Power punch
Three mega projects coming up in Jhajjar
Ravinder Saini

Jhajjar, August 21
Illustrious for its historical milieu, Jhajjar will now also be known as the biggest power centre of Haryana. The district is on its way to become the electricity hub of the state with the setting up of three mega energy projects on its soil.

Subsequent to the Jharli-based Indira Gandhi Super Thermal Power Project and thermal plant of Haryana Vidhut Utpadan Nigam having electricity generation capacity of 1,500 MW and 1,320 MW, respectively, now Reliance Haryana Special Economic Zone is all set to establish a 2,100 MW gas-based power plant at Pahsour village in this district.

According to Reliance officials, this plant would be pollution-free and a budget of Rs 2,000 crore has been estimated for it. Though the project will take a minimum two years' time to start generating energy, the procedure of acquiring land has been started and farmers are showing keenness in approaching the company.

Sources said this project would be helpful, especially for those industries and business establishments which are to be set up under the covered area of SEZ as the owners of these business houses need not approach the state government for buying electricity.

Prior to this, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi had laid the foundation stone of the biggest power plant in the state at Jharli on October 7 last year. More than half of the total work of this mega project has been completed so far in record time and on completion, this will facilitate adequate power supply to various districts of Haryana as well as Delhi.

The project is likely to cost Rs 7,892 crore, which will be jointly borne by Aravali Power, a joint venture of the National Thermal Power Corporation, the Haryana Power Generation Corporation and Indraprastha Power.

According to officials associated with Aravali Power, the construction work on the first unit of this project is in full swing and it would be readied by April next.

With the commissioning of the power plant, residents of the district will not only get round-the-clock electricity, but also a host of employment opportunities.



Exclusive community centres for women
Manish Sirhindi
Tribune News Service

Karnal, August 21
In order to empower women in the rural areas where they are not allowed to participate in the decision-making process, the state government has decided to construct chopals (community centres) exclusively for rural women.

Haryana would be the first state in the country to have these chopals that would facilitate rural women. As of today, there are several villages where men assemble at community centers and hold deliberations on various issues related to the villagers. Their women counterparts, however, are not allowed to participate in these discussions and thus have little or no say in the matters that also affect their lives.

By constructing community centres for women, the government wants to provide them with a place where they can assemble and hold discussion related to the issues that concern them and their families.

Under the scheme, 28 mahila choupals are being constructed in various villages in the district. As per an estimate, around Rs 84 lakh would be spent on the construction of women chopals in the first phase.

Deputy commissioner Balbir Singh Malik said these choupals would be constructed in those villages of the district that had a population of over 10,000 or the village with 50 per cent Harijan population. He said the construction work had already been undertaken in some of the villages and the rest would be provided with similar community centres soon.

The district administration had also chalked out plan to hold seminars on women empowerment for proper dissemination of information regarding rights of women amongst the rural populace, Malik added.



  Row over stadium’s name
Ravi S. Singh
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, August 21
The legacy of local war heroes of the 1857 mutiny is being politicised by leaders of the ruling Congress here. The Nahar Singh sports stadium, located near NIT bus stand, is caught in the crossfire of factionalism in the local unit of the Congress.

The stadium was constructed in the mid- eighties by the Congress government in the state, headed by late Bansi Lal. In deference to the popular demand, the then government named the stadium after the war hero. However, a senior Congress leader is alleged to be giving an impression through his supporters that the stadium was named after his own father, late Chaudhary Nahar Singh, who passed away during the sixties.

Although the issue was simmering for sometime now, the matter came to a head at a function relating to Quit India Movement on August 9, which was organised by the District (urban) Congress Committee. The convenor of the Kissan cell of the Haryana Pradesh Congress Committee (HPCC), Satish Daggar, expressed disgust that the senior Congress leader was manipulating the name of the stadium to create a legacy of his father.

According to him, Nahar Singh was considered to be the beacon for other revolutionaries of his time and his daredevil acts against the British government is now part of local folklore.

He was hanged to death at Chandni Chowk, Delhi, by the British.

Daggar also demanded that the words “Saheed Raja” be added to Nahar Singh sports stadium. The office secretary of the District Congress Committee said details of the proceedings of the function have been sent to the Haryana Pradesh Congress Committee and a copy of it to the general secretary of the All India Congress Committee (AICC) and in-charge of the Haryana affairs Margaret Alwa.

