Thursday, May 16, 2002, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


A trickle in taps but tankers overflowing with water
Bijendra Ahlawat
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, May 15
The scorching heat has led to an acute shortage of drinking water in the industrial town. The harassed residents have no choice than to buy water from the private suppliers by paying through the nose. A can of 20 litres is sold for Rs 5 to Rs 10, depending on the demand. The result: private tankers are making a killing in about a dozen colonies of the NIT zone. Hundreds of women, children and men are seen struggling to collect water in cans from various sources in the dog days of the year. Long queues are noticed in parts of Jawahar Colony, Parvatiya Colony, Dabua village and colony, Saran village, Kapra Colony, Nangla Road, Sanjay Nagar, Sanjay Enclave and Nangla enclave, where the residents are seen fidgeting for hours.

“We are spending Rs 50 to 100 daily to get water,” said Trilok Chand Agarwal of B-Block of Jawahar Colony. He said that the residents were not getting ‘khara pani’, let alone potable water in their homes. They had to wait for hours to get water that too after paying for it for the past 10 days.

Harpal Singh, a resident of Parvatiya Colony here said that there had been no supply for the past 20 days. He said that today was the marriage of his daughter and he had no water at home.

He would do anything to get a private tanker, he said, adding that he had contacted the officials of the Municipal Corporation Faridabad (MCF) in this regard a few days ago but there had been no response so far.

Mrs Asha Sharma and Ms Mohan Devi of Sanjay Colony said that they had to travel two to three km daily to get water. The situation had never been so bad earlier. Hundreds of women and children of New Janata Colony and Saran Colony took to streets here on Tuesday and blocked the road for over two hours in protest against the shortage of potable water.

They claimed that they had to wait the whole night and day to check if the supply had been on.

Ironically, where the water is supplied, it is full of foreign bodies. The water supplied by various government tubewells in these colonies and even in Huda sectors is ‘untreated’ and contaminated. A tubewell operator in Nangla area said that supply was often done without use of bleaching powder and chlorination. The taste of water in several colonies was ‘awful’ and it was not fit for drinking. According to physicians, the rise in the cases of waterborne diseases, especially diarrhoea was due to the supply of contaminated water. Over 200 cases of such diseases have reported at the main civil hospitals here in the past fortnight.

Comrade Khem Singh of Kapra Colony, set up way back in 1962, rued the fact that the basic amenities like potable water, roads and drainage were still not available in their colony.

“The only tubewell in the area supplies contaminated water as there is no treatment,” he said.

The MCF, he said, had failed to provide road and sewerage system in one of the oldest colonies of Faridabad. Kamla Devi of Sanjay Enclave said that several children in her colony had been down with either heat stroke or waterborne diseases, as they had to collect water during the day.

Mr Shiv Charan Lal Sharma, a former senior Deputy Mayor and who represents ward No-6 in the MCF claimed that a population of over 1.50 lakh was reeling under the water crisis. The MCF officials had no time to visit the affected areas or provide relief to people, he alleged.

It is also fact that over a dozen tubewells, got bored in some colonies, have not been made operational. This is mainly due to the lack of interest on the part of authorities that these tubewells which could supply thousands of gallons every day have not been given power connections.



Housing Board talks tough with violators
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Panipat, May 15
Bad days seem to be ahead for hundreds of allottees of the Housing Board, Haryana, who have been violating the building bye laws and using their dwelling units for commercial purposes. Now, following a court directive, the board has decided to get tough with the violators and asked them to stop the misuse of the units in three months’ time.

“The court’s directive would be strictly enforced and with that end in mind officials have been told to issue notices and take strict action, including the cancellation of the allotments,” the board Chairman, Mr Krishan Pawar, told the NCR Tribune during a chat at the local PWD Rest House. The units cancelled thus would be taken over by the board and auctioned again, he warned.

It may be recalled that the misuse of the dwelling units for commercial purposes was rampant in all major cities of the state. A substantial number of allottees had virtually turned some part of the dwelling unit into a commercial centre. This illegal activity was having an adverse impact on the business of authorized shopping centres developed by the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) and other private agencies. The commercial activity in the residential areas was also a drain on the exchequer as these units in residential areas pay for power and water at the domestic rate besides evading a host of other taxes.

Mr Pawar claimed that this year housing works worth Rs 29 crore were under way in various cities, including Ambala, Panipat, Gurgaon, Faridabad, Rohtak and Sonepat. This was a record as only works worth Rs 28 crore have been executed in a single year thus far, the Assandh MLA pointed out, adding that the figure this year was likely to touch Rs 50 crore.

And in keeping with the promise of the Haryana Government to provide shelter to the lower strata of society, the thrust was being given to the construction of houses for the economically weaker sections (EWS) and the lower income group (LIG). However, the middle income group (MIG) and higher income group (HIG) was also not being taken care of.

Under a new strategy, the Housing Board was constructing the dwelling units after a detailed survey, which has taken into account the demands of the residents of the city. This was one reason why the occupancy rate of Housing Board units was almost 100 per cent. Also, the recovery rate has gone up to 96% , he claimed.

Mr Pawar said the need for such a strategy had been felt as the previous Congress and HVP governments had constructed houses without taking into account the requirements of residents. This had left 1147 dwelling units without any takers, resulting in revenue loss worth several crores. However, with concerted effort, the board had been able to dispose of about half of such units.



Her travails started here and ended in the US
Jatinder Sharma

Rohtak, May 15
Granting interim bail to Mr Ashok M. Parbhakar, Chief Corporate Marketing Manager, Indian Oil Corporation, and his wife, a Duty Magistrate, Delhi, directed them on May 11 to return the dowry articles of their daughter-in-law, Ms Charu Parbhakar, by May 14.

Mr Parbhakar and his wife were arrested by the Sarojini Nagar Police on May 11 on the basis of a complaint lodged by Mr Rupin Sharma, brother of Ms Charu, alleging that his sister was being harassed and treated cruelly by her husband, Deepak Parbhakar, his parents and sister Monika for extracting more dowry. He further alleged that the dowry articles already given to Ms Charu were being used by them instead of her.

The case will now come up for hearing on May 16 in the court of Mr M. C. Gupta, Metropolitan Magistrate, Delhi.

Ms Charu, the daughter of a senior IAS officer of Himachal Pradesh cadre, was married to Mr Deepak Parbhakar, an employee with the American Express bank, on January 22,1999. Shortly after her marriage, she started complaining that her husband and in-laws were abusing and torturing her and demanding dowry.

Mr Sharma, in his complaint, has alleged that prior to marriage Deepak and his parents had demanded, among other articles, a car. And, at the time of marriage, Deepak and his parents were presented a Maruti 800. This car was gifted to Ms Charu by her parents, but Mr Ashok Parbhakar and his family forced her to transfer the car in the latter’s name.

In June 2000, Deepak shifted to Phoenix (US) on a one-year assignment. Before shifting, he had asked his parents to demand a sum of Rs two lakh in dowry. The girl’s parents expressed their inability to fulfill this demand. Agitated over the rebuff, Deepak and his sister allegedly threatened that henceforth Ms Charu would have to live like a spinster.

Although Ms Charu was not in touch with her husband since December 2000, Mr Ashok Parbhakar told her in January last that she would be going to the US. He also reportedly told her that he would not be able to accompany her. This, the complainant has alleged, was a clear move to mislead Ms Charu and her parents and in pursuance of a criminal conspiracy to isolate and eliminate Ms Charu in the US. Ms Charu left for Phoenix in the first week of February. On March 21, Mr Ashok Parbhakar allegedly got a public notice published in the Hindustan Times, in which, through his advocate, he disowned his son Deepak. The advertisement stated that Mr Parbhakar would not be liable for any claim or action of his said son.

This notice immediately put Ms Charu’s parents on the guard. Through some common friends, Ms Charu’s brother tried to establish contact with his sister and to his horror found that the address given in the public notice was incorrect. They, somehow, traced the couple and asked a friend, Ms Pratima Duggal, to visit Ms Charu in Phoenix.

It turned out that Ms Charu was being virtually held a hostage by her husband at his residence. He had allegedly deprived Ms Charu of her passport, return ticket to Delhi, cash, other valuables and a diary which contained addresses of friends and relatives in the US. Ms Duggal also informed Mr Sharma that Ms Charu was not being given food. She had no resources, not even a pen and paper. However, she had been able to scribble certain things on some tissue and toilet paper.

Following the help extended by Pratima Duggal, Ms Charu moved an application in the Superior Court of the state of Arizona seeking police protection. The North West Phoenix Justice Court on April 8 issued a warrant of protection. On the basis of this, the US police rescued Ms Charu and helped her reach India.



Student saved from being shoved under bus wheel

New Delhi, May 15
The intervention of passengers of a Blue Line bus near Red Fort saved the life of an ITI student in the nick of time; the conductor and the driver of the bus had allegedly bashed up the student and even tried to shove his head under wheel of the bus. The driver, Harinder, and the conductor, who is unidentified, allegedly thrashed the student for pestering them to stop the bus at the scheduled stop.

