Thursday, May 2, 2002, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


Duo held for trying to sell million $ note!
Parmindar Singh

Ghaziabad, May 1
A $ one million note! The Link Road police were flabbergasted when they were informed that two persons were trying to sell a $ one million note in the border area of Sahibabad. The duo, a transport company proprietor and a ‘tantrik’, were arrested with the note which, according to the police, has a market value of Rs 4.80 crore.

However, RBI sources said in the Capital that it could not be a currency note but a bill usually issued by the Millionaires Club in the US, meant only to be displayed at exhibitions and which is not tradable.

Interestingly, an Indian was once duped by a Sheikh from Dubai who tried to palm off a US $ one million note. Only when the hapless Indian approached an RBI official to find out how he could encash it, that he learnt the truth.

The biggest seizure of 200 such fake notes was made by the Calcutta police in 1998. The US FBI had informed the CBI, which was probing the racket, that someone in Chennai was printing such well-designed counterfeit notes matching the paper, colour and security markings of a genuine dollar note.

In the present case, the Link Road police were alerted that a person had been trying to sell a US currency note in the border area of Sahibabad, where he was reportedly running a transport company. Following the alert, the police arrested two persons near the Maharajpur check post. One of them has been identified as Jeet Singh, originally a resident of Sehtu Bal in Batala in Punjab and currently living in the Brindaban Garden area of Sahibabad. The second person is a native of Shahajahanpur, who identified himself as Zahid Mian and is said to be a ‘tantrik’.

A search of Jeet Singh led to the recovery of the $ one million note. All the relevant papers, including an authority letter, were recovered from Zahid Mian. The currency note had the no. M 1427397 H printed on it bore the signature of the Treasury Steward. According to the Link Road police, the duo revealed that they had received the note from a Nepalese youth in Delhi 20 days back. The Nepalese youth had taken Rs 60,000 from them in exchange. According to Rattan Pal, CO (DSP) Border, Jeet and Zahid

Mian were trying to palm it off for 35 per cent of its original value. The Ghaziabad police have contacted the Vijay Bank of India, the Directorate of Foreign Exchange and the Reserve Bank of India. The US currency note may now be sent to the Security Press, Nasik, for scrutiny and examination.



Racket in fake currency busted

The district police have busted a racket in the fake currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 denomination in Bahadurgarh today. The police said that four members of the racket were arrested and the currency notes worth Rs 17,000 seized from them.

All the notes were of Rs 500 denominations. The police spokesman informed that the notes were supplied from Pakistan via Rasol Border in Nepal and after reaching Gurgaon, they were distributed among their agents who further circulated the notes.

The four accused arrested today were identified as Kamal of Jhaswa village and his accomplish Mahender, Azad Singh of Arya Nagar in Bahadurgarh and Jasbir of Sehri village. OC


North India’s Manchester crying for attention
Prominent residents of Faridabad recount their experiences
Bijendra Ahlawat
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, May 1
Faridabad, once known as the Manchester of northern India and seen to be coming up as an alternative residential abode to the neighbouring Delhi, has offered only a messy state of affairs. The town with the largest population in Haryana has left many a dream shattered. “There is no godfather of this town,” said Mr S Narasimhan, executive secretary of the Faridabad Industries Association, (FIA), a leading body representing major industrial units here for many years. Mr Narasimhan who has resided in Sector-7 here for the past 30 years, blamed the lop-sided development and indifferent attitude of the authorities.

“Faridabad lacks the basic amenities. Worse, the transport scene is just chaotic,” he said.

Seeking the construction of a bypass highway, connecting Kalindi in Delhi to Jharsentli village in the district, he said that pollution and chaotic traffic could not be controlled unless the town got a bigger highway which would spare it from the mad rush and accidents now seen on the Mathura Road, dissecting the town in two parts.

He added that the Government should chalk out a strategy to do away with the traffic bottlenecks at Badarpur Border, as a large number of people who worked in Delhi were residents of Faridabad.

He also demanded the construction of elevated passes and overbridges to decongest crossings and provide a smooth connection between the Huda sectors and the NIT. Mr K P Malik, a retired Haryana government official and secretary-general of the Residents Welfare Confederation, Faridabad, seems to be satisfied with the environs.

He said that the air was cleaner here in comparison to Delhi. Life was less hectic and it was a neighbouring town of the National Capital. However, he is not happy with the state of civic conditions. “The sewerage and draining system needs an improvement,” he said. Dr Mini Vohra, honorary secretary of the Indian Medical Association (IMA), Faridabad, has resided in Sector-10 for past five years. She said although the urban sectors had provided improved living conditions, there was still a lot to be done to make things better.

Lamenting that several sectors had poor roads, she said there were problems concerned with the civic amenities like sewerage system, water supply and street lights.

She said there were fewer parks and children were forced to play on roads and streets. Faridabad was still in a developing stage, she said. Mr Rajiv Chawla, an up-and-coming industrialist believed that the town needed a focus on its future. While maintenance and upkeep of infrastructure had not kept pace with the requirement, a long-term strategy should be adopted to put Faridabad on the industrial map of India. Effective planning and execution of various schemes of development, especially the civic amenities should be taken up immediately, Mr Chawla said.

He also recommended the construction of a four-lane bypass highway to provide some relief to the residents. “The Mathura Road or the National Highway No. 2, which passes through it, has proved a headache for the residents due to the traffic jams and the resultant accidents,” Mr Chawla lamented.

He claimed that the move would help bring the pollution level down and there could be a better communication between the residents of the sectors and the NIT. He demanded better management of the affairs of the Municipal Corporation Faridabad and said that the body responsible for the development of town should be made financially stronger and it must take up schemes aimed at longer objectives.



Huda eyes Bahadurgarh, thousands may be uprooted

  • There are problems with the civic amenities, but Faridabad is still in a developing stage. —I MA honorary secy
  • A long-term strategy should be adopted to put Faridabad on the industrial map. — A budding industrialist.
  • Badarpur is a major bottleneck. There should be a four-lane highway to Faridabad. — A leading microbiologist. 

Jhajjar, May 1
Uneasiness is palpable among the residents of Bahadurgarh and the surrounding villages following the notification to acquire 1,350 acres of land of these villages by the Haryana Urban Development authority (Huda), to develop residential sectors in the area.

Huda has issued notices under Section 4 of Land Acquisition Act 1984 to acquire around 1,350 acres for developing residential sectors. This has scared the people in Bahadurgarh and its adjoining villages including Ballore, Sarai Orangabad, Naya Gaon and Barkhatabad. According to the notices, Huda has proposed to develop residential sectors –1, 10 and 11 in this land.

The proposed sectors will affect around 15,000 people directly who have either constructed houses on the land or used the land for agriculture. A number of colonies – Shakti Nagar, Dev Nagar, Defence Colony, Kashmiri Colony, New Basant Vihar and Bank Colony, Arya Nagar and some parts around Mela Ground – fall in the affected area in Bahadurgarh.

The fear of being displaced from their homes has started haunting the people of the colonies in the township area and some parts of villages, who constitute one third of the affected residents. The rest being covered in the acquisition use the land for agriculture.

A visit to the affected areas revealed that for the majority of the families in the villages, this land is the only means of livelihood. The spectre of starvation threatens most of the families as their cultivable land falls in the notified area.

Ramkumar, former sarpanch of the village said that as the economy of the village was based on agriculture and related occupations like milk supply, the problem of unemployment will stare into the faces of the people here in case they were evicted from their agricultural land.

He said that 68 acres of cultivable land occupied by him, have fallen under the proposed plan. Similarly, 30 acres owned by Net Ram, father of six sons, and entire 24 acres belonging to Pat Ram, head of 15 small families have been covered in it.

The villagers said that around 50 houses fall in the range of the proposed plan and if the plan materialises without amendment, they would be rendered homeless.

Some villagers alleged that the scheme was chalked out to take revenge by an influential leader of the ruling party as the majority of the people in the village were against him during the last assembly elections.

The people of Jakhoda village had also levelled similar allegations when their land was acquired for carving up an industrial sector last year, as the opposition candidate in the assembly elections belong to their village.

However, Mr Dinesh Yadav, SDM, Bahadurgarh, said that it was possible to exempt the residential colonies from the acquired land on the objections of the people, adding that the issue was related to the Huda office at Faridabad and the local administration had no say in it at any stage.

Meanwhile, it is learnt that the affected people might file objections for notifying their land in the Huda office.


Haryana yields a yard, to gain an inch
75 % of farmers’ power dues to be waived, if they pay 25 % of the amount in one go
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, May 1
The district administration is all set to recover the pending power bills to the tune of Rs 36.2 crore in rural areas. The plan follows the announcement of a special scheme in which the state government has offered to waive off 75 per cent of the bills if 25 per cent of the amount is paid in a single instalment.

While the scheme is meant for the rural areas only, the recovery process may not be that easy as claimed by the authorities.

The Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) and a section of farmers have opposed the scheme and demanded a total waiver of the old bills pending towards the farmers.

However, the state government seems to be enthusiastic about the scheme and claims that it could recover a huge amount. The farmers would not feel the pinch while clearing their dues.

It is reported that the Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, has asked the deputy commissioners and the police chiefs of all the districts to take a special interest in the recovery programme.

The higher authorities at Chandigarh have directed the district officials to work jointly and work out a plan to achieve the targets. It is reported that a ‘hint’ has been given to the district officials that their performance could be judged by the success of this scheme in their areas.

The deputy commissioner held a meeting of the district officials, including the officials of the Haryana Vidyut Prasaran Nigam (HVPN), to chalk out the plan.

It was decided that the officials at subdivision levels will camp at villages daily to collect the dues, while carrying out an awareness campaign.

The power officials started visiting the villages today.

Although the waiver scheme is valid up to May 15, the authorities could extend it if the response proves good, it is learnt.

According to the power department officials, the pending amount is to be recovered from about 448 villages spread in various subdivisions. Palwal, which is division of the Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (DHBVN) owes around 21 crore in 276 villages. While Palwal suburban division has 83 villages, Hathin has 69, Hodal 31 Mandavale 28, Deegot 24 and Hassanpur 41 villages. In Faridabad suburban division of Kheri Kalan, 41 villages owe 4.22 crore.

130 villages of Ballabgarh division are required to clear about 11 crore, of which Bhadrola subdivision alone owes about 8.84 crore.

This subdivision is also one of the biggest defaulting subdivisions in the state as per the officials. There are several villages in the district whose power connection had been disconnected fully or partially recently for non-payment of the bills.

As per the scheme, those defaulters who were unable to clear their dues in one go could avail themselves of the scheme of monthly instalments but their bills would get only 50 per cent waiver. The village affected by the floods in 1995 would get six-month waiver on their bills.


SC will take encroachments to their logical conclusion

New Delhi, May 1
Observing that encroachment on public land is a serious issue, the Supreme Court today, while referring to the encroachment on public land, roads and pavements in Lajpat Nagar in South Delhi, firmly told the Commissioner of Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) that the issue would be taken to its logical conclusion.

“This is a very important issue and we will take it to the logical conclusion,” a Bench comprising Justice R P Sethi and Justice Doraiswamy Raju said while hearing the case pertaining to the court directive to demolish all encroachments on public land, especially those on roads and pavements.

MCD Commissioner Rakesh Mehta, who assumed charge on April 15, was present in the Court and said in his affidavit that an extensive demolition drive was carried out in the locality pursuant to the court directive.

He said that a total of 973 encroachments have been removed since February 26 when the apex court gave the order for their removal. However, the commissioner apologised for the delay in removal of certain structures but added that there was no willful disobedience of the court orders.

He disclosed that 22 encroachments in the form of three-storey structures still existed and a committee of engineers has been constituted for their safe demolition as these illegal structures were joined to the regular buildings through iron beams. TNS


Tinted glasses may be swish, but not summer-friendly
Mohinder Singh

THE Delhi police seem to be stepping up its drive against cars with heavily tinted glasses. The timing of the campaign is striking as the summer heat makes passengers to roll up the darkened glasses.

In 1998, on a PIL, the Delhi High Court had issued notices to the Delhi Police Commissioner, Delhi Government and the Union Government as to why the ban on tinted glasses under Section 100 of the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989 was not being implemented seriously. These rules require that the windscreen and the rear window of every motor vehicle have a visual transmission of light no less than 70 per cent, and the side windows less than 50 per cent.

The police did activate a campaign. But there was this problem of measuring the opacity of glasses at roadsides, especially when many a user contested the police estimate. And that problem still remains because of the paucity of opacity meters with the field staff. The only practical way — already adopted by some traffic policemen — is to carry a small piece of glass of permissible opacity for ready comparison.

The number of vehicles using heavily darkened glasses has been showing an alarming rise. And this is mostly done, not by investing in expensive tinted glasses, but by simply affixing on the inside near-opaque strips of some cheap, thin film. You even see these films being hawked at intersections.

What makes for the strong appeal of darkened glasses? As an auto accessory, it’s supposed to heighten style, impart the car almost a new look. It’s a sort of status symbol, more so because most VIP cars sport darkened glasses.

These glasses confer privacy to the occupants from the prying outside eyes, even goods carried inside the cab escape unwelcome attention. Whether such privacy is sought for psychological comfort, or for lovemaking, or for hoodlums to move about without drawing police attention, or for committing new crimes such as molestation of women is a matter of individual inclination. And if you happen to be the driver of a hit-and-run car, the darkened glasses minimise the chances of your getting identified by an onlooker.

Many justify solar films on the score of their cooling effect — the films blocking the hot sun and glare. Others deem them an aid in the effectiveness of air-conditioning. This is a myth, say the experts. Window screens are deemed useless for keeping the heat out since heat enters the car from the roof. The assumption is that a dark interior will necessarily be cooler. But solar films only reduce the sun’s glare, not the heat. Indeed, it could be hotter inside, the dark film trapping heat..

Evidently cars with heavily darkened glasses pose a certain danger to the city because they can aid in the commission of crimes or other anti-social activities.

However, the most disquieting feature of these glasses is the road safety angle. And it’s solely for this reason that a provision on visual transmission of light in vehicle glasses stands incorporated in the Motor Vehicle Rules.

Pity, all the emphasis is being laid on the crime aspect, to the sad neglect of the more important safety imperative. After all, one car in a hundred thousand may get employed in a heinous crime while the safety aspect is a continuing concern with every vehicle.

A heavily tinted windscreen definitely reduces driver visibility, more so at night. And the same applies to visibility in the rear-view mirror through a darkened rear window glass. Again, safe driving calls for good visibility through side windows, particularly the front-seat windows. All the more important in our conditions of miscellaneous traffic. Cyclists, pedestrians and cattle are a common occurrence on the driving pavement.

In a way, the good old device of installing cloth curtains in windows was better. It afforded some privacy to the occupants, kept back the sun, and yet allowed a good peek outside through curtain openings. The driver’s window anyway remained curtainless. And often nothing was done to darken the windscreen.

It can be rated as rather thoughtless on the part of a vehicle owner to go in for heavily darkened glasses, as these compromise road safety. The police campaign should highlight the road safety aspect. If it helps stop some auto-borne crime, so much the better.

A very limited number of VIP vehicles may have to go about with darkened glasses to safeguard the security of their occupants. These vehicles should obtain special exemption and display it prominently on the windscreen. And here again use could be made of special glasses — as fitted to some luxury limousines. These glasses offer good visibility to insiders while blocking the view for outsiders..

A vehicle with heavily darkened glasses is an added irritation to fellow motorists, let alone being riskier. You don’t even get the satisfaction of seeing the erring driver. And what’s the use of an admonishing gesture to someone invisible?

And Delhi’s intersection beggars are plainly disgusted with the plague of opaque windows in cars. They often have to beg without being sure the person addressed to was a man or a woman. And whether the back seat held passengers or lumpy packages?

Air-conditioned cars are bad enough. Beggars have to beg by signs or tap helplessly at the glass. It needs a determined donor to take the trouble of lowering a window to slip out a coin — in the process letting in a whiff off hot, dusty air.



Cong holds dharna against Chautala govt’s policies
Our Correspondent

Rewari, May 1
Hundreds of Congress activists led by Capt. Ajay Singh Yadav, deputy leader of the Haryana Congress Legislature Party (HCLP), staged a dharna outside the main entrance of the District Secretariat here on Wednesday in protest against the anti-people policies of the Haryana Government, as well as the failure of the Modi government to contain the communal carnage in Gujarat.

The participants also observed a fast during the duration of the dharna, which ended at about 4 pm on Wednesday. Three other Congress legislators of Ahirwal- Rao Dharam Pal (Sohna), Mrs Anita Yadav (Salhawas) and Rao Narender Singh (Ateli) also took part in the dharna. Besides, Mr Harish Saini, president of Rewari District Congress Committee, Mrs Sushila Yadav, president of Rewari District Mahila Congress unit, Mrs Santosh Yadav, president of Rewari district unit of the Congress Sewa Dal, Mr Surender Singh Yadav, president of Rewari District Youth Congress unit and other prominent office bearers of the party, also participated in the dharna.

They demanded the immediate removal of the Gujarat Chief Minister, Mr Narendra Modi, as well as dismissal of the Chautala government in Haryana. Lashing out at the anti-farmer policies of the Chautala government, Capt. Ajay Singh Yadav said that instead of providing jobs to the unemployed youths, the Chautala government had abolished about seventy thousand posts, which had been lying vacant for the past few years.

He sarcastically described it as the Chautala government’s gift to the people of Haryana on the May Day. He also flayed the state government for its move to privatise prominent depots of the Haryana Roadways, which he said would render hundreds of roadways employees jobless.

Making a special mention of the extremely sluggish procurement of sarson in the various mandis of south Haryana, he said that it was simply shocking that the farmers were being subjected to unnecessary harassment and hardship by the Chautala regime, which proudly called itself the representative of the peasantry.

He also lamented that sacrifices made by the jawans of the villages of the Ahirwal region, were being ignored by the state government for reasons best known to it.

Speaking on this occasion, the president of the Haryana Mahila Congress and legislator, Mrs Anita Yadav, flayed the Chautala government for its various acts of omission and commission. She said that it was deplorable that the government had been persistently boasting of supplying 70 gallons of water per head per day, but the naked truth was that many villages in her own constituency of Salhawas, had been facing an acute shortage of drinking water. The water problem in the area was so acute that residents of certain localities of Kosli were purchasing a pitcherful of water for two rupees.

Making another blistering attack on the deteriorating law and order situation under the Chautala regime, a Congress legislator, Rao Narender Singh, lamented that a Narnaul trader, Hem Chandra Gupta, had been brutally murdered and robbed of about Rs eight lakh, by unidentified-armed miscreants.

Though about a week had passed, the police had failed to apprehend the culprits. He also said that it was a great misfortune for the people of Haryana that the Chief Minister, instead of providing basic amenities to them, collected lakhs of rupees from them, at Godh Balawa village recently.

Later, the demonstrators marched to the entrance of the secretariat, shouting slogans against the Chautala government.


Fix minimum wage at Rs 3,500: Vidrohi
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, May 1
The president of the Haryana Pradesh Janata Dal (U), Mr Ved Parkash Vidrohi, today urged the state government to fix the minimum wage of the industrial and other categories of workers at Rs 3,500 per month to safeguard the interests of the working class.

In a signed press statement issued on the May Day here, he described the increment of Rs 83 in the minimum wages of the workers by the state government was a cruel joke on them. He also demanded immediate constitution of the workers welfare board and inclusion of the representatives of the workers unions in it so that they could air their grievances against the state government as well as the employers.

Mr Vidrohi also urged the state government to enforce the Minimum Wages Act, the Factories Act and other labour laws in all the industrial units, brick kilns and other establishments strictly and safeguard the interests of the workers. He criticised the failure of the Labour Department authorities to take stern action against the employers who are in the habit of violating labour laws with impunity. The Janata Dal (U) leader also appealed to all the workers unions to unite and continue their struggle against the injustice being meted out to the workers by the government and the employers.

Meanwhile, a large number of workers affiliated to various trade unions took out a procession here today in observance of the May Day. Carrying placards and raising anti-government slogans, they marched through the main bazars of the city. Employees of various banks also took part in the procession. A rally was also held on the occasion which was addressed, among others, by the leaders of the CITU, SUCI, AITUC, BMS and Hind Mazdoor Sabha. They were critical of the state government for its failure to safeguard the rights of the trade unions and to increase the wages of the workers for the past many years. The leaders also announced that the workers would continue their agitation till all the genuine and legitimate demands were accepted by the state government.


CPM greets workers
Our Correspondent

Rohtak, May 1
The CPM, Haryana has offered greetings to the entire working class on the occasion of May Day and expressed confidence that the working class would take pledge to successfully fight back the aggressive globalisation launched by neocolonialism.

In a statement issued here today, the party has exhorted the working class to internalise the adventurist strategy of imperialism in order to establish its hegemony to facilitate multinational companies and their super profits. This neocolonial drive has posed a serious threat to our country’s sovereignty as well as the livelihood of common people.

According to the CPM, another integral aspect of the same strategy is to divide the people in the name of race, religion and caste to weaken the strongly emerging potential movement against liberalisation and privatisation. The party has also highlighted the threats to democracy and secularism today. While staunchly supporting the demands of the workers, the CPM has urged the state government to revive without delay the bipartite and tripartite conciliation mechanism in Haryana which has been inoperative for a long time.


‘Kidnapped’ newly-weds keep cops on toes
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, May 1
On the receipt of an information about the kidnapping of a couple on the same night they were married on Monday, the Delhi and the Haryana police launched a joint search of vehicles on the G. T. Road and other state highways throughout the night.

The search failed to achieve any breakthrough. By morning both the bridegroom and bride were found safe in the groom’s house at Bahadurgarh.

It is stated that the barat of a youth, Deepak, left Bahadurgarh for Khera village in Delhi on Monday for his marriage with the daughter of Mr Jaipal there. After the marriage ceremony, the parents of the girl and village folks gave a hearty send-off to the couple and the barat during the night. The car of the couple was, however, held up near Narela (Delhi) by some of Deepak’s friends, who were in a drunken state. They took the couple in their car and fled.

When the bus carrying the members of the marriage party reached near the car, they were stunned to find the car without the couple.

They immediately informed the control room of the Delhi Police about the incident. The Delhi Police officials also contacted the Haryana police and launched a joint operation by searching the vehicles on the main roads. They also went round the areas but failed to get any clue about the couple.

They, thereupon, contacted the Bahadurgarh police in this connection. When the officials of the Bahadurgarh police reached the house of the bridegroom to verify the truth today morning, they found the couple unharmed there. Members of the marriage party told the police that the drunken friends of the bridegroom had taken away the couple in their car but dropped them in his house.

Though both the Delhi and Haryana police officials were relieved to hear the news, some of them had been red in their faces as they had to travel around the nearby areas and the major roads in search of the couple throughout the night.


Wheat bags smouldering in Ateli grain market
Surender Vyas

Narnaul, May 1
The fire that broke out at the New Grain Market in Ateli Mandi, 15 km from here, on Tuesday has not been extinguished yet.

Thousands of bags of wheat purchased by the HAFED have been affected so far even as the Deputy Commissioner has claimed that there is not much damage.

The fire was first noticed by the manager of HAFED posted at Ateli Mandi, Mr Jaipal Singh Yadav, in the afternoon on Tuesday in a stack of 5,364 bags. When this correspondent visited the spot today, Mr Jaipal Singh lamented the loss of grains and informed that only the corners of the bags exposed to sun were burning.

When this correspondent approached the Chief Account’s Officer of the HAFED for his statement about the quantity of wheat lost so far, he evaded a direct reply and slipped away saying “I am just coming”. He was not seen after that.

Meanwhile, the Deputy Commissioner of Mahendragarh, Dr R. B. Langyan, said that the fire had not done much damage to the stocks of wheat.

A fire-tender was still stationed in the market to counter any sudden spurt in the fire.

All-out efforts would be made in controlling the fire, he assured.

He said the affected wheat bags were being unfurled and wheat was being refilled in fresh bags.

Surprisingly, the nags had failed to resist the heat of the sun, he said.

Amer Singh, a farmer of Turkiawas village, Hernam Singh of Ghari Ruthal and Mahipal Singh of Rata Kalan village said the fire broke out soon after their wheat was weighed by the officials. Other farmers who had come with them are still waiting to sell their produce.

They alleged that there was a shortage of labourers to weigh the wheat and mustard due to which they had to wait for hours together.


Crops inundated in Sonepat

Sonepat, May 1
There was a steady rise in the water level in the Yamuna river, near Sonepat, following the release of 1.50 lakh cusecs of water from the Tajewala Headworks by the officials of the Haryana Irrigation Department. According to a report, this was the result of the heavy rainfall in the catchment areas of the Yamuna river. The swirling water of the river had inundated the standing vegetable and melon crops sown by the farmers in the Yamuna bed. The most affected villages include Umedgarh, Memarpur, Pabnera, Zainpur, Tikola, Mehndipur, Asadpur Garhi, Baroli, Garh Mirakhpur, Jajal, Jhundpur, Tonki, Khurm Pur and Dehesara. Many affected farmers alleged that the officials Tajewala Headworks had not informed them. OC


Water tariff hike likely as taps go dry
R. Suryamurthy

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 1
Even as the taps go dry in several parts of the Capital, the Delhi Jal Board is contemplating hiking the water tariff in order to make investments in water resources projects to meet the future requirements of the Capital.

“The board needs to make investments of several hundred crores in the next three years to meet the water demands of the city. This can be made only by increasing the water tariff in the city,” the Delhi Jal Board head, Mr P K Tripathi told NCR Tribune. Asked about the quantum of hike being considered and by when the increased water tariff would be effective, Mr Tripathi said the board is working out the tariff structure.

While the water tariff rates vary according to the household or industrial usage, the minimum tariff for the household sector begins at 35 paisa per kilolitre.

Several parts of the Capital, including Vasant Kunj, Najafgarh, Alipur, Mehrauli, Shahdra, R K Puram, Saket and Punjabi Bagh, are witnessing a severe shortage of water. The control room set up by the board received several calls for water tankers and several residents alleged mismanagement and favouritism in the movement of tankers.


Narnaul thirsting for water

Narnaul, May 1
An acute scarcity of drinking water continues at Balaha Khurd and Nangalia villages, where women are commonly seen roaming around with pitchers on their head, looking for potable water.

In this dry and hot summer month, it has become a tough task to obtain fodder and water for the animals in these villages. Earlier, a group of villagers had met the Chief Minister, but nothing had been done so far to solve their problems. The ongoing water problem in the villages was also due to the falling water table.

Resultantly, Narnaul town is in the grip of an acute scarcity of potable water. At many points in the villages, water is unable to reach the storage tank. Moreover, water is supplied only once a day. OC


MCD contractor held in cement racket
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 1
With the arrest of Naresh Dixit (37), a registered MCD contractor, the Delhi Police today claimed to have unearthed a cement misappropriation racket. The material was allotted to the suspect for construction of drains. The quality of the construction drains was reportedly of inferior quality. The suspect was given a job for the construction of drains at Mayur Vihar and Chilla Road, for which he was allotted 8,000 bags of cement. He allegedly saved 3,000 cement bags but showed that all of it had been used in the construction work. The misappropriation was done allegedly in connivance with Junior Engineers and Assistant Engineers. The Crime Branch conducted raids at different sites where the work was in progress and seized 248 cement bags. More raids were being conducted to recover more cement bags, the police said.


Sleuths of the Narcotics Branch of the Delhi Police arrested two youths from Sangharsh Sathala near Kisan Ghat on Tuesday evening and seized 500 gm of heroin from the possession of each suspect. They were identified as Kushhal Khan (24) and Habib Khan (20), both hailing from Bareilly. During interrogation, they disclosed that they were businessmen. They had not been doing well in business and had tried to deal with narcotics to make easy money. The Narcotics Branch seized a total of 11.8 kg of heroin worth Rs 11.8 crore last month, the police said.


The Central district police arrested four persons, who were reportedly involved in three cases of impersonation, from Jalwal hotel in Jama Masjid. They were identified as Mohammad Hussain Ali, Mohammad Naushad, Khalid Ejaz and Mohamma Rafiq, all belonging to West Bengal. They were reportedly involved in several cases of impersonation in Kolkata. They used to pose themselves as customs officers and used to cheat innocent people in the Capital. In the present case also, Hussain and Naushad posed themselves as customs officers and offered mobile phones at low prices to a shopkeeper in Karol Bagh, Rajinder Singhal, who had a mobile phone shop in the name of Global Communication. They gave him 335 phone sets of Nokia for Rs 6 lakh. The shopkeeper raised objection on some issue following which the suspects handed over the bag in which the money was kept and had left the shop. A few minutes later, the Rajinder Singhal opened the bag and found that there were only black papers of the size of currency notes instead of genuine currency.


Nisha (20), who worked as a maid in the house of Yogesh Verma in D-Block in East of Kailash, died of asphyxiation in the house, which caught fire on Tuesday evening. She was alone in the house. Mr Yogesh and his family members had gone to Jammu for the last six days. She was found dead on her bed. The case is being investigated by the Lajpat Nagar police.


Seventeen persons who were in a TATA Sumo received injuries when their vehicle was hit by a truck on Tuesday evening on Rohtak Road. Two of the victims had fracture while others received minor injuries. The driver of the truck is absconding.



Illegal stalls line Gurgaon roads
Ravi S. Singh
Tribune News Service

Gurgaon, May 1
The Municipal Council and the Improvement Trust along with the district administration look the other way while the vendors set up stalls illegally in various parts of the city.

This anomaly is most conspicuous in the areas around the Sadar Bazaar and along both the Railway roads in the heart of the city, situated right under the nose of the Deputy Commissioner, the Superintendent of Police, the Commissioner of Gurgaon Division and Inspector General of Police, Gurgaon Range.

Thousands of vendors are seen setting up stalls in the city creating hardships for both the pedestrians and vehicular traffic. The most glaring fallout of the entire case is the loss of revenue to the government and the municipality which do not get fees from these vendors for doing business.

The Municipal Council admits the presence of unauthorised vendors and says that a campaign against them is afoot which will be further stepped up soon.

One wonders as to how the unauthorised vendors have come to occupy prime space in spite of the claimed campaign against them. Also, if the campaign was to be intensified, why the delayed response. The authorities launch drive against the vendors as knee-jerk reaction and selectively. Ironically, they the number of such vendors multiply immediately after the anti-encroachment measures.

More often than not, the main violators are let off and action is apparently taken only against a chosen few.

The general opinion is that the measures are taken only to terrorise the vendors and not to remove encroachments permanently, thanks to some vested interests in the official and local political circles.

The situation is worse in the main markets of the city. The shopkeepers allow these vendors to set up stalls before their units and collect rents from them. This phenomenon is witnessed in almost all the markets, especially in the Sadar Bazaar and the Railway Road. Such stalls in these two markets could run into hundreds.

A visit to the roundabouts at Mahavir Chowk, the main traffic point of the city, reveals that a mini-market for readymade garments has come up.

It is an open secret that in the areas other than the markets, the vendors are patronised by local leaders close to the ruling Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) and some elected members of the municipality. The quid pro quo in the cases can be anybody’s guess.

The Improvement Trust, which was revived after the INLD government came to power with a view to contributing to the overall development of the city, also appears to be in inertia with regard to preventing the violation of the rules.

It is very much within its jurisdiction to initiate concrete and sustained drive against such ugly developments.


Police teams leave for Haryana, UP
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 1
Suspecting that old business rivalry could be the motive behind the sensational murder of former vice-president of the Delhi Pradesh Youth Congress Committee, Parvinder Kumar Arora, the Delhi Police today sent teams to the neighbouring states to nab the culprits. While one team of the North District police has left for Haryana and another to Uttar Pradesh, a team of district sleuths are raiding suspected areas to nab those allegedly behind the incidents, sources said. The police officer, who was an eyewitness to the incident, was questioned about his relations with the Congress worker, sources said, adding that Inspector Prithvi Singh had last year arrested the victim, Arora, for his alleged involvement in illegal betting on cricket Interestingly the police, after closely scrutinising the mobile phone call records of Arora, has come to know that the Congress leader was talking to one of the associates of the suspected killer when the assailants pumped bullets at Gujranwala Town near Model Town on Monday night. Sources said the police were quizzing several business associates and rivals to ascertain the reasons for the gruesome incident.

The Congress leader was allegedly one of the leading bookies in the Capital and had been booked for several case including assault and betting.



Man kills wife, nabbed
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 1
The Delhi Police have arrested an employee of a private firm who allegedly murdered his wife and later himself called up the police claiming she had been raped and killed by someone else.

The suspect, identified as Akshya Pathak, was arrested from North-West district on Tuesday. He had allegedly tried to manipulate the scene in the house to indicate rape and murder of his wife Nandini to support his theory, the Deputy Commissioner of Police (North West), Mr R. P. Upadhyay, said.

Giving details, the DCP said the Samaipur Badli police received a call on Monday night from Pathak, a chowkidar in a private firm, that his wife was murdered at his Siraspur residence. However, the investigations suggested that there were almost no signs of struggle and the couple’s two minor children — aged four years and eight months – was sleeping while their mother was being killed, the DCP said.

The Police also found that the entry was friendly and the house was not ransacked, Mr Upadhyay said. Suspecting Pathak’s version, he was subjected to intense interrogation following which he confessed to have himself killed his wife as he suspected her to be having an illicit affair with a neighbourhood boy, the DCP said. 


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