SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI



THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
H A R Y A N A

Bank distributes Kisan Credit Cards worth Rs 1 cr 
Yamunanagar, July 28
Kisan Credit Cards and Kisan Gold Cards worth Rs 1 crore were distributed at a ‘Farmers’ Meet and agricultural loan mela organised by the State Bank of Patiala at Shri Guru Palace at Mustafabad here today. Six branches of the bank - Jagadhri, Mustafabad, Harnaul, Chhachharauli, Bilspur and Yamunanagar also participated in it.

Bank staff observe strike
Ambala, July 28
Bank employees observed a day’s strike and held a demonstration in Sadar Bazar Chowk to press for their various demands.

Haryana to have three more private placement bureaux
Chandigarh, July 28
The Haryana government has decided to establish Private Placement Bureaux in district employment exchanges across the state.

Construction of link canal challenged
Chandigarh, July 28
The controversial issue of construction of the Hansi-Butana link canal by the Haryana Government today reached the Punjab and Haryana High Court as a Patiala resident has filed a PIL challenging the construction of the canal.

Soul-searching time for babus
Chandigarh, July 28
A questionnaire on civil services reforms that had been circulated among IAS officers of Haryana could lead to some soul-searching by the recipients. The questionnaire has been prepared by the Administrative Reforms Commission of the Government of India.


Stories from Haryana towns falling in the National Capital Region are put in
 Delhi & neighbourhood.


YOUR TOWN
Ambala
Bhiwani
Chandigarh
Hisar
Rewari
Yamunanagar


EARLIER STORIES



Hooda misleading people: Ajay Chautala
Hisar, July 28
Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda is misleading the people of the state by making empty announcements on issues of vital importance like the SYL canal, power generation, separate high court and the SEZ pact.

BJP activists hold dharna
Rewari, July 28
Activists of the BJP, led by state BJP general secretary Veer Kumar Yadav, staged a dharna at Moti Chowk here today to demand the arrest of the miscreants responsible for the demolition of the statue of a Kargil martyr, Deputy Commandant Sukhbir Singh Yadav of 171 Battalion of the BSF, at Dhamlawas village, near here, recently.

Lecturer gets US scholarship
Ambala, July 28
Ms Apurva Chawla, Lecturer of English at Government Postgraduate College, Ambala Cantt, has been selected for Fulbright Scholarship of the United State Educational Foundation in India (USEFI).

Victims’ kin get relief
Bhiwani, July 28
Consoling the Rajasthani families of the three labourers, who were killed yesterday after the wall of a water tank collapsed at Kheri Battar village in this district, Deputy Commissioner Mahender Kumar gave financial aid of Rs 37,500 on behalf of the district Red Cross Society to the kin of the deceased.

Two killed in mishaps
Ambala, July 28
Two persons were killed in separate incidents. A youth was killed while travelling on a local train on the Tangri bridge today.

Teej celebrated
Ambala, July 28
Teej was celebrated at the Major R.N. Kapoor DAV Public School, Ambala Cantt, here today. School Principal Jeevan Bala said an inter-house solo song competition was held on the occasion.

 


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Bank distributes Kisan Credit Cards worth Rs 1 cr 
Tribune News Service

Yamunanagar, July 28
Kisan Credit Cards and Kisan Gold Cards worth Rs 1 crore were distributed at a ‘Farmers’ Meet and agricultural loan mela organised by the State Bank of Patiala at Shri Guru Palace at Mustafabad here today. Six branches of the bank - Jagadhri, Mustafabad, Harnaul, Chhachharauli, Bilspur and Yamunanagar also participated in it.

The meet was presided over by General Managar (Oprations) A.K Jagannathan. Additional Deputy Commissioner O P Lohan was the guest of honour. Deputy General Managar Haryana Zone Sudhiranjan Sinha and Assistant General Manager (Region-1) were also present at the meet, Scientist of Haryana Agriculture University, Hisar, Dr Jeet Ram Sharma was special invitee at the mela. A quiz competition of farmers was also held prizes were given away to the winners.

Mr Jagannathan in his presidential address said that bank had initiated all steps to implement government policies for uplift of agriculturists. As per recent Reserve Bank of India guidelines the farmers would be charged interest rate of 7 per cent on crop loans upto a limit of Rs 3 lakh. The scale of finance per acre for different crops had been liberalised as per approval on the NABARD.

He assured the farmers that the bank would always be ready to meet all financial requirements of the farmers but he desired the farmers must use loans for the purpose for which it has been raised. He also distributed Kisan Credit Cards and Kisan Gold Cards to 50 farmers worth Rs 1 crore. Total disbursement of loans in the mela was to the extent of more than Rs 3 crore by all branches. The old borrowers of the bank, who were availing loans and repaying on due dates were honoured by the chief guest . Mr O P Lohan appreciated the bank for the uplift of the agriculture sector. He told the farmers to avail the services of the bank for the diversification of traditional agricultural activities.

Deputy General Manager Haryana Zone Sudhiranjan Sinha told that the bank was determined to help the farmers for their overall financial and economic development. He told that of 143 branches of the bank in Haryana 70 per cent were in rural and semi urban areas. In Haryana the State bank has distributed loan worth Rs. 2850 crore against deposit of Rs 2,859 crore.

Assistant General Manager Region-1 V.A. Ghai said the bank was leader in Yamunanagar district in agricultural finance. It has given agricultural loan of Rs. 49.75 crore in the district. 

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Bank staff observe strike
Tribune News Service

Ambala, July 28
Bank employees observed a day’s strike and held a demonstration in Sadar Bazar Chowk to press for their various demands.

Mr V.K. Verma, Secretary, Haryana Bank Employees Federation, said the strike call was given by All-India Bank Employees Association, All India Bank Officers Association and Bank Employees Federation of India.

The bank employees demanded immediate withdrawal of the circular on outsourcing of banking services issued by Reserve Bank of India.

They also demanded dismantling of National Payment Corporation of India Limited for the purpose of clearing operations, withdrawal of Bill amending Section 12 (2) and Section 20.1 (b) of Banking Regulation Act, fresh recruitment in bank to fill all the vacancies, second option of pension in the banking industry, stop amendment to section 18 of State Bank of India subsidiary banks Act 1959 and recovery of bad loans which have mounted to Rs 1.60 lakh crores.

The employees raised slogans against the government and Governor of Reserve Bank of India. They claimed that the RBI Governor, did not have powers to issue circular on outsourcing of bank services as their service conditions were governed by bipartite settlement.

Fatehgarh Sahib: On the call of the All-India Bank Employees Association, employees of nationalised banks in the district today observed a complete strike.

A rally was held in front of the State Bank of Patiala in Sirhind.

Addressing the rally, Mr Varinder Takyar, Regional Secretary, State Bank of Patiala Employees Federation, said outsourcing should be immediately stopped and appointments on compensate grounds should be made in banks.

Patiala: On a call given by the All-India Bank Employees Association, the All -India Bank Officers Association and the Bank Employees Federation of India and employees of different banks today observed full day strike and paralysed their operations.

A rally of bank employees was also held in front of the State Bank of Patiala, Head Office, here and a galaxy of unions leaders addressed it.

According to a press note, their demands were withdrawal of RBI circular on outsourcing of banking services, withdrawal of RBI decision on outsourcing the clearing operations, withdrawal of amendment of Section 12 (2) of the Bank Regulations Act of removal of ceiling on voting rights in banks, filling of nearly one lakh vacancies and expeditious extensions of one more option for pension. 

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Haryana to have three more private placement bureaux
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 28
The Haryana government has decided to establish Private Placement Bureaux in district employment exchanges across the state.

Under a special campaign to absorb the unemployed youth in the private sector, it has been decided to set up Private Placement Bureaux in the industrial towns of Faridabad, Sonepat and Yamunanagar. Officials in the Employment Department informed TNS that a Private Placement Bureau was already functional at Gurgaon. The bureaux at the remaining three towns would be established by the yearend. "These bureaux will maintain a separate register for candidates seeking employment in the private sector, though the private employers can also choose applicants from the existing register of the Employment Exchanges — irrespective of their seniority in registration," he said.

Employment department officials also said that they were also strengthening the Haryana Overseas Placement Assistance Society (HOPAS). The Society, established on July 1, to advise youth and seek overseas employment for them, has now tied up with 16 countries for seeking job opportunities there. "HOPAS is now in touch with 16 countries, including USA, Canada, UK, Australia, Bahrain, Germany, Italy, and a number of Gulf and Arab countries. The overseas placement agency, with its office in Panchkula, has also obtained the certificate of registration as a recruiting agent under the Emigration Act, 1983 ,for recruiting candidates for overseas jobs," informed the official.

HOPAS has also set up an overseas placement bureau at Chandigarh and commenced registration of applicants for this purpose. It has received a good response from job seekers and has received over 1000 applications from different parts of the state. "Having taken into account the human cost that has to be paid by rampant illegal immigration of youth ("kabootarbazi'), and their subsequent falling into the hands of unscrupulous employers abroad, the Haryana government has decided to guide the youth and seek legitimate job opportunities for them by promoting HOPAS," said a senior Employment Department official. The official said that candidates can avail these services by posting their resumes on the official website ('www.haryanajobs.in'). "They can also get themselves registered at all District Employment Exchanges in the states," he added. 

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Construction of link canal challenged
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, July 28
The controversial issue of construction of the Hansi-Butana link canal by the Haryana Government today reached the Punjab and Haryana High Court as a Patiala resident has filed a PIL challenging the construction of the canal.

The canal, work on which is in progress now, is proposed to carry water from Punjab to parts of southern Haryana. Sometime back, the Chief Minister of Haryana, Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda, had asserted that despite opposition to the canal from Punjab, it would be completed within a year.

The Opposition Indian National Lok Dal has also claimed that the canal had hit a roadblock following the Central Water Commission direction to the Haryana Government to obtain the concurrence of Punjab and Rajasthan for puncturing the Bhakra Main Line.

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has also opposed the construction of the canal, asserting that the state had no surplus water to give to other states and Haryana should not hope to get any water from the Sutlej and Beas rivers.

The PIL, filed by Amarjot Singh of Patiala, challenges the construction of the canal on the ground that the Haryana Government has not taken the necessary permission of the Central Water Commission and the Bhakra-Beas Management Board (BBMB). He has also pointed out that no consultations were done with the governments of Punjab and Rajasthan before finalising the plan.

The petitioner has also stated that once the canal is finished, over 200 villages in Patiala district would face the danger of getting submerged under water.

The Rs 260-crore project involves construction of a 120-foot-wide canal, which would also be 24 feet deep.

Today, after hearing the counsel for the petitioner, the Division Bench headed by Acting Chief Justice Mr Justice H.S. Bedi issued notices to the respondents for August 7.

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Soul-searching time for babus
Shubhadeep Choudhury
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 28
A questionnaire on civil services reforms that had been circulated among IAS officers of Haryana could lead to some soul-searching by the recipients.

The questionnaire has been prepared by the Administrative Reforms Commission of the Government of India. Procrastination, the bane of government functioning, has stamped the effort at its very outset. The material, sent to the Haryana Government by Ms Vineeta Rai, Member Secretary of the commission, was dated June 5 and was to be replied to “within a month”. However, it was circulated in Haryana on July 10, well past the deadline for replies, and till date nobody is learnt to have sent his or her views to the commission.

Since the replies are to be sent directly to the commission, it is doubtful how many officers will eventually trouble themselves to answer the questionnaire. Had the replies been collected in Chandigarh itself, there could have been a good response because the person entrusted with the job of collecting the replies would have taken note of the missing replies.

The questionnaire throws up issues dear to the babus. It also deals with issues that can make them uncomfortable. Throughout the questionnaire, the officers have been mentioned as civil servants, which is, of course, the most normal thing to do. It is another matter that in Haryana the bureaucrats have discarded the tag of “civil servants” and prefer calling themselves “administrators”, as the latter term is considered better suited for people wielding power.

This is precisely what the commission calls “asymmetry of power”. “The negative power of abuse of authority through flagrant violation of law, pretty tyranny and nuisance value is virtually unchecked”, says the commission and asks how to bring about a change in orientation of civil servants to make them more service- oriented and citizen-centric.

The issue of “insulating civil servants from unwanted political interference” was also taken up in the questionnaire. It is a hugely important issue in the context of Haryana where “interference” had allegedly reached the zenith during the last regime headed by the INLD.

Interference has lessened in the present regime though this change also has a flip side to it as it is alleged that some bureaucrats are misusing their freedom.

The questionnaire talks about defining interference and evolving a statutory mechanism for insulating civil servants from undue political interference.

Other issues touched by the questionnaire include having a NDA-type training for civil servants on the pattern of the Army, weeding out incompetent officers also on the pattern of the Army, inducting professionals from the private sector in the services and enacting a civil services law to cover all aspects of management of civil services.

The exercise has been undertaken by the commission to prepare a detailed blueprint for revamping the public administration system.

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Hooda misleading people: Ajay Chautala  
Tribune News Service

Hisar, July 28
Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda is misleading the people of the state by making empty announcements on issues of vital importance like the SYL canal, power generation, separate high court and the SEZ pact.

This was stated by Rajya Sabha member and INLD general secretary Ajay Chautala here today.

Asserting that the SEZ deal with Reliance Industries Ltd would not be allowed to materialise, Mr Chautala maintained that the pact with the company would be annulled after the INLD came into power.

The INLD leader reiterated that only the SYL canal could bring much-needed water to the state, adding that the digging of other canals was waste of public money.

“Neither has the project been approved by the Central Water Commission, nor have Punjab or Rajasthan governments given their consent in this regard,” he pointed out.

He said Mr Hooda was making different announcements at different occasions regarding the setting up of power generation plants, which raised doubts over the sincerity of his promises. “What can the public expect when the Chief Minister himself is not clear about the location of the projects.”

The Rajya Sabha MP remarked that the Hooda government was providing only lip service to the people and had been reduced to an announcement regime.

He said the mass awareness drive, launched by the INLD from Sadhaura, would conclude at Radaur on August 30.

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BJP activists hold dharna
Our Correspondent

Rewari, July 28
Activists of the BJP, led by state BJP general secretary Veer Kumar Yadav, staged a dharna at Moti Chowk here today to demand the arrest of the miscreants responsible for the demolition of the statue of a Kargil martyr, Deputy Commandant Sukhbir Singh Yadav of 171 Battalion of the BSF, at Dhamlawas village, near here, recently.

Although it was the Teej festival today, Nahar block Mahila Morcha chief Naraini Devi, Rewari BJP vice-president Usha Yadav and several other women activists, also joined the dharna. This was the second day of the Haryana BJP’s relay dharna programme which would continue till August 2.

Flaying the district administration for its inept handling of such a grave matter as well as for its apathetic attitude towards activists of a national party like the BJP, Mr Veer Kumar Yadav said when senior leaders of the party had submitted to the Deputy Commissioner, through City magistrate Subhita Dhaka, a memorandum in this regard on July 17, the administration had neither been able to identify the anti-social elements involved in this act so far nor had it done anything tangible to apprehend them.

Seeking intervention in the matter of the local minister, Capt Ajay Singh Yadav, Mr Veer Kumar Yadav said state BJP chief Ganeshi Lal would lead the dharna here on July 31, while national vice-president Kishan Singh Sangwan, MP, would wind it up on August 2 after which the agitation would be intensified if the demand was not met by the administration by then.

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Lecturer gets US scholarship

Ambala, July 28
Ms Apurva Chawla, Lecturer of English at Government Postgraduate College, Ambala Cantt, has been selected for Fulbright Scholarship of the United State Educational Foundation in India (USEFI).

She has been selected for the year 2006-07 to teach Indian culture and language at Fayetteville State University, North Carolina in the US. Among eight candidates selected from India, she is the only one from this region. — TNS

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Victims’ kin get relief
Our Correspondent

Bhiwani, July 28
Consoling the Rajasthani families of the three labourers, who were killed yesterday after the wall of a water tank collapsed at Kheri Battar village in this district, Deputy Commissioner Mahender Kumar gave financial aid of Rs 37,500 on behalf of the district Red Cross Society to the kin of the deceased.

The victims belonged to Rajasthan. Three other labourers were injured in the incident. The Deputy Commissioner gave Rs 10,000 each to the families of the deceased and Rs 2,500 each to the injured.

Earlier, the Deputy Commissioner distributed grant of Rs 10,000 each to two widows of Pur village and Naurangabad on behalf of the society.

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Two killed in mishaps
Tribune News Service

Ambala, July 28
Two persons were killed in separate incidents.

A youth was killed while travelling on a local train on the Tangri bridge today.

The youth was apparently hanging out from the compartment of train number 1 SUN and his head banged against the Tangri bridge railing. He collapsed due to the impact.

In another incident, a 35-year-old man was run over by a train near Dukheri railway station.

The man, who was wearing kurta-pyjama, was yet to be identified.

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Teej celebrated
Tribune News Service

Ambala, July 28
Teej was celebrated at the Major R.N. Kapoor DAV Public School, Ambala Cantt, here today.

School Principal Jeevan Bala said an inter-house solo song competition was held on the occasion. In Group A, Rahul Arora was first while Eshan was second.

In Group B, Rahul Rajput was first while Raman was second. In Group C, Ankit was first while Chander Mohan was second.

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