N C R   S T O R I E S


Boy ‘swapped’ for a girl in Noida’s Govt hospital
Parmindar Singh

Noida, January 28
A curious tale of a newborn baby boy being allegedly swapped for a girl has surfaced in the maternity ward of Noida’s government hospital in Sector-30.

A boy was born on January 26 this year to Bina, it is claimed. However, the hospital staff handed over a girl to Bina, and told her to go home. Not only this, when the family refused to accept the girl child, the hospital officials reportedly tried to retrieve the birth slip of the child.

Finally, the matter came to a boil on Tuesday and the CMO, Dr.H.K.Sharma, ordered that a DNA test be conducted on the child and the mother in question.

The police of Sector-20, who are investigating the matter, have not registered a report yet. They are likely to quiz the doctor and the nurse who conducted the delivery.

Dr Taneja Lal and nurse Jaspreet Kaur had helped Bina bear a child in a normal delivery. Bina’s husband Haldar said he was told that a son had been born and he had even distributed sweets to the hospital staff.

But at nighttime Bina was handed over a girl child by the staff. Bina and her family members refused to accept the girl, saying that a son had been born. When the family members demanded why they were being handed over a girl, they were told: “You can talk to the bada doctor (CMO) in the morning”.

In the morning, the staff allegedly tried to retrieve the birth slip, on the plea that they had “mistakenly written a boy in place of a girl on the slip”. At this, Bina’s father got in touch with NEA President Rakesh Katyal who in turn talked with the CMO.

The head of the gynecology department, Dr. Raj Rani, disclosed that 11 children were born on January 26, of which eight were boys and 3 girls. She said that she had made informal inquiries and the staff was of the view that a girl was born to Bina.

Bina’s father has filed a report in Sector-20 police station, alleging that the son born to his daughter had been replaced with a girl by the hospital staff.


Chautala promises girls cycles for commuting
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, January 28
Haryana Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala today announced that the state government would give a cycle to every girl who goes to another village from her own for studying. This incentive would help promote education among the girls of rural areas, he added.

The chief minister is on a five-day tour of four Assembly constituencies — Rai, Sonepat, Gohana and Baroda, which are segments of Sonepat Parliamentary constituency..

Launching his campaign in more than three dozens villages of Rai constituency today, the chief minister also promised that all those villages, which did not have a health institute, would be covered by the mobile medical teams.

Mr Chautala’s tour programme was scheduled in such a way that the representatives of a cluster of villages were asked to assemble at one place and air their grievances before the chief minister. Most of the demands of the villagers were, by and large, related to repair of roads, chaupals, school buildings, water pipelines, street pavements and ‘phirnis’, upgradation of schools and allotment of residential plots to the weaker sections.

During the tour, the chief minister did not fail to point out that though they had not voted for his party in the last Assembly elections, the state government did not neglect the development of that village.

When some of the villagers at Pabsera complained that the member of Parliament, Mr Kishan Singh Sangwan, had sanctioned a pavement of a street in the village, but so far the required amount was not received, the Mr Chautala remarked, “Don’t vote for him this time.”

While addressing the villagers at Dipalpur, the Chief Minister stated that he had given a stable government and completed a record number of development works. “Rural development has been the priority of my government and the government has tried its best to benefit every section of the society by launching new welfare schemes,” he added.

The five-day tour of the chief minister in the four Assembly segments of Sonepat Lok Sabha constituency has assumed political importance as it is represented by his bitter critic and state BJP’s vice-president, Kishan Singh Sangwan.

Interestingly, according to the Chief Minister’s revised itinerary, he will be camping in Gohana, the home town of Mr Sangwan, during the next three days of his tour.


MCD chief brushes aside objections to
Unit Area method
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 28
The Delhi Government is making efforts to convince its agitated citizens about the need of the Unit Area Method (UAM), the new system for determining property tax that comes into effect from April 1. The Delhi civic authorities claim the new system for house tax assessment will end the Inspector Raj, bring more revenue and help rationalise the tax rate, ending its variation in similarly placed properties.

The Municipal Corporation (Amendment) Bill, 2003, which gives effect to the new system, was passed by the Delhi Assembly on April seven last year. A seven-member House committee has been formed to scrutinise the proposals of the Evaluation Committee, which will decide the rate at which the properties will be assessed.

According to civic authorities, under the existing system, the annual ratable value of a land or building forms the basis of property tax. This value represents the annual rent at which the land or building may be rented. Under the new system, location, occupancy, age, structure and use of a property and the area vacant or covered will determine its unit area value. Under this system, all similar and similarly placed properties would come to be assessed the same way and would be subject to the same rate of tax. Thus far, Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Chennai and Patna have adopted the system. The system proposed for the MCD is based on the recommendations of an Expert Committee, which was appointed by the Delhi Government in July last year.

The main objections raised by Residents Welfare Associations (RWAs) to the Act are that the categorisation of colonies/localities into eight types for the purpose of assigning unit area values would put additional tax burden on citizens. The areas inhibited by the middle, lower and economically weaker sections, but surrounded by posh localities, will now be required to be assessed on similar rates which are fixed for posh colonies.

The tax liability of at least 17 big properties like cinema halls and businesses in posh localities of South Delhi would come down drastically from the present level of up to Rs 27 lakh per year, causing a total loss to the exchequer of Rs 3.5 crore.

The RWAs say the Municipal Valuation Committee has not mentioned any formula for the common areas, common entrance, halls, exit, atria or malls which would create confusion as to who would pay property tax for common areas in commercial complexes and markets and in Group Housing Societies.

No distinction has been made for various types of hospitals, nursing homes and educational institutions for factor categories, which would affect their utility value. However, MCD commissioner R K Mehta brushed aside these objections, saying that the farm houses would be tagged with the nearest posh colonies for levying tax.

Mr Mehta also dismissed the argument that the new system would increase tax liability of old properties which are usually owned by lower and middle class segments of population surviving on meager income. He also rejected the argument that owners of rented properties would have to pay double property tax under the new system.

He said that a fairly good concession has been given to owners of old properties. A 40 per cent rebate would be given to properties that came up before 1960 and 20 per cent to those that came up between 1960 to 1980. Besides, there is 30 per cent concession for women and senior citizens, he pointed out.


Seven die in maxi cab mishap

Jhajjar, January 28
Maxi cabs, notorious death traps, again proved lethal for passengers when seven persons of three villages of Jhajjar district died in a tragic accident involving a Bolero jeep and a trolley near Silani village on Rewari road here today.

With the news of the ghastly mishap reaching Dadanpur, Kheri, Sultanpur and Ahir Dhani villages, locals rushed to the incident spot to ascertain the well-being of their near and dear ones, who had left in the morning for the district headquarters. It is learnt that the cab daily ferried passengers from Machhroli village to Jhajjar. The sources disclosed that most of these vehicles are illegal as they do not possess permits; however, they thrive due to the callousness and corruption of the traffic police.

Among the dead included a father and his daughter from Ahir Dhani. Narender, an eyewitness, told this correspondent that he was trailing behind the Bolero jeep in his Maruti car. The driver of the ill-fated cab tried to overtake another vehicle in an extremely rash manner and rammed into a heavy vehicle coming from Jhajjar side. By the time he and others extracted some passengers from the wreckage of the cab, four persons have lost their lives.

Some persons from nearby Gizadod, Silani, Khudan and Dadanpur villages and some labourers from brick-kilns converged at the spot and helped in the rescue operation. First, the four persons who perished were sent to the civil hospital in a chassis of TATA 407 coming from Rewari. Another chassis ferried some injured to the hospital. Narender also carried two seriously injured persons – Krishan, who could not be saved, and one Joginder — in his car to Jhajjar hospital..

Noida bandh today, stir enters decisive phase

Noida: The agitation for Gautam Budh Nagar ‘district’ will enter a decisive phase on January 29, with the administration making all out efforts to make the Maha Bandh a grand success.

The members of the Joint Action Committee have undertaken a mass contact programme for keeping the industrial units and markets closed in Noida, Greater Noida and other towns. The Kisan Morcha cadre and their leader, Teja Gujjar, is also in the fray.

