Tuesday, November 12, 2002, Chandigarh, India

N C R   S T O R I E S


Only BSP’s writ runs in Meerut cantt
Kuber Group chief told to vacate house in week’s time
Our Correspondent

Meerut, November 11
Six persons — armed with lathis and a country-made revolver — and trying to pass themselves as Bahujan Samaj Party activists, stormed Bangla No 142 in the B C Lines here in the cantonment and ordered the occupant to vacate the house within a week.

The BSP ‘activists’, clad in khadi, threatened the residents of dire consequences if they did not vacate the house within the stipulated time-frame. The activists also brandished the letter of the District Supply Officer who had allotted the `Bangla’ to a BSP leader, for use as the party’s district office.

The Sub Area Commander, Brig K.T.G. Nambiar, has conveyed his unhappiness to the District Magistrate and termed the act as an encroachment of rights. Brig Nambiar also asked the District Magistrate to cancel the allotment as the `Bangla’ falls in the Sub Area Commander’s jurisdiction.

Bangla no 142 is located just behind the Flag Staff House on the Mall Road. Kuber Group chairman P K Sharma and his family are the current occupants of the house, which was leased to them under the Old Grant Scheme for 99 years.

It is alleged that the BSP’s district president had been eyeing the ‘bangla’ for some time and wanted to get it allotted in his name for use as the BSP’s district office. With this end in mind, he had been exerting pressure on the District Supply Officer.

Talking with the NCR Tribune, Brig Nambiar pointed out that the DSO had no right to allot a `bangla’ that falls in the cantonment area. Moreover, the Rent Control Act, under which the official allotted the `bangla’, was not applicable in the cantonment area. Mr Nambiar also expressed concern that the security in the cantonment would be affected if the `bangla’ was allotted for political purposes.

It will be recalled how the Samajwadi Party had forcibly occupied the Lal Kothi in Saharanpur. The ‘bangla’ could only be recovered after the High Court at Allahabad passed an adverse order. The NCR Tribune contacted the Meerut DM in this regard. The latter is ascertaining the facts and says that the law will take its own course. Brig Nambiar, in turn, says that he would not allow any body to play with the law and order in the cantonment and the culprits would be dealt with firmly.



SP workers block roads, court arrest
Our Correspondent

Noida, November 11
As part of the ‘Protest Day’ launched by the Samajwadi Party against the state government, its workers jammed traffic and courted arrests at various places. Hundreds of them were arrested in Ghaziabad. About 70 per cent of shops had remained closed in the area. The party workers threatened to take the matter to the people’s court.

Though the police had been on alert, keeping an eye on the SP leaders since last night, they were caught unaware by the workers. The Samajwadi Party youth wing reportedly tried to stop a train in Loni area. The SSPs in Ghaziabad and Noida had a meeting with their officers on Sunday to deal with any untoward development in the two districts.

The SP workers started assembling at Meerut Road early in the morning. But before the start of their protest, the police had rained lathis on them and tore their shirts, said advocate Ramesh Chand Yadav, SP, general secretary.

The workers were then forced into vehicle and locked up in police lines, Mr Yadav said.

The detained workers included former MLA Surender Kumar Sunny, district chief Sajjad Hussain, Mukhya Gujjar, Satpal Yadav and many other leaders. Garh MLA Madan Chauhan, Satpal Sharma and Darmesh Tomar were also detained.

In Loni also, the SP workers had jammed the highway and about 500 workers courted arrests. Although police had been on an alert since Sunday evening, they could not arrest any leader of consequence. But a number of SP workers were nabbed while blocking the roads and rail lines. Senior police officers were on the spot to provide guidance and directions.

Police force had been deployed in strength on the roads leading to the collectorate, railway station, old bus stand and Chaudhri Mode. In Noida, the Samajwadi Party workers jammed the road at Atta crossing and raised slogans against the state governor for what they called “his partisan role in the whole episode”.

The police rounded up a large number of workers.



NCERT into gender-sensitisation
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 11
Having put up its own books for scrutiny to ensure that there is no gender discrimination, the NCERT today inaugurated a six-week training course on gender sensitisation in schools.

“Unless we adopt different and varied approaches, our efforts to bring the girls to school will not succeed. We have to ensure the removal of all those factors that inhibit the education attainment of girls,” Prof J. S. Rajput told the ‘NCR Tribune’. He added, “Unless the education is context specific, the community does not accept its value.” He was referring to the need to make education relevant and meaningful. “It is not just literacy, but education that people should get. Our focus should be on the region-specific problems that prevent girls from attending school.”

The six-week course, Methodology of Women’s Education and Development, which began here today, is aimed at training teachers and teacher educators to handle gender sensitive issues and impart gender sensitisation amongst students.

The objectives of the programme, being attended by 40 participants from different states, is to prepare teacher educators develop an understanding of women’s issues through a perspective in women’s studies and other social sciences.

It aims at promoting awareness about the education and status of women, understanding issues related to their education and psycho-sociological dimension’s of girls’ education and all-round development. It also aims at developing skills to collect, collate and analyse data and formulate research and action projects in the area. “The role of the teachers is changing. They also have the responsibility of guiding students. Through the courseware that we have developed for them, we want to help them deal with gender sensitive issues. We want to take these to the grass-root levels,” said Prof Neerja Shukla, Head, Department of Women’s Studies, NCERT.



Streetsmart auto drivers give the rules the go-by
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, November 11
Although the District Administration has banned autorickshaws older than 15 years and issued guidelines for plying of such vehicles in the town, several three-wheelers are still seen on the roads.

It is reported that many autorickshaws are not following the rules of plying according to registration number even though the authorities made it binding that the autorickshaws having ‘even’ and ‘odd’ registration numbers will have to operate on even and odds dates respectively and if one was found violating the rules, he will face the music.

Since the order was implemented from November 1, several autorickshaws have been found giving the new guidelines the go-by.

There are over 13,000 autorickshaws in the town and hundreds of them do not have even the registration number. How then the new order will be implemented, asks Rajkumar, a resident of Sector 15-A here.

Claiming that while the order had been implemented in a haphazard manner, the authorities should have first checked the plying of illegal vehicles, than to ask them to operate according to the registration number, said Mr Rajkumar.

He said several autorickshaws did not have any number and those having the number were not following the guidelines.

Another order passed for three-wheeler autorickshaws, that seems to be gathering dust, is the painting of colour strips on these vehicles stating their age groups. Although the authorities claim that over 100 autorickshaws had been challaned or impounded for disobeying rules, it seems that due to lack of proper checking and monitoring, the orders may not be implemented smoothly.

Another fallout of the new rules is the hike in fare by the autorickshaws owners. The autorickshaws have almost doubled the fares as the operators claim that their income has been reduced due to the new plan.

It also appears that the residents of Faridabad will have to cope with increasing pollution for the next few years as there is still no proposal to introduce ‘CNG’ vehicles in the town. While the Haryana roadways has a fleet of about 225 buses, operating on diesel as fuel, thousands of other commercial vehicles including trucks, private buses, tractors, trailors, mini-truck jeeps, three-wheelers and even cars, running on diesel churn out dangerous fumes on the roads here every day.

Besides the heavy use of ‘furnace oil’ in industrial units, functioning of electroplating units in residential areas and sale of adulterated petrol and diesel have added to the problem of pollution, which is one of heaviest in the country at present.



Dead men tell no tales, mortuaries do
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 11
If life in a hospital bed is sickening, death is worse: The zero sanitation in the hospital wards is matched by the ‘inhumane’ conditions in the mortuaries.

Pulling up the Union Government for not being interested in improving the conditions of mortuaries in the Capital, the Delhi High Court on Monday imposed a cost of Rs 20,000 on it and directed it to pay money to the Government of NCT of Delhi so that the latter could make efforts to improve the conditions of mortuaries.

The court imposed the costs on the Union Government for failing to file its report on the implementation of recommendations by forensic expert RK Sharma on improving the conditions of mortuaries in hospitals. The court also ordered the Government of NCT of Delhi, the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) and the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) to file specific details of measures taken by them in furtherance of the report.

A Division Bench comprising Justices AD Singh and RS Sodhi said it appeared the Union Government was not interested in taking steps suggested in the report. On October 22, the High Court had directed the Union and NCT of Delhi governments to study the forensic expert’s report and file objections to it within 10 days. Further, in case the report was accepted without objections then a status report indicating the steps taken for its implementation should be filed.

The report had said conditions in the mortuaries in the eight hospitals run by the Government of NCT of Delhi were very poor compared to the international standards. The facilities needed repair / renovation and cleaning. The mortuaries also lacked proper air conditioning and power backup, embalming and photographing equipment like steel mesh gloves, goggles and plastic body bags. The mortuaries lacked the capacity to deal with mass disasters, the report added.

On February 19, the Government of NCT of Delhi had admitted the temperatures in some mortuaries of hospitals run by it tended to rise up to 15-16 degrees Celsius causing putrefaction of bodies if kept for long. In an affidavit, Additional Secretary (Health) RS Banerjee had said though all the mortuaries in the Government of NCT of Delhi-run hospitals had cold storage facilities, at times the temperatures did tend to rise up to 15-16 degrees Celsius in mortuaries where the refrigeration system had become old and the process of refurbishing was under way. However, in all such cases where the cold storage facilities had become old steps were being taken to replace and replenish them.

The court was hearing a petition in public interest filed by Common Cause through its counsel Meera Bhatia seeking directions to keep mortuaries in good condition. The petition, among other things, asked for provision of shelves and crates for keeping bodies, maintaining optimum temperature of refrigeration and body tags for identification.

The PIL had also asked for directions to ensure availability of autopsy report within 24 hours, proper cleanliness and hygiene in mortuaries, improved working conditions for the doctors and action against the staff who take bribes for discharging the bodies to the relatives of the deceased.



12 DCP-rank officers shifted
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 11
Twelve Delhi police officers, at par with the Deputy Commissioner of Police, have been transferred in order to improve the policing in the National Capital Territory.

The reshuffle came as a surprise to many officers who were yet to complete their tenure in the districts. Among those suddenly handed over the transfer orders were M K Meena and Manoj Lal, who were DCP (New Delhi) and DCP (1st Battalion), respectively. Meena will now take charge at the 1st Battalion while Manoj will take over the New Delhi district.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (East), Arvind Deep, will go to Central district while R S Krishnia, who was in Central district, is bound for Goa. The Additional DCP (New Delhi), Nuzrat Hussain, has been made a full-fledged DCP and asked to take over as East district chief.

Another officer U K Chaudhury, a UT cadre officer, will take over as the Deputy Commissioner of Police (Provision and Lines) while Ajay Kumar, who was in West district, will replace Chaudhury as DCP-II in South district.

Replacing Ajay Kumar, M M Oberoi, who returns from Arunachal Pradesh, will take over as Additional DCP in West district. Kewal Singh, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Provision and Lines), has been sent to the 4th Battalion.

R L Meena, who comes back from Andamans, will take over Departmental Enquiry (DE) and Sharad Aggarwal, who was posted in the DE cell, has been posted as DCP-II, New Delhi district.



Taxi driver stumbles on bomb plot
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 11
Business in Patiala House today came to a halt for several hours after a taxi driver informed the police that four persons of Afghan origin were planning to plant a bomb in one of the court rooms in Patiala House.

The driver, who was identified as Vijay Singh, told the police this morning that four persons had boarded his taxi yesterday and were talking about planting an explosive device in the court. The driver also claimed that the suspects, who were clean-shaven, even gave him a tip of $ 100. Notably, today in the court of the special judge S N Dhingra, the proceedings in the Parliament attack case were on. However, the call turned out to be a hoax as a thorough search of the premises by the bomb disposal squad and sniffer dogs yielded nothing. Earlier, the Police Control Room at about 1020 hrs received a call that an explosive had been planted in one of the rooms of the district courts, following which the police immediately swung into action.

Several lawyers, litigants and others who were present in the court were asked to vacate the premises during the search.

Car snatched, woman thrown out

Faridabad: A car was snatched from a young woman by a youth in old Faridabad last evening. But after some drama, the accused was nabbed by the police, along with the car, at a naka near a village. However, the lady occupant of the car suffered injuries as she was `thrown out’ of the vehicle by the accused before he sped away.

According to police sources and eyewitnesses, the youth approached the woman in the car, identified as Manju, and asked her to move her car. But as soon as she lowered the windowpane to ascertain the facts, the accused, identified as Bishram, a resident of Kosi in UP, yanked the woman out of the car and drove away.

The woman fell on the concrete, suffered bruises and had to be shifted to a hospital. Her condition is now stated to be out of danger.

The assailant, however, was nabbed by the police at Baroli village ‘naka’ where he rammed the car into a barricade. 



‘Showcause’ for hobnobbing with Chautala
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, November 11
The Haryana Pradesh Congress Committee (HPCC) has served a show cause notice to the former Tripura Governor and a veteran Congress leader, Mr Sultan Singh, asking him to explain within a week why a disciplinary action should not be taken against him for anti-party activities.

Giving this information, Mr Bhajan Lal, president of the HPCC and a former Chief Minister told mediapersons at Chhatehra Bahadurpur village about 8 km from here on Sunday that the HPCC would take appropriate action against him if Mr Sultan Singh failed to send his reply within the stipulated period, Mr Sultan Singh, it may be recalled, has been made the president of Mr Devi Lal Memorial Committee by the Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, and given an official car by the state government for its use. Mr Sultan Singh thus is a close associate of Mr Chautala these days and attends functions relating to the installation of Mr Devi Lal’s statues.

Referring to the attempts for dislodging Mr Chautala from power, the Congress leader said that there is no need of any agenda on this issue and if an opportunity is available, the party would go ahead to dislodge Mr Chautala from power.

He also recalled the days when he got the support of the legislators and succeeded in toppling the Devi Lal Government in the state. If he got such an opportunity, he would topple Mr Chautala from power, he said.

Regarding casinos, Mr Bhajan Lal asserted that the concept would go the way of Disneyland a few years go.

He also announced that the Congress would continue its state-level drive against this anti-people tirade.

He took a pot-shot at the foreign tours of Mr Chautala and said that the Chief Minister was misusing the public money. Not a single foreign company had set up its unit in the state so far.

Mr Bhajan Lal also lashed out at the former HPCC chief and a member of the national executive of the AICC, Mr Virender Singh, and described his statement regarding his removal from the presidentship of the HPCC, as childish and asserted that Mr Virender Singh was misleading the party workers on some pretext or the other to get the post of the HPCC president.

He claimed that the party workers in general and the leaders in particular have expressed faith in his leadership and the party would get an absolute majority in the next assembly elections and form government in the state.

Referring to the reported resignation of Mr Chiranji Lal Sharma, a veteran Congress leader and former member of Parliament from the post of the vice-president in the party, the Congress leader denied that he had received such a letter so far. If any letter is received, the HPCC would take appropriate action on the issue, he said.

Regarding the expansion of the working committee of the HPCC, he said that honest and hardworking activists would be included in his team shortly as they had been left while constituting the working committee earlier.

Mr Bhajan Lal announced that if his party comes to power, it would hold a high-level inquiry into the malpractices of the Chautala regime on the pattern of Punjab and take action against him and his party associates.

He claimed that the people of Haryana had lost faith in the present government.



Sonia would be PM, asserts Anil Shastri 
Our Correspondent

Rewari, November 11
Mr Anil Shastri, secretary of the All India Congress Committee, has asserted that Mrs Sonia Gandhi would definitely be the Prime Minister if the Congress was voted to power during the next Lok Sabha poll.

He made this assertion while replying to newsmen’s query at a crowded press conference here last evening.

He said that the number of Congress-ruled states had risen from three to 14 under the stewardship of Mrs Sonia Gandhi. Besides, the Congress had also formed a coalition government with the PDP in Jammu and Kashmir. All this showed that under Mrs Gandhi’s stewardship, the Congress was making rapid strides towards regaining its supremacy as the ruling party.

Commenting on the state of affairs prevailing in the Vajpayee government, Mr Shastri opined that the BJP hardliners had gained predominance while Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee was feeling isolated.

Besides, the partners like the Trinmool Congress had already quit the government and fissures were appearing in a few other partners. Their departure could well mean the end of the Vajpayee government much before its tenure.

Simultaneously, the outcome of the forthcoming Gujarat poll would also clinch the issue of an early Lok Sabha election in the country, he added.

Mr Shastri remarked that the outcome about the Gujarat assembly elections seemed to spell rout of the BJP. As for the Congress, he said that it would go alone in Gujarat and contest all the 182 seats.

However, the possibility of leaving some seats for the nominees of like-minded parties could not be ruled out.

Mr Shastri also took the Chautala government to task for its move to set up casinos in the state.

He said that it would be nothing short of a betrayal of the people’s trust reposed in the government at the hustings.

Making a special mention of the disenchantment of the people with the Chautala regime, he appealed to the top leaders of the Haryana Congress to sink their differences and earnestly reach out to the people who were desperately yearning for a change.

Mr Shastri had also a word of praise for Capt. Ajay Singh Yadav, Deputy Leader of the HCLP, and his supporters who, he said, had assiduously kept the party’s banner aloft in the Rewari region.



Cong seeks white paper on CM’s visits abroad
Our Correspondent

Jhajjar, November 11
Casting doubts on the utility of frequent foreign trips of the Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, the state Congress asked the state government to release a white paper on these visits.

Addressing a press conference here today, the Congress Legislative Party leader, Mr Bhoopinder Singh Hooda, commented, “It appears that Mr Chautala is determined to make a world record in foreign trips during his tenure.”
He asked the state government to release in a white paper the expenses incurred on the state exchequer as well as the details of foreign direct investment (FDI), the Chief Minister succeeded in gaining for Haryana during his three foreign visits.

Mr Hooda informed that an all-party delegation called on the governor, Babu Parmanand, requesting him not to approve the casino bill, adopted in the state assembly. He also demanded the Government to withdraw the bill which would not only damage the social and economic fabric of the state but would also create a serious law and order problem.

He told that the delegation had complained to the governor about the prevailing ‘Mafia Raj’ and asked to intervene.

The CLP leader stated that only three industries have been flourishing in Haryana, which were proving beneficial for Mr Chautala’s family. The pollution department, the vigilance department and the sale of Haryana government land and property were benefiting Mr Chautala’s family. All other industries have been leaving the state.

Mr Hooda said that while the casino bill is the first priority of Chautala government, the paddy growing farmers remained high and dry due to delay in the start of procurement process.

Talking about the internal party politics, the CLP leader maintained that the grassroot Congress workers in Haryana were feeling ignored, which could prove costly to the party during elections.

He said that he would take up this matter with the party high command.



HVP takes out rally against Casino Bill
Our Correspondent

Rohtak, November 11
Activists of the Haryana Vikas Party led by Mr Surender Singh, secretary general of the party and a former MP, took out a procession in the town in protest against the Casino Bill recently passed by the Haryana Assembly and the Dulina incident.

A large number of party activists, including a good number of women, marched through the main markets of the town and reached the mini secretariat to submit a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner to be given to the Governor. The protestors included Seth Siri Kishan Das, former minister, Mr Ram Kishan Fauji, MLA, Prof Chhatar Singh Chauhan, former Assembly Speaker, Mr Nripendra Singh, Mr Manphool Singh and Mr Kultaz Singh, state president, senior vice-president and general secretary respectively of the youth wing of the party, and office-bearers of the district unit.

Addressing the demonstrators, Mr Surender Singh alleged the Casino Bill passed by the Chautala government would ruin the rich cultural heritage of the state. He alleged it would lead the innocent youths of Haryana towards gambling and criminal activities.

Commenting on the recent lynching of five Dalits at Dulina village in Jhajjar district, he said the investigation had been handed over to the Commissioner, Rohtak division, which was not justified as the police administration was also a party to this case. Apprehending government influence that could affect the investigation, the HVP leader demanded that the probe should be handed over to the CBI. He also sought a compensation of Rs 10 lakh to the kin of each Dalit killed and free education to their children.



Toilets at prime sites raise stink
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 11
Construction of public toilets at prime locations, power and potable water connections in schools and fake orders for constructions dominated the House meeting of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi today.

Irate members of the corporation alleged that crores of rupees were spent for constructing public lavatories on prime locations in the Capital to help the slum-dwellers and other needy people. But it was proving to be sheer wastage of money as the sites chosen by the MCD do not serve its purpose as it is not located near the slum clusters.

BJP councillor Arti Mehra who raised the issue in the meeting said that 160 toilet blocks were constructed and none were near slum clusters. Of them, only 22 were functional and others were non-functional. These were located in places like Patel Chowk, Lodhi Hotel flyover, ITO crossing, Mathura Road-Bhairon Road T Points etc. These toilet blocks had been given to private agencies to maintain them but these were non-functional, the councillor said.

The toilets were constructed under the ‘pay and use’ scheme and the contractors had to deposit the security amount of Rs 1 lakh before making them functional. Instead of making them functional, the contractors had rented the outer side of the toilet blocks for erecting hoarding, which was in violation of the Supreme Court direction given in 1997, Arti Mehra said.

The Opposition also raised the issue of disconnection of power in MCD-run schools after the Congress-led Delhi Government privatised the Delhi Vidyut Board. The TATA and BSES (power companies) had disconnected power supply to 26 schools and 22 schools had been issued notices for non-payment of electricity bills. Potable water was also not available in most of the schools.

However, Standing committee Chairman and Leader of the House in the corporation Ram Babu Sharma directed the Municipal Commissioner to get restored the power connections in the schools on a priority basis.

These were government-run schools and the private companies had no business to disconnect the power connection of government establishments, he said. 



Bon appetit: ‘We experiment with taste buds’
Tribune News Service

From a career sailor to an entrepreneur, the voyage for Rajiv Bahl has been a relatively smooth one without any major tempests or turbulence.

Fun Foods Private Limited was set up as a private limited company in 1985 by Rajiv Bahl and his wife, Vibha, after he decided to abandon the seas.

The company manufactures over 40 food products, ranging from chutneys to mayonnaise, pizza toppings to sandwich spreads, milkshake mixes to ice cream and dessert toppings and more. They boast of an all-India presence with a dealer network of 100 distributors across the country. Fun Foods’ plant is situated in Bhiwadi, Rajasthan. And their future plans include exporting their products to offshore markets.

In a free-wheeling interview with the NCR Tribune, the sailor-turned entrepreneur, Rajiv Bahl and his dynamic LSR-educated wife, Vibha, share their secret of making food that extra bit delicious.

What made you quit sailing and set up Fun Foods?

Rajiv Bahl: It all started with the idea of making a simple yoghurt, when a friend suggested that it was an untapped market. We were having the discussion over evening drinks and any idea sounds good in that condition. Also, I had the confidence that having been a sailor since the time I was 16, I had enough experience and seniority to go back to it in case my venture failed. Fortunately, I had never had to see that day since the time I set up Fun Foods in 1985.

What kind of training did you undergo to set up your plant in Bhiwadi, Rajasthan?

Rajiv Bahl: I went to the National Dairy Research Institute in Karnal to learn how to make yoghurt. It was there I realised that R&D was my strength. And that is what I have been doing for the last 15 years, experimenting and innovation to create new products. But it is my wife, Vibha, who designs the entire marketing strategy for the company, starting from purchase to retailing to promotions.

So, do you think there has been a change in the eating habits of people?

Vibha Bahl: Most definitely, people are more willing to innovate and experiment now. Even a routine sandwich can have so much more variety with a bit of innovation. But our products are most definitely for those who have had some kind of exposure to cosmopolitan living.

What kind of products does Fun Foods specialise in?

Vibha Bahl: Our aim is to make cooking and eating food as much fun as possible. Cooking and eating food should not be drudgery. We make products that are fun to handle and fun to cook and fun to eat. So, our products belong to the convenience range. What we make are really add-ons that can create not only variety in your food but also makes the normal, dreary dishes a bit different. We initially diversified from yoghurts to garlic chilli spread, English mustard and mango chutney, but now we manufacture a range of nearly 40 products.

Our products range from chutneys to mayonnaise, pizza toppings to sandwich spreads, milkshake mixes to ice cream and dessert toppings.

What are your major markets?

Rajiv Bahl: We have a very strong presence in all the metropolitan cities. In northern India, for instance, we are have reached the nook and corner of Delhi and Punjab. We have discovered that people in northern India are more ready to experiment with tastes and flavours in their eating habits. Chandigarh, for instance, is a huge market for us where we have been successful with each of our range of products from mayonnaise to cake mixes, chutneys to sandwich spreads. We have also recently concluded our participation in a fair in Ludhiana.

What kind of clientele do you have?

Vibha Bahl: We got our first big break with Indian Airlines. We supplied yoghurt to IA for over 15 years, round the clock, all 365 days. That also gave us the time to experiment and develop other products. At the same time, our products were patronised by eateries like Chocolate Wheel, Steak House and Modern Bazaar.

Today, our institutional selling includes all renowned fast food joints and five start hotels. Also, in our retail market, we have penetrated each and every locality in Delhi, while also having an all-India market with over 100 distributors all over India.

What do you think is the USP of Fun Foods that it has done so well in this segment?

Rajiv Bahl: Our main USP is that we have always made new products. We seldom introduce a product already existing in the market. Also, though our products are western in concept, we have Indianised them to our tastes. For instance, we have an eggless mayonnaise and eggless cake mixes, which caters to the large chunk of vegetarians in our country. Moreover, our packaging is also very innovative. We have little recipes on the cartons that are supposed to be a cook’s starting point. It is then up to you to innovate as much as possible.

What’s your goal as a professionally managed group?

Rajiv Bahl: That we can provide excellent service to our retailers. Since our products move off the shelf on a rapid basis, we need to be always on our toes to be ready with a fresh stock. Also, in the next few years, we have to move from being a product-driven company to a market-driven one.

Any disappointments?

Rajiv Bahl: Definitely, we have had to withdraw products that were ahead of their time. For instance, our fruit preserves and frozen pizzas were technically perfect products but they didn’t do well.

What next?

Rajiv Bahl: We now want to get into exports. We are looking at offshore markets as our new market.

Also, on the anvil are plans to launch a new range of salad dressings that are vegetarian and low fat.



Two-day seminar on social security
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 11
The National Academy for Training & Research in Social Security (NATRSS) – a training academy of the Employees Provident Fund Organisation – is organising a two-day national seminar on ‘Advocacy for Social Security & Vulnerability Reduction’.

Union Labour Minister Dr Sahib Singh Verma inaugurated the seminar today and lauded the unique endeavour, which according to him, “is a very welcome beginning in the right direction.”

The seminar seeks to serve as a platform for charting a strategic roadmap for synergistic and inquiry-based advocacy of the rights of the people to social security and protection. It will witness the participation of experts from the

International Labour Organisation, UNDP and several NGOs converging with the objective of evolving a broad framework detailing the expected role of each organisation or individual group involved in the advocacy of rights to social security and protection.

Dr Sahib Singh Verma pointed towards the absence of the issue on the agendas of successive governments in the past and indicated his willingness to place the issues on social security before Parliament.

He also lauded the effort of NATRSS in bringing the issue to the fore.

Padamshree Harmander Singh delivered the keynote address on the national strategy for working towards social security for all. The programme also entailed the release of a NATRSS publication, ‘Social Security in India – Directions for future strategy’ by the Union Minister.



Welfare Week: Government 
schemes to be highlighted 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 11
The Government of NCT of Delhi will observe Kalyan Diwas (welfare day) on November 19, the birth anniversary of late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. The day would also mark the culmination of the Kalyan Saptaah (welfare week) that is to be celebrated from November 13.

To be hosted by the Department of Social Welfare in collaboration with EMPI Business School and certain non-government organisations (NGOs), the Kalyan Saptaah would be dedicated to the Children of the Lesser God – the destitute, the physically and mentally challenged and the shelter-less.

The objective, the Department of Social Welfare says, is to promote awareness about the welfare activities of the Government of NCT of Delhi and make Delhiites a partner in the Bhagidari (citizen-government partnership) Programme for expressing solidarity with the marginalised sections of society.

The Kalyan Saptaah will also host events for the benefit of senior citizens and women. Seminars and workshops on the problems of senior citizens, how to rehabilitate beggars etc would be organised during the week. The Chief Minister said the week would culminate in a cultural evening through which the Department of Social Welfare would raise funds for the recently launched sponsorship programmes under the Juvenile Justice Funs created under the Juvenile Justice Act 2000. 



Traffic regulations for fair days
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 11
The Delhi Traffic Police have made elaborate arrangements to ensure smooth flow of traffic during the India International Trade Fair (IITF) from November 14 to November 27.

The traffic police have advised motorists who are travelling from North to South Delhi and vice versa to use Ring Road, Rajghat, ITO flyover to reach Ashram Chowk. And those who are coming from ITO are asked to take Tilak Marg, C Hexagon, Zakir Hussain Marg and Shahjahan Road.

And the motorists commuting from East to West Delhi and vice versa are asked to use Ring Road, Bhairon Road, Mathura Road, Shershah Road and C Hexagon to reach Connaught Place. Those who want to reach Central Delhi from North Delhi are advised to take Nizamuddin Bridge, Ring Road and Rajghat to reach their destinations.

The traffic police have also arranged 17 parking lots to accommodate the large number of vehicles.

These parking lots are located at ITPO parking, Purana Qila Road, Bhagwan Dass Road, near the hockey ground, opposite Appu Ghar, Zakir Hussain Radial, Shahjahan Radial, Rajpath Radial, Tilak Marg Radial and at India Gate lawns.

In addition to these, “Free Parking” service has also been provided to motorists parking at India Gate.

The police have also requested the public not to park their vehicles in unauthorised places to avoid inconvenience to the police.



Top cops of NCR states to meet today

New Delhi, November 11
Senior police officials from Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh would be interacting with their counterparts in the NCT of Delhi tomorrow to devise ways of institutionalising information-sharing and enhancing co-operation among their respective organisations.

The meeting of the officials of the rank of Director General of Police would be chaired by Lieutenant-Governor Vijai Kapoor. On the agenda would be better policing of the inter-state borders that are notoriously porous. Although similar meetings are not uncommon, Tuesday’s interaction would be held in the backdrop of heightened threat perception in the Capital.

Sources said the pre-emptive strike at the Ansal Plaza shopping mall was one instance of how sharing of information had a force-multiplier effect. Besides focussing on better policing of the borders, the meeting would also deliberate on improving the apprehension of wanted criminals and return of stolen goods in general and automobiles in particular. OC



259 cases settled on Legal Services Day
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 11
The Delhi Legal Services Authority organised a Legal Services Day on Saturday. Ten legal literacy camps were also organised at Gokulpuri, Nandnagari, Seemapuri, Uttam Nagar, Mangolpuri, Dakshinpuri, Jahangirpuri, Bhalaswa Dairy, Narela and Madhu Vihar (Dwarka) as part of the programme.

A large number of people, including prominent personalities of the respective areas attended these camps. The camps gave a platform to the public to know how to solve their problems by way of mediation, conciliation and Lok Adalats. A medical camp was also organised at Sun Light Colony. As many as 259 cases were disposed of in the Lok Adalats held to address some pending cases at Tis Hazari, Karkardooma Courts and Patiala House Courts.

Virgin’s ‘companion’ ticket

Virgin Atlantic Airways has come out with a special offer for its passengers travelling in upper class. Under the ‘Companion’ offer, travellers who choose to avail of a free ticket in the upper class while travelling out of India, then the tickets for the traveller and his companion will be booked together. The travellers who plan to use the free upper class ticket for their return journey and plan an extended stay at their destinations will be able to do so as these tickets will be valid for one year from the date of issue, stated a press release.

Appointed chairman

The Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee has nominated Sardar Nirwair Singh as the chairman of the governing body of Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur Khalsa College, University of Delhi. Mr Nirwair Singh has held several senior posts on the DSGMC over a ten-year period, including those of general secretary and senior vice-president. 



Youth drowns in Suraj Kund lake
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, November 11
Two persons died and a woman suffered burns in separate incidents in the town. These include a youth who drowned in a lake in Suraj Kund where he had come to offer Chhat Puja today.

The deceased, identified as Mukesh (17) hailing from Saharsa district in Bihar, had come from Okhla in Delhi to offer the puja in the lake here. But it is learnt that he could not get out of the deep waters and drowned.

His body was fished out by the fire brigade personnel later and handed over to his kin after post-mortem examination.

In another incident, a 12-year-old boy, identified as Sumit of SGM Nagar here, died after he consumed poisonous substance.

A young woman of Bhim Basti of old Faridabad suffered burns after a stove burst while she was preparing food this morning. She has been referred to Safdarjung Hospital in Delhi in a critical condition.

Undertrial escapes

Sonepat: An undertrial, Devinder, was reported to have escaped from the police custody at the general bus stand here late last evening. According to a report, Devinder, who has been involved in several cases of theft, dacoity and other crimes, was brought by a police party from Gurgaon to Sonepat in a bus. When they got down from the bus at the bus stand, he managed to free his hand from the handcuffs and escaped.

The accompanying cops gave a chase but failed to nab him. A case has been registered against him. This is the second such case within a month when an undertrial has escaped from police custody.



Brand India will be showcased at IITF
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 11
Focusing on the theme, ‘Services, Exports and Tourism’, various pavilions are being given a new look for the 22nd India International Trade Fair (November 14-27, 2002) at Pragati Maidan here. Preparations are in full swing for the Asia’s largest event.

Highlighting India in its totality with `Indian Brand Consciousness’, this multi-product event has an added significance this year as the India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO) celebrates the silver jubilee of its valuable services to trade and industry.

Over 7,000 firms from India and overseas are exhibiting their wares in IITF’02. With the largest-ever overseas participation from China, leading companies from Brazil, Chile, Iran, Iraq, Myanmar Malaysia, Nepal, Tunisia, the UAE, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Hong Kong, Ukraine, Tanzania, Turkey, Kazakhstan and Kenya are also taking part in the fair.

Apart from the extensive display at the state and Union Territory pavilions, the fair provides a glimpse of India’s export capabilities in different halls in the form of special displays covering Techmart, Hudco, Buildtech, Good Living, Saras, Railways, Telecommunications, Science and Technology etc. A wide range of products and services, including engineering, automobiles, electronics, chemicals, drugs and pharmaceuticals, leather, textiles, jute, rubber handicrafts, jewellery, consumer goods and other sectors, will be on display.

To make the event more meaningful and business oriented, various seminars, conferences and workshops are also being organised. These programme would enable the participants to get a valuable insight into select industrial sectors, investment opportunities, scope of technology transfer, problems and prospects of different industries.

A unique `Himalayan Exposition’, dazzling lights at `Laser Show’, ITPO’s commemorative stand, delightful cultural programmes and delectable Indian continental cuisine are among the added attractions for the visitors this year, an official said.

Showcasing the achievements of half of the world’s population that lives in Asian cities, the Asian Network of Major Cities 21 exhibition (ANMC 21) is being organised at Delhi Pavilion with its theme ‘Tourism Industry Local Produce’.

The IITF 2002 will be open for business visitor from 10 am to 1 pm (Monday to Friday), while the general public can visit the fair from 10 am to 8 pm on weekends and holidays and 1 pm to 8 pm on Monday to Friday. As a special case, senior citizens and physically challenged persons are being allowed free entry into the fair.


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