Sunday, July 7, 2002, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


DVB privatisation: The more it changes...
Ravi Bhatia and Ramesh Ramachandran
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 6
Six days after the privatisation of the Delhi Vidyut Board (DVB), which was intended to relieve Delhiites from perennial power cuts, the situation remains much the same as before. Worse, populist politics has come to the fore yet again, holding the Capital to ransom. Impromptu public demonstrations and a general disenchantment have contributed in no small measure to Delhi resembling a city almost under siege.

Even those in the government who were backing the privatisation of the power utility for more efficient distribution are now questioning, in private, whether the new players would be able to deliver in the backdrop of the Assembly elections that are only a year away. It is apparent, according to observers, that the effort is to walk a tightrope – of keeping the bosses happy and the vote bank in good humour.

Intriguing also is Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit’s reneging from her public statements on the issue. After vehemently denying sabotage as one of the reasons for the frequent blackouts, she has since begun to grudgingly admit that vested interests could be attempting to create panic. Stopping short of naming those “vested interests”, Ms Dikshit spoke about conflict of interests – between the priorities of the private sector and the concerns of “people resistant to change”.

Although a combative Chief Minister has reiterated that the hiccups pre- and post-privatisation of distribution of electricity will have no bearing on the roadmap of restructuring of civic utilities like the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) and the Delhi Jal Board (DJB), murmurs of discontent are already becoming audible from a section of her party’s legislators.

The fear of antagonising their respective vote bank (read slum dwellers and migrant workers) and the demands of retaining that edge over political rivals ahead of next year’s Assembly elections are rendering certain Congress legislators restless. Add to that the Bharatiya Janata Party’s eagerness to derive political mileage out of the episode, and the cauldron of politics is already on boil.

The BJP has time and again raked up the issue to corner the party in power. The verbal duel reached a feverish pitch after former Chief Minister Madan Lal Khurana joined issue with Ms Dikshit to question her government’s motives and haste in handing over the distribution of electricity into private hands. Allegations and counter-allegations were the order of the day for days on end in the run-up to the privatisation of the DVB on July 1.

The erstwhile DVB was losing up to Rs 1,200 crore annually to pilferage and leakages. Ironically, the government agencies themselves were to blame for letting things come to such a pass. Besides, the legislators who were only too keen to ‘light up’ the slums and JJ clusters falling in their constituencies. To cap it all, the contractors employed by the power utilities found it convenient to milk the organisation dry.

Confounding also is the silence of Tata Power and Bombay Suburban Electricity Supply (BSES) throughout this week. With consumers clueless, public outrage was only expected what with helplines and complaint centres not responding.

The Chief Executive (Infrastructure Finance) of the BSES, Mr J.P. Chalasani, admits that there remain certain outstanding issues that need immediate resolution. He, however, defends himself from public criticism by saying that the companies owned and run by the private companies and the government were working in tandem to stem the rot.

For the genuine consumers who regularly pay their bills, all this politicking is meaningless. Their only concern is to get the very basic of the civic amenities — uninterrupted power supply — so that they can properly make use of the gadgets they have spent a fortune on.


Mango Festival begins in Capital
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 6
The 14th Mango Festival 2002 was inaugurated by Ms Sheila Dikshit, Delhi Chief Minister, at Convention Hall, Ashok Hotel, today. Also present on the occasion were the Minister of Tourism, Mr Ajay Maken, the Chairman of the DTTDC, Mr Romesh Sabharwal, the MD and CEO of the DTTDC, Mr Rajeev Talwar, and other dignitaries.

The seat of the empire for centuries, royal patronage ensured that Delhi remained the epicentre of the country, attracting the best of the palatable fruit. Delhi Tourism showcases this rich and diverse cultural heritage by holding a series of festivals during this year. The two-day Mango Festival is organised by Delhi Tourism in July every year to celebrate the advent of the King of Fruits.

Speaking on the occasion, the Chief Minister appreciated Delhi Tourism’s efforts to take the mango far beyond its culinary delights and said the festival helped to explore deep into the reasons as to why only mango, among the many other fruits, came to occupy the special status that it had in India. The festival brought to the fore the comprehensive reach of the mango, which was beyond exotic taste, she said.

Mr Romesh Sabharwal, Chairman, DTTDC, said that the festival not only created awareness among the Indian masses, especially the new generation, about the latest on mangoes but also was an occasion for interaction among mango growers, purchasers, processors, traders, horticulturists, exporters and government agencies that gather under one roof from various parts of India. Mr Rajeev Talwar, MD, DTTDC, said India was the largest producer of mango accounting for over 50 per cent of the world production, which was estimated to be 10 million tonnes.

Though India exported large varieties of fresh mangoes, all of the produce that was targeted for export did not adhere to the standards due to certain constraints like inadequate packaging and post-harvest management technology, he said. Delhi Tourism would in the future festivals try to tap this and bring into focus the areas involved, he added.


