Monday, June 3, 2002, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


Delhi gets a taste of popcorn culture 
Smriti Kak

Viva! Viva at Modern School
Viva! Viva at Modern School.—  Tribune Photo

A Channel V concert at Modern School
A Channel V concert at Modern School in the Capital on Saturday.

New Delhi, June 2
Pandemonium! The only word that can encapsulate what happened on the Modern School campus on Saturday night, where the Viva performed for the first time.

A sea of bodies, jostling for space screaming to be let in, harassed cops restraining themselves from wielding the baton, a crowd that threatened to turn into a mob and an exasperated DJ (disc jockey) who kept pleading with the spectators to stay calm. Obviously not what the fans expected.

After a cheek-by-jowl screaming session which seemed to last forever, yet another shock awaited the music buffs who managed to get in. The grounds were jam-packed. Even those who smugly marched in with VIP passes were stumped: the VIP enclosure was chock-full. It just didn’t matter whose daughter or son you were, once inside you had to settle for what you had, there was no choice.

For once, Delhi seemed to have lost it. In the frenzy to get closer to the stage, many in the audience seemed to have forgotten all about stampedes and their consequences.

So, instead of clapping one’s hands in glee, one ended up folding them in prayer.

Nothing could pacify the jostling crowds, not even the threat of the show being cancelled. When the number of “casualties” rose, yes, the Channel V VJs did talk about bones being broken and the show was stopped for a while.

While most of the ruckus seemed to be in the VIP enclosure, people at the back seemed to have a ball. Sorry, but there were no takers for Alms for Shanti (they performed, too). The audience was busy devouring bhelpuri and popcorn.

It took a Mehnaz with her power-packed performance to turn the attention back to the stage. After Mehnaz, it was Abbey with his `Khalas’ number and Jassi who gave the crowd what they wanted, good music.

Punjabi pop sensation Jassi had not just his peppy number to offer, but also gave the crowd a tutorial in patriotism. With his stylised version of Vande Mataram, he had the audience swinging.

And after a long wait — the concert was supposed to start at 6 pm — the much-awaited Viva made its appearance at about 10 p.m. Five girls, who could have been anyonene’s next door neighbour six months ago, had a crowd of over 10,000 sweating it out to catch a glimpse of them.

After a few more numbers and a bit of rubber-necking — a huge screen had been put up for those at the back — the Viva show was over. The girls sang, only you had to strain your ears to listen; they danced, but you had to crane your necks to catch a glimpse; and the lasting impression was whether it was really worth the effort. .

The show elicited wry comments from the people: “I should have listened to the warning that a flustered girl gave me,” said a PYT (pretty young thing), who was told to step inside the venue at her own peril. When a bewildered teen asked, “Is that it?” a cop echoed a more profound thought: “Is this what is left of the Bharatiya Sanskriti? Are schools meant to stage such events?”



Rain plays havoc with wheat stocks
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, June 2
Wheat worth several lakhs of rupees packed in gunny bags and lying in the open at various grain markets and godowns in the district, as well as stocks lying in uncovered plinths of various government procurement agencies, is feared to have been damaged due to the unseasonal rain, for the second time in a week.

According to a report, thousands of wheat bags procured by the state and Central government agencies are still lying in the open in various mandis and are soaked. The officials of the procurement agencies say that it will not be possible to dry them in the inclement weather. They apprehend more damage if the stock was not immediately taken to the covered godowns.

Though the officials of the Food and Supplies Department had covered the bags with polythene at the godown in Model Town, the high-speed winds blew away the polythene and caused extensive damage to the stock lying in the open.

The state government as well as the high-ranking officials of the procurement agencies do not care two hoots about the damage being caused to the procured wheat by the unseasonal rain which has been continuing for the past one week or so. They have also failed to visit the mandis and godowns to take stock of the situation and the extent of loss suffered to the procured wheat.

Mr Rajiv Jain, general secretary of the Haryana Vikas Party (HVP) and Mr Azad Singh Nehra, a Congress leader today urged the state government to order a high-level probe into the complaints about the damage to the stocks.

In separate statements issued to the press here, they demanded stern action against the officials responsible for the loss.

Meanwhile, the second heaviest rain created floodlike situation the city.

According to a report, the continuous downpour for two hours flooded all the low-lying areas, causing inconvenience to the people as the rain water entered their houses.

Defective drainage system was the main cause of accumulation of rain water on the roads, streets and the low-lying areas despite the fact that the government had spent crores of rupees on laying big sewerage pipeline under the Yamuna Action Plan in different parts of the city a few years back.

This system has utterly failed to drain out the storm water from the city and only a high-level inquiry would expose the scandalous work completed under the YAP.

A large number of residential colonies especially in the lower reaches witnessed rainwater entering the houses as the sewerage is in disrepair.

In some colonies, the residents have to shift to safer places. The situation was worse in the areas like Rohtak Road near the city police station, Gita Bhawan Chowk, Mamoon Bhanja Chowk, Bus Stand, Gohana Road, Sarang Road, Garhi Ghasita, Dev Nagar, Sikka Colony, Nandwani Nagar, Hem Nagar, Khanna Colony and Delhi Camp.

A visit to these areas revealed that after inundating the streets and by-lanes, water had started entering the houses and shops. There was knee-deep water on the main roads and streets. People have to wade through the water to reach their destinations.

Several parks were also flooded. Almost all the main roads, especially in Sector 14 and 15 witnessed accumulation of water which entered many houses and temples.

The unseasonal rain exposed the claims of the official agencies that they had made arrangement to drain out the storm and rain water and counter the floods.

The residents railed against the public health department and the Sonepat Municipal Council which had failed them miserably.



Tension in Punjabi pocket after Rajee’s murder
Abhay Jain

Gurgaon, June 2
The city today witnessed a tense situation after the death of Rajesh alias Rajee, a young political activist, known for his unscrupulous deeds. Rajee succumbed to bullet injuries last night. Some unknown assailants had fired several rounds at him in his hotel near New Colony, injuring him seriously on Saturday evening.

According to police sources, Rajee’s murder is the result of gang rivalry between him and other gangsters.

Rajee had been infamous for illegal activities such as smuggling illicit liquor and arranging for the play of illegal lotteries/cards, etc in the city. He was also engaged in the real estate business.

The sources said that as he belonged to the Punjabi community, he started grooming himself as a political leader among his cast brethren.

He became a member of the Municipal Council in its first election and played a key role in the local politics.

In the last election as the seat was reserved for the women candidate, he got his wife, Mrs Sangeeta Rajee, elected from the same Punjabi-dominated constituency. He also got her elected as the vice-chairperson of the Municipal Council.

The police sources further revealed that he had been named as one of the prime suspects of murders in two separate incidents. Some other cases had also been pending against him.

His brother was also murdered on the same premises some years back, the sources said.

The post-mortem report mentioned that one bullet hit him on the head, two on stomach, one on his chest and one on his arm.

His wife, Mrs Sangeeta Rajee, has lodged the FIR against three persons under Section 302 IPC. She has mentioned two names in the FIR, Nitu Gehlot, resident of village Khandsa and Binder Gujjar, a resident of 4/8 Marla while the name of third person could not be identified by the lady.

The police have not yet got any clue about the motive of the murder.

However, the Senior Superintendent of Police, Mr Kuldeep Singh Siag, told the ‘NCR Tribune’ that the police were not looking for the criminals, mentioned in the FIR only but alsoothers who might be behind the murder. Mentioning that the crime was committed by the professionals, the SSP expected that the police would soon arrest them.



Sheila off to Denmark, US on UN invite
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 2
Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit left on a weeklong twin-nation tour of Denmark and the United States on Sunday night. Drawn up at the invitation of UNOPS, a United Nations agency, Ms Dikshit’s itinerary includes meetings with the agency’s officials in Copenhagen and at the UN Headquarters in New York.

A UNOPS delegation, Ms Dikshit said prior to departure, had called on her in the recent months to study the infrastructure of processing zones in the Capital and delivery of services. She will be accompanied by Chief Secretary Shailaja Chandra, Secretary Renu Sharma and legislator Arvinder Singh Lovely.

Official sources say the overriding objective of her tour will be to study the mechanism of procurement as is in vogue there. “She will be looking for a suitable model of procurement for replication here at home whereby government purchases of hardware, software, etc, can be accomplished in a transparent manner.”

The procurement methodology practised by the UNOPS, the sources said, has been indigenised by China, Russia and Brazil. “It,” they said, “allows for transparency and freedom to ministers and bureaucrats to set up an agency for procurement and follow through with purchases.”

Also of interest to Ms Dikshit is the waster reclamation plan in vogue in Copenhagen. Her itinerary in New York includes interactions with officials of the Metropolitan Transport Authority, the Environment Protection Agency and the Parks Authority. 



Special phone facility to cops suspended
Syed Ali Ahmed
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 2
The Special telephone code facility provided to the New Delhi Police district to maintain close liaison with neighbouring cities in Uttar Pradesh in its efforts to check crime and criminals has been disconnected by the authorities because of reported misuse by some officials.

Highly placed sources said that it was discovered that instead of using the facility (code 95 and code 92) for keeping a tab on the movement of criminals, some of the officials had started using it for personal calls. This resulted in highly inflated bills and caused considerable concern among the top brass of the Delhi Police.

Two months back the Parliament Street police telephone exchange received a bill from Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL) for a whopping Rs 33 lakh which indicated that the facility had been misused to some extent. As a result, the facility was suspended. An inquiry was ordered and subsequently Code 92 facility for Ghaziabad and Gautam Budh Nagar was restored .

The Deputy Commissioner of Police, Mr Naved Mumtaz, when contacted, said that there was no reports of misuse of telephone by the officials of Parliament Street Police Exchange and the telephone bill was not inflated. The telephone bill of Rs 33 lakh was a pending bill of last year which was not cleared because of certain technical reasons. He did not specify the reasons. He also could not explain why the facility to Meerut and some other cities in Uttar Pradesh was suspended.

He said that the annual telephone bill of Parliament Street Police Exchange was around Rs 13 lakh as it was a big exchange having 300 telephone lines.



Most street kids drug users
Our Correspondent

New Delhi, June 2
According to a study conducted recently by an NGO, street kids, who subsist on all kinds of odd chores, are increasingly falling prey to drugs and substance abuse.

The NCR Tribune recently carried an expose on street children seen rummaging for discarded bottles of correction fluid behind Shastri Bhavan. The correction fluid contains lethal chemical called Toluene and even a whiff of the contents is intoxicating.

The Association for Development (AFD) survey found that 78 per cent street children in its sample – the study was conducted on 1,500 kids — were addicted to correctional fluids, cannabis, smack and alcohol.

The study also found that 48 per cent of the sampled children were drug addicts and over 67 per cent smoked cigarettes. The reasons for this widespread abuse are ‘getting a kick’ to mitigating the effect of their dull, drab existence.

About 53 per cent of the respondents claimed to take drugs because it gave them a high while 11 per cent said that it helped them bear the pain of the beatings they got at the hands of the police. Peer pressure was another reason why another 11 per cent said they took to drugs.

The amount of money that the respondents spent on procuring the drugs was also a revelation because most of these children are not paid well. They subsist on menial jobs like rag-picking and cleaning.

Of the 78 per cent children found to be taking drugs, 33 per cent spent Rs 25, 31 per cent around Rs 50, 18 per cent between Rs 51 and Rs 100, eight per cent between Rs 101 and Rs 150, five per cent between Rs 151 and Rs 200 and another five per cent between Rs 201 and Rs 300 per week on their addiction.

The NGO also went into the causes of the malaise. It found that about 47 per cent of the children holed up at various railway stations in the Capital had left home to escape abuse while 23 per cent cited the need for securing employment as the main cause. The rest had left home either in quest of better life or on being prodded by friends.

These children come from low-income families with little means of sustenance. Sixty-three per cent of these children came from families with four to seven members, 21 per cent with more than seven members, 11 per cent with one to three members while five per cent had no family at all, the report added.

Unhealthy relations and broken homes made these children susceptible to abuse and forced their decision to run away.

The AFD report also highlighted the fact that since the children had run away at an early age they had received just elementary education.



13 bomb scares in Delhi-Palwal section
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, June 2
Train services in the Delhi-Palwal-Mathura section have been affected at least 13 times in two years due to bomb hoax calls. The Bangalore-bound Rajdhani Express, which left Nizamuddin Railway Station at 8.50 pm on Saturday night, was the latest victim of such a call.

According to department officials, the Station Superintendent, Faridabad, received a message from his counterpart at Nizamuddin soon after the train left that he had received a call that a bomb had been planted in the train. Result: The train was held up for one and a half hours at Ballabgarh station. All passengers were asked to come out and it took the railway police and the security staff an hour to conduct a thorough check.

The incident is not new for the railway staff and the authorities here. They have earlier checked at least 12 passenger and express trains between Delhi and Palwal stations due to fake bomb calls.

Such callers hardly realise the havoc their call play, said the officials. Three persons have died and three others have been injured following similar alarms. These persons had jumped off the running train in panic. Two more persons had died due to heart attack in the process, say railway police sources.

A resident of Delhi had died in a similar manner about a couple of months ago when the train, he was travelling, was halted near Palwal for conducting a search for the `bomb’. 



Chautala orders action against power officials
Bijendra Ahlawat
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, June 2
The Haryana Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, has ordered the district authorities to take action against three officials of the power department, including a Sub-Divisional Officer (SDO) and a Junior Engineer, in connection with a false case of power theft booked against a farmer.

Mr Chautala, who presided over the monthly meeting of District Grievances Committee here on Saturday, was responding to a complaint lodged by one Hakim Singh of Tajupur village. He had reported that two employees, including a Foreman, had taken Rs 2,000 from him and another Rs 3,000 from another resident of the village as graft money for reconnecting power supply to their tubewells.

He said that the money was returned after they reported the matter to the in charge of the police post at Bhupani village. But the Foreman in revenge lodged a false report with the Vigilance Department and got conducted a raid and booked a case of ‘theft’ against him.

The complaint was lodged in the last meeting of the Grievances Committee. An inquiry was conducted by the Additional Deputy Commissioner (ADC), who found the allegations against the employees of the Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (DHBVN) true and recommended action against the employees. The CM asked the authorities to book a case against the Foreman and chargesheet the officials, including the SDO and JE concerned.

Mr Chautala also asked the police to register a case against one Jagdish Chand of Jawahar Colony for lodging a false complaint in the meeting. The complainant was not present on the occasion.

A total number of 19 complaints were put up in the meeting of which four were concerned with the police and three each with the power department and the Municipal Corporation Faridabad (MCF). The authorities were directed to remove encroachments including in rural areas, but were asked to spare `pucca houses’, which were not causing any inconvenience to anyone. The Chief Minister announced that the new list of non-official members of the grievances committees of various districts would be announced next month.

Earlier, the Chief Minister laid the foundation stone of a 66 kv substation at Alawalpur village of Palwal sub-division. He said that about eight new sub-stations of 66 kv would come up soon at various places in Faridabad town and district, besides 220 kv substations at two places, in order to improve power supply and distribution. Mr Chautala also inaugurated the 24th branch of `Faridabad Central Cooperative Bank’ at Anangpur village.



Mineral water for officials, hard water for residents
Parmindar Singh

Noida, June 2
Walk into the office of any Noida Authority official. After the exchange of pleasantries, you will be offered a glass of water the authority supplies to over six lakh residents in the town. “Ah, good” you seem to say. “Oh yes, it is quite good. You see it’s mineral water - not normal water,” reassures your host.

The Noida authority officials gulp down almost 400 bottles of mineral water daily to ward off the effects of the hot weather. The water consumed in meetings, seminars and other programmes are in addition to this.

However, the ordinary Noida residents have to sweat it out in view of the scarcity of water. If at all one gets water here, it would be unfit for human consumption. Experts have termed water in Khadar areas as hard water, hardly fit for human consumption. Due to the excess ratio of bicarbonates of calcium and magnesium, Noida water is hard to drink. Everybody, especially housewives, is aware of the fact that even coolers, geysers and washing machines have been fully damaged. These gadgets just can’t stand the pressure of Noida water even for one year.

Steel utensils are normally unaffected by water, but Noida water is capable of diminishing their colour and shine. Costly garments bought from standard showrooms also lose their texture after being washed a few times. Their colours also fade away.

It is not all; you turn your tap for drinking and invariably muddy water flows out, which invites diseases. The doctors at government hospital confirm that all diseases like jaundice, cholera, typhoid etc. are caused by impure water and there is no dearth of such ailments in Noida, especially during summers and monsoon. Impure water is the cause of all waterborne diseases of stomach, adds the Health Officer, Dr Ashok Mishra.

So, the official class and upper class people use mineral water to get out of the predicament of impure water being supplied in the Noida town. The Noida Ganga water project, which was launched some four years ago, is only half-complete.

“Noidaites might have to wait another two years to be able to taste the water from the Ganga,” according to Mr P. H Siddiqui, Chief Project Engineer.

Noidaites fail to understand as to why water in the national Capital is sweet and wholesome, while in Noida it is full of risks. Noida has a demand for water between 160 to 180 MLD. But the supply is 200 MLD, says Mr S P Tyagi, Chief of Noida supply department. He says though it is rated less than mineral water, it is only a matter of getting used to Noida water. The quality of Noida water is routinely checked from Sri Ram Institute. Still Noida authority officials are found to using mineral water – no official is able to give a fitting reply to it!



The exam of life is more important than the 
class exam

The results of Class X and Class XII were out last week. There was naturally a lot of excitement as well as anxiety among the young boys and girls and, of course their parents. The results brought happiness for some, sorrow for some others. At least seven of them had extreme depression in store for them. They could not bear it, apparently, and committed suicide, six by hanging and one by shooting himself. It should be a sad day for the people in Delhi in general and parents and kin of these young students in particular. Failure in life can be a serious matter for the young. Failure in examination is also bad. But is it so bad that it should force a young person to resort to the extreme step of taking his or her own life. It can be a difficult decision and is taken without much thought about parents and other loved ones. At such time, one is emotionally disturbed to an extent that one does not think rationally.

I had an occasion to interact with a number of children and the youth at the time of anti-reservation stir when a number of students had resorted to self-immolation as a mark of protest against the reservation policy of the government. The situation at that time seemed to be going out of hand and some well-meaning teachers and other citizens had taken an initiative to argue it out with the young agitators and dissuade them from taking extreme steps. That, perhaps was due to anger and frustration. But the suicide over examination result - over failure, compartment or poor marks — amounts to overdoing. Not thatt the step can be justified for certain situations and opposed in other situations. Even if we consider suicide as a legal offence, there is another angle to it.

A person takes to it when he or she does not see a way-out of an impossible situation. Is the performance in the examination such an impossible situation? Everybody knows about the distortions which have come into the examination system in our country. So much so that, at times, an examination is not even considered a true test of one’s ability and intelligence. At times, specialists say that the young people resort to this extreme step because of parental and societal pressure.

There is such an environment of competition in the country that a student is made to believe that he has no future unless he or she gets high marks in the examination - incidentally such high marks were not even dreamt of some years ago—irrespective of the fact that the examination itself may not be helping him in making a career. Who does not know that even after passing the school examination with good marks, one has to take an entrance test for any course one opts for. One has also to go in for more tests when one tries to get a job.

It may mean that a particular examination is not the final verdict on his or her fate.

Many students who did not do so well in an examination, do much better in a subsequent course. Some of those who did badly in school or college examinations are doing extremely well in careers. All these things are known to people in general and parents in particular. Yet a student wants to excel because not doing so may means a blot on his reputation or image in society, or even his standing with his parents. Most parents would say that they do not pressurise their children so as to make them depressed in case of poor performance. But that is exactly what happens even without their knowing it.

The teachers are too busy to think of this aspect of a child’s personality. In fact, in these days of tuition and special classes, the importance of high marks is reinforced. The basic fact is that a child in today’s world where joint families are breaking, where friendships are becoming mechanical and where elders are distancing them from children, even their own, emotionally and psychologically, there is a communication gap. The child cannot share his unhappiness with anybody, least of all with friends and class fellows as it hurts his own ego.

In the absence of any counsel, he or she decides all alone. At that young age and in a condition of depression, he or she cannot think rationally and cannot find a way out of his problem.

Perhaps it is time that counselling becomes a part of school programme. It is needed more in school than in colleges. The young persons today are becoming more sensitive at an early age. They need to be told about the reality of life and also need to be toughened to face success and failure with greater courage. What is more, they need to be told that poor performance in an examination is not the end of the road for them. They have not only to be prepared for an examination as far as the course of studies is concerned but also psychologically to face the results, whatever they be. This is going to mean a joint effort of parents, teachers, educationists and media.

It has a certain amount of urgency as the number of such suicides is increasing every year. Both boys and girls resort to it. This year there were more girls than boys among them. In fact, the effort should be made in a systematic and sustained manner to counsel children against it.

Beaten by weather

After rain, the chaos
After rain, the chaos

There has been a rather unusual spell of weather in the last fortnight in Delhi and around. There have been squalls and thundershowers, dust storms and hailstorm, even heavy rain which flooded the streets and low-lying areas.

Hundreds of trees were uprooted and many people stranded. Even if it meant relief from high temperature to the citizens, it also meant inconvenience to them because of traffic jams.

What is more, the people, as always, were taken by surprise. After all, who can think of such weather conditions in May. But the weather pundits will always tell you that public memory is short and that such situations have arisen in the past also. That they themselves are taken by surprise is clear from the fact that the maximum temperature fell to 33 degrees C when the Met Office had predicted it to be around 43 degrees C.

The next day, they did not give any figure for temperature but said that the conditions of rain and respite from heat would last two days. These conditions last much longer. It is not for the first time that the weather conditions have gone away. This despite the fact that they have the best of equipment and communication means today as compared to the past. They had got the very first super computer developed in India. It is not like old days when the operation was mostly personal observation. Those days also, weather forecast was proved wrong but one could forgive them in the name of human error. I remember I had a friend in the Met Office who would spend a lot of time in the coffee house when he was supposed to be monitoring weather readings in his office. He would go back and cook up the readings. No wonder that the predictions based on them would go wrong.

But the system is more streamlined today and there are high-tech methods for reaching conclusions. Still, whatever happens comes often as a surprise to the people and, generally, there are no explanations from the experts for such surprises.

Death trap

It had taken months for the authorities to make the road portion from Andheria Mor towards Gurgaon on Mehrauli Road fit and safe enough for the motorists to drive. They were laying some sewer or water pipes and had dug up the entire stretch and kept it like that for long. It had taken away half of the road space and dug up portions which were sure death traps. One thought, after the operation was complete, that it was a safe road and that it would remain so for some time at least. This was not to be. Just four days of rain in May have played havoc with it. The newly laid road portion has caved in at many points. There are big holes in it.

At one spot, a truck got stuck in the portion which had caved in. Apparently, the filling was faulty and it is going to take a long time to rectify the fault if it is done properly. Till then, the road stretch will remain inadequate and unsafe. If this is the case with less than a week of rain, what it will be like in the rainy season which is not far off?

Dhauli Piyao

In good old days, the resourceful people including the rulers cared for the comfort of the travellers and provided all kinds of facilities along roads for their benefit.

Dhauli Piyao was one such structure built by Ch Prem Singh who was a member of the Legislative Assembly in the British rule. This structure, built in 1930 is situated in Sikanderpur along Mehrauli Road near Gurgaon. It is white and, therefore, came to be known as Dhauli Piyao. Dhauli would be white and ‘piyao’, of course, is the drinking water facility. The structure, just beside the imposing modern, Garden Estate, houses a serai for rest and piyao to provide drinking water to the travellers. There is an arched verandah with a small room at its end. There is another small room with a domed roof. The small room might have served as a store. There is yet another room which is not connected with the rest of the structure and this might have been used as a kitchen. There is a well beside it for obvious reasons. This well supplied water not only to the passers-by but also to the residents of Sikanderpur village. As is the case with most other old structures in and around Gurgaon, the structure is in a bad shape and calls for restoration to its old glory. The Gurgaon chapter of INTACH has taken upon itself to do the restoration work.

They are all set to plan and implement the project as a green signal has been given by the District Administration.

Once repaired and renovated, it may prove to be a thing of beauty for the visiting people. The Administration plans to improve the surroundings and the landscape in general.

Banking on gifts

The residents of a housing complex near Delhi had a pleasant surprise one evening. A well-dressed gentleman, accompanied by an attendant, knocked at the door and introduced himself from a multinational bank which had opened a new branch nearby. He presented a nicely labelled, plastic flowerpot with a plant in it as a gift from the branch of the bank. The plant, appropriately, was the money plant. The residents were happy. A few days later, they all received a leaflet announcing a prize scheme for all those who would bring the coupon, that was the beautifully printed leaflet, to the branch and get their prize or the gift. Those who went there were told about the good points of the bank, exhorted to patronise it and told that they would receive their gift through courier. Most of them are waiting for the gift while the bank branch perhaps is waiting for some of them to open their accounts there. That may determine the kind and quality of the gift they would get through courier!

Upgrading gadgets

This is an age of upgrading whatever gadget you happen to possess. I had thought that this was done in case of things like a computer but no, even other things can be upgraded, for a price, of course. A friend had a water purifier which developed a fault, thanks to the erratic power supply in Delhi. The expert from the company who came to repair it had an offer to make. They could upgrade the gadget for better service. This would mean much higher cost than that of the repair. But this would be as good as the latest model from the company. It would have several new features.

Some of them were too technical to be followed by the friend. But one thing that he could understand was that the gadget would emit music while the water came out of it.

“But I do not like music while drawing water from it,” he told the expert. “In that case, you just switch off the music,” he was told.



Ex-soldiers offer services in case of war
Nawal Kishore Rastogi

Rewari, June 2
In the event of a war with Pakistan, the Rezangla Shauriya Samiti, Rewari, a voluntary organisation of ex-servicemen and other citizens working for the welfare of war widows and survivors of the historic battle of Razangla fought against the Chinese in November 1962, has placed its services at the disposal of the Union Government as well as the entire society.

A resolution to this effect was taken at a meeting of the organisation held under the chairmanship of its president, Col Randhir Singh Yadav (retd), here on Saturday. By a second resolution, the samiti also decided to launch an awareness campaign by which useful information on protecting oneself and others against the inherent dangers of atomic weapons would be provided. The drive will start from Kosli, a noted hamlet of ex-servicemen of Ahirwal.

In another resolution, the samiti complimented the Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, on launching a decisive crusade against political and administrative corruption. Throwing light on the evil designs of Pakistan, the samiti’s chief patron and former union minister, Col Ram Singh, called upon the members to be prepared to make sacrifices for the nation’s honour and integrity.



DDA to build link road to Dwarka
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 2
The Delhi Development Authority (DDA) has proposed to construct a road linking Dwarka with South Delhi in a bid to ease traffic congestion in south-west parts of the Capital.

The Urban Development Minister, Mr Ananth Kumar, will lay the foundation stone of the 7-km long six-lane road to be constructed at a cost of Rs 30 crore on June 4. The proposed road for Dwarka near Bharthal village would cater to the traffic from National Highway - 8 (Delhi-Gurgaon road) and would link Mahipalpur, Vasant Kunj and other parts of South Delhi, sources said. An eight-lane railway underbridge (RUB) across the Rewari railway line is also part of the total project package, which would be executed by the Railways.

The link road is expected to be completed in two years and, when commissioned, is expected to relieve the pressure of about 4,000 passenger car units per hour going to Dwarka on the other link roads. The link road would also provide direct access to Sectors 22 and 26 of Dwarka. Dwarka sub-city was part of the urban extension envisaged in the Master Plan.



Chautala condoles Rao Abhey Singh’s death
Our Correspondent

Rewari, June 2
The Haryana Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, visited the residence of thee deputy leader of Haryana Congress Legislature Party (HCLP), Capt Ajay Singh Yadav, here this evening to express his condolences at the demise of his father, Rao Abhey Singh.

In a nostalgic frame of mind, the Chief Minister recalled his old links with Rao Abhey Singh and said that he had led a gentle and contented life even in politics and had now met a painless end. He also said that the region had lost a patriarch and the family a benevolent patron in his death.

Mr Chautala also spent a few minutes with Rao Abhey Singh’s widow, Shanti Devi, and consoled her. Earlier, the Chief Minister also specifically mentioned that his government had always provided comparatively bigger facilities and amenities to Ahirwal. On the occasion, the Chief Minister was accompanied by Haryana Tourism chairman Rao Inder Pal Singh, Rewari Zila Parishad chairman Praveen Choudhary and Rewari Municipal Council president Harish Arora.



Vikas’ bail plea to be heard on June 5
Our Correspondent

Ghaziabad, June 2
The Ghaziabad District & Session Judge, Mr R P Mishra, has adjourned the court in Nitish Katara kidnapping and murder case for the fourth time. The court will now hear the arguments for the grant of bail to Vikas and Vishal Yadav, the main accused of the case on June 5, Wednesday.

This was done at the request of the defence counsel. Earlier, May 30 was fixed to hear the arguments on bail petitions of Vikas and Vishal Yadav.

The Defence counsel, Thakur Jaswant Singh, had submitted before the court that he needed more time to argue the prosecution for grant of bail to the accused. Accepting their request, the court adjourned the proceedings for the fourth time. Earlier, on May 3 and then May 17 were fixed for hearing the arguments. Then May 23 and May 30 were fixed in the next proceedings to hear the arguments.

Manna Dey night

Residents of Gurgaon and Delhi thronged the Bestwestern Resort Country Club here on Saturday night to enjoy the ‘Manna Dey Night’. Although the glitterati from Gurgaon thronged the venue of the soiree in strength, it was the Delhiites who filled the place chock-a-block in their own courtyard. The sellout crowd was regaled with Manna Dey’s popular numbers for over four hours. In between the numbers, the audience was also treated with spicy jokes by the stage controller. The director of the club, Mrs Roop Singh Sodhi, said that the turnout for the razzmatazz was more than the management’s expectations.

Youth killed

A youth was killed and another two youths sustained serious injuries in an accident occurred on Sonepat-Rohtak road near Kharkhauda town, 19 km from here, on Saturday. According to a report, the victim was identified as Rakesh, student of Class XII and resident of Sisana village. The injured youths were identified as Parveen and Suresh alias Shera and they were sent to the PGI Rohtak for further treatment.

Student suicide

New Delhi
 Meenakshi (16), a student of Government Girls Senior Secondary School, Sector 5, R.K. Puram, reportedly committed suicide by hanging from a ceiling fan in her house at Munirka village in south district this morning. She took this extreme step because she was under depression after declaration of her results. She had compartment in mathematics. When she committed suicide, there was nobody at home. The body has been sent for post-mortem, the police said.

Woman booked 

The Police has booked a woman along with two others for marrying off her 11-year-old minor daughter recently. The complaint was lodged by the father of the accused, who is stated to be absconding. According to the complaint, the accused Kamla, wife of Vishnu, a resident of Panhera village, got her minor daughter married on directions of a Tantrik residing in their neighbourhood. TNS



Maharana Pratap Jayanti Samiti

Rewari, June 2
In a general meeting of the Maharana Pratap Jayanti Samiti held here today, Mr Naresh Chauhan, advocate, was unanimously elected its president for the second time in succession. He was also authorised to constitute its executive committee. Consequently, the following have been selected to executive committee: Mr Vineet Singh Tanwar, Mr Puran Chand Bhaththewala and Mr Gaj Raj Singh Chauhan - vice-presidents; Mr Randhir Singh Yadav and Prof Rajenra Singh Yadav - general secretaries; Mr Mukesh Tanwar – secretary; and Capt Balwant Singh Yadav - treasurer. OC



Five held for trading in furnace oil
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, June 2
Five persons were arrested and two tankers filled with furnace oil (black oil) seized by the police at Dhatir village in Palwal subdivision on Saturday. The suspects were allegedly trading in furnace oil, which is banned under the law.

It is reported that some persons had set up a secret stockyard of furnace oil at Dhatir and used to supply it to various persons illegally. The accused had links with oil tankers carrying the oil. They used to purchase the oil at the rate of Rs 5 per litre while the same is supplied to industrial units at Rs 12 per litre. About 300 litres of oil bought illegally would be kept in an underground tank at any given time. The arrested persons have been identified as Babu Lal, a dhaba owner, Bhagwat, Satbir and two truck drivers, Zulfikar and Bacchan Singh.

Meanwhile, two persons died in two separate incidents here. Parmanand (48) of Heerapur village was electrocuted as he touched a barbed wire having electricity. Fazruddin of Dungarpur village was run over by a vehicle at Palwal.



Two buried alive under heap of sand
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 2
Two persons were killed when a heap of sand fell on them in Asola Wildlife Sanctuary in Mehrauli in South Delhi this evening. The deceased were identified as Jaiprakash and Indira Bhai, who were working as gardeners in the sanctuary. They were buried alive under the sand, which fell on them following heavy showers.

In another incident, a woman was killed and her husband received minor injuries when the first floor balcony fell on them in Pushpa Vihar government quarters in South Delhi. Mrs Ramdehi Sharma died on the spot while her husband, Mr S. S. Sharma, received minor injuries. The flat was allotted to their son, a head constable in the CBI, the police said.



An elegant leather suitcase for the jet-setting executives

Hidesign — a brand of leather bags, accessories and apparels — has launched Porter, an ultimate statement in style and elegance.

Porter is an extremely trendy suitcase made from imported hide. It offers the top-of-the-line international experience. Priced at Rs 5,395, the bag is being targeted at the jet-setting executive. It is available in three colours — black, brown and tan — and has a specially padded computer pouch for the laptop

Selling movie

The Egmont Imagination India Ltd, a children’s entertainment company in association with the Kapoor and Kaushik Entertainment Pvt Ltd, has launched the merchandise for the film, ‘Badhai ho Badhai’.

The merchandise includes a range of activity books, which includes graphics novel with the story of the movie, mystic pencil box and a colouring box among other things. Targeted at the age group of 4-14 years, the products have been designed with kids in mind. Priced between Rs 25 and Rs 300, these products are available in all gift shops.

Table for car

Carri-All, makers of car accessories, has launched a multi-functional dining table-cum-glass-holder for cars. Carri-All can be fixed on the back of the car seats and can be folded to create space. These tables are multi-functional as they can be used to keep newspapers, magazines or paper.

Made from ABS plastic and polypropylene, these tables are durable and convenient. Available in a range of colours, they are priced at Rs 990 each.

Pet toys

Mahindra Intertrade Limited has introduced a wide range of toys called ‘PETS’ as part of their own brand of plush toys, ‘Soft Wonders’.

The range includes goats, sheep, dogs, cats and rabbits for the little ones. The entire range is non-toxic and safe for the children to play with. The company claims that the PETS are available at competitive prices. So, for the youngsters there is plenty to choose from. Dalmatians, Terrier, Striped Cat and Bears. Take your pick.

Pure water

Nara International Spring Water Co has introduced Spring Water, a unique, light in taste and refreshing water. The water is sourced from a height of 2,840 metres above sea level from the Langtang mountain ranges in the Himalayan region. The water, it is claimed, is different from a geographically and physically protected underground water source and treated water.

Digital cameras

Jupiter Infosys Limited has launched two premium digital cameras — the ClassyCam and the SlimCam. These unique cameras are actually a PC camera, a digital camcorder and a digital camera rolled into one..

While the ClassyCam with a built in flash and 64 mb memory and an LCD display is priced at Rs 8,000, the SlimCam is an extremely lightweight and handy camera with 16 mb memory, LCD display and USB port for hassle-free connectivity and is priced at Rs 6,000.

Computer table

Pace Furniture has introduced a whole new range of ergonomically designed computer tables, which are high in features and low on budget.

Clean lines and a futuristic design make the tables perfect for hi-tech work environment. Priced between Rs 2,500 and Rs 8,000, there are 18 models to choose from.

Casual footwear

Red Tape has launched its new collection of smart casual shoes. Targeted at the age group 16-30 years, the shoes have a cushion effect on the feet. With each design made with precision, the style is suited both for casual as well as formal wear. Available in tan and black, the shoes are priced at Rs 1,995 a pair.

Mosquito repellent

Balsara has re-launched Odomos, a mosquito repellent cream. The new advanced Odomos combines the attributes of a regular skin cream and mosquito repellant. It is non-sticky with a pleasant fragrance and works for eight hours. It is available in modern soft squeeze tubes of 25 g, 50 g and 100 g.

Hygienic wash

Natalia, a brand of women’s western wear, has launched Bio-shield, a protective hygienic wash that keeps clothes clean and free from odour and bacteria. Bio-shield has been specially formulated to keep garments fresh and safe.


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