Sunday, June 23, 2002, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


Badal begins campaign on a ‘promising’ note
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 22
The former Punjab Chief Minister and SAD chief, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, virtually kicked off the party’s campaign for the DSGMC poll today by promising to set up a memorial for the victims of 1984 anti-Sikh pogrom and a local Punjabi television channel for propagating Sikhism.

Addressing a press conference here, Mr Badal said the memorial for the ‘84 victims would be erected in the Capital. This would remind the people of the massacre of innocent persons following the assassination of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

Incidentally, the two main Akali factions, SAD (Badal) and SAD Delhi, have not given the ticket to even one riot victim, who lost their family members, in the elections to the 46-member DSGMC. The Capital was one of the worst affected in the carnage.

The victims had expressed their anguish at the attitude of the two main Akali parties and some of the riot victims were contesting the polls as Independents.

As the DSGMC, which is controlled by the SAD (Badal) at present, came under sharp criticism for its failure to preach and propagate Sikhism, Mr Badal said, “If our party is voted back to power, a new religious channel would be launched, which would provide information on the basic tenets of the religion and the Gurbani.”

“We will launch a new religious channel in the Capital, grant autonomy to the DSGMC’s Educational Council and set up a finance control committee for the management of gurdwara funds,” he said.

The SAD (Badal)-controlled DSGMC has come under fire for its alleged financial irregularities and decline in the academic standards in schools under its control. An Education Council set up by the panel also drew flak for its alleged limited powers. “An inquiry will be conducted into the allegations of financial irregularities,” said Mr Badal.

The opposition in the DSGMC led by the SAD Delhi chief, Mr Paramjit Singh Sarna, a pro-Tohra faction, had earlier charged the committee chief Mr Avtar Singh Hit, president of the SAD (Badal) Delhi unit, with embezzlement of funds, saying religious donations were shifted to Punjab for Mr Badal’s assembly election campaign in February.

Launching a scathing attack on the rival Akali faction, Mr Badal accused the pro-Tohra group of siding with the Congress. “Our opponents in the DSGMC are those people who supported the anti-Sikh Congress in the Punjab assembly elections. They could not gain even a single seat and will meet the same fate in the DSGMC elections,” he said in reference to his arch-rival Gurcharan Singh Tohra.

Candidates loyal to Mr Badal and his bete noire, Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra, have locked horns ahead of the elections to the resource-rich DSGMC scheduled for June 30. Considering the significant impact the DSGMC poll would have on the party’s prospects, especially after the SAD’s rout in the assembly, civic and panchayat polls in Punjab, almost all the 45 sitting MLAs of the party have arrived in the Capital to boost the prospects of the candidates.

Large numbers of party workers are expected to arrive in the Capital in a couple of days to give a thrust to the campaign in the last few days before polling.

Senior party leaders including Mr Badal toured several parts of the Capital today addressing street-corner meetings and door-to-door campaign with the area candidates.

The former Akal Takht Jathedar, Bibi Jagir Kaur, who has been chargesheeted in the murder of her daughter, campaigned for a number of candidates by undertaking padayatras in a move to build a rapport with the women voters.

The party today stated it had expelled nine members, who were contesting as Independents, for anti-party activities.



Full force to demolish one flat!
Parmindar Singh

Noida, June 22
Noida town was all a-flutter this morning when a large demolition squad of the Noida administration, supported by over 100 policemen from four police stations led by CO (DSP) II O.P. Singh and City Magistrate A. C. Srivastava and units of riot police, fire brigades with over a dozen vehicles, including bulldozers and cranes, descended on Flat No. 541, Sector 37 and demolished the top two floors.

Why the squad had only swooped on only one flat in Sector 37 was the question in the minds of several witnesses. The fact that Mr Rahul Sood, the estranged son-in-law of the Chief Secretary of the UP Government, Mr D. S. Bagga, lives there has given the drive another angle. The flat is, in fact, owned by Rahul’s mother, Mrs Vijay Laxmi Sood. His father, Mr Satish Chand Sood, is a retired officer.

Mr Rahul, who is an advocate, was seen moving around disheartened. He said, “The police barged into my flat in the morning, roughed me up and took me to the Sector 39 police station. Mr Avanish Gaur, an officer of the Noida administration, told me that nothing would happen. But soon a demolition squad came in and started demolishing my flat.”

Engineers and workers were seen using drills and other equipment for drilling and breaking the concrete in the roofs and walls. The authority was all prepared. Since Noida has power cuts during the day, the authority had thoughtfully provided the generators to continue the drilling work even during those hours.

On asked why only one house was being targeted, the officers of the Noida Authority said it was the tallest building in the area, meaning it had done the maximum violation. But when other equally tall buildings were pointed out, they said they were of a different design.

Mr Rahul said that he had married Mr D. S. Bagga’s daughter, Kavita Bagga, on December 30, 2000. They obtained a divorce from a Noida court on December 14, 2001, which is complete and full.

On receiving a notice from Noida a few months ago, he had “met Mr Malhotra”, the then CEO of Noida Authority, who assured him that “don’t worry nothing will happen”.

The Chief Secretary, Mr D. S. Bagga, who had come along with the Chief Minister on Friday, was reportedly in Delhi today. When efforts were made to contact him, reporters were told that he had already left for the airport. The CEO, Noida, was also away in Delhi for a meeting.

There are over one lakh houses in Noida town and Sector 37 alone has thousands of houses. Though the authority is known to launch anti-encroachment and demolition campaigns, this was the first time in the past 10 years when only one house was targeted during a drive.



Many a slip between the goblet & the lip!
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 22
The invitations have been sent out, but where is the guest list?

Spurred on by their political bosses, the Government of NCT of Delhi’s Department of Excise has thrown open liquor trade to the private sector. Well, that is all right, but who will open a vend is a hiccup to which there is no immediate solution. And so long as this problem is not solved, the Bacchanalian buffs will have to breathe easy.

Finance and Excise Minister Mahender Singh Saathi says his officers are doing just that. “They are preparing their recommendations … their report will be deliberated upon soon.”

With individuals, companies and corporates vying for the opportunity, sources say the stakes have risen phenomenally. A week has passed since the policy was declared but the potential investors have little or no clue as to who can stake a claim.

“Since the government is still to come out with its plans on this count, we do not know for sure if it will be open to individuals or corporates or to syndicates,” is the common refrain of liquor ‘barons’ interested in a share of the pie. The policy was declared on June 15 and seven days on, they still have no answers.

Breaking the ‘strategic ambiguity’, sources in the Government of NCT of Delhi tell the ‘NCR Tribune’ that certain rules and regulations have been drawn up. Discussions, they say, have taken place on the eligibility criterion of interested parties and a decision is expected soon.

The recommendations by and large will be such as to exclude fringe or marginal players and allow only financially sound parties to open an Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) vend. Under the policy, up to five IMFL vends can be opened in each of the nine revenue districts subject to a maximum of 70 in the whole of Delhi.

To eliminate non-serious players, the sources say, there could be a mandatory provision of having air-conditioned environs. Also, adequate space for the display of spirits such as in a shopping mall so as to enable the customer to pick and choose.

Relaxing certain restrictions currently in force in restaurants is also being considered. Restaurants cannot display liquor bottles. Liquor cannot be served beyond 11 pm. All or some of these restrictions are likely to be reviewed.

Again, the requirement of a No Objection Certificate (NOC) for opening an IMFL vend has not been done away with completely. Sources say no NOC will be required for the year beginning July 1, 2002 from when the new excise policy will come into force. It will, however, come up for review next year.

The new excise policy has come under fire from several quarters including women who have accused the government of encouraging the consumption of alcohol under the garb of liberalising the terms of doing business. Besides political parties, certain socio-cultural organisations have since warned of an agitation to demand a roll-back.

Working President of World Council of Arya Samaj Swami Agnivesh is one of many persons who have sought an immediate withdrawal of the excise policy. Dubbing it as “anti-Gandhian”, he threatened to start a mass movement involving schoolchildren and leaders of all religions till the policy was withdrawn. President of All India Prohibition Council Sher Singh, who has been spearheading the prohibition movement for a long time, said the government’s move was against the spirit of the Constitution. “The Government of NCT of Delhi’s motive is to make money for the state, for the party and for individuals,” he has alleged.



Bank guard shot as colleagues watch ‘show’
Our Correspondent

Rohtak, June 22
In a bizarre incident today, a security guard was dragged out of the bank he was guarding and shot dead by two youths while the bank employees watched from inside the gate. Ironically, the guard kept shouting for help at the gate for nearly 15 minutes but neither the bank employees nor the passers-by came to his rescue. The two assailants took to their heels after ‘finishing the job’.

The incident occurred at Tilak Nagar branch of Punjab National Bank here around 11.30 am today. The deceased has been identified as Mr Dharambir Singh, a resident of Dubaldhan Majra village.

According to information, two youths reached the bank on a Kinetic scooter. They exchanged heated arguments with the guard while filling a form at a counter in the bank. The infuriated youths pulled the guard out of the bank and started beating him black and blue. The guard cried for help but, surprisingly, the bank employees locked the gate from inside and kept watching the scuffle behind the grills.

Dharampal, a labourer from Bihar who witnessed the incident, said the assailants kept beating up the guard mercilessly for nearly 15 minutes and, finally, one of them took out his revolver and fired three shots at the guard. While one bullet missed the target, the victim received one bullet each in his chest and right shoulder and fell on the ground. The eyewitness said that the bank employees sounded the siren only after hearing the gunshots.

The police recovered a form of the bank, probably filled by the assailants, bearing the name and address of a customer. A case under Sections 302 and 34 of the IPC and Sections 25, 54 and 59 of the Arms Act has been registered in this connection following a complaint by Mr Jitender Singh, a clerk in the bank.

Surprisingly, Mr R. K. Jain, the manager of the bank, said he had not witnessed the assailants, who reportedly kept beating up the guard for several minutes just in front of his office. He asked the reporters to contact him at the bank on Monday for information about the murder.

