N C R   S T O R I E S


Noida merged with Ghaziabad in Mulayam’s tit for tat
Parmindar Singh

Ghaziabad, January 13
The Mulayam Singh Yadav Government has decided to abolish the nine districts and the four commissionaries created by his arch-rival, former Chief Minister Ms Mayawati, on May 6, 1997.

The State government has ostensibly acted on the recommendations of the State Revenue Council.

The districts which stand abolished include Gautam Budh Nagar, which has been merged with Ghaziabad, Maha Mayanagar, Jyotiba Phule Nagar (Amroha), Sant Kabir Nagar, Aroya, Ambedkar Nagar, Kaushambi, Chandoli and Shavasti.

The four commissionaries, which have been scrapped, include Saharnpur, Basti, Mizapur and Devi Pas. A State cabinet minister said that an order has been issued by the state government to this effect.

When these districts were carved out, Mayawati’s decision had received much flak and had been dubbed ‘‘hasty’’ and ‘‘politically motivated’’.

However, the scrapping of these districts after seven years, cannot be called correct either, feel senior citizens, officials and local leaders.

In Noida and Ghaziabad, the new dispensation will create problems of sorts – the chief among which will be the problem of law and order. The Ghaziabad police is already stretched out and the additional responsibility of G.B. Nagar will bring matters to a flash point. Handling a large industrial belt as well as the criminal and slum population will pose a great challenge to the administration, with concomitant problems for the common man.

Result: the district-level officers – DM, SSP, CMO, etc — are already packing their bags..

The law and order in Noida will now be controlled by an SP and three circle officers. This decision will bolster the morale of criminals, a senior officer said on condition of anonymity.

The reaction of former Cabinet Secretary P.K. Kaul, former chief justice Shanti Bhushan, former state minister Nawab Singh Naggar and president of Vaypar Udyog Mandal was encapsulated in harsh words: ‘absurd’,’ ‘retrograde’, ‘unwise’ and ‘against the interest of Noida and its people’.

Noida and Greater Noida have already earned worldwide recognition as separate entities.

The new dispensation may mar the development of the area, it is feared.


Power supply to slums being regularised: CM
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 13
The Government of NCT of Delhi has asked the electricity distribution companies to make available electricity in the colonies and slums that have come up illegally on government land.

The government on Tuesday said it has reviewed the matter of providing electricity supply on a “lawful basis” to the unauthorised slums and colonies. Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit told media persons that the government was anxious that a “just” and “reasonable” solution be found, whereby the people could get electricity on due payment.

“We have shared our concerns with the distribution companies, who have responded with a broad roadmap for electrification of such areas and for dealing with them in the interim,” she said. The distribution companies have been directed to reach as many unauthorised slums and colonies as was possible by year-end. “The process will be repeated in subsequent years till it is completed.”

The distribution companies are expected to launch a drive to install new connections in the unauthorised slums and colonies from February 1. They will undertake the drive in phases.

The tariff for electrification and new connection will be governed by the relevant orders of the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) as is the case with other consumers.

“The government will, however, take up with the DERC the question of rationalising the tariff and other charges in the unauthorised slums and colonies,” the chief minister said. Ms Dikshit said that the companies had been asked to not put undue hardship on the economically challenged till the drive is completed. The companies, she added, had agreed to certain suggestions.

The companies have agreed to undertake rapid electrification by providing “regulated supply” to persons who are entitled for a connection and who are willing to fulfil the formalities.

The capacity available to such consumers would suffice for their basic requirements of lights and fans at a fixed rate of Rs 175 per month. This will be an interim provision pending a permanent connection.


Family relieved Kargil ‘deserter’ is a PoW
Our Correspondent

Meerut, January 13
A soldier from Mundali village went missing during the Kargil battle and was declared a `deserter.’

When the news of his ignominious exit from the battlefield reached the village, his family had to face much humiliation. It was also mortifying when other soldiers and their families were honoured in the village.

In due course, the family lost everything: the soldier’s mother died and his wife remarried. But a letter from the Army Hq has come as a bolt from the blue for the villagers.

Suddenly, Arif’s father and other family members are being felicitated.

The letter from AHQ says that Arif of 108 Engineering Regiment is in Pakistan jail and the Government of India will take up the matter with the Pakistan government. Arif had joined his regiment on December 18, 1995.

