Tuesday, September 17, 2002, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S

BJP U-turn on statehood
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 16
After raising a hue and cry for “full,” “complete” statehood with unbridled powers for the Government of NCT of Delhi, the Delhi Pradesh Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has finally settled for “full statehood with some special rights to the Centre.” Leader of Opposition in the Delhi Assembly Jagdish Mukhi though maintains the resolution is only a “suggestion”.

The party’s demand for dividing the city into two by carving out a Union Territory for “VVIP” areas has been jettisoned. The party’s working committee chaired by President Madan Lal Khurana met on Monday and passed a resolution that read a sub-section be added to Article 371 of the Constitution to ensure special rights to the Centre or its representative “for certain areas of Delhi and for certain subjects.”

Khurana told media persons the provision could be made on the lines of the ones provided for Goa and north-eastern States. “While full statehood should be granted to Delhi with powers over land and police, keeping in view the security aspects of VVIPs, the Centre may retain some powers and areas such as the Rashtrapati Bhavan and the Red Fort,” he said.

“There cannot be any compromise on the State having power over land and police. In Nagaland, the law and order is with the state but insurgency is dealt with by the Centre. In Delhi too, VVIP security can be taken care of by the Centre,” he told reporters. “BJP wants the Centre to be responsible for subjects like Parliament House, Rashtrapati Bhavan, Supreme Court and embassies …. “But,” he continued, “it is our definite view that to grant full statehood to Delhi a division of Delhi would not be appropriate. It will lead to new problems.”

Asked why the BJP has now shifted from its earlier stand, he said 30-35 per cent of the sales tax revenue was generated from Connaught Place that falls under the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC.) “Moreover, Delhi has a population of 1.40 crore but confining the Capital to VVIP areas will bring it down to 15 thousand or so and thus reduce its stature,” he said.

Khurana said the BJP would forwarding the working committee’s resolution to Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit who in turn would be sending her model of the statehood. “After going through both, we would be meeting later this week to discuss the issue and arrive at a consensus as suggested by Deputy Prime Minister LK Advani,” he said.



Colleagues globetrot as Saathi cools his heels in Capital
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 16
Urban Development Minister AK Walia will be flying to Russia this weekend as part of Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit’s official visit to that country. Irrigation and Development Minister Haroon Yusuf is planning a tour to the Netherlands later this month to study marketing and processing of agricultural produce. Power Minister Ajay Maken has been to the United States. Even as his Cabinet colleagues globetrot, the office of Finance Minister Mahender Singh Saathi blames Raj Niwas for ‘spiking’ his foreign jaunts.

The minister apparently is “made” to cool his heels in New Delhi because, as his Office maintains, “his tour proposal never makes it beyond Raj Niwas” ! Although the minister has just returned from a private visit abroad, his office claims none of his official tours have thus far been cleared by Raj Niwas. The first salvo was fired by his principal secretary (since retired) who maintained that the minister was discriminated against because files pertaining to the Department of Finance were not sent up to Raj Niwas.

Officials say the minister wanted to lead a delegation to Australia that comprised Commissioner (Sales Tax) and Principal Secretary (Finance) ostensibly to study the implementation of value added tax (VAT) in a federal structure. “The tour proposal is pending with Raj Niwas since February,” say officials and claim discrimination since all tour proposals of the Government of NCT of Delhi’s Council of Ministers have to be first cleared by Raj Niwas.

Meanwhile, the chief minister accompanied by her Urban Development Minister AK Walia is leaving on a three-day official tour to Russia this weekend. Besides signing of agreements and cultural consultation, matters pertaining to urban development will find mention in the discussions. The visit, officials say, will be a part of the regular interaction among world cities to further cultural and other bilateral matters. (Delhi has sister city status with London, Chicago and Ulan Bator.)



The die is cast for 25 recalcitrant dye units
Tribune News Service

Panipat, September 16
The residents of one of the most polluted cities in India can breathe easy now. Adopting a tough posture against the dye house owners, the district administration has sealed 25 dye houses. The owners had been reluctant to shift their units from the residential areas to Sector 29, part II, for years.

The DC, Mr Mulk Raj Anand, had earlier served an ultimatum till September 15 on a delegation of the Panipat Dyers Association, led by its president, Mr Yash Pal Malik.

The delegation was told in no uncertain terms to apply for plots in Sector 29 or face action as per the law. The association, on its part, assured the administration that it would impress upon its members to apply for plots in Sector 29.

The toughening of the administration’s stand is seen as an offshoot of slow pace of the shifting process of the 498 dyeing units.

According to official sources, of the 220 dyeing unit owners, who had been given application forms, only 75 had come forward apply for the plots.

It is pertinent to mention here that the 498 dyeing units, the backbone of the world-famous handloom industry, had been functioning from the residential areas.

On an average, over 1 crore litre polluted water is discharged into the open by these units daily, endangering the lives of the residents and contaminating the underground water. Not only that, the smoke from the chimneys of the units add to the already-polluted air of the industrial city.

Over the years, these units had been functioning with impunity and the powerful dyeing unit lobby had been successfully blocking the shifting move. But a few years back, a Supreme Court directive came to the rescue of the hapless residents and the apathetic administration started the shifting process which now seem to have picked up momentum.

In view of the apex court’s directive, the authorities seem to have adopted a carrot-and-stick policy and a shifting scheme favourable to the units had been worked out.

According to the scheme to be implemented over an area of 250 acres, the small units would be allotted land at the rate of Rs 828 per square yard.

Only 5 per cent of the total plot price will have to be deposited with the application form and 10 per cent after 30 days of the allotment. The rest 85 per cent will have to be deposited in six monthly instalments over a period of 1 year.

As an added advantage, the owners, who would set up his units by 2,006, will get a discount of 20 per cent of the total plot cost, the sources highlighted.

However, the powerful dyeing lobby is not going to concede its defeat so easily. The shifting of the dyeing units is going to be an acid test for the laid-back administration, several of whose officials, had winked at the pollution problem and allowed these units to function from the residential areas.



Delhi Metro trial run today
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 16
The Delhi Metro train, parked at the Metro Car Depot in Shastri Park, will run for the first time on Tuesday. Deputy Prime Minister LK Advani will flag off the trial run on the 8.3-km-long Shahdara-Tis Hazari section.

According to the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), the trial run will be for three months before Delhi Metro begins ferrying passengers sometime in December.

“The duration of the run will be increased slowly and all the 50 sub-systems of the train will be checked for their efficiency and safety,” DMRC says.

Union Railway Minister Nitish Kumar, Lieutenant-Governor Vijai Kapoor, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, a few of her Cabinet colleagues and legislators would be the guests of honour.

The process of safety inspection of the Metro has begun with the Commissioner of Railway Safety visiting the DMRC sites.

The project, costing Rs 8,000 crore, would cater to three lakh passengers daily and later the number would be increased to five lakh on the Shahdara-Tis Hazari section.

In the trial run to be flagged off, the train would be driven by a Hong Kong-trained driver. A training school has already started for the employees who would be trained by 60 foreign-trained drivers.

The first phase of the project has three lines: Shahdara-Trinagar-Barwala, Vishwavidyalaya-Central Secretariat and Barakhamba Road-Connaught Place-Dwarka covering a total distance of 62.16 km It would be complete by 2005.

The 8.3-km-long Shahdara-Tis Hazari section would become operational in December this year while the 4.5-km Tis Hazari-Trinagar section would be ready in September 2003 and the 8.5-km Trinagar-Rithala section in March 2004.

Initially, trains would be operated at eight minutes’ interval that will be reduced to five minutes and then to three minutes when adequate traffic builds up.



Cattle menace: Motorists at the end of their tether
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 16
The tragic accident near Kirby Place earlier this month in which a truck driver ploughed through a large number of persons sleeping on the pavement in an apparent bid to avoid running over a stray cow has once again brought into sharp focus the menace of stray cattle on the Capital’s roads.

The menace is acute during the monsoon when the cattle make roads their homes to keep off flies which remain away due to the speeding vehicular traffic all around.

The municipal authorities have apparently found themselves ill-equipped to handle the menace and a few cattle ponds meant for confining stray cattle are virtually closed.

Officials said that the cattle menace was the direct result of rapid urbanisation which had left little space for owners to tether their live stock or provide adequate grazing grounds to them.

The owners set their cattle free after milching them every morning to fend for themselves and return in the evening for another bout of milching. These cattle roam around on the roads freely and forage for food through the accumulated garbage. This suits the owner as he saves up on fodder.

Officials said that the menace was particularly acute in the areas where there were villages earlier. Having been used to keep cattle, the residents now find it easy to let them roam on the roads and public land because of pressure on space.

While the owners may be happy, the cattle become a nightmare for the motorists. Though there are no exact figures available, traffic police officials believe that at least a dozen accidents take place because of the cattle occupying space on the congested roads.

Officials of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi claimed that regular drives are carried out to round up the cattle in the areas under their jurisdiction but the problem persists as the owners get their cattle freed by paying a nominal fine. “It is easier to pay the fine than rent space to keep the cattle tethered,” a senior official said.

Both the police as well as the corporation officials agreed that the cooperation of the owners was required to solve the problem. At the same time, there has to be stringent checking by the authorities that dairy farms should be moved out of congested residential areas to places specially marked for them. “A similar campaign was launched several years ago but it is apparent that the dairy owners have returned to their original homes along with the livestock,” a senior official said.

Hefty fines and even penal action have been suggested to end the menace.



Yamuna recedes

Even though the old Yamuna bridge has been closed to vehicular traffic owing to the surging water level, pedestrians continued to use it as a thoroughfare on Monday.
Even though the old Yamuna bridge has been closed to vehicular traffic owing to the surging water level, pedestrians continued to use it as a thoroughfare on Monday. 

THE water level in the Yamuna has receded to 204.86 metre from Sunday’s 205.16 m, but is still 33 cm above the danger mark. The water level peaked to 205.16 m today, but gradually started receding. It is expected to recede further by the evening today. The increase in the volume of water had been caused by the discharge of 271,000 cusec of water from the Tajewala barrage on Friday. An additional 80,000 cusec of water reached the Capital on Sunday. Flooding has been reported from several low-lying areas along the banks of the river. The authorities have begun evacuating the affected families.

Due to the alarming rise in water level, Northern Railways has diverted and even cancelled several trains. TNS



SYL: Centre urged to pressure Punjab
Tribune News Service

Panipat, September 16
The general secretary and spokesman of the Haryana unit of the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP), Mr Surender Hooda, today urged the Centre to ask the Punjab Government to complete the construction of the remaining portion of the SYL canal as per the directions of the Supreme Court.

Talking to mediapersons here, Mr Hooda alleged that on account of the non-completion of the SYL canal by Punjab, farmers of Haryana had incurred losses to the tune of several thousands crores over the years.

The Chautala government had failed to take up the issue of the completion of the canal with Punjab and the Centre properly.

Mr Hooda, who was part of the delegation that submitted a memorandum to the President, Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, on Saturday pressing for an early completion of the canal, charged other political parties with adopting an ambiguous stand on the issue. He claimed that only the LJP national president, Mr Ram Vilas Paswan, had taken up the issue at the appropriate level. Mr Hooda thanked the thousands of party workers, who had participated in the protest rally in New Delhi on Saturday demanding the early completion of the canal.



Cops trace cartridge parcel

New Delhi
Delhi Police today claimed to have ferreted out the person who sent two cartridges of a self-loading rifle to President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam in a parcel, and has despatched a team to Arawal district of Bihar to bring him to the Capital for interrogation.

The person, identified as Azad, a resident of Akbarpur in Arawal district, seems to be ‘mentally unsound’ and is in the habit of writing letters to the VVIPs, the Joint Commissioner of Delhi Police (New Delhi Range), Mr B.K. Gupta said. New Delhi Police registered a case under the Arms Act and police swung into action after the Rashtrapati Bhavan had received a parcel with the two cartridges and a letter on September 11.



‘For me, social work is not a short cut to fame’
Nalini Ranjan

WHEN Mrs Ranjeet Kaur lost her husband and elder son during the 1984 Sikh riots she was inconsolable. Her grief knew no bounds. But with faith in the Almighty and a determination to share this grief with others she took to social work in a big way. Day in and day out she strove selflessly to bring succour to the deprived.

Now, Ranjeet Kaur and her social service organisation, ‘Shahid Hira Society’, are known names in the Laxmi Nagar area. People fondly call her ‘Ranjeet Appa’. She is like a family member in every house in the area. Her only passion in life is to do whatever possible for the penniless. From time to time, under the aegis of her organisation, she takes up charitable works like distributing clothes and eatables among the needy besides organising free health check-up camps etc. Interestingly, she does not take a single penny from others in carrying out these noble works. She lives in a rented house and Jasvir Kaur, her elder daughter, who runs a music school in Geeta Colony, is the only earning member of her family. With this modest financial support, her family runs. Despite the financial constraints, her obsession with social work has never ceased. In conversation with the NCR Tribune, she unfolds her life and works.

Who inspired you to take up social work?

For me, social work is not a short route to get name, fame and money. Neither is it a pastime. In fact, I am living a hand-to-mouth existence. Still, I am doing what I can. I am an ardent fan of Mahatma Gandhi. There is an adage that ‘if you have two breads, give one to someone needy’. By nature, I am a social worker and I worship my work.

Please tell something about your family background.

My father Guru Datt Singh was a known landlord. At the time of Partition, he had come to Amritsar from Lahore. Our lands fell in the Khem Karan area and canal. We got some token amount in the form of compensation. With this, my father started a business. In a very short span of time, my father became a known businessman. At a very early age, I had started some social work like distribution of clothes and eatables to the poor people nearby. After some time, I got married to Surinder Singh. He had some connection with Bihar. So, after marriage we went to Darbhanga. At Mirzapur Mohalla, he set up ‘Sardar Oil Mill’.

The mill was running very well and our lives were also sailing smoothly. After the assassination of Indira Gandhi, our life changed forever. The nationwide Sikh riots snatched our happiness. My husband and elder son Hira Singh were murdered by a mob in front of me. My mill and house were also razed.

As a matter of fact, we lost everything. Ironically, the then District Magistrate of Darbhanga had sent a cheque of Rs 250, which I returned. At this juncture, I came across a social worker, Nirmala Kaur. She did whatever she could to help us. With her help, I learned some vocational courses and became self-reliant to some extent. With her, I did a lot of social work in Darbhanga.

Nirmala and I were very popular at the Darbhanga railway station among beggars.

In the meantime, my younger daughter, Satnam Kaur, settled in Jabalpur after doing a professional course in computer software.

Her earnings were good so we all went there. I was also very popular in Jabalpur. Staying there for two years, I did many things for the beggars and streetchildren. My elder daughter is very good at singing. So, she started a music and dance school in Delhi.

Unfortunately, it didn’t take off well, contrary to our expectations. We all came to Delhi about seven years ago. My second daughter, Sarbjeet Kaur, is also a very good folk-singer. Right now, she is working for a Punjabi video album. My son, Avinash Singh, is studying.

What kind of obstacles are you facing in carrying out your noble work?

I am earning nothing but spending hard-earned money of my daughters for social work. So, all members of my family are not happy with me.

Despite this, they never oppose me in carrying out my job. Some neighbours also deride me. They wonder that in this materialistic world what kind of useless work is she up to. But I am bold and remain unfazed.

Why don’t you try getting financial support from the government or other agencies for your projects?

Despite being a Sikh, I am very much influenced by the teachings of Jesus Christ. The one time I had gone to meet Sonia Gandhi to narrate my plight she had refused to meet such an ordinary woman. I still remember that incident when I was driven away from her office.

Have you ever received any award or any applause for your work from any organisation?

I was recently awarded by ‘Sahara India Pariwar’. Two years back, a Chandigarh-based social service organisation had given an award and invited me to work in Punjab.



Rape accused SI reinstated
Our Correspondent

Ghaziabad, September 16
Resentment prevails among residents of Babugarh as the Sub Inspector of the local police station, Jeeva Ram Yadav, who was sent to the Police Lines following allegation that he and other cops gangraped a Harijan woman inside the station, has been given a clean chit in a departmental inquiry.

Moreover, he has now been given the charge of the same police station from where he was removed. The departmental inquiry has also given a clean chit to other cops, who were allegedly involved in the gangrape.

It may be recalled that the wife of a blind Harijan, resident of Dasna town, had complained in writing on March 30 to the then District Magistrate that the SI of the Babugarh police station and some other cops had come to her house on March 28 and forcibly taken her in the police jeep. She had been illegally detained in the police station for two days where the cops, including the SI, gangraped her. She had demanded legal action against these policemen.

As a first response, the police department reportedly chose to ignore the issue. But later when media, including the ‘NCR Tribune’, and some women’s welfare associations took up the matter, senior officials intervened. The woman was got medically examined and Jeeva Ram Yadav, the police station in charge, was reverted to the Police Lines and a case for gangrape was registered against all the accused cops.

Earlier, the Hapur Circle Officer (DSP) had declared the woman’s allegation as false but a probe was later ordered into the whole matter. According to police sources, the Hapur CO, who conducted the inquiry, has now declared the accused as innocent.

The SSP is learnt to have not only reinstated Jeeva Ram Yadav as the in charge of the Babugarh police station but has also given him the charge of Dasna police of Musori.



Work on mini secretariat complex in low gear

Jhajjar, September 16
The completion of the mini secretariat complex at the district headquarters here is proving to be quite a tough task for the district administration.

The project, which was originally scheduled to be completed in 1999, has been progressing at a snail’s pace. Whether it was inactivity of the Public Works Department (B&R) or the sluggishness of the building contractor, the construction work came to a standstill midway after its inauguration, which has put extra financial burden on the government exchequer.

However, construction work started again on this project in August this year after work was allotted to another contractor following floating of fresh tenders as the earlier contractor left the job midway.

The re-floating of tenders and discontinuation of construction work has put an extra cost of Rs 120 lakh on its estimated budget.

The government had earlier approved Rs 480 lakh for the project but the unwarranted delay in its completion has enhanced its estimated cost up to Rs 600 lakh, official sources said.

The mini secretariat complex, which has been under construction since 1998 on the Jhajjar-Gurgaon road, is spread over 33.48 acres of land.

The complex would accommodate apart from an administrative block comprising the offices of the Deputy Commissioner, the Superintendent of Police, the ADC, the SDM, the CTM and other district level civil and police officials, a judicial complex, lawyers’ chambers, Bal Bhawan, the Central Co-operative Bank, and the residences of the Deputy Commissioner and the Superintendent of Police.

The Executive Engineer, PWD (B&R), said the complex would consist of 32 bays and four-storeyed structure having covered areas of 11,627 sq m.

He said that the structure of eight bays in all four storeys had been completed and work on the balance 24 bays was in progress after work was re-allotted after the first agency left the work incomplete.

He said Rs 199.88 lakh had been spent on the project till date, which was now scheduled to be completed by August 2003.

However, the local people as well as the district officials feel urgent need for a mini secretariat building as all government offices are now scattered in different parts of the town.

Harish Panghal, a local resident running a computer training centre, complained the distance between various offices not only caused inconvenience to the aggrieved public but also created a problem of poor coordination among different departments, which led to unnecessary delay in public matters.

For example, the office of the Deputy Commissioner was housed in the Tehsil building, the office of the SDM was situated adjacent to Shri Ram Sharma Park on Rohtak road, about 1 km away from it.

Similar is the story of the District Development and Panchayat Office and that of offices of the Executive Engineer, the Panchayati Raj and the Zila Parishad.

Moreover, while three offices — those of the DPRO, the DFSC and the DETC— have to be accommodated in the local Chhotu Ram Jat Dharamshala, some other offices like the Employment Department, Social Welfare Department, Animal Husbandry Department offices, those of the SDO, Public Health, the SDO, Agriculture, were stationed in rented buildings at unknown places on the Gurgaon and Kosli roads. In fact, the District Public Relations office has been shifted four times to different places in the past about two years.

The condition of some of the offices, including those of the Executive Engineer, the Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (HBVN) and the Tehsildar’s office is far from satisfactory.

Old and dilapidated buildings, shortage of space and lack of facilities like water, toilets for the visitors are the features of these offices.

The Tehsil office, which also houses the DC office, has been declared unsafe, the official sources told.



Karunakara Guru’s birth anniversary celebrated
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 16
The 76th Janmadina Poojitha Samarpana of Navajyothi Shree Karunakara Guru, the founder of Santigiri Ashram, was celebrated in a befitting way by the devotees here.

The vision of the Guru, who merged with the ‘Adi Sankalpa’ on May 6, 1999, holds good in the wake of widespread tension all over the world.

Navajyothi Shree Karunakara Guru stood for a new world order, which is without any caste, creed, colour, religion or region, and which embraces universal brotherhood.

The mission of both the Guru and the ashram is to bring up a new generation, whose basic instinct will be peace adored with extreme intelligence devoid of all tensions and frictions.

A team of ardent devotees and sanyasis of Guru travelled throughout the country in a ‘Bhakthi Yatra’ preaching and praying for peace and prosperity.

The team, led by His Holiness Swami Paripoorna Jana Thapaswi, reached Delhi after visiting Maharashtra, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.

The concluding celebrations of this yatra were held in Delhi at the ashram centre in Saket. The grand finale was held in the main Santigiri Ashram at Thiruvananthapuram.

To coincide with the celebrations, Santigiri Sidha and Ayurveda College was also inaugurated.

The president of the Delhi unit of ashram, Mr A. V. Nair, welcomed the swami and his team and spoke about the significance of the mission. Mr Sandeep Marwah, in his address, spoke about the importance of the Guru and the relevance of his teachings.

Delhiites were graced with the presence of His Holiness Swami Paripoorna Jnana Thapaswi, who along with Dr Kiran and Mr Santanan, spoke about the peace mission and its importance.



Bansi calls for CBI probe into ex-CMs’ assets
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, September 16
Haryana Vikas Party (HVP) supremo and former Chief Minister Bansi Lal has demanded a CBI probe into the report about the amassing of wealth through objectionable means by Chief Minister Om Parkash Chautala, HPCC president and former Chief Minister Bhajan Lal and him so that the people could know who was actually involved in such a looting.

Addressing a huge public meeting at Harsana Kalan village, about 5 km from here, last evening, he said that such a probe was likely to expose the misdeeds of political leaders in Haryana.

He said that Mr Chautala was misusing power and he (Mr Chautala) had set up farmhouses and hotels in various parts of the country whereas Mr Bhajan Lal had set up a large number of industrial units during his regime. They had earned crores of rupees from these establishments, he alleged.

Mr Bansi Lal termed Mr Chautala and Mr Bhajan Lal as `chips of the same block’ and that they were not only misleading but fooling the people on some pretext or the other.

Lashing out at the Congress, the HVP leader described the leaders of that party as number two leaders, who had no base and were unpopular among the general public. The Congress leaders, he said, were misusing the name of Mrs Sonia Gandhi, AICC chief, to gain power once again but the Congress would never succeed in coming to power both in the country and Haryana.

He alleged that Mrs Sonia Gandhi, who was a foreigner, should be kept away from becoming the Prime Minister of the country. If she happened to become the Prime Minister, there would be a government of Italy in India.

Mr Bansi Lal asked the people to go ahead with their voice against the anti-people and anti-farmer Chautala government and throw it out of power in the next assembly elections in the state. The HVP, he claimed, was the only alternative before them.



Bundh’ withstood rain fury, crops didn’t: DC
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, September 16
After two days of playing havoc, the water level in the Yamuna started receding last evening, giving a relief to the authorities. The Deputy Commissioner, Mr S. N. Roy, told mediapersons here today that all the stone studs constructed near Bega and Memarpur villages to check the erosion of land on the Haryana side had stood intact during the rains and the release of water from the Tajewala Headworks. Moreover, the 48-km long protective earthen ‘bundh’ - from Bega village to Dahesra village along the Haryana-Delhi border - had also withstood the fury.

He said that excessive rains had submerged the standing crops in several villages and steps were being taken to pump out the water from the fields.

The officials were still patrolling the embankments of the river round the clock to check any possible breach in the ‘bundh’. The DC claimed that no loss of life or damage to property had so far been reported from anywhere in the district.

Meanwhile, standing crops worth lakhs of rupees were reportedly destroyed in the Yamuna belt by the swirling waters, following the release of water from the Tajewala Headworks. According to many farmers, the crops included paddy, sugarcane and vegetables, which were sown in the area.

According to another report, Sonepat city and its surrounding areas had heavy downpour throughout last night inundating all the low-lying areas and throwing the normal life out of gear.

The power and water supply was hit. This caused great inconvenience to thousands of people in the city.

Power supply remained disrupted between 4.30 am and 5.45 am in some areas and it was restored by 7.30 am in other areas. Similarly, the rail and road traffic also remained disrupted and almost all trains passed through Sonepat behind schedule. Thousands of commuters remained stranded at Sonepat and nearby railway stations for hours together.



Many schemes only on paper’
Our Correspondent

Rohtak, September 16
There are several government schemes and projects that are confined to only the official records, including the 20-point programme. This was stated by Mr Vijay Goel, Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office. He was speaking as the chief guest in the Akhil Bharatiya Aggarwal Sammelan, a state-level conference of members of the Aggarwal community, organised here on Sunday afternoon.

Mr Goel said necessary changes would be made in the 20-point programme. He said he had made sincere efforts in imposing a ban on the lottery system and it had been successfully implemented in several states.

Referring to Haryana, he said the Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, had announced in a programme that he would put a check on lotteries in the state with in 15 days. The efforts of Mr Chautala in this regard would be glorified by the Prime Minister if a ban was imposed on this malpractice before the next visit of the Prime Minister to Haryana. He also appealed to Mr Subhash Goyal, Minister of State for Urban Development, who was present in the programme, to remind Mr Chautala of his promise.

The union minister urged the members of the Aggarwal community to launch new programmes for the uplift of the society and the nation through voluntary organisations instead of depending on the bureaucracy and the government.

Ticket distribution

Kiloi Block Congress Committee has condemned the recent statement of Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda in which he had stated that Mr Krishan Murti Hudda, spokesman of Haryana Congress, would not get the party ticket in the forthcoming election. Mr Kashmir Singh Hudda, convenor, Kiloi Block Congress Committee said it was the discretion of the party High Command and the Haryana Pradesh Congress Committee chief, Mr Bhajan Lal to decide on the issue of distribution of tickets. He claimed that Mr Krishan Murti Hudda was more popular than Mr B.S. Hooda.


Delhi cops to get training in disaster management
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 16
A team of officers of the Civil Defence and Home Guards, led by their Director-General N. Vohra, had a detailed interaction with the Delhi Police Commissioner and other senior officers at the Police Headquarters today.

They made an elaborate presentation on disaster management and their preparedness. The team’s entire focus was on defusing weapons of mass destruction and how to execute it in a proper manner.

Sources said that the Delhi Police were now planning to send some officers to Nagpur to get them trained in the preparedness aspect of civil defence, as it had become important and essential in the police training. Even some officers would be asked to come to Delhi and train officers at Police Training College in Jharodakalan.

The modalities were yet to be worked out and we would soon decide on the work details, sources said. The meeting was attended by Special Commissioners, Joint Commissioners and all DCPs.

Fire at Mandi House

Fire broke out in the office of Prasar Bharati at Mandi House last night. However, no loss of life was reported in the fire and was controlled with the help of officials on duty and the Delhi Fire Service. The fire, which broke out in the technical area in the basement of the building at around 9.47 p.m., was controlled within two hours.

According to preliminary reports, the fire broke out due to a short circuit. The presence of combustible material in the basement helped the spread of the fire.

Three people identified as Sham Lal, Mukesh Verma and Rajender Atwal were injured while trying to control the fire. They were admitted to the Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, a spokesman of the Delhi Fire Service said.



Credit cards given to 531 farmers
Our Correspondent

Rohtak, September 16
Mr M. Ayub, General Manager, Reserve Bank of India, and Mr Ashok Yadav, Deputy Commissioner, distributed 531 credit cards, worth Rs 4.5 crore, among farmers of Rohtak and Jhajjar districts during a function organised by the Haryana Kshetriya Gramin Bank (HKGB) here this afternoon.

Addressing the farmers, Mr M. Ayub said the economy of the nation could be improved by increasing productivity in the agriculture sector. He announced that the Union Government had a target to provide credit cards to farmers all over the nation. Hailing the services of HKGBs in this field, he urged the farmers to utilise the bank loans. He also suggested to constitute farmers’ clubs to carry out different works for rural development.

Dharna by factory Workers

Workers of an electronic manufacturing unit, ‘Skytone Electronics’ staged a demonstration outside the office of the Deputy Labour Commissioner here today. Demanding an end to the contractual labour policy adopted by the management of the `Skytone Electronics’, situated in Sector-24 here, the agitating workers feared that their jobs were at stake.

They alleged that the issue was not being sorted out despite protests and reminders to the management and the labour officials. They also alleged that the Labour Department had not been taking proper interest in solving the problem. They submitted a memorandum to the authorities.

Woman killed in accident

A woman was killed on the spot and two others injured seriously when a truck collided with a scooter on the G.T.Road near Kumashpur village, about 13 km from here last night. According to a report, the victim was identified as Mrs Prem Devi, a resident of Punjab.

The injured, identified as Avinash, is the son of the deceased. They were travelling on a scooter when they collided with a truck. The injured was immediately hospitalised. The highway police have registered the case against the truck driver who is still at large.



Delhi cop killed as bus hits mobike
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 16
A constable of the Delhi Police died and another was injured when a Blue Line bus hit their motorcycle near Hanuman Mandir on Ring Road last evening. The bus driver has been arrested on the charge of causing death due to rash and negligent driving.

The constables, Nagraj and Venkatesh were patrolling the area when the accident occurred. The erring bus hit their vehicle from behind following which the cops fell down and became unconscious. They were taken to Trauma Centre where Nagraj was declared brought dead while Venkatesh’s condition was stated to be serious, the police said.

The constables were posted at the Sabzi Mandi police station. Nagraj was going to the Kotwali police station with the message of missing persons report while Venkatesh was going to the police headquarters.

But they were hit by the bus plying on route number 503 between Mehrauli and ISBT, the police said. The body of the deceased has been sent to his parents in Karnataka for the last rites, the police said.

MCD JE robbed of car

A junior engineer, serving in the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), was today robbed of his Maruti Zen car by three motorcycle-borne armed youths near the Najarfgarh road this morning.

The incident occurred around 10.30 am when the victim, Aswini Dabas (26) of Sultan Pur Dabas, was travelling in his Maruti Zen (DL-2C-N-8814). Three youths intercepted him, brandished a at country-made weapon and robbed him of his car. The robbers fled the spot immediately. A case has been registered and the police have launched a manhunt to nab the culprits.

One killed in clash

A plumber, Rajpal (52), was killed and his brother Rakesh, RTV driver, injured in a fight with their neighbours Sunder Kumar and his brother Mahender. Rajpal fell unconscious after the fight and he was taken to the AIIMS where the doctors on duty declared him brought dead.

The suspects have absconded. A manhunt had been launched to arrest them, the police said.



Alcoholic husband’s brutality drives woman to suicide
Our correspondent

Jhajjar, September 16
Unable to bear the barbaric treatment of an alcoholic husband anymore, a 27-year-old housewife committed suicide by consuming poison, leaving behind her two kids, in Gubhana village of the district today. The deceased had allegedly been harassed by her husband demanding more dowry since their marriage in 1993.

The husband reportedly thrashed her mercilessly after she refused to purchase a bottle of liquor from a liquor vend for him yesterday. This is said to be what prompted her to take this extreme step.

According to the police sources, Sudesh, daughter of Ram Mehar of Anand Pur (Jharonth) village in Sonepat district, was married to Preetam, son of Jai Narayan, in Gubhana village nine years ago. Her husband was a heavy drinker and reportedly sold off his tractor-trailor and one acre of land for meeting his expenses on liquor. He started harassing her soon after their marriage and used to beat her brutally.

In his report to the police, Mr Manoj Kumar, brother of the deceased, complained that her husband first asked her to bring Rs 60,000 from her parental house, on which they gave Rs 40,000. They gave Rs 10,000 on the occasion of the birth of a girl child seven years ago. After eight months of this, her husband threw her out of the house demanding more money. This time, the uncle of Sudesh struck a compromise and persuaded her husband to take her back with him. Again she was shown the doors demanding Rs 15,000 and a buffalo, when she was eight months’ pregnant. She gave birth to her a son in her parental house about three years ago.

However, when her husband directed her to buy a bottle of liquor from a shop yesterday and thrashed here when she refused to comply with the demand, she decided to end her life. She left behind a seven-year-old daughter and a three-year-old son. The Bahadurgarh police have registered a case under Sections 304-B and 498-A of the Dowry Act. The accused has not been arrested so far.



Gujral on DSE board
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 16
Mr N. S. Gujral, chairman and managing director of Punjab and Sind Bank, has been nominated as Public Representative Director on the Board of Directors of Delhi Stock Exchange Association Ltd by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).

His nomination on the board has also since been approved by the Union Ministry of Finance (Banking Division). Mr Gujral has been elevated to the coveted position to ensure impartial functioning of the governing board of the stock exchange.

An achiever throughout, Mr Gujral has several rare distinctions to his credit in the field of banking, finance, management, sports and other co-curricular activities. He had been bestowed with the prestigious awards like Udyog Rattan Award and Management Man of the Year for his outstanding contribution in the field of banking and finance.


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