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RNI No. HARENG/2011/39319

Vol. 1 No. 10  Pages 32  ` 7  28 Oct–3 Nov 2011

{Inside} Cultural Treat


he much awaited 11th All India Dance and Drama festival organised by the Nishtha Sanskritik Manch begins next week. A curtain raiser ...Pg 6

Know Your Councillor


ouncillors Sunita Yadav (for Ward No. 33), and Subhash Fauji (for Ward No. 25) share their perspective on issues, and their plans. ...Pg 9,10

A Party Man


L Sharma, the President of the urban unit of the Gurgaon District Congress, speaks his mind on the roles of the party and the government. ...Pg 12

Saksham Education


spotlight on an NGO— Saksham—that has been empowering the underprivileged kids of Gurgaon, for the last almost 20 years. ...Pg 17


e catch up with Ajay Sood, the founder of Travelography—an organisation that combines the fun of travel and photography. One more outlet for your creativity, in a city never short on options. ...Pg 19

Sporting Excellence


he spirit of sports was rekindled during the 25th Haryana State Olympic Games, held in Gurgaon. We capture the great spectacle of the sporting jamboree on ...Pg 22

Regular Features Laughing Stock Cinema Listings & Helplines Sector Watch Learn Haryanvi Food Prices

...Pg 6 ...Pg 7 ...Pg 9 ...Pg 11

...Pg 12 The Week That Was ...Pg 12

Water ‘mined’ out...

Gurgaon is running out of water... not steam, hopefully { Hritvick Sen / FG }  Today, Gurgaon needs more than 85 million gallons of water a day (mgd).  From the Yamuna waters, through Sonepat, the water is treated at the plant in Basai. This pumps around 40-45 mgd, which is piped to the Gurgaon urban areas, according to HUDA officials.  Borewells supply the rest of the water. And taking water from them, water tankers do roaring business, providing anything between 20-30 mgd a day—to a citizenry in dire need of water.  Ageing water supply infrastructure makes life difficult for residents, who even get contaminated water.


urgaon’s piped water supply—a most basic civic facility—only takes care of half the city’s requirement. The water crisis enveloping the city is known to everyone who lives here. The proof of this statement lies in the hundreds of borewells, and an even greaternumber of water tankers, that criss-cross this thirsty city. For a city that has shot to figurative superstardom in a matter of decades, the support structure for the population of millions is woefully inadequate. And this fact is best borne out by the paucity of man’s most basic need. Water. Tracing the water from the Yamuna to the Basai Plant, is the Gurgaon Water Channel. The Basai Plant has four miniature lakes or ‘tanks’. From the tanks, the water undergoes extensive treatment and chlorination, to purify it for human consumption. “The plant pumps out 45 mgd, or near about 170 million litres of water a day (mld), for Gurgaon district,” says a technician at the Basai Water Treatment Plant. From there, the millions of litres of water flood towards the city through pipelines. They first head towards boosting stations, for example the one in the Public Health Department. From there to smaller boosting stations, and are then piped to your home. But as every Gurgaonite knows, this is all theory. Water is the city’s biggest crisis. Piped water supply does not reach all homes—due to cracked and broken pipes; or reaches feebly, due to low pressure. And sometimes, the water does not reach, due to no electricity at the pumping/ boosting stations. The piped water anyway cannot meet the city’s total



Will Water Be Our Water-loo?

needs. Therefore, the crushing need for borewells, and water tankers. In short, private water supply.

The scenario

All of this means that the groundwater level of Gurgaon is depleting at an alarming rate. As Treasurer of the Society for Urban Regeneration of Gurgaon (SURGE), Darshan Singh says, “This is an activity similar to

mining ore. Once you extract the mineral, it’s gone. It’s not coming back any time soon. The situation is the same when extracting groundwater. It’s like we’re ‘watermining’. So if the city continues to get water from the ground, it’s going to hit ‘rockbottom’. And then, what will be the answer?” The city’s piped water supply has always been a pain for

residents. Rakesh, a resident of Old Gurgaon, says, “It’s terrible how we have to suffer daily, for the want of proper water supply. When we get water, the pressure is too low. And the water pipelines are getting old; they’re cracking every now and then.” Superintending Engineer D.S. Bajwa, of Public Works Department, says, “HUDA has the responsibility of supplying water to over 80% of the city. We provide water supply to (Old) Gurgaon. For that, we take 6-8 mgd from the HUDA Water Treatment Plant at Basai.” He refutes the claim of poor water supply in (Old) Gurgaon. “We have enough booster stations all over the area. The water supply is okay. And anyway, we have already handed over the sewage work to MCG; and the water supply will also be handed over within a month.” Talking about the increasing water demand, a senior water executive says, “The current supply of water comes from the Gurgaon Water Channel. This channel has a capacity of 175 cusecs (cubic feet of water per second), or roughly 113 mgd. At current water levels, the channel provides an average of 60 cusecs (which translates to 40 mgd). Now, the Rs 250-crore project of the NCR Water Channel is coming into play. That will boost the water supply capacity to the city up to 500 cusecs (approximately 323 mgd). That should be enough to supply all the city’s water demands.” Of course, there are many assumptions here. First, that there will be enough water in the canal, to provide the increased flow (we get less than half of the capacity even today). Second, that the water treatment capacity would be increased in proportion, (and in time); and finally, that pumping/boosting pipelines would not be a constraint (due to capacity, power failure, or cracks and breakage). Contd on p 8 


28 Oct–3 Nov 2011

RNI No. HARENG/2011/39319 VOL.–1 No.–10  28 Oct–3 Nov 2011


Coming Up



Atul Sobti

News Editor:

Sky Night—A Date With Heavenly Bodies @ Near Mika Farmhouse, Damdama Lake Date: Nov 5 Time: 5:30 pm Fees: Rs 2,000 for a member of Get Alive, Rs 2,250 for non-member. Rs 3,750 for two persons, Rs 4,500 for three

P. J. Menezes

Sr. Correspondents: Abhishek Behl Harsimran Shergill Correspondents:

Hritvick Sen Maninder Dabas Shirin Mann

Sr. Photographer:

Prakhar Pandey

Sr. Sub Editors:

Anita Bagchi Shilpy Arora


Manoj Raikwar Virender Kumar

Circulation Head:

Prem Gupta

Circulation Execs.:

Syed Mohd Komail

Sunil Yadav

Accts. & Admin Mgr: Deba Datta Pati Ad Sales Manager: Lokesh Bharadwaj Sr. Ad Sales Execs: Bhagwat Kaushik

Mohiddin A Khan

Design Consultant: Qazi M Raghib Illustrations:

Durgadatt Pandey

Photography Consultant: Jitendra Sharma Business Consultant: Sanjay Bahadur

213, Tower A, Spazedge, Sector 47, Sohna Road, Gurgaon 122001, Haryana Phones: +91 124 421 9091/92/93



he play describes the bravado of Abhimanyu. It is a poetic rendition of a conversation between King Yudhishtira and Bheeshma. It is written and directed by Atul Satya Kaushik. Art of Capturing Emotion-II @ C-9/19, DLF Phase I Date: Oct 29 & Oct 30 Time: Oct 29 – 10 am onwards & Oct 30 – 6:30 am onwards Fees: Rs. 3,900 per person


four-hour long astronomy workshop. The participants will enjoy stargazing with telescopes, and they will also get acquainted with astrophotography. The workshop is organised by the Get Alive group.


photography workshop, supported by Asian Photography, India's premier photography magazine. The

Printed at Indian Express Ltd. Plot No. A8, Sector 7, Gautam Budh Nagar, NOIDA – 201301, Uttar Pradesh The views expressed in the opinion pieces and/or the columns are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, Friday Gurgaon or Arap Media Ventures Pvt. Ltd.


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9th Festival of Arts from the Banks of Brahmaputra @ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: Nov 1 Time: 7 pm traditional Assamese dance performance, showcasing Krishna Vandana and Bhakti Bhavana, in classical Sattriya Dance style. The programme has been choreographed by Jatin Goswami, along with his disciples in the Sattriya Akademi, Guwahati.

Lecture Halloween Celebration

Halloween Massacre @ TAB 01, Cyber Greens, DLF Phase III Date: Oct 29 Time: 7:30 pm onwards Tickets: Rs 2,000 for a couple, Rs 1,200 for single men and Rs 1,000 for single women

Centenary Celebrations of Poet Majaz @ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: Nov 2 Time: 7:30 pm


Sufi Dance Performance @ Zorba the Buddha – 7, Tropical Drive, Ghitorni Date: Nov 3 Time: 7:30 pm


Friday Gurgaon (Weekly) edited, published and printed by Atul Sobti on behalf of Arap Media Ventures Pvt. Ltd. from 213, Tower A, Spazedge, Sector 47, Sohna Road, Gurgaon 122001, Haryana.

Cover price

workshop is conducted by Ajay Sood and Kapil Syal. Lunch on Saturday, and breakfast and lunch on Sunday, is part of the package. For registration, call: 9810098003.

Arjun Ka Beta @ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: Oct 30 Time: 7:30 pm Duration: 85 min


uthor-Scholar Pran Neville will speak on the life and times of Asrar-ul-Haq Majaz, famous Indian Urdu poet. The lecture will be followed by a musical rendering of his verses, by Dr. Radhika Chopra.



Editorial Office


Halloween party, where five DJs – DJ Nischel, DJ Rudhir, DJ Shail Sharma, DJ Soul, and DJ Nipun will play commercial club music. The package includes unlimited IMFL, food, and Sheesha (hookah). For tickets, call: 9999948432.


Mawlawiyah Dervish dance performance from Egypt, and a performance by Amer El Tony and Group. These are a part of the Delhi International Arts Festival.

The ‘Rome Of The East & Its Love For Siesta!

waying palms, white sands, sparkling waters and an array of authentic local food and beverages to relish; the essential elements that attract millions of visitors annually to Goa’s balmy shores. Bounded by the Arabian Sea, it is the land of laid-back languidness, ‘Siesta’. Savour the easy-merry charms of its people, and the soothing serenity of a day on its beaches, with a nice cocktail. An authentic produce of the state, called Feni, is a drink that will fascinate you and ensure that you indulge in the celebration called life; in this plentiful, tiny, glorious slice of India hugging the country’s western coastline. Synonymous with Goa, Feni has its own legacy. This Goan specialty, with fans across the world, is of two types—Cashew Feni and Coconut Feni. While Cashew Feni is made by fermenting the fruit of the Cashew tree, coconut Feni is made from the juice of toddy plants. Even though the merry Goans effortlessly raise a toast to every

special occasion with a glass of Feni, the process of making the liquor is rather hard. After a long wait of separating and collecting the juice from crushed cashew apples, the juice is then buried deep inside the ground, to allow fermentation. During fermentation, almost 4% of the juice is turned into liquor. This juice is collected and distilled in copper pots, then heated, and the liquor vapors are collected in a cooling condenser. This is followed by the long 3 step distillation process, starting from Urrack, going into the Cazulo and finally collecting the invigorating Feni—a liquor that contains within it the stimulating and reviving spirit of Goa. Brought by Portuguese, mastered by Indians, and loved by the world—in a city that shouts out for merriment & fun, gaiety & amusement, pleasure & playfulness—this authentic produce definitely keeps those spirits soaring high! Available at Culture Gully, Kingdom of Dreams.

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28 Oct–3 Nov 2011

Driving Home The Point IN TOP GEAR: Police Commissioner S.S. Deswal and DCP (Traffic) Bharti Arora, at the launch of the Respect the Road campaign


From The Silver Screen M

onday evening turned out to be a memorable one for Diwali shoppers at Gold Souk—as they feasted their eyes on Raima Sen. The Bollywood actress was there to inaugurate a new store, and unveil the Adler & Roth collection of silver products from the Gitanjali Group. Raima, who checked out watches and gifts items at Gitanjali Gifts, said, “It is a oneof-a-kind range that is traditional yet contemporary.” When asked about her upcoming movies, she said, “I am eagerly waiting for I, Me Aur Main, which will be released early next year. It's a feel good film with a fresh and light touch.”

MY LUCKY CHARM: Raima Sen poses with a Ganesha idol at the Gitanjali Gifts showroom in the Gold Souk SHAAM-E-SUFIANA: Nizami brothers perform at JMD Regent Arcade

A Soulful Date With Sufism T

he Nizami brothers from Pakistan enthralled the music lovers of Gurgaon with some of the best of Sufi music at JMD Regent Arcade, on Saturday. The acclaimed musicians mesmerized with their soulful rendition of Qawwalis, like Sone Ke Kalas Wale Khawaja Tu Bada Gharib Nawaz Hai, and Shah-eMadina, to name a few. Nizami brothers belong to the legendary Sikandrabad Gharana.

FASHION FIESTA: Models walk the ramp at Vapour

Colour Me Bright L

isa Haydon scorched the ramp as the show stopper for the designers Aparna and Norden, at the 2011 edition of Blenders Pride Magical Nights Tour at Vapour, Megacity Mall. The designer duo were presenting their Autumn Collection—a melange of traditional cuts in bright yellow, blue, green and purple.


28 Oct–3 Nov 2011

reviews FOOD

Modern American Cuisine – Grapes Are Sweet

Aalok Wadhwa

makes them dry. The accompanying rémoulade is nice and spicy. Next is l’Angoor chicken with mustard infused cabernet sauvignon wine (Rs 380). A lot goes into its preparation. Apart from the wine, there is sliced grape, grape juice and pomegranate juice. The resulting flavours are good; but the combination of wine and juices does tend to sweeten the chicken a bit much. Unlike the other dishes, where the portions were small, this dish is relatively generous in size. For the dessert, the chef recommends a home made kaffir lime ice-cream (Rs 350), which is served in the house-favourite martini glass, ensconced in a whole scooped orange. The taste of the ice cream more than matches the dramatic presentation. A bite into it creates a medley in the mouth—the high notes of the ginger and kaffir lime play beautifully with the undertones of cointreau and orange peel. The texture here is as epiphanic as the taste. L’Angoor is a good option for special occasions. There is a lot going for it—the address, the ambience, the wines. And when it comes to the food, it can range from mostly delectable to sometimes unexceptional u


he name L’Angoor can be intriguing, especially if it is the name of an upscale restaurant. “We serve modern American cuisine,” says Chef Hitesh Gupta. I query him on the thinking behind the name, and their crest of two primates with a bunch of grapes. He does explain the significance of grapes in fine dining. The term “modern American cuisine” connotes the fusion of traditional European and Asian classic cooking techniques; with a stress on high quality, fresh, locally produced, inseason (often organic), healthful foods. Given that this restaurant comes from the same group as the delectable China Club, I look forward to the experience. As I wait for the first course, I notice the details—the sleek imported cutlery, the large airy interiors with ample natural light, and the plush décor. The place is designed for fine wining and dining. And it does deliver on the wines. There is a wide collection, ranging from the hallowed Chateau Latour, to Alsatian Riesling, Napa Valley Zinfandel, and some fine Bordeaux wines. The first course, the chefrecommended chilled melons soup (Rs 180) is delightful in its simplicity. Served in a martini glass, it has musk melon and watermelon served in a way that the red and the white colours stay separate. The taste is fresh and natural, capturing the fruity fragrance of the melons. This soup is is a must have. The same cannot be said for the next dish, the spicy mozzarella samosa (Rs 240). Mozzarella cheese filled in

A DELIGHT TO THE EYES: And not half bad on the taste buds as well

a filo pastry, and fried crisp, should be a good dish; but, here, it is let down by the dense, stringy cheese, and the choice of the accompanying sauce. Crab cakes are as popular as our batata vada in many parts of America; because of their truly delicious

combination of fresh, sweet crab meat and mayonnaise, that is crumbed and deep fried, to give it a sweet softness inside- and a crunchy exterior. The crab cakes (Rs 450) at the restaurant are well intentioned, but are hampered because of the use of frozen crab meat which

L’Angoor Lobby Level, Tower C, Global Business Park, M.G. Road, Gurgaon +91 99 582 70000, +91 124 406 1666 Cuisine: Modern American Timing: Lunch: 12noon – 3pm; Dinner: 7pm – 11:15pm



The Beautiful Echo Chamber

A zzz aan

Manjula Narayan


ari Kunzru’s new novel Gods Without Men has been described by fellow British novelist David Mitchell as “a beautifully written echo chamber of a novel”. You’re not sure if comparing a book to an echo chamber is a compliment, though it does accurately give a sense of the repeated motifs within the novel—and its exploration of the myths, dreams, ideas and prejudices that seem to transcend time. A work that pulls together strands from different eras—there are chapters set in 1871, 1920, 1942, 1947, 1958, 1969 and 2009—the novel examines the yearnings that persist through the ages, and continue to be with humankind—even as it becomes more technologically driven and, at least outwardly, more sophisticated. Like The Impressionist, his first novel, Gods Without Men too picks at the scabs of colonialism, and the horror that miscegenation (the mixing of races) arouses among certain sections. Only, here the action is set in America. It’s clear that these are themes that Kunzru ponders deeply about, perhaps because he is biracial—­his mother is English and his father is a Kashmiri Pandit. Indeed, many of the finest writers in contemporary British writing, like Zadie Smith and Hanif Kureishi, are of Gods Without Men GENRE: Fiction Author: Hari Kunzru PUBLISHER: Penguin Books PRICE: Rs. 499

mixed parentage. However, while Kureishi is able to look at the cultures of both his parents with a comic eye (in books like The Buddha of Suburbia), Kunzru seems always in search of the big ideas running through human discourse—including the one about the mixing of races and cultures as being somehow poisonous. Added to this are the ideas on the need for redemption, the expiation of sins, the search for a greater truth, the appearance of changelings; and in chapters that recall Hubbard and the Scientologists, the dream of messiahs from outer space. Kunzru weaves together American Indian myth, an understanding of the way modern media and the online world works, youth subcultures from the 1960s and the present, and the immense pain that violence and war wreak on individuals. Much of the action is centred on the Pinnacles, three columns of rock out in the American desert, which at different times means different things to different groups of people. It’s the hard anchor that holds this erudite novel together. A book that often fills the reader with a slow sense of dread, at the approach of some inevitable tragedy—in the manner of an Ian McEwan novel. Gods Without Men is an excellent read. There is a certain distancing of the author from his material, so that even if he is working with themes that are close to his own life, there is a deliberate emotional gap. You wish he’d let go of that control, and write a book that emerges from that unveiled place. Given how prolific the 41-year-old has been so far— he’s already written four books— that’s only a matter of time. u

Vijaya Kumar


fter watching Azaan, I was in two minds: to write a review or not. And once I decided to write, I was again in two minds: whether to focus on the lead actor (Sachin Joshi) or the director (Prashant Chadha). Azaan If you are in the Gutkha Directed by: business, either as a consumer Prashant Chaddha or as a participant in the supply CAST: Sachin Joshi, chain, you would have heard of Candice Boucher, Jagdish Joshi of Goa Gutkha (I Arya Babbar wanted to add the word fame to GENRE: Action, complete the sentence, but here too, I was in two minds—and Drama, Mystery after some thinking, decided to drop it). Gutkha Dad wanted to launch son fine flick: the photography and the action Sachin Joshi into the film world, and did sequences are very noteworthy. The not want any constraint to come in the theme of the movie also had immense way. Azaan, therefore, is supposedly potential, for being crafted into a taut made on a budget of $15 million. And thriller. But, alas! Instead of that, we are to make sure this money was spent, the treated to the most improbable sequence movie has been shot in locales ranging of events that one has seen in recent from our humble Kolkata and Delhi, to times. exotic locations in Paris, Hong Kong, Time now for the KBC questions! Marrakech and Tangier in Morocco, 1. Which is the only Indian movie Poland and Chechnya. I presume I will to have been shot in Chechnya? be pardoned if I have missed out a few 2. Name a Bollywood movie (please more interesting locales. A few weeks exclude movies made in the silent era) in ago, I had mentioned about Mausam and which the hero has the fewest number of its several locations, but Azaan beats words to speak. Mausam by a mile. In fact, the producers 3. Which is the first and only Indian of Kaun Banega Crorepati can have a movie to feature a sand designer as an series of quiz questions, the answers for important character? all of which would be Azaan! But those 4. Which is the only Indian movie questions will come at the end. whose female lead artiste has adorned Prashant Chaddha has only one flop the pages of Playboy? to his credit—Aap Ka Suroor starring Even the last bit of information Himesh Reshamaiyya. But that is however, is not good enough for one to because that was the only movie he had watch the movie; it’d be far cheaper to get directed before Azaan. Now that number hold of the April 2010 issue, to know more will go to two! Technically, Azaan is a about Candice Boucher! u


28 Oct–3 Nov 2011


LIGHT MOVES: (Top & Left) Bernardo Skolnik performs at the Epicentre. (Inset below) Deputy Ambassador of Israel, Yahel Vilan lights the candelabra, while the founder of Lorraine Music Academy, Aubrey Aloysius looks on. (Bottom & Left) Lorraine Fiona Aloysius playing the piano

Son et Lumière L

ights and music ruled the night as Israeli artiste, Bernardo Skolnik put on a virtuoso performance, integrating music along with lighting effects, at the Epicentre on Friday. With fluorescent colours painted on his body, and special light effects, Bernardo, through his performance brought out the physical and metaphysical significance of light. This performance was followed by a piano recital by Lorraine Fiona Aloysius, and a dance performance by a group of students of the Lorraine Music Academy. The Israeli Deputy Ambassador, Yahel Vilan was among those spotted at the event.

Laughing St


Ten years ago America had 'Bob Hope', 'Johnny Cash' and 'Steve Jobs'. Today America has 'No Hope', 'No Cash' and 'No Jobs'... ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Interviewer: What is your birth date? Santa: 13th October Interviewer: Which year? Santa: Oye Gadhe! Every Year ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Manager asked Santa at an interview. Can you spell a word that has more than 100 letters in it? Santa replied: P-O-S-T-B-O-X. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ After returning back from a foreign trip, Santa asked his wife, Do I look like a foreigner? Wife: No! Why? Santa: In London, a lady asked me, Are you a foreigner? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ One tourist from U.S.A. asked Santa: Any great man born in this village? Santa: No sir, only small babies! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Lecturer: Write a note on Gandhi Jayanti So Santa writes, "Gandhi was a great man, but I don't know who is Jayanti.

Curtain Raiser

Gurgaon To Host Mega Cultural Fest { Harsimran Shergill / FG }

tions as a whole, from different Indian states. Considering our first attempt was a huge success, with artists from 14 states participating, we decided to make this an annual event. Since then, there has been no looking back. This year, we have artists from 21 States, who will captivate art lovers in the city. We have made sure that artists are free to perform in their own language/ dialect,” said Subhash Singla, Chairman of NSM. To date, participants from 19 states, including Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Bihar, Madhya

Pradesh, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Uttar he All India Dance and DraPradesh, Odissa, Assam, Chanma festival, an annual event digarh, Karnataka, have perin Gurgaon, will kick off this formed in the five-day festival. year from October 30, and culmiThere are over a 100 regional nate on November 4th. Organdance performances scheduled, ised by the Nishtha Sanskritik with more than 15 drama and Manch (NSM), the 11th annual theatre presentations. The fesfestival will showcase amateurs tival will be held at the Rofrom 21 States. “Nishtha Santary Public School, Sector 22. skritik Manch, as an organisaThe programmes are scheduled tion, has been active in the field to start at 5 pm, and go on till of theatre, dance and social aclate in the evening. tivities, since its establishment The dances presented will in the year 1985. “It was started be either classical or folk, in as a platform for amateur artboth solo and group format; ists, and over time, the while the plays will have hundreds of performnon-political themes. ers who joined us, are “Our management has now actively involved scanned the scripts of in tele-serials, and in the plays well in advance. the Mumbai film indusWe start working on the try,” says Prof. Sanjay festival four months in Bhasin, President of advance, inviting all the Nishtha Sanskritik the participating teams. Manch. We go through their “In the year 2001, our scripts, to delete any group (NSM) decided to controversial or biased hold a dance and dramaterial,” says Singla. ma competition in the Some of the plays that city—so that Gurgaon’s have been earlier showaudience could get a cased at the festival intaste, and reconnect clude, ‘Atihasik Chakra, with the Indian culture. Sihasan khali hai, Bakri, This meant enjoying CULTURAL CONFLUENCE: Young amateur artists Ek aur yudh, Rangnagri dance, drama and tradi- perform at the Nishtha Sanskritik Manch festival and Kumar Swami’. u


28 Oct–3 Nov 2011


THIS WEEK Big Cinemas: Ansal Plaza Ra.One (2D) (U) Time: 9.45 am, 10.15 am, 11.30 am, 1.00 pm, 1.30 pm, 2.45 pm, 4.15 pm, 4.45 pm, 6.00 pm, 7.30 pm, 8.00 pm, 9.15 pm, 10.45 pm, 11.15 pm Reliance MediaWorks Ltd., 3rd Floor, Ansal Plaza, G Block, Palam Vihar Website:

DT Mega Mall: DLF Phase I Ra.One (2D) (U) Time:10:10 am, 11:45 am, 1:20 pm, 2:55 pm, 4:30 pm, 6:05 pm, 7:40 pm, 9:15 pm, 10:50 pm Ra.One (3D) (U) Time: 10:40 am, 1:50 pm, 5:00 pm, 8:10 pm,11:20pm Address: 3rd Floor, DT Mega Mall, DLF Phase I Ph: 0124-39895050, 9818545645 Website: DT Star Mall: Sector 30 Ra.One (2D) (U) Time: 10:15 am, 11:50 am, 1:25 pm, 3:00 pm, 4:35 pm, 6:10 pm, 7:45 pm, 9:20 pm, 10:55 pm Address: DT Cinemas, DLF Star Mall Ph: 9650599777 2nd Floor, Opposite 32nd Milestone, Sec-30, NH 8 Website: DT City Centre: DLF Phase II Ra.One (3D) (U) Time:10 am, 1:10 am, 4:20 pm, 7:30 pm, 10:40 pm Ra.One (2D) (U) Time:10:30 am, 11 am, 1:40 pm, 2:10 pm, 4:50 pm, 8:00pm, 8:30 pm, 1:10 pm, 11:40 pm Tell Me O Kkhuda (U) Time: 5:20 pm

Address: 3rd Floor, DLF Phase II, Opp. Beverly park, M.G Road Ph: 9810421611 Website: PVR: Ambience Gold Ra.One (3D) (U) Time: 11:30 am, 2:50 pm, 6:10 pm, 9:30 pm Ra.One (2D) (U) Time: 11 am, 2:20 pm, 5:40 pm, 9 pm Address: 3rd Floor, Ambience Mall, NH-8 Ph: 0124-4665543 Website: PVR: Ambience Premiere Ra.One (3D) (U) Time: 10:10 am, 12:30 pm, 1:30 pm, 3:50 pm, 4:50 pm, 7:10 pm, 8:10 pm, 10:30 pm, 11:30 pm Ra.One (2D) (U) Time: 10 am, 1 pm, 3:20 pm, 4:20 pm, 7:40 pm, 10:00 pm, 11:00 pm Damadamm Time: 12:30 pm, 8:30 pm Tell me O Khuda Time: 10 pm, 6 pm, 10:55 pm 7 Aum Arivu (Tamil) Time: 12 pm, 6:40 pm, 10:55 pm Velayudham (Tamil) Time: 2:55 pm Paranormal Activity 3 (English) Time: 10:20 am The Three Musketeers (English) Time: 10:15 am Address: 3rd Floor, Ambience Mall, NH 8 Ph: 0124-4665543 Website:

C ivic/Social

Address: 3rd floor, mgf Mall, mg Road Ph: 0124-4530000 Website: PVR MGF: MGF Mall Ra.One (3D) (U) Time: 10 am, 11 am, 1 pm, 2:20 pm, 4:20 pm, 5:40 pm, 7:40 pm, 9 pm, 11 pm Ra.One (2D) (U) Time: 10:20 am, 11:40 am, 1:40 pm, 3 pm, 5 pm, 6:20 pm, 8:20 pm, 9:40 pm, 11:40 pm Damadamm Time: 1 pm, 8:30 pm Tell me O Khuda Time: 10:30 am, 3:30 pm, 6 pm, 10:55 pm Address: 3rd Floor, mgf Mall. MG Road Ph: 0124-4530000 Website:


Chemist Shops Apollo Pharmacy

SG-061 Ground Floor, Galleria, DLF Phase IV, Phone: 0124-4057978 Apollo Pharmacy

PVR Sahara: Sahara Mall Ra.One (2D) (U) Time: 9 am, 10 am, 12.15 am, 1.15 pm, 3.30 pm, 4:30 pm, 6:45 pm, 7:45 pm, 10 pm, 10:55 pm Address: Sahara Mall, MG Road Ph: 0124-4048100 Website: SRS Celebration: Celebration Mall Ra.One (3D) (U) Time: 10:15 am, 1:15 pm, 4:15 pm, 7:15 pm, 10:20pm Ra.One (2D) (U) Time: 10:45 am, 1:45 pm, 4:45 pm, 7:45 pm, 10:50pm Address: 4th Floor, Celebration Mall, Sohna Road, Sec 49 Ph: 0124-6464349 Website: SRS Omaxe: Omaxe mall Ra.One (2D) (U) Time: 10:30 am, 12 noon, 1:30 pm, 3 pm, 4:30 pm, 6 pm, 7:30 pm, 9 pm, 10:35 pm Mujhse Fraaandship Karoge (U/A) Time: 10 am Address: 2nd Floor, Omaxe Mall, Sohna Road, Sec 49 Ph: 0124-6464348 Website:

SCO-02, Sector -14, Near Payal Cinema, Phone: 0124-4285262 Gupta Medical Centre Shop No-1940, Sadar Bazar Phone: 0124-4069086, 9871020324 Kalyani Medicos, Kalyani Hospital, 354/2, M.G Road, Phone: 0124-2309905

PVR Europa: MGF Mall Ra.One (2D) (U) Time: 9 am, 12:20 pm, 3:40 pm, 7 pm, 10:20 pm 7 Aum Arivu (Tamil) Time: 10 am, 4:10 pm, 7:15 pm, 10:20 pm Velayudham (Tamil) Time: 1:05 pm


Police ................................................ 100 Fire Station ....................................... 101 Ambulance......................................... 102

Max Pharmacy B-Block, Sushant Lok I, Phone: 0124-6623350

Railway Enquiry ................................... ............ 139

Medanta Pharmacy, Medanta–The Medicity Hospital, Sector-38, Phone: 0124-3201205

Children Helpline............................................. 1098

Women Helpline.............................................. 1091 Senior Citizens Helpline.................................. 1291

Paras Pharmacy LPG Helpline........................................ 011-155233 C 1 Block, Sushant Lok Phase I, Sector 43, Weather Helpline............................... 18001801717 Phone: 0124-4585558 Car Breakdown Helpline................... 011-43676767 SS Pharmacy, Pushpanjali Hospital, Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway Civil Lines, Phone: 0124-2301044, 9654919269 Helpline.............................. 0124-4787828/817/853 98.4 Global Healthline Pvt. Ltd. DMRC Helpline..................................... 011-155370 Shop No. 103, Central Arcade, Opp. 24X7 Ambulance Service Sahara Mall, DLF Phase II, Phone: 0124-4057514 for Animals........................................... 9873302580 99.9 Pharmacy Disaster Management Helpline....................... 1077 C-2/17, Arjun Marg, DLF Phase I, Phone: 0124-4003435

Municipal Corporation (MCG)............ 18001801817

Advertise in

213, Tower A, Spazedge, Sector 47, Sohna Road, Gurgaon 122001, Haryana Phones: +91 124 421 9091/92/93 Mobile: 9999919538 (Lokesh)

08  Contd from p 1 Industrial demand

The Deputy General Manager of Haryana State Industrial & Infrastructure Development Corporation (HSIIDC) Hamvir Singh says, “As everyone knows, we’re facing an acute shortage of water. If this situation is not rectified soon, there will be serious consequences.” How much do the industries of Gurgaon need on a daily basis? “Roughly, 5-6 mgd. And we’re getting just half that amount. Water is used in almost every industry, whether it is for the manufacturing process, or for flushing the toilets. The current scenario is very grim, for industry owners and workers alike, in Udyog Vihar.” There have been raids on industries and factories using illegal borewells, as per a High Court directive. “They are in an unenviable position. Work has to go on. If the administration can’t supply the water, it will have to come from elsewhere.” Going on, Singh says, “We have spoken to HUDA, and they’ve assured us that the NCR channel will provide the necessary relief.” Of course, that is a few years down the road.

28 Oct–3 Nov 2011

C ivic/Social

Will Water Be Our Water-loo? Water Treatment Chandu Bhudera


HUDA Says...

According to the State development agency’s figures, the total demand for potable water in 2021 will be around 210-250 mgd, for a population of 37 lakhs. And according to what the officials say, the supply capacity would be around 323 mgd at that time. HUDA’s Executive Engineer Division-III Naresh Kumar Pawar says, “We have enough water for Gurgaon. And even the future water demand will be taken care of.”

The Problem Lies In The Middle

Bold words, in a situation where current water supply is short; and when the canal supply does not operate to even half the capacity. However, it also a matter of perspective. “Of course, we get water supply. But the question is, what kind of water supply?” says Richa, a housewife in Bhimgarh Kheri Phase-I. “Sometimes, it’s just for an hour a day. And the water pressure is negligible. Also, the water we get is often discoloured.” The water supply infrastructure of the city is gasping, and is at its last breath. A city-based contractor, who carries out repair of water pipelines says, “We deal daily with leaking water pipes. Roads get damaged because the water lines below crumble due to age. The water supply gets disrupted. We get contracts to get the lines relaid or repaired; but what the city needs is a complete overhaul of the water supply infrastructure.” It is important to note that poor power supply is also a reason for water not reaching the households. “If the power supply to the Basai water treatment plant is cut off, it takes a minimum of four to five minutes to restart the process. Also, it does not have total back-up. A stoppage of five minutes would mean water-pressure loss of around two hours,” says a water

An artist’s impression of the Basai and Chandu Bhudera Water Treatment Plants with actual photographs of some sections

scientist. The water supply to homes gets seriously delayed, as has happened recently in places like DLF Phase I. The Private Supply Until the district administration put its foot down, building borewells seemed to be a hobby for Gurgaonites. Almost all the builder colonies in this city provide water to their citizens through borewells. The millions of litres taken from the Gurgaon Water Channel aside, the colonisers extract an equal amount from the ground, to keep the residents happy. The story is the same for the residents in (Old) Gurgaon, and other sectors. Poor water supply? Keep digging deeper. According to estimates, the borewells supply 30-40 mgd to the city. “What people choose to ignore is that this is only a stop-gap measure; to get wa-

ter for a few happy years. The division of land between the Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon (MCG), HUDA and the colonisers only serves to widen the rift between the people and a sustainable water supply,” says an environmentalist. In 2006, the Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA) declared Gurgaon among those cities that had depleted its groundwater to dangerous levels. In a belated action, rampant installation of borewells and other groundwater extraction apparatus was restricted. To get one now, an individual has to approach the authorities; and only after a site visit and an approval certificate, can he go to an agency to set up the borewell. But even this action has not led to a total clampdown on the hundreds of illegal borewells, running in industries and

Future Plan Besides the HUDA water treatment plant at Basai, another water treatment plant is coming up at Chandu Bhudera. This plant will have three water treatment units, each capable of pumping out 22 mgd of water a day. That, along with the water treatment plant at Basai, can significantly meet the water needs of the city. But then, the cracking water infrastructure, and poor electricity supply to booster stations, cannot promise a happy ending. In the 2025 Plan, the Sonepat Canal Project would provide Haryana District with 3,500 cusecs, out of which 1,000 cusecs would be for Gurgaon. (Out of 21 districts, the administration has allocated 30% of the water supply to one district. At present, Haryana has a population of 2.5 crore, and Gurgaon 16 lakhs, according to the Census data. That translates to less than 10% of the population receiving more than 30% of the water supply.) Time for realpolitik will come!

residential colonies alike. Also, industries, and Special Economic Zones (SEZ) being set up, have to give detailed reports on their water management policy, for getting even their plans passed. Only a few companies, like Maruti, have water management plans, and reuse almost all the water in the facility. From borewells come the tanker water supply, which provide necessary water to the many colonies gasping from poor or no water supply. A water tanker operator, Amit says, “I operate three water tankers. And I send them all over DLF Phase I, II, III; as well as some other sectors. The rate for a tanker of water is around Rs 700, and I get the water from a ‘private’ borewell for Rs 200.” It is to be noted that the authorised rate for water tankers is Rs 400. A Gurgaon-based RTI activist says, “Every water tanker operator has to get registered. But there’s a scam even in this. These guys take licence for one tanker, and use the same for three to four tankers. Some of them are even brazen enough to use tankers without registration numbers (which is an offence).” “Imagine the situation,” the activist says, “The water tanker operators take water from authorised borewells, and then take them to areas where HUDA fails to deliver water; or where water pressure is too low to get adequate water. What sort of governance is this?”


Hydrologist Sandip Chaddha says, “We set the benchmark for the District’s water table level in 1974, when the first measurement was made. Water tests are carried out four times a year, the latest one being in July 2011.”


He says, “In that year (1974), the water table was 11.51 metres.” It means that one would have had to dig a little more than 11 metres (36 feet) to find water. “Now,” he says, “the report for July 2011 confirms that the level of water for Gurgaon has gone down to 32.12 metres (105.38 feet).” In the space of 37 years, the water table has gone down by 20 metres. While in neighbouring Farrukhnagar, it is still at 15.6 metres. The reason for the alarming dip in water levels at Gurgaon, as everyone knows, is due to the incessant drawing of water by people using borewells.” Unless the dependence on borewells is reduced to almost nil, the groundwater reservoirs will continue to take a beating at the hands of the residents. “If the system is not improved, I expect a very bad water situation for Gurgaon, by 2020. People will start looking for ‘greener avenues’, away from Gurgaon. Proper planning of water supply has not been done. That much is evident to everyone.” says Darshan Singh. Differing from hydrologist Sandip Chaddha, Singh says that the city’s water table, once at 25-28 feet, has fallen to 180 feet, and is depleting at the rate of two metres a year. Some areas have even depleted their water table to 400 feet. A Councillor says, “Cities like Hyderabad and Bangalore have depleted their water tables, in some areas, up to 650 feet. Gurgaon should not have to see such times.” “The problem is not just of getting enough water to the people,” says Darshan Singh. “The recipients also have to know how to properly utilise a scarce resource. Otherwise, all the water in the world will not be enough for Gurgaon.” u

28 Oct–3 Nov 2011

C ivic/Social


{Sector 22, 23}

{ Abhishek Behl / FG }


andwiched between the Old Delhi-Gurgaon Road, and the Delhi border on the other side, residents of Sectors 22 and 23, experience the mix of the good and bad that the Millenneium City offers. While the residents have easy access to the National Capital, Indira Gandhi International Airport, and the industrial hub of Udyog Vihar, they also have to face the brunt of poor infrastructure and lack of civic facilities. Most of the local residents admit that the dream of living a quality life, away from the hustle and bustle of Delhi, has turned sour. “Adequate availability of drinking water, 24-hour power supply, and a good security setup—was something that the residents of the Millennium City had taken for granted when they purchased plots here in the early nineties,” says M.S. Yadav, President of Sector 23-A, RWA. However, the civic agencies and the government have failed to provide the necessary facilities for the citizens to live comfortably, he adds. Air Vice Marshal (Retd) J.K. Pathania, who lives in the same Sector, says that the major problem faced by residents in the area is inadequate supply of drinking water. “We have only been given pipe connections, but these cannot be called water connections; as the water does not reach us. I wonder how they call it a Millennium City, even when some basic facilities are not fulfilled”, says Pathania, sarcastically. Fluctuation in power is also something that is hitting the residents hard. Yadav alleged that there are numerous power surges, that damage household electronic equipment, routinely. In comparison, the residents of Sector 23, East Pocket, are

more or less satisfied by the working of the HUDA, and other agencies. They, however, complain that the government agencies only take short term measures and do not resolve the problems effectively. S.P. Kaushik, President of the Sector 23-E, RWA, says that while the power situation has improved as compared to last year, the condition of power cables is very bad. The power cables snap frequently, and this can lead to fatal accidents, he warns. Water logging, poor drainage and lack of proper transport facilities, also cause a lot of problems to inhabitants living here. Kaushik says that people are being fleeced by the autowallahs, though the arrival of the Metro has made things easier. In Sector 22-B, residents allege that despite 99 per cent of the Sector having been developed, there is no local market. S.S. Yadav, President of the RWA, rues that six acres of land meant for a playground are lying vacant; while a demand for a Mother Dairy booth has fallen on deaf years. People in the area are also

 Swiss Cottage School, Rotary Public School, Chirnajiv Bharti School, and ITM University are some of the leading educational institutions here.  Umkal Hospital and Columbia Asia Hospital are the two leading health providers in the area.

unhappy with the running of illegal water tankers, and want the authorities to take action against them. Bhim Singh, another functionary, says there are rampant encroachments along the Sector roads, that need to be removed—to ensure the area remains safe and secure.

Ravinder Yadav, Councillor from Ward No. 2—in which these two Sectors fall—says that he is trying to take up the various problems being faced by people in the area. “I have got two tubewells approved, for Chauma and Mullaheda respectively; and this will resolve the problem of drinking water to some extent”, he adds. Despite the shortcomings, both these sectors can boast of a number of positives as well. There are good markets that are a boon for shoppers, as items of daily need can be obtained easily. Good quality restaurants and coffee shops—like Pizza Hut, Cafe Coffee Day, Om Sweets, Manpasand, Agarwal Sweets, Frontier Biscuits—dot these two Sectors. There are adequate banking facilities and ATMs; and shops selling groceries and vegetables make life easy for the residents. Ansal Shopping Plaza, in neighbouring Palam Vihar, is another attraction, as it has stores like Reliance, Croma electronics store, Subway, Samsung, and a multiplex as well. In addition, the 30-acre Tau Devi Lal Park is almost a local tourist attraction; where hundreds of people throng everyday to enjoy nature. u


28 Oct–3 Nov 2011

C ivic/Social

{Sector 47}

{ Hritvick Sen / FG } What’s Good

♦ Location; Connectivity to NH8, Metro, state highway ♦ Mix of residential and commercial areas ♦ New Community Centre ♦ Private builder colonies (better standard of living) ♦ Street lighting in sector ♦ Schools (DPS, SDAV, Roots to Wings, etc) ♦ Proximity to hospitals like Max, Artemis, Fortis, Medanta

What’s Not-So-Good ♦ Power and water ♦ Sewerage connections ♦ Rainwater harvesting

The Good

Situated next to Sohna Road, Sector 47 is one of the ideal sectors to live in. The connectivity of the sector is one of the biggest positives. The sector is next to a state highway, is next to Sohna Road, has a direct link to Golf Course Road, has wide link roads, and a good mix of residential and commercial property. The sector has Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) housing, private developer residential highrises, and a good number of upcoming malls. The sector has a large presence of developers— like Unitech, M2K, and Malibu Estate Private Ltd (MEPL), along with state developer HUDA. The quality of living is between average to good, because of the presence of builder colonies, which have a minimum level of civic amenities. For example, Malibu Towne has the largest presence in the sector, being an American-style township. It occupies a kingly amount of space, compared to other builder areas. RWA President (Builder Floors) Alka Dalal says, “Of course, we have the greenery and the open spaces as positives. But then again, there are a lot of problems attached

with it. For example, the people of Malibu Towne are struggling with power outages. When the infrastructure was set up, the population was low. Now, the authorities here have to pay one crore rupees to Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (DHVBN) to increase and improve the power infrastructure. Besides this, we need 11 sewer treatment plants to properly treat the water. At the moment we have just four, of which two are defunct. To top it all, we are yet to get a proper connection from HUDA, to let the sewage out.” Spread around this sector, are other builder properties like South City-II, M2K Aura, Palladians and others. The sector also has malls and builder apartments coming up. There is a new Community Centre too; around a year old. Sunil Yadav, the Sector 47 Residents’ Welfare Association (RWA) President says, “Of course, the connectivity to NH-8 and the Metro line, the proximity to Sohna Road, and to the malls is a positive. But one also needs civic amenities. Look at the roads. We’ve got excellent connectivity, but commuting is literally painful. The sector has been developed, but not as much as we would have liked.” Giving an example, Yadav says, “The area behind the petrol pump was earmarked to be developed by HUDA into a community market. As we can see, nothing has happened. Just because we have malls nearby doesn’t mean we don’t deserve a market of our own. Early morning, would you go to a mall to get a carton of milk?” “Sector 47 actually lies eight

completed, it creates numerous problems for commuters.” “The electricity supply to this area has always been a problem. Since the infrastructure was quite old, it could not take the load and I received complaints of severe voltage fluctuation,” says Nisha Singh. “I talked with the officials of Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (DHBVN), and since then I haven’t received complaints in this area. Also, the water supply to the area is poor. That’s why HUDA has a borewell in that area. Now recently, I found that the water from the borewell was turning muddy, and discoloured. We now have a new issue.” A major problem is the storm water and sewerage connectivity of private areas to the HUDA main lines. Rules say that private builders have to pay HUDA to get connectivity to the main lines; but it has not been done to date. Sources say that the fault is on both sides. Some of the builders have not applied at all for connectivity, or have not paid for

Malls In And Around Sector 47 • • • • • • • • • • •

Omaxe Celebrations Mall ILD Trade Centre Raheja Mall Omaxe Mall Omaxe City Centre NiHo Scottish Mall Spaze Commercial Spaze IT Park Universal Centre JMD Galleria Ninex City Mart feet lower than its neighbouring sectors, especially Sector 46. Earlier, there used to be a perpetual kilometre-long pool in the green belt area, where buffaloes would gather. Now, that is not the case. The drainage problem of that area has been sorted out,” says Ward Councillor Nisha Singh.

