Saturday, June 22, 2002, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


BJP, Cong can contest: Dhindsa
Tribune News Service

All is fair.
All is fair...: Hoardings in support of the two main Akali factions, SAD (Badal) and SAD Delhi, have come up in different parts of the Capital, in complete violation of the code of conduct issued by the Directorate of Gurdwara Elections. — Tribune Photo Mukesh Aggarwal

New Delhi, June 21
In a significant departure, the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) general secretary, Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, today stated that his party had no objection if the regular political parties like the BJP or the Congress took part in the gurdwara polls.

“If the candidates are Sikhs, eligible as per the Act, we have no objection if they participate in the poll process under the banner of any political party,” Mr Dhindsa, told newspersons here today. Asked whether the SAD (Badal) had no problem if the BJP or the Congress put up its own candidate and contest on its own party symbol, the senior Akali leader clarified, “We have no objection, if they want to contest the gurdwara polls.”

The SAD general secretary’s remark could spark off a major debate as the Sikh community had always opposed the entry of political parties in the elections held periodically to control the religious affairs of the community.

While the elections to the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee will be held on June 30, the SGPC polls would be held later this year.

It may be recalled that the Shiromani Akali Dal was formed in 1921 as a Panthic party to protect the community’s religious and political interests. The Akalis have always been critical of political parties showing keen interest in the community’s religious affairs. However, in the Moga Conference, the party had passed a resolution terming itself to be a regional party of Punjab.

Mr Dhindsa, in an apparent defence of his argument, said, “There were several persons, affiliated to BJP or Congress, but are contesting the DSGMC polls, under the banner of one or the other faction of Akali Dal.”

‘’In principle, I feel a candidate fighting the Sikh religious elections should ensure that all his family members respect the basics of the faith. But there is no legal bar to prevent a Sikh whose children clip beard or hair from contesting the religious election,’’ he said, adding that ‘’those who cut beard and hair, the hallmark of the Sikh faith, cannot be voters, that is for sure.’’

The former Punjab Chief Minister and the party chief, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, had stated that there was nothing wrong if his party sought the support of the alliance partner, the BJP, in the DSGMC elections.

Stating the June 30 elections were for the control of religious institutions of the community, he had stated that “no BJP candidate himself is fighting the polls and even they are not sharing the podiums with any of our Akali candidates.”

Expressing concern over the low standard of debate indulged in by both the parties, Mr Dhindsa said, “It is quite unfortunate that the parties are indulging in such low level of campaigning while contesting for the religious body.”

On the allegations by the Sarb Hind Akali Shiromani Akali Dal general secretary Prem Singh Chandumajra on Thursday that ‘’Mr Dhindsa had attempted to pressurise some candidates to quit the fray in support of the Badal candidates and has also threatened them with dire consequences if they failed to fall in line,’’ Mr Dhindsa said “the rival factions were making false and baseless allegations as they have run out of issues.”

The SAD general secretary said he never went to any candidates’ home on his own. ‘’The SAD Delhi candidate, Mr L S Bajwa, contesting from Dilshad Garden ward, of which our opponents have spoken about, had in fact himself requested SAD chief Parkash Singh Badal to arrange his meeting with me,’’ the Akali leader said.

‘’Mr L S Bajwa met Mr Badal at his son’s home some days ago. At Mr Badal’s instance, I went to Bajwa’s home where he told me that he would quit the Delhi Akali Dal after a meeting with Mr Tohra for which he was being pressurised,’’ Mr Dhindsa said.

‘’But the entire drama ultimately turned out to be a conspiracy aimed at discrediting my name,’’ he added.



More teeth to municipalities 
Vipin Sharma

Rohtak, June 21
Municipalities in the state have been authorised to decide on the applications for no-objection certificates (NOCs) for the areas falling within municipal limits vide a government notification issued by the Director, Urban Development Department, Haryana, recently. With this order, executive officers of the municipal councils and secretaries of the municipal committees are authorised to receive and decide on applications pertaining to the registration of sale deeds as required under Section 7 A of the Haryana Development and Regulation of Urban Areas Act, 1975.

Certain guidelines and directions have been issued for officials of the municipalities in this regard. As per the notification, NOCs should not be issued for the land situated in unauthorised localities. Besides, NOCs should not be issued in vacant areas not forming part of any unauthorised colony where the seller owns 1,000 square metres or more land and proposes to sell the same by sub dividing it into plots for residential, industrial or commercial purposes till a licence to develop a colony over the land and layout plan for the same is approved by the Director, Urban Development Department.

The municipal authorities have been directed through the notification that every application should be disposed of within 15 days from the date of its receipt and that a monthly progress report about the number of applications and the dates of their receipt and disposal be sent to the Directorate for monitoring.

It has been categorically stated in the notification that the executive officers/secretaries of the municipalities will be personally responsible for ensuring the compliance of the above directions, failing which they will be liable to disciplinary action. Commenting on the implications of this notification, Mr Sri Krishan Kharb, Executive Officer of the municipal council here, said it had enhanced the task of the council. However, he said it would increase the revenue of the council through collection of the development charges from residents of the unauthorised localities mushrooming in the town.



Cops get the message, catch the cyber culprit
Our Correspondent

Gurgaon, June 21
Tracing the first cyber-crime of the state, the district police claim to have arrested a youth who used to threaten to blow up the famous American company, GE Capital using e-mail service. The Senior Superintendent of Police, Mr Kuldeep Singh Siag, informed that the Crisis Manager, GE Capital, Mr Shyam Sunder complained to the police that the company had received three messages via e-mail on March 18, April 8 and May 20 each.

The message sender had warned that a bomb had been planted on the factory premises which could explode any time. The police searched the suspected object in the factory, but nothing objectionable was found.

The police further started investigation in the case after lodging an FIR under Section 66 newly formed IT Act and Sections 506 and 507 IPC. The Deputy Superintendent of Police, Mr Sukhbir Singh, was given the task to trace the culprits. Mr Sukhbir Singh found that the message sender had used the ID to threaten the company. Finding that the ID was opened in Mumbai, the DSP went to Mumbai for further investigation.

The officer, there, found that the sender had taken the services of any of the three companies, Tata Internet Services, Primenet, Primesoftax Ltd and Bharti British Telecom Internet Ltd for sending the message. On further investigation, the name and address of ID turned out to Varun Suneja son of serving military officer, Brigd. A C Suneja, House no. 135, Pratap Chowk, Delhi Cantt, Delhi. He had used phone number 5691191 for the internet connection.

Today in the morning, the district police arrested Varun Suneja who had confessed his crime before the police. He revealed that he was sacked from the service from GE Capital in March, 2002 and that was why he had sent these messages just to disturb the company’s smooth functioning.

The SSP, Mr Siag informed that Varun Suneja was sacked from the services as he kept logging on using other’s computers’ internet in the company. Some complained were lodged against him internally.

The police sources revealed that as he is the son of a working military officer, some officers opposed his arrest but somehow, Gurgaon police managed to arrest him from his residence.



Lajpat Nagar murders solved
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 21
South district Police today claimed to have worked out the double murder case of Lajpat Nagar with the arrest of two youths from Ghaziabad. Their three associates are still absconding. The suspects, Joginder Tanwar alias Babbal, 22, and Nandu, 21, were arrested from their residents in Ghaziabad. They committed the murder of Virender Dutt Saklani and Kiran Kumar on June 17 with the motive of robbery. They robbed Rs 1.15 lakh from the first floor office of the deceased.

While investigating the case, the police recovered a wedding photograph of Saklani and his Uzbek wife. They celebrated the marriage in Arya Samaj temple in Bhogal. The head of the temple disclosed the names of eyewitnesses of the marriage who were identified as Amit Baliyan and Rajeev Sharma. During interrogation Amit disclosed that he had introduced Joginder Tanwar to Vireder and provided his photograph also.

Driver of the deceased had also identified Joginder and told that he used to come to Virender often. The police arrested Joginder and following his interrogation, Nandu was also arrested. During interrogation, they disclosed that once he and Nandu went to Vireder’s house in Lajpat Nagar and stayed over night . During their stay, they thought since Virender earned enough money in flesh trade and they could get a lot of money if they robbed him. They hatched the plan along with three others. The three of their associates were identified as Manjit Nagar, Chilli and Ramnath alias Pahalwan.

They came to the resident of the deceased on June 17 in two vehicles—car and motor cycle. Since Joginder knew Virender, he had rung the door-bell. The door was opened by Kiran Kumar and all the suspects entered the house and overpowered them. They gagged the mouth and tried to tie their legs and hands with cloth. When they could not succeed, they stabbed them with kitchen knives repeatedly and took the cash lying in the office.

It was the second marriage of the deceased. While doing the business, he had made foes and friends both. An FIR of attempt to murder was registered in police station Mangolpuri against Virender Saklani. However, no professional rivalry was discovered during the investigation. The deceased lived in a rented house for Rs 20, 000. The house originally belonged to one A.C. Malhotra. The deceased had moved to the house in May and gave Rs 10, 000 in advance. He was allegedly “involved in flesh trade from the rented house. He used to supply girls including foreigners and used to make handsome money,” the police said. The police also discovered, “foreign girls who had been staying in the same flat for the past few days and were sent to various guest houses. These girls were caught from the guest house in South West district. After their interrogation, it was established that they had left this flat on 16 June for the gust house,” the police said.

In the next morning, they came back to the flat. When door was not opened, they again went back to the guest house. When the son of the landlord came for rent, the murder of Saklani and Kiran Kumar was discovered.



School demolition: DEO’s letter disproves 
DC’s claims
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Panipat, June 21
Was vendetta of the authorities concerned following the refusal to deposit Rs 35 lakh in the small savings scheme by the management of premier MJR Public School the reason behind its demolition on June 19? The answer seems to be in the affirmative if the official letters written by the Deputy Commissioner (DC) and the District Education officer (DEO) to the school to deposit the requisite amount are any indication.

It may be recalled that the owner of the school, Mr Fateh Chand Saini, at a press conference here on Thursday, had alleged that the DC, Mr Mulk Raj Anand, in a written directive, had asked the school to deposit Rs 35 lakh in the small savings scheme in March, 2002. The school’s failure to deposit the amount had roused the ire of the district administration, which ultimately culminated in the demolition of the sprawling school building by throwing norms to the wind, Mr Saini had alleged.

The DC’s denial notwithstanding, documents in the possession of ‘NCR Tribune’ revealed that the administration had indeed written to the school to deposit the amount to reach the target fixed by the district administration.

A letter written by the DEO, Mr Satpal Malik, dated March 27, 2002, said that the DC had taken a serious note of the fact that no representative of the MJR School had taken part in the meeting of the private schools called in connection with meeting the target of small savings. The meeting had asked the school to clarify within two days why the school’s representative did not take part in the meeting.

Giving a lie to the claims of the district administration, the letter also mentioned that the DC’s office had written a letter (No 366-465) to the school in this regard on March 15, 2002. The letter said that the DC had given a target of Rs 35 lakh to the school. The photostat copies of the receipts of the deposited amount should be sent to the Office of the DEO by March 30, it added.

