Wednesday, July 31, 2002, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


Akali factional feud spills into school
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 30
Hundreds of children of Guru Nanak Khalsa School, Hari Nagar, had a harrowing time today when sword-wielding supporters of the two Akali factions virtually came to blows on the school premises in a bid to wrest control of the building.

Even as the Akalis accused each other of “illegal trespassing”, the supporters of the two groups – armed with sticks, swords and iron rods – entered the school premises and manhandled each other, disrupting the senior secondary classes. The situation was brought under control with police help.

However, both the groups are still claiming that they are in control of the school premises. Senior police officials said pickets have been posted around the school and patrolling in the area has been intensified.

The Shiromani Akali Dal Delhi, which controls the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee, has lodged a complaint with the police against the SAD (Badal) of “illegal trespassing”. On the other hand, the Delhi unit chief of SAD (Badal) has decided to take up the issue with the Akal Takht Jathedar.

Accusing the rival Badal faction leader, Mr Avtar Singh Hit, of “illegally trespassing” in the DSGMC-run school, the committee president, Mr Paramjit Singh Sarna, said the rival faction was able to make such a brash attempt with the active connivance of the local police.

Mr Sarna alleged that the police did not act despite the DSGMC leaders submitting the “true” facts about the school’s property rights. “The police personnel prevented the SAD Delhi supporters from entering the school premises even as the Badal faction had a free run,” he said.

The DSGMC chief stated that the Delhi BJP president, Mr Madan Lal Khurana, initially did not come to their rescue, but later he intervened and had a telephonic conversation with senior police officials, which helped defuse the situation.

Mr Hit claimed that the rival faction tried to forcibly take control of the school even though the institution is run by the Suko Khalsa Educational Society.

However, the DSGMC president claimed that the school belongs to the committee which has been providing it financial aid.

Mr Hit, who is also the chairman of the Society, said he was ready to hand over the school to the DSGMC, provided it coughs up the compensation as settled by the Akal Takht earlier.

However, Mr Sarna alleged that the Badal faction leader was trying to usurp the school property as it is worth crores of rupees. The last committee had asked a two-member panel to take a decision on the school. The panel’s report was passed without even giving the executive committee members an opportunity to glance at it. Even the objections raised by some were not recorded, Mr Sarna claimed.

The two panel members – Mr Tanwant Singh and Mr Jasbir Singh Kaka – in their report had stated that it was financially unviable for the DSGMC to run the school and it should be handed over to the society.

Mr Sarna demanded: “If it is uneconomical for the DSGMC to run the institution, how could it be viable for an individual, who heads the society, who then happened to be the same person.”

The Badal faction leader said: “This is a conspiracy by the Tohra faction to oust me from Delhi Sikh politics. On the school issue I was earlier ex-communicated by the Akal Takht, and was taken back into the fold after I accepted the religious punishment.”

“Back in power, they are acting with a vengeance. Otherwise, how can one justify the orders of the new DSGMC suspending appointments made in the past two years in schools and other institutions. Have they given a thought to those who have been rendered jobless,” Mr Hit asked.



DLF City residents sweat and fume 
Ravi S. Singh
Tribune News Service

Gurgaon, July 30
With the power situation in the DLF City remaining far from satisfactory and the residents’ patience wearing thin, the DLF management and the Dakhshini Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (DHBVN) have started passing the buck. In their face-off, the residents suffer. They seem to be even worse off than the residents in the sectors of Haryana Urban Development Authority (Huda).

A resident said that the denizens were paying a heavy price for the ‘power-politics’ of the two organisations. “It’s basically a sorry tale of a dream sold to us by the DLF. A dream which has remained just that— a dream,” said another resident. In a note circulated to the residents, the DLF City Residents’ Association alleged that the DHBVN was not prepared to maintain the system.

It said that it would take a residents’ delegation to the state Chief Minister for a solution.

The Qutab Enclave Residents Welfare Association also alleged that the DLF management had floated a parallel organisation to suppress the genuine demand of the residents. However, the association today released its findings on the power problem. It said that the electrical system of the DLF City was laid by HSEB and their successors, HVPN, in accordance with the norms set by them under their own supervision between 1987 and 1999 at the cost of DLF.

In addition to the cost of the system, HSEB/DHBVN have also been paid five years’ cost for operation and maintenance of the electric system by the developer. Also, DHBVN is the licensee for the system and is required to operate and maintain it. In the absence of proper staff, they issue permits to the DLF to operate and maintain the system. In its findings meant for the consumption of the residents, it has asserted that no MoU has been executed between HVPN, DHBVN and DLF to operate and maintain the electrification system of the DLF City. Besides, once an electric line has been energised by the state electricity authority or public sector agency, no one is allowed to handle its maintenance.

It asserted that the DLF has agreed to maintain the system as a matter of goodwill gesture to residents. In an effort to take the electricity department head on, it alleged that DHBVN earns about Rs 40 crore annually as revenue from the collection of bills from the residents.

It said that the electricity system in the City needs an immediate augmentation.

Dwelling on the present scene, it said that while DHBVN is the licence for maintenance and operation of electricity system, only a skeleton staff is available at 66 KV sub-station to maintain the entire system. The HBVN authorities rubbish the argument of the association. In their opinion, the DLF builders did not stick to the norm as they had got approved load collectively on plot basis in the city. But what later happened was scandalous. The residents got building plans approved for basement and two and a half storeys literally on every plot. The DLF should have know the kind of gentry it was to serve.

Besides, the electricity department was responsible for providing load to the residential plots and not to the commercial sites. The authorities shudder to visualise the problem in case their is hundred per cent occupancy in the City. Presently, there is only 30-40 per cent occupancy.



Power cuts turn life in Faridabad topsy-turvy
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, July 30
The power crisis has deepened in Faridabad district. The undeclared cuts have become a regular feature. Power cuts even at unearthly hours have become the order of the day. And there seems to be no light at the end of the tunnel! The number of cuts has gone up sharply in the past one month. The duration of each cut ranges from half an hour to more than an hour. The shortage in power supply has turned the life of residents topsy-turvy apart from upsetting the commercial and industrial life. The department has now started cuts during the night also, which was not done a fortnight ago.

According to Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (DHBVN) sources, the absence of rain and the fact that the temperature remains above normal most of the times have worsened the supply position. While the demand, which normally comes down during the monsoon season in residential areas, has gone up, the supply position has been more or less the same.

The difference in demand and supply is reported to be about at least 15 lakh to 20 lakh units daily. The situation in villages is worse. Satpal of Fazzupur village in the district said that the power supply in their village was not more than 8 hours a day. As a result, he said, farmers and their families who had depended on several electrical gadgets for some domestic chores, again started doing their work manually. Even the fodder-cutting machines using power have been rendered useless due to low voltage, he added.

In urban areas, investors, ACs and coolers are selling like hot cakes. The sale of such items has gone up by nearly 25 to 30 per cent this season in comparison to their sale last year, said a dealer of electronic items in Sector-16 here. Water supply is no better either. Owing to power cuts in urban and rural areas in the morning and evening, the supply has been affected, according to reports.

The Deputy Commissioner, Mr Anil Malik, has directed the power department officials not to impose cuts at the time of water supply in the district.



It’s curtains for three units as GAIL 
diverts CNG supplies
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 30
Three industrial units, including BPL Display Devices, have been forced to close down following the decision of the Gas Authority of India Ltd (GAIL) to cut natural gas supplies to them in deference to the Supreme Court order. GAIL has cut natural gas supplies to 18 industrial units in the National Capital Region (NCR) to increase the allocation of Indraprastha Gas Ltd (IGL), which supplies Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) to the transport sector in Delhi, a decision which has threatened the livelihood of 20,000 people and combined turnover of about Rs 5,000 crore.

“The sudden disruption has already caused some units to shut down. Even a single non-productive day results in heavy revenue losses worth Rs 1.4 crore to the Government,” claimed Mr Deepak Rathi, president of the NCR Gas Industrial Consumers’ Association at a press conference here today.

Mr Rathi said that the abrupt stoppage of natural gas supply, the feedstock for the said industrial units, had threatened their viability and their closure would result in an annual loss of Rs 525 crore to the government exchequer.

“The daily natural gas requirement of these units is a meagre 0.6 million cubic meters (1.4 per cent of HBJ pipeline capacity of 41.54 million cubic meters) which can be met by applying a pro-rata cut on all the consumers on the pipe,” he added.

