Saturday, March 1, 2003, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


Noida to have its own Connaught Place
Parmindar Singh

Noida, February 28
Noida, the industrial and residential mascot of the Uttar Pradesh Government, will soon have a city centre modelled on Delhi’s Connaught Place. The Noida administration is understood to have approved the proposal in principle. The centre shall cover an area of 99 hectares in Sector 25-A; it will be flanked by Sector 25 in the north, Sector 21 in the east, Sector 24 in the west and Sector 31-A in the south.

The planners, builders and officials, who sat through an elaborate audio-visual presentation of the city centre in Indira Gandhi Hall on February 25, felt that it would be an extension of the Connaught Place of New Delhi and will be a significant improvement on the Sector 18 market of Noida.

The city centre will be built in a planned manner. The infrastructure will be provided by the Noida administration. It will have four main parts: A business centre, a commercial centre (including hotels and an institutional area), a crafts centre and a cultural centre (comprising a museum and an art gallery, theatre and seminar halls and centres for holding cultural events like music and dance events, poetry symposium and debates, exhibitions etc). It will have a shopping centre of 10 lakh square metres, covering 25 per cent of the area. A parking lot for 20,000 vehicles is proposed.

Abundant water will be available from a pumping station while a 132 KV power station and six substations of 33 KV each will provide enough power to the city centre, which will become the hub of activities in Noida. It is expected that a work force of about 75,000 people will be employed in the centre.

Wide roads, green belts, pedestrian paths and water points will crisscross the building blocks. It is expected that the development of the infrastructure will take about a year after which builders and developers will be invited to develop different centres or blocks.

The height of the buildings will be restricted to 30 metres from the ground level. Each builder will tentatively be assigned the development of a two-lakh square metre area.

The whole project is expected to cost around Rs 5,000 crore, the officials feel, though the exact details will be worked out later.

The area will also have a number of small flyovers to take care of the huge volume of traffic. Two types of parking lots will be developed. The Noida administration’s new administrative building will also be a part of the city centre, it is proposed Dr Om Prakash, CEO of Noida, has invited suggestions on the proposed city centre.



Jaswant presses for VAT, leaves Khurana red-faced
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 28
Union Finance Minister Jaswant Singh’s mentioning in his Budget speech in Parliament that the Union Government wants states to introduce Value Added Tax (VAT) from April 1 this year has been received differently by the Congress and the BJP in NCT of Delhi.

Although the Congress-administered Government of NCT of Delhi is still to pass a suitable legislation in the Delhi Assembly, the Union Finance Minister’s declaration has come as a setback to Delhi Pradesh BJP President Madan Lal Khurna who has been in the forefront of the agitation by traders to stall the implementation of VAT in the Capital.

Incidentally, the divergence of opinion within the BJP did not go unnoticed. Priya Ranjan Das Munshi of the Congress heckled Khurana soon after the finance minister mentioned VAT in his speech. Words were exchanged as Khurana tried putting on a brave face. It fell on Union Labour Minister Sahib Singh Verma and a former chief minister of NCT of Delhi to pacify Khurana.

Delhi Pradesh BJP sources however said too much should not be read into the episode. “Let us see if Sheila Dikshit Ministry indeed goes ahead with it,” is how an office bearer chose to react who went on to add that the Congress was equally divided on the issue of implementation of VAT in the Capital.

The Sheila Dikshit Ministry, on its part, is still to take a suitable decision although it could bring about the Bill in the Budget Session of Delhi Assembly that is likely to be summoned on March 17. Finance Minister Mahinder Singh Saathi’s aides however have sounded a note of caution saying loose ends need to be tied up before VAT can be introduced.

The government has been seeking another round of talks in the Empowered Committee headed by the finance minister of West Bengal. Sources in the Government of NCT of Delhi did not discount the possibility of a delay in the implementation of VAT, although the matter was still pending before the Council of Ministers. Any decision will have to be taken by the Cabinet, said the official, prior to introduction of a suitable Bill in the Delhi Assembly.

The impending Assembly elections in NCT of Delhi later this year is another cause for concern to both the parties. None would want to antagonise the trading community in an election year. Government sources say VAT could not be introduced until it was passed by the Assembly and if its introduction cannot be stopped it can be deferred to protect the party’s interests.



Bengali-speaking people being tortured in Noida?
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 28
With the government announcing stern measures to deport Bangladeshi citizens illegally residing in India, a large number of Bengali speaking people in Noida are complaining about police atrocities.

