Monday, April 8, 2002, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


Schools closed to meet bus shortfall
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 7
All schools, government and private, in the Capital will remain closed on Monday and Tuesday. Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit today said she had directed the officials concerned to issue the necessary orders to allow for the Delhi Transport Corporation’s (DTC’s) 800-odd CNG-driven school buses to ferry commuters when offices and commercial establishments reopen for the week.

“The Chief Minister will review the situation arising out of the Supreme Court order (banning the plying of diesel buses) and decide when schools may reopen on Tuesday evening,” official sources said. To meet the rush of commuters on Monday, the government did not rule out the pressing into service of 896 buses, including 108 mini-buses, that are issued the All India Tourist Permits. Reiterating that the situation was not as bad as was being sought to be projected, the Chief Minister said all DTC buses plied as usual today. Fifty-five KM Scheme diesel buses, she said, also operated through the day after paying the stipulated penalty. (On Saturday, a day after the Supreme Court passed the order, 37 diesel buses had plied after paying the penalty of Rs 500.)

According to sources in the Transport Department, there are 2,124 CNG buses with the DTC. The pool of CNG buses includes 63 that are run under the Kilometre (KM) Scheme, 169 Private Stage Carriages, 1,884 Contract Carriages and 2,195 Mini-Buses. “After excluding diesel buses, there still are 6,435 CNG buses available for ferrying commuters,” they said.

Ms Dikshit said she would meet with Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Ram Naik on Monday to sort out the outstanding issues. Expressing displeasure with the handling of the entire matter by the Indraprastha Gas Limited (IGL), she said the Government of NCT of Delhi did not concur with the IGL’s position on the availability of CNG in the Capital. “It is not acceptable to us,” she said while underlining the need for a coordinated response from the Union Government, the Government of NCT of Delhi and IGL in overcoming an avoidable crisis.

The Chief Minister has appealed Delhiites to liberally offer “lift” to stranded commuters and embrace the virtues of car pooling. On an optimistic note, she said transporters – realising the gravity of the situation – would come around to the government’s point of view and resume the bus service. Transporters’ associations, she added cryptically, might move the court for relief. The associations have sounded the Centre out and sought permission for using ultra-low sulphur diesel (ULSD) as an alternative to clean fuel and might make a prayer before the court for a penalty-waiver.

Meanwhile, the closure of schools in Delhi might have come as a relief to many parents, but not so for their counterparts in Noida and other satellite townships whose wards are ferried every morning and afternoon by DTC’s school buses and private contract carriages. The District Magistrate of Gautam Budh Nagar said no decision had been taken yet on closing the schools there. Concerned parents spent the day calling up newspaper offices and friends to make arrangements for an alternative mode of transport.

The bus equation

(As on April 3, 2002)



KM Scheme


Private Stage Carriage


Contract Carriage


Mini Bus




(As on April 3, 2002)



KM Scheme


Private Stage Carriage


Contract Carriage


Mini Bus






Arch rivals on the same side of CNG
Ramesh Ramachandran
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 7
Circumstances bring the unlikeliest of political adversaries together. That is what the Supreme Court order on the plying of diesel buses in the Capital has done to legal eagles Arun Jaitley and Kapil Sibal, or so it seems. Notwithstanding their political affiliations, Congress Rajya Sabha MP Kapil Sibal and Union Law Minister Arun Jaitley in the BJP-led NDA Government at the Centre are on the same side of law on the CNG issue. While Mr Sibal is assisting the Congress-led Government of NCT of Delhi in drafting a strategy when it makes a prayer before the apex court on Monday for waiving the penalty imposed on the plying of diesel buses, Mr Jaitley is being sought after by the BJP MPs from Delhi, particularly the former chief ministers’ club comprising Madan Lal Khurana and Sahib Singh Verma for facilitating the issue of a notification allowing alternate fuel.

According to well-placed sources, Transport Minister Ajay Maken was closeted with Mr Sibal till late Sunday evening, discussing the legal nuances of praying before the court for waiving of the Rs 500-a-day penalty per diesel bus that plies in the Capital. The sources said the decision to make the prayer was taken after due process of consultation with Mr Sibal and his team.

When contacted, Mr Maken told ‘NCR Tribune’ it was the considered opinion of legal experts that while the Government of NCT of Delhi would comply with the court’s order of phasing out 800 buses a month, it should move the court for relief insofar as waiving of penalty is concerned. “The court,” he said, “has told the Indraprastha Gas Limited (IGL) to make available 16.1 lakh kg of CNG per day whereas the IGL is supplying only about 4 lakh kg a day. Therefore, while we welcome the phasing out of 800 buses, we will make a prayer to reduce the penalty on non-DTC buses till such time as the availability of CNG was commensurate with the demand.”

Mr Jaitley, on the other hand, is being beseeched by the BJP MPs and transporters associations alike to bail them out of the situation by getting the Union Cabinet to issue a notification permitting the use of alternate fuel. “Things will improve dramatically if the Centre can bring out such a notification,” Mr Harish Sabharwal, president of the Joint Action Committee of Transporters, said. “We have sought meetings with the law and petroleum ministers to sort out the matter,” he added.

While Mr Jaitley’s brief is limited to the extent of exploring the legal framework of executing the Supreme Court order, Mr Sibal is advising the Congress-ruled Government of NCT of Delhi on arriving at an amicable resolution of the matter. Asked if Mr Sibal would be present in the court when the prayer is made, Mr Maken replied cryptically with a “Let’s hope so.”



All eyes are on Centre
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 7
The crucial meeting to find a way out of the CNG crisis in the Capital is scheduled for Monday. It would be attended by the Union Petroleum Minister, Mr Ram Naik, Union Law Minister, Mr Arun Jaitley, the seven BJP MPs from Delhi and a section of the transporters.

“We would urge the Centre to issue a notification allowing the use of alternative fuels like ultra-low sulphur to provide relief to the transporters,” said the former Delhi Chief Minister and Outer Delhi MP, Mr Sahib Singh Verma.

Asked whether such a notification would not be violating the orders of the Supreme Court, he said, “Parliament is the law-making body and there are enough provisions in our Constitution to bring in such a notification to bring relief to the sufferings of the people.”

The amicus curiae in the case, Additional Solicitor General, Mr Harish Salve, however, expressed surprise at the talks about the government issuing notification to provide relief to transporters.

He said, “The Supreme Court order is clear. The order states that CNG will be the fuel for Delhi and other non-polluting alternative fuels for the rest of the country. Let us see under what law the government, if at all, brings in such a notification,” he added. However, the transporters, whose 6,000 diesel buses have been off the roads for the past two days, are pinning hopes on such a relief being provided by the government. The Joint Action Committee of Transporters today held a meeting in the Capital to chalk out the future course of action.

The transporters claimed that autorickshaws and taxi operators had also extended support to them. Mr Shyam Lal Gola of the committee said the transporters would hold a meeting at the residence of Mr Madan Lal Khurana to explain the problems being faced by them following the apex court orders.

Though the Delhi CNG Bus Operators Association has welcomed the court orders, they said that their experience of running the buses on the green fuel had not been a happy one. The president of the association, Mr P. S. Gandhi, said there were only nine mother CNG stations for filling up the gas for the buses. Invariably at least one station was out of order, and three were reserved exclusively for school buses. Though the time taken for filling the gas for a bus took only 15 minutes, the buses had to stand in the queue for at least four to five hours. Following the Supreme Court order, the wait for the gas had increased, he said. Asked about his experience of owning the CNG fleet, he said, “Within a year, the engine of the bus had to refilled by the company twice. The buses have technical problems and it heats up quickly, and have the capacity to run only 350 km at a stretch.” Since there are only two CNG bus manufacturers, he said it would take at least two years for these companies to produce 5,500 buses.



UP powerless since restructuring
Parmindar Singh

Ghaziabad, April 7
The resignation of the CMD, UP Power Corporation, R.K. Narayan, on Friday is symptomatic of a deep-seated malaise that afflicts the UP power sector, the genesis of which lies in the trifurcating of the UPSEB much against the wishes of the striking engineers of the state electricity board. The Government had then created three independent corporations to take over the hived off functions of the UPSEB.

According to these knowledgeable engineers, who did not want to be identified, not a single power producing unit has been set up in the state since 1990. Nor has any new power house been commissioned. In an experiment in Greater Noida, Noida Power Co Ltd (NPCL) was given the responsibility of distributing power in the area on the condition that it will set up its own power generating power house within five years of the agreement. Not only has the company failed to set up its captive power unit, but it has time and again violated the conditions of the agreement. Even today this company is functioning in gross violation of the stipulated conditions. The UP Power Corporation and the UP Power Generating Corporations are in knee-deep debt. They owe huge arrears to Coal India, NTPC, Indian Oil and Power Grid. The current power cuts are due to these debts. When Uttaranchal was part of UP, the cost of power per unit supplied by Uttaranchal was just 10 to 12 paise per unit, it is pointed out. Now, it has shot up to 44 paise per unit. The output of UP Power Generation Corporation has also dipped from 6000 units to 2500 units now. On one hand, the power corporation is purchasing power at a higher price; on the other, it is supplying the same at a subsidised.

The Power Corporation is under pressure from Coal India and the Railways, too. But it is the nodal consumer who has to suffer for the lapses of the power authorities; here, the role of former Power Minister Naresh Aggarwal was also not above board, since he went ahead with the trifurcating of the UPSEB.

