|Saturday, June 24, 2000,
of freedom fighters pension
New machines worth crores lie
Haryana relief for Gujarat, Orissa
Interim bail for murder accused
Bandh against new tax
Three dowry harassment
Ex-policeman drugged, looted
Five dacoits arrested
Four gangsters arrested
3 lakh visit health camps
Lure of freedom
CHANDIGARH June 23 "My deceased husband joined the INA (Indian National Army) and fought against the British for the freedom of motherland. He was captured in November 1944 and imprisoned for 13 months in various jails in the Naga hills, Jiyawadi, Maktila, Chitagaon, Jigargacha Ghat etc following his trial in the camp courts in various places". This is an excerpt from an application received by the Haryana Government last month for awarding the freedom fighters pension. The applicant is one Ms Kamli Devi, 70, belonging to Gahli village in Mahendragarh district. Her deceased husband Hav Chandra Ram had deserted the British Indian Army.
Yet another application received by the state government last month was from Ms Ramrati, 62, belonging to Sherpur in Gurgaon district. This mother of three sons of 43, 41, and 38 years had written that her deceased husband Bharat Singh took part in the freedom struggle because of which he was imprisoned for six months in 1959 by rulers of the princely state of Pataudi.
While the pension scheme for freedom fighters and their widows and dependents was introduced by the Government of India in 1972, there is apparently still no dearth of aspirants for this benefit.
Sources at the Haryana Swatantrata Sainik Samman Samiti (HSSSS), which has been entrusted by the state government the task of verification of these claims, say they receive two to three fresh applications every month.
Those eligible for this pension receive Rs 3600 per month from the Union Government and Rs 1500 per month from the state government. The lure of the handsome amount of Rs 5100 every month apparently attracts a lot of elderly widows . A large number of the applicants do not possess any proof or any other document.
For instance, Ms Kamli Devi, did not provide any proof of her husbands imprisonment and the only thing she gave was his discharge certificate from the British Indian Army, where his character was recorded as "exemplary". Therefore, chances of his being an Army deserter are slim. The second applicant too could not provide any document of her husbands incarceration. But she gave certificates by two recognised freedom fighters authenticating her claim, which is normally accepted by HSSSS, though such proofs are considered less than fully correct.
Mr Pat Ram Verma, Chairman of the HSSSS, admitted that many of the recipients of the pensions might not be genuine. He, however, added that the state governments approach in dealing with pension applications was that a genuine person should never be deprived of the pension even if it entailed conceding pensions to some non-genuine cases as well.
Mr Verma said a 12-member advisory committee to the HSSSS was being formed which would take up the cases of people who were getting pension from the Union Government, but the state government was yet to clear their applications. The number of such cases is about nine and the advisory committee is expected to clear the hurdles for them to receive pension from the state government, he said.
At present about 4,200 persons in Haryana were getting the pension, Mr Verma said. However, with the state government taking a lenient approach in dealing with these applications, the number of recipients in Haryana may go up, he said.
New machines worth crores
AMBALA, June 23 Some machines worth crores of rupees purchased by the Directorate of Technical Education, Haryana, under the World Bank Project, have been lying idle in different polytechnics of the state. Strangely, some of the costly machines are lying unused and are kept packed in the boxes for the past one year.
A few years back, the World Bank had offered a package of Rs 1632 million to the Haryana Government for the promotion of technical education in the state, which concluded in February, 2000. The department consumed Rs 1631.496 million for purchasing of furniture, vehicles, machines, books and other items. According to reliable official sources, around 40 per cent of the total funds were utilised during March 31, 1999 to February 29, 2000. Most of the purchase orders were finalised by July last year.
With the consultation of the central and state agencies, the World Bank had allocated around Rs 36 million for the purchase of furniture, Rs 24 million for vehicles, Rs 504 million for machines and other equipment and Rs 20 million for books. Similarly Rs 8 million were allotted for local fellowship, Rs 6 million for foreign fellowship, Rs 160 million for salaries and additional staff, Rs 31 million for consumable materials and Rs 42 million for operation and maintenance.
A sizeable part of the purchase was made through the Director-General, Central Disposal and Supply, and the Consultant Organisation for Modernisation of Workshop, while the rest of the purchase was made through the Directorate of Technical Education, Haryana. A purchase committee was also constituted by the department. The payment for the machines were made through the Ambala Government Polytechnic, while the payments of other items, including furniture, were made through the Government Polytechnic for Girls, Ambala.
According to sources, machines worth crores of rupees were purchased from Delhi. Haryana and some southern states. Three FMS machines (Flexible Manufacturing Station) worth around Rs 2.5 crore were purchased for the polytechnics of Ambala, Rohtak and Sonepat from a company based at Chennai.
As per the direction of the directorate, 90 per cent of the payment was made to the company on the receipt of the packed consignment of machines. The rest of the 10 per cent was to be paid after its commencement. All the three machines have been lying packed in boxes for the past one year as none of the company representative has come to install it and give its demonstration. The company has also failed to provide training to the staff of the polytechnic concerned to operate it.
The Principal of Ambala polytechnic, Mr D.S. Natt said," We have written many letters to the company concerned but none of them has turned up so far. The balance amount of remaining 10 per cent of some companies was also lying with them, but nobody had approached for it, he added.
Sources said some of the parts of one of the FMS machines to be installed in Ambala polytechnic were transported to some other polytechnic by mistake, which were laid there for several months. Recently, the parts of the machine were brought to Ambala in a truck. The company which supplied the machine did not acknowledge even after repeated letters and fax messages sent to it by the polytechnic authorities. Moreover, none of the representatives of the company turned up for getting its 10 per cent balance amount.
Similarly, a Milling Centre Machine was purchased through HMT for the Ambala polytechnic, costing around Rs 20 lakh, has not been functioning since its installation. The HMT had sent its mechanics several times, but it could not he operated. One of the CNC machines worth several lakhs, has also been lying in non-working condition as one of its parts has got damaged.
The furniture for classrooms, laboratories, computer rooms and offices were purchased in bulks as the World Bank provided a handsome amount of around Rs 36 million for it. The maximum purchase of the furniture was made through a furniture dealer of Ambala. According to sources, some of the polytechnics made the complaints to the directorate that the furniture supplied to them were substandard. Since the 100 per cent payment was made on the receipt of the furniture, the department expressed its helplessness to do anything in this regard. The payments were made on a war-footing as the lapsing period of the funds was approaching.
According to sources, the machines, equipment and furniture were supplied to some of the polytechnics in excess of their actual demand. In some of the polytechnics, the furniture was supplied in such a large quantity that this was lying unused there. In Government Polytechnic for Women at Ambala, laboratory tables were supplied in such a huge number that a dozen of it are still lying in the open as there is no place in the laboratory to accommodate these. Sources said the electronics and computer items had also been supplied to some polytechnics far more than their actual demand, which were useless for them.
According to a principal of polytechnic, one of the officer sitting in the directorate had compelled some of the principals to take some of the items which were not required by them. The principals of the polytechnics are authorised for the local purchase of any item costing a maximum of Rs 50,000 at one time. The sources said a few of them were forced to purchase some items even by crossing their competency.
Sources said last year the directorate had directed all its government and aided polytechnics to provide computer training to their teachers through the Hartron, for which the institution would have to pay Rs 3,000 per person per week, while some other computer centres had offered to provide the same training only for Rs 400 per week. Most of the teachers were provided training for four weeks, for which the institutions had to pay Rs 12,000 per teacher to Hartron. Some of the polytechnics had imparted this training even to their clerks and other staff members, who had nothing to do with this training programme. Lakhs were spent on this computer training programme.
Mostly foreign fellowships were availed of by some of the officers of the department and several lecturers. The tours were arranged through a limited consultant concern based at Delhi. Around Rs 6 million were spent on foreign fellowships. It is yet to be ascertained whether the students of the polytechnics will be benefited by the latest knowledge acquired by the fellowship holders.
The time-bound World
Bank project was wound up a few months back. Some
companies which have supplied the machines have yet to
take the 10 per cent of the balance, which amounts to
lakhs. The sources said just before the lapse of the
funds, the department had arranged the advance draft in
the name of the companies concerned.
Haryana relief for Gujarat,
YAMUNANAGAR, June 23 The district administration here supplied 50 wagons of dry-fodder worth Rs 13.20 lakh to the draught-hit areas of Gujarat and Rajasthan during April and May this year. The first supply of the 625 quintals fodder was sent on April 27 to Jodhpur. Similarly, 5500 quintals of dry-fodder worth Rs 11 lakh was sent on May 13 by a special train to Jamnagar in Gujarat. The Social Welfare Minister, Mr Risal Singh, flagged off the train at Jagadhri railway station. The next supply was sent on May, 30 in which 625 quintals of fodder amounting to Rs 1.20 lakh was sent to Jaisalmer district of Rajasthan.
According to Mr Rajeev Sharma, Deputy Commissioner, 11 trucks of gur, sugar, rice, wheat, biscuits, potatoes, mathhies, and medicines amounting to Rs. 11.30 lakh were sent to Ambala which were flagged off by Chief Minister Om Parkash Chautala for cyclone-effected people of Orissa last year. He said a sum of Rs 2 lakh was spent on fuel for these trucks by the district administration. Three wagons containing potatoes, wheat, rice, gur, jiri, old clothes, shoes, blankets and shawls etc worth Rs. 1.85 lakh were also sent to the Red Cross branch of Orissa by the administration.
He further stated that the district administration was always ready to help the nature-effect people of the country with the help of the public. The administration had sent Rs 88,385 the Haryana Chief Ministers War Heroes Relief Fund last year. He said that Saraswati Sugar Mill Syndicate Limited had given 18 lakh, Ballarpur Industries Rs 10 lakh Deputy Excise, and Taxation Commissioner Rs 17 lakh, the Bhathha Union, Yamunanagar, Rs 1.40 lakh Bharat Starch Mills Rs 1.91 lakh, Haryana Distillery, 2 lakh, District Education Officer Rs 5 lakh Dr. K.L. Johar, Pro-Vice-Chancellor of Guru Jambheshwar University Rs 1.36 lakh, Civil Surgeon Rs 1.48 lakh and Mr Kartar Singh Tomar, a former I.P.S. officer and a farmer had given Rs 1 lakh for the Haryana Chief Ministers War Heroes Relief Fund.
Interim bail for murder accused
CHANDIGARH, June 23 Allowing the application of a murder accused on humanitarian grounds, the Punjab and Haryana High Court today granted him four days interim bail to enable him to immerse his fathers ashes.
Pronouncing the orders in the open court on the petition filed by Karam Singh of Naina village in Kaithal district, Mr Justice K.S. Garewal observed: "This is a humanitarian request and deserves to be allowed. Accordingly, it is directed that the petitioner shall be admitted to interim bail for a period of four days".
Mr Justice Garewal added: "He shall be released on the morning of June 29 and surrender by the sunset on July 2. The petitioner shall furnish bail bonds in the sum of Rs 50,000 with two sureties of the like amount".
The Kaithal Additional District and Session Judge had earlier declined his interim bail but had directed the Jail Superintendent to "make arrangements for taking the petitioner to his native village for performing his fathers last rites".
Seeking the grant of bail, counsel for the petitioner had stated before the High Court that Karam Singh wanted to immerse his fathers ashes. He had added that his father Manga Ram had died on June 17 and the kriya was scheduled for June 30.
Bandh against new tax
YAMUNANAGAR, June 23 A complete bandh was observed here yesterday on a call given by the Vyapar Mandal in protest against the enforcement of professional tax on shopkeepers and their establishments by the Haryana Government.
A procession was taken out and traffic was jammed for some time. The agitators marched to the Deputy Commissioners office and gave him a memorandum demanding withdrawal of the newly imposed tax.
Mr Kewal Krishan Kharbanda and Mr Sikandar Lal, president and general secretary of the Vyapar Mandal respectively, addressed the shopkeepers at Agarsen Chowk, saying that the government had imposed the tax on all small and big establishments. They said the Municipal Council, Yamunanagar, had imposed Rs 2500, Rs 1500 and Rs 1000 as professional tax under different categories.
They apprehended that the small shopkeepers would be forced to close their establishments because of the tax. They said that shopkeepers were burdened with a double tax, i.e., professional tax and house tax. The Jagruk Chhatra Morcha had extended its support to the agitators.
Three dowry harassment cases
ROHTAK, June 23 The police has registered three cases of harassment for dowry in the district since Wednesday. No arrests have been made so far while the victimised women have gone to their parents homes.
In the first case registered at the city police station, the complainant Kailash, daughter of Mr Sant Lal, a resident of Circular Road, has alleged that she was harassed and beaten up by her in-laws for not bringing adequate dowry in marriage. A case under Section 498A and 323 of the IPC has been registered against her husband, mother-in-law and brother-in-law.
In another such case, Rakesh and his mother Roshni Devi were booked under the Dowry Act for "harassing" Sushila, wife of Rakesh. Sushila, daughter of Mr Anand Singh of Sunarian Kalan, had lodged a complaint with the police in this connection.
In the third instance
the police at Sampla has registered a case against
Jagdish, his two brothers and mother in connection with
the alleged harassment of Tapasya, daughter of Brahm
Prakash of Vijai Nagar here. Tapasya has been married to
Jagdish of the nearby Kharawar village. The case was
registered on the directions of the local court.
AMBALA, June 23 A retired police official of Punjab, Mr Bhajan Singh, was cheated by a youth at a bus stop on the GT Road at Ambala Cantonment, yesterday. The youth took away Rs 10,900 and a briefcase.
According to police report, Mr Bhajan Singh had came from Mujaffarnagar by train and he was waiting for a bus to go to Sangrur, on the GT Road close to Ambala Cantonment railway station. In the meantime a youth appeared and introduced himself as an official of the Punjab police. The youth gave him a litchi to eat. As soon as he tasted the fruit he became unconscious. After some time when he came in senses he found that his cash and briefcase were missing.
On the complaint of Mr Bhajan Singh, the local police registered a case against the youth.
Five dacoits arrested
GURGAON, June 23 In a swift move the district police nabbed all five members of a gang that indulged in a dacoity at a farmhouse in Shekhpura village and also recovered the goods, including an Ambassador car within 24 hours of the incident.
The Superintendent of Police, Mr S. Kapur, said here today that all the accused were hiding at a residence in Naharpur village where they made aborted move to give the police the slip. The intelligence input had tipped the police of the whereabouts of the culprits, resulting in a raid of their hideout.
The suspects, Rajiv, alias Rajju, Satpal, Dinesh, Madan and Tejpal, had indulged in dacoity.
Four gangsters arrested
ROHTAK, June 23 The police has arrested four criminals who were planning a dacoity in the town.
According to the district police chief, the youths were arrested from a place near the local bus stand while they were conspiring to loot a petrol station adjoining the bus stand. A 315 bore pistol and some knives were seized from them.
The miscreants belong to
Siwah village in Panipat district and they have
reportedly admitted to committing thefts in Panipat,
Sonepat and Karnal districts recently. One of their
accomplices, identified as Pappu, managed to escape. A
case has been registered.
3 lakh visit health camps
CHANDIGARH, June 23 Over 3.50 lakh persons between the age of 15 and 49 years reported at various health camps organised as a part of the fortnight-long statewide family health awareness campaign in Haryana. For the first time, women outnumbered men at these camps.
|| Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
| Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | In Spotlight | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
| 120 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |