Monday, July 1, 2002, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


Voters cool to Akali rhetoric on poll day
53 per cent turnout in incident-free poll
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 30
Barring a few minor incidents, the general elections to the 46-member Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) today passed off peacefully. The elections to the DSGMC, which would control the religious and educational institutions of the Sikh community, are taking place after seven years, almost three years behind schedule.

“No major incident of violence has been reported. There were minor incidents of verbal duels between political activists, which were sorted out with timely intervention of the police and the officials on duty,” Mr Manpreet Singh, Director in the Directorate of Gurdwara Elections, said.

He said 53.1 per cent of the total electorate of 3.17 lakh exercised its franchise today. The polling percentage is 11 per cent higher than that in 1995, when the elections were held last, after a gap of 17 years.

The Moti Nagar ward witnessed the highest voting with 63 per cent of the registered voters exercising their franchise. The Vikaspuri and Janakpuri wards had the lowest turnout of 41 per cent.

There was little enthusiasm amongst the voters today, as only a few people lined up at the polling stations till afternoon. Polling picked up momentum about an hour before the closure when large numbers of voters turned up to cast their ballot.

Even the first- time voters, who have turned 18 years, showed little interest in the community’s religious election as many preferred to stay indoors and watch the World Cup football clash between Brazil and Germany. And, many did not miss their daily ritual and thronged Gurdwara Bangla Sahib. In almost all wards, the electorate exercised its franchise without showing any residence proof. Even the officials on election duty were unaware of the fact that the Directorate had asked the voters to bring one of the 20 residence proofs along with them.

A Presiding Officer said, “We are not aware of any such directive by the Directorate.’

As the prestige of Mr Parkash Singh Badal and Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra was at stake, political activists of the two main Akali factions from Punjab had descended on the Capital over the weekend and had stationed themselves in several wards where the party felt that their respective candidate might not fare well.

The Badal faction, which had been accusing the Tohra faction of being supported by the Congress, continued to level its charges against its rival.

The Union Minister and Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) secretary-general, Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, said senior police officials of the Punjab Government interfered with the polling process in the Hari Nagar ward.

Mr Dhindsa said he had lodged a complaint with the Lieutenant-Governor of Delhi, Mr Vijai Kapoor, about Punjab Police Inspector-General (Chief Minister Security) Rajinder Singh interfering in polling at the Hari Nagar ward contested by his SAD (Badal) Delhi chief Avtar Singh Hit.

“I even brought the matter to the notice of the Personal Secretary to the Minister of State for Home, Mr I. D. Swami, who is not in town. The polling had to be stopped for an hour in Hari Nagar because of Mr Rajinder Singh’s interference, which I would call direct interference of Punjab’s Congress government in Akali affairs even outside that state,” Mr Dhindsa said.

There are 390 candidates for 46 wards of the DSGMC. The Directorate had appointed 16 Returning Officers and 46 Assistant Returning Officers for the conduct of the elections. The Delhi Police had deployed additional forces in sensitive wards to prevent untoward incidents.

The sealed ballot boxes collected from 347 polling stations have been kept in five counting centres. These would be opened on Tuesday for counting. The results are expected to be declared the same day.



A reflection of a sense of disenchantment
Ravi Bhatia
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 30
The low to average turnout in today’s general elections to the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC), which controls the gurdwaras and institutions of the community in the Capital, is indicative of the general disenchantment of the average Sikh with the leadership and the growing spectre of internal factionalism .

Translated into numerical terms, only 50 per cent of the 3.17 lakh electorate chose to exercise its franchise. This in itself is a reflection of the sense of disillusionment, even more so because the community takes pride in participating in its affairs.

While the contenders in the race for the control of the cash-rich committee attributed the low turnout to the intense heat and humidity, independent observers said that the reasons were quite different and related more to the aggressive and abrasive style of campaigning than to elemental eccentricities. The campaign by the key players this time was marked by pernicious accusations with the key issues pertaining to the community being given the go by.

The infiltration of a large number of workers and supporters of the two main factions of the Shiromani Akali Dal, the Badal and the Tohra, from outside the state was another inhibiting factor, which kept some of the law abiding and god-fearing members of the community inside the confines of their homes. Tension was palpable in the final stages of the campaign, which concluded on Friday with hordes of supporters arriving from Punjab and the decibel level of the campaign virtually reaching a crescendo.

The confusion and the differences over the recent enumeration and updating of the electoral rolls was another factor cited for the low turnout. ``People in many wards were confused and there was no one to guide them as most of the leaders were busy with campaigning. Names of many eligible voters were missing from the list,” claimed a resident of East Delhi, wanting to stay anonymous, lest he incurs the wrath of the leaders and their powerful supporters.

Compounding the confusion were several lesser known Sikh organisations, independent of the two Akali Dal factions, such as the Shiromani Vishav Akali Dal and the Shiromani Gurdwara Sewadar Committee, whish issued appeals to the community to boycott the elections as the candidates had “blatantly violated both the election code of conduct and the Rahat Maryada of the Sikh Sangat” .

While the leaders of the two main factions in the fray have been quick to dismiss these organisations as unimportant and existing only on paper, the ground reality suggests that their appeal may have found some takers.



HRD Ministry project leaves Delhi out in the cold
Nalini Ranjan

New Delhi, June 30
The Human Resource and Development (HRD) Ministry has just launched a comprehensive programme for universalisation of elementary education for all children within the age group of 6-14.The project, termed Sarv Shiksha Abhiyaan (SSA), is an effort towards universalising elementary education through community ownership of the school system. The primary objective of this programme is to ensure that all children within this group complete eight years of quality schooling by the year 2010. But for some inexplicable reason Delhi has not been made a part of this scheme.

According to the convenor of this project, Mr Sumit Bose, during the year 2001-02 more than Rs 500 crore has been disbursed to 386 districts for various pre-project activities and 512 districts for elementary education plans.

Under this programme, 52,655 new primary schools and 4,385 upper primary schools have been sanctioned. Funds have been released for the infrastructure. Money will be contributed towards buildings for 2,729 schools, 9,314 additional classrooms, 19,959 toilets and 7,330 drinking water outlets.

Sanction has also been accorded for recruiting 12,914 primary and 7,121 upper primary teachers for new and existing schools in the state.

Interestingly, not one of the nine districts of Delhi has been included in the ambitious programme.

When questioned about this, Delhi Education Minister Raj Kumar Chauhan exclaimed with surprise that he had no idea why Delhi had been excluded from the project. He said, “We are in dire need of infrastructure of the kind being offered by Sarv Shiksha Abhiyaan. We have been seeking help from the NGOs. In this regard, it would have come as a great respite if we had been included in this laudable project.

He further informs the country is yet to achieve the goal of universalisation of education, which translates into 100 per cent enrolment in schools of children within this age group. To fill up this gap this programme has been launched. Apart from providing elementary education to all children it aims to bridge social, regional and gender gaps with the active participation of the communities. The primary objectives of Sarv Shiksha Abhiyaan are as follows: All children to be in schools/education guarantee centres/alternate schools/back to school camps by 2003; all children complete five years of primary schooling by 2007, all children to complete eight years of schooling by 2010; focus on elementary education of satisfactory quality with emphasis on education for life.

The financial assistance under the programme implies a partnership between the Centre and the state. The assistance provided by Sarv Shiksha Abhiyaan between the Centre and the state could be on a 85:15 sharing basis during the Ninth Plan, 75:25 sharing basis during the Tenth Plan and thereafter 50:50.

Another important constituent of Sarv Shiksha Abhiyaan is community ownership of schools. This involves school-based intervention through effective decentralisation, which will be augmented by the involvement of women’s groups, VEC members and members of Panchayati Raj institutions. It also recognises the need for a community-based monitoring system. 



Farmers roped in under ‘green Haryana’ plan
Nawal Kishore Rastogi

Rewari, June 30
Haryana is not only going the IT way, it is also going green. Ambitious as most plans on environmental issues are, the state government has decided to plant 4.50 crore saplings throughout Haryana this year under a comprehensive campaign being launched to usher in a “balanced and pollution-free environment”. This time, the government seems to have worked some novel ways to nurse the saplings.

The information was given by Mr Sanjay Kothari, Commissioner and Secretary of the State Forest Department, at a meeting of the district officials here on Saturday. He said that about five crore saplings were ready for distribution in various nurseries of the Forest Department.

At the core of the campaign is the participation of educational institutions, women and farmers. He said that farmers, village panchayats and common citizens would be supplied saplings free of cost while boards, corporations and private industrial units would be given saplings at half the price.

Making a special mention of “Ch Devi Lal Social Forestry Project”, Mr Kothari said the Forest Department would plant saplings on all available patches of land lying close to the farmers’ fields alongside canals and roads under the project. On maturity, the sale proceeds of all such trees would be equally divided among the government and the farmers who would also take full care of the plants during the entire period of growth, he added.

‘Van mahotsav samarohs’ would be organised at the state and constituency level to make the campaign a success, he added.

Mr J. P. L. Shrivastava, Chief Forest Conservator of Haryana, said that 12.5 lakh saplings would be planted in Rewari district alone. The requirement list of saplings from various departmental heads of the district should reach the nurseries in the district by July 7 positively, he added.

The Deputy Commissioner, Mr Vineet Garg, said that plantation preparations were already afoot and five villages had been allotted to each official.



Tax evasion in crores by Jindal Pipes detected
Parmindar Singh

Ghaziabad, June 30
During a raid, the Special Investigation Branch of the Trade Tax department has unearthed tax evasion worth crores by a pipe factory in its stock transfers.

In another raid, the mobile team of the department has seized goods which were being ferried without payment of trade tax.

Deputy Commissioner (SIB) P K Gupta disclosed that they had received reports of trade tax evasion by the Hapur road-based Jindal Pipes. A raid was, therefore, organised during which incriminating documents were seized. The trade tax evasion was detected in the company’s registers on stock transfers. A detailed investigation is on in this connection.

In the second raid, the mobile team of the department seized three Tata-407 vehicles with the help of the local police. The vehicles were smuggling goods via a kutcha road to evade

tax. One Tata-407 was loaded with 15 mobile oil drums. In the second vehicle, 400 ceramic dinner sets were being ferried while the third was laden with match boxes. The Tata-407s had taken the detour to bypass a trade tax check post. Each vehicle was carrying goods worth at least Rs one lakh. A report has been lodged with Police Station Loni.

Mr Gupta also disclosed that the mobile team had captured 53 bags of rice and hardware in the Kotwali area, which was worth Rs two lakh. These vehicles also did not have proper documents. An FIR has been lodged and the vehicles have been confiscated, Mr Gupta added.



Unions planning stir against closure
Our Correspondent

Rohtak, June 30
Reacting against the recent government decision to close down the Haryana State Minor Irrigation and Tubewell Corporation (HSMITC), which rendered 3,916 employees jobless, both the major employees’ unions in the state -– the Haryana Karamchari Maha Sangh and Sarv Karamchari Sangh Haryana — have convened separate emergency meetings to chalk out a state-wide agitational programme on July 1..

In a statement here today, Mr Bharat Bhushan, a spokesman of the Haryana Karamchari Maha Sangh, said it was the first incident in which nearly 4,000 employees were removed from service. He apprehended that this ‘unjustified’ decision of the government would pave the way for the retrenchment of employees in other departments.

He alleged that the retrenched employees were neither served any notice nor paid compensation by the government in violation of the legal provisions.

He said the sangh had called upon all the employees of various departments in the state to express solidarity in launching a state-wide agitation. He announced that the employees of different departments would hold gate meetings on July 1 and July 2 and start indefinite dharnas in front of the offices of the Deputy Commissioners from July 3.

Besides, he said the employees would wear black badges and hold black flags to express resentment against the government decision on July 10 all over the state.

Exhorting the employees to adopt the policy of ‘do or die’, the Maha Sangh leader said an emergency meeting of the state executive of the sangh had been convened at Hisar on July 14.

He said the sangh would hold meetings with different employees’ unions and associations the same day and a joint employees’ front would be constituted to launch a joint agitation against the government.

Mr Bharat Bhusan said a delegation of the sangh led by its state president, Mr Dhara Singh, met the Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, in Delhi in this regard.

He said the negotiation of the sangh leaders with the Chief Minister would be discussed at an emergency meeting at Rohtak on July 1.

Mr Poonam Chand Rati, state president of Sarv Karamchari Sangh Haryana, said the government should have made alternative arrangements for the retrenched employees before closing the HSMITC.

He warned that the members of the sangh would not tolerate this ‘autocratic’ decision and fight tooth and nail against it.

Mr Inderjit Singh, state secretary of the CPI(M), described the government decision as undemocratic and alleged that the government had been rendering thousands of employees jobless by pulling down different departments.



Parallel colleges the only hope of varsity castaways

I have before me a leaflet that came with the morning newspaper. It has an attractive name at the top and announces: “After having successfully passed out many batches in Ghaziabad for last seven years, it now comes to your Gurgaon. Contact immediately for CBSE and ICSE Board Class V to X. All the subjects. Assessment made on the basis of weekly tests. Printer assignments and notes. Board question papers of previous years solved under the watchful eyes of guide. Contact for both classes and home tuitions. For details, rush to ……..”

In the evening, I find an advertisement on cable TV: “Tuition for nursery to 4th Class. Preparing students for admission to public schools in and around Delhi.”

One comes across hundreds of such announcements and ads on cable TV, in local papers and journals, which are produced in plenty in the Capital and in other towns in the National Capital Region. They are mostly ad journals. Such announcements are made through posters and banners put up in different parts of the towns. They also reach you through folders and introduction cards slipped into your letterbox.

Tuition at individual level or in groups and private institutions which prepare you for admission to regular schools and colleges have mushroomed and are doing roaring business. They are, in fact, a parallel channel of education which seem to be becoming more important even than the regular institutions. Unless you have spent a fortune there, you do not expect your child to enter a regular institution. One could say they are fleecing helpless parents. Another view is that they are doing good service to them. If a child gets admission to a good school through them, the parents feel that it has been a good investment. Tuition in any case has become an important part of our system of education.

There were good old days when there would be an isolated case of a weak student going in for tuition, which a teacher would agree to with much hesitation. This was to make up for the weakness of the student. Now, it is for good students, bright students, even for toppers. And the tuition would be in all the important subjects. A student could be going in for tuition in three or four subjects. He may be running from place to place to attend these group tuition. A friend had to buy his daughter a two-wheeler despite his reservations simply because she had to attend three tuition apart from her school.

Tuition is one way of increasing one’s marks in the annual examination, which is important to get an admission in a good subject and a good college after school. What it means going from a school to college is known well not only to students but their parents too. The cut-off marks, the interviews, the entrance tests for professional courses, going from college to college, from university to university, all this is enough hassle which they have to encounter. Even then they are not sure of admission. Many have to end up with a correspondence course, others just idle away their time after school.

The entrance tests for so-called higher education have also become a farce. If the previous examination result is not to be given any importance, why have it at all? A student wanting to pursue studies beyond school has to prepare for not just one school-leaving examination but scores of entrance tests wherever he or she is wanting to seek admission later. It is alright to say that higher education is not for all but then, what are the alternatives for others? Where are the vocations for youth leaving school and not going in for higher studies?

While the higher authorities in the world of education debate endlessly about the retention or deletions of some references from history or other subjects for study, there are more basic problems facing the young people and their parents. The more the authorities talk about reforms, the bigger mess is witnessed in the field of education. Last fortnight has been hell for most students who had celebrated their performance and success in school examinations not long ago. It has been equally bad for parents whose tension and uncertainty about their next admission is not yet over.

It is because of little chance of admission in established institutions that there has been a mushroom growth of private institutions offering all sorts of courses, vocational or other type, and they advertise their fare investing a lot of money. The students will surely stand a better chance of admission in them. But the catch is that it will cost the parents a fortune to get their wards admitted to them. While one has to spend on tuition to seek admission there, their fees and other payments are prohibitive for an average middle class family. So, it is a matter of money all the way, right from nursery to professional courses.

The universities have taken a cue from these institutions and are raising their fee structure apart from introducing categories of students, like NRI-sponsored, who can pay higher fees and get admission. The University Grants Commission too wants the universities to be as self-sufficient as possible which, in other words, means that they raise their fees and find other ways to increase their income. Which also means that all talk of equal opportunity is just humbug. All talk of a welfare state is meaningless. One cannot just forget the woes of the young persons and their parents simply attributing the problem to over-population. Population explosion is a fact of life. How are we trying to cope with it?

Zero power cut?

Yes, that is what they had promised not long ago. Soon after the power reforms process began in Haryana with a generous financial assistance from the World Bank, they said that Gurgaon would be the first zero power cut district in the state. The date from which it had to achieve this status passed long ago.

Some other features of the power reforms have been achieved. For instance, splitting the Haryana Electricity Board into different corporations (Nigams, they call them) to bring about greater efficiency in power generation, transmission and distribution. There has been an upward revision of power tariff and the consumers have to pay much larger amounts that what they used to pay or than what their neighbours in Delhi or some other states have to pay. Surely, the World Bank loan money must be spent wisely. They might have cut on line losses —another name for power theft by the influential people — and brought about various efficiencies. But the power cuts, tripping, voltage fluctuation and breakdowns have continued to haunt the people as before.

If the Delhi’s power authorities deprived the consumers in South Delhi of one quarter final of the World Cup, their Gurgaon counterpart saw to it that its consumers did not watch the next quarter final, thanks to the power cut.

This, however, is only a minor feature of the erratic power supply. The people are going through a lot of suffering because of power interruptions during heat and humidity, one of the worst summers experienced by them. Maybe, the weather gods and the power bosses have entered into an arrangement to add to the woes of the people.

