Sunday, October 6, 2002, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


Who is the ‘woh’ in this love triangle
Our Correspondent

Meerut, October 5
It is a tale of a candle and two moths. The only difference in the tale is that there are not two men but two women fighting each other over their ‘flame’. Both of them claimed to be married to the same man. One of them is a constable. The man is also a constable. Even after two hours of negotiations in a police station, the plot only thickened.

The drama unfolded in the Senior Superintendent of Police office here when the women presented their case vehemently before the SSP Mukul Goel. They called each other’s names in front of the police supremo.

The scene lasted more than three hours: first on the collectorate premises, and then the duo came to the SSP office. Even the SSP had to call the SHO, Madhu Malti of woman police station, to help resolve this ‘menage a trois’.

The fight started at 11 am when a constable Satyadev Tyagi of 33 Battalion Provincial Armed Constabulary reached the ADJ Court to face his trial in a case of attempt to murder. He was accompanied by his wife Pooja and a year old son. Out of the blue, a woman appeared on the scene when Satyadev Tyagi was boarding a rickshaw.

Claiming to be his real wife, the woman, Pammi Yadav, also boarded the rickshaw.

Both the women abused each other and fought like Kilkenny cats, as it were. They claimed Satyadev Tyagi to be their ‘husband charming’. Pammi Yadav is a constable posted in an economic wing in Meerut.

The woman cop claimed before several media persons that she married Satyadev in 1991 and had been living with him when he was posted in Meerut in 44 Batallion in PAC.

She called Satyadev a liar.

She also alleged that the man had married thrice. His third wife Rita Thakur belongs to Faizabad. The woman constable was firm on accompanying him. There was a heated exchange between them on the road before the SSP office in civil line.

A large number of passers-by and police personnel gathered around them. But they continued to manhandle each other.

Now they entered the SSP Mukul Goel’s office at 1.15 pm, still fighting. Before the SSP, Pammi Yadav once again claimed to the real wife, while the constable Satyadav denied the fact, though he confessed that he had known her since 1993 while he was in Meerut.

He said that another woman, Pooja, was his wife and they had a son and a girl child. As the ‘pati, patni or woh’ case stretched, an embarrassed SSP had to summon the inspector incharge, women RS, and incharge, complaint cell, to help him resolve the matter. But the marital knot was not cut even after two hours of cut-throat negotiations. The SSP finally ordered a detailed inquiry.

He asked the SHO to hear each of them separately before reaching a decision. Pooja said that Pammi Yadav was blackmailing her husband. Till 4 pm, both the women and the constable Satyadev Tyagi were before the incharge, complaint cell, narrating their ‘tale of woe’.

Several onlookers gathered around them enjoying the scene which was enough to make a cat laugh.


Lid off biggest stamp scam
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 5
The Economic Offences Wing of the Delhi Police today claimed to have busted a biggest-ever racket of manufacturing and selling counterfeit Indian postal, revenue, foreign bill stamps and non-judicial stamp papers with the arrest of four persons. The suspects were engaged in the racket in an organised manner, having their offices in posh localities.

The suspects Mansoor, alias Manoj, and Mohammad Asif were arrested from their office in Green Park. Their interrogation led to the arrest of Deepak and Mohsin. However, the prime suspect Siddharth, alias Siddhu, is still absconding. Government documents worth Rs 216 crore were recovered from their possession, Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime Branch), U.K. Katna said.

He said that police had secret information that Mansoor, a proclaimed offender in another case of selling counterfeit non-judicial stamps at Daryaganj police station, and his associates run a fake agency of selling counterfeit government documents in the name of “City Enterprises” in Green Park and Kotla Mubarakpur. They had another office in Som Dut Chamber-II, Bhikaiji Cama in the name of “Sharp Enterprises”.

While addressing the newsmen, Mr U.K. Katna said that the sleuths of Economic Offences wing laid a trap by sending a decoy customer to purchase the counterfeit revenue stamps of Rs 1,000 in the denomination of Re 1 each. The decoy customer contacted Mansoor and Asif at their office at Y-Block, Green Park and struck the deal for purchasing the stamps.

As soon as the delivery of revenue stamps was done, personnel in plain clothes arrested the suspects and government documents of Rs 5.20 lakh were recovered from their office.

During interrogation, they disclosed that they had been involved in the racket for two years and operating in the Capital at the behest of their boss, Kareem Thelagi. Thelagi was the main conspirator, and at present, he is in Bangalore Jail, but he still commands his business through a henchman Siddharth, alias Siddhu.

Mr Katna said that on an average, they used to sell counterfeit government documents worth Rs 40, 000 to Rs 50, 000 every day with the help of young graduate marketing executives, some of them having MBA degrees. They had employed their business executives through placement agencies. The suspects had been changing their offices frequently because of the fear of police.

The suspects disclosed that their office at Som Dutt Chambers at Bhikaiji Cama Palace was run by Mohsin whereas their godown at Munirka was looked after by Deepak. The police recovered counterfeit government papers worth Rs 216 crore from the godown and a cash of Rs 4 lakh. Besides, a motorcycle, a computer and four mobile phones were also seized.

The suspects maintained accounts in the names of City Enterprises and Sharp Enterprises at “HDFC Bank” in Vasant Vihar and Safdarjung Enclave where they had deposited the defrauded amount approximately Rs 7 lakh which had been seized. They had sold the government document papers to nationalised, multinational scheduled banks and multinational firms along with United India Insurance Company, Life Insurance Corporation, New India Insurance, Oriental Insurance, Max New York Life Insurance, Reliance Insurance company Limited and Iffco Tokio General Insurance.

The police are probing the suspected involvement of officials of these companies for purchasing the government documents from unauthorised outlets, Mr U. K. Katna said.


A reformer in banana land
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, October 5
People seeing others slipping on a banana skin find the scene quite amusing, but they forget that some day they themselves may slip on the same peel. Throwing a banana skin in open is a bad civic manner. One pays a heavy price for others’ ‘slippery’ habits. There are times when people have even lost their lives. Still many of them do not mind their P’s and Q’s. Only a handful are civic enough to ensure remedial measures.

The majority turn a blind eye when the basic civic sense is not followed in such cases. However, there are exceptions. There are people who assume the mantle of reforming others.

Mr S S Dalal, an HCS officer, is one such person. Posted as general manager, Haryana Roadways here, he seems to be an odd man out. He not only tracks down such elements but also makes them realise their ‘faux pas’.

In an incident that happened recently here, Mr Dalal hauled up a person, who had thrown a banana skin on the road.

The HCS officer asked the person his identity and address and gave him a dress down. He then advised the man to pick up the peel and throw it in a dustbin. The person felt apologetic and even promised that he would tell others also not to do so in a public place.

In another incident, Mr Dalal got intercepted a private vehicle on Mathura Road here a few days ago. One of the passengers had thrown a banana skin out of his moving vehicle. Mr Dalal was going in his official car behind it, he immediately got the vehicle stopped. After identifying the culprit, he asked the man to dispose it of properly. The persons in the vehicle looked sheepish and promised to take care in future. The roadways officials at the general bus stand at Ballabgarh, here told that their boss had caught at least half a dozen persons using open premises of the bus stand to ease themselves in recent times. They said the persons were either punished lightly by making them do ‘sit-ups’ or given an earful in public.

Mr Dalal said bringing a change in habits was difficult, still ‘it is better to light a candle then curse the darkness’. It would be better if the person is made to realise his mistake. It could make all the difference. He said a person even lost his life in Panipat railway station recently after he slipped on a banana skin at the platform while trying to catch a moving train.


Rajasthan Govt to replicate Gurgaon model
Ravi S. Singh
Tribune News Service

Gurgaon, October 5
Gurgaon and its neighbouring areas have become the developmental model for Rajasthan Government. Taking a cue from its neighbour, the Rajasthan Government has decided to introduce a new set of building regulations. This was revealed here by the Commissioner, Jaipur Development Authority, Mr G.S.Sandhu.

Addressing an interactive meeting organised by the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Rajasthan Builders and Promoters Association here, Mr Sandhu disclosed that the new Rent Control legislation would contain a number of initiatives for real estate development.

Also on the anvil are steps like land conversion, better FAR norms and a green channel for faster clearances. Mr Sandhu is leading a delegation of senior government officials and a host of builders, town planners and real estate developers from the state, who studied the DLF model and other colonies in the area.

The Rajasthan Government is keen to develop several townships in and around Jaipur, which would be packed with modern infrastructure provided by private developers and promoters. Suitable policy initiatives will be taken to encourage private sector participation in township development, he added.

The Chief Town Planner, Jaipur, Mr Hemant Murdia, said that the Rajasthan government is keen to encourage private investment in urban development, so that the quality of services provided to the end users is the best. The government is in the process of rehashing the Building Regulations and a team of government officials, town planners and builders is examining various success stories in the country, so that they could be replicated in Rajasthan with suitable modifications, he added.

Addressing the meet, the Chairman of Ansal Properties and Former president of PHDCCI, Mr Sushil Ansal, said that with the various state governments undertaking policy initiatives for urban development, time is ripe for the builders and real estate developers to cash in on the opportunity. Citing the China model, Mr Ansal said that one of the main reason for its rapid economic development is the perfect symmetry in political will and bureaucratic support.

The Vice-President of PHDCCI, Mr P.K.Jain, in his welcome Address, said that the chamber had facilitated the delegation’s visit to promote co-operation between Haryana and Rajasthan.

After an on-the-spot analysis and examination of building bylaws, procedures relating to approvals, clearances etc and development of integrated facilities like shopping malls, multiplexes, recreational clubs etc will be replicated in Jaipur, he added.

The President of the Gurgaon Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mr Suneel Sabharwal, also spoke in the same vein.


4 policemen suspended for dereliction of duty
Parmindar Singh

Ghaziabad, October 5
The Senior Superintendent of Police, Ghaziabad, Mr Chander Prakash, has suspended four cops for dereliction of duty and posted sufficient police force and some PAC jawans at Faruqu Nagar village in Sahibabad to prevent any further damage.

As a result of yesterday’s violence people had downed the shutters in the market in protest in the village today. Yesterday, an altercation between two groups from different communities had taken a bloody turn when some armed persons from one sect arrived in vehicles and indulged in indiscriminate firing in which Rajpal Singh Gujjar, 45, was killed and five members of his family wounded.

The other party had torched two vehicles of those who had come and attacked the Gujjar family.

There is lot of tension in the area since yesterday’s violence. Three constables and one head constable, who were present at the village police post, just a few steps away from the scene of violence, did not bother to fire in the air to scare away those indulging in mayhem. The SI in-charge was, however, away on leave.

The admission of Om Pal Singh of Nangla village to the district hospital at 1.30 am on the basis of some minor injuries is also seen as a failure of the Sihani gate police, who were allegedly involved in the incident.

As a protest against this and the overall failure of the police, traders had downed their shutters in Faruqu Nagar market today. The SSP confirmed he had placed four cops under suspension for dereliction of duty. A case for murder has been registered against four persons on the written report of the deceased’s son, Jatinder.

The police are also inquiring whether any licensed weapons were used in the incident. If this is the case, the licences will be cancelled. Police force from Link Road, Loni Road and Sahibabad police stations, apart from half a section of PAC has been deployed in the village under the SDM, Sadar, Mr Amarnath to prevent any further outbreak of violence, the SSP said.


DC not vandalising the city, claim residents
Vipin Sharma

Rohtak, October 5
Responding to former MLC Puran Chand Azad’s threat to undertake a fast-unto-death, if the Deputy Commissioner did not stop `vandalising’ the city in the name of beautification, several social and apolitical organisations have appealed to the district administration to continue the drive in public interest.

In separate Press statements, the leaders of Bajrang Dal, Haryana Ex Services League, Haryana Beopar Mandal, District Bar Association and Samaj Sudhar Samiti hailed the demolition drive and appealed to the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Ashok Yadav, not to dilute the campaign.

Mr Puran Chand Azad, who is also president of a local freedom fighters’ committee, claims that immediately after taking over, Deputy Commissioner Ashok Yadav had sought his co-operation in decongesting the traffic on the main road. As a part of this exercise, it was decided that the administration will shift the statue of Netaji a few yards away from the existing site and relocate it near the Public Health Department.

The freedom fighters’ committee, Mr Azad says, allowed the Deputy Commissioner to execute his plan on the condition that the existing statue would be relocated at the new site and the inscriptions on the statue would not be tampered with.

But, according to Mr Azad, the Deputy Commissioner backtracked and has now ordered that a new statue of Netaji be installed at the public health department site. The old statue will instead be installed in Subhash Park in Subhash Nagar. “We agreed to his proposal under pressure,” explains Mr Azad.

Perturbed over the developments, Mr Azad wrote a letter to the Deputy Commissioner, with copies to Chief Minister and the PCC Chief. This annoyed the Deputy Commissioner, claims Mr Azad. On September 11, he alleges, the Deputy Commissioner sent the city magistrate to his shop, which he has rented from the Zila Parishad for his handicapped son, and asked them to vacate the premises within half-an-hour.

Mr Azad says that his daughter-in-law pleaded with the city magistrate that the said shop was allotted by the government on the orders of the then Chief Minister, Mr Devi Lal. The City Magistrate got furious and declared: ``I am the government here.’’

“By the time I reached the shop, the city magistrate had left. But before leaving, he had got the power supply to the shop disconnected, Mr Azad alleges.

When contacted, the Deputy Commissioner said he had deep respect for freedom fighters. He said Mr Azad had already given his consent in black and white to the district administration regarding shifting of the old statue to another site.

Commenting on the official direction to vacate the shop occupied by Mr Azad’s son, he clarified that barring this shop, all other stalls had been removed from the site several days ago as a part of the demolition drive.

Moreover, he said, the district administration was still ready to provide Mr Azad’s son a new shop, to be constructed near the same site at the expense of the Zila Parishad. He expressed surprise as to why the veteran freedom fighter had threatened to observe a fast unto death.


NCRB slaps Rs 18 lakh fine on GDA
Parmindar Singh

Ghaziabad, October 5
The National Capital Region Board has slapped a penalty of Rs 30 lakh on Ghaziabad and Pilkhua-Hapur development authorities for having refused to take a loan of Rs 3,162 crore, which had been sanctioned by the board on their requests.

According to sources, the Ghaziabad Development Authority (GDA) had applied for a loan of Rs 1,824 crore for putting in place infrastructure for potable water and sewerage treatment in GDA's residential colonies across the Hindon river.

The NCR Board had accorded sanction to the needed loan on the project report submitted by the GDA. However, the GDA had not taken this amount in spite of the NCR Board having approved the loan amount. The board has now recovered a fine at the rate of 10 per cent of the approved amount, which comes to Rs 18.24 lakh.

The Pilkhua-Hapur Development Authority has also been punished in a similar way by the board for having failed to avail of Rs 1,228 crore loan at the last moment.

The loan had been approved by it on the Pilkhua-Hapur authority's application. The board penalised the authority to the tune of Rs 12.28 lakh. The sources said both the authorities had deposited the said penalty amounts with the board.


DC gives boost to beautification
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, October 5
Mr S. N. Roy, Deputy Commissioner of Sonepat, has given a big boost to the face-lifting programme and development schemes in this city and elsewhere in the district. After taking over as DC, Mr Roy took keen interest in the development of Sonepat city, which is a district headquarters in Haryana. Its population has gone up to more than two lakh. During the past one year or so, all main roads have been widened. The main crossings in the thickly populated areas have been given a new look as the administration has not only removed congestion but has ensured free flow of traffic and eliminated the chances of mishaps in the most accident-prone areas also.

The main crossings, which have been given a new look, include the general bus stand chowk, Mamoon Bhanja Chowk, Subhash Chowk, Railway Crossing Chowk near Hindu College, Kakroi Road Chowk, Mehlana Road Chowk and the Shani Mandir chowk.

The district administration has undertaken the work for the widening of the road between Suri Petrol Pump and the Kakroi road where all kinds of encroachments have been removed on both sides of the road.

Similarly, work for the beautification of Murthal Adda Chowk has also been completed. The chowk has been widened for free flow of traffic. The administration has not removed the statue of a veteran freedom fighter, Pandit Siri Ram Sharma, from this chowk on the persistent demand of the people.

After achieving success in the renovation of the main roads and crossings, the district administration has now decided to develop and modernise the existing parks in different parts of the city.

The administration has developed a modern park in a 1.5-acre piece of land in front of Shani Mandir for meeting the long-standing demand of the people living in the old section of this city. A sum of Rs 30 lakh has been spent on this park which is expected to provide all sorts of recreation facilities to the children.

The land for this park was got vacated from the unauthorised occupants who had built shops illegally a few years ago. This land also belonged to the municipal council of Sonepat and the demolition of the shops was ordered by the Supreme Court.

The administration has now selected Indira Municipal Park on Subhash Chowk for its development on modern lines.

It has also decided to close the windows and ventilators and other structures raised by the shopkeepers and house owners in the park as it feels that these interfere with the privacy of the visitors to the park.

In order to curb the reported unauthorised entry of the people, the authorities of the Sonepat Municipal Council are contemplating keeping its main gate closed for the movement of traffic before and after office working hours.

The main object of the decision of the administration is to remove all kinds of encroachments made by the shopkeepers and house owners in the municipal park.

It is also alleged that some disgruntled elements are now engaged in exploiting the people on some pretext or the other against the administrative machinery but, by and large, the residents of the city are happy with the renovation programmes launched by the district administration to give Sonepat city a new look.

The authorities of the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) have also launched a project for the modernisation of the parks in sectors 14 and 15 for giving recreation facilities to the residents, particularly the children. The modernisation scheme would cost Rs 25 lakh.


HVP to go it alone in next assembly poll
Our Correspondent

Panipat, October 5
The HVP secretary-general, Mr Surinder Singh, today made it clear that his party would go it alone in the forthcoming Haryana Assembly elections.

Addressing party workers at Weisor and Shera villages as part of the ‘jan jagran abhiyan’ of the party, Mr Singh claimed that there had been tremendous response to the party rallies in the state, which showed that the people were fed up with the ruling INLD and the opposition Congress.

Charging the Om Prakash Chautala government with failure on all fronts, the HVP leader alleged that Mr Chautala had misled the electorate by promising free power and water. Not only had the tariffs gone up steeply, several areas of the state had been reeling under water and electricity shortage. Similarly, basic amenities provided by the government needed much to be desired and law and order situation was in a shambles.

He reiterated that if voted to power, the party would start an ‘unemployment allowance’ for the educated unemployed persons. While persons educated up to ten plus two would be paid Rs 200 per month, those possessing educational qualifications of BA and above would be eligible for Rs 250 per month.

He claimed that during his 12-year stint as the Chief Minister, Mr Bansi Lal had done much more development work than all chief ministers put together. Only the HVP could provide an efficient and corruption-free regime, he said and added that the people had already made up their mind if the response to the party rallies was any indication.

Taking a dig at the HPCC chief, Mr Bhajan Lal, he said the Congress believed in "backdoor" entry to the chief minister's office. The Haryana electorate had never given Mr Bhajan Lal a majority and it was with the help of defections from other parties that he had become Chief Minister earlier.

Prominent among those who spoke were Mr Surinder Ahlawat, Mr Balwan Singh Shera and Mr Ishwar Singh Sangwan.


Thousands go waterless again in Sonepat
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, October 5
Thousands of residents living in the old section of the city, particularly in the areas of Ram Bazar and Mohalla Kalan, remained waterless again last evening following the stoppage of drinking water supply by the Public Health Department. However, the officials of the PHD have given no reason in this regard.

According to a report, this is the second time in three days when taps have gone dry on account of non-supply of water in the evening shift.

Inquiries made by this correspondent have revealed that Mukesh Kumar, a key man of the PHD, continues to hold thousands of residents in the old section of the city to ransom every evening as he is in the habit of creating man-made drinking water crisis. He is drawing his salary without doing his duty regularly and properly.

On the other hand, officials of the department-from a Junior Engineer to the Superintending Engineer— have failed to shift him to other areas despite repeated public complaints made against him with regard to dereliction in duty.

Many residents alleged that all their complaints made to these officials had fallen on deaf ears.

It is stated that the erring key man went to the residences of the complainants last evening and quarrelled with them after using objectionable language.

This caused resentment among the residents who assembled there. They wanted to apprehend him but he managed to escape.

Meanwhile, leaders of the Residents Welfare Association and the Sonepat Citizens Council have condemned the indifferent attitude of the PHD officials towards the public complaints against the erring key man and demanded immediate transfer of the Executive Engineer and the Superintending Engineer as well as the suspension of other officials responsible for the mess.

In a memorandum sent to the Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, a copy of which was released to the Press here today, they also demanded a high-level probe into the public complaints about the frequent stoppage of evening water supply and the conduct of the erring key man.

They also threatened that if no action was taken against the erring key man the residents would be left with no other alternative but to gherao the officials of the PHD.


Experts propose changes in National Building Code
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 5
Reducing ground coverage, compulsory water harvesting and plantation, use of alternative renewable sources of energy, eco-friendly construction materials and energy conservation are some of the recommendations made by leading engineers, architects, town planners, designers, building material manufacturers and administrators for the National Building Code (NBC) of India for sustainable development.

The experts, who attended the recently concluded two-day seminar on `Revision of National Building Code of India' organised by Institute of Engineers, Delhi State Centre, stressed on the need for effective land use with proper mandatory landscaping and solid waste management as part of the building plan.

Releasing the recommendations here today, Mr Pradeep Chaturvedi, chairman of the Institute of Engineers, Delhi State Centre, said that the main suggestions made by the experts could be included in the architectural design parameters with emphasis on insulation, daylight utilisation, natural ventilation, shielding, acoustics, window area and its disposition. The design forces related to earthquakes, landslides, water waves and tensional effects due to wind should be included in the section pertaining to design loads.

The National Building Code was first established in 1970 and then revised in 1983. With the advancement in construction technologies, emergence of new eco-friendly materials and larger participation of private operators, it has become necessary to have a new look at the National Building Code.

Mr Chaturvedi said that 28 per cent of country's population lived in 5,161 cities and towns, of which only 1,200 cities have master plans and construction plans while the remaining cities did not have integrated planning frame. With fast changes in the construction field in the last one decade, the R&D done in the field had brought in new construction technologies and eco-friendly materials. Experts stressed on the need to incorporate all new features in the National Building Code.

Some of the major recommendations made at the seminar for NBC include unified code for structural concrete reinforcement and pre-stressed concrete to check various land erosions and encouraging use of steel in construction for even normal buildings. The recommendations also include installation of captive power plants for power generation combined with renewable energy sources, including solar energy.

The other major recommendations include use of dry transformers for power supply, use of new piping and plumbing materials for water and sewage systems, and recycling of waste water, which can be used for horticulture and gardening. The code also suggests use of eco-friendly construction materials, including jute and synthetic materials to save precious natural resources.


A veritable feast of frescoes 
Tribune News Service

The Shekhawati region lies in the triangular area between Delhi, Jaipur and Bikaner. In the early 14th century, a number of Muslim clans moved into the area, thereby giving rise to a township, which developed into an important trading post on the caravan routes emanating from the ports of Gujarat. Shekhawati, which means the garden of the Sheikh, is Rajasthan’s open-air art gallery. The region is famous for its painted mansions with beautiful frescos. Apart from the art frescos, the region is now being promoted for the opportunities it offers vis-à-vis farm and eco tourism.

The Morarka-GDC Rural Research Foundation has initiated an experiment for promotion of rural tourism in Shekhawati. Kalakriti, an architectural firm, and Ayam, an ethnic arts promotion group are carrying out documentation, preservation and promotion of cultural heritage in Shekhawati. A turnkey package has also been developed for providing professional guidance for documentation, preservation and promotion work.

From organic farming to agri-biotechnology pioneering work is being carried out in the region. The Morarka Foundation has tied up with Small Farmers

Agri-business Consortium to promote the national resource centres for agri-clinics and business centres.

The rural people have now been initiated into scientific processes like organic farming, vermi -composting, soil and water management, crop management and animal husbandry. Empowerment of women and the aged, eradication of child labour and creating demand and delivery of health and family welfare services and primary education for the disadvantaged are just some of the other welfare programmes that have been adopted for the uplift of the region and its people.

The Shekhawati region is known all over the world for its rich and colourful art. The region has a veritable feast of wall paintings and works of artistic merit.

In the olden days before the advent of chemical colouring, people in Shekhawati would use natural colours made from indigo, saffron, terra verte and yellow clay to paint their houses.

Tourists can visit various places around Shekhawati to encounter the beauty of the place. Some of the places worth a visit are Sikar, now one of the two districts of Shekhawati, the other being Jhunjhunu. Sikar's extraordinary and well-equipped market, the clock tower and the painted Biyani havelis apart from Sagarmal Sodhani Haveli, Madho Niwas Kothi, Jubilee Hall and Fort are the main attractions here.

The Jain temple and the temples of Gopinath, Raghunath and Madan Mohan are also popular with visitors. Nawalgarh, housing some of the finest Shekhawati frescoes, abounds in havelis. Lachhmangarh, which has one of the best forts in the region of Shekhawati, is also popular. The Harshnath temple (10th century) with its splendid architecture is located on Harsh Nath hills, about 11km from Sikar.

Jeen Mata temple is located 29 kms from Sikar. This temple is believed to have been constructed 1000 years ago. The fair during April - May draws devotees.

The region abounds in gaiety as each year there are various festivals and fairs organised. Folk dances, processions, fireworks all together make the festivals a live show of colour and vivacity.


Roadways impounds three diesel buses
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, October 5
While there have been reports that diesel-run buses banned in Delhi have spilled into the NCR towns, some of these have been found operating illegally. The roadways authorities here have stepped up the vigil after impounding at least three such buses in the past three days.

The General Manager of the Haryana Roadways, Mr S. S. Dalal, told ‘NCR Tribune’ here on Friday that although the authority to check the permit or challan the private buses lied with the office of the District Transport Officer (DTO), his department employees helped the police to impound three private buses operating without a permit recently.

Steps were being taken to conduct a regular checking of all illegal vehicles plying commercially in the district, he added. As part of the ongoing campaign, as many as 1,532 vehicles had been challaned by his office since January this year on violation of traffic rules and norms. He said that at least 561 vehicles including buses, three-wheelers and maxi cabs, had been impounded by the department during the period. He said that 63 Tata Sumos and Qualis type of vehicles had been fined during a joint operation.


Book celebrates the heroes in the sepia covers
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 5
It is perhaps the only place where you are likely to meet a 100-year-old former soldier from Jhajjar and the Royal Gayatri Devi together, separated by a few leaves of paper. Samar S. Jodha’s book, ‘Ageless Mind and Spirit’, an eight-year’s effort covering 400 individuals from varied backgrounds, may well pass off as a coffee table must, but the images in black and white stare straight into the eyes, leaving an impression.

The book uses photographs and first person accounts to create a series of engaging human interest stories in the voices of the elderly themselves. Each story represents one or more facets of aging. Some of the subjects are more productive and well known today than anytime in their long careers; others, even without any extraordinary achievement, individually represent larger, significant issues related to aging.

The purpose of the book with text and research by Vijay S. Jodha is to use literary and photographic means to celebrate the diversity of India and the triumph of human spirit with the heart warming stories from the most overlooked and unlikely place, the world of the aged.

The book has a foreword penned by Dalai Lama and an essay written by Dr Marth Chen, an internationally acclaimed expert on the subject at Harvard University.

Ratan Sharma award presented

Union Labour Minister Sahib Singh Verma today presented this year's prestigious Shrimati Ratan Sharma Smriti Bal Sahitya Puraskar to Bikaner-based writer Hardarshan Sehgal for his work ‘Chote Kadam, Lambi Rahein’ at a function here.

Presenting the award, Dr Verma lamented that even after 55 years of Independence, child labour continued to be a curse for Indian society.

The Labour Minister said that it was unfortunate that the work culture had gone down in the country and people tended to stop working once they were secure in their jobs. On the other hand, almost 92 per cent of the country's workforce was not covered by labour and other social security laws, Dr Verma said, adding that the government was committed to addressing the problems of the unorganised sector.

The award, launched eight years ago for the promotion of children’s literature in Hindi, comprises a cash prize of Rs 15,000, a trophy and a citation.

According to a press note issued by the union minister's office here today, Mr Sehgal has been selected for the award for his novel: ‘Chhote Kadam, Lambi Rahein’.

Mr Shalabh Sharma, president of the Dr Ratan Lal Sharma Smriti Nyas, which gives the annual award, says the Ratan Sharma award offers the highest amount as prize money in governmental or non governmental sectors in the country for a single work of children’s literature in Hindi.

Both late husband and wife team of Dr Ratan Lal Sharma and Mrs Ratan Sharma, after whom the trust and the award are named respectively, were noted Hindi children’s fiction writers. The jury for this year's award comprised eminent Hindi literary figures like Dr Narendra Mohan, Mr Pratap Sehgal and Mrs Snehmayi Chaudhary.


‘Righteousness and justice, not pride,
exalt a nation’

I shall work for an India in which the poorest shall feel that it is their country in whose making they have an effective voice, an India in which there shall be no high class and low class of people, an India in which all communities shall live in perfect harmony. There can be no room in such an India for the curse of untouchability or the curse of intoxicating drinks and drugs. Women will enjoy the same rights as men. Since we shall be peace with the rest of the world. Neither exploiting nor being exploited, we should have the smallest army imaginable. All the interests not in conflict with the interests of the dumb millions will be scrupulously respected, whether foreign or indigenous. Personally, I hate the distinction foreign and indigenous. This is the India of my dreams,’’ wrote Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi in Young India, in its edition dated September 10,1931.

One wonders what he would have thought about conditions in the country if only he had a chance to visit it in 2002.The prophet that he was, he will discover that he is honoured more abroad than in his own country. He would have been shocked to witness that the weapons of non-violent struggle, which he had forged to fight for truth and justice, like Satyagraha, are being used by self-seeking people to achieve narrow ends.

And the country, which, through his policy of peace and goodwill, had earned an enviable place in the comity of nations has today acquired an image that is far from being honourable. It is now being placed among the countries where corruption is rampant, religious freedom is threatened and minorities suppressed and persecuted, though it is only the fanatical fringe here that has given this nation this dubious distinction.

At a time when the dark clouds of communalism are gathering over the horizon, the people of goodwill here must be missing him more than at any other time. When in his own state men were burnt alive and women raped while the majority found itself helpless against the tide of hatred and destruction, many must have prayed for the reincarnation of the mahatma to stem the tide of evil.

Urging his people to reject the temptation of vengeance against their departing European rulers he maintained that the message of the wise men from the East is one of love and truth. “The first of these wise men was Zoroaster. He belonged to the East. He was followed by the Buddha who belonged to the East India. Who followed the Buddha? Jesus, who came from the East. Before Jesus was Moses who belonged to Palestine though he was born in Egypt. After Jesus came Mohammad…I do not know of a single person in the world to match these men of Asia.’’

Beginning with the hatred of the colonial masters, a culture of hatred has spread into the vitals of the nation, against which Gandhiji has warned long ago. He did not even want the people to hate the British for fear of such animosity spreading poison in the society. But that is what has happened. Today the nation is divided on the basis of caste, religion and language and these fragmentation are accompanied by a culture of hatred.

In his writings he had expressed his misgivings about modern civilization with its consumerism, competitive spirit and dehumanising impact on people. He had spoken of the utter madness of materialism and the arms race to which the best brains and plenty of resources are employed.

With the Pokharan explosion India has lost the moral authority to preach non-violence. According to many Gandhians in the country it amounted to a denunciation of all that the Father of the Nation stood for.

But has Pokharan made this country secure or stronger than its rival, Pakistan? The possession of atomic weapons is defended on the ground that it acts as a deterrent — a sort of balance of terror that restrains the enemy Pokharan, according to some strategists only helped to trigger a fresh arms race between the two countries and did not confer any special advantage on India from the defence point of view.

Both nations today pay a heavy price for keeping alive issues like Kashmir. Precious funds are diverted from needy areas to arms purchases and the like…

Free India has seen the birth of a pleasure-loving middle class that is seeking a larger share of the national cake and with little sympathy for the poor and the down-trodden. The growing inequalities and poverty, which ought to be matters of concern, do not seem to bother the large majority. Gandhiji had, on the other hand, had wanted the rulers to determine every policy on the basis of the likely impact on the poorest of the poor. A catalogue of the disadvantaged and the poor in the country published by agencies like the United Nations bring home the painful truth that we have a long way to go in eradicating poverty.

The greatness of Gandhiji lay in the fact that he proved to the world that the great ideals preached by various religions could be put to practice in real life.

He wanted an India in which people of different faiths lived in harmony while being free to follow their particular religion. “I do not expect the India of my dream to develop one religion, i.e. to be wholly Hindu, or wholly Christian, or wholly Mussalman, but I want it to be wholly tolerant, with its religions working side by side with one another.’’

The common man’s growing concern over the intolerance and strife in the name of religion was well reflected at the Gandhi Jayanthi celebrations at Rajghat this year. Hundreds of students from Mount Carmel, Springdales, St Thomas, Adarsh Sanskrit Vidyalaya, St Marys and other schools took pledge to work for unity and harmony and expressed their determination to stand against all forms of intolerance and discrimination. Leaders like Swami Agnivesh and former Prime Minister V. P. Singh cautioned the people against forces, which sought to spread communalism and hatred.

Meanwhile, the National Gandhi Museum in Delhi is holding an exhibition of cartoons in connection with Mahatma Gandhi’s 133rd birth anniversary. It was inaugurated by former President R. Venketaraman and will be on view for a month.

M P K Kutty


One killed, six hurt in vehicle collision
Our Correspondent

Jhajjar, October 5
One person was killed and six others were injured in a road accident involving a canter and a truck near Samkhol village on the national highway No. 10 here today.

According to information, the canter, loaded with plywood, was going to Delhi when another loaded truck coming from the opposite direction collided with it head on. While the driver of the canter, Rajesh, died on the spot, six other occupants of both the vehicles were injured seriously and admitted to hospital. The police have registered a case against the truck driver in this connection.

Duo escape with bangles

Rohtak: Two miscreants duped an old woman and escaped with her two gold bangles in the Gurcharanpura locality here today. According to information, two youths reached the locality this afternoon and approached residents offering to clean their jewellery. They persuaded an old woman, Ms Sita Devi, to hand over two gold bangles for cleaning. However, both the miscreants fled the spot taking away the bangles when the woman went inside her house for some work.

Three snatch car

Three unidentified armed assailants snatched a car from its owner at gunpoint at Mundakhera village last evening. According to information, the proprietor of Jagdish Bhatta Company at Mundakhera village was returning home from the brick kiln along with his friend, Mr Dharambir. As soon as they came out of the village, their car was intercepted by three youths on a motorcycle. They forced both the occupants of the car to alight from the vehicle and snatched Rs 1,000 from them at gunpoint. Two youths drove away with the car while one of them escaped on the motorcycle.

Licences of arhtias cancelled

Sonepat: Mr Balwant Singh Mayana, Chairman of the Haryana State Agricultural Marketing Board (HSAMB), along with other officials, paid a surprise visit to the fruit and vegetable market here today and inspected the accounts of some arhtias for detecting cases of evasion of market fee.

According to a report, Mr Mayana, during the course of inspection, found irregularities in the accounts of two arhtias and ordered the cancellation of their licences on the spot. He also warned the arhtias that stern action would be taken against them if they indulged in irregularities and in harassing vegetable-growers.

Later, he inspected the grain market at Ganaur, a subdivisional town in this district. He also listened to the complaints of farmers and traders and assured them that the board authorities would take necessary steps for removing their problems on a priority basis.

He also inspected the work for the procurement of paddy by the official agencies and the lifting of the procured paddy from the market. He also assured that the board was taking steps to provide all modern facilities in the grain and vegetable markets.

Four women hurt in clash

Four women were injured in a clash between neighbours at Shahpur village, about 15 km from here, last night. According to a report, the clash followed a quarrel between members of two neighbouring families. All the injured women were immediately hospitalised. They are stated to be out of danger. The police are still investigating into the case.

According to another report, Mr Tirath Dass and his son Hitesh were injured when they were attacked with lathis and other weapons by some persons in Jiwan Nagar area here last night. The assault followed a quarrel between children. Both the injured persons were hospitalised.


Teachers told to help eradicate child labour 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 5
The Sarva Shiksha Yatra, started by teachers, paid tributes to Mahatma Gandhi on the 14th day of their expedition. Mr Deep Chand Bandhu met the teachers yesterday at Rajghat and appealed to them to help eradicate child labour in the country.

Mr Bandhu said that no government could eradicate child labour from the country without the help of teachers. He added that the various plans pertaining to education made so far had failed since the teachers failed to join in.

The Abhiyan has taken upon itself the cause of getting the 12 lakh uneducated children into school. The Director, SCERT, Dr Janaki Rajan, said that the yatra would provide confidence to teachers.

The yatra will cover 11 states and the marches in various cities will be joined by MLAs and MPs, apart from teachers and students. The aim of the yatra is to provide education to those children who are out of school.

Manipur students visit Capital

A team of 25 students and two teachers, comprising Nagas and Kukis, who were a part of the Military Civic Action (MCA) project of the Assam Rifles from Senapati district of Manipur, visited the Capital recently.

The team met Maj-Gen N. S. Pathania, who encouraged the boys to understand the importance of national importance by means of such excursions. Qutab Minar, India Gate, Rail Museum, Nehru Planetarium, Lotus Temple and Appu Ghar were some of the places that the team visited. The boys also visited Rajghat where they paid homage to Gandhiji.

Elected to Exporters’ Assn

Mr H. K. L. Magu, a leading garment exporter and managing director of M/s Jyoti Apparels, has been unanimously elected president of the Garment Exporters Association for a term of two years, 2002-2004.

The other office-bearers for the same period are: Mr Subhash Kumra of Hindustan General Export House – senior vice-president; Mr Sudhir Kharabanda of Indspa - vice-president; Mr Pritam Goel of Lyra Industrials - honorary general secretary; Mr K. N. Sharma of Sara International – honorary treasurer; Mr T. L. Bhandari of Esskay Importers and Exporters – honorary joint secretary.


Northindex attracts leading industrialists, wares
Our Correspondent

Gurgaon, October 5
More than 2,500 representatives of various companies, located in and around Gurgaon, visited Northindex, an exhibition of north Indian industries, at HUDA Gymkhana Club, Sector 29 here. Various activities in the three-day exhibition that concluded today kept up the excitement of the entrepreneurs.

Mr Jeetender Gupta, the organiser, told ‘NCR Tribune’ that the exhibition turned out to be a grand success as the leading companies such as Maruti, Hero Honda, Honda, Bajaj Motors Ltd etc sent their executives to seek new vendors. A total of 57 industries, divided into five categories - auto components, engineering, machine tools, electrical and instrumentation – displayed their products and services in the exhibition, added Mr Gupta.

Three seminars on ‘Energy Conservation’ by Opal on October 3, ‘Advancement in Cutting Tools’ by Sandvik Coromant on October 4 and ‘Marketing - Need of the Hour’ by Innovations on October 5 were also organised during the exhibition.

Inaugurating the exhibition on October 3, Mr V. P. Bajaj, managing director of Bajaj Motors Ltd, suggested that this type of industrial exhibitions should be organised regularly as they helped and guided the industrialists in expanding their business. The exhibition that provided a place under one roof to find buyers and sellers of the products saved a lot of time of the business community, added Mr Bajaj.

Mr J. N. Mangla, the president of Gurgaon Industrial Association (GIA), appealed to the district administration on the occasion that a permanent concrete exhibition centre should be developed in the city so that industrial exhibitions of different products and of different services could be organised routinely.

The permanent structure would save not only a lot of time and energy but money also, said the president. A large number of multinational companies (MNCs) and other large and medium scale industries had come to Gurgaon. The exhibition centre, if developed by the administration, would encourage them, added Mr Mangla.

The GIA president further said that the item-wise exhibition relating to various products like rubber, plastic, automobile, garments etc should be organised at regular intervals at different places.


Traffic cops get training in safe riding
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 5
Hero Honda, world-renowned two-wheeler company, has launched its nation-wide `Ride Safe Campaign'. A safe riding training programme for the Delhi Traffic Police as well as for its customers is part of the campaign.

The two-day long `Ride Safe Programme' was inaugurated today by Mr B. K. Gupta, IPS, Joint Commissioner of Police, at Patparganj. The programme includes providing directions on various aspects of safe riding and safe driving like pre-riding inspection of the motorcycle, right sitting postures, effective breaking and gear changing techniques, slalom riding, handling of motorcycle on rough terrain, balancing motorcycles on a narrow plank etc.

The training is being imparted by instructors already trained by experts from Honda Motors Safety Driving Promotion Centre, Japan. As part of the programme, all participants are being presented with a certificate by Hero Honda. The Ride Safe Programme being held in Delhi is part of Hero Honda's nation-wide `Ride Safe Campaign' targeting both customers and the local police of the region and is in line with the Honda philosophy of delivering safe products and promoting good safe riding. It is also an extension of Hero Honda's `We Care' programme.

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