Saturday, September 7, 2002, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


CLP discusses Centre’s ‘affront’
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 6
Upping the ante, the Congress Legislature Party on Friday met and passed a resolution condemning the curtailment of powers of a popular, duly elected Government of NCT of Delhi and agreed that a special session of the Delhi Legislative Assembly be convened on September 11 to discuss the “unprecedented” and “biased” decision threadbare.

The resolution read no amendment to the Transaction of Business of the Government of NCT of Delhi Rules, 2002 could take away the special position of the city-state as enshrined in the Article 239(AA) of the Constitution. The Union Ministry of Home Affairs, it read, had belittled the people of Delhi and set an undemocratic precedent by not even as much as consulting the Sheila Dikshit Ministry for its views prior to issuing the July 25 and August 29 circulars.

Leader of Congress Legislature Party Sheila Dikshit told media persons she has, in her letters dispatched to Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Deputy Prime Minister LK Advani and Leader of Opposition in Parliament Sonia Gandhi, sought a review. “I want the amendment to the Rules to be revoked. Anything that impinges on the autonomy of a popular, duly elected government has to go.”

Her chief secretary, Ms Dikshit said, was still to receive a reply to the clarification sought from the Union Ministry of Home Affairs on the latter’s July 25 circular when a joint secretary in the Ministry dashed off another circular dated August 29. “Why the Union Ministry’s circulars clarifying the balance of powers now, in 2002, when none was sought and no consultation took place?” the chief minister wanted to know. “The timing of the circulars,” she reiterated, “is significant as it reveals the nervousness of the BJP as we approach an election year.”

“Page 2 paragraph D of the July 25 circular,” the chief minister said flashing the document, “says in so many words it is not legislatively accurate to define the word Government as Government of NCT of Delhi as such definition only causes needless confusion.” To say there is no Government other than the Government of India in the NCT of Delhi, she was categorical, was totally unacceptable. Her poser : How can a popular, duly elected government work if a minister has to seek Centre’s prior permission for even as much as applying their mind ?

Suspecting a deep-rooted conspiracy behind the missives, the chief minister asserted the achievements notched up by her Ministry were “in spite of” the Centre keeping the government on a tight leash. “Yet we took up the challenge and undertook development works. We have given clean air and introduced Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) … changed the city’s profile to place it among the better Capitals of the world,” she added. And threw in a “if we had embroiled ourselves in partisan politics no work could have been completed” for good measure.



Why does this CM fret and fume
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 6
Sheila ko gussa kyon aata hai? This is why.

  • Because the Lieutenant Governor stops the laying of foundation stone of a flyover in Lajpat Nagar on account of it being too long and tells the minister concerned to review the project already cleared by the technical personnel of Delhi Development Authority (DDA), Department of Public Works (PWD) and the Urban Arts Commission.
  • Because the Lieutenant Governor summons meetings of Delhi Jal Board (DJB) of which the chief minister is chairperson.
  • Because files pertaining to release of compensation to farmers is gathering dust in Raj Niwas.
  • A combative Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit told media persons, “There is nothing in those files or projects that is not in the public interest. Still the delays.” “We have worked in a spirit of compromise all these years but…,” she trails off before launching herself into a diatribe : “There cannot be a parallel Government.” Accusing Raj Niwas of double speak, the chief minister went on to level certain allegations:
  • “The Indraprastha Gas Limited (that supplies CNG) was told not to lay pipelines in a green belt. Digging, let alone constructing a building, is prohibited. But land was given for construction of an Ashram there.”
  • “We want to relocate the 40-odd thousand families living on the banks of the Yamuna. We say give us the land so that we can develop the banks into a green belt. We are told that is not possible. Yet a temple is coming up on the river bed !”



A straitjacket legislative Assembly
Ramesh Ramachandran
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 6
Even as political parties fight over who should have what powers, the Delhi Legislative Assembly remains a ‘lame duck’ institution, sandwiched between the Government of NCT of Delhi and the Union Ministry of Home Affairs. It is perhaps the biggest casualty, if any, of the quasi-statehood accorded to the National Capital Territory (NCT) of Delhi and is perhaps the only one of its kind in the country to transact business without the requisite financial and administrative autonomy as enshrined in the Constitution.

Politicos cutting party lines have time and again raised the issue of granting complete statehood to the NCT of Delhi. On one occasion, Deputy Speaker Kiran Choudhry had moved a Bill for independent statehood to Delhi. It was withdrawn and the House instead passed a resolution protecting the independence and autonomy of the Assembly. “Things have slightly improved since then,” say officials but cite the still-to-be-amended Article 239 A (a) of the Constitution as the “stumbling block.”

The anomalous dispensation stems from the fact that the departments of finance and personnel rest with the Government of NCT of Delhi. And if one factors in the distribution of powers between the state government and the Union Ministry of Home Affairs, the authority of the Assembly stands diminished further. The “imbalance” is therefore attributed to the “partial statehood” accorded to the NCT of Delhi. This, in spite of Parliament and Legislatures enjoying the same rights and privileges. And the Legislature ranking above the Executive such that the latter is made answerable to the House.

Article 187 of the Constitution stipulates every Legislature of a State should have an independent secretariat of its own. “Complete administrative and financial autonomy,” explain Assembly Secretariat sources. Yet, in the NCT of Delhi, “for small things the Assembly has to approach the government.” According to sources, a request has to be made to the Executive, even for the appointment of a private secretary to Speaker. Files have to be sent to the Executive for clearance of tour programmes. The Assembly, says an official, is virtually dependent on the Union Government and the Government of NCT of Delhi.”

