N C R   S T O R I E S


Wages of fraud: No salary for two years
Our Correspondent

Noida, October 28
Twenty employees of the Trade Tax Department in Noida have not received their salaries for the past two years. Their fault is that one of their colleague, who has since been dismissed from service, had misappropriated Rs 5 lakh out of government funds.

But all these 20 officials are considered to be innocent. One of them, who has since retired, has been denied his retirement dues amounting to Rs 90,000. All of them have been put to great harassment and hardship. It may be recalled that a senior assistant in the Accounts Department, Vijay Bihari Agarwal, used to draw money from the bank for disbursement of salary to the staff. He had withdrawn more than Rs 5 lakh from a bank as two months’ salary of 20 colleagues on August 2, 2001, and disappeared. A report about his absconding had been filed by the department with the Sector 20 police.

Agarwal was, of course, arrested after three months and has spent a few months in jail. Assistant Trade Tax Commissioner U. S. Upadhaya had also been placed under suspension. He had failed to examine the cash book, which is stated to be among his daily routine duties. He was reinstated last year. Later, Vijay Bihari Agarwal had been dismissed from service.

But these 20 staffers have not been paid their wages for the past two years. The embezzled amount had included Rs 90,000 which an employee of the department was to receive as his retirement dues. The employees, who claim they had nothing to do with the fraud and are innocent, have met their senior bosses umpteen times but except assurances they have got nothing concrete towards their wages.

Their wages, senior bosses say, will be released only after a final decision on the embezzled amount is taken. Now, the 20 employees have threatened to start an agitation and go on strike if their wages are not released at an early date. They could even take recourse to gheraoing the trade tax offices, they said.


DMRC angling for Prince Charles’ ‘testimonial’
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 28
The city’s state-of-the-art transport network, the Metro, which will have Prince Charles taking a ride in it, was today inspected by the Lt-Governor, Mr Vijai Kapoor. The LG, apart from inspecting the three stations, also introduced a new ticketing system. Expressing satisfaction at the pace of the construction work, Mr Kapoor launched red tokens, which will become functional from November 1, to facilitate the return journey of commuters.

Addressing mediapersons, Mr Kapoor said the Indian Metro had one of the most advanced ticketing systems in the world in the form of contactless tokens and many countries like Hong Kong, among others, were now trying to emulate it.

Tomorrow, the heir to the British throne will travel from Kashmere Gate to Welcome station in the Metro. This will confirm its status as the most advanced metro in the world, said DMRC.

“Ours is more modern than the metros in Europe and America. It is the only one in the world that offers contactless tokens as tickets,” the spokesman told reporters.

Echoing similar views, DMRC Project Director A. T. Burchill said, “Delhi Metro is far, far superior to the one in London. I am sure Prince Charles will be surprised to see the efficient system and will appreciate the efforts of the DMRC.”

Allaying fears of disruption of normal traffic during the Prince’s visit, the spokesman said the Prince may be taken on the trip on a separate train. “The Metro will ply as usual. There will be no disruption of service or rescheduling of trains because of the visit of the Prince of Wales,” he said.

During his inspection, Mr Kapoor took a ride from Kashmere Gate to Tri Nagar on the Metro, besides visiting the construction site at Kashmere Gate and disembarking at Pratap Nagar to inspect the station.

The under-construction Delhi Metro, which was inaugurated in 2002, now runs up to 12.8 km, covering 10 stations from Shahdara to Tis Hazari, while initially it traversed only 8.3 km from Tis Hazari to Trinagar. With the extension of the network, there had been an exponential increase in the number of passengers availing of this fast means of transport, he said, adding that yesterday alone there was a record number of 1,30,000 commuters on the Metro.

The Lt-Governor also mooted property development on the stations and in the vicinity to make the ambience livelier. He said he would expedite the construction of an Information Technology Park within Shashtri Park. Denying any political angle to his visit ahead of the assembly elections or Prince Charles’ visit, he said the main purpose of this visit was to identify the problems being faced by the DMRC.


