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Truckers resent delay in freight revision
Solan, February 4
With the Supreme Court prohibiting overloading and the state high court banning strike by transporters nearly 2,000 truckers at Darlaghat are facing action from the state government for striking work since Sunday.

Money-lending may have led to couple’s murder
Shimla, February 4
Money-lending may have cost the elderly couple, which was found murdered in their house at Krishna Nagar, their life here yesterday.

Body found on Beas bank identified
Kulu, February 4
The body found on the bank of the Beas, near here, on Thursday has been identified as that of Tarun Khera (35), son of Dinesh Khera, of Ludhiana. The deceased was an engineering working in South Africa and was undergoing training at Noida.

Mahajan hints at more powers for ‘up-pradhans’
Nurpur, February 4
The Panchayati Raj and Rural Development Minister, Mr Sat Mahajan, has claimed that two-third Congress-supported candidates have been elected to the Panchayati Raj institutions in the state.

BSNL subscribers complain of dead lines
Dalhousie, February 4
Resentment prevails among phone subscribers over the apathy of the BSNL for not rectifying telephone lines that have one haywire for the past over a fortnight in the Dalhousie, Bakloh, Chowari and Sundla areas of Chamba district.







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Truckers resent delay in freight revision
Ambika Sharma

Solan, February 4
With the Supreme Court prohibiting overloading and the state high court banning strike by transporters nearly 2,000 truckers at Darlaghat are facing action from the state government for striking work since Sunday.

Himachal Transport Minister G.S. Bali terming the matter as sub judice said a high-level committee headed by the Principal Secretary, transport, was drawing up revised freight charges as per the instructions of the high court and they would wait for the high court’s decision.

The truckers rued that the committee was delaying the revision of freight rates and Gujarat Ambuja Cement (GACL) management’s decision not to allow overloading had worsened their plight. Despite hike in diesel prices they run trucks by overloading a tonne higher than the stipulated limit of nine tonnes. This too had to be stopped as their vehicles were being challaned in Haryana for carrying excess load. The state government was cautioned by the Supreme Court to abide by the load stipulation last year.

Principal Secretary transport Avay Shukla said a high-level committee instituted by the high court was finalising the freight tariff and it had taken into account views of truck unions, industrialists and GACL authorities. HIMCON a consultant had been entrusted the task of drawing up final rates. Terming the strike of truckers as uncalled-for in view of the high court’s instructions, he said their route permits could be cancelled if the matter was not resolved as it was also a violation of the permit rules. A report had been sought from the Deputy Commissioner, Solan and the RTO. Further action would be taken on the basis of this report he added.

Citing economic reasons for continuing the strike the truckers said they would weigh pros and cons of effecting a hike in freight tariff from October 2005 as promised by the management before calling off the strike.

Little could be arrived at today’s meeting between the district administration, truck unions, and GACL officials here today.

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Money-lending may have led to couple’s murder
Tribune News Service

Shimla, February 4
Money-lending may have cost the elderly couple, which was found murdered in their house at Krishna Nagar, their life here yesterday.

Police investigations have revealed that they used to lend money and kept a good amount in the house also. The police found some blank cheques, apparently issued by persons who had borrowed money from the couple.

The police also found about 12 purses, each having money stacked in it. The culprits had searched the house after killing the couple as was evident from the bloodstains found on belongings and various places in the house. They also took away some jewellery, while some was left untouched.

Prima facie it appeared that the woman was first strangulated with a rope before being hit on the head. The exact cause of death will be known only after the post-mortem report is available.

The evidence suggests that culprits were known to the couple and probably aware of the fact that money was kept in the house. The son of the couple has also arrived from Ludhiana and relevant information was being collected from him to establish the identity of the accused.

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Body found on Beas bank identified
Our Correspondent

Kulu, February 4
The body found on the bank of the Beas, near here, on Thursday has been identified as that of Tarun Khera (35), son of Dinesh Khera, of Ludhiana. The deceased was an engineering working in South Africa and was undergoing training at Noida.

Taking lead from the reports published in newspapers regarding the body, the Ludhiana police suspected it to be that of Tarun Khera, who had gone missing on January 30.

The father-in-law of the deceased said Tarun was dropped at the Railway Phatak in Ludhiana at 5.30 am on January 30 as he was to board a train for Delhi. But he went missing after that. Tarun’s mobile phone remained switched off and he failed to reach Delhi.

The family members then lodged a complaint at a police station in Ludhiana.

A gold chain, cash, mobile phone and other belongings of the deceased were found missing from the body.

SP G.D. Bhargava here said the Punjab Police would investigate the case and they would assist it in the probe.

Meanwhile, the police here informed the relatives of deceased and handed over the body to the Ludhiana police, which accompanied them today, after a post-mortem examination. The report of the examination would be available only after the chemical examinations were completed, the police added.

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Mahajan hints at more powers for ‘up-pradhans’
Our Correspondent

Nurpur, February 4
The Panchayati Raj and Rural Development Minister, Mr Sat Mahajan, has claimed that two-third Congress-supported candidates have been elected to the Panchayati Raj institutions in the state. Addressing mediapersons here yesterday, he said the electorate had shown keen interest in these elections held recently in the state. Expressing satisfaction over the newly introduced election pattern at the gram panchayat level, in which “up-pradhans” had been elected by the elected ward members of the panchayat, Mr Mahajan reiterated that this pattern had proved successful.

“The government has strengthened the post of “up-pradhans” by arming them with more powers and they have played a vital role in constituting the gram panchayats in the state,” he added. He stated that henceforth the “up-pradhans” would have matching powers like pradhans and would now be able to attest certain documents.

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BSNL subscribers complain of dead lines
Our Correspondent

Dalhousie, February 4
Resentment prevails among phone subscribers over the apathy of the BSNL for not rectifying telephone lines that have one haywire for the past over a fortnight in the Dalhousie, Bakloh, Chowari and Sundla areas of Chamba district.

Subscribers said over 1,000 phone lines were out of order and despite repeated requests, the BSNL authorities had failed to restore dead phones.

The BSNL Divisional Engineer Telecommunications, Chamba, Mr Jitender Kumar, when contacted, said lightning had badly damaged telephone card lines in telephone exchanges connecting these areas.

He also said in some places, overhead optical fibre cables had been stolen. Eleven such cases had been brought to the notice of the Chamba SP.

He said work was on to replace the card lines.

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