Thursday, April 24, 2003, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


Racket in infant trafficking smashed
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 23
The Delhi Police Crime Branch today claimed to have smashed an organised racket involving illicit trafficking of infants who were sold for hefty amounts through a nursing home in Uttam Nagar in West district.

The three accused have been identified as a lady doctor, Dr Ish Aggarwal (58), Gurmeet Singh (63) and Kuldeep Kaur (45).

The police said neither the biological nor the foster parents would be charged in the case as the children were comfortable with their adoptive parents.

Three such girl children, who were sold from Ish Nursing Home in Uttam Nagar, were recovered by the police last evening. The police, acting on a tip-off that girl children were being illegally sold by some persons in the area, sent a woman decoy customer along with two shadow witnesses to the nursing home.

The Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime), Mr U. K. Katna, said when the decoy customer asked for a girl child the doctor promised to give her one and demanded Rs 40,000, including Rs 10,000 in advance. Since there was delay in delivering the girl child to the customer, the later came into contact with Kuldeep Kaur who in turn introduced her to Gurmeet Singh.

This time the duo demanded Rs 60,000 with Rs 10,000 in advance for a girl child and promised her prompt delivery. Before this deal could be finalised the woman doctor again contacted the decoy customer and said a girl child was ready for purchase.

Accordingly, the customer went to the hospital for the purpose, got herself admitted and while the girl child was given to the customer the team apprehended the woman doctor. During interrogation, Dr Aggarwal told the police she had been running the nursing home for the past five years and involved in the racket for the past two years. The exact number of children she had sold has also been verified.

She also said these children were sold to her by needy parents, a fact which is being verified by the police. Dr Aggarwal allegedly always asked the prospective customers to get themselves admitted to her hospital, manipulated the hospital records, gave them birth certificates and even proof of parentage. In one case, biological parents, who were traced by the Crime Branch sleuths, have been questioned to ascertain the real cause.

The police are also verifying information that some unmarried girls, who became pregnant, were giving away their children to the hospitals.

The police are also in the process of verifying the credentials of the doctor besides the reason as to why the foster parents wanted to adopt only girl children.


Sheila points an accusing finger at UP Govt
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 23
The Government of NCT of Delhi has blamed Uttar Pradesh for the water crisis. Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit said today if the UP Government had cleaned the Upper Ganga Canal on time the Capital would not have had to face a shortage of water. The canal that supplies most of the water to the Capital’s Bhagirath Water Treatment Plant should have been cleaned in winter but its cleaning has been taken up only in April, resulting in shutting off of the canal at Hardwar, Ms Dikshit told reporters on the sidelines of a function here.

Ms Dikshit, however, dismissed reports that the water crisis was grave in the Capital, declaring that the existing shortage would be overcome very soon. “There are only some pockets in Delhi where water availability is substantially below the requirement but in the rest of the Capital the problem is as not acute as it is made out to be,” Ms Dikshit said. The shortage of water supply would be made up as soon as the Capital received its share from Haryana as per court orders, she said. “My government will leave no stone unturned to supply adequate water to Dehiites. People should not worry at all,” she said.

Taps in East and South Delhi colonies would go dry in a day or two after the Upper Ganga Canal stops releasing water to Bhagirath Water Treatment Plant. The Delhi Jal Board (DJB) says the canal has been closed in Hardwar for cleaning the Ganga. The plant will cease to supply water after the water left over in the canal has been exhausted. The situation is likely to persist for a few days. The DJB claims there is no cause for alarm. The agency is expected to draw up a contingency plan to overcome the crisis. The Government of NCT of Delhi says not only will it seek its share of waters from Haryana but also press water tankers into service to divert water from the other water treatment plants to South and East Delhi.


With Mayor out, MCF corporators relieved
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, April 23
The politics of the Municipal Corporation, Faridabad, (MCF) is likely to take centrestage in the coming days following the setting aside of the appointment of Mrs Anita Goswami as Mayor of the civic body by the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

A majority of the elected members of the MCF, who were unhappy with her style of functioning, now see better days ahead. According to Mr Shiv Charan Lal Sharma, Senior Deputy Mayor and known opponent of Mrs Goswami, the court’s decision had come as a major relief as, he claimed, there was hardly any corporator who was getting his due as a member of the MCF in the matter of development of his ward. He said although the Mayor had the blessings of the Chief Minister she had failed to carry along all elected members by ignoring their rights. He claimed the new Mayor would be elected after a consensus was reached, adding that the functioning the civic body, which was the largest in Haryana, would be back on track again. He said the corporators were awaiting the orders of the court and the coming days would decide the next course of action.

Mrs Goswami, who is one of the youngest members of the 25-member house, shot to limelight in September 2001 when she was elected as Mayor. It is reported that she was backed by the Chief Minister himself. As the post of Mayor had been reserved for a backward category candidate, certain members opposed her appointment, stating that Goswamis were not in the backward category list in Haryana, although she had a certificate to back her claim of being a backward class person from UP. She originally belongs to that state. One of the members, Mr Daya Shankar Giri, had filed a petition in the high court on May 6 last year challenging her appointment.


Groom succumbs to bullet injury
Parmindar Singh

Noida, April 23
What a devastating role liquor can play in converting an auspicious and happy occasion into a tragedy was once again highlighted by a recent incident when a chance bullet, ostensibly fired in celebration of the marriage, hit none other than the groom, minutes before the wedding ceremony in Dadri on Sunday.

While the groom, Tapesh, succumbed to his injury in Delhi’s Apollo Hospital, Neera, the bride, still draped in her marriage finery, is lying dazed in her house since then.

In a moment, the marriage venue had turned into a house of mourning. The tragedy occurred on the premises of Dadri’s Meher Mauj College on Sunday night where the marriage of the daughter of Samajwadi Party ex-MLA from Secunderabad, Mr Narinder Bhatti, was being solemnised.

The ceremonies in connection with the marriage had commenced at 10 am on Sunday morning. Azad Singh had accompanied the marriage party of his son from Friends Colony in New Delhi and reached Dadri at 7 pm. After ceremonial rituals, the barat reached the college premises along with the groom. There was gaiety and jubilation all around. But destiny had something else in store. In a moment everything had turned topsy-turvy.

Chaman Sharma, a friend of the bride’s uncle Kaialsh, climbed up the stage with a revolver in hand along with his wife to bless the bridal couple. He fired one shot in the air after climbing on to the stage, took a Rs 100 note from his wife and pressed the trigger again but this time no shot emanated from the revolver. Standing behind the groom, Chaman Sharma was seen jerking the revolver to see what had gone wrong. The trigger was pressed again and a bullet escaped from the revolver, hitting Tapesh, and got embedded in his skull.

Tapesh’s head dropped. Seeing the groom bleeding profusely, all hell broke loose.

Central minister Ashok Pradhan and Narinder Bhatti rushed Tapesh to Ghaziabad’s Yashoda Hospital but as the facilities were inadequate, he was referred to Apollo Hospital in Delhi.


Gurmat Sangeet Chair established
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 23
World’s first Gurmat Sangeet Chair has been set up in Punjab University, Patiala, with a view to rejuvenating Gurmat music tradition, particularly the revival of Kirtan Chowkis System at the Golden Temple, Amritsar.

The Chair was established by the Guru Gian Prakash Foundation, a Delhi-based socio-religious organisation, after signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Punjabi University, Patiala.

At a press conference here, Foundation Chairperson Bibi Jasbir Kaur Khalsa said the University Syndicate has also approved the decision. Setting up of music archive, christened as Sant Sucha Singh Archives of Music, will also be part of the Chair.

Deploring that the Sikh traditional music has weakened in the recent times, Bibi Khalsa stressed that the Sikh religious bodies, the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) and Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) and other socio-religious organisations would have to join hands to ensure the rendering of Gurbani in accordance with the ragas laid down by the Gurus.

Making a strong case for ‘shudh gayan of Gurbani’, the Foundation Chairperson opposed the singing of the ‘Guru Shabads’ after popular commercial tunes.

In the beginning, the Foundation will release a grant of Rs 6 lakh of a total of Rs 90 lakh to be mobilised in 15 years for the purpose.

Foundation member and University Music department representative Dr Gurnam Singh said that the Chair would start classes in ‘Gurmat Sangeet Kirtan Tradition’ up to Postgraduate level. It will impart diploma courses for the Kirtan performances in gurdwaras under various teaching programmes and research even at the doctorate level.

Besides, preserving, recording and documenting of classical music, folk music, Sufi music, Indian kirtan traditions would be taken up by the Sant Sucha Singh Archives of Music.

Senior fellowship will be granted to the aged musicians and music professionals besides publishing a research journal on Gurmat sangeet and making documentaries on the aged musicians.

The Foundation and the university also have the proposal to construct Gurmat Sangeet Bhawan on the campus.


Humayun’s Tomb restored to its original setting
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 23
The Humayun’s Tomb, which is not just the inspiration behind the magnificent Taj Mahal but also houses the remains of nearly hundred members of the Mughal clan, has been restored to its original environs.

With the plantation of 2,500 trees and plants, that find a mention in the texts of the Mughal period, the monument has been given a new lease of its old life. For the first time in 400 years, the channels running across the garden have water flowing in them. This apart, 128 ground-water recharge pits and wells have been created in the tomb premises as part of the largest rainwater harvesting scheme.

The restoration of the tomb built around 1565 at an estimated cost of Rs 15 lakh has come to a whooping $ 650,000. If Humayun’s widow Haji Begum took credit for the construction of the tomb during Akbar’s rule, the Agha Khan Trust for Culture and the Archaeological Survey of India should share the honours now for its restoration. The project, taken up by the trust as part of its global Historic Cities Support Programme, was aimed at revitalising the gardens, pathways, fountains and water channels of Chaar-Bagh — the four-part garden surrounding the tomb..

Excavations, archival research, earth removal, pathway repair, edging stones and planting jobs were a part of the restoration work. The project also included removal of 3,000 truckloads of earth, planting of 12 hectares of lawn, re-setting and alignment of over 3,500 km of path kerbstones.

Traditional methods of work and masonry were also relied upon. Take, for instance, the use of lime mortar for all masonry work. The pathways, channels, platforms, minor structures and wells were all repaired using lime mortar mixed with traditional material such as molasses, fruit pulp, brick dust in addition to coarse sand.

Red sandstone from selected quarries in Agra region was brought for a variety of purposes as part of the project. Over 3,000 metres of sandstone was hand-chiselled, using traditional tools and techniques and over 50 stonecutters worked for almost two years to prepare the sand stone elements. The approach to the tomb has been made friendly for the disabled. A ramp has been provided at the entrance to the garden for wheelchair users. Bridges have also been built across the water channels to make the garden accessible to the disabled.

The project is the first privately funded restoration of a World Heritage site in the country.


LPG blast triggers house collapse, 4 of family killed
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 23
Panic gripped residents of Dichaun Kalan village near Najafgarh when four members of a family, including two women, were killed and two others injured in a house collapse in West Delhi early this morning.

The victims were taken to Rao Tula Ram Hospital where four of them were declared brought dead while two others were still fighting for their life.

The dead were identified as Sri Krishna (45), his wife Urmila (44), their daughter Pushpa (20) and son Manish (18). The eldest son, Devinder (23), and his wife, Archana (20), were in the hospital, the police said.

An LPG cylinder explosion led to the house collapse. There was apparently a leak in the cylinder, which was ignited by the sparking in an electric switch in the kitchen. Residents of the village scrambled out of their houses when they heard the explosion. A cloud of smoke continued to hang over the village for some time.

The residents called the Delhi Fire Service and the local police who rescued the survivors from the debris and took them to a hospital. Initially, locals suspected it to be a bomb explosion. Later, the police claimed it was a cylinder blast.


Uphaar compensation ruling today
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 23
The order on the civil writ petition seeking Rs 122 crore compensation for the victims of Uphaar cinema fire tragedy will be pronounced by the Delhi High Court tomorrow.

A Bench comprising Justice S K Mahajan and Justice Mukul Mudgal has heard the matter for about two years.

If the plea of the Association of Victims of Uphaar Tragedy is accepted by the court, it could be the highest compensation ever given by a court in the country on a civil writ.

The AVUT had alleged that the Uphaar theatre owners, the Ansals, were liable for criminal negligence, which had resulted in the death of 59 persons on June 13, 1997, when a fire broke out in the theater during a movie show.

The fire had started with a spark in the Delhi Vidyut Board’s transformers, installed in the basement of the theatre at Green Park, which in a short time spread to the cinema hall.

The AVUT has sought Rs 20 lakh compensation for the kin of each of the 59 deceased and Rs 10 lakh to each of the grievously injured.


Kharkhauda to have mobile telephone connection soon
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, April 23
The Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) has drawn up a scheme to install a tower at Kharkhauda town in this district so as to release mobile telephone connection to the subscribers of the area.

Giving this information, Mr R. C. Hooda, General Manager, BSNL, Sonepat district, told mediapersons here today that the scheme has already been sent to the higher authorities of the BSNL for its approval.

Hitherto, this facility is provided at Sonepat and Gohana town, where 1,375 mobile telephone connections have been provided to the subscribers and these include 1,200 Cell-One and 175 Excal telephone connections.

The Nigam, he said, has also made arrangements for the payment of mobile telephone bills at the subscriber service centres at Sonepat and Gohana, in addition to the Sonepat branches of the Punjab National Bank, Gohana Road and the Punjab and Sind Bank near Batra petrol pump.

He also disclosed that the Nigam has undertaken the work for the renovation of the ‘Customers Care Wing’ at Gohana and the work would be completed by the end of next month. The Nigam, he said, has also decided to send monthly bills to the subscribers, instead of once in two months at present.

This, he claimed, would not put burden on the pockets of the telephone subscribers.

According to Mr Hooda, the caller ID facility is being provided at 44 telephone exchanges of the district at present and the On-Line counters are functioning at Sonepat and Gohana telephone exchanges. He said that if the subscribers deposit their bills at these counters, telephone would not be disconnected wrongly.

Mr Hooda also said that a 7,000-line with a modern telephone exchange has already been commissioned in Sonepat city. He said ISDN telephone connections are available on demand at Sonepat and Kundli area. This facility is ‘ultra- modern’ and dependable, he added.


LJP demands CBI inquiry into gunny bag purchase scandal
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, April 23
The state president of the Lok Janshakti Party, Capt. Shamsher Singh Malik, has demanded a CBI inquiry into the purchase of gunny bags, in which embezzlements of crores of rupees was alleged. “Any inquiry by the local agencies will not be fair and impartial,” he added.

Talking to mediapersons at the PWD Rest House at Rai, about 15 km from here, Capt. Malik said that due to negligent attitude of the wheat procurement agencies, the farmers were made to wait for 2-3 days in the mandis to sell their wheat.

The slow pace in the ‘lifting’ of the purchased stock was also causing inconvenience to the farmers as there was lack of space in the mandis to unload their stock, he added.

When asked about the strategy of his party in the forthcoming Fatehabad Assembly by-election, he said the party would support the joint nominee of CPM and CPI, Mr Krishan Swaroop, as his party was trying to provide an alternative to the people in the state. The LJP workers would go to every village in the constituency to expose the ‘anti-people’ policies of the Chautala government in Haryana.

He also criticised the Congress party for pursuing the policy of divide and rule in the society and tried to fool the people by diverting the public attention from the main issues.

Capt. Malik blamed the Chautala government for deterioration in the law and order situation, which has led to lawlessness in the state.

The factory owners were migrating to other states due to the lack of opportunities and deterioration in the law and order situation in the state. The youths were getting involved in criminal activities, he said, and added that every section of the society including farmers, traders and Dalits were living in the grip of fear. Earlier, he along with other office bearers of the party visited the wheat purchase centres at Murthal and Biswan Meel.


Civic amenities here don’t reflect the glorious history & growing export potential
Our Correspondent

Panipat, April 23
Just 90 km from Delhi, Panipat is a well-known city of north India. Even though it is famous for its handloom products and rightly called the ‘Handloom Nagari’, it has a glorious past, full of history from the ancient time to the medieval Mughal era. In the center of the town lies a historical piece of architecture and one of the four gates, ‘Salarganj Gate’ still exists. In the outer area of Panipat there are a number of medieval monuments including the tomb built by Babar in the memory of his beloved queen, Musmat Kabuli Begum; a tomb of Ibrahim Lodhi and a memorial of the third battle of Panipat, Kala Amb.

Kala Amb has been developed by the Tourism Department as the ‘Heroes Memorial’ and facilities such as restaurant have been provided for the tourists here. Before Partition, Panipat was also famous for metal utensils and even today, “Thathera Bazar” is reminiscent of that era. However, since independence, Panipat has become known as the ‘Handloom Nagari’ from where exports to the tune of hundreds of crores take place annually. Handloom products such as durries, khes, blankets, bedspreads and other export materials are manufactured and exported from here to all parts of the globe. Being close to the national Capital, buyers come from the various parts of the country to buy handloom products. Moreover, the modernization of India has led to the establishment three big units—Indian Oil Corporation’s Panipat Refinery, National Fertilizers Limited and Tau Devi Lal Thermal Power Limited..

However, the city and the surrounding areas are a big disappointment to the tourists and businessmen, who are faced with heaps of garbage and rubbish, stray pigs roaming around, sewer water on roads and children easing themselves in the open. Panipat is also the home to the religious heritage of the Hindus and the Muslims. Lakhs of Muslims and Martha’s visit the dargah of Hazrat Bu-Ali-Shah Kalandar, while Hindus visit the Devi Mandir. However, due to the lack of maintenance, both the places are loosing their charm.

The district administration cannot wash their hands off for their ‘indifference’ to the deteriorating image of Panipat. A senior citizen of the town said that even though exports from Panipat, as well as its industrial units such as Indian Oil Corporation’s Panipat Refinery, National Fertilizers Limited and Tau Devi Lal Thermal Power Limited, generated crores of rupees of revenue daily, there has been no improvement in the civic amenities in Panipat. He stated that with such huge revenues, the administration could have done much to improve the sagging image of Panipat.Mr Nemi Chand Jain, a social worker and a resident of Bishan Saroop Colony, said that it has been more than 15 years since Panipat was declared a district and more than 10 years since the foundation stone for a mini-secretariat was laid by the former Chief Minister, Mr Bhajan Lal. However, the proposed land continues to be utilized for cultivation of vegetables and cash crops. On the other hand, the people of the town are also least bothered about the proper maintenance of their premises. The people of the town alleged that the contribution of the administration in the development of the handloom industry was negligible. They said the present ‘status’ of Panipat was only due to the hard work of the industrialists and businessmen of the town. Unfortunately, the handloom udyog is also in a turmoil and passing through a period of recession for the last two years due to the non-rationalization of taxes imposed by the state and central government.

It is indicative that the handloom industry in Panipat is at a standstill for the last 24 days due to the ongoing indefinite strike after the imposition of excise duty by the central government.


Citizens drop mundane chores to get together on Earth Day
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 23
Paharpur Business Centre celebrated Earth Day today by inviting people who have planted trees at Nehru Place Green and other concerned citizens and school children to water the trees at Nehru Place Green Park.

Schoolchildren watering plants on Earth Day at the Nehru Place Green Park in the Capital
Schoolchildren watering plants on Earth Day at the Nehru Place Green Park in the Capital.

Earth Day is widely celebrated around the world, as a collective expression of public will to create a sustainable society. Earth Day educates and mobilizes people worldwide for environmental protection. Nehru Place Greens Park, spread over an area of about 7 acres, was developed into a park and green belt, and has made a difference to the health, safety and quality of life in a commercial area like Nehru Place.

Paharpur Business Centre has been nurturing this green belt since 1996 by planting selected trees and vegetation, which resulted in the improvement of the ambience as well as the outdoor air quality.

A large number of dignitaries and diplomats, including Catherine Young, Mexican Ambassador Julio and his wife Alexandra Faesler, Ms Sunita Narain of Centre for Science and Environment, Former Lt-Governor of Delhi, Mr Tejendra Khanna, Mr Frank Foster, Counselor of the US Embassy, Ms Kriste Easter, Capt. Von Millard and Elizabeth Millard from USAEP, Mr Pradip Burman of Dabur, Mr S K Mathur, former Secretary Horticulture, Rashtrapati Bhavan and others participated for this noble cause, to show their concern and care for the environment.

A large number of school children from Delhi Public School also participated and watered the plants to show their support.

Mr Kamal Meattle, CEO, Paharpur Business Centre and an environmental activist, said, “we are glad to see such an excellent response for a cause to save the environment around us. We have been successful in creating awareness across the society towards making an effort to save around 2,000 trees in Nehru Place Greens. We, the team at the Paharpur Business Centre, are committed to perform our business and related activities in a socially and environmentally responsible manner. We support this environmental cause and seek the involvement of corporate and all responsible citizens from all walks of life in this drive for developing sustainable communities. We pray to God to give some wisdom to DDA, who have taken over the maintenance of the park from us, so that they look after the greater interest of society and not only think of building concrete structures. We propose to promote a society called `Nehru Place Greens’, with eminent persons and representing the interests of the people in this area.”


Haryana reserved Assembly seats to go up
B S Malik

Sonepat, April 23
As the process of delimitation of the Parliamentary and Assembly constituencies will now be based on the population census of 2001 instead of 1991, the number of Assembly constituencies to be reserved for scheduled caste will increase from 17 to 18 in Haryana.

However, there will not be any change in the number of reserved Parliamentary constituencies which will remain at two out of 10 constituencies.

According to highly placed sources in the state delimitation committee, the number of Assembly constituencies in Faridabad district will increase from six to nine, in Gurgaon from 6 to 7, in Panipat district from three to four and in Panchkula the increase will be from one to two.

The district in which the number of Assembly constituencies will decrease include from seven to six in Bhiwani, from six to five in Sonepat, from six to five in Karnal, from five to four in Ambala, from four to three in Fatehabad, from five to four in Yamunanagar, from six to five in Jind, from five to four in Kaithal, five to four in Rohtak and five to four in Jhajjar district.

However, the number of constituencies will remain the same in Hissar (six), Sirsa (five), Kurukshetra (three), Mahendergarh (three) and Rewari (three).


Even Neelgai has her day!
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 23
A Parliament of Children, convened here to select four State symbols for the NCT of Delhi, today recommended Neelgai in animal category, ignoring the reservations of Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit in this regard.

Mrs Dikshit and the Parliament, organised by the Government of NCT of Delhi and INTACH, differed over the choice in the animal category while agreeing on the selection of Rose, Neem and Peacock as symbols in the categories of flowers, trees and birds. Children were given choices to select from all the four categories. In the animal category, a majority of children voted for Neelgai over Mongoose. This choice was opposed by Mrs Dikshit. However, the ‘Parliament’ overruled her objections and stuck to their guns.

Most of the states in the country have State symbols, and this project was an endeavour to decide on such symbols for Delhi, INTACH project co-ordinator Purnima Datt said. Children from various schools, who participated in the Parliament, put forth convincing arguments for each of the short-listed symbols, which was followed by a vote.

Meanwhile, Mrs Dikshit informed that the forest cover of the Capital had increased from 88 sq km to 151 sq km between 1999 and 2001.


Fresh drive to issue voter ID cards in Meerut
Our Correspondent

Meerut, April 23
There would be a fresh drive to issue voter identity cards till September 30, 2003 and the election boxes would also be auctioned in the state, said the Secretary and Chief Election Officer of UP, Mr Ravindra Kumar, at a press conference here.

Mr Ravindra Kumar was holding a meeting of the District Election Officers and Dy District Election Officer at Commissioner’s office.

The vacancies in the UP election department will also be filled through fresh recruitment soon.

Mr Ravindra Kumar also reviewed the progress of electoral rolls, photo identity card and reconstitution of Assembly and Parliamentary constituency seats.

He said that Meerut division had been lagging with regard to the issuing of ID cards while 71.90 per cent photo ID cards in Bareilly, 60 per cent in Meerut, 66.35 per cent in Moradabad and 64.88 per cent in Saharanpur had already been issued.

In Uttar Pradesh, only 65 per cent ID cards had been issued.


Post-1996 units in residential pockets face axe
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 23
Industries which have come up in residential areas after 1996 might face closure irrespective of the fact that they fell within the category of household units or are established in non-commercial areas, the Delhi Government today informed the Supreme Court.

Delhi Government counsel D N Goburdhan told a Bench comprising Mr Justice Y K Sabharwal and Mr Justice H K Sema that the number of such industries could be more than 20,000.

The household industries, which had not applied for regularisation, could also face closure, he said adding the number of such units was more than 22,000.

The submission was made by the City Government while hearing a bunch of petitions on the issue of shifting the industries from residential areas as they were a major cause of pollution in the city.

The state government said that it had approached the Centre for converting 24 identified locations within the National Capital Region into industrial area to facilitate shifting of such units out of the city. The court had directed in May 2001 that all industries in the residential area should be shifted out.

While adjourning hearing till tomorrow, the court directed the state government to submit an affidavit giving details about its plan for relocation of the industries from residential and non-confirmed areas.


Machinery worth Rs 5 lakh gutted in Pio Manyari
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, April 23
Machinery and goods worth about Rs 5 lakh were burnt in a devastating fire broke out in a plywood factory at Pio Manyari village about 15 km from here last evening. According to a report, a large quantity of wood lying on the premises of the factory in addition to the standing wheat crop in the nearby fields of the factory were also gutted. On receipt of information, the municipal fire brigades from Sonepat and Ganaur arrived on the site and extinguished the fire within a few hours. The cause of the fire was still being ascertained by the owner of the factory and the police.

On seeing the fire, the panic-stricken workers rushed outside the factory and informed the owner and the municipal fire brigades about the fire. The workers also made concerted efforts to bring the fire under control but they failed to do. According to another report, the godown of the HAFED filled with 75,000 bags of wheat caught fire suddenly but no loss of wheat and life was reported as it was brought under control by the municipal fire brigade which arrived on the scene within minutes.


A promised land that was not to be
Tribune News Service

Gurgaon, April 23
The glitter was not of gold here. Mr and Mrs Raj Sharma, both NRIs from London, have learnt a lesson of their life after investing in South City for a residential accommodation. The couple appear chagrined over the ‘unkept’ promise by the management of Unitech Ltd, promoters and builders of South City. Mr Sharma(70), who runs business in London, purchased a house in South City Phase-I, circa 1998. Since then, the couple have been going through hell.

Mr Sharma, a Punjabi by descent, settled in London about four decades back. After purchasing the house in Gurgaon, he took possession from Unitech after about two years. Mr Sharma alleged that no sooner he had signed the papers, the works in the house, which included some repair, were stopped and the Unitech officials refused to fulfil the legal obligations. Walls in the rooms of the houses remained in disrepair.

The couple alleged that they paid the maintenance charges, money for security and water every month to Unitech even though they stayed mostly in London. Every time, they go out, the nameplates and other accessories are stolen from the main gate. The water supply is not sufficient either. Thefts take place even though security personnel are deputed round the clock by the company, the couple alleged.


Fee hike revoked
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 23
Yielding to a protest by the parents, the management of the Rukmini Devi Public School, Rohini, has decided to withdraw the fee hike proposal.

The school had announced a hike of 200 per cent in the annual charges apart from forcing parents to buy shoes from the school itself. Agitated parents led by the Delhi Abhibhavak Mahasangh had staged a two-day dharna outside the school premises demanding that the unjustified fee hike be recalled.

The management was forced to take back the orders here today as parents demonstrated outside the school and blocked the traffic as well. At a meeting with the parents today the management agreed to do away with the mandatory condition of purchasing shoes from the school and also agreed that the annual charges would continue to be Rs 2,400 and would be paid in two instalments.

Clean city award for Capital

The Capital has won the first Clean Cities International Partner of the Year award instituted by the US Department of Energy, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit said on Wednesday.

Complimenting the students assembled for the Children’s Parliament here for their efforts to keep Delhi clean, Dikshit said, “All of you, along with others, participated in various cleanliness drives and brought about a change in the Capital.”


Roads named after Everest heroes
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 23
To mark the golden jubilee of the ascent of the Mount Everest, the NDMC has decided to name the two unnamed roads in Chanakyapuri after Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary. The announcement was made by the Vice-Chairperson of the council, Mr Ram Bhaj here today. The road connecting Chandrgupta Marg to Shanti Path will be named Sir Edmund Hillary Marg and the road from Shanti Path to Niti Marg will be named Tenzing Norgay Marg.

Mr Ram Bhaj also announced that under the social welfare scheme, the old-age pension has been increased from Rs 200 to Rs 300 per month and widows and handicapped persons will also get an increased amount. He also pointed out that Delhi Jal Board is supplying less water to the NDMC. Owing to the closure of the Bhagirathi Treatment Plant near Hardiwar, the NDMC area is affected, Mr Ram Bhaj said and asked for a supply of at least 40 MGD.

Four extortionists held

West district police of Delhi arrested four youths on charge of extorting money from a lady doctor in Janakpuri. They posed them as staff reporters of a newspaper “Reporter’s Eye” and allegedly tried to extort the doctor, police said. The suspects were identified as Rajesh, Ajay Bansal, Gaurav and Shiv Kumar. They went to Dr Shama Chadda’s clinic in Janakpuri and demanded Rs 1 lakh. They threatened her to publish a news story against her in their newspaper if she did not give them money. They used to threaten her on telephone.

Meerut resident killed in accident

Lal Singh (23), a resident of Meerut was killed in an accident while his two cousins, Rajesh Kumar and Lalit Kumar, were injured when their motorcycles were hit by a truck on Ring Road in Daryaganj last evening. They were going to Rohini after attending a marriage function in Kondli area in North-East district.

Proclaimed offender arrested

The anti-robbery section of Crime Branch today claimed to have arrested a man who was allegedly involved in a murder case of his cousin and was declared proclaimed offender by the court. He was identified as Ram Niwas alias Pappu. He had given ‘supari’ to a Mallah gang in Agra for his cousin, Bhudev who lived in Paharganj in Central district. He was abducted by the gangsters and was murdered in a sugarcane field in Agra. The other accused have also been arrested, the police said.


Truant teachers face disciplinary action
Our Correspondents

Sonepat April 23
Four women teachers were found absent from duty on the second day of the annual examinations of Class V standard at various centres inspected by the officials of the Education Department in the Kharkhauda block of the district yesterday.

According to a report, the department officials have recommended disciplinary action against the erring women teachers. As many as 30 examinees from various examination centres including Kharkhauda, Rohat, Jharot, Mandori, Thana Kalan and Halalpur were also found absent as they did not turn up for the annual examination.

Three injured in accident

Three persons were injured, two of them seriously when two vehicles collided near the inter-state Yamuna bridge at Garh Meerakhpur village about 25 km from here last evening. According to a report, three injured persons were identified as Samsher Singh of Samalkha, Sukhdev Singh of Delhi and Harbir Singh of Punjab. All the three were admitted to the civil hospital in the city wherefrom Samsher Singh and Sukhdev Singh were shifted to a trauma centre in Delhi for further treatment. The police have registered the case and further investigations were in progress. However, no arrest has been made in this connection.

Body recovered

The Government Railway Police (GRP) have recovered the body of an unidentified youth lying on the railway track near the Sandal Kalan Railway Station about 5 km from here last night. According to a report, the body still remains unidentified and it has been sent for a post-mortem.

11 get jail

Ghaziabad: The Indira Puram police have arrested eight persons in two separate incidents. Another three persons have been rounded up for different crimes. All the 11 persons have been sent to jail. One marriage party had come from Noida’s Sarfabad village on Sunday to Khora Colony. Rajbir, one of the marriage party, had a spat with Rambir of bride side. Rajbir had beaten up Rambir along with his companions. Someone informed the police who arrested Rajbir, Sudesh, Narinder, Rampal and Bhola of the wedding party. In the second incident which took place in Kaushambi’s Bhovpur village, police had arrested three persons from Delhi. Raghuver of Delhi had a dispute over money with Umesh of Makanpur village. Umesh had refused the money he owed to Raghuver.

Raghuver along with his two friends beat up Umesh. Raghuvir, Kanvar Singh and Binnu have been arrested.

Two held for rape

Faridabad: The police have arrested two persons in connection with the rape of a married woman in Kapra Colony here. The victim is reported to be a mother of two children. The accused identified as Rakesh and Subhash were arrested after a complaint had been lodged. A case under sections 376,506 and 34 of the IPC has been filed. Meanwhile, a case under the Dowry Act has been booked at Gahlata village, after it was reported that a woman was killed for allegedly not bringing dowry. The body of one Bharat Lal of Old Faridabad was recovered after he was run over by a train here last evening. TNS


Two held; lid off criminal cases in Delhi, Rohtak, Hansi
Our Correspondent

Jhajjar, April 23
The district police today claimed to have busted a gang of dreaded robbers with the arrest of two gangsters who were reportedly engaged in several cases of loot and snatching of vehicles in Delhi, Hisar, Rohtak, Gurgaon, Hansi and Bahadurgarh.

The district police spokesman said here today that the crime branch in Bahadurgarh arrested Tansen who has several aliases and is a resident of Shastri Nagar in Bahadurgarh. The sleuths had got a tip-off that he along with his accomplices Sandeep alias Chhota and Suresh alias Bittoo of Jatwara Mohalla in Bahadurgarh were planning to rob motorists on Bahadurgarh-Jhajjar Road near Lowa Khurd village at night.

While two of them were nabbed by the police, one of them, Suresh, escaped under the cover of darkness. Two loaded pistols were recovered from them. Following interrogation, the criminals have admitted to their involvement in several cases of loot of vehicles in various towns.

The police are now hunting for the third accomplice. Meanwhile, the police arrested one more gang member, Kamal of Bahadurgarh on the basis of information provided by them during interrogation.

The police said that they have looted Rs 1.30 from a patrol station owned by former Bahadurgarh Congress MLA Surajmal in MIE area in August 2002. Tansen was also involved in Rs 2.20-lakh loot from Kapashera in August 2000. While Pradeep, Dilsher and Pradeep, son of Jagdish, members of his gang, have been nabbed, he was eluding arrest in this case.

He has also snatched Rs 30,000, Rs 25000 and a bike in separate incidents in Hansi during January to June 2002, and snatched a bike in Narnond in June. They also looted a bike from Asthal Bohar in December last year. Tansen, Sandeep and Suresh had also looted Rs 1.90 lakh by shooting at a scooterist at Udhyog Vihar in Gorgaon in March this year.

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