Wednesday, July 2, 2003, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


Saplings in memory of war heroes face sudden death
Our Correspondent

Noida, July 1
The two flyovers being constructed to link the Noida expressway with the Noida toll bridge are likely to ruin more than 15,000 plants, which were planted seven years ago in the 12-acre Smriti Van in Sector 16-A of Noida.

These include the saplings planted in the memory of those who lost their lives in Siachen and Kargil. A large number of saplings have been planted by individuals to mark the marriage and birth anniversaries of their near and dear ones. These plants, tended with care over the years, are literally dying now, says one of the officials of the Horticulture Department.

Two flyovers are being constructed by the Noida administration for linking the Delhi-Noida toll bridge with the Gautam Budh Nagar expressway for which Hindustan Steel works Construction Co has been commissioned.

One of these flyovers is being constructed near the Amity School crossing and the other through the Smriti Van.

The Chief Project Engineer, Noida administration, Mr O. P. Tiwari, in a letter, is understood to have written to the departments “to remove all impediments in this work”, which apparently includes thousands of trees and plants.

The Horticulture Department of the Noida administration had set up a Smriti Van in 1996 on a sprawling 12 acres. Later, saplings were planted in memory of many heroes like the Siachen hero, Captain Shashi Kant Sharma, the Kargil hero, Captain Vijayant Thapar, and many others. These saplings represent very strong emotional bonds for people. Besides, 182 saplings were planted here to commemorate various individuals, institutions and organisations.

Already, people like Prof Udey Narayan Tiwari have written to the CEO, Noida, protesting against the destruction of the saplings planted in the memory of their kith and kin.

Even experts and officials of the Horticulture Department, who did not want to be identified, are feeling hurt at the possibility of such a large number of plants getting trampled upon and being destroyed. Some others like Mr Dev Pujari, Chief Town Planner of Noida, claim they have no knowledge of any plan for the flyover construction. Mr Tiwari feels that the thousands of plants can be shifted elsewhere.

Mr Tiwari said he would ensure that the work of flyover construction proceeds on schedule. He declared that he did not have to listen to anybody’s ideas or pay heed to any comment on the matter. “I am trying to implement the ideas of my superiors and the policies of the administration,” he concluded emphatically.


Sheila pleads for statehood at President’s doorstep
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 1
The Delhi Cabinet, led by Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, today called on the President, Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, and sought his guidance for strengthening and empowering the Government of NCT of Delhi.

The delegation gave him a written representation listing the problems faced by them on issues like relocation, land, public order and municipal governance. At the same time, they underscored the fact that the powers vested in the Delhi government were limited and truncated.

The delegation included senior Congress leaders Ch Prem Singh, DPCC president, Mr Jagdish Tytler, Mrs Kiran Chaudhary, Deputy Speaker of the Delhi Assembly, Dr Narendra Nath, former minister, and Mr Mangat Ram Singhal, Chief Whip, CLP. The team sought to impress upon the President that the rights of a popularly elected government were being trampled upon by the Centre. Since subjects like land and police were vested with the Centre, the Delhi government found itself helpless in matters like city planning and ensuring the security of its citizens. All major organisations like the DDA, which have a bearing on the quality of civic services, were not within the ambit of the state government.

Though the Delhi Government had written to the Ministry of Home as well as the Prime Minister on the need for devolving greater authority as a precursor to statehood, nothing had come out of the exercise even after a year.

Without taking recourse to an amendment in the NCT Act, devolution of power could take place through executive orders passed by the Central government. Ironically, instead of looking into these valid demands, the Central government had given greater power to the Lt-Governor vide orders of the Ministry of Home Affairs, thus undermining the state government’s present status.

The representation pointed out that after exhaustive consultations with diverse stakeholders in the city, the government had put forward the demand for statehood with special status for Delhi. Even the Assembly had unanimously passed resolutions asking for more powers for the local government. However, there had been no response from the Central government. Only through major institutional and structural changes, the democratic aspirations of 15 million people residing in the Capital could be realised.

The delegation also informed the President that in response to its missive, the Election Commission had banned demolitions in slums till the completion of the poll process.


BJP goes into Satyagraha mode
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 1
A large number of BJP supporters, led by Mr Madan Lal Khurana, today courted arrest on the first day of their satyagraha. Shouting slogans, these protesters sought to expose the ``corrupt’’ Congress government in the state.

Carrying placards, they marched from Shahidi Park to the Players Building, headquarters of the Delhi Government, where they were arrested.

Describing it as a decisive battle against the Congress, Mr Khurana said a similar satyagraha would be organised in all 35 assembly constituencies. He said that in its four and a half years of rule the Sheila Dikshit-led government had not fulfilled even a single promise made in the manifesto.

Mr Khurana said the government had failed to provide wheat at Rs 2 and rice at Rs 3 per kg to the poor and the economically weaker sections under the scheme of the Central government. He alleged that foodgrains provided by the Centre at subsidised rates were being sold in the black market.

It was also pointed out that the Congress had failed to open even a single college during its tenure whereas the BJP had seven colleges to its credit, apart from Indraprastha College. Highlighting the failures of the Congress government, Mr Khurana said that cheques for as little as Rs 2 were given to farmers under the drought relief scheme. Blaming the government for failing to meet even the basic requirements of the people, Mr Khurana said the government had failed on all fronts.


Doctor’s Day advice: Physician heal thyself
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, July 1
The significance Doctor’s Day holds may vary from physician to physician but the Haryana Government certainly expects its doctors to be more sincere and less greedy.

A step in this direction, the state government has banned the visit of medical representatives to the hospitals during duty hours and has instructed doctors to prescribe only generic medicines to patients.

Further, the doctors have been told to issue only duly signed and stamped prescription slips to the patients at the OPD.

A district-level meeting of officials, doctors, representatives of drug companies, chemists’ associations and the Indian Medical Association (IMA) was held here recently. A list of about 250 drugs and medicines in the generic category had been prepared. This was circulated at the meeting.

Despite the suggestions of the IMA for bringing about some changes in the list, the participants agreed to abide by the advise that only generic drugs be prescribed at government hospitals and at clinics being run by members of the IMA.

Generic drugs cost less: their maximum retail price is several times lower than that of the branded drugs. “The branded drugs are generally marketed by well-known companies and cost more due to the expenses involved in advertising and promotional campaigns, said a chemist based at old Faridabad here. He admitted that the margin between the cost of production and the sale price of a branded drug could be huge and unaffordable for common man. This margin, it is claimed, is used to fund holiday packages and foreign jaunts of doctors prescribing a particular drug.

The Health Department authorities have also decided to release the rate list of generic drugs and asked the drug stores and retailers to paste one such list at the counter for the benefit of patients.

The chemists have been told to sell only those medicines which have been prescribed by the doctor. They have also been instructed to give proper bills and cash memos to the customers.

Although the move may cheer the common man, its success will depend on its implementation.

Mr Chander Prakash Bathla, general secretary of the Faridabad Chemists Association (FCA), said there was no hitch in implementing the new directions, but the main responsibility lies with doctors who prescribed the medicines. He feared that many doctors who run their own clinics or are attached with private hospitals may not adhere to the guidelines.

The decision of the authorities to stop the visits of medical representatives in the government hospitals may not be easy to implement. “Moreover, doctors may entertain them at their residence,’’ pointed out a doctor. 


All-woman team to man busy South City intersection
Ravi S. Singh
Tribune News Service

Gurgaon, July 1
Women appear to be fast catching up with men, at least in Gurgaon, in the field of law enforcement. According to the district police chief, Mr Kuldip Singh Sihag, women traffic cops posted at the IFCO bypass have done an excellent job. So enthused are the police authorities that they have now decided to post an all-women team at the South City crossing - one of the busiest intersections of the city.

There are about 80 personnel in the traffic constabulary.

Out of them, only five are women. The confidence generated by the functioning of the women cops at the IFCO bypass has encouraged the district police chief to double their number in the traffic dept in the district.

The performance appraisal is to be seen against the backdrop of greater thrust to road safety and streamlining the flow of vehicular traffic. The administration also wants an iron grip on the law and order situation by improving the policing of the roads in the city.

It is in this context that the district police has procured four speed guns from the government. This is in addition to the one which had been donated. The speed guns will be visible on the congested Delhi-Jaipur highway and the Sohna road. The guns will be put in place shortly.

According to the authorities, traffic policing has become more effective. As a result, the police have been able to reduce the crime rate. However, it is felt that the people are still uncooperative.

There are about 25 key intersections in the city, each of which is manned by a couple of cops. Officers of the rank of assistant sub-inspector have been given the power to issue challans. However, in the case of women cops, even head constables can issue challans.

In another move, the district authorities have taken up the issue of haphazard parking of vehicles with the owners of the shopping malls on the Mehrauli-Gurgaon road. One of the suggestions is to charge an entry fee from the vehicle owners at the time of exit. Also, there is a move to set up a police booth near the malls.

The authorities have also pressed into service two tow away cranes.


Raids at petrol pumps
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, July 1
The Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Mr Sujan Singh Yadav, accompanied by Mr PK Sharma, District Food and Supplies Controller, conducted surprise raids at three petrol pumps located on the G T Road, in Murthal and on the Sonepat-Bahalgarh Road. According to a report, machines of two petrol pumps were found to be defective: they were giving less than the measured quantity to the consumers. Both the machines were sealed on the spot and challans were issued against the owners.

This step was taken following public complaints against the owners of the petrol pumps.

Rs 12.69 lakh looted from LIC office

Bhiwani: Two motorcycle-borne youths reportedly robbed Rs 12.69 lakh at pistol-point from an employee of the Life Insurance Corporation at the main office located near the mini-secretariat here today in broad daylight. The incident occurred when the employee was leaving for getting the cash deposited after collecting it from the cash counter. The branch employees immediately reported the matter to the police.

The Superintendent of Police, who arrived at the scene promptly, has ordered putting nakas around the town.

According to a report, two unidentified youths, who were sitting outside the office of the branch manager, swung into action at about 4.30 pm. Snatching the money bag from the class IV employee who was proceeding towards the security room, they fled on the motorcycle parked outside the front gate of the office.

At least two employees, who witnessed the incident as they were standing outside, alighted and attempted to follow the miscreants. The employees said the miscreants fled towards the mini-secretariat.

The assistant branch manager, Mr O. P. Meena, said the cash collected during the day was deposited in the security room at about 5 pm everyday.

He said the money amounted to Rs 12,66,201 and 20 paise. A sum of Rs 3,353 was put separately in the bag. No arrests had been made till the filing of this report.

Four cops suspended for lapses

New Delhi: A vigilance inquiry has been ordered against four errant police personnel, after it was found that there were serious lapses in an investigation. The irregularities came to light after an official intercepted two suspects who had escaped from police custody in Anand Vihar recently. The police also recovered Rs 24.80 lakh from the two suspects.

The Joint Commissioner of Police (New Delhi), B K Gupta, has ordered an inquiry against Inspector D P Joshi, SI Ehtsam Abbas, Constables Sanjeev and Qamar Abbas and placed them under suspension. TNS


Ramp racket busted
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 1
The Crime Branch Economic Offences Wing (EOW) today claimed to have arrested a woman who had duped a number of boys and girls aspiring to become professionals in the modelling industry.

The police also claimed to have seized a number of application forms, profiles, receipt books, computer hardware and accessories after a raid.

The woman who had promised the moon — Bhawna Karir — has an office in Bikaji Cama Place, which runs under the banner of Media Ad Link. She was arrested following complaints about her involvement in the racket. Earlier, the accused has been arrested for taking and publishing lewd photographs of a minor girl in an obscene magazine.

The police said that she must have duped at least 4,700 aspirants; she used to charge between Rs 5,000 and Rs 21,000 for preparing portfolios of the applicants in her laboratory.

A complaint was received by the police from one Anil Kumar Saini that Bhawna had cheated her daughter. Bhawna used to make telephonic calls to the aspirants and entice them by promising attractive packages. Saini was one such victim; Bhavana had called him and his minor daughter to her office. She charged Rs 1,100 for enrollment and when Saini offered some photographs for the portfolio, she refused to accept them, questioning their quality.

Later, she offered to prepare the portfolio in her studio and charged Rs 5,500 for the task. To win over customers, she would show attractive portfolios of some models doing well in the industry.


Cong workers halt trains on Taj corridor issue 
Our Correspondent

Noida/Ghaziabad, July 1
The Taj heritage imbroglio seems to have warmed up with the Congress launching its ‘rail roko’ agitation against the Mayawati government’s decision on the issue and in protest against the deteriorating law and order scenario in UP.

Congress workers stopped trains at two different places in Noida and Ghaziabad districts and courted arrest yesterday.

Janata Express was stopped at the Dadri station in Noida by the protestors demanding a judicial probe into the Taj heritage corridor issue. They squatted on the railway tracks forcing the train to stop at Dadri although it does not have a scheduled stop there.

In Ghaziabad, three trains were stopped by Congress workers at the New Ghaziabad railway station and at Kote village level crossing.

Hundreds of Congress workers assembled at the Mali Wara crossing and marched in procession to the Naya Ghaziabad railway station. They stopped Shalimar Express and burnt an effigy of Ms Mayawati. Another passenger train and a goods train were also stopped there.

Addressing the protestors, Dr Kishenveer Chaudhry, acting president of the Bharat Krishek Samaj, alleged that corruption had reached its zenith during Ms Mayawati’s rule in the state. The way the government had tried to sell off Taj was shameful, he said. While development works were at a standstill, officials were being demoralised and insulted without rhyme or reason. The Chief Minister was spreading the poison of casteism in the state, he alleged.

Over 300 agitators who were squatting on the rail tracks were arrested at Kote village. The arrested persons were later let off on personal sureties.

The district administration has already arrested over 1,100 Congress workers during the ‘rail roko’ agitation led by district Congress chief Ajay Chaudhary and Tej Pal Gujjar, the Youth Congress chief.

It may be recalled that UP Congress president Jagdambika Pal had called for a state-wide “jam the rail” programme on June 30 and had also demanded a judicial probe into the Taj heritage imbroglio.


CPM drive to highlight woes of poor
Our Correspondent

Rohtak, July 1
The state unit of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has decided to launch a campaign from August 16 to highlight the miseries of marginalised sections of the people, who were the worst-hit due to the “misrule” of the NDA government at the Centre and the Chautala government in the state.

Mr Inderjit Singh, secretary of the state unit, said that during the fortnight-long campaign, the party would focus on a nine-point charter, exposing the NDA rule for its pro-imperialist and communal agenda resulting in compounding the miseries of common people in all sectors like agriculture, industry, education, health, democratic rights and social justice. He said that the Sangh Parivar had once again resorted to reviving the Ayodhya issue despite no evidence having been found for the existence of any temple during the excavations of the Babri Masjid site. He said that all these desperate moves were aimed at diverting the attention of the people from the real issues keeping in view the forthcoming elections in five states and for the Lok Sabha next year.

Analysing the political situation in Haryana, Mr Inderjit Singh said that the anti-people policies and over-centralisation of power during the Chautala regime had led to deep crisis and discontentment among all sections.


Don’t muzzle farmers’ voice: Vidrohi

Sonepat: The Haryana Pradesh Janata Dal (U) president, Mr Ved Parkash Vidrohi, has condemned the ‘anti-farmer and anti-employee’ attitude of the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) Government and cautioned the Chief Minister, Mr Om Parkash Chautala, against confrontation with the leaders of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU). He said it was neither in the interest of the farmers nor the ruling party.

In a signed press statement issued here today, he said that the Chautala Government had failed to suppress the voice of the farmers even though it had arrested many BKU leaders and implicated them in false criminal cases.

He accused Mr Chautala of misusing official machinery against the farmers agitating against his ‘misrule’.

He warned that if Mr Chautala continued with his oppressive attitude against the farmers, the day was not far when the farmers would rise and revolt against him and his government.

Mr Vidrohi also criticised the Chautala Government for adopting double standard and accused it of causing hardships to the employees by ordering retrenchments in various departments, nigams and boards.

He contested the claim of Mr Chautala for providing adequate employment to the educated jobless youths and said that the announcements made by Mr Chautala about recruiting 20,000 employees in various government departments were false. OC


Don’t hold polls during Ramzan: Third Front
Tribune New Service

New Delhi, July 1
The leaders of the Third Front today met the Lt-Governor of Delhi, Mr Vijai Kapoor, and sought his intervention to urge the Election Commission of India to refrain from holding elections during November when Ramzan would be observed. The leaders urged that the minority community should not be deprived of casting their votes in the Assembly polls, which should be scheduled for early October or December. The Front leaders also demanded that the people Below the Poverty Line (BPL) should be provided with 15 per cent reservation while Muslims should be provided with 10 per cent reservation in government jobs.

Mr Kapoor was urged to convey to the Government not to implement the CAS as it is ‘anti-consumer’ and aimed at benefiting certain individuals. The delegation also pointed out that the Ration Card Holders under the BPL scheme were not being given cheap rations despite the Delhi Government having lifted the quota allocated by the Centre.

Among other issues taken up by the Front include regularisation of alterations made in the DDA flats, withdrawal of the recent power tariff hike and regularisation of unauthorised colonies.


Gupta exhorts police brass to work fearlessly
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 1
The Police Commissioner, Mr RS Gupta, today urged the Delhi policemen to work fearlessly and honestly and set an example for the rest of country and make the force one of the best.

Addressing senior police officers on the 25th anniversary of the commissioner system of police in the Capital, the Police Commissioner said that this would be possible only if they worked with the public and for the public.

