Thursday, October 9, 2003, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


Dengue cases cross 1000-mark
All blood banks to function round the clock
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 8
The authorities here have stepped up their efforts to deal with the dengue cases as the number of those suspected of the disease continued to mount in the National Capital Territory of Delhi.

Official sources said that the number of cases from various hospitals in the Capital virtually doubled today, indicating that a lot more people were now reporting to the city hospitals with the symptoms of suspected dengue fever. While the officials were reluctant to give the exact figure, they indicated that it had crossed the 1000-mark.

In a high level meeting chaired by Delhi Health Minister Dr A.K Walia here today, it was decided that all blood banks and laboratories of all hospitals in Delhi will function round the clock. Directives have also been given to all hospitals to keep reserve beds for these patients.

A senior officer of the Health Department of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) said that while all arrangements were being made to treat the patients, it was unfair to blame the civic authority for the outbreak of the disease.

He said that the irrigation department, flood department and the UP government were equally responsible for allowing the breeding of the mosquito in the Capital. Besides, waterlogging, water in coolers, overhead tanks, etc, the reeds growing in the drains and in the bed of the Yamuna were responsible for the breeding of mosquitoes. Removing reeds is not the job of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi, he said.

To clean drains is the job of the irrigation and flood departments but they do nothing despite having been told by the MCD. Just after the rains, they should have removed the reeds. The authorities concerned in the MCD claimed that the Yamuna bed was the “largest factory” of mosquito breeding. But neither the MCD nor the Delhi government can remove the reeds from the Yamuna bed as it falls under the jurisdiction of the UP government. So is the case with the Agra Canal.

The Delhi government has now appealed to its counterpart in UP which expressed its inability to make the Yamuna bed and Agra Canal in Delhi clean because of paucity of funds. The NCT government again has called a meeting of the health department to discuss the alarming situation of dengue, sources said.

Besides, ponds in the villages are also breeding grounds of dengue mosquito. The corporation took a decision in an emergency meeting held yesterday to fill up the ponds with debris but the department concerned did not have sufficient manpower to do the job.

In a letter to the Lt-Governor, Mr Vijai Kapoor, the BJP councillor and opposition leader in the Standing Committee, Mr Vijender Gupta demanded a high level inquiry to go into the causes of the failure of the administration in curbing the dengue and fixing responsibility.

In a joint conference, Leader of Opposition in the MCD, Mr Subhash Arya alleged that the mosquito-breeding checkers, appointed by the corporation, were not trained to find out the mosquito larvae and destroy them. So far, the corporation has appointed 700 house checkers on daily wages though their sanctioned strength is 1,200.



Dengue tightens grip in Faridabad, Noida
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, October 8
The cleanliness drive launched by the state government this year has coincided with an outbreak of suspected dengue cases and fever related diseases in the district. There is hardly any colony or village, where no such case has been reported. At least five dengue cases have been confirmed and the suspected ones have crossed 50 so far.

Ms Khusbhoo, a five-year-old girl of the G-Block of the DLF Sector-10 here, has been one of the few to survive the disease. While her family lost its sleep for several days, the victim’s father had to spend over Rs 75,000 for the treatment. The girl was admitted to a private nursing home in Sector-15 here about 20 days ago with high fever and dengue symptoms. She was then referred to Escorts Hospital here where she was given at least six units of ‘specialised’ blood (platelets and plasma), costing about Rs 65,000 and was kept in the ICU for four days. Her father Mr Inder Dev Sharma said that the treatment of dengue had been quite costly for a common man.

Rajender, a resident of Fajjupur village of the district said that every third person in his village had been down with fever and people were dependent on private doctors and clinics. Similar reports have surfaced from Palwal, Hodal and Hathin.

False claims of health department

Noida: While people in Noida are fighting a grim battle against dengue, malaria and viral fevers, the health department is making false claims that it is taking prompt action in each case. Confirmation of 40 dengue patients has been made by the private hospitals in Noida. But Dadri’s Dy Chief Medical Officer Dr O P Agarwal seems to be unaware of it.

15 die of malaria in Javer

Javer (Noida): Malaria fever continues to stalk Javer area. The latest victim is a three-year-old son Wakil of Fakhuruddin Abbasi in village Kishorpur on Tuesday, whose death has brought the toll to 15. According to villagers, there are more than one malaria patients in each household. OC



Tenants may breathe easy thanks to SC
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 8
In what is being perceived as a major relief to lakhs of tenants in the National Capital Territory of Delhi in the election year, the Supreme Court today refused to give any direction to the Union Government to notify the Delhi Rent Control Act, which has been lying unimplemented since 1995 despite the President’s assent to it.

A Bench comprising Justice R C Lahoti and Justice Ashok Bhan dismissed a petition filed by NGO Common Cause and various other individuals seeking a direction to the Government to notify the Act in the larger public interest.

Though the Presidential assent to the Act was given on August 23, 1995, the legislation remained in limbo because no political party could take a clear stand regarding its implementation due to strong protests by the traders and tenants who account for a majority of the Capital’s population.

The Act gave power to landlords to evict tenants from their premises both in residential as well as commercial areas on summary notification if he could prove that the property was required by him for his personal use. It also provided that landlords could raise the rent of their premises according to the present market value.

The court said since there was specific clause in the Act that its implementation would be subject to notification by the Government, it would not come under the purview of the General Clause Act providing for enforcing a legislation automatically once the President had given his assent to it.



MDU fails to allot seats to dental college 
despite court directive 
Our Correspondent

Rohtak, October 8
Shri Baba Mastnath Dental College, Asthal Bohar, which was permitted to admit 60 students in the first BDS course during the 2003-04 academic session by the Union Health Ministry in July last has not been allotted any seat by Maharshi Dayanand University. Instead, the dental colleges, which were cleared on the midnight of the last date of counselling, September 29, have been allotted seats.

The Punjab and Haryana High Court had on May 24, 2003, while disposing of CWP no 13955 of 2001 directed Maharshi Dayanand University to conduct examination of all final year BDS students of Baba Mastnath Dental College. The High Court had also reportedly advised the university to grant admission in the BDS course in this institution. Accepting the court directions, the university conducted the exam of the final year students, numbering 180, and declared their results also.

The university then filed an appeal in the Supreme Court challenging the orders of the High Court. But it did not include the name of Baba Mastnath Dental College in the colleges to which admissions for the 2003-04 academic session were to be made. The Supreme Court had on July 11, 2003, ordered maintaining the status quo and admitted the SLP filed by the university.

But before the apex court issued the status quo orders, Baba Mastnath Dental College had on June 29 filled the management quota seats and admitted 30 students to the first year BDS course.

Following the directions of the High Court, the Dental Council of India recommended to the Union Health Ministry that subject to the final outcome of the SLP filed by Maharshi Dayanand University in the Supreme Court, Baba Mastnath Dental College may be granted permission to admit a batch of 60 students in first year of the BDS course.

The Dental Council said that further recommendations shall be made by it on annual basis in accordance with the statutory scheme and regulations of the council.

Accepting the recommendations of the Dental Council of India, the Union Health Ministry decided to permit the dental college to admit 60 students during the 2003-04 academic session, subject to the outcome of the above-mentioned SLP.



Illegal arms sale triggers gang wars
Parmindar Singh

Ghaziabad, October 8
The sale of illegal arms manufactured in Ghaziabad is in full swing these days. The police have failed to tighten its dragnet on manufacturers of firearms. Though police show the arrest of criminals with country-made revolvers or knives from time to time, the manufacturers of these illegal arms manage to go off scot-free.

All it costs to a manufacturer of a country-made revolver is Rs 100, while it can be sold between Rs 1,000 to 2,500 a piece, depending on the urgency and need of the buyer. Some old-timer criminals place the orders for their arms well in advance. Gang war among various gangs and the spurt in crime reportedly determine the volume of orders placed for the supply of arms and ammunition.

Kela Bhatta area under Kotwali police station is known to be a stronghold of illegal arms manufacturers for past years where country-made revolvers, cartridges and knives are manufactured like a cottage industry.

Under Vijay Nagar police station area Sunderpuri, Dandahera and Pratap Vihar of Dhukna, Sihani village and industrial area on Meerut Road under Sihani Gate police and Harsav, Bambota and Raispur under Kavi Nagar police station are the known centres of manufacturers of illegal arms. On August 21, an illegal arms factory was unearthed in Sun City area under Indirapuram police station where Kela Bhatta, resident of Sannaulla and Faruque of Meerut were arrested with .315 bore rifle and 12 readymade revolvers. The duo had confessed that they manufacture and supply arms against orders from the criminal gangs. Ghaziabad SSP Jayanarayan Singh acknowledges the connivance of some cops in this trade. He said strict action was being contemplated against such policemen. 



Four armymen held for rape of DU student
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 8
The police today claimed to have arrested four armymen, posted in the President’s cavalry on charges of raping a Delhi University student in a park near Dhaula Kuan in South-West district on October 6.

The accused Manish, Satinder, Kuldeep and Harpreet, posted as Presidential ‘swaars’ (horsemen), were arrested after the victim reported to the police that she was raped by them when she had gone to Budhha Park near Dhaula Kuan along with her friend.

The victim told the police that the accused teased her for a while and then pushed her into a car and raped her as she and her friend were about to leave the park.

The medical examination conducted on the victim also confirmed the sexual assault.

Meanwhile, the army authorities have ordered a Court of Inquiry to ascertain the alleged involvement of their staff in the rape.



deadly bite
After cola and chocolates, it’s biscuits now!
Our Correspondent

Jhajjar, October 8
After contaminated bottled water, chocolates and soft drinks, it is the turn of biscuits now. They have been found adulterated. The redressal forum has directed Parle Biscuit Limited to pay a compensation of Rs 25,000 and litigation charges of Rs 1,000 to the complainant, who found a piece of polythene wrapper in a biscuit of the company.

According to information, Yogesh Kumar, resident of Shakti Nagar in Bahadurgarh, purchased a packet of Parle biscuits for Rs 4 from a shop in the town. However, when he opened the packet, he found a piece of polythene inside a biscuit.

He complained to the District Consumer Forum on August 20, 2002, about the adulterated biscuit. He demanded a compensation of Rs 30,000 for selling this product, hazardous to the health of the consumer and also for the mental agony he suffered on finding the biscuit mixed with polythene paper. Responding to the allegation, Parle Biscuits held that the complainant had cooked up a story and their product could not have any such paper in it.



Model code of conduct puts a stop to 
new schemes and projects
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 8
The constant endeavours of the ruling Congress and its opposition BJP, the two main contenders for power in Delhi, which were inaugurating projects and announcing schemes to woo voters’ support, have come to a stop with the Election Commission recently announcing the poll schedule along with the model code of conduct. The model code of conduct entails that official machinery for political functions is not to be allowed. Even the official cell phone or telephone is not to be used for party work. No official stationery nor any other equipment can be used for electoral gains.

In fact, the plan of the Delhi Health Minister, Dr A. K. Walia, who was to inaugurate the Rs 14.5 crore Socio-Economic Centre at Laxmi Nagar in East Delhi before the election, has now been deferred. Dr Walia was slated to inaugurate the grand structure within a few days but it had to be delayed because the contractor of the building was yet to provide the finishing touches.

The Congress had also planned to open a number of ‘chaupals’ to woo rural voters, especially in Bawana, Najafgarh and Narela.

However, Congress sources said most of the ministers were able to announce the pre-poll schemes or inaugurate projects well in time to avoid the scrutiny of the Election Commission.

‘’The failure of Dr Walia to inaugurate the Laxmi Nagar centre is only an aberration as most of the ministers and party legislators were able to beat the EC’s deadline in heralding new schemes in their respective constituencies,’’ they added.

During the past one month, the Congress was able to inaugurate a number of hospitals at places like Narela and Tahirpur and school buildings at Vishnu Garden and Narela. ‘’We were also able to disburse loans among those belonging to the economically weaker sections,’’ added sources.

Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, who launched her 10-day ‘’Clean City Campaign’’, was able to finish it on October 2. She also inaugurated late last month a power service station at Dwarka, the upcoming residential colony in West Delhi.

Despite it being the election year, the government failed to utilise its plan funds optimally. In the first six months of the current financial year which ended in September, merely 25 per cent of the plan funds could be spent. A major casualty for the BJP was the cancellation of the inauguration of a flyover at Ring Road (National Highway 24) by Minister of State for Urban Development Bandaru Dattatreya today. Union Tourism and Culture Minister Jagmohan and Delhi Lt Governor

Vijay Kapoor were also expected to be present at the function. However, a Delhi Development Authority (DDA) official said the function had to be cancelled because of the EC’s model code of conduct.

However, Delhi BJP President Madan Lal Khurana, who is the party’s chief ministerial candidate, was able to conclude his 35-day ‘’Parivartan Yatra’’, saying he was quite successful in what he wanted. But both the parties can, however, claim credit for the opening of Tis Hazari-Trinagar section of the Metro Rail which was inaugurated by the Prime Minister on October 3.



Heavy bajra arrival throws things out of gear at mandi
Our Correspondent

Rewari, October 8
The continuous heavy arrival of bajra seems to have made things almost topsy-turvy in the new grain market here.
On one hand the arrival of bajra from various villages of the neighbouring Kot Kasim, Bhiwadi and the other areas of Alwar district of Rajasthan has added new dimensions to these hefty arrivals of bajra here whereas the routine purchases made by the Hafed authorities coupled with the seemingly tardy pace of lifting of the purchased bags of bajra from the market place have further aggravated the situation.

To cap it all, the farmers, who unknowingly apprehended that the Hafed authorities might discontinue making purchases any time, had virtually made a beeline to the new grain market of Rewari, thereby throwing things out of gear.

When a large number of irate farmers as well as disgruntled commission agents overtly and covertly expressed dissatisfaction at the present state of affairs on Tuesday when the procurement had to be abandoned by Hafed authorities senior officials of the district and the market committee held consultations with representatives of the farmers and commission agents. Following this, it was decided that henceforward Hafed authorities would purchase a maximum of 500 bags from each of the commission agents’ counters under daily programme of purchases.

The implementation of the above decision today by the authorities provided relief to a number of aggrieved farmers, who had been waiting for the disposal of their heaps of bajra lying in the open at counters of their respective commission agents for the past several days. Besides, the disgruntled commission agents, who were otherwise a worried lot, also felt satisfied to note that the previous style of functioning of Hafed which covered only a limited number of commission agents (and their farmers) daily, had been replaced by a comprehensive one.

However, the hardships of several farmers, whose tractor-trailers had been lying full of bajra bags and who had been unable to unload the bags for the past several days, remained unabated in the absence of space where bags of purchased bajra had been lying on account of the tardy pace of lifting by the Hafed authorities. Besides tractor-trailers of a number of other farmers were not allowed to enter the market premises because every inch of it stood occupied.



Platforms at Sonepat railway station to get more length
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, October 8
The Railways has commenced work on extension of the length of the platforms at Sonepat railway station in order to accommodate 24-coach trains on the platforms. The extension work of platform number one and two is in progress and it is likely to involve an expenditure of around Rs 55 lakh.

According to railway authorities at Sonepat, platform no one will have a length of 127 meters and platform no two of 80 meters. After completion of the works, the extension works will be taken up at Ganaur and Narela railway stations.

The authorities informed that at present most of the mail and express trains were having 19 to 21 coaches except the de luxe train which is provided with 24 coaches. The arrival and departure of the de luxe train is managed at platform no three and it causes great inconvenience to the passengers.

The authorities are hopeful that the construction of another booking office near the old Anaj Mandi area will be completed by the end of the current financial year and the new booking office will start functioning from April 1 next year.

The railway has also planned to develop a park adjacent to the new booking office in order to facilitate the passengers to relax and easily wait the trains’ arrival.

The park would be of 300 meters’ length and 100 meters’ width and have fruit and ornamental trees, the authorities said.

The construction work of the flyover near Hindu Girls College is also being completed on a war footing. This flyover will give great relief to thousands of people crossing the railway tracks as the railway line passes through the centre of the town.

However, the level crossing near Hindu College continues to be the main problem for the vehicles as, according to an estimate, this level crossing, located in the heart of the town, remains closed for more than 16 hours in a day.

A number of times people are forced to wait in their vehicles up to 20 minutes and even more whenever two or more trains cross at the same time.

But the railway authorities do not have any proposal to overcome this problem which results in traffic jams on both sides of the level crossing.



disability sector
National Trust breaks digital divide
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 8
In an effort to break the information barrier, the National Trust has developed 22 types of booklets, books, CDs and cassettes, translated into 13 languages with over 90,000 copies sold or disseminated for the benefit of those affected by autism, cerebral palsy, mental retardation and multiple disabilities.

As a result of the attitudinal change and consequent convergent action at the district level, there has been a phenomenal increase in the number of disabled people who have now been included in the mainstream programmes at the community level. For example, almost three lakh students with disability have entered the mainstream schools, 12,000 persons with disabilities have benefited from the Pradhan Mantri Grameen Yojana, 8,152 disabled persons have got pension under the National Old Age Pension Scheme, almost 1,200 disabled persons have been given land or houses under the Indira Awas Yojana and 33,42 persons with disabilities have got ID cards.

More than 3,30,000 persons with disabilities are now enjoying an improved quality of life within their own communities.

As an outcome of subjecting itself to constant review and feedback from the user groups, the National Trust has undertaken, among other things, some path-breaking initiatives which have laid the foundation for a strong and sustainable movement which begins at the district level. At least three of these initiatives deserve to be mentioned here.

First, the National Trust has taken the responsibility of directly organising two types of training courses—one on the “Convergence for Disability” for the district collectors and the other on “Management Skills” on NGOs. Through these training programmes, the National Trust seeks to build its two most important implementers. This training is having and will continue to have the most proactive and wide-ranging impact on the disability sector as a whole as the principle of percolation continues over the coming years.

A third pioneering activity undertaken last year that also has wide-ranging implications is a tie-up with the Indira Gandhi National Open University for conducting electronic rehabilitation programmes. This was another first in India, notched up by the National Trust, where live video-conferencing by satellite was used as a tool in rehabilitation training. Nine video-conferences were telecast live from IGNOU’s high-facility studios in New Delhi and downlinked to more than 100 IGNOU regional centres across the country where parents, professionals and teacher-trainees were gathered for interactive sessions on the last Thursday of every month.

Through these e-rehab programmes, the National Trust strives to break the digital divide using the e-way as its preferred choice for the large-scale transfer of skills, knowledge and information.



Training session of Panchayati Raj 
institutions concludes 
Our Correspondent

Jhajjar, October 8
The training session of the Panchayati Raj institutions concluded at Chotu Ram Dharamshala here yesterday. The two days’ training session was organised by the Haryana Navyuvak Kala Sangam, an NGO, in association with the Panchayati Raj institutions of the Centre and the state government.

Panchayat representatives from about 12 villages in Jhajjar block attended the session in which they were informed about their power, functions, sources of income and various Panchayati Raj Acts for the two days by Mr Jasphool Singh, coordinator of the NGO and his team. The district officials of the development and panchayat office also addressed the participants and highlighted many issues.

The Deputy Commissioner, Mr Mohinder Kumar, said in his valedictory speech that the village panchayats should not be involved in groupism and favouritism as it harmed the institutions of villagers.

He said funds for development works were pouring in from the state and central governments and these funds should be properly and honestly utilised by the village panchayats for the welfare of the village.

He also asked the panchayats to ameliorate their resources of income on the village level and then take up development activities. He also directed them to remove the encroachments in the villages as soon as possible.

DC gives Rs 3.87-lakh draft to panchayat: The Deputy Commissioner, Mr Mohinder Kumar, handed over a draft of Rs 3.87 lakh to the panchayat of Islamgarh village here on Wednesday.

The draft was given to the panchayat as interest-free loan for constructing shops in the village which would generate the revenue and thus increase the income of the panchayat the loan is to be returned in 30 half-yearly instalments without any interest.



Special congregation to pay homage to Nirankari sant
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 8
Vice-chairman of the Sant Nirankari Mandal, Suraj Mohan Dass passed away on October 6. The cremation took place here yesterday at the Lodhi Road crematorium.
A procession was organised earlier, joined by the devotees of the mission, to pay homage to the departed religious leader. A large number of devotees attended the funeral. Also present were president of the Mandal, Amrik Singh and other members.

Mr Dass became a member of the executive committee of the mandal in 1960 and was appointed vice-president of the mandal in 1994.

A special congregation to pay tributes to the departed soul will be held on Samagam ground, Burari on October 11 from four pm to six pm and will be attended by Baba Hardev Singh.



ncr briefs
Ten injured as bus overturns 
Our Correspondents

Sonepat, October 8
At least 10 persons were injured when a bus carrying the passengers overturned near the Haryana-Delhi border, about 30 km from here, last night. According to a report, the injured included Jaswinder Kaur (30) of Kapurthala, Param Singh (35) of Moga, San Kapoor (30) and his wife Shobha Kapoor (25) of Sangrur, Balwinder Singh (40), Jamil Qurishi and Mahboob Khan of Ludhiana and Sarvan Kumar of Anand Parbat, Delhi. The injured persons were immediately hospitalised.

The police are still investigating into the case. According to another report, two youths sustained serious injuries when they fell down from a motor cycle on the GT road near Asawarpur village, about 15 km from here, last night.

The injured youths were identified as Jagdish and Anand. Both the injured persons were immediately hospitalised and they are stated to be out of danger. Police investigations are still in progress and a case has been registered.

Two robbery cases come to light

Faridabad: Two more cases of robbery have surfaced in the past 48 hours in the district. According to reports, two youths took away a Maruti van of one Jitender of Mandori village two days back. It is reported that the accused took out a revolver and knife to deprive the owner of his van. In another incident some armed persons injured a farmer by opening fire on him after depriving him of Rs 2,000 on Tuesday.

Panchayat donates 19 acres to sabha

Rohtak: The panchayat of Pehrawar village donated nearly 19 acres of panchayat land to the Gaur Brahman Vidya Pracharini Sabha, which runs various educational institutions in the region, during a meeting held at Gaur Brahman Degree College here on Wednesday.

The meeting was attended by Mr Karan Singh, sarpanch, Pehrawar village panchayat, Pt Hoshiar Singh Sharma, president, Gaur Brahman Vidya Pracharini Sabha, teachers and non-teaching employees of Gaur Brahman institutions.

PGIMS timings revised

The Pt B. D. Sharma Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences administration has revised the timings of the hospital with immediate effect from Wednesday.

In a statement here , the Medical Superintendent of the institute said the outpatient departments would function from 9 am to 3 pm but the registration of patients would start at 8.15 am at the reception counter. He said the working hours of the operation theatre would be from 9 am to 4.30 pm.

The Medical Superintendent said the patients coming for laboratory investigations, X-Ray, physiotherapy and speech therapy would be attended to from 9 am to 4.30 pm but the samples for investigations would be accepted till 3 pm. The dispensary of the hospital would remain open from 9 am to 4.30 pm whereas the offices of the Director, Medical Superintendent, Birth and Death Registration, Medical Record Office, would work between 9 am to 4.30 pm. He said the above timings were applicable from Monday to Friday and all the above offices, laboratories, OPDs etc would work from 9 am to 2 pm on Saturday.

Chem Prof in charge of library

The Vice-Chancellor of Maharshi Dayanand University has appointed Prof Ishwar Singh of the Chemistry Department as Professor in charge of the university library in addition to his own duties with immediate effect in place of Prof Rajbir Singh of the Psychology Department. Prof Rajbir Singh has been appointed Dean, Students Welfare, in addition to his own duties with immediate effect in place of the present incumbent, Dr Narendra Garg.



Man opposing illicit relations shot dead
Our Correspondent

Noida, October 8
An employee of a restaurant who saw two young men in a compromising position with a woman made a fatal mistake. He objected to their manner of sitting and thus paid the price with his life. He was shot dead by the two drunk men. in Navada village yesterday.

The Sector 58 Police claim to have arrested two persons, including the woman, for the murder. According to Mr Ajay Kumar, SO, Sector 58 police, Suraj, originally of Bihar, was living in Navada village along with his wife Sangeeta and was employed in a Delhi factory.

House owner Pappu used to visit Suraj’s house. Ghaziabad’s Yoginder was a regular visitor at Pappu’s house. Thus, Yoginder too become a frequent visitor to Sangeeta’s house.

Suraj used to resent these frequent visitors to his house. But it did not have any effect on his wife. After warning his wife, Sangeeta, Suraj left his house last month and started living separately.

Two days ago Suraj had reportedly left for his native village. Meanwhile, Yoginder, who had bought a licensed gun recently, was having a drinking bout with his friend Pappu at his house. Then both of them headed for Sangeeta’s house in Mamura village. They brought Sangeeta to a vacant plot adjacent to a hotel in the village.

At about 11.30 pm when Ramesh, an employee of the hotel, came out he found Sangeeta, Pappu and Yoginder in a compromising position. He shouted at them.

At this, Sangeeta instigated the youths that this man could inform her husband. Yoginder fired a shot which hit Ramesh in the head and he collapsed on the spot.

The incident was immediately reported to the police, who took possession of the body of Ramesh, 19. During interrogation, Sangeeta narrated the whole story to the police. The police arrested Yoginder in a raid.



Toy factory owner, son robbed by armed men
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 8
Five dacoits armed with countrymade weapons and knives entered a toy factory in the Ashok Vihar area and robbed the owner and his son last night. The police said that the desperadoes entered the factory of one Raghuwans Arora (55) when he was present along with his son Anjum (30). Later, they fled with Rs 5,800, a wristwatch and a gold chain.

The North-West district police have registered a case of dacoity and have launched efforts to trace the desperadoes.

Robbery bid at petrol station: With the arrest of inter-state robbers the North-East district today claimed to have foiled a robbery bid in a petrol station in the Gokulpuri area. The accused, Shakil Ahmed (28), resident of Ghaziabad, Istgar, alias Pappu Teli, alias Babla (26), resident of Meerut, Farooq (23), resident of Mustabad, Saleem (21), resident of Gokulpuri, and Tejpal (22), resident of Chidiadola, were arrested and a countrymade pistol, two countrymade revolvers, two knives and five live cartridges were seized from their possession.



Special Focus on panipat
Subscribers find BSNL services nothing to 
write home about
Rakesh Bhardwaj

Panipat, October 8
The BSNL at Panipat might be happy as it entered its third year on October 1, but the Nigam authorities are least bothered about the difficulties faced by the subscribers. The problems, especially delay in the refund of securities, have multiplied their sufferings.

The government-owned organisation is providing so many new schemes today, including an incoming call phone with a monthly rent of Rs 166. Another scheme, ‘Centrex’, which was launched recently, in which a group of people will chat without any call to be billed in their account, and without extra charge. This facility was introduced to oblige the existing customers of BSNL to retain them with the department. A subscriber says that on the occasion of new bookings, they are offering Virtual Calling Card (VCC Card) worth Rs 500 free to the new subscribers. But as far as the basic services are concerned, they are lagging behind.

Giving the details of the BSNL services, one subscriber, who also owns a PCO booth, says that the helpline No 1500, started by the department, proves futile, as the person sitting on the line hardly convey any correct information.

He further alleged that their PCO had been out of order for the last five days and the staff sitting on helpline, assured that it would be rectified within next 48 hours. Similarly, the telephone subscribers in the villages of the district are also at the mercy of BSNL. Frequent telephone faults and indifferent attitude of the authorities have made their life measurable.

Another subscriber alleged that the department is indirectly favouring their competitors, as most of the cable and other faults are lying unattended. As a result, the subscribers are switching over to the new company, which has settled in fewer than 10 months.

The competitor of BSNL, the Bharti Telenet Limited (BTL), which is providing phone services under the brand name of ‘Touchetel’, has now announced a series of incentives to the subscribers as well as the Franchisee of the district. Their joint effort leads to the right way, alleged one new subscriber sitting in the office of Touchtel and told this correspondent that BSNL is finished now. And if they want to stand in the market they have to face a stiff competition, they have to follow the plans and systems of other competitors who are providing better services as compared to BSNL, he added.

Mr Vicky Ahuja, the Managing Director of the Franchisee unit of Panipat, told the NCR Tribune that the new initiatives and incentives were being launched after seeing the customer’s preferences with their routine lifestyles and requirements.

He further said that their company was offering Panasonic cordless phone worth over Rs 2,000 for taking two connections by any subscriber, besides exemption of Rs 2,000 security deposit on the second phone.

Speaking on the performance of the company, Mr Ahuja said that they have reached a level of 4,200 new telephone connections and about 385 STD/PCOs in different areas of the town, which include Sector 11 Phase I and II, Sector 25, Krishan Pura, New Housing Board Colony, Sanoli Road, Jatal Road, Tehsil Camp area, City area, Geeta Colony and Bishan Sarup Colony. Now, they were targeting other areas of the town, which includes Model Town, where the company hoped to do well.

The Managing Director said that against 40,000 phone connections of the district, they have secured 10 per cent. And if the quality of the services provided by BSNL remain the same with in a period of two years they will be outnumbered in Panipat.

To attract STD/PCO owners, they have introduced a scheme of earning points up to November 30, and the operators will be benefited with prizes from electric press to coloured television and much more. Their sales staff is moving door to door to secure the maximum number of new connections.

Vinod Kapoor, who runs a PCO booth at G T Road, alleged that TRAI had decided to release the security deposit within two months, but the Panipat BSNL office does not appear to have any accountability for TRAI regulations.

So, their Rs 30,000 security is stuck up for more than 90 days. And the department is not listening to them, he added.

Ram Prakash, another booth owner, has been waiting for more than three months for his refunds. Like them, many more are in the queue.

One of the subscribers from Tehsil Camp area, remarked that consumers were happy with the growing competition and claimed that it had now saved the common man from being “blackmailed” and “inefficiency” of the lineman of the BSNL department.

But the General Manager (GM) and the Deputy General Manager (DGM) of BSNL were not available for their comments.

However, the DGM, Finance, BSNL, Mr N.K.Singh, said that shortage of staff resulted in the delay in clearing the refund cases and in another week he will be in a position to tell the status of these refunds.

Further, Mr Singh said that for accounting purposes, they need a billing circle of two months to clear the records. And to finalise the bill, they have to be cautious for the arrears of the subscribers. And for that reason too, the delay occurs, he added. When asked about the working system, in which a petty amount is left unpaid in the account of a subscriber leads to disconnection, then why the department need more than 90 days to clear the refund cases, he had no answer.

Sources confirmed that out of the six staff of the account office, including the accounts officer, are busy in disconnection and re-connection cases, one is busy with STD/PCO, another one is being used as multipurpose and the one left over who is looking after refund cases is busy in other office jobs.

One of the BSNL subscribers alleged that the town was separated from Karnal district in 1989, and almost 14 years have passed and the BSNL department is still at the mercy of Karnal office to refund their securities.

Sources further confirmed that computerised records, up to 1998, are available at Panipat and for refund records beyond that period; the Panipat office is totally dependent on Karnal office resulting in the delay. 


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