Prince’s tryst with homeless women

New Delhi: Price Charles will visit the Anugriha, the only shelter for the homeless women in the Capital during his visit to the city.

The Prince is expected to visit the centre on October 30 to meet the inmates of the shelter being run by ActionAid. Home to about 2,000 homeless women, Anugriha was established by Ashriya Adhikar Abhiyan, a programme of ActionAid India.

A felicitation ceremony wherein five community leaders who have turned disadvantage into strength and done significant work for others in similar situations will be honoured. While the Royalty will be the Chief Guest, Chief Minister Ms Sheila Dikshit will be the Guest of Honour. A play on the state of the homeless will be staged by streetchildren for the visitors. TNS


Jamia students picked up by cops, released
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 28
A day after the students staged a protest at Jamia Millia Islamia in support of their demand that they be allowed to form a students’ body, the atmosphere on the campus continued to simmer despite the Vice-Chancellor’s decision to meet student representatives.

A large number of protesting students were picked up by the Delhi Police early this morning and later released. “The administration has been very unjust. We had put forth our demands in a democratic way, yet they called in the police to arrest us this morning. At least 50 students were taken by the police and later released in groups of four and five”, pointed out a student activist.

He went on to add, “We met the Vice-Chancellor and sought the release of our fellow students. Their release is our priority”.

The Vice-Chancellor has agreed to meet a team of students on Thursday to discuss the issue. “The VC has not promised us anything yet. We have, however, been told that he will meet the delegates and a solution will be worked out within a week”, said the activist.

The agitating students have decided to go on an indefinite strike if the administration does not revoke the decision not to allow elections on the campus. Elections to choose representatives of the students’ body were last held about six years ago. Since then the students have not been able to exercise their franchise.


Chaos reigns a day prior to one-day match
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, October 28
It was rank mismanagement and total chaos at Nahar Singh Stadium here today, where passes were being distributed by the authorities for the third one-day match of TVS Cup, scheduled to be held tomorrow between Australia and New Zealand.

While nobody had been deputed to guide and assist mediapersons, many scribes, including some from the electronic media in the Capital, were seen running around to procure a pass.

A reporter of a TV news channel based in New Delhi said he had been at the stadium for the past one hour but he could not contact the person in charge of the passes. Someone had told him the Deputy Commissioner, who is the ex-officio Chairman of the District Cricket Association, was himself distributing passes meant for the Press.

Mr Rajbir Narwal, reporter of Delhi-based news programme, “Ankhon Dekhi”, said he had been hanging around the stadium for the past two days but had not managed to get a pass. He said an office-bearer of the Haryana Cricket Association (HCA) had told him the passes meant for the Press had been distributed already.

Most of the press reporters based in Faridabad, including those accredited and representing national dailies, had not been given passes till Tuesday evening.

Many of the seats in the press gallery in this stadium had been occupied by unauthorised persons and families of influential persons in the last one day international played here in 2001.

Local correspondents of leading dailies were also not extended an invitation for the press conference held this morning at the stadium. It is alleged that due to the boycott of district-level official programmes by a section of the Press here, a discriminatory approach had been adopted towards the scribes here.


Dengue cases rise but death toll halts
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 28
The total number of dengue cases has risen to 1,937 after 32 new cases were reported on Tuesday. The death toll remained at 26.

The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) said 388 of the 1,937 cases of dengue were reported from outside the NCT of Delhi. Uttar Pradesh has reported 158 cases, Haryana 67 and Rajasthan 30 cases. Thirty cases were reported from certain other states; 41 cases remained untraceable and addresses were not mentioned in 86 cases.

In the NCT of Delhi, Central zone reported the most number of cases (247) and Narela the least (21). Shahdara North reported 207 cases, Shahdara South 173, Civil Lines 171, South 143, Rohini 126, West 118, Najafgarh 100, Karol Bagh 94, City 40 and Sadar Paharganj zone 39 cases.

Fifty-six cases have been reported from areas administered by the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) and 14 cases from Delhi Cantonment/Railway colonies.

Mayor Ashok Kumar Jain said the Indian Pest Control Association and the MCD would conduct a joint exercise in Sunder Nagri in Shahdara North zone. The exercise, beginning Wednesday, will conclude on Friday.


Green canopy ravaged in violation of court orders
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 28
To pave the way for so-called development, several plants and trees, including a full-grown Ashoka tree, were uprooted in the city’s commercial hub, the Nehru Place Greens Park, on Divali eve.

Paying a price for the Delhi Development Authority’s (DDA) plans to build a parking lot and a night bazaar among other commercial enterprises, the uprooting, incidentally, is a violation of the high court orders.

The green belt in Nehru Place became a sore point for the DDA, which wants to wipe the greens for building places of commercial interest. The Paharpur Business Centre (PBC), which had been looking after the green belt since 1996, took up the matter of felling the trees and was joined by NGOs, social activists and common people in their endeavour to save the trees.

The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) which had earlier signed an MoU with the PBC for the maintenance of the greens, allowed the DDA to take over the plot in February this year. The PBC alleged that despite assurances to look after the trees the DDA had failed even to provide water to them.

This apart, the DDA had filed an affidavit in the Delhi High Court, stating that no trees in the Nehru Place Greens Park would be axed. However, on the eve of Divali, allege PBC authorities, several trees were uprooted by a contractor appointed by the DDA.

It was also pointed out that the Executive Engineer of the DDA denied cutting the trees when contacted by the PBC. The contractor on the site, however, maintained that the trees were being cut by the DDA to help widen the road.

The PBC alleged that the contractors, acting on the DDA’s behest, had removed the railings and the barbed wires of the park and cut even mature trees. Since there was no permission to cut the trees by the concerned authority, the PBC filed an FIR in Kalkaji Police Station and managed to save more trees from being cut because of police intervention.

The Nehru Place Greens Park was a slum spanning seven acres prior to the takeover by the PBC. After the MCD refused to renew their MoU in February 2003 and instead allowed the DDA to take over the maintenance, the PBC had been involved in saving the trees from being cut.

The PBC is now waiting for the authorities to take action and save the trees, which had managed to bring down the carbon dioxide levels in the city from 445 to 339 ppm and the SPM’s from 1047 to 390 ug/m3 between 1996 to 2002.


One stabbed to death by robbers at roadside

New Delhi: One person was stabbed to death and another was seriously injured last night when four persons tried to rob their goods near Britannia Square in North-West district.

The police said the victims, Vijay (38) and Pawan (18), both residents of Old Mahavir Nagar, Tilak Nagar, were returning home in a TSR after shopping from a weekly bazar in Shalimar Bagh.

When they reached Britannia Square the TSR developed a mechanical fault. While the TSR driver was trying to repair it, four persons tried to rob the goods possessed by Vijay and Pawan. Two others, Narender Kumar, resident of old Mahavir Nagar, and Gulshan also tried to fight the robbers. TNS


L’affaire Sampla: Bansi Lal blames it on CM
Our Correspondent

Rohtak, October 28
Haryana Vikas Party supremo and former state Chief Minister Bansi Lal has held both the Haryana Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, and Rohtak SSP Alok Kumar Roy responsible for the Sampla incident in which certain women of Garhi Sampla village were roughed up by the SSP and other policemen in the presence of Mr Chautala at Sampla on October 3.

Mr Bansi Lal was speaking to the mediapersons before addressing a state level backward class rally organised by the backward class cell of the party here today.

The HVP chief said that the incident occurred due to the failure of the police in tracing two missing youths of the village. He also charged the Chief Minister with adopting a casual attitude towards the sufferings of the people.

He said the incident was shameful and it could have been avoided had the Chief Minister been sensitive to the disappearance of the youths.

He said the residents of Garhi Sampla village, including some women, wanted to meet the Chief Minister to tell the story of the affected families and request him to direct the police to expedite the search for the youths. He said that the SSP should have allowed the complainants to meet the Chief Minister to avert the unfortunate incident. He expressed surprise as to why the Chief Minister had kept silent on such an issue.


Procurement arrangements criticised
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, October 28
The Haryana Pradesh Janata Dal (U) president, Mr Ved Prakash Vidrohi, has blamed both the central and the state governments for not providing the promised remunerative price to the farmers marketing their produce in the mandis of the state.

In a signed press statement issued here today, he also regretted that inspite of the announcement of the minimum support price for bajra and paddy by the Union Government, the farmers had been facing a lot of hardships in selling their produce. He accused the Chief Minister, Mr Om Parkash Chautala, of making false promises but doing nothing for the welfare of the farmers. Mr Vidrohi also blamed the Chautala government for the incomplete arrangements for the purchase of paddy and bajra from the mandis of the state. The farmers are being forced to stay for days together in the mandis to market their produce, creating a lot of hardships for them, he alleged. He alleged that there had been a persistent shortage of gunny bags and the official procurement agencies had failed to lift the procured stocks of paddy and bajra.


JD(U) calls for abolition of POTA
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, October 28
Highlighting the frequent misuse of POTA, the president of the Haryana unit of Janata Dal (U), Mr Ved Prakash Vidrohi, has opposed the proposed amendment of POTA and called for the abolition of the Act.

In a statement here today, Mr Vidrohi claimed that the country did not require POTA as the Act had become a handy tool to victimise and terrorise political opponents or those who opposed the philosophy and the style of the functioning of the government in power.

He said the move to amend POTA by the Union Government was unacceptable as its fallout could be detrimental to the people if the authorities opted to “misuse” it.

He claimed that while POTA had failed to curb terrorist activities in the country, it was being “misused” to nail political opponents. He said there had been many incidents in Jharkhand and Orissa where POTA had been imposed on minor and teenaged boys. He said the “misuse” had rendered the Act useless.

In the light of past experience, he said there was no need for the “review” of the Act by the Union Government, as it could be used for ulterior motives. 


Manhandled Garhi women contest admn’s denials
Jatinder Sharma

Rohtak, October 28
The denials of the district administration notwithstanding, women of Garhi village reiterated that the police maltreated them when they made an attempt to meet the Chief Minister at Sampla on October 3.

Narrating the details of the incident at a rally, organised by the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD), at Sampla today, Ms Bhagwani Devi of Garhi alleged that the police did not allow them to meet the Chief Minister who had gone to Sampla on October 3 on an official visit. When the women made attempts to break the cordon and submit their memorandum to the Chief Minister, policemen manhandled them and pushed them. In the melee, the eight-month-old son of Ms Rajesh, wife of Naresh, fell on the bonnet of Chief Minister’s car and later on the ground.

She alleged that women were not only pushed but roughed up also. Condemning the incident, former Union minister and RLD chief Ajit Singh said that it reflected the ego-centric attitude of Chief Minister Om Parkash Chautala who otherwise was duty bound to listen to the grievances of the people.

He alleged that there was no democracy in Haryana. Journalists were being murdered and harassed and leaders of the Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) have been arrested on charges of sedition. Their fault was that they were demanding free power to the agriculture sector which was promised by the ruling INLD during assembly elections.

Swami Indervesh, president, RLD Haryana unit, said that village Garhi, the birthplace of late Kisan leader Sir Chhotu Ram, was sacred like Mecca and Ayodhya for the farmers of Haryana.

He condemned the October 3 incident and said that the deputy commissioner and superintendent of police, Rohtak had behaved in an irresponsible manner on that day.

The Swami, through a resolution, demanded the suspension of deputy commissioner and the superintendent of police and transferring the probe of missing youths to the CBI.

Naresh and Azad, both the missing youths were employed as driver and cleaner with a transporter Delhi. They have been missing since September 11,2002 from near Rewari in Ahirwal.

Through another resolution, he demanded an apology from the Chief Minister for maltreating the women by the police in his presence. The participants approved these resolutions by show of hands. Mr Ajit Singh assured support to the agitation launched by the Chaugama Panchayat for fulfilment of their demands.


Rally against bid to grab school land
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, October 28
A number of residents demonstrated in front of the Deputy Commissioner’s office here today to protest against the attempt of some influential persons to occupy the land allotted for the construction of a government primary school in Prem Nagar area of the city. According to a report, the irate residents also submitted a memorandum to the DC, demanding a stern action against those trying to occupy this land.

The memorandum stated that the state government had allotted 1,000 yards of land for the opening of a primary school in this colony, but it had failed to open it so far.

In the meantime, some influential persons are planning to occupy this land on the pretext that they have purchased this land.

The demonstrators also threatened to launch an agitation if the district authorities failed to take steps for the protection of this land meant for a school.

Youth attacked

A youth Pushpender was injured when he was attacked with sharp-edged weapons by some persons in Mohalla Mashad here last evening.

According to a report, the youth was immediately hospitalised and stated to be out of danger.

Five injured

At least five persons were injured in two different accidents occurred on G T Road near Bahalgarh village and on the Sonepat-Rohtak road near Rohat village of this district today.

According to a report, the injured persons were immediately hospitalised.


Special Focus on Gurgaon
New district jail inaugurated 
Tribune News Service

Gurgaon, October 28
The new district jail has become operational following its inauguration by the Haryana Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala.

The jail, which has been set up at a cost of Rs 40 crore, has provisions to keep 2,500 inmates. The complex is set up on an area of 87 acres.

The complex has provision for one administrative bloc, 22 barracks, including three exclusively for women, hospital, factory shade, library, canteen, entertainment hall, dining hall, warden hostel, 290 residential accommodations for jail staff and separate security cells for dangerous criminals.

The setting up of the new jail was much needed in the district. The old jail has provision for keeping just 120 undertrials and convicts against which about 750 were kept there. Inaugurating the jail yesterday, Mr Chautala announced that those jail staff who died while tackling violence during duty hours would be entitled to the same privileges given to the personnel from the police force.


Cong threatens stir over MLA’s arrest
Tribune News Service

Gurgaon, October 28
The District (Gurgaon) Congress Committee held an emergency meeting today and condemned the arrest of its party MLA and former Union Minister, Mr Jai Prakash, from Hisar. The Congress party leaders decided to take out a protest march in the city on October 31 and hand over a memorandum to the Governor of the state through the office of the local Deputy Commissioner. They said that in case Mr Jai Prakash was not freed, the party will resort to other agitational measures against the government.

Among others, the Congress MLA from Sohna and former Haryana minister, Rao Dharam Pal along with Mr Dharamvir Gauba attended the meeting.

Mr Gauba is also the district chief of the Congress. The meeting demanded the immediate release of Mr Jai Prakash.

It alleged that the Congress MLA was implicated in false cases, as he was a bitter critic of Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala.

Speaking on the occasion, the senior leaders of the party alleged that Mr Chautala was indulging in witch hunting against his political opponents throughout the state.

According to them, Mr Chautala was unnerved by the growing popularity of the Congress party. Such vindictive measures adopted by the INLD government will boomerang on it, they added.

Mr Jai Prakash had been booked under various criminal cases and is under arrest in Hisar. A few years ago, he was also booked under various charges by a local police station, allegedly on the direction of the Haryana Government.


Three IMAX theatres for NCR
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 28
Aerens Developers and Engineers (AEZ), and IMAX Corporation, the leader in large-format entertainment technology and cinematic experience, today announced that they are going to build three IMAX theatres across north and central India.

The theatres will be located in the NCR region. Said Mr Rajesh Aeren, vice-Chairman, Corporate Affairs, Aerens Developers and Engineers Limited, “The construction of our first IMAX theatre in Gurgaon is already under way. The first three theatres will be operational by 2005. They will run many shows a day and we anticipate a footfall of more than half a million customers a year. We are also interested in adding more IMAX theatres to our various developments in India.”

Mr Rajesh added, “The expanded IMAX film library which now includes Hollywood event films that have been transformed into the IMAX experience using IMAX DMR technology will secure our IMAX theatres as anchor attractions at our entertainment and retail complexes.”

The AEZ.IMAX theatres will feature state-of-the-art 95ft x 72ft screens, a specially designed six-channel stereo sound system comprising 44 custom speakers that extract 12,000 watts of pure digital sound, along with IMAX projection equipment. The film format to be used will be ten times larger than a conventional 35mm film and three times larger than a standard 70mm film.

The sheer size of the 15/70 film frame, combined with the unique IMAX projection technology, is the key to the extraordinary sharpness and clarity which provides the near virtual reality experience that IMAX theatres around the world offer.

Youth commits suicide

Sonepat: A youth Anil was reported to have committed suicide by hanging himself with a rope in his house at Kundal village about 25 km from here last night. According to a report, a family quarrel is stated to be the cause of the suicide. However, the police are investigating the case. OC

‘Samman Samaroh’ to honour HKMS chief

Rohtak: Different employee organisations affiliated to the Haryana Karamchari Maha Sangh (HKMS) would organise a ‘Samman Samaroh’ at Hansi on November 1 to honour the HKMS president, Mr Dhara Singh, on his retirement.

In a joint statement here today, Mr Ashok Chhiber, president, advisory committee of Haryana State Electricity Board Workers’ Union and Mr Bharat Bhushan, assistant press secretary of HKMS, said Mr Dhara Singh was scheduled to retire from the post of circle superintendent, Haryana Vidyut Prasaran Nigam, Gurgaon on October 31 after putting in 31-year service.

They said the employee leaders had resolved to glorify his efforts in highlighting the employees’ problems.

Extension lecture

The Psychology Department of Maharshi Dayanand University would organise an extension lecture on October 30.

A spokesman for the university administration today said that Prof A K Sen of the Psychology Department of the University of Delhi would deliver lectures on ‘Psychology Test: Nature and Applications’ and ‘Construction and Standardisation of Test/Scale’.

In another development, a cultural contingent of the university would take part in a state level cultural festival being organised by Kurukshetra University from October 29 to 31. This contingent would take part in all the 17 items being organised during the festival. OC


Spurious drug factory unearthed
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 28
With the arrest of one person, the Delhi Police Crime Branch has claimed to have busted a spurious drug factory unit at Chander Vihar in the Nangloi area. The owner of the factory Umesh Mehra, a former medical representative and a resident of Janak Puri was arrested and various drugs were seized from the unit.

The sleuths acting on a secret information that a person was running a spurious drug factory without any licence or authorization from the government, raided the premises at 40, Abehal Nagar and found the drugs and food supplements being produced with all accessories.

During interrogation, the accused told that he worked as a medical representative in various companies till 1999 and started manufacturing spurious drugs over the last three years in order to earn fast money.

The accused said that he was supplying in the rural areas of Rajasthan, Bihar, UP, Jammu ands Kashmir and some parts of Dehradun. He was receiving the raw materials from the Bhagirath Place in Delhi. Mehra also was manufacturing drugs of other companies in their brand names and claimed that he was receiving technical guidance from them for manufacturing.

He had no evidence when the sleuths interrogated him and was not possessing the Hygiene Certificate from Delhi Food Department or licence from the Drug Department.

Help for the disabled

The Tarun Mitra Parishad has invited applications from the physically handicapped persons who need tricycles, wheel-chairs, artificial limbs and other medical aid equipment and the needy women who could work on sewing machines. Every year, the Parishad holds an annual function where these equipment were provided free of cost.

Award for national integration

The Indira Gandhi Award for National Integration, 2002 is to be awarded to Acharya Mahapragya for his outstanding contribution in the national integration. The award is to be given to him by the Congress president Sonia Gandhi on October 31 at Jawahar Bhawan.


Fake bulbs seized, one arrested

New Delhi: The North district police today claimed to have arrested one person and seized a large quantity of fake bulbs from his possession in the Kishan Ganj area. The police seized 3500 bulbs of Surya mark and 20,000 wrappers and stamping machine from the hideout of Dalip Mishra, resident of Kishan Ganj.

In order to provide quality health care service to the slum dwellers, the chairman of Standing Committee, MCD, Ram Babu Sharma today dedicated the Asha’s mobile clinic van to the slums in Delhi.

The Founder and Director of Asha, Padmashree Dr Kiran Martin was present during the occasion which held in a slum cluster in Ekta Vihar. TNS


Petrol station owner shot at, looted
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, October 28
The owner of Sant Ram Suri Petrol Station, Mr Dilbagh, was shot at and wounded by three unidentified youths while he was sitting inside his petrol station situated on the Sonepat-Meerut inter-state road near Palri village, about 15 km from here last evening.

According to a report, the alleged assailants, however, managed to escape in a Tata Sumo after looting Rs 25,000 from the cash box.

On receipt of the information, the police arrived on the scene and chased the alleged assailants but failed to apprehend them.

The police have also registered the case against the alleged assailants and further investigations were in progress.

Mr Dilbagh, who sustained bullet injuries, was rushed to a private hospital in this city for treatment and was stated to be out of danger.

It is stated that three armed youths came in a Tata Sumo jeep and purchased petrol for Rs 500. Before paying the amount they asked the salesman to bring a glass of water. However, when the salesman went to fetch the water, two of them followed him and entered the cabin where Mr Dilbagh was sitting.

When they made an attempt to snatch the cash from the cash box, Mr Dilbagh intervened.

Thereupon, they fired at him. Mr Dilbagh was seriously wounded and fell down. Meanwhile, the assailants immediately snatched the cash and fled in the Tata Sumo jeep towards Bahalgarh side.

The incident has caused panic among the resident of neighbouring villages.


Entrepreneurs take undue advantage of credit facilities
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, October 28
Substantial amount of money advanced by some of the nationalised and cooperative banks to a number of small-scale industrialists of this region seems to have gone down the gutter, putting the bank authorities in a quandary. The situation reflects badly on the working of these banks and the awful irresponsibility with which the bank officials have been offering credit facilities to the unscrupulous entrepreneurs, leading to the bungling of public money.

According to sources, a number of small entrepreneurs, who secured loans from banks on furnishing security in the form of plants, machineries and raw-materials in their units, surreptitiously disposed of these later on. Consequently, the bank authorities have been left in a fix and find it almost impossible to recover the loan amount from these entrepreneurs. Moreover, the legal processes to recover such loans are not very helpful in such situations.

Meanwhile, a lot needs to be done to improve the day-to-day functioning of the nationalised banks. A large section of its customers still feel that inefficiency, delay and maladministration are a lingering features of these banks. Even the largest bank, the State Bank of India, “has failed to simplify the procedures for its customers”.

The working of the Haryana Financial Corporation has also come in for public criticism as industrialists have taken advantage of the various clauses to “siphon off” money taken as loans. Lack of proper planning and speedy processing of payments under the Prime Minister’s Self-Employment Scheme has come in for severe criticism in the district. In effect, the needy have been left out and the greedy have lapped up all the cream with the active connivance of politicians, bankers and bureaucrats.

It is difficult to pinpoint the institution or the individuals responsible, but the politicians have often put pressure on the nationalised banks to look the other way as unscrupulous people have reaped the advantage from the scheme.

Official sources revealed that banks had fixed a target of 1,010 educated jobless youths to be given loans under the Prime Minister’s Self-Employment Scheme during the last financial year. However, even though the banks had sanctioned loan amounts for 976 educated unemployed youths till November 30 last year, only 619 educated unemployed youths had received the amount so far. The banks had imparted training to as many as 399 educated jobless youths during the period under review. It is alleged that the non-cooperative attitude of the officials and malpractices in the grant of loans to the unemployed educated youths had made the scheme a farce. It is alleged the processing of applications is abnormally delayed at different levels and the recommendations of the task force entrusted with the job are not honoured by the bank authorities for “pecuniary reasons”.

The officers are sore at the dilatory tactics adopted by the banks while the applicants are disappointed when their applications are rejected “without any rhyme or reasons”.

Under the scheme, educated unemployed youths were to be provided loans up to Rs 35,000 to set up industries or start a new business. In an effort to make it easy to get these loans, the government liberalised the rules and the applicants were not required to furnish any surety or guarantee for the loans. Officials, however, maintain that only genuine applicants were provided the loans.

However, a cursory perusal of the list reveals that persons with influence or “contacts” have received the lion’s share. Consequently, the aim of the scheme to provide help to the poorer sections of the society has remained a dream. In some cases, candidates with running business were accommodated under political pressure. Meanwhile, the district unit of the ‘Non-Employed Persons Sangh’ has alleged that most of the bank managers had harassed the loan seekers in some form or the other, with the aim of receiving “cuts” from the amount sanctioned. It has demanded a high-level probe into the complaints of jobless youths and action against the bank officials found harassing them.


Handloom expo: World of weavers wows visitors
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 28
India Weaves’ 2003—the national handloom exposition by the Development Commissioner for Handlooms, Ministry of Textiles, Government of India, is currently on at Dilli Haat..

The exhibition showcases a wide range of handloom products from across the country. It will continue till October 31, 2003. The timings are from 11 am to 10 pm. With infinite variety in colours, patterns, fabrics and techniques, the wonderful world of India Weaves is mesmerising the public, and a large number of buyers are visiting the exhibition.

The products on display truly symbolise the richness and diversity of India. It is bringing together the artistic and cultural heritage of the whole of India from Kashmir to down-south and from north-east to Gujarat.

India Weaves 2003 has on display a wide range of handloom products including bed linen, tableware, upholstery, furniture fabrics, clothings and accessories in different fabrics.

The visitors have the option to customise the printing according to their taste on the fabric of their choice. The exhibition also has a separate section for Divali where there are many Divali-specific products such as handmade candles, exotic gift items, pottery, etc. The Development Commissioner For Handlooms has also arranged for ushers to provide a guided tour of the exhibition.

There was also a demonstration of a weaving loom in action. A special area of Dilli Hatt has been set up as ‘Kurta Corner’. This year, India Weaves has the added attraction of NIFT, contributing its creations to the exposition.

The Development Commissioner for Handlooms under the Ministry of Textiles, Government of India continues to be the prime mover for the development of the Indian handloom industry. To provide marketing support to the handloom agencies and weavers, the office of Development Commissioner for Handlooms, Ministry of Textiles, Government of India, organises national handloom expositions in different parts of the country. The handloom sector is becoming more organised with each passing day, much of which has been possible due to the involvement of cooperative sector with the leading textile designers of the country and support from various state governments and Central government.

The event, organised by ACASH, is an annual feature. It has brought together over a hundred apex societies, state corporations, handloom agencies and NGOs, spanning across different parts of the country, including Assam Apex Weavers’ and Artisans Coop. Federation Ltd. (ARTFED), Chenkumar Weavers’ Coop. P and S Society Ltd., Chennimalai Weavers’ Coop. Prod and Sale Society Ltd., Karnataka Handloom Development Corporation Ltd., Industrial Coop. Society Ltd., Karnataka Handloom Development Corporation Ltd., Shilpee Khadi Grameen Vikas Welfare Workers PCS Coop. Society Ltd. and UP State Handloom Corporation Ltd.

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