation if actions to halt the exploitation of child labour and women workers are not taken immediately by the government.



Will SYL canal bring respite to south Haryana?

Jhajjar, January 25
Amid contrasting emotions of joy and gloom on the Supreme Court’s judgement on the sharing of Ravi-Beas river waters, the people of South Haryana, who are reeling under an unprecedented power crisis, apart from the perennial problem of water scarcity, are sceptical whether they are going to get their due share of water with the completion of the Satluj-Yamuna link canal.

It may be mentioned that the eight districts of southern Haryana including Jhajjar, Rohtak, Mahendragarh, sonepat, Bhiwani, Rewari, Gurgaon and Faridabad would be the primary beneficiaries of 38.30 thousand cubic feet water, which will flow in the SYL canal after its completion. It is being described as the lifeline for the perched furrows of the region which is expected to provide irrigation facility to around three lakh hectares agriculture land and likely to increase the production of food grain to over eight lakh tonnes per annum.

As a consequence of the positive impact on the region, agriculture experts believe that the farmers of South Haryana will be delivered out of the existing economic hardships and be transformed into one of the most prosperous farming community in the country.

However, given their past experiences and three and a half decades of struggle to get water, the mood here is rather subdued as apprehensions continue to cloud their judgement.

Many questions continue to haunt their mind. Many of the people wonder whether politicians, who are used to getting political mileage out of such sensitive issues, will be able to arrive at a final settlement? Will the issue become a political football where the politicisation of the issue will divert the main focus of the problem? Will the state government distribute the water in a judicious manner?

Reacting to the issue, Mr Narayan Singh Tehlan of Jasaur

Kheri village, who was associated with the Kisan cell of a political party for long, said that it seemed certain that water would arrive in Haryana, though its process might get delayed due to the highly defiant stand taken by Punjab politicians. He, however, believed that the people of this region would have to struggle harder if they want a quick settlement to the issue.

“The real problem is that of leadership. There is no leader representing this region who can force the state leadership to do justice with the people”, Mr Tehlan added.

Accusing leaders of all hues for neglecting this part of the state, Mr Rakesh Vats, resident of Sidipur Lowa village suspected the intentions of the political class.

Criticising them for engaging in the game of one-upmanship in a bid to take credit for this favourable decision, he said that the credit must go to the judiciary for their just decision.

However, warding off the apprehensions of the people, Mr Manphool Singh, former speaker and senior Haryana Vikas Party leader, maintained that water would definitely arrive in the region. He said that the review petition being filed by the Punjab Government would not help as there is no ground on which the ruling can go in their favour.

Another former MLA, Mr Om Prakash Beri, who heralded the agitation over the unbalanced distribution of canal waters in the state, expected that with the construction of SYL canal, 18 lakh cubic feet water, which was going to other districts, arriving through Bhakhara lane, will started flowing to this region.

He pointed out that in view the rigid stand taken by the Punjab Government owing to their political compulsion, the Haryana Government should pressure the Centre to get the construction work on the SYL canal done by a Central agency.

He said that the government should start digging and disilting work on war footing, so that the long due benefit from the canal could reach the people of the region. 



Do Teachers Slog More?

Do You Have A Grouse?

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

MR S.C. Taneja, an official working in one of the offices of Maharashi Dayanand University, (MDU) Rohtak, has asked the teaching community through me: “How many hours do they teach in colleges” (NCR Tribune dated Jan 12, 2002), as he is writing a book on this subject.

Wonderful! Prima Facie, I would like to tell him that writing a book on the subject — working hours in general and teaching hours in particular is primarily the job of readers and professors. Lecturers are supposed to study less and teach more whereas readers and professors are supposed to teach less and study more. Hence, I pass his question along with my comments before the readers and rofessors of his university (MDU) in particular and others in general. Mr Taneja has written his views in The Tribune keeping in mind the impression of teachers in MDU teaching departments and MDU-affiliated colleges. I being a Lecturer, serving in one of the affiliated colleges of MDU, give certain facts, figures and own experience as requested by him.

Mr Taneja requested to be informed “about the teaching hours of the teaching community” which is as follows: Prof S.K. Khanna, the then Secretary, University Grants Commission (UGC), had sent a letter and booklet vide his DO No F. I-28/84 (CPP) (Vol iii), dated November 18, 1988, addressed to the registrar of universities regarding the minimum number of teaching days and hours as follows:

“The number of actual teaching days in an academic year in a university/constituent/affiliated colleges of the university should not go below 180 days excluding the preparation days and examinations days....The time-table should be spread to accommodate the various academic activities over at least 8 hours....

The work load of various activities should not be fewer than 40 hours a week for a teacher who is in full-time employment. (Any good teacher, particularly the one who is involved in creative activity and who has a spirit to give his best to the students, would certainly spend much more than 40 hours a week in academic pursuits).

Since Mr Taneja is writing a book on the teaching and non-teaching hours, I feel it appropriate to inform him the definition of University (teachers, students and non-teaching officials) as given by Kothari Education Commission:

“The university should be visualised as an integrated community in which, Teachers are, as it were, “senior scholars”, the students are “juniors scholars” and administration is service agency to both.” I have worked in the governmental administration (Deputy Commissioners’ office and PWD, Govt. of Haryana) for about 2 years and 10 years with University Administration. After having obtained several post-graduate degrees and diplomas, I got appointment as Lecturer on an ad hoc basis, qualified the National Eligibility Test (NET) for lecturership and have served as Lecturer for the last about 14 years.

Mr Taneja has no experience in teaching. It is appropriate for him to write a book on the working hours of non-teaching officials.

He seems to be sincere and hardworking and wants to work for six days (i.e. 42 hours, excluding lunch break period) instead of five days (i.e. 35 hours a week). Accordingly, he should request the Vice-Chancellor and The Chancellor to make a policy of six working days a week in the University for non-teaching officials as is going on for teachers.

In theory, Mr Taneja and his colleagues work 35 hours a week whereas teachers theoretically or constitutionally work 40 hours a week. Mr Taneja has admitted that non-teaching officials work for 168 days....and total working hours come to only 1176 and questioned me that “How many hours do they devote to teaching in the colleges in the 365 days?”

Teachers marked attendance for about 215 days: 180 teaching days, 10 admission days, 15 examination invigilation days, 10 university answer-books evaluation days excluding evaluation days during summer vacations and at home in a year. These 31 weeks multiplied by 40 hours a week come to 1240 hours in 365 days.

Practically a non-teaching official does not work 7 hours at a stretch, i.e. from 9 am to 5 pm, excluding his lunch break for an hour and do the work for about 4 hours a day. Practically working hours of these officials are 168x4=672 hours in 365 days.

Teachers teach 4 periods (i.e. 45-minute duration) a day. Periods are spread into 8 hours as mentioned above.

Neither a teacher can teach 3 hours continuously nor the time-table allows him to do so. Accordingly, every lecturer is supposed to remain in the college and devote 5-6 hours to teach the classes, i.e. 4 periods. Total working hours or devoting hours of the teachers in 365 days come to roughly 1075-1290 hours. Since I have had the experience of teaching and non-teaching departments, I am eligible to compare better whereas Mr Taneja has only one-sided experience and probably cannot be considered eligible to compare and write a book.

Does Mr Taneja think lecturers in physics, chemistry, biology, microbiology, mathematics, commerce, management and administration, working in colleges spend less time than his clerical community? Does he think medical teachers (lecturers, associate professors, professors) serving in medical colleges affiliated to MDU, devote less time than his colleagues such as head clerks/superintendents? Does he think lecturers serving in Murthal Engineering College (Sonepat) affiliated to MDU devote less time than non-teaching officials? If he thinks it so, he is mistaken.

With this, I would like to suggest him that he should write a book on the non-teaching hours of the officials and may seek my guidance, if required.

OM PARKASH WADHWA, Lecturer, Govt College, Gohana, (Sonepat)

‘Sinking city’

In his write-ups, your correspondent R D Sapra always mentions Sonepat as “fast growing industrial city”, which in reality is far from truth. Sonepat has grown neither industrially nor otherwise. It is the most unplanned city in Haryana.

Ironically enough, the industries in Sonepat are in the doldrums and no industry of any worth is coming up. Your correspondent will do well if he mentions Sonepat as “fast sinking city”.

Ramesh Sharma, Sonepat

Raw deal

Ghaziabad Railway Junction is an important railway station. As many as 138 trains stop here. More than one lakh commuters use this station daily, but we regret to point out that the Railways authorities have given a raw deal to the passengers of Ghaziabad.

It is strange that a IInd class pass-holder is allowed to travel from Hapur to New Delhi. But a pass-holder is not allowed to travel from Ghaziabad to New Delhi in the 4229 UP, Lucknow Mail, in the morning hours, reasons best known to the authorities. Moreover, there is no train from Ghaziabad to New Delhi from 06.20 am to 07.37 am, while Lucknow Mail leaves from Ghaziabad Jn. at 06.35 am and suits thousands of daily passengers. May we hope, as it is our longstanding demand, that the Railway Board will pay attention to our plea and do justice to the commuters by permitting them to travel in the 4229 UP, Lucknow Mail in the morning hours.

M.B. Dubey Bijnori, Secretary, Dainik Yatri Sangh, Delhi-110032

Dangerous godown

A timber godown is being run unauthorisedly on the ground floor of residential building No 1514, Chandrawal Road near Clock Tower-Subzimandi Delhi-110007. The licence of the godown was cancelled by the Dy Commissioner (Sadar-Pahar Ganj Zone) on December 11, 2000 as the godown had been declared dangerous by the Chief Fire Officer, Delhi Fire Service on May 15, 2000. Even Dy Commissioner, SP Zone, issued orders to close it. But nothing has been done so far.

Premhata, Delhi-110007 

Master Plan

This is with reference to the news item in which the Chief Minister had protested to the Lieutenant-Governor (January 12).

It was really shocking to learn that the Delhi Government, headed by Mrs Sheila Dixit, was not consulted about the Master Plan, being amended by the Central Government. After all, the Delhi Master Plan has a bearing on the population of the Capital. There should be no politics on the issue and the representatives of the Delhi state must be consulted and their views given due importance.

Subhash C. Taneja, Rohtak



Medals for sixteen police officers
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 25
Sixteen officers of the Delhi Police were awarded the Police Medal on the eve of Republic Day. While Mr Shyam Singh Verma, Asst. Commissioner of Police was awarded President's Police Medal for Distinguished Services, other 15 officers were awarded the Police Medal for Meritorious Services:

  • Mr Shyam Singh: Asst. Commissioner of Police, Seelam Pur
  • Mr Prakash: DIG, National Crime Records Bureau, Ministry of Home.
  • Mr H M Meena: Posted as DCP, Rashtrapati Bhawan
  • Mr A KOjha: Posted as Additional. DCP.
  • Mr A Kumar: Posted as Additional DCP/South Distict
  • Insp. Bhoop Singh: Posted in Police Training College
  • W/Insp. Swadesh Saini: Personal Security officer to a VVIP lady 
  • W/Insp. Yashodha Rawat: Posted as PSO to the First Lady
  • Insp. Ramesh Chander: Presently Posted in New Delhi District
  • Insp. Sanjiv Gupta: Presently posted as SHO at IGI Airport
  • S. I. Ramesh Sharma: Presently posted in Communication
  • S. I. Suresh Chand Tyagi: Posted at Police Training College 
  • ASI Ramzan Ali: Presently posted in North-West District
  • W/ASI Geeta Ghosh: Specialised in office procedure
  • ASI Rajpal Singh: Presently posted in 7th Bn. DAP
  • ASI Som Dutt: Presently posted in Police Control Room


Rs 2 lakh demanded as extortion money from shopkeeper
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, January 25
Panic prevailed when four car-borne armed miscreants arrived at a cable shop on the Old DC Road here yesterday and demanded Rs 2 lakh as extortion money from its owner. According to a report, the miscreants also threatened him with dire consequences if he failed to hand over this money to them. They immediately fled in the car. The owner of the shop informed the Civil Lines Police Station about the incident. Subsequently, the shopkeeper was given security.

It is stated that when the security guard left the place, the miscreants again arrived at the shop and threatened its owner before fleeing from the scene. At least five days back, the miscreants had given a similar threat to the owner of a petrol pump on the Sonepat-Gohana road and demanded Rs 50 lakh as extortion money from him.

The increasing activities of anti-social elements and the criminals in this city and other parts of the district have caused resentment among the traders, businessmen and industrialists in the district.

Gang busted

New Delhi
With the arrest of five persons, the Delhi Police today claimed to have busted a gang of robbers and worked out a number of robbery cases. The accused were identified as Deepak Soni, Pappan Kasana, Bijender and Sunil. They were members of notorious Bhoori gang. Six motor cycles have been recovered from their possession.

Body recovered

The Ganaur police today claimed to have recovered the body of a youth, Amar Singh, lying in the area of Pugthala village about 25 km from here yesterday. According to the police, the victim, who had reportedly been missing from his house for the last five days, was strangulated by some unknown persons.


Dacoits barge into DD officer’s house

Ghaziabad, January 25
Six armed criminals barged into the residence of Mr Verinder Gupta, a Doordarshan employee, last night and decamped with Rs. 35,000 in cash and valuables worth Rs two lakhs, including jewellery worth Rs. 1.50 lakh.

This is the second dacoity in Surya Nagar in the last 15 days apart from the one atempted by Sharad Tyagi in Chander Lok area. Sharad Tyagi has since been arrested along with his sharpshooter accomplice, Viney Tyagi, by the Bulandshahar police.

According to Circle Officer border, Ajay Sehdev, the dacoits swooped down at 2.30 am and gained access to house no. A-116 by scaling the boundary wall and removing the window grills. OC


Three killed in accidents

Faridabad, January 25
Three persons were killed in various cases of accidents in the town in the past 24 hours. Puran Lal of Krishna colony, who was hit by a car on the Neelam Bata road on Friday died in the hospital in the night. OC

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