Monday, May 20, 2002, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


DVB bidders may get sops
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 19
The Core Committee of the Delhi Government, which is renegotiating with the private bidder for the energy sector privatisation, would submit its report next week and it is likely that some concessions would be given to the bidders to salvage the privatisation process.

“The Core Committee of the Delhi Government headed by the Principal Secretary, Mr Ramesh Chandra, which is renegotiating with TATA and BSES, will submit its report to the Cabinet next week. If everything goes well, there will be some good news next week,” Mr Maken told a select group of newspersons.

Stakes are high for the successful privatisation of the power sector in the Capital, especially after the Enron and Orissa fiasco.

Sources said that the government could lower the AT&D losses from 19 per cent over the five years to 16 per cent. The two private companies had agreed to bring it down by only 12 to 14 per cent during the period.

The companies wanted the government to ensure 16 per cent return for 30 years as huge risk was involved in the investment and low rate of return. Initially the government had assured that percentage of return till five years subject to certain conditions. But, during the negotiation, the sources said that the government had agreed to assured return for much longer duration than earlier stated, but certainly not for three decades.

The companies had insisted on anti-theft legislation as the Capital has the unique distinction of 58 per cent transmission and distribution losses and most of them occur in the posh localities of Delhi.

According to a recent World Bank report, the national average of T&D losses is around 23 per cent, while in Delhi it is as high as 58 per cent. Of it, the transmission losses are about 12.5 per cent and the distribution losses accounting to 45.5 per cent, meaning theft.

Indications are that the government would bring in laws on the lines of the Andhra Pradesh anti-theft legislation model, which has several stringent provisions to deal with energy theft.

The government has planned to split the loss-making DVB into one generation company, one transmission company and three distribution companies and also create one holding company.

Only two companies out of the four short-listed by the government bid for the three distribution companies. For the Central-East distribution sector, BSES was the sole bidder. For the North and North-West and for the South-West distribution circle, BSES and Tata Power placed their bids.

The government had evaluated the assets of the three distribution companies at Rs 2,360 crore. For the Central-East company, asset value is Rs 290 crore, for the North and North-West company, it is Rs 920 crore and for the South-West company, the value is set at Rs 1,150.

The state government’s move to privatise energy distribution in the Capital had received a setback as the two private bidders had quoted much below the expectation of the government and placed certain conditions too.

“The privatisation of the DVB will not be a sell-off to the companies. It will be profitable to the companies and provide better services to the people,” the Delhi Chief Minister, Ms Sheila Dikshit, had asserted.

And, the need to succeed is clearly understood by the state government and the Centre as Mr Maken said that the Union Power Ministry was ready to help the Delhi Government in all possible ways as it “wants the experiment to work so that it can be replicated at other places.”

‘Powerful’ visits by Maken

Power Minister Ajay Maken today continued his surprise visits at Delhi Vidyut Board’s service centres and pulling up the errant staff. Accompanied by the member (technical) of the DVB, he visited the Hauz Quazi service centre (Daryaganj district) and the Lahori gate service centre (Chandni Chowk district).

On the occasion, he said that the DVB would come out with a “chart” outlining the time to be taken to set a fault right and the time to respond to a complaint.



DTC to be divided into three corporations

New Delhi
The loss-making Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) will be restructured by forming three corporations and buses will be leased out to private operators, according to a plan drawn up by the Delhi Government to get the corporation out of the red.

The Delhi Transport Minister, Mr Ajay Maken, said as per the restructuring plan, separate corporations would be formed for inter-state buses, city fleet and maintenance, besides leasing out some of the buses to private companies.

“We can privatise the maintenance division where pilferage is the most,” he said.

Mr Maken said that instead of fixing the cost of a DTC bus at the time when it is bought, “we should fix the price for a bus for 10 years in continuation by adding the maintenance charge to it, which would gradually increase with every passing year. It would be like insurance and the DTC can run into profits”.


First list of SAD (Badal) on May 22
R. Suryamurthy
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 19
The political activity for the general elections to the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) gained momentum today with the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) forming a nine-member committee to select the candidates. The first list of candidates would be released on Wednesday and about half a dozen sitting members would be denied party ticket, sources said.

The members of the election committee were SAD (Badal) Delhi unit chief Avtar Singh Hit, deputy leader of Opposition in MCD Onkar Singh Thapar, Inderpal Singh Khalsa, Mahinder Singh Matharu, Manjit Singh Greater Kailash, Bhupinder Singh Anand, Manmohan Singh Sachdeva, Kuldip Singh Bhogal and Harmanjit Singh.