Finance: The annual budget of Delhi Legislative Assembly is approximately Rs four crore. On the rolls of the Assembly Secretariat are 130-odd employees. Wage bills and miscellaneous expenses account for a substantial portion of the expenditure.

Personnel: There is an acute shortage of proof readers, translators, and watch and ward staff. Over 90 per cent of the personnel are drawn from the services. Only a handful of Officers and Reporters are trained suitably. There is only one Marshal on the rolls and he too is “borrowed” from the Delhi Police on deputation.



Choice of Sikh educational council chief draws flak 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 6
The Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) educational council has come under sharp attack from a section of the community, especially the intelligentsia which have expressed dismay at the choice of a person, hardly known in the academic circle, to head the body entrusted with the responsibility of bringing about changes in the system.

“We are surprised to see that the council is headed by a well-known and successful businessman who has no credentials in the academic and educational field,” said Lt-Gen Jagjit Singh Aurora of the Sikh Forum.

The formation of the autonomous educational council and judicial board were the two major poll issues, apart from the issue of corruption, which raised the hopes of the community that voted the pro-Tohra SAD Delhi to head the DSGMC.

However, the judicial board has run into trouble with the former judge of the Delhi High Court, Justice Jaspal Singh, who had been asked to head the board, raising questions about the legal validity of the formation of such a body without amending the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Act, 1971.

While the controversy on the board is yet to be resolved, criticism has been hurled at the educational council and questioned raised about the person heading it.

The Sikh Forum, which had been in the forefront demanding the formation of the autonomous council, secured a written commitment from the two main Akali factions – SAD (Badal) and SAD Delhi, to set up the autonomous educational council. In a letter to the DSGMC president, the forum said, “By appointing Mr Vikramjit Singh Sahney as the chairman of the council, you (DSGMC president, Mr Paramjit Singh Sarna) have not only sent a blank message to the Sikhs of Delhi, but also set an unhealthy example, defeating the very purpose of establishing an autonomous educational council.”

The hero of the 1971 Bangladesh war, Lt-Gen Aurora, said: “In order to establish that the DSGMC is really serious in its aim to improve the standard and reputation of our institutions, the council must be headed by a well-known Sikh educationist.”

The education council, set up by the SAD (Badal), was headed by noted educationist, Prof Amrik Singh. However, the council could not function to its full potential, as the then committee did not grant autonomy to the council.

“No inexperienced person can do justice to the academic requirements of our schools, and the panel controlling them, has to be composed of highly qualified and experienced members,” the All India Sikh Students Federation chief Harminder Singh Gill said.

The former diplomat and principal of the Shri Guru Gobind Singh College of Commerce, Prof Jaspal Singh, however, defended the appointment of Mr Sahney as the chairman of the council.

“The DSGMC president has every right to appoint anyone he likes to head the body,” he said.



DU student molested, jumps out of blue line
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 6
A 23-year-old student of the Central Institute for Education, University of Delhi, was injured when she jumped out of a running Blue Line bus to save herself from four armed molesters in Shalimar Bagh area in North-West district today. The incident, which has shocked the residents of the Capital, occurred in broad daylight in full view of several passengers, the conductor and the driver who remained mute witnesses as the sordid drama unfolded before their eyes. The police said that the girl was not seriously injured. But they were amazed that none of the passengers or the crew of the bus bothered to inform them, thus giving enough time to the suspects to flee.

The matter was brought to the notice of the police only when the badly shaken and bruised girl managed to reach her college and narrated the ordeal to the staff and the principal. The principal informed the police of the incident, after which the statement of the student was recorded and the complaint lodged. But no one has been arrested so far even as the police claimed to have launched a hunt to trace the suspects. Today’s incident is the sixth in the series of such happenings in moving buses where desperadoes have managed to strike with impunity, looted passengers and unleashed a reign of terror.

According to the police, today’s incident occurred at 10.30 am when the girl was going to attend her college. She boarded the bus in Rajouri Garden. The youths boarded it in Punjabi Bagh. Three of them occupied a front seat while one sat behind the girl and started molesting her. When the victim resisted, the youths whipped out a knife and threatened her with dire consequences.

The frightened girl screamed for help but the passengers, conductor and driver of the bus took no notice leaving her to fend for herself. She finally managed to drag herself towards the door and jumped out.

In another incident, four armed youths robbed a resident, Hari Charan of Shakarpur in East district, in a Blue Line bus (route number 861). He boarded the bus from Shakarpur and was robbed in Saraswati Vihar in North-West district. The bus was packed to capacity. The youths robbed him in full view.



DTTDC thrives on tipplers
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 6
If the statistics revealed by the Delhi Tourism, Transport and Development Corporation (DTTDC) are any indication, the Capital is slowly becoming an abode of the Bacchus worshippers. The news may be gall and wormwood to the holier-than-thou lot, but the fact is that it earns a packet for the DTTDC which has registered a record turnover from liquor sales in the city. The new liquor policy exercised by the Government may have raised eyebrows, but the fact that it has also raised the booty in the official coffers, was made public here today.

The officials claim that the phenomenal growth in the liquor sales in the Capital, has brought the turnover to a highest-ever Rs 430 crore during 2001-02 compared to Rs 370 crore in the previous fiscal year. What’s more the officials maintain that the increasing trend in sales, thanks to a pub being opened almost every other week, the corporation is likely to achieve the turnover of more than Rs 500 crore in the current financial year.

Sociologists may decry opening of liquor joints in the Capital and the ease with which one can buy a drink, but they cannot make light of the corporation’s claim that in the first five months of the current fiscal year, it has netted a neat Rs 210.38 crore against last years Rs 170.44 crore.

It is also being pointed out that the corporation had recorded a growth of 14.05 per cent in the sales of liquor while the demand for beer had increased by 66.47 per cent during the period, taking the profit to Rs 544.57 lakh in 2001-02 as against Rs 169.18 lakhs in the previous year. 



