Saturday, July 6, 2002, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


SAD (B) fishing in troubled waters
Asks Bhai Ranjit Singh to assume a crucial role
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 5
The Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) today urged the former Akal Takht Jathedar, Bhai Ranjit Singh, to play a crucial role in the formation of the DSGMC Executive Committee. This is being seen as an attempt to gain political mileage out of the differences between the former Akal Takht Jathedar and the victorious Shiromani Akali Dal, Delhi, president, Mr Paramjit Singh Sarna.

“We appeal to Bhai Ranjit Singh to play a crucial and constructive role in electing the new Executive Committee on a collective basis,” said a statement issued by senior leaders of the SAD (Badal), which managed to secure only 14 seats out of the total 46.

The signatories to the statement were Mr Inderpal Singh Khalsa, who is a member of the Political Affairs Committee of the party and SGPC member, Mr Mohinder Singh Matharoo, former DSGMC president, and Mr Manjit Singh Greater Kailash, a senior leader of the party and sitting member of the DSGMC.

The significant statement by SAD (B) leaders comes at a time when the party continues to maintain its stand that it will not recognise Bhai Ranjit Singh as the Akal Takht Jathedar – the crucial factor for the failure of an earlier unity move between Mr Badal and Mr Tohra.

The leaders have issued the statement at a time when reports indicate that Bhai Ranjit Singh and Mr Sarna, despite the electoral victory, continue to harbour differences.

In the 27 wards won by the SAD, Delhi, six supporters of Bhai Ranjit Singh have also managed to go past the post. Of the five victorious Independent candidates, one supported by the former Akal Takht Jathedar won the elections.

The Bhai Ranjit Singh-Sarna differences came to the fore when the former Akal Takht Jathedar expressed his unhappiness over the number of seats given by SAD, Delhi, to his supporters.

Following the intervention of the former SGPC chief, Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra, the two leaders agreed to contest the elections unitedly.

Party sources indicated that the former Akal Takht Jathedar was reportedly demanding co-option of one of his nominees in the DSGMC.

Sources in SAD, Delhi, said the issue would be discussed only in the presence of Mr Tohra next week and his word on the subject would be final.

The Badal faction leaders, sources said, met the former Akal Takht Jathedar earlier this week in a bid to woo his support for the formation of the next Executive Committee.

Meanwhile, the newly elected members of the SAD, Delhi, last evening elected Mr Sarna as their leader and urged him to head the next Executive Committee.

Mr Sarna told his party members that the Sikh community had voted against the alleged corrupt practices of the SAD (Badal) faction and the electorate would not tolerate any move by Akali factions to go against the verdict of the people’s court.


Centre asked to supply more CNG
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 5
The Government of NCT of Delhi has to contend with a transport crisis even as it is engaged in restoring uninterrupted supply of electricity. Transport Minister Ajay Maken today wrote to Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Ram Naik seeking adequate supplies of compressed natural gas (CNG) to meet the demands of buses that ferry students. Making things worse confounded for the government is an equally agitated transporters’ association demanding of Indraprastha Gas Limited (IGL) a fair and equitable distribution of the gas, failing which the school bus service would be discontinued.

Transport Minister Ajay Maken told mediapersons IGL was supplying only 4.8 lakh kg per day as against the Supreme Court’s directions to make available 16.1 lakh kg of CNG. The Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) plies a thousand school buses to ferry students. Private contract carriages operate another 2,000 school buses.

The minister said with buses having to wait in long queues students were being picked up and dropped late. “The IGL,” he said, “has to not only beef up the supplies but also increase the dispensing capacity.” He added that there were adequate school buses and that the problem owed only to the erratic distribution of CNG.

The letter read: “CNG vehicle owners, including buses, mini buses, auto rickshaws, etc [are facing problems] owing to the grossly inadequate dispensing facility which translates into long queues at CNG stations and inconvenience to the travelling public, including school children.

The dispensing facility of CNG stations at DTC depots, whose maintenance is under IGL, faces frequent breakdown on a regular basis. IGL may be directed to immediately ensure that the compressors, etc, at the CNG stations in DTC depots are suitably geared up to meet the requirements of the DTC in the public interest.”

Contract Bus Operators Association president Harish Sabharwal said several schools had sent representations to transporters demanding the streamlining of school bus services. He said the association was asking for a separate queue for school buses or rationing of the gas (“We require 50 kg of the gas daily”) or zone-wise allocation of designated filling stations.


Satta’ gang smashed, over Rs 35 lakh seized
Parmindar Singh

Ghaziabad, July 5
The Ghaziabad Police today claimed to have smashed a betting (satta) gang. The gang used to bet on cricket and soccer matches and other political developments in India as well as abroad to the tune of crores of rupees.

The police claimed to have recovered Rs 38.90 lakh, five mobile phones, five computers and other communication equipment from the gang. According to the SSP, Mr Chander Prakash, 10 persons, including the kingpin of the gang, have been arrested. The city police had in a raid last night in Bajarya Mohalla under Kotwali police station and Ram Prasth Colony under Link Road police station recovered Rs 38.90 lakh, cell phones, computers and other equipment. The leader of the gang, Kamal Lakhani, had been to jail earlier. The police planned to take action against this gang under the Gangster Act also, the SSP said.

Mr Chander Prakash said that during the recent soccer world cup, the police had been getting reports that illegal betting was going on a large scale in the city. They formed two teams and involved the Special Operations Group also in locating the gang and its dens.


Rs 5 lakh looted from stone-crusher

Gurgaon: Three unknown assailants looted Rs 5 lakh at a gunpoint from a stone-crusher and injured two persons, including the owner of the crusher before fleeing from the scene. According to police sources, three assailants armed with revolvers and iron rods entered the office of a crusher, M/s Om Grid Udyog, owned by Rajesh Sachdeva, at Norangpur stone crusher zone at about 2 pm today. While one remained on the entrance of the crusher, two entered inside and disconnected the telephone line.

The persons at the crusher could understand what these assailants intended for. One assailant hit Rajesh’s head with the butt of the revolver and directed him to hand over the bag containing Rs 5 lakh to them. They snatched Rajesh’s mobile and took out its SIM card from it. When one clerk protested their action, they also hit him with the iron rod and butt of the revolver. They ultimately took the bag. OC


Vested interests trying to derail privatisation: CM

New Delhi, July 5
Fewer than 24 hours after ruling out sabotage for the erratic supply of electricity, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit admitted today that vested interests could be responsible for the frequent blackouts. “Vested interests within the power utility and without are attempting to create an atmosphere of sabotage,” Ms Dikshit said, alluding to the machinations of contractors employed by the companies. She, however, asserted privatisation would succeed in spite of them.

A combative Ms Dikshit said the hiccups prior to and post-privatisation of distribution of electricity would have no bearing on the roadmap of restructuring of civic utilities like the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) and the Delhi Jal Board (DJB.) “Although we have not drawn up a timetable we intend to set in motion the process of reforms,” she told mediapersons. Several parts of the Capital have had to go without electricity since July 1 after Tata Power and Bombay Suburban Electricity Supply (BSES) gained control of the distribution network. The erratic supply of electricity was attributed in part to low voltage from the Dadri power station.

Vested interests, the Chief Minister said, were “resisting change.” “Although the employees and employee unions are cooperating, certain contractors could be posing problems.” Explaining the reasons, she said the private sector’s participation placed certain demands on efficiency and service and that, she felt, could have come as a “culture shock” to many. TNS


Passengers ‘pig it’ in Faridabad bus stands 
Bijendra Ahlawat
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, July 5
While the Haryana Roadways, a leading state transport department in the country, is trying hard to come out of red, the bus stands in several places in the state are in a state of disrepair.

Faridabad district is no different. Lack of cleanliness, refreshment facilities and sitting arrangement for passengers are some of the basic issues which have not been given proper attention.

Although hundreds of passengers use various bus stands in the district on a given day, the facilities at these spots are on paper only.

A visit to the Ballabgarh bus stand, the biggest in the district which also houses the office of the General Manager (GM), Haryana Roadways, revealed that there was no proper sanitation on the premises. Water was stagnant at many spots. Banana peels and other waste products were scattered all over. There were only two fans functional at the waiting hall. It had only a couple of cement benches for the waiting passengers. As a result, the majority of commuters had been standing or squatting on the floor. The bus stand, constructed in 1984 with a budget of several lakhs, needs urgent repair. An official of the bus stand said that the dustbins had been sent for repaint. The stand has no announcement system and all the boards and plates depicting routes and buses have been under a cover of dust. Any passenger wanting a refreshment will have to come out of the stand premises as no proper food stalls were visible.

Although the general manager claimed that some of the food stalls had been running by private contractors, he admitted that there were no regular staff to mop the floor. The department was considering to hand over the work to a private body, he said.

The bus stand has a huge ‘kutcha’ ground. This results in heavy dust on the stand in summers and the area turns into a cesspool in during the rainy season.

It is reported that due to lack of a drainage system, the storm water stagnates on the premises, causing inconvenience to the passengers.

The bus stand has no proper inquiry system either, complained a Commuter. The passengers have to approach the drivers and conductors for any query, he said.

The bus stand of Faridabad also has a shortage of drivers and clerical staff. It is reported that about 14 buses had been off the road for want of drivers. This has been causing a loss of about Rs 15 lakh a month to the depot. Some of the conductors had been doing the job of clerks and accountants, said an employee.

Plying illegal vehicles and other graft cases had been causing losses to the depot to the tune of Rs 2.5 crore in 2000-2001. The general manager claimed that these losses had been brought down and it was likely to be pegged around Rs 50 lakh in the current year.


MDU slugfest: Probe ordered
Jatinder Sharma

Rohtak, July 5
The Vice-Chancellor, Maharshi Dayanand Univesity, Maj-Gen (retd) Bhim Singh Suhag, has ordered an inquiry into the scuffle between the Registrar and the Deputy Chief Security Officer (DCSO).

The DCSO, Mr Ishwar Sharma, has in his complaint lodged with the Vice-Chancellor alleged that the Registrar, Dr Sat Pal Singh Dahiya, abused and slapped him early in the morning on June 29 in the presence of his subordinate securitymen and other employees. The incident was widely reported by almost all the national and regional newspapers.

The Vice-Chancellor told the ‘NCR Tribune’ today that the Registrar has been relieved of the charge and he has asked the Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Mr J. K. Sharma, to conduct an inquiry into the allegations levelled against the Registrar.

Mr Suhag said that the report of the Chief Security officer about the incident has also been forwarded to Mr Sharma. Gen Suhag said that the post of the Registrar had been lying vacant which might be filled the next week. Most probably, he said, the new incumbent would be from the teaching faculty of the university.

The Pro-Vice-Chancellor believed that he would be able to complete the preliminary inquiry before the end of next week. He said that he would examine the witnesses and other related material before submitting his report to the Vice-Chancellor. The university plans to introduce Master’s in Computer Applications (MCA) and the BBA (Bachelor in Business Administration) courses from the next academic session. The Vice-Chancellor proposes to involve the industry in running the BBA course.

According to Maj-Gen Suhag, the industry would sponsor the students, pay their fees and also give stipend to them. The students of the BBA would spend four days a week in the industry and two days in their colleges. The Vice-Chancellor said that the proposals would be discussed in the meeting of the Academic Council scheduled to be held here on July 12 at 10 am. The Executive Council of the university will also meet the same day in Chandigarh. The meeting of the university court has now been postponed to July 22.


The poor Chiru getting the kiss of life finally
Smriti Kak

New Delhi, July 5
Having failed to protect Chiru, the Tibetan antelope from extinction as the trade in Shahtoosh continues despite an international ban, the wildlife conservationists are now contriving ways to stop the barbaric killing.

Environmentalists and activists are now seeking an alternative to Shahtoosh or the king of wool, which has of late become a symbol of style and status and is made from the skin of Chiru. Statistics reveal that each year around 10,000–20,000 Chirus are killed to obtain raw material for the Shahtoosh shawls, which can cost up to Rs 1 lakh and above. Chiru is facing extinction because of the heavy demand of its soft fur coat, which is just one-fifth the width of a human hair and is known for its warmth and good looks.

Despite the global ban, the poachers in China hunt and kill Chiru and supply the raw material to the weavers in Kashmir, who in turn use their skills to produce a masterpiece, which fetches a fortune in the national as well as international markets.

With the focus now on finding a substitute, environmentalists are hoping for a cessation in the dwindling number of Chirus. “It is because the ban is not as effective as it should have been, we are doing all we can to stop this illegal trade. We have roped in designers and started campaigns to promote Kashmiri shawls, particularly Pashmina made from the wool of goats and lambs found only in the higher reaches. We want to give the Kashmiri shawls an identity and we want to call it Kashmina,” says Aniruddha Mookerjee, Director, Wildlife Trust of India WTI.

Kashmiri weave is unique. It is totally different from the machine-made products manufactured elsewhere in the world. To protect and also encourage the product, the WTI is trying to create a special identity of Kashmiri Pashmina, which is seen as an alternative to Shahtoosh.

“The so-called Kashmiri shawls being sold in the market are more than what is being produced. This shows that we must do something to protect both the Kashmiri weavers and the weave. We have written to the government to formulate a body, which will act like a certification board. The body will be based in Kashmir and only the real Kashmiri shawls will be certified and sold,” says Mookerjee.

Experts suggest that Kashmina should be given a niche as the best produced Pashmina and should be sold with a certificate of authenticity. Switching to Pashmina weaving is an idea which 60 per cent of the Shahtoosh weavers have agreed to. They are aware of the ban on Shahtoosh trading and also of the benefits of switching over to Pashmina, less work for handsome pay.

Marketing Kashmina will also solve the economic crisis that the Shahtoosh weavers face because of the ban. “There are about 15,000 weavers in Kashmir who have been affected by the ban, and if we develop Kashmina, the unemployed or affected weavers will benefit. Even otherwise, the shawl that is so painstakingly woven does not fetch them the deserved price. The major chunk goes into the pockets of the middle-men or the traders. There is a need to protect the interest of these weavers, a majority of whom are women,” said a WTI official.


RWAs, cable operators reach pact
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, July 5
The cable operators in the town have resumed the telecast of various channels following an agreement with the district administration and the federation of various Residents Welfare Associations (RWAs) here last night.

It is learnt that the cable rates for consumers have been fixed in two categories. While the residents in colonies and smaller houses will have to pay a subscription fee of Rs 100 per month for every connection, people residing in sectors have been asked to pay Rs 200 per month.

The meeting was held in the office of the SDM, Mr Jitender Dahiya, and attended by representatives of the Cable Operators Associations and RWAs. According to the agreement, the operators would not be able to disconnect any connection on their own if any consumer fails to pay the fee by 15th of every month. The tenants in sectors have been asked to pay separately. No charges will be taken even if there is more than one TV set in a house.

The agreement seems to have given an upper hand to the cable operators, feels a section of the residents here. The Federation of the RWAs had decided to pay Rs 150 per month per consumer in all the urban sectors and had notified all the associations in this regard. The decision of allowing a fee of Rs 200 in these sectors has led to dissatisfaction among many residents. The RWA of Sector 15-A has denounced the agreement, stating that it was favourable to the cable operators only and alleged that the authorities had failed to check and keep a control over the large-scale violation of the Cable and TV Network Act by the cable operators. 


Mission to nip the tobacco evil in the bud
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Panipat, July 5
In an era when few have time to think about others, a retired teacher along with his daughter-in-law, is on an unique mission-to rid the society of the harmful effect of tobacco.

To begin with they have declared a war against smoking and launched an ambitious “Tobacco Virodi Abhiyan” to save children from the scourge of smoking. They also aim to make them a better citizen by providing good quality literature to them.

The campaign, a brainchild of Mr Brahm Dutt Tyagi, a social science teacher and resident of Hathwala village, was felt necessary after a survey by the “Baudhik Salahkar”, a monthly edited by his daughter-in-law, Ms Rashmi Tyagi, depicted a dismal picture of the smoking habits among the rural children.

The survey conducted in five villages, including three in UP, showed that about 40 per cent of children smoked in private while about 20 per cent of children smoked publicly.

Under the plan, groups of 10 children each would be formed in Haryana, UP (Ghaziabad) and Rajasthan (Nagaur) to spread the message of the ill-effects of smoking, chewing tobacco and gutka.

Mr Tyagi has taken voluntary retirement from service to devote full time to the project from August 1. The organisers of the campaign have also decided to send the monthly magazine to the member-children for one year against a nominal payment of Rs 15.

Why target children? Mr Tyagi said that smoking is the root cause for several intoxication’s such as gutka, smack and heroin.

Moreover, by nature the children were receptive to the new ideas and the end result of persuading the children was much better than the adults, he reasoned.

Terming the movement as ‘for the children, by the children and of the children’, Ms Rashmi Tyagi said there had been a tremendous response from the children towards the magazine.

She said that children in Nagaur town in Rajasthan had forced people to become part of the campaign to spread the message of “Quit Smoking”.

Though the social service bug had bitten Mr Tyagi quite early in life, yet it was the interaction with Rashmi that ignited his passion to devote his life to the service of others.

In fact, Mr Tyagi, a chain-smoker in his younger days, has led by personal example. Narrating an anecdote, Mr Tyagi said he quit smoking the day he sought admission to the B.Ed course since teachers have the onerous responsibilities of inculcating moral values in his students. How can a teacher who orders his pupils to bring cigarettes for him, prevail upon the pupils to quit smoking, he asked.

The duo also want to start a signature campaign for a blanket ban on the manufacture of gutka. When the first phase of the campaign against smoking and tobacco use is over by the end of the year, they would like to start similar campaigns against social ills like dowry and alcohol.

Even though Mr Tyagi has welcomed help from all quarters, he is hesitant in allowing the influence of the government machinery. He reasons that the entry of the government and the bureaucracy into such projects was an open invitation to corruption. 


Drug addiction spreading its tentacles 
Nawal Kishore Rastogi

Rewari, July 5
Mr Amit Swami, president of the ‘Youngmen’s Association of India’, has asserted that it was a matter of grave concern that drug addiction, which had influenced a sizable section of the youths in the border areas of Punjab and Rajasthan, had now started spreading its tentacles in various parts of Haryana as well.

Addressing a press conference here today, Mr Swami said that a recent on the spot study conducted by an eleven member team of the association in certain border villages of Punjab, revealed that nearly 60 per cent of the youths were now habitual users of one intoxicant or the other, including country-made liquor, opium, smack and pain killer tablets, capsules, cough syrup and injections.

The team also noticed some youths who inhaled dried tails of lizards in cigarettes, he added.

He further said that studies by the association showed that in certain areas bordering Rajasthan and Delhi, the menace had spread its tentacles.

He said it would be catastrophic if it was allowed to go unchecked. Hence, there was an urgent need to launch an anti-drug campaign in Haryana and nip this fast-pervading menace of drug addiction.

Making a special mention of the dwindling moral influence which elders of the society once had, Mr Swami said that the magnitude of the menace demanded a vigorous and comprehensive participation of voluntary organisations and social activists if the campaign was to successful. He also said that his association would continue to work relentlessly to save the youths, who were the real wealth of the nation from impending disaster.


Dharnas staged in region against MITC closure 
Tribune News Service

Faridabad/Rohtak, July 5
Government employees affiliated to the Sarv Karamchari Sangh (SKS) Haryana today staged dharnas in front of the offices of Deputy Commissioners in various parts of the state in protest against the closure of Haryana State Minor Irrigation and Tubewell Corporation (MITC).

Addressing the employees outside the Deputy commissioner’s office in Faridabad, the SKS vice-president, Mrs Asha Sharma, said that the statewide agitation would be intensified as the government had failed the employees of the MITC. The district president of the sangh, Mr Subhash Lamba, said that the dharna would continue till July 26.

In Rohtak too, SKS members staged a dharna in front of the Deputy Commissioner’s office. Meanwhile, the dharna staged by activists of the Haryana Karamchari Maha Sangh reached its fourth day today in Rohtak.

The demonstrators announced that the dharna would continue till all the retrenched employees of the MITC were adjusted in other departments.

Addressing the protestors, the employee leaders said the HSMITC was set up to benefit the farmers and not to collect funds. They alleged that the Chautala government betrayed the sentiments of the farmers and employees by closing down the corporation.

They claimed that their agitation had acquired support of the employees of almost all the departments and warned that they would intensify the agitation if their demand was not concerned in time. Meanwhile, retrenched employees of the corporation have been on an indefinite strike in Faridabad.


PM reminded of promises on Mayors’ powers
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 5
Mayor of Delhi Jaishree Panwar, in a reminder sent to the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, has once again demanded that the Mayors in India should be given all financial and administrative powers at par with the Mayors of European countries. She said that the 74th Constitutional Amendment was passed to make the local bodies financially autonomous and to grant more administrative and financial powers to the elected heads of local bodies so as to ensure good local governance.

Mrs Pawar recalled that the Prime Minister, while addressing the 37th All-India Mayors Conference held on January 2 this year in Lucknow, had said that though the word `Mayor’ was quite high sounding, it lacked adequate powers in India whereas the post of Mayors in foreign countries was treated as an exalted office. He then had promised to provide the Mayors with sufficient financial and administrative powers. 


Panel to probe attack on Bal Bhawan Dy Director
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 5
The Union Ministry of Human Resource Development has constituted a committee to inquire into the allegation that the Chairperson of the National Bal Bhawan here had assaulted the Deputy Director, Finance. The incident was first reported in the ‘NCR Tribune’ on June 19. The Additional Secretary, Mrs Kumud Bansal, issued notices to the Chairperson, Mr Ajay Singh, and the Deputy Director, Finance, Mr J.K. Sharma. They have been called on different dates to record their statement before the committee. Besides, a few others whose names were mentioned in the police report have also been summoned.

According to the police, the Chairperson attacked the Deputy Director, Finance on May 3 because of some differences. The FIR was lodged in the IP Estate police station. According to the FIR, the Chairperson reportedly wanted to withdraw some money from the account of the National Bal Bhawan in Canara Bank on DDU Marg. However, he could not do so because of certain technical difficulties. The Manager of the Canara Bank called the Deputy Director, finance, Mr J. K. Sharma, but he refused to withdraw money for the Chairperson as it was allegedly in violation of the by-laws of the National Bal Bhawan. The refusal angered the Chairperson who then reportedly attacked him in front of a large number of witnesses.


Arya asks for desilting of nallahs
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 5
Mr Subhash Arya, Leader of the Opposition in the Municipal Corporation of Delhi MCD, in a letter written today to the Municipal Commissioner, Mr Rakesh Mehta, expressed deep concern over the slow progress of work on the desilting of nallahs in the Capital. He recalled that May 30 was fixed as the last date for completing the desilting work. This was later extended to June 15, then to June 19 and at last to June 30. However, the work had not so far been completed. He regretted that owing to the lethargy of municipal administration, the people of Delhi would suffer during the monsoon.

Mr Subhash Arya said it had been officially said that desilting work of 298 of the 299 nallahs to have been done by contractors had been completed and that the work on the one remaining nallah was in progress. However, the factual position, Mr Arya alleged, was that about 33,000 metric tonnes of silt were lying on the banks of these nallahs, which are yet to be removed.

Similarly, one lakh metric tonnes of silt taken out of 1,034 nallahs, which were desilted by the Sanitation Department, were also lying in the open. It would be really unfortunate if the silt was not removed and it got mixed with rainwater causing unhygienic conditions as well as outbreak of communicable diseases.

Mr Arya also demanded the Delhi Government to desilt Najafgarh Drain, passing through the whole of West Delhi, immediately well before the coming rains.


KU urged to change date of MCA entrance
Our Correspondent

Rohtak, July 5
Several women candidates have appealed to the Vice-Chancellor and Chancellor of Kurukshetra University to change the date of entrance test for admission to the Master in Computer Application (MCA) course.

The affected candidates pleaded that Banasthali Vidyapith, a university for women’s education in Rajasthan, had already fixed counselling for MCA from July 20 to July 24.

Meanwhile, the entrance test for the same had been slated for July 21 by Kurukshetra University. They requested Kurukshetra University authorities to revise the date of entrance test for the MCA course so that hundreds of women students could appear.

SBI launches credit cards

A meeting of industrialists and businessmen was organised by the State Bank of India here today to mark the launch of SBI credit card. Mr R. K. Sinha, Chief General Manager, Chandigarh Circle, presented 254 credit cards amounting to Rs 9 crore and disbursed 16 housing loans to the tune of Rs 61 lakh to customers of the bank’s branches at the Panipat centre.

