Friday, August 1, 2003, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


Taps run dry in rain-drenched Faridabad
Bijendra Ahlawat
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, July 31
There is rainwater everywhere. But there is no drinking water in some colonies of this industrial town. As a result, residents of these areas are forced to buy water from private tankers.

According to reports, residents in Jawahar Colony of the NIT area, which is one of the largest residential pocket, population-wise, in Haryana, had been shelling out Rs 1 lakh daily for potable water. The colony, with a population of about a lakh, has been facing acute shortage of potable water for the last fortnight, said Mr Shiv Charan Lal Sharma, area corporator and the Senior Deputy Mayor of the Municipal Corporation, Faridabad. He said the situation in the past few days had worsened, primarily due to low pressure at the boosting station, launched under the Renniewell scheme this year.

He said there was one booster pump in Dabua Colony and two in other parts of NIT, but there was no such pump in Jawahar Colony. Nangla Enclave, Block-B, and Kapra Colony were also badly hit. The MCF, too, had made no arrangements for supplying potable water to the problem areas. This had led to operators of private water tankers making a killing.

Mr Sharma, who had met the Deputy Commissioner here yesterday, apprised the Commissioner, MCF, of the problem. He said the situation had improved today after the intervention of the Deputy Commissioner.

The Renniewell water scheme was being operated by the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA). The MCF had no role in this project, although it had made a financial contribution to the scheme. The authorities have reportedly assured residents that water supply in the NIT area was likely to improve considerably after the completion of the second phase of the project in the next 15 to 20 days.

According to MCF sources, the problem of disruption of water supply in a majority of the areas was due to shortage of power and faults in the motors operating at the wells and booster stations.

The poor quality and lack of maintenance of motors and machinery were also responsible for the problem.

Meanwhile, the stagnant rainwater is posing a serious health hazard. It is reported that a cesspool has formed in Sanjay Enclave the approach road of which was submerged for the last 12 days.

Due to the mixing of sewer and drain water with the piped supply, the contaminated water had started taking a toll. More than 200 persons had reported diarrhoea and water-borne diseases here in the past 10 days. Doctors have warned of a breakout of malaria, cholera, typhoid and other diseases due to stagnation of water and contaminated supply.



Wettest July in 100 years in Capital
Tribune News service

New Delhi, July 31
The monsoon this year has set a new record. Delhi has experienced the wettest July in the past 100 years, recording over 63 cm of rain, close to the whole season’s average of 65 cm.

The Meteorological Department said here today that since 1901the city had never experienced such an active monsoon. It was pointed out that the rainfall in the Capital is measured from June, when the rainy season is taken to begin from. The city had already crossed the season’s average, having received 80 cm rain till date.

The average rainfall for July is 22.5 cm. Not only the Capital but the entire north-western region and other parts of the country have received more than normal rain this season.

The monsoon, like the previous year, arrived in the Capital a little behind schedule on July 5, instead of the expected June 29. The week’s delay was, however, considered normal by the weather scientists.

The timely arrival of rains gave much needed respite to the people from the scorching summer heat. Delhiites, who had been reeling under the hottest June in the last eight years, were sufficiently drenched by the adequate showers.

Last year, Delhiites had to wait till July 19 for the rains. However, except last year, the onset of the monsoon in the Capital has been early or normal in recent years, the Met Department pointed out.

In 2001 and 2000, the city had its first monsoon rain on June 24 and June 29, respectively, though not such a heavy downpour.

The generous downpours, while giving much needed respite to the Capital, where the ground water level has gone down to a dangerously low point, also exposed the inefficacy of the city’s drainage system.

The unprecedented rain led to massive waterlogging on roads and flooding of low-lying areas, affecting lakhs of commuters and slum dwellers. The rains also claimed 16 lives in the Capital.



CMD of plantation company held for taking 30,000 investors for a ride
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 31
The Delhi Police Economic Offences Wing has arrested the CMD of a plantation company for defrauding 30,000 investors of Rs 22 crore.
The Deputy Commissioner of Police (Economic Offences Wing) said Ashwani Sood, CMD of M/s Timber World Resorts and Plantation India Ltd, was arrested from a house in Anupam Gardens in Sainik Farms in the Capital. He had been absconding along with his brothers Rajesh and Sanjiv for the past two years. The police, after mounting surveillance in the Sainik Farms area, finally nabbed the accused at his house.

Sood, who is also involved in 10 cheating cases registered against him in various police stations of Jaipur, Kotwali, Bani Park, Bajaj Nagar, Sodala and Sindhi Camp, is alleged to have cheated more than 30,000 investors by collecting deposits from them in the name of his company in 1994 for various teak plantations schemes.

The Crime Branch investigated the case on the basis of a complaint lodged by Ms Asha Rajni, a resident of Vasant Kunj, in which she mentioned that she invested Rs 5,000 in the company under Orange Tree Share scheme.

After receiving the money, the company issued receipts, postdated profit warrants in the form of postdated cheques at the rate of 25 per cent per annum for 10 years, which were exchanged with a bank cheque at the end of each year.

Under this scheme, one unit consisting of two teak trees was allotted to the investor on payment of Rs 1,250, Rs 1,450 and Rs 1,750, respectively, and a receipt along with a teak share certificate and a teak warrant of 20 years was issued.

But when the investor submitted the profit warrants for clearance, the company did not issue a cheque. The senior police official said properties worth crores of rupees purchased in Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh by investing the cheated money were seized and his bank accounts were being frozen. Sood is being interrogated to recover the ill-gotten properties and ascertain details of his other dealings.



MCD makes even leader of Opp cool his heels
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 31
Close on the heels of the controversy with regard to Parivartan, an NGO, which was refused information by the Slum Department of the MCD, the Leader of the Opposition in the corporation, Mr Subhash Arya, has now taken up the cudgels for getting relevant information from the civic body.

The NGO was refused information by the slum wing about material used in the construction of a pavement in the Sundar Nagari area which was in clear violation of the Right to Information Act. The Act provided citizens the right to demand information from any department of the local government, Mr Arya said.

Mr Arya alleged he himself had failed to get information relating to the MCD even though 30 days had elapsed since he had submitted an application to this effect. Aggrieved by this failure, he had filed an appeal with the Public Grievances Commission. He said that every citizen had the right to get information from government departments under Section 3 of the RIA, provided the information did not affect the security, unity and integrity of the country.

He alleged that he had sought information regarding outstanding amounts to be recovered from firms which were given advertisement rights on electricity poles as well as relaxation of competent authority in allotting contracts for parking sites. Mr Arya alleged that this information was required to be given by the Additional Commissioner (Revenue) and requisite fees of Rs 50 each had been deposited vide G-8 numbers 96107 and 961076 on June 18.

He alleged that despite a lapse of 30 days, which is the prescribed time for giving information, nothing had been furnished by the civic body so far.

Mr Arya had also sought information relating to vacant posts of officers in the MCD from the Central Establishment Department. The information was provided with remarks that this was not in public interest.

He was shocked to see the remarks as this was directly related to the welfare of employees of the MCD, Mr Arya said.



Break-in at dawn: Couple shot at
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 31
In an early morning break-in, four unidentified youths, armed with pistols, entered the house of a resident of Alipur village, injuring a couple seriously.
Narender was admitted to LNJP Hospital while his wife Veermati was in the Sushrut Trauma Centre. The police said doctors on duty were of the opinion that both were in a critical condition.

The incident occurred early in the morning when the victims and their four children were asleep. As the suspects barged into the house and tried to ransack one of the rooms, Veermati woke up and offered resistance. The suspects tried to overpower her. When they could not, they fired at her, injuring her in the head.

Hearing the shot, Narender woke up and fought with the suspects. Sensing that the situation had got out of hand, they escaped under cover of darkness. While they were fleeing, Narender chased them, raising a hue and cry. In the melee, the desperadoes fired two shots in his abdomen.

