BPL row refuses to die down
Sushil Manav
Tribune News Service

Fatehabad, September 4
The issue of irregularities in the preparation of lists for people living below poverty line (BPL) has become a major headache for the authorities all over the state.

Though it is always difficult for the authorities to please every body in matters where people's interests are involved, the recently published lists have certainly posed a plethora of problems for those at the helm of affairs.

Have a grievance?

People who are still aggrieved can submit their representations to the additional deputy commissioners and block development panchayat officers concerned by September 30. The Chief Minister has already instructed the officers to dispose of these representations by October 15.

"If the name of a person not eligible for the list has been included, a complaint shall be made . The state is bound to rectify errors.

Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda

Not a single day passes when scores of villagers do not throng the mini-secretariat with complaints of exclusion of their names from the BPL list.

The problem is not restricted to Fatehabad district alone. Almost all districts of the state are facing protests on this issue. Recently, one such demonstration was organised in Dabwali on this issue.

Allegations of inclusion of certain non-deserving people and exclusion of genuine have been levelled during these demonstrations.

Bhola Ram, a resident of Dharsul Kalan village, owns 70 acres of land and maintains a car and has the best of agriculture implements like tractor and others, yet his name appears in the BPL list. His also owns a big house in the village where he has all comforts expected of a rich landlord.

It is another matter that Bhola Ram says that he never went to the authorities to include his name in the list.

He says if his name has been wrongly entered in the much sought after BPL list, then he cannot be blamed for that.

But, those alleging irregularities maintain that Bhola Ram's case in not an isolated one where rich and mighty have been included in the list to corner the benefits meant for the poorest of the poor. They allege that the lists had been prepared in closed doors and without proper surveys.

The protests have been so strong that union minister for urban employment and poverty alleviation Selja, who was at Fatehabad recently, had to admit that there were irregularities, but said the government had sought an enquiry into the complaints.

C.G. Rajnikanthan, additional deputy commissioner, Fatehabad, informed The Tribune that all complaints in this regard would be looked into and those who were left out by mistake would be included while the names of those who were wrongly included would be deleted.

Rajnikanthan informed that around 48,000 persons had been included in the BPL list from the rural areas in the district. He maintained that if some names were to be added in this list, an equal number of names would have to be excluded.

He said he had received 10,000 complaints in this regard and had appointed 45 officers to carry out verification.



Trouble in Ambala too
Amrita Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Ambala, September 4
Residents of the district are unhappy with the BPL lists released by the district administration. Many allege that the lists are incorrect and do not include the genuine poor.

For councilors of the municipal corporations and sarpanches of various villages, it has led to a big problem as the voter is now blaming them. They are also upset as the names suggested by them have been ignored. They say the lists have created an awkward situation for them.

Leaders associated with the Congress say they are ridiculed that their government could not help the poor. Naresh Chauhan of Mullana village feels let down by the government for not having included the names suggested by him. "Names of about 600 persons figure in the BPL list. However, 110 more needed to be added. How do I explain to them?" he says.

Same is the case in Pasiala village. "Around 24 families, which include seven widows and three handicapped are not in the list," says sarpanch Balram Saini.

Councilors in Ambala Cantt, too, are facing the wrath of their voters. They allege that in February during a meeting with the authorities they had submitted a list of names to be added in the BPL list. "However, the final list does not show those names," they rue.

Four-time councilor Hira Lal Yadav alleges that there is also a discrepancy in the list with the councilors and the one with the food and supply department. He also alleges that many people who were earlier in the BPL list no longer figure in it.

Another councilor, Onkar Nathi alleges that the list includes the rich. "The rich have been included in the BPL List. There is also a case of 36 BPL cards issued on one address in Ambala Cantt."

Phool Chand Mullana, president, HPCC, however, feels that the policy to put a board outside the houses of the BPL families might help. "Grievances will be addressed and those found genuine would be included," states Mullana. The district administration has released a list of 23,000 persons who fall in the BPL category.

According to deputy commissioner Mohammad Shayin, the previous list had only 5,000 names. "We have made all efforts to prepare an accurate list. The survey cannot be conducted again."

He, however, asserts that all aggrieved should lodge a complaint with his office and it will be addressed.



Gurgaon admn works for error-free list
Tribune News Service

Gurgaon, September 4
To ensure the inclusion of deserving families in the below poverty line (BPL) category, the district administration, on the directions of the state government, has started the process of accepting claims and objections for the purpose. The deadline for completing the process is September 30.

Though genuine poor families were given two chances for inclusion of their names in the eligibility lists, if any deserving poor family is left out, it still has a chance to apply in the office of the Gurgaon ADC by the above said date. During the process, the names of the families found ineligible for BPL status would be deleted from the list on receiving objections.

As per deputy commissioner Deepti Umashankar, claims and objections received in the ADC office so far have been sent to the BDPO concerned for verification. She informed that till now 424 claims and objections had been received.

Of the 92,235 families residing in the rural areas in Gurgaon, 22,211 families figure in the BPL list already published by the government.

ADC Abhe Singh Yadav said in order to make the process of BPL list error-free, his office had started computerisation of claims and objections received. The decision to add or delete the family’s name from the BPL list would be taken by the government on the basis of the verification report by BDPO concerned.



Non-cadre officers occupy cadre posts
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 4
The posting of non-cadre officers on cadre posts in the state forest department is causing heartburn to Indian Forest Service (IFS) officers posted in the state.

It is learnt that as many as three cadre posts of divisional forest officer are being occupied by the non-cadre officers (those who are not from the IFS), even as three cadre officers are awaiting their posting orders upon return from training. Interestingly, no IFS officer has been posted in the Shivalik region (Panchkula, Ambala and Yamunanagar), even though this region has the maximum forest cover of the state.

The IFS officers allege that HFS officers manipulate with their political bosses to get posting in the Shivalik region in violation of the cadre rules. The IFS Association, Haryana, alleges that the non-cadre officials, having strong political connections, are ensuring that all rules in the book are flouted and they are given plum postings.

This is not the first time that non-cadre officers are posted on cadre posts. It seems to have become a practice in the state. Every time the IFS officers approach the court of law against this, the government removes non-cadre officers and posts cadre officers, so that the petitions become invalid. After this, these non-cadre officers again get plum postings. Interestingly, the union ministry of environment and forests, too, has recently directed the state government to implement the cadre rules.

It may be mentioned that the state has 43 cadre posts, including the posts of DCF, conservator of forests, chief conservator of forests and principal chief conservator of forests.

The IFS officers say that their postings are governed under the cadre rules and Indian Forest Service (Pay) Rules, 1968, and the strength of IFS cadres and its composition is determined by the central government. The rules clearly point out that the state government can make temporary appointment of non-cadre officers on cadre posts only if the government knows that the vacancy will not last for more than three months, and a suitable cadre officer is available to fill the vacancy. If a person other than a cadre officer is appointed to cadre post for a period extending to three months, the matter should be brought to the notice of the central government, after giving reasons for such appointments. Since there is no concurrence of the central government in this regard, this provision has also thus been violated by the central government.



Wake-up call in Faridabad as roads turn deathtraps
Ravi S. Singh
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, September 4
Following the incident of a Tata Safari getting drowned in a waterlogged trench on a road in the Ballabgarh area a few days ago, the administration has directed all departmental heads to submit in writing on present status of the roads falling in their jurisdictions.

Subdivisional magistrate of Ballabgarh Harish Chand Jain has specifically written to the head of the Ballabagrh zone of the Municipal Corporation of Faridabad (MCF) to submit in writing to his office whether all roads falling under the civic body are in good condition.

The administration is displaying activism after the Tata Safari sank in a crater-like-hole on the Ballabgarh road. The three family members travelling in it saved their lives by getting out of the vehicle when it dawned on them and had started sinking in the hole. The vehicle was finally lifted out of the literal pit by the authorities. The deep hole on the road was formed on account of incessant and heavy rains, and wear and tear of the road. Harish Chand Jain confirmed that he had written a letter to the office of the joint commissioner on the issue and also directed that status of all the roads falling in the jurisdiction of the civic body be submitted immediately to him.

Wanting no more mishaps to take place, the administration has firmly directed the ad hoc mending of roads by filling up the holes till permanent repairs were undertaken. A vehicle as big as a car getting stuck in big bole on a road and sinking in has put egg over the face of the authorities, especially as it has happened in a cosmopolitan city of the state. The development has invited wide-ranging frowns as it did take place against the backdrop of Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda’s umpteen public pronouncements that Faridabad, which had lost to satellite cities like Gurgaon and Noida in the past two decades, would be resotored to its earlier glory.

