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CHANDIGARH

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THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
H A R Y A N A

Rohtak-Jhajjar-Rewari rail track approved
Rohtak, February 16
The Railway Ministry has sanctioned the laying of the Rohtak-Jhajjar-Rewari rail line costing Rs 215 crore. The new link is critical for development of Southern Haryana which is one of the most backward districts of Haryana.

Hooda lobbies for nuclear power plant
New Delhi, February 16
The Haryana Chief Minister, Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda, today met the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and demanded setting up of nuclear power plant in the state.

HC moved to curb khap panchayats
Rohtak, February 16
Several people of Haryana have asked the Punjab and Haryana High Court to issue directions to the state government to curb the alleged unlawful activities of khap panchayats.

Petition filed for holding Jat society poll
Chandigarh, February 16
The Punjab and Haryana High Court today issued notice of motion for March 2 on a petition seeking holding of elections of the Jat Education Society, Rohtak.

Narnaul CJM suspended
Chandigarh, February 16
The Punjab and Haryana High Court has suspended Mr M.M. Dhonchak, Chief Judicial Magistrate, Narnaul, with immediate effect.

Over one lakh suffering from RTI, STD in Haryana
Panchkula, February 16
Over one lakh persons from a target population of 23 lakh are suffering from various Reproductive Tract Infections and Sexually Transmitted Dieseas, in Haryana.

Drive against foeticide
Hisar, February 16
The Haryana Congress has launched a drive against female foeticide. This was stated by Dr Ram Parkash, acting president of the HPCC, while addressing a news conference here.



Stories from Haryana towns falling in the National Capital Region are put in
 Delhi & neighbourhood.



YOUR TOWN
Ambala
Chandigarh
Fatehabad
Hisar
Kaithal
Karnal
Panchkula
Panipat
Rohtak
Sonepat


EARLIER STORIES

 

Hospital or marriage palace?
Panipat, February 16
Setting a record of sorts, the Civil Hospital was converted into a “marriage palace” last night where flowing liquor and music made patients spend a sleepless night. The marriage of the daughter of a Junior Engineer of the PWD was solemnised amid loud music at the open space in front of the emergency ward at Bhim Sain Sachhar Hospital run by the state government.

Charges against IAS officer dropped
Chandigarh, February 16
The Haryana Government has dropped Vigilance Bureau charges against a 1979 batch IAS officer, Mr Ajit M. Sharan. Mr Sharan, who is now the Commissioner and Secretary of the Technical Education Department, was booked by the bureau for irregularities taking place in the Haryana Financial Corporation during his tenure as the Managing Director of the organisation during the 1994-96 period.

Khanpur Gurukul to be made varsity
Sonepat, February 16
Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda announced that the Kanya Gurukul Khanpur Kalan would be made a Women University and it be named after Bhagat Phool Singh.

Stir threat over shrine body
Panipat, February 16
The president of the Haryana Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, Mr Jagdish Singh Jhinda, has threatened to launch an agitation if the Hooda government failed to table the Bill for the formation of a separate shrine body.

Death for murder
Sonepat, February 16
Surinder of Farmana village was awarded death sentence in a murder case by Mr A.K. Bimal, Additional and Sessions Judge here yesterday. According to the prosecution story, Dr Dharminder Sharma, owner of Sharma Clinic, Farmana village, lodged a complaint with the Kharkhauda police on March 15, 2004.

Two die, 6 hurt in mishaps
Fatehabad, February 16
Two persons died and six others were injured in two different accidents in the district today. The injured include three women. Sunil Kumar of Bhodia Khera died in the morning today when he was coming to the town in a three-wheeler to supply vegetables and his three-wheeler collided with a jeep.

Journalist held for issuing threat
Kaithal, February 16
A local journalist was arrested by the police last night following a complaint lodged by a fellow journalist that he was threatened on the phone by the accused. The arrested person was produced in the court of the CJM, Mr Surya Partap Singh, today who remanded him in 14 days of judicial custody.

Agnivesh accuses police of inaction in case
Chandigarh, February 16
A section of the Arya Samaj leaders of Haryana is upset over the alleged inaction of the Faridabad police in a criminal case registered against certain office-bearers of the Arya Pratinidhi Sabha in mid-December last year.

