Saturday, November 30, 2002, Chandigarh, India

N C R   S T O R I E S


Power cos thrive on dud streetlights
Outrage in the MCD against poor upkeep
Syed Ali Ahmed
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 29
The members of the standing committee of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi have expressed outrage against the apathy of the private power companies in maintaining streetlights in the areas under their control. They fear that the companies may have charged lakhs of rupees unjustifiably from the civic body.

The MCD has now asked the Municipal Commissioner, Mr Rakesh Mehta, to look into this personally and take up the matter both with the Chief Secretary of the Government of NCT of Delhi and officials of the power companies.

According to sources in the MCD, more than two lakh streetlights are installed in the corporation areas. Of them, 85,000 are non-functional, allegedly because of lack of maintenance.

The MCD officials claim that when the power distribution agreement was reached between the Delhi Government and TATA Power Ltd and BSES, it was decided that the private companies would also be responsible for maintenance of streetlights in the corporation areas. It was agreed the private operators would charge Rs 60 per point each month as maintenance charge from the corporation, the sources said. But while the MCD has been regularly paying the private companies the charges agreed upon, the streetlights in most of the areas continue to be non-functional. What is even more intriguing is the revelation made by the Municipal Commissioner that the MCD did not have a copy of the agreement reached between the Delhi Government and the private power companies. The corporation was not taken into confidence when the Delhi Government finalised the agreement, he said.

He said he was not aware of the corporation’s share in the income generated by the Delhi Government through power supply in the Capital. He said private companies were taking Rs 60 as maintenance charge for each point and also charging Rs 3.60 per unit for the streetlights.

The Municipal Commissioner also said the corporation had conducted a survey to identify the functional and non-functional streetlights in July and August. The survey came up with the findings that about 1.20 lakh streetlights were functional while the rest had conked out. The Chief Minister of Delhi, Mrs Sheila Dikshit, had also directed the power companies on October 4 to repair 95 per cent streetlights. On October 14 the same direction was given by the Chief Secretary but the situation has remained unchanged, these sources claimed.


Schools that need counselling
Smriti Kak
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 29
A student of class 10 in Government Boys Higher Secondary School, Vivek Kumar, is yet to see a counsellor in his school. He says he has heard of career counsellors, but his school does not have one. Kavita, a student of Government Girls Higher Secondary School, says their teachers punish them for wasting time in the counsellor’s room. She says though the counsellor helps them by providing them career guidance and also helps sort out personal problems, the teachers do not approve of their interaction with the counsellor, who is consequently relegated to doing odd jobs.

This when there are at least 138 posts for counsellors sanctioned in the government-run schools. “It is a pity that neither the officials of the education directorate nor the school principals understand the need to have counsellors in schools. In the government-run schools alone there are 138 posts sanctioned for counsellors, out of which 14 are lying vacant and out of the remaining 114, hardly half the number are doing what they are meant to do”, points out Mr. M M Sharma, former Incharge of Counselling Services, Directorate of Education.

Lack of awareness about the role of a counsellor is perhaps the reason why most of the schools have not bothered to provide the service. In many cases, the appointed counsellors are asked to shoulder responsibilities related to administrative and cultural activities.

Most counsellors complain of alienation. “For the teachers the counsellors are a threat. They feel the students only walk up to the counsellor to complain against the non-performance of their teachers,” pointed out Ms. Sunita (name changed). This probably is the reason why there has been no recruitment of counsellors after 1988.

“ These counsellors are meant to spend time with the students. There is no point in giving them additional responsibility as that will leave them very little time to deal with the students”, said Mr Sharma. Vasudeva adds, “We do not have a representative or an official to deal with and the department of counselling and guidance is always clubbed with some other department. Consequently, the needs of the department are not taken care of”.

“The CBSE has also made it mandatory for all schools to have counsellors, but the directorate is yet to address the issue. Instead of allotting us senior classes which require career guidance more than the junior ones, we are made to give talks to the students of classes 6 and 7” points out Ms. Sunita.

Counsellors also complain the distribution is also not equal: there are four counsellors in one zone, there are 16 in another. So, while some have to deal with more than three schools, others are utilised for services like taking substitution classes and managing administrative activities. Clinical psychologist, Divya Prasad, of Vimhans said: “Schools do not consider mental health a priority, for them water and electricity are more important. Also, the role of a counsellor is not defined, the counsellors feel that the principals do not recognise their role”.


Directorate rapped on govt schools
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 29
Terming the contents of Dr S. C. Vats Committee report as shocking, the Delhi High Court today issued an order seeking explanation for the dismal condition of government schools.

A Bench comprising Mr Justice Anil Dev Singh and Mr Justice Mukul Mudgal, were hearing a writ petition filed by the Social Jurists seeking the standardisation of education. The PIL filed by Ashok Aggarwal lists that students in the government-run schools are not even provided basic amenities like electricity and water. It also stated that out of the 100 odd students who enroll in class VI only a meagre 14 reach class X out of which only four students pass the board exam.

The S. C. Vats Committee, which was set up to monitor the situation of the schools, has pointed out almost Rs 1403.00 lakh sanctioned for the schools remains unutilised. The Bench has sought an explanation for the poor quality of education in these schools and has asked the Director of Education and the Secretary, Education, Government of NCT of Delhi, to appear in the court on December 5. The Bench asked the respondents as to how long they would take to implement the changes as it was pointed out that the insanitary conditions in these schools had an adverse impact on the academic performance of the students.


Eight booked by CBI for issuing fake permits
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 29
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has chargesheeted eight persons, including three officials of the Transport Department of the Delhi Government, for allegedly issuing forged permits to new autorickshaws in violation of prescribed rules.

The agency, in its charge sheet filed in the court of Special Judge R K Gauba, named Motor Licensing Officer Raghu Kant Bhardwaj, Transport Department Head Clerk Chander Pal Singh, Motor Vehicle Inspector Anoop Singh Dahiya, Pal Auto Deals owner Shyam Sunder, Daona Daonaince Ltd Director Sanjeev Kumar Dandona, Goldy Auto Deals owner Ashok Kumar Khurana, M/S PRJ Enterprises owner Raj Kumar Jain and one Arun Kumar Maggo of Maggo Auto Deals. The case was registered on September 15, 1999, on the basis of a complaint by Joint Director (Vigilance) of the Transport Department, alleging that the three public servants forged permits for autorickshaws in the Capital under the replacement scheme in connivance with the other accused.

The court, taking cognizance of the offences of forgery, cheating and corruption mentioned in the charge sheet, had issued summons to accused Bhardwaj, Singh, Maggo, Shyam Sunder and Sanjeev Dandona for December 10. These five accused, who had earlier been granted anticipatory bail by another Special Court, were granted regular bail by the court on their furnishing personal bond of Rs 15,000 with one surety each of the same amount.

The remaining three were sent to Tihar Jail till December 10 after they were produced before the Special court following the arrest. December 2 has been fixed as the date for hearing for Khurana.


Alert for militant holds up train
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, November 29
Following a tip-off that a militant was travelling on the Jan Shatabdi bound for Chandigarh, the Railway officials swung into action and halted the train at Ganaur railway station, about 16 km from here last evening.

During the search operation, the Railway police nabbed a passenger who was travelling on the foot-board of the train. The passenger denied that he was a militant and turned out to be one Madhawanand, who works as a Class IV employee at Chandigarh railway station. He told the policemen that he boarded the train at Subzi Mandi railway station and could not enter the bogie as it was locked from inside.

Thereupon, the officials of the railway police heaved a sigh of relief and allowed the train, which was late by half-an hour, to resume its onward journey.

Missing conductor

According to another report, the passengers travelling on a Rohtak-bound Haryana Roadways bus remained stranded for about 90 minutes near the PWD rest house here last evening as the bus conductor was not to be found.

The passengers and the driver scoured the place, but could not locate the conductor as in an inebriated state he had boarded another bus. Finally, he was located at 8 pm and the bus resumed its journey.


It’s survival of the fittest on Kutani road
Tribune News Service

Panipat, November 29
It is a nightmare on the Kutani road. Pehalwans of the Subhash akhara, with their strong-arm tactics, have allegedly unleashed terror among shopkeepers of the Kutani road and residents of Ashok Vihar Colony.

The local police have been turning a Nelson’s eye to the illegal activities in which they indulge. With gambling, sale of illegal arms and illicit liquor going unchecked the area had become a den for anti-social elements. The result is that law-abiding citizens are at the receiving end. Residents, particularly members of the fair sex, dread venturing out after dusk. Money is extorted from the shopkeepers as a routine affair with the hapless souls having hardly any choice except to oblige the heavyweights. Any resistance from the shopkeepers is met with threats followed by assault.

Mr Raghbir Singh Rana, president of the Jan Kalyan Samiti, Ashok Vihar Colony, on the Kutani road, one of the few to resist their anti-social activities, alleged the local police was hand in glove with these lumpen elements. Mr Rana alleged that his family was attacked by four pehalwans on the night of November 17 at the STD/PCO booth run by his son. These bad characters were also misbehaving with the customers. When his son resisted, he was beaten up.

On getting to learn about the incident, the family reached the booth. The pehalwans then assaulted his other son. A person who tried to intervene to sort out the matter was also attacked.

The matter was brought to the notice of the SP, Ms Mamta Singh, who directed the CID staff to investigate. However, the fate of the CID investigation was not yet known.


Govt under fire for its ‘anti-worker’ policies
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, November 29
The general secretary of the National Federation of Indian Road Transport Workers Union, Mr S. L. Yadav, has called upon the roadways workers to remain united and continue their peaceful struggle in support of their demands.

Speaking at the meeting of the Executive Committee of the Haryana Roadways Karamchari Union, affiliated to the Haryana Karamchari Maha Sangh here on Thursday, he criticised the Central Government for its anti-worker policies and not safeguarding the interests of the working classes under the pressures of the multi-national companies and the World Bank.

He said that the BJP-led NDA Government at the Centre had so far retrenched 70,000 employees of various departments on account of the privatisation of certain departments. The unity among the working classes could face the challenge posed by the multi-national companies and the Central Government which, he alleged, were working against them.

Mr Yadav appealed to the workers to take part in large number in the proposed rally to be held on February 26 in Delhi.

Mr Baldev Singh, president of the State Roadways Workers Union, disclosed that the Roadways authorities have utterly failed to fulfil the long-standing demands of the workers and make payment of the arrears of the year 2001-2002 so far.

He also maintained that that a five-member delegation of the union would apprise the Chief Minister, Mr Om Parkash Chautala about the long-standing demands of the union shortly.

Mr Jag Mohan, president of the Sonepat depot of the Roadways Workers Union, accused the General Manager of adopting anti-worker attitude and warned that if he failed to fulfil the just and legitimate demands of the employees, an agitation would be launched against him.

Mr Ved Vyas Arya, the spokesman of the Haryana Karamchari Maha Sangh, Mr Balbir Singh Rohilla and Mr Saheb Singh Kundu president and vice-President of the district unit of the Sangh also spoke on the occasion.


Finally, admn evicts the Sanoli Road encroachers
Tribune News Service

Panipat, November 29
After dithering for several years, the district administration has finally wielded the stick against encroachers on one of the busiest and most-heavily encroached upon roads -- the Sanoli Road.

In a swift operation over the last two days, the authorities have removed permanent and temporary shelters put up by traders on the road. The encroachments had been removed to pave the way for the repair of the Sanoli Road, which has not been getting due attention for the last few years, the officials said.

It may be recalled that the powerful trading community had been successfully blocking the removal of encroachments from front of the shops for the past several years. In fact, the officials had been winking at the encroachments by the shopkeepers on both sides of the road for years now, with the result that the width of the road had been reduced considerably. The busy road, which is in a dilapidated condition, had become a driver's nightmare and accidents were a regular feature.

A large number of shopkeepers had usurped several square feet of public land and erected permanent structures to display their wares, oblivious of the inconvenience caused to the general public. The permanent structures had also resulted in blocking the drains and impeding the flow in the ‘nullah.’ The latter, in turn, caused flooding of the roads in the monsoon. The road would get badly damaged owing to the accumulated water.

The operation is likely to continue in the days to come, since encroachments on the other side of the road are yet to be removed. And with the completion of the Sanoli Road, a strategic road connecting Panipat to UP, the traffic flow is likely to get streamlined.

The general public has hailed the removal of the encroachments. It is felt that the tough stand taken by the administration against the Sanoli Road encroachers would in turn deter other encroachers, who had been usurping prime commercial land worth crores of rupees with impunity.


There is none to guard Greater Noida
Our Correspondent

Noida, November 29
There is little by way of safety and security for about 50,000 people living in different sectors of Greater Noida. The security of one whole sector is supposed to be taken care of by one guard. Added to this is the fact that most of the roads have no streetlights making it an eerie city at night where miscreants can always play mischief.

“The authority has not fulfilled its promise to the residents here,” says Jatinder Chaudhry, a resident of Alpha-I. The streetlights in most parts have been out of order for the last four months.

The authorities had promised to put two security guards and a gunman at the main gate of each sector. The security responsibility has been given to private agencies. This arrangement worked well in the beginning, but now the agencies have scaled down the number of guards to only one for each sector and the gunmen are seldom seen. Even the lone security guard makes himself scarce after 10 pm when they are needed the most, says the president of the Neighbourhood Management Council of Beta II, Mr Ajay Jain. Though the police station is nearby, we don’t feel safe enough, he says.

Theft cases are on the rise in spite of the close proximity of the police station. The main reason is that security guards mostly go away leaving their posts. Mr Alkar Singh Bhatti of the same sector says even before the night falls, security guards leave their duty posts.

In the senior citizen complex also, things are equally bad. The grouse of senior citizens like Mr Gurdershan Singh is that the contractors and builders have not honoured their commitments and the Greater Noida Authority seems to have washed its hands off all responsibility in the matter. They are more perturbed over infrastructural inadequacies like faulty telephones and power cuts with the result that senior citizens can’t either inform the police during emergencies on phone or walk down to the police station to lodge a complaint due to the darkness in long stretches of lonely roads.

Mr Mansingh Yadav of Beta II says the authority had promised to supply uninterrupted power. However, the power cuts here stretch up to 10 hours a day. And what is worse is that there is no fixed time or fixed hours for load shedding, he says.

This situation is exploited by the anti-social elements. Security guards not only remain absent, but at many times seem to be hand in glove with the miscreants. The security agencies do not appoint all the security guards for whom it charges the Greater Noida Authority.

Another alarming aspect is that out of the sanctioned strength of 24 SIs, the Kasna police station, which caters to the Greater Noida area, has been having only eight SIs for quite sometime. How could this truncated strength ensure the security of this sprawling industrial area, its factories and the common residents, people ask.


Cooking gas on tap is no more a pipedream
Priyanka Gupta

New Delhi, November 29
Gulmohar Park Journalist Colony joins a few residential colonies of Delhi having the supply of piped natural gas directly into the kitchen. Dr Kiran Walia, MLA of the area, inaugurated the supply of natural gas for cooking in the presence of officers of Indraprastha Gas Ltd and the MCD and residents of the area.

Indraprastha Gas Ltd, a joint venture of GAIL, BPCL and the Government of NCT of Delhi, in association with the Gulmohar Park Residents Welfare Association also organised a booking and registration camp on the occasion.

Mr V. C. Tondon, president of the association, said, “This is yet another measure taken for the convenience of residents. It will relieve them of their dependence on the supply of LPG cylinders. Many a times, people fail to book the cylinder in advance and then we need to seek help from others or call emergency numbers for getting the supply. Now people can get it easily.”

“Till now, we have booked more than 100 connections in our colony. The work of laying pipelines for the supply of gas and providing fittings and installation of meters in the houses will be completed by the last week of December. The company has also deposited substantial amount with the MCD, which has taken the responsibility of restoring the dug-up areas to avoid delay in work,” said the officer in charge, city marketing, IGL.

The distribution pipeline network is based on an online control system, which consists of safety valves and sensors that control and monitor gas supply and pressure.

The cost of a standard piped gas connection is Rs 5,000. This is payable in three instalments. At present, the customer pays only for the amount of gas consumed.

Later, the pipeline will be connected to the main source of supply, i.e. the HBJ pipeline originating from Hazira in Gujarat.

Apart from Gulmohar Park, piped gas is being supplied to the residents of Kaka Nagar, Bapa Nagar and Pandara Park. Thereafter, the pipeline will be extended to private colonies of Golf Links, Sunder Nagar, Sujan Singh Park, Nizamuddin East, Nizamuddin West, New Friends Colony, Maharani Bagh, Kalindi Colony, Sukhdev Vihar, Jor Bagh, Lodhi Colony, Asian Games Village and many others. Under this pilot project, five star hotels like Hyatt Regency, Taj Mahal and Surya also will get direct gas supply.

An official of IGL said, “It’s a very safe, non-polluting and natural fuel. We are supposed to cover the whole of Delhi. We have started our service in South Delhi and later we will extend it to Pitampura, Rohini, Mayur Vihar and areas of North and West Delhi. With this, there is no hassle of booking, changing or refilling cylinders. This is the main reason we are getting a huge response. The savings, at the current price of the gas supplied, will be at least 10 per cent as compared to the LPG.”


The zero-watt bulb that glows in this dark age
Nalini Ranjan

New Delhi, November 29
While studying in the Shahdara-based Shyam Lal College in the early eighties he found that some influential students were indulging in cheating during the annual examination and this was being done with the connivance of certain teachers. Aghast at this, he objected and subsequently boycotted the examination when no action was forthcoming.

Undaunted, this young man continued with his crusade and soon found support in some like-minded students. The agitation picked up and the authorities were forced to order an inquiry after finding substance in the complaint. The guilty were caught and punished.

This was no Nana Patekar in the Bollywood blockbuster, “Ankush” but an ordinary youth inspired by the ideals of Mahatma Gandhi, Jai Prakash Narain and the legendary industrialist K. K. Birla. This was the beginning of the continuing crusade against corruption at all levels by Laxmi Nagar-based Narender Kumar Singh who now runs a small bookshop in the area to fund his activities. The organisation floated by him, Bhrashtachar Nirodhak Morcha, now has 2,500 active members.

Singh was instrumental in providing vital inputs to the former Chief Vigilance Commissioner, Mr N. Vittal, in updating the website listing some of the corrupt government officials. When the Government of NCT of Delhi launched the Bhagidari scheme, Singh and his organisation were again in the forefront, providing a record number of names of tainted government officials. This, of course, incurred the wrath of babudom in general but Singh and his colleagues are unperturbed.

Talking to the NCR Tribune, Singh said corruption at all levels was the biggest menace in the country and the greatest impediment in developing a strong nation. “Corruption has to be rooted out at all costs and he and his organisation will continue to fight against this menace”, he vowed.

Originally from Bihar, Singh was educated in the nation’s Capital as his grandfather was a senior officer with the Birla group. It was his proximity to the senior Birla that inspired him to take on the fight against corruption. Singh admitted that the crusade against corruption was not an easy one. For one, people take him for a madcap for his fearless actions. Secondly, his family is upset that he spends most of his earnings on funding his crusade. Singh also unsuccessfully contested the parliamentary elections from East Delhi as an Independent candidate in 1991. And you have guessed it right, corruption was his poll plank

But this man is not to be discouraged. He carries on despite the travails. “ I am happy that I am providing some light even if I am a zero watt bulb in the deep darkness” is how he summed up his life’s endeavour.


Rajdhani Exp to Mumbai becomes daily
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 29
During the last two years, 310 licences have been suspended, 710 licences cancelled, 800 prosecutions launched, 154 judgements obtained and 81 persons convicted for offences under the Insecticides Act 1968, the Rajya Sabha was informed today.

The Minister of State for Agriculture, Mr Hukumdeo Yadav, told the House that the quantity of pesticides was being regulated under the provisions of the Insecticides Act 1968 and that of seeds under the Seeds Act 1966 and the Seeds Order 1983.

The Minister of State for Railways, Mr Bandaru Dattaraya, in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha said that the frequency of Rajdhani Express has been increased. The frequency of the Mumbai-New Delhi Express and the Nizamuddin-Mumbai Kranti Express had been increased from six days a week to daily. The frequency of the Sealdah-New Delhi Express had been increased from two days to four days and that of New Delhi-Bhubaneshwar Express would be increased from two days to three days a week.

A new bridge had been sanctioned to be built to replace the old railway bridge over the Yamuna. The present bridge was closed to traffic when the level of water exceeded the danger mark of 204.83 m, the minister informed the House.

The Minister of State for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Mr V. Sreenivasa, told the House that the Super Bazaar chain of government-run consumer goods stores had been ordered wound up by the Central Registrar of Cooperative Societies as it was on the brink of financial collapse. At present, 125 retail outlets are non-functional due to the winding-up process.

As per the reports prepared by the Environment Pollution Authority for the NCR, in the matter of the writ petition that in areas adjoining Surajkund and Badhkal Lake certain activities including mining have been done that are not in conformity with the orders of the Supreme Court, the apex court had asked the state government to ensure the compliance of the orders, the Minister of Environment and Forests, Mr T. R. Baalu, informed the Rajya Sabha.

The Minister of State for Finance and Company Affairs, Mr G. N. Ramachandran, informed the Lok Sabha that there were 81 cases pending in the office of the Chief Commissioner of Income Tax in the Capital. He assured the House that tax clearance certificates would be issued within a reasonable period.


Website on Surajkund trade fest launched
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, November 29
A website of the `Surajkund Trade Fest - 2002’, proposed to be held at Surajkund here from December 21 to 29, was launched here on Thursday evening by the Financial Commissioner and Secretary of the Tourism department Mr Bhaskar Chatterjee.

The website known as will provide comprehensive information and details of the trade festival, which will be the first of its kind, to be organised by the newly set up Haryana Trade Fair Authority.

A meeting of the officials concerned was held at Rajhans Hotel at Surajkund and Mr Chatterjee claimed that the fair would be held in rural ambience. About 400 stalls are being erected on an area of about 36 acres with ample space for parking and several entry points, according to Mr Anil Chaudhary, general manager, District Industries Centre and Nodal officer for the trade fest. Claiming that the response from the industry and trade circle had been very overwhelming and stated that it could overtake the annual Surajkund Crafts Mela’ as far as the space and organisation was concerned. He said that the booking of stalls, publicity, creation of required infrastructure, parking and other facilities had started and various agencies had been put into force to make the fair a success.



INDIA is fortunate to be clubbed with the developed countries. The recent G-20 meeting in New Delhi was an acknowledgement of India’s economic development. But what is the actual scene? A large number of our people are still living in poverty. Many of them are illiterate. We can remove this stigma from our society if we raise the social and educational standards of our people. Due to lack of education, our people still live with a lot of superstitious beliefs. The recent report by the Haryana Governor, Babu Parmanand, on the exploitation of Dalits, women, children and the labour class shows that lack of education is the main reason for the superstitious beliefs. It is also because of superstitions that evils like unemployment, poverty and corruption prevail in our society. If we study in depth, we can find that education not only provides the employment but the social structure of a society also depends on the education with high values.

Do you have a grouse against the apathetic attitude of the authorities? Are you fed up with the dilly-dallying tactics of officialdom and the stranglehold of red tapism?

If so, please write to us. We have a full half page every week reserved just for you. The letters should be clearly marked, Speaking out, NCR Tribune, First Floor, Dyal Singh Library Building, 1 Deen Dayal Upadhaya Marg, New Delhi-110002.

The intellectual level of the people of a country can be raised by education only. Education also plays a vital role in building up the character of the people. As we all know the future of any country depends upon its posterity and we can teach them morality by telling them about our great leaders and saints.

Every individual is responsible for creating a good and healthy society. According to J Krishnamurti, “We see society crumbling, disintegrating, and it is we, you and I, who have to be the architects.”

So the structure of a society can be built by raising the intellectual level of its people. India is known for its high spiritual beliefs and values. Indian people are known for their soft and kind-heartedness. But what impression we will create among other countries if the news of exploitation of Dalits, women, child labour etc appear in the mass media every day.

The steps taken by the Uthan Saksharta Samiti Karnal organised at Kali Das Rangshal are appreciable. Therefore, all of us should realise our responsibility to remove illiteracy to create an all-round opportunities for giving healthy education to all our people irrespective of caste, creed and colour.

Shweta Kohli

This is simply not cricket!

The hooligans who marred the third one-day cricket match at Rajkot on Tuesday last brought shame to the people of our country. Violence of this kind must be checked before it is too late. The none-too-pleasant incidents of field violence in Nagpur and Jamshedpur preceding Rajkot were still fresh in the mind of lovers of sport. The sports aficionados frowned on the undesirable behaviour of such people who do no good, either to the game or the country.

The police bandobast must ensure that none dared to spill over the play field in future. One hopes this incident will serve as an eye-opener to the organisers in future.

R L Pathak
Lodhi Colony,
New Delhi

Punish the scum of society

It is a matter of some satisfaction that the crime against women and children has decreased from 928 to 813 in the Capital, yet I feel, the current rate is also high and needs to be checked with an iron hand.

After all, we are living in a civilised society and anti-social elements who commit such crimes need to be tackled. Heavy punishment should be awarded to the scum of society.

Subhash C Taneja
MDU, Rohtak

When the executive doesn’t deliver

In most of the cases, it is the failure of the executive and not the legislature that has forced the judiciary to play an active role in public interest complaints.

The legislature, in its wisdom, has enacted several laws relating to pollution, encroachments, sanitation, public health, education, conservation of forests, etc, (the list is endless), and laid down specific modes/procedures to enforce the said laws for the guidance of the executive.

But the implementation by the executive, thereof, is so lax and time-consuming, and the interpretation of the laws so rigid, that people have no option but to knock at the door of the judiciary for redressal of even minor matters such as removal of hoardings/garbage, cleaning of rivers, postal delays, dead telephones, service matters relating to transfers, recruitment, school admissions, public health and outstanding dues.

To remedy the situation, the government should consider an amendment to the Civil Services Rules.

O.P. Sharma

Woes of a retired JE

I retired as Junior Engineer (F) 1st grade from Haryana State Electricity Board in 1991. My personal file Vol I from the year starting 1956, has been misplaced deliberately, by the office of chief engineer D/U.H.B.V.N Ltd, Delhi, now Gurgaon.

Panna Lal Gupta

Pray ban child labour

The child labourers demonstrating under the banner of “Bachpan Bachao Andolan” against the celebration of Children’s Day in the Capital would not make Pt Nehru happy in his high heaven.

It is a heartbreaking to see the tools in the hands of a school-going child. The future of any country depends on its younger generation and education plays a vital role in building up the character of a child.

There should be no Children’s Day until the child labour is totally vanished.

It is ironical that after more than five decades of Independence, we still could not get rid of child labour. In a developing country like India, the literacy level is also low. In villages and tribal areas, the distance between homes and schools is so long that poor children cannot reach the schools due to lack of transport facilities.

Moreover, they can ill-afford to buy books. To cap it, most of the schools do not have sufficient teaching staff. In many cases when there is enough teaching staff, the teachers do not take classes. They are busy in their own personal work and do not have time to teach.

That is why the exam results of tribal and remote areas are poor. Very few students get good marks and go for higher education. No wonder, their contribution in economic growth and development is quite less.

Many NGOs are coming up with their schemes to provide education to such people. Jodhpur’s Delhi Public School has started DPS Shiksha Kendra to help poor children get education so that they become better citizens. This school not only gives them education but also provides them uniform, books and stationery. This is a positive step and we should take the initiative to help such children.

N C Pandey

Huda, please listen

I and my family are great admirers of ‘The Tribune’ which has more than a century-old tradition of fight against corruption and fight for the cause of poor and downtrodden.

I am a poor helpless lady, a victim of indifferent attitude of the officials of Huda Sector 13 Panipat.

Due to the wedding of my daughter, on October 10, 2002, I applied for the refund of my deposit regarding plot No. 855 Sector-18, Panipat in the office of Haryana Urban Development Authority (Huda) Sector-13 Panipat, Haryana. Despite several reminders and personal visits, I have not received the refund order till date. As the date of my daughter’s wedding is nearing, I am very worried.

Pitam Pura,

Yet another Huda victim

I am a victim of the callous attitude of the Huda Sector 13 Panipat.

I applied for refund of my deposit regarding Plot No. 858 Sector-18 in the office of Haryana Urban Development Authority (Huda) Sector-13 Panipat.

In spite of several reminders, I have not received the refund order to date. I am quite anxious as the date of my daughter’s marriage is nearing.

Shakti Nagar,

A senior citizen’s appeal

I am the owner of House No. 22 Sector: 15 -I Gurgaon. On July 1, 2002, I requested in writing regarding common boundary wall. Despite several written and personal reminders, the Huda officials did not pay heed to my request.

I am an old person and find it very difficult to visit the Huda Gurgaon office every day. I request the authorities concerned to expedite the matter.

Kailash Chand
Shakti Nagar,


Children badly need a Santa Claus

NOVEMBER 14 is the birthday of Pt Jawaharlal Nehru. He was the first Prime Minister of an independent India. Apart from a democratic administrator, he sought to see India a self-reliant and self-respecting country. He was an apostle of peace also. During the dangerous cold war days, he kept the country at an equi-distance from the world’s two powerful warlords—the USA and the USSR..

He along with Marshall Tito of Yugoslavia and Mr Nasir of Egypt headed the non-aligned block of countries and kept at bay third world war to be fought with nuclear weapons.

He was a great visionary. He knew that children were a potential force. Health of a nation depends upon healthy children who are the future leaders of a country. So, he loved them immeasurably. Children considered him their Chacha. His love for children was not limited to the kids of his country. It was universal. In fact, Nehru was a great humanist.

After Nehru’s departure from the world in 1964, the children have not seen a leader who can be called their Chacha. However, the present President of India, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, is an exception. In him, the children see not only the picture of Chacha Nehru but also the people’s president.

He claims that children when ‘ignited’ can become the most powerful force.

After Nehru, Children Day has been a formality with us. However this year, on the Children Day, the government has affirmed their commitment towards universalisation of elementary education. The programme is mammoth. The focus of the programme is that all children, irrespective of any caste, will be able to complete 8 years of schooling by 2010. Every right-thinking person wishes the success of the scheme.

This year, two innovative steps have been taken to bemuse children. The artists of the small screen have arranged for a refreshing programme of entertainment and food for children living in hutments of Mumbai. The other pleasing feature of the day was the inauguration of Children’s Film Fair of Asia in Hyderabad by the Children Film Society of the Andhra Pradesh Government.

Children of our country are a neglected lot. There are many children whose mothers work. They leave their kids in the charge of ‘ayyas’.

The other lot is of those kids who are kept in creches and thereby deprived of maternal love. Then there are those poor, hapless children who live in shanties and wander aimlessly. They cannot afford formal education. They work as waiters by the roadside dhabas. There are ragpickers, shoe-shine boys, cobblers, newspaper vendors and beggars—-all children of a lesser god. They can never play and have to earn their bread with the sweat of their brow. The poor tribal children who live in drought-hit areas. They cannot afford even two square meals. Often they live on grass or just die from hunger. They need our benign attention. We have to take care of them for the child is the father of the man!

Ujjal Pal Singh
NIT, Faridabad



Career fair for unemployed youths

New Delhi, November 29
A career fair aimed at addressing the issue of unemployment was organised in the Capital today. Union Labour Minister Sahib Singh Yadav addressed the unemployed people who were gathered there.

Mr Verma spoke about the project, ‘Jago’, which has helped unemployed youth to find a means of earning a livelihood. Under the project, as many as 500 participants have been trained and keeping in mind their qualifications and interests they have been counseled and inspired to earn their living. TNS


31 fair price shops opened
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, November 29
As many as 31 fair price shops were opened by the District Food and Supply department here, the same number of shops that were closed down in the last month on charges of irregularities. The district has 951 fair price shops, of which 643 shops are located in urban areas. About 109 shops have been functioning in industrial labour colonies. It is reported that a total of 31 shops have been closed till the end of October this year on charges of irregularities.

Grant to best sportsperson

Rohtak: Mr Ashok Yadav, Deputy Commissioner and chairman of Model School managing committee, has announced that the school would bear the expenses incurred on education for one year of the student declared as best sportsperson of the year. He was presiding over the sports day function of the school at Chhotu Ram stadium here today.

The Deputy Commissioner clarified that the expenses incurred on education, including that on books and school uniform, would be reimbursed if a student of an outgoing (twelfth class) was selected as best sportsperson for the year. Implementing the announcement with immediate effect, Rahul Dahiya, a student of class 10 was adjudged as the best sportsperson for the current year and the chief guest, Ms Shailja Yadav, awarded him a cash prize of Rs 5,000.

Radhakrishnan house of the school won the inter-house running winners sports trophy for the year while Lakshmi Bai house stood up as runners up. The chief guest gave away prizes to the winners. She advised the students not to waste their time watching TV and on video games but spare some time for outdoor games for all-round development of their personality.

Mobile eye camp

The Department of Ophthalmology of Pt B. D. Sharma PGIMS has been organising mobile eye camps at various places in Haryana. Such a camp was organised at Panipat from November 23 to November 27 wherein 735 patients were examined. Of these, 183 patients were operated upon. Intra-ocular lenses were implanted among 180 patients and the other three were operated upon for cataract.

Roadways workers’ rally

Sonepat: A large number of Haryana Roadways workers held a demonstration in front of the depot here yesterday in protest against the “anti-worker attitude” of the General Manager of the roadways. According to a report, the workers shouted slogans against the state government and the General Manager and sat on a day’s dharna.

The main demands, among other things, include the non-rejection of medical leave, payment of overtime work, end of victimisation of employees, ban on issuing of illegal recovery, chargesheets and recovery of penalty, payment of fine by the department for the illegal challans in Delhi state and providing of drinking water and sewage facilities at the Gohana sub-depot.

The rally was addressed by Mr Baldev Singh, president of the Haryana State Roadways Workers Union Jai Karan Balhara, senior vice-president of the union Ved Vyas Arya, Mr Balbir Singh Rohilla, Mr Raj Singh Antil, Mr Raj Singh Dahiya, Mr Chander Bhan Narwal, Mr Om Parkash Grewal, Mr Balwan Singh Bora, Mr Dilbagh Singh Mann, Mr Chand Singh Khasa, Mr Siri Ram Kaushik, Mr Ajit Singh Malhana, Mr Saheb Singh Kundu and Jag Mohan Antil.

They urged the state government to order a high-level probe into the alleged bungling of funds and other malpractice of the authorities of the Sonepat depot of the roadways. Such a probe is likely to expose the misdeeds of the officials. The leaders also warned that if the just and legitimate demands of the union were not accepted, they would intensify the agitation.

Former minister bereaved

Mrs Saraswati Devi, wife of a former state minister, Mr Phool Chand Dhanak, died of heart attack here last night. She was 53. She leaves behind two sons and three daughters. Leaders of various political parties, social and voluntary organisations have condoled her death and expressed their sympathy with the bereaved family.

Rebuffed in love, two girls commit suicide

Ghaziabad: Failure to marry the young men they loved forced two young girls to end their lives by hanging themselves.

Sunita, 21, of Lal Bagh Colony in Loni, had put a noose around her neck. On being informed by the family, the police had to break open the door of the room to retrieve her body. Sunita, a XII class student at Loni Inter College, was having a love affair with a youth of the area. But when her family, who was opposed to the match, decided to marry her elsewhere, she locked herself in a room and killed herself.

In the second incident, the police found the body of a young girl hanging form the 21st floor of Neelgiri Apartments in Kaushambhi area of Indirapuram.

She was identified as Usha, 20, of Khaspur village in Khokhoda area of Meerut.


Dreaded criminal nabbed
Our Correspondent

Rohtak, November 29
A dreaded criminal, Suresh alias Kukku alias Satish of Bohar village, has been arrested by the police from near the powerhouse here on Thursday. He is allegedly involved in numerous murders, dacoities and highway robberies.

According to a police handout, Suresh had disclosed during interrogation that in July 1999, he along with his associates Ashwani, Rakesh and Rajender, all residents of Bohar, had killed Narender of the same village and thrown the body in a canal. Narender owned an Esteem car, which was plying as taxi at the Sonepat stand here. They had hired the taxi and killed Narender near Talao village in Jhajjar district. In August 1999, he had, in alliance with Samunder of Jatwara colony, Bahadurgarh, Kanwaljit of Ismaila, Jitender of Banipur and Rajesh of Baniyana, gunned down Sharvan Balmiki in the town. During August last year, he and his companions had looted Rs 16,000 at gunpoint from a petrol pump at Bhalauth village. In September 2001, he and his companions - Ajay, Tinu and Ravinder, all residents of Beri in Jhajjar district - had looted Rs 1.07 lakh from the Bohar branch of the State Bank of India at gunpoint.

The police said that the security guard of the Tilak Nagar branch of Punjab National Bank here was also gunned down by Suresh and Ajay alias Kala in June. After committing the crime, they had escaped on a scooter. Suresh reportedly told the police that in October 2002, he and Deva Nand of Mandothi and Ramesh of Ladpur had snatched a Maruti Zen car from near Mundakhera. This car was still in their possession, he reportedly told the police. They had snatched another Maruti car at gunpoint from near Kharkhara, after shooting at its driver near Jasana and throwing him out.


Bangladeshi dacoits strike at Preet Vihar
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 29
Bangladeshi dacoits who were armed with country-made pistols and knives struck at the house of a businessman in Preet Vihar in East district this morning and robbed cash and jewellery worth thousands of rupees. Recently, they had attacked the house of a relative of former Union Law Minister Shanti Bhushan in Anand Vihar and injured him.

The suspects who were six in number entered the house of Mr Shyam Sunder in D-Block in Preet Vihar at 4 am. They cut the iron grill and barged into the businessman’s house when he along with his other family members was asleep. While they were cutting the grill, Mr Shyam Sunder’s sons, Piyush and Shishir.

The dacoits stabbed Piyush and Shishir when they tried to resist them. They have been admitted to a nearby hospital.

Mr Shyam Sunder and his wife were in the other room. The suspects overpowered all of them and locked them up in one room and ransacked the house and decamped with Rs 20,000 and jewellery worth Rs 60,000. The suspects had covered their faces and spoke Bengali.

The police said that it was the first time that Bangladeshi dacoits had attacked a house located near railway lines. Generally, criminals who belonged to criminal tribes like Sansi attacked houses located in outskirts and deserted areas or the houses located near railway lines, park and jungle. The police suspected that Bangladeshi dacoits had changed their targets.

The East district police said that a number of suspects who speak Bengali had been detained and were being questioned. They generally live in jhuggi clusters in the garb of rickshaw-pullers, cycle repair men etc, the police said.


Gangster held after encounter
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 29
A notorious criminal of the Ranvir Rathi and Vijay Pal gang, Intizar alias Langra, a resident of Ghaziabad, was arrested by the special team of the Crime Branch in Timar Pur after a brief encounter. One country-made weapon, two live cartridges and one Hero Honda motorcycle were recovered from his possession. He carried a reward of Rs 5,000 on him by the UP Police and was involved in more than 25 cases of murder, dacoity, robbery, abduction and extortion.

The Crime Branch sleuths, after receiving a secret tip-off that Intizar would be coming to Timar Pur to meet his associates to commit a heinous crime here, was nabbed. Intizar was spotted by the Crime Branch in a black Hero Honda motorcycle. When the police tried to stop him, he tried to escape but the alert cops chased him. Intizar fired at a constable who challenged him. But the cop overpowered him. On interrogation, he disclosed that he had killed one Hashmat, as a contract killing assignment, in 1995. He had also committed a dacoity in Pipli in broad daylight and killed one person. He had robbed Rs 5 lakh from the employees of a sugar mill in Panipat in association with Vijaypal. The police said that his associates had been identified. An intensive search had been launched to nab them.

Gang of robbers

The West district police today claimed to have busted a gang of robbers who were operating in running buses. Each of the robbers — Babu Khan, hailing from Bihar, Ganga Prasad, a resident of Anand Parbat, and Ghan Shyam, resident of Ashok Vihar — was involved in several cases of robbery and snatching. They were nabbed from Tilak Nagar. The accused on August 5 had robbed one Prem Nath, a schoolteacher, of his mobile phone and Rs 10,000 at knifepoint while he was travelling in a DTC bus (route no 924). When a co-passenger tried to intervene, they stabbed him in his stomach and fled the spot.


No breakthrough in triple murder case
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, November 29
The police have failed to achieve any breakthrough in the triple murder case committed on Wednesday night near the community health centre at Bad Khalsa village in this district.

According to a report, the police carried out a number of surprise raids at the hideouts of the alleged assailants but failed to arrest them. However, the police authorities are confident that the alleged assailants would be arrested soon.

The victims have been identified as Narinder Dahiya of Bad Khalsa village, Narinder of Jatheri village and Jagbir of Azadpur Mandi in Delhi. All of them were returning from Delhi to the village after the closure of their shops.

Reportedly, as they reached near the community health centre of the village, a dumper truck coming from the opposite direction collided with their car and some unidentified persons fired shots at them, leading to their death. However, the alleged assailants managed to escape. On hearing the gunshots, a large number of people assembled at the site later informed the police about the incident.

The Superintendent of Police, Mr Paramjit Singh Ahlawat and other senior police officials reached the village immediately after the receipt of the information. Subsequently, they sealed the border in a bid to arrest the assailants. The three victims were partners of an arhat shop in Azadpur Mandi (Delhi), and two of them were eye-witnesses in the murder case of one Mr Devinder who was shot dead in his shop on April 2. It is stated that they had been receiving threats from the dreaded criminal Anil Bhagtey.


High time SSIs are bailed out, says chamber
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, November 29
The small scale industry (SSI) sector, which has played a significant role in the industrial and economic development by generating employment and production, has ironically failed to get proper attention in matter of policies and promotional strategies.

This was stated by Mr Rajiv Chawla, upcoming entrepreneur and general secretary of the Faridabad Small Industries Association (FSIA), while addressing a seminar on ‘Small Sector and Challenges’ organised by the D.A.V Institute of Management here recently.

Mr Chawla said that the small sector had been faced with several problems. But until and unless an effective and comprehensive plan is introduced to help the tiny industries to tackle the hurdles in research and development, they cannot face the growing international competition and other challenges. The tiny units require easy and fast loans, a check on deferred payments, end to Inspector Raj, reforms in labour laws and proper opportunities for technical collaboration.

He said that although the first industrial policy framed in 1948 and the subsequent exercises had focussed on the need for providing proper opportunities to this sector, the results have not been up to expectations. He said that the main problem was that there had been a lack of regular screening.

Also there had been no effective follow-up of the policies and changes required were not inculcated on time. He stated that the small-scale sector constituted 65 percent of the total industry in the country and provided employment to about 1.73 crore persons.

He maintained that over 32 units had been registered in the city and the sector had been contributing 78 per cent of the revenue generated. The small-scale industry (SSI) had a 40 per cent share in industrial production and 36 percent in the total exports.

He said the SSI statistics were encouraging, but if there had been proper planning and policies were on the right track, the economic growth would have been far better and several basic problems, such as unemployment and low GDP, would have not been there.

Demanding proper and hassle-free banking and relaxed labour norms, he informed the gathering that the SSIs today have only 17.3 per cent share in the financial help extended by the banks.

With globalisation, opening of the economy to multinationals and foreign companies vying to take over production and marketing of their products on a large scale, the government should unleash measures to make the products and services competitive and of world standard.

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