DDA tanks store everything, but water
Nalini Ranjan

The defunct water tanks have become virtual shelters for the poor. — Photos by Anil Sharma

New Delhi, September 6
At least 15 overhead water tanks constructed by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) at a huge cost in East Delhi areas like Jhilmil, Tahirpur, Kasturba Nagar, Azad Nagar, Guru Anand Nagar, Shahadara G.T. Road, Vivek Vihar, Gautam Puri, Surajmal Vihar, have been lying in disuse for many years.

The condition of the tanks is simply deplorable. Many of them have become a refuge of unwanted elements like beggars. Surajmal Vihar-based tank is a case in point. It has become a haven of beggars and mendicants. To cap it, the Shikshak Sadan is dumping its refuse here. These tanks were never used for storage of water, let alone supplying it.

Outlining the reasons behind its abuse, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) P K Tripathi said that when the DJB was created in 1998 to replace the Delhi Water Supply and Sewage Water Disposal Undertaking, only 8 out of the 88 overhead tanks were found safe for the storage or supply of water. These jerry-built tanks were found unfit even during the initial testing due to leakage and other faults. He further said, “We have no other option than to dismantle these useless tanks.”

If they are dismantled, crores of public money would go down the drain. However, a top DDA official said that the tanks could be very well renovated and used. There is no point in dismantling them.

“The DJB currently relies solely on underground reservoirs and booster pumping stations for distribution of water. The overhead tanks should be used for distribution as the gravity makes it easier to ensure water supply to the upper floor houses,” the official said on condition of anonymity.



Airman held for espionage

New Delhi: The Special Cell of the Delhi Police arrested an Air Force corporal and recovered confidential and secret documents related to national defence and security. The suspect identified as Hari Om Sharma, was arrested on Thursday from near Pakistan High Commission at Chanakyapuri.

The police had information that the corporal contacted a staff member of the Pak High Commission regularly and passed on sensitive documents related to security and defence. A trap was laid near the High Commission where the corporal visited at 8.50 pm to hand over the documents. He was arrested and certain documents were recovered from his possession, police said.

The suspect resided at Air Force Colony in Palam. He had joined the force in 1988 as an airman. He had been posted at Ambala, Tambaram, Hyderabad, Hakimpet, Jhorhat and Delhi. He had met one Vikram Sharma in November 2000 while performing duty at the Defence Pavilion in Trade Fair in the Capital. Vikram Sharma introduced himself as a son of an Ex-Wing Commander and posed himself as a free lance journalist. During the course of their meeting, they exchanged telephone numbers. In subsequent meetings, Vikram disclosed that his real name was Tariq Abbasi, a staff member of Pak High Commission and egged Hari Om on to pass on secret information about defence and security in lieu of money. TNS



MCF members stage dharna
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, September 6
Elected members of the Municipal Corporation Faridabad (MCF) and leaders of opposition parties staged a dharna outside the corporation office here today in protest against the dissolution of the civic body. They lambasted the Chautala government and announced that they would challenge the decision in the high court.

Mr Krishan Pal Gurjar, leader of the BJP Legislative Party in the assembly and MLA from Mewla Maharajpur here, condemned the decision and described it a direct attack on democracy. He alleged that the Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, could not `tolerate’ the move of the councillors to get the Mayor removed, as he had `made’ her the Mayor by pressurising all members to elect her.

He said if the CM intervened directly in all matters of civic bodies, then there was no need of laws and rules to run such bodies. Charging the state government of centralising all decisions, he said there was hardly any autonomy left under the rule of the present government.

A Congress leader and a former minister, Mr A. C. Chaudhary, said that dissolution had no justification and the decision was an example of the “autocratic rule” adopted by Mr Chautala. He said going in for elections at this stage would mean wastage of several crores of rupees, which ultimately would have to be borne by the common man.

Mr Shyam Sunder Kapoor, another Congress leader, also condemned the move and said that the government should let the civic bodies to function independently and should not make the issue of election of the body chiefs as a matter of personal ego.

Almost 20 out of the 25 members of the dissolved House were present at the dharna. They included a former senior Deputy Mayor, Mr S. L. Sharma, and several other councillors supporting the Congress and the BJP. They resolved that they would first challenge it in the high court. If it was not resolved legally, then they were prepared to go to the polls.



Water to become dear in Noida
Our Correspondent

Noida, September 6
The Noida administration has decided to hike the rates of potable water being supplied in Noida town. The rates for new water connections and the interest rates applicable on them are also going to be increased. However, the rates for new connections in flats will be comparatively lesser than the earlier rates.

This will mean that the residents in various residential sectors will have to pay higher charges ranging from Rs 15 to Rs 150 per month during the current financial year. Earlier the Noida administration had hiked the water rates during 1999. The charges for new water connections have now been increased and brought at par with the rates of the Delhi Jal Board. The rates for Janata flats in multi-storey buildings will be hiked from Rs 7 to Rs 25 per month. The lower middle class families will have to pay Rs 30 as compared to Rs 15 earlier and MIG flat residents will have to shell out Rs 100 per month in place of Rs 70. The rates for HIG flat residents will be raised from Rs 30 to Rs 120 and for those in deluxe flats, it will be hiked from Rs 90 to Rs 150 per month.

The estimated charges for new water connections in flats have been reduced. The charge for new water connection for poor people in multi-storey flats will be Rs 3,000 against Rs 6,000 earlier; for lower middle class, it will be Rs 4,000 against Rs 10,000; and for MIG flat residents, it will be reduced from Rs 11,000 to Rs 5,500. For HIG flat people, the rate will be reduced from Rs 20,000 to Rs 6,500 and for deluxe flats, it will be Rs 7,500 instead of Rs 20,000.



