Haryana villages clash over water, 12 injured; Is Haryana having enough water?
A violent clash erupted over water between residents of two villages in Hansi sub-division late Monday night. At least 12 persons, including panchayat members, were injured. Eight motorcycles and a pump set were set afire.
The residents of Dhani Peeranwali installed a motor pump to draw water from Puthi minor. Residents of nearby Puthi Mangal Khan village objected to it. They dispersed on being told Dhani Peeranwali had the permission to do so, but returned in larger numbers. An argument led to a clash. The panchayats later met, but failed to sort out the matter. A case has been filed against 300-400 persons.
Water samples taken from schools fail test
As many as 20 samples taken from various schools in Fazilka have failed the quality test. Sources said the Water Supply and Sanitation Department had collected 49 samples in the past 15 days. However, 25 samples taken from water tanks in villages were found fit for consumption, they added.
State govt to constitute SITs against rice millers; Is it a good decision?
Latter owe Rs 300 cr since 2011; cops ‘soft’ in 95 FIRs against them
With rice millers owing over Rs 300 crore to the state government since 2011 and the police allegedly soft in nearly 95 FIRs against them, the government on Tuesday decided to get tough with them by constituting special investigation teams (SITs) to bring the unscrupulous millers to book.
A decision to set up SITs in Ambala, Kurukshetra, Karnal, Kaithal and Yamunanagar districts of the state where a majority of the defaulting rice millers are based was taken today at a meeting headed by Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs Minister Karan Dev Kamboj.
The department’s Additional Chief Secretary Ram Niwas, Director Sanjeev Verma and other senior officials were present on the occasion, while the ADGP (Law and Order) Mohammad Akil represented the police.
Sources said the amount of Rs 300 crore was merely the cost of custom-milled rice these millers owed, but since the government also charged interest and penalty and the defaults were from 2011 onwards, the actual amount was much more than this.
Sources said one such FIR, lodged against a Pehowa (Kurukshetra)-based miller who defaulted in delivering 957 MT rice worth Rs 1.87 crore, dated back to 2011.
In 2012, another mill from Kurukshetra defaulted in delivering 1609 MT rice worth Rs 3.58 crore belonging to the government.
As many as 38 FIRs were registered in 2013 against as many millers from Ambala, Yamunanagar, Kurukshetra, Karnal, Kaithal and other districts and the defaulting amount in these cases was more than Rs 85 crore.
Similar FIRs were registered against millers in 2014, 2015, 2016 and five FIRs were lodged in 2017, with defaulting amount over Rs 300 crore.
The defaulting amount of these millers ranged between a little over Rs 1 crore and Rs 8 crore per miller.
Sources said though FIRs are registered against these dealers since 2011, the police had been soft against them.
In many cases, the police failed to arrest them and in others, millers got bail because the police did not file challans in courts.
Under the custom milling of rice (CMR), various procurement agencies of the government supply paddy to millers against which the miller has to deliver 67 kg of rice for every quintal of paddy he gets.
The government pays Rs 10 per quintal as milling charges to the millers, besides paying transportation charges for bringing paddy to his mill and rice to the warehouses of the government.
Along with this, the miller also gets for free the husk, rice bran and “nakku” (broken corners of rice which is ground and used as flour for dosas), which are the byproducts of the CMR process.
The Tribune has learnt that from every quintal of paddy, 67 kg rice is derived, nearly 20 kg husk is generated, 7 kg of rice bran is produced and 2 kg of “nakku” is also left with the millers.
Millers also earn income from these as husk sells for Rs 200 to 300 per quintal, rice bran for Rs 1,700 to 1,800 per quintal and Nakku from Rs 12 to 20 per kg.
Despite this, several unscrupulous rice millers fail to deliver rice to the government and fraudulently sell it in the open market in criminal breach of trust.
In many cases, connivance of senior officials of the department has also come to the fore and action has also been taken in some cases.
Illegal pollution checking centres crop up on NH-8; Is it a good decision?
Several illegal pollution checking centres have mushroomed on the Delhi-Jaipur highway in the district.
The centres neither have the licence to operate nor have the machine to check pollution level of vehicles. In spite of this, the centres are issuing “pollution under control certificates” by charging Rs 50 from vehicle owners.
This came to light after the police on Sunday raided six such centres on the NH-8.
“Only 56 centres are authorised to issue the certificates in Rewari district, but the number of centres is much higher. Centres continue to function even after the expiry of their licences,” the sources said, adding the Road Transport Authority (RTA) issues the licence to private agencies for a year.
A recent report of the RTA brought out that illegal pollution centres were operating in kiosks at petrol pumps and functioned especially during the night.
“We got a tip-off that pollution checking centres are operational without licences. Decoy customers were sent to the centres to find out the veracity of the claim. Men at the centres issued them certificates without checking the registration certificates after charging Rs 50,” said Superintendent of Police Rajesh Duggal.
The men at the centres were also collecting road tax from vehicle owners. A board in this respect was put outside the kiosks.
“Besides laptops and printers, several blank certificates were seized from the centres, while five men were arrested,” the SP said.
“The investigation is in progress. Maybe, influential persons are involved in this illegal trade. As kiosks were located at petrol pumps, pump owners will also be grilled,” Duggal added.
Pardeep Dahiya, Additional Deputy Commissioner and RTA Secretary, said a special campaign would be launched in the district soon to check more pollution checking centres.
Villagers block road over power cuts; Is Haryana getting enough electricity?
Residents of Baghpur, Maangavaas, Vazirpur and Bhagalpuri villages on Monday blocked traffic on the Bhagalpur Chowk in Beri for around half an hour to protest change in power supply schedule.
The protesters said as per the old schedule, the corporation had to ensure supply to their villages 15 hours a day, but they had been facing long cuts since the schedule was changed.
On getting information about the blockade, power officials and police personnel reached the spot and assured the protesters of supplying electricity as per the old schedule. The protesters relented and cleared the road.
Highest-ever units supplied on Sunday
Chandigarh : With increase in demand for power due to hot weather and paddy transplantation, power utilities supplied 2,043.61 lakh units of electricity on Sunday. Sources claimed new records in demand and supply. PK Das, Additional Chief Secretary, Power Department, said the DHBVN and the UHBVN supplied the highest-ever units of electricity on Sunday. He said the maximum demand for the day was 10,500 MW, which was the highest-ever demand in the state. He claimed there was no scheduled cut and the total cuts on Sunday were a negligible 19,000 units. Das said the cuts, if any, were at the local level due to breakdown and not shortage. He said 24-hour uninterrupted supply was being made in all urban areas.
10 lakh smart meters to be installed in 5 districts; Will this stop the electricity theft?
Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar has approved installation of 10 lakh smart meters in Panipat, Karnal, Panchkula, Faridabad and Gurugram districts. A memorandum of understanding between Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) and Haryana power distribution utilities in this regard will be signed soon.
An official spokesman said that the Chief Minister took the decision to improve the financial condition of power distribution companies, encourage energy conservation and overcome the problems with regard to payment of electricity bills. In the first phase, EESL would replace old meters with smart meters in the five districts.
Under the Uday Scheme launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, 10,000 old meters were replaced with smart meters in Panipat district under a pilot project. Now, the scheme would be implemented in other districts as well. The smart meters are GPS equipped. Installation of the smart meters along with its associated GPS system would enable electricity distribution companies to collect real time data on usage.
He said that under the ‘Mhara Gaon Jagmag Gaon’ scheme initiated by the present government in 2015, 400 feeders in 2,310 villages in various districts, including in Panchkula, Ambala, Faridabad, Gurugram and Sirsa, are getting round the clock power supply. From July 1, rural domestic consumers in Fatehabad district would also get 24-hour power supply. Similarly, line losses have been reduced from 30 per cent to 20 per cent, which would further be reducd to 15 per cent by March 2019.
On the job
- A private firm to replace old meters with smart meters in Panipat, Karnal, Panchkula, Faridabad and Gurugram districts
- Around 10,000 old meters have been replaced meters in Panipat district under a pilot project
- From July 1, rural domestic consumers in Fatehabad district would also get 24-hour power supply