Friday, July 26, 2002, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


Major fire in cricket bat unit
Prem Pal Singh

Meerut, July 25
Property worth lakhs of rupees was destroyed in a fire, which devastated the famous B. D. Mahajan and Company, manufacturers of cricket bats, on the Delhi Road here this afternoon. No one was reported injured in the fire which continued to blaze till late at night even as more than two dozen fire tenders battled to contain it and prevent it from spreading to adjoining areas.

Thousands of people, mostly employees of various factories thronged the highway, disrupting traffic and generally causing confusion. A large contingent of policemen which was rushed there after the fire broke out had a harrowing time in regulating traffic and keeping the curious on-lookers at bay.

According to the police and fire brigade sources, the fire reportedly broke out in one of the store rooms of the factory and finding ready fuel in the inflammable material stocked there, soon engulfed the entire premises.

The fire tenders from the city took more than half an hour to reach the premises and by that time the fire was virtually out of control. Initial attempts by the employees to douse the flames proved futile because of the intensity of the fire.

There was considerable panic as the employees rushed out of their workstations to escape the flames and the resultant scorching heat. The smoke from the fire was seen from several kilometres away.

When the fire tenders were found inadequate to battle the spreading flames, assistance was sought from the neighbouring districts. Several fire tenders were rushed to the site from Ghaziabad. Eyewitnesses alleged that the city fire brigade was ill-equipped to fight a fire of such incident, as the firemen had neither proper helmets nor equipment.

To add to the problems, there was scarcity of water as well and the fire brigade tankers had to make several rounds to a nearby pumping station to replenish its stock of water. Fire brigade officials, however, maintained that they were doing their best under the circumstances and denied that there was any delay in reaching the spot.

While the owners of the factory were yet to assess the damage, some of the employees said that it could run into several lakhs of rupees. B. D. Mahajan and Company, popularly known as BDM, is renowned internationally for cricket bats manufactured by them. Most of the wood used for the bats is stacked on the premises, which could perhaps have fuelled the fire.

The police said that a case had been registered and efforts were being made to ascertain the cause of the fire. The possibility of a spark from a carelessly discarded bidi or a short circuit could not be ruled out.


Grain trade: Haryana to reimpose licensing
Jatinder Sharma
Our Correspondent

Rohtak, July 25
The Haryana Government is planning to reintroduce licensing requirements to carry on grain business in the state. The gazette notification reimposing the licensing system is likely to be issued any day. The Union Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution had on February 15 removed the licensing requirements from the grain dealers in India.

According to the Centre’s decision, any grain dealer was free to buy, sell, transport, distribute, acquire, use or consume any quantity of wheat, paddy/rice, coarse grain, sugar, edible oil, and oilseeds and they did not require a permit or a licence thereof under any order issued under the Essential Commodities Act, 1955.

Although the Centre’s decision became effective 30 days after its order of February 15, the Haryana Government removed the licensing requirements from April 17 only when the grain dealers pressurised the government to specify its stand on the renewal of their grain dealers’ licence as required under the provisions of Essential Commodities Act, 1955.

However, the reprieve allowed by the Haryana Government to the grain dealers has proved short-lived. The decision of the government to reimpose licensing system has caused resentment among the grain dealers/arhtias.

The government has, it is learnt, doubled the fee for registration (licence) of grain dealer/arhtia. Earlier, the trader was charged Rs 1,000 for registration but after the proposed notification is issued, the grain dealer/arhtia will have to pay Rs 2,000 for registration.

The fee payable for the renewal of a registration certificate (license) shall, however, be Rs 500 a year.

There are nearly 225 primary mandis (grain markets) in Haryana comprising between 125 to 150 grain dealers/arhtias in each. Thus, the government plans to earn over Rs 5 crore from the registration of these dealers.

The Haryana Foodgrain Dealers Association president, Mr Narain Parsad Goyal, fears that the reintroduction of the licensing system would adversely affect the trade besides providing a handle to the government officials to fleece them. He said that the decision to reimpose the licensing system appeared to be more political rather than an administrative requirement.


Chautala gives Gurgaon the go-by
Abhay Jain

Gurgaon, July 25
The industrial community here is cut up by the omission of this district in the programme of the Haryana Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, wherein he will meet industrialists by visiting different districts of the state.

As per the programme, ‘Face to Face’, Mr Chautala is meeting entrepreneurs of 17 of the 19 districts in the state from July 23 to July 31. The aim is to redress their grievances and also elicit their views for speedy industrialisation of the state. Industrialists of the district are surprised over the announced schedule as no meeting has been arranged with the representatives of Gurgaon and Panchkula.

Various industrial bodies of the district, including the Gurgaon Industrial Association (GIA), the Udyog Vihar Industries Association (UVIA) and the Chamber of Industries of Udyog Vihar (CIUV) are of the view that the Chief Minister should also meet industrialists of Gurgaon because there are a number of issues of the local and state level which only Mr Chautala can address.

A letter has been written to Mr Chautala by CIVU, stating that Gurgaon’s omission in Mr Chautala’s itinerary is conspicuous. “The entrepreneurs here presume that the CM is going to deal with the problems of Gurgaon industrial areas separately in a special session,” said Col R. P. Dhawan, President of CIVU. The organisation has requested the Chief Minister to clarify whether he will visit Gurgaon to meet the industrialists in his much-hyped programme. Mr Jagan Nath Mangla, President of the GIA, told the ‘NCR Tribune’ that the industrialists here were keenly interested in meeting Mr Chautala and putting forth their grievances.

The GIA had decided to make a formal request to the Chief Minister to visit the district, revealed Mr Mangla. The founder and general secretary of UVIA, Mr A. P. Jain, said Gurgaon had attracted the attention of not only leading industrial houses of the country but also prominent multinational companies. As a lot of big industrial houses had either shifted their offices or plants here, the Government of Haryana must give special priority to the district so that their problems could be sorted out in a time-bound frame.


Farmers literally feeling like a fish out of water 
Bijendra Ahlawat
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, July 25
Like the kharif crop, fish farming in the region, especially in this district, is in the grip of drought, which has become a reality due to shortage of rainfall. Further delay in rains could result in heavy loss in the production of fish, feel the farmers.

There are at least 1,000 fish farmers in the district, which clinched the second spot in terms of total fish production last year among districts. Lack of rain in the past 25 days has increased the worries of the fish farmers. The water level in both natural and artificial fisheries, which include canals, rivers, drains and ponds, has gone down considerably. Panicked by the deteriorating situation, certain farmers have taken the underdeveloped fish out of their ponds and have been forced to sell them at throwaway prices. At some places, the water level in the ponds has gone down to four feet or below, which is the minimum requirement for breeding fish.

The total number of ponds used for fish production in the district is around 600 at present. Besides, the authorities for fish production have also notified these rivers, canals and drains. These are known as natural sources and each year the department concerned leases out the fisheries to contractors. What is more alarming and is a cause of concern for both the growers and the department is the decrease in water level in the ponds and natural sources.

The District Fisheries Officer (DFO), Mr Sanjay Yadav, admitted that there was two-pronged danger at present. First, there is danger to the fish itself when the level comes down and the other which is also the important factor is that the reduced level increases the chances of pollution by almost 100 per cent.

Mr Yadav said the rivers, including the Yamuna, the canals (Agra canal) and drains passing in the district were already carrying several toxic chemicals and pollutants thrown or released by industrial units in Delhi, Noida, Ghaziabad and Faridabad. The decreased level of water in the Yamuna, canals and drains had led to more density of pollutants, which kill the fish and those who survive become unfit for human consumption, claim the experts.

There are hundreds of ponds situated on the banks of the Yamuna and the Agra canal in the district and this has led to water pollution here. The Fisheries Department here had leased out the fishing rights of the natural resources in the district for Rs 10 lakh last year, but it is reported that this year the department could get only Rs 4.21 lakh. 


Crop change reaps dividends
Ravi S. Singh
Tribune News Service

Kherla (Mewat), July 25
Irshad Mian of Baghola village in Ferozepur Jhirka revenue block of Mewat area is happy that he had the courage to change the cropping pattern in his field. It has paid him rich dividends and now he wants to replicate the rewarding experience on a larger tract of his agricultural land.

Irshad had so far been cultivating traditional crops like wheat, bajra and sarson. But a few months back, he hesitantly went in for cultivation of Isabgol, a medicinal plant, on half an acre of land. After harvesting, the net income from the produce came to Rs 10,000 compared to about Rs 5,000 he used to get from cultivating crops like sarson.

The farmer is also aiming to take to other cash crops in the category of medicinal and aromatic plants like khus and lemon grass and pama rosa, aromatic plants used for extracting oil, the end product used for perfumeries.

Mohammad Abbas of Rawa village from the same block is full of pride and has hope in his eyes after taking to cultivation of khus for the first time. Khus sells at Rs 500-600 per kg. Its price is many times higher than the traditional crops.

Like Irshad Mian and Mohammad Abbas, a large number of farmers who took part in a workshop here, hope to reap profits by changing the cropping pattern.

