Tuesday, May 7, 2002, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


Only nominal hike in bus, auto fares
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 6
The Government of NCT of Delhi on Monday effected a nominal hike in the fares of buses, autorickshaws and taxis. The notification is likely to be issued in a few days from when the new fares will come into vogue.

The bus fare for distance of 4 to 8 km has been increased from Rs 4 to Rs 5, from Rs 6 to Rs 7 for 8 to 12 km and from Rs 8 to Rs 10 for 12 km and beyond. The fare for distances up to four km remains Rs 2. The fare for Greenline buses and Limited bus services would also remain unchanged at Rs 10. There would also be no increase in prices of bus passes.

For autorickshaws, the charge for the first kilometre has been increased from Rs 2.50 to Rs 5 while the charge for every additional kilometre thereafter would remain unchanged at Rs 2.5 per km. For taxis, the initial kilometre charge would now be Rs 10, up from the existing Rs 5, and the charge thereafter for every additional kilometre would remain unchanged at Rs 5 per km.

Announcing the revised fares, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit told media persons the upward revision of fares would fetch the government Rs 1.45 crore revenue per month. The government, she said, had effected a “marginal” hike keeping in mind the concerns of commuters. “We want that the commuter should not be charged more than what is absolutely necessary. We also want that transporters should not suffer on account of the CNG price hike and considering that buying new CNG chassis was expensive.”

The chief minister said her government was “forced” to revise the fares of public transport as the Centre had paid no heed to her plea for rolling back the hike in price of CNG fuel. The government, she said, had raised the fares “as a balancing measure” in view of the hike in price of CNG fuel by Indraprastha Gas Limited (IGL) on April 27. The IGL, the sole provider of CNG in Delhi, in which 95 per cent stake is held by the Government of India, had increased the price of the fuel on April 27 from Rs 13.11 per kg to Rs 16.83 per kg.

The new fares were announced amidst a threat by the transporters to withdraw diesel-run buses from Monday as they had to pay a penalty of Rs 1,000 per day from today as per a Supreme Court direction. The chief minister said nobody had carried out the threat and “transport service was normal.” Transporters, she said, were paying the fine and plying their buses. To improve the bus service, she said rationalisation of routes and other measures were being taken. To discipline the private bus operators and drivers, the government would consider setting up a Regulatory Commission, she said.

Prior to the meeting of the Cabinet, the committee comprising Transport Commissioner Sindhushree Khullar, Principal Secretary (Finance) Ramesh Chandra and Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) Chairman KS Baidwan met with Transport Minister Ajay Maken and replied to the clarifications sought in Sunday’s Cabinet meeting. The committee had suggested the fare structure of Rs 3 for a distance of four km, Rs 5 for a distance of up to eight km, Rs 8 for a distance upto 12 km and Rs 12 for beyond 12 km. 


Bus 0-4 km 4-8 km 8-12 km 12 km or more

Old fare

Rs 2.00

Rs 4.00

Rs 6.00

Rs 8.00

New fare

Rs 2.00

Rs 5.00

Rs 7.00

Rs 10.00

Autorickshaw First km Every km there after

Old fare

Rs 2.50

Rs 2.50

New fare

Rs 5.00

Rs 2.50

Taxi First km Every km there after

Old fare

Rs 5.00

Rs 5.00

New fare

Rs 10.00

Rs 5.00



An ‘English gurukul’ to help students succeed in school of life
Nawal Kishore Rastogi
Our Correspondent

The inmates of the gurukul performing a yagna.
The inmates of the gurukul performing a yagna.

Rewari, May 6
It would be a gurukul with a difference. Retaining the traits of the gurukul of yore, it would also teach its wards English. No, not to make them ‘brown sahibs’! The students would continue to follow the gurukul mores. But they would definitely be given the knowledge of modern subjects, computers for instance, to succeed in the school of life.

With the introduction of the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) pattern from the ensuing session of 2002-2003, the 23-year-old prestigious gurukul of Kishangarh-Ghasera, about 8 km from Rewari, has now virtually bid adieu to its system of education based on Sanskrit alone.

The gurukul has taken a big leap towards its modernisation on the pattern of education prevailing in eminent public schools of the country. It would be a gurukul of the 21st century.

This is not to say that it would, in any way, deviate from its main object of physical, moral and spiritual development of the wards. The project is mainly the brainchild Swami Ram Dev, a noted Vedic scholar and a Yoga-cum-Ayurveda specialist and founder president of the Divya Yoga Mandir Trust, Kankhal (Hardwar) which has completely taken over the management of the gurukul.

The Swami said that on account of the total focus on the Sanskrit-based curriculum, the students had been lagging behind their counterparts of modern institutes in this age of science and technology. Besides, the gurukul-educated students were finding hard to earn a decent living. Consequently, the interest of the parents to send their wards to the gurukul was flagging.

Taking these factors into account, the CBSE pattern of education has been introduced in the gurukul. The students would now be taught English, mathematics, science, history, geography and Hindi along with Sanskrit, of course. Though the medium of instruction in the gurukul will be Hindi, yet emphasis will be on making students fluent in English. To achieve this objective, it would be compulsory for the students to converse both in English and Sanskrit. Besides, computer education will be a must.

The standard of teaching will be at par with that prevailing in prominent public schools.

Apart from the study of ‘Satyarath Prakash’, a masterwork of Swami Dayanand Saraswati, several other religious books will form part of the curriculum. The daily routine of the students will include meditation, yogic exercises and Pranayam.

The Gurukul is now affiliated with the Gurukul Kangri University, Hardwar, which enjoys recognition from the University Grants Commission. It may seek affiliation with the Central Board of Secondary Education, New Delhi.

Initially the teaching staff of the gurukul comprises 10 members. Mr Muktananda is the new Principal. Four of these teachers will work honorarily while the remaining six will be on the pay-roll of the gurukul.

Education will be free of charge. However, each student will be required to pay Rs 500 a month to meet board and lodging expenses. The gurukul will be a residential institution for the students as well as the teachers.

To begin with, only 200 students are being admitted in the sixth, seventh and eighth classes. Admission to be made on the basis of an oral as well written test, starts on May 13. Though admission is open to the students from all parts of the country, yet those belonging of the rural areas will get preference.

Highlighting the salient features of a Rs 5-crore project envisaging the all-round expansion and development of the gurukul, the Swami informed that about Rs 30 lakh would be spent on the construction of a big hall, four spacious boarding houses, 10 class rooms, 50 flush latrines etc.



Census man sees 25% growth in Sikh population
R. Suryamurthy
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 6
While the Sikh community leaders in the Capital are agitated over the low representation of the members of the community in the Census 2001, indications are that there has been a 25 per cent growth in the community’s population during the last decade.

This startling fact, revealed by a senior official of the Census Commission of India, comes at a time when the commission had indicated that the sex ratio in Punjab was 874 females for 1,000 males, which is a matter of great concern. In Delhi, the sex ratio was 821:1000 out of a total population of 1,37,82,976.

Mr R G Mitra, Deputy Registrar General, who held discussion with the DSGMC president and other office-bearers here today on the headcount carried out by the body to counter the reported figures put out by the commission, informed them about the provisional data of the growth of the community in the country. Low sex ratio could be due to societal preference for the male child and the adoption of female foeticide, infanticide, which could result in long-term social conflict, demographers had stated.

Mr Mitra informed the DSGMC president, Mr Avtar Singh Hit, that the preliminary data of the census figures indicate that the Sikh community in the country has grown by about 25 to 26 per cent between 1991 and 2001.

On the Delhi Sikh census figures, reportedly prepared by the commission, he said that the region-wise data preparation would begin in June and would be completed by the end of November next year. Mr Mitra reportedly informed the DSGMC members that the Sikh population in the Capital was much more than what has been reported so far.

Mr Pushpinder Singh, a member of the fact-finding committee said that the commission lauded the efforts of the DSGMC in putting across the point in a democratic manner.

He said that the deputy registrar informed that after each census operation, several community leaders expressed their objections to the figures, but this is the first time that a community has gone in for a scientific manner to contest the figures.

The DSGMC, which carried out the headcount in Tilak Nagar municipal ward, has projected the Sikh community’s population in the Capital to be around 13 lakh or 11 per cent of the Delhi’s 1.37 crore population.

In the 1991 Census, Sikhs were 4.52 lakh out of the 94 lakh population of the Capital making it the single largest group outside Punjab.

In the Census 2001, of the Delhi’s total population of 1.33 crore, the Sikhs are said to be 599,557, Muslims 1,338,297 and Christians 117,701.

The official figures are likely to be available by July 2002. It took almost four years for the community census figures to be provided after the 1991 Census. The census fact-finding committee had expressed concerned about the under-representation of the community in Delhi as the largest concentration of Sikhs outside Punjab is here in the city.



Panipat’s textile industry in a tizzy as crime spins out of control
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Panipat, May 6
Even as the Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, undertakes his ‘Bharat Darshan’ to woo investors of other states to invest in Haryana, the state’s industry is in the doldrums. At least, the textile industry here has been left to fend for itself by the Haryana Government, which is now keen on according a red carpet welcome to outside investors.

Poor infrastructure, recession and lop-sided government policies are set to deal a deathblow to the world-famous textile industry here. Besides this, the spurt in the crime graph has created panic among the affluent industrial community and has put a full stop to the expansion plans of several of the units.

“It is a virtual goonda raj here and I am ready to shift to some safer place if the government paid even half of the price of my investments here,” says Mr Yash Aggarwal of Aggarsain Spinners Limited, whose parents were brutally done to death by armed assailants in the factory premises on January 17. Echoing Mr Aggarwal sentiments, Mr Dilip Dua, president of the Yarn Dealers Association, says that the spurt in even daylight crimes is giving sleepless nights to the industrial community

Though the rising crime scenario is the latest worry, lack of basic amenities has always been the bane of Panipat industry. This is despite the fact that the industry pays heavy taxes and reportedly earned Rs 1,000 crore in foreign exchange last year. “The exporters prefer to meet the foreign clients at Delhi hotels as they may lose business if the visitors saw Panipat’s unsanitary conditions and bad roads,” informs Mr Ram Niwas Gupta, secretary of the Exporters’ Association.

Picking up holes in the lop-sided policies of the government, Mr Gupta alleges that developmental charges on the land purchased by the industrialists outside the specified area were exorbitant, putting hurdles on the expansion plans of the industry. “The laws have failed to keep pace with the changing times. In the era of globalisation, a good ambience, including recreational facilities on the premises, is a must to attract foreign buyers. This could only be possible when the factories are located on large-sized plots for which developmental charges have to minimum,” he explains.

Despite the tall claims by authorities, the power scenario continues to be dismal. It is said that if one wants to set up a unit here, he has to first install a generator set, as one never knows when the power department leaves you “powerless”. “The problem is more acute in the areas fed by the rural feeders,” complains Mr Amitabh Awasthy, president of the Kesri International, an export house.

A visit to the Old Industrial Area, the Industrial Area in Sector 25 and 29, Sanoli Road and Gohana Road can be a nightmarish experience. In several areas, there are no roads worth the name. Mr Awasthy alleges that he prefers to meet his clients in Delhi, as the condition of the road to his unit on the Sanoli Road is pitiable.

Mr Janak Grover of Grover Woollen Mills in the Old Industrial Area claims that entrepreneurs of the area had constructed a road at a cost of over Rs 2 lakh about six months back as the district administration failed to do its job. With no drainage system worth the name, problems are compounded during monsoon. This, apart from the unsanitary conditions, earns a bad name for the town, which has created a niche for itself at the international-level for high-quality textile products.

Even as the problems persist, the bureaucracy fails to see reason, says Mr Yash Pal Malik, president of the Panipat Dyers Association, which is locked in a tug of war with the administration over the shifting of over 500 dyeing units to Sector 29. When the association is ready to install effluent treatment plants and have separate sewer lines for the polluted water, why the administration is adamant on shifting the units, he asks.

Mr Gupta best sums up the whole scenario: “Panipat needs a package deal from the central government at least as a reward for earning over Rs 1,000 crore in foreign revenue. With the state government neither having the necessary resources nor will, this seems to be the only way out.”



Shift risky chemical units in 3 months, orders HC
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 6
In a significant order, the Delhi High Court today directed that all shops and establishments storing hazardous chemicals must be taken outside the city within three months.

“All steps must be taken expeditiously and not later than three months to see that the traders and transporters shift their trade to new markets outside the city,” a division Bench comprising Chief Justice S B Sinha and Justice A K Sikri said.

Stating that the MCD could not escape the responsibility for failing to check storage of hazardous chemical in the walled city markets, which resulted in a major fire at Lal Kuan in 1997 burning alive 57 people, the court said no trader and transporter should be permitted to operate in such markets.

The direction came in a judgement on a petition by the All India Lawyers Union (AILU), which had sought shifting of the hazardous chemical trade outside the city and compensation to the victims of Lal Kuan tragedy.

The court in an interim order earlier had imposed a fine of Rs 20,000 on traders for the payment of compensation to the victims. The kin of each victim were paid Rs 2.5 lakh, while each of the eight seriously injured persons were awarded Rs 1 lakh and others with minor injuries Rs 15,000.

“There is no reason for permitting transporters to store hazardous substance in the crowded markets and the corporation is directed to take appropriate action against any defaulter,” the court said.

The court directed its registry with which the money collected from the traders was deposited, to disburse it among those who were yet to be paid the compensation.

It said that the transporters might keep their offices in the city, but made it clear that storing any chemical there would amount to violation of the rules.

“When court is faced with a question of law arising out of a fire accident caused due to negligence of the owner of a shop, strict liability for payment of compensation may be imposed on him,” the judgement said.

“We wonder why the MCD did not take recourse to precautionary measures and it must be viewed with grave concern,” the court observed. Referring to the MCD’s failure to check storage of such inflammable items in the crowded markets, it said despite clear recommendations in this regard in the report of a committee set up by the Government, the corporation did not implement it.

“It is unfortunate that despite the committee report, the MCD failed to take any action, though it had in an affidavit admitted that there are 487 hazardous goods. But it could not furnish details about the same,” the judgement said. The provisions of the MCD Act does not show that the restriction regarding the storage of hazardous chemicals applied only to the traders not to the transporters. The law would apply to both equally and strictly, the court said. 



1,950 govt quarters sub-let by allottees
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 6
Over 1,950 government accommodations of government employees sub-letting their premises have come to light in the year 2001 alone, the Union Minister of State, Mr Bandaru Dattatreya, informed the Rajya Sabha. He said after following the prescribed procedure, 916 quarters were cancelled and 655 quarters vacated between January 1997 and December 2001.

Besides debarment of defaulting allottees for seeking further allotment, the administrative ministries/ departments were also advised to initiate disciplinary proceedings against the delinquent government servants under the relevant conduct rules.

The Minister said Directorate of Estates had constituted dedicated teams to conduct inspections in government colonies and special emphasis was put on areas, which were near the commercial centres.

In reply to another question, the minister said the existing scheme of conversion of residential properties from leasehold to freehold, was an open-ended scheme. The scheme based on 1987 land rates was allotted upto March 31, 2000. Thereafter, the conversion was to be considered on payment of conversion charges to be calculated on the basis of notified land rates prevailing on the date of conversion.

Pending revision of land rates, the DDA had taken an interim decision to continue conversion of residential properties from leasehold to freehold, based on the land rates notified by the government of India for the period 1998-2000 on provisional basis, subject to filing of an undertaking to pay the differences on notification of final rates by the government.

Mr Dattatreya, in response to another question, said as per policy of the DDA, an application for conversion of residential property from leasehold to freehold was to be processed and finalized within a period of 90 days from the date of receipt of application complete in all respects. Otherwise, deficiencies in payments, and documents are conveyed to the applicant concerned.

The DDA had reported that all out efforts were made to adhere to the time limit, provided the required documents were furnished and dues paid in full.

Mr Dattatreya in reply to another question said the ministry had issued instructions to DDA to allow applications for conversion of cinema plots to commercial use, subject to condition that where such use exists, minimum of 300 seats were retained and modifications were carried out, subject to Unified Building Bye-Laws. In response to another question, he said the DDA is holding a national level competition for the proposed development of the theme park `Ashtha Kunj’ on a plot of 200 acres of land integrating Lotus Temple, Iskcon Temple and Kalkaji temple.

The entries for the same were to be received in July. 



I did not blame Sheila govt: DTTDC chief 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 6
Delhi Tourism chairman Romesh Sabharwal today said that he had never accused the Sheila Dikshit government of not according priority to the tourism sector in Delhi, but was only critical of the functioning of his department.

“I did say that the Delhi Tourism and Transport Development Corporation (DTTDC) had been mostly concentrating on liquor business instead of promoting world heritage sites and other tourist destinations in the Capital,” he said in a statement.

Mr Sabharwal further clarified that what he was trying to highlight was the unproductive and direction-less tourism policy in Delhi over the years. Though he was critical of the department, he did not accuse the government of not taking the tourism sector seriously and was satisfied with the efforts made by Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit to promote tourism.

Regarding the non-presence of Mrs Dikshit and Tourism Minister Ajay Maken at a meeting organised by the All India Tour Operators (AITO), he clarified that they were unable to make it due to pressing pre-occupations of which he was fully aware of.

“Yes, I am blunt and frank in nature, but that does not mean that I can be ungrateful to those who were instrumental in appointing me as chairman of the DTTDC about three months ago,” he said.

Mr Sabharwal said his grouse was against the Tourism Department itself which had done little to promote and boost tourism in Delhi over the years. “The DTTDC has to be more radical and focussed on the job,” he said. 



Rs 2.42-cr revamp plan for abattoirs in Haryana 
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, May 6
The Haryana Government has approved a Rs 2.42 crore scheme for the construction of modern slaughterhouses in different towns of the state during the current financial year.

Stating this, Mr Y S Gupta, Executive Officer, told mediapersons here today that this scheme had been prepared following the directive of the Punjab and Haryana High Court asking the state government to construct modern slaughterhouses to check the possible diseases from the open sale of uncovered meat of various animals.

He disclosed that the state government had already allotted Rs 7.10 lakh for the construction of an abattoir in the city and the work for this would be taken up soon. A sub-committee, headed by the Deputy Commissioner has been constituted for this purpose.

The Sonepat Municipal Council, he said, has prepared a scheme to renovate the old slaughterhouse near the bus stand where as many as 14 meat shops will be constructed. These shops will be put to on auction.

Mr Gupta claimed that with the construction of a modern slaughterhouse, the sale of unhygienic meat “would be checked considerably. The Sonepat Municipal Council, he said, would impose a complete ban on the sale of polluted meat in the city.

He disclosed that the civic administration had launched a vigorous campaign from time to time to check the sale of polluted meat. However, the campaign did not prove to be effective because of limited sources.

Meanwhile, enquiries made by this correspondent have revealed that there are 25 meat shops in different parts of the city which are functioning without licence.

The representatives of various social and voluntary organisations today urged the district and civic administration to take immediate steps to check the sale of uncovered meat by the shopkeepers in the city.

They also demanded stern action against the shopkeepers who sell such meat to the people.



Proper management of industrial wastes stressed 
Bijendra Ahlawat
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, May 6
Experts have expressed serious concern over the `laxity’ being adopted by the authorities as well as industrialists for proper disposal and management of industrial wastes. If various plans are not implemented strictly to check the menace, it could pose a serious risk not only to the society but also to the environment in the whole region.

This reportedly was the conclusion at the seminar, organised by the Haryana Environmental Management Society to discuss the handling and management of the hazardous wastes in the industrial areas, in Surajkund on Saturday. The Additional Director in the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests, Dr Laxmi Raghupati, said that although the authorities had decided to set up plants to dispose of the industrial wastes, unless the industrialists become serious and active, no such programme could become effective. He said that while water, air and even land had become a victim of rising pollution, the survival of human beings would be at stake in the near future if it went unchecked.

He said a majority of units having hazardous chemical wastes had found the temporary way of disposing it of underground after boring a pit. However, this practice had been very dangerous as the chemicals turn the underground water into poison and the water becomes unfit for both human consumption and irrigation purpose. He said the industrialists should come together and find a proper place to dispose of their wastes in a way that was least harmful.

The Assistant Secretary of the Central Pollution Control Board, Mr D. B. Boralkar said, choosing or deciding a site for disposing of hazardous wastes was a meaningless exercise. Everybody concerned must have adequate interest and adopt the ways and means suggested by the experts. He also said the units not obeying or implementing the norms strictly must be punished with heavy penalties. He said there were many industrial units which did not tell the exact amount or quantity of hazardous wastes thrown out by them to the officials concerned.

Dr D. R. Yadav of the Haryana Pollution Control Board said that action should be taken against those units that had been secretly disposing of their industrial and chemical wastes under the ground. He said while some of the industries had failed to cooperate with the board, the industrial associations should come forward to help in reaching a proper solution.

Some of the participants in the programme expressed unhappiness with the functioning of the authorities responsible for checking industrial pollution and said `corruption’ had made the pollution control programme ineffective. Mr Sunil Sabharwal, president of the Haryana Environmental Management Society (HEMS), Mr R C Brar, chief of the Faridabad Industries Association (FIA), Mr S. Narsimhan, FIA secretary, Mr Yogesh Gupta, Deputy Director of National Productivity Council (NPC), Dr C.V. Singh, Regional Officer of Haryana Pollution Control Board, and members of the HEMS were present on the occasion.

It may be recalled that the Pollution Control Board of Haryana has notified to acquire 32 acres of land near Pali village here to develop a site and plant for the disposal of hazardous and chemical wastes of industrial units of the region.



Residents squirm as police fail to crack dacoity case
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Panipat, May 6
The district police, whose record of working out cases has been lacklustre to say the least, has failed to achieve any breakthrough in the case of dacoity at Surinder Dye House in Babarpur even after one week, spreading panic among the public.

This is despite the tall claims made by senior police officers after April 29, the day of the dacoity that left two workers dead and five others injured, that they would catch the culprits soon. With the culprits still at large, a sense of insecurity prevails among the affluent industrial community here.

It may be recalled that the IG of the Rohtak Range, Mr Resham Singh, had claimed on April 30 that the culprits behind the Babarpur dacoity would be apprehended soon. However, the police are still groping in the dark to crack the case.

It is not that the top brass the state and district police was not the seized of the matter. Since April 30, the Haryana DGP, Mr M. S. Malik, had visited the town thrice. At a meeting with senior police officials, including SP Mamta Singh and DSP (Headquarters) Arun Nehra, at Skylark Motel here on Saturday, Mr Malik is understood to have asked them to make a breakthrough in the case and keep a strict vigil on the anti-social elements. This was a must to win back the confidence of the general public, he is understood to have told them.

However, the priorities of the police seem elsewhere. Instead of tracking down the criminals, the police seem to be going whole hog in slapping fines on the general public for various traffic violations. In fact, there seem to be two sets of rules — one for the cops and another for the general public. While traffic violations by the policemen, including riding without helmets and triple riding, are winked at by the police, these violations by the common man are severely dealt with..

Another profligacy, which the police seem to be indulging in too often, is providing security guards to any person with the slightest of security threat. Over a dozen persons, including a cinema house owner, politicians, a brother of the local MLA and advocate, have been provided with the security cover, apparently hampering the routine security jobs. Last week, another person, who alleged that a gunman threatened him outside his house, was provided with the security cover.

While, security cover to certain persons, like Mr S. S. Kundu, counsel for Joginder Kaur, who was brutally done to death in broad daylight by a hit man in his chamber in the District Courts here on November 26 here may be justified, it is high time the security cover of other “protected” persons was reviewed by the police.

Meanwhile, the police sources claimed that the factory workers, who come from far-off places in UP, West Bengal and Bihar, were not registered by the industrialists with the police. With a substantial number of them having alleged criminal background and no record being maintained by the entrepreneurs, it had become virtually an uphill task to check crimes, the sources maintained.



Four die while cleaning factory sewer
Our Correspondent

Ghaziabad, May 6
Four sanitary workers were reportedly killed while cleaning the sewer of a factory, Shiela Foam, in the Sahibabad Industrial Area under the Link Road police station on Sunday. Another three workers, who were rescued by the fire workers, are in a serious condition and have been admitted to different hospitals.

The factory in the Sahibabad Industrial Area belongs to BJP MP from Aligarh Shela Gautam. The person in-charge of sanitation, Mr Bejender Bahadur, had hired seven sanitary workers from outside to get the factory sewer tank cleaned. One Mohinder Singh of Chipyana village had taken the contract for the work. He along with his three brothers was cleaning the sewer tank from 9 O’ clock in the morning.

According to the police, they were trying to break the wall of the second sewer, as its opening was very narrow, when some gas started leaking and sewer water started following in. As a result, a worker, Gajender, fell in the sewer. The two other workers, Devinder and Narinder, who tried to pull him out also fell in and became unconscious. All three are real brothers of Mohinder Singh.

Mohinder and another worker, Attar Singh, also lost consciousness while trying to pull them out. Soon, the other three workers raised an alarm. Being a

Sunday, not many workers were in the factory. The security staff at the main gate rang up fire services for help, who came at 5 pm clock and rushed the unconscious workers to SMG Hospital and Guru Tegh Bahadur Hospital. But all the three were declared brought dead at the hospitals. Meanwhile, Mohinder in Guru Tegh Bahadur Hospital and another worker, Ravi Kumar in Narinder Mohan Hospital, are reported to be in a serious condition.



‘Teachers’ involvement in politics lowers 
research quality’
Gaurav Choudhury

The state of research in universities and institutes of excellence has attracted a lot of attention from the intelligentsia in the recent times. It is now being widely believed that the budgetary allocation for scientific research needs to be increased significantly to facilitate better research in the country.

Delhi University has recently been in the news for not being listed among the top universities by the University Grants Commission (UGC) in terms of several parameters. Sanjay Tiwari, president of the Delhi University Researchers’ Association (DURA) spoke to the NCR Tribune on several issues affecting the state of research in the country.


What is the role of DURA in the promotion of research in Delhi University?

The DURA’s role is of utmost importance in the promotion of research in Delhi University. To begin with, it regularly checks the equipment and apparatuses in the laboratories and tries to plug all loopholes that include provision of new and latest equipment.

For instance, last year, there were six instruments in the Instrumentation Centre that were malfunctioning and we had engineers brought from Chennai to repair them.

We encourage researchers to submit complaints and keep us informed about the state of their research. All complaints are verified and solutions sought to be arrived at.

However, solutions to all problems are not always easily found and a great amount of persistence is required sometimes. Complaints usually relate to non-availability of funds, harassment of researchers by supervisors, lack of transparency in the appointment of lecturers in colleges etc.

In addition, now more journals and up-to-date information are being provided to researchers.

How has your tenure been different from the previous ones?

I would not like to comment anything about my predecessors or their method of functioning. All I can say is we are now more action oriented. And here are a few examples: We have sought to bring South Campus at par with the North by reserving the second floor of the library for researchers, opening of a post office and DTC bus-pass counter and some recreation facilities for the researchers. We have helped in the enhancement of fellowships by the Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR), Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR), Indian Council of Philosophical Research (ICPR), Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and Indian Council of Cultural Research (ICCR). We have intervened successfully to stop the malpractice in many departments in regard to the admission of researchers and the appointment of lecturers. We have started a new trend of organising plays. Many more plans are on the anvil and we will do our best to fulfil them before the tenure ends in March 2003.

Delhi University does not find mention in the list of top universities prepared by the UGC. What do you think are the reasons?

I find it very difficult to accept this list prepared by the UGC. In any case, the UGC has decided to review the list now.

I have visited 15 universities in the country and I am in a position to assess where DU exactly stands. I can emphatically state that in any objective assessment, DU would find mention in the five best universities of the country.

But definitely the standard of research has gone down perceptibly on account of various reasons.

First, over-indulgence in politics by the teachers and as a result they have less time to devote in teaching and research. But of course, not all teachers are the same and there are many who are still devoted to their work.

Second, lack of funds. Funding agencies like UGC, CSIR, DST etc. have not been providing adequate funds for promoting qualitative research. In short, DU has been given step-motherly treatment by these agencies.

Third and the most important, the authorities concerned in DU have been quite lethargic to take up these issues in the proper perspective and solve the problems of researchers.

Fourth, an uncertain future awaits even the best of the researchers due to the present job scenario and most is forced to explore alternative job avenues and this has had an adverse impact on research.

There is a consensus among the teachers and students that the standard research has gone down and this is particularly true with regard to social sciences. What are the reasons?

Yes, it cannot be denied that research in social sciences has indeed gone down drastically and there are various reasons behind it. As said earlier, lack of adequate employment opportunities after research forces many to explore other avenues and therefore research is not taken seriously. There are other additional reasons as well.

The researcher, in most cases, is forced to tow the ideological line of the supervisors. This amount to lack of interest in original research because the sole intention of the researcher would be to produce a thesis/dissertation, which would satisfy his supervisor.

Quality of research is bound to decline wherever there are ideological differences between teachers and students. The craze for civil services has also caused deterioration in all streams and I feel researchers can’t be blamed, as there is no job security.

Can DURA also be held responsible for the decline in the quality of research?

Not at all. As the basic role of the DURA is to safeguard the interest of researchers and it has performed that task well.

Many a time, the university authorities have displayed a very irresponsible attitude in understanding the problems of researchers, leave alone solving them.

The basic reasons for the decline in research, as said earlier, are involvement of teachers in politics and lack of employment opportunities and the DURA does not have any power to remedy the situation.

So is it a dead-end for research in DU?

No. All universities go through a cyclic process. And I am quite optimistic that the decline here will come to an end though it might take sometime. See the example of JNU.

It reached its peak in the early 1980s then declined slightly from the late 1980s but it again came up during the Vice-chancellorship of Prof Asis Datta. DU has certain in-built advantages. First, it is situated in the Capital and things get highlighted very soon.

Second, despite the decline in standards, DU still draws the best student crowd from a sizeable portion of North India, if not the entire country.

The level of awareness is quite high among the student community here unlike other universities.

So, the present scheme of things can’t stretch for an indefinite period of time.



Four killed in car-truck collision 
Our Correspondent

Noida, May 6
Four occupants of a Maruti car were killed on the spot after their vehicle collided with a truck near the Badalpur police check post under the Dadri police station on Sunday night.

The occupants of the car were on their way back to Delhi after attending a marriage in Pallva village. The driver and cleaner of the truck fled the scene after the accident. The traffic on G. T. Road remained blocked for about two hours due to the accident as both the vehicles were in the middle of the road.

Anand (27) and Russi (40) and their two companions had come to attend the marriage in Pallva village in a Maruti car. Anand, who was behind the wheel, lost control of the car as the side of the road near the check post was dug up. As a result, the car collided head on with a truck coming from Ghaziabad to Bulandshahr which was laden with iron bars.

The car, which virtually went under the truck, was badly wrecked. By the time the occupants of the rear seat, who were badly entangled in the wreckage, were freed, they also succumbed to their injuries.

The traffic remained blocked on the road as the wreckage of the truck and car was in the middle of the road. The police could remove it to the side after great difficulty. Anand and Russi were identified from their driving licences while other two could not be identified.



200 disabled activists court arrest 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 6
More than 200 physically disabled activists today courted arrest while marching towards the Prime Minister’s residence here in support of their demands, including reservation in jobs and raising of income tax exemption limit. The activists, under the banner of the Disabled Rights Group (DRG), were stopped by the police when they began marching from the Safdarjung Tomb raising slogans like ‘We demand justice’ and ‘Don’t ignore the disabled’.

“The Government is simply ignoring our genuine rights. If the Prime Minister wishes, it is just a matter of 15 minutes to solve all our problems,” DRG convenor Javed Abidi said. The DRG’s charter of demands includes one per cent reservation for people with mental disabilities in C and D category jobs, amendment to the Disability Act 1995, raising of income tax exemption for disabled people and their parents from Rs 40,000 to Rs 1 lakh.

“We will intensify our struggle peacefully till our demands are fulfilled,” said Mr V. Rajasekhar, another DRG activist. Mr Abidi threatened to go on an indefinite hunger strike from tomorrow, if their demands were not met immediately. 



2 youths killed in road mishap
Tribune News Service

Panipat, May 6
Two youths were killed when the motorcycle on which they were travelling was hit by a truck on the GT Road here. According to information, Vinay Jain, a resident of the Jain Mohalla here, died on the spot. His friend Suresh, a resident of Kabri village, was seriously injured and later died in a private hospital. The post-mortem was conducted at the local Civil Hospital. The truck driver was arrested and a case registered against him.

Dharna against Modi

The district unit of the Congress party held a dharna outside the Deputy Commissioner’s office demanding the ouster of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, for unleashing a rein of terror on the minority community and creating communal tension. Hundreds of Congress activists gathered at the DC office led by district president and MLA from Beri constituency, Mr Raghubir Kadian, at 10 am.

Succumbs to injuries

Mr Baldev Singh, the salesman at the Ajay Service Station, situated on the G.T. Road near Larsauli village, who had been shot at and seriously injured on May 2, succumbed to his injuries in a Delhi Trauma Centre. According to a report, he was admitted to the trauma centre after he sustained bullet injuries when he was shot at by some unidentified miscreants. However, the police have failed to achieve any breakthrough in this case. A hunt is on to apprehend the alleged assailants who are still at large.

Body found

The police recovered the body of a woman, Mrs Seema, which was found hanging in her house at Butana village, about 40 km from here on Sunday evening. According to a report, the police believe it to be a case of suicide. The body was sent for the post-mortem examination. The cause of the alleged suicide had not been ascertained.

Suicide attempt

Mr Tirlok Singh (45) of Hulllaheri village was admitted to the Civil Hospital here on Sunday night when he made an attempt to commit suicide by taking sulphas tablets in his house. According to a report, the condition of Mr Tirlok Singh was stated to stable and out of danger. The police were investigating into the case.

Road accidents

Mr Ram Mehar, a resident of Rewli village, sustained serious injuries when he was hit by an unknown speeding vehicle on the Sonepat-Bahalgarh road, on Sunday night. According to a report, he was returning to his house when the accident occurred. According to another report, Mr Ram Gopal, a resident of Sikka Colony was injured after he was hit by a vehicle on the Sonepat-Bahalgarh road, on Sunday evening. Both the injured persons were immediately hospitalised and stated to be out of danger.

MDU collaboration

Maharshi Dayanand University was likely to enter into collaboration with an Australian University-James Cook University-in the realm of higher education and research. A delegation of James Cook University, headed by its Pro vice-chancellor, Mr Paul Turner, discussed the areas of cooperation, especially research, faculty exchange and collaborative courses/programmes. Representing the MDU, Vice-Chancellor B.S. Suhag, Pro vice-chancellor J. K. Sharma and Registrar Dr Satpal Singh Dahiya, participated in the meeting. The Australian delegation had an interaction with Deans of faculties and heads of the university teaching departments. 



Modern Food staff protest against contract labour
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 6
The Modern Food Industrial Employees Union held a demonstration outside the office of the Central Labour Commissioner protesting against the decision to allow Hindustan Lever Limited to hire contract labour in the plant.

Modern Food was the first company to be disinvested by the government and the success of the plant would give a boost the government’s policy. 



Hooda lashes out at Chautala

Sonepat, May 6
The president of the Haryana Pradesh Congress Committee, Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda, has promised to provide a corruption-free government to the people of the state if his party comes to power in Haryana. Addressing a large gathering at Kharkhauda town, 19 km from here, on Sunday evening, he alleged that corruption was rampant at all levels in the administration. 



Kidnapped child rescued
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 6
With the arrest of Kalim Ahmed alias Baloo, and his associate Sri Om, North-East district police rescued a three-and-a-half-year-old- boy of a businessman of Gautampuri, Abhishek Mishra, who was kidnapped from near his house on Friday. The suspects were arrested from Shahjahanpur and the victim, Abhishek, was later rescued. They boy was kidnapped for a ransom of Rs 50,000. The prime suspect, was an ex-employee of victim’s father, Mr Anand Prakash Mishra. Later, the uncle of the victim received a call for ransom.

A police team of the North-East district went to Shahajahanpur along with father of the victim, who also carried the ransom money with him. Subsequently, the prime suspect was arrested by the police team while receiving the money. During interrogation, he disclosed that the child was with his associate, Sri Om in a village.

A raid was conducted in the village, from where the victim was rescued and the other suspect arrested. The prime suspect also disclosed that he wanted to sell the child to a notorious gangster of UP, Kalu, the police said. 



DP inspector gets 5-yr jail term for taking bribe
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 6
The Special CBI court today sent a Delhi Police Inspector to jail for five years for taking a bribe of Rs 2 lakh while being posted as the station in-charge at the Indira Gandhi International Airport here.

Special Judge R. K. Gauba convicted Inspector Prithvi Singh Yadav to five years rigorous imprisonment and asked him to pay a fine of Rs 10,000. The CBI had charged the inspector of demanding an illegal gratification of Rs two lakh on September 27, 1991, for getting an externment against a convict cancelled. The complainant was earlier arrested in cases registered against him at the IGI police station.

Robbers arrested: With the arrest of two youths, the Delhi Police today claimed to have busted a gang of robbers who used to operate most during nights in Delhi, Ghaziabad, Gurgaon and Faridabad. They were identified as Mukarram alias Janna and Pramod. They had committed robberies in factories, godowns and industrial establishments. They were arrested from Janakpuri and a loaded country-made pistol was recovered from Mukarram. During interrogation, they disclosed that they used to take a recee of the factories of precious metals. After monitoring all aspects, armed gang members, numbering nine to 10, would strike by posing themselves as officials of the Sales Tax Department. They used to gather all of the employees of the factory in a room, lock them up at gunpoint and decamp with all the materials and cash in a Tata 709.

Scooterist killed: The East district police of the Capital today arrested a tractor driver, Subhash (20), on the charge of causing death due to rash and negligent driving. The tractor hit a scooterist, Rajender, on the National Highway near Mayur Vihar phase – II. Though the victim was taken to Lal Bahadur Shastri Hospital, he died. 



Postmaster robbed of Rs 13,000 at knifepoint 
Our Correspondent

Rohtak, May 6
About Rs 13,000 was looted from a post office by three unidentified armed robbers in broad daylight here today. According to the police, three youths entered the grain market sub post office at around noon.

While one of the miscreants took out a knife, his accomplice brandishing a pistol snatched the cash from the sub postmaster, Mr Shyam Sunder Minocha. When Mr Minocha resisted the robbers’ attempt, he was stabbed in his hand by one of them. The trio then managed to escape along with the looted cash. A case under Section 394 of the IPC and Sections 25, 54 and 59 of the Arms Act has been registered at the local city police station in this connection.

Farmers’ demonstration: The activists of Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) and the Samata Party held a demonstration in front of the office of the Deputy Commissioner in protest against the arrest of four agitating farmer leaders on Saturday. Later, a memorandum was submitted to the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Anil Malik, through the SDM.

Charging the state government with adopting anti-farmer attitude, the protestors alleged that instead of negotiating with them, the police arrested the farmer leaders sitting on a dharna on Saturday.

500 get waiver on bills: More than 550 consumers have cleared their dues availing of the power surcharge waiving off scheme in the district.

A spokesman for the district administration said on Monday that the defaulters paid a sum of Rs 14.36 lakh and got remitted 75 per cent of the total dues, amounting to Rs 48.10 lakh. He claimed that there was an enthusiastic response for the scheme from the residents of Baland, Nidana, Sunarian, Sampla, Balambha, Bhalaut, Farmana, Kharak Khurd and Bohar villages. He said the district authorities were hopeful about the success of the scheme, claiming that the number of beneficiaries of the scheme had been increasing day by day.



Special drive helps solve cases
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, May 6
The fortnight-long ‘operation speed breaker’ launched by the police in the district had led to solving several old cases and the arrest of many criminals. Claiming this, the district police chief said here today that cash and property worth Rs 1.91 lakh were recovered from over 700 persons who were arrested under the Excise and Gambling Act. He said 19 cases of purchasing stolen goods or property were unearthed and assets worth Rs 20.30 lakh were seized during the operation, which was launched on April 15 and ended on April 30. The police booked 37 cases of carrying illicit arms and recovered 11 pistols, 41 cartridges and 21 knives from the criminals. Twelve persons were arrested under the Narcotics, Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act during the period. 


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