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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

CM lays foundation stone for eight-lane Ring Road
New Delhi, August 4
Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit today laid the foundation stone for an eight-lane Ring Road from Ashram Chowk to Rajghat, which is being executed by the Public Works Department. Describing Ring Road as the lifeline of Delhi, Ms Dikshit said that her Government is keen to make the entire stretch of Ring Road and Outer Ring Road signal-free to overcome traffic congestion.

Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit along with PWD Minister Dr A. K. Walia at the foundation stone-laying ceremony of eight-lane Ring Road from Ashram Chowk to Rajghat, in the Capital.
Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit along with PWD Minister Dr A. K. Walia at the foundation stone-laying ceremony of eight-lane Ring Road from Ashram Chowk to Rajghat, in the Capital. Tribune photo by Rajeev Tyagi


EARLIER STORIES




Admn sleeping over land grab, shifting of dairies
Faridabad, August 4
The local administration seems to be sleeping over various issues. These include shifting the dairies from residential areas, taking action against encroachments and keeping a check on illegal commercial activities.

Dyslexic girl with 84% marks denied admission in Fine Arts
New Delhi, August 4
A dyslexic student, Sonum Malhotra, with a score of 84 per cent in class has alleged that University of Delhi considers her suitable to pursue a bachelor’s degree in History at St. Stephens’ College or a degree in Psychology at Lady Sri Ram College, both of which require skills she lacks, but it has not helped her secure admission in the course of her choice, Fine Arts.

Delhi govt may ban cold drinks in schools
New Delhi, August 4
Following the disclosure made by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) about the high pesticide residue in soft drink, the Delhi Government is contemplating a ban on all fizzy drinks in school campuses.

Priya Singh, president, Air Force Wives’ Welfare Association, inaugurating the workshop for Primary School Teachers of Air Force Schools under Western Command, at Air Force Station Palam in the Capital.
Priya Singh, president, Air Force Wives’ Welfare Association, inaugurating the workshop for Primary School Teachers of Air Force Schools under Western Command, at Air Force Station Palam in the Capital. — Tribune photo

Fragile peace prevails at Jamia
New Delhi, August 4
An uneasy calm hangs over Jamia Millia Islamia university as students wait to see the university authorities swing into action on some of their demands. The long stand-off at Jamia between the university administration and the students finally veered towards a fragile peace when on August 1, a group of students met up with the university authorities and were assured of a resolution formula to help untangle the messy situation.

JNU panel to probe violence
New Delhi, August 4
The Jawaharlal Nehru University authorities have constituted a three-member committee to probe the clash that occurred on campus on Tuesday night. The committee, which includes Dr Tulsi Ram and Dr Sonajharia Minz of the Equal Opportunity Office and Dr D K Lobyal has been asked to conduct a comprehensive inquiry into the violence that erupted allegedly on the caste issue.

Student found dead in JNU hostel
New Delhi, August 4
A Ph.D. scholar was found dead in his hostel room at Jawaharlal Nehru University on Friday morning. Police said Pritam Malik was found dead in his room in Bramhaputra Hostel where he had been staying for the past five years. Malik was also working at the Centre for Study of Rural Development.

Sunder Bhatti attack: Six cops dismissed
Bulandshahr, August 4
The condition of Sunder Bhatti’s companion, Singh Raj, continues to be critical. He has been kept on ventilator in Kailash Hospital. The police are raiding various places in Noida, Ghaziabad, Greater Noida and Meerut to nab the gangsters involved in the attack on policemen.

Man killed for not paying for meals
Noida, August 4
A youth, who refused to pay for his meal, was killed by the dhaba owner, who has been arrested. The man had complained of grit in his meal and refused to pay for it. The dhaba owner repeatedly stabbed him with a knife in the chest. The man was rushed to Fortis Hospital, Sector 62, here where he was declared brought dead by doctors.

Proposal to develop recreation centre on Yamuna banks
New Delhi, August 4
The Delhi Minister for Planning, Urban Development and PWD, Dr A. K. Walia, has directed the Delhi Travel and Tourism Development Corporation (DTTDC) to develop a 200-acre area as an attractive recreation centre which would include a vast green area on both banks of the river Yamuna.

Leprosy centre to be relocated
New Delhi, August 4
For the past many years, the Satya Jeevan Kushat Ashram, a 20-year-old leprosy centre operating in Delhi, has worn a neglected and rundown look. The situation has deteriorated drastically now and at least seven houses of lepers living here have collapsed during the monsoon. The surviving infrastructure and buildings have developed huge cracks and are clearly at risk.


 

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CM lays foundation stone for eight-lane Ring Road
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 4
Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit today laid the foundation stone for an eight-lane Ring Road from Ashram Chowk to Rajghat, which is being executed by the Public Works Department.

Describing Ring Road as the lifeline of Delhi, Ms Dikshit said that her Government is keen to make the entire stretch of Ring Road and Outer Ring Road signal-free to overcome traffic congestion.

She said widening of Ring Road from 6 to 8 lanes is being executed in phases.

While work on three phases has been completed, work on fourth phase from Wazirabad to Azadpur is in progress, she said. The fifth phase would cover Rajghat from Ashram Chowk, which would be widened within a year or so.

It was pointed out that the widening of entire Ring Road would not only make flow of traffic smooth but would also help in substantial saving of time and fuel, apart from curbing pollution. Close to one lakh vehicles pass through the Ring Road during peak hours.

Ms Dikshit reiterated that her Government is committed to commissioning all infrastructural development works being executed by the PWD by the end of 2008 to facilitate smooth hosting of Commonwealth Games 2010.

She said apart from building large numbers of flyovers, a number of foot overbridges with escalators would also be commissioned to provide much-needed relief to the pedestrians.

The Chief Minister also urged Delhiites to render cooperation in making Delhi a world-class city.

Delhi Urban Development and PWD Minister Dr A.K. Walia said that the ongoing widening of Ring Road would help curb the frequent road cuttings and a separate corridor ducts on both sides of road are being provided for laying of lines of various utilities. This would also help in reducing maintenance and repair expenses, he said.

Dr Walia further said that PWD is gearing to meet the challenges of Commonwealth Games 2010 and has decided to link Connaught Place with East Delhi and Commonwealth Games Village at Akshar Dham with Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium through tunnel and separate corridor. 

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Admn sleeping over land grab, shifting of dairies
Bijendra Ahlawat
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, August 4
The local administration seems to be sleeping over various issues. These include shifting the dairies from residential areas, taking action against encroachments and keeping a check on illegal commercial activities.

The district administration had promised the Punjab and Haryana High Court that these problems would be taken care of in six months’ time in connection with a recent judgement.

The state government had formulated a policy to shift all dairies from residential areas to a special zone outside the city. He intimated a plan to provide plots to dairy owners. Though several years have passed, the is still to ensure compliance. While some of the dairies had been shifted to the identified areas in Ballabhgarh and Old Faridabad zones, more than 1000 dairies still exist in the non-conforming areas. These include even the posh sectors of HUDA and the Municipal Corporation Faridabad (MCF).

As a result of rampant corruption and inefficiency at the zonal headquarters of Ballabhgarh and Old Faridabad, the campaign to relocate dairies had failed. Hundreds of dairies, flouting all rules, still existed.

A member of the RWA of Sector 10 here alleged officials of the civic body at Ballabhgarh were hand in glove with the mafia that had encroached on the vacant land. They were running illegal dairies or owned jhuggi clusters for making extra money.

On condition of anonymity, he said the residents had several times approached the authorities concerned for the removal of jhuggis and dairies from the area. He claimed they were given lame excuses, which included reports of a stay order. He, however, claimed there had been no stay on the jhuggis or dairies in the areas. The people running this business had been paying graft to the officials concerned, including the police, and hence no action was forthcoming.

Social activist Mr K. L. Gera had filed a PIL in the high court over the matter of illegal commercial activities in certain sectors. He announced he would file a contempt of court case against the administration if it failed to remove the illegal shops and commercial establishments that had come up here, especially on the dividing roads of Sectors 9 and 10 and the adjoining areas.

Alleging large-scale encroachments in all areas by influential persons, he claimed there had been no move on the part of the local administration to take action against illegal parking, commercial activities and jhuggis. He said he recently came to know that there were a large number of jhuggis on the plot of a senior police official in Sector 10 here. It has been, however, claimed that several development works worth more than Rs 150 crore have been carried out in the past one year by the MCF.

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Dyslexic girl with 84% marks denied admission 
in Fine Arts
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 4
A dyslexic student, Sonum Malhotra, with a score of 84 per cent in class has alleged that University of Delhi considers her suitable to pursue a bachelor’s degree in History at St. Stephens’ College or a degree in Psychology at Lady Sri Ram College, both of which require skills she lacks, but it has not helped her secure admission in the course of her choice, Fine Arts.

Both the College of Art and the university on their part claim that the girl has not shown up for medical examination conducted by the university’s medical board that assesses the percentage of disability, which is mandatory.

Sonum’s parent speaking to mediapersons said the College of Art does not recognise dyslexia as a disability. “The college wants her to furnish a “certificate of suitability” from the Vocational Rehabilitation Centre for the Handicapped, which comes under the Ministry of Labour,” said Pankaj Malhotra, Sonum’s father.

The family claims that the VRC refuses to give them the certificate, because of some “bureaucratic red tape”.

They claim that the Chief Minister has asked the college, which comes under the Delhi Government to give her provisional admission, but they have not done so.

“The girl first came to me without the certificate from the university’s medical board. When she took the entrance examination along with the rest of the students, she performed very poorly. As per the rules, we have three seats out of 100 for the physically challenged, two of these have been filled and because there was no third student from the category, we gave it to a general category student,” said the Principal of the College, Prof. M Vijaymohan. The Dean of Students’ Welfare and the Dean of Colleges told ‘The Tribune’ that the girl had not approached the university.

Though the parents of the girl claim that the university’s medical board has examined her and indicated 50 per cent disability, the authorities claim that they have not been able to furnish the required certificate.

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Delhi govt may ban cold drinks in schools
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 4
Following the disclosure made by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) about the high pesticide residue in soft drink, the Delhi Government is contemplating a ban on all fizzy drinks in school campuses.

Sources said the Government is likely to take a decision on the issue soon. The government has taken cognisance of the report that soft drinks available in the market have a high level of pesticides, which are a health hazard.

The Government had earlier issued direction to all affiliated schools to ban junk food from their canteens and replace it with healthier alternatives.

Some schools in the capital have already replaced junk food and soft drinks and instead provide students with healthier snacks and fruit juices.

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Fragile peace prevails at Jamia
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 4
An uneasy calm hangs over Jamia Millia Islamia university as students wait to see the university authorities swing into action on some of their demands.

The long stand-off at Jamia between the university administration and the students finally veered towards a fragile peace when on August 1, a group of students met up with the university authorities and were assured of a resolution formula to help untangle the messy situation.

Former president of the Jamia Students’ Union, Shams Pervez informed, “The situation at Jamia is relatively calm right now and we are taking no step. The strike continues to be called for. But we are waiting to see what the administration does. No meeting with the Vice-Chancellor has taken place so far.”

Pervez had earlier informed that the agitating students had been assured of holding direct talks with the Vice-Chancellor, Mr Mushirul Hassan.

It has also been agreed that these talks would be held in the presence of new proctor, Masood Alam, and also in front of members of the Jamia Teachers Association. It was only after reaching this decision that the strike was called off.

Violence and agitation erupted in Jamia through most of July and the students had been sitting on indefinite hunger strike for consecutive weeks. The unrest has resulted due to allegations of injustice meted out to students by the university administration.

Main student demands are: immediate commencement of the entire academic session in one round; Vice-Chancellor Mushirul Hassan’s resignation; police action against the Proctor Rocket Ibrahim and his son Ejas; and re-admission for the rejected students.

Violence had erupted at the university on July 18 when a student delegation went to meet the V-C to register their complaints on the admission process.

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JNU panel to probe violence
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 4
The Jawaharlal Nehru University authorities have constituted a three-member committee to probe the clash that occurred on campus on Tuesday night.

The committee, which includes Dr Tulsi Ram and Dr Sonajharia Minz of the Equal Opportunity Office and Dr D K Lobyal has been asked to conduct a comprehensive inquiry into the violence that erupted allegedly on the caste issue.

“We had a meeting with the Vice-Chancellor here today. Representatives of all the political parties were also present. We had sought the setting up of an independent committee that would have representation from the Equal Opportunity Office,” said Arani Sinha, Joint Secretary, JNUSU.

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Student found dead in JNU hostel
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 4
A Ph.D. scholar was found dead in his hostel room at Jawaharlal Nehru University on Friday morning.

Police said Pritam Malik was found dead in his room in Bramhaputra Hostel where he had been staying for the past five years. Malik was also working at the Centre for Study of Rural Development.

Officials said Malik was reported to have been unwell for a long time and was earlier admitted at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).

Though the police authorities have ruled out a foul play, they have ordered a postmortem to be carried out at AIIMS to ascertain the cause of death.

Malik’s family members who live in Bhubaneswar, Orissa, have been informed of his death.

A student from Bramhaputra Hostel said, “Some of us saw him last evening, it was shocking to hear of his death.” 

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Sunder Bhatti attack: Six cops dismissed
Our Correspondent

Bulandshahr, August 4
The condition of Sunder Bhatti’s companion, Singh Raj, continues to be critical. He has been kept on ventilator in Kailash Hospital. The police are raiding various places in Noida, Ghaziabad, Greater Noida and Meerut to nab the gangsters involved in the attack on policemen.

The attack was allegedly the handiwork of the Ram Pal gang, arch rivals of Sunder Bhatti. The Tata-407 used in the attack belongs to Ram Pal’s neighbour in Rithori. The SSP, Bulandshahr, has constituted six teams for arresting the gangsters involved in the attack.

Meanwhile, six policemen have been dismissed from service for dereliction of duty. The gangsters had surprised the cops escorting Sunder Bhatti to court.

A sub-inspector has been suspended by the SSP.

The SSP is believed to have taken this decision as the policemen had failed to launch an offensive against the criminals who resorted to indiscriminate firing when Sunder Bhatti was being brought from Bulandshahr jail to the Noida Phase-II court for a hearing.

SI Verinder Kumar Tyagi was in charge of the security men escorting Sunder Bhatti, Sher Singh and Singh Raj to the jail. Head Constable Veer Sen, cops Sanjiv Kumar, Jagat Singh, Suresh Pal, Pratap and Vipin Kumar and driver Kumarpal Singh were members of the security team.

The opposite gang had opened fire with automatic weapons on the jail van bringing Sunder Bhatti and others. Previously, it was thought that it was due to the quick response of the security guards that the assailants had failed in their mission. On Thursday, SSP N. Padmaja had suspended the cops, holding them responsible for a serious security lapse.

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Man killed for not paying for meals
Parmindar Singh

Noida, August 4
A youth, who refused to pay for his meal, was killed by the dhaba owner, who has been arrested. The man had complained of grit in his meal and refused to pay for it. The dhaba owner repeatedly stabbed him with a knife in the chest. The man was rushed to Fortis Hospital, Sector 62, here where he was declared brought dead by doctors.

The police have arrested the dhaba owner who was about to flee. The instrument of murder, a knife, has also been recovered.

According to SO R. N. Singh of the Sector 58 police station, Hari Ram had a dhaba in Sector 63. Jagat, 20, had gone there for meals at 10 pm last night. Jagat, who was from Bihar, was living in Wajidpur village. After partaking of the meal, Jagat started walking away. When the dhaba owner stopped him, an argument ensued.

Hari Ram stabbed Jagat with a knife in his chest, injuring him seriously. Someone informed the police who rushed Jagat to Fortis Hospital where he was declared brought dead by doctors.

Eyewitnesses said Jagat had told Hari Ram that he would not pay for the meal as there was grit in the food. The police have sent the body for a postmortem examination.

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Proposal to develop recreation centre on 
Yamuna banks
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 4
The Delhi Minister for Planning, Urban Development and PWD, Dr A. K. Walia, has directed the Delhi Travel and Tourism Development Corporation (DTTDC) to develop a 200-acre area as an attractive recreation centre which would include a vast green area on both banks of the river Yamuna.

Dr Walia said the developed area on both sides of the river would include a vast green area, facilities for water sports activities, walkways and theme gardens. The entire complex would come up as one of the most exciting tourist spots in North and East Delhi.

He said this after visiting the Signature Bridge site and Mehrauli Archaeological Park. Dr Walia was accompanied by Education Minister A. S. Lovely and senior officers of the DTTDC, the MCD and the DDA.

He said the entire area would be developed at an estimated cost of Rs 200 crore in three years. Signature Bridge would come up on the Yamuna. It would stand on hanging cables with pylon. The construction of Signature Bridge is scheduled to commence after a month. The entire project will cost Rs 465 crore.

Dr Walia has further instructed the DTTDC to initiate immediate action for the development of a modern recreation centre by appointing consultants and other staff. The centre would have a modern collapsible rubber weir on the Yamuna to facilitate recreational sports activities for attracting tourists across Delhi and outside in large numbers. It would also have ample space for social and community activities.

Dr Walia along with Mr A. S. Lovely and Mr O. P. Jain from INTACH took a round of Mehrauli Archaeological Park.

The conservation there is being done in various phases. Six phases have already covered 41 monuments. The seventh and the last phase would cover the remaining monuments. The entire exercise would cost Rs 1.50 crore.

Dr Walia has instructed the agencies concerned to expedite conservation of the entire complex.

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Leprosy centre to be relocated
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 4
For the past many years, the Satya Jeevan Kushat Ashram, a 20-year-old leprosy centre operating in Delhi, has worn a neglected and rundown look. The situation has deteriorated drastically now and at least seven houses of lepers living here have collapsed during the monsoon. The surviving infrastructure and buildings have developed huge cracks and are clearly at risk.

However, as life hits rock-bottom at the leprosy centre there is a silver lining to the black cloud. The President of the Nippon Foundation, one of the leading NGOs from Japan, Mr Yoshei Sasakawa, visited the ashram recently. He has offered to make a substantial donation to help relocate the centre at the soonest.

Meanwhile, the Delhi Chief Minister, Ms Sheila Dikshit, in an attempt to expedite this process has asked the MCD to relocate the leprosy centre after due allotment of a new site. An informal decision has already been taken to provide an alternative site in a locality near Madanpur Khadar village next to Apollo Hospital. 

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