One too many

Now that we are talking about power, it may be in order to make a reference to this unique case of a power meter that has caused much tension to a consumer in South Delhi. It is a large house and, for some reason, it has five electricity meters to keep record of the use of electricity, which is not available most of the time. Neither the user nor I would understand the technicalities involved but I am told that two of these meters are “regular” and three are “provisional”. The bill for the regular meters is on actual consumption but the bills for provisional meters are determined on average. This average comes to many times of what the regular meters show. There is one meter through which no electricity is transmitted but the house owner gets bill for this too, naturally on average. This meter was fixed long ago but had become useless after some change of phase about two years ago.

He has been paying these bills for virtually a non-existent meter. He has represented to the authorities concerned and requested them to stop sending these bills. There has been no response. During one of his recent visits to the electricity office, he was told by the man at the counter that he should not make payments. But the house-owner wants to take no risk. His power may be cut for non-payment of the bill and the electricity supply, which is cut, may not necessarily be concerning this non-existent meter but from one of the working meters. His request for not sending the bills remains unheeded.

Balraj Bowry

B. R. Bowry, who passed away at the age of 83 in Delhi on June 13, was a typical Punjabi with a warm heart, capacity to work day and night and willing to help anybody who came to him with any problem. He rose from an Assistant Information Officer to become the Deputy Principal Information Officer in the central government and later the Press Secretary to two Prime Ministers, Jawaharlal Nehru and Mrs Indira Gandhi. He never showed it and was unassuming and cordial to his subordinates as well as strangers. He was engaged in his official duties whole-heartedly, keeping the confidence of his superiors in the government as well as helping young and aspiring journalists who sought his assistance for a good story.

He was old enough to be a guide and patron to many but acted as a friend at equal level. He was active even after retirement, not so much to earn money but to keep himself busy. Only a few days before his death, he had agreed to be the advisor to a book publisher in a purely honorary capacity. Of course, he had been associated with a large publishing house as an editorial advisor for many years. Just a week before his death, he was present at a function on the World Environment Day, meticulously dressed as ever and looking much younger than his age. It is another thing that he had said on phone to this writer that he was already 83 and did not know for how long he would live. On being told that another Punjabi, Mr M. S. Oberoi, had crossed 100 before his death and that he could look forward to many more years, he had a hearty laugh. Many of his contemporaries and colleagues remembered this friend of friends — one typical trait of Punjabis — at the prayer meeting for him. Among them is Mr Kuldip Nayar who recalled how he had dared to meet him and cared for him during his detention in Emergency even though he was a government official holding a sensitive post.

Snake rescue service

The people are generally scared of snakes and want to kill them on sight. This is because of ignorance and misinformation about snakes, say experts. One such expert is Kartik Satyanarayan of Wildlife S.O.S. for whom handling snakes began as a hobby but turned into social service in course of time. He and some of his friends started Wildlife S.O.S. to rescue and care for animals, reptiles and birds in distress.

Apart from other activities, they started an ambulance service for the sick and abandoned animals. They have a vehicle purchased with a grant from the Union Ministry of Social Welfare that was headed by Maneka Gandhi at that time. Except for this grant, they get no official assistance for the noble work they do. They respond to calls from residents who sight a snake in their house, rush there, capture the snake, put it in a bag and take it away to be released in an environment favourable to it. In the process, they educate the residents about snakes telling them that they are not at all poisonous or dangerous and would not harm human beings unless attacked. When they have some snakes in their captivity, they make a trip to a sanctuary like Corbett Park, Rajaji Wild Life Park or just a jungle and release them there. During this period, they feed them and care for them.

Kartik trained himself for the job while at Bangalore and has in turn trained his colleagues. His Snake Rescue Cell can be reached on telephone Nos. 4320707 or 4621939. Last week when I talked to him, he had seven such snakes which he released near Dehra Dun. They have been offering this service for the last three years but admit that it is tough because of financial constraints. Sometimes, the persons from whose house they capture the snake offer a donation to Wildlife S.O.S. but it is not enough. He wishes more people should come forward to help the mission financially so that they can expand the service. They also want to have more resources to create awareness about snakes and remove the fear from the people’s minds.



Stop polluting Yamuna in religion’s name: Acord
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 30
Polluting a river in the name of religion? It should certainly stop. That is what certain volunteers engaged in Clean Yamuna Campaign have implored the NCT government of Delhi in general and people in particular.

