Trauma centre of little help
Vishal Joshi
Tribune News Service

Karnal, July 5
The trauma centre here has failed to cater to the needs of victims of road accidents as it lacks various emergency facilities besides senior doctors and paramedical staff.

Even doctors say: “ The trauma centre here should not be confused with a hospital promising the best medical aid to those who have sustained serious injuries. It is no more than an ordinary treatment area with a few added facilities. Practically, it works as an extension like any emergency ward of a government hospital.”

The doctors admit that the trauma centre that was built in January, 2003, has failed miserably to treat patients. Though it is strategically located along the GT Road, it lacks life-saving facilities.

Ever since its inception, the respective state governments have not appointed any exclusive medical and paramedical staff. Sources in the medical services admit that with no specialist medical staff and the lack of emergency facilities, the centre has become a mere referral centre.

Located on the premises of the civil hospital, the centre works as an emergency ward. Over the years, the state authorities have been directing the civil hospital to put its own medical, paramedical and other staff at the centre.

Inquiries reveal that doctors and other staff are put on duty at the centre on a rotational basis.

The status of the centre can be judged from the fact that various emergency facilities, including the CT scan and MRI, are not available. Even for X-ray examination, doctors have to depend on the civil hospital. There is no ICU ward at the centre.

The centre was started after closing the emergency ward of the civil hospital to pave the way for a superspeciality hospital.

The sources say posts of the basic staff required in a superspecialty hospital like those of neurosurgeon, neuro-physician, psychologist, cosmetic surgeon, heart surgeon and radiologist have not been sanctioned by the government.

Though a private neurosurgeon is available for consultation, no major operation can be performed due to the absence of a well-equipped operating theatre, the sources add.

Doctors working here admit that serious cases are often referred to the PGI, Chandigarh, or the PGI, Rohtak.

Despite that fact that the health department is fully aware of the problems being faced by patients, nothing has been done. Sumita Singh, local Congress MLA, has reportedly raised the issue several times in the state assembly, but to no avail.



More highway trauma centres on anvil
Yoginder Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 5
With a sharp rise in the number of fast-moving vehicles and improved roads, the rate of accidents is also going up sharply. The number of recorded accidents in Haryana went up from 9,520 (6,415 fatal) in 2005 to 10,925 (7,259 fatal) in 2006. If 3,490 persons were killed and 9,347 injured in 2005, 7,259 persons lost their lives in 2006 and 10,268 were injured in that year. The trend shows no sign of declining. In the first five months of 2007, 1,694 persons lost their lives in 4,612 accidents. The comparative figure for the corresponding period of the previous year was 1,626 lives lost in 4,372 accidents.

Experts say many lives could have been saved if the victims had received immediate medical attention. Here the role of trauma centres becomes vital. The first hour of an accident is known as the "golden hour", during which, if medical care is provided to the accident victims, the chances of survival go up considerably.

It is believed that as compared to countries with well-established trauma centres, those injured in India have a six-fold higher mortality rate. India has 1 per cent of the total number of vehicles of the world, but it accounts for 6 per cent of the total road accidents, says a study. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has estimated that by 2020 road accidents will be a major killer in India, accounting for 5,46,000 deaths.

WHO figures for 2000 indicate that India has a disproportionately high death rate due to road traffic injuries --- 29 per 1,00,000 persons, which is more than twice the rate in the developed nations.

Haryana has many national highways, state highways and main district roads. Because of better riding quality of these roads, the vehicles tend to move fast. The high-speed roads are, unfortunately, marked by unscheduled and unplanned entries for slow-moving traffic, often leading to accidents, many of them fatal. This calls for setting up trauma centres at regular intervals on the national and state highways.

The state has planned more trauma centres along the highways. The trauma centre at Sirsa is waiting for a VIP to inaugurate it. The centres at Yamunanagar and Ambala are under construction. The ambulances for these centres have already been received by the state health authorities. There is urgent need to expedite their construction.

Three more trauma centres are planned for Murthal in Sonepat district, Manesar in Gurgaon district and Palwal in Faridabad district. A burn unit in the Panipat civil hospital is also being set up

Experts feel that Hisar ,too, should have a trauma centre.

The central government has come out with a scheme to set up trauma centres in the states. It gives Rs 1.5 crore for each trauma centre. Out of this amount, Rs 60 lakh is for civil works and the rest for equipment.

A trauma centre must have an anaesthetist, a surgical specialist, an ortho-specialist and the supporting staff round the clock. It also must have two ambulances, each equipped with, among other things, a fornoflex chair or cot, a ventilator, a vacuumsplint, a scoops stretcher, an oxygen cylinder with accessories, a resuscitation bag, a suction pump, a spine board and a suitable communication system.

Haryana, which has set up a trauma centre in Karnal, has written to the centre to make a provision for providing a CT scan machine, which costs about Rs 3 crore, in trauma centres because CT scan investigations become important in several accident cases.

The scheme envisages the establishment of a trauma centre within a hospital so that the staff posted there can be suitably deployed elsewhere also. Moreover, the services of other specialists posted in the hospital can be used in the trauma centre also.



Plan for mishap victims in limbo
Bijendra Ahlawat
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, July 5
A proposal to set up a specialised trauma centre for accident victims on National Highway 2, which has become one of the most mishap-prone areas in the NCR, is hanging fire.

While there has been a sharp rise in the number of accidents in the past years, the proposal to set up a modern treatment centre exists on the files only. There are just six ambulances for assistance on the highway and other main roads, while the total number of vehicles crossing the highway stretch here is more than one lakh daily.

As many as 290 persons lost their lives and over 660 were injured in accidents on the 70-odd-kilometre stretch of the national highway from Badarpur to Hodal. Over 2,380 persons have been killed or injured in about 3,000 accidents on this road in the past three and a half years. This comes to over 70 accidents a month, which is relatively high.

The district population has risen to 22 lakh which has led to a substantial increase in the number of vehicles on the roads here in the past two decades. According to the available data, there were 120 accidents on the stretch between the Hodal border and the Gadpuri police station near Palwal (a stretch of 45 km) between January 1 and June 6 this year. As many as 55 persons were killed and 155 injured. The ambulance service was available in about 80 accidents only.

The movement of a large number of commercial vehicles, including overloaded trucks and dumpers, and the inability of the NHAI to widen the road and provide flyovers at various points in the city are said to be the main reasons for the traffic chaos and accidents. About six and a half years ago the state government had launched the highway police and set up some traffic aid centres on National Highways 1 and 2. “‘But this service has been nearly a flop due to the lack of proper planning and implementation. This wing could not deliver and also attracted criticism for alleged illegal collection of money from drivers on the highway,” claimed a source.

There is a long-standing demand for setting up a state- of-the-art trauma centre on the highway here. The proposal had been included in the agenda items of the third divisional development review session chaired by the state chief secretary at Gurgaon in May. It was stated that a trauma centre was needed urgently at Palwal town.

The matter is awaiting approval by the union government. The building and equipment (estimated cost Rs 150 crore) are likely to be provided by the central government while the staff and land will be given by the state government. While the concept of having centralised accident trauma services ambulances on the highway here has not materialised, the NHAI has given four ambulances for the stretch. Two ambulances of the district Red Cross Society were also provided, but due to the shortage of drivers only one of these could be made available at a time.



‘Honour killings’ give state a bad name
Sunit Dhawan
Tribune News Service

Rohtak, July 5
The recent murder of young couples, allegedly by family members of the girls, strongly indicate the re-emergence of the social menace of honour killings in Haryana.

One of the incidents --- which pertains to Kaithal district --- took place as the lovers belonging to the same gotra had dared to tie the nuptial knot. The other --- that took place in Ajayab village in Rohtak district --- was triggered by a Jat girl eloping with a “lower-caste” boy.

The common point in these incidents is that in both cases, the young persons in love challenged the social norms and got the severest punishment --- death --- and that, too, by their own kin.

The manner in which the killings were executed reflects the heartlessness of people. How else can one explain the conduct of Jai Bhagwan of Ajayab village, who assured his sister, Anita, that he would marry her off to the boy she had chosen, provided they returned to the village. The poor girl believed her brother and returned to her village along with Sonu, with whom she had eloped.

As soon as the lovebirds --- dreaming of a rosy future with the blessings of their elders --- entered the village, they were mercilessly hacked to death by none other than Anita’s brother, Jai Bhagwan. After committing the heinous crime, Jai Bhagwan sat beside the bodies of his sister and her lover till the police arrived at the scene. He calmly “confessed” his crime, but did not regret it. As regards the Manoj-Babli murder case, the police has registered a case and investigations are on. However, tacit but firm support of villagers to the family members of the girls in both cases is evident from the fact that there has been no protest or condemnation of the murders by village residents or panchayats.

A few days before the Ajayab incident, Shyam Lal of Anwal village in Rohtak district bludgeoned his brother’s wife, Santosh, to death with a spade after a heated altercation. In his confessional statement lodged with the police, Lal said he had doubts over the character of his niece, and suspected that she had the backing of her mother. He also “confessed” to having killed Santosh, but maintained that he had no regrets. The examples can be multiplied.

“Honour killings are quite common in the Jat belt around Delhi, as is the case in tribal areas of Pakistan,” observes D.R. Chaudhry, noted writer and expert on Haryanavi culture, in his latest book, “Haryana at Crossroads: Problems and Prospects”.

He points out that the concept of honour is associated with the female in a patriarchal society and a girl, if found deviant in sexual mores as per the khap norms, is often put to death and no question is asked. Citing an instance, the author recalls that a Jat girl of a village in Rothak district had an affair with a “lower-caste” boy. She was taken to the family farm at night and mowed down by a tractor allegedly by her uncle.

Chaudhry concludes that the khap panchayat has emerged as a parallel judicial system and treats every organ of the state with contempt. “Kangaroo courts are held and barbaric ‘fatwas’ issued, with all those who matter in the system remaining mute spectators,” he maintains.

In fact, the helplessness (read ineffectiveness) of the police, administration and even the judiciary in certain cases has made the issue suitable for larger concern.

“The role of the police is usually limited to tracing the accused and getting them punished by a court of law after the crime has been committed,” says inspector-general of police (Rohtak range) Sharad Kumar. “After all, what can the police do if a man is hell-bent on killing his sister and has the full support of his clan and community?” he questions, pointing out that there are practical limitations to providing police security in such cases. The IGP feels that the government as well as non-government organisations should come forward to create awareness about the social menace.