The commotion roused the residents. First, they saw Narender lying in a pool of blood; then, they found Veermati lying unconscious in the house, following which they informed the police. The police took them to the hospital and the trauma centre, respectively, and a case of attempt to robbery has been registered at Alipur police station. No arrest has been made so far.

The police have constituted a special team to work out the case. Dossiers of the local criminals are being checked and a few known criminals are being questioned. 



First rehabilitation centre for mentally challenged adults in Haryana
Jatinder Sharma

Rohtak, July 31
A rehabilitation centre for mentally challenged adult persons, which is being set up here, is likely to become operational in a couple of months.
This is the first such centre in northern India and the sixth in the country which will provide sheltered care, vocational training and medical facilities to mentally challenged persons above the age of 18 years.

When completed, the project will cost the District Red Cross Society approximately Rs 50 lakh. The society has raised this amount through donations from the public, including Rs 10 lakh from the MP Area Development Fund and Rs 10 lakh from Model School, a prestigious educational institution of the town.

The centre, a dream project of Deputy Commissioner Ashok Yadav, has been named Shravan after the legendary character in Ramayana who carried his blind parents on his shoulders from one centre of pilgrimage to another.

“This centre will be responsible for taking care of mentally challenged adults who have been deprived of their right to education, training and useful employment”, said Mr Yadav.

Justifying the need for such a centre, he said that though an estimated 2 per cent population in the country is mentally challenged, the special schools and vocational training centres cater to children below the age of 18 years. A large number of mentally challenged adults are still not looked after well in India.

In Haryana, 23 centres are providing educational and vocational training to mentally challenged children below 18 years of age. But there is not a single centre exclusively devoted to mentally challenged adults. The parents of such children keep searching for a centre which can provide the latter vocational training and help rehabilitate them, but without any result.

The parents of such children are grief-stricken as they fail to get an answer to one question: “What will happen to our adult child after our death?”

Shravan will have residential facilities for 50 mentally challenged adults, including 25 females. They will be lodged in dormitories with attached toilets, a kitchen and a mess. There will also be recreational and medical facilities.

In addition, one production-cum-vocational unit will impart training in file-making, agarbatti-making, ice-cream spoon-making, screen printing, photocopying etc, Mr Yadav said.

A separate bank account will be opened in the name of each inmate in which the profit earned by that person would be deposited.

The Deputy Commissioner, who is also Chairman of the District Red Cross Society, said that Shravan will admit either mentally challenged orphans or persons with a single parent. The centre will take care of these persons in their life-time.

The centre will need about Rs 7 lakh for furnishing the hostel and for purchasing kitchen articles and equipment for the vocational centre. The recurring expenditure will be about Rs 15 lakh per annum and this will be met out of donations and collection of charges from parents of children besides public grants.



Kidnapping foiled, three nabbed
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, July 31
With the arrest of three youths, the police foiled an attempt to kidnap a youth, Rakesh, of Kheri Dahiya village in an Indica car from the Kakroi chowk here last night.

According to a report, the arrested youths have been identified as Parveen of Jasore Kheri village, Surinder Kumar of Jetly village and Rakesh of Jhundpur village. All of them had been living in the West Ram Nagar area here for the past few months. The police also recovered an Indica car (H R 43 D/0008) and deadly weapons from the possession of the arrested youths.

However, three other youths managed to escape. The police have registered a case and a hunt is on to apprehend the culprits who are still at large.

Giving details of the arrests, the Superintendent of Police, Mr Paramjit Singh Ahlawat, told mediapersons here today that a police party patrolling the area near Hindu College Chowk got secret information that six armed youths had kidnapped a youth and fled towards Kakroi road.

The police party, he said, swung into action immediately and gave a hot chase to them. They succeeded in arresting three of them with the help of people. The other three youths, however, managed to escape under cover of darkness.

Referring to another case of assault on a police party, the SP disclosed that the police had arrested three youths, namely Bijender, alias Biloo, Satish and Ramesh, in this connection following the recovery of a countrymade pistol, a live cartridge and a motor cycle from their possession.

He disclosed that one of the youths fired shots on the police party but no one was hurt. The police also returned the fire. The youths tried to escape but were overpowered by the police. A case has been registered against them. During the course of interrogation, they confessed to their involvement in a number of looting and other criminal cases.



Functioning of Anganwadi unit called in question
Ravi S. Singh
Tribune News Service

Daulah (Gurgaon), July 31
All is not well with the functioning of an Anganwadi unit in this village as the targeted beneficiaries have informed the village panchayat that it was depriving them of the benefits of schemes devised by the government.

Generally in each village, there are two streams of Anganwadi units, one for the benefits of general category of people and the other exclusively for the backward castes. The Anganwadis implement the schemes of the government relating to women and children.

The members of the Hindu subcastes in the backward classes: Kumaar, Chamaar, Fakeer, Nai and Balmiki submitted a joint memorandum to the village panchayat alleging malfunctioning and corrupt practices in the Anganwadi unit.

They also alleged that the unit’s office generally remains closed and also that it indulged in nepotism and favouritism while implementing the schemes of the government.

It cited the case of implementation of a social welfare scheme of the Haryana government, called ‘Apna beti, apna dhan’.

They have also alleged large-scale leakage in the distribution of grain targeted for children.

Significantly, they also alleged in the memorandum to the panchayat that several complaints have been made to the Child Development Programme Officer (CDPO), but of no avail. Rather than inquiring the allegations, the CDPO has tried to discourage them.

Inquiries reveal that the person heading the unit is a daughter of a member of the village panchayat. The villagers pointed out that either a married woman or unmarried girl of the village can head the unit. But the daughter of member of the panchayat is married in another village. Hence, her heading the unit is against the rules.

Significantly, they alleged that the same person has been heading the unit for the past seven years. They added that the unit has been discriminating in dispensation of schemes for several years. They are demanding a high-level probe into the functioning of the unit. In response to the joint representation, the village panchayat met to discuss the issue about a month ago. The panchayat upheld the allegations against the functioning of the Anganwadi unit.

The matter was also brought to the notice of the Child Development Programme Officer(CDPO).

The agitationists allege that things remain as they were. Hence, they are now planning to take the issue to the Deputy Commissioner, Gurgaon and also move the court against the alleged discrimination in implementing social welfare schemes of the state government by the Anganwaadi unit.



Bottled water sold at price higher than MRP
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 31
Bottled water is being sold in hotels in NCT of Delhi at a price that ranges from Rs 15 to Rs 55 when the maximum retail price (MRP) is only Rs 10 or Rs 12.
In a written reply, Union Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Sharad Yadav on Thursday told the Rajya Sabha that selling of the package at a price higher than the MRP is prohibited under the Standards of Weights and Measures (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 1977 but this was not a price control mechanism and that the quantum of MRP so declared is left to the manufacturer and the Union Government had no say in the matter.

The minister said the rules required the declaration of retail price on the package or on a label affixed to the package in the form ‘Maximum Retail Price … inclusive of all taxes.’ Enforcement of the provisions of the Rules rests with the authorities.

In NCT of Delhi, 10 such cases had been booked and eight cases compounded. The compounding fine totals Rs 33,000. The hotels against whom the cases were booked were found to be selling bottled water for Rs 15 to Rs 55.

Quality of grain: Union Minister of State for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Subhash Maharia, in his written reply on the number of complaints received by the Union Government against the Food Corporation of India (FCI) for supplying sub-standard grain to various states under the Public Distribution System (PDS), told the Rajya Sabha that no complaints had been received from NCT of Delhi this year regarding the poor quality of rice and wheat.

Mr Maharia said the Government of NCT of Delhi had complained in 2001-2002 and 2002-2003 about the supply of “lustre lost” wheat and that the supply of “lustre lost” wheat was stopped and the FCI instructed to ensure that wheat of good quality was supplied under the PDS.

He said the Government of NCT of Delhi was free to inspect the stocks of grain and satisfy itself about their quality before lifting the same from the FCI depots.

The minister said the Government of NCT of Delhi had also been advised to depute an officer not below the rank of inspector to check the quality of stocks. The complaints notwithstanding, the minister asserted that the grain conforming to the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act (PFA) standards was distributed under the PDS.

Misuse of ISI mark: The NCT of Delhi had the dubious distinction of having registered the highest number of cases (14) in 2001-2002 insofar as the misuse of Indian Standards Institute (ISI) Mark registered by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) was concerned. It was second on the list of Union Territories / States with six cases registered in 2002-2003. Union Minister Sharad Yadav told the Rajya Sabha that some of the cases were still being investigated by the Vigilance Department of BIS in consultation with the Central Vigilance Commission.

Antyodaya Anna Yojana: In a written reply to another question, Maharia told the Upper House that the scope of Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) had been recently enlarged to cover an additional 50 lakh below poverty line (BPL) families in the States and Union Territories. Necessary guidelines had been issued in this regard in June 2003 for implementation of the expanded AAY. In NCT of Delhi, 0.315 lakh additional families will be identified for inclusion in the expanded AAY.



Highrises in Sonepat are death traps
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, July 31
There have been rapid growth of the multi-storeyed buildings in and around Sonepat town during last one decade, but none of the owners of the buildings have provided fire safety measures in the buildings.

During a visit in number of such buildings, including school and commercial complexes, there was hardly any provision of even primary fire fighting equipment, like sand buckets, CO2 cylinders etc. Moreover, the entry and exit door is common and very narrow and no space is left around the buildings to facilitate movement of fire fighting vehicles in case of emergency.

According to a survey conducted by an organisation, there are 78 multi-storey buildings in and around town, where hundreds of people work under one roof at one point of time. And interestingly, none of the owners of the building has taken no objection certificate (NOC) from the local fire station authorities.

The fire station officer, Mr M. S. Bhardwaj, said that no one has applied so far for NOC in his office.

As per the building construction rules, the buildings more than 25 feet high are in the category of high buildings, which are required to be provided with primary fire safety measures. However, the local municipal authorities fix the limit at more than two-and a-half-storey. The municipal authorities are also being blamed for this negligence. According to an official of the local municipal council, the council has remained ignorant about this.

However, the executive officer, Mr S. S. Ahlawat pointed out that many building owners might have violated the height-limit prescribed in the approved maps and many of the buildings are beyond the municipal limits of the town.

He said that the council was planning to send notices to the owners of the buildings to seek NOC and make provisions of the primary fire safety measures.



Cane growers threaten to intensify stir
Our Correspondent

Rohtak, July 31
The cane growers of Rohtak and Meham region have threatened to intensify the agitation if their dues were not cleared by the co-operative sugar mills of the region timely.

A delegation of cane growers of Rohtak and Meham co-operative sugar mills, led by the leaders of Akhil Bhartiya Kisan Sabha, met the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Ashok Yadav today in connection with its demand and sought immediate release of the pending amount. They said they were forced to face a difficult situation and unable to sow the next crop.

The agitated farmers said the MD of Meham co-operative sugar mills had assured them that their dues would be cleared soon. However, they alleged that the payment for only 15 days was made to them. They said they had submitted a memorandum to the MD of Rohtak co-operative sugar mills on July 21, but to no avail. They said that strong resentment prevailed among the cane growers of the region over the apathy of the authorities towards them.

The farmer leaders said that the Sangharsh Samiti of Meham mills had already announced to stage a dharna on the mills on August 4, as a part of their agitation. They warned that the dharna would continue for an indefinite period if the mills authorities did not start clearing their dues. They also demanded that the recovery of loans from farmers be stopped till the clearance of their dues.



Rs 9 cr earmarked for welfare works
Our Correspondent

Rohtak, July 31
An amount of nearly Rs 9 crore has been granted from MP Local Area Development (LAD) fund to carry out various development works in Rohtak during the past five years.

The local Member of Parliament, Capt Inder Singh, said that the funds had been granted since the financial year 1999-2000 till date. And a sum of Rs 8 crore had been spent on 500 developmental works in Rohtak Lok Sabha, since the day he took oath as MP in 1999.

The MP said that 567 development works had been approved under the LAD scheme during the period. Out of which, 500 works had been completed while 46 works were under progress.

Divulging details, he said an amount of Rs 198.98 lakh was spent on carrying out 152 development works in 1999-2000, Rs 204.81 lakh on carrying out 130 works in 2000-2001, Rs 201.85 lakh on carrying out 128 works in 2001-2002, Rs 215.49 lakh on carrying out 116 works in 2002-2003 and 69.02 lakh on carrying out 48 works in 2003-2004 so far.

Meanwhile, the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Ashok Yadav, claimed that a sum of Rs 7.92 crore was spent on augmenting the water supply in 46 villages of Rohtak during the last three-and-a-half-year tenure of the present government.

He said that the water supply had been increased from 40 liter per person a day to 70 liter per person a day.

Mr Yadav said that 31 schemes for increasing the water supply in the villages were under progress and a sum of Rs 18.25 crore was to be spent on these schemes.

All the 143 villages in Rohtak district had been provided supply of piped water from 55 liter per person a day to 70 liter per person a day. A target had been set to increase the water supply in 16 more villages during the financial year 2003-2004, he added.



Power pilferage rampant in villages
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, July 31
Electricity worth several lakhs of rupees is being stolen not only by the owners of dhabas, hotels and restaurants on the National Highway No 1 between Kundli and Haldana border, but also by the rural and industrial consumers in the district every month. The theft is allegedly done in collusion with certain officials of the Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (UHBVN). The creation of the rural feeders had led to a spurt in power theft cases.

According to a report, the consumers in the villages felt tempted to misuse power as they were get unmetered supply at a fixed rate for tubewells. Besides, the villagers felt free to tap the feeders passing their houses and measures were never taken to curb this misuse or direct for numerous such cases.

Farmers with power connections for tubewells grinding machines or crushers were allowed to tap power in return for fixed payments to the officials involved. This facility was available to a number of consumers.

Large number of villages falling under the jurisdiction of Murthal, Kundli, Rai, Ganaur, Kharkhauda and Gohana sub-divisions of the UHBVN are in difficulty for want of power to run tubewells. According to sources, The UHBVN has utterly failed to redress the grievances of the people particularly farmers.

The farmers have installed diesel pumping sets, but the cost of diesel is becoming increasingly unbearable for the farmers. The progressive farmers nonetheless raise three crops a year from the land, but they now raise only one crop. The standing crops are badly hit by the erratic supply of power and canal water and this cause huge financial loss to the farmers.

Most of the officials of the UHBVN have developed their relations with the ruling party leaders, including legislators and they never bother about the public complaints. The residents and farmers of Rai Murthal and Kundli sub-divisions are demanding immediate transfers of the SDOs of UHBVN and a high-level probe into the public complaints about the theft of power by unscrupulous industrialists and others.



Civic bodies told to launch special campaigns 
for house tax
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, July 31
The Deputy Commissioner of Sonepat, Mr Balwan Singh, has directed the civic bodies of Sonepat, Gohana, Ganaur and Kharkhauda to launch special campaigns for the recovery of the house tax and other taxes to tide over their financial structures and complete the on-going development works in their areas.

The Deputy Commissioner has also taken a serious note about the non-recovery of the taxes and accumulation of the arrears of the taxes. Mr Singh warned that stern action would be taken against the officials who are found responsible for delaying the recovery of the house tax and other taxes from the residents.

Mr Singh disclosed that a sum of Rs 2.86 lakh had been outstanding against the residents of Sonepat, Gohana, Ganaur and Kharkhauda towns relating to the house tax and the civic bodies had failed to recover this amount so far. The municipal committee-wise amount is as under: Sonepat - Rs 1.53 crore, Gohana - Rs 72.43 lakh, Ganaur - Rs 27.17 lakh and Kharkhauda - Rs 29.23 lakh.

The DC regretted that the civic bodies had also failed to recover the amount of lease from the tenants, which had accumulated to the tune of Rs 15 lakh in Sonepat, Rs 31.55 lakh in Gohana, Rs 4.37 lakh in Ganaur and Rs 4.16 lakh in Kharkhauda.

The DC disclosed that the Sonepat Municipal Council had recovered Rs 15.62 lakh as house tax and another Rs 2.02 lakh as lease money from the residents of the city during the past month.

Similarly, the Gohana Municipal Committee had recovered Rs 50,997 as house tax and another Rs 2.55 lakh as lease money during the period under review. 



Woman run over by bus
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, July 31
A middle-aged woman was killed after a Haryana Roadways bus ran over her at BadarpurBorder here yesterday. The deceased identified as Pushpa, wife of Hazari, was a resident of Rajasthan and had come here to meet one of her relatives.

She was alighting from the bus when the vehicle moved and she fell just in front of the rear tyre. The bus has been impounded by the police. The driver and conductor fled from the spot.

In another incident, a cyclist identified as Satyender of Rajiv Colony also died in a road accident.

Villagers block traffic to protest youth’s death

Sonepat: Traffic on the Sonepat-Gohana Road was held up for several hours by the residents near Nagar village, about 30 km from here yesterday, in protest against the death of a youth in an accident and the inability of the police to arrest the driver.

According to a report, a large number of vehicles were lined up on both sides of the road and the angry residents did not allow any vehicles to pass through.

Later, the SDM, Mr Suraj Bhan Jangra, accompanied by the police arrived on the spot and pacified the residents by assuring them that the jeep driver would be arrested soon and a speed-breaker would be constructed on the road near the village to avoid such accidents in the future. Thereupon, the residents lifted the blockade and dispersed peacefully. OC

Couple assaulted

A couple sustained knife injuries when three youths armed with knives attacked them in New Mahavir Colony here last night. The injured woman, identified as Mrs Birmati, and her husband, Mr Shradhanand, were rushed to the Civil Hospital, from where the woman was sent to a trauma centre in Delhi for further treatment.

The assailants, however, managed to escape. The police have registered the case against them. A hunt is on to apprehend them.

It is stated that the assailants forced their way into the house around midnight and attacked the couple with ‘gandasas’. They fled after the family raised the alarm.

Blood bank reopens

With the reopening of the blood bank on the premises of the local Civil Hospital yesterday, as many as 15 persons, including the medical officer, donated blood on the very first day.

According to a report, Dr H. R. Sinhal, Medical Superintendent of the local Civil Hospital, Dr V. K. Gupta, ENT specialist, Dr Adarsh, Dr Jaswant Singh, Dr R. N. Talhan, Dr R. K. Kateria, Dr Sunil Kashyap, Dr Naresh Dahiya and a nurse, Kamlesh, were among those who donated blood.

The blood bank at the Civil Hospital, it may be recalled, was closed down on April 24 following the failure of the Health Department to get its licence renewed. It had caused great inconvenience to the patients who were in need of blood.

93 trolleys for garbage removal

Under the Waste Management Scheme of the Union Government, the Sonepat Municipal Council has received 93 trolleys for the removal of garbage from the city. According to a report, it will receive 38 more trolleys soon, besides a bulldozer and other equipment to help removing the garbage.



Third Front demands probe into damaged flyovers

New Delhi, July 31
The Third Front has demanded an investigation into the damage caused to the flyovers that are only a few months old.

The chairman of Third Front and vice-president of Lok Janshakti Party, Mr Ramveer Singh Bidhuri, on Thursday alleged four agencies were involved in the construction and upkeep of the roads and yet because of the “nexus” among officials, contractors and politicians, the quality of roads had been compromised with and sub-standard material used in their construction. TNS



Lovelorn boy beaten up by girl’s kin
Our Correspondent

Noida, July 31
The relatives of a girl have beaten up a boy so severely that he had to be admitted to a hospital. The duo were said to be having an affair for the last five years.
Someone had reportedly told the boy that his beloved was in love with another guy also. This angered the boy who scolded his beloved. The girl’s family then beat up the boy and later even stabbed him.

Rani (not her real name), a resident of 25 Sector, Noida, was in love with one Ramu of Sector-31. According to police, somebody told Ramu that her beloved was carrying an affair with another person also.

An angry Ramu then rebuked Rani for two-timing him. Feeling threatened, the girl told her family about the incident. To clear the boy’s ‘misunderstanding’, the family went to meet Ramu on July 30 at about 11 pm. As Ramu is reported to have said something unpalatable to her family members, they assaulted him. One of them stabbed him. Hearing the commotion, Ramu’s neighbours rushed to his house. The girl’s relatives left after seeing a number of neighbours gathering there.

The Sector-20 police took Ramu to the hospital. The police said they would initiate action only after receiving a written complaint.



ICs worth Rs 60 lakh seized from IGIA, six held 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 31
The Crime Branch of the Delhi Police today claimed to have arrested six persons involved in stealing high quality ICs from the Indira Gandhi International Airport. ICs worth Rs 60 lakh were seized from their possession.

The accused were identified as Heera Singh Rawat, resident of Mahavir Enclave; Harpreet Singh, resident of Gurunanak Pura; Jaswinder Singh, resident of Tilak Nagar; Man Singh, Suresh Chand, resident of Nanagal Dewat; and Virender Srivastava, resident of Palam Colony.

Five burglars nabbed: Five burglars involved in breaking into factories and houses were nabbed in the Dilshad Garden area by the North-East district police. Three knives and stolen properties, including aluminum scrap pieces, were recovered from their possession.

Burglary cases solved: With the arrest of two burglars today, the South district recovered a country-made pistol, a computer monitor, two CPUs, a printer and a scanner from their possession and claimed to have solved two cases.

The police said they found two persons on a motorcycle (No. UP-13-U-6658) moving in a suspicious manner at Batla House during a routine check. When frisked by the police, a country-made pistol was recovered from one of them. 



Industrialists tell BSNL to improve lines
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, July 31
The members of the Manufacturers Association Faridabad (MAF) have said the BSNL authorities here to upgrade the phone services, so as the entrepreneurs do not face harassment and inconveniences due to disruption in the phone lines.

At an interactive meeting, organised by the MAF here last evening with the BSNL authorities, members of the MAF were of the view that fault repairing service of the BSNL was still poor, in spite of the improvement in other areas. Some of the members told to the General Manager, Telecom, Mr Y. P. Kataria, that their phones had remained out of order for about two months and were not repaired despite complaints and reminders. They alleged that certain officials of the department do not entertain the complaints, queries and protests by the consumers. Some of the entrepreneurs said that BSNL phones were most affected in the monsoons and there were many complaints about the disturbance in the phone lines.

They said the phones bills do not reach them on time at many occasions. The GM asked the entrepreneurs to contact him directly in case of any problem regarding their phones. He said that the BSNL had launched several new schemes and services and claim that new connections were being provided in 48 hours time in many areas.



GIA takes up cudgels for small-scale units
Tribune News Service

Gurgaon, July 31
The Gurgaon Industrial Association (GIA) has once again come out in defence of the small-scale units, which are on the ‘firing range’ of the municipality and are fighting a legal battle against a move for their relocation.

The authorities have made their intention clear in favour of relocation of the small-scale industries functioning in the municipal area, especially those situated in and around the residential areas of the city.

Building up a case for status quo with regard to the present sites of the industries, the president of the GIA, Mr Jagan Nath Mangla, said the controversy was exaggerated and unjustifiable.

Initially, the focus was to establish industries for creating income and employment opportunities. Over the years, cognizance of the alleged adverse impact on environment was not taken into consideration in spite of the fact that the Union legislations for control of water and air pollution were in force.

At a very late stage now, decision has been taken for shifting/relocation of the small-scale industries from the “so-called” residential areas, the GIA added.

The GIA urged the government that instead of shifting these industries, an opportunity for compliance with pollution control norms should be the policy of the state government.

Needless to say, the relocation was economically not viable, which would lead to their closure and loss of employment to many people of the region.


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