The Not-So-Good

Munish Adhana, a resident of Palladians says, “Water, power and roads is a big negative in this sector. There is no proper connection of water and sewerage. And the road connecting the DCP (Traffic)’s office to Sohna Road is probably one of the worst roads in Gurgaon. Half-

it. In some cases, there has been a lag from HUDA’s side. Considering the fact that a greater part of Sector-47 has been colonised privately, it is shameful that there is little or no interest in the development of rainwater harvesting schemes. Malibu Towne’s rainwater harvesting was proposed, and installed. But in the recent monsoons, the pooled water was being pumped into the rainwater harvesting pits. This is proof of the apathy towards such schem es. Even HUDA is lax on this. The Community Centre, despite being new, has no rainwater harvesting unit installed. This is in direct contravention of its own rules. u

28 Oct–3 Nov 2011

C ivic/Social


Know Your Councillor

“System Hinders Development” { Maninder Dabas / FG }

Sunita Yadav (Ward No. 33) (Area: Chakkarpur, Chakkarpur Village, Maruti Vihar, Saraswati Vihar, Sector 43, Wazirabad, Sushant Lok Phase-I) “The ‘system’ in any city, has always been the nemesis of progress and development. In Gurgaon too, the multiplicity of governance is the biggest reason behind the development work not being done. Even in MCG, there are groups that fight for prominence; and in this tussle, the masses suffer the most,” says Sunita Yadav, the Councillor of Ward No. 33. “The smallest work, like getting a leaking sewer fixed, takes months here. A Councillor doesn’t have any authority. The Junior Engineer (JE) makes the estimate, and then that file takes months to come back, with a note to get the work done. This system is slow

and ineffective; a Councillor should be given some authority, to get the small works done,” adds Yadav. Yadav’s ward is a conglomeration of the areas of all the major governing bodies of the city, including the private builder colonies. It has HUDA sectors, Ansal’s Sushant Lok, MCG’s Chakkarpur Village, and Housing Board colonies. “My Ward has many problems—like sewage, lack of water supply, security, garbage pick-up. But we are quite helpless when it comes to solving these problems,” said Yadav. “We have Housing Board colonies in Saraswati Vihar, and the MCG is likely to take over these colonies. But in the last two months, nothing has been done in this regard. The same is the case with the transfer of sectors from HUDA to the Corporation. Everybody wants to eat the fruit, without doing any labour,” she adds. Yadav also speaks of the paucity of JEs, in the MCG area. “On an average, there is one JE for 4-5 Wards; that is not enough. If the Corporation seriously wants to get the development work done,

each Ward should have one JE—with his office inside the ward. There is enough basic, civic work that is pending. Every Councillor should also get an office in his or her Ward, from the Corporation. The current JEs hardly seem interested in making estimates for the works to be done.” Finally, Yadav speaks of the work done by her in the last 5-6 months. “MCG is not doing anything for solving the water crisis of Chakkarpur Village. We have given them three new borewells from our own pocket, to solve their problems. In House meetings as well, we have got Rs. 85 lakh sanctioned for a new pipeline to be laid, from HUDA’s main water tank to Chakkarpur Village. An equal amount has been sanctioned for the construction of a Community Centre in Chakkarpur Village. We are also fighting against a private builder in Sushant Lok I, as the builder has given the Community Centre to someone on rent. The residents are not allowed to use it for any purpose. Post Diwali, we will have an agitation against the private builder,” she says. u

Frustrated With The System { Maninder Dabas / FG }

Subhash Fauji (Ward No. 25) (Area: Badshapur, Badshapur Village, Pahari Area, Ramgarh Dhani, Sector 62, Sector 65, Sector 66, Sector 67, Sector 68, Sector 69, Sector 70, Sector 75, Sector 75A, Sector 76) “Since May 2011, not a single penny has been spent on the projects suggested by me. The civic administration elite seem to be not willing to work for the betterment of the city. It is not the question of my ward only; all the wards of the city are in the same condition,” said Subhash Fauji, the Councillor of Ward No. 25. “This Ward is placed on the outskirts of Gurgaon, and that’s why it has not been given proper attention. Whenever I go to the MCG for any work, they always say that most of the area of your ward is unauthorised. Actually the Badshahpur constituency is spread over a 322 acre area, and only 68 acres comes under the lal dora. MCG refuses to do any development work outside this area; but people complain to me about their problems,” he added. However, Fauji spoke about his efforts, “Badshahpur is in the residential zone according to the Master Plan 2025; and Sectors-65 and 66 have already been shown in the map. Hence, we should move on from this lal dora concept, and the whole area should be developed collectively. As a solution, I had submitted a Detail Project Report (DPR) of the area to Commissioner Rajpal, in which I pointed out the areas where immediate attention was needed. He assured me of the DPR’s clearance from the Finance Committee. But nothing was done, and now he doesn’t even reply to

my letters.” Like Sunita Yadav, Fauji also spoke about the availability of offices for the Councillor and JE in the ward itself. “The JE seldom graces us with his presence; and even if he comes, he doesn’t listen to our suggestions. Even if we ask the JEs to work inside the lal dora, they refuse—and then start working outside it in an area they themselves call unauthorised!” he added. Fauji’s anger and

resentment seem valid; no road is in proper shape, and the whole area is stinking—as garbage heaps are strewn everywhere. “MCG has given Rs. 150 crores to Faridabad, and they have no money for works in their own area. This is really unfortunate. Each time we raise these issues in the House meetings; but no official pays any heed to our concerns,” added Fauji. u

Haryanvi Made Easy Get a taste of the local lingo 1. I have a pain in my back Meri kadd main dard hai Kadd - as in Ka+ d(as in Dar-fear in Hindi) 2. I have high fever Mere thadda bukhaar chadh reha hai Thadda

- Th (as in Thand-cold in Hindi)

+ adda(den in Hindi)

3. Do I have to go to the hospital? Mere ke haspatal janna padega ke? Janna - Ja+nn+na 4. I have medical insurance

Mere dhore medical insurance hai

Dhore - Dho(wash in Hindi)+ray

5. When do I take these medicines? Ye devai kad kad leni hai? Kad - K+ad(as in maddad, help in Hindi)


28 Oct–3 Nov 2011

{ Abhishek Behl / FG }


he Congress, which appears to be in partial disarray, has to strike a balance between the government and the organisation, if it wants the party to flourish and grow in Haryana. This is the advice given by veteran leader and party functionary G L Sharma, who is considered to be a close associate of Rao Inderjit Singh, the Member of Parliament (MP) from Gurgaon. He is the President of the urban unit of the Congress Party, in Gurgaon district. Sharma’s suggestion assumes importance against the backdrop of the recent Congress defeat in the Hisar by-elections; where Haryana Janhit Congress Party’s Kuldip Bishnoi romped home—while the Congress candidate came a distant third, and lost his security deposit. “Congress must ensure that the party workers and its core voters are

Listen To The (Congress) Party: G.L.Sharma not neglected. The issues raised by workers have to be heard, and the problems resolved; else people will get disenchanted,” says the veteran leader. Making an oblique reference to his recent suspension from the party, which was later revoked on the intervention of the central leadership, Sharma says, “Suggestions by party workers should be taken in a positive manner, and not considered criticism. The party perhaps will have to learn its lessons from the past, when senior Congress leaders like Nehru and Patel had strong

Sohna Road

{ Alka Gurha }

C ivic/Social


decade ago, Sohna Road was considered to be just an investor’s paradise. People were willing to invest, but no one wanted to come and live here. The 7.2 kilometer stretch between Subhash Chowk and Badshahpur crossing was enveloped in a permanent dust haze, owing to the maddening construction activity. Today, slowly but surely, Sohna Road is ready to take off. It holds the potential of becoming another MG Road. Most residential and commercial projects have been either completed, or are on the verge of completion. The inauguration of Bikanerwala at ILD Trade centre, and the expected arrival of Shoppers' Stop in Spaze Tech Park, will fuel a faster occupation of commercial spaces—which were lying vacant so far. Gurgaon–Sohna Road holds promise due to its proximity to Rajiv Chowk, and thus direct connectivity to the Jaipur highway. Its biggest strength lies in the employment opportunities available within a close radius. Manesar, a major industrial township, with 260 large industrial units and 8,000 small units, is barely 15 kilometers away. The area demarcated for Special Economic Zones (SEZs) in the master plan is at a distance of ten kilometres. And with the completion of KMP (Kundli Manesar Palwal) project, Sohna Road may be rid of the heavy commercial traffic. It will be a blessing for residents. While Gurgaon-Sohna Road has much going for it, a closer look reveals the infrastructure and civic shortcomings.

Road: Sohna Road was to be six-laned (and

then eight-laned), but very little progress has been made on this project. With thousands of apartments to be delivered within the next year

or two, the current road will not be able to cope with the expected volume of traffic. Immediately after the monsoon, Sohna Road crumbles like a cookie; and is not in a condition to sustain a heavy traffic load. Pavements are sadly nonexistent.

Encroachments: ‘Illegal’ migrants squatting near Subhash Chowk are an eyesore, and a potential security threat for the residents. The encroachers repeatedly destroy the green belt developed by commercial developers. When the encroachers were removed during the Commonwealth Games, the entire stretch appeared clean and beautiful.

Streetlights: Sohna Road has installed street lights, but for some strange reason they are not switched on; unless of course, a politician comes visiting! Due to the absence of street lights, and the presence of heavy vehicles like articulated trailers, it is a nightmare to venture on the roads after sunset. Also a traffic signal opposite the Vipul Green complex is sorely needed; to ease the traffic chaos coming from South City II. In fact, the openings in the road are of a most haphazard nature. FG – Time for a Sohna Road project. Our prayers may be answered soon. u

Food Take

As of October 25, 2011 All Prices in Rs/kg.

Area/ vegetables

Palam Vihar

Sector 56

South City 1

DLF City Phase 5

Sadar Bazar

Sector 23


Reliance Fresh

Potato (old/new)




10 / 20

8 /15


















25 – 30














160 – 180

100– 120

100 – 120

80 – 150

60 –120

80 – 100


70 – 150










Ladies’ finger



















280 – 300

280 – 300


280 – 300






150 – 160

140 – 150

160 – 170






differences, but these were never used to settle personal scores,” he adds. The Congress leader further asserts, that while the Chief Minister has to run the Congress government, he must also take responsibility of the party workers, and answer them. “Congressmen in Gurgaon feel neglected, both by the government and the local MLA—who happens to be an independent and has little affinity or identity with the party”, says Sharma. He adds that this was one of the reasons that the District Congress unit organised a massive Samman Rally, to make the state government heed the plight of the people, the local Congressmen, and the party’s core supporters. In the Samman Rally, he says, some important issues were raised, including the regularisation of the unauthorised colonies in Gurgaon, that are home to lakhs of people. “People from the weaker sections of society and the lower middle class live in these colonies; and they are all Congress supporters. We want our government to recognise these colonies, so that the Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon can start development work there”, says Sharma. Sharma is also believed to be the chief architect of the party’s victory in the MCG polls; and also in the appointment of the Mayor. When asked about his suspension, Sharma gets a bit tense. It appears, he does not want to ruffle any more feathers. “We had no differences in the party about the Mayor’s election; and it is due to the hard work of workers that candidates adhering to Congress ideology won in the MCG polls. The entire team was chosen from its ranks”, he asserts. He, however, admits that the Congress rank and file is not happy with the manner in which the government is treating them. “I raise a voice against this as

it is my duty to save the organisation; and if core workers and voters of the party suffer, then things need to be changed. Governments come and go but the party remains”, asserts the Congress leader. When asked why MCG Gurgaon had not been able to deliver the goods, despite an elected Mayor, he feels the new team needs some time to settle and understand the system. He also blames the endemic corruption and red-tape prevalent in the bureaucratic system for this mess. “Bureaucrats and officials nowadays dominate the political leaders, who have lost their spine due to corruption charges. This has to change, if Gurgaon wants to become a world class city”, he says. He adds that the Congress government in the State will also have to ensure development

The District Congress unit organised a Samman Rally, to make the state government heed the plight of the people of the adjoining areas in South Haryana—like Mewat, Mahendergarh and Rewari—if it wants to continue to rule the roost in Haryana. If corrective actions are not taken soon, the party will suffer serious reverses in future. The recent by-election defeat in Hisar should be a good sounding board for the State party leadership. It is very important that issues raised by party workers in the Samman Rally are addressed, he says. “We want the government to create a Gurgaon Development Authority on the lines of Noida, so that the development system is streamlined. The unauthorised colonies should be regularised soon, and the issue of unapproved colonies in the 900-metre area around the Ammunition Dump should also be resolved”, demands Sharma. u

THE WEEK THAT WAS  25th Haryana State

Olympic Games ended, with Sonepat District as the Winner; Gurgaon was placed sixth. The Games were held in Gurgaon, across 12 sites.

Maruti Suzuki strike was called off, with intense mediation by the State.

A Finance

Committee meeting has sanctioned various civic infrastructure projects in Gurgaon; however, it is just the tip of the iceberg yet.

Dengue cases

reported an increase.

Two workers died at the Basai Water Treatment Plant.

 Two MCG officials

were chargesheeted, for alleged wrongdoing.

“Respect the

Road, Don’t Drink and Drive” programme was launched by the Gurgaon Police, as part of a road safety campaign.

 A five-year-old boy

was killed by his father, influenced by tantrics.

