Wednesday, May 1, 2002, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


Land sharks turn Gurgaon into a multiplex
Ravi S. Singh
Tribune News Service

Gurgaon, April 30
The Municipal Council here has failed in its prime duty to check the growth of unauthorised multi-storeyed commercial plazas and complexes within its areas of jurisdiction. A survey has revealed a disquieting pattern where a section of the officials and the elected members of the municipal body were found allegedly colluding to abet the haphazard growth of such constructions.

The general opinion is that the malaise has turned into a major racket. If one were to quantify the worth of the rackets, taking into account just the major scams, it could run into several crores of rupees.

The loss to the would also be large. The societal loss in terms of imponderables like defacing the city’s landscape, traffic chaos, increasing the gap between the haves and the have-nots, is anybody’s guess.

While the construction of the plazas is illegal as it does not fall in the commercial zone, their architectural designs also flout the by-laws.

For instance, there is no mandatory space for parking of vehicles. This is because the unauthorised complexes want to use as much land as possible for commercial purpose and make no provision for parking.

The builders sell the shops in these complexes or rent them at astronomical rates. Although such constructions keep coming up at regular intervals, the intensity has increased of late.

A former Cabinet minister of Haryana has demolished his residence on Meharauli Road and is erecting a huge commercial plaza at the site. As per rules, a residential site cannot be converted into commercial. If it is done, it entails a heavy penalty.

This former minister recently constructed an unauthorised multi-storeyed commercial plaza near Sector 14, adjacent to the office of the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA).

Two residential sites in the city’s oldest Housing Board Colony on Jharsa Road were demolished recently and a snazzy shopping complex, Vinayak Plaza, with a large number of shops, was constructed. A senior elected functionary of the municipality is said to be involved in it. Now, he is allegedly constructing another illegal multi-storeyed shopping plaza in the heart of the city near the Mahavir Chowk.

In yet another instance, a functionary of the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) erected a commercial complex in the same Housing Board Colony and rented out the premises to a commercial bank.

On the Jharsa Road and, near the Shyama Restaurant, a huge multi-layered commercial complex, Satyam Plaza, has come up. Instances are legion of such sleazy details in the city.

There appears to be a pattern in such skewed developments. The authorities look the other way when the unauthorised construction take place. Later, when there is a hue and cry, the authorities initiate punitive action. The culprits then move the court and the case gets embroiled in the legal proceedings.

In the process, public patience tires out and the issue is forgotten. The illegal structures are later regularised by the authorities who give their own interpretation of the Municipal Act and the by-laws.

There is another angle to the issue. Over the years, the value of the city’s real estate has appreciated manifold. There is an unholy nexus between the land sharks, the politicians and a section of the officialdom. Naturally, all have an axe to grind.



Gurgaon: Past perfect, present not so
Prominent residents recount their experience
Abhay Jain

Gurgaon, April 30
Gurgaon was God’s own country, at least many of the residents thought so when they first planned to settle here. Open space, pollution-free environment, easy access to the domestic and international airports and relatively crime-free environs were some of the factors which attracted many a prominent personality of the country to make Gurgaon their abode for good.

But the charm of the district, said to be the gaon of Guru Dronacharya, the Mahabharata’s celebrity character, is fading fast and if the administration fails to get its act together, the day is not far when no one would feel proud of the city’s pristine glory, opined many notable figures.

A former senior Union Minister, Mr Vasant Sathe, said that he shifted to Sushant Lok in 1997 to avoid crowded and polluted life. Peaceful atmosphere had attracted him, he said.

But the city is fast turning into a jungle of cement. The ‘pigeon-hole culture’ where people live in flats in the skyscrapers will dominate here, observed a retired politician of repute.

The former foreign secretary, Mr J N Dixit, is of the opinion that the private developers should not be allowed to violate the prescribed rules and regulations. The local bureaucrats must ensure the easy movement of traffic by arranging wide roads and side lanes. Greenery should be maintained at all rates, said Mr Dixit. The retired bureaucrat advised the district administration to lay electricity, water and sewerage systems, keeping in mind the future growth of the city. How does he feel now about his decision to shift to Gurgaon? Mr Dixit said that he did not regret the decision. Open space, pleasant environment and various facilities had attracted him to come to Gurgaon, said the senior bureaucrat.

Justice Mr D S Tewatia, who resigned from the Calcutta High Court and constructed his house in Gurgaon in 1990, said that the town had been divided into the old city and the new city. It would be a huge city with congested flats and houses, observed the Justice.

Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) and Town and Country Planning Department must draw a master plan in which all the existing and expected private colonisers and developers should be accommodated. External development charges paid by the residents should be utilised properly by the administration, said the retired High Court Judge.

Maj-Gen (retd) S P Jain who is now working as the Director and Chief Executive, DLF Services Ltd, felt that the basic facilities such as roads, parks, power, water, sewerage etc should be developed as per the growing demand of the city. More integrated approach and action are the need of the time, said Mr Jain. He suggested that all central and state departments concerned must sit together and check out a plan for 20 years ahead. And then the private developers and the government agencies should strictly follow the guidelines, otherwise the dream of making Gurgaon a promised land would turn sour, said the retired Maj-General.



Parallel water supply network in Faridabad
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, April 30
A parallel private water supply network has surfaced in some of the unauthorised residential colonies here to fill up the vacuum caused by the non-supply of potable water by the Municipal Corporation Faridabad (MCF). While the State government had stopped all development work, including laying of water pipelines, in unauthorised colonies and slum areas a few years ago, some 95,000 people in this industrial town depend on private water supply.

These areas also tap groundwater sources with the help of hand pumps, but mostly the supplies are polluted or unfit for drinking due to the sour taste.

Now, some of the slums, including A.C. Nagar, Ram Nagar, Krishan Nagar and Gaikwad colony, have found an ingenious solution to their problem. Some private persons have bored jet pumps and are supplying ‘potable’ water to the residents via pipelines. About 20 to 25 jet pumps are reported to be functioning in these colonies. The owners of these pumps charge Rs. 100 from each house per month; Rs. 500 is paid at the time of installation of the connection.

The MCF had refused to lay a pipeline in their colony, pointed out a resident of A C Nagar. While each supplier was raking in Rs. 15000 to Rs 20,000 each month, the water supplied was not sour. According to reports, residents in other slums, too, depend on either hand pumps or tap the supply lines laid by the MCF illegally. It is reported that the number of illegal connections runs into thousands and the MCF employees are involved in the racket. Meanwhile, the shortage of drinking water has become an acute problem in a large number of colonies. The colonies in the NIT zone are the worst affected. Protests and demonstrations by residents of the affected colonies has become a daily ritual at the office of the MCF. It is alleged that while

there was low water pressure in these areas, the MCF had `failed’ to organise water tankers.

The Deputy Commissioner, Mr Arun Kumar, has said that while the work on `Renniwell water scheme’ was proceeding satisfactorily, the administration had been working on an alternate plan to supply water from tubewells to the NIT areas through a pipelines this summer. He hoped that the problem would be solved to an extent by June 15. He said the major hurdle in the ongoing ‘Reniwell water project’ was the permission of the Railways for laying a pipeline under the track, criss-crossing the town. 



Dead-end jobs and an apology for a salary
Syed Ali Ahmed
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 30
The guardians of law themselves are not able to guard their professional prospects. This, despite the fact that the Centre has formulated an assured career promotion scheme. Thousands of Delhi Police personnel are awaiting promotions for ages. They are waiting for Godot, as it were.

This has resulted in a large number of police personnel working in posts lower than what they are due and at lower salaries.

There are at least 1,300 personnel in the rank of constables and head constables who have so far not been given even a single promotion though they have had more than 12 years’ experience. The number of such personnel could be more if the assistant sub inspectors, sub-inspectors and inspectors are included in the list. Sub-inspectors recruited in 1974 have so far not been given even a single promotion.

The Pay Commission recommended in its report that those government employees of second, third and fourth grades who have not been given promotion for 12 years, should be provided financial benefits equivalent to their next post. The class one employees are exempted from this recommendation.

The recommendation was given keeping in mind that generally the government employees are not provided timely promotion. Sometimes they get only one promotion throughout their service period and this has occurred with the personnel of the Delhi Police as well.

The Deputy Commissioner of Police (Headquarters), Mr D.P. Verma, said since there was no vacancy in the Delhi Police, the personnel could not be given their due promotion. “But we always make a list of such constables and head constables whose promotions are due and they are given the pay scales of the next rank they are promoted to be. This is a recommendation of the Pay Commission which cannot flouted,” he said.

However, the constables whose promotion is due, said that they had not been any financial benefit so far. They had been working in the same rank for several years.

It is interesting to note that the DCP Headquarters said that there was no vacancy in the force. The Commissioner of Police urged the Ministry of Home Affairs a few months back to increase the number of police personnel as Delhi Police were short of staff. At present, the Delhi Police have strength of 55,000 personnel including senior officers. The newly created police stations are also short of personnel. No wonder, it is difficult to check crime.



RAF to man Panipat as residents block traffic
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Panipat, April 30
Even as irate residents blocked the traffic on the GT Road today in protest against the killing of three persons by the armed assailants here on Monday, the Rapid Action Force (RAF) is being deployed in the district to instil a sense of security among the people.

Led by Mr Roshan Lal Gupta, president of the district unit of the Haryana Beopar Mandal and Mr Dilip Dua, president of the Yarn Dealers Association, the protesters blocked the traffic for over 10 minutes on the busy Chandigarh-Delhi road causing a lot of inconvenience to the motorists.

Shouting slogans against the police, the agitated residents demanded the immediate arrest of the culprits and adequate security arrangements in the district.

The car of the Haryana Chief Secretary, Mr L.M. Goyal, who was on his way to Chandigarh from Delhi, was caught in the traffic jam. Mr Goyal was led to the PWD Rest House, where Mr MS Malik, DGP, was presiding over a meeting of the senior police officers. Mr Goyal instructed the officials to nab the culprits immediately to create a sense of security among the people. The meeting was attended, among others, by the IG Rohtak Range, Mr Resham Singh, the DC, Mr Mulk Raj Anand, and the SP, Ms Mamta Singh.

Earlier, Mr Malik reportedly asked the police officials to get tough with the anti-social elements and make an all-out effort to catch the persons behind yesterday’s crimes.

The IG told reporters that the RAF was being deployed in the district to check the anti-social elements. Besides, eight teams have been formed to arrest the culprits, he said.

Meanwhile, two armed assailants who were nabbed by the people after they shot dead Rajesh in Kishanpura locality, have been identified as Bijender of Kaithal and Sultan of UP. Raj Kumar, their third accomplice has absconded.

Eight to 10 armed assailants had barged into Surinder Dye House and attacked the workers sleeping inside with sharp-edged weapons killing two on the spot and injuring five others.



This village goes without a phone
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, April 30
In the age of telecom revolution, there are several places in the country where telephones are still a distant dream. What brings the case of Sikanderpur village in the district into focus is its proximity to the national Capital. The residents of this village have not been ‘blessed’ with any phones despite the fact that many of them had deposited security amounts for phone connections about six years ago. They are still to hear a phone ringing in their houses.

According to information, several residents of the village located in the Palwal subdivision had applied for connections way back in 1996, but the department seems to be least concerned about the delay. It is reported that the Telecom Department had told the applicants that a phone line would be laid in the village if there were a minimum of 20 applicants. After the strength of phone seekers reached 24 last year, the department, in fact, laid a cable. It also provided even instrument sets to some of the applicants. However, these were still to be made active, said a resident. The villagers had to travel about 10-15 km to use the phone facility, he claimed.



Schools told to delete history chapters
Our Correspondent

New Delhi, April 30
The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has directed its affiliated schools to delete certain portions from the history texts, the Minister of State for Human Resource Development, Ms Rita Verma, informed the Lok Sabha in a written reply today. She added the orders had been issued on the recommendation of the NCERT.

Portions deleted from the history textbooks were from Romila Thapar’s Ancient India (Class VI), Modern India by Arjun Dev and Indira Arjun Dev (Class VIII), Ram Sharan Sharma’s Ancient India (Class XI) and Satish Chandra’s Medieval India (Class XI).

The Minister of State for Home Affairs, Mr Vidyasagar Rao, told the Lok Sabha today that the number of stolen vehicles in the Capital during the period from October 1, 2001 to March 31, 2002 was 3,627 out of which 784 vehicles had been recovered. The main difficulty in recovering these vehicles was due to the absence of a hinterland in Delhi. A large number of exit points enabled the thieves to quickly move out of the territorial limits of the Capital, he added.

Mr Rao informed the Lok Sabha that the Delhi Police had made adequate security arrangements for Tis Hazari Courts and the number of police personnel deputed in the premises had also been substantially increased. He also pointed out that the security of the courts was regularly reviewed and additional forces were deployed whenever required.

The approximate requirement for the CNG for the Capital was about 3 lakh kg per day and the availability of CNG was 6 lakh kg per day, informed the Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas, Mr Santosh Gangwar. The minister also informed the Rajya Sabha that IGL had started the work of augmenting its CNG infrastructure to supply 16.1 lakh kg per day of CNG as directed by the court in phases by March 2003. Mr Gangwar added that three auto-LPG stations had already been commissioned and nine were ready for commissioning in the Capital.

The Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Mr Ram Naik, in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha, said that public sector oil marketing companies had allotted retail outlets and LPG distributorship under approved marketing plans and Operation Vijay scheme since 1999 in the Capital. At present, the number of retail outlets was 24 while as the number of LPG distributorships was six.

The Delhi Co-operative Housing Finance Corporation has developed a unique garbage-collector rickshaw, informed the Minister of State for Urban Development and Poverty Alleviation, Mr Bandaru Dattatreya, in the Lok Sabha today. He said the rickshaw consists of two parts –- the main part and the other consisting of two covered fibre bins for segregating the bio-degradable and the non-biodegradable domestic garbage. The cost of this rickshaw is Rs 9,063.The minister also informed that CPWD incurred an expenditure of Rs 279.67 crore during the financial year 2000-2001 for the maintenance of various government buildings in the NCT of Delhi.

The number of cases of sexual harassment reported at the work place in the Capital from April 2001 to March 2002 stands at 17, informed the Minister of State for Human Resources Development, Mrs Sumitra Mahajan, in the Lok Sabha today.



Delhi slums, a virtual tinderbox in 
summer: DFS chief 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 30
The increasing number of hutments covered with tarpaulin in slum clusters, congested residential areas and loose electric wires have made the national Capital a virtual tinderbox. The Capital records more fires, especially slum fires, than any other major cities in the country. Generally, fire breaks out in the summer due to the hot and dry climate, coupled with the faulty town planning that has left inadequate infrastructure. Added to this is the lack of awareness among its 15 million residents. The Delhi Fire Service (DFS) chief, Mr R. C. Sharma, says: “The Capital turns into a virtual tinderbox during the summer. Compared to Delhi, the other major cities like Chennai, Mumbai, Bangalore and Kolkata report a lower number of fires. In the Capital, even a spark could cause a disaster,” he said.

Around 14 jungle fires were reported in April 2001. Similarly, in April 2000, there were 13 such cases. The Delhi Fire Service is kept busy fighting such fires all through the summer. In April alone, there were 13,335 fire incidents in the national Capital. For the fire fighters, the summer months of April, May and June are the worst period. The casualty figures from these fires are frightening. Last year, 261 people died while 1,197 people were injured. Property worth Rs 343 million was destroyed. Slum dwellers were the worst sufferers, since their congested dwellings are most prone to fire.

The DFS chief says that the slum dwellers have now started building their jhuggis with bricks and cement, instead of the earlier combustible materials like straw and polythene. While in 2001, 3,765 slums were destroyed in fires, the corresponding numbers of destruction in 2000 and 1999 were 5,409 and 7,840 respectively. Moreover, about 64 multi-storey buildings caught fire in 2001. However, the good news is that incidents of fires in high-rise buildings are on the decline. The fire chief attributes this to the strict implementation of fire safety measures. Now, it is compulsory for the builder to install all the basic fire safety measures in the building in order to get the NOC from the DFS.

However, there are still 69 buildings that have to get their fire safety clearance from the DFS. The DFS chief says that illegal power connection is a major cause of fire. In most of the cases, overhead electric cables, which are often loosely strung together, are the major cause of fires. Such illegal electricity connections have been the cause of major fires in the slums. A gust of wind, and a spark can turn a heavily populated slum cluster to ashes in minutes. However, even as the task becomes more difficult, the DFS chief says that the Fire Department is short of staff and infrastructure.

With only 36 fire stations and 2,300 employees, the Fire Department is fighting with its back to the wall. Ideally, the DFS must have 70 fire stations in the Capital, he says. However, he is hopeful that in the next five years, 34 more fire stations would come up in the Capital.



DPCC calls for rollback of CNG price
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 30
The Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee (DPCC) today demanded the immediate rollback of the increased CNG prices. “The unwarranted hike in the prices of the CNG was an insult to the people of Delhi, to which the Delhi Congress will not tolerate as a mute spectator. We will launch a massive public agitation if the central government does not take steps to bring back the CNG prices to the original level,” the statement read.

Condemning the price hike of CNG, the DPCC alleged that the Indraprastha Gas Limited (IGL) was adopting double standards while increasing CNG prices.

“The IGL, on the one hand, was trying to protect the interest of big industrial houses by not hiking the commercial consumption of CNG and on the other, it has steeply hiked the CNG prices in Delhi which would severely affect the lives of the common people, who solely depend on the public transport run on CNG.”

The party accused the BJP-led Union Government of deliberately creating a public transport crisis in the Capital by enhancing the CNG price even when the issue of converting all public transport vehicles into CNG mode was hanging fire.



Sonepat commuters grin and bear it every day
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, April 30
The rising number of passengers, sale of more tickets than the seats available in the bogies and shortage of coaches are some of the reasons of overcrowding not only in the suburban trains but almost all the long-distance express, mail and superfast trains running on the DUK section of the Northern Railway.

The New Delhi-bound Jhelum Express and the Delhi-bound Bathinda Intercity Express were hit badly. Many passengers said that they could not remember a single day when they got a seat in these trains.

A large number of daily commuters have been facing hardships due to the change of the racks of the 1 DPM and 4 DPM passenger trains by the railways. Many commuters point out that the railways have replaced the racks of these trains by ordinary racks resulting in delay in the running of these trains by two to three hours daily between Delhi and Panipat, a distance of about 100 kms.

Every day, 1 DPM is held up at Narela or Rathdhanna railway stations to allow the overtaking of some long distance trains. This causes inconvenience to the passengers travelling on this train as they reach their destinations quite late.

Late running of not only long-distance but suburban trains also on the DUK section has become routine, due to the failure of the railway authorities to maintain the punctuality of the incoming and outgoing trains. This has caused widespread resentment among the passengers, particularly commuters, government servants and teachers.

Almost all the suburban trains originate either from Delhi or Panipat and some from Ambala and Kurukshetra. Yet they usually run behind schedule by 30 minutes or above, stranding thousands of commuters, government servants and teachers who commute to Delhi and Panipat and face departmental action for reaching late in their offices or schools in Delhi. The commuters travelling on 1 DPM (Delhi-Panipat) are hit hard.

The extension of the Flying Mail up to Bihar state has proved a curse for the passengers as this train always run behind schedule for hours together and the long-distance passengers remain stranded on the railway stations for hours.

The Amritsar-based passengers travelling on 4647 Up Flying Mail reach Amritsar around midnight whenever it is late for three to seven hours. As a result, they have to spend the night at the platform as they are afraid to go to their house at that unearthly hour.

During the winter season, the condition of the passengers is much worse. Non-stoppage of the Bathinda-bound Bathinda Intercity Express at Subzimandi is causing hardships to the passengers in the wake of the late running of the 4647 UP Flying Mail bound for Amritsar.

Meanwhile, chaotic conditions prevail at Sonepat and its neighbouring railway stations almost every day when thousands of commuters, particularly women, have a tough time for boarding Delhi-bound trains in the morning hours.

Between 20,000 and 30,000 commuters, including 7,000 women commute daily between Sonepat and Delhi and have to undergo an ordeal. The commuters are largely government servants and teachers. There is also a sprinkling of employees of private firms and a large number of milk vendors and businessmen.

There are half a dozen trains linking Delhi with Sonepat and Panipat. The trains are generally overcrowded but to make things worse, the authorities cut down the number of coaches frequently, forcing the passengers to huddle themselves into any available space in the bogies. Milk vendors also travel in the suburban trains and they hold monthly season tickets and occupy most of the space with their huge containers in the bogies. The authorities have not been able to make them travel with proper booking of the containers.

The actual problem, however, is of the seats in the bogies. The MSTs issued to the commuters do not seem to guarantee the right for a seat.

More tickets than the seats available in trains are sold. As soon as a train arrives, the passengers are seen frantically running from one coach to another to grab a seat. In desperation, men and women often fight for seats.

Representations made to increase the number of second class bogies have been ignored. A provision of separate two bogies for women passengers and one for the milk vendors would ease the situation.



CPM flays govt for rising crime graph
Our Correspondent

Rohtak, April 30
The Communist Party of India (Marxist) has expressed grave concern over the worsening law and order situation in the state.

The state secretary of the party, Mr Inderjit Singh, today made a scathing attack on the state government and the law enforcing agencies for the “alarming spurt” in the crime graph during the recent months. As a result of this, there was a tremendous feeling of insecurity among the people, he said.

The party severely criticised the government, which “continued to be totally indifferent, leaving the citizens virtually at the mercy of criminals”.

The CPM ridiculed the Chief Minister’s tours of other states in the name of inviting investment in Haryana at a time when even the local businessmen were compelled to live under terror.

The party also expressed serious doubts about the scope getting investments from businessmen of other states in the present pathetic law and order scenario in Haryana.

Mr Inderjit Singh strongly condemned all incidents of dacoity, murders, rapes and extortions, including the gruesome murders of four innocent migrant labourers at Panipat on Monday.

The party also urged the Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, who also happens to be in charge of the Home portfolio, to immediately come out with effective steps to improve the situation and contain the soaring crime graph for restoring sense of security among citizens.



DVB claims to be in the pink to face summer
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 30
Is the Delhi Vidyut Board (DVB) resorting to statistical jugglery to project an improvement on the power front or is the situation indeed looking up?

First, the DVB’s claims. Launching itself into a PR exercise, the power utility claims to have tied up with “donor” states ahead of the peak summer demand that is anticipated to range between 3,100 mw and 3,200 mw. For the record, DVB Chairman Jagdish Sagar says a summer action plan has been put in place and its system capacities enhanced.

According to him, the utility’s improved capacities are apparent from the performance in the month of April so far. In April 2001, the peak load met was 2,392 mv whereas in April this year, it touched 2,805 mv (April 24). The peak load met has exceeded 2,400 mv almost on all days in April so far.

From April 1 to April 26, 2001, the consumption (MU) was 1,151.26 and the shedding (MU) was 60.80 while during the corresponding period this year, the consumption (MU) was 1,392 – an increase of 20.94 in comparison to 2002 — and the shedding (MU) was 20.26 – a decrease of 66.68 as compared to last year.

DVB officials say unlike in the past, the utility is now in a favourable financial position to make power purchases. It has tied up advance arrangements to procure adequate power to meet the anticipated demand, which will exceed 3,000 mw by July-August. (The peak load in 1998 was 2,422 mw and 2,879 mw in August 2001.)

The situation as it exists today suggests 2,630 mw of power is available with the DVB. The shortfall of 600-odd mega watt, officials say, would be overcome by arranging for power from other states. According to information made available by the utility, it has thus far made arrangements for only 480 mw.

Those 480 mw will be arranged thus: 100 mw from Himachal Pradesh State Electricity Board; 90 mw to be transferred by Power Trading Corporation from West Bengal Power Development Corporation Limited, the MoU of which is to be extended beyond June 11, 2002; 60 mw to be transferred by Power Trading Corporation from Malana Hydro Power Project, the MoU of which is to be extended beyond July 5, 2002; 100 mw from RAPPB Unit 4 (during peak hours); 80 mw from central generating stations (again, during peak hours); and 50 mw to be transferred from Uttaranchal Pradesh Power Corporation.

According to DVB sources, only 60 mw from the Malana Hydro Power Project has been secured so far; the rest have only been “lined up”. Incidentally, the availability of power, particularly during peak hours, will be subject to frequency and voltage conditions in the grid.

According to Power Minister Ajay Maken, 100 mw to 150 mw is expected from Himachal Pradesh and another 100 mw during morning and evening peak hours from Chattisgarh. He, however, concedes that if the past experience is any indicator there is every likelihood that Delhi would get less than its assured quota.

Citing procedural hurdles, Mr Maken says an MoU has been inked with the Power Trading Corporation for the supply of 100 mw from Chattisgarh that will be valid till October 17 this year. However, owing to technical problems in the Western Regional Power Grid, the supply is likely to hover around 60-70 mw.

Similar problems, he concedes, have been encountered in the past when the supply of power from Gridco of Orissa and also Punjab had to be held back on account of technical reasons. 



Thousands of wheat bags gutted at Bawal
Our Correspondent

Rewari, April 30
Thousands of bags of wheat were burnt in a fire that broke out in the New Grain Market in Bawal, about 15 km from here, this morning. Hafed had purchased about 75,000 bags of wheat from the market at Bawal during the past two weeks. Thousands of these bags, which had been kept in different stacks, had been waiting for being lifted.

Fire-tenders from Behror, Shahjehanpur (both in Rajasthan) and Rewari were pressed into service. However, when the smouldering fire in one stack was brought under control, smoke was seen rising from another stack. Thus the fire-tenders had to struggle hard for several hours to bring it under control completely.

The exact cause of the fire could not be ascertained. But it is reported that the bags caught fire on account of certain type of internal heating.

Meanwhile, the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Vineet Garg, and other senior officials concerned reached the spot. At the behest of the Deputy Commissioner, the wheat bags from affected stacks are being removed which was going on till the filing of this report.

On his return from Bawal, the Deputy Commissioner told ‘NCR Tribune’ that the fire had not done much damage to the stacks of wheat as it was only a smouldering fire and had been completely controlled before it could develop into a blaze.

Contrary to this, Capt Ajay Singh Yadav, Deputy leader of the Haryana Legislature Party, who visited the market at Bawal today and saw the mishap, told newsmen here that the fire had done extensive damage to the stacks of wheat.

Demanding a high-level enquiry into the causes of the breakout of the fire, he flayed the administration for the “extremely sluggish” procurement of sarson which, he said, had been causing unnecessary hardships to the farmers at the grain markets of Bawal, Rewari and Narnaul.

He also lambasted the officials for using the Kisan Bhavan at Rewari for their personal comfort and luxury and leaving the farmers, for whom the Kisan Bhavan had been built, high and dry.



Right accessories important for that stunning look
Smriti Kak

A model makes a style statement with summer collection.
A model makes a style statement with summer collection.

Dressing up has never been complete without adding the right accessories. A trinket here, a scarf there and you are comparable to the masterpiece that adorns your wall.

Though accessories have become de rigueur in the fashion arena of late, the concept was fairly alien to the Indian markets. Thanks to the exposure through media and the forum that allow the interaction of the western designers and their eastern counterparts that the concept of dressing complete with the accessories has become a norm.

Colourful scarves, embroidered bags and fancy shoes, apart from the usual bits of jewellery, are the essentials of dressing up. The accent on accessories has prompted designers to offer co-ordinated bags, shoes and hats.

The world of fashion has been taken over by creativity both measured and bizarre. A scarf tied in different knots is a fashion statement. For an eveningwear that has to be accentuated, a scarf flung casually on the shoulders is the idea. Light make-up and sober colours along with sensible shoes is the attire for work.

“Fashion jewellery answers the dilemma of a modern working woman. Chunky items look good in a show window not on a woman. I pick up my stuff from Tanishq or go for the stuff available in shopping malls. As for shopping for accessories, it is an absolute must. A scarf or a hand bag can create a complete makeover,” says Shalini Kumar, working with a private firm.

Shalini insists, “Recognising the need for accessories has made dressing up far more interesting and also easier. After working the whole day in your work clothes, you don’t have to bother about changing to casuals for a night out. A scarf or stilettos chosen to match your clothes are all that you need to get ready.”

So, jewellery worn interestingly and imaginatively like waist-belts in silver and gold or even ordinary metal or embroidered handbags and purses can help to get the dressed up look.

In the footwear section, the jutties and mojris with the works are quite a favourite.

“I have a penchant for slippers and with the ones that are now being offered, it is all the more luring to go for the kill,” explains Kavita, whose collection boasts of not just mojris and jutties but also stuff made from velvet and wood.

What with the markets being flooded with a colourful range of shoes, ties, bags, watchstraps, sunglasses, the desi consumers have a tough time deciding what to buy. “Though most Indians shop as per need there is a growing awareness about shopping to enhance their looks. Those who are well travelled or even the ones with relatives abroad are now quite clear about what they want,” points out Ramesh Kumar, a garment exporter.

He adds that the foreigners prefer the Indian markets to shop for most of their accessories. Knick-knacks like metal jewellery, hair decorations are a favourite hunt of the firangis. One can spot them by the dozens at the roadside markets. Even the scarves that are made in India are eagerly sought after for their fine silks and paisley patterns and sold abroad.

Let’s take a look at what accessories are sought after in the fashion circles. Shoes- shapes and colours are immaterial. The fancier you can get the better it is. Heels that look like blocks of bricks piled up or can dig as six-inch hole in the ground and flats in colourful hues with just a frill to give it a chic look.

From brilliant blues to ravishing reds, shoes, slippers and sandals have arrived without causing as much as a shuffle of the feet.

Bags are something to bag. Striking and pale, in leather and jute, embroidered or painted from designer store or Janpath, bags help you make a fashion statement as much as your clothes. From the netajis jhola to the chick little thing that clings to your back, bags are no longer the dumping ground for things.

Patchwork antique finish bags made from garment leather waste is the latest introduction to the stores.

Also popular are printed leather bags, embossed suede and the flashy shiny imported synthetic material. Hand-woven tassels and bows are also very popular apart from the usual sling, draw string and clutch bags.

Ties and scarves have of late become an essential part of dressing. Though ties have a limited fashion range scarves offer more creativity. Ties can change in width from an inch and a half-pencil slim to six inches broad.

Ties with paisleys and rose buds in English colours or even the ones with cartoon characters drawn across are finding their way into the wardrobes.

Scarves are available in silk, synthetic and even a mix of cotton and silk. The colours and the prints are again varied. Creativity is given a free hand while designing these scarves. They can be worn as duppatas or around the waist of a skirt loosely knotted, apart from being worn around the neck.

And going by the dictates of the fashion-conscious masses, accessories add appeal. Try them to know the difference.

Summer Collection

Miss India Neha Dhupia wearing a smile and a Giovani ensemble.
Miss India Neha Dhupia wearing a smile and a Giovani ensemble.

Giovani has launched its summer collection comprising new fabrics like viscose, viscose acetate Lycra and linen viscose polymide.

Giovani offers whites, pastels and even bright colours for this summer. For men and women, it is executive wear in viscose lycra, viscose denim and linen. There is also a line of casual and eveningwear in the same fabrics. The collection is priced between Rs 900 and Rs 6,500 for women and Rs 700 and Rs. 3,000 for men.

The innovations in the fabric have been done keeping in mind the weather conditions and the taste and preference of the people.

Lee Cooper has also unveiled its summer collection comprising exquisite styles in top-wear and bottom-wear.

The colours of the season are orange, sky, lemon, khaki and olive. The surprise element of the collection is ‘flexease’, an exclusive radical fabric that stretches to allow flexibility and movement for body comfort.

The range along with Poly denims for girls in stunning ruby and bronze tints are also included. While the bottom wear is priced between Rs 799 to Rs 1,299, the top wear is slotted between Rs 399 and Rs 999.



Separate canal for Faridabad demanded
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, April 30
The demand for the construction of a separate canal for Faridabad district has surfaced once again. The ruling Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) MLA, Mr Bhagwan Sahai Rawat, representing the Hathin assembly segment, is among the persons who have favoured such a demand.

They feel that the new canal could be built alongside the existing Agra canal and it would help overcome the shortage of irrigation and drinking water in the district.

It is reported that Haryana gets only 20.6 per cent of the water of the Agra canal. The district, which ought to get irrigation water for 1.50 lakh acres, was getting water only for 30,000 acres, at present. It is suggested that a parallel canal shall be constructed and Haryana’s share of water from the Agra canal can be released to it from the Okhla barrage in Delhi. 



Licences of 5 arhtiyas cancelled
Our Correspondent

Rohtak, April 30
The Deputy Commissioner, Mr Anil Malik cancelled the licences of five ‘arhtiyas’ of a grain market at Kiloi, on the charge of committing various irregularities in the procurement of wheat. The Deputy Commissioner, accompanied with the officials of the procurement agencies, visited the grain markets at Rohtak, Kalanaur, Kahanaur, Meham and Lakhan Majra villages and inspected the procurement process. Mr Malik directed the authorities to issue notices to three ‘arhatiyas’ of a grain market for various lapses. He also directed the brokers to expedite the procurement process and ensure proper sifting of wheat before procurement.

Purse snatched

Two scooter borne youths snatched the purse of a woman containing Rs 1500 here on Monday evening. Ms Swaraj Choudhary, a resident of Subhash Nagar locality, stated in her complaint that two miscreants on a scooter, snatched her purse while she was returning to her house.

Summer vacations

The summer vacations for the undergraduate and postgraduate classes of affiliated colleges and university as well as P G Regional Centre, (Rewari) of Maharshi Dayanand University, would be observed from May 1 to June 30, according to a press release.

Police escort

The Superintendent of Police, Mr Manjit Singh Ahlawat, said that people in the district could avail of police assistance from their respective police stations while moving from one place to another, for business related transactions involving huge amounts. He said that farmers could also avail of such police assistance when they took their sale proceeds from the grain market either to their homes or to the bank. Similarly, police assistance would be provided to others for the safe deposit of money as well as its withdrawal from a bank.


In a bid to give a facelift to the city, the district administration continued with its anti-encroachment campaign. The administration aims to remove all unauthorised structures built on public and municipal land. According to a report, the officials of the Anti-Demolition Squad removed unauthorised structures with the help of the JCB machines on the Gohana road. 



Four special EMU trains to run till May 7
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 30
Northern Railway has extended by one week the four additional services of EMU trains (PP-1, PP-2, PP-3 and PP-4) on Ring Railway between Patel Nagar and Pragati Maidan via Safdarjung.

Those services had been introduced on a trial basis for a period of three weeks after the Government of NCT of Delhi approached the Northern Railway in the wake of the transport crisis in the Capital. According to Northern Railway, those services have been extended till May 7. 



Former DPYCC leader shot dead 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 30
Former vice-president of the Delhi Pradesh Youth Congress Committee Parvinder Kumar Arora (42), who owns a restaurant at Gujranwala Town near Model Town, was reportedly shot dead by two car-borne youths in front of his restaurant on Monday evening.

The victim was rushed to BG Hospital in Sultanpuri by one of his friends, Prithivi Singh, an Inspector in Crime Branch of the Delhi Police, where he was declared brought dead. The incident occurred at 11.40 pm when the victim came out of the restaurant (Gola and North Restaurant), the police said.

The victim, who is survived by his two children and wife, received eight bullet injuries. The body has been sent for a post-mortem examination. Ten empty cartridges of .32 revolver were recovered from the spot. The police believe that the assailants had fired 12 rounds.

The motive behind the murder is not yet clear. However, the police believe that old enmity could be the reason.

The victim had been running the restaurant in partnership with Naresh Kapoor Gola at Gujranwala. There was a party in the restaurant on Monday evening and it was full of guests. He took dinner and came out of the restaurant along with Mr Prithvi Singh at 11.40 pm to go with the latter in his recently bought Mercedes to take a round.

While Mr Prithvi Singh took his seat inside the car, the victim was standing outside talking to somebody on his mobile. While he was talking, the assailants sprayed a volley of bullets into him from point-blank range, injuring him seriously. Though he was rushed to BG Hospital by Mr Prithvi Singh, he died on the way.

Meanwhile, the assailants escaped in a Maruti car parked in front of the restaurant. The driver of the car had kept the engine on while the assailants fired at Mr Arora. The assailants had also been inside the restaurant before the incident and reportedly had dinner there. The police recovered an imported revolver from Mercedes of the victim. The police said that it was licenced weapon but the licence was not recovered.

The police was told later by one of Mr Arora’s friends that he had an arms licence issued from Delhi itself. Interestingly, the licence is issued by the licencing branch, which is part of the Crime Branch of the of the Delhi Police where Mr Prithvi Singh is posted as an inspector. The police did not disclose the issuing date of the licence.

This is the third incident in which a murder had taken place in front of a police officer, the police said. 



Units owe Rs 7.48 crore to MCF
Bijendra Ahlawat
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, April 30
Poor infrastructure and pathetic civic conditions in the majority of the industrial areas here seem to have a direct link with the taxes owed by the industrial units towards the Municipal Corporation Faridabad (MCF). While the industrialists cry hoarse over the lack of facilities, the MCF says that unless the units clear their outstanding dues, it would be difficult to meet their demands.

The issue was taken up at various meetings, including the Faridabad Small Industries Association (FSIA) recently. It was also taken up in the monthly meeting of the District Grievances Committee chaired by the Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, on April 19 last. The Chief Minister had appealed to the factory owners to get their dues cleared if they wanted good facilities. On the basis of this meeting, the MCF authorities have prepared a detailed report of the outstanding dues towards the units in Faridabad.

A copy of the report has been sent to a prominent industrialist, Mr K C Lakhani, who is member of the Grievances Committee. According to the report, an amount of Rs 7.48 crore was pending in the form of various taxes towards about 248 industrial units. This include Rs 3.37 crore in Ballabgarh zone; 1.44 crore in NIT zone and 2.67 crore in Old Faridabad zone. The MCF has promised to use the recovered amount for the development works in these zones, especially the industrial sectors.


Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | In Spotlight | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
122 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |