Tuesday, July 30, 2002, Chandigarh, India
N C R   S T O R I E S

Teaching cadre cast aside as PGIMS gets new MS
Jatinder Sharma

Rohtak, July 29
Rejecting the names of three senior professors from the teaching cadre, the government has appointed an HCMS non-teaching cadre doctor as Medical Superintendent of the PT B D Sharma Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences (PGIMS), the only government-owned medical college in Haryana.

The Director, PGIMS, Maj-Gen (Retd) Virender Singh Punia, reportedly recommended the names of Dr A K Vohra, Professor and Head of Psychiatry Department, Dr Balbir Chhabra, Professor and Head, Anaesthesia Department and Dr N K Sharma, Professor and Head, Neurosurgery Department from the teaching cadre for appointment as Medical Superintendent of the institute.

The post fell vacant after the appointment of Dr S S Sangwan as Dean of PGIMS. But surprisingly, the government has appointed Dr O P Lathwal, a non-teaching HCMS doctor, not even holding the rank of civil surgeon against the coveted post.

The essential requirement, as per rules for appointment to the post of Medical Superintendent in the PGIMS, is five years’ experience as professor in a clinical department or as Deputy Medical Superintendent (DMS) in a 500-bedded hospital.

Although Dr Lathwal was deputed to work as DMS in this institute from 1992 to 1998, his appointment was against the post of epidemiologist in SPM department.

Incidentally, the Supreme Court last week terminated the services of 37 doctors in Orissa who had been transferred from the state civil medical services (non-teaching cadre) to medical colleges (teaching cadre).

The apex court had even quashed the validation Act passed by the Orissa assembly by terming it ultra vires since it was a back-door entry and affected the seniority of the staff working in medical colleges (teaching cadre). The senior faculty of the PGIMS is miffed about the appointment of Dr Lathwal as Medical Superintendent. Many senior professors said that those who themselves had been violating rules, were not expected to do justice. “If the highest posts in the institution are filled with ineligible rule-violators, the government should entrust the teaching and patient care also to those non-academic administrators,” the senior faculty members said.

“If we cannot stop the government from thrusting outsiders on our heads, we can certainly adopt indifferent attitude,” they warned. In a related development, a senior professor and head of the department has been asked to appear before the local tehsildar today to face an inquiry into some complaint against him. It is for the first time that a professor and head of department in the government-owned medical college, drawing a salary in the pay-scale of Rs 18,000 has been asked to appear before a junior officer of the rank of tehsildar, pay scale Rs 8000.

However, the professor and head of department did not appear before the tehsildar today. A senior faulty member told the ‘NCR Tribune’ that propriety demands that the Director, PGIMS or the Commissioner, Health Department, should look into the complaints against the institutional employees. Even if somebody complained to the district administration, the Director should look into the matter. He said that even students in hostels cannot be interrogated without the permission of institutional heads.

Insiders believe that the complaint has been engineered because of the reservations expressed by the Professor and Head of the Department concerned over handing over the charge of Medical Superintendent by the Director, PGIMS to a Deputy Medical Superintendent.

The Professor and Head of the department was also among those whose name was recommended for appointment as Medical Superintendent.


Delhi Govt gets into drought mode
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 29
The Government of NCT of Delhi believes in bucking the trend and doing things differently.

Monday’s Cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit has decided to dash off a letter to the Government of India protesting against Delhi’s exclusion from the meeting of states affected by drought. The meeting chaired by Union Agriculture Minister Ajit Singh was held last week.

Is Delhi then in the grip of a drought ? Nobody is willing to offer any comment just yet. “Drought-like conditions are prevailing in Delhi as well,” is all Ms Dikshit will say for now. Her Cabinet colleague and Revenue Minister Haroon Yusuf has a different take on the situation.

“The expected date of onset of monsoon in the Capital was July 19. The quantum of rainfall in Delhi so far is 62.9 mm when the normal rainfall should have been 217.8 mm by now. The deficit of rainfall therefore is a negative 71 per cent,” Yusuf says by way of explaining the incidence of a drought-like situation. The chief minister will acknowledge, reluctantly though, that the Government of NCT of Delhi has been slow in reading the situation. The survey to assess the loss of kharif crop and vegetables due to drought-like situation was ordered as late as last week. She has since directed the Divisional Commissioner and the Development Commissioner to submit the details of loss within two days. The survey is being conducted by the Department of Revenue.

The officials engaged in the survey have been told to assess the failure of the crop and to inform the Government as to the extent of damage – the total area as well as the farmers affected and the likely damage that has been caused in the rural area due to drought-like situation. Development and Revenue Minister Haroon Yusuf, in turn, says officials have been told to formulate a contingency plan to cope with the situation. Accordingly, Chief Engineer of the Department of Irrigation and Flood Control has been asked to take up certain measures to ensure availability of irrigation water to the smaller and marginal farmers.

The chief engineer has also been asked to work out the feasibility and modalities of installing deep bore tubewells along the Najafgarh drain in west Delhi and shallow-capacity tubewells along the Western Yamuna Canal in North West Delhi for providing additional irrigation water. The minister has also directed the officials concerned to monitor the supply of vegetables and other perishable goods to the Delhi markets. “The government,” he has warned wholesalers, “will not tolerate any attempt on their part to speculate or make efforts to unnecessarily hike the prices of vegetables and other commodities.”


Delhi BJP pre-empts Cong on drought relief
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 29
The Delhi unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party today urged the Centre to take drought relief measures as a large number of farmers dependent on 1.80 lakh acres of cultivable land in the Capital were facing hard conditions because of insignificant rainfall this monsoon.

The BJP leaders urged the Union Agriculture Minister, Mr Ajit Singh, to take “appropriate initiative” in view of the pathetic conditions being faced by farmers in Delhi as the state government had so far shown “laxity” over the issue.

The signatories to the letter are the four BJP MPs from the Capital – Mr Madan Lal Khurana, Mr Sahib Singh Verma, Mr Lal Behari Tiwari, Dr Anita Arya and the Leader of the Opposition in the Delhi Assembly, Prof Jagdish Mukhi.

The BJP leaders said the Congress-led Delhi Government had so far shown “laxity in carrying out the survey of the drought-hit areas and making arrangements for providing relief and compensation, whereas all other state governments had already carried out surveys and worked out estimations for claiming relief and compensation from the Union Government.”

The leaders in the letter urged the Centre to declare 193 villages in the Capital as drought-hit areas and arrange for providing them relief and compensation, stop recovery of interests and loan instalments for one year from these farmers, work out the compensation for loss of crops at the rate of Rs 10,000 per acre and the payment be made accordingly and arrange for free fodder for the animals.

As this drought was going to hit the coming rabi crop also because the soil has been fully taken over by white ants, arrangements should, therefore, be made to appoint specialists to carry necessary tests to get the land free from white ants and make it cultivable, arrange for interest-free loans so that the farmers were able to grow rabi crop.

As some farmers did not have cultivable land and were dependent on hired land, a survey of such farmers should be carried out separately and appropriate arrangements be made to provide them relief and compensation, the letter said.

The BJP leaders said the Delhi Government continued to harp on making the Yamuna pollution-free, even as waste from sewers continued to flow in the river. The leaders suggested that sewers could be diverted for the useful purpose of irrigation and making the Yamuna free from pollution.

The farmers, who had applied for tubewell connections, should be given connections on a priority basis, the leaders added.


Fodder turns noxious for want of rain
Our Correspondent

Ghaziabad, July 29
Lack of rain in western UP has rendered fodder poisonous. The district Animal Husbandry Officer of Ghaziabad has underlined this aspect in his report to the District Magistrate. The farmers are being advised not to give fodder to their cattle, especially jowar fodder to cattle of less than three years in age.

Drought has affected the cattle very badly. There is a general scarcity of water and fodder for cattle. Fodder was sown in 35,400 hectares of land in Ghaziabad district alone. Fodder crop on 19,000 hectares has become parched. As a consequence of the drought-like conditions green fodder is becoming affected with HCN poison, which is quite common in some of the neighbouring districts too. The district Veterinary Officer, in his report to the District Magistrate has stated that HCN poison seems to have affected the fodder crop. Farmers are being educated on this through the Pashu Mitra Mandali. Cattle breeders have been advised never to feed cattle with chhoti jowar fodder which stands less than three feet in height.

The cattle in the district are being given injections according to the roster to safeguard them against diseases. 


GPS gets nod, now PCRs can’t play truant
Syed Ali Ahmed
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 29
The Ministry of Home Affairs has finally approved the Delhi Police’s proposal for a state-of-the-art Global Positioning System (GPS) to keep track of the 338-odd Police Control Room vans and reduce the response time in its efforts to effectively combat crime in the metropolis.

The ministry has already given its nod to the augmenting of the sniffer dog squad and the Bomb Disposal Squads (BDS) to effectively counter the threat from terrorists. The GPS will be installed at the Delhi Police headquarters very soon, sources said. The Delhi Police have already procured a satellite, which will be the hub of the GPS. With its installation, the Delhi Police will become the first state in the country to have such a system.

A special team of technically qualified personnel will look after the GPS, which will be headed by an officer of the rank of Deputy Commissioner of Police and will be under the administrative control of the Central Police Control Room. The GPS will help locate the PCR vans. A computer will be installed in the GPS centre and in the PCR vans to enable the officers to monitor the movement of the vehicles. There have been persistent reports about misuse of PCR vehicles.


Doctor beats up colleague on hospital premises
Prem Pal Singh

Meerut, July 29
In a shocking incident of violence and indiscipline, two senior doctors of the District Hospital clashed on late Sunday evening . One of them was called names and brutally beaten up by the other who is the head of the emergency ward.

Several senior doctors have protested against the incident and gheraoed the Superintendent of the R L Sharma Hospital.

According to the reports, a person called Shahid was admitted to the hospital in a serious condition. His intestines were damaged and he was writhing in pain. His attendant took him to the emergency ward, but he was sent to Ward No. 9. Dr Awasthi was on duty in the ward. Seeing the serious condition of the patient, Dr Awasthi referred him to the emergency ward. According to the eyewitness, the emergency incharge, Dr R L Sharma, sent him back to the male surgical ward, saying that his condition was not so serious.

Meanwhile, the condition of the patient deteriorated and he died even as he was being given a second bottle of blood. The livid attendant began shouting slogans against the hospital officials and, later, he and his associates also gheraoed the Medical Superintendent of the hospital.

Taking a serious note of the incident, the Superintendent immediately called a meeting and asked the doctors in the emergency ward to conduct themselves properly. Several senior doctors agreed with the Superintendent. This infuriated the emergency incharge, Dr Sharma, who got up and started beating up Dr Awasthi of the male surgical ward.

Dr Sharma pinned Dr Awasthi down, hit him with his legs and even slapped him. Hearing the commotion, several patients, attendants and staff members came out of their wards. Many of them shouted slogans against the Superintendent. The situation was restored only after an hour.



Encroachers take over girls school
Our Correspondent

Meerut, July 29
The headmaster of a primary school (girl wing) at Sarai Jena has charged the city mayor with misusing his power and status. In this power game, the future of more than 100 schoolgirls is at stake.

In her complaint to the Deputy Director, Education, she alleged that the mayor had locked the school building a month ago. A section of the school building was also razed to convert the premises into a commercial complex.

The local police, including the station house incharge of the city Kotwali, did not take cognizance of the complaint given to the SHO Kotwali by the Deputy Director, Education, requesting the police to help evict the encroachers from the school premises.

Through the sources in the education department, the ‘NCR Tribune’ came to know that Behlins Sarai Jena Primary School had been functioning in the building for more than 20 years.

There are more than hundred girls in the current session. The head teacher of the girls’ school retired on June 30. Assistant teacher Mehrunishan was then made incharge of the school. There are two other teachers in the primary school.

In her complaint, dated June 27 to the Kotwali police, the head teacher alleged that some influential people had encroached on the school building and requested the police to remove the encroachment. She also reported the matter to the district education officer, that her school building had been locked by the Mayor Hazi Akhlakh who reportedly got the building transferred in his name.

She disclosed that several important documents and valuable articles were also locked in the school room.

She alleged the two of its rooms had been demolished by the mayor and the rest of the building was still in his possession. District Education Officer Kunta Devi made a representation to the SHO.

