Saturday, June 29, 2002, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


No-holds-barred campaign ends
Ravi Bhatia
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 28
The campaigning to the Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Management Committee (DSGMC) elections which ended today will perhaps go down in the annals as one of the most vicious and strident with personal allegations dominating the scene and important issues related to the community being given a convenient go by.

This, despite the fact that a large number of members of the Sikh community here, including a number of former bureaucrats, Defence officers and diplomats, had appealed to the candidates to refrain from personal allegations and concentrate on some of the important issues of the community like deteriorating standards in the DSGMC-run institutions and the general erosion in the traditional values of Sikhism.

The tone and tenor of the campaigning to the 46-member committee was apparently set as early as February this year at the time of the Assembly elections in Punjab when the Shrimoni Akali Dal, Delhi, owing allegiance to the Tohra Group, accused the president of the DSGMC of the Shiromoni Akali Dal (Badal) of diverting huge amounts from the coffers of the committee to finance the party’s elections in the state. It was also clear at that time that the elections to the committee would be finally held in the middle of the year after a prolonged three-year wait.

The president of the DSGMC, Mr. Avatar Singh Hit, reacted with alacrity and demanded the immediate withdrawal of the allegation and even threatened legal action against the Tohra group here, led by Paramjit Singh Sarna. A time limit was set for the withdrawal of the allegations but for some inexplicable reason no action was initiated even after the expiry of the time period. The events in Punjab had apparently overtaken the local developments, as the SAD (Badal) was defeated at the hustings there.

In a counter attack, the SAD (Badal) accused the Tohra group of hobnobbing with members of a particular political party which had precipitated the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, a charge which was virtually impossible for them to shrug off.

The focus had by now shifted to Delhi .The outcome of the elections to the DSGMC would have a cascading effect on the politics in Punjab. The control of the DSGMC would also play a pivotal role in the elections to the Shiromoni Gurdwara Prabhandak Committee (SGPC), the supreme body which controls and manages the affairs of the community. As such the stakes were high. It was imperative that the Badal group retains its hold on the cash-rich DSGMC. It was equally important for the Tohra group to wrest control. Both the factions had fared miserably in the state. It was also important to keep the DSGMC’s umbilical cord with the home state intact.

It was precisely for this reason that the two faction leaders, Mr. Parkash Singh Badal and Mr. Gurcharan Singh Tohra, were persuaded to camp here in the final week of the campaigning along with their respective party stalwarts to provide the winning edge.

The end result has been apparent. It has been a no-holds-bar campaigning with allegations and counter allegations flying thick and fast, much to the chagrin of the sober elements, whose main focus has always been the general welfare of the community and the perpetuation of the “Sikh Maryada” as laid down by the Gurus.


On Record

I am totally saddened by the level of campaigning in the elections to the DSGMC. Candidates contesting the SGPC polls never make such personal allegations. In Delhi, I find that the contestants enter the fray only to promote their business interest. It is seen as a profession. The caste factor, which is rarely a consideration in Punjab, is being openly discussed here. The inter-mingling of religion and politics is showing its ugly face here. Even the voter is least interested in the Gurdwara elections, which is an area of concern.

— Akal Takht Jathedar & Badal faction leader Bibi Jagir Kaur

Contestants to the DSGMC should be above board as they are elected to manage the religious affairs of the Sikhs. Their conduct in private and public life should be discussed in public domain. These exposes are meant to make the people aware of the kind of people who are contesting the polls. It is sad that good people are not coming forward. Politicisation of religion is creating all sorts of problems. Since election depends on quantity, very few persons with quality get elected. Moreover, there is no completely dependable selection system, which could replace the present system.

— Prof Manjit Singh Calcutta, secretary general of Sarb Hind Shiromani Akali Dal (Tohra group)


HC rejects plea on new names in voters’ list
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 28
The Delhi High Court today dismissed a petition challenging addition of over 2,500 names, allegedly in violation of rules, in the voters’ list for the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC).

Dismissing the petition filed by Baljit Singh, Justice M A Khan said there was no merit in it at this stage as the election process has already been set in motion.

The elections to the DSGMC are scheduled for June 30.

Baljit Singh, in his petition, had alleged that applications of over 2,500 voters, wanting to enroll, were accepted by the Delhi State Election Commission on May 27, a day before issuing the notification for the poll.

Under the DSGMC Act, at least seven days’ time has to be given for such applications while 21 days are required for filing objections.

But in this case, after issuing the notification for the poll, the procedure was not followed as required under law, and therefore these names should be deleted from the list, the petitioner said.


Delhi Urban Minister shown the door
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 28
Finding a suitable residence in Lutyens’ Delhi is easier said than done. Ask Delhi Urban Development Minister AK Walia.

The Union Urban Development Ministry’s Land and Development Office has served the minister in the Government of NCT of Delhi with an eviction notice asking him to vacate his official residence at 217 Rouse Avenue. Reason? The plot of land on which the bungalow stands has been allotted for establishing Family Courts.

Compounding matters still is the Union Ministry, expressing its inability to allot an alternative accommodation to him. In his reply dated June 6, Union Urban Development Minister Ananth Kumar explains, owing to acute shortage of bungalow-type accommodation in the General Pool even the ministers of the Government of India and other dignitaries have not yet been allotted entitled types of accommodation.

Mr Walia also protests the Land and Development Office’s reluctance to extend the courtesy reserved for ministers. “At no stage,” he says, “was I aware that this particular piece of land was being allotted by the Land and Development Office …. It is surprising that the fact that I am occupying a bungalow was not brought to the notice of the authorities before the Land and Development Office made the allotment.”

The minister says the Land and Development Office could have avoided the controversy by allotting the piece of land adjacent to his bungalow. That piece of land, he says, houses an office of the Department of Horticulture. “Instead of co-operating with the Government of NCT of Delhi, Union Urban Development Minister Ananth Kumar is hell-bent on harassing me by ordering my eviction from the bungalow.”

In support of his contention, Mr Walia says the NCT of Delhi has been courteous enough to allot an official accommodation to the Leader of Opposition in the Delhi Legislative Assembly at the expense of certain ministers in the Sheila Dikshit Ministry. “At least three ministers in the Cabinet are without an official accommodation. In spite of that we have promptly allotted an official accommodation to Prof Jagdish Mukhi.”

Dubbing the Union Urban Development Ministry’s action as “politically motivated,” Mr Walia says that the Ministry would have done well had it ensured the needs of the NCT of Delhi. “While a number of houses have been planned to come up for the Government of India officers at Rouse Avenue, no land has been allotted to the NCT of Delhi for housing the ministers and officers of the Government of NCT of Delhi.”


Where square pegs rest in round holes
Jatinder Sharma

Rohtak, June 28
The Maharshi Dayanand University, which had celebrated its silver jubilee on March 31, is facing an acute shortage of academic staff. As against a sanctioned strength of 350 teaching posts, the university has only 213 teachers on its rolls, if the Handbook of Information published by the university for the current academic year is to be believed.

The main function of the university is to impart higher education and facilitate research work. But nearly 40 per cent of the teaching posts are lying vacant. The departments of Computer Sciences and Education have only one lecturer in position and each has to discharge, apart from teaching, certain duties relating to research and inspection. The departments are virtually closed when these lecturers are out on inspection duty or attending meetings. There is not even a single professor in the departments of Journalism, Fine Arts, Music, Statistics, Computer Science and Physical Education. Interestingly, the university would never give sanction affiliation or approve an institute which has only one lecturer to teach its students in, say, M. Ed.

The university authorities, reluctant to approach the government, have been making contractual appointments to various posts of lecturers for 10 months or so. As a result, meritorious candidates never apply for such ad hoc appointments. But no such arrangement exists for appointment of readers and professors. They also are not available for short-term contractual appointments. Amazingly, the university college has surplus teaching staff. Nine teachers, who were surplus, have been posted to the Department of Distance Education (DDE) in order to keep their appointments intact. For the last one year they reportedly had nothing to do and no place to sit. But they get their salary in full and enjoy perks. Some of them, it is learnt, belong to politically influential families of Haryana. The university authorities appear helpless in requesting the government to adjust these teachers in various colleges run by the state government.

The teaching faculty of the university is highly demoralized and frustrated. A large number of teachers promoted under the merit promotion scheme (MPS) are fighting a legal battle for getting their due. Interestingly, in the Department of Political Science, there are three professors who have been promoted under the MPS, but all are being treated as lecturers.

The Institute of Management Studies and Research (IMSAR), which runs a number of management courses, has two professor on its faculty and none of them is an MBA. Strange are the ways of the MDU. The Head of Department of Education in the Faculty of Education is a Reader in the Department of Geography. In the department of Social Sciences, the Dean of the Faculty of Education is a Professor of Economics. The Head of Department of Computer Sciences is a Professor of Physics, who has no academic qualification in the field of computers.

Similarly, the Professor of Sanskrit is the head of Fine Arts Department and the Head of Department of Journalism is a Reader in the Department of Hindi. The Faculty and Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences does not hold post-graduate classes; it hawks degrees only in B. Pharmacy. The university, thus, has earned a unique distinction of having a Department and Faculty which does not teach post- graduate classes. The university has no seniority list of its teachers. It has two separate provisional seniority lists. One list shows professors and readers as per seniority appointment in the open market. Another list includes teachers who are promoted under the MPS. The teaching community in the university is keeping its fingers crossed regarding the potential third provisional seniority list of teachers, currently being promoted under the career advancement scheme.


Process of handing over of Bhondsi land begins
Abhay Jain

Gurgaon, June 28
As per the orders of the Supreme Court, the process of handing over of 52 acres of land — which was donated by the Bhondsi panchayat to a trust headed by the former Prime Minister, Mr Chander Shekhar — to the Haryana Government began today at Bharat Padyatra Trust. The various officers of the district administration reached the Trust premises in the morning and started the process of measuring the buildings and the total area. Gurgaon Deputy Commissioner, Mr Anurag Rastogi, informed the NCR Tribune that the administration measured and verified the buildings constructed there and ascertained that these were not occupied. An inventory of buildings and other goods has been made and verified, added Mr Rastogi.

However, one representative of the Trust, Mr Avdesh Pandey, informed the SDM, Mr R S Kharab, in the presence of the media that a meeting of the trustees could not be held for authorising a person who would hand over the land to the government. Mr. Pandey told the NCR Tribune that the meeting of the all the 4 trustees has been called on June 30; the trust would then assign the job to a particular person. The DC said that in the present circumstances, given the Supreme Court order, it was not significant whom the trust authorises for the purpose of handing over the property to the state government.

He informed the media persons that the Chief Secretary, Haryana Government, Mr L M Goyal, would personally come to Gurgaon tomorrow and take over the charge of the property.

The sarpanch of village Bhondsi, Mr Raj Kapoor, recalled that the land was donated to the trust for constructing a dispensary and a polytechnic college in 1984. The trust violated the resolution and the Supreme Court ordered it to return the land to the state government and then to the village panchayat.

Various options are being studied by the state government as to how to use the land. The construction of an amusement part is one of the options being considered, said one officer.


1.50 lakh voters yet to receive photo I-cards
Parmindar Singh

Ghaziabad, June 28
Some 1.50 lakh voters are yet to receive their photo identity cards, months after the completion of the second phase of the exercise.

Out of the 2.57 lakh people who were photographed in the second phase, only 1.08 lakh have so far got their I-cards.

The campaign, which started in August last year, had continued till January 2002. In all the four tehsils of the district, many rounds of photography were conducted.

The Election Commission had awarded the contract for photography to Kerala’s firm Keltron. Being a South Indian company, its staff had difficulty in communicating with the voters and the tehsil staff. This ultimately affected the campaign. The firm had also failed to use on-line cameras for the work and other equipment. All these factors had contributed to the delay.

The then Additional District Election Officer and ADM (Admn), Usha Raman Tripathi, had even complained of the delay to the Election Commission but in vain. Out of the 2.57 lakh photographs taken, Keltron could distribute photo identity cards to just 1.8 lakh voters.

Even during the 1995 campaign for photo identity cards, only 50 per cent voters could be issued the cards, which included a large number of defective cards. These defective cards have not been replaced so far, nor were these voters included in the second phase to enable them to make their photo identify cards afresh. 


Ahirwal’s romance with barley is over the hill
Nawal Kishore Rastogi

Rewari, June 28
The ‘barley culture’, which flourished in the Indus valley about 4500 years ago, has been popular in the Rewari region, popularly known as Ahirwal, during the past several centuries, particularly in the last few decades.

The Persian saying, which has remained in vogue since the days of Mughul Emperor Akbar, bears testimony to it. “Chahar Cheez Ast Tohfa-E-Rewari, Ahir, Fransh, Jau, Aab Khari.” (Rewari possesses four gifts, Ahir, Fransh (a shady tree), Barley and Brackish.)

The exemplary valour and gallantry shown by the Ahir jawans in various wars fought before as well as after Independence has been universally acknowledged, Similarly, barley (jau) too has been rightly called Rewari’s great gift to the country. The brackish water of this region, which is unsuitable for wheat cultivation, has been good for barley.

The main areas of barley cultivation in south-western Haryana are Rewari, northern Narnaul, central Mahendragarh, Gurgaon, Nuh and Firozpur Jhirka where the hectarage under barley cultivation has remained between 5 per cent to 10 per cent of the total agriculture area.

This significant hectarage is attributed to the agro-climatic conditions, mainly the loamy soil of the region. Other factors for the popularity of barley here are its lower water requirement, quicker maturity and need for less manure.

The Rewari barley is reputed for its excellent malting and brewing qualities mainly because of its well-developed mealy grain and plump kernel. It is noteworthy that about 70 years ago, samples of the Haryana varieties were supplied to the Research Institute of Brewing, London, for valuation. The valuation committee of the institute passed especially eulogistic remarks on the barley varieties of Haryana, particularly Rewari variety. The report said, “The Rewari barley would always find a market at prices above average. It is well-worth growing on commercial basis.”

Barley grain is rich in starch and sugar. It is consumed in various forms. Barley flour mixed with wheat and gram make is used to make chapatis, popularly known as `missi roti’. Parched and powdered, it is taken as ‘sattu’. It is also widely consumed in the preparation of ‘raabri’, which is a favourite morning dish of rural people. It is also used to feed farm animals like sheep, pigs, horses and poultry. It is used to feed mules and horses in the Army.

But now, it is principally grown for conversion into malts, which are used in the manufacture of liquor like beer, whisky, gin, vodka, alcohol and malt vinegar.

Barley is grown in Ahirwal from October to March and then it floods the markets of Rewari, Bawal, Narnaul, Mahendragarh, Ateli, Kanina, Nangal Chowdhary, Hailey Mandi, Taoru, Sohna, Gurgaon and Jhajjar from mid-March to June.

The breweries of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Rajasthan and Karnataka and the FCI as well as Nafed make bulk purchases of barley from these markets. The army is also a hefty purchaser.

Thus, the Rewari barley has filled the coffers of the brewers and also has brought rich dividends to the farmers as well as the commission agents here. In fact, barley has virtually ushered in an era of prosperity in Ahirland during the past few decades.

With more and more farmers of Ahirwal bidding adieu to the sowing of barley now and taking to sarson, which has obviously become comparatively more lucrative crop, the barley culture has started losing its glamour and glory in Ahirwal.

This time, the arrivals of barley from March to June in the Rewari mandi have totalled about 93,000 bags, which are 156 per cent less than the total arrivals of about 2,38,000 bags in the corresponding period last year. This is certainly a matter of grave concern and requires urgent attention of the government, which should initiate all measures to prevent the erosion of the barley culture in Ahirwal.


Housing bodies can set up captive power plants
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 28
With the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) issuing the necessary Gazette notification, housing societies and residents’ welfare associations can now set up captive power plants (CPPs).

DERC Chairman VK Sood said CPPs with an installed capacity up to 25 KVA would be exempted from the grant of consent and would not be connected with the grid of the power utility. In case of CPPs with capacity between 10 KVA and 25 KVA, the commission would have to be informed within 30 days of its installation. Under the regulations, these societies and associations would not only be able to generate electricity for their consumption but also sell the surplus power to power utilities. The grant of consent for setting up of CPP above 25 KVA would be considered for a total installed capacity ordinarily not exceeding 200 per cent of the sanctioned load. This limit of capacity would not apply to CPP based on renewable energy sources and cogeneration plants.




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.

In a country like India, where 70 per cent of the population is engaged in agricultural activities, it is pathetic that many people still die of malnutrition. In today’s fast developing technological world, the persistence of large-scale poverty is the main cause of underdevelopment. It is a constant source of worry and socio-economic tension.

The problem becomes more poignant in our tribal areas. The people in these areas continue to face the problems of malnutrition, high infant mortality, abject poverty and lack of health facilities.

In fact, these are mainly responsible for the worsening condition of our tribal population. The main source of livelihood for tribal people is forests, which have already been denuded. The forest officials don’t allow them to cultivate anything even on the barren land.

The government schemes like the employment guarantee schemes for the tribal people exist only in papers. Unemployment is one of the main causes of poverty. The literacy level is also very low. The students of these areas are attending roofless schools, which are running without masters.

What to talk of basic health facilities, even the distance between the tribal settlements and the health centres is so long that the poor and miserable people find it very difficult to reach there during emergencies owing to the lack of transport facilities. If they manage to reach there on time somehow, they don’t get proper medical treatment. They have to face the stark reality of inadequate medicinal facilities and untrained staff.

The above scenario becomes clearer if we talk about a survey conducted by the Maharashtra State Tribal Research Institute. According to the survey, three out of four infants in the predominantly tribal district of Nandurbar at Kua village were malnourished. According to another survey, more than half of the families in Maharashtra does not get enough to eat. A two-year survey conducted by the organisation, SEARCH, shows that 70 per cent of the infant deaths go unrecorded. The avoidable deaths highlight the alarmingly high level of hunger and deprivation. Even the role of childcare centres, anganwadis, is negligible. Their failure to provide food and proper care to the children is the main cause that parents hesitate to send their children to these centres. Maharashtra is one of India’s most developed states. If this is the situation in that state, what can we say about our other poor states.

In several areas in the NCR region, poverty is prevalent. The problems of these areas may be similar or even worse than what has been mentioned above. There is an urgent need to identify them immediately and find out solutions. The ‘NCR Tribune’ can launch a campaign about it.

Shweta Kohli, Shahdara, Delhi

No medical claim

I am a senior citizen who retired from the Government of India in 1975. My medical claim (CGHS Token No. 407341) amounting to Rs 4,500 for the treatment taken by my wife, Mrs Samitar Kaur, at Nature Cure Hospital, Patparganj, Delhi and at the Dispensary No. 85, Noida, under proper medical authority was forwarded to the Director, CGHS, New Delhi on December 18, 1996.

I had also replied to an observation raised by the Additional Director, CGHS, New Delhi (file No. 496/2636 dated January 15, 1997), duly furnishing the entire information, including the discharge certificate, pre-receipt etc. under our letter dated February 13, 1997. At present, we are attached to CGHS Dispensary No 65, Pushpa Vihar, New Delhi (New CGHS Token No. P 037840).

I am still waiting for the payment of Rs 4,500, though five years have already lapsed. No reply is forthcoming even though several reminders have been sent by me from time to time from our new address. Till now, neither have we received any response from the CGHS authorities at our New Delhi address nor our old address at B-6, Sector-20, Noida, where my son still resides.

Narendra Singh, Cariappa Marg, New Delhi

Name incorrect

I would appreciate if you could pass on this letter to Smriti Kak. She writes interesting articles in ‘NCR Tribune’, which I look forward to getting here in Delhi. However, in the issue of Sunday, June 9, 2002, there was an oversight, which I want to bring to her attention.

In the article on Kasauli, she misnamed the original owner of Sunnyside, Sir Henry Sanawar. His name was Sir Henry Lawrence and he was a British resident in Punjab, who historians credit with maintaining peace in Punjab after its annexation from the rule of Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s family. He was spoken of as the future Governor General of India but died in during the Mutiny while successfully defending the residency at Lucknow and his younger brother, John, later became the Governor General.

I think Ms Kak mixed up the name because Sir Henry Lawrence also founded what is now called Lawrence School, Sanawar. The British Government started three other schools in his name after his death - Lawrence Schools at Lovedale (Ooty), Ghora Galli (Murree, Pakistan) and Mt Abu (now a police academy). This is just to correct the record. Otherwise, I wish that Ms Kak goes on to greater heights in her journalistic career.

Prabhsharan Singh Kang, Defence Colony, New Delhi

DTC passes

The Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) every month issues more than 4 lakh monthly passes. But the irony is that the pass-holders are put to loss as they have to buy extra tickets in under-STA private buses, where monthly passes are not recognised.

DTC buses are few and far between and absent on some routes. To go for a solution to this ridiculous situation, the Transport Minister of the Government of NCT of Delhi should make an announcement that the DTC passes should be accepted by the under-STA private buses.

V N Chhibber, Inderpuri, New Delhi

Work culture

Apropos Om Parkash Wadhwa’s letter, titled ‘Mis-conception’. There is no denying the fact that in India, government officials, including teachers, enjoy a large number of holidays. It is on this account that we find captions like ‘Govt on holiday’, ‘Holidays at bay’,

‘Holiday to holiday’, ‘Holidays Galore’ etc. in the newspapers. Who is enjoying more holidays – government servants or government teachers is of minor consequence. The moot point is whether both categories of government functionaries are doing full justice to their duties vis-a-vis their emoluments and the number of holidays they enjoy.

The fact is that majority of the government officials, including teachers, lack the work culture. They are known to be indulging in red-tapism, mutual rivalries, leg-pulling, late coming, frequent tea breaks during office hours, sycophancy, corrupt practices etc.

In the above context, I would like to share with the readers, some definitions in respect of the work culture in the government offices, in a lighter vein:

* ‘Workology’ - 10 per cent work, 90 per cent shirk;

* Departmenta* committee - A committee is a body that keeps minutes and wastes hours.

* Reminder - It is the ritual through which correspondence renews itself.

* Meeting – A gathering of officials who singly can do nothing, but together can decide that nothing can be done.

* Red-tape - The mother of all the delays.

To get public sympathy, it is desirable that government officials change their perceptions and restore high moral values in service by imbibing work culture and the spirit of public service, and try to remove the alienation felt by the people from the services.

O. P. Sharma, Faridabad

Legislators, behave

It was extremely shocking to learn that Congress legislator of Delhi Jaspal Singh has misused his position for large-scale power theft, meter tampering and manipulation of electricity bills for commercial purposes.

Our respected legislators must keep it in mind that they have to prove that they are good citizens and adhere to all rules and regulations so that people may follow them. If they will involve in cheating, what would be expected from the voters?

Subhash C. Taneja, Rohtak

Steps against graft

This refers to Mr O. P. Sharma’s letter, ‘Virus of Corruption’ (NCR Tribune, June 22, 2002). The author has precisely identified the `delay’ in government offices as a handy instrument and incubator for the corruption virus against which the common man is always defenceless.

The colonial regulations we have inherited from the British, which our legislators love to continue with, provide government officials with almost impregnable immunity and no accountability.

A radical overhaul is imperative in public administration. To begin with, I suggest the following steps.

1) There must be time schedules for public servants to finish each job beyond which they must be held accountable.

2) All correspondence made by the citizens must be promptly answered by the officials.

3) Every voting citizen must have access to information about all decisions, documents and data being handled by the government offices on the payment of a nominal fee.

4) In a densely populated country like India, the eight-hour work schedule for public servants is insufficient. Every government servant on duty must finish the work at hand before returning home. If not a rule, an understanding in this regard must be arrived at.

5) Every political executive (MP, Chief Minister, Minister, Chairman) must undergo basic orientation courses in public administration before assuming office.

Onkar Singh Shekhawat, Principal, Vidya Niketan School No.2, NIT – FaridabadBack


Report on Kundli estate denied

This is in reference to the report appeared in ‘NCR Tribune’ (June 20, 2002) under the heading, ‘Kundli’: The industrial landmark that was not to be’.

The correspondent had quoted that many industrialists had made repeated representations, regarding their problems, to the HSIDC authorities. However, the fact is that no such representation is pending with us regarding any problem of the allottees of industrial estate in Kundli.

Further, the correspondent had also highlighted the lack of basic amenities/facilities in this industrial estate. This is not true. All facilities like electricity, drinking water, sewerage, storm water, roads etc are available at the industrial estate. Excellent wide roads have been provided in this complex, which are regularly being maintained. The water supply is available on a regular basis and the sewerage and storm water drainage system is working efficiently.

There is no choking of sewerage as was reported. Regarding the bus services, the Haryana Roadways has already provided a local service from Sonepat to the HSIDC complex, Kundli. Moreover, no allottee/entrepreneur has ever complained to the HSIDC regarding the problems created by truck operators as reported by your correspondent.

As regard the health services, the ESI dispensary at Piao Manyari near Kundli is providing medical treatment to the entire satisfaction of the workers in the HSIDC complex.

Your correspondent had also reported that the HSIDC had failed to construct a common effluent treatment plant (CETP) at Kundli. This speaks volumes about his ignorance of ground realities.

Incidentally, the HSIDC constructed the first CETP of this region during 1997, which is working efficiently till date as per the prescribed parameters of the State Pollution Control Board.

The latest report of June 2002 received from the Pollution Control Board, Haryana is available with us for reference of your correspondent.

Additional General Manager (PR), HSIDC


16 corporators give no-trust letter against Mayor
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, June 28
As many as 16 elected members of the Municipal Corporation Faridabad (MCF) have signed the letter seeking a `no-confidence motion’ against the Mayor, Mrs Anita Goswami. The dissidents went to the office of the Divisional Commissioner, Gurgaon today and got their letter entered in the diary at the office, as the Commissioner himself was not available.

The MCF has 25 members but three members had been suspended reducing the strength to 22. “While 16 members have signed the no-confidence notice, a couple of others have pledged support at the time of voting,” said a dissident corporator. He claimed that the motion had the support of over two-third members of the House and the condition to bring a no-confidence motion had been fulfilled.

Another corporator who is reportedly an activist of the ruling Indian National Lok Dal and a supporter of a former Mayor has demanded the resignation of the Mayor. He claimed that the Mayor had lost the faith of the majority of corporators and signing of the `notice’ by 16 members was a clear indication of the `revolt’ against her. 


AIIMS, Safdarjung hit by water, power cuts
Our Correspondent

New Delhi, June 28
Electricity and water cuts have adversely affected the working of several city hospitals. Safdarjung Hospital, which admits patients from across the country, is witnessing chaos in the absence of electricity and water.

With the supply of both water and electricity disrupted, surgeries and medical tests like X-rays, ultrasound scans and pathological tests have been thrown out of gear. While the agitated patients flay the authorities, the staff members are grappling with the tempers that run high and the heavy workload.

The burn ward in Safdarjung Hospital has been severely hit by the water crisis. With no water available for the last few days, the patients and their relatives protested in the hospital premises and raised slogans against the authorities. The authorities, on their part, blamed a leak in the main water-carrying pipe and pointed out that repair work was already in progress.

The All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) also witnessed a tussle between the resident doctors and the hospital administration because of electricity shortage. The doctors were protesting against the power cut in their hostel. It is alleged that the doctors broke the furniture and windowpanes following a tiff with the administration when they went in to register a complaint.

The resident doctors allege that the administration is taking unusually long time to replace the existing old electric wiring. They are demanding that new electric wires be laid down so that the hostel inmates can install air conditioners.

Meanwhile, the rest of the city continues to face frequent and long power and water cuts. Residents in Kalkaji on Thursday took to the road protesting against the shortage of water and electricity. The residents were infuriated at the apathy of the Delhi Vidyut Board and the Delhi Jal Board and alleged that their area had been facing prolonged water and power crisis. 


J&K Govt trying to delink Pandits from Kashmir: PKM
Our Correspondent

New Delhi, June 28
Neither the goodwill of the majority community in Kashmir nor the mere controlling and containing of terrorism in the state can pave the way for the resettlement of Kashmiri Pandits, say the members of the Panun Kashmir Movement (PKM), a frontline organisation of the Kashmiri Pandit community.

A delegation of PKM is currently in the Capital to meet various heads and party leaders in order to voice their concerns regarding the Kashmir imbroglio. The delegation led by the PKM president, Mr Ashwini Chrungoo, has already met Jagatguru Shankaracharya of Kanchi and the working president of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Mr Ashok Singhal. A memorandum was also submitted to the King of Nepal to apprise him of the conditions and situations in which the Kashmiri Pandits are living.

The PKM alleges that the Government of Jammu and Kashmir has willfully and consciously made itself a party to the conspiracy of disinheriting and delinking Kashmiri Pandits from Kashmir. They point out that the recent government decisions to take over Gandhi Memorial College in Kashmir and imposition of heavy tax on Amarnath and Vaishnodevi pilgrims have far reaching consequences.

Expressing apprehensions at the government’s assurance of taking the responsibility of ensuring a safe return to the Valley, the PMK delegation said that the goodwill of the majority Community in Kashmir was at the most a matter of courteous social behaviour and not a mechanism of guarantee to live a life of dignity in the Valley.

The community representatives also pointed out that the campaign against terrorism initiated after the September 11 attacks in the US had full support from the community that had been deprived of their homeland by the Muslims who are in majority in the state. They add that since the significant part of the Kashmir tangle is the usurpation of their homeland by the Muslims, the Pandits therefore saw themselves as a natural party to the issue.

They asserted that the community had been facing hardships for the last 12 years caused by their migration from the Valley and their primary concern was their return to their homeland.

In a statement issued here, they pointed out that the PKM rejected all so-called plans, which had been formulated by the government unilaterally and prematurely, and reiterated the demand for the establishment of a separate homeland in Kashmir with full and free flow of the Indian Constitution.


Five killed, four hurt as jeep rams tree
Our Correspondent

Rohtak, June 28
Five persons, including a woman, were killed and four others injured when a Marshal jeep rammed a tree at Ismaila village this afternoon.

The deceased have been identified as Rawat, Tirlok and Mahabir who died on the spot and Ms Mohini who succumbed at the PGIMS. One of the deceased could not be identified so far.

According to information, the jeep-borne passengers were returning after taking a dip in the Ganga at Garh Ganga. The driver, Morari Lal, reportedly dozed off during driving and subsequently the vehicle hit a tree at around 3.30 pm. A highway patrolling team rushed the injured to the PGIMS.

Youth killed

A Dalit youth was killed with sharp-edged weapons by a co-labourer at Makrauli Kalan village last evening. Rohtak of Makrauli Kalan village stated in the FIR that he was employed as a sweeper in the PGIMS here. He said his son, Vijay, used to work as labourer along with another Dalit youth, Anar, son of Chand.

The complainant said he was sitting along with his brother Prem in front of the latter’s house when Vijay ran to him told them that Anar and his uncle, Mukesh, were following him with sharp-edged weapons.

Both the assailants reached there in a few minutes and attacked Vijay. Suresh, Tara, Geeta, Bala and Gulab, relatives of the assailants, soon gathered on the spot and started beating Prem with jelly sticks and bricks. Vijay succumbed to his injuries at the PGIMS. The police registered a case under Sections 302 and 34 of the IPC.

Flood sensitive

The district administration has designated 62 villages in the district as sensitive and highly sensitive to floods. A spokesman for the district administration today said that Kutana, Sunarian Khurd, Sunarian Kalan, Khanaur, Masudpur, Naya Baans and Kahneli
villages of Rohtak subdivision had been specified as highly sensitive. Besides, he said Balambha, Ajaib, Bansi and Mokhra Khas villages in Meham subdivision had been put under the same category on the basis of past experiences. 



Woman burnt to death in Noida village over dowry
Our Correspondent

Noida, June 28
A woman was allegedly burnt to death by her in-laws in Aakilpur village under Rabupura police station. In an effort to keep the murder a secret, the last rites of the killed woman were performed in hurry without informing her parental family.

According to the police, Prem Singh of Chola village had married his sister Aneeta with Dinesh of Aakilpur five years ago. Prem Singh had given good dowry as per his financial capacity. It is alleged that Aneeta’s in-laws had been demanding more dowry from time to time, some of which his brother had given.

Prem Singh said her sister was asked to bring a motorbike and Rs 50,000 from her parents. Her brother somehow pacified Aneeta’s in-laws.

However, it is alleged that Aneeta was beaten up two days ago and she was set aflame after pouring kerosene on her. She was cremated hurriedly. The villagers informed Prem Singh, who has filed a dowry death report, naming Aneeta’s husband and other members of his family as the culprits.


Narcotic smugglers

The Vijay Nagar police have arrested four criminals involved in smuggling of smack, doda, opium etc. The police also seized 4.5 kg of doda.

Giving this information, the Circle Officer (City), Dr Dharam Veer Singh, said that Mr Sunil Sumanya, in charge of the Vijay Nagar police station, and his team nabbed these people today from the bye-pass road. The arrested criminals have been identified as Zahir, Afser, Amrit and Iqbal. They are said to have been involved in this illegal trade for a couple of years. They said they mostly operated in UP, Haryana and Delhi, Dr Singh added.

Held for threats

The Kotwali police arrested one person with a foreign-made revolver. One Akbar had complained to the police that a person had beaten him up and also threatened to kill him. On the basis of the complaint, the police arrested Rehan, son of Hakim, from Nand Nagri. A British-made revolver bearing the No 96521 along with some cartridges had also been recovered from Rehan.

The arrested person was known to be involved in brawls and harassing people in the area, the police said. He has been booked under relevant clauses for possessing arms without licence and for threatening Akbar with murder, the police said.


Youth electrocuted

A 22-year-old youth was electrocuted to death in Rajiv Colony here this morning. The victim, hailing from Bihar, had come to visit his kin here.

It is reported that the youth, identified as Ashok, was walking down a lane when he accidentally came into contact with a live wire hanging overhead. He died on the spot.

In another incident, the police booked a case against an unidentified youth for allegedly raping a nine-year-old girl at Fatehpur Taga village in the district on Thursday. No arrest has been made so far.


One killed

A camel-cart owner and a camel died in a road accident here in Dhani-Islampur village on the Jahajgarh-Chhuchhkwas road last night. A police spokesman said here today that Ramesh, resident of Bhageswar in Jind district, was returning to his village after supplying animal fodder in Bahadurgarh in his camel-cart. When he reached near Dhani village, a truck coming from the opposite direction rammed the cart. While the camel died on the spot, he succumbed to his injuries in a hospital later.

The driver of the truck escaped leaving the vehicle on the spot. The district police have started investigation after registering a case under Sections 279 and 337 of the IPC.


Sadar Bazaar traders cut up over broken sewers
Our Correspondent

New Delhi, June 28
The Sadar Bazaar Traders Welfare Association has complained that the incapacitated sewers in the area have resulted in flooding the streets with dirty water and are posing a threat to the health and sanitation in the locality.

The association has demanded that the sewer lines should be replaced without any delay. According to the association, the showers that lashed the Capital on Monday resulted in flooding the area. The water that stood at about two-and-a-half feet entered shops and caused losses to the owners. In a statement released by the association, it pointed out that the association had already written to the Delhi Jal Board about the stagnation of water. It alleged that the sewer lines at the Qutab Road chowk were damaged and the dirty water oozed out from this point, creating problems for the residents. This dirty water was providing an ideal gestating condition for the mosquitoes. With the unattended heaps of garbage lying there, there was a real threat of the outbreak of some dreaded disease.

The DJB had washed it hands off the problem saying that the MCD and the Public Works Department were responsible for the rectification of broken sewer lines. The association also pointed out that roads that had been dug up to lay more sewer lines were yet to be restored to their original form. 


Recreation centre inaugurated at old-age home
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 28
Mr Ram Bhaj, MLA and Vice-Chairperson of the NDMC, inaugurated NDMC’s Recreation Centre for senior citizens at “Sandhya”, Netaji Nagar today.

Speaking after inaugurating the centre, Mr Ram Bhaj hoped that the senior citizens of the area, including the inmates of the old-age home, would benefit by the centre and could pass their time in recreation activities being provided here. He apprised the inmates that the tariff, which in the past was increased by 10 per cent, had been reduced by 5 per cent keeping in view the persistent representation of inmates.

He also said that the mess of the centre would be completely managed by the inmates of “Sandhya” and the NDMC would have no interference in its functioning.

Mr Ram Bhaj also informed that the services and activities to be provided here included indoor games facilities, reading room with provision of newspapers and magazines, TV, music, yoga, meditation, periodic medical check-ups, group discussions/lectures and geriatric care. Senior citizens other than inmates of “Sandhya” will have to pay Rs 50 per month for getting a membership of the centre against which he will be provided with an identity card. The timings of the centre will be from 10.00 am to 6.00 pm.


Lathi charge on HYKSS activists condemned
Our Correspondent

Rewari, June 28
The police lathi charge on activists of the Haryana Yuva Kisan Sangharsh Samiti (HYKSS) at Narnaul on June 24 and the arrest of leaders of the samiti were condemned by leaders of various political as well as non-political organisations here.

The samiti activists were taking out a procession demanding equitable distribution of available canal water and adequate supply of power to this region. When they allegedly blocked the main road at Mahavir Chowk, the police resorted to lathi charge and arrested the samiti president, Mr Naresh Yadav, and other activists. Capt Ajay Singh Yadav, deputy leader of the Haryana Congress Legislature Party, Mr Ved Prakash Vidrohi, state president of the Janata Dal (U), and Mr Arvind Yadav, president of the Dakshina Haryana Vikas Manch, and other senior leaders have demanded the immediate release of Mr Naresh Yadav and other leaders of the samiti and unconditional withdrawal of criminal cases filed against them.

The flayed the administration for the lathi charge and the ‘repression’ let loose on the activists of the samiti. They asserted that the people of Ahirwal could not be made to wait endlessly for the completion of the SYL canal. Thus, there was an urgency for equitable distribution of available canal water to ensure its regular supply to the parched fields of south Haryana, they said.


Illicit liquor seizures part of a larger game plan?
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, June 28
Smuggling and sale of illicit liquor, especially in pouches and plastic bags, seems to be a common and normal thing in the district. Such liquor worth lakhs of rupees get smuggled in and consumed here each month, thanks to a well-established network that came into being after prohibition was introduced a few years ago in the state.

Although the illicit liquor menace afflicts nearly every district of the state, the `Mafia’ is deeply entrenched in border districts like Faridabad, which shares a boundary with Uttar Pradesh, Delhi and Rajasthan.

Although the sale of liquor in pouches or plastic bags is banned by the State government under its Excise policy of 2002-2003, the authorities are finding themselves ‘helpless’ in checking the thriving illicit trade and sale of such liquor. Hardly any day passes when pouches of liquor are not seized by the police or excise officials in the region.

It is learnt that the `big fishes’ operating in the business do not get caught as they have links with influential persons and even with certain police and administration officials. According to sources, the seizures made and exhibited by the police are reported to be very small and sometimes such recoveries are reportedly a part of the game plan of the `network.’ The idea is to convey the impression that the authorities are taking action against the culprits.

However, whenever a gang of smugglers splits, the seizures may be huge as gang members spill the beans due to their internal differences.

Incidentally, the tragedies that have taken place in the region have claimed the lives of poor people only. A 200 ml pouch of ‘illicit’ liquor is available for Rs. 10 to 15 and sometimes the cost is even less.

The Excise Department keep issuing warnings in the print media or via roadside hoardings that illicit liquor is deadly and consumers should buy liquor from authorised vends only. But most of the consumers of pouched liquor reside in slums and unauthorised colonies. Such consumers are normally casual labourers, wayside vendor or hawkers and even rural people who are unable to afford good quality liquor from shops.

According to available information, most of the illicit liquor is smuggled in from U.P. and Rajasthan. This, in turn, has spawned a huge network in this `trade.’ The profit margins are excellent and a large number of youth and even women have got attracted to the trade. This is partially due to unemployment and the fragmentation of agricultural land in rural parts.

Liquor in pouches is available at every ‘hook and corner’ in both urban and rural areas. According to sources, even some vends have started selling ‘pouches.’

The trade or sale of illicit liquor is illegal under section 61-A of the Punjab Excise Act of 1914; the authorities can impose a penalty of Rs. 30,000 to Rs 3,00,000 on the culprits `besides impounding the vehicle used. However, ‘insiders’ in the trade admit that due to ‘links’ and support of the `authorities,’ this was not an easy task.

The district police, on the other hand, claim that the drive to check the trade and sale of illicit liquor is on in earnest and a large number of seizures have been made by the police in the last few months; a number of criminals have also been arrested. It is denied that the police department or its staff is in `hand-in-glove’ with the liquor smugglers or the liquor `mafia’.


Azadpur bank robbery solved, five nabbed
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 28
The city police today claimed to have worked out the Vaishya Co-operative Bank robbery in New Sabzi Mandi in Azadpur with the arrest of five persons, including a fruit-seller.

The suspects — Mohammad Sabir, a fruit-seller, his associates, Mohammad Mumtaz, Shakil, Shakir and Amruddin alias Bobby, all from New Seelampur, — were arrested on Thursday. One country-made pistol, knives and Rs 1 lakh of the looted amount were seized from their possession, the police said. Their two other associates, Javed and Bhura, have absconded.

According to the police, Sabir was the prime accused as he hatched the plan along with others to commit the dacoity. His brother, Nasir, had a fruit shop in New Sabzi Mandi. He has now shifted his shop from Azadpur to Okhla Sabzi Mandi but he still has an account in Vaishya Co-operative Bank in Azadpur.

Since he was indebted to somebody, he was in dire need of money. To pay the debt, he reportedly hatched the plan to rob the bank. He and Mumtaz were earlier involved in criminal cases registered in other police stations.

The suspects had receed the bank before committing the crime. The suspects came in three vehicles, a Maruti car, a TSR and a two-wheeler, and after robbing the bank, they went in different directions, the police said.

The police interrogated a number of inter-state and local gangs active in the area to work out the case in vain. Thereafter, accounts of all account-holders of the bank were checked. Since Nasir’s brother, Sabir, was seen in the bank where he had come to withdraw the money, the police suspected the former’s involvement. The police raided his house in New Seelampur. Sabir was found missing which raised suspicion about his involvement in the robbery.

Later, he was arrested along with Mumtaz while travelling in the Maruti car that was used in the crime. During interrogation, they confessed to have committed the crime. Their interrogation led to the arrest of others, police said.

Woman stabbed

Ritu (28), a resident of Inderpuri, was reportedly stabbed to death and robbed of her jewellery by three unidentified youths last evening. When the incident occurred, her husband, Sanjay Verma, was away on his business work. The police said that it seemed that the assailants had a friendly entry as empty glasses and tea were lying in the drawing room. She might have offered them tea and water.

Murderer arrested

The Prasad Nagar police arrested one Kishan alias Babli on the charge of murder. The suspect reportedly stabbed his neighbour, Prabhu Dayal, a painter, last Monday when the latter refused to give him money for buying liquor. Prabhu Dayal was admitted to a hospital where he succumbed to his injuries, the police said.

Robbers nabbed

The Okhla police arrested two youths on the charge of robbery that took place last evening. They were identified as Rinku Kumar and Ranjeet Kumar. They reportedly robbed Rs 2,500 from Subhash, a courier by profession, near the jungle behind Kalkaji Depot. The victim raised an alarm following which residents of nearby area caught him and handed over to the police, the police said.

9 held for assault

The South district police today arrested nine persons, who allegedly beat staff members of Friendicos, a veterinary hospital in Greater Kailash. Three of the suspects were identified as Deepak, Naresh Verma and Gulshan. The suspects were arrested by a team led by the in charge of the Jangpura police post, Devender Yadav.

According to the police, Deepak and Fakira, residents of Lajpat Nagar, went to the hospital last evening to admit their dog. When the hospital staff refused them to admit their dog saying that domestic animals were not admitted there, they along with their associates beat up the staff members of the hospital, the police said.

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