|Saturday, March 18, 2000,
Lecturers upset over poll duty
12 BJP nominees for Sonepat
23 per cent fall in revenue
Liquor vends fetch less
Cong woman MLA has 'tough time'
Haryana pensioners seek better
Telegraph staff worried
Property worth lakhs destroyed
Mahila manch may launch stir
Randhawa to head Sirsa centre
Majra vows to develop Pai
Five held for satta
Protesting mob lathi-charged
KAITHAL, March 17 The police had to resort to a lathi charge and lobbed tear-gas shells last night to control a mob, which was protesting against alleged irregularities in the elections held for sarpanch and panch at Rajound village of this district yesterday.
Five policemen, including two Head Constables were injured when the agitated villagers threw stones at the police. Senior officers the district administration, including the Deputy Commissioner, Dr Mahavir Singh and the SP, Mr M.S. Mann, were not allowed to come out of the school building where the elections and counting took place. The villagers blocked the roads.
The police has registered a case against a presiding officer, Jai Hind, a candidate for the post of sarpanch, Mr Dana Ram, and 100 others under Sections 332, 186, 148, 149, 188, 341 and 451, IPC.
The trouble arose when the presiding officer declared Mr Dana Ram, elected by 196 votes and later declared his rival Mr Surat Singh winner by 106 votes. This infuriated the supporters by Mr Dana Ram and a clash ensued between the supporters of the two rival factions. When the police intervened the mob pelted stones at the policemen following which the police resorted to a lathi charge and lobbed three tear-gas shells resulting in injuries to fire policemen and some villagers.
The ADC, Mr H.P. Choudhary, the SDM, Mr Narinder Singh and other officers also reached the village at about 12 mid night. The police force from other parts of the district was called in view of the surcharged atmosphere and the tension prevailed through out the night.
The supporter of one candidate were demanding a repoll there and then. But the authorities reasoned with them for time, so that they could take a decision regarding recommending a fresh poll to the State Election Commission.
According to official sources, the supervisory officer of the elections has reported to the District Election officer a number of instances of irregularities.
The authorities were able to convince the villagers this morning that they would recommend repoll to the State Election Commission following which a road blockade made outside the school building was lifted. The DC, SP and others after remaining in the village the whole night returned this morning. A heavy police force remains deployed at Rajound.
The SP Mr M.S. Mann,
said that in another incident at Rajound village, the
police has registered a case under Section 332, 353, 186,
149 and 135-A of the Representation of the People's Act
against a patwari, Kiran Pal, Ved Parkash, Jagat Singh,
Naresh Kumar, and Mohan Singh following the snatching of
ballot papers and other irregularities and a repoll for
the post of Panch has been recommended.
Lecturers upset over poll duty
AMBALA, March 17 There are rumblings of discontent among professors and lecturers of private colleges over election duty. The teaching staff of a private college has dashed off a letter to the Chief Election Commissioner, Dr M.S. Gill, on the issue.
Besides the CEC, the teaching staff of Gandhi Memorial National (GMN) College, Ambala cantonment, has written to the Chief Electoral Officer, Haryana, on unfair use of staff and buildings of private colleges in the Haryana Assembly elections, February 2000.
The district authorities, however, stated that the services of the teaching staff of private colleges was definitely needed for the elections and they strongly refuted the claim that government college staff was not put on election duty.
Professors and lecturers of private colleges were put on duty as Presiding Officers in polling booths in violation of previous norms and traditions. In the past employees of private colleges were never put on election duty. Only lecturers from government colleges were put on the election duty. First employees of central, state, local bodies public sector undertakings and government-funded agencies should have been put on this duty. Had this category of personnel or employees not been available in sufficient numbers, then alone should private college professors have been called upon to do the needful, the letter states.
The letter signed by several professors and lecturers of GMN College states: Private colleges in Haryana are not government funded institutions as they come under grant-in-aid scheme.
Election duty to lecturers of private colleges was not assigned as per their qualification, salary grade and status. Minimum qualifications for college lecturers are higher even that of IAS/HCS officers. These are (I) clearing of national eligibility test; (II) consistently good academic record from matriculation to MA; and (III) MPhil/PhD. Their salary grades are: Lecturer Rs 8,000-13,500; Senior Lecturer Rs 10,000-15,200; and selection grade/Reader Rs 12,000-18,300. As per these grades they should not have been put on Presiding Officers duty.
