Thursday, July 25, 2002,
Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


Sarna spikes appointments
Getting down to business
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 24
Meaning business from the word go, the unanimously elected Delhi Gurdwara Management Committee president, Mr Paramjit Singh Sarna, today cancelled the recruitment of over 900 persons and suspended the promotions of employees in various gurdwara-run institutions immediately after assuming office.

Mr Sarna, who announced the formation of Gurdwara Judicial Board, on the pattern of the SGPC judicial board, said, “All recruitments and promotions over the last two years would be reviewed and excess staff would be retrenched. We want to make the DSGMC an economically viable body and want to reduce wasteful expenditure,” he said.

Mr Sarna, the head of the SAD Delhi, said retired Delhi High Court judge, Justice Jaspal Singh, would head the three-member board. “It would go into all the financial dealings of the DSGMC during the past two years,” he said.

Stating that the board would function as a watchdog, he said, “It would keep track on the function of each member of the DSGMC. It would also entertain complaints from the members of the community against any member, who violated the Sikh code or has misused his powers for pecuniary or other benefits.”

Announcing the formation of autonomous Educational Council, he said the body would have overriding powers for the recruitment, appointment and promotion of educational staff in the DSGMC-run institution.

“The body would come out with the ways and means of improving the educational standard of the DSGMC-run schools and colleges, which has deteriorated over the years,” he said.

As the DSGMC body is constructing multi-crore super specialty hospital there was a suggestion from rival SAD (Badal) faction leader, Mr Manjit Singh Greater Kailash, for the formation of an autonomous Medical Council. The general house of the DSGMC, which had assembled to elect the new executive members, immediately accepted the proposal and passed it with voice vote.

With SAD (Badal) extending unconditional support to Bhai Ranjit Singh and the former Akali Takht Jathedar sticking to his demand of “anyone except Sarna,” as DSGMC president, efforts were made by the two Akali factions to woo the newly elected members of the rival faction and the five Independents.

The SAD (Badal) had a shot in their arms when the supporters of Bhai Ranjit Singh invalidated their votes resulting the defeat of Mr Harinderpal Singh, a close confidant of the former SGPC chief, Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra.

The former SGPC chief, who had been fighting the cause of Bhai Ranjit Singh’s reinstatement and also resulted in the split of SAD, today expressed his disappointment with the stand then taken by the former Akal Takht Jathedar. “It was not the right stand. It resulted in the victory of SAD (Badal) candidate,” he said. The volte-face in Bhai Ranjit Singh’s stand occurred early this morning, when it became clear that his demand would have a damaging effect on his political career and there was not enough numbers for the formation of an alternative committee, which would be against the verdict of the community. The former Akal Takht Jathedar left the Capital this morning for Punjab lest he should face angry protests.

The historical Gurdwara Rakab Ganj, where large number of supporters of both the Akali factions had assembled, heaved a sigh of relief as the news of unanimous election of Mr Sarna spread. There was jubilation amongst the supporters. Even SAD (Badal) supporters were satisfied as their party candidates had been accommodated in the new executive committee.

Further, the SAD Delhi faction succeeded in winning over Shamsher Singh Sandhu of the SAD (Badal), who has been made the Senior Vice-President. The party has also won the confidence of most of the Independents. As per the DSGMC tradition, four SAD (Badal) members - Bakshish Singh Rohini, Jathedar Surjit Singh Chandni Chowk, Hardool Singh, Saran Singh – were nominated as members of the executive committee.

Executive Committee members

The following are the members of the DSGMC Executive Committee. Mr Paramjit Singh Sarna, President, Shamsher Singh Sandhu, Senior Vice- President, Mr Gurcharan Singh (Gatka Master), Vice-President, Bhajan Singh Walia, General Secretary, Dr Harmohinder Singh, Joint Secretary.

Other members of the executive committee were Waryam Singh, Manmohan Singh Mohini, Gurmeet Singh Meeta, Satpal Singh, Hardool Singh, Manmohan Singh Kochhar, Avtar Singh, Saran Singh, Bakshish Singh Rohini and Jathedar Surjit Singh Chandni Chowk.


Meerut erupts over ‘custody death’ 
Prem Pal Singh


Meerut, July 24
Several people today gathered at the Eves Crossing in the heart of the city and protested against the death of a Municipal Corporation sanitation worker. The angry crowd pelted stones on the police officials and blocked the main road of the city. Several people and police personnel were injured in the incident. The mob even set ablaze a police jeep and smashed windows of some vehicles.

According to the reports, a municipal worker Raju, 45, was arrested by the Daurala police two days back on the charge of theft. However, Daurala police handed him over to the Civil Lines police while the incident occurred under the Lalkurti police station.

The Civil Lines police booked him under the Arms Act and challaned him. He was reported to have been tortured on the police station premises. He was sent to jail later. As he was down with high fever, jail superintendent V K Tripathi transferred him to the district hospital. He succumbed to his injuries there while same eyewitnesses said that he had been brought dead. The news of his death spread fast. Several persons of the Balmiki community to which he belonged, gathered on the main road and blocked it. The mob accused the Civil Lines and Daurala police of committing atrocities on Raju. They gheraoed the Superintendent of Police (city) and circle officer. Soon the mob smashed the windows of several vehicles. Many persons were also beaten up. The crowd soon headed towards the DM’s office. They torched a police jeep and pelted stones on the police party.

The senior superintendent of police rushed to the spot and a large posse of provincial constabulary was also deployed. The unruly crowd demanded the registration of a case of murder against the guilty officials and conducting the post-mortem exam of the body by an expert from the medical colleges. They also sought a compensation of Rs 2 lakh for the family of the deceased.

In a bid to disperse the mob, the additional city magistrate ordered lathi-charge. At least 13 persons and nine police personnel were injured. The district magistrate has imposed Section 144 cr pc in the city. The situation was still tense.

Meanwhile, the workers of the Municipal Corporation decided to stop the sanitation work of the city. Senior police officials were quite concerned as the deceased was detained by the police on the charges of theft while he was booked and challaned under Arms Act. He was picked up and beaten up at least for two days while no entry was made in the general diary of the police.


SYL Canal to be completed, come what may: Chautala
Our Correspondent

Rewari, July 24
The Haryana Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, has asserted that after the verdict of the apex court, no power on earth could prevent the completion of the SYL Canal as well as the flow of the long-withheld rightful share of its waters into Haryana. He made this announcement at a massive rally in Bawal, 14 km from here on Tuesday.

Making a dig at the Punjab Chief Minister Capt. Amarinder Singh’s recent ‘unsavoury’ utterances in this regard, Mr Chautala remarked that his Punjab counterpart did not believe in democracy as blood of kings flowed in his veins. It was clear otherwise that the verdict of the Supreme Court was unassailable, unalterable and binding on the parties concerned in democratic India. He also said that a review petition filed by the previous Punjab Government had already been dismissed by the apex court. The Chief Minister said that the SYL Canal was their right and rights could not be secured by merely asking, rather they had to be usurped.

At the same time, he said that it would be nice on the part of the Punjab Chief Minister if he, like the big brother, made things easy for Haryana to accomplish the completion of the SYL Canal and help it get its rightful share of waters without delay. Earlier, the Chief Minister unveiled a statue of Dr B R Ambedkar at the venue of the above rally in Bawal. A purse of Rs 21,000 was presented to him on behalf of the organising committee.

The Chief Minister was accompanied by the Haryana Local Bodies Minister, Mr Subhash Goyal, the Minister of State for Health, Dr M L Ranga, Rajya Sabha member Rao Man Singh and senior officials of the government.


Head Constable clubbed to death in police station
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 24
Head Constable Paramhans of the Civil Lines police station was bludgeoned to death by a person who was brought to the police station as he was making a nuisance atop the roof of the Metro railway station under construction in the area late on Tuesday night. The Head Constable is reported to have died instantaneously because of the repeated blows to his head with an iron rod. The suspect, Sahdev Bhuria hailing from Bihar, has been arrested. He is said to be mentally unstable. The Head Constable was sleeping in the reporting room of the police station at that time and was alone. The brutal killing has sent shockwaves through the rank and file of the Delhi Police. The senior police officers are now issuing instructions to all police stations to ensure that the suspects brought to the police stations are properly guarded.

The body of the head constable was handed over to the family after the post-mortem examination.

According to the police, a call was received around 9 pm on Tuesday night that a man had climbed atop the roof of the Metro station and was making a nuisance by screaming and threatening to blow up the entire city. A police posse was immediately dispatched to the spot. After a lot of efforts, the suspect, an unemployed daily wager, was overpowered. Subsequently, he was escorted to the Civil Lines Police station by ASI, K. A. Khan. He was made to sit in the reporting room while the police officer went to report to the Additional Station House Officer. Head Constable Paramhans, who was on duty, had taken the opportunity to snatch forty winks. He was unaware of the presence of the suspect. As soon as the ASI left the room, the suspect reportedly picked up the iron rod lying nearby and smashed the sleeping policeman’s skull.

The incident was discovered when the other policemen heard the loud thuds of the rod. They rushed inside the room and overpowered the man. The police said that a case of murder had been registered against him and he was being referred to the doctors to ascertain his mental condition. 


Ministers stumped by CM’s sop
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 24
The chief minister’s desire to extend unemployment allowance to youth domiciled and educated in rural Delhi has opened a Pandora’s box for her in general and her Cabinet colleagues in particular. Not only has Finance Minister Mahender Singh Saathi to resort to arithmetic jugglery to earmark the funds out of the state’s resources but his Cabinet colleague and Development Minister Haroon Yusuf is still to resolve the prickly issue of laying down the criteria for becoming eligible to receive the dole.

Sources in the Department of Finance claim to be in the dark about the chief minister’s decision to extend unemployment allowance. “We have received no intimation in this regard,” is the staid response to queries. “The question of making the necessary budgetary allocation arises only after our minister is apprised of the decision,” they added. If officials in the finance minister’s office are clueless, their counterparts in the Department of Development headed by Minister Haroon Yusuf are equally, if not more, confounded. The question engaging their attention : Who is eligible for the allowance, and the criteria to be adopted for the same.

There are an estimated 240-odd villages in the rural belt. And another like number of urbanised villages. Should only the youth “domiciled and educated” in rural villages be eligible for unemployment allowance? And here again, how should domicile be defined? Acknowledging that they have a problem on their hands, sources nevertheless said the contours of the policy would be defined in due course of time.

Meanwhile, Finance Minister Mahender Singh Saathi has nominated seven members on the committee that will examine the sales tax regime and recommend the model of introducing self-assessment scheme for the benefit of the trading community.

The panel comprises four representatives of the traders and three officials of the Government of NCT of Delhi. They are Additional Commissioner (Sales Tax) CP Tripathi, Assistant Commissioner (Sales Tax) VP Gupta, Assistant Commissioner (Sales Tax) Prakash K Panda, President of Forum of Delhi Trade Associations Vijay Gupta, Secretary of Forum of Delhi Trade Associations Ajay Arora, General Secretary of Forum of Delhi Trade Associations Rajinder Gupta and Mahinder Jain of the Paper Merchants Association.


Haryana curbs on plot registration
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, July 24
In a landmark decision that could have far-reaching implications, the Haryana Government has banned registration of residential plots measuring fewer than 1,000 square yards, located in private colonies. This step has been taken to check growth of unauthorised colonies in the urban areas. According to revenue department sources, the decision will affect the development of private colonies or the residential areas having sizes from 50 square yards to about 500 yards. Hundreds of plots of private colonies do get registered at a tehsil office like here every month, said an official.

On condition of anonymity, he said the decision could be as ‘suicidal’ as that of imposing prohibition in Haryana in 1996.

The government, on other hand, is reported to be concerned about the growth of unauthorised colonies in urban areas in past few decades. Residents of such unauthorised colonies start demanding regularisation from the civic bodies after a few years, although such colonies hardly fulfil the norms laid by the government for a proper residential area in a town.

The authorities have demolished several colonies and unauthorised clusters that had come up on government land illegally. About a dozen well-developed colonies and two dozens of jhuggi colonies have been razed by the Huda and MCF authorities in Faridabad alone in the past about two and half years.


Ban on goods vehicles from July 27
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 24
The Delhi Police today clamped a ban on entry of all inter-state goods vehicles into the national Capital from July 27.

The ban comes nine days after the Supreme Court issued notices to the Delhi Police and the Delhi Government for not implementing its earlier directions.

An order passed by Deputy Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Satish Golcha said that only those inter-state goods vehicles would be allowed to ply which, on payment of toll tax, carry goods to and from Delhi. Those found violating the order will be turned back.

The Supreme Court had issued the ban directive in December last year.


Vinod Khanna plays the spiritual franchiser
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 24
For a man who has renounced greasepaint for the more greasy world of politics and jettisoned a flourishing career in the tinsel world for the Osho brand of spiritualism, the visit to Oshodham in New Delhi today was an exercise in self-acceptance and enlightenment.

On a personal and, possibly, a mundane plane, for Mr Vinod Khanna, Minister of State for Culture and Tourism, aka Swami Vinod Bharti, it was a trip down memory lane as he listened to a staple Osho excerpt on how not to become a slave of one’s passions.

Along with Swami Vinod Bharti, hundreds of Osho lovers from around the country had converged at Oshodham in the Capital where Ma Yoga Neelam, Osho’s secretary for India, is leading the Guru Purnima celebrations.

He was greeted by Ma Yoga Neelam and presented with Osho’s signature, emblazoned in bronze, and a maroon robe on the occasion.

Later, addressing a gathering of sanyasins, the minister reminisced about the time he had spent with the enlightened one. He recalled that he had the fortune of learning meditation at the feet of his master Osho. Working as a gardener at Rajneeshpuram in the US was also an exercise in self-discovery and meditation for him. His quest for the inner self again propelled him into the tinsel world and, finally, into the political arena.

Mr Khanna was happy that the Government had entrusted the job of culture and tourism to him.

He underscored that the country has a vast reservoir of spiritual energy, which could be harnessed by the entire world. The Osho centres, he hinted, could act as a springboard in this exercise.

“We can create a suitable atmosphere and proper infrastructure to invite the whole world to learn yoga and meditation in India. We have infinite resources about which we are not aware of. Osho meditation centres around the world could also help create this awareness,” he said.

Swami Vairagya Amrit and Ma Dharm Jyoti are also assisting in conducting this meditation camp at Oshodham and it will conclude on Sunday, 28th July. Swami Anadi and Maneesh, the famous musicians from Pune, are leading the celebration with devotional songs dedicated to the guru.


