Thursday, September 19, 2002, Chandigarh, India

N C R   S T O R I E S

Gupta murder case suspect secured bail to commit crime
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 18
With the arrest of another suspect, the Delhi Police today claimed to have achieved a major breakthrough in Atma Ram Gupta murder case. Mr. Gupta, the Tri Nagar Councillor, was allegedly shot dead after being whisked away by another councillor on August 24, soon after the Congress rally in the Ferozeshah Kotla grounds here.

Nirvikar alias ‘Doctor,’ who is reported to be a known criminal of Ghaziabad, was in Aligarh jail when he was taken in custody by the Delhi Police. The police disclosed that he reportedly took bail from the Aligarh court to kill Atma Ram Gupta and returned to jail after committing the crime.

According to the police, his name surfaced after the arrest of Sharda Jain, her brother Raj Kmar and one Pushpinder.

During interrogation they spilled the beans about the involvement of Nirvikar in the murder case.

The councillor was shot dead at the behest of Sharda Jain, another councillor. He was whisked away in car to Ghaziabad where he was killed. His body was thrown away in a canal.

It was fished out in a highly decomposed condition one week later from Bulandshahar.

Two other suspects, Roshan Singh and another who is still unidentified, are yet to be arrested.

The police have dispatched several teams to nab these suspects. Nirvikar was reportedly contacted by Roshan Singh, who is a sarpanch of one of the villages in Ghaziabad. Sharda Jain allegedly had an affair with Atma Ram Gupta and decided to have him murdered because of his proximity to Memwati Barwala, another woman councillor.

Sharda Jain was a headmistress in a private school in Tri Nagar. She was inducted into politics by Atma Ram Gupta after mission agent in Azadpur Mandi, disappeared. It was Gupta who pressurised senior party leaders into giving a ticket to Sharda Jain. When Congress assumed control of the MCD, Atma Ram allegedly came close to Memwati Barwala.

Both Sharda and Memwati have been expelled from the Congress.



Delhi, Haryana cops join hands to rescue kidnap victim
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 18
In a rare instance of co-operation between the Delhi and Haryana police, a young entrepreneur, who was kidnapped for a ransom of Rs 2 crore, was rescued in Agra today in a joint operation. A Mitshubishi Lancer, which was used to kidnap the victim, and one revolver with seven cartridges, a holster and two mobile phones used in the crime were recovered from their possession.

At a press conference, Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) U. K. Katna, along with Inspector General of Police, Hisar, John George, and a team of crime branch officers from both Delhi and Haryana, announced that all the seven accused, who were involved in the kidnapping, were nabbed from different places in UP and Delhi.

The victim, Samir, was kidnapped when he was on his way to his factory. The accused - Devender alias Debu, Praveen alias Pinku, Rajesh alias Rajan, Satender alias Babbal and Sagar alias Sandeep - were waiting for the victim in a Maruti and a Lancer car.

When they spotted Samir’s car, they intercepted it and whisked him to Delhi. Immediately after reaching Delhi, they shifted him to Kurana, Ghaziabad, and kept him confined in a hideout for two days. Later, they shifted him to Agra. The accused had also called the victim’s father in Jeewan Park and demanded ransom.

After the Haryana police contacted the Crime Branch of the Delhi Police, the latter identified the person who made the ransom call as Devinder alias Debu and traced his hideout in West Delhi. On the basis of the Devinder’s interrogation, the team arrested his associate, Sagar Sharma alias Sandeep (24) of Bulandshahr. Later, following his confession, four other associates, Manbir (27), his brother Sunil (32), Satender alias Babbal (26) and Rajesh alias Rajan (28), were arrested and a revolver with six live cartridges and two mobile phones seized from them.

Another associate, Parveen alias Pinku (24), was arrested from Delhi and a Kinetic Challenger motorcycle and two mobile phones were recovered from him.

During interrogation, it was revealed that the main accused, Devender and Satender, were lodged in a jail in Neem Ka Thana and after their release, they planned to kidnap Samir. One Rajesh, resident of Bhiwani, reportedly provided them with information about Samir’s background.



Abducted student’s father blames cops
Our Correspondent

New Delhi, September 18
The death of an abducted Meerut student, allegedly in a police encounter with the kidnappers, has stirred up a controversy with the father, a local businessman, blaming the police for the death and demanding an inquiry by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

The Meerut Police, however, claim that the victim was killed by the abductors when they were challenged by the raid party which was chasing them near Murad Nagar yesterday. Ankit Gupta, a 19-year-old resident of Meerut and studying MBA in a Greater Noida Institute, was allegedly kidnapped on Monday from Bhaisali. The abductors had reportedly demanded a ransom of Rs 10 lakh for his release.