Treat power shortage as national problem: MP
Chandigarh, February 16
The young Congress MP from Rohtak, Mr Deepender Hooda, has said that the shortage of electricity should be treated as a national problem instead of treating it as an individual state’s problem.

Lost-and-found cell incident to be probed
Ambala, February 16
An inquiry has been initiated into the incident of a doctor’s missing mobile phone being recovered from the dickey of the scooter of a staff nurse at the Civil Hospital in Ambala Cantonment here last night.

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Rohtak-Jhajjar-Rewari rail track approved
Tribune News Service

Rohtak, February 16
The Railway Ministry has sanctioned the laying of the Rohtak-Jhajjar-Rewari rail line costing Rs 215 crore. The new link is critical for development of Southern Haryana which is one of the most backward districts of Haryana.

In a letter to local Congress MP Deepender Singh Hooda, the ministry has communicated that the project will be completed in three years and that the provision for funds will be made in the Rail budget for 2006-2007 due to be presented shortly.

Mr Hooda told The Tribune on the telephone from Delhi that the Railways had accepted the proposal for this link “in principle” in 2004 after his father Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda who was the then MP from Rohtak submitted it. However, he said, when no funds were forthcoming he approached the ministry a few months ago and learnt that there were about 5000 such proposals pending, most of them for over 20 years.

He said he found that the Railways had been allocating only token funds for some of these projects. His enquiries also revealed that the ministry was sanctioning funds only for those links which had commercial use.

Thereafter, he sent a communication to the ministry detailing the commercial viability and its benefits to Haryana since Rewari was the emerging commercial hub of the state.

Mr Hooda said even after that there were several hurdles in the way of financial sanction. However, he came across a clause in the Planning Commission’s guidelines for such projects which provided for sanctioning of funds for the project provided the state made a matching contribution.

He said a few projects had been funded in this manner in Karnataka and Jharkhand. Making use of this clause, he succeeded in getting the project sanctioned.

The Haryana government has already agreed to meet half of the cost of the link coming to Rs 107.50 crore, Mr Hooda said.

He said the ministry would invest Rs 30 crore in the project in the next fiscal and the project would be completed by March 2009. Thus far manufacturers had been routing their goods to southern Haryana areas via Delhi. This led to delays and raised the costs substantially.

After the project was completed industries would be able to send their produce directly to Rewari and beyond to Rajasthan, he added.

On the passenger side, travellers from Chandigarh and Haryana towns located on the National Highway No. 1 and headed for Delhi, Jaipur, Ahmedabad and Mumbai would be benefited.

Mr Hooda said the cost of the project was around 10 per cent of the annual state budget.

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Hooda lobbies for nuclear power plant
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 16
The Haryana Chief Minister, Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda, today met the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and demanded setting up of nuclear power plant in the state. The state’s demand comes days before the visit of US President George W. Bush, when the Indo-US nuclear deal would be comprehensively discussed.

Mr Hooda said the state has already identified the site for setting up a 2,800 MW (4x700 MW) nuclear power plant.

He said the state would provide all requisite infrastructure needed for the plant and has adequate quantity of water to run it efficiently.

The Chief Minister said the plant would meet the energy needs of the state and the neighbouring states, including Delhi, which is energy deficient.

With a mere addition of 1,500 MW power generation capacity since its inception, the state is facing severe power shortage, and is paying heavy price during peak season to the eastern states and Central power utilities.

Mr Hooda said due to uncertainty over fossil fuels and lack of hydro power potential in the state, this project needs to be expedited for sustained prosperity of the state.

The demand also assumes importance since the Centre had earlier rejected the demand of Punjab for a nuclear plant, citing the security reasons in the border state.

Expressing his concern over the high cost of power, he urged the Prime Minister to impose a ban on trading of power received from the Central Unallocated Pool (CUP) since the state had to pay a premium even on the surplus power granted by the Centre to them.

He said there should be a ceiling on the margins for selling power received at low rates from the Central projects.

He said the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) also had only a gas-based 432 MW plant in Haryana. He said even with the share from the Central projects located outside the state, it was perennially short of power.

