Govt in dilemma over quota within quota
Yoginder Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 24
The Hooda government has been caught in the cross-firing between two sections of the Scheduled Castes (SCs), which constitute a major part of the electorate -- Block A and Block B SCs as they are called.

The two sections are at loggerheads with each other on the issue of reservation within the reservation for Block A SCs. The demand for a separate reservation for Block A SCs within the overall 20 per cent reservation in jobs and educational institutions for the SCs gained ground after these communities felt that the fruits of the reservation policy were being cornered by Block B SCs.

The Block B SCs, who constitute a little more than 50 per cent of the SC population in the state, are naturally opposed to this demand.

The Block A SCs are agitating and their representatives have been on an indefinite fast for the past about one month at Rohtak to press their demand. Yesterday, the town witnessed violence when a procession was taken out by them.

In 1994, the state government notified 50 per cent reservation for Block A SCs in government jobs and admissions to educational institutions, while the other half was reserved for Block B SCs.

However, the notification was quashed by the Punjab and Haryana High Court on July 6, 2006. The court also quashed a similar notification of Punjab.

Leaders of Block A SCs like Banarsi Dass and M.L. Sarwan, former bureaucrats, say before the 1994 notification, Block B SCs used to corner about 90 per cent of the vacancies reserved for SCs.

Banarsi Dass says in 1990, out of 147 class I posts reserved for the SCs, 121 were held by officers belonging to the Block B, while only 26 were with the officers belonging to Block A SCs. Similarly, of 399 class II posts for the SCs, 368 were with Block B officers, while only 31 officers belonged to the non-Chamar communities like Balmikis and Dhanaks.

Sarwan says the SCs were categorised as Block A and Block B in view of grossly inadequate representation of non-Chamar SCs in government services. Punjab had taken this step in 1975, while Haryana did so 19 years later.

After the categorisation, he says, the representation of non-Chamar SCs in the government services matched that of Chamars.

He said the share of non-Chamar SCs again fell drastically after the notification was quashed. Quoting an instance, Sarwan says out of 48 lecturers selected in the higher education department of the state, 36 posts went to Chamars, while only 12 posts could go to non-Chamar SCs.

To overcome the court judgement, Punjab enacted the Scheduled Castes and Backward Classes (Reservation in Services) Act, 2006, providing 50 per cent reservation for the Balmikis and Majhabi Sikhs.

The Punjab Act was again challenged before the High Court, which while admitting it, ordered that all recruitments made under the impugned Act would be subject to the final judgement.

Block A SCs of Haryana want that the state government should immediately enact a similar Act. They allege that they are getting a raw deal because most of the SC politicians belong to Block B.

The Hooda government does not want to annoy any section of the SC by acting on its own. It wants the issue to be settled by the apex court where an appeal against the court order is pending.



Ambalaites take fancy to mall culture
Suman Bhatnagar

Ambala, January 24
With the changing lifestyle and the pattern of the adjoining cities of Ambala like Panchkula, Patiala and Chandigarh, this city is also puffed up to some extent and it will no more be known as a small town. Several shopping malls and multiplexes, including Fun Cinemas, Reliance Fresh and Subhiksha, besides Vatika township and HUDA sectors are changing the face of old Ambala.

It is interesting to note how this city with its conventional pace of life would adapt to these changes. Going to big mall and super-grocery stores can be exciting for the new generation, but the middle-aged and elderly people, who are habitual of visiting the old markets for their day to day needs, are still apprehensive of the new trend. However, with this global change occurring everywhere, the local residents are looking forward to adopt this new way of living.

A few decades back when this city was a part of old Punjab, it was geographically and historically important, but it was ignored politically. Despite the fact that Ambala is a gateway to Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh, no body thought of developing the city.

The face lifting of this city started around two decades back when a plan to create a new city on the outskirts came in the shape of HUDA sectors. Sector 7, the oldest sector of HUDA in the city received good response. Later four other sectors were developed.

The city is located on two national highways connecting Punjab and Chandigarh. Although direct rail service is also available for the adjoining states, no medium or big industry could grow up here. The scarcity of water is one of the main factors hampering the industrial growth in the city. The cottage industry of mixers and carpets has been on the decline. However, the wholesale cloth market has made this city a business axis and the city became famous for its large variety of wedding clothes.

