Wednesday, January 30, 2002, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


Cong, BJP wary of ides of March
Tribune News Service

The DPCC activists protesting against the Central Government’s inability to hold the MCD elections in February in the Capital on Tuesday. —Tribune Photo Anil Sharma

New Delhi, January 29
The Union Home Minister’s “assurance” that the civic polls will be held before March 31, so that the new House of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) is elected by April 1, has not cut ice with the Congress rank and file. Skepticism abounds, and Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit for one is not willing to bite the bait just yet. “I have to go by what the Home Minister says,” she said sheepishly in response to queries the morning after her meeting with Mr LK Advani. Dismissing certain Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders’ demand for splitting the MCD into five smaller entities, as recommended in the Virendra Prakash Committee report, the Chief Minister said : “A separate Corporation for East Delhi cannot be an issue for deferring the polls.”

Citing the precedents of Chattisgarh, Uttaranchal and Jharkhand, she said postponement of polls beyond March 31 on that pretext would be Constitutionally untenable. “We are also in favour of smaller corporations but that can be done without the polls having to be deferred,” she said and added that the committee headed by Environment Minister Deep Chand Bandhu was likely to submit its report in March. The committee was constituted to gather political inputs after the Virendra Prakash Committee Report, she said, was found as having projected only the bureaucratic point of view. Adding to the consternation of Congress leaders is the insinuation by BJP leaders that it was the Congress that had been at the helm of affairs at the Centre when the National Capital Territory did not have an elected representative in the Corporation for 13 years. That, and the BJP’s desire to fight off the anti-incumbency factor by deferring the polls.

And if the Union Home Minister’s offer to hold the elections in March was of any consolation to the Congress, the party is now having to put its head together for deciding the date of elections between March 20 and 25 as has been suggested by the Union Home Minister. The little room for manoeuvre has been narrowed further by the Budget session that is scheduled for the month-end. As also Muharram and Holi holidays. Besides, school examinations would be on at that time.

If it (elections) could not be held on March 24 (Sunday) and an alternative date is required, the chief minister acknowledged, the government would be faced with a matter of “Constitutional propriety.” It will have to append policy statements to the Lieutenant Governor’s address to the House on the opening day of the Budget session. “Vote-on-account would be another option,” she said. Meanwhile, the Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee (DPCC) on Tuesday hosted a rally in Shahdara in East Delhi where almost all senior leaders of the party, including Jagdish Tytler, Sajjan Kumar, Sheila Dikshit and others, were present. Criticising the BJP for attempting to stall the civic polls, the Congress leaders spoke about launching a movement to expose the misdeeds of the BJP.



Congress indulging in double speak: BJP
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 29
With the Centre ruling out elections to the Municipal Corporation of Delhi in February, the Bharatiya Janata Party, in an apparent pre-planned strategy, today accused the Congress Government of indulging in doublespeak and raising a bogus issue of poll dates.

“It is the duty of the Delhi Government to notify MCD polls. This cannot be done unless the issue of Election Commissioner pending in the court is adjudicated. Still, they are raising the issue of polls in February, when the Centre has assured them that elections would be held before the expiry of the term of the corporation,” said the president of the Delhi unit of the BJP, Mr Mange Ram Garg.

Addressing newspersons here, he said, “Polls should be held on time. But, the Congress, which has delayed polls in the past, is trying to make an issue of the polls in February.”

Since 1975, till the last MCD polls in 1997, the National Capital Territory did not have an elected representative in the corporation for 13 years, he said, adding that “In those years, Congress was at the helm of affairs at the Centre.”

The Delhi unit president said the BJP would rake up this issue in the polls and expose the Congress government’s game plan, its all-round failures and the scams that had surfaced in its three-and-a-half-year tenure. Giving the rationale for the Congress demand for polls in February, Mr Garg said: “Congress wanted to cool down the aspirants, whom it has enticed and from whom it has collected large sums of money by selling forms for a party ticket.”

He said it made no difference if the elections were held in March end. Examinations would be over by March 22 and there would also be adequate security forces at the disposal of the Centre.

Asked about the main issue, which the party would highlight during the polls, he said: “It would be the achievements of the BJP-led corporation and the increasing corruption in the Congress-led Delhi government. The Lokayukta report on the Delhi Jal Board scam would be highlighted to expose corruption in high places.”