He was, however, killed while being rescued yesterday and was cremated this morning. The two alleged kidnappers were also killed in the alleged exchange of fire.

Meerut Senior Superintendent of Police Mukul Goel said a magisterial inquiry had been ordered into the killing but he was sure that Ankit had not died of police bullets.

Deputy Inspector General of Police, Meerut, Gursharan Singh, said in all probability the kidnapped boy was shot dead by the kidnappers after they felt they were cornered by police.

The inconsolable father of the victim however doubted whether the two persons killed by the police were actual kidnappers. The police of Ghaziabad and Meerut districts were eager to take credit for tracing the kidnappers and may have acted in haste.

Meanwhile, there is considerable anger in the city over the spate of kidnappings and the killing of Ankit Irate residents alleged that the law and order situation in the city and the region had totally collapsed and a fear psychosis prevailed in the entire area. Citizens were afraid of venturing out even in day time, they alleged.

The police maintained that patrolling had been intensified in the city and special drives were being launched to nab criminals.



NCR Special
No more haze over Bhatti mines
Cecil Victor

New Delhi, September 18
The flora is flourishing and the fauna is returning. Suddenly Neelgai (bluebull) can be seen nibbling at saplings and the elusive peacock, another pleasant sight, strutting in the rain. It seems the ecological balance is on the verge of being restored in Bhatti mines, a much ravaged part of the National Capital region.

Bhatti was a cauldron of dust and devastation since Independence, feeding crushed quartzite, better known as Badarpur sand, to the construction industry in a rapidly expanding metropolis.

Even as men, women and children died in their hundreds over the years excavating rock from the open cast mines that were fed into crushers, the atmosphere was enveloped in a haze of dust. Worse, subsoil water was pumped out by the miners as they dug deeper into the bowels of the earth, depleting the groundwater resources in south-west Delhi and forcing environmentalists to seek the Supreme Court's intervention.

In 1991, about 2166 acres pockmarked with 200 pits of varying diameters and depths, Bhatti was notified as a wildlife sanctuary adjacent to the already existing Asola wildlife preserve spread over 4707 acres. Together, they will become a biosphere reserve in a portion of the Aravalli range that has been depleted and despoiled over the decades.

Drawing on a suggestion made by agronomist Norman Borlaugh to the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi that the military be involved in the regeneration process, an ecology task force -- the 132 Infantry Battalion (Ecology) of the Territorial Army -- was raised and placed at the disposal of the Government of the National Capital Territory of Delhi in 2001. It was vested with the responsibility of resurrecting a forest in the Bhatti mines, which was to be called the Kargil Martyrs Memorial Forest.

According to the Commandant of the battalion, Colonel A.K.Roy, within one year one lakh saplings have been planted in a 600-acre segment that is close to Delhi. An additional one lakh saplings are intended to be planted in the next six months in the earmarked area. A corpus of Rs 8.23 crore has been created, which is to be disbursed over five years. The Delhi government will reimburse the entire expenditure incurred by the battalion and provide saplings and expertise as well.

Currently, 141 retired personnel of the Rajput Regiment are planting between 3000 to 3500 saplings daily and have achieved 67 per cent survival rate even in the teeth of depredations by Neelgai that stray from the neighbouring Asola game park.

There is a shortage of approximately 30,000 litres of water per day and Colonel Roy has petitioned the civil authorities that saplings need to be at least 3-4 feet tall to be better able to survive. A team from Delhi University headed by Dr Babu is providing expertise for growing grass around the saplings so that moisture is retained in the subsoil strata.

Plans are under way for proper water harvesting to fill the pits so that percolation is facilitated and depletion, which was stopped by the Supreme Court order, will soon turn into replenishment. In fact, during the recent 3-day downpour many pits had filled with rainwater, creating waterfalls at several places in an otherwise desolate landscape. The battalion has fenced off the entire area and sealed all thoroughfares. With stoppage of mining, a dust haze no longer hovers over the area, though it is still discernible in Faridabad where mining is still continuing.

In fact, the stoppage of mining in a five-km zone along the Delhi Haryana border following a court order has resulted in water returning to a disused hand-pump in Bhatti mines.

There are other impediments in the form of three colonies - Sanjay Nagar, Indira Nagar and Balbir Nagar - within the notified area and these have been asked to shift, but the residents do not appear to be in any hurry to leave.

For the men of the 132 Infantry Battalion living in the Bhatti mines is akin to living in jungles. Amenities like electricity and telephone facilities are erratic. Col Roy has asked for the installation of a transformer within the residential campus, so that a bore-well can be made functional.



Students roped in for eco-friendly ‘visarjan’
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 18
Close on the heels of campaigns like ‘smoke and pollution-free Diwali’ and an ‘eco-friendly Holi’, the NGOs are now moving on to more such collaborative efforts with school students to ensure the protection of the ecosystem.

Clean (Community Led Environment Action Network) India, an organisation working with students to create environment awareness and undertake environment improvement actions, has been working with children in the city to save the river water from pollutants released during ‘Visarjan’ (immersion of idols).

The organisation has roped in as many as 25 schools as its members.

These members are actively involved in monitoring the quality of Delhi’s environment. They periodically undertake water, air and river monitoring. A campaign, called ‘Eco-Visarjan’, to prevent water pollution will be launched in the Capital’s schools later this month.

“We started this campaign last year when we found out that the pollution levels in the water were pretty high.

Through schools in the Capital, we sold idols made of clay that had no toxic material. This year, we plan to make the campaign more effective by conducting workshops at which we will tell students the ways to avoid adding to the pollution levels,” pointed out Col V. Kathju of Clean India.

The organisation asserts that our rivers and water bodies are polluted by the immersion of idols during festivities like Durga Puja, Ganesh Chaturthi and the like. Immersion of idols made of plaster of Paris, lime and cement may contain toxic substances and silt the water bodies.

The chemical colours used to paint idols contain toxic substances like mercury, lead, and cadmium, which pose a threat to the life of the water bodies and are detrimental to health.

Further, the idols are accompanied by polybags, clothes, metals, earthen vessels, flowers, coconuts and other decorations, which add to the pollution. Through the ‘Clean India Eco-Visarjan’ campaign, workshops have been carried out in 25 schools and colleges of Delhi, Noida and Gurgaon and in some residential colonies.

Students are encouraged to adopt more eco-friendly techniques and are also given the responsibility of spearheading the cause. They are informed about the various alternatives that can be adopted to save the ecosystem.

As part of the ‘eco-visarjan’ campaign, the students are advised as to how metal, stone or unbaked clay idols are more suited to the ones that are made with harmful chemical ones. Instead of immersing the idols, water can be sprinkled on the idols to symbolise their immersion.

Also, if idols have to be immersed, one should ensure that they are made of unbaked mud or clay. Idols painted with chemical colours or those having non-biodegradable material like thermocol and plastic should not be immersed.

The workshop also explains how idols can be made by using clay or mud from home, apart from using materials and natural colours like turmeric, sandalwood, saffron and henna.

“We work with potters in the rural areas and ask them to make idols, which are free from pollutants.

Even if one wished to use paint, it can be done by using henna, turmeric and vegetable colours instead of the toxic ones available in the market,” added Colonel Kathju. Apart form saving the eco-system, these activate the creative instincts in children, as they are inspired to making idols on their own.



Co-operation is ok, but circulars must go: Sheila
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 18
“That’s all right,” Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit reacts to Deputy Prime Minister L. K. Advani’s attempts to play down the differences between the Union Ministry of Home Affairs and the Government of NCT of Delhi after flagging off Tuesday’s trial run of Delhi Metro. “But the circulars are still not withdrawn,” she reminds.

Reminding him of their meeting a few days back, the Chief Minister today said the July 25 and August 29 circulars, issued to curtail the powers of her ministry, would have to go. “I am awaiting his reply,” Mrs Dikshit told mediapersons. “I will wait till tomorrow.”

The Chief Minister said she had reiterated her request for a meeting with the Prime Minister and asserted that she would not have it any other way but all circulars that impinged on the autonomy of a popular, duly elected government should be revoked. The circulars have been hanging fire for a fortnight.



Tap water that raises a stink sky high

New Delhi, September 18
Valmiki Marg 17 A lane, Karol Bagh, has been deprived of potable water for the past one week. The residents are getting sewage water in taps that raises a stink sky high. All requests made to the Delhi Jal Board authorities have fallen on deaf ears. Some DJB men visited the colony to collect samples but the DJB officers are not aware of this.

Last week, it rained heavily in Delhi and since then the taps in 17 A Lane have been dry. The area remained without water, electricity or telephone connections for 48 hours. After a lot of entreaties when electricity was finally restored there was no sigh of relief from the residents.

Pallavi Manan Kumar, a resident of the area, said, “Our area was worse than a forest for nearly 48 hours. We managed to survive the ordeal but later when electricity was restored the water condition was pathetic. We received sewage water, totally black and giving foul smell. Since then we have been calling the DJB but getting the same empty assurance, ‘Aaj ho jayega ji’. We are buying Bisleri bottles from the market. Though DJB officials visited the colony and have been calling up regularly but it doesn’t help. It’s difficult to climb stairs with buckets full of water. Daily we have been filling seven to eight buckets for household purposes.” She further added, “ The working class suffers the most as they do not have much time to spend on procuring water for home. We are thinking of shifting to some other place now.’

Almost all residents have a similar tale to recount. Indu Ghosh, another resident, added, “ The fault lies with the MCD and the DJB for laying drinking water pipes and sewage water lines so close to each other. No one is bothered. We have informed the DJB also and they have been coming and have located the fault at four-five places but we don’t know how long they will take to restore the water connection. We are arranging water from our neighbours. We did not call for tankers as it is difficult to carry buckets from outside. For the past one week we have been caught in a horrible situation.“

Saroj Sharma, another resident of the colony, said, “Commercialization is the root of every problem. The Bengal sweet shop is very beautifully decorated but one should look at its back lane. It is full of sewage water and also they prepare sweets and other things there only. For two and a half days we had not even a single drop of water. We had to skip our bath and managed cooking with mineral water. Though the DJB has repaired pipes at a few places the whole pipeline need to be changed, patchwork won’t help. The numerous hotels and restaurants throw their waste in one sewer which cannot take more load and puncture the water pipes in it. We are also thinking of shifting out from this place as it one of the most neglected colonies.”

Mr G. C. Nandwani, Executive Engineer, said, “It must be an individual problem as it cannot happen in the whole area. Residents should lodge a complaint with the local complaint centre at Rajinder Nagar.“ On being told that residents had spoken to him about the problem, he added, “It might have happened some days ago because if it had been a recent problem I would have remembered. But now I will check up and try to restore the water connection as soon as possible.”



Chautala’s promises a gimmick: JD(U)
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, September 18
The Haryana Pradesh Janata Dal (U) President, Mr Ved Prakash Vidrohi, has criticised both the Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, and the Haryana Vikas Party chief, Mr Bansi Lal, for giving false promises to the educated jobless youth.

He described the recent statements of both these leaders about providing unemployment allowance and jobs to the unemployed persons as another gimmick to befool them.

In a signed press statement issued here today, he said there were more than 40 lakh unemployed youth in the entire state of Haryana and it was a an uphill task for any government to provide jobs and give unemployment allowance to them.

He alleged that the Chautala government was already engaged in retrenching government employees from various departments in the state and they were already agitating against this step.

Mr Vidrohi wondered how Mr Chautala could offer jobs to employees and the youth.

He cautioned the people of the state against the hollow promises being offered by Mr Chautala and Mr Bansi Lal as well as Mr Bhajan Lal. All these leaders, he said, were trying to mislead the people.

Referring to the construction of the SYL canal in the Punjab territory in view of the Supreme Court verdict, Mr Vidrohi urged the AICC president, Mrs Sonia Gandhi, to force the Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Amarinder Singh, to comply with the Supreme Court order and get the construction work on this canal completed during the stipulated period fixed by the apex court.

He disclosed that the party would organise a state-level workers’ convention on September 29 at Ballabhgarh.

The Union Food Minister, Mr Sharad Yadav, and other prominent leaders of the party would address the convention.

The convention, he said, would discuss how to force the state government to get the SYL canal completed and strengthen the party base both in urban and rural areas.



Waive farmers’ loans, HVP urges govt
Our Correspondent

Rewari, September 18
Mr Anil Rao, state general secretary of the Haryana Vikas Party, has flayed the state government for the inordinate delay in providing relief and assistance to the farmers of south Haryana which, he said, was the worst drought-stricken region of the state. Addressing a workers’ meeting at Kanina, 35 km from here, on Sunday, he said that on account of a total loss of the kharif crop caused by a severe drought the farmers were facing acute financial stringency and remission of their cooperative loans was an urgent matter. He urged the government to waive off the loans on compassionate grounds.

Senior HVP leader Mithlesh Chaturvedi alleged that the Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, was, by his acts of omission and commission, becoming instrumental in the emergence of a ‘loot raj' which threatened to convert Haryana into another Bihar. She also lashed out at the Congress, the rank factionalism of which was making things more difficult for the people who were yearning for a change. Earlier, Mr Rao was given a rousing reception by motor cycle-borne party activists who warmly escorted him from Bharap to Kanina, a distance of about 3 km.



Chautala not serious about solving farmers’ problems’
Our correspondent

Jhajjar, September 18
Union Agriculture Minister and Rashtriya Lok Dal supremo Ajit Singh today alleged that the Chautala government was not serious towards the problems of the farmers of the state. This was evident from the fact that the state government did not send its report on the drought-affected areas in time, demanding compensation for the damaged crops, he said.

The minister said that reports from most areas of the state confirmed that the prevailing drought-like conditions due to the failure of the monsoon had inflicted substantial damage on the kharif crops. However, Mr Chautala was saying that only three districts were affected by drought. He claimed that his party was the only benefactor of the farmers and his party would always continue to forward their interests.

Mr Singh maintained that the image of the incumbent state government had deteriorated beyond recovery and the people of the state were facing hardships due to the negligence of the government towards their basic needs. He charged that now Chautala was preparing to fight assembly elections in Rajasthan, which would prove just wastage of money of the state exchequer, as was the case in the last Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections.



Rain may have damaged wheat stocks
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, September 18
A large quantity of wheat stock worth several lakhs of rupees, packed in gunny bags and lying in the open in godowns of various procurement agencies, is feared to have been damaged during to the heaviest downpour of the monsoon this year in this city and elsewhere in the district.

According to informed sources, wheat procured by the state and the central government agencies this year was still lying in the open and the authorities had utterly failed to store it in the covered godowns. This was likely to cause extensive damage to the wheat stock.

Officials of the procurement agencies say that it will not be possible to unpack the heavy stocks of wheat and dry the same.

Some procurement agencies had hired private open plinths for stocking wheat as covered godowns were not available.

It is alleged that the officials of the procurement agencies had failed to cover wheat stocks with polythene or tarpaulin sheets so far.

The district authorities as well as high-ranking officers of various procurement agencies are not bothered about the damage caused to the procured wheat by the unseasonal and seasonal rains which had created a havoc in this district.

They have also failed to visit such places and godowns to take stock of situation and gauge the extent of loss suffered to the procured wheat by the rains.

It is alleged that men of the Food and Supplies Department had befooled the higher authorities of the department when they visited the sites to inspect the wheat stock lying in the open last year.

Before the visit of the high-ranking authorities, they managed to cover the wheat stock with polythene and tarpaulin sheets in a bid to save themselves from disciplinary action.

Meanwhile, the leaders of the Congress party and the Haryana Vikas Party have urged the state government to order a high-level probe into the public complaints about the damage of wheat stock procured by the official agencies.

In separate statements issued to the press here, they demanded stern action against the officials responsible for the loss caused to the procured wheat by the rains.



A lawyer of the poor and a priest of brotherhood
Nalini Ranjan

New Delhi, September 18
A lot of people still recall the name of Dinesh Kumar Goswami with a lot of respect. After all, he was the one who had helped the Delhi Police in recovering a large number of shares, valued at several crore of rupees, way back in June 1992 from a house in New Friends Colony in what came to be known as the Harshad Mehta stock scam. Then, Dinesh was a young lawyer with a glint in his eyes and a determination to do good. Today, he is a well-known social worker in Vivek Vihar in East Delhi where he lives with his family.

For the last few years, he has been helping the needy, providing succour and legal aid to those who cannot afford it. He was so moved by the plight of the victims of the Gujarat earthquake that he went to the state on his own and did whatever he could to help them out.

Dinesh has been obviously inspired by his father, Mr S. N. Goswami, a known social worker who was associated with Helpage India, a non-government organisation for years.

In July this year, this young lawyer started his own social service organisation called the Matri Raksha Dal with the basic aim of regenerating the sense of brotherhood among the people. Talking to ‘NCR Tribune’, Dinesh said that during his career, he found that the sense of brotherhood was missing from the society. People had turned selfish and very few offered help to those in distress. It was with the aim of correcting this anomaly that he started his organisation.

Through street-corner plays (Nukkad Nataks) and regular camps, he plans to revive this love. He has held half a dozen such camps in the last two months and the response has been encouraging. He says that people generally want to help and contribute their mite to the society but because of the red-tapism and fear of getting involved, they are reluctant to do this. The Dal would provide them with the requisite forum and knowhow.

Dinesh is convinced that for bringing about any kind of social transformation, the active participation of the public is a must. The government alone cannot do every thing. The Bhagidari scheme of the Delhi Government is the result of this realisation.

The aim of this young lawyer-turned-social worker is to try and bring about some change so that others can benefit from it.



Stree Kosh inaugurated to help women in distress
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 18
The Delhi Chief Minister, Ms Sheila Dikshit, inaugurated the first Gender Resource Centre, christened Stree Kosh on Wednesday. The Centre has been set up as part of a new scheme under the 10th Five-Year Plan by the Department of Social Welfare.

The Chief Minister said one Stree Kosh each will be set up in the districts. Three such centres are expected to come up this fiscal year.

The Stree Kosh would take up free legal counselling and assistance through the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) for women facing domestic violence, rape, intimidation and other legal problems.

Urging women to become financially independent, Dikshit suggested driving of autorickshaws and taxis as an alternate profession. She said the setting up of Stree Kosh was intended to consolidate the gains of Stree Shakti under the Bhagidari (citizen-government partnership) Programme.

The Stree Shakti programme was launched by the Government of NCT of Delhi to empower women, particularly those belonging to the weaker sections of the society. Stree Shakti, she said, had been implemented successfully with the participation of non-government organisations (NGOs) in different parts of the city over the past nine months.

Elaborating on Stree Kosh, the chief minister said it would be a converging point of all activities and programmes concerning women being implemented in a particular district.

The programme, she added, would promote micro-credits among women’s self-help groups, organise camps for prevention and treatment of drug abuse, carry out skill development and health education classes.



Holistic approach needed to build people-friendly image’
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 18
The Delhi Lieutenant-Governor, Mr Vijai Kapoor, asked the Delhi Police to take a “holistic approach” to reduce crimes and build a people friendly image. “With an increase in the crime rate, there is a need to take a holistic approach in dealing with the problem and taking measures which will change the unpopular image of the Delhi Police,” said Delhi Lieutenant- Governor, Vijai Kapoor today after inaugurating the Delhi Police Bhawan, a new complex housing some key Police Departments at Asaf Ali Road in walled city area.

Talking about the utility of the Delhi Police Bhawan, he said, “the building should serve as a centre where a new work culture is evolved and where records are properly maintained.”

The new bhawan, which is spread out in an area of 994.90 sq meters, will house key departments of the Delhi Police like Special Branch, Vigilance and Crime Branch and will provide working space to 670 Delhi Police officers and its men. The Delhi Police Commissioner, R.S.Gupta, lauded the efforts of the PWD engineers who had played a key role in the construction of the bhawan. “Delhi Police has been paying special attention to the development of infrastructure and many plots have been purchased for the construction of offices and residential complexes. In a span of five years, 15 to 20 buildings, equipped with the latest technology are expected to come up,” he said.



300 fined for giving alms at red lights
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 18
The Delhi Police have so far challaned 300 motorists for giving alms to beggars at red lights in the Capital. Maximum motorists were challaned at the ITO crossing, ITO red light on Ring Road, Connaught Place, Paharganj and other busy crossings. Most of the people were challaned in the morning and evening hours. The Delhi Traffic Police issued a direction to all motorists in the Capital not to give alms to beggars at red lights as it hinder traffic flow. Sometimes, it causes accidents too. The fine for first violation of this direction is Rs 150 and for the second time it is Rs 300.

JNU strike continues

The relay hunger strike by the Jawaharlal Nehru University Students Union (JNUSU) continued outside the office of the Vice-Chancellor even as he called for a review of the controversial X Plan. The V-C ordered the constitution of a Dean’s Committee, which will analyse the X Plan before the arrival of the UGC Committee for finalisation of the disputed courses.

The JNUSU has demanded that the review be taken down to the school and center level rather than limiting it to the purview of a committee, implying that each school/center of JNU be involved in its review. Further, the JNUSU is disgruntled at the ‘helplessness’ expressed by the V-C on the issue of the proctorial inquiry into the confrontation that took place between rival factions at the ‘Guru Dakshina’ ceremony. The JNUSU has resolved to continue the hunger strike till the time that all demands on their charter – submitted to the V-C– are complied with. The 12 demands included in the charter pertain to issues of grants, hostel and infrastructure.

Councillor’s brother held

The North-West district police arrested Brahma Prakash, brother of a councillor, Nathu Nagar, who is chairman of Civil Lines Zone, on charge of threatening a contractor to pay commission. Brahma Prakash and his two other associates allegedly threatened a MCD contractor, Amit Gupta, and demanded 10 per cent commission for new contracts. The contractor reported the matter to the Sarswati Vihar police on Monday.



Open darbar

Faridabad, September 18
The district administration will hold an open darbar at Bagpur Khurd village in the district tomorrow. Grievances of the residents of the villages located on the eastern side of Mathura Road between Ballabgarh and Palwal towns in the district will be heard at the darbar. The district officials claim that the darbar would facilitate issuing of learners’ driving licences, caste certificates, domiciles revenue records, unemployment registrations, handicap certificates, filing of application for loans and pension, besides handling of other grievances.

CPM appeals for speedy aid

Charging the state government with adopting a negligent attitude towards the sufferings of the drought-hit farmers, the CPM has appealed to the Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, to provide immediate compensation to the affected farmers in the region to protect them against starvation.

In a statement here today, Mr Inderjit Singh, state secretary of the CPM, alleged the Chief Minister, during his recent tour of Rohtak, washed his hands off the sufferings of the farmers by announcing that the widespread downpour had provided sufficient relief to the drought-affected farmers.



Pickpockets’ gang busted in special drive
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 18
The North district police have arrested three members of ‘Gora Gang’ of pickpockets and recovered a button- actuated knife from one of the accused during its ongoing special drive to nab pickpockets operating in city buses.

The Sarai Rohilla police found three persons quarrelling while they were checking a bus near Subhadra Colony bus stand. Police later arrested Saleem, Raju and Raj Kumar alias Handa, all residents of Janata Colony, New Jaffrabad. During sustained interrogation, it was found that the three belonged to an infamous ‘Gora Gang’ of pickpockets. It was a desperate gang, involved in pickpocketing in the north and trans-Yamuna area of Delhi.

TSR snatchers held

Three persons involved in snatching TSR were apprehended by the PCR van deployed in Ambedkar Nagar. Those apprehended were identified as Kuldeep (25), Rahul (22) and Raju (21), all resident of Sangam Vihar. The police seized a knife and a stolen TSR (No. DL-1RG-9374) from their possession.

Shiv Kumar, a TSR driver reported to the PCR van on Ravidas Marg that three persons had hired his TSR near Hamdard University bus stand for Tara Apartments.

The TSR driver said that as his TSR reached near Gate No.5 of Hamdard University, the passengers snatched his TSR (No.DL-1RG-9374). The police on preliminary investigation identified the criminals as Kuldeep, Rahul and Raju, who were later arrested.

In another case, the PCR van deployed in Bhajan Pura arrested one Kamlesh (25), resident of Sirsha, Farukhabad, and recovered 109 ladies suits from his possession.

The police noticed one person walking with a bundle on his head near Yamuna Vihar main road, Wazirabad. When the PCR staff questioned him, he revealed that he had stolen the suits from the factory of one Anil Bhardwaj in Indirapuri.



Four killed, 20 hurt as truck rams van
Our Correspondent

Rewari, September 18
Four persons, including a girl child, were killed and at least 20 others injured, several of them seriously, when a speeding truck rammed a tempo on the Delhi-Jaipur Highway near Bawal, about 15 km from here, today. All the victims were passengers of the tempo.

It is reported that Kaushaliya Devi of Mohammadpur village died on the spot while Gajana Devi of Harchandpur village succumbed to her injuries in a hospital in Delhi. Anjali, the minor daughter of Charan Singh, a resident of Mohammadpur village, breathed her last in a private hospital at Dharuhera.

Twelve of the injured persons are being treated in the community health centre at Bawal while five others, including the tempo driver, have been admitted at the local civil hospital.

Three persons, who were injured seriously, have been referred to Delhi.The accident occurred when the tempo (HYJ-1782) tried to cross the highway to take the road to Bawal. The truck (PB-32-9195), coming from Jaipur and on its way to Delhi, rammed the van. The police have registered a case of rash and negligent driving and impounded the truck, the driver of which is absconding.

Youth falls into well, dies

Bijender, a youth, was drowned when he fell into a well along with a woman at Tewri village, about 15 km from here, last evening.

According to a report, the victim belonged to Bicholi village in Panipat district and he was running a tailoring shop in Tewri village. The victim is reported to have tried to molest a woman but she resisted forcefully and grappled with the youth. In the process, both fell into the nearby well. The youth drowned whereas the woman was brought out safely by the farmers were working in the nearby fields.



Groups exchange fire in cars

Three persons sustained bullet injuries when two groups of persons travelling in separate cars exchanged fire near a school in the Model Town area here last night. An old enmity is stated to be the main cause of the clash. According to a report, two members of one group, Surinder Singla and Rajesh, were injured in the firing and were rushed to the civil hospital here. Another injured person, Vishal of the other group, was sent to a trauma centre in Delhi. Later, both Surinder Singla and Rajesh were shifted to a trauma centre in Delhi.



National award for Sonepat sugar mill
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, September 18
The Sonepat Cooperative Sugar Mill has bagged the Cane Development Award 2001-2002 and the first prize for development of sugarcane.

Giving this information, Mr S. N. Roy, Deputy Commissioner-cum-Chairman of the mill, told mediapersons here today that these awards were given every year by the National Federation of Cooperative Sugar Factories in the fields of technical efficiency, financial management and cane development. The Sonepat Cooperative Sugar Mill, he said, was the first mill in Haryana to ever receive the first prize in the development of sugarcane. He also said that the mill during the past four years had sizeably improved its varietal balance. At present, the ratio of early and late varieties was 70:30. According to the DC, the award had also been given to recognise the mill’s efforts to increase the area under high sugar contents and high yielding varieties. He disclosed that Haryana had bagged five awards, which includes the second prize for Palwal Cooperative Sugar Mill in technical efficiency, second prize for Karnal Cooperative Sugar Mill in financial management. Besides, the cooperative sugar mill at Karnal had been ranked the overall best cooperative sugar factory.



Ice creams add zing to cash registers
Tribune News Service 

New Delhi, September 18
Coffee homes, the erstwhile addas where the intelligentsia and the commoners found a meeting ground, are no longer the staid spaces with coffee, smoke and banter.

With the world moving ahead with images that allure a la Barista, the old and comfy coffee homes of the Capital run by the Delhi Tourism and Transportation Development Corporation (DTTDC) have had to resort to the sophisticated ice creams to stay in the race.

Ice creams have added not just flavour to these coffee homes, but have given a new zing to the cash registers.

According to the DTTDC, the introduction of the Mother Dairy ice creams has made the organisation richer by at least Rs 5,000 each month. The DTTDC had introduced the ice cream in the coffee homes run across the city in 1999.

The DTTTDC invited tenders for private players to help them enhance the image of the coffee homes and in turn rake in more moolah. The setting up of Nirula’s ice cream counters in these coffee homes was a step in the direction. With Nirula’s offering their gratifying flavours at a price the coffee homes in Connaught Place, R K Puram and Laxmi Nagar have registered an increase in profits.



Phdcci roots for SEZs

New Delhi, September 18
Phdcci has urged the need for development of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) with private sector participation within the state as this would provide a platform for integrating the state economy with the global market place.

The SEZs should have access to facilities matching global standards encompassing business and logistic support and requisite physical and social infrastructure, the Chamber said,

adding that access to world class infrastructure in SEZs would enable industry to compete effectively in the world market on equal terms.

According to the Chamber, the strategy for promoting industrial growth should be formulated by focussing on the inherent strengths of States. The Chamber said that ensuring facilitative environment for the development of small and medium industries through provision of technical, marketing and financial

assistance would go a long way to attract new investment in the state. Flexible labour laws and accepting the employers ‘right to manage’ business under the relevant labour laws would promote competitiveness in industry and encourage new investments and employment.

Provisions regarding need for prior permission before lay off, retrenchment and relieving of employees should be deleted. Since the subject of labour is under the concurrent list, the state can include this provision in their labour law. The Phdcci also emphasised on the need to develop sophisticated logistics infrastructure.

In order to provide for transparent decision making process and to expedite approvals and clearances for new enterprises, an ‘Empowered Committee’ should operate as a ‘Single Window’ in the districts under the respective Deputy Commissioners.

Officials of various departments should be members of the ‘Empowered Committee’. Clearances should be given at the level of Deputy Commissioner as this would avoid the harassment and inconvenience caused to the industrialists, stated the Chamber. TNS


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