Sunday, July 27, 2003, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


Orphans opening a new chapter in their life
R. D. Sapra

Sonepat, July 26
They are not children of a lesser god, for many of them have attained the heights what the privileged children could only envy. They are housed in a ‘Bal Gram’ on the National Highway No. 1, just beyond the Moti Lal Nehru School of Sports at Rai, about 13 km from the district headquarters of Sonepat.

A visit to the Bal Gram shows that a unique effort is on for the welfare of the orphaned children.

This Gram is the brainchild of the Director, Social Welfare, Haryana, Miss Veena Kohli, who was inspired to start this venture after the success of ‘Nishant’ in Chandigarh.

Spreading over an area of four acres, the Bal Gram has 16 cottages, housing 94 children including 60 girls. Already five cottages named after the rivers, Alakhnanda, Bhagirathi, Narbada, Cauvery and Godavry are humming with the voices of the young ones and their mothers, one for each group of six children.

Most of these little ones have been in this home for the last several years.

When the Bal Gram was started in 1979, abandoned, orphaned and destitute children were brought here from the villages of Haryana. They were sickly, untutored and scared.

Today, four children had passed their examinations from the MNSS, Rai and one of them, Bharati Bhushan is a captain in the Indian Army after passing the B.Sc. examination in first division.

Three other children Ms Kanta, Anil and Suresh hold good posts in the government offices. Three girls have passed the B.A. examination and two of them have been married. Moreover, six girls study in Shambhu Dayal Modern School, Sonepat and two others in Little Angles School in this city.

The Bal Gram incharge is the ‘village father’ Mr Mohan Godbole who lives in a cottage along with his wife and other members of the family. He is the father figure for the children.

He says that this work gives him tremendous satisfaction, for here one notices a change for the better in the children every day.

The cottages are run independently by the ‘mother’ who is given a monthly ration allowance to buy the groceries from a shop in the Bal Gram itself. A minimum nutritious diet is prescribed though the mothers are free to choose the menu. The cottages, designed almost on the pattern of high income group houses, have a drawing-cum-dining room complete with furniture, carpet and other necessary paraphernalia.

The high standard of living of the children raises eyebrows sometimes, for it is felt that if the standard is lowered somewhat, more children could be covered.

When this was pointed to Mr Balwan Singh, Deputy Commissioner, Sonepat, he said that there was no dearth of orphanages in the country, but the Bal Gram was a different experiment.


Destination Delhi: Medical tourism is the lure
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 26
The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) believes NCT of Delhi could become a destination for medical tourism if the Government of NCT of Delhi welcomes private sector participation in the administration and management of health care services.

In an interaction with Special Secretary (Health and Family Welfare) Anand Prakash, the industry expressed concern over the existing health care facilities in NCT of Delhi and proposed throwing open the health care sector to the private players.

Chairman of CII Delhi State Council Vikram Bakshi says NCT of Delhi has the potential to become a major health care destination not only in India but South Asia also because of the pool of skilled medical staff; connectivity through rail, road and air; and the telecom infrastructure.

The seven-point charter adopted by the CII Delhi State Council, and presented to the Government of NCT of Delhi, proposes a unified emergency service network and zoning of NCT of Delhi into 10 zones for co-ordinated health care facilities.

The charter also proposes rating of hospitals to ensure basic minimum standards, universal health insurance, better bio-medical waste disposal and management and fiscal incentives to the hospitals to change over to alternative bio-medical treatment technologies.

Mr Bakshi says the Government of NCT of Delhi could also subsidise the health care facilities to those below poverty line (BPL) through a system of BPL voucher where the hospital would contribute towards the voucher by paying a cess of one per cent on their surpluses.

Special Secretary (Health and Family Welfare) Anand Prakash told the CII that the Government of NCT of Delhi proposes to add 800 more beds during the course of the year. On the anvil is the setting up of 15 new hospitals.


School vice-principals: Two for one, none for the other!
Syed Ali Ahmed
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 26
It is a classic case of one post and two candidates. Two Delhi government schools have attained this unusual distinction thanks to the apathy of the administration. While one school has two vice-principals, the other has none.

The Government Senior Secondary School at Hari Nagar near Ashram has two vice-principals while the Government Senior Secondary School, Badarpur has none. Both vice-principals Badri Prasad and R.C. Verma are working at Hari Nagar school for some strange reason.

How this came about is another story.

According to sources, the authorities transferred Mr R.C. Verma to a middle school at Hari Nagar from Badarpur without making alternative arrangement there. This middle school was closed down

by the government before the summer vacation. Thereafter, Mr Verma was transferred to the Senior Secondary School at Hari Nagar though a vice-principal was already there while the vice-principal’s post is still lying vacant at Badarpur.

It is also interesting that while Mr R.C. Verma is working at Hari Nagar school now, he continues to get his salary from the Badarpur school.

Not only this, an Urdu teacher is teaching social studies in a government senior secondary school at Joga Bai and the social study teacher is teaching English at Hari Nagar. The same is the case in various Urdu medium schools in other districts where the Urdu teachers are forced to teach other subjects.

Sources said that it was precisely for this reason that there was a decline in the education standards of these schools—a matter which has caused considerable concern among the powers that be..

The District Education Officer, Mr B.N. Bajpai, when contacted by the ‘NCR Tribune’ said that he was not aware of these developments but promised to inquire into the matter, and if need be, take corrective measures.

Mr Badari Prasad, the vice-principal at the Hari Nagar school said, “I had applied for transfer a few months back but the department gave no attention to my application. Since the middle school was closed, the department took benefit of my application and appointed Mr R.C. Verma at Hari Nagar school. Two vice-principals in one school is unheard of when there is a need for experienced teachers in many schools,” he said.

Meanwhile, the two vice-principals continue to function in one school much to the delight of the students and other staff. How they manage to divide their responsibilities is another matter, sources said.


Teaching children the ABC of choosing a career
Smriti Kak
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 26
Apart from the physical infrastructure including chairs and blackboards, students in schools, not from the national capital territory, are also deprived of direction and career guidance.

Classrooms occupied with students, clueless about their future, was the sight that greeted Major-General P K Saighal (Retd.) when as the Project Director of The Restoring Force (TRF), he began exploring the “schools” that are meant not just to educate, but also help a student embark on a career.

“TRF began targeting rural children, because the education facilities available to them are grossly inadequate. Schools in our villages still do not have enough blackboards, benches and even rudimentary libraries and laboratories,” said Maj-Gen Saighal.

Providing facilities like laboratories and libraries apart, TRF has taken up the challenge of providing career guidance and counselling to these children and their parents.

“Through our programmes like Diskha Kendra, Teachers’s Assistance Programme and Direct Help to Students, we are aiming at reaching a cross-section of students from villages in Haryana and in future in Punjab,” said Maj-Gen Saighal. Diskha Kendra provides students career counselling and offers advice on various streams and courses. The services are free of charge and children are briefed on how to choose a career. The first phase of the counselling took place between May 1 and 15 and was undertaken in 20 schools in places including Harsaroo, Jacobpura, Kadipur and Dhankot in Haryana.

“Approximately 3,000 students, 100 teachers and 10 principals became aware of the opportunities available at the village and state level and also received guidance on how to pursue a chosen option,” said Maj-Gen Saighal talking about the counselling session. He went on to add, “Career counselling helped these children get an overview of the opportunities available. Ninety per cent of these children who attended the session stated that consequent to the counselling, they were clear of the vocation that they would like to pursue and there was a thirst to know more.”

The second phase of counselling will begin in August and is likely to cover 15 schools. Owing to the nature and the magnitude of the counselling, the NGO has been approached to offer counselling in schools in the city as well.

The Teachers’ Assistance Programme (TAP) is an ambitious plan that is aimed at addressing the need for qualified teachers. “We are trying to develop illustrated CDs, DVDs, videotapes for lessons in various subjects by experts and these will be distributed in schools in the villages. This would be especially useful for science subjects where costs of showing experiments is high”, elucidated Maj-Gen Saighal.

The NGO also sponsors the setting up of computer labs, sports infrastructure, camps and melas and provides scholarships to meritorious students.


Punjabi singer Sukhwinder held
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 26
Three persons including the famous Punjabi pop singer Sukhwinder Singh, alias Panchi, were held for their alleged involvement in the visa racket.

Their arrest follows the arrest of two other persons at the Indira Gandhi International Airport, who tried to travel on a fake visa.

The police on July 25 had arrested two passengers Jaskaran Singh and Devinder Singh, both residents of Jalandhar while they were trying to board a Paris-bound Air France flight No AF-147 on a fake visa stamped on their passports. The fraud was immediately detected by the immigration officials and the accused were arrested.

During interrogation, the duo told the police that the agents who arranged for their visa, were staying at the Chand hotel in Pahar Ganj. One of the agents was allegedly Sukhwinder Singh, alias Panchi, (36), resident of Jalandhar whose audio cassette ‘Challen Mundiyan’, had a record sale of 7.5 lakh cassettes in 1990.

His two associates were identified as Punjab Singh, alias Bittoo, (23), resident of Jalandhar and secretary to Sukhwinder, and Mangal Singh Dhillon (53), resident of New York and a businessman who had visited Delhi 11 times within three years for this purpose.

The police said that Punjab Singh used to lure innocent persons who wanted to enter foreign countries. Interrogation of Sukhinder Singh is on to find out how many persons he had sent to foreign countries and the kind the money involved in the racket.


Girl raped, killed; body found
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Panipat, July 26
The Samalkha police have found the body of 10-year-old girl from the fields of Bhorwal Majri village, who was allegedly raped and later killed by Chhotu, a resident of Aligarh district in UP.

Police said the girl, a resident of Vasant Vihar in Delhi, came to Bhorwal on July 18 along with her parents. The accused, who was reportedly familiar with the family, came with them to the village. On July 19, when he was returning to Delhi, he asked the girl to accompany him to the Bhorwal railway station.

In the nearby fields, he allegedly raped her and strangled her when she became unconscious.

The accused, who has been arrested, is reported to have confessed to the crime. The body was noticed by owner of the fields on July and later the police were informed.

A case under Section 302 of the IPC has been registered.


Four BJP leaders hurt in road accident
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, July 26
Four BJP leaders were injured when a car in which they were travelling, was hit by a three-wheeler on the G T Road between Bahalgarh and Murthal near Sector 7 about 15 km from here yesterday.

According to a report, the car was the part of a motorcade accompanying Mr Raj Nath Singh, Union Agriculture Minister who was going to Bapauli village in Panipat district to address the convention of Yuva Kisan Morcha there. The injured leaders were identified as Mr Dharamvir of Mirzapur, a member of the national executive of the Yuva Kisan Morcha, Mr Krishan Bedi, general secretary of Kurukshetra district unit of the party, Mr Yashpal Bhardwaj, general secretary of Kurukshetra Mandal and Mr Vinod Kumar.

The fifth occupant of the car Arvind, escaped unhurt.

The leaders were admitted to the local civil hospital. The police have registered the case against the driver of three-wheeler on the charge of rash and negligent driving. Further investigations were on. According to another report, a six-year-old girl, Kajal, was knocked down and killed by a jeep near Tharu village about 10 km from here last night. The victim along with her father, was returning home after the completion of the work in the fields.

The police have registered the case and launched a hunt for the jeep driver. Meanwhile, hundreds of women held up the traffic on the Kharkhauda-Delhi Road near Saidpur village about 25 km from here yesterday to register their protest against the non-replacing of burnt transformer by the officials of the UHBVN in spite of repeated representations. They lifted the blockade after the intervention of the SHO of Kharkhauda.


Freedom Fighter Cell officials held
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 26
The CBI has registered a case against two officials, Harbhajan Dass and Vijay Chaudhary, an assistant and UDC respectively working in the Freedom Fighter Cell of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs in Lok Nayak Bhawan for demanding and accepting a bribe of Rs 5000.

The complainant, a resident of district Warangal, Andhra Pradesh, alleged that he had came to Delhi in connection with the pension of his relative pending since 1997.

He was approached by both the suspects and asked to pay a bribe of Rs 5,000 for releasing the pension.

They also gave their mobile numbers. The complainant reported the matter to a senior officer of the cell who in turn directed him to contact the CBI.

The CBI laid a trap and caught the accused red-handed.

Searches were conducted on the official premises of the suspects and incriminating documents were recovered. The documents were being scrutinised for further investigation, a press release said.


Garbage litters slums, posh colonies alike
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, July 26
Heavy rains that lashed the city over the past one week have left behind a trail of uncleared garbage bins and waterlogged roads. Conditions are appalling in slum clusters, particularly on the banks of Drain No 6 where many pockets are submerged. At least 20,000 persons live in unauthorised slum clusters and resettlement colonies where planned development has taken the backseat.

In other parts of the city, particularly the old section, the condition is no better. Residents in any colonies have to put up with choked drains, sewer systems and overflowing garbage bins. For instance, in the areas of Mohalla Kalan, Ashok Nagar (kutche quarters), and the RSS ground, the civic authorities have done nothing to improve the sanitary conditions.

Waterlogging in the low-lying areas and overflowing of storm water drains have done a great deal of damage to the roads.

The heavy downpour last week exposed the hollowness of the claims of the civic authorities. Potholed roads, even in the posh colonies, are a common sight. The roads leading to the Atlas Cycle Industries Ltd from the PWD (B and R) rest house are no exception.

Driving has become dangerous on the main roads due to the gaping potholes. Roads in almost all areas are crying for immediate attention. Ironically, some of the roads had been carpeted only a few months ago.

Though the PWD (B and R) authorities often rush material to fill the potholes, the work is quickly undone. Meanwhile, uneven surfaces, potholes, lack of repair and almost no maintenance tell the sad story of the roads in the rural areas of the district.

Social and political leaders of the district have alleged the government contractors are misappropriating funds meant for construction and repair of the roads in connivance with the high-ups of the PWD (B and R). Several sarpanches, panches and members of the block samitis and the Sonepat Zila Parishad have demanded a high-level probe into the working of the PWD (B and R). They have alleged that the material being used is sub-standard.

A large portion of the Sonepat-Rohtak road passing through the mandi area has been in a state of neglect thanks to the failure of the authorities to repair it.

Similarly, the 19-km-long portion of the Sonepat-Kharkhauda road has become unserviceable even for the vehicular traffic. If Mr Om Prakash Chautala, Chief Minister, wanted to come to Sonepat from Kharkhauda or Rohtak, his route was always diverted by the district authorities.

Almost all link roads in the rural areas are no better. Most of them are washed away every monsoon. Bogus billing is a routine matter in the office of the PWD (B and R).



Mini sectt to be built at Panipat
Our Correspondent

Panipat, July 26
The Haryana Government has decided to construct a mini secretariat at the subdivisional level so that the grievances of the people can be redressed under one roof.

This was disclosed by the Haryana Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, while addressing the Panipat Bar Association here today.

While referring to the contribution of the Father of the Nation, the Chief Minister maintained that Mahatma Gandhi was himself an advocate who waged a relentless struggle against the British Empire and united the country. He urged the advocates to effect a patch-up between feuding parties.

Mr Chautala said the Haryana Government was committed to the welfare of all sections of society so that a new era of peace and prosperity could be heralded in the state. He said his government had no ill will against any political opponent and all development works were being distributed and executed equally in all areas. He further said government jobs were being provided only on merit basis so that the state could make unmatched progress in all fields.

While referring to the demands of advocates put forward by Bar Association president Ramesh Sharma, Mr Chautala assured the mini secretariat would be constructed at Panipat soon. He also granted a sum of Rs 2 lakh for the library. On the demand for constructing chambers for lawyers, he said he was all for it.

Mr Satbir Singh Kadian, Speaker, Haryana Vidhan Sabha, urged the Chief Minister to fulfil the demands put up by the president of the Bar Association. He expressed confidence that all problems of lawyers would be sorted out by the Chief Minister as Devi Lal had carved the district out.


Parents and good home: Let us thank God for them

FAMILIES are in turmoil today. Rebellious teenagers and stressed parents do not make a good combination. Couples driven by materialistic urges of the current age neglect their family and pay a heavy price for it later. Family, being the most vital unit of any civil society, is the most fundamental institution in any country or culture. It is the “starting point of life, the sustainer of well-being and the school of love.”

Parenting is an important element in the nurture of families. Parent-children relationship has come under strain in the rapidly changing socio-cultural scenario owing to a number of factors.

There is a growing recognition of the weakening of family ties and break-up of families.

Strong family ties have characterised the Indian way of life and they are being threatened from both within and outside. They have not remained immune to the materialistic aspirations, individualistic tendencies and the competitive spirit of the age. The increasing rate of divorces and the weakening of marriage as an institution, as in the West, are causing concern. Alarm bells are ringing. The fourth Sunday of July every year is observed as “Parents Day.” Though observance of Mothers Day, Fathers Day and Parents Day smack of blind imitation of western ways, there is much to commend in them as occasions to stress the commitment to family values. A conservative Indian might hold that love of parents for children and respect and gratitude of children towards parents are implicit in the culture in which we live. But in these changing times, it has become imperative to express openly what is implicit. Love that remains hidden in the inner recesses of a lover, friend, mother or child, it is argued, does not do any good. That must be proclaimed in unmistakable terms and as frequently as possible for emotional health—that is the word of wisdom for this age.

So it is quite in order if you decided to send to your parents a letter of greetings telling them how grateful you are and how proud you are of the privilege of being their son or daughter. A strident note of protest heard these days relate to the neglect of senior citizens. Old age homes are coming into existence to provide relief to those who find themselves alone in the evening of their lives and with sons and daughters fathers pursuing their careers in other lands. Even with all the coldness towards the aged, they may still prefer the nearness of their dear ones and familiar surroundings to the impersonal existence in an old age home. Home is the one place, which provides a shelter from the storms of the world, a place wherein one need not wear protective masks and feel free to be oneself. It is again a place where goodness, kindness, love and joy find expression in beautiful human relationships. Great minds had attributed their good fortune to the influence of homes and good parents.

For parents, the homes constitute the training ground where children are guided, nurtured and educated to succeed in life. Healthier societies consist of good families, wherein character building and selfless service are emphasised upon.

The strength of a nation consists in its families, the basic human unit, God has created for the continuation of human species. Of late, there are forces of change, especially in the West, strengthened by materialism, weakening marriage as an institution. It is substituted by what is known as live-in relationships, where men and women live together without getting married. A sort of contractual relationship to be maintained as long as mutually convenient. Broken marriages and single-parent homes have an adverse impact on the emotional health of children and society.

The US Congress, in recognition of the rights of every child to live in a safe, stable and loving family, unanimously adopted a resolution in 1994 establishing the fourth Sunday of every July as Parents’ Day. According to the resolution, Parents Day is established for “recognising, uplifting and supporting the role of parents in rearing children.” The decision to observe Parents Day was the result of “a bipartisan, multiracial and interfaith coalition of religious, civic and elected leaders who recognised the need to promote responsible parenting in society. Local churches, civic bodies and public spirited activists have launched many programmes around the theme of Parents Day to celebrate and strengthen the traditional two-parent family. The National Parents Day Council promotes the family ideal in various ways. Communities, organisations and local religious outfits are encouraged to recognise and honour outstanding couples as role models. Thus, “parents of the year” are declared at the national, state and local levels. The criteria of selection: Couples who have shown qualities of sacrificial love; parents who have overcome major emotional, physical, financial obstacles to provide for their children’s personal development and happiness; those who have a noteworthy record of contributions to their family and community.

For the future of the nation, every home needs to be a paradise, where children receive love, feel secure and are well-provided for by caring parents. A peaceful home is more than gold and silver.

In the East or West, parents do undergo great sacrifices for bringing up children into responsible citizens, in providing them good education and opportunities in life.

M P K Kutty


Lakhs of Shiva devotees come here to get their
desires fulfilled
Our Correspondent

Rewari, July 26
With thousands of Kanwarias, carrying well-decorated containers of Gangajal, on the eve of the holy festival of Shivratri the atmosphere has become suffused with devotional fervour.

The chanting of psalms in praise of Lord Shiva and his celestial consort, Parvati, has been reverberating in the air. Round-the-clock provision of free catering and lodging services for Kanwarias at hundreds of Kanwar seva shivirs (service camps) at various spots has lent a sacred charm to this week-long Shiva Mahotsava.

The Kanwarias will devoutly worship Shiva-lingams with this Gangajal on Shivratri which falls on Sunday (July 27).

Preparations in this regard have been in full swing at dozens of Shiva temples throughout the Rewari region.

Among them all the most ancient Shiva temple at Baghot, 55 km from here, needs specific mention here.

Legend has it that during pre-historic times the great Emperor Dalip of the Ikshwaku dynasty along with his divine cow Nandini once happened to pass through the dense forests of Baghot. It so happened that Lord Shiva abruptly appeared there in the form of a ferocious tiger to test the Emperor’s attachment to the sacred cow. So when the tiger made a bid to devour the cow the Emperor attempted to shoot it with his arrow but in vain. The Emperor, then, offered himself as a meal for the tiger and entreated it to spare Nandini’s life.

The story goes that in the twinkling of an eye the tiger vanished and a heavenly voice told Emperor Dalip that his prayer had been granted as his cow-worship had been genuine.

Later, Emperor Dalip got a Shiva temple built at the spot to perpetuate the memory of this divine occurrence.

Consequently, the place came to be known as Bagheswar, which later got corrupted to Baghot.

Now the Shiva temple at Baghot has been completely renovated with large-scale development taking place in the temple complex.

Every year on the occasion of Shivratri in the month of Shrawan (July) and Mahashivratri in the month of Phalgun (March) lakhs of devotees comprising men, women and children from various parts of Haryana, Rajasthan, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh and other states of northern India flock here to worship Lord Shiva. It is believed Lord Shiva liberally and benignly grants all their wishes and prayers.

Thousands of Kanwarias, whose numbers now include women also, constitute a special section of Shiva worshippers on Shivratri as well as Mahashivratri. With the passing of each year, their numbers have been on the increase. Recently, women too have joined the male Kanwarias. They, too, along with respective groups of men Kanwarias, go to Hardwar and march back to their villages and towns with containers of the holy Gangajal.

A three-day fair is held at the Shiva temple at Baghot on the occasion of Shivratri as well as Mahashivratri every year.

The fair has now come to be regarded as one of the biggest religious congregations of Shiva Mahotsava in northern India.

Next to Baghot, the Shiva temple at Ichhapuri, 15 km from here, has also garnered fame in the past one decade because of obvious reasons. It is widely believed the wishes of devotees are fondly granted by Lord Shiva here and that is why the place has come to be designated as ‘Ichhapuri’ (the place where desires are fulfilled).

Like Baghot, the number of devotees who congregate at the Shiva temple of Ichhapuri on the occasion of Shivratri has also been phenomenally swelling every year. The number of Kanwarias alone is expected to run into thousands this time. Besides these two Shiva temples, there are about a dozen other temples in the Rewari region which are gradually gaining prominence among the devotees of Lord Shiva.

Overbridge gets nod

The Ministry of Railways has accorded sanction to the construction of an overbridge at the rail crossing on the Rewari-Narnaul highway near Quatabpur here. Its sanctioned construction project has been included in the Railway Construction Work Programme of the year 2003-2004.

This information was given to newspersons here by Dr Sudha Yadav, MP. She also said the overbridge would be constructed by the Ministry of Railways while its approach road on either side of the bridge would be built by the state government.

The overbridge, when constructed and completed, would fulfill a long-standing demand of the vehicle drivers as well as the pedestrians.


Transformer blast: Rs 1 lakh each to kin of deceased
Our Correspondent

Panipat, July 26
Haryana Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala has announced that the government would pay Rs 1 lakh each to the families of those who died in the transformer blast on last July 18 in New Sabzi Mandi area of the town.

Participating in a condolence meeting in the Kanshi Giri Temple here, the Chief Minister also announced that each injured would be paid Rs 25,000. The government would bear all expenses of their treatment. He expressed his deep condolences to the bereaved families.

It may be recalled that 24 persons received burns in the blast and 11 of them died later. As many as 10 persons are still admitted in PGIMS, Rohtak and Delhi hospitals. The Deputy Commissioner, Mr M. R. Anand, has already paid Rs 25,000 each to the families of the deceased and Rs 10,000 each to the injured persons from the District Red Cross Society.

Later, the Chief Minister participated in the launch of Panipat edition of Hindi daily ‘Dainik Jagran’ in local industrial estate in Sector 29. The Union Agriculture Minister, Rajnath Singh, presided over and the Union Information and Broadcasting Minister, Ravi Shanker Prasad, participated in the ceremony.

In the evening, the Chief Minister also inaugurated a newly constructed hostel for the blind students of local Government Andh Maha Vidyalaya constructed at a cost of Rs.14.60 lakh. The hostel is provided with seven dormitories, each with six beds, a big hall and a room for hostel’s Mahila Sevadar.

Burnt transformers not replaced

Hundreds of residents, including women, of local Ravi Dass, Jagjivan Ram and Khatikan Basti colonies yesterday staged a demonstration in front of the office of the Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitaran Nigam (UHBVN) in protest against the disruption of power supply for the last one week following the burning of two transformers.

According to information, two transformers of 200 kw capacity each got burnt on July 18, but the UHBVN authorities have so far failed to repair or replace the transformers, creating problems for around 55,000 residents of these localities.

The residents led by Mr Megh Raj Kataria alleged that despite repeated requests, the authorities had failed to address the problem and this had resulted in disruption of power supply for the last one week.


P. D. Hindwan is Public Sector PR Forum president
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 26
The Chief of Corporate Communication, NTPC, Mr P. D. Hindwan, has been unanimously elected president of the Public Sector Public Relations Forum (PSPRF) for two years (2003-04 and 2004-05) at the annual general meeting of the forum held here today.

He was the Secretary of the PSPRF earlier and played a significant role in organising two national conventions on Corporate Communication in association with SCOPE. As a senior professional, he has been in the field of public relations and corporate communication since 1975 and has held key positions in popular forums like the Delhi Advertising Club.

Recipient of “Best Communicator Award”, conferred on him by the Chief Minister of Delhi in the year 1995, Mr Hindwan has three books to his credit.

Other members of the newly elected management committee are Mr P. K. Joshi, Chief of PR, HIL, as senior vice-president, Mr D. N. Dhawan, Chief of PR, SCOPE, as vice-president, Mr Shivrup Tiwari, former GM, Corp Communication, BHEL, Mr V. K. Kalra, DGM (PR), BHEL, as joint secretary, Mr M. Tewari, Deputy Manager (PR), NTPC, as treasurer.

Other executive members are Mr V. B. Gupta, AGM (PR), THDC Ltd, Mr K. P. Sarin, PR practitioner, Mr Sambhu Nath Singh, PR consultant, Mr R. S. Sharma, Executive Director, The Compro, Mr S. K. Kaul, Branch Manager, MSTC, Mr J P Dhaundiyal, Manager (PR), Powergrid Corporation of India, Mr Naresh Kumar, Deputy Manager (CC), Powergrid Corp of India, Mr Sanjay Singh, Senior Officer (CC), NTPC.


Chautala opens substation at Madloda
Our Correspondent

Panipat, July 26
The Haryana Government is committed to implement former Deputy Prime Minister Devi Lal’s slogan ‘Brashtachaar bandh, bijli pani ka prabandh’. This was stated by Haryana Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala while addressing a gathering after inaugurating a 132 kv substation at Madloda, about 20 km from here, today.

Constructed at a cost of Rs 6.24 crore, this station would provide power to 12,000 consumers of 22 villages, including 2,900 tubewell consumers.

Mr Chautala said that efforts were being made to eradicate corruption from all levels. Now, government jobs were being provided only on merit basis and this was the reason that many capable youth including the wards of rickshaw-pullers and barbers had got jobs, he claimed.

He said that though Haryana had no natural resources to generate electricity, efforts were afoot to give sufficient power supply and irrigation water to the agriculture sector. Inspite of the drought, sufficient power was made available to the agriculture sector, he claimed. The Chief Minister said that the government had also decided to repair all watercourses while these were repaired by the farmers themselves during the regime of Mr Bansi Lal. He said that a separate fund had been earmarked for the repair of distributaries, channels and watercourses.



Potholes on new flyovers: CVC probe announced
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 26
Delhi PWD and Urban Development Minister Dr A. K. Walia today announced a probe into the issue regarding potholes that have appeared on the roads over the newly opened Mayapuri and Safdarjung flyovers.

After visiting the sites, he announced an inquiry by the Central Vigilance Commission. Action is also being initiated against the Superintendent Engineer of these flyovers.

He clarified that the structures of both the flyovers are completely safe.

The PWD Minister said that the Mayapuri flyover was constructed by Afcons and the Safdarjung flyover by UP State Bridge Construction Corporation and were opened to traffic in May.

Action would be taken against these two companies if the inquiry revealed that they were guilty of any lapse.

It may be mentioned here that Afcons has already been banned by the PWD from anymore contract due to the delay in the completion of the Mayapuri flyover.

Dr Walia said that the repair work of the roads over these flyovers was being done at night on a war footing. The repair work would be completed in two-three days.

He said that a comprehensive scheme was prepared for constructing flyovers on some roads with a view to controlling pollution.

A total of 18 flyovers had already been opened to traffic during the last four-and-a-half years. Fourteen more were under construction and 10 flyovers were in the pipeline, he added.


17 villages plunged into darkness due to faulty feeders
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, July 26
Faults in three feeders of a 33 kv substation have plunged 17 villages in this district into darkness. The affected villages include Cholka, Khanda, Sehri, Nakloi, Nirthan and Bidhlan villages coming under Khanda feeder, Anandpur, Jharontt, Kawali, Mandora, Mandori, Fatehpur and Rohat under Rohat feeder and Sisana and Garhi Sisana under Sisana feeder.

The disruption in power supply has affected the normal lives of over one lakh people of these villages. Sub-Divisional Engineer K. C. Narwal of the substation said that the feeders had developed snags due to the incessant rains and dampness. The feeders were being cleaned and the supply would be restored within 24 hours, he assured.

The power supply situation is no better in other areas of the district if one goes by the large number of complaints received by the Deputy Commissioner, Sub-Divisional Magistrates and bijli nigam authorities in the district.

Residents of Kheri Damkan village under the Gohana subdivision resorted to blocking traffic on the Sonepat-Gohana road on Friday for about one hour in protest against non-replacement of the transformer, which got burnt a week back. The electricity authorities had neither repaired nor replaced the burnt transformer despite several complaints, the residents alleged. The villagers, mostly women, lifted the road blockade when SDM of Gohana Suraj Bhan Jangra reached there and assured them of early action.


Two held for abduction, rape
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, July 26
The police have arrested two youths in connection with the alleged abduction and rape of a girl. The accused, identified as Ashok of Chawla colony, Ballabgarh and one of his friends, had taken the girl to Agra, where they and another of their friends had allegedly gangraped the victim. The case was booked after the girl told about the incident to her family.

In another case, the police booked six members of a family for harassing two women for dowry at Palwal. The women, who are sisters, were married in a family in June 2001. The accused have been arrested.

CEET counselling today

Rohtak: Around 200 candidates participated in the counselling for admission to 50 seats of five-year MBA course of the Institute of Management Studies and Research (IMSAR) of Maharshi Dayanand University held today.

A spokesman for the university administration said today that the counselling for CEET candidates would commence on Sunday and continue till August 10. The counselling for BArch course for the all-India quota seats would also be held on Sunday.

He said the university’s central counselling office had issued detailed guidelines for admission against 15 per cent management quota seats in various technical and professional courses (MCA, MBA, BE/BTech/BArch/BPharm and BEd) in colleges/institutes affiliated to the universities of Haryana. He said the colleges/institutes had been instructed to complete the admission process for the management quota seats by August 20.

Lok Adalat held

As many as 247 cases pertaining to various categories were settled at the Lok Adalat held under the presidentship of the District and Sessions Judge, Mr Nawab Singh, here today. The Chief Judicial Magistrate-cum-member secretary, District Legal Services Authority, Mr Mewa Singh, said 15 civil cases, 12 criminal cases, 150 summary cases and 70 mutation cases were redressed at the Lok Adalat. He said a fine amounting to Rs 44,150 was imposed in summary cases. OC

Woman attempts Suicide

Sonepat: An 18-year-old woman, Pinki, who was married to one Pawan of village Baroli two years ago, attempted to commit suicide by consuming poison allegedly due to harassment by her in-laws for bringing more dowry. She has been admitted in the local civil hospital in a serious condition.

According to Tara Chand, father of the woman and a resident of Purkhas village, Pinki was being harassed by her husband and in-laws for more dowry. Pinki had come to her parents a number of times with these demands. The Rai police had been informed about the Harassment earlier too but they failed to take any action, he alleged. He said that about 10 days back, Pinki was threatened by her husband and his elder brother after demanding her to bring Rs 1.50 lakh from her parents. A scared Pinki came to her parents’ house. She had been mentally depressed ever since this incident. “When we were in the fields on Friday morning, she consumed poison,” her father said. He wanted the police to register a case against Pinki’s husband and other in-laws. OC


Boy dies after being kicked by classmate
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 26
A class eight student of Sarvodaya Bal Vidyalaya in Narela, Dinesh (14), died after he was allegedly kicked in the stomach while playing by a classmate, Satendra. The incident happened yesterday. The police said that the students of section D of class eight were having the library period. Some students stayed back in the classroom while others visited the library. A few students, including Dinesh, stayed back and were playing in the classroom. Dinesh got a kick in the stomach from Satendra while playing. He fell unconscious. He was immediately taken to a private nursing home where he was declared brought dead. Satendra escaped from the school fearing punishment, the police said.

DTC bus, truck crush two

Two persons, including a young man, fell victims to rash driving here early today, the police said. Twenty-year-old Pappu, a resident of Kanti Nagar, was knocked off his motorcycle when it was hit by a speeding truck in Seelampur area. The youth was rushed to GTB Hospital where he was declared brought dead. The truck driver has been arrested. In another accident, a 50-year-old man was crushed to death by a DTC bus in Bhajanpura area. The man, Haji Rafiq, who was a resident of Gautam Budh Nagar district of Uttar Pradesh, died on the spot. The bus driver is absconding.

Three held for murder

The South-West district police arrested three youths who had allegedly been involved in immoral trafficking and the murder of their friend. They were identified as Bobby alias Aman Bhardwaj, Kapil Sharma alias Monu and Mohammad Tayyab. The suspects used to supply girls of foreign countries to five star hotels in Delhi. They had differences with their friend, Sanjay Gupta alias Akash, and allegedly killed him in UP. Sanjay was also allegedly involved in immoral trafficking.

The police arrested them yesterday from near Vasant Continental. During interrogation, they confessed to have killed Sanjay over a money dispute, the police said.

High mast lights erected

Tribune News Service New Delhi, July 26 Vice-Chairman of the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) and MLA Ram Bhaj commissioned five high mast lights at Laxmibai Nagar last evening. The lights have been installed on the request of the residents and traders of the area at an estimated cost of Rs 1.25 lakh each. The height of each light is 12 metre. It will conserve electricity as the lighting system has been provided with controllers to regulate the level of illumination, which will provide lighting up to 12 at night and reduce it to 50 per cent after midnight.

Info on MRTS on Metro website

People interested in knowing about the latest development pertaining to the fast expanding Mass Rapid Transit System can view the same at the Delhi Metro website,, which traces the history, growth, features and latest developments of this modern transportation system. A special section on recruitment gives details of vacancies and job opportunities for aspiring candidates, a press release said.


Doctors briefed on amended PNDT Act

Bhiwani: The Civil Surgeon of Bhiwani, Dr R C Gupta, said here today that the women undergoing sex determination test would not face legal action under the Pre-Natal Sex Determination Test Act anymore and they could give their statements without any fear now.

Dr Gupta was addressing a meeting of private nursing home owners and doctors, who have the facility of ultrasonography at their establishments, here today. The Health Department distributed amended copies of the PNDT Act, 2003 among the members.

Giving information about the amended PNDT Act, 2003, Dr Gupta said that a person or clinic or any RMP found conducting illegal foetus test on pregnant women could be punished with three years’ imprisonment or fined up to Rs 50,000. OC


Goel hears people’s grievances

New Delhi: Chandni Chowk MP and Union Minister of State Vijay Goel today heard the complaints of residents of Qasabpura regarding problems of civic amenities. He said that problems of the people needed to be attended to carefully. He asked the officers concerned to pull up their socks and provide basic amenities like drinking water, electricity and sewer facilities. Things were not improving in spite of repeated strict instructions, he said. He also asked to clean a park located near an idgah in the area, as it had become a dumping ground. He also asked them to reconstruct the toilets built inside the ‘katras’ and improve the flooring of ‘katras’. He announced to release fund from his MPLAD fund to replace sewer lines in ‘katra Gaurishankar’. TNS


Women pickpockets nabbed at railway station
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, July 26
With the arrest of three women, the special staff of the Sonepat police has claimed to have a gang of cheats and pickpockets operating in parts of Haryana, Delhi and UP for the past few years.

According to a report, the arrested women were identified as Kali of Narsigar tehsil in Rajgarh district (UP), Ramvati and Rekha. They were moving in a suspicious manner at the railway station here when they were picked up.

The police also seized currency notes worth Rs 5,000 each from Kali and Ramvati and Rs 4,350 from Rekha.

The arrested women, during interrogation, confessed that they had picked Rs 14,350 from the bag of a couple who were standing in a queue in front of a counter at the Head Post Office on July 22 in the city. They cut the bag with a blade and removed the cash. The couple came to know about the missing cash when their turn came to deposit the amount at counter came.

The arrested women also confessed that they had picked Rs 20,000 from the main bazar at Jabalpur (Madhya Pradesh), and Rs 1,200 from Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh).

The police have registered a case under various sections of the IPC and further investigations are in progress. More cheating cases are likely to be solved with their arrest, it is claimed.


MDU council member alleges intimidation
Our Correspondent

Rohtak, July 26
Mr Himmat Singh Ratnoo, secretary of the Maharshi Dayanand University Teachers’ Association (MDUTA) and member of Executive Council of the university, has appealed to the Vice-chancellor, Maj Gen (retd) Bhim Singh Suhag, to conduct a probe into certain incidents of intimidation around his house and department during the past few days.

In a statement here today, the teacher leader alleged that some miscreants reached his house located on the university campus in a car at around 9.15 pm on Friday and shouted in an offensive tone. He said he had also been observing such mischievous elements roaming following him in cars or motorcycles near the department and his house for the past few days.

He said it was a serious issue of violation of the security arrangements on the campus. He questioned how the miscreants could enter the campus frequently during the odd hours despite the tight security arrangements.

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