Mr Sinha said that the bank was taking the lead in deploying state-of-the-art technology for its customers. In this regard, the bank would be introducing internet banking and tele-banking shortly and a networked ATM would be installed at Panipat within a few days. During the current year, the bank would install 200 ATMs at various centres in the Chandigarh circle, comprising Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and Chandigarh.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr D. L. Manwani, General Manger, explained that the scheme was a new and friendly product in which cumbersome aspects such as renewals and submission of stock statements were dispensed with and the credit delivery made simple and easy. The scheme was ideally suited for industrial units, retail traders, professionals and business enterprises with credit requirements up to Rs 5 lakh.

The Chief General Manager also visited the Mother Teresa Home, “Nirmalhriday”, and distributed medicines for the inmates of the home.

Firemen’s union

New Delhi
The following persons have been elected to the executive body of the Delhi Fire Service Employees Union: Mahavir Mudgal - president; Vedpal - vice-president; Sunder Sehrawat - general secretary; Sanjay Vats - secretary; Narender Pal - treasurer; and Kamal Mehta - press secretary. Besides, the additional secretary, organising secretary and associate secretary have also been elected. They all belong to the Sunder Sehrawat panel. The elections were contested under the guidance of Suresh Kumar, general secretary, Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh, Delhi Unit, a press release said.




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.

This is with reference to the views expressed under the title "Standard of colleges is going down every passing day" by Professor Amrik Singh, a former Vice-Chancellor of Punjabi University, Patiala, and a doyen of the university system in India.

At the outset, I would like to reproduce the definition of university given by Kothari Education Commission (1964-66) as follows: "The university should be visualised as an integrated community in which the teachers are, as it were, `senior scholars', the students are `junior scholars' and the administration is a service agency to both."

There are hundreds of points coming into my mind for writing. However, I shall confine to the barest minimum. A teacher should have full knowledge of the subject which he has to teach. He should have thorough grasp of the subject of his field. In case his knowledge is half-baked and shallow, he can not earn respect from his students.

Accordingly, Nobel laureate, poet and educator Rabindra Nath Tagore has rightly said, "A teacher can never truly teach unless he himself is still learning. A lamp can never light another lamp unless it keeps its own flame burning."

The observations of Dr Radhakrishnan Commission (1948-49) are appropriate for reproducing:" No teacher who is not a master of the field who is not in touch with the latest development in his subject and who does not bring to bear upon his duties a free and untrammelled mind will ever succeed in inspiring youth with that love of truth which is the principal object of all higher education."

In this age of globalisation when science and technology are expanding at a fast pace, a teacher will have to keep abreast of the latest and for this he shall have to reorient his attitudes from being a teacher to a lifelong learner. In other words, he should be like a running stream and not a stagnant pool of knowledge.

Further, in teacher-student relationship or the teaching-learning process is such an activity in which the learner must be of an equally participant nature and should not be a dull (admitted on the basis of telephone calls from the administration) and passive receiver. Teaching when the learner is passive (hence unwilling) has been described by educationists as a kind of intellectual rape, resulting in "mental abortion".

Yet further in this relationship, I would like to use an example: A customer who makes full payment to the shopkeeper for the goods purchased but does not pick up the goods in spite of an audible voice of the shopkeeper to take his goods then the customer is at fault and not the shopkeeper.

In a similar proposition, the students who make full payment in the shape of the fee to the colleges but do not go to the institution regularly (all days) to take their goods (i.e. the lectures delivered by teachers) or if they go to the colleges, they do not attend classes in spite of being politely asked by teachers to attend the same, then the students are at fault and not the teachers.

Again in the teaching-learning process, it does not seem proper to air a grievance like the one by Pradeep Solanki, a final year B.Com student, that "Unlike Venkateshwara College, which has allotted college parking passes to the students, our college does not have that provision. As a result, many of our cars get towed away since they are parked at unauthorised places and are even there on the road." (NCR Tribune June 20, 2002).

In my opinion, administration (universities/colleges) should ban bringing cars in particular and scooters/motor cycles in general by students of undergraduate classes (B.A/B.Sc/B.Com) on the campuses. Bicycles can well serve the purpose. Five to seven kilometres is not a big distance to cover on bicycles. There are more demerits than merits while coming in their cars to attend the classes in the colleges for themselves (student) and administration/teachers.

Jumping to the administration-teacher relationship, the administration i.e. non-teaching staff - sweepers, peons, clerks, assistants and other officials must be punctual, regular and carry out their duties and assignments faithfully. They should attend the offices more than the teaching days/teachers marking attendance in the colleges in a year.

It is a wrong feeling in the minds of public in general and administration in particular that this subordinate staff to the teaching community is less paid and teachers are well/highly paid. Teachers are highly educated whereas the lower grade staff is less educated. The staff has spent very little time in days before getting employment whereas the teachers have burnt the midnight oil for several years (even decades) before entering the temples of learning (i.e. universities/colleges).

It is an open-secret position before us that a private servant at home with an emoluments of Rs 2,000 per month does more work than a peon who gets Rs 4,000 per month plus several perks in the government offices/universities.

Without going into details, it is submitted that teachers are to be recruited on the basis of merit alone, students are to be admitted, who have academic potentials, aptitude, taste, interest etc., and sincere, faithful, having helping (as they are supposed to help the teachers) and not grudging attitude, neither shirked nor going ahead with go-slow tactics, the non-teaching staff be only allowed to continue in the employment of the temples of learning.

They were appointed/brought into the higher education system to help the teachers but proving otherwise. If it is done then we must find a gradual improvement in the standards of colleges.

O. P Wadhwa, Lecturer,
Govt. College, Gohana, Sonepat

‘Haryana is not Punjab’s poor country cousin’

This is with reference to the article Why Does Haryana Continue To Be Backward by Reeta Sharma, published under Stamped Impressions in the Window pages in your paper dated June 22, 2002. In her article the author has tried to prove that Haryana is Punjab's poor country cousin and unable to match it's advancement even after 35 years of renaissance.

The idea of comparing the two states itself is silly because they are two individual entities with a distinct socio-economic structure with Punjab having the added advantage of being the parent state.

Further, the author has very loosely connected the matrimonial practices of the state to its backwardness. I am sure the author has not heard of Gregor Mendel. Mendel had very explicitly proved that character traits of personality are inherited and dominant for at least seven generations and hence inbreeding for these generations should be avoided as it might lead to congenital diseases and abnormalities. Gotras are indicative of ones patrilineal heredity. Our ancestors had a very scientific basis for devising a system of eliminating chances of such abnormalities and disease-ridden progeny by making sure that the brides and the grooms ancestors twice or thrice removed (parents and grand parents) do not match. If this scientifically based strife towards a healthy society is backwardness the whole amalgam of genetics is backward.

Secondly, the rural social structure of Haryana is even today enviably cohesive because of the concept of the villages being one big joint family, where there is total fraternity and bonhomie. This very fraternity is jeopardised if there is any type of inbreeding.

In the case cited in the above-mentioned article what at stake is these two very scientific and socially relevant practices. In fact, the truth is opposite to what has been alleged. The norms tell you to shy away from the inner circle of the gotras of your forefathers while choosing your mate rather than circumscribing you with in a few gotras. This can hardly be termed casteism. The author has further questioned the relevance of panchayats today and has suggested that the traditional role of panchayats be passed on to legal courts. The customs, traditions and mores of a region are an amalgam of it's religious, social economic and political conditions and are indicative of its distinct identity, the fine of nuances which cannot be viewed in the wide perspective of a common judicial system and better be left alone.

The author in the above- mentioned article has deeply hurt the sentiments of the people of Haryana by her ignorance and bias. Sir, I would be grateful to you if you could publish my views and redress the grievances of the people of Haryana.

Dr. Susheela Beniwal,
Hindu Girls College, 

Voltage blues

Our company has its office on the premises of the Container Corporation of India Ltd (Concor) on the third floor. We have not had any regular electricity supply for the past one month. Our computers get conked off as and when electricity makes an appearance. The voltage exceeds 300 volts. Our refrigerator has been damaged. The working of the AC is out of the question.

Obviously, in the absence of electricity our business has suffered enormous losses. The electricity problem is not limited to our office alone. The entire third floor has been hit. Interestingly, the third floor is well-known as the export zone of Concor. The ground floor, which houses the administrative offices of Concor, has been functioning normally with regular supply of electricity.

Will the Bombay Suburban Electricity Supply, which has taken over from the DVB, kindly come to our rescue?

Capt Vinod Kapoor,
New Delhi


Ghalib Memorial poll

The Delhi Government is sleeping over the election to the managing committee of the Ghalib Memorial Cooperation Group Housing Society Ltd, Delhi-34

where only the part-time administrators are appointed. Consequently, the committee’s work has suffered for the last one decade.

The election to the managing committee should be held as early as possible.

Jarnail S. Dullay,
Pitampura, Delhi

Phenomenal hike

There has been a huge increase in postal rates between 1997 and 2002 as indicated below:




Hike in % age


15 P

50 P



60 P

Rs 6


Postcard Letter

Re 1

Rs 5


Inland letter

75 P

Rs 2.50


Book Post

Re 1

Rs 4


Competition postcard

Rs 3

Rs 10


Parcel 500 gm

Rs 6

Rs 19


Registration fee

Rs 6

Rs 17


Even with the steep increase in postal rates, there is no improvement in postal services. A letter takes a minimum of three days to reach its destination, even if may be at a small distance.

About a decade back, dak was delivered the next day, even when despatched from Mumbai, Kolkata or Chennai.

The rate of printed post card has increased by 1,000 per cent. This is a phenomenally high increase. These post cards are mostly used by the public for conveying obituary notices/messages to their near and dear ones.

The contents are printed after purchasing blank post cards. The interesting part is that if such obituary messages are hand-written on the postcard the rate is 50 paise only. The rate of Rs 6 for the printed postcard is not justified and should be reduced to 50 paise.

O.P. Sharma

Plea for power

It was painful to learn that there is an acute shortage of water and electricity in the two big hospitals of the Capital ie Safdarjung and AIIMS.

As a matter of fact, patients who are suffering from serious ailments visit these hospitals from across the country. They are already in pain. They cannot bear more distress due to inadequate power and water supply.

I appeal to the authorities concerned to take measures to solve these two major problems at the earliest.

Subhash C. Taneja,



Inderpuri woman’s murder solved, one held
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 5
With the arrest of one person, the South-West district police today claimed to have solved the sensational robbery-cum-murder of a woman in Inderpuri area. Ritu Verma (27), resident of Inderpuri, was found lying in a pool of blood in her house. Though the police took her to RML Hospital, she was declared brought dead. She had four stab injury marks on her body — two on the neck, one on the left breast and another on the middle of upper abdomen..

The police found that the entry into her house was friendly since she had offered tea to the accused. The police arrested the accused, Kapil (name changed), from Saharanpur. His three associates are still at large. The accused confessed to the murder and said the motive behind it was robbery.

Stamp papers forged

The Economic Offences Wing of the Crime Branch has nabbed a stamp vendor, who was selling ante-dated non-judicial stamp papers by affixing forged stamps of different stamp vendors of Delhi for Rs 50 more than the actual price.

The accused, Liyakat Ali Khan, was nabbed from Old Court Compound, Parliament Street, on a secret information. The police sent a decoy customer to buy the forged papers and then nabbed the accused.

Salesman commits suicide

Amit Gupta (18), who worked as a salesman in a saree shop in Chandni Chowk reportedly committed suicide by consuming poison in his house in Katra Mashroo in Dariba Kalan area of the walled city last night. A suicide note was recovered from him. The note stated that his failure to marry the girl with whom he was having an affair, led him to take this extreme step and no one should be held responsible for it, the police said.

Five robbers arrested

The Hauz Qazi police arrested five robbers, while they were planning to commit a dacoity, last night. They were identified as Davender, Sunder, Mukesh, Manoj and Brijpal. They are in the age group of 20-25 years. Three country-made pistols were recovered from them.

In another incident, the IP Estate police arrested one Mohammad Jameel on the charge of robbery. The police are looking for his two associates. They reportedly robbed one Manoj Kumar who was going to New Delhi Railway Station from ISBT. The autorickshaw driver was also involved in the robbery. He has been arrested.

Two vagabonds killed

Two persons died after a group of six persons, armed with chains, rods and knives, attacked three vagabonds sleeping on a footpath at Kashmere Gate last night. Though the victims were taken to the Trauma Centre, two of them succumbed to their injuries. Two of the victims were identified as Ashok and Sanjay. The suspects were in search of one Bombaia, a man of a different group. They asked the victims about his whereabouts. When they showed their ignorance about Bombaia, the suspects attacked them. A case of murder and attempt to murder has been registered.


Woman burnt to death by husband, in-laws
Our Correspondent

Jhajjar, July 5
A newly married woman was reportedly burnt alive allegedly by her husband and his relatives for not fulfilling their demands of dowry in Matenhale village of the district today.

According to the police sources, the deceased, Beena, was married to Ashok Kumar last year by her brother in Taoru village. Her husband reportedly used to harass her for bringing more dowry from her brother.

Beena reportedly telephoned her brother in the morning today that her husband had been torturing her and she was confined in a room. She suspected that she could be murdered and asked her brother to come immediately.

Her brother rushed to her house but found only the body of his sister when he reached around 10 am. The woman was burnt to death after being doused in kerosene by her husband and other relatives.

The district police have registered a case of dowry death against husband Ashok his, sisters Munni and Roshani and Shiv Charan, Roshani’s husband. While Ashok was arrested, the other accused are still at large.


Dyers not warm to concessional plot rates
Tribune News Service

Panipat, July 5
When it comes to defending the indefensible policies of the Om Prakash Chautala- led INLD government, the District Public Relations Office (DPRO) seems second to none. A case in point is the latest concessional rates announced by the government for the plots in Sectors 29 and 30 in the Industrial Area here for shifting of the dyeing units.

Even as the Panipat Dyers Association, the apex body of over 400 dyeing units, has rejected the concessional rate of Rs 828 per square yard, the DPRO yesterday issued a press statement saying the new rates were welcomed by the dyeing unit owners.

True to its image of shooting off press notes which were far from the truth, it has quoted one NC Jain as saying that ‘the decision would go a long way in reducing pollution in the city.’

Incidentally, Mr Jain reportedly does not own any dyeing unit. How honestly he could speak for the dyeing units is left for the DPRO to answer?

Mr Jain also has said that the common effluent treatment plant (ETP) to be built by the government would reduce the problem of pollution. However, Mr Jain is silent on what would happen to scores of ETPs set up by the dyeing unit owners.

It may be recalled that Mr Yash Pal Malik, president of the Panipat Dyers Association, in a chat with the NCR Tribune on July 3 had categorically stated that the dyeing unit owners would rather shut down its units than shift to Sectors 29 and 30. He had also rejected the new concessional rates for the units measuring up to 300 square yards. The unit owners had been fighting a tug-of-war with the administration over the shifting of units which contributed to the pollution of the city to a considerable extent.

Moreover, the DPRO press note further claimed that the recent decision had been welcomed by several other dyeing unit owners. However, it fails to name them, giving rise to doubts about its impartial nature. 

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