|Friday, June 2, 2000,
LADT to mop up Rs 90 crore
Agroha college issue to be taken
up with Centre
Trade in stolen cars to Nepal
MC drive to mop up
High castes sweep Faridabad roads
Irrigation offices cry for repairs
Life term for ASI, husband
Four die as 3 vehicles collide
Criminal gang busted, 5 held
Girl missing, abduction alleged
Draw held for investors
Vice-Chancellor of MDU soon
Challenges for Chautala after Rori
CHANDIGARH, June 1 The Haryana Chief Minister, Mr Om Parkash Chautala is glad. His younger son Abhay Singh has had a resounding win from Rori, the traditional seat of the Chautala clan. In fact, there was hardly any opposition from the Congress. Its candidate picked up just a few thousand votes, providing a chance to Mr Chautala to sneer at the Congress and saying the party is finished in Haryana. This only means there is no opposition. Since July, when Mr Chautala replaced Mr Bansi Lal through a kind of coup, he has been moving ahead for he used both the BJP and the Congress to meet his ends.
The Congress finds this victory an aberration .Can Mr Chautala stage a similar win elsewhere? question, nevertheless has its own political implication. One, the line of succession in the Chautala clan is being cleared. The elder son, Mr Ajay Singh is for Parliament and the younger one for the Assembly. As Mr Abhay Singh has declared, he may not immediately join the government, but he will have now greater say in the affairs of the government. He is member of the State Assembly and an important functionary of the ruling Indian National Lok Dal.
But more important is the fact that this victory has strengthened the hands of Mr Chautala. He can say with pride that he can stage electoral successes in Haryana .He rules the roost with his own party at the helm of affairs. The BJP may keep making noises, but it has lost its political clout. It messed up its relationship first with Mr Bansi Lal and later with Mr Chautala by chewing much more than it could digest. It now complains that it is not being consulted and Mr Chautala is taking policy decisions without bothering for it. Does Mr Chautala have any compulsions to consult the BJP ?Does he need to toe its line on issues like the introduction of English from the primary stage or levying taxes in the urban areas.
But the most important question is whether the Chief Minister will show enough autonomy and strength to take hard decisions. The power sector would be his first test. He knows that he has not been able to fulfill his promise of free power and water to the farmers. But now he is under another compulsion to increase the charges on power being supplied to the farmers. The World Bank aid which the government is utilising for the power sector stipulates that power rate would have to be at least increased from 50 paise at present to 75 paise per unit. Also, the huge backlog of bills against the farmers must be paid. The deadline is already over. How much force can be used against the farmers? is the question. Land size is dwindling and unemployment among the rural youth rising. Farming is no longer profitable unless one owned 10 acres and above. How would the new government address to this crisis is another challenge.
Mr Chautala is aware of the growing alienation among the urban people and he can hardly afford to annoy his real constituency, the rural areas. So how he tackles the power sector crisis is one major test. Right now he has the image of good grassroots politician, with immense capacity to capture power. He has not worked hard enough to build the image of a development oriented Chief Minister. Secondly, he has also to show that he can govern well and beat his rivals like Mr Bansi Lal and Mr Bhajan Lal. The Devi Lal clan has the dubious distinction of capturing power and then letting it go waste. It happened in 1977, 1987 and in between. Can the present Chief Minister with all his cunning correct the reputation? People and politicians, including his rivals, are closely watching .
The Congress chose a weak candidate and then organised almost no campaign and gave the victory on the platter to the INLD. The division right now is very sharp and the leaders are unlikely to close their ranks and put a united front. Bickering is on the rise as if the party is close to power. Mr Bhajan Lal and Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda , Haryana Congress chief are at dragons drawn all the time. While Mr Bhajan Lal is busy in creating real Shadow Cabinet, Mr Hooda is keen to build the party and unite it. But for now its
LADT to mop up Rs 90 crore
CHANDIGARH, June 1 The Haryana Government has plans to mop up funds to the tune of Rs 90 crore from the recently introduced Local Areas Development Tax and by rationalising the house tax structure so that the municipal committees of the State can become self sufficient. At least 43, out of the 53 existing municipal committees in the state, are stated to be in the red which cannot even make regular payments to their staff.
At a meeting held in the Chief Ministers camp office here today, Mr Om Prakash Chautala reportedly approved the blueprint prepared by the Local Bodies Department for rationalisation of the house tax structure. The new formulation , according to sources, will take into account the area of the house at collector rate, material used for the house as well the rental value of a house for determining house tax. It will be a self assessment scheme as the taxpayers will be asked to make their own evaluation which will be subjected to scrutiny by the municipal committee officials. The sources said that letters in this regard from the Chief Secretary is expected to be issued and its implementation is likely to start in a months time.
The collection of LADT had started in Haryana from last month. Officials of the Local Bodies Department are hopeful that these two taxes would salvage the municipal committees which were struck a severe blow by the Chautala Governments decision to abolish octroi, which had led to erosion of Rs 62 crore worth of revenue for the MCs. While the Local Bodies Department is keen on having funds also for development of urban areas, its first priority is to give regular salary to the staff.
The Local Bodies department is also one of the few departments in Haryana which is yet to implement the Fifth Pay Commission recommended scales for its employees. A proposal to hike the registration fee of commercial establishments, including private nursing homes and clinics, is reportedly in the pipeline, by which the department will try to further strengthen its kitty so that it can introduce the new pay scales . The Supreme Court had already directed the Local Bodies Department to implement the Fifth Pay Commission scales.
Presently the municipal committees are surviving on the Rs 90 crore grant advanced by the State Government which is being spent entirely for paying salary to the staff. In todays meeting at the Chief Ministers camp office, which was attended by Minister of State for Local Government, Mr Subhash Chand Goyal, Principal Secretary to Chief Minister, Mr Vishnu Bhagwan, Financial Commissioner, Local Government Mr M K Miglani, Financial Commissioner, Finance, Mr A N Mathur and others, Mr Chautala asked the officials to ensure that all arrears of the salaries of the employees of the municipalities were cleared within June and they were given their salaries regularly.
The Chief Minister also
announced that he would convene a seminar of the
presidents and vice presidents of the urban local bodies
here on June 18 to discuss with them avenues for
improving the functioning of the municipalities. Mr
Chautala said that he would discuss developmental plans,
measures to generate resources, issues concerning
recovery of long standing house arrears, conversion of
lease hold property to free hold, suitable mechanism for
regularisation of urban colonies, development of roads
and sewerage system, water supply, cleanliness in the
towns and other issues with the representatives of the
urban bodies in course of the seminar.
Agroha college issue to be
taken up with Centre
CHANDIGARH, June 1 To secure the future of about 150 students who were admitted to Maharaja Agarsen Institute of Medical Research and Science, Agroha, the Haryana Government has decided to take up the issue of the recognition of the college with the Union Government.
In the absence of recognition by the Medical Council of India (MCI), the students of the Agroha college are facing an uncertain future though they are attending classes in the Rohtak Medical College.
The Haryana Government is likely to plead with the Union Government that the college should be given recognition as per the norms of the MCI which existed before 1993, because its construction had started much before that.
The State is likely to plead that at least the students already admitted to the college should be given the pre-1993 status. The MCI has recently refused to recognise the degree of these students on the ground that they were students of an unrecognised college even if they attended classes in Rohtak Medical College.
When the Bansi Lal Government had stopped the grants of the college, its managing society had announced the closure of the college. The students already admitted to the college were shifted to Rohtak Medical College. With the Chautala Government in the saddle, the grants were resumed and the construction of the college restarted.
However, the flow of grant has been slow. So far the Government has released only Rs 1.50 crore against the promised grants of about Rs 8 crore.
The matter was raised by representatives of the college society, Mr R.P. Jindal and Mr P.N. Shorewala, at the third meeting of the steering committee of the college held here today. The meeting was presided over by the Finance Minister, Prof Sampat Singh, in whose constituency, Bhatu, the college is located.
While Prof Sampat Singh assured the society representatives that the remaining grants of the college would be released as soon as the audit report was received, the Minister of State for Health, Dr M.L. Ranga, said he would personally take up the issue to the colleges recognition with the Union Health Minister.
Prof Sampat Singh said the State Government would make all efforts to commence the new academic session of the college from August, 2001. He asked the society representatives to ensure the construction of the college as per the norms of the MCI before the commencement of the new academic session. He said the security personnel, gardening staff, ward boys and sweepers should be recruited on a contract basis. He said as an interim measure a grant of Rs 1.50 crore would be released to the college soon.
Dr Ranga asked the society representatives to speedily fill the vacant faculty posts so as to fulfil the MCI norms for granting recognition to the college.
Trade in stolen cars to Nepal
DHARUHERA (Rewari), June 1 In a major breakthrough, the Haryana Police nabbed all the five members of a notorious gang of car thieves. This was disclosed to newsmen here today by the Director General of Police, Haryana, Mr SPS Rathore.
Members of the gang, who were presented before the newsmen by the authorities, made the sensational disclosure that they got protection from Nepalese ministers. These confessions, bring to mind the weakness of the security set up in Nepal highlighted by the hijacking of an Indian Airline plane last December.
The gang consisted of five members. The Rewari police nabbed all of them and recovered three vehicles a new Tata Safari, a Maruti Esteem and an Opel Astra from them. The gang had acquired an expertise unlocking vehicles of any make and starting it with the help of a steel ruler and a screw driver.
Members of the gang said they would lift vehicles from any part of the country and sell them in Nepal at low prices. They used to drive the vehicle to the border themselves and were even patronised by ministers and bigwigs in Nepal. One of those arrested Bhim Singh said, his gang had stolen more than 100 vehicles.
All the arrested are
from Delhi except for Bhim Singh, who is from Hisar. Bhim
Singh said that members of the gang learnt their art in
Tihar Jail from other inmates. The police authorities
consider the arrest a major breakthrough. Interestingly
members of the gang had come to Dharuhera after lifting
the three vehicles, to rest.
MC drive to mop up
FARIDABAD, June 1 The Faridabad Municipal Corporation has made elaborate plans to mop up more resources in order to tide over its acute financial crisis.
Against a monthly income of Rs 1.50 crore its expenditure is stated to be Rs 4.50 crore. The abolition of octroi which generated Rs 3 crore per year has aggravated its problem and had an adverse impact on the development works.
Mr Ankur Gupta, the new Commissioner of the Corporation in an exclusive interview today detailed steps being taken to bring the civic body out of the red.
He appealed to the people to come forward to deposit 25 per cent more house tax over its last assessment pending a court decision. Licence fee on all the industrial units in Faridabad will be raised to generate Rs 5 crore annually.
Weekly camps will be organised where residents can deposit taxes. Zonal tax officers have been given the target for collection of tax arrears. To prevent fraud and leakage of revenue the tax collectors are being provided with carbonless receipt books.
A drive has been launched to detect industries working unauthorisedly in various parts of the city. These will be asked to get themselves legalised by depositing charges for compounding of registration tax on units and change of land use.
Mr Gupta said the current drive against encroachments, which had been successful in the market of NH-one, would be extended to the other corporation areas. He would himself ensure that cleared areas were not again encroached upon.
Referring to the water problem being faced by the people Mr Gupta said 10 generators had been installed in the NIT to run tubewells during power failure. Rs six lakh had been sanctioned to clean overhead tanks in various parts of the NIT in which water would be filled soon, to enable uninterrupted supply.
Drain becomes health hazard
KAITHAL: Manas Drain on the outskirts of the town, meant to carry flood waters, has been converted into a dumping ground for dirty sewer water and garbage due to the negligence on the part of the departments concerned. As a result it has become a serious health hazard for residents of the town. On many occasions small children and animals have fallen into it. If no immediate steps are taken to clean the drain, it may aggravate the situation and pose a danger to the life and property of citizens as monsoon is fast approaching.
This drain was constructed in 1989 at a cost of about Rs 1 crore to save the town from the devastation of floods and to carry the accumulated rain water from the northern side of the town to the Kaithal drain.
During the initial years, the Drainage Department, which constructed it, used to maintain it. Despite that its bundh on the townside got breached on a number of occasions during floods.
But with the passage of time, the Public Health Department authorities, and residents of many localities situated in the vicinity of the drain started putting sewer water into it. As if this was not enough, a number of open drains and nullahs carrying dirty water of different localities were connected with it by the civic body and the public.
With the passage of time with continued flow of dirty water, slush and polythenes, silt accumulated in it and the drain virtually became non-functional. It started overflowing at a number of places near the residential localities. Thus, it became breeding ground for mosquitoes and started spreading stink all around.
All these years the Drainage Department turned a blind eye and allowed the inflow of a number of drains and nullahs into it, and took no steps for its upkeep and maintenance.
According to information, a few years ago the government took a decision that all open drains within the urban areas would be cleaned by the Public Health Department. This decision was taken without taking into consideration the practical difficulties as the Public Health Department was not well equipped manually and mechanically to accomplish this huge task. The department has about two dozen safai karamcharis on deputation from the civic body to maintain the sewer lines in the town, but during the past years, this skeleton staff has not been able to keep the towns sewer lines clear, in spite of the deployment of sewer-clearing machines on a number of occasions. Out of the staff, some remain on leave while others have become physically unfit after facing hazards of the sewer clearing job. Under the circumstances, when most of the sewer lines in the town remain overflowing, how the Public Health Department can clear the 6-km-long Manas Drain without men, machinery and funds is a million-dollar question.
How long will the people
living in different localities along the drain continue
to suffer? On a recent visit of Mr Chander Singh,
Divisional Commissioner, Ambala, to the town, some
mediapersons apprised him of the grave situation. He
directed the Deputy Commissioner, Dr Mahavir Singh, to
deploy the JCB machines to clear the drain, but work is
yet to start and people continue to suffer.
High castes sweep Faridabad
FARIDABAD, June 1 The Faridabad Municipal Council has struck a blow for social justice by recruiting hundreds of non-schedule castes as safai karamcharis, a post which is usually the exclusive preserve of Scheduled Castes.
The recruitments also provide an unusual glimpse into the desperation for government jobs, with several of those recruited being relatives of senior, well-connected officials.
According to sources most of the recruitments were carried out under the Bansi Lal regime during the long municipal workers strike from December 16, 1997 to March 5, 1997. Because of the intransigent attitude of the strikers the government had asked municipal officials to solve the problem at their level and, where required, carry out new recruitments.
Hundreds of striking employees were fired or suspended while thousands of new safai karamcharis were recruited overnight.
However, once the strike ended all those who had been penalised were reinstated, leaving the MC with a huge surplus. Against 1617 posts of safai karamcharis the MC was saddled with 1927 regular and 1153 daily wagers.
Reflecting the intense competition for even these posts there have been allegations of irregularities in the recruitment process. For instance the posts were advertised in a periodically published local daily with a limited circulation. The local employment exchange was not even contacted.
Of those recruited in this period several were high castes including Thakurs, Jats, Dhanaks Sharmas etc. Many of them are relatives of senior officials and one SDM is believed to have cornered more than ten posts for his friends and relatives.
Asked about these allegations Mayor Devendra Bhadana said that he had called a meeting for Friday to discuss the issue.
Questioned about the lack of sanitation despite the huge number of surplus safai karamcharis he said that he would find out on Friday where all the employees had been deployed. He said all those who were drawing salaries as safai karamcharis would be required to yield the broom no matter which caste they were from or to whom they were related.
Irrigation offices cry for repairs
PANIPAT, June 1 Resentment prevails among the clerical staff of the Irrigation Department over the poor maintenance of office buildings in which they are working.
The office-bearers of the Haryana Irrigation Clerical Association has alleged that no action has been taken on its demands for the past three years.
The association president, Mr Tilak Raj Khaneja told The Tribune that in the offices of this construction division no 23, 24, 6 km from the city, where they are working, furniture is broken, wall plaster is crumbling, floors are in dilapidated condition, cement sheets have been used for the ceiling, making it difficult to function there in the scorching heat.
For the past three years, the employees have been agitating against those deficiencies, but the department concerned has taken no action, he alleged.
Mr Khaneja claimed that for the past one year, the staff of the Irrigation Department, Panipat division, had not received their travel allowance.
Besides, the canal colony at Binjhoi was in a bad condition as for the past 13 years, no maintenance of the colony had been done, he alleged. The white wash was done by the staff of the department themselves. On the other hand, he alleged, the timely maintenance of the kothis of superintending engineers and other senior officers was done.
He further claimed that in the past 10 years, medicines worth only Rs 15,000 to Rs 20,000 were received in the canal dispensary whereas the expenses on the salaries of doctors, pharmacists and peon ran in lakhs. The condition of the dispensary was getting from bad to worse, which was why hardly any doctor preferred to come here.
The association demanded an investigation by the SP (Vigilance), Chandigarh, into these complaints.
The association has decided that from June 7 to 9, gate meetings would be held and from June 15, a dharna would be staged at the gates of their offices.
Life term for ASI, husband
ROHTAK, June 1 The local court has sentenced two persons, including an assistant sub-inspector (ASI), to life imprisonment in connection with the death of a married woman, Anju Bala, about 13 years ago.
The sentence was announced by the court of Additional District and Sessions Judge Shiva Sharma here on Tuesday. Earlier, the court had held the accused, Rajesh, husband of the victim, and Jagdish, ASI guilty of murder.
According to information, the victims father, Sunder Lal, had filed a criminal complaint in the court after he was not satisfied with the version of his son-in-law and the police that his daughter had committed suicide. She was married to Rajesh of Delhi about 13 years ago and had died under mysterious circumstances.
Her father, suspected that Anju Bala had been murdered and she had not committed suicide. It was alleged that the accused, Rajesh, had connived with the police inspector and had got a case of suicide registered to mislead his in-laws. Anju had reportedly died soon after her marriage.
The court has also imposed a fine of Rs 2000 on each of the accused, who have been sent to jail.
Four die as 3 vehicles
KURUKSHETRA, June 1 Four persons were killed and 20 injured in a head-on collision of a Haryana Roadways bus (HR 37-6808) and truck (HR 37A-0220) near Sanwala village, 7 km from here, today.
Three of the killed persons were identified as Prakash Chander, the bus driver and Raju, the truck driver, and Baljit Kaur of Patarsi village near Rajpura. The fourth victim could not be identified.
The third vehicle, a Tata Sumo, which was moving at high speed behind the ill-fated truck, also dashed into the collided vehicles.
The injured persons were rushed to Ambala and Chandigarh hospitals in vehicles coming from the Delhi side.
Those admitted to Ambala hospital were out of danger, according to Civil Surgeon R.K. Patnaik.
Most of the victims had come from the Patiala side and boarded the Delhi-bound bus.
According to injured persons, as their bus was approaching Pipli, it collided head-on with a truck while a Tata Sumo rammed into them from the behind, injuring all its 10 occupants.
Criminal gang busted, 5 held
JIND, June 1 The district police, Jind has busted a gang of criminals with the arrest of five of its members. Stating this here today Mr Raj Pal Singh Superintendent of Police Jind said the arrested criminals have been identified as Dharamraj, Roshan, Randhir, Manoj and Ashok. He said all these criminals belonged to different villages of Jind district.
Gang members had been involved in heinous crimes like murder, vehicle snatching and extortion. He said the police has recovered two country made pistols, 11 cartridges, one knife and one iron rod from their possession and also seized two motor cycles which they used in the crime.
The police was tipped off about some criminals hiding in a deserted rice mill on Pillukhera road in this district. Acting on the information police parties headed by Mr Samay Singh, Deputy Superintendent of Police, Jind rushed to the spot and surrounded the rice mill. He said the criminals fired in the air to scare the police but later surrendered.
The S.P. said the gang
members had snatched two motorcycles at pistol point, one
on Asandh-Ardana road and the other on the Sisar-Singhwal
road last month. The police has registered various cases
under different sections of the IPC and under the Arms
Girl missing, abduction
ROHTAK, June 1 A teenaged girl is reported to be missing under mysterious circumstances from Bahadurgarh town of Jhajjar district. The police has registered a case of abduction on the complaint of her father.
According to police sources, the girl, aged about 19, had just finished her plus two and had reportedly gone out to enquire about the result, but she failed to return home even after 24 hours, according to her father, Mr Subhash Chander. He alleged that Amit Sharma, a resident of Sampla town, might have abducted his daughter.
Draw held for investors
PANCHKULA, June 1 The Haryana Small Savings Department conducted the second draw of the "Haryana Pragatisheel Bachat Puraskar Yojana" for the investors of Small Savings schemes here today.
The Finance Minister, Prof Sampat Singh, declared the winners through a draw of lots. The draw was conducted in the presence of the investors and the winners were announced only on the issued coupons.
The first prize of AC
Maruti car went to an investor from Sirsa, whose coupon
number is E-373206. The second prize of half Kg 24 carat
gold went to the holder of coupon No E-397371 of Sirsa.
The third prize of a tractor was won by the holder of
coupon No E-297626 from Gurgaon. A number of other prizes
were also declared during this draw of lots.
Vice-Chancellor of MDU soon
CHANDIGARH, June 1 The new Vice-Chancellor of Maharshi Dayanand University, Rohtak, is likely to be appointed soon.
A three-member search committee constituted under the MDU Act prepare a panel of candidates for the Vice-Chancellors post, which met here yesterday, sent its recommendations to the Haryana Governor, who is also the Chancellor of the University, today.
The committee is believed to have recommended the names of Maj-Gen Bhim Singh Suhag (retired), Dr Hoshiar Singh, the officiating Vice-Chancellor of Kurukshetra University; and Dr Satbir Singh of Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar.
The Chancellor will make the final selection.
The committee comprised
two nominees of the Executive Committee of the MDU
Dr A.L. Chaudhary, former Vice-Chancellor of the Haryana
Agriculture University, Hisar, and Dr Bhagat Singh,
former Vice-Chancellor of Punjabi University, Patiala.
The Chancellors nominee of the committee was Dr
Vinay Kumar, Vice-Chancellor of the Haryana Agriculture
Rs 11 lakh for CMs
CHANDIGARH, June 1 The Haryana Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, was presented with a cheque of Rs 11 lakh by the Chairman, Haryana Warehousing Corporation, Mr N.L. Bansal, for the Chief Ministers Relief Fund for extending help to the Gujarat and Rajasthan Governments for drought relief operation.
Suchi Gupta tops BA part I
ROHTAK, June 1
Maharshi Dayanand University has declared the result of
BA/ B.Sc/ B.Com Part-I examinations held in April/May
this year. The Controller of Examinations, Dr K.C.
Bhardwaj, said here yesterday that Suchi Gupta of Public
Girls College, Rewari, stood first in BA Part-I by
securing 331 out of 400 marks, while Vidhi and Isha
Bansal (both of Government College, Rohtak) topped in
B.Sc and B.Com Part I examinations. Vidhi got 450 out of
500 and Isha Bansal 459 out of 600 marks.
CHANDIGARH, June 1
The Haryana Government has posted Mr B.R. Chawla,
HSS, Deputy Secretary, Cooperation, Animal Husbandry and
Dairy Development Departments as Deputy Secretary, Chief
Ministers Cell, against a vacant post with
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