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Land mafia active in Palwal: MLA; Is there a high level of inquiry is needed in this matter?

Palwal :
Alleging that a land mafia engaged in carving illegal residential plots and colonies is active in Palwal district, local MLA Karan Singh Dalal has demanded a high-level probe into the matter.

Claiming that he has taken up the matter with the departmental committee of the state Assembly (Vidhan Sabha), he said a ground-level inquiry has been launched by the local authorities.

He said that a probe at a higher level could reveal the nexus between the land mafia and political persons associated with the ruling party.

Alleging that plotting had been done on at least 250 to 300 acres in and around the city, he said it could not be done without influence within the local administration as no NOC has been taken from the department concerned in the majority of cases of land registration done in the past 3-4 years.

This pointed towards rampant corruption in the local Revenue Department, he alleged.

Several illegal colonies have come up in the neighbourhood of some prime areas like the Mini Secretariat, Sector 2 and Omaxe city here.

He said that while no basic amenities had been provided in most colonies, the land mafia had charged premium rates, claiming that these spots could turn expensive in view of the anticipation of new projects likely to be set up in the district.

Karan Singh Dalal also claimed that the issue of damage to houses in some colonies located at a higher level -- raised by him in the last Assembly session -- had also started bearing results. The local civic body has started a survey of such houses on directions of the departmental committee of the state Assembly.

It would help in knowing the extent of damage caused mainly by the caving in of the land and faulty pipelines and sewerage connections and the measures needed to check the problem.

Claiming that around 80-90 such colonies had come up illegally in the past 15-20 years, Mohan Singh, a local resident, claimed that a population of around one lakh had been residing without the proper facilities of water and sewerage connections primarily due to their being unauthorised colonies.

Denying the charges of illegal registration, Pradeep Deswal, Tehsildar, Palwal, claimed that all the registrations were done as per norms and the NOC condition was mandatory for many areas in the city.

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Hooda tears into BJP over MSP hike; Are Hooda raising the voices of farmers?

Vows to raise farmers’ issues with more vigour in ‘Jan Aakrosh Yatra’

New Delhi :
Former Haryana Chief Minister and Congress leader Bhupinder Singh Hooda rubbished hike in the minimum support price (MSP) for paddy and other crops by the BJP-led NDA government, dubbing it as “gimmick” perpetuated by in view of the upcoming Assembly elections in states and General Election.

He batted for computation of cost inputs for MSP on C2 formula, and said he would press for farmers’ welfare issues with more vigour during his ongoing “Jan Aakrosh Yatra”. The upcoming fourth phase of the yatra will be kicked off in Fatehabad district with a public meeting in Tohana on July 22.

The C2 formula takes into account cost of land and rental and other factors like burgeoning cost of miscellanies ( hidden costs) which push up overall cost inputs.
Farmers’ representatives, especially from Haryana called on the former Chief Minister here on Friday and expressed disappointment over the hike in MSP by the Central government.

Hooda said: “The Union government has fallen short of farmers’ expectations. It flattered to deceive which has caused anxiety in the farming community.”
“The Centre has made misleading claims that the announced hike in prices of paddy and other crops is fulfillment of the promise for implementation of Swaminathan Commission recommendation,” he said, and added that the panel had recommended how the cost of production should be calculated and the MSP should be fixed on the basis with 50 per cent profit margin.

Calculations of what the farmers should get according to the Swaminathan Commission recommendations and what the Centre has announced presents an yawning chasm and losses to farmers cutting across crops.

“ The Centre has deliberately used a criterion to compute costs which excludes important aspects,” he said.

Also, there is no guarantee that the farmers will get even the price announced as the procurement operations of the Union government are being deliberately cut forcing farming to sell at distress prices.

Hooda had headed a four-members working group of the chief ministers constituted by Manmohan Singh-led UPA government to study, inter alia, on ways to improve farmers’ lot. The other chief ministers, who were on the group, included Parkash Singh Badal ( Punjab) and Nitish Kumar (Bihar).

Criticising the Centre, he said that during the UPA regime from 2005-2014, the annual average MSP on paddy was 62 per cent. The MSPs during NDA, including the present hike, is much below it.

He said the farmers in Haryana are in greater distress on account of apathy of the state government. He faulted the government for, among others, levying GST on fertiliser and enhancing VAT on diesel.

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Karnal’s institutes grow vegetables without soil; Will this technology benefit the farmers?

Centre of Excellence for Vegetables shows the way
 

Karnal :
No cultivation of vegetables in saline, alkaline and sandy soil will be a thing of the past as the Indo-Israel Centre of Excellence for Vegetables (CEV) in Gharaunda and Potato Technology Centre (PTC) in Shamgarh are getting good results of soilless cultivation technique for producing vegetables.

As per data, 3,15,617 hectares are affected with salinity and alkalinity (sodic) in Haryana. Of these, 1,45,054 hectares are saline while 1,70,563 hectares are sodic.
Under this technique, instead of soil, the crops are grown in soilless media, meant of coco-pit, a fibre made out of coconut husk, and two mineral rocks, including vermiculite and perlite, along with water, which is pre-treated with essential micro-nutrients in green houses.

Coco-pit can be used separately, without vermiculite and perlite, as soilless media. But the combination of the trio gives better environment for plant roots, says an expert of the CEV. This technology will revolutionise farming in affected areas.
The CEV has been using this technology for the last four years while the PTC has adopted the technology for the production of micro-tubers of potato for the last one year. As per the authorities, both institutes have recorded good results.
It has helped in eradicating nematodes, an insect, and soil-borne pathogens, which have become a serious problem for green houses technology or protected cultivation technology. These affect the root system of the plant.

“The trial on soilless cultivation technology is going on and giving results as per expectations at the CEV for the benefit of the farming community. The production of cucumber, regular tomato, cherry tomato and capsicum in soilless technique is equal to production of these vegetables in soil,” said Ram Swarup Punia, Superintendent Horticulture, CEV.

“Initially, we witnessed several kinds of hurdles, including accurate proportion of all three components for mixture, requirement of water for this mixture and fertiliser doses and maintaining the level of pH and electric conductivity and chemical properties of soil, but now we have overcome all the hurdles and developed a protocol of growing vegetables in soilless media,” said Dr Krishan Kumar, Horticulture Development Officer, CEV.

Coco-pit is easily available at a cost of Rs 15 to Rs 20 per kg while mineral rocks, including vermiculate, are available at Rs 25 per kg and perlite agriculture grade at Rs 70 to Rs 75 a kg. The mixture increases production cost by about Rs 25 per plant in three years (around Rs 8 per year) as the same mixture can be used continuously for three years.

“If we go with soil cultivation, we have to bear the cost of soil preparation, chemical for soil-borne pathogen and insect-pest, but in soilless technique we need not spend money on soil preparation and chemicals,” said Dr Satyender Yadav, Deputy Director Horticulture, PTC.

“We are using only coco-pit as the soilless medium. It has helped us in growing mini-tuber production without the use of soil,” said Dr Yadav.
He maintained that coco-pit cakes were dipped in water and leached several times until electrical conductivity was attained below 2 mmhos and 5.7 pH. Coco-pit was spread over the plastic sheet. Hardened micro- plants were transplanted in the coco-pit medium and irrigated at regular intervals.

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Ministers, officers to lose antechambers in Sectt; Will the Sectriate building be better by this order?

Chandigarh :
Several ministers and bureaucrats are set to lose their antechambers and balconies in Civil Secretariat.

The government has asked them to vacate the balconies by July 8 so that the Chandigarh Engineering Department can start preservation and restoration work of this UNESCO world heritage architectural site from July 10.

Along with buildings of Punjab and Haryana High Court and Vidhan Sabha.
The Civil Secretariat, which houses the offices of Chief Ministers, ministers and bureaucrats of Punjab and Haryana, is part of the Capitol Complex that was declared a UNESCO world heritage site on July 17, 2016.

Chief Secretary Depinder Singh Dhesi confirmed that the state government had ordered removal of encroachments from the balconies by July 8. “The order should be seen in the light of the ones issued in the context of the Punjab Civil Secretariat, the Punjab and Haryana High Court and the Vidhan Sabha,” he added.
The Capitol Complex is considered one of the finest architectural works in Chandigarh designed by Le Corbusier.

Spread over 100 acres, Capitol Complex also has the Open Hand Monument and a memorial for freedom fighters of the country besides having the buildings of the Civil Secretariat, the High Court and the Vidhan Sabha in it.

Sources say the Punjab Government has already ordered removal of illegal structures from its side of the Civil Secretariat, a similar permission from Haryana was awaited.
Several minister and bureaucrats have encroached upon balconies to build additional chambers for them spoiling the original look of the building.

Cabins have been made in the balconies by covering them with aluminium or plywood boards up to parapets to serve as antechambers, pantries or retiring rooms.
The state government has asked all its departments to cooperate with the Engineering Department in removing encroachments.

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Subhash Chandra riding high on political ambitions; Will he succeed in it?

Hisar :
The political ambitions and intentions to emerge as a leader of his Bania community seem to have driven the businessman-turned-media mogul-turned politician Subhash Chandra Goenka, 68, take to the streets in his native town.

His dramatic appearance on a road here on Thursday on the issue of diversion of traffic has socio-political overtones.

Having business and RSS links, Chandra has a stature of his own on the national scene in the NDA government. He is ambitious and has desire to be a kingmaker or get the chief ministerial post for him. He seems to be keen on a role for himself after the next Assembly polls in a changed scenario. Firstly, however, he has to emerge as the undisputed leader of his community, said one of his close aides, adding that he was unhappy with the performance of the state government.

Sources said by raising a petty civic issue, he had aimed two birds with one stone — pushing forward his political agenda and to show his protégé, the local BJP MLA Kamal Gupta, that who is the boss of the Bania community.

“Belonging to a family having saffron roots — as his father Nand Kishore Goenka has been a VHP office-bearer — Chandra is trying to fill the leadership vacuum in his community by positioning himself as a strong contender for the top job in the state,” said a trader close to his family.

“It’s tougher to become community leader than a political leader. He fails to come true to expectations. After three years, he has alienated the community from himself. Hence, this drama,” another trader said.

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