Adventure tourism gets wings in Haryana
Paragliding at Narnaul, training in Karnal, flights from Hisar
The Haryana government is developing Narnaul airfield in Mahendragarh district as a hub for aero adventure activities and plans to invite private operators to promote adventure tourism around the airstrip that is lying mostly unused for almost eight years.
The state government will provide all necessary infrastructure to the tour operators at a fixed sum, initially for a period up to three months, Haryana Civil Aviation Adviser Ashok Sangwan said. "We have a 3,000-foot-long airstrip, a large hanger and other necessary infrastructure at Narnaul airfield," he added.
"We are planning to promote aero adventure activities by introducing aero-modeling, paragliding, parasailing, skydiving and hot-air ballooning. So, taking a step in this direction, we will invite private and foreign players with requisite expertise," he said.
Sangwan said some aero sports activities did take place on the airstrip around eight years ago, but it was subsequently stopped. The commencement of the operations would require fresh approvals of DGCA.
He said the place will attract tourists visiting the national Capital. North of Delhi, this will be one of the unique hubs for aero adventure activities, which will not only boost the tourism but also employment potential, he said.
Currently, Bir-Billing in Kangra, Solang valley near Manali and Bundla Dhar near Bilaspur in Himachal Pradesh offers para-gliding. Also heli-skiing is done at Hanuman Tibba, Rohtang Pass, Deo Tibba and Chandrakhani Pass near Manali in Himachal.
The centre will be developed along international lines and it will give a fillip to India's participation at world aero sports events, he said.
He said the draft policy for promoting adventure sports is in a consultation stage and will be announced soon.
The state is also making efforts to upgrade aviation infrastructure at training schools. Currently, Haryana Institute of Civil Aviation has three functional flight training schools at Karnal, Pinjore and Hisar.
"We plan to invite request for proposal from private operators for training commercial pilots and upgrading the skills of existing professionals. Currently, for second and third level of commercial pilot training, people have to go abroad," he said.
He said the Hisar airport has got the aerodrome status from DGCA and now it is authorised to conduct commercial flights.
Can Haryana have a high stature in tourism sector?
Power subsidy for micro, small industries soon
Govt set to notify relief at Rs 2 per unit for ‘C’, ‘D’ categories
More than three years after rolling out its Enterprises Promotion Policy 2015, promising subsidised electricity to micro and small enterprises, the state government is finally set to start power subsidy of Rs 2 per unit to units in the “C” and “D” categories.
Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar has already given his nod to a proposal of the Department of Industry and Commerce in this regard and a notification in this regard is expected in a day or two.
Sources have said the relief will be given to new industries in “C” and “D” category blocks in terms of industrialisation for three years from the date of release of power connection.
The Enterprises Promotion Policy 2015, which was notified on August 15, 2015, provided that power subsidy of Rs 2 per unit would be given to micro and small enterprises in “C” and “D” category blocks.
For promoting geological dispersal of industry, the state had been divided into four categories — “A” “B”, “C” and “D”— on the basis of industrialisation and level of economic development.
Devender Singh, Principal Secretary, Industry and Commerce, could not be contacted for further details of the proposed notification.
PK Das, Additional Chief Secretary, Power Department, said as per the scheme, power distribution companies would continue to raise and collect bill as usual.
“Individual enterprises will file subsidy claim to the industries department. On the basis of actual bill issued by power discoms concerned, the department will release subsidy at the rate of Rs 2 per unit consumed only after the bill has been paid,” he said.
Das said the government had two options — either giving subsidy and issuing bills on reduced rates, as in case of agricultural consumers, or paying subsidy to consumers under the direct benefit transfer scheme after dues were paid. He said the government chose the second option as it would ensure timely payment.
“The Power Department will maintain a data base of bills and payments of beneficiary units and the industries department will have access to our data base. Once the industrial unit has paid its power dues on normal rates, it will be eligible for receipt of subsidy, which will be transferred into its account,” Das added.
Will the industries benefit from this?
Gangrape suspect got self clicked with drugged victim
Cyber cell retrieves photos, videos from phones
The Digital Investigation Training and Analysis Centre (DITAC), a state-of-the-art facility of the Haryana Police in Gurugram for solving cyber crimes, worked for 40 hours to retrieve deleted pictures and videos from mobile phones of the three main accused in the Rewari gangrape case.
On September 12, a 19-year-old girl from Rewari was allegedly raped in a tubewell room in the district’s Naya Gaon village. The three main accused Pankaj, Manish and Nishu have already been held.
Sources say retrieved pictures include some selfies clicked by Pankaj, an Army jawan, while he was sitting on the rear seat of his car with the girl after she was drugged and abducted from the Kanina bus stand on the fateful day.
“We cannot give out the exact number of retrieved pictures and videos because we have not received a report from the DITAC,” said Nazneen Bhasin, who is heading the SIT probing the case.
“The SIT has asked the DITAC to retrieve data of the past one year from the mobile phones of the accused so that the police can build up a stronger case,” she said.
Meanwhile, it took 10 days for the SIT to crack the case.
“Members of the SIT worked non-stop for 10 days, sleeping for only two hours in shifts. Almost all members contacted viral fever at one time or the other during 10 days. One member was forcibly shifted to Medanta. All others kept working by taking drugs such as Paracetamol,” a member of the SIT said.
He added all SIT members had pledged not to return home till the case was cracked.
During all these days, the SIT had set up a camp office at Nahar Guest House, which is close to the crime spot. It had a makeshift interrogation cell, a cyber cell, a media cell, and a disguise team.
The SIT was constituted on September 15, and most of its members left the Nahar Guest House in the wee hours on September 25.
The team comprised DSP Satender Dahiya from Narnaul; DSP Satpal Yadav (Rewari), Sub-inspector Vidyasagar from the Crime Investigation Agency (CIA), Rewari; Inspector Naresh (Nuh); Inspector Ved (CIA, Nuh); Inspector Anil (Nuh); Inspector Sohanpal from the prosecution cell, Nuh; and ASI Suresh from the cyber cell, Nuh.
The gangrape victim was discharged from hospital on Thursday. The moment she reached home, people started thronging he place, forcing the police to step in. Her family appealed to the people to be left alone for some time, claiming she was still in trauma. “She plan to send her off to relatives for some time. I request all, including the media, not scar her any further,” her father said.
Will the culprits be punished severly?
Top heavy: State now has 27 ACS, 12 DGPs
Haryana may be one of the smallest states in the country, yet the administration and police are getting top heavy with the each passing day.
Close on the heels of promotion of four IAS officers to the rank of Additional Chief Secretary (ACS), the Haryana Government on Wednesday promoted three officers of the 1988 batch of the Indian Police Service (IPS) to the rank of the Director General of Police (DGP).
With this, Haryana boasts of 27 officers, including the Chief Secretary, in the rank of the Chief Secretary. Those who joined the ACS club, included the 1988-batch IAS officers Tarun Bajaj, Rajesh Khullar, TVSN Prasad and Anil Kumar.
Sources said the four officers would draw pay and perks admissible to the Chief Secretary, putting more burden on the state exchequer.
The promotion of three IPS officers to the rank of the DGP — Manoj Yadav, PK Aggarwal and Sudhir Chaudhary — will increase the strength of the DGP-level officers to 12. They will be entitled to pay and perks admissible to the state DGP.
The sources say the promotion of the IAS and IPS officers was due as they had completed 30 years of service. Interestingly, these officers would continue to work on their present posts and continue to discharge duties they performed as Principal Secretaries/ADGPs.
The sources termed the promotions as a “routine administrative” exercise, claiming they were time-scale promotions.
However, a look at the administrative and police structure in Punjab shows that the neighbouring state has fewer officers in the ACS or DGP rank. There are 15 officers in the ACS rank, while 10 IPS officers are at the DGP level.
Is such a big police force unable to stop crime?
1,500 paddy farmers seek claim under crop insurance scheme
About 1,500 paddy farmers of the district have sought compensation under the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) so far, claiming losses due to the recent incessant rainfall. The rain had flattened the crop in several parts of the district, resulting in a delay in its harvest. Around 82,000-hectare land is under paddy crop this year.
Farmers from Danipur, Janaitpur, Jandheri, Shahazadpur, Naraingarh, Saha, and Barara village have filled claim forms.
The delay in harvesting will also impact the sowing of potato crop, which is sown in around 2,700-hectare area.
Brijmohan, a farmer of Sambhalkha village, said “I had sown paddy in five acres and a major portion of the crop has flattened. Now, it will have to be harvested manually. I had planned to sow potato after harvesting paddy, but it seems difficult now.”
Meanwhile, the Bhartiya Kisan Union (Charuni) submitted a memorandum for Deputy Commissioner on Wednesday and demanded a compensation of Rs 40,000 per acre for the losses suffered by farmers.
BKU spokesman Rajiv Sharma said “The government should complete the survey within three days in the presence of Agriculture Department officials. Also, relaxation must be given in the moisture level during procurement of paddy and it must be procured at MSP. All farmers must be compensated, whether their crop is insured or not.”
Guru Prem, Subject Matter Specialist, Krishi Vigyan Kendra, said “Matured crop has flattened at several places. If the water is drained out, there will not be much damage to the crop but if that is not done, there will be germination, which will affect the early variety. There are no reports of damage to aromatic varieties.”
District Horticulture Officer Hawa Singh said, “Due to the delay in harvesting of paddy, the area of potato crop may get reduced this year.”
Deputy Director, Agriculture, Girish Nagpal said, “Farmers have filled claim forms and a survey will be carried out soon.”
ADC Captain Shakti Singh said “As per the preliminary report, around 25-40 per cent crop is affected. A survey will be carried out to find out the exact loss.”