Friday, November 1, 2002, Chandigarh, India

N C R   S T O R I E S


If circulars could help weed out the corrupt…
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Panipat, October 31
Corrupt officials, beware! The Haryana Vigilance Department has started targeting the shady officials in order to check growing corruption in the state government departments.

The week-long ‘Vigilance Awareness Week,’ which got under way, aims to identify the officials engaged in dishonest deals. A departmental communication has asked the district vigilance heads to prepare a list of such officials. The vigilance heads had been asked to prepare confidential reports and ferret out proofs of illegal gratification to the officials.

On the confirmation of the proofs, strict action would be taken against the officials, sources told the ‘NCR Tribune’ here today. To cap it, the Vigilance Department has planned a mass contact programme. Seminars have been planned till November 6 in which the public would be urged not to pay bribe. Talks for the school and college students will be another highlight of the campaign.

Now, it will be the responsibility of the Vigilance Department to help a person and finish his work in case he faces problems and is victimised by some department.

On the need for such a campaign, the sources informed that the department had been getting many corruption-related complaints from the common man, frequenting the government departments for sundry jobs. Though disciplinary action, including suspensions and dismissals, had been taken against a large number of officials, it did not have the desired effect on checking corruption.

Till now, the tainted officials had virtually been left off the hook in the absence of a sustained campaign against corruption. Many heads are likely to roll now if the campaign is pursued to its logical conclusion.

Building maps passed

In a step that would go a long way in reducing the harassment of the building owners at the hands of the Municipal Council (MC) staff, the MC House today passed scores of building maps.

At a meeting here under the chairmanship of the MC president, Mr Sanjay Bhatia, the House passed all building maps till August 31 this year amid walkout by the Congress and the INLD councilors.

However, the meeting turned out to be stormy with the BJP, Congress and INLD members trading charging and levelling allegations. The Congress and INLD members accused Mr Bhatia of failing on every front and bringing the agenda of building maps in a hurry. However, Mr Bhatia refuted the allegations saying that the step of passing the maps was taken with a view to providing relief to the general public, which had been making rounds of the MC’s offices for years now. Even as charges and counter-charges continued, the Congress and the INLD members, after a brief debate, staged a walkout. However, two INLD members and a Congress member did not participate in the walkout much to the relief of the ruling BJP, which only had 8 of the 11councillors present. Eight BJP members, one Congressman and two INLD members constituted the bare minimum quorum in the 31-member House which necessitated the approval of agenda related to building maps.

Mr Bhatia alleged that by staging the walkout, the Opposition members had shown their “anti-people” inclinations.

He said the passing of maps by the House was perfectly in order and certain safeguards like ‘no encroachment on public land’ and ‘no property dispute’ had been incorporated in the rules regarding the approval of the maps.


Infant rescued, kidnappers killed
Our Correspondent

Meerut, October 31
The two-year-old son Monu, alias Golu, of a sweet vendor who was kidnapped late on Wednesday evening, was rescued by the police with the help of the villagers from a room near a tubewell in the jungle of Sarurpur village.

Two accomplices were killed in an exchange of fire with the police while two escaped taking advantage of the dense sugarcane field in the area.

Monu, alias Golu, son of Avinash, owner of the Amar Revri shop was kidnapped from home by one of the labourers, Satte. According to the inspector-incharge, Katwal inspector Arun Kumar Sharma, Satte reached the house of Avinash in the evening and took his son Golu to shop. After a while, Golu’s mother called up Avinash and asked him to bring Golu with him. As Avinash said that Golu had not reached the shop yet, the family members searched for both the labourer and Golu but in vain.

They informed the Kotwali police station then. Meanwhile, several Rewari traders also gathered at the Kothwali police station in the city and gheraoed the police station.

Inspector Kotwali, Arun Kumar Sharma immediately held an emergency meeting of the police officials and despatched two police parties to Mirapur (Muzaffarnagar) and Meerut in search of the boy.

Several police officials, including SSP Mukul Goel, SHO Brahan Puri A K Singh, SHO T P Nagar, circle officer Kotwali also reached the spot. Police raided several hideouts of the suspects but were still clueless till 4 am on Thursday.

Late in the morning today, a phone call was received at the Kotwali PS and several other places of police officials that a boy was seen in a room near a tubewell in the jungle of Phalada. The caller was anonymous and confirmed that four unknown persons were seen in the sugarcane field.

Inspector A K Sharma, SP (RA) M P Singh, SSP Mukul Goel and a large number of police officials rushed to the spot in the noon and cordoned off the field where the alleged kidnappers were hiding.

The police officials asked them to surrender but the kidnappers opened fire. The police fired back. In the exchange of fire, two of the kidnappers, Sarvendra of Doghat PS Meerut and Satte, r/o Mirapur, RS Muzaffarnagar, were killed while two of their accomplices fled taking advantage of the tense sugarcane field in the area. The police recovered the boy from a tubewell. He was looking pale.

Speaking to the ‘NCR Tribune’, Inspector Arun Kumar Sharma said that the police would verify the antecedents of the labourers in the area. He said that both the kidnappers were hardcore history sheeters and involved in several cases of murders and dacoity.


Swanchetan helps child rape victims begin life anew
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 31
Fourteen-year-old Sharmeela (name changed) ran with an elderly man to another city. She was repeatedly assaulted by the person. When it became unbearable, she decided to end her life. Swanchetan, an NGO which has been dealing with the victims of rape, abuse, assault and confinement, gave her the psychological support at the right time. Now Sharmeela is a changed person and leading a normal life.

Fourteen such children today met the Delhi Police Commissioner, Mr R S Gupta, with their families and exchanged Divali greetings. The NGO, a society for mental health, has been working consistently in this field and provides psychological support to the child victims.

Two such victims, Pooja and Deepti, were watching Ram Lila when an onlooker tried to molest them. While Deepti managed to escape, Pooja was assaulted by the person and was deserted later. A good samaritan appeared after a while and rescued her.

A shocked Deepti, was often found crying. She would get nightmares during sleep. But now with the help of the NGO and Crisis Invention Centres, she is like any other child. The evil thoughts no more haunt her.

Another victim Nisha, was sexually assaulted by her landlord’s son. The assault made it difficult for her to concentrate in her studies. She became withdrawn and would not mingle with the family like earlier. She is now a stable person and going to school as usual.

Mr Gupta said, “The Delhi Police are deeply concerned about the child victims who are deeply traumatised by certain unfortunate incidents. The police have opened Crisis Intervention Centers in all districts to support such victims and take action against the perpetrators of crimes.”

He said that the NGOs are doing a tremendous job in bringing the children back to normal life by providing the necessary psychological support. The children are reassured that the whole society is with them and that they should treat such incidents as an aberration in life. Swanchetan has been providing support structure to the minor victims of rape and other cases of sexual abuses. They provide social, financial, medical and counselling support to rehabilitate the victims.


First catch of the ransom season
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, October 31
A dreaded criminal Krishan Mehndipuria along with his accomplice Ajay of Lohakhurd village in Jhajjar district was nabbed by the police when both of them reached a place to collect ransom from a ‘kiryana’ merchant Suresh Pandit here last evening. According to a report, the culprits were produced before a judicial magistrate who remanded them in judicial custody for 14 days.

It is stated that the notorious criminal demanded Rs 2 lakh as ransom from Mr Suresh Pandit who finally agreed on phone to give Rs 50,000 to him. When he together with his associate reached the spot, the police overpowered them. A loaded pistol and the car were recovered from their possession.

Cases under various IPC sections and the Indian Arms Act have been registered against them. Meanwhile, the District Bar Association has extended its ‘suspend work’ agitation till November 6 in protest against the failure of the authorities to arrest the suspects who had demanded ransom from some lawyers.

The association has urged the district and police administration to take immediate steps to catch the culprits. The agitation has affected the working of the judicial and civil courts in the city and elsewhere in the district.

4 held for dacoity plot

The Murthal police conducted a surprise raid and arrested four armed persons while they were plotting to commit a dacoity at a petrol pump near Hassanpur village about 10 km from here last night.

According to a report, the persons were identified as Vedpal of Gijji village in Rohtak district, Shiv Shankar of Ahwarpur village in Sultanpur district of UP, Mukesh, alias Pinki, of R K Colony, Murthal and Rajinder, alias Billu, of Shanti Nagar, Murthal in Sonepat district. The police have recovered a countrymade pistol, a knife, iron rods and chains of a motorcycle from them.

Giving the details, a police spokesman told mediapersons here today that the police had got a tip-off about the suspects who were sitting in a deserted place near Natraj hotel in the area of Hassanpur village and planning to loot a petrol pump of one Mr Kataria.

On receipt of this information, the police swung into action and surrounded the place where the suspects were sitting. The spokesman disclosed that the police arrested the four on the spot while the fifth suspect Vijay Behari, a resident of R K Colony, Murthal escaped under the cover of darkness.

The police, he said, have registered the cases under IPC sections and the Indian Arms Act against the suspects. Investigations were on and many cases of robbery and loot are likely to be solved during their interrogation, the spokesman added. According to the spokesman, the Kharkhauda police have arrested a youth Jagphool, alias Pinto, of Pipli village on the charge of possessing 90 grams of contraband charas and a case under the NPDS Act has been registered against him.


HC seeks details of steps against hoardings

New Delhi
The Delhi High Court has sought details from the Government of NCT of Delhi on steps taken for removing hoardings put up illegally. The court was hearing the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) petition filed by legislator Jagdish Anand.

“We are told the CBI registered a case on February 4, 2002 about the so-called Rs 100 crore advertising scandal involving the Government of NCT of Delhi.... We expect an affidavit from the Department of Public Works in regard to the entire affair,” a Bench comprising justices Anil Dev Singh and RS Sodhi said in an order. The court said petitioner Jagdish Anand had inter alia claimed the Government of NCT of Delhi had entered into an agreement on January 4, 1999 with a private company – Green Line Advertising (GLA) – awarding it a contract to put up advertisements on tree guards, kiosks, electricity poles, and railings erected on the central verges of roads free of cost with the obligation to maintain green belts. TNS


Rising Divali decibel can raise anxiety level
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 31
The amount of noise and air pollution that is generated by the Festival of Lights, Divali has not only the environmentalists fuming, but left the medical fraternity alarmed. Increasing incidents of burns, eye injuries, hearing impairment, and more recently, psychological disorders are all being attributed to the safety norms that are flouted during the celebrations.

The alarming situation prompted the Supreme Court to pass orders seeking adherence to anti-noise pollution norms and standards for fire crackers before the festival season in September last year. Consequently, we had school and college students spearheading pollution-free Divali and shunning crackers.

Even though the Delhi Pollution Control Committee has sent notifications informing people about the type of firecrackers that violate the prescribed limit of 125 decibels (DB), Delhiites have chosen to celebrate the festival with gay abandon.

A comparative study conducted before and after Divali showed that nitrogen oxide and sulphur dioxide levels rise considerably during the season. Moreover, the noise pollution levels reach a high of up to 120 DB, which is beyond the permissible levels of 60 DB.

Studies conducted indicate the presence of highly toxic heavy metals like cadmium and lead in addition to other metals like copper, manganese, zinc, sodium, magnesium and potassium in the fire-crackers.

Doctors point out that the level of suspended particles in the air that increase during Divali, cause eye, throat and nose problems. They add that these problems do not show immediate effect, but can develop into serious health hazards.

Experts reveal that the sulphur dioxide found in air is readily soluble and dissolves in the larger airways of the respiratory system, stimulating a contraction at two to five parts per million (ppm) and restricting breathing process.

Nitrogen dioxide, which is less soluble, penetrates to the smaller airways and into the lungs, destroying the linings of the respiratory surface reducing the intake of oxygen for the body. The effects are respiratory ailments like asthma.

Crackers with high decibel noise are known to cause anxiety, restlessness, anger and over-reaction to situations apart from hearing impairment.

The chemicals used in crackers like copper can lead to irritation in the respiratory tract. Cadmium, another chemical present in crackers can damage the kidneys and cause anemia. Lead, which is also present, affects the central nervous system in humans and can cause cancer of lungs and kidneys.

Toxic quantities of phosphorous and sulphur have an acute effect on the liver and can cause severe eye damage.

Experts have now listed various dos and don’ts for people to follow during the festival. Doctors at the Centre for Sight have advised people to wash their eyes with water in case of a foreign body lodged in the eye.

Doctors advise using an ice pack near the affected area and not in the eye in case of an injury or a black eye.

Instructions have also been listed for people wishing to burst crackers. These include wearing cotton or Khaddi clothing while lighting fire crackers, avoiding lighting fire crackers in the hand, maintaining a safe distance from the fire crackers and keeping water and fire extinguishers near by.

Meanwhile, the Delhi Abhibhavak Mahja Sangh has also appealed the parents to dissuade their children from buying and bursting crackers. They have volunteered to educate children about the ills of pollution.


CPM slams govt move on casinos
Jatinder Sharma

Rohtak, October 31
The Haryana unit of the CPI (M) has strongly opposed the government’s decision to introduce casinos in the state for which a bill was tabled in the Vidhan Sabha on Wednesday.

Criticising the move, the state CPM secretary, Mr Inderjit Singh, termed it as highly obnoxious in the backdrop of the prevailing consumer value system, especially with the introduction of liberalisation and globalisation.

He said that providing legal sanction to gambling was bound to accentuate the already grim crime scenario in the state, particularly in the regions near Delhi. Mr Inderjit Singh described it ironical that on the eve of Haryana Day, the Chautala government has gifted the people with casino culture. This retrograde move is a reflection on the priorities of the present regime. It is a pity that the treasury benches in the assembly should oppose a discussion on the heinous Dulina lynching of five Dalits and drought conditions and instead consider the casino bill.

The party has called upon the people and legislators to oppose the dubious piece of legislation before it is made a law.

The CPI(M) has, on the eve of the Haryana Day, given a call to all enlightened citizens to ponder over social, cultural and political crisis of the state and come forward to collectively work for a meaningful pro-people transformation ensuring social justice, rule of law and sustainable progress.

“It is incumbent upon all saner and democracy loving people to launch a determined campaign against casteism, communalism, gender bias, superstitions and other social evils,” Mr Inderjit Singh said. 


PNB donates Rs 5 cr to Prime Minister’s Relief Fund
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 31
The Punjab National Bank (PNB) donated a sum of Rs5 crore to Prime Minister’s Relief Fund at New Delhi today.

The cheque was presented to Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee by Mr S. S. Kohli, Chairman and Managing Director PNB, along with Directors and Top Executives of the bank.

Mr Kohli said that as a responsible corporate citizen, Punjab National Bank is always forthcoming in extending a helping hand to various societies, charitable institutions and organisations working for the benefit of downtrodden and weaker sections of the society. PNB also extends donations to institutions involved in sports and cultural activities.

During the current year, the bank has so far donated a sum of Rs 538 lakhs till date. Financial support has been extended to various institutions, organisations, societies dedicated to themes such as basic education for all, literacy, health, environment and ecology, sports, cultural and educational activities, public utilities, etc.

Last year, the bank donated a sum of Rs 1.45 crore to various institutions. The bank donated Computerised Braille Production Unit for the benefit of more than 350 blind children to the National Association for the Blind, Delhi.

Under ‘Adopt a Gran’ - scheme of the HelpAge India, the bank again supported 30 economically and socially deprived older persons to live a life of dignity and self-esteem.

The Bank continuously involves itself in various community-based programmes throughout the country like organising Tree Plantation Camps for preservation of environment, Medical Check-up and Blood Donation Camps for improving the health of fellow citizens, Career and guidance Camps, putting up tree guards for protecting the tender future essence of life etc. During the last financial year, the bank organised 151 programmes under Social Banking including 53 medical check-up camps and 13 blood donation camps.

In the recently organised Blood Donation Camp at its Head Office, 209 units of blood were donated by its staff members.

The Bank has also established `PNB Hockey Academy' with the aim of developing talented youngsters to become quality international players without sacrificing their educational careers.


DJB going in for computerised accounting
Tribune news Service

New Delhi, October 31
The introduction of computerised front accounting systems, installing of close circuit cameras to monitor sewage flow into the Yamuna and awarding of contracts on ‘design, build and operate’ (DBO) basis are some of the plans the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) has to improve its image and to streamline its functioning.

The DJB will soon adopt computerised front accounting systems to bring in greater accountability and transparency in its working as well as have a better corporate image. Addressing members of the Federation of Indo-Dutch Societies in India (FIDSI) at a get together last evening in the Capital, Mr P. K. Tripathi, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the DJB said that as part of its endeavour to bring in better working in the board, it had already done away with the age-old contract system having CPWD specifications.

The contract for construction of water works at Sonia Vihar, having a capacity of 140 million gallons per day (MGD), under the ‘design, build and operate’ (DBO) system was bagged by a French company, Degremont, recently. The contract for laying of water pipes for distribution in both South and East Delhi had gone to an Indian construction company, L&T. Both the contracts were bagged by these companies under the international bidding norms.

Mr Tripathi said that the works at the Sonia Vihar water works would be completed by the end of 2003. The water for this plant would come from Tehri Dam. At present, the DJB is providing 655 MGD of water in the Capital. With this unit, an additional 300 MGD of water would be available to the Capital, thus taking DJB’s capacity to 955 MGD.

He said that at present, there was no shortage of water in the Capital; the problem was more due to the improper distribution system and wastage of water by residents due to the low rates. It cost the DJB Rs 5 per kilolitre for treating water while the residents were paying only Rs 2. Despite various presentations by the DJB to the Delhi Government to hike water rates, no response had come from it, he said.

Mr Tripathi also announced the installing of closed-circuit (CC) cameras to monitor the sewage going in to the Yamuna. As much as 726 million gallons of sewage had to be treated per day in the Capital. This target would be met by the next year. The DJB also planned to rehabilitate trunk sewers as they are non-functional due to excess construction activity, especially near Pragati Maidan, at present.

He claimed that the residents of Delhi were getting the cleanest water in the country at present. The DJB took more than 1,300 samples daily to check the quality of water supplied. The complaints regarding poor quality of water being supplied in some areas were because of local problems with ground water getting mixed with the DJB water.

Mr Nirmal Rakyan, president of the FIDSI, said that Dutch companies were always in the forefront of providing help in fighting pollution. Various projects for purification of water were already on in India, he said.


Babbar seeks CBI probe into riots
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 31
Activists of the All India Shiromani Akali Dal (Babbar) today staged a protest march and demanded a CBI inquiry into the 1984 anti-Sikh riots. The protestors also asked the President, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, to meet the victims’ families.

Addressing the families of the victims here today, Akali Dal (Babbar) chief Gurcharan Singh Babbar said, “We request the President to visit the residential colonies of the victims and listen to their woes, because he had earlier met the victims of the Gujarat riots and the Bhopal gas tragedy.”

A demonstration was held here today on the 18th anniversary of the riots. Alleging that some “local Congress leaders were involved in the riots”, Mr Babbar demanded a CBI inquiry into the events.

He added, “So far, 15 inquiry committees have been appointed and nothing has been achieved. We demand a CBI investigation into this carnage.” He also alleged that the riots were organised in a “systematic manner”. Claiming that the Delhi Government had served notices asking for rent from the families of victims who were given free houses, Mr Babbar demanded that the notice be withdrawn and their pension renewed. 


Three BSNL customer cells to be online
Bijendra Ahlawat
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, October 31
Faced with the growing competition and expectations of the consumers, the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) has also started taking measures to improve its network and services in the town. The Nigam today opened three new high-tech ‘Customer Service Centres' (CSCs) linked ‘online’ to offer various commercial and billing facilities to the customers. The CSCs were inaugurated by Mr Ram Chander Bainda, Lok Sabha MP from here.

The General Manager of the BSNL here, Mr Yashpal Katasria told the reporters that the telecom department had opened at least five CSCs, which were not only computerised but had been connected online with the main office and other centres across the town.

Describing the services to be provided through the CSCs, he said that it would offer various facilities to the consumers near their residence or office and a person who wanted to book a phone or deposit his order bill would not have to rush to the main office.

He said various enquiries and information could also be gathered or collected from the CSCs. He said that the department had successfully adopted the revolutionary ‘Dot Soft’ technology in upgrading various functions and providing in-house billing work, which he said was done earlier through an agency in Delhi on contract basis. He said ‘in-house billing' had started already for Faridabad and Gurgaon and it would not only reduce inconvenience and problems to the consumers but would be able to save a lot of budget.

According to BSNL authorities, the CSC's made operational so far were located at main office (GM) Sector-16, Sector-23, Ballabgarh, CTO (Nehru ground) and Badarpur border.

While centres at Badarpur Border and Sector-16 had been opened earlier, the CSC's at Sector-23, Ballabgarh (Sector-6) and at CTO were inaugurated today.

Two such centres will also be opened at Hodal and Palwal towns in the month of December. A cost of about Rs 32 lakh has been met to develop these CSC's, a BSNL official said.

The BSNL has about 1.25 lakh consumers in the district at present, while the Bharti Tele Net providing telecom service under the name of `Touchtel' has about 9,000 customers so far. It was launched in December last year.

The BSNL had also launched a Special Scheme of providing ‘telephone connection’ on phone within 48 hours about two months ago and it is learnt that about 700 connections have been released so far under this scheme. There is, however, a `waiting list' of several consumers, due to unavailability of required infrastructure. The BSNL officials claim that with better infrastructure service network and manpower, the department was ready to face any competition, but they admit that ‘work culture’ and attitudinal change in ‘ staff' was still a hurdle.


Sale of crackers restricted
Our Correspondent

Panipat, October 31
As a precautionary measure, the District Magistrate, Mr M. R. Anand, has banned the sale of crackers and explosives in thickly populated areas of Panipat and Samalkha towns with immediate effect. The sale has been restricted to three places in Panipat - Shivaji Stadium, HUDA Ground and Circus Ground - and Golden Park in Samalkha.

As per the orders, the bursting of crackers would not be allowed after 11 pm. The sale of crackers has been restricted till November 7. Every seller of crackers has been asked to take all precautionary measures as laid down in the orders, to avoid any chance of outbreak of fire. The sale booths should be made of non-flammable materials.

The district administration has also launched an anti-cracker campaign to educate the people, particularly students, about the dangers and ill-effects of air and noise pollution during the use of crackers. The eco-clubs, the Pollution Control Board and other voluntary organisations are being involved to organise anti-cracker rallies in the towns and villages of the district.

In another decision, the administration will take a number of steps to regulate the increasing traffic on National Highway (G. T. Road) within the municipal limits of Panipat town. The steps included installation of traffic signals, high mast lights and use of sodium lamps and tube lights.


Mayawati’s visit raises morale of activists
Our Correspondent

Rewari, October 31
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and BSP vice-president Mayawati's recent visit to Badshahpur in Haryana has given a boost to party activists, who are now in high spirits. With the go-ahead given by her, their activities have started gaining momentum.

A zonal meeting of party workers held under the chairmanship of Rao Balbir Singh, state general secretary of the BSP, here today was also attended among others by Mr Sahi Ram Tanwar, state general secretary and in charge of party affairs in Mahendragarh district, Mr Ganga Ram Sikriwal, Rewari district BSP chief and Mr Roshan Lal, Gurgaon district BSP president.

The meeting observed a two-minute silence as a mark of respect to the five Dalits, who were lynched at Dulina near Jhajjar recently. It strongly condemned the Chautala regime for the increasing atrocities on Dalits in Haryana.

Later addressing a press conference, Rao Balbir Singh said that after Uttar Pradesh, Haryana was the next target of the BSP. He informed that on the UP pattern, 22-member units of the party had already been constituted in all 90 Assembly constituencies of Haryana.

To devise ways and means to strengthen the party at the grass-root level, a state-level convention of party activists would be held at Panipat on November 1. The convention would be presided over and guided by Mr Narendra Kashyap, MLC from UP and in charge of party affairs in Haryana as well as the state BSP chief, Mr Ashok Sherwal.

Mr Rao also asserted that the BSP would contest the next assembly elections in Haryana alone and would field its candidates in all 90 constituencies.


DLF residents clamour for basic amenities
Tribune News Service

Gurgaon, October 31
Residents of the posh DLF Qutab Enclave, encompassing Phase I to Phase 1V, are a bitter lot against the DLF group, the promoter and coloniser, for not providing sufficient amenities. The DLF group, however, has always maintained that it provides the best facilities in its colonies.

The DLF Qutab Enclave Residents' Welfare Association alleges that the coloniser, instead of redressing the grievances of the residents, were indulging in gimmicks like sponsoring an organisation by the name of DLF City Residents Welfare Federation to create confusion.

According to the general secretary of the DLF Qutab Enclave Resident's Welfare Association, Mr T. K. Satheesan, all phases of DLF are facing problems on various fronts. They include acute shortage of power. Despite this, there has been a tendency on the part of the coloniser to construct air-conditioned multi-storey corporate buildings, which draw huge amounts of power, over the last few years. These new structures share from the already depleted pool of power for the colony. When there is a power cut, these complexes use their captive power generating systems while the average citizen sweats it out, he added.

Also, the rate of breakdown is very high due to poor installation and maintenance. There are not enough transformers to carry the present load, he says. All these problems have surfaced eve as not even 25 per cent of the colony have been occupied. The installed capacity per unit (plot) is 5 KW whereas the average requirement is 21 KW. The residents feel that there should have been three sub-stations instead of the present. 


Mid-day meal contract rakes up Atma Ram case
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 31
The recent sensational murder of Congress Party councillor Atma Ram Gupta was again raised in the Municipal Corporation of Delhi just after a tender of mid-day meal was passed in favour of two food supply companies based in Ghaziabad and Meerut.

The issue was raised by Leader of the Opposition Subhash Arya today when he came to know that the units of the companies, Maheshwari Roller Flour Mills in Ghaziabad and Garg Daal and Oil Mills in Meerut, were located near the residence of one of the suspects in the Atma Ram murder case.

Atma Ram was shot dead in the Ghaziabad area allegedly at the behest of Sharda Jain, a Congress corporator, and her associates. At present, she is in judicial custody.

The food companies were ordered to supply “sweetened and puffed wheat” for the mid-day meal distributed among students of the corporation’s schools. They were ordered to supply sweetened wheat worth Rs 4 crore.

Mr Subhash Arya said that only four companies were invited for the tender. The applications of Bajaj Food Products of Fatehabad and Gaurav Food Products of Sonepat in Haryana were rejected on “baseless” grounds.

On the other hand, these companies based in Ghaziabad and Meerut were given preference, he alleged.

Pointing out this issue, Mr Subhash Arya has written a letter to the Commissioner of Delhi Police, Mr R. S. Gupta, requesting him that the murder case of the councillor should be investigated along this angle too.

However, denying the allegation, the MCD Standing Committee Chairman, Mr Ram Babu Sharma, said that a committee should be constituted under the chairmanship of Mr Subhash Arya to investigate the case at the corporation level. He also demanded a CBI inquiry into the case to punish the culprits.

Deputy Chairman of the Standing Committee Ashok Jain said a meeting of the expert committee to finalise the items for mid-day meal during the year 2002-03 was held on May 27 under the chairmanship of Mr Satbir Singh, Chairman of Education Committee.

In the meeting, puffed wheat was not discussed. It was finalised when the BJP was in power in the corporation. Without making any change in the old decision, it was approved by the Standing Committee this month. 


Cong MPs donate vans for collecting blood
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 31
Mr Karan Singh, Ms Ambika Soni and Mr A. R. Kidwai of the Congress today took time off to donate five vehicles that would serve as mobile dispensaries and blood collection vans. Mr Karan Singh, former Sadr-e-Riyasat of Jammu and Kashmir, All India Congress Committee general secretary Ambika Soni and Mr A. R. Kidwai are members of the Rajya Sabha from the NCT of Delhi.

Health Minister A. K. Walia told mediapersons that one vehicle each would be detailed to GTB Hospital, LNJP Hospital and DDY Hospital for the purpose of collecting blood. The remaining two vehicles would be with the Delhi State AIDS Control Society and be run as mobile family health clinics in red light areas. Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit flagged off the vehicles.

The five vehicles have cost the three MPs Rs 40 lakh, which has been utilised from their respective MP Local Area Development Fund. On the occasion, the Chief Minister expressed gratitude to the MPs for providing the vehicles in the service of Delhiites. She said additional funds to be provided by the three MPs would be used for purchasing modern garbage collection vans.


Power cut in North Delhi today
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 31
One of the power distribution companies, North North-West Delhi Distribution Corporation Limited (NNDCL), today announced a planned shutdown in Arya Nagar, Bagh Wallah, Hari Chand chowk and parts of Mankapur tomorrow. Power supply in these areas will be cut tomorrow from 9 am to 7 pm.

The shutdown is being initiated to carry on the maintenance work of the Mankapur transformer No 3 (1000 KV). The cuts were being effected to carry on regular maintenance work in the area to avoid major power collapse, said an official release. Mr Anil Sardana, CEO of the NNDCL, said, “This is part of the company’s preventive maintenance exercise. This exercise will provide consumers long-term benefits as well as maintained infrastructure.”

Tributes to Indira Gandhi

Rich tributes were paid to former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on her death anniversary today. Offering floral tributes at the portrait of Indira Gandhi, Speaker of Delhi Legislative Assembly Prem Singh said the ‘Lady of the Millennium’ launched the historic 20-point economic programme for the welfare of millions of Indians.

SA delegation calls on Mayor

A delegation of the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Municipality in the Republic of South Africa called on Delhi Mayor Jaishree Panwar for exchange of views on civic services on Wednesday. The delegation pointed out that relations between India and South Africa were close and cordial. But this needed to be strengthened at the level of the local governments in both the countries.

Maran selected for award

‘We Think for India’ (WTI), an organisation established by eminent personalities, has selected the Union Minister of Commerce and Industry, Mr Murasoli Maran, for its award ‘India’s Silent Performer and Thought Leader’. Mr Maran has been chosen for his tireless work for the cause of India’s industry and exports and for having facilitated processes to make the Indian industry world class in the era of globalisation.

Stir in Dwarka institute

The hunger strike by members of the employees’ union of the Netaji Subhash Institute of Technology at Dwarka entered the ninth day on Wednesday. The employyes are on a stir to pressurise the authorities concerned to take action against the Director of the institute, Dr B. N. Gupta, and “save the college from corruption”. 


Ram Lila recast for the modern times
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 31
The Bharatiya Kala Kendra has been organising the Ram Lila for several years, but this year the Kendra has "broken the records".

According to the director, Ms Shobha Deepak Singh, "this year we have broken the records. We have rejuvenated the interest of people in watching Ramayana shows and that is the reason we witnessed such high success rates in terms of viewership. It is a pleasure to watch the various dimensions of Ram in an interesting yet seemingly ethical fashion".

This year not just Indian students, but those from abroad have also been roped in to perform in the Lila. The Ram Lila, which was inaugurated by the Chief Minister, Ms Sheila Dikshit, was also attended by the Deputy Prime Minister, Mr L. K. Advani. The dance drama, which will conclude on November 2, has also been captured on cassettes and CDs.

The kendra has also attempted to amalgamate the texts of Valmiki and Tulsidas to present a comprehensive whole. The dance and the music are a conscious fusion of the classical doctrines of the North and the South as well as folk and ritualistic elements. The Ram Lila also exhibits a deviation from the 'calendar type" sets to stylised iconography. The costumes of the characters have been designed keeping in mind the present-day styles Care has been taken to dress Sita as per present ideas of feminine beauty.

Held for selling crackers

Rohtak: The police arrested a youth on Wednesday on the charge of violating Section 144 of the CrPC by stocking crackers in his shop located at HUDA Sector 1 here for sale. The district administration had recently specified certain areas for the sale of crackers and restricted the storage and sale of crackers in other densely populated areas of the town by imposing Section 144 of the CrPC.

According to information, a police team raided a general store in Sector 1 following a tip-off and seized several types of crackers kept for sale. The shop owner, Anil Kumar of Prem Nagar locality, was arrested and a case under Section 188 of the IPC registered against him.

Traffic month in Noida

Noida: The Noida police are observing a traffic month from today to create awareness among the people about traffic rules, the correct way to ply vehicles etc. A large number of activities and programmes have been drawn up by the traffic police, which will continue during the month. They include putting up hoarding, banners, slide shows, holding of seminars, discussions, essay competitions, painting competitions, training programmes for the drivers, rickshaw-pullers, traffic constables, issuing of green cards and a ‘run’ for traffic awareness of road users.

Woman commits suicide

Jhajjar: A married woman committed suicide by consuming some poisonous substance and a three-month-old child was crushed under a cart in separate incidents since Tuesday in the district.

According to information, Sanjay Devi, wife of Tejpal, hailing from Meerut, ended her life by consuming poison. Strained relations between the couple, residing in Kot village for the last three years, reportedly led the wife to take this extreme step. In another incident, a three-month-old kid was crushed under a cart in Samaspur village of the district. 


Two crushed on G T Road
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, October 31
Two persons were crushed to death by a canter while crossing the G T Road near Bari village, about 15 km from here, on Wednesday. According to a report, the victims were identified as Khalik and Muslim and they belonged to West Bengal. They had come to meet their relative who is employed in a poultry farm at Bari village. The police have registered a case against the canter driver who is still at large.

According to another report, two truck drivers, Jaipal and Gurmeet Singh alias Bhola, were killed when another truck rammed into them while they were engaged in replacing a punctured wheel of their truck. 


9 child pickpockets held, gang busted
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 31
The North district police have arrested 15 members of a gang of pickpockets, including nine children, who were operating in busy market areas in the Capital. Three autorickshaws, nine mobile phones and 300 grams of opium were also seized from their possession.

The nine children, all residents of Bihar, were trained in luggage lifting and pickpocketing in the crowded areas. Ram Surat (45), Santosh (25), Ram (45), Rajesh, Rajinder and Naresh were the auto drivers and their associates.

Betting racket smashed

The Special Staff of the West district today claimed to have smashed a betting syndicate, which has been active during the ongoing India-West Indies cricket Test match at Kolkata and arrested nine persons. The racket involved crores of rupees.

The kingpin of the gang, Chiranjiv Singh Dang alias Dimple, his partners Dinesh Oberoi and Rajinder Mehta alias Raju Bhiwani, their associates Narendra Kumar, Achal Chawla, Jitender Kumar, Anil Kumar, Ajay Jain and Sunil Baliya were arrested from Paschim Vihar in West district and Sushant Lok in Gurgaon last night.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (West) Deepender Pathak said that the syndicate had wide national and international links and were operating from their control room in Gurgaon with at least 18 hubs in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and other parts of the country.

The police got a tip-off on the first day of the Test match about the betting. A decoy punter was sent to Paschim Vihar where one Narender came in a Santro car. After the deal was struck on 1:3 for India’s win in the Test, the raiding party apprehended him. His interrogation led to the arrest of eight others involved in the racket.

Blind murder solved

With the arrest of five persons, the South district police today claimed to have solved a blind murder case of 21-year-old Vinod alias Veenu. The accused have been identified as Ajay Kumar, Mahesh, Sujjet Kumar, residents of Mehrauli, Amit alias Sonu, resident of Nangloi, and Satpal, resident of Badarpur. They were all school dropouts.

In another incident, the Crime branch officials today raided a shop in Palika Bazar and seized items of well-known international brand ‘New Balance’ and arrested the owners.

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