N C R   S T O R I E S


Weak students being denied roll numbers?
Bijendra Ahlawat
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, February 9
Come February and the exam blues take over not only the students but their parents also. While the Matric and Senior Secondary examinations of the Haryana State Education Board have already been announced, there are many candidates who are still to receive their roll numbers and admit cards. This has the parents of such wards on tenterhooks.

The Faridabad Abhibhawak Ekta Manch, a body representing the parents of school students here, has received many complaints in this regard.

Mr Suresh Kaushik, secretary of the Manch, said here today that many students who did not get satisfactory marks in the pre-Board exams had not been issued roll numbers and admit cards. They were told that the State Education Board had not yet released their cards.

The Manch has alleged that the private schools had a tendency to deny the ‘weak’ or average students an opportunity to appear in the examination. Such schools fear that their overall result may be affected.

Most such students have deposited their tuition fee for the month as well as the examination charges, but their schools have been refusing them cards on ‘flimsy’ grounds, claimed the Manch.

According to Mr Kaushik, Haryana Education Board Secretary Rakesh Gupta had told them that the Board had already sent all the roll numbers and the admit cards to the respective schools.

He said the Board had agreed to release the admit cards of all those students online also, whose application forms for these exams had been complete. Such students could download the admit cards from , the website of the Board.

It has also been announced that an official of the state education board would be available at the office of the District Education Officer (DEO) on February 12 from 11 am to 5 pm to take up the problems of the examinees and their parents.

The Manch has asked the parents of the students to inform it about the schools, which had been denying their wards the opportunity to appear in the Board exams. It has started a helpline service for the students, so that they can discuss their problems with the office-bearers of the Manch. The helpline numbers are 2287342, 2261864 and 2269325.


Lid off triple murder in Rohini; three held
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 9
With the arrest of three persons, the North-West district today claimed to have solved the sensational triple murder case in Rohini in which three persons, including a child and a woman, were killed in their house on February 5 and robbed of cash and jewellery. The accused robbed Rs 20,000 and 8-10 tolas of gold jewellery from the house.

The culprits slit the throat of Ankit (9) and Rajesh (28) while they strangulated Mridula Kishore (55) with a telephone chord. The accused were identified as Surender, alias Kalua, (23), resident of Bulandshahr, Vijay Pal (21), also of Bulandshahar and Virender, alias Mintoo, (25), of Ghaziabad.

On February 5 at around 7.20 pm, the police received a call that three persons were killed in a house in Sector-7, Rohini. While Mridula and Ankit were brought dead in the BSA Hospital, Rajesh died in the house.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (North-West) Sanjay Singh said after visiting the spot, the police found that the almirah had been ransacked but the food, prepared for about five persons, was untouched in the kitchen.

Though the police found the motive of the murder to be robbery, they examined the angle of family dispute as well. Mridula’s husband is a manager, marketing division at the Mathura Refinery and used to visit the family on the weekends. They had three sons Rajesh, Magender (30) and Kaushal (26).

Magender was married to one Hemlata and were not living together. They have two sons, Ankit and Vaibhav (6). While Ankit stayed with the father, Vaibhav lived with the mother.

At the time of the incident, Kaushal had gone to attend class at ICA institute at Shalimar Bagh. One of their neighbours found the bodies. In the meantime, Kaushal also reached home and informed the police.

The DCP said that during investigations, the police also quizzed one Vinay, the boss of Hemlata who worked in Saroj Hospital, Rohini. Hemlata was having an affair with Vinay, and reportedly told him that she could not marry him because of the child.

During the course of investigation, Kaushal told the police that on January 27, two friends of Rajesh— Surender, alias Kalua, and Vijaypall—of the same village had visited the house and stayed over a night.

On February 8, the police received a tip-off that the suspects would be coming to Samaipur Badli and at around 10 pm, they were spotted at the Mukarba Chowk bus stand and apprehended.

Singh added that during interrogation, they broke down and confessed to the crime, robbery being the motive. The accused told the police that on February 5, the three met outside and reached Mridula’s house on foot at around 10.30 am. After reaching the house, they met Rajesh and Mridula and were offered tea and biscuits. Mridula also prepared lunch for them.

Around 1.45 pm, the trio decided to rob the house and called Rajesh inside and slit his throat while Mridula was sitting outside. Then Surender dialled 161 for automatic calling in the landline phone and when Mridula came inside, the three strangulated her with the telephone chord.

At around 2 pm while they were opening the almirah door, Ankit returned from school and the trio slit his throat also. After taking away the cash and jewellery, they reached Madhuban Chowk and boarded a bus for Mukarba Chowk. From there, they took another bus to Mukherji Nagar and reached Dheerpur before finally reaching Bulandshahr.


Free check-up for would-be mothers once a month
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 9
Ante-natal check-up will be available free in NCT of Delhi. Gynaecologists and obstetricians, who volunteer their services for the Vande Mataram programme launched this morning, will keep a day aside every month to offer advice.

The service will be available in private and public hospitals and clinics alike. The hospitals and clinics that register under the programme will display prominently the Vande Mataram card. Four thousand physicians have signed up already.

More are expected to enlist themselves after the Union Government’s invitation to the Federation of Obstetrics and Gynaecological Society of India (FOGSI) to participate in the programme. The FOGSI has about 18,000 members.

After launching the Vande Mataram programme at Moolchand Hospital, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit said gynaecologists would provide ante-natal check-ups free of cost to the pregnant women who come to their clinics on the 9th of every month.

The programme has been launched to arrest the spiralling maternal mortality rate in the Capital. Regretting that the mortality rate was unacceptably high, she said the government would provide medicines and contraceptives to the volunteers.

She said women should take advantage of this programme and visit the nearest hospital or clinic. According to the District Household Survey estimates, at least 33 per cent pregnant women do not avail themselves of a single ante-natal check-up.

“If we take care from the beginning, there will be more healthy babies and less birth complications. The programme, which is a government and private sector collaborative effort, will also help us reduce maternal mortality by half in the course of this year,” she said.

On the government’s part, Ms Dikshit said, “We will do our best to spread awareness about the scheme through TV, Anganwadi workers, NGOs and let them know that medicare is right at their doorstep.”

She hoped more private hospitals and clinics would sign up.


Sheila sceptical of Centre’s move to regularise illegal colonies
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 9
Why does the Union Government not outline the finer points of the guidelines for making illegal colonies legal at the earliest if it is indeed serious about it? questioned Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit on Monday.

She told media persons that her government had not received any notification from the Union Government in the matter despite repeated requests. Claiming to have culled out information from the newspapers, the Chief Minister said the Centre’s decision to regularise unauthorised colonies was a ploy to mislead the people ahead of the Lok Sabha election.

This was the fourth time the Centre had made an announcement about the regularisation of unauthorised colonies before the election. “So we are extremely suspicious that the decision would be implemented,” she said.

The Chief Minister said the guidelines were very confusing. “If the government is so serious on regularising the unauthorised colonies, it should have issued a simple administrative order on the lines of the notification issued in 1977 when Indira Gandhi was the Prime Minister and Union Tourism Minister Jagmohan was the then vice-chairman of Delhi Development Authority (DDA),” she told reporters.

The Union Ministry of Urban Development had on Saturday said that the new guidelines for regularisation of unauthorised colonies were applicable to both private and public land except the Sainik Farms, which was a matter of separate consideration.

The ministry also said that only such colonies where more than 50 per cent of the area has been built up would be considered for regularisation.

An official release here said that the cut-off date for regularisation of unauthorised colonies would be March 31, 2002.

The Chief Minister said it was not clear whether unauthorised colonies that were on government land would be considered for regularisation as the intention being conveyed through the press was that only the unauthorised colonies on public land would be taken into account.

She denied that her government was delaying the process of identifying the unauthorised colonies as alleged by certain BJP leaders. “It is erroneous and totally wrong to say that we are delaying the process. The Centre neither consulted us at any stage nor did it provide any substantial clear-cut guidelines for identification,” she asserted.



One must serve one’s community and that’s why I am involved in Sikh community affairs, even though I have a larger role to play as a practicing doctor, says Dr. Rajwant Singh, Washington-based National Chairman of the Sikh Council on Religion and Education (SCORE).

