Thursday, January 2, 2003, Chandigarh, India

N C R   S T O R I E S


Traders restive, won’t settle for VAT
Parmindar Singh

Ghaziabad/Noida, January 1
Traders in Noida, Ghaziabad and other towns in these two districts took out rallies against the VAT system, which is going to come into force shortly. The district units of the Udyog Vyapar Mandal organised protest rallies, demonstrations and meetings in Noida and Ghaziabad.

At Ghaziabad Clock Tower crossing, an effigy of VAT was burnt by angry traders. The traders had earlier held a meeting in Vaish Mandir near the grain market and marched in protest from there to Clock Tower.

President of the Udyog Vyapar Mandal Shanti Swaroop Sharma said that VAT was like a hangman’s noose for the business community, which could not be accepted in any form. Under VAT, all traders would have to get themselves registered for trade tax. They would have to keep systematic records and accounts.

It would increase the work and worries of the traders. Besides, they would lose many concessions, which were available to them now, with VAT coming into effect, he said. It would also increase the tax burden by four to eight times on items, which now attracted no sales tax, and all the traders would become suspect in the eyes of the taxation department officials.

General secretary of the mandal Ganga Sagar Anand said that a huge rally of traders from 40 districts would be held in Ghaziabad on March 4 and another at Lucknow on March 8 against the VAT system.

In Noida and Dadri also, rallies were held and effigies of VAT burnt.

Traders met at Sector 27 in Noida under the leadership of district president of the Vyapar Udyog Mandal Sunil Gupta and took out a rally of cars, scooters, tempos and jeeps to the Sector 18 office of the trade tax department. Mr Gupta said that traders had made up their mind to join a decisive battle with the authorities on the introduction of VAT.

“We shall defend the interests of the trading community at all costs. Traders contribute the maximum revenue to the government exchequer. Besides, many political parties are totally dependant on the community. In spite of all these, traders have been exploited the most,” he said.

Introduction of the VAT system would increase exploitation of traders by the trade tax officials manifold, district treasurer of the mandal Anup Gupta charged. “But traders will not allow this to happen. The government will have to roll back their plan on the implementation of VAT, which will otherwise usher in a dark age for the traders,” he said.



Crime dips in G B Nagar
Our Correspondent

Noida, January 1
The overall crime rate has declined in Gautam Budh Nagar in 2002 compared to the previous year, claimed SSP Rajiv Krishen today.
Compared to the 2,267 crimes in the district in 2001, only 2,036 incidents of crime were reported here up to December 16, 2002. Compared to 403 road accidents last year, only 383 road accidents were reported in 2002, he said. A total of 216 illegal arms and 102 vehicles were recovered from criminals in the six-month period.

Reeling out the figures of crime for last year, the SSP claimed that there had been a 22 per cent decline in crime in the district. The police had also recovered 86 per cent of the property looted by criminals. The Noida police had killed five of the 27 dreaded criminals in encounters in six months while 85 criminals were nabbed in 32 encounters during the same period. A total of 216 weapons were recovered.

During the same period, 23 gangs of vehicle thieves were busted and 102 vehicles recovered from them. Fifty-three vehicle thieves were arrested.

The SSP said that an indication of the decline could be gauged from the fact that there was no case of rape in the district in 2002. There were 11 cases of dacoity in 2001 while there were only seven dacoities in the district in 2002. Three hundred vehicles were stolen last year, almost the same as that in the previous year.

He said that only 66 murders had taken place in the district last year as against 82 in the previous year. Unofficially, however, 91 murders were reported last year, 25 out of which were in Dadri alone. There was no kidnapping for ransom in 2002.



Khemka group’s land use under scanner
Our Correspondent

Ghaziabad, January 1
An inquiry has been initiated into the misuse of residential land allotted to the Khemka Group. Instances of high-handedness in the use of land had come to the notice of the authorities, prompting them to order a probe into the whole affair.

The Ghaziabad Development Authority had leased plots W-1 & W-2, measuring 4000 sq metres each, under the Vaishali Scheme for 30 years to Khemka Stauart Leaser Ltd for developing a water park and a theatre.

A few days after this allotment, the Khemka group had issued advertisements in newspapers announcing that the group would construct multi-storey flats, a shopping centre, a swimming pool and a club on these very plots. The group had even invited applications from the public.

However, the land had been bought from GDA on residential rates for developing entertainment infrastructure. These facts were recorded in the lease deed. But the Khemka group, with the connivance of some GDA officials, had shown it as commercial land in GDA’s records. When these facts came to light, GDA Vice Chairman Prashant Trivedi took a very serious view of the matter and ordered officer-on-special-duty Dr Arun Veer Singh to conduct an inquiry within three weeks.

Meanwhile, the lease deed of the plots and the approved construction plan were cancelled.

According to sources, facts have come to light which suggest that some fraud had been perpetrated. For example, the period of lease deed has been fraudulently increased from 30 years in the original to 90 years in the GDA records. Otherwise, a lease deed for this type of an entertainment park would just not have been possible, according to government rules which provide for a licence in such cases.

But having allotted this land at the rate of Rs 1 per sq metre, the GDA officials have openly flouted the government rules. This fact has been confirmed in the inquiry report, it is learnt. There is no provision in the administrative orders to allot land for such entertainment parks at such a low or throw away rates, it is authoritatively learnt.



Cold fails to take fizz out of New Year
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 1
Delhiites bid adieu to an eventful 2002 by bursting crackers and welcomed 2003 with gay abandon, dancing in clubs and pubs to tantalizing numbers.
Police had made elaborate arrangements and cordoned off the inner circle of the upmarket Connaught Place to foil any attempt by disruptive elements even as revelers made a beeline for the heart of the Capital to welcome the third year of the millennium. Owing to the rush of revelers, traffic was banned in the market evening onwards.

Scores of persons were detained and arrested on the charge of being drunk in the Capital. One of them allegedly made advances towards a lady employee of the YMCA here in a drunken state. Eleven revelers were detained in New Delhi district while one was arrested on the charge of eve-teasing. A total of 21 youths, who were in an inebriated state and making nuisance on the road, were arrested in East district, the police said.

Four persons were injured when their Tata Sumo met with an accident on Tughlak Road. They were on their way to Connaught Place.

However, there was relatively less rush in Connaught Place this year because of rain and cold.

The Traffic Police challaned 150 vehicles for rash and negligent driving; 25 drivers were found drunk. Hotels, clubs and pubs in the Capital had organised special events to celebrate the occasion. However, many people opted to remain indoors due to bad weather and preferred to enjoy special programmes on television. For the man on the street, it was, however, another chilling night, spent around bonfires.



Not all is fine in the finest address south of Delhi
Ravi S. Singh
Tribune News Service

Gurgaon, January 1
Not happy on several fronts, especially when it comes to civic amenities, the lack of security in the DLF City has now got the goat of the residents. Many of them doubt the wisdom of legal squabbles between the DLF Qutab Enclave Residents’ Welfare Association and the DLF management, giving the latter a chance to abdicate the responsibility for arranging the security cover for the City.

After the association won a case against the DLF management a few months back, on the issue of maintenance charges, the management washed its hands off the security of the residential areas.

A wing of the HUDA department had issued a public order against the DLF Management, barring it from collecting maintenance charges from the residents. The management moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court against the order. The Association impleaded itself in the case against the management. Subsequently, the management not only stopped collecting maintenance charges from the residents, but also the charges for the upkeep of the security cover. A number of private security agencies had been hired by the management for providing the security cover.

The benefit of the earlier arrangement was that the management had taken upon itself the responsibility of providing the security cover for the entire City. Now, the onus has devolved on the Association, which is just not able to cope with the demands of logistics. As a result, smaller bodies, including residents welfare associations, are trying to organise the security cover. With these smaller groups interested only in their area of concern, the earlier homogeneity of the security cover has been lost. The criminal elements are allegedly taking advantage of the loopholes.

A former Lok Sabha MP and resident of DLF City Phase-1, Mr Hardyal Devgun, lamented that the residents were feeling insecure as crime has increased in the City area. He cited a number of cases of thefts to prove his point.

It is not security alone which has the residents worked up.

Mr Devgun wrote to the DLF management sometime back, pointing out that the charm of slogans like “DLF is the finest address South of Delhi” and “DLF is where the world is moving” is wearing thin. The colony is neither clean nor pollution free. It is also not properly maintained. The living conditions are most unhygienic and disgusting. He alleged that hundreds of construction labourers were engaged in DLF City Phase-1. They stay at the construction sites, where there are no latrines or urinals. They use the periphery of the Phase-1 for these purposes. The periphery of “the finest address

South of Delhi” has not only been converted into a “public toilet” but also a dumping ground for waste. Besides it has become a haven for pigs and breeding ground for mosquitoes, flies and insects. The interior is no different. All the vacant plots have become a dumping ground for garbage and are infested with human excreta and weeds, the letter alleged.



Fake notes worth Rs 1.5 lakh seized
Our Correspondent

Ghaziabad, January 1
The city police have busted a gang of six criminals who were trading in fake currency notes. Fake notes worth Rs 1.50 lakh have been seized from them. The arrested criminals included a dismissed CRPF cop and a relative of another cop. They were arrested after an encounter at the Ram Lila ground. A .32 bore revolver, two country-made revolvers, knives and a large number of live cartridges and fake currency notes were seized.

The police arrested Shahabudin of Kallugarhi village in Mussori, Anil Gupta alias Bobby of Kotgaon, Lokesh of Dhum Kheri village in Dadri, Sushil Prajapatti of Duhai village in Moradnagar and Yogesh of Peepal Sana village in Bijnore. They guided the police to the house of Promode under the Vijay Nagar police station area in Sector 9. During the raid on the house, the police arrested Promode’s wife while two criminals managed to flee.

The police seized a colour printer and fake currency notes of Rs 50 denomination worth Rs 47,000 and those of Rs 100 denomination worth Rs 50,000. Some half-printed fake notes were also recovered.

SP City Rajesh Pandya said that Promode, who is absconding, was also known to prepare fake documents for vehicles. Yogesh, a resident of Vijay Nagar, was a dismissed cop of the CRPF, who had beaten up his senior officer during his posting in Jammu and Kashmir in 1997 for which he was dismissed from service. Another accused, Sushil, is also related to a CRPF cop. Sushil had been sent to jail twice in a murder case. Anil, who has a sweetmeat shop near Vijay Nagar police station, used to help in marketing the illegal currency.



Electronic auction for Azadpur Mandi
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 1
The vegetable and fruit market in Azadpur will become the first market in the country to have an electronic auction system when Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit inaugurates it on January 6.

Chairman of Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) Azadpur Rajinder Sharma on Wednesday said the market will be renamed Chaudhary Hira Singh Market.

The Azadpur market, with an annual transaction of Rs three thousand crore, has already found a place in the Limca Book of Records as the largest market in Asia.

Vegetables and fruits from Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and Rajasthan are brought to the market. They are then distributed in NCT of Delhi and adjoining places.

The electronic auction system will eliminate any foul play as the proceedings of the auction would now be displayed simultaneously.



Employees cheat firm of Rs 33 lakh

Noida, January 1
The police are trying to ferret out the three criminals who had, over a period of time, fraudulently withdrawn Rs 33 lakh from the bank account of their company in Phase II here.

The have been identified as Radhey Shyam Jha, Mukesh Sharma and Ashok Singh, manager, accountant and supervisor, respectively, of Thomson Press in Phase II. They are said to be absconding.

The trio used to handle the bank dealings of the press. They had not only been withdrawing lakhs of rupees from the bank, but had also furnished fake computer statements and shown them as those issued by the bank. They used to file these statements in the company records. According to the SO of Phase II police station, the fraud came to light only when the general manager of the press went to the bank to inspect the account. OC



After rain, stench grips Sonepat city 
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, January 1
Widespread winter rain that lashed the city during the past 24 hours has left behind a trail of un-cleared garbage and waterlogged roads. Conditions are appalling in slum clusters, particularly on the banks of Drain 6 where many pockets are submerged with rainwater. Nearly 10,000 people live in unauthorised slum clusters and resettlement colonies where planned development has taken the backseat.

In other parts of the city too, the condition is no better. Residents in many colonies have to put up with choked drains and overflowing garbage bins. Heaps of filth are seen lying in various parts of the city and the failure of the safai workers to remove it has worsened the sanitary conditions. The city stinks now as garbage has not been removed for the last several days. If no immediate steps are taken to remove the garbage, the city may see an outbreak of contagious diseases.

Residents have to cover their noses with handkerchiefs while passing through the road near the RSS ground opposite the telephone exchange. Laying of telecommunication cables has added to the misery of residents. This has led to frequent traffic jams on various roads.

Water-logging in the low-lying areas and overflowing of storm water drains have done a great deal of damage to the roads. The downpour has exposed the hollowness of the claims of the civic authorities. Potholed roads even in the posh colonies are a common sight and the road leading to the Subzi Mandi from Murthal Adda is no exception.

Driving has become dangerous on the main roads due to the gaping potholes. Roads in almost all the areas in old section of the city are crying for immediate attention. Ironically, some of the roads were re-laid only a few months ago. The PWD (B and R), the Municipal Council, the HUDA and other official agencies have utterly failed to repair the damaged roads in spite of several public complaints made to the authorities concerned. This has caused resentment among the residents of the city.



Chautala calls for Opposition unity 
Our Correspondent

Jhajjar, January 1
Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala urged the political parties of the state to close ranks on the issue of SYL canal. Addressing a meeting of the members of panchayats, block samitis and zila parishad and Village Development Council at Jahanara Stadium here today, Mr Chautala said that although the opposition parties had every right to criticise the government policies, they should co-operate on the issue in the interest of the state.

He informed that the state had suffered losses to the tune of Rs 8,000 crore in the past 16 years on account of the non-completion of the SYL canal, as its water could have irrigated 7.5 lakh acres of agriculture land annually.

Terming the recommendations of Kelkar committee as anti-farmer, the Chief Minister held that if the farmers were taxed, they would face ruin. Criticising the Congress for not opposing the recommendations, he said that he was ready to sacrifice anything in the interest of the state.

Mr Chautala said that Rs 272 crore had been spent in carrying out various development works in Jhajjar district only. He called the panchayati raj institutions to work for the development of rural areas as more financial and administrative powers were being delegated to them. He said that Jhajjar would be connected with the rail network soon.



Samiti formed to lead stir on SYL
Our Correspondent

Rewari, January 1
The Rashtriya Nav Chetna, a prominent voluntary organisation of south Haryana, organised a ‘maha sammelan’ here today to finalise its strategy on the SYL canal, increasing unemployment and certain other issues. Thousands of people, including a large number of women, attended the meeting.

Delivering his keynote address, Mr. Vijay Somany, convenor of the organisation, announced the formation of a 15-member ‘Sangharsh Samiti’, which would launch a concerted struggle for an expeditious solution to the SYL tangle as well as for getting canal water for the parched fields of south Haryana.

The samiti comprises Mr Vijay Somany, Dr Surat Singh, a noted Supreme Court lawyer, Mr Naresh Yadav, president of the Haryana Yuva Kisan Sangharsh Samiti, Mr R. K. Sharma, advocate, and Mr Mahendra Chakravarty, an advocate.

Dr Surat Singh declared that he would file a writ petition in the Supreme Court tomorrow seeking appropriate legal action against the Punjab Government if it failed to get the SYL canal completed in its territory by January 15 in accordance with its earlier verdict.

Making a specific mention of the increasing unemployment among youths in south Haryana, Mr Somany flayed the apathy of the successive state governments for this burning problem. He demanded a clear-cut decision, which could ensure employment to local jobless youths in the industries here on a priority basis.

The sammelan also adopted several resolutions seeking regularisation of colonies in Chandpur ki Dhani, Dhaliawas and other suburbs falling in the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) land here.

Mr Somany also lambasted the local Congress leadership for allegedly misleading the people about its SYL canal policy which, he asserted, had failed to yield any result in the previous years.

Mr Somany demanded implementation of the establishment of a full-fledged postgraduate regional centre at an appropriate place here at the earliest.



Mahatma’s statue installed at renamed ‘D’ park
Jatinder Sharma

Rohtak, January 1
Following the installation of the statue of Mahatma Gandhi, the so-called `D’ park situated at the entrance of Model Town, has now been officially named Bapu Park by the district administration. The people of the town have been calling it `D’ Park because of its shape, though the civic body has not given any name.

The Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, today unveiled the statue of the Mahatma, which was installed at the specially raised platform in this one-acre park. The tricolour in the background of the statue adds colour to its glory.

The Deputy Commissioner, Mr Ashok Yadav, told ‘NCR Tribune’ that the three monkeys, which embodied speak no evil, hear no evil and see no evil, had been carved on the podium on which the 13.5-feet high statue had been installed. The spinning wheel that symbolised the strongest sentiments of the freedom movement has also been carved on the podium.

Although the Mahatma had visited Rohtak on February 16, 1921 and laid the foundation stone of the Vaish Education society, there was no statue of the Father of the Nation in the district. The Vaish Education Society installed a life-size statue of Mahatma Gandhi on its campus in June 1963, 42 years after its foundation stone was laid. This is perhaps the only education society in India whose foundation stone was laid by the Mahatma.

Mr Ashok Yadav said that the police post, which was earlier located in front of the `D’ park, has now been shifted to the back side. This police post was set up following increasing incidents of chain snatching and eve-teasing in this posh locality situated in the vicinity of Maharshi Dayanand University and the PGIMS. The police post, he said, would remain there so as to instil a feeling of security among the residents, particularly among women.

The statue has cost nearly Rs 2.50 lakh and the amount has been shared by the Jat Education Society and partly by the people. The earth-filling work has been done free of cost by the Truck Union and the iron grills around the park has been erected from the MP’s Development Fund provided by Capt Inder Singh, MP. The police post has been constructed by two contractors according to the designs provided by the district administration.

The development of Bapu Park and installation of the statue of the Mahatma has given a new look to the town. The added attraction at Bapu Park would be the digital advertisement board installed for displaying developmental activities of the state government.



Vaccination camp for Haj pilgrims
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 1
In a bid to provide better healthcare facilities to Haj pilgrims, the Delhi State Haj Committee on Wednesday launched a week-long vaccination camp. Inaugurating the camp, the chairman of the Delhi State Haj Committee, Mr Abdul Sami Salmani, said round-the-clock medical facilities and other essential services would be provided to the pilgrims. Haj guidebooks were also distributed to the pilgrims.

SAD(B) leader Bereaved: The mother-in-law of Deputy Opposition Leader in the MCD and national general secretary of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) Onkar Singh Thapar, Jaswant Kaur (62), died on December 29, 2002 of prolonged illness. She had courted arrested in 1984 in protest against Operation Blue Star.

Her funeral was attended by a number of prominent politicians and ministers. Antim Ardas will be held in her honour on January 4, 2003 at Gurdwara Sri Guru Singh Sabha in Shiv Nagar, Jail Road, New Delhi from 3 p.m. to 4.30 p.m.



Rs 28.38 lakh sanctioned for education
Tribune News Service

Panipat, January 1
With a view to bring the children in the age group of 6-12 years to school, the Haryana Government has sanctioned Rs 28.38 lakh to the district under an ambitious plan. According to official sources, 242 primary schools in the district has been sanctioned Rs 2,000 each to upgrade the infrastructural facilities. And 1,109 teachers has been granted Rs 500 each under the ‘Sarab Shiksha Abhiyan’.

Two buildings of the primary schools at Samalkha and Seenkh would be constructed at a cost of Rs 6 lakh each.

According to sources, an amount of Rs 51.98 lakh had been allotted to the district under the DPEP scheme. An amount of Rs 23.74 lakh had been spent on the construction of three school buildings at Matlauda, Barana and Manana.

New power connections: The Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (UHBVN) has sanctioned 24,982 new connections in the district during the last three years. This includes 23,182 domestic connections, 875 industrial connections and 925 tubewell connections.

The UHBVN also upgraded about 30 km of old wire network. The authorities have planned to install three new 33 KV sub-stations at Siwah, Bapoli and in Panipat to improve the power scenario in the district.

The industrial sector was being given top priority in the allotment of new power connections.



Four extortionists nabbed 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 1
Four members of the Kishan-Pahelwan gang, who were involved in extortion cases, were nabbed by the North district police on the New Year’s eve. The police team spotted a Maruti Van (No DL-3C-K-9993) with four persons near Nagia Park and when they tried to stop it, the car sped away.

When the police team chased the car, the occupants fired at the police party.

However, the police managed to overpower the occupants. They were identified as Baljeet Singh and Jaswant Singhal, both residents of Majra Dabbas, Karam Bir Singh, resident of Rohtak and Narinder, resident of Jhajjar. One country-made pistol, a live cartridge, one spring actuated knife and three rods were recovered from their possession.

Gang busted: With the arrest of three persons, the West district police today claimed to have busted a gang involved in robberies. Three scooters and one motorcycle were recovered at their instance. The accused, Deen Dayal Sharma, resident of Uttam Nagar, Virender Singh, alias Raju, resident of West Patel Nagar and Manjeet Singh, resident of Gandhi Nagar, robbed one Umesh Chand Chadha of Rs 7,000, some documents on December 29 when he was returning home with his father. The four robbers looted him and when he resisted, they injured him with a sharp-edged weapon.

Juvenile held: Influenced by the crime serials, a juvenile, who posed himself as a member of ‘Jaish-e-Lashker’ and tried to extort Rs 50 lakh from a person, was arrested by the East district police. A mobile phone was recovered from his possession. The accused had sent a letter to the complainant that he should pay Rs 50 lakh, failing which he and his family would be killed. He confessed to the crime when the police nabbed him. During interrogation he disclosed that he has been in Delhi for the last two years. The family of the accused was from Bihar and his father is a practicing lawyer there.

Professor robbed: The PCR staff deployed at Ghazipur nabbed four persons, including a TSR driver for allegedly robbing a professor of Rs 5,000 and his wristwatch.

The victim, Narender Mohan Mishra (33), resident of Ghaziabad, boarded a TSR in Sarai Kale Khan for going to Anand Vihar.

When the TSR reached the Ghazipur red light, the trio, who were already inside the auto and the driver snatched the money and a wristwatch from him.

When the victim raised an alarm, the PCR van immediately followed the accused and nabbed them.


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