Tuesday, January 14, 2003, Chandigarh, India

N C R   S T O R I E S


Abducted businessman rescued
Tribune News Service

Sant Raj, who was rescued from kidnappers
Sant Raj, who was rescued from kidnappers in Hardoi.— Tribune Photo

New Delhi, January 13
The Special Cell today claimed to have rescued a businessman, Sant Raj, from the clutches of abductors, who had demanded a ransom of Rs 1 crore from the victim. Four of the abductors, including a girl, the daughter of a Delhi Police Head Constable, have been nabbed. The accused — Hemant Mudgil alias Sunny (22) of Gurgaon, his girlfriend Jaya Bharati (19) of Palam Colony, Lalit Yadav (20) of Mahendragarh and Sarju Singh of Mastapur — were arrested while Kamal Gulia of Jhajjar and Akilesh Tomar of Mastanpur are still at large. Jaya had lured Sant Raj and abetted his abduction.

The victim, Sant Raj (22), a resident of Wazirabad in Haryana, is a partner in Sheetal Estates and used to receive enticing calls from one Ritu Chauhan who wanted to meet him and was interested in having an affair with him. On December 29, Sant Raj, along with his two friends, Ashok and Ajay, went in a Santro Car (HR-28-R-4156) to the assigned place, an institute in Pappan Kalan. He dropped his two friends at a distance and called the girl on her mobile. She reached the spot after 15 minutes in an autorickshaw and both left in the car.

When Sant Raj did not return by evening, his friends got suspicious and called him on his mobile but the phone was switched off. They then informed Sant’s partner, Ran Singh, who also tried to call the former on his mobile. Someone picked up the phone and said that Sant had been abducted and demanded Rs 1 crore ransom.

During preliminary investigation, the police found that Sant’s father had received Rs 1.28 crore from the DLF as compensation in lieu of his agricultural land. Sant’s father had later bought a plot from an agriculturist, Ram Kumar Mudgil, in Gurgaon for Rs 80 lakh. When Ram Kumar’s son, Hemant Mudgil, came to know that Sant’s father was in possession of a large sum, he planned to kidnap Sant with the help of his other associates.

The police on January 11 spotted Hemant in an STD booth in Farukabad; he was using the same Santro car. Again, on January 12, he was spotted along with his associate Lalit Yadav. This time they were nabbed by the Special Cell.

The duo informed the sleuths that Sant was being held captive in the house of Akilesh Tomar in Mastapur. Later, a police party rescued Sant. Sarju Singh, the elder brother of Akilesh, was arrested and a country-made pistol was recovered from his possession.



Reliance Info’s foray set to ring in mobile price war
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Panipat, January 13
Come February and the mobile phone price war in Haryana is likely to hot up. With Reliance Infocomm slated to launch its poor man’s mobile service – India Mobile - from next month, the other service providers are bracing up for competition and contemplating tariffs cuts and other attractive packages to retain their subscribers.

Reliance, whose WLL service took several parts of the country by storm recently, has launched an intense media campaign to attract the potential cell users and prey on the subscribers of other companies. With the launch of the Reliance’s India Mobile, Haryana will have five mobile service providers, one of the highest in the country. Escotel, Essar, Airtel and the BSNL are currently providing mobile services in the state.

Although company officials are keeping the cards close to their chests, it is learnt that the Reliance’s mobile, besides being the cheapest, would have certain inherent advantages vis-a-vis other services. In fact, under a unique three-year plan, the company is offering a mobile digital set worth Rs 10,500 free on the payment of Rs 3,000 as the booking amount. The potential cell user will have to deposit 12 cheques of Rs 1,800 each on a quarterly basis.

Other features of the new service include unlimited free incoming calls, free outgoing calls worth 400 minutes per month, no air-time cost and 15-minute pulse. Similarly, 673 cities would be covered by the service. And what would make this a “poor man’s mobile” is the fact that a call from it would be cheaper than a short-duration call from a DoT phone. For instance, the subscriber has to pay Rs 1.20 for a call, even if it is for 10 seconds, on other phones. However, the tariffs for the new mobile would be 10 paise for 15 seconds. All this does not mean that the other players are not doing anything to fend off the challenge. The other companies are also fine-tuning their strategies. What is obvious is that the tariffs are definitely going to come down. In fact, several companies are telephoning their cell users explaining their attractive schemes in a bid to retain their share in the fiercely competitive market.

The price war was started by Airtel on June 15 last year, which seemed to prosper at the cost of Escotel and Essar. The state-controlled BSNL, with its punch line, “World class service at the lowest tariffs in the world’, joined the mobile war on October 27. BSNL sources claimed that its service had been getting a tremendous response on account of the free incoming calls and free roaming facility and nation-wide connectivity.

The entry of Reliance with a matching slogan – ‘Kar lo duniya muthi mein’ – will ensure that more people go mobile. The recent surveys done by the company have revealed that there is considerable latent demand for cheap mobile services. Industry sources are hoping that with more players in the ring the quality of the services would improve and people would get value for their money.



ICDS funds under HC scanner
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 13
The Delhi High Court today expressed serious concern over a large chunk of funds not reaching the Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) and directed the government to give details pertaining to the scheme, implemented with the help of non-governmental organisations (NGOs), and the amount spent in the last five years.

“...We find that the reply is neither complete nor comprehensive,” a Bench comprising Justice Usha Mehra and Justice Pradeep Nandrajog observed, while expressing dissatisfaction over the reply filed by the Delhi Government on the issue. The PIL, filed by the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), had alleged that nearly Rs 2,200 crore was being provided by the Centre to various states under the ICDS but the funds were not reaching the targeted groups.

Concerned over the allegation that about 85 per cent of the money sanctioned under the scheme was spent in infrastructure development and operational costs, the Bench appointed advocate Arvind Nigam as amicus curiae (friend of the court) to collect all facts and figures from the central and Delhi governments and give a report.

The amicus curiae will collect details from the Centre and states about the scheme and place it before the court, the Bench said and fixed March 17 as next date of hearing. The judges wanted to know how the Delhi Government spent about Rs 145 crore each year on the scheme.

The court further expressed dissatisfaction at the report made available by the government as per its October 30 order. The court had directed the state government to file details of expenditure, procurement and disbursement of ‘Ready To Eat’ material under the ICDS during the last five years by January 13.

During the hearing, the court expressed concern over the working of NGOs, observing that only a meagre percentage of funds, meant for the social uplift of the poor, was reaching the beneficiary. The high court had earlier directed the central government to produce the details of how the ICDS was being implemented in various states, including Delhi.

The government was asked to furnish details as to the source of the ration and other materials, including ‘Ready To Eat’ stuff like bread, biscuits and rusks, bought for the scheme. The quantity and quality of such things purchased each year was also to be indicated in the reply affidavit.

The PIL alleged that the scheme was not being properly implemented. There was bungling and embezzlement of crores of rupees at the senior level. The Centre-sponsored and state-implemented ICDS seeks to provide nutritious food for about 1.24 crore poor children and pregnant and lactating mothers. Under the scheme, a beneficiary gets rations costing Rs 1.45 per day. 



Ask us what trauma of riot is: Punjabi writers
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 13
Punjabi writers from home and abroad are anguished by the damage the Gujarat riots have caused to the canon of pluralism. Identifying with the victims of the carnage, delegates to the International Punjabi Writers Conference say Punjabi literature must renew the fight against all kinds of sectarian tendencies – political, religious, linguistic or cultural.

“Nobody understands the trauma better than Sikhs,” says Dr Maheep Singh, “be it the trauma of Partition or the pain and agony of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.” The Delhi Declaration, adopted today upon the conclusion of the conference, reflects Dr Maheep Singh’s sentiment. It reads: “Writers should act with responsibility as they are confronting far more serious challenges.”

The Punjabi Academy of the Government of NCT of Delhi has hosted the International Punjabi Writers Conference for the first time. The Punjabi diaspora, who flew into New Delhi to celebrate the Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas, also addressed the writers. British Columbia’s (Canada) former premier Ujjal Dosanjh was among the special invitees.

Mr Dosanjh told delegates that developments like the one in Gujarat had sullied the image of India abroad and Punjabi writers should resist such sectarian and religious fanatical tendencies. Former Prime Minister I. K. Gujral voiced similar sentiments when he said writers had to play a decisive role in awakening the people against narrow political designs.

In the resolutions adopted at the end of the conference, the writers expressed their dismay over the denial of proper place to Punjabi in Gurmukhi script in spite of the Lashman Singh government of Punjab according the status of state language to Punjabi in the 1970s. The Government of Punjab should conduct work in Punjabi, the resolution said.

The writers adopted another resolution that sought lifting of ban on recruitment of Punjabi teachers. The ban, the resolution read, deprived children of the opportunity to learn the language. Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit told mediapersons that steps had been initiated to fill the posts that had fallen vacant.

Members of Rajya Sabha Kartar Singh Duggal and Kuldip Nayar, Lok Sabha Member Jagmit Singh Brar and Finance Minister of Government of NCT of Delhi Mahinder Singh Saathi also spoke. Thirty writers from Canada, the US, Holland and the UK were among the 300-odd delegates attending the conference.



Winds spread chill on a sunny day
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 13
Even as the day temperature rose by about one degree Celsius and the fog thinned out in the Capital today, Delhiites could not get any respite from the cold as the city was lashed by icy winds, neutralising the warmth of the sun.

The Met Department also did not have much good news. It said there would be further improvement in the day temperature in the next 24 to 48 hours but icy winds would continue.

The minimum temperature today was recorded at 4.4 degree Celsius, three degrees below normal. It had dipped to 3.7 degree yesterday though later in the day it grew warmer and the maximum temperature had reached 16.5 degree Celsius.

The fog enveloped the Capital and other parts of northern region, affecting the arrival and departure of early morning trains, though flight operations registered some improvement.

Commuters hit hard

Sonepat: Thousands of people living in the city and its surrounding areas today woke up to a cold morning and poor visibility. Dense fog continued to disrupt rail and road traffic as well as the schedules of long distance and suburban trains and also the Haryana Roadways buses.

The government offices recorded thin attendance. The Haryana Government has ordered the closure of all schools till January 17 on account of the cold wave and foggy weather conditions.

According to a report, Sonepat region has been witnessing a cold wave and dense fog with the night temperature threatening to touch three degree Celsius. The cold wave has so far claimed three lives in this district. These include a beggar who was found dead at the railway station here. The other two deaths have been reported from the villages of Juan and Baroda in this district.

Rail traffic on the DUK section of the Northern Railway remained disrupted for hours due to poor visibility. Several Delhi-bound and Ambala-bound trains were delayed, causing inconvenience to the passengers.

Thousands of passengers, mostly commuters, remained stranded at Sonepat and nearby railway stations. The waiting rooms in the railway stations were crowded as the passengers chose to stay indoors to avoid chilly winds. Some trains were also cancelled without prior notice. Traffic on the National Highway - 1 and other state highways remained disrupted for hours as thick fog forced the drivers to ply their vehicles at a snail’s pace.



If Canada can adopt Punjabi, why not Delhi?
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 13
Canada and Singapore have accorded Second Language status to Punjabi but the Government of NCT of Delhi is still to do so. The writers adopted a resolution thanking the two governments for bringing about the requisite statute.

The writers say it is high time the Government of NCT of Delhi followed suit. The matter has been hanging fire for two decades now. This is in spite of the promises made by every political party. The Delhi Declaration read: “We oppose the politicisation of the genuine demand of the Punjabis.”

Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit says she is not to blame as the Delhi Legislative Assembly has already passed the Bill. The Bill, she told mediapersons, is pending before the Union Government. The Lieutenant-Governor, she says, had raised certain technical objections. They have been clarified since, she adds.

“We are following it up,” Mrs Dikshit told reporters when queried on the delay. The Government of NCT of Delhi is also considering a memorial in honour of Guru Tegh Bahadur. Also a Centre for Punjabi Culture and Literature in Dwarka for which land has been sought from the Delhi Development Authority (DDA).

Hotelier gets bail in python case

New Delhi: A Delhi court today granted bail to hotelier Hardev Singh, who was arrested on Thursday by the Delhi Police and Delhi Wildlife Department for allegedly possessing a spotted dear, a python and a pair of ivory tusks. Hardev Singh owns Imperial Hotel in Delhi and a sugar mill in Hardwar.

The accused was released on bail after furnishing a bond of Rs 50,000 and a surety of an equal amount by Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Tej Singh Kashyap.

The counsels for Hardev Singh Dinesh Mathur, Sidharth Luthra and Ajay Kalia argued that the python might have strayed into the farmhouse, and the farmhouse did not belong to the accused.

The farmhouse was in the name of Hardev Singh’s father who died a few years back. Hardev Singh was nabbed by the police on Thursday but had been admitted to the AIIMS after he complained of uneasiness.



Hapur trader’s son feared abducted
Our Correspondent

Ghaziabad, January 13
There is no trace of the son of a wholesale trader of rice and pulses in Hapur who went missing under mysterious circumstances on Sunday morning. The family members of the victim expressed fears that the boy must have been abducted though there has been no ransom call.

The SSP Ghaziabad, Mr Chander Prakash, said there had been no new development so far in the case. He said that they had sent police teams to Meerut and some other places in this connection. However, Meerut SSP Mukal Goel and SP (City) D. K. Choudhry said that they had no information about any such incident till now.

Seventeen-year-old Vikas, son of wholesale merchant Jai Prakash and a class XII student of Dwan Public School, Meerut, had started from home at 7 am to appear in an examination in the school yesterday but has gone missing ever since.

He was supposed to board the school bus from the Attar Pura crossing. When Vikas did not reach home by 4 pm, his family members became worried. When they contacted the school in Meerut on phone, they were told that their ward had not taken the examination and he had been marked absent.



Farmers suffer as SYL becomes a political football
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, January 13
Even as the farmers of South Haryana are anxiously waiting for the construction of the SYL canal, the issue has become a political football for the politicians to gains mileage by criticising each other. It is believed that unless the Union Government takes out the matter and sets a timeframe to solve it, the injustice done to the farmers of the region was likely to continue.

Although the order of the Supreme Court for the completion of the SYL canal had brought cheers to the people of Haryana, the lack of progress in the construction of the canal on the Punjab side, and the way the issue was being handled by the political parties in Haryana, has indicated the difficulties involved in bringing about an amicable solution to this issue.

“The ruling Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) and the main Opposition party, the Congress, have launched a tirade against each other. If there is hardly any scope for unity among the political parties in Haryana, how could anyone expect the matter to be resolved favourably,” asks Mr Ved Prakash Vidrohi, president of the Haryana unit of the Janata Dal.

Demanding the nationalisation of all the rivers in the country, he says the matter could not be resolved till the states were allowed to hold their ‘sway’ over the water resources.

He said the sufferings of the farmers in South Haryana were due to the ‘cold war’ between Punjab and Haryana on the SYL issue in the last two decades.

He said even as the leading political parties in Haryana were claiming credit for the completion of the work on SYL canal, the end result has been a big ‘zero’, as Haryana was still to get its share of water.

He said the decision of the Haryana Government to hold an `all-party meeting’ at Chandigarh on January 14 was a ‘political drama’, only meant to claim political mileage. He said even as the leading Opposition parties like Congress and HVP have decided to boycott the meeting, the Chief Minister had failed to invite several other party leaders.

He also criticised the leaders of the Congress of Haryana for not putting pressure on the party president, Mrs Sonia Gandhi, to ask the Punjab Chief Minister, Capt. Amrinder Singh, to adopt a positive attitude and give Haryana its share of water.

He said the Congress would have to suffer in the next elections if its leaders ignored Haryana’s interest on the SYL.

A former minister and the RPI MLA from Palwal, Mr Karan Singh Dalal, has criticised the INLD and its supremo, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, for his failure to fight the case of Haryana.

He said three years had gone and the Chautala government had done nothing to provide adequate water to the people of southern districts like Faridabad, Gurgaon, Rewari, Mahendergarh and Jhajjar. He claimed that the financial condition of the farming community in these draught-hit districts had become quite poor due to the lack of substantial aid.

Mr Dalal admitted that the lack of political unity and using the issue to criticise each other had further complicated the issue. The ultimate sufferer, he said, were the people of the region. He has also sought an immediate intervention of the Centre for ensuring the completion of the canal.

On other hand, Mahender Singh, a farmer of the nearby Chhainsa village, said the people had become fed up with the promises made during the elections.



BJP unit to file contempt petition on SYL
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, January 13
The Haryana BJP has decided to file a contempt petition against the Punjab Government in the apex court after the expiry of the order relating to the completion of the SYL canal in the Punjab territory. Giving this information, Mr Kishan Singh Sangwan, MP, and the vice-president of the Haryana BJP told mediapersons here today that the party leaders were consulting with the lawyers about the filing of the contempt petition against the Punjab Government. He, however, made it clear that the BJP had numerous differences with the INLD government, headed by Mr Om Prakash Chautala, Chief Minister, on several issues but it would back the state government on the issue of SYL canal construction in the Punjab territory.

He also announced that the BJP leaders would attend the all-party meeting convened by the Chief Minister on January 14 on the issue. He urged the Chief Minister of Punjab, Mr Amrinder Singh, to act upon the apex court order on the issue and start the construction work of the SYL canal in Punjab territory immediately so that the farmers of Haryana could get the water for irrigation from this canal.

Referring to the proposed dharna and demonstration being organised on January 15 outside the Prime Minister’s house in New Delhi by the HPCC, Mr Sangwan said that it was a stunt of Mr Bhajan Lal who is befooling the people of the state on one pretext or the other. He said that Mr Bhajan Lal had ruled the state of Haryana thrice but failed to resolve the issue and get the share of river waters from the Punjab Government. He wondered how Mr Bhajan Lal could get the SYL canal constructed and completed in the Punjab territory by organising the dharna and demonstration in front of the Prime Minister’s house. The BJP leader said that Chandigarh and the SYL canal were two issues and if the Punjab Government takes a rigid stand, it would meet the same fate as Tamil Nadu Government had met. He ruled out any electoral alliance with any political party in the state for contesting the next assembly elections and said that the party would go alone as it was o strong as the Congress and the INLD or the Haryana Vikas Party is concerned. Mr Sangwan reiterated his charge that the INLD supremo and the Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, had been working against the BJP since his party came to power in the state and his main aim was to eliminate the BJP from the political scene. He also alleged that Mr Chautala had hatched a conspiracy and worked against the BJP candidates during the assembly elections although the BJP was the alliance partner of the INLD. After coming into power, Mr Chautala had instituted false criminal cases against some BJP leaders and the office-bearers of the party for demoralising them, he further alleged.

He said that Mr Chautala had failed so far to eliminate the BJP from the political scene in the state as all his attempts made in this regard had proved fatal for him. The BJP base, he claimed, has been strengthened in Haryana and other parts of the country.

Referring to the landslide victory of the BJP in Gujarat assembly elections, Mr Sangwan accused the media and other vested interests including some foreign powers of propagating against the BJP during the assembly elections in Gujarat but the people of Gujarat had rallied behind the BJP and the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, by supporting the policies of the party.



HPCC also firms up strategy on canal
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, January 13
Mr Azad Singh Nehra, secretary of the Haryana Pradesh Congress Committee (HPCC), said here today that the Congress workers from all over the state would hold dharna and demonstration outside the Prime Minister’s house in Delhi and pressurise the BJP-led NDA Government at the Centre to complete the SYL canal in the Punjab territory through its own agencies.

Addressing meetings of the party workers during the tour of the villages in the Kailana assembly constituency, he said as per the orders of the Supreme Court, the Punjab Government was duty-bound to complete the SYL canal by January 15 next but it was unfortunate that the Punjab Government had chosen to ignore the orders.

He called upon the workers to reach Delhi in large numbers on January 15 so as to make the programme of the HPCC a success.

Meanwhile, Mrs Sumitra Chauhan, general secretary of the HPCC, said that 95 per cent of the canal falling within the territory of Haryana was completed when the Congress was at the helm of affairs in the state. But no progress had been made in this direction earlier and after the Congress regime.

She appealed to the people of the state and the party workers to back the former Chief Minister and the president of the HPCC, Mr Bhajan Lal, and reach Delhi on January 15 in large numbers and take part in the proposed dharna outside the Prime Minister’s house.

Speaking at a meeting of the party workers here yesterday, Mr Dharampal Singh Malik, a former MP and former HPCC president, said that the party would launch an agitation for getting the share of Haryana’s water from the SYL canal. Holding rallies and demonstration in Delhi, Chandigarh and other places would be the part of the agitation of the HPCC.

He criticised the INLD supremo and the Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, for his failure to get the issue resolved during the past three and a half years. Even Chaudhary Devi Lal had failed to solve the issue with Mr Parkash Singh Badal when the latter was the Chief Minister of Punjab.



All-party meet on SYL to serve no purpose: HPCC
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, January 13
The Haryana Pradesh Congress Committee (HPCC) said that merely convening an all-party meeting on the SYL issue and not pressurising the Prime Minister, who heads the NDA government supported by Mr Chautala’s party, would not make any headway in the matter. In a statement issued here today, the HPCC spokesperson, Mr Krishan Murti Hooda, said that the Chautala government stands exposed for its failure to achieve anything concrete on the issue so far. He said there was no point in convening an all-party meeting as the Congress had already declared to hold the protest rally outside the residence of the Prime Minister on January 15. Mr Hooda said that the Chief Minister had not cared to take up the issue with the Prime Minister in his tenure of about three years, but has been busy in making ‘misleading’ statements about the Congress party stand.

He stated that nearly all the anti-Congress parties and their leaders had been making irresponsible statements since the party decided to hold a demonstration in Delhi. This decision was taken in view of the larger interests of the people of Haryana, who, he said, had been a victim of injustice. Various non-Congress governments at the state and at the centre were mainly responsible for the present-day situation. Claiming that the demonstration in New Delhi would be a historic one and it would also enable the people to stand behind the Congress party, so that the issue could be solved at an early stage.

He said that the work on the SYL canal done so far had been completed during the tenure of the Congress governments in the state and especially during the regime of Mr Bhajan Lal. He said there was no point in convening an all-party meeting as the Congress had already declared to hold the protest rally in Delhi.



‘My ambition is to train maximum heart surgeons’
Biswajiban Sharma

One of the country’s best-known heart surgeons, Dr Naresh Trehan, has been mending broken hearts. As the executive director and surgeon-in-chief of the Escorts Heart Institute and Research Centre (EHIRC), he has performed as many as 36,000 successful surgeries. Wanna meet Dr Trehan? Enter his dust and germ-controlled room either bare-footed or in rubber sandals. Pindrop silence, serious face and denim-coloured apron – they all say how conscientious the person is.

After being trained in general surgery and subsequently cardiac surgery at premier institutions in the US, Dr Trehan held important academic and clinical positions at the New York University Medical Centre, Bellevue Hospital of New York and Veterans Administration Hospital, Manhattan. His pioneering work in the field of coronary artery bypass surgery was at the New York University Medical Centre, where he performed coronary artery operations.

In 1988 at the height of his career, he left this academic and high profile position and started Escorts Heart Institute and Research Centre – a state-of-the-art heart institute in India. Within a span of 14 years, the EHIRC has performed over 30,000 surgeries, which include surgeries of coronary artery, valves, carotid arteries etc. Some of the major operations have been performed for the first time in India by him.

Besides clinical work, he has taken an interest in training, education and research programmes. He is giving doctoral training of international standards to 30 surgeons. He has established a comprehensive research programme to constantly monitor the data accumulated on a daily basis from each patient. He has presented a number of scientific papers and has also chaired scientific and medical sessions in national and international conferences in the USA, the UK, Japan, China, Israel and the Far East.

Last year, Escorts performed 4,000 surgeries, a world record. “Escorts always strives to become the leading professional healthcare company in super-speciality cardiac care with a range of products, services and quality consistent with the highest customer expectations,” says Dr Trehan, who performs about 14 to 18 operations daily. He was also given the Best Entrepreneur of the Service Award by Ernst and Young last year.

Dr Trehan’s admirers might have dubbed him a successful entrepreneur, but he prefers to call himself simply a surgeon. Dr Trehan hails from a family of doctors. His mother was a gynaecologist and his father is an ENT specialist, who is still practising. In 1947, Dr Trehan’s family decided to holiday in Mussorie. Trehan was just a year old. During those days, the talks about Partition were doing the rounds. “And my father didn’t believe in all these talks, but it happened. India and Pakistan were divided,” says Dr Trehan. Later, they settled here. Then Trehan’s father was allotted a plot at Cannaught Place. Trehan’s father was completely against the idea for becoming a doctor. “But I defied my father’s advice and decided to become a doctor,” Dr Trehan says.

Dr Trehan learnt all the basics about medical profession at King George’s Medical College, Lucknow. He did his internship at Safdurjung Hospital, New Delhi. He gives out the secret behind a rewarding medical career: “Taking care of patients, sound medical knowledge ability to think fast and enormous physical stamina. You do your work well and feel happy. To me that is success.” His primary ambition is to train maximum heart surgeons.

In an interview with the NCR Tribune, Dr Trehan talks about himself and the EHIRC.

Who inspired you to take up medical profession?

My father is an ENT specialist and mother was a gynaecologist. I had been watching them since my childhood, which was an inspiration. Moreover, it’s a good profession and by this, you can help the poor and underprivileged. My father insisted on me not becoming a doctor, as it is a busy profession. But the more he said this the more I wanted to become a doctor. I always wanted to do something for society.

You spent almost two decades in the USA. Why did you decide to start your enterprise in India?

Well, the Escorts Heart Institute and Research Centre was born out of a dream to offer the highest standards of healthcare to Indians in India. When I was in New York, many people used to come to the US to get their surgery done. And they always asked me the same question ‘we have to travel all this way to get these surgeries done. So, why can’t you come back to India?’ I also wanted to practise my profession in my country and it was a dream for me to come back and start a venture like the EHIRC in India. Furthermore, my family also supported me to start this project in India.

Why a heart surgery is so expensive in India, including in the Escorts?

Obviously, a heart surgery is costly in India. But I must say it is cheap at the EHIRC. If one goes to America for a heart surgery, imagine how much he has to spend. Also, he has to face a lot of troubles. Keeping this in mind, we are providing heart surgery and treatment of related diseases at a low price. Another pertinent thing is that we have the best quality heart surgery, like angioplasty and angiography in India. Still, what we charge is much less than what other institutes in India charge. Moreover, we offer the best price for the quality we serve.

It is true that most people can’t afford it. We also help a lot of middle class and underprivileged people by providing treatment free or at subsidised rate. Last year, we spent Rs 11 crore worth of service on poor and middle strata people. We provide free and subsidised services periodically.

Otherwise too, the price is very nominal in comparison to Europe. The five-star Escorts is an affluent man’s heart clinic but that is not really the heart of the matter. The most important thing is that it provides sheer quality and bring in the amazing clinical experiences of the doctors.

In contrast to other surgeries, a heart surgery is truly cost effective. And for this, I must say it is imperative that a health insurance scheme is started in India for the common man. In Europe, people can afford a heart surgery because they have health insurance. If a person insures Rs 2,000 per year for a whole family, then he may not face much difficulty in carrying out a heart surgery. At the time of an exigency, if a person needs Rs 2 lakh, then he may have to face a lot of fiscal problems. In such a situation, the health insurance will come in handy.

Which are the most advanced facilities you are providing here?

The EHIRC provides intensive care for patients. The hospital has air ambulances, an Airtel mobile phone emergency service (797), trans-telephonic monitors for stay-at-home patients and for those who need constant monitoring. We have also different programmes. Of these, one is the preventive programme. Through this programme, we do preventive check-ups. By doing this, we try to see whether a person has any risk for developing a heart disease or that person needs a surgery and we treat them accordingly.

Secondly, we have another programme – the Centre for early detection of heart disease. We have world’s two most advanced machines – Cardiac MRI and Smart Code CC. Through these machines, we conduct two types of scan. These can detect whether somebody is developing a heart disease or not.

Thirdly, we have an advanced machine for detecting people who already have coronary artery problems. We have an advanced Cath laboratory (for angioplasty). In medical parlance we call it ‘flashed panel technology’. One can have better X-ray pictures from this laboratory.

We have also a single-arm robot surgeon called ‘Aesop’ and a popular executive diagnostic programme for early detection among high-risk people.



Demystifying the universe for the layman

The credit for unravelling and demystifying some of the intricacies of theoretical physics and the complexities of the universe in a simple manner goes entirely to Stephen Hawking, whose first book ‘A Brief History of Time’, was a runaway success when it was first published in 1988.

Later, this became one of the world’s most well-known best sellers. His latest book ‘The Universe in a Nutshell’ is perhaps more exciting and thought-provoking. Where it scores over the earlier book is its explicit illustrations, diagrams and pictures in colour, bringing out three dimensional concepts on paper which are easy to comprehend.

In this discovery of universe, he takes us from super-gravity to super-symmetry, from Quantum theory to M-theory and from holography to duality. While his genius in the scientific world is accepted by all, he is also a master storyteller.

It all began with a big bang about fifteen billion years ago, out of which the human race has been in existence for only about two million years. Our solar system occupies only a spec of the space in universe, which is being held together by the gravitation force. The fascinating phenomenon of a bright star becoming a dark spot in space has been explained very lucidly. The gravitation force has a significant impact on light and can draw it inwards, as in black holes or dark stars.

They do not emit light, and hence cannot be seen, but can only be detected through their intense field of gravitation, which is manifest with some stars orbiting a dark spot in universe. But, how is a black hole formed in the first place?

There are several stars, which had dwarfed our sun in size, burnt their hydrogen into helium much faster than the sun. It meant that that they ran out of hydrogen in as little as a few hundred million years. After that, such stars faced a crisis.

It has been found that they burn their helium into heavier elements such as carbon and oxygen, but such nuclear reactions release much less energy than the hydrogen helium reaction.

In the process, the stars lose heat and also the thermal pressure that supports them against gravity, resulting in shrinkage in their size. If they are more than about twice the mass of the sun, the pressure will never be sufficient to stop the contraction, leading to their collapse to zero size, and hence, infinite density to form what is called a Singularity.

As a star shrinks, the paths of light rays from its surface will start out at smaller angles, ultimately becoming vertical. When the star reaches a certain critical radius, after shrinkage, the light hovers at a constant distance from the centre of the star, never getting away. This critical path of light sweeps out a surface called the event horizon, which separates the region of space from which light can escape, from the region, from which it cannot.

Any light emitted by the star after it passes the event horizon, is bent inwards by it, making the star dark one, or as we say, now, a black hole.

The book has a very useful glossary at the end explaining to the layman the complex terms in simple language.

Tough time with white balls

While the black holes may have been mastered by Hawking, our best team continues to have a hard time in New Zealand with the white ball (one-day internationals are usually played with white balls, the test matches with red). Unexpected poor form of our cricket team in New Zealand has been one of the talking points this winter. During a commercial on television, some of our players are shown indulging in heroics in jumping off the cliffs and holding on to their catches, but soon thereafter, as the real thing starts live, we see simple catches being miffed.

At one point of time, the level of audience frustration had grown to such an extent that a popular TV channel ran a special programme on the ‘feats’ of our paper tigers and exposed their chinks.

Talking of tigers, one is drawn back by about 35 years when under the captaincy of Tiger Pataudi, India scored her first series win abroad in New Zealand, during the winter of 1967-68.

The victory was possible only due to the vile and mesmerising spin bowling of Prasanna, who went on to claim 24 victims in the four test matches we played there, winning three and losing one.

Old-timers may recall that a poor performance or a loss, invariably brought the umpires under fire, but ever since the introduction of the ICC panel of international umpires, the blame has begun to be shifted to the pitches. As of now, the confidence seems to be coming back but only after the loss of both the series. What has the white ball in store for us in South Africa would be known by the end of the next month.

(Dr K. K. Paul is Special Commissioner, Administration, Delhi Police)



Bhoomi Pujan of Arya Samaj Mandir held
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, January 13
The Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Sushma Swaraj took part in the ‘Bhoomi Pujan’ of the Arya Samaj Mandir to be constructed at the Greenfields Colony here. The temple will be built by the Vishambra Sewa Nyas (VSN) in the B Block of the colony. Ms Swaraj, who was the chief guest on the occasion, said that following the principles and values taught by the religion not only brought solace in life but also spiritual achievement. She appealed to various social and religious organisations to work for the uplift of weaker and poor sections.

Ms Asha Sharma, president of the VSN, said that a hostel for working women would be built at the temple complex. Mrs Sindhu Tai Phatak, president of the Rashtriya Sewika Sangh, women cell of the RSS, was the guest of honour. Mr Ravinder Pal Singh, chairman of Urban Improvement Company (Private Limited), managed by the Board of Directors appointed by the Union Government, presided over the function. Mr Praveen Kumar, financial controller of the company managing the Greenfields Colony, said that Greenfields was not only the largest residential colony in Faridabad, but a prominent and most attractive upcoming residential address in the town. He said there were a total of 3,713 plots with about 100 plots either constructed or under construction at present. He said the colony had the best topographic location and no problem of drainage. Ms Swaraj also unveiled the statue of Laxmi Bai Kelkar.



Uttaranchal to be the focus of Surajkund Mela
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, January 13
The newly created state of Uttaranchal has been selected as the theme state for the coming ‘17th Surajkund Crafts Mela’, to be held from February 1 to 15 at Surajkund Tourist Complex here.

According to the officials, a structure of the famous entrance gate of the Badrinath Temple, surrounded by the Valley of Flowers would be set up to highlight the theme state.

A view of the temple architecture from Jogeswar complex and a stone statue of Lord Shiva would also be erected and displayed in a pool merged with the mountain as
the backdrop.

The structure will be 20 feet high and 30 feet wide. Three traditional families belonging to Bhotia Buksa, Kumaoni and Garhwali morcha have been selected to stay at the ‘Apna Ghar’, located close to the structure.

The families would provide a look of their traditional lifestyle. Special catering arrangements will be made at the ‘food plaza’ for the theme state.

About 140 artistes from Uttaranchal would be taking part in the fair. While handicrafts and handloom products from Uttaranchal would be displayed in abundance, about 50 craftsmen from Uttaranchal will be participating in the fortnight-long mela. Besides the theme state, a mini food festival would also be held.

About 350 craftsmen and weavers, many of them national award and merit certificate holders in their fields, have been invited to the event.

The mela is being organised under the aegis of the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India. The offices of the Development Commissioner (Handcrafts), Development Commissioner (Handloom) and Haryana Tourism are also actively involved in the mela.



Shopkeeper shot at in Jahangir Pur
Our Correspondent

Noida, January 13
A youth shot at and seriously wounded a battery seller in Jahangir Pur town in broad daylight today. The police have arrested the accused and recovered a countrymade revolver from him. According to police, the accused Dharmindra had shot at battery seller Bittu to settle an old score. Bittu has a shop for recharging and reconditioning batteries in Jahangir Pur town. When he opened his shop this morning at about 11 am, one Dharmindra of Siripal village accosted him and demanded his battery for which Dharmindra had given some money to Bittu. Bittu had reportedly not given him the battery. Today again, when Dharmindra demanded his battery, Bittu refused to oblige him.

Dharmindra then took out the revolver and shot at Bittu, wounding him seriously. He fled from the scene. But shopkeepers of the area informed the police who nabbed Dharmindra along with his revolver. Police have rushed seriously wounded Bittu to a private hospital.

36 of a marriage party hurt

Noida: About three dozen persons were injured when Tata-407 carrying a marriage party, collided with a bus in Phase-II area, today morning. Four of the injured are serious and have been admitted to Safdarjung Hospital, New Delhi. The rest of the injured are admitted to a government hospital, Sector-30, Noida. The bus driver had fled from the scene immediately after the accident.

Electronic goods burgled

Sonepat: Burglars are still active in and around Sonepat city after the reported thefts committed by them during last night.

According to a report, the burglars entered an electronics shop through the roof at Gandhi Chowk in Sector 14 here last night and took away electronics goods worth about Rs 1 lakh from it. The police are yet to register the case.

Youth run over by train

An unidentified youth was run over and killed on the spot by a running train between Sonepat and Harsana Kalan railway stations near here last evening.

Four held under Harijan Act

Jhajjar: The district police arrested four persons of Talao village on Saturday under the Harijan Act. Two persons of the same village had complained to the police that some persons of their village had used insulting language against their caste in a village panchayat on July 22 in connection with disappearance of two teenaged girls.



Bar Association elections

Panipat: Mr Ramesh Sharma was elected president of the District Bar Association on Saturday. While Ms Neelam Khanna was elected vice-president, Mr Rakesh Malik was elected secretary. It may be recalled that Mr Pawan Saini (vice-president), Mr Surinder Singh (joint secretary) and Mr Ashok Rao (treasurer) had already been elected unanimously.

Employees protest: Employees of Dhillon Cold Drinks on Saturday marched in procession from Civil Hospital to the SP’s Office in protest against the retrenchment by the management. In a memorandum to the SP, the employees alleged that the management was threatening the employees with dire consequences if they opposed the retrenchment policies of the company.



Dacoity cases in East dist show an upward trend
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 13
Despite its proximity to the borders, the East district today claimed that the crime under various heads remained under control except the dacoity which showed an upward trend by 42.8 per cent in the district during the year 2002.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (East) Nuzhat Hassan said that there has been a decline of 19.7 per cent in 2002 in IPC crimes compared to the previous year.

There has been a decline in crimes like, 10 per cent in murder, 50 per cent in attempt to murder, 41.2 per cent in robbery, 16.7 per cent in rape, 36.8 per cent in burglary, 42.9 per cent in riot and 12.9 per cent in motor vehicle theft.

During the year 2002, seven cases of dacoity, 50 cases of murder, 34 cases of robbery, three cases of kidnapping for ransom, nine cases of rape, 739 cases of motor vehicle theft were reported. The district also launched a drive against the eve-teasers by deploying decoy women police officers and policemen in plain clothes and arrested more than 220 persons under the Delhi Police Act.

The other schemes launched by the district police are activation of beat patrolling system in which a best beat officer would be rewarded by the Joint Commissioner of Police, area specific patrolling, initiation of special patrolling along the railway tracks.



Five held for cheating banks
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 13
The Anti-Homicide section of the Delhi Police crime branch has arrested five persons who defrauded banks to the tune of Rs 1.5 crore by procuring personal loans on producing forged documents. A large number of rubber stamps, blank letterheads of various banks and computers were recovered from their possession.

The accused Manish Soni (24), Rajiv Jain (29), Sanjay Jain (32), Anuj Jain (29) and Bindu Joseph (26), were arrested after they were found guilty of cheating the banks.

Manish Soni in connivance with Rajiv Jain and Bipin Aggarwal and others used to prepare forged documents such as Form 16, salary certificates, identity cards of election commission, ration cards, educational certificates and bank statements. Bipin is still at large and efforts were being made to trace him.

Nine burglars arrested: The South district today claimed to have arrested nine inter-state burglars including the receivers of the stolen property and solved more than 50 cases of burglaries and thefts in the district. The police also seized property worth Rs 12 lakh, house breaking implements, five knives and one Indica Car from their possession.

The accused Mirajuddin alias Miraj (26), resident of Gokulpuri, Riyajudding alias Riyaz (30), resident of Turkman Gate, Sanjay Makhija (33), resident of Geeta Colony, Hansraj (27), resident of Ghaziabad, Chander Pal (24), Harvansh (21), Murshleen (23), resident of Khoda Colony, Mustafa (21) and Kishan (22), residents of Meena Bazar were nabbed.

Four criminals held: Four notorious criminals and carjackers involved in an attempt to murder, extortion, kidnapping and dacoity were nabbed by the West district police in Punjabi Bagh area after a brief encounter on December 12.

The accused Amarjeet, alias Tillu, Praveen, alias Golu, resident of Nawada, Somveer, alias Sonu, and Birender, alias Bichoo, residents of Kakraula were intercepted by the police party and asked to identify themselves.

One of the occupants immediately whipped out a pistol and started firing at the police party but was overpowered.

Two countrymade pistols and two live cartridges were recovered from their possession.

Involved in 26 cases of murder: A dreaded criminal Naushad Ali (22) having several aliases, Rinku, Amir, Guddu, who was involved in 26 cases of murder, attempt to murder and robbery, was nabbed by the North-East district police after a brief encounter in Gokul Puri area. One countrymade weapon and three live cartridges were recovered from their possession.

Jail for running flesh trade: A Delhi court today convicted four persons Mohammad Nafis, Nasim, Bano, Geeta and Manju and sentenced them to seven-year imprisonment. All the accused were framed under charges of kidnapping and forcing innocent victims into flesh trade and inhuman treatment. The court also ordered the closure of the brothel house kotha No 57 run by the accused.

Businessman robbed: A businessman and his two labourers were robbed of Rs 1.5 lakh by three unidentified armed assailants in Rajender Nagar this morning. The victim K C Chhabra, resident of Rajasthan, runs a cloth business in Rajender Nagar and has residence-cum-office. Suddenly three unidentified persons gained entry into the office and decamped with Rs 1.5 lakh at knife point. When the incident occurred, his two labourers Shiv Ratan and Kishan Kumar were working. An effort was being launched to trace the accused, said the police.

Lawyer booked for accident: A woman lawyer has reportedly injured five persons near Chidia Garh when she lost balance in her Maruti Zen car this afternoon. The lawyer Pramila Kumar (52), a practising lawyer in the High Court and a resident of Lajpat Nagar, was on her way home when the incident occurred. When she reached Chidia Garh, she lost balance and hit five persons Govind (40), Kiran, Dalip (35), Sanjay (26), and an unknown person. The police have booked a case and taken the lawyer in custody.



Three-day expo on power 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 13
A three-day conference cum exhibition power-gen India and Central Asia 2003 is being organized in the Capital beginning January 14, 2003 highlighting the power sector scenario in India and Central Asia.

This biennial exhibition will commence at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi from January 14 to January 16, 2003, prior to this it was held in 2001.

Power-Gen India and Central Asia 2003 is a forum focusing on the changing trends in electric power, distribution and automation/information technologies in the Power Industry.

This event is expected to witness over 10,000 visitors across the world and serve as a forum for discussing and analysing critical issues brought about by the sweeping changes of increased demand and liberalization: policy and regulatory framework, power sector financing thermal, hydro and renewable generation, renovation and modernization of plant, and the latest advances in transmission and distribution.

The conference will also see participation of leading global companies besides consultants, power financing firms, construction and maintenance contractors, plant designers, project developers, construction and maintenance contractors.

Considering that India has the second largest manufacturing capacity in the new electric power generation, and the India Government contends that without electric power, there will be no growth, the event is being looked upon as a platform for industry, technocrats and policy makers in the power sector to highlight new challenges and discuss problems, solutions, new technologies and ideas.

The conference will have global giants participating like Alstom, Caterpillar, Rolls Royce and Indian companies like BHEL, NTPC, Tata Power, Kirloskar amongst others. The conference will host a series of seminars on various subjects like technology, setting up generation plants, power sector financing and case studies on coal, gas and hydroelectric power generation.



MAF meet on January 15
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, January 13
An executive committee meeting of the Manufacturers Association Faridabad (MAF) will be held here on January 15. According to Mr Navdeep Chawla, general secretary of the MAF, there will a presentation on the topic, ‘Quality, Excellence and Cost Competitiveness in Small and Medium Industry’ by Mr N. M. Malik, a management consultant.

He said the SP of Faridabad, Mr Rajinder Kumar, would be the chief guest and the meeting would be held at Delite Hotel on the Neelam-Bata Road here.


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