Friday, August 30, 2002, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


Congress, BJP tit-for-tat in capital
Tribune News Service

Angry BJP workers climb atop a car of a Congress activist outside the BJP headquarters in the Capital on Thursday.
— Tribune Photo Mukesh Aggarwal

New Delhi, August 29
At least a dozen persons were injured and windscreens of several cars smashed as members of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Indian National Congress (INC) clashed outside each other’s headquarters over the recent murder of a Congress corporator and the criminalisation of politics.

The All India Congress Committee (AICC) General Secretary, Ms Ambika Soni, and the BJP Mahila Morcha President, Ms Kanta Nalwade, were among those who received injuries in the scuffle.

However, the police said that none of them were seriously injured. They were taken to a hospital and discharged after first aid. Cases of rioting have been registered and further investigations were on. The statements of the victims and the leaders have been recorded. A large number of volunteers from both the parties were detained by the police and later let off. The Congress workers alleged that the BJP activists were “allowed by the police” to reach their party president Sonia Gandhi’s residence, which is adjacent to their headquarters, armed with sticks, stones and glass bottles. The police, however, maintained that the demonstration was staged outside the Congress headquarters.

“A clash took place between the workers of the two parties which was followed by retaliatory action on BJP headquarters on Ashoka Road by Congress activists,” Joint Commissioner of Police Amod Kanth told reporters.

Claiming that the demonstration against “criminalisation of politics” in the wake of Congress Councillor Atma Ram Gupta’s murder, allegedly at the behest of Congress Councillor Sharda Jain, was peaceful, BJP alleged that its Mahila Morcha chief was attacked by Ms Soni in the presence of Congress leaders.

The Congress workers later demonstrated outside the BJP headquarters, leading to more clashes. Congress has sought an explanation from Deputy Prime Minister and Union Minister of Home Affairs LK Advani as to why political activists were allowed that far when prohibitory orders were in force.

Till late in the evening, the leaders of the two parties continued to trade charges. While the BJP workers alleged that they were attacked by the Congress workers while they were demonstrating peacefully, the Congress leaders claimed that the attack on their party headquarters was pre-meditated and well-planned. Elsewhere, BJP Yuva Morcha’s members were stopped at the ITO while they were proceeding to the secretariat.


Sajjan hits back as blame game boomerangs on CM
Tribune News Service

BJP Yuva Morcha activists protest against Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit
BJP Yuva Morcha activists protest against Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit in the Capital on Thursday. — Tribune photo Mukesh Aggarwal

New Delhi, August 29
Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit may have pushed her luck a little too far this time.

By accusing an old Congress hand and former member of Parliament Sajjan Kumar of recommending Congress councillor Sharda Jain’s name for a ticket in the civic polls, she has ended up alienating a section of the party and revived memories of internecine rivalry and factional feuds that had rived the party not so long ago.

Mr Kumar on Thursday came out strongly against Mrs Dikshit and ridiculed her for holding him responsible for Sharda Jain’s nomination. Jain, charged with murdering Congress councillor Atma Ram Gupta, is in police remand. The Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee (DPCC) has expelled her and another councillor Memwati Barwala since then.

Dismissing Mrs Dikshit’s claim as ‘baseless’, Mr Kumar said the Chief Minister had “conspired to malign and harm him for her selfish interests”. “On earlier occasions too,” he said, “Dikshit had defamed Delhi’s established Congress leaders to sideline them through false propaganda.”

At no stage, he had recommended Jain’s name, Mr Kumar asserted. “The only name discussed in the meeting of the party’s election committee that was attended, among others, by All India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretary in charge of Delhi affairs Kamal Nath, DPCC president Subhash Chopra and Dikshit herself was that of Bhawna Sehgal.”

Had Jain’s name been nominated, he added, he would have opposed it as “I had considered her unsuitable. How Sharda Jain’s name appeared in the final list is a mystery to me,” Mr Kumar claimed and added that her name did not figure in the discussions the Election Committee had before finalising the list of candidates.

Meanwhile, the Congress rank and file is divided over the expulsion of councillor Memwati Barwala along with Jain from the party. Although some welcomed the move for it blunted the Opposition’s charge, certain party leaders demanded that her expulsion be revoked. Mrs Dikshit herself is learnt to have expressed her displeasure over Ms Barwala’s expulsion and suggested honourable alternatives.

Ticket distribution ahead of the civic polls had witnessed hectic lobbying among the pro-and anti-Dikshit camps. Having kept her detractors at bay for sometime now, the Chief Minister could have done without antagonising her colleagues. She might have herself to blame if Mr Kumar is joined by others in rocking her boat with barely a year to go for the Assembly polls.


