Wednesday, May 15, 2002, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


Akalis biting off more than they can chew?
Gurdwara poll candidates will make public all assets and criminal records, if any
R. Suryamurthy
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 14
The Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee polls could create a history of sorts, if the Akalis adhere to their commitment to enforce the recent Supreme Court directive that makes it mandatory for candidates contesting Parliamentary and Assembly elections to disclose their assets and criminal records, if any.

The apex court order has made it mandatory for candidates contesting the Parliamentary and Assembly polls to disclose their assets and criminal records in an affidavit before filing their nominations. Though the order is not legally applicable to DSGMC elections, yet its moral force cannot be ignored.

Rising above differences, the Akali parties said they favour implementation of the apex court order in toto during the gurdwara polls. Even more so because the DSGMC members are custodians of the Sikh religious and educational institutions in the Capital.

The DSGMC president and Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) Delhi unit chief, Mr Avtar Singh Hit, said that his party favours implementation of the Supreme Court order, even though the directive was not mandatory on them.

“Our party would procure an affidavit from the candidates, who are given tickets, about their assets and criminal records, if any. And these would be available in public domain,” he said.

The pro-Tohra, Shiromani Akali Dal Delhi president, Mr Paramjeet Singh Sarna, also said that his party would procure affidavits from candidates before giving them tickets.

Both the faction leaders said that they would not give a ticket to any person who has a criminal record, as such individuals give a bad name to the institution.

The general secretary of the DSGMC, Mr Kulmohan Singh, said strict enforcement of the court order would strengthen the people’s faith in such institutions, which have been losing their moral high ground over the years.

The Directorate of Gurdwara Election, which would conduct the polls, however, cannot enforce the apex court directive, as the orders have not been issued to it. Nor can it demand affidavits from the candidates. Implementation of the court’s directive would call for an amendment to the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Act, 1971, which has to be carried out by the Delhi government.

Even as they express unanimous views on the Apex Court order, the Akali factions continued to levy allegations of corruption and misdeeds against each other. The allegations range from swindling of the gurdwara funds for personal and party use to surrendering DSGMC land for a premium…

Observers said the election to DSGMC could become a benchmark, if the Akali factions enforce the court orders in spirit.

The affidavits would provide a glimpse into the lives of the candidates, who would control gurdwaras, schools, colleges and hospitals.

The DSGMC comprises of 56 members and the general elections are held for 46 wards in the National Capital Territory. Four members from the Singh Sabhas, one from the SGPC and the five Jathedars of the five Takhts in the country are members of the committee. Except for the five Jathedars, all others have voting rights.



Most parts of Delhi sweat it out
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 14
“If the erratic supply of electricity continues for a few days more you will see us take to the streets,” says Patparganj businessman Rajendra Tripathi reminding you of power riots of the past. His woes were echoed on Tuesday by residents of east and south Delhi localities who had to sweat it out for better part of the day, the sweltering heat and the humidity on account of a late evening drizzle not making things any better. The worst affected areas were IP Extension, Laxmi Nagar, Nizamuddin, Green Park, South Extension, Defence Colony, Lajpat Nagar, Malviya Nagar, Saket, Dwaraka, Rohini and Janakpuri.

Slamming the government for allowing things to come to such a pass, a BJP leader said small commercial areas and residential areas were also having electricity cut for four hours each every morning and evening. “The government should have anticipated as much and procured additional power from other sources much earlier,” he said. He added that many parts of Delhi were facing load shedding of eight to 10 hours and up to 11 hours in industrial areas.

DVB sources, however, say power supply had been restored in most localities. According to DVB sources, the demand at 1700 hours was 2,627 MW and peak demand 2,807 (1300 hours.) Load shedding was to the tune of 160 MW. They said DVB generation capacity for the day was at 326 MW and at Badarpur 626 MW.

Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit had in the last fortnight met with Union Power Minister Suresh Prabhu and also reviewed the performance of the energy situation in the Capital. It had been announced then that 100 MW of extra power had been secured to tide over the crisis and that purchase of power from other states or central power utilities were being expedited.

Reeling under an acute shortage of power, the DVB had announced a load shedding schedule. A time-table was accordingly drawn up and duly advertised in newspapers. And although DVB sources say the schedule has been discontinued, colonies in east Delhi have had to go without electricity for more hours than other areas because, according to them, east Delhi with its numerous small industries and unauthorised colonies is notorious for power thefts.

Another problem confronting the DVB is the rampant theft of electricity. Thrilled by the “excellent results” offered by vigorous night operations, DVB sources say posh residential colonies and industrial areas would continue to come for special attention from enforcement squads during these late-night raids. Distribution engineers have been specifically told to identify pockets that are theft-prone.

Where two years back the DVB was recovering about Rs 175 crore as revenue assessed for theft bills, it is now realising over Rs 325 crore. Officials say the rising incidence of detection of thefts in “posh” areas is a disturbing trend. “One had erroneously come to believe that only the unauthorised villages and JJ clusters accounted for a majority of theft cases but the menace has not spared the affluent sections of society,” says an official.



The mystery of missing text books: NCERT 
prime suspect
Smriti Kak

New Delhi, May 14
After receiving flak for the changes made in the curriculum, the NCERT is now in the line of fire for not being able to provide new books on time.

