N C R   S T O R I E S


NDMC debt-free; won’t impose new taxes
Our Correspondent

New Delhi, May 28
The New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) will focus on improving the quality of civic services. It will also lay stress on completing some of the ambitious projects during the year 2004-2005 without imposing any fresh tax liability on the citizens.

Mrs Sindhushree Khullar, chairperson of the NDMC, said that this year the NDMC had the unique distinction of becoming a debt-free municipality as it had not only generated enough financial resources to fund all its capital works but was also in a position to return the entire amount of outstanding loan together with interest.

The NDMC budget for the year 2004-5 without envisaging any new taxes expects a Rs 2.97 crore surplus in its coffers.

Giving details of the projects, Mrs Khullar said there would be a flower market at INA and the state emporia plaza at Baba Kharak Singh Marg. Besides, there would be a public health laboratory for testing and analysing water and food quality.

Other projects include garbage stations, augmentation of mechanised garbage lifting, setting up of a canine birth control society,

audit of roads to make them world class in a phased manner and pilot project in 24+7 water supply with the DJB assistance.

There would be a pilot project to reduce the leakage in the water supply system, upgradation of street furniture like taxi stands and kiosks, promotion of rainwater harvesting, upgradation of primary school buildings, construction of a state-of-the-art diagnostic laboratory and mammography unit, taking up of niche project in major parks.

The budget estimates were presented in March this year but due to the general election, the detailed programme of action outlining new schemes and priorities could not be announced.

Briefing the press after the presentation of the detailed programme of action for this year, Mrs Khullar said an expenditure of Rs 996. 09 crore was expected to be made against receipts of Rs 996.09 crore.

She said the largest proportion of expenditure for this year would be on sanitation and public health (Rs 99 crore), electricity supply (Rs 408 crore), education, sports, and social services (Rs 96 crore), roads, public works and projects (Rs 92 crore), water supply (Rs 34 crore).

The plan would be sourced by revenue from the sale of electricity and water (Rs 528 crore), taxes (Rs 134 crore), licence fee from properties (Rs 75 crore), interest on investment (Rs 179 crore), shares of taxes from the Delhi Government, including MLA fund (Rs 52 crore) and other revenues such as from parking lots, kiosks and advertisements (Rs 36 crore). The NDMC had liquidated the entire amount of all borrowed funds by paying Rs 33. 90 crore to the Government of Delhi.

The NDMC would strive to consolidate pending projects, bringing them to completion stage, upgrade its service standards and set an example in the highest standards in the best municipal practices. The goal for the current year would be to implement process and procedural reforms, introduce citizen-friendly procedures and use technology to support its effort in an optimum manner, she added.


There is life after CBSE exams!
Tribune News Service

Elated Jesus and Mary students after they cleared class X exams in the Capital
TETE-A-TETE: Elated Jesus and Mary students after they cleared class X exams in the Capital on Wednesday. — Tribune photo by Mukesh Aggarwal

New Delhi, May 28
The nightmare of waiting for the unknown over, it is time to assimilate the performances, good, bad or merely unsatisfactory. With the CBSE results now an open secret, one can witness a gamut of emotions, from exuberance to disappointment.

“Though the overall results this year have been good compared to the last few years, students are calling in to seek answers to queries regarding career options. Distress calls from the students who have not performed well are also coming in,” said Dr Etishree Bhati, Counsellor, DPS, R K Puram.

Most counsellors agree that owing to exposure and information, students and parents alike are “showing a discernible change in attitude”. However, the challenge to lift the spirits of the few still remains.

“We have to ensure that every student who has not performed well and therefore is depressed is coaxed out of it and shown various options that can be chosen,” said a counsellor.

While it is mostly the class XII students who are calling into seek help, even those who have performed well in class X have their own share of worries.

“These students want to know whether they have enough marks to get the stream of their choice and whether they should change schools to get the stream they want,” said Bhati.

Queries related to career being on the rise, counsellors are, however, worried about the few callers who have complained of lack of support from friends and family.

“A girl who has been placed in compartment called into say that her parents had stopped speaking to her. There are many, especially from class XII who have complained that their parents are nagging them over their supposed bad performance, which will affect their choice of career,” said Ms Meenakshi Thakkar, Mother’s International School.

Thakkar added, “My only advice to such parents is to stop nagging and provide their child with all the support they can. For, if they fail to support them now they can easily push their children into depression and cause psychosomatic disorders.”

Psychiatrists, too, have begun handing out instructions for students to avoid sinking into depression.

Noted psychiatrist Dr Samir Parikh said: “Result is a reflection of your effort and you need to accept it as a reward to your performance. Even if it’s less, it’s still your own performance, so celebrate it with family and friends. Parents have to support the child and make sure the students do not feel low.”


The scourge of dengue in Noida
Our Correspondent

Noida, May 28
Dengue seems to have gripped Noida despite the administration’s claims that the town had been sanitized to rid it of all possible diseases.

The investigation teams, it is learnt, have confirmed the dengue larvae in samples of water at many places in Noida.

The Noida Authority officials have all along been maintaining that there is no let-up in drives to keep the town clean.

The presence of larvae of dengue mosquitoes has been confirmed by none else than the vector-borne disease investigation team from New Delhi. The five-member team had examined samples of stagnant water in various sectors of Noida.

In its tests, this team had found a large number of mosquitoes responsible for the spread of dengue and other fatal diseases.

In water tests in Sectors 15, 11, 30, and 19, apart from the dengue larvae, the mosquitoes responsible for some other viral diseases were detected in spite of the claims of the Noida Authority officials that the town had been sanitized.

The investigating team has handed over the samples of water to the health department.

Dy CMO, Dr Gaur said the health department has taken up the matter of breaking up of water-borne diseases in the area with the senior officials of the Noida Authority so that the risk of fatal diseases affecting the people could be minimised.

Addl CEO Debashish Panda assured that the sanitation and hygiene campaign would soon be launched so that the mosquitoes carrying these diseases were not allowed to breed.

Dr Gaur said he had also suggested to the Noida Authority to mix anti-larvae major with water. Besides, fogging operations would also be launched to disinfect the town.


Faridabad plagued by poor civic amenities
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, May 28
Several socially conscious residents of the town have approached the chief secretary of Haryana to take measures to provide smooth roads and other basic facilities in the district.

The residents led by the social activist, Mr K L Gera, have written a letter to the Chief Secretary, highlighting the problems being faced by them on account of poor roads, blocked drains, lack of cleanliness, air pollution, encroachments, absence of streetlights, drinking water scarcity and alleged misuse of funds by the officials concerned.

It says crores of rupees were being collected in form of taxes from the people and through the local area development tax from the industries, but the funds were not being used properly to provide civic amenities, it is claimed.

It has alleged that the collusion of corrupt officials and contractors had resulted in the misuse of funds.

The letter says that the local civic body had got constructed a road from Ambedkar Chowk to Tigaon (Ballabgarh) a couple of years ago against a payment of Rs 40 lakh, but the road could not survive for more than four months. Alleging that inferior quality of material was used, these citizens have claimed that despite registration of a case under Section 420, 467, 468, 471 and 120-B of the IPC, the accused had not been punished.

The delay in action in the above case, points to the alleged involvement of certain officials of the Municipal Corporation, Faridabad, said Mr Gera.

According to the application, about 90 per cent of the roads in Faridabad town and the district had been damaged.

The potholed roads had not only been causing inconvenience to the people, but also leading to accidents, and damaging the vehicles. It is stated that although the MCF had been repairing or doing patchwork occasionally, the quality of the work had been poor.

The citizens forum has demanded that a high level enquiry be made into the nexus of officials and contractors here and the work of road repair or construction be handed over to an independent authority. It is stated that crores of rupees were being spent every year on providing drinking water drains and improving the drainage network in residential areas, but it is claimed that many of the schemes were completed on paper only as the funds were misused.


Trader robbed of Rs 14 lakh
Parmindar Singh

Ghaziabad, May 28
Four armed criminals robbed a steel merchant of Rs 14 lakh at gunpoint. The incident took place a few steps from the police post late at night. Incidentally, this is the sixth incident of robbing businessmen in the area in about 45 days.

Steel merchant Satish Goel has an iron store on Ambedkar Road. He was going home in Raj Nagar in his Maruti Wagon R.

On the main road between Sector-3 and 4, criminals in a white Maruti blocked his car.

According to Satish Goel, four persons got down from the car. Two of them smashed the rear windscreen of his car with a club.

After breaking the windscreen, criminals took away the briefcase lying on the rear seat containing Rs14 lakh and sped away.

Goel said he had to pay Rs 14 lakh to some other businessman.

On getting the news of the loot, SSP Jai Narain Singh reached the spot and said police would crack the case soon.

Earlier A tailor had been shot at by a motorcyclist here some months back.

Senior police officers said criminals were about 25 years of age. Police said they would draw computer sketches of the assailant.

The traders have condemned the lax security and the ‘indifferent’ attitude of the police.


High Court asks contractor to deposit Rs 3 lakh
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 28
The Delhi High Court today directed the contractor of a building in Sadar Bazar to deposit Rs 3 lakh as an interim compensation amount likely to be awarded to the relatives of the victims.

The court has directed the contractor to deposit the money within four days and also urged to give an undertaking in this regard in the court.

A Bench of Chief Justice B C Patel and Justice B D Ahmed said another Rs 2 lakh will have to be deposited in due course and asked him to report to the local police station every day for probe.

The contractor, who had reportedly been absconding since May 3, the day of incident, appeared in the court denying that he was evading the police and said he was being treated at Escorts Heart Hospital.

The MCD, also a party to the case, had yesterday informed the court that it deposited Rs 7 lakh with the Registry as security money, as per its order.

The court made it clear to the parties responsible for the accident, which occurred due to unauthorised construction, that in order to avoid prosecution in the matter, they needed to take collective responsibility for the tragic incident.

“The MCD, contractor and the property owner and any other authority responsible for the death of migrant labourers have to come out with the modalities to pay compensation to the relatives of the victim,” the Bench observed.

The court was annoyed with the MCD for not acting on time despite being informed by the police about the illegal work. The court had taken a suo motu action on a newspaper report about the incident.


Maken, Tirath quit Delhi Assembly
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 28
The Speaker of Delhi Legislative Assembly, Mr Ajay Maken, and his deputy, Ms Krishna Tirath, have resigned following their election to the Lok Sabha. Mr Maken and Ms Tirath submitted their resignations to the secretary of Delhi Legislative Assembly, Mr Siddharth Rao, in the morning.

Mr Maken, who defeated Jagmohan of BJP in the New Delhi parliamentary constituency, and Ms Tirath, who defeated Anita Arya of BJP in Karol Bagh parliamentary constituency, were given a farewell by the Assembly staff.

After submitting his resignation, Mr Maken said veteran INC leaders Jag Pravesh Chandra and Mukesh Sharma and Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit had inspired him to serve society. “The most sentimental moment for me was when the grandson of Delhi Assembly’s first Speaker Vir Mushtaq Ahmed presented me with a ‘sherwani’ on my appointment as Speaker,” he said.


SAD seeks Khyala ward for civic by-election

New Delhi: The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) has sought the Khyala ward of Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) for its general secretary Rajendra Singh Techno, for contesting the civic by-election.

An eight-member delegation, led by SAD president Avtar Singh Hit, and general secretary Kuldip Singh Bhogal, called on former deputy prime minister LK Advani of the BJP in this regard.

The delegation also protested the manner in which BJP spokesman Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi shouted down their colleague, Omkar Singh Thapar, in a meeting called by the BJP to review its performance in the recently concluded Lok Sabha election. TNS


Chautala on a meet-people mission
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, May 28
The Haryana Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, said here last evening that he was touring the state to discuss with people the reasons behind the poor performance of the ruling Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) candidates in the Lok Sabha elections in the state.

Addressing a party workers’ meeting, he said these reasons would be analysed and shortcomings, if any, would be rectified. He described the INLD as a secular party and said a number of facilities had been provided to all sections of society. He also said that Haryana was a peaceful state and nobody should try to vitiate its peaceful atmosphere by spreading the venom of casteism.

Referring to the assembly elections, Mr Chautala reiterated that the assembly elections would be held on schedule in March 2005. He said that the option of an alliance with any like-minded party was open for the coming assembly elections in the state.

He also referred to the statements being made by the Congress leaders, including Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda, demanding his resignation on the issue of result of the Lok Sabha elections and questioned as to why Mr Hooda had not resigned when he was the HPCC chief and his party was defeated.

Mr Chautala alleged that the HPCC was faction-ridden and many leaders were in the race for becoming the Chief Minister of Haryana. Referring to the CBI raids in connection with the appointments of JBT teachers at the houses of the officials, Mr Chautala said that the guilty officials involved in the JBT scam should be punished.

He appealed to the party workers not to be misled by the false propaganda of the Congress and the BJP leaders and work for the success of the party in the next assembly elections.

Meanwhile, Mr Chautala will tour this district tomorrow and lay the foundation stone of a 33 KV power substation and inaugurate some power sub-stations.


BJP for splitting MCD into five or seven bodies
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 28
The BJP today demanded that the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) be split into at least five small corporations and disfavoured the Government of NCT of Delhi’s move to make the civic body into three corporations.

“We demand that the MCD be split either into five corporations or into seven, one each for the seven Lok Sabha constituencies of the national Capital”, Delhi BJP leader and Leader of the Opposition in Delhi Assembly Jagdish Mukhi told reporters. Assailing Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit’s sudden announcement in this regard, he said she had been “hasty” in the whole matter. Mr Mukhi demanded revival of the House Committee that was constituted to give recommendations on the MCD’s future and said its recommendation would be acceptable to all.

The BJP leader said to stop multiplicity of authority and confusion of intermingling boundaries every one should co-ordinate the re-organisation of the MCD with delimitation of Lok Sabha constituency so that there should be well-defined boundaries of the constituencies.

“After the delimitation of all seven constituencies of Lok Sabha, one small corporation be given under one constituency. Likewise, instead of nine districts there should be seven districts, one each under one Lok Sabha constituency, so that there is no confusion either among people or the administration,” he said. “If one district is having bigger area then there should be two districts in each constituency,” he said.


Govt ignores brick kiln workers’ security: CITU
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, May 28
The Haryana Committee of the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) has expressed its grief over the deaths of five labourers at a brick kiln between Sikandarpur Majra and Rubhra villages and demanded immediate payment of Rs 10 lakh each as compensation to the bereaved families.

In a joint press statement issued by Mr S. N. Sollanki and Mr Howa Singh, president and vice-president respectively of the Haryana unit of the CITU, today alleged that the government has failed to take steps for the security of the brick kiln workers employed at the brick kilns in the state. He also alleged that the negligence on the part of the officials of the Labour Department has been exposed in the wake of the deaths of the labourers.

They alleged that the state government and the Labour Department authorities have failed to take any action against the owners of the factories and the brick kilns who are violating the labour laws with impunity and exploiting the workers on some pretext or the other. They blamed the Labour Commissioner Haryana for it and said that no official of the labour department could enter the factories and the brick kilns without the prior permission of him.

This, they said, was the main cause of the exploitation of the workers in the factories and the brick kilns.

The CITU leader also urged the Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, to direct the district and police administration as well as the Labour Department authorities to take stern action against the owners of the factories and brick kilns who are found violating the labour laws with impunity in the state.

Meanwhile, the leaders of the BJP, the Congress, and the HVP have also criticised the Labour Department authorities for their failure to enforce the labour laws on the brick kilns strictly and urged the state government to order the owner of the brick kiln to pay the compensation to the families of the victims.


Traders to meet Laloo with plea to shift overbridge site
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, May 28
With the Public Works Department (PWD) gearing up for the construction of an overbridge at the level crossing on the Ganaur-Shahpur road traders and shopkeepers of Ganaur town are planning to meet the new Railway Minister, Mr Laloo Prasad Yadav, with the plea to change the site of the overbridge from the present one to Aagwanpur road in the southern part of the town.

In that connection, they held a meeting in Jat Dharamshala at Kheri road on Thursday and invited the local Congress MLA, Mr Jitender Singh Malik, for supporting their demand before the Railway Minister.

The traders were of the opinion that the construction of the overbridge at the present site would ruin the business of hundreds of shopkeepers on the Ganaur-Shahpur road and would also become a problem for the residents of nearly three dozen villages located on the western part of the Ganaur subdivision. The traders emphasised that it had taken a long time for the area to come up as a main market.

The MLA also assured them he would bring this to the notice of the Railway Minister.

The Railways had approved the construction of the overbridge at the Shahpur road level crossing at an estimated cost of Rs 12 crore. With a total length of 706 metres, the flyover would have a carriageway of seven-metre width and one and a half metre wide footpath on both sides.

Keeping in view the urgency of the flyover, the SDM, Ganaur, Mr Ashok Kumar Bisnoi, convened a meeting of the officers of the PWD, the Bijli Nigam, the municipality and the BSNL recently and asked the PWD officers to commence the construction work as soon as the tenders were approved.

The SDM also directed the BSNL and Bijli Nigam officers to ensure that all those telephone line and electricity poles which were likely to come up in the area of the flyover should be shifted. The estimates should be sent at the earliest.

The municipal authorities were also asked to remove the Encroachments, if any, in the areas earmarked for the flyover. This level crossing on the Delhi-Ambala section remains closed for more than 16 hours in a day because of heavy train traffic on this section and the flyover has been a long-standing demand of the area.


Storm hits power supply
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, May 28
The thunderstorm that accompanied the rains yesterday uprooted several trees and disrupted the power supply for more than an hour in both the urban and rural areas of the district.

According to a report, the power supply, which got disrupted around 10.15 am, was restored around 11.45 am in most parts of the city. It was still be normalised in a large of villages. It is stated that the power supply lines and some electric poles were damaged by storm, which uprooted trees at many places. However, no injury or loss of life was reported. Essential services, including the supply of drinking water were affected everywhere in the city and elsewhere in the district. This caused inconvenience to thousands of residents, as they have to fetch water from distant places to meet their requirements.

The storm, which swept the district yesterday, had left a trail of destruction in Ganaur and Rai areas. The storm had uprooted a large number of trees, electric and telephone poles and damaged recently transplanted paddy and cotton in hundreds of acres of land. At least 15 cows were injured when a tin roof collapsed on them during the dust storm at Qumashpur village about 12 km from here yesterday. All the cows were taken out from the debris and treated by veterinary doctors. At Ganaur town, several trees were uprooted damaging about a dozen scooters and motorcycles besides rehris, which were parked there.

As many as 157 electricity poles and 17 electricity transformers in the area thereby causing a huge financial loss to the exchequer of the Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (UHBVN). As a result, normal life was paralysed and business activity was affected. Darkness prevails in the region on account of the felling of the electricity transformers and electricity poles.




Do you have a grouse against the apathetic attitude of the authorities? Are you fed up with the dilly-dallying tactics of officialdom and the stranglehold of red tapism? If so, please write to us. We have a full half page every week reserved just for you. The letters should be clearly marked, Speaking out, NCR Tribune, First Floor, Dyal Singh Library Building, 1 Deen Dayal Upadhaya Marg, New Delhi-110002.

It is often said that schools are the temples of learning. However, there is lot of stress and strain on the parents to get their children admitted to public schools.

They have to endure great hardship in the form of standing in queue for hours to collect the admission forms, get their name registered and make them sit for the exams. Later, the admission process includes interview for the parents.

One wonders why this rush for few selected schools. Most of them are affiliated to the ICSE/CBSE Board and base their study on NCERT books.

Moreover, they all charge high fees and collect funds by means of donations. The Indian Constitution has directed the state to arrange free education to children up to 14 years. A good school depends on quality education administered by the schoolteachers.

Certainly, the common practice of interviewing parents and children is unnecessary. Instead, the school administration should have a friendly interaction with the parents to know about their profession and their background. This would help the school to understand the traits and habits of the child. Nursery/pre-nursery students should be admitted on the first-come-first-serve basis. Certain weightage should be given to parents who have been the ex-students of the school.

In effect, there should be no written test either for parents or students. Rather the schools should provide a congenial atmosphere during the time of admission.

It is necessary to ensure that there is no fear in the mind of the students when they enter the school premises.

Stress should be on quality, and result orientated education, the aim being to bring out the best from the students.

New Delhi

SOS to Railway Ministry

I am victim of indifferent and callous attitude of the officials of the Railway Ministry, New Delhi.

In February 26, 2002,I was appointed in the Dental Department, Central Railway Hospital.

In October 2003, I made a written request for maternity leave. However, after delivery when I came back to join duty at the hospital, the railway officials did not allow me to join service.

Despite hundreds of written representation and personal visits to the officials of Railway Ministry, in regard to this case, I have not received any acknowledgement or reply from the Railway Ministry.

I hope the Railway Ministry will help me in this hour of distress.


Petrol supply difficulties

The people of Panipat heaved a sigh of relief when a petrol pump was inaugurated just below the flyover on the Assandh Road recently.

However, the consumers were dismayed when the petrol pump stopped the supply of petroleum products.

Since then the consumers of the area have been facing hardships as they have to go to old outlets on the GT Road to get their petrol supply.

Similarly, another petrol pump was opened in the Industrial Area near District Administrative Complex, which supplied only diesel. However, it also met the same fate. It is difficult for the ordinary people to understand why these pumps were closed down.

It is high time that the Petroleum Ministry intervenes and directs the concerned company to restart the supply of petrol/diesel to the public.


Demand for train halt

The Railway Ministry introduced a train between Delhi and Kotdwar in 2002.

Presently, this train leaves Delhi early in the morning and reaches Kotdwar via Ghaziabad, Hapur, Gajraula, Chandpur, Bijnor and Najibabad.

However, the train does not have a halt at Kiratpur Railway Station, which has been causing great inconvenience to the passengers of Kiratpur.

The passengers have to travel to Najibabad or Bijnor to board the train. There are thousand of passengers of Kiratpur who are being put to great inconvenience.

There are hundreds of people from Kiratpur, who are working in Delhi.

I am sure the Railway Ministry will take necessary steps for providing a halt at Kiratpur Railway Station at the earliest.

Shahdara, Delhi

Predictions gone all wrong

The final outcome of the 14th Lok Sabha elections were an eye opener for many. This great exercise has taught me a few lessons. The various articles in newspapers, opinion and exit polls, numerologist and astrologers made tall claims about their analysis and predictions. However, the final outcome has convinced me that these people were not only taking the people for a ride but making money through these exercises.

I hope the publishers think twice before publishing such columns. More importantly, the readers should take such claims with a pinch of salt.


Legal wrangles lower security

Janakpuri is perhaps one of the biggest residential colonies in the country. The residents of D Block, Janakpuri, take great pains in the maintenance works. It has well maintained roads, back lanes, streetlights and rainwater drainage.

In July 1997, four iron gates were installed in D-1 block by a group of residents with active support and contributions from fellow residents under the neighbourhood watch committee programme. The timings for the opening and closing of the gates were agreed upon by the residents.

It was convenient for the security men to monitor the entry and exit of people and vehicles. Above all, it curbed movement of anti-social elements.

However, a writ was filed for the demolition of gates in D-1 Block in March 1999 by our neighbours, Azad Vyapar Mandal, Lajwanti Garden.

The residents heaved a sigh of relief when the High Court dismissed the writ. However, a number of writ petitions have been filed by people in other colonies of the area for the demolition of gates. In effect, it has ensured that the security of the residents have been threatened by such legal cases.

Janakpuri, New Delhi

Crane nuisance

The construction of two over- bridges, Janak Setu and another on the Jail Road, Lajwanti Garden, had solved much of the traffic problem for the residents of Janakpuri. Subsequently, however, the Army has deprived the civilians their use on the pretext of security. It has resulted in high density of traffic on the other alternate routes.

Moreover, the tow-away cranes of the traffic police have become a nuisance for the residents of Janakpuri. Their over enthusiasm to tow away vehicles even from the by-lanes of the colony has become a major problem for the residents. The traffic police do not give any initial warning to the vehicle owners. I appeal to the traffic police to be fair in their dealings and reduce the problems of the people rather than becoming one.



Bal Bhawan bards implore through music

New Delhi, May 28
Their concern for the environment is noteworthy. Youngsters have taught not just each other, but the adults too a few lessons to help save the environment from further degradation.

In the city’s National Bal Bhawan here they sought to create environmental awareness as a prelude to the World Environmental Day on June 4.

At the programme, that coincided with the institute’s patron Jawaharlal Nehru’s 40th death anniversary, the audience, last evening, was reminded of Panditji’s wish that his ashes be strewn over mountains and fields.

Focussing on water, music instructor and lead female vocalist Neha Vats observed that water comprises three-fourth of the world and two-third of our bodies while introducing the rhythmic winner, “Us paani ki suno kahaani” (here’s the water’s story).

With Delhi falling short of the demand for water by 150 million litres per day, the immediacy of the water preservation issue is all the more relevant. Bal Bhawan Director Madhu Pant stressed that the idea was to draw attention from all mediums of communication to create environmental awareness. She said “nothing touches the heart like music. We will begin by publishing these songs complete with notations and then embark on audio productions that will be translated into regional languages.” TNS


Mr Tobacco to be consigned to flames on Sunday
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 28
The city on Sunday has an option of sticking to their weekend itinerary or joining in a funeral. The mood may be sombre or even upbeat. Unlike the usual funerals, this one will have three members lighting the funeral pyre. And consigned to flames will be Mr Tobacco.

Mr Tobacco, a habitual smoker who had been suffering from oral cancer, is survived by his wife, Mrs Tobacco, a passive smoker who has been advised a bypass surgery, and an adopted son (smoking rendered Mr Tobacco infertile) who is a frequent absentee from school owing to various respiratory disorders.

Consigning him to the holy flames amid chanting as per the Arya Samaj rituals will be Mr Yoganand Shastri, Health Minister, Delhi, Mr Mangat Ram Sharma, Industrial Labour Minister, and Anti-Tobacco Campaign President, Dr K. K. Aggarwal.

Prior to the cremation, Mr Tobacco’s mortal remains would be taken through the city and pamphlets would be distributed to the public on the ill-effects of smoking that killed Mr Tobacco.

The cremation, taking place in the Lodhi Road Crematorium at 10 am, will be followed by a shok sabha and has been conceptualised by the Heart Care Foundation of India. It is being supported by the MCD, the NDMC, the Department of Science and Technology and the Directorate of Health Services.


Market association donates money to fire-fighters

New Delhi: Bari Market Association members, Sadar Bazar, today donated a cheque of Rs 25,000 to the Delhi Fire Service. The cheque was handed over by the association president, Mr Paramjeet Singh Pamma.

The president of the association said that whenever a fire incident took place the fire-fighters helped to save the lives of the people and their belongings. While dousing the fire in the narrow streets of the walled city sometimes the fire-fighters sustained injuries. So it was the responsibility of the people to donate money for the sake of family members of the fire personnel and officers. Mr Pamma appealed to shopkeepers to install fire extinguishers in their shops. Along with Mr Pamma senior vice-president Mukesh Sehgal, vice-president Sushil Aggarwal, secretary-general Madan Mohan, secretaries Vinod Kumar, Kamaljeet Singh, Anand Kumar, Mohammad Suleman and Ramesh Suchdeva were also present on the occasion when the cheque was handed over to the DFS chief. TNS


2,500 fined for smoking in public places

New Delhi, May 28
About 2,500 people were fined in the Capital this month for breaking regulations that prohibit smoking in public places in the country.

“Since the Anti-Tobacco Act came into force, the Delhi Government has accelerated its anti-tobacco activities and 2,500 people have been fined this month itself,” Dr AC Tripathi of the Directorate of Health Services told reporters on the occasion of the launch of an anti-tobacco campaign by an NGO. Tripathi said the fines have been made by the enforcement squads of the government during raids on public transport and offices. The Delhi Government had started anti-smoking measures at the state level during 1998 itself and since then 44,000 people have been fined. TNS


Surplus staff to be shifted to other hospitals, says Minister
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 28
The surplus staff in certain hospitals in the Capital will be transferred to the hospitals where there are few or none so that the patients did not suffer. Health Minister Yoganand Shastri has asked the heads of Government of NCT of Delhi-run hospitals to act accordingly.

To begin with, Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Hospital will lend its personnel to the Department of Anaesthesia of Aruna Asaf Ali Hospital. This was decided in the meeting called by the minister and attended by Principal Secretary (Health) S. P. Agarwal and others.

The decisions were arrived at after ascertaining the current strength and the requirement for personnel from the heads of the hospitals. They also raised the matter of the infrastructure required by them by listing their priorities.

Accordingly, the minister okayed two ventilator-equipped ambulances for Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Hospital. Also, more ambulances for the 120-bed trauma centre, the biggest in the NCT of Delhi, coming up at Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Hospital.

The minister, Mr Yoganand Shastri, has said that the surplus staff would be adjusted elsewhere pending the recruitment of technicians and para-medical staff by the government. An advertisement inviting qualified personnel is expected next week.

Compensation demanded

The president of the Berozgar Sena, Mr Rajeev Kumar, today submitted a memorandum to Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit demanding Rs 5 lakh compensation for family of an unemployed youth who reportedly committed suicide, as he was unemployed for a long time. He took the extreme step due to frustration. Unemployed youth either involved in crime or they commit suicide. Victim of unemployment, Gaurav Jain, committed suicide by hanging from a ceiling fan in his house in Arjun Nagar on May 26, he said.

Mobile study centre inaugurated

The Delhi Police Commissioner, Dr K K Paul, today inaugurated a mobile study centre at the police headquarters for the benefit of the children of police personnel in various police colonies.

The children of the police personnel can become members of the mobile study centre and would be issued books to take home for reference.

The centre is equipped with text and reference books for students between class VI and class XII, apart from books for competitive examination.


Autolifters arrested
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 28
With the arrest of two autolifters, the South district police have claimed to have recovered at least six stolen vehicles from their possession.

Based on a secret information, the police nabbed Rajesh (38), resident of Faridabad, and Jitender Kumar (22), resident of Suraj Kund road, and recovered six vehicles at their instance.

Man gets life term

Sonepat: One Sunil, an accused in a dowry death case, has been sentenced to life imprisonment today by the district and sessions Judge, Mr B. L. Singhal.

According to case details, Sunil, a resident of village Sikarapur Godra in Hathras district of UP, was married to Punam of Hathras in May 2000. After marriage, Sunil and Punam shifted to Sonepat and started residing in local Roop Nagar.

On December 3, 2001, Punam’s father Hira Lal received a call from Mahila police station that her daughter was admitted in hospital in serious conditions, but she died of burn injuries.

On the complaint of Hira Lal, a case of dowry death was registered against Sunil and his mother Dropdee in Mahila police station. However Draupdee was acquitted by the court on May 26.

Youth injured

A youth, Ramesh Kumar, was seriously injured when his motorcycle got stuck in the waterlogged road, near Mohana

village, about 19 km from here, last night. According to a report, Ramesh succumbed to injuries while he was being rushed to the PGIMS at Rohtak for treatment.

The victim belonged to Kheri Damkan village and was returning to his village. On seeing the headlights of a car coming from the opposite direction, he took the motorcycle on a kutcha road, which was waterlogged due to rainwater, and his motorcycle got stuck in it.

Fire in cold storage

Goods worth lakhs of rupees were reduced to ashes in a devastating fire, which broke out in a cold storage on the Pio-Munyari-Narela road, about 15-km from here, yesterday.

According to a report, fire could be brought under control only after a few hours when tenders from Narela and Sonepat were called. The cause of the fire is not yet known.

Body found

The police recovered the body of an unidentified man, about 40-years, lying on the G T Road, near Larsauli village, about 12 km from here, yesterday. According to information, multiple injuries have been found on the body and the police suspect it to be a murder case. The police have sent the body for a postmortem examination. OC


Businessman held for cheating
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 28
The Economic Offences Wing has arrested a businessman on the charges of duping several companies of lakhs of rupees.

It is alleged that the accused, Vijay Kumar Malik (45), resident of Laxmi Bai Nagar, who used to purchase goods from companies, neither paid them nor returned their goods.

He used to frequently shift his official and residential addresses to avoid getting caught. He also opened companies in different names.

The sleuths received a joint complaint from several companies that the accused, Malik, had purchased goods worth lakhs of rupees but never paid them. Based on the complaint, the sleuths swung into action and nabbed the accused, who had even employed at least 20 persons along with security guards, at his office.

Malik had adopted to a unique modus operandi by initially making a prompt payment after purchasing goods from companies. Later on, he would placed orders for goods worth lakhs of rupees and shift from the address given to the companies.

On several occasions he had even lodged complaints against the landlords for dacoity and robbery and succeeded in registering the cases against them.

The sleuths said that the accused never applied for sales-tax number and not even maintained bill book or any other official record in his company.

Two killed in cylinder blast

Two persons, including a woman, were killed last night in a cylinder blast in the Shastri Nagar area of Sarai Rohilla.

The police said that the LPG cylinder, which was kept in the house of one Shyam Sunder, killed him and his aunt after it exploded. Both Shyam Sunder and his aunt died on the spot.

Stolen Maruti car recovered

The Crime Branch has claimed to have arrested two persons and recovered a Maruti car from their possession.

The accused have been identified as Rinku Kumar alias Rajender, a resident of Patel Nagar, and Pawan Kumar, resident of Palam.

The police are now looking for their associate, Sunil Kumar, who had committed auto thefts along with the duo.


IndianOil gifts 31 trucks
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 28
‘IndianOil Aao, Roz Ek Truck Pao’ had its exciting finale with the winners carting away the mega prizes, 31 Ashok Leyland trucks. In addition, another 10,200 lucky winners took home a range of major prizes today, including colour TVs and refrigerators.

The scheme, which was run simultaneously all over the country through 2,500 petrol stations, generated great enthusiasm among the commercial vehicle segment and saw an unprecedented response from customers. In terms of sheer logistics, this scheme was one of the largest the country had ever witnessed.

The `Indian Oil Aao, Roz Ek Truck Pao’ offer was specially targeted at the commercial vehicle

segment. All consumers buying Xtra Mile/Diesel or lubricants worth a specified amount became eligible to participate in the scheme. Participants were required to fill coupons on the basis of which a lucky draw was conducted. Every day, the lucky winners received one Ashok

Llleyland truck chassis, 165 colour TVs and 165 refrigerators. Over the 31-day period, gifts worth Rs 12 crore were announced for over 10,200 winners.

Dr N. G. Kannan, Indian Oil Director (Marketing), gave away the prizes to the lucky winners. Also present on the occasion were Indian Oil’s Executive Director (Retail Sales), Mr T. L. Jain, the General Manager (Delhi and Haryana), Mr Kuldeep Berry, and a host of other senior officials.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr Kannan said, “The success of the `Indian Oil Aao, Roz Ek Truck Jeeto’ contest is ultimately because of the support and encouragement given to us by our customers. On behalf of Indian Oil I thank them for being with us and sharing this precious moment with us.”

Addressing the winners, Mr Jain said, “Our sales promotion scheme was designed specially for our commercial vehicle segment in mind. We have had schemes in the past which, I admit, had the urban/metro bias. A scheme which targeted this segment was, therefore, overdue. We realised that this segment frequented petrol stations and needed an element of excitement built in to their regular visits to our petrol stations.”

Mr Sher Singh, one of the ecstatic winners of a brand new gleaming Ashok Leyland, said, “I have always been an Indian Oil customer but now I am an Indian Oil fan for life!”

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