Thursday, August 21, 2003, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


Power blackout in villages a ruse to recover dues?
Bijendra Ahlawat
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, August 20
There seems to be an unofficial power blackout in several villages of the district. Although the Power Department cites various reasons for the disruption, it is believed that non-payment of electricity bills has a direct bearing on the matter. The authorities, it is pointed out, want to make the defaulters realise that power is not a free commodity. The power arrears in the district amount to Rs 200 crore.

Transformers in several dozens of villages had burnt or were damaged beyond repair in the monsoon this year. Replacement of these has been tardy and selective. A total of 160 transformers had conked out till July this year, which was a dubious record. On an average, 150 transformers go for a toss each year.

The incidence this year was the highest in Palwal subdivision, followed by Ballabgarh, old Faridabad and Faridabad subdivisions. These were not being repaired or replaced despite complaints pouring in from rural areas daily.

Rajinder Nagar, a resident of Fajjupur village of Faridabad subdivision, disclosed that the transformer in his village had been out of order for the past one month. Despite complaints, no one from the Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (DHBVN) had turned up to replace it. Their patience was running out and soon they would take to blocking the road or gheraoing the department office, if no action was taken.

Another villager, Chanderpal, said it seemed that the state government had directed the DHBVN not to replace the transformers as they were not clearing their pending bills.

Residents of Dayal Pur village of the Ballabgarh subdivision blocked the Mohna-Ballabgarh road for two hours on Tuesday in protest against the disruption of power supply. The villagers claimed that there had been no supply in the village for the past 90 days.

Three days back, residents of Machhgar village of the same division had stopped traffic in a similar fashion. It is reported that a new transformer was provided to the village within two hours after the blockade on the intervention of senior officials; the matter was pending for a fortnight.

The Chairman of the Haryana Power Utilities, Maj-Gen (Retd) B. S. Rathee, has been touring the villages and urban areas, asking people to clear their outstanding bills. The Chief Minister and the power authorities have been reiterating that pending bills could not be written off and the defaulters would have to clear them at all costs.

Janata Dal (U) leader Raj Kumar Gaur alleged that the delay in repairing or replacing burnt transformers in the villages was deliberate and a kind of punishment to one and all, despite the fact that many were paying their bills on time.


Rebate revoked, society residents to pay more
Syed Ali Ahmed
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 20
Thousands of people living in group housing society flats across the Capital will now have to pay higher property tax as the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) has withdrawn the 15 per cent tax rebate, claiming that this was against the prevailing law.

This decision was taken following an inspection carried out by the Vigilance Department, which found that the 15 per cent additional rebate was allowed in many cases where the flat was either rented or occupied by a second party or by a general power of attorney holder.

The Assessor and Collector (AC) had earlier pointed out in his order that such tax rebate is against the prevailing law. The AC had directed the department on March 20, 2003, to withdraw the rebate “allowed wrongly”.

The decision of the Assessor and Collector to withdraw the rebate has caused considerable consternation among the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress as both of them are preparing to face the electorate in the Assembly elections in three months’ time.

According to Mr Bijender Gupta, a member of the Standing Committee of the MCD, the rebate was given to flat owners in group housing societies in 2000. It was then decided that “an additional rebate of 15 per cent, besides the usual 20 per cent, that is a total of 35 per cent, be granted to the owners of self-occupied flats of group housing societies, which are maintaining the internal services themselves”. This rebate had been provided to them from April 1, 2000, to August 31, 2002, considering that the middle class residents of these housing societies faced many problems in paying property tax. Now, the Congress-led corporation is taking it back, Mr Gupta lamented.

Mr Gupta said that the Assessor and Collector was pressured by the Congress-led corporation to withdraw the tax rebate as the party felt that flat owners in societies were a BJP vote bank, which was not correct. The withdrawal was unjustified and, if the order was not scrapped, the Opposition will move the court. The Chief Assessor and Collector was not available for comment. 


Ragging: IIT expels five from hostel
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 20
The Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, has expelled five students from the Aravalli hostel; the action came in the wake of the inquiry committee submitting its report on the allegation of ragging of a freshman, Prakash Rajpurohit.

The decision to expel the students from the hostel was taken at a meeting of the IIT disciplinary committee here yesterday. While two students have been expelled from the hostel for two years, three others have been expelled for one year.

Rajpurohit had fled from the hostel to his residence in Ghaziabad after his seniors in the hostel ragged him. He had alleged that he was ordered to strip and perform unmentionable acts by his seniors. Rajpurohit’s father had later filed a complaint in the Hauz Khas police station and Prakash had been asked to identify the culprits. The case gained momentum when the Human Resource Development Minister, Dr Murli Manohar Joshi, expressed his concern over the incident and threatened to take stern action.

The HRD Ministry had conveyed its displeasure and said that it would close down the hostel if action were not taken against the culprits. It had also asked the disciplinary committee to make the action more stringent.

The IIT authorities, too, had in their statement to the press maintained that they would take the “strictest possible action” against the boys involved in the incident.

It was pointed out that Rajpurohit had withdrawn the complaint lodged with the authorities, and the accused students had also submitted a written apology. 


Blueline gutted at CNG pump, blaze at Vivek
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 20
Two fire incidents were reported in the city in the last 24 hours.

In the first incident, a fire broke out at a CNG station in the wee hours, gutting a Blueline in Mahipalpur on the Delhi-Gurgaon national highway. The chief minister has ordered an inquiry into the incident.

According to sources the fire broke out at around 4 am when gas was being filled in the bus. The nozzle of the cylinder tank broke, leading to sparking; a fire ensued which soon engulfed bus no DL 1PA 0439 (route 516). Three fire tenders were rushed to the spot and the fire was brought under control after about three-and-a-half hours.

The inquiry will look into whether fire safety equipment had been installed at the CNG station. In the second incident, a minor fire broke out at Vivek Cinema in Patel Nagar area this morning.

Fire service sources said the incident took place at around 9 am on the rooftop of the cinema hall. Immediately, eight fire engines were pressed into service to extinguish the blaze. Sources said that the cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained; the hall is closed for some time. No casualties were reported.


Sheila backtracking on statehood: Khurana
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 20
Recriminations over the issue of statehood for Delhi intensified today with the BJP accusing Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit of “deliberately creating doubts” over the Bill introduced in the Lok Sabha and offering to discuss any suggestions or changes mooted by the Congress.

The Delhi BJP president, Mr Madan Lal Khurana, alleged that Ms Dikshit was “backtracking” on the issue of statehood and “betraying” the people of the Capital by stating that her party would not support the Bill in Parliament in the present form.

The Bill was prepared by the Centre after considering Delhi Assembly’s suggestions, including grant of special status under Article 371, he said.

“She is deliberately creating doubts over the Bill. The Congress high command does not support her on statehood and she is feeling trapped after its introduction in Parliament,” Mr Khurana charged.

Accusing her of “beating about the bush” while raising queries over the Bill, the BJP leader said: “If she has some suggestions for amendment, let us sit and discuss.”

“I offer her the talks,” he said and asserted that he would even facilitate her meeting with the Deputy Prime Minister, Mr L. K. Advani, on the matter.

Defending the provisions in the Bill, Mr Khurana said police and law and order must remain with the Centre as the state government could not be depended upon in matters of security of the Capital as all country’s top VVIPs live here.

He insisted that the grant of statehood would bring about development in Delhi where multiplicity of authority and “passing the buck” have led to many problems.



Man shot dead outside school
Our Correspondent

Ghaziabad, August 20
A man, who had gone to fetch his children from school, was shot dead by two motorcycle-borne assailants in broad daylight in Harvansh Nagar under the Sihani Gate police station yesterday, spreading panic in the busy locality. The assailants drove away after the murder, nonchalantly waving their weapons. Some monetary transaction is reported to be the cause of the murder.

Naresh, a resident of Harvansh Nagar, started from home on his scooter around 1 pm to bring his kids Vipin (9) and Neha (6) from Happy Public School on Meerut Road. Since there was still some time for the school bell to ring, Naresh was waiting outside. Two youths arrived on a motorbike and shot him in the shoulder with a revolver. Naresh ran towards the street but he was chased and shot again. This time, the bullet entered his back and passed through his chest. He was rushed to the government hospital but the doctors referred him to Yashoda Hospital in view of his critical condition. He succumbed to his injuries on the way.

Naresh, it is learnt, had been working in a finance company near Old Bus Stand for the last few years and used to arrange loans on interest. The police suspect that some monetary transaction might be the cause of the murder. The police are trying to solve the case on the basis of the conversation the deceased had on his cell phone prior to his murder.

Chandigarh resident found dead in Qualis

New Delhi: A resident of Palsaura near Chandigarh, Suresh Kumar, was found shot dead in his Tata Qualis near Badarpur Chowk in South district early this morning. He was lying on the front seat of the white-coloured vehicle (HR-68-2410) with bullet injuries in his right shoulder.

The reason behind the murder could not be ascertained. Some documents were found on his person, which helped in identifying him and locating his address, the Deputy Commissioner of Police (South), Mr Vivek Gogia, said. TNS


Resist the urge, popping pills at will could be killing
Biswajiban Sharma
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 20
Akhilesh, a South Delhi-based software engineer, felt severe pain in the stomach recently. He went to a nearby druggist and bought a painkiller. Two hours after he took the tablet, he fell unconscious.

Last month, a girl from Laxmi Nagar popped a painkiller pill when she had headache. She started perspiring profusely within 15 minutes of taking the tablet and was rushed to Apollo Indraprastha Hospital. She collapsed while being admitted.

Self-medication has become a disease afflicting both the learned and the unlearned alike in the Capital. Many of us prefer to buy medicines over the counter from chemists and eat them whenever we are faced with an ailment instead of going to a qualified doctor.

The dilemma is when to see a doctor. Anyway, we have our own stock of emergency drugs like aspirin, disprin and gin tablets, promoted as painkillers, in our homes. However, what if the pain is a symptom of a more serious condition? What if it is the side effect of a particular medication that you are already taking for another health problem?

“There is no strong government legislation to prevent people from popping pills at will. And people feel it is easy to take a few down their throat. Ideally, over the counter (OTC) medicines are permissible, but some pills are harmful,” warns Dr Tarun Sahni, Senior Consultant Physician in Indraprastha Apollo Hospital.

According to Dr Sahni, taking antibiotics has become a first-line home therapy to bring down fever or get quick relief from cold. “Most educated people tend to follow their doctors’ previous prescriptions if they are suffering from the same ailment. While doing so, they overlook the significance of the right and complete prescription schedule and even consume residual medicine from the last prescription,” he says.

People are all too eager to take this huge risk. Plus, they don’t have the time to go to a physician for as trivial a thing as a headache, body ache or mild fever. People prefer to take self-taught medicines bought over the counter. But they don’t know the aftermath. These drugs affect directly, says Dr Sahni.

Many recognised medical stores are giving strong drugs to people without asking for the doctor’s prescription. A salesman from Apollo Clinic in Kailash Colony says, “People are willingly taking medicines and we can’t prevent them.”

A man recently went to a medical store in Kalkaji and explained to the salesman at the counter his ailment. Then the salesman dished out some medicines. The patient would definitely have eaten them. This is certainly not an isolated incident. Many others are taking cough syrups not for their disease, but to quench their thirst for the wine, Dr Sahni.

Dr Sahni cautions against this newly emerging segment of self-taught doctors and the people reaching out for antibiotics at the first sign of a viral infection or flu.

“Antibiotics are prescribed only for illnesses caused by bacteria, not by viruses. Antibiotics have absolutely no effect on viral infections, cough, sore throat and bronchitis. These ailments are mostly caused by viruses,” Dr Sahni says.

He adds that antibiotics are strong medicines that can cure many bacterial illnesses and infections, including pneumonia, skin and wound infections, scarlet fever and toxic shock syndrome. “These strong antibiotics should never be taken without proper diagnosis and prescription. The treatment should not be discontinued midway even if the symptoms disappear as it may cause the bacteria to grow resistant to the antibiotic.” 


Justice Party promises jobs to Dalits,
migrants in Delhi
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 20
The Justice Party, which claims to be emerging as an alternative to the existing Dalit leadership, today launched its election campaign for the coming Delhi Assembly poll, promising to solve the problem of housing and employment for Dalits, minorities and migrants in the Capital.

Bahujan Samaj Party leaders Mayawati and Kanshi Ram came in for particular criticism from various leaders of the Justice Party who accused them of having crossed over to the ‘’Manuvadi camp,’’ forgetting the Dalit agenda of their party.

“The BSP, which claims to be the messiah of Dalits, has totally failed to address their grievances and shaken hands with ‘’Manuvadi forces’’ and it is to fulfil the mission left incomplete that the Justice Party has been formed”, one of the organisers said.

Addressing the rally, Justice Party Chief Udit Raj said Delhi had a large population of Dalits settled here since 1950 and they had a large number of problems too but no leaders, claiming themselves to be their messiah, had articulated their grievances and tried to redress them. Dalits of the state were being denied reservation as the seats reserved for them were not being filled on the pretext that suitable candidates were not available, he said.

Mr Udit Raj, a former Indian Revenue Service officer who resigned from his job to plunge into politics about three years ago, said reservation in the private sector and higher judiciary too would be among the main issues to be highlighted during the Assembly elections. 


Chautala failed to adjust retrenched
employees: HSMITC
Our Correspondent

Rohtak, August 20
The All Employees Association of Haryana State Minor Irrigation and Tubewell Corporation (HSMITC) has charged the Haryana Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, with backtracking on his promise to adjust the retrenched employees of HSMITC to other departments.

In a statement issued here today, Mr Satvir Singh Hooda, president of the association, alleged that the CM had been misleading the masses by releasing false press statements that the government had accepted the demands of the retrenched employees of HSMITC and had reached an agreement with the association.

He said that Mr Chautala had assured the Karamchari Sangharsh Samiti, on October 24 and June 27, that the retrenched employees would be adjusted to other government departments.

However, the repeated assurances by the chief minister proved to be a mere eyewash and no step was taken by the government to adjust the retrenched employees, he alleged.

Hooda also said that the CM’s claims, made during the ‘government at your doorstep’ programmes, regarding strengthening of the irrigation channels, had also proved to be false and no work in the direction had been carried out since the closure of HSMITC.


HUDA administrator directed to appear
before Forum
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, August 20
The District Consumer Forum has issued summons to the administrator of the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA), Faridabad, and has directed him to appear before the Forum on August 21, in a case of related to refund for non-construction to a plot holder.

According to information available, Nafe Singh Saini purchased a plot (no 1182) in Sector-14, on June 17, 1996, and on October 13, 1996, he deposited Rs 600 as building plan fee and Rs 3,200 as convenience deed.

The complainant alleged that the local HUDA authorities neither approved the building map nor refunded the convenience deed amount despite several attempts.

During the hearing of the case (he had lodged a complaint with the forum in 1999), the HUDA authorities agreed to hand over the building plan and refund of the convenience deed. However, Mr Saini demanded payment of Rs three lakh as fine, Rs 5,200 per month as rent and Rs 33,600 (deposited by him) as non- construction penalty.

After hearing the case, the Forum directed HUDA to refund Rs 33,600 with 12 per cent interest and rent of 15 months. It also directed the HUDA authorities to make the payment within 30 days.

However, when the HUDA authorities did not comply with The directions of the forum, Mr Sauna again approached the forum.


Sonia hands over house keys to MCD karamcharis
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 20
Ms Sonia Gandhi, Leader of the Opposition, today distributed possession letters and keys of residential quarters to the safai karamcharis of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi at her residence, on 10 Janpath, on the occasion of late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi’s birth anniversary.

A large number of safai kramcharis, who went to Janpath to receive the possession letter and keys of the flats, thanked Ms Gandhi for realising their prolonged demand. The houses have been allotted on hire-purchase basis under ‘Doctor Ambedkar Awaas Yojna’, in which 20, 000 houses are proposed to be constructed and allotted, to the safai karamcharis. As many as 560 quarters were allotted at Nand Nagari and Sunder Nagari.

The Chief Minister, Ms Sheila Dikshit, Minister Mr Raj Kumar Chauhan, AICC General Secretary, Mr Ahmed Patel, DPCC President, Chaudhary Prem Singh and several MLAs were among others present on the occasion.

Mayor Ashok Kumar Jain, deputy mayor Varyam Kaur, leader of the house and standing committee chairman Ram Babu Sharma, deputy chairman of the standing committee Ashok Kumar Jain and a number of councillors expressed their commitment to the welfare of safai kramcharis by participating in the function.

The mayor said that since Doctor Ambedkar Awaas Yojna was the brainchild of the late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, the MCD is fulfilling its commitment by implementing the scheme.

Mr Ram Babu Sharma said the corporation has planned to construct 20, 000 quarters in a phased manner. At least 1,340 quarters have already been allotted to the safai kramcharis in Rohini and Jahangirpuri, he said.


Stage set for battle for Uniform Civil Code: Manch
Our Correspondent

Panipat, August 20
“The stage has been set for the fourth Battle of Panipat on conservatism versus progressivism and fanaticism versus tolerance issues, which would also be fought for a common cause like the previous three battles.” This was stated by the founder Chairman of the newly formed All India Uniform Civil Code Manch (AIUCCM), Mr Nem Chand Jain, in an exclusive interview with NCR Tribune here today during a people awareness programme.

Speaking about the activities of the manch, Mr Jain stressed that “instead of Personal Law, national law is the need of the hour and the manch will fight to create public awareness which had already started from Independence Day itself.”

Mr Jain said the Supreme Court had thrice made a suggestion for a Uniform Civil Code (UCC) in the country: first, during the Shah Bano case in 1985, the second time during the Sarla Mudgil case in 1995 and the third time recently on July 23, 2003, in the case of Priest John Balmton. But the political leaders of the country, to serve their interests, did not bother to pay heed to the suggestions of the apex court, he added.

The Chairman further stated that in our country a common civil code existed in almost all sections of society, even law and order remained the same for every citizen of India. He wondered how Section 35 (now 44) had been left out in which marriage and successors’ right were pending.

In fact, the issue of a Uniform Civil Code was not that of Hindu versus Muslim but that of conservatism versus progressivism and fanaticism versus tolerance, Mr Jain said. He added that when in 1955-56 Parliament passed the historical Hindu Code Bill and if at the same time for marriage, divorce, succession, adoption and on sustenance a single Indian Code Bill had been passed the government would have had to face communal agitation for some time but gradually things would have settled down. “And to make this section a part of the legislation, I will fight for the Uniform Civil Code”, he added.

Referring to the year 1972, the Chairman said that when the then Law Minister, Mr H. R. Gokhle, presented a Bill in the House on May 23 and said the Succession Act would be a stepping stone towards framing a Common Civil Code. At that time the Muslim community felt their Shariat law would be tampered with and in the interest of the community as weighed against national interest a conference was held on December 27-28, 1972, and the base for the Muslim Personal Law was established.

Mr Jain further alleged that to give a communal colour to the Common Civil Code was not right for the community as a whole.

When asked by this correspondent about the necessity of a separate party for the job, the founder Chairman said the manch had been established to counter the spread of global terrorism. To create awareness among the people, he said he had decided to launch a campaign for the country through a separate party. The Muslims could not be covered under the family planning programme because of the Personal Law and as a result a time would come when Hindus would become a minority community, he averred.

The Chairman recalled that when the Hindu Marriage Act and the Special Marriage Act of 1950 were enforced it was presumed that the minorities would also follow the spirit of the Acts but that was not to be. “Had the government introduced the Indian Marriage Act instead of the Hindu Marriage Act at that time it would not have been difficult to create communal tolerance and there would have been one India and one Indian,” he added.

When asked how he would manage this all-India level movement from such a small district in Haryana single-handedly, Mr Jain said when RSS founder Hedgewar had also started the campaign all by himself. It was only gradually that people started joining him. Similarly, he would try to get the support of like-minded people, irrespective of caste and creed. Already, a few workers of the manch were ready to kickstart a campaign on the national level.

When Mr Jain was asked about the future course of action of the manch, he said public awareness would be his first priority and to achieve this he would try to exhort like-minded youth of this country to join the manch to carry this campaign of the Uniform Civil Code to every nook and corner of the country.

He also stressed that the country needed a national law instead of a personal law for separate religions to promote unity and integrity.

Speaking on the Muslim Personal Law (MPL), the Chairman said it was not true that it could not be changed as one section of Muslims agreed that rules and regulations of the Shariyat were not rigid as in Muslim majority countries. Amendments had been made according to requirements,” he added.

He exhorted people, particularly the youth of this country, to join the manch and carry this campaign to each village, town, city, district, and all over India to save this country from the rigidness of these separate laws.


KU creates technical zone to promote culture
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Panipat, August 20
In a significant decision aimed at promoting cultural activities in technical colleges, Kurukshetra University (KU) has decided to create a technical zone comprising medical, engineering and management colleges, the KU Vice-Chancellor, Dr A. K. Chawla, said at Israna, near here, today.

Speaking to reporters after inaugurating a new girls’ hostel at NC Engineering College at Israna, Dr Chawla informed the first youth festival of the technical zone would be held at the Dental College at Kot Billa (Panchkula) from September 27 to 29. The inter-zonal youth festival would be held in November, he added.

With a view to promoting all-round growth of the personality, KU has decided to award the best NCC cadet, best NSS volunteer and best athlete awards besides one for the best college. The university also intends to start a one-year diploma on “culture and civilisation” in collaboration with the ITDC. He said a legislation to curb the menace of copying was under the active consideration of the Haryana Government.

Earlier, Mr Vijay Gupta, Chairman of the Board of Governors, who presided over the orientation day function, said the performance of the college had been best as far as the mechanical, electronic and communication engineering courses were concerned among all KU colleges. The college was ranked second best in the computer and IT disciplines.

The college Principal, Dr S Gupta, said since its inception the college had made progress in the direction of emerging as a centre of excellence for engineering and technology.

The Principal claimed that a majority of students of the college had got employed through campus placement in blue chip companies such as Infosys, Reliance, TCS, GE, Goodyear, Coca cola, Talbros Auto, Auto Clutch, Flex India, Havell India besides the Indian Army.

Meanwhile, it was informed that the Rs 1.05 crore new hostel, spread over an area of 54,000 square feet, would accommodate 170 girls. Equipped with the latest amenities like ventilated rooms, spacious dinning hall and common room with indoors games, including table tennis, badminton and cable TV, Internet would also be provided for the use of the inmates. Various college and university toppers were awarded on the occasion.


Flying squad forages for records in fair price shops 
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, August 20
In a bid to check the irregularities and malpractices in the distribution of wheat flour (atta) among the families living below the poverty line (BPL) in the this city and other parts of the district, officials of the Chief Minister’s flying squad have started recording statements of the owners of the fair price shops and seeking photostat copies of the records from them.

According to a report, the officials called the owners of the fair price shops one by one in the PWD (B and R) rest house here yesterday and recorded the statements of at least 40 depot holders about the distribution of atta among the BPL families by them.

This action followed the orders of the Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, on receiving numerous public complaints in this regard. The officials of the CM’s squad, it may be recalled, had already seized the records of CONFED - the only distributing agency for wheat flour in this district.

The officials also conducted surprise raids on the premises of the flour mills at Ganaur, Sonepat and Kharkhauda town in this connection and checked the records of these mills. The officials also carried out raids at the shops of the depot-holders in this city but these were found closed on account of getting prior information about the raids by the officials of the CM’s squad.

There are 341 fair price shops in the urban and rural areas of the district and the owners of these shops are required to produce themselves before officials of the CM’s flying squad for inquiry. The records of these shops will be scrutinised and the owners of these shops have been asked to submit photostat copies of the records in connection with the distribution of BPL wheat flour.

Official sources have revealed that this process will continue for some more days and the outcome will be clear after the end of the inquiry. The state government will take stern action against the erring depot-holders positively.


List of loan defaulters to be published
Our Correspondent

Meerut, August 20
A list of defaulters, who were sanctioned loans out of the term loan issued by the state government for improving the status of minority communities, will be published in newspapers and displayed at public places. This was directed by the secretary of the Minority Department, Mr Sanjiv Mittal, who conducted a review meeting here today, after receiving several complaints regarding default of loan payments.

According to sources, the term loan of Rs 50 crore given by the state government to improve the financial status of minority communities was proving a major headache for the government, as most of people who were issued loans were not repaying it.

This resulted in an immediate ban on issuing loans to the needy.

Mr Mittal visited Meerut today in this regard and conducted a meeting with the senior officials of the department and of the administrations of various districts of western UP.

He ordered that a physical verification with in two months after allotment of loan be done and said that a recovery certificate should be issued in case of loanees found misusing the amount or not having started their business.

An FIR should be lodged in default cases, said Mr Mittal.

He told the NCR Tribune after the meeting that the government had received several complaints that some “professionals”, posing as real candidates, were engaged in this business. He ordered that a black list of these people be prepared and published in newspapers and displayed at public places.

Directing the officials to properly enquire each case before issuing a loan, he said action would be taken against guilty officials.

He directed the officials of Meerut, Bulandshahr, Ghaziabad, Gautam Budh Nagar, Baghpat, Muzaffarnagar and Saharanpur, to issue loans only to skilled people.

He also summoned minority scholarship files and property documents in the meeting. He said that Rs 50 crore of term loan has been sunk and 1,600 recovery certificates (RC’s) have been issued against these defaulters. He revealed that Meerut has a recovery of Rs one crore while RC’s has been issued against 65 defaulters of Rs 45 lakh.

Divisional Commissioner Nepal Singh Ravi disclosed that the state government will give loans at a nominal interest rate of 3 per cent interest to attract the minority students towards education.

The detailed plan is ready and will be implemented this year. The students of professional and technical courses can avail this loan upto Rs 75,000 seventy five thousand, he said.


Evolve parliamentary management education course for MPs: Arya
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 20
The All India Citizens Committee secretary general, Mr Pramod Arya, today urged the Union Government to evolve a postgraduate parliamentary management education course for MPs.

He said that the MPs should be properly educated as they are the people who rule the country. They must be aware of administrative works and fair politics. However, currently, there are a number MPs who are illiterate, said Arya.

He expressed concern that several MPs issued statements without even considering the significance.

Urging the government to hold elections of panchayats, district councils, state assemblies and the Lok Sabha at the same time, he demanded that the legislative councils in the states and Rajya Sabha should be abolished.

Election expenditure should be collected from the political parties and their campaign should be telecast on TV and radio at their own expenditure.


Sugar worth Rs 300 crore lying in godowns
Our Correspondent

Rohtak, August 20
Prof Virender Singh, president, District Congress Committee (rural) and a former chairman of Haryana Sugar Fed, has cautioned the government that the co-operative sugar mills and the cane growers in the state would be ruined if the government did not change its policy towards them.

In a statement here today, Prof Virender claimed that an amount of nearly Rs 170 crore was pending in the form of farmers’ bills with the co-operative sugar mills, while stocks of sugar worth over Rs 300 crore were lying in the government godowns.

Referring to the co-operative sugar mills in Rohtak, the oldest sugar mills in the state, he said the farmers had provided sugarcane worth nearly Rs 29 crore to this mills during the current financial year, while a payment of Rs 18 crore had been made so far by the mills.

He said there were only two months left in the start of sowing season of sugarcane, while the farmers’ dues amounting to nearly Rs 11 crore were pending against the sugar mills. He said around 3 lakh quintals of sugar was lying only in co-operative sugar mills Rohtak at present, which cost nearly Rs 40 crore. 


Power crisis throws normal life out of gear

Sonepat, August 20
The on-going power crisis has worsened in the city and its suburbs following the loadsheddings enforced by the Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (UHBVN) at night.

According to a report, all the areas fed by the ‘Essential Feeder’ remained powerless for two hours between 1 am to 3 am last night and this caused inconvenience to thousands of residents, as they had passed the sleepless night.

Thereafter, the entire city and its suburbs faced frequent power trippings between 4 am and 5.30 am and this resulted in disrupting the drinking water supply system.

Many residents alleged that unannounced loadsheddings, frequent power breakdowns, power failures and the low voltage have become common for the past few months and the authorities of the UHBVN were indifferent to their problems and grievances.

The residents also faced power trippings many times between 8 pm and 9 pm yesterday and this caused strong resentment among them.

According to another report, thousands of residents of Nahra village have remained powerless for the past two weeks following the burning of the electricity transformers. The residents are now planning to gherao of the power sub-station at Kundli and the officials posted there if the authorities failed to the replace the burnt transformers.

Aged woman missing

Mystery shrouds the disappearance of an aged woman, Murti Devi (65) of Bhatgaon village since August 17 last.

According to a report, the family members of the woman have started search operations for her, but have failed to trace her in spite of concerted efforts made by them. — OC


Cong organises race in memory of Rajiv Gandhi
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 20
On the occasion of 59th birth anniversary of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, the Delhi Youth Congress today organised a race, ‘Run for the Country’, in the Capital.

The race was organised to educate the youth to fight against the communal forces, terrorism and fundamentalist forces and to spread the message of peace, harmony and brotherhood among the masses, as was given by Rajiv Gandhi.

Speaking on the occasion, Delhi Youth Congress president Rajesh Lilothia said that the youth of the country can’t forget their beloved leader as he always stood for their cause. He used to think about the development of the youth, their rights and career and for this he brought the computer technology into the country and thus provided employment to millions of unemployed youth. He was the first prime minister who had given the right to the young generation to elect their representatives in the age of 18 years.

Mr Lilothia further said that it would be our true homage to late Rajiv Gandhi, if we could root out the communal forces from India, so that peace and tranquillity may be established and our country may progress with leaps and bounds. Along with Mr Lilothia, pradesh general secretary Aashish Sharma and Atul Chatwal were also present.


Six booked for dowry
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, August 20
Six members of a family, including the husband, have been booked under Dowry Act for allegedly beating up and harassing the victim for not fulfilling the dowry demand. The complainant, resident of Sanjay Colony in Sector 23, alleged that her husband and other in-laws had been responsible for her fleeing to her parents’ house.

In another incident, some motorcycle-borne youths snatched a purse from a woman in Sector-21-D yesterday, containing Rs 30,000, a cellphone and a chequebook. The victim was on her way to her house in a three wheeler autorickshaw, when the youths snatched her purse and fled away.

Youth waylaid, shot

SONEPAT: A youth, Harish, was allegedly shot dead and his associate, Rohtas, sustained bullet injuries when two motorcycle-borne youths opened fire on them near Shamri village, about 30 km from here, late last evening.

According to a report, both the youths, who belonged to Bajana village, were returning home on a tractor via Khanpur village. When they reached near Shamri village, two motorcycle-borne youths of the same village fired at them, resulting in the death of Harish and injuries to Rohtas. The alleged assailants managed to escape.

On hearing the sound of shots, a number of persons working in the nearby fields arrived on the scene and later informed the police. The injured Rohtas was immediately hospitalised and he is stated to be out of danger.

The police have registered a case and launched a hunt to apprehend the culprits. The reason behind the attack is not immediately known. — OC

Rotary Health camp

The Rotary Club of Midtown will organise a health care camp on August 24 on the premises of the Rotary Centre, near the Atlas Cycle Industries, here. According to a report, Dr J B Bansal will monitor the camp.

Workers allege excesses

A deputation of the Haryana Sheet Glass Company called on the Labour Commissioner Haryana ,Mr K K Khandelwal, on Tuesday and apprised him of the excesses of the management on the employees and the workers for the last few months.

According to a report, the members of the deputation alleged that the management of the company had terminated the services of at least 750 employees without paying them salary, bonus and arrears.

They said the management had also forced 450 employees to sign resignation letters and submit the same to the management. Mr Khandelwal assured the deputation that he would look into the matter and take appropriate action.


Spurious milk product units unearthed

Ghaziabad, August 20
The Ghaziabad police have arrested 13 persons for running two milk product units, which were churning out duplicates of popular brands in Charanjiv Vihar and Loni.

According to the police, one Anuj Garg of Shastri Nagar was operating from House No. 2/356 in Charanjiv Vihar and duplicating a popular brand of ghee for the last six months. The police raided the premises following a tip-off and nabbed Anuj Garg and six others.

Eight containers of ghee, packing material, inputs, manufacturing equipment and gadgets were seized by the police. The ghee was being supplied in Jatwara in Sector 23 here; it was also being sold in Dehra Dun and Delhi.

In Loni, six persons were arrested from Puja Colony following a raid on a unit which was manufacturing duplicate mawa (condensed milk); it was being supplied to Delhi and other nearby places. The in charge of the police post in the colony had been tipped off by some people about the unit. Three quintals of mawa, three tins of refined oil, raw materials, packing material, 25 kg of synthetic powder and colour dyes were seized.

Gang of auto thieves busted

The Sihani Gate police have arrested four auto thieves from Basant trijunction last night. They were fleeing after stealing a car from Basant trijunction last night. They had made the car driver captive.

The police also seized master keys from the arrested thieves and some other vehicles, which the gang had stolen from Delhi. The police checked the vehicles last night near Basant trijunction under SC Inspector Mohanlal and SI Chander Shekhar Gupta, SP (City) Ganeshwar Tiwari said. When police waved an Indica car to stop, its driver tried to speed away with the gangsters in it firing at the police. — OC


Gupta is Nigam’s new president

Rohtak, August 20
Mr C. M. Gupta, SDE, Gurgaon, and Mr Arvind Pal Dahya, JTO, Rohtak, have been elected president and circle secretary respectively of the newly constituted ‘Sanchar Nigam Executive’s Association (India).

The elections to the new body were held on August 17, following the decision of the Telecom Engineering Officer’s Association, Haryana Circle and the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd Executive Association, to dissolve their organisations and constitute an unified organisation under the name of ‘Sanchar Nigam Executive’s Association (India).

Mr Subhash Saini, District Secretary of the new body, said that nearly 250 officers of the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd, Haryana, participated in the open session of the Association held on August 16, at Karnal in which Mr J. K. Chhabra, Senior DDG (Personnel), was the chief guest. The Chief General Manager, Telecom, Haryana Circle had presided over the open session, besides Mr G. L. Jogi, general secretary SNEA (I) was the guest of honour.

Mr Sanjay Singh Lakhina, JTO, Panipat, Mr G. S. Rana, SDO, Faridabad, Mr R. N. Sharma, SDO, Safidon, were unanimously elected vice-presidents, Mr Manjit Singh, JTO, Gohana, Mr Rampal, JTO, Rewari, Mr Satish Kumar Gakhar, JTO, Hisar, have been elected assistant circle secretary and Sohan Lal SDE, Bhiwani is circle treasurer.

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