Saturday, May 18, 2002, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


Four cops being held hostage 
Irate Kiloi villagers want BKU leaders released
Jatinder Sharma

Rohtak, May 17
The inhabitants of Kiloi village near here have been holding four policemen as hostage since last night to pressurise the government to release the arrested leaders of the Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU).

The policemen— ASI Shiv Narain, head constables Lal Singh and Lakhmi Chand and constable Jagbir Singh — had gone to Kiloi on Thursday night to reportedly arrest district BKU leader Dharamvir Hooda. Mr Hooda belongs to Kiloi.

The village is considered a stronghold of the BKU. Over 90 per cent of the electricity consumers of this village have not paid their power bills for the past many years and they jointly owe approximately Rs 6 crore.

The sudden development has surprised the district administration. Though over 18 hours have lapsed since the policemen were taken captive, the authorities have taken no steps to get them freed. The journalists tried in vain to locate the Senior Superintendent of Police and the Deputy Commissioner. The district administration had not issued any statement either till the filing of this report at 7 pm.

The villages have reportedly blocked all the roads leading to the village by parking tractor-trolleys, etc. Armed with jellies, lathis and other weapons, the agitated villagers are keeping a vigil on all the persons and vehicles coming to their village.

While the district authorities and the ruling party functionaries were hesitant to visit Kiloi, the Pradesh Congress chief, Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda, accompanied by Mr Raghbir Singh Kadiyan and Mr Shadi Lal Batra., both MLAs, visited Kiloi to listen to the grievances of the agitating farmers. Mr Hooda represents Kiloi assembly constituency in the Vidhan Sabha.

Addressing the villagers, Mr Hooda held the government responsible for the situation. Had the government implemented the assurance given to the BKU leaders at Kandel in Jind district, this incident could have been avoided, Mr Hooda said.

He advised the government to hold negotiations with the BKU leaders

to solve the problems of the farming community. He also advised the government to refrain from aggravating the situation by resorting to provocative steps.

He told the gathering that the Congress would decide its strategies at a meeting of the PCC on May 21 at Chandigarh.

The BKU alleged that 16 of its leaders had been arrested by the police in the state in violation of the agreement signed between the government and the BKU in December last.



Fire in Shastri Bhavan, 12 rescued
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 17
A fire broke out today in two rooms of the law ministry in Shastri Bhavan, a stone’s throw from the Parliament House, extensively damaging furniture, computers and some documents.

Twelve trapped people were rescued promptly by the Delhi Fire Service personnel. The fire was reported at 11.30 am from room numbers 728 and 729 on the seventh floor of the building, which houses several central ministries, including the ministry of law, and was put out within half an hour, Delhi Fire Service chief R.C.Sharma said.

Describing the fire as “less than medium”, Mr Sharma said, “It was a fire for just one jet operation. But taking into account the importance of the building, we took no chances and pressed into service eight tenders, including two hydraulic platforms,” he said.

The fire chief said that 12 people were rescued from the floor as the smoke had spread into seven adjoining rooms housing the ministries of social justice and tribal welfare.

He said that he himself led the dousing operations and saved computers and furniture besides some documents which were extensively damaged in the blaze. He further said that the building met all the fire safety regulations on paper.

The cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained. Joint Commissioner of Police (New Delhi range) Amod Kanth said that the investigations were on to ascertain the cause. Appreciating the fast response of the DFS personnel, Mr Kanth said

that the experts from the Central Forensic Science Laboratory had been summoned to assist the investigations. The Delhi Police had sealed off the entire affected area of the building, he said. 



Delhi sweats it out but Maken is cool about it
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 17
Even as several localities in the Capital reeled under long hours of power shedding, Delhi Power Minister Ajay Maken today claimed that the situation was not alarming.

“Most of the power problems faced by the people are due to local faults. We have made arrangements to supply 3200 mega watts and the peak power demand this season is yet to touch that level,” Mr Maken told newspersons here. On Thursday, the Capital witnessed its highest power demand when it touched 3066 mw.

Several areas in the city witnessed power cuts ranging from an hour to several hours. In a number of areas, the residents complained that the officials manning the DVB complaint centres had placed the phones off the hook. They were discourteous and the DVB staff took long hours to repair the faults.

Reports indicated that the intelligence unit of the Delhi Police feared that the Capital reeling under power and water crises could witness violent protests on these two issues unless the mercury dips.

Mr Maken said that the severe power shortage felt earlier this week was due to the failure of one circuit on the 220 kv lines from Badarpur. This resulted in shedding of 150 mw in South and Central Delhi that day.

Projecting a rosy picture of the power situation by comparing the loss-making Delhi Vidyut Board’s effort in the augmentation of the transmission and distribution system, Mr Maken said that the number of transformer failures during April this year was 84 compared to 89 during the corresponding period last year. He said that the distribution system had been upgraded with the installation of additional capacity transformation capacity and lines, which would result in the system taking additional load compared to last year.

Admitting that there have been 10,000 complaints of power woes each day by the agitated residents and the long hours taken by the DVB personnel in rectifying the problem, Mr Maken said, “I and the DVB member, technical, would carry out a surprise check at the complaint centres in the coming days.”

“The DVB would also make a response time chart, enabling the workers and the people of the city to compare whether they adhere to it,” he said.

The DVB chairman, Mr Jagdish Sagar, said that the power cuts in some parts of the Capital in the evening were due to the dripping of the frequency in the Northern Grid.

“When the power generation in the grid reduces, the Northern Region Load Dispatch Centre instructs the DVB from time to time during the day to lower the power intake, forcing the board to resort to load-shedding,” he said.

The Capital has more than 1500 feeder lines and about 200 feeder lines in the East and North, supplying power to the unauthorised colonies, are shut down to prevent major damage to the grid, he added.

On the allegation by the Leader of the Opposition, Mr Jagdish Mukhi, that the state government, too engrossed in the privatisation process, did not take preventive measures, Mr Maken said, “The government was optimistic of signing the deal with private parties by the end of February.”



Prickly row in Khalsa College Hindi Dept
Tarun Gill

New Delhi, May 17
A rather prickly issue has cropped up in the Hindi Department of Shri Guru Tegh Bahadur Khalsa College with accusations flying thick and fast over the appointment of the convenor of the department.

The matter came to a head in March with the principal of the college, Dr D S Claire, questioning the procedure of election of the convenor of the Hindi Department. According to insiders in the college, Dr Claire had used his discretion to overrule the election of Mrs Veena Aggarwal as the convenor and instead nominated another lecturer, Mr Nagesh Nath Das, for the post for the academic year 2002-03.

In accordance with a Delhi University statute and the norms of the College Staff Council, the principal had issued a notice on March 15 asking the respective departments to initiate the process of electing the convenor for the academic year 2002-03.

Subsequently, the Hindi Department convened a meeting and elected Mrs Veena Aggarwal as the convenor. Sources said that Mrs Aggarwal was unanimously elected and her name was forwarded to the principal duly signed by all faculty members and ratified by the outgoing convenor, Mrs Smriti Mishra.

Sources said that due to some inexplicable reason the principal questioned the election procedure adopted by the Hindi Department. In an office memo issued shortly after the election, the Principal ordered that no meeting of the Hindi Department will be held without his prior approval. Further, he called for fresh elections to the post of the convenor. Agitated over the principal’s decision, Ms Smriti Mishra, the outgoing convenor, expressed her anger in a letter to him dated April 5, 2002: ``My conscience does not allow me to hold another meeting of the department, on the agenda on which a proper meeting had already been convened and a decision had been taken.’’

In his defence, Dr Claire has sought refuge in “systemic” faults and “internal politics”.

“I have nothing against Mrs. Aggarwal, and I completely agree that she should have been given a chance to be a convenor but till now I am not convinced about the Hindi Department’s election procedure. And there is no question of a gender bias as most of the faculty in our college is dominated by women out of which 31 are appointed by me’’ he told this correspondent. “Last year it happened in the Zoology Department but due to their strong unity, they tackled the situation, but the problem lies within the system. These so-called faculty members play politics with each other and in the end, when things go out of hand, the principal is the scapegoat,’’ he added.



After gas, lordships have water on their minds
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 17
Passing strictures against the Delhi Jal Board for the ongoing water crisis in the Capital, the Delhi High Court today directed the board to ensure equal supply in the entire city.

“What action are you taking. Do you want that there should be riots for water,” the Bench asked DJB counsel during arguments on a PIL by Manav Adhikar Sangharsh Samiti (MASS), alleging that the water supply was badly affected in Chirag Delhi area.

Taking cognisance of a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) highlighting the acute shortage of water in some areas of south Delhi, a Bench comprising Chief Justice S B Sinha and Justice A K Sikri asked DJB counsel to file reply by July 17.

Directing the DJB to ensure equal distribution of water to all the colonies, the court said pendency of the PIL would not come in the way of the authorities taking necessary steps for improving the supply in the area mentioned in the petition.

Seeking a direction to the DJB to immediately install tube-wells in Jatav Mohalla and Balmiki Mohalla of Chirag Delhi area, petitioner’s counsel Kumar Parimal said that these localities were the worst affected.

The MASS said that despite repeated representation by it to the DJB, no remedial measures had been taken by it so far.

It was the duty of the Government to maintain the public services in a welfare state to ensure the minimum basic facilities to its citizens, the PIL said.

Sheila’s ambitious project

Our Correspondent adds: If the enterprising project that the Chief Minister, Ms Shiela Dikshit, is contemplating is anything to go by, Delhi will soon have an additional 140 million gallons of water per day.

Ms Dikshit along with the Lt-Governor, Mr Vijai Kapoor, today acquainted themselves with the feasibility of the project meant to procure more water for Delhi from the Upper Ganga Canal here by next year.

The project which is pegged at a whooping Rs 500 crore is being executed by the National Building Construction Corporation.

The project includes the construction of a 30-km-long raw water conduit from Muradnagar to Sonia Vihar in Delhi, building of 140 MGD water treatment plant at Sonia Vihar, construction of clear water transmission mains for East Delhi and conveyance system for South Delhi.

About 270 cu sec raw water will be procured from the Tehri dam to aid in the project through the Upper Ganga Canal here.

Mr Kapoor said that the project was of critical importance to Delhi as the city’s population had gone up by 20 per cent in the last four years and there was an urgent need for supplying more water. The addition of 140 MGD would mean a great relief to the capital.

The project is expected to be completed by June 2003 as the hindrances like the clearance of forest area, petrol pipelines and power lines that came in the way of the project have already been dealt with, Mr Kapoor added.



Gurgaon residents take on cable cabal
Ravi S.Singh
Tribune News Service

Gurgaon, May 17
The residents of the city have taken on the local cable TV operators for hiking their rates arbitrarily. In fact, the residents of Sector 4 and Sector 7 have decided not to cough up the new rate. This, they have done under the aegis of the Residents Welfare Association. Incidentally, these are the posh sectors of Gurgaon.

Galvanized into action, the Residents’ Welfare Association of Sector 10 has convened a meeting on Monday to discuss the hike. According to reports, residents of other plush Sectors — 17-A and 17-B — are also gearing up to checkmate the operators. The Residents’ Welfare Association of Sectors 4 and 7 convened a meeting recently on the issue and unanimously decided that they should not take the hike lying down.

According to the president of the Residents’ Welfare Association of Sector 4 and 7, Mr M.L.Goyal, the residents have also decided to form a kind of cooperative society to find a permanent solution to the problem. One of the options being considered is that the residents should run their own cable system on a no-profit no-loss basis. There are reports that this system has already been evolved in some parts of the city, especially in the DLF areas.

The residents’ main grouse is that the rates are not uniform in the city and the operators increase the rates whimsically. There have also been reports of operators snapping the connections of residents who raise their voice against the increase in the rate. The general perception is that the operators get away with their high-handedness in the face of non-committal attitude of the district administration. The residents of Sector 4 and Sector 7 allege that they had brought the issue several times to the notice of the district administration, but to no avail.

Another complaint is that the operators illegally use the screen and the time to beam advertisements with the programmes. Such unfair trade practices are owing to their monopoly in their respective areas. The deeply entrenched operators often try to upstage their rivals by undercutting the rates and hustling them out of their area.

Although the operators have formed an association, the body is not able to enforce a uniform code among its members. An office bearer of the association, Mr Ram Babu, said that the rates varied due to the differences in the social and economic status of the residents in different sectors. Also, the residents of posh sectors had greater demand for particular channels. This argument is rubbished by the residents.



Fake notes worth Rs 8,000 confiscated
Our Correspondent

Gurgaon, May 17
The police seized fake currency worth Rs 8,000 and arrested a person who was trying to use them in the market here in the afternoon.

According to the Senior Superintendent of Police, Mr Kuldeep Singh Siag, the district police got the information that Sudhadev, a resident of West Bengal with the fake currency of Rs 100 domination had been roaming in the Sikanderpur market, DLF area.

A police team was immediately constituted which started looking for the culprit, informed the officer. Mr Siag said that the police found the culprit who was trying to purchase something, using the fake currency in a shop.

The police recovered Rs 8,000 from his possession, all in the domination of hundred rupees. On examination, all notes turned out to be fake.

The police arrested the person and lodged an FIR under Section 489B and 489C IPC against him.



Vehicles cause 64 pc of Delhi’s pollution
Our Correspondent

New Delhi, May 17
Vehicular pollution contributes 64 per cent of the total pollution in the Capital, informed the Minister of Environment and Forests, Mr T. R. Baalu, told the Rajya Sabha today. According to the Central Pollution Control Board, the estimated vehicular emission load from the on-road vehicles per day during the last year was about 1,300 metric tonnes in the Capital, which is less than other cities.

Mr Baalu added that steps were being taken to control vehicular pollution, some of which included introduction of compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) as auto fuels. A project had also been sanctioned for demonstration and field evaluation of battery-operated three-wheelers and research and development projects had been taken up in the area of Hydrogen energy.

Fifty-nine girls were rescued in search and rescue operations conducted in brothels in the national Capital in December last year, informed the Minister of State for Human Resources Development, Mrs Sumitra Mahajan, in the Rajya Sabha today. These girls had been sent to rehabilitation centres as per the directives of the Delhi High Court. The government had formulated a National Plan of Action to combat trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation of women and children and victims of prostitution. The minister also revealed that there were 60 children staying in jails along with their mothers in the Capital.

The Central Cottage Industry Corporation Limited had reported that the September 11 attack and the attack on Indian Parliament has caused a dip in the sales by at least seven per cent. The transactions fell to Rs 5,314.13 lakh in 2001-02 from Rs 5,741.93 lakh recorded in 2000-01. This was revealed by the Minister of State for Textiles, Mr Dhananjay Kumar, in the Lok Sabha today.

A proposal to set up an Earthquake Resistant Evaluation Centre (EREC) had recently been approved by the government. The principal mandate of the EREC was to collate and integrate various data sets and to prepare the site specific earthquake risk maps. This centre would be set up in the India Meteorological Department, said the Minister of State for Science and Technology, Mr B. S. Rawat, in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha.



Crisis in BJP ‘blows over’
Tribune News Service

Panipat, May 17
The ongoing tug-of-war between the Municipal Council of Panipat (MCP) chief, Mr Sanjay Bhatia, and the rebel BJP councillor, Mr Harish Sharma, ended today with the latter withdrawing his resignation letter. With this, the crisis in the local unit of the BJP seems to have blown over, at least for the time being.

At a joint press conference here, the two leaders, accompanied by Mr Lal Chand Chabbra, the new mandal president, buried the hatchet and tried to put up a brave front and pledged to work for the overall development of the city. The “truce” between the two leaders was worked out in the past couple of days under the supervision of a senior BJP leader and former Haryana minister, Mr Ram Bilas Sharma.

It may recalled that Mr Harish Sharma had recently resigned from the party alleging discrimination in development works in various wards, particularly in the construction of roads. This coupled with the move of certain BJP councillors to move a vote of no confidence against the MCP chief had given the party many a sleepless night. In a House of 31, the Congress and the INLD had 10 councillors each while the BJP enjoyed a wafer-thin majority with 11 councillors.

Conceding that there was a “communication gap” between him and MCp chief, Mr Sharma said that he had been assured that no discrimination would be shown against his ward in the developmental works to be undertaken by the civic body. “All BJP councillors are united and firm on the development of the city and giving a befitting reply to the Congress councillors if they hindered the development works,” Mr Sharma asserted.

Asked as to how long the “truce” would last, Mr Sharma avoided a direct reply saying “it would last long”, indicating that he might raise the banner of revolt at his own sweet will. Political observers feel that clash of ego between the two young and influential leaders is not a new thing. Since Mr Sharma is senior in the party to Mr Bhatia, it is but natural for Mr Sharma to adopt such tactics to assert himself politically. And with Mr Bhatia, who at 34, is perhaps the youngest MCP chief, cashing in on his clean image and development works, the need for such tactics has become al the more necessary for Mr Sharma.