It may be noted here that there had been allegations that the district officials had “pressured” several government departments, industrialists and members of the Municipal Council to meet the target of small savings for the district.

However, allegations by Mr Saini have been the first public statement by any individual about the administration’s modus operandi in meeting the target of small savings. Panipat district was placed first in the state with collection of over Rs 120 crore on this account. But the methods adopted by the local bureaucracy to achieve the target and please the Haryana Government had left many questions unanswered. In the process, its credibility has suffered a serious setback.

Meanwhile, a Lok Sabha MP, Mr Nagmani, visited the demolished building and expressed serious concern at the demolition and breaking of the idol of legendary freedom fighter and educationist, Mahatma Jyotirao Phule, after whom the school was named. He said MPs, belonging to the Saini community, would meet the Haryana Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala. He also threatened to launch an agitation if justice was not done to the school management.



Annual festival to make your mouth water
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 21
Get ready to feast your eyes on the King of Fruits and also learn a recipe or two by taking a dekko at the chefs dishing out culinary delights at this year’s Mango Festival. The 14th edition of the festival, to be held in the first week of July, promises to offer a varied fare besides showcasing 500-odd varieties of mangoes and mango-based products.

The festival is hosted every year by the Delhi Tourism and Transport Development Corporation (DTTDC) in collaboration with the India Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC), the Agricultural and Processed Food Production Export Development Authority (APEDA) and the National Horticulture Board (NHB).

Integrating into the festival this time round will be the hotel and food processing industries that will host an interactive recipe contest, quiz and slogan contest and a cultural extravaganza. The organisers say the festival will offer a package deal of fun for adults and children alike besides presenting visitors with the opportunity to view and savour the Alphonso, Banganpalli, Suvarnarekha, Kesar, Chausa, Dushehari and Langra.

Giving a historic perspective to the festival, APEDA officials say of the many varieties cultivated in India, 20 varieties are now accepted as being commercially well established. The chief among them are Alphonso and Kesar in the west; Banganpalli, Totapuri and Neelam in the south; Bombay Green and Fazli in the east; and Dushehari, Langra and Chausa in the north.

India accounts for 65 per cent of the total production of mangoes in the world. An estimated 1,000 varieties of mangoes are grown in an area of 2.5 million hectares of land in the country. Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu are some of the prominent mango-growing states.

To encourage more people to take to the mango, the organisers are now hardselling its nutritive value. Their claim? Mango pulp contains 74 calories (per 100 gram) and is rich in proteins, carbohydrates and calcium besides Vitamin A.

Incidentally, mango contributes healthily to the country’s foreign exchange reserves. It is exported to the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Canada and about 45 other countries.



Woman ends life in house of minister
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 21
A 50-year-old woman who came to Union Sports and Youth Affairs Minister Uma Bharati’s house at Tyagraj Marg from her former parliamentary constituency, Khajuraho in Madhya Pradesh, allegedly committed suicide by hanging from a tree on the premises of the minister’s house. The woman, Betibai came to the Capital for treatment of some chronic ailment at G.B. Pant Hospital. She had been suffering from the disease for a long time.
She took the extreme step today, police said.

Her suicide was recovered by one of the employees of the minister who saw her hanging from the tree early this morning. Her body has been sent for a post- mortem examination.

The police said that she had no connection with the minister. She was just from her constituency and she had made special arrangement for the stay of people from her constituency. The minister had even appointed an official to help them out. The victim had come with her son and another woman. No suicide note was found.

The police said, “No foul play was there in the case. An enquiry by a sub-divisional magistrate has been ordered.”



Who will rein in this blatant display of wealth?

Sonepat, June 21
Marriage time in our country is symbolised by celebration and display. The opulent display of wealth on such occasion has been utilised by the business -minded people to fill their coffers.

Making the best use of such occasions, businessmen have constructed marriage places.

Sonepat boasts of many such places which can be tastefully decorated to provide a befitting setting for the auspicious occasion.

The lack of open space in the city had led to shamianas being put up on streets and road crossings, which caused a lot of inconvenience to commuters. Resultantly, the problem has been met with the construction of marriage places.

The trend began when a few marriage places were set up a decade ago. Now the number of such palaces in this city has increased considerably.

Obviously, the services supplied depend upon the need of the customer and size of his pocket. The marriage parties can pick and choose according to their needs and demand from the hundreds of such marriage places available in the town.

The entry to these marriage places is elaborately adorned with colourful lights, fresh flowers and all kinds of embellishments. One can even order the kind of interior and exterior decorations and surroundings required.

There is even a way out of the hot and humid weather as some of the marriage places are air-conditioned.

Though these marriage places are generally run by the owner themselves, in some cases they are rented out to tent owners and caterers. Most of the owners are businessmen, agriculturists or even politicians.

A feast for the eyes apart, these occasions have also become a treat for the pallet. All kind of delicacies are available. Serving one or two sweet dishes at these marriage functions has become a thing of the past.

Special types of snacks and drinks known as kesar pista and badam milk could be had, besides a bewildering variety of ice-creams. The latest addition to this ever-increasing menu are Ras Malai and Jalebis.

All kinds of turbans and dresses for the festive occasions are also available, be it Rajasthani or Punjabi.

However, the price for the services provided is quite high, although the exact amount is always bargainable.

These palatial marriage structures have provided employment to skilled workers who construct them.

To add excitement and an element of choice to the prospective customers, new styles are introduced regularly in the market. As the job has become very specialised, labourers and cooks are often brought from as far as Delhi.

The use of these palatial structures are not just restricted for marriage purpose. At times, they are used for conferences and other functions too.

For the owners, as far as the business is viable, it makes little difference for what purpose it is used.

However, the main purpose for which these palaces are used is for marriage.

Some of the functions held in these palatial structures has bewildered the residents of the area.

In many cases, it demonstrated the kind of fanciful stuff that a rich man can conjure up.

From a solemn and sacred occasion, marriages are fast becoming a show business. It is time that the authorities stop and restrict the vulgar display of wealth?

The so-called guest control order to curtail the heady display of wealth and power has remained frozen in the files of the authorities .

For several marriages and social functions, thousands of invitation cards are printed. The authorities have seemed helpless to take any action against such cheap display of wealth. To make matter worse, top functionaries of the government and the administration make it a point to attend such functions.

On a number of occasions, the marriage pandals alone cost between Rs 50,000 and Rs 1 lakh and are often stretched over three days, reportedly with different guest lists. There are reports that in one such marriage, the bridegrooms’ party were presented with a gold ring each. Surely, it is time that the authorities stopped the vulgar display of wealth, all in the name of celebrating auspicious occasions.



Khurana alleges scam in DVB privatisation
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 21
Even as the two private firms were busy giving final touches to their plans to take control of the distribution sector of the loss-making Delhi Vidyut Board (DVB) in less than 10 days, the senior BJP leader and in-charge of party’s Delhi unit, Mr Madan Lal Khurana, today alleged that the whole privatisation process had been marred by scandal worse than Enron.

Alleging that the Congress-led Delhi Government has given the power distribution sector to the hands of private players “on a platter”, Mr Khurana told newspersons that the party would back the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS) in moving the Lokayukta on the issue.

The workers’ union, BMS, has filed a petition in the Delhi High Court challenging the manner of privatisation and the court, taking cognisance of the PIL, has directed the DVB to submit the account of its assets and property with valuation by June 24.

The Delhi Government had recently reached an agreement with the Mumbai-based Tata Power and BSES, allowing them to take over the power distribution network in three districts of the Capital from July 1.

Quoting figures from the Delhi Energy Regulatory Commission’s report, he said the Delhi Government, under various agreements, would buy electricity from the Northern Grid and other states at an average rate of Rs 2.20 per unit and sell the same at the rate of Rs 1.45 per unit to private companies.

Mr Khurana said Delhi, on an average, consumed over 2,000 crore units of electricity per annum. This would cost the private companies Rs 2,900 crore at the rate of Rs 1.45 per unit.

‘’Even if one considers that 960 crore units out of a total 2,000 units are not realised due to theft, the private companies will still earn Rs 4,316 crore by selling rest of the electricity at the rate of Rs 4.15 per unit. This is sheer loot,’’ he remarked.

Pointing out the ‘’irregularities’’ in the privatisation deal, Mr Khurana said the Delhi Government had glossed over the past performance of the bidders while awarding the distribution network.

‘’These companies owe over thousands of crores of rupees in states like West Bengal, Orissa and Uttar Pradesh. This is a criminal negligence on the part of the Sheila Dikshit-led Congress government in the city,’’ he charged.

Mr Khurana said even the valuation scheme of the DVB reeked of a scandal. Ever since the DVB was constituted, no audit had been done by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India. ‘’But it is clearly mentioned in the disinvestment policy of the government to get the audit done by the CAG.’’

He said the government had shown undue haste in awarding the contracts to the two bidders despite the fact the deal had come unstuck initially. ‘’Instead of re-inviting the bids, the government chose to renegotiate with them. It shows the deal is not above board,’’ he alleged.



Chautala govt to fall soon: Surender Singh
Our Correspondent

Rewari, June 21
The Haryana Vikas Party (HVP) general secretary and former MP, Mr Surender Singh, has said that the countdown to the fall of the Chautala-led INLD government has already begun, thanks to its failure on all fronts as well as its inept handling of the recent farmers’ stir. It now seems that the present Chautala government, like the previous Devi Lal governments of 1977 and 1987, too would not be able to complete its tenure of five years, he added.

Addressing a crowded press conference here today, he said, in a lighter vein, that the Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, had taken a big contingent of his legislators on his foreign jaunt with him with the covert intention of averting a “hanging crisis” for his government. But the danger had not gone and it still seemed to be hanging on it like the sword of Damocles.

In the same vein, he said that he did not have the least hesitation to say that Mr Bhajan Lal, who was a master manipulator and who had amply demonstrated it by pulling down the well-entrenched Devi Lal government in June 1979 and again in May 1982, could bring relief to the hapless masses by expediting the ouster of this `anti-people’ government. But it was quite intriguing why Mr Bhajan Lal was not being entrusted with the reins of the party in Haryana by the Congress high command, he said.



Cantt Board changes Meerut’s face for the better
Prempal Singh

Meerut, June 21
The Cantonment Board of Meerut is all set to become a role model of development among the 62 cantonments in the country. This has been declared by the Union Defence Secretary, Mr Yogendra Narayan. During his visit to Meerut Cantonment this month, he inaugurated a park, named Shaheed Park, dedicated to the known and unknown soldiers of the first freedom struggle of India in 1857 at Meerut.

This park has been developed by the Meerut Cantonment Board, under the leadership of the board president and sub-area commander, Brig K.T.G. Nambiar, on Mall Road. A beautiful black statue of two soldiers has been installed in the middle of the park dotted with lush green trees and a colour fountain.

Mr Yogendra Narayan as well as residents of Meerut give all the credit for the development of this park and other areas here to Brigadier Nambiar and his team. The local residents have witnessed a major change during the tenure of Brigadier Nambiar. 
Traffic on the roads, which used to be choked, in the Cantonment New has become smooth now as Brigadier Nambiar in his very first attempts at development started an anti-encroachment drive and made a major part of the road free for public movement. Earlier, it had been encroached on by shopkeepers and vendors. The famous market of Meerut, which falls in the area under the Cantonment Board, has a centralised parking arrangement now. The visitors of the market has a smile on their face now as they are relieved about the security of their vehicles.

The board has been able to complete several development projects successfully in the last one-and-a-half years, thanks to the hard work of Brigadier Nambiar and the Cantonment Engineer, Mr A. Singh. One of the major projects is the renovation of the Wheler Club, while is the oldest club of the Army established in 1863. In place of the old structure, the club now has well-furnished rooms and a great restaurant. The renovations has ensured a sudden increase of visitors to the club here.

Cleaning of Abu Nallah was another project that has received the appreciation of local residents. The nallah that had not been cleaned for over 30 years was cleaned by the board at a cost of Rs 30 lakh. Brigadier Nambiar personally arranged the machine to remove the filth from the drain. This nallah had been the cause of floods during rainy season in the city.

The demolition of an unauthorised construction, Bungalow No 144, widening of West and South End roads and installation of musical fountain in the famous Company Garden are the other major projects taken up by the board. Brigadier Nambiar told this correspondent, “Earlier, we used to face difficulty from the contractor who were indulging in malpractice. Very soon, we learnt to cope with the situation and started the works on our own.” The construction of the famous ‘Chaat’ Market with a parking area is the other project that is praised by the residents. Earlier, the chaat vendors were causing a lot of problems to the traffic on the Abu Lane. Besides, the area used to be unhygienic. Now every chaat vendor has his own allotted area. The hygiene has also improved with the vendors being made to wear caps and gloves.

Since the area under the Meerut Cantonment is directly linked to the great Mutiny of 1887, the board has identified at least 45 spots which had played a great role in the mutiny. The board has decided is install staves marking these sites. Twenty such staves have already been installed.

The Defence Secretary praised Brigadier Nambiar and his team for the beautification the area. The board is now planning to start a hostel for working women. Residents of the area will also see shades, to be built by the board, at the bus stops here soon.



Making chappatis is her bread and butter
Garima Pant

She hails from Mumbai. She is a postgraduate degree holder in Clinical Psychology. She has worked as a counsellor with a drug rehabilitation organization, trying to help people out of the deadly trap of drugs.

But today, she is recognized by her instant, soft and ready to eat Chatto Chappatti’s. Meet Rekha Kapoor, who has provided the men in her area with an instant alternative to fill their tummies while their wives are away.

Rekha had shifted to Delhi after marriage and started to work with Ashiana. “I had studied psychology for 7 years and to make a career for myself in any other field never struck me ever.”

But her job was not giving her back much. “ I was used to traveling in local trains all my life as I belong to Bombay. But here, since my job required me to do a lot of traveling, major share of my salary went into giving auto fares. I used to be back home by five in the evening. So I decided to use that time to do something, which could help me earn something extra. So I came up with the idea of selling chappati’s.”

For a women, who disliked cooking, it was a very brave decision. In the beginning, she approached one shopkeeper and began by selling six chapatti’s in one packet. She used to send them to the shop till it remained open and if was not sold, the family used to consume it. So there wasn’t actually any wastage. After three days, when the first packet was sold, there was no looking back for her.

Initially, it was done on a very small scale. Even today, there is hardly any extravagance involved in it. However, as her unique and very innovative concept started gaining popularity, her workload began to increase. Her elder son was hardly six-months-old at that time and because of the pressure of work, she was unable to spend quality time with him.

Moreover, as she was working all alone, it became tough for her to do all the work. Subsequently, her mother-in-law came to her rescue. She used to role the chappatis and Rekha used to bake them. Her husband went along with her initially to supply them to the various places. As she expanded her business to the adjoining areas, she employed some more people under her.

At present, she has employed seven people and they make 300-400 chappattis a day.

She has added home caterers to her supply list, whom she supplies in bulk. When the demand for chappatis are reduced (which rarely happens), she even supplies a complete lunch.

Orders begin to pour in right from the morning and continue till the evening.

Her family has been a tremendous support to her from the very beginning. In her own words, they have been “too eager to help her.” Her husband used to come back from work and then accompany her when she went to give the supplies.

Her mother-in-law, brother-in-laws and their children have been of great support. She got incredible encouragement and publicity from the people living in her locality and the adjoining areas. The noticeable thing is that majority of her customers are people from the southern part of India and Bengali families, who are generally not considered to be chapatti lover.

She never indulged in self- publicity, and yet she was still noticed and provided space by leading newspapers. Even today, people call her to thank her for starting this service.

Men believe that even if their better halves are not around, they won’t be deprived of homely food.

In the beginning, she had her doubts about this business. But gradually, when she realized that it was yielding profit, she started a liking for her work. Now she wants to expand this business. And that is also the wish of her growing horde of customers, who are now used to the soft and delicate ‘Chatto Chappatis’.



Speaking out


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

While the government announced a "National Policy for Empowerment of Women", I earnestly urge the authorities concerned to ensure proper implementation of the following Acts: (i)Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act (ii)Obscenity Act (iii)Advertising Code of Ethics by the Mass Media (Print and the Electronic Media).

One is disturbed at the continuous telecast of serials and films, promoting "vulgarity, adulterous family life themes, moral depravity" and so on.

Derogatory and lewd portrayal of women on TV, films and in the newspaper supplements is on the rise. Women are being projected as objects of titillation and thus become sexual targets.

By reducing the status of women to sexy sirens, is not the mass media misusing the freedom for the sake of earning revenues at the cost of the dignity of women?

On the one hand, we speak of empowering women, while on the other, we humiliate them by disrobing her in the name of fashion and modernity. "Empowerment through nudity" seems to be the slogan. This is media's greatest disservice to womanhood.

Repetitive nude images of women by the mass media have invariably contributed to the increasing crimes against them. Even a single nude sight somewhere either in print or on TV, engenders at least 10 rapes somewhere in society. Will today's youth being constantly fed with vulgar images of female anatomy, respect women? Is this not media violence against women?

At the alarming rate with which the mass media is constantly alluring the young female population towards films, fashion, beauty, glamour, liberal body exposure, pop music and dance albums etc, it is doubtful to expect any tangible intellectual contribution from women in national development.

The precious empowerment efforts of the government for women are futile, if this speeding sensuous modification of the female form remains uncontrolled.

The government must prevent this rapid cultural pollution that has invaded the country. The talk of autonomy has no meaning if it only brings vulgarity and female body exposure.

The film producers, writers and directors have a commercial proposition in mind and do not depict the true face of the changed India, where women are educated and employed in several senior positions.

Unscrupulous filmmakers, who cash in on lurid sex appeal to make a fast buck, denigrate the position of women. Such portrayals of women as scantily clad fashion-mongers, highlighted through the print and electronic media, have done the greatest disservice to womanhood.

Can't we give more media coverage to the achievements of women as IAS, IPS, engineers, doctors, architects and teachers rather than harping on the images of women as lustful fashion models and beauty queens?

Due to the dominance of such sexy images of women on TV, a majority of the Indian womenfolk are seen in such bad taste.

It is high time we realised that such derogatory entertainment at the cost of female nudity by the print media and electronic media is extremely dangerous for our coming generations. And time will come when our children will not show any respect to women.

Gone are the days when the entire family could watch television or share the delight of reading the newspaper together. The media, which is the most powerful medium, can be used to empower women, as dignified intellectuals must provide extensive coverage on the need to educate women, build up self-confidence and stress their role as independent and powerful professionals in their own right.

Dr Amita Ahuja, Ghaziabad

Ordeal in scorching heat to pay bills

Bahadurgarh town has grown by leaps and bounds. The office of the HSEB, which collects electricity bills, is located in the middle of the town. Consumers have to travel long distances to make power bill payments. There are only two collection centres that open at 9 am. Even if consumers reach there at 8 am some of them fail to deposit their dues. Consumers, particularly old men and women and the infirm, have to stand in the queue for hours together in the scorching heat. Consumers could earlier deposit their bills in a bank but this facility has been withdrawn by the HSEB, Bahadurgarh, for reasons best known to them. Now many agencies have sprung up who charge Rs 10 per bill. Certain officials of the HSEB who collect bills at their residences take a part of this money. Will the HSEB, Bahadurgarh, open more collection counters to mitigate the sufferings of the consumers? And will it please construct sheds at the two existing collection centres to save the consumers from the scorching heat and at other times from rain? It is requested that the HSEB should designate some bank where consumers can deposit bills.




This is with reference to the front-page news “If it is Monday, it must be a holiday” (NCR Tribune dated June 14). I am a teacher. People in general and non-teaching employees in particular harbour the misconception that teachers work less days in a year than others do. This is not true at all.

Once I was travelling in the Ekta-Himalayan Queen Express as I had to go to Chandigarh. An officer of the Haryana Government boarded this train at Panipat. As he took the seat next to me we made introductions. When he came to know that I am a college lecturer, he spontaneously said that teachers work for just six months in a year. I assented. At the same time I said government employees and non-teaching staff of various universities did not work for even six months in their offices. My remark was met with disbelief by the gentleman as well as other passengers.

Elaborating on my remark, I said non-teaching staff did not go to office on 52 Saturdays and 52 Sundays. Besides, they have 33 days’ of earned leave, 15-20 days’ casual leaves, 20-25 days’ gazetted holidays like Dasehra, Divali, Republic Day, Independence Day, October 2 etc. They also get 20 days’ medical leave on half pay or 10 days’ medical leave on full pay. The total number of non-working days of these non-teaching employees comes to 190-195 days. Hence, working days of these non-teaching staff are about 170-175 days in a year. This works out to be less than six months.

The gentleman further goaded me by saying that teachers teach in the colleges for only three hours a day. Since this statement was not acceptable to me, I explained as follows: Theoretically, the teachers’ workload for teaching and various other academic activities is 40 hours a week. We take four classes of 45-minute duration each in a day.

Periods are spread over eight hours a day. Further, neither a teacher can teach continuously for three hours nor the time table allows him/her to do so. Accordingly, every lecturer is supposed to remain in the college for about five to six hours to take four classes.

On the other hand, non-teaching staff work for 35 hours a week in theory (seven hours for five days excluding the lunch break). Practically, a non-teaching employee does not work seven hours at a stretch, i.e. 9 am to 5 pm. They work for about four hours a day (10.30 am to 12.30 pm and 2.30 pm to 4.30 pm).

Later, this officer took the stand that teachers enjoy maximum vacations. My reply was teachers’ summer vacation, autumn and winter vacations come to approximately 75 days. These 75 days make up roughly 11 Sundays plus nine gazetted holidays. Non-teaching staff gets 52 closed days on Saturdays, 33 days’ earned leave and 10 days’ medical leave with full pay. The total comes to 95 holidays for non-teaching employees. How can one say that teachers work less as compared to others?

OM PRAKASH WADHWA, Govt College, Gohana, Sonepat

Functional English

As your esteemed paper reported, MDU, Rohtak, introduced a course in Functional Hindi last year. A very wise and laudable step indeed! Although the students pick up spoken Hindi very well, it being their mother tongue, yet they are unable to use it for specific purposes. What is lamentable is that the authorities did not think it appropriate to adopt a similar course in English.

Whether we like it or not knowledge of English language is the need of the hour and the average Haryanvi student does no have the faintest idea of how to put English to functional use. The present syllabus dealing with literary pieces (archaic ones, chosen haphazardly) amounts to an exercise in translation by the teachers and learning by rote on the part of students.

Expecting these students to go into the fine nuances of Shakespeare or Bacon is almost absurd. It would be advisable to familiarise them with English. situations.

I would be highly grateful if you could publish my plea for Functional English at the undergraduate level in various universities of Haryana as it is painful for us English teachers to see students coping with an irrelevant, illogical, haphazard and ungraded syllabus. At the end of the course they are no better than when they joined it. I hope the authorities will take cognisance of the fact and do the needful.


Penalising honest

Strange are the ways of the Delhi Government, which has issued instructions that penalise the honest and spare the guilty. Recently, it directed industrialists to comply with certain directives of the Supreme Court and take measures to reduce air and water pollution. The Department of Industries has further directed the licence to operate stands revoked and will not be renewed. They will have to install dedicated effluent treatment plants and pay for availing the facilities offered by the CEPPS. They (the industrialists) have been further asked to secure the consent of the Delhi Pollution Control Committee.


Virus of corruption

After the disclosure of rampant corruption at the level of the Chairman of the Punjab Public Service commission (PPSC) with regard to recruitment to various posts made during his tenure, much has been written about the virus of corruption by politicians, bureaucrats, government servants and others. During the past 30 years, corruption has been growing at a supersonic speed despite many crusades against it. Corruption is now synonymous with words like scams, hawala, scandals, rackets, school/college admissions, transfers of government servants, bogus donations, plot/house allotments, recruitments, allotment of petrol pumps/gas agencies etc. The list is endless.

In the present set-up, in a lighter vein, one is tempted to describe the various ‘vitamins’ essential for good health. Vitamin A is for adulteration, B for black money, C for corruption, D for disproportionate assets, E for extortion and K for kickback.

I however, feel that the main cause of corruption, delay, has found little mention in the press.

It is said that delay is the deadliest from of denial.

Delay breeds corruption. Justice delayed is justice denied.

There is a general feeling among the public that there are abnormal delays in the disposal of cases in government offices/organisations at the panchayat, block, district, state and even ministerial levels. It is a common joke that to make a file move from one table to the other the “wheels” of the files need oiling at every step. A recent joke is that if one goes to some office dealing with the public “suited-booted” one is likely to come back only with underclothes. In the above context, the government should take immediate steps to banish the virus of delay from government offices, boards, organisations, corporations and public sector undertakings. It is hoped that with delay out of the way 70 per cent of the battle for wiping out corruption will be won.

Another matter which has caught my attention and that I would like to highlight is the publicity war between the two cola giants through the print and electronic media. Film stars, cricket players, sportsmen, teenagers and even children have been roped in as participants in this war.

It is estimated that crores of rupees are being spent on ads and publicity by these giants. If only a part of this huge amount being spent on publicity is utilised by the two MNCs for opening hospitals and schools for people below the poverty line besides reducing the price of the 300-ml cold drink bottle it would be a befitting gesture to the common man.

O. P. SHARMA, Faridabad

Encroachers’ Haven

We wish to bring to your kind attention that A-1 and B-1 Block, Lajpat Nagar, is fast turning into a bike dealers’ bazaar. This results in frequent traffic jams. Also, the encroachments by the mechanics and the repair work being carried out in the open have given a very dirty look to the place. This is the result of corruption prevalent in the MCD, the Traffic Police and the area police.

Lajpat Nagar has become very commercialised. It is proving to be a gold mine for those in power. As a result of their indifference bred by greed Lajpat Nagar, which used to be a good colony of South Delhi, has been rendered into a place with a dingy air. We have written many times to the MCD and the Control Room Complaint Cell besides the traffic police area inspector and the ACP, South Delhi Traffic, but nothing has come out of our pleas for setting things right. In a nutshell, Lajpat Nagar is proving to be a safe haven for encroachers but for those living here it is proving to be hell-like.

RESIDENTS, Lajpat Nagar, New Delhi



Three killed, six hurt as van, truck collide
Our Correspondent

Noida, June 21
Three members of a family were killed and six women injured seriously in a road accident near Chhijarsi village on national highway No.24.

The family was returning from Garh Ganga when the Maruti van in which they were travelling collided with a stationary truck on the roadside.

According to the Noida police, Charan Singh of Nittari village had gone for pilgrimage to Garh Ganga with his
family. His granddaughter, Minakshi, was also killed in the accident.

The family was returning home and Charan Singh’s nephew, Jagpal, was driving the van. The truck was parked on the roadside near the Model Town police post.

Reportedly, the van hit the stationary truck with a great impact. The accident was so severe that Jagpal and Charan Singh, who was sitting in the front seat with Minakshi in his lap, died on the spot.

The bodies were badly entangled in the wreckage of the van. Six women members of the family, sitting on the rear seat, were severely injured.

The accident also disturbed the traffic movement on the highway.

The police pulled out the dead from the wreckage and rushed the injured to a private hospital. Two of the injured are reported to be in a critical condition. Charan Singh was an employee of the Delhi Jal Board.



Narnaul MC decides to waive 25 pc of 
house tax dues 
Our Correspondent

Narnaul, June 21
The Nagar Parishad, in a meeting held under the presidentship of Mr Kedar Nath Garg, today decided to waive 25 per cent of house tax dues in Narnaul city. The proposal will now be sent to the state government for approval. The meeting was summoned to sort out the problems of sanitation, streetlights etc.