The association appealed to the government to resume supply of natural gas till IGL creates the required infrastructure to consume the increased supply of natural gas. It urged the government to reconsider this issue as the stoppage of natural gas supplies would seriously damage the viability and survival of these industries and their ability to provide employment to 1.8 lakh people.

There seems to be no end to the problems related to natural gas. With local transport sector already reeling from the CNG crisis, another natural gas crisis threatens employment and production of the industries situated in the NCR. The supply of natural gas to 18 medium and large-scale industrial units in the NCR was abruptly discontinued from July 2, 2002. These units are a source of livelihood for more than 20,000 workers, directly employed, who live in and around the Capital.


Eve-teasing sparks violence in college
Prem Pal Singh

Meerut, July 30
Student clashes have become the norm in Meerut College. In yet another flare-up, students armed with pistols, countrymade revolvers, wickets and knives attacked another group on the campus. Several rounds were fired in the air and a student, who was stabbed in the stomach, is fighting for his life in a hospital. There are two groups in the college — one of Jats and the second of Gujjars. The shoot-out was an outcome of the simmering tension between them. Incidentally, the incident occurred in the vicinity of the office of the SSP, Meerut..

This time the campus erupted over trivia. Dharmendra, a student, was escorting his girl-friend Shivani when some collegians teased the girl and passed some lewd remarks. The BSc student objected to their remarks. The heated exchange led to a scuffle. To settle scores, some students again attacked Dharmendra and his friends today near the principal’s office. They hit him with sticks and cricket wickets. A student also stabbed Dharmendra. Firearms were also used.

Hearing the gunshots, sub-inspector Rajive Sharma and a constable posted on the Meerut college premises chased the attackers, but the students managed to escape.

The students accompanying Dharmendra later gathered near the principal’s office. There was panic all around. The college was crowded, it being the opening day of the session. Anticipating trouble, the principal informed the police and declared the college closed for the day. Lalkurti SHO Laik Hasan, CO III N P Singh along with the Additional City Magistrate rushed to the college and talked to both groups.

Later, speaking to the media persons, public relation officer to the SSP Meerut, Mr Anil Kumar Sachan, said that there were two feuding groups in the college. The shoot-out was a result of the tension between them.

Mr Sachan told the ‘NCR Tribune’ that he had asked the SSP to speak to the senior officials before initiating any action as the matter is sensitive and involves a girl.

Ragging turns violent

New Delhi: Maurice Nagar Police have registered a case of rioting and hurt following a complaint of a third year student of B.Sc. of Ramjas College who was beaten up when he prevented other students from ragging freshers.

A group of six students was ragging a B.Sc. first year student, Om Jeet, on the college premises when Arun Tyagi, a B.Sc. final year student, tried to intervene. The students who were ragging he fresher beat him up with hockey sticks. Arun Tyagi registered a complaint with the college principal and the police.



Cops wring parties in row over buffalo
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, July 30
Even a dispute over trivia can bring the glint into the eyes of cops out to make a fast buck. It presents such ‘corrupt’ enforcers of the law with a window of opportunity to wring money out of the hapless victim. One such case came to light in the Hathin subdivision recently.

A resident of Raniala Khurd village recently approached the police post at Utawar crossing with a dispute over the sale of a buffalo, for which the buyer had not paid him the full amount. Policemen at the post swung into action and seized the bone of contention, the buffalo. It was brought to the post and tied there with full honours.

Though both the parties finally resolved the issue after the intervention of Zila Parishad chairman, the cops at the post wouldn’t let the chance go. It is alleged that the cops demanded some `nazrana’ (bribe).

The applicant approached the Zila Parishad chairman again who reportedly rebuked the cops in this connection. However, the in charge of the post reported the matter to his seniors and alleged that he was abused and threatened. This led to an intervention by the MLA. The matter was at last solved after a DSP intervened.



Walia blames BJP regime for advt scam 
Tribune news Service

New Delhi, July 30
Delhi Minister of PWD and Urban Development A. K. Walia has termed the allegation of Rs 100 crore advertisement scam levelled by the president of Delhi BJP Madan Lal Khurana as totally false, beyond facts, misleading and a bundle of lies. The fact is that this so-called scam had occurred during the regime of the BJP, he claimed.