The Shiromani Akali Dal president and former Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, at a meeting here today cleared the names of the nine-member committee. Except for Mr Harmanjit Singh, who is not in town, other members of the election committee attended the meeting. Party sources said the SAD president asked the members of the election committee to strictly follow the party’s candidates’ selection procedure and deny ticket to those who in the past had violated the party discipline.

About six sitting DSGMC members, who had violated the party discipline and voted against the party during their tenure, would be denied tickets, sources said. The Delhi unit chief, Mr Avtar Singh Hit, told ‘NCR Tribune’ that the party would release its list of candidates in three batches. The first list of candidates would be released on Wednesday, after the election committee members hold discussion.

He said, “The candidates would be asked to furnish the details of their assets and criminal record, if any, in an affidavit.” Stating that these records would be made public, Mr Avtar Singh said, “If any candidate fails to provide them, his candidature could be cancelled.”

Sources said the first list could contain the names of about 10 to 15 candidates. A member of the election committee, Mr Manjit Singh Greater Kailash, said the emphasis would be on new faces and youth. The sitting member of the DSGMC said, “Mr Badal has asked the committee members to pay particular attention to youth, especially in view of the fact that persons with 18 years and above have been given the voting right for the first time.”


Serving the deprived is quite close to his heart
Nalini Ranjan

Noida, May 19
Several years ago, he got a patient who had a hole in his heart, three clogged arteries and a tight heart valve. But the man had only Rs 5,000 in his pocket and could not afford the expensive treatment.

Dr Parshotam Lal was able to manage an operation for him with no cost involved. That was the turning point in his life. Serving the poor became very close to his heart.

He decided to open a specialised hospital where the poor could gain access to the latest developments in medical science. That is why in 1997, he started Metro Hospital in Noida with a little help from just a few friends.

A distinguishing feature of the hospital is its reasonable price structure which Dr Lal hopes could serve as a model for all those who want to serve the poor of the nation.

Dr Lal had everything going for him - a roaring practice in New York worth half a million dollars annually and the comfort of his joint family. Despite all this, however, he felt that he did not fit into the alien society. In 1989, he decided to leave everything behind and packed up to return to India.

Today, he has no regrets. He has gained much satisfaction and recognition. I have not earned much in terms of money ever since I came back to India, he says. All the same, he feels satisfied that he is one of the pioneers in international cardiology today not only in

India but also in Asia. For Dr Lal who had spent his childhood in the Ferozepur district of Punjab, returning to India was more than just a homecoming.

He wanted to reach out to the poor and give them the option of

sophisticated treatment of congenital defects of the heart and other cardiac problems. He realised his dream when he received a message from Apollo Chairman Doctor, C. Pratap Reddy to join his team.

Dr Lal joined Apollo, Madras in 1989 and began his research campaign which proved a runaway success. He had spent 15 years abroad in various hospitals and universities. Having more than ‘20 firsts’ to his credit, he has played a major role in pioneering interventional cardiology in India and introduced a large number of intervention procedures for the first time in India such as diamond drilling for blocked arteries of the heart and closure of heart hole without surgery.

Dr Lal played a major role in the clinical development of Monodisc ASD closure device. His name has been listed several times in Limca Book of World Records. He was honoured with Dr V.V. Shah Oration Gold Medal by Cardiological Society of India in 1992.

Dr Lal says about 75 million people suffer from coronary artery disease and it is becoming a single biggest killer for the individuals over 30 years and claims more than 25 lakh lives a year, making India lead the world in the incidence of heart disease. These are the people who may have been having 40-50 per cent block and in such cases Echo, TMT is usually normal and the attack takes place due to the rupture of this plaque, causing 40-50 per cent block.

Sometimes some individuals may be having 90-95 per cent blocks in one of the most important arteries of the heart and a heart attack situation may even result death in some of the individuals. Unfortunately, there is no reliable non-invasive test available by which the blocks in the coronary arteries could be detected.

To deal with these limitations, the concept of Metro Coronary Screening has been introduced by Dr Lal in which coronary arteries are checked through the arm via miniaturised catheter with the minimum use of dye and Echo cardiography and blood tests are also performed. The procedure takes fewer than 10 minutes and the individuals go home within an hour. How was Dr Lal able to devise so many new procedures? He attributes this to the high quality of skills he had acquired as a fellow of the Medical College of Cardiology at the Society of Cardiac Angiography and International of United States.