While the NCERT officials maintain that the books are ready and available, the schools have a different story to tell.

“Till about a week back class XI students who study in the Hindi medium were not able to get books. They used to come to us for their mathematics books.

Even the English medium children found it difficult to procure books. We had to teach these students from reference books like the one by R D Sharma. Now, the schools have closed for vacations, so we are hoping that things will improve”, said a Maths teacher in Sarvodaya Vidyalaya, West Delhi.

Students of classes VI and IX had to bear the brunt of the non-availability of textbooks. “ I bought second hand texts of Social Science for my daughter who is in class VI. The book store keepers have been telling us that they are not printing the new books as they fear the syllabus might change next year as well”, pointed out Ms. Seema Batra.

Most of the students and teachers in government run schools complained that precious time had been lost due to the absence of text books. “ Before closing for the summer break we have been able to cover just two or three chapters in English. The English texts for course B are not available. Since just the reader was available, we could cover a small portion. Now, we have closed down for two months. Who will compensate us for the time that is lost?” complained an English teacher who teaches class VI students.

Some of the public schools have also resorted to “innovative means” to tide over the crisis. Said the Principal of Amity International, Saket, Mrs. Bharti Sharma, “ We have implemented the curriculum as per the guidelines laid down by the Supreme Court. Instead of the books that are not available, we are using xeroxed material and handing it over to the students”.

The NCERT, however, maintains that the books are available for subjects, except the ones that have been stayed by the Supreme Court. It maintains that books for those classes, where the old syllabus continues, are available, as they only needed reprinting. The Supreme Court has stayed the release of new texts for Hindi

for classes I, III, VI, IX and XI, Social Sciences for classes VI and IX and History for class XI.

The NCERT also claims that they have made special arrangements for the schools to pick up books from the sales counter set up in their office on all working days. 



Chimneys turn residential areas into hell-holes
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, May 14
Industry is the lifeline of Faridabad’s economy. That is an old hat. However, the recent use of residential areas for industrial operations and the failure to install effluent treatment plants (ETP) have led to disastrous results. The whole activity has caused heavy pollution of both water and air. In a recent drive, the district authorities have sealed about six units, operating in the residential areas or violating the pollution control norms.

While there is no official survey been to detect how many industrial units - medium and small- have been operating in the non-confirming areas, it is learnt that up to 10,000 units, including small and cottage, have been functioning in various residential colonies at present.

They are mostly concentrated in the colonies that have come up in the past two or three decades on the western side of the National Highway No. 2 (Mathura Road), as the eastern part of the town had the majority of urban sectors developed by the Haryana Urban Development Authority (Huda).

Ballabgarh and Old Faridabad zone of the town have also such units, which include about 250 electroplating units, stated to be responsible for making the underground water unpotable.

A team of officials led by the Deputy Commissioner raided a colony in Sector-21-D here recently and found that two units, including a dyeing factory, were operating.

These units had reportedly been paying all kinds of taxes and even got a certificate from the Municipal Corporation Faridabad (MCF) that these were located in industrial areas and had been issued a ‘No objection certificate’ for that.

The matter was taken up seriously and it was found that a zonal taxation officer (ZTO) of the MCF had given the permission to these units illegally on behalf of the corporation. While the ZTO has been chargesheeted, it is learnt that the pollution control board and the environment department had been issuing the NOC to these units for the past 25 years.

The district authorities admit that due to corruption, several more units may be operating in non-conforming areas.

The state government had directed the authorities to stop the registration of units in the non-conforming areas about a year and six months ago. But the residential areas like Pali Road, Bata Chowk, Nangla, Gonchhi Saran, Gandhi Colony, Mujesar, Sanjay Colony, Jawahar Colony, Dabua Colony, Parvatiya Colony, NH-I and NH-5 of the NIT have several such units.

The units deal in rubber, steel parts, stamping, casting, steel cutting and lathe packing.



Panipat gets set for export cluster status
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Panipat, May 14
Panipat is all set to become the “town of export excellence” under a new policy – cluster development programme (CDP), announced by the Commerce Minister, Mr Murasoli Maran, recently as part of the Exim Policy 2202.

The textile exports are set to soar with the local centre of Textiles Committee, being run under the aegis of the Ministry of Textiles, is forwarding the preliminary perspective plan for 2002-2003 to the textile ministry, Mr Koteswara Rao, Inspector of the committee, has sent the proposal to the ministry. Mr Rao has been appointed a CDP agent, it is reliably learnt.

The Exim Policy mentioned that a number of towns in specific geographical locations had emerged as dynamic locations, handsomely contributing to India’s exports. These ‘industrial clusters’ had become globally renowned manufacturing bases.

“It is necessary to grant recognition to the industrial cluster items with a view to maximising their export profiles and help upgrading them to move in the higher value markets,” the policy added.

With that end in view, the minister, while unveiling the policy in New Delhi, announced that a beginning was being made to consider ‘industrial clusters’ towns such as Tirupur (Tamil Nadu) for hosiery, Panipat for woollen blankets and Ludhiana for woollen knitwear.

