Mumbai, Delhi, Jaipur designers' customised choppers give int'l mean machines run for their vroom
International superbike giants came roaring in with their meanest machines at the Auto Expo 2012, with Harley Davidson, Triumph and Ducati rolling out their latest products for India. But amid these giants, Indian customised chopper designers also made their presence felt. Rajputana Customs of Jaipur, Vardenchi of Mumbai and Mod Bikes of Delhi grabbed a lot of eyeballs with their customised bikes at the expo.
Bike art: Akshay Varde of Mumbai with their choppers. Pics/Rajeev
As a large number of people gathered around these handmade bikes and posed for pictures alongside them, even officials from Harley Davidson came over to appreciate the masterpieces. "This is one of its kind. This bike is India's first handmade customised Harley Davidson chopper. We call it 'Raj MATA' as she is the queen of all bikes. This bike is specially designed for a Mumbai-based businessman who bought a 1200 cc Harley Davidson bike and asked us to modify it for him. We have used Rajasthan's rick culture and handicraft to make this bike.
We have used Jawaja leather, fine gold and Silver Koftgari work," said Vijay Singh from Rajputana Customs. Singh's previous bike customisation was for John Abraham, who has kept it in his drawing room. Getting maximum attention was India's famous chopper designer Akshay Varde, who has sold his bikes to various Bollywood celebrities. At the expo, Varde stood out with his white-and-blue 'Infinity'.
Hot wheels: Ashish Chordia, CEO, Ducati India, and Mirko Bordiga,
CEO, Ducati Asia-Pacific, unveil the Monster M795
"This beauty took us two months to build and it has got dazzling chrome with graphic paint. We have used Royal Enfield engine with the bike. Its angled yet comfortable rake along with the low-slung seat gives a very grounded and stable ride for a long trip along the highway. This is the first bike in India to have JBL's audio system with it where you can listen to the radio and connect it with USB and iPod. Although, to have music system on bikes in India is not allowed, we believe in building futuristic bikes," said the Mumbai-based Varde of Vardenchi Motors.
Delhi-based Onkar Singh was also there with his two choppers. "I have been making choppers for the last 10 years from our workshop in Kirti Nagar. We have been using Royal Enfield's engine for customisation as it gives out high output, which makes it best for modification. The bikes we build not only look good but also are high on performance. The bikes we have displayed here is Marvel chopper and Miracle chopper," said Singh.
The international line-up
* Italian mobike brand Ducati unveiled the Monster M795 with a price tag of Rs 6.99 lakh on the second day of the Auto Expo 2012 at Pragati Maidan. The company has developed the bike specially for customers in Asia. "The new Monster 795 has been eagerly awaited in India and we have priced it attractively to make it easier for the Ducatisti to own their favourite brand," said Ducati India CEO Ashish Chordia.
* Earlier, iconic British motorcycle manufacturer Triumph launched its 2012 line-up of motorcycles for the Indian market, consisting of seven of the company's most prominent bikes -- the parallel-twin Bonneville, Speed Triple, Street Triple, the off-roader Tiger 800XC, the Daytona 675 and the cruisers Triumph Storm and Rocket III. The company is in the process of setting up three to four dealerships across India and will expand to 10 to 12 dealerships by 2013.
* Even the US cult bike maker Harley Davidson yesterday launched two locally-assembled models at prices starting from Rs 9.95 lakh, which is much lower than that of imported motorcycles. FXDB Street Bob and FXDC Super Glide Custom, previously offered as Completely Built-up (CBU) imports, will now be available at all the seven dealership of Harley-Davidson. The two bikes belong to the company's Dyna family of motorcycles. FXDB Street Bob will be available for Rs 9.95 lakh as against the earlier Rs 13.95 lakh. The FXDC super Glide Customs will be retailed at Rs 11.5 lakh as against Rs 15.45 lakh (CBU). The assembly plant is at Bawal, Haryana.
The Lokpal Bill, which failed the Rajya Sabha test on Thursday, is now likely to be taken up in the Budget Session of Parliament. Sources in the Congress said the government would soon convene a meeting with the Election Commission to decide on the dates of the Budget Session.
BJP activists led by Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and Prof Vijay Kumar Malhotra during a march to the PM House in New Delhi yesterday to protest against the Congress over the Lokpal Bill not being put to vote in the Rajya Sabha. PIC/Rajeev Tyagi
Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chairperson Murli Manohar Joshi has said that there is a definite need for auditing unit-run Indian Army canteens due to their increasing turnover from Rs. 1.5 crore since the system began to Rs. 8600 crores till date.
Addressing a gathering, Joshi said that there was an urgent need to audit the revenue earned by the Unit-Run Canteens (URCs).
"We witnessed that when the system of Unit-Run Canteens exclusively for Army personnel, began, the turnover used to be Rs. 1.5 crore, however with time the turnover amounts to Rs. 8600 crore. So I think there is a definite need for auditing.
Senior Army officers felt that a large portion of the revenue is used for the betterment of Army soldiers, to which our committee said that would be taken care by the Parliament," he said.
"It is not apt to use a soldier''s money for his betterment. So, I think there should be an adequate auditing mechanism in place," he added.
He also pointed out inefficiencies of the procurement and distribution mechanism of food items to soldiers by the Army and termed it as a serious concern.
"Another issue that is important is the procedure of procuring and distributing food items (ration) to Army personnel. The committee thought that a lot of irregularities were taking place in its distribution in regard to its quality and quantity. We also found out that the personnel were receiving expired food items. This is extremely serious and we want to rectify this as well," said Joshi.
Statistics reveal that the Indian Army Service Corps (ASC) spends as much as Rs 1,440 crore (Rs. 14400 million) annually on procuring rations.
Joshi also noted that 74 percent of fresh vegetables and fruits given to units by supply depots defied approved norms.
He also added that the three services have accepted inefficiencies and promised to work towards rectifying errors.
Union Law and Justice Minister Salman Khurshid has expressed disappointment over the Constitution Amendment Bill on Lokpal failed in the Lok Sabha.
"Of course we are disappointed but we have achieved in getting a Lokpal. We had promised the Lokpal and a Lokpal Bill has been passed. A statuary Lokpal at least has been established but the Constitutional status that we wanted in the Lokpal, we don''t have," Khurshid told the media outside Parliament.
Meanwhile, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs V. Narayanswamy hailed the passage of the Bill.
" Manmohan Singh and UPA chairman Sonia Gandhi had said that the government will bring the Lokpal Bill in the house in the winter session and we will take all possible steps to pass the Bill. That has been achieved and it is a great achievement for us.
"As far the constitutional status is concerned, we don''t have the numbers, it is clear but given then the BJP , while giving the dissenting note before the Standing Committee, they have mentioned very clearly in the committee, in the dissenting note that they will support the constitutional status of the Lokpal for the centre but unfortunately in the house they changed their stand, their double standard has now been exposed because we wanted to give the Lokpal constitutional status like Election Commission, CAG and also CVC," Narayanswamy added.
Earlier, addressing the Lok Sabha session, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee slammed the opposition parties for rejecting Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi proposal, calling it as a sad day for the democracy.
"The Constitutional status to the Lokpal Bill has been defeated, requisite majority we did not have and it is known to everybody, we have simple majority and it is a sad day that the Lok Sabha did not give Constitutional status to Lokpal and to the Lokayukta in order frustrate the combined and they have defeated knowing fully well that this house we do not have the two third majority; therefore they have taken the advantage of that. It is a sad day for democracy," Mukherjee added.
The Lok Sabha passed the much-anticipated Lokpal Bill on Tuesday to create an anti-corruption body. However, it failed to give it a constitutional status.
It may now be held up in the Rajya Sabha, where the government coalition does not have a majority.
The Indian Express
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