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Corruption in MCD: 17 engineers, 15 builders in CBI net
New Delhi, July 28
The CBI today raided residential and office premises of 17 engineers and 15 builders at 40 places in and around the Capital in connection with its probe into allegations of corruption in the Municipal Corporation of Delhi.

In Parliament
83 schools booked for illegal constructions
New Delhi, July 28
There are 83 schools in the national Capital that have made unauthorised constructions inside their premises, Minister of State for Urban Development, Mr Ajay Maken informed Lok Sabha today. The Minister said the MCD had booked these schools for violation of building bye-laws.

Lid off nexus between property dealers, HUDA officials in Gurgaon
Gurgaon, July 28
A nexus between the property dealers and senior officials was exposed when they tried to get a residential plot of Haryana Urban Development Authority at a payment of Rs 9 lakh whereas the market price of the plot is more than Rs. 60 lakh.


EARLIER STORIES




Noida plot fetches far more than the one in Lutyens’ Delhi
Noida, July 28
A 372 sq metre plot in Sector 26, Noida, auctioned by the Income Tax Department has fetched a record Rs 2.12 crore in open. That means a residential plot was sold at a whopping price of Rs 6000 per sq feet, the biggest leap for a residential plot in Noida’s history.

Ganga Ram celebrates 50 cochlear implants
New Delhi, July 28
Sir Ganga Ram Hospital (SGRH) today celebrated a milestone in the history of the hospital, the completion of successful surgery of cochlear implants in 50 children, mostly in the age group of one year to five years with these very children putting up a creditable performance in front of Australian High Commissioner John McCarthy.

Children who were implanted Cochlear Implants at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital at a celebratory function in the Capital on Friday. Tribune photo by Rajeev Tyagi
Children who were implanted Cochlear Implants at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital at a celebratory function in the Capital on Friday.

Councillor murder case: Court rejects bail plea of accused
New Delhi, July 28
A Delhi court today rejected the interim bail plea of an accused in Congress councillor Atmaram Gupta murder case. Additional Sessions Judge of a Fast Track Court Bharat Parashar dismissed the interim bail application of accused Roshan Singh who sought court’s permission to attend the last rites of his father.

Drug peddler held with 40 kg of ganja
New Delhi, July 28
The police claims to have arrested a man and seized 40 kg of ganja from his possession. With the arrest, the police claimed to have busted an organised gang of drug peddlers targeting slum clusters in the city.

Two crushed to death by speeding dumper
Greater Noida, July 28
Two labourers were crushed to death and a number of others injured when a crane fell on its side after a dumper hit it near an under-construction housing complex in Sector Omega in Kasna yesterday.

Japanese minister takes a ride on Metro
New Delhi, July 28
Japanese Minister for Land, Infrastructure and Transport, Mr Kazuo Kitagawa and Foreign Affairs Senior Vice Minister, Mr Yasuhisa Shiozaki visited the Metro along with a high-level delegation from that country.

‘Narmada Bachao Andolan’ leader Medha Patekar addressing women demanding 33% reservation for women in legislative bodies, at Jantar Mantar in the Capital on Friday.
‘Narmada Bachao Andolan’ leader Medha Patekar addressing women demanding 33% reservation for women in legislative bodies, at Jantar Mantar in the Capital on Friday. Tribune photo
The two air hostesses, Yogita and Veena, who were charged with breaching security at the PM’s residence on Thursday, being taken home by family members after getting bail.
The two air hostesses, Yogita and Veena, who were charged with breaching security at the PM’s residence on Thursday, being taken home by family members after getting bail. Tribune photo by Mukesh Aggarwal

 

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Corruption in MCD: 17 engineers,
15 builders in
CBI net
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 28
The CBI today raided residential and office premises of 17 engineers and 15 builders at 40 places in and around the Capital in connection with its probe into allegations of corruption in the Municipal Corporation of Delhi.

The searches were being carried out at the residential and office premises of five executive engineers, six assistant engineers, six junior engineers and at about 15 premises of builders, a statement said.

During simultaneous search operations at the premises of MCD engineers, builders and property dealers, several incriminating documents such as documents relating to acquisition of immovable assets and construction of immovable properties had been found and seized.

The search operations were still in progress. The Income Tax Department had also joined at places where suspected unaccounted money had been recovered.

On April 20, hearing a case filed by Kalyan Social Welfare Organisation the Delhi High Court issued directions to CBI to register a preliminary enquiries against delinquent engineers and other officials of MCD with a view to probe their nexus with the hierarchy in the Engineering Department, property dealers as well as political bosses.

In pursuance of the orders, a task force was constituted and 17 Preliminary Enquiries were registered by the CBI against dismissed executive engineers of MCD so as to probe their nexus with builders as well as politicians.

These enquiries had initially resulted into registration of five prima facie cases of criminal conspiracy and criminal misconduct on the part of engineers of MCD, in connivance with builders and property dealers. Cases were registered on July 27.

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In Parliament
83 schools booked for illegal constructions
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 28
There are 83 schools in the national Capital that have made unauthorised constructions inside their premises, Minister of State for Urban Development, Mr Ajay Maken informed Lok Sabha today. The Minister said the MCD had booked these schools for violation of building bye-laws.

In a written reply to a question on the objectives of the integrated rail-bus transport service scheme and the time frame for its implementation, Mr Maken said, the proposal for the scheme has been made by the National Capital region Planning Board (NCRPB) to connect Delhi with Gurgaon and Ghaziabad.

He said, there are proposals for extension of the Delhi Metro to these cities. In view of this, the proposal of the NCRPB was reviewed and its has been decided that fresh proposals would be prepared for improvement of connectivity in the NCR after taking into account the terminal points of the Delhi Metro.

A task force has been constituted for this purpose and the time frame for the scheme’s implementation can be indicated only after the final proposals have been received, the Minister said.

Replying to a question on the steps taken by the government to improve the quality of feeder services from the Metro Stations, Maken said on the recommendation of the DMRC, the Delhi Government has created 65 dedicated Metro Feeder Routes and issued 356 permits for operation of the Rural Transport Vehicles (RTVs).

In reply to a question, Mr Maken said the next draw of lots for LIG flats of the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) is expected in September this year and the DDA would allot the HIG and MIG flats by the end of January 2007.

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Lid off nexus between property dealers,
HUDA
officials in Gurgaon
Abhay Jain

Gurgaon, July 28
A nexus between the property dealers and senior officials was exposed when they tried to get a residential plot of Haryana Urban Development Authority at a payment of Rs 9 lakh whereas the market price of the plot is more than Rs. 60 lakh.

According to the papers available with The Tribune, a plot no. 164 in Sector 5, Gurgaon measuring 420 square metre was allotted to Smt Indrani Prasad under discretion quota (DQ) in 1995.

The plot was cancelled as per the order of the High Court in 97 and her deposited amount was refunded by HUDA. But the Supreme Court ordered the withdrawal of cancellation of plots in 2002. As per direction of the Court, HUDA wrote a letter to Smt Indrani Prasad to deposit Rs. 2.15 lac, 25 per cent amount of the plot within 30 days i.e. upto August 2, 2002. Smt Prasad did not show her interest in the plot and did not turn up to deposit the amount as there was no appreciation of the said plot at that time.

However, all of sudden, after a gap of around four years, she deposited the amount Rs. 2.15 lac in March 2006 when there was a good premium of said plot. As per HUDA policy, the amount cannot be deposited and plot cannot be allotted after a gap of such long time. An Assistant of HUDA, Mr Ranbir Singh had reportedly accepted and marked the file for taking the payment.

In the meanwhile, Smt Indrani Prasad gave the General Power of Attorney (GPA) of the said plot to a property dealer of Gurgaon, Mr Sanjay Kavatra. After getting the GPA, Sanjay Kavatra immediately applied for the transfer of the said plot to another person, Mr Sunil Arora of Gurgaon in May 2006.

However, during the audit of the said plot in the procedure of transfer, the scam came into light in May and blame game of all concerned officials started.

The Estate Officer, HUDA, Ms Anju Chaudhary said that the department refunded the amount via cheque on July 13 to the party when she came to know the “irregularities committed by the assistant”. The explanation of the assistant, Mr Ranbir Singh has also been called, added Ms Chaudhary.

Dr P S Prasad, husband of Smt Indrani Prasad who now live in Hyderabad spoke to the Tribune on phone that they had not committed any fraud and deposited the amount after taking the consent from their lawyers. HUDA must have refused to accept the amount if it was illegal. Afterwards, they sold the plot to a dealer, Sanjay Kavatra, added Mr Prasad.

Sanjay Kavatra told to The Tribune that no fraud had been committed and he would file the appeal before the administrator, HUDA against the order of the EO, HUDA. The Estate Office, HUDA first took the amount and then all of sudden returned the amount. A similar plot under the same discretion quota was allotted late two years ago by the previous government. And thus, on the same ground this plot could not be rejected, he claimed.

However, the experts of HUDA opined that such a big lapse could not be committed by the assistant alone unintentionally. Senior officials would be found involved in the racket, if the case is investigated properly and thoroughly, said Mr Kailesh Gupta, a leading property dealer.

Mr Gupta added that the scam involving more than Rs. 50 lakh came to light in May but the 25 per cent amount was refunded in July 13 after a gap of more than one month. If it was a clerical mistake, then the amount must be refunded immediately and action should have been taken against the assistant.

According to highly placed sources, now the disciplinary action has been recommended against senior officials at Estate Office, HUDA to the Chief Administrator, HUDA, Punchkula.

It might be pertinent to mention here that now even Haryana Chief Minister does not have the power to allot a plot to his well-wisher under discretion quota. Such more scam cases cannot be ruled out in HUDA, claimed Mr Kailash Gupta.

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Noida plot fetches far more than
the one in Lutyens’ Delhi
Parmindar Singh

Noida, July 28
A 372 sq metre plot in Sector 26, Noida, auctioned by the Income Tax Department has fetched a record Rs 2.12 crore in open. That means a residential plot was sold at a whopping price of Rs 6000 per sq feet, the biggest leap for a residential plot in Noida’s history.

After Delhi recently registered a major jump in the real estate prices recently with a sale of plot on the Amrita Shergil Marg at a whopping Rs 137 crore, the sale of the Noida plot would come as an eye opener for the prices of property in the Delhi and surrounding areas.

The auction by the Income Tax department has resulted in selling of five properties measuring 3882 sq metre area for a total of Rs.14.39 crore.

The reserve price of plot No.B-233 Sector-26 measuring 372 sq metres was Rs.61.64 lakh but once the bid was started, in no time it climbed to Rs.2.12 crore. It has been annexed by Rajiv Diwan and Sandeep Diwan of Karol Bagh at a rate of Rs.56,989 per sq mt. Plot No. F-35 in Sector-40, measuring 450 sq metres which had a reserve price of Rs.69.10 lakh was annexed by Infotek Private Ltd for Rs.2.17 crore.

Among the auction of industrial plots, C-61 Sector-58 had a reserve price of Rs.1.39 crore. The highest bid for the plot was made by Rex Holding Pvt. Ltd for Rs.4.62 crore for a plot of 1880 sq metres. The bid of the highest rate was made for A-20, Sector-3 measuring 780 sq metres with a reserve price of Rs.73.31 lakh, has fetched Rs.3.22 crore. It was bought by ATJ Software P Ltd for four times the amount over the reserve price. Industrial plot DW-24 in Sector-11, with a reserve price of Rs.94.65 lakh had been sold for Rs.2.26 crore, the buyer being Utility Pvt.

In contrast to Noida, the real estate boom period in Ghaziabad appears to be drawing to a close. The rising graph of boom, witnessed in past three years have shown a downward trend in the past few months.

While there is a decline of 25 to 30 per cent in the prices, the number of those seeking bank loans for homes has also shown a sharp fall. Some observers blame it on the hiked bank rates and secondly price rise of every commodity has a built-in limit. Property in Ghaziabad is headed for steep fall in days to come, feel the analysts.

According to some builders including SP Singh, most of the buyers in market are either investors or property dealers themselves. Real needy buyers are very few. The whole game rests on token money. Investors had raised the value of property 10 years old to Rs.40 lakh in the past 3 years, taking it beyond the reach of common man. That indeed is the reason that property booms seem to have reached a plateau.

The analysis of property dealers has been borne out by bank manger PK Gupta. The steep rise in property prices had become its undoing too. A person getting a salary of Rs.30,000 for a month could at the most go in for a loan for Rs.10 to 20 lakh. If the property prices are touching Rs.40 to Rs.50 lakh, then most of middle and upper middle classes people will have to retreat their steps. The rate of interest on bank loans has also been biked. On an average, rate of interest per lakh loan for 15 years has gone up by Rs.100 to Rs.150 in monthly installments.

This has resulted in 20 per cent reduction in the number of loan seekers. Another point to be kept in mind according to analysts is that while the property prices were low, people were going in for home loan at 18% rate even. The current home loan interest rates are at 9.5 per cent. Even information available on interest also corroborates the current stability on real estate prices. A look at internet show that those who had wanted to sell their property through internet a year ago, are still waiting for a buyer.

Those desirous of buying a house are also attracted by government housing projects in Faridabad, Hardwar Development Authority, Muradabad, Meerut, Noida and Greater Noida too. Government agencies try to tag their prices as per people’s paying capacity, say the observers.

Posh Ghaziabad colonies like Indira Puram, Vaishali, Vasundhra etc have witnessed a boom in property. Now there is no further possibility of hike in the prices in these colonies which are at a level that is beyond the reach of those earning a salary of Rs.40,000 a month.

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Ganga Ram celebrates 50 cochlear implants
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 28
Sir Ganga Ram Hospital (SGRH) today celebrated a milestone in the history of the hospital, the completion of successful surgery of cochlear implants in 50 children, mostly in the age group of one year to five years with these very children putting up a creditable performance in front of Australian High Commissioner John McCarthy.

All of these patients who were deaf and dumb before the implant can now both speak and hear.

The programme for cochlear implant was started by the ENT department of the hospital in July 2001 with it becoming the first non-governmental hospital in the whole of North India to offer this path-breaking medical technology to severely impaired hearing individuals.

To express gratitude, families of these patients converged here to celebrate “A Sound Future” where the cochlear implantee children presented a cultural programme to send out a message “being deaf does not mean that children cannot hear and speak”.

According to Dr B.K. Rao, Chairman (Board of Management), “our hospital has a trained team comprising of otologists (ENT surgeons), audiologists and habilitationists along with state-of-the-art surgical, ENT diagnostic facility and rehabilitation services which ensure that patients are receiving good outcomes. This is evident from the fact that we conducted cochlear implants in fifty patients and all of them have been successful.”

According to Dr A.K. Lahiri, Senior Consultant, Department of ENT and head Cochlear Implant Unit, SGRH, “cochlear implant system is a technologically advanced medical device that enables severely impaired adults and children to hear sound, understand speech and speak. This has come as a boon for severely deaf children. Following the implant, these children learn to hear and speak normally and go to the normal school.”

According to Dr Shalabh Sharma, Consultant, Department of ENT, and Cochlear Implant unit, SGRH, “the deafness can be caused either by damage to the outer part of the ear that is ear canal, ear drum or ear bones, or due to the damage to the inner part of the ear which is known as cochlea.

Mrs Ritu Nakra, mother of five year old Ananya, who received a cochlear implant at SGRH at the age of 2 years nine months said, “I have seen a miracle happening in my life – the Cochlear Implant for my daughter. After the cochlear implant, anything and everything became possible for her. The sky is the limit for Ananya now!”

Some children are born with mal-developed cochlea whereas others may suffer damage to their cochlea later in life. 0.1 per cent of the children in the world are estimated to be suffering from hearing impairments at birth. Those children who have severe to profound deafness also do not develop speech, as speech develops only by hearing. Generally, cochlea deafness cannot be treated by medicines and the patient has to use hearing aids. But if the damage to the cochlea is severe, hearing aids are also not beneficial. In such children and adults, the only option is cochlear implantation.

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Councillor murder case: Court
rejects bail plea of accused

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 28
A Delhi court today rejected the interim bail plea of an accused in Congress councillor Atmaram Gupta murder case.

Additional Sessions Judge of a Fast Track Court Bharat Parashar dismissed the interim bail application of accused Roshan Singh who sought court’s permission to attend the last rites of his father.

Finding the accused’s plea devoid of any merit, the ASJ observed that the same could not be granted as one month had already elapsed since the demise of his father.

Meanwhile, the deposition of the prosecution witnesses in the case resumed with the examination of Forensic Science Laboratory officials.

Congress councillor Atmaram Gupta was murdered in a village in Ghaziabad on August 24, 2002.

A case against nine persons including then councillor Sharda Jain, her brother Raju and three UP policemen were registered under Sections 302 (murder) and 365 (kidnapping or abduction with secret intent) of the IPC.

As many as 42 out of 76 prosecution witnesses have till now been examined in the case.

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Drug peddler held with 40 kg of ganja
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 28
The police claims to have arrested a man and seized 40 kg of ganja from his possession. With the arrest, the police claimed to have busted an organised gang of drug peddlers targeting slum clusters in the city.

Hannan (40), a resident of Madanpur Khadar, was arrested along with two bags and two suitcases at Mathura Road near the Rajdoot Hotel bus stand during a routine check of vehicles, the police said.

The contraband was neatly wrapped inside the bags and suitcases. The interrogation of the accused, who hailed from Manora village in North Dinapur district of West Bengal, disclosed that he was involved in the racket for the past four years and had received this consignment from Bihar.

He also revealed that such consignments were transported through trucks from Bihar.

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Two crushed to death by speeding dumper
Our Correspondent

Greater Noida, July 28
Two labourers were crushed to death and a number of others injured when a crane fell on its side after a dumper hit it near an under-construction housing complex in Sector Omega in Kasna yesterday.

Those killed on the spot included a woman and another labourer. Injured were rushed to Kailash Hospital in Greater Noida, where another labourers is stated to be in a serious condition.

The police have arrested the dumper driver. Govardan Housing Society building is under construction in Omega Sector. It is being constructed by Skyline Constructions which has employed hundreds of labourers for stone cutting, etc.

A dumper loaded with Badarpur and Rodi (pebbles) which was reversing at great speed had hit the crane. As the crane fell on its side under the impact of accident, three labourers were crushed under it. Two of the labourer including a woman had died on the spot while third one is in a serious condition.

Police have registered a case and sent the dead bodies for autopsy.

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Japanese minister takes a ride on Metro
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 28
Japanese Minister for Land, Infrastructure and Transport, Mr Kazuo Kitagawa and Foreign Affairs Senior Vice Minister, Mr Yasuhisa Shiozaki visited the Metro along with a high-level delegation from that country.

They travelled from Central Secretariat to Kashmere Gate station. The two ministers were briefed about the facility by Delhi Metro Rail Corp Managing Director E Sreedharan, a DMRC statement said.

Japan Bank of International Cooperation had provided 60 per cent of the construction cost of Delhi Metro’s Phase-I project, as soft loan.

For the Phase-II project, JBIC had again agreed to provide 48 per cent of the estimated cost as soft loan.

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