Thursday, July 4, 2002, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


Hit blames Cong, BJP for debacle
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 3
The leader of the vanquished Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) Delhi unit, Mr Avtar Singh Hit, today blamed the Congress for the Akali faction’s poor performance in the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee polls.

He also blamed the party’s ally – the Bharatiya Janata Party — in general and the in-charge of party’s Delhi unit, Mr Madan Lal Khurana, and the former Delhi Minister, Mr Harcharan Singh Balli, in particular for the SAD (Badal)’s poor performance.

“Congress has played a major role in supporting Shiromani Akali Dal Delhi, (pro-Tohra) faction, and its leader, Mr Paramjit Singh Sarna, and spoiled the genuineness of the DSGMC elections,” Mr Avtar Singh told newspersons here.

The SAD (Badal), which tried to ride on the anti-Congress wave by raising the 1984 anti-Sikh riot issue, were obviously disappointed. This despite the fact that senior Akali leaders, including the party chief and former Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, and SGPC chief, Mr Kirpal Singh Badungar, had camped here and had extensively campaigned for the party. The party could barely manage to win 14 seats out of the 46 seats for which elections were held.

Party sources said the Badal faction, reeling under allegations of corruption in the functioning of the DSGMC and the Sidhu scam, in its political wisdom thought that the Congress card would yield political mileage.

However, the electoral rout has wrought no change in the party’s strategy. The Delhi unit president continued to allege that the performance of the rival faction indicated that the Congress is trying to enter the DSGMC by hook or crook.

Projecting an alarming scenario, in which the control of the religious institutions would be in the hands of Congressmen, the SAD (Badal) leader said: “The Sikh community in the Capital is in for a bad time.”

Observers said by selectively including the names of Delhi BJP leaders for their non-cooperation in the polls, the SAD (Badal) is sending a signal that the alliance cannot be one-sided.

Mr Avtar Singh said, “In Punjab, the people have rejected the BJP as it did not perform. The SAD won 45 seats. In the MCD polls, the Akali candidates lost because the BJP workers did not come out openly in their support. As against this, the Akali rank and file had canvassed wholeheartedly for the victory of the BJP candidates. Such one-sided measures would not work.”

Meanwhile, the Directorate of Gurdwara Election has announced that the polling to elect two members from the 200 registered Singh Sabhas and the co-option of two members would be conducted before July 18. The first meeting of the general house of the DSGMC would elect the chairman and the formation of the next committee would be completed by August two.

The DSGMC comprises of 55 members, though the general elections are held for 46 wards in the National Capital Territory. Two members from the Singh Sabhas, two co-opted members elected on proportional representation, one nominee from the SGPC and four Jathedars of the four Takhts in the country are members of the committee. Except of four Jathedars, all others have voting rights.


No hidden hand in power cuts: Maken
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 3
The severe power cuts in the Capital, ever since the Delhi Vidyut Board passed into private hands on July 1, are the result of teething problems and not because of sabotage, as feared by many. This was stated here by the Delhi Power Minister, Mr Ajay Maken.

“Various factors, such as en masse transfer of employees in the DVB ahead of the July 1 privatisation, uncertainty among the contract labourers and the current weather conditions have largely contributed to the severe power cuts,’’ Mr Maken told newspersons when they quizzed him on the unprecedented power cuts.

Reports of prolonged cuts, ranging from one to several hours, have been pouring in from different parts of the Capital in the last couple of days, raising doubts in the minds of the consumers about the viability of privatisation.

Asked whether some disgruntled employees of the DVB were stoking the power crisis in order to scuttle privatisation, the minister said there was little likelihood of sabotage.

“However, there may be some lethargic and corrupt employees who may not be willing to work in the changed circumstances. But the two private companies — TATA Power and Bombay Suburban Electric Supply (BSES)— are well within their rights to take punitive action against the errant employees,” he asserted.

The minister made it clear that the Delhi Government, which had shed 51 per cent of its monopoly in the DVB, would not interfere and it was up to the companies to take effective remedial measures.

Mr Maken said he was confident that the power situation would improve soon as the two companies had the requisite expertise in power supply in Maharashtra, Orissa and parts of West Bengal. “With time, the situation will improve. Anyway, as per the deal, the two Mumbai-based companies have been fully authorised to take action to ensure proper supply of electricity in their allotted areas in the Capital,” he said.

Elaborating on the reasons for the current crisis, the minister said on June 29 the government had effected large-scale transfers at various levels in the DVB to facilitate the privatisation process. It will take some time for the employees to become conversant with their new place of posting and the problems of the area.

Besides, there was a good deal of uncertainty among the 5000-6000 contract labourers, mostly responsible for attending to breakdowns. “They are not sure whether they will be retained in the new set-up and this is causing confusion in their minds,” he said.

Mr Maken claimed the problem had also been aggravated by rain in parts of the Capital and the hot and humid conditions. And this despite the fact that monsoon is yet to descend on the Capital in all its fury.


Parents in a jam as school buses queue up for CNG
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 3
With the reopening of schools after the summer vacation, the problem of school buses, a fall-out of the CNG crisis, has also returned with a vengeance. With thousands of buses still off the roads in deference to the Supreme Court orders, the schools are finding it increasingly difficult to hire buses to cart children.

Hundreds of parents today complained that they had to wait endlessly for buses and when these did not arrive they had to make alternate arrangements to send their wards to schools.

The school authorities admitted there was a problem as the buses were just not available; and the available ones were stranded in queues at various CNG filling stations.

“The entire schedule has been disrupted as we have been informed by the transporter that the CNG situation is quite desperate. Several filling stations have either shut down or are without fuel,” the Principal of a South Delhi school said.

The Delhi Government has been claiming that there is adequate supply of CNG. Despite the claims, long queues were seen at various filling stations in the Capital and the vehicle owners alleged that the situation was unchanged for the last two months. “There has been no improvement despite the claims of the authorities of opening up additional filling stations. We still have to wait for hours to get CNG and this has sent the schedules haywire”, an irate bus driver said.

Some schools are now going in for smaller vehicles like RTVs, Tata Sumos and Qualis. Since the rates of these vehicles are much higher, the additional burden has been passed on to the already beleaguered parents. A Noida-based school has sent a circular to all parents, informing them that they will now have to pay Rs 800 per month for transportation because of this crisis.

Agitated parents are planning to take up the matter with the authorities, wondering at the same time why the schools are not willing to share their burden. Certain parents are also planning to set up an association and seek legal relief.

Meanwhile, the Gas Authority of India Ltd (GAIL) today claimed that it had augmented the supplies of natural gas to the power and the transport sector in Delhi in consonance with the directives of the Supreme Court.

Supplies to the Pragati Power Plant of Delhi Vidyut Board for power generation and to the Indraprastha Gas Ltd, the sole supplier of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG), for the transport sector in Delhi, have been augmented by one million cubic metres per day, a company statement said here.

Supreme Court had directed that help be provided for power generation on top priority and also supplies of CNG be augmented to overcome additional demand by CNG consumers.

GAIL has increased the supplies of natural gas to IGL and DVB from July 1, 2002, the release claimed.


When the Meerut jail became a virtual battleground
Prem Pal Singh

Meerut, July 3
The clash between the Ravindra Bhusa and Pramod Bhadora gangs yesterday saw the district jail transform into a virtual battleground. In the ensuing melee, several undertrials were injured. The incident is said to be the result of the tension simmering between the two gangs on their home turf, encompassing the western UP region.

The first act of the drama unfolded on Tuesday evening when members of the Ravindra gang, all inmates of Barrack no 6, were holding parleys with their respective lawyers on the jail premises. On seeing a few men owing allegiance to the Bhadora gang returning from the court, they allegedly jeered at them. Some gang members were also slapped. The humiliated Bhadora gang members scurried to their Barrack no 10.There, they narrated their ordeal. The enraged Bhadora gang members, numbering more than 300,armed themselves with sticks and stones. Putting their combined brute force to test, they tried hard to break open the lock of their barrack gate but were unsuccessful. This was followed by pelting of stones across the gate. Soon the jail premises were strewn with stones, bricks and sticks. Besides, they let loose a barrage of abuses.

On hearing the commotion, the jailer, Mr N. K. Arora, rushed to the spot with more guards to bring the situation under control. Certain inmates prodded him with sticks. Beating a hasty retreat, he gave the status report to the higher authorities. The District Magistrate, Mr P. V. Jagmohan, rushed a large contingent of the Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) to the spot with the ADM (City). The SP (City), Mr Vinod Kumar, the SMO and the SHO Civil Lines also accompanied the PAC in a bid to control the flare-up. It took more than three hours of persuasion and seven rounds of firing to retrieve the situation. Several guards were also injured in the incident. The District Magistrate has constituted a one-man inquiry panel. He has also reported the matter to the Inspector-General of Police, Jails, at Lucknow and asked him to visit the jail and take stock of the explosive situation. Several district officials were present on the jail premises but even till 11 pm the situation could not be described as normal.

Overcrowding of the jail is cited as the major reason behind the display of aggression. A jail meant for 700 is currently housing 2400.If the jail authorities do not take concrete remedial steps immediately, an incident of a more serious nature may be difficult to avert.


Cops accused of harassing witnesses in murder case
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Panipat, July 3
The Panipat police is in the dock for having allegedly “tortured” the two main witnesses in the Sonu murder case.

It may be recalled that Sonu was allegedly shot dead by a property dealer Parmanand at point-blank range on Sunday night.

Along with Rakesh, Alok, Ramesh and Satya Prakash, Sonu had gone to the shop of the main accused to ask for Rs 1.75 lakh that Rakesh had given to the property dealer for buying a house. The house in question had been sold to somebody else by Parmanand and he was dilly-dallying on returning the amount.

On the fateful night Rakesh and his friends had an argument with the main accused and his associates. In a fit of rage, Parmanand is alleged to have shot Sonu, who died at the spot.

From here the story takes a turn. Instead of acting impartially, the police allegedly forced the witnesses, Alok and Rakesh, to change their statements, so that the main accused was off the hook. According to sources, the witnesses, both residents of Rajiv Colony, were also allegedly beaten up by the police in the Model Town police station premises. They were also allegedly forced to sign blank papers.

A large number of residents of the colony, including women, today met the SP, Ms Mamata Singh, to complain about the police high-handedness and demanded action against the guilty cops.

The brother of the deceased, Mr Deepak Sharma, alleged that the witnesses were illegally detained at the police station on July 1 and pressurised to withdraw the charges against Parmanand. The witnesses were allegedly told by the police that the main accused was not even present at the scene of the crime. Instead, he was at that time attending a marriage ceremony and was arrested from the venue. “They were even forced to sign on blank papers,” Mr Sharma alleged.

“Alok and Rakesh were released late on the night of July 1 only when we threatened to take up the matter with the SP”, Mr Sharma added.


Cop posted at embassy dies of gunshot
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 3
A Head Constable of the Delhi Police posted outside the US Embassy in the high-security Diplomatic Enclave died of a mysterious bullet wound, sustained at around 7.40 am.

The Head Constable, Raj Singh, was posted in the Police Control Room van outside the embassy. Two other police personnel were present in the van, but they were unaware of the incident till they heard the gunshot.

Raj Singh was rushed to a hospital where he was declared “brought dead”, the police said.

Senior police officials, including the area Deputy Commissioner, Mr Mukesh Kumar Meena, rushed to the spot in view of the sensitivity of the area.

The police said it was investigating whether Raj Singh died in a freak accident or committed suicide. “An inquiry has been initiated to ascertain how he was shot,” the police said.

An investigation is on.


Sheila wants NRIs to set up liver hospital in Capital
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 3
Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit has requested US-based NRIs to set up a liver speciality hospital and an international school in the national capital territory of Delhi.

While addressing a meeting of the Indian community in Chicago during her recently concluded foreign tour, Ms Dikshit mooted the idea of a liver speciality hospital as no such hospital exists in north India, a Delhi government release said here today.

During her visit the Chief Minister addressed the Advisory Committee of the “Sister Cities” programme between Delhi and Chicago on June 29. She also met Chicago Mayor Richard M Daley.

An advisory committee would be formed in Delhi to monitor the programme, the release said.


Sonia Vihar plant to be ready by 2003
DJB to sell bottled water
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 3
The Delhi Government today claimed that the Rs 600-crore Sonia Vihar water treatment plant would be completed by the end of next year, which would provide enough water to quench the thirst of lakhs of Delhiites.

Launching the Delhi Jal Board website, [RTF bookmark start: _Hlt13489325][RTF bookmark end: _Hlt13489325], here today, the Chief Minister, Ms Sheila Dikshit, said the government would expedite the completion of Sonia Vihar water treatment plant and construction of a parallel canal in Haryana to solve the water shortage in the Capital.

She said the government was giving priority to the 140 mgd Sonia Vihar Plant as its completion would provide enough drinking water to the Capital everyday, mitigating the suffering of Delhiites.

Ms Dikshit said tenders had been received for the construction of the parallel 102-km-long pucca canal from Monak to Hyderpur in Haryana. This would save 30 per cent of 300-cusec water lost due to evaporation.

The Chief Minister did not rule out the possibility of DJB privatisation in the near future. She said that the government was not planning to revise the water tariff now, but did not rule out the possibility of taking such steps in future.

Meanwhile, to quench the thirst of people from various areas complaining of not getting drinking water, the DJB was planning to bottle and distribute potable water in 20-litre bottles at Rs 15 each.

Clearance was being taken from the Bureau of Indian Standards for the supply of such bottles, DJB Chief Executive Officer P. K. Tripathi said. They would be marketed within two to three weeks, he added. 


Parallel road to Vikas Marg will ease traffic jams
Nalini Ranjan

New Delhi, July 3
The Government of National Capital Territory (NCT) of Delhi has launched an ambitious plan to find a permanent solution to the acute traffic congestion on the main Vikas Marg in East Delhi and has earmarked a sum of Rs 48 crore for the purpose.

In an exclusive chat with the ‘NCR Tribune’, the Delhi Urban Development Minister, Dr A. K. Walia, said that a separate ring road, on the lines of the Outer Ring Road, and virtually running parallel to it, was being constructed from the Toll Tax post at the eastern end of the ITO Bridge to connect the latter with the Nizamuddin Bridge. The work on this road was progressing at a regular pace and it was being monitored regularly. “This will take a major chunk of the traffic going towards Noida and Greater Noida, which, at present, is forced to use the ITO Bridge and Vikas Marg,” Dr Walia explained.

To further ease the traffic and to provide additional connectivity, a straight road will be constructed between Noida and Loni and a flyover from ITO Toll tax to New Rajdhani Enclave. The ITO Bridge leading to Vikas Marg has the highest density of traffic and the two parallel bridges across the Yamuna have provided little respite to the motorists.

The Delhi Urban Development Minister explained that there was also a proposal to construct another road connecting Geeta Colony with Karkari More through Bank Enclave and Gujarat Vihar. This, he explained, would take considerable load off the Vikas Marg and will help in streamlining the traffic. At the same time, the Pontoon Bridge Road near Geeta Colony would be widened to help smooth the flow of traffic.

To supplement these measures, the Delhi Government had finalised a proposal to relocate almost 75,000 slum-dwellers from the banks of the Yamuna as part of the Clean Yamuna campaign. Most of the work on these projects was likely to be completed in the next two years, the minister said.


