Thursday, April 3, 2003, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


MDU joins elite club of five-star varsities
Jatinder Sharma

Rohtak, April 2
The Maharshi Dayanand University has been accredited for five years with an institutional score between 80-85 per cent (B++grade). The University Grant Commission’s National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) carried out the assessment for accreditation during a visit to the university for three days from February 18 to 20. With this, MDU joins the elite club of varsities like Hyderabad, Bangalore, Mysore, Mumbai, Pune and Punjab which also have five-star grade.

The MDU is the third university in Haryana to get assessed and accredited by NAAC. Kurukshetra University got an institutional score between 70-75 per cent (four star grade). Guru Jambheshwar University, Hisar, which runs only technical courses, got an institutional score between 85-90 per cent (A Grade).

The NAAC team, led by Prof Madhab Chandra Dash, Vice-Chancellor of Sambalpur University, has commended MDU for having a variety of academic options and need-based courses, an adequate library and other resources, a computer centre and national and international linkages in research. Further, it has got a pat on the back for timely conduct of examination and publication of results, awards won by its faculty and an excellent facility for games and sports.

The peer team was “happy to note that the university has made rapid strides during the last 25 years of its existence and has developed potential for achieving excellence in teaching, research and extension in future years”. During its visit to the university, the team went through all the relevant documents, visited the departments and the facilities and interacted with the various constituents of the university. The units offering academic, co-curricular, extra-curricular, sports and extension facilities were also assessed.

The NAAC team pointed out that in each department a full-fledged departmental library may be established, teachers may be encouraged and facilitated to publish their research output in international and high-impact journals, internal academic and administrative audit may be established both for teaching departments and administration, student feedback mechanism may be developed to improve academic performance, alumni association may be organised in each department in the university, provision may be made in the course curriculum for horizontal mobility, and early steps may be taken to fill up the large number of vacancies in faculty positions.



Thankfully no cases, yet alert for fatal flu in Capital
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 2
Health authorities in the Capital have finally sounded the alert. While the Delhi Medical Association has issued an advisory to doctors, the Municipal Corporation of Delhi has geared up services in the hospitals to identify possible cases of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). The disease has claimed 64 lives and affected more than 1,600 people overseas, mostly in Hong Kong.

The likelihood of the disease surfacing in the Capital has provoked the medical fraternity to swing into action.

The Delhi Medical Association (DMA) President, Dr. Anil Bansal, said that in view of the global scare an alert has been sounded in the capital, so that the medical fraternity is on the look out for any outbreak.

The DMA has issued guidelines for the general public as well. Special directions have been issued to health care specialists for handling suspected cases of SARS, to prevent cross-infection. The health providers have been also advised to conduct active surveillance for fever and respiratory symptoms.

In turn, the MCD has informed all the hospitals in the Capital about the possible SARS symptoms; it also held a workshop on Monday to create awareness about the disease. Health experts have been instructed to report and monitor any cases of SARS.

It is, however, unclear whether the city hospitals are equipped with the necessary infrastructure to fight the disease. While ventilators were available in bigger hospitals, many smaller hospitals lack the facility. The MCD will soon inform hospitals and doctors about the treatment guidelines issued by the WHO, though there is no specific treatment plan as of now.

The Delhi Branch President of Indian Medical Association, Dr. K K Agarwal, has pointed out that SARS is similar to flu in winter; in summer, it is more of diarrhoea accompanied with dehydration. It was also pointed out that those running high fever — over 100.4 degree Fahrenheit — accompanied by cough or difficulty in breathing should see a doctor, especially if the patient had recently travelled to regions where cases of SARS have been reported.

The DMA officials pointed out that SARS spreads mainly through droplets: when someone afflicted with SARS coughs or sneezes, droplets are transmitted by air. Long-term exposure or contact with an SARS patient could also transmit the infection.

Doctors have been told that the reported therapeutic regimens for SARS include antibiotics, to presumptively treat known bacterial agents of atypical pneumonia. Antiviral agents and steroids can also be administered orally or intravenously to patients in combination with the antibiotics.



Penalised for not signing receipt for 
undelivered consignment
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, April 2
The Food and Supplies Department has penalised a depot-holder of Ward No 30 for not signing the receipt for kerosene which was not supplied by a wholesale dealer. The depot-holder had pleaded with the department that the dealer had not supplied kerosene but despite that wanted him to sign the receipt.