Youngster turns tables on contract killers
Parmindar Singh

Ghaziabad, January 29
Two contract killers have been arrested by the Kavi Nagar police for demanding a ransom of Rs 2 lakh from the son of a Jt.Commissioner of trade tax department here.

According to the police, the criminals were given a contract to kill the young boy by his beloved. The girl apparently felt scorned and jilted as the boy had married another girl.

But, the criminals had a different idea! They told Mohit Jayant, the target, that if he paid them Rs 3 lakh, they would finish off even Urvashi, who had given the contract for Mohit’s murder.

The Circle Officer, Dr Dharam Veer Singh, said that S.K.Jayant, a resident of C-Block in Shastri Nagar, is a joint commissioner of trade tax in Noida. His son, Mohit Jayant, has filed a report in Kavi Nagar police station that two miscreants had demanded a ransom of Rs 2 lakh from him and were threatening to kill him as well.

Mohit had received a call two days ago from one Umar who said that he had been given a contract to kill him.

Next day, the man met Mohit and told him that “Urvashi had engaged them for his murder for Rs 2 lakh. But they can kill the girl if Mohit paid them Rs 3 lakh.”

Mohit gave them his nod for the plot, but took Anil Somaya, SO, Kavi Nagar police station, into confidence.

When the criminals came at the culvert to collect the money, they were overpowered by the police in mufti, who lay in wait for them.

On questioning, the gangsters told Mr Somaya that Mohit and Urvashi had been in love for four years, but Mohit married someone else, so Urvashi felt jilted and became revengeful.

But, the police could not clarify the doubt as to how Urvashi, an employee of a boutique in Mohan Plaza, was able to entrap Hanif and Rakesh in her murder scheme. The police believe that Hanif and Rakesh are notorious gangsters.


Duping the state govt, cheating the tax payer
Jatinder Sharma

Rohtak, January 29
The contract price of suture material approved by the Director, Supplies and Disposals, Haryana, is three to four times higher than the price approved by the Director General, Supplies and Disposal, Government of India, Chennai office. (The suture material is supplied to PGIMS, Rohtak, and the Haryana Health Department.)

Incidentally, the suture material supplied to the PGIMS, Rohtak, is the same brand, the same code and manufactured by the same company as the one approved by the Chennai office. However, the rate approved in Haryana for the same material is three and a half times more than what has been approved by the Government of India.

For example, the rate of black braided silk reels, approved for supply to the PGIMS, Rohtak, and the Haryana health department, is Rs 567.26 per box of six reels whereas the price approved by the Chennai office is Rs 311.00 per box of 12 reels. Similar price differences were noticed in many other suture codes. Interestingly, this price difference was brought to the notice of the Director, Supplies and Disposal, Haryana, in writing by the then Director, PGIMS, Dr S B Siwach, on March 13 last year. However, no action was taken, except that the purchases were delayed.

In another bulk purchase, the High Powered Purchase Committee approved rates of certain medicines at 75 per cent of the retail book prices on January 19 last year.

Certain suppliers hoodwinked the government by quoting a retail book price higher than the actual, and thus nullified the discounted rate, approved by the High Powered Purchase Committee.

Eight cops suspended

Rohtak: Eight cops, including a Sub Inspector and a Head Constable, were suspended today on the charge of dereliction of duty. The punitive action was taken against the cops as an undertrial prisoner managed to escape from their custody last night. According to information, the cops were bringing the undertrial, Sunder, a resident of Gurgaon, back to Rohtak jail after producing him in a court at Sonepat. All of them alighted from at the bus stand here at around 9.30 pm yesterday.

Thereafter, seven cops moved to their destinations and only one constable accompanied the undertrial to the jail. Meanwhile, the undertrial dodged the policeman and escaped.



What is the truth about CNG?

New Delhi, January 29
With two days left for the expiry of Supreme Court’s January 31 deadline for converting the Capital’s fleet of buses to CNG mode, the Government of NCT of Delhi is battling frayed nerves while maintaining a “strategic ambiguity” over its next course of action. For the record though, both Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and Transport Minister Ajay Maken are at pains to point out that commuters would not be put to trouble and that diesel buses would ply alongside their CNG counterparts. Frayed nerves claimed their first casualty on Tuesday when, reacting to a news report that quoted an IGL official as having doubled the CNG supply to the Capital, an exasperated Mr Maken accused the agency in general and the official in particular of telling a blatant lie. “The man’s lying,” he fumed when confronted by media persons. “There is only so much CNG as could meet the requirements of about 150 buses up to March. The same was acknowledged by Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Ram Naik. So where does the question of IGL doubling the CNG supply arise ?” he asked.

Upset that such “misleading statements” could compound the woes of the government that is already feeling the pressure of having to do a lot of explaining when the matter comes up for hearing in the court early next month, the minister said the Centre “would be” stating in its affidavit that additional CNG supply was available for only 150-odd buses. TNS



She is the girl on flying wheels
 Bijendra Ahlawat
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, January 29
Sixteen-year-old Khusboo Saini is not just another teenager. She has put the skating-rink on fire with her record-breaking feats in the past four years.

Fondly described as the ‘girl on flying wheels’ by her friends, Khusboo is not only the top skater in the country, but has also been a bronze medallist at the Asian Championship held last year.

A student of Plus One standard of D.A.V. Public School, Sector-14, here, Kushboo has brought laurels not only to the school, but also the state and the country, says the school Principal, Dr A.V. Bhalla. Khusboo, who holds the national record in 300 metres time trial of speed skating, has dominated the field in nearly every prominent event of roller skating held in the past few years.

She started skating in 1994, when she was only nine after her uncle had presented her a pair of roller skates. She has not looked back since then, claim her parents. In state level championships held since 1999, the girl has snatched as many as 10 golds in various events in the past three years. She got three golds in 1999, three in 2000 and four in 2001.

However, in the national games in which she took part for the first time in 1996, she could not get a medal. As if to make up for the loss, she picked three bronze medals in the next year (1997) and three silver and two bronze in 1998. She took her personal tally of golds to four in 1999.

In 2001-2002 games also, She got one gold and two silver in the tournament held at Vishakhapatnam. At international level, Ms Khusboo represented India in 1999, when eighth Asian Tournament was held in China. She won a bronze medal in the ninth Asian Roller Skating Championship held in Taiwan.

She also took part in the World Junior Championship in France last year. Khusboo was specially honoured by the organisers of the 39th National Roller Skating Championship held at Vishakhapatnam recently for her performance at Asian level. Daughter of a CPWD official, Khusboo’s elder sister, a class XII student, and a younger brother, are also good players of the skates.



Murder or suicide pact? 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 29
The police are trying to unravel the mystery surrounding the death of a 19-year-old resident of Karala village near Paschim Vihar, West Delhi, and his 15-year-old niece in their house this morning.

Both of them were found unconscious by their relatives and taken to a hospital where they were declared brought dead. Poisoning is suspected to be the cause of deaths. However, the police said that it was yet to be ascertained if the two, who had reportedly been having an affair, had committed suicide or were murdered. The bodies have been sent for a post-mortem examination. The police said that a complaint would be registered only after the post-mortem report.

According to the preliminary enquiries by the police, 19-year-old Baljit of Jhajjar had come to stay with his cousin in village Karala some time back and was working in a private company. During this period, he is alleged to have developed illicit relations with the 15-year-old daughter of his cousin. The girl was alleged to be pregnant.

The girl reportedly went missing in the first week of January and a report was lodged with the area police. About a week ago, Baljit expressed his desire to move out of the house as he had managed to rent a place in the near by Jwala Heri.

During their hunt for the missing girl, the relatives discovered that she was living with Baljit. They brought them both to Karala and decided to keep them there till the elders reached a decision. Last night, both of them had gone to sleep but were found unconscious this morning.

Infant killed in clash

Faridabad: An 11-month-old baby girl was killed in a clash between two groups at Kakadipur village in the district yesterday; the father of the victim was injured. According to a complaint, two neighbours, Kishan Dayal and Dharampal, had a long-standing dispute over a plot. Kishan Dayal had even constructed a boundary wall on the plot, much to Dharampal’s chagrin who considered it an unauthorised construction. It is alleged that on Monday morning, Dharampal and his clan began throwing stones in the courtyard of Kishan Dayal’s house. While Dayal’s family members scurried for cover, Poonam, Kishan’s 11-month-old daughter, was hit on the head. TNS



A fair for pickpockets

New Delhi, January 29
The World Book Fair at the Pragati Maidan is not only attracting book lovers, but also members of the nimble fingers’ tribe – pickpockets. A large number of visitors at the fair found to their dismay at the time of paying for their purchases that their wallets were missing. While most of the victims took the losses in their stride, many ritually complained to the security staff present at the Pragati Maidan. A few also lodged reports with the police.

Pragati Maidan officials and Delhi Police officers said that patrolling inside was being intensified and plainclothesmen were being deputed to nab the suspects. They, however, did not appear to have the exact number of cases of pick pocketing during the last two days at the fair.

Several visitors pointed out that the magnitude of the problem could be gauged from the large number of announcements made over the public address system about lost wallets and valuables. Some of the victims even promised to reward those who would return their wallets and papers, even if the money remained missing. According to the police, the gangs of pickpockets apparently take advantage of the huge crowd at the fair. Experts, as they are, they remove purses and wallets during the jostling which is a common feature. TNS



A hazy dividing line between houses and shops in South Delhi
Rohit Wadhwaney

New Delhi, January 29
Rampant commercialisation in most of the posh colonies of South Delhi and the inability of the authorities to put a stop to it have now forced several “law-abiding” citizens to take up agitational methods to make their residential complex look like one rather than a “shopping complex”. While some say they will raze these illegal business centres, others say they want to move out of Delhi at the first opportunity.

Enter Lajpat Nagar, Greater Kailash, R. K. Puram, Green Park, Hauz Khas or Saket: one would notice in the residential areas of all these places that business enterprises like mobile phone shops, restaurants, tuition centres, gymnasiums etc are being run from the residential flats or bungalows by the residents themselves.

Mr Ved Kumar, secretary of the Senior Citizens Welfare Association (SCWA) of Saket, feels that the rampant commercialisation of the posh residential colony has spoilt the entire beauty of the area. There was a time not long ago, he says, when Saket was a peaceful colony. “But now it is just like any other colony in Delhi. You can now put it on the same level as Karol Bagh or Lajpat Nagar where you see nothing but chaos.”

Mr Kumar goes on to add: “Whenever I went to Karol Bagh or Lajpat Nagar, I used to wonder how these people would be living here amidst such chaos. But it is so unfortunate that even Saket is now as bad as those colonies.”

In the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) flats in Saket Block-H, residents have converted even their car garages into business centres and many have also given them on rent as one-room apartments. “It is shocking. These are DDA flats and they are making money out of the car garages allotted to them,” says Ms Rupal Mittal, a resident of Saket and a postgraduate student of Delhi University.

Expressing her strong views, Ms Mittal says that it is absolutely wrong on the part of the residents to indulge in such “disgusting activities just to earn money” and the authorities should definitely do something about it. “I don’t know what are they waiting for?”

Moreover, the business centres being run in several places are a risk to the lives of the nearby residents. Last year in Green Park Extension, a fire broke out in the Uphaar Tent House, situated inside the residential colony. “This tent house stores all the inflammable objects like wood, oil and gas cylinders. The incident was just waiting to happen,” says Colonel D. Bhowmick, a resident.

The tent house is right behind a government school. “Luckily, it was a Sunday and the school was closed. Otherwise we would have had another ‘Uphaar’ on our hands,” says Colonel Bhowmick. Though no one was injured in the inferno, the residents say, it can happen again and maybe the fire won’t spare us this time, as the tent house, just a week after the fire, came up again on the same spot.

To add to the woes of the Green Park Extension residents, there is a taxi service operating from within the colony. About 70 odd taxis, along with the “uneducated and uncivilized” taxi drivers, stand inside the colony 24 hours of the day. “It becomes extremely difficult for us to move out as they use disgusting language. Moreover, they take bath in the open and roam around the colony half-naked. The entire situation is sick,” says Mr S. N. Yadav, a representative of the RWA. Colonel Bhowmick says if the authorities did not produce results soon, the residents would be forced to come out on the streets or “burn these business centres ourselves”.

An official of the Union Urban and Development Ministry on condition of anonymity told the ‘NCR Tribune’ that the authorities had “started” taking action to stop the commercialisation in residential complexes. “We have sent legal notices to hundreds of flat and bunglow owners asking them to stop the commercial activities going on inside the houses. You know how the system works in this country. It will take time but no matter how much time it takes, commercialisation will be stopped,” the official says.

“Now since the problem is getting serious with each passing day and since we are getting a lot of complaints, we will try to quicken the procedure. We have already told the MCD (Municipal Corporation of Delhi), DDA and NDMC (New Delhi Municipal Council) to keep a tight check in their respective areas,” he adds.

However, the residents of Greater Kailash have given up all hopes. Many of them are on the verge of shifting from the area and quite a few have already found alternative places to live in. Mr K. N. Kakkar, a resident, says: “Yes I am looking for another place to shift. My family and I cannot live here anymore. The minute you enter the colony you see more shops than residential flats. It is very irritating. And the crowd that comes in to all these business centres! These shops have spoilt the scenic beauty of Greater Kailash.”

Mr Kakkar says he is looking for a place away from the Capital. But the question is even those places are being commercialised fast. “Yes, I agree they are. But when those places too become intolerable I will shift again. I am looking for a peaceful life. And it is not in Delhi anymore.”



Showers take toll of wheat bags kept in open
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, January 29
The Haryana Government is likely to suffer a huge financial loss owing to the failure of the authorities of the Food and Supplies Department and other procurement agencies to cover thousands of bags of wheat. Hundreds of bags of wheat are still lying in the open in their godowns and some of the foodgrain markets in the district.

According to a report, wheat worth crores of rupees packed in gunny bags and lying in the open in the godown of the Food and Supplies Department in the city was reportedly damaged due to heavy showers last week. It is alleged that the wheat procured last year by the state and the Central Government agencies could not be lifted from some foodgrain markets and had been soaked. It will not be possible to unpack the heave stock and dry it again.

Informed sources say that officials of the procurement agencies had lifted most of the procured wheat from the markets and kept the same in the open in their godowns. Some government agencies had hired private open plinths for stocking wheat as covered godowns were already full with previous stocks. But the authorities were caught unawares by the sudden showers.

Thus wheat lying uncovered on wooden stacks suffered substantial damage. At some places, representatives of procurement agencies, including the Food and Supplies Department, had not cared to cover the stocks with polythene or tarpaulin sheets. It is alleged that polythene sheets covering the old wheat stocks were also badly torn.

Meanwhile, enquiries made by this correspondent have revealed that thousands of bags of wheat purchased by the Food and Supplies Department were lying uncovered in its godown. The godowns of other procurement agencies also presented the same scene. The government might find it difficult to dispose of these stocks lying in the open anymore.

Interestingly, authorities of no procurement agency have sent its officers to take stock of situation and prepare an estimate of the damage caused to the uncovered wheat by the monsoon and winter rains in the district.



Perfumes for ‘I came, I saw, I conquered’ impact
Smriti Kak

Cleopatra would not step out without using some; Sheba had a penchant for them, back home our erstwhile maharanis have had their favourite ones. Bottles of delicate cuts and designs containing the precious droplets, which can transform you into a sweet-smelling sprite.

Yes, we are talking about perfumes, those heavenly smelling vapours that every woman craves for and have recently become a must-have. Even the fairy tales and romantic best-sellers are incomplete without the whiff of these sense-tickling delights.

And as the modern make-up mantra goes, ‘Everyone knows that a girl without perfume is like a birthday cake without icing’, who would dare to be caught a la plain baked cake. The global village that we are residing in, has sure pulled us close enough to be able to smell each other, reason why we should not only smell good, but also strive to smell what smells are wafting around.

Thanks to the godmothers and godfathers of the fashion conscious world that we now not only know what fragrances we must have, but also why some people smell the way they do. The celebrities like Marilyn Monroe, who went to bed wearing her Chanel No. 5, are also known to have endorsed fragrances.

Counters offering the must-have fragrances, which till a couple of years ago could only be procured by pleading either a foreign-return auntie or if a generous cousin gifted you one, are now available at your nearest shopping store, provided you have the moolah.

A promenade at Delhi’s most happening shopping plaza will open your eyes, block your nose and spin your head as you count the number and names of the world’s best perfumes.

Gucci, Dolce and Gabbana, Azaro and Lancôme are just some of the perfumes that our desi noses are getting used to.

Forget the ittars that made the shehanshas of yore forget the stink of delusion, forget the Chinese smelling oils that required time and effort, it is time to squirt and splash and you are ready to conquer the world as well as the opposite sex.

Youngsters who remain the main targets are being lured by brands like Benetton and Revlon that are pocket-friendly. Thanks to their effective marketing, these brands have now become fast-moving products.

Though there are no discounts, the perfume majors are now introducing schemes. Nautilius Aqua a perfume for men that comes with a snazzy watch for Rs 2,200 for a 75-ml bottle. Then there are the Oscar winners, Lolita Lempicka priced at Rs 2,775 and Paul Smith for Rs 2,700, needless to say that these attract as much attention as the Oscar-winning actresses.

Now that you have been able to smell the prevalent fragrance. So, go ahead and take your pick. But don’t forget to take your instruction manual for buying those expensive vapours and the cache.

Home decor

An array of beautifully crafted furnishings.

There is certain uniformity even in the variation they offer. Muted colours, hand-embroidered fabrics made of similar stuff and designed by the same hand guided by the similar sources of inspiration.

Walk into a Bandhini store and you will know what I mean. Bandhini, a lifestyle store founded more than two decades ago by Sangeeta and Yuvraj Narain, have created a niche for itself in the world of home décor. “We have clients from all over the world. We even export our stuff to various countries and take pride in the fact that our merchandise can be bought at famous home stores in the world,” says Yuvraj, the owner of the store, which caters to the elite section of the society.

Sangeeta is the designer, coupling her imagination with her experience. She manages to translate onto fabric a plethora of visuals. “I have done my basics in design, but what I have gathered from extensive travelling is what has gone to make this store.”

At present, Bandhini has two stores, one in Greater Kailash and another in South Extension. “We have stores in Mumbai and Bangalore and are eyeing places like Pune, Ahmedabad and Goa,” reveal the couple. Bandhini houses a whole array of beautifully crafted furnishings. Right from durries to napkin holders, everything has been done to bring out the best of the fabric. Use of beads, zari and other paraphernalia enhances the look.

“The trousseau collection, which was introduced by us, has fetched a good response. The bright colours and customised packages have been thoughtfully put together to make the wedding a special affair,” say the duo, who are credited to have started theme motifs as a part of design. The Egyptian motifs, Flower and Tigris weaves, New York and Manhattan Collection are some of the themes that have been very popular.

“We have people coming back to buy Fine Paisley and Pulkari stuff. It is very heartening to hear that people say their trip to Delhi is incomplete without a dekko at the Bandhini,” adds Sangeeta. The place has had its fair share of celebs. Shabana Azmi, Jane Fonda, Priyanaka Gandhi and Shweta Bachchan are known to pick up stuff from Bandhini. “In fact, we just noticed that Mira Nair’s Monsoon Wedding has a whole lot of Bandhini stuff,” says Yuvraj.

“We are planning to introduce a privilege card for our regular customers and thinking in terms of having a few interior designers on our panel, who can place orders with us and create a customised package for their clients.” With the plans for future laid down as intricately as their weave, the Bandhini couple are all set to strengthen their bandhan between their clients and their creations.

For lips

Make-up Giant Chambor has launched a ‘Duo Stic’, a make-up essential for those women who are constantly on the move.

The Duo Stic offers twin benefits of lip liner and lipstick in one pack.

One side is a lipstick while the other is a lip liner. A must-have in every bag, the Stic comes in two classic harmonies of Hot Cocoa and Hot Fudge.

Feng Shui

Articles from Kriti Creations.

Nestled in the crowded Khan Market, Kriti Creations manages to attract a fair share of attention from the passers-by. And once you have acquainted yourself with the shop, it is hard not to visit again.

The Kriti Creations houses some of the most sought-after Feng Shui articles and to top it all, there is Sharad Goyal, the friendly Reiki master and Feng Shui expert to help resolve the jargon into meaningful words. “Customers come here on an experimental basis, but once they have their problem solved through the advice we give, it becomes a routine,” reveals Sharad, who has been trained under Feng Shui expert, Lillian Too.

“Feng Shui is a practical way of dealing with the problems. Unlike Vaastu Shastra where you have to pull down structures and follow all prescribed remedies, here you can rectify or energise your chi without having to do much. By placing a symbol or a picture, one can get rid of the problems,” points out Sharad.

The place is always bustling with people to seek help and advice. “The maximum queries we get are regarding the activation of energy related to wealth,” laughs Sharad. This Feng Shui expert has tips for the New Year, “This year, health needs special care and so we must ensure that the energy must be activated in such away that we stay healthy.”

Sharad also has tips for those who want to be initiated into this art:

l Always keep iching coins in your wallet for a never-ending source of wealth.

l Mandarin ducks should be placed in the south-west corner of the room to ensure a smooth love life.

l A three-legged frog facing inward kept near the door brings wealth.

l A crystal globe in the north-east corner of the room ensures success in work.

l A set of Luk, Fuk and Sau, if placed in the dining area, ensure that the family gets enough to eat well.

So, all of you waiting for those problems to evaporate, try activating your chi.



Photo sessions for ID cards from Feb 1
Our Correspondent

Rewari, January 29
The Deputy Commissioner-cum-District Returning Officer, Mr Vineet Garg, has announced the schedule for the photography camps for the newly enlisted voters and for those who have not been able to get their voter identity cards in the Bawal, Jatusana and Rewari assembly constituencies of the district.

He said that this was in accordance with the directives of the Central Election Commission as well as the Haryana State Chief Electoral Officer.

Photography session for all such voters of the Bawal constituency will be conducted at the appointed places from January 23 to February 3.

Similarly, the session will be held in the Jatusana and Rewari constituencies at the appointed centres from February 4 to February 17 and from February 18 to

March 3, respectively. Photo identity cards on the basis of these photographs will be issued to the above voters later.

Health drive

A family health awareness campaign will be conducted throughout the district from February 1 to February 15, according to Mr Vineet Garg, Deputy Commissioner. He said that men and women aged between 15 and 49 years would be examined for sexual diseases like STD and AIDS. Those found suffering from any such disease would be provided appropriate treatment.

Power bills resented

Resentment prevails among shopkeepers at Gohana stand here against the `irregularities’ in their power bills. They threatened to block the vehicular traffic if their `faulty’ electricity bills were not rectified soon. According to information, more than 30 shopkeepers received power bills on an average basis. The aggrieved shopkeepers said the power employees had noted the meter readings but each of them had now received bills amounting to nearly Rs 2,000 on prepared on an average basis. They alleged they were intentionally harassed by the power officials and their repeated complaints were ignored by the employees.

Taxi driver shot dead

The driver of a taxi car was shot dead by some persons, who had hired it, near Palwal town in the district on Sunday. The deceased has been identified as Amarpal of Alawalpur village.

On Sunday evening, some persons approached him to take his car on hire to Hassanpur village. But on the way, they overpowered him and shot him dead. Later they threw his body on the road and escaped with the vehicle. The reason behind the murder is not known.

Boy sodomised, killed

A six-year-old boy of Baswa village in the Hodal sub-division of the district was sodomised and strangulated to death by a person. The assailant has been arrested.

The victim, Surender, son of Yadram, was playing on the street, when he was approached by the accused. The suspect later took the boy to the nearby field. The body of the boy was found lying in the field on Sunday. A case has been registered.

Woman dies in mishap

A woman was killed and her two-year-old daughter sustained injuries when a canter hit a cycle on the telephone exchange road near the Head Post Office here last evening. The victims have been identified as Mrs Renu Bala and her daughter Anju. The injured girl was immediately hospitalised. She is stated to be out of danger. The deceased, along with her husband and daughter, was going on a bicycle on the way to a hospital when the accident occurred. 



Sabharwal takes over as chairman of DTTDC
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 29
Mr Romesh Sabharwal today took over as the new chairman of the Delhi Tourism and Transportation Development Corporation (DTTDC). After assuming charge, he called on the Congress president, Ms Sonia Gandhi, and sought her blessings. Mr Sabharwal said he would strive to make Delhi a “dream tourist city”. The city nonagenarian leader, Mr Jagpravesh Chandra, convalescing in the hospital, said, “Delhi is an ideal place for the development of tourism as it is a unique blend of historicity and modernity. Delhi is a city of old and new and has tremendous scope for tourism for Indian and foreign tourists.”

The DTTDC chairman said he would strive to follow the direction set by the veteran leader of the city.



Two waylay cashier of gas agency, rob Rs 1.5 lakh 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 29
Two unidentified men waylaid an employee of a gas agency and ran away with a bag containing Rs 1.5 lakh and other documents from him in the Narela area of North-West district yesterday.

The incident occurred around noon yesterday. The police said Murari Lal (45), a cashier in Bhagat gas agency, was on his way after collecting the money from his agents when two unidentified men accosted him and snatched his bag.

The Deputy Commissioner of Police (North-West), Mr R. P. Upadhyaya, said that the victim used to collect money everyday and used to take it home, which is 1 km away from his office. Later, he used to bring the money and deposit it in the evening.

The police ruled out the possibility of an insider’s role in the incident. According to them, some one must have been following the victim regularly and watching his movements.

Meanwhile, a case of robbery has been registered in the local police station and a manhunt has been launched for nabbing the suspects.

Two auto-lifters nabbed

With the arrest of two persons, the North-East police today claimed to have solved 14 cases of auto-lifting. The police also seized three vehicles from the duo, supposed to be specialists in stealing two-wheelers. They used to dispose them in Uttar Pradesh.

Acting on a secret information that the auto-lifters would be visiting the Ghonda area, the police stepped up vigil there. When Taiyab (18), resident of Khureji, and Jagjit Singh alias Lucky (18), resident of Ghaziabad, were found coming separately on a motorcycle and scooter, the police stopped them.

On being interrogated about the ownership of the vehicles, the duo started giving incongruent answers. It was later found that the vehicles were stolen from Seelampuri.

On interrogation, they revealed that they had been operating from Krishna Nagar since December 2001, and had stolen 14 vehicles from different areas. They used to start the vehicles with the help of duplicate keys and dispose it of in Uttar Pradesh. Efforts are on to recover the other vehicles from the duo, and a manhunt is on to nab their accomplices.

1 kg heroin seized

The Delhi Police Narcotics Cell has nabbed two persons and recovered more than 1 kg of heroin from Tilak Nagar and Rohini.

The cell, acting on a secret information, nabbed Pankaj, resident of Tilak Nagar, and seized about 540 gm of heroin. According to the Deputy Commissioner of Police (Narcotics), Mr D. L. Kashyap, Pankaj was a criminal and both his father and mother were in jail facing an NDPS case. Another suspect, Ajay Kumar Gupta, a TSR driver and resident of the Wazirpur area, was nabbed with 500 gm of heroin, while he was about to deliver the consignment in Rohini. The police said that Ajay had been involved in drug peddling for the past one year. A case under the NDPS Act has been booked against the two persons.



Duracell closing down Gurgaon plant
Abhay Jain

Gurgaon, January 29
Duracell India, an alkaline battery plant of Gillette India at Industrial Model Township (IMT), Manesar, Gurgaon is being closed down due to the deteriorating market conditions.

A voluntary retirement scheme (VRS) was offered to all employees (175) of the plant. It is reported that all employees have accepted the offer.

Mr Vijai N. Mathur, Gillette’s director of legal and corporate affairs for India and South Asia, stated that the growth within the Indian alkaline battery market was below the projected rate.

The improved efficiencies at Duracell plants world-wide coupled with highly competitive global market conditions made it no longer cost effective to export from the Duracell India plant. Maintaining production for the Indian market alone was not viable and placed severe financial constraints on the company, informed the director.

The decision to discontinue production at the Gurgaon plant was in line with the Gillette company’s commitment to reduce costs, improve productivity and enhance shareholder value, said Mr Mathur.

The Duracell India plant used to manufacture only AA size alkaline batteries while other sizes were being imported. Gillette India would now source all alkaline batteries from other Duracell facilities worldwide, stated the press note issued by the company.

Mr Zubair Ahmed, managing director of Gillette India Limited, stated that alkaline battery market was still in a nascent stage in India. All over the world, Duracell had played a pioneering role in expanding this market and was the leader in the alkaline battery segment.

However, Gillette Company, having its headquarters in Boston, USA had announced that it would infuse funds voluntarily into the Gillette India Ltd by way of capital grant. The details of the capital grant were still being worked out and would be subject to necessary regulatory approvals, mentioned the press-note.

The decision to close down the Gurgaon plant was taken following an independent report on the company’s non-grooming business in India. Duracell India, set up here in 1996, started producing AA size alkaline batteries in late 1997.


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