Sunday, September 15, 2002, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


Rain fury: Seven killed in Meerut, 
three in Faridabad
Tribune News Service

Ghaziabad, September 14
The rains lashed many parts of the National Capital Region during the last two days, leaving a trail of death and destruction. It was the same old story of suffering: waterlogged streets, traffic snarls and dead telephones.

In five districts of Meerut division, at least seven persons, including six children, were killed and more than 25 injured during the past two days in different incidents following heavy rains in the five districts. Normal life was thrown totally out of gear, official sources said in Ghaziabad today.

Six children were killed and 14 injured in various incidents of house collapse, while one person died when the roof of a bus shelter collapsed in Garhmukteshwar area near here.

Over 156 people, trapped in their houses after flooding in Vijay Nagar area of the city, were rescued by the district authorities. There was total chaos in the colony when the water started accumulating and then entered houses. Residents climbed on to the roof and cried for help.

In another incident in Baghpat, 10 policemen were injured after a wall of the officer's hostel collapsed after incessant rains. The injured were taken to a nearby hospital and discharged after the first-aid. They were slightly injured. The district administrations in Ghaziabad, Bulandshahr and Baghpat have issued a flood warning and advised people to move to the safer areas. Meanwhile, senior officials were monitoring the situation regularly and initiating corrective measures wherever possible.

Senior officials told the ‘NCR Tribune’ that it would take at least two to three days to restore normalcy, and that too, if it did not rain further.

In Meerut city, the situation was worse in the police stations. At least 10 police stations of the city and rural areas were drowned and several barracks and buildings of the police stations faced crisis due to torrential rains in the areas for the last 36 hours.

Several important documents and records were destroyed as the water entered the ‘maalkhanas’ of the police stations. Even the fire tenders had to be called to pump out water from the premises. The police stations of Railway Road, Kankerkhera, Brahampuri, T P Nagar, Lisarigate and

Nauchandi area faced the worst situation. Water from 2 to 3 feet was seen in the police stations. The dirty water from the adjoining ‘nala’ entered the Brahampuri police station as the drain was not cleaned for months. The police station looked like a hellhole.

The policemen also complained to the mediapersons that several buildings of the city ‘thanas’ are dangerous and they feared that the buildings might collapse if the rain did not stop.

Many records were also destroyed in Nauchandi police station as the ceiling of the building was made of earthen ‘khaprels’. Several fire tenders and water pumps had to be used to flush out dirty water from the premises. The water pumps were still in service to remove water from the police stations till late in the evening.

In Faridabad, three persons, including two women, were killed and some injured when a wall caved in a jhuggi cluster at Palwal town in the early hours of Friday. It is reported that the victims had been in the hutments, adjacent to a wall, which fell due to incessant rain. The injured have been shifted to a hospital.

The victims have been identified as Kariman (35), Shahida (60) and Iliyas (50). They were sleeping in their jhuggi when the outer wall of the plot, which was being used as a shelter from one side, caved in after the downpour that lashed the town for about 48 hours. The injured have been identified as Mustafa, Farida, Sabina, Sharina and Bhadshah. In another incident, the wall of the police station at Hodal town also caved in. No one was injured.

The downpour has left the roads and streetlights damaged even on the main routes like the National Highway. This, in turn, has caused accidents and inconvenience to the travellers. Several dozen persons were injured when a bus overturned at NHPC Chowk on the National Highway here in the wee hours today. The injured were discharged after being administered the first-aid.

According to the traffic police sources, the main cause of the accident was the huge potholes that had developed near the chowk and non-functioning of red lights and streetlights. Due to the bumpy track and improper vision, the bus, going to Mathura from Delhi, overturned at the chowk around 2.30 am. There was hardly anyone who could reach to the help of the victims. About 15 passengers who escaped unhurt helped their fellow passengers and informed the police and local authorities.

Seven of the injured passengers have been identified. They are Ms Asha Dhawan, Chanchal Dhawan, Suman, Lalita Rani, Tripta, Krishna Gupta and Veena Gupta (all residents of Ambala). They were discharged from the local civil hospital after an hour.

It is reported that other injured passengers were also given the first-aid and discharged. The bus, belonging to Uttar Pradesh, has been sent back in a damaged condition.

In Sonepat, the stretch of the Yamuna near Sonepat is in spate following the release of three lakh cusecs of water from the Tajewala Headworks near Yamunanagar by the officials of the Irrigation Department.

According to a report, heavy rainfall in the catchment areas of the river during the past three days is the main cause of the floods in the Yamuna. The swirling water of the river has inundated several thousand acres of agricultural and cultivable land along the banks. This has caused extensive damage to the standing kharif crops.

The district authorities have already alerted the residents of at least 50 villages situated on the banks of the river and directed them to shift to safer places. But they declined to do so.

According to residents of Bega and Memarpur villages, a large quantity of stones dumped for the construction of stone studs to check the erosion of land on Haryana side has been washed away by the floodwaters as the contractors had failed to put up barbed-wire fences.

The residents alleged that the contractors concerned had failed to execute the construction work on time immediately after the sanctioning of the tenders. One of the contractors did not start the work even after he was asked to do so a number of times by the officials concerned. However, his work was allotted to another contractor for the completion of the work.

Residents of other villages too have a similar complaint about the non-completion of flood control works by the officials of the irrigation department. In this way, the state government has suffered a huge financial loss. A high-level inquiry is likely to expose the misdeeds of the contractors and the officials concerned.

Meanwhile, the Deputy Commissioner, Mr S.N.Roy, has directed the officials of the irrigation department and other authorities concerned to intensify round-the-clock patrolling on the banks of the river to meet any eventuality. Earlier in the Capital, two persons, including the wife of a marble contractor died a painful death after being electrocuted in New Friends Colony.

The rainwater entered the house of the contractor Ram Dani Pandey and when his wife Parveen (45) and their tenant Manoj (28) tried to remove the water from inside the house, they received shock from it.

Both of them were taken to different private hospitals immediately, but were declared brought dead. It is the same old painful story about the Capital, bringing the state of civic affairs under a cloud. It never rains but it pours. The incessant rain lashing the Capital since the early hours of the morning today brought along massive traffic jams and the resultant problems. The only silver lining in the dark cloud is that the weather has become somewhat pleasant.

(with inputs from our correspondents in Ghaziabad, Meerut & Sonepat)



Advani advises BJP to sort out issue
Tribune News Service

Deputy Prime Minister L. K. Advani with Delhi BJP chief Madan Lal Khurana and other leaders after the latter called on him to discuss the statehood issue
Deputy Prime Minister L. K. Advani with Delhi BJP chief Madan Lal Khurana and other leaders after the latter called on him to discuss the statehood issue on Saturday. — Tribune Photo

New Delhi, September 14
Deputy Prime Minister L. K. Advani told the high-power delegation of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) that called on him today to discuss with the Congress the modalities of securing statehood for the Government of NCT of Delhi and get back to him.

The delegation comprised five parliamentarians and a legislator. Delhi Pradesh BJP president Madan Lal Khurana, Union Labour Minister Sahib Singh Verma, Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office Vijay Goel, BJP Parliamentary Party spokesperson V. K. Malhotra, Lal Bihari Tiwari and Leader of Opposition in the Delhi Legislative Assembly Jagdish Mukhi.

Mr Khurana told mediapersons that the Deputy Prime Minister suggested the Delhi Pradesh BJP to work out with their Congress counterparts the modalities of a legislation that might be brought forward in the winter session of Parliament in November. “I will be meeting with Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit in a few days to discuss the details of the Bill before giving it to the Union Government for the necessary legislation in Parliament,” he said.

“I,” Mr Khurana said, “do not foresee any problems on the legislation since both the Congress and the BJP are in agreement on the issue.” He said he had received Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit’s letter inviting him for discussions. The Chief Minister, he quoted the letter, had said the Deputy Prime Minister had asked her to convene an all-party meeting to discuss the matter and had asked Mr Khurana to indicate the earliest date for such a meeting.

Mr Khurana said they would also request Congress president and Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sonia Gandhi for support in getting the Bill passed unanimously in Parliament. 



Students confine Registrar 
Our Correspondent

Meerut, September 14
All 120 students of the Microbiology Department of Chaudhary Charan Singh University here confined university Registrar M.L. Batra and member of the Executive Council R.C. Lal to the administrative block of the campus for hours on Friday evening.

They also allegedly manhandled the Vice-Chancellor, Prof Ramesh Chandra, who had arrived on the scene to negotiate the release of the captives. The officials were released only after a heavy police force descended on the campus and dispersed the students.

The incident occurred soon after the meeting of the Executive Council concluded at 8.30 pm. The furious students of the department entered the conference room and took control of the entire building. They complained that the Executive Council did not pay any attention to the memorandum they had submitted before the meeting. While some students took the Registrar and the member in their custody and locked the building from inside, others took positions outside the building and blocked the area. The canteen contractor and several employees were also caught inside the building.

Hearing the news, the V-C rushed to the spot and tried to negotiate with the students. The agitated students complained that the department had been sealed for over 15 days now and asked why it had not been unlocked.

They also alleged that the V-C had destroyed their future as their research papers had been stolen from the department. The V-C replied that the administration was willing to co-operate with the students and assured that their demands would be met soon. However, the students insisted on a written assurance from the V-C which the latter denied.

The V-C then informed the administrative officials and called for police help to secure the release of the officials. At about 11 pm, a large contingent of police, including circle officer N. P. Singh reached the campus. The police used force to disperse the students forming the outer circle around the building. After negotiations for half an hour, the police secured the release of Registrar and the member.

The 120 students of the department have been in a fix since the suspension of their Head of Department, Dr Garg. Their classes and research works have been stalled all these days. The students alleged that the V-C had destroyed their research works.



Mysterious creature digging up graves, 
eating corpses
Prem Pal Singh

Meerut, September 14
Residents of Dhulri village are horror-struck. They feel a chill in their spines these days. The reason? A mysterious creature has been digging up the graves and eating the buried remains for the last fortnight. The aggrieved villagers have now approached the Divisional Forest Officer of Meerut and pleaded for a proper action to save them from this nightmarish experience.

According to the villagers, the creature is almost four-feet-long and one-feet-broad and is dark brown. They say it resembles a ‘nevla’ (mongoose). Villagers, who claimed that they had seen it “with their own eyes”, said that the creature had dug holes in three to four houses in the area and live in them.

It reportedly dug out all the graves in the village. Villagers said the creature makes their flesh creep so much so that they have stopped going to their fields.

A delegation of villagers met the District Magistrate, Mr Rana Raman, and submitted a memorandum to him.

Meanwhile, the DFO has assured the villagers that he would send a team of experts to catch the ‘thingy’ once the rain stops. The pradhan of the village, Baber Bhan, confirmed the report on phone and added that panic prevailed in the village.



Mewat conversion issue remains alive 
Ravi S.Singh
Tribune News Service

Gurgaon, September 14
The controversy relating to proselytisation of members of a Scheduled Caste family to Islam in village Veerseeka in Nuh block in Mewat on August 8 refuses to die down, even though the family informed the district administration that they took the step on their own volition.

With mounting criticism against the administration from Hindu organisations, including the Sangh Parivar, the Shiv Sena and those relating to Balmiki sub-castes for not taking action against “the forced conversions”, the Deputy Commissioner, Gurgaon, Mr Anurag Rastogi, visited Nuh yesterday to sort out the controversy.

Mr Rastogi went there to facilitate an interaction between the family members and the leaders of the agitating organisations to ascertain whether it was a forced conversion. Surprisingly, no members of the various Hindu organisations turned up on the occasion.

The head of the family, Mr Prabhu Balmiki (now named Mohammad Sauraab), however, told Mr Rastogi and all those present on the occasion that he and his family members were not forced to convert to Islam. He further said that his family members had already apprised their relatives of their intended move. Mr Prabhu and 39 members of his family converted to Islam at Jama Masjid in Delhi.

Significantly, the family came to the spot in the company of the local MLA of the ruling INLD, Mr Hamid Hussain. However, Mr Prabu told newsmen on the occasion that the Balmiki family members had been boycotted by the Muslim families of his village. According to him, his family members thought it wise and to convert to Islam. The village has a population of 1,700 people. However, there were only four Hindu families, the rest being Muslim. The family members of Mr Prabhu said that ‘Chammars’(another sub-caste of Scheduled Castes) were also subjected to discriminatory treatment by the Muslim families of the village.

Various Hindu organisations have been agitated over the development. A couple of days ago, they also submitted a memorandum to the Union Home Minister, Mr L.K.Advani, through the office of the Deputy Commissioner, alleging the increased activities of the ISI. They alleged that fundamentalist forces in Mewat have been active to bring about the conversion of Hindus to Islam. According to them, the law and order situation had deteriorated in the area. They further alleged that the district administration was trying to downplay the development. They said that the family members were under pressure because the area was dominated by the Muslim community. However, talking to ‘NCR Tribue’, Mr Rastogi today lamented that the members of the organisations protesting against the development refused to meet the family members of Mr Prabhu at Nuh.

He said that the family members claimed that they had converted to Islam on their own accord. As such, the administration could not intervene in the matter.



Power to Modi Rubber colony cut 
Our Correspondent

Meerut, September 14
The officials from the Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation Limited today disconnected the electricity lines to the residential colony of the Modi Rubber Limited (MRL) for not paying dues of over Rs 1 crore. Due to the power cut, the water supply to the colony has also stopped as the colony depends on a tubewell.

The employees of the Modi Rubber Ltd charged that the management had masterminded the power cut. The employees later met the Assistant Labour Commissioner in this regard. The ALO has asked the management to be present for talks on September 20.

The Executive Engineer of the UPPCL, Munish Kumar, himself supervised this operation in the noon. He told mediapersons that the colony had dues of Rs 84 lakh as power bills for the month of August in which the recovery certificate had been issued by the department.

The power supply of the colony was cut in April too, but the then District Magistrate ruled that the supply should be resumed against the RCs.

The magistrate also ordered to recover Rs 50 lakh from the MRL against power bills. Several employees and their families are facing problems due to the power cut.

The angry employees also lamented that their children and families were facing hardships due to the acute shortage of water in the colony. The labour leaders of the MRL have called a meeting of the families and employees on 10 am tomorrow to discuss further action. 



Model Town becomes a ‘lake town’ during monsoon
Priyanka Gupta

New Delhi, September 14
The last two days of rain brought to the surface everything that is wrong with one of the most posh areas in the Capital, Model Town. On Thursday night, suddenly one was caught in pitch darkness of its streets, that too surrounded with water. For a moment, one thought one was in the middle of a lake. Not even a glimmer of a light, and the already potholed roads under two-three feet water.

This was the scenario in the two days of continuous rain. All the roads were flooded. People were seen walking with their trousers rolled up. Adding to the misery, there had been no electricity for almost 30 hours. Power supply has not been resumed even now in several areas here.

Being located in a low-lying area, Model Town faces all these problems every year during monsoon. Every year, tenders are passed and roads are constructed but they remain guttered as ever.

As one travels inside the colony, the condition of the roads gets worse. Everything seems to be floating. According to residents, many inner roads of the colony have not been carpeted for years. The sewer lines have not been repaired or changed for years, resulting in the slush overflowing onto the roads, raising a severe stench. The main road of the market remains congested with vehicles parked all over. The rainwater has added to the mess.

Mr Ravi Verma, a resident of the colony, said, “The inner roads in residential areas are in a pathetic condition to the extent that we cannot not even take out our cars. The road leading to the market was carpeted two years ago but the problems remain the same. Nothing concrete has been done.”

Mr Mahesh Singhal, a resident of M Block, said, “Water has entered our houses. For two days, I had been busy clearing the water of my premises. The whole area has the same problem. 



Parks to be handed over to RWAs 
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, September 14
The state government has accepted the proposal of the district administration to hand over parks to Resident Welfare Associations (RWA) for their overall supervision and maintenance.

At a meeting held here today, attended by the Deputy Commissioner and the Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, Faridabad (MCF), among others, it was declared that the process of handing over the parks to willing RWAs would start soon. The Deputy Commissioner stated that the plan was part of the overall beautification programme and the authorities in Chandigarh had accepted the proposal.

He said the proposal had been mooted to ensure the peoples participation in the maintenance of parks. He, however, said that those RWAs opting for such a decision would not have to bear the financial burden of the maintenance. It would be the responsibility of the MCF to deploy gardeners and other staff required for maintenance. The RWAs would supervise the work so as to ensure that the park was being maintained properly.

The MCF, which owns about 400 parks, stated that while the RWAs could hold meetings in the park, functions like marriage or birthday parties would not be allowed. The MCF authorities have prepared a MoU, which they said would be signed by the RWA concerned and it could be cancelled if its provisions were violated.

However, the MCF has allowed the construction of a room for the maintenance staff like gardeners (Mali) in the parks. The police have been asked to cooperate with the RWAs so as to check anti-social activities in the parks. 



Are you annoyed when called a sinner?

Osama Bin Laden and Mother Teresa represent two specimens of human nature, who will be remembered every September for a long time to come. The former invoked intense fear and the latter deep adoration. History presents numerous examples of humans, who had risen to great heights in nobility and others who personified everything evil.

More than the works of mercy accomplished by the former Catholic nun of the Loreto convent, the world today remembers the threat posed to peace on earth from individuals who were willing to hate and cause unlimited destruction.

On the first anniversary of the unprecedented terrorist attack at the twin towers of the World Trade Centre, the media all over the world recalled the day that shook the world but came to different conclusions as regards the lessons of the September 11 tragedy.

It may be recalled that a few preachers in the United States caused a minor tremor in the wake of the tragedy by claiming that the disasters stem from God’s judgement over her sins like abortion, homosexuality and feminism. They had pointed out that America is the biggest purveyor of pornography; it is in the forefront of the worship of wealth and power. A well-known preacher Rev Jerry Falwell had to withdraw his statement to this effect in the face of severe criticisms from angered clergy and members of the public.

Bin Laden’s followers had stated that among other things, it is America’s satanic lifestyle infecting other societies that had prompted them to declare war. The question of evil in a universe, which God had created and found good, had baffled mankind all along. Writing on the law of human nature, C. S Lewis, a celebrated thinker and writer, makes two points: first that human beings, all over the earth, have this curious idea that they ought to behave in a certain way, and can not really get rid of it. Secondly, that they do not in fact behave in that way. They know the laws of nature; they break it. These two facts are the foundation of all clear thinking about ourselves and the universe we live in.”

He goes on to say that the Moral Law that we find written within ourselves can not be explained away as instincts, social conventions or decent behaviour learnt in the process of creative evolution. The life force philosophy presents a blind force with no morals and mind. The life force philosophy, he observes, is “the greatest achievement of wishful thinking.’’

He deducts more facts from this Moral Law and concludes that the Being behind the universe is intensely interested in right conduct — in fair play, unselfishness, courage, good faith, honesty and truthfulness. In other words, most religions agree that God is good. When one has realized that there is a Moral Law and a Power behind the law, and that man has broken that law the concept of sin becomes clear. The sin-stained fallen nature of man is behind the breaking of the Moral Law and his subsequent ruin. Man rebels against God and invents his own source of happiness and out of this attempt has come all that we nearly call human history — money, poverty, ambition, war prostitution, empires, classes, slavery and so on.

Now to go back to the story of September 11: it becomes clear that man chooses to hate and seeks to establish both security and superiority on the basis of power instead of love.

When the towers of the World Trade Center, symbolizing prosperity and power, fell, some theologians came up with sociological explanations. But preachers like Rev Wilkerson pointed to the fact that the tragedy was brought about by men with evil in their hearts.

Besides the faith in violence, there are numerous evils lurking in today’s societies. When the fear of God is extinguished people stray away from the moral path, the concepts of sin and evil get diluted. They relentlessly pursue pleasures unbridled by any sense of restraint. Adultery and promiscuity are destroying families. Divorces and drug addiction take a heavy toll. Pornography and an immoral variety of entertainment pollute and poison the moral fibre. Sodom and Gomorrah get established in peoples hearts to the exclusion of all virtues and values, which build up character.

Dr Charles Colson, president of the International Prison Fellowship, had said in the wake of the tragedy that it was a time for repentance. “…What is missing in the flurry of flag waving and comfort-giving is something that should be the first business of the church: calling the nation and ourselves to repentance”. Dr Wilkerson had said that “God is trumpeting in the midst of the calamities: “I have prospered you above all nations. Yet for years you have persisted in worshipping idols of gold and silver. I have endured your shameless sensuality, your mockery of holy things, your shedding of innocent blood, your tireless efforts to remove Me from your society. Now time is running our for you…I have stricken you in the hope of saving you. I want to heal your land…’’

The call to repentance is to all-sinning cultures: “Repent and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so inequity shall not be your ruin.’’

The talk about sin and repentance may not appear very palatable. But when Malcolm Muggeridge explains what is meant by the concept, we can not but agree with him: “Christianity does not say that in spite of appearances, we are all murderers or burglars or crooks or sexual perverts at heart; it does not say that we are totally depraved, in the sense we are incapable of feeling or responding to any good impulses whatsoever. The truth is much deeper and subtler than that. It is precisely when you consider the best in man that you see there is in each of us a hard core of pride or self-centredness, which corrupts our best achievements and blights our experiences. It comes out in all sorts of ways — in the jealousy which spoils our friendships, in the vanity we feel when we have done something pretty good, in the easy conversion of love into lust, in the meanness which makes us depreciate the efforts of other people, in the distortion of our own judgement by our own self-interest, in our fondness for folly, and our resentment of blame, in our self-assertive profession of fine ideals, which we never begin to practise.’’

M P K Kutty



Panchmarhi, a place for walks amid nature’s bounty
Tribune News Service

Getting There

By Air: The nearest airport is Bhopal (120 kilometers) connected by regular flights with Delhi, Gwalior, Indore, Bombay, Raipur and Jabalpur.

By Rail : Pipariya (47 kilometers), on the Bombay-Howrah mainline via Allahabad is the most convenient railhead.

By Road : Panchmarhi is connected by regular bus services with Bhopal, Hashangabad, Nagpur, Pipariya and Chhindwara. Taxis are available at Pipariya.

A six-hour drive from Bhopal, leads to the picturesque Panchmarhi. A hill station in the Madhya Pradesh with plenty of caves, waterfalls, forests and cave temples. Panchmarhi is famous for its waterfalls and to reach some of the most exotic ones, one has to trek through deep forests and not-so-good paths.

The spectacle, however, is always worth the efforts. While most prefer waking through somewhat rocky terrain, cycling in the winding wilderness is no less fascinating. Panchmarhi’s extraordinary appeal is the pervasive quiet, seclusion and its unobtrusive beauty. It’s a world where nature and people work in consonance.

The tribes Gonds and the Korkus are seen nurtured by nature as they go along partaking of the gifts that mother nature has provided them.

Panchmarhi is a place for walks amidst nature’s bounty.

Rock shelters such as those in the Maradeo hill covered with paintings depicting warfare, food gathering and hunting, some dating as far back as 1000 BC. There are forests and meadows, and one such path leads to a hilltop Dhoopgarh, the highest point in the Satpuras where the sunsets are quite spectacular.

Pools of clear water are aplenty. The Apsara Vihar (Fairy Pool) is favourite with visitors. The descent is easy, the location ideal for a picnic and the pool shallow enough for a paddle. Some distance away the Rajat Parbat, (the Big Falls), true to their name gush down from a height of over 300 feet. Close to the Ramaya Kund, (Lorene Pool), are the Duchess Falls ideal for swimming which are not quite so spectacular but the setting makes them one of Panchmarhi’s most beautiful and picturesque waterfalls.

For pilgrims there are places like Chotta Mahadev, a narrow point in the hills, Maradeo the second highest point in the Satpuras which comes alive during the annual Shivratri celebrations. Then there are Chauragarh, where a pilgrim path leads to a sacred summit with several images of Shiva and the Jata Shankar cave where Shiva is believed to have hidden himself from the demon King Bhasmasur.

Some of the places to visit are:

Priyadarshini (Forsyth Point): This vintage viewing point marks the place from where Panchmarhi was discovered by Captain Forsyth in 1857. The British developed Panchmarhi as a resort and their influence is embodied in its churches and colonial architecture.

Jamuna Prapat (Bee Fall): A spectacular fall in the stream which provides drinking water to Panchmarhi. The bathing pools above the fall are very popular.

Handi Khoh: Panchmarhi’s most impressive ravine has a 300 feet high precipice and dramatically steep sides.

Apsara Vihar (Fairy Pool): Easily accessible from Jai Stambh, this “fairy pool” is an ideal picnic spot for families with small children, since the pool is shallow, deepening only towards the base of the fall.

Rajat Pratap (Big Fall): Those seeking adventure will find it in ten minutes walk over rocks and boulders from Apsara Vihar to the top of Rajat Pratap, the “big fall”.

Irene Pool: This pool was discovered by Irene Bose, wife of Justice Vivian Bose, and named after her. The route upstream leads to a cave, through which the stream goes underground and then over a khud in a series of falls.

Jalawataran (Duchess Falls): The descent is steep and the trek strenuous for almost all of the 4 kms to the base of the fall’s first cascade.

Sunder Kund (Saunder’s Pool): Crossing the stream below Duchess Falls and following a footpath about 2.5 kms in a south-westerly direction brings one to a huge rocky pool in the Jambu Dwip stream, an excellent place for swimming.

Mahadeo: Regarded as holy for countless generations, Mahadeo Hills has a shrine with an idol of Lord Shiva and an impressive Shivlinga. On the east side of the hill is an excellent cave shelter with paintings.

Chhota Mahadeo: Revered as a sacred spot, this is a narrow point in the valley with rocks overhanging a stream and a small spring from which water cascades down.

Chauragarh: Four km form Mahadeo, it is one of Satpura’s prominent landmarks, and the sacred summit is crowned with emblems of Mahadeo worship.

Jata Shankar: A scared cave under a mass of loose boulders in which the Jambu Dwip stream has its source. A rocky mountain of this place resembles the matted locks of Lord Shiva.

Dhoopgarh: The highest point in the Satpura range, with a magnificent view of the surrounding ranges. A very popular spot for viewing sunset.

Pandav Caves: Five ancient dwellings excavated in the sandstone rock in a low hill. Panchmarhi derives its name from these caves which, as the legend goes, once provided sanctuary to the five Pandhav brothers. These caves are now protected monuments.

Tridhara (Piccadily Circus): A popular picnic spot where two streams meet in a junction.

Vanshree Vihar (Pansy Pool): A beautiful spot on the Denwa stream, cool and shady among tree, ferns and semi – tropical vegetation.

Reechhgarh: A wonderful natural amphitheatre in the rock, approached through a cave – like entrance on the south–side.

Sangam (Fuller’s Khud–Waters Meet): This is the lowest of the picnic spots on the Denwa and offers fairly good bathing pools both below and above the meetings of the waters.

Catholic Church: Built in 1892 by the British, the Catholic Church is a blend of French and Irish architecture. Its Belgium stained glass windows add rare attraction and beauty to the building. The church has a cemetery attached to it and graves date from 1859, World War I and II.

Christ Church: Built in 1857 by the British, this church is generally regarded as the most beautiful small church in Madhya Pradesh. The church’s architecture is fascinating; its ‘sanctum’ has a hemispherical dome on top with its ribs ending with faces of angels.

Satpura National Park: Set up in 1981, Satpura National Park is 524 sq. kms in area. It spreads through a dense forest of evergreen sal, teak and bamboo.

The Cave Shelters: Some of the best cave shelters and groups of shelters around Panchmarhi are: Dhuandhar approached from the footpath to Apsara Vihar. The paintings, mostly in white, include a group of archers with a typical Gond bun and earrings.

Bhrant Neer (Dorothy Deep): It has well executed animal paintings and, when excavated in the 1930s, yielded many pottery shards and microliths.

Astachal (Monte Rosa): There are four shelters with paintings comparatively early linear drawings. Along the northern side of Jambu Dwip valley are some six shelters with many paintings of animals and human figures, including a detailed battle scene.

Harper’s Cave: It is so named because of one of its paintings – a man seated and playing a harp is close to the Jata Shankar Shrine. A terrace that runs the length of the south, south–east and east faces of Kites Crag has some fine cave paintings, the majority of which are in white or outlined in red.



Meeting of BCs on  September 21
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 14
To have a detailed discussion about the socio-economic and political problems being faced by Dalits and backward class communities and the “anti-Dalit” economic policies of the BJP-led NDA government, which resulted in unemployment among the SC, ST and BC youths, members of these communities have decided to organise a ‘mahasammelan’ on September 21 at Talkatora Stadium.

Announcing this at a press conference, prominent Dalit leader and former MLA Jaikishan, who is also the convenor of the ‘mahasammelan’, said that there was no place for Dalit poor people, unemployed youths, labourers, small farmers and domestic small-scale industry workers in the economic policies of the NDA government.

He also said that the reservation in employment for SCs and STs in the government departments and undertakings had come unstuck because of privatisation. Even the projects and action plans declared for the welfare of SCs and STs had been kept in the cold storage, he alleged.

Gurmat  Samagam

The president of Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee, Mr Paramjit Singh Sama, today said that a Gurmat Samagam would be organised on Sunday, September 15, from 10 a.m. at Gurdwara Sri Guru Singh Sabha, Jangpura Extension. He said the Gurmat Samagam would be held in the sweet memory of Sant Baba Sucha Singhji (Jawadi Kalanwale) who left for his heavenly abode on August 27, 2002.

Sri Guru Singh Sabha, Jangpura Extension, has arranged a special Kirtan Darbar for this occasion. Famous Ragi Jathas of Bhai Sarabjeet Singh Ji, Hazoori Ragi Sri Darbar Sahib, Bibi Baljeet Kaur Ji Khalsa-Talware Wali, Bhai Sukhwant Singh Ji-Jawadi Kalan, Bhai Balbir Singh-Amritsar Wale, Bhai Angad Singh Ji-Delhi Wale and Bibi Jasbir Kaur Khalsa-Jawadi Taksal will perform Shabad Kirtan in the memory of Sant Baba Sucha Singh Ji. Shabad Vichar will be performed by Giani Amir Singh Ji.

Guru Ka Langar (Free Community Kitchen) will be served to all, irrespective of their caste, colour and creed.

Handloom Coop society

Mr Rahmatullah Ansari has been unanimously elected president and M. S. Sivanna vice-president of the All India Handloom Fabrics Marketing Co-operative Society. The election was held at the society’s office in Noida today under the Multi State Co-operative Societies Act, 2002.



Petroleum products seized
Our Correspondent

Rewari, September 14
Following a tip-off, the Rewari district police recently conducted raids on some hotels on Rewari-Bawal road in the vicinity of the oil terminals of the Indian Oil Corporation and Bharat Petroleum corporation and seized 2,320 litres of diesel, 1,100 litres of kerosene oil, 70 litres of petrol, 170 litres of mobil oil and a tractor. Mr Hanif Qureshi, S.P. said that these materials had been illegally procured from oil tankers.

Colonies’ regularisation

Rohtak: Describing the move of the regularisation of 359 unauthorised localities in the state by the government as biased against Rohtak, the Congress Party claimed that not a single unauthorised locality of the town had been included in the list. Mr Shadi Lal Batra, local MLA and president, District Congress Committee (urban) said here today that it was unfortunate and astonishing that not a single locality out of 68 unauthorised localities in the town was selected by the state government for regularisation.

He said the majority of the residents of these localities had been enjoying basic amenities including piped water and power. Moreover, he said the residents of these localities had been paying the house tax regularly. Mr Batra claimed that several unauthorised localities in the town fulfilled the specified requirement for regularisation.

Localities inundated

Due to the incessant rain, the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Ashok Yadav today convened a meeting of the district officials to discuss the measures for draining out the rainwater. The Deputy Commissioner directed the SDM and Executive Engineer of Public Health Department to inspect the inundated localities in the town and ensure immediate disposal of the accumulated rainwater. He also directed the ADC and Executive Engineers of Irrigation Department to visit the Bohar drain, Lakhan Majra drain and Meham drain and ensure uninterrupted disposal of rainwater. Mr Yadav directed the officials of the Irrigation Department to remove the culverts constructed illegally over the drains at various places so that the floodwater could be drained out smoothly. He said the district recorded 45 mm rainfall on Friday, which was the highest received this season.

Rajdhani Express victim

Sonepat: The body of Mr Rajesh Nasa, another victim of the Rajdhani Express mishap near Aurangabad (Bihar), was brought here today by his relatives. According to a report, the body was handed over to the relatives after due identification and verification at a Gaya hospital. Large number of relatives, supporters and the residents of this city received the body at the railway station. It was brought in a procession to the residence in Batra Colony, Sonepat. Later, it was cremated at the cremation ground on the Gohaa road.

DC warns dyeing units

Panipat: The Deputy Commissioner, Mr M. R. Anand, has made it clear to the owners of dyeing units here that the administration would not hesitate to take action against those units whose owners did not apply for plots in new industrial Sectors 29 and 30 up till September 15. These sectors have been earmarked for shifting the units from the non-conforming areas of the town. Presiding over a meeting of the representatives of the Panipat Dyeing House Association and the Pollution Control Board on last Tuesday, the DC said under the shifting project, the board had issued 220 application forms to the unit owners but only 60 of them had applied so far. He made it clear that the polluting and dyeing units would have to be shifted to the new sites.



Rewari rally, a show of strength of Ahirwal 

Rewari, September 14
Legislator and senior Haryana Congress leader Rao Inderjit Singh, who is also the convenor of Rao Tula Ram Shaheedi Samaroh Samiti, asserted that the rally being organised by the Samiti at Rewari on September 23, the martyrdom day of Rao Tula Ram, must not be viewed as something parallel to the Narnaul rally held on September 8. He said that it had been organised by the supporters of Bhajan Lal just to felicitate him on his elevation to the presidentship of the Haryana Pradesh Congress Committee by the Congress president, Ms Sonia Gandhi. OC



Medico takes cue from TV serial to extort
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 14
A medical practitioner took inspiration from a TV serial to enter the crime world and commit extortion. Ramesh Chand, a medical practitioner, who tried to extort money from a chartered accountant in Lajpat Nagar, learnt to the tricks from a TV serial. He was arrested from near Moolchand Hospital, the police said.

Ramesh Chand, who had his clinic in Nangloi area of North-West district, telephoned the victim and demanded Rs 5 lakh as extortion saying that he was an ISI agent and had connection with an underworld don. The victim reported the matter to the local police. As he was advised by the police, the victim called the suspect to come near Moolchand Hospital to hand over the money. Policemen were deployed there in plainclothes. As the suspect reached the rendezvous, the police nabbed him.

During interrogation, he disclosed that he took inspiration to extort money from a TV serial. He had his clinic in Nangloi and was under heavy debt. To return his debts, he thought that it could be an easy way out, the police said.

Dhaba owner shot: An unidentified assailant fired at Akhilesh Singh (35), a dhaba owner, in Gokul in North-East district last night. He was admitted to a nearby hospital. Doctors on duty stated that the victim was in a serious condition. The incident occurred when Akhilesh was downing the shutters of his dhaba. The assailant came and fired at him from behind. The victim received the bullet in the back and fell down. The statement of the victim could lead to the arrest of the suspect, the police said.

Maids held: With the arrest of two domestic servants, the South district police today claimed to have worked out two house theft cases, one each in Mehrauli and Malviya Nagar. Both the suspects were women. One of them was identified as Fathima.

In the first incident, Manoj Kumar, a resident of Mehrauli, reported to the police that he had engaged a maidservant 45 days ago. On September 8, he along with other family members went to attend a marriage function, leaving the maid alone in the house. When he came back, he found the maid missing. Besides, Rs 15,600, jewellery worth Rs 2 lakh, clothes worth Rs 8,000 and a camera were also missing. The police verification of the maid was not done by Mr Kumar and he had no knowledge of her address. She was arrested today from Old Delhi Railway Station.

In the second incident, Raman Deep Singh, a resident of Malviya Nagar, reported that jewellery worth Rs 2 lakh had been missing from his house and that he suspected his maid Fathima who was missing. She was arrested and a major part of the stolen jewellery was recovered, the police said.



Arrest of heroin pusher takes lid off ISI network 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 14
That narcotics are being smuggled into the country by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) to fund terrorist activities in the Kashmir Valley as well as other parts of the country has been proved once again following the interrogation of a suspect, Nand Gopal Puri. He was arrested by the Narcotics Branch of the Delhi Police a few days ago with 4 kg heroin.

During a personal search and a raid at the residence of the suspect, who belonged to Ludhiana, the police recovered certain documents and an identity card with his name issued by the ISI.



Smart Card expo from Sept 18
Our Correspondent

New Delhi, September 14
Electronics Today, oldest electronic monthly journal, is organising the 4th International Conference & Exhibition of Smart Card Technology at Pragati Maidan here from September 18 to September 20.

Some of the new products and applications to be unveiled during this year’s Smart Card Expo are Biometrics-based ATM, biometrically enabled cheque clearing process and DS Verifying Portable ID card, to name a few.

Smart cards offer security, portability, cost effectiveness and data storage capacity, which an ATM card does not offer. They can be effectively used in banking, retail payments, payrolls and allowances, Internet payments, citizen ID, driving licences etc.

This year’s focus of the expo will be on e-security (covering Biometrics), e-governance (covering Citizen ID) and e-cash (covering banking).

Two half-day pre-conference technical workshops on ‘Advances in Smart Card Technology’, and ‘Advances in Smart Card Based ID and Access Control’ are planned on September17.

There has been an overwhelming support from both the Government and the private players to promote the expo as a platform for addressing smart card-related issues and also in accelerating its growth in India. The expo is supported by leading national and international players like e-Cube India, Datanet Systems Ltd and is co-sponsored by the Ministry of Information Technology, Government of India.

The smart card industry has grown by leaps and bounds over the years. There are over 15 million smart card users in India. To increase this growth, concerted efforts by the government and the corporate sector is needed. The smart card boom in India is not too far. The Prime Minister’s speech on the Independence Day regarding the smart card-based citizens was promising. States like Kerala, Nagaland and Chandigarh have already adopted smart card-based ID cards while the rest of the states will soon follow their footsteps.



Three-day property exhibition begins 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 14
Home Utsav, a three-day property exhibition by ICICI Bank Home Loans and ICICI Bank Home Search, began here today. The exhibition has a virtual display of over 50,000 new and resale properties, including projects across Delhi, Noida, Gurgaon and Ghaziabad. Spot sanctions and additional benefits are being offered by the bank to the visitors. According to the chief operating officer, ICICI Bank Home Finance, Mr Rajiv Sabharwal, the customers opting for spot sanctions would be offered a discounted interest rate of 9.75 per cent on home loans of six to 10 years and 10.25 per cent for loans for 11-20 years. The bank would also reduce the total fee, which is normally up to one per cent of the loan amount, to 0.5 per cent of the same for the exhibition.

"We have worked towards simplifying the process of both selection and financing of a house for our customers. With the wide range of properties to be exhibited at the 'Home Utsav', it will be easier for the customer to choose a house. And spot sanctions will make financing easier,” Mr Sabharwal said. He said a growth of as high as 300 per cent in the home loans segment was recorded last year and the bank expected a similar growth this year as well.

The concept of Home Utsav, which started from Bangalore and continued in several other cities, aimed at assisting the customers in not only financing of house but also finding a right house suitable to their budget, negotiating the prices and completion of legal documentation, he said. The bank intended to conduct such exhibitions in other cities and small towns as well.



A showcase of finest saris and jewellery
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 14
In keeping with the tradition to promote top-of-the-line Indian art and craft, CCIC announced ‘Rustle and Sparkle’, an exclusive viewing of handpicked saris and jewellery from all over India.

A ten-day presentation, it unveils the finest embroided masterpieces from the various schools of India like Patolas from Patan, Paithanis from Paithan, Benarasis in gold from Varanasi, Rajkot tissues, tie and die from Kutch and Lehcriyas from Rajasthan.

Apart from the finest hand woven, hand embroided saris to add a sparkle to any collection, there is also handmade jewellery to match the saris. Shimmer of gold from Kanchipuram and Banarasi saris added attraction along with traditional prints with hand embroidery and Salma work on plain crepe saris.

Collage brings India’s love affair with jewellery. It is a tradition of personal adornment that has no parallel. Indian jewellery from precious and semi-precious stones to gold and silver crafted pieces is versatile in its scope.

CCIC brings a large variety to choose from which includes Meenakshi, Kundan in Mughal art form or the wide range of silver pieces from Rajasthan and modern ‘oxidised’ jewellery.


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