Sunday, April 21, 2002, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


Report leak: Bandhu in soup
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 20
The Leader of the Opposition in the Delhi Assembly, Mr Jagdish Mukhi, today accused the Delhi Industry Minister, Mr Deep Chand Bandhu, of having committed a breach of privileges of the House by disclosing the contents of the report of the committee chaired by him, which was set up to look into the recommendations of the re-organisation of the MCD, to a cable network.

“Though the government has not tabled the report, Mr Bandhu told a local cable network the contents of the report. This is a clear case of breach of the privileges of the House,” Mr Mukhi said.

The Opposition leader, who has sent a letter to the Delhi Assembly Speaker, Choudhury Prem Singh, demanded action against Mr Bandhu for breach of privilege and convening of a special one-day session of the House to discuss the issue. He also demanded immediate tabling of the report as it had been finalised by the members unanimously. The BJP leader demanded that Mr Bandhu must be removed from the chairmanship of the House committee, which was set up to look into the recommendations of the Virender Prakash Committee’s report on the re-organisation of MCD. Mr Mukhi said in the House committee, in which there were two members from the BJP, had finalised the report which was to be tabled on April 16. However, the government, on the plea that the report had not yet been finalised, did not table it when the House was in session. On the contrary, Mr Bandhu told a cable network the contents of the report, which, Mr Mukhi said, was unprecedented in the history of parliamentary democracy in the country. “No part of the report of a committee can be divulged or shown to anyone who is not a member of the committee until the report has been presented to the House or laid on the table. The committee may, however, if it thinks fit, make available to the government for factual verification any completed part of their report before the presentation to the House. While, forwarding such reports to a ministry/department, it is enjoined on them to treat the contents of the report as ‘confidential/secret’ until they are finalised and presented to the House,” Mr Mukhi, quoting the practice and procedure of Parliament, said.

Mr Bandhu had stated that the MCD should be split into five corporations, each corporation should have 81 elected members, MLAs from the area and member of the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha shall be nominated members of the corporation concerned. He had also said that some other nominated members would also be there, which would bring the total number of councillors in one corporation to about 100. The power of the Commissioner in the corporation should be reduced and a Mayor-in-Council system should be introduced in the corporation by giving more powers to the deliberative wing, he had said. Mr Bandhu had also said that every corporation should have a sort of Cabinet under the Mayor and the total number of such members of the so-called Cabinet should not increase 10 per cent of the total strength of the corporation.



An ‘eye-witness’ surfaces in Natasha case,
 cops sceptical
Syed Ali Ahmed

New Delhi, April 20
Just when the Crime Branch of the Delhi Police was about to close the sensational case of Natasha Singh, the estranged daughter-in-law of the Congress leader K. Natwar Singh, a woman claiming to be an eye-witness has surfaced, causing considerable consternation among the top brass. The Police, however, are not taking her claims seriously since they are of the opinion that she appeared to be “mentally unbalanced.” Moreover, there was no corroborative evidence to confirm her statement. But since they were duty bound to investigate all angles, they were verifying her statement.

The woman, who claimed that she was a teacher in one of the NDMC schools, arrived at the police headquarters last week and insisted that she had to see senior crime branch officers. She refused to budge or talk to junior officers investigating the death.

The senior officers finally relented and talked to her at length and even accepted some papers that she had brought with her. While the police refused to comment on the development, sources said that the woman was unable to explain her presence at the five star hotel late on the night of March 16 and what was she doing on the seventh floor terrace. The woman also claimed that she was facing threats to her life because of this.

The body of Natasha Singh was found sprawled on the first floor terrace of the Hyatt Regency hotel on March 17; it was concluded that she had died as a result of a fall from a height. The two subsequent post-mortem examinations had confirmed this.

Initially, the sensational death of the former model-turned-photographer was investigated by the South West District Police but since there was considerable media attention, it was transferred to the Crime Branch of the Delhi Police. Two weeks after her death, senior police officers, including the police commissioner, Ajai Raj Sharma, had claimed that all evidence indicated that it was suicide and the police would officially announce it soon.

Senior police officers, when contacted by the NCR Tribune, said that they had no comment to offer on the claims of the unidentified woman and dismissed the incident as “hallucinations” as the antecedents of the woman had been verified. However, further investigations were continuing and the police would act accordingly.



Diesel buses to ply after deadline?

New Delhi, April 20
The Delhi Government today stated that it has decided to allow 2500 diesel buses, due to be phased out from Monday, to ply on the basis of special permits. However, they would have to pay the fine imposed by the Supreme Court. Claiming that the state government’s decision was not violative of the court order, the Delhi Transport Minister, Mr Ajay Maken, said we have decided to allow the plying of diesel buses on the basis of the letter issued by the Telco and Ashok Leyland to operators stating their inability to supply CNG buses.

As per the Supreme Court’s April five order, operators who had booked CNG buses had to purchase the chassis within 15 days, failing which their special permits would be cancelled.

Stating that the government had taken the decision in the interest of the commuters, Mr Maken said “It was the fault of the manufacturing companies that they have failed to supply the buses ordered.’’

Mr Maken said they had decided to move the Supreme Court against the manufacturing companies for not supplying the CNG buses. ``Now, after seeking legal opinion, we have decided to place the issue before the court during its next hearing on May 9,’’ he said. According to Mr Maken, the decision to allow the plying of diesel buses after the expiry of the deadline set by the court would not be violative of the Supreme Court’s order. He said that the government came to this conclusion, after discussing the legal implications with senior advocate Kapil Sibal. TNS



Former BJP councillor shot at
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 20
Mr Madan Lal Valmiki (45), a former BJP councillor of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), sustained bullet injuries today morning when three unidentified assailants fired at him with a country-made weapon in the Shakurpur area of West district.

Mr Valmiki, who received four bullet injuries, was taken to Ganga Ram Hospital where his condition is reported to be out of danger. The police suspect political rivalry as the cause of the incident; Mr Valmiki had serious differences on a land issue, which belonged to the railway lines. He later identified one Ramesh Pahelwan as the person who fired at him and alleged the hand of another person, Harbhajan Singh, in the operation.

The ex-councillor, a resident of Ranjit Nagar, was staying at the temple near the railway lines as the Navratra celebrations are on. The police said that around 8.30 am when Mr Valmiki went for his morning walk, three persons fired at him and fled from the spot.

The police have registered a case of attempt to murder and are trying to track down the assailants.



Is it curtains for Sonepat units?
R. D. Sapra

Sonepat, April 20
The appalling civic conditions and poor infrastructure in Sonepat are not only retarding the district’s industrial growth but also spoiling the image of Indian industry abroad. According to a report, this has resulted in the closure of 20 to 30 per cent of the units in the city. If remedial steps were not taken, it would be curtains for more units, many industrialists said.

Some entrepreneurs said that it was a matter of deep concern that over the years the government agencies had failed to discharge their duties. They were losing patience and may move court.

For instance, the condition of the roads was pathetic. Time and again, the authorities had come up with proposals to repair the pot-holed roads, but heaven knows where the money goes. The craters in the roads have caused many an accident. The condition of the sewer lines was equally poor, which remain perpetually choked. Besides, official red-tapism was the bane of the district. Many entrepreneurs blamed the general manager of the District Industries Centre (DIC) for the mess. They alleged that the authorities had been indifferent and harassing them on one pretext or the other for minting money. The single-window system introduced by the state government had failed. Several industrialists of the HSIDC complexes at Kundli, Rai and Bari villages complained that the authorities had failed to solve their problems. Instead, they were harassing them. Several leading industrialists demanded immediate transfer of all the officials of the Industries Department as well as the HSIDC. As one enters the interiors, one sees a large number of signboards proclaiming the existence of hundreds of small-scale industries. But most of them have been abandoned and closed for good. Experts blame both the attitude of industrialists and the lack of finances. First, several unscrupulous businessmen set up a façade of infrastructure and availed of loans for working capital needs. In the process, deserving entrepreneurs were denied their due.