Denying reports of discrimination against any of the councillors, whether ruling or opposition, Mr Bhatia said the overall development of city was his sole objective. In fact, of the over 50 roads, whose tenders were to be opened on May 20, a majority of them were in the wards of the Opposition councillors.

“I do not hanker after the chair. The day the BJP and the INLD members want to quit, I would quit the office. I would never enter into any pact with the Congress to remain in office,” Mr Bhatia declared.



Huda to turn Sonepat into another Gurgaon
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, May 17
Located on the northern side of Delhi, Sonepat is one of the important cities of Haryana under the National Capital Region (NCR). The government has accorded top priority to its development as a full-fledged city, as has been done in the case of Faridabad and Gurgaon, that will have over 20 lakh prospective population by 2020 AD.

According to officials, in addition to its most strategic geographical location, the shifting of industries from Delhi is helping in developing a new urban complex in this city. The state government, through the Haryana Urban Development Authority (Huda) has, therefore, decided to provide the most modern infrastructure for the proper growth of the area. The G. T. Road from Delhi up to Bahalgarh (Sonepat) has already been widened to six lanes and the widening of this road up to Panipat is also in progress.

Giving details of measures by the Huda on this count, the Deputy Commissioner, Mr S. N. Roy, told mediapersons here today that the authority had spent Rs 281.80 lakh on the development of Sectors 7 and 8, Rs 115 lakh on the construction of external roads around these sectors, Rs 142.90 lakh on the development of roads in Sector 15 part III, Rs 128.62 lakh on the construction of a link road from G. T. Road to Bahalgarh road, Rs 20.15 lakh on the repair of Mehlana-Kakroi road, Rs 20 lakh on the widening and strengthening of Kakroi-Sonepat road, Rs 118.80 lakh on the development of a green belt along the 65-metre wide road, Rs 31.35 lakh on providing sodium lights in Sectors 7, 29, 6, 28, 4 and 5, Rs 165.28 lakh on the development of sector 12 and Rs 150.90 lakh on providing water supply in Sector 15 phase III.

He disclosed that a town park had been constructed at a cost of Rs 35 lakh in Sector 14 of the city. The pocket of 6.20 acres lying between the old city and the urban estate had been developed into a beautiful park. The site, which was earlier used for dumping malba, had now been converted into lush green lawns with modern horticulture. The park had been provided with a lily pool and walking path. The old green house and glass house had been improved to fit in the new environment, he said.

According to the DC, the Huda had decided to open a gymkhana club located on the recently constructed 65-metre wide road, which connects the G. T. Road with the old city. It would comprise a large restaurant, a bar, a billiard room, table-tennis room, card room and other multipurpose halls for holding day-to-day functions. This would also be supported with a modern kitchen and toilet blocks. This would be a big milestone towards the improvement of the quality of life in the city.

He said that the club would be constructed on a piece of three acres situated amongst the green belts all around. The club would also have the facility of swimming pool and lawn tennis in addition to other indoor and outdoor games. The complete project was expected to cost Rs 2 crore and it would take about 18 months to complete. The land for this project had been provided by the Huda free of cost.

The DC also disclosed that the Huda had decided to develop a modern park after the name of former Deputy Prime Minister Chaudhary Devi Lal in Sector 7 which would be spread over 40 acres of land right abutting G. T. Road. This park had been designed with beautiful water bodies, fountains, meandering paths, topiaries, trellises etc. Rain shelters designed on Mughal architecture on the topmost terraces would add to the beauty of the park. The Huda would spent Rs 1.50 crore on the construction of this park. The civil works and the plantation work would be completed within 15 months.

According to the DC, the Haryana Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, had recently commissioned the canal-based drinking water scheme costing Rs 4.50 crore in Sector 23, a residential colony of the Huda in this city. This scheme would cover 25 per cent population on the western side of the railway line in the city. Each person would get 110 litres of water everyday under this long-term water supply scheme. The present population of the city was nearly two lakh and the existing water supply was based on 33 tubewells. With the commissioning of this water supply scheme, there would be no problem of drinking water supply in Sector 23 and other areas on the western side of the railway line, he claimed. 



Hafed stops procurement of sarson
Our Correspondent

Rewari, May 17
There are reports that the cessation of procurement of sarson by Hafed in the mandis at Rewari, Bawal, Narnaul etc is causing hardship to the farmers.

A spokesman of Hafed told the ‘NCR Tribune’ that the procurement had been suspended because of paucity of storage facilities and they were on the lookout for additional storage capacity. He also said that they had already purchased 22,111 metric tonnes of sarson from the mandis of Rewari district and this was about 10,000 metric tonnes more than the previous year’s procurement of 11,314 metric tonnes.

The Deputy Commissioner, Mr Vineet Garg, said that after the above heavy purchases made by Hafed, the arrival of sarson in the mandis had become almost negligible. He also said that it had come to his notice that the private traders, who too had purchased about 20,000 metric tonnes, were now pushing their stocks into the mandis to secure its procurement at the support price (which is naturally higher than the one which they had accorded to the farmers while purchasing these bulk stocks from them) by Hafed. Thus the stoppage of procurement of sarson was not in any way detrimental to the interests of the farmers, he asserted.

Refuting the above claims of the administration, Capt Ajay Singh Yadav, deputy leader of the Haryana Congress Legislature Party, asserted that the “arbitrary” cessation of procurement of sarson by Hafed had virtually put numerous farmers in a tight spot. He urged the state government to direct the Hafed authorities immediately to restart procurement of sarson in the mandis of South Haryana to save these farmers from making distress sale to private traders.



Choosers? No, but beggars can be innovators 
Our Correspondent

New Delhi, May 17
Innovation keeps them ticking. Like perfect salespersons, they know how to make you shell out the dough. So if it isn’t a bandaged hand, it could well be a false pregnancy. The beggars you meet at almost every red light are aware that you may soon find out their secret, so to keep the income from dwindling, they rely on innovation.