Land sharks hand in glove with officials
Ravi S.Singh
Tribune News Service

Gurgaon, July 6
The office of the Chief Minister, Haryana, is quite concerned about the alleged flouting of recommendations made by a high-level committee, set up to look into the irregularities in the construction of a number of buildings with the collusion of authorities and the land mafia. The scam would probably run into several crores of rupees if the anomalies were to be computed.

Following complaints, the DIG, CID, Haryana, investigated a number of buildings after the INLD formed the government in the state. The investigations revealed the construction of 89 buildings, carried out during 1996-99 when Mr Bansi Lal had been in power. The buildings were illegal. Certain buildings had come up in gross violation of the Municipal Act and its bylaws. The buildings concerned are within the municipal limits of the city.

After the office of the DIG, CID, conducted its investigations, the matter was discussed at a meeting of the Haryana Cabinet. With the approval of the Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, the Urban Development Department got the entire case investigated by a three-member committee headed by its Additional Director, Mr M. L. Kaushik. The committee also found that of the 89 buildings, the construction of 10 of them was in total violation. These could not be regularised by compounding the violations under any circumstances. The committee recommended that they had to be demolished.

Constructions on a majority of other buildings were in gross violation and those portions could not be regularised either through the method of compounding fees. The panel recommended that while the areas under gross violation had to be demolished, the violations of lesser categories might be regularised after levying heavy monetary penalties.

The committee gave its findings that the irregularities could not have come about without the alleged collusion of some influential quarters. It strongly recommended that the responsibility for this should be fixed and any functionary of the Municipal Council found guilty should be penalised.

The sanction for constructions on the aforesaid buildings was only for simple residential houses. But in their place were built multi-storeyed apartments, plazas and commercial joints. After the committee had submitted its report, the then DC was apprised of the situation sometime in September last year. His office, however, did not take action for about a year. During the last days of his posting here, he regularised three of the buildings by ratifying resolutions of the Municipal Council. 


Misdirected purchases ail PGIMS
Jatinder Sharma

Rohtak, July 6
Underutilisation of equipment, misdirected priorities in purchase, lack of medicines and other items required for patient care besides favouritism in rewarding loyalist employees have become the order of the day in the Pt B. D. Sharma Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences (PGIMS), the only government-owned medical college in the state. Nearly a year ago, the institute got an ambulance equipped with monitors, ventilators and other patient care equipment on the pattern of Apollo Hospital, Delhi, at a cost of approximately Rs 16 lakh. The ambulance was also air-conditioned and meant for transporting seriously ill patients who could be provided treatment during transporting the patient. Till date, the ambulance has not been used for carrying a single patient.

It is parked in the open and the scorching sun of May and June might have destroyed the highly sophisticated electronic equipment in the ambulance.

Similarly, the PGIMS purchased a CT Scan in March 2001 at a cost of Rs 3 crore. More than a year has passed but the machine has not yet been installed. This is despite the fact that the other CT Scan machine in the hospital is more than 10 years’ old and the quality of its films has become very poor. As a result, the poor patients have to get their CT Scan done from outside. There are allegations of deliberate delay at the behest of private CT Scan owners in the town.

The PGIMS, the only government-owned medical college in Haryana, has no Intensive Care Unit for children, who constitute a large chunk of patients. The lack of an ICU for children and ventilators was pointed out even by the Medical Council of India (MCI) during one of its inspections. Tenders were floated by the Director, Supplies and Disposals, Haryana, for the purchase of ventilators for the Paediatrics Department in March. But just before the placing of the orders for the ventilators, the then Director through a fax message urged the Director, Supply and Disposals, to drop the move for the time being.

On the contrary, four patients monitors purchased by the Cardiothoracic Surgery Department a few years ago and utilised very sparingly are being upgraded from push button to touch screen type at a cost of Rs 16 lakh. The proposal was reportedly approved by the repair committee of the institute on June 25 though it is said that this would not provide additional facility to the patients. If the department wanted touch screen type then why did it not purchase this type of equipment in the beginning rather than spending Rs 16 lakh at a later stage?

The same department has purchased an echocardiography machine with transoesophygeal facility at a cost of Rs 85 lakh in March last. Needless to say that surgeons do not do echocardiography anywhere in the world and the lone lecturer in the CTVS Department has no training in the use of echocardiography machine. Echocardiography is already being done by the Departments of Radiology, Cardiology and Medicine in the institute and all of them have echocardiography machines.

There are hardly any medicines and other items available to the poor patients in the hospital attached to the PGIMS. Patients have to buy everything from stitching sutures to medicines from the market.

