SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI


THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
D E L H I   A N D   N E I G H B O U R H O O D

12 teachers, 1,300 pupils & single-digit result
New Delhi, July 4
While some schools are still exulting over their performance in the class X board examinations, conducted by the CBSE, a government-run school in the North-West of the city is already worried about the next year’s result. Which could in all probability be a repeat of this year’s, a shameful single digit.

No salaries paid to Imams by Wakf Board for two months
New Delhi, July 4
The Delhi Wakf Board is facing an acute resource crunch with the board not being able to disburse salaries to Imams working in mosques and to its own staff. According to sources, for over a year now, the board has even stopped giving scholarships to students from economically weaker sections and has also not given pensions that it used to give to senior citizens.

Protection for newly-wed couple
New Delhi, July 4
The Delhi High Court has directed the Delhi Police to provide proper ‘’protection and safety’’ to a young couple in Delhi in view of the alleged abduction attempts by the girl’s parents in collusion with the police.


EARLIER STORIES

 

Metro can be extended to Manesar: Rao Inderjit
Gurgaon, July 4
The Union Minister of State for External Affairs and local MP, Mr Rao Inderjit Singh, assured all, especially the industry, that he would try to get the Delhi Metro Railway Project extended not only to Gurgaon city, but further down to Manesar also.

Noida to have biggest telecom data centre
Noida, July 4
The BSNL has planned to establish the biggest data centre of the country in Noida. GM Telecom, Noida, A.K. Garg said keeping in view the overall progress of Noida Telecom, the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited has decided to categorise Noida as AI Node and Delhi as BI Node.

A paradisical district lost and regained
New Delhi, July 4
Whether it had a lasting impact or not, January the 13th this year turned out to be a black Tuesday for many planning to set up base at NOIDA and Greater NOIDA. The reason being that it was on that day the new Uttar Pradesh government ordered the dissolution of the district-status of Gautam Budh Nagar, merging it with Ghaziabad once again.

Sheila launches mobile clinic
New Delhi July 4
Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit today launched the “Doctor at Doorstep”, a mobile clinic scheme of Mahavir International, a voluntary, charitable non-governmental Organization, at its silver jubilee celebration function here today. Dr Yoganand Shastri, Health Minister of Delhi, was the guest of honour. Mr S.K. Jain, Chairman, Mahavir International, along with other office bearers, was also present on the occasion.

 


Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit inaugurating a mobile clinic. — A Tribune photograph

Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit inaugurating a mobile clinic

Haryana caught in mire of human trafficking
Faridabad, July 4
Haryana is among the six states in the country where human trafficking has been rampant. The state government has tried to curb such an activity, but its efforts have not been found sufficient. Both the State and the Union governments need to form a policy to deal with the growing problem.

30 cases of snatching solved
New Delhi July 4
With the arrest of four chain snatchers, the West district police claims to have solved 30 cases and recovered several gold chains and 15 grams of smack from their possession.

16th Mango Festival concludes
New Delhi, July 4
The two-day 16th Mango Festival organized by Delhi Tourism concluded here today at Talkatora Indoor stadium, receiving an overwhelming response from visitors, including many foreign dignitaries. The festival this year drew tourists as well as businessmen.

 



Frenzied action at a mango-eating competition held at Talkatora Stadium in the Capital on Sunday.
— Photo by Rajeev Tyagi

Frenzied action at a mango-eating competition held at Talkatora Stadium in the Capital

People to rain god: Please come soon
Meerut, July 4
The whole western Uttar Pradesh is in a grip of panic due to the delay in monsoon. Thousand of farmers and lakhs of residents of the area have now sought refuge in the Almighty.

Farmers’ ultimatum on land compensation
Greater Noida, July 4
The farmers of Greater Noida, who have rejected government offer of Rs 300 per sq. yd. land compensation, seem to have adopted a path of confrontation. In a meeting held in Sector Gama-II, farmers have sent a notice of a prolonged agitation to the government.

Police officers verifying the domestic servants during the Delhi Police Security Fair at Kidwai Nagar in the Capital
Police officers verifying the domestic servants during the Delhi Police Security Fair at Kidwai Nagar in the Capital on Sunday. — A Tribune photograph

NGOs to maintain toilet complexes
New Delhi, July 4
The Municipal Corporation of Delhi has given a contract to NGOs to maintain Community Toilet Complexes constructed recently under the Yamuna Action Plan. At least 959 toilet blocks were constructed, which were funded by the Government of Japan through the Union Ministry of Environment and Forest.

‘Your Lordship’ commits lese-majeste
Ghaziabad, July 4
A telephone rings in the SSP’s residence at 1 am on Friday. The caller drives a point home that he is an hon’ble judge of the High Court. He asks for the police escort and suitable stay arrangements to be made for the night.

Pamma gives away bags to poor kids
New Delhi, July 4
Congress leader Paramjeet Singh Pamma today distributed bags among schoolchildren belonging to poor families in Maansarowar Garden in North East district. He did this with the intention to helping the poor children to study in schools.

Man dies after being hit with cricket bat
Ghaziabad, July 4
A young man hit in the head with a cricket bat has succumbed to his injuries in the hospital. Govindpuri resident, Pintu had a spat with his companion, Dushyant of Shastri Nagar in which Dushyant hit Pintu with a bat in his head and fled, leaving him in a serious condition.
Top








 

12 teachers, 1,300 pupils & single-digit result
Smriti Kak
Ramachandran
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 4
While some schools are still exulting over their performance in the class X board examinations, conducted by the CBSE, a government-run school in the North-West of the city is already worried about the next year’s result. Which could in all probability be a repeat of this year’s, a shameful single digit.

“The result of the school in the last few years has been disgraceful. This year girls recorded a pass per cent of six per cent, but the boys showed absolute zero,” complained Vikas Saini, member of the Vidyalaya Kalyan Samiti (VKS) of the Government Girls/Boys Secondary School, Kadipur.

Saini along with the staff and parents of the school has been trying to get the Directorate of Education to come to the rescue of the school.

“There are 1,300 students in each shift and for them, there are just 12 teachers. In the morning shift for girls as well as in the evening shift for boys, there are not more than 12 teachers apart from the principals and the physical education staff. We have approached the Director of Education for providing the school with more teachers, but are yet to hear from them,” alleges Saini.

A staff member of the school who also doubles up as the ‘clerical staff’ alleged that instead of solving their problem, the school authorities have been “pulled up for poor results”.

“They are not even trying to understand the reason for the poor results. The Director of Education, Rajendra Kumar claims that there should be one teacher for 40 students, but here the ratio has gone for a toss.”

Apart from a severe shortage of teaching staff, the school’s “missing list” includes a librarian, laboratories and technicians, clerks and superintendent.

“Despite repeated requests, there has been no action. Only after we strove hard and went to the media, did the school get a building. Absence of teachers is not only affecting the students, it has also exerted immense pressure on the 12 teachers who are on roll,” said Saini.

It was pointed out that apart from carrying out administrative responsibilities, including admission formalities and drafting letters, the staff are also expected to master “subjects other than their own”.

“Sometimes there are only 10 teachers present. On those days teachers have to teach subjects other than their own. How then does the Directorate expect the pass percentage to even touch a double digit,” questions a staff member.

The VKS also alleged that the post fixation for the school is not correct either. “Despite being told that there should be at least 45 teachers in the school, only four or five posts have been earmarked as vacant. And teachers who are sent on deputation also refuse to come to the school. A monthly report is also sent to the Deputy Director Education, but it seems it is just gathering dust.”

New chairman of CCB

The Delhi College of Engineering Principal, Professor P. B. Sharma, has been appointed as Chairman of the Central Counselling Board (CCB), which gives centralised admission to candidates who appear in the All India Engineering Entrance Examination (AIEEE) 2004.

According to an official release, the CCB has been reconstituted and will now have its new secretariat at the Delhi College of Engineering. The other members of the CCB include Professor T. P. Singh, Head of Department Biophysics, AIIMS; Professor K. N. Pathak, VC, Punjab University; Professor H. S. Balal, VC, Manipal Academy of Higher Education; Siraj Hussain, VC, Jamia Hamdard, and the nominee of Chairman of UGC, AICTE and CBSE, DG, NIC. Professor Sharma said that as per the AIEEE 2004 result, approximately 46000 candidates have been declared eligible for central counselling. Out of these, 39,000 candidates are for engineering stream and the remaining are for pharmacy and architecture stream.

The details of the counselling schedule are available on the CCB website-www.ccb.nic.in.

This year, apart from the 18 NITs the participating institutions include IITM Gwalior and Allahabad, 15 self-financed deemed universities, including Jamia Hamdard, New Delhi, IIT Hyderabad, Thapar Institute of Engineering and Technology and BITs Pilani. The Central Counseling will also cover School of Planning and Architecture, National Institute of Foundary Technology, Department of Chemical Engineering and Technology, Punjab University, and Mata Vaishno Devi University, Jammu.

The Central Counselling will be conducted at 16 online counselling centres located in major NITs, IIT Delhi and National Institute of Technical Teachers Training, Chandigarh. The candidate will approach the above counselling centres as per schedule of online counselling, depending on the state from where they have passed the qualifying exam which is the senior secondary exam, 10+2 level.
Top

 

No salaries paid to Imams by Wakf Board for two months
Syed Ali Ahmed
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 4
The Delhi Wakf Board is facing an acute resource crunch with the board not being able to disburse salaries to Imams working in mosques and to its own staff.

According to sources, for over a year now, the board has even stopped giving scholarships to students from economically weaker sections and has also not given pensions that it used to give to senior citizens.

The problem is that the Board is headless with the post of chairman lying vacant for quite some time now. The last chairman of the Wakf Board was Haroon Yusuf, Minister of Power and Transport, in the Delhi Government.

With the board headless, the officials do not have the power to increase the rentals of its residential properties and commercial establishments, which are the board’s main source of income. This power rests solely with the chairman.

Sources said that at least 200 Imams were working in the mosques managed by the Wakf Board and they had not been given salaries for the last two months; there is no hope of their getting salaries even in the month of July.

The total monthly expenditure of the board, in which staff members and Imams are included, is Rs five lakhs. However, the board is unable to manage most of the expenses and even its own staff members are not being paid regularly.

According to a senior official in the board, the Imams had withdrawn their last salaries in April.

Earlier, the board used to give scholarships to students from poor families and pension to old people, but this practice has been stopped for the last one year. Another responsibility of the board is to bury unclaimed bodies of Muslims. Due to lack of money, the board is unable to discharge this responsibility either.

The main source of income of the board is the rent that accrues from its residential properties and commercial establishments. Sometimes the board changes its tenants to increase the rent and the resultant income. But the board officials do not have the power to change their tenants or increase the rent. Only the chairman and members of the board can do this.

The board was dissolved after the Assembly Elections and so far it has not been constituted. Once the name of Chaudhary Mateen was being mentioned in political circles for appointment as chairman of the Delhi Wakf Board and Mufti Muazzam, younger brother of Imam of Shahi Masjid Fatehpuri, as a member but no decision has been taken so far.

A senior official of the board said that the Delhi Wakf Board could generate substantial income if its resources were exploited properly, as the properties it owns are located in prime locations. Besides, the board can earn crores of rupees by constructing commercial establishments. The board has properties on Mathura road, in the walled city, South Delhi and in several other central areas, he said.
Top

 

Protection for newly-wed couple
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 4
The Delhi High Court has directed the Delhi Police to provide proper ‘’protection and safety’’ to a young couple in Delhi in view of the alleged abduction attempts by the girl’s parents in collusion with the police. The girl, Navita Rathi (21), has alleged that since she had married one Gaurav Vij against the wishes of her parents, the couple had been facing harassment at the hands of the latter and the police.

Justice R C Chopra, acting on a writ petition moved by Navita Rathi, issued notices, returnable by July 27, to the parents, IGP (Haryana), Delhi Police Commissioner and other police officers who have been charged with harassing the complainant and her husband Gaurav Vij.

Navita has alleged that her parents, in collusion with the police in Haryana and Delhi, wanted to abduct her and arrange her marriage with some other person. The complainant, a Commerce graduate from Kurukshetra University, stated that she had left her house against the wishes of her parents as they wanted her to marry a farmer in Sirsa. They had refused to allow her to marry Gaurav whom she liked.

However, she managed to escape to Delhi on June 4 and married Gaurav on June 28, after having failed to convince the parents to agree to their marriage.

On the petitioner submitting that their parents had threatened to swoop down on their residence with the policemen of Delhi and Sirsa, the High Court directed the Prashant Vihar Police to ensure the security of the couple who were living in the locality.
Top

 

Metro can be extended to Manesar: Rao Inderjit
Ravi S.Singh
Tribune News Service

Gurgaon, July 4
The Union Minister of State for External Affairs and local MP, Mr Rao Inderjit Singh, assured all, especially the industry, that he would try to get the Delhi Metro Railway Project extended not only to Gurgaon city, but further down to Manesar also.

Rao Inderjit, who was the Chief Guest at a public function organised by Gurgaon Industrial Association (GIA), said that a committee had been formed to study the feasibility of extending the Metro to Gurgaon.

According to him, there are reports of low-density population in some parts of Delhi adjacent to Gurgaon.

It is this stretch which could upset the plan. There would be no problem if this hurdle is cleared as the population density in Gurgaon to Manesar would beat the viability debate on the extension of the project. “However, I will try to intervene and see that the viability issue in that small stretch in Delhi is done away with on human ground and the extension of the project is pushed through,” the minister said.

According to him, the committee is likely to submit its report sometime in October-November.

He appealed to the industrialists to partner with the government in its efforts to find a solution to the problem of unemployment. They could at least ensure that the local population was given preference during employment.

He substantiated his point saying that if there were poverty among the local people, there would be alienation too. Such a situation had the possibility of throwing up fissiparous tendencies which might not be a happy augury for the units set up on the land which once belonged to the local farmers.

The ideal situation would be when a large section of society shares in the industrial development in the area, he added.

He assured the local industry that as Minister for External Affairs, he would try to facilitate their interface with those foreign investors who were interested in doing business here.

He said that whenever Congress comes to power in the state, a better law and order situation would be provided and infrastructure upgraded to make it conducive for industrial development.
Top

 

Noida to have biggest telecom data centre
Parmindar Singh

Noida, July 4
The BSNL has planned to establish the biggest data centre of the country in Noida.

GM Telecom, Noida, A.K. Garg said keeping in view the overall progress of Noida Telecom, the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited has decided to categorise Noida as AI Node and Delhi as BI Node. Now the Internet services of Delhi will be dependent on the services from Noida.

Besides, the Internet services of other states like Rajasthan, Haryana, Punjab and UP will also be dependent on the Noida Node.

The five main centres have been planned at Mumbai, Calcutta, Madras, Bangalore and Noida. Noida Node will be catering to the whole of Northern Zone. In these cities, core routers are planned to be installed which will be connected through STM 16 links.

Other cities like Lucknow, Pune, Hyderabad, Jalandhar etc. will be connected to these main centres which, in turn, will connect 71 cities using edge routers, the GM said.

The equipment which will be shifted from Delhi to Noida are core routers, IDC router, router reflector, international gateway router, etc. Also, to spread the Broadband Services, DSLAMs have been planned for more than 25 locations in Noida, i.e. in Sector-19, Sector-62, Sector-58 and other important sectors of Noida.

The total cost of this project is estimated at Rs 250 crore.

With this, Noida Telecom will be able to provide the following advance telecom services to its subscribers:

* Internet Broadband Services.

* Internet Narrowband Services

* Through MPLS VPN (Virtual Private Network) Services.

* Different Value added services like Internet Data Security features using MPLS VPN technology.

* Firewall services to secure the equipment on subscriber premises.

* Network Address Translation Services (NAT) so that the network of different companies can be connected to the Internet world using private IP addresses.

* Multicast video streaming services.

* Website launching.

* Last but not least, the video on demand services.

These services are planned to be implemented by 2004-2005 and launched for the first time in Noida.

Fleet tracking system set up

The Noida Telecom, in collaboration with the IOC and e logistic, has set up fleet tracking management system.

This will enable the vehicle owners to track the movement of their vehicles when they leave for destination. Apart from informing the whereabouts of vehicles, the tracking management system will enable the owners to know the movement of the vehicle, route taken by it anywhere in India.

According to A.K. Garg, General Manager Telecom Noida, a gadget of 15 cm x15 cm, manufactured by e logistic, is fixed on the body of the vehicle at Rs 7,500. This gadget which, has a SIM Card of BSNL will transmit its location through the nearest BSNL tower in a coded form to the server on SMS.
Top

 

A paradisical district lost and regained
Ravi Bhatia
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 4
Whether it had a lasting impact or not, January the 13th this year turned out to be a black Tuesday for many planning to set up base at NOIDA and Greater NOIDA. The reason being that it was on that day the new Uttar Pradesh government ordered the dissolution of the district-status of Gautam Budh Nagar, merging it with Ghaziabad once again.

It was a big jolt to the image of NOIDA which prided itself in being “infrastructurally modern and clean” compared to other districts in the state and particularly Ghaziabad from which it was carved out as a separate district earlier.

The residents and the business community, which had invested a lot of time and effort in its transformation over the years, were hurt.

The state government had to face severe criticism in the form of ‘dharnas’, ‘bandhs’ and agitations for several days. And justifiably so, according to the residents. Finally, it took the courts to restore the status quo thanks to a slew of petitions filed by the affected.

Whereas NOIDA is just a stone’s throw from Ghaziabad, on the image-perception scale, the two places are miles apart. NOIDA-Greater NOIDA, which had been hotspots for real estate because of its broad roads, natural beautification and greenery and improved safety measures, would now have been merged with Ghaziabad which obviously did not match up to the standards expected by a serious investor.

The main concern here was the lack of adequate security and deteriorating law and order in Ghaziabad.

Other than that, the residents would have had to face serious problems as they would have to rush to Ghaziabad, the district headquarters for every conceivable work. Commuting itself would have been a big problem. It was a retrograde step, the residents and investors jointly reminded the powers that be.

The state government’s decision on June 26 to reinstate Gautam Budh Nagar as a separate district came as a much-needed respite not only to this segment of investors but also to the district officials. People who had been planning to shift base to Gurgaon or Faridabad now seem to have changed their mind. Already, there are notable undercurrents of many moving back to NOIDA-Greater NOIDA after the June 26 decision.

Admits N.K. Singh, head of the District Industrial Centre, “It cannot be denied that ever since the district was dissolved, there had been a marked slump in the number of industrialists shifting base here. The largest hit in this whole controversy was Greater NOIDA.”

However, Mr Singh expressed hope that now after the restoration of the district status, NOIDA-Greater NOIDA will again see more aggressive growth.

It is worth mentioning here that NOIDA and Greater NOIDA are the base for many blue-chip Indian companies, besides also dozens of multi-national companies (MNCs). By virtue of being in close proximity to the national capital, it has been a hot favorite among industrialists.

Other than this, NOIDA also has been a witness to unprecedented fast-paced growth in the occupancy of residential sectors in recent years. The announcement of the Taj Express Way had brought it among the front-running options in real estate investments. But the sudden decision to relieve this ‘golden land’ of its district status became a big hurdle in the business plans of many. The reinstatement order is welcome news for those who were eyeing DLF in Gurgaon and Vasundhra in neighbouring Ghaziabad, etc. as their second-best options. More tangible reforms in the pace of growth here are expected to be visible once the DM and the SSP are back in their places in the district and the official machinery starts whirring once again, according to the officials of the District Industrial Centre.
Top

 

Sheila launches mobile clinic
Tribune News Service

New Delhi July 4
Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit today launched the “Doctor at Doorstep”, a mobile clinic scheme of Mahavir International, a voluntary, charitable non-governmental Organization, at its silver jubilee celebration function here today.

Dr Yoganand Shastri, Health Minister of Delhi, was the guest of honour. Mr S.K. Jain, Chairman, Mahavir International, along with other office bearers, was also present on the occasion.

In her inaugural address, Mrs Dikshit lauded all those involved in the successful running of the NGO, Mahavir International, and their commitment to alleviate sufferings of the underprivileged.

She called upon other NGOs to come forward, create awareness and help achieve the goal of good health for all in Delhi in the coming years.

Mahavir International, Delhi, is presently running five fully equipped hospitals with excellent teams of doctors, para medical staff and state-of-the-art facilities for eye care, which are comparable to the best hospitals of the city.
Top

 

Haryana caught in mire of human trafficking
Bijendra Ahlawat
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, July 4
Haryana is among the six states in the country where human trafficking has been rampant. The state government has tried to curb such an activity, but its efforts have not been found sufficient. Both the State and the Union governments need to form a policy to deal with the growing problem.

This has been stated in the annual report of a prominent NGO, active in the field of human rights and trafficking.

Mr Ravi Kant, Executive Director of the NGO ‘Shakti Vahini’, said here today that human trafficking was perhaps not a new thing and had been prevalent in all the states and Union Territories of the country. But he claimed that the seriousness of the issue had not been addressed properly by many states leading to the escalation of the problem, thereby threatening the sanctity of the social set-up itself.

He said that human trafficking had been identified as the third largest source of profit in the ‘organised crime’ sector and it involved exploitative working conditions and gross violation of the human rights and labour standards.

According to the report, there were only two states, Sikkim and Meghalaya, where the work to check trafficking had been good. So, they have been placed in Category-1. While seven and 14 states have been put in the Category-2 and Category-3, reflecting their performance in the past one year. Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Tripura, Bihar and Nagaland have been included in Category-4. Their performance has been described as very poor.

Some of the states, including Arunachal Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and some UTs have not been covered due to lack of information, the NGO says.

The report states that the children, particularly the girls, were at a greater risk of being trafficked.

While thousands of children were caught in the mire of bonded labour and slavery, there were a number of women who had not only been working as ‘sex workers’, but had been forced to be a part of the thriving prostitution rackets being run in the garb of massage parlours, escort services, urban employment and forced marriages in various states.

It says though the Article 23 (1) of the Indian Constitution prohibits any form of forced labour and slavery, but various state governments had ‘failed’ to implement the Acts properly and protect the women and children from exploitation.
Top

 

30 cases of snatching solved
Tribune News Service

New Delhi July 4
With the arrest of four chain snatchers, the West district police claims to have solved 30 cases and recovered several gold chains and 15 grams of smack from their possession.

With the spurt in chain snatching incidents in the district, an anti-snatching drive was launched and pickets were placed at strategic points to nab the snatchers. On July 3, at around 1.30 pm, the police apprehended one Praveen Kumar Bansal, alias Babloo (22), a resident of Sultanpuri who was riding a Hero-Honda motorcycle. During his personal search the police recovered 15 gm of smack from his possession.

Praveen, during interrogation, disclosed that he along with his associates used to snatch bags, mobile phones and gold chains in the district. Based on this information, his associates — Balwant Singh alias Rinku (19), Himanshu alias Happy (20) and Ravi Kishan alias Ravi (20) — all residents of Nangloi were nabbed. .

The accused persons told the police that they took to snatching in order to earn easy money. After snatching bags, mobile phones and gold chains, they sold them in the market and shared the booty among themselves.

In another case, the North-West district police claims to have arrested a desperate gangster of Gaya involved in several cases of contract killing, murder, extortion and robbery. A country made weapon was recovered from his possession.

The accused, Dheeraj Kumar Gupta, alias Sanjay, alias Aditaya Verma (22), of Aslam gang and a resident of Gaya, Bihar, was nabbed in Adarsh Nagar area last night.

Since the accused had committed several heinous crimes in Gaya and its adjoining districts, the Gaya police made several attempts to arrest Dheeraj but he evaded arrest by constantly shifting his base.

Smagam

Baba Hardev Singh Ji Maharaj, spiritual head of the Sant Nirankari Mission, addressed an impressive welcome samagam here on his return from a two-month world salvation tour. A large number of devotees of the mission had come not only from Delhi but also from Punjab, Chandigarh, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir.

In his address, he identified the genesis behind the chaos and violence in the society.
Top

 

16th Mango Festival concludes
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 4
The two-day 16th Mango Festival organized by Delhi Tourism concluded here today at Talkatora Indoor stadium, receiving an overwhelming response from visitors, including many foreign dignitaries. The festival this year drew tourists as well as businessmen. The festival was organized in association with APEDA, NHB, the government of Delhi and mango growers who came from all over. More than 500 varieties of mangoes were on display and prizes were given to the best varieties.

In the Mango Culinary contest, the Gold Medal was won by Le Meridian in the Main Course section and by hotel The Grand & Le Meridian in the Desert Section. Apart from Mango Culinary contest, an ice-carving contest was also held at the venue in which Mr L K Paul from Hotel Mauriya Sheraton won the Bronze.
Top

 

People to rain god: Please come soon
Our Correspondent

Meerut, July 4
The whole western Uttar Pradesh is in a grip of panic due to the delay in monsoon. Thousand of farmers and lakhs of residents of the area have now sought refuge in the Almighty.

Shouting the slogans of ‘kale pele dande, ham khuda ke bande’, children of the age group of 4 to 12 years painted their hands and stomachs black. They are seen chanting and wandering in the streets to please Indra Devta. Women are also ploughing field somewhere in the area, using traditional tips to please the god of rain.

They shouted slogans like ‘Na Sona Na Chandi, Ham to Mange Panee’. Women of the Naogaon Sadat village also prayed the god of rain to bestow his blessings.

The Met department had announced the early arrival of the monsoon in the area, but Lord Indra did not oblige, except for some mild showers in the area.

In Rampur and Meerut, special prayers were organised in mandirs and masjids, while a mahayagna was organised in Kainker Khera.
Top

 

Farmers’ ultimatum on land compensation
Our Correspondent

Greater Noida, July 4
The farmers of Greater Noida, who have rejected government offer of Rs 300 per sq. yd. land compensation, seem to have adopted a path of confrontation.

In a meeting held in Sector Gama-II, farmers have sent a notice of a prolonged agitation to the government. A Mahapanchayat will be called on July 11 at Kasna for launching a movement. All the speakers at Gama-II meeting appeared quite angry and aggressive.

The meeting held under the Chairmanship of MLA and ex-minister Nawab Singh Nagar had debated the question of an increased compensation to farmers from April 1, 2003.

Local MLA Nawab Singh Nagar said there is no reason why the farmers of Greater Noida should not get proper price for their land, who have been struggling for the last two years for the same rate of compensation for ancestral and non-ancestral land.

The differences between the two categories of lands are not correct. If any farmer sells his land he should get the compensation at hiked rates, Mr Nagar said.
Top

 

NGOs to maintain toilet complexes
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 4
The Municipal Corporation of Delhi has given a contract to NGOs to maintain Community Toilet Complexes (CTC) constructed recently under the Yamuna Action Plan. At least 959 toilet blocks were constructed, which were funded by the Government of Japan through the Union Ministry of Environment and Forest.

The contract will be auctioned on the basis of individual complexes, without any reserve price being announced for each complex.

Keeping in view that the corporation will be hard-presses to maintain cleanliness in the toilet blocks, the corporation decided that this responsibility be delegated to NGOs who will charge Rs 1 from the users.

The corporation has fixed the eligibility criteria for NGOs interested in maintaining the CTCs. Each eligible NGO will deposit Rs 10, 000 as security deposit for each complex.

There will be no reserve price, but the NGO offering the highest rate will have to deposit 25 per cent of the total auction license fee for each complex, calculated on quarterly basis after the auction is decided in his favour.

The NGO will have to deposit the Insurance Premium calculated on a quarterly basis; the premium for the first quarter has to be deposited by the NGO along with the license fees as per auction.
Top

 

‘Your Lordship’ commits lese-majeste
Our Correspondent

Ghaziabad, July 4
A telephone rings in the SSP’s residence at 1 am on Friday. The caller drives a point home that he is an hon’ble judge of the High Court. He asks for the police escort and suitable stay arrangements to be made for the night.

The authorities quickly comply with the instructions of the “Hon’ble Judge of the Allahabad High Court”. The police escort is provided and arrangements are made for stay in a posh 3-star hotel in the city.

In the morning when the police and the district officials make a courtesy call on the ‘Hon’ble Judge’, they find that ‘Your Lordship’ is away to Delhi.

The police and the administrative officials smell a rat and make inquiries. The person posing as a High Court judge, it was learnt, was an assistant public prosecutor in Allahabad.

When he returns to the hotel in the evening, instead of giving him a salute, the police nab the person and his companion and send them to the house of correction.

According to SP city, Ummesh Srivastava, “The caller, M.L. Rai had introduced himself as the judge of the Allahabad High Court and asked for an escort. A VIP vehicle was sent for him to the railway station at 1 am as required under the protocol and he along with his friend were lodged in a 3-star hotel, Shipra in the city”.

The SP said that in the morning, City Magistrate and CO (Dy SO) police went to meet the High Court judge in the Shipra hotel, as required under the protocol. But they found the rooms locked. The hotel management informed that the VIP guests had gone to Delhi. Going to Delhi so early in the morning made the police somewhat suspicious.

As soon they returned from Delhi, the police shot a barrage of questions on the guests. At first M.L Rai flew into rage and threatened the cops.

But soon circle officer Chiranjiv Rai Sinha appeared on the spot, reining in the masqueraders, he packed them
to jail.
Top

 

Pamma gives away bags to poor kids
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 4
Congress leader Paramjeet Singh Pamma today distributed bags among schoolchildren belonging to poor families in Maansarowar Garden in North East district. He did this with the intention to helping the poor children to study in schools.

He said that a number of intelligent children were unable to acquire knowledge due to lack of money. Their parents are unable to bear the study expenses and they had to leave their studies in between.

While distributing the bags, he appealed that well-off people should come forward to help the needy children in pursuit of their studies, so that they can contribute to nation building. Last winter, Mr Pamma had distributed sweaters among poor children. He said that the government had made arrangement for education, yet some children were deprived of it.
Top

 

Man dies after being hit with cricket bat
Our Correspondent

Ghaziabad, July 4
A young man hit in the head with a cricket bat has succumbed to his injuries in the hospital. Govindpuri resident, Pintu had a spat with his companion, Dushyant of Shastri Nagar in which Dushyant hit Pintu with a bat in his head and fled, leaving him in a serious condition. Pintu’s other friend, Satinder, who also happened to be there rushed Pintu to Yashoda Hospital where he died. Satinder also lodged a report of the incident in Kavi Nagar police station.

FSIA adopts poor student

Faridabad: The Faridabad Small Industries Association (FSIA) has adopted a poor student of a nearby village for his education. The student, Varun, is studying in a private school in his native village Seekri in Ballabhgarh subdivision. Stating this, a FSIA spokesperson said that Varun belonged to a poor family. He had lost his father a few years ago. The spokesperson said he being a brilliant student, the Association would bear all his educational expenses till he gets settled in his career. — OC
Top

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