Addressing a press conference today, Dr Walia said that the BJP had taken over the reins of the Government of Delhi in 1993 and in the name of ‘greening’ Delhi, a draft MoU was approved by it with regard to the installation of kiosks on electric poles at the PWD roads and on tree guards on the central verges on August 9, 1994. After this, a number of MoUs were signed with private companies and this process continued till 1998.

About 50 MoUs were signed with regard to the installation of kiosks on electric poles. In addition, 17 MoUs for a period of seven years were signed for the railing along the central verges of the roads on March 15, 1996. Similarly, MoUs of overhead sign-ages of five years’ duration were signed for 32 locations on May 19, 1997.

In the meantime, a notification was published in the Delhi Gazette in 1996 under which the display of advertisements on PWD roads had been banned. Ignoring this notification, the then government took no action in this connection, Dr Walia said. On the contrary, none of the earlier MoUs was cancelled and the government continued to sign MoUs for display of advertisements.

The PWD Minister said that the NDMC had earned Rs 9,84,80,400 in 1999-2000 and Rs 6,72,24,534 in 2000-2001 on such advertisements. Similarly, the MCD earned Rs 7,78,24,597 and Rs 12,93,63,342 respectively during this period. But due to the MoUs signed during the BJP regime, the Government of Delhi had to incur loss of crores of rupees and not a single penny was earned on such advertisements.

In this background, the present Government of Delhi had now entrusted this matter to the Vigilance/Anti-Corruption Branch to inquire into the whole gamut of the issue, Dr Walia informed.

Besides, all kiosks had been removed from electric poles on PWD roads and MoUs for sign-ages had been cancelled on the completion of the five-year period. In addition, a complete ban had been imposed on the display of such advertisements and the process of cancellation of MoUs of longer duration had started.

The minister said that it was clear from these facts that this so-called scam of advertisements had occurred during the reign of the BJP itself and the allegations levelled by Mr Khurana against the present government were totally wrong, beyond facts and misleading. Mr Khurana had been the former Chief Minister of Delhi and this type of allegations for political gains did not behove of his stature, he added.



Delhi Police duties to be bifurcated
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 30
The Centre has decided in principle to bifurcate the duties of the Delhi Police personnel into investigations and maintenance of law and order, the Lok Sabha was informed today. It has been decided in principle to functionally separate crime investigation from law and order functions by providing adequate number of dedicated investigation teams at the police station level, which were properly equipped and manned by personnel trained in the field of investigation, the Minister of State for Home, Mr Vidyasagar Rao, said in a written reply.

The availability of such dedicated team was expected to improve the quality of investigation, the Minister said.

The government has accorded sanction for creation of nine mobile crime teams in the national Capital, each having a vehicle equipped with state-of-the-art equipment required for collection of evidence, Rao said, adding the cost of a fully equipped vehicle would come up to Rs 20 lakh. The mobile crime teams were intended to reach the spot of the crime at a very short notice and provide forensic and scientific aid to the investigating officers, he said.

The government considered the recommendations of the Balakrishnan Committee on “Reorganisation of Delhi Set-up” regarding abolition of Police Commissioner system in the Capital or, in the alternative, restriction on the powers conferred on the police to only those areas that were needed for discharging their main responsibility of maintaining public order, Rao said. It was, however, not considered the opportune time to change the Police Commissioner system in Delhi, he said.

Persons purchasing house on the basis of power of attorney under the Cooperative Societies Act, 1972, could get the ownership rights, the Minister of State for Urban Development and Poverty Alleviation, Mr O. Rajagopal, informed the Lok Sabha in a written reply.

He said the Delhi Government has sent a proposal to introduce Delhi Cooperative Societies Bill, which was sent to the Ministry of Home for its approval. The proposed bill has been suitably amended in view of the recommendations of various central ministries. The amended bill would again be submitted to the Ministry of Home Affairs by the Delhi Government after its clearance by the state Cabinet.

A total of 8,906 structures in the encroached land were demolished by the Delhi Development Authority during April 1, 2001 to March 31 this year, the Lok Sabha was told today.