The boundary wall of the PGIMS campus was breached recently at 17 places. On the main Vidya Sagar Road linking the PGIMS with the Delhi Road, there are four big breaches in the boundary wall. Private persons are using the government land for storing building material. The iron grills as well as the stones that made the footpath have been removed.

An unauthorised parking lot has been provided in the green belt in front of the shopping complex of the institute despite protests by the contractor who has taken the parking lot contract at a huge price.


Behind bars, cells keep them connected
Parmindar Singh

Ghaziabad, July 6
A number of hardcore criminals lodged in the district jail at Dasna carry mobile phones. They do not want to lag in the world of communication revolution!

The police have recently arrested two criminals for a robbery worth lakhs of rupees in the western UP Udyog Vapar Mandal agency. The robbery plot was made by two history-sheeters and a student leader, all lodged in the jail, it is reliably learnt.

Five criminals had come to the Namkeen agency of the Vapar Neta, Tilak Raj Arora in the Kotwali police station area at night on June 2. They decamped with Rs 4 lakh worth of valuables, mobile phones, watches and rings by tying Tilak Raj Arora, his father Dina Nath and three others.

In this connection, the police have arrested Nitin Khora from Raj Nagar and Jugnu, alias Ashwani, a resident of Nehru Nagar, C, Block. They claimed to have recovered Rs 10,000 from the house of Nitin which he was going to give to the wife of a criminal, presently lodged in jail.

The conspiracy for this loot was made by a murder accused Yudhaveer Bata, student leader Dushwant Sharma and Dharmveer, said Kotwali SO Mohinder Singh Negi.

He said that on the night of the crime, Manish, a Delhi youth was contacted on the same mobile phone. It was only on getting his telephone number that the police could reachthe criminals.

The police found another cell phone number in his mobile phone, which is being used by Yudhaveer Bata in jail.

It was only after tapping Bata’s talk, the police realised that he was able to communicate with his family and other accomplices.

Another criminal Raja, the elder brother of Yudhveer Bata, got his bail cancelled and went back to jail while the police were trying to take him on remand.

Although the Dasna jail authorities have the means to jam the phones, the criminals are able to use them with ease, a sad reflection on the jail management.


Punjab official’s guard dies in mishap
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 6
Personal Security Guard of Chairman of Punjab Roadways Transport Corporation and DG level IPS officer of Punjab cadre, Jarnail Singh Chahal was killed while his family members and driver of his official vehicle injured seriously in an accident on Lodhi Raod crossings early this morning.

The security guard, Lal Singh died on the spot. The injured were admitted to AIIMS where their condition is serious. They were identified as Harinder Kaur (49), two daughters Sonia and Awasjeet and grandson Zoravar. They were going towards Nizammuddin in Gypsy (PB-11N-0044).

The victims came to the Capital to meet one of their relatives and were travelling alone. The PRTC Chairman was in Punjab and had been informed by the Delhi Police. He is expected to reach the Capital this evening. This is not the first fatal accident that Lodhi Road crossings has witnessed. Earlier this year, five youngsters were killed in an accident there. A few years back, famous BMW accident case took place in which six labourers were killed and grandsons of a retired naval officer were allegedly involved in the case. However, Lodhi Road crossing has yet not been included in accident-prone area list.

The accident took place about 4 am when the victims were going towards Nizamudding in an official vehicle of Mr Chahal. As soon as they reached the crossings of Lodhi Road near Dyal Singh College, an allegedly speeding Toyota Qualis which was coming from behind, hit the vehicle disbalancing it by the impact. Security officer was sitting next to the driver Man Singh. Driver of Qualis who has not been identified yet was also injured and admitted to the same hospital. The police have not disclosed so far as to whose vehicle he was driving.

Driver of the erring vehicle, Gaurav Dagar, has been arrested. Two youths, Punit and Jatin, who were sitting in Toyota Qualis, were also injured. They were admitted to AIIMS from where they were discharged after first-aid.


Water woes upset Speaker
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 6
Water woes have not left untouched even the Speaker of Delhi Legislative Assembly.

Chaudhry Prem Singh today summoned Delhi Jal Board (DJB) officials to the Assembly Secretariat and berated them for showing utter disregard for public health. “Drinking water is scarce,” “sewage lines have not been laid,” “garbage has not been lifted,” “drains are not desilted” … he thundered. “People are feeling unsafe about their health,” he added for good measure before rounding off his verbal onslaught.

Most Delhiites would share the Speaker’s sentiments. So would a majority of the legislators. What remains unsaid though is that the meeting was chaired more by the Member of Legislative Assembly from Ambedkar Nagar than by one holding the exalted office of the Speaker as the proceedings later turned out to be.

Chaudhry Prem Singh, who holds the distinction of being elected every time he has contested an election, chose to devote substantial time to highlighting the travails of people who constitute his electorate in Ambedkar Nagar. At the receiving end of the Speaker’s ire were Deputy Commissioner Manoj Kumar, DJB’s Member (Finance) Vinay Kumar Jha, Chief Engineer G.C. Nandwani, Superintending Engineer A.K. Jain and Chief Engineer (South) S.C. Gupta.

Expressing displeasure over the manner in which the DJB was functioning, the Speaker pulled up the officials for not paying attention towards the public grievances in Madangir and Ambedkar Nagar. The problem of blockage of sewers and overflowing of sewage in Dakshinpuri, Ambedkar Nagar and Khanpur, he said, had become common, owing to which the residents were made to live in perpetual agony. He also rapped the officials for not making available potable water to the residents .


Villagers taking to blockades to highlight grievances
Bijendra Ahlawat
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, July 6
The non-development of rural areas and alleged callous attitude of the authorities towards the problems of these areas have forced the villagers to come out on the roads in protest. Two incidents in the past four days, which led to the blockade of roads, including the National Highway 2 (Delhi-Mathura road) in the district, have given a clear cut signal that the patience of people has a limit and the situation could turn for the worse if not taken care of.

The first incident that took place at Banchari village near Hodal town on July 3 was somewhat serious in nature. While the people resorted to pelting stones, the police lathi charged the mob, injuring several persons. The villagers had blocked the National Highway for over two hours in protest against the inadequate supply of water and power.

The Deputy Commissioner, Mr Anil Malik, who visited the area the next day, was told by the villagers that the officials of various department did not listen to their problems and had failed to take proper measures to provide relief. Residents and panchayat members of villages like Banchari, Bhulwana and Mitrol complained that there was shortage of drinking water in their villages.

They also claimed that while the roads were in a bad shape, the power supply was also very poor. The Power Department had failed to upgrade the transformers in the areas where the load had increased over the years, it was claimed.

The Deputy Commissioner later held a meeting and asked the officials to remain vigilant towards their job and responsibilities.

In the other similar incident, residents of Piyala village blocked the Sikri-Piyala road here on Friday in protest against the non-repair of the roads passing through the area. While the blockade was lifted after the intervention of officials, who assured that the repairs would start soon, the protesting villagers claimed that there was no other means left for them to highlight their grievances.

Mr Mahender Singh, a retired teacher of a nearby village, said that coordination between the panchayats and authorities concerned had been missing.

He said both the parties must be in touch regularly to ensure the completion of pending projects and to take up new ones. He said although `darbars’ were held, the implementation of the decisions had not been proper as accountability was not fixed on the officials concerned and no follow-up action taken if there was delay or non-compliance.


Simmering discontent due to water, power crises

Jhajjar, July 6
A strong undercurrent of resentment has been brewing in the entire district on account of severe shortage of water and power crisis. The resentment could snowball into a major anti-establishment wave if the authorities in the district fail to redress the grievances of the people. However, all that the district administration is doing is underestimating the resentment among the people and treating them as non-issue.

There have been regular road blockades and demonstrations against the authorities. However, they have tried to pass the buck by giving false verbal assurances, mainly to pacify the passions of the agitators protesting against water and power crisis in the district.

The indifferent attitude of the officials may lead to disturbance in the district, which could slip out of hand at any time, particularly in this politically volatile atmosphere when the Opposition parties have no shortage of issues to embarrass the government.

According to available information, about 200 villages have been severely hit by the water crisis.

Although water supply schemes of the Public Health Department (PHD) has covered almost 90 per cent of the villages, barely 10 per cent of the targeted population have been served by the schemes.

However, officials have reasoned that they too have been grappling with two major difficulties in the process of supplying water: shortage of raw water from canals and unavailability of electricity.

Mr M.K.Bansal, Executive Engineer, PHD, explained that his department was in no way responsible for the incident of traffic jam in Akehari Madanpur two days ago.

In fact, shifting the blame, he said waterworks has dried up due to the non-availability of canal water for the last two weeks. To make the matter worse, the erratic and long power cuts has made their electric motors nonfunctional, he said.

However, the people complained that this was not an isolated incident. Demonstrations in Silani, Kasani, Barani, Jahajgarh and Sainik colony in the town, clearly show that while the resentment among the people is growing rapidly, the district officials have thought it best to handle it like a routine law and order problem.

The executive engineer admitted that the district was facing an acute water crisis but did not have any idea how to deal with the frequent road jams.

Mrs Kanta Kaushik, the district spokesman of the Congress Party, said that the district was facing the worst ever water and power crisis in recent history. She said that the people had no option but to express their resentment in a violent manner. Clearly, she said, water is a major issue here as political leaders are flooded with such complaints during public meetings.

Mrs Kaushik, however, admitted that the district officials could do little to ease the crisis as its solution lay with the political leaders of the state.


Girls go missing, villagers block roads over police inaction
Our Correspondent

Jhajjar, July 6
Two teenaged girls reportedly disappeared under mysterious circumstances from their house in Talao village of the district last night.

Hundreds of villagers arrived in the town and put up blockades at various points in protest against the sluggishness of the district police to track down the person, who was being suspected to have allured the girls and taken them away, despite being informed about the incident in time.

According to information, two daughters of Ram Bir, aged 16 years and 19 years, had gone out for a walk late last evening but did not return for a long time. Their parents and other villagers started a search for them and the police were informed.

A letter written by one of the girls indicated they had eloped with one Raju of Baharana village. Though the police took the suspect in custody and grilled him, they later ruled out his hand in the disappearance of the girls.

The villagers, on the other hand, complained that the police did not act swiftly after being informed about the incident.

A large number of residents from Talao village arrived in the town in the morning and blocked Beri road, Rohtak road, Jahajagarh Chowk and the road in front of the Deputy Commissioner’s office, alleging police inaction.

The police have sent five teams to different places to track down the girls and the other accused involved in their disappearance.


Chamba valley: A treasure trove of ancient remains
Our Correspondent

On the banks of the Ravi, way back in 920 AD, King Sahil Verma founded a wonderland named after his favourite daughter, Champavati. Chamba, as the place is now known, has enchanting beauty pervading all around, whether it is the Ravi that stirs through the mainland or the higher reaches where you can stretch and almost touch the sky.

Chamba, an ancient capital of the Pahari kings, is situated at an altitude of 996 meters. Alight a flat mountain shelf, is the valley with a treasure of ancient remains. In the centre of the town lies the playground called the Chowgan, which is a grassy field about 805 metres in length and 73 metres wide, where people gather for meeting on occasions such as social, political or religious functions and also hosts the famous Minjar mela.

Chamba has managed to secure its cultural heritage and civilisation. Till date, the people remain rooted to their beliefs and convictions, which are made visible through their customs and practices. The Himalayas seem to nurture Chamba, protecting it from the invasion of time thereby helping it retain its cherished and ancient culture.

Apart from the scenic beauty, the things worth appreciating in Chamba are the magnificently carved ancient temples. The most famous and impressive of these are the six temples built in a row near the palace. While three of these are dedicated to Vishnu, the remaining are Shiva temples. Shikhara or spires make these temples visible from far and also are a distinguishing feature, which differentiates them from the other temples. The grand Laxmi Narayan temple, which is also the oldest temple, is an example of consummate and transcendent workmanship.

Chamba is the starting point for many of the treks into the interiors of the hills. There is a 30- km long winding path from Dalhousie to Chamba through Khajjiar, which passes through thick deodar forests. A road branches off from here to Kashmir through Baderwah, and another to Pangi valley over the Sach Pass.

Among the places to see are Bharmour, the capital of erstwhile Chamba state during 7th century and still retains the ruins of old castles and nearly 84 Shivalingams. Situated 64 km away from Chamba, is known as the homeland of Gaddi ( Shepherds) tribe. This place is also used as a base camp for short trekking routes. The place offers assistance and inputs to those who wish to go on mountaineering and trekking expeditions.

From Brahmour, one can also trek up to the centuries old sacred place, Manimahesh, the abode of Lord Shiva. A short, but steep, 13-km climb along a source stream of the Buddhal, reaches upto the lake, which stands at 13,500 feet. Brahmour is Shivbhoomi, Shiva’s heartland, and the Gaddis consider Lord Shiva their guardian shepherd. Manimahesh is a regular pilgrimage and amongst the Gaddis, legends abound of encounters with Shiva and the violence of his displeasure, as manifested through avalanches and the like.

Then there is Manimahesh lake, situated at the base of Mani Mahesh Kailash Peak (5656m.) and is one of the highest lakes in Himachal Pradesh . It is a place abuzz with activity during the month of August-September when a Chhari Yatra is held.

Also in Brahmour are the Chaurasi Temples, a conglomerate of temples dedicated to Lakshmi, Ganesh, Manimahesh and Narsing. According to a legend, Chaurasi yogis visited Bharmour during the reign of King Sahil Verma. Pleased with the King’s humility and hospitality, the yogis blessed the king with ten sons and a daughter Champavati.

Then there is the Chattrari temple, though mostly rebuilt, it stands dedicated to Shakti. The sculptures suggest post-Gupta influence from central India. Cedar columns are fashioned with pot and foliage motifs . Enshrined within the sanctuary is a large 8th century brass image of Shakti; the goddess is richly adorned with jewels and a crown. There are also attendant figurines and a brass image of Shiva.

Regular buses link Chamba with Dalhousie and Pathankot. Chamba is 56 km on the right bank of the Ravi from Dalhousie and 122 km from Pathankot. Chamba is 80 km from Pathankot by rail, which in turn is connected with Jammu, Delhi, Calcutta and Mumbai. The nearest airhead is Gaggal airport, 10 km from Kangra town on Pathankot-Manali highway.


Cancer and the religion of love

A cheerful heart is good medicine; but a downcast spirit dries up the bones”, is an ancient proverb that speaks volumes about the connection between the state of mind and health of the body. It is a perspective comment on the link between health and happiness.

The inward happiness of a cheerful heart can give us the strength and courage to endure and to overcome ill health and other adverse personal circumstances. In fact, happiness does not depend upon one’s material conditions or circumstances. When conditions become difficult and life becomes hard it is the inner disposition of an individual, his morale and spiritual strength which really matter; for that will determine whether the person will be victorious or sink under the weight of adversity.

Pain and sorrow are very much part of existence and as one writer put it: “To live is to suffer, to survive is to find meaning in the suffering”. The other day, one young paediatrician, who had just taken up a job in a hospital, was shocked to discover during a medical test that she has breast cancer. This writer was at the residence of a senior government official, who had won several awards for distinguished service but now afflicted by cancer. He was bitter and angry against God. “I have led a righteous life and done nothing to deserve this’’, he contended.

In the course of writing this piece, I receive another bit of news: The young sister of a neighbour, ailing from the same sickness for a while had died. If only you look around you will see cancer is spreading like an epidemic and it is as dreadful as ever.

How does one comfort those who are in such unenviable situations? Human beings are poor comforters, but then how does one help these afflicted ones to face the challenge? Sickness and a serious sickness would inevitably lead to sorrow and anxiety. But it is no use getting angry with God; that is no solution. The Alcoholics Anonymous, an organisation working among alcoholics, makes use of a prayer that is relevant to our subject. It runs thus: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I can’t change, courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.’’

This is far from resigning to a hopeless situation. It is accepting the suffering gracefully and even using it for a greater appreciation of life and its opportunities. Such suffering in fact turns out to be a motivation for living life to the full. The threat of death plays the role of a teacher, for it goads us into appreciating to the utmost that we have or can do today. Man’s deepest need is to love and to be at peace. Living with the knowledge that we are going to die someday means that we may choose to give something to the world. In the process we develop an inner sense of worth that helps us to achieve goals that improve the quality of life. We find ourselves striving to have things work out well for others and ourselves.

Dr Bernie S. Siegel, MD, has written a book, Love, Medicine and Miracles, in which he says that a person who believes in a benevolent higher power has a potent reason for hope and hope is physiologic. Faith replaces worry with hope and hope revives and releases healing forces within the body.

Norman Cousins in Anatomy of an Illness says his experience of being a counsellor at a medical school revealed that patients were reaching out not just for medical help but for hope to give them the courage to battle their disease.

Doctors are not usually inclined to “try God’’ in the initial stages of a man’s sickness, but might hint at the usefulness of faith when the situation is desperate. Dr Siegel recounts from experience that it is far better to make a connection with the spiritual beliefs of the patient earlier when the job is easier. It is an acknowledged fact in all religions that faith has power to move mountains. Spirituality is the means by which faith building spiritual resources are put to use to speed up recovery.

In the 1930s, specialists in psychosomatic medicine began to learn that a host of physical illnesses were caused by envy, jealousy, self-centredness, resentment, hatred and fear. These are negative emotions, which go against the laws laid down by the creator. Each religion prescribes ways of eliminating the evil within: Through meditation and prayer, through repentance and reconciliation, true spirituality has a liberating influence, setting us free from our pride, selfishness, hatred, fear and such other negative qualities, which hold us in bondage perpetually. For living the life abundant, we need to be set free from these dark elements then we are free to love and serve as God intended.

“I am convinced that the only Hell which exists is the inability to love,’’ observed the famous Russian novelist Dostoyevsky. Such people feel a profound emptiness inside.

“I feel that all disease is ultimately related to a lack of love or to love that is only conditional, for the exhaustion and depression of the immune system thus created leads to physical vulnerability. I also feel that all healing is related to the ability to give and accept unconditional love,’’ concludes Dr Siegel, giving case histories which demonstrated the wonderful healing power of love.



Tata Steel win National Management Games
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 6
Tata Steel, Jamshedpur, won the National Management Games (NMG), 2002, organised by the All-India Management Association (AIMA) at Amity Business School, Noida, on Friday. Tata Steel wins the games for the second time in a row. Siemens, Gurgaon, was declared the first runners-up and BHEL, Bangalore, the second runners-up in the all-India competition in which over 100 companies participated this year.

This year’s winners and the first runners-up will now compete at the Asian Regional Management Games (RMG), scheduled for October 4 this year in Singapore.

The NMG is a computer-simulated business management game wherein teams compete with each other on business situations created by specially developed software, Chanakya, by the AIMA. This software incorporates specially created scenarios to focus on the development of skills and conflicting situations that compel the participants to take decision on pre-determined rules of behaviour.

The AIMA has been offering these simulations to corporates and business schools as a tool to hone the decision-making skills of the managers in simulated competitive environment.

The games were first conducted at the regional level at Bangalore, Mumbai, Kolkata and New Delhi and the finals were conducted at the Capital. The winners of the NMG regional round were Siemens Ltd, Gurgaon, Maruti Udyog Ltd, Gurgaon, Indian Oil Corporation, Faridabad, and National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, from the North, Tata Steel, Jamshedpur, from the East, Tata Power Company, Indian Oil Corporation, Vadodara, and Castrol India, Mumbai, from the West and Indian Oil Corporation, Vadodara, and BHEL, Bangalore, from the South.

Mr M. S. Ramachandran, CMD, Indian Oil Corporation, who was the chief guest on the occasion, gave away the prizes to the winners at the valedictory function, which was held at Amity Business School, Noida.

Indian Oil Corporation Ltd and Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd sponsored the event under the aegis of the AIMA, while Amity Business School, Noida and MMTC Ltd co-sponsored the event. Patton Ltd and Eveready Industries Ltd instituted the prizes to the winners respectively.


Police clueless about snatching of Rs 2.4 lakh
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, July 6
No arrest has been made so far in connection with the looting that took place on Friday near Palwal town. Two motorcycle-borne youth fled after snatching Rs 2.40 lakh from an employee of a petrol pump.

Although a case has been registered and investigation launched, it is reported that the police are clueless about the criminals so far. The culprits, who had used an unnumbered motorcycle, escaped towards Faridabad side after the incident. It is reported that the robbers had been following the victim, identified as Dushyant Kumar, working at Bhardwaj Petrol Pump at Palwal town, and cornered the victim’s scooter and pushed him down to the ground after throwing chilli powder in his eyes. As the employee fell on the ground, the youth snatched the bag containing the cash and fled on the mobike. The victim was going to deposit the cash in the bank.

This is the third such incident in the Palwal area in the past about three months. Earlier a steel trader and a businessman had been robbed at gunpoint.

DC reviews works

The Deputy Commissioner, Mr Anil Malik, took stock of the various development works being undertaken in the town today. He visited the spots and reviewed the progress made so far.

The projects visited by the Deputy Commissioner included Renniwell water scheme, treatment plants for purifying the polluted water under the Yamuna Action Plan, the `dairy’ colonies being constructed outside municipal limits and the `Transport Nagar’ being set up in Sector 58 to decongest the town of the trucks and heavy vehicles. He asked the officials to complete the schemes within the specified time period.


MDU council

The Haryana Governor-cum-Vice-Chancellor of Maharshi Dayanand University (MDU) has nominated Dr Ramesh Chander, Vice-Chancellor of Bundelkhand University as member of the Executive Council of MDU. He replaces Dr Markandey Ahuja, Director, Baba Mastnath Eye Hospital, Asthal Bohar, whose term was to expire on January 1 next year. No reasons have been assigned for cutting short the tenure of Dr Markandey Ahuja. Dr Ramesh Chander will be a nominee of the Chancellor on the Executive Council. The Chancellor has also nominated Prof Nirmal Singh, Reader, History Department, Jammu University, on the Executive Council of MDU in place of Dr Tarsem Lal, IAS (Retd). The two-year term of Dr Tarsem Lal was to expire on August 1. The newly nominated members will now attend the meeting of the council scheduled to be held at Chandigarh on July 12. 


L-G launches DDA’s Vana Mahotsav
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 6
Delhi Lt-Governor Vijai Kapoor launched the tree plantation drive, Vana Mahotsav, of the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) today in the Master Plan Green Area, Lado Sarai, M. B. Road by planting a sapling. A large number of schoolchildren and senior officers of the DDA also planted saplings on the occasion. Mr O. P. Jain of INTACH was also present.

Speaking on the occasion, Lt-Governor informed that the DDA would plant five lakh saplings during the ensuing monsoon season all over Delhi. Due to the increased urbanisation and increased pressure on land, forests had vanished. Therefore, it was essential that open spaces were greened properly, he said.

Explaining the role of children, he said that the association of children in greening was essential not only for education and awareness but also for protecting and nurturing the green environment. He desired that the survival rate of trees should be increased. Appreciating the selection of saplings planted, he said that all of them were indigenous varieties and were good for the overall vegetation of the area.

Mr P. K. Hota, Vice-Chairman of the DDA, said that the authority was committed to green the Capital and that during the current year, 20 per cent more trees would be planted as compared to earlier years.

It may be mentioned that the DDA has created a large network of greens all over the Capital contiguous to the built-up area. Delhi is the greenest city in the country with 19 per cent green cover. The greens are developed as per the population and in the form of Regional Parks, City Forests, Sports Centres, Neighbourhood Parks and Play Grounds. Every year, the DDA organises Vana Mahotsav during the monsoon season.

This year the plantation is planned to be taken up as under: North Zone: Park and Plantation at Ashok Vihar Phase-IV, Pitampura District Park, Ismail Khan Park.

South Zone: Green belt at Sarita Vihar along Road No 13 A, Siri Fort Complex, Jasola District Park.

East Zone: District Park and Green belt at Nand Nagri, Smriti Van Kondli Gharoli, Vasundhara Enclave.

West Zone: Mango Orchard at Nangloi, Vikas Puri Park, Janak Puri Park.

Urban Extension Projects: District Park at Sector 20, Rohini, Green Belt A-6, Narela, Green area Sector 13-B, Dwarka, Rohini Park.

Lt-Governor also released a booklet on the occasion titled “Greens by DDA”, which gives details of all the greens so far developed by the DDA and also the details of the plans of tree plantation being undertaken during the current year, 2002-2003.


Goel thanks PM for hike in CL of Delhi cops
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 6
The Union Minister of State, Mr Vijay Goel, has expressed gratitude to the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, and the Deputy Prime Minister, Mr L. K. Advani, for restoring the 15 days’ Casual Leave for Delhi Police personnel.

Mr Goel had been raising the demand to increase the number of Casual Leave for Delhi Police personnel for the last 10 days as personnel in the Central Police Organisation had already been given this benefit whereas the Delhi Police personnel, who had to work in difficult situations, were yet to get it. The earlier 10 days’ of Casual Leave had affected the morale of Delhi Police personnel.

Mr Vijay Goel had taken up this issue with the Home Minister, and also raised it at the meetings of the Standing Committee attached to the Home Ministry. The Commissioner, Delhi Police, Mr R. S. Gupta, also had a meeting with Mr Goel on Friday. Delhi Police personnel in large numbers have also expressed their gratitude to Mr Goel for taking up the issue.

Mr Goel said that as a representative of Delhi and Union Minister, he would continue to take up their reasonable demands with the government so that their morale could be kept up.

Increasing the number of Casual Leave was a long-standing demand of Delhi Police personnel. They had made separate representations to senior police officers and the ministry. 


Teenager shot dead in scuffle over car parking
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 6
A boy died today after he was shot by an unknown person during a scuffle over car parking. The victim Asjad (13), resident of Samaipur Badli, was rushed to Babu Jagjiwan Ram Hospital but was declared brought dead.

The fight broke out when a person, Najakat Ali (35), resident of the same area, had an argument with his neighbour’s sons. In the melee, someone suddenly fired a shot at the boy.

Burglaries solved

With the arrest of one person, the South-West district police today claimed to have solved two cases of burglaries in the Delhi Cantonment area. The accused, Suresh alias Bunty, was found involved in two thefts in the area. He had allegedly stolen some jewellery and cash from two houses.


Criminal shot dead during encounter
Our Correspondent

Ghaziabad, July 6
The Kotwali police in Hapur shot dead one criminal in an encounter on the Nizampur bypass in the wee hours of Thursday while two of his companions escaped under the cover of darkness. The police also seized a motorcycle, cartridges, a pistol and a country-made revolver from the slain criminal.

Police Circle Officer R. C. Sharma said that a police Gypsy was checking vehicles on the bypass when a red colour motorbike was seen coming. When it was signalled to stop, the three desperados accelerated the vehicle, turning it towards the Bulandshahr road. It was chased and surrounded with the SO of the police station, Mr B. K. Singh, arriving on the spot in his jeep with his force from the other side.

On being surrounded, the criminals started firing at the police party and attempted to flee after abandoning the motorcycle. The police returned fire in which one of the criminals was killed on the spot. His two companions succeeded in fleeing, Mr Sharma said.

Although the police combed the entire area, they could not find the duo. The police claimed to have found an Italian pistol from the motorbike along with cartridges.


Gangster shot dead in broad daylight
Our Correspondent

Meerut July 6
An alleged gangster was shot dead by 3 unidentified youths in broad daylight on Saturday. The man, identified as Dhiraj Gupta, was the son of Mr Gyanchand, a resident of Bhrampuri police station area.

Allegedly, the 35-year-old Dhiraj Gupta was a known history sheeter and had several charges of murder and extortion cases against him. He was also named in the well-known Dharma murder case and was facing trial in the case. Reportedly, three youths came on a red coloured Hero Honda motorcycle and fired at Dhiraj Gupta, who received 3 bullet on his chest. One of the assailants was wearing a black trouser and a white shirt.

Dhiraj Gupta was rushed to the Kamna Nursing Home and was declared brought dead by the doctors. The city SP, Mr Vinod Kumar, along with the SHO of the Bhrampuri police station rushed to the spot. 

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 |