Friday, January 3, 2003, Chandigarh, India

N C R   S T O R I E S


Fog sends rail, air traffic for a toss
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 2
The Capital continued to wear a blanket of dense fog. Visibility remained low and chilly winds forced people to remain indoors. Air and surface transport continued to remain affected.

The Runway Visibility Range (RVR) recorded at 9.30 this morning was 150 metres and air traffic remained suspended at the Delhi Airport. Air traffic came to a halt with no flights taking off or landing since late last night. While three international and one domestic flights were diverted to Mumbai as they could not land in the Capital, many more flights, both international and domestic ones, were re-scheduled.

Authorities have pointed out that these flights will resume only after the visibility improves. Meanwhile, the rail traffic too was disrupted by the poor visibility. Railway officials said at least 21 trains, both incoming and outgoing, were rescheduled. Some trains were delayed for several hours.

Several incoming trains, including Rajdhani from Howrah, Mumbai and Guwahati and the North-East Express were also rescheduled.

The Meteorological Department office here said dense fog had spread across the region in Punjab and Haryana, parts of Rajasthan and along the Gangetic plains. The fog is expected to persist for a few more days.

The Met office said that the fog has been caused by Tuesday’s rainfall that left a lot of moisture in the air. The radiation cooling of these vapours has produced fog. Radiation cooling happens when the water vapours get trapped in the lower layer of atmosphere, the officials pointed out.

Meanwhile, the traffic in the city continued to remain disrupted. The city witnessed traffic snarls in the early hours today. Commuters complained of poor visibility, which made driving difficult. “The visibility is low, the roads are slippery and what is making it worse is the wayward driving”, said a commuter.

The minimum temperature today was 6.5 degrees Celsius, which is normal, but the chilly winds blowing down from the Himalayas made it seem colder. The maximum temperature was around 18 degrees Celsius, four degrees less than normal.

The Met official said: “Fog has engulfed entire northern India and there is heavy snowfall in the Himalayas. We are expecting some rain in the coming days. Even if we don’t get rain, there will be a drop in the temperature due to cold winds coming from the Himalayas.”

Incessant rain on the last day of 2002 had pushed the mercury down to 11 degrees Celsius — 11 degrees below normal.

Though New Year day was a little sunny, the winter gloom was back on Thursday.



Cattle perish in cold wave 
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, January 2
A large number of cattle in this district are reported to have perished due to the current cold wave sweeping the region. The district has a large cattle population. The temperature has gone down considerably due to the icy winds.

One can see bonfires in almost the whole area around Sonepat city in the night. The herdsmen make bonfires to keep the cattle and themselves warm. The cold wave has also affected the gram, mustard and vegetable crops badly in many villages of the district.

Meanwhile, thick fog enveloped the city and its surrounding areas for the third day today disrupting rail and road traffic. Almost all the long distance and suburban trains passed through Sonepat behind schedule stranding thousands of commuters here and at nearby railway stations. The commuters waited at the platforms shivering in the cold.

Similarly, traffic on the National Highway 1 and other state highways was the worst-hit due to poor visibility. The drivers of vehicles have to use headlights even during the daytime to avoid accidents.

Most of the people kept themselves indoors because of foggy weather conditions. All the bazaars and commercial centres looked deserted till noon. The residents of the city remained powerless for more than an hour in the wee hours today.

The breakdown occurred around 4 am and the power supply was restored around 5.15 am. The water supply system also broke down and the people had to fetch water from distant places.



Dig & restore: New mantra for phone companies
Syed Ali Ahmed
Tribune News Service

New Delhi January 2
The Municipal Corporation of Delhi has allowed mobile phone companies and other agencies to dig up roads for laying cables without depositing the mandatory damage charges. A preamble was passed to this effect in a meeting of the House of the corporation recently. Also, the onus for road repair will now be on the phone companies.

The phone companies were earlier required to deposit a hefty sum before starting the digging operations. The road repair was also undertaken by the MCD.

Now, the private companies only require the permission of the authorities to dig up the roads. They will repair the road after completing their job. It is the duty of the engineering department of the MCD to ensure that the road is repaired. If it is not, the MCD will be free to punish the company concerned.

This scheme, “Dig and Restore,” has also been approved by the Chief Law Officer, Finance Department, of the corporation and L-G Vijai Kapoor.

This scheme was adopted as road repairs by the MCD is very time consuming: tenders have to be floated for this purpose, which are then routed through different departments. Consequently, the roads remained unrepaired for days together, causing much hardship to the citizens. Due to the official apathy, restoration charges were often not levied, the corporation sources said.

Farhad Suri, a Congress corporator, has opposed the scheme, pointing out that the private companies would not bother to repair the road. They will only be interested in completing their job. They are also not experts in undertaking road repairs. A portion of DDU Marg was dug by a private company, it is pointed out, and it has not been repaired so far.

Under the new policy the companies would arrange for a third party to inspect their restoration work at its own cost. However, this too is a time-consuming process. The proposed three government agencies – CRRI, RITES Limited and IIT, New Delhi - have no separate arrangements for such works.

The MCD will also lose interest on the damage deposits. It is further feared that the private companies may damage the water lines, electric and other cables. Besides, there is no scope for cross-checking in the new scheme, it is alleged.



Official climbdown on Trade Fest
Bijendra Ahlawat
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, January 2
Despite the chilling weather conditions, the debate on the success and failure of the recently concluded Trade Fest - 2002 at Surajkund is still hot and simmering.
The district authorities held a press conference to put forth their claims, which seemed to be at odds with their presentation before the start of the Trade Fest.

Consider this: The district authorities on December 20, a day before the fair, stated that about five lakh visitors were likely to attend the nine-day event. But on the concluding day, the authorities said that about 1.5 lakh people had visited the fair. Today, the mediapersons were told that only one lakh persons had visited it.

The authorities had also claimed earlier that the fair would even overshadow the India International Trade Fair (IITF) held at Pragati Maidan. However, today the Deputy Commissioner stated that “there could be no comparison with the IITF as the latter was almost 25 years old”.

Normally, the organisers hold press conferences prior to such events and not after their conclusion. As the media reports suggested that the Trade Fest was well below expectations, the district authorities held the press conference to clarify its stand.

It may be recalled that the Chief Minister and several senior officials had gloated over the Trade Fest and stated that they plan to develop an ultramodern international level site to organise business and trade fairs. Today, the authorities appeared to be on the defensive.

Earlier, the CM and the organisers had stated that the business and trade fairs would be held round-the-year at Surajkund, but the authorities today refused to talk about the sequel. They only mentioned the annual art and crafts mela in February.

Initially, it was said that the fair was a big draw and about 400 stalls had been put up; but later the line was that about 340 companies had taken part in the festival, including some MNCs. Now, it is reported that the big companies had not put up their stalls, but had only asked some of their dealers to do so. The authorities failed to give details about the multinationals that participated in the fair even today.

The authorities had claimed that there were over one lakh business enquiries. However, it is a known fact that there had been no separate business hours in the Trade Fest as is customary in the IITF. There were only seminars organised by various industry organisations. Amazingly, the authorities could not ensure the attendance of not even a single foreign embassy or its trade representative at the fair.



On a rath into people’s hearts
Ravi S. Singh
Tribune News Service

Sohna (Gurgaon), January 2
Launching novel ad campaigns to shore up their products is not the forte of business houses. Politicians can do that better. Their sense of timing can also be perfect.
Mr Ram Chander Yadav, a local leader of the Haryana Vikas Party (HVP), chose to greet the people on the occasion of New Year by launching a ‘Vikas Rath.’

The decked up Tata 407, which masqueraded as a rath, had a state-of-the-art public address system and carried large cutouts of Mr Bansi Lal and his son and HVP general secretary, Mr Surender Singh. And all this under a bright red canopy.

Mr Ram Chander Yadav flagged off the rath from Badshahpur, an important junction and commercial hub of this Assembly constituency. The fact that it was a foggy day did not deter his supporters. The rath was on the road for two days and had toured all the villages of the constituency by today evening, it is claimed

All through, cassettes of ‘raginis’ – Haryanavi songs celebrating the deeds and lives of heroes — were played on the public address system.

The songs were interspersed with ‘Happy New Year’ greetings, in the recorded voice of Mr Yadav. Also, the songs were laced with the tales of ‘vikas’ (development works) undertaken by Mr Bansi Lal when he was the Chief Minister. Several new vows were also thrown in. The rath received an enthusiastic response from the public. Politicians generally resort to such gimmicks during election time or when they are trying to garner support for public rallies. Says Dhanu Ram of Sohna: “This appears to be a sincere effort to reach out to the public.”

The fact that this HVP leader is not an MLA appears to have lent an air of sincerity to the exercise. The good response has left the political opponents of the HVP and Mr Ram Chander Yadav green with envy. Some of them feel that he has stolen a march on them.

Some politicians had pasted posters to extend New Year greetings. But Ram Chander Yadav seems to detest the idea of defacing the walls with posters. Besides posters lack a personal touch, as the ‘Vikas Rath’ has proved.



HC allows Reliance to install antenna 
in Sainik Farms
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 2
Relaxing its ban on carrying out any type of construction in the controversial unauthorised Sainik Farms colony here, the Delhi High Court today permitted the repair of a road and installation of a Reliance Info Comm Ltd antenna in the area.

Despite strong opposition from the Centre and Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), a Bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Devinder Gupta and Justice B. D. Ahmed permitted an application by the Defence Services Enclave Association (DSEA) to take machinery and materials strictly for repair of road inside the locality having about 5,000 houses.

The court, in an order passed in January 2001, had strictly banned carrying of any construction material inside Sainik Farms where highly connected people have built palatial houses illegally and in violation of court’s 1997 direction staying constructions in any of the unauthorised colonies in Capital.

The court also permitted Reliance Info Comm Ltd (RICL) today to erect its antenna on a legal land-holding inside the locality for providing communication facilities to residents but made it clear that construction of any kind would not be permitted.

Earlier, central government counsel Geeta Luthra and MCD counsel Anil Grover strongly opposed granting of permission even for construction of the road and for erecting the antenna by RICL, contending that in the guise, material for house construction might be taken inside.

Ms Luthra said” “Sainik Farms is not in the government’s plan for regularisation and permission should not be granted there for any type of construction.”

The court granted the permission considering the fact that about 30,000 people are living in the locality, making it clear that there would be no dilution of its earlier order so far as the ban on construction of any kind of structure in the locality was concerned.

Ms Luthra said a private party could not be allowed to create any infrastructure in an unauthorised colony, especially when there was a strict ban imposed by the court.

“The association has no right to do so in a colony which is not in the government’s list for regularisation,” she said, adding “it would amount to putting the cart before the horse”.

The MCD counsel said it was impossible to man all the entry points and if permission was granted to take material for construction of the road inside, it might be misused by some residents.

The court in its January 12, 2001 order had directed the South Delhi Deputy Commissioner of Police to put a policeman on guard at each entry point. It also had directed the MCD not to allow any illegal construction there.

The ban order followed a report by a committee, which had stated that despite the court’s order for demolition of 35 illegal houses built after 1997 stay, the MCD officials concerned did not follow the directions.

Following the report, the court had sentenced to two months’ imprisonment the then area Assistant Engineer and Junior Engineer of the MCD for contempt of court. However, their petitions for review of the sentence order are still pending before the court.



The common mongoose is not common anymore
Smriti Kak
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 2
The latest animal to face the wrath unleashed by man’s avarice is the common mongoose. After the fur and the feathers, it is mongoose hair that has forced wild life protection groups to take up the cause. Students in schools are now being approached to help in saving the species, which is fast dwindling.

According to the Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) the common mongoose is common no more. The past year saw the WTI organise campaigns to protest against the rampant killing of the animal for its hair, which in turn is used to manufacture brushes for painting and shaving.

A study conducted by WTI in collaboration with associates has thrown up startling facts, indicating the increased vulnerability of the species. Undercover investigations carried out by the WTI revealed that the animal is ruthlessly hunted, and its hair fashioned into paintbrushes used by artists and school children.

The WTI has now approached schools to aid them in their campaign to save the animal. Workshops are being carried out in schools where students are encouraged to say ‘no’ to paint brushes made from mongoose hair. “These students are taught to identify a brush made from mongoose hair. We also provide them with charts and CDs that list the details about the illegal trade, which involves killing the animal for its hair”, said Ms. Urvashi Dogra, Campaign Manager, WTI.

In one such workshop organised at the Sriram School, which was attended by representatives of over 35 schools in the city the students were familiarised with the method of identifying a mongoose hair paintbrush. “We are planning to hold more workshops in the city schools and Sriram school has volunteered to take up the issue with other schools. Presentations are being taken up initially in Delhi and then once we are able to get some support and funds for the campaign, we will take it to other parts of India as well”, added Dogra.

WTI officials point out that the trade in mongoose hair is posing a threat to the animal population. Each animal yields about 20 grams of usable hair after the raw material is cleaned and graded for making brushes.

The animals are trapped and then clubbed to death or stunned. The hair is then plucked by hand, sometimes when the animal is still alive, and packed in gunny bags and sent to production centres. 



Electronic meter is not theft-proof
Our Correspondent

Bhiwani, January 2
An HBVN vigilance team has unearthed a major scam: large-scale power theft was being committed by an industrialist here. According to sources, the vigilance team from Hisar arrived in the Industrial area on a tip-off and raided the factory. The modus operandi used for stealing power was an eye opener. The factory owner used a high-powered magnate to stop the meter. The department has slapped a fine of Rs 30 lakh on the unit for the theft.

The theft has raised a question mark about the performance of electronic meters, which had been introduced by the HBVN in 1993 after much deliberation. A high-level committee had then been constituted to select the best meters, which could not be tampered with by any means. The nigam had purchased these meters in bulk, claiming that the devices would certainly outwit the thieves.

The latest case has created a furore in the department and it is feared that this method must be known to other consumers as well. Since an officer, of the rank of SDO, used to inspect high tension electronic meters two to three times a year with an MRI equipment, theft of power on such a large scale is subject to inquiries.



No NOC needed for captive power units
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 2
In a significant development, the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) has lifted the stipulation for getting No-Objection Certificate from Central or State Pollution Control Boards for setting up Captive Power Plants in the Capital.

DERC said this has been done in view of the hardship faced by public in obtaining these certificates from pollution controlling bodies. After being apprised of the difficulties faced by the public in obtaining the NOCs, DERC took up the matter with the Delhi Pollution Control Committee and the state government and underscored the need to expedite their issuance, a DERC release said here today.

However, in the absence of requisite mechanism for issuance of the certificate, DERC has decided to dispense the said requirement from its clause, the release added. The DERC has already received 1,100 applications for grant of consent for CPPs, it added.



Cheetah scare in Mehrauli

New Delhi: Panic spread in Neb Sarai area of Mehrauli in South district after a cheetah attacked two women and a gardener working in a park this afternoon. An official of the Wild Life Department of the Delhi Government also sustained injuries while trying to capture the animal. The victims have been admitted to a hospital, the Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police (South district), Mr Praveer Rajan, said.

The Wild Life Department, the Forest Department, the Municipal Corporation of Delhi and the local police are conducting a joint operation to capture the cheetah. A special net has been brought to catch the animal, the DCP said. TNS



Work on Dwarka corridor to begin in February
Tribune News Service

Spot Khurana on Metro

Mr Madan Lal Khurana said he would travel incognito by the Delhi Metro once a week. The idea apparently is to ascertain that all’s well with the Delhi Metro and operations and services meet the standard set by DMRC. “I will travel on the trains to see for myself whether the measures are being implemented properly,” he said referring to the instructions given to the Delhi Traffic Police and police stations to prevent defacement of DMRC properties.

New Delhi, January 2
Work on the third corridor of Delhi Metro between Barakhamba Road and Dwarka would start in February. The Group of Ministers chaired by the Deputy Prime Minister, Mr LK Advani, has approved the 23-kilometre-long corridor.

The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) Chairman, Mr Madan Lal Khurana, on Thursday said tenders were being invited and civil works like soil testing, etc carried out. “We expect the actual construction to start from February or even before,” he told mediapersons.

“The approval of the Group of Ministers for the third line (Barakhamba Road–Connaught Place– Patel Nagar–Kirti Nagar) has now been received. This line will have a total length of 23 km and will serve a large part of the city that is densely populated,” he said.

Apart from benefiting a large population in Central and West Delhi, the line is expected to have a higher commuter inflow. “That,” Khurana said, “will ensure the commercial viability of Delhi Metro improves further.”

With the inclusion of this third line, the cost estimate of the project has been approved at Rs 10,571 crore. Mr Khurana said expeditious action would be taken for acquisition of the land needed for the third line. The emergency provision of Section 17 of the Land Acquisition Act would be invoked.

The Union Government has agreed to grant customs and excise exemption of Rs 1,407 crore to the DMRC. Mr Khurana would be meeting with the Delhi Chief Minister, Ms Sheila Dikshit, to seek a similar exemption in sales tax and works contracts tax worth Rs 393 crore.

Referring to the provisions of punishment for offence on the DMRC properties, Mr Khurana said certain officials would be given the powers of Executive Magistrate to implement the provisions.

Mr Khurana said the Lieutenant-Governor, Mr Vijai Kapoor, had agreed to create a Metro Police of 518 personnel similar to the Government Railway Police to work with private security agencies in maintaining law and order. The Metro police will have officials above the rank of ASI and would be co-ordinated by Commissioner of Police. Two police stations would be established at the Tis Hazari and Shahdara stations.



Budget plan violates DMC Act: Gupta
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 2
The Leader of the Opposition in the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), Mr Vijender Kumar Gupta, alleged the Municipal Commissioner had violated Sections 109 and 102 of the DMC Act in his budget proposals of 2003-2004 which mentioned that the budget estimates would allow a cash balance of Rs 1 lakh at the end of the year. But no balance amount is left in the current budget estimates.

In such a situation, the Municipal Commissioner, Mr Rakesh Mehta, is likely to table a deficit budget in the corporation next week even as in the history of the corporation deficit budget has never been passed. The whole budget process had no direction and was anti-people, he said.

While addressing newspersons after discussing the estimated budget proposals at a special meeting, he said the corporation had planned to implement Unit Area Method (UAM) for collection of property tax for which a special committee of experts had been constituted. The committee had to submit the report before the Commissioner very soon. But no mention of it had been made in the budget speech of the Commissioner. Apart from this no tax rating was mentioned in he budget proposals, he said.

To overcome the financial crisis of the corporation the Commissioner had proposed issuing Municipal Bonds for major schemes. However, the projects mentioned in the budget speech appeared in the list of approved plan schemes for which the government would provide necessary funds either as grants or loans. Therefore, it would be a better proposition to pursue the matter with the Delhi Government, Mr Gupta said.

The scheme for sterilising stray dogs and controlling other stray animals like cows, pigs and monkeys was only on paper. The scheme had not been given practical shape so far. In the current budget proposals a provision of Rs 70.20 lakh had been proposed for rat menace but no provision for hiring or purchase of trucks for stray cattle was there in the budget speech of the Commissioner.

Criticising the budget proposal, he said that earlier provision of Rs 93.80 crore under the councillor’s development fund had been reduced to Rs 40.20 crore. This step had made it clear that development work in the constituencies on public demand through representatives had the lowest priority for the executive wing, he said.



Drought relief not adequate: Vidrohi
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, January 2
President of the Haryana Pradesh Janata Dal (U) Ved Parkash Vidrohi today accused the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) government, headed by Mr Om Prakash Chautala, of adopting anti-farmer policies. He alleged that it had utterly failed to allot adequate funds for giving compensation to the drought-hit farmers for their kharif crops damaged during the drought last year.

In a signed press statement issued here, he attacked the government for what he called as only a meagre relief of Rs 236 crore announced by Mr Chautala for the farmers affected by drought. He described the package of Rs 236 crore as eyewash and said that Mr Chautala was fooling the farmers.

He urged the state government to announce more relief for drought-hit farmers so that they could make up for the losses they had suffered due to the prolonged drought conditions. He flayed the state government for not declaring areas of the southern parts of the state drought-hit. Mr Vidrohi urged the Chief Minister to come out with a white paper on this issue and give the detailed information about the drought-hit districts and the relief measures taken.

Referring to the announcement on the regularisation of unauthorised colonies in the state, the Janata Dal leader alleged that the residents of these colonies were facing difficulties in getting NOCs from the civic bodies concerned even after depositing the development charges fixed by the government.

He urged the Chief Minister to direct the civic bodies to issue the NOCs to those residents who had deposited the development charges after the regularisation of their colonies.



North-East safer than other districts in Delhi?
Low crime rate despite high population
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 2
Despite being one of the most densely populated areas of Delhi and the fact that most of the residents are from the low income strata, the crime rate in North-East district in 2002 was considerably less as compared to other districts.

Besides the efforts and initiatives of the district police, the success in curbing the crime rate has been attributed to social organisations like the Nagrik Suraksha Samiti and Aman Committee, formed to maintain communal harmony and prevent crime in the district.

The Nagrik Suraksha Samiti has been active in five communally sensitive police station areas like Seelampur, Welcome, New Usmanpur, Gokal Puri and Nand Nagari and the Aman Committee consisting of 300 youths have been active in Welcome and Seelampur.

The district, which has 14.3 per cent of the population of Delhi, has reported only six per cent of the total crime during 2002.

A total of 2,832 cases under the IPC were reported in 2002 as compared to in 2001, showing a fall of 11.7 per cent in the overall crime rate.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (North-East) Vivek Gogia said that cases of dacoity had dropped by 33 per cent last year, robbery by 10 per cent, attempt to murder by 15.6 per cent, snatching by 10.8 per cent and motor vehicle theft by 2.1 per cent.

However, there was an increase in murder and rape in 2002 as compared to the previous year. As many as 63 cases of murder were reported in 2002 against 60 in 2001, and 37 cases of rape in 2002 compared to 35 in 2001.

Mr Gogia said that strategies like community policing, surveillance on criminals, preventive action and patrolling had helped the district police in curbing the crime.

The district police also succeeded in nabbing criminals like Kalim Ahmed alias Babloo, bus dacoit Hemraj alias Hemu, an associate of Dabbu, vehicle thieves Sanjeev, Abhay Ram and Ravinder and six Bangladeshis involved in Preet Vihar dacoity case.



3 over-bridges to be built at Sonepat station
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, January 2
The Northern Railway has decided to build one ticket counter and three over-bridges at the Sonepat railway station during the current year.
According to official sources, the first over-bridge would be constructed in front of the office of the Government Railway Police Station, another near Hindu Girls College and the third on platform No 2, which will link the mandi area with the railway station.

A new way will also be established on the mandi side where a new booking counter will be set up. The work on the construction of the three over-bridges and the ticket counter would be completed this year itself.

Meanwhile, there has been an acute shortage of staff and the railway station has turned into haven of ticketless passengers. It is estimated that around 400 passengers are travelling without tickets daily on the incoming and outgoing trains passing through Sonepat. The Northern Railway has been suffering a huge financial loss.

Despite this, the income of the Sonepat railway station has been estimated at around Rs 11 crore during the past one year.

The month-wise income of this railway station is as under: Rs 1.03 crore in April, Rs 1.09 lakh in May, Rs 98.19 lakh in June, Rs 1.53 crore in July, Rs 91.14 lakh in August, Rs 90.10 lakh in September, Rs 95.67 lakh in October and Rs 1.05 crore in November.

This income is in addition to the income of the goods office and the parcel office of the railway station. It is estimated that there were 13,000 monthly season tickets in operation and as many as 425 MSTs are being issued daily to the commuters. But the railway station lacks basic facilities.



100 acres inundated, wheat damaged
Our Correspondent

Rohtak, January 2
More than 100 acres of agricultural and residential area was inundated due to a nearly 30-ft-wide breach in the Dulhera minor near Ismaila village last morning. Certain areas near the minor were submerged under almost 6-ft-deep water. Floodwater also entered into more than 100 houses.

The wheat crop, spread over 50 acres, was damaged while cracks developed in many houses. A Haryana Vikas Party leader, Mr Rajpal Ismaila, of the same village claimed that a Dalit labourer died of shock as floodwater entered his house.

According to information, the villagers noticed the inundated fields when they went to relieve themselves last morning. They rushed to the minor and found that canal water was gushing out of the breach. The matter was immediately reported to the district authorities.

The villagers held the authorities and the MLA of the area, Mr Balwant Singh Maina, responsible for the breach and the subsequent loss. They alleged mounds of silt could be seen at various places in the minor, which had been hindering the free flow of water. Secondly, they said the authorities had dug earth from near the banks of the minor during the construction of roads. The weakened banks of the minor could not bear the pressure of canal water, they alleged.

On the other hand, the district authorities claimed that the bank of the minor was tampered with by some miscreant for his personal interest, which soon assumed alarming proportions. Mr Ismaila sought a compensation of Rs 5 lakh for kin of the deceased, government job to a member of the bereaved family and timely arrangements to prevent the occurrence of any such incident in future.



This don’s patents can earn big bucks
Jatinder Sharma

Rohtak, January 2
Another startling revelation from the reports submitted by Maharshi Dayanand University (MDU) to NAAC is the pioneering work being done by Prof Anil Kumar Madan, Dean, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences.

Professor Madan has the rare distinction of possessing a bachelor’s degree in both pharmacy and chemical engineering, a master’s degree in pharmaceutics and PhD from the Department of Chemical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi. Before joining MDU as Professor in May 1996 Dr Madan had worked as a lecturer in pharmaceutical engineering from September 1975 to December 1983 and as assistant professor in pharmaceutical engineering from January 1984 to April 1996 at the College of Pharmacy (Delhi University), Delhi.

Dr Madan is the only professor who has eight patents and more than 40 research publications to his credit. The university-industry linkage can be practised in reality by inviting industry to make use of Professor Madan’s patents.

The royalty so earned can be divided equally between the university and Dr Madan.

MDU can learn a lesson from the Nobel endowment fund which awards Nobel Prize and the income to that fund comes through royalty from the patents and publications of Prof Alfred Nobel in whose name the Noble Prize has been instituted.

Prof Alfred Nobel was also a scientist and he became the richest person through money generated by earning royalties. The best universities in the world, such as MIT, Harvard, Stanford, Cambridge and Oxford etc earn millions of dollars annually through royalty on their patents.

The research areas of Dr Madan are multidisciplinary in nature and include pharmaceutical process development, chemical computation, structure activity/property relationship, biotechnology and pharmaceutical technology.

His expertise is recognised internationally by virtue of the fact that he has been appointed as referee for review of manuscripts submitted for publication to three international journals - Journal of Computer Aided Molecular Design - a journal brought out by Kluwer Publishers, Netherlands, Journal of Chemical Information and Computer sciences - a journal of the American Chemical Society, and Journal of Medicinal Chemistry - also a journal of the American Chemical Society.

He has delivered numerous guest lectures, including those at the University of Connecticut, Storrs, USA, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, USA and Auburn University, Alabama, USA.

Dr Madan has developed numerous processes for microencapsulation which have been patented. He has also developed a unique cost-effective two-component industrial microcapsule that easily overcomes most of the formulation and processing of conventional industrial microcapsules.

At present, his research group has developed numerous mathematical models for prediction of biological activities of diverse nature with surprisingly high degree of accuracy.

These mathematical models have already been published in leading international journals. The mathematical models include those for prediction of anti-HIV activity, anti-convulsant activity, anti-cancer activity, diuretic activity anti-oxidant activity, anti-mycobacteria activity and anti-HSV activity. Some of the mathematical tools developed by Dr Madan have already been incorporated in software being marketed by Italian and US companies. He has also been appointed an expert of the National Board of Accreditation of the AICTE.



Two returned unopposed in Kharkhauda MC poll
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, January 2
Two candidates have been returned unopposed to the Municipal Committee of Kharkhauda town in this district.
According to a report, the victorious candidates are Ms Shanti Bareja from Ward No. 8 and Mr Ramji Dass Chugh from Ward No. 13.

They are stated to be the close associates of Mr Padam Singh Dahiya, an INLD MLA of Rohat Assembly constituency.

Mr Ramji Dass Chugh, it may be recalled, was the former president of the Kharkhauda Municipal Committee. The election to this civic body will be held on January 19 and there are 60 candidates in the fray.

Even though no political party has fielded its candidates, they are extending their support to the candidates left in the fray. The candidates and their supporters have intensified their election campaign.

Crops submerged: Standing rabi crops, including wheat were submerged in water near Khewra village, about 13 km from here last night. According to a report, the farmers tried to plug the breach but failed. However, they succeeded in preventing the water from submerging other fields in the area.

Man killed in accident: Ram Karan, a resident of Butana village, died on the spot when the tractor on which he was travelling overturned near the Butana village, about 45 km from here yesterday.

According to a report, the victim was returning to his village after unloading sugarcane at the Chaudhary Devi Lal Sugar Mills at Ahulana village. The police have registered the case against the tractor driver and further investigations were in progress.

It is stated that the accident occurred when the tractor driver suddenly tried to halt the vehicle near a speed-breaker.

According to another report, one Parkash of Jauli village fell down from a tractor and was killed on the spot.



SDEOs suspended

Bhiwani, January 2
The Haryana Government has suspended the Sub-Divisional Education Officer, Narnaul, Mr Dharam Pal Singh Chauhan and Sub-Divisional Education Officers of Mahendragarh, M.R.Chopra and Anjala Nehra for providing temporary recognition to non-government schools in violation of government regulations.

Father kills sons, self: Domestic strife reportedly resulted in the death of three persons, including two minors, at village Paposa last evening. According to reports, the father poisoned his two minor sons and later consumed the poison himself. OC



Harassed newlywed files case against in-laws
Our Correspondent

Noida, January 2
A newlywed woman has filed a report against six persons, including the person who played the mediator for a wedding, with the Javer police for harassing her as she had not brought a colour TV set. According to the police, Indu of Yakub Nagar village in Bulandshahr was married to Vinode of Javer town with fairly good dowry, in keeping with the status of Indu’s parents.

But Vinode’s family had noted the absence of a TV set in dowry. A few days after her marriage, Indu was asked to bring a colour TV from her parents. But her parents’ inability to meet this demand immediately resulted in Indu being subjected to harassment at the hands of her in-laws.

Fed up with daily taunts and jibes, Indu went to the police station and registered a complaint, naming husband Vinode, brother-in-law Manoj, sister-in-law Devendri, father-in-law Mahendru, mother-in-law Lali and marriage broker Jaya Prakash.

Auto thief held: The Sector 20 police have nabbed a very active member of a gang of auto thieves and recovered 10 vehicles. The police were informed by a source that a gang of auto thieves was to visit Film City in Sector 16. Accordingly, the police started a vehicle checking campaign near Okhla barrage and the Sector 37 crossing.

Three criminals on a motorbike were stopped while entering Noida. The police caught one criminal on a motorbike near Film City. He identified himself as Ramesh of Sikender Rao. The police were able to recover eight motorbikes and scooters .



Woman, child charred to death

New Delhi, January 2
A woman and her five-year-old child were charred to death in a fire which broke out in a shop in South-West Delhi today. The fire broke out early in the morning around 4 am in Poochan Puri village. Three fire engines were pressed into service and the blaze was brought under control. With the arrest of three persons the Delhi Police Crime Branch today claimed to have busted a fake job employment racket operating under the bogus name of Bharat Gas Corporation in Bhikaiji Cama Place. The accused was operating adjacent to the parking space and had cheated many youths to the tune of Rs 7 lakh. TNS


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