SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI



THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
H A R Y A N A

Justice Sud to be impartial
Sworn in Lokayukta
Chandigarh, January 16
Justice N.K. Sud, who was today administered the oath of office as the new Lokayukta of Haryana, asserted that there would be no witch-hunt with regard to the conduct of investigations into the complaints that came before him.

Bureaucrats vacate rooms for ministers
Chandigarh, January 16
It is not easy to dislodge a bureaucrat from his familiar office room. However, it is happening in the Haryana Civil Secretariat here. The IAS officers, a powerful lot by all accounts, are having to vacate their rooms to make room for the ministers, the Chief Parliamentary Secretary and the Parliamentary Secretaries sworn in on Saturday.

Encroachments removed from Rohtak roads
Rohtak, January 16
At long last, the city is beginning to see a modicum of order on its roads. With the new traffic control plan and an anti-encroachment drive in place since yesterday, the residents are finding it hard to believe the city has such wide roads.

Proposal on all-woman varsity being studied
Chandigarh, January 16
The Haryana Assembly today passed the Motion of Thanks on the Governor’s address by voice vote with the Opposition INLD and BJP preferring to remain quiet during the voting rather than saying no to the motion.

Rs 400 cr auto research project for Manesar
Chandigarh, January 16
A Rs 400-crore National Automotive Testing and Research and Development Infrastructure Project will be set up at IMT, Manesar, in Gurgaon district over 40 acres offered by the Haryana Government.

UHBVN workers threaten stir
Panipat, January 16
Workers of the Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam clashed with an executive engineer and Panipat SDM R.K. Singh here this evening after the SDM allegedly misbehaved with union leaders and threatened to take action against them.




Stories from Haryana towns falling in the National Capital Region are put in
 Delhi & neighbourhood.


YOUR TOWN
Ambala
Chandigarh
Fatehabad
Hisar
Kurukshetra
Karnal
Panipat
Rohtak
Sonepat
Yamunanagar


EARLIER STORIES

 

Gang war in Ambala
Ambala, January 16
The relative calm in Ambala Sadar area seems to have been shattered by the bullets of dreaded criminals involved in a gang war to establish their crime turf. For the last four years, there have been numerous incidents of people falling prey to bullets.

15 booked for demolishing houses of Dalits
Fatehabad, January 16
The police today booked 15 persons for demolishing the houses of some Dalit families at Kunal village in this district yesterday. No arrest has been made so far in this regard.

CBI seeks court permission to interrogate accused
Chandigarh, January 16
The Central Bureau of Investigation today told the Punjab and Haryana High Court that custodial interrogation of the two accused allegedly involved in the murder of Sirsa-based journalist Ram Chander Chhatrapati and Ranjit Singh, a former inmate of Dera Sacha Sauda, was essential in the interest of proper and effective investigation.

Gram bandh from Jan 19
Yamunanagar, January 16
Sugarcane growers of the district led by the Gana Sangharsh Committee have announced gram bandh for four days starting January 19 to press the state government and Sarswati Sugar Mill management to accept their demands.

Power corporations extend scheme on voluntary disclosure
Hisar, January 16
The Haryana Power Distribution Corporations, DHBVN and UHBVN, have decided to extend the last date of the ongoing scheme for out-of-court settlement of disputes pending in courts till February 15, 2006.

Minister exhorts youth to prepare for international events
Kurukshetra, January 16
Inaugurating the five-day XXI all-India inter-varsity National Youth Festival, organised by Kurukshetra University and sponsored by the Association of Indian Universities and the Ministry of Youth Affairs, at Kurukshetra University auditorium, here yesterday, the Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports, Mr Oscar Fernandes, called upon the youth to achieve higher goals in the field of cultural and sports competitions.
Students perform during the All-India Inter-University National Youth Festival in Kurukshetra
Students perform during the All-India Inter-University National Youth Festival in Kurukshetra on Monday. — Tribune photo by Neeraj Chopra

Seminar lays stress on diversification of agriculture
Chandigarh, January 16
Agriculture continues to be the backbone of Haryana economy and the credit flow for this sector is expected to increase to Rs 10112.76 crore in 2006-07. This was revealed by Mr A Ramanathan, Chief General Manager, NABARD Regional Office, during a State Credit Seminar for Haryana for 2006-7, held here last week.

Case against 30 for blocking road
Sonepat, January 16
The Kharkhauda police has registered a case against 30 persons, including two sarpanches, on the charge of assaulting the staff of a barrier and holding up traffic on the Kharkhauda-Delhi road for about 4 hours near Ferozpur Bangar village on Friday in protest against the recovery of the toll tax from the farmers and the Jeep drivers.

Minor raped
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Justice Sud to be impartial
Sworn in Lokayukta
Maneesh Chhibber and Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 16
Justice N.K. Sud, who was today administered the oath of office as the new Lokayukta of Haryana, asserted that there would be no witch-hunt with regard to the conduct of investigations into the complaints that came before him.

“As far as I am concerned, my job is to look into all complaints purely on merit basis and recommend action, if there is enough evidence. The office of Lokayukta will maintain its independence, which it is expected to do,” he said.

Speaking to The Tribune immediately after being administered the oath by the Haryana Governor, Dr A.R. Kidwai, Justice Sud said if complaints against former Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala and his cabinet colleagues were brought before him, he would deal with these on merit and as the law dictated.

“The Lokayukta has to be as impartial as a High Court Judge, if not more. Unless this is done, people’s faith in this high office will get eroded and that I will not allow,” he asserted.

The plain-speaking former Judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court — he was relieved on Saturday — added that he would strive for bringing about total transparency in the working of the Lokayukta.

Asked whether he was sure that he would be allowed to complete his term as the last Lokayukta, Justice I.P. Vashishth, was removed mid-term by the previous government, Justice Sud replied that he had no worries on this count.

“I have a five-year term and there is no reason for me to believe that I will not be allowed to complete it. I am sure there will be no government interference in the functioning of the office of Lokayukta,” he said.

Asked to list his priorities, Justice Sud said his first and foremost job would be to make the institution of Lokayukta functional again as nobody had been appointed to the post after September 18, 1999, when Justice Vashishth was removed.

“The office has been vacant for the past over six years. I am sure, though I have not been officially informed, that there will be some pending complaints. It will be my endeavour to deal with all complaints expeditiously because that is what the common man would expect me to do,” he said.

Asked whether he would investigate complaints against the present Chief Minister and his ministerial colleagues also, Justice Sud replied in the affirmative. “The Lokayukta Act is very clear on this issue. My office will accept and deal with complaints against all government functionaries, regardless of their stature. And that includes the Chief Minister,” he added.

Justice N.K. Sud is administered the oath as Lokayukta, Haryana, by the Governor, Dr A.R. Kidwai, at Haryana Raj Bhavan in Chandigarh on Monday.

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Bureaucrats vacate rooms for ministers
Shubhadeep Choudhury
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 16
It is not easy to dislodge a bureaucrat from his familiar office room. However, it is happening in the Haryana Civil Secretariat here. The IAS officers, a powerful lot by all accounts, are having to vacate their rooms to make room for the ministers, the Chief Parliamentary Secretary (CPS) and the Parliamentary Secretaries sworn in on Saturday.

There are 12 of them — four ministers, one CPS and seven Parliamentary Secretaries — who have been inducted by the Chief Minister, Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda, to expand his team of government functionaries. All 12 of them need rooms with an attached smaller room for use by the staff.

Moreover, a Lokayukt, too, was appointed today and an office had to be found for him also in the secretariat building.

So it is packing off time for the bureaucrats from the secretariat. Mr Manik Sonowane, Chief Electoral Officer, will now have to sit in his other office at the 30 Bays Building at Sector 17 here. His room at the seventh floor of the secretariat has been given to Ms Meena Rani, Minister of State for Archives and Archaeology.

Ms Savitri Jindal, another Minister of State, has been given the room that was earlier the office of Mr P.K. Gupta, Secretary, Public Health Department. Mr Gupta has been shifted to Mr D.S. Dhesi’s room in the new secretariat. Mr Dhesi, who has dual charge of Transport Commissioner and Secretary, Civil Aviation, would sit in the Transport Department’s office at the 30 Bays Building.

Mr S.N. Roy, Director, Archives, too, has lost his room on the sixth floor of the secretariat. It has been given to Mr Dillu Ram, Parliamentary Secretary (PS).

The Archives Department has a temporary office in the Irrigation Department building at Panchkula. Mr Roy is expected to sit in that office till a building is constructed for housing the Archives Department.

Similarly, Mr M. Kithan, Special Secretary, Industries, Ms Sumita Misra, Joint Secretary, Power, Mr Ashok Yadav, Joint Secretary, Housing, and Mr R.B. Langayan, Joint Secretary, Urban Development, have also lost their rooms.

Mr Kithan has been accommodated in a room in the secretariat being used by the doctor as the dispensary. The doctor has been sent back to the dispensary at the Assembly hostel.

Ms Sumita Misra is also Director, Renewable Energy Department, and she will carry out her power sector job also from the same office.

Alternative arrangements have been found for the other displaced officers, too.

Ms Kiran Choudhary, Minister of State for Tourism and Forests, has been given the room meant for Mr G. Madhavan, Chief Information Commissioner and former Chief Secretary. Mr Madhavan will sit at the Mines and Geology building at Sector 8 here.

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Encroachments removed from Rohtak roads
Tribune News Service

Rohtak, January 16
At long last, the city is beginning to see a modicum of order on its roads. With the new traffic control plan and an anti-encroachment drive in place since yesterday, the residents are finding it hard to believe the city has such wide roads.

Most encroachments on the main roads have been removed giving commuters the opportunity to negotiate their vehicles. With fewer horns honking, the roads are also quieter. Auto-rickshaws which are 15 year old have been forced off the roads, reducing the pollution to a great extent.

For the first time in decades, traffic policemen can be found deployed at every intersection regulating traffic as per routes specified in the new traffic control plan.

For the time being the cops are not issuing any challans for traffic violations. They are happy with issuing a mild warning against any more violations of the traffic laws. Next week onwards, violators will have to pay hefty fines and even face prospects of losing their driving licences.

However, the city’s youth is still to come to terms with the new regulations in force. Driving two-wheelers without helmets is still as rampant. Besides, auto-rickshaw drivers are still offloading and picking up passengers anywhere they fancy despite spots being marked on all roads where they can do so.

Rakesh, an auto-rickshaw driver said, “ I find it hard to spot the red lines marked on the roads where I can pick up or offload passengers. I cannot keep my eyes on the left of the road to find these lines. These should be either more prominent or the administration should build shelters on the lines of bus queue shelters”.

Despite the initial success, there are still loopholes in the plan which need to be plugged. Chaos still rules the numerous railway crossings when these close to let trains pass. Since there are no traffic policemen stationed here multiple queues of vehicles make it difficult for the traffic to move once the crossings are reopened.

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Assembly
Proposal on all-woman varsity being studied
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 16
The Haryana Assembly today passed the Motion of Thanks on the Governor’s address by voice vote with the Opposition INLD and BJP preferring to remain quiet during the voting rather than saying no to the motion.

Earlier, the Chief Minister, Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda, while replying to the discussion on the Governor’s Address, said the government, while allocating a special economic zone (SEZ) to any party, would ensure that the people of that area benefitted from the SEZ.

The Chief Minister also said that the government was considering setting up the proposed all-woman university at Khanpur in Sonepat district. He said the village panchayats of the area had made a representation to him seeking the university to be located at Khanpur. It was stated in the representation that at least 8,000 girl students of the area would be able to avail themselves of the benefit of higher education if the university came up at Khanpur, Mr Hooda said.

On the power front, the Chief Minister said the government was trying to have more generation plants in the state. Plans were afoot to have an additional generation of 5,000 MW in the state through new plants. The target was likely to be achieved in the next three or four years.

Mr Hooda added that he would not make false promises about the beginning of “uninterrupted supply” of power to consumers.

Listing various initiatives by the government on the educational, social welfare and agricultural fronts, the Chief Minister said his predecessor, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, showed interest in public welfare only before elections.

Mr Shamsher Singh Surjewala from the Congress, Mr Ramkumar Gautam of the BJP, Mr Nirmal Singh of the Congress and Mr Sita Ram of the INLD were among those who participated in the discussion today.

Mr Surjewala said the government should explore the possibilities of transporting coal from Assam for thermal power plants. It should also try to get supply from the hydro-electric plants of Himachal Pradesh, he said.

Mr Gautam said the Governor’s speech gave a very rosy picture of the state, which was removed from reality. Corruption had not decreased in the state, he said, adding that some politicians and bureaucrats associated with the present regime were also not free from corruption.

Mr Gautam said that even Mr Chautala, whom he described as “Duniya ka sabse bara lutera”, brought to book. The comment attracted noisy protest from the INLD legislators.

Mr Gautam, however, went on with his address and urged the Chief Minister to give jobs to the cooperative and public sector employees retrenched during the Chautala regime. The BJP legislator also said that while the government had fixed the minimum wages, the amount was not being paid to workers by factory owners.

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Rs 400 cr auto research project for Manesar
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 16
A Rs 400-crore National Automotive Testing and Research and Development Infrastructure Project will be set up at IMT, Manesar, in Gurgaon district over 40 acres offered by the Haryana Government.

An official spokesman said here yesterday that this project was being set up by the Central Government for the promotion of automobile industry. He said Gurgaon had also emerged as preferred investment destination for Information Technology (IT), Information Technology Enabled Services and Business Process Outsource (BPO) companies. There was a plan to set up a hi-tech Habitat Centre in Electronic City, Gurgaon, to provide world class facilities for nurturing the companies in the IT industry.

He said the state government had adopted the cluster approach to industrial development in the state. This approach resulted in economies of scale being achieved without limitations of size. In Haryana, where small and medium industries predominated, the cluster approach would ensure industrialisation concentrating on specific sectors where the state had a competitive advantage.

Under the Cluster Development Scheme, a Rs 55-crore textile cluster at Panipat was being developed. A Rs 80-crore Light Engineering Goods Cluster was coming up at Faridabad. The government was also considering setting up a Rs 67-crore Auto Part Cluster at Gurgaon.

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UHBVN workers threaten stir
Tribune News Service

Panipat, January 16
Workers of the Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (UHBVN) clashed with an executive engineer and Panipat SDM R.K. Singh here this evening after the SDM allegedly misbehaved with union leaders and threatened to take action against them. Workers threatened to launch an agitation against the two officials.

Mr Narinder Khokhar, state secretary of the All- Haryana Power Workers Union, said a delegation of the union held a meeting with Mr B. S. Dahiya at his office.

He alleged that during the meeting Mr R. K. Singh blamed union leaders for strike culture and asked the executive engineer to use force against them.

He cautioned the workers and said that the administration should take the help of the musclemen to tackle protesting workers and power consumers too, alleged Mr Khokhar.

The meeting was held to protest against the suspension of two assistant linemen by Mr Dahiya.

There was resentment over the suspension of the two. Mr Satbir and Mr Balbir were suspended on the complaint of a local leader after they did not oblige him, Mr Khokhar added.

Enraged at the behaviour of the SDM, the AHPWU threatened an agitation and demanded an enquiry against the executive engineer.

