Saturday, April 26, 2003, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


Kidnapped city boy rescued in Aligarh
Tribune News Service

The four accused who were involved in the kidnapping
The four accused who were involved in the kidnapping. — Tribune Photo

New Delhi, April 25
Three days after a five-year-old boy was kidnapped from Mansarovar Park in Shahdara, the North-East police today claimed to have rescued the child safely from the clutches of the four kidnappers in Aligarh.

The victim, Mohit (5), was kidnapped on the pretext of a ride in the Metro rail. The kidnappers, after taking the child to Hardoiganj in Aligarh, made a ransom call for Rs 15 lakh to the family members of Mohit.

All the four accused — Satish Yadav (19) from Bulandshahr and Shanker (18), Pradeep Kumar (19) and Gajender Kumar (18), all from Aligarh — planned to set up their own business with the ransom money.

Mohit’s father, Praveen Garg, runs a tent house in the area. Two of the four accused were former employees of Garg. The accused, Satish and Shanker, came to the house of Garg on April 22 and requested him for a job.

But Garg expressed his inability to oblige them as he was in a bad shape. But the two were quite adamant that he offer them a job and left his house saying that they would come again.

The same evening they hatched a plan to kidnap his son and extort money from him. Accordingly, the duo took Garg’s son on the pretext of buying sweets for him and taking him for a ride in Metro rail. The child also accompanied them without any trouble as he knew them.

The victim’s father complained to the police that his son was missing and was last seen with Satish and Shanker. Surveillance was mounted near the victim’s house and policemen in plain clothes were deployed to watch the movements of the accused. On April 24, one of the accused, Shanker, who was roaming in the area, was nabbed and during interrogation confessed to the crime.

He told the police that the child was taken to Aligarh by bus and two of their associates, Pradeep and Gajender, had joined them. The child was later shifted to a rented accommodation in Bhavinagar village, 15 km from Hardoiganj. The room had been rented by the accused to prepare for their exams.

The police finally reached the spot with the help of the villagers and managed to rescue the child by arresting the accused.

The child told the police he was beaten up by the accused and was not provided food.


SARS may be clubbed with cholera, plague
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 25
The Government of NCT of Delhi may declare Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) as a notifiable disease. The decision, when announced, could follow a similar notification by the Union Government, which is also likely to declare SARS a notifiable disease.

Although no official comment was forthcoming, sources said the proposal had the approval of the Municipal Commissioner and only the Gazette notification was awaited. As of now, only three diseases – plague, yellow fever and cholera – are notifiable diseases. The Government of NCT of Delhi, at its own initiative, had also declared tuberculosis and dengue as notifiable diseases.

In the case of a notifiable disease, legal action can be taken against patients if they do not co-operate in treatment, which can lead to a public health hazard. Once SARS becomes notifiable, doctors will have to report all suspect cases to the municipal authorities, the sources said. However, there may be some problems in its implementation as SARS is a new disease.

Health Minister AK Walia says there was no cause for worry but the symptoms of the disease should not be ignored. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has identified high fever, dry cough and difficulty in breathing as the symptoms of SARS. The other likely symptoms could be headache, muscular stiffness, loss of appetite, rash and / or diarrhoea.

According to the Department of Health of the Government of NCT of Delhi, the Delhi Medical Association (DMA) had been told to issue the guidelines for preventing and combating SARS. The Infectious Diseases Hospital in Kingsway Camp has been asked to reserve 30 beds for treating any suspected case. Similarly, the medical superintendents of Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Hospital and Kalawati Saran Hospital have been told to reserve six beds each.

Meanwhile, Municipal Commissioner Rakesh Mehta said that the MCD hospitals were well equipped to deal with the SARS problems in the Capital. Special arrangement has been made in the MCD hospitals like Maharishi Balmiki, Hindu Rao, Guru Teg Bahadur and Swami Dayanand hospitals to treat the patients infected with the SARS.

The MCD has installed X-ray machines, ventilators, arterial blood gas analyser for the special wards opened for the SARS patients. Specialists who treat TB patients in Rajan Babu TB hospital have been given additional charge to treat the SARS patients in Maharishi Balmiki Hospital. Nurses and technicians have been given special training to handle the patients. Besides, special arrangement for ambulances has been made in the hospitals, the Municipal Commissioner said.


Haryana varsities brace up for hefty fee hike
Vipin Sharma

Rohtak, April 25
All universities in Haryana will have to resort to an enormous hike in their fee structure for the courses having a provision of paid seats if an order given by the Supreme Court is implemented. It is pertinent to mention here that all professional courses being run by different universities in the state have the provision of paid seats.

Deciding a case of TMA Pai Foundation and others vs State of Karnataka and others in October last, the apex court had ruled that the colleges and the universities could not adopt different fee structure for the same course. This direction by the apex court would bar the educational institutions from collecting money by making admissions through paid seats. As a result, the universities would have no option but to resort to a considerable hike in the fee structure.

The court had ruled that the educational institutes should charge the same fee from the candidates, setting aside the provisions of free and paid seats. The court had also advocated genuine increase in the fee structure to compensate this loss.

According to sources, the educational institutes in Punjab had already initiated a uniform fee structure. However, the Department of Higher Education in Haryana is yet to take action in this regard. Kurukshetra University, therefore, has maintained two categories of free as well as paid seats in its B.Ed. course as mentioned in the prospectus. A one-time amount of nearly Rs 30,000 would be charged from a candidate of paid seat while a sum of nearly Rs 5,000 would be charged from a candidate of free seat for this course.

The Maharshi Dayanand University has started revising its fee structure in accordance with the court direction. The university has made a provision for making admissions only under one category and abolished the provision of admission on paid seats which is evident from its prospectus of B.Ed. course released recently. The candidates selected for admission to this course would have to pay an additional amount of nearly Rs 18,000 as compared to that charged during previous years. This additional amount would be charged as development fee. A candidate admitted on free seat used to pay a fee amounting to Rs 8,000 for the course while that on paid seat was charged a fee of Rs 32,000 till now. As per the new arrangements a candidate would be charged a fee of approximately Rs 22,000 for the course.


Delhi getting its first pvt FM channel
Girja Shankar Kaura
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 25
Come April 29 and Delhi will have its first private radio FM channel – Radio City 91 FM.

The launch had been due for over three years, since the government auction of the slots in March 2000 from which it earned Rs 155.12 crore, covering 101 channels in 40 cities.

Interestingly, even as the Star News channel is embroiled in controversy, the first private FM channel will be run by Music Broadcast Private Limited (MBPL), which has a tie-up with Star Network.

This will also be the maiden debut of a private broadcaster in FM radio, after the decision by the All India Radio to operate from June 26 the time slots on the FM channel being run by Times FM, Midday Publications and Star Entertainment. The channel will beam through Prasar Bharati’s Pitampura transmitter, which can reach out in a radius of 40 km.

Several representatives of Radio City 91 FM told a news conference here that Music Broadcast Private Limited had won licences for Bangalore (the first privately owned FM which started there in July 2001), Lucknow and Mumbai apart from Delhi. It also had licences for Patna and Nagpur but was likely to give these up.

MBPL Director Ashok Khinvasara and Vice-President and Delhi Station Head Praveen Malhotra said the channel would speak the language of the masses by giving programmes that listeners in Delhi would appreciate. It would only be an entertainment channel and would be broadcast only in Hindi.


SC tells MCD to frame rules for heritage buildings
S. S. Negi
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 25
Expressing grave concern over the fast vanishing heritage symbols in the Capital, the Supreme Court today directed the Municipal Corporation of Delhi to frame rules for protecting all buildings of historical importance and preparing a catalogue of structures.

The MCD was directed to complete the exercise within two months by a Bench comprising Mr Justice Y. K. Sabharawal and Mr Justice H. K. Sema on a petition filed by the Indian National Trust for Culture and Heritage (INTACH) alleging that old heritage buildings were being demolished to raise commercial and multi-storeyed housing complexes at the sites.

The court said the rules would ensure that all such buildings, situated mainly in the walled city, were protected against the onslaught of the builder mafia, otherwise the Capital would lose these symbols of historical importance. INTACH had stated these were the buildings which did not figure in the Archaeological Survey of India list of heritage monuments. The court said the draft of the bylaws with regard to protection of the buildings would be forwarded by the MCD to the Union Government for approval through the Delhi Administration within two weeks.

Many of these buildings, situated in Chandni Chowk, Balli Maran, Lal Kuan, Sadar Bazar, Jama Masjid area and Mehrauli, were being targeted by the builder mafia by offering their owners high prices for building multi-storeyed buildings, INTACH said. It also sought a direction to the MCD for repair of many such buildings, which were in a dilapidated condition and could collapse if immediate steps were not taken in this direction. The court would resume hearing on the INTACH petition in July after the summer vacation.


Rohtak councillors oppose house tax rates
Jatinder Sharma

Rohtak, April 25
Cutting across political affiliations, the municipal councillors here have opposed the new house tax rates imposed by the government besides the fresh collectorate rates announced by the Deputy Commissioner for properties located in different localities of the town. The municipal council president, Ms Pratibha Suman, convened a special meeting of the civic body on April 23 to consider the new house tax rates imposed by the government and the fresh collectorate rates in the town. The meeting, which was attended by 18 councillors out of a total of 30, unanimously resolved that the house tax rates levied in 2001-02 were valid for five years. The meeting as such urged the government to withdraw its rates without delay so that the old rates could be implemented. The meeting also demanded withdrawal of the fresh collectorate rates for properties fixed by the Deputy Commissioner.

The municipal councillors owing allegiance to the Congress today took out a procession in the city and submitted a memorandum to the Chief Minister through the Deputy Commissioner’s office, demanding withdrawal of the new house tax rates and abrogation of the collectorate rates of properties in the town. These councillors alleged the collectorate rates had been enhanced by 100 per cent to 400 per cent whereas in the past the increase in these rates ranged between 10 to 25 per cent on the basis of the revised collectorate rates.

The memorandum further demanded the houses owned by widows and fully disabled persons should be exempted from house tax. 


HCS officers to monitor wheat purchase
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, April 25
In order to check the irregularities and malpractices indulged in by arhtias and officials during the purchase of wheat from farmer, the district administration has appointed Haryana Civil Service (HCS) officers at various foodgrain markets and purchase centres set up in this district.

The Deputy Commissioner, Mr Balwan Singh, told mediapersons here today this step has been taken in view of the complaints of the farmers that traders and officials of the procurement agencies were indulging in malpractices and harassing them on some pretext or the other. These officers, he said, would also supervise the arrangements for the supply of power, drinking water and gunny bags required for packing the purchased wheat.

He also disclosed these officers would be present at the time of auction of wheat at the mandis and purchase centres where they have been put on duty. Mr Sujan Singh, SDM, will look after the new and old foodgrain markets here, Mr Jeet Singh Mehra, SDM, at Ganaur, and Mr Suraj Bhan Jangra, SDM, at the Gohana mandis. Mr Anil Kumar, City Magistrate, will take care of things at the purchase centre at Murthal, Mr H. C. Jain, General Manager, Haryana Roadways Sonepat depot, at Biswan Meel, Mr Rajiv Mehta, MD of the Sonepat Cooperative Sugar Mill at Mohana, Mr Jaivir Arya, District Transport Officer, at Farmana and Mr S. L. Tanwar, District Revenue Officer, at Kharkhauda.

According to the DC, as many as 1,24,122 tonnes of wheat had so far arrived in the mandis and purchase centres of this district as compared to the arrival of 72,111 tonnes of wheat during the corresponding period last year.

The official procurement agencies have purchased the entire wheat stock brought to the mandis and purchase centres by the farmers at the support price barring 41 tonnes, which had been purchased by the private traders.


Milk vendors seal fate of co-operative societies
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, April 25
For want of infrastructure facilities and stiff competition from the individual milk-vendors, the survival of co-operative milk societies is at stake, as 40 per cent such societies in Sonepat district have already become defunct and remaining others were reportedly running in losses.

After achieving record success in green revolution during sixties and seventies in Haryana, the State Government decided to bring white revolution in the state by promoting animal husbandry as secondary occupation, besides agriculture among the ruralites. And for this occupation, the government started giving subsidised loans for the purchase of high-yielding milch-cattle particularly ‘murra’ breed buffaloes and shankar breed cows.

Simultaneously, the government also motivated and helped the people in the villages to form their co-operative milk societies and opened milk collection centres and milk plants to facilitate purchase of the milk from the members of the societies.

Subsequently, the loan facilities were extended to the individuals including women members of the families with higher subsidy amount to the beneficiaries of scheduled caste category. The entire programme was aimed to generate alternate source of income for the people in the villages.

In the beginning, the societies took rapid strides and started becoming popular among the people.

But with the passage of time, the means of transport multiplied many a times and unemployed youths in the villages took up milk vending to the towns in the district and even to Delhi as their occupation.

This development brought competition between the buyers at the centres and the individual vendors. But as the individual milk vendors were free to offer more prices than the milk collection centre the milch-cattle owners were left with no other option except to sell to the individual vendors.

Another factor that also contributed to swing the business in favour of the individuals was testing of the milk at the purchase collection centres to measure the percentage of fat in the milk and accordingly fix the price of the milk.

Instead of going through the testing process, the milk owners preferred to supply it to the individuals who also were making early payments as well as in advance sometimes.

So, finally the situation turned in favour of the individuals and the fate of co-operative milk societies started hanging in balance and ultimately it resulted in closure of the societies.

According to information of a survey report, which was conducted by a co-operative agency of the state government, as many as 28 out of total 67 co-operative milk societies had already become defunct and remaining 39 were also reportedly running in losses.

On the prevailing situation, an officer of the animal husbandry department said that the individual milk vendors could play any trick in the milk, like mixing of water, taking out cream before selling and adulteration with other certified but cheap priced brand of milk. But the society owners cannot dare to indulge in such tricks and hence ultimately loose in the competition.

According to the reliable sources, the dairy development department, which was opened to promote dairy culture in the state, is being closed and merged with the animal husbandry department.


Yamuna water quality fails to improve
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 25
Even after the completion of Phase I of Yamuna Action Plan (YAP) and several major works of construction of sewage treatment plants at 17 locations, the water quality of the Yamuna has not shown appreciable improvement along the Delhi stretch, the Rajya Sabha was told today.

There were many reasons of this including the gap of 1,000 million litres per day (MLD) between the present sewage generation of 3,300 MLD as against the installed sewage treatment capacity of 2,300 MLD only, Union Minister of State for Environment and Forests Dilip Singh Judev said.

He said the government had prepared an action plan to control pollution in NCT of Delhi. This plan includes strategies to control air, vehicular, water, industrial and noise pollution, Mr Judev said. To improve the quality of environment in NCT of Delhi, the government had released Rs 166.21 crore under the Yamuna Action Plan and Rs 23 crore to install Common Effluent Treatment Plants.

Under the Phase I of YAP, a total expenditure of Rs 668 crore had been incurred on pollution abatement works in Haryana, NCT of Delhi and Uttar Pradesh.

Handicraft bhawan: A handicraft bhawan at the estimated cost of Rs 11.04 crore was being constructed, Minister of State for Textiles Basanagouda R Patil said. The objective of this bhawan was to provide space to the states’ handicrafts corporations, including those from newly formed states that do not have any direct sales outlet in New Delhi, he said.

Consumer cases: As per the information made available by the Delhi Government, 35,794 cases have been disposed of since inception by the District Forum II till March 2003, Minister of State for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution V Sreenivasa Prasad said.


A mire of controversy over mayoral role
Bijendra Ahlawat
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, April 25
Faridabad has seen at least four mayors since 1995, when it had the Municipal Corporation for the first time. No wonder, there has been a question mark over the role of mayor as far as the development work is concerned. The tenure of the corporation whose last elections were held in March 2000 is till February 2005, but the the post seems to be a hot seat as the past three years have seen three incumbents toppled one after another.

Mr Devender Bhadana, an activist of the ruling Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) was chosen the second Mayor in May 2000 for a term of five years, but due to politics and change of faith among the 25 elected members of the corporation, Mr Bhadana was voted out of power by the members through a no-confidence motion in July 2001.

The post was given temporarily for a month to Senior Deputy Mayor Shiv Charan Lal Sharma, a Congressman, till the election of a full-time Mayor. After a lot of lobbying, the members agreed to the proposal made on the ‘directions’ of the Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, that Mrs Anita Goswami, also an INLD activist, be made the new Mayor. Mrs Goswami had been one of the youngest members of the civic body.

Many members who were opposed to the idea had to give in as they realised that only that individual could don the mantle who had the blessings of the powers that be.

But after a few months, the resentment among the members surfaced and the Mayor was charged with ‘immaturity’ who did not take other (experienced) members into confidence before taking certain decisions.

On the civic problems, a resident said that the authorities do not pay attention to sanitation, removal of garbage and the maintenance of streetlight in the majority of colonies and sectors. Due to contaminated supply of water in many areas, he said cases of waterborne diseases had been on the increase.


Book on ‘Bharat Putra’ Shastri
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 25
The memorable episodes of “The Great ‘Little’ Son of India (Bharat Putra)”- a book written by M. S. Jasra on the former Prime Minister of India, Lal Bahadur Shastri, was released at the Rashtrapati Bhawan by the President of India, Dr A. P. J. Abdul Kalam.

The book extols the virtues of the late Prime Minister, whose life has by far remained unknown. The title of the book, “The Great ‘Little’ Son of India (Bharat Putra)”, Lal Bahadur Shastri, the enigma of the man is virtually laid bare by the author, who has done intensive and extensive research to authenticate the various dates and incidents in his life.

When asked about why he chose to write a book on Shastri, M. S. Jasra said, “Lal Bahadur Shastri was born without a silver spoon in his mouth. He started earning while learning. While studying at Kashi Vidyapeeth, he used to sell Khadi cloth from door to door that too barefooted. He was a vegetarian. He believed in simplicity. He was awarded the Bharat Ratna in 1966.”

He drew these parallels of Shastriji with Dr Kalam, the President of India, who had initially prompted the author to have his book released by him. This was when he read about the life of the President of India, when he coveted the highest office.


India an economic power: Yadav

New Delhi, April 25
Indian Economic Development and Research Association (IEDRA) and International Integration and Growth Society (IIGS) today jointly organised a national seminar on ‘Individual Contribution to the World Peace and Development’ at an auditorium in India Habitat Center.

The chief guest on the occasion was Mr Sharad Yadav, Union Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution.

Speaking on the occasion, he said that our nation has become a strong economic power and there is a great unity in our country. We have been the advocates of world peace from time immemorial.

He said the people of our country should be strong and united so that our country could not be weakened by external threats.

Mr Digvijay Singh, Minister of State for External Affairs was also present on the occasion. He said on the occasion that the people of our country must come together to solve the problems facing us today. OC


12 injured in Tata Sumo accident
Our Correspondents

Sonepat, April 25
At least 12 persons including 10 women were injured when a Tata Sumo on which they were travelling, was hit by a truck on GT Road near Bahalgarh village about 10 km from here late last evening. According to a report, the persons were identified as Ran Singh, Vikas, Sushma, Murti Devi, Jagriti, Sarjo, Manti Devi, Ishwanti, Krishna, Ram Rati and Chandra.

All of them were admitted to the local civil hospital and they are stated to be out of danger. All the injured who belonged to Delhi were going in a Tata Sumo to Mehndipur village in this district to attend a condolence meeting related to the death of their relative. The police have registered the case and further investigations were on.

Ban on bathing in canals

Rohtak: The District Magistrate, Mr Ashok Yadav, has banned bathing in the JLN Feeder and the Bhalaut sub-branch passing in the vicinity of the town. Issuing prohibitory orders under Section 144 Cr PC, Mr Yadav said that there have been instances of death by drowning in the two canals.

Civil Road Traders Association

Mr Dweep Kumar Jain and Mr Rajiv Kumar Jain have been elected president and general secretary respectively of the Civil Road Traders Association (Serai Mohalla).

Mr Ravinder Jain (Plywale) has been chosen as patron of the association. The other office-bearers are Mr Ramesh Kumar Ahuja (sr vice-president), Mr Anil Gugnani (vice-president), Mr Anil Jain, (organising secretary), and Mr Ram Gopal Chawla (treasurer).

The members of the executive Committee are Mr Krishan Lal Khera, Mr Suresh Sagar, Mr Nikhil Jain, Mr Harbans Lal Wadhwa, Mr Ravinder Jain Naval, Mr Vijay Chauhan, Mr Ashok Patwa, Mr Gulshan Maggu, Mr Naresh Dhingra and Mr Dharmender Kumar.

Nanak Shahi Calendar

New Delhi : A meeting of the Shiromani Gurdwara Sewadar Committee was held at Gandhi Nagar on Thursday where the president of the panel S. Raja Singh Sethi congratulated S Kirpal Singh Badaungar, president of Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee on launching the Nanak Shahi Calendar.

It is a scientific calendar and has been prepared by scholars after taking into confidence different sects.

He appealed to the Punjab and Centre Government to announce government holidays on Gurupurbs on dates mentioned in the Nanak Shahi Calendar and thus show regard to the sentiments of the Sikh community. TNS


Bus route permits cancelled
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, April 25
As many as 42 route permits out of 100 issued to the co-operative societies in Sonepat district way back in 1993, to operate private buses on earmarked routes, have reportedly been cancelled following non-payment of road tax, passenger tax and stand tax.

When repeated efforts of the office of the District Transport Officer (DTO) failed to recover the outstanding dues from the societies, the DTO reportedly sent a proposal for cancellation of the route permits to the state transport controller who has accorded his sanction to the proposal.

Besides, the directions have also reportedly been given to the District Revenue Officer for recovery of the pending amounts of takes while initiating action under the Punjab Land Revenue Act. It is learnt that the STC have also directed the DTOs in other district to take similar actions.

About 100 route permits had been issued to the co-operative societies to operate their buses on 52 routes in Sonepat district in 1993. And at that time, 73 buses were put into service by the societies on the routes, which were mainly of the local areas.

But due to various reasons, including bad road conditions, free travel menace of the students from the villages and unauthorised plying of jeeps and other vehicles on those routes, most of society bus operators were left with no other choice either to abandon the routes or keep incurring losses.




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Enrich the earth and let the leaves, R.I.P.

Recently, my wife woke up early in the morning to find dry leaves in the park outside our house up in flames.

Clearly, someone had cleaned the area meticulously the previous day and stacked dry leaves in neat heaps at different places, so that they could be burnt.

It must have been a compassionate soul who took the trouble of getting up early to administer this `euthanasia’ to the leaves and, thus, save their soul from rotting in some landfill designated for them in the sacred books of the Municipal Corporation.

The burning of leaves is banned in Delhi and even the Supreme Court had ruled against it. Unmindful of possible contempt for the existing laws of the land, these altruistic people had quietly put these leaves on fire.

There was no way that these flames could be easily extinguished. Moreover, the flames of the burning leaves leapt up and even consumed the fresh leaves on the lower branches of the trees.

My wife remembered that the last time she had spoken to a senior officer about this matter, she was told that such a thing was not possible, as the law in Delhi did not permit the burning of leaves. She was told that next time she saw this happening, she should report the matter so that the culprits could be brought to book. But were the lawmakers themselves the culprits?

A similar act was repeated the following day. Yet another heap, perhaps larger than the previous day, was set aflame, with worse consequences. The sweepers told us that the Municipal Corporation of Delhi had "ordained" that all the dry leaves should be shifted to the Gazipur landfill and buried with other garbage.

Is it a good idea to treat leaves as garbage? Is it wise to carry them in diesel driven trucks to a designated distant dumping ground? What is the future of a society that treats its wealth as waste? What would become of a system where legislation is an alibi for inaction?

Is it difficult to dig pits in green belts, parks, and vacant public land to let the leaves rest in peace and enrich the earth?

ASHOK LAVASA, Kaka Nagar, New Delhi

You can’t bank on
nationalised banks

Will anyone listen and set things right in government banks in this country? Recently, I had gone to the State Bank of India, N.I.T, Faridabad, to deposit my subscription of PPF account. I found long queues of customers waiting for their turn at the cash receipt counter number five. Unfortunately, of the five cash receipt counters in the bank, this was the only one that was functioning.

The lady cashier working at the counter refused to accept the deposit of one customer because he had ten packets of Rs 50 notes. Her grouse was that she would have to ‘sacrifice ten customers’ to attend to him. However, the customer did not relent and managed to deposit his cash.

I tried to contact the Head Cashier as the customers were increasing and there were a number of queues to deposit the cash at this counter.

But the officer was not available in his cabin. I asked the lady receptionist about the relevant officer and how to register my complaint in this regard. She guided me to the officer. I acquainted the officer with the problem and he ‘sympathised’ with me.

A similar experience was in store for me when I went to the Punjab National Bank, NIT, Faridabad, for update my saving bank account passbook, for submitting my income tax return.

When I contacted the man at the counter, who was manning a computer, to do the needful, he informed me to come after a month, as the computer was not functioning.

It was a helpless situation for the customers. The officials, from top to bottom, were relaxing and the customers were either crowding the relevant counters or sitting and waiting for a miracle to happen. Will the bank authorities, who want to compete with private banks, listen and set things right?

UJJAL P. SINGH, NIT, Faridabad

Is a Chancellor as helpless as he looks?

Mr Jatinder Sharma, through his article datelined Rohtak, "MDU Act needs urgent re-look" (NCR Tribune, April 12,2003), stated: "Why should we have a deceptive system in which the real power vests with the Chief Minister and the Governor-Chancellor is helpless". He suggested that "in such a situation, it would be in the best interests of the university if the Chief Minister, by virtue of his office, becomes the Chancellor of the university".

This question has been raised at various platforms, both at the central and the state level. A few year back, Dr Bhim S. Dahiya, a former Vice-Chancellor of Kurukshetra University, Kurukshetra (KUK), had suggested in an article published in The Tribune that Chief Justice of the state High Court should be the Chancellor of universities in the state. The conclusion was that except for central universities, the Governor of the state should remain the ex-officio chancellor of the state universities.

In the case of University of Delhi, Punjab University, Chandigarh, the Vice-President of India is the ex-officio Chancellor. The Prime Minister of India is the ex-officio Chancellor of Vishva Bharti University. The Chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) and Banaras Hindu University (BHU), both central universities, are appointed by their respective academic communities.

It has been upheld by various high courts and the Supreme Court that the Chancellor is nowhere bound to accept the advice of the Council of Ministers or the Chief Minister.

Mr Ram Lal, the Governor of Andhra Pradesh, appointed a vice-chancellor of Venkateswara University, disregarding the advice of the Chief Minister.

The matter was decided by the high court, which upheld the prerogative of the Chancellor.

The Governor of a state is immune from all civil lawsuits. The functions of the Chancellor are generally of two types: Statutory and non-statutory. One of the statutory functions of the Chancellor is to preside over the convocation of the university for conferring degrees and the meetings of the court (Senate). The second important statutory function of the Chancellor is to appoint the vice-chancellor’s of the various universities.

For its non-statutory functions, the Chancellor is empowered to intervene in the matter of general administration of universities.

Mr Sharma writes that "The Chancellor’s helplessness was obvious to all in the University Court’s meeting chaired by him on March 22, when some members raised the issue of making at least some appointments, like those of the Finance Officer, Deans of colleges and Librarians".

Mr Sharma is correct to the extent that the Governors, who are the Chancellors of the state universities, have come across severe criticism as and when they have tried to act as the mouthpieces of the political party in power.

O. P. WADHWA, Govt College, Gohana

Catering to senior citizens

The Northern Railway deserves kudos for setting up a medical scheme in the Central Hospital for the senior citizens covered by the Railway Employees Liberalised Health Scheme.

Being centrally located, it suits the senior citizens from the national Capital. The services of the doctors in charge of the centre like Dr Goswami and his predecessor, Dr M. C. Nigam, are praiseworthy. The authorities know very well that most of the elderly patients suffer from hypertension, heart strokes, paralysis, eye and dental problems, which commonly need a long drawn and specialised treatment. Quite often, they need clinical diagnostic tests, for which the Central Hospital suits them ideally.

However, they are sometimes discouraged from taking medicines from dispensaries located in their areas, which is totally at variance with the definition of the hospital being "Central" and the health scheme being "liberalised."

Can they not be allowed to receive treatment on "as is-where is basis"?

I strongly feel this will reduce the rush of patients in the dispensaries, flooded with serving employees and their families.

Of course, it should be optional for others who prefer dispensaries elsewhere. The Central Hospital will do well to keep their door open to the infirm and otherwise physically disadvantaged.

R.L. PATHAK, Lodi Colony, New Delhi

Relevance of Ahimsa

This is with reference to the article "Mahavira, non-violence and the tragedy of war" by M. P. K. Kutty (NCR Tribune April 13), in which he has stated that after Mahavira, Buddha, Emperor Asoka and Mahatma Gandhi had also taken up the cause of "Ahimsa" as a means to end turmoil.

For Mahatma Gandhi, non-violence was a matter of faith. The Mahatma wielded more power than any other person, despite the fact that he had none of the traditional tools of power, such as money, battleships, soldiers and materials of warfare. However, his faith in the power of non-violence (Ahimsa) helped us achieve independence from British rule.

With his understanding of the principle of non-violence, Gandhi influenced millions of Indians to unite and fight for freedom.

O.P.SHARMA, FaridabadBack


Saving the national Capital from DDA’s ‘iceberg’ 

Delhi is the national Capital and represents the whole nation. It is a well-known fact that the development, planning and beautification of the city, is in the hands of the Delhi Development Authority (DDA). 

Unfortunately, the unplanned growth of Delhi has jeopardised the life of its citizens. Unplanned development, pollution and overcrowding have become associated with the city. The DDA is fast becoming popular as the ‘Delhi Destruction Authority’, and this was evident from the recent scandal in the DDA involving senior officers, who were arrested for taking bribes and thus putting thousands of innocent lives in danger. 

The Chief Minister of Delhi, Ms Sheila Dikshit reflected the opinion of the people when she said that this scam was only the ‘tip of iceberg’. So, what will happen when the whole iceberg melts? 

Now, there is one more charge against the DDA, as published in the NCR Tribune (dated 18.4.2003). The DDA was accused of choking 2000 trees. What is the DDA planning for the Delhiites, all illegal buildings and no green belts? We expect the DDA to work to make Delhi the pride of every Indian.



Wanted in Goa, held in Modinagar
Our Correspondent

Ghaziabad, April 25
A master criminal, who had looted copper wire worth Rs 38 lakh from two trucks coming from Goa, has been arrested in a raid in Modinagar. Police Circle Officer Prabhal Pratap Singh said Inspector Mohan Naik of Goa had contacted him last night about a wanted criminal, who was reportedly living in Modinagar. Shiv Dutt Sharma alias Ajay Aggarwal was nabbed in a raid from Modinagar by a joint team of the Goa and Modinagar police.

Shiv Dutt Sharma used to operate in various states with his gang, the police said. He had rented a house in Goa and was in touch with transport companies.

According to Inspector Naik, the truck operators of Pune and Goa used to send goods on the trucks driven by local men. The modus operandi of the arrested master criminal was to live in a particular city for sometime, employ local drivers and then disappear with the truck and consignments. The arrested criminal had misappropriated copper wire worth Rs 38 lakh, which he had himself despatched in trucks from Goa through Phenolux Transport Co.

A case under Section 407 was registered against him in the Verna police station. Prior to this, the police had arrested one of his companions. Inspector Naik said he could not divulge all details of the case as it could adversely affect their inquiry. The Goa police are now trying to take him to Goa on remand from the SJM’s court.

DM bans firing of celebration shots

Noida: The District Magistrate, Mr L. Venkateshwaralu, has issued orders for an immediate ban on firing from licensed weapons for the purpose of celebration at public places.

The SSP, Mr Rajiv Kishan, has also issued guidelines to all police stations in the district for immediate and strict action. It may be mentioned the district administration had taken this step after the death of Tapeeh Singh, son of Azad Singh of Friends Colony, New Delhi, who was killed when a guest fired shots prior to the solemnisation of his marriage in Dadri last Sunday.

The DM has also issued orders for strict enforcement of some clauses of Section 144 to the district police chief.

The police have been asked to keep an eye on such elements and cancel the licence of those violating these orders.

Owners of private and official premises will have to implement these orders and ensure that no arms are brought on the premises.

The help of village pradhans is also being enlisted by the district administration for ensuring the compliance of these orders in rural areas.

LG holds meeting with DDA vice-chief

New Delhi: The Lieutenant-Governor, Mr Vijai Kapoor, on Friday drove to Vikas Sadan for a meeting with Delhi Development Authority (DDA) Vice-Chairman Anil Baijal. The two discussed the recent accusations against certain officials of the DDA and how the housing utility could regain its credibility by rededicating itself to the task ahead. In a press communiqué, the Public Relations Department of the DDA said Mr Kapoor admitted the unsavoury episode had dented the housing utility’s credibility and image. He, however, observed the DDA had expanded its activities in the last fiscal by acquiring more acres of land. TNS


Former BTF commander, wife held for murder
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 25
The West district police today apprehended a former BTF commander Avtar Singh, his wife Sonia and their associates Lucky Khanna and Mohammad Akil on the charges of murdering Mohammad Tariq alias Munna, resident of New Vishnu Garden. The victim was robbed of his Paleo Car, mobile phone, gold chain and some cash by the accused. Munna met his friend Avtar Singh to purchase arms and accordingly they drove towards Chandigarh to purchase arms. On their way, Munna, Singh and his wife Sonia went to a hotel for food. Since they wanted to rob Munna, Sonia mixed some sedatives in his food.

After their meals, Munna was asked to sit on the rear seat with Avtar and Sonia, who then strangulated Munna with the help of Sonia’s duppatta. After strangling Munna, he was burnt with the help of seat covers and petrol. The accused thought Munna was carrying Rs 5 lakh with him but after his murder, they only found a few hundreds in his possession.

Cylinder explodes

New Delhi : Three persons were severely burnt in a fire that broke out after an LPG cylinder exploded in a house in South Delhi this morning. They were admitted to Safdarjung Hospital.

They were identified as Ramchander, Lakhan and Madhusudan.Police said that Madhusudan sustained 100 per cent burn injuries while other two sustained 60 per cent injuries.

The police said that there was leakage in the cylinder. When one of the victims switched on a bulb in the kitchen, gas caught fire and later the cylinder exploded, the police said.

DDA man accused of incest

West district police arrested a senior air-conditioner mechanic in the DDA on the charge of raping his daughter yesterday. The suspect divorced his first wife seven years ago and lived with his four children. He married another woman Kamla, a year ago. Victim was raped in the intervening night of 16 and 17 April. She did not inform anybody out of fear. The matter was reported to the police when her mother came to know about the incident, the police said.

Thief succumbs to injuries

One person who attempted to run away with a two-wheeler in the Gopal Nagar area in Najafgarh, died after he was allegedly beaten up by the villagers last night. The victim Sushil (25), tried to steal a two-wheeler parked in the house of Chattar Singh, residing in X-block in the area.

But Singh’s son Pankaj who heard some sound around midnight came out and saw someone near the two-wheeler. When he raised the alarm, the intruder panicked and fell down accidentally.

He was later caught by Pankaj and beaten up with rods and sticks with the help of the villagers.

Vendor stabbed to death

A vegetable vendor Ram Gopal was reportedly stabbed to death by Jai Bhagwan, an alleged criminal of Narela. The victim argued with Salma, a vendor over keeping a ‘rehri’ there. Salma complained to Jai Bhagwan who stabbed Ramgopal. The suspect is absconding, the police said.


Men spending a fortune for acquiring the looks of a Greek god
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, April 25
If women are competing with men in every field of life, men too are not lagging in a field, meant for the daughters of Eve once. Looking good! No, it’s no more the domain of ‘Sonias of Sonepat’ only. Increasingly the men of this ancient city are considering it ‘de rigueur’ to have the looks of a Greek god.

No wonder, the number of gents beauty parlours in Sonepat town has increased three times over the years.

There are around 100 beauty parlours for men and more than 1,200 hair dressing saloons in the town at present. During an informal talk with the ‘tonsorial artistes’ and the owners of beauty parlours, it was found that the youths of Sonepat were quite influenced by Delhi culture because of its proximity to Delhi perhaps. More than 25,000 commuters, including servicemen, traders and students come to Delhi every day.

According to Shahzad, owner of Luxmi Hair Dressing salon, there is a craze among the youths to look handsome and they do not mind spending a fortune to have the looks of an Adonis. Besides hair dressing, the youths have started paying attention to facial attractions. And for that, they prefer facials which involve expenses ranging from Rs 150 to Rs 300.

And the beauty is that men no longer find it sissy to go in for threading and eyebrow setting.

More than 50 per cent youths coming for hair dressing opt for threading and eyebrow settings.

The owner of Selection salon, Satish says that as the hair dressing is important to improve the get-up of a person, he has about 36 types of hair-styling methods. Hair-colouring is also catching on with the gents and more than 25 hair colours are available in his saloon, he said. Around 70 per cent of the men get their hair coloured.

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