28 Oct–3 Nov 2011

Twilight Tales prakhar pandey

Gurgaon’s senior citizens, on living in a fast-paced city

NO GENERATION GAP: Veenu Sharma, her father-in-law Omkarnath, and granddaughter Mehar, spending quality time with each other

{ Shirin Mann / FG }


he moral test of a government, said Hubert Humphery, the 38th Vice President of the United States is in—among other things—how that government treats those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly. This is as true of society, as it is of government. And as true of this city we call home, as of any other. Gurgaon, the hub of the young and restless, also draws into its vast expanse, a fair amount of senior citizens. But how does Gurgaon treat the elderly? What is it about the millennium city that they find endearing? And what do they find wanting, making them yearn for abodes past. Jai Ratan Singh, 97, winner of the Sahitya Akademi Award for Excellence in Translations says, “Gurgaon is open, airy, well planned and developing. We lived in Delhi for so many years, but have been in Gurgaon for only six years; and we like it better here. In Delhi, we were in DDA flats; here we have a huge, open space. Gurgaon also has great medical facilities for us, like the Medanta and all other hospitals; where even doctors from Delhi are moving to.” Living in DLF Phase I with his wife, son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter;

being bed-ridden, and almost unable to move, Singh and his wife sit up and share their views on the city. “When you look at the high rises, big corporates and the Metro, it almost looks like New York. And it’s not as congested as Delhi; we definitely like living here more, especially at our age. But yes, the state of roads is really bad in the city” says Jai Ratan’s wife, Sarla, 86. Having lived in cosmopolitan cities like Delhi and Kolkata, the Singh’s highlight what the ‘new’ city lacks for the seniors residing here. “Delhi’s cultural life is much more advanced. There is the India International Centre—the cultural hub of India—and the Sahitya Academy—a literary centre. Gurgaon doesn’t have a platform for such cultural activities yet. We also do not have a good, extensive library. When I could move around, me and my wife used to visit the Epicentre, and we really liked it. It’s also free of cost. Slowly, Gurgaon will develop several such platforms.” says Jai Ratan. A city of nuclear families and smaller units, the Singhs believe that the lack of good, higher education institutions in the city, like Delhi University (for Delhi), is one of the reasons why the families are getting smaller. “We don’t have good colleges and universities here, so my granddaughter went to Pune to study;

C ivic/Social

and we sent our grandson to Ahmedabad. A lot of children leave the city for educational opportunities; and settle there, making families smaller,” says Singh. Besides this, one of the biggest problems that the senior citizens face is the security in the city. With increasing crime against senior citizens, it makes it crucial for them to chose the right guard for their house. “Security was much better during the British rule. We never felt insecure; that someone will come and steal, or hurt us. But now we feel so scared. There are so many crime incidents that are taking place around us; and if someone enters our house, we can’t even defend ourselves, or do anything to save ourselves at this age” says Sarla Jai Ratan. While some may look at security as the main issue, others find the city more secure than most others, owing to its cosmopolitan set up. Veenu Sharma, 62, moved to Gurgaon where her son lived, from Amritsar two years ago, taking her father-in-law along. “The only thing I miss about Amritsar is the Golden Temple. When I lost my husband, the house used to feel very empty, and my children were settled in Gurgaon. To get out of the house, I used to go for morning walks; but always felt insecure and unsafe. But since I moved here, I


enjoy my morning walks thoroughly, and have never felt unsafe here. People are broad-minded, and no one has ever troubled me.” Moving from a three-storey, independent house, to a flat in Sector 57 of Gurgaon, it was a huge change; but a positive one for Sharma. “Shifting from such a big house to a small apartment has its own advantages. Out there I did not have many friends, and neighbours were very few too. But here, there are so many people around. There is always someone to talk to, to go visit; and I have made so many friends. I am much happier here.” Going for satsang thrice a week, with friends from her colony; and sharing her days with her


two-year-old granddaughter, has made life more meaningful for Veenu. “Both my son and my daughter-inlaw are working, so I take care of my granddaughter when they are at work. And I love spending time with her. I am so happy that my granddaughter and me spend so much time together and share this relationship, that a lot of grandparents miss out on. She infuses life into me. Also between me, my son, and my daughter-in-law, we divide time in taking care of her; because they both have different work hours. Veenu’s father-in-law Omkarnath Sharma, 84, proudly says, “What I really like about people here is that I get a lot of respect and love. I get everything delivered at home, on one phone call; be it medicines, confectioneries or anything else. And there are many other senior citizens like me living around this area, and we get together every evening over tea and chat. But the only problem is, that the medical facilities, even though top class, are extremely expensive. Even for a small test or check up, you spend thousands of rupees.”

Senior citizens’ wish-list

Jai Ratan Singh suggests, “There must be a working library for us. Also clubs for senor citizens are required in this city; where we they can meet each other and pass our time. Also, Gurgaon is industrially and medically very advanced, but lags behind culturally. We need some bigger platform for cultural activities, where we can get together, and also help each other.” Adding to this, Sarla suggests, “Over the years, we have seen the incidence of crime go up. Police should establish contact with the senior citizens living in their area, and hear and understand their difficulties; and provide security to them. Also the public transport in the city is very weak. There must be provisions for senior citizens, in all forms of public transport.” Gurgaon lacks enough gardens, where one can take a stroll, and sit around. “Not all societies have a park or garden area. And neither are they all well-kept. Initiatives must be taken to maintain nice parks, in and around every colony,” says Veenu Sharma. Emphasising an important issue, Omkarnath Sharma says, “We really need low cost, good standard medical facilities for the aged; because most of us are living on pensions and cannot afford the huge bills of these private hospitals. The Government must make provisions— with these hospitals or by themselves— to provide affordable healthcare to senior citizens.” u

Inspiring New Millennia City { Harsimran Shergill / FG }


hirty-year-old Abhishek Joshi of Pithoragarh (in Uttarakhand), had set out to follow his dreams—travelling from Indore to Lucknow to Meerut; and finally zeroing in on Gurgaon. To him, the city is one that inspires people; to look beyond their current designated role. “I moved to Gurgaon four years ago. Having worked in a few cities, I think Gurgaon is the place to be.” For starters, Gurgaon, gives Joshi, resident of Devendra Vihar in Sector 56, the creative freedom to experiment beyond a 9 to 5 job. “There are many people who have moved to the city for similar reasons. Apart from tremendous career opportunities, it offers a cosmopolitan culture, and a unique feeling of independence” says Joshi. “We had the option of living in New Delhi, but chose Gurgaon because of the apartment culture here. There is a sense of community and independence that one gets here. In Delhi, we hear of the constant interference from the landlord, who almost always lives in the vicinity. There are no such disturbances here. In addition, there are a number of activities and clubs that one can be a part of. For instance,

a daughter one starts to ponder more over such issues,” says the 30-year-old homemaker. Security, however, is not the reason why theatre buff Abhishek is fond of the millennium city. Apart from the usual corporate life, Abhishek, who works in a leading insurance company, stresses on intellectual freedom. Scratch the surface a little deeper, and FOLLOWING THEIR DREAMS: Abhishek with his wife Neelam he explains, “I and daughter Alina have always been there are walking, laughter, theatre interested in theatre. In college I was a and cycling clubs, for people who want part of the Abhinay Natya Manch, a local theatre group. When we came to Gurgaon, to do something creative.” His wife, Neelam Joshi, was also a I noticed that there were various theatre groups in my society. This encouraged me part of the workforce before the birth of her daughter Alina. “Moving to Gurgaon to direct my own short film. Anywhere has been a boon. Adjusting to Gurgaon’s else if you tell people about theatre, lifestyle was easy, as we’ve almost always they immediately think of Ramlila; or lived away from Pithoragarh. Also, in Gur- sometimes aren’t too receptive to the idea. gaon we do not think much about security, In Gurgaon, after speaking to just four as it is not an issue. However, I guess, with people about my film, I got a friend

who said he would like to produce it. In addition, there was excellent critical feedback from others, which gave me good direction. I haven’t seen this happen in any other city. People are completely receptive to fresh ideas and thoughts,” says Joshi. It is no surprise therefore that, for Abhishek, what makes Gurgaon the best is Epicentre. “I would travel all the way from Lucknow, to catch a play there,” he says, calling himself a regular at the cultural hub. He adds, “Gurgaon’s strength lies in its cosmopolitanism and its capacity to come up with original ideas. For instance take or Educorp. These ideas were executed in Gurgaon before anywhere else. This is because of the creative ideation the city and its people allow. Take a look at a local market like Galleria, and one can instantly see people from across India. Add to this a good dose of expats, who have made this city their home.” For the Joshis, Gurgaon is today more than just a home. It’s a city that has given both Abhishek and Neelam wonderful opportunities beyond cushy plush jobs. As Abhishek puts it: “Here it’s not about your background or what designation you hold; it’s about what you do, to be more of yourself.” u


28 Oct–3 Nov 2011


The Wheels They Are A Churning


here is something in the air. There is heightened activity (maybe not sensitivity yet). We are no longer just being ignored.


Across various Agencies—MCG, HUDA, HSIIDC, the Police, Transport—there is an acknowledgement of the need to act. To take ownership. The relentless crusaders (mainly current, exHeads of RWAs) should begin to feel better. Their constant pressure, and that from representatives —elected and un-elected—and media, has clearly made a difference. The Mayor and Councillors too have been of help. But the real catalysts, grudgingly acknowledged by “the system”, have been Hisar and Maruti. Two very disparate events. Yet the timing, and the impact, could not have been better—for the citizens of G City. The attention, and the resource usage, will now be more on us. Nothing makes politicians act (or be forced to act) better than an electoral loss. Gurgaon has been ignored because it does not count for too much, relatively—in MLAs and MPs. And it is not the home district of the CM, or his near and dear. Also, given the profile of citizens (especially of New Gurgaon), who do not vote, or count, (or both), there is even more apathy. However, Gurgaon is where the resources to spend come from. It is the golden goose. Robbing Gurgaon to pay other districts—an appalling act—has been the formula till now. The feeling is that if Gurgaon feels inconvenienced, it will find a “private” (or at worse, a PPP) way. Now, with the happenings at Maruti, there is risk of that golden goose turning silver. And the loss in Hisar hits where it hurts most. This double whammy will not go down well with any Command.



eak Governance favours neither the State nor the common man. When will Chandigarh recognize that? Have I said a lot in giving the above title to this quick note, also on behalf of friends and concerned citizens resident in Gurgaon? I suggest one looks at page 10, after having seen the headline on the front page (TOI dated 19 Oct. 2011), related to the Maruti-Suzuki strike/s—keeps coming up in the last 3-4 years.. The State Administration cum leadership (with the help of the NCR and the Centre) is unable to resolve and clear once and for all, the need and scope of such strikes. The Japanese collaborators with India of the past three decades will not accept the demands of the striking workers. They have declared it more than once. Maruti–Suzuki and

the DMRC (Metro) are the scintillating success stories that our partnership has provided the backdrop to the economic development in the north, and the success story that the Millennium City boasts of today. And there is a move afoot between Suzuki (based in Manesar) and the Gujarat Governement to maybe pull away, the way the Tatas did from Bengal not too long ago where the Nano car was about to be produced! Tatas suffered a loss and are now embroiled in a legal tangle with the authorities in that state. A state that needs industrialization and more jobs is left groping in a twilight stage and remaining fastidious and uncooperative with the private sector. Who will be the loser and who the gainer, judge for yourselves? If this comes to pass here too then this will be a second blow, for Haryana (Manesar) from where the Honda Motorcycles & Scooters decided to pull

out and go to Rajasthan and Karnataka! Effective and good governance demands the best of the front office of any state government to put its foot forward, where negotiations and positive give and take are essential. Productivity and positive approaches to economic development and job creation are the only ways to create revenues. Not just by opening scores and scores of IMFL sale-cum-showroom depots at every corner in Gurgaon–including outside Nurses hostels and schools! That is what is happening to gain revenue at any cost—rule or no rule, who respects the statute! Fie upon the layman and the citizen who points out these facts, in writing… The ancillary auto parts factories, part of the Binola Industrial belt, it appears, have got rid of 35% of their workers since the above-mentioned strikes began. The local villagers who had good rents flowing in are the first losers. Then the spiral grows. Will the Suzuki chief who has been

The loss in Hisar emboldens both the rival and foe, within and without. It allows for new permutations of caste and creed in the state. Gurgaon has already been hijacked by rivals. Ignoring it for long will help develop another power centre, that may impact other parts of the state. Gurgaon can be ignored for some time; but not lost. Also, realpolitik cannot provide real resources. Guns and butter need finance. There is still only one golden goose in the state. If Maruti moves (even partly) to Gujarat, they will have the lever to make up for Gurgaon—as and when they need to. The shoe is now on the other foot. Maruti would not be beholden to the state, for help in resolving local issues. And when a Maruti leaves, so do dozens of ancillaries. And with them, jobs and incomes; and votes. Let us be clear on the impact. The Service Industry, IT and BPO, cannot make up even a worthwhile fraction—in terms of revenue to the State, investments, jobs, or other linkages. And real estaters can be more whimsical than FIIs. Gurgaon will become a different city. It will be bye bye New Jersey dream. Hello, Bengaluru suburbs. We will be Gurgaoned. But… there is something in the air… there is light…. the stars are bright. And it is not just due to the festive season. Welcome to the wooing of Gurgaonites. We may not start with being feted in gold; but more than a few pieces of silver are on the horizon—far better than having crumbs thrown at us. NB: this story is about the sorry State. We trust the private builders do not wait for similar moments, before taking care of their responsibilities and obligations. u

quoted the way the Tatas did in Bengal, carry out his intention to move over to Gujarat since he has already been and met Mr Modi, the CM? What is afoot is a fair question? Naturally, the citizens who have put in their life savings in Gurgaon would like to know how and what has the Haryana Government done to deal with this critical issue, that is also suggestive of political rivalry, between two lead parties in our land. Does the common man not get caught in such sub-national level and regional nut-crackers of sorts? About time that the CM and the front office of Haryana Government sorted out the subject at the earliest and prevented Suzuki moving away to Gujarat. They owe it to the citizens of Gurgaon and Haryana. Dev Chopra UN Retiree, Member of Mission Gurgaon Development Dear Editor, he poem ‘Death of an Innocent’ in the last issue was beautiful yet chilling.


It is a cold reminder of the responsibility every person has in the context of drunken driving. It amazes me how many people do not hesitate to get behind the wheel after downing a few pegs, unmindful of their responsibilities – to their families, and to the families of other commuters whose lives they may inadvertently snuff out by their callous behaviour or inebriated driving. It also highlights the responsibility of every parent reading this – to ensure that their children understand fully well why they should never ever drink and drive. I hope each of us reading this will not hesitate to speak up to prevent someone inebriated taking the wheel—be it a family member or a guest—however convenient it is to keep quiet and turn the other way, for we may have just saved a life. Odette Katrak Sun City Please send your letters to:

28 Oct–3 Nov 2011

Kid Corner


Well Said

re in for Poetry lovers we nts of a treat when stude ttage Co iss class III of Sw eir th d ye pla dis School poem sh gli talent in the En . on titi pe m co recitation awestruck s wa e nc die au The recite poyoung students to with the ability of flow, and clarity. intonation, proper ems with correct

A Literary Feast

An Inter-House Hi ndi Recitation Compe tition was conducted in K.R. Mangalam World Sc hool. Students of the fo ur houses— Emerald, Ruby, Sa pphire, and Topa with great enthus z, participated iasm. Dr. Dharam pal Maini, who ha contributed a lot s in the field of Hind i Lit school Principal Neetii Kaoshik, jud erature, and the ged the competiti Students with the on. help of their teac hers recited the poems effortlessly .

y Child Psycholog p o Worksh s

Celebrating Diwali With A Difference T

he festive season came alive at DPS Sector 45 with a noble tinge, as the school joined hands with an NGO—CANKIDS, to celebrate a day filled with creative and entertaining activities for children suffering with cancer. While the kids participated in diya painting

and diya making competition, their parents and siblings enjoyed a special screening of the movie Chak De India. The junior and senior council members enthralled the kids with their skit, music, and dance performances. A visual quiz on

Ramayana was thoroughly enjoyed by the kids, as they enthusiastically participated, and relished the instant gifts coming their way. The school Principal Aditi Mishra, in her address to the gathering, saluted the indomitable spirit of cancer survivors. u

Cultural Treat

of Gurgaon—Blue Bells School, Lt. Atul Katarya Memorial School, Blossoms School, Shalom Hills International School, Lions Public School, Lord Jesus Public School and many others—participated in the Fest. Over 300 children participated in various activities and contests— ranging from fashion show and group dance competition, to rangoli

and quiz competition. The school that won the maximum number of prizes was CCA School, followed by Lord Jesus in the second place, and Shalom Hills at third position. The former Principals of CCA School—Mrs. Urmil Yadav and Mrs. Poonam Bhatia­—judged the event. The Fest concluded with a prize distribution ceremony. u

e parent A workshop for th nts de of Montessori stu an Ry at ed nis was orga Secol, ho Sc al ion at rn Inte w sa op sh 40. The work response an overwhelming e workwho made it to th la from the parents, e speaker Dr. Ha Th le. du he busy sc the ed en ht lig shop despite their en n Hospital, Gurgao Husain from Max in also addressed ychology. Dr. Husa ps ild parents on ch . after the workshop parents' queries

Lighting Up Min

ds Tiny tots in Good Shepherd School celebrate d Diwali last week. The wh ole school was deco ra ted with items made by teachers. Students along wi th their parents pe Lakshmi Pooja, an rformed d enjoyed firewor ks. Students also had a special festi ve treat.

Literary Flourish


reativity can be expressed through different art and cultural activities. With this aim, CCA School hosted the 9th Inter-School Cultural Fest, for the preparatory and primary students. 19 well known schools

Artistic Strokes

My Mother My mother is As sweet as an angel She showers her love Without any hesitation She is courageous And has full faith in me She motivates me When I fail She celebrates When I win She laughs with my smile And cries with my tears Hopeful and joyous as she always is May you stay forever with me I love you I care for you Is all I wish to say

Sahaj Gupta Class VI, Blue Bells Model School, Sector 4

Hey kids, do you have a painting or a poem/short story that you want to see published on this page? Send in your contributions to

Title: My Village Aditi Saini, Class V, The Happy School

28 Oct–3 Nov 2011

K id Corner

Solutions Spot The Difference 1. Dart disappears. 2. Clock changes time. 3. Extra flower pattern. 4. Dressing gown cord alters. 5. Extra stripe on vase. 6. Moon disappears. 7. Table leg shorter. 8. Dartboard string appears. 9. Mouse hole 10. Stripe on nightie.


Sudoku Kids

Kids Brainticklers

Spot The Difference


Kid Corner

28 Oct–3 Nov 2011


Saksham with Children An NGO that prepares underprivileged kids to take on the world School in Gurgaon, reveals Neelima Sharma. The visiting students also participated in the Diwali celebration organised in the school, and were quite happy to take part in the festivity. The kids here are taught in English, a major differentiator from similar such schools. It is not surprising to see kids from poor families talking to their teachers, and taking instructions, in English.When asked how Saksham manages to impart teaching in English, Neelima says that the NGO has a dedicated band of volunteers, who help the kids with education and other skills. “The

PRAYING FOR GUIDANCE: Children at Saksham’s day care at morning assembly

{ Abhishek Behl / FG }


apable might be the closest meaning of the Hindi word saksham. Saksham is a charitable organisation, that has been empowering the underprivileged kids of Gurgaon for the last almost 20 years. Saksham today provides day care to around 210 children from the weaker sections of society; as most of the kids come from the families of maids, drivers and other service providers living in Gurgaon. Neelima Sharma, the founder, says that the journey has been challenging and satisfying, as hundreds of kids in the city have been benefitted by the Saksham Bal Vikas Sansthan. “The joy of helping, and sharing with others, has to be experienced; and this is what I cherish here in this organisation”, says Sharma. She also credits her husband, Gagan, and the Apra Group of companies, for supporting this cause—in addition to several corporates and individual benefactors. “Without Gagan’s support, it would have been impossible to take Saksham where it has reached today”, she says. It was in April 1992, when the 32nd Milestone facility was being built, that I proposed a day care facility for the children of the labour working there,” she recalls.

“In May that year, with the help of my husband, we were ready with a small facility— that mainly took care of the cleanliness of these kids. We were giving them a bath every day, washing their hair, and treating the lice. It was important to groom them first, before conditioning them to a different, ‘better’ life,” says Neelima. From a humble beginning in Sector 15, with 11 kids, Saksham today has come a long way. It boasts of a spacious Day Care, in the posh locality of Sushant Lok, and houses 210 kids—from the age group of 4 to 12 years. The School offers education upto Class VI (6). In fact, when Friday Gurgaon

visited the school, it was a delight to see the underprivileged kids interacting with students from the Lausanne International School based in Switzerland. Although the Swiss students came from the opposite end of the social spectrum, Phillipe, a teacher with them, said that the warm and open hearted students of Saksham were a pleasure to meet. “We were impressed by their curiosity, and zest for life, despite coming from a humble background. They are confident”, he adds. The Switzerland-based school is planning to partner with Saksham, to help the underprivileged kids. It also has sponsored a Saksham student, who now goes to the Shri Ram

We were impressed by their curiousity, and zest for life, despite coming from a humble background. They are confident –Phillipe, Teacher, Lausanne International School

Neelima Sharma, with volunteers and children

volunteers are the life of this organisation, and without them it is not possible to do much”, she admits. “Most of the schools for the poor have adopted Hindi as their medium of teaching. That attracts more kids, as they can relate easier. But we teach in English, as it is important to teach them the language that has become necessary at the job front. These kids anyway have no background of education; we are the people who can teach them; hone them. And since they all are at an impressionable age, they grasp and learn fast,” she explains. Also, unlike most charitable schools, this school has many co-curricular activities for their children. “Other than studies, we hone their skills to make a living in the future. We give them hospitality training and a course in beauty and culture. Since these two industries are booming, we thought of training our students for them.” Saksham offers a large number of activities for children, just like any private school. They can participate in music, dance, drama, football

and tailoring classes. What happens to these kids after Class 6? “We have a tie-up with a few private schools—like Vivek Public School and Ajanta Public School—who take them in. And we sponsor their education till Class 12. We are planning to increase the number of classes and offer school up to Class 8,” says Neelima. Talking about the challenges that she faces in day-to-day governance, “The only challenge is to get these kids regularly to school. We have nine teachers, but I am heavily dependent on the volunteers. Their exposure is vast, and they generally take classes. The paid teachers only help the volunteers, and look after the children’s homework.” About the expectations from Gurgaon and its civil society, Sharma says, “The future looks bright, as the present generation, particularly the young professionals in the city, are very concerned about lives of others in the city. Their concern, and zest for life, gives me hope that India will one day banish poverty—like it happened in ancient India”, believes Sharma. She asks kids around her to get ready for celebrating Diwali in the school. A capable lady of course—compassionate too. u


28 Oct–3 Nov 2011

K id Corner

In ancient India many teachers taught lessons to their students through stories, just as it is done today. In fact, a teacher called Pandit Vishnu Sharma wrote all the stories of the Panchatantra just to teach four young princes about kingship! Amar Chitra Katha tells you some of these stories that were written very long ago.





Š 2011 Amar Chitra Katha Private Limited, All Rights Reserved

28 Oct–3 Nov 2011



Shutterbugs On The Move A group of travel and photography enthusiasts indulge their combined passions

UNDERGROUND SPLENDOUR: One of the deepest stepwells in Rajasthan at Neemrana’s Mendhan Village

{ Shirin Mann / FG }


re you the kind who says “Wish I could do this!,” when you see a stunning photograph in National Geographic, or some travel magazine. Travelography then, is just the place for you—a Gurgaon based group, that combines the fun of travel and photography, Travelography was started by professional photographer Ajay Sood, with the idea of ‘Making India Photograph Better’. Says Sood, “Travel photographers face a lot of unexpected challenges. Unlike fashion photographers or others, who have lights set up for them (and a stylist doing up the object or model to be photographed), we work with natural light. We face the unpredictability of light conditions. And many a time, when

we go to some monuments, we are not even allowed to carry certain equipment. So through Travelography, members will come face to face with challenges; and equip themselves and others to overcome them. Also the amateurs will get to learn a lot from the professionals.” A non-commercialised and free of cost group, Travelography already boasts of 74 members, who love travelling and capturing the essence of India. Travel expeditions-cum-workshops are being planned over the weekends. The first such travel initiative was held on October 22, when 23 photographers set out for the Neemrana block of villages, to capture the colours of Mendhan Village—a 1,000 year-old village in the heart of Rajasthan. Gathering at the MG Road Metro Station at 6.30 am,

works for the empowerment of women, and illegal quarryworkers. They then went on to the 1,000 year-old village, where they again interacted with the locals and photographed them. So interesting was the trip that Bhumanshu Dua, one of the members called it “an absolutely memorable walk.” Travelography, is a rather dynamic group, with members from different professional backgrounds, and different age groups as well. While the youngest is an eight year old boy, the oldest is 60. Says member Jayeeta Saha, who is a Marketing Executive with Aviva Life Insurance: “This group is for enthusiastic travellers and photographers. The best part about the group is that it gives us an opportunity to learn photography, as well as to travel. I am new to Gurgaon and have not seen any places around here. And through Travelography, I have seen new places, as well as learnt photography, which I always wanted to. Besides, you meet like-minded people who share the same interests; so it’s a great platform to make new friends.” Travelography, therefore, is a platform for aspirational travellers and photographers; providing for a perfect creative and adventurous outlet. And since the outings are planned on weekends, it works out well for even the office goer. u

VIGNETTES: Snapshots of the Neemrana trip, by Travelography members, including the customary group photograph

their first stop was at a baoli (step-well), behind the Neemrana Fort. The 11 storey well is said to be the deepest well in the whole of Rajasthan. Moving towards Mendhan from the baoli, the group stopped at SWRC (Social Work and Research Centre), an NGO stationed on the outskirts of Mendhan village. The SWRC

The next trip is scheduled on November 26 and 27, to Agra and Fatehpur Sikri. To become a member log onto


28 Oct–3 Nov 2011


{ Harsimran Shergill / FG }


n accident is what caused Manpreet Bajaj, owner of Live Organic, to change her way of life. She was looking for healthy, unadulterated or ‘pure milk’ for her young toddler. “With the number of chemicals injected into cows, and the levels of adulteration in milk, it made me think of alternatives. We found a farm some 65 kilometres away, that produced fresh milk. This is when we began Live Organic in 1999, to cater to the needs of people looking for similar solutions,” says Bajaj, who’s also an MSc in Plant Genetics. From vegetables and fruits to milk and milk products, cooking oils, soaps, shampoos, and even face packs, more people are finding the answer to healthy living—the organic way.

Know your food

An obvious question is, how is organic food healthier than the rest? One of the ways of knowing the quality of the food is to know its source. Most organic outlets source their food directly from specialist farmers. It is food produced (grown, stored, processed, packaged and shipped) with the avoidance of most synthetic chemical inputs (such as pesticides, antibiotics, fertilizers, food additives, and more); with no genetically modified food organisms; no irradiation; and no use of sewage, rejected food, or other unpalatable products not fit for consumption. Organic certification procedures require that the food producer and/or distributor keeps detailed written records (of where, when, and how the food was produced), and keeps the organic food segregated from nonorganic food —if working with both foods.

Benefits of organic food

Explains Rajesh Yadav, CEO, Organic Farms Market— with outlets at DLF Phase 4 and Galleria Market, “One of the direct benefits of organic food is that it automatically reduces the chemical content in food consumption. The health benefits from organic food are tremendous. One may not notice it in the current daily life; but its benefits accumulate over time. Today, with the amount of pressure on farmers to produce high quality food, one never really knows what chemicals have been added for quick results.” By the year 2020, it is estimated

Health & Vitality... Naturally!

The Sweet Killer { Jaspal Bajwa } The most common refrain at festival times is, ‘Have some sweets!’ As we share conviviality and spread good cheer, we also do a particularly efficient job of digging into mountains of sweets. While the body does need energy… the last thing we need is ‘the empty calories’ that sugar provides. From a physiological point, the body performs best when sugar levels are kept relatively steady. It is important to remember that our body can produce all the glucose the brain needs, through the digestion of whole, natural and unprocessed foods. Fruits, whole grains and other complex carbohydrates contain natural sugars and starches; with vitamins, minerals, enzymes and fibre. These wholesome foods break down slowly, ensuring that the uptake into our bloodstream, and the subsequent burn-off for energy, is smooth and gradual. India has the dubious honour of being the largest consumer of sugar; which probably explains why it is sometimes referred to as ‘the diabetes capital’. An av-

erage urban household consumes over 5 kilos of sugar per month… more than twice that of any other nation! And the figure is still growing. Sugar consumption in India has more than doubled in 20 years. With increasing urbanisation, refined sugar has replaced the relatively healthier forms of sweetness (i.e. fresh sugarcane juice, and gur or jaggery). Refined sugar is stripped of the vitamins, minerals, enzymes and fibre that nature provided. To compensate for this, co-enzymes, vitamins and minerals are supplied by the liver. In the short term this gives a ‘sugar high’,a sudden burst of energy, invariably followed by a sharp drop of energy and fatigue and the need for yet another ‘fix’. This is followed by a vicious cycle of increased fat storage, lethargy, and even more cravings. Increased sugar in the bloodstream causes a sharp spike in adrenaline, the “fight or flight” hormone. This increases the body’s level of stress, and reduces our ability to function efficiently. Over time, various degenerative processes accel-

that the organic food market will be at least a $102 billion industry.


With the number of organic stores in the city increasing, it is a clear indicator that people are slowly shifting to a healthier lifestyle. “It is a fallacy that organic food costs twice in comparison to non-organic products. There was a time when availability was limited. Today, with the number of outlets that have come up, the difference is marginal, says Yadav. “We were amazed with the response of residents. Nearly 150-200 people shop with us every day,” he adds. erate. Sugar can impair the structure of DNA, decrease the release of growth hormone, feed cancer, increase cholesterol, weaken eyesight, and interfere with the absorption of protein. It can cause food allergies, and can accelerate the uncontrolled growth of candida (yeast infections). It reduces our defence against bacterial infections, and contributes to anxiety, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis. In children it causes hyperactivity, crankiness and eczema.

Tip of the week

In some cultures, eating a small portion of sweets before a meal is considered appropriate, as it regulates the digestive ‘fire’, and dampens the pangs of hun-

This is perhaps why Gurgaon has its own Sunday Organic Market, held every Saturday and Sunday at the Rajiv Gandhi Renewable Energy Park, in Sector -29. Says Bajaj, who is also the organiser of the Market, “The idea was to source vegetables and fruits directly from the farmers; so that in case people wanted to see where and how their food was being cultivated, they could have the opportunity to do so. We have tied up with the Sonepat Kisan Welfare Club.” Organised by Live India, an organisation that facilitates direct contact between the farmer and the consumer, elimiger. When eaten after a meal, it can lead to heaviness and can slow down the digestive process; allowing undigested food to ferment. Sour foods eaten in the middle of the meal, and astringent drinks after the meal, improve digestion. Another useful tip is to save the sweet-eating opportunities for special occasions, when it becomes difficult to refuse a wellmeaning host. The key is to allow yourself sweets at only these times of celebration.

Nature’s Wonder Foods of the week

While giving up sugar is difficult, replacing it with natural, organic alternatives is easy. Stevia has been used for centuries, by the indigenous

nating middlemen, the idea was to increase awareness about the benefits of organic farming, and highlighting the need for sustainable agriculture, in the wake of depleting soil quality.

Organic food for children

As a parent, one cannot completely alter the food habits of children. However, introducing them to healthy food habits and organic food in the early stages of their lives, can prove extremely beneficial. “Yes, building a strong health foundation, from childhood would be most beneficial,” concludes Bajaj. u peoples of South America. It contains a natural sweetener called stevisoid, and is 200-300 times sweeter than sugar.  The leaf of the shrub is dried and ground to a powder.  It does not contain calories or carbohydrates, and does not raise blood sugar levels. It is ideal for children, since it prevents cavities. Most importantly, it does not feed yeast or other micro-organisms, and it increases energy and aids digestion by stimulating the pancreas. Stevia is widely used all over the world. Xylitol, known as birch sugar, is a natural substance found in fibrous vegetables and fruit, as well as in corn cobs and various hardwood trees. It can be used for baking and sweetening beverages. It doesn’t cause blood sugar imbalances or yeast overgrowth. Single blossom honey, such as red clover honey, or orange blossom honey, has low-glycaemic index. Pure honey as well as Agave nectar can be used to sweeten beverages. However, these are high in calories and should be used sparingly. Molasses are a thick, dark syrup made as a byproduct of cane sugar production. Blackstrap molasses are the only form of sugar that contains substantial amounts of nutrients (like calcium and iron). (For education purposes only; consult a healthcare practitioner for medical conditions.) u Registered Holistic Nutritionist (Canadian School of Natural Nutrition)


28 Oct–3 Nov 2011

S ports

25th Haryana State { Maninder Dabas / FG }


ast week, Gurgaon witnessed a great spectacle of sports, in the form of the 25th Haryana State Olympic Games, organised by the Haryana Olympic Association (HOA)—wherein 5,400 athletes from 26 teams participated. Sonepat emerged as the champion with 62 points; Haryana Police and Hisar finished second and third, with 53 and 47 respectively. Gurgaon, despite having the largest contingent, could only manage to finish sixth, with 41 points. Gurgaon commenced well—by claiming all the five gold medals in swimming; but fared poorly in the team games. Sonepat, on the other hand, led in almost all the games. They finished as champions in seven categories: Wrestling (Men), Badminton (Men and Women), Basketball (Women), Kabaddi National Style (Men and Women), Tennis (Women), Netball (Men and Women), and Taekwondo (Men). Sonepat had finished second (after Faridabad), in the 24th State Games held at Faridabad two years ago. Although Gurgaon didn’t perform as per expectations, it finished as the champion in five games—Swimming (Men and Women), Judo (Women), Chess (Men and Women), Archery (Women) and Tenpin Bowling (Men). As far as individual performance is concerned, Gurgaon’s Shalu Kataria won five gold medals in swimming. She won gold in five categories—200 metre backstroke, 100 metre backstroke, 200 metre freestyle, 100 metre breaststroke, and 200 metre breaststroke. Boxing was another game where Gurgaon performed fairly well in the individual category; and won seven medals. Gurgaon’s Krishan Thakran won the gold medal in the Heavyweight (81 kg) category. Overall, Hisar emerged as the champion in boxing, and Haryana Police finished second. Prior to these events, Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda had declared the games open, by hoisting the flag on October 20th. He had also granted Rs 31 lakh to HOA for the promotion of the Games. “Haryana is one of the best sporting states

Sonepat become Champions;

28 Oct–3 Nov 2011

S ports


Olympic Games Gurgaon finishes sixth

in the country, and I hope it will rise further. We had sanctioned the construction of 195 Rajiv Gandhi Stadia, to motivate and unearth the best sporting talent of the State. 138 of these stadia have already been completed; and the masses are enjoying the state-of-the-art facilities here,” said Mr .Hooda, while addressing the athletes at the Opening Ceremony. “Today, Haryana is an emerging power in the global sports arena. Our players have made the nation, as well as the State, proud; by winning medals at various national as well as international events. I hope in the London Olympics too, our players will shine and win medals for the country. For this success, we have worked very hard. We have a policy ‘Padak Lao, Pad Pao’. Any player who wins a medal (national as well as international level) will be given a high position job in a department run by the government of Haryana. 398 players have already been recruited in various government departments,” added Hooda, while praising the Government’s efforts in facilitating sports in the State. Naveen Jindal, the Member of Parliament from Kurukshetra, was the Chief Guest at the Closing Ceremony of the Games. He also bestowed praise on the athletes from Haryana. “It is the result of the labour of the players, and the Government of Haryana, that today the State is among the best sporting states in the country. Haryana has only 2 per cent of the country’s population; and yet contributed to 40 per cent of the Indian medal tally, at the Delhi Commonwealth Games in 2010. This achievement itself speaks volumes of the capability of this State. It just needs the right direction, and that’s exactly what the state Government has been providing for over half a decade now,” said Jindal. Jindal also asked the private sector in the State to contribute for the betterment of the sports infrastructure. “Although the state Government is doing a great job of promoting sports, social organisations and the private sector should also join in, to take Haryana to the next level of sporting excellence,” added Jindal. u


28 Oct–3 Nov 2011

B usiness

Downtown In The Making Sector 29 to become The Hub

A SIGN OF THINGS TO COME: An Artist’s impression of Appu Ghar with the HUDA City Centre Metro Station in the background.

{ abhishek Behl / FG }


he barren plots of land in Sector 29, in the heart of the Millennium City, are taking shape. With the Kingdom of Dreams already there, the recent launch of Appu Ghar has added to the entertainment zone. Appu Ghar will come up in Sectors 29 and 52A, giving a fillip to the city as an amusement destination. The amusement park will be on the lines of Disney Land, and also recreate the magic of Delhi’s Appu Ghar, (that was closed in 2008 on the directions of the Supreme Court), claim the promoters. Appu Ghar management is planning to open the Sector 29 Park in March next year; while the other section in Sector 52A is likely to be completed in 2013. The foundation stone for Gurgaon Appu Ghar was laid on October 2, 2011. Abhinav Chandla, Vice President of International Amusement Limited (IAL), told Friday Gurgaon that his company plans to revive the legacy of Appu Ghar, that has entertained the people since its inception in 1984. “We have been in this business for the last 26 years, and have acquired the expertise and managerial skills to deliver world class projects”, says Chandla; adding that the Gurgaon project will comprise of

a water park, a dry amusement park, shopping mall and other facilities. From the concept to design, and from architecture to execution, every aspect of the Gurgaon Appu Ghar will be handled by international experts, associated with the company for the last several years, he asserts. A glance at the proposed plan makes it clear that the amusement park will offer something for everyone in the Millennium City; and even the National Capital Region. The attractions include family entertainment, water sports, world class rides, clubbing, and a place to party — along with indoor and outdoor sports facilities. The company plans to build an iconic tower in Appu Ghar, that will be 140 metres tall, and provide an unparalleled view of the city. At the top, a revolving restaurant would offer food comprising different cuisines. A giant ferris wheel will be another attraction for the people, as it would go 70 metres high. Forty two (42) acres of land for the project has been allotted by the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) on a 66-year lease, after competitive bidding, informs the company. Out of this, twenty five (25) acres of land in Sector 29 will become home to the water park, whereas

Highlights of Gurgaon Appu Ghar Retail Complex

A themed Retail Complex is being developed, on 2.5 acres, with a total built-up area of 204,000 sq. ft—offering shopping, dining, multiplex, pubs and health club. It will have a retail mall, and is proposed to be put on a direct one-time sublease.

Iconic Feature

A unique, iconic tower will be built, that would be 140 metres tall, and would be the first of its kind in India.

Amusement Park

Spread over 10 acres, the amusement park would be the first of its kind in Gurgaon, and offer thrilling rides, go-karting, stunt shoes and jugglers etc. It would also feature India's first wax museum— on the lines of Madame Tussauds in London.

Sports Park

Three acres of land will be used to set up a sports academy, in Sector 52-A. It will offer regular sports facilities, and comprise an Olympic size swimming pool, and a tennis court. It also plans to host international sports tournaments, and corporate events.

Family Entertainment Centre

The Family Entertainment Centre will house a bowling alley, video game arcade, stunners show, aqua world, circus, dinosaur ride, Bollywood ride, and a sports village.

seventeen (17) acres of land in Sector 52A will be used to set up a dry amusement park. As per the agreement with HUDA, the Appu Ghar project will have to be set up within two years, (an extension of six months may be given). An amount of Rs 94.50 crore

Amusement parks growing fast but need Govt. support: Industry Although the amusement parks industry in India is growing at a fast pace, it is still in a nascent stage compared to the West, opine industry experts. The majority of the amusement parks in the country are small scale projects, that come up on 5 to 10 acres; while there are only 20 to 30 parks across the country that go beyond 30 acres. As per a 2010 study of this industry, the amusement parks business is currently estimated at around Rs. 5,000 crores, and it is growing at 15 per cent per annum. There are only 120 amusement parks in India, for a population of over 1 billion; and major players from abroad are looking to set up shop here, it adds. H B Pujari, General Manager, Hindustan Amusement Machines, a Noida based company that makes rides and other equipment, says that there is great demand for amusements parks in the country; but the government will have to come forward and create an enabling environment. “The amusement parks are major foreign exchange earners, and the backbone of the tourism industry in many countries—and the same can happen here,” he adds. The entertainment tax regime, along with the licensing system, should be streamlined to make it easier for parks to run, suggest Pujari. He has done a detailed study on the industry. Industry experts also aver that imposition of a new central tax, like the service tax, will further cripple the sector. As far as Appu Ghar in Gurgaon is concerned, Pujari sees a great future; as he feels the city has the spending power and numbers to support such a project. “For any park to become viable, there has to be sustained footfalls; and this is possible in projects like Appu Ghar, that offer multiple options to the visitors”, he concludes.

has to be paid by the company for the allotment of 25 acres of land (in Sector 29); and if it is allotted additional 16 acres (currently under litigation in Sector 52 A), then the amount will become Rs. 130 crore. Chandla says that Appu Ghar in the Millennium City will be an eco-friendly project. “We are tying up with the best technology providers in the world, to ensure resources are not wasted,” he says, while admitting that setting up amusement parks is not an easy job. “This entire stretch of land will be turned green, and it will become an oasis amidst dense buildings,” informs Chandla. Setting up amusement parks is a costly proposition as these projects have a long gestation period, aver experts. Chandla echoes this point, and reveals that Appu Ghar in Gurgaon will entail a cost of around 500 crores. “To recover such an investment is a tough job; but the product mix that we are offering will ensure that we break even before long”, he says.

Industry experts also opine that for an amusement park to break even in India, the average footfall should not be less than one thousand persons per day. Chandla, however, does not go into numbers—but suggests that the presence of corporates, schools and IT and ITes employees in Gurgaon, coupled with metro-connectivity, will help Appu Ghar break even in a reasonable time. To help this project become viable as early as possible, the company can exploit 10 per cent of the area for commercial purpose (retail and commercial space) as per the agreement. The entry to Appu Ghar however, will be charged at a subsidized rate. The connectivity between the two locations (in Sectors 29 and 52A), which are six kilometres apart, will be managed with the help of an eco-friendly shuttle bus service, or a monorail. Appu Ghar Gurgaon will also boost the local economy, as it will generate employment, bring in more tourists, and also boost local suppliers, claims the company. This sentiment is also echoed by the amusement park industry, that claims to have created 20,000 jobs in the sector, but alleges step-motherly treatment from the government. IAL Vice President was of the view that obtaining multiple permissions, and paying entertainment tax at different rates, is a problem faced by most of the park operators. For Gurgaon residents, Appu Ghar promises to be a complete entertainment destination, and it will also fill the void created by its closure in Delhi. To deliver the promised fun and frolic, Chandla says, Appu Ghar has tied up with international names and organisations, and would do everything to come up to the expectations of Gurgaonites. The people here, he admits, have international exposure and demand great quality. Satisfying them will be a challenge and an opportunity, for a brand that has got a chance to come back, after three years. u

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28 Oct–3 Nov 2011

The Barn

T ime Pass Love is...

The Grizzwells

Arctic Circle

9 to 5

Animal Crackers

Dogs of C-Kennel

Pearls Before Swine

Star Fun

28 Oct–3 Nov 2011

T ime Pass 27


Andy Capp

Daddy’s Home Solution X. Every number stands for a letter’s place in the alphabet.

Ipso facto

The Born Loser

Two Wise Men


Baby Blues

The Better Half


G lobal

28 Oct–3 Nov 2011

Irreverent At Fifty Private Eye’s biting satire still fresh after half a century Martin Athenstädt

{ Anna Tomforde / London / DPA }


fter 50 years you might have thought the jokes would seem a bit flat. But not so, says Private Eye, Britain’s leading satire magazine, whose irreverent and idiosyncratic humour has beguiled readers since its foundation in 1961. “We try to do two things; make people laugh and tell the story nobody else wants to tell,” Ian Hislop, the magazine’s current editor, told dpa. In recent weeks, the fortnightly publication has had a particularly good run. “We attack gloomy news,” says Hislop. But putting the magazine online is not an option for him. Those accessing The Eye’s website will find its content summarized in headlines. “I try to avoid online. It’s an elongated form of suicide,” said Hislop, adding that so far no one had shown how to make money from putting content on the web. Hislop is only the third editor in the history of the magazine, which he has edited for the past 25 years. It has a circulation of 210,000. “It seems unlikely that such a badly produced magazine should still be functioning after 50 years,” he adds, with his trademark cherubic smile. When it was founded at the height of the satire boom in the early 1960s, coinciding with the libertarian revolution of swinging London, Private Eye was the first magazine in Britain to use the formula of headline, photograph and speech bubble on its front page. Its style, based on France’s Le Canard Enchainé, has basically remained un-

NOT SEEING EYE TO EYE: A Private Eye cover mocking the public mourning for Diana was deemed insensitive by a leading bookshop chain, which banned its sale

changed over 50 years. It has proved such a success that a special exhibition at London’s Victoria & Albert Museum classifies Private Eye as an “important patron of the visual arts.” The Soho headquarters of Private Eye are notorious for chaotic and unconventional production and editorial processes, and Hislop has earned the dubious distinction of being the most sued editor in English legal history. The question of why the Eye’s defiantly old-fashioned style still appeals has recently been the subject of lively debate.

The magazine’s amateur, do-it-yourself style is its chief attraction, says Alan Rusbridger, the editor of the Guardian and an avid Eye reader. “It’s incredibly like a school magazine... That retro quality is part of its brilliance,” said Rusbridger on the anniversary. The magazine operated in a no man’s land between reporting and satire, and dared to go where many newspapers refused to tread, said Rusbridger, making it a “highly effective watchdog for the working of the British press.”

“Gotcha!”, headlined the Eye, when publisher Rupert Murdoch was forced to close down the News of the World tabloid in connection with the recent phone hacking scandal. The headline recalled The Sun’s notorious 1982 front page when the British navy sank the Argentine battle-cruiser General Belgrano in the Falklands War. In 2003, under the headline “Bush: Countdown to War”, the Eye ran: “10,9,8,9,5,7,er”; and, after Prince Harry was found to have dressed up in a Nazi uniform for a fancy dress party, it showed Hitler on its front page declaring: “I’ve come as Prince Harry.” But not everyone has always seen the funny side of Private Eye. A cover mocking the public mourning for Princess Diana in 1997 was deemed sufficiently insensitive by a leading bookshop chain, to ban its sale—as clients threatened to cancel subscriptions. Its taste was also considered questionable in 1990, when Nelson Mandela was released from jail, and a speech bubble from then Prime Minister F.W. de Klerke declared: “This is a black day for South Africa.” “Really, there is nothing like Private Eye,” said Adam McQueen, the magazine’s biographer. The end of the Eye would come when all politicians cleaned up their acts and the workings of government, the media and the justice system became entirely transparent, added McQueen. Asked how much longer he would give the magazine, Hislop joked: “At least another 20 years.” u

Cheating Down Under Smug Australians discover rats amongst their own sportsmen { Sid Astbury / Sydney / DPA }


atch the cricket and rugby on Australian television, and the odds are as prominently displayed as the score. Presenters urge viewers to place bets not only on the result, but on specific plays and individual performances. “Australia’s sports have been allowed to become soaked in the culture of betting,” veteran sports commentator Patrick Smith wrote in The Australian. “The administrators have allowed betting to become as important as the sport.” Is it any wonder that players—once so quick to condemn the cheating of their counterparts abroad—are up for a slice of the action? In August 2010, Ryan Tandy was playing prop for the North Queensland Cowboys in a rugby league match against the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs. Two minutes into the game, Tandy dropped the ball in front of the posts, giving away possession. He then impeded a Cowboys player, giving away a penalty and the chance of an easy drop goal,and the first points of the match. The scenario was unusual but not suspicious, until bookmakers noticed that an unusually large number of bets had been

placed on a drop goal to open the match. As it happens, the Bulldogs didn’t score the goal; but Tandy was pulled in on suspicion of trying to set it up. In a Sydney courtroom last month, he was found guilty of spot-fixing, after the magistrate found “clear evidence that there was a betting plunge and ... a plan for the first scoring in the match to be by the Cowboys kicking a penalty goal.” Tandy was fined 4,000 Australian dollars (4,100 US dollars), and put on a 12-month good behaviour bond. He is appealing. His manager and a former player are also to appear in court this month over their alleged involvement in the apparent rigging of what the industry calls an “exotic” bet. Professionals in Australia are barred from betting on matches they play in. Earlier this year, a rugby player and an Australian Football League coach were punished for disobeying that rule. It is becoming harder for Australians to maintain that cheating in sport is something that only happens abroad. “Internationally, we’ve seen the terrible effects match-fixing and organized crime have had on sport,” Sports Minister Mark Arbib said in the wake of the Tandy trial. “We must do every-

thing we can to prevent this sort of corruption taking hold here.” But there is abundant evidence of a double standard. In the 1990s, former Australian cricket greats Shane Warne and Mark Waugh accused Paki-

Ryan Tandy

stani cricket captain Saleem Malik of attempting to bribe them to lose matches. They did not mention the thousands of dollars they had accepted from an Indian bookmaker in return for

what they said was pitch and weather information. They were fined by the Australian Cricket Board, which tried to keep the matter secret. Simon Tatz, a sports fan and an officer with the Mental Health Council of Australia, says he is exasperated with what he sees as an unseemly eagerness to condemn foreigners for corruption, while absolving the locals from cheating. In a recent opinion piece written for national broadcaster ABC, he urged administrators to cut ties between the gambling industry and the teams. Australian players often take to the pitch wearing jerseys emblazoned with the brand names of sponsoring bookmakers. “It’s hard to conceive that when punters can bet on who will score, what type of score it will be, the margins, how many sixes or wides or wickets will occur, when and how—that this doesn’t create a situation rife for corruption or match-fixing,” Tatz wrote. Tatz also slammed the view that while the locals play fair— never cheat, never take drugs, never place bets—foreigners are likely to play dirty. Australians, after all, were the perpetrators of one of the most shameful episodes in world sport. It was 30 years go, at the Sydney Cricket Ground and in front of 52,000 fans. Australia were playing New Zealand, and the visitors needed to score six runs off the final ball. Trevor Chappell bowled the delivery underarm—not illegal at the time — from which it was impossible to score a six; and Australia won the match. u

28 Oct–3 Nov 2011

G lobal


Salzburg Comes Alive the Sound of Music—for the first time ever { Albert Otti / Vienna / DPA }


staging of The Sound of Music in Salzburg, is the first ever of the musical in the city— where the story is set—ending five decades of Austrian hostility to the show. What has changed? Young Austrians are more accepting of their town’s popculture image, and ready to learn about its Nazi past. “Salzburg became well-known in many Asian and English-speaking countries because of The Sound of Music,” the town’s tourism director Gert Brugger said; acknowledging that many of the tourist arrivals want to walk in the footsteps of the character played by Julie Andrews. However, it has taken more than 50 years since the musical’s US premiere, for the show to be staged in Salzburg—where people feel closer to Mozart, who was born in the city, than to Broadway. The director of the town’s theatre, Carl Philip von Maldeghem, said locals did not like to be reminded of the musical’s true-life story of Maria, the nun-turned-nanny, who flees the Nazis together with the von Trapp family choir. Also, the fact that the piece was written in

the United States, and features cliches such as yodelling and lederhosen never appealed to the Austrians. Locals think The Sound of Music is unauthentic and outdated. However, in recent years it has become increasingly normal for young people to wear traditional costumes—even lederhosen— to Salzburg festivities, and to listen to folk-pop music. “There is a new sense of local tradition that makes it easier for the musical to be received,” von Maldeghem said. At the same time, teachers have started using The Sound of Music to tell students about the Nazi era from a local perspective, the director added. The new, German-language production at the Landestheater is sold out well into next year. It opened October 23 to favourable reviews. While the theatre is glad to have won over the locals at last, the tourism industry views the production as another opportunity to cater to the 300,000 Sound of Music fans who arrive each year. “Some say it’s a bit tacky,” tourism chief Brugger said. “But people in Salzburg know what they owe to The Sound of Music.” u

Child 6 Billion Forgotten As UN Picks 7 Billionth One { Thomas Brey / Visoko, Bosnia / DPA }


dnan Mevic was a global celebrity when he was born as Child Six Billion in the Bosnian hinterland; but nothing of that distinction remains in the lives of his poverty-stricken family 12 years later. “It brought us nothing,” says Adnan’s mother, Fatima. The Mevic family lives on the top floor of a decrepit block of flats in Visoko, a town 25 kilometres north-west of Sarajevo. The colourless, communist-era facades of the apartment buildings, still pockmarked from the 1992-95 Bosnian war, breed hopelessness. Many of Visoko’s residents are unemployed, with few prospects for honest work in a shattered economy. Adnan, who turned 12 on October 12, and his unemployed parents, survive in the tiny apartment on 500 convertible marks (350 dollars) a month. Theirs is far from the life predicted by then-UN Secretary General Kofi Annan when he took newborn Adnan in his arms, and grinned into a blizzard of camera flashes. The mayor of Sarajevo and other local officials were there, too, for the rare photo opportunity. “And that was it... We cannot even get a certificate of the fact,” says Fatima, now 40, and depending on occasional odd jobs. “If they had no intention to care later, then they should not have made such a show of one birth.” Adnan, of course, has no memory of the event—and only a photograph and a UN silver plaque to show. “It means nothing. We cannot eat that,” says Adnan’s father, Jasmin. The 48-year-old, who formerly worked in maintenance at the local cinema, has been ill with colon canNOBODY’S CHILD: Adnan Mevic cer for the last two years. Jasmin complains that he can barely afford the plastic colostomy bags he has needed for defecation, since losing his colon in life-saving surgery. Adnan finds that his seventh-grade classmates are jealous of the attention he gets when he is sometimes visited by reporters—mostly on anniversaries, or now with Child Seven Billion looming. “But otherwise, I am just one normal boy,” he insists. In school, he particularly likes history and geography, while math and religion torment him. Most importantly, Adnan is the trusted goalkeeper of the football team, comprising kids from his street. The struggling family had been all but forgotten until the approaching landmark—arbitrarily set by the UN as October 31—marking the growth of the world’s population by another 1 billion since Adnan’s birth. The renewed attention brought some relief: three bicycles he received separately as gifts, some clothes and some food. The Mevics welcome the assistance. But now, wiser than the first time around, and perhaps a bit jaded from the hopes that were falsely raised 12 years ago, they are certain that it will not last. “When Adnan’s successor arrives, we will be forgotten again,” Fatima says; before adding that she is sad about her inability to offer her son a better life. u

ONE FOR THE ALBUM: The real-life Trapp Family Singers pose on their tour bus in the 1940s in the United States. The Sound of Music is based on the story of how the family fled from Salzburg in Nazi-ruled Austria.

Frequent Flier Schemes: What’s The Point? { Sydney / DPA }


t takes about 90 minutes to fly between Sydney and Melbourne—about the same time for some of those aboard to work out whether the frequent flier rewards were worth it—or if simply going with the cheapest carrier would have been best. The schemes have become so complicated—bronze, silver and gold memberships; as well as options to pool points and even to suspend participation during down-time caused by a pregnancy—that Australian consumer group Choice is recommending a re-think. “These points have become a virtual currency for airlines,” Choice spokeswoman Ingrid Just said in a statement. “You’re better off finding the best flight deal, and saving your money to spend elsewhere.” She worked out that on Virgin Australia’s entry-level frequent flier programme, you would have to jet between Sydney and Los Angeles 13 times to score a free trip. Would it not be easier to go with the lowestpriced carrier on those 13 trips, and let any money saved earn interest in a

bank account? Choice research also let fly at carriers encouraging passengers to swap points for products. The non-profit outfit found that it would take four Virgin Australia Sydney-Los Angeles round trips to earn a microwave oven, worth around 125 Australian dollars (123 US dollars). “Unless you’re clocking up serious air miles, or paying for more expensive seats when you do fly, you’re going to wait a long time before you earn enough points for a toaster, an upgrade or a ticket,” Just said. That said, many business travellers are locked in to a carrier by their employer, and, anyway, there is no incentive for them to shop around because the company pays for the ticket. There is an obvious problem with any jam-tomorrow scheme. What happens if the airline folds? Ansett Airlines did just that in 2001, and no other airline would honour the frequent flier points that loyal passengers had earned. Keith Fay, a Sydney haematologist, remembers it well. He had saved enough points for a round-the-world trip with his wife—and lost the lot. u


Airplane Modelling Games

Jesús Sigüenza

28 Oct–3 Nov 2011

SOARING SKYWARDS: A remote-controlled 3D plane in flight at the 2009 Aerotec aircraft modelling festival in El Casar, Spain.

{Romina Lopez La Rosa / Madrid / DPA}


he best way to enter the world of airplane modelling is through a simulator, a video game that allows aficionados to train and play individually or match their skills with other model aircraft enthusiasts from all over the world. Airplane modelling is a sporting hobby that includes designing and building radiocontrolled model airplanes and helicopters that fly, employing the latest technology, and where the pilot’s ability makes

{ Andrew McCathie / Berlin / DPA }


uropean officials were attempting Monday to finalize details of a new deal to head off the region’s debt crisis, as fresh signs emerged to the growing threat of recession. The London-based economic research group Markit said its composite Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), for the 17-member Eurozone, fell for the second consecutive month in October, to 47.2—from 49.1 in September. “The PMI signals a heightened risk of the eurozone sliding back into recession,” Markit chief economist Chris Williamson said releasing the survey. “The economy started the fourth quarter with the rate of contraction accelerating the fastest since July 2009,” he said.

the difference. All kinds of aircraft are the subject of modelling—ranging from acrobatic planes, to gliding planes, motor gliding planes and any other flying machine that works. Although airplane modelling is mostly for fun, it is also used in low-altitude aerial photography, filming, policing, and long distance observation and inspection tasks. Radio controlled helicopters and airplanes are difficult to handle, but can also constitute a highly rewarding hobby: with


ars’ atmosphere is not practically dry as most scientists had believed, but rather contains water vapour over more than half the red planet’s surface, Russia’s Federal Space Agency Roscosmos said in a Monday statement. Researchers working for Russia’s Academy of Sciences have concluded that almost the entire northern hemisphere of Mars’ atmosphere, as well as a substantial area over the planet’s south pole, contains water vapour. The conclusion, based on spectral data provided by the Mars Express space probe, contradicts “the generally

be careful not to overdo it. A pilot who trains excessively on simulators can fall into bad habits, and one must not forget that only real flight sets the standards; and a machine can never simulate the fear of breaking a valuable model, nor can it replace the help that an experienced pilot can provide. Tareq Alsaadi, a remote-control helicopter pilot, who has made a name for himself, told the Spanish magazine Helicopters, “The key lies in practising a great deal with the simulator.” Like most champions, Alsaadi practises his riskiest configurations on an almost daily basis on a simulator. There are other virtual flight systems available such as the FPV (First Person View), which consists of a video camera placed on a small airplane. It transmits a signal to the pilot, who, using video spectacles or a monitor, experiences a flying sensation without actually seeing his plane—which can be several kilometres away from him. Pilots of big planes, when they are being trained, use flight simulators in the initial learning stages. Aircraft modelling has undergone a major transformation in recent times, going from simply building models to developing 3D flight systems; in which manoeuvres are carried out that appear to defy gravity. Video games have had a major role in this development. u

Recession Fears Haunt Europe A PMI reading below 50 per cent marks a contraction in economic activity. The drop was also more than analysts’ forecasts, which had been for a fall to 48.8. The decline reflected further steep falls in both the manufacturing and service sectors in the currency bloc. The release of the latest PMI came as European policymakers were working to piece together a package of measures to deal with the debt crisis. European shares edged up Monday, amid hopes that the region’s political leaders will hammer out a deal this week, to finally resolve the debt crisis gripping the Eurozone. By late morning trading, the

Water Vapour Present Over Mars: Russian Scientists { Stefan Korshak / Moscow / DPA }

training and enthusiasm nothing is impossible. When students begin, the simulators allow them to feel the flight sensation from the start. It greatly eases the difficult task of becoming familiar with this scientific sport, particularly in handling helicopters, which are more difficult to control—because they are unstable devices to begin with. The video game simulates the flights of real remote control air models, both in the controls as in the physics of flight, wind, breakdowns and so forth.

It allows the use of different market models, and serves as a learning platform for pilots, both aficionados and competitors—allowing them to practice the most risky figures, until they are fully able to control the technical aspects. The next step is to transfer the abilities—perfected while playing video games, to reality. There are many simulators on the market. Some are free, although it is wise to invest a little bit of money and get something with greater resolution and capacity. The most well-known are Realflight Simulator and Phoenix, and they come with a transmitter that is like a real one, and connects into a computer on a USB flash drive. The great contribution that flight simulators have made is that the learning process is much shorter, than when dealing only with reality. The sessions allow modelling enthusiasts to fly on the first day in the field, at a level that previously it would have taken three months of practice with a real airplane model to attain. The expense of the simulator is compensated for by the savings, since the cost of a single accident affecting a real radiocontrolled airplane or helicopter can be considerable. The video game saves money and time, and allows for training and trust to be built up far more quickly than in the traditional manner. But airplane model fans must

G lobal

accepted hypothesis that (in) the highly rarefied atmosphere of the planet... water cannot exist,” the statement said. The water vapour appeared to be concentrated at an altitude of 20 to 50 km. The Mars Express’ spectrometer provided the data analysed by Russian scientists, the report said. Launched in 2003, the Mars Express spacecraft was developed jointly by Russia, Belgium and the US, to orbit and analyse the planet using six different measuring instruments. An infrared spectrometer designed to measure water vapour location and density was manufactured by Russia’s Institute for Space Research. u

benchmark Europe Stoxx 600 had gained 0.58 per cent to trade at 240.31 points. This reflected cautious optimism among investors, with shares in London rising 0.53 per cent and by 0.82 per cent in Frankfurt. Paris’s CAC 40 index rose by 0.27 per cent. The mood among investors was also helped by a pickup in

a key manufacturing survey for China. Meanwhile, official data points to the Eurozone turning in a solid economic performance during the third quarter. European industrial orders bounded ahead by a much stronger than forecast 1.9 per cent in August, data also released Monday showed. Analysts had expected that the European Union’s statistics office, Eurostat, would say that factory orders in the 17-member Eurozone would slump by 0.3 per cent in August—after they fell by 1.6 per cent in July. Year on year, total Eurozone orders gained 6.2 per cent in August, Eurostat said.

But Williamson warned: “Forward-looking indicators, such as the further lowering of expectations of services growth in the year ahead, and the near-stalling of job creation, suggest that companies are bracing themselves for the situation to continue to deteriorate.” Adding to concerns about the Eurozone’s outlook were the downbeat PMI surveys for the region’s two biggest economies— Germany and France. In particular, the index showed that the German manufacturing sector, which has helped to spearhead the Eurozone’s recovery from the 2009 recession, is now also in decline. u

28 Oct–3 Nov 2011


City Lights


Friday Gurgaon, October 28-November 3  

Gurgaon's own weekly newspaper

Friday Gurgaon, October 28-November 3  

Gurgaon's own weekly newspaper