Thursday, February 7, 2002, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


Lajpat Nagar demolition a quiet affair
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 6
The demolition squad of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi and a strong contingent of the police descended on Lajpat Nagar and Amar Colony today, to begin their drive against illegal constructions in compliance with the Supreme Court order. Officials of the MCD’s Central Zone said that the demolition exercise would be over tonight as the MCD has to file a compliance report in the apex court on Thursday.

The police sources said that no untoward incident was reported from the area as many residents themselves began dismantling their structures on the encroached land when the bulldozers arrived in the morning. Hundreds of residents of the congested South Delhi locality watched the MCD squad going about its work even as the armed policemen cordoned off the area.

Senior corporation and police officers said that a probe should also be conducted into the large-scale encroachments in the area, right under the nose of the MCD, which has an office there. The residents were served a 13 days’ notice to clear the encroachments. Spurred by the notice, the residents welfare associations of the area took a decision at a meeting last evening to voluntarily clear the area .

However, at the same time, they urged the Ministry of Home Affairs, area councillors and other senior leaders to spare the houses on humanitarian grounds. Mr Mahesh Chand Sharma, a BJP councillor and Leader of the House in the corporation, said that there was no opposition from the residents. The residents admitted they had usurped the area under pavements and the main road. For the area councillors, the demolition orders could not have come at a more inauspicious time as corporation elections are round the corner.

Lajpat Nagar was once a resettlement colony for refugees who fled here after the partition. In the beginning, the residents were allotted common lavatories and water taps. But, instead, they constructed toilets in their houses and disposed of the public lavatories, earning a great deal of money. Now, most of the toilets have been converted into shops. The entire area has, over the years, become a hub of commercial activity with the real estate rates sky rocketing.

An official of the corporation said yesterday that the MCD had issued 3,500 notices to house-owners in the `double-storey’ area of Lajpat Nagar IV. Over the years Lajpat Nagar has developed from a sleepy resettlement colony for partition refugees to a booming commercial Centre. This unbridled growth has manifested itself in usurping of public land by flouting building bylaws. The businesses in the area range from clothes to electronic equipment and automobile dealerships to cybercafes and restaurants. The demolitions will leave many of these businesses high and dry.

The Court has directed MCD Commissioner S P Aggarwal to inform it in person on February 7 about the action taken by the civic body. This left the affected parties with very little time to look for an alternative solution.


East Delhi pays for power pilferage, South gets away
Ramesh Ramachandran
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 6
Strange are the ways of the Delhi Vidyut Board (DVB). Stranger still the methods employed by it to improve the energy scenario.

Reeling under an acute shortage of power, the DVB announced a load shedding schedule more than a fortnight ago. A time-table was accordingly drawn up and duly advertised in newspapers. So far so good. What the mandarins of Vidyut Bhawan did not do for reasons best known to them was enforce a uniform load shedding schedule. Resultantly, colonies in south and central Delhi continue to get power at the expense of east Delhi and adjoining areas that go without electricity for long hours on end.

Asked about the “discrimination” in load shedding schedule, Power Minister Ajay Maken had this to say: “East Delhi with its numerous small industries and unauthorised colonies is notorious for power thefts. Therefore, the DVB thought it fit to curtail the supply of electricity to these areas as part of the load-shedding exercise and curb the pilferage.” The DVB logic, he explains, was to shed load in areas that were theft-prone and ensure adequate supply to other parts of the Capital. Quoting figures, the minister says almost 60 per cent of the power supplied to East Delhi (See table) is lost in transmission and distribution that includes pilferage. The total T&D loss for DVB is 45 per cent and an energy audit conducted by the utility states that against 14,740 MU of electricity supplies only 8,169 MU is billed.

Statistics however tell a different story. The extent of pilferage of power in posh residential colonies in South Delhi is evident from the statistics collated by the power utility. In September last year, 75 per cent of the cases of theft detected by the enforcement wing were reported from New Friends Colony, South Extension, Greater Kailash and East of Kailash. In one such operation, theft of electricity worth Rs 5.29 crore (6,334 KW) was detected. So much so that in Shalimar Bagh, New Friends Colony and areas adjoining them pilferage to the tune of Rs 1.28 crore (2549 KW) was detected in a single day – which is a record haul for the DVB.

DVB officials however defend the anomalous load-shedding schedule by saying posh residential colonies and industrial areas would come for special attention from enforcement squads and distribution engineers specifically told to identify pockets that are theft-prone. “Where two years back the DVB was recovering about Rs 175 crore as revenue assessed for theft bills, it is now realising over Rs 325 crore,” they added. Furthermore, DVB officials admit the rising incidence of detection of thefts in these areas is a disturbing trend. “One had erroneously come to believe that only the unauthorised villages and JJ clusters accounted for a majority of theft cases but, as the figures suggest, the menace has not spared the affluent sections of society,” says an official. Incidentally, pilferage in slums has shown a marginal decline.


Circle-wise T&D losses, including pilferage

Circle Percentage of  T & D loss Blacklisted areas Percentage of T & D loss
Central 39.4% Mayur Vihar 62.4%
East 59.5% Yamuna Vihar 71.2%
North 35.7% Mangolpuri 65.4%
South 35.0% Vikaspuri 68.1%



Drive turns violent

New Delhi
Four policemen were injured and a truck was damaged today when the DDA and the MCD teams went to demolish illegal encroachments in Priyadarshini Vihar near Nigam Bodh. According to the police, as the teams were demolishing the illegal structures around 11.15 am, a group of angry men pelted stones at the policemen and others involved in the demolition. To control the mob, the police launched 26 tear gas shells. No civilian was reported injured.

The team demolished 30 structures in the area with the help of three companies of police force. During the operation, a truck of a contractor was also damaged by the angry mob. The Kashmiri Gate police have arrested 10 persons and a case of rioting and assaulting public servants on duty was registered against them. TNS


Gurgaon: Hurdles in land registries
Ravi S. Singh
Tribune News Service

Gurgaon, February 6
The Haryana Government will shortly notify the urban pockets under the Gurgaon Control Area. The move is aimed at checking unauthorised constructions and the haphazard growth of the city.

The Gurgaon district administration has already sent to the government the details of the areas to be included in the gazette notification.

The measure follows a decision to plug loopholes in the existing rules, which render the authorities toothless in the face of unbridled urban growth. The decision was taken at a joint meeting of district officials, headed by the Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, last November. Following the decision, all district administrations were directed to give details of urban areas.

After the notification of the urban areas in Gurgaon, as would be the case with other cities in the state, there will be procedural hurdles for effecting land registries. Under the proposed dispensation, the registries would be allowed only after a ‘no objection’ certificate is procured from the office of the state’s Director of Town and Country Planning.

To ensure that genuine cases are not mired in red-tape and to minimise harassment to the bona fide buyers and sellers of land, the Town and Country Planning Department will be obliged to issue the certificates or reject the applications for NOCs within three months for deals pertaining to an acre of land. In case the department does not reject the application for the NOC and does not respond positively either, the applicants will be free to effect the registries.

The time-frame, however, will be 30 days for deals in plots measuring 1000 square yards. According to a senior member of the Haryana government, so far the authorities were finding it difficult to reject registries. Under the Indian Registration Act, the lodestar for effecting registries in land deals, the seller had to simply prove that he was the legal title holder of the land and that it was not undervalued. After the proofs were tendered, the authorities had no power to reject the application for registry. It simply had power under Section 47A of the Act to impound the property in case of under valuation.

In such a situation, land sharks had a field day, especially in Gurgaon and other cities of Haryana falling in the National Capital Region(NCR).

Often a land shark would buy a plot from villagers and effect the registry. Then, he would convert the land into a colony and sell flats and plots to buyers. This now cannot be done without obtaining necessary clearance from the authorities.


Gurdwara polls on June 16
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 6
The Delhi Government today informed the High Court that the election to the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee would be held on June 16.

The division bench of the court today gave three months to the state government to revise the rolls and complete the process by June 25. Setting a fresh deadline for holding the DSGMC poll, the court, however, ruled out further extension. Allowing an application by the Delhi Government, a division bench of Chief Justice S B Sinha and Justice A K Sikri, gave till June 25 to the state government to conduct the election after its counsel said that the electoral list would have to be revised after a recent amendment that allows even 18-year-olds to vote, which was a time-consuming process.

The court had earlier set March 15 deadline for holding the election. The bench accepted a time schedule given by the Delhi Government, which said that the polling would be held on June 16 and the entire process would be completed by June 25.

On December 19, the court had extended its deadline given to the Delhi Government to hold the DSGMC election till March 15.

The court observed that the inefficiency of the state government was quite conspicuous. The Delhi Government had expressed its inability to hold the election by January 31, citing staff shortage because of the February municipal polls. A Delhi Government counsel said that the administration was busy with the revision of electoral rolls for the municipal elections and that it did not have enough staff to make the necessary arrangements for the DSGMC election.


Drive in Faridabad at your own peril
Bijendra Ahlawat
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, February 6
Poor regulation of traffic in this industrial town and district headquarters has led to a near chaotic situation on the roads. While traffic jams are common in the city, the National Highway and other main routes have become quite unsafe for the commuters.

An unchecked growth of three-wheelers has added fuel to the fire. There are around 10,000 such vehicles here which have not only raised the pollution level, but have also reportedly contributed to a number of accidents every month.

Although the authorities have posted policemen at several busy points on the National Highway No 2 passing through the district, their number is not sufficient during the peak-hour traffic. Travelling on the main roads of Ballabgarh town, NIT and Old Faridabad is not easy throughout the day. The chowk of NH-I and NH-II in the NIT area is the spot where chaos prevails anytime of the day. In the absence of any policeman, it is a free-for-all here.

As a result, minor accidents and skirmishes between vehicle owners have been a regular feature. The Municipal Corporation here, which boasts of being the largest civic body in the state, has apparently failed to take any measure to check the chaos, which is at its worst in the NIT area. The authorities have finally begun to take action against autorickshaws which are parked in a haphazard manner. As many as 25 autorickshaws were penalised yesterday near Neelam Chowk. They have now decided to ban the parking of heavy vehicles, including trailers, trucks and carriers on the highways. The parking of hundreds of trucks and other heavy vehicles on these roads has been posing a grave danger to the commuters.

Meanwhile, the work on the administration’s plan to develop a separate ‘Transport Nagar’ is going on at a slow pace, according to sources. The residents here are peeved about the inaction on the construction of subways and flyovers on the National Highway and railway tracks. The 50-km rail track passing through the district has become a danger to residents. The demand to construct an over-bridge at Old Faridabad Chowk and railway crossing has not been taken up so far.


Success story from the drought bowl 
Smriti Kak

New Delhi, February 6
Success does not restrict itself to confines of class, caste or category. It comes to those who are determined in their endeavor and have a platform to perform. Fifteen-year-old Kavita Mahakud’s transition from a domestic help to a national awardee is a manifestation of such a determination, though not without the usual travails.

Barely 11-years-old, she started working as a domestic help in the Kalahandi district of Orissa to supplement the family’s income. Working for a pittance, the child had to trudge miles to fetch water and run errands that would tire even an adult. “When my elder sister got married, we faced a financial crunch. That is when I decided to help my mother by earning money. I used to get very little money and they would also beat me if anything went wrong”, recalls the girl from Orissa’s most backward district, made infamous by recurrent droughts.

Kavita, however, was one of the lucky few who were rescued and motivated to enroll in a school meant for children like her. “ A teacher encouraged me to join the child labour school. It took a while to convince my parents, but when they learnt that not only would I be taken in free, but will also be given Rs.100 per month, they gave me the go-ahead”.

Enamoured by the development of children studying in Navodaya Vidyalaya in Kalahandi, Kavita began to groom herself for the entrance test conducted by the school each year. “ I wanted to join the Navodaya School, because they were giving quality education to children like me. I was very happy when I made it to the school, that has helped me achieve so much”.

Acknowledging Kavita’s academic achievement, the Government of India has awarded her the National Child Award for the year 2001. “ I am very happy that I have won the award. I really enjoy studies, I wish to study further and become a teacher so that I can teach children like me,” gushes the girl who has won awards at the district as well as the state level for excelling in extra-curricular activities like debates, singing, dancing and even painting.

Kavita’s achievement underscores the fact that one does not just need financial backing and big names to succeed in academics. For a girl whose mother sells fruit and whose father is an agricultural labourer, education is a means of claiming her share of quality life.

