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

Land acquisition: Farmers set July 31 deadline
Noida, July 23
The farmers of Noida villages along Expressway today held a panchayat at Nagli Wajidpur and issued an ultimatum to the authority to resolve their problems by July 31 otherwise they will stop builders' work.

Buyers of flats being built on the disputed plots in Noida Extension take out a march, demanding the possession of their houses

UP IN ARMS: Buyers of flats being built on the disputed plots in Noida Extension take out a march, demanding the possession of their houses on Saturday. Tribune photo: Manas Ranjan Bhui


EARLIER STORIES

First dengue death
New Delhi, July 23
Confirming the death of a resident of Shivam Enclave in Shahdara, the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) today recorded the Capital's first death from dengue this season and with this, the total number of people infected has reached six.

Sheila Dikshit plants a sapling. 1 million saplings to be planted during monsoon
New Delhi, July 23
Delhi has done quite well to enhance greenery and control pollution. The Department of Forests and Environment has been making concerted efforts in this regard, said CM Sheila Dikshit while inaugurating a mass plantation drive along Ring Road Bypass.



Sheila Dikshit plants a sapling. Tribune photo

Trans-Yamuna underpass opens
New Delhi, July 23
With the inauguration of an underpass to trans-Yamuna localities, the busy junction on GT Road has become signal-free.

Girija Devi gets Akademi Fellowship
New Delhi, July 23
The Vice-President of India, M. Hamid Ansari, gave the prestigious Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowships and Akademi Awards for 2010 at a special ceremony conducted here yesterday.

Visitors admire photographs on display at the exhibition at India Habitat Centre in New Delhi Indian dance exhibition: In the Natarajís footsteps
New Delhi, July 23
The legacy of documenting Indian dance forms was bequeathed to Ashish Khokar by his father, Mohan Khokar, who was also known as "Nataraj". Mohan had extensively researched and written about the various dance styles. The exhibition of Indian dance, organized by Ashish in Delhi, displays mammoth information on the evolutionary culture which is portrayed through photographs, magazines, video recordings and other similar mediums.
Visitors admire photographs on display at the exhibition at India Habitat Centre in New Delhi. Tribune photo: Manas Ranjan Bhui

Lack of diagnostic machines ails hospital
A lack of high-end machines such as MRI and CT Scan is posing a serious problem to the doctors at Lal Bahadur Hospital. Facility crunch has not only hit the patients but also the hospital staff. Early this week, the doctor-on-duty at the hospital's emergency had to face the wrath of a child's relative after the kid succumbed to head injuries.

21 women pickpockets held at Metro stations
New Delhi, July 23
Twenty one women pickpockets were today arrested from four Metro stations in Delhi. While five women were arrested from Barakhamba station, four were held at Central Secretariat, seven at Rajiv Chowk and five from Rama Krishna Paramhans station.

Devotees queue up for langar at Gurdwara Bangla Sahib on the occasion of Guru Harkrishan Sahib Maharaj Parkash Parv in New Delhi
Devotees queue up for langar at Gurdwara Bangla Sahib on the occasion of Guru Harkrishan Sahib Maharaj Parkash Parv in New Delhi on Saturday. Tribune photo

Youth drowns in Yamuna
Ghaziabad, July 23
A 23-year-old man drowned in the Yamuna in the Loni area of the district, the police said today.

Two held for robbery at Jantar Mantar
New Delhi, July 23
The Delhi district police arrested two persons on charges of robbery. They were identified as Makhan Yadav (32) and Rahul Kumar Yadav (19), who had robbed a person in the high-security zone near Jantar Mantar on July 4.

Two held for robbing boy
New Delhi, July 23
The Janakpuri police arrested two robbers, who snatched a mobile phone and Rs 1,600 from a 13-year-old boy, who was going to the market with his father.





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Land acquisition: Farmers set July 31 deadline
1,200 buyers take out rally
Panchayat of 500 Noida villagers threatens to stop buildersí work if demands not met
Parmindar Singh

Noida, July 23
The farmers of Noida villages along Expressway today held a panchayat at Nagli Wajidpur and issued an ultimatum to the authority to resolve their problems by July 31 otherwise they will stop builders' work.

Around 500 farmers from villages located along Expressway assembled at Wajidpur village.

Hundreds of farmers from Nagli Wajidpur, Jhatta Badoli, Shahpur, Sultanpur, Rampur, Asgarpur, Garhi Shahdra and Rohillapur participated in the panchayat.

They claimed that their land had been acquired in 2003. They got compensation of just Rs 361 per square meter and were promised 5 per cent developed land, but it was not given.

All the same, the authority officials assured the farmers that their grievances would be redressed. They were told that 5 per cent developed land would be given to them soon. Regarding hike in compensation, they were told that the authority would forward their demand to the state government for approval.

Dalvir Singh Yadav, Manoj Kumar and many other farmers said that they are moving the court also. On Monday, they will visit Allahabad and file the petition.

"Our land was acquired under urgency clause by the authority for public welfare, but it was allotted to private builders," said the farmers.

Meanwhile, around 1,200 buyers led by Noida Extension Flat Buyer Welfare Association held a rally.

They were carrying placards.

The march started from Gautam Buddha Statue at Sector 14 A and proceeded towards Sector 18. From half-way, it turned back and reached the starting point. Here they disbursed. Association president RP Tyagi led the march. Later, the association representatives went to give a memorandum to the Greater Noida chairman at Sector 14A.

"We want our flats at the committed price. We do not want refund of the money. We had not invested to earn interest. We have also moved the court, requesting that we should be made party to the case. The court should hear the investors' views also before deciding the case," said Tyagi.

"We are not against farmers. They should be paid adequately. It is the authority's fault," added Tyagi.

"The authority cheated farmers and sold land to the builders who further cheated investors. All stakeholders should sit and reach an amicable solution," said Rajiv Sharma, one of the investors.

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First dengue death
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 23
Confirming the death of a resident of Shivam Enclave in Shahdara, the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) today recorded the Capital's first death from dengue this season and with this, the total number of people infected has reached six.

The patient passed away at the Sir Ganga Ram Hospital here on July 9, but the death was reported to us today, said MCD's health committee chairperson Dr V K Monga.

The first positive case of dengue this year, as per the official data of the civic body, was reported from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences on March 3 after a doctor tested positive for the vector-borne disease and since then the MCD's data showed five positive cases until the season's first death surfaced today.

In the previous year, the first confirmed case of dengue infection was recorded by the MCD in June and the city witnessed an extended time of dengue with a total of 6,229 cases, including eight fatalities.

While September-October is considered to be the peak period when cases climb up, last year

cases came up even till mid-December due to increased mosquito-breeding in and around the Commonwealth Games construction sites.

"People ought to cooperate in keeping their surroundings clean and this would contain mosquito-breeding," said Dr Monga.

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1 million saplings to be planted during monsoon
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 23
Delhi has done quite well to enhance greenery and control pollution. The Department of Forests and Environment has been making concerted efforts in this regard, said CM Sheila Dikshit while inaugurating a mass plantation drive along Ring Road Bypass.

Delhi will plant more than one million saplings during this monsoon season. It has also been decided to enhance the survival rate of planted saplings by providing them enough care, the Chief Minister said. She along with a large number of schoolchildren today planted 2,500 saplings.

Speaking on the occasion, Dikshit stated that Ring Road Bypass behind Rajghat power station will become green as the saplings grow up. The plantation campaign has been meticulously planned and all the government offices, Delhi Metro, MCD, NDMC, DDA, DTC depots, NGOs and PSUs are involved in this effort.

The government has decided to provide free saplings across Delhi. It has been decided to enhance Delhi's green area up to 33 per cent which is a national target.

The strip along the service lane of Ring Road Bypass is being planted with ornamental tree species such Lagerstroemia, Amltash, Gulmohar, Yellow Bamboo and Shishm.

The species has been selected considering its suitability. It will add an aesthetic value to the road which is the lifeline connecting ITO to ISBT.

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Trans-Yamuna underpass opens
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 23
With the inauguration of an underpass to trans-Yamuna localities, the busy junction on GT Road has become signal-free.

This underpass is a part of Shyam Lal College grade separator. A flyover under this project was opened last year in August.

This has also resulted in a substantial saving in travel time and fuel consumption. Apart from this, air pollution will be contained.

The Chief Minister said that her government constituted a separate board for development of trans-Yamuna.

She also stated that a flyover near Shyam Lal College was launched last year which has been enabling an uninterrupted flow of traffic between Kasmiri Gate Bus Terminal and Apsara Border.

Trans-Yamuna is the only area in Delhi which is served by three different Metro routes. What is more, the DTC has deployed large number of buses in this area.

The frequency of buses is appreciable as no passenger has to wait for more than a minute or so.

The Chief Minister added that the pace of development would be accelerated and all parts of Delhi would be uniformly developed.

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Girija Devi gets Akademi Fellowship
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 23
The Vice-President of India, M. Hamid Ansari, gave the prestigious Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowships and Akademi Awards for 2010 at a special ceremony conducted here yesterday.

The highest honour of Akademi Fellowship (Akademi Ratna Sadasyata) was conferred on eminent vocalist Girija Devi, renowned dance guru Nataraja Ramakrishna, Dhrupad maestro Rahim Fahimuddin Dagar and Mridangam vidwan T. K. Murthy. They received Rs 3 lakh besides an angavastram and a tamrapatra.

The eminent representatives of music, dance and theatre were honoured with the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for 2010 and received Rs 1 lakh, an angavastram and tamrapatra.

The Akademi Fellowship (Akademi Ratna Sadasyata) and Akademi Award (Akademi Puraskar) are the most coveted national honours conferred on artists, gurus and scholars of the performing arts. These honours are decided by the Akademi's General Council, the apex body consisting of eminent artists, scholars and nominees of the Central government, states and Union territories.

In the field of music, nine artists, namely Chhanu Lal Mishra and Yashpaul for Hindustani Vocal Music, Budhaditya Mukherjee (Sitar) and Nityanand Haldipur (Flute) for Hindustani Instrumental Music, Suguna Purushothaman and Mysore Nagamani Srinath for Carnatic Vocal music, Nagai R Muralidharan (Violin) and Srimushnam V. Rajarao (Mridangam) for Carnatic Instrumental Music, and M. V. Simhachala Sastry (Harikatha) for other major traditions of music received the award.

In the field of dance, nine practitioners, namely Malabika Mitra (Kathak), Kalamandalam Kombil Gopala Vasudevan Nair (Kathakali), Phanjoubam Iboton Singh (Manipuri), Rathna Kumar (Kuchipudi), Aruna Mohanty (Odissi), Manik Borbayan (Sattriya), Uttara Asha Coorlawala (Creative and Experimental), Kalamandalam Raman Chakyar (other major traditions of dance and dance theatre - Kutiyattam), and S Rajeswari (music for dance - Bharatanatyam) received the award.

In the field of theatre, eight persons were honoured. They include playwrights D Vizai Bhaskar (Telugu) and Atamjit Singh (Punjabi), directors Veenapani Chawla and Urmil Kumar Thapaliyal, and actors Dilip Phabhavalkar, Banwari Taneja, Maya Krishna Rao and Swatilekha Sengupta.

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Indian dance exhibition: In the Natarajís footsteps
Shaurya Karanbir Gurung
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 23
The legacy of documenting Indian dance forms was bequeathed to Ashish Khokar by his father, Mohan Khokar, who was also known as "Nataraj". Mohan had extensively researched and written about the various dance styles. The exhibition of Indian dance, organized by Ashish in Delhi, displays mammoth information on the evolutionary culture which is portrayed through photographs, magazines, video recordings and other similar mediums.

Mohan Khokar or the "Nataraj" who had the "heart of an artist" chose to learn dance at a time when it was considered a "taboo". He learnt Kathak and the Uday Shankar style in Lahore and was also taught Bharatanatayam at Kalakshetra in Madras.

His documentation called "The Mohan Khokar Dance Collection" includes paintings, photographs, press clippings, gramophones, brochures and posters of Indian dance forms. The collection represents Indian dance as an identification of one's inner self, but more importantly it portrays the Indian culture over the years.

A portion of this collection is displayed in a travelling exhibition called "A Century of Indian Dance: 1901-2000", which is organized by Ashish.

It was inaugurated on July 17 and will be conducted till July 24. Like his father, he is a traditional dancer and researcher of Indian dance forms. The exhibition also contains some of his photographs and journals such as AttenDance.

Mohan wrote about Indian dance in several national magazines and journals. He also photographed dance legends such as Uday Shankar and Ram Gopal. His collection includes pictures of pioneers of Indian dance such as Anna Pavlova and La Meri, who had helped these legends attain recognition as cultural icons. Orissi, a dance form, was revived through Mohan's writings during the 1960's. Some of the gurus of this form include Adiguru Pankaj Charan Das, Kelucharan, Mohapatra and Mayadhar Raut.

The exhibition reveals that Indian dance has evolved over the years by the metamorphosis of the classical traditions into contemporary styles. In north and central India, the Kathakaars were "storytellers", who danced and sang stories. The Kathak classical dance was created from this tradition. Numerous group choreographies, nowadays, are produced by using this style. Even films are rooted in this tradition. Mohan's photographs of Kathakaars such as Birju Maharaj and Gopi Krishan were displayed at the exhibition. They knew that his documentation would help spread their art to the public.

The exhibition also consisted of photographs of contemporary dancers such as Kumudini Lakhia and Chandralekha, who had set the tone for experimentation and creation of new styles. This happened after the period of "mythological production".

A large poster of another contemporary dancer called Dakha Sheth was pinned on one of the boards at the exhibition. She too used her knowledge to create new dimensions in Indian dance.

In addition, the exhibition reveals that the evolution of Indian dance has vastly influenced the advertisement industry. Pictures of a female traditional dancer sometimes adorn the packaging of products, such as cigarettes and firecrackers.

One such packaging of a milk product read: "Our actions, our words more than anything else reflect who we are. Our culture is important."

Ashish plans to organize the cultural exhibition in the US and Italy this year. His passion for Indian dance encourages him to educate the public. He makes this possible by simplifying his research into comprehensible English, which is then used in photo captions and notes.

At the exhibition, Ashish said that he has taken his father's legacy of researching Indian dance. And when he looked at the statue of the "Nataraj" placed near the entrance, he remarked: "My father was called Nataraj. It is his dance which keeps the world in motion."

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Lack of diagnostic machines ails hospital

An NDMC worker cleans a sewer at Rajpath in New Delhi
An NDMC worker cleans a sewer at Rajpath in New Delhi. Tribune photo: Mukesh Aggarwal

A lack of high-end machines such as MRI and CT Scan is posing a serious problem to the doctors at Lal Bahadur Hospital. Facility crunch has not only hit the patients but also the hospital staff. Early this week, the doctor-on-duty at the hospital's emergency had to face the wrath of a child's relative after the kid succumbed to head injuries.

The government hospital, which receives a good number of patients from the areas in and around East Delhi, has witnessed many such incidents of manhandling of doctors and hospital staff in the past due to the absence of adequate diagnostic machines. However, the hospital administration has failed to send its list of requirements to the Delhi government.

A meeting of tipplers!

For Delhiites, even an intellectual congregation does not seem to end without a cocktail. A book launch function organized by an Indian publishing house to commemorate Rabindranath Tagore's 150th Birth Anniversary was the best example.

The organizer had made arrangements for cocktails and this was mentioned on the invitation itself and that too in bold words. No surprise then that the event turned into a meeting of tipplers.

Japanese aid for NGOs

The Embassy of Japan in India, under its scheme 'Grant Assistance for Grassroots Projects', has decided to extend grant assistance totalling US$ 327,397 to four non-governmental organisations for their health projects.

Tamana that provides special education to children affected by autism and other disabilities is one of the four NGOs that will benefit from the grant.

Since its establishment in 1984, Tamana has been providing educational services and vocational training to its students to help them achieve economic independence.

A Tamana official said it required more space to sustain its training programme that covered bakery, dry clean, food processing, tailoring and pottery.

Flats for jhuggi dwellers

Urban development and other departments responsible for the construction of low-floor flats for jhuggi dwellers have become active just after the Delhi Lokayukta Justice Manmohan Sarin passed his order.

According to the Lokayukta, the Chief Minister had misguided the people before the 2008 assembly elections by announcing that low-cost flats were ready for the poor.

The officials have now started visiting the construction sites and are making estimates of the people requiring such flats.

The Chief Minister has also called a high-level meeting to chalk out the plan to complete the construction of flats and the allotment process.

(Contributed by Ananya Panda, Shaurya Karanbir Gurung, Charu Singh, Syed Ali Ahmed)

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21 women pickpockets held at Metro stations
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 23
Twenty one women pickpockets were today arrested from four Metro stations in Delhi. While five women were arrested from Barakhamba station, four were held at Central Secretariat, seven at Rajiv Chowk and five from Rama Krishna Paramhans station.

According to Rohit Katiyar, spokesperson, Delhi Metro, the pickpockets were arrested during a drive carried out by the CISF responsible for the security of the Metro.

"We had information about these women who carried children with them to avoid any suspicion," said Katiyar. He added that women constables in civil dress were used to keep an eye on the suspects and catch them red handed.

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Youth drowns in Yamuna

Ghaziabad, July 23
A 23-year-old man drowned in the Yamuna in the Loni area of the district, the police said today.

The victim, Akshay Kumar, drowned last evening while he was taking a bath in the river along with his five friends, the police said.

The youths had come to Ghaziabad from Baghpat to get forms for police recruitment exam, the police said.

While five of the youths were saved by divers, Akshay was washed away in the swelling river. ó PTI

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Two held for robbery at Jantar Mantar
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 23
The Delhi district police arrested two persons on charges of robbery. They were identified as Makhan Yadav (32) and Rahul Kumar Yadav (19), who had robbed a person in the high-security zone near Jantar Mantar on July 4.

The victim named Ganga Singh is an employee of Loknath and Company. He was returning to his office after making some money transactions at the Bank of Tokyo in Parliament Street on July 4. He was carrying a polythene bag that contained Rs 1, 56,000 and a bank draft of Rs 16,000.

When he reached near the Jantar Mantar red light crossing around 12.40 pm, the two motorcycle-borne thieves snatched his bag.

When the incident was reported, the special staff of the New Delhi district along with the local police analysed the CCTV footage and data records of mobile service providers. They suspected three mobile phone calls, whose details were given in the records. The police team obtained the information of the owners of SIM cards, who had registered at the Mahesh Hotel in Paharganj.

The culprits had stayed in the hotel a few months ago. The hotel manager had a photocopy of their driver's licence issued from the Varanasi Transport Authority. By using the information they had, the team nabbed the culprits near Gurudwara Bangla Sahib.

During the interrogation, both the thieves confessed to their involvement in the crime. They revealed that two more persons named as Arjun and Sikander are involved.

"The police has recovered Rs 40,000, two mobile phones, the motorcycle used in the crime, a PAN card and a voter ID card snatched from the complainant. Efforts are being made to apprehend the remaining accused," said K C Dwivedi, additional commissioner of police, New Delhi District.

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Two held for robbing boy
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 23
The Janakpuri police arrested two robbers, who snatched a mobile phone and Rs 1,600 from a 13-year-old boy, who was going to the market with his father.

The accused, Monu and Pawan, robbed the mobile phone and money at knifepoint, said the police. The police nabbed the accused while they were trying to run away. The mobile phone, money and knife were recovered from their possession.

The police has registered a case of robbery.

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