Silence is golden for politicians
Yoginder Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 5
In their anxiety not to annoy vote banks, politicians go into hibernation whenever an incident of “honour killing” takes place. The honourable exception is of those belonging to the Left parties, who have been consistently speaking against not only the heinous practice of killing the innocents in the name of family honour, but also against the so-called “khap panchayats” or “gotra panchayats”. Unfortunately, since the “honour killings” have social sanction in the countryside of Haryana, particularly in the Jat belt, the politicians, who are otherwise very vocal in blaming each other for the worsening law and order situation in the state, remain silent. Gone are the days when people like Raja Rammohan Roy would take up social causes, like widow remarriage, however, unpopular they might have been in those days. Nowadays, politicians are captives of vote banks and dare not annoy the popular sentiment, howsoever unreasonable it may be. Similarly, many policemen at the lower level, having a strong rural background, have a mindset similar to that of those who subscribe to the concept of “honour killings”. Whenever, any couple comes to them for protection, their initial reaction is usually to turn them away. It is only when the judiciary directs the police to provide protection to the couple that the policemen follow the order in an half-hearted manner.

In the case of Manoj and Babli, their lives might have been saved if the policemen escorting them had taken their duty seriously. The court had directed the police to escort the couple to a safe place. However, the policemen left the couple on the roadside at Pipli in Kurukshetra district. It is obvious that the couple was being followed by family members of Babli. If the escorting policemen had been alert, they should have noticed a suspicious vehicle following them and should not have left the couple to its cruel fate.



Lives in jeopardy as officials shut eyes to illegal quarrying
Naveen S Garewal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 5
Official connivance as well as neglect has led to the plundering of government wealth as excessive and uncontrolled quarrying continues in the Kalka, Panchkula, Naraingarh and Yamunanagar areas.

The issue has come up at several meetings at the state’s administrative headquarters, but mostly action never goes beyond some notings on files as the culprits are the high and mighty of the state, many with close links with officials and politicians.

The Haryana public works department (bridges and roads) is up in arms over the “massive, uncontrolled and reckless quarrying taking place in the beds of various rivers and rivulets, resulting in the deepening of river beds, slopes becoming very steep and the erosion of banks. In some places the depth of excavation is as much as 50 ft to 60 ft, posing a serious threat of flooding ahead of the monsoon”. Such are the observations on the official files, but there is hardly any concrete action on the ground.

“It is an open secret that most of the quarrying is done by contractors, who are either partners or employees of politicians and senior officers of the state government. How do you expect action against any of them? Former engineer-in-chief R.R Sheoran had the courage to write an official note to the

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Real estate firms seek expertise in land deals
Retired officials in demand

Shubhadeep Choudhury
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 5
Retired Haryana officials, having knowledge of the land revenue law, are riding on the crest of real estate boom in the state. They are landing up well-paid jobs with leading real estate companies to advise them on the matters related to land deals.

While serving government officials have not yet shown any inclination of leaving their permanent jobs for temporary assignments with private companies, retired officials are having a lot of demand with the companies competing with each other to get hold of the experienced manpower.

As soon as a kanungo or a patwari or a tehsildar or a naib tehsildar, offices that otherwise figure low in the government hierarchy, retires from service, there are takers for him. Some of the officials hired by these companies have also held higher posts in service, but obtain jobs with private operators primarily for their knowledge of land acquisition related matters, including laws on transfer and ownership of land.

Real estate firm Unitech recently hired R.C. Sharma, a retired HCS officer, for a handsome amount. R.K. Chauhan, Amarnath Ishpujani, Ashok Vashisht, and Mahabir Tehsildar are some of the other retired officials who have been hired by various companies for their familiarity with revenue department laws.

Besides Unitech, DLF and Ansals, are among the other real estate giants who have hired former government officials by paying them handsome package for their expertise in handling matters related to land acquisition.

The SEZs, introduced in the state by the Hooda government, and the increasing number of licenses given to builders have created the demand for such officials, said an official of the state-owned HSIIDC.



Where the ancient and the modern are in harmony
Shubhadeep Choudhury
Tribune News Service

Panipat, July 5
Residents of the bustling city of Panipat, where a gigantic flyover is under construction to ease traffic congestion, may object if their city is described as a city of death.

Vanquished generals, slain in the three famous battles fought here, have left their mark in the city in legend and monuments. A curious visitor may get overpowered by the images thrown up by the assortment and return home feeling a trifle unnerved.

The burial site of Ibrahim Lodi, killed by Babur in the first battle, is protected while a mosque has overtaken the memorial to Hemu, challenger of Akbar in the second battle. The memory of Sadashiv Rao Bhau of the third battle has been kept alive in folk legend.

The museum here run by the Panipat war memorial society with funding and staff provided by the state government displays in a chart the memorial to Hemu along with other historical attractions of Panipat. It is shown situated in Sodapur village in the neighbourhood.

Enquiries conducted in Sodapur and its neighbouring Sondapur led one to a mosque at Sodapur where a man introduced himself as Nafiz Ahmed and said he looked after the mosque and the mazaar. In the summer afternoon he was relaxing on a string cot in the cool shade in the courtyard. “Hemu’s memorial is no more. People have constructed houses on the site. There is absolutely no trace of it any more”, said the maulvi with cool confidence.

Mukesh, sarpanch of Sodapur, and Prem Singh, sarpanch of Sondapur, also said no such monument existed in their village.

Dr Chander Singh, curator at the museum who is an archaeologist with the state government’s archaeology department, was puzzled when the confusion was brought to his notice. “The chart was prepared with the help of experts, including personnel from the archaeological survey of India. There is little chance of inaccuracy in the chart”, he mumbled, but apologetically added that the monument was not brought under the jurisdiction of the ASI or the state archaeology department.

When contacted later, the archaeologist said he learnt from a reliable colleague that the mosque at Sodapur had been built over the memorial to Hemu. “It was not uncommon in those days. There are also instances of mosques turned into places of worship of people of another religion”, he said.

Hemu, who was an upstart but in a spectacular campaign won 22 battles in a row and took the title of Hemchandra Vikramaditya, fell to Mughal forces in the second battle of Panipat in 1556. Akbar sent Hemu’s severed head to Kabul for showing it to the ladies of his late father’s harem.

Ibrahim Lodi’s grave was protected in 1919, 15 years after the colonial government framed a law to protect Indian monuments. Babur recorded in his journal about the discovery of the body and giving it a decent burial. One can walk down to the site (a park has been created around the grave) from the main highway. The plainness of the grave is striking.

Sadashiv Bhau, leader of the Marathas in the third battle, has become the subject of folk legend. The site of the third battle, protected by the state government, is called Kala Amb (black mango) after the legend. According to it, a mango tree under which Sadashiv Bhau had collapsed turned black from contact with his blood. The museum exhibits a doorway said to be carved from the wood of the affected tree. The curator confided that the dark wood was given a coat of black paint to increase its effect.



Inside Babudom
Chief Secy eyes post-retirement job
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 5
Haryana chief secretary Prem Prashant is ready for a post-retirement assignment.

Prashant bared his intentions to the mediapersons during a meeting recently. A person should be hired on his professional merit, Prashant said when asked about his post-retirement possibilities with the government. He cited example of Bhaskar Chatterjee, who was helped by the government to become chairman of the Haryana Electricity Regulatory Commission.

Meenaxi Chaudhary and Madhavan, the predecessors of Prashant in the Hooda regime got post-retirement assignments, enabling them to retain their privileges and incomes. The former continue to be the member of the State Information Commission where Madhavan is the CIC.

Prashant was considered in the reckoning for heading the proposed state Vigilance Commission. But turning down of the idea by the Chief Minister has demolished the chance. Prashant, who was picked up by Hooda above two senior officers to become chief secretary, mentioned powers vested with the CM to appoint advisers while talking about his plans.

The spree of retired bureaucrats landing up post-retirement assignments with the help of the government has also led to some criticism. Hooda should not complain about that because he had also sniggered at the practice when his immediate predecessor Om Prakash Chautala made retired bureaucrats the vice-chancellors of universities.

Political acrimonies apart, the retired secretary and other officers, helped by the previous regime and the current one to get post-retirement offices, have always managed to run the show in their new positions and none of them has attracted any controversy so far.

Prashant, who will attain the age of superannuation in the end of next month, says no civil servant should consider post-retirement assignments as their right, says.



Young Achievers
Woman grapples with Olympic gold dream
Raman Mohan
Tribune News Service

Hisar, July 5
The country’s ace woman grappler, Geetika Jakhar, has done it again. She is back from Canada with a silver medal from the Commonwealth Wrestling Championship, which concluded on June 17.

Born on August 18, 1985, the young wrestler has over the past few years made it a habit of winning medals at national and international meets.

Under her belt

  • Silver medal at Doha Asian Games-2006
  • Silver medal at Delhi Asian Senior Championship
  • Gold medal at Asian Championship in Kazakhstan
  • Winner of Bharat Kesari and Bhim Award
  • Winner of Rajiv Gandhi Gold Cup

A student of local Government College, Geetika is awaiting result of her M.A. (English) final year examination. A keen student of literature, she says she will pursue M.Phil. degree in English literature once she gets her master’s degree.

She has been bestowed the title of Bharat Kesari and honoured with the Bhim Award by the Haryana government. The state government has also recommended her name for Arjuna Award. She won the Rajiv Gandhi Gold Cup at a meet held in Delhi last year. She was awarded Rs 1 lakh and a gold cup by Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit.

She says her ultimate aim is to win a gold in the Olympics. In pursuit of the elusive medal she will be leaving for the USA shortly to get training. She spends around two hours daily training under the watchful eye of her coach, Ram Avatar.

Geetika credits her father for her string of successes. “He has been very supportive. He afforded me everything I ever needed for my gruelling training. I wish all fathers would support their daughters in the same manner”, she says.

Her doting father, Satbir Jakhar, says Geetika has pursued the sport as well as her studies in such a manner that none of these activities were adversely affected by the other. “Otherwise, it’s not easy to excel both in sports and in academics”, he says, adding that he believes she would clear her M.Phil. and also win an Olympic gold.



Rural job scheme yet to impact Mahendragarh
Ravi S.Singh
Tribune News Service

Mahendragarh , July 5
The implementation of the national rural employment guarantee scheme in Mahendragarh district continues to be a low-key affair, allegedly due to the lack of interest among villagers.

Mahendragarh, in the category of a low-potential zone from the point of view of industrialisation and other parameters, has been chosen along with Sirsa for the implementation of the scheme.

Deputy commissioner of Mahendragarh M.P.Bansal said the administration was making efforts to spread awareness among the masses about the benefits of the scheme.The administration feels that participation on the part of the targeted beneficiaries will gradually increase.

According to official statistics, from February 6, 2006, when the scheme was implemented, till March-end this year, the number of households registered in all revenue blocks in this district, namely Narnaul, Ateli, Nangal Chaudhary, Mahendragarh and Kanina, was more than 32,000. An equal number of job cards have also been issued. The number of families that had applied for work was about 16,000. The number of individual applications received for work was about 20,000 with an equal number of persons offered employment. The number of persons who reported for work and the number of labourers employed was the same, nearly 20,000.

According to additional deputy commissioner Ashok Kumar Bishnoi, who is also the head of the district rural development agency, the body responsible for implementing central schemes, the difference between the number of households registered and the number of applications received for work indicates the "non-serious" attitude of people towards the scheme.

According to him, initially the public was under the impression that if the applicants did not get jobs guaranteed under the scheme, they would be given unemployment allowance.

The national employment guarantee scheme act,2005, the mother law specifying the guidelines regarding the implementation of the scheme, lays down provisions for such an allowance. But the allowance will be given only when the gram panchayats and the authorities are unable to provide jobs to the applicants.

Hence, many households that got registered apparently backed out after merely taking the job cards. Also, many people applied for the card thinking it to be a vital document. Still ,a good number felt that registration was like registering with the employment centre, which would provide all kinds of jobs,especially skilled ones.

The act makes it mandatory to provide at least 100 days’ job in the "unskilled" category to each family in the village concerned each year.The 100 days could be availed of by one adult member of the family or various adult members. But for this the families must get themselves registered with the village panchayat concerned to be beneficiaries under the scheme.

So far, the centre has provided Rs 15 crore to the district in two instalments.The authorities will be applying for the third instalment from the centre.

The implementation of the project has benefited those who have availed themselves of the scheme as well as 365 village panchayats in this district.

A visit to Begpur village falling in Ateli revenue block revealed that more than 20 persons, many from different family units , were employed in the job of deepening of a pond. The sarpanch of the village, Ram Avatar,expressed satisfaction over the implementation of the scheme. Geeta, mother of five, working along with her husband and other adult members of the family, said the scheme had assured the family a fixed income.

The ugly point though is that in a total population of about 2,800 only 100 families have so far registered with the village panchayat so far under the scheme.

In Tobra village out of a total of 150 families, only 28 have registered themselves. According to Sishu Pal, sarpanch of the village, the registration for manual labour is less as people find better job options.



Docs’ shortage makes hospitals sick
Raman Mohan

Tribune News Service

Bhiwani, July 5
Once the envy of other districts during former Chief Minister Bansi Lal’s heyday, the health services in this district have been crippled by the shortage of doctors and paramedics.

While about half of the 24 posts of doctor in the 300-bedded civil hospital here are lying vacant, the ESI hospital here has just seven doctors against 19 sanctioned posts.

The local civil hospital was built on a grand scale. The late Bansi Lal wanted that his hometown should have a modern well-equipped hospital so that people of this remote district did not have to look to the post-graduate institute of medical sciences at Rohtak. In fact, the building itself was modelled after the PGIMS building.

However, years later, the hospital is in a shambles. Diagnostic and surgical equipment worth Rs 30 lakh is lying unused in the absence of an ENT specialist. The psychiatry department is virtually closed as there is no psychiatrist. The hospital is also short of a surgeon.

Despite having special blood-testing machines worth over Rs 1 crore, only the basic tests are done here, much to the delight of private pathology laboratories, because there are no trained paramedics to handle the machines.

The once-excellent infrastructure has crumbled. The hospital toilets are unusable as the sewer system is not functional. The power generating set is not functioning because of mechanical problems and the lack of fuel.

The radiology department has good infrastructure, yet only basic x-ray and ultrasound tests are done here due to the shortage of trained staff. Patients have to perforce go to private radiologists.

Conditions in other smaller towns of the district are no better. In Bawanikhera hospital, both posts of doctor are vacant. There is no dentist either. In Charkhi Dadri, five of the nine posts of doctor are vacant. Likewise, at the community health centre (CHC) at Bondkalan, two of the four posts are vacant. The primary health centres (PHCs) at Ranila and Achina are without doctors.

The CHC at Manheru has four posts. Three of these are vacant. A doctor was posted against the fourth post, but he has been absent since December, 2005. The PHCs at Mankawas and Sanwar are without doctors and so is the PHC at Jui.

The PHC, Dinod, has one doctor. The posts of another doctor and a dentist are vacant. There is no senior medical officer at the CHC at Dhanana. There is only one doctor here against two posts of medical officer. One post is vacant at the Alakhpura PHC, which is also without a dentist. The PHC at Sui has one post vacant. There is one doctor posted at the PHC in Pur village. However, he was deputed to the Bawanikhera hospital a long time ago.

It is a never-ending story. Two of the four posts of doctor at the CHC in Miranpur village are vacant. The Loharu CHC has three doctors against five posts. One of them has been deputed elsewhere while another doctor is almost always unavailable because of evidence to be given in courts in medico-legal cases. The PHC in Behal village, which has a big public school and an engineering college too, is without a doctor.

Dozens of important and big villages continue to be without doctors or at best have only one doctor. These include Tosham, Jhoju Kalan, Biran, Harodi, Jamalpur and Kairu.

Civil surgeon Khazan Singh told The Tribune that the main problem was that the district had inhospitable terrain. It also bordered Rajasthan and had desert-like conditions. So, doctors were unwilling to be posted here. He said those who were sent against their wishes used political connections to find better stations.

He said there was no solution to the problem and it would be best to outsource the health services to private companies which would ensure that doctors were posted in towns as well as remote villages. 



Proving a boon to villagers in Sirsa
Kiran Deep
Tribune News Service

Sirsa, July 5
The excavation of Otu lake, which begun here to boost the supply of water for irrigation purposes to several villages, has provided jobs to many poor villagers living within the 5-km range of the lake under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act.

Besides the use of JCB machines, the digging of the lake is being done manually by labourers, hailing from the nearby villages. As much as Rs 1 crore has been allocated for wages to the labourers from the amount sanctioned by the state government for the lake. Besides, over 300 villagers have been employed for work under the scheme for removing silt from the North Ghaggar.

In fact, the employment guarantee scheme is proving a boon to the villagers by providing them various kinds of jobs, besides improving rural infrastructure.

Only two districts of the state have been selected under the scheme. The other being Mahendragarh. The Act guarantees 100 days of wage employment in a year to every registered household. As many as 31,513 families have been provided various kinds of jobs in 2006-07 and the state government has provided over Rs 20 crore for the payment of wages.

The scheme is proving beneficial for the rural poor, especially women, as they do not have to leave their villages for work.

“In our village, where on one hand fair wages are being paid to the villagers and on the other hand, the development work carried out in the village has completely changed our lives,” said Sona Ram of Panyari village.

“Digging of pond in the village provided us with additional income. It did not require much effort. After my domestic work, I used to carry the earth removed from the pond to dump at another place,” said Sunita Kumari of Rania.

Talking to The Tribune, additional deputy commissioner Pankaj Yadav said, “The development works carried out in the district so far include water conservation and water harvesting, tree plantation and minor irrigation works. Besides, various projects for the renovation of traditional water bodies and cleaning up of open wells, land leveling and construction of internal roads and streets are also undertaken. The blocks which have benefited from the scheme include Baragudha, Dabwali, Ellenabad, Chopta, Odhan, Rania and Sirsa.”



Development plan ready for Bawal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 5
The state government has approved the draft plan of the industrial town Bawal of Rewari district with a projected population of 1.50 lakh persons for the prospective year 2021 so that the town could be developed in a planned manner.

A spokesman for the Town and Country Planning said the draft plan had been approved in the meeting of the state-level committee of the department. This was the first development plan for Bawal controlled area since the declaration of the controlled areas. The plan had been prepared under section 5(4) of the Punjab Scheduled Roads and Controlled Area Restriction of Unregulated Development Act, 1963, he added. He said that since IMT was proposed to be developed by the HSIIDC in this area, the plan was predominantly industrial and maximum area was provided for industrial zone. As per the Plan, approximate land use for industrial sector would be over 1,880 hectares, for residential 761 hectares, for transport and communication over 390 hectares.



Grey at the cost of green
Environment gets a beating in Gurgaon
Ravi S. Singh
Tribune News Service

Gurgaon, July 5
The emergence of Gurgaon may have arguably catapulted it into the comity of international cities, but the gradual shrinking of its green cover appears to have earned it notoriety.

The shrinkage of its green belt can be attributed to haphazard growth, violation of rules and rank commercialism observed by private builder/floaters of colonies, apathy of the government machineries, including HUDA and the Town and Country Planning, and land mafia.

Ironically, the trajectory of the growth and development of Gurgaon sums up the negative mood among the aesthetes and environmentalists.

Violations galore

Though there are numerous instances of violations by private builders, some are mentioned below:

  • DLF has set up the senior wing of Summer Fields School in A-Block of Phase I of DLF City. This site was earmarked for a park. The school is run by DLF’s own charitable educational trust.
  • In Phase IV, DLF illegally sold a site earmarked for a park to Sriram Aravalli School.
  • Nestle Tower corporate office set up by the DLF in Phase II along the Delhi-Jaipur highway is another environmental nuisance.
  • In South City-I, adjacent to the UNITECH Country Club, a huge chunk of land originally earmarked as a green area and park is being tampered with by its builder UNITECH.

With regard to the proper development of Gurgaon, the same agencies and causative factors that brought the city into prominence in terms of modernisation and growth, have apparently started acting as negative factors and hindrance towards its march to further stage of evolution.

The flagrant violation of environmental norms straightaway comes to notice when one enters the city via Delhi-Jaipur National Highway No.8 where on both sides the mandatory 30-m green belt is dotted with land poaching and illegal constructions. These were not constructed in one single day but in continuum, which goes on to date. Offices of realtors, liquor shops, timbers merchants’ factory-cum-showrooms, banquet halls and commercial units of various hues and sizes are functioning with impunity.

For better focus, which is only symptomatic of the problem, the 1-km long stretch from Jharsa Chowk to Rajiv Gandhi Chowk shows that thousands of trees and saplings on either side of the highway have been wiped out. This highway is one of the busiest as it connects seven states. With depleting green cover to soak the pollution, the harmful effects for nearby residential sectors and villages as a consequence need no elaboration.

Private builders, especially big players like DLF, UNITECH and Ansal, whose contributions to the salubrious development of the city is undisputed, however, continue to act in ways which disenfranchise the residents of green belt. The bigger the builder and his projects, the bigger their negative contribution. Residents and civil society groups allege that their malpractices have been brought to the notice of the authorities concerned a number of times, but to no avail.

The builders misuse the green area, specified in the original layout plan on the basis of which their projects got approval. While the government machineries appeared to have failed in disciplining the private parties, it has also sometimes aped the market forces to play havoc with the green belt.



Demolition of dustbins in Gurgaon
Commissioner to probe officers’ role
Ravi S.Singh
Tribune News Service

Gurgaon, July 5
The new commissioner of Gurgaon Division, Rajeev Sharma, will conduct a probe into the controversy involving top officers of the state government regarding the demolitions of dustbins, set up by private parties to display advertisements. Sharma said the probe would be completed shortly.

The government had allowed private parties to display advertisements on public utilities that they would create at specified sites in the city. The utilities included public toilets, bus stands, tree guards, dustbins and traffic lights. The policy was firmed up following a high-level meeting of officers held by chief secretary Prem Prashanth. The thrust of the policy was to create as much facilities in the city with the help of private participation. In lieu of it, the private parties would use the facilities created by them to display commercial advertisements of their own choice.

According to a rough estimate, before the formulation of the policy the setting up of advertisements at public places was unorganised and controlled by the mafia and builder lobby. The illegal display of advertisements continued for several years with the concerned authorities and departments obviously playing ball with the law benders.

Just when the advertisement racket appeared to have been arrested, there started murky developments in which some officers of HUDA and Town and Country Planning were involved. The private parties, who had got the authorisation for setting up the utilities by offering highest bids, made a representation to Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, who ordered an inquiry.

Financial commissioner-cum-principal secretary, Uraban Development, Shakuntala Jhaku and director, Town and Country Planning, who was officiating as chief administrator, HUDA, S.S. Dhillon, had come to Gurgaon on June 22 in the follow up to the inquiry. But rather than taking action against the unauthorised advertisement hoardings, the senior officers launched an operation at about 10 pm and about 13 dustbins, which were part of utilities, were demolished till midnight.

Local administrator S.P. Gupta, who was transferred immediately after the demolitions, said the officers from the state headquarters passed the orders. While Jhaku, who was also transferred along with other officers, including Gupta, remained inaccessible, Dhillon reported to have stated that it was Gupta’s order.

Inquiries reveal that some of the demolished dustbins though legal were set up at unapproved sites to derive maximum commercial leverage. As per the rules, the office of the chief administrator, HUDA, is the competent authority to alter and approve new sites.



Fighting battles in civies
Tribune News Service

Lt-Col S.S. Deswal (retd) Panchkula, July 5
Lt-Col S.S. Deswal (retd) has no regrets about leaving the army just at the point when he was due to pick up his next rank. That was in 1997 and since then his business, outside, has made rapid strides, progressing by leaps and bounds in the past few years.

From beginning as a partner in a small-scale industrial unit, his venture, with a multi-crore turnover, is neck deep in planning a garment business as also a footwear-manufacturing unit in the industrial estates in Sonepat and Bahadurgarh, respectively.

Dabbling in manufacturing various accessories for defence communication equipment , raising a housing project for ex-servicemen in Sector 30, carrying out social activities by way of organising free medical camps in his native village in Jhajjar district and involvement in setting up a biotechnology unit in Manesar, he’s done it all.

“I was commissioned in 1977 from the IMA, where I also won a silver medal. I was doing reasonably well in the Armoured Corps. However, my calling lay elsewhere and I deliberated on taking the plunge into business. I wanted to do something more creative though I was reluctant to leave the job I was in. It was a dilemma for the entire family for months on end before I finally decided I needed to just leave the army and do something on my own,” he says.

That’s when he partnered with Haryana Electronics and began supplying accessories to Bharat Electronics Limited. “I was also tempted to continue in the army because I was due for promotion and would have commanded a unit. On the other hand, there was this small industrial unit, the fate of which I did not know, but I realized it offered me a chance to move on. On hindsight, I think I did the right thing,” Deswal explains.



Jhajjar’s only public library
Leaking roof, crumbling building

Jhajjar, July 5
The only public library of the district, situated in the subdivisional township of Bahadurgarh, is facing the monsoon fury even in below normal rains in the past two days.

The library is housed in rented accommodation in Dharampura colony of the town. The visitors and the staff are experiencing a deluge, thanks to the leaking roofs of the old and dilapidated building. The owner of the building, Raj Kumar Chug, said the building was constructed in 1960 and it was quite unsafe now. He said he had asked the staff to look for another location after the completion of the stipulated contract. “As the rains have set in and given the condition of the building, it could collapse anytime resulting in the loss of life and we could be held responsible in that eventuality”.

After a visit to the library by this correspondent, it was found that most of the book shelves, tables, desks and chairs in the reading room were placed haphazardly to protect them from the water, dripping from the roof.

The in charge librarian, Jaishree, said there was no threat to the books from the leakage. “I have written to the department for shifting of the library, but the entire process takes time”, she said.

The Education Department could not find any permanent venue for the library ever since it was set up about two decades ago. The department had always asked the staff to look for a low-rent building. Due to this limitation, the library could not be shifted to a convenient place. “We are also not getting any government building as the administration expressed its inability due to non-availability of any vacant building,” the library staff told.



Fatehabad may face severe water crisis
Sushil Manav

Fatehabad, July 5
The water table in this part of Haryana has been rapidly depleting due to excessive pumping out of water through tube wells.

The water table has gone down to as low as 105 ft in areas like Kulan and Tohana where one could find it at 10 to 15 ft a decade back. The situation is even worse in the areas like Fatehabad and Bhattu Kalan. The problem is so serious that geologists have categorised this area as a “dark zone” as far as the availability of underground water is concerned.

Experts have warned that if the unbridled pumping of water is allowed to continue, the area could soon face the problem of drinking water what to speak of water for irrigation.

A large number of farmers have to use tube wells for the want of sufficient amount of canal water.

According to official figures, there are 29,801 tube wells in the district. Maximum numbers of tube wells exist in Tohana subdivision. Most of the farmers of these areas grow paddy, which according to experts requires maximum amount of water.



Movies this week

My Friend Ganesha

Genre: Children/animated

Director: Rajiv S. Ruia

Producer: Apurva Shah, Manish Ruparel, Mitesh Mehta,

Cast: Ahsaas Channa, Kiran Janjani, Shital Shah, Mushtaq Khan, Modi Sheri, Lalitesh, Anil Nagrath, Aroon Bakshi, Upasana Singh

Opens today in multiplexes at Panipat and Gurgaon.

Bombay To Goa

Genre: Comedy

Director: Raj Pendurkar

Producer: Humayu Rangilla

Cast: Sunil Pal, Raju Shrivastava, Ehsaan Qureshi, Deepak Raja, Khayali, Vijay Prabhakar, Rauf Lala, Sheila Sharma and Asrani

Opens today in theatres at Ambala, Hisar, Panipat and Gurgaon.

— Dharam Pal



New courses introduced

Guru Jambheshwar University, Hisar

M.Tech. (Food Engineering)

B.Tech. (Food Engineering)

B.Tech. (Packaging Technology)

MBA with specialisation in Marketing, Finance, Human Resource, Production Management, International Business Analytics and Information Technology.

Chaudhary Devi Lal University, Sirsa

New courses under distance education

Bachelor of Computer Application (BCA)

Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA)

HAU, Hisar has not introduced any new courses this year



PAN card, when?

I applied for PAN card vide application form 49A, bearing serial number 027798239, submitted with UTI Technology Services Limited, Kurukshetra, on 08.03.2007. The processing fee coupon number is 018922135. I have not received the PAN card so far.

Kamlesh Seth, 737, Sector 7, Urban Estate, Kurukshetra

Revision of pension awaited

I retired as headmaster of GHS, Digrota (Mahendragarh), on 31.8.2004. I have been sanctioned pension vide PPO No 122891-S\HR. Despite many requests to the DEO, Narnaul, and the DSE, Haryana, my case for revision of pension has not yet been decided.

Udai Singh, V & PO Dhana, Mahendragarh

Defective LG refrigerator

I purchased a 405 lt double door LG refrigerator (model no: GL 405DMQG 103/B25) from local dealer Geravision, Workshop Road, on 27.04.07 vide receipt no. 7650. Within a week of the purchase, the gasket rubber of the main door got loose and it slipped out, obstructing the closure of the door. On informing the dealer and the LG Care Centre, Prem Nagar, the mechanics arrived, who refitted the rubber.

But it came out the next day, which the mechanics again refitted. The process was repeated 2-3 days later. Finally, we were told that the door itself was defective and needed to be replaced. And since then no one paid heed to our complaint. It’s been more than two months now that even after spending Rs 23,000 we are left with a defective product.

Dr Anupama Rana, Rana Hospital, Gobindpuri Road, Yamunanagar

Unwarranted power bills

I had surrendered an electricity meter (No. Mt.208/H) installed at my residence through an application to the SDO, PSEB, Panipat. The SDO got it removed on January 3, 2007. The PSEB sent me a final bill amounting to Rs 380 for the period 23.10.2006 to 23.01.2007 (in excess of 20 days), which was paid by me. I was told that no further bill would be issued as the account had been closed. But to my surprise another bill of Rs 749 was issued and received by me last month. The SDO directed the dealing official to wind up the account and withdraw the bill. But to add insult to the injury, another bill of Rs 153 was issued for the period 03.01.2007 to 23.02.2007, the period during which the meter did not exist. Repeated visits to the office fail to yield desired results.

A.N. Bhandula, H.No. 42B, N.S. Park, Panipat

Long wait for voter card

I moved to Haryana from Punjab almost a year back. Since then, I have been trying hard to get a new voter card made, but to no avail. Last month, your esteemed newspaper published a news item about door-to-door photographing for voter cards. But nobody approached me for the purpose. Recently, area municipal councillor Anita Aggarwal told me about an ongoing drive. But to my shock and surprise, the lone clerk present at the local MC office informed me that the drive was already over.

I would like to bring this into the notice of the authorities concerned that no notice or intimation was given to the residents of the area about the drive. I request them to extend the date for voter cards so that people like me can get it.

Raj M. Atwal, 849, Sector 21, Panchkula



Readers, write in

Make ‘Haryana Plus’ your very own forum and do yourselves and your neighbours a good turn. Here is an opportunity to highlight civic and other public issues, and air your grievances about government negligence and ineffectiveness, and the apathy of officialdom. Send in write-ups, not exceeding 150 words, to Haryana Plus, The Tribune, Sector 29, Chandigarh. E-mail:





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