Dilemma of poll alliances
Sunit Dhawan
Tribune News Service

Rohtak, August 18
In view of the unprecedented political situation prevailing in the state and curious equations coming to the fore with every passing day, it seems that the psephologists will have enough masala for their audiences this time around.

The formation of a new political outfit by former Chief Minister Bhajan Lal and his suspended MP son Kuldeep Bishnoi, the surfacing of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) as a political force to reckon with and numerous possible electoral alliances in the air make these elections unique in many respects.

The political parties that had been repeatedly vowing to go it alone in the next elections have started changing their tunes with the election time approaching.

Interestingly, in the present scenario, some sort or overt or covert alliance has become a necessity for all parties, barring the ruling Congress.

Take, for example, the BJP. This national party lacks a strong mass support base in the state, especially in the rural parts.

Therefore, facing the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections for the BJP on its own seems to be bereft of poll logic.

Moreover, as the party's national leadership sees a chance of coming to power at the centre, they cannot choose to adopt a causal approach in any given state.

The BJP leaders are weighing the options available for a pre-poll partnership in the state: the INLD and the Haryana Janhit Congress (BL).

According to party insiders, the past bitter experience notwithstanding, the chances of a pact with the INLD are more.

This also seems logical, as the INLD's loyal rural voters can complement the BJP's urban supporters.

Besides, the BJP is not supposed to gain much from an alliance with the HJC, as both parties have overlapping support base.

On the other hand, the INLD also stands to benefit from the arrangement for two main reasons.

First, the people of the state have not forgotten or forgiven the INLD regime led by Om Prakash Chautala for using strong-arm tactics while in power.

Thence, the INLD needs a kind face to approach the electors, which the BJP can provide. In return, the BJP will get a loyal rural vote bank, which it direly needs.

Secondly, the options before the INLD are limited. Joining hands with the BSP does not seem viable as the stock BSP voters are highly unlikely to accept INLD men as their allies, and vice-versa.

If the INLD goes with the HJC, it may be detrimental the interests of both as it will lend credence to Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda's assertion of a longstanding secret understanding between Bhajan Lal and Chautala.

After making his presence felt by way of an impressive entry on Haryana's political horizon, Bhajan Lal's scion Kuldeep Bishnoi and his outfit HJC will have to prove their actual worth in these elections, which will be an acid test of their performance.

As regarding the BSP, it has already announced its Lok Sabha candidates from six of the 10 seats in the state.

At a recent meeting of the party executive, the BSP leadership asserted its resolve to go it solo in Haryana.

According to political observers, though the BSP can harm the prospects of the
Congress, it is unlikely to put up an impressive show as regarding grabbing the Lok
Sabha seats.

However, as of now, the failure of the opposition parties in garnering the support of the residents or forging an acceptable coalition seems to have taken the sheen off the anti-incumbency factor, obviously to the benefit of the ruling Congress.



No more a male bastion
Sushil Manav
Tribune News Service

Sirsa, August 18
Raj Bala (31) and Ritu (30) are two sisters who have been able to break the age-old notion that women cannot perform tough and tedious jobs considered the exclusive male domains and have shown the tenacity to storm the male bastion despite opposition from their family.

Both are now working as bus drivers in Sirsa. While Raj Bala drives the bus of a school for special children managed by the district child welfare society, the other sister, Ritu, drives the bus of the women wing of Government National College and ferries girls from distant villages to Sirsa.

Daughters of a carpenter from Hisar town, both sisters are married to two real brothers of Meerkan village near Hisar.

While Raj Bala's husband Krishan Kumar earns his living by selling milk, Ritu's husband Ram Singh is an accountant in a brick kiln.

"Driving heavy vehicles fascinated us from the childhood. When we saw bus drivers sitting on wheels and controlling the steering of speeding buses with immaculate perfection, the idea of driving such buses used to come in our minds," says Ritu.

"We were always rebellious. Any kind of gender discrimination was not acceptable to us. It was then we decided to do something that only men do," adds Raj Bala.

The two sisters were shown the door when they visited the Haryana Roadways office in Hisar for learning the driving of heavy commercial vehicles.

They were told that women are not trained there. "But, GM of the depot O. P. Bishnoi intervened and we were allowed training," says Ritu.

"We were lucky that deputy commissioner Sirsa V. Umashankar, spotted us when we came here with other batch mates," says Raj Bala, adding that it was because of his initiative that we got jobs.

Umashankar offered them jobs in the district red cross and the district child welfare society and they joined duties on October 11, 2006. Later, Pankaj, another woman driver, joined them.

We cover several kilometers daily and often change punctured tyres ourselves, they say, adding that with courage and self-belief, women could do whatever they want.



SIC raps varsity for denying info
Raman Mohan
Tribune News Service

Hisar, August 18
In a major boost to protagonists of the Right to Information Act, state information commissioner Meenaxi Anand Chaudhry has ruled that information sought by applicants under the Act though prefixed with "whether" is held to be covered under the definition of "information" as defined under Section 2(f) of the RTI Act.

Several public authorities, notably Kurukshetra University, had been consistently denying information to applicants under the RTI Act by claiming that the RTI Act did not cast on the public authority any obligation to queries in which the applicant attempted to elicit answers to his questions with prefixes such as why, what, when and whether.

Anshul Joy, a resident of Chandigarh, had filed an appeal before the state information commissioner after Kurukshetra University's public information officer of the Directorate of Correspondence Courses denied him information about his LL.M dissertation.

Joy went in appeal before the first appellate authority of the university, but his appeal was rejected after which the applicant appealed to the SIC, who has now directed that prefixes such as whether would fall within the ambit of the definition of information under the RTI Act.

The SIC in her decision directed that the university's PIO be warned to be careful in future and advised him to follow the provisions of the RTI Act.

She also directed the first appellate authority to submit his comments separately in future in response to the commission's notices in second appeals.

Kurukshetra University had been using this denial mode as a standard ploy to
cover up its own lapses leaving the applicants no other choice but to go in
appeal to the SIC.

A local resident, Anil Bhatiya, too, had approached the SIC after his numerous applications seeking information about the functioning of DAV Colleges in Haryana from Kurukshetra University were summarily rejected by the university.

In the wake of the latest ruling of the SIC, Bhatiya has sought directions to the university to make the information available to him.

The university has also been violating the Act by out rightly claiming that it had no information available with it regarding appointments of teachers and principals of DAV Colleges in Haryana.



Yamuna's fury panics villagers
Kiran Deep
Tribune News Service

Yamunanagar, August 18
Despite tall claims overflow in the Yamuna and seasonal rivulets Som and Markanda has caused panic among villagers as it has damaged crops in several villages in the past two weeks.

The situation has aggravated due to rainy season that made villages unprotected.

The commissioner Ambala (range) had directed officials to make arrangements to cope with floods.

However, the rainfall has exposed the ineffectiveness of the preparations made by the administration. Villagers living along the Yamuna have been facing tough time due to rise in its water level.

Water has entered in several villages, including Amaadpur, Dyalgarh and Budhiya.

Similarly, the overflow of the water in Markanda rivulet has caused much damage in Sadhaura block.

Water entered into Sadhaura after causing a breach in Bid Majra village has damaged crops on over 50 acres.

While the cause of the damage during the rainy season is attributed to uncontrolled mining in the Yamuna, claimed villagers.

However, nothing substantial has been done, they allege. An official said they had set up control rooms to monitor the flood-prone area.



Jind jam
Bijendra Ahlawat
Tribune News Service

Jind, August 18
People in the town have held the administration to ransom quite often in the recent past by blocking the roads.

It is particularly evident in the rural areas
where people rush to squat on the main roads and highways as and when they find it convenient to lodge their protest on issues concerning them.

It is happening almost every third day and in the past about one year the total number of such incidents ranged between 10 and 15 every month.

The district authorities, which have failed to evolve any strategy to prevent such occurrences, seem to become a helpless spectator even as the traffic disruption of this kind has become a major source of inconvenience to commuters and motorists in the district.

The issues that have been a cause of road blockades includes short power and water supply, poor civic amenities and incidents of alleged police inaction regarding some incident of crime.

The functioning of the liquor mafia and the running of liquor vends in villages has also come up as a prominent reason behind the unrest among the people, who quite often resort to blocking the traffic on the main roads and highways.

The majority of blockades that occurred during the past six months have been on the issue of short supply of power irregular supply of potable water in some villages, official sources say.

Higher officials had been on their toes during the recent months when reports of traffic disruption by agitating crowds became a near daily routine.

There were some days when the number of traffic blockades were more than three or four in one single day in the city or the district and the officials had to rush to the spots one after another to get the roads cleared.

The city has also witnessed protests against the rising incidents of thefts and crime. On more than six occasions shopkeepers and traders had to resort to stop the traffic in protest against the incidents of thefts in their shops in the city.

The Patiala Chowk area is one such spot in the city where such incidents have taken place at regular intervals, says Rajesh, a local shopkeeper.

Residents of two villages in the district blocked the road recently after they failed to get a satisfactory reply from the officials regarding the construction of a bridge over a water canal in their area.

They alleged that the department concerned had delayed the construction work without any reason, leading to inconvenience to the people.

Several blockades have been held on the issue of illicit liquor shops and murders committed by the mafia involved in liquor trade in the district.

Nearly 50 to 60 villages out of the total 306 villages have prominently figured in the list of those where residents have resorted to such a move over certain issues.

Regarding the action against the protesters, it is claimed that since the district is a hub of political activities and home district of certain influential persons, the authorities desist from initiating any strict action.



Hospital selling waste to junk dealers
Bijendra Ahlawat
Tribune News Service

Jind, August 18
Being the general hospital of one of the oldest districts of Haryana makes no difference when it comes to services and facilities.

The civil hospital here, which receives a huge amount as government help for its functioning, presents a rather pathetic picture in terms of overall performance.

The hospital, with an initial capacity of 50 beds, was inaugurated in 1975 by then Chief Minister Bansi Lal.

In 2001, the hospital was upgraded to 200 beds, but the standard of services and facilities have never been up to the mark.

Besides, the hospital also failed to utilise the available resources like the incinerator chamber, an important section for the disposal of garbage and wastage, which has been lying unused from the very day it was set up about 10 years back.

Several lakhs of rupees were spent on the construction of the incinerator block, which is located on the rear side of the main building.

As a result, private persons collect used and disposed articles, including syringes and glucose bottles from the hospital, though the authorities claim that it had awarded a contract for garbage disposal to a private agency and there was no problem or complaint in this regard.

It may be mentioned that law requires hospitals to dispose of or destroy the medical waste in a proper manner so that there is no chance of recycling them.

On being asked about the unused incinerator and hospital waste being taken by junk dealers, chief medical officer (CMO) Satish Aggarwal said the hospital had awarded a contract to a private agency and the work had been going on smoothly.

He said the incinerator could not be used due to some objections raised by the pollution control department that required a double chamber for the operation of the block while the present one had only a single chamber.

Though a total of 500-600 patients report in the OPD section daily, the hospital finds it tough to handle even a single case of trauma or serious burn injury, as there is no superspeciality department here.

The authorities normally refer emergency cases to the PGIMS at Rohtak, but this proves fatal at times when the patient requires immediate attention as it takes at least one hour to reach Rohtak.

Besides, modern infrastructure, including CT Scan and MRI, and facilities like cardiac and neuro surgery are not available.

All this despite the fact that the hospital is 33 years old and caters to the population of over 11 lakh.