According to the police, the victim, Pankaj Kumar Dubey (16), was coming from Maujpur in North-East district on a bus plying on route number 205. When the bus reached Red Fort, Pankaj asked the driver to stop the vehicle at the stand. However, the bus was at high speed and the driver refused to oblige. The victim, then, requested the conductor to ask the driver to stop the bus. The conductor, too, did not heed his request.

The refusal to stop the bus led to an altercation inside the vehicle. The altercation provoked the driver into joining the conductor in mauling the student. They not only thrashed him badly, but the driver also asked the conductor to shove the student’s head under the wheel and mow him down. Seeing that the situation had taken a turn for the worse, the other bus passengers intervened and asked the driver and conductor to let go of the student.

One of the passengers, who had a mobile, called he police and the student was freed from the clutches of the driver and the conductor. The driver has been arrested. TNS



HC stays Delhi notification on luxury tax

New Delhi, May 15
The Delhi High Court on Wednesday stayed the Government of NCT of Delhi’s notification imposing luxury tax on certain goods, including cigarettes, in the National Capital Territory under the Delhi Luxury Tax on Commodities Act.

While issuing notice to the Centre, the Government of NCT of Delhi and Commissioner of Sales Tax, a Bench comprising justices SB Sinha and AK Sikri stayed the notification. The Bench was hearing a petition filed by the Indian Tobacco Company (ITC).

Senior advocate DD Thakur, appearing for ITC, said the Supreme Court had granted an interim stay on legislations framed by Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh that imposed similar taxes on cigarettes. He said it was beyond the legislative competence of Delhi Assembly to pass an Act to facilitate imposition of luxury tax on certain goods and a subsequent notification by Lt Governor for its implementation was contrary to Constitutional provisions. Since no Presidential assent for the Act had been taken by the Government of NCT of Delhi before its implementation, Lt Governor’s notification violated the Article 301 of the Constitution, Thakur contended.

The Lt Governor’s notification of April 22 had fixed luxury tax on cigarettes and smoking mixture at 20 and 50 per cent respectively under the provisions of the Act that was passed by the Delhi Assembly on April 9, 2001. The Act also provides for imposition of luxury tax on certain other goods up to 50 per cent, ITC’s petition said.

The Kerala High Court and the Allahabad High Court had struck down similar legislations TNS



Rewari depot GM suspended, workers livid
Our Correspondent

Rewari, May 15
The abrupt suspension of Mr S S Dalal, general manager of the Rewari depot of the Haryana Roadways, by the chief secretary of Haryana, has shocked the roadways workers. Their union would meet on May 16 in Gurgaon to chalk out its plan of agitation.

The suspension is apparently a sequel to the recent impounding of a Tata Sumo (HR 35 B 5540) by the Haryana Roadways authorities here. This had led to a confrontation between the roadways employees and the Rewari district INLD president and chairman of Haryana Tourism, Rao Inder Pal Singh, who was stated to be the owner of the impounded vehicle, plying illegally as a maxi-cab between Rewari and Dharuhera for long.

Taking exception to the suspension, Mr Baldev Singh, state president of the Haryana Roadways Workers Union, said here today that it was deplorable that the general manager, who had checked the illegal plying of vehicles and taken the Rewari depot out of the red recently, had been placed under suspension.



Another attack on House feared
Our Correspondent

New Delhi, May 15
There is a possibility that terrorists might carry out another attack on the Parliament House here as per the intelligence inputs received by the Government, the Rajya Sabha was informed today by Minister of State for Home, Mr Vidyasagar Rao.

He added that in the backdrop of the terrorist attack on Parliament House on December 13 last year, Government has reviewed the security arrangements at Parliament House and beefed it up.

Mr Rao in a written reply also told the House that the modernisation of Delhi Fire Service and upgradation of its resources is a continuing process and the Government of NCT of Delhi envisages to strengthen the services during the 10th five year plan. Establishment of new fire stations, procurement of new appliances and modernisation of communication network will also be undertaken.

At present there are 110 Delhi Police officials against whom the departmental proceedings instituted in connection with the corruption charges. Mr Rao informed the House that in 2000 and 2001 111 Delhi police personnel were punished in connection with the corruption cases filed against them.

Minister of Power, Mr Suresh Prabhu informed the Rajya Sabha that Delhi’s requirement of power supply in 2000-02 stood at 19350 Units out of which 18741 Units were available and there was a shortage of 3.1 per cent.

To improve the power availability the Delhi Vidyut Board (DVB) has been provided additional assistance from the Central sector generating stations and also additional assistance from other sources under the bilateral agreements for meeting the summer demand.

The DVB has been allocated 25 per cent from the unallocated quota in the central sector generating stations in the Northern region from April 2002 and has also been allocated 60 per cent during peak hours from Rajasthan Atomic Power Project Unit-4. The DVB will also be provided assistance of 100 MW from the Eastern Region.

The NTC has appointed five property consultants to value and aid in sale of its properties. The consultant firms would need to complete valuation and assist in finding prospective buyers for the property on completion of which they will be paid 0.31 per cent of the sale value of the land.

The resources from sale of land would be used for implementation and rehabilitation schemes approved by BIFR consisting of payment of VRS and statutory dues to workers informed the Minister of State for Textiles, Mr V Dhananjaya Kumar in the Rajya Sabha today.

An estimated eight-lakh people die in India every year due to tobacco use, informed the Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare, Mr A Raja. He also informed the Lok Sabha that the National Population Policy 2002 addresses the cause for meeting the unmet needs for basic reproductive and child care services and making education upto 14 years free and compulsory. It also aims at reducing the infant mortality rate to below 30 per 1000 live births.

In RML Hospital the gross death rate in the year 2001 stood at 4.3 per cent, in Safdarjung it was 6.5 per cent, in Sucheta Kriplani it was 1.5 per cent and in Kalawati Saran Children Hospital it topped the list with 11.3 per cent, informed Mr Raja.



The spectre of floods stalks Sonepat
R.D. Sapra

Sonepat, May 15
Sufficient arrangements have not been made so far to check the menace of floods, a recurring phenomenon in the district for years.

According to a report, the source of the floods is the Yamuna which traverses the entire Khadar tract of the district, the Diversion Drain No 8 and other notorious rivulets.

The floods in the Yamuna usually spread to a large tract along the river banks. At least 50 villages in the Khadar tract from Bega village to Dahesra village along the Haryana-Delhi border are exposed to danger.

The problem in the area is aggravated by the flooding of the river when more water is released from the Tajewala Headworks near Yamunanagar after heavy rains in the catchment areas of the river.

After the 1955 floods, a marginal earthen ‘bund’ was constructed along the embankment of the river between Bega and Dahesra village at a distance of 48 km to control the flooding of the villages and erosion of land towards the Haryana side.

The river continues to breach a portion of the ‘bund’ during the monsoon period, thereby becoming a source of trouble.

Similarly, the stone studs constructed at Bega, Memarpur Garhi Asadpur and some other places every year to check the erosion of agricultural land on Haryana side have utterly failed to meet the requirements as some of them are either washed away or the flood water passed them. Some effective protective measures are urgently required here.

The state government, it is learnt, has allocated Rs 50 lakhs and Rs 20 lakh for Sonepat Water Service Division and the Samalkh sub-division to carry out the work for the construction of stone studs at vulnerable points but the work has not yet been started so far for the reasons best known to the official concerned.

It is, however, alleged that the work has been allotted to some contractors sponsored by the INLD leaders and the district administration and they were not ready to start the work whereas the monsoon season will commence this month-end.

The Haryana Irrigation Department has also failed to develop a network of drainage systems to check waterlogging in the district. It has not yet undertaken river training projects to check the fury of the turbulent drains.

Sonepat district has been a victim of the flood fury for a long time. The floods are caused by overflowing drains, many of which have their tails here. There are numerous natural depressions which are flooded during the monsoon causing waterlogging in the vast areas.

The Khadar area in Sonepat sub-division is threatened year after year by the Yamuna, following the changing of course by the river at several places.

Almost all the old drains passing through the district have not yet been remodelled to increase their capacity. Similarly, new drains have not yet been dug to clear out water from natural depression.

A number of drainage schemes now underway are likely to be completed next year. The emphasis hereafter will be on digging link drains to provide relief to isolated villages situated in the low-lying areas.

The acquisition of land for digging drains also poses a problem. There is resistance by the farmers to the acquisition of land and political pressures are brought to bear upon the officials. They are forced to change the alignments of the drains.

Meanwhile, Sonepat city and its surrounding areas are in the grip of severe drought conditions. Almost all the village ponds have dried up. This has created power and drinking water crises both in the urban and rural areas.

People alleged that the supply of canal water and power was quite erratic and they were not getting it even during the period of rotation.

Many people alleged that all their complaints made to the authorities concerned in this regard had fallen on deaf ears. The canal water did not reach the tail-end fields and the farmers were suffering huge financial losses.

Their crops often get ruined due to lack of canal water supply.



He crusades for cleanliness among MCD schoolkids
Smriti Kak

New Delhi, May 15
The barriers of communication bother him. “The methods followed for communication strategies are archaic,” quips Dr Dharm Anand who has been actively working for social causes.

Heading an NGO ‘Sakshi’, Dr Anand recently accomplished a Herculean task of enforcing the need for cleanliness and sanity amongst the primary schoolchildren in the Capital’s MCD-run schools.

“We started the project Parivartan in 1998 and after four years, we are satisfied that we have been able to tell the children why there is a need for maintaining cleanliness. Initially, when Unesco gave the project to us, we were not convinced. A medical man cannot go on looking after hygiene problems in the schools. But once we took the plunge, the results were worth the efforts put.”

Sakshi started with just 80 schools but after their area of operation soon had them dealing with 250 schools. “We managed to do the job by giving them five inputs. The most important being that hygiene cannot be taught but learnt. We had to start with clean toilets and safe drinking water. It was also necessary to involve the students. They can relate better to each other.”

Motivated by this effective means of communication, Sakshi started the Vikas Club, where the students are enabled to promote greater involvement of other students with support from teachers and parents. “The project Parivartan has attempted to define, promote and sustain primary school students’ interests to learn and practise hygiene and sanitation. And today when we look at the same children who hail from not the best of backgrounds, you see a marked difference. There is a discernible change,” points out Dr Anand whose experience as a medical man extends to enable him in his endeavours. Dr Anand has also undertaken work for the Government of India in the areas of health, hygiene and health services. He has published several books including one on ‘Family Planning through Hospital Care’.

“When I say I am disappointed by the lack of communication, I mean there is not an effective way of reaching out to the people. How effective is a poster stressing the risk of AIDS? How much impact does it have on a person’s mind? There is hence a need for reassessment. The people at large have to be involved.”

Dr Anand feels strongly that the message of saving oneself from AIDS has not had the impact it should have. “Too many NGOs were and are asking for their slice from the exchequer, so I opted out. There is a need to ask some very pointed questions. How much money has been sunk in projects and what is the rate of success? The answer to this poser will reveal the inadequacy of the prevalent means of communication.”

For the doctor who wanted to don the colours for the silver screen photography is a passion that he is putting to use for communicating. “I am in the process of writing a book on communication which should help the people understand what lacks in the field as of now.” The former professor of community medicine sums up saying, “It is vital to effectively communicate to the people the need for community health.”


Indecent injunction: Cancel the marriage, or else…
Jatinder Sharma 

Rohtak, May 15
The Haryana unit of All India Democratic Women’ Association (AIDWA) has criticised a ‘fatwa’ at the behest of panchayat, directing a couple to annul their marriage on the ‘gotra’ issue.

A wedding had taken place on March 9 last. However, at the instance of some people of Naya Bans village, certain persons claiming themselves as the Dahiya Khap declared the wedding invalid on the premise that some families belonging to Dahiya Gotra are residing in the same village.

The AIDWA is surprised that no saner persons objected to the diktat of the so-called panchayat. The women organisation has been consistently drawing the attention of the society and the law enforcing agencies to the interference of some groups in the private affairs of the citizens and denying basic rights to them, particularly the women.

AIDWA has expressed anguish that a married girl has been forced to abandon her in-laws of Naya Bans village and live with her widowed mother in Rohat village of Sonepat district. Not only this, she has been ordered to seek divorce.

In a press note issued here today, the AIDWA said that the higher authorities of both the districts continue to remain silent spectators while some people have taken upon themselves the role of imparting justice and virtually acting as parallel courts.

AIDWA takes this matter quite seriously and urge all justice-loving citizens and organisations to come forward to see that the rights of the common people are not infringed upon, the handout says.

It has also called upon the district authorities to take all steps to undo the high-handedness and ensure that the couple live together without fear.

The AIDWA has decided to approach all channels to see that justice is done in this case and that the kangaroo courts are not allowed to run with their illegal writ, says, Ms Jagmati Sangwan , president Janvadi Mahila Samiti, Haryana unit.



Residents hold up traffic
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, May 15
Traffic on the Sonepat-Bahalgarh Road near Sikka Colony was held up for hours together by the irate residents, including women today in protest against the non-supply of drinking water by the Public Health Department. According to a report, a large number of vehicles were lined up on both sides of the road causing inconvenience to the public. On receiving information, the officials of the Civil Lines police station arrived and succeeded in lifting the blockade after giving an assurance that the supply of water would be maintained.

The residents, however, warned that if the situation did not improve, they would again blocked the road within a couple of days. The residents alleged that they had not been getting water for the last few days and they had to fetch it from distant places to meet the requirements.

Meanwhile, the residential areas of Mohalla Kalan and Ram Bazar Chowk remained waterless last evening causing inconvenience to thousands of the residents. Many residents alleged that non-supply of drinking water in the evening had become a routine and the Public Health Department authorities had failed to take any action against the erring employees.

Many residents alleged that all their complaints made to the authorities in this regard had yielded no result.

According to another report, the residents of Garhi Ghasita and nearby localities have been facing drinking water crisis for the past one week. They have lodged strong protests and staged demonstrations a number of times but in vain. The residents are now contemplating to gherao the officials of the Public Health Department if the situation failed to improve shortly.



Samajwadi Party MP, Cong MLA suffer burns
Our Correspondent

New Delhi, May 15
Samajwadi Party MP, Ms Reena Chaudhry and a Congress MLA from Kangra, Mr G S Bali suffered burns due to the leakage from a LPG cylinder last night.

According to the reports, Ms Chaudhry was making tea at her North Avenue residence when the incident occurred at about midnight. While she received 15 per cent burns her friend Mr Bali is said to have received 50 per cent burns.

The injured were rushed to Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital for treatment.

According to the police the both the injured were present in the kitchen at the time of the mishap. While Ms Chaudhry in her statement to the police said that the accident occurred due to the leakage from the LPG cylinder, Mr Bali is yet to give his statement. The police meanwhile are investigating the cause that led to the accident.



Pups for adoption, are there any takers?

New Delhi, May 15
Sheeba, Lucy, Honey, Daisy...don’t mistake them for some Bollywood molls. They are, in fact, names of pups who would be offered for adoption on May 18 at Modern School, Barakhamba Road.

Organised by the city’s well-known animal shelter home, Circle of Animal Lovers (CAL), the event promises to change the lives of at least some of these hapless creatures.

This is just one of many such meaningful events that have been organised by CAL in the past. For instance, the NGO, established in 1992, also holds free vaccination camps, sterilisation and immunisation programmes for animals.

“The general attitude of people is very hostile towards the stray animals. This event is a medium through which we want to imbibe positive thinking about these stray animals,” says Irani Mukherjee, founder and chairperson, CAL.

Circle of Animal Lovers is a registered charitable voluntary organisation working to ameliorate the condition of animals. The society is affiliated to RSPCA (London) and now working as a full-fledged organisation. Currently Circle of Animal Lovers is operating two hospitals- in Neb Sarai, Delhi and in Sona, Haryana and also round-the-clock emergency call centres. TNS



Good response from rural areas to 
power waiver scheme

Panipat, May 15
As the last date for clearing their outstanding electricity dues and earning concession is ending today, more and more defaulting consumers in the rural areas are coming forward to pay their bills and avail themselves of the scheme.

According to the Deputy Commissioner, Mr M. R. Anand, as many as 3,574 defaulting consumers had deposited the outstanding electricity dues amounting to Rs 87 lakh. “Today, there were long queues of people before the HVPN offices. They had come voluntarily to clear their long pending arrears,” he said, adding that a large maximum number of defaulting consumers were likely to avail of this opportunity.

He also said that the officers of the Revenue Department and HVPN had been visiting the villages to motivate the people and to give them the details of the concessions being given under this new scheme. He claimed that a large number of people in the villages appreciate the scheme and had expressed their willingness to clear their outstanding dues to the visiting officers. The people in the villages had also realised that this benefit would not only give them relief in the shape of concessions ranging from 50 to 75 per cent, but also bring development works in the village, he added. TNS



Bupenia power sub-station employees beaten 
up by mob
Our Correspondent

Jhajjar, May 15
Enraged over non-supply of electricity, around 20 people of Bupania village reportedly beat up four employees of the Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam posted in the Power Sub-Station at Bupenia village.

According to information, the Power Sub-Station resorted to a long cut in supply due to stormy and inclement weather conditions on Monday.

However, some people of the village stormed into the office yesterday and left four of its employees, assistant linemen- Jaiveer and Vidhya Prasad, SSA, Sahib Singh and Chowkidar Hukam Chand black and blue.

The officials of the Nigam reported the matter to the police today. On which three persons of the village identified as Kapoor, Satte and Biloo were book for thrashing, preventing the government officials from performing their duty and threatening with life.

Blood donation camp

New Delhi
The GE Elfun in collaboration with the Indian Red Cross organised their fourth blood donation camp raising 2,696 units of blood.

In Delhi alone there were 1414 donors who joined the noble cause. GE Elfun hosted the six blood donation camps at various GE business locations in New Delhi, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Chennai and Mumbai. Elfun was awarded the largest corporate donor shield for the Chennai region in 2002 by the Indian Red Cross Society.

Chain snatcher

One of the two youths who snatched a gold chain from a woman in the NH-2 locality of NIT here on Tuesday was caught with the help of a local resident, soon after the incident.

The accused, Anil Kumar, resident of Mangolpuri in Delhi, had snatched a chain from a woman, Rekha Bhatia, along with a friend riding a motorbike. While they fled on the two wheeler after pulling the chain, an alarm raised by her caught the attention of one, Bishambar Bhatia, who gave a chase on the scooter. The robbers tried to throw Chilli powder in the eyes of Bishambar, but some local policemen came to his help and the accused was nabbed finally near Dayanand College. But his accomplice managed to escape. The chain was also recovered. Incidents of chain snatching have been in various parts of the town. A few incidents including two had taken place in posh Sectors of 15 and 16 in the past fortnight.

Jaundice death

One person has reportedly died of jaundice in Ballabgarh town on Tuesday and another has been admitted in the Civil Hospital in critical state.

The deceased identified as Kakhmi, son of Amichand, resident of Sagarpur village. He was referred to Safdurjung Hospital a couple of days ago.

Rajesh (14) of Prince Colony was also admitted in Civil Hospital with similar symptoms.

Meanwhile, two children, aged 2 and 5 years suffering from meningitis, were admitted in Civil Hospitals at Ballagarh and Faridabad.

Man crushed

As many as two death have been reported in the town since Monday.

In the first incident, Satya Narain, resident of Bandh village, was cut to pieces by a speeding train when he tried to cross the railway tracks near the Jatal Road here on Monday night.

In another incident, Ramesh, died in the local Civil Hospital, when he accidentally consumed some poisonous substance.

Body recovered

The Government Railway Police (GRP) recovered the body of an unidentified youth (27) lying on the railway track near the railway crossing here on Tuesday.

According to a report, the body has not yet been identified and it is believed that he died after he was hit by a running train. The body was sent for the post-mortem examination.

Commits suicide

A 25-year-old young housewife Mrs Mamta was reported to have committed suicide by taking insecticide tablets in her house at Ganaur town, 16 km from here on Tuesday night.

A family feud was the main cause of the suicide.



The Best Citizen of India
Our Correspondent

Rewari, May 15
Mr R L Sachdeva, a prominent educationist of the town and principal of the local Holy Child Public School, has been awarded “The Best Citizen of India Award-2002” by the International Publishing House, Mumbai, world renowned biographical specialists.

The other luminaries, who have been honoured with this prestigious award, include Hafiz Contractor, Azim Premji, Lord Swaraj Paul, NRI, Master blaster Sachin Tendulkar and cardiovascular surgeon Naresh Trehan.

Earlier in January this year, Mr R L Sachdeva and his educationist wife Mrs Kanta Sachdeva, were honoured by the All India Parent Teacher association, New Delhi, for their services rendered in the field of education during the past over three decades.



One killed, two injured in Sadar Bazar
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 15
Shakir was reportedly stabbed to death and his two cousins, Mohammad Shamim and Vasi, injured by three suspects near Badi Masjid in Sadar Bazar area. The suspects and the victims both were relatives.

While the victims were going to their home in Sadar Bazar, Nadim, his father Mehruzzama and Babloo, waylaid them. They stabbed Shakir on his chest that died on the spot, Vasi and Shamim, who received neck injuries were admitted to Bara Hindu Rao Hospital.

Nadeem has been arrested while others are absconding. A case of murder has been registered, police said.

In another case, the East district police arrested two motorcycle-borne youths on charge of murder case while their third associate was absconding. They were identified as Raj Kumar and Michal alias Kailash.

The suspects reportedly stabbed a 38-year-old man, who was going to Kalyanpuri along with his sister.

The motorcycle coming from behind touched the victim for which he raised objection. The objection of the victim made the youths angry and they stabbed him. By the time the suspects were running, a few police personnel reached there and arrested two of them. The victim was taken to Lal Bahadur Shastri Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries, the police said.

Gang busted: With the arrest of two youths, Ashish Gupta alias Pappu and Kalicharan alias Narshi, the Delhi Police today claimed to have busted a gang of wire thieves.

They were arrested from Sai Baba Mandir where they had gone to dispose of stolen electric wire. During the course of interrogation they disclosed that they had stolen the wire from village Ujjawal in Najafgarh area. The gang operated in South-West and North-West districts and neighbouring areas of Haryana. Kalicharan was found to be involved in 40 cases of theft in Delhi and Haryana. He belongs to Etah. He adopted a unique modus operandi of committing theft.

First of all, the suspect would remove the fuse of electric pole and then cut the wire with the help of a wire cutter. To achieve his objective he used to engage several labourers and paid them handsome amount for the work they did. The police recovered 19 bundle of wire from houses of both the suspects. They had been active in this crime for 15 years.

Chain snatchers: Two youths who were once active in liquor smuggling from Haryana to Delhi, were arrested on Tuesday evening for chain snatching, in Rohini. They were identified as Pawan Kumar and Bhushan.

They reportedly snatched a gold chain of Kasturba Devi, resident of Rohini, who was on her evening walk in Sector-7. They decamped with the chain in a Maruti car parked near primary school, but the registration number was noted down by the victim.

The police chased the culprits, stopped their car and arrested them. The car belonged to their friend in Gurgaon, who had no knowledge of their involvement in the case, the police said.

Man killed: An accidental firing in a wedding party led to the death of younger brother of the groom at village Majri in Kanjhawal area of the Capital this evening. The victim was identified as Rahul, 18. The police has registered a case of murder and inquiring whether it was an accident firing or intentional to kill the victim.



Delhi Co-operative Bank buoyed by its profits
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 15
Languishing in the red for the last two years, the Delhi State Co-operative Bank has posted a profit of Rs 26 crore during 2001-02 mainly due to the reduction in its non-performing assets (NPA) from Rs 48 crore to Rs 22 crore.

Announcing at a press conference, Co-operatives Minister Haroon Yusuf on Wednesday said that the bank had incurred a loss of Rs 25.81 crore two years ago but the innovative methods adopted during the last financial year had enabled it make a turnaround.

He said that the launching of several new schemes, waiving interest on old loans sanctioned to co-operative societies and huge recoveries had resulted in deposits of the bank going up from Rs 300 crore in 2000-01 to more than Rs 400 crore during 2001-02.

Buoyed by the performance, the target of the bank for the current financial year has been fixed at Rs 500 crore.

Yusuf said that the recovery performance of the bank had improved from 32 per cent to 58 per cent and per employee productivity had increased by 27.44 per cent.

As part of the new schemes launched during the last financial year, the bank sanctioned a loan of Rs 8.5 crore to about 60 transporters for purchase of new CNG buses and nearly Rs 80 lakh loan to 22-25 transporters for converting their buses into CNG mode.

The minister maintained that more proposals in this regard were still being received and the bank had decided to sanction a loan ranging between Rs 10 and Rs 12 lakh to transporters purchasing new CNG buses and upto Rs 3.5 lakh for conversion into CNG mode. The interest rate has been fixed at 12 per cent on a loan amount of Rs two lakh and 13 per cent for a loan exceeding Rs two lakh.

With a view to bringing down the losses, the Board meeting of the bank last week decided to waive off interest and penal interest, if a co-operative society agreed to pay back the principal loan amount, he said.

The total loan pending against the defaulting co-operative societies now stood at Rs 5.85 crore but with the new decision, the bank expected to recover about Rs 3.5 crore from these societies, Yusuf said.

Many other existing schemes including the Kisan Credit Card, Employee Credit Card and housing loan have been upgraded to make them more competitive and customer-friendly. Under the housing loan scheme, the bank now provides loan upto Rs 30 lakh as against the previous ceiling of Rs 10 lakh. The bank is also providing loan for renovation of houses.

Under the Kisan Credit Card scheme, the bank provides general insurance cover to farmers upto Rs 50,000. Under the scheme, loans to the extent of Rs 4.25 crore have so far been disbursed.

Under the Employee Credit Card scheme, which has been introduced by the bank for the first time in the country, the maximum amount of loan has been increased from Rs 50,000 to Rs 1 lakh. Furthermore, Rs 15 crore has been disbursed under the scheme so far to employees to meet their emergent requirement. The bank, which has 31 branches, is planning to open five more branches in the rural parts of Delhi to give a fillip to the co-operative movement. On the occasion, President of the bank Bijender Singh presented a cheque for more than Rs 9.60 lakh to the minister as dividend, which is an all-time high.


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