It may be mentioned here that the cashier of this bank was robbed of cash a few months ago while some miscreants had made an aborted attempt to loot the bank.



New GDA rates 
Parmindar Singh

Ghaziabad, June 22
The Ghaziabad Development Authority has approved new rates for land in various residential colonies. Kaushambhi tops in this with Rs 8,200 per sq. mtr. rate while the rate fixed by the DM for it is Rs 92,000. GDA secretary U.N. Thakur said that the new rates had come into force with immediate effect. A rate of Rs 6,000 per sq. mtr. has been fixed for Surya Nagar and Chander Nagar colonies while Rs 5,600 has been fixed for Vaishali. Rates fixed by the administration for these are also the same.

The rates for Rajnagar is Rs 6,000 per sq. mtr; Rs 4,400 for Patel Nagger; Rs 3,500 for Lajpat Nagger; Rs 3,800 for Rajinder Nagger; Rs 4,500 for Brij Vihar; Rs 3,400 for Tulsi Niketan; Rs 2,700 for Nandgram; Rs 2,400 for Balmiki Kunj; Rs 4,000 for Lohia Nagar and Rs 3,200 for Sanjay Nagar.

Govindpuram will command a rate of Rs 4,200, Kapooripuram Rs 2,800, Indira Kunj Rs 2,500, Kavi Nagar Rs 5,000, Nehru Nagar Rs 4,800, Vijay Nagar and Partap Vihar will have a rate of Rs 3,000 and for Shastri Nagar Rs 4,000 per sq. mtr. has been fixed. The rates fixed by the district administration in these colonies are also identical. In Indirapuram, GDA has fixed a rate of Rs 3,800 while the DM has fixed it Rs 4,200. Hastina Puram will have a rate of Rs 2,500 per sq. mtr.



Power cuts likely to continue in Capital
Demand-supply mismatch, poor infrastructure the bane 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 22
Even as Delhi prepares to move to a privatised power distribution regime, the residents of the Capital are unlikely to get any respite from the long and frequent power cuts, as the demand-supply mismatch and an inadequate distribution infrastructure continue to remain a major deficiency.

Informed sources said that the residents should be prepared for similar breakdowns as the existing transmission and distribution infrastructure was inadequate to handle the peak demand load even as the Delhi Vidyut Board (DVB) officials had dismissed the breakdown on Friday as a technical fault.

Several areas of South and West Delhi witnessed major power failure after the transmission network tripped. Even the VIP areas in Lutyen’s Delhi remained without power for sometime, sending signals that all was not well with the T&D system in the Capital. It took more than four hours for the DVB authorities to restore normalcy.

Delhi’s power requirement has gone up from 1,000 mw in 1992-93 to 3,000 mw but transmission infrastructure has not kept pace with this increase.

Sources said that the transmission infrastructure had not been upgraded proportionately during the last 10 years, even as demand for power had increased manifold during the period. On an average, over 2000 crore units of electricity were consumed per annum. However, the Capital has the dubious distinction of ranking among the highest in terms of T&D losses. It is estimated that T&D losses in Delhi, arising out of theft and pilferage, are about a whopping 60 per cent. In terms of units, as much as 960 crore units out of a total 2000 units are not realised due to theft.

While there are great expectations from privatised power distribution regime, sources said that unless appropriate infrastructure was put in place, not much could be achieved by only passing on distribution to private parties.

“One should not expect private parties to lay down the infrastructure for distribution and transmission. Private parties can only minimise the losses in theft. That alone will not solve the demand-supply mismatch,” an official said.

Instances the like the one on Friday occurs when the transmission network in one on the sectors trips and subsequently triggers off a chain of trippings in other sectors. On Friday, the tripping of the Ballabgarh-Badarpur sector in South Delhi triggered off the collapse. This was followed by the temporary collapse of the Indraprastha and Rajghat Power Plants resulting in a shortfall of almost 800 mw in the system. 



Haryana Govt stops desilting canals, 
farmers cry foul
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, June 22
The Haryana Government has decided to stop the desilting and cleaning of canals and other water channels in the state on due to the shortage of funds and ‘beldars’.

According to official sources, the Engineer-in-Chief of the state Irrigation Department has issued instructions to all the chief engineers and superintending engineers in the state that the length of 3-km upstream of tail-ends is not to be cleaned by the department and this stretch be kept for clearance by the farmers.

Contrary to the claims made by the state government and the Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, to ensure sufficient supply of canal water to the tail-end villages, the government’s instruction has caused strong resentment among the farmers of these villages.

The farmers of tail-end villages have demanded the clearance of the water channels choked with wild growth to ensure better supply of canal water to their fields for the kharif crops, particularly paddy. They are critical of the government decision and described it as unjust and unwarranted. On the one hand, they are not getting the canal water for irrigation of their fields and, on the other, the government was not ready to take up the clearance of water channels.

Official sources revealed that the department continued to face shortage of ‘beldars’ and ‘mates’ who are responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the canal system. Hundreds of ‘beldars’ and ‘mates’ had retired from service but no fresh recruitment had been made during the last one decade in the state. This had made the desilting and cleaning of canals difficult, sources said. The problem has aggravated as water channels have been partially choked affecting the water supply to the tail-end villages.

Moreover, the shortage of funds has also been hampering the desilting and cleaning operations as the state government had failed to allot funds for this purpose. The department has evolved a rather strange strategy to deal with the problem. To carry out the annual desilting of canals and water channels before the kharif season, it employs private labour. Instead of putting more labourers on the job, it has increased the length of the canal to be cleaned by each labourer.

Official sources further revealed that the department had not yet started the cleaning of canals and drains this year in this district and elsewhere. This will not only affect the crops, but may also create havoc in case of floods.

Meanwhile, representatives of various farmers’ organisation have resented the decision of the state government to stop the work of desilting and cleaning operations of canals and other channels as well as the move of the department to deploy private labour for the cleaning operations.

In a joint press release, they have pointed out that it was impossible to achieve the target fixed for each labourer and as a result, the desilting and cleaning would be adversely affected. They urged the Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, to revoke the government decision and fulfil the promise made by him to ensure supply of canal water at the tail-end villages. They have also warned that if the government failed to fulfill their demand, they would have no alternative but to launch a state-wide agitation.

The representatives of these organisations have also alleged that the farmers of Sonepat and Rohtak districts have been discriminated in the supply of canal water by the successive governments as the farmers here are supplied canal water only for a week in a month. 



INLD, Congress responsible for farmers’ stir: HVP
Tribune News Service

Panipat, June 22
Coming down heavily on the “politicisation” of the farmers’ agitation in Jind district by the Congress, the HVP has held both the latter and the INLD responsible for the stir.

Mr Satbir Kundu and Mr Surinder Ahlawat, state spokesman and senior general secretary of the youth wing of the HVP respectively, told reporters here today that the Congress had nothing to do with the interests of the farmers. Like the INLD, the Congress had also promised free water and electricity to the farmers before the last Vidhan Sabha elections.

Criticising the ambivalent attitude of that party on the provision of free water and electricity, the leaders asked the Congress government in about 14 states to do so before championing the cause of the farmers in the state. They termed Friday’s Congress rally and the preceding “padayatra” as a panic reaction by the HPCC president, Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda, to save his office.

The leaders asked Mr Hooda to clarify whether he was with the farmers who had their power dues or with those who did not pay their dues and were resorting to violent means in support of their demands. The HVP supremo, Mr Bansi Lal, during his tenures as the Chief Minister had done much more for the farmers than his counterparts from the Congress and the INLD, they claimed.



NCR to generate 30,000 metric tonnes of solid waste by 2021
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 22
The quantity of solid waste generation in the urban areas of the NCR is likely to go up to around 30,000 metric tonnes (MTs) per day by 2021 of which Delhi’s share will be 20,000 MTs. The figures are alarming and the wastes generated need to be handled in a more scientific manner, said the Minister of State for Urban Development, Mr Bandaru Dattatreya, while delivering the inaugural address at a conference on ‘Solid Waste Management - Options and Opportunities’ organised by the PHDCCI here on Friday.

“The poor solid waste management is increasing the environment imbalance and health and sanitation problems”, he said, adding, “private participation in the management would reduce financial burden on the local bodies and will help deal with the problem effectively”.

Mr A. K. Walia, Delhi Minister of Urban Development, Health, Land and Building, said the waste management system should be integrated right from the planning and development stages, which was not being done currently.

Delivering the theme address, Mr R. H. Dalmia, chairman, Environment Committee, PHDCCI, emphasised on the participation of residents, industry, NGOs and the government for dealing with this problem.

“We need to follow the ‘pollutor pays’ principal, which will not only provide disincentive to the households and industry to generate waste but will also generate revenue for the government,” he said.

The recovery and recycling of domestic waste should be done in a more scientific way, said Mr Dalmia. He also emphasised on improvements in the existing system of landfill sites and formulation of guidelines to minimise the adverse impact of landfills.

On the private participation, he said various alternatives for technical collaboration or technology transfer might have to be assessed and research and development activities in the field encouraged.

Mr Ashok Kapoor, chairman, Delhi and NCR Committee, PHDCCI, said solid waste management in Delhi was assuming serious proportions as some parts of the solid wastes generated here were not even collected for treatment. Greater synergies among participating states, planning agencies, municipal bodies and between municipal bodies and citizens at large were required.

Mr Arun Kapoor, president of PHDCCI, Mr P. K. Jain, vice-president of PHDCCI and Ms Jaishree Panwar, Delhi Mayor, were also present on the occasion.



New-look Red Fort lawns to be opened to the public from July 15
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 22
Lawns in front of the historic Red Fort in the national Capital would be opened to the public from 15th July. It is being developed on the pattern of India Gate lawns, where people can gather in the evenings and enjoy the occasion with their families.

Local M.P. from Chandni Chowk and Union Minister in PMO, Mr Vijay Goel, who conceptualised the project, reviewed the progress of the ongoing work at Red Fort today along with MCD Commissioner and other officers.

Beautification behind the Red Fort had already been completed. Mr Goel is now keen to develop the lawns in front of the Red Fort like the India Gate ground, where people could sit and enjoy, have ice-cream and children can play with balloons.

Mr Goel directed the officers to install two fountains on both sides of the lawn. Music facility would also be installed to enable the visitors to listen to light music during the evenings for which necessary appliances would be installed.

An exhibition on Delhi and Chandni Chowk would be organised at the Red Fort to enable visitors to know more about Chandni Chowk.

Better arrangements for parking would also be made in the area. To add to the attractiveness of the Red Fort, it would be regularly illuminated from 15th August.

Mr Goel has been engaged in the development of the Red Fort lawns for the last three years. The development of Ajmeri Gate and Hanuman Mandir at Jamuna Bazar has been completed.



Of the divine and the demonic in man

How do you judge whether a person is religious or not? It is said that a tree is judged by its fruits. If the fruits are good, the tree is good. When religion is restricted to observance of externals, or consists only of a series of prohibitions, it will not yield good fruits. An easy religion, which only preaches the love and grace of God ignoring sin, injustice and evil, would not produce good results. That religion which is divorced from life cannot be of much value for anyone.

The 16th chapter of Bhagvad Gita is about the divine and the demonic in man. Swami Chinmayananda, in his commentary on the Gita, says that every system of ethics catalogues a series of virtues and vices, and strangely enough, all such systems read the same although their prophets belonged to different times and places.

The noble traits, according to the Gita, include fearlessness, purity, self-control, non-violence, truth, peace, compassion, gentleness, absence of envy and pride and lack of greed or envy. On the other, hypocrisy, arrogance, vanity, anger, ignorance and harshness characterise the man born with demonic traits. 
The demonic, bound by a hundred fetters of hope and obsessed by desire and anger, hoard wealth in stealthy ways to satisfy their desires. They act from impure motives, violating all norms and “fall into hell’s foul abyss”.

The desires of the mind are insatiable and are compared to fire. Any amount of fuel we give to the fire will not satisfy it. We can throw the whole house, the whole country and the whole world into the fire and at no point will it say, “No thank you, I’ve had enough”. ‘This is the nature of fire. This is the nature of desire. The more we feed it, the more its appetite increases, the higher and wider is its sweep, writes Swami Parthasarathy in his Vedanta Treatise. 

So, a vital issue is control of desires, or in other words, control of the mind of man. It is in this context, self-control is advocated as a cardinal virtue. “He who sets aside the ordinances of the scriptures, acts under the impulse of desire, attains not the perfection nor happiness nor the supreme goal,” contends the Gita.

“Therefore, let the scriptures be thy authority in deciding as what ought to be done and what ought not to be done.”

The Bible also points to this dual nature of man. St Paul, in his letter to the Galatians, refers to two types of lives: those who live after the flesh and those who live in obedience to the Spirit. By flesh is meant the sinful principle of self-gratification that holds human nature in bondage to sin. The flesh in fact has a destructive influence on the whole of man’s tripartite nature — it brings darkness to his spirit, it brings sin to his soul and sickness to the body.

“Now the works of the flesh (man’s sinful nature) are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions, and envy; drunkenness, orgies and the like.” (Galatians 5:19)

A French philosopher, Blaise Pascal, has observed that it is of dangerous consequence to represent to man how near he is to the level of beasts, without showing him at the same time his greatness.

It is likewise dangerous to let him see his greatness without his meanness. It is more dangerous yet to leave him ignorant of either, but very beneficial that he should be made sensible of both.

A psychologist will say that man has, besides a body, a mind — a thinking organ. He has emotion — the faculty of inner feeling capable of loving, hating, being depressed and elated.

He has a will — a faculty for making decisions. Man is a living, thinking, feeling, and deciding entity — not mere animated dust. This psychological part, this inner-self, is also referred as the spirit of man in the Bible.

Man is a spirit. So too God is a Spirit. It is the Spirit of God, also referred as the Holy Spirit, together with the Word of God, which helps man change his old nature and put on a new nature — a spiritual nature.

All scriptures admit that there is in man a constant battle between his fleshly appetites and his spiritual aspirations.

The flesh rebels against the spirit and when the Spirit triumphs over the flesh, man is nearer to his goal.

St Paul goes on to say that man’s sinful nature with its passions and desires need to undergo a crucification. And it is the Spirit of Christ, which brings victory to the believer over his sinful nature.

So, the whole issue for him is to be delivered from the old nature and then governed by the Spirit of Christ. “The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” (Galatians 5:22,23)

Though we have many religious labels, we have almost similar expectations from the practice of our respective faiths.

Do we claim to be religious and yet are not more loving and gentle towards our neighbour?

Are we less worldly than those who do not claim to be religious? Are we able to love others — not only people of our faith but also others who follow another faith? If our religion does not make us different from those who live according to the dictates of the flesh, then that religion is in vain.

M P K Kutty



Vacationers find themselves on cloud nine in Mussoorie
Our Correspondent

From lush green valleys to prestine streams, uphill and down dale, Mussoorie
From lush green valleys to prestine streams, uphill and down dale, Mussoorie has everything for the nature lover.

In the higher reaches of the picturesque Dehra Dun, a road ascends bordered by fascinating scenery. An uphill journey of about 35 kms and you find yourself standing at an altitude of over 2000 meters looking up at the brilliant blue sky of Mussoorie.

Breathtaking vistas of snow peaks bring about a welcome change from the high-rises of concrete. In fact, Mussoorie is much more. With its green hills and varied life forms, it is a fascinating hill resort offering a spectacular view of the Himalayan foothills. Whether it is the chilly winters with their pristine snowflakes or the bright sunshine of summers, Mussoorie is an ideal getaway.

Situated on a horseshoe-shaped ridges of the outer range of the Himalayas, Mussoorie is the closest hill station to Delhi and, as such, is subject to a huge influx of visitors in May, June and July, making it very congested during the season.

But it also affords the visitor the luxury of enriching walks whether on the mall or the ascending paths that lead to the higher climbs. For the bird lovers, there is plenty to watch.

Places to visit in Mussoorie are the Kempty falls, where the forested area between the falls and the gorge where the Yamuna cuts through the Himalayas have recently been declared a wildlife sanctuary. The Kempty Falls, which is about 15 km away on the Yamunotri Road, has the distinction of being the biggest and prettiest waterfall located in a valley. The water is crystal clear and really cold.

The highest peak of Mussoorie or the Lal Tibba is a must see. It offers a great view of the Majestic Himalayas. For those who wish to trek, there are places like the Gunhill, the second highest point in Mussoorie and also an extinct volcano. There are two ways to reach the Gunhill, one is through the court complex on the Mall Road, which takes about half an hour to reach the place. The second is the Rope Way, the more adventurous route. From on top of the Gunhill, Mussoorie looks like a riot of colours. It also offers a panoramic view of the Himalayan ranges, namely Bunderpunch, Srikantha, Pithwara and Gangotri Group.

Cloud End is the resort for holiday-makers. The resort is surrounded by thick deodar forest and is one of the first four buildings constructed in Mussoorie.

Camel’s Back Road, a three-km-long road starting from Kulri Bazaar and ending at Library Bazaar is suited for leisure walking. Then, there is the Jheel, a newly developed picnic spot on the Dehra Dun-Mussoorie Road where people enjoy boating. The Yamuna Bridge, which is about 27 km on the Chakrata Road, is a popular angling destination.

Other places of interest in Mussoorie are the Bhadraj Temple, dedicated to Lord Balbhadra, brother of Shri Krishna, offering a view of the Doon Valley and Chakrata ranges. For children, there is the Children’s Lodge, where a powerful telescope is installed to help the little ones catch a glimpse of the snow.

Nag Tibba, which is 55 km away, is yet another favourite with those wishing to trek. It is one of the highest peaks around Mussoorie, standing at about 10,000 ft. and covered by thick forests.

Dhanolti is also a must see. It is located on Mussoorie-Tehri Road at a distance of 25 km with tall deodar forests and interesting mountainscapes. There are arrangements for an overnight stay in Dhanolti.

Surkhanda Devi, an ancient temple located at 10,000 ft. and is 10 km beyond Dhanolti is also a good place to visit. A 2-km walk up the mountain path offers fascinating views of the valleys and snow-covered peaks.

The nearest airport is Jolly Grant, 60 km from Mussoorie. For those wishing to travel by the railroad, Dehra Dun is the nearest railhead. Buses and taxis are also used to travel to Mussoorie.



Amusement mela for Gujarat victims ends 
Our Correspondent

New Delhi, June 22
An amusement mela dedicated to the victims of the recent Gujarat riots concluded today at Lakshmi Nagar District Centre here. The turnout on the last day was low.

The mela, `Fun and Fair - 2002’, was inaugurated about one month back by the Minister of Health, Government of NCT of Delhi, Dr A. K. Walia. The former Chief Minister of Delhi, Mr Sahib Singh Verma, had been one of the main visitors at the mela as the NGO, Rasthriya Swabhimaan, led by him was involved in this event. According to Mr Satish Raj, organiser of the mela, it was totally a charitable event. Despite the summer vacation, the turnout of children was very low. “But, whatever we have collected will be donated for the construction of a hospital in Gujarat,” he said.

One of the interesting features of the mela was the huge entrance gate. It was a 225-feet long model of an aeroplane with the world map in its background. Workmen from Chennai had taken about 15 days to construct this model.

To attract the attention of the children, more than 25 rides were installed, which included striking car, joint wheel, Columbus, tera tora, mini-train, and many more. Other attractions included 50-feet high water slide and water shoot in which a trolley passed through the water resulting in the splash.

A new addition had been made in the form of a new break dance ride where there were five movements that a person could experience. Apart from these, there were stalls selling eatables and 60 stalls selling various consumer products. Children below three years were allowed free entrance at the mela.



SC-ST body demands dismissal of policemen 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 22
The All India Confederation of SC and ST Organisations demanded the dismissal of the policemen who allegedly vandalised its office at Bengali Market and beat up workers of the federation on Friday. The federation threatened that if no action was taken against the guilty policemen, its members would launch an agitation. A statement issued from the office of the federation said that there was tension in many quarters of the society and preparation was being made to launch an agitation.

The federation had faxed a letter detailing the events to Home Minister L. K. Advani, NHRC Chairman J. S. Verma and SC/ST Commission Chairman Dr Bizay Sonkar Shastri but no action had been taken so far. A complaint had also been lodged with the Delhi Police Commissioner and area DCP, the statement said. 



Free diabetes check-up camp at Panipat
Our Correspondent

Panipat, June 22
The Prajapita Brahamkumari Ishwariya Viswavidyalaya will organise a free diabetes check-up camp at its centre in HUDA, Part II, from June 24 to 27. Eminent doctors from Mumbai and the AIIMS, New Delhi, will provide consultation to the patients at the camp from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

National seminar

A two-day national seminar on ‘Informatics and Management Sciences’ concluded at Meerut. Mr Ramesh Chandra, Vice-Chancellor of CCS University, Meerut, inaugurated the seminar.

Mr Yogesh Tyagi emphasised the need for better infrastructure and amenities for the students.

A cultural programme was organised in the evening. The Deputy Inspector General of Police, Meerut, Mr Arun Kumar, was the chief guest at the cultural programme.

Scooterist killed

A man was killed when his scooter rammed into a tree along the roadside on Friday evening, near Gurgaon minor on Bahadurgarh-Badli Road.

According to information, the deceased Ramdev(27), son of Inder Singh was going to Dewar Khana village.

Some villagers working in their fields took him to a community health centre at Bahadurgarh, where he was declared brought dead.

Open Darbar

As many as 28 complaints were received by Mr Jeet Singh Mehra, Sub-Divisional Magistrate, at the 49th block level ‘Open Darbar’ held by him at Ganaur, in this district, about 16 km from here on Friday.
According to a report, the residents of Baye village complained that power supply was cut-off for the last one week and all their complaints made to the authorities concerned had fallen on deaf ears.

The SDM directed the officials of the Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (UHBVN) to take immediate and effective steps to restore the power supply to the village.

Harijans of Moi village demanded the immediate allotment of plots for the construction of houses and a chaupal in the village.

Other complaints were related to the erratic water and power supply, encroachments on public land and non- inclusion of names of those families living below the poverty line (BPL).

The SDM directed the authorities concerned to take steps for the redressal of public grievances on the priority basis.

Protest held

Residents of Ram Bazar, Mohalla Kalan and other areas held demonstrations at different chowks here on Friday in protest against the inadequate and erratic supply of drinking water to their areas.

They also raised slogans against the government and the officials of the Public Health Department (PHD) and demanded the immediate suspension of the SDO and the Junior Engineer who were held responsible for the water crisis.

The irate residents alleged that the SDO and the Junior Engineer were indifferent to their repeated complaints.

The residents alleged that the officials did not take adequate steps to ensure regular supply of drinking water. They also threatened to gherao these officials if the water supply was not improved within a couple of days. They also alleged that the complaint centre was always deserted and no one was present at this centre, which has been shifted from the PWD (B and R) Rest House to the old boosting station near Murthal Adda.

Rape alleged

A police constable, under the influence of liquor, was roughed up by the parents of a woman patient on the premises of the Civil Hospital here on Friday.

According to a report, the constable took the woman patient to a ward where he made an attempt to molest her.

When the parents of the patient came to know of the incident, they beat up the constable. Thereafter, they approached the Medical Superintendent of the Civil Hospital who tried to resolve the matter through negotiation.

The incident has caused resentment among the patients and employees of the hospital. However, the police authorities have failed to take any action against the erring police constable.

Shop looted

Thieves broke open the shutter and locks of a shop on the G.T. Road near Ganaur town, 20 km from here on Friday night and decamped with cloth worth Rs 30,000 from it. According to a report, the owner of the shop has lodged an FIR with the police.

Group clash

Three persons were injured in a clash that took place between two rival groups at Basodi village, about 15 km from here on Friday night.

According to a report, all the injured persons were hospitalised and they were stated to be out of danger.

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

A land dispute is stated to be the main cause of the clash. According to another report, a similar clash took place between two rival groups at Hassanpur village, about 10 km from here Friday. Lathis and ‘jellies’ were used freely in this clash resulting in injuries to one person who was immediately hospitalised. The police were still investigating the case.

Man shot

Mr Dharampal Saini, an employee of Pinki Cables was shot at and wounded while he was sitting outside his shop on the old DC road around 9 p.m. on Friday night.

According to a report, two unidentified motorcycle-borne armed miscreants fled immediately after the incident.

Mr Saini sustained bullet injuries on his chest and foot and was rushed to the local civil hospital. Later, he was shifted to the Trauma Centre at Delhi for further treatment.

The incident has caused panic among the residents of the area. The Civil Lines police have registered the case.

The police were trying to apprehend the culprits. It may be recalled that Mr Saini had received an extortion demand in the past but had refused to accept the demands of the miscreants. Thereafter, when he had sought police protection, a security guard was provided to him. However, two days ago, the security guard was withdrawn.