The UP Power Corporation has revised the roaster for power cuts, bringing it down to eight hours a day as against 12 hours earlier. Now, Noida will have power cut from 10 am to 2 pm at par with the State capital, Lucknow. Ghaziabad, Meerut, Muzzafarnagar, Saharanpur Kanpur etc will face power cut of 6 hours daily along with a host of other cities. Modinagar, Sikandrabad, Bulandshahar, Deoband etc will have to bear a nine-hour power cut. Mr Anil Kumar, Energy Secretary, who has stepped into the shoes of Mr R K Narayan as CMD of the UP Power Corporation, has refuted reports that the UP Government departments owed Rs 3300 crore to the Power Corporation. He said about Rs 600 crore has already been paid to the UPPCL.



MDU college girls damage cars of flying squad
Vipin Sharma

Rohtak, April 7
Hundreds of agitated girls of BPSM Girls’ College at Khanpur kalan damaged the vehicles of the Maharshi Dayanand University flying squad and the center superintendent on Saturday. They also raised slogans against certain teachers before taking the B.A. (first year) examination being conducted by the university. They warned that they would not appear in the examination, if certain teachers were put on invigilation duty. Taking umbrage at the protest, the teachers refused to perform their exam duties. The matter was immediately reported to the controller of examinations of the university, after which both the parties were pacified and the exam, scheduled at 2 pm , finally started at 3.30 pm. The teachers later disclosed that they had been directed by the authorities and a senior office bearer of the governing body of the college to adopt a ‘lenient’ attitude towards the examinees since the start of the exams on April 4. However, they had refused to oblige as their conscience and professional ethics did not allow for such ‘leniency’. At their abject refusal to co-operate, an office bearer of the college instigated the students to protest against the ‘strict’ teachers.

When contacted , Mr J.K. Sharma, pro vice chancellor of the university and president, ad hoc governing body of the college, admitted that the situation could have veered out of control on Saturday. Therefore, the services of a special flying squad were requisitioned. In view of the gravity of the situation, the vice-chancellor, Maj. Gen. (Retd.) Bhim Singh Suhag, went to the college today to inquire into the matter. He said an inquiry committee, comprising senior faculty members, would be constituted after the exams.



Is special colony the answer to jhuggis on 
govt land?
Bijendra Ahlawat
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, April 7
While the demolition of jhuggis and unauthorised structures has become a ritual here, the authorities are yet to come up with any tangible long-term suggestion to prevent the growth of such colonies. A lone suggestion has, however, come from the Deputy Commissioner that a special colony should be built to rehabilitate the displaced persons.

The Municipal Corporation Faridabad (MCF) and the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA), which claim to have recovered hundreds of acres of land worth several crores of rupees in the anti-encroachment drive in the recent past, are also being blamed for making thousands of poor persons homeless. The authorities have demolished about 10,000 jhuggis and houses, which had allegedly come up on government land, in the last one year. The latest demolition was carried out on March 31 in which about 2,500 houses of Rahul Colony here were razed. It is learnt that more demolitions may follow as hundreds of acres are still under illegal occupation.

While the Chief Minister has announced that no encroachment would be allowed, there is hardly anyone who has come up with a concrete programme to end the slum menace. It is estimated that at least 1.5 to 2 lakh people are living in such unauthorised colonies in this industrial town. The only ray of hope seems to be the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Arun Kumar, who has submitted a proposal to develop a special colony for the displaced persons. Mr Kumar points out that 30 to 50 acres of land belonging to the Rehabilitation Department had been lying vacant in Sectors 55 and 56 here, which could be used to accommodate a large number of displaced persons.

He said the proposal had been submitted to the higher authorities at Chandigarh. If it gets the nod, the work would begin soon. Either houses could be constructed or plots provided at affordable rates to such persons. The Deputy Commissioner claimed that jhuggis and slums had been on his priority list and, if all went according to plan, the problem could be solved to a large extent in the coming years. He admitted that the mushroom growth of jhuggis and unauthorised colonies on encroached land had become a major issue in the town.

A former official of the MCF suggested that ‘Bhapu Dham’ colonies must be developed to house poor people. He said the MCF had prepared a plan to develop a colony to accommodate residents of about 60,000 jhuggis on a plot of 100 acres about five years ago, but the lack of support from the state government had led to the failure of the scheme.

He claimed that unless proper facilities and low-cost houses were provided, the growth of slums and jhuggis on government land could not be checked. He said as Faridabad was an industrial town, migrant labourers would continue to flock to the city.



Foreign currency seized from fake ‘IAS’ officer

Sonepat, April 7
The police have recovered foreign currency and travellers’ cheques, including Rs 1,500 in Pakistani currency, form Abhikar Raj, who impersonated an IAS officer and availed the hospitality of the district administration.

According to a report, the Intelligence Bureau sleuths are interrogating the accused, who is still in police custody. It is stated that the accused converted to Islam in 1992 and changed his name to Akram Rehman Khan. He had visited Pakistan no less than 10 times. The police has registered a case under Section 419,420,170 and 171 IPC against the accused. OC



Delhi Govt bid to ‘create monopolies’ challenged 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 7
The proposed privatisation of power distribution and state-run hospitals in the national capital region of Delhi has been challenged in the Delhi High Court on the ground that the move would create “private monopolies” in energy distribution and rob the poor patients of free treatment.