The request has been made by the NGO, the Asian Centre for Organisation, Research and Development (ACORD), and reiterated at a workshop hosted by it recently. ACORD has sought the assistance of religious leaders and Resident Welfare Associations (RWAs) in this regard.

“The pollution of Yamuna presents a contradictory case of people polluting the very river they revere in the name of religious practices,” says Ms Kiron Wadera, CEO and President of ACORD.

A study by the Central Pollution Control Board in 1995 had shown that every year at least 15,000 idols were immersed in the holy river, releasing 16.8 tonnes of varnish and garjan oil and 32 tonnes of toxic colours.

Ms Wadera said a plan of action would be made for working at the grassroots level with all communities belonging to various religions on this issue. “The response has been very encouraging, people are willing to change,” she says. 



Railways, Haryana Roadways staff attend 
spiritual retreat
Our Correspondent

Rewari, June 30
Mr D. R. Kartikeyan, former Director of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), has asserted that practical application of spiritual exercises in daily life was highly essential to ensure immunisation against hatred, tension and other causes of irrational behaviour.

He was addressing the concluding function of the four-day all-India seminar of officers from the transport and aviation wings of the Indian Railways, Haryana Roadways, Shipping Department and other private transport agencies at Om Shanti Retreat Centre at Bilaspur, 30 km from here, on Saturday. Over 225 men participated in the seminar.

Complimenting the organisers as well as the activists of the centre on organising the seminar, he expressed the hope that it would enable the participants to lead an enlightened phase in profession and in life.

Dr A. C. Ghosh, Executive Medical Director of the Union Railway Ministry, said that the training and ingredients provided during this seminar-cum-training camp would certainly usher in a healthy and tension-free phase in the life of their officials.

He also said that he would like the organisers to make it a regular feature for their officials.

Giving her good wishes to the participants, Rajyogini Dadi Gulzar, chairman of the trade and industries wing of the organisation, exhorted them to take a pledge for an inward revolution in their life.

In the same vein, Mr Brij Mohan Anand, Chief Editor of a foreign magazine, `Purity’, and sister Shukla also gave advices on how to succeed in life.



Narendra Nath appointed chairman 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 30
The former Industries and Education Minister, Mr Narendra Nath, was appointed chairman of the Trans-Yamuna Area Development Board on Sunday.

The appointment was made by the Lieutenant Governor, Mr Vijai Kapoor, on the recommendation of the Chief Minister, Ms Sheila Dikshit. Mr Nath will take over from the Health and Urban Development Minister, Mr A.K. Walia.

Mr Nath was dropped from the Sheila Dikshit Ministry late last year after the Lokayukta report against the then Food and Civil Supplies Minister, Mr Yoganand Shastri, led to a Cabinet reshuffle. Mr Nath was among four ministers to have been axed then; the others to have been dropped were Krishna Tirath and Pervez Hashmi.

The ‘resurrection’ of Mr Nath as Chairman of the Trans-Yamuna Area Development Board is widely seen as the first in a couple of changes the Chief Minister is likely to make over the next few weeks ostensibly to strengthen the organisation, ahead of the Assembly poll due next year



Delhi cop murders kin in police station
Our Correspondent

New Delhi, June 30
A police constable posted at the Mayur Vihar police station in East Delhi reportedly shot dead his relative and injured a lady colleague when he fired at them inside the police station.

Police sources said that Constable Surinder, posted at the Mayur Vihar police station, fired indiscriminately at Satish who had come to meet him early today. The motive behind the killing is yet to be ascertained as there seems to be no provocation from the deceased. Surinder was seen talking to Satish before he began shooting indiscriminately. Though seriously injured, Satish made an attempt to escape. He was rushed to the hospital where he was declared dead.

Head Constable Panwati, who was also present at the time the shootout occurred, received bullet injuries. Of the 17 rounds that Surinder had fired, one hit her. She was taken to Lal

Bahadur Shastri Hospital where she was discharged after being administered first aid. A case of murder has been registered under Section 302 of the IPC against Surinder.



Auto thief gang busted, five vehicles recovered 
Our correspondent

New Delhi, June 30
A gang of six auto thieves was busted and five stolen vehicles were recovered by the joint team of the Naraina police and the Inder Puri South-West police. The police cracked down on the auto thieves following an increase in the number of auto theft cases in the area.

With the arrest of Shivalingam alias Shiva, Vasu Dev alias Tau, Joginder alias Pandit, Rajesh alias Tony, Dr Jitender Kumar Sisodiya, a RMP doctor and Udai Pal, the police have also solved six cases of motor vehicle theft.