Interestingly, the Tehsildar of Narnaul, Mr Om Prakash Baghotia, was present as observer during the session and a police contingent was also deployed outside the meeting hall in the light of the incidents in the last meeting when Kailash Soni and Ner Singh Dayna had an altercation with each other. The meeting was attended by 10 out of the 21 councillors. Dr Ram Avtar Verma suggested that like the power dues waiver scheme announced by the state government, the 25 per cent waiver of house tax dues in Narnaul was reasonable.

Held for murder

The police arrested a youth, suspected to be involved in a murder and recovered a pistol and six live cartridges from him. The accused was identified as Satpal, a resident of Bhagwatipur village, who along with his accomplice, Balraj, of the same village, allegedly strangled to death Sehdev, a resident of Kansala village in October last year.

Balraj was arrested by the police from Sampla on Wednesday. A pistol and nine live cartridges were recovered from him. During interrogation, the suspects reportedly confessed to have committed the crime.

New organisation

The first state executive committee of the newly floated non-political organisation, Dakshini Haryana Vikas Manch, has been constituted with the following persons as its office-bearers.

Mr Arvind Yadav – president; Commandant Jagmal Singh - vice-president; Col Roshan Singh - general secretary; Mrs Saloni Singla and Mr Bhagwan Das Ranga – secretaries; Mr Puran Chand Bhath – treasurer; and Mr Vijay Saini - media –in charge.

Phone bills

Thousands of telephone subscribers in this city are still waiting for their bills of last two months. This inordinate delay on the part of the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) has caused widespread resentment among the subscribers.

According to a report, the bills were to be received in the beginning of the current month and were to be deposited by the last week as a normal routine. Many of the subscribers are visiting the office of the BSNL for getting the bills but they are told that the computer system has collapsed.

Meanwhile, the Telephone Subscribers Association has demanded a high-level inquiry into the delay in issuing telephone bills as well as inefficient and unsatisfactory working of the offices and the telephone exchanges in urban and rural areas of the district.



DJB to get 20 pc more water by 2003
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 21
With the completion of the Sonia Vihar Water Treatment Plant by December 2003, the foundation stone of which was laid by Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit today, the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) would be in a position to distribute 20 per cent more water in the Capital.

Upon commissioning, the plant will augment water supply to the tune of 635 million litres per day benefiting East and South Delhi areas. Besides the Chief Minister, Urban Development Minister A. K. Walia and Congress legislators, those present on the occasion included Ambassador of France in India Bernard de Monteferrand.

Raw water for this plant will be supplied from the Tehri Dam. Over 55 kilometres of pipelines would be laid by the agencies executing the project for distributing water to South Delhi areas also. According to DJB officials, the plant will be the single largest of its kind in north India. 



Modern aquarium

New Delhi, June 21
A state-of-the-art aquarium is to come up in East Delhi. To be constructed over 25 thousand square feet in Shahdara, the aquarium complex will house an auditorium, libraries, automated teller machines (ATMs), an open air theatre, art gallery and the works.

Urban Development Minister and Chairman of Trans-Yamuna Area Development Board A.K. Walia on Friday said joy rides modelled on Appu Ghar would be erected so that East Delhiites could have some entertainment on their side of the Yamuna.

The minister said a survey had suggested that 93 per cent of the people approached by the agency concerned had placed an auditorium highest on their list of demands. TNS



DDA official nabbed for taking Rs 3,000 as bribe
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 21
The CBI today arrested a Delhi Development Authority (DDA) official for allegedly accepting a bribe of Rs 3,000 from a person for getting a work done. The suspect, Sushil Bhardwaj, a dealing assistant working with the
Housing wing of DDA, was arrested by the Anti-Corruption Branch of the CBI following a complaint by a person who alleged that Rs 8,000 was demanded from him by the accused for converting his property from lease-hold to free-hold, the CBI said.

It said when the complainant expressed his inability to pay the money, the official reduced his demand to Rs 3,000. Following the complaint, the agency sleuths laid a trap to catch the official red-handed while accepting the bribe, it said adding during a search at his residence, cash to the tune of Rs 25,000 along with certain related documents was recovered. A city court had since remanded the accused to judicial custody till July 2, the CBI said.

Dismissed UP cop held with hashish: The Narcotics Branch of the city police today arrested a dismissed constable of the Uttar Pradesh Police and his associate on charge of drug trafficking. The constable was identified as Satish Chand Yadav of Ferozabad and his associate Ramjas Prasad of West Champaran, Bihar.

After a search, the police seized 20 kg of Nepali hashish from Prasad and 5 kg of the same from Satish Chand. They were arrested from near Sonia Hospital on Rohtak Road. The constable was earlier arrested in a murder case and was on bail. He wanted to establish his base in narcotics smuggling in the Capital. They came to the Capital to deliver the consignment to their contacts.

POLICE ‘vandalise’ office: Tej Singh Varun, an official of the All India Confederation of Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe Organisations, today alleged that the police had vandalised his office in Bengali market by beating up the workers and staff members. The police entered the office of the organisation and allegedly beat up the members today resulting in bloodstains scattered on the walls and floors of the office. The office was completely destroyed. The victims were taken to a hospital and later they were detained in Tilak Marg police station.

The chairman of the organisation, Udit Raj, alleged that it could be a conspiracy by some political quarters.



Dowry harassment
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, June 21
The Ganaur police have registered a case of dowry harassment against four members of the in-laws family of Pinki, a resident of Ram Nagar village. According to a report, the girl has named her husband Narinder, his brother Bijender, his mother Santra and father Rajbir in the FIR alleging that she was being harassed by them for not bringing a motorcycle and cash. Investigations into the case are in progress. 


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