Saturday, August 31, 2002, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


Sikh Judicial Board move runs aground
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 30
The proposed Sikh Judicial Board announced by the newly elected president of the Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Management Committee (DSGMC), Mr. Paramjit Singh Sarna, has suffered a setback with Justice Jaspal Singh nominated to head it reportedly rejecting the draft and dubbing it “illegal”.

The Pro-Tohra group, which had catapulted to power in the recent elections to the DSGMC, had announced the setting up of a Judicial Board and an Education Board to act as corruption watchdogs and oversee the functioning of the various educational institutes run by the Sikh body. The pro-Tohra group had made corruption its main poll plank in the DSGMC poll and had accused the Shrimoni Akali Dal (Badal) group, which was earlier heading the DSGMC, of rampant corruption.

''The draft for the Sikh Judicial Board prepared by the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) goes 'totally' against the Delhi Gurudwara Act of 1971,'' said Justice Singh, formerly of the Delhi High Court.

''After going through the draft, I told the DSGMC in writing that it (the draft) will not stand scrutiny of law because Section 32 of the Act clearly says that complaints of this nature will be dealt by a District Court,'' Justice Singh told newsmen here.

He said a Sikh Judicial Board, in its present draft, would fall to legal challenge unless the DSGMC first secured an amendment to the Act to provide for such a watchdog. Justice Singh's disclosure also prompted the Badal Akali Dal to criticise its successor at the DSGMC for making ''false'' election promises.

Senior DSGMC member Manjit Singh, son of the late Akali leader Jathedar Santokh Singh, accused Mr Sarna of ''having taken the Sikh Sangat for a ride''. ''How can you make promises when you have no legal authority to fulfil them? How can you deceive the Sangat and secure its vote? An amendment to the Act will take a long time -- perhaps longer than Mr Sarna's term'', Mr Manjit Singh said.

But, lawyer H S Phoolka, an author of the draft, differed with the former judge's observations that it violated the Act. ''That's not correct. What the committee is proposing is meant for its internal functioning. There is nothing illegal about this document and the DSGMC is entitled to prepare a document for regularising its own functioning,'' Mr Phoolka claimed.

The DSGMC, he added, was legally empowered to frame regulations, which he said were binding on the committee, though not as strongly as the Act itself. ''The Committee has decided to frame these regulations and start the Judicial Board for the time-being and is planning to approach the Delhi Government for an amendment to the Act,'' said Mr Phoolka.



Decomposed body could complicate matters
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 30
The police today extended its search for the body of the slain Congress councillor from Tri Nagar, Atma Ram Gupta, to downstream villages along the Upper Ganga canal even as it requested the Uttar Pradesh authorities to turn off the flow for a few hours to facilitate their operations.

The police have also sent teams to several places in Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Madhya Pradesh in search of three other suspects who are still elusive. Among them is Roshan Singh, a former Pradhan of Chajjupur village in Ghaziabad district, where the corporator is alleged to have been done to death at the behest of his colleague, Sharda Jain, who is in police custody along with her brother Raj Kumar.

The duo had confessed to having hired killers to murder the corporator. It will be recalled that he was whisked away to Ghaziabad after the Congress rally at Ferozeshah Kotla grounds last Saturday.

The police have admitted that recovering the body was proving to be a herculean task owing to lack of information about the specific location where it could have been dumped. Once, Roshan Singh or the other two suspects are caught, things would be different as they were the ones directly involved in disposing of the body. The body itself would be largely decomposed by now because of the intense heat and humidity, which could further complicate matters.

In another development, the police have reopened the investigations into the mysterious disappearance of Sharda Jain’s husband, Ishwar Singh, about two years ago. Ishwar Singh had walked out of the Keshavpuram residence one day and never returned. Efforts to trace him had proved futile.

The police said that efforts were being made to ascertain if Sharda Jain had any thing to do with his disappearance after she had confessed to having Atma Ram Gupta done to death.

MCD clarification on timber mafia

In response to the news items appeared in certain newspapers that the decision of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) to privatise the toll tax collection was influenced by some tender mafia, the MCD today clarified by giving the reference of its resolution passed in 2001 that the toll tax was privatised in order to improve the efficiency of its collection, an official release said.

The release also said that the toll tax was privatised to stop the deployment of large staff of the MCD at various check posts. The corporation had engaged a consultant from the School of Planning and Architecture to draft the tender documents.

After detailed examination from legal and operational aspects, the Standing Committee of the Corporation in its meeting in June this year, while approving the proposal, had constituted a committee of the councillors comprising Atam Ram Gupta, who has been killed, and a few others to go into the details of the tender documents before publishing the tender for bids. There was no influence of the tender mafia to privatise the toll tax, the release said.



Two ‘supari’ killers die in encounter
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 30
Two desperate criminals of Delhi were gunned down by Meerut Police in an encounter on Mawana Road on Thursday night at 1 am.

The criminals involved in dozens of murders and other cases were shot dead by the police team when they were going to kill one of their targets in Meerut. There was panic among the residents of Mawana when they heard the gunshots last night. They thought that they were being fired by some terrorists. The fear-stricken residents did not dare come out of their houses. They came on the road after half an hour only when the gunshots fell silent.

The residents heaved a sigh of relief after seeing the police party. They were told by the police that the criminals had been shot dead in the encounter. Dozens of shot were fired from both the sides. The superintendent of police had a close shave, police said.

The Delhi Police had declared a reward of Rs 25,000 for the arrest of Chaman who belonged to Daurala village in Meerut district while the Meerut police had declared Rs 10,000.

The Delhi Police had also declared a reward of Rs 25,000 for the arrest of another criminal, Narender. He belonged to a village near Modi Nagar. They were inter-state desperadoes and operated in western Uttar Pradesh as well as in Delhi.

Meerut Police received a tip-off that a notorious criminal, Ajai Jadeja would go to Mawana. Two teams were constituted and each one was led by SP City, D K Choudhary and SP Rural, M P Singh. Both the teams were deployed at Mawana Road. The team members who were in plainclothes noticed two youths on a motorcycle at 1 am. They signalled the youths to stop. Instead of stopping, they fired several rounds. In defence, the police team also fired, killing the gangsters on the spot, the police said.

The Meerut Police identified the gangsters as Chaman and Narender. One AK-47, hand grenade and other weapons were recovered from them.

The police said that Chaman was involved in a murder case of owner of Gola Restaurant, Parvinder Arora, and took a ‘supari’ of Rs 25 lakh. Besides, he was involved in about one dozen cases of murders committed in Meerut and Delhi.

In Meerut, he was involved in the murder case of Dheeraj Gupta and Mahesh Pradhan. The police team which encountered the gangsters will be rewarded, the police said.



Fears of waterborne diseases nag Faridabad residents
Bijendra Ahlawat
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, August 30
The possibility of an outbreak of waterborne diseases in poorly maintained residential colonies looms large due to the supply of unpotable water, stagnation of storm water and choking of the sewerage system in various parts of the town and district. The health department is still to get its act together and launch a drive to check the menace.

According to health experts, the months of September and October are most vulnerable when several diseases, including dengue break out. Dengue had claimed about a dozen lives in 1996 in the district and the disease had been causing a scare in the past few years also. The health department of the neighbouring Delhi Government has already launched an awareness drive about the diseases.

Though the health authorities in the district had also taken samples of water supplied from the tubewells of the Municipal Corporation Faridabad (MCF), almost 70 per cent of the 100-odd samples collected were found to be having no signs of chlorination, the main cause of waterborne diseases like cholera, diarrhoea, typhoid and dysentery. While the health department has written to the MCF officials and the district authorities in this regard, the MCF officials who have charge of water supply, claim that water was being chlorinated properly and say that some of the samples fail to show the presence of chlorine as samples were taken belatedly. Chlorine begins to fade after sometime, the MCF officials opine.

On the other hand, the health officials say that the samples had been collected at the time of supply from the tubewell itself. There are about 298 tubewells in Faridabad and about 120 are looked after by a private company on contract basis.

There are several dozens of colonies in the town where civic facilities are in a poor state. While there is no system to drain out the rain water. There are open drains in the colonies. Water stagnates there and they become stinkpots leading to the development of the larvae of mosquitoes and other insects. Choking of drains and sewer lines is another cause of concern. The sewer lines get choked for several days together and sometimes the slush of sewers could be seen scattered on roads and open areas. The MCF has only one automatic machine to clear choked sewers. While some residents go for manual clearance, the safai karamcharis due to lack of gadgets and safety equipment are not able to go deep into the sewer lines.



A school tormented by a high-tension cable
Smriti Kak

New Delhi, August 30
The 300-odd students and staff of Guru Harkrishan Public School, Shahdara, find themselves gazing heavenwards as they step out in the open. No, they don’t see a bird or find a manna, they are just alarmed by an overhead high-tension power cable, which runs through the school premises.

The cable, which supplies electricity to nearby factories, poses a serious threat to the school. The Principal, Mr J S Ghuman, told the ‘NCR Tribune’, “We have been tormented by the presence of this power cable for the last five to six years now. First it was underground and now it runs overhead. The plastic outer covering of this power cable is fast melting because of the heat and we are scared that there will be a serious mishap some day.”

Though the school authorities have taken up the matter with the SHO of Shahdara and also written to the chief engineer, Delhi Vidyut Board, there has been no relief. “We have written to both the Vidyut Board and the police, but we are yet to hear from them. Leave alone visiting the area, they have not even bothered to contact us.”

The school authorities add, “We have to ensure that the power cable, which supplies power to the unauthorised factories in the neighborhood, does not fall down. We have to place poles to support this cable, which hangs precariously now.”

Another problem being faced by the schools is the absence of good roads.

“The road that leads to the school is full of potholes, which have been covered with stones. When vehicles pass, it causes the stones to fly, which can hurt the children,” pointed out Ghuman.

He added, “When the Lt-Governor had visited the school during the sports day celebration, he assured us that the road would be repaired. The civic authorities started the work, but they did not complete it for some reason. Twenty meters ahead of the school, they stopped the work and the road remains in a pathetic state. We wrote to the Deputy Commissioner, MCD, North Zone and also spoke with the Councilor, but we are yet to see the results.”



Jilted ‘wife’ sets herself, child on fire 
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, August 30
A young woman allegedly set herself and her daughter on fire in her hut in the slum area of Sector-17 here this morning. Both of them died on the spot. No case has been booked so far.

