Diarrohea outbreak in Ambala 
Residents blame it on official apathy
Rahul Das

Tribune News Service
Ambala, September 20
The recent incident of diarrohea outbreak has exposed the extent of unhygienic condition in Ambala Sadar. While four persons have died, more than 150 persons have been admitted to the civil hospital, Ambala Cantt. All of them are residents of Old Aloo Godam and the adjoining areas.

The authorities do not seem to have learnt any lesson from the recent diarrohea outbreak in Nurpur village in the Naggal area. More than 400 villagers had complained of diarrohea and vomiting. The outbreak has been attributed to a leakage in the main pipeline where it passes through the village pond.

A visit to the Aloo Godam area showed that the drains are choked and they have not been cleaned for weeks together. Local residents say despite repeated requests, the authorities failed to get the drains cleaned. Similar problems are being faced in the outer areas of Ambala Sadar where drains remain choked and the situation worsens during rainy season.

The diarrohea outbreak has caught the officials napping. The administrative machinery swung into action only after it learnt that three persons died due to the disease. Checking of water supply, cleaning the area and other such exercises are being undertaken.

Deputy commissioner Mohammad Shayin took serious note of the Nurpur village incident and ordered the registration of a case against three officials. "An FIR has been registered against the SDO, JE and pump operator," he said.

Mohammad Shayin said a cleanliness drive was being carried out in the affected areas and 50 persons had been temporarily employed for carrying out the job. "We will also carry out cleanliness drive in the adjoining villages,” he said.

The deputy commissioner said the situation was now under control. “I have appealed to the local people to not to use polythene bags as it choke the drains,” he stated.

Meanwhile, the water supply situation in villages in the district seems to be far from satisfactory that leads to villagers to use shallow hand pumps. For instance, in Samalkha village, out of three pumps, only two are operational. The situation is similar in Haldheri, Nauhani, Kharukhera, Mithapur, Gokalgarh and Langarchanni villages. 



 Suicides in armed forces
Crash course for top brass
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Gurgaon, September 20
In view of the high number of suicides in the armed forces, a special weeklong course in management for the top ranking (above Brigadier level) officers is being started at Management Development Institute (MDI), Gurgaon.

The officers would be imparted training in the latest management techniques, including man management, resource management and other management skills, which could be utilised by them in their day-to-day working.

One of the faculty member of the MDI informed that the strength of the army personnel in the course would be larger as compared to officers of the naval and air force.

MDI Director Dr Sujit K. Basu said the Defence Ministry had given the approval and the course was likely to commence from next month.

He told that a request for initiating the course had been received from the Army Training Command, Shimla. He said the module of the course had been specially designed to facilitate the top brass, as they could not attend a long duration course.

A retired army official said with the introduction of management course, the top officials would be able to learn new acumens to manage their subordinates, but if such course were introduced for junior and middle ranking officers it would greatly help the defence system.

He said such programmes were the need of the hour as there was a lack of proper management in the Army. It would help in containing the increasing graph of suicide cases in the armed forces.

He said in the past few years there had been a number of cases where a junior had killed his senior official. Like other professions, defence management also needed to brush up their skills to handle the personnel at every level, he added.



 Modern industrial estate for Rohtak
Sunit Dhawan
Tribune News Service

Rohtak, September 20
With a view to providing better facilities to the local industry, the Haryana government has decided to hand over the 30-year-old Industrial Development Centre (IDC) here to the Haryana State Industrial Development Corporation (HSIDC). The move is expected to give an impetus to the small-scale industry.

At the same time, it has also been decided to develop the old IDC and the proposed industrial hub (new IDC) into an integrated modern estate for industries on 152 acres. This will be the first integrated modern industrial estate of its kind in the state and is expected to cost Rs 35 crore to the exchequer.

Disclosing this here today, deputy commissioner R.S. Doon informed that Rs 26 crore would be spent on the new IDC and Rs 7 crore on the old IDC and both would be collectively developed into the integrated modern estate for industries. Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda is expected to lay the foundation stone of the proposed estate on September 28.

The deputy commissioner said the development of the modern industrial estate would also benefit persons manufacturing goods in their houses. “Such persons running small-scale and cottage industries may also get plots to set up their industrial units at the industrial estate,” he added. Doon said a 60-metre road connecting Hisar Road and Bhiwani Road would also be made to provide better access to the industrial estate. The project also envisages the provision of basic amenities like water, power and sewerage facilities. State Industrial Institute managing director Rajiv Arora and HSIDC director Desh Raj Dhingra had recently visited the local IDC and discussed the problems of the industries’ association at a meeting. They were accompanied by the local deputy commissioner.

Following this, the senior officials apprised the Chief Minister of the situation. Hence, to ensure better management and maintenance of the IDC, the Chief Minister decided to hand it over to the HSIDC.



  State’s musical past out of tune
Bijendra Ahlawat
Tribune News Service

Jind, September 20
Haryana may be a leading agricultural state in the country with a majority of population still dependent on farming sector, but a very few know that the farming community here had another heart which was fond of music and cultural feast.

