N C R   S T O R I E S


Rampant fuel adulteration in NCR towns
Tribune News Service

New Delhi November 15
If you are still recovering from the shock of realising the health hazards one faces, thanks to adulterated water and cola, here is more reason to worry, especially if you are a vehicle owner, more so in a satellite town.

According to a study, car and scooter engines have entered the high risk category owing to rampant adulteration in the fuel users pay for. This was the finding of a recent survey conducted by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) in Faridabad, Gurgaon and Meerut.

The report points out that even today, when there are extensive drives to ensure cleaner emissions, the ‘official’ failure rate in fuel samples due to adulteration in satellite towns is as high as 26 per cent.

Incidentally, vehicles with advanced engine technology that promise cleaner emissions are more vulnerable to this scourge. The CSE study was conducted following reports of a large number of new vehicles, including established brands like Hyundai and Maruti, reporting engine failures, even before the expiry of their warranty period.

At the initiative of the car companies, when the Research and Development Centre of the Indian Oil Corporation in Faridabad and Indian Institute of Petroleum, Dehra Dun, tested fuel samples from Faridabad, they found traces of dry cleaning solvents like chloropentane.

The tests revealed a high level of adulteration in fuels being sold in these areas. It was found that pollutants like waste oil, surplus or pilfered solvents from nearby industrial estates, even cheap imported kerosene, were mixed in transport fuels.

The CSE found that little has changed in two years despite the Supreme Court’s intervention in November 2001, when the court had directed the Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA) to conduct an independent investigation into the problem of fuel adulteration in Delhi. The CSE states that the government has failed to enforce measures to control and track the use of industrial fuels like naphtha and solvents. Users of scheduled solvents are required to file an ‘end-use certificate’. The onus is on the user to prove the legality of the product; the government does not verify users claims, nor does it monitor the use of these potential solvents.

The report states, “The government stubbornly refuses to adopt alternative test methods for detecting adulteration, such as fingerprinting of fuel samples. Worse, authorities are still clueless about the nature of the solvent mix of the largest ever seizure of 0.28 million litres in Delhi by the Food and Civil Supplies Department. Even the lab to which suspect samples are sent, test only transport fuels and not solvents and that too only against the BIS specifications”.

Another reason for the rampant adulteration is that oil companies are not accountable for the quality of fuels at the retail end. Accountability and penalty is breached across the fuel supply chain. When caught, it is the transporter or the retailer that is hauled up, not the oil company.


Faridabad Deputy Mayor’s post:
Much ado about nothing

Tribune News Service

Faridabad, November 15
With so many corporators vying for the vacant post of Deputy Mayor of the Municipal Corporation, Faridabad, one would have thought that the post carries with it numerous perks and privileges.

However, the truth is that the Senior Deputy Mayor and the Deputy Mayor get a monthly honorarium of Rs. 2,000 and Rs. 1,500 only. The administration does not provide either a furnished office to the deputy mayor or an official vehicle. As against this, the Mayor enjoys facilities like an office, an official residence (camp office), an official car, telephone, a gunman and a monthly honorarium of Rs. 3,000.

According to senior Deputy Mayor, Mr Shiv Charan Lal Sharma, he has to spend about Rs 4,000 to Rs 4,500 each month from his own pocket to meet his daily expenses. He claimed that the posts of senior Deputy Mayor and Deputy Mayor were only `ornamental’ and had been vested with no special authority.

The MCF does not provide any office or cabins to its elected members and they can be seen sitting in the offices of Senior Deputy Mayor, Deputy Mayor or other officials. It is learnt that the municipal corporations in Delhi, Mumbai and other large cities provide various facilities to its members.

These members get a paltry special allowance of Rs 100 for each meeting they attend. As against this, the Mayor in Delhi reportedly gets Rs. 9000 per month as salary-cum-allowance.

Despite this the majority of the elected members have been eyeing this post (Deputy Mayor) since it fell vacant,’’ pointed out an insider in the MCF.

The post fell vacant after the previous incumbent, Mrs Kanta Bathla, resigned last month due to differences with fellow corporators. The authorities have announced that the election to the post will be held on November 17.

The election has relegated to the background various issues concerning development and the members are only engaged in promoting their respective candidates. There was hardly any member exerting pressure on the authorities to expedite the pending developmental works and projects, the insider pointed out.

Some local INLD leaders gathered the courage to discuss the issue with the CM, but they too skirted the issue of development and the poor financial health of the civic body.


HC directs periodic verification by MCD
of all constructions
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 15
The Delhi High Court has directed the Delhi Municipal Commissioner to frame a policy within two months for periodic verification of all constructions in various parts of the national Capital.

Justice S K Kaul ordered the commissioner to look into the problem of unauthorised construction in the city and issue appropriate directions after framing a proper policy for periodic site inspections.

The corporation was also told to file a compliance report to the court within 10 weeks. The judge said he was constrained to issue the directions in view of the large number of petitions that come up before the court listing grievances about unauthorised constructions in different colonies in Delhi.

It is necessary for the corporation to put its house in order and ensure that officers on field duty and the Executive Engineer in-charge of areas conduct periodic field checks to verify the status of the properties under construction, he said.

The judge also pointed out that if no action is taken and it is found subsequently that the construction has taken place, departmental proceedings should be initiated against such officers for dereliction of duty.

Justice Kaul regretted that the MCD took action only when directions were issued to it after a case was brought to the notice of the court.

It was part of the functioning/duty of the corporation and its officers to oversee the construction being carried out in their area and to undertake periodic checks, so that the construction takes place in accordance with norms.

The court could not understand how such constructions could go on without it coming to the notice of the concerned Assistant/Executive Engineer.

Justice Kaul said if officers in the local area were to perform their duties and conduct periodic checks, there is no reason why an aggrieved person would be compelled to come to court.

The directions came while the court was dealing with a complaint of unauthorised construction in South Delhi’s posh Defence Colony.


Thousands stranded as trains are cancelled
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, November 15
Thousands of passengers, mostly daily commuters, were reportedly stranded at Sonepat and nearby railway stations today following the cancellation of as many as eight long distance trains on the DUK section of the Northern Railway.

The disruption was caused on account of maintenance of railway track at Shambhu Railway Station near Ambala.

According to a report, these trains have been diverted and will now run on an alternative route for two days, that is Saturday and Sunday. The Delhi-bound cancelled trains were: Shaheed Express, Sachkhand Express, Baroni Express and Malwa Express. These trains will run on the Dhuri-Jakhal-Rohtak railway line. The Ambala bound cancelled trains included Baroni Express, Amritsar Shatabadi, Jammu Super Fast and Shaheed Express.

The commuters were extremely upset over the failure of the Railways to give prior information to the passengers about the cancellation and diversion of the aforesaid trains. Many commuters alleged that they had to wait for other trains for hours and reached their destination behind schedule.

Other trains, both suburban and long-distance, were packed to capacity and most of the passengers failed to get seats in the coaches.

According to another report, traffic on the G T Road remained disrupted for hours on account of overturning of some vehicles between Panipat and Sonepat in the morning today. A large number of vehicles were lined up on both sides of the road, causing inconvenience to the public.

Traffic was, however, diverted from Panipat to Sonepat via Gohana town. The vehicles carrying newspapers were also held up in the jam and the readers failed to get their newspapers today.


BJP bid to smear Sheila with ‘tainted’ deals
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 15
In an indication of a bitter electoral battle that lies ahead for the Delhi throne, BJP chief ministerial candidate Madan Lal Khurana today accused Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit of corruption in the commissioning of the Sonia Vihar water treatment plant and awarding of advertisement contracts.

In both these cases the Chief Minister has been found guilty by the Lok Ayukta,’’ Mr Khurana told a press conference where Jagdish Anand, an expelled Congress MLA, joined the BJP after he left the Jan Sangh 20 years ago.

Mr Anand, who won the 1998 Assembly elections from Timarpur on the Congress ticket, will coordinate the BJP’s election campaign in Timarpur, Model Town and Kamla Nagar, Mr Khurana announced.

“I have decided not to contest the elections this time and will carry on my campaign against corruption as a mission,’’ said Mr Anand, who had been raising his voice against the Congress government, alleging major scams in the Delhi Jal Board headed by Ms Dikshit and in the awarding of advertising contracts.

The Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) today announced that it will not support any political party and will not allow use of its resources and platform for the December one Assembly elections.

The move came in the wake of some of the committee members joining the electoral fray as candidates and active supporters of the BJP or the Congress.

“We are not supporting either of the two parties, but will always stand beside good Sikh candidates, irrespective of their political affiliations. But one thing is very clear that we will not lend the committee platform to any political party in the election fray,’’ DSGMC General Secretary Harbhajan Singh Matharoo said today.

He also made it clear that despite different political affiliations among members in control of the DSGMC, there were no differences within the committee over running religious and administrative affairs.

In the 1998 Assembly elections, the entire committee, then controlled by the SAD, had supported the BJP as part of the alliance between the two parties.


Mewat water project awaiting Centre’s nod: CM
Tribune News Service

Punhana (Gurgaon), November 15
Haryana Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala reiterated his government’s commitment to providing ample drinking water to the Mewat area and said efforts were on to achieve the goal fast.

Addressing a gathering at a public function on the occasion of the Iftar party thrown by the ruling INLD here last evening, Mr Chautala said the state had already sent a proposal relating to the Rs 450 crore-Mewat drinking water project to the Centre for its approval. As per the project, a tubewell will be bored in Hasanpur bordering the Mewat area to bring in water from the Yamuna through a 35-km-long pipe to the Mewat areas.

According to him, in an effort to enhance the irrigation facilities for the people of Mewat the constructions works on Dbbalu, Umaara and Sadipur minors had been completed. Incidentally, Punhana is on the extreme end of Mewat area and is dominated by Meo Muslims. This was the fifth consecutive year when the INLD threw the Iftar party for the people of Mewat. This year, like the earlier experience, the ruling party converted the occasion into a rally. Mr Chautala praised the people of Mewat saying that they had a rich tradition of bravery and had contributed immensely during the freedom struggle.

Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah, who took part in the Iftar party, alleged Pakistan continued fomenting trouble in Kashmir through terrorism. It was lamentable that Pakistan was trying to give a cover to its covert acts against India in the name of Islam and Jehad, he added.


Fasting as a sign of holiness and spirituality

AN Islamic scholar from the West describes charity, prayer, fasting and pilgrimage as the protective shields of the faithful against things, which harm them. If charity is the shield, which protects wealth, then fasting must be regarded as a shield that protects health and well-being.

This is the month of Ramazan, the ninth month of the lunar year, when our Muslim brethren are required to observe month-long fast. This is a time when they concentrate more on their faith and less on mundane affairs. It is a time of worship and contemplation.

There are rigid rules for the observing this annual fast. There are strict restraints placed on their daily lives. They are not allowed to eat or drink during the daylight hours. Smoking and sexual relations are also forbidden. At the end of the day, the fast is broken with prayer and a meal called the iftar. In the evening following the iftar it is customary for Muslims to go out visiting family and friends. The fast is resumed the next morning.

According to the Holy Quran, one may eat and drink at any time during the night “until you can plainly distinguish a white thread from a black thread by the daylight: then keep the fast until night”.

A person is permitted to break the ordained fast when there is danger to his health. In this situation, the devout should make up his fast later at any other time of the year. Others exempted from the fast include children, pregnant women, and those on travel.

According to Abu Hurairah, the Prophet had ordained: “He who fasts during Ramazan with faith and seeks his reward from Allah will have his past sins forgiven; he who prays during the night in Ramazan with faith and seeks his reward from Allah will have his past sins forgiven…” (Bukhari and Muslim) But the good that is acquired through the fast can be destroyed by five things: lying, slander, denouncing someone behind his back, taking a false oath or greed or covetousness. These are considered offensive at all times, but are most offensive during the fast of Ramazan.

During Ramazan, it is common for Muslims to go to the Masjid (Mosque) and spend several hours praying and studying the Quran. In addition to the five daily prayers, during Ramazan, they recite a special prayer called the Taraweeh prayer (Night Prayer). The length of this prayer is usually 2-3 times as long as the daily prayers. Some Muslims spend the entire night in prayer.

On the evening of the 27th day of the month, they celebrate the Laylat-al-Qadr (the Night of Power). It is believed that on this night Muhammad first received the revelation of the Holy Quran.

This celebration of fast breaking by organising feasts is known is Id-al-Fitr (the Feast of Fast Breaking). On this occasion, gifts are exchanged. Friends and family gather to pray in congregation and for large meals. In some cities, fairs are held to celebrate the end of the fast.

Muhammad Raheem Bawa Muhaiyaddeen, an Islamic Sufi from Sri Lanka, quoting the Quran explains the fast in these terms: “Whatever wealth you have does not belong to you, it belongs to Allah. Therefore give charity to those who are in need, feed the hungry, take care of those with difficulties, share the food and nourishment with others.” This duty of true charity is intended to make the practitioner of faith value the lives of others as their own and then seek to comfort and care for them as they would for themselves. Allah ordained the duty of fasting so that they might come to a realisation of the suffering of others. Allah told them to undertake a compulsory fast of thirty days in succession and an optional fast of ten more days.

There are those who point out that God is not pleased by our self-inflicted torture or suffering. Ultimately, it is the motive that is important. There are those who would like to fast for health reasons. Does fasting make you holier or make you more desirous of pleasing God? Or is it undertaken merely as a ritual?

The following verse from Isaiah (58:3-9) is a rebuke for those who think that they can please God by observing fasts and rituals while living in disobedience, ignoring His more fundamental commandments: “Why have we fasted?’ they say, ‘and you have not seen it?’ Why have we humbled ourselves, and you have not noticed?’

“Yet on the day of your fasting, you do as you please and exploit all your workers. Your fasting ends in quarrelling and strife, and in striking each other with wicked fists. You can not fast as you do today and expect your voice to be heard on high.”

If such hypocrisy is not acceptable to God, what is the kind of fasting that he is pleased with? “Is not this kind of fasting I have chosen: To loose the chain of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—when you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to turn away from you own flesh and blood?’’

When a person lives in such righteousness and compassion, then will the Lord hear his prayers and his light will shine.

M. P. K. Kutty


A lifestyle for reducing stress and
increasing productivity

Tribune News Service

Gurgaon, November 15
The DLF group, the promoter of the posh DLF City, gave a new impetus to the already burgeoning recreational and entertainment facilities in the city with the launch of “DLF City Club”. Consisting of a recreational complex and a clubhouse sprawling over four and half acres of land, the “DLF City Club” is located in Phase-1V.

The functionaries of ‘DLF Recreational Foundation’, said that the DLF has pioneered the “walk-to-work” concept, which saves transportation cost, reduces executives stress and increases productivity. With more and more corporate moving their business to DLF, many families have also opted to migrate away from the congested and cramped lifestyle to the open and green evirons of DLF, they added.

The club has the potential to add a dash of variety to the expanding social life of the residents, claimed a resident of DLF city. In fact, the ‘City Club’ appears to be a conceptual and infrastructural advancement on the earlier club, located adjacent to Bristol Hotel.

The recreational complex consists of two squash courts with wooden flooring and glass panels, an ultra modern gymnasium and aerobic center, a swimming pool, two tennis courts, a basketball hoop and table tennis.

Equipped with treadmills and weight training facilities, the gym provides, aerobic and yoga classes, held thrice a week. Additionally, sauna, steam and masseur will be available to the members. A special feature of the club is the 35-metre long swimming pool, with four feet depth, for a refreshing swim. A toddler pool has been provided with coaching facilities for children below six years. A cafe with 35 seats will be made available near the swimming pool for refreshments. All these facilities are laid adjacent to a lush oval shaped green lawn, spread over an acre alongside a bar-be-que counter.

The three-storied ‘Club House’ is a salient feature of the ‘City Club’. It houses conference rooms, spacious rooms with exclusive swimming facilities, restaurants, banquet hall, children room, cyber library, ultra modern bar, billiard and card rooms to the members.

The ground floor has a 98-cover multi-cuisine restaurant, which provides Indian, Chinese and Continental cuisine, a banquet hall for 150 persons, a large five-star lobby, a children’s room and a cyber library with Apple Mac PCs and a high speed connection for access to national and international media, magazines and books.

The first floor has a 110-seater ultra-modern bar with wooden flooring, 21 feet long bar counter, a billiard room with two billiard boards for snooker and billiard, a separate card room for 50-60 card players and a separate bridge room that can accommodate 20-30 people. It has conference room with a LCD projector and latest equipment.

Chhotu Ram’s birth anniversary

The ‘Akhil Bharatiya Sarvakhap Panchayat’ will for the first time celebrate the birth anniversary of Deen Bandhu Sir Chhotu Ram, a legendary figure among the farming community of North India on November 24. The celebration will take place here. According to the president of the Jharsa Sarvakhap-360, Mr Deva Singh, the celebration will coincide with a full house meeting of the ‘Akhil Bharatiya Sarvakhap Panchayat’ here to ratify the decision of Jharsa-360 with regard to the ‘Deshori Mahayagya’.


Scholars express concern over neglect of
village studies

Our Correspondent

Rohtak, November 15
Inaugurating the seventh North-West India Sociological Associations Conference on “Village transition in North-West India”, Prof K. L. Sharma, Vice-Chancellor, Rajasthan University, Jaipur, called for studies on the extensions and networks of villages, especially the country-town nexus.

Fresh studies on villages vis-a-vis the paradigm shift visible was the need of the hour, he said. Prof Sharma said that new differentiated structures like changing equations of empowerment, emerging middle class, urbanisation of village community, Panchayati Raj institutions, developmental processes, caste and employment etc need to be studied to understand village transition phenomenon.

