Friday, October 17, 2003, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


Sheila to press for stringent rape law, NCW seeks helpline
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 16
Calling for more stringent laws to arrest the spurt in crimes against women including rape, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit on Thursday said she had sought appointments with Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and Deputy Prime Minister LK Advani to seek the intervention of the Union Government.

Ms Dikshit said she would lead a delegation of women legislators, corporators and non-government organisations (NGOs) to her meetings with the prime minister and the deputy prime minister. “We will suggest the adoption of a three-pronged strategy to deal with crimes as grave as rape,” she said.

The chief minister was of the opinion that the problem of rape should be dealt as a social problem. If voted to power at the Centre, she said, the Indian National Congress (INC) would try to introduce more stringent laws. The police, she added, had to be proactive and responsive while dealing with such crimes.

“We should have laws that would award severest of punishment to the rapists.... When punishment under the Anti-Dowry Act was made stringent, we saw a remarkable decline in the number of dowry deaths,” Ms Dikshit said. The rape of the Swiss diplomat, she said, was “shameful” and the police should be more vigilant in preventing such crimes.

Meanwhile, describing the situation in NCT of Delhi as not safe for women, the National Commission for Women (NCW) on Thursday asked the Delhi Police to start a toll-free helpline for the victims of rape.

NCW Chairperson Poornima Advani said she had spoken with Commissioner of Delhi Police RS Gupta after the recent spurt in crimes against women.

The rape of a Swiss diplomat, Ms Advani said, was “utterly shameful and atrocious”. She said she had asked the commissioner of police to take immediate steps to make the Capital safer for women.

Taking a very serious view of the drastic rise in number of rape cases in NCT of Delhi, the NCW has decided to meet the commissioner of police, the home secretary and the health secretary to discuss the law and order situation in the Capital.


Dengue count swells with 100 more patients
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 16
Even as more than 100 cases of dengue surfaced in different parts of the Capital on Thursday, patients admitted in government hospitals complained that they were not getting proper facilities.

A total of 257 dengue patients are admitted in Delhi hospitals. Of them, 157 cases are from the NCT. The total number of dengue cases has now gone up to 1216. Nine deaths have been reported so far.

Despite the authorities’ claim that the dengue patients would be treated properly in the government hospitals the patients were not getting blood in a few hospitals. This morning a number of persons, including Congress councillor Ajit Chaudhary, donated blood at Swami Dayanand Hospital when they received information that patients required blood for processing platelets. The blood collected was sent to GTB Hospital also.

The MCD has appealed to citizens to donate blood at municipal hospitals, so that there is no shortage of platelets.

The Deputy Director, Health Department, MCD, said all dengue patients were admitted to special wards in the municipal hospitals. To check mosquito breeding in the Capital, the MCD has requisitioned the services of Delhi Fire Service for spraying chemicals in accumulated water. The cases of dengue fever will be controlled soon, it is claimed. Most of the cases have been reported from Shahdara South, North, Central Zone and South Zone.

Sources in the corporation said the Union Government had directed the MCD, the NDMC and the Delhi Government to create awareness about dengue through advertisements in newspapers.

The Delhi Health Minister, Dr A. K. Walia, today held a meeting to review the situation arising out of the dengue outbreak in the Capital. The meeting was attended by the Chief Secretary of Delhi, Mrs Shailja Chandra, Health Secretary S.P. Aggarwal, Municipal Commissioner Rakesh Mehta and medical superintendents and senior doctors of government hospitals, ESI and Northern Railway etc.

He directed medical superintendents of all hospitals to set up separate wards for dengue patients and also keep sufficient number of beds reserved for them. Almost all hospitals have purchased rapid-kits, so that platelet count reports of the patients could be available immediately and treatment started accordingly.

The platelets are being made available by all eight regional blood transfusion centres and several major hospitals.


Viral fever claims three lives
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, October 16
Viral fever has claimed at least three lives in the district in the past 48 hours. meanwhile, about 25 more cases of suspected dengue have surfaced in the civil hospital in the past 24 hours. The total number of dengue positive cases in the district has reached 24. Blood samples of over 60 patients have been sent to the NICD, Delhi, for lab tests.

According to reports, a 10-year-old girl, identified as Kiran and a resident of Nangla Enclave, died of fever in the hospital last evening. She had been admitted in the children’s ward of the civil hospital with high fever.

In another case, a 45-year-old married woman died at her native village Neenka yesterday. She had dengue-like symptoms, according to her relatives. In the third case, a 68-year-old person of Nangal Jat village of Hathin sub division also died in similar circumstances.

It is reported that many persons in the Hathin area had been suffering from brain fever (meningitis) and other diseases; the number of such people could be in hundreds. A 35-year-old woman of Hodal sub division had died of dengue-like symptoms a few days back. But the Health department, which has undertaken fogging in affected areas, has not confirmed any death due to dengue in the district.

Some of the Municipal councillors have contacted the CMO’s office and the health department for fogging operations in their areas. The residents have been asked to take precautions and prevent the breeding of the malarial parasite near their houses.

The authorities have directed the primary schools to ask students to wear full sleeve shirts. A meeting of senior health officials was held here yesterday to take stock of the incidence of viral fever and dengue.


Khap sets deadline for action in missing youths case
Our Correspondent

Rohtak, October 16
Act swiftly, or face the consequences. This is the gist of the ultimatum given to the district administration by a 31-member delegation led by Mr Bhim Singh, president of the Ahlawat Khap, as well as members of the Chaugama Panchayat, which met the Deputy Commissioner here today in connection with the Sampla episode.

In a memorandum, the delegation has given the district authorities a fortnight to take concrete action in the case of disappearance of two youths. It could do this by handing over the probe to the CBI and by initiating stern action against the erring policemen, who maltreated a group of women wanting to petition the Chief Minister during a visit to Sampla on October 3.

The Khap, which comprises 27 villages, has also demanded a financial package for the families of the two youths who are missing for the last one year. The delegation stated that the villagers were not satisfied with the efforts of the police in tracing the missing youths.

The district authorities have made a vain attempt to divert the attention of the delegation from the Sampla episode, it is pointed out. However, the delegation was in no mood to accommodate the district administration on this issue. An uncle of one of the missing youths, Mr Chand Singh, said that he would prefer a CBI inquiry into the matter rather than accept financial assistance from the administration.

The deputy commissioner has informed the delegation that the case of the missing youths fell within the jurisdiction of the Rewari police. According to him, the Rewari police had been making all-out efforts to solve the case following instructions from the Chief Minister. He immediately got in touch with Rewari SSP in this regard and arranged a meeting of the Khap delegation with the latter on October 17.


SFI protests against HCS officer’s poor handling of rape case
Tribune News Service

Panipat, October 16
The indefinite dharna organised by the Student Federation of India outside the deputy commissioner’s office, to exert pressure for the arrest of an HCS officer for his shoddy handling of a rape case, entered the second day today.

Criticising the role of the official in the rape case, Mr PP Kapoor, state SFI convener, demanded the immediate release of the Dalit leader, Dr Narinder Kumar, who was “falsely” implicated by the police on the charge of demanding Rs. 20,000 from the accused for effecting a compromise between the two parties.

The atrocities on the Dalits in the state were on the rise, he said, adding that the dharna would continue till the guilty were punished.

It may be recalled that a minor Dalit girl was allegedly raped by a resident of Jagjivan Ram Colony. When the family approached the HCS officer, after the police failed to register the case, the former allegedly made disparaging remarks against the Dalit community. The girl and her uncle were also allegedly assaulted by the staff of the officer. It was only after the intervention of a member of the National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Tribes, Mr Narayan Singh Kesri, that the police registered a case. The member had also asked the Chief Secretary to take appropriate action against the erring official.


Coupling snaps, sends rail traffic for a toss
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, October 16
Rail traffic on the Sonepat-Delhi section of the Northern Railway remained disrupted for about two hours following the delinking of the coupling of a goods train bound for Punjab between Badli and Hlambi Kalan railway stations, about 40 km from here last night.

According to a report, the alertness of the driver averted a disaster, but some passenger and mail trains were delayed on account of the incident. Thousands of passengers, who travel on these trains and were waiting at Sonepat and nearby railway stations, remained stranded for a few hours.

It is stated that the goods train was running on full speed when its coupling snapped. The engine driver stopped the train immediately and managed to take it to the Holambi Kalan railway station, where he informed the senior officials about the mishap.

On account of non-functioning of the block section, the driver of the goods train made an attempt to rectify the defect, but could not do so. This resulted in disruption in train services on this section. The Panipat-bound passenger train (7 DPM) was held up at Badli and it reached Sonepat around 10 pm, instead of 8.50 pm.

Likewise, the Amritsar-bound Flying Mail, which was already running behind schedule, reached Sonepat around 10.20 pm. The train covered a distance of 45 km between Subzimandi and Sonepat in two hours. The Jammu Mail and some other long distance trains were also delayed, causing inconvenience to the passengers, particularly daily commuters.

Car racket in CP

New Delhi: With the arrest of three persons, including a parking contractor, the Delhi Police Crime Branch today claimed to have solved more than 70 cases of auto-lifting. The inter-state auto-lifters, in connivance with the parking contractor, used to replicate the keys for stealing the vehicles from the parking lot in the Connaught Place area.

The kingpin, Punit Narang alias Sonu, a resident of Indira Nagar and a proclaimed offender, Shashi Kant Mishra, a resident of Kalkaji, and Ram Babu Yadav alias Bhure, a resident of Palam Colony, and the parking contractor have been nabbed by the police.

The stolen cars were sold in Silliguri, Guwahati, UP and Bihar. TNS


Truck driver’s penchant for fun kills two in van
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, October 16
A truck driver’s desire for fun on the road resulted in the death of two youths, including a girl yesterday evening. The victims, Kusum and Rocky, were among seven friends who were returning from Surajkund in a Maruti van.

According to the survivors, a truck driver was not allowing them to overtake on the bypass road near sector-17 here. The driver of the truck, it is reported, started driving in a zigzag manner when he noticed some girls sitting in the van.

Finally, when the van driver tried to overtake, the truck also swerved to its right and hit the van, which was crushed. The van also caught fire and one of the girls, Kusum of Sector-3 here, who seriously injured and trapped in the blaze. She died on the spot. The driver of the van, identified as Rocky, succumbed to his injuries in the hospital last night.

The other occupants of the van, identified as Hasina, Ruby, Raunak, Bharat and Navin, were injured and have been hospitalised; a case has been registered against the truck driver, who fled soon after the accident.

In another case, a cyclist, Shri Nath Prasad of Molarband extension, was killed when he was overrun by a vehicle near Badarpur border yesterday.

In the third case, one Jaggi, a resident of Deegot village, was killed after the three wheeler auto rickshaw, in which he was travelling, overturned near Palwal on Wednesday.


DC orders probe into leakage in newly constructed Gobindpura water works
Our Correspondent

Bhiwani, October 16
The Deputy Commissioner, Mr Harpal Singh Malik, has ordered an inquiry into the leakage in the newly constructed Gobindpura water works. The Additional Deputy Commissioner, Mr R. P. Gupta, has been entrusted with the task to head the inquiry committee. He has been asked to submit his report as soon as possible. The Deputy Commissioner disclosed this while addressing a press conference held at the mini secretariat today.

He said that the inquiry committee would detect the fault and those responsible for it.

Mr Malik promised that the guilty will not be spared and stern action will be taken against him.

In order to maintain a smooth flow of traffic, 474 km roads of the district were being repaired by the Public Works Department, to be completed by March next at a cost of Rs 37.64 crore.

He said the carpeting of 168 km of road had been completed and the work on the remaining part was continuing on a war footing.

The main roads connecting Bhiwani town would be repaired by February next, he added. He said a sum of Rs 23 lakh was being spent on repair of roads in the town.

Besides erecting central verge, the road from Agarsein Chowk to Radha Swami Bhawan would be beautified with floodlights and dividers.

He disclosed that a new sewerage line was being laid for a permanent solution to flooding of roads in Subzimandi, Vikas Nagar and Agarsein chowk areas.

“Tenders had been invited and the work will commence from next week”, he said, adding that it would cost Rs 6 lakh.

He further disclosed that a committee had been constituted under the Additional Deputy Commissioner, with the concerned superintending engineers and sub division officers as its members to prepare a scheme for the drainage of rainwater, which accumulates in the town and nearby villages for days together. The committee would submit its report in next two months. He said that a proper place would be selected for parking taxis in Bhiwani and Charkhi Dadri towns.

Mr Malik told that the state government had banned the use of oxitoxcin injection and raids would be conducted on dairies in order to check its use. He warned that action would be taken against those found using or selling this injection.

Talking about the law and order situation, the Superintendent of Police, Mr Yogender Nehra, who was also present at the press conference, disclosed that a move
would be launched to
educate the people, especially school going children about the safe use of roads and

Among others who were present in the press conference were Additional Deputy Commissioner, Mr R .P. Gupta, City Magistrate Mr B. B. Kaushik and departmental heads of various offices.


Emotion on display as MPs from Pakistan meet locals
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, October 16
Despite the hard feelings due to the continuing cross-border terrorism, emotions came to the fore during a meeting between the visiting Parliamentarians from Pakistan and a section of residents here last evening.

The meeting was organised by the ‘Indo-Pak Bainul-Eqwani-Tanzeem-e-Ehsasat’’ (Indo-Pak International Society of Emotions), chaired by Mr Vinod Malik and headed by Mr Satish Kumar, both residents of Faridabad.

At the meeting held at a restaurant, Chaudhary Manzoor Ahmed, member of the Pakistan National Assembly from Kasoor, and leader of the six-member delegation, expressed his happiness over his visit to Faridabad.

He said he felt no difference between Faridabad and Lahore as the life was nearly same and the people were facing similar situation. He said it was not possible to avoid visiting Faridabad as he had some very good friends here.

According to him, the only thing that had come between the people of the two countries were some historical disputes, which he said, were continuing due to political reasons.

He said people of India and Pakistan should unite to launch a campaign for the improvement of relations. Mr Ahmed, Mr Qmar Zaman Kaira and Mr Zulfikar Ali Gondal, who represents the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), greeted Dr Fatel Chand (91), a prominent resident of former West Punjab who had migrated to India after Partition.

Dr Fatel Chand, who was `unwell’, asked his family members to take him to the place where the meeting was held. The three MPs extended an invitation to the people to visit Pakistan. He said the people in Pakistan would give them a similar welcome there.

They said exchange of visits, delegation and friendship tours were vital to replace the present scenario filled with animosity, which had been `created’ by vested interests.

They claimed that there was no ‘anti-India’ sentiments in Pakistan. They said the problem of terrorism was also present in Pakistan and advocated a bilateral dialogue to end all such problems between them.

The three MPs later interacted with the local residents and exchanged views in an informal manner.

Industrialists, educationists, principals of some schools, political leaders, members of the Municipal corporation, retired officials, businessmen and persons from literary world had gathered to greet the MPs from Pakistani.


Refinery oustees urge PM to cancel visit to Panipat
Tribune News Service

Panipat, October 16
The Berozgari Hatao Kshatra Bachao Samiti today urged the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, to cancel his visit to the Panipat Refinery complex on October 18 since the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) had failed to fulfil the promises made to the residents of Baholi village whose lands were acquired for setting up the refinery.

In a letter to Mr Vajpayee, the chief convener of the samiti, Mr Surender Singh Hooda, said the samiti was not against the setting up or expansion of the refinery.

However, the inhuman treatment meted out to the residents displaced for the establishment of the refinery pained the samiti, which had been fighting for justice for the affected families, Mr Hooda added.

Giving details, Mr Hooda said the displaced persons of Baholi village had been promised jobs, residential plots and adequate compensation for the acquired land. The promises, however, turned out to be shallow as Phase I of the refinery was completed. The displaced persons never got the promised jobs and even New Baholi, established for the oustees, lacked basic amenities till date, Mr Hooda alleged.

It may be recalled that affected persons sat on a dharna outside the refinery building for 14 days. Subsequently, they were arrested and released on bail after 15 days’ police remand. Mr Hooda said the samiti had already written to the PMO and the Ministry of Petroleum but to no avail. Ultimately, they filed a public interest litigation (PIL) in the Punjab and Haryana High Court, which is pending decision.

Mr Hooda urged the Prime Minister to direct the IOC to deliver justice to the poor and affected persons.


Rohtak co-op sugar mill may start crushing operations by Nov 15
Jatinder Sharma

Rohtak, October 16
Facing the unprecedented problem of arranging space for storing sugar produced in the previous seasons, the Co-operative Sugar Mills, Rohtak, is likely to start the 2003-04 crushing season approximately by November 15.

The sugar mill, the oldest in the co-operative sector, has a storage capacity for 2.25 lakh bags. It has added space for another 75,000 bags by covering the verandah of its store buildings. The mills on October 15 had more than 2.60 lakh bags of sugar in stock. Thus, it is in dire need of more storage space for the sugar to be produced in the coming crushing season.

The Managing Director, Co-operative Sugar Mills, Rohtak, Mr P. K. Sharma, told NCR Tribune there was no taker of the levy sugar. Ten per cent of the sugar produced in the mills was set aside for distribution through the public distribution system (PDS) but it appeared there were no takers of this sugar because of slump in prices in the national market. The state owned Confed, which has been entrusted with the task of lifting sugar on behalf of depot holders, is unwilling to oblige the sugar industry in the state. And the mills cannot sell this sugar in the open market.

Despite alarming sugar stocks, the mills propose to bond 30 lakh quintals of sugarcane for the coming crushing season. Last season also, it had bond 30 lakh quintals and had crushed 27.55 lakh quintals. The newly established co-operative sugar mills at Meham in this district had crushed 34.64 lakh quintals of sugarcane.

The Rohtak Sugar Mills had produced 27,184 tonnes of sugar in the last season at a recovery rate of 9.91 per cent. During the 2001-02 season, the mills had crushed 29.66 lakh quintals of sugarcane and produced 29,853 tonnes of sugar at the recovery rate of 10.04 per cent, the highest among the co-operative sugar mills in the state.

Interestingly, the area under sugarcane in the district has declined this year though the region had a very good monsoon. The area under this major cash crop of the region has declined from 36,000 acres to 31,000 acres, according to the survey conducted by the sugar mills. The mills conduct surveys of the crop before deciding upon the quantity to be bond by it for the crushing season.


Corpn chief rules out free power supply
Our Correspondent

Rohtak, October 16
The Chairman of the Haryana Power Transmission and Distribution Corporation, Maj-Gen Bhoop Singh Rathi (retd), has ruled out the supply of free electricity to consumers. “It is not possible for any government to supply power free of cost to consumers”, he said while addressing rural gatherings at Baliana and Kharwar villages today. Moreover, the decision of giving free power to farmers in Punjab had also failed miserably, he said.

General Rathi said the Uttar Haryana Bijlee Vitran Nigam (UHBVN) and the Dakshin Haryana Bijlee Vitran Nigam (DHBVN) had been advised to rehabilitate the lengthy and heavily overloaded feeders of 11 kv level with a view to strengthen the power distribution system in the state. He said there were 248 heavily loaded feeders and these would be converted into 624 small feeders. Both these nigams had already bifurcated or trifurcated 161 such feeders into 391 small ones.

The Chairman said all pending applications for tubwell connections would be cleared during the next two months. New tubewell connections could not be provided previously due to non-availability of material. The Power Corporation would purchase one lakh cement poles, 12,000 new transformers and cables at an estimated cost of Rs 70 crore.

General Rathi said waiving of the outstanding electricity bills was not possible in view of the petition filed by some consumers of Yamunanagar area in the Punjab and Haryana High Court. The petitioners, he said had made timely payments of their electricity bills.

He, however, advised the defaulting consumers to avail the new scheme introduced last month for their benefit.

“Pay the current bill and the out-standing bill will be put in cold storage”, says the new scheme which is likely to remain in force till January next year.

The Chairman disclosed that a large number of defaulting consumers had paid their current bills in Jind, Rohtak, Bhiwani, Hisar, Karnal, Jhajjar and Kurukshetra districts.

More than 40 per cent defaulting tubewell consumers had already made the payment of their current bills during the first billing cycle, he claimed. The Chief Engineer, Mr R. K. Gupta, and the Superintendeing Engineer, Mr S. P. Gupta, accompanied the Chairman during his tour of the villages.


Sheila, Khurana cross swords in battle of ballot
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 16
“There are no full stops in a developing city like Delhi” and “The government is known not by the crises it faces, but how it solves the crises” was how Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit chose to respond to Delhi Pradesh BJP President Madan Lal Khurana as the two chief ministerial candidates locked horns in a debate on Thursday.

While the chief minister listed the conversion of the Capital’s public transport to CNG mode, Bhagidari (citizen-government partnership) programme, clean air and inauguration of Delhi Metro as some of the achievements of her party’s five-year rule in NCT of Delhi, Khurana claimed the privatisation of Delhi Vidyut Board (DVB) was the biggest scam since Independence.

They crossed swords on many issues ranging from statehood to unauthorised colonies, from Metro Rail to Conditional Access System (CAS), and corruption in Delhi Development Authority (DDA.) “We have lived up to the expectations of the people of the Capital,” she asserted and said her government had made NCT of Delhi an Information City with culture an integral part of it.

“We made NCT of Delhi environment cleaner by introducing CNG and the Metro Rail, my two biggest achievements, privatised power, a step appreciated by the President and the CVC, started the Bhagidari system, and increased water supply by 120 mgd, which is a record... And we have taken several steps that will lead to increase in water supply by 40 mgd by November,” she said.

Trashing the chief minister’s claims, Khurana said Bhagidari had given nothing to the citizen. He said the Government of NCT of Delhi could not claim credit for conversion of public transport to CNG mode. “The credit goes to the Supreme Court,” he said.


Slum children find a reason to smile on World Food Day
Tribune News Service

Slum children take a free ride on World Food Day at Appu Ghar in the Capital
Slum children take a free ride on World Food Day at Appu Ghar in the Capital on Thursday. — Tribune photo by Mukesh Aggarwal

New Delhi, October 16
Appu Ghar organized a fun filled event for 200 underprivileged slum children by providing them free rides at the Amusement Park. Moreover, the children enjoyed meals provided by Intercontinental, The Grand.

Eight-year-old Raj Kumar said, “I always wanted to visit Appu Ghar and enjoy the exciting rides here. Today, we have had such fun that will undoubtedly be the most memorable day in all our lives, thank you, Appu Ghar.”

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Gian Vijeshwar, chairman, Appu Ghar, said, ”It gives the Appu Ghar management great pleasure to bring a streak of joy to these underprivileged young children. I am overwhelmed with emotions when I see smiles on the faces of these young angels. We have used the World Food Day as a vehicle to promote the cause of these underprivileged children and serving the children with love and care.”

The World Food Day aims to increase international awareness of the problem of hunger currently facing the world. The World Food Day, first observed in 1981, is being celebrated by more than 150 countries this year, who have planned a range of events to mark the day. Three hundred countries are to participate in the global education project to teach children about the problems of hunger.

Appu Ghar was established in the year 1984 and was the first amusement park in the country. Appu Ghar is located in the heart of the city. Appu Ghar is spread in an area of 15 acres.

Appu Ghar houses an Amusement Park and a Water Park-Oysters. Appu Ghar has nearly 21 rides, further classified into major, family and junior categories.

Apart from rides, the park has eating joints and souvenir shops.


Rewari native on a voyage of self-discovery
Nawal Kishore Rastogi

Rewari, October 16
Mr Lalit Rastogi, grandson of late Shri Goverdhan Das, an eminent educationist of Rewari and son of Mr Radhey Shyam Arif, a noted Urdu poet of London, visited his hometown after an interval of 36 years. Mr Rastogi (41), who was with Philips Electronics (UK) till recently, is currently on a world tour.

His 10-month long itinerary will take him to Thailand, Japan, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Cook Islands, Tahiti, Canada and USA.

As regards the main objective of his world tour, he explained it as a voyage (journey) of self-discovery, which would provide him glimpses of various cultures of the world. Besides the opportunities and challenges that he would face on his journey, it would raise his self-confidence after meeting so many people from varied background.

Mr Rastogi was accorded a warm welcome by the chairman, staff and students of the local Somany Institute of Technology and Management (SITM), where a special function was organised to felicitate him on October 15.

Addressing the gathering, Mr Rastogi vividly narrated his own experiences of a wide spectrum of life in UK. He said that it was a matter of pride that by and large Indian settlers were leading a respectable life in UK. He informed that out of the total population of 56 millions in UK, there were about 2.6 million Asians, among whom Indians occupied a dominant position.

He went on to say that Indians had been confidently manning senior positions in technical, medical and educational organisations. Besides, there were lots of Indian shopkeepers dealing in groceries and other requisite wares of Indian households.

Simultaneously, doctors, teachers, accountants, and nurses were also in great demand. He also informed that there was stiff competition for senior posts in the public as well as private sectors.

As regards the increasing problem of accommodation in England, he asserted that due to the exorbitant housing costs the purchase of a house was almost beyond the reach of new settlers in London and other parts of UK.

However, most of the citizens could purchase consumers goods, which were easily affordable.

Taking note of the spiraling unemployment in India, Mr. Rastogi specifically mentioned that the rate of unemployment in UK was almost negligible. He also said that as far as the life of the masses was concerned, it stood immunised from travails of corruption.

Talking about the social condition, he went on to say that it was quite disheartening to note that the divorce rate was increasing among English couples.

Mr Rastogi specifically mentioned his happiness at being accorded such a warm welcome here. Mr Rastogi’s address was followed by a lively interactive session in which the queries of the students were precisely and pertinently answered.

Describing the function as highly informative for the staff and students of the college, principal I.D. Bansal thanked Mr Rastogi for sharing his valuable experiences of life in UK. Dr Vijay Somany, chairman of SITM felicitated and presented a memento to him.


All pending tubewell connections to be released
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, October 16
The Chairman of the Haryana Vidyut Nigam, Mr Bhoop Singh Rathi, said that the Nigam had decided to release all the pending tubewell connections within two months. He said this was being done as the Nigam had already purchased the necessary material required for releasing the tubewell connections.

Mr Rathi was talking to mediapersons at Gohana before undertaking his visits to the new construction sites of 33 KV power sub stations at Khanpur Kalan and Butana villages in Gohana sub-division of the district.

He disclosed that the Nigam had also decided to pay one per cent higher interest rate than paid by the banks on the security amounts deposited with the Nigam while applying for the tubewell connections.

Mr Rathi also disclosed that the Nigam had decided to recover the pending bills in partial payments of two installments of 50 per cent as the Punjab and Haryana High Court had passed an interim order banning the implementation of the waiving off scheme of the Nigam.

Referring to the shortage of staff in the various wings of the Nigam, Mr Rathi said there was a shortage of around 12,000 employees and said that 6,000 technical posts would be filled up within three months.

The newly enrolled staff would be put on duty in the field while aged persons working in the field would be shifted to the offices in order to improve the efficiency, he added.


Tips for a safe Diwali
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 16
Taking precautionary measures, the Loss Prevention Association of India (LPAI) has asked parents to buy firecrackers only from licensed shop and not allow children to light the dangerous firecrackers themselves.

The LPAI, a non-profit organisation, has been educating the public on the safe methods of handling firecrackers during Diwali for the past 25 years. The NGO has also advised parents against letting children use unburnt crackers for lighting a bonfire.

Allowing children to go near the lit firecrackers is also an unsafe practice. The NGO has also warned children against bending over crackers or holding them in hands while lighting them. They have been advised not to burst crackers near infants, the aged or the sick people.

Disenchanted Voters

A former Delhi Pradesh BJP president, Mange Ram Garg, on Thursday said the disillusionment of the voters with the Indian National Congress (INC) in the Wazirpur constituency was symptomatic of that party’s slide. The voter here and elsewhere, he said, was disenchanted with the INC and would give a befitting reply to the INC in the Assembly elections.

Mr Garg also accused the INC of turning a blind eye to the misappropriation of the MLA fund in Wazirpur and elsewhere. The late Deep Chand Bandhu represented the constituency in the Delhi Legislative Assembly. Mr Garg also claimed the condition of roads had never been so bad in the Capital.


Elderly man killed on G T Road
Our Correspondents

Sonepat, October 16
An aged man, Mr Ram Chander (60), resident of Rai Village, was knocked down and killed by an unknown vehicle on the G T Road near his village, about 13 km from here last night.

According to a report, he was crossing the road when the accident occurred. The driver, however, managed to escape along with the vehicle. The police have registered the case and launched a manhunt to apprehend him.

Three persons injured

Three persons of a family were injured when some residents of Patti Kalyana village attacked them with lathis at Panchi Gujran village, about 25 km from here last evening.

According to a report, all the injured persons were immediately hospitalised and are stated to be out of danger.

The police are still investigating the case. However, no person has been arrested in this connection so far.

Kidnapped girl found

The police have recovered a minor girl kidnapped three days ago by a youth from her house near Adarsh Nagar of this city. According to a report, the police have also arrested the youth in this connection. Further investigations were in progress.

Demonstrations outside SP’s office

Hundreds of residents of Raipur village staged a demonstration in front of the office of the Superintendent of Police here yesterday to demand the arrests of persons responsible for the burning of the `akhara’s’ building and other goods” valued around Rs 10 lakh in the village.

According to a report, the residents of Fazilpur Village, on the other hand, also held a demonstration in front of the SP’s office to press their demand for the arrest of the wrestlers responsible for the alleged murder of a youth, Raj Kumar, of the village.

Science Exhibition

Jhajjar: A district-level science exhibition of schools concluded here today. According to information, 48 items were on display by the government and public schools of the district.

The items were based on information technology, food and energy conservation, industries, transportation and bio-technology.

Mr J.S. Sahu Deo gave away the prizes to the winners of the exhibition in various categories.


Shifting of dyeing units runs into roadblock
Tribune News Service

Panipat, October 16
An ambitious project to shift about 500 dyeing units from the residential areas to the Sector-29 Industrial Area has been hanging fire for the past years, playing havoc with the lives of the residents on account of large-scale water pollution.

To be located in an area of 250 acres, the project was to be inaugurated by the Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, on September 25 this year.

However, the lackadaisical attitude of the district administration and pressure from the powerful dyers’ lobby have delayed the project, at least for the time being.

And with infrastructure such as construction of roads, laying of sewerage lines, erection of the electricity poles and provision of water supply yet to be provided, the project is likely to delayed further.

The administration and the powerful dye house lobby had been locked in a war of wits over the shifting of about 500 dyeing units, which are considered to be the backbone of the world-famous handloom industry.

Over the years, the dye houses had been functioning from the residential areas with impunity despite a Supreme Court directive to shift them.

They had been blamed for pollution and contamination of the ground water.

According to an estimate, about 10 million litres of contaminated water is discharged by these units daily, playing havoc with the lives of lakhs of residents.

After years of deadlock about the modalities, the administration and the Panipat Dyers Association had worked out a scheme for the rehabilitation of the dyeing units.

The administration had also announced certain additional incentives for the shifting unit. In fact, a majority of the dyers applied for plots at the new sites.

However, after the initial euphoria, the administration seemed to have developed cold feet. The dyers felt that if the administration was serious about the pollution menace it would have developed the basic infrastructure on a war footing. How can we shift when the basic amenities are not available in Sector-29 industrial area? asked a dyeing unit owner.

It may recalled that the administration initiated the project to shift the polluting units following repeated complaints from the general public. The area was to be developed and all facilities, including a common effluent treatment plant were to be set up. The Central Government had also announced a special grant of Rs 20 crore for the project.

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