N C R   S T O R I E S


Lid off racket, scores conned with job offer
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 3
The Economic Offences Wing of the Crime Branch of the Delhi Police today claimed to have busted a job racket with the arrest of three suspects. They had allegedly cheated lakhs of rupees from innocent unemployed youths on the pretext of providing them government jobs.

The suspects had been identified as Manoj Patel of Bihar, Surender Kumar Sharma, who worked as a driver for MTNL, and Nagarajan, a driver in an embassy and a resident of the Delhi Cantonment area, the police said.

The suspects were arrested following a joint complaint made by 30 persons with the Anti-Forgery Section of the Crime Branch. In the complaint, it was alleged that Manoj Patel, who claimed he was a former Agriculture Minister of Bihar, and Surender Kumar Sharma, who portrayed himself as PS to the Ministers of Railways and Health, had promised the victims government jobs in the Ministries of Railways, Health and Communication and collected more than Rs 20 lakh from them. To impress the victims, the suspects used to show them recommendation letters of different ministers. The suspects assured them of providing jobs in the Ministries of Health and Railways. Later, it was found that none of the alleged persons were working in the Ministries of Health and Railways, the police said.

The Crime Branch constituted a special team to investigate the case under the ACP of the Anti-Forgery Section. The suspects were arrested on October 31 after collecting crucial evidence with regard to cheating. Their three other associates, who have also been identified, are absconding. Manoj Patel was allegedly the kingpin of the racket.

Several blank letterheads of Railway Minister Nitish Kumar, Minister of Health C.P. Thakur, OSD to Minister of Railways A.K. Singh, MPs Kishan Kumar Choudhary and Ganga Ram Kohli were seized from their possession. Besides, visiting cards of Uma Bharti, Ram Nayak and Nitish Kumar were also seized from their possession. Apart from this, positive slides of visiting cards of Yashwant Sinha, Uma Bharti, Maneka Gandhi, Ram Nayak, Nitish Kumar, CP Thakur, Sonia Gandhi, L. K. Advani and the national emblem used for the printing of fake letters and visiting cards were also seized.

Manoj Kumar, an illiterate person from Bihar, used to introduce himself as a person with high connections. In search of victims, he used to visit several government offices and embassies. He used to win their trust by showing the visiting cards of ministers. He impressed Nagarajan, who worked as a driver in the Embassy of Burkino Faso, and told him to bring persons desiring government jobs on payment of Rs 75, 000 to Rs 1.5 lakh. Subsequently, Nagarajan brought at least 30 persons and introduced them to a man claiming to be A.K. Singh, OSD to Minister of Railways. Subsequently, a sum of Rs 20 lakh was paid to Manoj Patel through Nagarajan and application forms were also given. After a gap of three or four days, photocopies of the recommendation letter of the private secretary to the minister of the ministry concerned, where the job was to be provided, were given to the individual victims. The original letter, along with the application kept in the official envelope, was also shown to the victims. They were informed that the same would be sent to the authorities concerned through a proper channel.

Suspect Surender Sharma was also part of the conspiracy with Manoj Patel and he had signed several letters under his name as PS to Minister of Health. Manoj Patel was also trying to buy a nagamani for fulfilling his desire of becoming an MP. An astrologer had advised him to buy a nagamani. He had sent Nagaraj to Madurai to buy a nagamani and Rs 5 lakh was spent on it. 


Voters’ list: EC will deal with complaints by Nov 14
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 3
The Delhi High Court today disposed of a petition, alleging discrepancies in the electoral rolls for the Delhi Cantonment assembly constituency in the Capital following an assurance from the Election Commission that it would try to deal with all such complaints before November 14, the last date for filing nominations.

A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice B. C. Patel and Mr Justice A. K. Sikri recorded the statement of EC counsel R. K. Anand that the commission would try its best to look into and dispose of the more than 14,000 complaints of discrepancies, illegalities and irregularities in the voters’ list in the area before November 14, the final day till when changes could be made in the rolls. Mr Anand also said the process of revision was already on and the Delhi Cantonment assembly constituency was the only one in the city where revision had been done thrice in some cases.

The court was dealing with a petition by former BJP MLA K. S. Tanwar, pointing out about 12,000 alleged discrepancies in the rolls. It was also claimed that the EC officials were callous, indifferent and sometime partisan. Mr Anand told the court that the commission had received the complaints on October 15 and since then they had been on the job. He added that a general public notice had already been given in the regard and all persons concerned were being informed individually.

On October 31, the Division Bench had directed the commission to inform by today the time it would take to take action on representations given to it on alleged discrepancies.

On October 1, Mr Justice B. D. Ahmed had expressed the hope that the EC would take action as expeditiously as possible on the representations given to it.


Cops lodge rape FIR after citizens protest
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 3
The East district police today tried to hide a case of rape committed in the Mandawli police station area today. However, the FIR was registered following an agitation by the local residents.