He said that since Delhi was the national Capital, policing it was a complex affair and required both expertise and professionalism.

Appreciating the achievements of the Delhi Police force on the occasion, Mr Gupta said the deaths of a number dreaded criminals and terrorists in police encounters and the arrest of other unlawful elements went to the credit of the policemen and officers. Incidents of robbery, fighting, cyber crimes and various heinous crimes have been brought under control, he claimed.

He mentioned the encounters of Pakistan-based terrorists at Ansal Plaza, Tughlakabad, Humayun Makbara and one in Meerut in Uttar Pradesh.

Pointing out the unauthorised constructions and incidences of foreign nationals living illegally in Delhi, he said the national Capital directly or indirectly is affected by incidents that take place inside the country or outside. Besides, it has been a target of the terrorists because of the presence of a large number of VIPs. All these have to be tackled by the police.

He appealed to the policemen that while dealing with sensitive issues in the Capital, they should not forget the minor incidents as these are directly connected with the people in general.

The police will set an example and improve their image if they work to solve the problem of the people in general. He also mentioned crime against senior citizens and women. 


Villagers rally against erratic power, water supply
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, July 1
Hundreds of people of Jakahuli and Aurangabad villages held a massive demonstration in front of the office of the SDO, Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (UHBVN) at Biswan Meel near Rai, about 15 km from here, yesterday to protest against the erratic power supply in their villages for the past two weeks.

According to a report, residents of these villages reached the office in tractor-trailers and other vehicles and forced their way into the 132 KV grid power substation. They also assembled outside the office of the SDO and sat on a dharna. Gheraoing the SDO for about one and a half hours, they dispersed peacefully only when the SDO assured them that steps would be taken to ensure regular power supply in their villages. After the assurance, the demonstrators left with the warning that if the situation failed to improve within a couple of days, they would have no alternative than to hold up traffic on National Highway 1.

The residents alleged that the power supply was made available for only three hours a day. This had led to disruption in their normal life. They had to spend sleepless nights sweating it out at night.

According to another report, a large number of residents, including women of Shamri village, held a demonstration in front of the office of the SDM at Gohana town, 35 km from here, yesterday.

The demonstrators raised anti-government and anti-Public Health Department slogans. They broke their pitchers on the occasion. The SDM assured them that he would visit the village and take necessary action to ensure regular supply of drinking water in their village. Meanwhile, the residents of Nizampur village held a demonstration in front of the Deputy Commissioner’s office here yesterday. They sat on a day’s dharna there in protest against the alleged misuse of public funds allotted for the execution of development works by the sarpanch of the village and the Block Development and Panchayat Officer, Kharkhauda. They shouted slogans against the sarpanch and the BDPO.

Submitting a memorandum to the DC, they demanded a high-level inquiry into the public complaints and stern action against the officials and the sarpanch of the village. According to another report, a large number of residents of Bakhtawarpur village held a demonstration in front of the Deputy Commissioner’s office here yesterday in support of their demands for holding a high-level probe into the complaints regarding the malpractices and irregularities committed by the sarpanch and other members of his family.


Probe into CADA work on watercourses sought
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, July 1
Representatives of gram panchayats, block samitis and the Sonepat Zila Parishad today expressed grave concern over the “inefficient” working of the Command Area Development Authority (CADA) and demanded a high-level probe into the complaints of farmers about the use of substandard material in the construction of watercourses.

According to a report, they have alleged that most of the works executed by the CADA on watercourses were substandard and the senior officials of authority had remained silent spectators, thereby ignoring the complaints in this regard. They further alleged that the state government had been suffering a huge financial loss owing to the use of substandard materials in the construction of watercourses. Such an inquiry would expose the misdeeds of the officials entrusted with the job.


Nirankari Baba returns from salvation tour
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 1
This world is too small for walls, whether they are erected in the name of religion, sect, language, region or culture. Since such walls only divide humanity, create hatred and cause violence, every effort should be made to dismantle them as early as possible.

This observation was made here by His Holiness Baba Hardev Singh Ji Maharaj, Head of the Sant Nirankari Mission, while addressing a special congregation organised to welcome him and his spouse Pujya Mata Sawinder Ji as they came back to Delhi after a two-month-long ‘salvation tour’ of the UK and Europe. Thousands of devotees from Delhi, Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh participated in the gathering on Sunday.

Picking up the above reference from Berlin Wall, Baba Ji pointed out that every wall seeking to divide humanity is first erected in the mind and then constructed on the ground. Again it is first dismantled in the mind and then only razed to the ground physically. What we need, therefore, is that we must rise above narrow feelings and be broad-minded enough to think in terms of the welfare of all.

He called upon the world leaders to detach themselves from such considerations which divide humanity. He appealed to them to divert the resources from the production of weapons to the economic development of the world.

Baba Ji admitted that the diversities of culture, language, etc. may have to stay. It is but natural. However, we have to value the fundamental unity that pervades the entire universe. In fact, nature is the best guide on unity in diversity, which is achievable in human world through spiritual enlightenment.


Americans turning towards meditation’
Our Correspondent

Rewari, July 1
Rajyogini Dadi Gujzar, alias Dadi Hradya Mohini, joint chief of the Brahma Kumaris, has said that after the destruction of the World Trade Center, an attitudinal change was quite conspicuous among the people of America.

Addressing a large gathering of sisters, brothers and other disciples of the Brahma Kumaris Fraternity of the Delhi zone at the Om Shanti Retreat Centre (ORC) at Bilaspur, 30 km from here on Sunday, she said that during her recent tour of the US, she found that bonds of mutual love, along with an increasing inclination towards meditation, were fast taking roots among the American citizens.

Further, they were gradually releasing that spiritual enlightenment alone could lead to a life – free of tension and panic, she added.

Making a specific mention of the increasing rush of the American devotees at the Brahma Kumaris’ Peace Village in New York and the various other retreat houses throughout the US, she said that it was highly encouraging that Brahma Baba’s spiritual ethos was making an impact on the lives of American citizens, many of whom now aspired to undertake a pilgrimage of Madhuban at Mount Abu in Rajasthan, which is the international headquarters of the Brahma Kumaris.

Giving description of her similar experiences made during her tour of the UK, Dadi Gulzar said that it was exhilarating to note that numerous English devotees had been listening to the Murli (the spiritual aphorisms of the Brahma Baba) broadcast at the Retreat Houses in London during early hours of the morning daily.

Making a pointed reference to the utterances made by the Brahma Baba when they joined the order as small children, she remarked that these very children, who now constituted hierarchy of the Brahma Kumaris Organisation, were now engaged in the moral and spiritual uplift of mankind.

It was something glorious that owing to the Baba’s guidance and inspirational incentive, lakhs of youths were now devoted to the community service in diverse areas with an exemplary dedication at the 6000-odd branches of the Vishwa Vidyalaya (PBKIV) working in India and 87 other countries of the world, she added.


Admn promises steps to decongest Mehrauli-Gurgaon road
Our Correspondent

Gurgaon, July 1
The district administration claims to have taken a series of action to decongest the Mehrauli-Gurgaon road, which witnesses traffic jams especially on weekends.

Gurgaon Deputy Commissioner Anurag Rastogi told the NCR Tribune that the ‘MG’ road stretch between IFFCO Chowk to Sikanderpur on the Mehrauli road had actually been developed in a planned way. However, most of the people parked their vehicles on the roadside, a non-parking area, resulting in congestion on the road, he said.

The administration had directed the developers of DLF City Center, Metropolitan (MGF) and Sahara Mall (three malls where people throng) to ensure that the visitors must park their vehicles only in the allotted parking areas inside the malls and not on the road. “We would ensure that no vehicle is parked on the road. Strict action would be taken against the violators,” said the DC.

Revealing the long-term strategy, he said that the administration had finalised a plan to acquire the land on both sides of MR Road to widen it and make side lanes. The work on the Sikanderpur bypass got delayed due to the shortage of ‘rori’ and other building materials following the order of the Supreme

Court not to allow mining in Aravali hills. This road would soon be constructed, which would decongest the Sikanderpur area, added the officer.

The administration had also decided to make another side road from the Delhi-Gurgaon-Mehrauli border leading from the Faridabad road to the Sohna road. This 10-km stretch would ensure that the most of the people, living in DLF, South city and nearby colonies, would not be forced to use MR Road as a transit road like now and would use it only when they are visiting the malls.

In fact, MR Road would be the hub of shopping where all types of goods of leading brands and avenues of entertainment are available.

Following the outcry by the masses, the administration had recently put up signboards on MG Road warning against parking vehicles on the road. The police have hired two cranes to tow away the vehicles parked in the non-parking areas.

However, people park their vehicles on the road even now as the parking rate of Rs 15 is thought to be high. The mall developers should reserve some place for parking vehicles of short duration.


Family Health Awareness Campaign
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 1
Raising concern about the health and welfare of the people especially women, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit today said that people often neglect ailments which can prove fatal.

Speaking at a public meeting following the launch of the week-long, ‘Family Health Awareness Campaign’ organised by the Delhi State Aids Control Society, Govt. of Delhi at the MCD Dispensary, behind Vijay Ghat, Mrs Dikshit said undergoing treatment at the preliminary stage of the ailment is easy, cheap and helps build a healthy family.

The Chief Minister also informed that a total of 850 camps have been set up under the campaign in various hospitals, health centres and dispensaries run by the Government of NCT, the MCD and the NDMC.

Dr Ashok Walia, Health and Family Welfare Minister, present on the occasion, said that there is no confirmed treatment of HIV/AIDS, but it is totally preventive. Highlighting the causes of the disease, he said that people should equip themselves with proper knowledge.

Maharaja Ranjit Singh remembered

The Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Management Committee held a special congregation at the historic Gurudwara Bangla Sahib on the occasion of the 164th death anniversary of Maharaja Ranjit Singh.

The ceremony, which took place here last week, paid tributes to the great Sikh king who welded Sikhs into a nation. Speaking on the occasion, Prof Harmohinder Singh lauded the achievements of the Maharaja.

The late king’s virtues were recalled as the congregation paid homage to him. Present on the occasion were the acting president of the DSGMC, Mr Harvinder Singh Sarna, Head Granthi, Bangla Sahib Gurudwara and other members of the DSGMC.


32,000 candidates appear for B Ed entrance test
Our Correspondents

Rohtak, July 1
As many as 32,000 candidates appeared in the entrance test for admission to B Ed (regular) course conducted by Maharshi Dayanand University in Rohtak, Bahadurgarh, Sonepat, Gurgaon, Faridabad and Rewari towns yesterday. Dr KC Bharadwaj, Controller of Examinations, MDU said that the entrance test for this much sought-after course was conducted smoothly at all the examination centres. He said 132 examination centres were constituted, and 264 observers were detailed on duty to conduct the exam.

Counselling for B Pharma

Maharshi Dayanand University will conduct the counselling for admission to Bachelor of Pharmacy course for the session 2003-04 in institutions and universities of Haryana from July 7 to July 11. A spokesman of the university administration today informed that the candidates will have to pay a token fee of Rs 5,000 at the time of counselling. The remaining amount will have to be deposited by the candidates within a week, at the allotted colleges/institutions/departments of universities, he added.

MDU to conduct aptitude test

Maharshi Dayanand University will conduct the aptitude test for admission to Bachelor of Architecture (B Arch) course on July 6.

A university press release today stated that the test would be conducted in the University College, Rohtak from 1 pm onwards. The candidates who had opted to appear for this course in the CEET-2003 form are required to collect their roll numbers on July 6 from 8 am to 12.30 pm at the enquiry counter of the university.

88 released on bail

Sonepat: Mr BN Singhal, District and Sessions Judge, yesterday ordered the release of 88 persons of Ahulana village on bail. According to a report, the police had arrested these persons after they had ruined the standing crops, in about 600 acres of panchayat land to forcibly occupy it on June 23.

Meanwhile, the duty magistrate has directed these persons to furnish surety of Rs 25,000 each before they were released on bail.

Dreaded kidnapper shot dead

Ghaziabad: The Sahibabad Police shot dead a dreaded criminal, Tilak Ram, who was fleeing with a stolen Indica Car, in an encounter.

The police recovered a revolver, several cartridges and a stolen car from his possession. SP (Rural) Pushpak Jyoti said that the accused was involved in several kidnapping cases and would then demand ransom from the victims’ families.

New Ghaziabad DM

Ghaziabad has got a new District Magistrate and Collector, Babu Lal Meena. He has been brought in to fill the slot vacated by Ram Kishen. It may recalled that Ram Kishen was suspended by Chief Minister Mayawati last week in village Bachhlota for having ‘neglected’ the development work in Ambedkar villages in Hapur Block. Rumours were making round that the suspended DM Ram Kishen had been trying for his reinstatement in state capital Lucknow since then.

Residents demand for road

Narnaul: The demand for a road from the railway station to Rewari Road, through Adarsh Nagar, has again come up with the increasing pressure on inner path of the township. Regular traffic jams at various places in the city have compelled the residents to put forward their demand for an outer road from railway station to Rewari Road.


Suicide bid

Sonepat: Joginder alias Joga of Chatia village, involved in a murder case, reportedly attempted suicide by consuming insecticide tablets in his house yesterday. OC


Child rescued, kidnappers held

New Delhi, July 1
The North district police today claimed to have solved the kidnapping case of a seven-year-old boy who went missing on May 5 from Bara Hindu Rao. The victim, Gaurav, was rescued from the kidnappers who held him captive in Feroz Shah Kotla. The accused, Budh Singh, 35, hailing from Bhind and his associate, Lekh Raj, 24, resident of Muriana, Madhya Pradesh, were arrested by the police today. The accused, who had worked with the child’s father, had kidnapped the child to extort money.

Auto thief nabbed

The South district police today claimed to have nabbed one person who had been involved in car-stereo thefts.

The accused, Sanjay alias Sonu, 27, resident of Hauz Khas, was arrested while he was travelling in a stolen car.

One spring-actuated knife and four car stereos were recovered from his possession. TNS


Banks surpass loan target in 2002-03
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, July 1
Various nationalised banks had issued as many as 64,591 Kisan Credit Cards to the farmers in this district during 2002-03. This was disclosed by Mr S. N. Arora, Lead Bank Office of Punjab National Bank, at a quarterly meeting of the bankers here yesterday.

Mr Balwan Singh, Deputy Commissioner, presided over the meeting. Senior officers of PNB, SBI and NABARD were also present at the meeting.

Mr Arora said that the nationalised banks had advanced a loan of Rs 212.62 crore to the farmers under various government schemes launched during the year under review. PNB, he claimed, topped other banks in advancing 48 per cent of the amount of loan to the farmers in this district.

Various nationalised banks had advanced a loan of Rs 392.33 crore to the farmers as against the target of Rs 381.13 crore fixed by the government. The banks, he said, had advanced a loan of Rs 67.72 crore to the 1,385 farmers having Kisan Credit Cards in this district during 2002-03.

Earlier, the Deputy Commissioner asked the bankers to advance loans liberally to the farmers and poor people under various schemes launched by the government for improving the lot of the poor people in the district. He warned that any delay in providing loans would attract action by the government.

He also asked the bankers to take immediate and effective steps for achieving the targets of loans fixed by the government for them.

The DC also assured that the district administration would provide all-out assistance to the bankers in the recovery of loans given to the farmers and other poor people. He also announced that stern action would be taken against the defaulters.


With 3.2 m connections, BSNL set to enter Limca Book
Tribune News Service

Panipat, July 1
Even as the private players are giving a tough time to the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), and the public complaints against its ‘inefficient’ services are constantly increasing, the CMD, Mr Prithipal Singh, claimed that the BSNL was all set to enter the Limca Book of Records for providing 3.2 million mobile connections in just eight months.

He was speaking at the inauguration of a customer service centre here.

The CMD also complimented the Nigam staff on providing excellent services to the subscribers leaving its rival service providers way behind.

Mr Prithipal Singh said the BSNL was ‘mobile’ in the real sense and claimed its cellular services to be the best for the people as its wide network ensured that it worked at all places.

The Chief General Manager Telecom, Haryana Circle, Mr AK Nagpal, said the Haryana Circle had rolled out phase I and II of the mobile project completely and its mobile network had the capacity to cater to 1,11,000 customers. With the achievement of one lakh mobile connections, the BSNL has become the number one mobile operator in the state, leaving behind Escotel, Airtel and Essar, he said.

Meanwhile, it is learnt that the customer service centre, with a covered area of 1,500 square feet, will have four cash counters.

For the first time in the Haryana circle, the customers will have the facility of a duplicate bill vending machine where they can get duplicate bill with the help of the touch screen without any assistance of the BSNL staff.

Besides the sale of the application forms for the new connections, it will provide the facility of on-the-spot activation of new mobile connections.


Not good enough, say customers

While the BSNL CMD claimed that customer services being provided by the Nigam employees were excellent, customers have a different story to tell.

Some of the subscribers, present in Customer Service Center (CSC), interviewed by this correspondent expressed dissatisfaction with the customer services provided by the BSNL. They told the ‘NCR Tribune’ that except for the subscribers from Panipat, those from Samalkha, Bapoli, Israna and other areas of the district had to travel all the way to Panipat to deposit their mobile phone bills in cash in Old Customer Service Centre due to the absence of a proper working system of the department.

Another subscriber said that though he had opted for the BSNL’s mobile phone services, he was dissatisfied as the private companies in the Haryana circle were providing better quality services at the same rates.

The customers also demanded that the payment in cheque should be accepted till 5 pm in this centre. TNS

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