DEO then reported the matter to the Basic Shiksha Adhikari on the basis of a report filed by the assistant teacher and stated that the future of more than 100 schoolgirls was at stake.

However, despite repeated complaints, no action has been taken. Nobody bothered to take note of the plight of the teachers and the students. The teachers and the students come to school daily but no classes are held. The city mayor is also an honorary president of the Basic Shiksha Parishad. When the ‘NCR Tribune’ tried to photograph the school building, four musclemen objected to the act. 


Mining mafia does not spare even gail pipeline
Our Correspondent

Ghaziabad, July 29
The earth mining mafia in the Loni area has illegally dug out earth around Asia’s longest LPG pipeline coming from Jam Nagar in Gujarat to Loni.

Earth around a 140-metre-long pipeline had been dug out and removed in an all-night operation between Jawali and Rajpur villages. This has created panic among officials of the Gas Authority of India Ltd. Now, in an emergency operation, the pipeline is being covered with earth and sand.

This GAIL pipeline was formally inaugurated by the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, at a huge public function near Loni last year with a lot of publicity.

The GAIL steel pipeline is normally placed between 5 ft and 15 ft below the ground level. The illegal earth mining mafia did not spare even this precious national asset and removed the earth from all around the steel pipeline. It could be seen hanging naked and without any earth support or covering at many places.

Till a few months ago the situation here was normal and the land was under cultivation but now earth has been dug out to a depth of about 8 ft to 10 ft. The mafia resorted to this illegal operation at night. Had some road accident taken place at the place, it would have caused a major catastrophe.

According to the Deputy General Manager (Chemicals), Mr B. Das, of GAIL the company has already paid compensation to farmers for land up to 10 metres on one side and 20 metres on the other side around the LPG pipeline. Earth mining on this land after the compensation has been given is absolutely illegal.

GAIL is contemplating taking legal action against the guilty persons involved in this illegal and dangerous activity.

The GAIL officials have already sent a report to the central government in this connection, Mr Das has added.

Unfortunately, the police are playing a dubious role in this whole episode. They maintain that the earth mining is being done with the administration’s permission. But it is pointed out by insiders that permission has been taken for some other places and the earth is being removed from some other fields.


New general secretary for HVP in Ahirwal
Our Correspondent

Rewari, July 29
Mr Anil Rao, a leading activist of the Haryana Vikas Party in Ahirwal (South Haryana), has been appointed general secretary of the party by the HVP supremo and former Chief Minister Bansi Lal.His elevation among the top brass of the party is virtually an indication of the growing faith of the party chief in his capabilities to deliver the goods in Ahirwal. Besides, this is also a pointer to the importance, which the party attaches to the Ahirwal region as an important factor in the electoral politics of Haryana.

Mr Anil Rao, a postgraduate from Jamia Milia Islamia, Delhi, as well as a diploma holder in Marketing and Management, was earlier incharge of party affairs in Ahirwal at a time when the party had not done well in the electoral politics in the region. However, it goes to his credit that he along with other party loyalists made sincere attempts to re-establish the party’s image by bringing new activists into the party fold.

Their efforts were further strengthened by the good performance of the party nominee in the by-election in Yamuna Nagar as well as the successful rallies of Mr Bansi Lal at Bawal and Birhor. However, the party activists were encouraged by the huge turnout at the HVP rallies in the Ahirwal region. The party organised massive protest rallies against the “anti-farmer and anti-people” policies of the Chautala government at Narnaul, Rewari and Gurgaon in quick succession in the month of June. These protest rallies were led by the HVP general secretary and former MP, Mr Surender Singh. The recent rally held at Sehlong and attended by Mr Surender Singh was another successful event of the party.

Obviously, theses successful events and the growing influence of the party in the region has led to Mr Anil Rao’s elevation to the post of general secretary of the party. Even as it is a matter of pride for the region, it involves great responsibility for Mr Rao. However, only time will tell how effective the leadership of Mr Rao will be in transforming the growing impact of the party into electoral gains for the party in the next Assembly elections.


Woman accuses husband of sodomy
Our Correspondent

Meerut, July 29
A woman has charged her husband with sodomy in a written complaint made to the station house officer of PS Saruspur. She filed an FIR to this effect which was signed by her father also. Her father regretted that he married her daughter Ragini (name changed) to Manoj of Falwda village two months back.

The father complained that on July 20, his son-in-law came to their house and after staying there for a couple of days, returned on July 24.

According to the complaint, his son-in-law had the unnatural act with Ragini who received serious injuries on her private parts. She returned to her maternal home the very next day and described the incident to her parents.

Her parents took her to doctor’s and got her medically examined. It was confirmed that she was a victim of unnatural offence. His father then filed an FIR against her husband Manoj. Subsequently, the man was arrested and presented before the chief judicial magistrate who sent him in the judicial custody. A case has been registered against him under Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code which means a maximum sentence of 10 years as sodomy, even with one’s wife, is prohibited under the law. Meanwhile, Manoj while in judicial remand, told the ‘NCR Tribune’ that his in-laws had ruined his married life. He had been a victim of conspiracy as his wife did not keep cordial relations with her in-laws.


VHAI champions the cause of suffering lot
Tribune News Service

WHAT are the steps taken by your organisation in disaster mitigation?

We have never failed to respond to human miseries caused by man made and natural disasters even though disaster mitigation does not fall under our original mandate.

VHAI’s response to two recent natural calamities namely Orissa super-cyclone and Gujarat earthquake has been instant and spontaneous.

We have also initiated a long-term relief and rehabilitation project for fisher-folk, artisans and other victims of the Orissa super-cyclone in October 1999. The programme, named Aparajita, has benefited lakhs of people under a wide spectrum of rehabilitation and livelihood support activities.

Under the same name, Aparajita, a relief, rescue and rehabilitation programme was also initiated in Gujarat after a massive earthquake hit the region in January 2001. It is currently underway to benefit over 3000 families.

ESTABLISHED in 1970, as a non-profit, registered society, the Voluntary Health Association of India (VHAI) today is a federation of 24 State Voluntary Health Associations, linking over 4000 member institutions across the country. It is one of the largest health and development networks in the world.

The organisation advocates people-centred policies for dynamic health planning and programme management in India. VHAI initiates and supports innovative health and development programmes at the grassroots with the active participation of the people.

The beneficiaries of VHAI’s programme include health professionals, researchers, social activists, government functionaries and media personnel.

In a tete-a-tete with the NCR Tribune, Mr Alok Mukhopadhyay, the CEO of the organisation explains the various operational areas of VHAI and how they want to advocate “health for all”.

What has been the hallmark of VHAI’s success in addressing all the developmental activities in India?

The ability to adopt to the changing developmental needs of the country’s most needy, is the hallmark of any progressive organisation. This ideology has been the driving force behind all VHAI’s activities and has helped it emerge as a leading health and developmental organisation in the country. As a sensitive developmental agency, VHAI considers it as a sacred duty to be with the suffering people, when they need it most.

Hence, in the wake of Orissa and Gujarat disasters, VHAI tried to build on people’s strength to turn these disasters into developmental initiatives.

Please underline the goals set by VHAI in addressing the various issues of health in India?

We want to ensure social justice and equity in the provision and accessibility of health care to every one, with emphasis on the vulnerable sections and the underprivileged of our society. Our organisation believes in promoting and strengthening a medically rational, culturally acceptable and economically sustainable healthcare system in the country.

Additionally, we would work towards a development of sustainable and innovative strategies to ensure health and overall community development in remote, vulnerable areas through the Khoj projects.

What are these Khoj projects?

VHAI runs a set of 19 comprehensive community health and development programmes called “KHOJ Projects” in some very underdeveloped, difficult and economically devastated areas of the country.

By utilising health as an intervention point, these projects have been able to bring about substantive overall community development in the project areas. Some of these projects have been Sambhav in Shivpuri (MP), Organisation for Rural Reconstruction and Integrated Social Service Activities (ORRISSA) in Orissa, Shanti Sadhana Ashram in Kamrup (Assam), Society to Uplift Rural Economy (SURE) in Barmer, Rajasthan among others.

What are the efforts taken by VHAI to communicate its message to its target audience?

Effective communication through print, audiovisuals and folk art has been the backbone of VHAI’s work. Starting from a few publications to becoming one of the largest publisher of resource materials on developmental issues, the success of VHAI’s communications efforts lies on the felt needs of the people.

At the same time, we are also focussing on mass media in reaching out to the common publics, the grassroot workers, the policy makers and government officials. We have recently emerged as a filmmaker of national repute on issues of social concern. The 26-episode serial ‘SHEILA’ - story of a woman’s struggle in a male dominated society was telecast on Doordarshan twice.

Similarly, ‘ANANT’ a tele-film on lives of four HIV positive patients was premiered on Star TV. Under the aegis of Films for Change, a joint initiative of VHAI and project SMITA (in fond memories of Smita Patil), Mumbai, a ffeature film, ‘APARAJITA’ - on adolescence and associated issues has also been premiered.

It has received rave reviews from the development world. Other similar initiatives include tele-serials and documentaries on developmental concerns.

How is VHAI networked in India?

We are currently one of the largest health and development networks in the world.

Representation in 24 states in India through State Voluntgary Health Associations (SVHA’s), partnership with more than 4000 grassroots organisations, a strong health worker movement with more than 1,20,000 health workers and a proactive networking with national and international agencies on advocacy issues have enabled VHAI to explore a plethora of issues on Health and Development in a comprehensive perspective.

Some of our international partners being WHO, UNDP, UNICEF, World Bank, ADB and many international NGOs.



LJP chief threatens to move court on SYL
Tribune News Service

Panipat, July 29
Demanding action against the Punjab Chief Minister, Capt. Amarinder Singh, for his failure to complete the construction of SYL canal in Punjab as per the Supreme Court directive, the Haryana Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) chief, Capt. Shamsher Singh Malik, today threatened to move the court on the SYL issue.

Addressing party workers after launching the state-wide membership drive, Capt Malik also charged the Haryana Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, of not pleading the case with the Centre, particularly at a time when the state was facing a draught-like condition.

He charged that Mr Chautala did not attend the meeting of the Chief Ministers of Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan called by the Centre to sort out the issue, which showed that the Haryana Government was not serious in getting its legitimate share of water.

Terming the SYL canal as the “lifeline of Haryana”, the LJP chief demanded action as per the law against the Punjab

Chief Minister for his deliberate attempts to block the implementation of the Supreme Court directives on the construction of the SYL canal.

Coming down heavily on the Chautala government for the retrenchment of over 21,000 employees, he assured the retrenched staff that they would be taken back into service when the Lok Janshakti Party came to power.

He also advocated that the right to work should be made a fundamental right.

Stressing the need for the setting up a “self-employment commission”, he ridiculed the Haryana Government’s for demanding insufficient compensation when a large part of the state was reeling under draught.

Criticising the disinvestment policies of the NDA Government, he charged it of selling prime public properties to the private sector for a song.

Answering a question regarding alliance with other parties in the next Haryana Assembly poll, Capt Malik said the party had an open mind about entering into pact with “secular and progressive” parties.

The general secretary and state spokesman, Mr Surender Singh Hooda, while claiming that the party was gaining ground in the state, informed that in a span of 3 months, 5,000 active members would be enrolled in the party in each district. Each active member in turn would enroll 25 members each.


Self-employment scheme reviewed
Our Correspondent

Faridabad, July 29
A high-level meeting was held here today to review the progress made under the 'Golden Jubilee Urban Self-Employment Scheme’ launched with the help of the Centre. Mr Ram Niwas, Commissioner and Director of the employment scheme chaired the meeting. The Additional Deputy Commissioners (ADC) of the four districts of Faridabad, Gurgaon, Rewari and Mahendergarh took part in the meeting.

The scheme proposes to help the educated unemployed youths of urban areas who wish to tap the various self-employment avenues, for which not only financial aid is provided, but the beneficiaries are also given proper training and awareness of the field chosen, according to District Development and Panchayat Officer (DDPO), Mr Devender Singh Surjewala.

He disclosed that the scheme had funds to the tune of Rs 7.55 lakh under the various sub-heads and had a target of providing loans to at least 170 youths. The training aspect under the scheme was important so as to ensure that the loans and other financial aid did not go waste, he added.

BSNL rebate

The Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) announced its decision to increase the rebate on monthly bills between one and two lakh of rupees in the district. Announcing this decision at a meeting of the commercially important customers (CIC) recently, the General Manager, Mr Yashpal Kataria, said that ten per cent rebate would be allowed on monthly bill between Rs one and two lakh. Earlier the rebate limit was 2.5 and 5 per cent on such bills. According to BSNL authorities, the department has planned to replace all E-10-B type RLU-exchanges with new technology. Besides, it plans to open at least nine new exchanges in Faridabad this year.

Three killed

At least three persons have been killed and some others injured in various incidents in the district in the past 24 hours. According to police sources, a woman, identified as Urmila Devi, a resident of Ballabgarh town, consumed a poisonous substance and died. A case of suicide is still to be ascertained. In another incident, the police has booked a case in connection with the death of a married woman at Hathin. It is alleged that the victim was forced to commit suicide due to harassment. In the third incident, a fruit seller was stabbed to death at Palwal on Sunday. The victim, Chunni Lal, had a shop near the Municipal Committee office. He was stabbed by two persons. Meanwhile, some persons got injured in quarrel at Mahanatpur village.


Cash aid for Mansarovar yatris raised
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 29
The Government of NCT of Delhi will raise cash assistance given to the Kailash Mansarovar Yatris from Rs 5,000 to Rs 10,000.

A 24-hour information centre will operate under the aegis of Tirath Yatra Vikas Samiti at Hotel Indraprastha for rendering assistance to the pilgrims.

Briefing media persons after the weekly meeting of the Cabinet, the government spokesperson said the Tirath Yatra Vikas Samiti of the Government of NCT of Delhi makes arrangements for boarding and lodging of the pilgrims at Hotel Indraprastha and also organises send-off ceremonies for all the 16 batches of yatris.

The cash assistance is given to the yatris at the time of the send-off ceremony when prominent personalities present gifts and other items to the pilgrims. A meeting had been convened on April 19 that had decided to recommend increasing the cash assistance by Rs 5,000.

Besides approving the hike in assistance, the Cabinet also gave its nod to involving voluntary organisations in hosting the send-off ceremonies of the yatris.


Traders express grief at Kant’s passing away
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 29
The Sadar Bazar Traders Welfare Association today expressed grief about the untimely demise of Vice-President Krishna Kant. Mr Brij Mohan Vig, president of the association, said Mr Kant, who served the country for a long time, would always be remembered. The sudden demise of Mr Kant has left a vacuum, which can never be filled. The association held a meeting to recall the good works done the Vice-President and urged members to follow in his footsteps. 


Call for demonstration at Jantar Mantar
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 29
The Delhi Chapter of the Joint Platform of Action of Government and Associate Services Employees Organisations (JPA) today called for a massive demonstration at Jantar Mantar protesting against the anti-employment policies adopted by the government.

Hundreds of employees belonging to various departments of the central and state government participated in the demonstration and shouted slogans like ‘withdraw anti-employee, anti-employment policies, withdraw all anti-employee recommendations of the fifth CPC, stop curtailment of posts, fill all vacant posts and many more.

Various leaders condemned the act of the government and alleged that the policies were designed at the directives of committees headed by representatives of various monopoly industrial houses like Mr Kumaramangalam Birla, Mr Mukesh Ambani, Mr Rahul Bajaj and Tatas who were anti-working class. Mr R. S. Bhadauria, Convenor, Central Secretariat Clerks’ Association, has pointed out that the recommendations of the fifth CPC have virtually put a question mark on the job security of all sections of government employees, leaving them with no respite.


NTPC to create 20000 MW power capacity in 10 yrs
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 29
The National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) plans to create additional power generating capacity of 20,000 mega watts in the next 10 years, said Mr CP Jain, Chairman and Managing Director, NTPC, while addressing the Northern Region Customers Meet at Manesar (near Gurgaon), today. Mr Jain said creation of additional power generation capacity is in line with the government’s plans to provide

power to all by year 2012. “To meet this target, all the constituents of the power sector have to adopt a commercially viable approach,” he said. The customers meet was attended by the officials of the northern region power utilities including Bhakhra Beas Management Board and Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation.


Three bus robbers arrested after boy alerts cops
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 29
Three persons who where trying to loot the passengers in a bus were arrested by the Police Control Room (PCR) van stationed at the Naraina ‘T’ point today. The arrested persons also tried to molest a woman in the bus. The arrested robbers were identified as Jai Bhagwan (25), resident of Uttam Nagar, Jahid (21), resident of Sunder Nagri and Sanjay (18), resident of Azadpur. A button-actuated knife was also recovered from them.

A young boy informed a PCR van that some persons were looting the passengers in the bus. Subsequently, two PCR vans chased the bus and intercepted it near a petrol pump in Naraina. Hasin, a girl who was travelling in the bus told the police that the robbers tried to snatch her gold chain besides attempting to molest her.

Dacoity planned

The Mukherjee Nagar police have nabbed five persons who where planning to commit dacoity in Batra Cinema. One .12 country-made weapon, .38 bore revolver, one button actuated knife and two butcher knives were recovered from them.

The accused were identified as Azimuddin, Mohammad Shamim, Nadeem Ahmed, Mohammad Illiyas and Mohammad Shahad. The accused, who were in their twenties, were planning to target the cash counter of the Batra Cinema, the police said.

Woman murdered

A woman was strangulated by her husband today following a dispute between them in Sangam Vihar in South district. The police said that the victim identified as Babita (31), was a mother of three children and was married to Ravinder 13-years ago. The police said that the husband and wife often fought over problems and one such dispute led Ravinder to take the extreme step of killing his wife. A case of murder has been registered with the police.


A resident of Dariba Kalan, Mr Gaurav Gupta, sold his scooter to Deep Chand Gupta. However, the documents of the vehicle were not transferred in the name of the second party. Consequently, Mr Gaurav Gupta, the first party continues to receive challans for offences committed by Mr Deep Chand Gupta, the person using the sold vehicle. He has appealed to the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Traffic, to resolve the problem. 


Sunil Gujjar caught by Noida police
Parmindar Singh

Noida, July 29
Dreaded criminal Sunil Gujjar, who had escaped from Delhi Police custody in Tis Hazari courts on July 15, was arrested by Surajpur police here on Sunday. A countrymade revolver and a stolen motor bike were recovered from him. His accomplice managed to flee. Wanted in about two dozen crimes, Sunil had shot a constable in Dadri last year and also assaulted district panchayat president Naresh Bhatti.

After his escape from the police custody, Sunil Gujjar had stayed on for two days in Jawali village with a view to killing independent MLA Madan Bhaya. SP (Rural) Pushpak Jyoti said Sunil Gujjar hails from Daggarpur village in Baghpat. He was nabbed at Gad Gad crossing by SO Surajpur R S Yadav and his constables. His companion Jiti of Kheda village in Dadri, however, fled. The SP said Sunil Gujjar was a dreaded criminal, lodged in Tihar Jail for a crime in Roop Nagar area of Delhi. He escaped from the police custody at Tis Hazari courts where he had been brought in connection with the same case. Sunil had confessed to Noida police that he wanted to kill Madan Bhaya as he suspected that Bhaya had played a role in his brother Shaukeen’s murder last year. His companions Babloo Thakur, Rawale Pahelwan and Umesh Thakur were killed in an encounter with Rajasthan police recently.

He himself was a member of Sunder Bhatti and Yasveer Fauji gang, Mr Jyoti said. He confessed about his involvement in many petrol pump and liquor shop robberies in Haryana. He also said that his companion Rohit Chaudhri was planning bank heists in Noida.


Lighting industry to showcase its products
Our Correspondent

New Delhi, July 29
The small-scale sector is going to showcase its wide range of products at the forthcoming ‘Light India International Exhibition 2002’ organised by the India Society of Lighting Engineers (ISLE).

Speaking in the Capital today, the President Emeritus, H S Mamak said that the small-scale sector employs an estimated 50 lakh skilled and unskilled workers and has a turn over of about Rs 500 crore.

It was pointed out that the small scale sector has young entrepreneurs operating as auxiliary units to larger lighting companies or as independent manufacturers and suppliers and even as developmental units producing luminaries and accessories meeting international standards.

The ISLE accounts for about 40 per cent of the luminaries segment. As large scale manufacturers do not want to set up manufacturing bases in India for exports, this opportunity will help the small-scale sector to boost their image and sales.Back

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