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Submit report on unsafe Jhajjar schools, HHRC tells officers

Jhajjar :
Taking suo motu cognisance of a report in The Tribune on Wednesday about unsafe buildings of 60 government schools in the district, the Haryana Human Rights Commission (HHRC) has sought a report from the Principal Secretary, Education Department, and Jhajjar Deputy Commissioner within six months.

Pulling up the education authorities over the use of unsafe school buildings, HHRC chairman, Justice (retired) SK Mittal, and member, Justice (retired) KC Puri, said quality education could not be provided in dilapidated school buildings where there was a threat to life.

They pointed out that it was mandatory for the government to provide quality education to children ever since the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009, came into force.
“It is the fundamental right of every child to have education in a safe environment. It is a constitutional obligation of the state to provide a safe environment, proper infrastructure and safe school buildings to children who are studying in government schools,” stated the order issued by the HHRC.

The report disclosed that buildings of 60 government schools in Jhajjar district had been declared unsafe around three months ago, but neither were the schools provided new buildings nor were these unsafe structures demolished with incidents of roof collapse having been reported from three schools.

The report revealed that 14 rooms of the Government Senior Secondary School in Kheri Khummar village were declared unsafe over four years ago, but no further action had been taken in this respect, posing a threat to students playing around these rooms.

“The facts in the report, if correct, violate human rights of thousands of children and violate fundamental rights enshrined in the Constitution. The Principal Secretary, Education, and the Jhajjar DC are directed to submit their reports within six weeks regarding the condition of unsafe school buildings,” ordered the HHRC.

Will the government construct new buildings of schools?

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Dalal files complaint against Abhay

Claims threat to life | Leader of Opposition terms it drama

Chandigarh :
Hours after his suspension from the Assembly for a year for uttering a “derogatory” word and “shoe fight” with Leader of Opposition Abhay Singh Chautala, Palwal MLA Karan Dalal on Tuesday approached the police with a complaint against the INLD leader.

In a complaint submitted to the SHO of the Sector 3 police station here, Dalal stated that he feared threat to his life from Abhay, who had “clandestine support” from the BJP.

Dalal alleged that the INLD leader had been opposing him because he was a witness in cases of corruption against Abhay, his father Om Prakash Chautala and brother Ajay Singh Chautala.
“The House was adjourned amid heated exchange of words. When it reassembled, Abhay, prompted by a minister, proposed my suspension from the House and started abusing and threatening me. He threatened me and said he would see me outside the House,” Dalal stated in his complaint.

“Abhay is speaking against me because I am a witness against him, his father Om Prakash Chautala and brother Ajay Chautala in cases of corruption against them,” Dalal said in his complaint.

Later, talking to The Tribune, Dalal said he would write to BSP supremo Mayawati. He pointed out that when the INLD leader “threatened” him, Dalal was raising the issue of irregularities in BPL ration cards, an issue concerning Dalits.

The DSP and police PRO Pawan Kumar confirmed that the police had received a complaint from Dalal. He said the police were in the process of consulting seniors about action on the complaint.

When contacted, Abhay described Dalal’s complaint as drama. “It is not for the first time that he has filed such a complaint against me. He did it in 2000, when the INLD was in power. That complaint too was an attempt to come in the limelight,” he said.

Abhay alleged that the “derogatory” word uttered by Dalal, which was later expunged from Assembly proceedings by the Speaker and eventually led to the Palwal MLA’s suspension, was spoken as part of a planned Congress strategy.

Will the police perform duty against Abhay Chautala?

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Power still costlier in Haryana : Delhi CM

Tweets people get bills but no power supply in villages

Chandigarh :
A day after Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar announced slashing of power tariff in the state, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal alleged that the rates were still higher than those in Delhi and people got bills, but no electricity in Haryana villages.

In two Hindi tweets from his twitter handle @ArvindKejriwal on Wednesday, the Delhi CM also asked Khattar to follow Delhi’s tariff slabs.

In his first tweet, Kejriwal said that ‘Khattar Saab’ (Haryana CM) had reduced power tariff, but the reduction was too meagre. Haryana should provide electricity at the rates Delhi people have been getting.
In most villages of Haryana, people get bills only, because electricity often plays truant. Like Delhi, Haryana should also provide 24-hour power supply to its people, he said in his next tweet.

Reacting sharply to Kejriwal’s tweets, state BJP chief Subhash Barala claimed the electricity rates announced by the chief minister on Tuesday were lesser than those in Delhi.

“Ever since the BJP has come to power, continuous efforts have been made to improve the power situation in the state. Out of the 6,200 villages of Haryana, 1,750 villages of seven districts have started getting 24-hour power supply. The government is in the process of strengthening transmission lines to start 24-hours power supply in the rest of the villages very soon,” he claimed.

The situation was very bad when the BJP took over in 2014, but the Khattar-led government had not only reduced line losses considerably but also reformed Discoms from loss-making enterprises to profit-making ones, Barala added.

Is Arvind Kejriwal saying right?

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SC orders demolition of illegal constructions in Aravalli hills

Houses that came up in Kant Enclave after August 18, 1992, to be razed

New Delhi :

The Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered the Haryana government to demolish illegal construction made in Kant Enclave, Faridabad, in the Aravalli Hills after August 18, 1992, in violation of environmental norms and its own orders and directed it to compensate those adversely affected in the process.

A Bench of Justice Madan B Lokur and Justice Deepak Gupta said Kant Enclave was a forest area which needed to be treated as forest land where no construction activity could have been permitted with effect from August 18, 1992, when a notification under Punjab Land Preservation Act, 1900 banned construction in the area.

The diversion of forest land for non-forest use violated Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 and top court's decisions, the Bench said.

 It ordered R Kant & Co and Haryana Town & Country Planning Department to pay Rs 50 lakh to each persons whose construction were ordered to be demolished.

The Bench directed the builder to give full refund along with 18% annual interest to hundreds of persons who invested in land from date of investment.
Applying "The polluter pays principle", the top court ordered R Kant & Co to deposit Rs 5 crore in the Aravalli Rehabilitation Fund within a month for restoration of the forest land.

Those not satisfied with compensation amount were at liberty to claim damages from R Kant & Co and Haryana Town & Country Planning Department by filing a civil suit, the Bench said.

It directed the Chief Secretary of Haryana to ensure compliance of its orders "in letter and spirit" by December 31, 2018. But the court will take up the matter in the middle of November to ensure compliance.

The Bench came down heavily on the Haryana government, saying, "The rule of law seems to have broken down in Haryana and become the rule of men only to favour the applicants (builder)."

What did top court say

— SC holds constructions went against an Aug 18, 1992, notification under Punjab Land Preservation Act, 1900, that banned construction in the area

— Says the constructions also violated Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 and top court's decisions

— Orders R Kant & Co and Haryana Town & Country Planning Department to pay Rs 50 lakh to each person whose construction has been ordered to be demolished

— Directs builder to give full refund along with 18% annual interest to hundreds of persons who invested in land from date of investment

— Applying "The polluter pays principle", top court orders R Kant & Co to deposit Rs 5 crore in the Aravalli Rehabilitation Fund within a month

It said: "The construction activity carried out by the applicant R. Kant & Co. is clearly in violation of the notification dated August 18, 1992, and in blatant defiance of orders passed by this court from time to time. Unfortunately, the Town & Country Planning Department of the State of Haryana has been supporting the illegalities of the applicant despite strong resistance from the Forest Department of the state of Haryana.

"There is no doubt that at the end of the day, the State of Haryana comes out in very poor light and must be held accountable for its conflicting and self destructive stand taken in spite of affidavits filed by the Chief Secretary of the State of Haryana from time to time supporting the Forest Department."

It said there had been a complete lack of any concern for the environmental and ecological degradation carried out in the Aravalli hills by influential colonisers and what appears to be a very strong mining lobby in Haryana, the damage caused to the Aravalli hills is irreversible.

"It is not only the future generations that have to pay a heavy price for this environmental degradation, but even the present generation is paying a heavy price for the environmental and ecological degradation inasmuch as there is an acute water shortage in the area as prophesied by the Central Ground Water Board. In addition, what was once a popular tourist destination, namely, Badkal Lake has now vanished and the entire water body has become bone dry.  What are the more severe consequences that will be felt in the years to come, only time and nature will tell," said the Bench.

Out of a total of about 1,600 plots said to have been carved out by R. Kant & Co. in Kant Enclave, conveyance deeds had been executed only in respect of 284 residential plots and three commercial plots. On the residential plots, only 33 houses had been constructed and it appeared that not one of them was a single-storey hutment. But the top court noted that it was not clear if the constructions were pre- or post-August 18, 1992. 

Is Supreme Court give the right decision?

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Rule of law seems to have broken down in state: SC

Orders demolition of illegal constructions in Kant Enclave of Faridabad

New Delhi :
Indicting the Haryana Government and its officials for illegal constructions in Aravali Hills in violation of statutory provisions, environmental norms and its own orders, the Supreme Court on Tuesday said, “The rule of law seems to have broken down in Haryana…”

A Bench of Justice Madan B Lokur and Justice Deepak Gupta, which ordered demolition of illegal constructions in Kant Enclave of Faridabad, said it was painful to see such a mockery of the law and total lack of concern for the environment and ecology of Aravalli Hills.

“The extent of violation of the notification dated August 18, 1992, (under the Punjab Land Preservation Act, 1900) is quite frightening and one can only imagine the phenomenal environmental and ecological damage caused to the area by the applicants.

“This could not have happened without the knowledge of the State of Haryana and its officers who permitted blatant disregard of the rule of law despite affidavits of the Chief Secretary of the State of Haryana. The rule of law seems to have broken down in Haryana and become the rule of men only to favour the applicants,” the Bench said.

“There is no doubt that irreversible damage has been caused to the environment and ecology of Aravalli Hills. The damage was caused or allowed to be caused, despite a statutory notification issued under the provisions of the PLP Act.

“The brazenness of the applicants in flouting the law is quite apparent. But what is more unfortunate is the support given to the applicants by the Town and Country Planning Department, despite the reservations of the Forest Department. The Town and Country Planning Department in apparent collusion with R Kant & Co effectively led a very large number of people up the garden path. Fortunately, only of them have made some personal constructions — but it is not clear whether their constructions are pre or post August 18, 1992,” the court noted.

“R Kant & Co and the Town and Country Planning Department were aware that Kant Enclave is a forest or forest land or treated as a forest or forest land, and therefore any construction made on the land or utilisation of the land for non-forest purposes, without the prior approval of the Central Government, would be illegal and violative of the provisions of the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980,” it said.

“Nevertheless, it is necessary to compensate them in view of the role played by the Town and Country Planning Department. To compensate them for the land, we direct that R Kant & Co to give them a full refund of their investment in the land along with an interest at 18 per cent per annum from the date of the investment,” the top court said, ordering the developer and the state government to compensate the investors.

Conveyance deed executed
284 residential plots 
3 commercial plots 
Refund to plot holders: Full amount + 18% interest

33 houses constructed 
1 film studio constructed |
Construction cost quantified at Rs 50 lakhs
(construction after 18th August 1992)

Rs 5 cr Aravalli rehabilitation fund 
To be paid by the builder by October 31
Compliance of remaining order by December 31 

Is SC saying right?

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