These people have alleged illegal detention, torture and even extortion by the police on the suspicion that they are Bangladeshi nationals. Member of Parliament Somnath Chatterjee and Mr Hannan Mollah have written to the Deputy Prime Minister, Mr L. K. Advani, seeking his intervention to stop the illegal detention and harassment of Bengali-speaking people who have been mistaken for Bangladeshis.

In a letter addressed to Mr Advani, Mr Chatterjee and Mr Mollah have cited that the police arrested 18 persons from Noida’s Sector 31 who are still languishing in jail, 16 persons were arrested from the Sector 44 jhuggis and 11 from near a petrol station and subsequently released. The letter added that some of these people were mercilessly beaten.

It has also been alleged that the police have deliberately attached Muslim surnames to the names of those arrested to substantiate their claims.

Citing examples, the letter states that names of Hindu detainees have been suffixed with surnames like Ali, Khan and Ahmed in the FIR. Worse still, the letter mentions that some people were stripped and subjected to physical examination for ascertaining whether they were Muslims or Hindus.

It has also been alleged that in some cases the police have extorted money from the Bengali-speaking people. The letter also points out that though some illegally detained people have produced legitimate documents verifying their citizenship, the police have refused to order their release.

The leaders have expressed concern that the police have subjected these innocent people to atrocities on the pretext of weeding out Bangladeshis. The letter reads, “The police cannot treat every Bengali-speaking person, belonging to either the majority or the minority community, as a Bangladeshi and cannot torture them and deny their minimum civil and human rights”.



Farmers refuse to supply cane to Ahulana mill
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, February 28
The Gohana Co-operative Sugar Mill, Ahulana, is dogged by controversy, it seems. In December last year violent protests and arson erupted on its premises following alleged discrimination by the management against the local youths in matter of recruitment.

This time, the mill is embroiled in another row over forcible deductions in their payments on one pretext or the other.

On Thursday evening, farmers, who had been waiting at the doorstep of the mill with their produce for more than 48 hours, finally refused to supply the cane to the mill staff.

Fearing that the development might lead to another bout of violence, the authorities closed down the mill and informed the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Balwan Singh, who is also the ex-officio chairman of the mill, about the situation.

Around 500 farmers, who had been waiting to offload their tractor-trolleys, alleged that the mill authorities had been forcibly deducting around 10 per cent of the payment on one pretext or the other. They alleged that the authorities were under-weighing the produce and deducting Rs 10 per quintal as share money. “We are forced to wait for 48 hours on the road to get our produce weighed. This delay results in loss of weight. This has become a ritual since the start of the crushing season in November last year,” a number of farmers told mediapersons who reached there yesterday.

On receiving the information, the DC also reached the mill in the evening yesterday and listened to the farmers’ grievances. He has reportedly accepted the demand to make arrangements for weighing and unloading sugarcane within 12 hours and assured the farmers that other demands regarding deductions in weight and payments would be brought to the notice of the Chief Minister. The farmers agreed to supply sugarcane only after this assurance.

It may be mentioned here that the mill is located adjacent to Ahulana village on the Gohana-Meham road, which is a narrow one. Hundreds of tractor-trolleys and other vehicles loaded with sugarcane are parked on the road. Many a times, this results in traffic jams on the road which leads to Bhiwani. Though the Chief Minister has accepted the demand for a bypass, there has been no progress on this front.



Metro’s first snag has commuters fuming
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 28
A technical snag disrupted the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation’s (DMRC’s) services for 45-odd minutes today morning. According to the DMRC officials, the snag was detected at about 8.45 am. Trains resumed their run after the technical difficulties in the signalling system were rectified.

The disruption in the DMRC services saw a virtual stampede at the stations on the Tis Hazari–Shahdara route. The chaos was compounded by the early morning rush. The worst-hit were the commuters bound for their respective places of work.

Passengers were stranded at the stations as the trains could not resume their run on account of a fault in the signalling system. Consequently, all the trains that were pressed into service grounded to a halt at different stations.

The DMRC security personnel had a tough time handling the irate passengers who demanded refund of their money. The ticketing staff however expressed their inability, which provoked the stranded passengers further.

“What is the use of standing at the station and not being able to catch a bus or rickshaw … It is raining outside … Why cannot they refund the money?” an infuriated commuter asked of the ticketing staff at the Shahdara station but in vain.

Officials said the technical glitch was removed soon after the engineering personnel responsible for manning the DMRC’s operations were summoned. The trains resumed their onward journey after the lapse of about 45 minutes, they said.

The DMRC began ferrying passengers on December 25, 2002. Since then, it has had to face little or no technical snags on account of the efficient handling of its services. Barring a few hiccups in the first few days after its inauguration, the service had worked smoothly.