It is for this reason that several villages in Jind district had been named after “ragas” and musical instruments. These include Jaijaivanti, Ramkali, Deshkhera, Mallvi, Khamjkhera, Pillukhera, Malsari khera, Malhar, Khambavati, Lalitkhera, Sindhvikhera, Jhaanj, Pega, Bhairon khera, Alewa, and Taloda.

It is said that the names of these villages were given some 200-250 years ago, when Raja Gajpat Singh was the ruler of Jind estate and whose reign was spread over various districts, including Bhiwani, Kaithal and Karnal.

Though love for art and music had receded in the past several years, there are still some families who have been engaged in their traditional work of preparing parts of musical instruments and helping in carrying on the old legacy.

The district has also been a source of the production of metallic reeds, used to produce the sound of sargam in instruments like harmonium. Some Sikh families based at Safidon have been engaged in the production of reeds, which are not only sent to distant places in the country but also exported.

Experts say since harmonium is a western instrument, reeds were imported from Germany and France prior to the Independence, but these got manufactured locally since then. Reeds are now manufactured at only three places in North India i.e. Tanda in Jalandhar district of Punjab and Jind and Panipat districts of Haryana.

But the financial condition of the people engaged  in making reeds is very poor, as there has been no support from the government in either procurement of material or marketing of the product, claimed an artist.

Several traditional musical instruments made or recovered from the district and nearby places have been kept at Jayanti Archeological Museum set up here recently.

Dev Raj Sirohiwal, a local resident and collector of artifacts, has donated instruments from his collection to the museum.

The instruments displayed in the museum include deru, sarangi, been, harmonium, sitar, ektaara, mandolin, violin, folk guitar and nakari.

This nakari is over 125 years old. The sarangi here is also about 100 years old and was recovered from Kharak Punia village of Hisar district.

Claming that the musical legacy of the state is very rich, Sirohiwal says the government must take measures to ensure its survival in the larger interest of the people, who, he says, are turning to other mediums of entertainment in view of low focus on our cultural heritage.



  Website on Panipat rural belt soon
Vishal Joshi
Tribune News Service

Panipat, September 20
Aimed at bringing about transparency in the allocation and disbursement of development funds to the tune of crores of rupees meant for the rural areas of the district, the Panipat administration has initiated a maiden project to offer online information without any charges.

Sharing details of the project with The Tribune here, ADC Amit Aggarwal said the new website would contain information about the working of the district rural development authority (DRDA).

Being the ex-officio chairman of the DRDA, the ADC claimed the website would be the first of its kind in the state with an exclusive focus on the rural belt. The website, www.drdapanipat.org.in, which is under construction, was expected to be launched in the next few days, he added.

He said that once the full information was uploaded, an individual could get details of various development activities, official grants, etc. It was aimed at bringing about more transparency as one need not to apply under the RTI to seek information on public funds utility in the rural areas of Panipat.

Besides information on state-funded projects, details about central projects ,including the Indira awas yojna and the rural employment guarantee scheme, would also be posted on the site. The online information would make the village panchayats more accountable as complaints regarding the work of contractors executing development projects were common in various villages, he added. Villagers could also ensure that muster rolls were maintained for every piece of work separately. One could also download application forms for electric motors, loans for solar systems,etc. Also, the DRDA would invite online complaints, said Dr Aggarwal. 



citizen first
Stinking bus stands

The sanitary conditions of the bus stands in the state are pathetic. The urinals and toilets are not properly maintained and stinking at most of the bus stands. The hygiene standards at the footstalls and tea stalls are worst.

 One such place is Pipli bus stand on the NH-1. A large number of buses halt there for refreshments. But there is litter all over the place and the passengers are forced to urinate in the open because of poor maintenance of toilets. There is foul smell all around. The food is served in unhygienic conditions. The contractors earn lakhs of rupees, but they do not take care to clean the premises. 

The passengers are helpless as the bus drivers and conductors halt the buses at the selective places only where they get freebies. The authorities must take care of the sanitary conditions at all bus stands and ensure that the eatables are kept and served in hygienic conditions.

Puran Singh Assistant professor HIRD, Nilokheri 

Police excesses

The recent incident of police action on students of Blind School, Panipat, is condemnable. The police personnel responsible for this act must be punished so that such incidents are not repeated in future. Whatever the circumstances, the visually challenged should be handled with extra grace and care. They deserve affection and compassion, not cane charges. Even bits of excesses on their part should be tolerable. In an acutely critical position as they are, they deserve sympathy and toleration.

Nidhi Malhotra Lecturer, I.B. College, Panipat

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 the officialdom. Send in write-ups, not exceeding 200 words, to Haryana Plus, The Tribune, Sector 29, Chandigarh. E-mail: adalat@tribunemail.com



 Inside Babudom
Archives dept remains neglected
Shubhadeep Choudhury
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 20
Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda has rightly revoked the suspension of IAS officer Harbakhsh Singh, commissioner, archives department. The Chief Minister made it clear yesterday that he had already forgotten the incident of the officer’s absence in an important meeting. “His niece was ill, you see”, Hooda said.

IAS officers of the state have been critical about the step in private conversations. The incident, which outraged Hooda, unfolded like this: There was an important meeting on the commemoration of the 1857 revolt. The Chief Minister is interested in having some programmes to celebrate the event. Harbakhsh Singh had asked director S.N. Roy to attend the meeting, as his niece was ill. The meeting was postponed. Roy did not turn up when the meeting was finally held on September 11. He was reported to be ill. Harbakhsh Singh was still looking after the child. The axe fell on the latter, who was suspended and then reinstated after four days.

Someone unfamiliar with the ways of the government may get the impression that archives department is playing a key role in planning the celebrations of the historical event. It is, however, not the case in Haryana. The archives department was not even called when another meeting on the celebrations was held on May 7 under the chairmanship of the then education minister Phool Chand Mullana. The public relations and cultural affairs department will run the 1857 show while the archives department, traditionally a neglected department in Haryana, will be simply asked to help them.

It is another thing that the department has an excellent collection of materials, which are kept in good condition in the space allotted to the department in a building belonging to the irrigation department at Panchkula. The collection is particularly rich with regard to the period covering the decline of the Moghuls and the establishment of British supremacy in the region. The revolt is very much a part of the repertoire of the archives.

On its own the archives department is publishing a book and planning to get a documentary done on the scene in Haryana in 1857. The book will be soon out but the same is not the case with the film. This is because the public relations department is also planning to make a documentary on the same subject.



  Shortage of doctors plagues hospitals 
Bijendra Ahlawat
Tribune News Service

Jind, September 20
The shortage of qualified doctors in government hospitals here is hitting poor patients hard. As many as 52 posts of doctor are lying vacant in the district. However, health officials claim that despite the shortage, the work is going on smoothly.

Safidon, a subdivisional town, and Julana, a tehsil headquarters, which have a Civil Hospital and a Community Health Centre (CHC), respectively, have no full-time doctor to attend to patients.

While Safidon subdivision has a population of about one lakh, the CHC at Julana caters to the population of about 40 villages falling in the block.

“Due to the problem, residents here have to turn to private hospitals and clinics, which fleece them,” said Jagmesh Sindhu, a member of the Zila Parishad, Jind.

He said despite the fact that the CHC at Julana had been in existence for about 25 years, the department had not been able to provide the full strength of doctors so far.He said there was a shortage of drugs and patients had to procure these mainly from the market.

He said doctors did not attend their duties regularly and local residents had brought the matter to the notice of the authorities. The issue of shortage of doctors and their absence from duty, especially those posted in rural pockets, had also come up during the meeting of the Zila Parishad on various occasions. Against the sanctioned strength of five doctors, the CHC, Julana, has none at present.



  Yoga boy owes his flexibility to fixed regime
Nishikant Dwivedi
Tribune News Service

Yamunanagar, September 20
A 22-year-old local lad has become famous as “rubber boy" in the region for his skills in yoga.Subhash, who is doing post graduation in physical education from Guru Nanank Khalsa College here, has won several gold medals at national and international levels.

"He has a great flexibility in his body which is quite amazing,” claims B.S. Dhillon, principal of the college.

Subhash says he was a student of local Government School where yoga coach Kiran Gulati of sports department selected him among others. “I was in class V at that time and started practicing since that day,” recalls Subash, who belongs to a poor family. His mother Pushpa Rani and elder brother Naresh Kumar motivated him to do yoga.

“I was not able to win any contest even after eight years of hard practice. I even started thinking of leaving it,” he says. “In 1999-2000 state yoga championship held at Kaithal, I had a last chance to participate in 11-14 years age group, but I failed again. At that time my coach Kiran Gulati motivated me and asked me to practice with even more dedication.”

His efforts and dedication paid and he won a bronze in 2001 school national games. In 2003, he won a gold in all India inter-university competition. Then came a silver medal in a championship held in Spain when he was in B.Sc.-I (sports science).

In 2004, Subhash was declared the best sportsman of Kurukshetra University and was honoured with the Governor Award. In 2005, he won one gold and one silver medal in world championship held in Italy. In 2006, Subhash won two silver medals and one bronze medal in world cup held in Delhi.

"Bhupinder Singh Jauhar, chairman of the Guru Nanak Khalsa education institutions, did every thing for my career and education. He gave me financial as well as moral support,” says Subhash.

The “rubber boy” says due to conflict among various yoga federations, the players are facing a lot of problems and the government is also not encouraging the sport.



  Plantation drive turns into mass movement
Nishikant Dwivedi
Tribune News Service

Yamunanagar, September 20
The Haryana Environmental Society (HES) has been successful in involving more than 10,000 people from all walks of life in its tree plantation drive during the past 12 years. Today, there are more than 30,000 grown up trees of more than 60 varieties in the district planted under the aegis of the society. The HES had managed plantation of more than 46,000 saplings with a very high rate of survival.

President of the HES S.L Saini, who is a lecturer in MLN College here, ensures that none of the saplings get damaged and it grows into a full-fledged tree. "I had started this project with Rs 15,000 and with the help of a few friends,” recollects professor Saini, also known as the “green man”.

He has succeeded in his efforts because he makes sure that every sapling grows and if a sapling is damaged, he ensures that it gets replaced immediately.

He has also employed a photographer, who keeps roaming in Jagadhri and Yamunanagar to click pictures of trees which people damage or fell for petty interests. “I had made several representations to the authorities concerned when trees were cut or damaged, but no one bothered to take action,” complains Saini.

He had also filed a public interest litigation in the Punjab and Haryana High Court and the court had directed the municipal councils and corporations to ensure that trees planted in their areas be given protection and looked after in a proper way.

“Even after the court orders no one bothers to book the culprits,” rues Saini.

Recently, the Yamunanagar MC gave a notice to the society for the alleged violation of the advertisement bylaws. Private companies that donate tree guards to the HES had displayed their advertisements on it. “The HES depends on public for funds and several companies which had donated tree guards pasted advertisements on it. Now, we are going to remove the advertisements,” he says.

Saini planted his first sapling in 1996. Today, the HES has grown into a full-fledged movement. It has planted trees in Yamunanagar, Ambala and Panchkula districts.

Saini has adopted a novel way to exhort people to plant trees. He approaches a family if there is a marriage or birth in the family and makes it plant a sapling. He also motivates people to plant saplings on various national or international days.

The principal of his college, Dr Ramesh Kumar, too, has done his bit by providing him a nursery in the college hostel.

Saini has also set up several parks in the district with the help of the public. 



  No takers for govt’s dairy shifting scheme 
Ravi S. Singh
Tribune News Service

Ballabgarh (Faridabad), September 20
The government's scheme to shift dairies out of this town to ensure its cleanliness has run into rough weather as the dairy owners have turned their back to it.

A large number of dairy owners who were allotted plots in the modern dairy complex in Mirzapur village, about 5 km from here, to shift their unit out of the town, have either sold them or let it out on rent. Rather, they have re-established their business in the town like before, giving a thumbs down to the government. The dairy units were shifted for about two months and they returned back to towns.

The complaint of the dairy owners was that they were losing out on their business as customers found these dairies to be far off.

The government had devised a scheme for the cities and towns of the state, especially those in the National Capital Region (NCR), to shift the existing dairy units at distant places.

A state-of-the-art dairy complex was set up by the state in Mirzapur having 112 plots of sizes ranging from 100 sq yards to 333 sq yards.

Significantly, dairy units are functioning in the complex by persons who were not the original allotees of the plots.

The return of the original allottees with their business in the township has once again thrown up the civic problem. A large number of new operators have also set up units here.

The result of the ugly development is that the sewerage system has gone for a six as the dairy units release dung and filth. Also, the owners of the units throw dung on the streets. Also, they consume most of the water supplied by the Municipal Corporation of Faridabad (MCF).

There are about 50 colonies in this town and a large number of them have dairy units of varying sizes. These units have become a nuisance for the residents. Residents of this area are having a tough time. The residents feel that the colonies are a breeding ground for mosquitoes and like problems.

A number of dairy owners have unity and have developed political links. A councillor of the Municipal Corporation of Faridabad (MCF), who is responsible to remove the units from the township, is not doing much because his son runs one of the largest dairy unit in the Mahavir Colony. Authorities also challenged the unit, which has more than 25 buffaloes. 



 Citizens’ Grievances
Building plan not approved

The state government has been stressing upon and asking the plot holders to construct houses. I own plot no. 1008 in Sector 23-A, Gurgaon, and wanted to start construction at the earliest. I submitted the building plan with HUDA office, Gurgaon, in November 2006, but despite follow up time and gain, I could not get the plan approved. While the district town and planning department blames HUDA for not providing the required information, HUDA officials fail to give any satisfactory reply. I request the administrator, HUDA, to look into the matter and get my building plan approved at the earliest to enable me to start construction work.

Aditya A. Gaur Plot no. 1008, Sector 23 A, Gurgaon

Title deeds not released

I mortgaged the title deeds of my property with Punjab National Bank, Sector 22, Chandigarh, against a loan. I repaid the loan and the no objection certificate was issued by the bank on 19.04.2003, but the title deeds were not released. I reported the matter the higher authorities of the bank, but to no avail. I also approached the banking ombudsman in Sector 17, Chandigarh, but nothing helped. More than four years have passed and I am yet to get the title deeds back.

Joginder Kumar Singal, Kalka



Pension plan boon for poor 
Sunit Dhawan
Tribune News Service

Rohtak, September 20
The state government’s Rajiv Gandhi Family Pension Scheme is proving to be a boon for the poor people, especially for the below poverty line (BPL) families. Under the scheme, an amount of Rs 1 lakh is given to the family in the event of accidental death of its earning member.

Congress MP Deepender Singh Hooda stated this while distributing cheques amounting to Rs 1 crore to 103 kin of mishap victims. A brief ceremony was organised by the district administration in this regard at the local Canal Rest House here recently.

Deputy commissioner R.S. Doon revealed that Rs 2.28 crore had been provided in 2006-07 to as many as 228 families of the district whose earning members had been killed in accidents.

As per the provisions of the scheme, if any person (male or female) aged between 18 and 60 years is killed in a mishap, his/her family will get a compensation of Rs 1 lakh. But to get this amount, postmortem report of the deceased, registration of an FIR and issuance of death certificate are mandatory. The compensation under the scheme is given in case of death caused in road or rail accident or due to lightning, snakebite, animal attack or while using some agricultural equipment.

If the deceased belongs to a BPL family bearing yellow ration card, his family gets an additional amount of Rs 10,000 under the National Family Welfare Scheme. Moreover, the widow of the deceased in such cases is also entitled to a widow pension as per the government rules. Apart from this, a monthly allowance of Rs 100 each is provided to two children of the deceased.



  Poor storage eats up 30 pc of food
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Gurgaon, September 20
The state governments should promote food-processing units in special economic zones (SEZs) for improving the financial position of the farmers and utilise the bumper produce during the peak season when prices of the crops fall steeply.

Dr Suri Shegal, agricultural scientist, and the founder of NGO Shegal Foundation, reveals that as per the available data, around 30 per cent of the food products go waste annually because of the lack of storage. If states like Haryana and Punjab motivate entrepreneurs to set up food processing units in SEZs, it will make optimum usage of bumper food production, besides generating employment for the local youth.

He says the landholdings are decreasing due to the division of land among the family members. In 1971, the average farm size was 2.28 hectares, which went down to 1.06 hectares in 2002-03. He says 60 per cent of the population is involved in agricultural sector, but the production is stagnant.

Dr Shegal says due to small landholdings farmers are not able to adopt new techniques and modern implements for increasing production. He emphasises the need of water management as the water table is continuously dropping due to excessive extraction.

He says it is surprising that as an agro-based country we still depend on rains and failed to device methods to harness water.

The agriculturist says we should revive our old system of water storage in the rural areas that could be utilised for drinking as well irrigation purposes.

He says if the yield per acre is not increased we would have to import more food grain in the future to meet the need of our growing population. 



 Dhabas catch fancy of Hisar residents
Raman Mohan
Tribune News Service

Hisar, September 20
The dhaba culture is finally catching up with the people of this area as the past few months have seen coming up of several sprawling new dhabas on the outskirts of the city. Till now, there were a few small traditional dhabas on the Sirsa and Rohtak roads (NH-10). There were almost no such eateries on roads leading to Rajasthan. Now, all these roads are dotted with new dhabas modelled more on the Rajasthan pattern where these are called dhanis.

Dhanis are different from traditional dhabas as these occupy more area and have rural themes. The environs are landscaped beautifully and food quality is impeccable. Most have huts for seating families.

Eating out in this area was restricted thus far to affluent families that too in a handful of restaurants in the towns. Eating at dhabas by driving down a few kilometres outside the town was almost non-existent. However, the new dhabas are now giving the city restaurants a run for their money.

The oldest and the most popular dhaba here is still located in a centrally located market. But its patrons are tourists, students, and bachelors. The new trend began a few years ago when buses from Rajasthan en route to Delhi began halting at a dhaba on the outskirts of Hansi, 25 km from here. 

This dhaba maintained its traditional look for several years, but the patronage by Rajasthan buses forced it to expand and model it on the pattern of dhanis. This has triggered a trend resulting in dhani-type dhabas mushrooming on all highways.

Among professionals, local doctors are the single largest group frequenting the dhabas. Most of them get free from work late in the night and a meal with family and friends at a dhaba is their way of relaxing and recharging their energies. Students from two local universities are also thronging these eateries.

A leading local physician, Dr P.S. Verma, says the new dhabas are great places for dinner especially in summers when eating in the open amidst greenery is a very relaxing experience. He says he has never experienced any problems even late at night mainly because the patrons are very decent people.

At the end of the last academic session in April, most of the farewell parties by students of two local universities and numerous colleges were organised at these dhabas, which offered them discounts and also arranged special themes and DJ dance floors. Even ladies’ clubs now prefer to hold its kitty parties in these eating joints.

Socialite Anshu Leekha says these dhabas are a better option for kitty parties for their rates are less than restaurants despite good food and they do not charge rent for the facilities. Of course, the open-air atmosphere is a value addition, she quips.
However, a few dhabas are allowing customers to consume liquor there even though they do not have bar licence. Occasional police raids in the past have landed several well-known professionals in a trouble after they were caught drinking in small groups.



  Ancient site lying neglected
D.R. Vij

Kurukshetra, September 20
The mound, containing 3,500-years-old archaeological relics of the disappeared Aadi Markanda river, situated on the western side of the GT Road near Teoda-Teodi village in Shahabad Markanda block of this district, is lying in a state of neglect.

Commonly known as Teoda Theh, the mound is situated 13 km from Kurukshetra.

Rajesh Purohit, curator, Srikrishna Museum, Kurukshetra, who has studied potsherds of different shapes, colour and fabric collected from the site, says the antiquities unfold new evidences about a disappeared river along the GT Road, which could either be Aadi Markanda or Markanda.

The evidences of Teoda Theh are based on the surface findings of the painted grey ware or the pottery associated with the Mahabharata. Similar findings have also been reported from Bhagwanpura, Daulatpur and Jogana Khera in this district. This discovery will throw light on human habitation that flourished on the banks of the Aadi Markanda. It may also unravel the mystery behind the disappearance of the Saraswati and the Markanda.

The Teoda Theh or Teoda is a huge archaeological mound of 35 ft in height and spread over 25 acres. It encompasses a multicultural deposit of human habitation starting from the painted grey ware culture dated back to 11th century BC up to the Mogul period. The findings show that the mound happened to be a multicultural site bearing human occupation of various periods.

The evidences are mostly bricks and potteries of various periods. Other findings include stone pestle, saddle corn, copper coins etc. The site also shows structural remains of the past. The most important findings of the site are the painted grey ware potteries often associated with the Mahabharata and the Aadi Markanda.

A mighty river along with the combined waters of the present day Satluj and the Yamuna was there as revealed from the satellite images. Probably both the Yamuna and the Satluj captured the waters of Saraswati before it was desiccated. That is why we can corroborate the story of Matsya Purana in which we find that there was a dialogue between Yudhisthira and Rishi Markendya. The dejected Yudhisthira went to Markendya after the Mahabharata battle. The sage advised him to visit Prayaga (Allahabad), the meeting point of the Ganga, Yamuna and the Saraswati, known as Sangam, the ideal place for attaining moksha (salvation).

This story infers the fact that Kurukshetra receded into a lesser important tirtha owing to the desiccation of the Saraswati and its emergence at Prayaga, maintains Rajender Singh Rana, archeologist.

The excavation at Teoda Theh will unfold many other facts and evidences about the ancient civilization that flourished on the banks of the Saraswati.

Thus, this site should be declared a protected site and excavation should be conducted. Most of the valuable antiquities are lying unattended and slowly being destroyed by the ravage of time and clime.



  Stray cattle pose threat to motorists
Sushil Manav

Fatehabad, September 20
The menace of stray animals is continued to haunt the residents of Fatehabad town. Though all kinds of stray animals, including dogs, pigs and donkeys, are seen on the streets and roads, cows are found in abundance.

Stray cows could be seen grazing on garbage and almost everything lying waste. They could also be seen lying on roads, including the NH-10, posing a threat to motorists.

Not a week passes when a motorist or a biker is not injured in accident caused by stray cattle.

The number of stray cattle is increasing with the passage of time, as more and more people of the town and adjoining villages are leaving their cows in the town.

The cows are left to fend for themselves, as keeping cattle has become a loss-making bargain given the hike in prices of fodder. Most of the owners leave their cows when they stop giving milk.

The situation has become assumed alarming proportions that it has forced various social clubs of the town to urge the administration to do something in this regard.

The authorities, who have so far not initiated any step to curb the menace, appear to have realised its gravity after members of the Lions Club, Fatehabad, led by its president Satish Goyal, met deputy commissioner O.P. Sheoran and presented a memorandum in this regard.

Later, the DC called a meeting of the managements of all gaushalas (cowsheds) of the district. He appealed to people not to leave their cattle in the open. He also called on the local residents to adopt a cow by donating Rs 6,000 per year, money required to feed a cow for a year.

Sheoran said a special drive would be launched later in the month to capture stray cows. These cows, he said, would be taken to a big cow shelter to be set up on the Bighar road.

He said names of those who adopt a cow would be inscribed on a tag to be fixed on the ear of the cow and the donors would be able to watch the upkeep of their cows by visiting the cowshed.



  Bulbs replaced with CFLs
Tribune News Service

Hisar, September 20
Employees of the Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (DHBVN) today succeeded in replacing all traditional incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) in the area fed through 11 kV PNB feeder in Faridabad.

A spokesman for the nigam said here that consumers connected to the 11 kV metro feeder, 11 kV Thermal Colony feeder and the 11 kV Agwanpur feeder had already replaced bulbs with CFLs. 

The 11 kV PNB feeder is the fourth 100 per cent CFL feeder in Faridabad.The nigam employees started their campaign in the area last week. They persuaded consumers through door-to-door surveys and offered them CFLs at lower-than-market rates. During the survey, they found that 3,240 CFLs were already in use.



  Nothing urbane about Panipat’s urban estates
Vishal Joshi
Tribune News Service

Panipat, September 20
It is an endless wait for the residents of various urban estates of this township to experience driving on smooth roads.

Potholed and “kutcha” roads filled with stinking water speak volumes of its utter neglect by the HUDA authorities.

Due to poor infrastructure in planned sectors, Model Town has become a preferred place for the residents, who say since the influential reside here the district authorities pay more attention for the upkeep of the area.

As per HUDA rules, the main roads in the sectors should be recarpeted every five years whereas the internal roads should be maintained regularly.But a visit to Sectors, 6, 7, 11 and 12 confirms that roads here require immediate attention. The residents blame HUDA officials for not listening to their long pending demands of repairing all sector roads. 

Kashmiri Lal Chug, a resident of Sector 11, says the poor condition of roads has led to frequent accidents in the area. Due to the damaged roads rainwater remains stagnated, much to the inconvenience of the residents. 

It is more than two years that any roadwork is initiated in any of the urban estates, rues Gulshan Arora, a trader of Sector 12. Residents of upcoming Sectors 6 and 7, too, complain of similar problems. Admitting the complaints, HUDA estate officer Shakti Singh says the work of recarpeting and repair is overdue. 

Due to certain reasons, funds for the purpose are not available, he says, adding that a detailed development works project has been forwarded to the higher authorities and the work is expected to start soon.



  Risking life to catch a bus
Sunit Dhawan
Tribune News Service

Rohtak, September 20
A glance at the scene at any busy bus stop in the town around “chhutti” time of schools would stun even the most capable action directors of Hollywood.

Running after the speeding roadways buses amidst heavy traffic, hopping onto a moving bus, traveling on the rooftop in scorching sun as well as chilly winter, these brave Haryanavi boys can definitely be termed as “real life heroes”.

Boys chasing buses and getting onto the roof of moving overcrowded ones has become such a common sight for the local residents that they hardly bat an eyelid while passing by such a situation.

The women passengers naturally become the victims of the given scenario. “Our predicament at the time of boarding a bus during the rush hours cannot be described in words,” says a university student, who commutes from a nearby township. Seeing, as they say, is believing.

Inquiries made by this correspondent reveal that the shortage of roadways buses is the root cause of the problem. The number of buses, especially during the rush hours, seems grossly inadequate in view of the heavy rush of passengers.

According to insiders, hundreds of Haryana Roadways buses are standing uselessly at different depots across the state due to poor maintenance, staff and other such shortcomings.

To compound the problem, most bus conductors and drivers treat the students as unwelcome guests as they usually travel on passes and refuse to buy tickets even if they do not have one.

This often leads to clashes between the students and roadways staff, with the former being at an advantage because of their being more in numbers. All in all, the issue needs to be addressed at the earliest in the larger interest.



  Survey to check illegal water users soon
Tribune News Service

Yamunanagar, September 20
Consumers of water supply in Yamunanagar town availed the 'waiver of surcharge' scheme on pending bills and paid dues to the tune of Rs 7.5 lakh. However, a large number of defaulters did not avail the scheme and the outstanding on them was more than Rs 9.5 lakhs. 

The water and sanitation department would also start a survey from next month to detect unauthorised (and illegal) water connections, said sources. 

The Haryana government had announced waiver of surcharge and fines on drinking water and sewerage consumers in April. The defaulting consumer was to pay his pending bills in a one-time payment or in three installments to avail the benefit. The waiver was applicable on those who had not paid their bills for several years. 

According to sources in the department, Rs 7.5 lakh was recovered. As many as 225 consumers did not turn up to pay their pending bills. The department has now served notices on them to immediately pay the dues.



  Autorickshaw ride comes cheap, life doesn’t
Rahul Das
Tribune News Service

Ambala, September 20
Though autorickshaws have turned out to be the common man’s transport, its hazards on the road cannot be ignored.

There has been a significant increase in the number of accidents involving autorickshaws. A number of such accidents have taken place on the national highway as well as on the internal roads of Ambala Cantt and Ambala city.

In a recent incident, an overloaded autorickshaw travelling at a high speed had turned turtle on the national highway, injuring a number of passengers. The incident once again brought into focus the risks of traveling in an autorickshaw.

Overloading is a common problem. Rules clearly state that only three passengers are allowed in an autorickshaw. However, passengers are stuffed in these vehicles, with people sitting on the sidebars and even standing at the rear. Besides, one or two persons even share seat with the driver.

Thick smoke billowing from the exhaust pipe of the autorickshaws indicates that pollution emission norms are not being followed.

Despite all hiccups, autorickshaws are the preferred mode of transport as they provide good connectivity within the internal areas of Ambala Cantt and city. Since the internal roads in thickly populated areas are narrow, public buses cannot ply there. Autorickshaws can easily manoeuver through the crowded and narrow lanes.

A transport department official said they carry out periodic checking of autorickshaws. “We penalise the drivers who do not carry proper documentation,” he said.

“Regarding overloading, we keep taking action, but it would be more effective if passengers refuse to board a vehicle whose seating capacity is full. We seek the cooperation of the passengers in this regard,” the official said.

Ekta autorickshaw union president Virender Singh Nikku said the plying of autorickshaws was a challenging task. “Fuel prices are steadily going up in the past and now again the prices are expected to go up, which we cannot straightway pass on to the passengers. It is becoming difficult to take care of one’s family by merely running an autorickshaw,” he said.

Nikku said strict instructions had been given to the autorickshaw drivers to carry complete documents. “We have told them to have a valid insurance. Also, the speed of the auto has to be regulated at 35 km per hour.”

He said they had directed the drivers to desist from overloading. He claimed that they had received permission to carry five passengers instead of three.

He said the models of autos running in Ambala include Nandi, Kranti, Vikram, Kerala and Ape. “I strongly feel that auto companies must come out with more fuel efficient models, which would go a long way in changing the fortunes of the drivers and providing efficient services to the people”.



  Sirsa youths take to smack
Kiran Deep
Tribune News Service

Sirsa, September 20
After poppy husk and opium, now a large number of youths from the district are addicted to smack with its easy availability in the towns of border areas with Rajasthan and the city. Even youths from neighbouring districts of Punjab reach here for drugs.

Despite high cost of the drug, poor villagers are addicted to smack. As a result, in order to finance their habit and lured by the profit in the drug trade, many of them have turned out to be drug peddlers.

About 1 gm of smack costs Rs 400 and is delivered by drug peddlers in small packets in the towns. Drug addicts consume about 2-4 gm of smack every day.

The areas, which have been affected, include Odhan, Dabwali, Kalanwali and Badaguda of the district.

Police sources said high-profile people of the region were involved in the drug trade having networks all over the country and abroad.

Drug peddlers arrested in Delhi during interrogation had said they received their consignments from Sirsa-based drug mafia.

Recently, a youth arrested with 8 gm smack said he had been consuming smack for the past two years, adding that he purchased the drug from the drug peddlers in Dabwali and sometimes from Matili in Rajasthan.



  Working for people’s cause
Satish Seth

Kaithal, September 20
The Om Prakash Jindal Gramin Jan Kalyan Sansthan, set up by Naveen Jindal, Kurukshetra MP, in the memory of his late father and former state power minister O.P. Jindal former, has earned a name in the field of social work. Giving details of various projects undertaken in Yamuna Nagar, Radour, Shahbad, Thanesar, Pehowa, Kaithal, Pai, Pundri and Gulha, Ravi Wadhawan, secretary to Naveen Jindal, said the activities of sansthan included organising free medical check-up camps.

He said during the past three years as many as 378 free eye check-up camps were organised and 16,090 patients were operated upon for cataract removal and free spectacles were given to 59,236 persons.

Three Mobile vans, equipped with latest medical equipments, went from village to village and examined 2,27,864 patients in as many as 2,266 camps where free medicines were also distributed.

The society also took an initiative to construct toilets in the villages and 32,780 toilets have already been constructed.

The President of India had given a national award to this sansthan under the Nirmal Gram Puruaskar Yojna.

Wadhawan said the Jindals also stood for the welfare of the youth. They had opened as many as 80 gyms and distributed 327 cricket kits and 91 volleyball kits among the youths. As many as 3,510 students had been provided scholarships. To make women self-reliant, the society had launched various programmes to provide them training in food processing, handicrafts, tailoring etc.



 Groundwater depletion
Panipat no exception
Vishal Gulati
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 20
The groundwater level in Panipat district is falling at an alarming rate. Excessive pumping of water for drinking and irrigational purposes and wrong urban planning are putting aquifers under stress.

All five blocks of the district have been categorised as “over-exploited” as per the latest assessment of groundwater resources by the Chandigarh-based Central Groundwater Board, which is demanding to notify the district for the regulation of all groundwater abstraction structures.

When the annual extraction of groundwater is more than 100 per cent, it is described as “over-exploited” and there has been a significant decline in water table.

The board carried out the assessment in Panipat, Samalkha, Madlauda, Israna and Bapoli blocks. Board director Anita Gupta says Samalkha block, where the exploitation of groundwater is 177 per cent, has already been notified for groundwater regulation.

“The situation is grim in the entire district. Recent studies reveal that groundwater is declining sharply in the district, especially in Bapoli block. The annual utilisation of water resources in the block is more than 186 per cent. The board is recommending to notify the district so that over-utilisation can be checked,” she explains. The average utilisation of groundwater in the district is 152 per cent, while Ambala district has 76 per cent.

Studies conducted by the board say the depth of water level varies from 1.9 m to 34.6 m during pre-monsoon and 1.06 m to 35 m post-monsoon. The water level is falling at a rate of 2 to 151 cm per year. The maximum fall is observed in Panipat town.



  25 yrs on, Nagina college is where it was
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Nagina, September 20
The state that boosts of imparting quality education to its youth has failed to provide even basic infrastructure in some of the colleges of the Mewat area.

One such college is Government College, Nagina. A student of the college says even the primary schools in the villages have better facilities than those available in their college.

The college was taken over by the state government from a private organisation in 1982. The number of subjects taught in the college has remained the same and no improvement has been made in the infrastructure and to upgrade the faculty of the college.

There are five classrooms out of which two are being utilised for keeping discarded furniture and the students are using one as a gym.

Surprisingly, the college has only one stream to offer to the students, which is Arts with five subjects to opt i.e. economics, political science, history and two compulsory subjects English and Hindi.

The college has a faculty of only seven lecturers. While one lecturer is confirmed, two are on probation and four guest lecturers were appointed recently.

Last year, the government approved a proposal to introduce commerce stream in the college, but the college authorities are still thinking over the proposal.

According to the record, the college has strength of around 545 students, which is the highest in the past 10 years.

On the condition of anonymity a lecturer of the college told this correspondent that regular grants had been allocated to the college for its upgradation, but the head of the institute took least interest to improve the condition of the college. He told that the recent principal took charge on August 20, 2007, and till date he had visited the college only twice.

The lecturer said the college authorities had not filled the regular post of the college librarian for the past 25 years and a class four employee was running the library.

He informed that the government had released a grant of Rs 11 lakh long time back for the construction of an auditorium and Rs 2 lakh for the renovation of sports room. But no concrete step had been taken to implement the order, which shows the carelessness on the part of the management.

The dropout rate of the students of first year is as high as 50 per cent mainly because of the lack of infrastructure and shortage of faculty.

A number of students of the college said they were planning to migrate from the college. They complained that besides poor infrastructure and lack of competent faculty, the college did not have enough options to offer. They said they took admission in this college as merit in other colleges was very high.

One of the students remarked that it was better not to seek higher education than to come to such a backward college.

When contacted, P.S. Sara, officiating principal of the college, said the management was trying its best to upgrade the college.





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