Two killed

Two persons were killed on the spot and another injured seriously when a truck hit a scooter on the Mamoon-Bhanja Chowk, a thickly populated area here.

According to a report, the victims were identified as Mrs Boti Devi (60) and a five-year-old girl Khurhsi. Both belonged to Khewra village.

A two-and-a-half-year-old boy Kalu escaped unhurt but Mr Krishan, who was ridding the scooter, sustained injuries.

The police have registered the case against the truck driver, who managed to escape after the accident. A manhunt is on to apprehend him.

Suicide by student

Mukesh, a Class 10 student was reported to have committed suicide by jumping in front of a running train at the Ganaur Railway Station, 16 km from here on Friday.

According to a report, the victim took this step after he failed to clear board examination. It was the second time the victim had failed to clear the examination.



10 killed in head-on collision

Ghaziabad, June 22
At least 10 persons were killed and 21 injured, some of them seriously, when a Tata Sumo collided with a bus on the Ghaziabad-Hardwar road today.

The injured have been admitted in Sharda Nursing Home and Sarvodaya Hospital where the condition of at least five persons were stated to be serious. The accident occurred when the Tata Sumo, which was on its way to Hardwar, collided head-on with the bus, coming from the opposite direction towards Delhi. Such was the impact of the collision that five occupants of the Tata Sumo died on the spot. OC



Mystery shrouds death of Andha Mughal teenager 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 22
A resident of Andha Mughal, Sunny (19), was found murdered in his house on Friday evening. He lived alone in a rented house. The murder was discovered when one of his neighbours informed the police, after foul smell was emanating from his house.

The police broke open the main gate of the house and recovered his decomposed body. According to the police, stab injuries were visible on the stomach and neck of the deceased. Preliminary inquiry disclosed that personal enmity could be the cause of the murder, police said.

Robber arrested: North district police arrested a robber who allegedly robbed Rs 500, a gold chain and a hand bag from a woman, Nisha, who was going to board a bus for her home in Ranjeet Nagar, from the Ring Road near the ISBT on June 19.

Police recovered Rs 200 and a handbag from the possession of the arrested robber, Thakur Singh alias Sulta.

The suspect and his three associates, who are absconding, reportedly waylaid the victim near the Ring Road and robbed her at gunpoint.

She reported the mater to the police. Subsequently, the police arrested him on Saturday, the police said.

Fake cassettes recovered: With the arrest of two persons, the Daryaganj police recovered 1,400 audio-cassettes of T-series from Wazirwala street in the area.

The police conducted a raid after a complaint was lodged by an official of the T-Series company that duplicate audio-cassettes were being sold in the Capital.

The police conducted a raid and arrested Rakesh and his associate, Raj Kapoor. However, their third accomplice, Pradeep, is absconding.

Hoax Call: Police received a hoax call that a bomb had been planted in Vijya building in Connaught Place this evening.

The entire building was searched by the bomb disposal and dog squad. However, nothing was found and it was declared a hoax call, the police said.



Seminar held to facilitate better interaction
 with SSI
Tribune News Service

Mr S.S. Kohli, Chairman of PNB, at a seminar on ‘Credit Needs to Small Scale Industries’
Mr S.S. Kohli, Chairman of PNB, at a seminar on ‘Credit Needs to Small Scale Industries’ in the Capital. 

New Delhi, June 22
Punjab National Bank (PNB) organised a seminar in association with the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industries and Laghu Udhyog Bharti here today.

Mr S.S. Kohli, Chairman and Managing Director, PNB, presided over the seminar, which was attended by Mr Arun Kapur, president, PHD Chamber of Commerce, Mr S.S. Aggarwal, president, Laghu Udyog Bharti, Mr V.K.Vadhera, Mr Ashok Jain and Mr Sudarshan Sareen, directors, PNB, besides around 250 entrepreneurs from Delhi and surrounding areas.

Representatives of various associations of SSIs like Laghu Udyog Bharti and industrial areas of Delhi and Faridabad were present on the occasion.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Kohli reiterated the bank’s commitment to the development of SSI. PNB, which extends extensive support to the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), has formed a committee consisting of two directors and a general manager to suggest measures to further improve the various schemes available for the SSI sector.

Mr Kohli said that PNB had taken the lead in the implementation of the recommendations of the Nayak Committee relating to SSIs, like setting up of specialised SSI branches, simplification of loan application procedures, computation of working capital on projected turnover etc.

Further, the field functionaries have been given adequate powers for sanctioning loans to SSI units.

It is also being ensured that there is no delay in disposal of applications for financial assistance to them. Mr Sudershan Sareen, director, PNB and Mr Arun Kapur, president, PHDCCI, highlighted the difficulties faced by SSI.

Earlier, welcoming the dignitaries, Mr A.K.Bhargava, General Manager, PNB, appraised the gathering of the facilities offered by the Bank to SSI.

The seminar provided a forum for the direct interaction between the senior officers of PNB and the entrepreneurs.

One of the major highlights of the seminar was on the spot disposal of problems faced by SSI units, a release said.


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