Wednesday, February 27, 2002, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


Pvt cos not fully liable for power lost in transit
Ramesh Ramachandran
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 26
As an incentive to the private companies bidding for a stake in the distribution of electricity, post-unbundling of Delhi Vidyut Board (DVB) into smaller entities, the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) has discounted the aggregate and technical (AT&C) loss accruing from transmitting electricity from the source of generation to the 66 KV substation. The private companies, in other words, would not be liable for the 5.7 per cent of the electricity generated that is lost in transit.

The quid pro quo, according to the DERC sources, will be for the bidders to achieve the AT&C loss stipulated for every one of five years such that the AT&C loss is brought down to 30 per cent. Failing to reduce the AT&C loss to the stipulated level would mean the private companies would forfeit the 16 per cent profit accruing to them annually.

According to Delhi Power Minister Ajay Maken, the private companies will have to account only for the AT&C loss incurred in distributing electricity from the 66 KV substation to the consumer. (The total AT&C loss is 12 per cent.) On the other side, he says, is only a marginal swing in retail tariff as payable by the consumer.

The minister said at the end of five years private power companies would be free to purchase power from any source. They need not buy, as they would be in the interim, from GENCO, the generation company. “The private companies may, if they so desire, set up their own power generation plants,” said Power Minister Ajay Maken.

Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) Chairman VK Sood, in turn, says private players can buy power from any source even now. “The Act does not stop the private companies from buying power from elsewhere,” he said. In the event of a company buying power from a source other than GENCO all that is required is for that company to pay the “wheeling charges” (for routing the power from point of generation to consumer) as determined by the Commission.

“This scenario however does not seem a possibility in the foreseeable future because of the shortage of power in the country. Buying electricity from a private source can happen only when there is a surplus and market forces govern the energy sector,” Mr Sood said. Allaying apprehensions of an inflated retail tariff in the event of the distribution companies buying power from a private source, DERC sources said the consumers interests would be protected.

Meanwhile, in anticipation of the peak power demand that will shoot up this summer, the minister said the Government of NCT of Delhi would approach the states to bridge the demand-supply gap. Besides Chandigarh that is already supplying 100 MW of power, Himachal Pradesh is expected to bail out Delhi by giving 125 MW.

By May, he said, the second unit of Pragati Power Project of 105 MW capacity would be commissioned. That, coupled with the 105 MW already available with the Delhi Vidyut Board after the first gas turbine unit was commissioned recently, an additional 210 MW power would be added to the pool. “We would also be approaching West Bengal and Orissa to meet our demand position,” the minister added.



CBSE ‘better equipped’ for exams this year
Our Correspondent


  •  Extra Head Examiner in all nodal evaluation centres.
  •  Facilities for physically challenged students such as alternative questions, ground floor seating arrangements and an extra one-hour.
  •  Change in the pattern of question papers.
  •  Helplines to counter exam blues.

New Delhi, February 26
A total of 12 lakh students are set to take the examinations to be conducted by the Central Board of Secondary Examination next month.

In Delhi alone, a total of 1,37,059 candidates will appear for the class 12exams, whereas 2,10,250 candidates will take the class 10 exams. Though there has only been a marginal increase in the number of candidates in the Capital, there is a discernible swell in the number of examination centres as well as invigilators and evaluators.

The Chairman of CBSE, Mr Ashok Ganguly, told mediapersons that the number of examination centres had been increased for both the classes. For class 10, the evaluation centres had increased to 118 and for class 12, the number would be 131, he informed. The CBSE has decided to appoint an additional head examiner to carry out academic supervision over the evaluators and to ensure effective academic supervision. This facility, which had been till now available only for class 12, will now be made available for class 10 as well. “We have about 27,000 evaluators this year to check copies. We had started preparing a data bank of teachers as early as August. We may not require the assistance of retired teachers, but we will use them if the need arises. Besides, there will be an additional head examiner at each nodal evaluation centre,” Mr Ganguly said.

This year, the CBSE has made some changes in the question papers as well. For visually challenged students, the CBSE will provide alternative questions in mathematics and science. The number of questions for class 10 mathematics paper has been reduced from 30 to 25 and students will be given more internal choice in some questions. For class 12 students, the economics and biology papers have been based on frontline curriculum. The CBSE has also altered the pattern for compartment exams. Instead of two chances, the candidates will now be allowed three chances. Flying squads and other security measures have been put in place to ensure that there is no malpractice. “We will divide Delhi into six to eight zones and we will keep a tab on the examination centres with the help of our flying squads, the flying squad from the Directorate of Education and special observers from outside,” said Mr Ganguly. Special consideration is being shown to the disabled students. The examination centres have been instructed to provide them rooms on the ground floor so as to avoid inconvenience to them. In addition to the alternative questions in place of questions having visual inputs for the visually handicapped, the CBSE has made concessions for those who are dyslexic or physically handicapped. They have been permitted to use amanuensis (scribes) and will be allowed an extra hour to complete their exams. They have also been allowed to study one compulsory language instead of two. The answer sheets of these students will be sent to separate nodal evaluation centres created for the purpose. The CBSE has also circulated a Performa to the affiliated schools inviting their observations in regard to the parameters defined in the design and the blueprint of question papers in different subjects.



Recognition of private schools under attack
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, February 26
Schoolteachers in large numbers took out a procession here on Monday evening in protest against the “indiscriminate recognition” of private schools in the district by the District Education Officer (DEO) and the District Primary Education Officer (DPEO) in violation of the government rules.

They raised slogans in support of their demands at a demonstration held in front of the office of the DEO. The leaders also wanted to submit a charter of the demands to the DEO but he had slipped away from the office before the leaders arrived.

Earlier, the district unit of the Haryana Rajkiya Adhyapak Sangh, affiliated to the Sarv Karamchari Sangh, Haryana, organised a meeting of teachers in the municipal park. It was addressed by a number of sangh leaders. They strongly criticised the DEO and DPEO for granting recognition to private schools in violation of the norms laid down by the state government. These private schools, they alleged, had no basic infrastructure like buildings, playgrounds, arrangements for drinking water and laboratories.

The speakers alleged that the management of these private schools were charging exorbitant fees from the students and exploiting their parents on one pretext or the other. They demanded a high-level inquiry into the scandal and stern action against the officials found responsible for it.

They asked the government to close down the private schools which had already been given recognition but had failed to fulfil the stipulated norms. They also demanded all facilities, including pay scales, allowances and promotions to the teachers working in the private schools at par with the government schoolteachers.

The sangh leaders urged the state government to fix the quantum of fees and other funds the private schools could collect and take action against those schools hiking various fees. They demanded that the private schools should provide all concessions like reservation and relief in fees to the students belonging to the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Backward Classes being given in the government schools.

One reason for the government teachers taking to the streets is the disparity in salaries vis-a-vis private teachers.



Where cupid’s arrow draws blood
Parmindar Singh

Ghaziabad, February 26
Cupid’s arrows are not tipped with romance in western Uttar Pradesh, but carry the potent message of death. Such is the opposition to love affairs, elopements and the like that youths here have to be really daring to attempt anything amorous.

Ironically, it is the youngsters who slit throats, if somebody takes undue liberties with their women kin. Education, affluence or social status is not an inhibiting factor, as was manifest in the recent case of Nitish Katara, who was allegedly kidnapped and murdered by the son and nephew of a former minister and present Rajya Sabha member, D. P. Yadav.

The latest victim of this peculiar mindset is a young man of Sahibabad area. He was stabbed to death by the father and two brothers of the girl with whom he dared to have an affair. The condition of one of the assailants, who was caught by the relatives of the youth and assaulted, is also stated to be serious.

Satinder, son of Basant Yadav of Indira Garden Colony under the Sahibabad police station area, was returning home. Three persons assaulted him with knives when he approached his house.

A profusely bleeding Satinder was rushed to the district hospital by the police. At around midnight, one of the assailants, Shyam Sunder, sneaked into the hospital to pry on their victim but was caught by Satinder’s relatives who thrashed him black and blue.

When Satinder succumbed to his injuries the next morning, the police registered a case of murder against Shyam Sunder, his brother and father.

