Saturday, August 16, 2003, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


Housing dream remains unfulfilled
CM blames it on limited statehood
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 15
Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit says the Government of NCT of Delhi could not keep its promise of providing housing for all because the Union Ministry of Urban Development administers the subjects of land and urban planning.

“We have not been able to realise our dream of housing for all. We can fulfil this dream, but it is unfortunate the subjects of land and urban planning are not vested with the Government of NCT of Delhi. We will not spare any effort to fulfil this dream if the two subjects are brought under the direct control of the Government of NCT of Delhi,” she said after hoisting the Tricolour.

The Chief Minister was delivering her address at the function organised at Chhatrasal Stadium to mark the 57th Independence Day. She addressed the people on Doordarshan and All India Radio also.

On the occasion, Ms Dikshit said the Government of NCT of Delhi was aiming at becoming self-reliant in generation of electricity. She said 1,000 mw of electricity would be added after the generation plant was set up. She spoke about the 330 mw Pragati Power Plant that has been commissioned. The Delhi Vidyut Board, she said, was privatised to offer better services to the consumers.

Dwelling on the shortage of drinking water, Ms Dikshit said with the commissioning of the Sonia Vihar Water Treatment Plant by the year-end, another 65 crore litres of water would be available daily.

The work on the Munak-Haiderpur canal was on to fetch water from Haryana. Rainwater harvesting had also produced good results because of the participation (“Bhagidari”) of the people.

The Chief Minister urged the people to conserve water and electricity to supplement the government’s commitment to provide a better quality of life to the people.

The forest cover, Ms Dikshit said, had appreciated from 26 square kilometres to 111 square kilometres and the people were roped in to promote a safer environment.

There had also been an appreciable increase in the percentage of students clearing the high school examinations; it had risen from 63 per cent in 1998 to 77 per cent this year.

The government, she said, had done considerable work to improve the transport infrastructure. Besides the Metro Rail, all buses had been converted to CNG mode. This, she said, had not only lessened pollution but also placed the Capital on the world map. She referred to the clean city award bagged by the NCT of Delhi.

The flyovers constructed over the past four years had also contributed to reducing traffic congestion on roads and make driving a more pleasurable experience.


PM for renaming Red Fort lawns ‘15 August Garden’
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 15
The newly developed lush green lawns at the historical Red Fort caught the attention of Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee during his address to the nation and he took the opportunity to suggest that it be named ‘15 August Garden’.

The lawns have been developed by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi at the initiative of BJP MP from Chandni Chowk Vijay Goel. Praising the efforts made by Union Tourism Minister Jagmohan, without naming him, in giving a facelift to the Red Fort itself, the Prime Minister said the comprehensive restoration of the medieval monument had been taken up for the first time in 350 years.

“I can see that a beautiful garden is coming up in the ground in front of me. It can be befittingly called the 15 August Garden,” he said. Considering that the country has limitless potential in Tourism, Mr Vajpayee said this example should be emulated by undertaking projects for the conservation of heritage in all villages and towns.


CBI officials honoured
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 15
As many as 13 CBI officials were conferred Distinguished and Meritorious Service medals on the eve of the Independence Day, a press release said.

The President’s Police Medal was awarded to Mr K.P. Prabhakar Rao, Joint Director in Kolkatta, and Mr Akhileshwar Prasad, Superintendent of Police in Delhi.

Police medals for Meritorious Services were awarded to Mr Sudhir Kumar Saxena, DIG, BS and FC, Bangalore, Mr S.R. Majumdar, DSP, ACB, Mr D.N. Biswas, DSP, SU, Mr M.S. Hazari, inspector, ACB, all from Kolkatta, Mr Rajinder Singh, Mr Satyapal, inspectors in Delhi, Mr K. Ramachandaran, SI in Chennai, Mr Prakash Chand, SI, SIG in Delhi, Mr Gyan Bahadur, ASI, SCB in Delhi, Ch. V.S. Ramarao, ASI, ACB, Hyderabad and Mr Keshwa Nand, HC ACB in New Delhi, the release said.

Police medals for CRPF personnel

Commandant M.S. Ahmad Ali

Commandant R. Chandra

Dy. Commandant R.K. Bahuguna

Head Constable P. Bhaskaran

AO Suresh Prasad

Pharmacist B.P. Sinha

Commandant M.S. Ahmad Ali

Commandant R. Chandra

Dy. Commandant R.K. Bahuguna

Head Constable P. Bhaskaran

AO Suresh Prasad

Pharmacist B.P. Sinha



Long live India! Towel displays patriotic fervour
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 15
The Deputy Prime Minister, Mr L K Advani, today joined the students of G D Goenka School in a unique Independence Day celebrations.

A 419-metre-long towel, weighing over 500 kg and claimed to be the longest, was unveiled here today by Mr Advani. The towel has been spun in the National Tricolour and is expected to find its way into the Limca Book of Records.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Advani said the National Flag Code was redrafted to facilitate the citizens to display the flag with due respect on any day they want.

“Once I went to London and stayed in a hotel owned by an Indian. He told me that the hotel owners from other countries could display their respective national flags on their hotels, but Indians could not do so as it is against India’s National Flag Code.”

Mr Advani went on to say, “After coming back, we formed a sub-committee to look into the issue. They were told to redraft the code in such a manner that common people would also be able to display the flag on any day. The sub-committee deliberated on the issue and the Union Cabinet accepted the redrafted code. Now, common citizens can also display the flag.”

Manager, Marketing and Public Relations, Limca Book of Records, Brinda Bose Malhotra said, “Surely this towel of such proportions is the only one in the world that we have heard of. Generally we close entries by May 31. But in this case, we made an exception.”

Draped in tricolours themselves, the enthusiastic students welcomed the momentous occasion with chants of ‘Vande Mataram’, unmindful of the pouring rain as they took a lap of the hockey field at the National Stadium here, simultaneously releasing saffron, white and green balloons.

Specially created to mark the 57th Independence Day, the single piece towel was an attempt to “capture the essence of India, the spirit that fascinates the world with its mystique”, Vice-Chairman and Managing Director Welspun Group Balkrishna Goenka said on the occasion.


Independence Day celebrated with great fervour in the region
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 15
The Independence Day was celebrated with fervour accompanied by customary official functions in various parts of the NCR.

Rohtak: The Haryana Minister of Urban Development took the salute at the march-past by the Haryana Police, Home Guards, NCC cadets and scouts and guides on the occasion of the Independence Day celebrations in the district.

Earlier, the minister laid a wreath at the war memorial to pay tribute to the freedom fighters and soldiers who laid down their lives during the Independence struggle and defending the borders of the country.

The minister highlighted the various activities related to the development of the state under the present government.

The DCC (Urban) chief, Mr Shadi Lal Batra and Mr Puran Chand Azad, former MLC and veteran freedom fighter unfurled the national flag at Bhivani stand.

Sonepat: Haryana Minister Kartar Singh Bhadana unfurled the national flag and took the salute at a march-past to mark the Independence Day at the Police Lines here today.

Addressing a huge gathering inspite of the drizzle, the Minister paid homage to the martyrs, who laid down their lives for the nation. He asked the people to remain united and maintain communal harmony and brotherhood. He also referred to the speedy progress made by Haryana in various walks of life and said the government would take steps for the completion of the SYL canal in Punjab.

Contingents of the Armed Police, Home Guards, NCC and scouts presented a guard of honour to the minister and later took part in the march-past. Several tableaux depicting the cultural heritage and development activities were part of the parade.

The minister honoured two farmers, Kanwal Singh Chauhan of Aterna village and Ramesh Dagar of Akbarpur Barota village, by distributing prizes to them in the memory of the late Chaudhary Devi Lal. Officials and employees of various departments were also honoured for their contributions and achievements.

A colourful cultural programme was presented by the students on this occasion. Similarly, the Rotary Club, Sonepat, and the Rotary Club, Midtown, organised functions in Ram Krishan Sadhna Ashram at Murthal and the Bal Gram at Rai.

Faridabad: The Health Minister of Haryana, Mr M. L. Ranga, unfurled the national flag and highlighted the achievements of the state government at the Sports Complex in Sector-12 to mark the Independence Day celebration.

He also lauded the contribution and sacrifices made by the people during the Independence movement.

The Sub-Divisional Officer (SDM) unfurled the flag at the sub-division town to mark the occasion.

The Mayor of the Municipal Corporation Faridabad (MCF) unfurled the Tricolour at the MCF headquarters and also presided over a similar function held at the DAV Public School at Sector-14.

A cultural function was held and sweets were distributed among the participants, students, parents and the staff. Other schools in the district also marked the occasion by hoisting the national flag.

However, the heavy downpour this morning affected the Independence Day celebrations in various parts of the town and district.

New Delhi: The Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee (DPCC) today celebrated the 57th Independence Day at its Talkatora Road office, where president Prem Singh hoisted the national flag. Former Union Minister Jagdish Tytler, former Member of Parliament Sajjan Kumar, AICC secretaries Krishna Tirath and Jai Kishan, legislators and corporators were present on the occasion.

(With inputs from Our Correspondents) 


Special Focus on Jhajjar/Bahadurgarh
Heavy downpour mars Independence Day celebrations
Our Correspondent

Jhajjar, August 15
Heavy downpour occurred in the region today till the afternoon. This not only marred the Independence Day celebrations but also took the infrastructure related problems to the fore.

The rain, which started in the morning about 7 am, gave rise to the problem of waterlogging in the entire Jhajjar and Bahadurgarh towns by the time it stopped at about 2 pm. According to information, about 70 mm rain was recorded in the district today. The sources said more than 650 mm rainfall had been recorded during the current monsoon season. Today’s downpour disrupted the Independence Day celebrations at the district headquarters and the subdivisional town Bahadurgarh as only formalities were completed amid the rain.

The rain also wreaked havoc on the district roads, which are already in a dilapidated condition. Traffic was virtually at a standstill on most roads. In Jhajjar town, knee-deep water gathered at the chowks. There is no arrangement of speedy outlet for rainwater as the sewerage system is already choked.