Mr. R. Balakrishna Rao, Principal of the Navodaya Vidyala where Kavita is a class eight student, has been successful in honing the skills of children like Kavita. Right from providing education to helping them get loans for financing their higher studies, he has ensured that these children are roped in for community development programmes as well. “Due to the efforts of the students we are the first school in the country to have been awarded the Rajiv Gandhi Parthi Bhoomi Mitra Award. We have done a great job in wasteland development”. He adds, “Success stories like Kavita’s prove that the backward classes are not backward due to the lack of intellect, but because they lack facility and opportunity”.


CNG operators say Govt is flouting order
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 6
The CNG bus operators today accused the Delhi Government of violating the Supreme Court directive to phase out diesel buses in the National Capital Territory and urged the apex court to initiate contempt proceedings against the state government.

“We hope the Supreme Court shall initiate contempt of court action against the erring authorities this time and convey a message to the public that nobody is above law and the court orders are meant to be obeyed, not to be defied,” the Joint Front of CNG Bus Operators said in a statement.


Satellite to keep track of DTC buses
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 6
About 200 Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) buses would be installed with high-tech equipment next month to enable the satellites to track down their movement, the Delhi Chief Minister, Ms Sheila Dikshit, said here today.

This was announced by the Chief Minister at a three-day Asia’s largest conference on Geographic Information System (GIS) and Global Positioning System (GPS), Map India 2002, which got underway today. The conference is being organised by the Centre for Spatial Database Management Solutions (CSDMS).

“As a pilot project, 200 DTC buses will soon be fitted with the Global Positioning System (GPS) to improve their services and better management of existing routes. A bus fitted with the GPS will be tracked through the satellite system to ensure that it completes all its assigned trips during the day,” Ms Dikshit pointed out.

She also announced that the city government would extensively use the GIS and GPS for a more effective management of the existing basic civic amenities, including water supply system, telecom lines, repair of faulty street lights and laying of drainage pipes.

“If a streetlight does not work, it can be traced through a remote-sensing satellite, and the fault can be repaired immediately,” she added.

She said major cities across the world had started using information technology in a big way for improving civic amenities for their citizens. “This has helped the big urban centres from a total collapse. Unplanned urbanisation, industrialisation and the urgency to develop infrastructure are already taking a heavy toll of the cities in developing countries.”

The GIS could be used for improving healthcare, controlling pollution and checking unauthorised construction, the Chief Minister said. It had also wide applications in various other fields such as telecom, transport, police, education and sales and marketing.

The CSDMS chairman, Dr M. P. Narayanan, in his welcome address, said the GIS was a tool for modern governance and the real challenge was to bring the industry to the common people. “This can be done by making the GIS a compulsory subject for students of technical, business and economics streams,” he said, adding that the GIS industry, the fastest growing segment of the IT business, was poised to grow by 50 per cent this year. 


Sonepat goes without water the whole day, DC blames BSNL
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, February 6
The entire city of Sonepat with a population of about 2.50 lakh remained waterless throughout the day yesterday following the major breakdown in the supply system. According to the Deputy Commissioner, the breakdown was caused by the bursting of pipelines at three-four places due to digging by labourers of a contractor of the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL). To make matters worse for the citizens, power too remained cut off intermittently throughout the day.

According to the DC, the Department of Telecommunications had dug up the whole of the city for laying underground cables for augmenting the capacities of the two telephone exchanges. Even the newly constructed roads and streets had not been spared and this had caused a huge financial loss to the PWD (B and R), the Sonepat Municipal Council, the HUDA and other official agencies.

According to a report, thousands of domestic taps remained dry and this caused inconvenience to the residents, particularly women who had to fetch drinking water from far off places to meet their requirement. Many residents alleged that authorities and officials of the Public Health Department (PHD) had failed to inform them early about the disruption in the water supply. They also failed to make arrangements for the supply of drinking water through tankers. Most of the residents waited from dawn to dusk in the hope that the supply would resume soon. Many of them had to purchase water.

This correspondent made several attempts to contact the Superintending Engineer, the Executive Engineer, the SDO and the Junior Engineers of the Public Health

Department during the day but none of them was available in their respective offices. However, the stock reply from their subordinates was that “Sahab was not in the office”.

Finally, the truth came out only when the Deputy Commissioner (DC) was contacted on the telephone. He informed that the pipelines had been broken at two-three places due to the digging by labourers of a BSNL contractor. The DC said that the employees of the PHD were making concerted efforts to restore the drinking water supply system by repairing the damaged pipelines.

He also said that some labourers who were responsible for the bursting of the pipelines have been penalised and action would be taken against the contractor of the BSNL.

To make matters worse for the public, power also played hide and seek throughout the day yesterday. According to a report, the power failures started from dawn and continued till dusk. Thousands of residents had to go without power for hours together after 3 pm. The power supply was finally restored around 7 pm.

Many residents said that this was the worst power crisis in the city during the current winter season. Hospital services were the worst hit. Some areas have been without electricity and water for the last five days.

Some residents also pointed out that the power failures and load-shedding had become a routine and they had been suffering financial losses on account of erratic power supply. Industrial production had been badly hit and thousands of workers were being laid off daily on account of non-availability of power.

The authorities of the Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam were tight-lipped at yesterday’s power failures and they did not reveal the causes of the power failures.


Parkgate: NDMC attendants pocket fine money 
Rohit Wadhwaney

New Delhi, February 6
Mr Shailendra Tilak, who owns a chemist shop in south Delhi’s Malviya Nagar, was shocked when his two-wheeler was towed away from the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) parking lot at the Patiala House Courts. The NDMC parking bay, facing the historical India Gate, has hundreds of vehicles parked throughout the day, mostly of people who have to appear in the district courts.

Mr Tilak said he had been parking his scooter at the same parking bay for the last 10 years, ever since his case against the Delhi Development Authority (DDA), regarding his shop, began. “Never ever has my vehicle been lifted from here,” he said.

But, this time the attendant at the bay had not given Mr Tilak any receipt, again for the first time.

“The attendant told me that the receipts had not come as yet and that I could go in for my case and I would get the receipt when I return. I was shocked to learn my scooter had been towed away when I returned. All that the attendant told me was this was no more a legal parking place,” Mr Tilak narrated.

And quite rightfully so, as an NDMC official told the ‘NCR Tribune’, on condition of anonymity: “We have banned the parking bay that is facing India Gate.

The only legal place is in front of the gate number 2 of the courts, which is facing the National Stadium. “We had to do it as it became very congested on the India Gate side and we got a lot of requests from the Traffic Police to clear the area.”

However, Mr Tilak said the point was not whether the parking bay was legal or not, but that there should have been some indication saying that parking vehicles there was not allowed. “I have been going there for a decade.

How would I get to know that the parking bay is no more legal? Why haven’t they put up a ‘No Parking’ sign?” he asked.

Mr Tilak alleged that it was “almost certain” that the parking attendants and some NDMC officials were hand in glove. “They obviously thought they should make some money since the bay is banned now.”

After being told that his scooter had been towed away by the NDMC van, Mr Tilak had to go all the way to the NDMC’s godown near Safdarjung Airport. He was asked to pay a fine of Rs 300. “They checked my licence but refused to give me any receipt of the challan. I insisted that they should give me a receipt, but they refused saying they never gave any receipts and they just enter the name and licence number in the official register,” he said.

The parking attendant at the bay facing India Gate, who identified himself as Jagdish, told the ‘NCR Tribune’ that he had been telling everyone not to park their vehicles there as they would get towed away. “About 50 vehicles have been lifted from here in the past couple of days.”

Mr Sandeep Gulati, resident of Karol Bagh, however, said the same thing happened with him last week. “I parked my motorcycle where I always do, at the bay facing India Gate, and the attendant had told me that the receipts had finished but they are on the way. When I came back, my motorbike was not there. It is definitely a scam and they have plans to make money from it,” Mr Gulati said. Mr Gulati added that if the governmental officials did not have the intention of making money out of this, there was no reason for a ‘No Parking’ sign board missing from a place where people have been parking their vehicles for a long time. “There is no transparency in what the government does. Just one fine day, they wake up and say ‘ok we’ll scratch off this parking place!’ How the hell are we supposed to know about it? We won’t get dreams,” Mr Gulati said agitatedly.

Mr Gulati was more offended when he was challaned for Rs 500. He also was not given any receipt of the challan. “I have never heard of a Rs 500 challan for parking at the wrong place. Those officials justified the rate by saying that all challans in Central Delhi are more than Rs 500.

Why didn’t they give me a receipt? Obviously, they are keeping all the money in their pockets.”

Mr Dashrat, an NDMC worker, who admitted to have lifted about 50-odd vehicles from the parking bay facing India Gate, refuted the allegations of cheating the vehicle owners. “We have towed away a lot of vehicles because we have been ordered to do so.

And those people are lying if they say we have not given them receipts. We are just fining them Rs 300 and we are giving a receipt for it,” he defended the NDMC.

Mr Dashrat added that the day the decision to ban the parking area was taken, a ‘No Parking’ signboard was put up, but was broken down the very next day. “We can’t help it. But another board should come up by tomorrow.”


Cable operators pulling the wool over customers’ eyes
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, February 6
A social activist has lodged a complaint against the cable TV operators here with the District Administration, alleging violation of various norms by them.

Demanding a strict action against the operators for overcharging the customers, the applicant has threatened to file a public interest litigation in the High Court and make the local officials a party to it.

The public-spirited activist, Mr Krishan Lal Ghera, in a letter written to the Deputy Commissioner, has claimed that the majority of the cable operators had not obtained the licence and were not functioning as per the notifications of the official gazette issued from time to time.

He stated that the majority of them had been overcharging the consumers. Besides, the advertisements run by them on various channels was illegal.

It is also alleged that no cable operator had been maintaining the required register in form-5 as recommended in Section-8 of the Cable TV Network Act, 1995, and no one was disclosing his actual number of connections.

Moreover, the complainant said that the attachment of cable lines with electric and telephone poles was not only illegal but also posed a risk to the consumers at large. Mr Ghera said that if no action was taken within 15 days against the defaulters, he would have to file an SLP in the High Court or the apex court and the district authorities will be made a party to it.


DVB privatisation could go Enron way, says Khurana
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 6
With elections to the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) now almost certain to be held in March, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) today questioned the Delhi Vidyut Board (DVB) privatisation process.

“The privatisation of the DVB’s distribution sector could go the Enron way if the state government does not act cautiously,” said the former Delhi Chief Minister and BJP MP, Mr Madan Lal Khurana.

Expressing concerns about the manner in which the distribution sector is being privatised, he alleged: “There is a lack of transparency in the entire process and it is being hurried to suit the whims of certain vested interests.”

He said the Enron debacle, where the power purchase agreement was made in a one-sided manner, proved to be a major embarrassment for the Maharashtra Government and if cautious steps were not taken now, the DVB privatisation could also go the same way.

The Maharashtra Government had entered into a power purchase agreement with the US energy giant, Enron, to buy power at a rate, which later proved to be uneconomical. While the company accused the government of going back on its commitment, the state government stated that the company was producing power at a cheaper rate and selling it at an exorbitant rate to the state electricity board.

The board was selling to the consumer at a lower cost and the extent of subsidy the government had to bear in the whole scenario was enormous.

Mr Khurana raised doubts about the manner in which the assets of the DVB have been valued. “The book value and discounted cash flow method, the two methods followed globally, have been discarded,” he said.

He said the government before adopting business the evaluation method should have taken the prior sanction from the Delhi Vidhan Sabha.

“The value of the assets has been assessed by the government as per the wishes of the purchaser,” he alleged, adding “no property register is being maintained for the valuation of assets, while the consultant is carrying out the valuation of assets for the last two years.”

The value of the assets of the three distribution companies is Rs 2,360 crore.

While the asset value of the Central-East company is Rs 290 crore, the North and North-West company has an asset value of Rs 920 crore and South-West company Rs 1,150 crore. The generation and transmission companies are together valued at Rs 800 crore.

The asset value of the DVB as a whole is Rs 3,160 crore. This had been arrived at by the business valuation method and is very close to the book value of Rs 3,024 crore, the state government had said.

Mr Khurana questioned the government’s decision to keep Rs 2,600 crore aside to bridge the gap between the revenue collection.

“In case the companies are not able to recover their power dues even after forwarding the bills, the government is willing to compensate them For this, a new way of aggregate technical and commercial losses (AT&C) has been found. It is evident that all this is being done at the instance of the private companies,” he said.

The government had stated that it is committed to providing loan support of about Rs 2,600 crore to the transmission companies during the first three years.

This loan assistance would be used by the Transmission Company to bridge the gap, in the initial years, between its revenue requirements and the bulk supply price it may receive from the distribution companies.

Mr Khurana said the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission was fixing the rates of power for companies which do not possess the license for transmission and distribution.

He said the former Chief Justice, Mr K. N. Singh, whose opinion was sought by the DERC on the directions given by the state government on fixing the bulk energy supply rates, had stated that the government’s directions “were not in the public interest”.


Your jeep may be appropriated for INLD campaign
Vipin Sharma

Rohtak, February 6
Beware, if you have a jeep. Do not take it out till the assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh are over. In case you are caught by the police while driving a jeep, you may be directed to proceed to Uttar Pradesh for canvassing, setting aside all your prior engagements. If you dare refuse to comply with the `order’, your vehicle may be impounded on flimsy grounds.

According to reports, several jeeps, plying legally or illegally, were directed to move to Uttar Pradesh for campaigning for four or five days in support of the ruling Indian National Lok Dal (INLD). Don’t be afraid, the official machinery is generous enough to provide you the fuel expanses.

It is learnt that almost all the jeep owners prefer to bow down before the official pressure rather than taking unnecessary trouble. However, a jeep owner of Bhaini Maharajpur village in the Meham subdivision, Mr Bijender Singh, decided to take the bull by the horns. And he paid for it, literally.

It is learnt that Mr Bijender Singh was going with his ailing wife, Mrs Rajwanti, mother and children to Sharda Nursing Home at Meham for treatment in his jeep last evening. He was stopped by the SHO of Meham and directed to go to Uttar Pradesh.

In his written complaint submitted to the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Bijender alleged that the SHO offered Rs 2,000 as fuel charges and forced him to comply with the “official wish”. However, the complainant said he had to adopt the daredevil act of refusing the police official as there was nobody in the house to look after his ailing wife. He alleged his `unusual refusal’ infuriated the police official who immediately challaned the vehicle and impounded it.

The complainant claimed that he had produced all the requisite documents but the police official impounded the vehicle even without mentioning it in the challan receipt. Now the only question is who was riding this bull, the SHO.


Sense of alienation bogs down the old’
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 6
Emotional and psychological problems, arising from a sense of alienation, are among the most frequently occurring trauma afflicting old age, says Agewell Foundation, a voluntary agency attending such issues. According to Agewell, in Delhi alone, over 25 per cent of the population comprise old persons and it has been “universally established that the genesis of the problems faced by old persons is in their realisation of complete alienation”. As on January 31 this year, an overwhelming 7,841 calls received by Agewell or visits made to the agency predominantly pertained to legal, medical or financial nature. Pension and insurance issues accounted for 7,163 calls, followed by other social problems (6,058), loneliness (5,345) and relationship with family members (4,550).

“The feeling of alienation only aggravates under such circumstances. The elderly feel there is no one they can turn to in a crisis situation, and this heightens anxiety,” said Himanshu Rath of Agewell Foundation. Post-traumatic stress disorders can last for over two years.



Five of family beaten up for resisting eve-teasing
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, February 6
Five members of a family, including two women, were allegedly beaten up by members of another family in Mujesar village here yesterday. It is reported that the incident took place after the victims resisted eve-teasing by a male member among the accused. A case has been booked and the injured have been referred to a hospital. In another case, a 45-year-old resident of NH-I locality of NIT received 70 per cent burns, after he doused himself in kerosene and set himself on fire. The victim is reported to be an alcoholic. He has been shifted to Delhi in a critical condition.

Sewage project

A sewage ejection project costing Rs 4.50 crore has been sanctioned to ensure smooth functioning of the sewerage in Rewari city. Giving information in this regard, Mr Vineet Garg, Deputy Commissioner, said that of this, Rs 36.20 lakh had already been spent on laying a 6.3 km long sewage ejecting pipeline in certain parts of the town. Similarly, out of the Rs 1 crore sewage-ejection project for the Bawal town of the district, Rs 17.68 lakh had been spent. The Public Health officials had been directed to get all open manholes covered with immediate effect to ensure the safety of pedestrians as well as vehicle drivers.

Aid to jawan’s kin

The Deputy Commissioner, on behalf of the Haryana Government, presented cheques of Rs 5 lakh each here today to Mrs Dhan Kaur and Mrs Brahm Kaur, mother and wife, respectively, of the late Satpal Singh of Buroli village, who was a Havildar in the 87th Battalion of the Border Security Force. He died in the IED blast engineered by militants in the Ramban area of Kashmir on June 2, 2000.

Poetic symposium

A poetic symposium was held in the hall of Hindu Senior Secondary School here last night to mark the 29th death anniversary of noted Urdu poet Nand Lal Nairang Sarhadi whose anthology of selected ghazals and poems entitled “Tamir-e-Yaas” was posthumously published recently by the Haryana Urban Akademi.

3 die in mishaps

Three persons were killed and two others injured in a series of accidents on the G. T. Road near here yesterday. According to a report, two of the three victims have been identified as Mahurat of Gonda district (Uttar Pradesh) and Dalbir of Sonepat. Both the injured persons were immediately hospitalised.

Civil defence rally

A large number of people witnessed the civil defence demonstration held on the premises of Tikka Ram Girls College here yesterday. Mr Ashok Yadav, Additional Deputy Commissioner, and other officials were present on the occasion. This is the third demonstration organised for civil defence preparations in the city.

Prisoner gives cops the slip

Sonepat: Ram Niwas, a prisoner, reportedly escaped from the police custody while he was being brought from Hisar to Sonepat district jail here last night. According to a report, the police have sounded a red alert and sealed all the exit points in the district.

Four peacocks killed

Sonepat: Four peacocks were found killed in the premises of a government school at Rathdhanna village about 5 km from here yesterday. According to a report, the incident has caused a stir and the residents have informed the police about it. 


Thrice-married man hangs wife for not bringing dowry
Our Correspondent

Jhajjar, February 6
The district police have registered a case of dowry death against the husband of Geeta, who died yesterday, and three of his family members in Asauda village of the district today.

According to the police sources, Geeta was hanged to death by her husband, Subhash, and his relatives yesterday. Several injury marks on her body indicated that she was mercilessly beaten before she was hanged. Her inability to bring more dowry is stated the reason behind the killing.

Villagers said that Geeta was married to Subhash, a truck driver, in January 2000, after the death of her elder sister, who was earlier married to Subhash, under mysterious circumstances. They were the daughter of Rajbir Singh, resident of Dhour village.

The villagers said that Subhas had married thrice. His first wife had also died in similar circumstances. The district police have registered a case under

Sections 304-B and 406 of the IPC and arrested Subhash.


Pimples drive youth to suicide
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 6
A 22-year-old man reportedly committed suicide in Mukherjee Nagar area, it was found today morning. The deceased, Sachin of Vijay Nagar, reportedly consumed sulphas tablets yesterday night before he went to sleep. A suicide note recovered from him said that he was committing suicide due to the presence of pimples and scars on his face. In the note, he had also expressed his desire that his eyes might be donated to an eye bank and other usable body parts to a hospital.

Boy commits suicide

In another case, a 12-year-old boy and a standard VI student of a government senior secondary school reportedly committed suicide in his house today. The police said that Satender, resident of Bhalswa Dairy Jhuggi, Samaipur Badli, had stopped going to his school since January 24. To find out the reason for his absence, his teacher had sent another student to his house. On coming to know of his absence, his mother scolded him. Angered with his mother, Satender hanged himself from a hook with a chunni in the morning. His father is a Delhi Jal Board employee. The Samaipur Badli police are further investigating the matter

Liquor seized

The police have seized 15 cartons (720 quarter bottles) of Bonnie Scot Whisky, eight bags containing 1,600 pouches of Soufi brand of country-made liquor, from a Cielo car.

Acting on a secret information that one Cielo, bearing number 7583 and carrying illegal liquor will cross Peera Garhi from the Bypass side, a special team checked all vehicles on the route under the supervision. At 11.20 pm, a Cielo, bearing registration number DL-1CE-7583 (black colour) came on the route and on seeing the police, the driver accelerated. However, Constable Prithvi stopped the car with the help of a barricade and Head Constable Babu Ram overpowered the car driver. The consignment was seized during the search.

The owner of the car, Praveen Kumar, was arrested. On interrogation, he told the police that he was carrying the liquor from Haryana to supply in some of the jhuggi clusters of Delhi. 

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