|Wednesday, May 31, 2000,
Power sector scenario grim
CMs electoral rights
Haryana Nirman Front formed
Implementation of awards
2 police stations per dist soon
Dowry victim set afire,
MDU introduces entrance exam
Ajit Singhs plea to PM on
21 fodder trucks sent to Rajasthan
Power bills found dumped in pit
Ranga urges youth to shun tobacco
Excise staff assaulted
Demand for Vita products up: HDDCF
Power sector scenario grim
CHANDIGARH, May 30 The scenario in the power sector of Haryana continues to haunt the Om Prakash Chautala-led Government . The deadline set by the State Government for recovery of arrears would expire tomorrow. The recovery from the consumers has been far from encouraging. According to figures circulated by the Haryana Power Utilities Services, so far Rs113 crores have been collected from the erring consumers which included Rs 50 crores collected from various government departments. While the total arrears pending with the consumers are about Rs 860 crores, the recoverable arrears reportedly come to about Rs 760 crore.
Sources, however, informed that even the collection figures of Rs 113 crore was inflated as the government, instead of making payments on behalf of the defaulting departments, adjusted some funds advanced by it to the Power Utilities Services.
A top official of the Haryana Power Utilities Services asserted that there was absolutely no chance of extending the deadline beyond May 31, and that they would take recourse to snapping of lines in the rural areas too (in urban areas this action is already being carried out). Sources pointed out that in rural areas it would not be an easy job as the personnel of the two distribution companies were likely to face organised resistance in the villages.
The farmers against whom the bills are pending number around 3.6 lakhs. Their concentration is in Jind, Kurukhshetra and Bhiwani districts. The amount pending against the farmers is about Rs 100 crore, as per conservative estimates. However, the domestic consumers in rural areas have also not paid their bills since 1992, when the government led by Mr Bhajan Lal increased power tariff. The accumulated bills of these two types of consumers in rural areas have become so much that it was virtually not possible for many families to settle the bills.
While maximum amount of arrears are pending against the agriculture and the domestic consumers, substantial arrears are also pending against the over 4 lakh commercial and industrial consumers. While the Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, has directed the district administrations and the police to extend help to the distribution companies in the recovery operation, officials of the Haryana Power Utilities Services appeared skeptical about much help from these quarters.
Meanwhile, a team from the World Bank led by Mr Djamal Mustafi, who had okayed WB funding for Haryanas power reform programme, has also come here to take stock of the status of reforms. The WB team had a day- long meetings with Mr Samir Mathur, Managing Director of Haryana Vidyut Prasaran Nigam Ltd, Mr Tarun Bajaj, Managing Director of Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam and other mandarins of the Power Utilities Services yesterday and today. Sources said that the WB team was in a fix as the State Government had failed to implement two important clauses of its agreement with the bank.
While one of clauses was relating to privatisation of the distribution network, no work has been done in this direction. The previous government had issued advertisements in this regard and eight parties had shown interest. However, soon after Mr Bansi Lal was replaced by Mr Chautala and since then there has been no further progress on handing over the distribution network to private parties. Neither the INLD government has taken any initiative to increase power tariffs, including tariffs in the agricultural sector, which was also an important precondition set up by the bank.
Officials from the British Governments Department of International Development have also reportedly come here to find out about the Rs 100 crore fund made available by them for the power sector here for recruiting consultants for the reform programme. While the fund has been already exhausted, the personnel of the Power Utility Services, who were given training by the consultants, apparently need further training.
The sources said that
some real tough measures are needed to improve the
scenario in the power sector and for that the government
needs to ignore temporary resentment of people. The
amount for electricity bills for the State was reportedly
Rs 2000 crore last year, out of which only about Rs 1300
crore could be recovered. Even if the entire amount was
recovered, there would have been still deficit of about
Rs 600 crore for the power sector companies, sources said
and added that increase in power tariff in the State is
the need of the hour.