Twice or thrice they were called for rehearsals before the election. They were also called for this purpose even on Sundays. But neither any remuneration nor any compensatory leave was given to them in lieu, the letter adds.
The teaching staff of GMN College is also nettled over the assault on Prof S.C. Gupta of the college when he was performing election duty as Presiding Officer at Dilipgarh village in Ambala block during panchayat election on March 12.
Talking to The Tribune, Prof Gupta said that he sustained injuries near his left ear during the attack by a group of persons when he was on election duty.
I was told to hurry up and sit in a vehicle by the authorities when there was a group of people standing nearby. There was darkness and I was unable to sit in the vehicle. So I went back into a room. The angry people there then searched me and an other person out and began beating us up. At one point of time, I was feeling unconscious, Prof Gupta recounted.
He said that his life was saved due to the intervention of two-three people from amongst that group who whisked him away to safety. Had it not been for those good Samaritans, something untoward would have surely happened to me, he said.
Deputy Commissioner of Ambala, Mr Ram Niwas, said that the teachers from government colleges have been put on election duty. Only the lady staff of the government colleges were not put on duty and the same holds true for the private colleges, where only the men were given election duty, he said.
The services of lecturers and professors of various colleges were definitely needed for conducting the elections, Mr Ram Niwas said.
He pointed out that
following a request, it had now been decided to send the
polling parties to the polling stations by buses.
In the second phase of panchayat elections, the
polling parties were sent in buses. This practice will be
followed during the municipal committee elections
too, he said.
12 BJP nominees for Sonepat
SONEPAT, March 17 The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) will jointly contest the elections to the Sonepat Municipal Council scheduled for April 2 next.
According to an agreement reached between the two partners, the BJP will field its candidates on 12 seats whereas the INLD on the remaining 19 seats. The BJP will contest these elections on the party symbol whereas the INLD will extend its support to the candidates of its choice.
The Congress party has, however, decided not to allot its party symbol to anyone, but to support from outside.
Meanwhile, the district BJP president, Mr Devi Dass, has announced the names of 12 candidates who would be contesting these elections on the party symbol. Similarly, the INLD has also named the candidates who are being supported by the party.
The Haryana unit of the BJP, it may be recalled, has decided to try its luck in the civic bodies elections after the crushing defeat in the recent Assembly elections.
According to party sources, the BJP has decided to field its candidates for at least seven municipal committees and municipal councils in the state.
After the withdrawal of nomination papers, as many as 159 candidates are left in the field for contesting the elections to the Sonepat municipal council. Mr Narinder Dahiya supported by INLD was returned unopposed from ward No. 21.
Similarly, as many as 60 candidates have been left in the fray in 11 of 15 wards of the municipal committee at Ganaur, a sub-divisional town in this district. Four candidates were returned unopposed after the withdrawal of nomination papers. They include Mr Krishan (ward 10); Mr Krishan Kumar (ward 12); Ms Kanta Devi (ward 13) and Mr Ved Parkash (ward 14).
INLD releases list of
HISAR, March 17 The Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) has decided to extend its support to candidates contesting Municipal Council elections slated for April 2, though the party is not contesting the election on its party symbol.
Voters' names missing from lists
PANIPAT, March 17 The former Vice-Chairman of Samalkha Municipal committee, Jai Singh Raman said his, and his family members' name were missing from the voters list of ward no 7. Municipality elections are due on April 2.
Similarly, the names of a labour leader Chaman Lal, his wife and son Sher Singh, Sona Devi, Rajender Kumar, Raj Kumar, Satpal and Resham Kaur are also reportedly missing from the voter list of ward No 9.
Similarly, the names of many voters, who died including Humum Singh, Tara Chand, Azad, Sukh Dei, Shanti and Dhan Singh are still on the list.
Similar allegations are being levelled in ward No 18 also. It is being alleged that the names of some 500 voters are missing from the list.
Chautala inaugurates kisan mela
HISAR, March 17 The Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, today inaugurated two day Kisan Mela organised by the CCS Haryana Agricultural University on the theme of integrated nutrient management in different cropping systems.
A large number of farmers from Haryana and the adjoining states of Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi are participating in the mela to have information about latest technology in the agricultural sector. Accompanied by the Finance Minister, Prof Sampat Singh, the Agriculture Minister, Mr Jaswinder Singh and the Vice-Chancellor, Mr Vinay Kumar, the Chief Minister went wound the various stalls. He was briefed by the university scientists about various scientific and technological innovations.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr Chautala emphasised the need for greater interaction between the scientists and the farmers. He pointed out it was essential that the technology percolated to the grass roots. He stressed the need for the diversification of agriculture in order to sustain growth rate.
The Chief Minister announced that the state government planned to send a delegation of farmers to countries like Israel to study the crop production with less water as Haryana was also facing similar problems.
Addressing the gathering Mr Sampat Singh announced that the state government had decided to give relief on tax on mustard cake consumed by the milch animals. He said, fertilisers, pesticides and diesel used by farmers would not be covered under the uniform tax imposed by the government recently.
Presiding over the function, Mr Jaswinder Singh assured all government assistance to the university for devising new technology to help increase the production.
In his welcome address Mr Vinay Kumar said during the three decades of the university's establishment, it had made significant contributions in the foodgrains production, livestock development and rural development.
The Chief Minister also presented Ram Dhan Singh Memorial awards instituted by the university, to two progressive farmers Gulab Singh of Kirarkot village in Sirsa district and Mr Ranbir Singh of Kaithal district.
Agro-industrial exhibition and the seed sale counters were the major attractions at the mela. Farmers purchased the seeds of recommended crop varieties.
Earlier, the Chief Minister donated 120 square yards of land to Maharaja Aggarsen Charitable trust for the construction of a hospital at a cost of Rs 25 lakh.
While talking to reporters Mr Chautala said, some "wrong decisions had been taken in Bihar" and these could have been avoided and hastened to add, "it is the discretion of the Governor only". He said the Governor had the discretion to call the person he thought was in a position to form the government.
Mr Chautala said, according to the precedent the Governor should have called the leader of the Rashtriya Janata Dal, which was the single largest party. However, he did not find anything wrong with the Governor inviting Mr Nitish Kumar to form the government, as the National Democratic Alliance as a combined pre-poll formation had more numbers. However, Mr Chautala refused a direct answer whether the Governor should resign. "I am not the President", he retorted.
The Chief Minister reiterated the demand of his party for continuing the subsidies on fertilisers and said, he had already clarified his stand to the Prime Minister on the issue and hoped that the subsidies would continue. He pointed out that the country's economy was predominantly dependent on agriculture and it was necessary that this sector was given due concessions.
The Chief Minister, however, evaded a direct reply when asked to give his opinion about the performance of the Vajpayee government. When asked, whether he was satisfied with its performance he replied, "Vajpayee government has been too kind to Haryana.".
On the issue of power reforms in the state he said, his government was against the privatisation of power and not the reforms. He assured the farmers that no extra burden would be put on them owing to the World Bank conditions. He said, "agreements are reviewed from time to time" and added that he could neither provide free power nor the farmers sought it. But they wanted adequate power which would be provided in due course of time.
Criminal negligence of town roads
KAITHAL: Resentment prevails among road users over the poor condition of rural and urban roads in different parts of the district. The apathy of the PWD (B&R) and civic body authorities is responsible to a large extent for the pitiable condition of roads, causing inconvenience to motorists and hardship to the common man. The gross negligence on their part is responsible for the avoidable monetary losses to the state exchequer, by way of frequent road repairs.
Due to frequent damages to town and rural link roads, repeated repairs are undertaken at short intervals and in some cases the same stretch of roads are repaired a number of times in a year. But in spite of all this, their condition remains pitiable as no preventive measure has been taken.
The feeling among the public is that senior officials of PWD (B&R) and the local civic body while on routine inspection never try to find out the reason behind the frequent extensive damage to the same roads and take remedial measures.
In the urban areas the major reason for damage to roads is the poor drainage system and raising of kutchha berms by the shopkeepers and house-owners. In other cases the non-existence of drainage system also aggravates the situation. Choked drains and accumulation of silt and its non-removal leads to blockage of drains. The over-flowing of drains even in the dry season is a common sight resulting in the flooding of roads and movement of heavy vehicular traffic. Extensive damage is caused to the bajri-bitumen roads. A short spell of rain leaves behind puddles on a number of roads. Besides, shopkeepers and house-owners indiscriminately raise the portion of roads lying between the metalled road and their shops or residential units, to ensure a raised approach to avoid mud and sullage on the roadsides. Such raised approaches often obstruct the flow of water to drains and result in damage to roads.
Interestingly when the berms are raised by people, the staff of the department concerned turn a blind eye. People feel that it is a criminal negligence on the part of the staff of the department and the government should take a serious view of such a serious lapses on their part.
If the indiscriminate raising of road berms is not checked, the condition of urban roads is likely to deteriorate in the near future. Roads such as Kaithal-Siwan, Pehowa Chowk-Silver Oak School, Hindu School Chowk- New Karnal are glaring examples of the apathy of the PWD (B&R) officials. Besides, a number of other roads, remained full of potholes in spite of frequent repairs. The residents demand that house-owners and the people running shops and carrying on other commercial activities should be pursued to go for pavement of kutchha road rather than allowing them to raise berms.
Similarly the poor maintenance of kutchha berms of major and urban link roads cause frequent damage to the metalled portion which ultimately eats into the tax-payers money in the shape of frequent repairs. It is alleged that the department has failed to use the services of permanent staff posted and most of them working as domestic servants, malis and caretakers at the residences of senior officers, and other VIPs.
On the other hand,
senior officials of these departments maintain that their
hands are tied and they cannot take action against the
erring staff due to active unionism. The lack of work
culture among the staff is also responsible for the
present situation. Prevention rather than cure is the
need of the hour to keep the roads worthy and in a good
Liquor vends fetch less amount
FARIDABAD, March 17 The Haryana government suffered a loss of more than Rs 7.60 crore in revenue as the liquor vends were auctioned for year 2000-2001 for a lesser amount than the current year here today.
The liquor vends fetched Rs 64,94,53,000 today against Rs 72,54,85,000 in the auction held in March last year. This was despite the fact that the number of vends had been increased from 135 to 151.
Although a number of other companies had bid for the vends Hemraj and Co of Faridabad grabbed all country and IMFL vends.
Last year five groups had taken the vends resulting in stiff competition between them which often led to reduction in the rates of IMFL. A number of times they formed a syndicate to charge uniform rates all over the district but it soon fell through.
As there is only one company now in the trade in Faridabad IMFL is expected to be sold at higher rates than last year.
The lack of enthusiasm among the bidders this year is stated to be because of the sales due to large fall in scale smuggling of cheap country liquor from the neighbouring states like Delhi, UP and Rajasthan. People in Faridabad also prefer to purchase IMFL from Delhi, which is only 8 km from the city.
23 per cent fall in revenue
CHANDIGARH, March 17 In the year 1998-99, the realisation of revenue by the State Government was 23 per cent less than the projected collection in the Budget estimates. The decrease of 23 per cent was the highest variation between Budget estimates and actual receipts in five years since 1994. This was stated in the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAGs) report tabled in the Haryana Assembly yesterday.
Less receipts from the sale of lottery tickets, interest receipts and medical and public health had led to the shortfall in revenue collection, the CAGs report said. The report added that the proposal of the government to collect more revenue through additional resources mobilisation was unrealistic. Inclusion of estimated collection of Rs 214 crore on account of increase in electricity tariff in additional resources mobilisation in 1998-99 was itself incorrect as the revenue on this account does not go to the State Government but to the HSEB or HVPN Ltd., the report by the CAG observed.
The report also pointed out that more than Rs 4 crore worth of revenue was yet to be recovered by the state government. This includes Rs 2.32 crore on account of sales tax (exemption of tax of that amount was not recovered on cancellation of the exemption certificate), short realisation of passengers tax paid by bus-owners (more than Rs 1 crore), non-recovery of purchase tax and interest from a sugar mill (Rs 77 lakh approx) etc.
The report also said that during test check of records of the offices of three SPs (Ambala, Gurgaon and Rewari), it was found that more than Rs 15 lakh had been pending since 1996 on account of deployment of police in the premises of banks and some other institutions.
The report also contains number of instances of short assessment and such other irregularities leading to loss of huge amounts to the state exchequer. A test check of records of loans and advances granted to Haryana State Electricity Board (HSEB), the Cooperation Department and the Local Government Department, showed a total loss of Rs 46 crore on interest and penal interest. This amount was neither assessed, nor charged.
Cong woman MLA has 'tough
CHANDIGARH, March 17 For Ms Anita Yadav, Congress legislator from the Salhawas constituency in Jhajjar district, attending the recently concluded session of the Haryana Assembly was not a particularly memorable experience.
A written statement given by Ms Yadav to The Tribune said because she was a woman, she was often asked to shut up by the ruling party legislators. "Whenever I used to get up to intervene in the debate, the Speaker would ask me to sit down", Ms Yadav, who is a debutant MLA and also the only woman Opposition member in the House, said in her statement.
"A few times I tried to raise some issues pertaining to my constituency but the INLD members invariably created a ruckus and did not allow me to speak", the statement said. It added that the way the INLD members treated her in the House, only reflected their "feudal and patriarchal mindsets". "In a democratic set-up, everyone, be it a man or a woman, has the same rights", the statement said.
Later, talking to the TNS, Ms Yadav, who is 34 years and a pharmacist by training, said that while making a speech on the Governors address, she had made some adverse remarks about Chief Minister Mr Om Prakash Chautala, which infuriated the INLD legislators. "Since then they had never stopped heckling me", she alleged.
"My name was also listed as participant in the discussion on the Budget proposal, but I was not given a chance to speak", Ms Yadav added.
Ms Veena Chhibber and Ms
Sarita Narayan, two women legislators belonging to the
BJP, however, felt that Ms Yadavs complaint was far
from the truth. "If she is not encouraged to speak,
it is because what she says often lack substance",
KAITHAL, March 17 The MLA from Barwala, Mr Jai Parkash, criticised the state Budget.
Mr Jai Parkash was addressing a press conference here last evening. He said the Budget was directionless. The finance minister has no where disclosed as to how he would meet the deficit of Rs 1450 crore. He feared that due to the non mobilisation of financial resources the development activity in the state would come to a halt.
ROHTAK: The Left parties have apprehended that budgetary proposal might escalate the 'financial burden' on the people.
These parties, including the CPM and the Socialist Unity Centre of India (SUCI), have said that claim of the Chautala government that no new taxes have been levied in the Budget was 'wrong'. They said the state government had already put a burden of about Rs 75 crore on people of Haryana by 'adopting so called uniform' and rationalised sales tax policy from this month only.
The SUCI State Secretary, Mr Satyawan, said the Budget could lead to mass unemployment and poverty. He said reducing the Budget for education by 30 per cent was an unprecedented step.
Haryana pensioners seek better
YAMUNANAGAR, March 17 The Pensioners Welfare Association has demanded an increase in basic pension after the age of 70 years as is being done in Punjab and other states.
Mr S.C. Kapila, president and Mr C. Kathpalia, legal adviser, of the association said here today in a press note that pension in the state should be increased by five to 10 per cent of the basic pension after the pensioner crosses the age of 70 and 80 years as was being done in Punjab and other states.
They said Mr Devi Lal had announced at a meeting of pensioners of the state held in Sanatan Dharam Mandir, Karnal, that an increase of 5 per cent in pension at the age of 70 years and 10 per cent at the age of 80 years would be allowed to pensioners in Haryana also.
In a memorandum to the Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, they demanded that LTC grant to the pensioners should be equal to one month basic pension on the pattern being followed in Punjab. They sought the implementation of the latest formula of Central Government for computing pension of those who had retired from January 1, 1996 to September 30, 1996, who were drawing less pension as per the existing formula.
They also sought the implementation of the orders of the Government of India regarding the payment of DA for the purpose of gratuity to pensioners who had retired between September 15, 1993 to March 31, 1995.
Their other demand
include grant of dearness relief to the family pensioners
in service on family pension with effect from July 18,
1997 as allowed by the Government of India on the
recommendation of Fifth Pay Commission, grant of medical
allowance at the rate of Rs 250 in place of Rs 125 per
month as had been done in Punjab, grant of fixed house
rent allowance at the uniform rate of Rs 100 to all
Telegraph staff worried
AMBALA, March 17 Officials of the Telegraph Office of Ambala city are worried since they were not provided with any security arrangements for the cash collected through the telephone bills deposited by subscribers.
According to the information available, about 25 lakh are collected in this office every month. The officials have to deposit the amount in the main branch of the State Bank of India which is about 2 km away. Sometimes, they have to carry up to Rs 7 lakh for depositing.
The office neither has any armed security personnel nor any vehicle to transport the cash to the bank safely. The officials have to carry the cash in the rickshaw or on their scooters which is risky.
There are about 10 sub
post offices in the city which are authorised to accept
the deposits of telephone bills. However, if any consumer
wants to deposit the bill for more than Rs 2,000, he has
to go to the Telegraph Office. The bills of penalty are
also deposited only in the telegraph office. The sub post
offices deposit the cash in the main post office, but,
the Telegraph Office has to deposit it in the SBI.
Property worth lakhs destroyed
HISAR, March 17 Property worth several lakhs of rupees was destroyed in a fire that broke out in a kiryana store, near Fountain Chowk, here last night. The shop belongs to Mr Ramphal Jindal who is contesting Municipal Council election from here.
According to sources, the miscreants set the shop on fire late last night. They tied the rope outside the nearby shop where two persons were reportedly sleeping so that they could not come outside.
Mahila manch may launch stir
ROHTAK, March 17 The Mahila Sangharsh Manch has warned the state government that it will launch an agitation in case the suspects of Meena murder case were not arrested in 15 days.
Meena was a teacher in a school for mentally retarded children being run by the Red Cross Society. She was allegedly murdered by throwing acid while she was returning from school on April 16 last.
Criticising the police inaction Ms Sudesh Kumari, State Convenor of the manch, alleged that resentment prevailed among women in the state as the suspect had not been arrested even after 11 months of the incident.
Mr Krishan Lal, father of the victim, had desperately tried to get justice but of no avail.
According to information suspect Ved Parkash had proposed to Meena. But because of his bad reputation the girl rejected the proposal. Furious at his rejection Ved Parkash allegedly started harassing her. Parents of Meena reported the matter to the police several times but no action was allegedly taken against the offender.
Randhawa to head Sirsa centre
CHANDIGARH, March 17 Dr L.S. Randhawa who has developed eight varieties of cotton has been appointed head of the Central Institute of Cotton Research at Sirsa by the Union Agriculture Ministry.
He has already assumed charge as head of the institute, according to information available here today. Dr Randhawa, who has played a pivotal role in the development of LHH-144, the world's first leaf curl virus resistant hybrid variety of cotton, has also been taken as member of the Washington based international panel of experts on biotechnology in the field of cotton.
Dr Randhawa as a cotton
breeder in Punjab Agriculture University has visited
several countries, including Australia, the USA, the
Netherlands, Germany. Belgium, Greece, the UK, Mexico and
Pakistan in connection with his professional work in the
field of cotton. He is also working as principal
investigator of the National Agriculture Technology
Majra vows to develop Pai
KAITHAL, March 17 Mr Ram Pal Kajra, Chief Parliamentary Secretary Haryana, said here today that he would accelerate development in his home constituency, Pai, which was a rural-dominated area.
Mr Majra was addressing a press conference here after being sworn in yesterday at Chandigarh. Mr Majra said the Chief Minister, Mr Om Parkash Chautala, had already allocated funds amounting to Rs 8 crore for the construction of roads, schools and other government buildings in the constituency. Besides this a sum of Rs 5 crore had also been sanctioned for brick payment of streets, retaining walls on ponds, drains and other works.
Five held for satta
AMBALA, March 17 Five persons were nabbed for playing satta by the area police here today.
Arun Kumar, Surender Singh, Virender Kumar, Sanjay Kumar and Krishna Kumar were held for playing satta in different places.
A sum of Rs 3,550 was recovered from them, a release issued by the Inspector-General of Police, Ambala Range, Mr HS Ahlawat, said.
The area police also held Bachan Singh, who was driving a Tata Sierra containing 480 country-made liquor pouches.
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