The real ‘Chak De’ story
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Shahabad Markanda, August 9
Neither the glamour of Bollywood nor the offer to work with Shah Rukh Khan could lure the national hockey stars of this little known town of the state. They rather preferred to slog it out on the playfields of Guru Nanak Khalsa Pritam School here for the greater glory of hockey, the sport to which they are passionately committed.

“The girls are national heroines in their known way,” says Baldev Singh, the man who has been shaping the destiny of women’s hockey in Haryana. “We were approached by members of the production team of ‘Chak de India’. We had to spurn the offers.”

Baldev Singh’s girls have not only done the state proud but also brought glory to the country. “Not even a single national women’s hockey squad left the shores of the country during the past 10 years without a girl from my coaching centre,” claims the coach, maintaining, “They have won every tournament, including school games and the national championship.”

“A brief association with the Bollywood would have disrupted our concerted campaign of building a world beater side from this town. The temptation to work in films would have serious effects on our effort to revive the pristine glory the country enjoyed in international hockey,” adds Baldev Singh.

Last year, when Indian team went to participate in the Women’s World Cup in Madrid, it had seven girls from Shahbad, which is a record and unprecedented in the annals of women’s hockey worldwide. Only exception is Sansarpur which had sent eight players to men’s hockey in the 1968 Mexico Olympic Games.

“They are the treasure house of the conventional and vintage hockey because of which Indian subcontinent reigned supreme on world scene for several decades. The delectable body swerves, dodges, short and crisp passes and supple movements which made Dhyan Chand, Rup Singh and Balbir Singh Sr world heroes are still practiced by my girls. It is what makes them outstanding,” the coach claims.

Since 1992, he has been running the centre single handedly. Supplementing his efforts, the sports department has now put up an Astroturf at his centre. A stadium is also coming up where Shahbad could play host to international events.

This small town has produced more than 25 international players, prominent of them include Bhupinder Kaur, Sandeep Kaur, Surinder Kaur, Jasjeet, Suman Bala, Rajni, Ritu Rani, Gagan and Rani Devi. At present, there are eight girls in the national camp. They are Rajwinder, Suman Bala, Gagan, Ritu Rani, Jasjeet, Surinder, Rani Devi and Simarjeet Kaur.

Baldev has fixed his eyes on Rani Devi, a sub-junior, whose dazzling stick-work has impressed the game buffoons all over the country. In the last national junior championship at Bhopal, Haryana represented by Shahbad girls, were crowned winners but only two girls, Sandeep and Jyoti, have been called for the national under-16 camp.

“If we are to play Indian national team, I am confident my team will beat them hands down,” challenges Baldev Singh, hoping that “Soon merit would become the sole criteria for the selection of players in the national teams”.



Race for non-Jat votes begins
Yoginder Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 9
After decades, non-Jat voters suddenly find themselves in the centre of the political stage of Haryana. With the Lok Sabha elections less than two years away, a race has begun among various political parties to woo non-Jat voters of the state. For the past many elections, the political parties vied with each other in wooing the Jat voters, who constitute about 28 per cent of the electorate.

There were several reasons behind the Jats occupying centre stage. They tended to vote as a group. There are many constituencies where the Jats constitute the majority. In several others they can tilt the balance. At one time, the Indian National Lok Dal(INLD), the mainstay of which is the Jat vote, used to have a cakewalk in most of the constituencies reserved for the Dalits. With all the candidates being Dalits, the Dalit votes would be divided and the Jats would tilt the balance in favour of the INLD. Moreover, in villages in which the Jats dominated, the other communities normally followed the voting trend of the dominant community.

The situation changed with the emergence of Bhupinder Singh Hooda on the political scene of the state. He made a major dent among the Jat voters, particularly in what is considered to be the Deswali belt. Ever since the creation of Haryana, it was the Bagri Jats, culturally and linguistically more close to their counterparts in Rajasthan, who dominated state politics. The Deswali Jats slowly started nursing a grudge against the dominance of the Bagri Jats, particularly so after the infamous Meham mayhem. In Hooda, who hails from Rohtak, capital of the Deswali belt, the Deswali Jats saw a hope to end the dominance of the Bagri Jats. His constant anti-Bhajan Lal stance further endeared him to the Jats, for whom the former Chief Minister continues to be anathema.

When Hooda made it to the Chief Minister league by virtue of his being the first the president of the Haryana Congress and then the leader of the Congress Legislature Party till he was elected to the Lok Sabha in 2004, the Deswali belt virtually deserted the INLD.

Till the 2005 Assembly elections, the political parties used to make serious efforts to corner the Jat votes, even at the cost of the non-Jats. However, the situation changed after 2005. Certain political parties, which seem to have reconciled to the fact that they would never be popular with the Jats, are engaged in projecting that the next elections in the state will be held on the issue of non-Jats versus Jats. After having decided not to align with anyone in future, the BJP decided to concentrate on the non-Jat communities. Initially, many perceived it as a party of the future, being capable of providing an alternative to the Congress and the INLD in the state. But the BJP's efforts to emerge as the third option are facing a serious challenge from the BSP and the political outfit yet to be formed by suspended Congress MP Kuldeep Bishnoi and his father, Bhajan Lal. This has put a stop to the trickle of leaders to the BJP from other parties. Even some of those leaders, who were once close to Bhajan Lal and had joined the BJP, are thinking of deserting the party now. Though for record sake, the BJP and Bishnoi talk of carrying "36 biradaris" in Haryana with them, no one has any doubts about the non-Jats being their primary target.

The BSP has no such pretensions. After its recent success in UP, the party is suddenly being viewed as a possible contender for a share in political power in the next elections. Its leaders openly say that they would like to consolidate only "35 biradaris" to the exclusion of the Jats. Already several Brahmins have shown an inclination to join the BSP ranks after the party gave a sizeable number of its tickets to the community in UP. Alarmed by these developments, the Congress has too tried to woo the Dalits and the Brahmins by making Phool Chand Mullana and Kuldip Sharma the president and working president of its state unit. The INLD has Ashok Arora, a Punjabi, as chief of its Haryana unit. But the party will have to work hard to shed its image of being a "Jat party". It will take months before it becomes clear whom the non-Jats will favour in the next elections.



Lokayukt revived with fanfare, but who bothers
Shubhadeep Choudhury
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 9
The state’s Lokayukt’s office is crying for official attention. The government apparently is not supplying the Lokayukt with reports on the action taken by it on the basis of the latter’s recommendations after completion of probes on complaints.

The Lokayukt is supposed to present the governor a consolidated annual report of its activities. The report is then tabled in the state Assembly with an explanatory memorandum within six months of its receipt by the governor.

The next Assembly session, which is expected to take place in September, should ideally see the Lokayukt’s report for 2006-07 tabled. But, given the fact that the Lokayukt is yet to get the action taken reports from the departments, it is unlikely that the report covering the period between April 1, 2006, and March 31, 2007, could be laid in the next session.

The Lokayukt’s office has also complained to the government about the apathy shown by the departments with regard to sending of the Lokayukt revived, but who cares

action taken reports. All recommendations made by the Lokayukt are sent to the Chief Minister (except for a probe against the Chief Minister himself when the recommendation is needed to be given to the governor) for implementation. The recent complaint follows a similar complaint made by the Lokayukt about the lack of cooperation by government departments regarding supplying information to him for probes against civil servants.

The state’s Lokayukt office was restored with much fanfare by the present regime in January last year. The government is, however, yet to frame the rules to facilitate the administration of the office.



Good news for patients
Soon, conduct lab tests at home
Sunit Dhawan
Tribune News Service

Rohtak, August 9
Here’s some good news for persons suffering from heart ailments and cholesterol problems. Following the completion of an ongoing research project at the Department of Biochemistry and Genetics at Maharshi Dayanand University (MDU) here, it will be possible for them to test the level of triglycerides in their blood at home.

In a major research project, funded by the Department of Biotechnology of the union government, the biochemistry unit of the department is developing biosensors for instant determination of triglyceride level in blood. The project, worth about Rs 35 lakh, is being executed by Prof C.S. Pundir, head of the unit, and Dr Meenakshi Sharma, lecturer in the Department of Biosciences.

A laboratory model is being prepared, which will later be miniaturised for domestic use on the pattern of glucometer, which is used for testing sugar level in blood. The equipment would be then available in the market. Heart patients and other affected persons can keep it at home and test the triglyceride level in their blood at their convenience.

Another significant project going on at the department is the development of a strip to measure the oxalate level in urine. This test would forewarn a person about the formation of kidney stones.

“A significant rise in the oxalate level indicates that a person is going to have kidney stones. Once aware, the person can take precautionary measures to prevent the formation of stones,” says Dr Pundir, the principal investigator of the project. This project has been sponsored by the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR).

In yet another research project, the department is developing membrane bioreactor for synthesis of structured lipid from groundnut oil and polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) using lipase immobilised on membrane. This is aimed at making the groundnut oil clinically better and good for health. The purpose is achieved by degrading the triglycerides by lipase.

The Rs 20-lakh project, funded by the Department of Biotechnology, is being pursued in collaboration with the Central Salt and Marine Chemicals Research Institute, Bhavnagar, Gujarat.

Besides, the department has developed biosensors for lactic acid and lactose, while development of the same for uric acid is in progress.

Say no to costly detergents

Researchers of the department are engaged in a project aimed at reducing the cost of washing clothes. This will be done by immobilising detergent enzymes on plastic walls.

The detergents available in the market are of two types, with enzymes and without enzymes. These enzymes include lipase (for removing oily stains), amylase (for starch stains), cellulose (for grass and leaf stains) and protease (for protein stains). The detergents containing enzymes are costlier than those without enzymes.

The researchers immobilised these enzymes on plastic sheets and put these in a container. Then, stained clothes were washed in this container with a detergent not containing enzymes. Thus, the stained clothes were cleaned when these come in contact with enzymes immobilised on the walls of the container.

This research has also been reported in the Indian Journal of Chemical Technology of the CSIR. Research scholars Meenakshi and Manu Bhambhi were actively involved in the research.



Championing farmers’ cause in his nineties
Never too old to work
Raman Mohan
Tribune News Service

Hisar, August 9
At 91, one normally expects help from near and dear ones in living out the remaining years. But here is a man who at this fragile age is still playing the role he so skillfully played during his prime age i.e. a friend of the farmers.

Jia Lal Dalal, who occupied several important offices in his lifetime, is these days lobbying with the authorities and agricultural universities to find out ways to rejuvenate agriculture. He is a former member of the Planning Commission and former director of Agriculture, Haryana. He was also agriculture adviser to the government of Afghanistan for some time. Before that he headed a research programme on oilseeds at Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana.

Disturbed by the deteriorating economic condition of the peasantry, he recently brought out a booklet called “Rejuvenation of Agriculture”. He has sent the booklet to several dignitaries, including the President, Prime Minister, educated farmers and the media. In this booklet, he has suggested ways to salvage the agricultural sector.

“I have come to these conclusions on the basis of my experience both as an agriculturist and agriculture scientist”, he says. There is little doubt about that since Dalal is one of the most frequent visitors to the Haryana Agricultural University library here where he spends hours studying research publications.

According to him, green manuring is the potential answer to the problem of soil infertility due to overexploitation by the paddy-wheat crop rotation over years. “In pre-partition days, green manuring with guar and sun hemp was mandatory and the agriculture department was responsible for ensuring that this happened. But with wheat-paddy rotation, green manuring as a kharif crop was ruled out”, he laments.

However, he has worked out a new method. He says 15 kg of pre-germinated dhaincha seed should be sown by broadcasting in standing wheat crop with the last irrigation. After the crop is harvested, dhaincha would require a couple of irrigations and a little urea to grow substantially by June 20. It should then be buried with gypsum in the soil and allowed to decompose. A week later, farmers can transplant paddy.

He says green manuring project should be taken up nationally and the centre should finance it. It should be a mandatory for the agriculture department as in pre-partition days.

Depleting water table is another problem he wants to tackle. He says the solution to this problem again lies in traditional water conservation techniques used in the past when rainwater was collected in a pond in the village to be used during the rest of the year. He says low-cost thick earthen dams be constructed in the villages to tap rainwater.

“The centre has sanctioned Rs 1,800 crore for this purpose in this year’s budget and the state must grab some part of it,” he adds.

Marketing of farmers’ produce is another area that needs to be reformed, Dalal thinks. He says that agricultural development and marketing centres should be established for every 500 hectares of the cultivated area. There should be mechanical graders at these centres. After grading, the produce should be stored in huge godowns at the centre on behalf of the farmer.

