Saturday, April 20, 2002, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


Thrust to NCR: The new mantra
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, April 19
The sixth summit of the chief secretaries of several northern states was held at Surajkund today. It was organised by the PHD Chambers of Commerce and Industry with a view to create a single economic zone and providing thrust to the development of the National Capital Region (NCR).

The chief secretaries of Haryana, Punjab, Delhi, Uttaranchal, Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh attended the conference while Secretary, Industries, UP, Principal Secretary, Commerce and Industries, Jammu and Kashmir, and Secretary, Finance, Chandigarh, represented their respective governments at the meet. The task forces presented their papers at the meet. The task force on NCR development has recommended the participation of the NCR Planning Board in inter-state projects and preparation of sub-regional plans. It wants that regional growth plans of partner states like Delhi, Haryana, U.P. and Rajasthan be integrated into the NCR’s main plan. Asking the authorities to create employment opportunities in the region, it wants NCR to develop as a “single economic zone with economic and social infrastructure at par with Delhi.’’

The task force further wants that the NCR plan be actively supported by member states. The NCR Plan Board should manage special funds for infrastructure projects and legal and administrative framework be evolved to initiate private sector investment. The NCR Planning Board should focus and have a say in protection of environment, supply of drinking water, drainage, location of industries and social infrastructure in the ring towns of Delhi. Further, the Metro Rail project be integrated with the rail network catering to important industrial clusters in the region, such as Gurgaon-Bhiwadi, Ghaziabad-Meerut, Faridabad-Palwal, Sonepat-Panipat and Bahadurgarh-Rohtak. At the same time, the Noida and Greater Noida rail link, connecting Delhi and Palwal, needs to be expedited. The development of rail corridors shall give impetus to the rural economy and check migration.

Another issue of focus was roads. In this context, the task force has pointed out that the proposed 200-km-long third ring road around Delhi, comprising the western peripheral expressway from Kundli to Ballabgarh and the eastern expressway from Faridabad to Kundli, needs to be started immediately. The participant states should facilitate land acquisition and other clearances. It also wants the Shahadra-Ghaziabad-Meerut road and the Mathura-Gurgaon-Rohtak road converted into an eight-lane expressway. The Rathiwas-Belaspur-Bhiwadi link road also needs to be expedited and the Meerat-Bulandshahr road needs to be converted into an expressway.

The task force has also suggested disincentives for decongesting Delhi, steps to retard the development of unauthorised colonies and curbs on `misuse’ of residential space for commercial activity. The Centre and state governments should pursue shifting of public sector and other departments and their offices to the NCR towns and counter magnets.



Gurgaon units to move court on closure
Abhay Jain

Gurgaon, April 19
Spurred by the interim order of the Punjab and High Court order, the Gurgaon Municipal Council has served closure notices on all industrial units functioning in residential areas, asking them to down shutters in three days. Stung by the alacrity of the action, the aggrieved entrepreneurs have decided to appeal to the Punjab and Haryana High Court against the notices. The affected industrialists have also started submitting their replies to the notices, dubbing them as unconstitutional, illegal, and arbitrary.

“The MC’s directive to shut down the units within three days is against the Constitution of the country”, states one such response. Many units have also pointed out that they were functioning as per rules and that they do not fall within the preview of the Pollution Control Board.

The Gurgaon Optical Glass Manufactures Association has also decided to move the court. The president of the association, Mr Narender Kumar Arya, told the NCR Tribune that most optical glass units neither cause pollution nor endanger the environment in any way. Hardly three to four persons are engaged in these units, disclosed Mr Arya. The Haryana State Pollution Control Board had also stated in a court case recently that these units are not contributing to pollution, revealed Mr Arya. Most entrepreneurs have stated in their replies that the notice does not ask them to show cause, as is the law of the land. Their licences have also been revoked arbitrarily; they have not been given even an opportunity to plead their case.

The Gurgaon Industrial Association has also decided to move the high court for relief. The association is surprised that the MC did not bother to verify whether the unit was operating in a residential zone or not. Even saw mills and welding workshops have been served the notices, said the association’s president, Mr J N Mangla. GIA contends that the notice is illegal as the authorities cannot exceed the statutory power under Section 128 of the Haryana Municipal Act, which deems the said offence as minor and merely imposes a fine.



CNG: Too many cooks spoil the broth
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 19
On August 13, 2001, TERI director-general, R K Pachauri, while addressing a press conference, claimed that air pollution had actually increased in the city. “We believe ultra low sulphur diesel is a far superior option compared to CNG.” Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) scientists contested his theory and added: “TERI should get its measuring instruments properly calibrated by us”.

August 16: Dinesh Mohan, a professor at IIT-Delhi, released a study sponsored by the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC). He pointed out that pollution level will go up with CNG usage. “Contrary to popular perception, CNG will not reduce pollution. It will lead to more carbon monoxide and hydrocarbon and nitrogen oxide emission as compared to 500 ppm sulphur diesel.”

August 17: Affidavits were filed in the court. Delhi Government wanted the court to allow low sulphur diesel, but only till CNG supply becomes adequate. It further sought an extension of the September 30 deadline. The Union Government, in turn, sought a ban on conversion of private vehicles to CNG. It asked the court to allow Euro II compliant diesel buses in Delhi. The court rejected all affidavits, which it said must be given to Harish Salve, amicus curiae. But it was peeved at the long queues and inadequate supply. “We have been repeatedly told that the supply is adequate and that IGL is prepared to meet future demands. Even today we are informed that there is no shortage of CNG to meet the present demand as also the future demand to implement the orders. Can you tell us who is taking us for a ride?” asked the judges. The court observed: “There appears to be mishandling of the CNG supply issue.’’ Then, it directed Salve “to work out some solution.” The next hearing was scheduled for September 21 by which time the court declared, “We hope we shall be informed that proper remedial steps have been taken and there are no queues of autos and buses and other vehicles waiting to get CNG at the filling stations.”

August 19: Delhi government first announced that it will levy a sales tax on CNG.

Two days later on August 21 Ms Dikshit ruled out any move to impose sales tax. She met Ram Naik once again to push for supply and safety. Naik maintained that further registration of CNG vehicles would be a problem. Gas supply at the national level was not expected to improve, so LPG was better option.

August 28: Khurana led another transporters’ strike and proposed that Centre should issue an ordinance allowing use of ULSD as fuel. He and his pack of Delhi MPs met the home minister and the petroleum and surface transport ministers. BJP sources briefed the press that the Centre had agreed to promulgate an ordinance.

August 30: The Prime Minister, Atal Behari Vajpayee, convened a meeting at his residence. Home minister, petroleum minister and surface transport ministers were present. T R Baalu, environment minister and, D K Biswas, chairperson of CPCB, were also asked to join, for once. The PM took an active interest in the issues, said reports. However, the environment minister took a tough stand, arguing that diesel was not an alternative. The law minister opined that an Ordinance will amount to insulting the SC. With that, the meeting, to Khurana’s disappointment, rejected the idea of an Ordinance. Conflicting reports emanate; it seems the only decision taken at the meeting was to ask the SC to allow the use of alternative fuels (but without specifying which fuel.) It was further decided to appoint a committee under R A Mashelkar, director-general of Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), to work out an auto fuel policy.




Two charred to death in Timber Market
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 19
Two persons were charred to death in a devastating fire, which engulfed a large number of shops in the Timber Market in the Welcome Area of North East district early this morning. The bodies have not been identified so far. The fire broke out in a timber shop at about 2.30 a.m. when residents of the area were asleep and it was brought under control at 5.15 A.M. A total of 35 fire fighters of the Delhi Fire Service (DFS) were rushed to the site to douse the fire. Since there was a strong breeze, the fire spread rapidly and 14 timber shops were gutted. The timber market in Welcome Colony has shops-cum-flats. People living on the first floor of the shops panicked and evacuated their houses. According to a preliminary inquiry, a short circuit could be the cause of the fire.

The residents of the area were livid as the DFS fire fighters did not reach the site in time. Had they done so, the loss to life and property could have been avoided, it is felt. The fire personnel were informed immediately after a watchman of the market noticed smoke emanating from one of the shops. Near the timber market, some 25 jhuggis were also gutted.

However, the officials of the Delhi Fire Service said that there was no delay and fire fighters reached the site within minutes. But they could not access the shops immediately as they had to find their way through narrow lanes and bye-lanes. The area was very congested.

The Delhi Fire Service Chief, Mr R.C. Sharma, had claimed last week that the average time taken to reach a fire site is three to five minutes in urban areas. But it is shocking that today it took the fire fighters 30 minutes to reach the timber market, a shopkeeper said. This is the third major fire this summer in which casualties have been reported.



8 new trains for NCR commuters 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 19
In a move to cater to the needs of the passengers living in the vicinity of Delhi, the Indian Railways plans to introduce eight new trains during this fiscal year. The Minister of State for Railways, Mr O. Rajagopal, told the Rajya Sabha that these new trains would cater to the needs of people living within the vicinity of around 500 km from the national Capital.

The eight new trains were Nizamuddin-Kota Jan Shatabdi, New Delhi-Dehra Dun Jan Shatabdi, New Delhi-Chandigarh Jan Shatabdi, Nizamuddin-Kanyakumari (weekly) Express with stoppages at Agra and Jhansi, New Delhi-Howrah (bi-weekly) Express with stoppage at Kanpur, Delhi-Pathankot (tri-weekly) Express, Delhi-Meerut Passenger and Delhi Sarai Rohilla-Rewari Passenger (MG). The minister said there was no proposal to introduce a superfast/Rajdhani Express on the Delhi-Mumbai sector.

The Union Minister of State for Transport and Highways, Mr B. C.Khanduri, informed the Rajya Sabha that the Centre was contemplating on strengthening the existing pavements and augmentation capacity of national highways in the NCT of Delhi. He said the bad conditions of roads led to an increase in the operational cost of vehicles, including the higher consumption of fuel.

The Union Minister of Human Resource Development, Dr Murli Manohar Joshi, informed the Rajya Sabha that there were 26 posts of TGTs and PGTs vacant in different Kendriya Vidyalayas in the Capital.

The Minister of State for Human Resource Development, Ms Sumitra Mahajan, informed the House that since the government signed the SAARC Convention on Preventing and Combating Trafficking in Women and Children for Prostitution, the Delhi Police had conducted four raids on brothels in the national Capital since January 2002, and had rescued 35 girls.

The minister said that 6,945 cases were registered throughout the country last year under the Immoral Traffic (prevention) Act, as per the National Crimes Record Bureau. Ms Mahajan said the number of cases registered last year was lower than that in 2000 when 8,248 cases were registered and that in 1999 when 9,363 cases were registered.

The Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Sports, Mr Radhakrishnan, informed the Rajya Sabha, that the government, through Sports Authority of India, had sanctioned Rs 100.50 lakh to the All India Tennis Association for the upgradation of infrastructure, health club and gymnasium, installation of six synthetic tennis surfaces, provision of lights, scoreboards and speed guns.

So far, the SAI had released Rs 90.50 lakh to the AITA. The delegates of Asian and African Tennis Federations had approved the holding of tennis events of the First Afro Asian Games at the R. K. Khanna Stadium. 



CM for MCD-govt coordination on schemes
Tribune news Service

New Delhi, April 19
After the battle, the war. Having wrested the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the Congress is bracing itself up for the next challenge: of delivering on its promises.

Outlining the agenda of the corporation for the remainder of the Congress-ruled Government of NCT of Delhi’s term, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit today told Mayor Jayashree Panwar and officials drawn from the corporation and the Government of NCT of Delhi to set up a committee of experts for a “co-ordinated” response to addressing the concerns of Delhiites.

Bhagidari (Citizen-Government) Programme, she told them, would have to be a part of all initiatives taken by the corporation. Schools operating out of tents would come for special attention.

Mid-Day Meal Scheme will be strictly implemented and the Vidyalaya Kalyan Samiti will be constituted in all schools run by the corporation.

On the sanitation front, she suggested a new system of management that laid an emphasis on mechanisation.

She said priority would be accorded to the Yamuna Action Plan and special funds earmarked for construction and upkeep of roads.

Before rounding up her address, the Chief Minister suggested Shram Daan by legislators be organised more frequently and meetings between the government and MCD be held once every month.

With the Congress getting the reins of the MCD too, the Sheila Dikshit government is looking for a more unified approach to development.



Gujarat is an internal matter of BJP: Chautala
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, April 19
The Haryana Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, said the issue of Narender Modi being the Chief Minister of Gujarat, was an internal matter of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) did not want to interfere in it.

Speaking informally to the media after inaugurating the Sixth Summit of the chief secretaries of the northern states at Surajkund, Mr Chautala commented when asked about his views on the issue.

He said that it was for the BJP to see if a chief minister of its party was doing well or not, as per its policies. However, he added that violence in Gujarat had been a cause of concern and every citizen of the country was upset with it. Communal violence must stop and strict measures should be taken to contain it.

In response to another question, Mr Chautala demanded the formulation of a National Water Policy to deal with the problems of flood and drought.

He said such a policy would help in tapping the potential of water and power and could check wastage of water. The Union government should work on such a plan and provide water to the states, depending upon their needs and resources.

Mr Chautala also sought setting up of more hydro-power projects jointly.

He said Haryana was incurring a loss of about 500 crore a year on account of the shortage of water. On the other hand, he said extra water in Punjab was going waste to Pakistan. About the Congress dharna on Gujarat issue, Mr Chautala alleged that Congress and its leader Mrs Sonia Gandhi had been adopting double standards.

“Where was Sonia Gandhi during the anti-Sikh Riots in 1984?” he asked. No dharna was staged then, he said.



Sharks eat into Noida land
Parmindar Singh

Noida, April 19
Having made a reputation for its industrial productivity and growth not only in India but also abroad, Noida has yet to find a place in the revenue records of the state.

Interestingly, the town has completed 26th year of its setting up. As a result, the records of its villages continue to be with the panchayats of the district, while the area outside the villages is under the jurisdiction of the Noida administration.

The land sharks in the area, hand in glove, with the tehsil staff have thrived on this lacuna. They have sold areas outside village jurisdictions and raked in the moolah out of the bargains. Some of the authority land has also been lost to the land mafia – thanks to complicity off the authority’s staff in the illegal deals.

This anomaly has also affected the policy chalked out for setting up the Noida Township.

One of the most complex examples of this situation is the Khoda colony, established near Khoda village in the initial years of Noida, where the mafia has allegedly sold about 900-bigha land of the village panchayat. And to the credit of the administration, it must be said that even a primary report has not been lodged against these illegal transactions.

Noida was got on April 17, 1976 under the UP Industrial Development Ordnance when 37 villages were included in the Noida jurisdiction for acquiring the land for industrial development. But due to administration’s mistake, Khoda village was not one of these 37 villages. Khoda village was declared part of the authority area 10 years after in 1985-86 when the sharks became quite active and were thriving on the land near Delhi-UP border. Gradually, political interference increased in this area.

Today, while the mafia has departed after taking its pound of flesh, the politicians have taken over. Their main concern appears to be as to how to regularise the colony. But the government’s difficulty is that if they regularise this colony, then other colonies will also put forth their claims for the same.

A direct fall-out of the failure of the administration to take action against the mafia who sold away village panchayat land, a large number of jhuggis have been set up in town’s Sector 8,9, and 10, having a population of 20,000 people, according a conservative estimate.

The mafia again adopted the same pattern which they had used to their advantage in Khoda colony. Most of the mafia has rented out the jhuggis to the people mostly from Bangladesh.

There are shops in these jhuggis stacked with goods, the value of which reportedly ranges between Rs 20 to Rs 30 lakh.

But they are living a lie and thriving under the garb of poverty. Noida’s name is mud thanks to many other colonies like Yahma Vihar Colony, Sadarpur Colony and dozen others.

Who is to be blamed for this sorry state of affairs. None, but the government itself that has provided moral support to these sharks.

Even the houses built by the Noida administration 25 years ago in various planned sectors have lost their original form.

On the one-room and two-room flats, today stand three-storeyed buildings which have played havoc with the infrastructure and caused shortage of potable water, electricity, besides causing problems of sewerage and roads even in the planned sectors.

Noida, the district administration and the state government need to ponder over the question: how to save Noida from becoming a large urban slum? This is the question which should set every man a-thinking.



Litter-bugs fouling traffic islands in Sonepat
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, April 19
While the district administration is busy giving a face-lift to the city and has constructed many traffic islands and installed the statues of prominent leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, former Deputy Prime Minister Chaudhary Devi Lal, Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar and Netaji Subhash Chander Bose, the shopkeepers of some areas particularly at Subhash Chowk have found these
islands as a convenient place for dumping garbage and filth.

A visit to the site presents a bad look as two of the three traffic islands have empty polythene bags strewn all over and heaps of old flower garlands and other waste stored therein. The nearby shopkeepers, hoteliers and sweetmeat

shop owners throw their waste in them.

The civic authorities, however, have turned a blind eye and even do not depute sweepers to clean the places

regularly. If immediate steps are not taken, the day is not far when these sites would turn into garbage depots and would stink out every corner of the place.

In the absence of any regular checks by the police and administration, a large number of jeeps and other private

vehicles, including cars and taxis are parked there causing traffic hazards.

The district and police administration had earlier banned the parking of vehicles at this place but the order is

Similarly, makeshift shops of the mechanics have also come up. They parked the vehicles for repair amidst the traffic islands because of the failure of the authorities to take action suitable against the mechanics.

The tempo owners have started parking their vehicles at the corners of Indira Colony which causes inconvenience to the residents of the colony besides creating traffic hold-ups.

The Residents Welfare Association and the Sonepat Citizens Forum today urged the Deputy Commissioner and the Superintendent of Police to visit the site without any prior information and take action against those owners of the private vehicles and shopkeepers found responsible for the mess.



Speaking out


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

One of the foremost international airports in the country, the Indira Gandhi International Airport of Delhi, resembles more like a fourth class Indian railway station. I had the misfortune of going to the airport to see off my relatives on the night of April 7/8. We arrived at the airport three hours before the scheduled time of departure of their flight.

The scenes that greeted us are described below: All luggage trolleys had been cornered by touts. Only after making an issue of it, we could get one of the touts to hand over one luggage trolley.

* The car dropping point was unmanageable and the odd traffic policeman had no control.

* Thousands of passengers were running from pillar to post to gain entry into the departure hall.

* The entry point to the departure hall was choked with long queues, extending up to the road. It was apparent that the number of entry gates was grossly inadequate. Even with this limitation, better management could have ensured a smooth flow but for the stubbornness of the security staff in insisting that the passengers must enter only through the gate earmarked for the airlines. This is against the established system wherein the passengers find their way to the least crowded entrance. This is applicable to the check-in counters; why not to the entry gates? The number of entry gates must be governed by the requirement of peak traffic.

I am given to understand that inside the departure hall also, the same conditions prevailed, if not worse. There is only one entry/exit for VIP car parking. The number of such points must be increased.

It is a matter of luck that there has been no stampede with possible horrifying consequences. I presume that the authorities are waiting for such a tragedy to happen.

Senior Citizens, ladies, children and infants were shown no consideration. No effort was made to assist people alighting from the vehicles to get luggage trolleys, channel them into different gates etc. As a citizen of this country, I am ashamed of the Capital’s international airport.

If the conditions are so inadequate even after many airlines pulling out of the country, one wonders what would happen if the number of flights increase?

Top officials of aviation/airport/airlines, customs, police and immigration should make a duty roster and must be present at the airport every day from 11 pm to 6 am. Leaving matters in the hands of those who function only in a manner of routine duty will not resolve this problem since the remedy is not within their powers. Those who have the authority are either not aware of the pathetic conditions or they visit the airport only as VIPs. The name of the airport itself is an insult to the late Prime Minister.

Avtar Singh, New Delhi

Let Gurgaon be Eklavya Town

Just near to Delhi is the famous Haryana town called Gurgaon. Having big residential areas developed by DLF and huge factory sites like that of Maruti Udyog Ltd, the place is gaining importance day by day. Because of its potential and suitability, it has been declared as a part of the National Capital Region too.

But the name Gurgaon suggests that it is a village or backward area. Its actual name is Gurugaon as Mahabharat’s Eklavya had been worshipping Guru Dronacharya here. To give the town a modern look, may I request the authorities that let its name be changed to “ET” or Eklavya Town! It will also, in a way, compensates to some extent the injustice meted out to him by Dronacharya or history!

Mohan Bhatnagar, R.K. Puram, New Delhi

More pollution

The steps taken to control air pollution caused by vehicles in Delhi are going to be proved not only futile but also counter-productive sooner than later. More than 6,000 diesel buses have been declared the culprits and ordered to be off the road. However, the irony is that many thousand more private vehicles have started plying on the roads.

They are making their contribution to the already dangerous level of air pollution in Delhi. This nullifies whatever little notional positive gains that were expected by ordering these buses to be off the road.

Thus ironically, those off-the-road buses are going to have the last laugh by way of paying the fines and ruling the road. What, therefore, is the net outcome? One, more air pollution. Two, it is the common man, who depends on the public transport system alone, who is being forced to suffer untold difficulties. The common man has become a victim of those forces who know how to exploit every situation for their own gains.

All the authorities concerned are, therefore, requested to take off the goggles of illusion and see the ground reality in its true colours. And this they should before it is too late. They must do the needful and adopt the practical approach of having a multiple fuel mode to run the Delhi transport system or for that matter in parts of the country. Instead of standing on false prestige, they must understand the woeful plight of the common man, who is bewildered and running helter-skelter to catch any possible means to reach his place of work or home. He should not be allowed to become an easy prey for the greedy and selfish politicians and public transport owners.

Meanwhile, let’s wait for the last word to come on the foolproof efficacy of the CNG fuel mode. In all other parts of the world, the approach is to run the vehicles on multiple fuels. Therefore, let’s not use the innocent public of Delhi as guinea pigs in the experiment of the CNG versus other modes of fuel. Rather than sudden elimination, there should be gradual replacement of diesel buses in Delhi. Towards this goal, taking off 200 buses every month should be the right answer. The alternative fuels such as ultra low sulphur diesel and lead-free petrol can also be tried more and more for obtaining desired results to control air pollution.

Tish Malhotra, Rohini, Delhi

Assault on squad

This is in reference to a news report titled ‘MDU college girls damage cars of flying squad’ (NCR Tribune, April 8). I had been a member of MDU (Maharshi Dayanand University) flying squad for about 6-7 years continuously. My convenor used to be Mr B. S. Dahiya, a senior-most lecturer in my college and the current principal of Government Post-graduate College, Panchkula. We (the members and the convenor) had a good equation; we always kept intact the presence of mind to face any untoward incident. Several times, incidents similar to what was reported now had occurred to us but we tackled the same keeping the situation and circumstance in mind and reached safely at our headquarters.

Barring a few MDU examination centres of Gurgaon district, I checked almost all the examination centres falling within the jurisdiction of MDU. I can speak on the basis of my experience that government colleges in Hodal and Tagaon in Faridabad district and non-government college GGSD, Palwal (Faridabad) were the worst centres than Government Post-Graduate College, Faridabad. Again, the examination centres (Block I, II, III etc) of Dayanand College, Faridabad were better than the centre at Government College, Faridabad.

Similarly, examinees at the centres in Gita Vidya Mandir College and Hindu Colleges (Boys & Girls) (both in Sonepat) used to be better than those appearing in other colleges of that district. Yes, the examinees of BPSM Girls College, Khanpur Kalan (Sonepat), where the present incident happened, have never been bad. This erstwhile Gurukul, Khanpur Kalan was once recommended (as per my knowledge) to be made a u8niversity (either Deemed or Residential) by a former Chief Minister of Delhi, Mr Sahib Singh Verma.

The reasons behind the present assault can be many. Firstly, the decision to appoint 100 per cent insiders (local persons) as invigilators. MDU had also sent a letter to all principals of affiliated colleges saying “that the names of such teachers found wanting in invigilation during examination would be referred to the state government for necessary action” (or disciplinary action). This letter reached the colleges at a time when the annual examinations had commenced and the lecturers-invigilators and students-examinees could not adjust themselves to the near future circumstances/occurrences. Again, the invigilators were given the understanding that their Annual Confidential Reports (ACRs) would be written on the basis of unfair means cases (UMCs) detected in his/her room. There was also talk that in case a large number of UMCs were found, then the annual increment of the lecturer concerned would be stopped.

Invigilators are of several types. Some invigilators are those who perform their duties sincerely and do not allow any examinee to use unfair means. They are so vigilant like a jawan on a border post. They do not hesitate to take action against even the so-called ‘ringleader’ students.

The present incident occurred because the invigilators were bold. Further, this must have happened also because some management want to gain popularity for their colleges on the basis of good results and direct the invigilators, as is proved from the news itself, to adopt a “lenient attitude towards the examinees”.

Further as per the news item, the examination of English Paper B “scheduled at 2 pm, finally started at 3.30pm.” Here I feel that the flying squad should not have to be present in the examination centre or centres at 2pm. The squad should fly in the examination centre at least after some minutes if not half-an-hour of the start of the examination. Here, MDU is at fault. MDU has directed all flying squads to be available exactly at 2 pm and remain at the centres for full three hours i.e. up to 5.00 pm. The squad should be flying squad and not stationed squad.

Without going into the detail, I would like to conclude on the basis of my research on topics such as ‘natural justice in unfair means cases in university examinations’ and ‘university administration in India’ that the squads must be flying and not stationed squads; that that all or at least 50 per cent of the invigilators must be appointed from outside.

Om Parkash Wadhwa, Lecturer, Govt College, Gohana

Review luxury tax

It was shocking to learn that the Delhi Government has proposed to impose 20 per cent luxury tax on cigarette and tobacco. As a matter of fact, such decisions become counter productive because they will encourage smuggling or will force smokers to choose cheaper tobacco products leading to health problems. Some persons do not wish to smoke but have to smoke under the directions of doctors. It would be a harsh decision if the Delhi Government do not review it.

Subhash C. Taneja, Rohtak

Taxing railwaymen

The facility of free privilege passes to the railway employees is as old as the railways. The Finance Ministry has now decided to calculate the total cost of travel to and fro and to treat the expenses thus arrived at as the “income” of the pass-holders and to subjected them to tax deduction at source hereafter.

The decision is down right draconian in nature and will deprive lakhs of railway employees of the age-old `privilege’ granted to them by the department. If the passes are brought under the tax umbrella, they will face a lot of problems. This amounts to the betrayal of the promised privilege.

The worst affected will be the retired staff, who enjoys this facility granted to them as a compliment. Mr Sinha, the senior citizens will join me to plead that this unjustified measure be dropped. And it should be hoped that their request would receive a positive response.

Does it not look funny that while freebies have been ‘gifted’ in other departments, like free phones by Mr Paswan, those enjoying such a benefit for the last 150 years are being targeted now? What about our esteemed legislators and MPs who enjoy ‘sweeping’ privileges and make a clean sweep of crores of rupees and yet are exempted from taxes thereon? Can they not be taxed also? If not, then why punish others?

The government will do well not to dig up old graves but find new ways and means to make up for the shortfalls, if any. Giving effect to the order retrospectively will hit the victims like a bolt from the blue. Can’t you spare a thought for those living in the last phase of their lives, Mr Sinha? The pity is that our FM’s anti-people and retrograde policies are being pursued vigorously in an era when good employers are offering lucrative packages and incentives for maximising output in their respective spheres.

R L Pathak, Lodhi Colony, New Delhi



Dr Dhankar new PGIMS PRO 
Our Correspondent

Rohtak, April 19
Dr D. S. Dhankhar, Deputy Medical Superintendent (DMS), has been appointed as Public Relations officer of the Pt B. D. Sharma Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences (PGIMS), Rohtak. Dr Dhankhar would perform the duty of the PRO in addition to his duty as the DMS. An official order to this effect was issued by the newly appointed Director of the PGIMS.

Youth booked

The Meham police today registered a case against a youth of Shyam Colony here on the charge of enticing a girl of the same locality into eloping with him. Prakash, a resident of Shyam Colony, stated in the complaint that Jeevan of the same locality inveigled his daughter into running away with him. The Meham police have registered a case under Sections 363 and 366 of the IPC in this regard.

Press Club poll

The elections to the governing body of the Press Club, Rohtak would be held on April 28. Dr Satvir Singh Sarwari, secretary of the club, said a decision to this effect was taken at a meeting of the governing body presided over by Mr Virender Singh Chauhan, president of the club. Dr Sarwari said Mr Sanjiv Saini had been appointed as the election officer. He said the aspiring candidates could file their nominations for various posts till April 25. The last date to withdraw the nominations had been fixed at April 27 while the voting, if necessary, would take place on April 28.

Boy sodomised

A seven-year-old boy was allegedly sodomised by a youth at Samayan village on Thursday evening. Ms Vimla, the mother of the victim, stated in the FIR that she had sent her son Bittoo to fetch an item from home. A youth, Anil, of the same village took the boy to a room and sodomised him. The Meham police registered a case under Section 377 of the IPC and are on the lookout for the absconding youth.


Paper presentations, software contests, technical quizzes, poster-making contests and cultural events were the highlights of the first day of the CEMIT 2002, the first national-level technical symposium organised by the NC College of Engineering at Israna, 16 km from here, on Friday. Welcoming the delegates, the principal of the college, Dr B. L.Sharma, said that the meet was aimed at making the students aware of the current technologies in the field of computers and IT and appreciating their creativity. Parallel sessions in mechanical, computer, electronics and applied sciences were also conducted throughout the day. Over 160 students from all over the country participated in the event.

PCB office

The Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, laid the foundation stone of the office and laboratory of the State Pollution Control Board at Sector 16-A here on Friday. The building will cost Rs 1.52 crore and will be ready in 18 months. The CM also laid the foundation stone of a ‘dairy’ project at Baselva village in the old Faridabad zone. About 50 dairy plots will be developed by the Municipal Corporation, Faridabad at a cost of Rs 1.60 crore with all required infrastructure. It will rehabilitate the dairies to be shifted out of Old Faridabad town.

Cops hurt

Two policemen, including an ASI, were injured when their motorcycle was hit by a canter on the Sonepat-Bahalgarh road, about 10 km from here, on Thursday evening. The injured policemen were identified as Mr Ram Kumar, an ASI, and Mr Dharampal. Both were on their way to the Bahalgarh police post on the G.T. Road. They were immediately hospitalised and stated to be out of danger.



Kuldip Singh Bhogal  re-nominated

New Delhi, April 19
The Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Committee member and senior leader of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal), Mr Kuldip Singh Bhogal, has been re-nominated as a member in the Board of Governors of the Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan. He would be a member in the board for a three-year term. He is the first person to be re-nominated to the board. Several leaders, including the DSGMC president, Mr Avatar Singh Hit, of the party have welcomed the re-nomination of the member of the community in such a prestigious organisation. TNS



Kin behind Sangam Vihar girl abduction
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 19
With the arrest of a youth Anil Verma, the Delhi Police today claimed to have worked out a kidnapping case of a 15-year-old girl from Sangam Vihar in South Delhi.

The victim was allegedly kidnapped in March last year by Anil Verma, one of her relative who lived in her fathers house.

During the course of the investigation, the police received a secret tip-off that she lived at Lakkadpur village in Faridabad district. With the help of the Haryana Police, Anil Verma was arrested and the girl was rescued.

During investigation, the suspect disclosed that he had developed an illicit relationship with the girl. Subsequently, when the girl became pregnant, Anil Verma rented a room in Molarband village near Badarpur. Since March 21, they lived together in Molarband village and later at Lakkadpur, where the girl gave birth to a child. 



Thirty pickpockets nabbed
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 19
The South district police today claimed to have arrested 30 pickpockets belonging to seven gangs, including a desperate ‘Yakub-Chotu Bihari’ gang that committed a series of bus robberies recently in the district. The other gangs nabbed by the police were Shyam Lal –Ritua company, Patras company, Pappu Chikana company, Sabir-David company, Madan Mohan alias Bunty company and Deepak–Sunny company.

With their arrest, the police also claimed to have solved more than 11 cases and recovered 28 knives, 7 cell phone, Rs 42,500 in cash and documents and other valuables robbed from the victims.

According to the Deputy Commissioner of Police (South), P. Kamaraj, the pickpocket gang robbed passengers from three buses on route number 480, 502 and 534 on the same day.

In the bus on the route number 480, when passengers raised an alarm about the presence of pickpockets, the gang stabbed the driver on his face and escaped. In a bus on route number 502, the gang members not only robbed Rs 9,000 from a person Rajesh Kumar Dhawan but even beat him up. In the third incident, they robbed one Jagat Narain Chaudhuary of Rs 4150. This is the fifth such drive of the police in the district. The police are on the look out for other pickpocket gangs like Subhash company, Danny company and Hari company, who are still active in the district.

Gang busted: The Crime Branch Anti-Homicide Section today claimed to have busted a gang of three thieves who stole goods from loaded trucks on highways. The police recovered 6,624 pieces of stolen Colgate tooth pastes tubes from their possession. With their arrest, the crime branch claimed to have solved more than 23 cases of thefts in different parts of Delhi. The accused, Mohammad Alam, Lal Chand and Mohammad Kausar Ali were intercepted by the Crime Branch sleuths.

Illegal pistol unit: The North-West district police have unearthed an illegal country made pistol manufacturing unit and arrested a person in Shahbad Dairy in Bawana area. The accused Veerpal (45), resident of Moradabad but presently living in a Jhuggi in Shahbad Dairy, was intercepted by the police and a country made pistol and a live cartridge was recovered from his possession.

Body found: An unidentified body of a 22-year-old girl with stab injuries in her chest and face was found in Mahaveer Swami Park, Gandhi Nagar. According to the police, the deceased was found wearing a blue shirt. The word ‘OM’was tatooed on her right hand and Pummy was written with pen, on her left palm. Police have registered a murder case and are investigating the matter.

Eunuch killed: Three eunuchs were kidnapped from the Vasant Vihar area and beaten up on Thursday. The eunuchs Khusbu, Sapna and Divya, resident of Yamuna Pushta were collecting money in Vasant Vihar when a person, Ramu, in a Tata Sierra kidnapped them.

These eunuchs were taken to a place where other eunuchs collectively beat them up for collecting money from the Vasant Vihar area. Later, one of the eunuch died. The police have registered a case of kidnapping and murder and identified six eunuchs behind this murder.



Bomb hoax at South Block, SC
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 19
The Control Room of the Delhi Police today received a call that attacks would be carried out at the President House, Supreme Court, Rail Bhawan and South Block, housing important ministries including, the Prime Minister’s office. The call turned out to be hoax.

The call was made from a mobile phone in which pre-paid cash card was used. The intelligence agencies attempted to trace the caller by checking out the other calls made from the pre-paid card but could not make much headway.

In a related development, an anonymous call was made which claimed that a bomb had been planted inside a room at the Tis Hazari Court Complex. However, after a thorough search in the premises, it was declared a hoax, police sources said.

Burglars held: New Delhi: With the arrest of three burglars in the Model Town area, the North-West district police claimed to have solved a night burglary in the Industrial area. Deep Chand alias Deepe (22), Chote Lal (18), both residents of Bara Bagh and Sunil (19), resident of Model Town were arrested. Some cash and stolen valuables were recovered from their possession.



The seedy side of corporate world
Ravi S. Singh
Tribune News Service

Gurgaon, April 19
Gurgaon city, which is cited by many as a growing haven for privatised economy, has also started witnessing the seedy side of such an economy where the big sharks drive their comparatively small-time competitors out of business.

Significantly, the vital sector of the economy –- telecom which has been in the vanguard of privatisation and has registered exponential growth nationally, and in which the stakes are high for the investors — has thrown up one such case of alleged unethical practice in the ‘free for all’ corporate world. The case in point is the struggle of M/S Anubhav Telecom (P) Limited against the allegedly “collusive” strength of M/s Unising Project(P) Ltd, a conglomerate of noted builders, M/s Unitech Ltd, Aditya Properties (P) Ltd and M/s Bharti Telenet Limited, a major private company providing basic telephone services in the country including Haryana.

According to documents available, M/s Anubhav Telecom (P) Ltd entered into a five-year agreement with M/s Unising Project (P) Ltd to provide telephone services in the category of ‘Direct Inward Dialing’ (DID) for the corporate offices/occupants in the latter’s Signature Tower building complex in the posh South City here. Following an understanding arrived at by the two sides on the issue, the firm went ahead and procured franchise of the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) for providing the services. The BSNL provided its franchise as per the “work place” agreement, i.e. the set up and the services have to be in the specified Signature Tower building.

The firm went ahead and installed an exchange with a capacity of 1,000 telephone lines, though it has the authority for providing 1,500 lines. It made huge investments on the infrastructure and other logistics.

Incidentally, Anubhav Telecom Ltd has been providing such services to the residents of the prestigious HOPE society and its adjoining Vijay Rattan Vihar, Railway Vihar, Shakti Apartments and HEWO apartments in Sector 15-(II) since 1996.

The substantive and operative portion of the agreement with regard to the service in the Signature Tower building was that “during the terms of this agreement”, Unising Projects Ltd “shall not enter into any agreement with any third party for providing any telephone service or services similar to Anubhav Telecom in the building”.

But the dream of the firm got shattered when Bharti Tel Ltd entered the Gurgaon market with kindred telephone service. The firm has alleged that the telecom giant was given passage and tacit support by its agreement-partner, Unising Projects Ltd, in the Signature Tower building in a total breach of the agreement. The Bharati Tel has allegedly started laying cables inside and undertaking other activities which were blocking and causing damage to the infrastructure and business prospects of the Anubhav Telecom Ltd. The internecine struggle in the corporate world has come to such a pass that the issue has been taken to the court by the Anubhav Telecom Ltd against the Unising Projects Ltd and Bharti Tel Ltd. In its latest response to a suit for permanent injunction against the two accused, the lower court has ordered for fresh notice to Unising Project Ltd for April 26. Till then, it has issued direction restraining Unising Projects Ltd from interfering in the working of Anubhav Telecom Ltd. 


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