On February 24, 1999, he was married to Guddi of Noida and 40 days later he was summoned to the front.

As per Army records, he went missing on September 17,1999, while the Kargil war was on. Arif’s family is now angry that authorities did not give them the correct picture.

However, a senior Army officer told the NCR Tribune on the condition of anonymity that Arif had not been declared a deserter but only declared missing; it is being presumed that he is in a jail in Pakistan.

The news has in any case ended the ordeal of the family.


Punjabi will jostle with Hindi on signboards
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 13
Urdu and Punjabi will soon find a place alongside Hindi and English in the Capital’s signboards and nameplates. The decision was taken following the Chief Minister’s directive to the civic authorities to recruit experienced calligraphers to correctly write the Urdu signboards.

This was conveyed by Ms Sheila Dixit at a meeting of the governing council of the Urdu Academy here last evening, where several decisions were taken for the promotion and propagation of the Urdu language, which has been conferred the second official language status by the Delhi government.

It was decided that the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) fleet would carry the names of all routes in Urdu and Punjabi, besides English and Hindi. All signboards on roads and public places will be changed accordingly.

Education Minister Arvinder Singh Lovely, Vice Chairman Urdu Academy Meem Afzal, Secretary art and Culture Neeta Bali and prominent scholars and writers attended the meeting.

The chief minister also endorsed a suggestion made by Mr Afzal and some members that educational institutions should encourage students to take up Urdu as a subject. It was pointed out that surveys conducted by various institutions and universities on Urdu needed to be studied, so that more teachers could be appointed for introducing the language in other schools and colleges. Ms. Dikshit said her government would provide all possible assistance in promotion of this rich cultural language that had not got its due in the past. She also agreed to study the recommendations of the Gujaral committee, which could be implemented.

Mr Afzal and Mr Shariful Hasan Naqvi raised the issue of preservation of precious Urdu books and sought suitable accommodation for preserving these rare manuscripts and books. Mr Khaliq Anjum said, if immediate steps are not taken it might result in loss of thousands of books on literature, history, theology and other subjects. Noted poet Nirmal Singh Nirmal offered to provide suitable accommodation for the books. It was decided to provide more advertisements to Urdu papers to help them promote the language. Similarly, books of eminent authors will be purchased by the Urdu Academy.


Constable gets life term for custody death

New Delhi: A Delhi court today sentenced a Delhi Police constable to life imprisonment and three others, including two policemen, to five years rigorous imprisonment in a 12-year-old custodial death case at Lahori Gate police station.

Additional Sessions Judge Indermeet Kochar, who pronounced the sentence, also fined life convict Constable Anil Kumar Rs 80,000 and the three other convicts — SHO Rajender Singh Dhaiya, Sub Inspector Sher Singh and one Manoharlal Narang – a sum of Rs 50,000. While Anil was sentenced under section 302 (murder) of the Indian Penal Code, others were sentenced under section 304 (culpable homicide), for causing the death of 33-year-old Jagannath who expired on May 10, 1991, after battling for his life for nine days in a private hospital.

According to the prosecution, Jagannath, who worked for Seth Brothers Perfumes Pvt Ltd at Tilak Bazaar, was picked up by the accused policemen for questioning on the intervening night of May 1-2, 1991. The deceased, who succumbed to multiple injuries sustained on his head at St Stephen’s Hospital, was picked up for allegedly using his shop for conducting immoral activities after trading hours.

In his statement before the court, the deceased’s father said that after he visited the police station with Rs 500, the bribe demanded by Anil, the accused hiked the amount to Rs 5,000 and started beating his son mercilessly.


Hodal bank dacoity: Two missing with Rs 4 lakh
Bijendra Ahlawat
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, January 13
The police have been able to recover only Rs 42,800 out of the Rs 4.42 lakhs looted from the branch of the Punjab National Bank at Hodal, a sub-division town in the district, about 60 km from here, yesterday.

Although the arrest of three robbers out of the total five, who committed the dacoity in broad daylight in Bollywood style, is no mean achievement, the credit for facilitating the arrests should go to Mathura district. Now, the challenge before the local police is to lay their hands on the remaining accused and to recover the huge amount.

While the incident has come as a ‘shocker’ for the local residents and the law and order machinery, it has also exposed the chinks in the security network of the banks and other financial institutions. It is felt that given the poor security, any bank could be looted.

It is learnt that the phone at the Hodal police station had been out of order at the time of the dacoity and the residents had to personally visit Hodal to brief the cops. Although the district police have been claiming the arrest of the three accused as a major breakthrough, it is learnt that the U.P police, which had set up a naka at Paigaam road near Chhata village, had nabbed the culprits and later handed them over to the Haryana police.

The three accused, arrested in connection with the dacoity, have been identified as Sukha, a resident of Ferozpur in Punjab, and Vicki and Bale of Faridabad district. The two others, who are absconding , have been identified as Madan Pehalwan and Vikram.

Two DSPs and two SHO’s of the district had raided some areas near Hodal last night to arrest the other accused and recover the looted cash. It is reported that the accused had got down from the getaway vehicle and disappeared in the jungles of the Hodal sub-division. According to the local police, they would be able to nab the remaining accused very soon as the accomplices were already in custody.

Cop run over by driver

Noida: A traffic cop, Dheer Singh, who was chasing a truck on his scooter on GT Road, Dadri, was run over by the errant driver whom he wanted to challan for overspeeding. While the cop died on the spot, the driver sped away with his vehicle. According to Dadri police, Dheer Singh had tried to stop the truck, which was speeding through the grain market yesterday. The driver accelerated and tried to get away. The deceased chased the truck and after overtaking the vehicle, signaled him to stop. But the truck again accelerated and ran over the cop. OC


MCD drops ambitious road project
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 13
The Municipal Corporation of Delhi has cancelled its project for widening and improving the roads in 21 areas in the Capital due to lack of funds. The project was started in consultation with the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways in July last year.

The roads were to be widened, after the release of Rs 30 crore by the Union Ministry from the account of unspent money. The money is generally released to the MCD through the Delhi Government. In September last year the Engineer in Chief in the corporation had discussions with his counterpart in the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways. During discussions, the union ministry agreed to sanction Rs 30 for widening and improving the roads in different areas of the Capital, on the condition that the corporation would submit a progress report on the project every three months.

Accordingly, the Union ministry sanctioned Rs 30 crore to the MCD for the project through Delhi Government. The MCD even invited tenders and the work was initiated. But the tenders were cancelled when the Delhi Government refused to hand over the money.

The Delhi Government has claimed that Rs 30 crore was its revenue receipt. Now, the Engineer-in-Chief in the MCD has written a letter to Central Government, lodging a complaint against the Delhi Government for not handing over the money sanctioned for widening the roads in the state.

In another letter to the Lt. Governor, BJP Councillor Vijender Gupta demanded that Rs 30 crore be immediately handed over to the MCD by the NCT government of Delhi.

He disclosed that the ministry had sanctioned Rs 1264.20 lakh in July from the Central Road Fund for implementing eleven schemes; in August, an additional Rs 1710.20 was released for ten other schemes.

However, the Delhi Government is refusing to release Rs 30 crore on the ground that it was revenue receipt and the MCD should implement the 21 schemes out of funds already allocated. Mr Gupta has pointed out to the LG that the unspent money of various projects is deposited in the Central Road Fund. An amount out of this fund is allocated to the state governments for strengthening of roads. It was unfortunate that the Delhi Government had described this fund as revenue receipt and was refusing to pay the MCD for implementing its road schemes.

This is the reason why MCD could not submit its quarterly report to the Central government, Mr Vijender Gupta further alleged.


BJP trying to keep farmers off polls: Surjewala
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, January 13
The senior Congress leader and former HPCC president, Shamsher Singh Surjewala today chided the BJP leadership for announcing that the Lok Sabha elections would be completed in April.

He said, “It is the BJP’s conspiracy to deprive over 70 per cent of the population of farmers, agricultural labourers, rural artisans and other working classes from participating in the elections as these classes remain preoccupied with the rabi harvesting during March and April”.

Talking to mediapersons here, Mr Surjewala said the period between April 10 and May 10 is the peak season for harvesting in North India. He favoured that the elections should be held in the end of May and for that “we will urge the Chief Election Commissioner and the President of India to postpone the elections from April to May”.

Terming the recently announced financial concessions of the BJP-led NDA government as pro-rich, pro-multinational companies and anti-farmer, anti-poor and anti-common man, Mr Surjewala said most of these concessions were in the export, import, customs, telecom, electronics, air-ways sectors and there was hardly any benefit of these sectors to the common man of the country.

He also explained that the proposed allocation of Rs 50,000 crore for infrastructural development in agriculture sector was only to benefit the big landlords and other rich people who can set up an agro-processing units, but the common farmers did not have the resources to set up an agro-unit.“The BJP is also trying to befool the farmers by announcing reduction in interest rate on the crop loans as this concession is confined on the loans advanced by the nationalised banks, whereas over 95 per cent of the crop loans are being advanced by the state cooperative banks,” he added.

When asked to comment on the groupism in the state Congress and infighting among the state Congress leaders, he said, “It is bad and it should stop. It will be over within one month as the stalwarts will be contesting the Lok Sabha elections?” he added.

He also lashed at the BJP for not inviting the Congress president Sonia Gandhi in the recently concluded NRI sammelan. A number of delegates registered their protest against this, he said.


Fog disrupts rail and road services
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, January 13
Foggy weather continued today in the city and its adjoining areas to affect rail and road traffic with most trains running behind schedule for several hours on the Delhi-Ambala-Kalka (DUK) section of the Northern Railway and large number of passengers stranded at Sonepat and other railway stations.

According to a report, the Unchhar Express running between Allahabad and Ambala Cantt remained cancelled for the day. The Amritsar bound Barauni-Amritsir Express and the Jammu Tawi Hatia (Moori) Express bound for New Delhi were running behind schedule for eight and four hours respectively. Similarly, all other long-distance and suburban trains passed through Sonepat behind schedule for hours together, forcing the passengers to shiver in biting cold and wait for the delayed trains.

Traffic on the National Highway No 1 and other state highways remained disrupted for several hours in the morning as the movement of vehicular traffic remained at snail space and the drivers have to use headlights for the onward journey.

At least fifty vehicles including two school buses were involved in the accidents resulting in the death of one person and injuries to 30 others. Around 7 am, at least 20 vehicles were involved in the accident on the G T Road near Biswan Meel and this led to a big explosion. The main cause of the accidents was on account of a thick blanket of fog, which engulfed the entire National Highway No. 1.

An unknown vehicle rammed into a parked car and as a result two occupants of the car sustained injuries. Thereafter, a Haryana Roadways bus of Sonepat depot collided with a truck, which was overturned. All the injured persons were given first aid by the highway police and after that they were hospitalised.

Two school buses were collided with each other and many students got minor injuries. All the injured students were rushed to the hospital for treatment. On receipt of information, the parents of the students reached the hospital.


Dept cancels licences of shops
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, January 13
The Food and Supplies Department has cancelled the licences of eight fair price shops following the detection of certain irregularities and malpractices in the distribution of rationed commodities during the surprise checking by its officials in the district.

The Deputy Commissioner, Mr Balwan Singh told mediapersons here today that the officials of the department also checked as many as 122 ration shops in the district during the current financial year and suspended the supply of 32 fair price shops on the similar charge.

The department officials also issued show cause notices to 99 owners of the fair price shops asking them to explain why penal action should not be taken against them following the detection of irregularities in the distribution of the rationed commodities, Mr Singh added.

The DC further disclosed that the officials of the department also confiscated the security deposits totalling Rs 52,500 of certain depots where the irregularities and malpractices were detected during the course of checking.

According to the DC, the officials of the department also checked as many as 23 brick kilns during the period under review and confiscated the security deposits totalling Rs 4,000 of those brick kilns where irregularities were detected during the checking by the officials. He disclosed that there were 238 brick kilns in the district and the rates of bricks (first quality) have been fixed between Rs 1,350 and Rs 1,450 per thousands and the rates of tiles bricks between Rs 1,450 and Rs 1,650 per thousands at the sites of the brick kilns.

The DC further disclosed that the officials of the department also checked 42 petrol pumps and eight LPG agencies in the district during the period under review.

Meanwhile, there has been no let up in the diversion of rationed commodities in the black market.