Rs 30 lakh fine for power theft
Bijendra Ahlawat
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, April 20
A secret door in an almirah leading to an underground cabin containing a transformer! The Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (DHBVN) officials stumbled over one such hidden chamber at an ice factory in the old Faridabad zone. It was obviously a ploy to tap power on the sly, for which the officials have slapped a penalty of Rs 30 lakh on the factory. The owner has been given two days’ time to deposit the amount.

According to Mr Prem Singh, Executive Engineer (XEN) of the old Faridabad division, the factory located at Tilpat village had been using a 200 KVA transformer, concealed in an underground chamber, to steal power. He said that a raid was conducted on the premises of Bimla Ice factory on Friday following a report that power was being tapped illegally. During the search, the underground power cable to the factory was dug up. It was found that another connection had been taken from a t-point and a separate cable had been laid. The cable led to the basement of the factory where the transformer had been hidden.

The only way to access this chamber was through a steel almirah kept in a room in the factory. The almirah, built in true filmy style, had a trap door which was hidden behind clothes stacked in the almirah. The owner would descend into the basement through this ‘almirah’; there was no other way to reach the underground transformer. The DHBVN officials, who raided the premises, were amazed at the subterfuge. They have imposed a penalty of Rs 30 lakh and warned that if it is not deposited within 48 hours, they would be constrained to lodge an FIR with the police.



3 shot dead in Bahadurgarh

Jhajjar, April 20
Three persons were killed and three others sustained serious injuries when unidentified assailants in two Santro cars fired indiscriminately at them right in front of the town police station in Bahadurgarh on the National Highway no 10 this evening. According to information, the victims, all of them transporters, were coming in an Indica car from Kanhali village in Rohtak after attending a house inauguration ceremony. The deceased have been identified as Kuldeep (38) of Jarodha village, Surender (32) of Mundaka village in Delhi and Satish of Khanna town in Punjab. While Ashok of Bahadurgarh who received six bullet injuries has been referred to Jaipur Golden Hospital in Delhi, Sanjay of Mitarao village was rushed to PGIMS in Rohtak in a critical situation. Another injured, Surjeet of Bahadurgarh, who received one bullet injury, is reportedly out of danger. OC



Trader-buyer nexus robs farmers of MSP
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, April 20
While the mandis in the city and elsewhere in the district are choked with wheat arrivals, a nexus between traders and buyers has reportedly become active cornering a huge profit which otherwise must have gone to the farmers. Taking advantage of the glut, the traders and buyers are denying the farmers the minimum support price (MSP) of his produce. Although the wheat arrivals and procurement this season seem to have broken previous records, a large number of farmers are forced to sell their produce below the MSP. According to sources in various mandis in the district, 30 per cent to 35 per cent of the produce is being bought by private traders and the remaining 70 per cent by the government agencies.

An interesting fact that has come to light is that small and medium farmers are being offered Rs 550 to Rs 580 per quintal in their fields by private traders on the plea that there are numerous problems at the mandis. And several farmers, who have only 10 to 50 quintals of surplus wheat, prefer to sell their wheat to such traders as they do not want to go through the harassment at the mandis and to incur extra expenses on transporting the produce.

Another point brought to the notice of the officials is that the farmers producing other rabi crops like sarson and barley are forced to sell their produce to private hands much below the MSP.

The president of the Haryana unit of the Janata Dal (U), Mr Ved Parkash Vidrohi, said in a statement today that the state government had not started procurement of sarson and barley officially. Claiming that there was large-scale production of such crops in southern Haryana, the farmers were having a tough time regarding sale. He said that 65 to 70 per cent of sarson purchased so far had been bought by the private traders while only 30 to 35 per cent by some marketing societies.

Meanwhile, about 44,302 tonnes of wheat have arrived in the mandis of the district so far which is 26,948 tonnes more than the arrivals during the corresponding period last year. Of these, 23,627 tonnes of wheat had been purchased by HAFED, 12,047 tonnes by the Food and Supplies Department, 4,578 tonnes by the FCI, 3,359 tonnes by CONFED, 520 tonnes by the Haryana Warehousing Corporation and 128 tonnes by the Haryana Agro Corporation.



Three cops hurt in clash over harvesting
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Panipat, April 20
Bloody clashes over the harvesting of wheat crop on the “disputed land” on the Haryana-Uttar Pradesh border have begun. In the first clash of the season, three police personnel, who went to a disputed land between Mirzapur village in Panipat district and Sapat village of Muzaffarnagar district in UP on Friday to help the officials in harvesting the crop, were hurt.

According to eyewitnesses, several policemen were attacked by the residents of Sapat village with lathis and sharp-edged weapons. They were also fired at with country-made pistols by over 100 residents of Sapat village. Three policemen, Sant Lal (ASI) and constables Naresh and Ramesh, were injured in the melee.
It may be recalled that following claims and counter-claims by the farmers of the two villages, the officials had decided that the authorities would harvest the crops and then auction it.

The Yamuna river, which changes its course every rainy season, was to be blamed for this ongoing dispute, as every year scores of acres of the land was transferred to the jurisdiction of either Panipat or Muzaffarnagar districts. It led to bloody clashes between the farmers on the two sides every year and the problem had defied solution for a number of years now.

At the bottom of the dispute this year was the wheat crop of about 72 acres of the land on the Haryana-UP border which several villages on either side claim as their own. Sapat and Mirzapur alone share a dispute over at least 25 acres of land.

It had been alleged here that the farmers of Sapat village, caring little for the directive of the authorities, had already harvested the wheat crop of about 8 acres of land.

On Friday, this village resembled a police cantonment as a large police force along with wheat harvesting machines descended on the disputed land to harvest the crops. Even as they started harvesting the crops, over 100 farmers from the Sapat side attacked the police personnel. The policemen had to beat a hasty retreat as fire was allegedly opened on them. The cops were at the receiving end, as the armed farmers from Sapat 
village repeatedly dared them to harvest the crop. Interestingly, no police personnel from the UP side was seen anywhere to restrain the violent farmers.

Meanwhile, senior police officers of the district, including the Superintendent of Police, Ms Mamata Singh, visited the village to take stock of the situation. Sources said the matter was to be taken up with the senior police and civil officials of UP.

Moreover, cases were to be registered against unidentified persons for attack on the cops. 



Jhajjar experiment in empowering people a success

Jhajjar, April 20
How to tackle the problem of absenteeism among the government employees and their lack of interest in discharging their duties? Make them accountable to the public they are supposed to serve. In order to bring efficiency in public service, this formula has been conceived and put in to practice by the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Ashok Khemka here, which, according to him, is the first step in empowering the people in the true sense of the term. When a complaint came to him during an open darbar about the malingering staff at the power sub-station in Sasroli village, he authorised the sarpanch to supervise the daily attendance register of the office. A letter issued to the sarpanch clearly mentioned supervisory powers and other duties assigned to him over the power staff at the village sub-station, which were really path-breaking. A similar arrangement was made when he received a similar complaint about the Public Health Centre staff in Badli village.

According to this experimental arrangement, the sarpanch is authorised as a supervisory institution who can visit the office of the aforementioned employees any time during office hours to check their presence. In case any staff member is not on duty, he can mark his absence in the attendance register. He can nominate any other panch (member) in his place in case he is not available in the village on a particular day or days. The government employees posted at these places have been instructed to get the signatures of the authorised village panchayat representative when he went out on official tours outside their jurisdiction and in case the authorised person is illiterate, the employee must have his thumb impression after reading out his tour programme to him. The government officials are also given immunity to appeal to the gram panchayat if he has any objection on marking his absence on a particular day by the authorised person within three days and against the decision of the panchayat before the Deputy Commissioner within a week.

Above all, the salaries of these employees will be released only after he got the duty certificate from the sarpanch or the panchayat representative at the end of the month. The Deputy Commissioner will be calling meetings of the panchayat and the affected employees to review the functioning from time to time. When this correspondent contacted the sarpanch of Sasroli village, Mr Rajender Singh, to get his reaction to this new measure, he confidently replied that things had changed dramatically now. He informed that though the staff at the sub-station showed only a minor improvement in the first few days after this arrangement commenced on April 1, the were no more work-shy. He said that he visits their office daily to mark their attendance. Earlier, whenever any villager approached them with his complaint, either they were found absent or did not attend to his complaint, he said. “I decided to raise the issue in the open darbar held in Matanhale village and the DC saab give me all the powers to rein in the lethargic staff,” he says, adding that so far this arrangement has been successful. The experiment being tried out in Badli village has also started showing results as the services there have become better now.

The Deputy Commissioner himself is very enthusiastic about the experiment, saying, “It makes the public servants accountable to the public in a direct way along with empowering the people in the true spirit of democracy”. He believes that the representatives of the people, who reside among the electorate and who are responsible for their deeds to them for lifetime, could be more effective guardians of the interests of the local people and they could do better monitoring of the functioning of the government servant at their disposal.

However, certain sections of the people have apprehensions about the experiment. They asserted that the village sarpanch or his nominee could be a person with doubtful integrity and could mislead higher authorities. However, the DC, at present, is a little wary about this experiment but certainly not on this count. His apprehensions zero in on the political settings, which most of the employees enjoy, in the form of employees’ unions and local political bosses, who are always ready to take head-on whoever dare to bring any change in their positions. The DC said that with this silent experiment, he had only tried to give back the people what they had been deprived of so far.

Mr Khemka said that he had also applied this experiment successfully in improving the sanitary conditions in Jhajjar town where the municipal councillors had been allotted Rs 8,000 per month and instructed to engage sweepers at their own level for cleaning the streets and lifting the garbage.



What is wrong with our government offices?

During the recent month-long strike by the state government employees and teachers in Kerala, Chief Minister A. K. Antony remarked that the people would not miss much if the government offices remained closed for a month or longer. Comments, which appeared in the electronic and print media, were far more critical of the ways these offices function. The conclusion was that the staff ate up a major part of the state’s annual revenue — 60 per cent of the state’s income was used for payment of salaries of staff — and were of little benefit to the people whom they were intended to serve.

The other day, Kerala’s Minister of Forest and Sports K. Sudhakaran spoke to a small gathering in Delhi on the topic: ‘Kerala: hopes and apprehensions’. Today, there are more apprehensions than hopes in the minds of Keralites about their state and what the minister stated must set us all thinking as to where we are heading.

Kerala has a debt liability of Rs 30,000 crore. Its annual budget has a deficit usually ranging from Rs 1,000 crore to Rs 1,500 crore. Nearly 98 of its 110 public sector undertakings are running in loss. The cheques issued by it had bounced and few financial institutions believe in its credit worthiness. On the social scene, divorces and suicides are on the increase. Not anything to be happy about for a state trumpeted as a role model by even the United Nations!

What he spoke about Kerala applies to some other states as well where unproductive expenditure, doles and subsidies, besides staff salaries ate up a good part of the revenue. Red-tapism and corruption, pilferage and wastage marked the way public funds are utilised. General apathy and want of accountability on the part of politicians and bureaucrats and entrenched old habits frustrate all possibilities of reform. It is time to wake up and change ways and attitudes in governmental functioning.

In Kerala, the minister said that the government owes so much to so many, that court orders are issued very often to attach property like vehicles and furniture. Vehicles are hidden from court officials to avert their seizure! At last, the state is reaping what it has sown: militant trade unionism, a work culture that emphasizes too much on rights and too little on responsibilities, losing public sector units, wastage of all sorts and a working class that is least concerned about increasing production or welfare of the general public.

We talk of overpopulation, paucity of resources and lack of infrastructure etc as obstacles in the path of economic growth, but are slow to admit that our misery and poverty owe a lot to our poor work culture. Why is it that a person who works hard under a private employer becomes so lethargic and irresponsible once he joins the government? What is it that has gone wrong with our government offices or the way of their functioning? A recent survey has shown that 23.5 lakh files are pending with the Kerala Government and some of the files are more than 10 years old.

Mr Sudhakaran spoke more like a preacher than as a politician. And he admitted privately that unless there is a change of heart in its employees, there is no hope for the future. The traditional crafts, industries and agriculture have markedly declined and the state survives on money orders from abroad. A state that spends more than its income and where resources are not productively employed will soon become bankrupt.

What makes a government employee so dull, unenterprising and complacent? Is it the absence of a system of rewards and punishment? Or the assurance that regardless of his performance, his job is secure and that the trade union will always come to his rescue?

It is no use blaming the employee for all the ailments of governmental functioning. Which self-respecting person will like to exist like a parasite or sponge? But then, what is it that prevents a governmental functionary from giving his best efforts and thoughts to the job at hand?

Albert Einstein, the famous scientist, used to observe that the society considers as successful that man, who receives a great deal from his fellowmen, usually incomparably more than corresponds to the service to them. “The value of a man, however, should be seen in what he gives and not in what he is able to receive,” he maintained.

A revolution is called for in the attitudes of those who man all the public and government offices if they are to be of use to the public at large. Ethical behaviour and our obligations to fellow beings demand that we put in honest efforts to justify the wages and privileges that we draw from the government treasury. The following maxim written down by a thinker needs to be hung at every government office or factory in Kerala and everywhere:

“One thing I am resolved upon, I will not be a sponge or a parasite. I will give an honest equivalent for what I get. I want no man’s money for which I have not rendered a full return. I want no wages that I have not earned. If I work for any man or any company or any institution, I will render a full, ample, generous service. If I work for the city or the state or the nation, I will give my best thought, my best effort, my most conscientious and efficient endeavour. No man, nobody of men, shall ever be made poorer by their dealings with me. If I can give a little more than I get every time, in that shall be my happiness.

The great commonwealth of human society shall not be the loser through me. I will take good care to put into the common fund more than I take out.” (Washington Gladden)




Salvage your soul after a holy dip in Hardwar
Tribune News Service

With the beginning of the Hindu New Year, it is one of the best times to visit the holy spot, Hardwar, which is the sacred source of the most pious rivers, the Ganga and Yamuna.

According to the legend, Prince Bhagirath performed penance here to salvage the souls of his ancestors who had perished due to Sage Kapila’s curse. The penance was answered and the Ganga trickled forth from Lord Shiva’s locks and its bountiful water revived the sons of King Sagara.

In the tradition of Bhagirath, devout Hindus stand in the sacred waters here, praying for the salvation of their ancestors.

Har ki Pauri

King Vikramaditya constructed this sacred ghat in memory of his brother Bhatrihari who, it is believed, had come to Hardwar to meditate on the banks of the Ganga. This ghat later came to be known as Har-Ki-Pauri (also called Brahamakund). At twilight, golden hues of floral diyas reflected in the Ganga present the most enchanting sight. The imprint of Lord Hari’s footprint hallows the riverbank temple here. The ghat is regarded as the most sacred and auspicious point to bathe in the Ganga during the 12-year Kumbh and the six-year Ardh Kumbh.

Sapt Sarovar

According to the legend, the Saptarshis (seven sages) were deep in meditation here. The Ganga, not wanting to disturb them, split herself into seven streams (Sapt Sarovar) around them.

Mansa Devi temple

The temple of Goddess Mansa Devi is situated at the top of Bilwa Parvat. The rope-way with its brightly coloured cable cars take devotees to the old hilltop of Mansa Devi.

Chandi Devi temple

The Chandi Devi temple at the top of Neel Parvat on the Ganga’s banks was built in1929 A.D. by the King of Kashmir, Suchat Singh. A 3-km trek from Chandighat, the main statue is believed to have been installed by the Adi Shankaracharya in 8th century AD. It is at a distance of 6 km on Neel Parvat on the other bank of the river.

Maya Devi temple

This is an ancient temple of Maya Devi, the Adhisthatri deity of Hardwar, known as one of the Siddhapethas. It is said to be the place where the hearts and navel of Goddess Sati had fallen.

Daksha temple

The ancient temple of Daksha Mahadev stands in the south Kankhal town. Mythology has it that King Daksha Prajapati, father of Sati (Lord Shiva’s first wife), performed yagya at this place, but didn’t invite Lord Shiva (Mahadev). Feeling insulted, Sati burnt herself in the yagya kund. Provoked by this, the ganas (followers) of Lord Shiva killed King Daksha. Later, Lord Shiva brought him back to life.


Each morning from 5am to 6 am, people join for Aarti. Spirits soar and people give thanks for the new day. Meanwhile, Ganga Aarti is also performed at the time of sunset. This divine light ceremony is filled with devotional songs, prayers, rituals and a palpable sense of the divinity of Mother Ganga. The aarti, an ornate oil lamp, lined with dozens of flames burning in pure ghee is offered to God.

Ardh Kumbh & Kumbh mela

Though all the Hindu festivals are celebrated here with pomp and gaiety, it is the Ardh Kumbh and Kumbh Mela which attract the mind of any tourist to this place.

The history of Kumbh Mela dates back to the legends about the creation of the universe. Mythological state that the Gods and the Demons once churned the ocean to retrieve the Kumbh (pot) containing nectar of immortality (Amrit). As Dhanvantri, the divine healer, appeared with the Kumbh containing nectar in her palms, a great fight followed between the Gods and the Demons to wrest the pitcher. During the fierce battle in the sky, a few drops of nectar fell at four different places, Prayag, Hardwar, Nasik and Ujjain. Since then, devotees converge to commemorate this divine event.

The Ardh Kumbh is held every six years and after six more years, Kumbh Mela is held. It is said that a holy dip in the Ganga during the Kumbh and Ardh Kumbh gives one Moksha or Nirvana. People gather in huge numbers to take the holy dip during these days. Saints, Naga Sadhus, politicians and almost all sorts of people converge here. The city is overflowing with people.

If one is going to Hardwar during the Kumbh or Ardh Kumbh, then it is better to avoid the overcrowded ghats. There have been reports of stampedes and clashes among various factions or Akharas of Sadhus every now and then. Ensure your accommodation well in advance if going during the Kumbh.

Kavand mela

Ten days before Shivteras (during the months of Shravan and Phagun), thousands of devotees throng Hardwar to collect holy waters of the Ganga. Then they carry it back to their hometown and offer it at the local Shiv temple. Colourful shops spring up and Hardwar resounds with the chanting of hymns then.

At a glance

Area : 12,302

Altitude : 294.7 m.


Summer : 40.9-15.6 Degree Celsius.

By Road : Hardwar on National Highway no.45 is will connected to all major cities and other parts of the state like Delhi (214 km); Agra (386 km); Ambala (168 km).



Power generation fails to meet target
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, April 20
The actual addition of power generation during the ninth plan had been a mere 48 per cent of the target. This was stated in a report submitted by the PHD Chambers of Commerce and Industry (PHDCCI), after a snapshot survey of the power sector. The report, presented at the Sixth Summit of Chief Secretaries of Northern Region at Suraj Kund here yesterday, claimed that a total capacity of 19100 MW had been added or achieved against the targeted capacity of 40245 MW.

The capacity achieved was less than the 54 per cent of the target achieved during the eighth plan. With 34.9 per cent sector wise achievement, it was worst in the northern region of the country. While the targeted capacity generation in the central sector was 5450 MW, the actual addition was mere 1290 MW. The performance of the state sector was slightly better, with the actual generation of 2617 MW, which exceeded the target of 2057 MW. The private sector was the worst performer, with a mere 111 MW additional power generation against a target of 2000 MW.

According to Mr Ravi Wig, chairman, Energy Committee of the PHDCCI, reform process needs to be completed at the earliest so as to bring the power sector back to health. He said while Rajasthan, Haryana, U.P. and Delhi had made considerable progress, it should be taken to its logical end in other states of the country. 



3 held for forging licences 
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, April 20
The police have arrested three persons on charges of preparing ‘fake’ driving licences. A large number of prepared licences, stamps, ration card copies, learner licences and other related documents have been recovered from their possession.

It is reported that the racket was unearthed after an alcohol licence, prepared by them was taken to the department concerned it was found to be fake. The matter was reported to police, who raided a shop in Dabua area.

Liquor seized 

As many as 4600 pouches of illegal liquor was seized from a car by the police on Friday. The `Angoori’ brand liquor was seized at the police naka at Dabua Pali road. The liquor, it was learnt, were to be sold in Chandigarh. One person identified as Sanjay was arrested.


The Haryana Government has decided to form a committee to suggest improvements in the technical education to make it suitable for job opportunities in India and abroad, said Mr Dharam Vir, Financial Commissioner and Secretary, Technical Education at Israna, 21 km from here. Addressing the concluding function of the CEMIT-2002, an all-India symposium for the engineering students at NC College of Engineering, Mr Dharamvir also informed that new syllabi for the engineering students of the state would be introduced from the current academic session.

Old man killed 

An old man was killed after a brawl with a boy who attacked him with a heavy metal object. It was learnt that when the old man came to sort out some differences between two boys, one of them hit him on the head. A case was registered under Section 302. No arrests had been made so far.

Truck looted

A group of robbers attempted to loot a TATA 407 loaded with sarsaon (mustard) when it was on its way to the anaj mandi from Kuhar village. According to sources, when the TATA 407 reached near Subana, unidentified robbers looted the vehicle at pistol point and sped away towards Gudiani village. However, when the fuel of the vehicle finished, near Samarthal village.



Students recover from food poisoning 
Our Correspondent

Rewari, April 20
All the 46 students of the Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya, Naichana (about 15 km from here), who were taken ill after eating lunch on Thursday, have recovered, according to official information.

The water tank in the school campus has been chemically disinfected by the health authorities and investigations are on to ascertain the factors that led to the food poisoning.

It is reported that soon after taking lunch, some students complained of vomiting as well as loose motions. Gradually, the number of affected students began to rise. They were all taken in batches to the Community Health Centre at Bawal. Medical aid was also rushed from here to Bawal. The students have been discharged and sent back to the school hostel.



Book on leadership released
Our Correspondent

New Delhi, April 20
A book, ‘Leadership, Your True Destiny’, authored by Sandeep Chaudhary and Manisha Chaudhary was released today. It is a tribute to the universal human spirit, and an effort towards the awakening of the potential leadership that exists in all of us. Among the many interesting propositions made include the one that helps you follow the true meaning of your name, so as to achieve synergy with the destiny. Says Sandeep Chaudhary, “This book is an attempt to reach out to a wider segment of corporate, small business organisations and entrepreneurs “. TNS



Electronic goods worth Rs 2.5 lakh seized 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 20
The South district police today claimed to have recovered electronic goods worth Rs 2.5 lakh with the arrest of an alleged inter-state gangster, Zakir Hussain, a resident of Faridabad.

He was arrested from M. B. Road near Lado Sarai where he was going on a motorcycle to hand over a few VCD players to somebody. The Anti-Auto Section of the South district received a tip off that he would come to Lado Sarai on a motorcycle to deliver stolen electronic goods to one of his contacts. He was intercepted near Lado Sarai crossing and nabbed.

A raid was conducted at his residence in Faridabad and electronic goods like TV, VCR, Video etc worth Rs 2.5 lakh recovered. During interrogation, he disclosed that he had looted the godown of Sansui electronic company in Pune in Maharashtra and brought the goods to Faridabad, the police said. He used to sell the electronic goods to shopkeepers in East and South-West Delhi.

In another case, the South-West district police arrested Anil alias Kala from Uttam Nagar and claimed that 12 cases were solved. A country-made pistol, live cartridges and a knife were recovered from him, the police said.

Bomb scare at haat: Panic gripped for an hour in the busy Dilli Haat today afternoon when a country-made bomb and one katta were found near a restaurant near shop no.5. The police received a call around 2.30 pm about the explosive inside the premises. The bomb disposal squad and dog squad which immediately reached the spot found the bomb was country made and weighed only 50 gm. The katta was not in a working condition as the weapon was without the firing pin.


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