Staff shortage retards health services
Tribune Reporters

Chandigarh, October 25
The state is facing an acute shortage of doctors and paramedical staff. As a result of the shortage, the state government’s plans to provide medical facilities on the doorstep of people, particularly in the rural areas, has suffered a serious set back.

The issue was raised by several MLAs during the last Assembly session also. The members drew attention of the government to the fact that a large number of posts of doctors in rural hospitals had been lying vacant since long.

The functioning of the rural hospitals has always been far from satisfactory. There is an overall shortage of doctors with the health department. Moreover, where doctors are posted they are not able to discharge their duties properly in the absence of supporting staff.

No wonder the doctors posted in the rural areas try to get transferred. Only those doctors remain in the rural areas who cannot manage political patronage.

State health minister Kartar Devi admitted that there were 232 vacant posts of medical officer in the state.

A requisition has been sent to the Haryana Staff Selection Commission for selecting suitable candidates for these posts. The commission has also been requested to fill 23 posts of senior medical officer by direct recruitment, while the process is on to fill 24 posts of senior medical officer through promotion.

The department has also requested the commission to select candidates for 90 posts of pharmacist, 30 posts of radiographers, 197 posts of staff nurse and 175 posts of laboratory technician.

The selection process, sources say, will take time. The government has also authorised the civil surgeons to fill all vacant posts of class-IV employees within next six months.

Jhajjar: The shortage of medical staff and lack of basic facilities in the local civil hospital has been adversely affecting the health

services. While additional workload is taking a toll on the efficiency of the doctors, the patients are forced to turn away and rely upon unqualified doctors and quacks for treatment.

Hospital sources say there are 11 posts of medical officers, but only six doctors are available. Of which, one doctor remains on night duty in emergency and one usually remains busy in courts regarding evidence in one case or the other. Thus, only four doctors are available for patients. On an average 400 patients visit the outdoor patients department (OPD) daily.

Interestingly, even specialists doctors are engaged in different activities. For example, child specialist Dr M.L. Sharma has been deputed at the TB office as its in charge. The posts of gynecologist, skin specialist and ENT specialist are lying vacant.

To make the matters worse, the primary health centres (PHCs) in villages exist only in name. Most of the medical staff posted at the PHCs is deputed at community heath centre citing reasons of acute public interest. It is best known to the senior health officials if they serve any public cause by lifting doctors from remote rural areas. As a result, the patients rush to Jhajjar.

Besides shortage of staff, the hospital also lacks various basic facilities. The patients have to go to private labs for most of the tests, including ultrasound, as the machine is lying defected for about six months. The post of radiologists is also vacant for almost two years.

Senior medical officer Dr Dharambir Nandal says he has already written to the deputy commissioner as well as the higher health authorities regarding these issues.



Test for posts of sub-inspector on Oct 28
Poor logistics may come in handy for candidates
Raman Mohan
Tribune News Service

Hisar, October 25
Thanks to poor arrangements, the Haryana Staff Selection Commission is all set to conduct an almost farcical examination for the selection of sub-inspectors (general line) on October 28.

It is learnt that the commission has planned the whole examination on the basis of the student strength of the schools and colleges where the examination is to be conducted, ignoring the fact that the strength does not necessarily mean the institution has infrastructure for seating as many candidates simultaneously for an examination of this nature.

The examination will be held in Ambala, Karnal, Rewari and Hisar from 11 am to 12.15 pm in about 300 centres most of which are schools.

The glaring discrepancy came to light when commission officials held meetings with the respective heads of the institutions concerned. One such meeting was held here on October 17, where it was pointed out that most of the schools had neither rooms nor furniture to seat 250 to 400 candidates allotted to their centres.

The grimfaced officials then requested the principals to arrange for jute mats and accommodate the number of candidates allotted to their institution since it was too late to make amends.

At this stage, the principals pointed out that since the examination would be conducted on OMR sheets that were scanned for evaluation purposes, without proper tables or at least writing boards the candidates would not be able to mark the answers. The commission officials reportedly remarked that the candidates would manage somehow.

Several experienced teachers then pointed out that since the examination would be conducted with four different set of papers the seating plan had to be prepared in a manner that ensured that two candidates sitting side by side did not have the same set of papers.

To ensure this, normally six candidates are seated in a row. They are given A, B, C, D, A and B sets, respectively, so that the first candidate in the next row does not end with A set which the candidate on his left has. This greatly reduces the seating capacity of a particular room. The principals expressed their inability to conduct the examination in this manner since there were not enough rooms.

The officials have reportedly requested them to somehow hold the examination ignoring this particular seating plan devised especially to check copying. Thus candidates can look forward to some easy help in solving the questions in a large number of centres.

These loopholes in logistics make a mockery of the elaborate instructions issued to the invigilation staff by the commission for the smooth conduct of examinations. The staff has been warned of disciplinary/administrative action in case of any lapse on their part. But the invigilators are wondering whether this would apply to the commission officials who planned the whole exercise!



Fire safety measures
Admn forgets to keep its house in order
Vishal Joshi
Tribune News Service

Panipat, October 25
The district authorities, which are working overtime to nail factory owners for ignoring fire safety measures in their respective units, are themselves blamed for completely overlooking the aspect in various government buildings.

The absence of basic firefighting equipment in various public offices of this industrial township poses a threat to the visitors and numerous records related to the general public stored there.

Following the fire incident in a local factory where 10 workers were charred to death, the state authorities had asked the district administration to ensure that the required safety measures were followed by all factories.

Investigations made by The Tribune reveal that even basic firefighting gadgets, including fire extinguishers and sand buckets, are missing in almost all government offices, including that of the deputy commissioner.

A visit to the offices of prominent public officials in the district, including the DC’s office and camp office, offices of the SDM, city magistrate, excise and taxation, police stations and district courts, besides others reveals that there are no firefighting arrangements.

Though officials in the district administration admit that the absence of firefighting system could be disastrous, they blame the high-ups for ignoring the issue. Officials say in the absence of a secretariat all government offices here are housed in old buildings with no serious efforts being made on fire safety aspect.

The judicial complex, located at Model Town, houses the offices of the SDM, besides subordinate departments of the DC’s office. The crowded campus running from an old complex, has public records, including revenue, licence, motor vehicles, landholdings etc. which are not safe, the officials admit.

Similarly, the offices of the SP and DSPs and police stations are also without firefighting equipment, posing a threat to the records of criminals, and other important documents.



Sanitation drive
Jhajjar village shows the way

Badsa, October 25
This non-descript village located at the far end of Jhajjar touching the border of the National Capital has scripted its success story with élan. The sanitation and basic infrastructure available in this village put it in the league of best villages in the state.

The district administration is also helping the village to develop as a model village and has constructed a mini-secretariat, a complex which houses Panchayat Bhavan and Anganwari Kendra and also provides accommodation to the district officials who occasionally visit the village to listen to the problems of people. The village has been declared “nirmal gram”.

The panchayat has also installed computers at the complex where interested persons would be given basic knowledge of computers. Moreover, the villagers claim that there are no police cases lodged by or against the residents as they sort out their disputes at the panchayat level itself.

The residents seem to have inculcated the habit of cleanliness, as the village streets do not pose ugly looks, which is a common feature in most state villages.

This turnaround was made possible by the elected panchayat, which gave the residents a sense of being empowered and took them along in its efforts to make a difference. As the 82-years-old woman sarpanch of the village, Mishri Devi, says, “The villagers, too, realised the need to actively participate in the development process and there are no leg pullers in our village”. Even the person who unsuccessfully contested the panchayat election against the present sarpanch and another former sarpanch are among the policy planners.

Joginder Singh, son of the aged sarpanch, who practically runs the affairs of the panchayat, says every street is cemented and streetlights are installed. “We have also employed eight sweepers who clean the streets daily. The supply of potable water to every home has been ensured. The village has been declared open defecation free (ODF) village by the district administration after residents pledged not to defecate in open. Most of the houses have toilets while the panchayat has constructed 40 community toilets for weaker families”.

Additional deputy commissioner Ajit Joshi says the village has been declared as “nirmal gaon” under the total sanitation campaign. The clean environs have also made an impact on the lives of the villagers. Two girls are pursuing MBBS course while two boys of the village got commissioned in defence forces as lieutenants in the past two years.

Satbir Singh, a small shopkeeper, whose daughter Reena topped in state in 10+2 examination last year and got admission in Agroha Medical College, says, “I used to be a drunkard but when my daughter secured the first position, I felt very proud and promised to quit this habit”.

The villagers have a grouse against the authorities as the road leading to this village from Badli is almost nonexistent and needs to be immediately re-laid.

A villager shows community toilets being constructed in a village chaupal.

8 sweepers clean streets of the village daily.



Drug addiction on rise in Ballabgarh
Administration, druggists to blame
Ravi S. Singh
Tribune News Service

Ballabgarh (Faridabad), October 25
With the growing urbanisation of Ballabgarh town, which is now considered an extension of Faridabad city, the youths here appear to be getting sucked into the “hippie” culture of drug addiction.