In Bahadurgarh town, the roads, including the Najafgarh road, the Jhajjar road, Line par area, bus stand and localities along the railway station were submerged in water. The Bahadurgarh- Kharkhauda approach road was again turned into a lake in Asaudah village where the road was already in a badly damaged condition due to past rain. The district administration has failed to repair this road despite the traffic movement being affected on this road for the past two months.

An eight-month pregnant woman reportedly committed suicide by hanging herself at her house in Birar village on Thursday. The father of the deceased complained to the police that his daughter had taken this extreme step as she was being harassed for bringing inadequate dowry.

According to the police sources, Roop Chand, resident of Dhani Ismalgarh village, lodged a complaint with the Salawas police that his daughter Sushila was married to Jai Bhagawan, son of Raje Ram, resident of Birar village, on June 19, 2002. He gave household articles in dowry as per his capacity at the time of the marriage.

However, after some time, his daughter’s husband and in-laws started harassing her, asking her to get more dowry from her parents and sent Sushila to his house. But Roop Chand took his daughter back to her husband and requested them not to torture her. He told them that he was a poor man and could not fulfil their demands.

But the in-laws again put forth their demand for bringing Rs 25,000 towards buying a scooter. The father of the girl fulfilled their demand but the miseries of his daughter did not end here.

Fed up with the harassment, his daughter hanged herself to death, the distraught father alleged. The police have started investigations and registered a case of dowry death.

The Rashtriya Lok Dal has announced the party will hold a rally on August 26 at the ITI ground in Mahendragarh on the occasion of late Chaudhary Charan Singh’s birth centenary.

Mr Jagdish Rai Kaushik, state secretary of the party, said here on Friday that president of the party, Mr Ajit Singh, would be the chief guest at the rally and former parliamentarian Swami Indervesh would preside.

He said the Chautala government was hatching a conspiracy against the poor and weaker sections of society by increasing the fee structure for higher education. Students from these sections could not afford such an exorbitant fee structure. Mr Kaushik said a meeting of the district-level party leaders was being organised on Saturday in Mahendragarh town to make arrangements for the rally and mobilise people for it.

The RLD leader said issues like closure of the MA regional centre in Mahendragarh, completion of the SYL canal and equitable distribution of canal water would be discussed at the meeting. 


NDMC celebrates I-Day
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 15
The NDMC Chairman, Mr Ramesh Narayanaswami, today unfurled the national flag on the occasion of the 57th Independence Day celebrations.

Addressing the gathering, consisting of NDMC employees and their family members, Mr Narayanaswami emphasised the need to work towards the development of the nation.


Police breathe easy as I-Day passes off peacefully
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 15
The Delhi Police and the other security agencies today heaved a sigh of relief as the 57th Independence Day celebrations passed off peacefully even though they had to turn the Capital into a virtual fortress with heavy deployment.

Security was at its peak in view of the intelligence inputs suggesting fidayeen attacks, vehicle bomb attacks and attacks through impersonation by members of the Lashkar-e-Toiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad and other ISI-aided terrorist groups against the VVIPs and the buildings of national importance.

The police said that the day was incident-free and no security hiccups were reported from anywhere in the city. The Delhi Police had last night sealed the Capital and all vehicles and individuals crossing the border into the city were thoroughly checked. No vehicle without a valid pass was allowed to move anywhere close to the Red Fort, where the main function was held.

A thick blanket of security was thrown around the city with nearly 70,000-strong Delhi Police personnel, several units of paramilitary forces and jawans manning every nook and corner. A multi-layer security network of NSG sharpshooters, Delhi Police and ITBP commandos was in place at the Red Fort, Rajghat and along the route of the VVIPs to ward off any terrorist attempt. Quick Response Teams of the Delhi Police were also stationed at vantage points to meet any eventuality.

Three hours before the function started at the Red Fort at 7 am, the Capital’s skies were fully sanitised and flight operations remained suspended. No aircraft took off in a radius of 300 km from Delhi between 4 am and 10 am and between 4 pm and 7 pm. 


Underground parking project in South Ex market
Syed Ali Ahmed
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 15
The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) is finalising a project report for providing underground parking in South Extension market where parking is a big problem, forcing people to avoid going to the market. This has become a matter of great concern to hundreds of shopkeepers who have invested crores of rupees in their establishments.

The project was undertaken after a PIL was filed in the Delhi High Court by the Residents’ Welfare Association to stop the commercial activity in the area, as it was causing nuisance with a large number of vehicles parked haphazardly on the side streets, preventing the movement of residents.

In its efforts to find a solution to the problem, which had caused tension between the residents and the shopkeepers in the posh South Delhi market, the corporation hired the services of architects, M/s Ram Sharma and Associates.

According to the survey report, a car requires 35 square metre land for parking. The total parking space to be created has to be for 1,564 cars, including the vehicles of shopkeepers, other businessmen and their employees.

The report said that the corporation had to create underground parking for 690 cars by constructing double basement parking under the Ring Road with entry and exit from both sides of South Extension.

The MCD faced problems as there was not enough funds to give a practical shape to the project as it required around Rs 60 crore. However, it decided to create a mechanism to get funding. There is an electric substation in front of the commercial area of South Extension-II. It was decided that it would be converted into a commercial plot to finance the basement parking construction.

The sources said if this method was adopted, the corporation would get more money than it required for the construction of parking lots considering the high rates of real estate in the area.

It also decided that the rest of the money would be spent in constructing three subways between South Extension and Andrews Ganj.

The report also suggested creating landscaped walkways to link the commercial areas and to “pedestrianise” the markets and enhance the greenery by planting trees, bushes and shrubs in the area.

It was also decided that the South Extension Parking Complex development would be carried out by private sector participation through a competitive two-stage (qualification and proposal) bidding process. Concession would be granted on a Design Build Operate and Transfer (DBOT) basis. 


Done to death for ‘sin of love’
Our Correspondent

Meerut, August 15
Once again two lovers had to make the supreme sacrifice. The parents of the girl killed both of them.

The incident happened in Etmad Sarai village on the night of August 14. After the murder, their parents announced from a masjid that they had killed the girl and her lover. Both had been sentenced to death for committing the sin of love, the parents said. Considerable tension prevailed in the village after the incident. The alleged murderers of the lovers, girl’s father, her uncle and two brothers have been arrested.

According to the chronology of events, the incident occurred in Etmad Sarai village under Kotwali police station where Irshad, son of Asgar had an affair with his neighbour Gulshama, daughter of Chand Khan. The girl’s family had threatened the boy’s parents to check the boy or face dire consequences. But the duo did not bother and carried on despite several restrictions imposed on them.

On Thursday, Irshad went to the fields of one Razzak Khan behind his house. Gulshama also reached there after a while. As they were seen billing and cooing, some villagers caught both of them and informed the girl’s family. The girl’s parents reached the spot but the lovers had already escaped. When the girl came back to her home, her family members beat her black and blue. They then strangulated the girl by putting a stick on her neck. The family then raided the boy’s house and also dragged him. He was also beaten to death.

A man Aflatoon, husband of the village pradhan also announced from the mosque that girl Gulshama and boy Irshad had been sentenced to death for carrying illicit relations.

Meanwhile, villagers informed the police and the SHO Kotwali. Senior police officials then reached the village. Additional force was also rushed to the spot to control the unruly mob, collected on the spot after the incident.


Credit cards free farmers from moneylenders’ clutches
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, August 15
A progressive farmer and owner of 15 acres of land, Ajit Singh, of Puthi village in Gohana subdivision of the district and his family members are very happy as he earns around Rs 5 lakh every year by cultivating potato seeds. There are two tractors, a motor cycle, a scooter, three TV sets and a telephone in the household and his income has registered a big jump during the past two years.

“The officers of the Punjab National Bank suggested to me that I should have a kisan credit card to meet the expenses of agriculture inputs and two years before I obtain a credit card with a credit limit of Rs 1 lakh. It helped me get rid of the ritual of borrowing from money lenders of Gohana at the interest rate Rs 200 per month (annual interest of 24 per cent). Now I pay only 10 per cent to the bank,” says Ajit Singh, suggesting that other farmers also should derive benefit from the credit card scheme.

According to bank officer S. K. Dua, various banks in the district have already issued 7,734 credit cards of Rs 35.59 crore face value to the farmers. This includes 3,878 cards of Rs 22.42 crore by Punjab National Bank.

More than 3.5 crore farmers all over the country had been issued credit cards under the scheme launched by the former Union Finance Minister, Mr Yashwant Sinha, in 1998, he said.

He also informed NCR Tribune that most of the farmers in the district had been covered under the scheme and the target would be achieved by 2004 as 13 banks were engaged in issuing credit cards of their banks to the farmers of the covered areas.

Under the kisan credit card scheme, the farmers are issued credit cards on the basis of the land holdings, cropping pattern and crop rotation with maximum credit limit of Rs 5 lakh. The card holder can take and return loans five times or up to 50 per cent of the value of his agricultural land in a year. Initially, the card is valid for three years. But after that a new card is issued.

More than 80 per cent farmers in the state have already been issued credit cards and the bank officers promise cent per cent farmers would be covered very soon. Farmers of Ambala, Yamunanagar, Panchkula, Kaithal, Kurukshetra, Sirsa and Fatehabad have taken maximum benefit of the scheme so far.

One bank officer also remarked that after introduction of the kisan credit scheme a competition had ensued between the banks and the commission agents who usually advanced loans to the farmers bringing their produce at their shops to lower the rate of interests. At a number of places, the commission agents had started giving loans at the interest rate of 13 to 14 per cent, he said.

Instances of misuse of the credit cards have also come to the notice of the bank authorities when the card holders have used it in returning the loans taken from moneylenders.” But such instances are rare. However, a clear picture will emerge when the entire scheme will be reviewed after the expiry of the credit cards in March 2004,” he said.


Villagers all charged up about CM’s visit
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, August 15
People in villages falling under the Kailana assembly constituency of the district are enthusiastic about the scheduled two-day visit of the Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, on August 18 and 19.

As the entire government machinery in the district has been on toes for the last one week, attending to all sorts of complaints and demands of the villagers, including those related to repair of roads, streamlining of power, irrigation and drinking water supplies etc.

However, the villagers are expecting more from the Chief Minister. Sarpanch Mitrapal of Datoli village where the Chief Minister is scheduled to take lunch on August 18 is expecting upgradation of the village high school as the village girls face a big problem going to Ganaur everyday for senior secondary education.

Similarly, Ravi Dutt Sharma is hoping that the CM will sanction roads up to Chirasmi and Rakshera because the farmers of these villages have to negotiate their way through a kutcha road while taking their agricultural produce to the mandis.

During the visit, the Chief Minister will not only interact with the people for assessment of the implementation of announcements made earlier by him but also judge the mood of the public about the functioning of his government. 


Gau raksha team to meet PM
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, August 15
Acharya Baldev, president of the Arya Pritinidhi Sabha, Haryana, and the Gaushala Sangh flagged off a 25-member delegation of the Gau Raksha Lok Sewak Sangh at Jatheri village, 6 km from here, yesterday.

According to a report, the members of the deputation will meet the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, and press the demand for imposing a complete ban on cow slaughter.

Addressing a rural gathering, Acharya Baldev warned that if the central government failed to enforce a complete ban on cow slaughter the cows would soon be eliminated. He said teams of workers would be formed in each village of the state to save the cows from getting slaughtered.

According to another report, when the members of this deputation entered Delhi state, they were prevented by the police at Theekri village and not allowed to proceed further. This led to heated exchanges between police officials and the members of the deputation for a long period.

Thereupon, a strong contingent of the police arrived on the spot to control the situation. The members of the deputation sat on a dharna there in protest against the police action.


Social awareness mela from today
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 15
Prayas, an NGO working for the care and protection of streetchildren, and Dilli Haat have joined hands to organise a social awareness mela-cum-bazaar ‘Savlambhi Mela’ at Dilli Haat from August 16 to September 15.

The mela is being used to create awareness about the issues concerning children in need, women’s empowerment and to promote the marketing of vocational and creative items made by women self help groups. The event will be a colourful mix of theme based cultural programmes and will have celebrities supporting the cause. On display will be art and craft items, things prepared by the self help groups.

New MTNL executive

Mr Kuldeep Goyal has joined as Executive of Mobile Services in the MTNL in the national Capital. Earlier, he had been working as Principal Manager, Surat Telecom District in Gujarat Telecom Circle, responsible for complete operation, maintenance and development of the telecom network of Surat. He has rich experience for more than 30 years in various telecom network, computerisation, introduction of new services, including internet and project management. He belongs to India Telecom Services 1971 batch and is an engineering graduate with honours from IIT Roorkee, an official statement said.

Citizen Service Bureau

The Mayor, Mr Ashok Kumar Jain, yesterday dedicated to the citizens newly set up Citizen Service Bureau at Asaf Ali Road office complex and said that the bureau would benefit the residents living in walled city area. Various civic services through internet will be provided. The mayor said that the corporation is committed to provide transparent municipal administration to citizens of the Capital. The corporation has set up a new Information and Technology Department with a view to modernise civic services. The MCD has also entered into an agreement with the Electronic Corporation of India to set up a dynamic website. All the records of the civic body are being digitalised.



Do you have a grouse against the apathetic attitude of the authorities? Are you fed up with the dilly-dallying tactics of officialdom and the stranglehold of red tapism?
If so, please write to us. We have a full half page every week reserved just for you. The letters should be clearly marked, Speaking out, NCR Tribune,
First Floor, Dyal Singh Library Building, 1 Deen Dayal Upadhaya Marg, New Delhi-110002.

This is with regard to the recent reports over the presence of pesticides and other contaminants in soft drinks produced by Pepsi and Coke. The unearthing of the presence of pesticides and other chemicals in colas by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) deserves a hearty applause for letting the generation-next from slipping into the hands of glamourised slow poison offered by the multinationals (MNCs). The companies involved should be tried in the court of law and made accountable for spurious drinks.

It is time for the humble but healthy Indian drinks such as lemonade, coconut milk etc to strike back. The upcoming generation are eating, drinking and sleeping with Coke or Pepsi, unaware of the implications of it. Drinking branded soft drinks, in many cases, is considered to be part of glamour and status symbol.

It would also be interesting to notice what strategies the high-profile celebrities endorsing these soft drink brands would adopt, particularly when the public is feeling cheated and taken for a ride by Pepsi and Coke. The icons and sports persons like Sachin Tendulkar, Saurav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid and film stars like Amitabh Bachchan, Shahrukh Khan, Aamir Khan, Akshay Kumar etc are all caught in the cross fire between the public’s ire and big-buck-offering companies. The question is will they side with their followers or will they give into the lure of big money?

In this whole episode, which did not come as a surprise, it was very pleasing to see the ample support from the media, as it is a sensitive issue involving the health and lives of millions who are unaware of the grave consequences of the consumption of these harmful drinks.

What is ironic is that even though the entry of these soft drinks has been restricted in Parliament, the sale of both the brands has not been put on hold all over India. If the lives or health of the parliamentarians are precious, even more precious is the well being of the public whose faith and trust they enjoy.

Proper research and detailed enquiry should done into the matter and if the companies involved are proved guilty, they should be accorded befitting penalties and banned from selling any kind of products in India in future.

Krishna R. Patel
Lodhi Colony, New Delhi

When MLAs need marshals to keep them to their seats

This is with regard to the appointment of marshals in Assemblies to evict the unruly MLAs to help run the House proceedings smoothly. I recall an incident, which happened a few years back in the UP Vidhan Sabha, where the unruly behaviour of the MLAs had put the House into disrepute.

This is how our leaders are. A leader is a person who sets an example for others by his or her personality. But our leaders are setting some different kind of examples on the floor of the House. Throwing shoes, microphones and chairs on their counterparts to protest against the ruling party is becoming their habit. Everybody must be aware what a shame was it in the UP Vidhan Sabha.

People elected these members with the hope that they will convey their problems to the government but they are so indecent and undisciplined that they require marshals to ensure their behaviour in the House. How shameful it is that the leaders holding such important positions shatter the dreams of those people who choose them.

The time and money wasted due to their illogical protests cannot be regained. The hard-earned money of the general public is going into the drain as the outcome of House proceedings brings out nothing. Only the shattered dreams of the people come out at the end of the day.

However, if the appointment of marshals can stop the `dadagiri’ of the MLAs in the House, then the government must go ahead with the idea.

Brajesh Mishra
Najafgarh, New Delhi

Pension arrears not paid

My mother, late Shanti Devi Nanda, holder of PPO No 24349, retired as headmistress of Government Primary School, Kucha Ramji Dass, Ferozepur City, on May 1, 1977. She passed away on January 19, 1997. Her balance amount of pension arrears amounting to Rs 32,366 had not been released to me, who is her legal heir despite of a number of reminders to the DEO (Primary), District Ferozepur.

Though the office of the CAG of India, vide its latest office letter (No 438C/2001-135/Punjab) dated February 8, 2002, informed the Under Secretary (Public Grievances), Cabinet Secretariat, Government of India, that the AG of Punjab had intimated the former that necessary sanction in regard to the release of arrears was still awaited from the DEO and the Secretary, Education, Punjab, and that former had again been requested to instruct the DEO to send the necessary sanction to the AG Punjab, there has been no headway.

I am a retired person of 66 years and need the money badly to take care of my treatment of TKF disease. I wrote many letters to the Cabinet Secretariat (Grievance Cell), Government of India, Office of the Accountant General, Government of India, the Secretary (Education), Government of Punjab, Chief Minister, Government of Punjab, the Education Minister, Government of Punjab, DEO, Ferozepur and AG, Government of Punjab, but all went in vain.

S. C. Nanda
Gagan Vihar, New Delhi

When others slum it

I am the owner of 1/4th share in two plots, measuring two acres and one acre respectively in Shanti Nagar of Gas Pura village in Ludhiana district. These plots are converted into a slum of sorts by the residents nearby. There is no provision to drain out water. I have informed the DC, MC, Mayor and Zonal Officer during the last six to eight months, but in vain.

Jarnail Singh
Pitampura, Delhi

Words of wisdom

M. P. K. Kutty’s article ‘The grand deception and life style diseases’ (NCR Tribune August 10, 03) has stated, “While the propagandists of modern lifestyles spent fortunes teaching new ways of making life more pleasurable, teachers and parents should be telling the youth that life is subject to certain rules, there is the important principle that a man reaps what he sows. He must not be carried away by the glitter of things.”

In this connection, I wish to reproduce for the guidance of the youth, what some eminent thinker has said:

May you have 

Enough happiness to keep you sweet.

Enough trials to keep you strong.

Enough sorrows to keep you human.

Enough hope to keep you happy.

Enough failure to keep you humble.

Enough success to keep you eager.

Enough friends to give you comfort.

Enough wealth to meet your needs.

Enough enthusiasm to look forward.

Enough faith to banish depression.

Enough determination to make each day a better day than yesterday.”

O. P. Sharma

Catch them before they pick pockets

It was heartening to learn that the North district police of Delhi have arrested three robbers and pickpockets during a routine check near Shakti Nagar from a bus. These pickpockets never think what happens to those whose pockets they pick. The victim would not be able to reach his/her destination.

Three months back, I was coming back from Punjabi Bagh in Delhi along with my wife in a DTC bus. Near Peeragarhi, I noticed that my purse was taken away. Of course, I was shattered and did not know how to reach Rohtak as my whole money had gone.

The police force should do its duty sincerely and arrest such elements before they could try their trick on innocent passengers.

Subhash C. Taneja
MDU, Rohtak

Shun corporal punishment

Corporal punishment should be shunned in schools. I am not totally against such punishments. But it should be moderate and it should not have any negative effect on the minds of students. The teachers should learn themselves to be humane and then teach the students to be humane.

The incident of beating up the students in Amritsar is really shocking. The teachers should behave in a sober and responsible manner so that the students can open their hearts to them without any hesitation.

K. S. Yadav


NCR briefs
Six of family get life term for killing woman
Our Correspondents

Rohtak, August 15
Six members of a family have been sentenced to life imprisonment by the Fast Track Court Judge, Mr Vinod Jain, for killing a woman by setting her on fire in May last year.

According to the prosecution, those involved in the ghastly incident included her brother-in-law, sister-in-law, father-in-law and mother-in-law.

The victim, identified as Jaiwanti, was set on fire after pouring kerosene on her at Akbarpur village on May 18 last year. Jaiwanti had sustained hundred per cent burns and died at the PGIMS, Rohtak.

However, she had charged her six in-laws with committing the crime in her dying declaration before Ms Kanchan Nariala, Judicial Magistrate (first class).

The parents of the victim alleged that the in-laws of Jaiwanti had been harassing and maltreating her for the last several months. It is learnt that the incident was carried out when the husband of the victim was away.

SOS to Mayawati

Noida: The residents of Khora have blamed the district administration for callousness in the development of the colony. In a letter to the UP Chief Minister, Ms Mayawati, they have pointed out that the colony falls in an area between Ghaziabad and Gautam Budh Nagar districts.

They have demanded that just as the Chief Minister was paying personal interest to the development works in Ambedkar villages, “she should also pay attention to their colony and hold the district authorities answerable for providing basic infrastructures here”.

Residents allege police encroachment

Sonepat: Residents are angry over the alleged encroachment of shops by the police on the Bahalgarh road near Narang Hospital. The shops are reportedly owned by one Satparkash Rohila of village Anwali. According to information, the police allegedly broke into the shops last evening around 7 pm. The shops, numbering around 14, are part of the Laxmi complex.

Some eyewitnesses said the police carried out “illegal” construction during the night. These shops were allotted by Golden Forest Company. Satparkash Rohila claimed that he had obtained ‘no objection certificate’ from the local municipal council. The police action has spread resentment among the people. A number of people said that the police action hardly provide confidence to the people looking for a peaceful environment in the area.


Delhi Digest
Two booked for attempt to rape
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 15
The South-West district police have registered a case of attempt to rape on a complaint from a 16-year old girl that two persons had tried to rape her on Wednesday evening in Jharera in the Delhi Cantonment area. The girl alleged that two persons, Sonu (17) and his maternal brother, Jogi (19), tried to outrage her modesty at around 7 pm. The police got a medical examination conducted and arrested the accused.

Woman commits suicide

A 30-year-old woman, wife of a CRPF sub-inspector, allegedly committed suicide by shooting herself with her husband’s service revolver in Najafgarh area.

Her husband is posted in Chandigarh and was in Delhi on a holiday. The deceased, Poonam (30), was married to Ranbir Singh in 1992 and have two sons.

Three days ago, the family had gone to Aligarh to visit their relatives and returned to Delhi on Wednesday. When Poonam tried to shoot herself with her husband’s revolver, Ranbir tried to stop her. While they were grappling, a bullet hit Poonam. Later, she succumbed to her injuries.

Khandelwal Digambar Jain Mahasabha

The All India Khandelwal Digambar Jain Mahasabha organised its first ever ‘All India Parivar Parichay Sammelan’ and ‘Parivar Sneh Milan’ (family familiarization programme) at the Talkatora Stadium here today.

Delhi Chief Minister Shiela Dikshit and Union Minister of State for Sports Vijay Goel were also present on the occasion.


The NDPL has announced load shedding on August 16 and 18 from 10 am to 6 pm due to the installation of New Ring Main Units (RMU’s) at Shalimar Bagh.


Gang of highway robbers busted

Sonepat: With the arrest of three persons, the Baroda police have busted a gang of highway robbers operating in Gohana subdivision of the district for the past few months.

Giving this information, the Superintendent of Police, Mr Paramjit Singh Ahlawat, told mediapersons here today that the arrested persons were identified as Rajesh alias Chhanga, Ranjit alias Ganjha and Sandeep, all residents of Butana Khetlan village in this district. The police, he said, also seized a country-made pistol, one cartridge and one ‘kulhara’ from the arrested persons.

Giving details, the SP said that a police party was patrolling the Jind Road near the bridge over Butana drain when the cops got a tip-off about the highway robbers who were sitting in a deserted ‘kotha’ and planning to loot the passers-by.

The police conducted a surprise raid on the hideout and arrested all the three culprits. They have registered a case under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). The SP said that cases of highway robberies would be solved during the interrogation of the culprits.

According to the SP, the police have also arrested two persons, Balwan Singh of Jhanjh village in Jind district and Rajesh of Kurala village under the Kanjhawala police station of Delhi, and seized a country-made pistol, a live cartridge and a ‘kamanidar’ knife from them.

The police, he said, had also registered separate cases against them in Gohana town and Kundli police stations.


Three injured in accident on NH 71
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, August 15
At least three persons were seriously injured when a truck collided with a vehicle on the National Highway No.71 near Sainipura village, about 40 km from here yesterday.

According to a report, all the injured persons were rushed to the community health centre at Gohana town from where they were shifted to the PGIMS at Rohtak for further treatment.

It is reported that two of them succumbed to their injuries there and the condition of other is stated to be serious.

The police have registered a case and further investigations were in progress.

Five arrested in murder case

The Gohana police have arrested five of the seven accused in connection with the alleged murder of a youth, Ramesh, on July 16 last.

According to a report, the arrested persons were identified as Dharampal, Anand and Phool Singh. A hunt is on to apprehend the others accused in the case. All the arrested persons were produced before a Judicial Magistrate yesterday and were remanded to judicial custody for 14 days.

Bid to arrest child prisoners

The police have stepped up its effort to arrest two child prisoners, identified as Manoj and Deepak, who had escaped from the Bal Sudhar Grah last week.

According to a report, the police conducted raids at a number of places, but failed to apprehend them.

According to another report, the Government Railway Police (GRP) have failed to identify the bodies of two children found on the railway track near the Rajlu Garhi railway station, about 10km from here on July 8. The bodies were found severed.

Unauthorised sale of LPG cylinder

A team headed by the District Food and Supplies Controller, Mr P. K. Sharma, conducted a surprise raid at a shop near Kundli village along the Haryana-Delhi border, about 25 km from here yesterday.

The police seized 12 LPG cylinders kept for unauthorised sale from the shop.

According to a report, the news about the raid spread like a wild fire and other shopkeepers kept their shutter down and fled with LPG cylinders hidden in the nearby fields.


Satta racket busted, four held
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 15
With the arrest of four persons, including a woman, the North-East district police today claimed to have busted a satta racket (organised during England and South-Africa test match on August 14) in the Dilshad Colony area.

The police also claimed to have recovered a Maruti Zen car, five mobile phones, nine MTNL phones, a television, a calculator, a pager, three ear phones and Rs one lakh cash from their possession.

The Deputy Commissioner of Police (North-East), Mr Praveer Ranjan, said the police, acting on a secret information that some people were involved in satta racket, raided the house (number F 181/9) in Dilshad Colony area and nabbed the accused, Harish Arora (40) and Gunne Singh (30), residents of Dilshad Colony, Ajay Kumar (31), resident of Jhilmil Colony and Pankaj (37), resident of Geeta Colony.

While Harish was the group leader, Gunne was a trained nurse from Lucknow Medical College.

The accused used to operate only through MTNL telephones and mobile phones and never invited people to their house. The satta rates started from Rs 10,000 onwards.

The group also used to get online market satta rates from places like London, Mumbai and Faridabad. They were involved in the trade for the last three years and had no other sources of income. However, the police are yet to arrest big operators like Mukesh, Amarjeet, Billu and Hans Jain.

Harish used to be in constant touch with these big operators, who mostly operated from some hill stations through their mobile phones with roaming facility.

Ranjan said that since the accused operated through phones, the police are trying to get the telephone records to nab the culprits.


Gang involved in smuggling duplicate VCD smashed, 725 VCDs seized
Our Correspondent

Greater Noida, August 15
The Kasna police have busted a gang involved in smuggling duplicate VCD. The police arrested two persons and seized 725 duplicate VCDs from their possession.

The Superintendent of Police (rural), Mr Umesh Srivastava, informed that the accused were active in the area and the police learnt from discreet inquiries in the market that the business of duplicate VCDs was flourishing in Rampur village.

The police organised a surprise raid at Chanchal Music Centre, Rampur village, and arrested one Kuldeep and recovered 209 VCDs from him. Another 517 VCDs were recovered from Charan Singh of Sakipur.

The accused told the police that they were involved in this illegal trade for a long time. They said that some local politicians had assured them that the police “will not be able to touch them”, but now “they had vanished”.


BSNL launches Internet access service in Gurgaon
Tribune News Service

Gurgaon, August 15
The Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) launched ‘Caller Line Identity-based Accountless Internet Access’ for all its PSTN subscribers in Gurgaon on the eve of the Independence Day. The subscribers can now do without knocking at the doors of service providers to get the Internet connections.

Launching the services, named as ‘Net One’, yesterday evening here, the Chairman and Managing Director of BSNL, Mr Prithvi Pal Singh, announced that the service was also launched in the Ambala telecom circle. The service would be launched in Panipat and Rohtak on August 21 and the rest of the state shortly. The CLI-based Accountless Internet Access is a new and instant method of accessing Internet. It provides support for automatic authentication to any PSTN subscriber on the basis of the CLI, username and password.

According to the department, the Internet usage charge would be at 10 paise per minute. The telephone usage charges would be 10 minutes pulse from 10.30 pm to 6.30 am and three minute pulse from 6.30 am to 10.30 pm. It will be a post-paid service where the subscribers will be billed for the service usage in the usual telephone bill. The GM of the Gurgaon telecom circle, Mr Shivender Bhatnagar, said that the advantages in the service provided by the department include no form filling and hassle-free procedures. Also, there would be no need to purchase an Internet account and there would be no chance of the account being misused. There would be free online registration and the subscribers could view the full usage report in ‘My account’.

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