The DDA has reported that 1,600 acre of land was under encroachment, out of which about 700 acre of land was under jhuggi cluster and 900 acre was under unauthorised colonies, the Minister of State for Urban Development and Poverty Alleviation, Mr O. Rajagopal said in a written reply.



Sheila criticised for ignoring the plight of farmers
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 30
The protest of Delhi Chief Minister Shiela Dikshit to the Central Government for not being invited to the meeting of drought affected states is ridiculous, said Prof Jagdish Mukhi, the Leader of Opposition in the Delhi Vidhan Sabha today.

Prof Mukhi said this is a Transfer Subject, for which the Delhi Government is solely responsible and has the full authority to deal with the situation. The Central Government is there only to help the drought-stricken states. He said when all the other states were worried about the drought situation and were busy in assessing the loss caused to the khariff crops due to the scanty rainfall this monsoon, the Chief Minister of Delhi, along with her Cabinet colleagues, had no time for the problems of farmers in Delhi and was busy travelling abroad.

Prof Mukhi said six-days back he had issued a press statement in which he had warned that there was a drought like situation in three districts of Delhi. He had also expressed the need to defer the re-payment of loans and interests of the farmers for seeds and manure.

However, after coming back from abroad, when the Delhi Chief Minister came to know that Mr Madan Lal Khurana, the president of the Delhi BJP, had taken a deputation to the Union Agriculture Minister, Mr Ajit Singh, to look into the problems of the Delhi farmers, she immediately called an emergency meeting of the Cabinet and issued directions to the officials to assess the loss caused to khariff crops due to the drought.

Prof Mukhi said that it clearly showed the bankruptcy of the Delhi Government to solve the problems of the people of Delhi.

Prof Mukhi charged that to cover up the bankruptcy of her policy, Ms Dikshit was trying to blame the Central Government for not being invited for the meeting to discuss the drought condition.

The real fact, according to Prof Mukhi, was that her government had failed to assess the loss to the khariff crops in time and send its report to the Central Government.



Special arrangements to ease Rohtak water woes
Jatinder Sharma

Rohtak, July 30
The Deputy Commissioner, Mr Ashok Yadav, today assured that special arrangements had been made to supply adequate quantity of drinking water to the citizens. The assurance follows persistent reports of drinking water shortage.

Mr Yadav told ‘NCR Tribune’ that drinking water was being supplied to the residents of this town from two canal-based water works located at Sonepat road and Jhajjar road. In addition, there are separate water works for Huda sectors, medical college and Maharshi Dayanand University. These water works jointly provide drinking water to nearly 2.75 lakh persons.

Following the closure of the Bhalaut sub-branch of the West Jamuna Canal (WJC), which provides water to the city, the town has been facing shortage of water. The water available in the storage tanks of both city-based water works yesterday could last for two days only. This situation alarmed the district authorities. The Deputy Commissioner took up the matter with the Irrigation Department authorities and persuaded them to allow them to draw water from the JLN canal, running parallel to the WJC so as to cater to the drinking water needs of the citizens.

Mr Ashok Yadav told ‘NCR Tribune’ that the citizens would not be subjected to any shortage till water starts flowing again in the Bhalaut sub-branch on August 2. But the officials of the Public Health Department appeared panicky because of the limited water storage in its tanks. The Public Health Department, which has been entrusted with the supply of drinking water in the urban and rural areas in Haryana, has curtailed the supply of water to the citizens by about 20 minutes.

The department claimed that it supplied 320 lakh litres of water daily to the citizens with a water allowance of 133 litres per capita per day against the norm of 180 LPCD. This claim, however, has been disputed by the citizens. They said that there was shortage of water in higher areas of Rohtak town and certain areas of the town were getting water from the Huda water works and there was shortage of water in these colonies at tail end.

The Deputy Commissioner on Monday advised the Irrigation Department authorities to fill ponds in the villages on priority. He said though there was no complaint of non-availability of water in ponds from any village, he had asked the Irrigation Department to ensure that ponds continued to be filled so as to provide water to the cattle.