After the creation of Haryana as a separate state, for the first time a huge amount is being spent on the development of this city. Local MLA Venod Sharma managed to get clear several projects and during the last two and a half years around Rs 50 crore was spent on various development works, including sewerage lines. The old Delhi road of the city could soon be compared with any excellent road of Chandigarh as the four-lane carpeting of the road and the installation of sodium bulbs has glorified its profile.

Although the residents are facing a lot of problems, an innovative change in the clogged ambiance has boosted the hopes of the people and it swayed them to look forward.



Earn While You Learn
Scheme helps poor pursue studies
Sushil Manav
Tribune News Service

Fatehabad, January 24
When Mamata’s father died two years back, she thought she would not be able to study beyond school level.

Mamata’s mother started doing some menial jobs to earn a living for the family of three, which includes a handicapped brother. Since Mamata had scored good marks at the secondary level, her mother got her admission in B Com in the Government College for Women here. Though the government has waived tuition fee for girls, Mamata’s mother had to borrow money to pay annual charges of Rs 1,000 at the time of admission.

Mamata was not sure how long she would be able to continue her college education till the college authorities sought applications from the students under a scheme of the government. The scheme, “earn while you learn”, provided an opportunity to students to earn up to Rs 600 a month by working in college library, computer and science labs.

Mamata applied and she was given a chance to work in the college library. Now, she is not only able to meet her own expenses from the money she gets from the college, she is also supplementing her meager family income.

There are many students who are benefiting from the scheme implemented in the college.

Annu, another student of B Com I, Neeru, a student of BA I, Madhuri of Bachelor of Tourism Management and many other girls of this college are earning their monthly expenditure from the college under the “earn while you learn” scheme.

College principal Ashok Bhatia informed that many students of this college had been getting benefit from the scheme. He said the scheme had not only benefited the students but it had also come in handy for the college authorities beset with staff shortage.

He said students could be seen working in college library, entering data in computers and managing the affairs of home science laboratories.



Changing face of state
Health scenario alarming
Geetanjali Gayatri
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 24
Haryana’s changing demography, increasing life expectancy and falling infant mortality prompted Kurukshetra University’s senior lecturer Rajeshwari to study the changing profile of diseases in the state.

To her shock, she found that instead of moving from communicable to non-communicable diseases, Haryana was reeling under a “double burden” of diseases. “While the communicable diseases had only multiplied due to insanitary conditions and poor water quality, the non-communicable disease, too, had spread widely in the rural areas,” she states.

In her paper “Health Transition in Haryana: Pattern and Concern”, prepared as a part of an ongoing project, Dr Rajeshwari points out, “Haryana has shown above average performance in all sectors. This is reflected in the high per capita income, availability of infrastructure, distinction in food production and improved dietary intake.”

In this background, she states that there should be a shift from diseases associated with under-development such as infectious diseases and poor maternal and child health to chronic degenerative diseases.

“The current status of diseases, however, shows that 40 per cent of the patients suffered from respiratory, infectious and parasitic diseases. If we go in for further bifurcation, bacterial diseases have the highest fatality of 36.4 per cent while other causes of death include diseases of the circulatory system (20 per cent), infectious and parasitic diseases (17.1 per cent), respiratory problems (9 per cent) among others,” she explained. Holding that a large number of deaths due to the diseases of the circulatory system, namely rheumatic heart diseases and hypertension diseases, is largely associated with demographic and lifestyle changes, Dr Rajeshwari says the growing number of non-communicable diseases brings an unavoidable increase in medical expenditure of the individual and state.

For Haryana, it remains a twin problem of the challenge that comes from non-communicable diseases and that of communicable diseases. “Nearly 17 per cent of deaths reported due to infectious and parasitic diseases shows that there remains a vast unfinished burden of preventing, controlling and eliminating major communicable diseases,” she remarks.

A further disaggregating of infectious and parasitic diseases into water borne and human excreta-borne diseases is a “bigger shock”. “It is fact that 70-80 per cent of patients in almost all districts suffer from faecal-oral disease transmission, meaning thereby that provision of a healthy environment, proper disposal of excreta and other wastes at household level,” she claimed.

Adding further, she says the pattern of diseases in the state shows that the districts of Rewari, Jind, Kaithal, Panipat and Yamunanagar have a very high number of cases of amoebas and gastroenteritis while cases of trachoma are very high in Faridabad and Karnal.

“More than 70 per cent of trachoma infection is caused by flies which breed on human excreta. This establishes that human excreta are one of the most serious causes of water contamination. The provision of water supply and sanitation facilities are mutually reinforcing. In order to break the vicious circle of communicable diseases, improvement in sanitation is the need of the hour,” she concludes, suggesting the launch of an awareness campaign as also investment in sanitation by emphasising on open defecation-free rural areas. 



Faridabad-Gurgaon road to be widened
Ravi S. Singh
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, January 24
The department of PWD (B&R) has decided to widen the Faridabad-Gurgaon road in order to improve the connectivity between the two neigbouring industrial and modern cities of the state.

The department plans to get the present road four-laned on build, operate and transfer (BOT) basis. The 30 km-stretch, which passes through a ridge, is part of Aravali hills and is about 10 m wide, except for an initial 2-km length from Faridabad side.

The department has already got survey and feasibility study done and the forest department has also given a green signal for the project. According to sources, the entire proposal will be put before the state cabinet for approval.

The need for expanding the road stems essentially from the need to improve the connectivity between Faridabad and Gurgaon, which would kickoff economic ties between these cities, besides proving useful for the commuters.

The industry, especially automobile, is much enthused about the project, though it is apprehensive about the toll tax that would be imposed in the BOT paradigm. There are a large number of ancillary units in Faridabad that caters to Honda Scooter and Motorcycle Ltd, Hero Honda Ltd and Maruti Udyog Ltd based in Gurgaon. Also there are several other units on both sides of the district that would benefit if the transport system becomes convenient.

The government also has plans for various construction projects in the vast area falling between Faridabad and Gurgaon in the long term. Hence the planning for a good transport facility is urgently called for. Besides, there is no other route that directly connects the two cities.

The present situation is that the road is a virtually a narrow artery and it has become overly congested. To add to the woes of the commuters, heavy traffic is diverted on the routes. The road has umpteen curvatures, including some sharp ones. As they course through ridge and between hill ranges of Aravali, any heavy traffic like jumbo-sized trailers developing a snag creates a nightmarish situation.

Also the widening of the road would connect areas like Bahadurgarh without going to Delhi, both from Faridabad and Gurgaon, which would provide added capability to commute to Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh. 



Rickshaw-puller turns innovative farmer
Nishikant Dwivedi
Tribune News Service

Yamunanagar, January 24
Dharamveer of Damla village here used to pull rickshaw in Delhi where he spent a lot of time in vegetable, fruit and herb markets. This was 15 years ago. Today, he is a progressive farmer, thanks to a multipurpose agro-processing device he got fabricated to pulverise and extract oil from various herbs.

The machine is designed in such a way that it can be used as a big pressure cooker. “I developed interest in herbs. I came back to my village and contacted the horticulture department and they sent me to Solan in Himachal Pradesh for training,” recalls matric pass Dharamveer. He polished his knowledge about herbs and learnt about the processing of fruits and vegetables.

Later, he started herb farming on his two acres of land. But he wanted to do something different with the herbs he cultivated in his fields. And soon he got a machine fabricated at a local factory.

His innovation brought him in limelight as he is often called to give demonstration of the machine at agriculture fares and meets all over the country. Besides, several progressive farmers and agriculture experts visit his village to see the working of the machine.

“I have also devised a method to extract gel and essence from aloe vera and is conveniently using it for producing various cosmetic products,” informs Dharamveer, who has just returned after presenting a case study on his machine at a workshop for industrialists organised by Indus Entrepreneurs at Jaipur.

“I have made a video film of the machine and several experts have showed interest in my invention,” claims the 42-year-old farmer.

He owns two acres of land in his village but his earnings have shot up after he started using the machine. “It cost me Rs 1.25 lakh and I recovered the amount only in few months,” says Dharamveer. According to him, the novelty of the device lies in its construction and the multiplicity of application. The portability of the machine makes it suitable for on-farm usage that helps in getting maximum essence out of herbs.

“It can be easily be attached to a tractor and carried to far away farmlands,” says Dharamveer, who is using the machine to produce gel and essence from gulab, amla, sauf, aloe vera and other herbs. He makes sausages and chutni from tomatoes and chilies. His machine can process 150 kg of amla for juice in just one hour.

Sources say the quality of gel extracted using the machine was not at par with the standard products (as the process involves grinding along with its husk) but are pure, healthy and environment friendly as Dharamveer is not using chemicals and his products are farm fresh.

He says several people have shown interest in his cost-effective machine for its commercial production. “I would be making more changes in the machine to make it more easy and viable,” says the farmer. 



Inside Babudom
An HCS officer in CMO – finally 
Yoginder Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 24
With the appointment of B.R. Beri as officer on special duty (OSD) to the Chief Minister yesterday, a longstanding demand of the HCS officers has been met.

The HCS officers had been demanding that one of their colleagues should be appointed in the Chief Minister’s office (CMO) as had been the practice in the past. For the past several years, no HCS officer found posting in the CMO. The last HCS officer to be posted there was Vidya Dhar, who was nominated to the HCS from the excise and taxation department in which he was an excise and taxation officer.

However, when Vidya Dhar realised that he was too junior in the HCS to be nominated to the IAS, he reverted back to his parent department. Under the rules, he could make to the IAS, a dream of non-IAS officers, on the basis of his record as an ETO. Being very close to the then Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala, Vidya Dhar soon joined the IAS.

After Bhupinder Singh Hooda took over as Chief Minister in March 2005, no HCS officer was posted in the CMO. Hooda promised last year that he would soon appoint an HCS officer as his aide. However, it took time before he could fulfill his promise.

It was known since long that Hooda wanted Beri to be appointed as his OSD. Since Beri had been working as additional chief electoral officer of the state for the past several years, the consent of the Election Commission was must before his appointment outside the election office.

Baldev Raj Beri belongs to Rohtak, the home district of the Chief Minister. His appointment gives representation to the politically important and numerically strong Punjabi community in the CMO. Beri worked as personal aide to L.M. Mehta, the then additional principal secretary to then Chief Minister Bhajan Lal for several years before he was nominated to the HCS in 1994.

With his past experience of working in the CMO, Beri is expected to provide a cutting edge to the CMO at the time when the Lok Sabha elections are only one year away and a close monitoring of the implementation of various announcements of the Chief Minister is urgently required. 



2,500 students given incentives
Tribune News Service

Panipat, January 24
Aimed at the welfare of migrant families to this industrial town and motivate them to send their wards to government schools, the district administration recently organised a special programme to ``honour'' regular schoolgoers.

As many as 2,500 students enrolled under the Sarv Siksha Abhiyan were given free school uniforms, shoes, school bags and socks as an incentive by the authorities.

Panipat is the only district in the state that has been sanctioned Rs 18 lakh by the Haryana government to offer incentives to attract dropouts or “non-starters” to schools.

Only students in the age group of 6-16 years were entitled to be rewarded at Bal Bhawan.They had attended school continuously for four months.

Panipat ADC Amit Aggarwal told The Tribune that out of a total of 2,500 students in the district, nearly 1,800 came from labourers' families engaged in various industrial units in the town.

From the beginning of the 2007-08 academic session, the local administration had launched a special door-to-door campaign in the district, “chalo school ki aur,'' to identify dropouts and those who never enrolled with schools.

``In our maiden venture we have managed to motivate 2,500 students out of a total of 4,000 enrolled to continue their studies in various government schools under the special programme,'' he added.

At the time of admission, these students were also given free textbooks and notebooks.

Encouraged with this year's success, the administration has planned to send another annual project to the state government to rope in the leftover students. 



Aditi’s feats make her Rewari’s ‘wonder’ girl
Nawal Kishore Rastogi

Rewari, January 24
Aditi’s forthcoming air trip from Rewari to Paris has virtually made her the “wonder girl” of Rewari. She will be participating in the official opening of the International Year of Planet Earth (IYPE), a global launch event, being held under the aegis of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) in Paris on February 12 and 13.

Being a winner of the international student contest of the IYPE, Aditi along with four other student delegates from India has been invited to participate in this prestigious event.

All costs regarding her trip and stay in Paris would be fully covered.

Aditi Sinha (17) is presently a student of B. Tech (Hon) I of Lovely Professional University, Jalandhar (Punjab). Her poem “Bridge” made her win the contest.

While Aditi’s father Dr Vimal Kumar Sinha is a lecturer in Chemistry in Ahir College, Rewari, her mother Dr Sharad Sinha is a reader in the Regional Institute of Education (RIE), NCERT, Ajmer (Rajasthan).

With an insatiable urge to seek competitive exposure in national conferences on science and technology, Aditi participated in the 95th Indian Science Congress (Science Communication Meet) held under the auspices of the National Council for Science and Technology Communication (NCSTC) at Andhra University, Visakhapatnam, from January 3 to 7. It is all the more creditable that while her mother presented her paper on challenges in science communication in regional languages, Aditi, too, read out her paper on the same subject before the Indian Science Congress. Her paper was appreciated for her valuable suggestions to promote science communication in regional languages.

Aditi has successfully participated in at least 24 national, 10 state level and over 24 district-level contests on science and technology and other allied subjects in the past one decade.

She was awarded the national rank runners-up award of the Air India National Rank and Bolt Awards 2006-07, by the then President of India, Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam at a function held in Delhi on July 19, 2007. Aditi also won a free trip to Singapore as a corollary of her achievement. The Tribune was the media partner of this Air India exercise.

Similarly, her performance in national innovation challenge contest (a TV series on young scientists) held under the auspices of the NCSTC at National Bal Bhawan in New Delhi in April 2005, was rated meritorious by the organizers. Aditi was also awarded the silver merit certificate in the 4th National Cyber Olympiad held by the Science Olympiad Foundation in August 2004, in India and abroad.

Aditi has also won numerous awards for her performance in academics and sports as well.

Naturally her teachers and others have now started calling her “wonder girl of Rewari” who is expected to attain greater heights in her career in the years to come. 



Bhajan factor puts INLD in a spot
Raman Mohan
Tribune News Service

Hisar, January 24
More than the Congress, the Bhajan Lal factor is causing greater concerns in the INLD, which could miss a poll alliance with its erstwhile ally the BJP if the former Chief Minister does finally set up his own political party.

These concerns have been further strengthened by the rise of Lal Krishan Advani as the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate in the next Lok Sabha election as the saffron party’s top gun is considered opposed to any alliance with Om Parkash Chautala because of the party’s faith shaking experience from 2000 assembly election onwards.

Haryana BJP sources said the state leadership and the party rank and file too were against any truck with the INLD in the coming Lok Sabha as well as assembly elections.

This is why the BJP could lean on Bhajan Lal and his son Kuldeep Bishnoi provided they can convince the BJP that together they can win most of the 10 Lok Sabha seats in Haryana to help Advani make a bid for the office of the Prime Minister.

Although outwardly the INLD leadership maintains that in the end the BJP will side with it because the two parties are “natural as well as 
historical allies” adding that the alliance goes back to the days of former Deputy Prime Minister Devi Lal and the maverick BJP leader late Dr 
Mangal Sein.

However, on the inside they are worried because the history of the alliance clearly shows that the INLD cannot sweep to power in Haryana on its own. The BJP, too, may not have much political clout on its own at present, but together with the INLD the two parties can be a formidable combination especially when the Congress will be wrestling with the incumbency factor in the next elections.

BJP leaders also say the emergence of Bhajan Lal outside the Congress has also given the party an alternative to the INLD. They point out that at the beginning of the Bishnois’ anti-Hooda campaign, it was widely speculated that the former Chief Minister might even join the BJP and be its candidate for the highest political office in the state.

They say that was public perception and thus it reflected the acceptability of a possible alliance among the masses.

Conversely, both Chautala and Bhajan Lal have the option of going along with Mayawati’s BSP. Though presently, the BSP does not have much political following but if the UP Chief Minister finally decides to take its footprints to Haryana, she could upset many a cart.

But here again, the INLD and the BSP have nothing in common ideologically. Not that this matters much in contemporary politics but a Jat-led party seems an unlikely ally for a party of mainly Dalits. This is where Bhajan Lal again enjoys the edge over 

It is in this background that the father-son duo is keeping their cards close to their chests. Clearly, their minds are at the moment focused on how to ward off Congress offensive to oust them and how to give a practical shape to their plans for a political outfit. 



Furnaces worst hit by power curbs
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 24
Arc and induction furnaces across Haryana are up in arms against the decision of the state power utilities regarding imposition of power regulations on them, while industries having much higher load are given a regular power supply.

Power regulations had been imposed by the state power utilities earlier this month because of an acute power shortage in the state. Though the power regulations were imposed on all categories of industrial consumers, the furnaces have been the worst affected.

While electricity supply has been restricted to industrial and independent industrial feeders for six to seven hours a day, the furnaces are getting supply for just 
six hours a day.

Talking to TNS, executive member of the Haryana Chamber of Commerce and Industry Parveen Goel alleged that the arc and induction furnaces in the state did not consume more than 250-500 kw of power. “Still severe power regulations have been imposed on us, while the industry having a load of over 1 mw are being given adequate power supply,” he said, while adding that they were suffering huge losses.

The arc and induction furnace owners said they have been earlier assured by the power utilities that power cuts would be imposed on the basis of industrial load and not on the basis of category of industry. In fact, orders to this effect have been passed by the officials of Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam. “However, over the past two years, every time there is a shortage of power, it is the arc and induction furnace industry that is worst affected,” said Vishal Goel of Godawari Trading and Uttam Foundry Works. He added they had been protesting against this move for a long time, but to no avail.

These arc and induction furnaces supply goods to OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) like Mahindra and Mahindra, PTL and Sonalika. The owners rued they were not just losing revenue worth lakhs of rupees every day because of unavailability of power, but also business from these OEMs as they were unable to supply the goods in time.

Meanwhile, officials in the power utilities said the only reason why the power restrictions were imposed on the furnaces was that they have alternate sources of captive power generation, while other industries might not have their own captive power generation. “We will look into the matter and ensure that their grievances are removed,” said the official, while requesting anonymity. 



Cops who realise where the might is
Yoginder Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 24
“Khakhi” in India invariably evokes the image of a ruthless and insensitive person who wields lathi at the drop of a hat. So it comes as a pleasant surprise when one finds sensitive thinking and writing souls draped in that fearful uniform.

The Haryana Police has a fare sprinkling of this breed of officers. Some of them like DIG Rajbir Deswal have been writing middles, travelogues and other articles for The Tribune for more than two decades. Deswal has also penned a number of books, including a few on Haryanavi humour, Director-general of police (DGP) R.S. Dalal, too, contributes for The Tribune on and off.

The ADGP of the Haryana Armed Police complex, Madhuban, V.N. Rai, a philosopher police officer, has been associated with the publication of a literary magazine. He was also instrumental in the production of a light-and-sound show on the 1857 revolt put up by the department recently.

IG, Madhuban HAP complex K.P. Singh is another police officer who has written a number of books on various subjects, including female foeticide and police training. He has done his doctorate on crime and judicial system of the country.

DIG R.C. Mishra and DSP Abhey Singh are also known as “writers in khakhi”. Among the former IPS officers who are known as such are DGP B.R. Lal and ADGP V.K. Kapur. To recognise some of these “police authors”, the Bureau of Police Research and Development organised a function in New Delhi last month.

On the occasion, the Gobind Vallabh Pant Award was conferred upon seven police officials for their various works.

Joginder Singh got this award for his “Police Ki Kahani, Meri Zubani”; Dr Anupam Sharma for his book on cyber crime; Dr Deepa Jain for “Mahila Suraksha Evm Mahila Police”; M. Laxmanacharya for “Nyayaik Vigyan Evm Apraadh Anveshan”; Mohd. Rafiq Khan for “Police Adhikaarion Ke Virudh Karwaai”; Dr P.S. Bhushan for “Police Prabandhan”; and Dr Amrish Kumar for “Police Marg Darshika”.  



Jind’s new BPL list soon
Bijendra Ahlawat
Tribune News Service

Jind, January 24
The fresh list of BPL beneficiaries is likely to be made final by month end and witness an increase of about 18,000 more families. 

The authorities have been in a process to review and scrutinise the fresh applications regarding the claims and objections received between December 22 and January 1 by the local administration, the first appellate authority in this regard.

Out of total 66,339 applicants, requests of around 18,000 families were accepted of which about 1,100 claims were at the stage of final disposal. However, there is no kutcha house in the district, which has been one of the main considerations for inclusion in the list. There are about 43,000 families already existing in the BPL category in the district.

The criteria for including a family in the BPL list has several considerations which include the status of the applicant family regarding land ownership, the condition of the house, ownership of valuables and household items, education level of the family and the source of livelihood.

While the each of consideration carry marks ranging from 0 to 10, the cutoff limit for the eligibility in the district has been kept at a total of 10 marks. It is revealed that while not having any agricultural land and a house carry 0 mark each, those having land more than 8 kanals would be given from 2 to 10 points depending upon the total land possessed by a family.

One having a “kutcha” house on less than 100 sq yd will be given one point while those having a “pucca” on an area up to 100 sq yd will be given five points.  



Aahuti inspires Gohana residents to donate eyes
B.S. Malik

Sonepat, January 24
The efforts of Aahuti, an unregistered NGO, has turned Gohana, a dusty town of the district, into a centre of inspiration where the people are writing a new chapter in its history by making eye donation and blood donation a movement in a big way.

As many as 127 eye donations have already been made during the past seven years after first donation on October 10, 2000, when the convener of Aahuti, Surender Viswas persuaded his relatives to donate the eyes of an elder who had died. However, after a wait of more than one-and-a-half years, the second donation came when the father of Viswas died in June 2002. As many as 12 youngsters of the town with a view to serve the society founded this organisation in 2000.

Talking to The Tribune, Viswas said initially they faced difficulty in convincing people to pledge for eye donation. “Though there were some initial inhibitions in motivating the people, but after witnessing some cases of voluntary eye donation, the people got motivated,” he added and claimed that it was evident from the fact that after only six donations in 2002, the number of eye donors had gone up to 127, which showed the changing mindset of the people of Gohana.

“Besides individual volunteers, there are around 20 families in the town whose more than one member has donated eyes,” he said, adding that the movement had spread in some of the rural and urban areas as well. 



Citizens' Grievances
Poor sanitation

Recently, I visited the newly constructed building on the Kurukshetra University campus, which houses the offices of dean of colleges and dean of students’ welfare, besides other important offices. I was ashamed to see the cleanliness of the common toilet, which was stinking. The washbasin was painted red with spits of “pan”. If this is the status of sanitation in a seat of higher learning, can we talk of total sanitation in the rural areas?

                                                                                  Puran Singh, Nilokheri

Dera case and traffic jams

The trial against Dera Saccha Sauda chief is presently continuing in a designated CBI court in Ambala City. During his visits to the city, it is noticed that the whole city gets entrapped in severe traffic jams owing to the heavy rush of his followers. This is despite the fact that the entire traffic regulating machinery of the district police is deployed to deal with the anticipated mess. The remedy lies in ensuring the presence of baba by means of video-conferencing. As the dera chief has already been granted regular bail, it would pose no problem. Nowadays, there are talks about concepts of e-judiciary; it is perhaps the best time to go for video-conferencing in trials especially in cases involving VVIPs and celebrities.

                                                                         Hemant Kumar, Ambala City

No salary for three months

I have not been getting the salary for the past three months, thanks to the non-issuing of the LPC by the Principal of the Government College for Women, Hisar. Repeated requests in this regard have fallen on deaf ears. Even the directive of the department of higher education to the concerned principal to release LPC immediately has not been complied with. Is the autocratic attitude in violation of the service rules by the college principal answerable to the higher authorities?

                                                                                   Veena Sharma, Hisar 





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