Wednesday, January 29, 2003, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


Industrial tag for 24 residential pockets
Ministry has given consent to proposal: Khurana
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 28
The Union Ministry of Urban Development will in February notify 24 residential areas with 70 or more per cent of industries as Small Scale Industrial Areas. Delhi Pradesh BJP President Madan Lal Khurana on Tuesday told a news conference the Ministry has given its consent and will make it public next week.

The notification will have a far-reaching impact in that it will remove the uncertainty that has come to grip seven lakh industrial workers who are employed in 50,000 small-scale industrial units operating out of “residential” areas.

Khurana says the Ministry has also agreed in principle to declare the five “approved” industrial areas at Lawrence Road, Wazirpur, Naraina Phase I, Naraina Phase II and GT Karnal Road – where only small-scale industrial units can run – as Extensive Industrial Areas. Declaring them as such will make them eligible to draw electricity of up to 100 kilo watt. (They are drawing only 30 KW.)

Khurana, who is also the Member of Parliament from Sadar in NCT of Delhi, told reporters the decision was arrived at after a delegation comprising him, Vijay Kumar Malhotra, Anita Arya, Lal Behari Tiwari had met with Ananth Kumar. The Secretary (Urban Development) and Vice Chairman of Delhi Development Authority (DDA) were invited to the meeting.

Khurana says his party will be hosting a conference of small-scale entrepreneurs at Ferozeshah Kotla Complex on February 2. A delegation of entrepreneurs will also be meeting with Union Urban Development Minister Ananth Kumar.

Tuesday’s is the second major decision to be taken by the Urban Development Ministry within a fortnight as the Ministry had on January 20 announced that four lakh owners of DDA flats, co-operative group housing societies and DDA slums would be allowed to increase their living area without altering the basic structure of the buildings.



BJP killing several birds with one stone
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 28
If the buzz in the corridors of Nirman Bhawan is to be believed Ananth Kumar appears to have handed over the reins of the Union Ministry of Urban Development to Madan Lal Khurana. After prompting Kumar to make unauthorised construction/s in Delhi Development Authority (DDA) flats legal, the Delhi Pradesh BJP President has in a fortnight got Kumar to agree in principle to declaring 24 residential areas with 70 or more per cent of industries as Small Scale Industrial Areas. This, by a minister who chided his predecessor, Union Tourism Minister Jagmohan, for focussing exclusively on NCT of Delhi at the expense of other cities !

Doing so might help the BJP kill several birds with one stone but how it will impact the relocation of industries – which process has been set in motion by the Government of NCT of Delhi pursuant to the directions from the Supreme Court – is still uncertain. Narela and Bawana are being developed as Industrial Areas for accommodating the polluting industries operating out of non-conforming residential areas. It will also have serious implications for the regulated growth of NCT of Delhi what with Master Plan 2001-2021 still very much on the drawing board, although Lieutenant Governor Vijai Kapoor has stated on more than one occasion that it is nearing completion.

The genesis of the notification (when issued) could also be traced to competitive politics. The BJP and the Congress are locked in a bitter fight in the NCT of Delhi that goes to polls later this year. The BJP – after slugging it out over Delhi Metro, transport and excise policies –appears to have found in the regularisation of unauthorised construction in DDA flats and declaration of residential areas with 70 or more per cent of industries as Small Scale Industrial Areas two issues to take the Congress on in the months ahead. The Congress has responded, predictably, by labelling the decisions as populist and ones that were intended to fetch votes.

Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit has joined issue with Khurana by saying the decisions were taken without as much as consulting the popular, duly elected Council of Ministers. Ironically, in spite of their protestations, the Congress had been demanding as much from the Union Ministry of Urban Development. The Congress had claimed in September last year that it had sent proposals for in situ regularisation of industrial units being run in 24 non-conforming areas and regularisation of all unauthorised colonies. Also sought was a change in the parameters of “domestic industry” to safeguard the interests of small and cottage industries running in residential spaces. It had then ridiculed the Centre for not acting in the interest of Delhiites !



