Thursday, May 9, 2002, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


Gurdwara Polls
Akalis make unity moves
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 8
The rout of the Akalis in the Punjab Assembly polls and the Sidhu scam are casting their shadow over the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee elections scheduled for next month, amidst reports of unity moves between the Badal and Tohra factions.

This will help minimize damage to the two outfits and prevent the entry of persons with Congress and BJP affiliations into gurdwara politics, the sources said.

While the senior leaders of both factions denied any such move, many DSGMC members indicated that behind the scene efforts were on.

A senior member of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), Harinderpal Singh, a close associate of Tohra, ruled out the possibility of such a patch-up, saying his political mentor ‘’would never compromise on principles at any level.’’

“There may be an initiative of this kind in order to save the beleaguered Badal faction from a humiliating defeat in the coming DSGMC elections, but a patch-up with a man who has defied the Akal Takht is out of the question,’’ said Mr Harinderpal Singh.

The then Akal Takht Jathedar, Bhai Ranjit Singh, had in December 1998 called upon the Akalis to stay united until the historic Khalsa tercentenary celebrations ended in April 1999. But the split occurred before the set date, with the expulsion of Mr Tohra as chief of the Badal-dominated SGPC.

Mr Manjit Singh Greater Kailash of the SAD (Badal) faction said: “There is nothing more welcome than Akali unity ahead of the elections... More so, if candidates contest jointly.’’

He said “Such a move would result in the candidates avoiding mudslinging, which otherwise would demean the institution.

Supporters of former SGPC chief Tohra have prepared a list of scams during the Badal regime and are likely to use it as their main election plank.

In defence, DSGMC chief Avtar Singh Hit, a Badal aide, has prepared a list of his ‘’achievements’’ which include construction and computerisation at DSGMC-run schools, colleges and historic gurdwaras of Delhi.

Further, the move is an attempt to consolidate the position of Delhi Sikh leaders at a time, when the political masters in Punjab are on a weak wicket.

As the problems confronting the community in the Capital are quite different from those in Punjab, the leaders of the two factions are seeing the present atmosphere as an opportune time to carve out a larger role in Sikh politics, especially in Delhi, rather than be seen as mere puppets of the political masters in Punjab.



Panipat exports galloping despite global recession
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Panipat, May 8
Despite all odds, the textile town has emerged as a major export centre of North India. From meagre exports worth about Rs 1 crore in the early 70s, they have crossed the Rs 1,200 crore-mark in fiscal 2001-2002.

According to data collected by the NCR Tribune, the exports have increased by Rs 200 crore over that in fiscal 2000-2001. In fact, the exports have been steadily growing at this rate since 1997-98.

It may be recalled that in 1997-98 the exports fell to Rs 400 crore from the Rs 425 crore-mark in 1996-1997. Again, the exports dropped to Rs 400 crore in 1995-96 from Rs 450 crore in 1994-95. Except for these occasional periods of slump, the textile industry has grown by leaps and bounds and created a niche for itself in the international market for its high-quality products.

The export items range from traditional handloom products like bedcover, cotton and jute floor coverings, table clothes, pillow covers, mats, durries and hand-tufted carpets to Pachranga pickles and high-quality basmati rice. The major customers have been Europe, the US, Australia, Japan, the Arab countries and Japan.

However, the Haryana Government and the district administration cannot take credit for this phenomenal growth. It has more to do with the grit and dogged attitude of the exporters who have braved all odds to notch an impressive growth rate in these times of global recession. Further, they have achieved this despite the worsening law and order situation, poor infrastructure and lopsided government policies.

The conditions after September 11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Centre have been also hardly conducive for international trade. There have been reports that several export orders were cancelled at the eleventh hour due to the disturbed international conditions, giving exporters many a sleepless night.



Bomb scare at Cottage Emporium
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 8
The entire Jawahar Vyapar Bhawan, housing the Central Cottage Industries Corporation of India Ltd. (CCIC) on Janpath, was evacuated and searched thoroughly following an anonymous call made to the Delhi Police control room threatening to blow up the commercial complex this morning.

Teams of sniffer dogs and bomb disposal squads, under the supervision of senior officers, were rushed to the building and carried out a thorough search for over three hours only to find that the call was a hoax.

The traffic on the busy Janpath was thrown into a tizzy as curious motorists and onlookers stopped to have a closer look at the activity, only to be pushed away by a heavy police cordon around the complex.

The Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police (New Delhi), Sunil Garg, said that the PCR received a call around 1000 hrs that a bomb had been planted in the CCIC and it would be detonated in a couple of hours.

Mr Garg said the call to the PCR was made on a mobile phone, operated on a cash card. The number had been identified and investigations were on to identify the caller, a male.

Jawahar Vyapar Bhawan also houses the State Trading Corporation, the State Bank of India branch and the Handloom and Handicraft Export Corporation (HHEC) besides the Cottage Emporium, a great tourist attraction in the city.

A general alert has been sounded at vital installations in the Capital.



A night out in the open

Faridabad, May 8
Tall claims notwithstanding, the power department here, which has been renamed Haryana Vidyut Prasaran Nigam (HVPN), seems to be not interested in mending its ways. Residents of a major pocket of Sector-14 here had a nightmarish experience last night as power supply remained disrupted for eight hours. As a result, hundreds of residents had to spend the night out under the sky.

According to the residents of the pocket facing the DAV Public School in sector 14 here, there was some sparking in the local transformer at around 9.30 pm. One of the phases tripped a little while later and could not be restored till 11 pm. The other phases also conked out abruptly at about 12.30 a.m. Frantic phone calls from harassed residents elicited no response from the power complaint centre in sector 15. Though an oral complaint was finally lodged after some time, no one from the centre turned up to rectify the fault. One of the residents, who again called up the complaint Centre at about 3 a.m., was told by the attendant that he will look into the problem.

The poor residents decided to bide their time, but there was no respite till 7.20 a.m. when two employees of the department came and rectified the fault. It was found that a squirrel had disrupted the main line. TNS



A burn ward finally for Gurgaon hospital
Ravi S. Singh
Tribune News Service

Gurgaon, May 8
The much-awaited ‘Burn Ward’ in the District General Hospital, Gurgaon was finally inaugurated today by the Governor, Mr Babu Parmanand. Coinciding with the Red Cross Day, the inauguration was one among various health-related programmes organised in Gurgaon and other districts in south Haryana.

Residents and members of the local health department had to go through the rigmarole of petitions and submissions to get the ward constructed, especially when the number of burn cases has been increasing on account of the rapid industrialisation of the city.

The ward, a self-sufficient unit, in the hospital has been provided with two “Alpha” (hydraulic) beds for the benefit of those patients who develop bedsores on account of immobility during their longer period of convalescence. Besides, the unit has two ‘isolation’ cabins for admitting those who have received more than 25 per cent (high degree) burns. The ward has two high-powered air-conditioners.

According to the Medical Superintendent of the hospital, Dr S. P. Singh, the cost for setting up the ward has been borne by the Sheetla Mata Trust. According to sources, there had been a lot of public pressure for setting up a full-fledged ward for burn cases. The number of burn cases reported to the hospital has been on the rise. Earlier, the hospital used to treat only normal burn cases.



Widening of Delhi-Gurgaon NH to cost Rs 555 cr 

New Delhi, May 8
The National Highway from Delhi to Gurgaon is being widened, informed the Minister of State for Road Transport and Highways, Maj-Gen. B. C. Khanduri, in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday. The estimated cost of the project was about Rs 555 crore. Maj- Gen. Khanduri also said that the trees were cut for the widening work. He added that as far as possible the alignment will be adjusted in such a way that minimum number of trees are cut. Compensatory forestation was also planned in the ration of 1: 10 in the nearby cantonment area. There were over 13,000 defaulters in Delhi whose outstanding phone bills were written off, said the Minister of State for communication and Information Technology, Mr Tapan Sikdar, in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday. The loss incurred on account of these defaulters stood at Rs 66.58 lakh. OC



RTV for mentally challenged

New Delhi, May 8
A Hindustan Motors Limited RTV was presented to Muskaan, an organisation working for the welfare of mentally challenged people. Ms Manju Kapur, wife of the Lt-Governor, Vijay Kapur, handed over the RTV to the members of Muskaan, at a function. OC



Gang involved in printing US dollars,
 stamp papers busted
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 8
The Special Cell of the Delhi Police on Wednesday claimed to have busted a gang of cheats involved in printing fake US dollars and forged stamp papers. The suspects were identified as Mushtaq Ahmed Wani of Kashmir, M.A. Khalid, Pappu Singh, Arun Aggarwal and Om Prakash Aggarwal, all from Bihar. Six lakh forged stamp papers in denomination of one thousand dollar, 14 negative dyes of the dollars, its slides and two mobile phones were seized from their possession.

The police laid a trap after it received information about the printing of fake stamp papers and US dollars.

While the suspects were on their way to Jaipur on Wednesday, a decoy customer was sent to them at the New Delhi Railway Station, where they were waiting for a train. The decoy customer expressed his wish to purchase 10 forged stamp papers of Rs 1000 each for Rs 150. The police were in the waiting and as the exchange took place, the suspects were arrested.

During interrogation, they disclosed that while they were based in Patna, they also operated in Mumbai and Hyderabad. Presently, they had planned to dispose off counterfeit stamp papers in Delhi and Jaipur. Moreover, they had planned to show the dyes of US dollar and the sample of counterfeit Nepalese currency to the prospective customers. The police said that Om Prakash was a scrap dealer and financed the activities of the gang while M.A. Khalid, acted as an agent. Pappu Singh and Mushtaq Ahmed Wani were responsible for procuring customers, the police said.


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