Mr Ashok Yadav is perhaps the first Deputy Commissioner who visited tail-ends of various distributaries to study the problems of farmers who are not getting canal water. Accompanied by the Senior Superintendent of Police, Mr Alok

Rai, Mr Yadav braved the scorching heat to walk up to the tail-end. He assured the farmers at the tail of Pehlawa minor and Bhiwani sub-minor that canal water would shortly flow into their fields also.

Mr Yadav said that the Behlwa minor was being remodelled so as to cater to the drinking water needs of Meham town. He said that funds for the remodelling had been provided by the Centre for boosting water supply to the sub-divisional town.

Meanwhile, the Deputy Commissioner proposes to hold `darbar’ at Meham on Wednesday to address the grievances of the populace of the town and its adjoining villages. He said that he would attempt to mitigate the problems relating to the erratic supply of electricity, irrigation and drinking water.

The people, he said, would be encouraged to avail various schemes formulated by the government for uplifting their standard of living and to augment income. Driving licences, domicile certificates, SC/BC caste certificates etc would also be issued on the spot tomorrow at Meham.



Cop missing since Feb, colleagues not bothered 
Our Correspondent

Rohtak, July 30
Head Constable Rajender Singh (No: 390) of Sonepat Police is missing for the last five months. He was posted at Kundli police station and has not been seen since February 17.

Interestingly, the Sonepat police have treated Rajender Singh as ‘absent’ from duty and have not registered a `missing person’ report so far. Never before in his career, the Head Constable had absented himself from duty like this, say the members of his family.

Mr Rajender Singh had left Kundli for Khurram village at about 5 pm on the fateful day. This village is situated near Yamuna river bordering Uttar Pradesh.

Since that day, he has neither returned to his headquarters at Kundli nor to his village, Bhaproda. He has also not been seen by any of his colleagues in Sonepat.

His wife, Mrs Krishna Devi, has appealed to the Haryana police to trace her husband. In her representation to the Inspector-General of Police (Rohtak Range), Mr Resham Singh, she complained that the police have not made any serious effort to find her husband.

The eldest son of Head Constable Rajender Singh on Monday again requested Mr Resham Singh to find out his father’s whereabouts. He said that his father was a teetotaller. He had never tasted liquor as was being suggested by the Kundli police.

The boy told the IGP that the family was facing financial hardship as his father was the only earning member. The family has a one acre land and the crop has wilted due to drought-like conditions. The family was not able to meet his educational expenses either. Mr Resham Singh assured the family that every effort would be made to trace the policeman. He has reportedly ordered an inquiry



Fatwa against Jamaat vice-president
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 30
The fight between the Ishat-e-Islam Trust of Jamat-e-Islami and the principal of Scholar School has taken a religious turn with the Darool Uloom Deoband, highest seat of Islamic learning in the country, issuing a fatwa (decree) against the vice-president of the Jamaat, Mr Shafi Moonis. The decree issued by Mufti Habib-ur-Rehman said Mr Moonis had violated the rule of Shariya (Islamic rule) while fighting for the ownership case of Scholar School at Abul Fazal Enclave in Jamia Nagar.

The school’s land was given on lease to principal Safia Iqbal and her husband Iqbal Waraqwala, who is in abroad, for five ears. In 1995, the lease was renewed for five years again with certain conditions that went against leaseholders, Safia Iqbal claimed.

She went to the court against the conditions laid down by the Jamaat-e-Islami. Her petition was rejected on certain grounds but members of the Jamaat were not allowed to enter the premises of the school. Mr Shafi Moonis and his men allegedly entered the school premises and started living in one of the rooms adjacent to the principal’s office. The rooms were partitioned by plywood and glass.

Giving the example of Surah Noor of the Quran, the fatwa said that living in a room where an unknown woman resided was a violation of Islamic Law. Safia claimed Mr Shafi Moonis lived in that room for about 40 days and disturbed the education process of the school. Seeing the situation, the parents had withdrawn their wards and now the school was closed, she claimed.

Safia claimed that this was the first time that a woman had got a fatwa issued against a “religious leader”. The fatwa had upheld the dignity of women as it is issued in favour of women, she said. 



Delhi-Hardwar Highway closed till August 7
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 30
The Delhi-Hardwar National Highway has been closed to vehicular traffic till August 7 in view of the ongoing “Kawadia Mela”, official sources said today.

The highway has been closed due to a sharp increase in the number of pilgrims, sources said, adding that more than two lakh “kawadias” are visiting Hardwar and offering prayers at Neelkhanth Temple in Rishikesh every day.

Sources said the traffic from Delhi to Roorkee, Rishikesh, Hardwar and Dehra Dun has been diverted through Jansath from Khataoli to ensure smooth movement of the pilgrims who carry the Ganga water from Hardwar. Security has been stepped up along the highway.

The National Highway is the main link between Delhi and Uttranchal and passes through Uttar Pradesh.



Now, cassettes to spread Haryanvi culture 
Our Correspondent

Rohtak, July 30
Encouraged by the rising popularity of Punjabi music and songs, certain artistes have also made an effort to promote the Haryanvi culture and life standards through songs and ‘bhajans’ in Haryanvi dialect.

Mr Satpal Rohatia, a head constable in the Haryana police, is one of those enthusiastic youths who have taken over the responsibility to spread the Haryanvi culture and notions in different parts of the country. A cassette company, Supertone, has released more than 20 cassettes of ‘bhajans’ sung by the cop which were reportedly sold like hot cakes in several parts of Uttar Pradesh and Hardwar, besides Haryana.

A disciple of Guru Pale Ram Halalpuria, Mr Rohatia said he had been highlighting the life standards and concepts of Haryanvi culture through ‘bhajans’ since 1992. He said he was highly influenced by the ideas of Master Satbir of Bhainswal village. He said ‘Jai Bolo Shiv Shankar ki’ cassette was released today while cassettes on ‘Sheranwali’, ‘Balaji’ etc had been released earlier. Mr Basti Ram Toofan, a blind artiste had given the music while nearly six singers had recited ‘bhajans’ in this casette, he added.

Announcement hailed

Mr Kultaz Singh, general secretary of the youth wing of the Haryana Vikas Party (HVP), has hailed the recent announcement of his party supremo Bansi Lal regarding the distribution of allowance to unemployed youth of the state if the party was voted to power.

Addressing a gathering of students of different colleges and universities at Power House here this afternoon, the HVP leader said the step would inculcate a feeling of self-respect among the youth who had become frustrated and depressed due to unemployment.

Mr Kultaz alleged that the Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, had promised that nearly 70,000 posts lying vacant in different departments in the state would be filled if the Indian National Lok Dal came to power. But, he alleged, Mr Chautala retrenched around 30,000 employees in various departments in place of recruitment.

The HVP leader assured the youths that every possible effort would be made for the employment and uplift of the educated youth if the party came to power.

Killed in mishap

A three-wheeler driver was killed when his vehicle overturned in Sector 6 at Bahadurgarh here today. According to information, Manoj was returning after dropping some schoolchildren at home. However, his vehicle overturned and he received serious head injuries. He was rushed to a hospital where he succumbed later.

Teenager commits suicide

Pooja, a resident of Ballah village in Karnal district, committed suicide by consuming some poisonous substance early today. According to information, the teenager was scolded by her father, Ved Parkash, following which she reported took the extreme step.



Noida reels under Delhi’s new transport order 
Our Correspondent

Noida, July 30
Long queues of inter-state trucks can be seen on the roads of this industrial township as an offshoot of the restrictions imposed on trucks entering Delhi. It has affected normal life and adversely affected industrial activities in Noida and Greater Noida.

The bulk of goods come to Noida from Faridabad and Gurgaon in Haryana and other cities of Rajasthan. The prices of building materials including stones, rodi and Badarpur have drastically shot up.

The revenue receipt on octroi on the Delhi-Noida highway have been reduced from Rs 80,000 to Rs 40,000 a day. Moreover, it has created traffic bottlenecks near Kalindi Kunj and Sarita Vihar as trucks not destined for the national Capital are unable to enter Delhi. Some of the trucks have to ply an extra 200 km to reach Noida. 



Revenge murder case solved 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 30
With the arrest of Azad Khan alias Ajju alias Ramu, resident of Hamirpur, the South-West district police today claimed to have solved a blind murder case of Bunti Lal. The decomposed body of Bunti, who worked as a chowkidar at a godown in Najafgarh, was found from a dried well in Deenpur jungle in Najafgarh. During investigation, the police came to know that one Ramu, a suspect in the murder case, was untraceable after the incident. The police said that the deceased was employed in the same place after Azad Khan was thrown out of his job. The motive behind the murder was to take revenge as the deceased used to tease the accused that his wife had eloped with another man.

