Sunday, December 16, 2001, Chandigarh, India





National Capital Region--Delhi

THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
H A R Y A N A

Rs 52 lakh misappropriated
Senior officers under cloud
Kaithal, December 15
A misappropriation of funds amounting to Rs 52 lakh by the Forest Department has come to light and two IAS officers, a District Forest Officer and a Range Forest Officer, have came under a cloud.

Dalal ‘misleading’ people
Chandigarh, December 15
The Haryana Government today accused the RPI MLA, Mr Karan Dalal, of fabricating documents “to mislead the people in the state” on the issue of price of electronic meters paid by the state power utilities.

Gurgaon to have university
Gurgaon, December 15
In continuation of its policy to focus on education, the Haryana Government is in favour of setting up an university in Gurgaon. 

Vitamins laced with insecticides
Fatehabad
Going to purchase green vegetables? Beware. These may contain poisonous substances along with the vitamins you are looking for. Thanks to blatant misuse of pesticides and insecticides by vegetable growers, largely due to ignorance, most vegetables are becoming potent health hazards, rather than providing the much-needed vitamins to our bodies.

ASI killed in House attack cremated
Faridabad, December 15
An Assistant Sub-Inspector of the Delhi police, Rampal (42), was cremated at his native village, Akbarpur Natol, in Hathin subdivision of the district today. The ASI had died in a shootout between the security staff and militants at the Parliament complex in New Delhi on Thursday.



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EARLIER STORIES
 

Plea on crusher zone dismissed
Faridabad, December 15
A PIL filed to prevent the formation of a crusher zone at Dhauj village in the district has been turned down by the Supreme Court. The petition, filed by an office-bearer of the Pali crusher zone had claimed that the proposal for forming a crusher zone at Dhauj village was uncalled-for as the existing zone at Pali village was catering to the requirements in the region.

Two mining leases not renewed
Faridabad, December 15
The Haryana Mining Department has refused the renewal of the lease contract of two mining plots in the Manger area of the district. One of the lease holder had contested the last Lok Sabha election from here on the Bahujan Samaj Party ticket.

Manch for pruning bureaucracy
Sirsa, December 15
If the government really wants to reduce the expenses it should cut the size of bureaucracy. The state general secretary of the Haryana Bijli Karamchari Manch, Mr Inder Singh Malik, stated this here today while talking to mediapersons. 

Woman killed in mishap

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Rs 52 lakh misappropriated
Senior officers under cloud
Our Correspondent

Kaithal, December 15
A misappropriation of funds amounting to Rs 52 lakh by the Forest Department has come to light and two IAS officers, a District Forest Officer and a Range Forest Officer, have came under a cloud.

According to information, the office of the Additional Deputy Commissioner (ADC) had received the amount under the employment assurance scheme of the Rural Development Ministry. The amount was sent to the Forest Department for the plantation of saplings and not to the zila parishad for which it was meant to carry out development activities in villages.

According to the zila parishad records, Rs 25 lakh were allotted to the Forest Department on March 22, 2001, Rs 6 lakh on October 20, 2000, Rs 8.01 lakh on February 27, 2001, Rs 6.50 lakh on March 31, 2001, and Rs 6.98 lakh on August 24, 2001.

According to information, the then Deputy Commissioner and the ADC allotted the amount to the Forest Department rather than sending it to the zila parishad which had not passed any resolution to this effect. However, later on when a resolution, endorsing the allotment of funds to the Forest Department, was put up at a meeting of the zila parishad, members raised objection to it.

According to the government instructions, it was obligatory on the part of the Forest Department to send a utilisation certificate to the zila parishad within 15 days. It was never sent.

In its latest letter sent on September 25, the ADC had sought details from the Forest Department about the expenses, particulars of labourers employed, wages paid and their status in the below poverty line list but the department concerned did not furnish the required details to the ADC.

This matter came to light when Satpal Singh, forest daroga, in a duly attested affidavit filed with the authorities alleged that the Range Forest Officer in connivance with the forest guard prepared a fictitious muster roll and misappropriated Rs 65,237 and forged his signatures on the muster roll.

Interestingly, the names of the labourers shown to have worked under the scheme did not figure in the list of the below poverty line beneficiaries, which is reportedly a mandatory requirement under the Employment Assurance Scheme. The labourers and other representatives of various organisations have demanded a vigilance inquiry to identify and punish the guilty. Meanwhile, the District Forest Officer has been transferred from here.
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Dalal ‘misleading’ people
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 15
The Haryana Government today accused the RPI MLA, Mr Karan Dalal, of fabricating documents “to mislead the people in the state” on the issue of price of electronic meters paid by the state power utilities.

Mr Dalal had alleged at press conference held here a few days ago that there had been a irregularities in the purchase of the meters and had also circulated documents to support his allegations.

Describing the allegations levelled by Mr Dalal as “a bunch of white lies”, an official spokesman said here today that the RPI MLA had been trying to confuse the people by comparing rates of the meters supplied over a period of one-and-a-half years.

He said an order for 2,68,950 single-phase electronic meters with meter cup boards (MCB) was placed with Ms Emco Ltd of Thane at the rate of Rs 1,215 per meter in July and August, 2000. Simultaneously, another order for 80,000 meters was also placed with the same firm at the same rate. At the time of the finalisation of the order by the state high power purchase committee, these rates were lower than the equated rates for the purchase of electronic meters by the Punjab State Electricity Board.

Subsequently, he said a fresh order for five lakh meters was finalised with five firms in January and February at a rate of Rs 1,152 per meter as the general trend in reduction of prices of electronic goods was applicable to meters also. Since this rate was lower than the earlier rate, Ms Emco was asked to reduce its rates for the remaining 1.93 lakh meters. The firm agreed to do so.

When it came to the notice of the Haryana authorities that the Jaipur Vidyut Vitran Nigam had purchased meters at the rate of Rs 1,127 per meter in October the Haryana purchase committee immediately reduced the rates to Rs 1,120 per meter in November. The spokesman said the prompt action taken at the level of the Chief Minister saved the government crores of rupees.

The spokesman also denied that a deal was struck with a company for allotting work of online billing and collection of bills on computers as alleged by Mr Dalal. He said the Rs 104-crore project, including hardware, at the present value, with 15 per cent discount, works out to Rs 77.30 crore with Windows software for six years and eight months. This would be Rs 11.06 crore per year and not Rs 50 crore per year as alleged by Mr Dalal.

He said the contract was given to Ms Magnum Limited, Ahmedabad, which was one of the five firms which had submitted tenders. It was the lowest bidder during negotiations. Although the firm had quoted Rs 15 per bill after negotiations reduced it to Rs 8 per bill. He said it was wrong on the part of Mr Dalal to say that the state would lose Rs 210 crore on account of the deal.

Urging the people not to be misled by Mr Dalal’s “political gimmicks”, the spokesman said the RPI MLA had quoted the name of Mr Chautala and members of his family in his allegations “simply to give colour to his concocted story”.
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Gurgaon to have university
Tribune News Service

Gurgaon, December 15
In continuation of its policy to focus on education, the Haryana Government is in favour of setting up an university in Gurgaon. This was stated by the Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala.

After the proposed university is set up, the state will have in all four universities. It will also take into account the long standing demand of the people of south Haryana comprising Gurgaon, Faridabad, Rewari and Mahendergarh regarding the setting up of an university in the area.

Addressing the 33rd annual general meeting of the local Industrial Association, Mr Chautala said the state was committed to intensify industrialisation of the state, especially, Gurgaon. The city was well received as a destination by the international investors, he added.

Responding to the demands of the association, put forward by Mr Jagan Nath Mangla, who was re-elected its president for the second term, Mr Chautala urged upon the industrialists to pay up their power tariff dues, so that the state remained supplemented on revenue front to take up various welfare measures.

He announced shifting of the office of the Dakshin Haryana Vidyut Vitran Nigam, presently located in Delhi, to the city. He also announced setting up a committee under the chairmanship of his Principal Secretary, Mr S.Y. Quraishi, to look into the other demands of the industrialists. He made it clear that the government was willing to amend the state’s new industrial policy if it suited the captains of the industry.

The association urged upon the Chief Minister for the government’s leniency with regard to the submission of “occupation certificates” from the industrial units in Udyog Vihar Phase 1-V and Maruti Industrial Estate(Sector-18). It also urged the government to simplify the procedure with regard to the change of land use, as well as the rate for it.

The other demands included setting up of ESI general hospital for the industrial employees, power link between Udyog Vihar Phase 1 and Sector 23, the installation of 66 kv sub-station in Sector 34, strengthening the single window service, setting up of transport nagar and free flow of taxis between Delhi and Gurgaon (presently taxi operators have to pay entry fees) and expediting cases of generator subsidy for the industrial units.
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Vitamins laced with insecticides
Sushil Manav

Fatehabad
Going to purchase green vegetables? Beware. These may contain poisonous substances along with the vitamins you are looking for. Thanks to blatant misuse of pesticides and insecticides by vegetable growers, largely due to ignorance, most vegetables are becoming potent health hazards, rather than providing the much-needed vitamins to our bodies. Lack of initiative on the part of the authorities concerned to check this practice has led to this problem assuming alarming proportions.

According to knowledgeable sources, most insecticides and pesticides that are used as sprays have a residual effect. While in case of some insecticides the residual effect is for a short-term (two or three days), in others it can last for months.

The insecticides sprayed in case of green vegetables, if at all needed, must have short-term residual effect. Sources say there are three types of insecticides and pesticides.

The one’s with the red triangle mark on their containers have a long residual effect. These are not recommended for vegetables. Those with a green triangle mark on the container are considered the safest, while in some cases those with the blue triangle are also recommended.

But vegetable growers, according to sources, have been using insecticides with long residual effects with impunity. In most cases the vegetable growers rarely go to agriculture experts posted in the state agriculture or horticulture departments to find solutions for pest or insect problems.

They usually go to pesticide dealers to seek counsel for these problems. As most dealers are not qualified in the agriculture field, they tend to recommend insecticides, which offer maximum profits to them. Experts say in most cases the use of insecticides is not needed. They say there are two types of pests in vegetable crops that eat or suck the plants and defenders that consume harmful pests. On vegetable fields that have pests: defenders ratio of 2: 1, no pesticide is needed at all. The defender insects are capable of consuming pests twice their numbers. But the ignorant farmers take these friendly insects, too, as foes and the insecticides sprayed by them kill the defenders too.

Soil health is affected by excessive use of pesticides. The insecticides, according to the experts, are of two types in terms of their mode of action. They are systemic in nature when they enter into the system of plants and kill the pests who try to suck those plants. The others are contact insecticides that remain on the surface of the plant. Eating these insecticides kills the pests trying to eat these plants.

The experts say most vegetables coming to the market are polluted with insecticides. The vegetables that grow over the ground like brinjals, ladyfinger and cauliflower are the worst affected as the pesticides used on them show residual effect for a long time.

The sources say in many cases, vegetable growers dip their brinjal crop in a chemical to provide better colour to their cop. This, they point out, is very harmful to human health.

The chemicals in these insecticides are so poisonous that they cause a number of health problems to almost all systems of human bodies.

While the unchecked use of insecticides on vegetable plants cause much harm to human as well as soil health, the agriculture as well as the horticulture department is doing little to check the misuse of pesticides. In fact, these departments do not have any power to stop the sales of these insecticides to vegetable growers without proper recommendation.

The Plant Protection Officer, Mr P.S. Poonia, when contacted, said the department under the leadership of the Deputy Director, Agriculture, has launched a special drive to educate the insecticide dealers regarding this problem. He said it was ironical while the medicines could be purchased only on the recommendations of a qualified medical practitioner, the trade of pesticides was totally in the hands of persons who were least qualified in agricultural fields.

Mr Poonia said the vegetable growers must use insecticides after proper guidance from agriculture experts. Bio-pesticides and those with the green triangle mark on their containers should be used. The spray of pesticides should be made only after vegetables have been plucked for that day and no vegetable should be plucked at least for three days once insecticide has been sprayed.

He said the spray of insecticides should also be made only when recommended and the economic threshold level (ETL) and pests: defender, insect ratio must be taken into account before any spray.
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ASI killed in House attack cremated
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, December 15
An Assistant Sub-Inspector of the Delhi police, Rampal (42), was cremated at his native village, Akbarpur Natol, in Hathin subdivision of the district today. The ASI had died in a shootout between the security staff and militants at the Parliament complex in New Delhi on Thursday.

His body was brought here by a team of officials of the Delhi police in a van last night. A contingent of the Delhi police reversed arms in honour of the martyr before the cremation.

Senior district officials, ex-servicemen and a large number of local residents paid homage to the martyr.
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Plea on crusher zone dismissed
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, December 15
A PIL filed to prevent the formation of a crusher zone at Dhauj village in the district has been turned down by the Supreme Court.

The petition, filed by an office-bearer of the Pali crusher zone had claimed that the proposal for forming a crusher zone at Dhauj village was uncalled-for as the existing zone at Pali village was catering to the requirements in the region. According to the petition, it was made clear at the time of formation of a zone at Pali village that no new zone would be created in Faridabad district.

It may be recalled that the Mining Department of Haryana, with the help of the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) had decided to create 77 plots of one acre each for the new crusher zone. Several persons who had applied for a plot Dhauj village opposed the petition filed in the apex court.
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Two mining leases not renewed
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, December 15
The Haryana Mining Department has refused the renewal of the lease contract of two mining plots in the Manger area of the district. One of the lease holder had contested the last Lok Sabha election from here on the Bahujan Samaj Party ticket.

The mining plot No. 9 and 10 had been allotted to Dharambir and his brother, Rambir, about 10 years ago on the long-term lease contract. The mining authorities have decided not to renew the leases of the plots.

The authorities reportedly have taken the action on the basis of some inquiry levelling allegations of violation of certain norms against the contractor.

But, on the other hand it was reported that the state government had allotted (renewed) one of the major mines in the Pali region to a person, who was also charged with such allegations.

Sources close to Mr Dharambir revealed that he had decided to file a petition in the Punjab and Haryana High Court against the decision of the Mining Department.

It has been alleged that the higher authorities has been functioning in an ‘arbitrary’ manner in the allotment or renewal of lease contract of mines.
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Manch for pruning bureaucracy
Our Correspondent

Sirsa, December 15
If the government really wants to reduce the expenses it should cut the size of bureaucracy. The state general secretary of the Haryana Bijli Karamchari Manch, Mr Inder Singh Malik, stated this here today while talking to mediapersons. He was here to participate in a two-day second state-level conference of the manch being organised in the local Jat Dharamshala.

The employee leader said merely dividing the bureaucracy into four parts would not solve the problem. The financial load incurred due to the division had been shifted on to the consumers.

He alleged serious irregularities in the purchase of electronic meters and said the nigam through private agencies was installing these meters at a relatively high price whereas the department employees could have installed these at lower price.

He demanded that the victimisation of the employees should be stopped. Time-bound promotion schemes as applicable in other departments be implemented.

The state president of the Haryana Karamchari Sanyukt Manch, Mr Lal Chand Godara, said the government should appreciate the importance of the lower staff.
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Woman killed in mishap
Our Correspondent

Ambala, December 15
One woman was killed and more than 12 persons were injured when a tractor-trolley collided with a bus on the Ambala-Jagadhri road near Mulana today. The trolley overturned after the accident. The police registered a case in this regard.Top

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