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

Lawyers clash in Rohini court complex
Nine lawyers, four media persons injured

New Delhi, February 1
The Rohini Bar Association general secretary S. P. Sharma along with eight lawyers and four media persons were injured after violence broke out between lawyers at the newly-built court complex at Rohini.

Discrepancies galore in DHBVN billing system
Faridabad, February 1

The present system of billing adopted by the Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam Limited, the power-supplying agency of the state government, has drawn criticism from various sides.

Has DMRC failed to live up to its high standards on Line-3?
New Delhi, February 1
Though officials call it a case of sheer bad luck that a series of technical snags have been reported on the Line 3 ever since its commissioning almost a month back, the general public perception is that the Barakhamba-Dwarka section has failed to live up to the high standards that the Delhi Metro set for itself with the Line-1 and the Line-2.

Women run 118 milk co-operative societies
Faridabad, February 1
At least 118 milk co-operative societies are being run by women in the district at present. Many of them have upgraded to the automatic system of milk collection and testing facility for the first time.


EARLIER STORIES

 
Delhi Lt-Governor B. L. Joshi giving donation to a hearing impaired girl at Raj Niwas on the 47th Flag Day of the Deaf.
Delhi Lt-Governor B. L. Joshi giving donation to a hearing impaired girl at Raj Niwas on the 47th Flag Day of the Deaf. — A Tribune photograph

Police called in as Akali factions slug it out
New Delhi, February 1
The police were called in to guard the Capital’s Sikh religious headquarters after a fierce power feud between supporters and opponents of Shiromani Akali Dal chief Parkash Singh Badal came to a head here last evening.

Dhaula Kuan rape case trial begins
New Delhi, February 1
The trial in the sensational Dhaula Kuan rape case last year, which sent shock waves through the city, began in a Delhi court today.

DUAC task force to work out planned development
New Delhi, February 1
The Delhi Urban Arts Commission (DUAC) has set up a task force to work on different aspects of urban life and translate its vision into reality to be showed in an exhibition to be held next month. The exhibition will initiate a public debate regarding the need for changes in the new Master Plan.

UP police probing phone-tapping case separately
Noida, February 1
The UP police are conducting a parallel probe in the phone-tapping case of Samajwadi Party general secretary Amar Singh.

People under the banner of the National Federation of Blind sitting on dharna at Shastri Bhavan in the Capital.
People under the banner of the National Federation of Blind sitting on dharna at Shastri Bhavan in the Capital. — A Tribune photograph

‘Save Girl Child’ campaign to get more punch
New Delhi, February 1
The Delhi Government is planning to intensify its Save Girl Child Campaign to overcome the declining gender ratio in the Capital.

DJB engineer held for accepting bribe
New Delhi, February 1
The anti-corruption branch of the Delhi Police arrested one Zonal Engineer of DJB for allegedly accepting bribe from a water tanker owner. The accused has been identified as J.B. Kataria.

Naked body of old man found
Noida, February 1
The body of a 60-year-old man, a resident of posh colony in Sector-11, Noida, has been found from his residence in mysterious circumstances. The body was found without clothes on.

96 sq mt commercial plot worth Rs 3 cr in Noida
Noida, February 1
Land prices in Noida seem to be shooting through the sky at present. The land rate in Sector-18 market is Rs 3.65 lakh per sq metre.

Bluffmaster cop’s bail plea rejected
New Delhi, February 1
A decade after he bluffed his way into Delhi Police, a man was today produced in a city court which rejected his bail plea on the ground that he might disappear again.

HC notices to govt, discoms over power theft
New Delhi, February 1
The Delhi High Court today issued notices to NDPL, BSES Rajdhani and the Delhi Government on a PIL alleging that about Rs 3,000-crore worth of power was being pilfered in the Capital with the connivance of the officials.