Once implemented, the CDP would bring certain incentives to the industry, which in turn, would help in pushing up the exports. The units covered under the CDP would be eligible for all the benefits under the Export Promotion Credit Guarantee scheme. Talking to the ‘NCR Tribune’ about the benefits of the scheme, Mr Rao said that financial assistance would be available under the scheme to export promotion councils, industry and trade associations and other eligible entities. The assistance would be for setting up common showrooms and warehouses abroad.



Bail plea in Nitish case to come up on May 17
Our Correspondent

Ghaziabad, May 14
The bail application of Vikas and Vishal Yadav, the main accused in Nitish Katara kidnapping and murder case will be taken up by the court on May 17. It was decided by the court after hearing the advocates of both the parties to the dispute.

On February 16 this year, Nitish Katara, son of a senior IAS officer, who had come to attend a marriage reception in Ghaziabad under Kavi Nagar police station area, was reportedly kidnapped and later murdered near Dadri as the brothers had objected to his dancing with their sister at the wedding.

Another associate, Shukdev Pehelwan had reportedly assisted them in the murder. The body was discovered a few days later in an isolated place in the area. Shukdev Pehlwan is still absconding. He has been declared a proclaimed offender. Nitish’s mother Mrs Neelam Katara had filed an FIR against the son and nephew of the member of Parliament, Mr DP Yadav, for having killed her son. The duo were arrested at a small railway station near Gwalior under the provisions of the Arms Act and were subsequently brought here on remand. The brothers had denied having a hand in the murder of the executive of a multinational.



Bar association chief ‘ousted’ amidst ruckus

Jhajjar, May 14
Amidst uproarious scenes, the meeting of the District Bar Association (DBA) deposed its incumbent president, Mr Satish Chahar, and installed the secretary of the association, Mr Krishan Kadian, as the acting president today.

According to sources, the meeting of the DBA was convened to discuss the membership of the association and election of its office-bearers. A majority of the members contended that certain members, who have not been practising here and have joined the bar associations at other places, should be debarred from voting in the elections here. They held that the names of around 150 such members, who are not practising here, should be deleted with immediate effect.

Advocate Mahender Gulia, a member of the DBA, said that after the elections of the office-bearers, Mr Satish Chahar returned to the meeting and misbehaved with some members. Another member and former president of the association, Mr Kapoor Singh Sahrawat, denied that any untoward incident had occurred at the meeting. He also denied that the office-bearers had been replaced.

Mr Krishan Kadian and Mr Satish Chahar could not be contacted for their statements. OC



Terrorist attacks on selected targets likely
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 14
There are intelligence reports that some terrorist outfits may attack selected targets in the Capital, the Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, Mr Vidyasagar Rao, informed the Lok Sabha.

However, the minister said, the intelligence inputs received by the Delhi Police had not specifically suggested that such attacks would be carried out by using cars fitted with red beacon lights. Mr Rao said the use of such lights on the top of the vehicles was not permissible except in specified cases. During 2001 and 2002 (up to April 15), he said that 205 vehicle owners/drivers were prosecuted by the Delhi Police for violating these provisions.

Indraprastha Guru Gobind University in the Capital was discriminating against the Kashmiri migrants by leaving out the word ‘Hindus’ from its entrance test forms, the BJP MP, Mr Madan Lal Khurana, said today.

Raising the matter during zero hour in Lok Sabha, he said against the column meant for Kashmiri migrants, the choices given were Muslim, Sikh and others. “There is no mention of Hindus,” he said.

Highlighting the problems of Kashmiri migrants in Delhi and Jammu, the BJP leader said that most of the families were living in one-room tenements and had no privacy. The government should be directed to improve their lot, he added. Mr Satyavrat Chaturvedi (Congress) said that the Kashmiri migrants also included 100,000 Muslims and Sikhs, who were living in Delhi, Jaipur, Bangalore and Gwalior. They were forced out of Jammu and Kashmir due to the Pakistani-sponsored terrorism in that state, he added.

In all, 350,000 Kashmiri Pundits had become migrants since 1989. The government should be asked to assess the losses of all Kashmiri migrants and compensate them, Mr Chaturvedi said.

The national Capital was currently facing drinking water scarcity of 150 million gallons per day (MGD), Parliament was informed today. “The total water requirement for Delhi is about 800 MGD while the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) is supplying 650 MGD,” Minister of State for Urban Development Bandaru Dattatreya said in a written reply in the Lok Sabha. Due to constraints of the availability of raw water, further augmentation of supply was becoming difficult, he added.

The government had agreed in principle to regularise unauthorised colonies, which have come up before March 31, 1993, Mr Dattatreya said in response to another question. Regarding the Delhi Government’s request for extension of the cut-off date to March 31, 1998 and modification of the guidelines for regularisation of unauthorised colonies, the minister said that there had been no change in the government’s stand in this regard so far.

The Urban Development Ministry, he said, had set up a committee to examine the existing guidelines for regularisation and suggest modifications, if required.

There had been an increase in unauthorised constructions in the Capital due to various reasons, including a large influx of people from outside, Mr Dattatreya said. However, the Municipal Corporation of Delhi was making all efforts to apply mandatory by-laws to avoid the menace of unauthorised construction, he added.

As many as 37 IAS officers, who were on deputation at the Centre and have been reverted to their respective states, still occupied the accommodation allotted to them in Delhi, the Minister told the House. Eviction proceedings had already been initiated against seven of these officers while similar action was under consideration in the case of three other officers. The remaining officers had been allowed to retain accommodation for a permissible period, he added. 



Peeved power consumers get Cong backing
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, May 14
The Congress leaders today joined hands with the 31-member Action Committee formed by the electricity consumers in protest against the forcible installation of electronic meters at Kharkhauda town in the district.

According to a report, the Action Committee has given a call to the people to observe a complete bandh and take part in the proposed demonstration on May 16 to register their protest against the alleged police lathi-charge on the electricity consumers who have come to the office of the SDE UHBVN to return the electronic meters.

The members of the Action Committee as well as the Congress leaders are touring the urban and rural areas to make the Kharkhaud bandh and the demonstration a success.

The Haryana Pradesh Congress Committee (HPCC) president, Mr Bhupinder Singh Hodda, and other Congress leaders will also take part in the proposed demonstration. The police, it may be recalled, had used force on the electricity consumers protesting against the installation of electronic meters by removing the old ones at Kharkhauda town.

Many people alleged that the police had beaten up some women including a pregnant woman and other consumers during the protest. This was the reason for constituting the 31-member Action Committee and launching the agitation on this issue.

The registration of a criminal case against 91 electricity consumers, including some Congress leaders, was another cause of the calling of the Kharkhauda bandh on May 16 next.

Meanwhile, the district and police administration are taking steps to deal with the situation arising out of the Kharkhauda bandh and the proposed demonstration on May 16.

The Chief Minister, Mr Om Parkash Chautala, is also visiting the HSIDC complex at Kundli village that day. It is stated that additional police force will be summoned from other districts to maintain the law and order situation.



He writes to put ‘jinns’ of superstition 
back in the bottle
Rana A. Siddiqui

Shahid A. Chaudhury hit the headlines in America, London, Canada, South Africa and Pakistan a few months back for writing ‘Jinn — Who are they??’, published by Regency Publications, New Delhi. This is his fourth book and first on the topic. What is so great about this book?

It tells you about that “creature that crawls out of a bottle on some beach patronised by Sindbad”, as the general impression goes. The 37-year-old author presents it in a dramatic form, keeping both sides in view — those who believe that it exists in different forms and those who don’t. The author presents his views in the light of Quran. For him, the book is a “jehad against superstition”.

He first posted the topic on a website, which was read by a London-based young people’s progressive groups of arts and theatres, The Next Step. The group sought permission from the author to stage the play. Permission was granted, and the play soon saw countless shows at different venues in England. The success of the show spread like wildfire. Subsequently, the play was also staged at various venues in America, South Africa, Canada and Pakistan.

The book, written in a drama form and priced at only Rs 35, vanished from the stalls in India as soon as it saw the light of the day so much so that it had to go for a reprint. In all the above-mentioned countries, the book received rave reviews. “But I wonder, no Indian newspaper or magazine has reviewed it so far,” says the author wistfully.

An authority and ardent admirer of poet Iqbal, the author is also the first to introduce the famous Meerut-based poet, Hafeez Merathi, in Devanagari script. He met the poet shortly before his death last year. The book was well received amongst the Hindi-reading sections of the country who were deprived of the poet’s close-to-life poetry, as it were, written in Urdu.

Shahid A. Chaudhury loves adventures and challenges, especially when it comes to present mystified topics. Hence, in his first book, ‘Sufism is not Islam’ (from the same publication four years ago), he challenges the definition of Sufism that described it as ‘Islamic mysticism’. During 786th Urs in Ajmair a few years ago, this book proved to be a hot topic of debate and discussion on various seminars and symposiums. After prolonged discussions, the intellectuals had found the contents too strong too raise objections at. So they decided that no reaction should be made on it and they remained quiet.

“I wonder, the wisdom that Salman Rushdie’s ‘Satanic Verses’ should have been bestowed upon, my book was meted with. The debate should have been brought to the public but scholars with little knowledge feared it would gain publicity as the reality of Sufism would have been unveiled before the common people,” he says.

The writer’s second book, ‘The Martyrs of Meerut’, based on a research work on freedom fighters of 1857, also received acclaim for its finer details of both known and obscure freedom fighters from the city.

This fitness freak is also an accomplished chess and badminton player. “If I had not been a writer, I would definitely have been a player,” he says. This adventurous creator of simple prose has read “all scriptures of all religion and finally come to a conclusion that the same cosmic message flows though all of them with an exception that Quran has no interpolation”. He goes to the extent of saying that the Chapter 6 of the Geeta even explains the entire method of offering Salat (namaz).

“A political journalist for a living,” Mr Chaudhury had worked with various newspapers and magazines like ‘Dainik Jagran’, ‘Maya’, ‘Probe’ etc. This largely self-taught author is also a double MA in Political Science and English Literature as well as a student of Law. Not only that, he has also written film scripts for “three out-and-out commercial movies” the names of which he refuses to disclose at this juncture. An avid reader, Mr Chaudhury likes Thomas Gray’s ‘An Elegy Written on a Country Churchyard” and Thomas Hardy’s `Tess’ the best.

Having a tremendous sense of ‘literary humour’, the writer has the capacity to answer your questions in couplets of countless poets he has read. Now working at a senior position for an all-India feature news service, this Meerut-based prolific writer also writes editorial for a few well-known Hindi dailies from UP at present.

His next plan? “I am editing (noted Hindi poet) Abay Kumar’s ‘Abhay’s Mystic Poetry’ which will soon see the light of the day,” he tells you. 



Multi-faceted Chandramukhi is passionate about social works
Smriti Kak

The mere recollection of the role of Chandramukhi lights up her face. After nearly 40 years of having played the role, Dr Vyajantimala Bali still considers it her best performance. “I am absolutely in love with the character. Chandramukhi is a very loveable character unlike Paro, who was vain because she had Devdas’ love”.

A dancer, an actress, a stint as a politician and now a social worker, who devotes her time and efforts to care for the needy, life has offered some of the best roles to the woman who stole hearts with her mind-blowing looks and acting prowess. Whether it was Madhumati or Amrapalli or even the Radha of Sangam, Vyajantimala managed to immortalise the character she played.

“Devdas was the turning point in my career. Till then, I was just a dancer. But after Devdas, I became an actress. The character of Chandramukhi was real and playing the part, a challenge.”

Passionate about dance, which is her first love, Dr Bali is trying to save the old and forgotten dance schools from being relegated in to the coves of darkness. “I do stage shows and even teach dedicated youngsters. For me, it is always quality above quantity

”Perhaps, it is for this reason she can no more identify with the present film industry. “Everything has changed. Some things have changed for the better, but the lack of quality is also visible. If you look at the dance numbers, you will see they are all exercising in a row. Where are the mudras, where is the expression? In our times, whether it was classical or folk, the dance number was performed according to its demands.”

The actress rues the fact that the present-day heroines are not setting a healthy example for others to emulate. “It pains me to see the clothes they are wearing. Why are we looking to the West, when they are actually learning their lessons from us. Whether it is yoga or dance, the westerners are looking at India and we are losing sight of our own culture. I hope this phase passes soon.”

Vyajantimala also runs a charity in the memory of her late husband Dr C. Bali.

“Along with my son Suchendra, I have been actively working for the betterment of the needy.”

A doting mother to her son, she is eagerly awaiting his Bollywood debut. “Suchendra is soon going to be on the silver screen.”

The multi-faceted woman, who is thankful that her upbringing was firmly rooted to the ground, is currently dabbling in writing. “I am writing something, but it is too soon to give out the details.” Till then, the fans of Chandramukhi will have to wait.

Starry dreams 

Pankaj: Thinking of Bollywood.

It was August 1999. Young studs like him were looking forward to the Graviara’s Mr India contest. This man applied for it and was short-listed for the D-day. For Pankaj Bhatnagar, a student at the Delhi College of Arts, it was a turning point in his life. 
Though he did not make it to the top slot, he went into the final round and was duly noticed by the advertising world. Soon many advertisement proposals were lined up before him. Since then, he has modelled for ‘Arodent’ toothpaste, ‘Le Mode’ and many exclusive brands. 

To cap it, he has recently signed a contract with SS Jewellers. He is a great fan of super model Milind Soman and like him, is toying with the idea of entering the Bollywood.

(Input by Nalini Ranjan) 

Body odour

Do people crinkle their nose when you have just inched ahead to shake hands with them? Does the conversation steer towards deodorants, when you were discussing Afghanistan? Did anyone ever tell you that a surest way of committing suicide is to smell your underarms?

If the answer to anyone of these, if not all of these, is in the affirmative, its time you went on a hunt. Body odour and sweat seem to accompany the scorching summer sun.

Yet, there is no reason why you should send others scurrying for an oxygen mask.

Bacteria decompose the sweat in the body to cause body odour.

The sweat glands distributed all over the body are mainly responsible for perspiration and are activated by temperature, exercise and stress.

So to keep these bacteria from raising a stink, it is necessary to wear not just the right smells-perfumes, it is also essential to wear the right fabrics and colours. Clothes that allow the body to breathe should find a place in your wardrobe. Fabrics that allow the sweat to evaporate and air to circulate are the ideal summer wear.

It’s bye-bye to silks and satins and let the cool cottons that are also a fad in the cosmos of fashion, do the trick. You can pick up your shirts, kurtas and even trousers from anywhere ranging from Janpath to the marts, like Fab India or Cottage Emporium. Ill-fitting clothes can cause discomfort, so go for clothes that do not cling.

To keep your feet from turning into smell bombs, wear sandals instead of shoes. Dampness caused by sweat in the shoes, is an excellent breeding ground for germs as well as pungent smells. Shoes should be regularly aired and should be sprinkled with

talcum powder. Wear clean socks and dust your feet with talcum powder, to keep them dry and moisture free.

Nothing helps you beat the sticky summer better than a good scrub. During summers, it is essential to maintain hygiene, regular washing is the buzzword, forget the ‘Sunday ke Sunday business’. Shower with an antiseptic soap and try to use aromatic oils in the bath. Lavender oil and rosemary can be used to smell nice long after the refreshing bath is over. Rubbing a small amount of perfume in washed clean hair, helps to keep the hair from smelling bad. Application of topical antibiotic cream or a few drops of chlorophyll also help in reducing body odour. You can take a few drops to chlorophyll and rub them on the trouble spots. However, if the problem persists and your so called ‘24 hour–protection- against- odour deodorants’ fail to live up to the mark, it is time to head for a medical practitioner.

Fashion week

A model strikes a pose during the NDIFW.
A model strikes a pose during the NDIFW. 

It assured us that this one was going to be an event to be remembered. But the feedback that came calling is a far cry from what the Delhities were looking for. The NDIFW is here and so is the beautiful Miss Greece, who seems to be the only selling point of the event.

Our desi gurus, Rohit Bal and Ashish Soni, who were supposed to be a part of the event, bowed out. Reasons, well, personal commitments. While Soni quipped that he was far too busy with his own show that was held in the Cottage Emporium sometime back and that it was the season of doing business with his firangi connections, Bal could not be reached for his comment.

Then model Sapna Kumar, who was again touted to be a part of the mega event, expressed her ire at being linked to the show. She has bowed out, said the model. The crowd was a trifle disappointing.

A member of the fashion frat, requesting anonymity, offered, “this is what happens when you leave the professionals out”. Wonder what the organisers have to say.

Dream offer

Having turned 30, PP Jewellers has launched a mega scheme, ‘Dream offer-free car with jewellery’.

The company, with the annual sales exports accounting to half of its domestic sales turn over, was in the spotlight recently for having sponsored the premiere of the forthcoming ‘Badhai Ho Badhai’. The film’s star cast, including Anil Kapoor, Shilpa Shetty and Kirti Reddy, were present for the premiere. PP Jewellers is one of the fastest growing brand in the country and plans to open three more showrooms in the Capital within the next three months.

Gym- friendly body

For those who wish to sweat it out in the gym rather than in the hot summer sun, here is some good news. Olympia has opened its doors to the health-conscious Delhiites. Says the owner Rahul Narang, “We would help you achieve your goals, whether they are to get fit, stay fit, get relief from stress or just maintain a healthy lifestyle after recovering from illness or an injury.” A health club that also promises valet parking, five star treatment and a personalised welcome at the reception, Olympia is located in Delhi’s posh GK II. 



66 and going solo on scooter to Ladakhi heights
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 14
Leading scooter manufacturing company LML Ltd today felicitated Mr Jitender Prakash Bhatnagar, a 66-year-old retired teacher from MMH Inter College, Ghaziabad, who is all set once more to scale the challenging heights of Nubra Valley on his 14-year-old LML scooter.

The objective, to break his own earlier record! This brave and fearless man, fondly referred to as Jaanbaaz, has to his credit 33 scooter expeditions, of which 25 have been in difficult mountainous terrain. Mr Bhatnagar’s daring ‘escapades’ at the age of 60 plus have been acknowledged in the Limca Book of Records.

His notable expeditions include the one in 1993 when he established a record by becoming the oldest man to ride solo on his scooter to Khardung La and back, covering 2,686 km. In 1996, he earned the distinction of being the ‘first senior citizen’ to reach Pangong Lake, scaling a height of 14,258 ft., covering 3,003 km on his LML scooter. Mr Bhatnagar also participated in the Himalayan Scooter Safari in 1993.

His passion for travelling has not only taken him through the length and breadth of the country but also to Nepal and Bhutan as well on a scooter. Ultimately, it is the heights of Ladhakh that fascinate him the most.

Though he has proven his mettle, the present expedition is targeted at covering the parts that he has not covered so far in Ladhakh. He will visit Khardung La and Sindhu Darshan, which is located at a height of more than 10,000 ft and is significant since it is the place from where the Indus flows into India.

Mr Bhatnagar hopes that he would be able to instil the spirit of adventure in the youth of today through his expeditions.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Bhatnagar said, “My expeditions are a message to the young and the old that one never tires or gets old if one takes efforts to maintain oneself. Maintenance is the key for man and machine. My scooter and I have been companions to each other in these difficult times and have supported each other because we have taken care of ourselves.”

Mr R. D. Jayal, senior vice-president, corporate communications, LML Limited, said, “I am proud to have such a loyalist of our brand.

We have been associated with Mr Bhatnagar since the last three years, and wish him all the best in his expeditions.” 



No end to water woes in sight 
Bijendra Ahlawat
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, May 14
The number of persons and delegations of residents protesting outside the office of the Mayor and the Municipal Corporation over the shortage of drinking water are increasing each day. Residents of at least a dozen areas have demonstrated in the past three days demanding ample supply of potable water.

The women residents of F Block of NIT alleged that there had been no supply of pipe water for the past two weeks. While they tried to meet the Commissioner of the Municipal Corporation, they were asked to contact the Mayor, who later assured that their complaint would be taken care of. Residents of Khori Jamalpur alleged that the authorities had not started the operation of a new tubewell to provide water to the people in the scorching summer.

Women residents of NH-3, E-Block of NH-2 and some other colonies also lodged their complaints about shortage of drinking water. Women of some other colonies of the NIT area had broken the pitchers recently in the protest against the shortage of water supply. It is learnt that while the population of about 13 lakh covered by the Municipal Corporation here require at least 535 lakh gallons of water everyday, the availability was just 380 lakh gallons at present.

While there is a shortage of about 150 lakh gallons, the much-touted scheme of Renniwell water augmentation project had been running much behind the schedule. The project, which was earlier slated to be completed in June last year, may not be ready before even the next year’s summer.

The scheme, costing about Rs 42 crore, is likely to provide at least 10 lakh gallons of water everyday in the first phase. The authorities claim that supply from the scheme could be improved several times, once the project was over. Renniwell is jointly financed by the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) and the MCF. It is claimed that ‘Renniwell’ water would be made available in October. It is reported that the requirement of water per person, per day has been around 30 gallons in the town, but the supply has not improved in the ratio of demand and population.



CBI inquiry into HPSC selections demanded
Vipin Sharma

Rohtak, May 14
Mr Balraj Kaushik, a former general secretary of the Haryana Pradesh Congress Committee, has demanded a CBI inquiry into the alleged large-scale irregularities in the recent selections made by the Haryana Public Service Commission.

In a letter to the President of India, copies of which have also been sent to the Haryana Governor, Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court, Director, CBI, Prime Minister and the AICC president on Monday, the Congress leader expressed surprise that only the kith and kin of politicians, bureaucrats and influential people were selected for the appointment to the state civil services by the commission ignoring all other meritorious candidates.

He said that the notable resemblance between the official list of selected candidates and that issued by an MLA, Mr Karan Singh Dalal, to the Press prior to the release of the official list, had confirmed that the state government had obliged its near and dear ones through the commission. Mr Kaushik said that it was very unfortunate for the state that the officers to such coveted posts were selected in this unfair manner.



Writers pay tributes to Kaifi Azmi
Our Correspondent

Ghaziabad, May 14
The members of the Ghaziabad’s Pragti Sheel Lekhak Sang (Progressive Writers Association) paid rich tributes to the memory of noted Urdu poet and lyricist Kaifi Azami and observed a two minutes’ silence for peace of the departed soul at a meeting of the sang called to condole the death of the great poet.

Litterateur S R Yatri said that Kaifi Azami, as a poet, was much alive to the realities of life and his poetry reflected a pragmatic approach and the common man’s problems as also the social problems of our time. He always was a crusader for the society.

Noted senior journalist Kuldip Talwar recalled the refrain of Azmi who used to say “I was born during slavery, lived during independence and will die during an era of socialism”. 



Two get life imprisonment for murdering neighbour
Tribune news Service

Faridabad, May 14
A fast track court here has sentenced two persons to life imprisonment and a fine of Rs 20,000 each. As per the prosecution, Deepak, resident of NH-5 (NIT) here, had given Rs 10,000 on interest to his neighbours, Pawan and Ajit, in 2000. While the principal amount was returned, there was a dispute over the interest of Rs 250. Deepak was murdered on November 9, 2000 while he was on his way home. The accused, Pawan and Ajit, had confessed to have killed Deepak after they were arrested.

Schoolboy run over

A-12-year-old schoolboy of Sanjay Colony was run over by a water tanker near Mujesar here on Monday. The victim was coming back from school on his cycle when the accident occurred. The boy, identified as Gaurav who was a student of St John’s School, succumbed to his injuries on the way to hospital. He was the son of a transporter. A case has been booked.

Meanwhile, two persons committed suicide by consuming sulphas tablets in separate incidents on Monday. They have been identified as Satish (18) and Dayachand of Chhainsa and Ballabgarh respectively. Vinod of Chhainsa also died after he consumed an overdose of liquor.

Exam results

Vandna Ahuja of S. D. College, Panipat has got the first position in the first semester examinations of MSc Computer Science (software) in Kurukshetra University by securing 600 out of 700 total marks.

Disclosing this here today, the principal of the College, Mr M. L Gupta, also said that as many as 21 out of 25 students of the college had got first class by securing more than 65 per cent marks. He attributed this success to the dedication of the teaching staff and concentration of the students in their studies.

Workers’ rally

A large number of brick-kiln workers took out a procession here today in protest against the non-payment of wages in accordance with the Minimum Wages Act and alleged indifferent attitude of the district and Labour Department authorities.

Carrying placards and raising anti-government slogans, the workers marched through the main bazars of the city and reached the camp office of the Deputy Commissioner. But the DC directed the police to disperse them.

Thereafter, they reached the office of the ADC but he too failed to resolve the dispute, between the workers and the owners of the brick kilns. When the owners of the brick kilns came out from the office of the ADC, they were allegedly manhandled by women brick-kiln workers.

Members of 19 families from Chhattisgarh have been agitating against the exploitation by a brick-kiln owner and denial of wages to them. Many brick-kiln workers alleged that the authorities of the Labour Department had failed to take any action against the erring owner.

Open darbar

The Haryana Agriculture Minister, Mr Jaswinder Singh Sandhu, redressed seven of the 10 complaints received at a monthly meeting of the District Public Relations and Grievances Committee here today. According to a report, the minister also ordered the filing of an FIR against the employees of a cooperative society at Bhatana Zaffarbad village who were selling sub-standard seeds to the farmers.

