Friday, October 5, 2001, Chandigarh, India





THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
H A R Y A N A

House tax notices belie govt’s claims
Karnal, October 4
The house tax notices issued by the civic bodies to the houseowners in some cities belie the claims made by the Haryana Government from various platforms. So far official spokesman of the government, including the Chief Minister, Mr O. P. Chautala, and the Minister for Local Self Government, Mr Subash Goyal, have been declaring from public platforms that the new house tax policy is not only aimed at rationalising the tax structure but would also provide relief to small householders. 

‘Secret pact’ between Cong men, govt
Faridabad, October 4
A former Haryana Minister, Mr Krishanmurti Hooda, has suspected a ‘secret understanding’ between some of state Congress leaders with the Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala. He has claimed that due to that reason Haryana Congress has so far failed to come up to the expectations of people, as far as its role of the Opposition party is concerned.

MLAs for tax rebate on self-occupied flats
Chandigarh, October 4
INLD and Independent legislators, who attended a meeting convened by Haryana Local Bodies Minister Subhash Goyal here today to discuss the state government’s house tax policy, reportedly suggested various modifications in the policy.An Independent MLA, who attended the meeting, said the MLAs urged the minister to exclude plot size while calculating of house tax.

DHVPN owes Rs 5 cr to civic body?
Faridabad, October 4
The Dakshin Haryana Vidyut Prasaran Nigam CDVPN reportedly owes an amount of Rs 5 crore to the local Municipal Corporation. The delay in releasing of the payment has become a cause of concern for the municipal authorities. According to Municipal Corporation sources, the DHVPN collects an amount of about Rs 5 crore in a year towards municipal tax charged in the bimonthly bills of consumers.



YOUR TOWN
Ambala 
Chandigarh

Faridabad

Kalka
Karnal

Panipat
Rohtak
Sirsa
Sonepat

Yamunanagar


EARLIER STORIES


 

Haryana to plant 4.5 crore saplings
yamunanagar, October 4
In order to make Haryana pollution free and greener the state government had chalked out a plan to plant 4.5 crore saplings during the next financial year. As many as 2.5 crore saplings were planted this year. This was stated by the Chief Minister of Haryana, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, while presiding over a state-level wildlife protection week at Chhachhrauli, about 15 km from here on Tuesday.

Cabinet clears changes in recruitment rules
Chandigarh, October 4
The Haryana Cabinet today approved a proposal of the Technical Education Department to frame the Haryana Technical Education Department (Group B) Service Rules, 2001, for changes in academic qualifications and experience for direct recruitment of lecturers.

MLA Chander Bhatia surrenders
Ambala, October 4

Mr Chander Bhatia MLA from Faridabad, surrendered in a city court today. Mr Bhatia surrendered in the court of Special Magistrate for CBUI cases in Haryana, Mr J.S. Dhanjal. He has been sent to judicial custody. On August 23, Mr J.S. Dhanjal, had allowed a request by the CBI to start the process of declaring Mr Bhatia a proclaimed offender. The case was adjourned till October 5.

BJP: help farmers overcome losses
Sirsa, October 4
The national secretary of the BJP and MP, Mr Sanjay Paswan yesterday called upon party workers to cooperate in the economic survival of farmers by educating them about the crop insurance policy started by the Centre to compensate the farmers for the loss of their crops due to natural calamities.

Sulabh launches cleanliness drive
Faridabad, October 4
After some initial hitches the Sulabh International, which has been awarded contract in eastern parts of the town, has started functioning. This was stated by a senior vice-president of the organisation, Ms Sushmita Shekhar here yesterday. She said some vested interests were not happy with the decision of municipal corporation to handover the work to Sulabh International. 

Rohtak dairies to be shifted
Rohtak, October 4
Rohtak town may no longer be called the ‘city of dairies’ as the government has decided to shift these out of the municipal limits. The Deputy Commissioner, Mr Anil Malik, told The Tribune that this was being done to provide a clean environment to the citizens and eliminate threat of future floods. The ban on the use of polythene bags after October 15 would make the town flood-free.

Train commuters face problems 
Sonepat, October 4
Thousands of suburban commuters in this city and surrounding areas have been facing difficulties on account of alleged indifferent attitude of the Railways towards their problems, like non-stoppage of some long-distance trains, insufficient coaches and late running of trains. There are half-a-dozen suburban trains linking Delhi and New Delhi with Sonepat. All trains are generally overcrowded but the situation has deteriorated after the authorities reduced the number of coaches in them.

Candlelight procession against terrorism
Kalka, October 4
Protesting against global terrorism, the All-India Human Rights Watch yesterday evening took out a candlelight procession under the leadership of its senior vice-president, M.S. Chadha. Schoolchildren with candles in their hands led the procession followed by men and women and representatives of the organisation.

Robbery at petrol station
Panipat, October 4
In a daylight robbery at a petrol station on the busy Panipat-Gohana highway, four criminals looted over Rs 27,000 in cash and managed to escape.

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House tax notices belie govt’s claims
K.G. Dutt

Karnal, October 4
The house tax notices issued by the civic bodies to the houseowners in some cities belie the claims made by the Haryana Government from various platforms. So far official spokesman of the government, including the Chief Minister, Mr O. P. Chautala, and the Minister for Local Self Government, Mr Subash Goyal, have been declaring from public platforms that the new house tax policy is not only aimed at rationalising the tax structure but would also provide relief to small householders. The Deputy Commissioners in various districts through official handouts issued through the Public Relations Department have also been claiming that over 60 per cent of the small houseowners would either be exempted from the house tax or have to pay a minimal amount.

But a random survey conducted by The Tribune reveals an altogether different story. For instance, the Kurukshetra civic body has issued computerised notices of house tax in some areas of the city. In the case of one Nikku Ram, a resident of Josian Mohalla, this reporter found that a house tax notice amounting to over Rs 600 has been issued to him. He owns a house with less than 100 yards. Earlier, he had been paying about Rs 100 as house tax. The new notice shows a six time increase. The house tax of Rs 600 has been charged after allowing various concessions to the owner concerned. Similarly, in an adjoining house the owner had been served a house tax notice of about Rs 597. The owner used to pay Rs 190 as the house tax in the past. Although, the state government says that a committee would be constituted in each civic body which would decide about the objections. But where was the need for such an exercise when the bye-laws of each civic body prescribe an increase after every four years. It is a fact that the staff of the contractors which were deputed for physical house-to-house verification did not fully undertake the exercise. In majority of municipal committees, the staff were allowed access to the house maps of the owners from where they picked up and filled dimensions of each house to calculate the tax. In its wisdom, the government is believed to have used the collectors rate of land for calculation of tax in various localities. The owners demand that the calculations should have been based on the actual value of land when the owners had bought it for construction. The collectors rate varies every year in each locality depending upon the fluctuations of land value. This is to the disadvantage of the owners.

The idea behind the new policy to check the malpractices by influential houseowners seems to have been nullified that even during the present assessment the staff was won over through various allurements to show less constructed area or more depreciation. The basic question is had any Deputy Commissioner in the state undertaken even a random survey to physically verify if the dimensions of various houses in a locality had been properly shown before assessing the tax and feeding it into the computer. Had it been so then the local public representatives would not have publicly brought to the notice of the local bodies ministers and director recently that out of 90,000 names which were fed in the computer for house assessment, 40,000 were finally found missing from the lists.

Sangarash Samitis of different cities are planning to launch an agitation on the issue. The only question being debated by members of the samitis is that where was the need for changing the well laid out procedures. If the government feels that the previous method was full of shortcomings it should proceed in such cases instead of burdening the houseowners.

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‘Secret pact’ between Cong men, govt
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, October 4
A former Haryana Minister, Mr Krishanmurti Hooda, has suspected a ‘secret understanding’ between some of state Congress leaders with the Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala. He has claimed that due to that reason Haryana Congress has so far failed to come up to the expectations of people, as far as its role of the Opposition party is concerned.

Talking to ‘The Tribune’ here today, Mr Krishanmurti criticised the Haryana Pradesh Congress Committee (HPCC) chief, Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda, for not taking disciplinary action against Mr Sultan Singh, a former Governor, for accepting the chairmanship of the Chaudhary Devilal Memorial Committee, a post created by Mr Chautala. He said Mr Sultan Singh had been attending functions organised and sponsored by the state government. By not taking any action against Mr Sultan Singh, Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda had given clear signals of the secret understanding between them and the government, he added.

Mr Krishanmurti Hooda said he would raise such issues with the Congress President, Mrs Sonia Gandhi, at the next meeting.

Mr Hooda said the ‘alignment’ between some leaders with the Chautala government had caused a lot of damage to party’s reputation. He said while party workers were not able to defend the party policies at grass-roots level, the party had also failed to launch any major agitation against the ‘anti-people’ policies of the state government.

Alleging that the present Congress leadership had been weak enough to oppose the government, he said Chautala government stand exposed on issues, including changing of power meters, anti-encroachment drive and safeguarding interests of farmers.

He criticised the Chautala government’s decision to withdraw ex gratia payment of Rs 10 lakh to next of kin of paramilitary jawans who died in anti-insurgency operations.
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MLAs for tax rebate on self-occupied flats
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 4
INLD and Independent legislators, who attended a meeting convened by Haryana Local Bodies Minister Subhash Goyal here today to discuss the state government’s house tax policy, reportedly suggested various modifications in the policy.

An Independent MLA, who attended the meeting, said the MLAs urged the minister to exclude plot size while calculating of house tax. The MLAs also asked Mr Goyal to review the policy of charging house tax on plots on which houses had not been built.

Secondly, the MLAs reportedly also opined that the tax on self-occupied houses should be given a rebate by the municipalities. They reportedly argued that since the state and the central governments encouraged people to construct houses by giving them loans and other incentives, self-occupied houses should get concessional house tax.

Mr Goyal reportedly assured them that the suggestions put forward by them would be seriously considered by the state government.

Fortyseven MLAs from various parties, representing constituencies having one or more areas with municipal committees or corporations, were invited to take part in the meeting. However, only a handful of MLAs finally took part in the meeting while the entire Opposition as well as the BJP, an ally of the ruling INLD, kept away.

Mr Karan Singh Dalal, the lone RPI legislator in the Assembly, said he had boycotted the meeting to foil the state government’s attempt to get the MLAs’ approval regarding the house tax policy. Earlier, the government did not allow him to speak on the issue when the Bill was presented in the House, he alleged.

Mr Subhash Goyal told the TNS that 18 to 19 MLAs, of which four were Independents, one BSP, and the remaining from the INLD, attended the meeting held at Haryana Nivas here today. Refusing to elaborate the suggestions given by the MLAs, Mr Goyal said the state government would consider the views expressed by the MLAs. Asked about the BJP’s absence at the meeting, Mr Goyal said he had no intimation from the party on why its legislators stayed away.

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DHVPN owes Rs 5 cr to civic body?
Bijendra Ahlawat

Tribune News Service

Faridabad, October 4
The Dakshin Haryana Vidyut Prasaran Nigam CDVPN reportedly owes an amount of Rs 5 crore to the local Municipal Corporation. The delay in releasing of the payment has become a cause of concern for the municipal authorities.

According to Municipal Corporation sources, the DHVPN collects an amount of about Rs 5 crore in a year towards municipal tax charged in the bimonthly bills of consumers. This tax is 5 paise per unit and the provision for it had been made by the state government with a view to improving the financial condition of the civic bodies facing financial crunch, especially after the withdrawal of the octroi.

While the situation is more or less the same for all civic bodies in the state, but due to the lack of a clear policy or decision, the municipal bodies have not been getting the share in time.

The government had also imposed some charges in the registration of vehicles to provide financial help to the civic bodies. According to corporation sources, despite several notices and reminders, the power officials had not responded favourably. On the other hand, it is learnt that the DHVPN stopped the payment to the corporation due to pending power bills towards the latter. Although the corporation authorities deny any pending bill, the actual position in this connection seems to be unclear. But the ongoing tussle has affected the corporation adversely, claimed an official.

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Haryana to plant 4.5 crore saplings
 Our Correspondent

Yamunanagar, October 4
In order to make Haryana pollution free and greener the state government had chalked out a plan to plant 4.5 crore saplings during the next financial year. As many as 2.5 crore saplings were planted this year.

This was stated by the Chief Minister of Haryana, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, while presiding over a state-level wildlife protection week at Chhachhrauli, about 15 km from here on Tuesday.

The Chief Minister emphasised on the need to protect wildlife and cautioned farmers against the excessive use of pesticides as it was resulting in the death of peacocks and farmers’ friendly birds.

The Chief Minister said he would inaugurate a herbal park near Chhachhrauli during ‘dhanwantri week’ which is celebrated from November 4 to 10 every year.

The Chief Minister said ayurveda was gaining popularity over allopathy as it was very costly and had many side effects.

The Chief Minister said our culture believes in ‘live and let live’. We protect animals despite financial loss suffered by us. He said some people kill animals just to get financial benefit.

He said farmers would be actively involved in the afforestation drive. They would be given saplings free of cost by the government.

Mr Chautala said he would consider the demand of local MLAs for setting up a deer safari or a bird sanctuary on 125 acre along the herbal park. He also assured the farmers that he would request the Central Government for taking four trees like jamun, kadamb, shahtoot and neem from the purview of Section 4.

Mr R.D. Jakati, Chief Wildlife Warden, said the Bombay Natural History Society had selected Haryana for the vulture breeding programme as 95 per cent of vultures had died in the country due to some dreadful disease.

Mr R.S. Hooda, Principal Chief Conservator of Forest, said quiz and painting competitions would be organised in the schools to acquaint children about wildlife.

Mr Akram Khan, chairman Haryana Dairy Development and Mr Kanwar Pal, MLA, also spoke on the occasion.

The Chief Minister agreed to open a JBT or OT College in Sadhaura for the benefit of rural students.

The Chief Minister earlier laid the foundation stone of Community Health Centre to be built at a cost of Rs 26.75 lakh with the assistance of Shivalik Development Agency.

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Cabinet clears changes in recruitment rules
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 4
The Haryana Cabinet today approved a proposal of the Technical Education Department to frame the Haryana Technical Education Department (Group B) Service Rules, 2001, for changes in academic qualifications and experience for direct recruitment of lecturers.

According to the new rules, the candidate seeking direct recruitment as lecturer, should be holder of a first class degree from a recognised university or an associate member of Institute of Engineers with 60 per cent marks in aggregate after passing three-year diploma in engineering in the first division.

Under the new rules, 15 per cent post of lecturers would be filled up through promotion amongst the workshop instructors or laboratory technicians. In case of Lecturer in Library Science, 15 per cent posts would be filled up by promotion from among the librarians.

The posts of ministerial staff would also be under the ambit of new service rules. In case of foreman instructors, 67 per cent posts would be filled by promotion among the workshop instructors or instrument repairers and 33 per cent by direct recruitment.
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MLA Chander Bhatia surrenders
 Tribune News Service

Ambala, October 4
Mr Chander Bhatia MLA from Faridabad, surrendered in a city court today.

Mr Bhatia surrendered in the court of Special Magistrate for CBUI cases in Haryana, Mr J.S. Dhanjal. He has been sent to judicial custody. On August 23, Mr J.S. Dhanjal, had allowed a request by the CBI to start the process of declaring Mr Bhatia a proclaimed offender. The case was adjourned till October 5.

On May 1 this year, a non bailable warrant was issued against Mr Bhatia in a case pertaining to the alleged illegal occupation of an office located in Faridabad and taking goods worth lakhs by him and a few others.

Mamta Arora, Editor, Rashtriya Janadesh Bureau, had lodged an FIR under Section 395 of the IPC and other Sections alleging that Mr Bhatia, his brother and six others had illegally occupied their office and taken with them articles worth Rs 68 lakh.

In April this year, Mr Bhatia had moved an anticipatory bail application in the court of Special Judge, Ambala. The bail application was dismissed.

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BJP: help farmers overcome losses
Our Correspondent

Sirsa, October 4
The national secretary of the BJP and MP, Mr Sanjay Paswan yesterday called upon party workers to cooperate in the economic survival of farmers by educating them about the crop insurance policy started by the Centre to compensate the farmers for the loss of their crops due to natural calamities.

He was speaking at a meeting of the district executive of the party which was also attended by the office-bearers of the cells and morchas of the party in the district.

Mr Paswan said the BJP-led government at the centre had initiated various welfare schemes for the rural population and the farmers. He urged the party workers to help the farmers of the area who had suffered losses due to destruction of their cotton crop so that they could be compensated through the crop insurance policy.

He said to strengthen the lower strata of society and to make people aware of the welfare schemes, the National office-bearers were visiting different districts.

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Sulabh launches cleanliness drive
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, October 4
After some initial hitches the Sulabh International, which has been awarded contract in eastern parts of the town, has started functioning.

This was stated by a senior vice-president of the organisation, Ms Sushmita Shekhar here yesterday. She said some vested interests were not happy with the decision of municipal corporation to handover the work to Sulabh International. They had been trying to create problems but the organisation was able to conduct its work smoothly and residents of various areas were happy with the cleanliness drive.

She said heaps of garbage lying for several months had been removed besides cleanliness on daily basis. The organisation was given the contract on July 12 last by the municipal corporation on monthly payment of Rs 25 lakh for maintaining cleanliness in the 22 km stretch east of the Delhi-Mathura road from Badar Pur border to Jarsaitli village. The Mayor, Deputy Mayor and various residents welfare associations had expressed satisfaction over the work done by the organisation so far.

Mrs Anita Goswami, Mayor, said situation had improved in many areas of the district. She said coordination between Sulabh and municipal corporation was required to achieve better results.

The Deputy Mayor, Mrs Kanta Bathla, said complaints were mainly attended to by the Safai workers. Mr Bhagwat Singh Nagar, Mr Nand Kishore Singla, Mrs Pratibha Yadav, Mrs Pravin Mehta, Mr B.S. Tewatia, and Mr Daya Chand Yadav (all corporators) have defended the work so far.

The Resident Welfare Associations of Sector 15-A, Sector-29, Sector-11 (DLF), Bhomiya Mandir Pocket, Sector 16 (North-East), Sector-37, Sector-7-E, Ward No-21 and Ballabgarh have also praised the work done by the organisation. The Sulabh authorities have meanwhile decided to launch an awareness campaign on sanitation.
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Rohtak dairies to be shifted
Jatinder Sharma

Rohtak, October 4
Rohtak town may no longer be called the ‘city of dairies’ as the government has decided to shift these out of the municipal limits.

The Deputy Commissioner, Mr Anil Malik, told The Tribune that this was being done to provide a clean environment to the citizens and eliminate threat of future floods. The ban on the use of polythene bags after October 15 would make the town flood-free.

According to a survey conducted by the district administration, the city has 372 dairies with five or more milch cattle. An equal number of dairies have between two to five cattle head. Then there are those who deal in the sale and purchase of cattle but do not own any dairy.

Besides, Mr Malik said there were numerous citizens who owned a milch animal. After shifting the dairies outside the municipal limits, the single-cattle owners would also be advised to shift, he said.

The Deputy Commissioner said the administration had selected four sites — Gohana road, Jhajjar road — Jind road and Sunarian road - where these dairies would be shifted. The administration needed over 100 acres for setting up the dairies out of the municipal limits.

The acquisition of land for the dairies out of the municipal limits at the selected sites would not pose any problem. Panchayat land was available at the Sunarian road and Jind road. This land would be developed in the first phase and that on the Gohana and Jhajjar roads in the second phase.

The Deputy Commissioner said each dairy owner would be provided with plots ranging from 250 square yards to 1000 square yard.

Mr Malik convened a meeting of dairy owners of the town for Monday and sought their co-operation. He advised them to submit their suggestions on the proposed sites within 10 days.

The Deputy Commissioner has already constituted a committee under the chairmanship of Additional Deputy Commissioner T.K. Sharma to ensure speedy shifting of the dairies. Representatives of the Dairy Owners Association, Mr Ram Parkash Khurana and Mr Chaudhary Ram Ahuja, are also members of the committee.
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Train commuters face problems 
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, October 4
Thousands of suburban commuters in this city and surrounding areas have been facing difficulties on account of alleged indifferent attitude of the Railways towards their problems, like non-stoppage of some long-distance trains, insufficient coaches and late running of trains.

There are half-a-dozen suburban trains linking Delhi and New Delhi with Sonepat. All trains are generally overcrowded but the situation has deteriorated after the authorities reduced the number of coaches in them.

Representations made to the higher Railway authorities for increasing the number of second class coaches have been ignored. The provision of separate coaches for milkmen, who carry huge containers with them, can ease the situation.

Late running of not only long-distance but also suburban trains on this section has become a routine. The real sufferers are, therefore, office-goers, teachers and other daily passengers.

Non-stoppage of the Shan-e-Punjab Express, the Sachkhand Express, the Sarvodaya Express and the Swaraj Express at the Sonepat railway station causes inconvenience to the passengers bound for Ludhiana, Jalandhar and Amritsar as they have to board these trains either from Delhi or Panipat.
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Candlelight procession against terrorism
Our Correspondent

Kalka, October 4
Protesting against global terrorism, the All-India Human Rights Watch yesterday evening took out a candlelight procession under the leadership of its senior vice-president, M.S. Chadha. Schoolchildren with candles in their hands led the procession followed by men and women and representatives of the organisation.

The procession started from the railway road near Lotus Guest House and after passing through the main bazaars, terminated near the Market Committee office.

Addressing the gathering on this occasion, general secretary of the organisation, Mr Narinder Sharma, said our country had been facing terrorism for the past 20 years. Various human right organisations had been raising voice against terrorism for the past many years, but it was only after the terrorist attacks on the US that the world understood the gravity of the problem.

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Robbery at petrol station
Our Correspondent

Panipat, October 4
In a daylight robbery at a petrol station on the busy Panipat-Gohana highway, four criminals looted over Rs 27,000 in cash and managed to escape.

According to sources, four gangsters came in an Indica car at Sunrise petrol pump near village Mehrana today at 10.00 a.m. After getting the car tank filled with oil, they asked for station owner Mahender Singh, claiming they were his friends.

One of the workers took them to his office where one of the gangsters took out a pistol and asked him to hand over the cash bag containing Rs 27,684.

After looting the cash and locking the service boy inside, they sped away in the car towards Budshyam. 

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