Tuesday, March 25, 2003, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


Govt plans to buy power
Bid to avert summer of discontent
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 24
Come summer, the Government of NCT of Delhi will face its toughest assignment so far: buying extra megawatts of power to meet the peak load demand and toning up its distribution network without causing irreparable damage to its reputation ahead of the elections later this year.

The state-owned generation and transmission companies and the private distribution companies of Tata Power and Bombay Suburban Electric Supply will be put to test perhaps for the first time after the Delhi Vidyut Board (DVB) was unbundled in July last year.

That the players are bracing themselves up to avert a summer of discontent can be understood from the fact that the representatives of the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC), the Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (PGCIL) and the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) were invited to a meeting with the Union Ministry of Power.

Sources in the Government of NCT of Delhi said the power scenario in the Capital was reviewed comprehensively and the two private distribution companies were asked to tone up their network to meet the required demand in summer.

On its part, the Union Ministry of Power said all the stakeholders had agreed that the peak load demand in the coming summer might go up to 3,600 MW and accordingly decided to make plans for an additional supply of 300 MW of electricity.

“We took a comprehensive review of NCT of Delhi’s power scenario in the wake of ensuing summer and a slew of decisions have been taken to ensure that the Capital gets the required supply of power,” Power Secretary R. V. Shahi said.

Mr Shahi said there would be a half-an-hour load-shedding, if required, and that too would be announced in advance for different areas. The distribution companies, BSES and Tata Power, along with Delhi Transmission Company would be communicating with the people on peak load power management.

The Delhi Transmission Company in turn said arrangements had been made for receiving of up to 3,600 MW, including 400 MW from Himachal Pradesh, during July and August. Talks were on with the Government of Uttaranchal for augmenting the reserves.

The Government of NCT of Delhi said the Pragati Power Plant had been commissioned and 330 MW of power would be available in the months ahead. Further measures were being taken to ensure a hassle-free summer, said an official.

The claims notwithstanding, the performance of the power companies had been exposed this winter as several parts of the Capital had to go without electricity for days on end. Compounding the problem was the breakdown of the Dadri line.

Stung by public criticism, the government had quickly introduced shedding of load by rotation and altered the supply of power to industry so that the residential areas could be bailed out. The summer months could be worse, but the government claims otherwise.



End to ‘tyranny’, NIOS offers exams on demand
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 24
To rescue students from the “tyranny of examinations”, the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) has announced the implementation of exams on demand. The process allows students registered with the NIOS to take the examinations at the institute’s centres when they feel prepared for the test. “Students need to be saved from the tyranny of examinations. Each year when results are announced, a number of students commit suicide. This is what we at the NIOS want to end,” said the NIOS Chairman, Prof N. K. Ambasht.

The exam on demand is currently being carried out on an experimental basis in five remote areas and has been implemented for class eight students only. “We plan to introduce later this year for the senior classes as well. The stigma of being a failure is a multi-faceted one and is associated with the personality of the child. We want to do away with the stigma,” added Prof Ambasht.

Starting this year, the NIOS has made provisions for students to write their answers in their mother tongue or any language they are proficient in. The students will have to indicate the language they have chosen on the answer booklets.

“There is a change in the pattern of the answer booklets as well. We have provided space on the question papers where the students can write the answers. Also this year, we have made arrangements to declare the results within a month from the date of the last examination,” Prof Ambasht added. To check impersonation, the NIOS has introduced scanned photo-admit cards for the students scheduled to sit for examinations.

The NIOS Chairman added, “Relative grading has been introduced at the secondary and senior secondary levels from April 2003. In the initial two examinations, the numerical marks as well as the grades will be exhibited in the marksheet.”

While other boards are still working out the modalities of implementing the grading system, the NIOS has given shape to its proposal to implement direct grading from October 2003 at the secondary levels only. “The NIOS has also made provisions for students to opt for more than five languages/subjects at the secondary and senior secondary levels. The students can appear for more than five subjects,” the NIOS chief said. 


Anti-terrorism drive: UP cops hamstrung 
by obsolete arms
Parmindar Singh

Ghaziabad, March 24
The police in western UP, especially in Ghaziabad and Noida, are worried over the increasing activities of terrorists in the area.
The recent killing of Mansur Dar, ‘area commander’ of the Jaish-e-Mohammed in Noida in an encounter and the arrest of two Kashmiri students in Sambhawali have indicated a strong network of terrorist outfits in the region.

The administration and the police set-up appear to be awed by the terrorists who have proved their capability to attract young blood into their network. The intelligence network of the police department seems to be inadequately equipped to deal with the challenge posed by the terrorist groups, which have ultra-modern firearms, communication gadgets and an effective networking. Not only does the special group of the police force lack the matching equipment but most of its members do not have enough training to handle these equipment.

Senior police officials, however, are reluctant to acknowledge the inadequacy of the police organisation and the equipment and arms it has to cope with the new challenges thrown up by the ISI-backed terrorist groups.

The Ghaziabad district, situated as it is on the border of Delhi, is fast emerging as a safe haven for terrorists. One main reason for this is that the UP police are handicapped with obsolete equipment and poor intelligence network to keep a tab on such activities. A companion of Mansur Dar, who was killed in the recent police encounter in Noida, was able to escape.

The STF, Lucknow, had arrested two Kashmiri students, Ijaz and Mehraj, from Shamli town on March 9 for allegedly extending support to the terrorists. They had told the police about Mansur’s involvement in terrorist activities in the country. These students also had links with terrorist outfits. On the basis of information provided by them, two other Kashmiri students, Sajjad Hussain and Itfasual Hassan, were arrested from Sambhawali. The police had also interrogated some other students after a raid.

According to police sources, as a number of Kashmiri students are studying in Sambhawali at present, the ultra outfits have once again started a campaign to enlist them in their groups.



Residents playing it safe; hiring pvt security guards
Bijendra Ahlawat
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, March 24
Growing residential and commercial activities in this industrial town, the largest population-wise in Haryana, has led to a marked rise in the demand of security services. As the police department seems to be short-staffed to meet the security needs of the residents, the latter have started hiring private security guards for the purpose.

There are dozens of agencies supplying the personal to work as security guards, gatekeepers and full-time watchmen in both industrial and residential areas.

The demand of private security personnel was earlier mainly in the industrial units, but due to increase in criminal activities including robberies, burglaries, thefts, chain-snatching, the residents of various urban sectors and posh colonies here have not only constructed iron gates in various pockets, but have also deployed round-the-clock security personnel or watchmen. They have been asked to keep the entry gates close at night and record the visits of outsiders and their vehicles.

Faridabad has over 30 residential sectors and several others are coming up. As the length of the city spans over 25 km from the border with Delhi to Ballabgarh town along with the National Highway No. 2, the sectors are mainly located in an elongated vertical shape. While these have open ends on both sides, the old colonies and villages have been lying intermingled. This has given an easy access to all sectors.

As there had been a steep increase in population, the police structure has not come up to the expectations, feel the residents. According to a resident of Sector 9 here, there had been several incidents of burglaries and thefts in the area where there had been no gates or security guards.

He said two houses had been burgled in broad daylight recently as there was nobody present. He said tenants prefer to take those houses on rent where there was sufficient security. He claimed that a fear psychosis prevailed in the residents whose houses had been located along the green belt running parallel to bypass road with Agra canal.

A resident of Sector 14 said that the security was the responsibility of the residents and no one should depend on the police to look after their houses.

He said the police generally arrive on the spot long after the crime had taken place. As a result, it is reported that a large number of gates have been erected and watchmen posted in a majority of areas. 



Ravi Varma paintings seized
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 24
Nine paintings of Raja Ravi Varma worth crores of rupees were seized by a joint team of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) after raiding a firm in Sunder Nagar and a godown in Defence Colony.

The paintings depict Mohini and Sita in exile, image of Rama when he leaves Ayodhya, Bal Krishnan and Yashoda Shankar, Vitobha and Rukumayai, portrait of Nizam of Hyderabad (Mir Mehboob Ali Khan – Asaf Jah VI), Shri Dattatreya, Ganesha with companions and Krishna killing his uncle and Ram breaking the bow.

Another painting is a nude by P Gerhardt. Even though no arrest has been made in this case, the CBI said that the firm had already sold about 73 precious paintings to various persons through auctions in Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai and Bangalore without acquiring permission from the ASI.



PUC certificate with numberplate photo 
must from April 1
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 24
From April 1, vehicle owners in the Capital will have to carry Pollution Under Control (PUC) certificates having photographs of the registration plate.
Making the announcement in the Delhi Legislative Assembly, Transport Minister Ajay Maken said vehicles with PUC certificates not having such photographs would be fined Rs 1,000 for violation of the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989. Subsequent violations would entail a fine of Rs 2,000, he added. The vehicles not having a Delhi registration and plying in the city will also be required to abide by this directive.

The decision follows the recent upgradation of pollution checking facilities in Delhi through computerisation of PUC centres. In this system, the photograph of the vehicle registration number plate is printed on the pollution checking report. Mr Maken said there were 345 computerised centres where this facility had been made available.



Carrot and stick policy for tax collection 
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, March 24
The distribution of the house tax bill for the financial year ending on March 31 by the Municipal Committee, Gohana, has provisions of incentives as well as penalties, depending on the promptness in the payment of the bill. It is mentioned that if the bills were paid by April 15, the house owner would be entitled for a rebate of 10 per cent on the house tax. Similarly, if the payment was delayed, a penalty of 10 per cent will be imposed.

Besides, the house owners would also be required to pay an interest of 12 per cent per annum on the amount. An important development this time is that the house owners have been deprived of the opportunity to appeal against the assessment of the fixed house tax.

However, as claimed by the Municipal authorities, the tax has already been assessed according to the collector’s rates of land for the year.

The fire tax amount, which has been fixed as 20 per cent of the house tax, has been clubbed with the house tax in the bills. The fire tax amount will remain unchanged irrespective of whether the house tax is paid on the due date or later.

Meantime, the daily wages employees of Gohana Fire Station have decided to appeal in the court for payment of their salaries by the Municipal authorities.

Since the inauguration of the fire service at Gohana by the Haryana Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, on October 10, 2001, the employees have not been paid their salaries.



Loangate: Bank managers lining their pockets
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, March 24
A substantial amount of money, advanced by some of the nationalised and cooperative banks to a number of small scale industrialists of this region, has gone down the drain, putting the bank authorities in a quandary.

The situation reflects too badly on the working of these banks. The awful irresponsibility with which the bank officials have been offering credit facilities to unscrupulous entrepreneurs, leading to bungling of public money, stands exposed.

The story goes that a number of small entrepreneurs, who secured loans from banks on furnishing security in the shape of plants, machinery and raw material in their units, were audacious enough to surreptitiously dispose these later on. The bank authorities are thus in a fix and they find it almost impossible to recover the loan amount from these entrepreneurs. The legal process to recover the loan is not very helpful in such a situation.

There is a great need, it is felt, for putting a stop to this scandal, more so because the government has pushed through measures to squeeze bank credit. Unless such shady bank deals are curbed public money will continue to pass through the banks into the hands of unscrupulous entrepreneurs for whom industry is not the means to producing goods for the country but amassing wealth through questionable means.

Meanwhile, the general public is not happy with the day-to-day functioning of the nationalised banks which, it is alleged, are fast becoming centres of inefficiency, delay and maladministration in terms of their services to the public. The people are critical of the working of the State Bank of India as they face inconvenience in depositing money in government accounts.

The working of the Haryana Financial Corporation has also become the subject of public criticism as many industrialists had failed to repay the loan instalments.

Lack of proper planning and processing of payments under the Prime Minister’s self-employment scheme have rendered the programme a hoax in this district. The needy have been left out and the greedy have lapped up the cream with the active connivance of politicians and bankers. According to official sources, the ambitious programme of the Prime Minister of giving loans to the educated unemployed did, in fact, achieve its target. It educated the unscrupulous elements in the art of defrauding the banks. It is difficult to pinpoint the institution or the individuals responsible.

Official sources have revealed the banks had fixed a target of 1,010 educated jobless youths to be given loans under the Prime Minister’s self-employment scheme during the current financial year. However, the banks had

sanctioned the loan amounts for 976 educated unemployed youths till November 30 this year but these banks had advanced the amount to 619 educated unemployed youths only so far. The banks had imparted training to as many as 399 educated jobless youths during the period under review.

It is alleged that the non-cooperative attitude of the bank managers and officials and malpractices in the grant of loans to the unemployed educated youths has made the scheme a farce. The processing of applications is abnormally delayed at different levels and the recommendations of the bank authorities are made for pecuniary reasons. The officers are sore at the tactics adopted by the banks and the applicants are disappointed when their applications are rejected without any rhyme or reason.

Under the scheme, educated unemployed youths were to be provided loans up to Rs 35,000 to set up industries or start a trade or business. The government, however, liberalised the rules and the applicants were not required to furnish any surety or guarantee for the loans.

Meanwhile, the district unit of the Non-Employed Persons Sangh has alleged most of the bank managers harass the loan seekers in one way or the other to extract money from them.



‘Opening a cricket club has become a business’ 
Nalini Ranjan

He eats cricket, drinks cricket and dreams cricket. For 37-year-old Malkit Singh, who is a resident of Kalkaji in South Delhi, the game of cricket is everything for him. His wife and two kids share his obsession virtually turning the home into a cricket stadium. The obsessions with cricket started early in his life and the years have not dampened the zeal. On the contrary, age has only added zest to it. He had played cricket for his school and college. He had also played in the Ranji trophy matches for Delhi. But somehow, his cricket career remained restricted to Ranji trophy level only.

This enthusiastic cricket lover decided to devote his entire life to cricket and vowed to promote the game in the countries where it is not normally played. Keeping this objective in mind, he set up his own cricket club ‘New Sports Club’ in 1995 and turned half of his residence into a functional office for the club. Since its inception, different teams of this club have toured many non-cricket playing countries, like the United States of America, Canada, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia and Nepal. He is credited of having popularised the gentleman’s game in these countries. In an exclusive conversation with the NCR Tribune, he talked about different issues related to this game and his association with it.

What prompted you to set up your own cricket club?

There is no denying the fact that the game of football is more popular in developed countries, like the United States of America and the France and the game of cricket commands more popularity in developing countries, like India and Pakistan. Being an ardent fan of this game, I decided to promote the game of cricket all over the world. Of late, cricket is becoming more glamorous and popular like football in these days. Keeping this in mind, I decided to start my own cricket club. The well-known former cricket players of our country, like Atul Wasan, Rajesh Chauhan, Venkatapati Raju, Vijay Yadav, Salil Ankola and many other Ranji trophy players are active members of the club. However, time to time we form separate teams for different tours for different non-cricket playing countries.

What have been your experiences in playing and promoting cricket abroad?

Even in the countries like the United States of America, France, Canada, Germany, Japan and Nepal, the game of cricket is in practice to some extent. However, it is not so popular like other countries. In fact, this game is alive due to the efforts from non-resident Asians living there.

Among all games, they like cricket most and due to this reason this game is gaining popularity there. Seeing the increasing popularity of cricket, even other people residing there and their governments have now started supporting and promoting this game. One can gauged the universality of cricket from one example.

Of late, in America, at least 35 cricket clubs are successfully running in different parts and they are promoting this game in full swings. Everybody knows that the game of football holds utmost popularity there. Despite the fact, the game of cricket is in the vogue among the new generation of that country. And, I am sure the America will participate in the next cricket World Cup and will emerge as top contender for the trophy.

Our club has played a major role in inspiring countries like Canada and Holland to play cricket. Our club teams have toured these countries many times in past. And after the completion of this world cup, we are all set to send our teams to these countries. But the primary games are football, baseball and rugby. Now, they are tilting towards cricket. For the first time, a mega cricket conclave was organised in Canada in 1995, in which teams from India and Pakistan had participated.

What are the other activities your club engaged with?

Apart from promoting cricket in non-cricket playing countries, our club is engaged in different types of charitable works since its inception. We organise cricket matches for the help of different blind associations, AIDS cell, Save the Children Society, Sawera, Paryas, Navjyoti and so on.

There are so many cricket clubs in the country. What are they doing for the promotion of the game?

As a matter of fact that cricket club has become a status symbol in our country. Now situation is that leave renowned cricketer, even petty cricketers have their own cricket clubs. They are mushrooming at every nook and corner of the metro cities. And these clubs have nothing to do with the promotion of the game. Opening a cricket club has become a business and it is totally a money-spinning venture, particularly in the metro cities. And the commercialisation of cricket is becoming more rampant. Their contribution is zero.

How many players are inducted into national team from these so-called cricket clubs? The condition and objective of our cricket clubs are really disappointing in comparison with the similar existing clubs in West Indies, South Africa, England, Australia and New Zealand. In these countries, players are inducted in national teams from local cricket clubs.

India in the past did well in hockey. But there has been a decline. What according to you is the reason for this?

It is a case of paradigm shift. A swift shift from hockey to cricket. Those were the days, when India was a dominant team in hockey for many years. After the late 50’, focus was shifted towards Cricket. And hockey, despite being a national game, came to the sideline and totally neglected.

Cricket was dubbed as unofficial national game of our country. It was so extent that in early eighties, even star players of hockey of our country, like Dhanraj Pillai and Bhaskaran could not get due respect and applause. Even from the government side, there is a complete disparity. Now, hockey players are not getting due respect and cheer in our country. And I would say media is plays the big role in boosting the game of cricket.

Now cricket players have become celebrities. Today, hockey players can not dream of such status. Due to this newly arrived glamour and glitz inputs into this game, new generation is crazy about the game of cricket.

What is your next venture?

We are toying with the idea of incepting a cricket academy for the training of promising and poor cricket players, so that their natural talents should be nurtured without giving any financial burden upon their families.

For this, we want a good ground for the net practices of these budding cricket players. For this ground, we had approached to Ms Uma Bharti, former Union Sports Minister. And She had given a positive response, but till now nothing concrete has came out.

Former Test player Vijay Yadav is running a good academy of its type in Faridabad. He has sufficient ground for net practice.

On the lines of that academy, a good ground should be provided to our club from government side, be it in Delhi, in Noida or in Ghaziabad.

You have been very close to Maninder Singh and Harbhajan Singh. Can you share some memorable events of this association?

Maninder was very promising cricketer. Unfortunately, he could not play more cricket for India. Harbhajan is equally talented.

Earlier, his bowling action was questioned by international cricket association, which disappointed him. On my personal suggestion, he went to London for coaching to rectify his bowling action. Now he is doing very well.



Oscar Awards under the shadow of the 
World Cup fever

The third week of March every year is eagerly awaited for the Oscar night. This year, however, the build up to the event has been somewhat subdued with the World Cup dominating the pages. Oscars, ever since their inception in 1927, remain the film industry’s most glittering prize.

Ben Hur’ (1959) holds the record number of Oscars- 11, with ‘West Side Story’ (1961) closely following at 10. ‘Gone With The Wind’ (1939), ‘Gigi’ (1958) and the ‘Last Emperor’ (1987) had 9 each, while ‘My Fair Lady’ (1964) had eight. ‘Casablanca’ (1943), which was recently voted as the best romance of the century, could not get an Oscar for its famous pair of Humphery Bogart and Ingrid Bergman.

Other famous names that never made it, are Richard Burton, Charlie Chaplin, Cary Grant and Marilyn Monroe. By the time this goes into print, the awards would have been announced but considering the nominations, no record breaking performances are likely. But first cricket

Well done, India: Losing only to the best team of the World Cup and in the finals is a remarkable turn around in performance as well as fortunes. Several records have been set but Tendulkar, inspite of his failure in the final, has outclassed them all.

Tendulkar’s dominance in the 2003 World Cup confirms a pattern where success is built around a superlative performance, inspiring and generating a hunger for victory amongst others.

Right from its inception in 1975, every World Cup has seen the imprint of a towering personality, a player who is far ahead of others and held both in awe as well as high esteem. Clive Lloyd in 1975 and Vivian Richards 1979 plundered almost every bowler; 1983 was the year of Kapil Dev, while nothing could go wrong for Border’s Aussies in 1987.

Though New Zealand lost in the semi finals of 1992, it was surely not Imran Khan but Martin Crowe and Greatbatch, who would be remembered for successfully reversing the slog overs theory by blasting every bowler in the first fifteen overs, a style which continues to be a match winner even today.

The Sri Lankan victory in 1996 was attributed to Arvind De Silva and in 1999, despite the masterly Steve Waugh, it was Shane Warne all the way. This year, apart from the consistency of Tendulkar, the strategy and tactics of Ganguly, and his own form have been applauded by the informed media, who till the other day ridiculed him.

Though he was let down by the bowlers in the final, he showed the right amount of aggression and the correct mental attitude, so essential for success. Inspite of their failure to win the cup in the final match, the real find of the tournament has been the striking capacity of our pace trio. Perhaps, under intense pressure from the media and the fans, they could not put in their best in the final match.

However, coming from the land of ‘slow turners’, where spinners have always dominated, reaching the final of the World Cup was an achievement indeed. Until the arrival of Kapil Dev on the scene, none had seen genuine pace from an Indian, so much so that sometimes Gavaskar used to open the bowling.

In one test match (Old Trafford 1967), even Pataudi and Budhi Kunderan (reserve Wicket Keeper) had to open the bowling.

Now, the success of Nehra, Zaheer and Srinath is bound to be infectious and would inspire numerous youngsters and bring out fresh talent.

In the prevailing atmosphere of heavy sledging and intimidating body language on the field, and psy-war tactics off it, one has almost forgotten that cricket used to be known as a ‘Gentleman’s game’, where certain norms and traditions were important. In fact, till the early sixties, the match between the ‘Gentlemen’ and the players used to be a regular feature in England. Today, perhaps the over commercialisation of the game is responsible for the present state of affairs. It is in this context that Adam Gilchrist’s decision to walk, when the umpire had ruled him not out, appears to be a rare gem of a gentlemanly behaviour. Brian Lara also belongs to that rare breed.

Our own Gundappa Vishwanath, however, surpasses them all. He had assumed the captaincy of India in the sixth and the last Test at Calcutta during Pakistan’s tour of 1979-80, the series having already been decided in India’s favour under Gavaskar. This was followed by the Golden Jubilee Test between India and England at Bombay in February 1980, also known as Botham’s test. India batting first went cheaply for 242, Botham claiming 6 wickets for 58 runs. In reply, England were tottering at 58 for five, when Botham was given out. While he was just off the crease enroute the pavilion, the appeal was withdrawn by our captain, who was none other than Vishwanath, enabling Botham to score a match winning 114.

In India’s second innings, he claimed 7 for 48 to give England an easy victory in less than 4 days. Vishwanath’s action won wide acclaim but it is a different story that he had to step down from captaincy, followed by somewhat premature retirement at the end of the next season.

Science of Astrology: Astrology is known to be a science (is it?) of possibilities. The well-known principles: “Phalani grahacharen suochyanti manishinah, ko vakta tartamyasya vedhsasu vina”.

Those who know astrology can indicate the way to various possibilities in future, but who else except the creator alone, i.e, Brahma, can say with certainty what will happen. Towards the end of last year, it had become quite clear that Iraq was fast hurtling into a situation where war would almost be a certainty.

However, several deadlines were shifted and finally, a deadline of March 17 was assigned by the U.S.A, with war actually commencing on the morning of March 20.

The annual panchang published last year, has an interesting entry for the fortnight March 19-April 1, 2003, which can be translated as follows: “Efforts at world peace will not be successful.

Mutual trust amongst nations would diminish and at some places military action leading to widespread bloodshed would be there”.

Now is it a mere coincidence or destiny that the deadline of March 17 was extended by 48 hours to be relevant to the fortnight under reference.

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



594 cases settled at Lok Adalats
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, March 24
As many as 594 cases were settled at the Lok Adalats held at Faridabad and Palwal towns.
According to the District and Sessions Judge, Ms Nirmal Yadav, 213 cases of general nature, 260 summary cases, 55 cases of accidents and four cases of bank loans were settled in these Lok Adalats with mutual consent and understanding. She said a compensation of about Rs 58.51 lakh was given to the victims of road accidents in the cases settled here.

Lack of fire-fighting equipment

Ghaziabad: This industrial town badly needs to strengthen its fire-fighting equipment and arrangements. Even the Collectorate and other departments woefully lack fire-fighting facilities.

This is a sad commentary on the apathy of the administration 26 years after the formation of Ghaziabad as a separate district during which period there has been a heavy increase in the population of the district. The number of industrial and commercial establishments have increased and the size of the city has also registered a great expansion.

But the number of fire stations has not increased. Ghaziabad, Modi Nagar, Hapur and Sahibabad are the only four fire stations in the district. OC

Dept heads appointed

Rohtak: The Vice-Chancellor of Maharshi Dayanand University, Maj-Gen Bhim Singh Suhag (retd), has in terms of Statute 21 and 21-A of the MDU Act appointed five heads of different departments.

A press statement issued by the university administration on Monday stated that Dr Rajinder Singh, Reader, has been appointed Head of Computer Science and Applications, Dr (Mrs) Indira Kumari Dhull, Reader, Head of the Education Department, and Dr S. S. Chahar, Reader, Head of the Public Administration Department with immediate effect.

Dr (Mrs) Rameshwari Devi and Dr Dalip Singh Bajia, both Readers, have been appointed Heads of Physical Education and Defence and Strategic Studies Departments, respectively, with effect from April 6.All these appointments have been made for a period of three years.

MDU Test schedule revised

Maharshi Dayanand University has revised the schedule of entrance tests for admission to various courses in university teaching departments and affiliated colleges in Haryana.

A spokesman for the university said on Monday that the prospectuses for admission to BE/B.Tech/B.Arch courses would be available from April 9 and those for admission to B.Pharmacy /MBA/MCA courses would be available from March 31.The last date for submitting application forms for the first category of courses was May 9 and that for the other category was April 24.

He said the university would conduct entrance test on June 10 for admission to BE/B.Tech/B.Arch courses, on May 17 for B.Pharmacy and MBA and on May 25 for MCA courses. OC



Two held for murder in Sangam Vihar 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 24
Two persons were arrested by the South district police on charges of murdering one person in Sangam Vihar on January 21.
The victim, Rakshpal Singh, a quality control manager and resident of Sangam Vihar, was brutally murdered by Subodh Kumar and his associate Akram, both residents of Sangam Vihar. The accused murdered Rakshpal as he had beaten up and humiliated Subodh on several occasions.

Load-shedding: The North Delhi Power Limited (NDPL) has announced load shedding on March 25 following maintenance work at the Rani Bagh substation. Areas like Subzi Mandi, A Block Gujaranwala Town, Indra Nagar, TPC Centre Azadpur, Dilkush Bagh, MCD pumping stations and Akash Cinema would be affected due to the shedding.

Protest outside Pak Embassy: To express their anger at the massacre that left 24 Kashmiri Pandits dead in South Kashmir on Sunday night, members of the National Akali Dal staged a protest outside the Pakistan Embassy here on Monday.

Led by the President of NAD, Mr Paramjit Singh Pamma, the protesters raised slogans against Pakistan’s involvement in the incident and burnt the effigy of the Pakistani President, General Musharraf.

The protesters demanded that Pakistan should be declared a terrorist state, considering its involvement in the massacre that left 24 dead. Addressing the gathering, Mr Pamma said the United States should wage a war against Pakistan if it was serious in fighting terrorism. He blamed Pakistan for causing terrorist attacks in the country and for the brutal killings of Hindus and Sikhs.



‘Spread of telephone services to help economic growth’
Our Correspondent

Rohtak, March 24
There is a direct relationship between the development of infrastructure and the economic growth. Commissioning the 5K main OCB exchange in Sector 2 and 3 here today, the BSNL Chairman and Managing Director, Mr Prithpal Singh said the spread of telephone services would help in the growth of the national GDP. He said that the focus of BSNL today was to provide modern technology and better service to its customers.

He expressed the concern that citizens living in rural and semi-rural areas have not yet fully benefited from the telcom revolution.

“They use the telephone only for receiving messages and greetings from relatives and friends,” he said. He said the telephone, which was considered a luxury in the beginning, has now become a necessity.

Mr Prithpal Singh claimed that the mobile service launched by the BSNL in November 2002 “has registered a tremendous growth”.

As on date, the BSNL mobile service has nearly two million customers and by the end of the current calendar year, the number of customers would increase to five million, he said. The department was considering the proposal to provide international roaming facility and inter-zone roaming facility to the BSNL mobile consumers.

Besides the main OCB exchange with a capacity of 5,000 telephone lines, Mr Singh also commissioned three Remote Service Units (RSU’s) with a combined capacity of 8,000 lines. He also inaugurated an upgraded customer service centre in the industrial town of Bahadurgarh.

The General Manager, Rohtak Telecom districts, Mr S Bhargava, said three more upgraded customer service centres would be set up at Rohtak, Jhajjar and Bhiwani. The Rohtak Telecom District comprises the three revenue districts of Rohtak, Bhiwani and Jhajjar, and is covered by 157 digital electronic telephone exchanges.

These exchanges have a total equipped capacity of 1.60 lakh telephone lines. Mr Bhargava said that the department has planned expansion of Trunk Automatic Exchange (TAX) by adding 7,000 more lines.



RINA considering ISO certificate to Sahara Grace

New Delhi: Internationally renowned Italian organisation RINA is carrying out studies of Sahara Grace, Gurgaon, for ISO 9001 certification. The certification is to be given for quality system in products, processes and services, and to Sahara housing for implementation and maintaining quality management system in design, development and construction of residential complexes and related supported facilities, a press note said here today.

Sahara Grace is a venture of Sahara Housing, the largest housing company with 19,000 acres of company-owned land and projects worth Rs 51,000 crore in hand all over the country. TNS


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