NH-71 turns dumping ground
Not caring two hoots for the norms, the Rohtak administration has been dumping garbage on the national highway for the past two years, making life miserable for motorists and nearby residents
Bijendra Ahlawat
Tribune News Service

Rohtak, November 13
The dumping of garbage is not only issue concerning the millennium city, Gurgaon, but it has also acquired a similar proportion in CM's city of Rohtak.

The spot selected by the municipal council to dump garbage and waste adjoining the NH-71 connecting Rohtak with Jind, just on the outskirts of the town, has evoked a strong protest from the local residents.

The spot has been located well within the municipal limits and has come as a major source of nuisance and inconvenience to the thousands of residents living nearby.

The garbage has also been posing danger to the existence of the highway as it has started spilling over to the road. Agitated residents have asked the administration to shift the dumpsite to a far off place. Garbage dumping has been going on this place, located on the Jind bypass, for past about two years.

While the authorities have acquired land for the purpose near Jalalpur village, which is located outside the municipal limits. Instead of dumping the waste there, the contractors have been dumping the garbage here against all norms despite all protests, said president of the Resident Welfare Association Ram Avtar.

He said the living conditions had become worse than a slum because of the garbage heap in their neighbourhood, which had been emitting foul smell round the clock.

He said even the movement of traffic on the highway had been affected due to garbage on the road, making it an accident-prone area due to decreased commuting space.

The authorities of a prominent school located on this road have also reportedly objected to the dumping of waste here and have claimed that the foul smell was affecting the health of hundreds of schoolchildren.

Residential colonies affected by it are Nehru colony, Rainakpura, Anantpuram, Fauji colony, Indira colony and Shastri colony besides several other institutions and industrial units.

Claiming that this has been a hazardous activity, Avtar said, the civic administration that was responsible for maintaining hygiene and cleanliness in the city, had been violating all norms openly and not heeding to the problems of the residents.

While this had made their lives a hell, the property prices in the area had fallen sharply and those who wanted to shift out had been left with no choice but to suffer, claimed Sunil Kumar, a resident of nearby Anantpuram.

He said there was a population of over 50,000 within the radius of 5 km from the spot and the authorities could not ignore their right of living in a clean atmosphere.

The residents have announced to seek the intervention of the Chief Minister on the issue and have warned to take the matter to the court if justice was not delivered.



This biker sees no boundaries
Bhanu P. Lohumi
Tribune News Service

Karnal, November 13
A meeting with Paul Read, a British national, who is exploring the globe on his bike, makes one realise that no ambition is bigger than the desire to live the dreams.

The 42-year-old biker who was here on his globe tottering mission on motorcycle nurtured a dream of a long motorcycle adventure tour since his mid-twenties. But it was only when he turned 40 that he realised to quit the job of software programmer and made frantic searches about motorcycle adventure on the net.

He set out from his parent’s farm in Lincolnshire on the east coast of England with a motto “the big plan is to have no plan” on September 14, 2007.

During first six months, he rode 22,000 km through seven different countries viz. France, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Iran, UAE, Oman and came back to the UAE before he flew to the UK to work with a friend for a short while.

Sharing experiences of his adventurous journey, Read said, “In France, I saw some natural wonders and the amazing engineering feat of the Millau Viaduct. Italy saw me enjoying a world sports car championship race from the pits. In Greece, I visited the monasteries perched high on the rocks in the meteors region. While in Turkey five other motorcycle adventurers joined me. I travelled with them for a while before snow halted the expedition”.

A quick truck ride took him and his bike into Iran, where again the snow hampered the forward journey and he had to travel by train to go to warmer regions which afforded him an opportunity to enjoy the ancient Presepolis palace.

He then spent four weeks exploring Oman and travelled past 700 km through the southern desert of Oman where only a thin strip of tarmac was splitting sandy flat grounds, which was a real spectacle.

In September 2008, he flew back to the UAE after leaving his Honda in Dubai before flying onto India and chose to explore India on a Royal Enfield during the second part of his trip.

“I aim to explore India enjoying the sites and sounds of hill stations, temples, people and the amazing scenery before going back. I really feel that my trip has been an adventure that exceeded my expectations and I have enjoyed the beautiful places and the hospitability of the people I have met,” he said, adding that the people of Turkey, Iran, Oman and now India have been exceptionally helpful and welcoming.

“I always felt that I arrived as a stranger and left a friend at all these places. In India, I met members of the Fox Adventure Club through a website, who are really experienced in this field and they chalked out the programme for me to visit the hills of Uttarakhand,” he added.

Summing up his exhilarating experience, Read said, “My trip has been wonderful even when the things did not go as I intended, but as an adventurer, I only wish to treasure positive memories”.



Biologists pin hopes on pay panel
B.S. Malik

Sonepat, November 13
The recommendations of the Sixth Pay Commission appears to be the last hope for biologists and biomedical scientists working in the health department for the removal of stagnation and other anomalies in their pay scales.

As many as 15 biologists and biomedical scientists are working in the state health department at district headquarters in surveillance and control of vector borne diseases like dengue, malaria, chikungunya, kala azar etc.

They are in the stagnated pay scale of Rs 8,000-10,500 without any provision of ACP, promotion, upgradation of the post or increase in the pay scale. This anomaly has been continuing for the past 20 years.

The biologists or biomedical scientists were put in the pay scale of Rs 400-1,100 by the Second Pay Commission in Rs 900-1,700 during the Third Pay Commission and Rs 2,000- 3,500 by the Fourth Pay Commission in 1986.

However, with the revised orders in 1989, the pay scales of all other posts equivalent to this category were revised and upgraded from Rs 2,000-3,500 to Rs 2,200-4,000 with the time scale of Rs 3,000- 4,500 after five years and Rs 4,100- 5,300 after 12 years of service.

But this category was left aside in the same pay scale of Rs 2,000- 3,500 without any revision or upgradation or time scale provision in their pay scales.

It is also interesting that the officers like district fisheries officer, geologists, geophysicist, scientists of the Haryana Pollution Control Board, scientists of the agriculture department and of the central institutions like NDRI, Karnal, NBRI, Maneshar and several others with same qualification and experience are getting initial pay scale of Rs 8,000- 10,500 with five years and 12 years time scale of Rs 10,000-13,900 and Rs 12,000–16,500, respectively, according to the recommendations of the Fifth Pay Commission.

In the union territory of Chandigarh, similarly designated biologists with similar qualification and nature of job are in the initial scale of Rs 8,000-13,500 with time scales; but Biologists in Haryana had remained deprived of it and had been put in the stagnated pay scale of Rs 6,500- 10,500 without any provision of time scale, ACP, promotion, upgradation in the pay scale or post.

Dr Parmanand, secretary of the Haryana State Biologists Association, informed that the pay commission committee of the state government had reviewed the continuous stagnation of the pay scale of the post with two representatives of the association on November 6. The committee had also studied the nature of job and qualifications of the parallel posts and the pay scales of different departments.



Post-retirement, a new beginning for babus
Yoginder Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 13
In Haryana, when senior bureaucrats retire, the first priority of most of them is to get re-employment. This is evident from the fact that all those bureaucrats who retired as the chief secretary of the state in the past four years, have been reemployed by the government in one capacity or the other.

Some of the bureaucrats join politics, both as post-retirement pass time as well as in a bid to rule over their erstwhile colleagues. The most striking example in this regard is that of K.R. Punia, who took retirement and joined politics at the call of former Deputy Prime Minister Devi Lal in the late eighties. After winning the elections on the Janata Dal ticket, Punia became a minister in the Devi Lal Cabinet. However, after that Punia never won any election.

In the recent past, Birbal Dass Dhalia, former principal secretary to Om Prakash Chautala when the latter was the Chief Minister, joined the politics when he became a member of the Chautala-led Indian National Lok Dal. It is believed that Dhalia may be fielded by the INLD as its candidate from the Sirsa (reserved) constituency during the next Lok Sabha elections.

Now, another retired IAS officer seems to be on his way to politics. H.S. Rana, who retired in August 2007, has launched, for record sake, a social awareness campaign. Such campaigns are usually euphemism for the political ambitions of the person who launches them.

Rana, who actively campaigned for Congress nominee Bhim Sen Mehta from the Indri constituency when the three Assembly byelections were held in the state early this year, led a team of social activists to Dharuhera, Gumina, Padla, Kantikheri, Ateli Mandi and Mahendragarh last week to launch his social awareness campaign among his community, the Rajputs.

Rana told representatives of the community that due to the lack of political clout, it would be highly difficult for the community to get its due share in government jobs. For this, it must evolve a strong political leadership of its own. Of course, he did not tell them who else but a former bureaucrat, who understands the intricacies of the government functioning well, can provide the desired leadership.

Rana exhorted his community to provide good education to children, particularly girls. Giving example of the Kayasth community, he said the community had made exemplary progress in all fields because it had realised the importance of education much earlier than the other communities in North India.

He also asked them to enroll themselves as voters and exercise their right to franchise without fail. He said if the people cast their votes intelligently, they not only strengthened the democratic system but they would also get a good government. In addition, this would ensure them their due share in political power.

Encouraged by the response to his first foray in public life, Rana, who also writes poems, now plans to visit Bhondsi, Dhamdoz, Daula and Sohna in Gurgoan district on November 16, before undertaking similar campaigns in other parts of the state to educate his community.

It may be a matter of time before Rana converts his social campaign into a political campaign.



Kalka widow fights for justice
Hemant Kumar

Kalka, November 13
Hardeep Kaur, a widow and resident of Kurari Mohalla here, has been fighting for the past 10 years to get justice in connection with the murder of her husband. This despite the fact that a local court had issued arrest warrant against Sarwan Singh and others, whom she accuses of murdering her husband Kesar Singh 10 years ago.

She says additional sessions judge on her complaint had issued charge sheet to all accused, identified as Sarwan Singh, Gurwinder Kaur, Gurmeet Singh, Surinder Singh, Bhupinder Singh, Sonu, Chain Singh and Prithavi Singh, on June 10, 2008, under Sections 364, 302, 201, 406 and 120-B of the IPC.

But the accused have not been arrested till date due to the negligent attitude of the local police, she alleges.

Narrating the story of the gory incident, she says her husband Kesar Singh was never seen again after leaving home for Delhi on August 31, 1998, with his brother Sarwan and Gurmeet Singh.

“Both Sarwan and Gurmeet returned, but Kesar went missing. Sarwan told me that he would return in four-five days, but he never did”.

“In December 2000, my husband’s body was recovered in Mandi district in Himachal Pradesh. I identified it, but my in-laws said the body was not of Kesar and even the CID Kalka reported the same,” she narrates.

It eventually took a post mortem examination in Shimla to prove that the body was that of Kesar and that he had been murdered. Hardeep accused her in-laws and others of kidnapping and murdering her husband but no one listened to her.

In 2003, on a petition of Hardeep, the Himachal Pradesh High Court ordered the CID to investigate the matter. The crime branch of the CID, Shimla, in its report stated that on the basis of the FSL report the body recovered was of Kesar Singh.

On July 11, 2006 Hardeep filed a protest petition against the report of the Kalka police, narrating the whole story in the court of civil judge, Panchkula, which summoned the accused under various sections of IPC.

Last seven years of Hardeep has been spent in travelling between Mandi, Kalka and Panchkula to visit the offices of SDM, tehsildar, SP and police stations, but to no avail. 



Solid waste management
Faridabad councillors oppose
recruitment of engineers
Ravi S. Singh
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, November 13
Councillors of the Municipal Corporation of Faridabad (MCF) have been compelling the authorities of the civic body to defer decision on the issue of appointing about 12 mechanical engineers. The appointment of the engineers was part of the agenda of a full house meeting of the civic body.

The proposal was to appoint the engineers to face the challenge of managing the solid waste generated in the city. Major parts of the city fall under the MCF and its area have been divided into old Faridabad, NIT and Ballabgarh.

According to one school of thought, the authorities are right from the perspective of growing menace of untreated solid waste generated on a large scale in the city.

However, the proposal got the goat of some councillors who have objections on several grounds, both technical and normative.

On technical grounds, the councillors opposed the proposal saying that a number of mechanical engineers already present with the MCF were enlisted for civil engineering works.

Hence, there was no justification for appointing mechanical engineers. The functioning of the MCF and the employment of existing mechanical engineers, working for other purposes, present the logic of appointment of civil engineers, if any fresh appointments were to be made.

According to Seema Tirkha, a councillor from ward 15, with government angling to upgrade infrastructure in the city, there was need for consideration of appointments of civil engineers.

Tirkha was also in vanguard of opposition to move appointment of mechanical engineers on the floor of the House during discussion on the issue.

The councillors also demanded to know the eligibility criteria, which was being worked out for the proposed appointment of the engineers.

The authorities of the MCF were also allegedly on the back foot when the councillors raised objections on normative grounds.

They raised the point of suspension of jobs of 1,519 safai karamcharis (scavengers), the move for which was made during the Bansi Lal governent. It was fructified during the INLD-BJP government, which preceded the present Congress government.

The councillors' case was that the government had not absorbed the scavengers and had opted for outsourcing of the jobs to private agencies.

Tirkha said MCF was shelling a sum of Rs 70 lakh per month (Rs 35 lakh, each for old Faridabad and Ballabgarh zones) to private agencies in the form of outsourcing the job of cleaning the city.

They firmly made the point that when the MCF could outsource the job of cleaning up the city, the work related to solid waste management for which appointment of engineers was proposed, could also be outsourced.

They registered their view that the MCF should not adopt double standards on the outsourcing issue.

The councillors felt that the management of solid waste in the city had emerged as a serious issue. However, they strongly felt that improper acts could not be allowed on this pretext.

According to the councillors who are opposing the move of appoint of the engineers, the authorities had kept decision on the appointment issue in abeyance.



Panipat engineering college win in youth festival
Kiran Deep
Tribune News Service

Yamunanagar, November 13
The S.D. College of Engineering, Panipat bagged the first position in the solo Haryanvi dance while TIMT, Yamunanagar stood first in the Haryanvi skit competition in the three days state youth festival held at Ganpati Education Temple, Shahpur recently.

Those who won first position in individual events include the best actor (male) Ajmer Singh of Keshav Group of institute, Karnal and best actor (female) Pratibha Dutta of the Ganpati College of engineering for girls.

Other teams that won first position in other cultural events include PDM School of Pharmacy, Safido (group dance), KITM, Kurukshetra (group song), Ganpati College of Engineering for Girls (choreography) and Keshav Group of Institute, Karnal (orchestra).

Various teams from all the professional institutes affiliated to the Kurukshetra University participated in three-day youth festival.



State to promote organic farming
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 13
The Haryana State Cooperative Supply and Marketing Federation (Hafed) is striving hard to promote organic farming in the state. It has also entered the field of contract farming.

Hafed adopted a holistic approach for promotion of organic farming about a year ago. Farmers in Kurukshetra, Karnal and Kaithal are being encouraged to switch over to organic farming. Marketing tie-ups for the organic produce are being explored. It bears all expenditure on farmer services, certification procedures, consultancy etc.

The agency has earmarked about Rs 4 lakh for demonstration of organic farming practices and inputs. Earthworms costing Rs 2.25 lakh have been given free of cost to 500 farmers to enable them to make vermin compost on their fields. Moreover, demand for organic-certified products has been rising in most of the countries. Progressive farmers are taking advantage of this demand by taking to organic farming in a big way.

But many small and marginal farmers, though willing to adopt organic farming, are held back due to lack of technological awareness, high cost of certification and unavailability of ready market. Hafed would not only enlighten the farmers about the organic farming in the most appropriate manner but would also prevent them from using substandard inputs.

To encourage the farming of special varieties of barley, one of the raw materials used in the liquor industry, Hafed has now negotiated a rate agreement with the United Breweries and the SKOL Breweries for the barley contract farming in the state for the Rabi 2008-09.

The agreement was reached following the intervention of Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, who persuaded these companies to increase the rate of different varieties of barley.

The United Breweries has entered into the agreement for the first time with Hafed. It has assured a buyback price of Rs 1,000 per quintal to the farmers who would sow VJM-315 variety of barley in 10,000 acres.

The SKOL Breweries has agreed to pay Rs 900 per quintal of PL-426 and BH-393 varieties of barley for an area of 6,000 acre.

The contract barley farming would be undertaken in Gurgaon, Rewari, Hisar, Fatehabad and Sirsa districts.

The SKOL Breweries is one of the leading breweries and owns Haywards brand, which initiated barley contract farming through Hafed during Rabi 2007-08. The VJM-3125, an in-house research barley variety of the United Breweries, is a preferred malt variety and has good yield. It is being sown in Punjab since 2002 and is now approved for sowing in the state.

Hafed would not only provide farmers a linkage to the breweries but would also play an important role in ensuring proper implementation of the programme in the interest of farmers of the state. Other benefits to the farmers would be availability of good quality seeds and professional advisory services for better technical support.

OneCert, an APEDA-accredited organic certification agency having its head office in the US and Indian office in Jaipur, has appreciated Hafed’s role in the implementation of the project.



Shopping complexes mushroom
Houses adjoining shopping complexes are being demolished allegedly at the behest of land mafia to create more space for commercial ventures
Satish Seth

Kaithal, November 13
The mushrooming of big shopping complexes at the cost of residential houses in different localities of this town and at various other places in the district has reached alarming proportions.

If this trend is allowed to continue it is bound to aggravate the existing traffic, parking and sanitation problems.

With steep increase in the rates of commercial properties in the past few years, old houses adjoining commercial areas are being demolished in a big way to make way for more commercial complexes.

Though this trend had started about a decade ago, it reached alarming proportions in the recent years, following the entry of land mafia in this trade of converting residential properties to commercial.

Surprisingly, the state government has failed miserably to chalk out any effective strategy to check this trend and act against the violators of the existing laws.

The urban development department seems to be in slumber. It has either not taken note of the trend or has failed to issue guidelines to the civic bodies over the past years.

If at all any instructions were issued to the civic bodies to check this tendency, they remained on papers, as no action seemed to be taken and the mushrooming of shopping complexes is going on unabated.

Interestingly, big complexes are being constructed in old congested markets by demolishing houses.

But, civic body officials, allegedly under the pressure of politicians, have turned a blind eye towards this development. Local residents are apprehensive about the adverse effects of this transformation of residential properties into commercial ones.

Most of these shopping centres do not have any proper provision for the parking of vehicles, which is bound to put extra pressure on the existing road infrastructure and other civic amenities.

Most of the town roads are already witnessing frequent traffic jams and with the steep increase in the number of vehicles every year, things will only go worse.

The residents feel that the government should act fast to reverse this trend, otherwise it would be too late and the coming generations would feel the heat of this serious lapse.

Deputy commissioner Vikas Gupta said he had asked the executive officer of local municipal council to submit a report on this development. He added that if any person was found violating rules, action would be taken.



Scheme for poor patients
Sushil Manav
Tribune News Service

Sirsa, November 13
The district has got the distinction of being the first in the country to implement the Arogya Kosh Nidhi Scheme. Under this scheme, as many as 99 patients living below the poverty line have been treated so far in the district by spending an amount of Rs 5.81 lakh.

Giving this information, an official said under the scheme the government had released a sum of Rs 1.5 crore in different districts for treating serious diseases of the poor.

He said Sirsa had got Rs 10 lakh under the scheme out of which more than Rs 5.75 lakh had been incurred so far.

He informed that the state government had initiated the scheme while it is yet to take off in other states.

He said the health department had been carrying out this welfare scheme with the assistance of union as well as the state government.

Under the scheme, financial assistance was being provided to the people living below the poverty line for medical treatment of diseases related to heart, cancer, kidney, bones, blood, surgical and neuron.

For providing healthcare services under this scheme, the government had identified various medical institutes in which All India Institutes of Medical Science (AIIMS) and the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Research (PGIMR) had been included.

There was a provision to provide financial assistance for the treatment of the said diseases in these hospitals and institutions, he added.

The spokesman informed that under the scheme, financial assistance up to Rs 25,000 and above Rs 25,000 for medicines was being provided by the district health and family welfare society and the state health and family welfare society, respectively.



Medical service comes to villagers’ doorsteps
Ravinder Saini

Jhajjar, November 13
The district health authorities have introduced an ambulance-cum-hospital on wheels in order to provide medical facilities to people working in brick kilns or residing in the remote areas of the district.

This ambulance-cum-hospital has various kinds of medical facilities like mini operation theater, delivery room, structure, medicine stores etc to facilitate the prompt and effective medical treatment.

According to information, a team of medical experts led by Dr Vinay Mohan has been constituted which would not only check the health status of villagers, but also start the process of medical treatment if anyone was found suffering from any ailment.

A charter has also been framed to give maximum benefits of this service to the needy persons and to ensure the smooth and efficient conduct of the programme.

Deputy commissioner Nitin Yadav has recently inaugurated this service by showing green flag to the ambulance at a function organised at the civil hospital here.

Senior health officer Aaditya Gupta said the ambulance-cum-hospital on wheels would also be supportive in making people aware of regular health check-up apart from providing them to medical treatment.

"Around Rs 23 lakh have been spent on this mobile van and it has all those medical facilities which are required for checking the health of the people and performing an operation as well,” Gupta maintained and claimed that it would be successful in achieving its goal.



Movies This Week 

Abhishek Bachchan, Priyanka Chopra and John Abraham in “Dostana”
Abhishek Bachchan, Priyanka Chopra and John Abraham in “Dostana”


Producer: Karan Johar
Director: Tarun Mansukhani
Music: Vishal-Shekhar
Cast: Abhishek Bachchan, Priyanka Chopra, John Abraham, Kirron Kher, Bobby Deol

‘Dostana’, Bollywood’s first film to be set entirely in the Miami, opens this Friday at Suraj-Panchkula, Minerva-Ambala Cantt, Sun City-Hisar, Sheila Multiplex-Rohtak, SRS-Gurgaon, SRS Sector 12, SRS Sector 31, Shubham (All Faridabad), Everest-Rewari, Paras-Kurukshetra, Suraj-Sirsa, Lakshmi-Yamunanagar and Ashoka-Karnal.

What to watch out for: Hot chemistry between Abhishek Bachchan-John Abraham, Priyanka Chopra’s one piece scene in beach wear, Shilpa Shetty’s sizzling item number, music, direction and outdoor locations.


Producers: One More Thought Entertainment, Lenontea Productions
Director: Shashant Shah
Music: Kailash Kher
Cast: Vinay Pathak, Rajat Kapoor, Neha Dhupia, Saurabh Shukla

‘Dasvidaniya’, this bittersweet comedy written by Arshad Syed, also opens today at Fun-Ambala City, Fun-Panipat, OHM-Sirsa, PVR MGF, PVR Ambience, PVR Sahara, SRS OMAXE (All Gurgaon), SRS City Centre, SRS Pristine, INOX, PVR (All Faridabad).

What to watch out for: Vinay Pathak’s performance, situational comedy with a difference, Kailash Kher’s music and Shashant Shah’s direction.

Dharam Pal





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