Tuesday, March 11, 2003, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


HC pushes for law on hostile witnesses
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 10
The Delhi High Court today asked the Centre to explain why the recommendations of the Law Commission on hostile witnesses were not being implemented. The Law Commission had suggested an amendment to the law to prevent witnesses from turning hostile.

While issuing the direction, the court observed that witnesses in a large number of cases were turning hostile due to “intimidation and threat.” It was hearing a writ petition seeking direction to the government for evolving a mechanism for protection of witnesses, which was filed by Neelam Katara, mother of business executive Nitish Katara, who was killed last year. Rajya Sabha MP D. P. Yadav’s son Vikas and nephew Vishal are prime accused in his murder case.

Taking on record the Centre’s “admission” that it was aware of the plight of prosecution witnesses, payment of unrealistic allowance to them and their non-cooperation, a Bench comprising Mr Justice Dalveer Bhandari and Mr Justice S. K. Agrawal said: “The government has to look into the report of the Law Commission of India (LCI) and make a submission” on its implementation.

The court also asked the government to clarify whether it was considering becoming a signatory to the UN Convention on Trans-National Organised Crime, providing for better cooperation among nations on legal matters arising out of this menace, including extradition of criminals.

Stating that it was a “very important” issue, the court directed the Union Home Ministry to submit a short affidavit making the government’s stand clear by April 7.

The Home Ministry in its affidavit admitted that in all important cases witnesses were under constant threat from criminals. “There is need to take steps to stop harassment of the witness, so that he does not feel frustrated. There is also urgent need to provide adequate protection to the witness from intimidation by criminals,” the affidavit said.

The ministry said the government had appointed the Malimath Committee to look into this aspect and the amendment in the Code of Criminal Procedure as recommended by the LCI. The report of the committee was awaited, the court was told.

Neelam Katara had initially filed a petition alleging that she and her family were being threatened in the case. She later amended her petition, pleading for expanding its scope, and sought a direction to the Centre for evolving a mechanism for protection of witnesses in the absence of a law as was available in the USA, Canada, Australia and some other developed countries. Her counsel Arvind Nigam said till a legislation was passed by the government to amend the law the court could lay down guidelines in this regard and name a central authority which could administer such matters.

Taking note of his submissions, the court during the hearing observed that “in the past 50 years the government had not bothered to take any step in this direction and as a result the rate of conviction had come down drastically.”

“It is far more important for the government as most of their cases fail because of the witnesses turning hostile,” the court said.

Mr Nigam also said, “India is yet to sign the UN Convention on Trans-National Organised Crimes, which poses problems in the extradition of hardened criminals”. 



Kabbadi champ, national cyclist held for murder
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 10
The New Delhi district police today claimed to have arrested two persons, including a woman, in connection with the murder of Deepak Kapoor in the Talkatora cricket garden on March 9.

The accused, Gurprit Kaur alias Gunia, a kabaddi national champion, and her boyfriend, Aman Deep, a constable in the BSF and a national cyclist, were arrested. The police had found a body lying in a pool of blood in the garden and recovered a licence. During preliminary investigations, the police found the deceased was a resident of Mahavir Nagar. It was also found that he owned a Santro car (DL-4-CM-7194).

The police also found an unclaimed scooter DL-4S-A-5278 near the Shah-en-Shah restaurant and found that the scooter belonged to Harjeet Singh, a resident of Tilak Nagar. Harjeet disclosed to the police that the deceased had taken the scooter to Paharganj where he used to meet Gurprit Kaur.

Gurprit told the police that she and her boyfriend Amandeep had both gone to the Institute of Tour and Travels in Chankyapuri. Aman left his mobile phone with Gurprit to stay in touch with her and left for Najafgarh. They also planned to meet in the evening at Talkatora Garden.

When Aman tried to contact Gurprit on the cell, he overheard someone. Suspecting something, he called up again. As decided, he reached the garden in the evening and found Gurprit getting down from a Santro car.

But Gurprit convinced Aman that she had come by a DTC bus. When confronted she disclosed that Deepak used to blackmail her to have a relationship with him. Realising that Deepak was acting as a stumbling block in their relationship, they decided to eliminate him. Accordingly, Deepak was called to the garden on March 9 around 7.45 pm by Gurprit as Aman waited at a distance. Later, Aman tied a wire around his neck while Gurprit caught hold of his hands. Aman with the help of a knife slit his neck and left him bleeding. The two then went to a gurdwara and changed their clothes. Subsequently, they left for their respective homes.

It’s never too late to elope

Noida: Who says cupid doesn’t strike in 40s and 50s. A 45-year-old woman of Bhour in Jahangirabad has reportedly eloped with her 50-year-old lover. Interestingly, the woman is a mother of five kids while the man has sired four children. Ever since Banarsi Das returned home from the front after his retirement, Munni and her lover were finding his presence an irritant and impediment in their amorous relationship. Exasperated, the duo decided to flee to greener pastures. OC



Sheila drops in for spot inspections in East Delhi
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 10
In a series of visits aimed at on-the-ground assessment and inspection as also overseeing the actual implementation of the government’s schemes, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit today went on an extensive round of the East Delhi areas. She visited far-flung residential localities in Shahdara South and North, including areas like Kalyanpuri, Pandav Nagar, Vivek Vihar, resettlement and JJ colonies in Mandawali-Fazilpur, old Seemapuri, Dilshad Garden and Khajoori Khas etc. The Urban Development Minister, Dr A. K. Walia, the Chairman, Standing Committee, MCD, Mr Ram Babu Sharma, local MLAs Naseeb Singh, Mrs Meera Bhardwaj, Mr Veer Singh Dhingan, councillors, MCD Commissioner Rakesh Mehta and other senior officials of the MCD and government departments accompanied the Chief Minister.

Apart from overseeing the work being done after various decisions taken by the government during the past four years, Ms Dikshit took stock of the problems being faced by residents. She expressed grave displeasure at the poor state of sanitation and cleanliness in the resettlement colonies located at Mandawali-Fazilpur and Indira Camp and issued strict instructions to officials to take immediate remedial measures to improve the situation.

The Chief Minister also expressed concern over the system of municipal cleaning in the slum colonies of old Seemapuri and Nandnagari. She asked officials to build dhallao and provide toilets in the area as soon as possible. She gave orders for the beautification and development of Sanjay Jheel located in the Trilokpuri area.

During her round of the Vivek Vihar area, Mrs Dikshit inspected land that had been allotted to Delhi University for establishing the East Campus and the 18-acre plot that had been allotted to Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University. Since these pieces of land were lying vacant, Mrs Dikshit suggested that boundary walls be erected around them to discourage unauthorised encroachments. At the same site, the Chief Minister gave instructions for proper cleaning and de-silting of an adjacent drain which had been lying choked for quite sometime.



Youth brigades in Dadri to stamp out dowry
Our Correspondent

Dadri (Noida), March 10
Certain Dadri youth with a progressive outlook have decided to start a movement against dowry and the extravaganza, redundant rituals, ceremonies and needless expenses associated with marriage. Youth brigades will be formed in a cluster of 25 to 30 villages of the area. These will go from door to door to garner support as part of their well-intentioned campaign.

They will spread awareness among people about this and oppose those who over-indulge in ceremonies and set a bad example for others.

A panchayat had been called for this purpose on yesterday at a school in Diyana village. Addressing the panchayat, Mr Raj Kumar Bhatti, organiser of the Dehat Morcha, said the dowry had scourged all strata of society.

The increasing expenses on marriage and the sky-rising greed for dowry had endangered the honour and freedom of young girls in our society.

Fed up with these demands, many couples, fearing the birth of daughters, had started opting for medical termination of pregnancies. This development was likely to disturb the gender balance in society, he said.

Mr Briginder Singh Naggar said some harsh rules needed to be formulated against those demanding dowry. The ex-president of the students union of Chaudhuri Charan Singh University, Mr Rajesh Verma, said the youth should rise in revolt against dowry and expensive marriages. A number of other youth leaders and socially conscious people also addressed the panchayat.

The panchayat took a decision that to create an environment against dowry in the district similar panchayats would be called in Noida, Besarakh, Surajpur, Dankore, Sikandrabad, Dadri etc.

It was also decided to organise anti-dowry brigades in clusters of 25 villages each in the area to spread awareness and mould public opinion against dowry and marriage extravaganzas.



Despite court ruling, no end to ordeal 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 10
Seven years ago, they were expelled from service. Seven years later, they are still not gainfully employed despite the courts coming to their rescue.
The 26 employees of Netaji Subhash Institute of Technology, Sector 3, Dwarka, who have been holding a sit-in at the entrance to the campus for the past 136 days, were joined today by members of the Hindustan Manav Hitkari Parishad in staging a demonstration at Jantar Mantar.

Their grouse? The institute has not given them a fair opportunity to apply for the vacant Class IV posts in spite of the Delhi High Court directing Dr B.N. Gupta, Director of Netaji Subhash Institute of Technology, to consider their names in the event of class IV post/s falling vacant.

The employees alleged that instead of accommodating them against the posts that fell vacant certain other individuals were appointed. When the employees moved court for a second time, the Delhi High Court stayed the recruitment process. In spite of their efforts, they are still jobless.

According to the president of the Hindustan Manav Hitkari Parishad, Mr Kuldeep Singh Kirari, the demonstrators burnt the effigies of Education Minister Raj Kumar Chauhan and Dr B.N. Gupta. Netaji Subhash Institute of Technology is funded by the Government of NCT of Delhi.

The employees said representations had been made to Union Human Resource Development Minister Murli Manohar Joshi, Union Labour Minister Sahib Singh Verma, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, Chief Minister of Haryana Om Prakash Chautala but in vain. “Nothing has come up as a result of all those petitions yet,” they complained.



Sena does not want to ride piggy-back
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 10
The Shiv Sena wants to sever its ties with the Delhi Pradesh Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP.) At least till the Assembly elections that are due in NCT of Delhi late this year. The party on Monday decided against entering into any pre-poll electoral alliance with the BJP. It would instead field its nominees for all the 70 seats that will be up for grabs when the Election Commission notifies the polls.

The decision was taken by senior functionaries who met in the day at the party’s headquarters at Ramayan Bhavan in East Delhi. President of Delhi chapter of Shiv Sena Jaibhagwan Goyal said a resolution in this regard, which was passed unanimously at the meeting, had been sent to Bal Thackeray, Udhav Thackeray and the outfit’s member of Parliament in Rajya Sabha Satish Pradhan.

Goyal said Shiv Sena would enter the electoral arena as a “Third alternative” as the people were fed up with the policies of the Congress and the BJP. “Both the Congress and the BJP have been indulging in petty politics on the issues of providing basic amenities to the people, continued influx of Bangladeshis in the Capital and relocation of industries. People surely deserve a better dispensation but it can be provided neither by the Congress nor by the BJP.”

He said the Sheila Dikshit Ministry had taken “a series of decisions” in order to shield its failures and cited the proposals to “privatise jobs of safai karmacharis and opening of an abattoir in Ghazipur, East Delhi.” On the collection of development charge and house tax from those living in unauthorised colonies, he said : “It is appalling that money will be collected from underprivileged people.” Goyal also slammed the Government of NCT of Delhi for failing to check the spiralling crime rate in the Capital.

The party has had electoral understandings with the BJP in the past but seems to have given the BJP the short shrift this time round. There are still a good eight months to go for the elections and both parties could re-align themselves by then. The Congress, on its part, is watching the developments keenly as not only will it have to fend off the Opposition but also overcome the anti-incumbency vote in certain key constituencies.



Drug smuggling racket: Foreign nationals held
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 10
With the arrest of two foreign nationals, the Delhi Zone of the Narcotics Control Bureau today claimed to have unravelled a racket of drug smuggling from Himachal Pradesh to U.K. and other countries. Sleuths of the bureau had received a tip-off that foreign nationals were involved in a drug smuggling racket in the hilly tracts of Himachal Pradesh. The information was followed up and one of the suspects was identified, Zonal Director of the bureau, Abrar Ahmed said.

The suspect, Benjamin, a British national, was intercepted by the security personnel when he was going to board a Swiss Air Flight (LX 173) from IGI Airport yesterday. To avoid suspicion, the British national entered the departure hall as the last passenger.

According to the Zonal Director, the officials on duty checked the luggage of Benjamin, resulting in the discovery of 9.540 kg of hashish packed in two polythene packets concealed in the false bottom of his suitcase. The suitcase has been seized and the suspect has been arrested. His interrogation led to the arrest of an Israeli national whose name was not disclosed by the bureau. The British national used to smuggle hashish to London allegedly with the help of the Israeli national residing in Lajpat Nagar.

The Zonal Director said that a raid was conducted at the residence of the Israeli national and 75 gram hashish was recovered from there. The suspects were arrested for violation of the provision of section 8 (c) of the NDPS Act and were later produced before the court. 



Brahmin Mahasammelan or a political springboard?
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, March 10
Cashing in on the caste and community factor has not been a problem for politicians even while they hold these factors responsible for several ills. Although the organisers of the Brahmin Mahasammelan here on Saturday claimed that it was a non-political gathering, the choice of Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala as the chief guest left several people wondering about its nature. Eyebrows were raised also because the convenor of the meeting was a political person too.

Speakers at the meeting warned the people about the social problems and issues like terrorism and separatism, religious and caste-based fights that had been posing problems.

They also said that the Brahmin community should get united to fight for the rights.

Mr Chautala, on his part, claimed that there was a section of the people who used the caste factor to serve their political ends and Brahmins must be aware and be able to identify their well-wishers. He also offered to provide land for the construction of a dharamshala for Brahmins in Faridabad or Ballabgarh.

While the organisers described it as a successful state-level congregation of Brahmins, there are some persons who do not agree with the claim and allege that it was a political show aimed at building the political career of a certain leader belonging to the ruling party.

Mr Rajkumar Gaur, a political activist based at Ajronda village, described the sammelan as a mere political stunt. He said if it was a non-political meeting, then the Chief Minister should not have been invited as the chief guest. The organiser himself was a politician. He alleged that the occasion was used purely to serve political ends as no issue concerning the overall growth and development of the community had been discussed. 



Five units found discharging toxic effluents 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 10
The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has identified 1,551 industrial units under the 17 categories of polluting industries in the country including those that have become dangerous for human health by way of discharging toxic effluents.

As many as five such industries have been identified in these categories in the NCT of Delhi out of which one has been closed down, Union Minister of State for Environment and Forests Dilip Singh Judev told the Lok Sabha today.

The losses incurred by the Delhi Milk Scheme (DMS) in the last three years have come down from Rs 76.72 crore (provisional) in 1999-2000 to Rs 16.07 crore in 2001-02, Union Minister of State for Agriculture Hukumdeo Narayan Yadav said.

The New Delhi Municipal Council has levied property tax to the tune of Rs 18.75 crore for the period ending March 2002 on Ashok Hotel, Union Tourism Minister Jagmohan said. He informed the House that the basis of calculating rateable value has been challenged by the Indian Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC) in the court of District Judge, Delhi.

Meanwhile, conservation work on the Lal Gumbad protected by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) was carried out at a cost of Rs 2.58 lakh during 2001-02, Mr Jagmohan said.



Operation Alert’ yielding good results: SP
Our correspondent

Sonepat, March 10
‘Operation Alert’, launched by the police in the district, has yielded good results. The Superintendent of Police, Mr Paramjit Singh Ahlawat, told mediapersons here that the special police staff have arrested a youth, identified as Dalip Singh, a Jat of Kathura village, and recovered one kg of charas worth several thousands of rupees from his possession. He said the culprit was arrested following a secret information received by the patrolling police party on the Gohana-Lakhan Majra road, near Kathura village.

He disclosed that the culprit was moving on foot and was carrying the contraband charas. When the police party asked him to stop he tried to escape but was overpowered by the police. A case under the NDP Act has been registered against him. The SP further disclosed that the police have arrested a youth, Ramesh, alias Naishi Jat of Nahri village, for allegedly being found in possession of eight bottles of liquor. He was arrested on the Halalpur Nahri road by a patrolling police party. A case under the Excise Act has been registered against him.

According to the SP, the police have arrested a Jat youth, Rajesh of Khewra village and Sandeep of Kahni village (Rohtak) and recovered a country-made pistol and a knife from their possession.

The SP further disclosed that the police have arrested three youths, namely Vivek of Ator Nangla village in Ghaziabad district (U.P), Krishan of Murthal village and Sachin of Kurri Nangla village in Bhaghpat district (UP) and recovered three country-made pistols and two live cartridges from their possession. Cases under the Indian arms Act have been registered against them.



Coffee’s journey from Ethiopia to Latin America has been a long one

Coffee is known to have taken its name from Kaffa, a province in South-West Ethiopia, also believed to be its place of origin. At present, the Coffee Arabica shrub is cultivated mostly in Latin America, while the other variety, Coffee Robusta is mostly of African and Asian origin. Next to the consumption of tea, it remains the most widely consumed beverage in the world.

The journey from Ethiopia to Latin America has been a long one. History records that beans were first brought from Ethiopia to Arabia (Yemen) and then around the fifteenth century taken to Turkey and other countries. In fact, in all probability, coffee had preceded tea in Europe. Later, the Dutch began its cultivation in their erstwhile colonies of Ceylon and Java. The Portuguese had brought coffee to Latin America, which is now its biggest exporter.

Coffee contains a large number of natural products-Alkaloids as they are known-principal being Caffeine.

This is a well-known mild stimulant and also the source of the familiar `pick up’ that coffee is supposed to provide. Caffeine is also well-known for its use in drugs. The proportion of Caffeine in the green beans is less than 3 per cent but increases dramatically to about 30 per cent in the roasted-finished product.

Some of the other chemicals present in coffee beans are trigonelline, amino acids and lipids, besides sugar and proteins. The quality of the beans depends on the genetics of the plant, the soil, and the microclimate surrounding it and the temperature fluctuations. However, it is the scientific and controlled processing which yields the best flavours.

It is the roasting process, which holds the key to the aroma and the taste in the finished product. During the roasting process, there are chemical reactions inside the beans where sugar combines with amino acids, peptides and proteins as in the Maillard’s reaction. This results in the release of brownish bitter-sweet glycosylamine and melanoidins, which are the basic ingredients of the distinct coffee flavour.

A longer roasting duration leads to evaporation of some of these compounds, leading to a bitter taste. According to

Ernesto Illy, Crema, the dense reddish brown foam that tops an espresso, consists of tiny bubbles of carbon dioxide and steam, surrounded by emulsified oils containing the key aromatic compounds, which are the source of its long lasting flavour.

In case the brew is extracted for a longer duration, chemicals like decadienal, sulphide, ethylgujacol and nonadienal also get into the drink, giving it a rancid taste.

Some recent research on coffee indicates roasted coffee to be a good source of useful anti-oxidants but there is nothing conclusive so far, while the negative effects of its excess are well-known.

Peaking at the right time

Overcoming an initial scare (24/3) of a possible upset by Kenya, India appears safe and smug in the semi-finals slot. Nevertheless, they have to win all the remaining matches so as to retain the second position, and avoid meeting Australia in the semi-final.

Earlier, having redeemed themselves with convincing wins over Pakistan, England and Zimbabwe in the pool games, the Indian team’s path to the ‘Super Six’ appears to have been far more difficult, than the ties they face now.

What a contrast, it has been! Just a few weeks ago, the players were being ridiculed by the fans, the experts and the media.

However, today, the World Cup is well within our reach. Fans swaying emotionally from one extreme to the other is understandable, but what about the experts and the media. Perhaps, it is they who succumbed to the pressure more easily, while the Indian team stood firm. So much so that in a rare confession, a scribe currently in South Africa covering the World Cup, had to admit that he had been missing his dinner since he has had to eat his words no end.

Similarly, some former test stars on channels have been at the receiving end. In the circumstances, Richie Benaud’s recipe, of only describing the game on TV, and avoiding personal feelings to cloud the proceedings, appears best.

Ganguly’s own form and captaincy have also been under flak, ignoring the fact that in cricket, form is only temporary while class is permanent. His century against the Kenyans has come about at the right time and as of now he is the only one in this World Cup to have scored two centuries. As a captain, he has to lead from the front, be a master tactician and should be able to get the best out of his men.

A reference to Mike Brearley, the most successful England captain, comes naturally in this context. He led England to 18 wins in 31 tests but had a very low batting average and never scored a century.

Though Shoab Akhtar indulged in a verbal psy-war before the crucial game with India, he could not dent our mental toughness and was replaced after the very first over. Let us hope we are able to tackle Bret Lee, who has been in full cry after injuring Jaysuriya.

While the ICC continues to defend the format used for the World Cup, they had kept a reserve day for the rain-affected matches in the ICC Trophy played in Sri Lanka six months ago. As such, the India-Sri Lanka final had to be played twice, though rain disturbed the game on both days. Finally, the teams had to share the trophy.

The overwhelming weightage in Super Six to the pool matches played earlier, gives rise to a possibility where Kenya, inspite of loosing all its matches in the current stage, may yet be in the semis. A format, which allows convenient passage to some teams on considerations other than cricket, does need a fresh look.

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



Polluted water supply brewing resentment 
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, March 10
Resentment prevails among the residents of more than a dozen residential colonies of Sonepat town, following the supply of polluted drinking water. Despite repeated complaints, the authorities of the Public Health Department have failed to redress their problem. The colonies adversely affected include Anaj Mandi, Kath Mandi, Tirth Market, Mission Road, Jawahar Nagar, Subhash Nagar, Arya Nagar, West Ramnagar, Bharatpuri, Gokul Nagar, Prabhu Nagar, Braham Nagar, Vishal Nagar and Shastri Park.

According to information, the potable water in these colonies is supplied from the Deepak Club water tank, located near the old judicial complex. The supply to this tank is made from the main water tank in Sector-23 after the filtration process.

However, in recent weeks, the residents have been forced to bear with the supply of polluted water. It is also pointed out that the under-ground water in these colonies is brackish and unfit for human consumption. Hence, the residents are fully dependent on the government water supply to meet their domestic requirements.

When clarification was sought from the authorities of the Public Health Department, they pleaded that the supply was ‘not as bad as alleged by the residents’. A Junior Engineer of the department stated that in most of the cases, the supply is polluted due to the damage to the underground water pipes by deep diggings in the streets for one reason or the other.

Many a times, the residents have water connections without the prior permission of the department. Most of such connections result in the damage to the main water supply pipes for want of technical know how.

Complaints regarding disruptions in water supplies have also been received from Harshana Kalan, Baiyanpur and Lehrara villages.



Time management is must for this man of many parts
Parmindar Singh

Dr A.K. Agarwal In this competitive age, when everyone is striving for the top slot in his chosen profession, very few retain a human touch in whatever they do. It is rare for someone to cover himself with glory in his profession and yet nurture a deep love for social and humanitarian activities.

But 45-year-old Dr A.K. Agarwal has accomplished all this and more. Son of a teacher from Baraut, Dr Agarwal completed his B.E. from Pant Nagar University, Pant Nagar. He did his PhD in Electrical Engineering and Technology, University of Delhi.

Having started his career with American Universal, Faridabad, as an Assistant Manager (Training), Dr Agarwal soon became the Chief Executive Officer of Autometers Alliance Ltd, Noida, which he had established from a scratch. The firm manufactures high technology equipment for railways in collaboration with internationally reputed organisations like Hyundai Heavy Industries, Korea, Whiteley Electronics, UK, and Secheron Ltd, Switzerland.

A technocrat in his own right, Dr Agarwal has many innovations to his credit. Besides, he has retained his first love - the academic world. He is an honorary visiting professor, Faculty of Management C.C.S. University, Meerut, Uttar Pradesh. Dr Agarwal is also a nominated member of the Executive Council, Rohilkhand University, Bareilly.

A member of the Indo-Italian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Dr Agarwal is closely associated with a Senior Citizen’s Home in Faridabad and is indeed trying to establish a similar home in Noida. He is also on the guest faculty of the International Business Management Programme of the Lucknow University.

As an executive member of Gandhi Sarvoday Mandal, Pant Nagar University, he delivers lectures on Gandhian philosophy. He is also a member of the External Development Committee, Bhaya Vikas Samiti. As president of the committee, he plays a pivotal role in village development and imparts training to people to conserve water and develop land. The committee has also adopted Azadpur village near Pant Nagar University. He has done a lot of developmental work for that village. In a conversation with the NCR Tribune, Mr Agarwal describes his many-faceted work.

What is the inspiration behind your success in multifarious activities?

Ideally, one gets inspiration from either one’s family background or the society in which one lives. I was brought up in a village with no public amenities at all. I have not only seen real rural life, but also experienced it with joy. So, the rural touch comes from my roots.

Secondly, social nature is a gift from my father. He used to collect an extra number of specimen copies of books from publishers and distribute them to the students. He would take these books back after the exams and then again them to freshers. This was a unique affair of social development. While I was young, I used to watch this social shop and, if you see something daily, it becomes a part of your behaviour, even if you don’t like it. Of course, I could not replicate this social service, but I am in other ones.

Thirdly, love for education stems partly from family history and partly from ‘sangat’ (society). At one time, our family was called a “teachers’ factory”. During the course of my professional career, I maintained touch with the teaching community. I have good and continuous relationship with professors in Delhi University, Pantnagar University and Meerut University etc.

This is such a pious sangat that you are bound to be influenced, even if you shun it. Fourthly, professional success, which I owe to my colleagues and the envisioned guidance of my bosses. God has been kind to me for that.

As a CEO of a large concern, you are apparently very busy in your main profession. How do you divide your time among your activities in different fields?

Time management is a function of priority and effectiveness. Of course, the first priority is the professional career. The second, third or fourth priority is fixed within the framework of a flexible system or methodology for optimal performance. In fact, 24 hours a day is not small time. You can do a lot, if you want to do. It is a matter of mindset and time management.

Do you have any role models?

For different roles, I get inspiration from different people. However, President of India A.P.J. Abdul Kalam is my role model, because of his passion for science and technology.

Another one is Asan Chung Ju-Yung, the founder of Hyundai in Korea. He has a been strong supporter of North-South Korea unification and has played a key role in making Korea a technologically advanced country.

What are the priorities of your life?

Like others, my first priority is to achieve excellence in my professional career. My second priority is to write books, in which I can share my thoughts on management of science and technology. The third priority is to consolidate my activities in the field of education and social service.

Which of these activities give you maximum satisfaction?

I feel happy if a particular task is accomplished in either of my areas of interest.

But, I get the maximum satisfaction and enjoyment when someone’s job is completed with my help.

What are your comments about Budget 2003 in the context of UP?

The Union Finance Minister, Mr Jaswant Singh, has stressed in the budget the need for poverty alleviation by introducing the Antyodaya Anna Yojana to cover an additional 50-lakh families living below the poverty line. This proposal will benefit UP, which is the largest state and has a substantial population living below the poverty line.

The Finance Minister has taken a step in the right direction by introducing the debt swap scheme, which enables a state to restructure its debt. Now, the states can prepay their high cost debts to the Centre and borrow from small savings at the prevailing lower interest rates.

This will result in a saving of Rs 81,000 crore in interest over a period of three years. Since UP government also has substantial borrowings, it will benefit the state immensely.

To promote tourism, the Finance Minister has proposed withdrawal of expenditure tax, exemption for the hotel industry from the levy of service tax and reduction of customs duty.

The UP Government can take advantages of these concessions and further remove the luxury tax to promote tourism in the state and thus generate employment.

Mr Singh has also allowed depreciation at the rate of 100 per cent on plant and machinery and building, where these equipments are installed. 



VAT will terrorise traders: HVP leader
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, March 10
Haryana Vikas Party (HVP) general secretary Rajiv Jain has urged the state government not to adopt the VAT system, which will come into force from April 1, for, it will prove detrimental to the interests of the traders, will enhance the prices of commodities of daily use and will encourage corruption on the pretext of revenue recoveries.

Talking to mediapersons here today, Mr Jain pointed out that under Section 3 of the VAT Ordinance, the traders were being brought in the category of criminals. The department officers could not only raid the business premises along with the police force but also could arrest the trader after lodging an FIR even in a case of sales tax evasion, he said.

Referring to Section 27 of the ordinance, which bans the sale of immovable property of the trader who faces tax evasion case in the court, Mr Jain questioned that if a trader is victimised by the state authorities, he would not be able to shift his business to other states after selling his property.



NDMC is also about welfare projects
Jeevna Bhinder

New Delhi, March 10
The New Delhi Municipal Corporation, the civic body looking after the upkeep of the prestigious New Delhi areas, is also running a large number of welfare projects for its employees and citizens.

There are 56 education and craft centres in the area, which comes under the NDMC, with the objective of imparting literacy and skills to women with one-year curricula.

The craft centres impart skills in various fields like stitching, tailoring, embroidery etc, which will be helpful for women to become self-dependent.

The Women Technical Institute was established in 1990 for the empowerment of women. After the completion of the course there, the NDMC issues trade certificates to the candidates.

It is also running a Daytime Secondary School for women in Kidwai Nagar.

It caters to uneducated women and girl dropouts to complete schooling up to class X. This school is affiliated to the CBSE. Textbooks are distributed free of cost to all students. This is helpful for the people who cannot afford to send their wards to school.

At present, there are 16 balwaris functioning in the areas under its Child Welfare Programme. Children in the age group of 3 to 6 years benefit under this scheme. These centres have 800 children on their rolls.

Moreover, elementary education is provided to the dropout children on nominal fees, i.e. for general category Rs 4 per month, for SC/ST Rs 2 per month. The admission fee is only Rs 2.

The NDMC also runs 19 creches in its areas to help working parents who want to keep their wards there between 7 am to 7 pm. Admission in these creches are open through the year.

For the promotion of sports too, the NDMC has been doing its part. It had already constructed the Talkatora Swimming Pool for the Asian Games with the sitting capacity of 6000.

It is also running yoga classes in its schools and a sports library at Shivaji Stadium, which has books on various games with all required information. The facilities provided include five modern swimming pools, playgrounds in schools and hockey grounds with international specification.

Institutions that are coming up in the future are a new working women hostel with a capacity to accommodate 125 inmates at Bhagwan Dass Lane and a new home for women senior citizens with a capacity of 50 inmates also at Bhagwan Dass Lane.



Contractor ‘tried’ to crush worker
Our Correspondent

Bhiwani, March 10
An aged labourer was allegedly beaten up by the contractor when he and other workers sought their daily wages. The injured worker, Ram Khilawan Patel, also alleged that the contractor had dragged him to near a tractor and tried to crush him under its wheels. The incident took place at a brick kiln located at Tigrana Chowk on the Bhiwani-Hisar road on Saturday.

The labourers working at this brick kiln for the last four months alleged that the contractor had beaten some of them a few days back on demanding their wages. As a result, two of them have returned to their native places.

The furious labourers have now decided to register their protest. Nearly 40 labourers including women and children met the Superintendent of Police and urged him to save them from the clutches of the contractor. They alleged that the contractor had been exploiting them and would beat them whenever they demanded their wages.

Ram Khilawan Patel told this correspondent that 35-40 labourers had been working at this brick kiln for the last four months and the contractor had been exploiting them. They were being paid only Rs 100. He was beaten up by the contractor on Saturday when he demanded wages.

“The contractor dragged me to near a tractor and tried to crush me under its wheels,” Ram Khilawan alleged. He received injuries in the head and arm.

He alleged that the contractor had beaten a woman labourer five days back. He said that Dhani Ram and Bhamoori returned to their villages thereafter.

One dies while cleaning nullah: One safai karmchari died and two others fell unconscious under the effects of poisonous gas while cleaning nullah at Rudra Colony on Saturday. The three employees were first admitted to the civil hospital but were allegedly not given due medical aid. One of them died later.

Angry over the incident, the employees staged a demonstration at Pt Neki Ram Sharma Chowk. SDM Yashender Singh and Deputy Superintendent of Police reached the spot and assured the agitators that adequate medical aid will be given to the other two.

It is learnt that three employees of the Public Health Department - Devraj, Suraj and Bijender - went to Rudra Colony to clean a nullah.

As Devraj entered the manhole, he fell unconscious due to poisonous gas probably released after opening the cover of the sewer pipe. Soon Suraj and Bijender fell down under the effects of the gas. 



Youths loot Rs 4.45 lakh from petrol pump staff
Our Correspondent

Rewari, March 10
In a daylight daredevil act, four armed youths looted Rs 4.45 lakh from three employees (including the owner’s brother) of a petrol station, Prem Highway Service Station, near Modawali Hutment on the Rewari–Garhi Bolni road this morning. The robbers escaped with the booty in their white Maruti car.

It is reported that at about 11.30 am today, Sunil Kumar, accountant of the petrol station, and Kishori Lal, brother of Chuni Lal, owner of the station, were coming to Rewari to deposit the amount in a bank when their Tata Sumo (RJ 14 C-697) was given a chase by car-borne youths who intercepted their vehicle near Modawali Hutment.

Lal Singh, driver of the Tata Sumo, received head injuries when he was struck hard with the butt of a revolver by one of the robbers. The petrol station situates on the National Highway 8, 12 km from here. The Model Town police have registered a case.

Riwara farmer to represent Haryana in water meet

Sonepat: Mr Prem Singh Malik, a progressive farmer of Riwara village in Sonepat district, will represent Haryana in the Third World Water Forum Conference being organised from March 15 to March 23 in Japan.

According to a report, Mr Malik will leave for Japan on March 14. His selection as a delegate of the conference from Haryana has been hailed by the farmers of this region.

The conference will discuss various problems being faced by the farmers in ploughing their fields and cultivating crops. The problems of waterlogging and saline water would also be discussed in the conference.

ITBP SI cremated

The body of a Sub Inspector of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), Mr Mehar Singh, was cremated in his native Mundlana village, about 45 km from here, yesterday with full honour. According to a report, a large number of people from neighbouring villages were present on the occasion.

Mr Mehar Singh was a Sub Inspector in the 19th Battalion of the ITBP and he buried alive when a mount of a glacier gave away while he was on duty in the hilly areas of Uttaranchal.

There were at least 15 jawans in the same battalion and four of them died in the mishap.

Youth tries to commit suicide

A youth, Krishan, was reported to have made an attempt to commit suicide by sprinkling kerosene on his body and setting his clothes on fire at Ahulana village, about 20 km from here, last night. According to a report, on hearing the cries, the parents rushed to the youth’s room and rushed him to the civil hospital in this city. When his condition turned serious, he was referred to the PGIMS at Rohtak.

It is stated that he went to Chamrara village in Panipat district to bring back his wife but the members of her family did not agree to send her with him.

Thereupon, he became furious and took this extreme step. The police are still investigating into the case. 



Youth hangs himself over trivia
Our Correspondent

Ghaziabad, March 10
A 22-year-old man is reported to have committed suicide by hanging himself with a rope in Pooja Colony under the Loni police station. He was irked by a trivial argument.

A resident of Mangal Bazar in Pooja colony, Rajinder alias Riku, son of Om Prakash, was reprimanded by parents for insisting on attending a marriage function. Later, his parents went to attend the marriage leaving Riku and his younger brother Sulabh at home.

Irked by this, Riku hanged himself with a rope from an iron hook in the ceiling. When Sulabh saw his brother hanging from the ceiling, he raised an alarm.

By the time neighbours came running, Riku had already breathed his last.

The body was brought down by the police but neighbours resisted the police attempt to write the panchnama and send the body for autopsy in the absence of the boy’s parents.

Later, the panchnama was prepared in the presence of police Circle Officer of Loni Rajveer Singh and Riku’s parents when they returned from the marriage.



Delhi cop held for teasing colleague

New Delhi: Mukesh, a constable of the Delhi Police, was arrested today on the charge of eve-teasing a fellow constable. The constable, who was on a motorcycle of in the PCR, allegedly teased a woman constable deployed opposite Hindu College on the North Campus. A case of eve-teasing was registered in the Maurice Nagar police station.

Two vehicle thieves arrested: With the arrest of two persons, the South-West district police today claimed to have busted a gang of auto-lifters and solved more than seven cases. Two stolen Maruti cars and fake numberplates of various states have been recovered. Rohtash alias Raja (23) and Mohammad Jakir (21) had stolen the cars from Sarojini Nagar, Kalyanpuri, New Ashok Nagar, Kotla Mubarakpur, and Mandir Marg. TNS


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