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HC moved to curb khap panchayats
Tribune News Service

Rohtak, February 16
Several people of Haryana have asked the Punjab and Haryana High Court to issue directions to the state government to curb the alleged unlawful activities of khap panchayats.

The demand has been made in a letter addressed to the Chief Justice of the high court. The signatories include historian Suraj Bhan, former Chairman of the Haryana Public Service Commission D.R. Chaudhary, former Dean of Colleges Kurukshetra University Baldev Singh, Professor of Economics, MDU, Surendra Kumar, Associate Professor (Surgery) PGIMS R.S. Dahiya, former Professor of English, HAU, Sudhir Sharma and President, Haryana unit of the All-India Democratic Women’s Association Jagmati Sangwan.

The communication pointed out that since the aggrieved parties were unable to approach the court, the court should take suo motu cognisance of unlawful actions of the panchayats.

They said that of late the khap panchayats had been issuing fatwas to ostracise families, dissolve marriages and punish families who were perceived to have deviated from some khap norms. These panchayats had become a law unto themselves and were trying to establish a parallel judicial system in the state.

The communication said the recent incident involving two families of Ladawas village in Bhiwani district who were ordered to leave the village by the Sheoran khap panchayat allegedly for violating norms in matrimonial alliances was in fact politically motivated. It said when the signatories visited the village they found that the Sheoran candidate had lost in the Zila Parishad election because of opposition by families from the Gill gotra. The expulsion order was a revenge, it alleged.

It added that the law enforcement agencies were reluctant to act against the panchayats as their political bosses were not willing to annoy the khap leaders for fear of losing some votes. In such a situation, the judiciary was expected to provide justice and act against the law breakers.

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Petition filed for holding Jat society poll
Our High Court Correspondent

Chandigarh, February 16
The Punjab and Haryana High Court today issued notice of motion for March 2 on a petition seeking holding of elections of the Jat Education Society, Rohtak.

The petitioners, Mr Satpal Hooda and another - have also challenged the February 4 order of the Haryana Government through which it had appointed the Deputy Commissioner, Rohtak, as administrator for the All-India Jat Heroes Memorial College, Rohtak, for a period of six months. They have alleged that the government has been refusing to hold elections for a new executive for the past so many years on flimsy grounds, including anomalies in the voters list.

The term of the last elected body ended on November 13, 2002, and the government had constituted an ad hoc working committee headed by Mr Uday Singh Mann to manage the affairs of the college. After Mr Mann resigned on April 27, 2003, another president was appointed.

The petitioners have also pointed out that elections were scheduled to be held on July 6, 2005, but were cancelled just one day prior to the date.

Today, the Division Bench comprising Mr Justice S.S. Nijjar and Mr Justice S.S. Saron issued notice of motion to the respondents for March 2.

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Narnaul CJM suspended
High Court Correspondent

Chandigarh, February 16
The Punjab and Haryana High Court has suspended Mr M.M. Dhonchak, Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM), Narnaul, with immediate effect.

The decision to suspend the CJM was taken at a Full Court meeting held a couple of days ago. Mr Dhonchak had been suspended sometime back also. But, he had been reinstated after the question of whether or not he would be charge-sheeted arose.

Many complaints, including those of misbehaviour with lawyers appearing before him, had been brought to the notice of the high court, following which a detailed inquiry was held.

Now, it has been decided to suspend him pending further inquiry and serving of charge-sheet.

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Over one lakh suffering from RTI, STD in Haryana
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 16
Over one lakh persons from a target population of 23 lakh are suffering from various Reproductive Tract Infections (RTI) and Sexually Transmitted Dieseas (STD), in Haryana. This high incidence of RTI/ STD cases in the state has shaken the Health Department authorities of Haryana, as the chances of RTI/ STD cases developing into HIV positive cases is high.

Haryana has an estimated over 40, 000 HIV positive cases and 608 AIDS cases. Officials in the Health Department say that the rate of transmission of HIV infection in a person suffering from RTIs and STDs increases by 10-15 per cent, thus the high incidence of these cases is a cause for concern.

As many as 1, 05, 698 persons, between the age groups of 15 — 49 years, have been found to be suffering from various RTIs/ STDs, during the Family Health Awareness Campaign (FHAC), launched by the Health Department in October-November 2005. The FHAC was launched to identify these cases, treat them, and thus reduce the chances of the spread of HIV cases. Though the total population in the state, within this age group, is about 67 lakh, 23 lakh people had come forward for a preliminary medical examination conducted at the health sub-centre level all over the state.

The data, thus collected, has now been compiled by the Haryana AIDS Control Society, and sent to the National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO).

As many as 54 per cent of the females, and 31 per cent of males examined through a syndromic approach, were found to be suffering from any one of the RTIs/ STDs — syphilis, gonorrhea, vaginitis, pruritus or trichomonisis.

Dr Omesh Lamba, Additional Project Director, Haryana AIDS Control Society, informed TNS that they had now referred all these cases of RTI/ STD to Community Health Centres and General Hospitals for treatment.

He also said that the Health Department was all set to launch the third phase of National AIDS Control Programme (NACP), wherein the primary focus is on prevention and cure.

“We already have 20 Voluntary Counselling and Testing Centres functional at all district headquarters in the state and 20 new Prevention of Parent to Child Transmission Centres, too, have been established at all district headquarters in Haryana,” he said.

Dr Lamba informed TNS that an Anti Retro Viral Therapy unit had been set up at the PGIMS, Rohtak, where a CD 4 machine (which helps in developing the defence mechanism in the infected persons) had been procured this week.

“Depending on the need, we will set up these Anti Retro Viral Therapy units at other divisional headquarters — Hisar, Ambala, Karnal and Gurgaon. We will also launch a targeted intervention among the high-risk behaviour population-homosexuals, sex workers and street children etc,” he added.

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Drive against foeticide
Tribune News Service

Hisar, February 16
The Haryana Congress has launched a drive against female foeticide. This was stated by Dr Ram Parkash, acting president of the HPCC, while addressing a news conference here. He was in the city to receive an honorary DSc degree by Guru Jambheshwar University.

The Congress leader said the Education and Health departments were being roped in to create awareness among people on the issue of female foeticide, adding that a series of seminars, talks and lectures would be organised for the purpose.

He warned that under a new strategy action would be taken against doctors indulging in the illegal practice of aborting female foetuses.

He asserted that with a view to effecting qualitative reforms in the education sector, the Haryana Government would develop an education city, besides establishing a women’s university in the state.

He said a meeting of the party had been convened on February 21 to finalise the preparations for the state-level Congress rally in Hisar on March 5.

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Hospital or marriage palace?
Tribune News Service

Panipat, February 16
Setting a record of sorts, the Civil Hospital was converted into a “marriage palace” last night where flowing liquor and music made patients spend a sleepless night.

The marriage of the daughter of a Junior Engineer of the PWD was solemnised amid loud music at the open space in front of the emergency ward at Bhim Sain Sachhar Hospital run by the state government.

Several patients lamented the “casual” attitude of the hospital authorities. Though a patient complained to the hospital staff, he was told that it was a routine matter. Urging action against those who caused inconvenience to the patients, they also demanded a ban on such activities.

The Chief Medical Officer, Dr Neh Lata Singh, expressed her ignorance about a function being held on the hospital campus. She said such functions were not allowed on the campus as it fells under the silence zone. She assured to inquire into the matter.

The patients and the staff blamed top hospital functionaries, saying that work on the “shamiana” and tents had been going on for the past 2-3 days but no one had bothered to enquire about it.

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Charges against IAS officer dropped
Shubhadeep Choudhury
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 16
The Haryana Government has dropped Vigilance Bureau charges against a 1979 batch IAS officer, Mr Ajit M. Sharan.

Mr Sharan, who is now the Commissioner and Secretary of the Technical Education Department, was booked by the bureau for irregularities taking place in the Haryana Financial Corporation during his tenure as the Managing Director of the organisation during the 1994-96 period.

Following a recommendation made by the Assembly Committee on Public Undertakings (COPU) to look into the irregularities in the HFC, the bureau filed a case against HFC officials, including Mr Sharan, on April 25, 2003. Mr Sharan was arrested by Vigilance officials on June 25 and kept in judicial remand for 90 days. Earlier, Mr Sharan’s deputation with the central government as Joint Secretary, Banking and Insurance, was abruptly curtailed by the Centre.

The irregularities detected by the COPU and subsequently by the bureau pertained to a loss of Rs 97 crore to the HFC due to the misuse of various schemes. While the corporation suffered a loss of Rs 41.52 crore due to irregularities in sanction and payment of loans, it lost Rs 38.69 crore in leasing schemes, Rs 11.30 crore in merchant banking schemes and Rs 5.82 crore in sub-leasing schemes.

It was alleged by the investigating agency that cash was advanced to parties without a proper verification of documents. Also, full payments of loan money were made instead of paying in instalments.

Some HFC employees were earlier dismissed from service in connection with the scam after departmental inquiries were held against them.

Mr Sharan faced with charges under the Prevention of Corruption Act as well as various sections of the IPC. Proceedings were also initiated against him under Rule 8 of the All-India Services Act.

However, the absence of any conclusive evidence to nail Mr Sharan for the scam had apparently prompted the Congress government to withdraw the charges against him. Mr Sharan was reinstated in service after the Congress came to power in the state. His promotion, however, has been held up.

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Khanpur Gurukul to be made varsity
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, February 16
Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda announced that the Kanya Gurukul Khanpur Kalan would be made a Women University and it be named after Bhagat Phool Singh.

The Chief Minister made this announcement at a function of Kanya Gurukul Khanpur Kalan and Birth Anniversary Celebrations of Bhagat Phool Singh in the premises of Kanya Gurukul about 18 k.m from here today.

Mr Hooda said if the general body of Kanya Gurukul Khanpurl Kalan passed a resolution at its meeting to make it a university. The Government would upgrade it to the level of a University. He said when the resolution of the General Body meeting would be received by the government it would be elevated to the level of University.
Education Minister Phool Chand Mullana, local M.L.A., Dharmpal Singh Malik also spoke on the occasion.

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Stir threat over shrine body
Tribune News Service

Panipat, February 16
The president of the Haryana Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (HSGPC), Mr Jagdish Singh Jhinda, has threatened to launch an agitation if the Hooda government failed to table the Bill for the formation of a separate shrine body.

Talking to TNS over telephone today, Mr Jhinda said a delegation of the proposed HSGPC led by him met the Chief Minister, Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda, on February 8 but he did not give a firm assurance. Criticising Mr Hooda, he said his policy of dillydallying on the issue was unfair.

Mr Jhinda said that the Congress had mentioned in its Assembly poll manifesto to form a separate gurdwara management committee and the Sikhs had openly participated in various canvassing rallies in the state. The Congress government should swiftly fulfil the promise made to the Sikhs of the state, failing which they would launch an indefinite agitation.

He said that now the ball was in the court of the Sikh sangat who would meet the cabinet minister and Chairman of the proposed HSGPC, Mr H.S. Chatha, on February 22.

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Death for murder
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, February 16
Surinder of Farmana village was awarded death sentence in a murder case by Mr A.K. Bimal, Additional and Sessions Judge here yesterday.

According to the prosecution story, Dr Dharminder Sharma, owner of Sharma Clinic, Farmana village, lodged a complaint with the Kharkhauda police on March 15, 2004, alleging the kidnapping of his three-and-a-half-year-old son Oju while he was playing outside the clinic.

Later a ransom call for Rs 7 lakh was made by the kidnapper. Dr Sharma told the police that he had recognised the vone to be that of Surinder of the same village. The police detained Surinder and he confessed to the kidnapping. He told the police that he had gagged the boy and was shocked to find the boy dead.

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Two die, 6 hurt in mishaps
Our Correspondent

Fatehabad, February 16
Two persons died and six others were injured in two different accidents in the district today. The injured include three women.

Sunil Kumar of Bhodia Khera died in the morning today when he was coming to the town in a three-wheeler to supply vegetables and his three-wheeler collided with a jeep.

He died on the spot. His companion Parvesh and five persons travelling in the jeep Krishana, Ratti Ram, Satbir, Devi and Manju were injured in the accident.

In another accident, Subhash (28) died when the motorcycle he was riding was hit by a school bus.

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Journalist held for issuing threat
Our Correspondent

Kaithal, February 16
A local journalist was arrested by the police last night following a complaint lodged by a fellow journalist that he was threatened on the phone by the accused.

The arrested person was produced in the court of the CJM, Mr Surya Partap Singh, today who remanded him in 14 days of judicial custody. It is learnt that the court has issued a notice to the state for February 18 on the bail application filed on behalf of the journalist.

Mr Dal Singh Rehrian, reporter of Punjab Kesri, lodged a complaint with the police alleging that he was threatened by Mr Naresh Bhardwaj Bureau Chief of Dainik Bhaskar, on the telephone. He also mentioned that the reporter posed as a senior police official while talking to him.

After preliminary investigation, the police arrested Naresh Bhardwaj and booked him under Sections 170,419 and 506 of the IPC.

A group of mediapersons met the Deputy Commissioner, Mr B.S. Malik, and the SP, Mr Navdeep Singh Virk, and expressed their resentment over his arrest.

The journalist while being produced in the court today told electronic and print media reporters that police wanted to take revenge from him as during the visit of Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda a fortnight ago, he had pointed out police laxity in the alleged kidnapping of three teenaged boys from Sangroli village of this district.

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Agnivesh accuses police of inaction in case
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 16
A section of the Arya Samaj leaders of Haryana is upset over the alleged inaction of the Faridabad police in a criminal case registered against certain office-bearers of the Arya Pratinidhi Sabha in mid-December last year.

Swami Agnivesh, a respected Arya Samaj leader, told TNS on the phone that the case was registered at the NIT police station of Faridabad under Sections 406, 420 and 120B of the IPC against Acharya Baldev, Acharya Vijay Pal, Acharya Rishipal, Mr Harish Chander Shastri and Mr Prem Prakash, among others. These persons were involved with the management of Gurukul Indraprastha.

He regretted that apart from the registration of the case, no further action had been taken against the suspects. He said the law should be allowed to take its own course and the police should not sit over the case.

A veteran Arya Samaj leader of Jind, Mr Ram Dhari Shastri, said it was strange that no action was being taken in the case by the police of a state whose Chief Minister firmly believed in the rule of law. The police should proceed against the suspects and put them on trial. 

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Treat power shortage as national problem: MP
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 16
The young Congress MP from Rohtak, Mr Deepender Hooda, has said that the shortage of electricity should be treated as a national problem instead of treating it as an individual state’s problem.

He said here today that to maintain the national growth rate of over 8 per cent, it was imperative that there should be a healthy growth of the energy sector, particularly in the field of electricity. Since the gestation period of the energy sector was long, the resources of all states should be pooled and an energy bank formed. Pleading for treating the entire country as one unit for the power sector, Mr Hooda, who had also raised the issue in the Lok Sabha during its last session, and there should be a unified national grid so that power could be transmitted from surplus areas to scarcity areas without formalities.

He said if the scarcity of power was not tackled by rising above party politics and narrow regional considerations, the ultimate loser would be the country.

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Lost-and-found cell incident to be probed
Tribune News Service

Ambala, February 16
An inquiry has been initiated into the incident of a doctor’s missing mobile phone being recovered from the dickey of the scooter of a staff nurse at the Civil Hospital in Ambala Cantonment here last night.

The SMO, Dr P.S. Ahuja, said the inquiry would be carried out by Dr Suresh.

He said last night, the mobile phone of Dr Bela was found to be missing and when a search was carried out, it was recovered from the dickey of the scooter of a staff nurse.

He said the doctor thought that the mobile phone could have been picked up by a Class IV employee and when it was recovered, the Class IV employee said he was harrassed unnecessarily and the staff nurse claimed that she had no inkling about it.

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Student dies in collision
Tribune News Service

Karnal, February 16
Sangeeta (15) of Uchani village was killed when a truck had hit her bicycle at Baleri bypass on the national highway number one today morning. She died on the spot.

Sangeeta was a student of class X at Government Senior Secondary School Model Town here and was going to school when the mishap occurred.

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