Sunday, October 27, 2002, Chandigarh, India

N C R   S T O R I E S


Clerical staff to be put on night patrol
Syed Ali Ahmed
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 26
For the first time in the history of the Delhi Police, the ministerial staff (clerical), attached to various departments, are being deployed for night patrolling during the current festival season.

The orders, which have caused considerable consternation among the 2000-odd ministerial staffers, were issued by the police commissioner, Mr. R. S. Gupta, on Friday, apparently to supplement the 55,000-strong city police force in the run-up to the festival of lights.

According to sources, the orders were issued after an internal assessment, which found that the police force was quite inadequate to patrol the Capital’s streets, specially in view of the terrorist threats.

It was pointed out that out of the 55,000 police personnel many had to stay put in the police stations to look after paper work. A large contingent was also unavailable for patrolling as it was perennially deployed on VIP circuit. This left a wafer-thin force to carry out night patrolling and keep the criminals at bay. It was also pointed out that while the megalopolis had grown manifold, the police strength had remained static. It was precisely for this reason that the top brass of the Delhi police had been repeatedly appealing to the ministry of home affairs for sanctioning additional manpower.

However, the orders of the police commissioner have not been taken in the spirit in which they were given, senior officers observed. A large number of personnel of the ministerial staff claimed that under the rules, as incorporated in the Delhi Police Act, 1978, the members of the ministerial staff were meant to perform only clerical jobs. They were neither trained nor equipped to handle law and order situations. “Our people cannot even wield a lathi, leave alone guns,” observed a senior member of the ministerial staff who demanded anonymity lest he be singled out for disciplinary action.

Senior police officers, however, justify the orders of the police commissioner, contending that it has nothing to do with either lathis or guns. The big idea was to have a sizeable presence of men in uniforms on the streets for salutary effect. It has been proposed, therefore, that the ministerial staff would be a part of a larger posse of policemen, which would consist of trained personnel.

These officers said that there was nothing wrong with such a decision and it was only in force for a few days. “Why shouldn’t these men take up patrolling when they demand all other perks that go with the uniform. After all, even members of the public have often been involved in patrolling the streets in many cities, including the Capital,” a senior officer observed.


Punjabi, Urdu second status: Notification soon
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 26
The Chief Minister, Mrs Sheila Dikshit, said that the Government of NCT of Delhi had agreed to confer status of second official language on Punjabi and Urdu. The Chief Minister was addressing a news conference on Saturday.

According to officials in the Government of NCT of Delhi, the notification could be issued soon.

With Punjabi being granted the status of second official language by the Delhi Administration, the move is expected to create at least 1,500 jobs in the Capital. A Second Official Language designation for Punjabi will create 1,500 permanent posts of Punjabi teachers in Delhi Administration schools as against the present 800 such staff working on a temporary basis. This was pointed out by the general secretary, International Council of Punjabis (ICP), Mr Pushpinder Singh.

He said, “We are grateful to Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and Lieutenant-Governor Vijai Kapoor for having granted our request for a Second Official Language status to Punjabi which is spoken by nearly four million residents of Delhi.”

A decision for it was approved last week. The assembly passed a Bill granting the second official status to Punjabi and Urdu languages in the Capital. Ms Dikshit confirmed having received the LG-approved Bill and said it would be notified soon.

“We now request its early notification for early redress of the grievances of Punjabi teachers in Delhi Government and MCD schools who currently draw wages as little as Rs 1,100 a month which is less than a peon’s salary,” Mr Pushpinder Singh, who is also a senior member of Punjabi Academy, said. Earlier, while addressing the plenary session of the national seminar on Saajhi Virasat (composite heritage), organised by the Progressive Writers’ Association and Trust for Secular and Democratic Values, Ms Dikshit said in a state that is consciously not theocratic and that believes in the separation of religion from politics, religion was being used as a gateway to politics.


Dye units threaten to close shop
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Panipat, October 26
The tug-of-war between the district administration and the dye house owners over the shifting of about 500 dyeing units from the residential areas to the Sector 29 Industrial Area has entered the final stage with the latter deciding to shut down their units in protest against what they call the apathetic attitude of administration.

At a meeting of the Panipat Dyers Association here, it was decided that the dye houses would not shift to the industrial area and instead hand over the keys of dye houses to the DC, Mr Mulk Raj Anand, from Monday.

The role of Mr Anand, who had reportedly announced certain additional incentives to the units applying for plots in the industrial area, came in for criticism as the dye house owners alleged that the DC had went back on his promises which include the reduction in the cost of the plots.

In fact, the powerful dye house lobby seems to be on a strong wicket and it had got a shot in the arm with exporters pledging their support to the beleaguered units.

It may be mentioned that over 500 dye houses were the backbone of the world-famous handloom industry. Although certain top export houses have their own units, yet a majority of the exporters depended on dye houses for dyeing of the handloom products.

And with the exporters pledging their support to the unit owners, a long legal battle is in the offing. The dye houses owners had made it clear that they would not hesitate to move the Punjab and Haryana High Court against the shifting.

The current stand-off was likely to have an adverse affect on the export from the handloom city. Last year, the city earned a foreign exchange of over Rs 1,400 crore through the exports and this year, too, the orders had reportedly been good. This is precisely the reason why the powerful exporters’ lobby, which has not cared two hoots for the pollution problems, has rallied around the dye house owners.

The administration and the dyeing unit owners had been locked in a war of wits over the shifting for quite some years now.

A court judgement had directed the administration to shift the units outside the residential area to solve the problem of pollution of one of the most-polluted cities in the country. The dye houses had been blamed for large-scale pollution. Besides air pollution, the houses had been discharging over 1 crore litres of polluted water daily into the open, playing havoc with the lives of lakhs of residents.

The confrontation between the administration on one hand and dye houses and exporters on the other would further put a spoke in the administration’s plan to check pollution. With the majority of the industries throwing the pollution norms to the wind, the residents’ desire for a cleaner environment will remain a dream.


MCD gets net-savvy
Tribune news Service

New Delhi, October 26
The Municipal Corporation of Delhi is launching a mega project to electronically deliver municipal services to the citizens of Delhi in an easy and affordable manner over the net. The facility would be available at Citizen Service Points to be set up in all the 12 zones and major crematoria of the MCD.

This proposal for setting up an interactive and dynamic web site for providing a host of municipal services online is being undertaken with the objective of ushering in civic e-governance in the city. After the completion of the project, the MCD will be at par with metropolitan cities of developed countries. It will also serve as a role model for other cities in India.

For ushering in e-governance, Municipal Commissioner Rakesh Mehta today signed an agreement with Mr V. H. Ron, chairman-cum-managing director, Electronic Corporation of India Ltd (ECIL), the premier information technology public sector undertaking.

The commissioner disclosed that initially the project would be implemented in three zones - South, West and Central; this would take 90 days. The remaining nine zones would be covered in the next six months.

The citizens would be able to access these services round-the-clock through the web site of the MCD. Those who do not have PCs can access the site at the Citizen Service Bureaux. MCD would set up such bureaux in all the 12 zones and its headquarters at Town Hall. Air-conditioned units would be provided to ECIL in which citizens would be able to transact business with the civic body. The staff manning the counters would be engaged by ECIL.

Mr Mehta disclosed that with the completion of this project,

Delhiites would be able to make online bookings of municipal parks, barat ghars and community halls for marriages and other community functions. The project will also facilitate online renewal of licenses issued by the civic body; issue of all kinds of certificates and licenses; online payments of municipal dues; online registration of births and deaths; and e-mail link with 250 municipal officers in the different zones and the Town Hall.



Dues vs infrastructure row in Faridabad drags on
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, October 26
A tussle is on between the industrialists and the Municipal Corporation Faridabad (MCF) regarding infrastructure development in the industrial sectors here. While the MCF authorities have asked the industrial units to deposit their house tax and other dues, so that development work could be taken up, the entrepreneurs insist that failure of the authorities to maintain the infrastructure had been one of major hurdles in industrial development in Faridabad and it was a pre-requisite for the revenue to flow in.

The issue had also been taken up in the meeting of industrialists with the Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, in July this year. As Mr Chautala had asked them to clear up their dues, he had also promised to take care of their demand for proper infrastructure.

A meeting was held in Sector 24 here on Friday in which the district authorities represented by the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Anil Malik, Commissioner MCF, Pushpraj Singh, General Manager, District Industries Centre, SDM, Ballabgarh and officials of the civic body and the Haryana Urban Development Authority (Huda) met the industrialists.

While it is claimed that Rs 26 lakh had been spent on repair of roads in industrial sectors of 24 and 25 in past few months, the MCF authorities disclosed that Rs 1.37 crore had been pending as house tax towards about 181 industrial units or plots. Of this, Rs 66 lakh is to be recovered from 60 units lying closed for several years and 121 units in these sectors owe about Rs 71 lakh as house tax. It is reported that the industrialists present at the meeting assured the authorities that the pending amount towards functioning units would be deposited within next 15 days, but requested the administration to carry relaying of roads, repair of street lights and sewerage system be taken on a war-footing.

According to some industrialists, the expectations and the work done on the ground by the authorities was not matching. The district authorities directed to check the air and water pollution caused by a dyeing unit in Sector-24.

The leading industrial organisations including the Faridabad Industries Association and Faridabad Small Industries Association (FSIA) have demanded that proper infrastructure be developed with some of fees like ‘compounding fee’ levied by Huda be reduced.

According to FIA, the industries here had been contributing a revenue of over Rs 1,200 crore per year in form of sales tax and central excise.



Villages pay price for industrialisation
Ravi S. Singh
Tribune News Service

Bhiwadi (Alwar), October 26
Residents of a cluster of 17 villages around Bhiwadi are up in arms against the Rajasthan Government’s decision to increase the rate of conversion of land use.

The villagers have approached the Vice President, Mr Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, who was in Alwar a week ago, and urged him to intervene on their behalf. The villagers had earlier also approached former Prime Minister Chandra Shekhar.

Bhiwadi falls in the Tapukara sub-tehsil, which has in all 99 villages. Some of the big villages in the cluster surrounding Bhiwadi are Alupur, Balahadi, Rampur, Nangali, Milakpur, Ghelar, Khijurwas, Karane and Santal.

Incidentally, the Government has increased the conversion rate in only this cluster — from Rs 2 per sq yard to Rs 45 per sq yard. In doing so, it has left the remaining 82 villages out of the loop, thereby creating an impression that the cluster has been discriminated against.

Recently, the power to allow the conversion of land was taken away from the tehsildar and vested with the Bhiwadi Industrial Development Association (BIDA).

BIDA is an agency of the Rajasthan Government, which promotes industrialisation. In fact, village Bhiwadi has developed into a sprawling industrial complex — one of the largest in thee state — and is administered by the BIDA. Earlier, the administrative control was vested with the Rajasthan Industrial Investment Corporation (RIICO).

It is contended that the cluster is getting special treatment with regard to land use as it is now deemed as an urban area and is under the direct administrative control of the BIDA.

Some of the affected villagers that NCR Tribune spoke to — including the sarpanch of Bhiwadi, Mrs Indra Devi, the Sarpanch of Alupur, Mrs Anitaa Devi, and Mr Surender Singh of village Santal — alleged that the villagers were not offended by the increase in the rate of land conversion per se. They are annoyed that even though the villages are being deemed an urban area and have been brought under the canopy of BIDA, no civic amenities have accrued to the area. It is, therefore, felt that the authorities must accept the responsibility for improving the quality of life in the cluster.

A part of the problem is unbridled urbanisation on account of industrialisation, which is manifest in the villagers’ desire to set up small commercial units. To compound matters, the family size has increased and the size of land holding has shrunk. 


DSGMC refutes charges of bungling
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 26
Mr. Bhajan Singh Walia, general secretary of the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC), today described as baseless the charge of misappropriation of funds during the “Amrit Sanchar (Baptism)” ceremony by the former president of the DSGMC, Mr. Avtar Singh Hit, of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal).

Addressing a press conference here, Mr. Walia claimed that only a sum of Rs. 23 lakhs was spent on the ceremony on October 2 and not Rs. 50 lakhs as alleged by Mr. Hit. He also contested the claim of the former DSGMC president that only 5,600 persons were baptised. He said that the records were there for all to see and the total number of persons baptised on that day was 13000.


Gohana farmers thirst for water
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, October 26
A large number of ponds in the villages falling under the jurisdiction of the Gohana Water Service Division in this district have dried up. As a result, the residents of these villages have been unable to give water to the milch animals. Poor farmers are also paying a heavy price for the shortage.

Many residents alleged that the authorities of the irrigation department have failed to fill the ponds by the canal water despite the repeated announcements made by the Chief Minister, Mr Om Parkash Chautala, that the ponds would be filled with canal water by the irrigation department.

Lack of rains this year has also added to the problems of the villagers.

Meanwhile, the Haryana government has been suffering a huge financial loss on account of theft of water by the influential farmers due to the failure of the authorities of the Gohana Water Service Division to check the theft.

Farmers in this division have not been receiving their share of irrigation water for the past several months due to erratic canal water supply and alleged theft of irrigation water, as a result of which water does not reach the tail-end of the distribution system.

The sowings of rabi crops have already been started and the farmers needed canal water for irrigation. But they were facing an acute shortage of water. Many farmers who do not have alternative means of irrigation have been compelled to purchase water from the owners of the tubewells installed near their fields.

Some alleged that one of the reasons for the short supply at the tail-end was that the canal network had not been cleaned properly for many years by the authorities.

The farmers whose fields are situated on the tail-end have demanded a high-level probe into their complaints and stern action against the officials responsible for the erratic supply of canal water even during the rotation period. They also demanded the suspension of the Executive Engineer, the SDO and other officials to ensure an impartial inquiry.


Communist parties protest Dulina killings
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, October 26
The workers of the Communist Party of India (CPI) and the Communist Party of India (Marxist) took out a rally here on Friday to register their protest against the Dulina incident in which five Dalits were lynched.

According to a report, the rally was led by Mr S N Solanki of the CPM and Mr Daryao Singh Kashyap of the CPI.

Carrying placards and raising anti-police and anti-government slogans, they marched through the main streets of the city and reached the mini-secretariat where they held a demonstration outside the Deputy Commissioner’s office.

The leaders of both the parties also submitted a joint memorandum to the DC to be handed over to the Governor.

Earlier, a rally was addressed by the leaders of these parties who alleged that the state government had been trying to cover up the incident.

They said that there was no evidence to suggest that the victims had been lynched.

On the other hand, evidence pointed finger at the police. They asked as to why the state government was hesitant in referring the case to the CBI.

They pointed out that the Dulina incident was the result of a hate campaign being spread by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and the Sangh Parivar.


Dulina case

The one-man inquiry commission to probe into the Dulina lynching case recorded the statements of two persons here today on its second day of investigation when two shopkeepers of Faruknagar who reportedly sold the carcass of a cow to one of the five victims of the mob on Dasehra day, appeared before the commission in the local rest house.



Reliving history in the fort of gods
Tribune News Service

How to Get There

Deogrh is connected with bus services to all important centres in the region. The nearest railhead is Jakhlaun, 13 kms on the Jhansi-Babina passenger route. Lalitpur is another railhead, 23 km from Deogarh. Nearest airport is at Gwalior, 235 km.

ON the banks of the river Betwa, stands Deogarh, the fort of gods. Owing to its strategic location, on the main route to the Deccan, the place was a bone of contention in the past, and figures in the great history of the Guptas, the Gurjara-Pratiharas, the Gondas, the Muslim rulers of Delhi, the Marathas and the British.

The fort is entered through a corbelled gateway in the outer wall. A path has been cleared through the undergrowth, and broken statuaries lie scattered on the premises. Within the fort is a group of 31 Jain temples, which were the renowned Jain centres from the 8th to the 17th centuries.

Within the temples are panels depicting scenes from the Jain mythology, Tirthankara images, Manasthamba or votive pillars, Ayagpattas or votive tablets, Sarvatobhadra Pratima’s or Jain images visible from all sides and Sahasrakuta’s or pillars carved with a thousand Jain figures.

Shantinath temple is the most important among the group. Among other important structures at Deogarh are the Varah temple, rock cut cave — Siddha-ki-Gufa, Rajghati and Naharghati.

What To See

Dashavatar Temple: The Jewel of Deogarh, close to the banks of the Betwa, the temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Built in the 6th century AD, during the Gupta period, it is the earliest known Panchayatan temple of North India. The temple bears an inscription attributable to Govinda, Viceroy of Malwa, and the brother of the great Kumaragupta I.

A row of superbly sculpted panels adorns the terraced basement, which rises above the high plinth of the temple. A doorway with intricately carved figures of Ganga and Yamuna leads to the garbhagriha or sanctum sanctorum.

The temple is particularly known for its Rathika panels, in recesses along its three-side walls. These fine stone reliefs depict scenes from Vaishnava mythology, and are identified as the Gajendra Moksha Panel, Nar-Narayan Tapasya and the Anantasayi Vishnu.

Places to see around Deogarh include

Chanderi: A town made famous by the sarees of the same name. The place also has fine examples of Rajput and Sultanate architecture. A magnificent Mughal fort dominates the skyline. Among the interesting sites are the Koshak Mahal, the Badal Mahal, Victory Arch, the Jama Masjid and ancient Jain temples.

Talbehat: About 31 km south of Lalitpur on the Jhansi-Sagar national highway, is Talbehat. It derived its name, from Tal (lake) and Behat (village), in the language of Gonds, the original settlers at the site. In 1618, Bharat Shah, the Raja of Bar and Chanderi, built a fine fort with the famous Narasingh temple inside.

Matatila Dam: An ideal picnic spot that has a lot to offer to those who wish to indulge in water sports. The Jain Mela and Gujarat Mahotsav are some of the festivals when people congregate in large numbers in the town.


Heaven’s last and best gift to man

MARRIED men are very common. They may be in great numbers in any large assembly, and even in the public streets. They are known by having sad looks, bad clothes and irritable tempers. I once saw one who had a good temper, but his wife was dead. Married men always know the price of potatoes and onions. They are generally red in the face, and don’t wear moustaches. They are fond of dining at their friend’s houses, and like mustard and onions. They have wives either living or dead. The living wives sometimes stamp on the floor, and sometimes cry: An elderly gentleman told me this. Some married men have a lot of children. I know one who has thirteen. He never goes home until ten o’clock at night. He kicks dogs when he meets them.’’

No, such jokes about husbands would be unfair to Indian women who are known for their devotion to their life partners. Karva Chauth, a festival that is marked by husband worship, is the best evidence of the importance given to the household. And this year, the schools announced a holiday to enable ladies to celebrate “Husbands Day” in the comfort of their homes; what is more, a whole range of ‘Husband Day’ cards had made their appearance in the market. The Karva Chauth day starts with the mother-in-law, whispering into the ears of her daughter-in-law the story of Veeravati, a virtuous woman who lived in another age and always fasted for the good of her husband.

The severe fasting in which even sipping of water is forbidden, once happened to totally exhaust Veeravati who fainted. Her seven brothers, who wanted to save their only sister, waved a lamp from a treetop creating the impression the moon has emerged on the horizon. She was then persuaded to break the fast and eat food. But the devoted wife found that her husband lay dead. The death was attributed to her breaking the fast without having waited for the darshan (sighting ) of the moon.

She was told by the gods that if she fasted once every month for a whole year, observing all the rules thereof, her husband would come back to life. Her severe fasting and devotion had the desired effect: her husband came back to life.

Inspired by the story, the daughter-in-law begins a day of severe fasting with prayers for the long life and happiness of her husband. The husband, in turn, showers the wife with good gifts. So too the daughter-in-law is expected to honour her mother-in-law by giving her good gifts.

Indian mythology and folklore are full of stories of wives’ devotion to husbands: The devotion of Savitri towards her husband, Satyavan, and that of Sita towards Ramachandra are cited as models for Indian women to follow. Such single minded, unconditional devotion, almost giving the status of a God to husbands, has been part of India’s time-honoured devotion.

Though this had its impact on marriage and morals, cementing the foundations of family life, it had also emboldened husbands to treat their wives as beasts of burden.

The spread of education in the middle class has led to the emancipation of the woman, giving her an equal status with man in the family structure. But where illiteracy and superstitions reign supreme, she is condemned to be a slave battling against a hundred evils in male-dominated society.

The alarming rate of female infanticide in states like Punjab and Tamil Nadu even today, points to the prevailing prejudices against women. “Woman was taken out of man; not out of his head to top him, nor out of his feet to be trampled under foot; but out of his side to be equal with him, under his arm to be protected, and near his heart to be loved,’’ observed Matthew Henry (1662—1714), English divine, interpreting the Biblical story of the creation of women out of the ribs of man.

Also, as in other lands, marriage is under strain in our country as well: an indication is the growing number of divorces. The crass materialism, the unwillingness to adjust or to tolerate differences and selfishness are among the reasons ascribed by sociologists.

Karva Chauth is an observance that has much to do with domestic felicity: it is by the regimen of domestic affection that the heart of man is best composed and regulated. The home is the woman’s kingdom, her state, her world–where she governs by affection, by kindness, by the power of gentleness. There is nothing which so settles the turbulence of a man’s nature as his union with a high minded woman. There he finds rest, contentment and happiness. “The utmost blessing that God can confer on a man is the possession of a good and pious wife with whom he may confide his whole possessions, even his life and welfare,’’ wrote Martin Luther.

And the golden rule of marital felicity is “bear and forbear.” Both parties to the marriage partnership must make allowances for their differing nature and temperament. One must give and take, refrain and restrain, endure and be patient. One may not be blind to the failings of the other, but they may be borne with good-natured forbearance.

Happy is the man who has found the wife of his choice. Jeremy Taylor’s description of a good wife should be relevant on this occasion: “A good wife is heaven’s last, best gift to man—his gem of many virtues, his casket of jewels; her voice is sweet music, her smiles his brightest day, her kiss the guardian of his innocence, her arms the pale of his safety, her industry his surest wealth, her economy his safest steward, her lips his faithful counsellors, her bosom the softest pillow of his cares.’’

MPK Kutty 


Kidney cure: He leaves no stone unturned
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Panipat, October 26
Getting a paper published in the prestigious ‘British Journal of Urology, International’ is a matter of pride. Such an honour has come to a local urosurgeon, Dr Pawan Gupta, director of the RP Stone Clinic Private Limited.

The honour came following the removal of a fungal ball from the kidney of a patient through uretero-renoscopy for the first time in the world. Earlier, fungal balls from kidneys were being treated by percutaneous surgery - by making a hole on the back of the patient - or by open surgery.

In fact, Dr Gupta has many firsts to his credit. When he shifted to Panipat from CMC, Ludhiana where he worked as a Lecturer in Surgery in 1987, he was a pioneer in treating the urinary tract diseases through the telescopic surgery as against the traditional open surgery. He also was the first to do closed telescopic surgery to remove prostate gland from the urinary tracts. In 1987, he was again the first to start trans-urethral surgery of the prostate and urinary bladder stone in Panipat.

Not only this, he pioneered percutaneous surgery of kidney stones and uretero-renoscopy for the removal of kidney and ureteric stones. In 1995, he introduced extra-corporeal shock wave lithotripsy, thus completing all latest modalities of the treatment of urinary tract stones for the first time in Haryana.

A visiting urologist to a number of hospitals in the region, Dr Gupta has the distinction of organising an international workshop on uretero-renoscopy for the removal of urinary tract stones under the banner of the North Zone Chapter of the Urological Society of India in 1998. The workshop was attended by over 200 urologists from all over the world. In September, he participated in the 20th World Congress in endo-urology and shock wave lithotripsy in Italy.

Currently, he is working with mini-percutaneous surgery of the kidney stones and flexible uretero-renoscopy for the removal of kidney stones. These are at present the best procedures for the treatment of renal stones, he says.

A few months ago, he tied up with the Rotary Club and organised a stone disease mela where operations were performed on a large number of patients at concessional rates.


Phone services disrupted for three days
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, October 26
Telecom services being provided by the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) have been disrupted in the district for the past three days. Local and STD lines have been adversely affected, leading to inconvenience to lakhs of phone users.

While technical snags in the telephone exchanges in various parts of the country have been causing `disruption’, the three-day hunger strike of junior telecom officers and sub-divisional engineers (SDEs) is the main reason behind the problem. It is reported that the failure of the telecom staff to maintain and service the exchange network due to the strike has led to the paralysing of telecom services.

Although the hunger strike is over, the agitating officials have decided to stick to the `work to rule’ formula till their demand of revision of pay scales was met. Local residents, especially those from other states, have been finding it difficult to be in touch with their relatives over phone due to the disturbances.

One held for embezzlement

Ghaziabad: A CBI team has arrested an employee of the Canara Bank, Rajesh Kumar Nigam, in connection with the embezzlement of Rs 30 crore. The arrested suspect was presented before a special court of the CBI, which sent him to judicial custody for 14 days.

The crime had taken place at the bank’s extension counter at DAV School Sahibabad during 1998-99. The Deputy Manager of the bank, Dalip Kumar Sahu, had lodged a report with the office of the CBI in Dehra Dun on April 7, 2000 naming 14 persons for the embezzlement. The CBI team has already arrested a number of persons in this connection, a source said while a few more might be nabbed soon.

Electronic shop burgled

Jhajjar: Unidentified burglars struck at an electronic goods shop on the Railway road in Bahadurgarh town here last night and decamped with appliances worth around Rs 1 lakh.

According to information, Pradeep Tangra, owner of Pooja Enterprise, reported to the police that thieves burgled his shop during night and stole 3 CD players, two MP-3 stereos, some gold and silver coins and Rs 2,000 in cash. The police have registered a case in this connection.

Police blamed for lynching

Rohtak: The Haryana unit of the BJP has held the ‘negligent’ attitude adopted by the police staff deputed at Dulina police post responsible for the lynching of five Dalit youths. In a statement here today, Mr Veer Kumar Yadav, state general secretary of the BJP, said a delegation of the party recently visited the site as directed by the Deputy Prime Minister, Mr L. K. Advani.

Commenting on the contents of the report, Mr Yadav said the incident could have been avoided had the police staff deputed at the police post resorted to cane charge, bursting of tear-gas shells or firing in the air before the situation reached such a pass. He said all the deceased were found innocent after the investigation.

Encroachments removed

The district administration has got cleared nearly 4,400 places from illegal possessions, besides removing encroachments on government and panchayat land during a campaign launched against encroachments a few months ago. This was stated by the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Ashok Yadav, while addressing a meeting of district officials at his camp office this afternoon. Mr Yadav said 613 illegal possessions were cleared from Sampla, 100 from Kalanaur, 19 from Meham, 1,203 from Lakhan Majra and 2,451 from Rohtak blocks during the campaign.


Builders must pay 1 pc of cost to workers’ Welfare Fund
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 26
The Delhi Building and Other Construction Workers’ Advisory Committee will start collecting Welfare Cess from builders for the benefit of construction workers from November.

The Government of NCT of Delhi has told a Division Bench of the Delhi High Court, comprising justices Dalveer Bhandhari and H. R. Malhotra, that the committee would be chaired by the Minister of Labour and would comprise two legislators and 13 others. A secretary to the committee would be appointed by the month-end. The committee would open an account where the prescribed one per cent of the construction cost of a building would have to be deposited in the Welfare Fund for workers.

On January 14, the high court had asked the Government of NCT of Delhi to detail the steps it had taken towards the constitution of a Welfare Board to bring into effect the Building and Other Construction Workers (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act 1996. The government, which had brought the ordinance in 1995, enacted the Building Act in 1996.

The Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Cess Act was also enacted in 1996. It mandated putting one per cent of the construction cost of a building in the Welfare Fund for workers. However, no welfare fund or board, needed to run the fund, was constituted as the rules through which the Act could be implemented were not notified.

The need for framing the rules gained ground after a house under construction collapsed in North Delhi’s Malka Ganj area in 1996. Ten people died and 21 received injuries in that accident. The All India Lawyers Union, through its counsel Ashok Agarwal, filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL), seeking early and proper implementation of the Act and that is currently being dealt with by the high court.

PHDCCI on auditors

In a memorandum submitted to the Naresh Chandra Committee, the PHDCCI has stated that rotation of auditors will hamper the efficiency and effectiveness of the audit process. In this endeavour, the chamber suggested that beyond a particular size of the companies, there can be a provision of appointing joint auditors of the companies, instead of rotation of the auditors. 


A dream to prove oneself when government fails
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 26
In a country like India where many argue that the government leaves much for the asking, the role of NGOs is supposed to be of great importance. That’s what the Great Indian Dream Foundation (GIDF) is set to prove.

The GIDF is based on the philosophy of putting theories into practice, and its motto is “When the government fails...we begin”. It is adopting 10 villages around Uttar Pradesh, and soon many more across India, in an attempt to show how “less can result into more”.

Basically, it would attempt to change the entire face of these villages in the next two years by putting into practice cost effective ways of promoting health, education and prosperity.

“When you come to visit these villages in January 2005, you should say that’s how every village in India should be,” says Arindam Chaudhuri, who has started this foundation in memory of his brother from the sale proceeds of his best seller ‘Count Your Chickens Before They Hatch’.

“It will be run like any corporate body - with systems, proper management, HR, financial planning and a business strategy. The only difference will be that we would work at the cost instead of for profit and therefore, reach larger number of people...Hopefully one day, the whole of India. I am drawing inspiration from Bangladesh’s ‘Gramin Bank’ which, in spite of being an NGO, is run like a corporate and reaches out to more than 50 per cent of the village,” he says.


Banks told to extend loans to SHGs
Our Correspondent

Narnaul, October 26
The Lead Development Officer of the Reserve Bank of India, Mr V. K. Wadhwan, has advised bank officers to take keen interest in advancing adequate loans to the self-help groups as the recovery rate of such loans is appreciable. Moreover, the money was being utilised in a proper way, he said. The District Development Manager of the NABARD, Mrs K. Gehlawat, urged the bank officers not to keep loan applications of entrepreneurs pending with them. He said as many as 150 self-help groups (SHGs) were being given loans in Mahendragarh district.

29 schools start computer education

With the introduction of computer as an elective subject in schools, 29 schools in Mahendragarh district have introduced computer education. This was stated by the Deputy commissioner of Narnaul on Friday. He said at present about 6,000 students were being imparted computer education in the district.

Sweeper misbehaves with doctor

Resentment prevails among doctors posted at Government Hospital here over the misbehaviour of a sweeper with a woman doctor and his threats to kill her. In a complaint lodged with the City police station, Dr Amrita Bhardwaj accused Gopal, the sweeper of the hospital, of hindering her from discharging government duty, misbehaviour and threatening to kill her, while she was on duty in the OPD along with Dr R. S. Sharma. Dr Amrita alleged that Gopal was in a drunken state and abused her and threatened to kill her when she came out of the hospital. Gopal has been arrested.


Three vehicle thieves nabbed
Our Correspondent

Noida, October 26
The Special Operations Group and the police of Sector 24, in a joint operation, seized five vehicles and arrested three members of an inter-state gang of vehicle thieves on Friday.

The gang is reported to have stolen over 50 vehicles so far. According to SP City Vijay Bhushan, SOG in charge Alok Kumar learnt through an informer that six criminals were to pass Morna Crossing in a white Tata Sumo. Two police teams, one under Alok KUmar and another under D. K. Tiwari, SO of the Sector 24 police station, were organised. They engaged the criminals in an encounter at Morna Crossing on Friday and succeeded in arresting three of the dreaded criminals – Lakhan alias Laxman of Bodaki, Sanjay Yadav of Kavinagar, Ghaziabad and Anees, a motor mechanic of Ghaziabad. The Tata Sumo (DL 4 CF/4748) in which they were travelling was stolen by the gang from Sector 34, Noida recently.

Anees, the car mechanic, was an expert in erasing the original engine and chasis numbers from vehicles and imprint new numbers in such a way that even the experts could not tell the original from the fake numbers, the SP City said. After this, false new papers were made by Mahesh Sharma of Vikas Nagar, Khurja. He is the ringleader of the gang. Manesh Sharma used to buy stolen vehicles from Bulandshahr, Aligarh and Agra and had been in this profession for a long time. He had some other auto thieves working for him, who sell the stolen vehicles to him.

The Noida police have recovered four other vehicles from the gang, three Maruti cars — HR 51E 0417, UP 15 B 9338 and DL 5C 1917 — and a Tata 407 (UP 13A 1718). The original number of Tata 407, the police said, was DDL 152, which was later erased by Mahesh Sharma. .

Lakhan told the police that Mahesh Sharma was involved in a large number of vehicle thefts and he used to sell them in Dadri, Bulandshahr etc. Lakhan himself had sold scores of vehicles to him. The police are trying to nab Mahesh Sharma and Lallu.


A festive bonanza for shoppers
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 26
The festive season spells a bonanza for shoppers: heavy discounts, freebies and what not. Delhi Tourism in association with the Santushti Entrepreneur Association is organising a Santushti Shopping Festival today.

The two-month-long festival till December 31, will offer shoppers a plethora of festive items to pick and choose. Though the complex largely attracts foreign tourists and buyers from the elite sections, the festival is being used to attract the larger domestic consumer section.

Cultural programmes from various parts of India will be presented on every Saturday. The opening day of the festival saw the performance of a Goan troupe.

From the Goan dances to the culinary delights, the festival presented entertainment in a typical Goan style.

The Delhi Tourism is also organising a festival of Indian classical dances at the Heritage Monument Purana Qila till October 29. ‘Realising Rama’, a contemporary dance performance based on the Ramayana will be staged at Kamani on October 31 and ‘Safar Purani Dilli Ka’, a carnival of Old Delhi’s cuisine is also being organised.

These special programmes are being organised to attract the foreign delegates who are in the Capital for the Conference on Climate Change.

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