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

Demolitions: HC refrains from ruling on Centre’s application
MCD for restoring notification exempting Lal Dora areas from building bylaws

New Delhi, February 27
The Delhi High Court today refrained from passing any order on an application moved by the Union Government seeking relief for minor violators of building bylaws in the Capital.

MCD committee to oversee house tax collection
New Delhi, February 27
The Municipal Corporation of Delhi MCD today set up a committee to oversee measures to collect the huge house tax arrears owed by several government and private bodies to it.

Appeal on ‘rigged’ draw filed in SC
Noida, February 27
The Manav Sewa Samiti has filed an appeal in the Supreme Court on the alleged rigging of Noida Authority’s Residential Scheme 2004. The samiti has filed the appeal against the stay procured by the Noida Authority. It has requested the apex court to vacate the stay and order an inquiry by the CBI into the whole matter.


EARLIER STORIES
 
Haryana Chief Minister, Bhupinder Singh Hooda, called on Union Power Minister, Sushil Kumar Shinde in the Capital on Monday
Haryana Chief Minister, Bhupinder Singh Hooda, called on Union Power Minister, Sushil Kumar Shinde in the Capital on Monday.

Police Commissioner denies probe into Jessica case
New Delhi, February 27
Delhi Police Commissioner Dr K K Paul today denied that an inquiry had been ordered into the alleged mishandling of the Jessica Lal murder case by officials of his department.

Villagers oppose move to set up SP office in school
Faridabad, February 27
The move to convert a building of a government school in Palwal into an office for the Superintendent of Police (Rural) has come in for heavy criticism. The residents of nearby villages have opposed the move and have asked the local MLA to intervene in the matter, as it will directly harm the students. The government had recently created the post of Superintendent of Police (Rural) in the district, who is to be stationed at Palwal, a sub-divisional town in the district.

MCD schools need to open a new chapter: Survey
New Delhi, February 27
Problems in the government-run schools in the city compromise with the basic rights and safety of enrolled children. No wonder, parents avoid sending their wards to these schools, leading to child labour and illiteracy. This has been reported by an NGO in a survey conducted in the MCD schools.

Industrial estate at Manesar to be expanded
Gurgaon, February 27
The Haryana State Industrial Development Corporation Limited (HSIDC) is expanding the Industrial Model Township (IMT) at Manesar. The Deputy Commissioner, Mr R. P. Bhardwaj, informed that 1,000 acres were being acquired for the fifth phase of the IMT.

Special vehicles for rail-cum-bus transit system on the anvil
New Delhi, February 27
The Centre plans to set up two special purpose vehicles (SPVs) to implement the proposed Integrated Rail-cum-Bus Transit (IRBT) system that will connect the National Capital Territory of Delhi with Gurgaon, Ghaziabad and Sahibabad with an interface with Delhi Metro. The system envisages better rail connectivity within the National Capital Region and will initially comprise three corridors: 14.9-km stretch between Shahdara and Ghaziabad; 17.4-km between Sahibabad and Shivaji Bridge; and 30.4 km between Trinagar and Gurgaon.

Anti-George Bush posters, ‘Bush Go Back’, put up on the walls at many places in the Capital on Monday on the eve of his visit to India
Anti-George Bush posters, ‘Bush Go Back’, put up on the walls at many places in the Capital on Monday on the eve of his visit to India. — Tribune photo by Rajeev Tyagi

Flats sold, yet builder owns not an inch of land
Noida, February 27
A sensational fraud by a fake group housing society has come to light here. The society had come up with a scheme and sold dreams of flats worth Rs 34 lakh to Rs 58 lakh each in the area notified by the Noida Authority. This company had claimed to be constructing 10 towers of nine floors each whereas the company does not own even an inch of land. NR Pride is a group housing project of NR Builders Pvt Ltd in Sector 47. The company, which has opened an aircondioned office at D-44 in Sector 2, claimed that it was going to build 580 flats in 10 towers of nine storey flats each in Sector 47.

Housing complex for Rajya Sabha MPs 
New Delhi, February 27
The Vice-President and Rajya Sabha Chairman Bhairon Singh Shekhawat today inaugurated a multi-storeyed housing complex for Rajya Sabha members here. The Brahmaputra complex located on Bishambar Das Marg houses 26 flats and has energy saving and water harvesting devices.

Two children among four killed in road accidents
Faridabad, February 27 Two children were among four persons killed in separate road accidents in the district in the past 36 hours. According to police, an eight-year-old boy, identified as Devender, was run over by a vehicle near Hodal town on the national highway. The victim was the son of brick-kiln worker and was crossing the road when the accident took place. Another boy was killed in similar manner by a speeding Qualis jeep near Dabchik tourist complex on the highway yesterday.

Procedure for release of MLA funds simplified
New Delhi, February 27
A Cabinet meeting of Delhi government held today approved that sanction of money for the MLA development fund scheme would be sanctioned directly by the Urban development Ministry.

JP Group’s cars impounded for tax evasion
Greater Noida, February 27
A Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) team has seized 28 imported cars of JP Green Golf Course Club for evasion of Rs 2.5 crore. The DRI team had in a raid on Saturday evening seized these cars. According to information, most of the cars impounded were of Toyota company. The MD of JP Green, Mr Manoj Gaur, however, said all cars had been imported legally. 

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Demolitions: HC refrains from ruling
on Centre’s application

MCD for restoring notification exempting
Lal Dora areas from building bylaws
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 27
The Delhi High Court today refrained from passing any order on an application moved by the Union Government seeking relief for minor violators of building bylaws in the Capital.

A Division Bench of Justice Vijender Jain and Justice Rekha Sharma, which is dealing with the ongoing demolition drive, however, issued notices to the MCD and other parties for their replies on the Centre’s application, and posted the matter for hearing on March 22.

Appearing for the Centre, senior counsel Kailash Gambhir sought relief for minor violators on the ground that the government had constituted a high-powered committee with former Delhi Lieutenant-Governor Tejinder Khanna to assess the magnitude of the problem and suggest a comprehensive strategy to deal with the situation arising out of it.

In its affidavit, the Centre urged the court that in the coming three months, the ongoing demolition drive be confined to the three categories of major violators — encroachments on government land, ongoing illegal constructions and commercial establishments in residential areas.

The court was told that the committee’s terms of reference include making an assessment of unauthorised constructions, misuse of premises, identifying underlying causes of violation and recommending measures to prevent recurrence.

Gambhir told the court that the committee would submit its report within three months, and until then, pleaded that action against minor violators be kept on hold.

The MCD had begun its demolition-drive against all illegal constructions in the Capital following the High Court direction that action be taken against 18,000 illegal structures that had sprouted during 2001-2005.

Meanwhile, the MCD today called upon the Delhi government to restore the 1963 notification which stipulated that building bylaws are not applicable in Lal Dora villages.

In doing so, the MCD House withdrew a decision by the Standing Committee on February 21 last year to retract the 1963 notification after the Delhi High Court directed the MCD to reconsider it.

The MCD resolution, passed on February 23 by the Standing Committee where it was introduced by leader of the House Jitendra Kochar and Leader of the Opposition Vijendra Gupta, calls upon the Delhi government to stay the de-notification of the 1963 order which provided for Lal Dora areas to be kept out of the purview of building bylaws under Section 507 of the DMC Act.

The resolution also demanded that a fresh proposal be put up in the Standing Committee bringing out detailed background of the case and legal aspects involved so that its recommendations could be sent to the corporation through the Rural Area Committee.

Under Section 507 of the Delhi Municipal Act, MCD, with the approval of the central government, can announce that rural areas and its parts can be exempted from the various provisions of DMC Act if deemed in public interest.

As per the provision, the MCD, in a resolution in 1959, exempted rural areas and its parts from building bylaws. On the basis of the resolution, a notification was issued in the Gazette in 1963.

The MCD, had, however, decided to withdraw the 1963 notification after the Delhi High Court directed it to reconsider the order. Hence, the MCD commissioner, in a circular dated December 30, 2004, stated that after August, 2004 building bylaws be enforced in Lal Dora area and action taken against those buildings which were constructed after August 23, 2004. 

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MCD committee to oversee house tax collection
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 27
The Municipal Corporation of Delhi MCD today set up a committee to oversee measures to collect the huge house tax arrears owed by several government and private bodies to it.

An announcement to this effect was made in a meeting of the MCD House by mayor Satbir Singh. The committee would be headed by Leader of the House Jitender Kochar.

Earlier, speaking during a short notice discussion on the issue, several members expressed concern at the huge shortfall in revenue collections of the MCD by way of house tax which they said was likely to affect developmental works by the MCD.

The target for the house tax recovery in the MCD budget for 2005-2006 is Rs 1,576.16 crore of which only Rs 525.28 crore have been recovered till February 25.

The BJP members termed the Unit Area Method implemented by the MCD as a failure.

The huge shortfall in revenue is a clear failure of the Unit Area Method. When it came into force two years ago, the Congress Government claimed that it would lead to increased revenues. On the contrary, the house tax collections over last two years had gone down,” said BJP member Aarti Mehra.

The Congress, however, defended the new scheme claiming that it had benefit the people.

“Whenever there is a new scheme, there are bound to be teething problems. However, I can vouch for the fact that the implementation of the scheme has brought relief to the people. As for the shortfall in revenue, it is generally observed that people pay their house taxes in the last month of the financial year. Even otherwise, several measures are afoot to ensure payment of house tax by defaulters,” leader of the House Jitender Kochar said.

Under the recovery efforts, the MCD has been putting up the names of its house tax defaulters at notice boards in several areas of the Capital while the names of many have been publicised through the public address system. Newspaper advertisements have also been issued to urge the defaulters to pay up their pending tax.

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Appeal on ‘rigged’ draw filed in SC
Parmindar Singh

Noida, February 27
The Manav Sewa Samiti has filed an appeal in the Supreme Court on the alleged rigging of Noida Authority’s Residential Scheme 2004. The samiti has filed the appeal against the stay procured by the Noida Authority. It has requested the apex court to vacate the stay and order an inquiry by the CBI into the whole matter.

Alleging rigging and fraud, the samiti has said only influential people had been the beneficiaries in the draw.

Even on May 20, 2005, during a mock draw conducted by the UPDESCO, allegations of a favoured draw were rampant. But in the final draw, only judges, ministers, politicians, bureaucrats, IPS officers or their relatives had been declared as allottees of most of the plots while the common man had only got disappointment over the draw, the plea says.

The Manav Sewa Samiti had filed a case in the court following which the then CEO-cum Chairman of the Noida Authority, Mr Dev Dutt, had cancelled the draw.

After this, the Noida Authority had obtained a stay from the apex court against the High Court order. The Samiti Chairman, Mr U. K. Bhardwaj, said the way the Noida Authority had conducted the draw amply reflected its intentions as only influential people had been the allottees.

Since the Authority had obtained a stay to avoid action, the samiti has filed an application in the apex court.

Mr Bhardwaj has also appended the names of 85 persons who allegedly had direct influence with the government. The samiti has raised questions on the ‘working style’ of UPDESCO and the Noida Authority. Mr Bhardwaj said since rigging in the allotment was done on the behest of the Noida Authority, the matter should be probed by the CBI.

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Police Commissioner denies probe into Jessica case
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 27
Delhi Police Commissioner Dr K K Paul today denied that an inquiry had been ordered into the alleged mishandling of the Jessica Lal murder case by officials of his department.

Dr Paul refuted media reports that a departmental inquiry had been ordered against the officials who investigated Jessica Lal’s murder.

Except for the transfer of the then Investigating Officer Surendra Sharma, no progress has been made into the high-profile murder case even after days of public outcry all over the country.

Surendra Sharma had been transferred to the Security Cell from his posting as SHO, Hauz Khas. The matter was also raised in the Lok Sabha today by the Opposition members over the acquittal of the accused and the promotion of the Sessions Judge who had held the trial to the Delhi High Court.

Meanwhile, stung by the swarm of criticism over its ‘inept handling’ of the Jessica Lal murder case which led to the acquittal of all the nine accused, Delhi Police has begun spadework for appealing against the judgement.

Announcing this, Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Ranjit Narayan told mediapersons today that they were studying grounds for filing an appeal against the acquittal of the accused into the high-profile murder case.

“The Delhi Police in consultation with the Directorate of Prosecution is examining the judgement in the Jessica Lal murder case. We are also examining grounds for appeal,” was the terse statement which the Jt Commissioner read from a prepared text.

Only after we have studied the matter carefully any further details on the issue could be told, added Mr Narayan, when asked what the police intended to do henceforth.

The Jt Commissioner also denied that any inquiry had been ordered into the alleged lop-sided investigation by police officials into the case.

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Villagers oppose move to set up SP office in school
Bijendra Ahlawat
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, February 27
The move to convert a building of a government school in Palwal into an office for the Superintendent of Police (Rural) has come in for heavy criticism. The residents of nearby villages have opposed the move and have asked the local MLA to intervene in the matter, as it will directly harm the students. The government had recently created the post of Superintendent of Police (Rural) in the district, who is to be stationed at Palwal, a sub-divisional town in the district.

It may be pointed out that the Senior Secondary School at Palwal, where the office of the Superintendent of Police (Rural) is to be located, already houses the office of Block Education Officer (BEO).

Now, it is proposed that the office of the BEO be shifted to some other building to give way for opening of the office of the Superintendent of Police (Rural).

Agitated residents and representatives of the local bodies including the sarpanch and members of village panchayats of some villages have convened a meeting in this connection to oppose the move.

They have also decided to meet the senior authorities concerned, including the Education Minister, so as to put the move on hold. A meeting was held at Alawalpur village in this regard recently.

It may be recalled that the office of the district police chief, which is located in the mini- secretariat at sector-12 here, had also been operating from a school building of a government school in sector-16 here. It took several years before the police vacated the building meant for the school.

Faridabad has a distinct record of using school buildings for housing several offices of the district administration. The office of the Deputy Commissioner, SDM and the Tehsildar had been located for many years in a school building in sector 21-C here.

The office of the DPRO here had also been located in the building of the Haryana Urban Development Authority before it was shifted to the mini-secretariat here. 

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MCD schools need to open a new chapter: Survey
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 27
Problems in the government-run schools in the city compromise with the basic rights and safety of enrolled children. No wonder, parents avoid sending their wards to these schools, leading to child labour and illiteracy. This has been reported by an NGO in a survey conducted in the MCD schools.

Noting the absence of quality education and infrastructure in the schools run by the government in the national Capital, the survey – ‘Our Children Are Ready For The Schools, Are The Schools Ready For Our Children’ — has reiterated the continued failure of the authorities to protect the right to education of hundreds of children.

Conducted by advocates Rahul Verma and Manish Bansal of the Right to Education Task Force, the survey is based on eight MCD-run schools in Jahangirpuri.

The survey notes, “Though there are plenty of MCD schools in Delhi providing free education to the children, there are many problems being faced by these schools.”

It points out that the buildings in all eight schools are quite old and unsafe for the children. “The roofs of most rooms are covered by cement shades that become very hot in summer and are inefficient during the rainy season.”

Lack of teaching staff is the biggest problem faced by these schools, the survey says. To meet the shortage of teachers, two or more sections are often merged. Teachers are often used for clerical work and most are unwilling to work in schools in slums.

There is shortage of non-teaching staff also, the survey says. There are some schools in Jahangirpuri that do not have a permanent peon. This leads to a problem of theft and security in these schools. The low salary of sweepers is a reason for their unwillingness to work in these schools, the survey indicates.

“As the boundary walls are low, outsiders enter the schools even during school hours. They use the buildings as venue for gambling, smoking or drinking. The classrooms are not safe either because of poor construction work,” the survey points out.

Problems of improper sanitation, dirty toilets, unavailability of drinking water and electricity, absence of a Parents Teacher Association (PTA) and sports equipment have also been highlighted.

“Drop-out rate is the biggest problem. Every year 25 to 30 per cent of the children drop out because of different reasons, but the government has not paid attention,” it is mentioned.

The survey has suggested that all eight school buildings must be reconstructed at par with the new construction norms. There should be sufficient number of rooms, boundary walls, adequate teaching and non-teaching staff, drinking water facility, and safety and welfare measures implemented at the earliest. 

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Industrial estate at Manesar to be expanded
Abhay Jain

Gurgaon, February 27
The Haryana State Industrial Development Corporation Limited (HSIDC) is expanding the Industrial Model Township (IMT) at Manesar.
The Deputy Commissioner, Mr R. P. Bhardwaj, informed that 1,000 acres were being acquired for the fifth phase of the IMT.

The IMT, the biggest and most modern industrial estate in Haryana, already occupies 3,177 acres.

Certain prestigious companies at IMT, Manesar include Denso, Johnson Mathey, Napino Auto, Honda Motor Cycles and Scooters, Norcool, Baxter, Mitsubishi, Stanley, Munjal Showa, NTF, Machino, TSK, Nippon, Automotive Research Association, Pricol, Nagata India, Yamuna NHK, Sunbeam Steel, Toyota Kirloskar & Suzuki Metal India, informed Mr O. P. Goyal, Senior Manager, IMT, HSIDC.

Mr Goyal further added that Maruti Udyog Limited was developing its second plant on 600 acres for the expansion of its existing project and a new diesel engine unit at IMT.

At present, the IMT has four phases: 1,750 acres in phase 1, 177 acres in phase 2, 600 acres in phase 3 and 650 acres in phase 4. There were around 1,200 industrial plots in these four phases, informed Mr Goyal.

The HSIDC has earmarked 250 acres of land for the residential plots. He further informed that all industrial and residential plots had been sold out by the HSIDC.

Keeping in view the increasing demand from the industrial community, the department decided to acquire more adjoining land for the expansion of the IMT, informed Mr Bhardwaj.

The DC said the revenue department was at the final stage of acquiring around 1,000 acres from Nakhrola, Nawada and other surrounding villages. Within a short period of time, applications would be invited for the allotment of industrial plots in the upcoming fifth phase of the IMT, added the officer.

The IMT is the master project of the state and it would have more than 2,000 big-sized units when it would be fully developed. At present, it had 500 functional units, added Mr Bhardwaj.

Mr Goyal informed that two hotel sites measuring 2,850 square metres each at the Industrial Model Townhsip at Manesar were recently auctioned at Rs 29.60 crore and Rs 26.20 crore. The first hotel site was sold at the rate of Rs 1.03 lakh per metre and the second at the rate of Rs 91,000 per metre, the highest in the region. The reserve price of these two hotel sites was Rs 6 crore each.

The IMT, located on National Highway 8, has metal roads, a health centre, a club, shopping arcades, 220 KV sub-stations, hi-tech telecommunication facilities etc, added the officer. He claimed that it would be one of the best modern industrial townships of the country.

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Special vehicles for rail-cum-bus
transit system on the anvil

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 27
The Centre plans to set up two special purpose vehicles (SPVs) to implement the proposed Integrated Rail-cum-Bus Transit (IRBT) system that will connect the National Capital Territory of Delhi with Gurgaon, Ghaziabad and Sahibabad with an interface with Delhi Metro. The system envisages better rail connectivity within the National Capital Region and will initially comprise three corridors: 14.9-km stretch between Shahdara and Ghaziabad; 17.4-km between Sahibabad and Shivaji Bridge; and 30.4 km between Trinagar and Gurgaon.

Of the two SPVs formed, one will be for the UP corridor and the other for the Haryana corridor. The National Capital Region Planning Board has already signed MoUs with the governments of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh and also with the Ministry of Railways in this regard.

The project will be completed in three and a half years after it takes off. The estimated cost of the IRBT is around Rs 2,239 crore, including Rs 665 crore for the Shahdra-Sahibabad-Ghaziabad corridor; Rs 621 crore for Sahibabad-Tilak bridge-Minto bridge section; and Rs 953 crore for Dayabasti-Bijwasan-Gurgaon corridor. 

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Flats sold, yet builder owns not an inch of land
Our Correspondent

Noida, February 27
A sensational fraud by a fake group housing society has come to light here. The society had come up with a scheme and sold dreams of flats worth Rs 34 lakh to Rs 58 lakh each in the area notified by the Noida Authority. This company had claimed to be constructing 10 towers of nine floors each whereas the company does not own even an inch of land.

NR Pride is a group housing project of NR Builders Pvt Ltd in Sector 47. The company, which has opened an aircondioned office at D-44 in Sector 2, claimed that it was going to build 580 flats in 10 towers of nine storey flats each in Sector 47.

The company had claimed it would make flats with 1200, 1500, 1700 and 2000 sq ft. space each which would be priced between Rs 33.26 lakh and Rs 57.95 lakh. The company demanded 10 per cent amount as registration fee which many people are understood to have deposited. NR Builders Pvt Ltd has, thus, collected crores of rupees as registration money.

The company, according to its brochure, demanded 65 per cent of the total cost within 45 days of booking. The land of the group housing society has been shown by NR Builders as adjacent to R.S. Nursery in Sector 47. The name of Avas Samiti is given as Haji Pura Muradabad Avas Samiti and is said to have been registered on December 19, 1989.

The society is said to have bought 3,622 hectares of land in Noida’s Hajipur village. Its chairman is M. C. Maheshwari of Ghaziabad while other members include Vijay Bharti of Barola, Satinder Sharma of Ranjit Nagar in Delhi, M. L. Singh Yadav of Sector 6 and Sudha Saxena of 454-A, Sector 19.

The society claims to have procured land under Khasra No. 446, 447, 448, 449, 450, 451b and 452 from Samshuddin, son of Abdul Karim of Surajpur, in November 1991. This land was given by Ved Prakash and Prakash Jay Ram of Hajipur to Samshuddin.

According to Noida Authority sources, this land had been acquired on February 21, 2002 under Section 6 and the possession of the said land was physically handed over to the Noida Authority by the district administration. Right now, the land is under the possession and control of the Civil Construction Wing of the Noida Authority.

The society had requested the CEO, Noida, on November 4, 2005 for permission for land development cess and land use change. This request letter was signed by Vijay Bharati. The Noida Authority officers, however, clarified that since the land had been acquired by it, there was no question of issuing any permission about it.

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Housing complex for Rajya Sabha MPs 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 27
The Vice-President and Rajya Sabha Chairman Bhairon Singh Shekhawat today inaugurated a multi-storeyed housing complex for Rajya Sabha members here. The Brahmaputra complex located on Bishambar Das Marg houses 26 flats and has energy saving and water harvesting devices.

The construction of the complex began in March 2003 and has been reportedly completed without any escalation cost.

The Vice-President said that the complex symbolises unity in diversity of Indian culture. Speaking on the occasion, Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh said that housing is a basic need of the members.

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Two children among four killed in road accidents

Faridabad, February 27
Two children were among four persons killed in separate road accidents in the district in the past 36 hours.
According to police, an eight-year-old boy, identified as Devender, was run over by a vehicle near Hodal town on the national highway. The victim was the son of brick-kiln worker and was crossing the road when the accident took place. Another boy was killed in similar manner by a speeding Qualis jeep near Dabchik tourist complex on the highway yesterday.

In the third accident, a motorcyclist was killed when a tractor-trolley rammed into his two-wheeler. He succumbed to his injuries in the hospital. Meanwhile, a woman, identified as Sumitra Devi, died and her daughter was injured when a car hit their bicycle near the Ford factory on the national highway here.—TNS

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Procedure for release of MLA funds simplified
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 27
A Cabinet meeting of Delhi government held today approved that sanction of money for the MLA development fund scheme would be sanctioned directly by the Urban development Ministry.

“This is an important decision as earlier, the procedure for disbursement of MLA development funds was lengthy and cumbersome,” Urban Development Minister A K Walia said.

He said that earlier release of funds would have to be approved first by the Planning and Finance Departments, after which the MLA’s proposal would come to the Urban Development Ministry. Now, the Urban Development Ministry can directly release funds under the scheme, he said.

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JP Group’s cars impounded for tax evasion
Our Correspondent

Greater Noida, February 27
A Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) team has seized 28 imported cars of JP Green Golf Course Club for evasion of Rs 2.5 crore. The DRI team had in a raid on Saturday evening seized these cars.
According to information, most of the cars impounded were of Toyota company. The MD of JP Green, Mr Manoj Gaur, however, said all cars had been imported legally. 

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