Dr Rajwant Singh was the first Sikh president of the Interfaith Conference of Metropolitan Washington, an organization which brings together nine world religions for dialogue and joint work on critical issues.

Born in Calcutta in 1961 and having migrated to United States in 1979, Rajwant, since his early days, is taking keen interest in Sikh philosophy and religion.

In the US, he did his undergraduate studies at Howard University in Washington and graduated with a degree in Doctoral of Dental Sciences from the Georgetown University in Washington. For the last 13 years, he has been practicing dentistry.

Dr. Singh has been active on behalf of his community for the last two decades. Several lawmakers have consulted him on matters pertaining to the Sikh community. Dr. Singh was instrumental in having the White House issue the message of greetings on Guru Nanak’s birth anniversary every year.

He was also invited by Queen Elizabeth for the 50th anniversary of her coronation last year. He was also a delegate at the Peace Summit of spiritual leaders at UN in 2000.

Dr. Singh has also presented the Sikh viewpoint at conferences held in Russia, Japan, Turkey, Greece, and England. Under the leadership of Dr. Singh, SCORE has launched a worldwide campaign to create more awareness about Sikh religion on Guru Nanak’s birthday. Many gurdwaras around the world have invited neighbors, teachers and elected officials, at the initiative of Dr. Singh, in an effort to create more understanding about the Sikh people. SCORE has also produced a 15-minute video on Guru Nanak and Sikhs to be shown to non-Sikhs in gurdwaras and in schools.

Dr. Singh is also the Executive Director of Guru Gobind Singh Foundation and conducts camps for Sikh children throughout the US; the foundation promotes the Sikh way of life among youngsters and trains them for wider active civic participation in the American society. Dr. Singh talked about his work to the NCR Tribune, when he was in the Capital recently in connection with a meeting on Sikh affairs.

What is the role of SCORE in the development of Sikhs in America?

Washington-based SCORE was started in 1998 to create awareness about Sikhism. We held the first meeting in the White House with former US President Bill Clinton and discussed several issues about minority rights and religious freedom. We wanted to bring Sikhism at par with world affairs, to create a political and social presence.

Thereafter, we also discussed issues about Christianity, the Muslim practice of wearing a scarf, discrimination against Sikhs in workplace and disallowing them from wearing ‘karas’ in fast food outlets. We also regularly discuss with the UN and the World Bank global issues.

How essential is the discussion with other community leaders and how does it benefit the Sikhs?

A coalition with other communities is very important to bring better understanding between the communities living in the US. We have the Interfaith dialogue and jointly work on issues like children’s rights, environment and human rights. Besides SCORE also interacts with academic institutions like Harvard. There are half a million Sikhs in the US and these interactions prove to be very vital.

What are your major priorities?

Education and protection of the Sikhs in the US are very important to us. For instance, we have internal education, involving leadership conferences for Sikh youths to make them understand better the community and the ethical issues.

In outer education, sessions with Senators and members of the US Congress are organised. We also meet security agencies like FBI and the Justice Department for security of Sikhs and to stop discrimination at airports and bus stands and while crossing the Canadian and Mexican borders. In fact, six truck drivers, who were mistaken for men of Osama Bin Laden, were arrested and tortured by the Americans after the 9/11 attacks. Often Americans mistake Sikhs for men of Osma Bin Laden.

What were the steps taken by SCORE to stop the discrimination of Sikhs and to enhance their security?

We keep educating the media as it is ignorant about Sikh religion and have regular sessions with journalists. We also discuss issues with non-Sikh organisations. Even blacks face a lot of discrimination and it is a common problem in the US. But the communities have been quite considerate and forthcoming in listening to the problems of Sikhs and also help us in our efforts.

Besides we also held a National Conference on Community and Justice (NCCJ) to handle diversity issues because the US has become very diverse in the last two decades. In the US, we also meet representatives from 36 gurdwaras. We also received a response from Iran, Italy, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, England and Canada.

So, what was the response there?

After the 9/11 attack, there has been a national debate on how do we respect diversification. It was a major challenge for the Sikhs because on September 15, after the terrorist strike, Sikhs were mistaken for Talibans and killed; even the media reported that Arabs had been killed. Americans have no idea about the Sikhs and it created a negative impact, leading to a non-conducive environment.

We immediately wrote to President George Bush and got a positive response. As many as 18 religious leaders met Bush and discussed with him the issues faced by the Sikh and other communities, and he promised us assistance. We reported 50 cases to him. But the violence continued for four months and over 200 cases of harassment, violence and intimidation of Sikhs were reported. But later we had a good impact: Sikhs pictures were published in newspapers and televisions and there was some awareness about the Sikh community. Thereafter, we started receiving invitations for some functions and Americans started recognizing us.

What other problems does the Sikh community face in the US?

Sikhs are not allowed to work in certain areas like food industry, engineering and transportation departments because they wear a turban and have a beard. They are also not allowed to serve in the US Army. We are fighting our case with them now.

How do you view the Sikh youth living in America?

The second generation is quite eager to learn the nuances about Sikhism, especially after the 9/11 attacks. After the strikes, they have started feeling like an alien community and the people also treat them in an indifferent manner. Since some of them do not have their roots in India, now they are quite keen to know about the community. They started working on religious issues and started networking with the police and the elderly. We have given them brochures, papers and posters and asked them to circulate them among Sikh taxi and truck drivers as part of community service. They have done a lot in this regard.

What is the contribution of Sikh NRIs to Punjab ?

We interact with the Punjab government, the SGPC and the DGPC, since we are dealing with a global problem and we need their cooperation. They, too, are quite helpful. Based on our suggestion, when the Canadian Prime Minister visited the Golden Temple, SGPC presented a memorandum for the safety of Sikhs in Canada. To this, we are getting a good response now.

What steps have been taken by the Sikh NRIs for the development of Punjab?

We have plans to help Punjab in education and health. Because many in Punjabis are lagging behind in education, they feel frustrated. We have already discussed the problem with the Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and the SGPC officials. This year, while celebrating the 500th Guru Angad Ji birth anniversary and the 400th birth anniversary of Guru Granth Sahib, we are going to initiate developmental projects.

The government, in turn, must have a plan, so that we can adopt our native villages and initiate developmental projects like schools and hospitals. At present, the NRIs are not investing in Punjab because there is a lack of mechanism to facilitate the flow of funds. We are looking for active participation of the government. We offer scholarships to poor Sikh students in India.

How do you view Punjab politics. Is the NRI community happy with the government and political parties of Punjab?

The NRIs feel frustrated when they see the political infighting in Punjab. We want the government to provide effective governance and behave in a more civil manner during the Lok Sabha and SGPC elections. Importantly, they should be ‘goal-oriented,’ rather then ‘personality-oriented.’



Units cry foul as govt moves in to acquire land
Ravi S.Singh
Tribune News Service

Gurgaon, February 9
The Haryana government is firm on acquiring the land in Begampur Khatola, Narsingpur and Khandsa villages in Gurgaon sub-division despite the fact that the industrial organisations frown upon the proposed action.

More than 100 industrial units are functioning on the land in these villages which will be affected by the acquisition move.

The government is said to have sent a fresh batch of notices to the owners of such units regarding the acquisition.

The land acquired is meant to be given to the Haryana State Industrial Development Corporation (HSIDC) for developing the area as industrial zone.

Several industrial organisations, including the GIA had taken up the issue with the authorities concerned against the acquisition move.

The grouse of the industry is that these units had been set up far from Gurgaon township several years ago. Some of them date back to about three decades ago.

The fact of the matter is that these units had been set up after the coming up of the Punjab Scheduled Road Act enacted in the mid sixties. Hence, the industrial units were on the left side of the town and the country planning rules. But the units were set up as the enforcement of rules was not strict then as there was no rush for land. However, now the scene has changed and the authorities have cracked the whip.

The industrial organisations, however, argue that the area forms part of industrial zone in the plan. The land to be acquired after uprooting the present units is also to be given to the HSIDC for developing it as industrial zone. Hence, it would be proper if the government showed some concern and allowed the units to continue by charging suitable fees.

They further argue that these units had been given all facilities, including electricity connections, and were registered with the Sales Tax department of the state and the Central Excise department.

It was morally and socially wrong to uproot the units and make the owners jobless.

However, the government does not seem to be obliging. Although it wants industrialisation, its desire is to develop it in a planned manner in keeping with the best standards in the world.

The affected units are contemplating moving the court on the issue.


INLD ‘can manage without alliance’
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, February 9
The youth wing of the ruling Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) has claimed that the party is not dependent on any coalition including with the BJP to romp home with victory in the ensuing Lok Sabha or next Vidhan Sabha elections.

Addressing a series of public meetings in some of the villages in the district, Master Rishipal, the media secretary of the youth INLD, said that it was the BJP, which had taken benefit of the coalition in the state and not the other way round. He claimed that the INLD had strong roots both in rural and urban areas and it would show its strength in the coming elections. He said the Gram Panchayats, which used to wait for months for release of grants of Rs 5,000 only, were now getting cheques worth five lakhs immediately after the scheme was launched or announced. There were dozens of welfare schemes, which had been started in the past few years, which had been a success, he added.

He ridiculed that some of the leaders, including those of the BJP had been trying to woo the voters of the Ballabgarh on dubious grounds and had been trying to blackmail them emotionally.

Criticising the Bansi Lal and Bhajan Lal’s rule in the state, he said none of these governments had failed to come up to the expectations of the people, but had promoted unemployment and corruption. He said that the BJP’s slogan of “Feel Good” would end up in “Feel Sad” after the coming Lok Sabha elections, if it goes to the polls without the support of the INLD.


Rotten idea! Damaged wheat flour for BPL families
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, February 9
The Haryana Food and Supplies Department is planning to supply damaged wheat to flour mills for converting it into flour. The flour will then be distributed among the BPL families in the district.

According to a report, this wheat had been procured in 2000 and kept lying in the open in the grain market at Gohana town. Result: Soon it started emitting a foul smell and was declared unfit for human consumption. It is alleged that the stock was unfit for consumption of even cattle.

However, the officials of the department concerned contended that it was in fine fettle. The eyewitnesses rebut this claim and point out that the grain had blackened.

Many owners of flour mills even wanted to meet the Chief Minister, Mr Om Parkash Chautala, during his recent visit to Gohana town and wanted to apprise him of the scandal.

It is alleged that the inspectorate staff of the Food and Supplies Department had poured water on the wheat bags. Then, they covered these bags with polythene to save themselves from the wrath of the Chief Minister and other higher authorities.

Four of wedding party run over by train

Ghaziabad: Four members of a wedding party were over run by a railway engine from Meerut at an unmanned railway crossing at Tibra Road last night. One person was seriously injured. The marriage of Rajesh, daughter of Bedi, a resident of Nehru Colony in Murad Nagar was being celebrated. The wedding party was to come to Nehru Nagar from railway crossing. As the baratis, some of whom had consumed liquor, were dancing, nobody heard the sound of the railway engine which came hurtling down at 10.30 pm from Meerut side. oc


Residents getting contaminated water
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, February 9
Complaints of contaminated water supply have surfaced from certain parts of the town. It is alleged that despite lodging of complaints, the civic authorities have failed to respond. According to a resident of Sector-9 here, the water supply in the 500 yards plots locality the supply of muddy water had been going on for the past ten days.

This, he said, had been due to damage to the pipeline at one of the spots. He also said that sometimes the water gave a stinking smell. It is claimed that despite the complaint, the pipeline had not been repaired. Similar complaints have also been reported from other parts, including Sector-16-A and Sector-10. Residents of some parts, including the NIT, which houses big residential colonies like Jawahar Colony, Sanjay Colony and Dabua Colony, have the same grouse of inadequate or no water supply in some of the localities. It is reported that the work of laying the pipelines in some colonies had been pending due to scarcity of funds with the civic body.

Some of the corporators, including the Senior Deputy Mayor, Mr Shiv Charan Lal Sharma, have warned that the problem could take serious dimensions in the summer months if the authorities were unable to complete the pending water supply projects in the town soon.


Indian Navy band creates waves
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 9
The Indian Navy’s Symphonic Band had the audience including the chief guest Defence Minister George Fernandes tapping their feet in delight as they created music at the Siri Fort Auditorium.

The 120-strong band with a large string section under the baton of Cdr. George enthralled the audience with a repertoire that included arrangements of symphonies, overtures, solos, duets, concertos besides contemporary music including Indian classical and pop music from within the country and abroad.