Delivering the key-note address, Prof S. L. Sharma (Retd) of Sociology Department, Punjab University, Chandigarh and Director, Institute of Correctional Administration, Chandigarh, said that we cannot understand India without understanding Indian villages. He said that neglect of village studies was a matter of serious concern.

He said that villages in North-West India were showing certain trends of change. Prof S. L. Sharma said that village was changing from socio-cultural entity to a political-economic structure, moving from pre-capitalistic mode to capitalistic mode of production. And from a state of concentrated dominance to a state of dispersed dominance. He observed that new emancipatory impulses were visible in villages. Further, new forces of change like globalisation and communication revolution vis-a-vis villages were also visible. He lamented that certain distortions like female foeticide, substance abuse, growing indebtedness, suicide etc., were seen in context of village transition.

Presiding over the conference, Prof K. C. Kayastha of Punjab University, Chandigarh, underlined the importance of village studies. He called for documenting life in villages for studies and research as also inter-disciplinary studies to understand village transition.

Earlier Prof K. S. Sangwan, Head of Sociology Department, Maharshi Dayanand University, introduced the theme of the conference. He said that majority of Indian population lived in villages as such this conference was an important step to understand the nature of changes in villages.

Eminent sociologists and research scholars are taking part in the conference. Sub-themes like village as community, social tensions, changing status of rural women, global and local conditions of villages etc., will be deliberated upon in the two-day conference.


Recruitment camps held in memory
of ‘Rezangla’ heroes
Our Correspondent

Rewari, November 15
To commemorate the valour of ‘Rezangla’ heroes, who made the supreme sacrifices while fighting against the Chinese in 1962, a recruitment camp for Rewari, Mahendergarh and Bhiwani districts was been held under the joint auspices of the headquarters recruiting zone, Ambala cantonment, and the branch recruiting office (BRO) Charkhi Dadri at Rao Tula Ram Stadium here.

The camp, which commenced here on November 12, would conclude on November 18. Furnishing details at a press conference here today, Brig. R. D. Sharma, (VSM), Deputy Director General of Zonal Recruiting Office, Ambala cantt, said that about 350 youths from areas falling under the two BRO’s of Charkhi Dadri and Rohtak participated in the recruitment camp held for the post of soldier technical here on November 12. Besides, more than 10,000 youths from Mahendergarh and Bhiwani districts turned up on November 13, 14 and 15 for the recruitment for the 150-odd posts of soldier (general duty).

Brig. R.D. Sharma asserted that utmost attention was being paid to transparency in the recruitment system. He assured that the recruitment process was transparent and there was no scope for middlemen as the selection process included physical fitness test, medical test and written test. He informed that the merit list of selected recruits was expected to be out by December 15, following which they would be dispatched for training in January 2004. He had also a word of praise for the district administration, which was providing all necessary co-operation for the successful conduct of the recruitment process.

Assistance to ex-servicemen

The Deputy Commissioner–cum-chairman of the District Soldiers Board (DSB), Mrs Neerja Skekhar, stated that the DSB was committed to look after the needs and well being of ex-servicemen and their other dependents. She informed that as many as 906 ex-servicemen above the age of 60, who were not in receipt of any kind of pensionary benefits, were being provided pension by the DSB in the past six months. Similarly, 8 blind ex-servicemen were also being provided financial assistance. Besides, financial assistance totaling Rs 50,400 was also provided to 38 destitute children of ex-servicemen. The DSB had also issued identity cards to 469 ex-servicemen and widows of ex-servicemen during the past six months.

Refresher courses held

As many as 140 employees from the office of the Deputy Commissioner, District Revenue Department and other allied offices attended a refresher course in Urdu, Arabic and Persian, which was organised here from April to September 2003.

From among them, 35 of them also passed the test held after the conclusion of the refresher course. At a function held in the conference hall of the district secretariat here on Thursday the successful candidates were distributed certificates by Mr. L.S.M. Salins, Commissioner of Gurgaon division.

He said the various departments would now be able to discharge their duties more efficiently as old records of the Revenue Department were couched in Urdu, Persian and Arabic. He also informed that a second refresher course would be organised here from December 2003 to February 2004 for the benefit of the remaining employees.


Ex-pradhan alleges land grab worth crores
Our Correspondent

Noida (Dadri), November 15
The ex-pradhan of Patbari village, Uddal Singh Yadav, has alleged land mafia have grabbed land worth crores in the village.

He said he had complained about it to various authorities but instead of getting the land freed from the mafia he was being threatened that action could be taken against him.

Yadav, also the president of Lohia Vahani of the Samajvadi Party, has alleged the land mafia was being given protection by certain officers of the Jal Department.

He said he may shortly personally meet Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav with all documentary proof if no action was taken against the land mafia.

He said khasra no 507 in the village was registered for a school which had been illegally occupied by Mann Singh, son of Tejpal Singh. Similarly, khasra no 703, registered for village Taluk, had been occupied by some other persons.

Even khasra nos 11O7, 1143, 1146, 719 and 720 were under illegal occupation of the land mafia, Yadav alleged. Yadav has alleged the land mafia had started construction of buildings on land worth crores in connivance with some officials of the Revenue Department.

A complaint about it was lodged with Deputy DM O.P Arya on October 29, 2003. He had ordered an inquiry into it which Patwari Ram Kumar was to conduct. Patwari Ram Kumar had filed his report about illegal occupation by land mafia but no action had been taken so far.

Mr Arya maintains the inquiry report has not yet been submitted to him. Yadav said even in Jalpura village some shops were razed to the ground as they were illegal but later they were built on bigger piece of land.


Youth steers bus to safety as driver collapses in seat
Our Correspondent

Jhajjar, November 15
The alertness and presence of mind of a youth saved the lives of about 50 passengers travelling in a Haryana Roadways bus of Jhajjar depot. A youth took over the steering of the bus, which was plying on the national highway at a speed of 80 km per hour just as the driver lost consciousness and the vehicle veered out of control. The youth, identified as Dharambir of Samri village in Sonepat district, happened to be sitting on the seat behind the driver. A momentary hesitation on his part might have resulted in a major mishap. The incident happened in a jiffy and by the time the passengers realised what had happened the youth had brought the bus to a halt. The passenger, who had a miraculous escape, had no words to thank the youth and hugged him for saving their lives. The freak incident occurred on National Highway no 1, between Madhuban and Panipat. The Jhajjar-bound bus (No-HR 46-822) was coming from Chandigarh via Delhi. The roadways driver, Balwant, was driving the bus in absence of Samunder Singh, who is a regular driver on the bus.


Kids have a splash at carnival
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 15
A two-day carnival was organised by the 32nd Milestone for kids. Titled ‘Splash’, the specially designed event was to celebrate Children’s Day.

The event included a graffiti wall painting competition, origami, paper-folding contest, T-shirt painting contest and a pottery contest for children under 15.

There were also fun-filled activities for the little ones, including speed eating contest, most colourful kid contest and a contest titled Sinhaasan Bateesi where kids who had anything to do with number 32, either as their house number or roll number were awarded prizes.

For thrill seekers, there was para balloon ride. The other activities included staring into the crystal ball, magic and puppet shows.


Account-free BSNL Net service in Bhiwani
Our Correspondents

Bhiwani, November 15
The Bharatiya Sanchar Nigam Ltd has introduced account-free Internet service in Bhiwani. Earlier, it was started in Rohtak. Now, persons desirous of getting Internet connection can register themselves through their own telephone number by dialing 172222. This has given relief to subscribers who had to wait to open or renew their accounts with BSNL.

“Now I can open my own account and it is so easy working with computer now”, commented Aman Khanna of Vijay Nagar Colony. A Net user who used to be busy at cyber cafes, Vikas Sharma, said that though the new service was a bit costly “but it gave me relief by registering myself at my own telephone number”.

Earlier, by registering as Net users subscribers had to pay Rs 5 per hour. Now, they will have to pay Rs 6 for one hour.

Ahulana ‘lambardar’ killed

Sonepat: Mr Ranvir Malik (36), a ‘lambardar’ of Ahulana village was knocked down and killed by an unknown vehicle on the Gohana-Meham Road about 45 km from here Thursday night.

According to a report, the victim was returning home on a motor cycle which was hit by an unknown vehicle. The police have registered the case and launched a hunt for the driver of the vehicle involved in the accident.

According to another report, at least four persons sustained injuries when a jeep carrying them dashed against a tree between Mundlana and Gohana about 40 km from here on Thursday. The injured were identified as Lavesh Kumar, Mehar Singh, Sunil Kumar and the jeep driver Balraj. All the injured persons were immediately hospitalised and stated to be out of danger.

The jeep driver made an attempt to save a three-wheeler came in front of the jeep and this led to the accident.

Tyre factory gutted

Jhajjar: A tyre factory was reduced to ashes in the modern industrial estate in Bahadurgarh due to fire caused by overhead high-tension wires.

According to information, the factory, Sethi Tyres, manufacturing rubber tyres was constructed just two months ago. The owner of the factory, Mr Devraj Sharma, a Delhi-based businessman, said the factory was built at a cost of about Rs 1 crore recently. He said the entire factory, including machines, raw material, ready material, ACs, TV set etc were gutted in the fire which broke out on Thursday night.

Fire engines were called in from Rohtak, Sonepat, Delhi, Faridabad and Gurgaon which brought the fire under control. Sources said the overhead high-tension wire snapped at night and fell on the rubber material stocked in the factory.


Two factories making spurious desi ghee unearthed in residential area
Our Correspondent

Ghaziabad, November 15
You name any illegal activity. Ghaziabad can boast of it. The Kavi Nagar police unearthed two factories manufacturing fake desi ghee last evening in Chiranjiv Vihar Colony.

Two persons were taken into custody and ghee worth lakhs along with two Maruti cars were seized by the police.

The readymade ghee was sold in the Meerut area. The manufacturers would use refined oil in manufacturing desi ghee, the police said. Empty containers of popular brands were also seized.

The SO, Kavi Nagar police station, Mr Sher Bahadur Singh, said one Mukesh Kumar, engaged in this illegal activity, was nabbed last evening.

He used to make fake desi ghee in house no166 in Sector-I of Chiranjiv Vihar. During interrogation he said the finished product was sold in the Meerut area.

When he was interrogated intensely, Mukesh Kumar disclosed duplicate desi ghee was being manufactured in another neighbouring house.

On the basis of this information, the police had raided house no 49 in Chiranjiv Vihar and nabbed two workers manufacturing duplicate desi ghee. They identified themselves as Manoj and Umesh Garg. They were also using refined and dalda oils in manufacturing duplicate pure ghee, SO Sher Bahadur Singh said. The police have seized two Maruti cars also from the premises which were used in marketing of fake goods.

The police also seized 96 tins of 1 kg and 40 kg of unpacked ghee from the premises along with one tin of 18 kg vanaspati and one tin of refined oil 18 kg were also seized. The goods seized are worth Rs 1 lakh.

The neighbours were shocked to learn that spurious desi ghee was being manufactured in such a huge quantity in their neighbourhood. 


Rs 60-lakh uniform racket: Three MCD employees held
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 15
With the arrest of three employees of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), the Economic Offences Wing has claimed to have unearthed a uniform racket.

The three were arrested on charges of cheating the corporation of Rs 60 lakh by way of impersonation and using forged documents. The accused, Ram Kishan Vaid (43), an Assistant Sanitary Inspector, Hari Kishan (35), a safai karamchari and peon in MCD’s Central Zone, and Rajinder Pal (43), an UDC in the Accounts Department, had entered into a criminal conspiracy and obtained the uniforms from the MCD’s Central Clothing Store, Kashmiri Gate, by fraudulent means in nine indents and using four fake slips.

The accused also sold the uniforms, socks and shoes obtained from the central store in the open market at a much cheaper price. Based on a complaint from Mr P. R. Sethi, Additional Deputy Commissioner, MCD, alleging misappropriation of uniform articles worth Rs 60 lakh, the sleuths found the accused guilty of the offence. The main accused of the scam was Hari Kishan.

During February 2 – July 3, R K Vaid had impersonated nine times as one Som Dutt Sharma, Store Keeper, Central Zone and obtained uniforms.

When the MCD made it mandatory to attach the budget slips along with the demand, the accused involved the UDC in Accounts Department Rajinder Pal, who charged Rs 10,000 for every slip. Further investigations were on to find out others’ involvement in the scam, said the sleuths. In another case, the sleuths have arrested two persons Som Dutt Sharma (40), resident of Ghaziabad, and Anil Kumar Verma (34), resident of Krishna Nagar, under the New Trademark Act, 1999.

Based on secret information that some people were involved in the making of fake VCD player under the Samsung banner, the sleuths raided the premises in Krishna Nagar and seized a huge quantity of fake material.


Gang of six robs at leisure after locking in inmates
Our Correspondent

Noida, November 15
Robbers barged inside two houses in Radhey Shyam Colony, Murad Nagar, and decamped with valuables worth lakhs.

Incidents of looting were also reported from Garh Mukteshwar and Modi Nagar. More than six robbers scaled the wall with the help of a ladder and barged into the house of Sanjeev Chaudhry and decamped with jewellery, saris, tape recorder and Rs 28,000 in cash. Next the robbers barged into the house of Shri Ram Chaudhary, a retired official from the ordnance factory.

Here they robbed eight gold bangles, 12 rings, ear-rings, anklets and Rs 50,000 in cash. The six robbers had locked all inmates into one room and looted the house at leisure. In another incident under the Garh police station area, Hyderpur village, Anand, son of Leela Jetav, had been murdered last year. The police had arrested three accused named in the case and sent them to jail.

On coming out on bail, these accused are threatening the family of the deceased. They caught hold of Maya Ram, a nephew of the deceased, and threatened him in the fields, saying that some innocent persons had been implicated in the case.

They want the victim’s family to withdraw the case from the court.


NRI held for duping businessman of Rs 67 cr
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 15
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has arrested an NRI, Antony Joe Kingslay Fernandez, for cheating a Delhi-based businessman and his two sons who are British citizens of more than Rs 67 crore.

The accused Fernandez promised the businessman Anand Kumar better incentives in lieu of bank deposits.

In the first installment Fernandez managed to get Rs 12.5 crore transferred to the State Bank of India, Chennai branch, from Anand’s son Mukesh Kumar.

He also gave fake FDs for the same. Using the same modus operandi he again got the transfer done for Rs 25 crore and siphoned off the money. TNS


Father kills daughter, files false FIR
against boy’s family

Meerut: Death penalty for lovelorn, especially when the match does not enjoy social sanction, is the norm in the western UP. In another such glaring instance, a father has admitted to killing his daughter by crushing her head with a brick and then strangulating her, the day after the murder of the boy who was involved with her. He even tried to dispose of the body in a jute bag in a sugarcane field.

Then, he had the audacity to lodge an FIR against the brother and father of the boyfriend, alleging that they had kidnapped his daughter.

The incident occurred on the night of November one in Kina Nagar village under Bhawanpur police station. OC


BEPL takes over Greaves unit
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 15
Bhansali Engineering Polymers Limited (BEPL), currently having ABS manufacturing capacity of 30,000 TPA, based on Sumitomo technology, has taken over the ABS Resins manufacturing facility of Greaves Limited, situated at Abu Road, Rajasthan, on licence basis with an irrevocable right to acquire it for Rs 12.45 crore.

Earlier, BEPL had acquired the Baroda based ABS Plant from Polychem Ltd., in 1999. With this take over, BEPL is poised to expand its capacity from 30,000 TPA to 1,20,000 TPA by March 2005, which is a hike of 400 per cent.

This will be achieved at substantially low costs by consolidating the manufacturing facilities and upgrading process technologies and synergizing the operations of plants at Abu Road Baroda and Satnoor, a release said.

The total cost of the expansion project, including the acquisition of the Greaves unit, will be less than Rs 75 crore. The project is proposed to be financed mainly by issue of further equities.

BEPL, with its significantly lower capital cost, world class production capacity and process re-engineering is confident of making its presence felt in the highly competitive international markets. In India, the consumption of ABS is growing at the rate of 15 per cent per annum.

The replacement of metal by engineering plastics in components of automobiles and growth of other user segments like consumer durables, office machines, telecommunication equipment etc., indicates a quantum jump in the demand for ABS polymer in India.

BEPL has been exporting ABS to the USA and UK markets, which are highly quality conscious. These exports have helped build credibility of BEPL and confidence in its products and will further accelerate the BEPL’s forays into the world markets.


Delhi’s diversity on display at pavilion
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 15
The Delhi pavilion at the India International Trade Fair promises the public a glimpse of NCT of Delhi’s diversity. The entrance depicts the Baha’i Temple, the lotus-shaped architectural marvel that daily draws thousands of people of all faiths, symbolising the secular values of the country.

The modern visible symbols of NCT of Delhi– the flashy Metro, the world’s largest fleet of public transport buses plying on CNG and a string of criss-crossing flyovers–are also depicted. “The visitors will see how a city firmly rooted in history, whose skyline is dotted with ancient monuments and edifices, has kept pace with time and modernity, and richly deserves through timelessness the epithet of a ‘Forever contemporary city”, Managing Director of Delhi State Industrial Development Corporation Jalaj Shrivastva said.

Jawahar Gulab Vatika

Even as the “demolition of the Jawahar Gulab Vatika”, was opposed by the members of the Delhi University’s Teachers Association, students’ union and karamchari’s union and the issue threatens to snowball into a major controversy, the University authorities claimed that they are “only restoring the vatika”

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