According to police sources, a 17-year-old girl was raped by two youths who were known to her. They used to come to her house often and were like brothers. She lived alone with her parents in Mandawli and did a private job; she was also in search of a house on rent.

The suspects allegedly took her to Noida today on the pretext of getting her a room. They allegedly raped her repeatedly there. When she came back to her house, she gave an account of her harrowing experience to her parents.

However, when she, along with her parents, went to the police station to lodge an FIR, the police refused to oblige. The victim’s parents discussed the case with local residents who resorted to an agitation in front of the police station, the sources said. Seeing the seriousness of the situation, the police lodged the FIR.

However, the DCP, Mrs Nuzhat Hasan, said the police had not refused to lodge the FIR. It was lodged immediately and the girl was sent to a hospital for medical examination.


Armed men strike at house of senior citizen
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 3
Four youths, armed with country made pistols and knives, barged into the house of a retired journalist at AGCR Enclave in East district today, injured his wife and robbed cash and jewellery worth lakhs of rupees.

The incident occurred early this morning when the victim, Dinesh Prasad Saxena (66), and his wife Swaran Lata were asleep in the house. Mr Saxena works with the NCERT, the police said.

The main gate of the victim’s house was bolted from inside. The suspects broke the glass of the sliding door, cut the grill and entered the house. While they were ransacking the house, Swaran Lata got up; she was attacked with the butt of a pistol and badly injured. When Mr Saxena cried from help, the suspects ran away with the booty.

The police said that the robbers managed to decamp with Rs 10, 000 in cash, wrist watches, a camera, jewellery and some other valuables.

According to preliminary investigation, the suspects had definite information that only elderly people lived in the house. The police will now question the maid employed in the Saxena household and other domestic servants in the neighbourhood in this connection. The police disclosed that mostly middle class people lived in the AGCR colony and several houses were occupied by senior citizens. They depend mostly on their maids and other domestic help.

The senior citizens, extremely worried about their security, are considering employing a night watchman. They are also pressing for night patrolling in the area.


Chautala advises Sampla families to petition Centre
Our Correspondent

Rohtak, November 3
Referring to the demand for a CBI inquiry into the disappearance of two youths of Garhi Sampla village, the Chief Minister clarified that it was not in the jurisdiction of the state government to order a CBI inquiry. He suggested that the affected families should approach the central government or seek the court’s help for the purpose. He assured the villagers that the state government would adopt a positive stand in case the court asked it to submit a report in this connection.

He said the matter could be handed over to the CID, the Crime Branch or any other government agency for investigation, whichever agency the villagers felt confident of.

Dengue claims three victims in two days

Ghaziabad: Three more patients have died of dengue in Ghaziabad district in the past two days. Two persons had died of dengue in Garh Mukteshwar on November 1, fueling fears of the disease still not being under control. Another youth succumbed to the disease in Mata Colony of Vijay Nagar, creating a scare among the people. OC


Angry villagers boycott Chautala’s meeting
Our Correspondent

Rohtak, November 3
The Haryana Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, claimed that drinking water and irrigation problems would be solved after the completion of the SYL canal. He believed that link canal would be completed within a year.

Addressing rural gatherings during his tour of the Hassangarh Assembly segment under the “sarkar aapke dwar” programme today, Mr Chautala assured that the capacity of the channels and minors would be enhanced and the process of desilting would be completed before the SYL water flows into Haryana so that water reaches every corner of the state.

The Chief Minister said that his government had upgraded 1,033 schools in the state so far. He assured that all those schools, which met the required norms, would be upgraded by the government. Mr Chautala started his tour from village Garhi, the native village of legendary kisan leader, Sir Chhotu Ram.

The villagers, by and large, abstained from the meeting to protest against the manhandling of women by the police at Sampla on October 3. They also demanded the transfer of investigation of two missing youths of the village to the CBI. The villagers also demanded action against the erring policemen. The women of village Garhi wore black duppatas (odhni) and gathered in a chaupal adjacent to the venue where the Chief Minister was to hold his meeting. The ‘Chaugama Khaap’ of villages of Garhi, Sampla, Kheri and Naya-Baans had on Friday decided to boycott the Chief Minister’s programme.

A delegation of the Ahlawat Khaap-‘satayasi’ (27), led by acting khaap president Jagdeep Gochhi and khaap spokesman Chand Singh Ahlawat met the Chief Minister and presented a charter of demands.

Mr Chautala expressed his inability to handover the investigation of the case of the missing youths to the CBI as the premier investigating agency was not under the state. He, however, said that the government would not object to transferring the case to the CBI if the Centre or the court directed it to do so.

Mr Chautala also avoided a direct answer to their demand to provide government jobs to a member of the missing youths families.

Earlier, the local MLA, Mr Balwant Singh Myna and Lok Sabha member Capt Inder Singh made futile attempts to persuade the villagers to attend the meeting and assured them that their demands would be met. The villagers, however, refused to attend the meeting of the Chief Minister. 


Strike takes backseat as Jamia students clash
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 3
Owing to a clash between two factions in Jamia Milia Islamia, the cause of the students, who wanted to declare a strike from tomorrow, has suffered. The two factions led by outsiders and day scholars reportedly pelted stones and indulged in vandalism on the campus. Tension prevailed following the clash and derailed the students’ decision to declare a strike from tomorrow. “There was a clash between two groups led by outsiders and day scholars. Some people from outside the campus came in and hurled stones. The police later picked up some students”, claimed a student activist.

Rebuffed in their efforts to meet the Vice-Chancellor for discussing the issue of elections in the university, the students had planned to go on a strike. However, following the clash, they have begun discussions among themselves to work out the details of the strike. The university authorities, on their part denied, the reports of a clash. “We do not know of any clash that involved stone pelting…there was a clash between students, but nothing serious”, said a university official.

He went on to add, “Some people from outside tried to barge into the campus and incite students, this resulted in some tension”. When quizzed over the reasons for the cancellation of the meeting between the students and the VC, he said, “The VC will meet students of Jamia and not those who are either former students or have nothing to do with the university”.

The official pointed out, “The talk about holding elections is part of the plan of some people who do not wish the university to function peacefully. If the students want something they should come to us and an amicable solution can be reached. But why should we meet those who are not even the bona fide students of the university?”

The students in JMI have been protesting against the university’s rule of not allowing elections to the students’ union and have been demanding the permission to elect a union.

The VC had reportedly agreed to meet the students here last week but the meeting was called off. While the authorities are waiting for “bona fide” students to come forward to talk, the students have a different agenda. “We had told the authorities that if the VC does not meet us we will declare a strike. We will meet tonight and discuss the matter,” said a student activist.


Students get into nasty brawl

Ghaziabad: Seven persons were injured in a clash between students of the Ideal Institute of Technology and youths of Matyala village. The students also allegedly torched two scooters belonging to the villagers. The Mussori police have registered a case of rioting and arson late. According to information available with the police, Neeraj of Matyala village runs a paint and sanitary goods shop in Govind Puram along with his nephew Kamal and Amit.

Neeraj was joined at 7 pm by Sandeep who runs a shop in Shastri Nagar along with his brother Jaideep and advocate Amit. All six were heading for their village on two scooters at the time of the incident.

A few students of Ideal Institute of Technology happened to be standing in the middle of the road. A scooter grazed past one of them. Soon, an argument ensued which turned into a brawl within minutes. One of the students was thoroughly thrashed by the village youth. One of the students went to the nearby hostel and called fellow students for help. Some 50 students reportedly converged at the site; they gave a thrashing to the village youth. OC


Two-yr-old found abandoned in temple, no claimants yet

Sonepat: Nearly a week has passed but no one has claimed the two-year-old girl who was found abandoned on October 28 on the temple premises of the local Aggarwal Dharamshala on Rohtak Road. It is now suspected that the girl might have been kidnapped and left in the temple. The Dharamshala management and the police have decided to send the photographs and other relevant information about the girl to the police stations in Haryana and the neighbouring states. The picture of the girl will be telecast on Doordarshan as well. The girl says that her name is Pummy, her father’s name is Pappu, mother’s name is Mamta and brother’s name is Mohit.

On the evening of October 28, when the priest was closing the temple’s door, he found the girl loitering on the premises. The girl was seen with some unidentified persons two hours earlier.

However, since no one claimed the girl, the police was informed and the girl was kept in the temple. After taking milk, the girl slept in the temple. When no one turned up the next day either, the management of the dharamshala decided to hand over the girl to one Mahabir Sharma who runs a shop outside the dharamshala. For last five days, the girl stays on the temple premises in the day and sleeps at Mahabir Sharma’s house in the night. OC


Sikh leadership testing the waters
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 3
The Sikh leadership in NCT of Delhi is yet to announce its stand for the December 1 Assembly elections. The delay is attributed to a section of the leadership wanting to test the waters before supporting either the INC, blamed for the 1984 riots, or the BJP which it had already distanced from.

In a bid to offset the allegations of their links with the INC, speakers at a Panthak (Sikh) Conference warned that Punjab’s Sikh leadership should not “interfere” with the community affairs in NCT of Delhi.

“We have our own exclusive existence and there is no room for Punjab leaders to impose their whims and fancies upon us,” Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) president Prehlad Singh Chandok, a close associate of then President Giani Zail Singh, told the delegates.

The conference, however, did offer a platform to the critics of Mr Parkash Singh Badal to try to weaken the Akali-BJP Sikh support base in NCT of Delhi, accusing the SAD president of encouraging RSS’ “interference” in the religious affairs of the community.

Out of 70 Assembly constituencies in NCT of Delhi, the Sikhs have a strong presence in 25 and are a decisive force in at least five seats.

In the 1998 elections, the Congress, statistics show, had been again able to make inroads into the Sikh voters who dissociated themselves from the party after 1984.


Farmers shying away from cultivating pulses
B. S. Malik

Sonepat, November 3
The farmers in Sonepat district have shown their reluctance for pulses cultivation, if the department records are taken into consideration.

Despite all efforts by the agriculture department extension services of the Haryana Agriculture University (HAU) Hissar, they continue to prefer the traditional crops of wheat, paddy and sugarcane, ignoring all incentives and researches on the cultivation of pulses.

According to information, the area under pulses cultivation has come down from 1200 hectare in 1997-98 to 1000 hectare during 2002-03.

The period between these years witnessed some higher targets fixed by the agriculture department, but on finding the attitude of the farmers passive, the department was forced to lower the targets.

Farmers have cited many reasons for their reluctance to go for pulses cultivation.

Keeping in view the rapid going down of the level of underground water due to excessive use in the paddy cultivation, the state government prepared a plan to motivate the farmers towards cropping of pulses, oil seeds, flowers and fruit and to achieve the goal the officers and scientists of the agriculture department and HAU organised training camps, krishi melas.

They also arranged for demonstration plots with free inputs and gave details of the adverse impacts of the traditional crops on the fertility of land and environment. But all these efforts have proved futile if the data-details of last years are compared.

In 1997-98, the department set the target of 2000 hectares for sowing the pulses, but the actual achievement was 1200 hectares. Similarly, the production of the crop was also 1000 tonnes against the target of 2000 tonnes. The department again made strenuous efforts during 1999-2000 and 2000-01 by setting targets of 3000 and 4000 hectares respectively, but the farmers’ sowing remained at 1000 hectares each year.

However, the department after realising its failure to motivate the farmers for diversification of cropping pattern, reverted to the target of 1000 hectares during last two years. The highest per hectare production of three tonnes was achieved during 2001-2002 against an average of hardly one ton during five other last years.

There are many reasons cited by the farmers for not preferring pulses and oil seeds.

One farmer Radhe Shyam Tyagi told the ‘NCR Tribune’ that for experiment, he cultivated pulses for three years, but following less demand in the market, he did not get the remunerative price of the produce.

The traders did not take interest in the purchase and offered less price. And he had no other alternative than to sell it at lower rates.

Another farmer who also opted for pulses for two years, stated that besides the marketing problems, the quality of soil and tubewell water was not good for getting higher production of the pulses.

Moreover, the pulses crops were prone to climatic damages and crop diseases.


Residents go through a nightmare in dream town
Ravi S. Singh
Tribune News Service

Sohna (Gurgaon), November 3
Claimed to be on the threshold of taking off on development works on account of its vicinity to Gurgaon, Sohna town reels from the lack of proper civic amenities.

The foremost in this regard is street-lighting in the township. More than half of about 25 street-lights at public places do not function, plunging the major portion of the town in darkness.

This has been continuing for the past many months.

The local municipality, responsible for the upkeep of the civic amenities, continues to turn a blind eye to the problems. What is startling is the fact that the civic body is headed by the votaries of the ruling INLD in the state. Significantly, Sohna assembly seat is represented by a Congress MLA.

While many allege that there may be a political angle to the civic body’s apathy towards the amenities in the town, there is a growing body of public opinion which feels that the local MLA was not playing a proactive role to ameliorate the situation.

The residents allege that with the prevailing poor lighting system in the town, the anti-social elements have a field day. In the past more than a year, heinous crimes like murders and lootings have taken place. Thefts and other forms of small crimes have been recurring frequently. The residents of the town along with the leaders of various social organisations, opposition parties and Vyappar Mandal have held demonstrations to press for adequate street-lighting, but of no avail. The business community, especially the shopkeepers and traders, appears to be most anxious on account of the increase in crime.

Garbage remains scattered at public places. The scavengers of the civic body remain conspicuously absent. The drainage system in a major portion of the town has also gone bust. The sewers remain choked for the most part of the year.

The colonies in the town appear to be equally hit hard by the ineptitude of the civic authorities. Name any sector and the residents have pages of miseries to narrate.

The academic institutes are also the among the neglected sector. The ITI here was once the most sought-after by the aspiring students. However, with the passage of time this wears a forlorn look.

The reason is that the courses offered in it have been dwindling. Besides, there are two primary government schools and equal number of senior secondary schools.

One of the primary schools has been functioning in what many say was a mosque once. The school is known by the name of “masjid school”.

It does not have the basic infrastructure, no proper place for the students to sit, and no ventilation worth its name.

What is irksome is the fact that it does not have proper lighting system or provision for fans.

Many people point out that on account of the cussed attitude of the authorities, the kids are virtually tutored to face the odds of life at the beginning of their career.


Nirankari Samagam from Nov 15
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 3
The 56th Annual Nirankari Samagam will be held here from November 15 to 17, 2003. Lakhs of devotees from all over the country are expected to participate. Delegates from outside India have already started arriving for the Samagam.

Spread over more than 350 acres of land, the Samagam complex will not only have a big pandal for Satsang Programmes, but provide tented residential accommodation to the devotees coming from far off places.

Ever since Baba Hardev Singh Ji Maharaj, head of the Sant Nirankari Mission, inaugurated the voluntary sewa at the venue of the Samagam, thousands of devotees of the Mission from Delhi and its surrounding areas have been working day and night to make the necessary preparations.

A large number of Sewa Dal volunteers, both from Delhi and outside, have also been working at the Samagam grounds.

Anticipating a large number of participants, a new ground across the Outer Ring Road is also being utilised this time.

A lot of work has already been done towards levelling the grounds, putting up shamianas and providing electricity, water supply and sewage facilities. The Samagam will be inaugurated by Baba Hardev Singh Ji Maharaj with his customary message and the daily Satsang programmes will also conclude with a discourse from Baba Ji.

The other highlights include a Sewa Dal rally on Sunday, November 16, featuring impressive exercises and a number of cultural items based on the philosophy of the Sant Nirankari Mission.

The concluding session will be marked by a multi-lingual poetic symposium in which more than 50 poets are expected to participate. An exhibition-‘Nirankari Pradarshini’, for the devotees will be organised during the Samagam.


Haryana Day theme song ‘Kanta laga...’
Our Correspondent

Jhajjar, November 3
It was supposed to be a traditional cultural programme wedded to the ethos of Haryana. Instead, the organisers of the show decided to play “Kanta Laga” and other such pop songs, contrary to the occasion of Haryana Day.

‘Kanta laga...’, ‘Kambakhat ishk...’, ‘Holia main ude re gulal...’ and ‘Aila aila main to mar gai re...’, were the main attractions of the programme, presented by the male and female dancers who generously exposed their skin.

A fusion of traditional Haryanvi song, a ‘re chhori bangar ke...’ was also presented but in a westernised style.

The audience started drifting out when a performer started a song of Hindi film Devadas, with their hearts broken as they had arrived there in the hope of viewing Haryanvi cultural items.

A Punjabi pop performer presented a Haryanavi song which did not go down well with the audience.

The administration had promised to organise a colourful cultural programme at the Open Air theatre on the eve of Haryana Day.

The residents of the town thronged the venue to watch the programme. It was a house full soon.

The cultural party had been called from Chandigarh which presented their shows based on the Punjabi pop and Hindi films songs.

However, not a single item of Haryana folks songs, Ragani, Haryanavi skits etc was presented and the audience had to request the organisers to show such an item.

But the organisers turned down their request, saying that they represented the entire nation and Punjab is our neighbouring state.


48 applications for arms licences pending for years
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, November 3
The district and police administration have decided to send as many as 48 applications for arms licences to the police stations for their verification.

According to a report, these applications have been pending for the past few years as the applicants have failed to pursue the cases. Many applicants alleged that they had given a huge amount to the middlemen for the licences but they were still waiting for them.

Some applicants also alleged that the middlemen were forcing them to give more money as the officials were demanding extra amount.

Pigs damaging crops

The Jungli Pigs are reportedly destroying the crops in the villages of Khadar tract along the Yamuna river for the past one month or so.

According to a report, the pigs who were hiding themselves in the sugarcane fields of UP have come out after the reaping of the sugarcane crop by the farmers and started entering the territory of the district after crossing the Yamuna river.

The affected villages are Dhaturi, Malikpur, Tajpur, Zainpur, Tikola, Mehndi Pur, Memarpur, Bakhtawarpur, Barauli and Basodi. Meanwhile, the farmers of these villages are erecting the barbed wire around their fields to save their crops from the pigs. 


A dream destination

Noida has embarked on an unprecedented development programme, attracting not only leading Indian industrial houses, but also leading multinational companies. It has already attracted Indian and foreign investment of Rs 50,000 crore and is home to the IT and software industry. Noida – a dream place for IT people as well as others — offers all the facilities people have always wanted, but not found elsewhere. It is the result of the toil of dedicated teamwork of planners, officials and engineers, which has given rich dividends. In 2002-03, Noida earned an income of Rs 926 crore, Rs 145 crore more than in the previous year.

Dr Om Prakash, a 1977 batch IAS officer, the former chief executive officer, steered Noida Authority to new heights during his tenure. His team was all focussed to make Noida the most coveted place not only in the country, but also even internationally for industrial development as well as for integrated planned development of residential commercial, industrial, recreational and public amenities with modern support systems.

“Our aim is to make Noida the best place for living and working. Implementation of Noida master plan up to 2021, covering an area of 20,316 hectares of land is being carried out in a holistic manner. Planned in phases, it is in synergy with developments on other fronts to maximise availability, with facilities when demanded,” says Dr Prakash.


What steps you are taking to make Noida a coveted place?

Our aim is to make Noida the best place for living and working. Implementation of Noida master plan up to 2021, covering an area of 20,316 hectares of land, is being carried out in holistic manner. Planned in phases, it is in synergy with developments on other fronts to maximise availability with facilities when demanded.

In 2002-03, Noida earned an income of Rs 926 crore, Rs 145 crore more than in the previous year.

Why is Noida developing so fast in comparison to other cities?

The New Okhla Industrial Development Authority (NOIDA) was set up in 1976, to establish industrial units in a planned and integrated way. Apart from industrial development, Noida is also engaged in planned development of residential, commercial, institutional and recreational public amenities with matching support systems. Noida, the much sought-after location for people with dreams and needing a place to make them realise, offers all the facilities they have always wanted, but were unable to find it elsewhere.

It is the dedicated teamwork, which has given the dividends that is why the pace of development is much faster than any other city in the adjoining area.

What are the main problems that you faced in the development of Noida?

The main problem being faced in our development plan is encroachment. The Authority attaches top priority to remove encroachment and unplanned development in the city. For removal of encroachment, regular and determined drives are undertaken to eliminate encroachment.

Keeping this in mind, schemes have also been floated to stop this illegal activity. For example, vegetables and fruit sellers, who were doing business on unauthorised land, were recently shifted to a place earmarked for the purpose.

What is the magnitude of the problem of slums and how do you plan to sort it out?

Slums of course pose a big problem to Noida Authority. Now, to remove jhuggis, a scheme of Shrimak Kunj, has been launched. Houses are being allotted to slum dwellers at affordable cost on instalment basis.

What steps are you taking to solve the drinking water and sewerage problems?

The rate of water supply in Noida per day is 225 litre per capita. There are 184 tubewells, six ranny wells, 33 over-head tanks and 23 underground reservoirs. The total supply capacity is 302 million litres a day and the water treatment is by online filtration and chlorination.

The water supply is adequate and is shortly to be supplemented with Ganga water, which is being brought to the area through a project launched few years ago. An ambitious plan is also underway to set up rainwater harvesting facilities in Noida as an alternate source through advanced and indigenous technology.

As far as sewage is concerned, it is working up to the mark and there is no major problem.

How are you ensuring further industrial development of Noida?

Blessed by most congenial atmosphere for industrial growth, Noida has attracted industrial giants and infotech companies from India and abroad, to establish a permanent base in its environs. With “laissez faire” as the guiding spirit, very attractive, industry-friendly packages are being offered to prospective entrepreneurs.

Noida’s single window clearance system eliminates red tape and bureaucratic hassles while maximising transparency in dealings. Problems are resolved promptly and sanctions and approvals given well in time. All assistance is also provided for securing permissions, licenses, sanctions and approvals from other government bodies and agencies in minimum time.

Is there an uneven and indifferent development in various sectors in Noida?

It is not true. In fact, the development of all the sectors is of the same standard. The development work in new sectors takes some time to become visible and every effort is being made to provide pollution-free environment and early establishment of public amenities and other essential services.

Sector-18, market could rightly be called a show window of Noida? But it too has its problems. How do you plan to solve problems faced by Sector-18 market?

Effective steps have been taken to solve different problems faced by Sector-18 commercial sector. One of the basic problems is that of parking of vehicles. For this, space has been allotted to provide underground parking for approximately 1,000 vehicles. The parking facilities are expected to be in operation by 2005.

Apart from this, planning is underway for providing more parking space to solve day to day problems in consultation with different government departments. For effective maintenance of Sector-18, a separate maintenance division has been created. For the future planning in Sector-18, due care has been taken to provide trouble-free environment for trade and commercial activities.

How do you visualise future of Noida viz-viz Delhi?

The future of Noida is very bright and to put it on global map, Noida is coming up in a big way to develop special development zones (SDZ) along the Greater Noida expressway.

These special schemes are: NR I City - spread over 450 acres and attracting investments up to $ 250 million in first five years, it will be a world class city with low-density residential development of international standards. IT City - UP was the second largest software exporter in India in 2000 (as per NASSCOM), Noida/Greater Noida are the largest contributors in UP in software. Spread over about 300 acres, we are expecting an investment of up to $ 250 million in first five years in the IT City. Medical City: Here Noida is offering world class super-speciality hospitals, diagnostic centres, a medical college and research centre, nursing college and residential facilities for doctors, nurses, attendants etc. It will go a long way to help India emerge as a favoured medicare-based global tourism destination.

It will be spread over 150 acres and we are expecting investments of up to US $ 250 million in the first five years in this Medical City. Biotech City – India’s currently $ 1.88 million biotech industry is expected to reach US $ 4.3 billion by 2010. The area around Delhi is already home to major pharma and biotech units.

Being close to Delhi, the project has tremendous scope for exploiting the biotech potential in the area by pooling UP’s bio-diversity resources and making companies globally competitive. Spread over about 185 acres, Biotech City is expecting investment of up to US $ 260 million in the first five years. Commercial hub and shopping mall - World class shopping experience with entertainment centre, multiplexes, amusement parks, drive-in restaurants, drive-in theatres, high quality offices, hyper market will have an area of 30 acres.

Noida Authority is a thriving and vibrating organisation with projects worth hundreds of crore of rupees. It has to serve lakhs of people, including Indian and foreign industrial giants. What apparatus, if any, has been put into place for curbing corruption and insuring transparency?

Yes, we have very important projects in hand like the three flyovers to ensure connectivity and smooth transportation with Delhi and other places.

Besides, a prestigious city centre is in the pipeline. To ensure redressal of public grievances and transparency in our working, Noida Authority has evolved a system of regular meetings with Udyog Sahayak Samiti, Federation and Residents Welfare Association, regular monthly meeting with citizens’ forums, comprising eminent senior citizens and with Noida Entrepreneurs Association. Settlement of problems through Lok Adalat is an important link in Noida Authority’s efforts towards redressal of grievances and ensuring transparency in its working.

Besides, complaints received through e-mails and suggestion boxes are promptly attended too. All officials go to field on Thursday to hear and redress the problems. CEO personally reviews complaints and conducts surprise visits to project sites.


Special Focus on Faridabad
Employees begin campaign to demand right to strike
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, November 3
The government employees associations in Haryana are busy collecting signatures in favour of their right to strike and their demand to halt the ongoing privatisation and commercialisation of government enterprises and educational institution.

The ‘Sarva Karamchari Sangh’, (SKS) Haryana, a leading employees organisation has already collected over 20,000 signatures in support of their demands. The district president of the SKS, Mr Subhash Lamba, said here today that about 15 lakh signatures would be collected in the state and would be presented to the Speaker of the Lok Sabha, along with a memorandum listing their demands.

He said the members of the organisation had been visiting various offices and individuals to seek their signatures and also collect “funds” to help the retrenched employees, who found themselves jobless due to the present policies of the state government.

He said that the various employee organisations across the country would be collecting at least five crore signatures in support of the memorandum to be submitted to the Lok Sabha Speaker, Mr Manohar Joshi.

He said at least one lakh signatures would be collected from the district alone.

He alleged that the policies of both the Union and state governments had been targeted against the workers, who were left with few options due to the ongoing privatisation policy of the government. He said while employment was being made on contract basis, the government had failed to check the “hefty” fee hikes in the educational sectors.

Instead of opening state run technical, medical and vocational institutions, the government had been promoting private bodies and individuals to open colleges and institutes, which charged fees “according to their wishes’, he said.


Simmering rift between students, roadways over bus halts
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, November 3
The students and the Haryana Roadways have often shared an “antagonistic” relationship. As a result, “clash” between the two are common, notwithstanding the fact that a more “accommodative” approach on their part will easily smoothen their rough edges.

In a recent incident near the Magpie Tourist Complex on the National Highway no 2, (Mathura Road), a group of agitated college students blocked the road for over an hour in protest against the injury to one of their fellow students when he fell down while alighting from a Haryana Roadways bus.

The students not only damaged some of the buses on the route but also sought an assurance that all the Haryana Roadways buses will halt at the bus stop here in future.

While the officials accepted the demand for the halt in order to clear the traffic on the national highway, the issue is likely to be forgotten as has happened in the past, said Vikas, a sceptical student of a local college.

He said the staff of the Haryana Roadways buses are reluctant to halt at bus stops close to colleges and other educational institutions as most of the students had bus passes.

As the Government College was located in Sector-16 A, few buses stopped here, he said. He pointed out that the Roadways authorities are well aware of this fact.

It is learnt that at least one “disruptive” incident takes place each month in the district after a dispute over halting procedures between the students and the staff of the Haryana Roadways. It is reported that the 25-km stretch on the main road between Delhi border and Ballabgarh has over a dozen stops, though few buses care to halt at these stops.

As a result of the “shortage of local buses”, the students often forcefully board the long route buses and force the drivers to halt these buses at the local stops near their colleges and institutions.

According to a local commuter, the drivers of the long route buses try to “avoid” students with passes for they find it “irritating” to halt at local stops near colleges and other institutions.

Jai Singh, a driver with the Roadways here said that many of the students are indisciplined and have no regard for rules and try to force them to halt the buses at places of their choice.

He claimed that most of the passengers are also “irked” by the indisciplined behaviour of the students and often object to the frequent stoppage of buses. He said the authorities should spare long route buses from halting at local bus stops. He demanded that policemen should be posted at points where there were chances of such incidents.

On the other hand, social activist Kailash Sharma said that the traffic on the main Mathura Road was quite chaotic and needs to be regulated. He said the proposal for having a separate service lane for plying of three-wheeler autorickshaws and two wheelers was still awaiting implementation.


Three held for gambling
Our Correspondents

Sonepat, November 3
The Civil Lines police have intensified campaign against the satta gamblers in different parts of the city. According to a report, a police party headed by Mr Howa Singh, District Inspector of Police, carried out surprise raids in the lottery bazaars in the areas of Railway Road and Sarang Cinema House and arrested three persons engaged in gambling after the recovery of Rs 1,475 from their possession. The persons were identified as Sham Lal of Baghpat (UP), Ashwani of Sudama Nagar, Sonepat and Mahesh Kumar of Shanti Nagar, Sonepat.

The news about the raids spread and some of the satta gamblers informed others on their mobile phones asking them to disappear. When the police carried out the raids in the areas of Sector 14, Minerva Cinema House, Atlas Road, Bus Adda, Tarana Cinema House, Old DC Road and Ashok Nagar (Kutche Quarters), the culprits had vanished. The police have registered the cases under the Gambling Act against three persons arrested during the raids.

Road safety month

Noida: A traffic and road safety month was formally inaugurated at Noida entrance, opposite police control room, in Sector-14 by Chairman and CEO of Noida and Greater Noida Brijesh Kumar. The main aim of the traffic month is to inculcate a sense of discipline and awareness among public about the road use and traffic rules. If everyone realised his responsibility, there would be smoother traffic flow on Noida roads.

Hundreds of schoolchildren carrying placards and banners with slogans and messages for better use of roads were flagged off by Mr Brijesh Kumar. The children marched down the main roads of the town in an orderly way. Special Committee for Management of traffic in busy and important places like Sector-18 market has been set up to make suggestions to the police and administration.

Seminar on journalism and its challenges

Rewari: Enlightened citizens and journalists of the town participated in a seminar titled “Present-day Journalism and its Challenges” organised under the auspices of “Ahirwal Andolan”, a voluntary organisation of South Haryana, here. Principal V.P. Yadav, Prof. V.D. Randev, Prof. Anirudh Yadav , founder president of Ahirwal Andolan, noted poets Vipin Suneja and Ramesh Siddhartha, Mr Pawan Kumar, editor of a local magazine ‘SSP Times’ , senior journalists Anil Rastogi and Satyavir Naharia and several others expressed their views on the occasion.

Almost all of them opined that the present-day journalism was beset with certain serious challenges which were proving detrimental to the local journalists in the free and fair discharge of their journalistic responsibilities.

Accept Chaugama demands: Hooda

Rohtak: Leader of Opposition in Haryana Assembly and state Congress Legislature Party leader Bhupinder Singh Hooda has urged Haryana Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala to accept the ‘genuine’ demands of the Chaugama and Ahlawat-27 Khaap panchayat to avoid confrontation with the social institution. Talking to newsmen after addressing the local traders, who organised a function to honour the former Haryana Pradesh Congress Committee (HPCC) president, Mr Hooda said that the Chief Minister should not stand on false prestige.

He should honour the resolution passed by the Ahlawat Khaap-27 panchayat, seeking an inquiry by the CBI into the mysterious disappearance of two youths-truck driver Naresh and cleaner Azad-of Garhi Sampla village. Mr Hooda said that the Chief Minister should take stern action against the police personnel including Rohtak SSP, responsible for the maltreatment to some women of the village.


NDMC drive to create dengue awareness
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 3
The NDMC’s health department in association with its education and welfare department took out a series of rallies to create awareness about dengue. To begin with, Director (education), NDMC flagged off a rally of schoolchildren from Navyug school, Lodhi Colony this morning.

Lt Col. S. K. Garg , MOH, NDMC addressing the children and the community people, said that they should know the symptoms of the dengue fever and take precautionary measures. This type of rally has a great impact on the public and make them conscious of their surroundings where mosquitoes breed.

Vigilance awareness week

NDMC Chairman Ramesh Narayanaswami today administered the pledge to the officers of the council to fight against the corruption as a mark of the beginning of vigilance awareness week at Palika Kendra. All heads of the departments took this pledge. Later, they administered the same pledge to their staff members.

Baba Apte birth centenary

Baba Saheb Apte birth centenary celebrations was organised yesterday at Burari under the auspices of Bharat Itihas Sankalan Yojna Samiti.

Dr Rajinder Singh Kushwaha, general secretary, Akhil Bhartiya Itihas Sankalan Yojna, gave a detailed account of the distortions in history and life of Baba Saheb Apte Ji.


The NDPL today announced loadshedding on Tuesday in Shalimar Bagh, Moti Nagar and Civil Lines due to revamping of substations in the districts. The timings of loadshedding will be from 10 am to 5 pm.

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