Speaking out


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.

After reading a letter to the Editor by PRO (for Director) of PGIMS, Rohtak, published in your esteemed daily on 31.8.2002 under the heading “Report on PGIMS Erroneous”, I could not resist from reacting to the double standard adopted by the PGIMS administration.

They have enough staff for justifying purchases but not enough for patient care. I had suffered the agony when I went to the institute for getting a Cardiac Valve Replaced for one of my relatives.

What we were told and experienced was just contrary to what has been said by the PRO in his letter under reference.

I would like to draw your attention to the following facts:-

The date of admission given to my patient was postponed six times. We were told the department had no other faculty member except one Lecturer in Cardiac Surgery department. I even went to the director to apprise him about it and he clarified that there was only one Lecturer in Cardiac Surgery Department.

I was told that the six House Surgeons were merely MBBS degree holders, appointed for a period of six-month because House Surgeonship is a training post. They cannot perform Cardiac Surgery because it is a specialist job.

Similarly, I was told that Senior Residents too were not trained enough for such a specialised surgery. They could only assist and work under the supervision of senior surgeons. What surprises me most is that the PRO has, for the sake of public consumption, counted the 16 House Surgeons and five Senior Residents as Staff Members working in three super-specialist departments.

However, when the patient’s surgery are postponed and given date after date, the argument given is that there are not enough staff and that House Surgeons/Senior Residents are trainees and cannot undertake specialised surgery.

The fact is that there are only four faculty members in these three departments (One Professor in Neurosurgery and One Lecturer each in Neurosurgery, Cardiac Surgery and Cardiology).

Recently, one Lecturer in Cardiac Surgery has been appointed on contract basis for a limited period of six-months, following the termination of services of a regular Lecturer in that department for accepting illegal gratification from a patient and his absence from duty for a long period (which was correctly reported in the press).

I was also told that the operation was being postponed because there was no trained Cardiac Anaesthetist. The two Anaesthetist (Dr Singhal and Dr Shashi Gupta), trained in Cardiac Anaesthesia from GB Pant Hospital, New Delhi, were out of station. Dr Singhal had gone to Kuwait and Dr Shashi Bala was on vacations. The HOD, Anaesthesia told me that he had no other trained Cardiac Anaesthetist.

I fail to understand how the ‘untrained’ Cardiac Anaesthetists have become trained overnight (as stated by the PRO). If we accept all what the PRO of the institute has said and that there are 27 doctors in these three departments, then why are these departments not accepting emergency cases? The PRO statement that revenue is saved on cases operated here in the Cardiac Surgery Department, is far from truth.

For getting one heart valve replaced, we were asked to buy materials (valve and other consumables) from a Delhi shop (as a package) at a cost of Rs 1.05 lakh.

This was apart from the cost of other drugs. The same operation could be done at the AIIMS, New Delhi, at a much lower cost. The government has to reimburse the same cost to its employees, irrespective of the fact whether the bills are verified by a Delhi Hospital or PGIMS, Rohtak.

The reimbursement cost remains the same to the government. Then, how is the government’s revenue saved?

Hence, the institute should not adopt double standards i.e. there is deficiency of every thing when it comes to the patients (staff or material) but there is enough staff available for justifying purchases costing crores of rupees.

Dr. N K VERMA, Dighava Mandi

For the sake of senior citizens

I have confirmed reservation tickets in II AC for myself and my wife by train No 2779 (Goa Express) from Vasco da Gama to Delhi. The date of travel is October 20, 2002, and the PNR No. is 1119282191.

My wife and myself are senior citizens and this fact is clearly mentioned in the tickets issued to us. To our surprise, however, the booking official has allotted me the upper berth. Mercifully, they have allotted the lower berth to my wife.

I wonder why the lower berth facility normally extended to senior citizens has been denied to me. Since the train journey between Goa and Delhi is spread over nearly forty hours, it is pertinent on my part to request the Railway authorities to allot me the lower berth. Otherwise, it is futile for me to avail of this facility.

The Railways might as well scrap the 30 per cent discount facility provided to us and rather, provide the lower berth facility to all senior citizens.

N S KAPUR, Delhi

Fake Universities

Apropos UGC cautions against fake universities, dated June 28, 2002, in the column of the Tribune. Year after year, the UGC advises students not to pursue courses in fake universities functioning in various parts of our country.

Instead, the UGC should initiate actions towards the closure of such fake universities. Instead of publishing lists of such fake universities, the UGC should initiate strong action against such fake universities.

Once a student falls prey to these universities, they are forced to pay thousands of rupees. Even if they come to know the fake status of these institutions/universities, no power can help them get back the money because of the lengthy and complicated legal procedures. Five fake universities are flourishing in Delhi under the very nose of Human Resource Development Ministry. I urge the UGC to take stern action and save our young students from falling prey to such money grabbing `fake universities’.

Prof. K L ARORA, Bahadurgarh

Railway halt

There is a popular demand for “Civil Lines halt” between civil road and Sonepat road railway crossings on Rohtak-Panipat line.

The “Civil Lines halt” will serve the rural passenger going to the local medical hospitals for treatment and make travels to Panipat, Karnal, Kurukshetra, Ambala, Chandigarh, Kalka and various cities in Punjab easier for the more than 2 lakh people residing in the thickly populated settlements.

The halt may not even entail heavy expenditure for the authorities. The site is well connected by pucca roads to all sections of the city. It has great traffic potential and will earn high revenue for the railway. Clearly, it is both financially and operationally viable.

Recently, a new halt, `Chander Nagar’has been operationalised by the Northern Railway near Ghaziabad. In addition, seven more such halts were announced by the General Manager, Northern Railway, as bonanza on Independence Day.

However, the ‘Civil Lines’ halt was no considered. The sad fact is that the proposal for a halt at ‘Civil Lines’ is gathering dust in the Ministry of Railways due to its apathetic attitude, arbitrariness, irrationality and red-tapism. We have been correspondence with the Railway Board for the last several years. Besides certain Members of Parliament have also taken up the matter with the Railway Minister.

Is it not ironical that the Railway can afford a whopping Rs 600 Crore on the creation of new Zones to fulfil political interests but it cannot provide a halt at ‘Civil Lines’

We trust the Railway will shed the bureaucratic apathy and provide the much needed halt without further delay.

H L PAWAN, Rohtak

Packaged water

With mounting complaints of dirty potable water in various blocks of Faridabad town, it is time for the Faridabad Corporation to provide packaged potable water to its residents. Packaged potable water will set an innovative trend in Haryana. It will help the Corporation manage the fatal diseases. This apart, it will be helpful in supplying sweet water to slum areas like Jawahar Colony, where salty water supply is endemic. The Delhi Jal Board has set an example. It has done a pioneering work in the field of supplying potable drinking water to the people of Delhi. The supply of regular filtered water through pipeline along with packaged water supply at affordable price will set a popular trend for the supply of the hygienic water. It will be a lesson to the private companies.

The Commissioner of Faridabad Nagar Nigam, Councillors and Mayor of the Nigam must come together and introduce this innovative scheme for the residents of Faridabad.

UJJAL PAL SINGH, Chairman, Dina Nath Public School, Faridabad

Social role

The article ‘For God’ sake, do not be mute spectators’ by Prem Kumar was a thought provoking piece. What a great pity that a young woman is lifted or raped before other men who are mute spectators. Men should note that they have great duty and responsibility to stop such types of crimes if they happen before them.

As a matter of fact, they need not watch helplessly but should intervene effectively when they see such ugly incidents. We should realise our responsibilities and make women feel safe from anti-social elements.


Traffic rules

The vehicular traffic in Lodhi Colony disregard all rules. Unfortunately, there is no check on the defaulters. This is primarily due to the absence of automatic traffic signals at the Meharchand market roundabout, Lodi Colony main market and Block No 18 crossing.

All these spots are highly risky and prone to accidents. As a result, kids and elderly people face grave risk. The traffic police signboard banning buses and HMVs carries no meaning. Moreover, the speed breakers should also be checked so that they conform to the rules and the prescribe specifications. Will the traffic police do something to rectify the irritants?

R L PATHAK, New Delhi

Regulating ads

It has been noticed that many of the advertisements shown on TV channels are factually inaccurate, illogical, ill- conceived, semi-nude and misleading.

Due to the growth of consumerism among the Indian middle class, the advertising agencies have also become commercial minded and have started churning out lewd, third class, misleading and shoddy advertising, which cannot be viewed by the parents in the company of their children.

The two cold-drink giants, the manufacturers of toilet soaps, detergents, beauty-aids, shampoo, hair oil, sanitary napkins, pain-killers, balms, toilet cleaners, vests etc., are also collectively responsible for approving ill-conceived and unethical ads. Further, some advertising agencies have started using Hindu mythological characters like Ravana.

The two cold-drink giants are vying with each other and spending crores of rupees on TV advertisements by roping in big film stars, well-known cricketers, sportsmen and even children to promote their drinks.

I would like to request the film stars, top Bollywood heroes/heroines and the renowned cricketers that before accepting an advertisement assignment, they should read the scripts and refuse advertisements which are bad in taste.

I feel that the time has come when the government should constitute a board on the lines of the film censor board, to scrutinise advertisements before they are shown on the T.V screen. Let a beginning be made by Doordarshan.

O.P SHARMA, Faridabad

Doctors' role

I have been a following the news about PGIMS, Rohtak. (being the only Medical College Hospital of the State). I have also read the letter to the Editor written by PRO (for Director) of PGIMS, Rohtak, published on 31.8.2002 under the heading “Report on PGIMS Erroneous” in response to the news item “Running before one can walk. PGIMS style”. The letter is purely a cover up exercise to justify the huge expenditure and to distract public attention from the facts reported on the news item. Every one knows that House Surgeons are MBBS doctors appointed for six-months at a time and these are training posts. Thus, how can the 16 House Surgeons mentioned in the PRO’s letter be counted as faculty staff in supers-specialty departments where the essential qualification is MCh/DM.

Similarly, six senior residents are either MS in General Surgery or MD in General Medicine and appointed on ad hoc basis. They have no super-specialty qualifications and hence they also cannot be counted as faculty staff in super-specialty department. The fact is that there are only four faculty members in these three departments (One Professor in Neurosurgery and One Lecturer each in Neurosurgery, Cardiac Surgery and Cardiology).

Recently, one Lecturer in Cardiac Surgery has been appointed on contract basis for a limited period of six-months, following the termination of services of a regular Lecturer in that department for accepting illegal gratification from a patient. My enquiries revealed that Dr Singhal (Anaesthesia) and Dr Kuldeep of Cardiology had gone to Kuwait and have recently joined back-a fact denied by the PRO.

In fact, one of them has been charge-sheeted for remaining absent from duty. It is also a fact that only two Anaesthetists (Dr Singhal and Dr Shahsi Bala) were given 3 months training in Cardiac Anaesthesia at GB Pant Hospital, New Delhi.

On his return, Dr Singhal went to Kuwait and when he returned, Dr Shashi Bala has gone to Colombo. There is no other Anaesthetist trained in Cardiac Anaethesia-a fact which can be verified from records. The PRO has unnecessarily tried to add names of untrained persons. It is a matter of record that the HOD Anaesthesia had said that he had no trained Cardiac Anaesthetist and on the basis of that, two of these doctors were sent for training to GB Pant Hospital.

If we accept all what the PRO of the institute has said and there are really 27 doctors in these three departments, then why are these departments not accepting emergency cases and operations are postponed repeatedly. Latest example is that of Mr Tara Chand, who died of blood vessel injury and blood clot in chest and neck. The PRO’s statement that lot of revenue has been saved on Cardiac Cases operated here is not factual correct.

My enquiries revealed that getting a valve replaced here costs about 1.20 lakh. One can get this operation done in AIIMS, New Delhi, or at private hospitals at the same cost.

The government has to repay the same amount to its employees irrespective of the fact that whether they were operated here or in Delhi. Hence, the institution should not adopt double standards. For patients there is deficiency (staff or material) but there is enough staff available for justifying purchases costing crores of rupees.

R S BAIHARA, President, Public Grievances Committee Rohtak. 



View ‘Visual Voice of Sept 11’ on Net
Tribune News Service

An ink drawing by the artistNew Delhi, September 6
The horror that was September 11 continues to remain. Tragedy-stricken people across the globe who lost friends, relatives and a million others who saw the brutal attack on humanity find themselves unable to shake off the vestiges of the horror.

For artist Prem Singh, this inability to shut his ears to the cries of the people who suffered the attack led to the creation of ‘Visual Voice of September 11 Tragedy’, a series of ink drawings.

The series is an expression of an artist whose artistic sensibility could not help but pay homage to humanity through his art. The drawings that were completed in Canada based on his perception of the tragedy are an insight into the sufferings and grief of the survivors. The artist’s work can be viewed online at voice.

Meanwhile, to commemorate September 11 a photo exhibition curated by Robert Pledge titled, ‘Eleven: Witnessing the World Trade centre 1974-2001,’ will be inaugurated by the Deputy Prime Minister, Mr L. K. Advani, on September 11 at the Maurya Sheraton and Towers.

A panel discussion on ‘Photography is History’ will also be held in the Capital on September 14 at the India Habitat Centre. Participating in the discussion will be Raghu Rai, Robert Pledge, Alex Perry and Swapan Dasgupta.



Morcha gives call against pipeline
Our Correspondent

Ghaziabad, September 6
The Dehat Morcha has launched a campaign against the supply of Ganga water to Delhi. Under the banner, “Pani Bachao, Khet Bachao”, the Dehat Morcha organised a panchayat in front of the Collectorate at the district headquarters. The panchayat took the decision to stop the construction of Murad Nagar and Modi Nagar pipeline and organise a save water rally from Murad Nagar on Kisan Day, which falls on December 23. After the rally a “youth kisan yatra” will also be taken out.

Mr Kesari Singh Gujjar, national president of the morcha, said for the past few years the rights of people and particularly of farmers were being overlooked. The people would have to launch a struggle to secure their rights. Ganga canal, he said, was constructed to supply irrigation water for farmers’ fields in UP.

The supply of water from this canal to Delhi was therefore wrong, which the morcha would oppose with all its might. Organiser Raj Kumar Bhatti warned that if the marketing of water was not stopped, it would ruin western UP. With the construction of canals, the underground water table will go down and hand pumps would become useless. A number of prominent farmers had also addressed the rally, which was presided over by Mr Nand Kishore Tyagi.



Foundation stone for library

Mr Dhanpat Singh, Commissioner, Higher Education, laid the foundation stone of a library building in the Government College complex at Gohana, 35 km from here, this afternoon. Mr Dalbir Singh Hooda, Programme officer, National Service Scheme, and a lecturer in the college, said Mr Dhanpat Singh accompanied by the Commissioner, Rohtak division, and Deputy Director, Higher Education, also planted saplings on the college premises under the plantation programme being organised by the NSS. An NSS camp was also organised on the occasion, which was attended by around 80 students of the college. The volunteers launched cleanliness drive and planted saplings on the college premises, he added.

Small savings target fixed

The state government has fixed the target of Rs 80 crore under small savings for the district during 2002-2003, informed Mr Mohinder Kumar, DC, while addressing a conference of small savings agents at the Panchayat Bhavan here on Thursday. He said that this year, the target had been doubled from Rs 40 crore last year. He exhorted the agents to achieve the target in the given time. The agents also drew the attention of the administration towards their problems.

Painting contest

The following are the results of the on-the-spot painting competition organised by the National Child Welfare Office on Thursday: Five to six years - Ranjeeta 1, Kshitija Khurana II, and Divita Kaushal III; nine to 12 years - Mohit Pal Verma I, Neelu Ghanghas II, and Aditya Aggarwal III; 13 to 16 years - Shefali Grover I, Mohini Singh II, and Ankita III; handicapped group - Shalu I, Radhika II and Warim III.



Two kids die in Hauz Qazi house collapse

New Delhi: Two children died and two were injured when an old house in Hauz Qazi area of the walled city collapsed early this morning. The injured were admitted to LNJP Hospital where their condition was stated to be serious.

The incident occurred at around 3.45 am when the victims were asleep. It was a two-bedroom house in Shatara street which was in a dangerous condition. Yusuf lived in the house on rent along with wife and five children. His four children were asleep in one room while Yusuf, his wife and their child were in another room. Their daughter Gulfisha (17) and son Danish (13) died on the spot. TNS



Factory brass booked for union leader’s murder
Nawal Kishore Rastogi

Rewari, September 6
The Gurgaon Sadar police have booked Ramu Kumar Jain, owner of Pasupati Spinning and Weaving Mills, Dharuhera, and Ajay Dutt Sharma, the then Manager, on charges of abetting the murder of Ram Avtar, former president of the workers’ union of the factory, full two years after the incident that occurred in July-August, 2000. This follows the startling revelation made by the four dreaded `supari’ killers during police interrogation.

The body of Ram Avtar, who had become a ‘headache’ to the management of the factory, was recovered by the Gurgaon Sadar police from a spot near Shikohp village on NH-8. The police had then disposed it of as a case of rash driving under Section 279 of the IPC.

Now with the disclosures made by the recently nabbed `supari’ killers, it has now been converted into a case of murder under Sections 302, 201, 115 and 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC, according to Mr Kuldip Singh Siaag, SP, Gurgaon. He also told ‘NCR Tribune’ that police parties had been sent to various places to apprehend the remaining accused persons.

Ram Avtar’s murder, which remained a mystery for all these years, was solved only when the Jhajjar district police apprehended four dreaded gangsters - Jag Pal alias Bunty of Dhawana village, Rewari, Rajesh of Gwalison village, Jhajjar, Jaswant alias Jassu of Nautana village, Mahendragarh district, and Anand of

Kasni village, Jhajjar - from near the Jhajjar bus stand in August this year when they were planning a robbery. Their fifth accomplice, Sanjay of Udetipur village under Ganaur police station of Sonepat district, managed to escape.

It is reported that during interrogation, they revealed that they had killed a workers’ union leader, Ram Avtar, in July, 2000 after taking ‘supari’ for Rs 3 lakh from the owner of a spinning mill in Dharuhera. Following these disclosures, the Gurgaon Sadar police brought the four persons, who had been reportedly involved in several cases of `supari’ murders, loot and dacoity, from to Gurgaon.

According to reliable sources, when negotiations for a settlement had been going on in June, 2000 between the management and the union, it struck the former that Ram Avtar was virtually an idol of the workers. Consequently, attempts were made to win him over. But when talks remained inconclusive, a conspiracy was allegedly hatched at the highest level that ultimately led to Ram Avtar’s removal from the scene.

It is now stated that the `supari’ killers and Ram Avtar had first consumed liquor in a house near Rewari during the night. They later attacked with an iron rod and killed. The body was taken in a Maruti van, which had been allegedly borrowed by a senior official of the management from a friend of his, from Rewari to Shikohpur (near Gurgaon) and dropped on the road. After that, a jeep was made to run over it to completely convert it into a case of accident. Besides, sweets and fruits were also scattered beside the body. Then the word was spread that Ram Avtar was on his way to give sweets on the eve of the Tij festival to his married sister at Shikohpur village when he was suddenly run over by an unidentified speeding jeep.

When the workers of the factory began protests, the needle of suspicion was pointed at the management. Mr Ajay Dutt Sharma, then manager, along with certain other top officials of the management, hurriedly convened a press conference at Rewari in which they took great pains to explain that it was an accidental death and they had nothing to do with it. But now the above disclosures of the gangsters seem to have turned the tables on the alleged conspirators.



Caught between wives, father ‘poisons’ son
Our Correspondent

Rewari, September 6
Following a complaint made by Bala Devi, first wife of Daya Nand of Gugodh village, the Kosli police have registered a case of murder against her husband and his second wife Pavitra Devi in connection with the death of Bala Devi’s only son Ravinder (5). The boy was allegedly poisoned on August 31 because of a dispute over the division of the landed property.

No arrest has been made yet because Daya Nand, who too had consumed poison after allegedly administering he same poison to the boy is still under treatment at Safdarjung Hospital in Delhi.

The story goes back to the 1980s when Daya Nand, son of Shish Ram, was married to Bala Devi of Usmapur village. The couple had remained issueless for seven years. Then with the concurrence of the family, Daya Nand went in for a second marriage with Pavitra Devi of Paharipur village.

This second marriage brought about a miraculous change in the life of Bala Devi also. When Pavitra bore a son, Bala Devi too bore a daughter. In the subsequent years, Pavitra gave birth to two more sons while Bala Devi also was blessed with a son.

Now surfaced the question of the division of Shish Ram’s agricultural land, measuring about 16 acres among the grandchildren.

It is stated that Bala Devi wanted half of it for her son, Ravinder while Pavitra insisted on securing three-fourth of the land for her three sons. It is learnt that Shish Ram too concurred with Bala Devi’s proposal, which was rejected by Pavitra.

Thus when Daya Nand too, who was seemingly under pressure from his second wife, could not sort out the matter, things went to the extent that Daya Nand allegedly administered poison to Ravinder and consumed the same himself. Both of them were rushed to the civil hospital at Rewari where Ravinder was declared dead. Daya Nand was referred to Delhi by the doctors.

The case of murder has been registered on a complaint lodged by Bala Devi.



Teenager gangraped by four youths
Our Correspondent

Meerut, September 6
A teenaged girl was gang raped by four youths for several hours and was later abandoned in an adjoining park when she fainted. Though the incident occurred on September 3 night, the police arrested the accused named in the FIR only today.

The arrested youths include the son of an advocate and his servants. The police have sent the girl for medical examination. Several Dalit residents of the Anandpuri area protested against the police, as the inspector in charge of the Railway Road police station had not allegedly reported the matter to his senior officials for three days and the FIR was registered only after SP City D. K. Chaudhry passed an order to this effect.

According to a report, Billu, owner of a video CD and cassette shop, called the victim to his shop on September 3 at 12 noon saying that there was a phone call from her friend. When she reached the shop, the culprits – Billu and his servants, Raju, Manoj and Vinay - said that the phone had been disconnected and she should wait. They offered the girl some sweets and she fainted after eating them. Then the four took the girl to the basement of the shop and raped her till 8.30 pm by turn till she fainted.

Later, Manoj abandoned her in a park of Jain Nagar. She reached home somehow in the morning next day and reported the matter to her brother and parents. Her parents reported the matter to the police. The inspector in charge of the Railway Road police station allegedly pressured the victim and her family to revoke her complaint as the main accused belonged to the BJP.

But a former MLA, Mr Sunderlal, intervened and reported the matter to the senior police officials. The police finally registered a case under Section 376 of the IPC and under the SC/ST Act against the four. The victim and their parents also feared for life and requested for police protection.



Four dacoits held after hot chase
Our Correspondent

Meerut, September 6
A maulvi of a local mosque and a cleaner and two students of a madarsa were arrested on the charge of dacoity today. They lobbed crude bombs on a mob that chased them in which three persons were injured badly.

According to SP (City) D. K. Chaudhry, four persons entered the house of Dr Anis Khan early morning today when the doctor was going to pick up the newspaper. On seeing the intruders, he raised an alarm and grabbed one of them. But the doctor and his wife were muzzled into submission at pistol-point and the assailants took four gold bangles. On hearing the noise, several neighbours rushed to the spot and chased the dacoits. The latter lobbed three bombs on the mob and tried to escape. But the mob caught one of the dacoits and handed him over to the police Later, the other three were also arrested.

Four injured in attack

Faridabad: At least four persons, including two members of a family, were injured when some persons attacked them with sharp-edged weapons and sticks at Manger village last night. It is alleged that the accused took away Rs 60,000 and some jewellery. An old enmity is stated to be the main reason behind the incident. In another incident, some robbers entered a temple in Sector 17 here last night and decamped with Rs 6,000 kept in the donation box.



Couple stabbed to death, house ransacked
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 6
Unidentified assailants stabbed Raju (45), his wife Meera (40) and their daughter Richa (15) at their Vijay Nagar residence in North-West district this evening. They were taken to Hindu Rao Hospital where Raju and Meera were declared brought dead while Richa is still fighting for her life.

The incident occurred at around 4 pm. The incident came to light when some one went to meet the victim and found that the members of the family were lying injured in their bedroom. He informed the police.

The motive of the murder is yet not clear but the police is not ruling out robbery as the entire house was ransacked. A case of murder and attempt to murder has been registered. The police are investigating the case from two angles, enmity and robbery. A number of suspected persons have been detained and are being questioned.

In another case, an unidentified person was shot dead near ISBT in the Kashmere Gate area last night. He had bullet injuries on his head. A car was seen parked near the body but nobody could note down the registration number of the vehicle, the police said.

Crushed to death: Nisha (2 ) was crushed to death by a tempo near Pappan Kalan in North-West district on Thursday. The victim was on a two-wheeler which was being driven by her father Virender Singh. She fell down from the scooter and was crushed to death by the tempo coming from behind. The tempo driver, Satpal, was arrested on the charge of rash and negligent driving.

One deported: The Special Cell of Delhi Police on Thursday arrested Bam Dev Chhetri, Secretary of the Akhil Bharatiya Nepali Ekta Samaj. The party is banned in Nepal. He was arrested under POTA. Bam Dev is a Nepali national and was involved in Maoist activities there. He had been deported to Nepal, the police said.

Fireworks’ licence: The temporary licence for fireworks will be issued by the Deputy Commissioner of Police in each district in the temporary sheds made of non-inflammable material at the open sites on the occasion of Dasehra and Divali. Wherever it is not possible to erect temporary sheds the licence will be issued for pucca shops. The application forms for the licence may be obtained free of cost from the DCP offices. The application forms will also be accompanied by the site plan, proof of residence, copies of ownership and for rented premises an NOC from the owner of the shop, the police said. 



Lighting expo lights up  Pragati Maidan
Megha Manchanda

New Delhi, September 6
Light India International 2002, the biggest lighting exhibition organised in India, was inaugurated by the Union Minister for Power, Mr Anant G.Geete, today at Hall no.9, Pragati Maidan.

Several leading companies, including Philips, Halonix, Jaguar, Bajaj are participating in the exhibition. All these companies are displaying their latest range of products in the exhibition. Though the people’s verdict is awaited, the exhibition, which is one of its kind, aims to bring about a breakthrough in the lighting industry.

Apart from the lighting exhibition, what drew the visitors was the shopping festival. Among the companies wooing consumers with their very best are Samsung, Kenstar, LG, Onida, and National.

An International Dairy & Food Technology Expo 2002 (IDFT Expo 2002), co- sponsored by the Ministry of Food Processing Industries is also being held at Pragati Maidan. The spotlight at this expo is on animal breeding, animal health, pharmaceuticals, fodder, refrigeration and cooling, marketing and research and development and allied sectors.



Miffed vanaspati makers petition FM
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 6
The Vanaspati Manufacturers Association of India has expressed resentment over the withdrawal of special additional duty of four per cent on import of vanaspati from Nepal under the Indo-Nepal Treaty. A memorandum has been given in this regard to the Finance Minister.

According to the association, the decision would adversely hit the industry as the Indian manufacturers have to pay 60 per cent duty on crude palm oil whereas Nepalese vanaspati gets a 100 per cent duty drawback when it is exported to India besides duty free access to the Indian market under the treaty, which makes it cheaper compared to the Indian vanaspati. The association has urged the Finance Minister to undertake measures like restoration of concession rate of customs duty of 25 per cent on import of crude palm oil for use in the manufacture of vanaspati, removal of the condition entailing compulsory use of 25 per cent indigenous edible oils for the manufacture of vanaspati. 


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