Friday, January 24, 2003, Chandigarh, India

N C R   S T O R I E S


Women trash MCD claims on amenities 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 23
If women living in Sundernagri and New Seemapuri are to be believed, the works undertaken by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) are anything but satisfactory. They spoke their mind at a public hearing hosted by a non-government organisation (NGO) there recently. At the hearing, they trashed the claims of the civic utility and slammed its track record.

Close to 500 women turned up for the event and testified against the quality of works undertaken by the MCD in Sundernagri and New Seemapuri in the last two years.

Speaking without fear or hesitation, the women pointed out they were the ones who stayed at home the whole day and in the absence of facilities like toilets, it were they and their children who suffered the most.

The MCD claimed to have spent several crores of rupees in augmenting the civic infrastructure and developing Sundernagri and New Seemapuri. The women contested that claim. Things, they said, had gone from bad to worse and not only were they being denied basic civic amenities but were also made to live in inhuman conditions.

Academics invited to the public hearing observed that the angst was palpable, as it was the women who actually bear the brunt of MCD’s “misdeeds”.

“While men go to work, it is the women who brave the potholes, dug-up roads, oozing sewer lines and spilling drains to fetch water,” they said of the overwhelming participation of women.

Mr Virendra Singh of the Department of Sociology, Centre for Study of Social Systems, Jawaharlal Nehru University, said: “While men are more likely to act on the spur of the moment in matters directly related to them, women tend to speak in matters of everyday concern more aggressively.”

On whether the crowds emboldened the women to speak, he said, “They feel addressed better when among people… Women will speak for themselves when things go beyond tolerance levels but will speak instantly if it concerns their family or children.”

A lecturer in sociology, Dr Montek Singh of Ghaziabad, felt children and daily chores are disturbed by the nuisance caused by those who are duty-bound to provide conveniences to the public.

“Besides,” he said, “it is the women who are blamed for anything that goes wrong in their homes and hence they take it as their responsibility to see that things around them are put in order.”

The NGO, Parivartan, which organised the public hearing in association with the National Campaign for People’s Right to Information, said the participation of women was encouraging.

“Indeed, it would help us keep up the spirit with which we have dedicated ourselves to this social cause,” said a representative of the NGO.



HUDA turns heat on misuse of residential premises
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Panipat, January 23
After years of dilly-dallying, the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) has wielded the stick against the allottees misusing residential accommodation for commercial purposes and has started sealing their establishments.

With this, panic has gripped the residents of the HUDA sectors 11 and 12 and the Housing Board Colony. In a swift action, HUDA officials, under the leadership of the Samalkha SDM and HUDA Estate Officer, Ms Pankaj Chaudhary, have sealed a number of shops functioning in the residential areas, much to the chagrin of the shopkeepers.

The HUDA action against the violators is seen as the result of an order from the state government, which has decided to get tough with the encroachers and violators. In fact, a Punjab and Haryana High Court order had also reportedly directed the authorities concerned to remove encroachments and check the misuse of residential premises.

Throwing norms to the winds, hundreds of shops, schools, medical stores, beauty parlours and other commercial establishments have been functioning from the residential premises for years now. Though the HUDA had made several feeble efforts to get the violators fall in line, in the absence of any follow-up action, all of them had come unstuck.

In a majority of cases, notices were issued to the violators, but the latter continued their businesses. Now the HUDA had reportedly set a deadline of March 17 for the closure of these commercial ventures.

In fact, commercial activity in the residential areas was doubly harmful to the HUDA. With such establishments flourishing in the residential areas, there were hardly any takers for the commercial property of the authority worth crores of rupees in these areas.

It may be mentioned here that the HUDA had made repeated efforts to auction this property but to no avail. The tightening of noose around the neck of offending shopkeepers is seen as an offshoot of the HUDA proposal to auction the commercial property again.

Even as the HUDA goes about sealing the shops, the shopkeepers have started lobbying with the local leaders to come to their rescue. Though they are at the wrong side of the law, they are hopeful that the leaders would plead their cause and get them some reprieve. With elections to the newly-formed Municipal Corporation to be held later this year, the politicians are only too willing to champion the shopkeepers’ cause, howsoever unjustified they may be.

However, the eviction of shopkeepers from the residential areas is going to be a tough task for the authorities.

While the commercial activity in the HUDA sectors and developed colonies could be distinguished easily, identifying commercial establishments in the rest of the city could prove to be a Herculean task.

In a major part of the city, thousands of residential buildings are being misused for commercial purposes by influential exporters and manufacturers of handloom products.

Dealing with these “special violators” is the responsibility of the MC. Keeping its past track record of dealing with violators and encroachers in mind, it is anybody’s guess when the violators, if at all, will be punished.



Modernity bypasses Pul Bangash
Cecil Victor

New Delhi, January 23
Even the Metro Rail slithers and swerves when it approaches Pul Bangash on the Filmistan-Tis Hazari salient. And now a new flyover intended for motorists traversing from Karol Bagh to destinations beyond Tis Hazari to avoid the crowded Azad Market area is going to come up. This may give the old bridge a breather. But it will cut across a portion of the National Capital Territory, where ancient and modern technology are vying for space, thereby destroying both trees and structures.

It also underscores the dilemma of how to handle the ever-burgeoning vehicular traffic. The proposed 1.5 km four-lane flyover will begin from a point opposite Filmistan cinema on East Park Road to Boulevard Road opposite Tis Hazari courts. To keep the disruption of lives and livelihood to the minimum, planners have proposed to lease a portion of the Kishanganj steam locomotive parking lot (now in disuse) from the Northern Railway and knock down the tyre shops that line the left side of Rani Jhansi Road.

En route, it will displace two schools housed in old-world Anglo-Arabic architecture replete with stoneware cupolas at the junction opposite the defunct Delhi Cloth Mills premises, thus writing finis to the concept of neighbourhood schools. It swerves leftwards to avoid the gurdwara opposite the schools and in doing so will scythe through the row of shops bordering Azad Market Chowk. This is because nothing can be done to the Pul Bangash, which traverses the arterial railway lines. It carries three-feet-diameter water pipelines on both shoulders making it impossible for any new structure to take its place.

But that is not the only reason why the proposed flyover cannot take the Pul Bangash route. Less than 50 metres away, the Metro Rail’s elevated segment adorns the skyline between Tis Hazari and Bara Hindu Rao. The DMRC has stipulated that no new structure can come up within seven metres (about 25 feet) from its property. Because of this, the proposed flyover must take a right turn on Boulevard Road and it will thus cut through the ancient Christ Methodist Church compound, demolishing the quaint Christian colony and possibly the whole of the Bishop’s residence before descending in front of Tis Hazari.

So far as relocating the tyre shops on Rani Jhansi Road is concerned, it is proposed to send them to the Sanjay Gandhi Transport Nagar; the logic being that tyres and buses need to be together. The planners have chosen this particular alignment because it is supposed to save more on rehabilitation of uprooted businesses and homes.



Some things don’t change at BSNL
Bijendra Ahlawat
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, January 23
If one thought that the winds of change are blowing in the corridors of the government-backed Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), especially with it introducing WiLL and setting up customer care services to beat private mobile phone companies at their own game, that hope stands belied. May be, because, as the saying goes, old habits die hard.

Despite all the talk about corporatisation and privatisation, the style of functioning of the BSNL is yet to change. In one of the complaints presented at an ‘open durbar’ of the Deputy Commissioner on Wednesday, the sarpanch of Lohina village of Hodal subdivision stated that the gram panchayat had applied for a phone connection a few years ago after depositing the security fee. Since then the department (BSNL) has been sending regular phone bills of Rs 210 per month to the panchayat. The only hitch is that the BSNL hasn’t released the phone connection yet. The sarpanch has appealed to the department to stop sending the bills till it releases the connection.

This is not an isolated case. The department receives hundreds of complaints about faults in connection and instrument sets, wrong billing and delay in getting the bills. There are several telephone exchanges working in the district, catering to about 1.30 lakh subscribers. However, at any given time, hundreds of phones are out of order in each of the exchanges. Also, the pace at which the faults are repaired is quite tardy, complain consumers.

“Unless you have a direct access or a known official in the department, rectification of a fault may take several days,” said a resident of Sector 16-A here.

Meanwhile, the BSNL authorities here claim to have improved its services to compete with the private phone services launched in January last year. The department has opened several customer care centres in the town to address subscriber complaints and public queries. The BSNL has also spent several lakhs of rupees to provide infrastructure for connecting these centres through a computer network. The department now also has an in-house bill preparing facility with the adoption of the `soft dot’ technology.

The department has also announced that it will provide new telephone connections within 48 hours on requests made through phone in certain areas. But it is learnt that the scheme has not been launched in other parts of the town where the demand is high.

The private service company that caters to Faridabad claims to have got about 12,000 connections so far. It is claimed that the progress made by this company is mainly due to the better services provided by it.



Son of MCD engineer feared kidnapped
Our Correspondent

Noida, January 23
Mohit Sharma, the son of an engineer of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi, is feared to have been abducted on his way back from school yesterday. Since no ransom call was received till late in the night, the police do not rule out the possibility that the kidnapping could have been the result of a property dispute in the family.

Mr B. D. Sharma had dropped his son at the school as examinations are on. After the exam, Mohit started on foot for his residence along with some friends who went to their houses on the way. Mohit was seen going towards his house at 2 pm. But when he did not reach there by evening, his father inquired from his classmates who could not provide any clue. Mr Sharma then lodged a report with the Sector 20 police station.

The police investigation revealed that there is a family dispute over a piece of land. Many criminal cases have been lodged against Mr Sharma’s elder brother, Bal Mukund Sharma, who is embroiled in the dispute with the former, the SP City said.

Mr Sharma, who hails from Bulandshahr, has been living with his family in Sadarpur Colony under the Sector 39 police station. Mohit Sharma is a student of Class 9 in Vishwa Bharati Public School in Sector 28, Noida. His mother, Sudha Rani, is a teacher in Chet Ram Inter College, Sadarpur.

The police have registered a case under Section 364 of the IPC. The possibility of Mohit himself having disappeared, more so if he has not fared well in the mathematics examination, is also being probed.



DLF launches its multiplex
Tribune News Service

Gurgaon, January 23
The DLF Group, one of the country’s largest real estate companies, today made its foray into the entertainment industry by launching its first cinema multiplex. The multiplex, built by the recently floated DT Cinemas, was opened at the DLF City Centre here.

Spread over 48,000 square feet, the DT Cinemas’ City Centre Multiplex has three screens with a seating capacity of 1,014. It also boasts of a host of facilities like retail shopping, food and beverages and entertainment. Three movies can be screened simultaneously at the three auditoriums.

Speaking at the launch of the multiplex, Ms Pia Singh, managing director, DT Cinemas and daughter of DLF chief K. P. Singh, said that the unit would turn into a prime destination for people living in Gurgaon and beyond, including Delhiites, who are looking for complete entertainment.

She added that after the project of expanding the Delhi-Jaipur Highway and construction of Sikanderpur bypass was completed, Gurgaon’s connectivity with Delhi would improve immensely. The scope of Gurgaon’s growth would further increase, she said.

According to the chief executive officer of DT Cinemas, Ms Kajal Aijaz, the firm will set new standards in security arrangements for multiplex industry. In today’s scenario, security had assumed prime importance, she added.



DDA to strictly monitor additions

New Delhi: The Delhi Development Authority today clarified that the regularisation of the changes was not absolute, but was subject to certain conditions. The DDA said it had drawn plans to strictly monitor additions being done in DDA flats and “proper action” would be taken against those flouting norms.

“A perception is being created that additions and alterations in DDA flats to any extent are possible. This is not true,” the land-owning body of Delhi said in a statement here three days after announcing the move to allow changes in its flats.

It said the additions and alterations in DDA flats were being studied by a committee of experts. TNS



Sun keeps up pretences, so far so good

New Delhi: A bright sun on Thursday brought much cheer to the Capital, which is in the grip of a cold wave for the past few weeks. Delhi has just witnessed the longest spell of fog and the lowest temperatures in the last four decades.

The marginal rise in mercury brought reprieve for air travellers as airlines reported flight operations as per schedule. However, the rail services continued to remain affected. Thirteen trains were cancelled and many other were running late, according to a Northern Railway spokesperson.

The temperature touched 5.1 degrees Celsius during the night. However, intermittent power cuts continued to nag Delhiites even as the state Government made it clear that the situation will improve only by January end TNS



RLD up in arms against ‘Chautala Shahi’
Our Correspondent

Rewari, January 23
The Rashtriya Lok Dal, a political outfit of the Union Agriculture Minister, Mr Ajit Singh, has decided to take up the cudgels against what the party functionaries describe here as ‘Chautala Shahi’.

As part of the centenary celebration of the late Prime Minister and farmers’ messiah Charan Singh, the state level Ch Charan Singh’s centenary celebrations’ committee is organising a massive ‘kisan rally’ at Rohtak on February 23. More than one lakh farmers of the state will take a pledge to root out ‘Chautala Shahi’ from Haryana.

This was stated jointly by Swami Indervesh, state president and Mr Jagdish Rai Kaushik, state general secretary of the Rashtriya Lok Dal at a press conference here last evening.

They asserted that there was no government worth the name in Haryana and the entire state administration was being arbitrarily run by the father-sons trio.

They alleged that the dictatorial functioning of the trio had terrorised the state machinery and the public at large.

Enumerating some glaring acts of omission and commission, they said that their one-point programme was to take huge collections from the rich people. This, they asserted, had affected the industries, about 30 per cent of which had already gone out of Haryana.

Giving instances, they recounted that Atlas Industries had migrated from Sonepat to Sahibabad (UP), Escorts Industries from Faridabad to Ghaziabad (UP), Bharat Steel Tube from Ganaur to Karnataka and Parley Biscuits Ltd. from Bahadurgarh to Nimrana (Rajasthan).

Making a specific mention of the huge collection of about Rs 2 crore purportedly made for helping Mr Mahendra Chaudhary, former Prime Minister of Fiji, they said that instead of handing over the money to the person, the amount had reportedly been deposited in a bank in the name of two INLD leaders-the state INLD chief, Mr Sher Singh Badsami, and Capt. Inder Singh, MP.

Referring to the revelations made by a premier English daily of the country, they said that Mr Abhay Singh Chautala, younger son of the Chief Minister and vice-president of the Indian Olympic Association, had squandered a huge amount of Rs 4.75 crore in betting laid on a one-day cricket match recently played between India and England.

Asserting that there was an urgency to end the ‘dictatorial misgovernance’ in the state, the Rashtriya

Lok Dal leaders said that the Union Agriculture Minister and national president of the RLD, Mr Ajit Singh, would be the chief guest at the February 23 Rohtak Kisan Rally.



Drought relief just an ‘eyewash’
Our Correspondent

Jhajjar, January 23
The spokesman of the HPCC and a former minister, Mr Krishan Murti Hooda, today accused the Haryana government of befooling the farmers in the name of providing drought relief.

He narrated an incident in which a farmer had been given just Re 1 as compensation, and maintained that the compensation was ‘too little and too late’.

He said that the government had been working against the interests of the farmers. It had been fully exposed, Mr Hooda said.

Holding the Chautala government responsible for the miserable condition of the farmers, he levelled allegations of partiality in the distribution of relief fund.

While the constituencies represented by the Congress MLAs were being left out, the assembly segments of the ruling party were getting the lion’s share, he alleged.

The HPCC spokesman charged the Chief Minister with misleading the people on the funds collected for the deposed Prime Minister of FIJI, Mr Mahendra Chaudhary.

Mr Hooda said that Mr Chautala gave a red-carpet welcome to the deposed Prime Minister in Rohtak two years ago and collected money to help him in his political battle.

Terming it as an embezzlement of funds, he demanded the registration of a criminal case under appropriate sections of the IPC.

He sought a clarification from the Chief Minister on how much money had been collected and wanted to know the bank in which the money deposited.



Dharna for fair deal to drought-hit farmers 
Our Correspondent

Jhajjar, January 23
The Rashtriya Lok Dal on Wednesday staged a symbolic dharna in front of the Deputy Commissioner’s office in protest against the non-payment of compensation to the drought-affected farmers of the district.

The Pradesh general secretary of the party, Mr Jagdish Rai Kaushik, and senior leader Swami Indervesh were among those who participated in the dharna.

The RLD leaders also presented a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner, warning the government of launching an agitation if it does not compensate the farmers adequately till February 6.

It held that the facility of the canal water is in limited area in the district and most of the crops were affected by the recent drought.

The administration had also declared 76 per cent crop failure but later altered its report to only 9 per cent.

The party said that the government has announced now to distribute Rs 61 crore as compensation, but this district was left out.



Delhi tail-end villages getting canal water
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, January 23
The Delhi Water Service Division in the irrigation department has taken a lead in ensuring the supply of canal water to the fields of the farmers at the tail-end villages.

According to official sources, almost all the tail-end villages falling under the jurisdiction of this water service division have received the full supply of canal water during the rotation period.

The farmers have now expressed satisfaction at the functioning of the Delhi Water Service Division and the efforts made by the officials in taking steps to ensure the supply of canal water in the tail-end villages.

Meanwhile, the authorities of this water service division have taken a series of steps for checking the cases of canal water theft.

The officials intensified patrolling round the clock on the embankment of the canals, distributaries and minors and caught about a dozen farmers while stealing the canal water.

Representatives of various farmers organisations have lauded the efforts of the authorities to meet the long-standing demand of the farmers for the canal water.

They also urged the state government to allocate more funds for the completion of on-going irrigation schemes in this division.

According to a report, the authorities of this division have already completed the work of desilting and deweeding of canals in accordance with the instructions of the state government.



Safety will be the byproduct of his research
Jatinder Sharma

Rohtak, January 23
Dr R.S.Chaudhary, Professor of Chemistry at Maharshi Dayanand University, has established himself as a well-known corrosion control scientist and has done extensive research work in the field of corrosion inhibitors. He has published 65 research papers, including 30 of them in reputed international journals and has delivered many lectures at national and international conferences on the topic.

In 1987, he was awarded the gold medal for the best paper in the field of corrosion control by the Electrochemical Society of India.

Dr Chaudhary believes that the research work in the field of corrosion and its control is extremely important keeping in view the applications of metals and alloys in industries. It is difficult to think of any industry not using metals or alloys, which invariably suffer from corrosion phenomenon.

Corrosion may cause serious accidents and catastrophic failures, which may result in the loss of human lives, manpower, energy, efficiency and products. Corrosion in water pipes, gas containers, food containers and reactors may lead to environmental pollution and contamination of products.

A number of airline and industrial accidents are caused by corrosion problems in metallic parts. It is believed that approximately four per cent of the GNP of a country is lost due to corrosion.

Dr Chaudhary has completed eight research projects sponsored by various funding agencies and is currently working on a project sponsored by the University Grants Commission on ‘anti-scalants and corrosion inhibitors for industrial cooling water system’.

Dr Chaudhary has established a Corrosion Research Laboratory in the Department of Chemistry. He was presented the ‘Award of Excellence’ by the Maharshi Dayanand University in the year 1999.

He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, UK and the Institute of Materials, UK. He has been associated with a number of internationally acclaimed institutes and research organisations including the National Association of Corrosion Engineers (NACE), USA, America Chemical Society, American Institute of Chemical Engineers and International Society of Electrochemistry.

He worked at the world famous ‘Max-Planck Institute fur Eisenferschung’, Dusseldort, Germany with renowned scientists such as Prof H.J.Engell, Prof K. Bohnenkamp and Dr E.Riecke in its Corrosion Division from 1978 to 1979.

Prof Chaudhary was awarded Max-Planck Society Fellowship and worked on the problem of permeation of nascent hydrogen through steel. In 1980, he also worked with Prof W.A.Schultze in the Corrosion Research Laboratory of Delft University of Technology, Delft, Netherlands. He was again invited by Prof Schultze to work in his laboratory in 1983. In 1991, he delivered a series of lectures related to his research work on corrosion and its control in Singapore, Taiwan and Hong Kong.



People salute Netaji
Our Correspondent

PATRIOT SUPREME: Members of the All India Freedom Fighters’ Organisation at a function to mark the 106th birth anniversary of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose in the Capital on Thursday. 

Rohtak, January 23
Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose was remembered on his 106th birth anniversary by the district authorities and the Congressmen here today.
The Deputy Commissioner, Mr Ashok Yadav, paid floral tributes to Netaji in a park at Subhash Nagar locality as well as at Subhash Chowk.

A yajna was also performed by the Subhash Chandra Bose Welfare Society. Highlighting his contribution in the freedom struggle, Mr Yadav called upon the people to follow the principles of Netaji.

The Leader of Opposition in Haryana Assembly, Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda, also paid tributes to the great freedom fighter in the court complex at Jhajjar.

Addressing the gathering, he remembered Netaji’s sacrifice during the days of freedom movement and exhorted the people to adopt the ideology defined by Netaji.

The activists of the District Congress Committee (Urban) organised a function at Congress Bhawan on the occasion.

Mr Shadi Lal Batra, local MLA and president, DCC (Urban) along with other Congressmen, remembered Netaji and urged the people to strive for the unity and integrity of the nation.

Netaji Subhash Memorial Committee also organised a meeting under the presidentship of Mr Banwari Lal Sanghi, a veteran freedom fighter and a soldier of Azad Hind Fauj.



Sun smiles on Sonepat
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, January 23
The foggy weather conditions came to end today after the sun shines in the city and elsewhere.
According to a report, Sonepat city and its surrounding areas had remained under foggy weather conditions and disrupted the normal life, business activity, rail and road traffic to a great extent. Several road accidents were reported, resulting in the death of numerous persons and injuries to a large number of persons.

Similarly, long distance and suburban trains ran behind schedule every day during this period. However, there has been no respite from the cold wave which had claimed three lives so far in this district.

New Std codes: The Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) has decided to change the STD codes of Sonepat and Panipat.

According to official sources, the new STD codes of Sonepat would be 0130 and Panipat 0180 instead of 01264 and 01742 respectively. The telephone numbers would be in seven figures instead of six figures now and the figure of 2 would be used before the telephone numbers in existence.

However, no reason has been given in the changing of the STD codes.

Biradari’s annual meet: The Tehsil Kot Addu Biradari, a well-known social organisation of the region, is holding its annual meet on February 2 next on the premises of the Biradari Bhawan in Rishi Nagar area of the city.

According to a report, the Biradari is rendering a yeoman’s service to society by opening two dispensaries and two sewing centres for the welfare of the poor and deserving persons.

Prisoner attempts escape: Manjeet, an undertrial and a resident of Patel Nagar, was injured seriously when he jumped out from a Tata Sumo while he was being brought from Ambala for a case in a court here.

According to a report, the police chased and overpowered him in a few minutes. Another case has now been registered against him.

The prisoner had been involved in a number of criminal cases and was lodged in Ambala Jail at present.

He was rushed to the local civil hospital from where he was referred to the PGIMS, Rohtak.



CPM condemns police action

Rohtak: The Communist Party (Marxist), Haryana has condemned the lathi-charge on the students of Kurukshetra University. Describing it as shameful, the party has stated that it deserved strongest public condemnation. The party has held the university administration, besides the police, responsible for the lathi-charge. The party accused the university administration of increasingly resorting to the use of the police force to suppress the genuine protests of the student community, particularly those against the commercialisation of education.

The party has demanded strict action against the police officers responsible for the atrocities on the students, unqualified apology from the university administration and an assurance against police entry in the university campus. It has also demanded that the university authorities refrain from frequent and arbitrary increase in fees. OC



City Bank defrauded of Rs 5 lakh
Our Correspondent

Noida, January 23
An employee of the Baroda Bank has defrauded the City Bank of Rs 5 lakh. The manager of City Bank, Mr Shiv Prasad, has filed a report with the police that one K.P. Singh of Bank of Baroda had illegally withdrawn Rs 5 lakh from his bank on the basis of false documents. However, no arrest has been made in the case so far.

2 Bangladeshis arrested during drive against illegal migrants

As part of a campaign against illegal migrants, two Bangladeshi nationals were arrested.

The police found two people moving around in suspicious manner in Sector-24 and when the cops challenged them they started running. While one was caught easily, the other hid himself in a drain nearby.

The duo-identified themselves as Sapan and Zakir and confessed that they had crossed over to India from Bangladesh illegally.


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