What’s more ever since the national Capital has adopted the Bombay Prevention Act 1959 and started rounding up beggars to be put in homes for beggars, the condition has worsened for the beggars.

Coerced in to adopting new tricks, they have now started accosting victims with medical prescriptions. They go to the extent of telling people that they need not pay them the money to buy the medicines, instead they can make the purchase for them.

And once they manage to have their hands on the booty, read medicines, they sprint across to the nearest chemist and sell the medicines. It goes without saying that the chemists also get a cut from the trade.

Fake medical prescriptions do the trick and armed with these seemingly innocuous documents, the beggars can take home anything between Rs 100 to Rs 200 each day.

The answer to why the beggars have resorted to these tricks lies in the revelation that the Bombay Preventive Act has envisaged 12 statutory institutions out of which 10 are for men and two for women. These institutions have been set up to discourage begging through detention, training and employment of beggars. For the beggar offenders the institutions provide custody, trial and punishment.

In spite of the measures like this, it is difficult to get these beggars in to these institutions. According to a senior police official, it is very easy for the beggars to get away because the charges of begging against them are difficult to prove in court.

With the police almost helpless in curbing the evil, the onus shifts to the masses who encourage these beggars by giving alms. There are emotional as well as religious reasons that make it hard for the people to turn a blind eye to the social evil. Sources in the Ministry of Social Welfare, however, seem to believe that they have managed to get a stronghold on the situation. They pointed out that quite a lot is being done to reduce begging in the city and that there has been a discernible reduction in the number of beggars thronging the roads in the national capital.

So the next time you are moved by a prescription that reads a fatal illness or a plastered leg, think twice you could just be aiding someone in what is not permitted by law.



Chautala opens HSIDC complex at Kundli
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, May 17
The Haryana Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, inaugurated a Rs 3-crore office complex of the Haryana State Industrial Development Corporation (HSIDC) on the premises of the Export Promotion Industrial Park (EPIP) at Kundli village along the Haryana-Delhi border, about 25 km from here, on Thursday evening.

According to a report, this complex is spread over 4.4 acres and it will house all the export-oriented offices of the central government for the benefit of the industrialists, particularly the NRIs.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Chautala claimed that Haryana had emerged not only at the top of the national map but also on the international map. He disclosed that the state government had already invited the industrialists of foreign countries to set up their units in Haryana and it would provide all-out assistance, including power, at all costs. He claimed that Haryana was the first state in the country which was free from labour trouble.

Mr Chautala claimed that his recent visit to some foreign countries had proved a success as more and more industrialists had agreed to invest money and set up units in the state.

The Chief Minister said that the HSIDC had developed 822 industrial plots in 600 acres at its Kundli complex where 161 industrial units had already started functioning. At Rai, 1,324 industrial plots had been developed. In addition, a Food Park was also being developed in 120 acres.

He also disclosed that that 83 industrial plots had been developed in 25 acres at the Murthal HSIDC complex and these had been sold to the prospective industrialists. He also said that the HSIDC had also sold plots at Sonepat and Bari industrial complexes for the setting up of industrial units in them.



Influx into HVP after Bansi Lal’s rally
Our Correspondent

Rewari, May 17
Activists of the Haryana Vikas Party (HVP), who had become demoralised in Ahirwal after the ouster of the Bansi Lal government in 1999, have been enthused once again following the success of the recent Bawal rally of the party supremo, Mr Bansi Lal. The rally was organised in the wake of the encouraging performance of the party nominee (who secured second position) in the recent byelection of Yamunanagar.

At a district level workers’ meeting held under the chairmanship of its district president, Mr Shed Lal Singh, here on Sunday, several leaders from Kanwali, Guraara, Dahina, Ramgarh, Kamalpur and Guriani villages, along with their supporters, joined the party after severing their connections with the Congress Party. Similarly, half a dozen other prominent persons from Kaniana, Gothra, Rampura, Kanwali and Dhani Kolana villages and their supporters also made their entry into the HVP after bidding adieu to their ties with the INLD. All of them reposed their full faith in the stewardship of Mr Bansi Lal who alone, they asserted, could provide all-round development in Haryana.

Welcoming them all into the party fold, a senior HVP leader, Mr Anil Rao, also assured them that dedicated and diligent workers would be treated with honour and dignity in the party. He also asserted that this “huge” influx of new workers had given a big boost to the party in South Haryana, particularly in the Jatusana assembly constituency. Jubilant workers at the meeting exuded confidence that the next government in Haryana would be formed under the leadership of Mr Bansi Lal.



Speaking out


Do you have a grouse against the apathetic attitude of the authorities? Are you fed up with the dilly-dallying tactics of officialdom and the stranglehold of red tapism? If so, please write to us. We have a full half page every week reserved just for you. The letters should be clearly marked, Speaking out, NCR Tribune, First Floor, Dyal Singh Library Building, 1 Deen Dayal Upadhaya Marg, New Delhi-110002.

This refers to a news item entitled “A Museum that Trashes Rare Objets D’Art” that appeared in your esteemed daily on 15.5.2002. I would like to inform you that the allegations made in the said article are absolutely baseless. Your correspondent has based his article purportedly on information provided by an officer of the National Museum who has been suspended recently. This officer was appointed in 1993 as Deputy Keeper (manuscripts) and was place in charge of Sanskrit manuscripts as he possessed the requisite qualification. He possesses a Doctorate degree in Sanskrit and a diploma in manuscriptology. He had always shirked his responsibilities, and tried to avoid taking charge of the entire Sanskrit manuscript collection for the last eight years.

It may be recalled that the Hon’ble High Court of Delhi has appointed a Physical Verification Committee for verifying all the collections of National Museum. Whereas physical verification of art objects of all the departments is smoothly going on, the verification work of Sanskrit manuscripts had been stalled by this officer on false pretext.

The said officer was reminded of his duties and responsibilities and was issued a number of memos within a period of one year. He continued to indulge in the acts of negligence, dereliction of duty and insubordination. To avoid verification work of the Sanskrit manuscripts, he somehow obtained a medical certificate to say that he is allergic to manuscripts.

The National Museum is required to furnish quarterly progress report of the physical verification to the Hon’ble High Court and complete the verification work as per target date fixed by the High Court. This has necessitated strict compliance of the verification work. This is the main cause for his suspension, as he refused to comply with the order of the competent authority.

You are requested to publish this rejoinder in the next issue of your esteemed daily.

Dr R.D. CHOUDHURY, Director General, National Museum, New Delhi

Water for travellers 

For the last 30 years, Dainik Yatri Sangh has been requesting the Railway Board, as well as the General Manager and Divisional Railway Managers of Northern Railway for providing proper drinking water at the Shahdara railway station. However, despite our repeated requests, there is inadequate drinking water arrangements for the travellers.

At present, more that 50,000 commuters use this railway station and 89 trains halt there.

It is the legal as well as moral obligation of the railways to ensure that drinking water, fit for human consumption, is available within the premises of the railway station.

At present, there are two water coolers on platform number 1 and 2, on which “cold water” or “sheetal jal” is neatly painted on them. However, not a single drop of cold water is available as they are always found “out of order”.

It seems that the authorities the Northern Railways have no concern with this problem. Will the Railway Minister probe into the matter personally and do the needful without any further delay, as the summer season now is running on its full swing?

M.B.DUBEY BIJNORI, Shahdara, Delhi.

Gaurav Choudhury replies

The response of the Director General of National Museum, Dr R.D. Choudhury, to the said news item seems to be an afterthought. For some inexplicable reason, Dr Choudhury has concentrated only on the issue of the suspension of an official and avoided any comments on several other important aspects of the story.

It may also be worth mentioning, that when this correspondent sought his views on the issues before the story went into print, Dr Choudhury refused to offer any comment and only said that he confirmed the suspension of the official. It is apparent that the letter is basically an alibi for the state of affairs prevailing in the museum.

Greening the earth

The adverse consequences of environmental degradation on all fronts have begun to damage the life support system on earth. One shudders to think of the danger that lie ahead for mankind. We are all indeed guilty of bringing about the environmental degradation that is not only playing havoc with the present generation but will affect more severely, the generations to come.

Among the solutions being suggested are reduction in fossil-fuel, controlling poisonous emissions, relying more and more on alternative sources of renewable energy, developing cleaner technology and reforestation.

From the above list of suggestions, the one that is easiest and within the reach of all concerned and can be implemented with the minimum financial resources is the reforestation of the denuded forest area.

Inherent in the remedy is the programme of planting more and more trees. Today, along with the socio-economic and technological advances, the world needs revolutionary programme of reforestation.

For this, not only the existing green cover of the earth is to be protected and preserved, but the area which hold fresh potential for planting more trees should be Developed.

In this endeavour, we have to be careful that rather than going in for fast growing species, we have to plant those trees which are suitable for long term protection of the earth’s climate. For this purpose, we have to depend on the ancient wisdom which has proved successful in preserving and sustaining the bio-diversity.

However, it can be mentioned here without hesitation that scientific research has proved conclusively that trees like Neem and Peepal hold much promise to control environmental pollution. Hence, there is a need to grow more and more of these varieties. In order to build up the momentum and sustain the movement, the press has very crucial role to play.

It is time when newspapers should ensure permanent space for news that highlight this problem. The local government agencies should invite all residential, community, social, religious, cultural, commercial, professional and all other associations, to come forward and join hands to plant more trees. Sinking their political differences, the political leadership at the local level can do wonders for the success of this programme. Small efforts at the local level like developing and maintaining parks and planting more trees can evolve into a gigantic movement. Can the national Capital take the lead in initiating such a movement?

The time has come when each and every citizen of this country must be involved in this endeavour. However, school and college students are the best hope for such a cause.

TISH MALHOTRA, Rohini, Delhi.

BJP-BSP combine

Despite all the political bitterness and ideological differences, expectedly the BJP-BSP combine have formed the government in Uttar Pradesh. However, they should remember that the road ahead is full of thorns for both the parties.

This marriage of convenience has not gone down well with the people.

Quite clearly, the electorate of the state will teach both the power hungry parties a lesson in the future.

Meanwhile, Paswan deserves kudos for scoring a point over his unprincipled allies. He is sure to reap a bumper crop when the time to face the electorate comes.

R.L.PATHAK, New Delhi.

‘Facts’ of the case

I have gone through the report that appeared in the NCR Tribune dated 8th May, 2002, (‘One man can play havoc with system’) from Rohtak. The facts of the case are as below:

The undersigned functioned as Administrative Officer of the institute till March 15, 2002. During this period, I had approved a draft letter in relation to Dr K.S. Laller in the first week of March,2002 and after recording it on the relevant file, marked the same to the Director.

The director made some query, which was later provided by the branch in the last week of March, 2002. By this time, I had left the additional charge of administrative officer on the joining of Mr .K.Sharma.(HCS)

The file was put up before the new administrative officer who recorded his signatures on the said file on 9.4.2002. Therefore, there was no question of my signing the said letter on April 10, 2002. The concerned assistant sent the said draft letter, which was approved by me in the first week of March, to the government after putting a dispatch number and date. (i.e 10.4.2002)

Actually, as per the procedure he should have revised the original draft letter, incorporating the later observation of the director and then put it up to the new Director for his approval. However, he did not bother to do so.

This letter was somehow procured from the Haryana Civil Secretariat, Health-IV Branch, Chandigarh, by vested interests and later was published in the NCR Tribune.

This was done as part of a deep- rooted conspiracy not only to malign the image of the undersigned, but also that of the new administration of PGIMS, Rohtak.

It could not have been possible for any official of PGIMS, Rohtak, to bring any file to me for my signatures on 10.4.2002, when every one knew that the new administrative officer had joined long back.(i.e. on March 15, 2002) Therefore, the report is baseless, because the correspondent neither contacted the undersigned nor the office of the director, PGIMS, Rohtak, for clarification.

He relied only on a photocopy of a draft of a letter which was wrongly sent to the government by an official of PGIMS, Rohtak.

The contents of the last paragraph are very old and the same correspondent had it published earlier on a couple of occasions.

However, the correspondent is unnecessarily raking up the issue time and again for the motives best known to him.

DR M.S. GUPTA, PT. B.D Sharma, PGIMS, Rohtak .

Right to choose

I am extremely angry regarding the latest proposal of the Union Government whereby I will have to fork out money to buy setup box to watch television. I feel that it is a conspiracy between broadcasters, government and the cable operators to cheat the honest consumers.

Under the new proposal, the cable operator will have the freedom to deny the consumer the right to watch a particular pay channel. Even if I want to see a particular channel for which I am ready to pay a price, I will not be able to watch them.

This in turn means that even after spending a huge amount of money in buying the set-up boxes, I will be able to watch only those channels which my cable operator thinks are good for me and my family.

Moreover, the proposal does not in any way address the issue of giving consumers a choice.

We are made to believe that the new rule is being enacted to protect the right of consumers. However, in reality each of them is out to get their own pound of flesh, totally ignoring the need of an average consumer.

It is my sincere suggestion to the members of industry, broadcasters, cable operators and the government to work together to arrive at a common decision that will benefit the consumer.

SWATI ANAND, on e-mail

Mind your business

I am extremely upset over the latest proposal of forcing the consumers to pay a hefty sum for watching television programmes. I see it as a clear conspiracy between the industry and the government to fleece the consumer. The whole proposal reeks of a well-planned tirade against the consumers. The new proposal also goes against the freedom of choice. The proposal does not address the key issue of giving the consumer a choice. Under the new proposal, the cable operator has the freedom to deny the consumer the right to watch a pay channel. Is it not absurd? I want to watch a programme for which I am ready to pay a price.

But because of some stupid provision in the new proposal on cable TV, the cable operator gets the right to do whatever he deems fit. I am also annoyed at the manner in which the whole proposal is being pushed through. I do not understand what is the hurry to rush through something that is against the interest of the consumer. At this time, the government should focus its energy and attention on ensuring peace and harmony in the country and not waste its time on some anti-consumer legislation.

Legislation as sensitive as the protection of rights and freedom of the consumer, should be deliberated upon carefully.

The policy makers should remember that in order to regulate the cable industry, they should not muzzle the right of the consumers. And, as far as regulation is concerned, are we going back to the days of licensing raj? And, as they say, the best business for the government is to mind its own business.

S. SRINIVASAN, Green Park, New Delhi.



Hardcore criminal held from court complex
Our Correspondent

Jhajjar, May 17
The Crime Branch of the district police arrested a criminal, who has been involved in a dozen cases of murder, looting, theft and rape, when came to meet other members of his gang in the local court complex here on Thursday. A country-made pistol and three cartridges were also seized from him. According to the police, Sukhivender alias Sukhi, resident of Ritoli village in Rohtak, was a member of a criminal gang active in Delhi, Rohtak, Sonepat and Jhajjar. He had been involved in several heinous crimes and had been evading arrest. The police said that he had come to meet other members of his gang, who were brought to the local court, reportedly to plan a robbery.

House ransacked

Two unidentified youths stole into the rented flat of one Seema Sharma, wife of Mr Sandip Sharma, in Anand Nagar here on Monday afternoon and decamped with Rs 1,200 and expensive garments. They reportedly gagged the mouth of Seema Sharma, who was then alone in the flat. The police have registered a case.

Health workers

The Multi-purpose Health Workers Union today served a two-month ultimatum on the Haryana Government to accept its 15-point charter of demands. Addressing a press conference here today, the president of the union, Ms Asha Sharma, informed that the demonstration outside the residence of the Health Minister, Dr M. L. Ranga, at Rewari scheduled for May 19 had been postponed following a meeting with the minister. During a meeting, Dr Ranga had clarified that there was no move to privatise any hospital in the state, she claimed.



Probe into pregnant woman’s death begins
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, May 17
The district police officials have started a probe into the death of a pregnant woman of Sector 14 at a private hospital here. It is alleged that it was due to the negligence and lack of knowledge of a woman doctor running a private nursing home that had led to the untimely death of the mother and baby.

In a complaint lodged with the police chief, Mr Rajesh Kumar has alleged that his wife, Anjula, who was four-month pregnant, was taken to a private clinic for a check-up.

While the doctor advised them to get an ultrasound scan done. Later she said it was necessary to operate his wife to save her life and operated her on April 4. But the doctor later advised him to shift to Appollo Hospital for post-operative care. He alleged that while the doctor did not give any treatment details or documents, his wife died after she was shifted to Appollo Hospital. He has sought action against the doctor.



Son, daughters behind man’s murder
Our Correspondent

Rewari, May 17
In a dramatic twist to a murder case, the complainant himself has turned out to be the killer. And the deceased is the father of the complainant.

The murder of Bir Singh (45) took place in Dhakia village under the Jatusana police station of the district on the night of May 7. Bir Singh’s son, Ramesh Kumar, had complained that his father had accompanied two unknown youths on the night of the murder and never returned. He alleged that the youths had injured his father seriously and threw the body in a village well from which it was recovered by the police on May 8. On the basis of this complaint, the police had registered a case of murder against the unknown culprits. But the arrest of the culprits and subsequent investigations revealed that the statement of Ramesh Kumar could not be relied upon. Ramesh was subjected to intensive questioning and he finally disclosed that he and his two married sisters, Sunita and Poonam, hatched a plan under which Bir Singh was done to death and his body was thrown into the well under the cover of darkness.

He told the police that they took this extreme step because they were fed up with the misdeeds of their father, who, they alleged, was a drunkard as well as a man of immoral character. It may be mentioned here that their mother, who too was sick of his pernicious deeds, had been living separate from him at her parental house at Jat Bhagela village for a long time. The police have now registered a murder case against Ramesh Kumar. He was remanded in judicial custody for 14 days .

PGIMS docs go on strike

Rohtak: The junior doctors at Pt B. D. Sharma PGIMS went on a strike in protest against the “hostile” attitude of an attendant of a patient towards a doctor this morning. They resumed work only around 3 pm following an assurance by the Director of the institute, Maj-Gen Virender Singh Poonia, that an inquiry would be held and appropriate action be taken soon. The junior doctors complained that the attendants of several patients used to gather in the rooms of the wards due to the laxity on the part of the security staff of the institute causing nuisance. They alleged certain attendants sometimes wrangled with the junior doctors on trivial matters. On the other hand, attendants of the patients alleged that the doctors were negligent and rude towards the patients.



DSIDC officer held for taking bribe
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 17
The Anti-Corruption Branch today claimed to have arrested an Accounts Officer of the DSIDC, K. K. Gupta, for allegedly demanding and accepting a bribe of Rs 3, 300 from Mr Chander Prakash, an industrialist.

The complainant, Mr Chander Prakash, reported that under the relocation scheme of factories in the Capital, he was allotted three plots by the Industries Department in place of his three industries in Najafgarh. He had deposited Rs 5,49,000 for these plots, measuring 250 square metres each, and the remaining amount was to be paid later.

Meanwhile, the government increased the rate of land from Rs 3,000 to Rs 4,200 per square metre. So he decided not to get the possession. He applied to the DSIDC to refund the deposited money but the officers concerned of the DSIDC did not help him. They allegedly harassed him.

Then the suspect demanded Rs 10,000 from the complainant for getting his money refunded. However, he later agreed to accept Rs 3,300. The bribe was to be given after lunch hours on Thursday. The complainant informed the sleuths of the Anti-Corruption Branch and laid a trap and arrested the suspect red-handed. In another development, the sleuths of the branch also arrested an SI of the traffic police, Virender Singh Nagar, and constables Raj Singh and Yogender Singh for demanding and accepting Rs 150 for a challan of Rs 100 from the driver of a tempo on Wednesday.

Burglars arrested: The Operation Cell of the North district police arrested five suspected burglars, all nationals of Bangladesh, who surveyed posh localities during day and committed burglaries at night. They were identified as Mohammad Tipu Sultan, Mohammad Abdul Parak, Mohammad Alam alias Kamaal Mohammad, Akhtar alias Masoom and Mohammad Taslam. They were arrested during a drive launched by the district police.

Nepali robbers: Two Nepali youths robbed jewellery and a large sum of money from the house of a businessman in Sandesh Vihar near Saraswati Vihar this afternoon. The businessman, Mr Roshan Lal Sahdev, and his elder son, Anil, were in their factory when the incident occurred. His wife, Mrs Maya, and younger son, Ajay, were their in the house when the incident occurred. They threatened Mrs Maya and snatched the bangles she was wearing. Besides, they also took away a large sum of money kept in the almirah, the police said.



Village youth catch car used in loot
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, May 17
Residents of Kathura village have set a fine example by identifying a Maruti car used in a case of loot and handed it and its driver over to the police for further investigation.

According to a report, four armed unidentified youths, who had come in this car, had looted Rs 4.30 lakh from two arhtias, Mr Tara Chand and Mr Raj Kumar on May 9. The same car was spotted this morning when it arrived in Kathura carrying some passengers. One of the residents, Mr Raj Kumar, raised an alarm on seeing the car but the driver tried to speed away. Then two youths, Hardev and Krishan, gave a hot chase on a motorcycle and succeeded in intercepting the car near Katwana village, about 5 km away from Kathura. They overpowered the driver, who was identified as Jagbir of Dhamar village in Rohtak district. He was handed over to the police. Later, the police also rounded up his another associate for further investigation.



Cash, jewellery worth Rs 1.28 lakh 
stolen from house 
Our Correspondent

Jhajjar, May 17
Cash and jewellery worth around Rs 1.28 lakh were stolen from the residence of the Station Superintendent of Bahadurgarh Railway Station, situated in the railway staff quarters complex, in broad daylight today.

The Station Superintendent, Mr R. P. Meena, said that he along with his daughter and wife had gone to Rajasthan to attend a family function at around 8 am. As no one was present in the house, burglars scaled the backside of the house and broke open the locks of a box and decamped with Rs 58,000 and gold and silver jewellery worth around Rs 70,000 lying in the box. He immediately informed the police who registered a case in this connection. 



3 kill driver, flee with taxi

Noida, May 17
Three persons, who had hired a taxi from Preet Vihar in Delhi for going to Aligarh, killed the taxi driver, threw his body in a field near Dadri and fled away with the taxi. The taxi belonged to Yadav Travelling Agency and the driver was identified as Kamarv. Three persons had booked it from Preet Vihar taxi stand. The body of the driver was thrown near NTPC Dadri and the face of the deceased bore signs of injuries, which proved that he had offered some resistance, the police said. The driver was engaged by the taxi owner only a few days ago. The UP police have handed over the matter for further action to the Delhi Police. OC


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