The accused came under the police surveillance as they managed a lavish life style in spite of being jobless. Initially, a raid was conducted at JJ Colony during which Shivalingam was arrested.

On sustained interrogation, he disclosed the names of his associates and the details of the auto theft operations.

The joint police force then raided all possible hideouts in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh and recovered five stolen cars, four of which were stolen from Naraina and one from Inder Puri. The police are now on the trail of the other associates who helped these arrested auto lifters in selling the stolen vehicles.

TSR driver robbed: A TSR driver, Rajesh, resident of Gokal Puri, was robbed of his vehicle, Rs 300, driving license and a wrist watch by two assailants who hired him to take them from ISBT to Burari.

According to the TSR driver, as they were nearing the Transport Authority in Burari, the duo robbed Rajesh at knifepoint. A case of robbery was lodged at the Timarpur police station and the police have begun investigation into the case.

Suicide committed: Neeraj, a 23-year-old youth committed suicide by hanging himself in his Ashok Nagar residence on Saturday. The deceased, who was married about five to six months back, reportedly hanged himself following an altercation with his family. A case has been registered and the police were carrying out inquest proceedings.

cassettes seized: The IPR section of the Economic Offence Wing (EOW), Crime Branch, has recovered a huge quantity of pirated audio-cassettes worth Rs two lakh. The seizure was made on Mukherjee Marg in front of the old Delhi Railway Station.

The IPR section of the EOW had been receiving complaints that some vendors near the old Delhi Railway Station had been selling pirated audio-cassettes.

The information was further developed with the help of representatives of the Indian music industry. During the raid, a large number of pirated audio-cassettes of various music companies were seized. A case was registered and three accused Basant Lal, Deepak Pandey and Raju Kashyap have been arrested. The police are continuing further investigation into the matter. 


All under one roof for Bawana plot holders
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 30
Plot holders in Bawana Industrial Estate can look forward to a less harrowing time after taking possession of their plots. The facilitation centre set up by the Delhi State Industrial Development Corporation (DSIDC) in Wazirpur promises a host of services under one roof – from securing electricity and water connection to getting the plan approved by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD.)

According to DSIDC Managing Director Rajni Kant Verma, the idea of a facilitation centre is to provide maximum facilities at nominal charges to the allottees. The relocation of industries is to be completed by December 31 towards which end the DSIDC, he says, has developed close to 16,300 plots at a cost of Rs 1,100 crore. Already, says Mr Verma, letters of possession have been issued to 2,026 allottees, of whom 750 have taken physical possession of their plots. At least 7,311 allottees have made 100 per cent payment.

The industrial estate has been divided into five sectors and 77 clusters with a total road length of 143 km, which includes master plan roads and sector roads. A unique feature, he says, will be the availability of lost-cost houses for the labourers: 2,800 such houses of 28 sq m each will be constructed. Fourteen per cent of the total land area, he adds, has been allotted for recreation purposes where 71 parks will be built.



The small screen that provides a virtual home cinema experience
Our Correspondent

Philips has launched the 55” rear production TV for the first time in India. The 55 PP 925 is part of the international match line European designer series with the state-of-art features like magnabrite lens, multipoint digital convergence and virtual Dolby surround sound for a home cinema experience.

It has a stylish design with a silver finish, which matches the specific preference of the high-end consumer. Marked at an MRP of Rs 1,75,000, the TV is available in select cities only.

Signature watches

Egana India, have unveiled the latest edition of the Pierre Cardin watches for the Indian market. From the signature brand of style and haute couture, the Pierre Cardin range of watches has an offering of over 120 alluring designs. Harmony slim, Black Rouge, Roulette are few of the many designs aimed at attracting the eye.

For the glamour-conscious discerning customer, these watches come between Rs 3,500 to Rs 15,000.

Multi-symptom relief

Procter and Gamble (P&G) announces the launch of new improved Vicks Vaporub that provides multi-symptom relief for the six symptoms of a child’s cold, blocked nose, cough, body ache, headache, muscle-stiffness and breathing difficulty.

The medicinal properties of new improved Vicks have nilgiri, pudina and kapoor to provide faster relief from cold. The price remains unchanged.

Hi-tech radials

JK Tyre have launched Sona, steel belted tractor rear radials, a super technology product with potential to usher in a second green revolution.

Developed indigenously, these new tyres would enable high drawbar pull and less slippage, thus resulting in deeper ploughing, lower fuel consumption to the extent of five per cent and at least 50 per cent improvement in tyre life.

It also provides enhanced shock dampening effect and hence more comfort to drivers.

Th tyres are available in size 12.4 R28, which will soon be expanded to 13.6 R28.

Magic flow

Tupperware India have introduced two new products, ice cream cups and mega magic flow. The ice cream cups are designed for everyday use and are available in sets of four colours. Priced at Rs 375 for a set of four, the cups are easy to clean and the base can be dismantled.

The mega magic flow is a 1.1-liter liquid dispenser specially designed for multi-functional use. It’s special dripless seal ensures flow from the spout and the airtight cap keeps the content fresh for longer periods of time. The mega magic flow is priced at Rs 275.

Assam flavour

Cinestar Amisha Patel launched the new brand of Today Tea-Today Haryali Tea. With three popular brands including Golden Eagle, Amrit Tea and Today under its umbrella, the Today Tea Limited has completed 32 years in the tea industry and claims it has managed to capture 60 per cent of the tea market in the Capital. The tea is aimed at providing the consumers the flavour of the best green tea from Assam.

Ayurvedic cream

Popular skin cream, Eraser is now available in a new flexi tube. Eraser is an effective cream formulated by Ayurvedic doctors to erase not only ugly looking stretch marks but also post delivery stretch marks, scars, burn marks, under eye circles and hyper-pigmentation. The cream is available in a flexi pack for Rs 55.

Zero gravity trousers

Park Avenue has launched a new range of wrinkle free cotton trousers –Zero Gravity Chinos. These cotton trousers truly redefine lightweight comfort and can also be placed in the formal office settings. These trousers have a superior 2-ply super fine combed cotton yarn. The secret to the strength of this extremely fine fabric is a special combing technology that converts the specially selected long staple fiber into superior yarn and hence fabric. A heel tape is provided with each trouser and is to be stitched on while finishing the open length of the trouser.

The auto-lock zipper system guarantees that the trouser stays zipped always. Priced at Rs 1,495, the product comes in eight colours.

Summer mega offer

Luxor has introduced an exclusive deal this summer with a special trade pack, ‘the summer mega offer’. The pack contains a special assortment of writing instruments from LWIPL’s four popular brands- Parker, Papermate, Pilot and Luxor. With a free Kodak camera worth Rs 1,295, the pack is an exclusive offer for retailers.

With the summer mega offer, you get an enhanced margin of 26 per cent and six limited edition pens from Parker and a complete range of writing instruments from the above mentioned brands.

Some additional attractions in the pack include Pilot Super Saver packs which have a blister pack of two pilot Hi-techpoint 05 and one comfortmate pencil.

Smart wear

Imparting a smart and active look to the wearer, is the latest T-shirt collection from Lee-Cooper. The collection includes polo’s classic, crew necks with ribs, open V-necks, raglan fits, round necks, stripes and prints in a wide array of colours.

The T-shirts are available in cottons, cotton blends, mercerized cotton, yarn dyed, brushed fleece and also in textures like interlock, pique single jersey and striped. The collection is priced at Rs 399 onwards.

Juicy Crystals

Kissan has launched Orange Juicy Crystals, orange fruit juice concentrate in crystal form. These crystals taste like real orange juice and require no sugar to be added. It is also possibly the only drink fortified with iron besides providing the daily requirement of Vitamin C. These juicy crystals are available in two pack sizes of 25 gms for Rs five and 200 gms pouch for Rs 36.

Gretor’s Walkabout

Skechers, the world’s leading lifestyle footwear brand has launched 20 new styles. Targeted at teenage girls and women upto 25 years, the Gretor’s Walkabout is one of the fastest selling models from Skechers. The shoe has an EVA mid-sole that makes it light and a carbon outsole that provides durability to the shoe. The synthetic leather outer cover has the unique quality that allows breathing and keeps the feet dry and fresh. The shoes are priced at Rs 2,899.

Global joggers

Royal Sporting House, retailers of multi-brand sports and lifestyle products have launched prime selling global joggers fashion shoe range ‘Dunlop’.

The range includes sports footwear in various categories including joggers and filons in different colours and with durable inner and outer soles. The shoes are light in weight and comfortable to wear and are priced at Rs 799 onwards.

Anti-ageing trousers

Koutons have come up with anti-ageing cottons. These products are for the nine to fives and beyond. These anti-aging trousers maintain the highest standards of performance parameters against colour-fastness, UV treatments and durable press ratings. The biodegradable natural materials and Azo free dyes used are eco- friendly. The price ranges from Rs 1,095 onwards.


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