14 charged with assaulting cops

Sonepat, May 19
The Sadar police have registered a case against 14 persons of Dewru village in connection with the alleged assault and pelting of stones on the police and officials of the Excise Department on the night of May 17. According to a report, these persons included Bijender, Mohinder, Krishan, Om Parkash, Surjeet, Satpal, Lal Singh, Balraj, Rajinder, Bhup Singh, Karam Chand, Laxman, Baba and Satinder. A woman is also reported to have been named in the FIR whose son had been kidnapped by the members of liquor mafia gang.

It is stated that the officials of the Excise Department, accompanied by the employees of a liquor shop owner, arrived in the village after they got information that liquor boxes were being smuggled in every night. The officials intercepted a Tata 407 which was carrying the liquor boxes.

The officials also rounded up two youths, Mohinder and Bijender, of Dewru village and tried to take the duo with them. The news spread like wildfire and villagers assembled there in large numbers and succeeded in releasing one of them.

On receiving information, a strong contingent of the police arrived in the village and made an attempt to arrest the persons involved in the assault on the officials of the Excise Department. The mob, thereupon, became furious and started pelting stones on the police in a big to evade the arrest. One policeman sustained injuries and he was immediately hospitalised.

It is also stated that the police had used force and dispersed the violent mob. The residents alleged that the police made a lathi charge injuring five persons. The police officials, however, denied that any lathi charge took place. The incident has created tension in the village and the residents are planning to launch an agitation if the police tried to arrest the persons named in the FIR allegedly at the behest of the members of the liquor mafia gang. OC


Two booked for detaining cops in Kiloi
Our Correspondent

Rohtak, May 19
The district police have registered a case against Mr Dharambir Hooda, district president of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU), Mr Ram Mehar Hooda, president of the Hooda ‘Khap’, and six others under Sections 147, 148, 332, 353, 186, 506, 364, 382 and 342 of the IPC on the charge of abduction and illegal detention of four policemen at Kiloi village.

With this, the situation at Kiloi village has turned tense. Meanwhile, the panchayats of 45 villages including Kadyan, Deswal, Ahlawat and Kundu ‘khaps’ held that the farmers’ agitation was justified and extended support to the protestors. While the residents of Kiloi village are in no mood to release the four policemen without the acceptance of their demands by the government, the authorities have so far failed to take the courage to go to the village for their release or even to negotiate with the agitating farmers.

Meanwhile, the District Magistrate, Mr Anil Malik, has prohibited the gathering of five or more persons and carrying of weapons of offence in the revenue limits of this district with immediate effect till further orders in view of the ongoing agitation of the BKU.


Fire in Janak cinema
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 19
Fire broke out in Janak cinema in West district early this morning which destroyed dozens of chairs kept in the balcony. There was no casualty as the show was not on.

The fire broke out at 5 am in duct of an air-conditioner installed in the balcony. Since everybody was asleep at that time and the cinema was locked from outside, nobody noticed the smoke emanating from the duct in the beginning. When chairs kept in the balcony caught fire, flames started coming out which were noticed by a watchman. He informed the Delhi Fire Service.

The fire service rushed 12 firefighters to douse the blaze. It took the firemen about three hours to control it. Later, it was completely doused. The Delhi Fire Service spokesman said that it was a minor fire. Had it not been noticed in the early stage, it could have damaged property worth lakhs in the hall.

In another incident, a minor fire was reported in a factory in Mayapuri in West district this morning. The fire partially damaged the first and the second floor of the building.


Close and personal transactions at red lights
Tarun Gill

New Delhi, May 19
Irked with Delhi’s scorching heat, forgot to wash the car, did not get the time to buy your favourite weekly, you need not worry. The antidote to your complexities could be found with a flick of an eye, the pestering street hawkers on Capital’s red lights, selling all sort of stuff from magazines, dusters, sun screen to tissue papers, to give their customers a much needed relief. Talk about window shopping, how about trying this one, where the transactions are up close and personal affair.

“Hawking is not strictly illegal but begging is, to a certain degree. A red light is not only an accident prone area, where a person is endangering his or his fellow commuters life, but it also become a security threat, where minor theft cases have been regularly reported,’’ says Sanjay Singh, DCP, South District.

“A hawker needs no license. He is free to sell anything, as long as he is mobile, and doesn’t obstruct the traffic norms. Teh Bazari is authorized, as proliferation of roadside magazine shops could be seen all over Delhi’’, says Ramesh Negi, Additional Commissioner, MCD.

There is no clear-cut line between begging and hawking. “Begging, whether on a red light or anywhere is a punishable offence under the High Court orders . We have made Anti-Begging Squads and also appointed district officers with the full cooperation of the police to apprehend and send them to `beggars home’, where they are provided with food, clothing and other basic amenities but hawking doesn’t come under our jurisdiction,’’ says M. K. Mishra, Director, Social Welfare Directorate.

“Migrants from some of the adjoining drought stricken states are involved in the kind of work which doesn’t require much input, so they end up selling tissue papers, which costs them between Rs six to eight, and they sell it for Rs 25. And there have been cases where they have been caught red-handed stealing mobile phones and cash,’’ says Devender Rawat, from Kiran Book Agency, who provides books to the hawkers at Rs 25 per cent commission.

The newly built Nehru Place flyover has triggered off a confrontation between peoples of different states involved in this lucrative roadside business. “We used to sell at least 6-8 copies of a popular magazine everyday at the Nehru Place red light, thanks to the perpetual traffic jam. But the new flyover has forced us to shift our base and work along with our competitors’’ says Veeru, a migrant from Bihar, selling magazines at the IIT red light.

“Cops have clearly told us not to be on the road between 8 am to 11 am because its the time when VIPs go to their respective offices. And if we are seen, we take the beating from their dandas and their jutte. And then, the only help for us is to call up some NGO, working for childhood enhancements. They do their best to save us from the hostilities of the cops,’’ says Maghu, a beggar at the Lajpat Nagar red light.

“Most of the beggars and hawkers are children, who are under 18-years. Their mamas or chachas (Thekedars) brought them from either Rajasthan or Bihar. These so-called relatives have engaged these innocent children into selling books or tissue papers. But at the same time, they have remained behind the scene, so it is these gullible who take the beatings of the brutal cops. However, according to the law, the police can not beat a person who is below 18 years,’’ says Shiv Kumar, from Chetna, an NGO working for childhood enhancements.

“We try to create an awareness among these destitute children, who are the real sufferers, and also endeavor to sensitize the police, making them realize their responsibilities towards the unfortunate sections of our society,” says Pramod Kumar, a Chetna representative.

“Even as the police make an all out effort to clean up the Delhi roadsides by rounding-up these children and sending them back to their native places, these efforts often prove futile, as poverty and misery back home, compel them to come back,” 


Making some ‘water sense’ on a hot summer day
by Prem Kumar

THEY are all worried about water in Delhi as elsewhere in the country. The water is short in supply. It is poor in quality. It is not available to all. It is not equitably distributed. It is expensive. It is wasted by most people most of the time. There is a need to do something urgently to solve the water problem. The ground must be recharged. There should be rainwater harvesting. The used water should be recycled. It should be made more expensive for the people to realise its value.

And many more things are being said about it. Workshops are held, seminars are organised, public and press statements are issued and the problem is discussed officially and unofficially at higher levels and lower levels. The pitch of talking gets shriller but nothing worthwhile comes out of it.

One only has to go round the national Capital and talk to the people of posh colonies as well as clusters of jhuggis and slums. One hears about the same kind of complaints as far as water supply is concerned. Those who can afford it have dug up tubewells in their own premises, some have installed motors and pump out water from mainline, of course, at the cost of neighbours. Those who are influential enough and can pay for it, order for tanks from the municipal authorities or even private sources. But most of the citizens wait helplessly for the trickle of water whenever it reaches their houses or streets. The experts say it is only the beginning of the problem, the worst is yet to come.

Only last week, a senior official of the Delhi Jal Board gave an interesting explanation. The tap water comes cheap and, therefore, nobody cares for it. A lot of water — 260 million gallons to be specific — is wasted because the people do not understand the value of water. A good explanation indeed. While a kilolitre of mineral water sells for Rs 10,000, the municipal tap water sells for 35 paise to Rs 3.

A good argument indeed only if one could compare tap water to mineral water sold in bottles. Incidentally, the mineral water, or pure bottled water, sells because the municipal tap water is not satisfactory in quality or quantity. Also, those who waste water can afford to do so and will continue to do so even if it becomes costlier. The poor people — and they are in an overwhelming majority — hardly get enough water for their needs and have no occasion to waste it. Incidentally, some water is wasted due to inefficiency or negligence of the authorities too.

The fact is that this important aspect of human life has been neglected for long in this part of the country just as it has been ignored by those who matter elsewhere in the country. The people concerned with democracy, secularism, social justice and such other concepts did not get time to think about smaller issues like water. Perhaps, Mr Deve Gowda was the first Prime Minister who said that supply of good drinking water to all was his priority. Incidentally, more than 70 per cent people of this country do not have access to pure drinking water. At many places, the water is polluted much beyond the drinking quality. Not all the water in Delhi and other towns in the National Capital Region is good enough. Even the bottled water in some cases was found to be of poor quality.

It was not always so bad here. The Yamuna was clean. Delhi and the towns in its vicinity were not so densely populated. The rich considered it as their duty to dig up wells and put up free water stalls (piaos). The Yamuna was closer to the heart of the town. The city had enough water to clean drains and, sometimes, even streets. Things started changing. Refrigerated water — it was iced water most of the time — started selling for a small amount through vendors. The price went on increasing. The bottled water, known popularly as mineral water but actually purified water, started selling in sealed bottles at much higher rates. The position today is that many health-conscious citizens who can afford to pay get such water in larger containers at home and the same water is arranged at weddings and social functions.

People used to say in the old days that it was a sin to sell water and that offering water to the thirsty was a sacred task. It is big business now. But the real problem is that the future is bleak as far as availability of water is concerned. Desperate efforts are being made to motivate citizens to conserve water and an awareness campaign has been launched to encourage rainwater harvesting. Ideas are floating around for recycling of used water. But nothing much is being achieved on ground. The authorities and the people will have to make a massive, collective effort to achieve a breakthrough in this direction.

Whose market?

They say there is sort of a recession. That the people are shy of buying things unless absolutely essential. That the manufacturers and the traders are motivating the people to buy through all kinds of incentives and discounts. There are prizes and packages offered to buyers and different items are being clubbed to dispose of stuff which otherwise would not be exhausted. There are special sales at discount, real or fake, and there are hire-purchase schemes on almost everything. In such an environment, one must salute the manufacturers or dealers who can take the buyer for a ride.

An instance came to the notice recently as described by one of the buyers of a motorcycle. Now, there are any number of makes and brands of motorcycles in the market with fancy shapes and sales talk. A particular brand with its manufacturing facility at a long distance from Delhi has created an artificial scarcity and we are told that there is even a premium on this brand. This buyer had booked it about one month ago though he had been promised the delivery in about a fortnight. He sent a legal notice and was told promptly that his vehicle was on way. This ‘way’ turned to long and it did not arrive for about 15 days. He was told that the truck carrying vehicles had left the factory several days earlier. There are two dealers of this brand here. One of them had detained the truck delaying the supply to the other dealer. That was not enough. He saw to it that the other dealer’s supply was damaged — the seats were torn and the body had scratches. As a result, the buyers of the second dealer moved on to the first and the second suffered. The two must be fighting between themselves and would have taken up the matter with the manufacturer. But what about the buyers who had taken a fancy for this particular brand?

Lesson from south

The Delhi administration claims a lot of credit for introducing the Bhagidari scheme of co-operation between the state government and the citizens to better life in the national Capital. But it remains a beginning and a lot more of effort will have to be put in to make the campaign a success. In most of the areas in the north, the people and the governments consider themselves adversaries and not partners in improving things. It is so in Delhi too. The people have taken such initiatives in other parts of the country and Delhi can learn a lot from them, particularly those practised in the South.

For instance, there is the Janagraha movement in Bangalore. It is a collaborative movement to bring together a variety of citizens’ communities including slum dwellers and their elected representatives to make informed and effective decisions that truly represent citizens’ priorities. It works in close collaboration with corporators and takes up one issue at a time. The voluntary organisation running this movement works closely with the corporators and residents’ associations to prioritise budget allocations toward ward works like roads, footpaths, drains etc. About 15 people in each ward, in every neighbourhood take time off and fill forms to determine priorities and the training for the purpose is arranged by the voluntary organisation. The costing of all works is given in a standardised format. This is submitted to the corporator so that he can follow it up in the civic budget. This is the first step and the collaboration will extend to other specific issues in the course of time. All this at the people’s level.

Khurana again!

Madan Lal Khurana Good old Madan Lal Khurana is back in the field, commissioned by his bosses in the Bharatiya Janata Party, to recover the ground seen to be lost in the last civic poll in Delhi. He has been made in charge of Delhi in the all-India body. Perhaps, the party leadership feels that he can do wonders before the next assembly poll. There are many in the party, however, who feel that the revival of the party is no longer one man’s job even if he happens to be Khurana. The party is badly faction ridden. There was a recent rally where he was the only MP of his party from Delhi to participate in. Had he not been the secretary in charge of Delhi, he too might have been absent from there. Somehow, he had created an image for himself of fighting for something or the other within his own party and that image is difficult to remove. He suddenly cannot be the one to unite all those whom he had been fighting these few years. Also, it was the central leadership which weakened his hold over the party machinery in Delhi. Still, he is an old fighter, and a tough one at that. He would have to be watched in the days to come.

Poet’s anguish

Fatehabad is a small town in Haryana, the last place where one would expect the publication of a book of poetry which is relevant to the times. This exactly has happened and I came across this book, ‘Call of the Conscience’, by Kashmir S. Madan who had been collecting his poems for years and somebody took up the courage to publish them in a book form, which is impressive to look at and even read. One of the poems, written in a different context, that is, about communal disturbances, reads so apt in the present times which have been a witness to the Gujarat communal trouble. Without saying much about the book, I quote some lines from this poem:

Such a happening is the worst

Worse still is the outbreak of communal clashes

Which has swamped thousands of innocent lives

Property worth billions reduced to ashes

Detest this loot and arson this bloodshed

This loathsome path leads but to gloom

Already our soil with innocent blood is red

For more death and destruction it has no room

If I were to make a choice

To be a Pagan or be in communal chains

Certainly I will opt for the first

Perchance to preserve whatsoever love remains

One cannot quote extensively from any book but I find it difficult to resist quoting this one line, “What right has one to take a life when one can’t impart it at any cost?” One wishes there were many more persons to express anguish at the human tragedy which is the fate of our country.


Students injured in group clash
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, May 19
Two students namely Ashok and Navin studying in the final year in the local Hindu Institute of Technology, were seriously injured when they were allegedly attacked by hockey sticks and iron rods by a group in the New Jiwan Nagar area here on Saturday evening. According to a report, both the injured students who belonged to Rewari, were residing in a rented room in the area. The alleged assailants, who came in a car, managed to escape after the attack. Both the students were rushed to the local Civil Hospital for treatment and they were stated to be out of danger.

The alleged assailants are reported to have taken away cash and other goods from the room of the injured students. According to a report, a woman Phoolpati, sustained injuries when she was attacked by a youth at Thana Kalayan Village, abut 15 km from here. A dispute over a cricket ball was said to be the main cause of the attack.

Meanwhile, four persons were injured in three cases of allegedly assault reported from the Mohalla Kot, West Ram Nagar areas of this city and Bhatgaon village in this district.

All the injured persons were hospitalised and were stated to be out of danger.

The police have registered the cases and further investigation were in progress. However, no arrest was made in this connection.

Free text books

The chairperson of the Hospital Welfare Society, Mrs Sangeeta Roy distributed free text books and stationery items among 150 students of various educational institutions at a function organised by the Sarv Jatiya Vikas Manch, Haryana, here on Saturday evening.

According to a report, she also announced a financial assistance of Rs 5,100 on behalf of the District Red Cross Society for the organisers of the function. Speaking on the occasion, she lauded the role of social and voluntary organistations in helping the poor students in the field of education.

Chamber fees

The Haryana Government has decided to charge Rs 50 per month from lawyers who are in possession of chambers in the judicial complex. According to a report, the state government, has constructed as many as 108 chambers and allotted them to lawyers who had applied for them.

Boy missing

Mystery continues to shroud the disappearance of an eight-year-old-boy Subankar from his house in Braham Colony area of this city since May 10. According to a report, the police have registered the case but the boy was still untraceable. The parents of the boy are worried and have launched a search operation in this city and elsewhere.

Kidnap case

The Kharkhauda police have registered a case of kidnapping of the 13-year-old daughter of one Mr Sham Lal. According to a report, those named in the FIR are Bano, Shahnaaz, Mehnaz, Shahzad and Latif. Further investigations were in progress in the case. However, no arrest was made in this connection.

Fodder gutted

Fodder worth several thousands of rupees was reduced to ashes in a fire that broke out in the `bitauras’ at Bichpari village, about 50 km from here on Saturday. According to a report, the fire brigade brought the fire under control late on Saturday evening. The cause of the fire was still being ascertained by the police.



