Tuesday, April 29, 2003, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


Eunuch shot dead in Tis Hazari corridor
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 28
A 38-year-old eunuch, Neelam, was shot dead and a Delhi Police constable, Nand Kishore, was injured when they were fired at by an armed suspect in the congested first floor corridors of the Tis Hazari courts this afternoon.

The suspect, Mani Gopal of Najafgarh, was chased and arrested by Head Constable Ajit Singh immediately after the incident. The police said that a Chinese-made automatic pistol was seized from him. The suspect had fired four shots from close range, causing panic on the court premises.

The work in the courts was affected for a while and normalcy could be restored only after senior police officers reached the spot and assured the lawyers and the litigants of their safety.

The injured constable has been admitted to the Sushruta Trauma Centre where he is reported to be progressing. The police have blamed the incident on an old enmity.

Preliminary inquiries by the police revealed that Neelam, along with four others, had come to Tis Hazari courts in connection with the murder of another eunuch, Zareena, which was due for hearing in the court of Additional Sessions Judge A. P. Bains in Room number 119.

The police said that Neelam, after reaching the courts premises around 12. 40 pm, had visited the police post located there to seek protection as she had received several threats to her life. Constable Nand Kishore was deputed to escort her.

With the constable in tow, Neelam went to the first floor and was waiting in the corridor along with 50-odd other eunuchs when the suspect suddenly appeared and started firing at her. While Neelam was hit thrice, the fourth bullet hit the constable. There was pandemonium in the corridor as litigants, officials and lawyers scurried for safety.

The suspect, taking advantage of the confusion, tried to escape but an alert head constable spotted him and caught him after a short chase. The police said that cases of murder and attempt to murder had been registered against the suspect and he was being interrogated.

Senior police officers said that they had taken a serious note of the incident and were trying to ascertain how the suspect had managed to sneak in the gun when all those visiting the court premises are subjected to frisking and stringent security checks.

Parents protest against pool fund

The management of the N K Bagrodia Public School, Dwarka, had to face the ire of parents protesting against its decision seeking donation for the construction of the school’s swimming pool.

The school had issued a notice to the parents seeking Rs 3,000 as donation for the construction of a swimming pool. The parents today staged a demonstration outside the school premises against the unjustified expenditure. The parents’ body, led by the Delhi Abhibhavak Mahasangh, pointed out that apart from the illegal charges, the school had also raised the fee by 26 per cent.



Hit & run: Infant among three killed by MCD truck 
Tribune News Service

The killer truck which knocked down a motorcycle and a cycle in Adarsh Nagar
The killer truck which knocked down a motorcycle and a cycle in Adarsh Nagar on Monday. — Tribune Photo 

New Delhi, April 28
Three persons, including an infant, were killed and six injured in an accident near the Adarsh Nagar police station in North-West district this morning.
The injured were rushed to a nearby hospital where doctors on duty stated they were out of danger.

One of the deceased was identified as Tarif Singh while two others were unidentified. The injured were identified as Vikas, Ratan, Satish, Kailash and Surender.

The victims were on two vehicles – a motor cycle and a cycle. Their vehicles were allegedly hit by an MCD truck, which was coming from the Adarsh Nagar side.

The victims died on the spot. The driver of the truck is absconding. The police have registered a case of causing death due to rash and negligent driving.

There was a traffic jam on the road after the accident. Residents and others agitated for arresting the culprit who had driven away after the accident.

They said the mishap occurred during peak hours and no policemen were deployed on the busy road. The accident site was at a stone’s throw from the police station but the police did not try to chase the vehicle.

The agitated residents were a bit relieved when senior police officers reached the spot and assured them that the culprits would be arrested and the truck impounded. 



Four high-rises sealed, two spared
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 28
The Delhi Fire Service (DFS) today sealed four high-rise buildings, including Super Bazaar, in the Capital for ignoring the direction to fulfil 12-point fire safety norms issued by the department.

The DFS chief, Mr R. C. Sharma, said three buildings – Pragati Towers and Deepshikha in Rajendra Place and Super Bazaar in Connaught Place - were sealed in the morning and Shakuntala Apartments at Nehru Place in the afternoon.

Guru Angad Bhawan in Nehru Place was cleared after inspection as all fire safety apparatus were found in place. Mr Sharma said Hemkunth House at Rajendra Place, the sixth building in question, was not sealed as it had obtained a seven-day stay order from the Delhi High Court stating that it needed time to file an appeal before the appellate tribunal.

The owners of Guru Angad Bhawan and Shakuntala Apartments had approached the high court against the move as they had adhered to all necessary fire safety regulations. On the order of the high court, inspections were carried out at the two building.

While Guru Angad Bhawan was cleared immediately, work on installation of fire safety apparatus in Shakuntala Apartments was still on. Hence, it was sealed after the building was vacated. All work is likely to be completed by tonight and the building is expected to be handed over for possession by tomorrow morning, Mr Sharma said.

While talking to the Tribune, the DFS chief said the sealed buildings would be cleared for possession the moment they fulfilled all fire safety requirements and the DFS found the facilities satisfactory during inspection.

The DFS decided to seal the buildings as their owners failed to comply with the guidelines despite repeated warnings.



Water crisis: UP split into dark and grey zones
Our Correspondent

Noida, April 28
And now, it is the turn of Uttar Pradesh to reel under a water crisis. The state Irrigation Minister, Mr Om Prakash Singh, has acknowledged the state is facing a serious water crisis.

The situation in more than 100 blocks in the state is grim with 22 blocks being included in the ‘dark’ zone and another 80 blocks comprising the ‘grey’ zone.

The water table in these blocks is fast receding. About 150 check dams are being constructed at various places to stem the tide. These had to be completed by June 25 this year, the minister said.

There is a proposal to restore all water bodies to the pristine position they enjoyed in the pre-Independence era. Efforts were also afoot to enhance their water-holding capacity, the minister said.

The minister was laying the foundation stone of five irrigation projects in Yakutpur village, Gautam Budh Nagar, yesterday which will be completed at a cost of Rs 5 crore.

He said work on the Yamuna basin had been started. The second phase of the work was inaugurated yesterday. In this phase, work on 29 places would be completed between Muzzafarnagar and Aligarh at a cost of Rs 66 crore. From Javer to Tappal, work on the 27-km-long dam, which would cost about Rs 24 crore, had also been taken up.

The Irrigation Minister said in eastern UP work on the Tapti river basin would be strengthened at a cost of Rs 45 crore. This would include work on 63 projects. All these projects would be completed within two years, he added.



HC admits plea on Rs 100 crore hoarding scam
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 28
The Delhi High Court has admitted a petition seeking the removal of all illegal hoardings in the city and a CBI inquiry into what it has alleged is a Rs 100 crore hoarding scam.

A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice B C Patel and Justice A. K. Sikri has asked the respondents, the Delhi Government, the Public Works Department, the Municipal Corporation of Delhi and the CBI to file their responses within three weeks. The CBI has been told to inform the court whether it has found enough material to proceed further in the case.

The petition was filed by MLA Jagdish Anand through counsel A. K. Singh and S. K. Singh, claiming that the Delhi Government had entered into an agreement on January 4, 1999, with a private company, Green Line Advertising (GLA), to put up advertisements free of cost on tree guards, kiosks, electric poles and railings, with an obligation to maintain the green belts.

It was also alleged that though the Government was not charging anything from the company, it was allowed to earn crores of rupees from other agencies by selling public property for putting up hoardings. The petition claimed this was illegal utilisation of space.



Avant-garde multiplex to provide cineastes a ‘35-degree experience’
Tribune News Service

The last couple of years have been witness to a new phenomenon on the entertainment scene—the multiplexes offering quality cinema viewing, eating joints and shopping malls—all under one roof. Delhi has also had its share of the multiplexes which have now become a popular haunt of the youth.

The latest in the list is M2K in the Capital’s North West. Brainchild of a 45-year-old Marwari businessman, Mr M. K. Bhagchandka, the multiplex was launched with much fanfare recently.

In a conversation with the ‘NCR Tribune’, the young businessman said that his motto was “Providing people with quality unparalleled”.

Mr Bhagchandka hails from a Rajasthani Marwari family. Born on August 1, 1958, he was brought up in Kolkata from where he graduated in B. Com. (Hons). He finally settled in Delhi with business interests in exports, information, technology, biotech and leisure & entertainment.

He has a family comprising an endearing wife who assists him in the business and is also a housewife in the traditional sense, taking care of their two children, Harshit studying in 11th standard and Mansi pursuing higher studies in the UK.

The latest in the list of his achievements is the initiation of a state-of-the-art multiplex-cum-shopping mall in Rohini called M2K.

Besides, he is also the Director of UCO Bank, a public sector bank owned by the Govt. of India., Negolice India Ltd., a Govt. of India recognised export house and International Panacea Ltd., a bio-tech venture.

During his leisure, he likes watching and playing cricket, seeing movies and touring the countryside visiting historical places and trade fairs.

He is proficient in financial and marketing management, tourism, entertainment and bio-tech. His business interests have taken him all over the world with equal participation in trade and various social activities. He is an associate member with various chambers of industry and business. Mr Bhagchandka has always believed in contributing to society in one way or the other. He has been associated with not one but many such charitable and social welfare forums.

Despite the fact that not many people are going to cinema halls today, why are so many multiplexes coming up in the market?

The overall experience is new and overwhelming for today’s customer who is not used to such grand services at one place. Add to this quality and friendly service, state-of-the-art viewing experience, breathtaking ambience, good software, sound systems provided are the luring factors that woo a moviegoer to a multiplex.

How will the reduction in the entertainment tax on tickets will affect the moviegoers?

It is yet to come into effect, but once it is implemented, it will certainly draw more moviegoers to a multiplex cinema. Indian consumers are price sensitive, adding to this the experience of visiting a multiplex—both will contribute to an increase in the number of moviegoers, thereby increasing the sale of tickets..

What are the prospects in the entertainment industry?

The sector is growing at a rate of 100% annually. Hence, the prospects are very bright. With the entertainment tax being reduced, that again is a positive factor for the moviegoers to go to a multiplex. With these destinations pulling in crowds, it only goes to show how much a company can flourish if it provides good quality viewing and the right ambience.

What made the company shift from the investment and finance activities to the entertainment industry?

Anticipating a continued growth in the entertainment sector and an overall recession in other industry segments, influenced the company to make this shift. Seeing the huge potential in this industry, M2K Entertainment Pvt. Ltd. decided to venture into it and provide a pleasurable viewing experience.

What is the positioning of M2K among its competitors?

M2K is the first multiplex of its kind to have a 35-degree viewing experience. Viewing-pleasure has been given top priority apart from infrastructure, ambience, customer-friendly service and various food outlets. It has provided a fun-filled solution to the families who want to spend an evening together.

Could you explain the 35-degree viewing experience in M2K?

M2K is the first multiplex to use the international standards of 35 degrees, which means that it provides an angle of 35 degrees to a viewer wherever he may be seated in the hall. Thus, it takes care of the movie buff’s aspirations of a clear view.

What did you have in mind when you went in for a multiplex with a mall?

Multiplex acts as an anchor tenant for any mall and guarantees an assured foot-fall, which is very important for the sustenance of the mall. With all brands both retail and food courts wanting to be part of the mall, it only makes sense to synergise both into one.

What made you choose Rohini for launching M2K?

With a huge encatchment area population of around 20 lakh and the lack/dearth of a fun-filled zone providing the state-of-the-art facilities in the vicinity made Rohini an obvious choice and a great stepping-stone into the entertainment sector.

What is the USP of M2K?

M2K has an unparalleled viewing experience complimented by a soothing ambience and efficient customer service. Targeting the high-spending, high-density population of North and North-West Delhi, the expansive shopping area boasts of centralised air-conditioning, 24 hours power back-up, state-of-art security system & housekeeping facilities. The complex is conveniently located on the outer ring road and features a parking space for over 300 cars.

Are there any plans of future investments for M2K?

After Rohini, the company has invested in another project coming up at Pitampura to be completed within nine months. It is on the same lines as M2K Rohini, but has many additional features—one of them being three screens.

After Rohini why did you opt for Pitampura as the next destination for M2K and are there any future plans for South Delhi or East Delhi?

Realising the huge potential of target customers in this part of Delhi through M2K Rohini, Pitampura was the next big destination that we thought to capitalise on. It is largely having the same target population. Also we realised that there was scope for more screens within the area thus also consolidating and strengthening our hold in the area. With no cinema halls around, it will be a first of its kind experience for the residents of Pitampura to experience a Multiplex in their vicinity. Yes, certainly we are game for any financially viable opportunities that come our way. As of now, the immediate focus is on our Pitampura project. 



Phone users live through nightmare

Sonepat, April 28
Telephone services continue to be in a mess in this industrial city. According to a report, thousands of subscribers alleged that the 9,000-line main electronics telephone exchange had not been functioning for the last one week leading to a number of telephones becoming non-functional.

A taped message “all the lines on this route are busy and dial again after sometime”, continues even if the dial tone remains intact. Poor service is attributed to the repeated faults in the system of the main exchange.

The subscribers alleged that the number allotted for the inquiry and complaint remained dead or busy and they were forced to go personally to the exchange to get their complaint registered. The STD system between Sonepat and Delhi as well as Chandigarh, Jalandhar and other cities and towns of other states had not been functioning properly for the past one week, causing a huge financial loss to the industrialists and businessmen. Similarly, the local telephone call system between Sonepat and Delhi goes phut due to the failure of the BSNL authorities to rectify the defect despite repeated complaints. OC



Gang of purse-snatchers smashed; five women arrested, man escapes
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, April 28
With the arrest of five women, the police have busted a gang of purse-snatchers operating in the city and other parts of the district. According to a report, the police are still investigating the case and a hunt is on to apprehend a member of the gang who escaped after receiving the purse allegedly snatched from a woman going on a rickshaw on Jandi Road near Ashok Nagar (kutche quarters) of the city yesterday. It is stated that a woman was going on a rickshaw when five women, said to be the members of the gang, came in front of the rickshaw forcing the rickshaw-puller to stop. Thereupon, a woman snatched the purse of the woman sitting on rickshaw and handed it over to a man standing beside her who, it is alleged, escaped immediately. Thereafter, the women also disappeared from the scene. The woman sitting on the rickshaw raised the alarm. Some youths chased the women and apprehended them near Gita Bhawan Chowk. These women were handed over to the police.

Massive fire: Goods worth about Rs 2 lakh were burnt in a devastating fire which had broken out in a kiryana shop in the Mandi area here yesterday afternoon.

According to a report, a number of people tried to extinguish the fire, but failed. On receiving the information, the municipal fire brigade reached the site and brought it under control after a few hours.

Judicial complexes: The Haryana Government is contemplating the construction of boundary walls around the judicial complexes in the state in a bid to curb criminal activities in the judicial complexes.

Exam controller: Mr Mahinder Singh Mor, former Secretary of the Board of School Education Haryana, is one of the strong contenders for the post of the Controller of Examinations, Kurukshetra University, Kurukshetra. According to a report, the Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, is reported to have sought the approval from the Governor for the appointment of Mr Mor. Mr Mor, it may be recalled, was removed from the post of the Secretary of the Board of School Education, Haryana, recently following the mass-scale copying in the annual examinations of middle, matriculation and senior secondary school this year.

Anti-encroachment drive: The officials of the anti-demolishing squad, armed with a strong contingent of police and JCB machines, removed encroachments on the panchayat land at Malla Majra village in this district yesterday.

Demonstration on May 16: The anganwadi workers and ‘Helpers Union’ have decided to hold a demonstration on May 16 in front of the Haryana Vidhan Sabha in support of their demands. According to a report, the main demands, among other things, include the withdrawal of cut in their pay and halt to the process of retrenchment. The union would take part in the nation-wide strike on May 21.


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