If this was the fate of Satinder, Moinuddin of Dasna also met a brutal end. His naked body was found at Asman Colony of Musori on February 19 with several stab wounds. He had gone missing four days back. Moinuddin’s crime was again that he dared to court a girl, Salhej, which incensed three other youths of the same colony.

The police have arrested the trio — Kulva alias Nizamuddin and Vishambbar,, residents of Poothi village under the Musori police station, and Nanhe of Delhi –- on Monday. They have been accused of kidnapping and murdering Moinuddin.

Before killing Moinuddin, Kulva and his companions had tortured him. The assailants, the police said, had been involved in petty crimes on board trains.



MCF wants govt to help it clear dues
Bijendra Ahlawat
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, February 26
The fund-starved Municipal Corporation Faridabad (MCF) is now looking up to the state government for help in clearing the arrears, which have mounted since the revision of pay scales of employees as per the recommendations of the Fifth Wage Board. The MCF requires at least Rs 15 crore to clear the arrears of about 4,600 employees. The last date of release of the arrears is drawing near as the Punjab and the Haryana High Court had, in a judgement, ordered the implementation of new pay-scale benefits to the employees of the corporation about a month ago.

The court had given 90 days’ time for the purpose. While the MCF authorities had been maintaining ‘silence’ on the issue, a communication by the Secretary and Commissioner of the Urban Development Department to the corporation officials here seems to have brought some cheer. The state government has reportedly asked for the status report in this regard. The higher authorities want to know whether the MCF was in a position to clear the arrears itself. While it is learnt that the MCF is not in a position to do so, the authorities here are preparing a detailed report and a formal appeal to the higher authorities at Chandigarh to help the MCF come out of the situation. 



DSGMC flays eviction of riot victims
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 26
The Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) today strongly condemned the eviction of over 100 families of riot victims from their residences in Jahangirpuri by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA). The DDA had evicted these families for not paying Rs 3.5 lakh for each of the premises. Condemning the action of the DDA, the DSGMC president, Mr Avatar Singh Hit, said the authority was unjust in making such demands. The authority had earlier demanded around Rs 30,000, but had now hiked it without assigning any reason.



BJP, Cong mull strategies for MCD poll
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 26
The political activity for the Municipal Corporation of Delhi polls gained momentum today with the two main parties, the Congress and the BJP, holding closed-door discussions to formulate strategies.

The senior leaders of the BJP were giving final touches to the first list of candidates who would be given party ticket to contest from the East and West Delhi wards of the Capital.

Further, the party faced with anti-incumbency factor and the recent drubbing in the assembly polls, held brain storming sessions on the strategy to be adopted to prevent the voters from following the trend of the season – voting against the party in power.

The outgoing 134-member MCD is dominated by the BJP.

The party had earlier sought the views of the local unit leaders and the mandal heads about the prospects of different candidates in these wards.

Based on this feedback, the 15-member BJP election committee headed by Delhi unit president, Mr Mange Ram Garg, is now giving final touches to the list.

Sources said the first list of candidates could be released late in the evening tomorrow. The list may contain several names which may disappoint many as, sources said, they would be mostly dummy candidates.

“This is done to bring in an element of surprise in the Opposition camp. If the list contained all the final candidates, then it would give an opportunity to the Opposition to formulate their strategy. So, in the first list, 30 per cent names would be of dummy candidates,” party sources said.

On the other hand, the Congress, though in an upbeat mood, is finding itself in an awkward position as factionalism is to the fore with different groups lobbying with the state unit president, Mr Subhash Chopra, and the party’s in-charge for Delhi, Mr Kamal Nath, to secure tickets for their candidates.

The party had earlier sought applications from prospective candidates and the applications are being scrutinized.

Party spokesman Mukesh Sharma said the first list of candidates would be announced on March 2.

Meanwhile, the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) Delhi unit president, Mr Avatar Singh Hit, has been named by the party’s political affairs committee to hold discussions with the BJP for contesting the civic polls.

The party is weighing the pros and cons of contesting on its own symbol, the number of seats it would negotiate with the BJP and the wards where it would put up its candidates.

On the second day of the filing of nominations, the Election Commission said five persons filed their papers. All of them filed as Independents.

The wards for which they filed their papers were Mangolpuri, Seelampur, West Gorak Park, Dilshad Garden and Seemapuri. The polls have assumed added significance following the assembly poll outcome.


When people won’t change their ways
Rohit Wadhwaney

New Delhi, February 26.
We are all propelled by self-interest, but some people can really go to any extent to promote their ends. Be it installation of booster pumps for extracting more water or dismantling dividers and railings on the roads.

Broken railings and office-goers squeezing through the gaping holes is a recurring sight in the Capital. Often, the breaches in the railings are in the vicinity of a subway, which most office-goers avoid for inexplicable reasons.

The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) is fed up with the breaches and the transgressions on the Capital’s roads.

“But what can we do? Every time we erect a new railing, it takes no more than a couple of days for someone to amble along and leave a gaping hole,’’ points out Jeetender Kumar Kochar, member of the Standing Committee of the MCD.

Mr. Kochar analyses: “People just don’t want to improve their way of life. It is unfortunate that we have become accustomed to living in this passive manner. Even if we attempt some improvement, the people do not cooperate.”

The Standing Committee member explained that railings were put up on main roads to prevent people from crossing the road at will.

“They are supposed to use either a subway or a zebra crossing. But they just won’t do it.”

He goes on to add: “The breaches have not happened on a handful of occasions. Each time we have put up a railing, the people have broken it down to carve out a crossing for themselves.”

Be it the busy All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) crossing or the posh residential colonies, one can spot the `man-made intersections’ at every nook and corner. In fact, at the AIIMS crossing, the railings have been changed at least “a dozen times.” And this, when there is a subway adjacent to the hospital, not more than 20 yards away.

But there is a logic to even these transgressions. Says Sanjay Avasthi, who prefers the man-made intersections: “I don’t know why the government makes railings. What’s the point? Where are to we cross the road from?” The subway or the zebra crossing is apparently not a part of Awasthi’s scheme of things.

A senior MCD official blamed the “careless” attitude of the pedestrians for such acts. “They will blame us (the MCD) at the drop of a hat. But they will never cooperate with us.”

The official disclosed that the MCD spends a “fortune” on the city’s railings every year.

“What do the people do with them? They break them down, so that they don’t have to walk an additional ten yards. What improvement can we make in their living conditions, then?”

He cited the example of the Capital’s deserted subways, which are transforming into dens for anti-social elements. “No one goes through them.

It is a fact, subways in Delhi are a failure, and it’s shocking.”
Even more shocking is that in a posh south Delhi colony, Saket, not just a part of the railing, but about 20 meters of the railing along with the divider has been dismantled on the Press Enclave road, to facilitate a U-turn forvehicles. However, these railings are not broken down only for the purpose of crossing the road.

The MCD complains that even the railings they put up on footpaths go missing a few days later. It is a fact that the railings, which go missing, are stolen and sold off as scrap.

Harish, a rag picker in Saket, disclosed that several times people had come to him to sell the iron railings. “Why should I care whether they are stolen or not? I will buy them, if it is being sold to me.”

A railing is worth its weight in scrap and fetches anywhere between Rs. 50 and Rs. 70 per kg. An Assistant Commissioner of Police, on the condition of anonymity, told the NCR Tribune: “We have caught a few people red-handed trying to cut off railings.

But it is very difficult to prove that they are actually dismantling the railings to sell them off. So, we can do only book them for destroying public property.”

However, the ACP admitted that railings all over Delhi were regularly stolen and sold off to rag pickers. “It is very difficult to control the theft, unless the MCD runs electric current through the railings,” he said with a laugh.

The people have to realise that they are destroying public assets. Until that sinks in, nothing can be done to control the menace.



Nothing more telling than Indian masculinity
Smriti Kak

The ramp lacked the soft-toed saunter that comes easily to the female of the species. Instead we had the wannabe Adonis, flexing the triceps and biceps and whatever that gives the male ego a high. The big idea was to gauge the brawn and the brain of the dude who will walk tall, at least for a year, after he bags the Grasim Mr India title.

Thirty young men engaged in a duel of sorts, trying to outdo the other while moving closer to the goal. Garden City, Bangalore, played host to the event that showcased male talent. The contest, comprising five rounds, laid emphasis on wit and intelligence. In the first round, they were dressed in dungarees, portraying men at work. Then came the tough one and, perhaps, the most awaited, where the men had a chance to flaunt what makes them so proud. The second round saw them make an appearance in physique wear. If the women can dress for the evenings, so can men, that was the attitude when they strode out in their finest Grasim Evening Suits for the third round. The fourth round reduced the 30 to a mere 11. Some jittery, others confident, the 11 semi-finalists braved the question round.

In the fifth round, the number had shrunk to six. One common question to all was put forth and contestants had to draw their swords err… pens to answer the poser. Raghu Mukherjee of Bangalore stole the march over the rest while Jaspal Singh Sehgal of Mumbai and Saumik Rao of Ahmedabad were declared the first and the second runners up, respectively. While the anchors were Malaika Arora Khan and Noyonika, the jury comprised Sunil Gavaskar, Abhishek Bachchan, Karan Johar, Raveena Tandon, Namrata Shirodkar, Priyanka Chopra, Smriti Malhotra (Tulsi), Aditi Govitrikar and the representative of the UN’s World Peace body, Dolores Coucerio. For those who couldn’t watch the gala event, catch the birdies on Sony TV channel next month.

Through the eyes of Surkhab

Surkhab Shaukin Singh
Surkhab Shaukin Singh held his first solo exhibition when he was just 15. Since then he has not looked back. Seen here with his Nikon FM 2 camera.

One of Surkhab Shaukin Singh’s exhibits.

For the boy who has to make the best possible use of his Nikon FM 2, photography is a medium to search and reach. With five solo exhibitions behind him, Surkhab Shaukin Singh’s dexterity with the shutter has produced mind-blowing results.

The Geography Honours Student of Chandigarh’s DAV College held his first solo exhibition when he was just 15. The second exhibition came two years later and brought colossal praise. Surkhab is the youngest to hold an exhibition at the India International Centre.

“Life is so vast, why restrict the exhibition to just one topic? ” questions the boy who prefers not to restrict his exhibit to just one theme. Even though the third and the fourth exhibitions were titled ‘Europe 2001,’ Surkhab decided to combine his prints of Rajasthan and Himachal with the locales of Europe.

Ace lens man Raghu Rai inaugurated the fifth exhibition that was held in the Capital recently. The theme was `Nature, Abstract and Life’. Rai is all praise for the boy who has clicked his way to success: “The photographs exude a youthful energy, vibrant colours and rich textures that are in tune with his age. They also show that he is technically sound. I am sure he will be able to capture emotions when he grows up”. Inspired by his father’s love for the camera, Surkhab opted for photography in school as a hobby. “Perhaps I have wandered into the world of photography precisely because of papa’s images in my mind”. He however expresses gratitude to his teacher, Mr Navneet, who taught him the intricacies of the art.

“I have learnt all skills from my guru Navneet. But it is not skill alone that he taught. He also helped us to adopt the 

One of Surkhab Shaukin Singh’s exhibits.
One of Surkhab Shaukin Singh’s exhibits.

attitude and the freedom of indulging in trials and improvisations. He inculcated in us that wandering-in-search spirit, and I shall be grateful to him forever for initiating me into photography”.

Surkhab’s maternal uncle has been a constant support. “I think, considering how expensive photography is, all photographers should have a number of mammus settled abroad,’’ says the boy, referring to his uncle who has incidentally gifted him his only camera. Whether it is a Nikon FM 2 or a more expensive gizmo, the results just speak for themselves.

La Perla eyeing indian market

India is fast emerging as a target worth eyeing when it comes to fashion. International giants are rushing to the country to display the best they have. India is not just the source of inspiration with its the aesthetics and mystical heritage, it is now a market to make moolah. “The Indian market is quite interesting. I have come down to India to know the mind and choice of the Indian buyers. I believe that the coming two years will see India in the top league of the world fashion scene”, elucidates Massimo Leonard, Head of Exports of the La Perla Group. Gruppo La Perla, an Italian fashion major, is all set to make a grand appearance in the forthcoming New Delhi International Fashion Week (NDIFW) scheduled to take place in March.

A $ 250 million fashion house, the La Perla has been around for more than 20 years. It markets its brands through a qualified international distribution network throughout Europe. High level sales networking has also been chalked out in many countries of Europe, Asia, United States and the Latin America. La Perla is a name in the world of fashionable lingerie. They will be showcasing a collection for men, women and the kids at the NDIFW. A new line of designs that will be launched in Milan in March will also be unveiled.

“The manufacturing side of Gruppo La Perla is divided into three large divisions. While Dalmas specialises in lingerie, tricot and women’s hosiery under brand names like Marvel by La Perla, Malizia by La Prelam Occhiverdi, M.B. International handles beachwear under brand names like Anna Club and Oceano. Woman specialises in men and women’s night wear and men’s underwear under brands like Joelle and Grigio Sport”, explains Massimo Leonard.

La Perla is on the look out for a right partner to open outlets in India. “We need some one who shares the same passion and who understands the real philosophy of our company. We might come up with a special package for India once we are ready to open a chain of stores here”.

Leonard promises the Indian collection would be, “sensitive, feminine and mysterious, like most Indian women.” Take a bow ladies!

Carbon’s tribute

Carbon has a special offering for the women this International Woman’s Day. Paying tribute to the women and wooing them with the Solitaire collection, the 18 k yellow gold collection and the diamond collection.

The Solitaire collection is the perfect accessory to make a statement, either formal or informal. The collection is priced Rs 7,950 onwards and has an entire range of rings, pendants and earrings.



Devi Lal’s statue to be unveiled
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, February 26
The Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, will unveil the statue of former Deputy Prime Minister late Chaudhary Devi Lal at Town Park in Sector 12 here on Wednesday. The statue has been installed in the park, maintained by Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA). Mr Chautala will also address a gathering here on the occasion of Guru Ravidass Jayanti.

College meet

The two-day state level Inter-Engineering College Athletics Meet, ‘OLYMCA-2K2’, started at the grounds of the YMCA Institute of Engineering here today. Teams from half-a-dozen colleges are taking part in the meet. The was inaugurated by the SSP of Faridabad, Mr Ranbir Sharma. According to Mr J. C. Arya, chairman, sports section, Mr Dharamvir, Principal Secretary (Technical Education), Haryana will preside over the prize distribution function on Wednesday.

Three apprehended

The Central District police here have booked two petrol pumps and a transport company for violating the norms of highway road and safety rules.

In the complaint, the highway police alleged that the accused, located on National Highway No. 2, had illegally created passage from their establishment to the National Highway.

Ban ordered

The district administration has notified that no construction will be allowed within the periphery of 900 metres of the outer boundary of Indian Air Force establishment here.

In a press note here, the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Arun Kumar, said that action would be taken against the encroachments, if any, in the notified area here. The order was issued following complaints about illegal constructions in the area.

Advocate beaten up

Rajendra Singh, an advocate, was allegedly beaten up by three persons belonging to the plaintiff’s group in the local court complex here on Monday. In a complaint lodged with the district police today, the advocate alleged that when he came out of the court of the Additional Sessions Judge, Kumari Gagandeep Kaur and Vijay took hold of him from behind and Suchet and Mahavir, residents of Tamaspura, started thrashing him. The assailants reportedly also threatened to kill him. The district police have registered a case under Section 323/506 of IPC against the accused.

Youth cong rally

The Haryana unit of the All India Youth Congress has decided to hold a massive demonstration in front of the Parliament House in the Capital on March 1 in protest against the “anti-people Budget” of the central government.

This was announced by Mr Sudesh Sharma, vice-president of the state unit of the Youth Congress, at a meeting of the party workers here.

He said that Mr Randeep Singh Surjewala, president of the All India Youth Congress, would lead the demonstration and the gherao within the Lok Sabha. Thousands of party workers from all over the state would take part in the demonstration and the gherao, he added.

Mr Sharma also called upon the party workers to mobilise people for taking part in the programmes of the party to get rid of the misrule of the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre.

He expressed happiness at the landslide victory of the party during the assembly elections in various states of the country and said that the people of the country had expressed their full faith in the leadership of Mrs Sonia Gandhi. Mrs Sumitra Chauhan, member of the HPCC, Miss Monika Malik, president of the district unit of the Mahila Wing, were among others present at the meeting.

Baisakhi utsav

The Tehsil Alipuri Biradari has decided to organise a function on Baisakhi in the city, according to Mr Ashok Kumar Chandna, senior Vice-President of the Biradari.

He told mediapersons that the main aim of this function was to spread the message of brotherhood. Delegates from other states like Delhi and UP will take part in the function.

Night patrolling

The police have taken a series of steps to check the activities of anti-social elements and criminals in the city.

According to official sources, the steps include the intensifying of night patrolling and keeping a close vigil on the criminals and anti-social elements. Sonepat city has been divided into eight zones for the purpose of night patrolling by the officials in PCR vans.



Haryana to strengthen fire-fighting services
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, February 26.
The Haryana Government plans to augment the fire services in all the 68 municipal bodies of the State. According to official sources, it will provide the necessary fire-fighting equipment in 40 out of 68 civic bodies during the current financial year.

Likewise, the Board of National Capital Region (NCR) has been extended a financial assistance of Rs. seven crore for strengthening the fire services in 16 towns and cities of Haryana.

The State government has already launched a Rs. 142-crore three-dimension project for the development of urban areas of the State. The new project envisages the strengthening of fire services, solid waste management and shifting of dairies from the municipal towns of the state. The state government has earmarked Rs. 60 crore for the construction of new roads and repair of old ones within the municipal limits in different parts of the state. 



Three run over by train
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, February 26
Three youths, including two brothers, were run over by trains in two different incidents near Palwal town in the district on Monday.

According to the police, Vijay and Mukesh, residents of Jevar in Uttar Pradesh, had been returning to their native place on their moped. The duo tried to cross the railway track at a crossing, which was closed, and was crushed by the speeding Goa Express. Both died on the spot.

In another incident, Jaipal (28) of Palwal town, was also killed as he fell down on the track while trying to board a shuttle train near Asavati village on Monday. Meanwhile, two persons were also killed in separate road accidents on Monday.

Youth hurt

A youth, Shailender (19), was injured when he was hit by an unknown vehicle on the Sonepat-Bahalgarn road on Monday. According to a report, the injured youth was immediately hospitalised and he is stated to be out of danger.



CBI swoops down on CPWD engineers, finds slush funds
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 26
The CBI seized lakhs of rupees and other valuable goods after raids conducted at the residential premises of two CPWD engineers. The raids followed a complaint by an unknown person that the suspects had nexus with contractors and earn money through illegal means.

There was a complaint that the suspects — Executive Engineer H. S. Kohli, Junior Engineer Balwan Singh, two contractors and an auditor — were causing losses to the government, CBI spokesman said.

The Anti-Corruption Branch of the CBI investigated the case and found that the engineers helped contractors in getting contracts worth Rs 48 lakh at exorbitant rates for construction of boundary walls of parks in Srinivaspuri in South Delhi.

Subsequently, they passed the contractor’s bill knowingly that the contractors had used substandard material in completing the work. This resulted in a huge undue pecuniary advantage to the contractors and loss to the government.

The CBI conducted searches at eight different places, including the residential premises of the suspects. The sleuths seized Rs 6.30 lakh, documents about bank deposits worth Rs 4.10 lakh and FDRs worth Rs 8.50 lakh from the residence of H. S. Kohli.

He was also found in possession of a palatial house constructed recently at a cost of around Rs 30 lakh and a Maruti Zen car. The searches at the residence of Balwan Singh resulted in the seizure of Rs 6.12 lakh and FDRs worth Rs 1.4 lakh. Incriminating documents recovered from both the places are under scrutiny, the spokesman said.



Woman burnt to death
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 26
A woman (22), Sandhya, was allegedly tortured and burnt last Friday by her husband and in-laws in Karawal Nagar. She succumbed to the injuries the next day at a hospital.

According to the police, Sandhya, resident of Muzzafarnagar, got married to Ishwar Singh, who runs a small business in Delhi, three years ago. Since his business was running in loss, he borrowed about Rs 20,000 and had been finding it difficult to repay the borrowed amount.

As pressure mounted on him, Ishwar started sending Sandhya to her father, Surja Singh, to bring the money. Since her father also had difficulty in raising the amount, Ishwar and his sisters and brother Ravi started beating her up to bring more money from her father. Finally, they allegedly burnt Sandhya. Though she was admitted to Irwin Hospital, she succumbed to the injuries on Saturday.

The police have registered a case of dowry death in the Karawal Nagar police station against Ishwar and Ravi.

Heroin haul: The Delhi Police Narcotics Cell have apprehended a person from near Gagan Cinema in Nand Nagari and seized 1 kg of heroin worth crores of rupees in the international market.

The Deputy Commissioner of Police (Narcotics), Mr D. L. Kashyap, said that the suspect, Bir Pal of Bulandshahr of Uttar Pradesh, was nabbed when he was about to deliver the consignment to an unknown customer.

The suspect told the police that he had been involved in drug trafficking for the past three years and involved in three other criminal cases.

In fact, Bir Pal was released on bail only last week. A case under the NDPS act is booked against him. In another case in North-West district, 300 bottles of illicit country-made liquor was seized from a tempo van in the Kanjhawal area on Monday.

According to the police, the tempo driver, Bhagat Ram, resident of Bhivani, was also arrested.

Nine held for visa racket: The IGI airport police have arrested nine persons in connection with issuing a fake visa to Daljeet Singh to go to the United States of America.

The accused, Daljeet Singh, Sunder Singh, Pal Singh, Manoj Dahiya, Anthony China, Mehboob Khan, Irfan Ali, John Thomson and Dhruv Kumar, were sent to judicial custody, after Daljeet Singh, resident of Kurukshetra, was caught at the airport for possessing a fake visa to San Francisco. Efforts are also on to nab the last accused, Deepa alias Basanti of Karol Bagh, who was reportedly acted as a main link for arranging the visa. A case of cheating and forgery was registered against all the accused.

Boy knocked down: A 10-year-old boy was reportedly knocked down by a tempo in the Sultanpuri area on Monday morning. The incident occurred when Sunil, resident of Laxmi Nagar, was going to his friend’s house in C-Block, Sultanpuri.

He was rushed to Sanjay Gandhi Hospital where he was declared brought dead.

The Sultanpuri police have registered a case of causing death due to rash and negligent driving and arrested the tempo driver, Bhagat Ram of Kundal Khera, Haryana.



HCL opens offshore centre for NCR Corp
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 26
HCL Technologies has opened a dedicated offshore development centre (ODC) in Gurgaon for NCR Corporation’s financial and retail divisions. With the opening of the new centre, HCL also announced the commencement of its operations here to look after the technological developments.

The new centre was inaugurated by Mr Keith Taylor, senior vice-president, and Mr Dan McCable, vice-president, Human Resources of NCR’s financial solutions division worldwide. Speaking on the occasion, Mr Taylor said, “It is clear to me that this organisation focuses on quality and its customers. We are very interested in this market and are rapidly expanding our presence here.”

This partnership is another way for NCR to show its support for one of the most exciting markets in the world. We are eager to expand this relationship as it is certainly in the best interest of NCR and HCL Technologies.”

Mr Arun Duggal, CFO, HCL Technologies, added that it was extremely satisfying to see their relationship with NCR grow. “This is the second offshore development centre we have set up here and it is a clear endorsement of HCL Technologies’ continuous thrust on providing high quality services to our customers.”

“Our strategy of building enduring partnerships with select leading-edge technology companies such as NCR will enable us to continue growing even in trying times,” he said.

The relationship with NCR began nine years ago and expanded significantly in 1995 when HCL Technologies established a dedicated centre at Chennai for the maintenance of some NCR products, including MP-RAS and Lifekeeper.

In 2000, under the NCR global procurement process, HCL Technologies was selected as NCR’s preferred software development outsourcing partner.


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