Body yet to be found, cops examine other motives
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 29
Five days after the Congress corporator from Tri Nagar, Mr. Atma Ram Gupta, was allegedly done to death at the behest of a colleague, the police are yet to recover the body, which has reportedly been disposed of somewhere in Ghaziabad.

Senior police officers monitoring the operations said that the teams were concentrating on the area between Chajjupura and Sapnawat villages; this was the indication given by Ms Sharda Jain and her brother after they were arrested for having arranged Mr. Gupta murder.

Messages had also been sent to all the police stations along the Upper Ganga Canal as it is feared that the body may have been thrown into the canal and it may have been carried downstream. The failure of the police to either trace the body or the other suspects, alleged to have been involved in the conspiracy, has caused considerable consternation among the residents of Tri Nagar from where Mr. Gupta was elected as a councillor earlier this year. Some supporters of the slain corporator have also ransacked the house of Ms Sharda Jain in the neighbouring Keshavpuram area. Meanwhile, the police continued to interrogate Ms Sharda Jain and her brother, Raj Kumar alias Raju.

Officers disclosed that while initially Ms Jain had indicated that she had Mr. Gupta eliminated out of jealousy because of his alleged proximity to another woman corporator, other motives were not being ruled out. There is considerable speculation among the members of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi that the murder may have been the outcome of Mr. Gupta’s reluctance to follow the diktats of the `tender mafia’ that wanted to wrangle the contract for toll collection on inter-state borders.

The police sources said that they were looking into allegations that Ms Jain and her brother may have been paid a hefty amount to lure Mr. Gupta, a senior member of the Standing Committee of the Corporation and president of the Appointment Committee, to an isolated spot after the Congress rally on Saturday last to facilitate his elimination. Mr. Gupta was reportedly very close to Ms Jain and was even responsible for getting her the party ticket in the corporation elections. Ms Jain has already been expelled from the primary membership of the Congress party and has also been asked to resign her seat in the corporation.

In another development, the Delhi Police Commissioner R S Gupta has announced a reward of Rs 30,000 for anyone providing information leading to the arrest of the conspirator Roshan Singh, resident of Chajjupur in Ghaziabad. Another reward of Rs 30,000 will be given for information leading to the discovery of the body of the slain corporator.


DM detects stamp duty evasion of Rs 1.47 cr
Parmindar Singh

Ghaziabad, August 29
A stamp duty evasion to the tune of Rs 1.47 crore has been detected by District Magistrate, Ghaziabad, Sanjeev Mittal.

Mr K.N.Modi, Managing Director, Modi Spinning and Weaving Mills, had sold land worth Rs 11.85 crore to the Bihari Association Trust Private Ltd on September 17, 2001.

The district magistrate found on scrutiny that the sale deed of the land valued at Rs 11.85 crore had been made on a Rs 100 stamp paper only.

The DM has now issued a notice to the Bihari Association to deposit the stamp duty amounting to Rs 1.47 crore within a month. If the amount is not deposited within the specified period, necessary recovery challans will be issued.

The action has been taken on the basis of information provided by somebody to the district administration, it is learnt. After verification, a case was registered against the culprits.

Mr Modi had sold this land in Begumabad and Bisekhar village to Karam Chand and Dharam Prakash of Bihari Association Trust.

Officials feel that it is a strange case of stamp duty evasion.

According to information available, five big cases of stamp duty evasion are before the district magistrate.

In 26 more cases of property sale, evasion of stamp duty has been detected. ADM (Finance) Ajay Deep Singh and Dy DM Amarnath Upadhya had scrutinised 71 registries last week.

Of the 71 cases, 45 were found to be in order while in 26 cases stamp duty evasion of Rs 10.24 lakh was detected. Cases are now being filed in different courts.


Dr Kalam’s Haryana connection

Sonepat, August 29
The missile man, Dr Abdul Kalam, is making news on Raisina Hill.

Another scientist, Dr K S Balain, who hails from Sonepat and had the distinction of assisting Dr Kalam, is making waves in Ambala.

Dr Balain, while heading the Hartron (Haryana State Electronics Development Corporation) in 1985, had set up a modern optical research and development (R and D) centre at Ambala with the financial and technical assistance from the United Nations. The idea was to modernise the optical industry of Ambala region consisting of several hundred small-scale units.

In the process, an excellent set of optical and laser facilities of international standard had been assembled at Ambala with the assistance of a bunch of experts from the UK, Russia and Bulgaria.

Dr Abdul Kalam, former Director, Defence Lab, Hyderabad, and his team in the early part of 1990, were looking for suitable optical facilities in the country for indigenous development of a specialised telescope for their missile programme.

The telescope is used for monitoring the flight path of a missile soon after its launch for the first 2 km before it is tracked on a radar.

Following a telephone call from Dr Kalam and a small amount of paperwork, the development of the telescope was taken up on priority basis. The rated specifications of this telescope of a very wide field of view and a magnification of unity were met by a combination of 25 numbers of computer designed optical components. Somehow, everything worked just right and the development work got completed within about 8 months.

Thereafter the complete requirements of the telescope for launching various categories of missiles have been met by regular supplies from Hartron at Ambala.

And for this work, Dr Balain and his team were honoured with a prestigious R and D award, including a cash reward of Rs 40,000 by the Government of India on the Republic Day 1991.

Incidentally, Dr K S Balain as founder, M D Hartron, is responsible for putting Haryana on the electronics and computer map of India with funding and expertise from the United Nations and Department of Electronics, Government of India. The credit also goes to him for a wide range of modern infrastructural facilities in Gurgaon region.

These included R and D and test centre, precision workshop and specialised industrial estates like now-famous Electronics City, Udyog Vihar, software and hardware parks and a pollution-free belt over a stretch of about 50 km on Delhi-Jaipur Highway.

As a result, almost all the known Indian and international companies in electronics, computers and software have flocked to the region.

In the process, Gurgaon has emerged as a leading electronics production and software development centre in the country with software exports alone of Rs 3,300 crore during the proceeding year.


UGC seeks to turn higher education on its head
Sanjog Gupta

New Delhi, August 29
Imagine a student in Delhi being able to access research work done by a scholar in Bihar, and that too at the click of a mouse. Or being able to pursue diverse subjects from different universities. Additional subjects, from the mundane to the esoteric, can also be taken up, if the student wants to specialise in a particular area. It seems higher education might never be the same in India, that is, if the University Grants Commission (UGC) has its way.

UGC, in its Tenth Plan, which will be presented in September to the 150 affiliated universities all over India, seeks to completely revamp the system of higher education and make it more “global”. In a sneak preview, made available exclusively to the NCR Tribune, the Chairman of the UGC and former Vice Chancellor of Pune University, Professor Nigvekar, described it as “a proactive method of higher education”.

The plan aims at providing students with increased flexibility in choosing their courses. According to Prof. Nigvekar, “Students will be allowed to pursue parallel courses in diverse fields simultaneously and in the same university, which will enable them to pass out with diverse skills sets and qualifications.”

Besides the plan facilitates value-addition by enabling ``students to study one extra year and convert their, say, B.Sc. into a B.Tech. For that matter, how about an extra year of banking after B.Com?”

Another proposal is to enable students, who are pursuing different subjects in different universities, to receive a joint degree. According to Prof. Nigvekar, “A B.Com student could pursue cost accounting in ‘X’ University and banking in ‘Y’, and the degree could be jointly given by the two universities.”

What makes the adoption of the plan feasible are the monetary incentives. “Universities will have to adopt the recommendations of the plan, if they want more assistance form the UGC,” said Mr.Nigvekar, confident of the plan’s implementation.

With the UGC for the first time offering universities ‘incentives’ for imbibing ‘change’ and formulating a proposal of concrete reforms, which are aimed at inculcating a ‘proactive approach’ to education, it can be said for sure that educational reforms have truly arrived.


HC bans strikes in govt hospitals
Our Correspondent

New Delhi, August 29
Spelling relief for patients, the Delhi High Court today banned strikes in all government hospitals in the national Capital. The judgement comes close on the heels of a similar order issued earlier banning strikes in the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS). A Bench headed by the Chief Justice, Mr Justice S. B. Sinha, and Mr Justice A. K. Sikri said the government would make necessary modification in the service rules in this regard and formulate a code of conduct for the employees. The court said the order would be applicable to all hospitals, including Lok Nayak Jai Prakash, G. B. Pant, Safdarjung and Deen Dayal Upadhayaya.

The Delhi High Court told the Delhi Government to issue an order under the Essential Services Maintenance Act before September 2 and declare the intended strike by hospital employees from that date as illegal. It has also asked the hospitals in the Capital to set up a ‘Permanent Negotiation Machinery’ for a lasting solution to the problem of strikes. The Bench said that they were confident that a necessary notification under the provisions of ESMA for declaring the intending strike scheduled for September 2 onwards as illegal would be issued. However, it would be appropriate to find a lasting solution to such problems, they added. The court directed that the hospitals should make necessary modifications in the service rules and the code of conduct and bear in mind the directions contained in the AIIMS judgement.

The order was issued while disposing of a PIL filed by Mr S. C. Jain through counsel Sugriva Dubey, seeking imposition of ESMA to prevent employees of various government hospitals from going on the 11-day strike.

The Bench also stated that the directions were not oblivious of the right of the employees to resort to a peaceful agitation. However, the decision has been based in the interest of the public. It was necessary to ensure uninterrupted and smooth functioning of each and every sphere of activity in a hospital, the court said, adding vital services like the intensive care unit, emergency, trauma centre and blood bank could not be allowed to be affected.


Conversion of commercial plots okayed
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 29
The Union Ministry of Urban Development has approved in principle the conversion of industrial and commercial plots in Delhi from leasehold to freehold and change of land use. Union Urban Development Minister Ananth Kumar conveyed as much to the delegation of Delhi Pradesh BJP that called on him on Thursday.

Delhi Pradesh BJP president Madan Lal Khurana told newspersons that the note on changing leasehold to freehold would be placed before the Union Cabinet for its approval within a week.

“The minister has told the DDA to send the note on the change of land use within a fortnight so that the ministry may forward it for the Cabinet’s nod,” Mr Khurana said.


Three lakh voters yet to get I-cards 
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, August 29
The work of preparing photo identity cards for voters in the district seems to be going at a snail’s pace. Although the process had started several years back, the department is still to prepare identity cards of about three lakh voters in the district.

The District Election Office has renewed its efforts to prepare identity cards of the remaining voters in the district, claimed the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Anil Malik, here on Wednesday. However, the official press release issued here on the same day states that there were 3,00,185 voters still to be given identity cards. It is claimed that these persons have failed to get their voter identity cards prepared so far. To ensure that the remaining persons get the facility, the administration would start the work in various assembly constituencies from September 1 to October 17.

The break up of the voters still to get their cards include 44,942 in Faridabad assembly segment, 1,16,942 in Mehta Mewla Maharajpur constituency, 70,550 in Ballabgarh, 26,462 in Palwal, 22,584 in Hassanpur and 18,705 voters in Hathin segment. According to the district administration, besides the photography work at various designated spots, the residents could also use the facility of `online’ photography’ for the purpose. It is stated that people using online photography could get their identity cards within a week from the spot where it is done.

The district has about 10 lakh voters. The administration has informed that the voters could contact several places in the above constituencies to avail of the

facility. The spots include Bachat Bhawan in Sector 12, Panchayat Bhawan in Ballabgarh, block and development offices and Tehsildar’s office in Hassanpur, Hodal and Hathin sub-divisions. The online photography work would be launched from September 1, and the voters have been asked to contact the community centre in Sector 21-C, ADC Office in Sector 15-A and Panchayat Bhawan in Ballabgarh. The administration has issued an appeal to the voters to get their cards prepared during the special drive.


Officials minting money out of property deals
R. D. Sapra

Sonepat, August 29
Though the collector has fixed the rates of land in the urban as well as rural areas in the district and the registration deeds are valued accordingly, the sub-registrars of Sonepat, Ghannaur and Gohana tehsils allegedly charge unofficial commission at the rate of one per cent from those who come for registration of their property.

It is alleged that this amount is unaccounted for and is distributed among the clerical staff and officials of the sub-registrars’ offices everyday. In this way, the officials are minting a huge amount of money in the absence of any checking by the district authorities.

The officials, on their part, reason that they have to incur expenditure during the visits of the VVIPs, VIPs and other government functionaries as the state government does not provide any fund for such purposes.

It is also alleged that the officials spend money on the entertainment of high officers who stay at the rest houses either for government or private work. This has been the practice for the last few decades but the state government has turned a Nelson’s eye.

The posts of registration clerks as well as licensing clerks are lucrative and these are allegedly filled on the recommendations of bureaucrats and legislators of the ruling party. Once these posts are filled, the registration clerks and the officials pocket huge amounts in an illegal manner.

Meanwhile, the government has raised the licence and registration fees for motor vehicles, thereby forcing vehicle owners to shell out additional expenditure.

The officials of the licensing and registration authority in this district have not stopped charging ‘suvidha shulk’ from people seeking registration of new vehicles, renewal of old registrations and fresh driving licences. These officials seem to enjoy the blessings of the authorities concerned and this is why no action has been taken to curb this menace, it is alleged.

Leaders of various political parties, including the Congress and HVP, have now demanded a high-level probe into this ‘scandal’ and urged the Governor to immediately intervene and order the stoppage of this practice. In a joint press statement issued here, they also demanded stern action against the officials involved in this racket.


CBI officers awarded medals
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 29
Thirty-four CBI officers were awarded police medals for meritorious services and one got the CBI gold medal. The awards were given away by the Minister of State for Personnel, Ms Vasundhara Raje Scindia, at the Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi today.

The CBI gold medal for the year 2000 for Best Investigating Officer was awarded to V. K. Pandey, Inspector, CBI, New Delhi.

Vijay Kumar, DIG, CBI, Kolkata, Nand Kishore, CBI (HQ), New Delhi, James Kurian, DSP, CBI, Jabalpur, Randhir Singh Punia, DSP, CBI, New Delhi, R D Kalia, DSP, CBI, New Delhi, V K Raghukumar, DSP, CBI, Chennai, Nand Lal Malhotra, SI (Retd), CBI, New Delhi, Kedar Singh, ASI, CBI, New Delhi, A K SreeKumaran, ASI, CBI, Chennai, Mohan Singh, HC (Driver), CBI, New Delhi, Virender Singh, HC, CBI, New Delhi, Jagdish Chand, Constable, CBI, New Delhi, O P Galhotra, DIG, CBI, New Delhi, S K Kashyap, Addl SP, CBI, New Delhi, Ram Pujan Tiwari, Inspector, CBI, Dhanbad, S R Bandhopadhyay, Inspector, CBI, Kolkata, G M Bhosle, SI, CBI, Mumbai, K Madhav Murthi, SI, CBI, Chennai, Ishwar Chand, ASI, CBI, New Delhi, T R Balasubramaniyam, HC, CBI, Chennai, Kehar Singh, HC (Retd), CBI, New Delhi, Mathura Dutt, Constable, CBI, New Delhi, A K Gupta, Deputy Director, CBI, New Delhi, Lok Nath Behera, DIG, CBI, New Delhi, Abhay, DIG, CBI Academy, Ghaziabad, Mukurdhan Ram, SP, CBI, New Delhi, K V Harivalsan, Addl SP, CBI Cochin, Ravinder Singh Jaggi, DSP, CBI, New Delhi, Shiv Dutt Sharma, Inspector, CBI, New Delhi, Shiv Mangal Singh Chauhan, Inspector, CBI, Jabalpur, Karnail Singh, DSP, CBI, New Delhi, R J Singh, SI, CBI, Mumbai, Bahau Ram, SI, CBI, New Delhi and Daljit Singh, SI, CBI, New Delhi, were awarded the police medals.


Noida to get more power from Nov
Our Correspondent

Noida, August 29
The rally taken out by Noida entrepreneurs against the dismal power situation a fortnight ago seems to have had the desired effect on the state administration in Lucknow. The UP Power Corporation seems to have become a little more responsive than earlier.

Accordingly, the CMD of the Power Corporation, Mr Arun Kumar Mishra, has announced that the 220 KV power line from Muradnagar to Noida will be made operational by October 31. He has also promised that a new 132 KV power station will be set up in Sector 44 here within one year.

Mr Arun Kumar Mishra assured the angry and disillusioned Noida entrepreneurs that the 220 KV line would be made operational by October 31, come what may. He would hand over this line to Noidaites on November 2 this year, positively, he said.

The CMD also requested the Noida administration to make available needed land for constructing the 132 KV power station in Sector 44 so that it was made functional by August, 2003.

Noida entrepreneurs had requested the CEO, Noida, Mr D. S. Bains, to install a new power line in Sector 18 and Sector 32 within a week. They had also demanded that the CT upgrading be accomplished within a fortnight to supply needed power in industrial areas and to reduce tripping and load shedding.

They also pleaded for the reduction of meter rent, improving the distribution system and sub-stations and reducing the timeframe for increasing load and sanctioning new connections.

Mr Mishra also reportedly discussed with the power officials of Delhi the state’s deteriorating power position. After that, accompanied by other officials, he inspected the 220 KV line being installed between Muradnagar and Noida. He also inspected the 400 KV powerhouse currently under construction at Pali in Greater Noida.

The President of the Noida Entrepreneurs Association, Mr Rakesh Katyal, said that a proposal to set up a cell to take care of the power problems of the industries had been made. A customer care centre was being opened in Sector 16 office of the Deputy GM, Mr B. B. Singh.


Probe into damaged wheat stocks sought
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, August 29
Leaders of the Congress and the HVP have demanded a high-level probe into the damage caused to wheat stocks lying in the godowns and at open plinths of various procurement agencies by the current rains and stern action against the officials found responsible for the huge loss caused to the exchequer.

In a joint press statement today, they alleged that the Haryana Government had suffered a huge financial loss on this account last year too and the erring officials should be punished.

They also demanded the recovery of the amount of loss from these officials after making a thorough probe into the case.

Wheat worth lakhs of rupees packed in gunny bags in various godowns of the district and those lying uncovered at plinths of the various procurement agencies had been damaged in the current spell of heavy rain.

It is alleged that wheat procured by state and central government agencies could not be lifted and was soaked. According to the officials, it would not be possible to unpack the heavy stocks and dry them.

It was to be lifted and sent to godowns and plinths hired by the procurement agencies immediately after the purchases from the farmers in the mandis but the authorities were caught unawares by the monsoon showers.

Thousands of gunny bags filled with wheat have been reportedly damaged.

It is stated that some government agencies had hired private open plinths for stocking wheat as covered godowns were already full with last year’s stocks. Wheat lying uncovered on wooden stacks has suffered substantial damage.

In some places, representatives of procurement agencies have not cared to cover the stocks with polythene or tarpaulin sheets whereas some are still waiting for the supply of sheets. In other places, polythene sheets covering wheat stocks have been badly torn.

High-ranking officers from various government agencies seem not to be bothered about the damage caused by the heavy rain.


Govt developing stone crusher zones to augment revenue
Bijendra Ahlawat
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, August 29
After the ban on majority of the mines located within five kms periphery of the Delhi border in Faridabad and Gurgaon districts, the Haryana Government seems to be focussing its attention on developing stone crusher zones here. The district, which already has a fully developed and operational crusher zone at Pali-Mohabattabad villages here, will have another such zone at Dhauj village, where several formalities have already been completed by the authorities.

The officials who had earlier decided to have about 77 plots, have reportedly gone in for a change in the main plan. It is learnt that the administration has proposed to have about 150 plots at Dhauj crusher zone. As a result, the auction had to be suspended. Four villages, Dhauj, Alampur, Kot and Sirohi, have been identified as having adequate raw material for the installation of crusher plants. Reportedly, the Mining Department had prepared 77 plots to be allotted to the various applicants in this zone. However, some of the applicants had challenged the allotment in the High Court. In its reply, the state government had hinted at the further expansion of the zone and to allot 150 plots instead of 77 proposed earlier. Dhauj is one of the largest villages of Ballabgarh sub-division. The average cost of a plot allotted in Dhauj zone is reported to be Rs 23.75 lakh. It is stated that with the expansion of the proposed zone, the state government could earn more by leasing out or selling the plots and later, ensure a regular source of revenue through sales tax and royalty.

Reportedly, the state government already stands to lose a revenue of about 150 crore a year after 80 per cent of the mines with building materials like Badarpur and sandstone were closed down on the order of Supreme Court in May, 2002. Officials claim that the crusher zone could generate an alternative source of revenue for the Mining Department.

Pali-Mohabattabad zone has 167 plots and is located near the Faridabad-Gurgaon link road. The neighbouring district of Gurgaon has three crushing zones at Raisina, Andree and Naurangpur villages where about 160 plots are located.

However, the main cause of concern for the environmentalists and residents of the villages located near the crusher zones is the pollution caused by dust produced by the crushing machines. Reportedly, for every 15 trucks of crushed stones, at least one truckload of stone dust is produced. Moreover, due to the lack of proper gadgets to contain the dust, the atmosphere near a crusher plant becomes highly polluted with tiny dust particles. Doctors warn that high SPM level in the air could cause serious respiratory diseases. 


Security beefed up around Birla Mandir
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 29
The Delhi Police have made elaborate security arrangements around Laxmi Narayan Mandir (Birla Mandir) for peaceful celebration of Janamashtami on Saturday.

People have been requested to cooperate with the police to avoid harassment to themselves and other devotees.

The devotees can enter the temple from Mandir Marg side through door-frame metal detectors installed there.

The visitors will not be allowed to carry any handbag, briefcase, parcel, food packets and cameras.

A missing persons’ booth has also been set up at the police post near the main gate of the temple.

If any child is found missing, he can be taken to the police post, a spokesman of the Delhi police said.

Kidnapping case

With the arrest of Surender Singh Tomar and his brother Ravinder Singh Tomar from Bulandshahr, the Delhi Police on Thursday claimed to have rescued Ram Lochan, who was allegedly confined by them after being kidnapped for ransom.

He was reportedly kidnapped on August 21 when he was returning from Aligarh.

The police got a clue to the identity of the suspects by tapping the telephone of Ram Lochan when ransom calls were made.

Both the accused and the suspects had a feud over some money. Ram Lochan was not returning the money which he had borrowed from Surender Tomar.

So, he kidnapped him with the help of his brother and a few other persons. His other associates are absconding, the police said. 


DDA to develop ‘spiritual garden’
Our Correspondent

New Delhi, August 29
The Delhi Development Authority (DDA) seems to have taken a serious view of their role in keeping the city clean and green.

As part of their beautification drive, a ‘spiritual garden’ that will help revitalise and invigorate the urban mind, offering a peaceful and holistic ambience, will shortly be developed in Nehru Place, the Capitals’ commercial hub.

The Lt-Governor, Mr Vijai Kapoor, today reviewed the landscape design of the ‘spiritual garden’ near the Nehru Place Park which, until now had been occupied by Jhuggi dwellers.

The DDA now proposes to build a 200 acre ‘spiritual garden’ called Astha Kunj on this land.

A landscape competition had been organised by the DDA to achieve the best possible design for Astha Kunj.

According to the DDA, the project has been undertaken to provide positive energy to recharge the mind, body and spirit of the urban dwellers. The serenity of the place will aid those who wish to meditate.

The project also aims to provide greenery apart from making provisions for artistic ventures like exhibitions of art and sculpture. Mr. Kapoor has asked the DDA to maintain the original landscape and to keep the construction to the minimum.


Health centre employee killed in mishap
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, August 29
A woman employee of the Community Health Centre at Bad Khalsa village was killed when a jeep carrying her overturned near Liwan village, about 8 km from here, yesterday.

According to a report, the victim was identified as Ms Kamlesh seven hours after the mishap. Her body was recovered from the civil hospital at Sonepat. The jeep driver, on noticing that vehicles were being checked on the GT Road by the District Transport Officer, Mr Jai Vir Arya, tried to escape towards Liwan village. On being pursued by police officials, he lost control and the jeep turned turtle near Liwan village, killing the woman employee on the spot. The jeep was on its way to Bad Khalsa village.

The residents of the village, who were working in the nearby fields, came to the rescue of the jeep driver. They extricated the woman, who was trapped beneath the wheels. The jeep driver immediately took her to the civil hospital at Sonepat and escaped from there, after leaving both the body and his jeep there.

The police have registered a case against the jeep driver and launched a massive hunt to apprehend him.

Car found

A stolen car was found abandoned near the bus stand here on Wednesday evening. According to a report, the car was allegedly stolen from Prashant Vihar, Delhi, and it belonged to Mr Ram Chawla. The police have registered a case and further investigations are in progress.

Parolee arrested

The police have arrested a prisoner who had failed to return to the district jail here after the expiry of the date of parole. According to a report, the police have also seized a countrymade pistol from his possession. He was undergoing life imprisonment for murdering his wife.


A married woman, Jyoti, was reported to have committed suicide by taking sulphas tablets in her house at Vishal Nagar here on Wednesday. She leaves behind two children.

According to a report, a domestic quarrel was stated to be the reason behind her taking this extreme step. The police are still investigating into the case. According to another report, a youth, Raj Kumar, took sulphas tablets in his house at Mamoon Bhanja Chowk here on Wednesday evening after a domestic quarrel. He was immediately rushed to the local civil hospital by his parents where his condition was stated to be serious. The police have registered a case and further investigations are in progress.

Dowry harassment

The Gohana police have registered a dowry harassment case against eight members of the family of Poonam’s husband. The woman is a resident of Gohana town.

Hurt in clashes

At least six persons, including two brothers, sustained injuries in the clashes took place at Purkhas and Salimsan Majra villages and near the sugar mill here on Wednesday. According to a report, the injured persons were immediately hospitalised and they are stated to be out of danger. According to another report, two persons were injured when they were assaulted by some rival group members at Jatheri village, about 15 km from here, on Wednesday evening. Both the injured persons were rushed to the local civil hospital for treatment. A case has been registered.

Heavy rain

Sonepat city and its surrounding areas were lashed by heavy rain for the third time in the current monsoon season, flooding the low-lying areas and disrupting traffic in several areas. According to a report, all main roads were submerged in water. As a result, vehicles could be seen stranded. Defective drainage system also led to the inundation of slum areas, causing inconvenience to the people.


2 kg charas seized, four nabbed 
Our Correspondent

Jhajjar, August 29
The district police today seized 2kg charas with an estimated cost of about Rs 2 lakh from four persons near Kanour Bridge on the Kalanour-Beri Road. According to the police, a police party posted near the bridge signalled a black Maruti car to stop. The police searched the car and seized 2kg charas. Four occupants of the car, identified as Tejapal of Mahendergarh, Manoj of Bhiwani and Hari Mohan and Dinesh of Pilani, were arrested under the NDPS Act.

Traffic blocked

Residents of Kasni village of the district on Wednesday blocked traffic on the Jhajjar-Kosli village for nearly one hour in protest against the non-supply of water. At least 150 villagers, including women, demonstrated on the road and held up traffic. They said that the village had provided a piece of land for construction of waterworks long ago but the district administration did not make use of it.

The DSP, the City Magistrate and officials of the Public Health and Irrigation Department reached there. They assured the protesting villagers that adequate water would be supplied to them. Following the assurance, the blockade was lifted.

Driver suspended

A Haryana Roadways driver, Tejaram, was suspended by the GM, Roadways, on Thursday. He reportedly refused to comply with the order of the GM to ply a bus on the Gurgaon-Bahadurgarh route.

Car theft foiled

The police foiled the attempt of three youths who had stolen a Maruti car from Delhi road here on Thursday afternoon. All three miscreants were arrested and the stolen car was recovered. According to information, a Maruti car was stolen from the Delhi road here. The owner of the vehicle immediately reported the matter to the police. All police stations and chowkis in the district were alerted. Incidentally, the DSP (Detective), Mr Tika Ram, was passing through the Delhi road when he noticed the stolen vehicle approaching from the opposite direction, He signalled the driver to stop but he sped away. The police team chased the vehicle and forced the driver to stop. The miscreants left the vehicle and escaped in the fields. However, the police surrounded the field and fired in the air. The thieves finally surrendered. Those arrested could not be identified till the filing of this report.

Industrialist honoured

Mr Jagdish Kapur, a leading industrialist, has been awarded the “Distinguished Service Medal” by the President of India in recognition of his selfless service in organising and streamlining civil defence. In 1994, the President of India had presented him the ‘Meritorious Service Award’ for services rendered in civil defence organisation over the last 40 years. Mr Kapur, it may be recalled, is actively associated with a number of charitable and social welfare organizations, especially the National Association for the Blind (Delhi) as its president.

Theft cases solved

With the arrest of two youths on Wednesday evening, the district police claim to have solved several incidents of theft of transformer coils and electricity transmission cables in the district.

Those arrested have been identified as Sunil of Poli village in Jind district and Kartar Singh of Kailash Colony here. The accused reportedly confessed to have stolen coils and cables from Sunderpur, Ladhaut, Kharainti and Samar Gopalpur villages in six separate incidents.


Cops caught taking bribe

Following a surprise raid conducted by a police party headed by Inspector Suraj Bhan, at the police check post, Jaisinghpur Khara, on the Delhi-Jaipur highway, Head Constable Kishansingh along with two other constables, Mahipal and Ravi Kant, have been caught red-handed while accepting a bribe of Rs 200 from Ram Rattan, a truck cleaner.

According to Mr Hanif Qureshi, SP, Rewari, the Head Constable along with the two Constables, have been suspended and sent to the Police Lines. He also said that a departmental enquiry had been ordered, which would be conducted by Inspector Prithvi Singh. OC


Seminar on ISBN held at Book Fair
Our Correspondent

New Delhi, August 29
A seminar on ISBN was organised here by the Federation of Indian Publishers and Publication Division, Government of India, at the Delhi Book Fair.

Chaired by Dr. Hartmut Walravens, director, international ISBN agency, the seminar dwelt on the various aspects of the ISBN. Dr. Walravens explained the purpose and the structure of the vital identifier and said this bibliographic identifier is immensely useful in monographic publications. He pointed out that it was also useful in copyright cases.

ISBN aids in sales data, monitoring and visualisation of the market and is useful in processing books by the librarian. ISBN is a ten-digit number and replaces the handling of long bibliographic descriptive records. It is assigned to identify its publisher, the individual title of a multi-volume work and is unique to that title or addition or volume. ISBN consists of four important elements. These are group identifier, publisher’s prefix, title identifier and heck digit. While the bar code are useful for pricing and categorising, Dr. Walravens sounded a note of caution regarding the hazard of wrong ISBN number.

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