The hospital had provided a mobile facility called as “hospital on wheels” to visit patients in the rural and remote pockets, but the vehicle has been stationed.

It was purchased with the aid of the World Bank. The shortage of doctors has also added to the woes of the patients.



Neglected, Mahavir Park turns into barren land
Suman Bhatnagar

Ambala, August 18
Ambala City Municipal Mahavir Park, once a green island in the heart of the city, has turned into a barren land, thanks to the apathetic attitude of the municipal council.

Till a few years back, the park was a hot spot for picnickers of the district. In fact, it was the only green cover in the old part of the city where people used to spend their evenings.

Well-maintained lawns, beautiful fountains, boating, greenery and a mini-zoo were the main attractions that used to pull the crowd.

However, due to mismanagement, the park has lost its glory and only a few people visit this place daily.

With wild plants having covered the green lawns, there is little space left for
morning walkers.

The children corner where different types of swings were available now became a
dumping ground.

It is also deplorable that one cannot witness even a single flower in the park. A
beautiful fountain in the middle of the park has dried up long ago and boats too
have vanished.

Chirping of birds has gone astray. The lake around the park, too, has become a disposal hub of sewerage.

Recently, the excise department has allowed opening of a liquor vend and a tavern adjoining the main gate of the park, which is named after Lord Mahavira. This has further created hesitation among the people to visit the park.

A few years back, the municipal council had leased out the park to a private contractor so that could be maintained in a better way.

In the beginning, the contractor kept it up in a fine way. All facilities, including boating, canteen, mini-zoo were resumed, but the contractor’s commercial attitude made turned it into a money-making centre. Later, the municipal council cancelled his lease alleging that he had defied the terms.

The chairman of the council claimed that the council would itself maintain the park and would renovate it in a beautiful way.

Around six months have passed, but not even a single step has been taken to improve the condition of the park.

Local residents are of the view that the council should act immediately to save
this park.

A social activist, C.L. Monga, said the state government should offer a grant for the renovation of this park otherwise the city would lose its already limited green cover.



Kaithal treads on potholed roads
Satish Seth

Kaithal, August 18
The government has spent crores of rupees during the past three years on the construction of new roads and repair of old roads, but most of the roads in the town are in a bad shape.

The Hindu School chowk to new Karnal road, Chhatrawas road, Railway Gate to Chandana Gate, Pehowa Chowk to Committee Chowk are a slur on the town. Thanks to the prevailing red tapism and lack of proper planning that has delayed the execution of several projects.

The portion of road from Hindu school chowk to new Karnal road has been lying in a state of neglect state for the past more than six years.

More than three years have passed when the present government took over but there is no change in the condition of the road. Big potholes have developed on this road, but no steps were ever taken to repair the same.

In dry weather, vehicles passing through this road spread dust in the air, forcing the passers-by to inhale dust particles. During rainy season, the water-filled potholes are a big source of nuisance for the road users.

Some residents of colonies on this road told this reporter that a small portion of it was constructed with concrete and cement that was expected to have a longer life span but it developed potholes due to the use of substandard material.

But the authorities have allegedly not cared to initiate any action against those guilty of causing loss to the exchequer.

A stretch of the road from old bus stand to Nirwania building known as “Ba-Bapu Chhatrawas” road has also been lying in a bad shape for the last couple of years.

About six months ago this road was dug through JCB machines to lay water pipes.

Though the work has been completed and local MLA S.S. Surjewala has directed officials to start construction work on this road, but the work has not been started.

Similarly the condition of Railway Gate and Chandana Gate road is poor, as no repair work has been undertaken for long.

A social worker of this area, Dr Mukesh Aggarwal, said it was learnt that tenders had been floated for the construction of this road, but the work was yet to start.



Rs 200 cr sanctioned to boost power supply
Manish Sirhindi
Tribune News Service

Panipat, August 18
In order to strengthen the existing transmission and distribution system that would help improve power supply in the district, the state government has sanctioned Rs 200 crore over a period of next three years.

This was stated by Member of Parliament from Rohtak Deepender Singh Hooda after he inaugurated a 33 KV substation at village Brahman Majra in the district.

He said the government was making strenuous efforts to provide adequate power to consumers, for which setting up of new power generating stations has been expedited and long-term power purchase agreements had been made.

The state would get more than 6,000 MW under the arrangements, claimed Hooda.

He said Haryana would soon have a nuclear power plant at village Kumharian (Fatehabad) as the union government had signed the N-Deal to procure the uranium required for setting up of the plants in the country.

Hooda said opposition parties had failed to justify their stand against the N-deal.

Member of Parliament from Karnal Dr Arvind Sharma, who accompanied Hooda, said the main reason of the present shortage of electricity was the short-sightedness of the previous governments.

He claimed the government led by Bhupinder Singh Hooda had given top priority to the power sector for which all possible steps had been initiated on a war footing.

Divulging the details of the substation, local legislator Prasanni Devi said it had been constructed at a cost of Rs 2.25 crore and would benefit residents of Brahman Majra, Bhadar, Kalkha, Bhaupur, Karad, Jondhan Kalan, Jondhan Khurd and Naultha.

Haryana power utilities chairman Lt. Gen (Retd) O.S. Lohchab said two 132 KV substations were being set up at Sector 29, Panipat, and village Dahar respectively.

The utilities also have plans to set up two new 220 KV sub-stations at Chhajpur and Samalkha and 33 KV substations at Babarpur and Jalalpur villages in the near future.

The domestic and tubewell load of 45 feeders, supplying power to rural areas, is being segregated in the district, the chairman said.

Later, Hooda inaugurated drain number 9 at Uralana Kalan and a Shitala Mata Temple building at village Pathari.

He also inaugurated Aenchara Khurdm minor water works at Seenk and laid the foundation of a stadium at village Pardhana.

Hooda addressed public meetings at Tirkhu Tirth and village Ahar.



Demarcation of agricultural land sought
Hemant Kumar

Kalka, August 18
Thousands of villagers from the 154 villages of Kalka sub-division, which falls under the New Capital Periphery Control Act, have demanded the implementation of the Punjab New Capital (Periphery) Control (Haryana Amendment Act, 2003) under which there is a provision of extension of 60 per cent of Red Line of the existing village ‘abadi’ area.

The villagers said a notification published in the official gazette of Haryana, under the Haryana Act 22 of 2003, provides the above extension.

But the Punjab New Capital (Periphery) Control (Haryana Amendment Act, 2003) has not been implemented so far.

They have demanded immediate demarcation of the village agricultural land and extension of the Lal Dora.

Villagers have alleged that due to non-implementation of the above Act, the department of town and country planning, under a special campaign, has already demolished residential houses in the area, including Tipra Colony or Kalka.

Residents of the area, including former secretary of state Congress Vijay Bansal, have also written to the Chief Minister and deputy Chief minister of Haryana regarding the demarcation of the village land in Kalka subdivision.



Teachers, students honoured
Satish Seth

Kaithal, August 18
As many as 400 teachers and more than 100 students were honoured for their outstanding performance by Ambala division commissioner Mohinder Kumar at a function held at RKSD College here recently.

Deputy commissioner Vikas Gupta presided over this function. The teachers who showed 100 per cent results were among those honoured.

Meritorious students of CBSE-recognised and private-aided schools were honoured.

In his address, the commissioner exhorted the students to get inspiration from their performance and the honour given to them and urged them to take a pledge to perform even better in future.

Gupta stressed the need for character building and said the students should choose bigger targets in life and not get satisfied by merely getting academic degrees.

Ramesh Verma, ADC in charge district Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan, SDM Hawa Singh, DEO Harcharan Singh, DPRO H.L. Verma and other district officials were also present.



IOC keen on expanding pipeline network
Manish Sirhindi
Tribune News Service

Panipat, August 18
Moved by the advantages of transporting crude oil and petroleum products through pipelines, the IOC is looking forward to expand its existing network of pipelines.

Presently, the company is transporting 30 to 33 per cent of its oil through the pipeline network, which is now growing at a rate of 10 per cent each year.

Compared to the previous year, the product pipelines registered a 10.45 per cent increase while the crude oil pipelines showed a 10.54 per cent growth.

The capacity of the pipeline network today is 61.74 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) and the company is ferrying 35.85 MTPA of crude oil and 21.27 MTPA petroleum products through pipeline network.

IOC prefers transporting crude oil and petroleum products through its pipeline network rather than opting for rail and road tankers.

Transportation through pipeline provides the company with flexibility of using the pipeline for ferrying white oil, including petrol, diesel, kerosene and ATF through a single pipeline.

This mode of transportation is cost-effective and helps in saving 25 per cent on freight charges and thus it is more viable for the company.

Considering the benefits of the pipeline network, the company has evolved the concept of commissioning more pipelines.

Sources in the Panipat refinery stated that the movement of product through pipeline was the best option if the refinery was land-locked and in case of IOC’s refineries all were land-locked.

To curb pilferages the company is now adopting stringent security measures.

As many as 66 installations that are manned have been put up to monitor pipelines.

The sources said in the past five or six years, there had been decline in pilferage.

The company is also in the process of laying its first gas pipeline in the Dadri-Panipat network, which connects at GAIL (India) Ltd’s network in Dadri.

The gas pipeline is expected to transport 10 MMSCMD of gas and is likely to be commissioned by January 2009.

The sources said some major pipeline projects were already under implementation, including a crude oil pipeline system from Paradip to Haldia (330 km), new product pipelines from Koyali to Ratlam (265 km), Chennai to Bangalore (290 km), Panipat to Jalandhar (275 km LPG pipeline), and Mathura to Bharatpur (21 km) and also its first gas pipeline from Dadri to Panipat (130 km).

IOC is looking at an investment of Rs 2,600 crore in the current year.



Job scheme empowers rural masses
Sushil Manav
Tribune News Service

Sirsa, August 18
Over 24 men and women are working with spades on the banks of the Ghaggar on the outskirts of Panihari village in Sirsa district.

They are digging earth from a specified piece of land and putting that on the sides of a water tank set up to supply irrigation water to panchayat lands.

Earlier, they have strengthened the banks of the Ghaggar so that it does not cause havoc when in spate.

Two small children, ostensibly of two of these women workers, lay on a charpoy placed under a tree as a maid looks after them.

Young programme officer Monika watches the women work under the sun. She asks them whether they have been getting sufficient potable water and other amenities.

It is later known that the women have been employed by the village panchayat under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS).

Monika is the additional block programme officer in the District Rural Development Authority (DRDA).

Numerous families from this village feel better empowered ever since the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) has been implemented in the village.

Nirmala, a woman in her thirties, says her husband works as a construction worker.

She wanted to contribute to family income, but did not have an idea what to do.

Later, Rajwinder Kaur, living in the neighbourhood, informed her that she could get job in her village itself.

Rajwinder informed her that she could demand work as right now under the NREGA.

“We work from 8 to 12 in the morning and after a rest of three hours again get back to job from 3 to 6 in the afternoon,” Nirmala informs.

She has started working for some days now and gets paid Rs 135 per day.

“As the money is deposited to my bank account, there is no risk of the mediators misappropriating my wages,” she says.

“Thousands of men and women have got employment under the NREGA ever since its implementation has started in the district,” informs Monika.

“They get paid Rs 135 per day though they have to complete a specified quantum of work in a day,” she adds.

Yudhvir Khayalia, additional deputy commissioner, Sirsa, and chief executive officer of the DRDA, says 7978 families have so far got employment under the NREGA and a sum of Rs 3.85 crore has been spent in providing wages to these people.

Khayalia informs that 63,558 job cards have been issued so far in the district.

While the NREGA has been successfully running in the district, not all workers are being paid their wages through their bank or post office accounts, a provision that is mandatory under the NREGA.

“As many as 5,816 families have bank accounts while 470 others have accounts in post offices,” says assistant project officer DRDA Sirsa Charanjit Singh Sidhu.

“A campaign for opening of accounts for the rest of the workers is on but the shortage of staff in rural branches of the banks is the hindrance,” he adds.



Inside Babudom
Wait for promotion gets longer
Yoginder Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 18
Officers of the Haryana Civil Service (HCS) who have been waiting for the past six years for promotion to the IAS, will have to wait a little longer before their ambitions are fulfilled.

The delay has not been caused by the UPSC, which has a major role in recommending the HCS officers for promotion, or the judiciary.

The hitch has come from their immediate bosses, mostly IAS officers, who have to write their annual confidential reports (ACRs).

After the Punjab and Haryana High Court gave permission to promote the HCS officers to the IAS, subject to the final outcome of a writ petition pending before it, the state government sent the names of eligible HCS officers to the UPSC for fixing a meeting of the departmental promotion committee. The officers were jubilant that their long wait was finally over.

However, the UPSC wrote back to the state government asking it to send the latest ACRs of the officers concerned.

Only then the state government and the officers realised that those who were to write the ACRs for the year ending March 31, 2008, had not done so, although they were supposed to write the reports within a couple of months or so after the end of the last financial year.

Chief secretary Dharam Vir swung into action and wrote demi-official letters, which carry high importance in official circles, to those officers who had not written the ACRs to immediately write the reports so that these could be sent to the UPSC at the earliest.

However, informed sources say in many cases these reports are still awaited despite even personal requests to their bosses by the HCS officers concerned.

It is no secret that several officers do not write the ACRs of their juniors for years together even when they or their juniors are transferred out of the departments concerned. While in a majority of the cases, the delay can be ascribed to sheer lethargy, in certain cases the delay is deliberate.

Since the ACRs have a significant role to play in career promotion of government employees, they want to be on the right side of their boss, at least till the time their ACRs are written.

Certain officers exploit this psyche to keep their juniors under their thumb even after their transfer from the department concerned.

Similarly, senior officers asked by the government to inquire against employees who have been charge-sheeted under Rule 7 or 8 of the Conduct Rules, often take unduly long time to complete the inquiries.

Dharam Vir has now decided to periodically review the progress of various inquiries in order to expedite them. He has also decided to order an “audit” of the unwritten ACRs. He also called certain officers who had not written the ACRs.

He told them bluntly that if they failed to write the ACRs, he would not hesitate in doing so after bypassing them.

This had a desired effect. Many defaulting officers sent the ACRs to the chief secretary’s office within a couple of days.



Citizens’ Grievances
Need to develop bus stands

There are three bus stands in Kurukshetra that attracts pilgrims and tourists from all corners of the country and the world. The city has also emerged as a premier educational centre.

One bus stand, located in the old city of Thanesar, serves passengers coming from Pehowa and Kaithal side. The new bus stand located in Sector 10 caters to those passengers who use buses originating from Kurukshetra.

The third bus stand at Pipli falls on the national highway no. 1. This place is mainly used by thousands of passengers commuting between Delhi, Chandigarh and other stations of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan.

Unfortunately, this bus stand is a small and improvised place with no facilities. It stinks everywhere as no public utility unit has been provided.

It took many representations to convince the authorities that Sector 10 bus stand is of no use since the buses coming from Delhi, Chandigarh, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh do not go there.

Consequently, the state transport department named the bus stand as “Kurukshetra Highway Bus Stand, Pipli” in 2003, but nothing has been done so far to build an interstate bus stand as planned although the department has the requisite land and there is no paucity of funds. The government is neglecting this important project.

D.P. Karkara, Kurukshetra





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