All educational institutions, including schools and colleges, will remain closed on Thursday. Teams of volunteers have been personally contacting traders’ associations, owners of industrial units and villagers. People in five dozen villages had been approached for joining the bandh. OC


Foundation stone laid for container depot at Dadri
Our Correspondent

Dadri (Noida), January 28
Laying the foundation stone of Asia’s largest inland container depot at Dadri on the Republic Day, the Union Railway Minister, Mr Nitish Kumar, said that there is an urgent need to mould our temperament according to the challenges of the market economy. “It should be our aim and endeavour to provide better facilities and comforts to the consumers,” the Railway Minister said.

The work for the depot had been entrusted to the Indian Container Corporation, he said.

The Railway Minister also said the long-felt need of the local people for a bridge over the railway line in Dadri would soon be met. The need for a bridge had been brought to his notice by the local MP, Mr Ashok Pradhan, and MLA Nawab Singh Nagar, he said.

The Khurja station will have in place a computerised ticket centre by February 10, the Railway Minister promised. While announcing the construction of Fatehpur Halt, he appealed to the local people to help the Railways by contributing voluntary labour (Shram Dhan).

The container deport at Dadri will be constructed in an area of 110 hectares keeping in mind the growing needs of the various industries in the area, including a large number of multinational companies operating in Noida and Greater Noida industrial belts.

The Managing Director of ICC, Mr Ashwani Kumar Kohli, said that the container depot, which will be ready by 2008, will have a capacity of 10 lakh TIUC.

The container depot will be linked to the Dadri Railway Station on the Delhi-Howrah line. It will have a network of four rail lines of full length, a storage depot capacity of 9,000 sq.mt, a CC block of 1.20 lakh sq meters, 40,000 sq.mt., parking for trailers and four large rubber cranes and a host of other facilities.

The Union Telecom Minister, Mr Ashok Pradhan and MLA Nawab Singh Nagar had earlier requested the Railway Minister for constructing an over bridge at Dadri, halt at Fatehpur, computerized ticket counter at Khurja and increasing the stoppages of express trains passing through Dadri.

Dr Manchanda awarded Padma Shri

Noida: Dr. S.C.Manchanda, cardiologist at the Metro Heart Institute, has been conferred the Padma Shri by the President of India. It is a rare honour for Metro Hospitals to have five Padma awardees. Dr. S. C. Manchanda, former Professor and Head of the Department of Cardiology, AIIMS, has rich experience in the field of cardiology and has trained hundreds of cardiologists in turn.

Dr Manchanda has done pioneering work on the role of yoga and diet in the prevention of coronary artery disease. He is author of a number of textbooks and has hundred of scientific papers to his credit.

Dr Manchanda emphasised the need for exercise or yoga, swimming, walking and abstaining from alcohol, smoking and avoiding junk (fast) food, in order to lead a normal healthy lifestyle.

“It is very necessary to control anger, tension and stress, which lead to heart attack and blood pressure.” Dr Manchanda said that five persons were killed every minute in India or 25 lakh a year due to heart attacks. Incident of diabetes was increasing by 300 per cent, he said. Dr Manchanda also stressed that need for guiding and weaning away children from junk food, which cause obesity and high blood pressure.

Those living in urban areas suffer five times more than rural people from heart disease, obesity and blood pressure, Dr Manchanda said. He is working as the chairman of the Department of Cardiology, Metro group of hospitals.


Health Watch
Say ‘no’ to half-cooked eggs, chicken
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 28
Bird flu is like common human flu; however, any flu can cause a pandemic. But there is no need for panic as man-to-man transmission, so far, has not occurred in the case of bird flu. This was stated by Dr K K Aggarwal, President, Indian Medical association.

Dr Aggarwal, who is also the state coordinator for `2004 – The Year of Scientific Awareness’, said that it is time the public educates itself on the importance of not eating half-cooked eggs and half-cooked chicken. Such half-cooked meals can be not only a potential source of Bird flu, but also many other parasitic and non-parasitic infections.

It is also time for the medical fraternity to update its knowledge, educate patients and cooperate with the government, so that unnecessary panic does not occur.

The following few important information nuggets on Bird flu where released by the Heart Care Foundation and the IMA.

* This is an animal-type of influenza that can range from a mild disease to a highly infectious version that is fatal. It spreads in the air and in the manure and also contaminates food, water, equipment and clothing. Although it is very infectious for birds, it does not spread easily among humans.

* The virus, called H5N1 virus, is the one noted in South East Asia. The one discovered in Karachi belongs to H7 and H9 varieties, according to Dr Aggarwal.

* WHO fears that the virus might mutate, linking up with ordinary human flu virus and foster the next flu pandemic amongst humans, with almost negligible immunity.

* The real threat is that it might jump from one human to another and then mutate to a deadly hybrid strain, which can cause a catastrophe all over the world.

* Even SARS jumps from animals to humans and has killed scores and infected thousands. There is a better need for monitoring of infectious disease in animals to prevent human transmission.

* Common man need not worry, so long as one is eating fully boiled or cooked eggs and fully cooked chicken or meat. This will not only prevent Bird flu, but also all other types of infections, which can spread through egg or chicken.


Gang adept at disposing of luxury cars busted

New Delhi: The Delhi Police Crime Branch today claimed to have apprehended two persons who used to dispose of luxury vehicles stolen by an inter-state gang in places like Uttaranchal, UP, Bihar, West Bengal and Assam. The sleuths also claimed to have recovered stolen vehicles, including three Toyota Qualis, one Maruti Zen, one Indica car, four Tata Sumos and one motorcycle from their possession. The sleuths had arrested the members of Anil Sehgal-Vinod Bhanwra gang of autolifters recently. During interrogation, they revealed that the stolen vehicles were disposed of — in neighbouring states. TNS


CM pays only lip service to statehood issue: BJP
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 28
Stumped by Sheila Dikshit’s offensive on the issue of securing statehood to the NCT of Delhi, the BJP today responded by dubbing the Chief Minister’s protestations as mere ‘lip service’ to ostensibly “divert the attention of the people of Delhi from other important issues”.

Virtually retreating from the stand taken by the party consistently over the past few years, president of Delhi Pradesh BJP Harshvardhan said that developmental issues like electricity, water, road and transport were more ‘important’ today than statehood.

He described the Chief Minister’s demand for full statehood as ‘ridiculous’ and ‘childish’ and said that Mrs Dikshit herself was to blame for the delay in the submission of the report of the Parliamentary Standing Committee of Home Affairs.

Mr Harshvardhan said that the Chief Minister did not put any pressure on the Parliamentary Standing Committee of Home Affairs led by Pranab Mukherjee of the Congress to expedite the preparation of the report on the issue of making NCT of Delhi a State of the Union.

He went on to accuse that the original proposal for the statehood had been changed significantly and that it would require another review, which under the circumstances, was not feasible since the Lok Sabha would be dissolved on February 6.

The Chief Minister met Deputy Prime Minister L K Advani last month to impress upon the Centre of the need to get the Delhi State Bill 2003 passed at the earliest.

The issue of statehood to the NCT of Delhi figured in the manifestoes released by the BJP and the Congress in the run-up to the Assembly election late last year. The Congress had incorporated the demand for statehood for the first time.

Since the introduction of the report of the Parliamentary Standing Committee of Home Affairs, the Bill has found no takers. Observers attribute the general disinterest to the Congress’ returning to power for a second consecutive time in NCT of Delhi.


Special drive to distribute Kisan credit
cards from February 2 
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, January 28
The district administration in coordination with the lead bank, the Punjab National Bank, has decided to launch a campaign to intensify its efforts to distribute Kisan credit cards to eligible farmers in this district.

According to a report, the campaign would begin from February 2 and continue until February 23.

Camps would be held at the block headquarters to enable the farmers to get the credit cards at their doorsteps. A two-day Krishi Card Vitran Camp would be held at the headquarters of Sonepat block on February 2 and 3.

During the camp, the SDM, the Tehsildar and other officials of the Revenue Department as well as the bank managers would be present.

The patwaris would be present on the occasion to produce the record of the farmers in order to ensure that all formalities are taken care of before issuing of such cards.

Official sources revealed that there were 93,000 farmers in Sonepat district, and 69,000 of them had been distributed Kisan credit cards by various banks.

The remaining 24,000 farmers were found ineligible for such credit cards. Hence, the target fixed for this purpose had been completed in the district.

The main purpose for launching the special campaign was to cover those farmers who may have been left out under this scheme.

The farmers could apply for such cards during the camp. The district administration said the scheme would not be extended further.

Demand for setting up Fast Track Courts

The Fast Track Court, set up at Sonepat, sentenced 57 persons in murder cases and eight persons in rape cases during the period September 10,2002 and September 9, 2003. The court received as many as 63 cases and sentenced 112 persons accused in a variety of criminal cases. Moreover, it acquitted 72 accused due to lack of evidence. As many as 22 persons accused in dacoity cases were imprisoned.

Lawyers said that a large number of criminal cases had been pending in various judicial courts for the last many years and several of them had been disposed of by the Fast Track Court. The time taken for the disposal of cases in the Fast Track Courts was less than the other judicial courts.

The lawyers wanted that extension should be grated to such courts, and the government should appoint regular judges for speedy trials.

Some lawyers also demanded the transfer of civil cases to such courts for providing speedy justice to the litigants. 


Women’s groups seek balance in politics
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 28
The Joint Action Front for Women (JAFW), a group of about 40 organisations, has appealed to the organisations across the country to protest against the “government’s failure to pass the Women’s Reservation Bill and Domestic Violence Prevention Bill in Parliament”.

Women’s collection led by Dr Ranjana Kumari, Co-ordinator of the JAFW, will meet the President, Dr. Abdul Kalam, urging him to intervene. An appeal has also been issued to the Prime Minister, the leader of the Opposition and political leaders of various parties to “realise their responsibility towards women”.

It was pointed out that though the resolution to empower women was passed unanimously six years ago, “the same now looks hollow”.

“There is no political will to share power with women. Every successive government has been promising 33 per cent seats to women in Parliament, but so far it remains only a dream,” Dr. Ranjana Kumari said.

Planning to organise a rally when Parliament is in session to draw attention to their demands, the JAFW concedes that gender balance in politics is about women’s full, equal and active participation. 


Poll fever grips Bahadurgarh
Our Correspondent

Jhajjar, January 28
The electorate of Bahadurgarh subdivision here is all set to witness a prolonged battle of ballot: political games of one-upmanship. After the conclusion of electoral battle for the representation of wards in the local body, the stage is set for the general elections, which would be followed by another sustained struggle for the Bahadurgarh Assembly seat.

As of now, the entire township with a population of over 1.5 lakh is ready for the Municipal Council elections. The intensive campaign by the candidates and their supporters continuing for over a month drew to a close, the election date being January 29.

The entire town is virtually swarmed with the banners and posters. The candidates supported by the ruling party have surpassed their rivals in the banner-poster war. Following the elections, the Lok Sabha elections would continue to give the electorate sleepless nights and not only the highest executive post of the country would be at stake, the state INLD government would also treat these elections as an indication for the next Assembly elections.

The Bahadurgarh subdivision is falling under the Sonepat Parliamentary seat, which went to the BJP in the distribution of seats between the BJP-INLD alliance last time. Mr Krishan Singh Sangwan is the present MP from here and a bete noire of the Chief Minister.

The INLD sources have indicated that this time they would seek this seat during the seat arrangements if the alliance continues. However, in both the cases, the fight would be interesting and Bahadurgarh subdivision would play a decisive role in tilting the scales in favour of any contestant. 


Statue of martyr Suresh Yadav unveiled
Our Correspondent

Rewari, January 28
Haryana Governor Babu Parmanand unveiled the newly installed statue of Naik Commando Suresh Yadav at Pali village, about 15 km from here, today.

Naik Commando Suresh Yadav of 21 Parachute Special Force had sacrificed his life fighting against the militants in the Kupwara Sector of Jammu and Kashmir on October 4, 2002. He was a young man of 22 at that time.

Offering his condolences to his parents, Subedar Major Om Prakash Yadav and Mrs Santosh Yadav, the Governor asserted that the sacrifice made by their son on the altar of the motherland would continue to inspire posterity.

The Governor said that he would see to it that a Sainik school was opened at Pali village during his tenure in Haryana.

It is noteworthy that the Sainik school, which had been sanctioned by the then Defence Minister, Mr R. Venkatraman, in September, 1983, had been hanging fire on account of the inconsistent approach of the Defence Ministry as well as the successive governments of Haryana.

The Governor had earlier inaugurated a three-day medical camp organised under the Health Awareness Mela Programme of the Union Government at Kund village about 24 km from here today.

Dr Sudha Yadav, MP, said that a sum of Rs 8 lakh would be spent on the Kund medical camp while the Haryana Health Minister, Dr M.L. Ranga, said that all residents of Haryana would be medically examined by December 2004 and each family in the state would be provided with a health card.


NCR briefs
Man killed trying to board train
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, January 28
An unidentified man was killed on the spot while trying to board a running train at the railway station here last evening.

According to a report, the body remains unidentified and the GRP has sent it for the postmortem examination.

Loadshedding in Pitampura

New Delhi: The NDPL today announced power shut down tomorrow in Pitampura, Narela and Shalimar Bagh due to maintenance work at substations.

The affected areas will be JU Block Pitampura from 10 am to 4 pm and Singhu, Singhola, Tikri villages and part of Hamidpur from 10 am to 3 pm and part of DA Block in Shalimar Bagh will be affected from 10 am to 6 pm. The BSES announced that Priyadarshini Vihar, part of Krishna Nagar, Telephone Exchange Laxmi Nagar, Vivekanand police quarters, Radhey Shyam Park, Laita Park, Kuldeep Nursing Home, Preet Vihar, PP Quarters, Ajmal Khan Kiosk, Telephone Exchange and adjoining areas will be affected from 9.30 am to 5.30 pm.


Three armed youths intercepted a Tata Indica car near the Rajokari crossing and drove away the car after firing at the driver. The injured driver was admitted to the RML Hospital.

The police said the driver Joginder (28), resident of Aya Nagar, was returning to Gurgaon after dropping his employer K K Handa, resident of Gurgaon in the Grand Hyatt Hotel on Monday night when the incident occurred.

As the car reached the crossing, at around 10 pm, three youths got into the car and took it away car after firing two rounds at the driver. The police have registered a case and launched a hunt for the suspects. 

Workers rally against retrenchments

A large number of government employees of various karamchari unions took out a procession here yesterday in protest against the retrenchments and the privatisation policy of the state government.

According to a report, They carried black flags and raised anti-government slogans. They passed through the main bazaars and reached the municipal park where a public meeting was held. The speakers criticised the state government for adopting an anti-employee attitude and announced that the employees would take part in the nationwide strike on February 24.

The speakers warned that if the state government continues its anti-employee policy, the employees will have no alternative than to launch a statewide agitation. TNS


Wedding party turns into free-for-all
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, January 28
Three persons were injured in a clash between two groups of a wedding party which took place near Sisana village about 25 km from here last night. Bricks and even weapons were used freely in the fracas.

According to a report, the injured were rushed to a private hospital in Delhi. The police are investigating the case. However, no arrest has been made in this connection. The injured were identified as Satish, Narinder and Nitan, all residents of Pehladpur village in Delhi. They had gone to attend a wedding at Kansala village, where they had quarrel with some members of the marriage party.

Student kidnapped

Manjeet, a class V student was reported to have been kidnapped from the West Ram Nagar area of the city. According to a report, he came out of his house to play on January 10 but did not return. The parents had searched for him but in vain.

Bike stolen

A motorcycle was reportedly stolen from a house in Jain Bagh Colony here last night. According to a report, the owner of the motorcycle has lodged a complaint with the police. A spate of thefts in this area has caused a panic among the residents of the colony.

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