According to Mr Khokhar, UHBVN officials at the best of the politicians were entertaining the complaints.

The SDM denied the use of provocative words at the meeting but added that the administration would deal strictly with the erring workers. The executive engineer blamed the workers for the ruckus.

About the suspension of ALMs, he said that the two workers were suspended after they were found guilty of not attending to complaints. He added the workers were not attending duties at night in rural areas, which was causing problems for power consumers.

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Gang war in Ambala
Rahul Das
Tribune News Service

Ambala, January 16
The relative calm in Ambala Sadar area seems to have been shattered by the bullets of dreaded criminals involved in a gang war to establish their crime turf.

For the last four years, there have been numerous incidents of people falling prey to bullets. The gang war is a major cause for concern for the local people. People are worried at the fact that there does not seem to be an end in sight to these killings.

The local people are also unhappy with the police. They say that the police must take immediate steps to check lawlessness being committed by the gang leaders. Incidentally, one of the reasons being attributed to the gang wars is the lack of effective police intelligence.

It would perhaps be difficult to explain as to how Nishan Singh, who has an award of Rs 25,000 on his head, could shoot at a woman in Bengali Mohalla in broad daylight and escape. For that matter, even Bobby is believed to be a frequent visitor to Ambala Sadar area.

Incidentally, police is on the lookout for Nishan Singh as well as Bobby for quite some time.

Recently, a joint task force of Haryana Police, Uttar Pradesh Police and Delhi Police had tried to nab these criminals but they are said to have lost by a whisker.

The gang wars began in Ambala about four years back. On January 11, 2002, a person named Duggal was shot dead outside GMN College, Ambala Cantt. Two months later in March 2002, a person named Bindu was shot dead on Babyal Road. Thereafter, Bittu Sharda received threats and he was provided with a gunman.

Three months after Bindu was shot dead, an attempt was made on the life of Rajendra in Dayal Bagh area. A case was registered against Monty, Sanjeev and Sudarshan. Sanjeev was killed in a police encounter in Karnal while Monty was killed by a fellow prisoner in Ambala Central Jail.

During that period, the names of Nishan Singh, Kuldeep and a few others emerged in the crime scene.

In June 2004, an attempt was made on the life of Rakesh, alias Bobby, in which his namesake Rajendra, alias Bobby, was killed. It was a case of mistaken identity. The incident had taken place in Subhash Colony.

Next month on July 8, 2004, a police encounter took place in Hari Nagar in which the assailants of the victim Rajendra, alias Bobby, were arrested. The encounter had lasted for about four hours. Those arrested were Randeep Rana, Kuldeep and Rinku.

On November 26, 2004, Rinku was granted parole so that he could attend his sister's marriage. However, he did not reach home. He was shot dead in Sikligar Mohalla in Ambala Sadar.

Last year, Nishan Singh was involved in the dramatic escape of Baljeet Singh while he was being escorted outside the Ambala Central Jail.

After the escape incident, Nishan Singh was involved in the murder of a Bahujan Samaj Party leader Raj Kumar in Sarsehri village. It was alleged that Nishan Singh had gone to meet Raj Kumar to collect money from him but shot him dead after he declined to pay up.

In yesterday's incident, dreaded criminal Bobby's sister Ritu has stated that Nishan Singh and his two other accomplices had fired at her.

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15 booked for demolishing houses of Dalits
Our Correspondent

Fatehabad, January 16
The police today booked 15 persons for demolishing the houses of some Dalit families at Kunal village in this district yesterday. No arrest has been made so far in this regard.

A group of armed landowners belonging to the upper caste yesterday went to the houses of Dalits, Buta Singh, Amar Singh, Nirmal Singh and Bhajan Singh, and grounded their houses with the help of tractors. Before starting their demolition drive, they threw the belongings of the Dalit families out in the open. In an effort to destroy evidence, they took the debris of the demolished houses in their tractor-trailers. Those who tried to stop the attackers were beaten up. The attackers said the Dalits had unauthorisedly constructed houses on their land.

The victims said they eked their living through farm labour and had constructed the houses on the land falling within the village boundaries. They said that some of the land on which the houses were constructed was purchased from landowner Birsa Singh for Rs 20,000. The victims said Birsa Singh came with his armed supporters yesterday while they had gone to work on fields and after throwing their women, children and belongings out of their houses, they demolished their houses with the help of tractors. They alleged that the attackers also took away with them Rs 20,000, 8 tolas of gold, wheat and animal fodder.

The SP, Mr Bhim Singh, and the Additional Deputy Commissioner, Mr M.L. Kaushik, visited the village today. The SP said a case under Sections 148, 149, 428 and 506, IPC, had been registered against the attackers.

Mr Kaushik said two residential plots had been offered to the victim families and the administration, he said, would construct the house of one of the victims under the Indira Awaas Yojana.

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CBI seeks court permission to interrogate accused
Our High Court Correspondent

Chandigarh, January 16
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) today told the Punjab and Haryana High Court that custodial interrogation of the two accused allegedly involved in the murder of Sirsa-based journalist Ram Chander Chhatrapati and Ranjit Singh, a former inmate of Dera Sacha Sauda, was essential in the interest of proper and effective investigation.

In two affidavits filed in the High Court, Mr Amaandeep Singh, Deputy Superintendent of Police, CBI, Chandigarh, prayed that the premier investigating agency be allowed to interrogate the two accused, Avtar Singh and Inder Sain. This, he added, was necessary to unravel the truth.

The affidavits have been filed to oppose the anticipatory bail pleas filed by the two accused. Both are currently on interim bail granted by the High Court.

During hearing, CBI counsel Rajan Gupta stated before the Bench of Mr Justice Rajive Bhalla that the conflicting statements of the accused had been confirmed in the polygraph test (lie detector test).

Asked by the court as to why the custodial interrogation was essential, the CBI counsel claimed that it was necessary to uncover the larger conspiracy behind the murders and the persons behind it, including the possible role of the dera chief.

After hearing the parties, Justice Bhalla fixed January 25 as the next date of hearing.

The High Court on Monday asked the Punjab Government to tell it as to whether the case in which the Indian Express journalist by SIT Gautam Dheer was booked was bailable or non-bailable.

During resumed hearing of the plea of the Naya Gaon rape victim’s father, Mr Balkar Singh, seeking directions to ensure that the Special Investigating Team (SIT), constituted on the directions of the High Court to probe the rape case, was allowed complete freedom in completing the probe, the Division Bench of Mr Justice Amar Dutt and Mr Justice Baldev Singh asked the Advocate General (AG), Punjab, to clarify under what circumstances Dheer was bailed out by the Ropar police. The Bench remarked that the picture was very vague so far.

The Bench later adjourned the matter for tomorrow after the AG said he would talk to investigating officer in the case and inform the court.

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Gram bandh from Jan 19
Tribune News Service

Yamunanagar, January 16
Sugarcane growers of the district led by the Gana Sangharsh Committee have announced gram bandh for four days starting January 19 to press the state government and Sarswati Sugar Mill management to accept their demands.

During the band, the farmers will not sell sugarcane to the mill and grass in towns. The mill management, on the other hand, said that the bandh would not have significant effect on the mill’s functioning.

Today hundreds of farmers held a panchayat the panchayat is said to have representation from all 625 villages of the district) at the office of Committee here and pledged not to sell cane to the mill.

The farmers are demanding that COS – 8436 variety of the cane be declared an early crop as done in neighbouring Uttar Pardesh so that Haryana farmers too could additional benefit of Rs 12 per quintal.

Mr Shamsher Tyagi, general secretary of the committee told the Tribune that the strike had also been called for release of arrears by the mill. The committee is also demanding a cooperative sugar mill or ethanol plant in the district. If the demands are not met, its further action will he decided on January 22.

General Manager of the mill Pankaj Malik said that they had approached the Union Government regarding additional cane price being demanded by the farmers, which is to be calculated under the Bhargawa Formula. A delegation of the committee met the mill management on January 14. “The mill cannot decide on the additional benefit it is the prerogative of the Union Government. Today we wrote to the government to issue notification of L-Sector for Haryana and if such notification is issued the mill would act”, said Mr Malik. Regarding arrears, Mr Malik said that the matter was before the high court, and would come up for hearing on January 18 and the mill was bound to follow to the decision of the court.

Mr Ratan Singh Deodhar, Chairman of the Committee said a delegation had met the Deputy Commissioner recently and submitted documents showing that COS 8436 variety was considered early crop in UP and cane cooperative societies in UP were getting 3 per cent of MSP as commission. In Haryana the societies get Rs 1 per quintal and thus the working of societies was being affected, complained Mr Ratan Singh. Other demands of the committee are improvement of roads in the villages and regular power supply.

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Power corporations extend scheme on voluntary disclosure
Tribune News Service

Hisar, January 16
The Haryana Power Distribution Corporations, DHBVN and UHBVN, have decided to extend the last date of the ongoing scheme for out-of-court settlement of disputes pending in courts till February 15, 2006.

The nigams have also decided to extend the scheme for the voluntary disclosure of unauthorised load in order to get it regularised.

The power distribution corporations has offered this scheme to all domestic, non-domestic, industrial, agricultural and bulk-supply consumers.

According to official sources, the scheme will be available in case of all disputes (except theft cases registered under the new Electricity Act) pending in courts, including the District Consumer Dispute Redressal Forums, State Commission or arbitration ending August, 2005.

The scheme will not be applicable to cases in which some amount had been charged after ascertaining the date of slowness of meter as load data or where disputes were on account of applicability of multiplying factor and to the cases where 100 per cent payment had been made by the consumer.

A spokesman for the power corporations stated that in cases where unauthorised load detected had resulted in change of category from low-tension industry to high-tension industry, L.T surcharge at the prescribed rate of 25 per cent of sale of power would be payable in addition to the amount charged for out-of-court settlement.

In cases where the court case had arisen on account of surcharge levied and the principal amount has already been paid, the matter may be settled out of court by levying concessional surcharge at the rate of 12 per cent (simple interest basis) from the date of charging the amount till the date of payment of the principal amount.

The scheme will also be applicable to the cases where amount has been charged on average basis and the dispute can be settled after the payment of 50 per cent amount along with 12 per cent simple interest.

The Dakshin and Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigams have also decided to reintroduce the voluntary disclosure scheme for unauthorised extension of load. The scheme would now remain operational for one month from January 16 to February 15, 2006.

An official spokesperson said here today that the scheme was meant for domestic and non-domestic consumers in the state for declaring their unauthorised load voluntarily to get it regularised without any penalty.

The scheme would also be available to the consumers who had already applied for extension of load and whose applications were being processed.

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Minister exhorts youth to prepare for international events
Our Correspondent

Kurukshetra, January 16
Inaugurating the five-day XXI all-India inter-varsity National Youth Festival, organised by Kurukshetra University and sponsored by the Association of Indian Universities (AIU) and the Ministry of Youth Affairs, at Kurukshetra University auditorium, here yesterday, the Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports, Mr Oscar Fernandes, called upon the youth to achieve higher goals in the field of cultural and sports competitions.

Mr Fernandes said India would host international competitions in the next decade.

He said the Commonwealth Games would be hosted by India in 2010 while the Asian Games and Olympic Games would be hosted in 2012 and 2016, respectively.

He urged upon the youth to start preparing themselves for these games to bring laurels to the country.

The chief guest blessed the participants and expressed the hope that the participants would make the festival a success. He reiterated the centre’s commitment to promoting the cause of the youth.

Prof R.P. Hooda, Vice-Chancellor, Kurukshetra University, in his presidential address appreciated the chief guest and AIU dignitaries for giving a distinct recognition to the university as the venue of the all-India cultural festival.

Prof Dayanand Dongaonkar, general secretary, AIU, was the guest of honour.

Mr Anoop Lather, Director, Youth and Cultural Affairs, expressed his sense of pride that Kurukshetra University had been chosen the venue of the festival.

A contingent of 1000 participants from as many as 70 universities from all over the country are participating in the festival.

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Seminar lays stress on diversification of agriculture
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 16
Agriculture continues to be the backbone of Haryana economy and the credit flow for this sector is expected to increase to Rs 10112.76 crore in 2006-07.

This was revealed by Mr A Ramanathan, Chief General Manager, NABARD Regional Office, during a State Credit Seminar for Haryana for 2006-7, held here last week. He said as per the Potential Linked Plans (PLPs), the lending was expected to increase from Rs.10874.71 crores(2005-06) to Rs112828.46 crore (2006-7).

In view of vast employment opportunities in rural non-farm sector, the ground level credit flow is envisaged to increase from Rs1776.06 crore (2004-5) to Rs 2793.17 crore.

“NABARD has been actively involved in extending refinance for activities such as dairy, poultry, farm mechanisation, minor irrigation, horticulture, non-farm sector, cold storage etc. in the state.

The refinance disbursed had increased from Rs 508.13 crore (2003-4) to Rs 593.52 crore (2004-5) registering a growth rate of 17 per cent. For developing rural infrastructure, NABARD has sanctioned 1634 projects covering involving Total Financial Outlay (TFO) of Rs.1568.93 crores and financial assistance of Rs1314.95 crore,” said Mr A Ramanathan.

The projects sanctioned include drainage and flood protection works, construction of rural roads and bridges, rural drinking water supply projects, construction and extension of minors, improvement in power sector etc. It is expected that successful implementation of these projects would cover 924915 hectares of agricultural area, provide connectivity to 1164 villages, ensure safe drinking water supply to 1218 villages and efficient distribution of power in 1347 villages.

The Chief Secretary, Haryana, Ms Meenaxi Anand Chaudhary, who inaugurated the seminar, felt the need to lay thrust on diversification of agriculture, allied activities and rural non farm sector in view of the rising unemployment in rural areas which in turn is the fallout of fragmented land holdings.

Mr Anil Razdan, Financial Commissioner and Principal Secretary, Irrigation, and Ms Umesh Nanda, Financial Commissioner, Institutional Finance, were also present.

The latter laid stress on the fact that the cycle of repayment of debt through borrowing should be done away with and banks should resort to realistic approach in lending. She also added that besides effective deployment of credit, effective management of natural resources through inter linking of rivers was also required.

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Case against 30 for blocking road
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, January 16
The Kharkhauda police has registered a case against 30 persons, including two sarpanches, on the charge of assaulting the staff of a barrier and holding up traffic on the Kharkhauda-Delhi road for about 4 hours near Ferozpur Bangar village on Friday in protest against the recovery of the toll tax from the farmers and the Jeep drivers.

The case has been registered on the complaint of Mr Sanjay, an employee of the toll tax barrier.

Residents of four villages Ferozpur Bangar, Rampur, Kundal and Jataula besides of certain Jeep drivers, had blocked the Kharkhauda-Delhi road for about 4 hours and manhandled the barrier staff in protest against the recovery of the toll tax. Hundreds of vehicles were stranded causing inconvenience to commuters.

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Minor raped

Karnal, January 16
A 15-year-old girl of Ward No 10 at Gurha village, falling under Indri police station, has allegedly been raped by a youth of the same locality.

A case has been registered against the youth, Manoj, alias Monu Ram, on the complaint of the victim. The victim alleged in her complaint that Manoj raped her in her house yesterday when she was alone there. — TNS

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