The court issued notices on the two separate petitions even as the Delhi government outlined in the Budget its proposal to privatise and restructure the loss making Delhi Transport Corporation and the Delhi Jal Board.

The high court has issued notices, returnable on April 26, to the Delhi Vidyut Board (DVB), the Delhi Power Supply Company Limited (DPSCL), the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) and three other zonal distribution companies on a petition filed by Gajendra Haldea, Chief Advisor to the National Council for Applied Economic Research.

The petition, filed through senior counsel and former Finance Minister P Chidambaram, said the Delhi Government, in November last year, notified the Delhi Electricity Reforms (Transfer Scheme) Rules 2001, which provided for the re-organisation of the DVB and the transfer of the distribution sector to private companies.

The petition said that under the privatisation scheme the Delhi Government was only inviting bids from one private company per distribution circle. State monopoly was being replaced by private monopoly, the petitioner contended. Under liberalisation, privatisation means competition in the open market, which is beneficial for the consumer as he can choose the best product at the lowest cost. But creating private monopoly would thwart competition and the consumers would continue to remain hostage of the system, the appellant said.

It would be a mistake to make such companies the sole buyer and seller of bulk power, he said, adding that even the expert group on State Electricity Boards was against the ‘single-buyer’ model. The petition has also challenged the constitutionality and legality of the State Government’s notification and the transfer scheme. The bidding was slated to close on April 10; thus far, only the Calcutta Electricity Supply Corporation, the Bombay Suburban Electricity Supply company, Reliance and the Tatas have evinced interest in the privatisation move. The petitioner has also opposed the fixing of bulk supply tariff for sale of subsidised electricity by the state-owned company to private companies, which would in turn distribute the power to consumers at high rates. As a high cost plus return has been guaranteed to private companies, the electricity rates would be high and their burden would ultimately be borne by the customers, the appellant alleged. He worked out the figures for supply of electricity to such companies at Rs 1.47 per unit whereas it was Rs 4.16 per unit for the consumers. The petitioner has, therefore, asked the court to set aside the DERC’s February 22 order approving the bulk supply tariff.

Govt hospitals 

The Delhi High Court has issued notices to the Centre and the Delhi Government on a petition seeking to stop the privatisation of state-run hospitals and seeking the implementation of the report of a committee, which had recommended the upgrading of facilities at these hospitals.

Seeking a reply from the Centre, the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi and the Municipal Commissioner of Delhi on the issue, a division bench comprising Chief Justice S B Sinha and Justice A K Sikri fixed July 8 as the next date of hearing.

The PIL filed by Salek Chand Jain seeks the court’s directive for providing dialysis machines to different hospitals in the city and installation op radio therapy machines. The petitioner’s counsel, Sugriva Dubey, claimed that the Delhi Government is gradually moving towards privatisation of LNJP and G B Pant hospitals along with Guru Nanak Eye Centre, Maulana Azad Medical College and Hospital and a few others; a proposal, it is claimed, has been circulated among the Heads of the Department. He said the proposal in this regard calls for setting up of a society to run these hospitals. As per the proposal, the poor and downtrodden would be denied free medical test and medicines in the hospitals, he claimed. The petitioner said a committee was formed in 1997 with regard to upgradation of the hospitals but its recommendations have been lying in cold storage.

The PIL claimed that in the Capital only a few government-run hospitals have dialysis facilities and the cost of such treatment in private hospitals is beyond the reach of common man. Despite the huge basic infrastructure in the hospitals, the drugs supplied are sub-standard or duplicate, the petitioner submitted. 



Haryana takes lead in tackling fire emergencies

Fire in any town can be a devastating experience for its residents. The people of Delhi and its periphery have had a taste of the tragedy often in the past. For as long as one can remember, there have been serious cases of fire in the National Capital resulting in heavy casualties and loss of property. There are inaccessible areas like Sadar Bazar where the fire tenders found it difficult to reach the spot to control the flames. There have been high-rise buildings like at Rajendra Place which were the scene of fire and nobody knew how to reach the top to rescue the victims or to control the fire.

The problem has been getting more serious over the years with the coming up of more shanty colonies — these jhuggi colonies have been a common place for a fire in the summer destroying whole or large parts of these colonies — and high-rise buildings which call for more modern equipment to cope with fire in any one of them.

There is no doubt that the city fire services have been modernised and better equipped with every passing year but there is always a constraint of funds and means and there is a limit to how well equipped the service can be. Even today, there are complaints by the authorities concerned that the things could have been much better. Everybody knows that the response time for attending to fire emergencies is more than what it should be, that there is shortage of water hydrants or shortage of water available, that the man and machine could also do with some additional funding to meet the new requirements of the city.

The problem of the Capital has become more serious with the development of other towns in the National Capital Region where the high-rise buildings are coming up fast and the population has almost the same character as in Delhi. These were small towns earlier and did not require the fire services of the same standard as needed by big, metropolitan cities. Now, they almost form part of the main city even if they are technically areas of other states.

It is only natural that the authorities in these towns care for this part of the civic services. Fortunately, the authorities in Haryana realised the need to do something in this regard and have prepared a comprehensive plan to strengthen the fire services in all the towns in the National Capital Region and provide the service where it did not exist already. The existing services in seven towns — Gurgaon, Bahadurgarh, Sonepat, Panipat, Palwal, Rewari and Rohtak — will be strengthened while new fire stations have been approved for nine towns, that is, Samalkha, Gohana, Gannaur, Jhajjar, Sohna, Hodal, Nuh, Meham and Bawal. The National Capital Region Planning Board has approved the scheme estimated to cost about Rs 700 lakh. The Institution of Fire Engineers (India) has been appointed consultants for the task, that is completion of setting up or strengthening municipal fire services in these 16 towns. Survey work has already been undertaken. District level committees in these areas have been constituted under the chairmanship of deputy commissioners for monitoring implementation of the plan.

On Cruelty to Animals

There are many kind souls in any city. There are quite a few in Delhi too and they try to protect animals against cruelty shown by the human beings. The authorities help them as far as they can. There are limitations of funds and manpower to cope with the problem which goes on getting more serious with the increase in population not only of human beings but animals too. These kind people will naturally look to models elsewhere so that they can care for these animals in the best possible ways. And the models would also be seen in well-known institutions in the private or public sector. The idea in writing this piece is to present to the readers one such model which may be at a distant place but is very relevant.

There is the Haffkine Bio-Pharmaceutical Corporation Ltd at Pune which manufactures anti-snake-venom serum from horses’ blood. One would think that the horses there would be taken care of to keep them healthy. This is what the Committee for the Purpose of Control and Supervision of Experiments on Animals has to say after its experts’ panel visited it recently:

“The stalls were overcrowded with insufficient cover. Stables were not properly cleaned. Disinfectants were not being used. There were stagnant pools of urine, water and dung. Water troughs were layered with slime. The sick bay had room for 20 animals but only nine were under treatment though several others needed acute veterinary care.” After pointing out such points, the panel found that several animals were suffering from ailments like conjunctivitis with lacrimation, nodular fibrosed swellings on either side of the neck, open wounds on legs, shoulder and body, swollen fetlock joints and lameness, debility, dull coat and poor skin condition, inflamed knee joints and unilateral or bilateral blindness.

Cosmic Healing

More and more people are going in for alternative systems of treatment of ailments. It is only natural that those who practise such systems should be frequenting the National Capital to create awareness about their systems and give the people an idea about them through lectures, workshops and capsule courses. One such person who has been visiting Delhi regularly for this purpose is Dr K. R. Parameswaran from Tamil Nadu who has set up the World Cosmic

Healing Foundation. He is, otherwise, a registered allopathic doctor who has experimented with other therapies including acupuncture, colour therapy, Pendulum Dowsing and Cosmic Healing.

The basis of cosmic healing process is that cosmic energy is the universal life energy existing throughout the cosmos, essential for sustenance of all life. Sages in ancient India discovered that this cosmic energy could be invoked and used for various purposes for the overall good and prosperity of mankind. They found that cosmic energy could be tapped and directed out of the body after invocation and used to achieve a desired result physically or psychologically according to the thought pattern of the person invoking it. It is believed that human body has a physical body and an invisible energy body (AURA) with channels for energy flow. Physical and mental disturbances disturb the AURA and produce disturbances in the energy flow. This distortion in energy flow through the invisible energy body manifests as ailments and diseases in the physical body. Through cosmic healing, a high flow of energy is drawn into the body of the healer and given out through a palm for healing the diseased body.


In today’s world, the TV cable operator is an important person and he can make life pleasant or miserable for an average citizen who has become dependent on TV so much and likes to keep changing channels for a variety of TV programmes. It is in this context that this writer was surprised, pleasantly of course, to discover that a cable operator in Noida has offered a fantastic fare, that is a charge of just Rs 50 for a month of normal cable services. If one is prepared to pay for three months in one instalment, the rate is Rs 100 for three months which comes to Rs 33 per month.

Now this is not only low for those people in the same locality who had been paying Rs 125 a month to the earlier cable operator but sounds unbelievable to those in other parts of the National Capital Region who have been paying anywhere from Rs 150 to Rs 250 per month for the service. One does not understand their economics but there must be a huge margin in the operations. The Rs 50 walla, for instance, says that he might lose on this rate but would make up through advertising revenue on the cable network of his. The latest is the fibre optic line for the cable service with an additional facility of working Internet through it. But the latter is still an expensive proposition and there are not many takers for it as far as domestic clientele is concerned.

Then, there are those who offer a power backup in case the normal power supply break down or is cut. And some people are also waiting for Direct-to-Home facility of TV telecast which may come some day.

Children’s village

Four decades of dedicated and selfless service to children who otherwise would be at the mercy of fate and might have perished even without anybody noticing their existence is the story of a respected voluntary organisation — SOS Children’s Villages of India. The organisation has, in the true sense of the word, gifted a future to thousands of children orphaned by natural calamities, abandoned by parents or left destitute and helpless. These children, in the care of the organisation, find their roots and grow up with a sense of belonging in an environment of love and affection in SOS families and villages and are prepared to take on the world later in life.

If somebody wants to see how they are being prepared for later life, he or she has to go the SOS Children’s Village, Greenfields in Faridabad. This was the first village of the kind set up in 1964 and till date, over 600 children have been brought up here. They have completed their education and settled down in various vocations. They have families of their own and are facing challenges of life like any other person. Today, this village has 192 children under its care who live in 20 families, each cared by a mother. There are 33 such villages all over the country and 122 allied projects like Kindergartens, medical and social centres, schools, youth centres and vocational training centres where over two lakh children are benefiting. There is the Children’s Village in Gujarat to care for children, victims of the earthquake, or in Rourkela for children rendered homeless by cyclone. Perhaps, they are going to have one in Kashmir and another in Gujarat to care for children rendered destitute in the disturbances. Needless to say that all this is possible with the generous help of the people with resources and a kind heart.

Prem Kumar



Power cuts the only talk in Ghaziabad
Our Correspondent

Ghaziabad, April 7
The prolonged power cuts in the district seem to be testing the nerves of every segment of the population including students, housewives, farmers, traders and industrialists. With the onset of summer, people feel the “heat” of power cuts more now. Residents see power department officials as the culprits.

Students preparing for Board examinations and various other examinations of Ch Charan Singh University here face an uphill task as power is switched off at about 6 pm on dot. And nobody knows when it will be switched on again. It varies day to day. If one thinks of rising early to finish the lessons, he is in for trouble. The power goes off again at 5.30 am.

To make matters worse, mosquitoes have started buzzing around in the evenings as soon as lights are switched off. It is a signal for all activities to come to a standstill.

Meanwhile, farmers allege that officials have become “headstrong” under the Governor’s (President’s) rule in the state. They are not able to irrigate their fields due to the load shedding. The power shortage is taking its toll on the viability of small-scale industrialists who can’t afford to set up captive power plants on their own. Prolonged power cuts, especially in the evenings, are welcomed only by criminals.

They have become more active under the encircling darkness. If any aggrieved citizen decides to go to the office of the power corporation to check out on the reasons for the unannounced power cuts, he is confronted only with one stock reply: “The power cuts are being imposed as per instructions from above”.

Power cuts have also hit the supply of potable water in the towns making the predicament of citizens all the more miserable.

During summers, you need more water for washing cloths and taking baths, say a resident. If the situation remains the same, people may well have to forget all about these two activities till the next winter!

PM asked to intervene

Noida: Stung by the frequent power disruptions that have taken its toll on their businesses, the Noida Entrepreneurs Association (NEA) has appealed to the Prime Minister to intervene in the power crisis in Uttar Pradesh and save the people of the state.

The NEA’s senior secretary and president of the UP Kisan Mazdoor Sangathan has also given a warning that if the power situation in the state is not improved within a week, the farmers, entrepreneurs and students will hold a demonstration before the Prime Minister’s house.



Four UP farmers harvest wheat at ‘gunpoint’ 
Our Correspondent

Faridabad, April 7
Four residents of Makhanpur village of Gautam Budh Nagar District of Uttar Pradesh have been booked by district police in connection with illegally harvesting the crop of a farmer of nearby Chhainsa village.

Ms Buddho, the wife of Narayan Singh of Chhainsa village had lodged a report that the accused had harvested the wheat crop of her field at gunpoint. Accused have been booked under Section 447,379 and 34 of the IPC.

Such incidents have become common in the bordering district of Haryana and UP where farmers have levelled allegations of illegal harvesting on each other.

With the rise in tension, use of firearms have been often resorted to by farmers of both sides, says a farmers of Chhainsa village. This is the first such case booked so far during this season. The change of course by the Yamuna River, which forms the natural border, is stated to be the main reason behind the dispute.

Wife murdered

Sumitra, a young housewife was found murdered in a rented room in Indian colony near the Gohana by-pass here on Sunday. According to a report, the body bore multiple knife injuries and it is alleged that her husband Rajesh and his friends are involved in the murder. Alleged illicit relationship was thought to be the main cause of the murder. The police have registered a murder case against her husband and his associates and launched a manhunt to apprehend them. She had been living separately from her husband for the past few months. The victim belonged to Sarsad village and her husband Rajesh, belonged to Ahulana village.

Body found

The body of an unidentified youth was found hanging from a tree in the field of the Sarpanch at Kundli village about 25 km from here on Saturday. According to a report, the police believe it to be a case of suicide. The police are trying to identity the man as no on has turned up so far to claim the body.

Suicide foiled

An attempt to commit suicide by a youth, Dharminder, was foiled by his parents in the Delhi camp area here on Saturday evening. According to a report, the youth took sulphas tablets following a family feud and his condition worsened immediately. The timely hospitalisation by his parents saved him. The police are investigating into the exact cause of the attempted suicide.

Cheating cases

More than 50 cases of use of unfair means were detected by members of various fling squads who visited the examination centres in this city and elsewhere in the district on Saturday, the last date of the matriculation examination-conducted by the Board of School Education, Haryana. 



DUJ protest today 

New Delhi, April 7
The Delhi Union of Journalists (DUJ) today condemned the attack on journalists in Gujarat and called for a protest rally tomorrow in the Capital. In a statement, DUJ president S. K. Pande said that a protest rally would be held at the Press Club of India tomorrow at 12 noon. TNS



Noida Authority employee booked for inciting crowd
Our Correspondent

Noida, April 7
An FIR has been lodged in the Sector 20 police station here against an employee of the Noida Authority for having incited the crowd to pelt stones at the authority officials who had gone to Harola village two days ago to remove encroachments there.

The employee, Jas Ram Das, who was in an inebriated condition, had allegedly encouraged the crowd to push a dumper and a jeep of the Noida Authority into a drain, which could be retrieved after eight hours. The authority is also contemplating departmental action against Jas Ram Das, including his dismissal from service.

The Noida Authority, which has started a vigorous anti-encroachment drive in the town, is facing stiff resistance from the public. On Thursday, the squad had to, literally, battle it out with a very determined crowd of residents from the jhuggi clusters in Sectors 8 and 9 who offered strong resistance to the demolition drive. There were reports of pitched battles fought at several spots.

The Noida Authority squad under City Magistrate N. K. Srivastava and SP City Umesh Kumar Singh had to resort to cane charge and bursting of tear gas shells to disperse the stone-pelting crowd. Six persons, including policemen of the anti-encroachment squad, were injured in stone throwing while 24 persons were detained.

The squad under Mr Sandeep Chandra and Mr L. K. Gupta, however, succeeded in removing encroachments from both sides of the road in Harola market. Mr Sandeep Chandra said: “We have removed encroachments from Polar Company in Harola market up to Sector 5. Shops in the industrial units were also razed to the ground.”

When officials were about to wind up operations for the day, they were attacked by a large crowd from all three sides. Constables Rambir and Naresh Sharma were injured seriously. Somehow, the City Magistrate and SP City were able control the situation.



Life in the fast track leads youth to commit crime 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 7
Three childhood friends who were school drop-outs, with a poor family background, got together so as to make quick bucks, drive fast cars, wear fashionable clothes and impress girls. For this, they started indulging in robbery, auto theft and snatching.

The North-West district police recently claimed to have apprehended one such group active in the Pitampura and Shalimar Bagh area. Police on Saturday nabbed Rakesh alias Rahul (21), resident of Rohini, after an encounter in Pitampura and recovered one country made pistol with three live cartridges, one stolen Maruti Baleno car and Santro car from his possession.

On April 2, his associate Manav (19), was apprehended by the district police. During the encounter with the police, Rahul fired at the SHO Shalimar Bagh and injured him. With their arrest, the police have claimed to have solved 18 cases including one robbery, six bag snatching from women and 11 cases of motor vehicle theft. Rahul had confessed to his involvement in one case of abduction and robbery in Vasant Vihar and two cases of assault in Shalimar Bagh.

He was also involved in two cases of attempt to murder against the police. The other associate, Ajay alias Shantu (21), is at large and police have launched a massive manhunt to trace his whereabouts.

The district police, acting on a tip-off that Rahul and Shantu would be coming to Pitampura in a stolen Maruti Baleno car, spotted the car near BD market and tried to stop it. However, when they refused to stop the car, the police fired at the rear tyres of the car, bringing it to an immediate halt.

Shantu immediately got out of the car and ran away while Rahul started firing at the police party with a country made weapon. He was immediately overpowered and taken into custody by the police.

The gang leader Rahul confessed to the crimes and disclosed to the police that his gang always targeted soft-targets to commit robbery. Few days back, they robbed a Maruti Baleno car from an old lady with her bag and cell phone from Priya complex in Vasant Vihar.

According to the Deputy Commissioner of Police (North-West), R. P. Upadhyaya, Rahul had a number of girl friends, and used to buy them expensive gifts from the looted money. The gang generally targeted women on cycle and auto-rickshaws to snatch their bags and other valuables.

2 killed, 8 injured: Revati (45), a resident of Sultanpuri was killed and eight others injured when their TATA-407 tempo (Dl-1L-B1518) was hit by another TATA-409 tempo (HR-46-8063) on Sunday morning. The TATA 407 which was heading for the Azadpur Mandi, made a sudden a stop to allow one of its passengers to get down on the Ring Road near Shalimar Bagh. A TATA –409, which was just behind it, could not brake in time and crashed into the vehicle ahead. The driver of the erring vehicle, Kapil (23), was arrested on charges of rash and negligent driving causing death, police said.

In another incident, Sonu (6) a resident of Mondawali in East district, was reportedly hit by a speeding Lancer car (DI 3CQ-9119) when he was trying to cross the road on Sunday morning.

The driver of the car, Girish Godhwani, was arrested for allegedly causing death due to rash and negligent driving. His vehicle has also been impounded, the police said.



Consumer-friendly camera and quality film that make pictures perfect

Kodak India Ltd has launched two new products for the Indian market – the KZ 25 camera, a stylish automatic camera at an exceptional price, and a new max film, the world’s best film in its category, which allows average picture taker to get crisp, clear picture in virtually any picture taking conditions.

The automatic camera has a horde of consumer friendly features keeping in mind the picture taking habits here and the consumer insights in the country. It has an easy-load feature, auto forward and auto rewind, ergonomic design which provides firm grip, wide-angle lens and an all-time flash and auto power shut off that saves power.

The new max film’s high image quality makes it excellent for producing enlargement of various pictures or for converting them into digital images. It will give you clear pictures due to its fine grain and outstanding sharpness, natural picture of people due to its improved skin reproduction capabilities, bright, rich colours due to the film’s improved colour reproduction and superior colour consistency, and improved shadow and highlight detail.

Easy to lug around

La Salle, a world-renowned brand in soft luggage and leather portfolio, has launched the premium soft luggage range “Panache” in Delhi. As the name suggests, it is all about elegance and looks. The range brings to consumers a combination of designs and functionality.

The range is a complete luggage collection that comprises of seven products designed to meet all travelling needs of the Indian consumers. The three uprights are available in different sizes – 31”, 27” and 23” – customised to suit the varied duration of trips.

For the short travel needs, the carry-on-upright is available in a convenient cabin baggage size of 20”. All the uprights come fitted with telescopic handles and in-line skate wheels for easy manoeuvrability. Heavy-duty zippers and body locks ensure that the luggage wears are safe and secure.

Fruit-flavoured drink

Kraft Foods, the world’s second largest food company, has launched two new flavours for its leading powdered soft drink brand, Tang – Mango and Lemon. Tang has already been available in orange flavour.

Tang is a premium quality fruit flavoured beverage that delivers the great taste and goodness of real fruit and provides a full day’s supply of Vitamin C.

Rotating wardrobe

Kaff, a leading name in appliance and accessories, has introduced the innovative rotating wardrobe, Organiser, which is very popular in Europe. Created after keeping in mind the modern lifestyle, Organiser is made from the finest material and is ergonomically structured, offering optimum utilisation of space. Organiser is well provided with three large baskets, one half basket with partitions and a multipurpose hanger system.

Be it for hanging trousers, skirts, ties or belts, you will find the multipurpose hangers of Organiser very useful. With them, you can not only make the best possible use of the space but also easily manage and access clothes or other things.

Cotton for summer

Arrow has unveiled its key range for spring-summer, the Madison Collection, a riot of colours. Its bold solids and vibrant checks mirror the energy and creative spirit of the corporate world. The collection comes in striking colours, ranging from flaming reds, sunshine yellows and meadow greens to azure blues, radiant purples and bright oranges.

The range includes 70 exclusive shirts crafted from the finest 100 per cent cotton and cotton rich fabrics. The range consists of both button down and point collars, as well as full sleeves and short sleeves.

Sandwich grill

Inalsa Appliances has launched a unique and a first-of-its-kind sandwich grill, in tune with the changing lifestyles, attitudes, eating habits and trends. Compact and versatile, the grill not only makes tasty and delicious grilled snacks in minutes, but also looks stunning in the kitchen.

The versatility of the grill lies in its grill plate instead of the conventional mould that accompanies a sandwich toaster. The grill plate ensures that not only can one make sandwiches with the basic four-sided slices but one can round buns, hot dogs, bagels or any favourite speciality bread to make a sandwich of one’s choice.

Durable joggers

Woodland reigns supreme in the hearts of young, mobile and happening society. The mega-brand is synonymous with high quality, exclusive designs and incredible product range countrywide. Riding the waves of highly successful blockbuster range of shoes, Woodland now brings Great Escape, its latest jogging shoes.

The joggers, available in two varying uppers – soft nu-buk leather and split leather — have similar sole. Termed as cup sole, the artistically designed soles are made up of superior, grained TPR material, which offer absolute comfort and durability for its users.


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