It is as clear as daylight that almost all the roads in Faridabad, as was the reported cases in other parts of cities and towns, have lost their shape and size due to damages caused by heavy rainfall during this monsoon. The bad shape of the roads in the district also caught the attention of Congress MP, Deepender Singh Hooda, when he visited here recently regarding a meeting of NSUI and expressed annoyance on the issue. The SDM on the spot talked to HUDA. It is not that poor condition of the roads is phenomenon of this monsoon. The large-scale deterioration is obviously on account of the water logging of the roads due to heavy rainfalls. But the larger question is what causes the water logging? It is because of the blockages of main nullas, causing hindrance to exit of storm-water. In any case, there is no full-scale drainage system with regard to storm-water in the city.

To add to the problem, the contractors, apparently with the concerned authorities, use sub-standard materials in the construction and repairs of road. Rather, the popular opinion is that the development and modernisation process of the city gives an opportunity to the contractors and black sheep along with the decision makers in the concerned departments to misuse government funds.



RTI strengthens democracy: Experts
Ravinder Saini

Bahadurgarh (Jhajjar), September 4
With a view to make officers of various departments aware of the procedural formalities under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, a seminar for the government functionaries on was organised by the District Rural Development Agency (DRDA) here yesterday.

During the seminar, top officers and experts not only provided answers to the questions raised by the officers regarding the RTI but also described the fundamental aspects of this Act so that the officers could act in a best and efficient manner.

Expressing the utility of Act to all sections of the society, deputy commissioner Nitin Yadav asserted this Act is a weapon in the hands of people under which they could seek information from the government on developmental works and welfare schemes and expenditure involved. He stressed that the Act has strengthened the democracy and allowed scope for public participation in governance.

“No law can serve the purpose for which it has been formed unless people are aware of its various provisions and the rights accorded to them under that law,” said Yadav, adding that social organisations should come forward to make the public aware about the RTI.

Executive officer of the DRDA and additional deputy commissioner Saaket Kumar said such seminars would also be organised at Panchayat and village levels on regular basis. Besides the government officials, the participation of common people would also be ensured in these seminars so that they become more involved in the process of governance. Dr Saaket also called upon NGOs and the media to play an important role in promoting the Act especially in the rural areas.

Dr Rajbir Dhaka, an expert from Gurgaon, Dr Jasphool Singh, director, Haryana Navyuvak Kala Sangam, Rohtak, and Ramesh Kaushik, an office-bearer of the Energy Research Centre, Gurgaon, said the RTI was one of the best things to have happened in India and if implemented in its true spirit, the RTI could prove a boon. They also shared various techniques to implement this Act efficiently.

Jhajjar SDM Satyender Duhan, Bahadurgarh SDM Susheel Sarwan, DRO Khalil Ahmad, DDPO Lala Ram Yadav, city magistrate Virender Sangwan, project officer Rameshwar Singh and district officers of various government departments were present on the occasion.



Dera row
State asked to form peace panels

Tribune News Service

Yamunanagar, September 4
In order to diffuse crisis in the communally sensitive areas of the state, the home ministry has directed the state government to constitute peace committees.

The committees would comprise prominent citizens, community leaders and representatives of political parties and respectable organisations. The ministry felt that local residents could play a significant role towards the maintenance of communal harmony. Officers concerned should remain in contact with the members of the committees, the ministry said.

Besides, the ministry stressed that women who constitute a vulnerable group in context of communal tensions or riots, could also play an effective role. Their fair representation in peace committees could help in containing such situations.

In a communication to chief secretary Dharam Vir, union home secretary Madhukar Gupta stated that in case of any incident of communal tension, the committees should act immediately.

The chief secretary has directed all officials to follow the directions.

It may be recalled that the peace committee experiment had already been implemented in Sirsa district. DC V. Umashankar had constituted the committee that has played a vital role.



Ranked 4th in country
Kurukshetra varsity excels in sports
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 4
Kurukshetra University has climbed to the fourth position in sports activities in the country by securing 9,310 points. This is for the first time that the university has got this distinction after competing with 350 universities in the country, according to Dr D.S. Chauhan, director, physical education and sports secretary of the Kurukshetra University Sports Council.

Dr Chauhan, who has been an international player in volleyball and is an Arjun awardee, told The Tribune here today that the undersecretary, sports, of the Association of Indian Universities (AIU), New Delhi, has communicated that the Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Trophy for 2006-07 has gone to Punjabi University, Patiala, with 11,710 points, putting last year's winner GND University, Amritsar, with 10,660 at the second place. Delhi University stood third.



Traders desert Kaithal meat market
Satish Seth

Kaithal, September 4
Constructed about six years ago at an estimated cost of Rs 25 lakh, the local meat market has been lying closed for more than three years. The deadlock between meat sellers and the authorities over the provision of basic amenities has resulted in the closure of the market.

After few months the market became functional with as many as 30 shops, the shopkeepers complained about inadequate water supply, which created obstructions in washing of slaughtered animals, thus leading to stink.

If this was not enough, the row over the payment of power bills by the council to power board further aggravated the existing problems. The board reportedly disconnected the power supply. Facing numerous problems, the shopkeepers stopped the payment of rent, resulting in the blame game between the council authorities and the shopkeepers.

To add to the existing woes, the council started dumping municipal waste in the vicinity of the meat market, which forced the meat sellers to leave the place. Empty shops have resulted in huge loss of rental income for the municipal council.

When contacted, deputy commissioner Vikas Gupta said he was not aware of the problem and directed the executive officer (local council) S.K. Goyal, to inspect the site and submit a report.



Inside Babudom
Pilferage unchecked at secretariat library
Yoginder Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 4
For years, the Haryana Civil Secretariat library has been a victim of pilferage. Perhaps, this is a problem faced by all libraries world over. There are people who pilfer books and rare journals from the libraries so that they can keep them for their personnel use. Whenever such people are caught, action is taken against them.

But in the Haryana Civil Secretariat library, the problem is unique. Here the pilferage is official? Haryana babus get the books issued in their names and then forget to return the books for years.

The library staff finds it hard to tell the defaulting babus to return the books so that others could also read them. Staff is afraid that with their emperor-size egos, senior officers might not like their attempts to retrieve the library books.

After becoming chief secretary, Dharam Vir reviewed the working of the Civil Secretariat library when he came to know about this problem. He decided to act tough with the defaulters.

Recently, a communication has been sent to all bureaucrats informing them that if they fail to return over-due books to the library, a fine of Rs 2 per book per day would be imposed on them after September 15.

Communication from chief secretary’s office had a desired effect immediately. A senior bureaucrat remarked that after this missive, truckloads of books have been returned by the IAS officers in the past few days.

Many bureaucrats have lost track of books issued to them by the library over the years. Some of them have further lent library books to their friends and relatives and now they do not know where those books are. They have been asked to deposit the cost of missing books. Some of the bureaucrats would have to pay thousands of rupees to clear their account.

Dharam Vir’s colleagues say his decision might sound harsh to those bureaucrats who have developed a habit of unchecked arbitrariness. But as a matter of principle, the Chief Secretary has taken the right step to restore the health of the library.



Scheme to improve power supply
Tribune News Service

Yamunanagar, September 4
After testing and implementing power supply through high voltage distribution system (HVDS) and low voltage distribution system (LVDS) in 87 villages of eight districts of the state, the Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (UHBVN) has been enabled to reduce tripping or breakdowns by around 65 per cent and damages of transformers by about 90 per cent in these villages.

The scheme had been implemented in 87 villages and urban residential colonies of Yamunanagar, Kaithal, Kurukshetra, Ambala, Rohtak, Panipat, Jind and Sonepat districts. After the introduction of this system, there is an increase in the consumption of electricity from 44.18 lakh to 59.78 lakh units that has resulted in higher revenues.

The nigam has erected new power supply lines and poles in these areas that give a much better look and help in reducing accidents. Reliability on power supply system has also improved, which is the basic ingredient of achieving the goal of full consumer satisfaction, an official says.

With a view to facilitate consumers, the nigam has been holding bijli sabhas in villages to make people aware of the advantages of the scheme. It has also released 720 new connections to the applicants on the spot, the official adds.



Driving a Herculean task in Bhiwani
Shiv Sharma

Bhiwani, September 4
Bhiwani city is in a bad shape these days. Local residents have to tackle a number of difficult and awkward situations in their day-to-day life.

Though the condition of roads and sewerage system was never up to the mark, the recent rains have ruined it completely. After 12 days of the heavy showers recently, water could be seen stagnating all over the town, including its main roads like Rohtak road, Hansi and Loharu roads.

The administration claims that water has been drained from the city, but the main old bus stand road, which is just few yards away from the mini-secretariat, is still inundated. The administration has failed to check waterlogging on this stretch.

Bhiwani is a historical city and after formation of Haryana, it was carved out from Hisar to form a separate district. It remained political centre for about four decades and produced three chief ministers.

However, at present the city wears a neglected look. All its roads are full of crater-shaped potholes. Not even a single road is safe today. The ring road from Agarsein chowk to Dadri Gate is the worst hit. The administration had dug a nullah here to channelise storm water to Dhana Ladanpur. Today, the nullah is silted and water overflows on the road, thus making it difficult for motorists to cross.

Due to waterlogging there is a total chaos on the Old Bus Stand road. There are several banks, big stores, hospitals and clinics on this road but no effort has been made to improve this road.

The Loharu road connecting to Rajasthan is too in a bad shape. During rains, it remains inundated for several days. A patch of few yards is low lying and the public works department least cares to lift it to the level of other roads.



Farmers advised to grow potatoes
D.R. Vij

Kurukshetra, September 4
Farmers in the plain areas should start sowing potato crop to get better returns. This was stated by a senior scientist of the HAU, Hisar, C.B. Singh.

The scientist has been invited to present his paper at Global Potato Conference 2008, scheduled to be held in New Delhi from December 9 to 12 to celebrate the international year of potato.

C.B. Singh says cold stored potatoes are not suitable for table and processing purposes as they have little shelf life when taken out of the cold storage. Moreover, they shrink in size and the sugar contents are also reduced.

Consequently, when these potatoes are used for preparing chips, they produce brown chips because of reduced sugar, which is unacceptable both in terms of colour and taste, he adds.

The scientist further suggests that the storage requirement of potatoes should be in accordance with the purpose for which they are stored. The cold stores should maintain the temperature at 2–4 °C at about 95 per cent relative humidity exclusively for the storage of potato seed while the table and processing potatoes should be stored at 8–12°C, after treating the potatoes with a sprout suppressant.

So far as the short-term storage of potatoes is concerned, C.B. Singh says non-refrigerated storage methods like evaporative cooled potato store and traditional farm potato storage methods like heaps and pits can be used profitably.



NGO takes English language to masses
Sushil Manav
Tribune News Service

Sirsa, September 4
English Promotion Forum, a Sirsa-based NGO, is being actively promoting English language among students, professionals, government officials, police personnel and people from all walks of life.

The NGO has been creating awareness on the importance of the language in present day scenario when good jobs are available only to those who could communicate well in English.

The forum was floated by R.S. Sangwan, a local physician, and Rai Singh Saharan, a retired police officer, as they found the standard of English poor in this part of the country. The forum has several prominent persons of the district as its members.

It recently organised a seminar and a declamation contest at local C.M.K. National Girls P.G. College to lay stress on the importance of the language. Former Haryana minister Jagdish Nehra was the chief guest.

Nehra lauded the role played by the forum in promoting the language among students and professionals.

“We have been encouraging students showing excellent performance in competitions organised by us with prizes,” says Saharan.



Citizens’ Grievances
Website ‘misleading’

While surfing the official website of the Haryana police, under the heading “How to report a crime” it has been mentioned that if anyone wants to lodge an FIR, he has to approach only that police station under whose jurisdiction that crime has occurred.

Strict insistence on approaching only that police station goes against the verdict of the Supreme Court delivered in October 1999, wherein the court had held that there was no bar on a person from lodging an FIR at a police station even if the incident occurred at a place over which the same police station had no territorial jurisdiction. 

The same ruling has been reiterated in various subsequent verdicts of the Supreme Court.  It is supposed that in such cases, after conducting preliminary investigation of an FIR, the in charge of the police station would get the same transferred to that police station under whose jurisdiction the crime has occurred. The DGP Haryana is requested to order incorporation of suitable amendment in guidelines relating to the issue in its official website.

Hemant Kumar, Ambala City

Ban vehicles in bazaars

Citizens of the town demand that the administration should impose a ban on entry of vehicles, including rehris, in congested bazaars during daytime. Shahabad is an old town and its Patasa bazaar, Main Bazaar, Railway road, Jagdish Marg, and Committee Bazaar, are very narrow and congested. Encroachments by shopkeepers and vendors have doubled the problem.

Generally, when a four-wheeler enters these areas, it blocks all traffic and the situation deteriorates when another four-wheeler happens to come from the opposite side. It causes jam and inconvenience to the passersby. People demand that the MC should remove all encroachments from the bazaars and ban the entry of vehicles during peak hours.

Surinder Pal Singh Wadhawan, Shahabad Markanda

Readers, write in

Send in write-ups, not exceeding 200 words, to Haryana Plus, The Tribune, Sector 29, Chandigarh. E-mail: adalat@tribunemail.com





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