CMs electoral rights
CHANDIGARH, May 30 Coming down heavily on the Election Commissioner, Mr J.M. Lyngdoh, the Punjab and Haryana High Court today held that his "action" of verbally directing the Haryana Chief Minister, Mr O.P. Chautala, to leave Bhiwani parliamentary constituency during the September, 1999, elections thereby preventing him from exercising his franchise was "not warranted under law".
Further holding the action to be "in violation of the electoral right of the Chief Minister of the State, who was the elected representative of the people of the State of Haryana", Mr Justice T.H.B. Chalapathi also expressed the hope that the "Chief Election Commissioner will take necessary action to prevent such misuse or abuse of power of the Election Commissioner by issuing necessary guidelines in this regard in consultation with other member of the Commission".
Mr. Justice Chalapathi added: "The act of Mr Lyngdoh giving oral instructions deserves condemnation and is to be deprecated. The Election Commissioner is not supposed to act as a super authority. It has to function within the limits of law. No one in this country, however high he may be, can be above the law".
However, dismissing the petition registered on the basis of Panchkula resident Mr Kanti Parkash Bhallas representation and on media reports, Mr. Justice Chalapathi observed: "There is no doubt that the offence punishable under Section 171-F is non cognizable. Therefore, there cannot be any direction to register an FIR against J.M. Lyngdoh for the offence".
Mr Justice Chalapathi added: "I cannot give any direction to prosecute J.M. Lyngdoh... I have no other option except dismiss the petition with the liberty to Kanti Parkash Bhalla, who made a representation to this Court, or any other aggrieved person to launch prosecution in accordance with the law in a competent court".
Pronouncing the orders in the open court, Mr Justice Chalapathi observed: "Law does not authorise any authority however high it may be, to pass verbal orders. The orders must be written and must be specific and the grounds for the orders must be stated. This is the basic rule. I am sorry to say that J.M. Lyngdoh is not aware of this basic principle".
Mr Justice Chalapathi also observed: "The verbal orders do not have any support of legal provisions... The Election Commissioner should have put in writing his direction so that there cannot be any ambiguity."
Giving details of the proceedings, Mr Justice Chalapathi observed: "The very fact that Chief Electoral Officer Mr Bhaskar Chatterjee had sworn affidavit that the Election Commissioner specifically directed the Chief Minister to return to the State Headquarters immediately under the threat of taking drastic action will certainly amount to interfering with the electoral right of Mr Chautala".
Mr Justice Chalapathi also observed: "Unfortunately, the Election Commissioner has not chosen to deny the averment made by the Chief Electoral Officer of Haryana and also in the affidavit of Mr Vijai Vardhan, Joint Secretary to the Government of Haryana, and also the averment made in the affidavit filed by the Chief Minister.... "
Mr Justice Chalapathi
concluded: "In all fairness, the Election Commission
should have stated the reason which prompted him to issue
such a direction, including a direction to Mr O.P.
Chautala to leave Bhiwani parliamentary constituency and
to return to the State Headquarters thereby refraining Mr
Chautala from exercising his franchise".
Haryana Nirman Front formed
CHANDIGARH, May 30 A third front for Haryana was born here today to "fight the Om Prakash Chautala and Private Company", in Haryana with the Rashtriya Lok Dal of Mr Ajit Singh and the Republican Party of India of Mr Prakash Rao Ambedkar joining hands.
The two leaders announced at a joint press conference the formation of the Haryana Nirman Manch (HNM) with the lone RPI MLA in Haryana, Mr Karan Singh Dalal, as its convener.
They said Mr Dalal had been made the convener of the HNM because he had the capacity to fight against the misrule of Mr Chautala. They said the need to form the Morcha was felt because the Congress, which was the main Opposition party in the State, was badly faction ridden and its leaders were more interested in settling scores with one another than in taking on the government.
The Rori byelection had proved that the Congress lacked the will to become an alternative to the INLD.
Still, they said their doors were not closed for the Congress or for that matter any anti-BJP force in the State.
Mr Ajit Singh and Mr Ambedkar warned the Chautala Government that if it tried to forcibly collect electricity dues from farmers, the HNM would not be a silent spectators. They said first Mr Chautala instigated the farmers not to pay the electricity dues which he had promised to write off on coming to power. Now the INLD leader was threatened the farmers with disconnection of the power supply and legal action if they failed to pay their dues.
Mr Ambedkar said without social stability there could not be political stability. The Rashtriya Lok Dal and the RPI had joined hands in a bid to ease social tension in the country. The Haryana experiment would be extended to U.P. and Rajasthan in due course of time.
Mr Ajit Singh said his party would not enter into an electoral alliance with the Congress in U.P. for the Assembly elections.
Mr Ambedkar said the retirement age should be reduced to 53 to 54 years so that jobs could be provided to unemployed youth, which, if remained unemployed, could play a major destructive role.
They accused the BJP Government of ruining the agriculture and small-scale industries in the country by bowing to the dictates of international agencies and the WTO. They said it was strange that the BJP, which came to power on the plank of Swadeshi, had turned out to be the biggest advocate of the WTO.
The younger brother of Mr Chautala, Mr Pratap Singh, also joined the HNM today.
Activity-based teaching picks up
PANCHKULA, May 30 Having met with success at the primary level, the concept of activity-based teaching, the District Primary Education Programme (DPEP), is all set to spread its wings in the State as the Government of India prepares a blueprint for the expansion of the World Bank-aided project.
However, whether the decision swings in favour of a vertical expansion in seven districts already running the programme in as many as 4400 schools according to the changed syllabi or for a horizontal expansion which entails the DPEP in all 19 districts of the State is still uncertain.
The project is already in practice till Class V in seven districts of the State, says the Haryana Project Director of DPEP, Mr Sanjiv Kumar. He contends that the department is keen on upgrading the pedagogic skills at the upper primary level, till class VIII, in these districts, if additional funds are not made available for setting up the requisite infrastructure in the 12 other districts which would come under the horizontal expansion programme of the DPEP. ``After having taught children in an unconventional way till Class V, it is unfair to put them back on textbooks based on hackneyed information prepared nearly 20 years back, he opined.
However, he admits that this would mean additional work for the department, since books under the DPEP are specially prepared with inputs from all over the country and JBT teachers are employed for selecting the material relevant to the various classes. ``The whole thing is a tedious exercise and teachers, having fallen into the rut of asking students to mug up the texts, are very opposed to the idea of the new methodology.
Mr Kumar explained that its extension would also entail training these very teachers for the purpose before they can deliver the goods in the classroom. It would also mean that teachers can no longer ask the students to read from the books and go to plough their field instead of devoting time with them.
Under the programme, training of teachers is carried out by 500 Cluster Resource Co-ordinators (CRC) each of who have seven schools under their preview in a district. What sets the programme apart from the regular teaching at the primary level is the absence of the ``talking down approach typical of government schools in rural areas, concentration of peer group interaction and participative learning which has over 18,000 JBTs on deputation under the programme.
The next training is scheduled to begin on June 2 and would go on till July 8 in the various districts. ``A major drawback with the conventional system has been that though they have organised a number of training programmes, these have been based on the 15-year-old training module which has undergone a sea change since the time it was designed. These are major ills ailing the present primary education system, Mr Kumar added.
encouraging result of the DPEP has been an increase in
the number of girl students attending school.
Interestingly, the choice of districts for
experimentation with the programme was based on the
number of girl students attending school. While it began
in Hisar, Sirsa, Kaithal and Jind in the first phase, it
covered the districts of Gurgaon, Bhiwani and
Mahendergarh in the second phase where female literacy
was below the national average.
Implementation of awards simplified
CHANDIGARH, May 30 The Haryana Government has simplified the process of implementation of awards of labour courts to avoid procedural delays.
It has been decided that the publication of the award would be done at the level of District Labour Commissioner who would get the award implemented and would also monitor its progress. Under this dispensation workers can approach the office of District Labour Commissioner.
The Government has also reconstituted the State level Screening Committee on bonded labour under the chairmanship of Financial Commissioner and Secretary. The Labour and Employment Department will review measures to prevent bondage and suggest measures for the enforcement of provisions of the Bonded Labour System (Abolition ) Act , 1976 and identification and rehabilitation of bonded labour in the State.
The other members of the
committee are Directors of the Departments of Social
Defence and Security, Women and Child Development , Rural
Development , Primary Education , Industries and
Agriculture, General Health Services, and Registrar
Cooperative Societies, Joint Secretary, Home Department
and Joint Legal Remembrancer.
2 police stations per dist
GURGAON, May 30 Encouraged by the feed back to its decision to start a model police station in each of the districts of Haryana, the state police has now taken a decision for two police stations.
As per the revised plans, the two model police stations will be in the urban and rural pockets in each district. Earlier there was a plan for the police station in the urban pocket only. The number was to be increased gradually with the passage of time, depending on the rate of success of the experiment.
According to sources, the review of the decision in favour of increasing the model police stations in each district was done at a meeting of superintendents of police presided over by the state Director-General of Police, Mr S.P.S. Rathore, about a fortnight ago. In fact, the idea of starting model police stations was said to be the brainchild of Mr Rathore, and it was he who showed an inclination to increase the number.
The move for increasing the number of police stations is said to be with a view to strike a balance between the urban and rural pockets in each district.
According to reports reaching here, the authorities in all four ranges in the state are working overtime to implement the idea at the earliest.
A senior IPS officer told TNS that the model police stations would be provided with all modern tools and equipment fitted with state of the art gazettes.
Besides, as part of modernisation programme, the police authorities are already working on a plan to link the entire district with the state headquarters.
In the past few months the authorities have also taken measures to enforce discipline in the force. One of the problem that is said to have emerged are cases of absenteeism in the force.
In a bid to keep up the morale of the force, the top brass is said to have initiated a number of measures, which include, redressing the genuine grievances of the personnel. Some of the problems had been pending for a number of years. The INLD had also made poll promises to initiate proactive measures for the force.
The sources said the police authorities have decided to give further impetus to the ongoing drive to reduce the rate of road accidents in the state. The decision regarding the drive was taken recently at a meeting of the Deputy Commissioners convened by the Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala. According to the feedback that the police in the districts have received, was that fatal accidents account for the bulk of the deaths in the districts.
Dowry victim set afire,
SIRSA, May 30 A woman of the local Anaj Mandi was allegedly set afire for bringing insufficient dowry by her in-laws. She was admitted to the local civil hospital in a serious condition.
According to the information received today, Ms Parveen Kaur was married to Harpal Singh of new Anaj Mandi. The victim said that her father had spent Rs 10 lakh on her marriage but her in-laws demanded Rs 2 lakh in cash and 12 acre of land. She said her in-laws had sold the car and jewellery. She alleged that her husband and in-laws tried to strangulate her and then sprinkled kerosene before setting her on fire. The police has registered a case against her in-laws.
In another case a dispute between two brothers in Rania has left one of them dead. According to the district police chief, Mr K.K. Mishra, a case has been registered on a complaint lodged by Narinder Singh against his uncle Gurcharan Singh of Himmatpura Nakora village for killing his elder brother.
According to him, the reason behind the killing was a property dispute. Gurcharan wanted to usrup his brothers land by killing Narender. Narenders father tried to intervene and was killed on the spot. Gurcharan is absconding.
The district police has booked a stockiest for manufacturing spurious ghee. The police today raided a stockiest Krishan Lal Mahajan in Mandi Dabwali and found that he was manufacturing spurious ghee.
A married woman and her two sons died after consuming poison.
Nirmala, wife of Bhoop Singh of Hisar had came to Sirsa to visit her relatives along with her three sons yesterday evening.
She consumed some
poisonous substance after poisoning her 16-year-old son
Kapil, 10-year-old son Ravi. Her sons were taken to the
local Civil Hospital where they died. The police has
registered a case.
MDU introduces entrance exam
ROHTAK, May 30 In view of the unprecedented rush of candidates seeking admission to regular courses, MDU has decided to hold an entrance test in two sessions on June 11. The first session will be held from 11 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. and the second session will start from 3.30 to 5 p.m.
The Controller of Examination, Dr K.C. Bhardwaj, said 71 test centres had been set up at Rohtak and Sonepat for about 28,000 candidates who would be taking the B.Ed entrance examination on June 11 for 1,200 seats.
The admit cards and roll numbers are being despatched to all eligible candidates. Those candidates who do not receive their admit card by June 7 are advised to contact the B.Ed entrance exam coordinator, Mr R.S. Dalal, for duplicate admit card.
21 fodder trucks sent to
FATEHABAD, May 30 Twentyone trucks of fodder were sent to the draught hit areas of Rajasthan from this district today. The Deputy Commissioner, Mr Anil Malik, flagged off the trucks. The fodder will be distributed among the people in Chirava, Pilani and Suratgarh tehsils of Jhunjhunu District in Rajasthan. Farmers from the Tohana subdivision have contributed seven trucks while those from Fatehabad contributed 14 trucks of fodder.
Power bills found dumped in
FATEHABAD, May 30 A local resident found more than 500 electricity bills lying dumped in a pit on a roadside. The last date for the payment of the bills had already elapsed.
The bills bearing SD code number 41 and from two different series of FF ii and V ii were to be distributed to the residents of the local Ashok Nagar, Bhuna Road and Shakti Nagar areas. The due dates for the payment of these bills were April 19 and May 8, respectively. Perhaps, after distributing a few of these, the official concerned found an easy method of disposal by dumping these bills in a pit. Residents here have often complained of not getting bills in time. Moreover at times they did not get the bills.
Ranga urges youth to shun
CHANDIGARH, May 30 The Haryana Minister of State for Health, Dr M.L. Ranga, today urged people to shun tobacco as it was not only harmful for health but also reduced life-span, besides giving birth to many diseases.
In a message issued here today on the eve of World No Tobacco Day, Dr Ranga said tobacco was a harmful addictive substance and added that cigarette and bidi manufacturing industries were playing havoc with the health of people.
Ajit Singhs plea to PM
CHANDIGARH, May 30 The President of the Rashtriya Lok Dal, Mr Ajit Singh, and the chief of the Republic Party of India, Mr Prakash Rao Ambedkar, today urged the Vajpayee Government to seek the UN intervention in Fiji where "certain terrorists have hijacked a democratically elected Government".
Talking to newsmen here today the two leaders said it could be a military intervention with India contributing to the force.
Expressing surprise over the "silence" of the Indian Government, Mr Ajit Singh and Mr Ambedkar said the Vajpayee Government should also urge the Commonwealth to expel the new Fiji dispensation on the lines of action taken by it against the military junta in Pakistan.
Excise staff assaulted
ROHTAK, May 30 Officials of the Excise Department were assaulted and stoned at Karontha village in the district last night by some persons.
According to police sources, officials had come to raid the house of a person allegedly involved in liquor smuggling. Some wine contractors had complained of liquor smuggling at the local Indira Colony.
It is alleged that the
accused identified as Kamlesh, alias Kable, had got
unloaded some liquor illegally. When the officials
reached the village, they were attacked by some persons.
Their jeep was also damaged. The villagers had reportedly
taken them as thieves. A case has been registered under
the Arms Act and the Excise Act. No arrest has been made
Demand for Vita products up:
ROHTAK, May 30 The demand for milk products sold by the Haryana Dairy Development Cooperatives Federation (HDDCF) has increased despite a slump in the ghee industry, claimed Mr Z. S. Sahu, chief executive officer (CEO) of Rohtak-Gurgaon cooperative milk producers union ltd (milk plant) here yesterday.
Talking to newsmen, Mr Sahu claimed milk and milk products sold under the name of Vita had gained added popularity among the masses. He said Vita products sale had touched a new high after known brands of desi ghee sold by private companies were found to be spurious.
He said the turnover of
the HDDCF milk plant at Rohtak had touched Rs 120 crore
per annum. The plant had also got ISO-9002 and ISI-5000
certification for quality and safety of its food
products. The production of Vita ghee has
touched 1500 tonnes a year.
|| Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
| Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh Tribune | In Spotlight |
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
| 120 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |