Wednesday, December 12, 2001, Chandigarh, India




National Capital Region--Delhi

THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
H A R Y A N A

Haryana not averse to casinos
Gurgaon, December 11
The Haryana Government has not given up the idea of including setting up of casinos in its new tourism policy, notwithstanding opposition to the idea by its functionaries in the past.

Nepotism in allotting mine alleged
Faridabad, December 11
Persons with a criminal background seem to be taking over control of mining work in the region after the mafia which had been active in the shady business for the past several years.

Ministers get Balenos
Chandigarh, December 11
At last the dream of Haryana ministers to visit their constituents in luxury cars is going to be fulfilled.

School lecturers wait for change in status 
Panipat, December 11
What is common between the former Chief Minister, Mr Bhajan Lal, and the current Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala?

Clone plantation project
Chandigarh, December 11
The Haryana Government has set up a clone plantation project at Seonthi in Kurukshetra district and a similar project would be set up at Pinjore shortly to provide cloned plants having high yield.

Maxi-cab permits for hard-top vehicles
Chandigarh, December 11
The Haryana Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, has issued strict instructions to all District Transport Officers(DTOs) to immediately warn all those plying buses and maxi cabs unauthorisedly and launch a special campaign to challan them from December 15 to 31.

DC directs SDMs on stamp duty evasion
Kurukshetra, December 11
To check the evasion of stamp duty on land registration, Deputy Commissioner Abhilaksh Likhi directed the Thanesar and Pehowa Sub-Divisional Magistrates here today to take effective steps.



YOUR TOWN
Ambala
Chandigarh

Faridabad
Gurgaon
Kurukshetra
Panipat


EARLIER STORIES
 

Delay in shifting of dairies resented
Ambala, December 11
Delay in shifting of dairies to an area outside the city is causing resentment among residents of Ambala City and Cantonment. Around 200 dairies located in various parts of Ambala, especially those in the old parts of the city, create problem in the sanitation work.

Husband, 3 others get life term for woman’s murder
Panipat, December 11
The Additional Sessions Judge, Mr Raj Kumar, today awarded life imprisonment to four persons convicted of the murder of a married woman, Om Pati, over six years ago.

Defaulting plot allottees given 15-day notice
Fatehabad, December 11
The local Municipal Committee has resolved to cancel allotment of shops to the shopkeepers of the cloth market, who fail to pay arrears within 15 days. A meeting of the municipal councillors decided this here last evening.

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Haryana not averse to casinos
Ravi S. Singh
Tribune News Service

Gurgaon, December 11
The Haryana Government has not given up the idea of including setting up of casinos in its new tourism policy, notwithstanding opposition to the idea by its functionaries in the past. This was evident at the high-level brainstorming session held on Sunday under the chairmanship of Mr S.Y. Quraishi, Principal Sectretary to Haryana Chief Minister.

The government gave broad indications that it was ready to make some concessions to promote tourism in the state.

The session on the issue of promotion of tourism, held in Surajkund in Faridabad district, was attended by the Commissioner and Secretary, Tourism, Mr Bhaskar Chatterjee and the Managing Director of Haryana Tourism, Mr S.P. Thakur, besides representatives of prominent builders and sectors relating to hotel industry and tourism. The Vice-President of the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry(PHDCCI), Mr P.K. Jain, also attended the meeting.

The session was convened to gather inputs for the proposed tourism policy of the government.

At the two-hour long meeting, several suggestions and ideas were thrown up. The government made it known that it would consider these sympathetically .

To start with, Mr Quraishi reportedly stated the government was willing to entertain the private sector to promote tourism in the state. He said there was great scope for promoting tourism in the state, as it was a “gate way” for a number of states in northern region. “Hence, the state must ensure that tourists are attracted to visit Haryana also and not use it merely as a “passage way”.

There were suggestions to set up casinos and amusement parks, entertainment and shopping complexes, development of adventure tourism, eco-tourism and setting up of a centre with conference facilities.

A few months ago the Managing Director of the Haryana State Industrial Corporation, Dr Harbaksh Singh, stated that the government was in favour of setting up a casino. This evoked protests from several quarters on ethical and moral grounds. A government functionary later said that there was no such move. But all along it was clear that the government had committed itself in principle to go ahead with the proposal.

Sources said although the venue for the casino was yet to be decided, Faridabad could be the place for the first such joint. The overriding idea appears to be the amount of revenue that these casinos will generate.

There were also strong suggestions for introducing pub culture in the state as was the case in Bangalore.

Others suggestions focussed predominantly on revival of highway tourism. It was suggested that the proposed policy must clearly spell out the need for immediate privatisation of all motels in the state.

Speakers at the conference stressed that the state had a very valuable religious asset in Kurukshetra but lack of facilities had prevented tourists from visiting the town. The proposed policy should aim at developing Kurukshetra as a religious centre and, in fact, could consider development of an integrated religious tourist circuit comprising Delhi, Mathura and Kurukshetra.

Besides, promotion of rural tourism was underlined. There were suggestions for streamlining the Surajkund Crafts Mela and to enhance its quality. A suggestion for organising a crafts bazar on the lines of “Delhi Haat” was also made.

There were suggestions for simplifying taxes in Haryana. The advocates for this said the current tax on transporters had forced them to stay away from the state as they found it unviable for them to operate in Haryana.

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Nepotism in allotting mine alleged
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, December 11
Persons with a criminal background seem to be taking over control of mining work in the region after the mafia which had been active in the shady business for the past several years.

The Haryana Government has reportedly allotted a lucrative mine in the district to a person who is facing several criminal charges. Moreover, the allotment of a mine in such a manner to one of the “favourites” has raised a big question mark over the mining policy of the state government. It had recently announced that all mines in the region would be auctioned rather than giving them on a lease basis. The auction of about 10 mines in the district recently had generated a revenue of over Rs 36 crore which was several times higher than the income generated under the old system.

The mining plot which has been now allotted to an individual allegedly in contravention of all norms and regulations is located in Pali mining zone here. The plot, under the major category, has been “leased” for a long period and is reportedly spread over 45 hectares of land.

It is learnt that mining officials had been preparing to lease the plot to a person whose name had been cleared by the higher authorities. The person who has been given the lease is reportedly booked in some criminal cases, including rape, registered at Ballabgarh police (Sadar) station with other cases pending at NIT and central police stations.

According to sources, a person who claims to be a close relative of the top brass in the state government is stated to be behind the move and he himself is reported to be a partner in the venture. The claims of Mining Department officials that no ‘major mineral’ mine will be allotted on a long-term lease basis have proved fake after the latest development. It is also not clear how the district administration cleared the name of the lease-holders in this case as scrutiny of character of the such applicants is done by district officials.

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Ministers get Balenos
Yoginder Gupta

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 11
At last the dream of Haryana ministers to visit their constituents in luxury cars is going to be fulfilled. The Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, this evening okayed the purchase of 16 Balenos from the Maruti stable.

The decision to purchase “pearl silver” coloured Balenos was taken at a meeting of the state-level high-power purchase committee presided over by Mr Chautala after hard bargaining with representatives of Maruti.

The Haryana ministers had told the Chief Minister that their patience with Ambassadors had run out at a Cabinet meeting on September 20. Sensing their mood, Mr Chautala left it to the Transport Minister, Mr Ashok Arora, whose decision in this regard, he said, would be final.

Till last year the Haryana Ministers were travelling in Contessa luxury cars from the stable of Hindustan Motors, which also makes Ambassadors. The Contessas were purchased during the tenures of Mr Bhajan Lal and Mr Bansi Lal as Chief Ministers. But the Contessas were withdrawn from the ministers by Mr Chautala on the plea of economy drive. Mr Chautala and the Finance Minister, Prof Sampat Singh, surrendered their Mercedes cars.

After Mr Arora cleared the request of his colleagues, the choice initially fell on Opel Astra. But the proposal was dropped by the high-power purchase committee after the manufacturers did not agree to give the concession demanded by the government.

Now the deal has been struck with Maruti. According to informed sources, the government demanded a rebate of 10 per cent from Maruti on each Baleno, which costs in the market a hefty Rs 7.17 lakh. Initially, Maruti was reluctant to reduce its prices.

The sources said the government then asked Maruti to give it two cars free of cost, if they could not reduce the price. In return, the government offered to purchase 19 cars.

However, later on Maruti people agreed to give a rebate of 10 per cent instead of free cars to the government. It has now been decided to purchase 16 Balenos.

While one Baleno will be with the Chief Minister, 11 cars will be given to the ministers and one each to the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker. The purchase of two additional Balenos has led to speculation regarding Cabinet expansion in the near future. 
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School lecturers wait for change in status 
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Panipat, December 11
What is common between the former Chief Minister, Mr Bhajan Lal, and the current Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala?

Their failure to implement the decision regarding the grant of Class II status to over 7,000 government school lecturers of the state.

In fact, the lecturers are a dissatisfied lot and alleged that repeated announcements made by the two Chief Ministers had not been implemented by the state governments. Tired at the delaying tactics of the state government, the Haryana School Lecturers Association, an apex body of the school lecturers, has decided to go on the war path. For that the state executive of the association is meeting next month.

In December 1995 the then Education Minister, Mr Phool Chand Mulana, first met their long-pending demand at their convention in Hisar.

Later the then Chief Minister, Mr Bhajan Lal, announced in the Vidhan Sabha on March 8, 1996. However, like certain other crucial decisions of the government, this decision was not implemented. In the meanwhile, the association repeatedly petitioned the Education Department authorities.

Its struggle seemed to bear fruit when the Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, announced on November 5 last year that their demand had been accepted and a notification in this regard would be issued soon. However, the joy of teachers proved to be shortlived as the notification was not made.

Mr Satbir Singh president of the association said while the lecturers had been ignored in the pay revision, the salaries of the other class III and class IV staff had been “stepped up”.

The lecturers are in Rs 6,500-Rs 10,000 basic salary grade. On the other hand a school headmaster has been put in 7,500-12,000. This anomaly does not end here as the B.A. B.Ed. school teachers rise to become school masters as the Class III and class IV staff enjoy a regular promotion after 10 and 20 years respectively while the same time-bound promotion facility has been denied to the lecturers. And this is despite the fact that the basic qualification for a lecturer is a master’s degree.

Another regulation which goes against the lecturer is that for the post of principal, a candidate must be M.A. B.Ed. The condition of candidate having B.Ed. should be waived since the basic qualification for lecturer’s post is M.A., demanded Mr Satbir Singh.

Alleging slow promotion for the lecturers, he said of the 2,000 promotion cases, which were called by the Education Department in July only 590 lecturers had been promoted till date.

Meanwhile, the association has demanded that the school lecturers should be paid during the study leave period on the pattern of the college lecturers. Similarly, the allowance for checking an answer-sheet should be raised to Rs 5 per answer-sheet on the pattern of the Central Board of Secondary Education.

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Clone plantation project
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 11
The Haryana Government has set up a clone plantation project at Seonthi in Kurukshetra district and a similar project would be set up at Pinjore shortly to provide cloned plants having high yield.

This was revealed at the first-ever meeting of the state’s high-powered and committee on the 20-Point Programme, specially convened by the Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, to review the implementation of the programme here today.

Mr Chautala directed various departments to effectively implement various projects under this programme so that Haryana might retain the top position in the country achieved the previous year. He asked the Chief Secretary, Mr L.M. Goyal, to get a Rs 2.50 crore project examined for providing drinking water from the Tikkar Tal at Morni.

The Financial Commissioner and Secretary of the panel, Mr Virendra Nath, said the state had made an impressive improvement from the eighth position last year to the first position this year as a result of the able guidance provided by the Chief Minister and the steps taken by the deputy chairman of the 20-point panel, Prof Teja Singh. He said the state had achieved over 90 per cent of the targets under various points of the programme.

The chairperson of the Haryana Power Utilities, Mrs Meenaxi Anand Chaudhary, said tubewell connections were being released liberally. 

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Maxi-cab permits for hard-top vehicles
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 11
The Haryana Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, has issued strict instructions to all District Transport Officers(DTOs) to immediately warn all those plying buses and maxi cabs unauthorisedly and launch a special campaign to challan them from December 15 to 31.

Taking serious note of the unauthorised plying of vehicles, Mr Chautala, who was presiding over a meeting of the DTOs, directed the Commissioner and Secretary, (Transport), Mr R.N. Prashar, to reopen the scheme of issuing permits of maxi cab permits to hard-top vehicles. Soft top vehicles would be issued permits if their owners converted them into hard top within three months.

He said permits for maxicabs would be issued till December 31. He directed that unauthorised buses should be checked within five days with a firm hand after giving a warning. The Transport and Excise and Taxation Departments and the traffic wing of the police would launch a campaign during Road Safety Week starting from January 7 to check unauthorised plying of vehicles.

He also empowered the Superintendent of Police, (Traffic), Mr V. Kamraj, to challan unauthorised vehicles. He said if any unauthorised vehicle was found plying after December 31, strict action would be taken against the DTO of the area. Those who discharged their duties diligently would be rewarded.

Mr Chautala handed over the list of unauthorised maxicabs and buses to the Transport Minister, Mr Ashok Arora, for taking necessary action against defaulters. Mr Arora assured him of strict compliance with his instructions.

The Chief Minister also directed the DGP, Mr M.S. Malik, to provide a vehicle and adequate police force to DTOs till December 31 to deal with unauthorised vehicles.

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DC directs SDMs on stamp duty evasion
Our Correspondent

Kurukshetra, December 11
To check the evasion of stamp duty on land registration, Deputy Commissioner Abhilaksh Likhi directed the Thanesar and Pehowa Sub-Divisional Magistrates here today to take effective steps.

Mr Likhi said sanctions to evade stamp duty the seller and buyer of land get registration done by showing land located out of municipal limits while it’s in the municipal limits.

Mr Likhhi also directed verification of land location before registration.

He warned of stern action if such a case was detected within their jurisdiction. Action would also be taken against the deed-writer, who wrote the deed showing wrong land location in registry, he added.

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Delay in shifting of dairies resented
Suman Bhatnagar

Ambala, December 11
Delay in shifting of dairies to an area outside the city is causing resentment among residents of Ambala City and Cantonment. Around 200 dairies located in various parts of Ambala, especially those in the old parts of the city, create problem in the sanitation work.

About three months ago, the Local Bodies Minister, Mr Subhash Goel, in a meeting at Ambala City, had announced that the dairies located in Ambala City and Ambala Cantonment would be shifted outside the urban area. He had also stated that the government had already issued grant for this purpose. After the announcement, the administration had identified a piece of land outside the city area, but no progress had taken place thereafter.

Most of these dairies are located in old parts of the city, which are congested areas. There is no proper facilities for dairy farming. A number of dairy owners throw cattle dung into the main drains that choke drains. In rainy season, water does not pass through these drains in proper way and cause logging of water in different areas.

Stray cattle, most of which belong to dairy owners, have also become a major traffic hazard. A few months ago, the municipal council had started a campaign to round up stray cattle, but it could not continue for long.

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Husband, 3 others get life term for woman’s murder
Tribune News Service

Panipat, December 11
The Additional Sessions Judge, Mr Raj Kumar, today awarded life imprisonment to four persons convicted of the murder of a married woman, Om Pati, over six years ago.

In his judgement, the judge sentenced the husband of the victim, Dalbir Singh, brother-in-law Azad Singh, father-in-law Dhaza Ram and namesake mother-in-law Om Pati to life imprisonment and a fine of Rs 1,000 each. They will serve another year’s imprisonment in default of the payment of the fine.

The victim, a resident of Bazana Khurd village in Sonepat district, was married to Dalbir Singh of Machhrauli village in Panipat district. The family of Dalbir allegedly harassed and forced her to bring money from her parents. When she was not able to meet their demands, she was allegedly strangled in June, 1995. Later, her body was allegedly burnt apparently in a bid to destroy evidence. Though the three others were arrested by the police, Azad Singh gave the police the slip and is still absconding.

The Samalkha police had registered a case under Section 304-B of the IPC on a complaint of Mr Jagpal, brother of the victim. Later a case was registered under Section 302 of the IPC on the basis of the report of a doctor.

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Defaulting plot allottees given 15-day notice
Our Correspondent

Fatehabad, December 11
The local Municipal Committee has resolved to cancel allotment of shops to the shopkeepers of the cloth market, who fail to pay arrears within 15 days. A meeting of the municipal councillors decided this here last evening. Mrs Sheela Wanti Tuteja headed the meeting.

The issue of non-payment of arrears by certain shop owners of the market was on the top of the agenda of the meeting. A majority of councillors were of the view that the committee must ensure that the shopkeepers withholding arrears of the original cost of the plots allotted to them for the past one decade or so, were made to pay. Members were of the view that due to a lenient attitude of the committee in the past, these shop owners had been causing a big loss to the committee and the money that could be used for the development of the town was being denied to the committee.

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Move to regulate traffic in cloth market
Our Correspondent

Ambala, December 11
The Deputy Commissioner has issued directions regarding the implementation of one-way traffic on wholesale Cloth Market road with immediate effect. The Deputy Commissioner, Mr D.D. Gautam and the Superintendent of Police, Mr Sandeep Khirwar, today visited the area of wholesale cloth market. Frequent traffic jams are on a routine problem on this road.

Mr Khirwar said a white-coloured demarcation would be made outside the shops. He said two constables would also be deployed on this road to control the traffic. The rehri owners have also been directed not to put their rehris on the road. He said four wheelers would also be directed to park their vehicles at a proper parking place. 

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Land for Buddhist complex
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 11
The Haryana Government has allotted a piece of land measuring one acre to a Japanese Buddhist organisation, Reiyukai, for setting up a Buddhist cultural complex in Gurgaon Sector 42. The request for the allotment of land was made to the Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, during the visit of a high-powered delegation of the state government led by him to Japan in October last year.

An official spokesman of the government said here this goodwill gesture reflected the sensitivity of the government towards the spiritual and religious inclinations of Buddhists. The step was also likely to facilitate the Japanese industrialists who had set up their units in the state.

He said Reiyukai had assured the government that the architecture of the temple would be so beautiful that it would attract tourists from all over the world. 

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Mining leases auction on Dec 19, 20
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 11
The Haryana Mines and Geology Department will auction mining leases for minor minerals in Bhiwani and Gurgaon districts on December 19 and 20.

While stating this here today, a spokesman of the department said the auction for Bhiwani district would be held in at the District Industries Centre, Mini Secretariat, Bhiwani on December 19. The Auction for Gurgaon district would be held at the District Industries Centre, Industrial Area, Gurgaon, on December 20. 

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New D-G of NCB takes charge
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, December 11
Mr S.J. Raina has taken over as the new Director-General of the National Council for Cement and Building Materials (NCB). He replaces Mr D.B.N. Rao. The NCB has its main laboratories at Ballabgarh town with units in Delhi Ahmedabad and Bhubneshwar.

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