Akali parking lot woes persist
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 28
The construction of the New Delhi Municipal Council parking lot opposite Gurdwara Bangla Sahib has sparked off a row between Akali factions with the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee president, Mr Paramjit Singh Sarna, today demanding the resignation of the Union Minister and Secretary-General of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal), Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, for misleading the community.

Mr Sarna told NCR Tribune that the Centre and the Delhi Government had assured the DSGMC that the parking lot, once completed, would be handed over to the committee and would be used only by devotees visiting the historic gurdwara. Countering the allegation that the land opposite the gurdwara had been sold/returned to the NDMC, Mr Sarna said the land was never in the name of the DSGMC. The Centre had closed the road outside the gurdwara to be used by the devotees during the time of Jathedar Santokh Singh.

The DSGMC president said the previous committee had started the construction of the parking lot without prior approval of the plan and the NDMC had raised objections to it.

‘’Whatever excuse DSGMC president Paramjit Singh Sarna may give to justify his having commissioned the New Delhi Municipal Council to build a general parking lot and a shopping complex on the Bangla Sahib compound, the fact remains in place that Sikhs will never allow the execution of this selloff of religious assets,’’ Mr Dhindsa had stated. He said the construction of the parking plaza would amount to “an insult to the Sikh faith.”

Political observers said the big picture behind the noises being made over the parking issue is the tussle between the two Akali factions in positioning themselves better before the Delhi Assembly polls slated later this year to garner more seats for their candidates. Though SAD (Badal) is the alliance partner of the BJP, yet it had fared poorly in the MCD poll. However, with senior BJP leaders attending the functions being organised by the pro-Tohra SAD (Delhi), which controls the DSGMC, Mr Sarna appears to have an upper hand in the bargaining game, they added.



Gangraped girl’s body found in field
Our Correspondent

Meerut, January 28
A teenaged girl was murdered by certain unidentified youths after a gangrape. Her body was found in a sugarcane field in the afternoon several hours after she left home. The girl’s uncle has lodged an FIR with the Kharkhauda police against some unidentified youths.

According to the Additional Superintendent of Police, Mr Tarun Gauba, Sunita (15), daughter of Nanak Chand of Uldhan village under the Kharkhauda police station, left home to dispose of cowdung at 7 in the morning on Tuesday. Her parents were not at home at that time. When there was no sign of her even after a few hours had elapsed her uncle went out in search of her. Later, some villagers also joined him. Sunita’s body was found lying in a nearby sugarcane field in a naked condition. Blood was oozing out from her mouth and her clothes were also blood-stained.

She had been strangled to death with the drawstring of her salwar. She was gangraped before being murdered. Her clothes were torn to shreds and there was a shoe-mark on her neck.

Infuriated over this ghastly deed, several villagers gathered at the spot. Soon, the SHO, Kharkhauda, ASP Tarun Gauba, the Circle Officer and the SP (RA) also rushed to the spot. The body was sent to LLRM Medical College for an autopsy. ASP Gauba later told NCR Tribune on the basis of the post-mortem report that the girl was gangraped before being murdered. He said the girl belonged to a poor family and her father drove a horsecart. The girl was learning tailoring in the village. The ASP further added the police were working on several leads in this connection. They were keeping a watch on some suspicious characters in this regard.

A woman in the jungle recalled hearing the voice of a girl. But she had not paid any heed to it. A case under Sections 376 and 302 of the IPC has been registered against some unidentified youths.

Fire in electronic showroom

Ghaziabad: A fire which broke out in J-55 in the prestigious Sector 18 market at 6.30 am today caused a damage of at least Rs 10 lakh. Soon, it spread to the first, second and third floor of Appliances City, which houses electronic goods. Three fire engines of the Noida administration had reached the spot by 7 am. They were handicapped because the premises were locked. It took them about an hour to control the blaze after breaking open the locks on the doors.

At about 7.45 am, the proprietor, Mr Aggarwal, reached the spot from New Delhi. A short circuit is suspected to be the cause of the fire which spread to the upper floors where electronic goods, including refrigerators, music system, TVs, sewing machines, washing machines etc, were housed. The fire was detected by a guard of the company who informed the police and the owners on telephone.

Mr Aggarwal was reluctant to spell out the extent of the damage. OC



Relocation of dairies in Faridabad turns violent
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, January 28
The campaign to shift dairies out of the municipal limits has gone awry. Over a dozen persons, including some policemen and women, were injured at Trikha colony here yesterday when the authorities tried to pull down some makeshift dairies. The police and the local residents clashed, forcing the former to burst tear-gas shells and fire in the air. This is the first clash to be reported in the region, after the state government announced its decision to shift dairies out of the municipal limits. Several protestors were injured in the clash and one youth, identified as Pawan, reportedly received bullet injuries, although the SDM of Ballabgarh contests the version. The SDM, however, admitted that five rounds were fired in the air. She claimed that the authorities were forced to use force to pull down the structures as the dairy owners had failed to meet the deadline.

She said that about 95 plots had been earmarked in a special dairy zone created at Mirzapur village in the subdivision, so that the ‘dairies’ could be relocated. She said although 70 plots had been sold, about 25 plots were still to find takers. She said if the dairies paid the token amount for relocation, the administration would stall the action.

The residents of the colony, which has a population of about 10,000, are livid over the action taken by the authorities. Deepak, a resident, said that their colony was still to be regularised and the Municipal Corporation had not provided even basic civic amenities. The authorities, therefore, had no right to remove the dairies, which did not cause any inconvenience to the locals, he reasoned.

The residents of the colonies have, meanwhile, condemned the arrests in connection with the dismantling of the dairies. They said about 20 persons, including some women and girls, had been rounded up and charged with arson and attempt to murder.



Tikait supporters block main arteries
Parmindar Singh

Noida/Ghaziabad, January 28
In protest against the lathi-charge on Bhartya Kisan Union leader Chaudhry Mahendra Singh Tikait in Muzzafarnagar, farmers of Western UP spilled into the streets today, blocking the Ghaziabad-Loni and the Ghaziabad-Dadri roads and also attempted to stop the trains near Banthala village.

In Dadri, the farmers attacked the state government for its failure to solve their problems regarding lifting of the sugarcane crop and for not securing them a fair price for their produce. Another long-standing demand is the payment of their dues by the sugar mill owners. Echoing this sentiment, the State General Secretary of the BKU, Rajpal Sharma, said that the farmers were not being given a fair price for their produce.

It is clear that an anti-farmer government is in power which is bent on harassing, exploiting and torturing the poor farmers, he alleged. But it will not succeed in its evil designs, Mr Sharma asserted.

The district president of the BKU alleged that the government had not given them any relief despite the unprecedented drought in the state. The farmer is already reeling under the hike in cost of diesel and power.

In Loni, the farmers called for action against policemen who had rained lathis on their leader. Both at Loni and Dadri the workers of BKU and Dihar Morcha presented a 15-point memorandum, addressed to the Governor. Later, the farmers marched to Loni Railway Station and tried to stop the Delhi-bound trains. The farmers had come in tractor trolleys, which they parked on the Ghaziabad-Dadri road, leading to clogging of vehicles on both sides of the highway.



Constables take on inspector over laddoos
Our Correspondent

Meerut, January 28
The distribution of innocuous laddoos on the occasion of Republic Day has got embroiled in an unsavoury controversy in the Civil Lines police station here.
In fact, all the constables of the thana went on a wild cat strike, in protest against their ‘despotic’ officer in-charge who insisted that some of the laddoos be diverted to his residence.

The livid constables also took offence at some loose remarks of the inspector, possibly poking fun at their appetite and rotund figures. Now, they are seeking their emancipation from the `dictatorial’ inspector.

The drama unfolded on January 26 when some laddoos were brought to the thana for distribution among the police personnel. The inspector allegedly “ordered” the junior staff to dispatch a few kgs of the ravishing item to his residence. However, the constables refused to heed the diktat and all the laddoos were distributed in the thana.

In the afternoon, the constables explained to their superior officer that the laddoos were not enough even for the thana staff. However, the inspector did not find the explanation tenable and had a few digs at the constables. Later, the exchange became heated and the infuriated constables decided to go on a day’s strike.

Incidentally, on Tuesday, the SHOs in the area were asked to deploy their police force outside the commissioner’s office, following a demonstration by BKU activists. However, the Civil Lines police team did not respond to the summons. Realising the gravity of the situation, the ASP and the CO rushed to the Civil Lines thana where the constables gave an account of the raw deal meted out to them by the inspector. The constables further alleged that the inspector had a penchant for appropriating valuable items from the thana premises, including two motor bikes.

They demanded that either they should be posted out of the thana or the inspector should be shunted out. The ASP and the CO briefed the SSP about the incident who, in turn, ordered an inquiry. Only after an inquiry was promised, the recalcitrant constables relented and resumed their duties.

The inspector in question, C K Mishra, told the NCR Tribune that the constables had made a false representation before his superiors as he had often rapped them for their slackness.



Supplies to 9 fair price shops stopped
R.D. Sapra

Sonepat, January 28
The Food and Supplies Department has suspended the supply of rationed commodities, including levy sugar and kerosene oil, to nine fair price shops with immediate effect, following the detection of irregularities in the distribution of rationed articles to families living below the poverty line (BPL). Te department has also issued show-cause notices to the owners of 24 other fair price shops, asking them to explain why their licenses should not be cancelled for alleged irregularities in the distribution of subsidised rationed commodities.

The irregularities came to light when the officials of the Food Supplies Department, acting on the directive of the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Balwan Singh, swooped down on 74 fair price shops in the district. The DC, it is stated, had received numerous complaints from BPL families. The thrust of the complaints was that they had been denied subsidised rationed commodities and that the depot holders were diverting the levy sugar and kerosene oil in the black market.

The raids have caused a flutter among the owners of the fair price shops and some of them have downed their shutters and fled. The Public Distribution System seems to have become a subject of public criticism in the city and elsewhere in the district because a large quantity of rationed commodities, including foodgrains, levy sugar and kerosene oil, supplied to these shops finds its way into the black market, instead of reaching the ration card holders, particularly those living below the poverty line.

Several members of the BPL families interviewed by this correspondent alleged that the office of the District Food and Supplies Controller had become a den of corruption. Most of the employees in the DFC office are working for the last three decades or so in lucrative posts which had become `non transferable”. The role of the inspectorate staff, they alleged, is also under a cloud, as every inspector collects money as `nazrana’.



Revenue Dept figures manipulated: HVP
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, January 28
Mr Rajiv Jain, Haryana Vikas Party (HVP) general secretary, has criticised the state government for not giving adequate compensation to the drought-hit farmers in Sonepat district and elsewhere in the state.

In a signed press statement issued here today, he pointed out that the farmers had suffered heavy losses and the compensation of Rs 1.50 crore distributed among farmers of Sonepat district was meagre and tantamount to a mockery. He disclosed that the special girdwari conducted by the Revenue Department had confirmed that 33 per cent of the cultivable land could not be sown by the farmers in Sonepat district during the kharif season. He also said an equal number of farmers also could not sow the kharif crops on account of paucity of canal water. He said these farmers should also be treated on a par with the drought-hit and given compensation under the scheme.

The HVP leader revealed that out of 70,792 acres of land as many as 56,747 acres were rendered useless on account of shortage of canal water and drought conditions.

He disputed the statistics issued by the Revenue Department indicating that only 25 per cent crops were damaged by the drought. He alleged that the special girdwari had been manipulated by the state government to give less compensation to the farmers and the ground realities had been overlooked.

Mr Jain also criticised the state government for not presenting its case before the central government in a forceful manner for seeking central grant, which had resulted in the payment of less compensation to the farmers in the state in general and Sonepat district in particular.

He accused the Union Minister of Agriculture, Mr Ajit Singh, of playing politics in the matter of giving central grant for relief measures to Haryana. This was the main reason for not paying adequate compensation to the drought-hit farmers in the state.



BJP has destroyed country’s secular ethos: JD(U)
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, January 28
The Haryana Pradesh Janata Dal (U) president, Mr Ved Prakash Vidrohi, has criticised the BJP for its intention to raise the issues of scrapping of Article 370 of the Constitution, implementation of a uniform civil code and the construction of Shri Ram Temple at Ayodhya in the forthcoming assembly elections in various states of the country. He said this had proved the BJP had not given up its own agenda despite there being a coalition government of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) at the Centre.

In a signed press statement issued here today, he said the BJP had fooled the constituent partners of the NDA and it was high time they reconsidered whether it was in their interest to be a part of the NDA.

He alleged the BJP had played the communal card in the Gujarat Assembly elections and it was again trying for a replay in the forthcoming assembly elections in various other states. He added that the BJP had already damaged the secular structure of the country and it was only the people who could give a befitting reply to the party in the ensuing assembly elections.

Referring to the collection of funds for helping the disposed Prime Minister of Fiji, Mr Mahender Chaudhary, Mr Vidrohi asked the Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, to issue a clarification on the funds collected by him and give details of the total amount so that people could get to know the facts.

He also advised Mr Chautala to deposit the entire amount in the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund without any further delay. He further appealed to all political parties to put an end to this controversy as it had already damaged the image of the country. He also charged leaders of various parties with politicising the issue for their selfish ends.



Cable monopoly ends, viewers 
expect better, cheaper fare
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Panipat, January 28
A cable network war is in the offing in this handloom city with another provider launching its service recently. Thus, the long-standing demand of lakhs of television viewers in the city for quality reception and more channels at a reasonable cost may soon turn into reality.

With the launch of Shiv Shakti Cable Network by Haryana Agriculture Minister Jaswinder Singh Sandhu, the monopoly of Siti Cable, a subsidiary of Zee Network, is all set to be broken. In the end, the cable viewer is set to be king as the new network has promised over 30 quality channels at reasonable rates.

In fact, the promoters of the new network took pains to convince the audience at the launch that quality cable viewing can come at a reasonable price. Currently, the service of Siti Cable is marked by poor reception, absence of leading channels, including certain sports channels, and exorbitant monthly subscription fees, according to residents.

Siti Cable’s monthly charges range from Rs 200 to Rs 300, depending on the area and number of connections. However, what pinches the viewers most is the absence of leading channels from its fare. The football extravaganza - World Cup - held last year in South Korea and Japan was blacked out from city viewers as Siti Cable failed to make arrangements for its telecast. Local soccer fans had to go to other smaller towns in the state to watch the matches.

Before that, the immensely popular Kaun Banega Crorepati (KBC) of Star Plus had allegedly been blocked by Siti Cable for several months and it was only after the public raised a hue and cry that its telecast was resumed, it is alleged. The professional rivalry between the Star and the Zee was stated to be behind the blackout of the programme.

However, all these may be a thing of the past, assured Mr Ajay Malik, MD of the new network. “Our aim is provide the residents entertainment and information at a low cost, he claimed, adding that the network had received a tremendous response in the Shiv Nagar area. The 24-hour service will have a rich fare of news, views, religious and sports channels, he added.

Observers believe that the cable scenario would undergo a sea change now and that Siti Cable would have to cut its subscription rates to stay in the race. Shiv Shakti is providing free signals to the cable operators for the time being. This is seen as a clever move to woo the existing Siti Cable operators and nibble into its viewership share.

Moreover, the presence of another player may bring some financial respite for the common viewer, who had been fleeced for years now. Whether the new network also would resort to Siti Cable’s machinations, only time will tell. Currently, the viewers are waiting for some clean fare on their TVs.



Bhiwani MC may move court for house tax recovery
Our Correspondent

Bhiwani, January 28
The local municipal council has begun the process of recovering house tax, which had been earlier discontinued due to a stay order. According to information, the council has served notices to at least 5,000 defaulters after vacation of the stay order last week. The services of safai karamcharis are also being taken for serving notices.

Council sources disclosed more than 30,000 notices had been prepared out of which 5,000 defaulters could have been issued notices. The council had decided to serve the remaining prepared notices within a week.

It is learnt that a sum of Rs 1crore has been lying outstanding towards defaulters as house tax for years. The council authorities are of the opinion that the recovery of this amount could help the council complete its ongoing development programmes. It is also learnt that the council has furnished a list of 150 persons who have to give a heavy amount as house tax. The council is seriously contemplating moving court in this matter.

The sources said these defaulters had to pay to the council amounts ranging between Rs 30,000 and Rs 5 lakh. An amount of Rs 60 lakh is pending against educational institutions, industrialists, trusts, dharamshalas and temples of the town. Among such defaulters Kirorimal Trust has to pay Rs 5,98,810, Gaushala Trust Rs 8,50,903, Vaish College Rs 95,165, Sanatan Dharm School Trust Rs 86,394 whereas among religious places Jogiwala Temple is to pay Rs 2,26,000 and Radha Swami Satsang Bhawan Rs 3,95,792.

A textile industry belonging to a former MLA has to pay Rs 1,74,823, Century Tubes Rs 60,896, Haryana Textiles Rs 11,560, Ram Prasad Rameshwar Das Charitable Trust Rs 1,45,723, Saraswati Spinning Mill Rs 5,933, Kiran Vegetable Rs 17,500, Shiv Shakti Mills Rs 24,150 and a stainless steel company Rs 1,74,022.

Since the council is facing shortage of staff and there have been no replacements for those officials who were transferred, the courts cannot be approached through petitions. It is worth mentioning that there has been no executive officer since December 24 last year in the municipal council. 



Cops’ misbehaviour: Cong to approach women panel
Bijendra Ahlawat
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, January 28
The District Mahila Congress president, Ms Sharda Rathaur, has announced that she would lead a delegation of women, mostly the residents of Trikha Colony of Ballabgarh, to meet the president of the National Commission of Women (NCW) and the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on the issue of beating up several women residents of the colony by policemen on Monday.

She charged that the male cops not only pulled some women by hair but also tore up their clothes and tried to disrobe them in full public view.

She said pictures and photographs taken by the media would be presented before the Commission to highlight the inhuman face of the police.

She said it was ridiculous that the police which had been carrying out campaigns like ‘Sadhbhawana’ behaved in such a brutal manner.

She alleged that even a minor girl was rounded up and thrashed by the cops who had been agitated by some stone-throwing persons.

class X Student missing: A teenaged student of Sector-23 here has been reported missing. Identified as Nitin Rawat and a student of Class X of a school in Sector-8, he was last seen leaving for school at 7.30 am by his family members.

It is stated that while he failed to come back to his house by noon, his cycle was reportedly recovered from near the Old Faridabad railway station.

In another incident , Ajay a resident of NH-3 of NIT was run over by a train.

The police also recovered an unclaimed body from Sector-55.



New STD code for Panipat
Tribune News Service

Panipat, January 28
Panipat has the new STD code. The existing code, 01742, has been replaced by 0180. Similarly, persons intending to dial Panipat numbers will have to prefix 2 to the existing six-digit numbers. The new arrangement was supposed to come into effect with effect from January 31 but for the reasons best known to the BSNL authorities, it had come into effect a couple of days earlier.

Suicide by BJP leader: A prominent BJP leader of Samalkha town, Prakash Vir Gupta, committed suicide late on Sunday night. According to sources, Gupta shot himself with his licensed revolver in his room after his wife and children had gone to sleep in their rooms. He along with his family had returned from a family function in Delhi on Sunday.

When Gupta did not come out of his room till 9 am on Monday, the door of the room was forced open. Inside the room, Gupta’s body was lying in a pool of blood.



Gas leakage causes panic
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, January 28
Hundreds of residents rushed out from their houses in panic when they noticed the leakage of gas from an ice factory at Ganaur town, 16 km from here last night.
According to a report, the ammonia gas started leaking around 9.30 pm and the people of the area felt it when their eyes started having a burning feeling.

This caused a panic among them and they rushed out from their houses. The affected people immediately informed the fire-brigade about the gas leakage and the officials arrived on the spot. They also succeeded in controlling the leakage within three hours.

Widespread rain for second day: Sonepat city and its surrounding areas had widespread winter rain for the second day today, bringing down the temperature considerably. According to a report, the rain is considered beneficial for the standing Rabi crops including wheat, gram and mustard seeds. As the municipal safai workers did not visit their areas today, there was a widespread resentment among the residents of the city.

Phones remain dead: All the telephones have been dead for the last few days at Nirthan village. The village still remains cut off from other parts of the country, causing hardships to the telephone subscribers of the village.

Fire in licence branch: Most of the official record relating to the licence branch was burnt in a fire which broke in the office of the Sub-Divisional Officer (Civil) at Gohana town, 35 km from here on Monday.

According to a report, the fire broke out at night and the chowkidar informed the SDO (C) immediately. Thereupon, the fire brigade was summoned and the fire was brought under control at 7.30 am.

Jain idols stolen: Four valuable idols of the Jain community were stolen from a Jain temple in Falsan Mohalla here last night.



Honoured for saving wildlife
Our Correspondent

Gurgaon, January 28
Mr Naresh Kumar Kadyan, chairman of People for Animals, Haryana, was honoured by the district administration on the Republic Day for his services to protect wildlife. Mr Kadyan, Gurgaon district officer of Haryana Khadi and village Industries Board, has always remained on the forefront in social work. Among other things, he used to organise blood donation camp on October 2, Gandhi Jayanti.

Drive on birth certificate: Mr Sunil Gulati, Directorate of Census Operation, Haryana, said that the state government was committed to registering all births and deaths by the end of 2010.

The government has launched a special campaign so that maximum number of people should know the benefits of the registration of birth and death within 21 days.

The birth certificate is very important while admitting a child to a school, getting a passport, in sports activities and in government and private services, said the officer.



Kidnapped child rescued from Etah
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 28
South-West district police today claimed to have rescued a 12-year-old child from Etah in Uttar Pradesh who had been kidnapped for ransom in the second week of this month from near his house in Naraina. The suspect is still absconding.

The victim, Lalit, was kidnapped on January 13 just after he had come out of his house to play with his friends. In the late evening, his father Mahender registered a complaint of missing, thinking that the victim would have forgot the way and could not reach his house.

The police changed the missing report into a kidnapping case on January 18 when the victim’s parents received a ransom call. During investigation, police questioned a number of persons including the tenants of Mahender. While the police were investigating the case, Mahender told that Vijender who was his tenant two and a half years ago, came on the day of the incident. Thereafter, he was missing from his house.

The suspect again called for ransom and the rendezvous was fixed at Beneu Ghat in Etah. While talking to the suspects, the mother of the victim had identified him as Vijender, alias Ram Bihari. The victim’s father went to the rendezvous along with the police team in plain cloths, but the suspect did not turn up.

When the whereabouts of the suspect could not be ascertained, the police built up pressure on the family members of the suspect. The suspect had abandoned the boy at Nangla Khagar in a village in Shikohabad. Efforts are being made to arrest the suspect, the police said.



Gang of auto-lifters smashed
Our Correspondent

Gurgaon, January 28
The district police claimed to have busted a gang of auto-lifters and recovered six vehicles. According to the Senior Superintendent of Police, Mr Kuldeep Singh Siag, acting on a tip-off, Ferozpur Jhirka police station arrested Shahun, a resident of Alwar district, Rajasthan while he was transporting beef on a motorcycle, registration No. HR-29 F 0239. The motorcycle turned out to be a stolen vehicle.

On further investigation, the police arrested Ishaq, another resident of Alwar, and recovered four stolen vehicles. Ishaq confessed that he had stolen a vehicle from Gurgaon city. However, till date, he did not reveal the places from where he had stolen the remaining three vehicles. The police also arrested one Salim and seized a motorcycle from him.



Swish mall culture catching on in Gurgaon
Ravi S. Singh
Tribune News Service

Gurgaon, January 28
The modernisation of a city is known by the wealth of its denizens and the level of consumerism prevalent among them. To that extent, this city appears to be galloping. Shopping malls having exotic looks, bringing with them virtually airbus full of international brands, are coming up in the city.

With a slew of malls already in place on more than four-km stretch from the IFCO crossing towards Gurgaon-Mehrauli Road, many are tempted to call it the ‘Mall Road’. According to many, the number of malls coming up here will beat the record of the existing malls in any city of the country.

According to an executive of DLF Universal Ltd, shopping has undergone a conceptual transformation in our country, as was the case in advanced countries.

The culture of seeing shopping as an opportunity for family outing, where the idea is to spend one’s leisure time in a quality fashion, is increasing. The challenge before the companies is to provide a relax ambience where the shoppers have fun, thus making the whole experience enjoyable for them.

Leading the pack in the business of setting up malls is the DLF Universal Ltd. The ‘DLF City Centre Mall’, set up in Phase-II by the firm, boasts of a world-class entrepreneurship. Architecturally designed by well-known Hafeez Contractor firm, this four-storeyed mall is set up on more than 2.5 acres. Surrounded by DLF Beverleys apartments, owned by high-end corporate executives, etc and other highly visible parts of the posh DLF City, it has about 140 shops. Billed as an ultra modern shopping complex, featuring shopping and entertainment facilities like a swish multiplex, speciality restaurants, departmental stores, entertainment arcades, the shopping centre tries to provide a holistic package to the shoppers under one roof in an air-conditioned building. That the drivers and domestics accompanying their masters are not left to cool their heels, an exclusive space for them has been created in the form of canteens.

The DLF management plans to set up four shopping malls in all. While its ‘Mega Mall’ has already been launched, construction on its ‘Grand Mall’ is on. While the three of the centres are on the Gurgaon-Mehrauli Road, the fourth one is being planned. The site of the fourth one is tipped to be somewhere near the well-known 32nd Mile Stone on the Delhi-Jaipur highway.

Construction on a separate mall to be set up by the Sahara Group is in progress. It is also on Gurgaon-Mehrauli Road.



PNB offers loan scheme to doctors
Ravi S. Singh
Tribune News Service

Gurgaon, January 28
In a display of killer’s instinct in a market place, the Punjab National Bank, representing the service sector, has entered the scene to cash in on the growing consumerism, and thereby increase its clientele among the medicos in the city.

The PNB, which organised a “doctors’ meet” here a few days ago, has launched a no-holds-barred marketing drive among the registered practising medicos. Ms Preeti Singh, a senior functionary of the bank, said on Monday that the bank was receiving good response from the doctors.

All the five local branches of the bank had jointly organised the “doctors’ meet” in collaboration with the local wing of the Indian Medical Association(IMA) to sell its loan scheme to the medical practitioners. The top brass of the northern zone, including its chief, Mr Harwant Singh, were present on the occasion. About 200 doctors took part in the event.

With the increasing appreciation of land and influx of nursing homes, clinics and other up-to-date infrastructure, many local practitioners appear to be losing out in the competition. Also, with the proposed Medi-City to be set up here, the medical practitioners feel it necessary to pull up their socks. It is against this backdrop that the PNB has fanned out with its scheme, zeroing in on the medicos.

Presiding over the “doctors’ meet”, Mr Harwant Singh said that the loans would be for the purchase of various surgical, X-ray, CT Scan, etc and other electro-medical equipment. The loans could also be procured under other heads like for operation theatre equipment, air-conditioners, generators, refrigerators, ambulance, personal computer and accessories, software necessaries for diagnostic purpose, etc.

During the “doctors’ meet”, certain medicos objected to the provision for providing guarantee to procure the loans. Regarding these objections, Mr Singh promised that he would take up the issue with the top brass of the bank’s administration. Incidentally, the PNB has launched this scheme in all the state districts. The bank officials, however, said that although the drive would be in the entire state, the bank had high hopes in Gurgaon.


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