The workshop, having the theme, “Cultivation of medicinal and aromatic crops”, was attended by more than 100 farmers from Ferozepur Jhirka, Nagina, Taoru and Nuh blocks of Mewat.

The workshop was attended by the Chairman and the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Mewat Development Agency (MDA), Mr S. A. Khan and Mr P. R. Bishnoi.



Khurana demands CBI probe into advt scam
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 25
In a move to put the Congress-led Delhi Government on the defensive, the Delhi BJP chief, Mr Madan Lal Khurana, today alleged that pressure was being applied from the state Chief Minister’s office on the CBI to stall the Rs 100 crore advertisement scam.

Digging out the suo motu case registered by the CBI into the alleged irregularities in the awarding of the contract to M/s Green Line Advertising Company, Mr Khurana said that he had written to the CBI Director and Union Minister of State for Personnel, Ms Vasundhara Raje Scindia, for speedy investigation.

Mr Khurana said the Lokayukta in his orders had stated that “powerful political and official influences are working behind these violations of law”. The company had been given the contract for display of advertisements on thousands of electric poles, tree guards and central road verges across the Capital.

Releasing a letter written by Congress legislator, Mr Ashok Singh, the Delhi BJP chief said the ruling party member himself has alleged gross violation of set procedure of calling of tenders at the behest of officials in the Chief Minister’s office, which has resulted in pecuniary loss of crores of rupees to the government.

Though the CBI ordered a preliminary enquiry in February this year, Mr Khurana alleged that “no investigation has been initiated in the case due to political pressure. Probe would expose the nexus between the official and political heads who had defrauded the exchequer”.

This is the second time within a fortnight that Mr Khurana has trained his guns on the Chief Minister’s office. Ms Dikshit has served a legal notice to the Delhi BJP chief for alleging that she had “given shelter” and “provided subsistence” to K. K. Malhotra, convicted in Coomar Narain spy case.

Mr Khurana stated that he would reply to the legal notice by early next week. On the much-awaited induction of office bearers in the Delhi unit, Mr Khurana said he would announce his team on fourth August, a day after BJP National Executive meet in the Capital.

The team would be a mix of youth and experience, he said, adding that the former Delhi Minister and BJP MP, Mr Lal Bihari Tiwari, would be given prominent position in the party as sizable persons from Bihar and UP are residing in the Capital. The new team, the BJP chief gave enough indication would accommodate different sections of the society and party factions, primarily aimed at boosting the morale of the party cadre, which has been sagging after the rout in the civic polls.


Wanna develop memory like an elephant? Meet this man
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Panipat, July 25
What was the day on January 1, 1,600? Or for that matter what was the day of the week when India got her independence? For all such queries, you do not have to shuffle the record books. Just meet the “national memory record holder” and founder of the Dynamic Memory Private Limited, Mr Biswaroop Roy Chowdhury, who will answer your questions in a jiffy.

Mr Roy Chowdhury, who was here to launch the Dynamic Memory centre at the British School of Learning, took the journalists, teachers and local residents down memory lane literally when he remembered the 100 random numbers correctly given by the audience.

Emphasising the importance of imagination in memory, the “memory wizard” said that a majority of people had poor memories as they failed to use both the left and right parts of the brain. Terming the brain a powerful machine with extraordinary capacity for retention, he quipped that in a lifetime, a normal brain could memorise 40 libraries having 80,000 books each.

Scientifically, it was a known fact that every human brain used 0.01% or even less of the total brain capacity but now with the latest techniques, a student could memorise at a speed which was several times his present speed. The memory techniques were becoming popular in India like its western counterparts, he said while answering a query.

An alumnus of the Punjab Engineering College, Chandigarh and author of seven books, including the best-selling “Dynamic Memory Methods”, Mr Chowdhury was of the opinion that concentration was most important for learning. The physical aspect of memory must be accompanied by the mental aspect so that whatever read was retained through imagination. This is the only way one can have the “everlasting memory”.

Mr Chowdhury said that his centre had approached the CBSE to make the memory training course a part of the Class VIII curricula. His book, ‘Memorising Dictionary Made Easy’, would also be launched in the forthcoming book fair in Delhi.

Meanwhile, the audience had a first-hand experience of the sharp memory when the seven-year-old Surbhi, who has memorised calendar from 1,993 to 2,004, fielded questions confidently from the audience.

Mr Vijay Goel of the British School of Language, informed that two schools would be chosen for imparting the memory-enhancing techniques. Besides, a free memory demonstration for the public would also be organised.

The course content of Dynamic Memory is broadly divided into parts: training for the students and teachers and smart brain training for corporate executives.


Jail inmates go berserk
Our Correspondent

Meerut, July 25
The inmates of the district jail here on Wednesday turned violent on hearing the death of fellow prisoner. The whole drama unfolded on Tuesday night and soon gripped the jail premises. The inmates even beat up the cook of the jail kitchen. Then they proceeded to sit on dharna and started an indefinite hunger strike against the alleged atrocities perpetrated by jail guards.

Earlier, there had been several reports of various irregularities on the jail premises during the tenure of outgoing Jail Superintendent Kedarnath. The Inspector-General of Jails, Lucknow, then transferred all officials of the Meerut jail following complaints. The jail was raided by the authorities on July 18. A cash amount of Rs 25,000 was found. More than seven persons were found hiding in a straw pile. There was no mention about them in the log book. The jail superintendent warned the inmates and jail guards. Several inmates gathered on the jail premises and protested against the superintendent’s so-called atrocities. 


Growing concern over drought conditions
Our Correspondent

Rewari, July 25
Congress legislator Rao Inderjit Singh, who is also a member of the All India Congress Committee (AICC), has asserted that it was a matter of grave concern that south Haryana has been severely hit by drought. Inadequate power supply as well as the negligible supply of canal water had further aggravated the situation, he added.

Talking to the ‘NCR Tribune’ he said, that after seeing things for himself during his recent tour of various villages of the region, he was constrained to say that the region was now reeling under the worst drought conditions ever witnessed in the past one decade.

He said that the residents of the Dohan-Pachchisi (a cluster of 25 villages) in the Narnaul region had been facing severe paucity of even drinking water, while farmers in most other villages were now finding themselves helpless in obtaining sub-soil water even after spending heavily on deep-boring.

The situation for the cattle too was severe as most of the village ponds had dried up and fodder was becoming scarce.

Further, the Bajra crops, which had been sown in some areas after the first showers early in June, had now completely withered away due to the persistent dry spell.

Emphasising the need for declaring the entire south Haryana as drought-hit region, Rao Inderjit Singh urged the Haryana Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, to immediately release water in the canals continuously (till the arrival of the rains, get all dry village ponds filled with canal water, ensure availability of adequate drinking water in all affected villages, uninterrupted power supply, provide compensation to the affected farmers at the rate of Rs five thousand per acre of destroyed crops and immediately to suspend the recovery of co-operative and mini-bank loans from farmers.


Committee to sort out farmers’ land disputes
Our Correspondent

Noida, July 25
The farmers of Tugalpur village in Greater Noida seem to have won the first round as a committee is being constituted to sort out all disputes concerning the land acquisition policy to the satisfaction of farmers in Greater Noida area.

Apart from the Greater Noida authority, the district administration and public representatives, two members from each of the concerned villages will also be included in the committee as per assurances given by the Union Minister of State for Labour, Mr Ashok Pradhan.

The committee will conduct a survey in each village and the Greater Noida authority will have no power to interfere with land acquisition policy in any village till the committee has made its recommendations.

In spite of this, many in Maha Panchayat like Raghu Raj Singh expressed great resentment at administration’s action, which they called condemnable. They demanded that the land acquisition policy in Noida and Greater Noida should be patterned on the policy as existing in Delhi.

In a Maha Panchayat held in Tugalpur village on July 20, where officials of Greater Noida had to beat a hasty retreat as the farmers’ were determined to foil the attempt of the administration to remove the encroachments of July 15, the local MP gave details of his discussion with the Greater Noida officials.

Mr Pradhan said that it has been decided to set up a committee, which will recommend solution to all land disputes in the area. The committee will determine if houses of farmers, which have been demolished, were as per the plan.

In that case, they will be allotted alternative land or their original land will be left to them. The administration will also lay a link road up to the village. Moreover, all cases registered against the farmers will be withdrawn by the administration.

He congratulated the farmers for having taken an initiative to solve the problems of the area. He said the committee discussed the farmers problem with the administration for over two hours.

Apart from the Union Minister, Mr Ashok Pradhan, Mr Nawab Singh Naggar, MLA, Mr Surendra Naggar, MLC, Mr Harishchand Bhatti of BJP, Mr Raj Kumar of Dehat Morcha, Dr Verinder Dadha, Mr Narinder Bhatti, former MLA, Sarpanch Rambir, Teja Gujjar and CEO and Additional CEO of Greater Noida, Mr H.S. Bains and Komal Ram respectively, took part in the discussion.


Task force to look into Capital’s power woes
Our Correspondent

New Delhi, July 25
A task force will be set up under the chairmanship of the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) chief to look into the problems relating to power supply in the national Capital, informed the Minister of State for Power, Ms Jayawanti Mehta, in the Lok Sabha today.

The decision was taken at a meeting, which was recently held under the chairmanship of Power Secretary, she said, adding that the task force would also include members from the Delhi Power Supply Company (TRANSCO) and distribution companies. She also said that the power supply position in Delhi was by and large comfortable with a marginal energy shortage of 1.7 per cent. However, due to the delayed monsoon and the consequent increase in power requirement, the shortage increased by 3.1 per cent.

Ms Mehta also informed the House in a written reply that to provide special assistance to Delhi sources, additional allocation of about 10 per cent from Rajasthan Atomic Power Project (RAPP) Unit was taken during peak hours. Apart from that, the entire 15 per cent unallocated quota from RAPP unit 3 was utilised on round-the-clock basis as a short-term arrangement. An additional allocation of 7.5 per cent to 10 per cent from unallocated quota in the central sector generating stations in northern region during the off-peak period, as a short-term arrangement, was also used.

The government had doubled the allocation of natural gas to Indraprastha Gas Ltd (IGL) from 0.98 million standard cubic metres per day (MSCMD) to 2 MSCMD in June, the Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas, Mr Santosh Kumar Gangwar, said.

Further, in order to improve the availability of CNG, the IGL had planned to increase the number of compressors from 58 at present to 111 by June 2003, he said, adding this would increase the compression facility from 6.91 lakh kg per day to 16.1 lakh kg per day. IGL also had plans to increase the number of filling stations from 94 to 110 by March 2003, he said.

He added that the IGL had already developed infrastructure for the supply of piped natural gas (PNG) to 16,000 customers and had laid a pipeline network for 250 km. By March 2003, the IGL planned to develop infrastructure to cater to about 22,000 customers. As per the business plans of the IGL, the number of PNG connections was expected to increase to about 20 lakh by 2020 subject to the demand for such connections and availability of natural gas.

The Minister of Communication and Information Technology, Mr Pramod Mahajan, informed the Rajya Sabha that a 240-seat call centre for 197 services and other associated services was planned in 2001-02 in the national Capital. It had been set up at Kidwai Bhavan and there was a main call centre with seven secondary call centres at Laxmi Nagar, Nehru Place, Karol Bagh, Shakti Nagar, Janak Puri, Bhikaiji Cama Place and Rohini Sector III exchange. Of these, the Rohini centre was yet to be commissioned.

The MTNL proposed to set up 1000-seat call centres in Delhi and Mumbai through its subsidiary, the Millennium Telecom Ltd, he added. Also, call centre operators at both the places were proposed to be hired during 2002-03 from agencies, which owned and managed call centre facilities, so that customer enquires relating to the type of services provided, tariff and billing could be answered.


And now, a mag on natural lifestyle
Our Correspondent

New Delhi, July 25
Nature and natural lifestyle are the buzz words today. Foundation for Promotion of Natural Products went a step further in this direction and launched a monthly magazine “Nature and Wealth” which was formally released by the former Social Welfare Minister, Ms Maneka Gandhi.

While launching the magazine, Ms Gandhi laid emphasis on yoga and meditation, which are the natural treatments for stress, heart, hypertension and diabetes. She also urged the people to adopt natural way of life and understand the benefits of simple Indian vegetarian lifestyle.

Mr Joginder Singh, former director of CBI, who was also present on the occasion, said yoga should be practised for better health. Also present on the occasion were Mr Maninder Singh Bitta, Mr Sandeep Marwah, owner of Marwah Studios and former diplomat T.N. Fotedar.


CBSE compartment exams from July 29
Our Correspondent

New Delhi, July 25
The CBSE compartment examinations will commence from July 29. All admit cards and other details have been sent to the respective examination centres. Regular students should contact their school and the private candidates can approach the examination centres for details. Anyone seeking duplicate intimation card can obtain the same from the CBSE reception counter.

Meet of women councillors

A meeting of the women councillors of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi was held in the Capital today. The meeting was chaired by the Chairperson, Ward Committee, Rohini Zone, Ms Memwati Barwala. The meeting sought ways of providing better services to the citizens of the national Capital. Issues related to enhancing the powers of the chairpersons of the statutory committees of the MCD and making more budgetary provisions were also discussed. Ms Barwala also stressed the need for the formation of a separate department that would monitor the implementation of the decisions taken in the different committees. It was also decided during the course of the meeting that such meets would be held every fortnight in any of the zones of the MCD.

Test for cop recruitment

The results of the written test for selecting constables held in June were declared today. A total number of 50,000 candidates appeared for the written examination for the recruitment of the constables against 2, 359 vacancies. Of them, 5,358 candidates have cleared the test. The successful candidates will be called for interviews between August 19 and August 31, a press release said. 


Hafed manager booked for fraud
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, July 25
The police at Palwal town in the district have booked a former district manager of the `Hafed’ (Haryana Agricultural and Marketing Federation) on charges of fraud to the tune of Rs 17 lakh. The accused is reported to be posted as district manager at another town now.

It is alleged that the racket included misappropriation of gunny bags and grain in large quantities. A case under Sections 408, 409, 418, 420, 468 and 471 of the IPC has been booked on a complaint lodged by Hafed authorities. No arrest has been made so far.

Auto thefts

The district seems to have become a haven for auto thieves these days, as a number of such cases have been reported. At least five two-wheelers and a car have been stolen in the past 48 hours. According to information, at least two motorcycles had been stolen since Wednesday. These include a Hero Honda motorcycle of one Arun Kumar of Tigaon and a Rajdoot mobike of Prahlad of Chhainsa village, according to the complaints lodged with the police.

Sant Gupta of Gandhi colony had lost his motorcycle on Tuesday. He had parked his mobike outside a house in Sector 8 here. Another motorcycle was stolen from the same sector on the same day. Besides these, the auto thieves made their way with a car (HR SlD-0669) from C-Block of NH (NIT) locality on Tuesday night. It is learnt that at least a dozen two-wheelers have been stolen in the past two months.

Website on institutes

An engineering student from Bahadurgarh, Pankaj Batra, has created a website with detailed information regarding counselling for admissions in the technical institutes in Haryana. Pankaj Batra said that all the admission aspirants, who had appeared in the entrance examination of Regional Engineering Collage, Kurukshtra, could visit the website, The site provides information about the number of seats remaining vacant, in which college, and about the technical faculty of different colleges.

Water supply scheme

The Haryana Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, inaugurated the canal-based water supply scheme of the Palhawas group of villages at Palhawas, about 20 km from here, on Tuesday. Constructed at a cost of Rs 1.51 crore, the scheme will provide 40 litres of clean drinking water per head daily to about 30,000 residents of Palhawas and its 15 other surrounding villages.

Hafed manager dead

Om Prakash, a manager with Hafed, a Haryana Government undertaking, was found dead at Chhajpur village, near here, this morning. According to information, the official was transferred from Chandigarh to Chhajpur in the district last month. Hafed had a godown in Chhajpur village and Om Prakash was living in a temporary accommodation near the godown. The cause of the death could not be ascertained immediately. The police are investigating into the matter.

‘Murderers’ held

With the arrest of three youths on Wednesday, the district police claimed to have solved two cases of murder. Those arrested are Ajay, Rakesh and Baljit, residents of Khidwali, Barar Khera (Jind) and Girawar villages respectively. During police interrogation, the accused reportedly admitted that they had shot dead Mr Dharampal, a resident of Bohar village and a contractor at Maharani Kishori Devi Mahavidyalaya, here on July 17. The accused also confessed to have shot dead a property dealer, Mr Pradeep Rathi of Kishanpura locality here. 


Minor fire at Pusa Institute
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 25
Two minor fires broke out in the Capital during the last 24 hours. One incident was reported from the Pusa Institute and another from the Pink City shopping complex in the Delhi Cantonment area.

The fire at the Pusa Institute was noticed by a watchman, who informed the Delhi Fire Service (DFS).

The fire was controlled within 15 minutes and no major loss was reported.

The fire in the Pink City Shopping Complex took place on Thursday evening when there was a big rush in the market. A stampede broke out near the shop area when people noticed smoke emanating from a shop. People ran helter-skelter.

A spokesman of the DFS said three firefighters managed to control the fire within a few minutes and nobody was injured. 


SI held for taking bribe from CPWD AE
Our correspondent

Ghaziabad, July 25
Anti-corruption organisation teams from Lucknow and Meerut have arrested a Sub Inspector of Police red-handed while accepting a bribe from an Assistant Engineer (AE) of CPWD. The SI had demanded Rs 60,000 from the AE for filing the last report in a criminal case.

A team, led by departmental DSP B. N. Tiwari and including DSP J. K. Sharma, inspectors B. D. Shukla and Vijendra Singh and ten other officials, reached the L Block Pratap Vihar police post. Mr Tiwari and two other police officials in plain clothes went into the police post along with the AE of CPWD, New Delhi, K. P. Singh.

They had a word with the SI, Suresh Chand Belwal, and took him in their private Zen car to near the Vijay Nagar police station. Here, Mr K. P. Singh handed over a bag containing the cash to the Sub Inspector. The SI was immediately nabbed by the anti-corruption squad, which took him away in a government jeep.

After one hour, the teams reached with the SI at the Kavi Nagar police station in Ghaziabad. There, a tussle reportedly ensued between senior Ghaziabad police officials and the anti-corruption teams from Meerut and Lucknow.

Dr B. N. Tiwari said that Assistant Engineer K. P. Singh, posted at ITO office, had reported the matter to CBI Delhi, which was handed over to CBI UP as the case pertained to UP. A case has now been filed in Kavi Nagar police station against SI Belwal who has been sent to the jail.


Gang doubling currency notes smashed, three nabbed
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 25
With the arrest of three persons, the Delhi Police Crime Branch today claimed to have busted a gang of cheats who used to indulge in doubling the currency notes. The gang also used to defraud people by keeping one original currency note on top of the bundle and just white paper notes shaped like currency notes underneath.

The cheats — Sahad Lal (24) of Mayapuri, Angad Ram (27) of Haider Pur and Rampher (40) of Madanpur Khadar — used to defraud businessmen. Several businessmen had fallen prey and suffered heavy losses. The gang members used to convince the needy that they had some currency notes of Rs 100 denomination printed in Pakistan and could sell them for Rs 50 each.

A secret information was received by the police that some cheats were involved in this business and possessed currency notes worth several lakhs of rupees. A special team was constituted and a decoy customer was sent with Rs 100 to them to get two currency notes. He was asked to tell the gang that if the notes were easily disposable, then he would procure notes worth Rs 1 lakh by giving genuine notes for Rs 50,000.

Accordingly, a deal was struck near a petrol pump in Prashant Vihar and the two Rs 100 notes received from them were checked by the authorities and found to be genuine. Later, the decoy customer was sent with a briefcase full of paper bundles.

Five members of the gang came and exchanged words and while exchanging the bags, the police cornered them. While they managed to nab three, the other two escaped.

During interrogation, the trio told the police that at the initial stage, they used to give genuine notes to win the confidence. When people used to come for more cash, they used to cheat them by giving just papers underneath the original note.

When the bags exchanged hands, they also used to shout that ‘police aa gayee, bhago’ to give a shock to the other person. By the time, they used to decamp with the booty.


DDA security guard held for taking bribe
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 25
The Anti-Corruption Branch of the Delhi Government arrested a security guard of the Land Protection Branch of the DDA in Subhash Nagar for allegedly demanding and accepting an illegal gratification for submitting a favourable report in connection with the survey of a plot of a complainant in Sector 15, DDA Colony, Bharat Vihar. The suspect was identified as Bishan Singh Negi.

The DDA recently had conducted a survey of Block C in Sector 15. When the survey was completed, Bishan Singh Negi came to the house of the complainant, Shambhu Kumar Jha, and said that in the survey, his house was shown locked. He demanded Rs 7,000 for showing his house as open in the survey report. The complainant reported the matter to the Anti-Corruption Branch, which arrested the suspect while demanding Rs 7,000 and accepting Rs 2,000 from the complainant, the police said.

CRIMINALS ARRESTED: The South district police arrested two notorious criminals from Pul Prahladpur near Tughlakabad village while they were going to commit a robbery. They were identified as Mehraj Khan and Mohammad Anis, residents of Govindpuri. During interrogation, they disclosed that they were going to commit a robbery in Lal Kuan. They had also planned to commit a robbery in the house of a businessman, the police said.

PIRATED VCDs SEIZED: The Delhi Police seized 200 pirated CDs and MP-3 cassettes of T-Series after a raid conducted at Crystal Video and Rythm Centre in Sector 16, Rohini. The raid was conducted on a complaint lodged by Super Cassettes Industries Limited, a press release of the Super Cassettes Industries said.

YOUTH HELD AT IGI: A Kashmiri youth was arrested at the Indira Gandhi International Airport today while he was attempting to leave for Saudi Arabia using fake documents. According to police sources, Farooq Ahmed was nabbed around 10 am, when he was about to board a flight to Dubai using fake passport and visa. Interrogation by a joint team of intelligence and police personnel have ruled out any terrorist links and the sources added that he was ostensibly going for employment purposes.


Bus looted near Pilkhua

A UP Roadways bus (UP-02/D-6648) from the Kathgodam depot was looted after being hijacked by three persons at gunpoint near Dohri village on the national highway last night. The bus was on its way to Pilkhua from Delhi and according to the police the three criminals had boarded at Ghaziabad. The criminals looted thousands of rupees in cash from the conductor and passengers. They also divested women passengers of wristwatches and jewellery. On getting the information, the SSP and the DIG, Meerut Range, reached the place along with other police officials. Though combing operations were carried out in the entire area, the criminals could not be nabbed.

The criminals had forced the bus driver, about 2 km away from Pilkhua, to stop the vehicle and divert it to a side road. The criminals were in their mid-20s. At a secluded spot, conductor A. A. Khan was deprived of cash. He was hit with the butt of a revolver when he resisted the attempt to loot. The conductor’s bag contained Rs 7,126. After this, they proceeded to take cash and gold away from passengers. Then they jumped off the bus. There were a total of 36 passengers in the bus. OC



Industry concerned on disruption of gas supply
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 25
Expressing its concern over the recent incidence of stoppage of natural gas supply by GAIL to the NCT industries, the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) today said the spill-off effect on the industries reliant on natural gas as a fuel cannot be overlooked.

“Given the fact that most of these industries had natural gas as a fallback arrangement, many of these have primarily switched over to gas based technology or equipment based on the assumption of long-term supply of gas,” stated a CII release.

According to the Confederation, while the industry should look for substitution with LPG etc, the government and the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas should consider proportionate minor cuts on all the consumers along HBJ pipeline so as to keep the NCT industry also running.

The stoppage of these industries may lead to a large number of direct and indirect unemployment and loss to the government exchequer by way of revenue, said CII.

CII will also call a meeting of the effected parties with the market players to discuss the options available, keeping the Supreme Court directive in mind, the release stated.

In an SOS to the Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister, Mr Ram Naik today, the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry (ASSOCHAM) appealed for adequate availability and immediate restoration of gas supply as the combined allotment of industries in the NCR region is a fraction of the capacity with GAIL.

The sudden stoppage of natural gas supply in the NCR region has seriously affected the production and exports are on the verge of closure, stated the Chamber. According to the Chamber, the Supreme Court directive to supply sufficient gas for the transport sector can be complied with easily by affecting a small cut on all the consumers on the HBJ pipeline instead of totally cutting off supplies to the small consumers. 


A swish store for the stylish set
Our Correspondent

Noida, July 25
To capture the fashion-conscious public of Noida, East Delhi, Ghaziabad, Greater Noida, the Wills Life Style store was launched in Noida’s fully air-conditioned posh five-storey shopping mall in Sector-27 today.

The Wills Sport brand of apparel retailed through exclusive Wills Lifestyle chain of stores, is a brand known for quality and styling comparable to the very best labels world-wide.

The Wills Lifestyle store located in a premium shopping mall shall offer a wide variety of garments crafted from some of the finest fabrics from around the world.

The store follows the design template of the chain’s first outlet in Delhi, created by the company’s international design consultants, San Francisco based American Intelligence Design Group. The design offers an international ambience to showcase, the Wills Sport spring/Summer 2002 collection, for the city’s style-conscious public.

Mr Sugato Bose, the vice-president of the Steel and Shipes of Chandigarh said the Sab Mall will revolutionise the shopping style for those living here as Sab Mall is the only one of its type in the country.

Shoppers convenience has been kept in view, as rams, lifts and a car park for 350 vehicles and fully air-conditioned store will make shopping in some of the most exclusive stores a treat.

Soon, a 6,000 sq. ft. roof top Taj restaurant, 1100 sq. ft. consumer durable retail outlets in the basement, besides diamond, jewellery, opticians, electronic goods etc., will make shopping under one roof a real convenience and pleasure, Mr Bose added.

The mall, the first of its kind in both Delhi and Noida, goes well with the up market image that Noida had built around it. With happening places like Sector 18, the mall will soon have coffee pubs, which will cater to the young crowd.


Traders form panel to oppose changes in Delhi Rent Act

New Delhi, July 25
Fearing the introduction of the proposed amendments to the Delhi Rent Act in the ongoing monsoon session of Parliament, Delhi traders have constituted a 11-member joint action committee (JAC) to take stock of the situation and devise ways to stop it. “The umbrella organisations representing traders in Delhi – the Confederation of All-India Traders (CAIT), Delhi Vyapar Sangathan and Forum of Delhi Traders Association – have decided to constitute the JAC to take stock of the situation,” said the general secretary of CAIT, Mr Praveen Khadelwal.

Mr Khadelwal said if the situation warranted, they would even go for a ‘bandh’, but added nothing had been decided. “There would be a meeting of the JAC tomorrow and everything will be decided,” he said, adding the JAC members would be from different trade associations in Delhi. He also expressed apprehension that the proposed amendments would be introduced in the monsoon session of Parliament. The association would meet various political parties to apprise the leaders of their apprehensions. 

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 |