On the other hand, president of the District Congress Committee B.S. Ojha, tried to underplay the controversy and described it as silly.

However, Daggar warned that a public movement would be launched for acceptance of the demand.



Waking up to stinking reality
Raju William
Tribune News Service

Gurgaon, August 21
The local municipal corporation has finally woken up to tackle the widespread problem of garbage disposal that has given the cyber city an ugly look, besides being a source of many diseases.

As per MC authorities, around 250 sanitary workers will be employed on a contract basis soon. The same number of workers would be hired for the purpose in 34 villages coming under the jurisdiction of the MC. "Tenders have been issued for employing these workers and the same would be finalised within the next 10 days," informed municipal commissioner Rajeev Sharma.

The MC authorities were facing tremendous pressure from various residents' welfare associations in this regard. They also resorted to demonstrations in protest against the lack of timely disposal of garbage heaped almost in every part of the city.

According to a survey conducted in 2001, Gurgaon city generated around 100 tonne of garbage daily. It increased to 175 tonne over the last seven years, posing a challenge to the civic authorities to put in place a comprehensive and proper disposal system. It is now all the more imperative due to burgeoning population of the city.

Of the total 490 sanctioned posts in the MC, at present, there are 320 sanitary workers looking after the city's cleanliness. Apart from them, there are around 350 workers put on the disposal job by a private contractor and Sulabh International but only around 200 such workers report on duty daily, said sources.

Officially said there are 15 garbage collection centres and 32 garbage bins placed at various points in the city. The MC is plying seven tractor-trailers to carry garbage from residential areas to these collection centres. There are five dumpers to carry the garbage from these centres to dumping points.

Interestingly, only two sanitary inspectors, an assistant, a supervisor, along with four other employees of the MC,
are there to ensure garbage collection in the whole city.

"We will ensure that garbage is collected on a daily basis and anybody found negligent in performing duty will face action," added Sharma.



Twenty20 in Sirsa
Sushil Manav
Tribune News Service

Sirsa, August 21
The Jan Nayak Chaudhary Devi Lal International Cricket Academy, set up by INLD MP Ajay Singh Chautala's son Digvijay Singh, will organise international twenty-twenty cricket tournament at JCD Vidyapeeth Sirsa from September 6 to September 14 on the occasion of birthday anniversary of former Deputy Prime Minister Devi Lal that falls on September 25.

Digvijay Singh said club teams from Lahore (Pakistan), Netherlands, England and South Africa had confirmed their participation in the tournament. Teams from ONGC, Railways and Indian Airlines had also confirmed their entry.

Prize money of Rs 5 lakh would be given to the winning team while Rs 2.5 lakh would be given to the runner-ups, Digvijay Singh informed.

Former Chief Minister Om Parkash Chautala would be the chief guest of the opening ceremony of the tournament while Waqar Yunis, former captain of Pakistan cricket team, would preside over.

Chief guests for prize distribution ceremony were yet to be decided, he said.

Dr Kuldip Singh Dhindsa, director-general of JCD Vidyapeeth, informed that a state-of-the-art cricket stadium was being set up on the premises of the Vidyapeeth.

The stadium, which was as per the specifications of the Punjab Cricket Association's stadium in Mohali, would be ready by August 31. The stadium had air-conditioned pavilion and change rooms for players.

It also had VIP enclosures and press enclosures and provision of day and night matches, he added.

Dhindsa said floodlights for the stadium had been imported from Musco Lighting Company, USA, and the soil for the stadium had been brought from Bangalore.

He informed that the Jan Nayak Devi Lal International Cricket Academy was set up in April this year. Around 700 players in the age group of 12 to 19 years from Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Chandigarh, Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh participated in the trials.

Out of these, 40 were selected for admission to the academy, who were being trained by able coaches, he added.



Inside Babudom
It’s raining gains post-retirement
Geetanjali Gayatri
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 21
Three years of Bhupinder Singh Hooda term in Haryana have been nothing short of a dream run for bureaucrats on the verge of superannuation. Offered plush jobs post-retirement, the “accommodating” government went a step further this time.

While it had become a tradition to re-employ retired bureaucrats in various capacities, the government this time zeroed in on two serving bureaucrats, R.D. Sheokand and M.P. Bidhlan, for appointment as members of the Haryana Public Service Commission (HPSC).

While Sheokand was serving as additional principal secretary to the Chief Minister and had five months of service left, Bidlan, MD of the Land Reclamation and Development Corporation Ltd, had over a year when chosen for the job.

The two officers resigned from the service to become members of the commission, thereby setting a new trend of bureaucrats being “chosen” for constitutional posts in an attempt to “add years to their employability”.

If this was a one-of-its-kind appointment in the state in the recent past, the present government has offered many a positions to top bureaucrats right after their retirement. However, the ball is set rolling as the date for superannuation approaches.

With a long list of “adjusted bureaucrats”, sources in the government justify that it is an attempt to use their to the advantage of the government. Maintaining that all else is hogwash, sources say former bureaucrats can contribute better to the system since they understand the entire functioning of the government machinery.

While G. Madhvan became the chief information commissioner right after his retirement, the first woman chief secretary of the state, Meenakshi Anand Chaudhary, too, found a berth as the state information commissioner as did Asha Sharma post-retirement.

Former chief secretary A.N. Mathur was appointed chairman of the State Finance Commission while Promilla Issar was chosen to head the newly constituted Haryana Environmental Impact Assessment Authority after her retirement. Another former bureaucrat, Bhaskar Chatterjee, was selected to head the Haryana Electricity Regulatory Commission (HERC) by thegovernment.

Barring the exception of Prem Prashant who declined a job offer post-retirement and was content being a member of the Administrative Reforms Commission, all chief secretaries who retired during the Hooda term are “gainfully re-employed”.

Though the government has its justifications, workers of the Congress are particularly disgruntled for being left out in the cold even when their government is in power. Unable to secure position for themselves, they are critical of former bureaucrats usurping positions that could have fallen in their kitty.



Cong’s ranks get a wake-up call
Geetanjali Gayatri
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 21
It’s on, it’s off, and it’s on again. Ministers of the Haryana cabinet have once again been asked to make themselves available at the office of the state Congress committee to redress grievances of the public.

The directive, as usual, has come from the headquarters of the party.

Sources said Congress general secretary and in charge of Haryana affairs Margret Alva has asked the ministers to not only visit the respective district party offices when on tour but also emphasised that they should devote some time at the state Congress office.

Such initiatives to reach out to the public by the party in the past, too, have yielded poor results. This “mandatory attendance” at the PCC has proved to be a complete waste with ministers awaiting the public and complaints which have evaded them during the allocated time slot at the PCC.

Right after the party came to power in the state, this programme was rolled out to facilitate government-public interaction and ensure the ministers are available on fixed days to redress grievances pertaining to their respective departments.

However, it gradually went “out of fashion” with the public preferring to meet the ministers at their residences. While rush outside the homes of ministers began to grow, the number of workers frequenting the Congress office to meet the ministers went down to a trickle and soon the programme was unofficially discontinued.

Early this year, when Alva visit the office of the state unit of the Congress, she once again asked the Congress leaders to restart the exercise and being meeting the public. Once again, a fresh schedule was drawn up and each minister was allotted two days to attend office.

However, the fate of such attendances remained unchanged and the ministers spent the time clearing their files at visits to the PCC office. Sources said there were no takes for this proramme because the ministers spend “quality time” at their residence with people from the state and their constituencies. Since their issues get addressed, the meetings at the PCC become meaningless.

“When the ministers do come here, the same faces that were there at their residences show up at the PCC. Then, most of the visitors want a secretariat-entry pass which is arranged for them. The ministers’ visits thereby become meaningless and serve no purpose,” explains a worker.

While the timetable is no longer followed, ministers who are in Chandigarh do occasionally go and visit the PCC office. However, with these fresh instructions, a new routine for these visits to the PCC is in the offing. Since none of the ministers have had the “courage” to explain to the Congress top brass in Delhi why such timetables are not feasible, they have no option but to devote time where it is needed least.



Global exposure for faculty to enhance skills
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, August 21
The Deenbandhu Chhotu Ram University of Science and Technology, Murthal (Sonepat), is encouraging the faculty to have international exposure through the presentation of technical papers at various international conferences held around the world sponsored under the TEQIP scheme. Dr S.K. Singh, assistant professor in the applied science department, had presented a paper on platinum metals in the modern industry, hydrogen energy and life maintenance in future at Xian, China.

Similarly, Dr D.K. Jain, assistant professor in the electrical engineering department, presented technical paper on application of boost converter for ride through capability of adjustable speed drives at a conference on control and automation held in Paris (France) recently.

This conference was organised by the World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology.

Sanju Saini, lecturer in the electrical engineering department, delivered a talk on power control and optimisation at Chiang Mai, Thailand.

This conference was organised by Curtin University, Malaysia, in collaboration with Chiang Mai University, Thailand. She presented paper on the use of artificial neural network in modelling of industrial processes.

Another university lecturer Anita Singroha presented a technical paper on multi-parameter-based vertical handoff decision in next generation networks during the 2008 international conference on networking, Internet and mobile communication.

While sharing their experiences at a seminar held in the university recently and attended by the faculty members of the university, vice-chancellor Har Sarup Chahal appreciated the efforts put in by the faculty members in their respective areas of expertise and also encouraged other faculty members to enhance the name of their university in the international domain.



Renewable energy: The path for the future
Sushil Manav
Tribune News Service

Sirsa, August 21
As power is becoming costlier, renewable energy generated from natural resources like sunlight, wind, rains, tides and geothermal heat is becoming popular.

Given the climatic conditions of this area, sunlight is the only form of renewable energy that is used to produce energy.

With an aim to popularise it among masses, the renewable energy department has developed a renewable energy park at the local government polytechnic at a cost of Rs 5.16 lakh.

The park is operating streetlights, home lights, a water heater system and a tubewell in the institution.

Besides this, solar water system has been installed each at five institutions in the town, i.e. Sirsa Club, Kastoorba Gandhi Old Age Home, Deaf and Dumb Welfare Centre, Disha, a school for special children, and Dera Sacha Sauda. Additional deputy commissioner Sirsa Yudhvir Singh Khayalia, who looks after the renewable energy department in the district, said so far 14 water heating systems based on solar energy had been set up in the town.

“About 90 per cent of the cost of solar water heating system is given by the department as subsidy. Besides this, those who install these systems are given a subsidy of Rs 300 per month for three years on their power bills,” he said. He said the authorities selected a village every year for rewarding those villages that adopt renewable energy.

Rattakhera, which has been chosen this year’s award, has 60 home lights, 60 solar cookers and three biogas plants based on renewable energy.

Energy conservation plan to be launched

Sonepat, August 21
In order to promote energy conservation, Sonepat will be covered under the Clean Development Management (CDM) programme by the Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (UHBVN). All preparations have been made to launch the programme in coordination with the Sonepat unit of Osram India Limited. According to the spokesperson of the Nigam, Haryana is the first state in the country to be chosen for this programme that is first of its kind in the world.

Under the programme, conventional bulbs of 100 Watt and 60 w would be replaced by the compact florescent lamps (CFL) of 20 w and 15 w respectively in each household.

“The CFLs has the life span of about 10 years and use of these will not only save the energy, but will also help in reducing the carbon dioxide emissions,” he said, adding that more than 80 per cent will be conserved by using the CFLs in place of conventional bulbs. The normal lifetime of a CFL is 15,000 hours. In case of unexpected early failure of CFL due to technical defects within 12 months, lamps will be exchanged free of charge through the Nigam. In the first phase, 5.30 lakh CFLs would be provided by the Osram India in Sonepat as well as Yamunanagar districts with the help of Haryana ex-servicemen league. Around three lakh CFLs are likely to be distributed in Sonepat district



  Soldier who plays different tunes
SD Sharma

Panchkula, August 21
Strange though it may seem but it is a fact that a music addict sergeant in the Indian Air Force carried his harmonium along with his luggage even during the World War II operations. The unusual phenomenon, however, is an eloquent testimony to the ardent musical passion of Bollywood music director J.P. Kaushik.

An acclaimed Bollywood music director, veteran of 37 Hindi and Haryanvi, Rajasthani feature films and tele-serials, J.P. Kaushik is not complacent even at the age of 84. He is still striving to embellish the otherwise rich Haryanvi folklore.

He is in city on an invitation of the department of information and public relations to conduct an advanced folk music workshop for the 
established artists at Punjab Kala Bhawan here. Kaushik, who shared his old memoirs of six decades of musical voyage with the Tribune, says, “Hardly soft spoken Haryanvis are by and large tender at heart and undeniably the greatest lovers of their pristine folk music”.

“It is for their dedicated love that unlike other regional music cultures, the pure Haryanvi folk has not been influenced by Western pop mania and the swangs, raagini and folk dances reverberate their hearts. I too was not an exception and inherited the musical nuances from my grandfather and father. Even while studying at Gaud High school, Rohtak, I was the obvious choice to play harmonium at functions and participated in the freedom movement. The spectrum of my music passion grew more during my service tenure with the IAF and weighed heavily forcing me to seek premature retirement in 1959 as a master warrant officer.”

“Meanwhile, I used to spend annual leave only in Bombay interacting with the likes of Ustad Ali Akbar Khan, Naushad Saheb, SD Burman, Bimal Roy , Rajinder Singh Bedi and above all KA Abbas who gave me break as music director in film ‘Shehaar aur Sapna’.”

The very first film won President’s Gold Medal and best music director award from Bengal Journalists association. Then followed films ‘Hamara ghar’, ‘Aasman Mahal’,Bomabi Raat ki bahon mein, Bsti aur Bazar, Dhamaka, Sanhji and Saat Hindustani launching Amitabh Bachchan as hero. Out of over twenty regional films ‘Chandrawal’ ( Haryanvi) proved a super golden jubilee hit besides Rajasthani films Dharambhai and Laddo Rani. However, the Harynavi folk music remained my first love and its twang, melodic grace were perceptible in many of my film songs.

But despite its earthy appeal, vitality and grandeur it has not won recognition at the national or International level unlike the Punjabi or Rajasthani folk, laments the master music composer. It has now become imperative to preserve its purity and enrich it from compatible resources of technological advancement. 



  Prayas — a noble effort
Sushil Manav
Tribune News Service

Sirsa, August 21
It is a shocking and alarming fact that approximately 2.5 to 3 per cent of the total population is mentally retarded which in most cases is a lifelong condition. Mentally retarded children at homes are a lifelong pain for parents.

Proper handling and treatment can make them to live self sufficiently. Mental retardation is a developmental disability that can appear from the very birth of a child.

People who are mentally retarded function at an intellectual level that is below average and have difficulties with learning and daily living skills.

It is a misconception that mental disabilities are related to gender or race. Conceptual skills like language, social skills like interaction with others and practical skills like self care are lacking in people classified as mentally retarded.

Children labeled as such need special care to overcome social, intellectual and physical disabilities.

Paryas, a Sirsa-based NGO, has been running a school for children with special needs, where over 70 such children have been getting training. Run by the District Child Welfare Society, Paryas has children between the age group of 8 and 18 years and these children are of all forms of disabilities like autism, cerebral palsy, down syndrome, multiple disorder etc. Manisha (9), a fatherless girl, comes to the school from Nejia Khera village. Her mental age is not more than 4 years. Her mother went into a shock during her pregnancy due to the death of her husband and this resulted in the birth of a mentally retarded child in form of Manisha.

Mamta is 18 today, but behaves like a 10-year-old due to her mental condition. Youngest of the three siblings, her father, a drunkard, used to beat up her mother. Mamta was born, when her mother was victim of severe malnutrition and bashing by husband.

Deepak is 18 and suffers from down syndrome. He has a mental age of 14. All these have been getting training in self-help skills besides personal, social, recreational and occupational skills at Paryas. The school has a nice building with sprawling lawns. But scarcity of funds is the biggest handicap before the institute. “We have been maintaining the lawns by spending from our own pockets,” informs Arun Mehta, an adviser member of the NGO.

While the institute has been ameliorating the lives of special children much before Aamir Khan earned acclaims with his film on the subject “Tare Zameen Par”, the six teachers and four other employees of the institute have been doing without their salaries for the past nine months.

Deputy commissioner V. Umashankar, who is also chairman of the District Child Welfare Society, says the institute has not received any grant from the ministry of social justice for two years. He says they have been somehow paying salaries from the District Red Cross fund.





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