According to a report, the District Food and Supplies Controller has not only suspended the supply of kerosene without taking any action against the wholesale dealer on the complaint made to him and the Deputy Commissioner of Sonepat alleging that the wholesale dealer of kerosene had approached him to sign the receipt without the supply of kerosene to him.

The communication addressed to the depot-holder dated March 26 and received by him at around 5.30 pm on March 28 last states a tanker loaded with kerosene had gone to the shop of the depot-holder on February 21 and again on February 27 last to deliver the supply but the shop was found closed. This is against the rules and provisions of the department. Hence, the supply of kerosene to the depot was suspended.

The depot-holder, on the other hand, said the tanker had unloaded the kerosene at another depot on March 28 itself whereas this supply was to be made to him. It is alleged that this action has been taken to cover up the lapses of the department authorities in the distribution of rationed kerosene.

Meanwhile, inquiries made by this correspondent have revealed that the depot holder had not received rationed kerosene for February this year. Hitherto, the depot holder was getting the supply of kerosene to the tune of 1,000 or 1,200 litres instead of 1,650 litres of kerosene and this was the main reason for the depot holder making a complaint in this regard.

This depot-holder had also informed Mr Charan Singh, an inspector of the department, about the non-supply and less supply of kerosene. The depot-holder had also met Mr Charan Singh on February 10, 15, 20, 26 and 28 and he, in turn, asked him to approach the wholesale dealer of Mahaluxmi Oil Company. The depot holder also met the wholesale dealer of the company on February 26 and 28 and demanded the supply of kerosene for distribution among consumers but he refused to supply the rationed kerosene to him unless he signed the receipt without the supply of kerosene.

It is alleged that the bulk quantity of kerosene is being diverted to be sold on the black market every month.



Move over Harry Potter, ‘Chota Jadugar’ is here
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 2
It’s time to wave the magic wand once again and conjure that extra dimension on the silver screen with Shringar Films’ release of a Navodaya presentation, “Chota Jadugar”, a 3D film in Hindi, and called “Magic Magic” in Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam this summer. It’s another magical fantasy tale targeted at the family audience and scheduled to hit the silver screen by April 11. Time for Harry Potter to move over, “Chota Jadugar” is here.

Directed by Jose Punnoose, “Chota Jadugar” promises to show great potential as it will expose a whole new generation of audiences to the 3D experience with the last one being the re-release of “Chota Chetan” in 1997. The lead characters of this 3D film wonder are an eight-year-old prankster who is also a young magician played by Master Suraj S. Balajee (child actor of Santosh Sivan’s “Asoka”), a cute little dog, Barkley, featured in the Oscar winning Hollywood film “American Beauty”, and the boy’s grandfather, a grand old magician, portrayed by singer/actor S. Balasubramaniam.

Ninety per cent of the film was completed in and around Manhattan. A team of 22 actors and technicians from India supported by a team of 30 actors, 38 other performing dogs and technicians from New York worked for 70 days. The dogs were provided by five major animal suppliers in Los Angeles and New York who have worked in several Hollywood productions like “Naked Gun”, “Silence of the Lambs”, “Waterworld”, “Baby’s Day Out,” “Home Alone 2” etc. The film was shot in the concrete jungles of Midtown and Lower Manhattan as well as against the colourful autumn backdrop of Central Park.

“Chota Jadugar” is being released simultaneously in four languages - Hindi, Telugu, Tamil and Malayalam - across the country. Navodaya Films, the makers of the first Indian 3D movie, “Chota Chetan”, in 1984 have made their second 3D film after a yawning gap of 17 years. “Chota Chetan”, besides winning the President’s Gold Medal, was also a huge box office success, fetching around Rs 60 crore at the box office during 1984-85. The movie was re-released with additional footage and digital sound upgrade during 1997-98 with the box office amassing Rs 50 crore during that period.

“Chota Jadugar” is a heart-warming story about a child, a dog, their friendship and magic. Indrajith is an aspiring magician being trained by his magician grandfather Acharya.

Much to Indrajith’s dismay, his father, Krishna, does not approve of his son’s passion for magic and plans to take Indrajith with him to America. Acharya convinces Indrajith to go with his father on the pretext that Indrajith will perform his inaugural magic show in America.

