Tuesday, October 23, 2001, Chandigarh, India





THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
H A R Y A N A

Controversy over HCS exam
Chandigarh, October 22
In tune with its tradition, the examination conducted by the Haryana Public Service Commission (HPSC) to select candidates for appointment to the state civil service (HCS) and allied services this year has also been mired in a controversy.

Workload on judiciary concerns SC
Yamunanagar, October 22
Mr Justice Ashok Bhan of the Supreme Court has said that the apex court is making efforts to reduce the workload on judiciary by introducing fast-track courts and involving the Lok Adalats. While addressing members of the Jagadhri Bar Association at the judicial complex here today, Mr Bhan said about 2.35 crore cases were pending in various courts of the country.

NTPC tariff charge from Nov 1
Rohtak, October 22
The NTPC proposes to charge frequency-based tariff for the electricity generated and sold by it to Haryana and other states from November 1. The NTPC has reportedly taken the decision to discourage Haryana and other power-starved states from overdrawing electricity during the low-frequency hours.

IN FOCUS
A historic table in Ambala?

Ambala
The table and chairs used during the historic Shimla Accord between Mrs Indira Gandhi and Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto are believed to be in Ambala Cantonment, though there is no official record to prove that the table and chairs in the Cantonment Board office were used during the talks at Shimla. Old timers in the Cantonment Board, however, insist that this table and these chairs were hurriedly despatched to Shimla in 1972.

HP to supply power to other states
Yamunanagar, October 22
Himachal Pradesh will be one state in the country which will be self-sufficient in power sector said Mr Suraj Bhan, Governor, Himachal Pradesh, who was here today. He said in near future Himachal Pradesh would supply power to neighbouring states. He claimed that there was not a single house left in Himachal Pradesh where there was no power connections.


 Singer Lakhbir Singh Lakkha performing at Ambala city. —Photo by N Chopra


YOUR TOWN
Ambala
Chandigarh
Kaithal
Rohtak
Sonepat
Yamunanagar


EARLIER STORIES
 

Registration of nursing homes with ultrasound machines opposed
Ambala, October 22
The move of the Health Department, Haryana, to register the nursing homes under the PNDT Act, having the facilities of ultrasound machine being used even for diagnostic purposes, has caused resentment among the doctors running private nursing homes in the state.

Women exhorted to develop intellect
Fatehabad, October 22
The Commissioner, Hisar Division, Ms Umesh Nanda, said yesterday that empowerment came through intellect one possessed and not through physical strength. Ms Nanda stated this while addressing a gathering at Dayyar village near here on the occasion of the Women Empowerment Day. The programme was organised by the district police as part of week-long celebrations regarding the empowerment day.

2 cops booked in rape case
Rohtak, October 22
Chief Judicial Magistrate C.B. Sheoran has directed the police to register a criminal case against constables Balbir Singh and Sunita in connection with the rape of an inmate of Nari Niketan, Karnal.

One falls sick after opening envelope
Ambala, October 22
An employee of the Punjab Wakf Board in Ambala cantonment fell sick after opening an envelope today.
The employee, Mr Masood Mahmood Shamsi, is working as section officer in the receipt and despatch department in the Punjab Wakf Board. This morning, after he opened a registered envelope, he felt nauseated and began vomiting.

Nursing home building collapses
Kaithal, October 22
A major tragedy was avoided when a three-storeyed building of a private nursing home collapsed on the Kurukshetra road here this evening and a number of patients and owner of the nursing home, Dr H.S. Chhatwal, his staff and family members had a miraculous escape.

BJP leaders boycott function
Sonepat, October 22
Mr Krishan Singh Sangwan, MP and the Vice-President of the Haryana BJP unit and other leaders of the party boycotted the function relating to the laying of the foundation stone of the Devi Lal Northern Regional Centre of Sports Authority of India (SAI) held at Joshi Chauhan village, about 13 km from here, yesterday.

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Controversy over HCS exam
Yoginder Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 22
In tune with its tradition, the examination conducted by the Haryana Public Service Commission(HPSC) to select candidates for appointment to the state civil service (HCS) and allied services this year has also been mired in a controversy.

Perhaps, the only time the HCS examination was conducted without raising any dust within living memory was when Mr M. Ramsekhar, at present the Deputy Commissioner of Chandigarh, supervised the examination in his capacity as the Secretary of the HPSC.

The commission started interviewing 193 candidates who were declared successful in the written examination from today. The interviews are being held at Red Bishop, a Haryana Tourism complex at Panchkula. The interviews will continue till November 10.

The irrepressible RPI MLA, Mr Karan Singh Dalal, alleged here today that among the 10 candidates who had topped the written examination were wards of influential persons. He said these candidates had been given such high scores in the written examination as would place them in the list of successful candidates even if they were awarded a low score in the interview. There are nine posts of HCS for the general category candidates.

Mr Dalal claimed that among the top 10 candidates were the daughters of the serving Director-General of Haryana police, Mr M.S. Malik, and a former DGP, Mr S.P.S. Rathore. He alleged that this was a reward to the police officers by the Chief Minister for implicating his political adversaries in “false” cases.

He said a son of Mr Sher Singh Badshami, Political Adviser to the Chief Minister, as well as a sister of the Managing Director of the Haryana State Industries Development Corporation, Dr Harbaksh Singh, also figured in the list.

He said the person who had topped the list was the co-author of a book on the HCS examination. The other author of the book, he alleged, was the Secretary of the commission, Mr Hardeep Singh.

Other candidates, Mr Dalal alleged, were also either related to influential persons or had “bought their success”.

The Chairman of the commission, Dr K.C. Bangar, denied the allegations. He told TNS that the record of the successful candidates would be preserved by the commission for 10 years. Any aggrieved candidate could examine the record after following the procedure, which was to approach the courts, under whose directions the commission would make the record public.

Dr Bangar said his functioning was absolutely “fair and transparent”. He would resign his post if any irregularity was detected or proved. One candidate, who was caught using unfair means in the written examination, had been disqualified for 10 years by the commission. He would not be able to appear in any competitive examination to be conducted by any state public service commission.

Dr Bangar said even his wife was a candidate for the HCS examination and she had sent her application when he was abroad on an assignment. But after he took over as the Chairman of the HPSC, he thought it proper not to allow her to sit in the examination so that its sanctity could be maintained.

Similarly, blood relations of three HPSC members also sat in the examination. These members were not associated with the selection of examiners. Incidentally, the blood relations of the members had failed to qualify the written examination.

Should not the Secretary, whose co-author was a candidate, have been dissociated from the conduct of the examination? Dr Bangar did not agree. “Anyone can write a book,” he said, adding that this particular candidate had cleared the written examination of the HCS four times in the past as well as the written examination of the IAS on two occasions. He was already in the state allied services.

Mr Dalal said the answer sheets should be re-evaluated under the supervision of the Union Public Service Commission because meritorious candidates were feeling cheated. He also wanted a CBI probe.

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Workload on judiciary concerns SC
Ashwani Dutta

Yamunanagar, October 22
Mr Justice Ashok Bhan of the Supreme Court has said that the apex court is making efforts to reduce the workload on judiciary by introducing fast-track courts and involving the Lok Adalats. While addressing members of the Jagadhri Bar Association at the judicial complex here today, Mr Bhan said about 2.35 crore cases were pending in various courts of the country.

Giving statistics, he said in India there were 11 judges for every one million persons, whereas, in the USA, there were 100 judges for every one million persons.

Mr Bhan lauded the contribution of the lawyers to the independence struggle and exhorted them to serve society in the same manner. He said the public had great expectations from the judiciary but cooperation of lawyers was essential to meet its expectations. He asked the lawyers to work with devotion to meet the challenge.

Mr Bhan said Bar and Bench are parts of one judicial system and are inseparable. Mr Ram Kumar Radauri lauded the role played by Mr Bhan as President of the Bar Association, Punjab and Haryana High Court, Chandigarh. He also thanked the Haryana Government and the Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court for upgrading Yamunanagar as sessions division. He also appreciated the assistance of the state government in the construction of judicial complex here.

Later talking to reporters, Mr Bhan said retired judges were not answerable to high courts whereas appointee judges were. Therefore, the latter would be considered for the fast-track courts. Mr Bhan also planted a tree in the judicial complex.

Mr Dhani Ram Yadav, Mr V.K. Lakshi, Mr B.S. Sheoran, all additional district and sessions judges, were among those present on the occasion.
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NTPC tariff charge from Nov 1
Jatinder Sharma

Rohtak, October 22
The NTPC proposes to charge frequency-based tariff for the electricity generated and sold by it to Haryana and other states from November 1.

The NTPC has reportedly taken the decision to discourage Haryana and other power-starved states from overdrawing electricity during the low-frequency hours.

It will, however, charge standard tariff upto 49.6 Hz frequency but the charge will be much higher if Haryana and other states draw power when the frequency is lower.

The Chief Engineer, UHBVN, Rohtak Zone, Mr Prem Sagar, told The Tribune that Haryana would not purchase power from the NTPC at a higher tariff than it was paying now. This means that the power consumers in Haryana should be prepared to face unscheduled power cuts during the peak load hours in the coming months.

Mr Prem Sagar claimed that the UHBVN was supplying between 450 to 550 lakh units (LU) of electricity to its consumers every day. This was nearly 8 to 10 per cent higher than the previous year. It has supplied 624 LU on a single day in the paddy growing region as against 525 LU the previous year.

Mr Prem Sagar said while the quantity of energy received had gone down, the figures for energy sold were on the six. For instance, he said, the energy received by the Industrial Subdivision, Sonepat, had declined from 75 LU to 60 LU, the energy sold had increased from 37 LU to 41 LU.

This had become possible following installation of new electronic meters. The consumers, too, he said, had become more conscious about the power consumption and a large number of them had installed ‘energy savers’ at their residences.

The Chief Engineer dismissed reports that the new electronic meters were fast as baseless. He said these meters were tested by the department along with other meters and it was observed that the new meters were most accurate. Moreover, the UHBVN had set up an “electronic testing bench” at Karnal and Yamunanagar to eliminate human errors in the testing of meters. More such benches are proposed to be commissioned at Rohtak, Kaithal and Dhulkot.

He said revenue collections by the UHBVN had also increased after a campaign was launched against power theft and new meters were installed. During September, the revenue collections were Rs 37.16 crore as compared to Rs 27.94 crore last year.

This was possible because of a slight increase in the tariff, availability of more power and decline in the incidence of theft. The department has detected 5,645 cases of power theft in the Rohtak zone comprising Rohtak, Sonepat, Jhajjar, and Jind districts.

The department had imposed a penalty of Rs 457.12 lakh on account of theft of power and recovered Rs 201.95 lakh. The department had also lodged FIRs against 1,106 such consumers, including 69 industrial and nine agricultural consumers, he said.

The electricity bills outstanding against the rural consumers had increased by nearly 20 per cent, he said. While the outstanding bills amounted to Rs 214 crore in August, 2000, these have risen to Rs 247.12 crore by the end of August this year, he added.

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IN FOCUS
A historic table in Ambala?

Tribune News Service

Ambala
The table and chairs used during the historic Shimla Accord between Mrs Indira Gandhi and Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto are believed to be in Ambala Cantonment, though there is no official record to prove that the table and chairs in the Cantonment Board office were used during the talks at Shimla. Old timers in the Cantonment Board, however, insist that this table and these chairs were hurriedly despatched to Shimla in 1972.

The table and chairs are used whenever meetings are held here. The furniture retains the old world charm and its distinct character with the table having a solid wooden top.

The Office Superintendent, Mr Jagmohan Sharma, says that the table and the chairs in the Cantonment Board office were rushed to Shimla before the historic meeting. “Only a verbal order was issued and the table, which can be dismantled into four parts, and the chairs were taken to Shimla in a truck”, he said. The furniture was returned to Ambala after some time. “I was in service when the furniture was sent to Shimla. After it came back, we used to introduce new officers to the Cantonment Board, saying that this table and these chairs were used during the historic Shimla Agreement,” he said.

The table and chairs are said to be about 50 years old. Two carpenters, Santokh Singh and Kan Singh, are stated to have prepared the oval shaped table and the chairs for the Cantonment Board.

The Executive Officer of the Cantonment Board, Mr S.S. Chahal, says there is no official record to show that these chairs and the table were indeed taken to Shimla before the Mrs Gandhi-Bhutto meeting.

He, however, stated that he had turned down a proposal for putting a laminated top on the table. “We have retained the original nature of the old furniture. There is no question of changing its original character. Except regular polishing, we do not allow anything else,” he said.

Perhaps the solid old table and chairs at the Cantonment Board may have a tale to tell of how leaders from India and Pakistan managed to reach an agreement even though a similar attempt three decades later had failed at Agra.

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HP to supply power to other states
Our Correspondent

Yamunanagar, October 22
Himachal Pradesh will be one state in the country which will be self-sufficient in power sector said Mr Suraj Bhan, Governor, Himachal Pradesh, who was here today. He said in near future Himachal Pradesh would supply power to neighbouring states.

He claimed that there was not a single house left in Himachal Pradesh where there was no power connections. He admitted that in few areas there were some problems regarding power supply, but he was sure that very shortly the problem would be solved.

He said in per capita income Himachal Pradesh was number six in the country.

He said that there was short fall of teachers in the state but in near future all vacancies would be filled.

Mr Suraj Bhan said he had proposed to convene a meeting of industrialists of Himachal Pradesh and would persuade them to start one educational institution in the state to impart free and better education to deserving students. He said he already had a discussion with the Chief Minister and Education Minister of the state regarding this issue.

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Registration of nursing homes with ultrasound machines opposed
Suman Bhatnagar

Ambala, October 22
The move of the Health Department, Haryana, to register the nursing homes under the PNDT Act, having the facilities of ultrasound machine being used even for diagnostic purposes, has caused resentment among the doctors running private nursing homes in the state. Recently, the civil surgeons of different districts in the state have circulated a letter to the doctors running ultrasound centres and the doctors of nursing homes having ultrasound facility to register their clinics with the department by depositing Rs 3,000, failing which action would be taken against them as per the law.

The doctors while opposing this move said there was no provision in the Act to register the nursing homes having ultrasound machine for diagnostic purposes. In fact the registration was made compulsory for genetic counselling centres, genetic laboratories and the genetic clinics where prenatal diagnostic techniques were carried out for the purpose specified in the Act.

The president of the Haryana unit of the IMA, Dr D.S. Jaspal, said the association was against the sex determination test of the unborn child and its state council has already directed all its members not to involve themselves directly or indirectly in this unholy act. He said that IMA has formed vigilance committees of its own to keep an eye over it.

He said the members have been advised to get their ultrasound machine registered. He, however, said that the demand of Rs 3,000 for the registration was not appropriate.

Dr Jaspal also strongly objected that even though the Act do not provide any rule for the registration of ultrasound machines, the authorities concerned were getting the statutory forms meant for genetic counselling centres and genetic laboratories filled up for ultrasound machines. When there was no provision for form and fees for the registration of ultrasound machines’ the authorities cannot provide any form and cannot demand any fees for the same, he added.

One of the senior doctors running a nursing home in Ambala city said since there was no provision in the Act which prescribe any procedure for registration of ultrasound machines, even then the department was harassing the private nursing homes.

According to the information, the IMA has already suggested the Union Government for several amendments in the Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act. It has suggested that the ultrasound units should be incorporated in the Act as a separate category and the privilege of evaluating the pregnancy from conception to delivery at any stage should be allowed for the well being of the unborn child since the unborn child has every right to access to advance medical technology for his survival.

Meanwhile, one of the senior officers of Haryana Health Directorate said recently the government had issued a letter directing them to make the registration of all the nursing homes running in the state having the ultrasound machines since such machines can be misused for the sex detection of unborn child.

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Women exhorted to develop intellect
Our Correspondent

Fatehabad, October 22
The Commissioner, Hisar Division, Ms Umesh Nanda, said yesterday that empowerment came through intellect one possessed and not through physical strength. Ms Nanda stated this while addressing a gathering at Dayyar village near here on the occasion of the Women Empowerment Day. The programme was organised by the district police as part of week-long celebrations regarding the empowerment day. The Commissioner said it was presumed that men were stronger than women but mere physical strength did not empower an individual for leading a meaningful life. One had to develop one’s intellectual faculties for that, she said.

Ms Nanda regretted the fact that even after a lot of development in every sphere, women in most of the societies remained a neglected lot. She said the birth of a girl child was still considered unwelcome in many of the Indian societies. She called upon people to encourage their daughters to go to schools. She also exhorted the women to wake up to their rights and get benefit from various government schemes. She also inaugurated a water storage scheme in the village.

The SP, Mr Hanif Qureshi, ADC, Mr C. R. Rana, SDM, Mr R.K. Chouhan and other senior officers of the district were present on the occasion.
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2 cops booked in rape case
Our Correspondent

Rohtak, October 22
Chief Judicial Magistrate C.B. Sheoran has directed the police to register a criminal case against constables Balbir Singh and Sunita in connection with the rape of an inmate of Nari Niketan, Karnal.

The Sadar police here has registered a case under Sections 376, 342, 506 and 34, IPC, against both constables of the Railway police station here. No arrest, however, has been made as the accused are reportedly absconding.

The girl has alleged that while being taken from Nari Niketan at Karnal to the court of the CJM here on July 12 last, the constables got off from the bus on return journey between Rohtak and Gohana and she was raped.

On reaching Karnal, the girl reported the incident to the in charge, Nari Niketan, who got her medically examined. When the doctor confirmed rape, the girl was produced before the Deputy Commissioner, Karnal, who referred the matter to the CJM.

Incidentally, the girl had been sent to the Nari Niketan after she had lodged a complaint with the Railway Police here that she was raped by Manoj, a resident of Delhi, and his accomplice. 

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One falls sick after opening envelope
Rahul Das

Tribune News Service

Ambala, October 22
An employee of the Punjab Wakf Board in Ambala cantonment fell sick after opening an envelope today.

The employee, Mr Masood Mahmood Shamsi, is working as section officer in the receipt and despatch department in the Punjab Wakf Board. This morning, after he opened a registered envelope, he felt nauseated and began vomiting. Mr Shamsi was rushed to a local doctor from where he left for his home in Muzaffarnagar.

Enquiries revealed that the letter was registered and had reportedly been sent from Ladowal. The registered letter contained a photocopy of a Madhya Pradesh based newspaper. The photocopy was reportedly of a page containing advertisements, among others, of sleepers and fan. Although the registered envelope did not contain any powdery substance, there was no letter accompanying the photocopy which made the other employees suspicious.

Chief Executive Officer Sahibzada Akhlaq Ahmed Khan opined that there was nothing wrong with the envelope. Incidentally, besides Mr Shamsi, two other employees had also handled the envelope and at the time of filing the report, nothing was wrong with them.

The Chief Postmaster-General, Haryana Circle, Mr T.R. Sharma, said that the incident had not been brought to his notice. “The international mail does not come directly and the international mail is being scrutinised these days,” he said.

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Nursing home building collapses
Our Correspondent

Kaithal, October 22
A major tragedy was avoided when a three-storeyed building of a private nursing home collapsed on the Kurukshetra road here this evening and a number of patients and owner of the nursing home, Dr H.S. Chhatwal, his staff and family members had a miraculous escape.

The incident occurred when the neighbours of Dr Chhatwal started digging an adjoining plot to construct a basement. A portion of the nursing home, which did not fall has cracks and was posing danger to passersby.

The Deputy Commissioner, Mr Phateh Singh Dagar, the SP, Mr A.S. Chawla visited the site. A large number of residents also visited the site. 
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BJP leaders boycott function
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, October 22
Mr Krishan Singh Sangwan, MP and the Vice-President of the Haryana BJP unit and other leaders of the party boycotted the function relating to the laying of the foundation stone of the Devi Lal Northern Regional Centre of Sports Authority of India (SAI) held at Joshi Chauhan village, about 13 km from here, yesterday.

According to a report, Mr Sangwan and other BJP leaders expressed resentment at the lack of information about the function by the Sports Department of Haryana and the Union Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs.

Ms Uma Bharati, Union Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs it may be recalled, had laid the foundation stone of the academy.

Meanwhile, the district unit of the BJP has condemned the authorities of the state Sports Department for not inviting Mr Kishan Singh Sangwan, MP and other BJP leaders and urged the party high command to take a serious note of the matter. They lodged a protest with the Haryana Chief Minister in this regard.
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2 cops caught taking bribe
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, October 22
Two policemen, including a Head Constable, were caught red-handed by a special police party, headed by Dr Sultan Singh, SDM, and Mr Hardeep Singh Doon, DSP (Headquarters), while they were accepting a bribe of Rs 5,000 from Raju, a trader of Delhi, near Ganaur, 16 km from here, last evening.

According to a report reaching here, Raju was going to Panipat by car when he was stopped by the two policemen for checking the documents. When Raju presented the documents, the duo said those were fake and he would be challaned. If he gave Rs 5,000 to them, he would be let off, they conceded.

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Ten buffaloes stolen from dairy
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, October 22
At least 18 members of an inter-state gang engaged in stealing cattle stole 10 buffaloes and other head of cattle from a dairy at Garh Shahjahanpur village, about 3 km from here, yesterday.

According to a report, the members of the gang were armed with countrymade pistols, lathis and iron rods and came in Canters. They tied the son and servant of the dairy owner before escaping.

The Sadar police has registered a case in this connection.

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Sangharsh Vahini holds demonstration
Tribune News Service

Ambala, October 22
Sangharsh Vahini today held a demonstration outside the Municipal Council, Ambala Sadar office, in protest against the new house tax policy.

The activists of the vahini raised slogans and said it would be a burden on the common man. They demanded continuation of the old house tax policy.

The convener of the Sangharsh Vahini, Mr Hira Lal Yadav, said they will continue to hold demonstrations against the new policy till it is withdrawn.

He alleged that the state government was pursuing an anti-people policy.

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Aggarsain Jayanti celebrated
Our Correspondent

Shahabad, October 22
The main function in connection with Aggarsain Jayanti was celebrated here yesterday in the Arya Kanya Mahavidyalya auditorium under the presidentship of Mr P.K. Bansal, Mr Rameshwar Parshad Bansal, Chairman, Improvement Trust, Ambala City, was the chief guest and Mr Rakesh Kansal the guest of honour.

The Tehsildar, Mr Ashok Garg, the SMO of the local Civil Hospital, Dr Pravin Garg, Dr P.C. Garg and Mr Suresh Kansal Ismailabadi were honoured at the function.

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Paddy arrivals
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 22
More than 17 lakh tonnes of paddy had arrived in the mandis of Haryana till October 20 as against 13 lakh tonnes in the corresponding period last year, an official release stated here today.

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