Lady luck again smiles on Dr Siwatch,
gets B. C. Roy Award
Jatinder Sharma

Rohtak, February 28
Dr S. B. Siwatch, Professor and Head of the Department of Medicine, Pt B. D. Sharma Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences (PGIMS), has been awarded the prestigious Dr B. C. Roy National Award for “Eminent Medical Teacher” for 2002.

Dr B. C. Roy national awards are considered the most prestigious awards in the medical profession. Dr Siwatch, who has been heading the department since 1994, is the third recipient of this award from the Department of Medicine of the PGIMS. The earlier recipients were Dr C. Parkash and Dr S. P. Gupta. They had received the award about 20 years ago. Dr S. S. Yadav, who came from the Faculty of Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi, as Director of the PGIMS, was also a recipient of this award.

The Dr B. C. Roy National Award Committee is headed by the Prime Minister or his nominee. A prominent academician/social scientist, an eminent non-medical scientist, an eminent person in public life and president of the Medical Council of India are the other members on the award selection committee.

Dr Karan Singh, MP, and Dr Farooq Abdullah, former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, were the Prime Minister’s nominees on this award selection committee. The award is conferred on the recipient by the President of India at a special ceremony held in Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Dr Siwatch has been working in the Department of Medicine for the past 30 years. He has published more than 100 research papers in various national and international journals of repute. He is a life member of several scientific bodies and winner of several prizes during his studies. He has trained a large number of postgraduate and undergraduate students in medicine.

It seems that ‘Lady Luck’ has been very kind to Dr Siwatch during the past few months. Last month, he was selected to deliver “Ranbaxy Oration 2004” at the next annual conference of the Association of Physicians of India, to be held at Hyderabad in January 2004. The Medical Council of India elected him unanimously a member of its credentials committee, which has four members from the entire country and selects the panel for appointment of the editor of its journal and API textbook of medicine.

All these prestigious assignments stand testimony to his professional standing at the national level.



200 pc rise in allocation for traffic signals
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 28
While the budgetary allocation for construction of buildings and residential accommodation for Delhi Police has registered no significant increase, the Union Budget 2003-2004 has raised the allocation for installation of traffic signals by 200 per cent.

The budgetary allocation for installation of traffic signals etc in the last fiscal was Rs 0.5 crore. The corresponding figure for 2003-2004 is Rs 1.5 crore.

There is no increase in the budgetary allocation for construction of buildings for Delhi Police, which remains pegged at Rs 30 crore. The allocation for construction of residential accommodation for Delhi Police has increased only marginally, from Rs 48 crore in 2002-2003 to Rs 49 crore in 2003-2004.



HVP demands ‘white paper’ on drought relief
Tribune News Service

Haily Mandi (Pataudi), February 28
The Haryana Vikas Party(HVP), headed by the former Chief Minister, Mr Bansi Lal, today charged the INLD government in the state of playing with the sentiments of the farmers of Ahirwal belt of South Haryana in the distribution of compensation to drought victims.

Addressing an impressive gathering here, Mr Surender Singh, the secretary-general of the HVP and son of Mr Bansi Lal, demanded that the government issue a “White Paper” on the compensation disbursed to the farmers of the Ahirwal belt, spanning Gurgaon, Rewari and Mahendergarh districts. The Chief Minister of the state, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, had stated that the government has distributed Rs 240 crores to the farmers of Ahirwal belt even though “they were not affected by the drought”. The amount distributed to the farmers is peanuts, and plays with the sentiments of those who are still reeling under the scourge of the recent drought, he added. The public gathering was part of a series of Assembly level meetings organised by the HVP in the state. In fact, today’s meeting at Haily Mandi, falling in Pataudi Assembly constituency, is the first of such meetings in Gurgaon district.

Mr Singh charged that neither the INLD government nor the main Opposition in the Haryana Assembly, the Congress, was serious in expeditious completion of the Sutlej-Yamuna Link (SYL) canal project, to bring water to the fields of South Haryana, encompassing the Ahirwal belt.

If the INLD is earnest in putting pressure on the Centre to intervene for the implementation of the Supreme Court’s directive on the SYL issue, Mr Chautala must set a deadline to Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee for the completion of the project.

It is all the more imperative for the INLD to take on the Centre, as it is part of the NDA government, he added.

The HVP also took on the Congress Party saying that its leaders were speaking in different voices, which militated against each other on the SYL and other issues important to the state.



NRI on padyatra to support poor
children’s education
Abhay Jain

Gurgaon, February 28
India has to develop means to provide education to its each and every citizen, said Siriniwas Bhardwaj, an NRI who reached Gurgaon in the evening today en route his walk from Kanyakumari to Vaishno Devi to spread the message of peace and to support poor children who cannot afford education.

It is distressing to note that the national language, Hindi, is not written and spoken in most parts of the country even after 56 years of Independence, lamented Mr Bhardwaj. Seventy-four-year-old Siriniwas Bhardwaj Bhardwaj said that India and Pakistan are only two countries in the world where their national languages had been forced to take a backseat.

A retired teacher from England, Mr Bhardwaj said that he would meet President A. P. J. Kalam and the Union Human Resource Development Minister to stress upon the need to spread the use of the national language.

He observed that the political leaders have to shun selfishness and work for the welfare of the country. “They must not forget the masses after the elections,” pleaded Mr Bhardwaj.

Starting his journey from Kanyakumari on December 13 last year, he has covered about 40 km in a day, revealed his son, Mr Ajay Bhardwaj, an electronic lecturer in the United Kingdom.

Migrated from India 45 years ago to Kenya as a primary school teacher from Punjab, he shifted to London in 1964 to provide the best education to his six children as the UK gives free education, added Mr Ajay. “My mother, Smt Krishna, makes arrangements for his food, accommodation, medicine etc en route,” said Mr Ajay.

This is his third journey as he had walked 1,000 km in the UK in 1995 from John O’Grotes, the northern most point of the UK, to Lands End, the southern most point, to raise funds for his charitable trust. On the 50 years of Indian Independence in 1997, he had walked from Kolkata to Amritsar spreading the message of peace and togetherness.



CM opens Citizen Service Bureau at Rajouri Garden
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 28
Mrs Sheila Dikshit, Chief Minister of Delhi, today inaugurated the second Citizen Service Bureau set up by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi at its zonal office building at Rajouri Garden. Dr A. K. Walia, Minister of Health, Delhi Government, Mr Ajay Maken, Minister of Transport, Delhi Government, Mr Ram Babu Sharma, Chairman, Standing Committee and Leader of the House in the MCD, Mr Sanjay Puri, Chairman, Ward Committee, West Zone, Mrs Chandra Makkar, Municipal Councillor, Mr Rakesh Mehta, Municipal Commissioner, Mr Ramesh Negi, Additional Commissioner, Ms Punia Srivastava, Deputy Commissioner, West Zone, were present at the inaugural function.

The interactive and dynamic website has been designed by the MCD to provide civic services to the citizens of Delhi in a friendly, transparent and hassle-free manner. To start with, the services of registration of births and deaths and issue of certificates, accepting applications for issue of all kinds of licences, booking of parks for holding private functions, renewal of licenses, receiving all kinds of municipal fees and taxes will be available at Citizen Service Bureaus.

In the first phase, Citizen Service Bureau will be opened in each of the 12 zones of the MCD. The first bureau was opened at Central Zone, Lajpat Nagar, and the second was opened today at Rajouri Garden.

In the second phase, it is proposed to open Citizen Service Bureau in each of the 134 wards of the MCD.



Expand food basket: Swaminathan
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 28
Renowned scientist and former Director of Indian Council for Agriculture Research (ICAR), Prof M.S.Swaminathan, emphasised the need for the expansion of the food basket of the country for its sustained food growth and upkeep of nutritional standards of the people.

Speaking at Prof B.L.Gupta Memorial Lecture, Prof Swaminathan expressed the view that the country had great potential for increasing its food basket. The people, especially those residing in the remotest parts, have great instinct to survive in times of adversity. Prof Swaminathan, hailed as the architect of India’s Green Revolution in the sixties, said the people of our country have the knack of knowing the nutritional value of various plants, which could be included in their dietary regime.

The memorial lecture was organised by the Manas Vikas Pratishthan, a trust formed by the former Chief Secretary of Haryana, Mr M.C.Gupta. The late Prof B.L.Gupta, was a well-known botanical scientist and father of Mr Mr M.C.Gupta.

The memorial lecture was to commemorate the 100th birth anniversary of Prof Gupta. Hailing the Green Revolution, which transformed the country in terms of surplus production of food stock, he attributed it to “science and public policy” of the country. The public policy was predicated on the basic philosophy of striking a balance between the rate of growth of population and food grains.

The former Union Minister for Agriculture and presently Member, Planning Commission, Mr Som Pal, lamented the low budgetary allocations for the agriculture sector. He said even though the primary sector has much potential, both from the point of food security and employment, it was discriminated in matters of budgetary support when compared to its contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).



A classic example of what is wrong with rural
colleges in Haryana

Jhajjar, February 28
A visit to the Brigadier Ran Singh Government College in village Dujana in the district will show all that is wrong with the education system in the rural areas of the state. The college situated on Dujana-Beri road was established in 1969 as a private college by the Haryana Siksha Samiti. Later, it was taken over by the state government in 1982.

Even as the Chautala government boasts of providing the best educational facilities in the rural areas, the dilapidated buildings, flawed location, conveyance problems, lack of electricity, water and shortage of books in the college gives a totally different picture. In the meanwhile, the college administration as well as the state government has preferred to turn a blind eye to the miseries of the staff and students. And at the receiving end are the students hailing from the nearby villages who have been deprived of basic educational facilities.

The prevailing miserable conditions in the college has cast its shadow over the academic atmosphere here which is reflected in the poor performance of the students in examinations. However, the college principal, Mr Joginder Ahlawat, maintains that the annual results are almost at par with the average result of the university. The results of the internal college condition tests showed that around 103 students could not qualify and could be debarred from appearing in the final examination.

One of the major problems facing the students and the faculty is the lack of transportation. Even though the college is situated more than 4-km away from the nearest locality, there are only few private buses plying on the route. Repeated plea to the authorities to increase the Haryana Roadways facilities on this route has fallen on deaf ears. The approach road to the college is in a pitiable condition.

Moreover, the lack of proper boundary wall has allowed stray animals to wander inside the campus from the fields. The absence of pucca pathways on the campus has resulted in water logging during the rainy season. Other civic amenities like water and electricity are also in short supply on the campus.

The teaching staff complained that power supply is available only on alternate days while there is inadequate drinking water facilities on the campus. The library facility in the college is inadequate and relevant books are in short supply.

However, the remarkable fact is that despite all the obstacles faced by the students and the teaching staff of the college, there is a genuine attempt to impart education to the people of the rural population of the area. Despite the transportation problems faced by the students and the teachers, all attempts are made to hold regular classes.

The atmosphere on the campus is peaceful and disciplined. The college has 768 students on its rolls, with a teaching staff of 23. The principal said that three posts of lecturers are lying vacant, which he hopes to fill soon. The students of the college have good record in extra-curricular activities and many such events are organised on regular basis. The college has sports team in water polo, handball, kabbadi and wrestling and have well organised NCC and NSS units. “The credit must go to the students as well as the staff for the happenings in this college,” remarked Mr Joginder Ahlawat, the officiating principal of the college following the retirement of the previous principal last year.



More showers likely
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 28
The Capital received showers early this morning, which brought down the day temperature. The skies had been overcast since yesterday evening.

The Met office said that the intermittent rains, which began around eight am today, were caused by the western disturbances lying over Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh.

The Capital had recorded 3.0-mm rain by afternoon. The cyclonic circulations have caused rainfall in the northern parts of the country. The weatherman has forecast a partly cloudy sky and rain or thundershowers later in the day.



Mental ability test held
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, February 28
The Society of Mathematics, Government College, organised for the first time a mental ability test at Gohana town, 35 km from here, yesterday.

According to a report, as many as 80 students, both boys and girls, appeared in this test and solved 50 questions in 30 minutes only. These questions were related to mathematics and general knowledge.

Prathibha Tayal of BA III bagged the first position whereas Sonia of B.Com II and Rajesh of BSc I won the second and third positions, respectively.

Free eye operations

The Managing Committee of Jankidas Kapur Memorial Hospital is organising a month-long free eye operation camp on the premises of the hospital in Sector 14 of this city from Saturday.

According to a report, Dr S. K. Sharma, a noted eye surgeon of New Delhi, will conduct the operations from March 7 onwards.

Protest on March 3

Bhiwani: Brick kiln labourers will stage a demonstration in support of their demands here outside the office of the Deputy Commissioner on March 3 on a call given by the Lal Jhanda Bhatha Mazdoor Union.

Camp for headmasters

A one-day training programme of headmasters of government schools was held at the IED centre here on behalf of the Social Justice and Empowerment Department by the District Rehabilitation Centre and the IED centre here wherein 40 headmasters participated.



Anjuman Taraqqi Urdu celebrates 100 years of
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 28
The Anjuman Taraqqi Urdu (Hind) celebrated 100 years of its existence by organising seminars, symposium and lectures on various subjects. Beginning from today, it will be four days of celebration.

The Anjuman completed 100 years of its eventful history in January this year. It was set up in January 1903 in Delhi. In the beginning it had its office at Ansari Road. At present, it has 600 branches across the country. Language, literature, culture and society with a special reference to Urdu have been the chief concern of the Anjuman ever since its inception, a press note said.

