Sunday, May 5, 2002, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


MCF’s cheques bounce by dozen
Bijendra Ahlawat

Faridabad, May 4
The financial health of the Municipal Corporation, Faridabad, (MCF) is not in the pink. The cheques issued by the civic body are not always honoured. Several cheques worth about Rs 50 lakh reportedly bounced last month.

The civic body is the largest in the state and has the biggest budget. All the same, the contractors on the MCF panel are not a happy lot.

It is reported that the corporation, which owes about Rs 15 crore to the contractors for the development work executed by them, got a shock when some of the cheques issued by the civic body, were returned by the banks for want of enough money.

While the matter was reported to the MCF officials, the contractors were asked to wait for some time as the civic body was to receive a payment of Rs 1 crore from the District Administration. The payment was a part of the two per cent share of the MCF in all the registries of land done by various offices in the town each month.

The contractors agitating over the delay in the release of their payment were somehow pacified when told that it was the administration that had delayed the payment.

A former Senior Deputy Major, Mr Shiv Charan Lal Sharma, admitted that the bouncing of cheques issued by the MCF was not a new thing. He said that such incidents had also taken place earlier for which he blamed corruption and mismanagement at various levels.

It is alleged that preparing false bills and releasing payments for the exaggerated cost of the work done by a contractor has been quite common. Over a period of time, the officials and the contractors develop a nexus in which “you scratch my back and I will scratch yours” goes on and on.

While there are about 5,000 employees in the corporation, the work regarding the maintenance, cleanness and development was hardly satisfactory.

The civic body has an annual budget of over Rs 100 crore but the MCF is not able to recover its dues and taxes on time.

As a result, several crores of rupees lie pending at any given time. The target of the revenue to be collected is set each month but the recovery is far from satisfactory in many of the areas. It is one of the main reasons for the malaise, said an official on condition of anonymity.

The corporation recently sold a piece of land to solve the crisis, but the payment of Rs 25 crore from it, is still to be received. On the other hand, it faces an uphill task of releasing the pending payment of about Rs 15 crore to the contractors and another Rs 15 crore for releasing the arrears of the salary hike of its staff due to the pay revision.

On many occasions, the corporation finds it difficult to pay salary to its staff on time. The Deputy Commissioner, Mr Arun Kumar, advised the MCF officials a while ago to bring efficiency in their work by recovering the dues on time.

The state of affairs about the work of development and maintenance has not been satisfactory either. The complaints against sewerage problems and the demonstration for water have become a routine.


At 120 mph comes our own Shillong Express
M. S. Unnikrishnan

Coach Maninder SinghNew Delhi, May 4
Shillong is no citadel of cricket. Not by a long shot. In North-East India, most youngsters swear by soccer, not cricket. And Meghalaya is no exception. Only Tripura and Assam play Ranji Trophy cricket in North-East.

No wonder, no great talent has emerged from North-East to shake the cricketing consciousness of the rest of India.

But the days of counting out the North-East as the cricketing outback of the country would soon be over, if the six-footer Mark Julien Vernon Ingty has his way. This young fast bowling sensation has already made a mark, and his selection to the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bangalore, is being seen as a sure sign of acknowledgement of the youngster’s prodigious talent by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI)

When Mark Ingty approached Sports Authority of India (SAI) cricket coach Maninder Singh for enrolment at the National Stadium Cricket Coaching Centre in New Delhi to learn cricket four years ago, the coach was doubtful about the boy’s credentials. Mark was past 19 years of age, and that itself was a disqualification. But one look at Mark in action at the “nets”, and Maninder Singh realised that here was a bowler who could make the ball swing and soar!

The following days only confirmed the coach’s assumption that Mark could make it. He was not only athletic, but was the fastest youngster the coach had seen at his centre for a long time.

“Mark has the build of a fast bowler. He is very athletic. To cap it all, he has the speed to match his physique,” observed Maninder Singh.

Though the SAI-run coaching centre has produced a number of players and countless good cricketers, Maninder Singh says he has not seen somebody bowling at 120mph at the nets in the recent past. This made Mark stand apart.

Mark’s speed and physique impressed one and all. Soon enough, he was a ‘marked’ man at the nets. Even the best of batsmen, with sound techniques, have to keep a hawk’s eye to negotiate Mark’s deliveries.

Mark took admirable strides to play Ranji Trophy for Assam. His excellent showing in Ranji earned him a berth in the East Zone Duleep Trophy team. And the brilliant show for the zone earned him a call up to the NCA. From here, Mark can only go up the India ladder.

Mark has had a stint with Australian pace bowling legend Dennis Lillee at the MRF Cricket Academy in Chennai. The time spent with Lillee opened new vistas for Mark, who is now termed as a great India prospect.

“I haven’t seen such an athletic cricketer for a long, long time. Like Tinu Yohannan (now touring with the India team in West Indies), Mark is an athletically built quick bowler,” explained coach Maninder Singh.

Mark, like any other young man from North-East, was not very crazy about cricket. He really had no role model in the game to emulate. But his father was a cricket freak. A qualified coach and player of sorts, Mark’s father insisted on one of his children taking up the game. The mantle fell on a reluctant Mark.

But once in, Mark quickly learnt the finer points of the game and impressed people who mattered. Kapil Dev once got a taste of Mark’s speed while fielding at slip in a club game, and the former Indian captain was learnt to have exclaimed: “He’s real fast.”

Though Mark is in his early twenties, he has the skills to make an indelible mark in the Indian cricket firmament. His 5 for 119 spell for Assam against Bengal in the Ranji Trophy made him a name to be reckoned with.

Mark’s elevation to the NCA is yet another plume in coach Maninder Singh’s cap. Mark is the fourth boy from his centre to be picked for the NCA. Left-arm spinner-cum-all-rounder Murali Karthik, Mihir Diwakar and Maninder Singh (Jr) were the other boys of Maninder Singh to have trained at the NCA. Maninder’s cricket centre has produced countless other talented cricketers.

In these days of specialised cricket academies, sprouting like mushrooms, it’s a great credit to the modest coaching centre of the SAI to have trained so many quality players.

However, Mark is special as he is the first boy from North-East to be selected for the NCA. May his tribe grow! 


Mayor in a spot over fake domicile certificate
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, May 4
The Mayor of Faridabad, Mrs Anita Goswami, seems to be in a spot over a case of a fake domicile certificate, procured by a Delhi resident for setting up a petrol pump in the district.

While the police have already arrested the accused, identified as Narender Kumar Sachdeva, and remanded him to judicial custody, the investigating agencies are inquiring how he obtained the domicile certificate.

The police officials have learnt that the application of Mr Sachdeva, seeking a domicile certificate, had been attested allegedly by Mrs Goswami on September 17, 2001, when she was both the Mayor and Councillor.

The attestation was supported with the stamp of Mrs Goswami as a municipal corporation member. It was reportedly certified that the applicant was known to her and that he was a resident of Chawla colony for the last 15 years. While this was further attested by the zonal tax officer (ZTO) of the area, the certificate of domicile was issued by the sub-divisional Magistrate (SDM) Mrs Anju Chaudhary.

Ms Chaudhary has now clarified to higher authorities that since the application was attested and certified by the Municipal Councillor and the ZTO, she had issued the domicile.

The matter was exposed after a resident of Sector-17 here, who had also applied for the petrol pump outlet, lodged a complaint with the police that Narender Kumar had `fraudulently’ obtained the domicile certificate. It was further alleged that Narender was actually a resident of Delhi.

While the finger of suspicion now points to the Mayor, the police seems to be in piquant situation as the Mayor and her family are very close to the Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala.

It was the CM, on whose directions, she was elected and installed as Mayor in August last year. While the Mayor,

Mrs Goswami, was not available for her comments, despite attempts to contact her on phone, the senior officials are keeping ‘mum’ on the issue.


MCD shells out lakhs to pvt firm for collecting
toll tax
Syed Ali Ahmed
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 4
The sole collector of toll tax in the National Capital Territory, the Municipal Corporation of Delhi, is doling out lakhs of rupees each month to a private firm merely to secure the toll tax from the vehicles entering the Capital from Noida.

The civic agency found itself in a piquant situation as it could neither secure the permission to construct toll tax collection centre nor could it look the other way to the huge revenue potential.

The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) wanted to construct two posts—one at Maharani Bagh and another at Sarai Kale Khan, where DND Toll Bridge connects with PWD roads both sides. But the corporation could not construct the posts as the Delhi Traffic Police raised objections saying that it would effect the flow of traffic both sides. The stopping of vehicles to collect toll tax would result in traffic jams, defeating the very purpose of building the toll bridge..

Since the MCD was not in position to erect toll tax posts on highway as per the agreement between the Noida Toll Bridge Company and the Delhi Government, no structure can be allowed to be erected on this highway by any other agency. Consequently, the MCD had to hand over the toll collection job to the toll bridge company, MCD sources said.

There being no feasibility for opening the toll tax posts on Sarai Kale Khan flyway, except through the Noida Toll Bridge Company Limited, owner of the road. The company was approached to collect the toll tax for and on behalf of the MCD. The company agreed to undertake this work on payment of 11 per cent of gross toll revenue, on monthly basis, to minimum of Rs 1.5 lakh per month, the sources said. The toll collection from this centre alone is to the tune of Rs 20 lakh each month. The construction of the toll bridge on the Yamuna has been a boon for many travelling to Delhi from Noida. The Noida Toll Bridge constructed in collaboration with the Delhi Government is the fourth bridge on the river.