Once Indrajith reaches the USA and realises all is not well he escapes from home and befriends a dog. Raja, a street dog adept at stealing wallets and handbags, has escaped from the clutches of his evil master, Rob. Together, Indrajith and Raja undertake a magical journey across the streets of New York City. Indrajith has only one mission in mind - magic and Destination India.



Re-exam for those affected by March 10 VIP traffic curbs
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 2
The Central Board of Secondary Examination (CBSE) has given relief to students who reported late for their March 10 examination because of VIP traffic curbs, imposed to facilitate the passage of Deputy Prime Minister L K Advani’s cavalcade. These students will be allowed to take re-examination, the CBSE officials said. The students who were delayed on account of the traffic curbs had made a representation to the Board, seeking relief. The CBSE today announced that the re-exam would be conducted on April 21 at Apeejay School, Gautam Buddha Nagar. The relief would be extended to only those students who were scheduled to take their examination on March 10; the Superintendent of the examination centre will certify that the candidate reached late or could not reach the centre within the stipulated time-frame, the CBSE officials said. The CBSE had received representations from students and schools that some of the examinees could not reach centres in Ghaziabad, Noida and East Delhi on March 10 due to traffic restrictions.

The traffic curbs imposed by the police authorities had come in for sharp criticism from students and the schools. The Deputy Prime Minister had said the security forces should ensure that there was minimum inconvenience to the public during VIP movement.

The kings & knaves of road safety: As part of its special drive to enforce traffic discipline on Delhi roads, the Traffic Police have come up with three sets of specially designed playing cards with safety messages scribbled on each one of them. The cards will be distributed free of cost to the target groups. For this purpose, the Road Safety Cell has designed three sets of cards targeting various categories of road users like pedestrians/cyclists, car/scooter drivers and truck/bus drivers. According to the Joint Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Maxwell Pereira, “The traffic police are confident of inculcating some amount of discipline with the new method.”

Even though cards encourage gambling, they can be amazingly useful for the purpose of instruction, education, propaganda and amusement. The cards would be distributed in clubs, public parks, community and recreation centres, in truck unions, to bus drivers and to pedestrians.



Kidnapped child’s decomposed body found
Parmindar Singh

Ghaziabad, April 2
A three-year-old boy kidnapped for ransom from Asoda village in Hapur has been found murdered.
Villagers of Asoda, carrying the child’s body to the Meerut Road tri-junction, raised slogans against the police and blocked traffic on the highway.

Angry villagers manhandled the SO of the police station and smashed the windowpanes of passing vehicles.

Three-year-old Shoaib, son of Masoom Ali of Asoda village, had gone missing on March 25 while playing outside his house in the afternoon. A report was lodged with the police. A ransom call demanding Rs 1.70 lakh was received by Masoom Ali on March 28 at neighbour Pappu Verma’s house. The abductors had advised Masoom Ali to sit on the rear seat of a KM bus going from Meerut to Khurja on the evening of April 1 while bringing the ransom money. The boy would be freed on April 3, they had promised.

Some women, who went to cut grass in the fields in the morning, spotted Shoaib’s decomposed body near Ajay Nursery on Kithore Marg. The child was recognised from the clothes he was wearing. The condition of the boy’s body made villagers angry. Men, women and children took the body to Asoda Peth on Meerut Road and blocked traffic.

Two farmers found murdered: Two farmers of Matyala village who had gone to irrigate their fields were killed with sharp-edged weapons by certain unidentified persons. Their bodies, with hands and feet bound, were recovered from a field.

One of the two farmers killed was Baleshwar Jatav from Matyala village. He was working at the Collectorate here. The other murdered person was a 65-year-old. Baleshwar had gone to the field at 11 pm to irrigate his land. Nyaz Ali of Rasool Sikoda village had also gone to irrigate his adjoining fields.



Another arrest in DDA scam
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 2
In its ongoing crackdown against the corrupt officials of the Delhi Development Authority (DDA), the CBI today arrested Ashok Kapoor, former private secretary to ex Vice-Chairman P. K. Hota, for his alleged role as a conduit in a land deal between Modern Public School and DDA officials. Kapoor, who was produced in a local court today, has been remanded in five days’ custody of the CBI.

According to the CBI, Kapoor had acted as a conduit of the DDA officials and made substantial gains out of it. He is presently placed under suspension and is already facing a case of disproportionate assets.

In December 2000, the CBI sleuths had conducted a raid at Kapoor’s residence and recovered around Rs 16 lakh from his bank lockers. Further inquiries revealed that he had amassed wealth estimated at Rs 2 crore.

Unified timetable for buses from April 15: The unified time table for buses will come into force on April 15. Transport Minister Ajay Maken today told the Delhi Legislative Assembly that the 2,500 buses owned by the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) and the 4,000 buses owned by private bus operators would have to adhere to the unified time table and display the same prominently on the body of the bus.



Onkar Singh Thapar, Ashok Jain file 
papers for mayoral poll
Tribune News Service

Opposition candidates for the posts of Mayor and Deputy Mayor Onkar Singh
Opposition candidates for the posts of Mayor and Deputy Mayor Onkar Singh Thapar and Ms Prem Lata after filing their nominations.

New Delhi, April 2
Nominations for elections to the posts of Mayor and Deputy Mayor were filed today by both the Congress and the BJP candidates, as the one-year term of the present Mayor came to an end on March 31.

The Congress has fielded Mr Ashok Kumar Jain for the post of Mayor and Mrs Varyam Kaur for Deputy Mayor. The BJP has fielded Mr Onkar Singh Thapar, Akali Dal (Badal) councillor, for the post of Mayor and Mrs Prem Lata, BSP councillor, for Deputy Mayor. Today was the last date for nominations. The elections will be held on April 7.

According to the DMC Act 1957, a woman has to be the Mayor for the first term of one year and in the second year, elections will be held again and male candidates can be elected as Mayor. In the first term, which ended last month, Ms Jaishree Panwar was Mayor and Mr Ashok Jain was the Deputy Chairman of the Standing Committee in the corporation.

Mr Ashok Jain is a senior member of the corporation. He was in the Metropolitan Council from 1983-1990 and had been a councillor from the same segment in the walled city from 1997 to 2003. Mrs Varyam Kaur was elected from Raghubarpura in NorthEast district.

Sources said that the BJP fielded Mr Onkar Singh Thapar, who is also the Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the MCD, and Mrs Prem Lata to get the Sikh and backward votes in the coming assembly elections in the Capital. 



Include houses built on private land in 
Lal Dora: Khurana
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 2
Delhi Pradesh BJP president Madan Lal Khurana and Lok Janshakti Party vice-president Ramvir Singh Bidhuri on Wednesday met with Union Urban Development Minister Ananth Kumar and urged him to include the houses built on private land in the Lal Dora.

Accompanying Mr Khurana and Mr Bidhuri was Union Labour Minister Sahib Singh Verma and representatives of 365 villages in and around Delhi. They handed over a five-point charter of demands.

Mr Bidhuri, who is also patron of the Gaon Bachao Sangharsh Samiti, told the mediapersons that the last consolidation was carried out in 1908. All the houses outside the Lal Dora and built on private land, he said, should be regularised and considered part of Lal Dora. Besides, all the basic civic amenities should be extended to the dwellings outside the Lal Dora so that they could lead a better life.

The delegation sought a direction from Mr Kumar to the departments concerned that no demolition should be carried out on private land in these villages and of such houses till a decision on their regularisation was taken by the Union Government.

The delegation felt that the farmers should be given alternative residential plots in lieu of the land acquired by the DDA or any other department. The delegation demanded that not only alternative plots be allotted in the same zone but at the same rates at which the land was acquired by the agency concerned.

Mr Bidhuri said the Gram Sabha land should be utilised for the benefit of the people of those villages only. “All those villages that have been urbanised and their Gram Sabha land acquired and which money is

lying with the Union Ministry of Urban Development should be used for the development of the villages and other related activities.



Salary on platter for doing nothing
Our Correspondent

Panipat, April 2
The railway authorities here do not seem to be serious about reducing expenses. Over 50 employees of the Panipat subdivision under the Delhi Division of the Northern Railway are drawing salary without doing any work. Though their services have become redundant after various modernisation schemes, they have not been re-deployed in other sections.

Sources said that 21 employees of the Carriage and Wagon Department, employed for cleaning conventional racks, have become surplus after the change to the DEMU system and now to the EMU system on electrified routes since 1997. This unutilised manpower causes an estimated revenue loss of Rs 1 crore. Similarly, 15 employees, who used to work on conventional racks for providing lights in the trains, are also partially unemployed as lighting in DEMU and EMU trains is managed by the power (engine) driver. Here again, there has been a loss of about Rs 1 crore till now. These employees have been getting salary regularly without putting in any work since the past about seven years.

Moreover, the lamp man, who used to light the lamps on the signal poles around the railway station, has also been without any work since electrification. Electric bulbs are being used at signal posts and the lamp man, Attar Singh, has been drawing the salary without doing any work.

The department has been silent on these issues and is paying at least 50 such employees without utilising their services somewhere else. It is also alleged that most of these staff are working at residential quarters of their seniors and do household jobs while drawing salary from the Railways.

In an informal meeting with the Assistant Divisional Engineer (ADE), Panipat Sub-division of Northern Railway, members of the Uttariya Railway Mazdoor Union (URMU) demanded the removal of 50-odd Class IV employees working in the official residences of the engineering department and officials of the Northern Railway.

The union also demanded that a cleaner of conventional racks can be deputed to clean the railway station and remove dust, silt, polythene bags and other rubbish or do the cleaning of DEMU and EMU racks, where a lot of rubbish like ground nut shells, consumed bidis, cigarettes butts, oranges and banana peels and the area which poor commuters have to clean where they wish to sit. It demanded that the safai karamcharis of the Carriage Department, previously retained for conventional racks, should be allowed to attend the DEMU and EMU racks .



Assandh flyover: A fine example of faulty planning
Rakesh Bhardwaj

Panipat, April 2
The Assandh road in is a crucial state highway connecting the city and the Haryana’s biggest thermal power station with Jind, Hisar, Fatehabad and Sirsa districts. While crossing the main railway line from the prestigious Lal Batti Chowk on G. T. Road, one has to cross the Assandh road flyover. Because of the narrowness of this flyover, traffic jams are a routine here.

The main purpose of constructing the flyover was to ease congestion on the Assandh road. According to sources, improper planning, faulty implementation and absence of accountability have defeated this purpose.

Sources say that no provision was made to ensure smooth flow of traffic from the colonies around the flyover. Moreover, pollution from vehicles has increased manifold, making the lives of nearby residents miserable.

There are no side roads or proper lanes to facilitate the movement of pedestrians and scooterists. The crossing near the G. T. Road close to one end of the flyover often remains blocked due to heavy traffic.

Whatever space was available under the flyover has been encroached by workshops, small unlicensed factories and welders making grills creating a nuisance and obstruction to pedestrians. Petty shopkeepers have also invaded the area. No law enforcement agencies have bothered to clear the slum coming up here.

On the other side, an unauthorised subzi mandi is operating. Moreover, 25 to 30 blacksmiths of Sansi tribe have occupied the newly developed Anand Park maintained by the Panipat Improvement Trust near the flyover. The trust had beautified the park but these Sansi families have made it a hell by spitting and defecating.

Sources say that the Panipat Municipal Council had filled the plinths under the flyover for constructing a shopping complex, which had to be auctioned. A huge amount was collected as earnest money from the prospective buyers. However, the PWD stopped the construction of the complex on the ground that the space under the flyover was not safe for a market. Even though the municipal council has abandoned the scheme, the earnest money it had collected remains blocked.

The area underneath the flyover comes under the PWD and some portion under the Railways. It is said that the MC proposal to build a shopping complex could not be carried out due to the involvement of three government departments.

The depositors of earnest money had requested the council to use this money to construct a parking site under the flyover and auction it, but their proposal was rejected. The department has no proper information about the number of depositors or the amount collected from them.

The Executive Engineer of the PWD says that the area beneath the flyover belongs to the department and its maintenance is its responsibility. According to him, a proposal has already been submitted to the Deputy Commissioner for constructing roads for the benefit of the localities around the flyover.

It is another matter that even nine years after the construction of the flyover and posting of seven Deputy Commissioners, the residents of Prahlad Nagar and nearby areas are still waiting for usable roads to save them from misery.



Workers’ death: Farmers fear for their wells
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, April 2
The recent tragedy in which two persons were killed while digging a well in Sandal Khurd village is likely to create problems for the farmers in the region where a large number of tubewells have either gone dry or are pumping out very less water due to the receding level of subsoil water.

The farmers in the areas around Sonepat and Gannaur and villages in the Yamuna belt have been facing this problem for the last many years due to scanty rains and excessive draining out of underground water for irrigating the crops. Further, more than 90 per cent of irrigation in the region is being carried out by the tubewells because water supply through canals is hardly available.

As the underground water level in the region is around 75 to 80 feet deep, the farmers have to install electric motors at depths of 35 to 40 feet after digging wells of more than that depth. And digging new wells as well as deepening the old ones is a continuous process in the region, though a number of people have died in the process. According to villagers of Sandal Khurd, around 150 tubewells in the village have gone dry and the submersible pumps are also reportedly not working due to low voltage of electricity. The death of the two persons has sent shock waves among farmers and labourers engaged in digging wells. The farmers fear that this incident would deter labourers engaged in digging wells.



Livid over excise duty, Panipat units down shutters 
Our Correspondent

Panipat, April 2
In protest against the Central government’s decision to impose 11.5 per cent excise on blankets and shoddy yarn and VAT on velvet, handloom and other items manufactured in Panipat, all the manufacturing units of velvet, handloom fabrics, shoddy yarn manufacturers and blanket manufacturers of Panipat, have decided to close down their units for indefinite period from today.

In a meeting held here today, the president of Velvet Association, Mr Radhey Sham Gogia, confirmed that their bandh would continue for indefinite period from April 2 onwards. “Still we are trying to get the benefit of small scale and we have not left the hope to take the small-scale industries rebate which includes the withdrawal of the proposed 11.5 per cent excise duty and VAT,” the president added.

The association president categorically stressed that for them it was a do-or-die situation as blanket was a poor man’s requirement and was commonly being used even for the purpose of donation. Panipat blankets are known to be cheap and the best in the range of Rs 65 to Rs 75. The government must consider that out of this amount what the manufacturer will pay to labour, for raw material, wear and tear of handloom machinery and other expenses, he said.

“With the imposition of 11.5 per cent excise, they won’t survive and hence the association decided to make this bandh as indefinite and would be continued till the decision in their favour,” he said.

Similar is the version from the handloom industries president, Mr Ashok Banga, who told that the imposition of these duties would ruin the textile industry in this town, known the world over for its handloom products.

He said that the industry had already been suffering from financial crunch and the imposition of excise duties will prove to be a negative step for the textile units. More than one lakh skilled and unskilled labours from Bihar, UP, West Bengal and Orissa were working in these units and they would become jobless, if the government remained firm on imposing these duties, he said.



‘Benami’ purchases of paddy cause huge loss 
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, April 2
The market committee of Gohana town in the district had suffered a financial loss of about Rs 30 lakh on account of the ‘benami’ purchases of paddy by the owners of certain rice shellers and unscrupulous traders from the market as well as the paddy growers during the procurement season of paddy which ended on March 31.

According to a report, the loss was also attributed to the less arrivals of paddy in the grain markets of Gohana town.

It is stated that most of the farmers had switched over to the cultivation of sugarcane instead of paddy for getting the remunerative price of their produce.

The officials of the market committee have predicted the less arrivals of wheat during the current procurement season which began yesterday. This is likely to cause a huge financial loss to the exchequer of the market committee.

Middle standard exams: The middle standard annual examinations, conducted by the Board of School Education Haryana, began amidst tight security arrangements at 117 examination centres set up in the city and other parts of the district yesterday.

According to a report, the officials of the flying squads caught red-handed only two examinees for using unfair means on the very first day of the examinations in the district.

Two duty supervisors including a woman supervisor were relieved from duty as they were found helping the examinees.

As many as six examination centres were shifted to other places on account of mass copying by the examinees in the examination halls. Moreover 19 examinees were found absent from an examination centre at Rohna village.

Youth robbed: Vinod, a youth of Rohtak was robbed of cash and a mobile phone by two masked men at Gohana town 35 km from here last evening.

According to a report, Vinod was going on a rickshaw when he was waylaid by two masked men.

They beat him and snatched Rs 1,500 and a mobile phone from him before they fled.

The police have registered the case and further investigations were in progress. A hunt is on to apprehend the culprits.

Two bodies found: The Ganaur police recovered the body of an aged man lying on the premises of old civil hospital at Ganaur town, 16 km from here last night.

According to a report, the body has not been identified so far and the police have sent the body for a post-mortem.

According to another report, the Government Railway Police (GRP) recovered the body of a youth lying on the railway track near Ganaur railway station 1 km from here yesterday.

The body was identified as Sumer Singh (24) of Bhatgaon village.

It is stated that the youth was run over and killed by a running train. The GRP has sent the body for a post-mortem.

GVM College principal: Ms Jyoti Juneja took over as the officiating principal of the GVM Girls College here yesterday in place of Mrs Shakuntala Gakhar who has retired from service on March 31.



NTPC sets target for current year
Our Correspondents

Noida, April 2
The National Thermal Power Corporation has fixed a target of producing 140,000 million units of power during 2003-2004.
The NTPC has also set a financial target of Rs 5471.64 crore and a net profit target of Rs 9.77 per cent to be achieved. It has also been decided to keep the productivity level of 86 per cent in the coal-based units of the corporation.

Secretary, Power, Government of India, R V Shahi and CMD of NTPC, C P Jain initialled an agreement in Noida to this effect. This agreement has been signed for achieving the target set for the third stage of 500 mega watt.

Besides, the agreement provides continued focus on maintaining environmental balance, bench-marking, research and development and HRD activities. NTPC has been entering into similar agreements with the government of India during the last 17 years, an NTPC source said.

MDU pharmacy course

Rohtak: The Bachelor of Pharmacy course run by the Department of Pharmaceutical of Maharshi Dayanand University has been accorded approval by the Pharmacy Council of India till the academic session of 2004-05.

The All India Council of Technical Education (AICTEC) had earlier recognised this course till 2004-05 acedemic session.

HVP dharna

The activists of Haryana Vikas Party (HVP) staged a dharna in front of the office of the Deputy Commissioner here in protest against the implementation of Value Added Tax (VAT) system, new house tax policy and ‘deteriorating’ law and order situation in the region.

The demonstrators led by senior HVP leaders-Mr Man Mohan Goyal, Mr Ram Chander Jangra, Mr Manphool Singh and Mr Bijender Jain, marched from the party head office to the Deputy Commissioner’s office and raised anti-government slogans.

Schoolkids stranded

Sonepat: The officials of the Government Marketing Society locked the building of its godown in the Idgah colony here yesterday stranding hundreds of schoolchildren for most of the day.

According to a report, a Government primary school had been functioning in this godown building for the last few

years. As soon as the children and the teachers reached the school they found the building of the godown locked from outside. Thereupon, they sat along the road and informed the officials of the Education Department. On receiving information, the officials reached the site and contacted the officials of the society on the issue. They also succeeded in opening the locks and resuming the functioning of the school in it.

Meanwhile, enquiries made by this correspondent have revealed that the officials of the samiti wanted to store the wheat during the current procurement season and they had already sent a notice to the officials of the Education Department asking them to arrange for a new building for this school as the samiti wanted to store wheat, vegetables and fruit.



Woman consumes pesticide, dies 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 2
Basanti, 50, a resident of Basti Nangla Machi, reportedly committed suicide in her jhuggi by drinking pesticide. She was married to Genda Mal 15 years ago and used to sell vegetables at Yamuna Pushta. She was taken to RML Hospital by her neighbour where she died.

Pen shop burgled: Three unidentified youths barged into a pen shop in New Qutab Road area in Sadar Bazar and stole Rs 5,000 kept inside the shop last night.

Two men were sleeping outside the shop at the time of the incident. The intruders came and tied their hands and legs.

They broke open shutters of three shops but they entered only two shops. They found Rs 5,000 at the pen shop and decamped with it, the police said.

Santoshi Mata Mandir: Sri Santoshi Mata Mandir, Hari Nagar, Jail Road, started its 62nd Navratra festival today with the lighting of the holy Akhand Jyoti.

The programme started by bhajans and kirtan by famous singers. Thousands of bulbs livened up the ambience in the evening. Close circuit TV helped the devotees stand in line to enter the temple.



Woman poisons sons, self over trivia
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 2
An young mother reportedly gave poison to her two children and committed suicide in Manglapuri village under the Dabri police station in North-West district last night over an altercation with her husband over cable TV installation. While Pinki (26) died on the spot, her two sons, Saurav (5) and Gaurav (2) died today at DDU Hospital.

Her husband, Virender, is a Blue Line bus driver. The couple had an argument over installing cable TV and he had reportedly slapped her. Irked by this, she took the extreme step, the police said. 


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