Computers stolen: The Special Cell has apprehended three persons in connection with the theft of ten computers and other accessories from a Government Senior Secondary School in Nangloi. An information was received that some persons would be going to dispose of the stolen computer near Najafgarh. The accused identified as Anand Singh (22), Kapil (20) and Vinod (26) were nabbed and the Maruti car in which they were travelling was seized from them.

2 robbers arrested: The North-West district police have nabbed two robbers, identified as Subhodh Chauhan and Sunil Kumar, both residents of Bihar, from Ashok Vihar this morning. Both the accused have confessed to the robbery in Wazirpur Industrial Area along with their associate Santosh Kumar.

Two persons, Ram Kumar and Lal Bahadur Thapa, were injured when they challenged the robbers. The police have launched a manhunt to nab the third accused. 



Five arrested for burglary in colonel’s house 
Our Correspondent

Rewari, July 30
With the arrest of Santosh Devi, wife of Nand Lal and her two sons, Sanjiv and Navin along with Benarsi Devi and Pintoo alias Swarup Singh Yadav, the police claimed to have solved an old case of burglary committed in the house of Col Bharpoor Singh (Retd) in Harjipur village in the last week of June. The arrested persons are all residents of Harjipur village, about 15 km from here. On the basis of Col Bharpoor Singh’s complaint, the police had registered a case of house burgalary and theft under Sections 457, 380 IPC on June 24, 2001. The house of Col Bharpoor Singh, who is now a resident of Gurgaon, was locked in his absence.

Taking advantage of the situation, the youths allegedly broke into his house and took away cash and valuables worth about Rs 28,000. Col Bharpoor Singh lodged a complaint with the Sadar police at Rewari. Later, Col Bharpoor Singh, it is stated, made use of the services of a Tantrik, who conveyed some hints about the youths involved in the above burglary. Subsequently, the village elders made investigation into the matter but were unable to get at the truth. Finally, he succeeded in his efforts which led to the arrest of five persons, who have reportedly confessed their involvement in the burglary. The police have also recovered a part of the booty from them.



Touchtel to offer international message service
Our Correspondent

Gurgaon, July 30
A number of world class telecom services are being provided to subscribers who opt to take connections from Tocuhtel, a private telephone operator of Haryana circle. This was claimed by the chief operating officer (COO), Bharti Telenet Limited, Mr Rajiv Kohli, while speaking to mediapersons here today.

He said Touchtel would soon offer international message service at the rate of Rs 5 per voice message of one minute to its customers who can send his/her voice to anyone throughout the world using Touchtel phones. A new service would also be offered in which a customer could receive a fax in his telephone without having a fax machine, said Mr Kohli.

The company, besides providing voice-based services, offers leased lines, ISDN, VPN to centrex services, DSL services, free Internet services, IN based services and video conferencing, added the officer. He further said that Touchtel, the first private telephone operator of Haryana, had a target of getting business that required high quality, 99.99 per cent uptime service levels and basic telecommunication solutions.

The COO revealed that the company recorded a landmark achievement of getting 20,000 subscribers within a period of six months in Gurgaon and Faridabad. Having started its operation in January 2002 in Haryana, the company has more than 12,500 customers in Gurgaon and 7,500 in Faridabad, said the officer. Making an effort to provide superior customer service and quality fixed line services to promote a high level of customer satisfaction, Touchtel has put together a bouquet of value-added services and phone plus services, said Mr Kohli.



CNG pipeline to be made operational
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 30
The Indraprastha Gas Limited today promised that it will make operational the pipeline in South district’s Okhla area, where the CNG distribution came to a halt yesterday following a fire.

The company has made some special arrangements to take care of additional load at CNG dispensing stations at Ashram, Nehru Place and Okhla through continuos availability of CNG.

The 2 km pipeline stretch which caught fire while commissioning the new compressor at a CNG dispensing station on Mathura Road, is likely to be repaired and put to use by late tonight, a release said.


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