Wednesday, June 5, 2002, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


DVB deal: Point, counterpoint
Tribune News Service

Lokayukta says …

Reserving his comment on the ongoing verbal duel and the Bharatiya Janata Party’s wanting to approach the Lokayukta, Justice RN Aggarwal says the merits of the case can be ascertained when complainant pays the requisite fee and submits an affidavit on stamp paper. Asked if the Lokayukta can take suo motu cognizance of the matter, Justice Aggarwal said dismissively : “I have received no representation … I can decide only after complaint is filed in the prescribed format.”

New Delhi, June 4
“I accept the challenge.” Responding to Power Minister Ajay Maken’s offer to debate the issue of privatisation of power distribution in public, Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP’s) Member of Parliament and former chief minister Madan Lal Khurana on Tuesday said he was game. Although, widening the ambit of the debate to include transport and water, he said he would rather slug it out with Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit.

Throwing the ball back in the Congress’ court, Mr Khurana dared Ms Dikshit to claim she has solved the problems on the water, transport- and power front. Opening another front against the Congress-administered Government of NCT of Delhi, Mr Khurana raised the issue of corruption in the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) to allege the government had left the commuter in the lurch by not offering a viable alternate mode of transport.

Mr Khurana’s response came within hours of Mr Maken convening a news conference ostensibly to clarify the government’s position on the unbundling of Delhi Vidyut Board (DVB) and to respond to allegations of foul play Mr Khurana had levelled on Monday. Describing the BJP MP’s statements as “unfortunate,” Mr Maken said, “This [can] be viewed as a support for all those who are involved in power theft.”

Reiterating that the unbundling of DVB is essentially to arrest the theft of power, Mr Maken said Rs 1,200 crore is lost every year to pilferage and driving the power utility to run up accumulated losses to the tune of Rs 22,000 crore. “The BJP,” he asserted, “has no locus standi to raise this issue because during BJP’s tenure in Delhi the transmission and distribution loss rose from 23 per cent to 52 per cent during 1993 and 1998.”

“After assuming power,” Mr Maken continued, “Our government has reduced the transmission and distribution loss from 52 per cent to 46 per cent.” Again, dismissing the allegations as ludicrous, the minister said the BJP-led NDA Government at the Centre was privatising profit-making companies and, therefore, had no locus standi to criticise the Congress-administered Government of NCT of Delhi for divesting its stake in the power utility. 



Officials accused in land scam back in district
Parmindar Singh

Noida, June 4
The posting of two controversial P.C.S. officers, who were allegedly involved in a land scandal, back to Gautam Budh Nagar district has shocked the locals and surprised the official circles. The officers in question, Mr Khazan Singh and Mr Mange Ram Dhiman, have been appointed Additional DM (Finance) and Deputy DM Collectorate, respectively.

Both Mr Singh and Mr Dhiman have served as Deputy DM Dadri and during their tenure they were both in the news along with a couple of other officials in connection with a land scandal.

It will be recalled that the Residential Development Council (Avas Vikas Parishad) had acquired 76 acre land in Prabhat Garhi, Makanpur, Hasanpur and Bhovapur villages. The council had developed the land and laid the foundation stone for Vasundhara residential colony there.

By showing this village land as vacant in revenue records of Dadri Tehsil, they had transferred it in the name of Moti Goyal and his family of Ghaziabad, although the Residential Development Council had fully developed this land and the building of Vasundhara residential colony was in an advance stage of construction .

Accountant Brahm Pal had given the report stating that the land was vacant. This scandal had been exposed by the Press in 1998, following which the accountant was dismissed.

The then District Magistrate Manoj Singh had ordered a detailed inquiry and submitted a report listing the misdeeds and complicity of Mr Khazan Singh and Mr Mange Ram Dhiman in this scandal.

The state government had reportedly taken a serious view

of the matter, which was further investigated by a high level committee of the Revenue Board. On its recommendation, these officials were suspended. The duo was found to be involved in some other land scams also. However, the accused had obtained a stay order from the Allahabad high court. The inquiry is still held up at the government-level even as the two accused officials have been again posted in the district. The influential people behind the land scam are allegedly behind this order, it is learnt.



N-war fears: Delhi Govt buys protective gear
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 4
Peaceniks may think otherwise but the Government of NCT of Delhi is convinced the threat of an attack is immediate to warrant an investment in hardware useful in disaster mitigation. It has spent Rs 11.40 crore for importing equipment from a UK-based company to reinforce disaster management centres and personnel detailed for relief and rescue operations in the event of a NBC (nuclear, biological, chemical) attack.

The shopping list includes modern equipment and special protective clothing for personnel drawn from Delhi Fire Service and other agencies. Besides Hazmat-cum-emergency appliance, the purchases comprise rescue tools, a decontamination unit and special protective gear consisting of helmet, anti-flash hood, gloves and the works. Delivery of Hazmat-cum-emergency appliance is expected by July, the payment toward which has been transferred to the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) – the agency mandated to procure them.

According to officials engaged in institutionalising the chain of command and drill, the purchases were necessitated on account of the obsolete hardware available with the Delhi Fire Service and allied agencies. Thirty men each, they said, had been deputed to the three disaster management centres located in Nehru Place, Laxmi Nagar and Rohini. All such personnel were made to undergo a two-week-long training before they were detailed for rescue and relief operations.

While the centre in Nehru Place became operational in April last year, those located in Laxmi Nagar and Rohini were integrated into the system in October. The responsibility of managing a situation has been fixed on the State Crisis Group that comprises officials drawn from the Government of NCT of Delhi, Delhi Police, etc. Chief Secretary of the Government of NCT of Delhi is the ex officio chairperson of this Group.



Narnaul: With no map, land is up for grabs
Surender Vyas

Narnaul, June 4
With the land consolidation process still incomplete, land in this district headquarters is up for grabs and the land mafia is having a whale of a time. In the absence of a map, there is no proper identification of the land. Of 8,521 acres, it is only about 152 acres which could be taken up for the consolidation process. It may take a few more months in completing the rest of the land consolidation. Even though enough land is available in Narnaul, there is no path to approach one’s land which creates litigations of all kinds – revenue, criminal and civil.

To cap it, the way the consolidation process had been carried out in Narnaul, it is less said the better. The consolidation department officials were posted here during the regime of Mr Bansi Lal and completing the consolidation process was time-bound. However, the work suffered because of frequent transfers of the officials. It is learnt that after Independence, there was an ordinance issued for the cultivable land’s ‘kilabandi’ and in Narnaul, too, red stones were placed to demarcate the land owners. But the Narnaul consolidation work was left in the lurch in 1952.

Now the consolidation work is to be done outside the limits of Nagar Parishad. According to the norms, for every 500 acres, at least one revenue patwari is needed. In fact, 17 patwaries, 4 field kanongo are needed immediately to bring the work back on the rails.

Meanwhile, residents, litigants and small land holders have appealed to the Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, to look into the matter and appoint sufficient staff for the speedy consolidation work.



Officials accused in land scam back in district
Parmindar Singh

Noida, June 4
The posting of two controversial P.C.S. officers, who were allegedly involved in a land scandal, back to Gautam Budh Nagar district has shocked the locals and surprised the official circles. The officers in question, Mr Khazan Singh and Mr Mange Ram Dhiman, have been appointed Additional DM (Finance) and Deputy DM Collectorate, respectively.

Both Mr Singh and Mr Dhiman have served as Deputy DM Dadri and during their tenure they were both in the news along with a couple of other officials in connection with a land scandal.

It will be recalled that the Residential Development Council (Avas Vikas Parishad) had acquired 76 acre land in Prabhat Garhi, Makanpur, Hasanpur and Bhovapur villages. The council had developed the land and laid the foundation stone for Vasundhara residential colony there.

By showing this village land as vacant in revenue records of Dadri Tehsil, they had transferred it in the name of Moti Goyal and his family of Ghaziabad, although the Residential Development Council had fully developed this land and the building of Vasundhara residential colony was in an advance stage of construction .

Accountant Brahm Pal had given the report stating that the land was vacant. This scandal had been exposed by the Press in 1998, following which the accountant was dismissed.

The then District Magistrate Manoj Singh had ordered a detailed inquiry and submitted a report listing the misdeeds and complicity of Mr Khazan Singh and Mr Mange Ram Dhiman in this scandal.

The state government had reportedly taken a serious view

of the matter, which was further investigated by a high level committee of the Revenue Board. On its recommendation, these officials were suspended. The duo was found to be involved in some other land scams also. However, the accused had obtained a stay order from the Allahabad high court. The inquiry is still held up at the government-level even as the two accused officials have been again posted in the district. The influential people behind the land scam are allegedly behind this order, it is learnt.



Residents too scared to say ‘boo’ to this bogey 
Smriti Kak

New Delhi, June 4
A small monkey with a chain around his neck has already bitten over 40 residents of the G T Karnal Road. The terrorised residents have lodged complaints with the police as well as the MCD’s animal complaint cell, but they have yet to breathe easy.

The reason – the Municipal Corporation of Delhi, the nodal agency responsible for caging such animals, has only one trained monkey-catcher and considering the number of complaints, he is in great demand throughout the sprawling metropolis.

The monkey with the chain, yes, that is how he is being referred to, seemed to have a well-rehearsed modus operandi. The residents assert that he attacks at night or in the wee hours of the morning and the minute you lock your eyes with him he strikes.

“The monkey is very small, with a chain around his neck and he starts operating at night. If you look at him he immediately strikes at you. He has already bitten a number of people including children,” said Mr Surinder Gupta, a factory owner whose employees have been bitten by the monkey.

Mr Gupta alleged that the monkey could have been someone’s pet. “We feel that he was someone’s pet monkey and they have thrown him out because he has turned rabid.”

Interestingly, the monkey has confined himself to a certain area. The residents point out that he never crosses over to the other side of the road, which is barely 100 meters away. “He stays atop my factory and some other factories in the immediate neighbourhood. When he is hungry, he comes down from his favourite tree and scoops down on the almonds that are stocked in the factory,” said Mr Gupta.

The police have offered medical aid to the harried victims, but as far as the monkey goes, there is precious little they can do. “The police said that all they could do was to arrange for vaccination of those who had already been bitten, but they were not able to take this thing away from here,” lamented Gupta who has also complained to the MCD.

The MCD on their part is helpless, because it is short of staff. An MCD

official told the ‘NCR Tribune’, “We want to help people, but we are terribly short of staff. We keep advertising in the papers inviting the NGOs and individuals to assist us in dealing with the monkey menace, yet we have not received a single application so far. Right now we have just one contractor who is overburdened with work and cannot be forced to perform.”

The officials went on, “The contractor is paid Rs 200 for catching one monkey. We have a sufficient budget, yet there are no takers. If this contractor is goes away, we are left with no one. There is no way to get rid of this problem,” he adds.

The MCD receives anything between five and 10 calls every day from the residents

tormented by the simians. According to an MCD survey, there are more than 15,000 monkeys in the Capital. “Since our jurisdiction is expansive, we have to cater to the calls from trans-Yamuna to Rohini, from Greater Kailash to Najafgarh. We have also held meetings with primatologists like Iqbal Malik, but there are hardly any concrete suggestion that we can adopt. We cannot even rely on langurs who just drive out monkeys from one place to another. The menace continues. The only safe bet is to capture them,” said the MCD official.

Till the MCD gets more trained staff, it is quite difficult for homo sapiens to say good riddance to simian rubbish.



Abandoned police post taken over by tipplers
Nalini Ranjan

New Delhi, June 4
A police post has become a den of anti-social elements! Shocked? Don’t be. For the post, constructed a couple of years ago, was abandoned later by the guardians of law. The two-room police post was built to provide round-the-clock policing to the upmarket commercial and residential Preet Vihar in East Delhi. What is indeed shocking is that the late police post has become a ‘speakeasy’. Anti-social elements gather here to chat and clink glasses much to the chagrin of shopkeepers and residents.

A large number of residents of the area told the ‘NCR Tribune’ that since the rooms have been left open, the mischievous elements have a free access to do whatever they want. The abandoned post has over the years been witness to raucous scenes of drinking, gambling and fighting. “No member of any respectable family can think of going near the abandoned post,” a shopkeeper alleged, adding that he has never seen a policeman or beat constable making even a cursory round of the place.

According to the residents, the picket, located opposite the building of Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), was constructed and then inaugurated with a great fanfare. It was also announced that it would be manned by at least two policemen round the clock to maintain law and order in the congested market as well as the residential area. The authorities lived up to their promise for a few days and then made themselves scarce – the post was abandoned one fine day!

Senior area police officers admitted that the post had been abandoned, the reason being inadequacy of staff. The officials claimed that the Preet Vihar police station had only 85 constables against the required strength of 158. As such, it was not possible to exclusively post two constables round the clock there.

The shopkeepers and residents, however, are not convinced. Given the security environment in the Capital and in their area in particular, they want the authorities to keep their promise of providing proper security in the area.



PGIMS prof seeks anticipatory bail
Jatinder Sharma

Rohtak, June 4
Dr A. D. Tiwari, professor and head, Department of Paediatrics, Pt. B. D. Sharma Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences (PGIMS), has sought pre-arrest bail apprehending his arrest in a case by Vigilance Bureau under the Prevention of Corruption Act. He has filed a petition today in the court of Special Judge, Mr Shiva Sharma.

Dr Tiwari feared that a case was being registered against him on the basis of some affidavits filed by some postgraduate students of the PGIMS. He described the allegations against him as vague and said that nowhere it was stated that he had obtained any amount directly from any student. It is not stated either when and where the students had paid money to Dr O.P. Yadav allegedly for Dr Tiwari.

He said that the complaint against him was the handiwork of some officials who were annoyed with him as he had refused to oblige some disgruntled students.

Dr Tiwari said that in May 2001, he had received a notice from the superintendent of police, state vigilance authority and submitted a written application. Since then, he had not heard from the vigilance department regarding the inquiry.

Dr Tiwari said that even the students who had allegedly made a complaint against him, never appeared in the examination when the petitioner was examiner. Dr Shibhna, Dr Arvind, Dr Sandip Kumar, et al, who appeared in the diploma when he was examiner, were declared successful, he clarified. It was quite clear that till he had filed a civil suit on July 25, 2000, there was no written complaint with the authorities and they removed the petitioner as examiner without any notice which seems to be the main cause of the criminal case.



SAD (B) releases list for elections
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 4
The Shriromani Akali Dal (Badal) today released the list of 46 candidates who have filed their nomination papers for the June 30 elections to the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC).

In a statement issued here today, Jathedar Avtar Singh Hit, president of the Delhi Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) said that the candidates were properly vetted before their names were released for filing the nominations. He also appealed to the Sikh community to vote fearlessly during the election. Tuesday was the last day for filing nomination papers.

The following are the names of Shiromani Akali Dal(Badal)candidates:

Chandni Chowk -Jathedar Surjit Singh, Defence Colony–J.Kuldeep Singh Bhogal, Connaught Place-S.Shamsher Singh Sandhu, Safdarjung Enclave-S.Gurmeet Singh, Vasant Vihar-S.Swaran Singh, Preet Vihar-S.Mangal Singh, Lajpat Nagar- S.Jatinder Singh Sahni, Greater Kailash- S. Manjeet Singh, Kalkaji-S.Harbhajan Singh, Malviya Nagar-S.Harmanjit Singh, Shiv Nagar-S.Manjit Singh Batra, Sham Nagar-S.Hardool Singh, Shakur Basti-S. Ajit Singh, Rajinder Nagar-S.Jagdip Singh Talwar, Janakpuri-S.Baldev Singh Gujral, Ashok Nagar-S.Jasbir Singh Kaka, Tagore Garden-S.Tejpal Singh, Vishnu Garden-S.Rajinder Singh Techno, Tilak Nagar-S.Vashinder Singh, Sahibpura-S.Atma Singh Lubhana, Rajouri Garden-S.Harjit Singh Bedi, Subhash Nagar-S.Jagjit Singh, Ramesh Nagar-S.Mohinder Singh Bhullar, Moti Nagar-S.Balwinder Mohan Singh Sandhu, Punjabi Bagh-S.Manmohan Singh Sachdeva, Tri Nagar-S.Baldev Singh, Wazirpur-S.Ravinder Singh Khurana, Naveen Shahdara-S. Dalwinder Singh, Geeta Colony-S.Tarjit Singh Nagi, Gandhi Nagar-S.Gian Singh Tatla, Vivek Vihar- S.Pritam Singh, Khureji Khas- Mrs. Parkash Kaur, Model Town-S. Gurdev Singh Gujral, Kamla Nagar-S.Davinder Singh Kawatra, Civil Lines-Dr Harmahinder Singh, Pahar Ganj-S.Kulmohan Singh, Pitampura-S.M.P.Singh Chadha, Rohini-S.Bakhshish Singh Rohini, Shakti Nagar-S.Saran Singh, Karampura-S.Bhag Singh, Tibia College-S.Amarjit Singh, Hari Nagar-Jathedar Avtar Singh Hit, Dev Nagar-S.Satnam Singh Chadha, Patel Nagar-S.Dilwinder Singh Ayur, Vikaspuri-S.Inderjit Singh, Dilshad Garden-S.Sawinderjit Singh Bajwa.

The other faction of the Shrimoni Akali Dal, the Tohra group also finalised the names of its candidates for the DSGMC elections.



Vidrohi critical of global ‘silence’ on Pak terrorism
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, June 4
The Haryana Pradesh Janata Dal (U) president, Mr Ved Parkash Vidrohi, criticised the international community for not asking Pakistan to refrain from pursuing its strategy of cross-border terrorism in India.

In a signed press statement, he also deplored the BJP-led NDA Government for its failure to check the infiltration of militants from Pakistan into India.

He said that the BJP had created war-like situation in the country and was instigating the people against Pakistan.

He warned that if the BJP leaders did not stop it, the country would again face communal riots in the country, giving a chance to Pakistan to malign India and continue to abet terrorism.

Mr Vidrohi said that both India and Pakistan were nuclear powers and if the war started both the countries would face nuclear attacks which would be disastrous for the mankind.

Referring to the Haryana situation, the Janata Dal leader demanded immediate dismissal of the Chautala Government.

He urged the Opposition parties to come forward and plead the cause of the farmers who had launched agitation for their just demands. Meanwhile, Mr Braham Singh Dahiya, vice-president of the Haryana BKU has urged the Central Government to sack the

INLD Government, headed by Mr Om Prakash Chautala, Chief Minister and impose President’s rule in the state.

In a press release, he said that the law and order situation had been deteriorating and the people felt insecure.

The farmers, he said, were being suppressed by all undemocratic means and if this situation was not tackled immediately, ‘jungle raj’ would prevail.

He disclosed that the BKU would hold demonstrations on June 10 at all the district headquarters in protest against the anti-farmer policies of the Chautala Government.

He demanded the immediate release of all the farmers in the state to normalise the situation.



Meddlesome, mooing cows make roads their home 
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, June 4
The biggest terror on the city roads these days are herds of stray cattle that put in a sudden appearance in the midst of speedily moving vehicles, dangerously disrupting the already chaotic flow of traffic.

A large number of cows and buffaloes, which should be confined to sheds in dairy colonies, are left free to roam the streets. They make a feast of the lush greenery in the parks and public gardens in various residential colonies and urinate and defecate on the roads.

Similarly, donkeys and pigs have invaded most of the city’s roads. They pose not only a traffic hazard but are a serious threat to health as well.

It is a common sight to see cows, donkeys and pigs on the main roads. Insanitary conditions apart, the bad odour is so overpowering at times that motorists stuck in a traffic jam are forced to roll up their car windows.

Residential colonies inhabited by both the affluent and poorer sections have not been spared the onslaught of stray cattle and pigs. Cattle squatting in narrow, unkempt and filthy lanes and bylanes in colonies create insanitary conditions besides posing a problem for the vehicles negotiating the lanes.

Dairy owners are seen in every street of the city. They keep their animals in violation of the municipal bylaws. Insignificant efforts are made by the municipal council to catch the stray cattle. The penalty in case these stray animals are impounded is ridiculously low. At times cattle owners get these animals freed by simply producing a letter of recommendation from the political bosses. Lack of political will in taking a firm decision in ordering cattle owners out of residential colonies is the prime reason for the continuing menace.

The stray cattle population on the roads has increased considerably. Herds of stray cattle have virtually claimed the roads as their home. Employees of the municipal council are helpless in impounding them because of a dearth of vehicles needed for the purpose. Similarly, the menace of pigs has assumed alarming proportions thanks to the failure of the authorities concerned to catch them. Meanwhile, unauthorised hawkers and vendors have also become a public nuisance as they create insanitary and slum-like conditions. It is necessary to evolve a clear-cut policy regarding the hawkers and the licences issued to them. Prosecution has to be made more stringent otherwise the problem will assume grim overtones.

The hawkers and vendors are given encouragement in staying put by the corrupt staff of various official agencies as well as the political bosses.

Thus, the hawkers prefer encroaching on public and municipal land. This suits the officials as it keeps their pockets lined.

In the Ashok Nagar kutcha quarters, a thickly populated

area of the city, not a single squatter has been paying any licence fee to the municipal council. The staff dare not challan them despite the fact that the shopkeepers and rehriwalas selling vegetables and fruit create insanitary and slum-like conditions in the main streets.

Similarly, a large number of shacks had sprung along the boundary walls of the godown of the Food and Supplies Department in Model Town and the PWD (B and R) rest house as well as the office of the Fisheries Department. The condition outside the general bus stand was the worst as the shacks and rehris were posing a traffic hazard with the pedestrians unable to move freely.

The rotten vegetables and fruit thrown by the rehriwalas all around invite the stray cattle to add to the squalor and the slush. This has led to many accidents.

Hawkers in foodgrains and vegetable markets pose another grave health hazard. It is a major lapse on the part of the officials. It has been alleged that the hawkers are selling contaminated food items and rotten vegetables and fruit outside the educational institutions in the city, thanks to the failure of the authorities in checking the sale of substandard foodstuffs.



Jat Mahasabha opposes ‘bhoj’ ceremony
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, June 4
The All-India Jat Mahasabha has opposed the organising of the ‘bhoj’ ceremony after the last rites, as it puts extra financial burden on the families of the deceased.

In a press release, the Jat Sabha has appealed to the people of the community to put an end to this embarrassing system immediately. It said that the Jats had made supreme sacrifices for the country both during the freedom struggle and in the various armed conflicts in the last 50 years.

It also stated that it would be a tribute to the community if the prestigious Bharat Ratna was awarded to former Prime Minister Chaudhary Charan Singh, and former Deputy Prime Minister Chaudhary Devi Lal posthumously. The mahasabha demanded the inclusion of Jats in the list of Backward Classes and reservation for the community in government jobs.

It pointed out that Mr Karan Singh, a member of the Delhi Development Authority (DDA), had assured the mahasabha that the DDA would allot a piece of land for the construction of a Jat Bhawan in Delhi for providing accommodation to members of the community visiting the national Capital for any work.

The mahasabha also pointed out that the Union Minister of State, Mrs Vasundhara Raje, and the Delhi Chief Minister, Mrs Sheila Dikshit, had assured all necessary assistance to the sabha for launching projects for the welfare of the Jat community.

Meanwhile, releasing the resolutions adopted in the two-day conference of the sabha held recently in Delhi, Mr Rameshwar Nadan, former general secretary of the sabha, claimed that it was a big success as a large number of delegates from all over the country participated in it.

He said that units of the sabha were functioning in Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, UP and West Bengal, through the concerted efforts of Mr Yudhvir Singh, general secretary of the sabha. He also disclosed that Mr Dara Singh, the renowned wrestler and a noted film actor, was unanimously re-elected the president of the sabha in the conference.



NHPC lists out its greening endeavours
Our Correspondent

New Delhi, June 4
The National Hydro Power Corporation (NHPC) today stressed the need for maintaining an equitable balance between construction activities and the environment. The NHPC pointed out that development should be in conformity with the eco system.

Claiming to be conscious of the need for environmental conservation, the company listed out the measures taken by it to check the disturbance caused by development work.

The company asserted that it carried out comprehensive environment impact assessment studies and environment management plans. The company carried out Catchment Area Treatment (CAT) involving the identification and prioritisation of critically degraded areas that require treatment. Apart from it also carries out compensatory afforestation, which is an effective tool for arresting soil erosion and enrichment of environment. The company has already planted around 80 lakh trees.

The NHPC has also laid down plans for the resettlement of those who are displaced as a result of development work. Accommodation facilities are provided for these displaced people apart from providing them with transportation charges for moving their moveable assets.

Conservation of biodiversity is also a priority with the company. The company has undertaken construction of a botanical garden in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Similarly, the company has constructed a fish ladder in the Uri barrage since the construction of the dam could have affected the migration of fish for breeding and feeding purposes.

The company also conducts regular water tests at various project sites to ensure that there is no water contamination. According to the NHPC muck disposal and restoration of quarry is also undertaken by the company since construction work affects the landscape.

The company also ventures into post construction environment impact assessment. The latest techniques like Satellite Remote Sensing have been put to use to study the effect of construction on the environment.



Fuel shortage persists 
Our Correspondent

New Delhi, June 4
Harassed consumers continued to face a shortage of fuel for the second day today. It was alleged that oil companies had halted the supply of fuel temporarily yesterday ahead of the announcement for the hike in fuel charges. It was reported that though the oil companies had resumed supply last night, the situation was expected to normalise by the evening today.

The fuel companies had temporarily halted the supply of petrol and diesel to prevent the petrol pump owners from hoarding fuel and later selling it at elevated prices. While the commuters were greeted with signs reading “no supply” across the city yesterday, the pump owners hoped to cash in on the situation by selling old stock on revised rates. Despite the government warning to take strict action against the erring owners, the commuters continued to face hardship as many pump operators complained of lack of fuel.

The government, on its part, says that it has instructed all the pumps to display their stock position at all times. A distressed commuter rued the fact that fuel is available and yet unscrupulous elements are not selling it. “It is a pity that we cannot do anything.”



Fuel hike under MNC pressure: CPM 
Jatinder Sharma

Rohtak, June 4
The Haryana unit of the CPM has strongly condemned the unprecedented hike in prices of petrol and diesel by the Centre.

The party, in a statement issued here today, has accused the Vajpayee Government of undemocratic conduct and contempt of parliamentary norms by announcing increase in rates of postal services and petroleum products just after the conclusion of the budget session of the Parliament.

The CPM state secretary, Mr Inderjit Singh, described the hike in prices of petroleum products as anti-people measure, which would hit hard the common man and the farming community. It would also lead to increase in transport fares.

He alleged that the retrograde economic policies being pursued by the BJP-led government at the Centre during the past four years have amply proved that multinational companies and big industrial houses have been allowed to garner super-profits, while imposing intolerable economic burden on the common man.

The CPM has demanded withdrawal of the enhanced rates and has also strongly objected to the manner in which the decision to increase the rates have been announced in advance, allowing hoarders to earn black money.

The CPM described it as a scandal which need to be probed.

The Haryana unit of the Socialist Unity Centre of India, has severely criticized the hike in prices of petrol and diesel.

The enhancement in these prices, the party said in a statement, would adversely affect the agriculture sector as it would increase the cost of production of agricultural produce.

The party secretary, Mr Satyavan alleged that the prices of the petroleum products have been increased to benefit the multinational oil companies. He also alleged that the Centre putting undue pressure on the state government to hike the electricity tariff.

The Chautala Government in Haryana has succumbed to the pressure from the Centre and gone back on its promise of providing free power to the farmers, Mr Satyavan alleged.



Large-scale irregularities in petrol sale
Our Correspondent

Rohtak, June 4
Several petrol pumps in the town either put down their shutters or displayed “stock exhausted” on Monday evening after the announcement of the hike in the prices of petrol and diesel.

According to information, few petrol pumps provided limited quantity of fuel to the vehicle owners till around 9 pm.

Subsequently, “closed” or “no stock” board were displayed at the petrol pumps and staff members either locked their offices or were absent in order to avoid inquiries from the consumers.

The NCR correspondent visited almost all the petrol pumps in the town and found that even those petrol pumps that used to be open till midnight, were closed.

The cross-section of consumers, who were present at the petrol pumps, alleged that they were charged the hiked prices for the fuel even though it was to be implemented from midnight.

The people alleged that petrol pumps refused to provide fuel and shut down shutters when they objected to it.

The people also said that the district authorities had turned a deaf ear to their repeated complaints in this regard.

On the other hand, the owners of the petrol pumps refuted the allegation that they had refused to distribute petrol and diesel. They claimed that their stock had exhausted as almost every vehicle owner took more than the required fuel in view of the hike.



She’s a dab hand at beauty biz
Smriti Kak

When Samantha Kocchar says beauty is serious business, you’d better believe her. Coming from someone who started off at 11, a time when most girls are bothered about Barbie’s new clothes, Samantha has earned herself a name other than Blossom Kocchar’s daughter.

Sitting pretty in her office without a trace of make-up or jewellery and with numerous Feng Shui knick-knacks dispersed all around, Samantha tells you of her passion for the business.

“I started at 11 and when I was 13, I went to the United States to enrol in a study course. And by 15, I was a credit teacher. My mother never pushed me into the business, I had a natural instinct for it,” says Samantha who describes her mother Blossom as her guru.

Blossom Kocchar is credited to have started the Pivot Point in India. She brought aromatherapy to the country and is counted as one of the country’s best fashion and beauty experts.

“My mother brought aromatherapy to the country. Today we, at Pivot Point, are not just beauty experts, but we are an institution. We are in the business of teaching. Our institute is the only one in the country with an affiliation to an American institute and the way we teach our students is in accordance with the rules laid down by the Pivot Point International INC, Chicago. So much so that we even get our examination papers from there,” explains Samantha.

Teaching at Pivot Point is serious business. For those who think they can sail their way through the courses, here is the bad news. “We do not allow the students who have flunked the theory exam to move on till they put in more hours. We believe in quality.”

The Kocchars have given India some of the best-known names in make-up, hair care and style. “Apart from individual training, we also do corporate training. We have clients like Sunsilk and Lakme. The markets in the next 10 years are going to expand with cosmetic and fashion majors. Looking at India, we have to gear up for that. We have to have trained people to meet the demands.”

The Pivot Point offers courses in scientific and systematic approach to creative hair design and longhair graphics, advanced long hair design.

This apart, there are beauty courses like fundamentals of advanced make-up, advanced make-up courses for professionals and nail technology.

Pivot Point also shapes careers by teaching salon management to salon owners and spa management. “It is also pity that most people who run salons do not even have a clue as to how scientific beauty and cosmetic procedures are. More than half of the people, who give you a facial, are not even aware of the fact that the skin has three layers.

It is therefore vital to educate people about the science of the business,” adds Samantha, who confesses that her work is also her hobby.

“I unwind by spending time with my five-year-old son Aryamaan. Otherwise, my whole energy is focussed on my work.” Samantha also dabbles with body language. “This is something I do in my free time. I like to read the body language of the people. In our profession, 80 per cent is people’s skill and 20 per cent is technical skill. If you are not able to cater to the need of the clients, you cannot retain them. And 65 per cent of the clients walk out on a salon because of bad techniques.”

Samantha along with her mother is currently busy in planning the launch of a manual that introduces styles for season. “The book encapsulates details about hair trends for the season,” explains Samantha.

Armed with her passion to make beauty and hygiene a part of everybody’s life, she has started to train school students. “We have to start with the young. We teach the students of Amity International, Saket, about the need for hygiene and grooming oneself. These students need to be told and showed the proper way.

The young entrepreneur concludes by saying, “There are a number of misconceptions about the beauty business, which need to be clarified and coming from a professional it makes more sense.” Can we disagree?

Mikka’s personal choreographer

Chummy-chummy: Romeo Dixit and Mikka

Preet Vihar-based budding choreographer Romeo Dixit has recently been chosen as the personal choreographer–cum–dance instructor of Punjabi pop sensation, Mikka.

Both have entered into an agreement for three years. While signing the agreement, Mikka said, “Romeo is very promising choreographer and have ample potential to carve a niche for himself in this field.

Romeo (26) hails from Agra. Since his school days, he has been doing many live performances across the country with leading artistes of this trade. He has mastered modern dance and his favourite items are Jauzz and Bellit.

He was adjudged the best performer in an All India Dance Competition, organised at Siri Fort Auditorium in 1989. Romeo is recipient of many awards for his outstanding contribution in this field. Paule Abdul is Romeo’s favourite in Europe. In India, it is Saroj Khan. Romeo is presently aerobics consultant in Hauz Khas-based Delhi’s premier Health Club ‘Power House’ and Preet Vihar-based ‘Planet X’.

(Inputs from Nalini Ranjan)

From engineering to entertainment

It was 1993. He was pursuing a degree course in engineering from Jamia Millia Islamia. Hereafter, he came in contact with some students of other faculty, who were also associated with theatre.

This young guy Asif Khan also started hovering around Mandi House area. After some struggle, he got a small role in a TV serial, Fikarchar with Rajesh Puri. After that, he never looked back. In a year, he acted in more than a dozen TV serials like Dhalte Shaam Ka Suraj, Ithihaas, Daldal, Vakil Jasoos. Dhalte Shaam Ka Suraj was also telecast in Germany. In 1995, he went to Mumbai for a big break.

Here, he acted as a hero in films like Aag Aur Tezab of Jagdish Sadana and Diwaana Kaun of Sanjay Mehta. But both the films could not do well on the box office.

Then he returned to Delhi in 1997. And concentrated himself on small screen.

After his homecoming, he directed and acted in many much-talked TV serials like Ahasas, Ab Kya Hoga, The Connaught Place. He also made some popular telefilms like Goad and Mehak, for Doordarshan. He is now busy in two TV serials, Kuch Yaad Raha, Kuch Bhool Gaya’ and Mission Impossible.

Asif Khan also runs an acting institute Kashish in Lajpat Nagar area.

Prem Chopra, Asis Vidyarthi, Sachin and Mamik from celluloid world are presently associated with this institute.



Training centre for Mewat widows
Our Correspondent

Nuh (Mewat), June 4
The decks have been finally cleared for the Mewat Development Agency (MDA) to set up a residential-cum- training centre here for the widows of Mewat.

The Haryana Governor, Mr Mahabir Prasad, is understood to have agreed to provide a sum of Rs 1 lakh from his discretionary fund to the MDA for construction of the building.

Sources in the MDA said the cost of the entire building was expected to be Rs 12 lakh. The MDA will raise the rest of the money from the Union Government.

The proposed residential-cum-training centre will be set up in the MDA’s headquarters here. Initially, there will be provision for accommodation for only 60 widows. This would be increased in the future.

A recent study of the profile of the widows conducted by the MDA puts their number in the six revenue blocks at 200.

According to the Chairman of the MDA, Mr S.A.Khan, the widows will be given vocational training so that they can become economically independent. Food processing, stitching, self-help group discussions etc will form part of the curriculum.

The need for residential accommodation and training centre for the widows had been felt since long. As it is, the Mewati society has low per capita income in comparison to the people in other parts of Haryana. With rampant poverty, superstitious beliefs and inferior status allegedly attached to the women at large in Mewati society, the widows are an ignored lot. 



Healthcare melas to be organised by Haryana govt
Our Correspondent

Panipat, June 4
In a bid to take healthcare to the remote villages without the primary health centres (PHCs) and community health centres (CHCs), the Haryana Government has decided to organise “healthcare melas”.

Stating this here today, the Health Minister, Dr ML Ranga, said under the ambitious plan, two villages would be selected every month. About 20 specialists would examine the patients and prescribe medicines.

Routine medical tests would also be done on the spot and for that purpose, a mobile laboratory would be pressed into service. Minor operations would also be done at these “melas”, he added.

Dr Ranga informed that Haryana had joined the centrally-sponsored RNTC scheme for the welfare of the TB patients. Free treatment and medicines would be provided to the TB patients under this scheme, he stated. He said appointments to the posts of the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) and District Health Officer (DHO) at the local Civil Hospital would be made soon.

Terming the farmers’ agitation in certain parts of Haryana as being fuelled by “anti-social elements”. He said the farmers’ agitation would die down soon as the agitationists had taken the law into their hands. He hoped the issue would be sorted out soon as the government had constituted a four-member committee under the chairmanship of the Finance Minister, Mr Sampat Singh.

Rs 40,000 robbed

In a daring act, three unidentified assailants robbed an employee of a yarn company of Rs 40,000, near the PWD Rest House this morning. According to information available, Mr Dinesh, an employee of the Sanjay Yarn Company, Sethi Chowk, was on his way to make payments when he was overpowered by the motorcycle borne assailants and was forced to part with the money at gunpoint. A case was registered.

Man booked

Khaitab Singh, a resident of the Ekta Nagar was booked by the police on the charge of outraging the modesty of a girl.

‘Operation Catch’

The district police arrested 16 criminals during “Operation Catch” that was undertaken from May 17 to 31, according to a press note.

IT committee

Under the directions of the state government, a District Information Technology Committee has been set up under the chairmanship of the Deputy Commissioner. A meeting of the committee was held here today. The Additional Deputy Commissioner (ADC) and Administrator, HUDA, are the vice-chairman of the committee, besides the inclusion of representatives from 15 other departments. The Department of Information Technology will set up a website under the name of `Nai disha’ and it would make available all information and details about the schemes, and plans of development, besides other public utility information of the district.

Hacked to death

A man was hacked to death by his brother in Hasanpur village of the district on Monday night.

According to information, the deceased Balwan Singh, was found lying in a pool of blood in the morning on Tuesday. He was reportedly killed by his brother Mehtad, a Haryana Government employee, with an axe. The police have started investigation, although it could not ascertain the reason behind the murder.

Rs 35,000 looted

Four unidentified armed youths forced their way into the office of a transport company on the G.T.Road near Pipli Khera village, about 15 km from here on Monday night and looted about Rs 35,000 from it.

According to a report, all the four miscreants were armed with revolvers and knives. They entered the office of the transport company by smashing the windowpanes where the employees were fast asleep. They threatened the `munshi’ and succeeded in getting the keys of the cash box. They opened the cash box and escaped with the entire amount under the cover of darkness. It is stated that before fleeing, they tied up the persons in the office and locked them in a room. The police had registered a case under Section 392 and 394 IPC and further investigations were in progress. However, no arrest had been made in this connection.

One killed

One person was killed and three others injured in an accident that occurred on the Sonepat-Bahalgarh road, about 5 km from here on Monday night. According to a report, three youths were travelling on a scooter and were on their way from Jakhauli village to Sonepat city. A Tata 407 vehicle hit the scooter, killing one youth and injuring two others. After the accident, the driver of Tata 407 vehicle managed to escape. The killed was identified as Netra and those injured were Devinder and Karan Singh. The injured persons were hospitalised.The police have registered the case and further investigation were in progress. A hunt is on to apprehend the driver of the canter. 



Body recovered in Faridabad 
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, June 4
The police recovered the body of a 35- year-old man from Kot village of Hathin sub-division, who was murdered on May 24. His body was dumped in a field.

The deceased’s wife and two other persons allegedly involved in the murder were arrested.

According to the police, the victim Chokhe Lal, a worker at brick kiln had objected to the `illicit relations’ between his wife. Subsequently, the arrested persons conspired and murdered Chokhe Lal on May 24.

The accused was identified as Kaushalaya Devi, wife of the deceased, Rajpal and Santosh.

Their involvement in the murder came to light after a complaint was lodged by the brother of the victim that Chokhe Lal had been missing and perhaps was murdered by some persons known to him.

The accused led the police to the spot where they had dumped the body after the murder.



Engineer commits suicide 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 4
Hemant Kumar (24), a computer engineer reportedly committed suicide by hanging himself from a ceiling fan in his house in Rajender Nagar.

The engineer, who belonged to Sawai Madhopur in Rajasthan, worked in a private company. No suicide note was recovered. He had been provided accommodation by the company in old Rajender Nagar and he lived there with a
friend. However, when his friend came back from his office on Monday evening, he found him hanging from the ceiling fan. The reason for the suicide was unclear, the police said.

Police drive: The Traffic Police launched a special drive to discipline TSR and taxi drivers for overcharging, misbehaviour, tampered metres, refusal to provide service and being without proper uniform.

A total number of 50, 914 violations by TSR drivers and 16, 543 violations by taxi drivers were detected. In addition, 828 TSRs and 42 taxis were also impounded. Similarly, 1148 permits of TSRs and 12 permits of taxis were suspended for committing irregularities.

The TSR and taxi drivers have been ordered to wear prescribed uniform. A total of 1415 drivers were prosecuted for not wearing uniform, 137 prosecuted for over charging, 157 for refusal to provide service and seven for plying their TSR with tampered metres, the police said.

Criminals arrested : With the arrest of two inter-state gangsters, Pramod Kumar Choudhary and Baldev, the Delhi Police today claimed to have worked out several robbery and dacoity cases, including bank dacoities in Solan and Palwal.

Parmod Kumar, who headed the gang, was a science graduate with a law degree. They operated in Haryana, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi.

During interrogation, they disclosed that besides robbery and dacoity, they were also involved in the paper leakage case of class X and XII examination in Rajasthan, which had led to the cancellation of the examination, the police said.


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