Power shortage increased by 3.1 per cent
Our Correspondent

New Delhi, July 24
Power shortage in the national Capital has increased by 3.1 per cent during the first fortnight of July. The power supply position in Delhi was by and large comfortable with marginal shortage of 1.7 per cent, Minister of State for Power Jayawanti Mehta said in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha today. Ms Mehta added that because of the delayed monsoon and the consequent increase in the power requirements of Delhi, energy shortage had increased by 3.1 per cent.

Besides the special assistance provided to Delhi from different sources to meet its summer requirements, additional allocation, including 10 per cent (22 mw) from Rajasthan Atomic Power Project, was made in June and July this year to further augment the availability of power in Delhi, she said.

The Minister of State for Home, Mr Vidyasagar Rao, said that the traffic police had introduced a system of kiosks at three locations where people could deposit fines through cheques. He added that to make it safe, the challans issued were cancelled only once the banks had cleared the cheques. The payment facility at these locations was available for 24 hours a day for relief to the commuters.

There were 19,338 Kashmiri migrant families staying in the Capital. Of these, 238 migrant families were staying in 14 camps and the state government had reported that the conditions in these camps were satisfactory and all facilities, including water, electricity, health camps, sanitation were being provided to these families in these camps. Mr Rao stated this in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha.

He added that the government had not received any report to indicate that migrants were falling prey to a number of diseases and that their birth rate had declined while their death rate had increased.

Mr Rao also informed the House that the Transport Department of the Government of NCT of Delhi had launched an intensive drive against polluting vehicles from July 1. He said all motor vehicles after the expiry of a period of one year from the date of its first registration were required to have a ‘pollution under control’ certificate as per the provisions of Rule 115 (7) of the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989.

The Delhi Police had been prosecuting all motor vehicles, which were not found carrying this certificate. He added that the 415 pollution-checking centres authorised by the Government of NCT of Delhi had an estimated combined capacity to check three million vehicles in a period of three months. This estimate was based on the assumption that every centre conducted 100 pollution checks per day for 75 working days in a period of three months, he said. 


Sheila leaves for London to ink pact
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 24
Delhi and London are expected to ink the Friendship Agreement to forge greater links between them and open avenues for exchange of ideas and experiences during Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit’s visit to that country on the invitation of the Mayor of Greater London. The Chief Minister left on a day’s tour of that city today.

According to the government spokesperson, the agreement will be signed on July 25. During her visit, she would call on Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott. The delegation would discuss issues relating to micro-surfacing and cold mix technology for construction of roads and the system of recording property rights in growing metropolitan cities.

“The delegation,” the spokesperson said, “is particularly keen on exchanging ideas with the Thames Development Authority on the kind of technology and systems adopted for making the Thames a clean and useful river.” The objective, he continued, was to understand the management and technology adopted by them and the chances of its replication in cleaning the Yamuna. The delegation would also be discussing the introduction of a tax for entry of vehicles into the city as a decongestion exercise. The Chief Minister is being accompanied by legislator Rajesh Jain, Urban Development Secretary Arun Mathur and Secretary to Chief Minister Renu Sharma.


HVP demands special drought package 
Our Correspondent

Rewari, July 24
Mr Surender Singh, former Member of Parliament and general secretary of the Haryana Vikas Party (HVP) has urged the Union Government to provide a special package of Rs 2000 crore to Haryana to tackle the catastrophic drought situation now prevailing throughout the state.

He raised this demand while addressing a huge HVP rally at Sehlang, about 40 km from here. He also flayed the Haryana Government saying that even though the farmers of the state were facing a disastrous situation on account of severe drought conditions, no relief measures had been initiated by the government.

He further said that the situation was all the more worrisome in south Haryana where the level of sub-soil water had depleted considerably owing to the poor supply of canal water on the one hand and the total absence of rainfall on the other hand.

He demanded compensatory deep-boring facilities to the hapless farmers and the immediate filling of all dry village ponds with canal water as well as provision of subsidised fodder to save the farmers as well as their cattle from ruin.

Lambasting the state government for the retrenchment of about twenty-five thousand government employees in the past two years and also the closure of various boards and corporations, the HVP leader said that the Chief Minister had virtually thrown his electoral promise of providing employment to seventy thousand jobless youths to the winds. Mr Singh said that the Haryana Government instead was now on a spree of indiscriminate retrenchment of government employees.

Making a special mention of the factionalism and infighting in the Congress Party in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, he said the Haryana Congress was going down the same path and it would become an insignificant factor in the politics of the state.

Simultaneously, he said that the graph of the Haryana Vikas Party, led by Mr Bansi Lal had gone up and there was every possibility that it would again sweep the polls in Haryana during the next Assembly elections.

Prof Chhattar Singh Chauhan, former Speaker of Haryana Vidhan Sabha and other senior HVP leaders like Mr N.N.Yadav, Mr Dalbir Singh Gandhi, Mr Anil Rao, Mr Om Prakash Gupta, Mr Sheo Lal Singh, Mr Satpal Sangwan, Mr O.P Engineer and Mr Shiv Kumar Aggarwal were also present on the occasion.


Demand to declare Meerut drought-affected 
Our Correspondent

Meerut, July 24
Political parties here intensified their movement against the decision of the state government not to declare Meerut a drought-affected district. In his bid to convey a message to the Chief Minister, Miss Mayawati, the Lok Dal youth wing divisional unit arranged a ‘Buddhi Shiddhi yajana’ (mind purification Yajana).

The Lok Dal youth wing divisional unit arranged the ‘purification yajana’ so that the mind of the Chief Minister could be purified and she would declare Meerut district a drought-stricken district.

The yajana was arranged here at the Chaudhary Charan Singh Park in the university and several farmers of the area participated in it. The main ‘aahuti’ was performed by the divisional president of Lok Dal’s youth wing. A meeting of the Lok Dal youth wing was also held here where the step-motherly behaviour of the state government was discussed. They said that Saharanpur, Muzaffarnagar and the nearby district of Baghpat had already been declared a drought-affected region because they were the ‘VIP constituencies’. They said that while the Chief Minister Ms Mayawati was elected from Saharanpur, a former BJP Cabinet Minister and Union Agriculture Minister Ajit Singh was elected from Muzaffarnagar and Baghpat respectively. As such, without a VIP tag attached to the district, Meerut had been left out of the list of areas declared as drought-affected.

Hundreds of workers had gathered to perform the ‘Buddhi-Shiddhi Yajana’, so that that the UP Chief Minister would declare the district as drought- affected. An effigy of the Chief Minister was also burnt at the Budha Park crossing so as to protest against the step-motherly treatment meted out to Meerut district.

The leaders of the BJP were also present to protests against the decision of the UP Government. The protesters submitted a memorandum to Mr Ajit Singh, the Union Agriculture Minister and Mr Sahib Singh Verma, the Union Minister of Labour in which they demanded that Meerut should also be declared a drought-affected district. The demand for Meerut to be declared a drought affected-district has gained popularity among the farmers because it would lead to increased electricity supply in the district in order irrigate the parched farming land.

The protestors even interrupted the Union Labour Minister, Mr Sahib Singh Verma, while he was addressing a conference of Hindi in the CCS University here.


Couch potatoes go without cable fare
Our Correspondent

New Delhi, July 24
Avid television viewers in the Capital, hoping to catch the news update or latch on to their favourite flick on a movie channel, were cut up today when blank screens greeted them today.

With the cable operators clamping a 15-hour blackout in the Capital, to protest against the delay in the introduction of the Bill on Conditional Access System in the Rajya Sabha, the viewers had to bear the brunt of the protest.

The shutdown that started at 9.00 am will continue till midnight. The cable operators have been in a protest mode since the 20th of this month: they have been disrupting the broadcast for an hour each day. However, today they went on a 15-hour strike.

The Cable Operators United Front (COUF) also held a demonstration at Parliament Street. Demonstrators burnt effigies of the government, opposition parties and broadcasters for being apathetic to their cause and for causing a delay in the passage of the Bill.

The spokesperson of the association, Mr Virendra Gaur, said the cable operators were dismayed at the government’s refusal to introduce the Bill in the upper house. The legislation, which would enable the consumers to choose the channels of their choice and thus avoid paying for other channels, has already been passed in the Lok Sabha.

Mr Gaur alleged that some broadcasters seemed to have reached an understanding with various politicians of the ruling alliance as well as the opposition parties like the Congress and the CPI(M) to block the Bill.

Meanwhile, the Rajya Sabha today witnessed a walkout by members of the Opposition, who accused the government of protecting the cable operators who have allegedly threatened the MPs.

The Front leaders later submitted a memorandum to Rajya Sabha Chairman, Mr. Krishan Kant, seeking his intervention in the matter. The COUF argued that CAS was beneficial for consumers, as it is a universally accepted methodology to control payments of Pay Channels world over and builds transparency in the broadcaster-cable operator-subscriber relationship.

But for now it is the couch potatoes and the TV buffs who are at a loss, which at the moment seems difficult to offset.


Delhi Govt orders survey on damage to kharif crops
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 24
The Government of NCT of Delhi has ordered a survey to assess the damage to kharif crops and vegetables due to drought-like situation in the Capital.

Development Minister Haroon Yusuf today told mediapersons that the Development Commissioner had been asked to submit his report within a week. “Based on that report, necessary steps will be taken to provide adequate relief to farmers,” the minister said.

The minister has also directed the Chief Engineer of the Department of Irrigation and Flood Control to work out the feasibility of deep bore tubewells in the rural areas in consultation with the Central Water Commission for providing irrigation facilities to the farmers. 


CNG woes will be over by Dec: Naik

New Delhi, July 24
The Centre today said the CNG crisis in Delhi would be over after a Rs 522 crore CNG dispensing infrastructure became operational by the year-end. The project involving increasing the compressors’ capacity and constructing a 23-km long CNG pipeline would increase supplies and eliminate queues at dispensing stations, Petroleum Minister Ram Naik told mediapersons after an hour-long meeting with a delegation of Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee (DPCC) that called on him to discuss the CNG crisis.

“As per the Supreme Court order, we have increased the allocation of natural gas for Delhi’s transport system to 16 lakh kg per day. But dispensing it is difficult as there isn’t enough infrastructure. Queues would end at dispensing stations when the (CNG) pipeline is constructed by December,” he said. Virtually rejecting DPCC’s demand for rollback of CNG price hike, Mr Naik said: “No price revision proposal was under consideration.” He said CNG was priced about Rs 2 per kg more in Mumbai, which was nearer to the source gas fields.

Indraprastha Gas Ltd (IGL), the sole supplier of CNG in Delhi, has planned to commission additional compressors every month from current 56 to 111 by June 2003. TNS


Rs 8.61 crore for winner of Playwin Sikkim Super Lotto jackpot 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 24
Mr Bimal Gajmer, a resident of Gangtok in Sikkim, has hit the jackpot and emerged as the top winner of the Playwin Sikkim Super Lotto, bagging Rs 8.61 crore.

The Chief Minister of Sikkim, Mr Chamling, handing over the cheque to Mr Gajmer here today said that his state was earning a good amount as revenue from the lottery business.

In the current financial year, the state has grossed a sum of Rs 15 crore from on line lottery business. A top functionary of Playwin Infravest, who are the organisers of the lottery business for the state, said that Mr Gajmer won the largest jackpot in the country.

After receiving the cheque, Mr Gajmer said: “Now my dreams of starting a few hotels, improving upon my house cum hotel and helping the needy would be realised.”



Telenet follows VSNL, slashes ISD rates 
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, July 24
Bharti Telenet, Haryana, a licenced private fixed line service operator for Haryana circle, has also announced up to 40 per cent cut in the ISD rates. The company is providing telephone service under the name of `Touchtel’ at present in Gurgaon and Faridabad in the state.

A spokesperson of the company said here today that Touchtel had reduced the ISD charges with immediate effect. He said the subscribers would have to pay Rs 24 a minute to destinations in Europe, Africa, Oceania, the USA and American subcontinent during peak hours. For calls to SAARC countries, the rate would be Rs 21.18 per minute and Rs 18 during peak and off peak hours respectively. For the rest of the world, including Europe, Africa, Oceania, the USA and American subcontinent, the off peak rate would be Rs 21.18 per minute. These rates are similar to those offered by the VSNL after it slashed the prices a few days ago.

Tricycles given
About 108 physically challenged persons received tricycles and wheelchairs at a function held here on Tuesday, presided over by the Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala.

The function was organised jointly by the Institute of Physically Handicapped (IPH), sponsored by the Union Ministry for Social Justice, and the District Red Cross Society.


Dowry death
The police arrested Sanjay Jain, a resident of Para MJohalla locality here, on Tuesday on the charge of forcing her wife to commit suicide.

Mr Murari Lal, a resident of Krishna Vihar in Delhi, stated in a complaint that his daughter, Rekha, was married to Sanjay Jain in May last year. He alleged that her in-laws started maltreating her after nearly one month of the marriage for bringing ‘inadequate’ dowry. The complainant alleged that the in-laws of her daughter harassed her to an extent that she consumed poison and died on July 17.

Case solved
With the arrest of a suspect, the district police claimed to have solved a robbery of Rs 1,51,000 committed in November last year. Pradeep, a resident of Kansraiti village, was arrested by the police and stolen amount worth Rs 46,000 recovered from him. The suspect allegedly committed the crime when Ms Anju and Ms Santosh, employees of the PGIMS, reached near PWD office on November 29 last year after taking the salary of fourth class employees from the Director’s office. In an attempt to snatch the bag containing the money, the accused had opened fire on Ms Santosh and escaped with the amount on a motorcycle along with his accomplice.

MDU PG courses
The last date for submission of application forms for admission to vacant seats of MA (previous) courses in Public Administration and Defence Studies and MA/MSc (Statistics) courses of teaching departments of Maharshi Dayanand University and MA (previous) courses in English and History, MCom and M /MSc (Mathematics) courses in PG Regional Centre, Rewari is July 25. Registrar said the university would hold entrance examination on July 27 for admission to these courses.


Minor held for DVB contractor’s murder
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 24
The South district police have arrested a minor on the charges of murdering a DVB contractor, Dinesh Lala, who was stabbed allegedly by the accused on July 16 at a public toilet in Okhla Phase-II. One button-actuated knife has been received from the accused.

The police said that the 16-year-old accused, resident of Okhla, stabbed the deceased while the latter was coming out of the toilet. On witnessing this, the wife of the deceased and her brother raised an alarm but the accused escaped from the spot. Lala was rushed to the hospital but was declared brought dead.

Interrogation of the accused revealed that he had a quarrel with Lala earlier as the latter disconnected electricity when he was taking breakfast one day. Later, Lala hit him with a pair of pliers on his head and even got him treated at a hospital. But the accused, who wanted to teach Lala a lesson, whipped out a knife and stabbed the latter in the toilet on July 16.

2 held in burglary

With the arrest of two persons — Dinesh, a security guard and resident of Nepal, and Vijay, resident of Bihar — the South district police claimed to have solved a burglary case. The police have recovered jewellery worth Rs 4 lakh.

On July 20, The accused ransacked a house in New Friends Colony when the owner was out of station. On interrogation of the maidservant of the house, Laxmi, the police came to know that her brother-in-law, Dinesh, was involved in the burglary. Dinesh, who got the information about her owner’s tour from her, gathered three more persons and committed the burglary. The other two were Pulkit of Bihar and Bahadut of Nepal.

Degree racket

With the arrest of five persons, the Crime Branch claimed to have busted a fake degree racket and seized a large number of blank certificates of the CBSE, Delhi University and IGNOU from them.

The police sent a decoy customer and arrested the accused, Ashwani Bhatia, Manoj Kumar, Arvind Kumar, Yogesh Kumar and Arvind Kumar. During interrogation, they disclosed that they had delivered 500-700 forged degree mark sheets of different universities to different persons. They used to charge Rs 2000–5000 for each mark sheet.

Robbery solved

The North-West district police have arrested two persons — Raghuraj Singh alias Thakur (44), resident of Wazirpur Industrial Area, and Faim alias Chote (35), resident of Bijnore — and claimed to have solved a sensational daylight robbery in Mukherji Nagar.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (North-West) Sanjay Singh said that on July 8, Vinod Kumar, resident of Sant Nagar, and Surjeet Jha, both employees of Sain Breweries and Distributors of Pepsi cold drinks, carried Rs 9.17 lakh to deposit in the Syndicate Bank branch on Mall road. Three armed youths intercepted them and robbed the cash from them at gunpoint and later abandoned the vehicle, which they used for committing robbery. During this incident, the accused had injured the driver of the car.

While both were arrested, a massive manhunt is on to nab the other members of the gang who have absconded.

One robbed

Two unidentified youths, armed with country-made revolvers, robbed an official of the Super Bazar branch in Delhi Vidyut Board Colony in Shalimar Bagh in North-West district on Tuesday evening. They robbed a gold chain, a ring and Rs 700 from the in charge of the Supar Bazar branch, Ms Asha Sharma. There was no sale proceeds in the branch.

When the incident occurred, her two colleagues, Ganesh and Virender, were also present there. A robbery case has been registered in Shalimar Bagh police station, the police said.


Haryana industrialists assured of govt support 
Our Correspondent

Rohtak, July 24
The Haryana Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, claimed that nearly 176 big and 5,600 small and medium industries, with an investment of Rs 27,000 crore, have been established in the state in the past three years.

During his first-ever interaction with industrialists from Rohtak, Jind and Bhiwani, Mr Chautala said that 4,286 plots in Haryana had been allotted for industrial purpose.

Nearly 150 industrialists from the three neighbouring districts participated in the meeting. Mr M K Miglani, an aid of the Chief Minister, the Managing Director of HSIDC, Dr Harbaksh Singh and the Deputy Commissioners of Rohtak and Bhiwani were also present.

There was a call for setting up a big automobile industry here so as to give a boost to the industrial growth in this district.

The industry association revealed that majority of the 3,000 odd small and medium industries in Rohtak were engaged in the manufacture of automobile parts and had an annual turnover of Rs 400 crore. The industrialist raised the demand for uniformity in sales-tax, withdrawal of LADT, payment of subsidy on generating sets pending since 1995, improvement of power supply and infrastructure. The common complaint of the industrialist of Jind was the harassment by Pollution Control Board Department. The industrialist from Bhiwani called for uninterrupted supply of electricity in the industrial area.

The Chief Minister assured that following the introduction of VAT system from April 1, 2003, the sales-tax structure in the country would automatically become uniform.

Thus his government need not take any action now. He said all the roads in Haryana would be repaired by the end of 2002. Although a drought like condition prevails in Haryana due to failure of the monsoon, there was no shortage of water in the state. He announced that the HSIDC would take over the IDC industrial estate at Hisar Road for development at par with other industrial estates in Haryana.

He also announced the setting up of 132 KV sub-station in this industrial area and assured the industrialist that he would lay its foundation stone in August. He said this would help in improving the power supply to the industry. The IDC industrial estate, which was set-up 34 years ago, has 204 units. Unfortunately, till now it was considered an orphan industrial area as few in the government came forward to strengthen it. The Local Bodies Minister claimed that industrial growth in Haryana was 5.75 per cent against 2.5 per cent at national level.


Industrialists unhappy as CM sidetracks demands
Our Correspondent

Rewari, July 24
It was more or less a disheartening experience for the industrialists of Rewari, Dharuhera, Bawal and Narnaul in the much-publicised interactive session with the Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, on Tuesday as the latter sidetracked most of their demands and went to the extent of lambasting them on some counts.

The so-called `Face to Face’ programme, held at Golden Huts motel on the Delhi-Jaipur highway, about 10 km from here, was graced by the Chief Minister, his cabinet colleagues and top officials of the department concerned and attended by about 150 noted industrialists of the region.

Soon after the welcome address by Mr J. K. Mehta, president of the Rewari Industrial Association, a series of memoranda, listing the various demands of the industrialists, were read out and then submitted to the Chief Minister.

These were submitted in quick succession by Mr Subhash Jain, general secretary of the association, Mr N. P. Singh, executive director of Omax group of companies, Dharuhera, Mr Vipin Kaushal, general manager, M/s Becton and Dickenson India Ltd, Bawal, and Mr Anil Aggarwal, president of the Narnaul Industrial Association.

They sought the scrapping of Form 38 of the sales tax, withdrawal of the Local Area Development Tax (LADT), rationalisation of first point tax, curtailment of frequent power failures, establishment of an ESI Hospital at Dharuhera, facility of the issuance of change of land use (CLU) certificate at the district level and re-sale of the closed units of Dharuhera.

In his address, the Chief Minister virtually side-tracked almost all the demands and tried to mesmerise the industrialists with his oft-repeated sermon comprising revelations about the spectacular development that the state had made, especially in the economy, with the establishment of 176 large units mostly by multinational companies (MNCs) and 5,000 medium and small units during his present tenure of two-and-a-half years. He also promised the generation of an additional 621 mw and said that there would be no shortage of power in the state after one year.

Referring to the demand to improve the functioning of the ‘single window service’, the Chief Minister virtually flabbergasted the industrialists saying that they were talking of ‘one-window service’ while he had practically introduced `one-day service’ to help them get all clearances in a single day.

Regarding the scrapping of Form 38 of sales tax, the Chief Minister took pains to explain that it had been introduced for their own benefit.

As for the imposition of the LADT and other taxes, the Chief Minister said that the tenets of his governance was that his government would never hit the tax-payers with stones and instead it always believed in “striking them with flowers”.

Earlier, Health Minister M. L. Ranga, Local Bodies Minister Subhash Goyal and the INLD traders’ cell president and Haryana Warehousing Corporation chairman Niranjan Lal Bansal told the industrialists that it was for the first time in the state that a Chief Minister had come at their doorstep to solve their problems. Previously, the thirsty went to the well to quench their thirst, but this time the well had come to the thirsty, they claimed.

Mr M. K. Miglani, Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister, Dr Har Baksh Singh, Managing Director of Haryana State Industrial Development corporation, and Mr S. C. Chaudhary, Secretary, State Industries Department, were also present on the occasion. 


Drought: Saying it with a rose
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, July 24
The Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, had a presentation, on the effects of the drought-like conditions and failure of the monsoon in the district, of a different kind on Tuesday when he visited the city. All individuals, including the corporators and industrialists, who greeted the Chief Minister on the occasion of distribution of tricycles and wheelchairs to physically challenged persons at a function and at another meeting organised to discuss industries’ problems, presented the Chief Minister with only a single stick of rose each, instead of proper bouquet, which is normally given to welcome the chief guest or VIPs.

Some of the participants were surprised that each of the persons, who were greeting the CM, was presenting only a stick of rose and no one turned with a full bouquet. This was the effect of the dry spell and drought that has been looming large over the district and the state, commented an entrepreneur.


BPCL launches ‘Speed’ petrol
Our Correspondent

New Delhi, July 24
Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) launched the new generation fuel, ‘Speed’, here today. It was launched at the Gymkhana Service Station amidst fanfare.

The ‘new-age’ petrol is one of the path-breaking initiatives undertaken by the BPCL. Speed is high performance petrol with multi-functional additives and enhances overall engine performance to ensure smooth driving. This additive also renders better mileage, maximum power and faster pick-up and removes deposits, keeps the engine of the vehicle clean and reduces emissions, thereby extends the life of the catalytic converter. Speed has been priced at Rs 30.50 per litre, which is Rs 1.32 more than the price of the normal petrol.

Among those who were present at the launch were the Minister for Petroleum and Natural gas, Mr Ram Naik, the Minister for Tourism and Culture, Mr Jagmohan, and the Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas, Mr Gangwar. 


E-commerce to be developed as a practical business model’
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 24
Electronic commerce, which is an application tool and not an end in itself, needs to be developed as a practical business model. In order to move ahead in this area, apart from development of skills, infrastructure, legal and regulatory framework, it is important to have a good e-governance at the policy making level and also create basic awareness among the policy makers, local communities and entrepreneurs.
This was stated by Mr Shyamal Ghosh, administrator, Universal Service Fund, at a round table on “e-Readiness for Corporates”, organised by the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry, here today.

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