Monday, November 19, 2001, Chandigarh, India

 

N C R   S T O R I E S

 

 

Greens prick euphoria over effluent units
Can Yamuna be saved? End-of-pipe interventions not the best solution
Ramesh Ramachandran
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 18
Even as the Government of the National Capital Region of Delhi (NCR) gloats over its “achievement” in setting up common effluent treatment plants (CETPs) that promise to control the pollution of water resources, the ‘green lobby’ questions the judiciousness of the move given that such technologies have not proved effective worldwide.

What has irked environment activists is the government’s “blind faith” in the concept of the CETP and going to town with the setting up of 15 of them as an achievement. Information with regard to effluent treatment finds prominent mention in a recent advertisement brought out by the Office of the Commissioner of Industries. Released to coincide with the inauguration of the India International Trade Fair, it lists the initiatives taken to promote non-polluting, environment friendly industries “which give high value addition”.

Environmental activists feel “end-of-pipe interventions” such as the CETP are not always the best solution. Dr R. K. Pachauri of the Tata Energy Research Institute (TERI), New Delhi, says without dedicated monitoring, such technologies fail to deliver. Data collated by the TERI suggest that since the sludge and acid/alkaline slurry from such plants form a major part of the total hazardous waste generated, efforts should be made to minimise waste generation in these categories. It also suggests the need for embracing the “suitable hazardous waste treatment and disposal technologies for different categories of wastes generated,” though it stops short of recommending the appropriate technology.

Others like Green peace, a global environment protection organisation, oppose the move, claiming it is akin to shutting the stable doors after the horses have bolted. Citing the precedent of Gujarat where a similar experiment failed to give the desired results, a Green peace activist told The NCR Tribune that even the World Bank, which has invested more than $ 50 million in CETPs, has written to Green peace admitting that such plants fail to address toxic effluents.

“Pollution once caused is difficult and in many cases impossible to cure. The accent,” she says quoting data collated by Green peace, “should be on prevention rather than control.” To buttress her argument, she recalls how one agency after another began to distance itself from the World Bank-funded CETP project at Vapi, Gujarat, after acknowledging that such technologies do nothing to address pollution.

Another area of concern is the demands the CETPs would put on incorporating a fail-safe monitoring mechanism. The absence of a secured landfill further poses an environmental hazard. According to the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute, Nagpur, 24,000 tonnes of CETP waste per year is generated in the Delhi region and that calls for a sustained monitoring by agencies concerned. “Setting up of CETPs should not be the end goal. Instead, monitoring should take precedence over all else,” says Dr Pachauri, and suggests involvement of representatives of civil society for the purpose.

The degree to which such technologies would render the Yamuna pollutant-free is disputed, which again lends credence to green peaceniks’ claims. When confronted, a government official told this newspaper that the CETPs would be successful to some extent, “provided they function well under proper guidance”.

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Rs 165 crore project a white elephant?
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 18
Formulated in 1999, the ambitious project of setting up common effluent treatment plants (CETPs) worth Rs 165 crore is finally nearing completion what with two of them to be inaugurated by Chief Minister Shiela Dikshit on November 30. The two plants ready for commissioning, which could offer a new lease of life to the Yamuna, are at the Wazirpur and Mangolpuri industrial areas.

The Wazirpur plant is the first and largest one among the proposed plants covering an area of 16,500 sq metre, with the capacity to treat around 24 million litres of effluents per day. Fifteen CETPs are supposed to be set up for around 24 industrial complexes in the national Capital out of which the Delhi State Industrial Development Corporation (DSIDC) had been assigned the work of executing 14 plants. The other one would be carried out under the supervision of the Delhi Development Authority. According to DSIDC officials, work on the CETP at Mayapuri is expected to be completed by December this year. Eleven others are likely to be completed by December 2002.

The project was formulated under the direction of the Supreme Court in 1999 to reduce the amount of pollutants being discharged into the river constantly by the industrial complexes.

In the time-consuming process at the plant, the dark-coloured effluents produced by different kinds of industries, ranging from electroplating to stainless steel, are given mechanical and physical treatment in different units of the plant to come out as a yellowish pollutant-free fluid. After the treatment, the fluid part is made to flow into the Yamuna while the thick residue called ‘sludge’ is transported and disposed of in vacant areas.

In the first step of the cleaning process, the effluents being continuously discharged from industries are stored in the equalisation tank for eight hours and then treated with chemicals in a ‘flash mixer’. After this, the effluents are made to settle in a ‘tube settler’ where the thick effluents settle at the bottom and clean water floats on to the upper part, which is then pumped out in to the ‘post-chlorination tank’. The thick effluents – sludge – are then made thicker in the ‘vacuum filter shed’ to make it easily transportable. The chlorinated water, which is not safe for drinking, is then pumped out to flow in the Yamuna. 

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Musical mornings lift Delhiites to a new high
Smriti Kak

New Delhi, November 18
What do you get when you blend the colours of the rising sun with the soothing notes of music? A heady mix, a visual and an audio treat, which is sure to create a mosaic of symphony and serenity.

Thanks to the New Delhi Municipal Council’s (NDMC) endeavour, Delhiites are being treated to spectacular musicals in the morning. Nature and music lovers can now listen to maestros, and that too in scenic expanses.

As part of its drive to promote art and culture to perpetuate the traditions of the city, the NDMC began organising these open-air concerts some time back. The objective is to ‘lift’ the urban life, which is increasingly getting alienated from the country’s cultural ethos. It is also seen as a move to bridge the chasm between art and culture and the masses at large; at the same time, the intention is to provide moments of tranquillity in an otherwise stressful life in the national Capital.

The general perception that stalwarts perform only in high-profile auditoriums and cater to only a specific audience has long been expunged, thanks to these performances.

For the regular morning walkers, the musical interlude comes as a welcome relief as it breaks the monotony of their daily rituals. Some of them even try to pace their steps in sync with the music.

Veterans like Pt Hari Prasad Chaurasia, Pt Jasraj and Shubha Mudgal have been persuaded to perform in the city’s parks and gardens. Resonating in the early hours of the morning, the lilting notes of music have enthralled audiences.

The 31st such programme on Sunday saw the ambience of Nehru Park in Chanakyapuri lift to dizzy heights when Hindustani vocalist Savita Devi performed against the lush green backdrop of the park, which is nestled in the city’s diplomats’ zone.

The concert, which began with Khayal (Tori), also showcased Jogia (Thumri) and Dadra – a devotional song of Bulle Shah. It concluded with the bhajans of Tulsi Das.

A renowned singer, Savita Devi hails from a well-known family of the Benaras Gharana. Having honed her skills under teacher-mother Siddheshwari Devi, who was regarded the queen of Thumri, Savita Devi went on to specialise in Thumri, Dadra, Chaiti, Kajri and Tappa of the Benaras Gharana.

An accomplished Khayal singer, she adopted the style of the Kirana Gharana under the tutelage of her Gurus, Pt Mani Prasad and Pt Dalip Chandra Vedi. Having earned accolades for her performances and her voice, Savita Devi has been bestowed with innumerable honours and awards, including the Uttar Pradesh Sangeet Natak Academy award and the Sangeet Parvina from the Divine Life Society.

Savita Devi has mesmerised audiences in India as well as abroad. She has performed in Berlin, Pakistan, Mauritius, Frankfurt, England, Rome and closer home in Nepal.

The head of the music department in Daulat Ram College, she has cut records for prestigious music companies, including HMV.

Savita Devi’s performance on Sunday will be followed by similar performances by noted celebrities from the world of music. Whether it is the heat of summer, the piercing chill of winter or the pleasing drizzle of monsoon, concerts will satiate the aesthetic desire of citizens and lend meaning to the Capital’s noisy environs. 

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Cop picks up scent of robbers, shot dead
Parmindar Singh

Ghaziabad, November 18
It was all panic stations in Sahibabad area when a constable was shot dead in broad daylight even as another unarmed constable had a narrow escape in the Sector-2 market of Rajinder Nagar, when three motorcycle-borne assailants sprayed bullets on him on Saturday.

People in the market ran helter-skelter and shopkeepers downed their shutters while many others fled from their kiosks and shops on seeing the constable lying in a pool of blood on the road.

The two constables, Mohinder Singh and Jatinder Singh, were investigating a Rs 5-lakh robbery, ostensibly by the same gang which assaulted them. While three bullets hit Mohinder, possibly killing him on the spot, Jatinder had the presence of mind to jump aside to escape the hail of bullets.

SSP Prashant Kumar, SP City Ashok Kumar Raghav, Co Border Ajay Sehdev and Inspector Ashutosh Gautam of Sahibabad rushed to the spot immediately with a police contingent.

In the meantime, Mohinder was rushed to Narinder Mohan Hospital near Sahibabad by Jatinder, but the doctors could not save him.

According to SP City Ashok Kumar Raghav, constables Mohinder and Jatinder had been briefed for nabbing the gang responsible for the Rs 5 lakh heist outside Oriental Bank of Commerce near the Sahibabad border on October 17. During the hold-up, the robbers had gunned down the cashier of a liquor trader.

On the day of the killing, both the constables were visiting Rajinder Nagar to investigate the crime. At the time of their visit, they were dressed in mufti.

It is learnt that the criminals got a wind of their visit and attacked the constables.

The SSP, in an urgent meeting of the police force, instructed his officials to nab the assailants as soon as possible. Already, all vehicles and suspicious characters in the city are being checked.

The deceased belonged to Bijnore's village Tehra, which falls under Chandpur police station; he joined UP Police in 1987. He was posted at the Sahibabad police station in October 1997 and was living with his family.

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Teenager beaten up by ‘Laden supporters’
Bijendra Ahlawat
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, November 18
A 16-year-old boy of a nearby village, Bhadkhal, was allegedly beaten up mercilessly by some youth when he protested against one of them shouting slogans in support of Saudi fugitive Osama bin Laden. The victim, Mausam, was saying his prayers at a mosque here when the other youth raised slogans in favour of the terrorist mastermind.

While no arrest has been made so far, a seriously injured Mausam has been admitted to the local civil hospital.

According to Mausam and his mother, one of his cousins and he protested when a youth of the village raised slogans in support of bin Laden last evening at the mosque. After a heated exchange and physical altercation between them, the boy summoned another 15 to 20 persons, who attacked Mausam and his cousin with sticks, injuring the former seriously.

Incidentally, this is the first case, after the September 11 terrorist attacks in the US and the ongoing war in Afghanistan, to be reported from the region in which `anti-national' or pro-Laden sentiments have been articulated in such a manner.

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Haryana gears up for water conservation
Ravi S. Singh
Tribune News Service

Gurgaon, November 18
The Haryana Government will soon come out with an action plan on water conservation in the state. The Water Conservation Mission constituted by the state government has already drafted the action plan, according to the Principal

Secretary to Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala, Mr S. Y. Quraishi, who is heading the mission. He was addressing the 22nd annual general meeting of the Gurgaon Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) here today. Mr Quraishi said that as many as 13 departments had been roped in for an integrated approach to the issue of water conservation and rainwater harvesting. The departments included Environment, Education, Women and Child Development, Agriculture, Industry, Power, Urban Development, Rural Development, Town and Country Planning, Pollution Control Board and Public Health.

A holistic document with regard to the action plan would be made public and follow up action initiated shortly, he said.

The idea behind enlisting support of so many departments was to convert the mission into a mass movement in the state, he said, and added the Chief Minister was personally attuned to the work on water conservation.

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MOVING FINGER
Delhi–A city which changes colour, not character

Like an elephant to blind men, Delhi is many different things to different people. I hate to recall that late Mr Ram Manohar Lohia, in an article in a Kolkata - then Calcutta - periodical had described Delhi as a city of pimps and prostitutes. I also do not want it to be dubbed as the most polluted and dirty city by many visitors.

That it is mismanaged and is inhabited by inefficient bureaucracy and corrupt politicians may be forgotten for the moment. After all, who wants to start a column with negative thoughts and harsh adjectives? I prefer to see it as the Capital of the largest democracy in the world where some of the most talented people live and continue to live. It is a city that manages itself and attracts crowds from all over. They have started crowding its periphery, that is the National Capital Region. Even beyond this region, for miles on all sides, there are many more people who are responsible for or are influenced by what goes on here. It is natural that they should be attached to it. This is a column for them all, about them all and about their concerns and happenings, which they love.

Divali’s new avatar

Divali used to be a festival of lights, literally and symbolically, in and around Delhi. Over a period it turned into that of noise and pollution, thanks to the neo-rich class who thought burning money was the best way to celebrate it. The festival is taking a new avatar once again. Now it is shopping all the way. With all kinds of control and restrictions on crackers, some of the money that went into fireworks is getting diverted into spending sprees in hundreds of markets and Divali Melas - a respectable way of putting up temporary shopping complexes with a little of entertainment thrown in. Traders' bodies, voluntary organisations and even unconcerned institutions have all started arranging these melas. Even the Gurgaon Police organised one, a rather unusual public relations exercise.

Many NGOs joined in. I know of at least one NGO, which brought a few hundred children from slums, and let them have free eats and fun at its Divali Mela. Hope more NGOs will do it next time.

Callous citizens

A lot has changed in Delhi but a few things have not. One of them is social sensitivity. Over three decades ago, an autorickshaw driver was stabbed repeatedly in one of the most congested traffic stretches of Connaught Circus during its busiest hour. There were a hundred odd people around who watched the stabbing. Not one of them intervened. A similar incident was witnessed some days ago. The venue was Kashmere Gate, in front of the General Post Office - again one of the busiest stretches of road. A visiting businessman on way to the Inter-State Bus Terminal in a rickshaw was stabbed 11 times by three youths in an attempt to rob him. This time too, hundreds watched or passed by. Not one of them tried to help him. Nobody will perhaps come forward to give evidence about the incident. People pass by the injured in an accident and let him bleed to death. That is what the national Capital is like.

Abilympics

Not many people have heard about Abilympics but they will soon get familiar with this word. An unusual event will be held in Delhi next week when the talented ones among the disabled will put their special skills and abilities to test. They will compete for honours in various activities (not sports) and various vocational skills. Beginning November 22, Delhi will host a regional meet where participants for the national Abilympics will be selected. Similar regional meets have been held at Chennai and Kolkata .The last will be held at Ahmedabad next month. The national meet next year will select the Indian team for the Sixth International Abilympics to be held in Delhi in 2003.The fifth Abilympics was held in Prague where the Indian team entered for the first time, won laurels - three gold and three bronze medals. The International Abilympics, started in Japan, is held every four years and has contests in 45 skills for the young as well as children. Among them are cane technology, embroidery, jewellery making, photography and computer skills. The preparations have been going on for months and will continue till the grand finale under the auspices of the National Abilympics Association of India. Maj-Gen Narinder Singh (retd) is the Chairman of the association that has mobilised the support of many eminent personalities and organisations. Of course, the Government of India will collaborate in this national venture.

Missing vultures

Do you recall seeing hundreds of vultures hovering over carcasses or heaps of rubbish in and around Delhi? In fact, they were a familiar sight all over the country. And have you noticed their absence in the sky or in desolate places of late? The absence is not attributed to the dislike by the Air Force who feared they might hit aircraft, particularly during ceremonial flypasts. They have been disappearing from the sky because of neck dropping syndrome, a viral disease that proves fatal. The birds, which had become a symbol of death and destruction, may soon be extinct if something is not done urgently. And that something is on its way. A project to study the causes of the disease, countering it and breeding vultures has been undertaken by the Wildlife Department of Haryana in collaboration with the Bombay Natural History Society and the International Birds Protection Society. The wildlife experts of Haryana are naturally excited over the study-cum-breeding project. According to them, there are some 50 to 60 flocks of vultures in the Pinjore-Panchkula area and some have been sighted in Sonepat and Jind not far from Delhi. It is a major initiative to save the species from extinction. Not many will want a world without those aerial scavengers who have been a favourite subject for photographers even if as a symbol of destruction.

Orators wanted

How can one forget about politicians while writing about Delhi? They are a much written about lot. Good orators among them are a rare commodity. The political parties are desperately looking for good orators. The Congress has lost two in Madhav Rao Scindia and Rajesh Pilot in unfortunate accidents. The BJP's star speaker, Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, is a tired old man who cannot exert much. It will depend on the two young leaders, Arun Jaitley and Sushma Swaraj, the latter being the one who is accepted by all as an effective speaker. But her style has been cramped, thanks to jealous colleagues in her own party. Maybe, she will come out of the low profile syndrome and be back in her earlier form before the UP Assembly elections.

Prem Kumar

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SONEPAT
Indian Oil officer killed in car-tractor collision on G T Road
Our Correspondent

Mr T.D. Sharma, an officer in the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), was killed and his son sustained injuries when the Maruti car in which they were travelling struck against a tractor-trailer on the GT Road near Rasoi village, about 15 km from here, yesterday. According to a report, both Mr Sharma and his son were going from Ghaziabad in UP when they met with the accident. The car driver, Inderjit, alias Sonu, also sustained injuries and he was immediately hospitalised and his condition is stated to be serious.

According to another report, a woman was killed when a truck hit a motor cycle on the inter-state Sonepat-Meerut road, near Garh Mirakhpur village ,about 15 km from here, yesterday. However, her husband escaped unhurt and he blamed the police for not taking any action against the truck driver who, he alleged, had fled after the accident. The victim was identified as Mrs Manju (24). Both the victim and her husband belonged to Khera Kalan village in Delhi and they were going from Baraut (UP) towards Bahalgarh.

Hit by train

An aged man ,Mr Prem Singh (65) ,was hit and killed by the Shatabadi Express near the railway crossing here on Saturday. According to a report, the victim belonged to Guhna village in this district and he was crossing the railway track when the accident occurred.

Assaulted

A youth ,Mukesh ,was seriously injured when he was allegedly attacked with lathis by four youths at sitawali village ,about 20 km from here,on Saturday.

According to a report, the injured youth was rushed to the local civil hospital where he is stated to be out of danger. The police have registered a case against the alleged assailants and a hunt is on to apprehend them.

Room razed

The officials of the anti-demolishing squad swing into action and razed to ground a `chabutara’ near the general bus stand here on Saturday.

According to official sources, this `chabutara’ was obstructing the smooth flow of traffic on the road between Murthal Adda and Mamoon Bhanja Chowk. This step has been taken to widen the road outside the general bus stand. This site had been illegally occupied by the rehriwalas for the past few years and the road had become narrow. The movement of vehicular traffic on this road was the worst hit. The district administration, it may be recalled, has launched a beautification drive in and around the general bus stand and started work for the widening of the roads. For this purpose, some portions of Dr Ambedkar Park were demolished in a bid to give a facelift to the statue of Dr Ambedkar. The police made elaborate arrangements to check any kind of resistance by the rehriwalas and shopkeepers of the area. However, the rehriwalas were driven away by the police during the demolition operation.

Civic reception

Mr Birender Singh, a member of the Congress Election Committee and former President of the HPCC, was accorded a civic reception by the party workers at Kharkhauda town ,19 km from here,on Saturday.

A purse of Rs 21,000 and a `pugree’ were presented to him on this occasion. Speaking on this occasion, he criticised the Chautala government and described it as anti-farmer and anti-people. He declared that the party would not rest till the Chautala government was dislodged from power.

Theft foiled

A group of thieves made an attempt to commit a theft in a godown in Jamalpura Mohalla here on Saturday night but they failed when the neighbours woke up and raised the alarm. The thieves fled immediately.

Plea for POTO

Anti-Terrorist Day was celebrated by the district unit of the BJP here on Sunday by organising a workers’ meeting. Speakers at the meeting advocated the Prevention of Terrorism Ordinance (POTO) and said that it would deal with terrorists sternly. They blamed the Congress and some other Opposition parties which were crying against it despite the NDA government’s resolve to fight against terrorism with a strong hand.
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Who will take care of Sonepat?
R.D. Sapra

Sonepat, November 18
The historic and industrial city of Sonepat is stinking due to the callous neglect and insensitivity of the authorities towards the basic needs of the people.

Rampant corruption and petty politicising by the officials concerned makes them least concerned about providing basic civic amenities. Nobody is bothered about the misery of the people and with the onset of rains they are left to cope with diseases spreading due to unhygienic conditions.

Sanitary conditions are worse in the walled city. The residents cannot remember the last time the roads and lanes of the interior city were cleaned or repaired. The safai workers of the Sonepat Municipal Council are hardly ever seen.

With the formation of an elected body of members in the municipal council there was a hope that things would take a turn for the better. But sadly most of the members have been busy politicking from day one.

Most of the sewerage pipes have stayed choked for years together. The drains are not cleaned and piles of garbage are left on the roads, aggravating the problem. Those living in the slums are in a bad shape. Heaps of garbage, potholed roads and the absence of drainage facilities have resulted in the outbreak of malaria, dengue and other water-borne diseases.

Though the sanitation work in the vegetable market has improved but stray cattle roaming there add to the misery of the arhtiyas, vegetable growers and the retailers.

There is hardly any traffic regulation in the city. In the absence of a road divider, there is a free-for-all on the main roads. The encroachments on government and municipal land with the help of certain unscrupulous elements in the administration have become the order of the day.

The unplanned growth of the city has created a very serious storm drainage problem. In most of the areas, the storm water is disposed of through underground sanitary sewers, which not only take a long time to do so but often get choked with silt and dirt. The covers of the manholes at most places are missing and in the absence of proper street lighting these become death traps. The silt, which has been piled on to the roads due to rains, stays put, thus narrowing the road and causing bottlenecks in traffic.

The areas earmarked for the development of parks have gradually become dumping grounds for the garbage due to the failure of the authorities to maintain these parks. Such a situation persists in Sector 14 and 15, the residential colonies of HUDA and the Haryana Housing Board. The increase in the number of dairies and transport companies in congested areas has added to the problem. The mushrooming of unauthorised colonies on the periphery is seriously affecting the development of the city. There are about 50 such unauthorised colonies within the municipal limits, which are fast growing into slums. The residential sectors developed by HUDA and the Haryana Housing Board present a pathetic picture. As the roads are in a bad shape even a brief spell of rain is enough to leave them inundated.

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A kit that goes places to build houses at low cost
Nalini Ranjan

New Delhi, November 18
A Faridabad-based NGO, Naldehra Building Centre, with a little bit support from Hudco, has developed a useful technology to construct cost-effective houses for people below poverty line (BPL) and among economically weaker sections (EWS) of the society.

The technology is called Tatkal Nirman Ghar Rural Kit (Instant Housing Kit). The kit is mobile and can go from one construction site to another. The beneficiary can borrow the mobile kit from the block or panchayat to complete the construction of his/her house within one week’s time.

The centre has constructed a sample house of approximately 160 sq.ft using the kit at Buildtek, Hall No. 15, Pragati Maidan, New Delhi at a cost of Rs 210 per sq. ft. The technology provides roofs, walls, floors, doors, windows, staircase, water tank, latrine etc., practically all components of a small house, without using a single piece of wood.

The salient features of the kit include making the house earthquake resistant, reducing the cost by beneficiary participation, avoiding transportation, encouraging reuse of locally available construction material like rubbles, stones, broken bricks etc., and using unskilled labour. The technology will give shape to new entrepreneurs and generate employment.

The kit has been identified for use in the Indira Avas Yojna and the Prime Minister’s Malin Basti Yogna. Already Rs 10,00,000 crore has been sanctioned by the Government of India under the ‘House for all’ programmes.

A decent and vertically expandable house, which includes pour flush toilets and 150 sq ft of covered area with staircase, roofing and future provision to construct an additional floor, with beneficiary participation can be constructed in less than Rs 40,000 (support from the government).

Most of the features used are in compliance with the ISI standards or validated by the relevant agencies. The centre also has brought for demonstration Hydraulic Brick Making Machine(s) with a production capacity of 15,000 bricks per day using fly ash, clay (non-agricultural soil) or other waste materials. Nearly, 40 such cost-effective plants have already been installed in India and abroad.

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Haryana staff union flays govt 
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, November 18
The Haryana Karamchari Maha Sangh has criticised the Indian National Lok Dal INLD) government headed by Mr Om Prakash Chautala for adopting “an anti-employee attitude” and not accepting the “legitimate demands” of the employees in the state.

A resolution adopted at a one-day district-level convention of the sangh held here yesterday pointed out that the leaders of the sangh had made a series of attempts to approach the state government for resolving the stalemate but failed to get a positive response from it.

This sort of indifference, the resolution said, had caused strong resentment among the employees who were forced to start an agitation to force the government to accept their demands.

It was announced in the convention that the sangh would organise a state-level rally on December 9 at Jind for chalking out the future course of action and launching a state-wide agitation against the government. As many as 12 teams of employees have been formed to mobilise the employees to take part in the proposed December 9 rally at Jind.

The main demands of the sangh, among other things, include the regularisation of all ad hoc and work-charged employees as well as daily wages employees, payment of bonus in cash and revoking of the earlier decision about the handing over of at least 16 departments to the panchayati raj institutions and civic bodies in the state.

The convention appealed to the employees to remain united and prepare themselves for a long struggle.

It also alleged that the employees had not been paid the CCA and other allowances in accordance with the recommendations of the Fifth Pay Commission.

The State government, it said, had utterly failed to implement the recommendations of the commission in various boards, corporations and nigams.

As a result of this, the employees had not been paid their bonus for the last three years. The convention warned that if the state government failed to fulfil the demands of the agitating employees, the sangh would launch a direct action against it.
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Five Gurgaon mines auctioned
 Our Correspondent

Gurgaon, November18
The Mines and Geology Department auctioned five mine sites in the district here today. These would fetch Rs 8.92 crore annually.

However, out of 26 mines scheduled to be auctioned today there were no bidders for 21 sites of mines. Mr Ram Niwas, Director of Mines and Geology, Government of Haryana, informed that Sehsola (South) was auctioned at Rs 5.6 crore whereas the state government used to get Rs 1.56 crore per year in the previous policy. The reserved price of this mine was fixed at Rs 4 crore. Having a total area of 270 hectares of land, this mine would bring out ordinary sand, road metal and masonry stone.

The Kadarpur mine was auctioned at Rs 1.76 crore, against which the annual income was Rs 4.32 lakh to the government. The mine at Sikanderpur Ghosi fetched Rs 55 lakh, which used to give Rs 4.36 lakh per year to the government.

Mr Ram Niwas said that the mines at Mahun plot no 1 and plot no 2 received Rs 50.50 lakh and Rs 50.55 lakh, respectively. Last year, plot no 1 gave just Rs 2.3 lakh and plot no 2 provided no income to the government.

In the previous auction held on October 31 the auctions of two mines, Sehsola (South) and Sikanderpur Ghosi, were cancelled due to technical reasons. There were no bidders for the 21 mines at Gehbar (plot no 1), Baded, Gudhola, Bajidpur, Nawli, Kukrola Gwalior, Kansali, Ghagas Khori, Kherli Kalan, Pingwan (plot no 1), Pingwan (plot no 2), Akbarpur, Chandraka, Gujjar Nangla, Dungeja, Bhagola, Jharpuri, Shekhpur, Rwa, Dhana and Papra.

Mr Ram Niwas further revealed that in the auction held on October 31 a total of 12 mines were auctioned for a sum Rs 7.51 crore.

In the district, a total of the 17 mines auctioned would generate Rs 16.43 crore, which hardly used to give Rs 3 crore per year to the government. The remaining 21 mines would soon be auctioned after checking their reserved prices and obusiness potential, said the officer.

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Commits suicide

New Delhi, November 18 
A Noida resident who belong to Uttaranchal, was found dead at his residence. According to police, he had reportedly committed suicide after consuming sulphas pills last night. Rambeer (25), resident of Harizon Basti in Kondli, used to work in a private factory at Noida, was found lying unconscious at his residence in the morning when his neighbour, Lavnaish came to visit him. TNS

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Dr Des Raj dead
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 18
The president of the Sant Nirankari Mandal Executive Committee, Dr Des Raj, died early this morning after a brief illness. He was 82. He was one of the founder members of the mandal.

A dedicated worker of the mission, he left his practice as a physician to spend full time for the promotion of the mission's activities. Born in a small village in Jhelum district in 1919, he joined the Sant Nirankari Mission in his teens. He received Brahm Gyan recognition from the founder of the mission, Baba Buta Singh. He was cremated in the afternoon at the electric crematorium. A large number of persons attended the funeral procession.

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