Northern range: Cops hold back crime spiral
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 13
The majority of crimes in the Northern Range, comprising Central, North and North-West districts, have shown a decline in 2003, as against that in 2002. The police also claim to have achieved a better detection rate in 2003 and attributed the success to the policemen of the respective districts.

According to Joint Commissioner of Police Ranjit Narayan, the Northern range is extremely susceptible to crime owing to its geography and the mixed population in the walled city area. Besides, the criminals from Haryana keep striking in the border areas of North-West district. However, despite these constraints, the police had managed to hold the crime spiral in 2003.

In whole of Northern range, as many as 14,352 cases were registered in 2003 as against 15,743 cases in 2002, a perceptible decline.

In Central district, 2998 cases were registered in 2003, as against 3577 cases during 2002. In 2003, 85 heinous cases were reported as against 135 cases in 2002. Of the 85 heinous cases reported in 2003, the police have worked out at least 66 cases, bringing the percentage to 78 per cent.

The North district also saw a decrease in overall crimes during 2003. While the total number of IPC cases went up to 3681 in 2002, only 3391 cases were registered in 2003. In the heinous crime category, 173 cases were registered in 2002, as against 156 cases in 2003. Of the 156 cases the police claim to have worked out, as many as 136 cases were in the heinous crime category.

Even the North-West district registered a decline in overall crimes in 2003. As many as 9191 cases were reported in 2002, as against 8782 cases in 2003. Of the 8782 cases, the police also claim to have solved at least 5602 cases.

While the reported crimes came down by 4.45 per cent in 2003, the detection under the Local and Special Laws increased from 3288 cases in 2002 to 3769 cases in 2003, showing an increase of about 14.62 per cent.

The heinous crimes in North-West district came down by 9.88 per cent, as compared to that in 2002.

The police in the range also claim to have busted the Bawaria gangs and the Bangladeshi criminals, besides solving some sensational murder cases. The police also claim to have worked out a majority of the rape cases with the help of the victims.


Ashok Leyland unveils hi-tech CNG buses
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 13
After Delhi Metro, the Capital is all set to witness luxurious public transport system with the automobile major Ashok Leyland unveiling hi-tech CNG luxury buses have been specially designed for needs of the city.

The company, which supplied over 2000 buses to the city transport corporation, making it the proud owner of the world’s largest fleet of CNG buses, is optimistic of supplying few hundred buses in the coming months.

The Euro III compliant mega bus, which can carry 110 passengers with ease and without congestion, have been custom-built to the needs of the city, said Mr M Natraj, executive director of product development and advanced engineering of the company.

“Despite its length, it is easy to manoeuvre on the road and can turn 360 degree without much difficulty and effort,” he said, adding that these buses would be displayed in the Auto Expo beginning in the Capital on January 15.

Its safety features include an ultrasonic reverse alarm, on-board surveillance camera (for assisting the driver to monitor the middle and rear doors) and driver controlled pneumatic doors.

Apart from the many safety features, it offers easy access to the old and physically challenged as its trailing or rear portion comes with a low floor height and offers a step free entry.

It has a retractable ramp for wheel chair roll-in and out, said Mr M. Natraj, executive director of product development and advanced engineering of the company.


Women being excluded from job generation programmes: Study
Our correspondent

Sonepat, January 13
A study on the changing patterns of work in rural Haryana has revealed that women workers were almost totally excluded from the employment generation programmes due to the inappropriate choice of public works and frequent use of labour displacing machines.

Sponsored by the Union Labour Ministry, the study was based on a survey of 445 landless manual workers from two villages in Haryana-Dharmar in Rohtak district and Birdhana in Fatehabad district - both different in terms of size, caste composition, land distribution crop pattern and system of labour hiring.

According to the report, workers were paid piece-rated wages and the earnings of about 90 per cent of the women workers under the various employment generation programmes were found to be lower than the minimum wages.

The informalisation of the labour sector has virtually ended the concept of minimum wages structure for the women labourers in rural Haryana where the workers were now paid piece-rate wages.

Minimum wages are fixed on a daily basis and it is the employer who fixes the duration of working hours.

The data from these two villages on employment, however, bring out some striking similarities. Nearly 80 per cent of the women in the working age group (16 to 60 years) did some hired work.

However, on an average, a woman manual worker found employment for only about 40 days in a year as against man, who found employment for 100 days.

This was mainly due to the exclusion of women workers from non-agricultural labour. It was also found that the average annual earning of women worker was very low in absolute terms (Rs 1,839 in Dhamar and Rs 1,584 in Birdhan) and in relation to earnings of male workers (Rs 6,162 in Dhamar and Rs 6,626 in Birdhana).


Sonepat leads in mushroom production
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, January 13
Sonepat leads other districts in the country in the production of mushroom as the farmers of each village are producing the crop to augment their source of income.

The Deputy Commissioner, Mr Balwan Singh, told mediapersons here today that the farmers had produced as many as 1,120 tonnes of mushroom during the current financial year and this include 512 tonnes produced during the last one month in the district.

He disclosed that the farmers had produced 3,38,780 trays of mushroom during the year 2003-2004 thereby created a record in the history of Sonepat district. This includes 43,680 trays, which were produced during the past one month.

According to the DC, the educated jobless youths are taking to this profession in large number and they have got employment through the adoption of mushroom production.

He also disclosed that the Agriculture Department would organise a two-day seminar on January 15 and 16 on the premises of the Haryana Agro Mushroom Research and Development Centre at Murthal village for boosting the mushroom production in the district. Mr Jaswinder Singh Sandhu, Agriculture Minister will be the chief guest on the occasion.


‘Sodh Kendra’ to make medicines from cow-dung
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, January 13
Motivated by the success of the Gaushalas in many parts of the country and particularly in Madhya Pradesh, the Srikrishan Bhagwan Gaushala Committee of village Bali Brahnanan has planned to set up a “Gomutra Sodh Kendra” and manufacture medicines from cow-dung and urine.

According to the president of the Gaushala, Mr Raj Kumar Sharma, the entire project is estimated to cost around Rs 15 crore and is likely to be started within two years.

To begin with, the new building of the Gaushala will be constructed in an area of nearly 4.5 acres and the foundation stone of the new building was laid by Mahant Chaman Nath of “Nath Dera” of village Rabhra on January 10.

Talking to the ‘NCR Tribune’, Mr Sharma disclosed that their Gaushala was the leading one in Haryana with nearly 3000 cows and after completion of the new building, the number of the cows would go up to 5000.

The committee has purchased 4.5 acres at a cost of Rs 15 lakh and the entire amount was received as donations.

He hoped that the donors would contribute for the new building and in setting up the research centre for manufacturing medicines from the cow dung and urine.

“In our society, the cow urine and dung are regarded as medicated and pious and used in many ceremonies and treatments, but for want of research facilities, their use was very limited and almost negligible.

But the Gaushala Committees in a number of states have set up the research centres and are manufacturing medicines from cow urine and dung and milk bio-products and their efforts have proved very successful,” he said.

He also informed that the committee had purchased the reapers to overcome the scarcity of dry fodder.

These reapers are being used in combine harvested fields for converting straw leftover by the harvester-combine, into wheat husk and the farmers were fully cooperating with the Gaushala committee in this regard.

He hoped that the new experience of setting up of the research centre would not only improve the economic position of the Gaushalas, but also help in motivating the people in cow breeding.


And now, Mister and Miss Sonepat!
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, January 13
The Three-Star Movies will organise a competition of Mister Sonepat and Miss Sonepat on January 25 on the premises of the Mam Chand Senior Secondary School on Sonepat-Murthal Road.

According to a report, the boys and girls in the age-group of 16-35 years are entitled to taking part in this competition.

Lohri celebrations

A function marking the Lohri celebrations was held on the premises of the Hindu Girls College here today. A large number of students, staff and the employees took part in this function. The girl students enjoyed peanuts and ‘revaris’ which are linked with the festival of Lohri.This festival was also celebrated in each corner of thecity. Folk dance and music programmes were held at several places, including the education institutions. A cultural show which included Lohri sangeet and other traditional events was attended by a large number of people at a banquet hall near Gita Bhawan Chowk.

One hurt in mishap

One person was seriously injured and two were escaped unhurt when a Tata 407 collided with a truck on Sonepat-Rohtak Road near Rohna minor about 25 km from here today.

According to a report, the accident occurred on account of dense fog and poor visibility. The injured Mahabir was admitted to a private hospital at Kharkhauda town. Two others Atma Ram and Mahinder escaped unhurt. The truck was on its way from Palri village to Rohtak.

On account of this accident, traffic on this road remained jammed for about 3 hours. A large number of vehicles including cars, trucks and buses were lined up on both sides of the road. On receipt of information, the police officials arrived on the spot and normalised the traffic on the road.

HVP prepares for Jan 18 rally

Mr Surinder Singh, a former MP and the secretary general of the Haryana Vikas Party (HVP) toured as many as 14 villages falling under the Sonepat assembly constituency today in connection with the mass contact campaign to mobilise the people for January 18 massive rally to be held in Subhash Stadium and addressed by the supremo and former Chief Minister, Mr Bansi Lal.

Addressing these meetings, he listed the promises to be fulfilled if his party comes to power in the state after the next assembly elections.

He also criticised the Chautala government and alleged that it had failed on all fronts and the people were fed up with the government and they wanted a change. The HVP which is the only party to provide clean and corruption-free government in the state, Mr Surinder Singh claimed.

Abiana recovery

The Haryana Government has reversed its earlier decision for the recovery of the abiana and penalty (tawaan) from the farmers whose fields are irrigated by the canal network in the state.

According to a report, it has already issued an order directing the authorities of the irrigation department to recover the abiana and the amount of penalty (tawaan) from the farmers using the canal water for irrigating their fields but has not empowered with an authority to take action against the defaulters. This led to a confusion and holding of the recovery to the tune of Rs 20 crore annually.

Now the state government has withdrawn the earlier order and directed the authorities of the revenue department to recover the abiana and the amount of penalty through the lambardars of the villages as usual. The latest order of the state government has ended the confusion and the authorities of the irrigation department have heaved a sigh of relief.

Century-old house to be razed

The Sonepat Municipal Council has decided to demolish the century-old house in the Gali Sunaron Wali of Chhota Halwai Hatta of the city.

According to a report, this house is on the verge of collapse. The residents of the area have urged the municipal council to demolish this house. The devotees of the Chitanewali Mata Mandir were facing great inconvenience to pass through the gali for entering the temple which is close to this house.

The officials of the municipal council visited the area today and inspected the site of the house which is to be demolished after getting the approval from the higher authorities.


Black flag demo by Roadways workers

Sonepat, January 13
The Haryana Roadways Workers Union has decided to organise a black flag demonstration on January 16 in front of the Sonepat depot to protest against the privatisation of the Roadways, non-regularisation of daily wage employees and the alleged anti-employee attitude of the officials.

According to a report, a decision to this effect was taken at a meeting of the union.

The meeting also called upon the employees to participate in the proposed demonstration to be held on January 21 in Chandigarh.

Golden jubilee function

The Banwasi Kalyan Ashram will be organising a function on January 15 in connection with its golden jubilee in Girdhar Regency on Atlas Road.

According to a report, the office-bearers of the Ashram will distribute 100 bicycles among the Banwasi workers living in the country. An industrialist, Mr Sita Ram Bhardwaj, will be the chief guest on the occasion. OC


Gang involved in fake franking machines busted
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 13
The East district police has claimed to have busted a gang which was involved in using fake franking machines, causing huge losses to the postal department.

Based on a secret information that some persons were engaged in using the fake franking machines, the police raided a hideout and apprehended three persons who were identified as Bhishm Pal, resident of Bulandshahar; Ravi Kumar, resident of Malviya Nagar; and Bholender Tiwari, resident of Gautam Budh Nagar. Three franking machines, official stamp of post offices along with some incriminating documents were recovered from their possession.

Held for robbing passengers

The Crime Branch has claimed to have apprehended three persons from the Hazrat Nizamuddin railway station who were involved in looting the passengers after drugging them. They were identified as Basant Lal (32), resident of Jonpur; Lalmani (42), resident of Jonpur; and Harender Gupta (32), resident of Devaria.

ONGC Chairman bags SCOPE Award

Mr Subir Raha, Chairman and Managing Director, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited (ONGC) has won the “SCOPE Award for Excellence and Outstanding Contribution to the Public Sector Management-Individual Category” for the year 2002-03.

The award carries a gold plaque and a cash amount of Rs 1,00,000. In the Institutional Category, GAIL (India) Limited bagged the Gold Trophy while RITES Limited got the Silver Trophy in the Smaller Public Enterprises Category.

Artificial Limbs Manufacturing Corporation of India Limited (ALIMCO) got the Silver Trophy for Turnaround Category. Dr S M Dewan, Director General, SCOPE, informed here today that the SCOPE Award for Excellence were unanimously decided by the jury under the chairmanship of Justice P N Bhagwati. The members of the jury are Dr Arjun Sengupta, Mr Moosa Raza, Mr Hiten Bhaya and Dr Abid Hussain. In total, 40 nominations for Institutional Category and 19 for the Individual Category were received for the year 2002-03.


Teachers’ union flays ‘University Model Act’
Our Correspondents

Bhiwani, January 13
Sharply reacting to the proposed ‘University’s Model Act’, the All India Federation of University and College Teachers’ Organisation (AIFUCTO) has called it a “step by the Central government to privatise the higher education”.

In a press statement, the general secretary of the Haryana Government College Teachers Association (HGCTA), a state body of the AIFUCTO, Mr Karan Singh said that the association would not accept the Act or its part. He said that a meeting of the association was held today under the chairmanship of Prof Rajender Bhanwaria on the Government College premises and decided to participate in the proposed dharna to be observed under the aegis of AIFUCTO outside the residence of Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee on February 16 besides courting arrest.

The association, he said, also resolved that an ‘Educational Conference’ would be organised next month in which the Chief Minister would be invited as chief guest.

He said that the meeting opposed the disciplinary action based upon false complaints on MDUTA leadership and decided to cooperate the agitating teachers at every level.

Now a gym for girls to do daily dozen

Sonepat: The management of the Hindu Education Society which runs more than half a dozen educational institutions well known all over the state, has reportedly taken a decision to set up a gym on the campus of Hindu Girls College.

This decision has been taken by the management on the initiative of the college principal, Shamim Sharma and the demand of the college students. And as claimed, it will be first of its kind gym in any college of the state.

In the opinion of the principal, Dr Shamim Sharma, there is lot of difference between the living of the girls and boys. Boys are free to go to the stadiums or in private gyms. But because of social taboos, most of the girls remained confined to their college or house and hardly get an opportunity to get such facilities outside.

Moreover, in this hectic life, one has to be health conscious and the girls are particularly required to become mentally and physically strong to face the challenges of the life, Dr Shamim said, adding that the time has come when the girls are competing with the boys in every walk of life.

“Everyone has the desire to become healthy and appear as handsome or beautiful with slim body and in case of girls, this desire is more. But the facilities are less to fulfil their desire. And hence we thought of providing gym facility for our students in the college,” she observed.

The students of the college, particularly those residing in the college hostel are feeling happy over the opening of the gym. “Instead of wasting time in gossip and lying in bed, we will go to the gym and exercise to keep ourselves fit and active,” they remarked and thanked the principal and the management for arranging this unique facility.


Kidnapped child rescued, two held
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 13
Within 12 hours of the kidnap of a three-year-old child in the Gole Market area, the New Delhi police today claimed to have rescued the child and arrested two persons involved in the kidnapping.

The accused were identified as Kishan Lal (57), resident of Allahabad and Ram Lakhan (60), resident of Gole Market.

The Mandir Marg police received a complaint from one Ram Pal, father of the kidnapped child Mukesh, that his son was missing from a canteen in Bengali Girls Senior Secondary School.

He told the police that the child was playing in the school canteen and at around 4 pm, he was found missing. Ram Pal also told the police that he suspects the involvement of one Kishan Lal in the kidnapping.

When Kishan was questioned about the whereabouts of the child, he said that did not know and that he was innocent. But when the police resorted to sustained interrogation, he revealed that the child was kept in Ram Lakhan’s house.

He also told the police that he had taken Rs 3,000 from Ram Lakhan to give the child to him as he was issueless. On January 11, Kishan who is a watchman of the school found the child was playing alone and he kidnapped the child on the pretext of offering him sweets.

During a search in Ram Lakhan’s house, the police also found a one-and-half-year-old girl child, whom he claimed to be the daughter of his deceased sister. The police are trying to find out the parents of the child.

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