Retrenched workers of MITC lose hope, feel let down by unions
Bijendra Ahlawat
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, July 3
Employees of the Minor Irrigation Tubewell Corporation (MITC), which was closed down recently, have been left demoralised and upset. Although employees’ associations and their leaders have extended their support to the dharna being staged here, the affected staff members of the Haryana Government undertaking are not very hopeful about any development in their favour now.

An employee, who has put in over two decades of service in the corporation, said that this was a “gift” by the state government to the employees who had toiled to make minor irrigation in dry parts of the state a success. Although dharnas and agitation are being staged or launched against the closing down of the corporation in various parts of the state, he said the fate of its employees had virtually been closed with it.

He sees no hope of its revival or absorption of him and other employees in other government departments now, in view of the present attitude and policy of the authorities. Claiming that the future of hundreds of families of the employees had been at stake, he asked who would give them a job now as a large number of employees were in their late 40s or early 50s.

Another employee said that the retrenched staff had become helpless since the effects of the dharnas would also fade after a few days as the employees of other departments, who had now extended their support, would start backing out. There was no unity among the employees’ organisations in Haryana and the two main federations had been busy in allegations and counter allegations, he said. The Sarva Karamchari Sangh, Haryana (SKS), which represents various state government department employees’ bodies and which is considered as a Left Front organisation, had staged a dharna and a demonstration here on Monday, condemning the closure of the MITC and Small Industries Export Corporation. The other main organisation of the staff is the Haryana Karamchari Mahasangh (HKM), which also had staged a dharna in protest against the state government’s decision.

A spokesman of the HKM said here on Tuesday that his organisation would soon launch a state-wide agitation as the state government had been retrenching the staff `illegally’ and following anti-employees policies. The SKS, on the other hand, has already announced to take up the issue seriously. However, interestingly, leaders of both organisations are not ready to come on one platform or launch a joint agitation. This disunity has come to the rescue of the government directly, feels a union leader here.


Dyeing units refuse to shift despite govt’s concessions
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Panipat, July 3
The concessional rate of Rs 828 per square yard, announced by the Haryana Government on Tuesday, for plots in Sectors 29 and 30, to which small dyeing units would shift notwithstanding, the shifting of over 500 dyeing units from the town has hit a roadblock following the rejection of the government decision by the Panipat Dyers Association.

Terming the decision as “ambiguous”, the president of the association, Mr Yash Pal Malik, told ‘NCR Tribune’ today that the decision to allot plots measuring up to 300 square yards to the tiny units at Rs 828 per square yard hardly made any sense. For the medium-sized unit, an area of about 1,000 square yards was needed and the government had preferred to keep mum on the prices of the plots measuring over 300 square yards, which clearly showed that the government wanted to finish the industry rather than control pollution.

Ruling out any shifting of the units to Sectors 29 and 30, Mr Malik said almost all unit owners had reached the current status by sheer hard work and the units could not be shifted overnight. Shifting to the new place and starting from the scratch needed huge investment, which the dyers could not afford. Rather than shifting the units, owners would prefer to shut down them, which would have a crippling effect on the world-famous foreign exchange-earning handloom industry, Mr Malik warned.

It may be noted here that the Haryana Government announced the concessional rate for the small units. However, the new decision was not likely to cut much ice with the unit owners. In any case, the small units were very few in number. A majority of the units are in the industrial areas and they function from large premises and shifting them to new places might pose practical problems, besides being a costly affair.

The tug-of-war between the association and the authorities on the shifting of the units had been going on for quite sometime now and the association had been successfully blocking the administration’s moves in this regard. While the authorities contend that the units were a nuisance and a major source of pollution in the industrial city, the unit owners on their part had been claiming that they had taken all preventive measures like the installation of effluent treatment plants (ETPs) and draining of the polluted water into separate drains for checking pollution.

The government’s attitude in shifting even those units that had installed ETPs was an attempt to force their closure, the association felt. If the government was serious in checking pollution, it should rather help the remaining units to install ETPs and build separate drains for polluted water, Mr Malik added.

On their part, the authorities have already acquired the land for shifting the units and the development works were likely to start soon. The authorities want the units to start functioning from the new sectors by September 25, 2,003.


Paint unit gutted in Sector 57
Our Correspondent

Noida, July 3
A devastating fire reduced a paint and ink factory in Sector 57, Prachy Graphics, here to ashes today. The blaze also affected a couple of adjoining factories. The fire was so severe that it took twelve fire tenders from Noida, Ghaziabad, Delhi and Sikandrabad three hours to control it. All the workers of the factory escaped safely.

According to the Officer in charge of the Fire Station here, Mr R. P. Gupta, the chemicals stored in the premises and godown of the factory, located in Plot No G22-16 in Sector 57 and owned by Mr Anil Kumar, added fuel to the fire.

Four fire tenders rushed to the spot on the receipt of information. Seeing the intensity and extent of the blaze, more fire tenders were summoned from Ghaziabad, Bulandshahr, NTPC and Delhi. Due to the presence of thinner and other chemicals, the Fire Department had to use fog compounds.

The rising flames created panic in adjoining factories, which were soon vacated. The timely efforts by the firemen prevented the fire from spreading to nearby units like TRS, BR Pouch, Saral, Renuka etc.

Strangely, none of the proprietors and senior management personnel of Prachy Graphics was available at the factory to supervise operations or talk to the media. 


Recently installed lift at civil hospital out of order
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, July 3
The lift installed in the Bhadshah Khan Civil Hospital here a fortnight ago is reported to have gone out of order. According to hospital sources, this had been causing inconvenience to the patients and their attendants who have to go to the first, second and third floors. The lift had not been working properly for the past fortnight since it was installed, claimed an employee.

2 commit suicide
Three persons were killed in separate incidents in the town since Tuesday. Hosshiyar Singh of Jawahar Colony here died under mysterious circumstances. He was coming back after attending a function in Delhi. In separate incidents, Harish Chand of Chhainsa village and Sheela Devi of Ballabgarh died after they consumed poisonous substances last night. In another case, the police arrested four thieves and claimed to have recovered stolen items worth thousands of rupees.

Vend gutted
A fire at a liquor shop near the bus stand in the NIT area destroyed liquor worth several lakhs of rupees last night. According to the report lodged with the police, the fire started around midnight and it gutted hundreds of cartons of IMFL and country-made liquor stored there. Although a fire engine reached the spot, the damage was already done, said an eyewitness.

New Delhi

Branches opened
Bank of Maharashtra has opened fully computerised and air-conditioned branches in Sector 11 of Rohini and Sunder Vihar (Paschim Vihar), taking the tally of branches in Delhi to 17 and that in the country to 1,226. Mr S. C. Basu, Chairman and Managing Director of the bank, and Dr T. Das, Mr J. Oberoi, Mr Sunil Vashisht, directors of the bank, and Mr Yogesh Chandra, ex-director of the bank, were present on the occasion. Awards were also presented to those employees who have completed 25 years of service.

Principal awarded
BBPS Mayur Vihar-II has always been in the limelight, with its students walking away with top honours in varied disciplines from time to time. This time, it has been the Principal of the school, Mr B. B. Gupta, who was accorded felicitations when he was awarded the prestigious `Star of the year’ Award by the International Association of Lions Clubs.

As a conscientious member of the Lions Club, Delhi East, Mr Gupta was awarded for rendering meritorious services and putting in unstinted efforts for humanitarian causes.


10 lakh saplings to be planted in Capital
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 3
The Delhi Urban Development and Health Minister, Dr A. K. Walia, has said that about 10 lakh saplings would be planted in the NCT of Delhi this year. Of these, 7.5 lakh saplings would be planted by the Government of Delhi and local bodies while 2.5 lakh saplings had been kept reserved for free distribution to the NGOs, RWAs and educational institutions.

Dr Walia was speaking at a function under the Tree Plantation and Green Delhi campaign at Friends Colony (West) in South Delhi organised jointly by the Friends Colony Residents Welfare Association and Senior Citizens Services Forum in association with the Horticulture Department of the MCD today. The function was presided over by the Mayor of Delhi, Mrs Jaishree Panwar, while the Chairman of the MCD Standing Committee, Mr Ram Babu Sharma, was the guest of honour.

The participants also planted saplings at the park developed by the MCD by covering a 400x4 metre drain at a cost of Rs 60 lakh.

The Urban Development Minister said that despite the burgeoning population and construction in Delhi, the forest cover in the Capital had registered a record increase of 62 sq km due to the efforts of Delhi Government. The forest cover in Delhi was just 26 sq km in 1993-97, which has now increased to 88 sq km, thereby improving the environment significantly.

Dr Walia said that Delhi was one of the cities in the world where the highest number of autorickshaws, taxis and buses were being run on CNG, thereby registering perceptible reduction in pollution. The Pollution Under Control (PUC) certificate had been made mandatory for all vehicles now.

In her presidential address, Mrs Panwar informed that the MCD was developing greenery at 13,000 sites, which includes 11,000 parks. However, joint efforts of the government and the public were necessary to make Delhi a beautiful and green capital. As such, she appealed to all citizens of Delhi to plant at least one sapling and preserve it properly.


V. K. Chaudhri takes over as IOC Executive Director
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 3
Mr V. K. Chaudhri has taken over as Indian Oil Corporation’s Executive Director in charge of the northern region. Mr Chaudhri’s sojourn to the top started in 1969, when he joined Indian Oil Corporation.

A Civil Engineer from Allahabad University, he also holds a Masters degree in Hydraulics from the University of Roorkee. He has wide-ranging experience in general management, particularly in engineering, LPG and operations functions. He has held important positions in core line functions such as operations, engineering and marketing operations.

During his service of around 33 years, Mr Chaudhri has worked in eastern and northern regions. Prior to the current assignment, he was the Executive Director in charge of LPG at Indian Oil’s marketing head quarters in Mumbai.

Currently, Mr Chaudhri is heading the logistically complex northern region, covering eight states and one UT — Delhi, UP, Uttaranchal, Haryana, Rajasthan, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and Chandigarh. The turnover of this region is over Rs 34,000 crore with an employee strength of approximately 5,000.

Mr Chaudhri is the overall in charge of marketing of petroleum products by Indian Oil Corporation Ltd in the northern region with a reseller network of around 5,500 dealers.


NIMA hails Thakur’s removal from Health Ministry
Our Correspondent

Jhajjar, July 3
The National Integrated Medical Association (NIMA), Haryana, has hailed the removal of Dr C. P. Thakur, former Health Minister, from the Union Cabinet.In a press note issued here today, Dr Naresh Dalal, a spokesman of the NIMA, alleged that Dr Thakur, being an allopathic doctor himself, had been prejudicial towards Indian systems of medicine (ISM). He said that the minister had taken certain controversial decisions during his tenure that went against the spirit of ISM and hurt the professional interests of doctors holding degrees in ISM.

The spokesman stated that the draft ISM Policy 2001 and issuance of notification by the Medical Council of India in 2002 were not only an attack on the right of ISM doctors to practise in modern medicine but were also totally against the supplementation of ISM with modern medicine. These decisions affected the development of Ayurveda and other traditional systems on the line of modern scientific methods.

Villagers block traffic

Hundreds of residents of Akehari Madan Pur village here came out on the Jhajjar-Kosli road and held up traffic for nearly five hours in protest against non-supply of water today.

The enraged villagers said that they had been facing acute shortage of drinking water for a long time and the leaking pipelines had added to their woes. They blocked the road from 8 am to 1 pm. Several district officials, including the SDM, DSP and DDPO reached the spot and assured proper supply of water. They said that temporary supply would be ensured with immediate effect and the pipelines would be replaced within six months. 


Young lovers prefer death to separation
Our Correspondent

Ghaziabad, July 3
Scared by the stigma attached to their relationship and the inevitable rejection by their respective families to their alliance, a pair of young lovers chose to end their lives together than to live separately.

The bodies of a man, Sunder, and his niece (sister’s daughter) were recovered from the fields belonging to Om Pal on the outskirts of Feroz Mohanpur village under the Sihani Gate police station. The two had taken sulphas tablets to put an end to their lives.

The reason for their committing suicide was that they were mortally afraid that their families would never agree to their marrying each other, the police said.

Some letters were recovered from Sunder’s pocket. These helped the police in identifying the lovers. The girl’s father, Om Prakash, told the police that his daughter had left for her maternal uncle’s house in Noida a day before along with Sunder “We had not heard about them since then.”

The police have sent the bodies for autopsy. The girl was a graduate and working as a teacher in a school in the nearby Atore village, the police said.

Sunder, a resident of Girdherpur village in Hapur, had been living in Feroz Mohanpur village for the past about three years.

He was employed in a private company in Ghaziabad. The two had been having a love affair for the past some time, but were afraid the family would vehemently oppose this alliance when they came to know of it. So they decided to end their lives, the police said.

When they did not return from Noida, it was presumed that they had stayed back for the night, Om Prakash said. 


Man shot dead at taluk HQ
Tribune News Service

Panipat, July 3
Karnail Singh, a resident of Urlana Kalan village, was allegedly shot dead at Matlauda tehsil headquarters near here by a relative of his daughter-in-law over an argument on selling the land of the former.

According to the reports received here, Karnail Singh and his son, Lakhwinder, had a longstanding dispute over selling the land.

Today, when Karnail Singh was negotiating with certain persons for the selling the land, one of the relatives of Lakhwinder’s wife shot Karnail from point-blank range. Karnail died on the spot.

The identity of the murderer could not be ascertained immediately. However, the police have registered a case.

Meanwhile, two unidentified bodies have been found here. While a body was found from Ganjbad village from near the Refinery Bridge, another body was found from the Model Town police station area.


Network of maids, criminals behind Defence Colony robbery
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 3
With the arrest of five persons, including a woman, the South district police today claimed to have soled a robbery that took place in the house of a retired Brigadier in Defence Colony a few days back.

The suspects were identified as Sanjay Jha alias Ajju, Vikas, Mool Chand, Taiyab Ali and Reshma, the maid working at the residence of the victim. They are members of a notorious gang of Zakir, the police said.

The suspects, armed with pistols and daggers, entered the house of Brigadier R. P. Tugnait, forcibly and shut all family members and the maid up in a storeroom. Their hands and legs were tied up and robbed cash, a laptop, jewellery and a few other valuables.

The police questioned the maid at length who disclosed her involvement in the case. Other suspects were also arrested from Anand Vihar inter-state bus terminus, where they were hiding with the booty.

During interrogation, the maid also disclosed that she got the job in the house of the brigadier with the help of a washer man for the purpose of robbery. She was associated with a notorious gang of Zakir, who was arrested a few months back. Though he is still behind the bars, he operates from there. There was a network of maids who were associated with hardcore criminals of the area, the police said.

The suspects receed the area a day prior to the incident. They entered the house through the door, which was usually used by the maid.

The suspects disclosed that they were part of a local network of domestic help and servants, who were in touch with some hardcore criminals. At the behest of the criminals, they selected certain houses, especially in posh localities, with the purpose of committing robberies and burglary.

The police said that domestic helps, unless verified, indulged in such acts of crime with impunity and go scot-free as no proper records about them existed with the owner or with the local police.

Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | In Spotlight | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
122 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |