Thursday, June 6, 2002, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


Delhi cracks down on vehicle pollution
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 5
The Government of NCT of Delhi celebrated the World Environment Day by declaring a war on polluting vehicles. Accordingly, all vehicle owners have been advised to obtain Pollution Under Control Certificate by June 30. The Department of Transport and Delhi Traffic Police will launch a drive in July to check emission by private vehicles and by school buses in August.

Sharing with media persons the strategy paper formulated by his Ministry (the document is titled : War on Transport Generated Air Pollution), Mr Maken on Wednesday said the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) has been roped in to augment the infrastructure that would be required for testing the vehicles for pollution. The Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) has been approached to suggest improvements in the pollution checking centres in order to make the system more stringent. “We intend to increase the pollution checking centres to about 100 to be able to service that many vehicles more,” the minister said. Digital camera-mounted computerised system will be a novelty that would generate images of the licence plate of vehicle and feed it to a centralised computer data bank. That, the minister felt, would effectively seal all the exit routes for any vehicle-owner planning to give it the go-by.

Besides non-government organisations (NGOs), students will be involved in generating public awareness and catch the culprit also. For which purpose prepaid post cards will be distributed among schools, NGOs and anybody volunteering to be a vigilante : upon spotting a vehicle that visibly emits pollution all that is to be done is to write the registration number of that vehicle and post it. Explaining the reasons for declaring the war on polluting vehicles, the minister said 70 per cent of all vehicles in Delhi have not been issued the Pollution Under Control Certificate. “The Comptroller and Auditor General too has observed as much in his report,” Mr Maken said. The message that should go out by way of this campaign, he asserted, is that a polluting vehicle is not fuel-efficient and costs the owner more than it should besides costs incurred as fines and penalties.

Half-yearly certificate

The Government of NCT of Delhi will seek to introduce half-yearly Pollution Under Control certificate regime in order to ensure greater and voluntary compliance. In all states, barring Delhi, vehicles are required to obtain the certificate every six months; it is three months in the Capital. The government, Mr Maken said, had formulated a long-term strategy in addition to restructuring of Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC), whereby bus routes will be rationalised to facilitate mass transit and electric trolley introduced to encourage private vehicle users to shift to public transport.

Of particular interest is an integrated parking policy and park-and-ride culture for decongestion of markets, etc. The minister said a pilot project was being considered by Delhi Tourism, Delhi Traffic Police and Department of Transport in the inner circle of Connaught Place according to which two-wheelers will be asked to park in the underground parking lot opposite Regal Cinema and vehicle owners asked to board electric vehicles to reach their respective destinations.

On the performance of DTC, the minister said not more than 10 per cent of buses are grounded on account of repairs, etc. Problems, he said, were encountered but that had since been sorted out. The one thousand new CNG buses, he added, would be added to the DTC fleet as planned and that building of the chassis of the buses ordered for would be completed within three months.


Slum-dwellers chief pollutants of Yamuna: Bandhu
Our correspondent

New Delhi, June 5
Slum-dwellers are the largest contributors of pollutants to the Yamuna, the Minister for Environment, Mr Deep Chand Bandhu, said here today.

Describing the slum-dwellers as the “chief pollutants”, the minister, who was speaking at a workshop on the ‘Exchange of Information on the Facilities Created Under Yamuna Action Plan (YAP)’ organised to mark the ‘World Environment Day’, said that the river would never be clean until they were removed from the riverbed. “The Yamuna will never be clean till the JJ clusters are removed from the river banks and its inhabitants are rehabilitated elsewhere,” pointed out Mr Bandhu.

Delhi’s Health Minister, Dr A. K. Walia, added: “No encroachments should be allowed on the river banks. Instead, green strips and jogging tracks should be constructed there.” Dr Walia brought to the notice that almost 40 per cent of the city’s untreated sewage found its way into the Yamuna through 17 open drains everyday.

The minister suggested that the construction of mini and micro sewage treatment plants at the community level would help in reducing the sewage load on the city’s sewerage. The Additional Commissioner of YAP, Mr Manjit Singh, said, “The resettlement will require 1,500 acres of land and will take another three years to be completed.”

It was pointed out that the cost of shifting the dwellers of the JJ clusters from the east and west embankments and the Yamuna bed to the proposed 10 resettlement colonies would involve an additional expenditure of Rs 750 to 900 crore.

The YAP is being aided by the Japan Bank for International Co-operation and it covers eight towns of Uttar Pradesh, six towns in Haryana and all of Delhi.

To eradicate open defecation, 952 Community Toilet Complexes are being constructed. Besides, 180 Mobile Toilet Vans have already been made available.

Meanwhile, students of Bal Bhavan participated in a special environmental day rally. Carrying placards, these students stressed the need for prohibiting the use of polybags and need to grow trees. These students are a part of the eco-club, which organises such events to draw attention to the needs of the environment.



Day one: Four lakh DU application forms sold
Tarun Gill

New threshold: Admission seekers filling up forms as the admission process gets under way in Delhi University on Wednesday.
New threshold: Admission seekers filling up forms as the admission process gets under way in Delhi University on Wednesday. — Tribune Photo Mukesh Aggarwal

New Delhi June 5
More than four lakh application forms were sold by Delhi University (DU) on the first day of the admission process for the academic year 2002-3 today. The campus came alive with thousands of students thronging it. Though the exact figures were not available, official sources in DU estimated that close to four lakh application forms were sold, pointing to the fact that there was a stiff competition among the students to secure admission in the college of their choice.

There are about 44,000 seats available in 80 colleges of the university. Besides, the School of Correspondence Courses has the capacity to admit about one lakh students every year in various courses.

The forms will be sold and accepted till June 19 and the first admission list will be announced on June 26.

“The rush on the first day of the admission process is not unusual as the prospective students seek to get over with the ordeal of procuring the forms as early as possible and concentrate on the submission of forms in select colleges later,” a DU official said.

There were also apprehensions about the number of forms falling short. Last year, there were instances when panic-stricken admission seekers had to return empty-handed from the form distribution centres. The DU authorities, however, allayed fears about such an eventuality this year.

“Last year, our calculation went wrong. As a result, there was a shortage of admission forms at the counters, which created panic among students. But this year, we are well stocked,” the Dean, Students’ Welfare of DU, Dr Hema Raghavan, said

The authorities are expecting an estimated 16 lakh admission forms to be submitted this year – up from 13.5 lakh last year. Further, the official website,, has introduced a web-driven version which will enable students to download forms directly from the site.

“Unlike last year, our website is functioning effectively,” Dr Raghavan said. Last year, last-minute technical hiccups prevented the web-enabled version going online.

The scene on the campus was one of hope, aspiration and enthusiasm. Students braved high temperature and humidity to collect forms, hopping from one college to another.

The campus was abuzz with activity as it meant the first step beyond the rigid regimentation of a school. “I am really looking forward to the first day in college,” said Jaspreet, a prospective student. For most of them, the first visit to the campus was some kind of an exercise to get used to the general ambience.


Mukhi questions govt’s commitment
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 5
Not showing any let-up in the ongoing verbal duel with the Congress-administered Government of NCT of Delhi, Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Jagdish Mukhi on Wednesday claimed Transport Minister Ajay Maken had done precious little to stem the rot in the Department of Transport.

Questioning the wisdom of indulging in mere rhetoric, Mr Mukhi alleged officers and inspectors recruited for checking of pollution had been posted on lucrative posts and machines worth crores of rupees were lying in a state of disrepair in the Department of Transport.

“The Government of NCT of Delhi,” he told media persons, “was allowing five-year permits to two-stroke petrol-driven loading vehicles registered in Haryana to ply in the Capital by realising tax but has banned CNG mode vehicles from plying in Delhi.”

Attributing motives to the ban on three wheelers manufactured by Scooter India and Kerala Electronic, Mr Mukhi said the Congress-administered Government of NCT of Delhi was favouring a certain private automobile manufacturer under the guise of curbing pollution. “This episode of corruption and favouritism,” he said, “should be investigated by the Central Bureau of Investigation” and has demanded as much from the Lieutenant Governor.



Decks cleared for BKU leaders’ release, talks
Jatinder Sharma

Rohtak, June 5
The decks have been cleared for a negotiated settlement of the ongoing farmers agitation with the government today paving the way for the release of arrested BKU leaders on bail.

The bail applications have been apparently filed on behalf of the arrested BKU leaders with the tacit understanding that the government would not oppose these. The release of the leaders is a major pre-condition for talks, set by the BKU leaders.

With a view to create a congenial atmosphere, the government today did not oppose the bail applications of the 25 arrested leaders. That the government wants a peaceful settlement became clear when the public prosecutor conceded in the court of Additional Sessions Judge, Mr Shiva Sharma, that the case under Section 307 IPC (attempt to murder) was not made out against the BKU leaders arrested on May 30.

The police had registered two FIRs against the agitating farmers. FIR no. 159 was registered under sections 148/ 332/ 353/ 186/ 307 read with section 149 IPC against Chander, Randhir Singh, Jitender, Decv Dutt, Chatra (all residents of village Titoli), Kaptan of village Bahrana (Jhajjar) and Ram Kumar, Nand Ram, Tek Ram, Pritu, Ram Dhan (all residents of village Khidwali).

The second FIR (no 162) was registered under sections 148/332/353/186/ 188/427/307/283/ 341 IPC and section 25 of the Arms Act against Balwan Singh, Rakesh, Snand Singh, Karan Singh and ten others of village Titoli. The FIR alleged that the agitating BKU activists attacked the police. Some fire shots were also heard. The crowd also did not allow the vehicles to move. In this melee, ASI Mahender Singh and Head Constable Diwan Singh had sustained injuries. The case was registered on the statement of Sub Inspector Bijender Singh.

Granting bail to the arrested BKU leaders, Mr Shiva Sharma said that the injuries received by the policemen were not serious as per the opinion of the doctor. “…It is evident that a case under section 307 IPC is not made out,” the Additional Sessions Judge said. With regard to the other offences, the judge ruled, the arrested leaders could be tried by a judicial Magistrate Ist class.

“Thus, in view of the matter, I allow bail to the petitioners on their furnishing personal bonds for the sum of Rs 10000 each with one surety each for the like amount to the satisfaction of the ilaqa Magistrate/ Dupty Magistrate, Rohtak,” he ordered.

Sonepat: The supremo of the Indian National Lok Dal and the Haryana Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, got a shot in the arm today when a former Jan Sangh MP and senior BJP leader, Mr Mukhtiar Singh Malik, deplored the ongoing violent agitation launched by the Haryana unit of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) led by the Ghasi Ram Nain faction in the state on the issue of payment of arrears of power bills.


BJP leader defends Chautala, attacks BKU
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, June 5
The supremo of the Indian National Lok Dal and the Haryana Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, got a shot in the arm today when a former Jan Sangh MP and senior BJP leader, Mr Mukhtiar Singh Malik, deplored the ongoing violent agitation launched by the Haryana unit of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) led by the Ghasi Ram Nain faction in the state on the issue of payment of arrears of power bills.

Talking to mediapersons here, Mr Malik justified the action of the Chief Minister in tackling the agitation. He said the unprecedented course of action adopted by the BKU in taking up arms against the government was highly objectionable. He said that such acts, which were aimed at destabilising the state government and creating anarchy, deserved not only condemnation but stern action also needed to be taken against the BKU leaders.

Mr Malik demanded immediate arrest of Mr Nain and other leaders for inciting the farmers in revolting against the democratic set-up in the state.

He appealed to the farmers not to be misled by the so-called leaders of the BKU and other opposition parties who had vested interests. He alleged the farmers had become tools in their hands against Mr Chautala.

According to another report, Mr Ranbir Singh Dahiya, president of the district unit of the INLD, today blamed the BKU leaders for instigating the farmers in taking the law into their hands and blocking the roads for their selfish ends.

In a press statement, he described the BKU agitation as unjust and unwarranted when the Chief Minister had already announced waiving of 75 per cent electricity dues outstanding against the farmers for the past several years.

He made a fervent appeal to the farmers not to be misled by the false propaganda unleashed by the BKU leaders and the opposition parties, especially the Congress, and desist from resorting to violent activities. He also called upon the BKU leaders not to be misled by Congress leaders who, he alleged, wanted to grab power by all possible means.


Wheat purchase: Sonepat farmers getting raw deal?
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, June 5
Mr Jaipal Singh Machhriwala, former president of the District Bar Association and a senior Congress leader, today demanded a high-level probe into the alleged bungling in the purchase of wheat by various government agencies in this district this year.

In a signed press statement, he alleged that a number of arhtiyas, who had sold not more than 20,000 bags of wheat during the procurement season last year, had suddenly sold more than one lakh bags of wheat this year to various procurement agencies. They had, in the process, earned huge profits in connivance with the officials of the procurement agencies.

He alleged stepmotherly treatment was meted out to farmers of this district. The produce brought to the market was not purchased. On the other hand, wheat stocks brought from Uttar Pradesh in various grain markets in this district were purchased without any hesitation by the official agencies at the minimum support price (MSP) despite the fact that this wheat did not conform to the norms fixed by the government.

Mr Machhriwala also alleged that the farmers from UP were given preferential treatment. Transport facilities were provided to them immediately. On the contrary the farmers of the district were deliberately ignored as they failed to comply with the wishes of the officials of the procurement agencies against the unscrupulous arhtiyas.

He demanded immediate transfers of all officials of the procurement agencies to ensure an independent and impartial inquiry. Such an inquiry, he said, would expose the misdeeds of the officials and arhtiyas.

Meanwhile, Mr Rajiv Jain, general secretary of the Haryana Vikas Party, and Mr Azad Singh Nehra, district president of the human rights cell of the Haryana Pradesh Congress Committee, have made a similar demand. They have sought stern action against the officials of the procurement agencies for duping the government of lakhs of rupees in `benami’ purchasing of wheat from the U. P. farmers and evading the sales tax and market fee on it.


Cyber narcotics gang busted
Our Correspondent

New Delhi, June 5
The Delhi zonal unit of the Narcotics Control Bureau today claimed to have unearthed the first-ever case involving online trading and unauthorised export of controlled psychotropic substances to the countries, including the US and the UK.

A surveillance was launched on a pharma company, ‘Venture Netcom’, operating in Faridabad by the narcotics control bureau on the basis of an information that some pharma companies were involved in online trading of narcotics.

The bureau informed that the company used to get orders for the drugs including the controlled psychotropic substances through their website and the orders were delivered through EMS Speed Post to the foreign clients. The money was being collected through credit card payments.

The owners of the firm, Anil Chatterjee, Javed and Biplab Ray have been apprehended. The firm has already exported drugs worth lakhs of rupees during their operations in the last eight months, the authorities said.

The control bureau also investigated a chemist in Faridabad, where the bureau recovered 2,654 tablets of various controlled psychotropic substances. The owner of the establishment, Dr Ritu Raj Singh, has also been taken into custody.



Panipat bags big unit with green belt
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Bal Jattan (Panipat), June 5
The residents of this sleepy village today got a perfect World Environment Day gift from the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC). The IOC not only announced the setting up of the world’s largest petrochemicals project here, but also showed its concern for the region’s ecological balance by offering to develop a 75-acre green belt around the project.

To be built in an area of 760 acres at a cost of Rs 5,104 crore, the project is to be completed in mid-2004. The site, which is about 4.5 km from the Panipat Refinery, will be connected to the refinery through a corridor. The work on infrastructure is already under way.

The Principal Secretary to the Haryana Chief Minister, Mr M K Miglani, who was the chief guest at the function, said that the threat from environmental pollution was even more serious than outbreak of a nuclear war. Environment protection was no longer a problem of developed nations alone.

Giving details, Mr Jaspal Singh, Executive Director of the refinery, disclosed that the IOC planned to invest Rs 10,000 crore in the refinery. Besides the petrochemicals project, the capacity of the refinery would be doubled to 120 lakh metric tonnes; a 360 MW power plant was also in the pipeline.

The sources said that the petrochemicals project would confine itself to paraxylene (PX) and Purified Terephthalic Acid (PTA). PTA is used in the manufacture of polyester staple fibre (PSF) and polyester filament yarn (PFY), which are used by textile plants. The project is primarily aimed at the utilization of naphtha available from the Panipat and Mathura refineries.

NEERI, Nagpur, is conducting a study of the area to determine the impact of existing and planned projects. The non-objection certificate from the Haryana State Pollution Control Board and environmental clearance from the Ministry of Environment and Forests have already been received.

The 75-acre green belt will be developed in collaboration with the Forest Department. About 17 varieties of fruit and trees are being planted; 43,750 saplings will be planted in the first phase.

The whole belt will be fenced to protect the seedlings from wild and domestic animals.


Carcasses of 11 peacocks seized
Our Correspondent

Alwar, June 5
The district forest officials today claimed to have nabbed three alleged poachers from the Pratap Bandh Reserve Forest area here and seized carcasses of 11 peacocks, the national bird, and a packet of poisoned feed from them. According to officials, the suspects, described as professional hunters, were arrested in the wee hours of this morning. They had reportedly killed the birds by feeding them poisoned feed and then hitting them with stones.

The suspects were later handed over to the police and a case under the Wildlife Act was registered. A post-mortem examination was later conducted on the carcasses and their viscera were sent for chemical examination.

The Pratap Bandh Reserve Forest has a sizeable number of the national bird. The flesh of the bird is in great demand in certain quarters for its reported aphrodisiac qualities. The feathers too are in great demand. Earlier, two similar incidents have been reported.



BJP’s next card: Urban development
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 5
Finding their feet and voice after floundering in the wake of the reverses in the civic polls, the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP’s) leaders today went into a huddle in the North Block office of Union Home Minister L. K. Advani and emerged convinced of upping the ante and taking the battle to the Congress camp. With the belief that “an issue a day keeps the Congress at bay”, they raised matters relating to urban development even while harping on the power and transport situation that they had raked up in the past couple of days.

The party’s Members of Parliament from Delhi (with the exception of Mr Vijay Goel), Union Urban Development Minister Ananth Kumar, state unit president Mange Ram Garg and Leader of Opposition in the assembly Jagdish Mukhi were among those who took part in the confabulations with Mr Advani. Also present was Lieutenant-Governor Vijai Kapoor.

Apparently galvanised into action by the comforting words of Mr Advani, Mr Madan Lal Khurana – in a hurriedly convened news conference – told mediapersons that he and his colleagues had returned armed with the assurance that the party should raise issues of public concern and “expose” the three-and-a-half-year misrule of the Congress in Delhi. As if on cue, Mr Mukhi addressed a news conference to talk about the letter he had written to Transport Minister Ajay Maken questioning the policies adopted by the latter in regard to the transport and power sectors.

After raking up the issues of transport and power, the BJP today opened yet another front against the Congress, this time bringing up the issue of urban development. Mr Khurana said all those present in the 90-minute meeting with Mr Advani were of the opinion that regularisation of unauthorised colonies and commercial establishments operating out of non-commercial areas would be accorded priority by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA).

Mr Khurana said that the Union Urban Development Minister had agreed in principle to follow through the proposal of allowing doctors and other professionals to use basement or any other floor for professional purposes. Also, the regularisation of private houses as per the second report of the Malhotra Committee. The minister had also agreed tentatively about declaring residential areas having 70 per cent industries as industrial areas. The DDA, he added, would be considering these proposals and implementing them expeditiously although no timetable had been agreed upon.

Meanwhile, continuing the verbal duel he initiated on the issue of the privatisation of the Delhi Vidyut Board (DVB), Mr Mukhi said, “The BJP is not against privatisation but is opposed to the manner in which the Congress-administered Government of NCT of Delhi had gone about divesting its stake in the power utility.” Referring to the offer of a debate on the outstanding issues concerning privatisation of the DVB, he said that Mr Maken should rather slug it out with him than Mr Khurana. “I am ready for a debate on this issue,” he added.

The party is planning to hold a demonstration in front of the Vidhan Sabha on Friday to raise the civic issues affecting Delhiites.


Student’s foot crushed under jeep
Our Correspondent

Narnaul, June 5
The foot of a student, Pradeep Kumar, son of Magha Ram of Lujota village in Mahendragarh tehsil, was crushed by a jeep (HR 52-A-0017) today. The jeep was going towards Bansihal and a tempo was parked on the opposite side of the road for passengers to alight.

As the jeep was about to pass the tempo, Pradeep all of a sudden appeared from behind the tempo to cross the road. Though the jeep driver tried to stop, Pradeep’s left foot was crushed. The jeep driver, Banwari Lal, himself brought Pradeep to Civil Hospital here where the doctors said that the victim was not out of danger. The police have registered a case of rash and negligent driving and are investigating the matter.

Found dead

The district police have found the body of a truck driver from behind Nasibpur Housing Board colony in the foothills of Aravalli under mysterious circumstances on Tuesday. The deceased has been identified as Satbir Singh Swami (22), son of Vijai Pal Swami of Kheri Talvana village under the Kanina police station. According to police sources, a few sulphas tablets and a half bottle of country liquor were found beside the body. Satbir was plying a truck and had been away from home for the last two months. The body was handed over to his father after a post-mortem examination today.

Birth anniversary

The birth anniversary of Prithvi Raj Chauhan will be celebrated at Ateli on June 7 at 9 am under the presidentship of former Rajasthan Chief Minister Bhairon Singh Sekhawat. Former Prime Minister Chandra Sekhar will be the chief guest. This was stated by Mr Drig Pal Singh Chauhan, former DGP (Orissa) and president of the Sarat Prithvi Raj Chauhan Jayanti Samaroh.

Impure water

Residents of Raoka mohalla were forced to drink contaminated water for the sixth day today. Inquiries reveal that water samples sent for examination have failed and the District Health Officer has sent a report to this effect the executive engineer of the Public Health Department.

DC inspects works

The Deputy Commissioner today inspected the development works being carried out at different areas of the town as part of the face-lifting measures. According to a report, Mr S. N. Roy visited the Shanni Mandir area and a street near Suri petrol pump where the roads are being widened to 50/60 ft.

Snake bite

A youth, Ramoo, was hospitalised here last evening after a snake bit him when he was sleeping in his house at Panchi village, about 15 km from here, on Tuesday night. According to a report, he was referred to the PGI Rohtak for further treatment.

Youth burnt

Sunil, a youth, sustained burns in his house at Baba Colony on the Sonepat-Rohtak road here on Tuesday night. According to a report, he was rushed to the local civil hospital from where he was shifted to the PGI Rohtak. The cause of the burns is yet to be known.

Fields inundated

Large areas of cultivable land were inundated by a breach in the Pai distributary near Pai village, about 15 km from here, on Tuesday. According to a report, though this breach has been plugged, the fields are still flooded.


National Stadium beat Malviya Club

New Delhi, June 5
National Stadium Coaching Centre beat Malviya Club by 66 runs in a Super A Division match of the DDCA League at the National Stadium ground.

Scores: National Stadium Coaching Centre: 236 all out in 39.1 overs (Hanish Arora 70, Tariq-ur-Rehman 37, Sandeep Vig 33, Kuldeep Deewan 2 for 35, Siddarth Rawat 2 for 36).

Malviya Club: 170 all out in 36.1 overs (Subodh Yadav 52, Pitamber Dutt 36, Sandeep Joshi 3 for 14, Arun Pandey 2 for 42, Hanish Arora 2 for 32).

SAARC Cycling

The second SAARC Cycling Championships, organized by the Cycling Federation of India, will be held at the Yamaha Velodrome from June 8 to 12. The road events will be held at the DLF Gymkhana in Gurgaon. More than 70 riders from SAARC countries are expected to participate in the championships. OSR


Dalits to embrace Buddhism at Kurukshetra
Our Correspondent

Rewari, June 5
Close on the heels of Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Kerala, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi, thousands of Dalits of Haryana are expected to embrace Buddhism at a state-level Buddhism Initiation Convention at Kurukshetra, the holy land of the Gita, on June 9. The nationwide movement for Dalits to embrace Buddhism, launched by Mr Udit Raj, national chairman of the Lord Buddha Club and also of the All India Confederation of SC/ST Organisations, has started picking up momentum in Haryana too.

Taking a cue from late Dr B. R. Ambedkar, Mr Udit Raj has now taken up the cudgels for the emancipation of the 25 crore hapless Dalits who are still deprived of even fundamental human rights and who are victims of tyrannical discrimination even after 54 years of Independence.

He says that under the present circumstances, these Dalits or the so-called Shudras are finding themselves incapable of doing anything tangible against the stranglehold of the manuvadi caste system in India. He asserts that their deliverance or emancipation from chronic mental enslavement lies only in embracing Buddhism, which guarantees equality and brotherhood for all.

Elaborating his point, Mr Udit Raj says that during Partition in 1947, lakhs of Punjabis and Sindhis were forced to flee from Pakistan to India quite empty handed. However, they are now well off and well settled in life. Doesn’t it clearly prove that they prospered because they were free from mental enslavement?

In the same vein, Mr Udit Raj, who himself is a neo-convert to Buddhism, further asserts that by embracing Buddhism, they will usher in an Indian society that will be immune from casteism and the sordid spirit of the high and low.

Encouraged by the resounding success the movement has already gained in the above-mentioned states, the campaign has now spread its wings in Haryana where dozens of local activists associated with Mr Udit Raj are now straining every nerve to mobilise the Dalits for the Kurukshetra convention of June 9.

There is enthusiasm for the convention among Dalits in Rewari, Narnaul and Mahendragarh from where about a dozen buses (carrying them) will reach Kurukshetra on June 9, according to Mr Mahesh Kumar Khinchi and Mr Kishori Lal, local functionaries of the organisation.

Simultaneously, it will also be a state level “save reservation-constitution convention” of the Dalits in which the demands of reservation in promotion in class 1 and II jobs in Haryana also on the pattern of the Union Government and several other state governments, constitution of SC/ST Commission in Haryana, withdrawal of the Haryana Government’s anti-reservation directions of October 14, 1999 and clearance of the backlog of SC/BC vacancies in the state will also be raised.



Mining ban forces owners to change tack
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, June 5
The Supreme Court’s order to ban mining within 5 km of the Delhi-Haryana border has led to several changes in the field of mining and related activity here.

As the source of mining and construction material has reduced considerably, the leaseholders of the remaining mines, which are functional at present, have started adopting some new techniques, which were earlier non-existent. The owners of the mines and crushers have started measuring the material in tonnes by setting up computerised and electronic weighing machines. Earlier, the suppliers of material used to measure in terms of cubic feet and rough estimates were made about the quantity of material loaded in a truck.

While royalty and sales tax were charged on the basis of the weight (tonnes) by the department concerned, the suppliers used to charge the consumers in terms of cubic feet. This had led to irregularities and often the truck owners or suppliers would quote less than actual weight of the material loaded. But now with the imposition of some of the recommendations of the special task force committee set up by the Haryana Government, the leaseholders have started setting up electronic weighing machines to measure the load accurately.

The Mining Department has also set up two computerised weighing stations to check the `discrepancies’ in the supply of material and to check evasion of royalty and sales tax. The Deputy Commissioner had inaugurated one such point in the Managar area recently, while another is under construction near the Surajkund crossing in the same region. The officials have been asked to check each vehicle and register the actual weight of the load at the spot.

The crushers operating in the district have also given up the system of `Octroi’ charges on the stones supplied to the crushers. They have now gone for the token system for the truck operators supplying raw material to them. Now the transporters have been asked to procure tokens from respective crushers, if they were to take the stone from mines or quarries.

After the ban, the mining activity in the region has been reduced to Kot village in the district, which does not come under the periphery limit. Mining is on in about 3,000 acres of land here. But as a whole, the Faridabad region, which was the main source of supply of materials like ‘Badarpur’, silica sand, ‘bajri’ and ‘rori’ in the NCR zone especially in Delhi, Noida and Faridabad town before the ban, has now become a minor source. Residents of Delhi and Noida are now getting the supplies of construction material from Yamuna Nagar, Zirakpur (Chandigarh) and Hardwar in UP while work and business of several crushers in the district have been affected adversely. The rates of ‘Badarpur’, silica or ‘bajri’ have got doubled from Rs 4,000 per truck to Rs 8,000 per truck here after the ban. “But the new measures in the mining field are likely to check irregularities and raise the sales tax collection,” said an official.


DMRC unveils policy on greening

New Delhi, June 5
The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) today announced an environment policy that proposes to protect the green cover in the Capital. The announcement, coincided to mark World Environment Day, lays accent on eco-friendly practices that will enable the organisation conserve and enhance the green cover through transplantation of trees and compensatory afforestation. DMRC is already implementing a programme for launching an environmental management system in collaboration with the US-based Asia Environment Programme and the New York Mass Transit System. TNS



District panchayat president held for cheating
Our Correspondent

Noida, June 5
The police arrested president of the Gautam Budh Nagar District Panchayat Naresh Bhatti for alleged cheating. He was presented in a local court which sent him to the Dasna jail. He was arrested from near Nagla Charna Das village when he was returning after a meeting with the Chief District Development Officer.

Mr Naresh Malhotra, owner of a travel agency, had filed a report in Sector 49 police station on February 2 that Naresh Bhatti had hired two Tata Sumos for the elections. After the elections, when he was asked to make the payments for the same, he not only refused to do so but also threatened the transport agency saying “we shall fix you”. He also did not return the vehicles.

The police somehow took possession of one of the vehicles on which a wrong numberplate had been fixed. The police then registered a case of cheating and fraud against the panchayat president on the complaint. Though the court had issued a warrant for Naresh Bhatti’s arrest, he had been evading it. After learning that he would be attending a meeting today, the police put up barricades and nabbed him as he came out of the meeting and was about to climb into the vehicle for going to Nangla village.

The police have also taken possession of the second Tata Sumo of the travel agency. It may be recalled that Naresh Bhatti was also alleged to have created disturbance and assaulted people at the time of polling in Loharli village and a report had also been lodged about this in Dadri police station. But the court had given him bail.


Liquor seized at two places
Our Correspondent

Gurgaon, June 5
In different raids here, the district police seized two countrymade revolvers, 130 pouches and 42 quarter bottles of liquor during the past 24 hours. According to police sources, Assistant Sub-Inspector Om Prakash frisked Ajmad, a resident of Salaka village, at a police barrier under the Taeru police station after receiving a tip-off. The police officer found an illegal countrymade revolver on his person.

In another incident, a police team from Nuh seized a countrymade revolver of 315 bore from Shahun, a resident of Iapukra in Alwar district of Rajasthan.

The police have arrested both the culprits, taken into possession the illegal arms and lodged an FIR under the Arms Act.

In Sohna police station, Balesh, wife of Rajendra, complained to the police that her husband’s younger brother, Bijendra, was engaged in selling illicit liquor.

The police raided his place and seized 130 pouches of illicit liquor from his possession.

A police post at Rajendra Park got the information that Narender, alias Papu, was selling Indian made foreign liquor at a particular place. The police raided the place but Narender managed to escape from the scene. However, the police found 42 quarter bottles of English wine from the place.

The police have lodged FIRs in both the cases under different sections of the IPC.


Police clueless about theft at Sahara Airlines office
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 5
The Indira Gandhi International Airport police are trying to unravel the mystery surrounding the disappearance of a huge amount of cash from the Sahara Airlines office at the airport about one-and-a-half months ago. A large number of employees, who were present at the time of the theft, have been questioned but no one has been arrested so far. The police said that some fingerprints lifted from the strong box were now being matched with those of the officials posted at the airport office of the airlines. The possibility of it being an insider’s job was not being ruled out.

According to the police, officials of the airline lodged a report with the IGI police that a sum of Rs 9.99 lakh was missing from the office. The airline officials had claimed that there was about Rs 15 lakh in the office that day. The remaining amount was found intact. It was also discovered that the cash in the office was insured for Rs 10 lakh. The police are now wondering why only a sum of Rs 9.99 lakh.



Rs 6 crore trade tax evasion by leather unit
Our Correspondent

Noida, June 5
The trade tax department has unearthed tax evasion of Rs 6 crore by a leather unit in Greater Noida. Assistant Commissioner S C Srivastava discovered a large-scale tax evasion by a leather unit in Greater Noida which was importing skins of sheep, goats and exporting them after tanning, said Mr R N Chaturvedi, Dy Commissioner, Trade Tax.

The department recovered 12 registers and notebooks in which the details of leather tanning and exporting them had been recorded.


Three criminals arrested

Ghaziabad, June 5
The Dholana police today claimed to have nabbed a criminal who carried an award on his head, Jagat, while the Kavi Nagar police arrested two dreaded criminals after an encounter on Monday night. One pistol and live cartridges were recovered from the duo in Monday’s incident. These criminals, who had been very active in Ghaziabad and Saharanpur, have confessed to having committed 22 crimes. Mr Chander Prakash, Senior Superintendent of Police, said Jagat was arrested from the Arthala area of Loni. He was being interrogated by the SP (Rural) and CO of Pilkhua R. S. Gautam. The Kavi Nagar police had nabbed two criminals late Monday night from near Atma Steel after an encounter. A pistol and a large number of live cartridges were recovered. OC


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