Monday, January 13, 2003, Chandigarh, India

N C R   S T O R I E S


‘Golden handshake’ for building bylaw violators
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Panipat, January 12
With an eye on the election to the municipal corporation later this year, the civic body has come up with yet another populist decision. It proposes to withdraw the court cases against all violators of building bylaws, provided they cough up Rs 6,500 as fine and Rs 120 per square yard as development charge.

The decision, dubbed as a new year’s gift to the violators by the fund-starved municipal council, is seen as yet another populist measure. The councillors apparently want to hold on to their fast eroding vote bank.

It may be recalled that the Panipat municipal council would be abolished and replaced with a municipal corporation this year. Elections to the corporation would be held and a new mayor elected by the corporators.

The decision to withdraw cases, sources said, would help reduce litigation and net the MC a substantial amount of money, which it badly needs for providing basic amenities.

The municipal council had filed court cases against more than 500 violators. It now proposes to hold a special lok adalat for the “settlement” of these cases.

These sources are of the firm opinion that besides these 500 violators, hundreds of persons, who had violated the building bylaws with impunity over the years, would benefit from the new scheme. Hundreds of buildings have been constructed in the affluent industrial city without taking into account the bylaws and thus endangering the lives of the occupants.

The civic body staff cannot escape its share of the blame. With corruption becoming a rule rather than the exception, it has been alleged the civic body staff passed the building maps of violators after the latter paid them huge bribes. Those violators, who did not oblige, were dragged to the court by the officials. In fact, the MC President, Mr Sanjay Bhatia, had gone on record saying that the building branch was a den of corruption and building violations were on account of the delay in passing the maps.

Recently, using his special powers, Mr Bhatia had passed scores of maps, kicking off a fresh controversy. Mr Bhatia and his supporters had defended the passing of maps in the name of “public interest” while his detractors had alleged that the decision had given a fillip to the illegal construction activity.

Whether Mr Bhatia’s action gave a boost to the building bylaws violations is a matter for debate but the latest scheme is sure to buoy up the violators. Even as the civic body has dubbed the proposal as a “golden chance”, residents apprehend that the scheme would set a bad precedent and boost the morale of the violators, who form a powerful lobby, often influencing the decision-making process.

The municipal council has again shown that the violators’ lobby really calls the shots. The fine and the developmental charges would net a few lakh rupees for the MC, but the violators-cum-owners of the commercial buildings would rake in crores of rupees per month. With hundreds of government offices, banks and other offices located in the handloom city, commercial accommodation is on a premium here.


HC to pin down onus for collapse of illegal shelters
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 12
The Delhi High Court has summoned senior officials of Delhi Police and Municipal Corporation of Delhi for fixing criminal liability for the collapse of unauthorised constructions in the Capital, which resulted in the death of construction workers and injuries to several others.

Observing that unauthorised constructions can only be built in connivance with officials, the court has summoned the Joint Commissioner of Police (Special Task Force) and the Chief Engineer (HQ) of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi to be present on February three, so that criminal liability of these persons could be fixed when such structures collapse.

A division bench, comprising Justices Dalveer Bhandari and S K Agarwal, summoned the two senior officers on not being with satisfied with reports which found no ‘direct nexus’ or involvement of the MCD or Delhi Police officials in the incidents of building collapse in Malka Ganj, Mukherjee Nagar, Panjabi Bagh and Khanjawala.

However, contractors and builders were found negligent and the process of taking appropriate action had been initiated, the report said.

The PIL filed by the All-India Lawyers’ Union (AILU), apart from seeking compensation for the construction workers killed or injured when such structures collapse, also sought creation of a Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Fund under the Building and Other Construction Workers (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act.

The PIL also challenged the provision of the Delhi Municipal Corporation Act, which gave immunity to government officials against criminal and civil actions.

Two people died and 21 were injured in a temple collapse in Mukherjee Nagar, six people died and seven were injured in a building collapse in Punjabi Bagh while three died and nine were injured in a similar incident in Khanjawal.

The Bench passed these observation while hearing the PIL by AILU seeking adequate compensation to the relatives of ten dead and 35 injured construction workers in the Malkaganj house collapse in 1998 and punishment for officials found guilty of dereliction of duty. The scope of the petition was later enlarged following fresh incidents of building collapse.

No action had been taken against any official in connection with these incidents to date, counsel for the petitioners Ashok Agarwal said.


Noida industry feels slighted, blames officials
Parmindar Singh

Noida, January 12
Annoyed at the tepid response to their demands, many entrepreneurs feel that though Noida was conceived as an industrial area, in the last few years industry is getting a raw deal in matter of development.

Many industrialists doubt whether they will continue to be based in Noida in the future. Some are already thinking of shifting their base elsewhere.

It is unfortunate that powers that be should have adopted this attitude when we are facing fierce competition from China, says one industrialist. No step has been taken by the authority to assist the industry in fending off the Chinese challenge, laments Rakesh Katyal, President of Noida Entrepreneurs. Especially, in the last few months, the Authority’s attitude towards industry has changed for the worse. The officials are so busy that they don’t have time to listen to our woes, bemoans another entrepreneur.

“Earlier, we used to meet at the Udyog Bandhu meeting, which was held every month. It was a platform where our problems were discussed. But now that too has been scrapped and there is no communication between the Authority and the industrialists, alleges Rakesh Katyal, president, NRA.

The entrepreneurs also allege that complicated rules and regulations have forced many units to close shops here and shift elsewhere. “Though they keep talking about single window facility, no such concept exists here”.

If a person wants to start an industry, he has to run from pillar to post. Registration has become another nightmare. Even a change of partner requires fresh registration. All these rules are making it difficult to work here. Out of about 6,000 units in Noida, hardly 1,000 are operational, points out another industrialist.

The civic conditions in all industrial sectors are in a shambles. “The roads are broken, drains are overflowing, but nobody is bothered. These days the Authority seems to be more interested in residential and commercial development of Noida,” they alleged.

The Noida Authority has not given any thought as to how the industry will survive. Though they have talked with the chief executive officer a number of times, no action has been taken despite his assurances.

Earlier the Authority used to be the backbone of the industry and its officials used to provide solutions. But now everybody seems to create hurdles in the path of development. The frequent transfer of senior officers is blamed for this attitude. “Since officers are transferred quickly, no one gets time to get involved in any project. Hence, the pathetic situation,” concedes Katyal.


Metro, too awesome a project for political games
A. R. Wig

New Delhi, January 12
Are the people of Delhi bothered about knowing which politician is heading a government corporation, a development board or the Metro Rail. The answer is a big no.

What concerns people is whether the government will be able to lessen their hardships because of inadequate and poor transport services. But the Union Government, in its wisdom, thought that by appointing Mr Khurana as the Metro Rail Chairman it could easily claim sole credit for the project in which the Delhi Government had equally contributed and actively participated.

Who is interested in claims and counter- claims made by political rivals? Games of political one-upmanship bore people.

The Delhi BJP President’s appointment as the DMRC Chairman and the subsequent opposition from the Congress and Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, let’s just say that for once the politicians should try to be appreciative of the hardships faced by the Capital’s lakhs of commuters.

Heading the Metro project is a technical job and it would have been better if a technical and professional person had guided and managed its affairs.

It would be better if the government acts wisely in future and avoids such uncalled for and meaningless controversies. Why must every purposeful initiative, a legitimate right of a citizen, be allowed to be exploited by political parties always keeping their eye on the coming polls?

The Delhi BJP should realise the Metro solely belongs to the people of the national Capital and not to any political party. It has been conceived as a joint venture of the Delhi as well as the NDA Government at the Centre. Therefore, they would do well to keep such important projects away from political controversies. Giving Mr Khurana this new honour must have thrilled him but certainty not his political opponents.

The DPCC and the Chief Minister have already reacted sharply to the arbitrary appointment of Mr Khurana. Both the Union Government and the NCT Government of Delhi would do well to appreciate that politicising this awesome project would certainty be detrimental to its growth and success.

The people of Delhi have wholeheartedly welcomed the new transport system. Most newspapers in their editorial comments have lauded the bold, imaginative and modern project, which stands to benefit the people of the national Capital in the years to come. For instance the Hindustan

Times in its editorial observation said, “While we are suffused with satisfaction, let us remind ourselves that the Metro has come to town a hundred years after it hit the principal cities of the West. Of course, until about 30 years ago Delhi did not really need Metro Rail. It was a sleepy outback of politicians and civil servants. The unmanageable chaos started with the flight of industry from West Bengal and the swarming of the country’s poor to the capital city in search of livelihood, with their home bases no longer able to support them. The subsequent loosening of economic controls and the entry of foreign companies made the city bustle, creating a transportation nightmare. As is so typically Indian, the authorities have taken their own time in concretising the idea of the urban rail for Delhi. But better late than never”!

The Indian Express said, “The efficiency and speed with which the first segment of the Delhi Metro has reached the point of inauguration is proof of the level of excellence possible in our country if development is tackled professionally and is accompanied by vision and hard work. The developers of the Metro deserve hearty congratulations as do the builders of the national highways, another success story unfolding in India’s infrastructure development. Naturally, scaling a single hill cannot be compared to conquering a mountain range, and the electricity failure in North India on the very day of the inauguration of the Metro is proof of this, yet the fact that the development of infrastructure is now receiving greater attention than it did in previous decades is extremely heartening for all who are committed to the prosperity of India.

Important lessons in infrastructure development can be learnt from the Chinese. When the Chinese economy started to overheat in the mid-1980s leading to social tensions,

culminating in the Tiananmen Square incident in June 1989, Beijing realised at once that adequate attention had not been paid to improving the basic conditions affecting people’s lives while pushing for higher economic growth. The results of the subsequent Chinese investment in infrastructure are visible anywhere in the world”. The editorial observations from the Capitals newspapers would also amply prove the kind of overall satisfaction the people of Delhi have derived from the launching of the new Metro system.

Since the government has successfully tested the Metro rail system for the people of Delhi it would be worthwhile for the Union Government to now consider extending it to cover the neighbouring cities in Haryana, UP and Rajasthan which are today part of the National Capital Region. This kind of bold experiment, one is sure, may also see the NCR concept succeeding in the coming years and thus helping in decongesting the national Capital and saving it from the unchecked migration of millions of people coming into the Capital every year.




Women protestors manhandle SDO, try to blacken his face
Our Correspondent

Noida, January 12
Hundreds of angry women, who held a demonstration outside the electricity office in Ward No. 12 of Dadri town, roughened up the SDO and tried to blacken his face.

They were protesting against the delay in replacing the burnt up transformer and demanding that its capacity be increased.

Forced into a corner, he promised to remedy the situation in three days’ time.

Hundreds of women from village Garhi and from Suraj Vihar Colony under the leadership of Municipal Committee member Bhopal Singh had marched to the power station located on the G T Road and indulged in slogan shouting.

The protestors pointed out that the 100 KV transformer, which was supposed to supply electricity to Ward no 12, was not in a position to meet the demand of about 200 domestic consumers in the locality.

Every month this transformer conks out and it takes the department at least 20 days to repair it, lamented one consumer. “The electricity department does not pay any attention to our complaints,’’ he added.

But when SDO Shri Ram Garg did not heed their demand, the agitated women manhandled the former and some tried to even blacken his face.

Somehow, SDO Garg escaped from the power station office.

As the agitating women were about to leave, after threatening the remaining staff, the SDO came back with some persons of the locality and assured the protestors that the new transformer would be put in place within few days.


Child labour rampant in units, eateries
R. D. Sapra

Sonepat, January 12
Exploitation of children in the industrial units of this city and elsewhere in the district continues unabated following the failure of the state government to eradicate child labour effectively.

According to a report, the state government has so far failed to conduct a survey of such units due to the reported pressure of factory owners. The issue has come into focus following a series of public complaints about the recruitment of child labour in a number of factories.

It is also alleged that a number of children working in some factories have died following illness and incidents of fires.

While the state government has been forced to defer the survey, the leaders of the trade unions are building up pressure for undertaking such an exercise so that the government could penalise the erring owners of such factories. The owners are openly violating the labour laws and other rules regarding child labour.

The state government has already directed the Labour Commissioner to take action against the owners who are violating the rules and the labour laws under the Factories Act, as it wanted to register cases against such persons who employ children below 14 years of age. The directive said even the `Principal Employer’ having direct or indirect effective control on the working conditions prevailing in the factory would be held responsible if any child has been employed in the factory or in its ancillary unit.

The contractor or agent, who acts on behalf of the `Principal Employer’ to get the work done at the residence of a worker or at any other place, was also to be covered under the survey.

Child labour is also rampant in the hotels, dhabas and tea stalls as well as shops and commercial establishments. In these places, the children are forced to work form dawn to late night. But they are never paid salary in accordance with the Minimum Wages Act. Owners of brick kilns have also employed children to work there along with their parents.

Not only the Labour Department authorities but the district and police authorities also remain silent spectators. These officials have failed to take legal action against the owners of any such establishments. Not a single challan has been issued against such owners during the past few years. It is also alleged that the officials and inspectorate staff of the Labour Department are minting money regularly from the owners of eateries and brick kilns to overlook the public complaints against them.

Meanwhile, labour unrest has been growing in the Sonepat industrial complex for the last few years because of the alleged partisan attitude of the Labour Department authorities as well as the failure of the state government to take action against the employers who have been violating the labour laws and the Factory Act.

Leaders of various trade unions told mediapersons here today that the workers in a number of factories were being harassed by the employers on some pretext or the other. They had now been forced to launch an agitation in support of their demands.

They disclosed that the workers of the Haryana Sheet Glass Factory at Sewli village had not been paid salary for the last five months and they had been agitating to get the same and the Divali bonus. They demanded immediate payment of the wages and bonus to the agitating workers.

The union leaders also said that the provision regarding overtime work and immediate payment for it in cash at double the normal rate were not being implemented in a number of other factories.

They called upon the Labour Department authorities to enforce labour laws and check malpractices by employers who were mainly responsible for the unrest.


Traffic jams at Badarpur border a daily affair
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, January 12
The ‘delay’ in the construction work of the much-awaited flyover at Badarpur border has become a cause of concern not only for the commuters but also the industrialists of Faridabad who feel that the traffic congestion at border and other places creates a big problem.

The entrepreneurs and the members of the Faridabad Small Industries Association (FSIA) and representatives of a ‘Chambers’ body took up the issue of Badarpur traffic congestion during a meeting held at a hotel in Surajkund recently.

The president of the PHD Chambers of Commerce and Industries, Mr P K Jain, and other industrialists of the town, stated that the congestion at border was one of the main hurdles faced by the businessmen and traders here.

They said while they had learnt that there was a proposal to shorten the length of the flyover to be constructed, they had asked the authorities to widen the roads and remove encroachments and blockades till the flyover was constructed.

The discussion among the industrialists hinted that the entrepreneurs were upset with the reports of delay.

They demanded that the flyover should be long and wide enough to provide a smooth drive to the motorists who want to reach Faridabad without losing time.

While the problem of brackish water in the district was also blamed for low development of industries, some industrialists demanded other facilities to encourage the setting of more units in the town.

The meeting asked the entrepreneurs, especially those running small and medium scale units, to update their business and technical skills, so as to lower the production cost and ensure quality at the same time.

Industrialist D N Kathuria was bestowed upon the ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ by the FSIA.


Govt staff to launch stir from February 1
Our Correspondent

Rohtak, January 12
To express their resentment over the ‘breach of the agreement’ reached with the government, the Haryana Karamchari Sanyukta Sangharsh Samiti comprising both the major employee unions, the Haryana Karamchari Maha Sangh (HKMS) and the Sarv Karamchari Sangh Haryana (SKS), has decided to launch a statewide agitation from February 1.

A decision to this effect was taken at a state-level convention of the Sanyukta Sangharsh Samiti held at the powerhouse here on Saturday.

Addressing the employees, Mr M.L. Sehgal, general secretary, HKMS, said the samiti had held negotiations with the Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, on October 24 and he had assured that the demands of the employees would be conceded soon. However, the state government continued its anti-employee policies and ignored the demands, he said.

The samiti had demanded adjustment of employees of the Haryana State Minor Irrigation and Tubewell Corporation in other departments, formation of a policy for the regularisation of services of employees on daily wages, ad hoc or contract basis, check on retrenchment etc.

Mr Dhara Singh, president, HKMS, and a senior member of the samiti, appealed to the Chief Minister to implement the provisions of the agreement to avoid confrontation with the employees and maintain peace and harmony in the region.

Mr Poonam Chand Rati, president, SKS, condemned the delay in the acceptance of employees’ demands.

He also criticised the state and the union governments for their policies of privatisation, retrenchment, globalisation and liberalisation.

He said district-level conferences of employees would be organised from February 1 to March 30 in different towns of the state to apprise them of the talks with the Chief Minister and mobilise them for an agitation.


HPCC rally against rising crime in Rohtak
Our Correspondent

Rohtak, January 12
Several activists of the Congress belonging to Kiloi Assembly segment took out a procession in the town under the leadership of Mr Krishan Murti Hooda, spokesman, HPCC, and a former minister in protest against the rising crime graph and ‘discriminatory’ attitude adopted by the government against the residents of Kiloi.

Later, a memorandum was submitted to the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Ashok Yadav, to be forwarded to the governor.

Mr Hooda alleged in the memorandum that there had been a steep rise in the criminal incidents in the district within past fortnight.

He said more than 10 murders and several incidents of rape, robberies, thefts and other criminal incidents had been reported in the past fortnight.

He alleged that the police had miserably failed to check or even trace the culprits.

The Congress leader also charged the ruling INLD government with adopting a discriminatory attitude against the residents of Kiloi region in different matters.

He said 32 localities of Kiloi region fell in the jurisdiction of the Rohtak town and most of the residents lead a miserable life for want of basic amenities.


Hooda attacks Ayaram, Gayaram trend
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, January 12
Changing political parties and symbols in every election has become the order of the day for many politicians and the Haryana Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, is no exception, claims Joginder Singh Hooda, a staunch follower of former Deputy Prime Minister Devi Lal and presently chief of the Haryana Loktantar Raksha Manch.

In a statement here today, Mr Hooda said that Mr Chautala had contested several elections for the Vidhan Sabha or Parliament on different symbols or political parties, but claimed that the majority of the parties or symbols used by Mr Chautala had lost their identity.


Five-year-old crushed by truck
Our Correspondent

Jhajjar, January 12
Rahul, a 5-year-old boy, was reportedly crushed to death by a speeding truck near Lakaria village on the Rohtak-Jhajjar road here on Saturday. According to information, the deceased was walking along the road with his mother when a truck hit him from behind. He died on the spot. The police have registered a case in this connection.

Fake registration case

Bhiwani: The police have registered a case against three employees of the office of the Sub Divisional Magistrate, Loharu in connection with a fake registration case on the complaint of the SDM, R. S. Verma. One of the three booked, Rajbir Singh is a typist and he is under police custody whereas the two others, Rajender Singh and Vijay Pal, also typists, are at large. According to sources, the scam involved Rs 7 lakh and the registration of over 100 vehicles by this office.

500 gm smack seized

Panipat: The city police today seized 500 grams of smack, worth over Rs 70 lakh in the international market, from two youths of Madhya Pradesh. According to police sources, Devi Lal and another unidentified person, both residents of Charia village in Mandasore district of Madhya Pradesh, were arrested from near the bus stand along with the consignment. During preliminary interrogation, the duo confessed that they had been working for a Madhya Pradesh-based narcotics smuggler, Pappu, and were paid Rs 200 each for the assignment.

Traffic disrupted for 12 hours

Sonepat: Traffic on the Sonepat-Rohtak road near Rohna remained disrupted for about 12 hours on account of dense fog following the involvement of two trucks and another vehicle in an accident last night. According to a report, a large number of vehicles, including cars, trucks, buses and tempos, were lined up on both sides of the roads with the hapless occupants remaining stranded for several hours. Police officials appeared on the scene around 9 am today. They succeeded in having the vehicles involved in the accident towed away from the road. The road was cleared after a few hours.

Criminal killed

New Delhi: An inter-state criminal, who was involved in many cases of murder, kidnapping for ransom and extortion, was killed today evening in an encounter near Palam Road in the South-West district. One English Webly Scot revolver was recovered from his possession. Acting on the information a police team, at around 6 p.m. the criminal, Jitender Sharma alias Harish Sharma alias Bittoo, a resident of Bhiwani, Haryana, was spotted on Palam Road. On seeing the police team, he started firing at SI Rajkumar. However, the SI was unhurt as he was wearing a bullet-proof jacket. When the police retaliated, the criminal was killed. The police said that Jitender had escaped twice from police custody and is a dreaded criminal.

Pythons seized

New Delhi: The Dhaula Kuan police today claimed to have rescued two pythons last evening. According to the police, one Pradeep Rana spotted two persons moving around with two pythons. When questioned about the source of the pythons, the duo got scared and ran away, leaving behind the pythons. The pythons, which measured around eight and six feet, were rescued with the help of the Wildlife officials and local police. The officials later sent them for medical examination.


Girl forced into prostitution, aunt held
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 12
A 19-year-old girl was rescued from the clutches of her uncle and aunt on January 11 who illegally detained and forced her into prostitution in Delhi Cantonment area in South-West district. The girl rescue came after the intervention of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), following the complaint from a woman schoolteacher, whom the girl had approached for help.

On the complaint of the girl, a case of rape, criminal intimidation, wrongful confinement and criminal conspiracy was registered and the girl’s aunt, Saroj Devi Kashyap (40), was arrested. However, her uncle Punnu (45) has been absconding and a search is on to trace him.

The girl who originally belongs to Unnao in Uttar Pradesh lost her father five years ago. After his death, her uncle had brought her to Delhi and started living in a jhuggi at Indira Camp in Bapu Dham.

There she was subjected to repeated rapes by her uncle and sometimes forced to sleep with strangers. Later, they shifted to a house in Dhaula Kuan Officers Enclave, Part I. She was again forced to go out with her aunt for prostitution.

The girl even attempted to commit suicide once two years ago. She finally stumbled upon a woman teacher to whom she narrated the entire story and the way she had been tortured. The NHRC after receiving the complaint from the teacher, ordered the South-West district police to investigate the case.


3 who shot at businessman held
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 12
The North district police today claimed to have arrested three persons who allegedly shot at a businessman, Bachu Singh, on January 7 on Lawrence Road. The police have recovered two country-made pistols, one spring-actuated knife and several live cartridges and the Maruti car used during the offence from them.

The accused, Davender alias Raman, Kapil, Nirbhay and Babu, came to the house-cum-residence of Bachu and injured him on the right side of his chest and caused pellet injuries on his shoulder and fled.

During preliminary investigations, the police found out that one of the accused, Davender Singh, was involved in more than 17 cases of murder, dacoity and robbery in Delhi and Haryana and had escaped twice from the Haryana police custody in Patiala House in 2000 and from ISBT in November 2002. The police also found out that the accused were young and smart and used to live in rented accommodation posing themselves as students. Accordingly, when the police started looking out for the accused in Maurice Nagar, they came to some people who had take a house on rent posing themselves as students preparing for Civil Services examinations. A team of two police personnel – SI Ritesh and constable Jitender – was asked to rent an accommodation in the same house to watch their activities and nab them. They succeeded in the assignment.


Five held, dacoity averted
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 12
With the arrest of five persons, the North-East district police today claimed to have averted a dacoity in a wine shop near a petrol pump at Apsara border.

One country-made pistol, one button-actuated knife and two daggers were recovered from their possession.

Acting on a secret information that the criminals, Rafiquddin alias Rafique (20), Abrar (21), Chhota alias Kalia (19), Raju (19), all residents of Shakarpur, and Ikrar (20), resident of Gokulpuri, would assemble near the DDA park behind Red Cross Hospital, Seemapuri, the police nabbed them.

Gang busted

The Anti-Auto theft Squad of the North district police today claimed to have busted a gang of dacoits who were planning to commit a dacoity near Azadpur.

The accused — Mohammad Mihraz, Mohammad Ikram, Raees Ahmed, all residents of Moradabad, Muzahir, resident of Baba Phule Nagar, and Naresh Kumar, resident of Jehangirpuri, were nabbed.


A luminous geyser that shines in the winter too
Tribune News Service

Luminous Electronics Limited, a leading manufacturer of power conditioning equipment like inverters, UPS and voltage stabilisers, has launched an innovative instant water heater named ‘Magic Geyser’. The geyser is available in two models with capacities of five litres and eight litres.

“This product offers significant returns in terms of running costs and heating time as compared to electrical geysers. It is a very safe and a fully automatic appliance. The entire range of Luminous water heaters is manufactured using advanced technology in an ISO 9001 plant,” Navneet Kapoor, managing director, Luminous Electronics, says.

Catch the event

Kodak has unveiled its latest addition, the DCS Pro 14n digital camera, an SLR with the industry’s first 35-mm size CMOS sensor in an SLR camera. The easy-to-use professional digital camera is primarily designed for professional portrait, weddings, event and commercial photographers.

“This is the camera that portrait, wedding and event photographers have been waiting for. The digital camera learning curve has been sharply reduced with the DCS Pro 14n,” said Richard Fleming, business manager, South-West Asia, Kodak.

Beauty in skin

Aviance, the international range of customised beauty solutions, has added two new additions to its existing range of skincare products — complete care foot cream. a specialist foot care product, and Triple Action Nourishing Skin Crème – a unique crèam that nourishes and moisturises at the same time.

Two common problems that most Indian women are afflicted with are dry skin and painful and cracked feet. Aviance has now come out with two revolutionary and exciting products that promise to allow you to bid a permanent adieu to these problems.

Grain of nature

NatureFresh, has added to its kitchen basket of branded staples with its NatureFresh rice. The rice is backed by the Cargill Seal of guarantee bringing to you the goodness of long grain basmati and no-basmati rice without any broken grains.

The variants of rice cater to diverse consumer needs. A top end product, each grain of NatureFresh rice is painstakingly selected and matured for an optimum amount of time. The rice grains are then milled in a fully automated sophisticated rice plant, ensuring the retention of all essential nutrients as nature wanted it to be.

Jewels of Anu

Jewellery designer Anuradha Chhabra presents Thewa frames, a manifestation of Indian culture and craft under her brand “Jewels by Anu”. These grand frames with a thick gold border and embedded Thewa plates are priced at nominal prices. “These frames are ideal for corporate gifts on various occasions,” says Anuradha.

Non-stick cookware

Nirlep has introduced its existing range of premium and high performance Vajra range of non-stick cookware in a glossy and radiant bottle. The feature-rich Vajra with its unique porcelain finish will now be available in two colour options of brilliant red and glossy bottle green.

Vajra specially addresses the key concerns related to the use of non-stick cookware especially that of using wooden spoon and staining of the exterior paint surface.

Kuchh to Hai

T-series has released yet another movie, “Kucch to Hai”, with cool music and romantic lyrics. This cassette will be a treat for the music lovers. Sameer blesses the film with beautiful lyrics and Annu Malik composes the music.

Colour of music

T-series has come up with a new Punjabi album, ‘Rang Rara Riri Rara’, by Sarbjit Cheema. The music for this album is composed by Sukhpal Sukh.

Untiring tennis products

Dunlop has drawn a long-term plan to promote tennis at the junior level in India and launch its world class products for professionals. According to K L Choong, managing director, Dunlop South-East Asia, “India is the most upcoming market for tennis products in South-Asia for the coming years. The number of people playing tennis has been increasing tremendously in India.”

Fashionably formal

The manufacturer of Red Tape shoes has launched Fashion Formals. This new range of shoes is a blend of top quality leather, innovative styling and unmatched craftsmanship. Conforming to global fashion trends, these shoes would compliment your wardrobe and are ideally suited for both office as well as for casual wear.

Erasing foot cracks

Eraser Ayurvedic Skin Cream has launched Eraser Foot Cure Cream in the market for the treatment of cracked feet. According to Dr Sapna Arora, director of IPSA Labs, natural skin oils are secreted from sebaceous glands, to keep the skin naturally moisturised. These glands are found at the base of hair follice. But skin on the soles of feet and palms contains no hair follice, and there is no natural oil in that part of the skin to keep it soft and pliable.


Shopkeepers, a law unto themselves
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, January 12
The shopkeepers of this city have taken a lead in defying the Shops Act with impunity in the absence of any checking by the Labour Department authorities and the Inspectorate staff.

According to a report, the authorities also seem to regard this Act as a matter of academic discussion and not one to be enforced strictly. Under the Shop Act, no shopkeeper can open his establishment on Sundays.

The few shopkeepers who prefer to honour this Act and keep their shops closed on Sundays are ridiculed by the others. Even the shops situated close to the residences of district officers do business on Sundays. This obviously encourages the others to flout the laws.

The shopkeepers also show little regard for the timings fixed by the government. Most of the shopkeepers in the main bazars and near the subzi mandi are keeping their shops open in the early hours of the morning and close them late in the night without any fear of authority.

A hurried round taken by this correspondent today revealed that at least 90 per cent of the shops in the main bazars in the city were kept open and doing roaring business.

Some shopkeepers told this correspondent that they bribed the officials and inspectorate staff of the Labour Department through the union leaders every month for keeping their shops open on Sundays.

The Sonepat Citizen Council has urged the state government to set up a flying squad for strict enforcement of the provisions of the Shop Act.

It has also demanded summary trials of the offenders and an enquiry into alleged malpractice in the enforcement of laws governing the running of shops.

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