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Relief for 82-yr-old doctor after 23 years
New Delhi, July 14
When Dr. Shakuntala retired from Central Health Services (CHS) in 1980, she was shocked to learn that the years she had put in as Grade I officer in the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) had not been taken into consideration while fixing her retirement benefits.

A humble lesson in courage for Armitage
New Delhi, July 14
Confidence and courage is what made the USA a power to reckon with and this is precisely what inmates of Prayas have reinstilled in me today, said the US Deputy Secretary of State, Mr Richard Armitage.

Bogus medical examination racket busted
New Delhi, July 14
With the arrest of one person, the Economic Offences Wing claims to have busted a bogus medical examination racket in which hundreds of gullible aspirants were cheated by the accused.


MP and film actress Hema Malini launching the 19k=22k scheme for jewellery shoppers in the Tanishq showroom
MP and film actress Hema Malini launching the 19k=22k scheme for jewellery shoppers in the Tanishq showroom in the Capital on Wednesday. — Photo by Rajeev Tyagi

THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
Court grants stay on BJP MLA’s eviction
New Delhi, July 14
The Delhi High Court has stayed an earlier order directing the Military Estate Officer to evict BJP MLA Kanwar Singh Tanwar from a plot, which is allegedly under his illegal occupation in village Naraina in Delhi Cantonment.

Punjab decision will aggravate DJB woes: BJP
New Delhi, July 14
The Government of NCT of Delhi is still to study the impact, if any, of the Government of Punjab’s decision to annul the agreement on sharing of waters of the Ravi, Beas and Sutlej rivers among the states of Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan but the BJP fears it will compound the woes of the Delhi Jal Board (DJB), which distributes water in the Capital, and consumers alike.

Annulment of water pacts flayed
Faridabad, July 14
Political leaders in Haryana have severely criticised the annulment of the water treaties by the Punjab Assembly. They have appealed to the Governor of Punjab to ensure justice to the residents of the states who had signed these pacts.

Credit card fraud unearthed
New Delhi, July 14
With the arrest of two persons, including an ex-employee of the Standard Chartered Bank, the Crime Branch claims to have unearthed a credit card fraud to the tune of Rs 4 lakh.

EARLIER STORIES

 
CPI (ML) activists protesting against the hike in electricity tariff in the Capital on Wednesday
CPI (ML) activists protesting against the hike in electricity tariff in the Capital on Wednesday.
— Tribune Photo Mukesh Aggarwal

Critical additions to health care at Ganga Ram
New Delhi, July 14
Sir Ganga Ram Hospital’s newly constructed Super Speciality and Research Block (SS&R Block) promises patients critical care of international standards. The seven-storeyed block is scheduled to be inaugurated by the President, Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, on Friday.

Memorandum to PM against service tax
New Delhi, July 14
The All India Transport Welfare Association organised a silent protest today against the imposition of 10 per cent service tax on the transport industry in the Union Budget.

Inter-state dacoits’ gang busted
New Delhi, July 14
With the arrest of Manoj, Shamshad and Vishnu, the North-East district police today claimed to have busted a gang of interstate dacoits.

GNIDA issues notices for cancellation of industrial plots
Greater Noida, July 14
The Greater Noida Authority has issued notices for cancellation of industrial plots to a large number of allottees. Most of the allottees were allotted plots more than four years ago but had not started construction of their units on the plots allotted. They have also defaulted in payments of installments and have not got even the plots registered.

Captive minor girl rescued from traffickers
Faridabad, July 14
The rescue of a minor girl from Assam, who had been kept in captivity near sector-6 here, is yet another reminder that the menace of human trafficking in the district continues unabated.

Experience the thrill of being in a buoyant village at ‘Mhara Gaam’
New Delhi, July 14
Haryana Tourism adds another innovation in the field of tourism promotion with the inauguration of ‘Mhara Gaam’ at the Ethnic India Tourist Resort at Rai on July 15. The Haryana Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, will inaugurate the new venture.

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Relief for 82-yr-old doctor after 23 years
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 14
When Dr. Shakuntala retired from Central Health Services (CHS) in 1980, she was shocked to learn that the years she had put in as Grade I officer in the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) had not been taken into consideration while fixing her retirement benefits.

Petitions and pleas were dismissed till the doctor, who is now 82, decided to knock at the portals of justice. Almost 23 years after the incident, the court’s ruling has somewhat mitigated the trauma of not being given one’s due.

Hearing the petition, Justice Pradeep Nandrajog, in his recent judgement, has asked the respondents (MCD) to pay Dr. Shakuntala her dues. The court, in its ruling, said, “Respondent would re-determine the pension of the petitioner by treating the said period as qualifying service. Arrears would be paid to the petitioner within 12 weeks from today, failing which the same shall be paid with interest at the rate at six percent per annum”.

However, the court refused to pay past interest as the petitioner was late in approaching the court. Dr. Shakuntala joined service under the MCD as C.A.S. Grade-I (Radiology) in 1959. She was posted at Victoria Janana Hospital, now known as the Kasturba Hospital, and her services were confirmed in 1961.

In 1965 all doctors under the MCD were automatically inducted under the Union of India in the Central Health Scheme and Dr. Shakuntala being one of them was treated on deputation.

However, when she retired in 1980, under the Union of India, her post retirement benefits included the amount lying credited in her General Provident Fund Account, but while fixing her pension, she was denied benefit of service rendered under the MCD.

While Dr. Shakuntala received the amount deducted by the MCD from her salary and credited to her General Provident Fund, she was denied the benefit of having put in the years at the MCD.

The reason cited for not including the years she spent in the MCD was that services rendered in MCD by the petitioner were during the period 1959-64, when no post retirement benefits were available in the MCD.

The petitioner, after a prolonged wait and unaccounted efforts, finally approached the court in 2003 to seek justice.

Ex-DVB staff threaten ‘direct action’

A week after they began a sit-in for pension and other benefits, the employees of the erstwhile Delhi Vidyut Board (DVB), who opted for voluntary retirement, are still to hear from the Government of NCT of Delhi or private companies distributing electricity.

BSES Rajdhani and BSES Yamuna of Reliance Group and NDPL of the Tatas introduced a voluntary retirement scheme with the approval of the Government of NCT of Delhi in December last year. Over 6,200 employees were subsequently relieved on December 31.

The former employees, who have since floated the ‘Erstwhile DVB SVRS/VSS 2003 Employees Joint Forum’, claim they have not received pension and other terminal benefits such as gratuity and GPF even after the lapse of six months since their retirement.

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A humble lesson in courage for Armitage
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 14
Confidence and courage is what made the USA a power to reckon with and this is precisely what inmates of Prayas have reinstilled in me today, said the US Deputy Secretary of State, Mr Richard Armitage. ‘’This is the lesson of my life and I am overwhelmed by the confidence exuded by the children here,’’ said Mr Armitage, on his first-ever visit to the Institute of Juvenile Justice here. ‘’Even when everything is lost to them in the world, the twinkle of hope and courage in their eyes and the confidence in their demeanour has reinfused in me the spirit of ‘never say die’.’’

Talking to mediapersons after meeting the victims of trafficking and children who have been abused, the US Deputy Secretary of State said with courage nothing was unachievable. ‘’The indomitable spirit of confidence distinguishes one from the crowd and I am proud that Prayas inmates here have shown the way-the enlightened way-out of the maze of darkness.’’

‘’I would feel privileged to come here again and am sure I would be learning another lesson of a lifetime once again then too.’’

Earlier, the US guest learned about corporate involvement in the rehabilitation of victims of trafficking and later interacted with the girls of ‘Sanchay Prayas Kiosk’—rescued from bars in Maharashtra.

‘’Trafficking was a serious concern for the United States and we would do everything to stop this happen because we think that the way for the future of children lies in education and healthy upbringing.’’ “They have a place of pride in our society and we have to stand unitedly in this noble endeavour,” he added.

Prayas, a non-governmental organisation, works for the care, protection and rehabilitation of neglected streetchildren, victims of trafficking and juvenile delinquents.

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Bogus medical examination racket busted
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 14
With the arrest of one person, the Economic Offences Wing claims to have busted a bogus medical examination racket in which hundreds of gullible aspirants were cheated by the accused.

The accused has been identified as Rajesh Rajput (39), managing director of M/s Helpline Consultant Private Limited. Several admission forms, computers, stamps and bank documents were recovered from his possession.

The sleuths had received a complaint from one Dr R C Meher, a resident of Orissa, that he was duped of Rs 5 lakh by the accused on the pretext of admitting his son in a Medical College in Maharashtra.

During investigation the sleuths found out that the accused had advertised in leading newspapers in Lucknow, Patna, Kolkata, Chattisgarh, Chandigarh, Bhubaneshwar and north-eastern parts of the country by assuring confirmed MBBS and BDS seats under management quota.

Once the parents of the aspiring students established contact with the accused, he would persuade them to pay Rs 4-5 lakh and eventually disappear. He also used to shift his office frequently and change his mobile number.

The accused, Rajput, mostly avoided meeting the parents personally and accepted the money through demand drafts, which he used to deposit in IDBI, HDFC, Bank of Punjab, PNB and ABN Amro banks. He had also opened branch offices in various places like Jammu, Mumbai, Noida and Lucknow.

During interrogation, Rajput disclosed that so far he had cheated hundreds of aspirants from various states.

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Court grants stay on BJP MLA’s eviction
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 14
The Delhi High Court has stayed an earlier order directing the Military Estate Officer to evict BJP MLA Kanwar Singh Tanwar from a plot, which is allegedly under his illegal occupation in village Naraina in Delhi Cantonment.

Admitting Tanwar’s appeal against the Single Judge order, a Bench comprising Justice DK Jain and Justice Madan B Lokur said, “It is a fit case for admission as the appeal requires consideration particularly on the question of law under the Specific Relief Act”.

The Single Bench had last week dismissed a plea filed by the BJP MLA seeking to quash the order of a lower court directing the Military Estate Officer to evict him from the land.

The court had slapped a cost of Rs 20,000 for concealing vital facts, observing that he did not approach the court with clean hands.

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Punjab decision will aggravate DJB woes: BJP
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 14
The Government of NCT of Delhi is still to study the impact, if any, of the Government of Punjab’s decision to annul the agreement on sharing of waters of the Ravi, Beas and Sutlej rivers among the states of Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan but the BJP fears it will compound the woes of the Delhi Jal Board (DJB), which distributes water in the Capital, and consumers alike.

The Punjab Legislative Assembly has passed a legislation cancelling the 23-year-old inter-state agreement on sharing of waters. The Governor of that state has since approved the legislation. The president of the Delhi Pradesh BJP, Mr Hashvardhan, says that the water treatment plants in Haiderpur and Nangloi in NCT of Delhi could end up getting little or no water from the Moonak Canal.

In a statement released to media, Mr Harshvardhan said that the Moonak Canal originates in Haryana and if that state does not get its share of water from Punjab, then NCT of Delhi will in turn not get its quota of water from Haryana. The Capital, he said, gets 100 million gallons of water per day (MGD) from Haryana and, if that stops, it would precipitate a crisis in the colonies in south and west Delhi.

Mr Harshvardhan has sought from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh an initiative for evolving a long-term solution for NCT of Delhi’s water woes and preparing a suitable plan of action towards that end. The Prime Minister, he said, should invite Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit to table the views of her government, so that decisions taken hereafter could incorporate solutions for improving the situation in the Capital.

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Annulment of water pacts flayed
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, July 14
Political leaders in Haryana have severely criticised the annulment of the water treaties by the Punjab Assembly. They have appealed to the Governor of Punjab to ensure justice to the residents of the states who had signed these pacts.

The Congress leaders, including Mr Karan Dalal and Mr Ved Prakash Vidrohi, said the annulment of the treaties was a step towards creating a political anarchy in the country, when the states defy the Supreme Court and the central leadership for ulterior motives.

In separate statements these leaders said that it was amazing that the Punjab leaders have joined hands to deny Haryana and other states their share of water.

Mr Vidrohi said that such steps would lead to serious political problem for the country.

Claiming that the Act was a violation of both the Constitution and the legal sanctity of the orders of the Supreme Court, he demanded the intervention of the Congress president, Mrs Sonia Gandhi, on the issue.

Moreover, Mr Dalal sought a law by the Union Government to declare all the rivers as a national resource and bring it under its purview.

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Credit card fraud unearthed
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 14
With the arrest of two persons, including an ex-employee of the Standard Chartered Bank, the Crime Branch claims to have unearthed a credit card fraud to the tune of Rs 4 lakh.

The accused have been identified as Dalip Kumar (21), resident of Bihar, and former employee of Standard Chartered Bank, and Jaspreet Singh (19), resident of Lajpat Nagar.

Based on secret information that Dalip would come to Model Town area to purchase electronic goods against a stolen credit card, the sleuths arrested him.

During interrogation Dalip told the sleuths that after getting the name, address and credit card numbers of genuine credit card holders he would contact and inform the unsuspecting clients that their card is being misused. He would also suggest that they should return the cards to the bank to obtain new credit cards. After speaking to them, he would send his associate Jaspreet to collect the credit cards from the clients for misusing them.

Two robberies in North-East district

Two incidents of robbery were reported in the North-East district during the last 24 hours. In the first incident three unidentified youths entered the office premises of a limited company in R - Block in Dilshad Garden. The accused tied the company employees, Ankur, Amit, Punit, Mayur and Jaipal, and fled away with cash.

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Critical additions to health care at Ganga Ram
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 14
Sir Ganga Ram Hospital’s newly constructed Super Speciality and Research Block (SS&R Block) promises patients critical care of international standards. The seven-storeyed block is scheduled to be inaugurated by the President, Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, on Friday.

The hospital authorities are confident that the new block with 44 intensive care unit (ICU) beds will bring about a significant change in health care delivery.

Dr B.K. Rao, Chairman, Department of Critical Care Medicine, told the Tribune News Service that the 18-bed medical surgical ICU, which caters to adult patients, has been shifted to the new block with an enhanced strength of 34 beds. The new block has a four-bed multi-organ transplant ICU and six-bed post-operative ICU. The old building has 76 beds with critical care facilities.

These include the cardiac surgery, pediatric surgery and neo-natal ICU. He said that the 44-bed ICU has 18 Senior Residents and eight consultants round-the-clock. Besides, it has 110 nurses.

“The ICU in the new block has been set up like a full-fledged centre with facilities available under one roof. The beds with critical care facilities are equipped with monitors and life support system. We have the imaging centre and the research laboratory under the same roof,” he said.

A member of the American Society of Critical Care Medicine and the European Society of Intensive Care Medicine, Dr Rao said that the design of the ICU in the new block is based on the inputs of 100-award winning ICUs in the United States.

Dr S. K. Sama, Chairman, Board of Management, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, told mediapersons here on Tuesday that departments in the old building will be renovated. “We are also in the process of finalising drawings for adding four more floors to the old building,” Dr Sama said, adding that the new block with a floor area of 1.3 lakh square feet has 56 rooms, 20 state-of-the-art operation theatres and 44 ICU beds with ultramodern equipment and sophisticated laboratories. He said that the construction of the new block has increased the bed capacity of the hospital from 500 to 650 beds. These include 120 ICU beds.

The Operation Theatres (OTs) are modular and seamless. The walls of the OTs are made up of galvanised steel sheets and sprayed with anti-bacterial paint, which is effective for at least ten years. Infection control is taken care of by a filter, which includes HEPA and Micro V filter with 100 per cent fresh air and woven polyester. This special provision will provide laminar flow, which will reduce Surgical Site Infection (SSI) by continuously washing the wound, he said.

The new block has a comfortable waiting area, cafeterias, gift shop and basement parking.

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Memorandum to PM against service tax
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 14
The All India Transport Welfare Association organised a silent protest today against the imposition of 10 per cent service tax on the transport industry in the Union Budget.

The march started from Jantar Mantar at 11.30 AM. As many as 350 delegates from all over India, including other related trade organisations, participated in the march.

The protesters claimed that the transport industry was in deep crisis because of excise duties on chassis and MAVs, road tax, toll tax, varying scales of sales tax for diesel in different states and a hoard of other taxes.

Imposition of service tax on booking of goods discriminates between the Railways and the road transport. It is a clear violation of fair play and justice, stated the Association.

Later, the protestors went to the PMO to submit a ‘Letter of Appeal’ listing out their grievances to the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh.


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Inter-state dacoits’ gang busted
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 14
With the arrest of Manoj, Shamshad and Vishnu, the North-East district police today claimed to have busted a gang of interstate dacoits.

Three country made pistols, along with nine cartridges, one Maruti Esteem car and one stolen Maruti car, were recovered from their possession. They were apprehended after a brief encounter.

The police received a secret information that some unidentified dacoits would enter the Capital from Ghaziabad.

The police was vigilant on the border and yesterday at 9 pm the police stopped a Maruti car and checked the documents of the vehicle. Behind that car was a Maruti Esteem one of the occupants of which fired at the police party. The police team also fired in defence and over powered the suspects.

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GNIDA issues notices for cancellation of industrial plots
Our Correspondent

Greater Noida, July 14
The Greater Noida Authority has issued notices for cancellation of industrial plots to a large number of allottees. Most of the allottees were allotted plots more than four years ago but had not started construction of their units on the plots allotted. They have also defaulted in payments of installments and have not got even the plots registered.

According to GNIDA sources, there are over 400 such allottees, which have not yet taken steps for setting up their units.

After giving the allottees a long rope, the authority has now decided to take strong action against the defaulters. Apart from cancellation notices, the authority has issued notices to them on some other counts also.

Mr Ravi Srivastava, G. M., Industries, said the GNIDA has waited too long for the entrepreneurs to set-up their units on the plots allotted to them.

The allottees have not taken any steps whatsoever for the establishment of industrial units.

Whereas one of the foremost conditions of allotment was that the entrepreneurs should immediately commence construction of units while they start depositing the installments of the plots with the authority.

In any case, the industrial units have to be set-up within a maximum of 36 months of allotments and the units have also to be registered within three years, said Ravi Srivastava.

“Despite the authority having issued them notices from time to time, no allottees has taken any cognizance. Now we have decided issuing plot cancellation notices,” he said.

It is learnt that over a hundred allottees have been issued with cancellation notices while notices for others are on the way.

The Greater Noida Authority has so far allotted 1,250 plots for the establishment of industries. However, industries on about 100 plots have been set-up so far.

Construction on another 100 units is in progress. About 450 plots are vacant while no industrial units have been installed on 400 plots.

Recently, the Noida Authority had informed the NCR Board that 400 plots will be available for industrial units, which have to be relocated from New Delhi under the Apex Court verdict.

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Captive minor girl rescued from traffickers
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, July 14
The rescue of a minor girl from Assam, who had been kept in captivity near sector-6 here, is yet another reminder that the menace of human trafficking in the district continues unabated.

Shakti Vahini, an NGO, has contacted the police officials of Ranchi and Assam and has requested the local police to produce the victim before the Juvenile Committee for further action connected with her rehabilitation.

According to the victim, identified as Padmavati (15), daughter of one Sahil, alias Raghu, a resident of Tongla village in the Guwahati district of Assam, she was brought along with five other girls on pretext of providing her employment by a woman from Ranchi. She had gone to Ranchi to attend a family function.

She told the police that a person identified as Bablu took her from Noida and kept her in confinement in Ballabgarh for about four months before she managed to escape. A truck driver tried to abduct her from near the Mathura Road at night. However, a resident came to her rescue and took her to his house in Khandavali village. Next day, the Sarpanch of the village took her to the DSP of Ballabgarh.

The Shakti Vahini, which has been instrumental in rescuing several such girls in the region, met and recorded the details of the ordeal faced by her. The NGO has contacted the senior police officials of Guwahati and Ranchi districts for her repatriation.

Meanwhile, it has requested the local police to get her medically examined. The district has no facility to keep such victims in the district. A shelter for destitute women and girls rescued from the clutches of traffickers exists at Karnal.

According to Mr Rishi Kant of Shakti Vahini, the victim was in need of counselling as she has been under severe trauma for the last few months.

Acknowledging the role of the police in the case, he emphasised the need for formal training and sensitisation of the department for handling such cases.

Traffic diversion

The motorists on the 65-km stretch of the National Highway no 2, known as the Mathura Road, passing through the district from the Badarpur border to Karman border near Hodal town in the district, have been put to great difficulties due to diversion and converting it into one way traffic.

This has been done to cope with the rush of the kanwariyas on the main roads, in which one of them was injured after he was hit by a truck near Palwal town. The kanwariyas had blocked the highway at several places last night in protest against the accident.

According to the new arrangement, the traffic entering Faridabad from Delhi will now take the bypass road upto Ballabhgarh town and then move in one lane till the UP border near Hodal town. Hodal is about 55-km from Ballabgarh.

The traffic coming from Hodal side has been allowed to move on the left lane uptill the Delhi border. The traffic from both sides upto Ballabhgarh will move on one side of the four- lane road.

Even as it has led to chaos and traffic jams at several places, the motorists will have to continue with this arrangement till the Shivratri festival, when the movement of the kanwariyas would come to an end.

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Experience the thrill of being in a buoyant village at ‘Mhara Gaam’
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 14
Haryana Tourism adds another innovation in the field of tourism promotion with the inauguration of ‘Mhara Gaam’ at the Ethnic India Tourist Resort at Rai on July 15.

The Haryana Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, will inaugurate the new venture.

The Ethnic India Tourist Resort at Rai is located on the National Highway No. 1, which is just 7-kms away from the Delhi-Haryana border.

The village ambience of Haryana has been created for the tourists, wherein local art, culture and rural lifestyle of the state and the region will be introduced to the tourists.

Facade of a haveli village, chaupal, pond, baithak etc., has been created. Beautiful murals are unique attraction of its own kind here. ‘Mhara Gaam’ has all that is captivating and enchanting about Haryana’s rich culture and traditions-motifs, Sanjhi and mirror work intricately done on the walls of the village haveli. Depicting local architecture, the haveli is resplendent in colour, exuding a special rustic charm. One can experience the thrill of being in a buoyant and live village.

A separate section exhibiting the typical jewellery of the region, household articles, agricultural implements etc., has been set up. The tourists will be served with local cuisine in typical, warm and endearing style, in age-old traditional utensils and layouts.

A visit to the `Mhara Gaam’ will be a great learning experience for the modern generation.

The state government has provided Rs 19.56 lakh for the `Mhara Gaam’ project. Keeping in view the strategic location on the national highway and its nearness to the national Capital, it would be a great opportunity for the tourists to know more about the lifestyle of Haryana.

Presently, more than 7,000 tourists visit the Rai Tourist Complex every month. The Ethnic India Tourist Resort was started in 2000, with facilities of 24 rooms, restaurant, bar and banquet/conference hall etc.

Another block of 12 rooms will be opened on July 15. A new wing of 10 rooms at an estimated cost of Rs 72.94 lakh is being added, with a petrol pump being proposed to be set up at this complex.

`Mhara Gaam’ is yet another step for promotion of rural tourism in the state and showcasing the ethnic art and culture of Haryana. Haryana Tourism is also promoting ‘Farm Tourism’, launched in September, 2003, which has generated a lot of interest.

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