ICP for 2nd language status to Punjabi
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 19
The International Council of Punjabis (ICP) has decided to intensively lobby for securing central clearance to the Delhi Assembly Bill seeking to grant second official language status to Punjabi in the national Capital. This decision was taken at a meeting of the ICP here on Saturday where it was also agreed that the ICP would approach both the Lt-Governor of Delhi, Mr. Vijai Kapoor, and the Chief Minister, Mrs Sheila Dikshit, to pursue the matter with the Centre.

ICP chief Manjit Singh, son of the late Akali leader, Jathedar Santokh Singh, said that making Punjabi the second official language of the Capital was a long-standing demand of the Punjabis who virtually constitute 50 per cent of the population of the National Capital Territory. The granting of the second official language status to Punjabi would also open new employment opportunities for many.

Mr Manjit Singh, who is a senior member of the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC), said that the IPC was devoted to promoting Punjabi culture globally and would hold a world Punjabi Conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in October. 


Three dreaded criminals arrested

Sonepat, May 19
The Ganaur police arrested three dreaded criminals on Saturday night. The Superintendent of Police, Mr Paramjit Singh Ahlawat, told mediapersons here today that the arrested persons were Darshan Singh alias Minshi of Prem Nagar Narwana (Jind), and Harish alias Goldi of Hari Nagar, Narwana (Jind). The police also recovered an Indica car from their possession allegedly taken away by them from one Mr Ajay Kumar, a resident of Ropar. (Punjab)

The SSP disclosed that the culprits had hired the car from Chandigarh for Rs 3,000 for going to the Palam Airport at Delhi.

On the way, when the driver reached Patti Kalyana near Panipat, he was asked to halt so that one of them could take a medicine. However, as soon as the driver stopped the car, he was overpowered by the culprits, who also possessed pistols and knives.

According to the SP, the culprits drove the car to the outskirts of village RajluGarhi, where the driver was tied to a tree. The police, he said, have registered the case and further investigations were in progress.

Mr Ahlawat further disclosed that the police have arrested two youths, Anil alias Leelu of Kheri Sadh village under the Sampla police station and Pawan Kumar of Bhatgaon village, on charge of chain snatching from women in Sector 14 and 15. He disclosed that during the course of interrogation, the culprits confessed to their involvement in two cases of chain snatching in Sector 14 and 15.

The culprits, he said, had snatched gold chains from Mrs Savitri Devi, wife of Captain Raghvir Singh of Sector 14 and Mrs Suhsma, wife of Mr Subhash Gupta, of Sector 15. He said that cases against these youths were registered and further investigations were in progress.

The SP disclosed that the police have arrested a youth Mahipal alias Bhandar of Chidana village, who was a proclaimed offender in this district. A case was registered against the culprit. OC


P&S Bank GM booked for cheating

New Delhi, May 19
The CBI registered a case against the general manager of Connaught Place branch of the Punjab and Sind Bank and the two partners of a Delhi-based firm, M/S Pinky Zips, for allegedly defrauding the bank of Rs 41.7 lakh. The bank manager was identified as H.S. Duggal. The investigation disclosed that the partners of the firm, Depak and Renu Arora got opened a current account in the name of their firm in Connaught Place branch of Punjab and Sind Bank without introduction. They reportedly opened the account at the instance of the general manager of the bank. They also managed to obtain a term loan of Rs 36.40 lakh on the basis of allegedly fake documents and also purchased a third party cheque of Rs 5.3 lakh. TNS



Youth shot dead
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 19
An unidentified assailant shot dead one Puneet Arora, a resident of Pitampura in North-West district last evening. Last evening, while he was returning from a restaurant in Pitampura, the assailant fired at him from a close range. The victim received bullet injuries in his head. He was taken to Muni Ram Jain Hospital from where he was shifted to Jaipur Golden Hospital, where he was declared brought dead, the police said.


Don’t feel hot and bothered. There’re many a ‘cool’ option available now

CYCLONE, Double Cool and Vibrant are the three new air coolers launched by Kenstar this summer. Cyclone has a cooling capacity of 65 square metres and is suitable for dry and arid climates. It is suitable for halls, offices and restaurants and has a tank capacity of 45 litres for long hours of cooling. There is an added facility of an ice chamber in this model. Double Cool (capacity 30 square metres) is suitable for dry and arid climates and is ideal for living rooms and bedrooms. Vibrant (capacity 15 square metres) is suitable for arid climates and also coastal areas. It is ideal for use in offices and cubicles and has got a water tank capacity of 18 litres for extra cooling.

Fab fridge

The Ice Magic range of refrigerators comes with a host of benefits aimed at enhancing performance. Dubbed as the country’s only refrigerator with external electronic feather touch controls that allow the user to control all the settings of the refrigerator without even opening the door. At the press of a button, the quick chill function makes the Ice Magic work at its peak cooling capacity.

The auto power save mode provides energy efficiency by automatically shifting the refrigerator to minimum power consumption if the door is not opened for over 24 hours. The Ice Magic, as the company suggests, need not be switched off when going on short vacations. It also has other features like the door open alarm, quick serve which serves ice by the twist of a knob, flexible shelves and the auto shelf locking facility.

Smart juicer

Inalsa Appliances has launched Jucit, the new juice extractor, to beat the heat. For those who consider juicing at home a cumbersome and time consuming kitchen chore, Jucit peels, de-seeds, juices and strains the pulp and much more. It is equipped with a host of convenience and safety features. Powered with a 400 Watt motor, this durable and smart looking juicer, Jucit has a special safety latch to avoid any accidents that could happen if the juicer is switched on without the cover being placed properly. It also has a special circuit to avoid interference in television, radio and mobile phones and a thicker, sturdier, long lasting crack resistant lead wire. It also incorporates auto thermal cut-off, power indicator and a chord winder.

Cool Mint

From the house of Hindustan Lever comes Liril Icy Cool Mint. The tingling menthol offers an exhilarating freshness to the body and mind by offering a unique cooling sensation to the skin.

Action games

Milestone Interactive Software and AXN satellite channel have tied up to launch the Wow! That’s what I call Axtion custom game pack, comprising four chart busting action games called Tomb Raider: Last Revelation, Rainbow 6 Rogue Spear, Max Payne and Deus Ex.

Tomb Raider: Last Revelation is the fourth installment in the best-selling Tomb Raider action adventure game series featuring digital goddess and landmark gaming icon – Lara Croft. In this game, Lara squares off against the Egyptian God of Chaos, Set. In a race against time, Lara must use all her wit and the skill to re-imprison Set and save the world from Armageddon. Anti-terrorist squad based action game, Rainbow 6 Rogue Spear takes you on a thrill ride from a hostage situation at the Metropolitan Museum to an airplane hijacking. Max Payne is a third-person 3D action game while Deus ex is an action game in which you play a cyborg cop trying to fight a conspiracy.

Multi-purpose bags

International player in leather portfolios, Lasalle, launches the backpack range comprising a cool, hip collection of ham bags, messenger bags and backpacks that pack your wares and can be used for multiple purposes. Each bag comes with its own organiser that helps the user organise busy schedules. The backpack range introduces a never before feature – an innovation from the in house designers of Lasalle. These have a small conduit on the walls of the backpack to allow the headphone wires of the walkman / discman to be inserted into the bag while still having the instrument safely tucked away in your bag.

Ayurvedic manjan

Mayar India launches Sivananda Lal Dant Manjan, an ayurvedic preparation made out of garlic, clove oil and tumbaru seed. It also contains apricot shells for better cleaning of teeth.

Power system

Socomec Sicon has launched the Modulys range of Uninterrupted Power System (UPS.) It enables the construction of evolved systems, made up of plug-in modules that can be easily replaced or inserted while the system is operating, therefore achieving full continuity of services without interrupting the operating status. The stand-alone models are available in tower and configurations and can be converted for installation inside 19 inch cabinets. The innovative modular design allows it to grow from 1.5 KVA to 18 KVA. This is done by adding new modules.

Hard drive

Iomega introduces the easy-to-use portable hard drive HDD 20GB with ultra-fast USB2.0 connectivity. It is available at all authorised resellers. The new 20GB USB2.0 portable hard drive comes with a free USB2.0 PCI card, which retails at a certain price.

Dream bathrooms

Italian bathroom fittings from ST Rubinetterie at Leisure and Lifestyle’s showroom in Connaught Place are available in a range of designs, colours and finishes in its four popular models – Joystick, Portofino, Pagoda and Luna.

An array of faucets, with automatic diverters and pop-up waste models, are available in the form of a single lever basin and bath mixer, external wall mounting, deck mounting, hand showers and overhead showers. The faucets come in chrome and wood finish and are available with knobs in over 10 shades.

Timeless watches

Swiss watchmaker Edox has launched its collection featuring designs sized and styled for men and women. It is available in Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai.

Party wear

Men’s wear label Diwan Saheb has introduced a variety of raw silk shirts that make for evening party wear. It is available in yellow, pink, green and blue colours. The company has three showrooms in Delhi and one each in Ludhiana and Amritsar.


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