According to police sources, the victim, identified as Laxmi, 20, and her child, Sonu, had been living with Vinod in the jhuggis near Tubewell No 4 in Sector-17.

It is reported that Laxmi and Vinod had eloped from their home town in Gujarat a couple of years ago and came here. Vinod got a job in a dairy while Laxmi, who was living with him as ‘wife’, gave birth to a baby girl. There was a dramatic turn in their life yesterday, when Vinod’s brother Sunil traced them out. Though Vinod got ready to accompany his brother to Gujarat, Laxmi felt jilted and refused to go back.

This led to an altercation. After a while when the woman was left alone with her daughter in the jhuggi this morning, she set her daughter and herself on fire. Before the neighbours could rush to their help, both had died. The bodies have been sent for a post-mortem examination. The police have started investigations into the case. No arrest has been made so far.



Noida administration hopes to mop up Rs 50 cr in stamp duty
Parmindar Singh

Noida, August 30
The district authorities have initiated action against builders and housing committees found guilty of evading stamp duty worth Rs 50 crore. They allegedly handed over the possession of flats after executing a sale deed on a stamp paper of Rs 100 value only.

Notices have been issued to 70 builders and housing samities (committees) of Noida and Greater Noida which have evaded at least Rs 50 crore in stamp duty.

The Joint Controller, Stamp Duty, Gautam Budh Nagar, Sewa Lal, said that after the case of stamp duty evasion had been detected in Lucknow, a state-level campaign was started to check the malady.

The government has issued orders for a detailed scrutiny of property so that the case of evasion could be highlighted and action taken.

He said it would be necessary to obtain specific approval from the government in opening old cases of four years or beyond. According to Mr Sewa Lal, 70 cases of this type have come to light in which the evasion of about Rs 50 crore has been highlighted. The offenders have been issued with notices which include 60 builders and samities of Noida and 10 of Greater Noida.

In Greater Noida, the Joint Controller said Ansal Properties has allegedly evaded stamp duty worth Rs 3.50 crore and Eldico Rs 1.75 crore. Sam India allegedly owes over Rs 34.76 lakh while Aashiana Houses has evaded duty worth Rs 28.69 lakh. Parshanth allegedly owes Rs 2 crore for two residential complexes. All the defaulters have given possession of flats to their allottees on the basis of stamp papers worth Rs 100 only. The Joint Controller disclosed that Amity School management has allegedly not got the registry of their property executed after having obtained its possession in 1993.

Similarly, some 60 builders have handed over possession of flats to allottees in Sector-62. In these cases, too, defaulters have been issued with notices, Mr Sewa Lal said.

It is hoped the state government will mop up Rs 50 crore in stamp duty from these cases. Those who had recently bought flats from the market suffer most by this order. Due to higher circle rates, they find it hard to go in for the registry of their flats.



BJP protests criminalisation of politics
Our Correspondent

New Delhi, August 30
The women wing of the Bharatiya Janta Party today staged a dharna against the increasing ‘criminalisation’ of politics. The dharna came a day after the BJP demonstration that led to violence in the Capital.

The president of the Delhi BJP unit, Mr Madan Lal Khurana, accused the Uttar Pradesh Police of being “hand-in-glove” with the conspirators involved in the killing of the Congress Corporator, Mr Atma Ram Gupta.

Mr. Khurana went on to add that the motive behind the murder was more serious than just a love triangle. Mr. Atma Ram Gupta was allegedly killed by his fellow Corporator, Ms. Sharda Jain, who confessed to have got Gupta eliminated due to his involvement with a woman colleague.

The BJP party leader said, “ there are signs of a deeper conspiracy behind the murder and other Congress leaders should also be probed”. Clarifying that yesterday’s violent incident was “out of desperation”, he added, that the “Congress has lost the moral right to rule Delhi”.

Mr. Khurana also said that as per his information, which he had passed on to Delhi Police Commissioner, Mr R. S. Gupta this morning, Mr. Atma Ram Gupta had allegedly accepted Rs five crore payoff from transporters to end toll tax in the Capital.

This amount was allegedly kept with Mrs. Sharda Jain, with whom Mr. Gupta allegedly had an intimate relationship.

With the Supreme Court recently ordering that trucks not destined for Delhi should not enter the Capital, the transporters were pestering Mr. Gupta to return the money.

He added that the police should also investigate this angle and not just go by Mrs. Sharda Jain’s confessional statement that she got Mr. Gupta killed out of jealousy following his growing relationship with fellow Corporator, Ms Memwati Barwal. Mr Khurana was addressing the Mahila Morcha here today.

The Mahila Morcha president, Kanta Nalwade, who was injured in yesterday’s attack, blamed the Congress leaders, Mr Mukul Wasnik and Ms Ambika Soni for having provoked the party workers, which led to the violence.

Pointing out that Thursday’s demonstration was peaceful, she added, “demonstrations would be held at all Congress offices in various states to protest the incident”.



Sweet treat for morning walkers at Lodhi Gardens
Our Correspondent

New Delhi, August 30
Hundreds of morning walkers who came to the historic and picturesque Lodhi Gardens on today for their customary exercise today were greeted with a surprise. Sweets and snacks were distributed among them by members of the Thakurdwara Trust.

The trust was formed when a group of morning walkers who came to Lodhi Gardens decided to take up the cause of helping and serving society and it has been working for the same ever since. The members of the trust have taken upon themselves the cause of celebrating festive occasions and engaging the entire community.

On the occasion of Janamashtami celebrations today, the trust members prepared a special feast for the walkers and laid out the delectable items prepared by renowned cooks in the aromatic ambience of the Rose Garden. While a few calorie conscious were seen only nibbling the goodies, the others did justice to the snacks and sweets.

Such early morning feasts have now become a regular feature in most of the city’s parks where regular morning walkers get together and organise feasts for their members as well as the needy. The idea is to have a get together. Obviously, they believe in the dictum that those who eat together stick together.

Some of the veterans, well-known figures in the trade, industry and bureaucracy, claimed that such get-togethers brought a little cheer in the lives of the people and enhanced the feeling of community living and camaraderie. Similar feasts are also organised at some other popular parks like the Jehanpanah city forest, the Panchsheel Park and the Deer Park in Hauz Khas.



Shotgun may act if he wants’
Abhay Jain

Gurgaon, August 30
Film star Jackie Shroff said that there was nothing wrong if Mr Shatrugun Sinha continued to act in films even after becoming a minister.

Mr Shroff said that Mr Sinha became the minister after getting fame in the film industry. There was no harm if he still liked his previous vocation. The cine actor was here to support a Delhi-based NGO, Shelter Home.

It may be recalled that the actor-turned-politician had done a shot recently which led to a righteous debate.

Commenting on the recent threats by the underworld mafia to the film star, Salman Khan and his seeking police protection, Mr Shroff said the Bombay police were quiet capable of doing their duties.

Showing the helplessness of the film industry, he regretted that the actors and actresses had to kowtow to the wishes of underworld as they could not fight against them.

To a question whether the mafia played a role in providing financial help to the industry, Mr Shroff said that the black money was invested in every profession in our country. The film industry was no exception.

However, he expressed satisfaction over the fact that the government, private financial institutes and banks were coming forward to lend money

to the industry. It would help check the investment of black money in the industry, Mr Shroff added.

The film industry is going through a critical phase and that is why the producers are again switching to the low-budget films. The markets in the overseas and in the country are not fetching the amount that the film industry requires these days, said the star.



Women’s panel promises prompt action on pleas
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, August 30
The Chairperson of the Haryana State Women’s Commission, Mrs Sheela Bhayana, has called upon women to approach the commission for redressing their grievances about the cases of dowry harassment and other types of atrocities by their in-laws’ families.

Speaking at a meeting of women in the Panchayat Bhawan here on Thursday, she also asked them to fight against all types of injustices meted out to them by the society. She said once the commission received the complaints, it would take prompt action against the guilty persons.

She disclosed that the state government had set up the commission for removing the grievances of women and initiate action against erring people. The commission, she said, had so far settled as many as eight cases reported to it in the recent past.

Earlier, the Chairperson and members of the commission received as many as 71 petitions from women relating to dowry harassment, sexual harassment in government and semi-government offices and disputes of properties. The chairperson also assured them that the commission would look into their complaints and take necessary action to redress their grievances on a priority basis.

The Deputy Commissioner, Mr S. N. Roy, told the Chairperson and members that the Mahila Jagriti Parivar Pramarsh Kendra, set up in Sonepat district, had disposed of as many as 80 out of 137 cases received by it so far. He also said that in all the cases, the separated couples were re-united and they were living together again without any dispute or grievance.

Earlier, the Chairperson and members of the commission were given a warm welcome by people of all walks of life when they arrived in the PWD (B and R) rest house here on Thursday.



Rewari railway officials suspended
Our Correspondent

Rewari, August 30
Mr B.L.Sharma, Station Superintendent Railway Station, Rewari, Mr Shyam Sunder, Chief Ticket Inspector (CTI) and Mr Ram Kishan, Ticket Collector (T.C) have been suspended by senior rail authorities following a directive given by Mr J.P.Singh, Area Railway Manager(N.R.), Delhi.

Their suspension orders were issued in the wake of a criminal complaint made to the top railway authorities by a youth, Vijendra Kumar Meena (20), resident of Alipur village in Dausa district of Jaipur division of Rajasthan.

Meanwhile, Mr P.D Meena, Area Officer (NR), Rewari, today went to Alipur village to meet the complainant, Vijendra Kumar Meena in this regard.

Even though railway officials here are tight-lipped, according to information collected from reliable sources, Mr Vijendra Kumar Meena had arrived at the Rewari Railway Station by the Jaipur-Rewari passenger train at about midnight on August 24.

However, even as he was waiting to board a train to Bhiwani, the two Ticket Collectors named in the complaint, demanded money from him for being “ticketless”. When he expressed his inability to pay the ‘bribe’, he was taken to a room and was allegedly stripped and sodomised.

Later, he reportedly narrated his tale of woe to Mr Radhe Shyam, Assistant Station Master (on duty) as well as the

Railway Protection Force (RPF) personnel at the station.

Subsequently, Meena was taken to the Government Railway Police (GRP) personnel, who refused to register the criminal case. Instead, the GRP made an attempt at a compromise between the youth and the concerned ticket collectors.

However, the youth lodged a complaint in the complaint-book in the office of the Station Superintendent, seeking appropriate action against the “guilty” people. The youth also made representation in this regard to the top railway authorities.



Survey on safai karamcharis soon
Our Correspondent

Jhajjar, August 30
A survey of safai karamcharis will be carried out in the state for working out a course of action for their welfare and rehabilitation and a meeting of deputy commissioners and heads and secretaries of local bodies would be held in Chandigarh, which would be chaired by the Chief Secretary, for proper implementation of that scheme.

This was announced by Mr Gangaram Teja, a member of the National Commission for Safai Karamcharis, here today.

Mr Teja, along with another member of the commission, Mr Ram Prasad, was on a state-wide tour to inspect various schemes executed for the social, economic and educational uplift of the safai karamcharis and their dependants. He said that although the country had achieved a spectacular progress in all areas of life over the years, a large section of the population had not got their share of development yet. He said that central and state governments had started various schemes to liberate scavengers and rehabilitate them in some alternate and dignified jobs. Mr Teja said that despite all the efforts, inhuman practices against them had not yet been removed. The Union Government had set up the National Commission for Safai Karamcharis keeping this in mind.



Seven injured in group clash
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, August 30
Seven persons including a woman sustained injuries in a clash between two rival groups here last evening. According to a report, all the injured persons were rushed to the local civil hospital for treatment. A dispute among children was stated to be the main cause of the clash. The police have registered the case against the alleged assailants. However, no arrest had been made in this connection so far.

It is stated that two children, Shiv Charan and Kuldeep, quarrelled with each other on some minor issue related to photograph.

Subsequently, their neighbours, Tirlok, Suresh, Khem Chand and Rajesh forcefully kept Shiv Charan in confinement and beaten up.

The parents of Shiv Charan informed the police about the incident. The police arrived on the spot and succeeded in getting Shiv Charan released. However, this incident led to a clash between the two rival groups, resulting in injuries to Ms Bimla Devi, Chandgi Ram, Samsher, Mahesh, Dinesh, Suresh and Tirlok.

Water dispute

According to another report, Sukh Ram a resident of Gorar village sustained injuries when he was allegedly attacked by two persons, Brahma Nand and Anant Ram, of the same village on Thursday evening. A dispute over the supply of canal water was stated to be the main cause of the assault. The police have registered the case and further investigations were in progress. However, no arrest had been made in this connection.

Four injured

Four persons were injured, and two of them seriously, in different road accidents reported from various villages of the district on Thursday. According to a report, two of the seriously injured were sent to the Trauma Centre at Delhi for further treatment.

According to another report, a five- year-old child was injured when he was hit by a Maruti car on the Sonepat-Rohtak road near Rohat village about 5 km from here last evening. The car was also badly damaged.

Dowry death

A 26-year-old married woman, Mrs Sunita alias Baby, was reported to have committed suicide by jumping before a running train near the food grain market here last night. According to a report, the victim took this extreme step following a quarrel with her husband on the issue of insufficient dowry. The police have registered a case of dowry death against her husband Rajesh and started investigation into the matter.

It is stated that the victim belonged to Jahangirpuri (Delhi) and she was married to Rajesh about six years ago. Since her marriage, she was subjected to harassment for dowry.

Three arrested

The police have arrested three youths on the charge of creating panic by firing shots in the air at Bichpari village of this district on Thursday. According to a report, two of their associates, however, managed to escape. It is stated that the two youths belonged to Delhi and one belonged to Bichpari village. itself.

Money distributed

Mr Suraj Mal Antil, an INLD MLA and Chairman of the HAFED, distributed cheques amounting to Rs 44 lakh among the sarpanch of various villages falling under the jurisdiction of the Rai Assembly constituency at a function held at Rai, 13 km from here on Thursday evening. Earlier, he laid the foundation stone of a community centre on this occasion.

Heavy rain

Sonepat city and its surrounding areas were lashed by heavy rain during the past 24 hours. According to a report, the rain is considered beneficial for the standing paddy and sugarcane crop in the region.



People urged to follow the Gita
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 30
On the occasion of Janamashtami, the Vice-President of India, Mr Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, today urged the people to take inspiration from the Bhagvad Gita, Lord Krishna’s eternal message, to fight against divisive forces raising their heads in the society. He said solutions for all present-day social ills were available in the Gita. Participating in the Janamashtami celebrations organized by the Kendriya Arya Yuvak Parishad at Hyderabad House, Mr Shekhawat said Lord Krishna’s message of selfless duty was relevant even today.

The Vice-President said that everyone should take inspiration from this and work for the country’s unity and integrity. Greeting people on the occasion of Janmashtami, the president of Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Mr Om Prakash Singhal and general secretary, Mr Rajendra Prasad urged them to follow Lord Krishna’s message to fight the menace of terrorism. The VHP leaders said in a statement that terrorism was among the biggest challenges facing the country today and declared that this could be exterminated only by following the ideal of ‘’Dharma Yudha’’ set by Lord Krishna.

To celebrate the occasion, the Delhi Tourism and Transportation Development Corporation Ltd., organized a variety cultural programme comprising Ras Lila, bhajan and folk dances at Dilli Haat in the evening.

Free heart check-up

A free heart check-up camp will be organised by Escorts-NMC Heart Centre at NMC Hospital, Noida, for the benefit of heart patients and general public on September 1st, 2002. Senior Interventional Cardiologists, Paediatric Cardiologist and senior Cardiac Surgeon will provide free consultation and screening at the camp between 8.30 a.m. to 3.00 p.m. Free lab test for ECG, blood sugar, Echocardiography, diet consultation and medicines will be provided. A patient registered with the camp will be given 30 per cent discount on Angiograpy and 40 per cent on lab test and cardiac investigations.

Survey on drought

The district administration has completed a special survey of the agriculture land affected by the drought in the district following a direction from the state government, informed Mr Mohinder Kumar, Deputy Commissioner, here today. He disclosed that 76 per cent of the total crops was found damaged. The Deputy Commissioner said that 94,752 acres had been cultivated, of which crops in 72,479 acres had wilted due to the inadequate monsoon rain. The report was sent to the government today. Meanwhile, the Deputy Commissioner suspended a revenue patwari, Subhash, and charge-sheeted Om Prakash on the charges of irregularities in conducting the special survey.





Do you have a grouse against the apathetic attitude of the authorities? Are you fed up with the dilly-dallying tactics of officialdom and the stranglehold of red tapism? If so, please write to us. We have a full half page every week reserved just for you. The letters should be clearly marked, Speaking out, NCR Tribune, First Floor, Dyal Singh Library Building, 1 Deen Dayal Upadhaya Marg, New Delhi-110002.

The efforts of the Delhi Government in implementing the Supreme Court’s directives on the conversion of diesel-run commercial vehicles into CNG mode are laudable. But the method of implementation of these directives needs serious thought.

It is an open secret that many vehicles, using diesel, ply on Delhi roads with impunity. We give below just a few instances:

  • Ambulances & vehicles of hospitals, nursing homes, health centres etc.
  • Vehicles of the police, paramilitary & military departments.
  • Vehicles of Mother Dairy - many of them refrigerated ones.
  • Vehicles of P & T and telephone departments.
  • Large number of buses sporting the banner of ‘Tourist Buses’.
  • Buses of schools having patronage of bigwigs – Air Force Bal Bharati Public School, just to name one.
  • Vehicles of Delhi Jal Board.

The largest affected group, due to the rigid conversion of vehicles into CNG mode, has been the student community, particularly those studying in schools. Due to the non-availability or under-availability of buses, the children are unable to reach schools on time, causing immense damage to their education and the resultant morale. The crying need of these schools requires immediate thoughts, especially due to the following reasons:

  • Buses owned by schools hardly ply 40 km a day in comparison to commercial vehicles plying on an average over 500 km.
  • School buses being free for major part of the day are well serviced, resulting in minimum emission of pollutants.
  • There is a fear in the minds of parents that CNG buses are liable to catch fire and explode since 100 per cent safe fuel tanks are not available.
  • Inadequate supply of CNG is another problem resulting in loss of time.
  • Compared to the pollutants being released into the atmosphere by the government vehicles that are not converted into CNG mode, the emission by school buses is insignificant.

Since inception, our society has been working for the welfare of the public. The problems being faced by schoolchildren are of big concern to us. Under these compelling circumstances, we would request that schools be treated as part of the service industry and be exempted from plying only CNG buses. We seek remedial measures from the Supreme Court, so that the children can attend to their studies without any unnecessary hassles.

PRADEEP KUMAR JAIN, President, Abhinandan Jan Kalyan Society, Delhi

Squeezing power consumers

A consumer of electricity finds himself in an embarrassing situation when any two or three petty officials of the HSEB, Bahadurgarh, knock at his door. On entering the house, they rush towards the electricity meter, hurl an accusation that the “seals of the meter have been tampered with and hence an FIR will be lodged with the police”.

Since the rule says that the damage to the meter’s seal is tantamount to power theft, the supply of his house is cut. Consequently, the consumer is left with no choice but to strike an underhand deal with those officials and is forced to shell out minimum Rs 5,000-6,000 even as the officials would hand out the receipt for only around Rs 1,000. It is surprising that every official of the HSEB has a seal of a particular type and gets the price of fixing new seals to justify the deal he has struck with a particular innocent consumer.

The other common accusation is that the meter is moving in reverse direction. Whenever a consumer goes out for a few months to visit his relations and comes back, he is alleged with having reversed the meter. The innocent consumer is left wondering how could a static power meter register consumption when no one was using electricity in the house. Consequently, the poor consumer runs from the pillar to post to get the faulty bill rectified but the officers would not relent. As meter tampering is a crime and the innocent consumer is threatened and harassed by alleging that the meter is showing reverse reading, his genuine plea does not cut any ice with the authorities of the HSEB in Bahadurgarh.

Senior citizens and illiterate people are again being harassed because they cannot move from one office to another. They easily oblige the officials of the HSEB. Instead of showing a sympathetic attitude, these officials seem to take not only sadistic pleasure but monetary benefits as well. In fact, all want their palms greased with thousands of rupees.

There are other ways to harass the innocent consumers of this town such as over-billing. One can see dozens of such consumers thronging the office of AEE Bahadurgarh after 3 pm.

In fact, seal-tampering or so-called reversing of meters is being attended by the technical or non-technical field staff just to generate extra income by manipulation. They can break the seal or the wire of the seal or damage a meter by the versatile instrument ‘plans’. After every ten days or so, anyone may enter any house without even the knowledge of the occupant to do this. If confronted, he pleads that he has come to check the functioning of the meter, to read the units of consumption, to check the malpractice if any or tampering of meter. They may invade the house at 11 pm and if anybody does not open the door, his supply of electricity would be cut. In fact, people are so horrified and there is no way to escape the wrath of these HSEB officials and they restore the electricity only when an underhand deal is struck.

Any petty official can force any consumer to submission. They generally invade a house when the men folks are away. On getting this information, some rush back to their homes to appease these pseudo officials who after a few minutes inform the occupant that ‘there is no tampering of seals or reversing of meters’. The interesting thing is that neither do they serve any written notice to the consumer nor are empowered to disconnect the supply.

A consumer of Bahadurgarh

Report on PGIMS ‘erroneous’

Apropos of the news report in ‘NCR Tribune’ on July 29, ‘Running before one can walk, PGIMS style’ by Jatinder Sharma, I would like to inform that it was a wrong report.

A high profile team of the Haryana Government, including representatives from the AIIMS, PGI, Chandigarh, National Board of Examinations, New Delhi and above all the Ministry of Health, Government of India, had visited the institute in June 2001. This team had recommended the change of Trauma Centre building into Cardiac Centre and Neuro Centre. Haryana does not have a single full-fledged cardiac centre, which is the need of the hour.

Mr Jatinder Sharma alleged that the institute has only four faculty members in three departments, namely Cardiac-Surgery, Cardiology and Neuro-Surgery. In fact, the institute has 27 doctors in all the three above-mentioned departments, which are superficially distributed as under:

The institute has five trained cardiac anaesthetists at present — Dr S. K. Singhal, Dr Jagdish, Dr Manoj Bhardwaj, Dr Naveen Malhtora, Dr Raj Mala — and none of them is in Kuwait as reported by Jatinder Sharma.

The Department of Cardiac Surgery has saved a lot of revenue, which otherwise would have been spent by the government for reimbursement of referral of government employees.

These facts reveal that the reporter had given wrong and distorted facts in his report about the PGIMS. The local residents and people from all over the state come to this hospital for medical care. Their confidence in the hospital will be eroded if such reports are published. Thus the poor people will be forced to go to private nursing homes and clinics, which are functioning unethically. Besides, the progress and growth of the institute is being hampered due to such reports.

Pt B. D. Sharma, PRO, for Director, PGIMS, Rohtak

Can you do that, please

I made double payment to the Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam Ltd in respect of Bill No 2546 dated June 17, 2002, amounting to Rs 1,057 for consumption of electricity at IC/31, Rail Vihar, on July 9, 2002, against A/C No RDO 4/1015, due to some misunderstanding in the IOB-DLF-GGN office.

Will the Bijli Vitaran Nigam arrange the refund of Rs 1,057 paid to it inadvertently? Or else, will they adjust the excess amount against subsequent electricity bills?

R L PATHAK, Gurgaon

Be a teacher, first

Mr Ujjal Pal Singh, in his letter ‘Education Standard’ (August 3), had criticised the Haryana Education Department for its move to weed out teachers in the name of rationalisation, by fixing a norm of one teacher for 60 students.

The writer has further stated that in France, there is one teacher for 10-15 students in a class.

In this connection, I wish to say that while quoting France, the writer has failed to appreciate that teachers in the western countries are work conscious, disciplined, come to schools on time, do not enjoy so many holidays and know the value of work culture.

But the majority of teachers in government schools in our country, particularly those posted in villages and small towns, come late and leave schools before time, enjoy a large number of holidays and furloughs, while many of the women teachers spend time in knitting sweaters during school hours. This is due to the fact that most of the teachers come from urban areas and do not relish postings in villages/small towns and through political influence try to be posted in their hometowns or nearer their homes.

The examination results of many of the government schools vis-à-vis private public schools speak the truth. Yet, a teacher in a government school gets a far higher salary than a teacher in a public or convent school, besides a number of perks and privileges.

In this context, let the teachers in government schools, before opposing the Haryana Education Department’s scheme of rationalisation, try to follow the positive aspects of the western culture such as hard work, discipline and work-culture. At least they should try to bring the exam results and education standard of government schools at par with the public schools.

O. P. SHARMA, Faridabad

Unsanitary life

I am an ex-serviceman and a senior citizen (73) and have been living in Ghalib Apartment, Pitampura, Delhi, since 1990. Due to the defective plan of the building, others and I have fallen victim to the unsanitary conditions. Even as dirty kitchen water stagnate and seep into flats in the ground floor, residents of above floors are non-cooperative. I have knocked at the doors of the Health Minister of Delhi and the MCD for two years but all my requests have been in vain. We want the top floor residents to divert their kitchen water internally. And there is a possibility of outbreak of diseases. I pray to the authorities concerned that they should kindly take suitable action against the erring top floor residents.

JARNAIL S. DULLAY, Former Army man, Pitampura, New Delhi

Give free medicare

Frequently, we come across appeals in the newspapers asking for contributions for the treatment of persons suffering from serious diseases but are unable to meet the expenses. Such a state of affairs is shameful to India, a socialist state where the Constitution guarantees life and the Supreme Court says that life means life with dignity.

It is the duty of the state to provide free medical treatment to such patients and also meet other incidental expenses like diet etc. Even today there is such an appeal on behalf of one Chaman Lal Raina, presumably a migrant Kashmiri Pandit, lying at the AIIMS, needing a kidney transplant. (Koshur Samachar, Aug issue) The matter deserves the attention of the National Human Rights Commission and other human rights protection groups if they have time for innocent sufferers too.

RAM SARAN BHATIA, Distt & Sessions Judge (Retd), Faridabad.

A traveller’s nightmare

‘Destination India’ is the phrase coined by the Department of Tourism, Government of India, to woo tourists. The Union Government and its Department of Tourism and state departments of tourism are particularly concerned at the poor turnout of tourists from across the globe to India. It has affected the economy of the states and that of the Union Government. In Kashmir, terrorism has taken its toll.

My experiences on August 17 and August 18 haunt me. On those days, I had had a chance to make up and down trips between Delhi and Chandigarh. Our Haryana Roadways bus made its first halt at suburban Samalkha bus stand, which is nearest to Panipat - one of the most flourishing cities of Haryana. The bus stand is on the crucial National Highway. My experiences and those of the travellers at the bus stand were extremely bitter. There was no arrangement for drinking or toilet water.

The toilets were stinking. One could not stand anywhere at the bus stand because of the unbearable stench. Pigs and piglets were roaming. Houseflies were flying all over. The eatables at the outlets were lying open disregarding laws of hygiene. There were heaps of stinking rubbish lying all over. When I accosted one of the sweepers and pointedly asked him why he did not complain to the authorities concerned about the non-supply of water, he retorted, “Who listens?”

On one corner of the bus stand was a small working hand pump, which was surrounded by dirty water. Small boys were collecting water in small makeshift cans for their employers despite the labour laws preventing child labour. They made way for the hapless passengers to wash their hands and drink water.

All this shocked me so much that the ugly scene kept on lingering in my thoughts. However, the greenery of crops in the fields along the highway and a lot of fresh oxygen had a soothing effect on my ruffled nerves. Up to Panipat, I kept thinking about the future of Haryana Tourism. What will the discerning tourists like Fie Yan and Huan Tsang write about our hygiene and sanitation? Similar is the condition of bus stands of Ghannaur and Gharonda. On my return journey at Pipli bus stand, I found stereotype food. Owners at the eating outlets have a monopoly. On demanding a packed bundle of sliced bread, the owner refused to sell it. Neither could I secure a baker’s loaves meant for selling readymade burgers. Profit is the motive. The consumer is at God’s mercy or he must carry his food cooked by the dear ones at home and personal water bottles or depend on the so-called mineral water bottles. Will the authorities wake up to redress the grouse of the travellers or be left to fend for themselves?

UJJAL PAL SINGH, President, Dinanath Public School, Faridabad

An unfortunate incident

Raksha Bandhan is a sacred festival of brothers and sisters. On this holy day, a sister ties a thread on the right arm of her brother, which symbolises a sacred promise that her brother will continue his pure love and ensure her security.

But it was indeed very unfortunate that on this holy occasion, a 27-year-old woman, mother of three children, was allegedly raped by a high-ranking police personnel. The hapless woman is the wife of the officer’s servant. The woman in her innocence wished to tie rakhi to the said officer. Instead of respecting her sentiments and feelings, he started abusing her. Later, he sent off her husband to some errand on a little journey and called the woman to wash his clothes. When she entered his house he allegedly forced himself on her.

Earlier also, the same officer had allegedly been involved in a fight with a doctor. He is also reported to have assaulted a journalist. In spite of all this, he has been enjoying such a high rank in the police force.

If a person occupying such high office could go below the level of humanity, what can we talk of common man? Such people have no right to sit in high places.

Our society will have no future if the dignity of woman is in constant danger. This is not the first case where a police officer had raped a woman. Police officers are responsible to uphold the law and protect the citizens. They are under pledge to protect and ensure the security of all. If one of them goes astray and starts behaving in a wicked manner, then what can we expect from an ignorant and unruly common man?

India is known for its deep and high respect towards woman. We worship her in the form of ‘Divine Mother’ but if such unfortunate incidents happen, how can we call woman an incarnation of Goddess? Insult to a woman is an insult to the whole society. Those who treat women with disrespect and try to rob them of her human dignity should be punished in an exemplary manner. It should serve as a strong deterrent so that no one in future would dare to repeat a heinous crime against innocent women.

SHWETA KOHLI, Shahdara, New Delhi



Youth crushed to death

New Delhi, August 30
A youth, identified as Santosh (12), was crushed to death by a speeding vehicle at Jaitpur More. The incident occurred when he was crossing the road. The erring vehicle came from the opposite direction and crushed the victim. He came under the wheels of the vehicle and died on the spot. Nobody could note down the registration number of the vehicle. The Badarpur police have registered a case of death due to rash and negligent driving.

Auto-lifters held

The West district police have arrested three persons and claimed to have recovered a stolen motorcycle and a scooter from their possession. They were identified as Rakesh, Rajesh and Raj Kumar and were arrested from Vikas Puri. During interrogation, they disclosed that the motorcycle was stolen from Kalkaji area and the scooter from Janak Puri. TNSBack

Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | In Spotlight | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
122 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |