Saturday, March 29, 2003, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


Tax-free NDMC budget
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 28
Refuting allegations concerning her transfer, the Chairperson of the New Delhi Municipal Council, Ms. Parminder Mandip Singh, presented the budget for 2003-04 in the Capital today.

The budget envisages no new taxes and yet hopes to notch a tidy surplus of Rs. two crore. It will focus on accounting reforms, realisation of dues and investment in infrastructural sectors. Electricity supply, education and sports and sanitation and public health have also been given priority.

Speaking to mediapersons, Ms. Singh said the budget estimates provide an expenditure of Rs. 884 crore as against receipts of Rs. 886 crore from all sectors. Referring to future plans, the NDMC Chairperson said that education, health, sanitation, bus shelters, social welfare and information technology will receive maximum attention.

The council also proposes to construct 170 bus shelters, several new sub-stations, apart from augmenting the existing sewerage system to meet the growing demands of development upto 2030. The installation of high mast lights and construction of type IV quarters at the South End Lane are also on the anvil.

Education will be upgraded by establishing eight more labs. New school buildings will also be constructed. The construction of a new maternity and child care hospital and involving NGOs in solid waste management, rain water harvesting and plantation are also on the agenda.

A day care centre for the aged and a computer training centre for the reserved classes are some of the other proposals.

Information about electricity and water bills will be posted on the authorised website and e-payment system will be introduced.

Giving the expenditure details, the chairperson said, Rs 412 crore will be spent on electricity supply; Rs 113 crore on roads and pubic works projects; Rs 87 crore on education, sports and social services; Rs 83 crore on sanitation and public health; Rs 33 crore on water supply.

The council hopes to earn a major share of its revenue from the sale of electricity and water. The electricity and water sales are expected to net Rs. 538 crore while taxes and licence fees are expected to yield Rs. 130 crore and Rs. 77 crore, respectively. Interests on investment will fetch Rs. 100 crore, the MLA fund Rs. 31 crore and parking lots, kiosks and advertisements will net Rs. 40 crore.

The chairperson said that maintenance and upkeep of Connaught Place, the commercial hub of the city, which includes white-washing the buildings and installing signboards for shops, would be undertaken once the work pertaining to the Metro Rail is concluded.

Ms. Singh reiterated that the council is seeking corporate sponsorships for continuing its cultural programmes like morning ragas. Listing the achievements of the previous year, Ms. Singh highlighted the setting up of bhagidari schemes in health, social and educational sectors, installation of computer labs in 58 schools, declaration of NDMC area as a no-polio zone and development of software for birth and death registration.

Of the total Rs 113 crore earmarked for the construction and renovation of roads, public works and projects, a neat Rs. 3.16 crore has been kept aside to improve the area around 7, Race Course Road.

Ms Singh told reporters that the council has set aside Rs 3.16 crore for redeveloping Kamal Ataturk Marg, the stretch connecting Aurangazeb Road to Samrat Hotel, which are near the Prime Minister’s residence.


Modi Nagar doctor freed, two captors shot dead 
Parmindar Singh

Ghaziabad, March 28
A doctor, Atul Sethi, who was abducted by four armed and masked men from Sikri Road, Modi Nagar, yesterday, was rescued by Sahibabad Police at about 3 am today. In the preceding encounter, two of the four kidnappers were killed by the police sharp shooters. However, the other two escaped.

The police have seized a Chinese Mauser, a Chinese pistol, two magazines, a number of empty cartridges and a Maruti car, which seems to be stolen.

The kidnappers were all dreaded criminals, who had dozens of cases, including loot and murder, lodged against them in various police stations, SP City Gyaneshwar Tiwari said. Two of them even carried a reward on their heads, CO Kamal Kishore disclosed. Recounting his ordeal, Dr Sethi revealed that his captors drove him for 15 minutes. Then, they all had hid in a field as the police was combing the area. They had tied his hands and feet and muzzled his face with a cloth.

In the interim, the border police had alerted SO Vishesh Kumar Singh that a Maruti car had not stopped even though it signalled to do so by SO Niwar Police Station. This vehicle was now heading in their direction from the Tilla road turning. SO Vishesh Kumar alerted SI P.K. Sharma in the patrol jeep and together they reached the Bhopura tri-junction.

As the car approached the junction, the occupants saw two jeeps blocking their way. Realising that they had walked into a trap, the criminals diverted the car towards village Nitsoli on a mud track. But the car ran into a boundary wall and the desperadoes had no option but to take positions and fire at the police. Meanwhile, P K Singh, SO Niwari Police station, had also joined the cops with his team. The police asked the criminals to give themselves up, but the latter kept on firing.

After about 15 minutes, the firing had ceased and the cops found two of the kidnappers lying wounded in the filed. However, the other two had escaped into the adjacent jungle. One of the kidnappers was holding a Chinese Mauser while the other had a Chinese pistol in his hand. The injured were rushed to District Hospital, Ghaziabad, where they were declared brought dead.

The getaway car had no number plate and the captive was found hiding in the rear seat with his hands and feet tied. When he was freed, he identified himself as Dr Sethi.

According to Dr Sethi’s wife, the kidnappers had demanded a ransom of Rs 25 lakh from her father-in-law Dr Verinder Sethi.

A diary recovered from the pocket of one of the slain kidnappers identified him as Satish S/o Asha Ram of village Salaru Nangla, district Hardwar. In Hardwar and Muzzafarnagar districts, he was wanted in over a dozen cases of loot, murder, dacoities and kidnapping. He was an active member of the dreaded Satinder Barwala gang which had demanded a ransom of Rs 70 lakh in the well-known Pawan Jain kidnapping case.


Chautala: The 30-minute manager
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, March 28
The representatives of 25 village panchayats and 31 municipal wards are cut up with Chief Minister Chautala, who spent hardly half-an-hour at Thursday’s ‘Sarkar Aap Ke Dwar’ programme. He reportedly spent almost the equivalent time at the marriage of the daughter of an INLD leader.

He reached the Panchayat Bhawan at 5 pm and left soon after at 5.30 pm. Not only that, the security arrangements were such that the people had to trudge to the Panchayat Bhawan on the Sonepat-Gohana road; the roads leading to the bhawan were closed to vehicular traffic.

The representatives had to bear the ignominy of being frisked and were not allowed to carry any documents, except the application form handed over to them by the authorities.

In the 30-minute darbar, the locals hardly got an opportunity to plead their case as the Chief Minister kept on reminding them that the government had already paved the streets, constructed roofs over cremation grounds etc. Moreover, he kept glancing through a list of the works accomplished in the last three years.

The representatives were also told to contribute their mite to various welfare schemes.

Later, the representatives of the panchayats and the municipal wards bemoaned that the programme “was stage-managed.’’ Said one representative: “We were summoned before the Chief Minister, made to listen to him and return empty-handed. It seems that the CM was merely completing some formality,” they said.


Why start nursery wings when schools themselves need to be nursed
Bijendra Ahlawat
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, March 28
Primary education in the state may not be much to write home about. Yet the Haryana Government has decided to start nursery sections in various primary schools run by it from April this year. It is claimed that the decision is aimed at providing a “better future” to the children and is part of the new education policy.

According to district authorities, the nursery wings, euphemistically dubbed bachpanshalas, will be opened in at least 20 government primary schools in the district in the first phase. These are located at Aurangabad, Sector 55, Deeghot, Pinghor, Baroli, Penglatu, Khirbi, Saundh, Bahin, Gelpur, Karna, Sikandarpur, Seekri, Chandawali, Shahpur Kalan, Mujheri, Tigaon, Agwanpur, Khedla and Fajalpur villages.

At least two volunteers, who would get an allowance of Rs 1,000 and Rs 300 per month, respectively, will be employed to run each bachpanshala for four hours daily. The authorities claim that the bachpanshalas would be able to inculcate the proper attitude among the children in the age group of three to six years.

The district has about 595 primary schools in which over 350 posts of teachers are lying vacant. Given the pathetic infrastructure and the dismal standard of education in these schools, the decision to open bachpanshalas is quite surprising. Observers feel that the decision could snowball into a major row as the funds earmarked for these nurseries would be squandered. “The government should improve the condition of the primary schools first and then go in for new schemes,” says Mr Kailash Sharma, an executive member of the Abhibhavak Ekta Manch, Faridabad. “The students in most of the primary schools are forced to sit on the floor due to shortage of furniture. And given the dearth of classrooms, how many parents would like to send their children to these outfits?” he asked. On the other hand, the standard of education and facilities in private schools are relatively better, he said.

Owing to these impediments, the attendance in government primary schools has plummeted to a new low in the recent years. Mr Sharma alleged that fake attendance registers of students are being maintained by many primary schools, so that the teachers and other staff are not retrenched.

Mr Raj Kumar Gaur, a leader of the Janata Dal (U), also feels that the proposal to open bachpanshalas is not judicious and claimed that it could lead to frittering away of funds. Primary schools in the district have been in a poor shape as there had been hardly any attempt to renovate the buildings and provide facilities like drinking water and toilets, he said. There is no furniture and fans in many schools.

Teachers of the primary schools are enlisted for tasks like administering polio drops, conducting population surveys or preparing voters’ lists, he said. Since such works are high on the priority list, students do not get proper guidance. This is why results in government schools fail to improve, he said. Although the education authorities claim to have spent about Rs 40 crore on infrastructure in the district in the past three years, only a few persons would like to send their wards to a government school.

A spokesman of the Punarjagran Sanstha, a voluntary body, said that it appeared that the authorities have developed a knack for announcing and launching new schemes in the name of development, rather than evaluate old ones and put the existing ones on the right track. 


HC threatens to haul Wakf Board for contempt
Tribune News service

New Delhi, March 28
The Delhi High Court today threatened to initiate contempt proceedings against the Delhi Wakf Board officials for having failed to implement its order to clear the Masjid Qaziwala in Paharganj area of the Capital of all illegal constructions.

The court has given the board two weeks’ time to implement the order, which is almost 14 months old. A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice B C Patel and Justice B D Ahmad asked the board counsel V K Shali to file a compliance report before it by April 28, the next date of hearing. The bench was hearing a PIL filed by the Society for Protection of Heritage and Culture. The court had in January last year passed a detailed order directing the Delhi Wakf Board and other authorities concerned to demolish the unauthorised constructions within the precincts of the 150-yr-old mosque that has been listed as a heritage building.

HC stays imprisonment of MDU Registrar

Rohtak: The Punjab and Haryana High Court has stayed the orders passed by a district court regarding one month’s imprisonment to Maharshi Dayanand University Registrar Dr A. K. Rajan. Dr Shiva Sharma, Additional District Judge, had held MD University guilty of wilful disobedience for not following the directions of the court and ordered that the Registrar be arrested and detained in the civil prison for one month on December 24. He had further ordered that the property of the office of the Registrar be attached.

The district court had directed the university to declare the result of respondent Roopa Bharadwaj, a student of Gaur Brahman Institute of Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation, Brahmanwas. However, the university had cancelled the result of the respondent on the ground that she was not eligible to appear in the said examination.

The Registrar had challenged the district court order in the Punjab and Haryana High Court. Justice A. K. Goyal of the high court issued notice to Roopa Bharadwaj to reply to the notice on May 28. OC


Masked men rob bus passengers at knifepoint
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 28
Four unidentified masked desperadoes intercepted a bus and looted cash and jewellery worth Rs 12,000 from two passengers today.

The bus with an STA permit, plying on route No. 901, was coming from Kamla Market and heading for Mangolpuri when the incident occurred around 8.30 am. When it stopped at Maurice Nagar, four masked men entered the bus and tried to pick the pocket of Bachan Singh (55) and Gyan Singh (50), both residents of Ludhiana. When they resisted, they whipped out knives and asked them to hand over the cash and jewellery.

After robbing them, the criminals forced the driver to stop the bus and escaped. The incident rattled the other passengers who were mute spectators to the drama.

The police said that they had identified the robbers and efforts were being made to trace them.

Gangsters loot Rs 19.54 lakh from LIC van

Sonepat: In a daring daylight robbery, gangsters looted Rs 19.54 lakh of the Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) when the amount was about to be transported in a van from the corporation’s office to the HDFC Bank office.

According to information, no sooner than the cash was loaded in the van, four to five gangsters appeared on the spot and forcibly snatched the gun from the security man who was guarding the cash. The gangsters reportedly hit the guard on his head with the butt of the gun and escaped with the cash.

On receiving information, the police reached the spot and alerted all police posts in the district. But no progress has been reported in tracing the gangsters.


Missing trader’s body found
Our Correspondent

Meerut, March 28
A city trader, who was kidnapped from Transport Nagar Police Station area three days back, has been murdered. His decomposed body was recovered from a sugarcane field.

The livid family members and residents of the area protested against police laxity in the case and blocked the Meerut- Sonepat state highway for over three hours. All shops in the area also downed their shutters. The protestors flew into a rage when the police threatened to cane them; they even manhandled the SP (City). The highway blockade was lifted only when the SP assured them that the case would be cracked within the next 48 hours.

The trader, Suresh Chand Bansal, did not return from a business trip to Rishi Nagar colony area on March 6. His bicycle was later found abandoned in a sugarcane field. However, the local police refused to take up the matter seriously. Only when the residents and family members of the deceased exerted pressure on the police, did they lodge an FIR. The police took two persons into custody but freed them the next day.

The trader, half-naked, was found lying on his back. There were no sign of blood, but the decomposed body bore several marks of injuries.


Craftsmen lose out in global mart: Advani
Parmindar Singh

Greater Noida, March 28
Deputy Prime Minister L K Advani said that Indian craftsmen, who are second to none in the world in producing beautiful handicrafts and artifacts, are handicapped for want of proper marketing infrastructure. He was speaking after laying the foundation stone of the state-of-the-art India Exposition Mart in Knowledge Park of Greater Noida today.

This mart will meet the long-felt need and provide a fillip to project the work of Indian artisans inside and outside the country. The only competition in this field in international market, he said, was from China, but there also our artisans can hold their head high.

Union Commerce Minister Arun Jaitley said after IT, handicrafts were the second most important area in our exports, which had recorded 17,18 per cent growth, next only to Information Technology. This was one area which had a great employment generation potential. By 2007, we are aiming at capturing 1 per cent of the world trade.

India is a large country with world’s 16 per cent population and we have set an exports target worth 80 billion dollar by 2007. Right now, we have 50 billion dollars exports in which textile, merchandise, garments play an important role. We must keep our focus on high quality.

This mart, he said, was an excellent example of public sector/private sector partnership and will attract global

buyers. Handicrafts, textiles, road and building construction—all generate employment for small and village sector, Mr Jaitley said..

Set up as a joint venture of the Ministry of Textiles, Greater Noida Development Authority, Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts and leading exporters, the mart will be strategically located on the Express Highway to Agra in Greater Noida.

This project promises to boost the business of exporters and manufacturers round the year. The mart will provide international marketing platform and permanent contact point for both exporters and international buyers.

The mart covering an area of 200,000sq m. is estimated to cost about Rs 200 crore. Forty-five acres land has been acquired at Greater Noida for the purpose. The first phase would be ready for use by 2005.

The complex would encompass 800 stalls each comprising 24sq m. multiple conference facilities, massive exhibition halls, fashion show ramp, spacious auditorium, clubs and parks, according to Mr Navratan Samdria, chairman, Indian Exposition Mart Limited.


Haryana to go ahead with VAT implementation
Ravi S.Singh
Tribune News Service

Gurgaon, March 28
Notwithstanding the protests against Value Addition Tax (VAT) from the business community, the Finance Minister of Haryana, Prof Sampat Singh, asserted here that the government would implement it from April 1.

Prof Singh said that since Haryana was already practising VAT in the manufacturing sector, the incidence of tax would practically remain the same. Unlike other states, Haryana would continue to have no-barrier policy at state borders. After the introduction of VAT, the Central Sales Tax (CST) would gradually be phased out, he added.

In an effort to downplay the ongoing protests against the implementation of VAT, he countered the development, saying that the public opinion and involvement of industry had been sought before finalising the government strategy on the issue.

He observed that there has been a shift in the contribution to the state GDP from the traditional agricultural sector to the services and manufacturing sectors.

He emphasised the government’s resolve to promote Information Technology in the state.

Speaking on the initiatives taken by the government to strengthen infrastructure in the state, he said that flyovers at specific points would be constructed in Haryana, specifically Gurgaon to ease traffic congestion.

He said that the vehicles plying with permits issued by the NCR states have access to unrestricted movement in the NCR. Besides, a committee has been formed under the Chief Secretary to redress the grievances of the industry.


Govt ‘snatches’ MCD’s right to grant pension
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 28
Leader of opposition in the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) Vijender Gupta criticised the decision to transfer right to grant pension to senior citizens, physically handicapped and widows from the corporation to the Delhi government.

The Delhi government took this decision under the guise of recommendations of the Second Finance Commission, he alleged.

Vijender Gupta said that the recommendations of the second Finance Commission had not been circulated and made public so far. The Delhi government had ulterior motive and infringed on the rights of the corporation granted to it under the DMC Act enacted and amended by Parliament.

The opposition leader said that under the DMC Act, the obligatory function of the corporation is to make all necessary arrangements to ensure good public health. Similarly, the work of the construction and maintenance of rest houses, poor houses, children homes, houses for deaf and dumb, disabled, handicapped children are discretionary functions of the corporation. Snatching these rights by the government is an insult to Parliament.

This act of the NCT government is mala fide and designed to bring the corporation’s political stature to nought.

He said that under the DMC Act, there is provision for the constitution of finance commission to make recommendations for aid to the corporation from collection of taxes and revenues by the Delhi government. The provision was made to improve the financial position of civic bodies.

He said that the commission could only recommend for financial assistance. Hence, the decision of the NCT government to transfer such rights and duties from the corporation is illegal, unjustified and against the provisions of the DMC Act.

Addressing the newsmen, Mr Gupta said that the corporation had taken a loan of Rs 500 crore from the Delhi government 45 years ago. This money is adjusted by the NCT government from the ways and means of the corporation which is also unjustified and mala fide. This is being done to make the corporation bankrupt.

He said that orders for transfer of rights from the corporation to the Delhi government were received in the corporation about six months back, but the municipal commissioner did not bother to present it before the corporation.


Respite for Patparganj residents
Priyanka Gupta

New Delhi, March 28
The residents of Patparganj in East Delhi are finally relieved that after almost a decade, the MCD is about to complete the road under the flyover at Rama Road.
The closure of this road had caused considerable hardships to the residents of the sprawling colony as they had to make detours to reach the main road, leading to traffic jams.

The inordinate delay in finishing the project was reportedly because of the problem caused by underground cables which had to be shifted. This was a tedious task taking extra time and coordination. The residents had repeatedly complained to the authorities and even threatened action if the project was not completed soon.

MCD Engineer-in-Chief Dipak Mukhopadhyay said, “This is our major achievement. We are completing the pending project and starting a new one at Rama Road. This would help in free flow of traffic. The project was delayed as the cables and water lines needed to be shifted. And we have to be very careful while shifting the cables and pipes. This was the main reason. But anyhow, the road under bridge would be opened by April 15.”


Three PWD officers remanded in bribe case
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, March 28
Three officers of the PWD (B&R), Mr S C Singla, Executive Engineer; Mr Ved Parkash Chhatra, SDO; and Mr Suman Dev Sharma, a Junior Engineer, arrested under the Prevention of Anti-Corruption Act, were produced before the District and Sessions Judge, Mr S K Sardana, here yesterday who remanded them in judicial custody.

According to a report, the arrest followed the complaint of a contractor Mr Naresh Dahiya when they were accepting bribe from him. The trap was laid by the officials of the Vigilance Bureau.

Ex-sarpanch held for rape

The police have arrested Raj Kumar, a former sarpanch of Kakana village in connection with the alleged rape of a 10-year-old girl of the same village recently.

According to a report, the villagers are contemplating a social boycott of the accused.

Ekta Rally

Several hundreds of youths hailing from various states and attending the National Unity Camp, organised an Ekta Rally here yesterday to maintain the national unity and integrity of the country.

According to a report, the rally passed through the main bazaars of the city and the youths raised slogans in favour of the national unity.

Anti-US demo

Workers of SUCI and DYO took out a procession here today to register their protest against the war on Iraq.

According to a report, carrying placards and raising anti-US and anti-Britain slogans, they marched through the main bazaars.

The procession was led by Mr Hari Parkash, general secretary of SUCI and Mr Ishwar Singh Dahiya, secretary of the DYO Haryana unit.

The procession reached the office of the Deputy Commissioner and submitted a memorandum to him demanding an immediate stoppage of war.

A rally was also held. It was addressed by the leaders of various political parties and other organisations.

They condemned the attack on Iraq and alleged that the US and Britain were out to grab Iraq by use of force.


I.D. Swamy calls on state RSS leader
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, March 28
The Union Minister of State for Home, Mr I D Swamy, made an unscheduled halt in the city last evening. According to a report, the minister called on Mr Bajran Lal Gupta, a state RSS leader, at his residence in Sector 14. They reportedly discussed the current political situation in the state, the killing of Mr Haren Pandya, a former Home Minister of Gujarat, and the alleged police lathi-charge on BJP MLAs and MPs at Faridabad recently.

Contractor shot

Bhiwani: Two unidentified assailants shot dead a liquor contractor, Ram Mehar, at Charkhi Dadri, about 30 km from here, today. 


Political motives seen in acquisition of 
Congress leader’s land

Jhajjar, March 28
The acquisition of prime land belonging to a local Congress leader on the Delhi-Haryana border on NH 10 in Bahadurgarh by the local administration invoking emergency clauses has stirred up a controversy here.

The owner of the land, Mr Bijender Rathee, former president of the Bahadurgarh Bar Association and local Congress leader, alleged that the local administration acquired the land at the behest of some ruling party leaders and municipal council members who wanted to malign his name. However, the administration and the municipal council maintained that the land was acquired for shifting the slaughterhouse and meat market from the town to the outskirts as per the Supreme Court’s directives in this regard. The government had the right to acquire any land under emergency clauses for specific purposes, they said.

They also alleged that the owner of the land had been evading stamp duty by showing the cost of the land in the registry deeds as lower than that of the market price. The land was also shown as lying outside the limits of the Bahadurgarh Municipal Council while it was situated within the council limits, said the MC.

According to the information, 1 kanal 18 marla land was purchased by Mr Rathee from Mr Khairati Lal for Rs 1.40 lakh three years ago and the land transfer deeds were completed in the name of the father of Mr Rathee. The land was situated on the Delhi-Rohtak road just inside the Haryana border. The market value of the piece of land is said to be in crores of rupees today.

The MC passed a resolution on the acquisition of this land last year but the then Deputy Commissioner, Mr Ashok Khemka, rejected the proposal citing reasons that it would not be appropriate to set up the slaughterhouse and meat market on the main road at the entry point of the state. The issue led to a confrontation between the MC and the DC, which resulted in the transfer of Mr Khemka as he refused to budge from his stated position.

The issue resurfaced when the SDM, Bahadurgarh, Mr Sultan Singh, issued a notice to Mr Bijender Rathee that the land was being acquired by the government and directing him to move out within 48 hours. On the completion of the deadline, the SDM accompanied by the Tehsildar, the chairperson and Executive Officer of the MC and a heavy police contingent, reached the site on Tuesday and directed the tenants of the shops constructed on the land to vacate immediately. All the nine shops were sealed. The administration took this action by invoking emergency clauses under Section 17 of the Land Acquisition Act 1894.

The MC authorities informed that after evaluating the cost of the land as per the collectorate, Rs 9 lakh had been deposited with the government by the council for the land. A press note issued by the council stated that the allegations levelled against the local INLD MLA, Mr Nafe Singh, on the acquisition of the land were unfounded as the council had adopted a resolution on the same.

Mrs Roshni Malik, president of the MC, and Mr Karambir Rathee, councillor, who issued the press note, urged the state government to take action against the owner of the land, Mr Bijender Rathee, who, they said, had been evading stamp duty and income tax. They said that the allegations of the Congress leader were politically motivated and that he had been involved in several criminal and liquor-smuggling cases in Haryana and Delhi.

Mr Bijender Rathee, however, alleged that his land was acquired under political pressure. He said that he had got stay orders from the high court against the acquisition. On the other hand, the MC started construction of a slaughterhouse work on the land.


Schools on HUDA land too flout norms


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.

Apropos Smriti Kak’s report ‘Schools accept sops but shun poor students’ (NCR Tribune, March 16), the issue raised is not confined to Delhi only but it affects other states as well.

The HUDA, Faridabad, allotted land to a majority of the private public schools at throwaway prices for setting up schools in various sectors developed by it, under specific terms and conditions and subject to the provisions of the Haryana Urban Development Authority Act 1977. Some of the important terms and conditions are:

(1) The Society/Trust/Institution shall reserve 10 per cent seats in the schools for students belonging to weaker sections of the society and the fees should be charged as per the government rule. Further 10 per cent seats shall be reserved for those students in respect of whom the fees will be determined on the basis of means and merits of individual cases.

(2) HUDA will be represented by a member in the managing committee of the school to be nominated by the Administrator of HUDA. HUDA will be informed about important decisions regarding admission policy and fee structure. The authority will have the right to investigate into any public complaints received against the school and issue suitable directions to the management.

(3) The children of plot holders/residents of that sector shall be admitted on a priority basis. The school will primarily be for the residents of that sector only. Surplus seats may be filled with students from outside.

(4) The school will not be upgraded without the prior permission of the authority.

(5) In the event of violation of any of the conditions of allotment, the Estate Officer may resume the land/building in accordance with the provisions of Section 17 of the Act.

Most of the public schools have been flouting some of the terms and conditions with impunity, leading to the resumption of land of 14 schools by the Estate Officer, Faridabad, in July-August 1998, under Clause 17(4) of the HUDA Act 1977.

However on appeal, the plots were restored on flimsy grounds, after taking affidavits from them about compliance of the HUDA’s terms and conditions in “future”.

Regrettably, the private public schools run by resourceful societies or trusts do not obey the rules and regulations of the government. The main reason for not taking action against these erring schools by the HUDA is that the studies of thousands of students are likely to be affected.

However, there is a way out. To ensure that the studies do not suffer in the event of the resumption of lands/building of the defaulting schools, the state government should allow the Deputy Commissioners to put the administrative control of the resumed schools in the hands of some government officer.

Similarly, action must be taken by other state governments to enforce the provision, relating to admission of students form economically weaker sections, in private public schools, which got land from the urban development authorities on concessional rates and are legally bound by the land lease deed.

O. P. SHARMA, Faridabad

Hype killed World Cup chances

Alas! India’s dream of winning the World Cup was shattered by Australia. So much hype was generated by the great Indian middle class, the corporate giants, especially the two cold drink giants, the MNCs and the consumer goods manufacturers through their advertisements.

After India entered the super six, our cricket team was so much pressurised that they could not withstand the savage batting by Australia and failed to play their natural game. It is said that too much of everything is bad. In this context, I have no hesitation in saying Apni cricket team ko apno ki hi nazar lag gayee.

O. P. SHARMA, Faridabad

Thanks for sports coverage

I am a regular reader of ‘The Tribune’. Your newspaper provides me the best to groom my personality and also to know what is happening around me. I am satisfied that my roller-skating is developing fast and getting popularity. I am very thankful to your esteemed newspaper and your staff, especially Bijendra Ahlawat, for bringing out articles about skaters and skating in Faridabad. Articles published in the ‘NCR Tribune’ are like ‘She is the girl on flying unheels’ (January 30, 2002), ‘The tale of a striking sports person’ (March 18, 2002), ‘She spells success in roller hockey’ (May 9, 2002), ‘200 kids take part in roller skating beginners meet in Faridabad’ (July 1, 2002), ‘Sportspersons honoured with Governor’s cash award’ (September 6, 2002) and ‘National Games: Faridabad girl wins bronze’ (December 19, 2002) have covered sports well.


Switch off cell while driving

It was shocking to learn that Dr Anil Sachdeva of Rewari, who was a noted radiologist of the town, was killed when he was attending a call on his cellular phone while driving his Tata Safari.

It has become a trend for people to attend calls on their cellular phones when they are driving vehicles at full speed. It is a risky exercise. For God’s sake, switch off cellular phones while driving. If one anticipates that he may get an emergency call, then he should halt the vehicle at a safe point and take the call.


Why declare holiday on March 8?

We Indians are bitten by the holiday bug. Our system already provides us a plethora of days to celebrate as holidays. Can we accept Mr O. P. Sharma’s suggestion ‘March 8 should be declared a national holiday’? Indian women are facing troubles at every stage from the cradle to the grave. Women are victims of men’s sexual escapades.

In what way declaring March 8 a holiday will strengthen and embolden the spirit of women? First of all, it is a silly suggestion, which ignores the present position of women. Do our officials enact and implement the PNDT Act (Pre-Natal Diagnostic Test Act) in letter and spirit? Do the police give memo of arrest to the woman whose husband is falsely implicated in a case? Do the authorities take care of illegal abortion done by private doctors who make illegitimate money? Do the police (men) frisk the female citizens sincerely? Don’t men officials indulge in indecent behaviour, sexual insinuation, outrage of modesty and unparliamentary language against women colleagues deliberately? Do the Indians follow the Anti-Dowry Act 1961 in reality? Do we ever go against the rapists? Do we ever go to the court under the Child Marriage Act 1929? Do we really give full freedom to our girl child to develop?

In the absence of such indicators, qualitative change is not possible. Mere lip service as in Mr O. P. Sharma’s suggestion would be a fiasco in toto. Women in general have been a marginalised lot. How do women survive amongst the pro-male system? What is the rate of female foeticide today? The work force of women is very thin and they are working under adverse circumstances. Has the government ever tried to address the lot of Indian women?

Does observing a holiday on March 8 give control over means of production to women? Do women participate in public spheres fully? What is the real meaning of women empowerment? There is a yawning gap between what we in India say and what we really do in our daily life. Most of the Indian families are dual and hypocritical in their dealings. I am thankful to westerners only for one thing: Their model of equality, liberty and fraternity. The need of the hour is to sensitise the masses about the social issues of top importance. The rest is drab.


Bank harassing retd Armyman

I am a retired Army official. I would like to state that I faced many hardships in transferring my father’s account to my account, which was held at Canara Bank, Subroto Park branch. And the attitude of the branch manager of the bank was unkind.

My father, Bakshish Singh Bhatty, was the holder of account number 4257. On his demise, the SB account was to be closed and the balance credited to my SB account (No 4003) with the same branch. I am his nominee and sole heir.

Regrettably, the attitude of the manager was unhelpful from the very beginning. When my wife and I first approached him on September 16, 2002, we were rudely told to wait outside his office. We waited for four hours to obtain the requisite declaration forms. We were not given the forms and told to come on the next day.

On September 17, 2002, after commuting 40 km from my residence, we approached him again to do the needful. But we were treated similarly and made to wait the whole day with no result. On September 18, 2002, we approached him for the third time. He ignored our presence and refused to recognise us. It was only on the intervention of his staff that we managed to obtain the forms. On September 19, 2002, the forms were submitted duly completed in all respect along with all relevant documents. He finally accepted the declaration forms (for amount less than Rs 2,000) and told me that the formalities will be completed within seven days. However, nothing was done till November 6, 2002. It was only after I personally complained to Mr Khanna, (AGM, Delhi) that the application was sanctioned on November 7, 2002.

On September 19, 2002, I also requested him for a declaration form (for amounts above Rs 2,000) to enable me to transfer account number 12890/P of my father with the branch at Koliwade, Sion (E), Mumbai, to my account with Subroto Park branch, New Delhi. Initially, he refused by asking me to deal directly with the branch concerned. After two additional trips, he gave me the forms reluctantly on September 21, 2002, only after the intervention of the staff with whom I have interacted during the past 20 years. My application was finally forwarded on September 24, 2002.

The Subroto Park branch is located in an Air Force area and the clients are mostly defence officials who are either serving or retired.



Retrenched HSMITC staff hold dharna
Our Correspondents

Rohtak, March 28
The retrenched employees of Haryana State Minor Irrigation and Tubewell Corporation (HSMITC), accompanied by the members of their families, staged a dharna at the mini secretariat here under the leadership of Mr Baljit Singh Deswal today.

The protestors raised anti-government slogans and demanded immediate restoration of services of the employees. Addressing the demonstrators, Mr Deswal condemned the ‘anti-employee’ policies of the state government and alleged that the government had been closing down different departments on one pretext or the other.

Referring to the HSMITC, he alleged around 4,000 employees had been rendered jobless by closing down the corporation on the ground that it had been running into deficit. He alleged that the closure of the HSMITC had also adversely affected the farmers in the region. The Diploma Holder Engineers’ Association also extended its support to the agitating employees.

Mr Yashpal Dhull, general secretary of the association, reached the spot of dharna and assured every possible help to the protestors.

One killed in cylinder blast

Faridabad: One person was killed and another injured seriously after a gas cylinder exploded at an industrial unit near Bhadkhal here last night.

According to police sources, an employee, Charan Lal, a resident of Bulandsahar in UP, died and one Imran Khan of Gandhi Colony here was injured after the cylinder kept nearby exploded at about 11 pm yesterday. The injured has been admitted to Sunflag Hospital here.

Free eye camp

As many as 677 persons got their eyes checked at a free eye camp organised by the Sant Nirankari Mandal, Faridabad at Sector 16A here. It lasted five days. According to Mr A S Chowdhry, Mandal Parmukh, about 133 persons were operated upon by the District Eye Surgeon, Dr Ravinder Mathur.

He said the camp was organised between March 23 and 27 and the patients were given free medicines and lenses.

CII council chairman

Gurgaon: Mr Ashok Kapur, chairman and managing director, Krishna Maruti Ltd, Gurgaon, has been unanimously elected the chairman of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) Haryana State Council for the year 2003-04.

He was elected at the first meeting of the newly elected Council held here. He takes over from Mr Vipin Sondhi, managing director, Tecumseh Products India Ltd.

Besides, Mr S.K.Arya, managing director, Jay Bharat Maruti Ltd, Gurgaon has been unanimously elected the vice-chairman of the CII Haryana State Council. TNS

Civic body’s budget estimates

Jhajjar: The Municipal Committee, Jhajjar, presented the budget estimates for the next financial year in the meeting of the general body held here today. The deficit budget was presented with an estimated expenditure of Rs 1,01,73,000 against the estimated income of Rs 91,60,000 for the year 2003-04. The revenue collection under the income head include Rs 12 lakh from house tax and development charges each, Rs 15 lakh from stump duty, Rs 1 lakh from interest, Rs 50000 from issuing licences, Rs 12 lakh as rent from shops, Rs 10 lakh from miscellaneous sources, Rs 5 lakh from electricity tax, Rs 10 lakh as cattle fair share, Rs 5 lakh as advance payment, Rs 3 lakh as driving licence fee and Rs 3 lakh as trade tax. OC


Gang of dacoits smashed after encounter
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 28
North-West district police today claimed to have injured a dacoit and arrested seven others in an encounter at Samaipur Badli last night. The injured, Anandraj, has been admitted to Babu Jagjeevan Ram Hospital.

The suspects had gone to Samaipur Badli in a truck to rob a factory. As the police signalled the truck driver to halt, he tried to drive away. When the police chased the vehicle, the suspects fired from a country-made pistol.

A total of three rounds were fired by the dacoits. The policemen fired four rounds. Those arrested were identified as Anees, Rakesh, Pooran Singh, Lekh Raj, Dharmpal and Sonu. Their truck had been seized, the police said. According to Deputy Commissioner of Police Sanjay Singh, the police had a tip-off that suspects were going to rob a factory in Samaipur Badli.

Majestic Auto

Majestic Auto Limited (MAL) has exhibited a range of mopeds and exerciser bikes during the two-day kisan mela held at the PAU grounds in Ludhiana recently.

Besides two-stroke mopeds, MAL’s fuel efficient four stroke mopeds were also displayed during the exhibition, a release said.

Bank manager killed

An assistant manager in a bank was killed when hit by a speeding car last night near Wellington Crescent. The victim Rama Koteshwar Rao, resident of Janak Puri, was an Assistant Manager with Syndicate Bank, Nehru Place. Rao was immediately rushed to the RML Hospital where he was declared brought dead. The police have booked a case of causing death due to rash and negligent driving and are looking for the erring driver.

PHDCCI union

Mr Bhim Singh Bisht and Mr Gopal Singh Khatri were elected as president and vice-president respectively of the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry Staff Union during the 28th Annual General Meeting of the union held here, according to a press release.


Held for selling job dreams

New Delhi: With the arrest of three suspects, Crime Branch of the City Police today claimed to have busted a gang of artful dodgers who have reportedly duped innocent and needy youths on the pretext of providing employment. The suspects were arrested from East of Kailash. They were identified as Vijay, Jitender and Rohit. Two of their associates, Udai Pratap and Vivek Pratap, are absconding, police said. The police had secret information that the suspects had a Small Industries Training Centre at Amritpuri in East of Kailsh in South Delhi and cheated innocent youths.

The suspects had given an advertisement in November last year in Rajasthan Pattrika mentioning that SITC needed field officers, supervisors, clerks, drivers, guards, store keepers, helpers etc. The candidates were asked to post their applications at WZ-254, Basai Darapur, but for the interview, they were called at 142-A/15 Amritpuri, East of Kailash. The candidates were interviewed and issued appointment letters for different posts in fake companies at different places in Badmare and Ajmer after taking Rs 2,210 per head as registration and training fees. The plan of the gang was to decamp with the money. But while they were accepting money, the police arrested them. TNS


PNB attaches property worth Rs 2.66 crore 
Our Correspondent

Panipat, March 28
Punjab National Bank has attached immovable property worth over Rs 2.66 crore of 28 big borrowers of Panipat, Sonepat and Karnal districts during the first quarter of this year.

As many as four pieces of immovable property worth over Rs 11.49 lakh in Panipat town were attached today.

Disclosing this to mediapersons here today, the senior manager of Karnal region of the bank, Mr H. K. Bansal, said that the process of attachment started on January 9. The bank had already issued 142 notices on attachment of immovable property under the Securitisation and Reconstitution of Financial Ordinance Act 2002 to recover the pending loans amounting to around Rs 12.35 crore.

Mr Bansal stated that after receiving the notices, 113 parties had approached the bank authorities for settlement of payments and of these, 40 parties had already agreed to pay an outstanding loans of over Rs1.98 crore.

As many as 12 accounts amounting to Rs 36.58 lakh were adjusted and cleared. Besides, nine accounts, involving Rs.50.29 lakh, had been upgraded.

He also disclosed that after giving due time to the defaulters for adjustments and payments, the bank had issued possession notices to 38 big borrowers who had not responded and against whom an amount of nearly Rs 3.41 crore was outstanding.

The senior regional manager said that recovery of non-performing assets from Panipat was either in the shape of repayment, in the form of attachment or in the form of attachment of immovable property of defaulters.

It is an ongoing process, which would continue till regularisation of bank amounts aggregating to approximately 80 per cent in Panipat district alone.

He said that the defaulters from Panipat and Karnal districts are now approaching the bank branches to save their property from attachment and are trying their best to arrive at a compromise, he added.

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