|Monday, May 22, 2000,
Power bills recovery
campaign gets boost
Posts of ADO not filled
Village education panels envisaged
Give priority in
admissions to orphanage kids
Phone exchange opened
Sugar mills for Sirsa, Gohana
Industrialists submit memo
KU centre classes from next year
Power bills recovery campaign gets boost
CHANDIGARH, May 21 (PTI) Power utilities in Haryana faced with a massive task of recovering Rs 860 crore from consumers have got a fillip to their campaign with recovery of Rs 113 crore from the defaulting electricity consumers during April 1 to May 15.
Giving details of the arrears recovered, Ms Meenaxi Anand Chaudhary, Chairperson of Haryana Power Utilities, said today that Rs 50 crore were recovered from the government departments and Rs 63 crore were recovered from the rural and urban consumers, which included waived surcharge of Rs 16.5 crore.
The chairperson added that total arrear from the defaulting consumers was Rs 860 crore, out of which Rs 785 crore were recoverable.
The balance amount was under dispute, pending in the various courts.
She said that it has also been decided to have "bijli lok adalat" for deciding the cases pending in the various courts.
Ms Chaudhary further stated that the rural consumer have been given the last chance up to May 31,2000 to get their surcharge waived on their pending electricity bills.
The chairperson further stated that many rural electricity consumers have represented to their respective deputy commissioners to extend the last date for making the payment of their pending electricity bills, without surcharge because their money for the said of their crops, was tied up in the various markets.
Keeping in view their representations, the two nigams have given the rural electricity consumers the last chance to make the payment of their pending electricity bills without surcharge, up to May 31, 2000.
Posts of ADO not filled
HISAR, May 21 Lack of trained personnel despite availability is threatening the future of agriculture in Haryana. The state not recruited a single Agricultural Development Officer (ADO) for the past four years despite the fact that it has only one ADO for every 2500 families against the norm of one such officer for every 700 families.
This is seriously hampering the all-important task of transfer of new technology to farmers.
Not only that, the ADOs in Haryana continue to be Class III employees whereas their counterparts in Punjab and Himachal Pradesh have the pay scale and status of Class I officers. This is despite the fact that the Chaudhry Charan Singh Haryana Agricultural Universitys College of Agiculture produces about 100 graduates, 60 postgraduates and about 40 Ph.Ds in this discipline every year.
Consequently, the states employment exchanges now have more than 1100 agricultural graduates, postgraduates and Ph.Ds on their rolls with no hope of getting employed in the near future. The HAU itself, too, has not filled any post for the past four years. As a result, agricultural scientists holding, Ph.D. degrees are desperately holding on to jobs such as STD PCO operators to make both ends meet.
The successive governments indifference to agriculture is evident also from the fact that agriculture has not been categorised as a technical subject as recommended by the National Commission on Agriculture. As many as 13 states have already done so. Had this been done in Haryana, agricultural scientists would have been manning the Department of Agriculture instead of bureaucrats. Strangely, veterinary sciences and health have already been accorded that status.
Inquiries reveal that the severe resource crunch faced by successive governments in Haryana has led to a situation which threatens to undo the rapid progress made by the state in agricultural production. Not only that, CCSHAUs College of Agriculture long known as Asias best may face closure within the next few years if the ever-dwindling number of students on its rolls is any indication. The number of students has been falling despite the lowering of eligibility conditions from 60 per cent marks in the qualifying examination to 33 per cent at present.
For the past several years, students of agriculture have been periodically agitating to press their demand for filling posts of ADO and the introduction of agriculture as a subject in schools at the 10 plus two level. However, the assurances given by successive governments have never been fulfilled.
Senior agricultural scientists and extension experts say that the introduction of agriculture as a subject in schools to provide jobs to jobless graduates is only one aspect of the problem. They say that a state with a predominantly agricultural economy can never face the challenges of the future unless teaching of agriculture is taken to the school level. They say the government should groom the school students for hi-tech farming in the schools. This will help produce qualified farmers willing to adopt new farming techniques and stop the mad rush for white-collar jobs in towns.
They are greatly upset by the possibilities of the closure of colleges of agriculture because of shortage of students. What this will mean for a state like Haryana is anybodys guess, they say. They point out that as per the current rules any post lying vacant for two consecutive years is liable to be abolished. Since the HAU has not filled posts for four years now, many posts are likely to be abolished.
That perhaps explains why even the Haryana Agricultural University Teachers Association has also extended its support to the students of agricultural sciences who have been on an indefinite strike to highlight the situation since April 25. The agitation began on April 17 when the students began a dharna and a token strike for a week during which they held processions. They have been organising chain fasts here since May 12.
Leaders of the agitating students met the Secretary, Department of Agriculture, who they claimed shared their concern. Later, they also called on the Agriculture Minister. But nothing has emerged from the discussions. They met the Finance Minister, Mr Sampat Singh, here yesterday to demand the inclusion of a proposal to introduce agriculture as a subject in schools in the agenda for the next meeting of the panel on new education policy headed by the minister.
sources said there was little likelihood of vacant posts
of ADO being filled. And given the present
governments stress on IT, even the introduction of
agriculture as a subject at the school level is unlikely
to be done.
Village education panels
CHANDIGARH, May 21 The new education policy of Haryana, which is currently being debated seeks to set up village education committees (VECs) to supervise the functioning of the primary and middle schools in the rural areas.
According to informed sources, the need for VECs has been felt because of a plethora of complaints about the functioning of these schools, particularly absentism among the teachers. The sources say experience has shown that the supervision by Education Department merely is not enough to ensure proper functioning of the rural schools.
It was felt that if the control of the schools was given to those who have a vested interest in their proper functioning in this case the parents of students, there would be a vast improvement. Hence the VECs, which will be independent of the panchayats, though the latter would be indirectly associated with the VECs.
It is still being considered that should the teachers, at present on the rolls of the Education Department, be transferred or sent on deputation to the district cadres. One view is that the existing cadre of the teachers should be declared a "diminishing cadre", with future recruitments to be made only at the district level.
The education policy also aims to evolving a transparent transfer policy the primary aim of ensuring the posting of teachers in backward and rural areas.
It is also planned that anganwaris should be located in the primary schools wherever space is available so that there is better coordination between the Education Department and the other departments related with the welfare of children.
To lure the people away from the so-called public schools, which charge high fees, the Government plans to introduce English as a subject from Class one. Similarly computer education will be introduced from Class IX.
Drains being desilted, lined
KAITHAL: The work on repairing Kasan drain, which brought much destruction and havoc on dozens of villages falling in Pai and Kalayat constituencies of this district in 1998, is in full swing these days.
At the request of Mr Ram Pal Majra, Chief Parliamentary Secretary, Haryana, who represents Pai constituency, the Chief Minister has directed the Irrigation Department to take up work on this drain on top priority. The department will have to construct 15 bridges on different approach roads to villages crossing this drain and two other drainage crossings at places where Jakholi and Kotra distributaries cross this drain.
The department has undertaken the work of desilting and construction of bridges and drainage work over the entire length of 20 km involving an expenditure of Rs 70.78 lakh.
The Executive Engineer, Mr M.K. Ahuna, stated that out of the proposed 15 bridges and two drainage works, drainage work of Kotra minor and four bridges have already been completed. Desilting work is in progress and is likely to be completed by June 30, before the monsoon breaks out.
This drain brought misery for residents of villages as the floodwaters in this drain did not flow by gravity as a result of which the natural flow of this drain was obstructed, flooding scores of villages paralysing, normal life and forcing the administration to launch relief and rescue operations at great cost.
When a group of media persons visited the area to see the progress of work on this drain, the villagers were full of praise for the Chief Minister and the local legislator. They were hopeful that after work is completed they would get the much awaited relief from floods and their misery would be considerably reduced. However, they demanded that if the government wanted to make this area free from floods completely it should start work on Songal drain at the earliest. They said the drain would supplement the Kasan drain and increase its capacity to carry floodwaters, as according to the proposed plan it would run towards the natural flow of water.
According to Mr Ram Pal Majra, the Songal drain would be constructed under the states Master Plan for floods and was a World Bank project. In spite of the huge expenditure in this project, the government will speed up its construction to provide relief to scores of villages.
Give priority in
admissions to orphanage kids
ROHTAK, May 21 Children who grow up in orphanages should get "priority" later in life in getting admission to professional institutes and colleges.
Speaking as the chief guest at the annual function of Ch. Lakhi Ram Anathalya here today, the District and Sessions Judge, Mr R.S. Madan, said bright students who gain merit in various board examinations should be provided some kind of priority in admission to professional and vocational courses like medical, engineering, poly- technics and other institutions.
Mr Madan said the state government as well as individuals who were active in social service should come forward to improve the standard of living of such children.
Presiding over the function, Mr H.S. Malik, Additional Deputy Commissioner (ADC), expressed satisfaction over the functioning of the orphanage. As many as 35 children, who have been provided with residential facilities are receiving education in the orphanage here. Some of these children are receiving educations free of charge in some of the well-known schools, including DAV Public School.
Phone exchange opened
AMBALA, May 21 A new technology telephone exchange OBC-28 of 1000 lines capacity was added in the telecom network of Ambala SSA here today.
The Secretary, Department of Telecom, Mr P.S. Saran, inaugurated the exchange. The Chief GMT Haryana Telecom, Mr N.K. Mangla, was also present on the occasion.
Sugar mills for Sirsa, Gohana
CHANDIGARH, May 21 The Cooperative Sugar Mills in Haryana have crushed 274.54 lakh quintals of cane and produced 24.70 lakh quintals of sugar during the crushing season of 1999-2000 as against 247.62 lakh quintal crushed and 21.39 lakh quintals sugar produced during the last season.
Disclosing this, the Haryana Cooperation Minister, Mr Kartar Singh Bhadana said the recovery of sugar from 10 Cooperative Sugar Mills functioning in the state was 9 per cent as against 8.64 per cent during 1998-99. On account of high sugar recovery about one lakh quintals of additional sugar, had been produced. The production of bold grain sugar has also increased from 38 per cent to 58 per cent which will improve the sugar sales realisation to the tune of Rs 1crore.
The Minister said that
in order to encourage sugarcane production and to meet
the requirement of sugar in the state, it had been
decided to set up two sugar mills at Sirsa and Gohana at
a cost of Rs 83 crore. These mills will start operation
in November, 2001.
Industrialists submit memo
CHANDIGARH, May 21 Gurgaon industrialists are up in arms against the levy of local area development tax and other allied taxes.
A press note issued by Mr Jagan Nath Mangla and Mr Vipul Bedi, president and general secretary of the Gurgaon Industrial Association, respectively, said about 250 industrialists assembled outside the camp office of the Gurgaon Deputy Commissioner yesterday to voice their resentment against the levy of these taxes which, they said, had affected industries adversely.
KU centre classes from next
SIRSA, May 21 The local regional centre of Kurukshetra University will be developed in such a way that it grows into a full-fledged university. For this classes will start from the coming academic session. This was stated by the Vice-Chancellor of Kurukshetra University, Dr Hushiar Singh, after inspecting the newly-constructed block of the regional centre at Phulekan village, 10 km from here, yesterday.
He said they were going to introduce courses like MCA, D.P.Ed, MA in Public Administration, LL.B, in addition to MA classes in subjects running at present at the Government National College.
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