Aid to the old

Mr Harinder Singh Malik, a member of the Rajya Sabha, distributed wheat, rice and other household articles among 50 aged persons at Kakroi village, 9 km from here, on Monday. According to a report, Mr Singh also gave away cash to these persons on the occasion. Speaking on the occasion, he gave the details of the schemes launched by the INLD government for the welfare of the aged persons in the state.

Godown set afire

A godown of medicines was set on fire by some thieves at Murthal Adda here on Monday night. According to a report, the thieves entered the godown but failed to take away the medicines from there. Thereupon, they set ablaze the godown and fled. The police have registered a case and further investigations are in progress. No arrest has been made in this connection. The loss is still being ascertained by the owner of the godown.

Falls from train

A passenger, Mr S. C Chawla, fell down while trying to board a moving train at Sandal Kalan railway station, about 5 km from here, on Monday.

The seriously injured passenger was rushed to the local civil hospital from where he was sent to the Delhi Trauma Centre for further treatment. He belonged to Karnal.

According to another report, a youth, Revinder of UP, sustained injuries when he was hit by an unknown vehicle on the Sonepat-Meerut road near Khewra village, 13 km from here, on Monday. The injured was immediately hospitalised and stated to be out of danger.



Five gangsters nabbed, robbery bid foiled
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, May 14
With the arrest of five dreaded criminals, the Kharkhauda police foiled an attempt to commit a robbery on the Sonepat-Kharkhauda road near Rohna village, about 20 km from here, on Monday night.

According to a report, the arrested criminals were identified as Kartar alias Chandi, Joginder alias Jugga, Karamvir alias Karma, all residents of Bhainswal Kalan village, Parveen alias Kala of Turkpur village and Sandeep alias Kala of Mundka village (Delhi). The sixth suspect, Krishan alias Kala of Bhainwal Kalan, however, managed to escape under the cover of darkness. The police also recovered two country-made pistols, six live cartridges and iron rods from the arrested criminals. A jeep (HR-06A/6495) was also seized.

Giving the details of the arrests, the Superintendent of Police, Mr Paramjit Singh Ahlawat, told mediapersons here today that a patrolling party got a secret information that six armed criminals were sitting in a deserted place under the kikar trees on the Rohna road and planning to commit a robbery.

He said that the police immediately swung into action and conducted a raid on the spot and succeeded in arresting five of the six suspects. Two suspects, Parveen Kumar and Sandeep, during the course of interrogation, confessed to their involvement in a car theft from Jawalaheri market of Delhi. The SP disclosed that a case had been registered against all the culprits and a hunt was on to apprehend the sixth suspect.

Referring to another case, the SP disclosed that the Gohana police had arrested a youth, Sube, of Bal Jatan village in Panipat district and seized 250 gram of charas from him. A case under the NDPS Act had been registered against him.

He also disclosed that the Sonepat Sadar police had arrested a youth, Sant Kumar, of Kheri Dahiya village and recovered 24 bottles of liquor. A case under the Excise Act had been registered against him.



One dead, five hurt as robbers run riot at 
workers’ quarters 
Our Correspondent

Rewari, May 14
One person was killed and cash and ornaments worth several thousands of rupees were looted by three unidentified armed youths from the workers’ quarters of an ice factory near Banipur Chowk on the Delhi-Jaipur highway, about 12 km from here, in the wee hours of Sunday. Five others, including two women, were injured after they were struck by the assailants when they offered resistance.

The assailants forced their entry into the workers’ quarters and hit brutally the victims with iron rods. While one of the workers, Madan, died, three others — Richhpal, Sheetal Bhagat and Dinesh — as well as wives of two workers were injured seriously. The assailants locked them up in a room and decamped with the booty comprising cash and ornaments worth several thousands of rupees. All the victims belonged to Mainpuri district in UP.

Once the robbers disappeared, the injured workers broke open the door and somehow informed the police who got them hospitalised first at Bawal and then at Rewari from where they were later referred to PGIMS Rohtak. They are stated to be out of danger.

The Kasaula police have registered a case of causing death by grievous hurt, wrongful confinement and theft under Sections 459, 460, 342 and 380 of the IPC and also launched a manhunt to apprehend the culprits. The factory had been lying closed for a long time.



10,000 litres of diesel seized

Ghaziabad, May 14
The Trade Tax Department has seized 10,000 litres of diesel and ‘masoor dal’ worth Rs 2.88 lakh when these were being transported illegally in the Loni area.

The Deputy Commissioner, Trade Tax, Mr A. K. Gupta, disclosed that trade tax officer Mohit Sharma had seized the large quantity of diesel from a tanker which was being driven on a katcha road in the Loni area to avoid the trade tax checkpost in Loni. The seized diesel was worth Rs 1.40 lakh, Mr Gupta said. The consignment belonged to a Rajnagar firm. A penalty of Rs 85,000 was imposed on the tanker for the evasion of tax.

The vigilance wing of the Trade Tax Department had also seized masoor dal worth Rs 2.88 lakh. Trade tax officer D. K. Sachan posted with the mobile team was instrumental in capturing this consignment which is said to have belonged to a registered trader. The department had sent a notice to the firm . OC


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