Eminent scholars, professors and writers from 25 countries and 55 from all over India participated in the seminars, symposium and lectures. Besides, 30 Urdu journalists took part in the seminar. They presented their papers on different aspects of Urdu language and literature in India.

The general Secretary of the Anjuman, Dr Khaliq Anjum, is organising the function, the note says.

Training for teacher educators

An 11-day training programme organised by NCERT for teacher educators from various countries of Africa starting from February 17 came to a close on Thursday. Teacher educators from Ghana, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia participated in the training programme. The training, which aimed at equipping teacher educators with skills and competencies to meet the new challenges and trends in the field of teacher and school education, consisted of thematic sessions, panel discussions, sharing of country experiences, first hand experience of the functioning of institutions and hands on experience on computers.

As part of the programme the group visited Indira Gandhi National Open University, National Institue of Open University, National Institute of Open Learning, District Institute of Education of Training and other such institutions in and around Delhi.



Unite to face the rapist


Do you have a grouse against the apathetic attitude of the authorities? Are you fed up with the dilly-dallying tactics of officialdom and the stranglehold of red tapism?

If so, please write to us. We have a full half page every week reserved just for you. The letters should be clearly marked, Speaking out, NCR Tribune,
First Floor, Dyal Singh Library Building, 1 Deen Dayal Upadhaya Marg, New Delhi-110002.

THIS is with reference to the report about the suicide by Mrs Vimla Anand, wife of Vijay Anand, an employee of Thomson Press, Faridabad, along with her three daughters over molestation of her eldest daughter by a rogue named Raju.

The unfortunate mother might have brought her daughters up with great love and care. The eldest daughter was molested in her absence, but it seems that there was no way out for the family to protect the girls and the circumstances forced them to take the extreme step of committing suicide. The mother tried to spare her son by sending him to a neighbour’s residence on some pretext.

It was also reported in the ‘NCR Tribune’ on February 15 that a 35-year-old bachelor raped a 12-year-old schoolgirl in Prashad Nagar, New Delhi. The victim is a student of fourth standard. We talk of moral values and pious culture. But today the situation is so vulnerable that anything can happen to anybody.

Things were not so bad two-three decades back. Nobody could dare to commit such heinous crimes in those days. Now things are radically changing. We don’t know what is socialisation. We have become selfish and always try to avoid socilising. Nobody wants to take risks for the sake of the society. We don’t have unity among ourselves. We only cry when something foul happens to us. But if all are ready to face such eventualities, none can harm us. We fail to understand the importance of social unity. Comparatively, people in the rural areas are more united on such matters.

But now even in the villages, the people have begun to be self-centred. Reportedly, three youths were arrested in connection with the gangrape of a minor of a village nearby Rewari in Haryana. The family of the victim was out of the village in connection with a marriage. Such crimes are being committed in both cities and villages. But in the villages, people get united to face such tragedies, whereas in the cities the individual has to fight on his own, as the other members of his society do not consider it necessary to get involved in the matters of their neighbour so as to avoid the risks. This selfish nature has resulted in the mass suicide by the mother and daughters. She could not see of any help coming from any quarter to protect her innocent girls from the rapists. That may be why decided to take this extreme step.

If we were not ready to unite for the sake of Mrs Vimla Anand and her three daughters, we should do so at least for the sake of our own daughters. After all, we do not bring up our children for killing them some day because a neighbour happens to be a rapist. We should gather courage to face the violator of our children. We talk of the ‘Geeta’ everyday and when faced with a rogue, we immediately decide to commit suicide leaving behind just a suicidal note for the helping the investigative agency.

O. P. DUHAN, Kamla Nagar, Rohtak

Let’s talk about common man’s issues

Pick up any newspaper and one would find editorials/articles on socio-political issues like scams, scandals, corruption at high places, patronage raj, criminalisation of politics, election reforms, women’s representation Bill, legal system, work culture, population control, citizens and public offices, family welfare/planning, media, bureaucracy and silence of good people so on and so forth.

There are overwhelming responses from readers vis-a-vis these editorials and articles. However, it is being noticed that nothing has changed, in spite of the sincere exhortations of the editors/writers.

The politicians, bureaucrats, government departments and the people in general have become immune to all such noble sermons. They read, hear, pause and then forget and in due course the said noble thoughts, sermons and exhortations become “visionary themes”.

In the above context, I wish to request the editors and the learned writers that they should write about the socio-economic issues, like the uplift of people below the poverty line, education, drinking water, pollution, unemployment, cheap and speedy justice, AIDS, inflation, health, red-tapism, women’s problems and poverty amelioration etc. Because these are the pressing issues facing the common man.

In fact, people are fed up with the socio-political wrangles and false hopes, promises and dreary dreams of the politicians.

O. P. SHARMA, Faridabad

HUDA, please pay

I have been a regular reader of ‘The Tribune’ since long. I have been victimised by the callous and indifferent attitude of officials of the HUDA, Sector 14, Gurgaon.

I own a house (No 22) at Sector 15-l in Gurgaon. On July 1, 2002, I requested in writing for the payment of the common boundary wall I built on my plot. Despite my several written and personal reminders, the HUDA officials did not heed to my request for the payment. Being an old man, it is very difficult for me to visit the HUDA (Gurgaon office) each and everyday.


Fill JNU posts

It was somewhat shocking to learn that out of 400 sanctioned posts in Jawaharlal Nehru University, 130 posts are lying vacant leading to miserable loss to students. Although the Ministry of Human Resource Development has been requested to send a list of nominees, no action has been taken by the said ministry. A number of courses are on the verge of closing due to this reason and students have no option in taking up the course of his liking as the teacher in that subject is not available. The ministry concerned should kindly look into the matter and fill the posts immediately.


Why new university?

This is with reference to the report, ‘South Haryana cries foul over new university’ (NCR Tribune, February 10, 2003).

I would like to say that the people of the region want a new university in their region. As per the rule, universities in India can be established either by an Act of Parliament or state Assemblies. The University Grants Commission (UGC) recognises the university and then that university becomes eligible to receive grants from the commission.

The Supreme Court has held in one case that “the constitution of India vests Parliament with exclusive authority in regard to the co-ordination and determination of standards in institutions for higher education. Parliament has enacted the UGC Act for that purpose. The UGC has, therefore, a greater role to play in shaping the academic life of the country. It is hoped that the UGC will duly discharge its responsibility to the nation and play an increasing role to bring about the needed transformation in the academic life of the universities”.

At the time of Independence, there were 19 universities. At present, about 290 universities are functioning and many more are likely to be established in the near future. To me, the UGC does not seem much concerned about the establishment of any new university.

As per the report, south Haryana consists of Faridabad, Gurgaon, and Mahendragarh and Rewari district. Faridabad has five government colleges and six non-government colleges; Gurgaon seven government colleges and three non-government colleges; Rewari has three government colleges and four non-government colleges, whereas Mahenderagarh district has seven government colleges.

The colleges of other four districts affiliated to Maharshi Dayanand University (MDU) are: Rohtak (three government, one university and seven non-government colleges), Bhiwani (three government and seven non-government colleges), Sonepat (one government college at Gohana and eight other non-government colleges) and Jhajjar district has six government colleges and two non-government colleges.

Taking these into account, higher education provided by the government is not insufficient in south Haryana. The University Regional Centre, Rewari, can be strengthened with a few other postgraduate subjects. Government Postgraduate College, Narnaul, may also be strengthened with some additional postgraduate subjects.

Kurukshetra University has colleges of 11 districts affiliated to it whereas MDU has colleges of eight districts affiliated to it. If the new university is established, colleges of four districts would be affiliated to MDU and those of the other four districts to the proposed new university. People of the area should not raise the demand to establish a university just for the sake of prestige.


Plea to Punjab Government

I have no alternative but to approach you for help to get the payment of my medical reimbursement bill for the period April 4, 1999 to April 9, 1999 sanctioned for Rs 1,09,320. It is really a blot on the efficiency of the Education Department of Punjab and indirectly show how poorly senior citizens and retired employees are treated by the Punjab Government.

The bill was granted by the Director, Health and Family Welfare (Punjab) vide his letter No PMH(1)Pb/2K/2242 dated 13-2-2000 and reimbursement of Rs 1,09,320 was allowed vide letter No. PMH(1)2000/10578 dated 7-11-2000. The Director, Public Instruction (S) Punjab, Chandigarh sanctioned the budget vide Endst No 6/7-2000(s) dated 18-5-2001 and even the District Education Officer (S), Jalandhar who is to make the payment had sanctioned the budget vide his order No A.5/2001/46352 dated 21-9-2001.

It is really the sad state of affairs that after all formalities were completed and the budget sanctioned on 21-9-2001, the payment could not be made after getting it passed from the Treasury Office, Jalandhar during 2001-2002. Another financial year (2002-2003) is coming to close. I feel if payment of the bill is not made now, it will take one more year.




Thieves, burglars stalk Rewari
Our Correspondent

Rewari, February 28
There has been a steep rise in the incidence of thefts and burglaries in various parts of the district of late, causing panic among the shopkeepers in rural areas of the district.

The latest incident pertains to Jatusana where thieves broke into the shops of Mr Ravinder, Mr Rajpal, M/s Sanjay Kumar-Dharam Pal and M/s Om Prakash Molad Ram and decamped with booty worth several thousands of rupees at night on February 23.

In a second incident which occurred in Rathanthal vvillage under Jatusana police station of the district, the shop of a goldsmith Narendra Soni was burgled by the thieves who decamped with gold and silver ornaments as well as some cash which were reportedly worth over Rs 50,000.

The police have registered cases in this regard. The third incident relates to Bawal where thieves broke into four shops: Chandna Electronics, Kian Photo Studio, Bombay Taylor and a fourth shop owned by Mr Ram Kishan, on Sunday night. They decamped with valuables worth thousands of rupees.

The Bawal police have registered cases of theft. Prior to this, as many as four shops were burgled at Kosli where thieves took away goods and valuables worth about several thousand rupees.

Cases in this regard were registered by the Kosli police.



Furious with queries, man kills wife
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 28
The Jaffarpur Kalan police arrested Chand Singh (28) for allegedly killing his wife as she could not bring the dowry demanded by him.

The police received information from an unidentified caller that the victim Rajni (25), who was married to the suspect six years back, was lying unconscious in her house at Ghuman Hera village in South-West district. When the police reached there she was found dead with multiple injuries on her legs, hands and head, the police said.

The police said the examination of the crime scene disclosed that blood was scattered all over the cot, quilt and also on the floor. The blood-stained salwar, shirt and other garments of the deceased were also recovered from the spot.

When the police reached the spot, the husband of he victim was found absconding. The records of the police station confirmed he had a criminal background. He was earlier arrested in a dowry related case on the basis of a complaint lodged by his wife in 1999. Rajni had lodged a complaint against the suspect and started living alone. Six months later she had come back to her husband.

The police said the couple had frequent quarrels over the husband’s bad habits and propensity for a lavish lifestyle for which he demanded money from his wife. Sometimes ago Chand had sold his land for Rs 8 lakh and started spending lavishly.

Though he had developed bad habits, his wife tried to reform him. Last night, they had dinner together during which she asked about the money he had got after disposing of the land which led to an argument between them. The suspect became furious and attacked the woman with an iron rod, killing her on the spot, the police said.



Meat seller murdered behind police post
Our Correspondent

Ghaziabad, February 28
A meat seller was stabbed to death by three assailants behind the bus stand police post under Kotwali police station last night.

Bilal, a resident of Chaman Colony, had a kiosk near a liquor vend in C Block of Shastri Nagar. Gulzar already had a regular meat shop there. The two had clashed a few days ago because Bilal was selling chicken at cheaper rates, which had affected Gulzar’s sale, the police said. Each was eyeing the other as a professional rival.

Bilal was returning home after watching a movie when two persons took him behind the bus stop at gunpoint where Gulzar was already waiting for him. The three then stabbed Bilal to death. The police have arrested Gulzar and Secunderabad’s Usman. Bilal’s father Mohd Hanif Ahmed had filed an FIR naming the three persons.



Investigator caught while taking bribe
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 28
The Anti-Corruption Branch of the Delhi Government arrested investigator Bhuwan Chand Joshi, posted in the office of Assistant Registrar, North-West district, while he was accepting Rs 5,000 as illegal gratification from the complainant.

The complainant, Amarjeet Kumar, a businessman, lodged a complaint that he had applied for approval and registration of M/S Harmilap Co-operative Urban Thrift and Credit Society in November last year. The matter was pending with Bhuwan Chand who had asked the complainant to arrange for Rs 28,000 in consideration for recommending the proposal. A trap was laid in the office and he was arrested accepting Rs 5000, Deputy Commissioner of Police Paldan said.

Man shot dead in Lado Sarai

Anil Kumar (24) was shot dead by five unidentified youths near Anuvrat Marg in Lado Sarai on Thursday night. The deceased ran a catering van on rental basis. When he was returning from work along with his two servants, his van was stopped by the suspects who started beating him.

When the victim resisted, one of the suspects fired at him, injuring him in the neck. His servants ran away from the spot. He was admitted to AIIMS where he was declared brought dead.



Girl found raped, murdered

Sonepat, February 28
A 16-year-old girl was found murdered in a field at Tajpur village, 12 km from here, today. According to a report, she was lured by four youths of the village who took her to a field where they allegedly raped her by turns. The police have arrested one of the suspects, Manoj, in this connection and launched a hunt to apprehended the other three youths. The police have sent the body for the post-mortem examination. OC


Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | In Spotlight | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
123 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |