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

Capital continues to be in grip of power crisis
New Delhi, August 14
Despite the Capital receiving a burst of heavy showers this morning, the power woes of people of Delhi continued today with 600 MW of loadshedding in various parts of the capital owing to the power shortage.

Citizens unimpressed with ‘security arrangements’
New Delhi, August 14
There is much hype about the ‘security arrangements’ for this year’s Independence Day celebrations in the Capital, but the ground reality belies tall police claims.

Court notice to govt on water logging complaint
New Delhi, August 14
The heavy rains that recently affected normal life in the national Capital by causing water-logging has prompted a consumer court here to seek an explanation from the Centre and the Delhi Government on their failure to maintain civic amenities.

Court notice to Faridabad admn over illegal building
Faridabad, August 14
The Punjab and Haryana High Court has granted six months’ time to the Haryana Government and the district authorities for proceeding against the construction of an illegal multi-storied building at Shastri Colony here.


 




Monsoon clouds loom over Rajpath in the Capital
Monsoon clouds loom over Rajpath in the Capital on Monday. 
— Tribune photo by MukeshAggarwal

Farmers to rally against ‘capitalism’ at Dadri
Noida, August 14
It seems all roads will lead to Dadri on August 17 for a mammoth rally of farmers, unemployed youth and the Scheduled Castes. A clarion call for this has been given by former Prime Minister Vishwanath Pratap Singh along with MP Raj Babbar. 

CM to preside over I-Day function at Gurgaon
Gurgaon, August 14
The Director-General of Police, Haryana, today reviewed the law and order scenario and security arrangements in view of Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda’s visit here for a function on the occasion of Independence Day on August 15.

Delhi to have State Health Mission 
New Delhi, August 14
The Delhi Cabinet today decided to set up the State Health Mission and State Health Society under the National Rural Health Mission announced by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Metro workers unearth sten-gun in Nangloi
New Delhi, August 14
Though Delhi Metro officials denied knowledge of any such finding, a sten-gun, believed to be of the Punjab militancy era, was apparently discovered by labourers today while digging for Metro rail in the Nangloi area of West Delhi.

 

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Capital continues to be in grip of power crisis
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 14
Despite the Capital receiving a burst of heavy showers this morning, the power woes of people of Delhi continued today with 600 MW of loadshedding in various parts of the capital owing to the power shortage.

With the non-functioning of the various power stations like the Pragati Power station, the Indraprastha power plant and the Nathpa Jhakhri Power station leading to power outages of 1070 MW, the discoms could supply just 2600 MW of power, resulting in 600 MW of loadshedding to meet the shortage, Delhi Transco sources said.

The saving grace was the availability of 300 MW power from the Northern and Eastern Grid and another 200 MW from Rajasthan.

While the non availability of CNG from the Hazira plant in Gujarat due to floods there has led to the temporary shutdown of the 330 MW Pragati power station and the 80 MW Indraprastha power plant, the 330 MW Nathpa Jhakhri plant has been shut down due to silting while the 210 MW from the Badarpur power station could not be available due to shutdown of the plant for maintenance.

The power crisis was likely to prevail for the next few days with the Hazira plant likely to be operational only on August 19.

Sources in the Transco, however, said the current power crisis had affected not merely Delhi but entire North India.

The United Residents Joint Action (URJA) said that Reliance owned BSES power supply areas including all three phases of Mayur Vihar, Greater Kailash I and II, Malviya Nagar, Krishna Nagar, Karol Bagh, Dilshad Garden, Green Park, Pitampura, Geetanjali Enclave, Darya Ganj, Kalkaji, New Rajender Nagar, Kailash Colony, Sarita Vihar, Preet Vihar, Patparganj, Ram Vihar and Kiran Vihar were worst affected areas of power cuts.

RWAs of various areas were unable to understand the reasons for long power cuts ranging from seven to eight hours particularly on Sunday when major markets and offices are closed. The Chief Minister of Delhi and Power Minister assured the resident welfare associations at a recently held meeting that there would be no power cuts in future. Despite the assurances, people live without power for seven to eight hours everyday, said R. L. Dua from Old Rajender Nagar.

President of RWA federation, East Delhi, S.N.H. Zaidi said, “We do not understand that why the private DISCOMS could not assure proper power supply on a day like Sunday when each family has guests. Assurances of no power cuts given by the Delhi Government is meaningless.”

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Citizens unimpressed with ‘security arrangements’
Nalini Ranjan

New Delhi, August 14
There is much hype about the ‘security arrangements’ for this year’s Independence Day celebrations in the Capital, but the ground reality belies tall police claims.

‘The Tribune’ spoke to a number of citizens about the issue who felt that police-talk like “sealed borders” and “enhanced security” is just that and that there was nothing special about this year’s event.

A senior executive with a garment buying house Mr Rohit Grover said, “We have crossed the Delhi-Haryana border on Gurgaon-Mehrauli Road twice today, but the few cops lounging around there as usual did not even spare a glance at the car, let alone search the car. The police is claming that all borders have been sealed and security checking has been intensified in view of the Independence Day celebrations, but they do that every year for media consumption.

As a matter of fact, I haven’t spotted a single policeman today. Which is good, because their road barriers are just for appearances and only cause traffic jams. No extra security arrangements are visible anywhere in the city.”

Nidhi Marwah, who works for Simbhaoli Sugar Mills in Connaught Place complained about rumours that the area would be “sealed” by the police. “Nothing of the sort happened. Moreover, in most high-rise buildings in CP, ‘high security arrangements’ have been left to private security guards working in them.”

A merchant Ram Prakash Gupta said, “Keeping in view the apprehension of ‘liquid bomb attack’, the police are claming to have imposed a ban on the sale of chemicals to any anonymous person. But in practice, it is being sold and purchased openly. There is no need of identification for the purchase. Wholesale markets around Red Fort are closed today but other markets, especially in rural and remote areas, are open.”

A commuter Brij Bhushan said, “We see nothing unusual this time as far as security arrangements at public places like bus stops and railway stations are concerned. Even in Metro trains and buses, the so-called ‘search drive’ is only on paper. Even in cinemas and prominent temples, security arrangements are conspicuous by their absence.”

When contacted, a police official involved with Independence Day security, however, insisted that there was no question of ‘hype’. “It is hyper-policing. Every year we are trying to provide better security cover for the smooth completion of the celebrations. To tackle any chemical and biological attack, we are taking the help of chemical merchants and chemical experts. Four battalions of National Disaster Reaction Force have been deployed to counter any untoward incident. This time we are also using satellite guided security instruments, machine guns and radars to strengthen our security net.”

Chances are good that the I-Day celebrations tomorrow would conclude peacefully as usual, and the police would take credit for it, but in reality, security forces don’t seem to be professional and motivated enough to stop a determined terrorist attack anywhere
in the Capital on any given day. 

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Court notice to govt on water logging complaint
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 14
The heavy rains that recently affected normal life in the national Capital by causing water-logging has prompted a consumer court here to seek an explanation from the Centre and the Delhi Government on their failure to maintain civic amenities.

Acting on a complaint seeking Rs 1 crore compensation for the Capital’s residents over the problems caused by water-logging in many places in the city in July, the Delhi State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission directed the authorities to reply within a month as to why they should not be held liable for failing to provide hassle-free movement to the citizens.

“In our view the government, its departments, civic and other agencies involved in providing services for citizens of the city, need to be jointly and severely held liable,” a Bench comprising Justice J D Kapoor and Member Ms Rumnitta Mittal said.

Notices have been issued to the Ministry of Urban Development, Delhi Government, Municipal Corporation of Delhi, New Delhi Municipal Corporation, Delhi Development Authority, Delhi Jal Board, Delhi Police, State Transport Authority, PWD, CPWD and Directorate of Health Services.

The four complainants, including Rakesh K Dhawan, a resident of south Delhi’s Chittaranjan Park, alleged that the failure of the authorities to properly maintain civic amenities amounts to deficiency in services. The complainants, who claimed that they had approached the forum in a representative capacity on behalf of various potential consumers, said it was the duty of the authorities to be prepared to meet any eventualities such as water-logging and traffic jams that were witnessed on July 18 due to heavy rains.

Since taxes are paid by the citizens for availing themselves of various civic facilities, they can approach consumer courts for deficiency in such services, the Commission said. “Providing roads, electricity, water and their maintenance and traffic control fall under the purview of the Consumer Protection Act and the service providers, which are the government and its agencies, can be tried for lapses,” the Bench said.

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Court notice to Faridabad admn over illegal building
Bijendra Ahlawat
Tribune News Service 

Faridabad, August 14
The Punjab and Haryana High Court has granted six months’ time to the Haryana Government and the district authorities for proceeding against the construction of an illegal multi-storied building at Shastri Colony here. The building has allegedly come up on an encroached piece of land and was given a completion certificate unauthorisedly by the Town Planning Department of the Municipal Corporation Faridabad (MCF). A senior official of this department was suspended by the state government after being booked on the basis of an inquiry conducted by the district authorities. 

The order of the court came recently in response to a PIL filed by a local resident, Mr K.L. Gera. He had alleged that despite the report of the probe into this fraud by the Additional Deputy Commissioner the authorities concerned had not been taken action against all those responsible. Besides, the building was not demolished. 

The probe had found that several officials were in league with the builder, who had constructed a seven-storied residential complex in Shastri Colony of Old Faridabad here. 

The complainant had demanded that all those involved in this case should be brought to book and the building immediately demolished. The office of the Senior Town Planner of the MCF at that time had given the change of land use and completion certificate illegally and against all norms.

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Farmers to rally against ‘capitalism’ at Dadri
Parmindar Singh

Noida, August 14 
It seems all roads will lead to Dadri on August 17 for a mammoth rally of farmers, unemployed youth and the Scheduled Castes. A clarion call for this has been given by former Prime Minister Vishwanath Pratap Singh along with MP Raj Babbar. 

“The rally on August 17 at Dadri will be a direct confrontation with the powers that be”, according to the former Prime Minister.

Mr V. P. Singh and matinee idol Raj Babbar, MP, had taken up the cudgels against the Mulayam Singh government on July 7 for exploiting the farmers by acquiring their land at Rs 300 per sq yard and selling the same to big builders and industrialists at a rate of lakhs of rupees per sq mt.

Their onslaught was especially against acquiring farmers’ land at dirt cheap rates and passing the same to big industrialists and capitalists. “UP has a government of capitalists”, Mr V. P. Singh had thundered. The state government had not allowed the entourage of the former Prime Minister and Mr Raj Babbar to reach Dadri where symbolic ploughing of farmers’ land was to be undertaken by the former.

Addressing a public meeting in Muradabad yesterday, Mr V. P. Singh said farmers’ land was being forcibly acquired and distributed to the rich and the mighty by the state government. He said besides UP the governments of Haryana and Punjab were also guilty of perpetrating this fraud on farmers.

“But now the farmers and the youth are fully aware of their rights. It should be their own sweet will as to whom they want to sell their land to in keeping with the market trends. Those who are acquiring farmers’ land at cheap rates and handing it over to the capitalists on any pretext cannot be called farmers’ well-wishers”, the former Prime Minister said.

Mr V. P. Singh said one could understand if the land was being acquired for schools, hospitals etc but there was no justification for selling farmers’ land to capitalists. The former Prime Minister said if acquiring farmers’ land was justified then why did the government not acquire cement, steel, bricks, wood etc needed for construction of buildings over that land.

MP Raj Babbar said the UP Government was a government of two or three self-seeking persons who were thrusting their wrong and anti-people policies on the people of the state.

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CM to preside over I-Day function at Gurgaon 
Ravi S. Singh
Tribune News Service

Gurgaon, August 14
The Director-General of Police, Haryana, today reviewed the law and order scenario and security arrangements in view of Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda’s visit here for a function on the occasion of Independence Day on August 15.

With a good chunk of area of Haryana falling in the National Capital Region and the state as a whole bordering the national Capital, the security agencies claim to have gone into overdrive to plug any possible infiltration from Delhi.

The review was done at a high-level meeting of police officials from the state. Among others, the Additional Director-General of Police, CID, the Additional Director-General of Police, and the Inspector-General of Police, Gurgaon Range, took part in the meeting convened by the state police chief.

The DGP has called for high-level police visibility in Gurgaon and other districts of the state falling in the NCR.

The DGP also inspected the final parade rehearsal. The Chief Minister is to take salute of the march past to be staged here on I-Day.

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Delhi to have State Health Mission 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 14
The Delhi Cabinet today decided to set up the State Health Mission and State Health Society under the National Rural Health Mission announced by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The Delhi State Health Mission (DSHM) will consider policy matters and provide health system oversight and will be chaired by Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit.

“The Delhi State Health Society (DSHS) will oversee the implementation of all health projects, excluding the ones related to HIV/AIDS on a district level,” Dikshit told reporters after the Cabinet meeting here.

She added that the Centre has given its nod to look at Delhi as a special case as requested by her government and will be viewing it as a “city-state” which will get all the benefits under the mission.

In order to decrease the burden on state-run hospitals, it has been decided to upgrade the existing dispensaries and increase their numbers from the current 300, she said.

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Metro workers unearth sten-gun in Nangloi
Vibha Sharma
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 14
Though Delhi Metro officials denied knowledge of any such finding, a sten-gun, believed to be of the Punjab militancy era, was apparently discovered by labourers today while digging for Metro rail in the Nangloi area of West Delhi.

The incident took place when labourers digging for laying a track for the metro rail found a rusted sten-gun, believed to be hidden by militants of Punjab. The police have registered a case under the Arms Act against unknown persons and started investigations.

This is the first time an incident of any such “unusual item” being found while digging for the metro rail has happened in Delhi. Incidentally such occurrences are quite common on the international border and the LoC where unexploded mines, hand grenades and weapons, belonging to 1948, 1965 and 1971 continue to be discovered till date.

In Punjab recently some hand grenades were discovered near the Golden Temple complex, believed to be buried since the militancy days in the state. The Nangaloi area in Delhi, having a large number of migrants from Punjab, in particular served as a haven for militants at the height of unrest in Punjab during the 1980s.

The particular weapon discovered today is completely out of service and rusted due to having been buried for years under the soil.

   



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