They fudged stamp papers by sleight of hand

Jhajjar, May 4
As if by the sleight of hand, racketeers in Jhajjar were converting Re one stamp papers into that of Rs 100, Rs 500 and Rs 5000. The district police have now busted the racket, which possibly runs into crores. Incidentally, this gang was also involved in a fake currency note racket. Four members of the gang were arrested on May 1 and fake currency notes worth Rs 17,000 were seized from their possession.

The persons arrested so far have been identified as Kamal, his brother Mahender, Azad and Jasbir. According to Mr Mohammed Akil, Senior Superintendent of Police, the gang was running the fake stamp paper racket from their Gurgaon residence. By circulating the fake stamp papers, they had duped the government of crores of rupees.

Their modus operandi has shocked everyone. The police have recovered various sophisticated electronic gadgets from their possession that were being used to prepare the fake stamp papers. Among these gadgets were a colour copier worth Rs ten and a half lakh and a scanner. About 6,000 Re one stamp papers, a ragemark, some other implements and two mobile phones were also seized.

Explaining the process of conversion of a Re one stamp paper into that of a bigger denomination, Kamal, one of the gang members, disclosed that, first, they would erase the impression from the stamp paper with the ragemark, which is very delicate exercise. Then, they would put the paper into the scanner; the expression of a high value original stamp paper was thus imprinted on it.

However, he did not divulge the number of such stamp papers in circulation. The stamp papers were disposed of by a vendor in the Gugaon courts, identified as Khusi Ram, who was reportedly their accomplice.

All the four accused have been booked under section 455, 456, 457, 458, 459, 460 and 461 of the IPC. The police sources also indicated the involvement of the son-in-law of a former MLA in the racket.


School campus or a deadly trap?
Smriti Kak

New Delhi, May 4
When Swati (name changed) decided to seek shelter from the scorching sun by standing beneath the school building, little did she know that it would leave give her a bad knock on the head, that could have taken a turn for the worse. A class XII student of Sarvodaya Vidyalaya, Saraswati Vihar, Swati escaped death by the skin of her teeth as a loose window crashed on top of her from the third floor.

A profusely bleeding Swati, accompanied by her friend and a school teacher, was taken to the local government dispensary where, after being provided the necessary first aid, she was shifted to a private hospital.

While the glass shreds from the window got embedded in her head, the metal component of the window bruised her back. Swati received six stitches on her head. The incident, a recurring feature in government-run schools in the Capital, has reinforced the notion that the government does little to ensure the safety of the children, pointed out an area resident. What is however bizarre is that the girl and her family are reluctant to talk about the incident. When this correspondent spoke with the girl’s father, he refused to divulge details. Sources revealed that Swati was standing next to the primary building when the incident took place. Her friend, who was in the vicinity, took her to the school’s medical room, which was closed as the teacher incharge was absent. She, then, informed a male teacher who rushed them in his car to the dispensary.

Swati’s neighbour, who was informed about the accident and who later took her to the private hospital, said: “The girl was bleeding and the wounds were deep. They told me that a window had fallen on her head from the third floor. It is sheer negligence on the part of the school authorities. How can a window fall, unless it is loosely fit?”

While the school staff was unavailable for comment, it is being mentioned that it is not for the first time that an untoward incident has taken place in the school premises. According to area residents, there was an accident in the school when the building was being constructed.


Give details of accident victims: HC
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 4
With road accidents in the Capital increasing day by day, the Delhi High Court has asked the state government to give facts and figures of the number of road accident victims who have been provided first aid in private hospitals across the national capital.

A division bench, comprising Justices Devinder Gupta and Shameet Mukerjee, hearing a PIL seeking proper medical attention to injured persons in road accidents, also asked the Delhi Police to inform if all PCRs in the city had first aid boxes and why no para-medical personnel was available with such vehicles.

In February, the High Court had directed the State Government and the city police to respond with proper details to the petition.


Abhishek Bachchan discharged in criminal assault case
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 4
Cine star Abhishek Bachchan, who was involved in a real-life fight with two photojournalists, was today discharged by a Delhi court after the Bollywood star and the complainant reached an out-of-court compromise.

On the sets of ‘Bas Itna Sa Khwab Hai’ last year, the son of the ‘angry young man’, Amitabh Bachchan, was involved in fisticuffs with two photo journalists, who later lodged a complaint as the matinee idol was hampering them performing their duty. Metropolitan Magistrate G. P. Singh discharged the accused — Bachchan, Bhavesh Thakkar and Tanya Behl — after a compromised was reached between the parties. In his order, the Metropolitan Magistrate said, , “A joint application was moved by the complainants and in their statements, they stated that they have voluntarily compromised with all the accused, therefore, the court discharges the accused.”

Samajwadi Party General Secretary Amar Singh accompanied Abhishek Bachchan to the court. The trio were chargesheeted for assaulting ‘Indian Express’ photographer Mustafa Qureshi and freelance lensman Umesh Puri on the sets of the film in the India Gate area here in April 2001.

The complainants, who were injured in the incident, in their statements said they had voluntarily compromised with the accused without any pressure or undue influence or coercion without any promise. The police had chargesheeted the suspects for “wrongful restraint” and “voluntarily causing hurt” to the two photojournalists under Sections 323 and 341 of the IPC. After the counsel of Mr Qureshi indicated that his client was ready for a compromise, the judge gave the parties an hour to deliberate on the issue.

The judge recorded the statements of Mr Puri and Mr Qureshi. They told the court that they did not want to stretch the case for long as it would send a wrong message to the public about the Press and the film industry. 


Govt agencies seek RWAs’ help in running services
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 4
The Delhi Development Authority (DDA) has sought the participation of Resident Welfare Associations (RWAs) in managing community centres. Built at several places in the Capital, the community centres are either lying in a state of disuse, disrepair or in the possession of property developers.

The appeal came during an interaction of the agencies of the Government of NCT of Delhi and Government of India with representatives of RWAs. Although nascent, the DDA feels the concept could become popular if the community in general and neighbourhoods in particular are roped in to manage the community centres.

Ideas were similarly exchanged on improving the delivery of services to end-users. The Delhi Jal Board (DJB) is contemplating a network of underground reservoirs to distribute water and Delhi Police have mooted the participation of RWAs for managing disaster management centres. And the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) said it was working out the modalities for implementing the unitary method for assessing property tax.

On the occasion, patron of the Bhagidari (citizen-government partnership) Programme and Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit noted that with the induction of 75 RWAs from the North, East and North-east districts of Delhi, the number of Bhagidars (partners) had crossed the 900-mark.


Ghaziabad thirsts for water
Parmindar Singh

Ghaziabad, May 4
Come summer and Ghaziabad is plunged into a crisis of potable water. Though it is an annual phenomenon, the shortage is unprecedented this year.

Water and power shortage has made the life of a common man miserable in the city. People have to depend on the tankers of the Nagar Nigam. Their number is limited and they cannot fulfill the needs of about 13 lakh people. As a result, there are frequent fracas among the people queuing up for water in the scorching sun for hours.

Many return empty-handed as their turn never comes. Even in posh colonies like Raj Nagar, Kavi Nagar, Nehru Nagar Lohya Nagar, etc, the residents have to depend on hand pumps.

The Nagar Nigam has failed to come up with a policy to exploit the groundwater depleting fast in the Nigam areas. While in 1991 the city population stood at 5.50 lakh, in 2001, it had swelled to nearly 13 lakh which has seen constant lowering of the underground water table.

There are 139 tubewells and 2,100 India mark-II hand pumps operating in the city apart from a large number of privately sunk hand pumps. The Nigam claims it supplies 130 litre water per head which should make a total figure of 1.9 billion litre water a day. Nobody in the Nigam can say as to how many private hand pumps are working in the city limits, but they are surely in thousands.

Most people do not take even the mandatory approval for sinking private tubewell due to ignorance or complex procedure for obtaining the permission.

A lot of water is wasted by such private tubewell owners in washing vehicles etc. On May 21 last year, Mayor Dinesh Chand Garg had said that the Nagar Nigam would come out with a policy for conservation of ground water level, but nothing had been done. Much water flows down the drain from tubewells and hand pumps.

The Nigam has imposed tax on 1.24 lakh buildings. There are some 1.50 residential houses in the Mahanagar as against the total approved number of water connections being at 64,000. Therefore, there are a large number of buildings having illegal water connections against which the water works department of Nagar Nigam is not taking action.

Many have allegedly secured their water connections from the ‘rising sun mains’ and there is no dearth of such mains in the city especially in the inner and old city areas.


Water crisis in 12 villages of Salhawas 
Our Correspondent

Rewari, May 4
Thousands of residents of about a dozen villages of the Salhawas constituency, represented by Congress legislator and the Haryana Mahila Congress president Anita Yadav, have been facing a severe drinking water crisis on account of the persistent apathy of the Public Health Department as well as the government. The brackish subsoil water has further added to the woes of the residents, particularly housewives, in these villages.

The crisis-hit villages include Kosli, Matanhale, Mahanbari, Mundhara, Jhansua, Jharli, Khachroli, Khanpur Kalan, Khanpur Khurd, Naya Gaon Jat, Bahala and Garhi. Kosli, which is a subdivisional headquarters in Rewari district, has two distinct areas — Kosli village and the other comprising Kosli mandi, Kosli station, Vishva Karma Colony, Shiv Colony and the colony behind the Hanuman temple..

According to Mrs Anita Yadav, Kosli village, which has a population of about 6,000 people, was getting water supply directly from the JLN Canal. It was mostly unfiltered and hence full impurities. Housewives had been complaining that the water thus supplied often contained particles of carcasses of animals (thrown into the canal) as well as human faeces.

The other part of Kosli town, which has a population of about 5,000 people and which is linked to the Nehrugarh water supply scheme, was getting negligible supply of water. Besides, one or two colonies here are devoid of the water supply line.

The legislator said that under such circumstances, the residents here had been purchasing drinking water at Rs 2 a pitcher from private suppliers. This price was likely to double in the coming days of scorching summer, she said.

The situation in the other remaining villages was still worse. The water supply there was highly negligible and the subsoil water was totally unfit for drinking as well as cooking purposes. The womenfolk of these areas fetch water from remote wells.

Mrs Anita Yadav deplored that her repeated requests to the public health authorities for improvement in the situation had failed to evoke any positive response.


Lockout: Labour Officer convenes meet on May 9
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, May 4
The District Labour and Conciliation Officer, Mr D. N. Kaushik, has convened a meeting on May 9 for resolving the labour dispute in the Hindustan Tin Works Limited, Sonepat. According to official sources, Mr Kaushik has summoned the representatives of the employer and the workers union to attend the meeting positively. He has also warned the employer that if he failed to send his representative to the meeting, strict action would be taken against him.

The action followed a demonstration by the agitating workers against the declaration of lockout in the factory by the management and the termination of the services of the workers. The agitating workers had submitted a memorandum to the officer alleging that the management had terminated the services of some workers and had forced one of them to sign on his resignation letter.

It was also alleged that the management had been harassing the workers since the formation of a trade union in the factory. The management had also failed to pay the salary of the workers in accordance with the Minimum Wages Act. The labour laws were also being flouted in the factory, the union alleged.

The memorandum demanded the payment of minimum wages and bonus and providing of all other facilities to the workers. It also demanded the withdrawal of termination notices and end of the contract system. The memorandum warned that if all the legitimate demands were not accepted, the union would have no alternative but to launch an agitation on the issue.

According to another report, a large number of workers of M/s Shugra Leather Export Private Limited held a demonstration in front of the office of the District Labour and Conciliation Officer here on Friday in protest against the closure of the factory by the management. Mr Ram Dhan, president of the Leather Workers Union, led the demonstration and submitted a charter of demands to the officer. The officer assured the agitating workers that he would look into their complaints and remove their grievances within a couple of days.


The ‘Fort of gods’ offers a blend of history
with mythology
Tribune News Service

Nar Narayan Tapasya, Gupta Temple, DeogarhDeogarh, which means the ‘Fort of gods’, is situated on the bank of the Betwa river at the western end of the Lalitpur range of hills. Deogarh in Uttar Pradesh is of great antiquarian, epigraphic and archaeological importance and has been integral to the history of the Guptas, the Gurjara-Pratiharas, the Gondas, the Muslim rulers of Delhi, the Marathas and the British. The place also has the remains of a fine Vishnu temple dating to the Gupta era and several Jain temples. The architecture and sculpture of these temples display a high level of craftsmanship.

At the entrance of the fort stands a corbelled gateway and the premises are peppered all over with some broken statuary. The fort has a splendid group of 31 Jain temples. From the 8th to 17th century, it was a famous Jain centre.

The temples house panels depicting scenes from the Jain mythology, Tirthankara images, Manasthamba (votive pillars), Ayagpattas (votive tablets), Sarvatobhadra Pratima’s or Jain images visible from all sides and Sahasrakutas (pillars carved with a thousand Jain figures). Santinath temple is the most important temple. The other interesting structure of Deogarh is the Varah temple, rock-cut cave called Siddha-ki-Gufa, Rajghati and Naharghati.

Travel Info

Air : Nearest airport is at Gwalior: 235 km.

Rail : The nearest railway station is Jakhlaun: 13 km, which can be reached by Jhansi-Babina Passenger train, whereas Lalitpur is the most convenient railhead, 23 km from Deogarh.

Road : Deogarh is connected by bus to all-important centres in the region. Some of the major road distances are: Lalitpur - 23 km, Matatila Dam - 93 km, Jhansi - 123 km.

Dashavatar Temple

This fine Gupta temple, built in the 6th century during the Gupta period and dedicated to Lord Vishnu, is the earliest known Panchyatan temple in north India. The terraced basement above the high plinth is decorated with sculpted panels. The figures of Ganga and Yamuna adorn the carved doorway leading to the sanctum sanctorum. Three large carved panels along the side walls — the Gajendramoksha panel, the Nar Narayan Tapasya and the Anantshayi Vishnu — depict scenes from Vaishnava mythology. Only the lower portion remains of the spire, which was the most important part of the temple.

The temple bears an inscription attributable to Govinda, Viceroy of Malwa, and the brother of the great Kumaragupta I. The temple known for its Rathika panels adorning its three side walls depict scenes from Vaishnava mythology, and are identified as the Gajendra Moksha Panel, Nar-Narayan Tapasya and the Anantasayi Vishnu. The intricately carved doorways with figures of Yamuna and Ganga lead to the garbhagriha or sanctum sanctorum. Exquisitely sculpted panels decorate the terraced basement.

Jain Temples

Jain Tirthankara images.These 31 Jain temples are somewhat later in origin than the Vishnu temple, but are no less remarkable. They are situated inside the fort of Kanali in the hills overlooking the Betwa. The site was a Jain centre from the 6th to the 17th century. The temples abound in panels depicting scenes from Jain mythology, Tirthankara images, votive pillars, votive tablets, Jain images visible from all sides and pillars carved with a thousand Jain figures.


This town in MP, famous for its gossamer-like saris, also has fine examples of Rajput and Sultanate architecture. A magnificent Mughal fort dominates the skyline. Among the interesting sites are the Koshak Mahal, the Badal Mahal Victory arch, the Jama Masjid and ancient Jain temples.

Barua Sagar

The place is named after the Barua Sagar Tal, a large lake created about 260 years ago when Raja Udit Singh of Orchha built the embankment. The Barua Sagar fort, picturesquely located at a height, commands an excellent view of the lake and surrounding landscape. The town is situated on the road to Khajuraho from Jhansi.

Matatila Dam

About 93 km away from Deogarh, this is a picnic spot developed by the irrigation department. Facilities for water sports and a garden, which is an imitation of Vrindavan garden, are its attractions.


This 16th century city in MP is located on the banks of the Betwa river.

The many temples and palaces here are fine examples of Bundela architecture.


The town gets its name from Tal, which means lake, and Behat, which means village in the Gond language who were the original inhabitants of this place.

This town is situated 31 km south of Lalitpur. It houses a spectacular fort built by the Raja of Bar and Chanderi, Bharat Shah, in 1618. The fort is famous for the Narasingh temple inside it.


A scientist’s love affair with God

God first! When the vice-president and chief technology officer of Intel Corporation (USA), Patrick Gelsinger, proclaims that to be a priority in his life, we are bound to sit up and take notice. How could a scientist of his standing, in this technological age, endorse a statement that will erode his credibility among the fashionable intellectuals of this age?

He is not ashamed to admit that he follows the biblical commandment “Thou shalt love the Lord, thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.’’ (Deuteronomy 6:5) Could it be that is what saves him from following the ‘me first’ dictum of this present age?

If the “fear of God is the beginning of wisdom”, one can spot it in his acknowledgement that he is what he is by the grace of God, in his keen desire to impart to his children, a true faith and reliance on God, and in his efforts to be a witness to the transforming power of his Lord and Saviour in his workplace and in the community. Early in life, he was quite a pious Christian on Sundays and lived a life of pleasure on weekdays experimenting with drugs and sex. “By the time I was 15, I had tasted all the vices of the world.” Though in pursuit of pleasure, it was getting worse with him, living a double life. One day the sermon in his church was based on Revelation 3:15: “I know your works that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit (spew) you out of My mouth.”

He felt the Lord was pointing to the evil and the hypocrisy in his life. That message went straight to his heart. That produced a spirit of repentance and great change in his life.

He had two roommates: one, the ‘Nazi-type’ and the other, hooked on to drugs. His believing friends then began praying for good roommates. Two days later, a stranger approached him stating that “God had spoken to him’’ and directed him to be his (Patrick’s) roommate! And the new roommate turned out to be his spiritual mentor along with his future wife, whom he had started dating.

What has this man, who became the vice-president of Intel at the age of 32 and has 10 patents and several intel and industry recognition awards to his credit, to tell us? He addressed a couple of meetings in Bangalore and Delhi during his visit to India a few days ago.

Giving God the first place in his life, he decided that he will be open to the direction of God’s Spirit (the Holy Spirit) wherever that may lead. His personal devotion involved daily reading the scriptures and prayer. He would live in obedience to scriptural values, being a good husband, a good businessman and family head.

But why God first? Because loyalty and obedience to God ensures that we always make the right choice, take the right decisions and pursue proper goals. Everything in our lives fall into place. The commitment to love God, to put him first, should in fact form the basis of all our other decisions — such as what career to follow, whom to marry, what kind of friends to cherish, how to invest onee’s time, how to relate to people and so on.

In Patrick’s priorities, family comes next to God. This means spending quality time with one’s life partner and children, providing for their needs and bringing up children in the fear of the Lord.

Next is work. “Be a great employee,’’ he repeats quoting Colossians 3:23: “And whatever you do, do it heartily as unto the Lord and not to men.’’ Our true master being God, we are working for Him and we ought not be men-pleasers. And it is God who gives due reward for all work.

What are some of the resolutions of this great employee? “I will work hard in all that I do. I will give my best effort in every task. I will be open, honest and generous. I will be careful with my words and actions. I will seek the counsel of others frequently and thoughtfully. I will seek to improve and grow those around and beneath me in work and all other areas. I will not seek my own glory; I will seek the honour of God and have praise given to those around me...’’

It is good for a man to have mentors to whom, he could be accountable. It is good to have someone to whom one can look up to. It could be in spiritual matters or in the area of one’s profession. Similarly, one should seek out persons to whom one could provide help. Mentoring, according to him, is a two-way street. To illustrate he quotes from Ecclesiastes 4:10, “Two are better than one...if one falls down his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up.’’

A cord of three strands is not easily broken, he adds. It was not easy for him, a man of faith, to live by his convictions in his work place. The atheists ridiculed him; his boss was angry with him for quite some time for refusing to postpone a vacation he has already fixed for the family. But his reputation as a good and honest worker made an impact and the misunderstanding had cleared up. His boss even had apologised later for being harsh.



Khurana rules out change in state BJP leadership
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 4
The chief of the BJP Delhi unit, Mr Mange Ram Garg, seems to have got a reprieve with the former Delhi Chief Minister and MP, Mr Madan Lal Khurana, who has been made the party’s in charge of the National Capital Territory, categorically ruling out any immediate change in the state unit leadership.

“The office-bearers, including the state unit president, would be allowed to complete their term,” Mr Khurana told ‘NCR Tribune’, quelling speculation that heads will roll in the state unit after he was made in charge of the party affairs here.

The term of Mr Mange Ram Garg, the state unit president, ends in May 2003. He has a strong backing from the RSS.

Meanwhile, expressing his happiness over the appointment of Mr Khurana as the in charge, the Delhi unit chief said, “This would strengthen the party.” Asked about the any possibility of change in the organisational structure following Mr Khurana’s appointment, Mr Garg said, “No, there won’t be any change. There is an agreement to this effect.” He, however, declined to elaborate.


Couple killed, three hurt in mishap
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, May 4
A young couple was killed and three others, including two members of the deceased family, were injured in a car-truck collision near Murthal Chowk, about 10 km from here, on G. T. Road on Friday. The couple has been identified as Mr Krishan Murti and wife Mrs Kalpana and the injured are Divya, Arvind and car driver Narinder. All the injured persons were immediately hospitalised in the city from where they were referred to a Delhi hospital.

The victims belonged to Mumbai and they were on a holiday tour of Delhi and Chandigarh. The closure of one side of the two-lane road for repair was the main cause of the accident. The Murthal police have registered a case against the truck driver and further investigations are in progress.

According to another report, a student of the Government Industrial Training Institute (ITI), Prem, was injured seriously when he fell down from a moving bus after hitting a parked jeep near Bhigan village, 12 km from here, on G. T. Road on Friday evening. The student, who belonged to Bhigan village, has been admitted to the local civil hospital and is stated to be out of danger. He was travelling on the footboard of the overcrowded bus when the accident occurred.


Xen remanded in bribery case
Tribune News Service

Panipat, May 4
The Chief Judicial Magistrate, Mr A. K. Jain, today remanded Brij Narain Sharma, an executive engineer working with the Marketing Board here, to one day’s police remand. Mr Sharma was arrested on Friday by a team of the Haryana State Vigilance while accepting Rs 10,000 from two contractors for passing their bills.

The vigilance team, led by the SP (Vigilance), Ms Suman Manjiri, had swooped on the office of the official on the Gohana road. The team seized the amount, which was given as bribe to him by two contractors, Mr Hawa Singh and Mr Pritam Singh.

Tax target

The Municipal Corporation Faridabad (MCF) has set Rs 5.50 crore as the target of recovery of various taxes during the month of May. This was decided after a meeting of officials of the corporation recently. The recovery is to be made under house tax, fuel tax, water charges and sewer charges from various zones. As the house tax forms the biggest share, the MCF wants to recover Rs 1.25 crore in the NIT zone and Rs 75 lakh in the Ballabgarh zone. About Rs 80 lakh is likely to be recovered as water and sewerage user charges from all the three zones.

Power bills

As many as 323 power consumers in the district have benefited by availing of the latest surcharge waiver scheme so far. Claiming this, Deputy Commissioner Anil Malik said Rs 30.76 lakh had been pending as power arrears against these beneficiaries who deposited its 25 per cent amounting to Rs 7.56 lakh and got remitted a sum of Rs 22.83 lakh.

He was exhorting the people to pay their power dues at Sanghi village today. He said it was the final opportunity for the defaulters to clear their dues. He informed them that 10 defaulters of Sanghi village had availed of the opportunity so far. The SSP, Mr Alok Rai, urged the people to give up their reluctance towards paying the power bills and warned that strict legal action would be taken against those found responsible for instigating the people not to pay the bills.

Mobikes seized

The Sampla police arrested two youths on Friday and recovered two stolen motorcycles and a Maruti car from them. Those arrested have been identified as Anoop and Manoj, both residents of Pinana village.

Purse snatched

A motorcycle-borne youth snatched the purse, containing nearly Rs 3,500, from a woman here on Friday evening. Ms Lilawati, a resident of sector 14 here, stated in a FIR that a miscreant on a motorcycle snatched her purse while she was going to the market.

Jat meet on May 30

Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and noted film actor and former wrestler Dara Singh will take part in the two-day conference of the All India Jat Maha Sabha which will commence on May 30 at Talkatora Stadium in New Delhi.

Giving this information, Mr Tara Chand Mor, spokesman of the Haryana Jat Aarakshan Sangharsh Samiti, told mediapersons here today that the conference would be inaugurated by Union Agriculture Minister Ajit Singh. He said that the main discussion in the conference would be the delay in declaration of job reservation for the Jats in Haryana besides social evils and their remedies.


He specialises in snatching chains
Our Correspondent

Noida, May 4
This is an age of specialisation. Devender Saini, a resident of Maliwara Mohalla, is also a specialist. Only that he specialises in the ‘other’ job of stealing. And he is too good at it like any other specialist, so much so that he had achieved the dubious record of snatching 50 gold chains in one year.

He has finally been arrested. The police say 60 per cent of the chain snatching cases reported in the city in the past one year has been solved with his arrest.

However, he was caught red-handed while trying his expertise with a woman inside a temple complex in Kavi Nagar.

Once in the police net, the ‘specialist’ Saini confessed he had also snatched the gold chain of Mrs Somi Malhotra on April 27 in Kavi Nagar. The police recovered the scooter and the gold chain from Saini.

The SP (City), Dr Ashok Raghav, said the miscreant had confessed to having snatched 50 chains in Sahibabad, Sihani Gate police station areas and from different places in Ghaziabad district.

The police teams have been alerted on nabbing Saini’s other accomplices. Saini is a member of the notorious gang of Sanjay Devender, who was recently arrested for looting a shop selling mobile phones in Vivekanand Nagar, Dr Raghav added.


Undertrial who gave cops the slip nabbed
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, May 4
An undertrial, facing charges of dacoity and currently lodged in a Mathura jail in UP, today escaped from the custody after he was produced in a court here but was nabbed again dramatically.

The accused, identified as Vijender alias Babloo, a resident of A. C. Nagar here, was brought by a police team in connection with the hearing of a case of dacoity booked against him a few years ago. After attending the court, the

undertrial reportedly requested the cops to take him to his house in A. C. Nagar here for a few minutes so that he could meet his family members.

The cops agreed to his wishes and took him to his house. However, as the cops were served water and snacks, the accused slipped away from the house with handcuffs on his hand. The cops who got suspicious ran outside. This led to a commotion and several residents converged on the scene. All of them started chasing him.

Babloo was finally overpowered by one Ramlal, a resident of Dabua colony, who knew him, eyewitnesses said. He was then handed over to the cops who came there later.

Interestingly, the policemen are reported to have cooked up another version that the undertrial had escaped from them after throwing chilli powder in their eyes from the main Mathura road where they were waiting for a three-wheeler.


Huge haul of country liquor

New Delhi, May 4
The Delhi Police have arrested four persons and seized 1,890 quarter-bottles of country-made liquor and 700 quarter-bottles of IMFL in two different incidents. The police said 1,820 quarter-bottles of country-made liquor were seized from a Maruti van in East Delhi on Friday night during routine checking.

The van was found moving in a suspicious manner and on being checked, the consignment was recovered from it. The driver of the van, Ganga Ram, and his associate Iqbal were arrested. They disclosed that the liquor belonged to a bad character of the Subzi Mandi area, Ashok alias Bitta Singh. TNS


Stolen jeep seized, one held
Our Correspondent

Narnaul, May 4
The Narnaul police have nabbed Surinder Singh, son of Baldev Singh of Sihma village, in connection with the theft of an Armada jeep. The vehicle was stolen from its owner’s house near the new market here. An FIR has been registered under Section 379 of the IPC against the accused. Stating this, Dr C. S. Rao, SP, said here that under the `Operation Speed Breaker’ launched to prevent crime, patrolling on the routes towards different mandis in the district, specially in the rural areas, had been strengthened. Under the operation, serious efforts were being made to book professional criminals under various heads including satta (Gambling Act). 

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