The concert started with compositions of Mozart and Strauss and moved to pieces including ‘Marriage of Figaro’ and ‘Stories of the Vienna’. ‘The Song of the Seas’ composed by Rodgers produced the feeling of being on the High Seas where the mighty battleships are engaged in fierce encounters.

The ingenuity of these men in uniform was proved in the improvised ‘jugal bandi’ of traditional Indian and western instruments. The rendition of songs from A. R. Rehman’s ‘Roja’ was a class by itself. The concert rounded off with a stirring tribute to the three services with the chief conductor’s composition ‘Desh Rakshak’.

The Naval Central Band commissioned in 1945 has had six performances this year in Pune, Mumbai and Goa. In the coming days, the band will be touring major cities in the North followed by a trip to the UK.


A melange of folk dances holds them spellbound
Tribune News Service

Geetika Ganju at the musical extravaganza at Pragati Maidan.
Geetika Ganju at the musical extravaganza at Pragati Maidan.

New Delhi, February 9
Providing a taste of Indian diversity to the foreign nationals at the Elecrama 2004, a cultural rendezvous was organised by C&S Gewiss.

From the vibrancy of Rajasthan to the zest of Punjab, the folk dances presented on the occasion showcased all these and more. Girls in bright and colourful ghagras enthralled the audience with a garba, the folk dance from Gujarat while the Punjabi Bhangra troupe had them all swinging.

The Italian visitors were charmed by the cultural variety. “I have visited the country on various occasions and every time it shows me a new facet and I fall in love with it all over again. Today’s cultural extravaganza was simply superb and so rich showcasing the diversified Indian heritage,” said Mr Domenic Bosatelli, President, Gewiss Group, who was also the chief guest of the evening.

The evening, which was attended by prominent people of the city, was hosted by Geetika Ganju.


Make UAM people-friendly first: BJP tells CM
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 9
The BJP has asked the Sheila Dikshit Ministry to put on hold the introduction of unit area method (UAM) of assessing the property tax.

The spokesman of BJP Parliamentary Party and South Delhi’s Member of Parliament, Prof Vijay Kumar Malhotra, on Monday said UAM should not be implemented until it became people-friendly.

Issuing a threat to launch a non-cooperation movement, Mr Malhotra asked the property owners not to fill the tax forms being circulated and refuse to co-operate with the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) until the anti-people categorisation was abolished. If the Indian National Congress (INC) persisted on implementing the UAM in NCT of Delhi, he said, the BJP would be forced to launch a ‘No House Tax Campaign’.

The UAM in its present form, Mr Malhotra said, was a draconian measure that exposes the anti-people face of the Government of NCT of Delhi and the MCD. He said under the present system, property tax in most of the areas would go up by 200 per cent to 500 per cent and in a few cases, 100 times.

He also complained that there was no interaction with the Resident Welfare Associations (RWAs).

“Under UAM, retired people and pensioners will suffer the most…also those whose rent is fixed under the Rent Control Act as also those living in low-cost single houses in affluent colonies,” he said. Appealing to the Chief Minister and the Municipal Commissioner not to implement the scheme till it becomes people-friendly, he suggested that the slum areas, urbanised villages, rehabilitation colonies should be totally exempt from property tax. 


Rs 47 cr spent on power augmentation: DC
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, February 9
The Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (UHBVN) has taken a series of measures to augment the generation of power and its distribution in Sonepat district.

Giving this information, Mr Rajeev Ranjan, Additional Deputy Commissioner, told mediapersons here today that the Nigam had spent more than Rs 47 crores on the power augmentation programme during the past four years in this district. The Nigam, he said, had spent Rs 14.17 crore on the commissioning of 132 KV power grid sub-station at Kundli, Harsana Kalan and Kharkhauda and another 33 KV power sub-station at Khewra village. A sum of Rs 3.67 crore had been spent on the construction of 220 KV power sub-station at Sonepat. Similarly, the capacity of power sub-stations at Farmana has been increased.

He also disclosed that a sum of Rs 13.63 crore had been spent on the installation of 879 new electricity transformers in the district in a bid to strengthen the supply of power in all the sectors. New transmission lies have also been laid to check the overloadng system.


Passengers get adulterated foodstuff from roadside dhabas
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, February 9
The nexus between roadside dhaba owners and the Haryana Roadways staff continues to thrive to the frustration of the helpless passengers, particularly on the national highways passing through the state. The staff and dhaba owners strike a deal whereby the drivers and the conductors are offered free meals in return for bringing passengers who are charged much more than the normal rate for eatables.

Usually, these dhabas are located at deserted places where no other mode of conveyance or shop is available. The frustration compounds as these unofficial halts are prolonged for unusually long time causing delays and inconvenience to the passengers.

In many cases, rates have been fixed. A long route driver is paid Rs 50 or more and a free meal with liquor. Short route bus drivers are paid Rs 20 or more and a free non-vegetarian or vegetarian meal. The conductors are given only free food. Some good dhaba owners offer more money.

A survey conducted by this correspondent has revealed that even contractors at main bus stands also offer free meals to the drivers and conductors in order to prolong the halts for longer period. This helps these stall owners to sell more of their foodstuffs. Usually, sub-standard food is provided at these dhabas, but the passengers are made to shell out more money.

Any protest against this kind of swindling goes unchecked. While the transport authorities are not paying any heed to the complaints of the passengers, the Health Department authorities never bother to check the quality of the foodstuffs sold there.


Rs 4 cr budget for market committee finalised
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, February 9
The Sonepat Market Committee passed the annual budget of Rs 4 crore for the year 2004-2005. The meeting was held under the chairmanship of Mr Daleep Singh Dahiya.

According to official sources, the Sonepat Market Committee would spend Rs. 2.61 crore on the construction and repairs of roads as well as development of the foodgrains and vegetable market in this city. A sum of Rs 10 lakh was earmarked for distribution among persons injured by agricultural equipments and machinery.

Official sources have also revealed that the market committee had spent Rs 12.13 lakh on such persons during the current financial year. The market committee had earned a revenue of Rs 1.83 crore from market fee upto January 31 during the current financial year.

Man nabbed with stolen TV at railway station

Quite a stir was caused when two persons tried to escape with a new

coloured TV from the bogie of a Delhi-bound passenger train at the railway station here late last evening.

According to a report, the owner of the TV raised an alarm and chased the thieves on the platform. While one of the thieves was caught red-handed by the Government Railway Police (GRP), the other managed to escape. The arrested person was identified as Kumar alias Sonu of Mohanpur (Bihar), and the escapee as Mangal Singh of Hamirpur (Bihar).

The owner of the TV set, Mr Om Parkash, had purchased it from Panipat and had boarded the train for Sonepat. The GRP has registered the case and launched a hunt to apprehend the culprit who managed to escape.

Residents oppose shifting of School

Residents have opposed the shifting of the Government Girls Senior Secondary School, Sonepat, from Murthal Adda to the Model Town, and have threatened to launch an agitation against the government on this issue.

According to a report, a meeting of the residents was held here yesterday, which formed a committee for launching an agitation if the school was shifted to Model Town.

The committee also resolved to stage an indefinite dharna till the decision was withdrawn.

Child fashion show

The Aanchal Kids Care World (Preparatory School) will be organising a children fashion show on February 15 at the Shubham Garden on the Sonepat-Murthal Road.

The Head of the school, Mrs Meenu Chaurasya, told mediapersons here today that the children between the 2-3 years, 3-4 years and 4-5 years were entitled to take part in the fashion show.

The winner in the 2-3 years category would be honoured with the title of ‘Beautiful Child’ of Aanchal Kids Care World, whereas the winners in the 3-4 years and 4-5 years categories would be honoured with the title ‘Prince and Princess’ of Aanchal Kids Care World and ‘Prince’ and ‘Princess’ of Sonepat respectively.

She also disclosed that all the participants would be awarded commendation certificates.

Theft in foodgrains market 

Thieves reportedly broke into a shop in the foodgrains market here last night and decamped with cash and other goods worth several thousands of rupees.

According to a report, the owner of the shop, Mukesh Kumar and Satish Kumar, lodged a complaint with the police in this connection.

The traders of the market have demanded night patrolling by the police in this area so as to check the spate of thefts committed during the past few months in and around the foodgrains market.

Members of marriage party injured

At least 12 members of a marriage party, including women and children, sustained injuries when a private bus carrying them overturned on the Sonepat-Rohtak road near Rohat village, about 5 km from here last night.

According to a report, the injured persons included Rekha, Annu, Shakuntala, Geeta, Komal, Dharminder, Usha, Neelam and Naresh.

The injured were admitted to the local civil hospital and were stated to be out of danger. The bus was on its way from Bahadurgarh to Sonepat.

It is stated that the bus driver lost control of the vehicle when a truck made an attempt to overtake it at high speed near Rohat village.

The bus overturned causing injuries to 12 members of the marriage party.

The police are investigating into the case.


Auto thief nabbed
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 9
With the arrest of one Narender alias Nikka (22), resident of Uttam Nagar, who was active in South, South-West and West districts, the Anti-auto theft squad of the Crime Branch claimed to have solved at least 16 cases of auto thefts.

The accused used to dispose of the vehicles in far away places such as Nepal and North-Eastern districts. Based on a secret information, the sleuths apprehended the accused near the Uttam Nagar terminal while he was moving in a stolen motorcycle.

Greater Noida Carnival

Greater Noida: The Greater Noida ‘Carnival 2004’ was formally inaugurated by the CEO-cum-Chairman, Mr Brijesh Kumar, here yesterday. A national level exhibition of Hindon artists was the highlight of the first day, followed by a folk music and song competition for the rural people on Monday.

Mr Brijesh Kumar said that this year’s carnival would be remembered as an historic fair. In future, the Greater Noida Carnival will be organized every year on the pattern of the Surajkund mela.

The first day also witnessed the exhibition of sculptures, paintings and other artifacts by 96 national level artists.

Among those who exhibited their works included Sumano, Sanjay Bhattarcharya, Sonu Singh, Brijesh Kumar Singh, Javed and Raj Kumar. The artists said they were exhibiting their works here to make this carnival a memorable one.

A programme titled “Hindon Ki Raftar” was presented in the evening. Special attention has been given to children and eating stalls.

The chairman said that arrangements were being made to ensure that the holding of the Carnival becomes a landmark annual feature. The Additional CEO, Mr P. K. Sinha, Shashi Prakash Goel and other senior officers were also present on the occasion.

Minister at Health Mela

Sonepat: The Minister of State for Health, Dr M L Ranga, made an inspection tour of the three-day Health Mela in the Civil Hospital here yesterday.

He expressed his satisfaction at the progress of this mela organised for the first time in this district.

According to a report, the Minister went round the stalls and inquired from the medical officers about the arrangements, including the distribution of medicines to the needy persons.

The Medical Superintendent, Dr H R Singhal, told the Minister that as many as 5,370 patients, including 2,821 women, suffering from various diseases were examined and treated during the first two days of the mela.

As many as 144 X-rays and 106 ultrasound were conducted during the camp. Besides, various tests were also carried out in this camp.

The medical officers and the para-medical staff provided information to 3,500 patients about the facilities provided in this mela.

Cash box stolen from temple

Thieves reportedly decamped with the cash box of Lord Shiva temple at Garhi Jhinjhara village, about 20 km from here last night. According to a report, the priest of the temple has informed the police about the theft. Spate of thefts in and around Ganaur, a Sub-divisonal town in this district, have caused panic among the residents and shopkeepers of the area.


Construction work on Sehoti minor
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, February 9
The Government has decided to undertake the construction work of Sehoti minor for ensuring the supply of canal water to the farmers of the villages in this district.

This was announced by the Chief Minister, Mr Om Parkash Chautala, while attending to the complaints of the people of Sehoti and other nearby villages at Kharkhauda town, 19 km from here on Saturday.

The Chief Minister, who was on a tour of the villages under the ‘Sarkar Aap Ke Dwar’ programme, announced that all the damaged electric transformers would be replaced soon by the Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran (Nigam (UHBVN) for ensuring the regular power supply to the tubewells and domestic consumers living in the rural areas. The capacity of these transformers would be increased to check the cases of power breakdowns, trippings and low voltage.

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