The amount of produce stored there should be communicated to the cooperative bank where the farmer has his account. He should be free to dispose of either part or whole of the produce as and when he considers the market is giving him a fair deal. In return, he will pay storage and handling charges to the centre. These centres would also generate employment at the village level. Among his other suggestions include the creation of a national farmers’ welfare fund that small and marginal farmers can use in all eventualities. He also thinks that similar approach has to be taken for horticulture and forestry.

Dalal is making sure his progeny does not forget their roots as farmers. He, therefore, makes sure that his son R.S. Dalal, who is the director-general of police, Haryana, visits his ancestral village and take part in agriculture operations.



Preserving history, Krishna Museum way
D.R. Vij

Kurukshetra, August 9
Kurukshetra, popularly known as the venue of the battle of Mahabharata, is said to be the cradle of Indian civilisation, religion and philosophy.

Here Lord Krishna delivered the message of “Shrimadbhagwadgita” to wipe out the ignorance of Arjuna at the outset of the battle.

According to museum curator Rajesh Purohit, in his eternal message, Lord Krishna taught how to attain enlightenment and the Krishna Museum set up in this historical town serves as a platform to present and preserve the ideals of Lord Krishna.

Founder chairman of the Kurukshetra Development Board (KDB) and two time interim Prime Minister Gulzari Lal Nanda conceived the idea of establishing a museum here in 1987. The KDB had set up the Krishna Museum in a small manner in a hall, which is now christened as lecture hall.

The museum was shifted to the present building in 1991, and in 1995, a new block was added to it. Each of the artifacts, collected from various parts of the country, is a masterpiece and unique in its own for its delicacy and intricacy of workmanship. The collection includes ancient objects as well as traditional art pieces.

The museum has six galleries, three each in two blocks where one finds exquisite wooden panels, wood coverings, ivory works, bronze casting, palm- leaf etching, miniature paintings, applique works from Orissa and Gujarat, stone sculpture from Haryana tableaux of papier-mâché and clay models, depicting the scenes from the Bhagwata and Mahabharata.

The most curious gallery indeed is the archaeological section where the rare findings of the sunken city of Dwaraka are displayed. The antiquities recovered from the underwater excavation include potteries, bangles, conches, a steatite sealing, showing a composite zoomorphic figures of a goat, unicorn and bull.

The archaeological gallery also contains the collection of stone sculptures, speaks volume about the glorious past of the state beginning from 1st Century BC to 12th Century AD.

Some of the rare collections of Pahari paintings have been housed in the miniature painting section. This gallery has an octagonal parapet wall, which displays huge murals, depicting the episodes from the Mahabharata, executed in Pattachitra, a traditional folk painting style of Orissa. The tableau section is the most popular gallery. These tableaux are fabricated both in clay and papier-mâché. The mannequins representing various characters of the Mahabharata attired in colourful costumes and dazzling jewellery add beauty to the whole environment.



Inside Babudom
All set for reshuffle at the top
Shubhadeep Choudhury
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 9
Two senior bureaucrats of the state will be retiring from service by the end of next month, necessitating reallocation of portfolios among the administrative secretary level officers of the state.

While Prem Prashant, chief secretary, retires this month, Naseem Ahmed, who held the post of vice-chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University before he returned to Haryana, retires on September 30. Dalip Singh, secretary of the animal husbandry department, also recently got empanelled for posting as a joint secretary with the central government. His exit to Delhi will create another vacancy in the top rung bureaucracy. Who succeeds Prem Prashant as the chief secretary is still very much in the realm of speculation. It is not so in the case of Ahmed, who is now the principal secretary, environment.

In all likelihood, D.S. Dhesi, secretary in the town and country planning department, will get the additional charge of environment after Ahmed retires from service. Dhesi, who has the rare distinction of remaining a part of the Chief Minister’s office in two successive governments, once again proved his mettle as an officer by being chosen for heading the very important town and country planning department.

Importantly, Dhesi also continues to remain the chairman of the Haryana State Pollution Board Control, which is a deviation from the policy introduced by the Hooda regime. The government had passed an order that in the absence of any government order appointing someone as the chairman of a board or a corporation, the administrative secretary of the department controlling the board or corporation will function as the chairman of the board or corporation concerned.

Following this principle, the first chairman of the Pollution Control Board (PCB) in the Hooda regime was Samir Mathur, who was also the principal secretary, environment. R.R. Fuliya succeeded Mathur as secretary, environment and chairman, PCB. Later, Fuliya was shifted to the printing and stationery department and Dhesi, who was at that time secretary, cooperation, was given additional charge of secretary, environment, and chairman, PCB. Subsequently, Naseem Ahmed became the principal secretary, environment, but the post of chairman of the PCB did not go to him. Dhesi has vast experience in the environment department and his retention as chairman, PCB, is said to be an acknowledgement of this fact. It is also an indication that Dhesi is likely to get the charge of secretary, environment.



Malls everywhere, parking nowhere
Ramandeep Singh
Tribune News Service

Karnal, August 9
The mushrooming of malls has brought with it numerous problems, particularly inadequate parking space that forces visitors to park their vehicles on the roads in haphazard and dangerous manner.

The owners of these gigantic shopping complexes are keen to provide their customers a new shopping experience, but they are least bothered to provide a decent parking space for their vehicles.

Vishal Retail, which opened its mall right on the NH-1, near the new grain market here, is a prime example of this. During the weekend, the mall’s miniscule parking area gets full in no time and even though an adjoining showroom has provided its premises for the parking of vehicles, still a good number of vehicles is parked on the NH-1, which is one of the busiest in the country.

Vehicles on this road move at breakneck speed and in case of an emergency these vehicles have nowhere to stop, as the road in the front of the mall is being used as a parking space.

Admitting the fact that the mall does not have adequate parking space, administrative manager of Vishal Mart Shamsher Singh said they did not encourage people to park their vehicles on the road. But a tour of the mall proved otherwise. Assistant manager Neeraj Vijjan took this correspondent on tour of the adjoining areas and these included the service area of the adjoining automobile showroom, which is full of servicing material and machines, and the backside of the showroom where two huge generators are installed. The mall itself has no earmarked parking area.

Meanwhile, Rajpal Singh, AIG, Traffic and Highways, said, “I have already taken up the matter with the National Highways Authority of India and also told them that the contractors, who are entrusted with removing illegally parked vehicles, are not doing their job properly and needed to be pulled up”.

SSP A.S. Chawla said people who park their vehicles on the highway were liable to be prosecuted. He said the police had also cautioned the mall management that action would be taken against them if the situation worsened.


Row over building plan

District town planner Narender Solanki said the site where Vishal Mart stood was approved by the Municipal Committee way back in 1999, for opening a vehicle showroom and the owners did not have permission to convert it into a mall.

“We have already written to the MC to cancel the mart’s building plan, but no action has been taken so far,” he said.

When contacted, estate officer Satbir Ahlawat admitted that the MC had received a letter from the Town and Country Planning Department.

“When the building plan was passed, the rule was that no building should be built within 30 m of the highway, but now according to a ruling of the Supreme Court, no structure should be within 50 m of the highway,” he said, adding that the MC would take action as soon as possible.



New tourism policy on the anvil
Nishikant Dwivedi
Tribune News Service

Yamunanagar, August 9
The state government is working on a new tourism policy, which aims at starting a new phase of “brand tourism and tourism marts” in the state.

Stating this, tourism and forest minister Kiran Chaudhary said a site had been selected in the district for setting up a tourist centre at a cost of Rs 70 crore. The centre would come up on 10 acres along the Hathnikund barrage in Khizrabad here.

The barrage itself is a big tourist centre. The Yamuna water is distributed to five states, Haryana, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh, from the barrage. The Kalesear forest is, however, barred for the general public.

The minister said the centre would be developed on public-private participation (PPP) model. This would be the first such project in the state where private participation had been allowed and tenders would be floated soon, said sources.

An official of the tourism department said Madhya Pradesh and Kerala had succeeded in marketing their tourism potential and Haryana, too, would be starting “brand tourism” soon.

The minister also ordered forest officials to erect gates and strengthen the roads of the forest. She reiterated that the government was committed to increase the forest cover in the state and as many as 4 crore saplings would be planted during the current year.

Chaudhary said there was a ban on all types of mining and crushing activities around 1 km area of the silence zone of the Kalesar forest. Earlier, the district administration had formed special teams to check illegal mining in the Yamuna area and cases against two miners had been registered.

Chaudhary also issued orders for the sterilisation of monkeys in the forest to control their population.



Sirsa farmer’s battle against congress grass
Kiran Deep
Tribune News Service

Sirsa, August 9
The large-scale growth of Congress grass (Parthenium) here has turned out to be a cause of concern for causing health problems to villagers, besides posing a threat to domestic and stray animals in the district.

The situation is getting worst with the wild growth increasing everywhere, be it parks, roadsides, fields, uncultivated lands, bus stands and open space.

While the authorities are yet to wake up to control the menace, a farmer, Ramji Jaimal of Dabri village, 13 Km from here, is a lone fighter who is promoting the use of Mexican beetle for Congress grass suppression for the past three years. He achieved success not only in a portion of the district but in other parts of the state as well. He also helped residents of the neighbouring districts of Punjab to get rid of the weed. But he could not make a large-scale effort due to the lack of any assistance.

Jaimal began finding ways to fight the menace way back in October 2005, when an old man of his village fall sick with skin allergy. It was later known that the grass caused the allergy. Thereafter, Jaimal started consulting medicos and scientists to find out the solution. Initially, he sprayed pesticides and salt to remove the weed, but it failed to yield results.

“I even met a scientist in Bangalore who knew the use of beetles to destroy Congress grass, but he did not help me. Finally, I got help from two scientists Dr Gautam and Dr D.P. Jai Kumar of the Indian Agriculture Research Institute, New Delhi, who provided me details and Mexican beetal to get rid of the weed,” Jaimal said.

He alleged that the administration failed to come to the rescue of the people of more than 20 villages who were facing severe skin problems.

Jaimal said instead of cooperation he was facing opposition from some of the villagers and officials who were skeptical about the use of beetles for destroying Congress grass, fearing that it would damage other crop as well.



High-tension wires spark tempers
Raman Mohan
Tribune News Service

Hisar, August 9
The high-tension wires passing over the residential areas have given rise to a controversy following the death of a youth due to electrocution in the Mill Gate area here last week.

The youth was electrocuted when he came in contact with the high-tension wires passing over his house. Earlier, his brother, too, had a similar accident, but he escaped with some injuries. Following the death, the public outrage led to the registration of criminal cases against three officials of the Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (DHBVN) on the complaint of the family members.

While residents of such colonies want the lines be shifted immediately, power utility officials have asked the owners to modify their structures to maintain distance from the power lines as prescribed in the Indian Electricity Rules, 1956.

Even as the debate goes on, the DHBVN has appointed special teams to inspect all high-tension wires and find out if the residents had built or altered their houses after getting the required approval. Quoting the provisions of the rules, the utility has decided to issue notices to all violators.

Enquiries reveal that people tend to buy plots in such areas because of low rates, ignoring the dangers involved. In most cases, the minimum distance between the structure and the power line is not maintained. Later, when a tragedy occurs the public blames the power utility.

The controversy also has another dimension. Officials of the DHBVN and the district police have locked horns after the latter registered a case against the power utility officials.

The DHBVN has responded by cutting off power supply to several police posts in the town that had been illegally drawing power directly from the supply lines. The DHBVN has also lodged complaints against seven policemen in this connection.

However, the authorities deny that the disconnection of power supply to the police posts was in anyway connected to the registration of cases against its three officials. They maintain that the theft of power was detected during routine checking which is a continuing process.

They say the recent amendments to the Electricity Act has made it mandatory for the power utility officials to lodge a formal complaint of theft of power with the police.



‘Outsourcing’ traffic control
Vishal Joshi
Tribune News Service

Panipat, August 9
The district police has found a novel way to control the traffic near the Panipat bus stand. In a bid to avoid performing duty on hot summer days, policemen depute private security guards, who are on duty at the flyover project, to man the traffic on one of the busiest roads of the country.

In the absence of sufficient policemen to control the traffic near the bus stand, the stretch on NH-1 has become an accident-prone area.

One can find that most of the time, particularly between noon till evening, personnel of a private security agency on duty at the construction site, are made to man the traffic by the traffic police deputed there.

It is observed that the security guards, wearing grey uniform, are unable to regulate the traffic, as commuters get confused over the uniform of the guards.

Another problem that adds to the traffic chaos near the bus stand is the unauthorisied stoppage of buses on the GT road. Due to the location of the bus stand on the national highway, drivers prefer halting the buses outside the bus stand to drop or pick the passengers.

Officials admit that the traffic chaos near the bus stand is due to poor planning by not looking for an alternative site for the bus stand.



Relief package for sugar mills
Naveen S Garewal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 9
The state government has decided to stop unconditional support to loss-making cooperative sugar mills in the state. As part of financial rehabilitation plan, the government has taken a decision to convert the outstanding government loan and interest thereon into share capitals of the mills, thereby helping in reducing the interest liability in future.

Eight of the 12 cooperative sugar mills in the state have accumulated negative net worth, with Rs 364.71 crore outstanding loans.

The decision has been taken to convert all government loan procured up to the 2006-2007 financial year into share capital and waive off the interest on these loans. Two of the 12 mills in the state, located at Bhuna and Sirsa, have already gone into liquidation. The mill at Shahabad has, however, managed to payback the government loan along with interest. In terms of the remaining nine cooperative sugar mills, a plan has been prepared to convert Rs 284.62 crore-loan into share capital and to waive off interest of Rs 181.86 crore as a last bid to help these mills get back on their own feet. Agriculture minister H.S Chatha, says the move has been initiated with the hope that these cooperative sugar mills will manage to come of their negative net worth and arrange funds from other resources.



Deluge rebuts Faridabad admn’s claim
Ravi S Singh
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, August 9
The claim of the district authorities on sound flood control measures for the city proved hollow after the arrival of monsoon in the region.

While major areas of the city remained submerged, a good part of it presented a pathetic look with roads remaining knee-deep waterlogged during rainy days.

This should be seen in the context that all districts in the state have taken mandatory flood control measures before the onset of the monsoon.

The sorry state of affairs of the city continues despite Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda emphasising in his public speeches on developing the industrial city’s infrastructure.

Name any area, including the areas around the mini-secretariat and the office of the Municipal Corporation of Faridabad (MCF), and they are found waterlogged during monsoon.

Mayor Brahmvati Kahatana, who denies the fact that major portion of the city remained water-logged, said remedial measures like laying new sewer system was being actively considered.

Leave old colonies alone, the so-called posh areas of the city had more than a handful of the problem of water logging. For instance, the Goodyear road had knee-deep water during the last spell of rain.

The worst sufferers appeared to be the older colonies like Janata colony, Parvatiya colony, Dayanagar, Chhatisgaj, Sanjay colony, Dabua colony, NIT (2) and Oriya colony.

In nearby Ballabgarh, some of the worst suffering colonies are Aaji, Subash colony, Adarsh Nagar, Bhagat Singh colony and Milk Plant road. There are more than 100 unauthorised colonies in Faridabad and Ballabgarh that have the problem of water logging even during moderate rainfall.

The problem agitated the residents of Janata Colony, which is just 2 km away from the MCF headquarters. The residents had staged a protest by blocking traffic in protest against the alleged apathy of the authorities.

According to the residents, the main reason for water logging is the lack of master drainage system. The existing network of sewer is faulty and remains choked.



Woes of historical city Panipat

The historical city of Panipat, a premier town of Haryana, has virtually became a vast garbage depot of its own kind. Almost every inch of the city is covered with heaps of filthy garbage, emanating foul smell, besides being a breeding ground for mosquitoes and files.

The roads of the city are no better than dirty streets, dotted with potholes that take the form of little ponds in the rainy season. Even a little spell of rain turns them into streams bogged with dirty water, which flows into the houses even in the newly created posh colonies and sectors. The main roads of the city are all choked with vendors. Traffic jams are routine and the worst sufferer is the common man. The municipal authorities have no time to look at these issues.

Nidhi Malhotra

Poor sanitation

Haryana is one of the few state economies that has grown at a high rate generally exceeding the national growth rate since 1999-2000 with average close to 7 per cent. The state also has the distinction of having all kinds of physical infrastructure. Paradoxically, one finds that with all these infrastructural facilities, the state still ranks low in terms of many social developmental indicators. The same is true for the provision of sanitation and drainage facilities.

In rural Haryana, only 28 per cent of its households have toilets. A large number of its population prefers to defecate in the open, which is a serious health hazard and provision of sanitation in rural Haryana needs to be taken as a challenging task as it involves a change in total mind-set of its patriarchal set-up.


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