N C R   S T O R I E S


Even as couch potatoes go into sulk, for some
it is godsend
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 18
While it is a virtual depression in some South Delhi houses, what with the lady missing her favourite soap and the youngsters their quota of Cartoon Network, it could well prove to be a divine intervention for the man who would rather shun the boob tube.

The CAS has accomplished what our odd man out could not. That is, put a stop (even if intermittent) to the saga of daily soaps (sops, if you please). And while the confusion over the Set Top Boxes (STBs) continues… there is a battle royal brewing in some houses.

With the really bold having announced their intention, of not buying the STB, the family has gone into a sulk. And the RWAs, too, have unwittingly become a party to the brewing trouble. Having cautioned residents against rushing in to buy the STBs, they could well be the catalysts in the big fight.

“The confusion over CAS and the STBs has been quite a relief. There is less noise and we are now talking to each other, even if it is lamentations over the missing ‘K’ serials. The Cartoon Network is out of my house for the time being, so is the deafening noise”, announced a South Delhi resident Anil Kumar who is secretly rejoicing over the CAS fiasco and the RWAs announcement to refrain from buying STBs.

And Kumar is not alone, parents whose children are set to take the board exams in March are equally jubilant. “I am glad this has happened. We can now sit back and watch the children study without them accusing us of being tyrannical. Without being the villains of the piece, our purpose has been solved”, offered Shiv Raina.

Though the savvy cable TV operators have tried to please the lady and the brat pack with temporary relief, they can watch their favourite channels till the 1st of January …alarmed at the fleecing, the RWA’s have decided to wait and watch, which again for some is good news.

And the halt on the buying of the STBs also means saving the precious moolah. It is being pointed out that the STBs are based on outdated technology, which is being foisted on the consumers by those wishing to make a quick buck.

The Consumer Co-ordination Council has moved a PIL in the Delhi High Court on the issue. The petition claims that CAS is a ploy of the broadcasters, wanting to make a fast buck by importing STBs from abroad, where they are considered obsolete technology.


Assembly/Day one
Sheila files nomination for Maken
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 18
Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit on Thursday filed the nomination in favour of Ajay Maken for the post of Speaker of Delhi Legislative Assembly. The four-day session of the Assembly began today.

Maken is expected to be elected unanimously as the Congress has 47 seats in the 70-member House as against 19 of the BJP. The BJP has nominated SP Ratawal for the Speaker’s post.

The Congress has announced the name of Ms Krishna Tirath for the post of Deputy Speaker. No announcement has yet been made about the chairman of Public Accounts Committee (PAC).

The election of the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker will take place on Friday. The Lieutenant Governor’s address would be on December 22 and the motion of thanks on his address on December 23.

Besides Congress (47) and BJP (19), one seat each has been bagged by the Janata Dal (Secular), the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and an Independent candidate. Maken’s election to the post of Speaker is certain given the two-third majority the Congress enjoys in the House. Ditto for the party’s nominee for the post of Deputy Speaker.

The BJP nevertheless has asked the chief minister to allow the BJP to nominate one of its members as Deputy Speaker and another as chairman of the PAC.

Jagdish Mukhi filed the nomination in favour of SP Ratawal for the post of Speaker. “We have been constrained to field our candidate because the chief minister did not consult us on the issue”, Mukhi said. The BJP, he said, consulted the lone MLA of Janata Dal (Secular) Shoaib Iqbal before deciding their candidate for the post of Speaker of the 70-member House. Mukhi said the BJP was withholding its candidate for the post of Deputy Speaker as the Congress had not filed a formal nomination for the post.


The newly elected legislators of Delhi Legislative Assembly on Thursday took their oaths in as many as six languages, in keeping with the spirit of Delhi that is a veritable mini India. The first day of the Assembly session saw the MLAs taking oaths in Hindi, English, Bhojpuri, Urdu, Punjabi and Sanskrit. Pro-tem Speaker Prem Singh administered the oaths.

Prem Singh, being the senior most member of the Assembly, was appointed Pro-tem Speaker in the morning. He was administered the oath as MLA by Lieutenant Governor Vijai Kapoor.

Barring Ram Babu Sharma and Subhash Chopra (and with the exception of Madan lal Khurana), all 66 legislators, including Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, took oath as members. Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and Finance Minister AK Walia took the oath in English. Health Minister Yoganand Shastri and Harsh vardhan (BJP) preferred Sanskrit.

Arvinder Singh Lovely, the lone Sikh minister in the Sheila Dikshit Ministry, and Harcharan Singh Balli of the BJP took the oath in Punjabi, which enjoys the status of second official language.

Tajdar Babbar, Mateen Ahmed (both Congress) and the lone JD (S) MLA Shoaib Iqbal took their oaths in Urdu. Mahabal Mishra of Congress took the oath in Bhojpuri.

BJP MLAs to meet

The 19 legislators of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will meet on Friday to elect their leader in the Delhi Legislative Assembly. Jagdish Mukhi was Leader of Opposition in the last Assembly.

The meeting has been called at noon in the Old Secretariat. The BJP has 19 members in the 70-member House. Madan Lal Khurana, who won the Moti Nagar seat, resigned yesterday.Back


Sheila may lord over Capital in its new avatar
Meets Advani, pleads Delhi’s case
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 18
Sheila Dikshit could become the first chief minister of “National Capital State of Delhi” after Parliament approves the draft Delhi State Bill 2003. She could also be the first to enjoy wider powers.

The matter came up for discussion during her meeting with Deputy Prime Minister LK Advani on Thursday. She had met with Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee yesterday.

The chief minister’s office described the 20-minute meeting with Mr Advani as a courtesy call, after Dikshit won an unprecedented second term in office in the recent Assembly election.

A Government of NCT of Delhi spokesperson said the chief minister discussed the matter of statehood and sought the Centre’s co-operation in developing the Capital.

Dikshit, while favouring preservation of Delhi’s character as the nation’s Capital, emphasised that the government should have more powers to make it truly representative.

Also discussed was law and order in the Capital. The Union Ministry of Home Affairs, which is a stakeholder in the administering of Delhi, controls the Delhi Police.

The draft Delhi State Bill 2003 was introduced in Lok Sabha during the monsoon session of Parliament. The Bill seeks to devolve more powers to Delhi by making it the 29th State of the Union. The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs has cleared the Bill with certain suggestions, including renaming the National Capital Territory of Delhi as National Capital State of Delhi.

The committee has asked the Union Government spell out the purpose of giving overriding powers to the President of India to issue directions to the State of Delhi.

In its report, the 44-member committee headed by Pranab Mukherjee of the Congress has sought that necessary safeguards be incorporated in the Bill to prevent its misuse for political ends.

The Article 371-J sub-clause (3) seeks to confer executive powers on the President to give directions to the State of Delhi for governance and proper development.

The committee was of the view that the said powers were “omnibus, sweeping and overriding in nature” and that the ambiguity ought to be removed at the outset.

It was apprehended that such overriding and sweeping powers may be used by the Union Government as a ploy to destabilise the elected government of Delhi.

“It was felt that such powers of the President, which shall be binding on the Government of State of Delhi, would impinge on the concept of Statehood proposed to be conferred on Delhi,” the report said.

It was felt that expressions like ‘good governance’ and ‘proper development’ used in the said clause were “not only ambiguous but also variable concepts”.

The committee also recommended that Delhi’s “distinct identity as the national Capital should be preserved” while granting Statehood to it, keeping in view its “unique feature”.

It favoured preservation of Delhi’s “distinct” identity as Capital of India as it studied the administrative set-ups prevailing in federal countries like the US and Australia.

The committee felt that renaming Delhi as National Capital State of Delhi would “reinforce the fact that Delhi is first and foremost the ‘capital of India’ and then a State”.


Police encounter made to look like mishap?
Probe ordered
Parmindar Singh

Noida, December 18
Four occupants of a Maruti car died in suspicious circumstances on December 12.

According to knowledgeable source, their deaths were caused by bullets; however, the Kasna police has claimed that the four had died after their speeding car (No.HR 26F 2063) rammed into a stationery tractor trolley, parked on the road side.

The Kasna police have also claimed that one of the four occupants of the car was the principal accused, Gajinder Gujjar, involved in the kidnapping of Mathura’s well-known doctor, Umesh Chand Maheshwari. Gujjar, according to police, had collected a huge ransom.

The DIG Meerut Zone, CV Rai, has now ordered a full inquiry into the incident, it is learnt. As per DIG Rai’s orders to SSP Gautam Budh Nagar, the inquiry has been entrusted to Shri SP Singh, SP (Rural).

Interestingly, Gajinder Gujjar, an old history-sheeter of Kasna police station, was wanted in a number of cases. The other three occupants of the car were Harveer, Pappu and Tej Singh.

According to the police, the bodies of Harveer and Pappu were taken by their families from the accident site and cremated soon after. On the other hand, Tej Singh and Gajinder Gujjar were rushed to Kailash Hospital, Noida, where their death was recorded.

No Panchnama was made, nor were the bodies sent for the mandatory post-mortem examination.

The Noida police account was torn to shreds when it was confirmed that the person who police had claimed to be notorious criminal Gajinder Gujjar was actually Abdul Salam of Mohalla Illahi Bakhsh, Meerut.

Inspector General of Police and DIG Meerut range feel that “something is definitely amiss somewhere”. DIG Rai said he was told by the Noida Police that the next of kin of the deceased had taken the bodies, even before the police had arrived at the spot.

But sources say Noida police is deliberately misleading the brass; actually they had handed over the bodies to the relatives and told them to ”take them away quickly”. The bodies of Abdul Salam and Tej Singh were handed over to the families after getting their signatures on “Sappurdigi Nama.” This was done on the Kailash hospital premises.

The bodies were neither photographed, nor any identification was done. The post-mortem would have established police culpability as one of the victims had a bullet injury in his head. The contradictory statements of Kasna police have landed them in trouble.


Expect further dip in temp as Xmas nears
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 18
After days of a-not-so-cold winter, the Capital shivered as there was a sharp dip in temperatures. Delhiites, accustomed to December chill, had almost reconciled to a warm winter this year with the average minimum temperature hovering above the normal 7-9 degree Celsius.

However, the weatherman wants us now to dig up the woollens and the quilts with Christmas heralding a further drop in the temperature. Explaining the reason for the minimum temperature remaining above normal this December, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said this was because of the western disturbances.

It was pointed out that the sky above Delhi was largely cloudy and this had delayed the onset of cold wave conditions. The city also experienced 28 mm rainfall on December 16, which was a record for the season.

However, the minimum temperature during the last two days has recorded a downward trend, the IMD officials pointed out. The minimum temperature was around 7 degree Celsius between December one and three, and rose to around 8 degree Celsius on 4th and 5th. It began steadily rising thereafter and touched 16 degree Celsius on December 9. After remaining at that level till December 16, the minimum temperature showed a downward trend and was 10 degree Celsius this morning.

While the Capital has been lucky this year with mercury plummeting to a bearable seven degrees, the lowest temperature recorded in December was 1.1 degree Celsius, recorded on December 26, 1945.

Last year, the lowest minimum temperature during the month was 5 degree Celsius recorded on December 29.



Survey disapproves of vulgar portrayal of
women in media
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 18
Information and Broadcasting Minister, Ravi Shankar Prasad’s idea of censoring music videos and film promos may have got a thumbs down from the industry, but it has found favour with the people at large.

In a survey on the ‘Projection of Women in Media’ conducted by a Delhi-based NGO, ‘Association for Social Welfare and Human Development’ (ASWHD) both men and women questioned agreed that there was a need to improve the portrayal of women in the media.

The NGO claims that “a sizeable percentage of the general public wants some kind of curb on the crass vulgarity and nudity hovering over the media. The people want decent and factual representation from the media”.

The survey conducted in the last couple of months reveled that 64 per cent of the respondents find the image of women portrayed in both the electronic as well as in the print media as “unrealistic and incorrect”. Sixty-eight percent found the portrayal of women in newspapers and magazine sections as unreasonable, objectionable and even obscene.

More than 65 per cent of the newspaper readers pointed out they were against the increasing display of sensuality, 80 per cent wanted women development issues related to urban-rural women to be given more importance than models, actresses and the glossy stuff.

The survey also pointed out that 69 per cent of television viewers felt that television and films apart from entertaining should give a message of social consciousness and 62 per cent wanted channels to be more gender sensitive and true in their perception on actual status of women and achievements.

It was further pointed out that 67 per cent newspaper readers and 62 per cent television viewers felt strongly about the issue and also wrote letters to editors, I&B Ministry and women’s organisations.

The reasons cited by the respondents for their protest against the portrayal of women varied. While some objected to the “ever ideal” stance of women, as it could reinforce the notion of “women martyrs”, others were against the “sex and the sleaze” and “negative portrayal”, as it could further regress the already low women’s position and status.

Suggesting that filmmakers and producers should be more realistic in their portrayal of women, most of the 215 respondents have also agreed on the need for censorship.


Scindians get together to remember their alma mater
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 18
The Scindia Old Boy’s Association (SOBA), Delhi Chapter, the alumni association of the Scindia School, Gwalior, one of India’s premier residential school, organised the SOBA annual alumni meet 2003 at Hotel Ashok.

The SOBA meet brought together Scindia School alumni from across the country, including several distinguished personalities. The meet was also attended by members of the board of governors of Scindia School including Mr Jyotiraditya M Scindia, MP, and president, Mr N K Tewari, principal, Mr Rajendra Pawar, chairman, NIIT, Mr Natwar Singh, senior political leader, Mr Vinay Modi, CMD, Modi Rubber Limited and Mr Harpal Singh, chairman, Fortis Healthcare Limited as well as other distinguished luminaries.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Scindia said “Scindians have consistently reinforced their and their alma mater’s impeccable credentials by taking on a leadership role in their chosen vocations. The Scindia School continues to play a pioneering role in establishing best practices in all facets of educational arena, thereby contributing to character building and personality development of Scindians. The school also strives to inculcate a deep respect for Indian values and a progressive and modern outlook, thus helping Scindians develop into global citizens”.

Prominent alumni who attended the SOBA annual alumni meet included Mr Tarun Kunzru. MD, Adidas, Mr Anurag Mathur, author of ‘Inscrutable Americans’, Mr Sanjiv Kapoor, Rear Admiral, Indian Navy, Mr Brij Kaul, Rear Admiral, Indian Navy, Mr Vikram Mathur from Rolls Royce Industrial Power Systems, Mr Vivek Jaitley, former MD, MAX India, Mr K K Mathur IAS (Retd), former Vice-Chairman, DDA, Mr Rahul Kulshreshtha of Aaj Tak, Mr Atulya Mishra IAS, Mr Sharad Gupta, IAS, Col. (Retd) Ranjit Singh, oldest Scindian in Delhi from the batch of 1948 and Air Commodore Kamal Singh among others.

The meet also saw a riveting performance by PSYX, the rock band of The Scindia School, who livened up the atmosphere, with songs from prominent rock bands, including Metallica, Dire Straits, Bryan Adams and Eric Clapton among others. PSYX has also performed at various inter-school meets and numerous cultural events.


Big seizure of charas on Goa-bound train
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, December 18
In the second major seizure of narcotics within a week, the Railway Police today confiscated about 12 kg of charas from eight train passengers of Goa-bound Mangla Express. Earlier, the GRP had seized 14 kg of charas on December 13 from four persons on the same train.

While the cost of the charas recovered today is stated to be over Rs. 1.5 lakh, the seizure of about 26 kg of charas within 5 days seems to be an indication of the extent of narcotics smuggling through trains.

Interestingly, all the accused in the aforesaid cases happen to be residents of Nepal. According to Railway police officials, the suspects, identified as Pritam, Bharat, Bahadur Bir Bahadur and four women, identified as Ram Kumari, Kesh Maya, Deen Maya and Sona, had come from Kullu and had tickets for a station in Goa. It is reported that while the women had strapped the charas packets to their thighs, the men had put these in the inner pockets of their shirts.

The accused also had two minor children travelling with them on the train.

The check was conducted by four Railway policemen at about 10.30 am, when the train was between Palwal and Hodal. All the accused have been arrested and a case has been lodged.


Official apathy turning roads into death traps
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, December 18
Most of the roads in this fast growing industrial city have become death traps for auto-drivers and pedestrians. Most of these roads belonging to the Sonepat Municipal Council, the PWD (B and R), the Market Committee and the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) have cracked and were punctuated with potholes. The auto-drivers find themselves desperately trying to avoid the potholes and patchworks on these roads.

A majority of them were not properly surfaced and it seems no thought has been given to road engineering or safety. Several of them are merely country roads painted with tar.

A number of surveys in the past, conducted by road and traffic experts, have found the city roads in pathetic conditions. The experts say that most of the roads were laid haphazardly, surfaced indifferently and were neither repaired nor properly maintained. Experts say that most of the roads do not last beyond a year.

Besides the lack of tar and proper asphalt mixture, the city roads were littered with badly designed manhole covers, which either stick out of the road surface or lie partly overturned. Traffic experts said these obstacles were potential killers. They are like mines, said an official of the traffic police.

Such obstacles were not easily visible, especially in the night and often led to accidents and even death. They also point out that the hastly put manhole covers were causing a lot of accidents on busy roads. This disruption on the road surface was not easily visible to the human eye, which often lead to accidents and even death.

Besides road accidents and damage to the vehicles, bad roads also have effects on the health of the people using such roads. A senior orthopaedic surgeon of the city said that driving on potholed and poorly surfaced roads caused lot of strain on the spinal cord and joints.

Constant jarring and shaking lead to early degeneration of spine, joints and ligaments in the body, he added.

Traffic and road experts were of the opinion that one of the major reasons for the increasing number of accidents in the city was the faulty road engineering and poorly surfaced roads.

No though was given to spillways, bays, pavements, dividers and a host of other factors, which were extremely crucial for traffic management. The problem with the city roads, experts feel, is that the set standard of asphalt and bitumen mixture to be used in the construction of roads, were hardly ever monitored.

All such defects could be rectified only if the concerned authorities kept a watch on the contractors and forced them to strictly adhere to the standards laid down by the experts.


Explosion exposes chinks in Meerut cantonment armour
Our Correspondent

Meerut, December 18
The explosion on Tuesday morning in the Unit Line area of 8 Engineering Regiment, in which two civilian employees of the station headquarters were seriously injured, has once again put a question mark on the security of the important cantonment of North India.

Though the Army authorities claimed that it was a minor detonator blast during the cleaning of the Unit Line area and ruled out any mischief, the ground reality and the type of injuries tell another story—laxity on the part of army authorities..

Not a single barrier or ‘naka’ could be seen even after 12 hours of the incident.

Senior Army officers dealing with the security did not even bother to put sentries (guards) on road.

A safaiwala No SD-816194, Satyapal and Naresh, both posted with the station headquarters, were injured in the highly secured Unit Line area. The blast was so powerful that one of them lost his left hand and three fingers of his right hand.

He also received serious injuries on his body and was rushed to the Military Hospital. In the evening when the ‘NCR Tribune’ tried to take account of the security in the army area, the picture was shocking. The situation was worse near both the formations HQ and the highly sensitive military hospital.

It was noticed that some people posing as “presspersons” entered the campus of MH and even went to the ICU with their vehicles, the guard on duty did not bother to check them.



100 jhuggis gutted in Yamuna Pushta
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 18
In a devastating fire last night, around 100 jhuggis were destroyed and two persons, including a child were seriously injured in the Naav Ka Pul, Yamuna Pushta.

The injured Munna Khan (10) and Hitlar Yadav (55) have been admitted to the JPN Hospital.

At least 22 fire tenders were pressed into service to douse the blazing fire. The fire personnel brought the fire under control at around 1.15 am.

Advocate’s house robbed

Two unidentified armed assailants entered the house of an income tax and sales tax advocate in Ashok Nagar last night and decamped with Rs 45,000 and some jewellery at knife-point.

Mr Subhash Sharma, the advocate was away from home when the incident occurred.

While one of the assailants waited outside the house, another assailant entered the house and locked Sharma’s wife Madhubala (50) and their two sons Amit (24) and Punit (22). The assailant then robbed the house.

The police have registered a case and said that efforts were being made to trace the culprits.

Safety of women

A programme on UN International Day in support of migrant workers, was organised today by the Coalition for Rural Empowerment in collaboration with Delhi Police, Delhi Labour Welfare Board, Delhi Legal Services Authority and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

The programme was a social concern initiative aimed at creating awareness of common people on the critical issues of safety of women, legal aid and other rights and facilities available to them in the existing system.

The programme was attended by Chief Justice of Delhi High Court, B L Patel, Delhi Police Commissioner R S Gupta and the Chairman of Delhi Labour Welfare Board.


CM attends welfare camp for disabled
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, December 18
Speaking at the concluding day function of a six-day welfare camp for the mentally challenged, the Chief Minister, Mr Om Parkash Chautala, said the government had launched a number of schemes to eliminate disability among the people in the state. The welfare camp was organised jointly by the District Red Cross Society, the Jain Milan, the Lions Club and the Bhagwan Mahavira Handicapped Aid Samiti, Jaipur and Delhi, here yesterday.

Mr Chautala highlighted the main aim of this camp, which was to rehabilitate the mentally challenged and to enable them to become normal and useful members of the community. He also said that the programme of the samiti included providing artificial limbs to amputees, calipers and modified footwear to polio-affected and other disabled persons, hearing aids, medicines to lepers and giving of financial aid for self-employment.

He appealed to the social and voluntary organisations as well as the religious bodies to come forward and hold such camps in the rural areas of the state and help in this noble task.

The Deputy Commissioner, Mr Balwan Singh, who is the chairman of the District Red Cross Society, also highlighted the welfare programmes of the society and claimed that the society had been providing financial help to the poor and downtroddens for their upliftment. Mr Harish Chander Jain, convenor of the camp, also spoke and gave the details of the welfare programmes launched by the samiti for the welfare of the mentally challenged persons.

Later on, Mr Chautala distributed artificial limbs and other appliances among the disabled persons. Prominent citizens and leaders of the area were also present on this occasion.



Chandni Chowk to have first vintage car rally
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 18
The Union Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Sports, Mr Vijay Goel, on Wednesday announced that the “first vintage car rally would start from heritage Chandni Chowk” on December 25, the birthday of the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

Announcing the event being hosted by the Sports Ministry, Mr Vijay Goel said that the theme of the rally would be “From Old Delhi to New Delhi”.

It would start from Red Fort dating back to the Mughal era and end at India Gate, the war memorial and famous landmark of New Delhi created by British architect Sir Edward Lutyens.

Mr Goel said the rally would disseminate the message to conserve the heritage of Chandni Chowk. It would feature more than 30 vintage cars, school bands, a tableau based on the heritage of Chandni Chowk and other attractions.

“This will be the first occasion when the vintage cars will pass through the streets of Chandni Chowk,” he added.

Mr Goel also spoke of various other programmes being organised on the occasion of the Prime Minister’s birthday.

The annual painting competition would be held at the National Stadium near India Gate besides a poem competition for schoolchildren and a “Rashtriya Kavi Sammelan” at the GMC Balayogi Auditorium in the Parliament House library complex.

The painting and the poetry competitions are open for schoolchildren from class two to class 10th. “There would be more than 100 prizes for each category and there are also special prizes for the physically challenged and poor children,” he said.



Dowry harassment cases on rise
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, December 18
The cases of dowry harassment are on the increase even though the cases of dowry deaths are on the decline in the district during the current year.

According to a report, as many as 17 cases of dowry deaths were reported during the current year as compared to 20 cases during 2002 in the district.

However, the Mahila police had registered as many as 63 cases of dowry demand and harassment as compared to 60 reported during 2002 in the district. Similarly, the cases of atrocities on the women are going up.

According to the figures available regarding the cases of dowry harassment, as many as 100 cases have so far been reported in the district during the current year.

During 1998, as many as 129 cases were reported in the district whereas 127 cases in 1999, 139 in 2000 and 132 cases were reported during 2001.

The police had been registering such cases under Sections 498-A and 304-B on the complaints made by the victims and their parents. In one case, a newly married girl was killed just after a month of her marriage, by the husband and in-laws.

Most of the married women themselves approach the women police stations. They lodge complaints against their husbands and in-laws on the charge of harassment and putting pressure for dowry.


Govt urged to clear Set Top Box confusion
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 18
The Bharatiya Janata Party today urged the government to clearly explain to the people the intricacies of the Set Top Box system for cable television introduced in south Delhi.

In reply to a question, BJP Parliamentary Party spokesman Vijay Kumar Malhotra said he had spoken to Information and Broadcasting Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad regarding the matter.

The BJP felt that TV viewers should know clearly how many channels were free and how much money they would have to pay for pay channels so that the people did not face any problem with the cable operators, he said.

The Delhi Government has suggested measures like odd-even auto traffic restraint, staggering of office hours and trade-wise weekly market holidays to reduce traffic in the national capital, the Rajya Sabha was told today.

Rise in number of vehicles

The total number of vehicles registered in Delhi has gone up to 3.88 million in 2002 as compared to 2.85 million in 1997, Minister of State for Road Transport and Highways Pon Radhakrishnan said in a written reply.

Implementation of Metro Railway System, high capacity bus system and electric metro system in selected corridors in phases are some of the important measures to facilitate mass transportation and reduce traffic, he said.

Telephone directories

The Government today said tender for printing of telephone directories is being finalised by Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd, Delhi.

In a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha, Minister of State for Communications and IT Ashok Pradhan said in MTNL, Mumbai, the tender evaluation is being done for printing and directories were likely to be distributed in July next year.

The Minister said the delay occurred on account of collecting some important information from other agencies and organisations like paper manufacturers, yellow pages publishers and finalisation of tenders for proper evaluation of the cost and revenue realisation.

He said it was not proposed to make it mandatory to bring out combined directory including telephone numbers of other service providers.

The Minister pointed out that the case for this was examined and it was not found feasible to bring out a comprehensive telephone directory for MTNL, BSNL and other telephone service providers as it would add more volume to the already voluminous directory making it difficult to carry and inconvenient to use.


NCR Briefs
Youth’s body found in Huda colony
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, December 18
The police found the body of an unidentified youth from the water pipes in Sector 23, a residential colony of the Haryana Urban Development Authority (Huda) here yesterday and sent it for the postmortem examination.

According to a report, the body bore multiple injuries inflicted by the knives. One hand of the victim had been eaten away by some dogs. The body remains unidentified.

The police believe it to be a case of murder and have started investigations.

Dense fog disrupts traffic

Rail and road traffic remained disrupted for several hours in the city and adjoining areas by dense fog in the region.

According to a report, most of the incoming and outgoing trains passed through Sonepat behind schedule and this caused inconvenience to thousands of passengers.

Similarly, traffic on the National Highway No. 1 and other state highways was slow and the drivers had to use headlights because of poor visibility.

Small saving schemes

The Haryana Government has fixed a target of Rs 130 crore for the collections of funds under the small saving schemes for 2003-04.

According to a report, Sonepat district has so far collected Rs 32.61 crore under these schemes. The Deputy Commissioner, Mr Balwan Singh, has directed all heads of the departments to ensure the completion of the target by December 31.

Manav Sewa Trust

The Manav Sewa Trust, a well-known social organisation of the area, organised a colourful cultural programme during its silver jubilee celebrations here recently.

Mr T C Alakh, president of the Trust, speaking on the occasion, highlighted the achievements of the trust during the past 25 years.

He said that the trust had opened a library at a cost of Rs 3 lakh, constructed two children parks at a cost of Rs 2 lakh, a cremation ground behind surgical centre at a cost of Rs 4 lakh, a community hall at a cost of Rs 5 lakh, a ‘pio’ equipped with two coolers at a cost of Rs 4 lakh near the bus stand for the benefit of the travellers.

According to Mr Alakh, the trust has been organising free eye operations and medical camps from time to time and rendering help to the students and widows by giving them free textbooks and uniforms.

Centrally sponsored projects

Rewari: Dr Sudha Yadav, MP and senior leader of the BJP, has expressed concern at the ‘lackadaisical’ implementation of certain Centrally sponsored projects in most parts of South Haryana.

She took exception to the ‘inadequate’ power supply in Mahendragarh, Ateli and several other areas of South Haryana.

Addressing a crowded press conference here on Wednesday, she said that requisite petty distributaries and water channels were to be constructed to fill up dry ponds with canal water.

Making a specific mention of her ‘Jan Jagran Yatra’ in towns and villages of the Mahendragarh Parliamentary constituency, she said that the farmers as well as the students in Ateli, Mahendragarh, Nangal Choudhary and several other areas were facing hardships on account of paucity of power supply.

Later, at a public meeting in Kund, 24 km from here today, Mr Kailash Chand Sharma, state senior vice-president of the BJP, said that it was ironical that the farmers here had been facing an unprecedented power crisis under the Chautala regime which was being run by the son of a farmer.

He warned that if the power supply did not improve within two days, they would not hesitate to take to the streets.


Delhi digest
NIOS exam results
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 18
The National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) has declared the results of the secondary examination (academic) held in October-November 2003. As many as 69,896 students appeared for the exams, which included 46,530 boys and 23,366 girls.

The students may get the marks sheet and migration certificate through their AIs. The results are also available on the website and the practical examinations will begin on March 23, 2004 and the theory on April 8, 2004.

Works Committee

BJP councillors and members of the Works Committee, Ravi Bansal and Savita Gupta criticised the Congress-led corporation as it had reduced the proposed annual budget of the committee which would have adverse effect on the development next year.

They disclosed that the development works amounting to Rs 144 crore were carried out in 2002-2003. The contractors were not paid for the work they did this year. If the budget proposal prepared for the next year is reduced further what would be the fate of the Capital, they said at a meeting of the Works Committee.

The budget estimates proposed by the Additional Commissioner (Engineering) in Works Committee meeting for 2003-2004 were Rs 60 lakh in the road head, Rs 25 lakh in maintenance and repairs works, Rs 800 lakh in new works head and Rs 150 lakh in the construction of drain in urbanised villages and Rs 100 lakh in water harvesting. Earlier, the corporation had allocated Rs 300 lakh for the construction of drains and Rs 200 lakh for water harvesting.


The North Delhi Power Limited (NDPL) has announced loadshedding in the Civil Lines and Rohini on December 19 from 10 am to 5 pm due to some maintenance work.



Electoral rolls of six seats being revised

Sonepat, December 18
A summary revision of electoral rolls of all the six Assembly segments: Baroda (R), Gohana, Kailana, Sonepat, Rai and Rohat has been started with January 1, 2004 being the qualifying date, according to Mr Balwan Singh, Deputy Commissioner-cum-District Electoral Officer.

He told mediapersons here on Wednesday that the draft rolls have been published and the relevant part of the electoral rolls would be read out at meetings of the Gaon Sabha and Urban Local Bodies as well as Residents Welfare Associations and the claims and objections could be filed till January 7.

A special campaign would also be launched between January 1 and 4, 2004. The rolls would be finally published on February 23. OC


Miscreants injure dairy owner, snatch Rs 15,000
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, December 18
At least five unidentified armed youths reportedly forced their way into the house of Mr Pawan, a dairy owner in R K Colony at Murthal village, about 8 km from here last night, and assaulted him and his son while they were asleep.

According to a report, the miscreants also snatched Rs 15,000 from them and fled from the spot. Both the injured persons were hospitalised and were stated to be out of danger. Two of the five miscreants have been identified and the police have launched a massive hunt to apprehend them.

A case has also been registered. It is stated that the dairy owner had sold a buffalo for Rs 15,000 in the morning and had kept the cash money in the house.

According to another report, a young housewife, Mrs Anilwati, sustained knife injuries when she was attacked by her husband in the house in Arya Nagar here last night.

It was alleged that her husband was in the habit of consuming liquor daily. On the fateful day, the victims husband clashed with her after consuming liquor and assaulted her with knife.

The injured woman was rushed to the local civil hospital for medical treatment and was stated to be out of danger. The police have registered the case against the alleged assailant who was still at large.

Meanwhile, a group of youths surrounded a young man and roughed him up at the railway station here last evening. The incident caused a panic among the passengers who rushed outside the platforms. On receipt of the information, the officials of the Government Railway Police arrived on the scene. The assailants managed to escape before the police could apprehend them.

The police were still investigating into the case and a hunt is on to apprehend the alleged assailants, who are still at large.


Novel Indian Oil plan to interact with customers
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 18
In a bid to connect with the customers at a grassroot level, Indian Oil has started a novel programme—‘each one, reach one’, under the Customer Ambassador umbrella.

Under this programme, a unique Customer Outreach team comprising 68 Indian Oil officers drawn from a wide range of functional groups was launched as a motivational exercise to support and supplement the regular field force.

In the first phase, these teams visited select Indian Oil petrol stations in Delhi to interact with the customers coming for refuelling and to gauge the level of customer service and satisfaction levels. Indian Oil officers interacted with more than 4,500 customers, who drew into these select petrol stations to refuel their vehicles.

These ‘Customer Ambassadors’ not only monitored the levels of customer service at the different retail outlets but also quizzed the customers on their satisfaction levels. The data thus received was immediately processed for translation into concrete action plans.

In the second phase, each officer will adopt one petrol station, so as to support and supplement the efforts of the regular field force. These officers, with a brand new outlook and fresh approach, will visit select petrol stations in fixed periodicity.

These teams will interact with the customers regularly to assess the dynamics of improvement and will get the feedback that will help formulate newer initiatives to enhance the service standards of the petrol stations.

The teams will continue to work closely with the field force, managers and pump attendants to make service levels and customer visits to Indian Oil petrol stations a satisfying experience. While contributing to the enhanced level of customer service, the exercise also showcases Indian Oil’s commitment to its customers.

HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | National Capital |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |