Bishnoi may force triangular contests
Raman Mohan
Tribune News Service

Hisar, November 8
Even though a third front of political parties is yet to materialise at the national level, Haryana will certainly witness triangular fights the next time it goes to the election provided Bhajan Lal and sons are able to set up shop in coming December.

In the last Lok Sabha and state assembly elections, the contest for all practical purposes was between the INLD and the Congress with the latter inflicting grievous wounds on the former in both. Though other parties like the BJP were in the fray, but their presence was nominal in most of the constituencies.

However, the next parliamentary election whenever it takes place is likely to witness the Congress, INLD and the Bishnois’ yet unnamed political outfit slug it out inside the polling stations.

While the Congress and the INLD are well entrenched and are certain to contest all seats, sources close to the Bishnoi camp say their leaders will be the first to announce their organisation’s candidates for all constituencies as soon as the election is announced thus making sure that the fights are triangular.

The last time the state saw triangular fights was in 1996 when Bansi Lal’s Haryana Vikas Party nominees gave company to the Congress and the INLD candidates in the assembly election. Bansi Lal remained Chief Minister after the election for about three years before first its ally, the BJP and later the Congress, pulled the rug from under his feet.

It is also not yet clear whether Bhajan Lal and sons will find an ally and make it an official third front or whether they would go it alone. Immediately after Bhajan Lal and Kuldeep Bishnoi rebelled against the party, it was rumoured that they had reached an understanding with the BJP which would be announced officially later. But as it turned out, the BJP has since been ruling out any alliance with the Bishnois or the INLD.

After Mayawati’s triumphant socially engineered win in Uttar Pradesh, Kuldeep Bishnoi was among the first to reach out to her to say congrats. This triggered off speculations about the two coming together for the next Lok Sabha and assembly elections. However, there has been no indication of any kind from any of the two since then.

However, the Bishnois are yet to do a lot of social and political engineering in their own camp before they are in a position to put up candidates against the INLD and the Congress. Although they have a flag in one hand and an agenda in the other, they have yet to decide which party these would stand for. They have also not yet decided upon a symbol.

But beyond these organisational issues, the father-son duo have also to discipline their rank and file as ego clashes among former Congressmen backing them now are likely to grow more intense as the state nears an election. At that time a wrong nomination could boomerang on them.

In this scenario, the paths of many ticket aspirants are likely to crisscross as second rung leaders could change parties in the run up to the election because the emergence of a third political party in practical terms also means 90 more tickets waiting to be distributed. 



MDU professors face plagiarism charges
Sunit Dhawan
Tribune News Service

Rohtak, November 8
At least two professors serving at Maharshi Dayanand University (MDU) here, including the head of a teaching department, are facing allegations of plagiarism.

A fact-finding committee, constituted by the MDU authorities, had conducted an inquiry into the allegations against prof S.H. Ansari, head, Department of Geography, and submitted its report in June. However, the authorities are yet to take any action in this regard.

Dr Ansari had been charged with submitting plagiarised research papers for his promotion from reader to professor in 2006. Dr Nina Singh, who was heading the department at that time, pointed out that two of the five papers submitted by Dr Ansari were plagiarised.

Following this, Dr Ansari was asked to withdraw and replace those two papers, which he did. The HoD asserted that one of the new papers was also plagiarised.

The vice-chancellor then constituted a two-member inquiry committee that was also authorised to seek the help of outside expert. Prof S.P. Sinha, formerly at Kurukshetra University, was invited to give his expert opinion. The committee found that at least in two cases, there were similarities that could not be accepted as coincidental.

“Therefore, the two publications (of Dr Ansari) could be categorised as plagiarised from the Ph.D thesis of Anita Sharma of the University of Rajasthan and M.Phil thesis of Jitender Singh of MDU, Rohtak,” the committee stated in its report.

The committee also found that one of the papers had been republished with a minor change in the title and the same text. It was also verified from the official record that the same paper had been submitted earlier and not found up to the mark by the experts.

“Hence, it cannot be considered as fresh,” the committee maintained. The report was submitted to the vice-chancellor months ago, but no action has been taken in this regard so far.

Meanwhile, another complaint of plagiarism has recently surfaced against Dr Sneh Lata Sangwan, head, Department of Geography, Bhagat Phool Singh of Mahila Vishwavidyalaya, Khanpur Kalan, Sonepat, and her co-authors Dr R.S. Sangwan of the erstwhile University College, MDU, and prof Nina Singh, Department of Geography, MDU.

Copies of the complaint, ostensibly sent by one P.V. Shivraj of Chennai and addressed to the MDU chancellor and vice-chancellor and the chairman of the UGC, are being circulated among MDU executive council members these days.

Prof Nina Singh maintained that the complaint was baseless and fabricated. Rebutting the allegations, she termed it an incidence of cyber crime and even sought a high-level inquiry into the matter.

Teachers’ fight is students’ plight

Asked to comment on the issue, MDU vice-chancellor R.S. Dhankar said appropriate action would be taken after getting to the bottom of the matter. On being reminded that the report in one of the cases had been submitted to him months earlier, the VC said he was yet to look into the issue.

“These are sensitive issues and require a cautious approach,” he said, adding that action would be taken “if warranted”.

The entire issue clearly smacks of professional jealousy, which has become a part and parcel of the academic world. On the top of it, the authorities concerned have failed to send a positive message by taking prompt action on such serious allegations.

And, the most unfortunate part is that the studies continue to suffer as the game of allegations and counter-allegations continues among the university dons. 



State Sikhs to meet PM on gurdwara panel
Yoginder Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 8
After having failed to goad ruling party leaders in the state to translate their promise into action on constituting a separate body to manage Haryana gurdwaras, Sikh leaders in the state have decided to try their luck with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Many of the these leaders are of the view that it is Manmohan Singh who is standing in the way of formation of a separate gurdwara managing committee for the state. They have formed this impression after talking to several state Congress leaders in private. The Prime Minister is believed to be apprehensive that the bifurcation of the Amritsar-based SGPC might give an issue to the extremists in Punjab, which has been a victim of militancy for over a decade.

The official stand of the state government is that further action on the demand would be taken only after the report of the Chatha Committee constituted in this regard is received. But sources say that the committee, which has completed its job, is delaying the report deliberately to save any embarrassment to the government. The committee has reportedly received over three lakh affidavits in favour of a separate gurdwara body for Haryana.

The sources say the state government is awaiting a go ahead signal from the Centre to take further action into the matter.

The demand for a separate body to manage gurdwaras gained momentum immediately before the last Lok Sabha and Assembly elections. An ad hoc Haryana Sikh Gurdwara Prabhandhak Committee (HSGPC) was formed under the patronage of Master Sampuran Singh, with Jagdish Singh Jhinda as its president and Didar Singh Nalwi as its general secretary. Nalwi is also an elected member of the SGPC from Haryana.

The Congress, which saw an opportunity to wean away the Sikhs, particularly, in the rural areas of the state, from the INLD, promised to consider the demand sympathetically.

The rural Sikhs were perceived to be close to the INLD because of the relations of its leadership with Prakash Singh Badal. Since the SAD, which virtually controls the SGPC, is averse to the demand of the Haryanavi Sikhs, the INLD, too, opposes it.

When the Congress registered a thumping victory in the Assembly election, a Bill in this connection was also drafted. But before it could be put before the Cabinet, there was a sudden change of mind. Nobody can say for sure at whose instance, it Congress developed cold feet.

To buy time, the state government constituted a committee under the chairmanship of the then Assembly Speaker H.S. Chatha to “study all aspects of the issue.” Chatha continued to head the committee even after he joined the Cabinet. The supporters of the movement feel that unless the Prime Minister is convinced about the genuineness of their demand, the Haryana government would not move ahead.

They had met Manmohan Singh on July 29 last, when they got a “patient hearing” from him. Now, they are again scheduled to meet him on November 16. Congress MP from Kurukshetra Naveen Jindal will accompany them.



HUDA areas remain underdeveloped
B.S. Malik

Sonepat, November 8
While HUDA keeps carving new colonies and claims of providing all basic amenities and infrastructure, many of its old localities remain underdeveloped.

One such locality is Sector 23 in the town, which is also one of the largest and the oldest sectors here. But due to the negligent attitude of the authorities and several other reasons, this sector could not be developed fully. Hardly 25 per cent of the plots have so far been brought under construction and out of around 150 plots for shops and other commercial complexes, only eight shops have been opened so far.

The sector was carved out in 1993-94 on the outskirts of the town near mini-secretariat and judicial complex. The decision to develop a residential sector on this side of the town was based on the reason that majority of the villages of the district are located on the western side of the district headquarters and it would cater to the residential requirements of the people of these areas.

It is the only sector on the southern side of the town while six residential sectors of HUDA are located on the eastern side. This sector gained popularity, as plots here are cheaper than in other sectors as well as townships.

The sector residents are grappling with many problems for the past many years. First of all, a large number of pockets in the sector are without the facility of landline phone. Inquiries reveal that the HUDA authorities are not allowing BSNL to lay underground cables without clearing the outstanding dues amounting to lakhs of rupees. A number of incidents of confiscating the implements of BSNL workers, engaged in digging of ground to lay phone cables, by HUDA officials have been reported in the past. The residents are left with no other option except to use phone facilities of other private companies.

Dairy owners of nearby villages for their cattle are using the open and vacant areas of the sector freely as grazing ground. At most places, the roads are found dotted with cow dung.

As the plantation have covered the vacant land, it is being used for defecation by residents of Garhi Brahmanan village and migrant labourers who have put up their “jhuggis” in all corners of the sector.

The condition of roads is pathetic mainly due to the digging of roads by house owners for taking water and sewer connections for their newly constructed houses and frequent plying of the heavy vehicles loaded with bricks and other construction materials.

HUDA has undertaken hardly any repair work during the past two years.



Shedding paddy-wheat cycle proves profitable
Ramandeep Singh
Tribune News Service

Daha Jagir (Karnal), November 8
Paddy-wheat rotation which provided healthy profits to farmers in this region not long ago, has started taking its toll not only on the marginal and small farmers but also on the environment in the form of receding water table, pollution and declining soil health.

Farmers, mainly those who have small land holdings of five acres or less, are trying to get out of this cycle by adopting new crop combinations which bring in more profits and grow faster and gives the farmers flexibility to grow different variety of crops in an year.

A number of farmers of Daha Jagir village have taken up the challenge of leaving behind the tried and tested paddy-wheat cycle. In 2003, the Haryana Department of Agriculture asked the farmers of the district to stop growing sathi paddy, as it was very water intensive and was grown twice a year, and recommended the growing of sesbania (dhencha). Initially, the farmers took up this half heartedly as dhencha provided profits once a year compared to twice a year for sathi.

Experts at the Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) of the National Dairy Research Institute (NDRI), while promoting the growing of Dhencha in the district, have been conducting different farm trials to look for alternate farming systems with newer cropping patterns.

Dr Dalip K. Gosain, head of the KVK, told The Tribune that the KVK introduced cauliflower growing in Daha Jagir village and an enterprising small farmer Satish was provided the seed of cauliflower variety Pusa Megna that was procured from the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI), New Delhi. The farmer raised the nursery of cauliflower in the intensive summer month of May and the transplantation in one acre was done in the third week of June 2005.

Satish said he earned Rs 40,000 in 2005 from one acre and the land was engaged till October. He added that the curd of the cauliflower were ready after 45 days after the transplantation of plants in the field and in the summer months he could sell cauliflower at Rs 20 per kg and in the month of September and October he got better price because of the festive season.

Satish was so encouraged with this success that he get rid of paddy crop which saved him irrigation cost, as cauliflower required less water than paddy. He again approached the KVK and was provided the same seed of cauliflower in 2006 from which he earned a profit of Rs 50,000.

Encouraged by his success, many farmers of his village adopted cultivation of cauliflower in May-June 2007 and more than 100 acres of the land is now under cauliflower cultivation.

Ram Swarup of the same village said he adopted cauliflower cultivation in 2006 and earned a profit of Rs 55,000 from one acre but this year he got the seed from a local shopkeeper and the curd of cauliflower were deformed and was not appreciated by the consumers.

A group of farmers said the government should provide them quality seeds of cauliflower that formed excellent curd so that they could sell their produce in Delhi.

Parmar, a young farmer from the adjoining village of Wazidan Jattan, said seeing the success of Daha Jagir farmers more than 50 acres of land in his village was also under cauliflower cultivation.

“We are conducting field trials since 2005 in Nagla Rodan village of Indri block of this district by growing green gram (moong) after harvesting one crop of paddy and before sowing of wheat and the results were found encouraging,” Dr Gosain said. 



Plan to set up biogas plants at gaushalas
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Gurgaon, November 8
The Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) has proposed to set up biogas plants at gaushalas (old cow homes) across the country to make them financially self-sustainable.

Former chairman of the AWBI Maj-Gen Dr R.M. Kharb (retd) says the board is at present extending financial support to about 1,250 registered gaushalas for its maintenance, providing animal shelters, including in-house dispensary to give veterinary treatment to sick and injured animals. India has about 4,000 gaushalas spread across the country.

He says despite grants by the respective state governments and donations from individuals or organisations, the financial position of gaushalas remains far from satisfactory. The main reason behind this is the huge population of stray cattle. The concern of stray cattle management and their welfare need an urgent redressal.

Dr Kharb remarks that only a few gaushalas are making use of the vast resources of biomass and biotechnological research available in the country. Many of the gaushalas are not able to avail this facility due to the lack of funds and awareness. He says a proposal has been sent to the Union Ministry of Renewable Energy Sources to provide funds for setting up biogas plants at gaushalas. Initially, these plants would be installed in only a small number of gaushalas.

Dr Kharb reveals that with the setting of such plants gaushalas would become self-sustainable as it involves generation of biogas, production of methane gas for fuel, electricity generation, making vermi-compost (bio-fertilisers), bio-pesticides, organic farming, plantation of medicinal herbs and local breed improvement.

He says in order to make gaushalas economically viable the AWBI has directed their custodians to make optimum utilisation of huge biomass (cow dung), besides becoming centres of training for farmers. The gaushalas have been advised to produce vermin-compost on large scale and use it for organic farming, production of herbal pesticides using neem products and cow urine, production of biogas on large scale to meet the fuel requirement of rural section by using improvised gobar gas plants with plastic domes.

Other measures include installing plants for separation of methane gas and carbon dioxide for using it as fuel and converting into dry ice for industrial use, respectively. He says the board is imparting training to farmers to use draught power of bullocks for generation of electricity and also for agricultural operations and operating water pumps.


 No. of gaushalas



Madhya Pradesh 








Uttar Pradesh 




Andhra Pradesh 




West Bengal 




Inside Babudom
Officers warned against turning hostile in court
Shubhadeep Choudhury
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 8
The state government has warned all babus against enacting the hostile witness phenomenon during court appearances.

The government recently issued instructions, which said it had come to the notice that some employees, when sent to the courts for evidence in criminal cases, backtrack “from statements made by them during preliminary enquiry or fact finding departmental enquiry”. Sometimes they also deliberately “give vague evidence not based on facts”, mentioned the communiqué.

The communiqué, issued from the office of the chief secretary, said the government was viewing the tendency on the part of certain officials seriously. It said it had been decided that in future if an official was found backtracking during court appearances from his initial deposition, the competent authority would take disciplinary action against the person under the Government Employees Conduct Rules, for misleading the authorities.

The instructions have been sent to the principal secretaries and secretaries with the state government, heads of departments, divisional commissioners and deputy commissioners, registrar of the Punjab and Haryana High Court and registrars of all universities in the state.

The recipients have been asked to bring the instructions to the notice all their subordinates and also ensure that the instructions are being complied with strictly.

Official sources said the decision to send out the instructions was taken after the issue of employees backtracking from their statements and thereby compromising the government’s position in the case came up during a meeting here recently. The sources added that the tendency had hindered the prosecution of accused in several cases of busts by the sleuths of state Vigilance Bureau and also various other criminal cases initiated by the government against private individuals and government functionaries. 



Stray cattle menace
Residents’ initiative yields results
Sushil Manav

Fatehabad, November 8
Zebra crossings are used to slow down traffic all over the world. But in Haryana, zebra’s less wild counterparts, stray cattle, slow down the traffic a lot more.

They are a problem for residents of almost all major towns of the state. They suddenly appear before the speeding vehicles almost from nowhere and often lead to accidents.

Fatehabad has been no exception to this general scenario. But recently some enlightened residents have taken an initiative to rid the town of this problem and their efforts have started showing results. The authorities, too, have backed their efforts.

Stray cows have been a common sight in parks, vacant plots, heaps of garbage and roads at Fatehabad of late. Being economically unviable for farmers, these animals are usually left in the open by their owners.

Sometimes, they would eat polythene bags and take ill in the process. They often charge at pedestrians and catch them unawares.

Taking note of the threat posed by these animals, some residents decided to construct a cow shelter on the outskirts of the town where these stray cows could be kept and provided fodder.

The residents joined hands to set up an organisation, Gau Raksha Samiti, and floated a fund for this purpose. They exhorted people to adopt a cow by donating Rs 6,000 towards its fodder. Many local philanthropists have come forward to contribute towards the noble cause.

The residents also contacted the deputy commissioner, Fatehabad, O.P. Sheoran, who helped them in getting a piece of municipal land on the local Bighar road for the construction of a cow shelter.

The DC entrusted city magistrate Satish Jain the task of coordinating with the residents. Local MLA Dura Ram recently inaugurated the cowshed. The commissioner, Hisar division, P.C. Bidhan, and other senior officers of the district were present.

By the efforts of volunteers of the Gau Raksha Samiti, stray cattle have started disappearing from public places and residents hope that they would soon get rid of this problem permanently. 



Polluting Units
Residents suffer due to MC laxity
Ravi S Singh
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, November 8
A large number of industrial units are functioning from the residential areas within the municipal limits of the town. Many of them are either polluting units playing havoc with the environment or industrial accident hubs.

The result of this incongruity is that the health of the residents is being compromised. The case of such factory units came to light when a gas cutter cylinder full of carbon dioxide exploded in a factory in Ballabgarh last week killing three persons.

At the recent monthly meeting of the district public relation and grievances redressal committee, presided by minister for power Randeep Singh Surjewala, residents alleged that a polluting industry in Parvatiya Colony had endangered their lives.

Ballabgarh falls within the jurisdiction of the Municipal Council of Faridabad (MCF), which had identified more than 500 such units. The council had issued notices to some factory units, including Rakheja Industries where the blast took place, for their closures.

The aggrieved units then moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court, which has sought opinion of the Central

Pollution Control Board. The MCF as a follow-up did approach the Board about four months back.

The devil, however, lies in the detail. According to sources, the MCF did not pursue the case with the pollution board in right earnest. The consequences have been grave as industrial accidents have occurred in one of the factory units that have been blacklisted by the council.

There are many who feel that taking action against these units is difficult in the current situation as they have a clout within the power corridors. The problem, however, is widespread in Dayal Nagar, Sanjay Gandhi Memorial Colony, Bhagat Singh Colony and NIT-3 area in Faridabad. Many colonies in Ballabgarh are also full of such units. 



Safidon’s kheel industry faces extinction
Bijendra Ahlawat

Jind, November 8
Kheel (flakes of paddy) has been an important ingredient for a large number of households in the country during the festive season as it is considered auspicious. Priced moderately, everyone wonders from where kheel comes and how it is prepared.

But for the residents of Safidon, a small and sleepy town in the district known for paddy crop and rice exports, the production of kheel is a routine that lasts for about 45 days during the paddy harvest season. Over the years, the town has emerged as an important centre of kheel production in the country with turnover amounting to several crores each year.

The 300-odd furnaces operational within the city till recently have now been shifted outside the town limits to check the problem of pollution and inconvenience to the growing population. Despite the revolution in technology, the functioning of these furnaces is still traditional, thus forcing the administration to have a separate zone for such work.

“While the industry has been facing several problems, it is an achievement that majority of the demand of kheel from all over the country is still met from here,” claims Subhash Mittal, a local entrepreneur. He says kheel is prepared from PR-64, a thick and heavy variety of paddy.

Kheel is sent to various states, including Delhi, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. The rate of kheel this year hovered around Rs 2,250 per quintal, while it was Rs 1,800 per quintal last year. But the fact that farmers have nearly dumped the farming the PR-64 variety in favour of 1121 and Muchhal, which is in huge demand, has led to concerns among the kheel producers, who feel that if this trend goes on, they may have to close down their units in near future.

Rakesh Saini, another manufacturer, claims that they have to move outside the district to get raw material (PR-64) from towns like Narnaund in Hisar and Palwal in Faridabad district. He says the business is no longer profitable. The rate of the PR-64 variety of paddy ranges between Rs 1,000 and Rs 1,100 per quintal.

The furnaces still use the traditional form of fuel, including dust of blankets left as residue in handloom industries, outer covering of Bajra crop and remains of wood in the furniture industry. No coal or raw wood is used, though experts believe that the work could be modernised if new technology is used with the provision of electricity as the main source of energy.

It is reported that while a total of 10,000 persons are associated with the work here, several persons, including women, who work near the furnaces face the risk of getting TB, asthma and other respiratory diseases.

Another problem is that the business spans for not more than 45 days in a year, which means the people dependent on it have to look out for other sources of livelihood for most part of the year, claims Sahdev Singh, a worker.

He says while this is a tax-free business, an investment ranging between Rs 5 crore and Rs 10 crore is required to carry on the work. Regarding the problems faced by the entrepreneurs, he says there are several issues which include hurdles in getting loans from banks, lack of residential premises for workers, lack of hygiene, sanitation and health facilities, besides technical problem in cleaning paddy. 



Plan to dispose of old IT equipment
Naveen S Garewal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 8
The state government has announced a new procedure/policy for the disposal of old and obsolete electronic items and information technology (IT) products in keeping with the Companies Act and the Income Tax Act that allows substantial depreciation on electronic and IT products.

The government proposes to rid itself of “junk” while making some money from auctioning of these products and saving huge revenue in the form of tax.

In a letter written to all heads of departments, deputy commissioners and managing directors of boards and corporations, financial commissioner and principal secretary, electronics and IT, has said the government has taken a decision to rid itself of the obsolete electronic and IT products that has been occupying space in government offices. The government has chosen to invite bids and entrusted department heads to deal with them.

A decision has also been taken to allow the departments to offer these electronic and IT products to their employees based on their highest offer, subject to a minimum reserve price. As regard old software, the government has allowed the departments to replace these with newer versions and asked the departments concerned to donate the old licensed software to state/central government recognised organisations.

As per the new policy, equipments can be sold after calculating depreciation as per the Companies Act at 40 per cent and also as per the Income Tax Act at 60 per cent. The decision will be taken based on the life of the product, which the government has determined to be 5 years for electronic equipment and 7 years for training equipment. It has also been decided that the department heads will be allowed to take decision to get rid of equipment that get spoilt frequently and have a high maintenance cost.

To keep the equipment new and in running state, quotations for disposal of equipment to be phased out will be invited from government approved vendors from time to time.

Haryana, which is already rated among the top three states in the country with regards to the implementation of the National eGovernance Programme (NeGP), will get a further fillip in its move towards computerisation and linkage of all offices up to tehsil level.

One of the biggest stumbling blocks in networking is the prevalence of large number of obsolete equipment. 



Needless fret over Hindi

Several teachers and scholars of Haryana have written about the declining popularity of Hindi language. The fear is baseless and uncalled for. English has been spoken in India since the advent of the British rule and the language is flourishing even after their exit. As a teacher of English, I can vouch for those fearing the danger to the existence of Hindi that Hindi is the first love of Indian students and they are far ahead in this language than in any other. English is taught in Hindi medium in schools and colleges of Haryana. Most students cannot understand even a single line of English without translation. Apart from this, English linguists keep adopting new Hindi words every year and add them in Oxford dictionary.

Dr Amrit Kaur


Traffic chaos in Ambala Cantt

The market in the Sadar Bazaar area in Ambala Cantt is in a mess. Driving through the market is just like a punishment. But recently the administration has taken some steps to control the traffic. The area is designated as one-way passage and the entry is allowed from one side only and the barricades are put on half of the road at each intersection. A yellow line is also painted to mark the parking area on both sides of the road. But nothing seems to improve the situation. The barricades are more of a nuisance, cars keep moving in forbidden direction and a lot of vehicles are parked outside the yellow lines. The policemen, who keep standing at the intersections, should patrol the area and issue challans to the offenders.

Ajay Aggarwal, Ambala Cantt

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: 



Ahirwal sees hectic political activity
Nawal Kishore Rastogi

Rewari, November 8
Though the fear of mid-term Lok Sabha election has receded, the political scene suddenly warms up in Ahirwal region.

The region comprises Mahendergarh parliamentary constituency, which consists of nine assembly segments of Narnaul, Mahendergarh, Ateli (Mahendergarh district), Bawal, Rewari, Jatusana (Rewari district), Pataudi, Gurgaon and Sohna (Gurgaon district). While almost all of these nine constituencies are Ahir-dominated, Bawal and Pataudi are reserved constituencies.

A number of prominent political leaders have already made their intentions known regarding their entry into the electoral fray while activities of almost all major political parties, too, have gained ascendancy as if elections were round the corner.

A scion of the Rampura house, Rao Ajit Singh, along with his supporters from the region, has formally joined the INLD here recently.

Rao Ajit Singh (52) is the younger brother of union minister of state for defence production Rao Inderjit Singh and a son of former union minister Rao Birender Singh.

It is note worthy that Rao Ajit Singh, who enjoys a proven potential clout in Ahirwal, has already made it known that this time he would be contesting the Lok Sabha election from here.

Spearheading a campaign to mobilise people against the “misrule” of the Congress, Chautala, accompanied by Rao Ajit Singh and others, made a whirlwind tour of over 50 villages of Rewari, Bawal and Jatusana constituencies recently. Rao Ajit Singh said they would intensify the campaign in the coming weeks.

At a conclave held here recently, former union minister Col Ram Singh, an old rival of Rao Birender Singh, also publicly announced that either he or his son Sanjay Rao would contest the Lok Sabha election from here this time.

Octogenarian Col Ram Singh said though he kept aloof from the mainstream politics during the past decade, he always remained active and played a constructive role.

He said it was now for his supporters to decide whether they wanted him to contest the election or would they prefer his son Sanjay Rao to enter the electoral arena.

During his three decade-long political career, Col Ram Singh occupied a ministerial berth for 10 years in Haryana and for five years in the union cabinet. He is currently an activist of the Congress party.

With the intention of contesting the Lok Sabha election, former Haryana minister and prominent BJP leader Rao Narbir Singh joined the bandwagon of the father-son duo, former Chief Minister Bhajan Lal and his MP son Kuldeep Bishnoi, recently.

With his two successful innings as a minister in the Devi Lal government and later in the Bansi Lal government, he enjoys a good clout in Ahirwal. These days he is mobilising people of Ahirwal for Bhajan Lal’s Rohtak rally on December 2.

Similarly, former BJP MP Sudha Yadav as well as firebrand politician Raghu Yadav are also engaged in political activities which could culminate in their entry into the electoral fray as and when the Lok Sabha election is announced. 



Diwali shopping undergoes marked change

Jhajjar, November 8
The trend of exchanging gifts like sweets and dry fruits on the eve of Diwali registered a decline this year as the middle class families went for products of long-term use instead of spending on immediate consumable goods.

A random survey of markets in Jhajjar and Bahadurgarh townships, which are dominated by people of middle and lower middle class, indicated that more people now prefer to spend on items of long-term use like two-wheelers, electronics goods etc.

While jewellery shopping is the worst hit due to the skyrocketing prices of precious metals, the sale of sweets and dry fruits and even that of crackers has been lying low. The sale of kitchenware is reported to be as usual due to customary reasons.

The showrooms of two-wheeler companies are abuzz with costumers. The dealers, who are apparently overjoyed over the sales figures, maintain that the sale of motorbikes has been double the routine sale around Diwali for past couple of years and this time also there is about 100 per cent increase in business.

Similarly, electronic goods’ traders are getting enthusiastic response from the consumers.

However, the business of jewellery shops has registered a declining trend. According to a jeweller, owing to the escalation in the prices of gold, the market is quite cold. “For the past two years when the gold prices started picking up, the response has been quite prosaic during Diwali and the customers prefer to buy gold only on family occasions like marriage ceremony,” he says.

Even the sweet shops and dry fruit dealers are not feeling the warmth of festivities, which is quite unnatural in business circles.

Om Prakash, a dry fruit dealer, says increase in prices of dry fruits coupled with declining trend of exchanging such gifts is the reason behind the dull business. While a costumer at a sweet shop attributed the low demand of sweets to the fact that sweets are of poor quality due to adulteration and excessive use of colour and impure material. 



Ambala bus stand runs from tin shed

Ambala, November 8
The main bus stand of Ambala City has been running under a tin shed for the past four years. The transport department has principally decided to shift the present bus stand to a place near the GT Road, but the exact location could not be identified so far. The present bus stand is located in the middle of the city, proving a traffic hazard.

The two-storey building of the present bus stand was declared unsafe for public use around a decade back. A number of cracks had appeared in the roof and pillars of the building and the it could collapsed anytime. The department instead of demolishing the building got it repaired by spending around Rs 5 lakh. But after three years when a part of it was collapsed, the entire building was dismantled.

Since then the bus stand is running under a tin shed where there is no proper arrangements of drinking water and toilets. The women passengers have to face great difficulty as only one tin-covered toilet is available. During the rainy and summer season, the passengers have to take shelter under trees or some nearby shops. The bus drivers also face inconvenience, as there is no bus shelter. The condition of the entrance road of the bus stand is so poor that it is risky even to move on foot there.

Local MLA Venod Sharma has taken up the matter six months back. A piece of land was almost finalised on the GT road near Kalka Chowk. The district administration had sent a detail plan and blue print to the transport department, but it did not take any initiative to get it implemented. The land where the new bus stand was planned is owned by a local businessman.

The process of its acquisition has not yet started. Even if the land is finalised it would take another two years to construct a new modern bus stand. The present bus stand is spread over five acres of valuable commercial land. Land mafia active in the region is hoping that the government would auction it once the bus stand is shifted.

Various social organisations have raised this issue with the transport minister and Chief Minister several times, but to no avail. Local residents are of the view that if there is some difficulty in shifting the bus stand, it should be constructed at the present location. 



Sugar industry in crisis
Product diversification holds key, says expert
Ramandeep Singh
Tribune News Service

Karnal, November 8
The platinum jubilee celebrations of the Sugarcane Breeding Institute, Regional Centre, Karnal, set up in 1932, started recently with an inaugural function. Dr Mangala Rai, secretary, Department of Agriculture Research and Education, and director-general, Indian Council of Agriculture Research, New Delhi, was the chief guest.

Dr Rai lauded the research accomplishments of the centre, which has evolved many promising varieties of sugarcane.

He said the sugar industry was the second largest agro-based industry in the country. With favourable weather conditions, the area and production of sugarcane had increased substantially during the past two years. As a result, the country produced a record 2.85 crore tonnes of sugar during the 2006-07 season. The sugar production was expected to reach a new peak of 3.2-3.3 crore tonnes during the 2007-08 season, he added.

The international price of sugar had crashed, eliminating the possibility of exports. As a result, both farmers as well as millers were facing financial crunch. Hence, there was an urgent need for product diversification to sustain the sugar industry, Dr Rai added.

The director-general explained that sugarcane was a multi-product crop and in the very near future the sugar factories would produce ethanol, besides sugar.

Ethanol is one of the bio-fuels for use in automobiles and the government of India has permitted the blending of petrol with 5 per cent of ethanol that will gradually be increased to 10 per cent.

Production of electricity at sugar plants is another proposition. The present installed capacity of cogeneration in the country is around 1500 MW and the potential is estimated to 5000 MW. The byproduct of the sugarcane industry is bagasse, which is also a renewable source of fibre for the paper and pulp industry.

Dr Rai congratulated the scientists of the centre for serving the farming community and advising them to continue the good work.

He also felicitated Harminder Singh, a farmer from Jharauli Kalan village, Shahabad, who produced 890 quintal per acre of sugarcane of Co 89003 variety.

Others who spoke on the occasion included Dr P. L. Gautam, DDG (CS), ICAR, Dr K. C. Jain, ADG, ICAR, Dr Vijayan Nair, director, Sugarcane Breeding Institute, Coimbatore, besides directors and heads of other research organisations located in Karnal and sugar mill personnel from 50 sugar mills in Punjab, Haryana, UP and Uttarakhand.  



Solar lights fail to light up Rohtak
Sunit Dhawan
Tribune News Service

Rohtak, November 8
Nearly 100 solar lights installed between Chhotu Ram Chowk and Model Town here more than a year ago have remained nonfunctional. Most of the lights failed within the first few days of its installation.

The project involved huge public money, besides heavy subsidy from the government. However, these heavy sums of money seem to have gone down the drain, as the lights have not served its purpose so far.

A group of local municipal councillors had launched a protest drive over the issue and sought an inquiry into the matter, but the situation remains unchanged till date.

The local municipal council, which spent Rs 14 lakh on the lights, did not pay any attention to its maintenance. The Akshay Urja wing of the state government also failed to ensure the supply of quality lights. Even after it was found that the lights were not serving its purpose, the council and the department concerned kept on passing the buck instead of taking up the matter with the supplier.

MC president Ajit Jain says the council has informed the Akshay Urja about the matter, as it is the latter which got the lights delivered.

However, the officials of the energy wing assert that the responsibility of maintaining the lights lies with the municipal council.

On the other hand, a number of municipal councillors have alleged that large-scale irregularities had taken place in the installation and maintenance of solar lights. Former municipal council president Pratibha Suman has demanded a probe into the matter. BJP councilor Nauratamal Bhatnagar says apart from the solar lights installed on the road dividers, traffic lights and another lights put atop the council office are not functioning. “At least. some accountability should be fixed in this regard,” he maintains. 



Rs 50 cr to spruce up streets
Tribune News Service

Rohtak, November 8
Here is something for the residents of this town to cheer up this festive season. The state government has decided to spend nearly Rs 50 crore for the repair and renovation of the streets of the town.

Deputy commissioner R.S. Doon disclosed that the amount had been provided under the local area development fund and the 12th financial plan. He said in the first phase, the streets in the localities of Dalits and others located on the outskirts of the town would be spruced up.

“The work of putting in water supply and sewerage pipelines will be completed by the end of this year, following which the repair and reconstruction of the streets will begin,” Doon maintained.

According to official estimates, Rs 21 crore would be spent on the reconstruction of streets in the first phase. This amount has been earmarked for the Dalit and outskirts localities.

The deputy commissioner said in the second phase, all remaining streets of the town would be reconstructed at a cost of Rs 27 crore.  





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 |