HC issues contempt notice to MCD over Yamuna slums
New Delhi, February 1
The Delhi High Court today issued a contempt notice to Municipal Corporation of Development (MCD) Additional Commissioner (JJ & slums) for not executing its order to remove the slum cluster on the banks of river Yamuna near Pragati Maidan.

CBSE helpline comes into life
New Delhi, February 1
The first phase of the CBSE helpline has begun from today and will continue till March 31. Students will be able to contact as many as 40 trained counsellors of the CBSE affiliated government and private schools and principals.

Surajkund to have permanent stalls
New Delhi, February 1
Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda today said that permanent stalls of all states would be set up at the Surajkund Crafts Mela complex to give it a shape of theme park.

Builders asked to provide details of buildings constructed
New Delhi, February 1
The Municipal Commissioner of Delhi, Mr Ashok Kumar Nigam, today asked all builders operating in Delhi to provide details of all the buildings, which they have constructed after December 31, 2000. These details should be furnished for onward transmission to the Registrar of Assurances, the Sub Registrar of all districts for further necessary action on their part in pursuance of the direction of the High Court.

18 killed in road accident
Ghaziabad, February 1
Eighteen people travelling in a tempo were killed when it had a head-on collision with a tanker on Meerut-Bagpat Road late Tuesday night. The dead included seven men, five women and six minor children. They were all returning from Basod village. The deceased belonged to Zakir Colony of Meerut.



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Lawyers clash in Rohini court complex
Nine lawyers, four media persons injured
Tribune News Service

An injured lawyer at the police station in the Capital.
An injured lawyer at the police station in the Capital. — A Tribune photograph

New Delhi, February 1
The Rohini Bar Association general secretary S. P. Sharma along with eight lawyers and four media persons were injured after violence broke out between lawyers at the newly-built court complex at Rohini. The violence took place between RBA and the members of the Delhi Bar Association (DBA), who spotted some of their colleagues entering a sessions court to represent clients in violation of their month-long strike.

Agitating DBA lawyers, who were roaming in the court corridors dressed in plain clothes, pulled out the litigating lawyers from the court, which was in session.

An argument ensued between the lawyers and they finally came to blows.

The agitating Delhi Bar Association (DBA) lawyers also allegedly assaulted and seriously injured media persons while they were recording the altercation between them at the Rohini court complex.

The injured media persons, belonging to Hindi daily Dainik Jagran and S1 news channel, have filed separate complaints against several bar association members, including DBA president Rajiv Khosla and secretary Sanjeev Nasair.

S P Sharma was taken to Ambedkar Hospital for examination. Eight of his colleagues were roughed up just outside the chamber of Rohini Court incharge Reva Khetarpal, sources said.

The agitated lawyers later took off the film roll and pushed them off the Madhuban Chowk premises of the court. An FIR was later lodged with the Prashant Vihar police station and the reporter medically examined.

The RBA sources said trouble started after its members led by Mr Sharma went to Ms Khetarpal’s chamber to inform that they were joining work from today. While the meeting was on, about 50 DBA members barged into her chamber and resisted their ‘joining’ the court. Ms Khetarpal asked them to solve the matter through dialogue. But as soon as RBA members came out of the chamber, they were attacked by DBA people.

Mr Sharma later said that despite having informed the court, Bar Association and the police about their decision to join work from today, the unfortunate incident took place.

“I had received threats from a member of the Bar Council of Delhi yesterday against joining work. Two policemen were sent for my security but the assault took place inside the court premises,” he said.

The RBA lawyers have been on strike since December 12 last year over non-availability of advocate chambers at the Rohini Court among other issues. However, they had decided against the ‘strike’ at their January 29 meeting and informed authorities about it, the sources added.

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Discrepancies galore in DHBVN billing system
Bijendra Ahlawat
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, February 1
The present system of billing adopted by the Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam Limited (DHBVN), the power-supplying agency of the state government, has drawn criticism from various sides. While the All Haryana Power Corporation Worker Union has strongly opposed the move to give the task of bill preparation and distribution to private agencies, the consumers have reported several discrepancies in the system.

Mrs Savitri Devi, a resident of Daultabad village near Sector-16 A here, was shocked when she received a bill of Rs 13,000 recently for a one-room house in which she lives. While the house has a tin shed, there are not more than three bulbs on the premises spread over about a 100 yards.

She claimed that the office concerned had told her that this was due to some wrong entries made. The bill also had wrong address printed on it.

The bill was of Kothi number 300 of Sector 15, while her house was located in Daultabad village area.

Mrs Savitri Devi pointed out that the problem of wrong address and billing had persisted for long and despite the complaints and reminders, it was not sorted out so far.

Though this has one of the examples of the wrong billing done by the DHBVN in the city, it is learnt that hundreds of such cases were brought to the notice of the Nigam each month in various parts.

The All Haryana Power Corporation Workers Union claims that the problems of the consumers as well as the DHBVN staff have increased manifold, since the government introduced the contractual system in this work. Inefficient people who are paid poorly are engaged in this task.

A union spokesperson said they had highlighted the problem at various government platforms and made it quite clear that the policy of privatization and contractual system was not in the interest of anyone. It was causing losses besides leading to the harassment of regular Nigam staff, the spokesperson added.

He claimed that while the authorities had introduced penalty system in the billing when it was done by the employees of the Nigam, there had been no provision of punishing the contractor in such a job. A survey done recently had found that more than 90 per cent of the consumers had been dissatisfied with the services of the private agency in the district, the spokesperson claimed and added that the work by contractors had come as huge financial burden on the Nigam and the government.

He alleged that the vested interests of certain officials in the Nigam were responsible for such irregularities.

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Has DMRC failed to live up to its
high standards on Line-3?

Vibha Sharma
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 1
Though officials call it a case of sheer bad luck that a series of technical snags have been reported on the Line 3 ever since its commissioning almost a month back, the general public perception is that the Barakhamba-Dwarka section has failed to live up to the high standards that the Delhi Metro set for itself with the Line-1 and the Line-2.

Today, a major technical fault on the Line-3 during peak rush hours in the morning resulted in the disruption of traffic between Kirti Nagar and Subhash Nagar for more than one-and-a-half hour.

Due to this train services operated on a single line between the two stations and naturally resulted in commuters facing problems at all other stations of the section between Barakhamba and Dwarka.

The Metro services were disrupted after some maintenance personnel noticed a sparking at the overhead electrical (OHE) wiring from where the trains draw power, following which the electricity was shut off between Kirti Nagar and Ramesh Nagar stations as a precautionary measure.

As per DMRC spokesperson Anuj Dayal, the train services operated on a single line between Subhash Nagar and Kirti Nagar from 9.30 am to 11 am, but the fault was rectified and normal services commenced from 11 a.m. onwards.

“Preliminary investigations have shown that the sparking was caused due to wet twig, dropped most likely by birds,” said Dayal, shooting down the observation that technical problems were increasing on the Line-3 and maybe such snags were also revealing chinks in the Delhi Metro’s perfect armour.

Lately, the general public perception has been that the Line-3 was opened in haste without adequate preparations. In fact, just about 15 days back, the Metro traffic was disrupted for close to two hours on the Line-3 due to malfunctioning of a point at the Dwarka station. Commuters have also been complaining of not so smooth rides and malfunctioning of smart card sensor machines.

Added to this, the lack of feeder busses, public toilets and parking lots besides inadequate number of escalators at certain stations have only added to the commuter blues on this line.

Dayal, however, clarifies that the Line-3 was commissioned after adequate preparations, adding that such type of technical snags can happen on any Metro system in the world.

“Similar events have taken place elsewhere also and this kind of an operational hazard can happen whenever there is a overhead electrification system,” he says. He also adds that there is no solution to this problem except for covering the entire wiring, which is not possible.

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Women run 118 milk co-operative societies
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, February 1
At least 118 milk co-operative societies are being run by women in the district at present. Many of them have upgraded to the automatic system of milk collection and testing facility for the first time.

The authorities have called upon more women from the rural and semi-urban belt to join the ‘white revolution’ and become self-dependent.

At a function held at Ballabgarh town by the Haryana Dairy Development Development Federation (HDDF) and the milk plant of the Federation, the authorities lauded the effort and involvement of a large number of women in this work.

Distributing the loan cheques to about 50 dairy owners, the Managing Director of the HDDF, claimed that the people associated with the federation were not only concerned with selling milk, but they had been shareholders of the body. The Federation was aware of the needs of the individuals and groups associated with it, he added.

It was revealed that about 118 co-operatives run by women are working in the region, especially at Sagarpur village of the Ballabgarh sub-division.

According to officials, about 55 co-operatives of women are supplied with the automatic milk testers, while 15 would be soon getting the automatic milk collection station.

This equipment would be given on the basis of 100 per cent grant.

Bhopal Singh, CEO of the Milk Plant, Ballabgarh, said that various measures were being taken for the benefit of the dairy owners and the co-operative societies which include group insurance scheme of the members of the co-operatives and the facility of free check-up of the cattle by the veterinary doctors from time to time.

They would also have the facility of loans for purchasing cattle or running the dairies which supply milk to the plant.

A sum of about Rs 12.5 lakh was disbursed as loan to the dairy owners at a function held recently.

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Police called in as Akali factions slug it out
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 1
The police were called in to guard the Capital’s Sikh religious headquarters after a fierce power feud between supporters and opponents of Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) chief Parkash Singh Badal came to a head here last evening.

Badal loyalists led by his party’s Delhi chief Avtar Singh Hit are locked in a tussle for supremacy with traditional rivals Harvinder Singh Sarna and Paramjit Singh Sarna, to whom they lost control of the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) almost four years ago.

The current leadership feud, which is ensuing from the court cases, was threatening to escalate into a violent clash last evening, sources said. “We have posted police at the DSGMC office in Rakab Ganj to ensure law and order,” Additional DCP (New Delhi) Manish Agarwal said.

Harvinder Singh Sarna, who became DSGMC president last month in an election set aside by the court, said he had filed an appeal over the verdict.

At a news conference here, SAD leader Hit, SGPC member Kuldip Singh Bhogal and Shiromani Akali Dal (Panthak) president Manjit Singh slammed the Sarnas for locking the DSGMC office and calling in the police at the religious site.

But the Sarnas claimed the religious offices were locked and police called in for security reasons.

The SAD suffered its first religious rout outside Punjab when the Sarnas swept the 2002 DSGMC general elections. Since then, the two leaders have been successfully retaining control of the committee, a powerful hub of Sikh affairs in Delhi, in what is seen as a potential challenge to Badal’s hold on Sikh religious issues.

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Dhaula Kuan rape case trial begins
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 1
The trial in the sensational Dhaula Kuan rape case last year, which sent shock waves through the city, began in a Delhi court today.

The Additional Sessions Judge, S L Bhayana, started the trial with the recording of evidence of two prosecution witnesses, both related to prime accused Ajit Singh Katiyar.

The case will come up for further hearing on March 14. Katiyar, the sole accused arrested in this case, is charged with having committed the offences of gangrape, abduction, intoxication with intent to commit offence, criminal intimidation and criminal conspiracy.

According to the charges, Katiyar, along with his three co-accused, who could not be arrested, conspired to gangrape a college student in a moving car after intoxicating her. The accused forced the girl, studying in Delhi University, into a Santro car at about 2.15 a.m. on May 8 when she was walking to a ‘dhaba’ with her roommate, in the Dhaula Kuan area of south-west Delhi.

Katiyar (28), a driver with a private company, whose features were described by the victim, was picked up on May 13 from near the Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border. He was later pointed out by the victim as one of the culprits in a Test Identification Parade (TIP).

According to the police, Katiyar is a history-sheeter with at least 10 cases of attempt to murder, auto-theft and Arms Act registered against him, including for shooting at a police party.

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DUAC task force to work out planned development
Syed Ali Ahmed
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 1
The Delhi Urban Arts Commission (DUAC) has set up a task force to work on different aspects of urban life and translate its vision into reality to be showed in an exhibition to be held next month. The exhibition will initiate a public debate regarding the need for changes in the new Master Plan.

Mr K. T. Ravindran, Co-ordinator of the exhibition and Dean of the School of Planning and Architecture, said that the task force would be on urban villages, Master Plan and planning issues, building by-laws, public spaces, safety and design, architectural heritage and conservation, Shajahanabad, Sadar Pahar Ganj, NDMC and areas of Delhi.

Dr Shahir, Member, DUAC, said that the best way to maximise the use of open area in the Capital would be presented in the exhibition.

The focus would be on East Delhi as there are huge open areas, which are not being used.

Ms Naraini Gupta, another Member of the DUAC, said that a plan would be made to show how heritage buildings can be saved.

In East Delhi, the focus will be to develop Vikas Marg, which has become narrow due to encroachment. Footpath will be constructed on both sides of the roads.

Development of Laxmi Nagar City Centre and resettlement colonies will also be presented.

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UP police probing phone-tapping case separately
Our Correspondent

Noida, February 1
The UP police are conducting a parallel probe in the phone-tapping case of Samajwadi Party general secretary Amar Singh.

Stating this, Jagmohan Yadav, IG Special Task Force (STF) of UP police, said here that after the court’s nod, the UP police had asked Hutch and Reliance phone companies to pass on the necessary information and documents to the STF. Mr Yadav was talking to the press at the Noida police control today evening. The probing teams were yet to get the necessary information while the information available to the police could not be disclosed as the matter was sub judice, he said.

The IGP STF said phone-tapping is normally permitted by the state Home Secretary, but in special cases, a police DIG may also order the tapping of the phone.

It is conducted against known criminals, terrorists or those suspected to be engaged in anti-national activities.

Private citizen is well within his right to ask for the record of his phone tapping. Unauthorised tapping could be punished under Sections 20, 21 and 24 of Telecommunication Act. He said Noida industrialists Ashok Chaturvedi and Ashok Chauhan have been questioned in this connection. Ashok Chauhan had lodged the FIR at Sector-20, Noida.

When asked the possibility of inquiries being conducted by the UP and Delhi police arriving at different conclusions, Mr Yadav said he was not in a position to share everything with the media.

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‘Save Girl Child’ campaign to get more punch
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 1
The Delhi Government is planning to intensify its Save Girl Child Campaign to overcome the declining gender ratio in the Capital.

The Delhi Chief Minister, Ms Sheila Dikshit, has directed the Delhi Women Commission to function as a nodal agency in collaboration with education, health, and social welfare departments to sensitise society in maintaining natural balance.

She said this after a presentation on Tuesday made by a Mumbai based NGO, Population First, which has contributed substantially by initiating a campaign called Laadli in Mumbai where the gender sex ratio has decreased up to around 880 in comparison to 1000 males. The situation is alarming in case of the affluent society in Mumbai where girls are being denied the opportunity to take birth, causing great social imbalance.

Delhi Health Minister Yoganand Shastri, the Principal Secretary, Health, and the Director, Social Welfare, were also present at the presentation.

The Chief Minister directed initiation of a forceful campaign on March 8, which is observed as Women’s Day, to bring awareness about saving the girl child. She added that certain NGOs would be identified for involvement in the campaign. The campaign would also be integrated with Bhagidari melas.

It was reported in the presentation that India had the lowest gender ratio of 927 in the world. The situation in Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Chandigarh, Uttaranchal, Haryana, Delhi, Rajasthan and UP had become worse.

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DJB engineer held for accepting bribe
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 1
The anti-corruption branch of the Delhi Police arrested one Zonal Engineer of DJB for allegedly accepting bribe from a water tanker owner. The accused has been identified as J.B. Kataria.

The complainant said that his water tanker was removed from the area where he was supplying water. When he approached the accused, he allegedly demanded Rs 2,500 from the complainant Sudarshan.

At this Sudarshan contacted the AC Branch and Kataria was arrested while accepting and demanding bribe. Kataria was posted at Najafgarh zone.

In another case, the AC Branch arrested a tout for demanding and accepting bribe from one person for renewal of his driving license. The accused has been identified as Shanti Prasad, who was caught accepting Rs 500 from one Sanjay Pratap. He was arrested from Transport Authority at Ashok Vihar.

Meanwhile, the Delhi Police have arrested two persons for allegedly possessing illicit liquor. The two accused have been identified as Satish Kumar and Om Prakash.

The police also claimed to have recovered 150 cartons of liquor of various brands. The Crime Branch of Delhi Police arrested the two accused while they were on their way to distribute the illicit liquor in their Tata-709 truck, which has also been seized by the police.

The police officials said the two accused brought the illicit liquor from Chandigarh and were going to distribute it in different parts of Delhi. 

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Naked body of old man found
Our Correspondent

Noida, February 1
The body of a 60-year-old man, a resident of posh colony in Sector-11, Noida, has been found from his residence in mysterious circumstances. The body was found without clothes on.

According to police, the aged man was a drunkard who had been left to fend for himself by his wife and children who were living separately.

Deceased Praven Sethi, after retiring as a branch manager from a company, had settled in house No R-14 in Sector-11, Noida. His neighbours said he used to quarrel with his family and was often found drunk. They had not seen him stepping out of his house for the past few days.

On Tuesday, even though the house was locked from outside, a guard had complained of bad odour coming from the house. The police were informed by RWA secretary Krishnan.

When the police opened the door, Praveen Sethi’s body was found. However, no injury mark was found on it. But finding Praveen Sethi’s death rather unusual, police have initiated investigations and informed his family and sent the body for autopsy.

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96 sq mt commercial plot worth Rs 3 cr in Noida
Our Correspondent

Noida, February 1
Land prices in Noida seem to be shooting through the sky at present. The land rate in Sector-18 market is Rs 3.65 lakh per sq metre.

A 96 sq. mt commercial plot in Sector-18 is worth Rs 3.50 crore. Noida authority is likely to bring a scheme for the sale of commercial plots in Sector-18, Noida. Some 16 plots of 136 and 96 sq mt sizes will be included in this scheme.

These plots are proposed to be sold through tenders. By selling 1656 sq mt land, the authority is likely to get Rs 52 to Rs 55 crore. The plots which could have been auctioned in the open market are likely to be sold through tender notices for some special reasons.

The authority bosses are keen to get the highest price for their prime location plots. So, the highest bidder will get these properties. There are three plots of 136 metre size while 13 plots are of 96 sq mt sizes. The price of some plots has been pegged at Rs 3 lakh for sq. mt.

If all goes well by the month-end, these plots will be sold for Rs 52 to Rs 55 crore on a 90-year lease. Who all will participate in the bidding will be clear once the scheme is made public.

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Bluffmaster cop’s bail plea rejected
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 1
A decade after he bluffed his way into Delhi Police, a man was today produced in a city court which rejected his bail plea on the ground that he might disappear again.

“The accused has been absconding for more than 10 years. His release now on bail would only give him the headstart to disappear for another 10 years and not be heard of from again,” a Metropolitan Magistrate court at the Rohini complex observed, rejecting the bail to the accused, ‘Constable’ Kailash Singh Meena, a native of Sikar district in Bihar.

Meena has been accused of offences under various Sections, including Section 420 (cheating) of the IPC.

According to the police, the accused had got into Delhi Police with the help of a fake matriculation certificate. After a brief stint of ‘law enforcement’ in the Capital, Meena’s bluff came to light which prompted him to vanish.

Meena managed to hoodwink the law for 10 years until he was caught on January 2 this year in the Capital.

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HC notices to govt, discoms over power theft

New Delhi, February 1
The Delhi High Court today issued notices to NDPL, BSES Rajdhani and the Delhi Government on a PIL alleging that about Rs 3,000-crore worth of power was being pilfered in the Capital with the connivance of the officials.

The petition, filed by an NGO through counsel Rajeev Awasthi, alleged though more than 400 complaints were lodged with the authorities citing instances of power-pilferage in the city, the authorities continued to side-track the issue.

A Division Bench of Justice Vijender Jain and Justice Rekha Sharma, while issuing the notices to the respondents, asked them to file their replies within four weeks, and posted the matter for further hearing till April 5. — TNS

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HC issues contempt notice to MCD over Yamuna slums
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 1
The Delhi High Court today issued a contempt notice to Municipal Corporation of Development (MCD) Additional Commissioner (JJ & slums) for not executing its order to remove the slum cluster on the banks of river Yamuna near Pragati Maidan.

A Division Bench of Mr Justice Bijender and Mr Justice Rekha Sharma asked the Commissioner to be present in the court next month. In 2002, the High Court had directed the authority to remove the slums from the area and hand over the position of the land to the DDA.

The DDA had given the land to the Delhi Electricity Supply Undertaking (DESU) for filling of the low-lying land with fly ash from the nearby power branch. The MCD had relocated some slums on the land after removing them from other areas.

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CBSE helpline comes into life
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 1
The first phase of the CBSE helpline has begun from today and will continue till March 31. Students will be able to contact as many as 40 trained counsellors of the CBSE affiliated government and private schools and principals.

The facility will be extended to 13 cities in the country between specific time slots. Besides tele-counselling, the CBSE will also answer queries through the Interactive Voice Response System (IVRS). The service will be available on local dial facilities within Delhi and Mumbai for the subscribers of MTNL. For BSNL, this will run behind a seven-digit number 1250102. The board will also answer questions in columns published in some newspapers and through online counselling.

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Surajkund to have permanent stalls
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 1
Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda today said that permanent stalls of all states would be set up at the Surajkund Crafts Mela complex to give it a shape of theme park.

Speaking at the inaugural function of the 20th Surajkund Crafts Mela, the Chief Minister said the proposed theme park will provide opportunities of exchange and learning to artisans of different states.

He said 90 per cent artisans and craftsmen participating in the mela this year were recipients of state or national awards. Union Tourism Minister Ambika Soni said that Surajkund Mela, which was started with inspiration of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, had created a distinct place for itself.

Maharashtra is the theme state in this year’s mela. According to an official spokesman, craftspersons from some SAARC countries are taking part in the mela. Those present at the inaugural function included Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh.

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Builders asked to provide details
of buildings constructed

New Delhi, February 1
The Municipal Commissioner of Delhi, Mr Ashok Kumar Nigam, today asked all builders operating in Delhi to provide details of all the buildings, which they have constructed after December 31, 2000. These details should be furnished for onward transmission to the Registrar of Assurances, the Sub Registrar of all districts for further necessary action on their part in pursuance of the direction of the High Court.

The Commissioner has also requested the citizens to furnish the details of builders known to them.

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18 killed in road accident
Our Correspondent

Ghaziabad, February 1
Eighteen people travelling in a tempo were killed when it had a head-on collision with a tanker on Meerut-Bagpat Road late Tuesday night. The dead included seven men, five women and six minor children. They were all returning from Basod village. The deceased belonged to Zakir Colony of Meerut.

At about 8 pm the tanker, loaded with jaggery, collided head-on with the tempo packed with passengers near Sambhawali Ahir police station. Both the vehicles were being driven at a high speed.

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