|Tuesday, July 4, 2000,
train accident: speedometer graph sealed
Haryana plans power tariff hike
Plan to woo polluting units
CM gives nod to house tax
IMAs concern at threatening
Residents block traffic
Escorts Hospital to have new wing
Krishak Samaj decries detention of
25 employees found absent from
Addl charge for dist probation
3 Under Secretaries promoted
Ambala train accident: speedometer
AMBALA, July 3 What a black box is for an aircraft, a speedometer graph is for a train. The speedometer graph of the Howrah-Amritsar Express train, which is prime evidence, has been sealed.
Imagine a 118-tonne speeding behemoth ramming into a stationary metal object. This happened on the fateful Saturday morning when the Howrah-Amritsar Express train hit the empty rakes of the Ambala-Saharanpur passenger train, claiming two lives.
A railway official said that the speedometer graph of the Howrah-Amritsar Express train had been sealed and it would be opened in the presence of the Commissioner of Railway Safety.
The speedometer graph is expected to reveal several important clues which will help in clearing the picture of what happened before the accident took place.
Interestingly, the speedometer of the Howrah-Amritsar Express train reads 65 km per hour after the impact. The official said that the speed of the train would be evident from the speedometer graph and could not be only based on the speedometer as there was play in the mechanical speedometer before it settled down.
The impact showed that the train had gained speed when it met with an accident, the official pointed out.
Incidentally, the driver of the train, Mr Nanak Chand, had an unblemished record and he had taken over from Saharanpur after a rest for about 25 hours. Mr Nanak Chand, has a good record as a driver and he has taken complete rest before taking charge of the train, the official said.
Keeping in mind that the driver was fresh after rest, some railway officials are of the opinion that signalling failure also could not be ruled out at this stage.
When the accident took place, the Howrah-Amritsar Express train was in automatic signalling territory which ran from Ambala to Sirhind. Automatic signalling entails several things, including advance starter, starter and home signal. There are approximately seven to eight signals between Ambala cantonment and Ambala city railway stations. The accident took place after signal No. 303, the official observed.
In automatic signalling, double yellow means restrictive speed, single yellow means extreme caution and red means stop, while green means run through. In case, in the automatic signalling system, the signal is on red, the train driver has to stop for about a minute during day time and then proceed with caution. During the night time, the driver has to stop for two minutes and then proceed with caution.
The track from Ambala cantonment railway station to the point where the accident took place is straight, which is referred to as tangent track in technical terms. Also, the accident took place at about 4.45 a.m. when the visibility is relatively better.
In the section, where the accident took place, the axle counting system is already in place. This system is practised in the West and is being effectively utilised in the Mumbai suburban railway. The axle counting system means that each axle which passes through a certain point is counted and till such time the same number of axles do not move out after another point, the tracks will not be shown as clear.
The utility of the axle counting system is that there is short headway and more trains can run on a certain section.
Beyond the Ambala-Sirhind section, it is again the colour light signalling system. The other system is the semaphore system which has an upper quadrant and a lower quadrant, an official said.
A railway official pointed out that the Railways took very good care of the drivers. The crew works in pairs and in this case, the pairing was done about three months back. There is periodic rest of 30 hours for drivers once in 15 days. The drivers are properly rested, he said.
The official stated that there were different refresher courses for drivers, safety camps were held and drills for safety were practised, besides teaching safe working practices. Then there were technical refresher course and a periodic medical examination. The driver of a train is put in running rooms where he carries his ration and the food is cooked for him as he wants it to be done.
Two persons were killed and seven injured when the speeding Howrah-Amritsar Express train rammed into a stationary passenger train from behind in Ambala city on Saturday morning.
While the engine of the Howrah-Amritsar Express train was damaged due to the collision, the last four coaches of the passenger trains were derailed blocking the main line.
The Ambala-Saharanpur passenger train, technically referred to as empty coaching rakes (ECR), was heading towards Ambala city, when reportedly, power supply got snapped. The passenger train stopped between Ambala cantonment and Ambala city railway stations.
Haryana plans power tariff hike
CHANDIGARH, July 3 The Haryana Government today crossed the threshold to deliver the much-expected blow to its electricity consumers.
The Haryana Vidyut Prasaran Nigam (HVPN) today filed an application before the State Electricity Regulatory Commission seeking its permission to raise the power tariff in the state. The HVPN wants to raise the tariff for the agriculture sector also, which is considered a sacred cow by political leaderships of all hues.
The nigam has proposed a hike of 12 paise per unit to 27 paise per unit for various categories of consumers. For the agriculture sector the proposed hike is 12 paise per unit. It will be in addition to the proposed hike of 3 paise per unit. in fuel surcharge. If the commission accords permission, the per unit cost of power for the agriculture sector will go up from 50 paise to 65 paise.
For the non-domestic sector the per unit cost of power is likely to go up from Rs 3.92 to about Rs 4.40 in view of the proposed hike of 21 paise in fuel surcharge.
The World Bank had stipulated in its agreement with the Haryana Government on extending loans for the power sector that the state would hike the tariff for various categories periodically. However, the compulsions, of electoral politics did not permit either the Bansi Lal government or the Chautala government to go in for a hike in the power tariff during the past two years.
Shortly after attaining a majority in the state assembly elections early this year the Chief Minister, Mr Om Parkash Chautala, had started saying that there was no escape from the power tariff hike. But he had also added that the tariff would be hiked only after the state would be in a position to supply adequate power to the consumers.
It seems after Punjab decided to hike the power tariff, the Haryana Government, too, thought of delivering the blow. However, it is another matter that even after the hike the power tariff in Punjab will be much lower than even the existing tariff in Haryana.
Punjab will now charge Rs 3.06 per unit from big industrial units against the existing Rs 3.92 per unit in Haryana. The rates for the domestic sector in Punjab after the hike will be Rs 1.50 per unit against about Rs 3.20 per unit in Haryana.
Plan to woo polluting units
CHANDIGARH, July 3 The Haryana Government is contemplating a novel way to woo those industries of Delhi which were shut down recently because the Supreme Court took note of the alarming level of pollution caused by these units and ordered their closure.
Official sources said that land had been identified on the Alwar road, beyond Sohna, in Gurgaon district (near the Roz-ka-Mev industrial area), to set up an industrial estate for polluting industries. "The estate will have infrastructure for the treatment of effluents and minimising pollution, while the main aim of setting up this estate will be to facilitate the functioning of the polluting industries", the sources said.
The sources said that the project would gain momentum when Mr Dominic Ng, Managing Director of the Joron Town Corporation (JTC), a Singapore-based public sector undertaking came to India to visit Haryana on July 13. The sources added that the core competence of the JTC lay in the petrochemical industry and in the treatment of toxic waste. It would be the endeavour of the Haryana Government to get knowhow for waste treatment from the JTC or set up the infrastructure for effluent treatment as a joint venture project with the Singapore corporation.
The sources said the idea behind the setting up of an industrial estate for the polluting industries was to attract the units which were closed down in Delhi following the Supreme Court directive. These industries were reportedly looking for an alternative site and Gurgaon district might be just about the ideal location for them.
Recently, a high-level Haryana Government delegation comprising Mr P.K. Chaudhary, Commissioner and Secretary, Information Technology (IT), Dr Harbakhsh Singh, Managing Director of the Haryana State Industrial Development Corporation (HSIDC), and other senior officers of the HSIDC visited Singapore and Malaysia, and impressed upon the JTC to invest in Haryana. The trip being made by Mr Dominic Ng is an indication of the Haryana delegations success in marketing the states industrial potential, the sources claimed.
The Haryana Government would also expect that during his trip to the state, the MD of the JTC would give final touches to the governments plan inviting the JTC to set up an IT park at Gurgaon. The sources said that the park could be a part of the cyber city project or it could even be set up separately.
The JTC had on its own
asked for the allotment of land in the Manesar industrial
area with prebuild factory spaces for setting up
manufacturing units. This proposal, too, was expected to
get final touches during Mr Dominic Ngs visit, the
CM gives nod to house tax
GURGAON, July 3 The Haryana Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, has given green signal to the municipal councils to set July 31 as the deadline for paying house tax arrears. The incentive to the obedient tax payers is that the annual interest on the arrears would be waived.
The authorities are contemplating cracking the whip as a final resort against the defaulters.
Among the defaulters are various government departments, whose arrears match that of private parties. The dues, from the government and private persons, run into several crores. According to rough estimates, the arrears and the interest adds up to Rs 30 crore. In Gurgaon alone the outstanding dues are more than Rs 60 lakh.
Similar exercise had been carried out by the INLD Government, a few months back, in which it reportedly met with success. The exercise was halted by the State Assembly elections.
The policy on house tax
has been necessitated by crunch being faced by state
exchequer. According to reports, various departments and
agencies have started feeling the pinch of shortage of
funds. A number of contractors engaged with various
government departments and agencies have either not
received their payments or were given in instalments.
According to observers, HUDA, considered to be the richest
of all the agencies under the State, was for the first
time defaulting on timely payments to its contractors.
Residents block traffic
SONEPAT, July 3 A large number of residents held up traffic on the Sonepat-Rohtak road near Bayyanpur village, 3 km from here, yesterday in protest against the collapse, of a culvert and consequent rain water flooding their houses.
According to a report, the residents blocked the traffic for a few hours. As a result, a large number of vehicles, including buses, trucks and cars lined up on both sides of the road stranding travellers.
Civil and police officials arrived on the spot and got the blockade lifted assuring the residents that their demands would be met. The main demand of the residents was the suspension of a junior engineer of the Public Health Department responsible for the collapse of the culvert.
The residents said rain water damaged wheat and fodder stocks in houses.
According to another report, traffic on the link road of Kheri Gujjar village remained disrupted after the collapse of a culvert constructed on it. This caused inconvenience to the residents of nearby villages in general and the pilgrims visiting the holy shrine of Satkumbha in particular as they have to cover a long distance to reach their destinations.
IMAs concern at threatening
KAITHAL, July 3 The Indian Medical Association at an emergency meeting held at the local Koel Tourism Complex expressed concern today over the threatening calls received by some of its members, in which they have been asked to pay lakhs of rupees or face elimination.
Mr Ram Pal Mazra, Chief Parliamentary Secretary of Haryana, assured the doctors that the government would be tough with the anti social elements who were indulging in such activities.
Dr Raj Rani Garg and Dr S.K. Chatwal, President and Secretary, respectively, of the IMAs local urged the authorities to take proper steps to ensure the safety of doctors and other citizens.
According to reports,
many well-to-do people, including doctors, have been
receiving threatening calls to pay ransom or risk their
lives. The present trend started with the kidnapping of a
businessman from here in December 1999, who was released
after payment of a ransom of Rs 10 lakh. All members of
this gang are in jail.
Vegetables that harm health
PANIPAT: Beware! You may be unknowingly consuming apparently fresh vegetables purchased from the local market which may contain toxic substances. That may be true of milk, too.
Vegetables grown on land around this industrial town seem to be fresh and of good quality, but buyers are often unaware of the extent of the contamination.
Water containing harmful chemicals released by large dyeing units here is being used for irrigating land around Panipat on which vegetables are grown. Some vegetable growers also use sewage water for irrigation purposes which has a large quantity of toxic effluents from these dyeing units.
Polluted water from silted drains and water discharged by the dyeing units is being lifted by farmers with pump sets for the irrigation of vegetables sown on land meant for the mini-secretariat in the heart of the town.
Contaminated water from a drain just in front of Skylark Tourist Hotel on the G T Road and adjacent to the PWD Rest House is being used by farmers for irrigation. Even animals avoid drinking this highly polluted water. Foul smells from chemicals and carcasses is emitted from this nullah. It has also become a breeding area for mosquitoes.
The ground water, too, has become polluted . Experts say the upper layer of soil fed by water containing industrial effluents has turned toxic, especially around this town. Only 40 per cent to 50 per cent of the dyeing houses are covered under the Yamuna Action Plan.
Analysis shows that the main toxic elements in the edible parts of certain vegetables are chromium, nickel and arsenic. Cauliflower, tomato , potato, pea, methi and saron have been found contaminated with substances like lead, nickel, chromium and arsenic.
The contamination was reported to be three to seven times higher than the permissible level.
According to the analysis, the contaminated water is not at all fit for irrigation.
Residents have criticised the district administration for failing to take appropriate action against those causing harm to the health of a large number of people.
Escorts Hospital to have new
FARIDABAD, July 3 The Escorts Group of companies will add a new wing to their hospital in Faridabad at a cost of Rs 15 crore.
The bhoomi poojan of the millennium block was performed today by Mr Rajan Nanda, Chairman of the company.
Dr N. K. Pandey, Executive Director of the hospital, said the existing bed strength of the hospital would be raised from 150 to 250 and the number of beds in coronary care and intensive care units would be doubled.
Six operation theatres including cath lab and cardiothoracic facilities for bypass surgeries for heart patients would also be available.
Krishak Samaj decries detention
of YC leaders
YAMUNANAGAR, July 3 The Haryana Krishak Samaj condemned the BJP Governments action of detaining the Indian Youth Congress President and many others in Tihar Jail Delhi.
Mr Sat Paul Kaushik, General Secretary of the Haryana Krishak Samaj asked Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee here today to give reason for the arrest of Mr Randeep Singh Surjewala when they were planning to give a memorandum.
He threatened that if the government did not release Mr Surjewala a "Jail Bharo" movement would be launched in the country for which the Haryana Congress men would give the lead. He further alleged that the BJP government had failed to protect minorities like Christians move of autonomy on Jammu and Kashmir was also criticised.
25 employees found absent
CHANDIGARH, July 3 The Haryana Government today launched a campaign to ensure discipline and efficiency in its offices by conducting surprise checks to nab late comers.
In Ambala district 25 employees were found absent from duty during a surprise check conducted by the Additional Deputy Commissioner and President, District Vigilance Team of Ambala, Mr Mahender Kumar.
This check was conducted
at 9.05 a.m. in the offices of the Deputy Commissioner
(in the Sadar Kanungo Branch and the District Revenue
Branch), the Subdivisional Officer (Civil), Ambala
tehsil, the District Education Officer and the Block
Addl charge for dist
CHANDIGARH, July 3The Haryana Government today decided that henceforth district probation officers would be given additional charge of the jail concerned so as to maintain internal security of the jails and make their functioning smooth.
The district probation
officers posted at Sonepat, Karnal, Kurukshetra, Gurgaon,
Narnaul, Rohtak and Ambala would look after the work of
the Deputy Superintendents of Jails in the districts, in
addition to their present duties. However, they would
assist the Superintendents of Jails.
3 Under Secretaries
CHANDIGARH, July 3 The Haryana Government today promoted Mr Dhani Ram Sharma, Under Secretary, Irrigation, Mr Som Parkash Sharma, Under Secretary, Protocol, and Mr Som Nath Chugh, Under Secretary, Political, Deputy Secretaries with immediate effect.
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