Several medical stores coupled with non-committal approach of the law enforcing and other authorities are allegedly contributing to the menace. Some of the medical stores are acting as the supply chain of medicines that are used as pure intoxicants by a section of youths. These youths get the drugs injected in their bodies through veins for instant kick.

Although drug addiction appears to have caught up with wide-ranging youths, the malaise appears to have penetrated deep into the localities like Subash Colony, Vishnu Colony, Aazi Colony and Jharsetli village.

According to reports, a couple of years back about three youths died in Subash Colony and Vishnu Colony because of drug-addiction.

Various medical stores sell medicines used generally for anaesthesia from medical point of view without the prescription of doctor. About 12 medical stores in these areas are reported to be selling these drugs in an illegal way.

The irony of the story is that while these medicines are available in the black market, they are not available to normal patients.

This illegal supply chain starts from western Uttar Pradesh, especially from Mathura. While the drugs are cheap in open markets, the same are sold at prices several fold more in the black market.

Apart from the medical stores, quacks are also doing profitable business by injecting the needy youths. They charge somewhere around Rs 50-60 per person for injecting one shot. The injected youth remains under the drug influence for about three hours.

Chief Medical Officer Dr Pankaj Watts says he is unaware of such illegal sale of medicines. He, however, says strict action will be taken against those found guilty.

The indulgence by the youths has many shades. While in the colonies of the township, some resort to small thefts to buy the drugs, those of Jharsetli village are the pampered ones. A lot of farmers of the village have suddenly become rich on account of sale or government acquisition of their land.

With the lack of education and motivation to invest huge money into profitable returns, a section of the youths of the village are living lavishly as if there would be no tomorrow.

Ram Sharan of Ballabgarh says the authorities must do something about the malaise, lest it spread its tentacles in other parts. If the problem is not arrested soon it will be difficult to pull back things, he added.



Ambala civil hospital lacks facilities
Our Correspondent

Ambala, October 25
The local civil hospital, where patients from various government health centres are referred, is lacking in specialised medical services. Owing to this, the doctors of this hospital have to refer the serious cases to PGI, Chandigarh.

The hospital is located close to the Ambala-Chandigarh and Ambala-Amritsar highways. Most of the accident cases on these roads approach this hospital, only to be referred to PGI.

The hospital does not have any radiologist for the past four years. The ultrasound machine is also lying unused. As a result, patients have to go to private ultrasound centres. The district health department had written a number of letters to the health directorate, but it only resulted in temporary arrangements lasting three months.

The union and state governments had provided a handsome amount for the construction of a trauma centre here around two years ago, but the construction started just two months back.

Recently, the deputy commissioner ordered an inquiry into the construction material being used in the project.

The shortage of paramedical staff and class IV employees is another major problem. The air conditioner of mortuary has been out of order for the past one month.



Jindal Park brims with visitors
Nishikant Dwivedi
Tribune News Service

Yamunanagar, October 25
The O.P. Jindal park, which was developed two months back over 27 acres here, has turned into a picnic spot for the twin towns of Yamunanagar and Jagadhri. As per official figures, more than 3,000 persons, including children, visit the park on any given day.

The park was developed at a cost of Rs 4 crore by Naveen Jindal, Kurukshetra MP, in the memory of his late father and former state power minister O.P Jindal. The park was handed over to the Yamunanagar Municipal Committee on August 7.

However, it won't be easy for the cash-starved MC to maintain the park. As per an estimate, monthly maintenance cost of the park is more than Rs 1.50 lakh. The MC earns some money by auctioning boating facilities, canteen and the parking area. Officials, however, claim that the money is not enough for the upkeep of the park, which is situated along the western Yamuna canal.

Clean water, lush green grass, large number of trees and clean environment of the park has caught the imagination of school managements and several schools had already taken their kindergarten students to the park for picnic.

The park also has a sports stadium spread over 4.75 acres. A cricket ground has been developed and there is also a ground for hockey or football. Volleyball and basketball courts have also been developed.

The park has a special area earmarked as meditation centre for people of all ages. A symbolic structure has been erected for a higher level of concentration.

A lake spread over 3.31 acres with boating facility also attracts a lot of visitors.

Specially designed children play area has been established with variety of play equipments like swing, multi-play system, merry-go-round etc to keep children active and intently involved in the park.



State roads are accident-prone
Naveen S Garewal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 25
The growing number of accidents on Haryana roads reflects the lack of concern for human life. Accidents are waiting to happen on most highways due to the absence of regulatory mechanism.

Different departments dig up roads at will and leave deep pits for two-wheelers to fall into them, construction workers unload bricks and stones on roadsides and all this happens right under the nose of the civic authorities, who don't care two hoots for public safety.

Trucks carrying stones and other construction material have become the number one killers on the roads along the Shivalik foothills. By their sheer size and the carriage it becomes impossible for the motorists to see traffic coming from behind and to manoeuvre the vehicle, causing accidents. A large number of accidents are caused on the Panchkula-Naraingarh-Yamunanagar stretch by trucks parked on roadsides without parking lights. With the change of weather, fog is going to make it further difficult for traffic to avoid these "death traps".

In Naraingarh, shops selling construction material have dumped bricks, sand and other things on the road right under the nose of the official machinery, but none has bothered to take any corrective measure. And on top of it, traffic police in that state is a rare thing to find, except occasionally when they appear on the roads to launch a challan drive.

The state, which boasts of having deployed trauma centres, has hardly ever checked the effectiveness of these centres. Recently, a mediaperson lost his niece in an accident just because the trauma unit did not respond in time to transfer the child to hospital.

Just a look at the figures of accidents in the region over the past few months shows how unsafe the roads have become. In September, a road accident claimed the life of former Himachal Pradesh additonal advocate-general Sandeep Kaushik who was only 42 years old and at the zenith of his career. During the same month, six persons of a family from Palwal in Haryana lost their lives in an accident near Kharar while returning from Vaishno Devi. A Haryana Roadways bus killed an ITI student in Ambala on September 27.

According to studies conducted on road accidents world over, India has the dubious distinction of reporting the largest number of fatal accidents on roads in proportion to the vehicles, followed by China. "Almost 1,00,000 Indians die on roads every year in over 3,00,000 accidents. Studies by the World Health Organisation and the Indian government show that our road safety record, instead of improving as in most countries, is declining alarmingly at 5 per cent a year," says a motoring expert.



Inside Babudom
Guidelines on promotion
Shubhadeep Choudhury
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 25
The DoPT (department of personnel and training, government of India) has sent two separate lists to all state governments regarding documents to be attached for recommending confirmation of directly recruited and “promotee” IAS officers, respectively.

The letter, written to chief secretaries, said the lists had been sent so that the state governments should not err in sending the necessary documents required to accompany the recommendation.

For the directly recruited officers, necessary documents include recommendation of the review board, copy of the assessment report and a report by state government on “vigilance status” of the probationer. These are among the nine documents that, according to the DoPT, must accompany the recommendations for confirmation in case of directly recruited officers.

However, there are 12 documents needed for confirmation of “promotee” probationers. The documents needed by the “promotees”, in addition to the documents listed for the direct recruits, are clearance from the parent department in case of non-state civil service officers, information on marital status and information on whether the appointment is subject to any court case.

The last provision is interesting as it shows the DoPT acknowledging the numerous scams plaguing various state public service commissions on recruitments of state civil service officers, and the resulting litigations.

The letter, dated October 3, was received here in the middle of this month and was seen by the Haryana chief secretary the very next day of its arrival. Recruitments by the HPSC during the past five-year term of the INLD had generated a huge controversy. HCS officers recruited in the latter part of the previous INLD regime had been denied appointment by the state government in the wake of the controversy. There are also instances of cases challenging the recruitment of serving HCS officers pending in courts.

The letter also asked the governments to follow the deadline (not later than six weeks after the last date of probationary period) with regard to sending the assessment reports, which must accompany recommendations.



Jind museum a blast from the past
Bijendra Ahlawat
Tribune News Service

Jind, October 25
The district has the distinction of being the agricultural region of the state that has been lying on the sidelines of development. At the same time, it also has the credit of having a rich historical and cultural past. This is perhaps the message one gets after entering Jayanti Archaeological Museum here, which is the first of its kind in the state.

Having a huge collection of rare antiquities, ranging from the ancient Harappan time to the reign of Jind rulers, the museum was thrown open to public about three months back. It is located on the premises of famous Jayanti Devi temple here.

This is the first time that an attempt has been made to preserve the ancient recoveries at one place, claims museum coordinator Dev Raj Sirohiwall.

Sirohiwall and Gulshan Bhardwaj have the credit of setting up of the museum to a great extent by donating the majority of the artifacts to this place, claims deputy commissioner Yudhvir Singh. The administration has also acknowledged this by putting up photographs of the donors and a description about them at the museum. Stage Governor Dr A.R. Kidwai inaugurated the museum on July 28, 2007.

Though the museum building is of average size, it houses hundreds of items mainly antiquities made up of terracotta, stone sculptures of gods and goddesses, coins, pottery, chart blades, bangles, weapons, musical instruments and manuscripts in Sanskrit, Urdu and Persian languages on Vedas, Puranas and the Gita.

The museum is divided into several parts. While the first part depicts the map of the district and the “48 kos” region of Kurukshetra, the second part has the collection of idols of gods and goddesses made of terracotta and sandstone.

The display of over 150 manuscripts is another interesting feature. One of the manuscripts placed here is about the “Geeta”, which is of small size and recovered from a “math” in Singhana village of the district. The collection of about 200 coins dates back to various rulers and dynasties, including the Mogul, Ghulam, Khilji, Tughlak, Sher Shah Suri and the British rule.

The earthen items displayed here were recovered from Khokrakot in Rohtak, Haat in Jind and Loni in Uttar Pradesh. Another part of the museum displays an ancient chariot. The uniqueness of this structure lies in the fact that it has no axle and its wheels are based on hinges only. The chariot is made up of wood, leather, fabric and metal. It has been placed in the backdrop of a huge painting done on a wall by a local painter, Rajesh, who has tried to depict the aura of the majestic Jind forts.

Another section of the museum displays several weapons, including swords, kripan, khanjar and headgear. The swords are of various types and makes and dates back to several hundreds years, says Sirohiwall, the donor of all such weapons to this museum.



Drive to inspect power meters
Our Correspondent

Bhiwani, October 25
The Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (DHBVN) will launch a campaign for the inspection of electronic meters in its area with a view to settling various consumer complaints regarding the meters.

Under this campaign, first electronic meters installed on the premises of urban consumers in Faridabad, Hisar, Sirsa, Fatehabad and Gurgaon districts will be checked by the nigam.

While giving this information, a spokesman for the DHBVN said complaints regarding tampering with meters, huge bills and excessive readings were being received daily by the nigam after the installation of the new meters.



Capacity of WYC to be increased
Tribune News Service

Yamunanagar, October 25
In order to make maximum use of rainwater for irrigation, the capacity of the Western Yamuna Canal (WYC) will be increased to 20,000 cusecs from the present 13,500 cusecs. The canal was dug in 1891 and then its capacity was 6,433 cusecs.

Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda will lay the foundation stone of the project on Haryana Day here. The estimated cost of the project is Rs 30 crore.



Panchkula overrated

Panchkula has been time and again hailed as one of the most modern cities of Haryana, but the pitiable condition of roads in the city depicts an entirely different picture. I am a resident of Sector-16 of Panchkula and the internal roads of the sector are in bad shape, particularly the road in front of house nos. 573-578, which is full of potholes. The condition worsens during monsoons. The road gully in front of house nos. 576 and 578 is blocked which leads to rainwater accumulation, causing road damage. The solution lies in rectifying the road gully problem and not merely patching the road that is carried on from time to time.


Reforms in agriculture

With the division and fragmentation of landholdings coupled with increased prices of inputs, agriculture ceases to remain a remunerative proposition. As suggested, the solution lies in adopting multi-activity model like agriculture with dairying, beekeeping, horticulture, off-season vegetable cultivation, floriculture, mushroom cultivation etc. This model can ensure regular income to small farmers owning up to 2.5 acres of land. Besides, the farmers should organise themselves into associations and self-help groups in order to have easy access to micro credit and find marketing solutions to their products as well as in purchase of inputs at competitive prices.

Vermicompost will not only help in maintaining the organic composition productivity of soil but will also provide a solution to solid waste in the rural areas. Even 4-5 fruit growing trees in a small farm adds to the income of the farmers and enhances nutrition level of the family.

Puran Singh

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:



Citizens’ Grievances
Arms licence, when?

I applied for arms licence and deposited the file containing all relevant documents with the DC’s office on 2-02-2006. After waiting for a long time when I enquired about the file, bearing no. FAL-637, I came to know that it was forwarded to the SP’s office for inspection on 15-1-2007. Till Date, I have not received the licence or any communication from the office concerned in this regard.

Vikas Rohal

HUDA colony in bad shape

The Sector 9 of Ambala City is termed as a modern locality, but in reality it stands nowhere. Stray cattle roam about freely in the sector, which is causing accidents. The water pressure in lane no. 939 to 954 and 955 to 1000 is very low, causing concern among the residents. Construction activity is going in almost in every lane, but HUDA does not take the responsibility for supplying water for the purpose of construction. There is no office for lodging electricity complaints. The HUDA administration has been apprised of the problems several times, but to no avail.

Bal Krishan Banga
Ambala City



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |