SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI



THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
H A R Y A N A

Seven girls feared washed away
Narwana canal breached
Ambala, August 4
A number of villages in the Naggal area were inundated following a breach in the Narwana canal today even as Union Minister and Ambala MP Kumari Selja expressed her unhappiness with the district administration over the pace of relief work.

Ambala-Chandigarh rail line closed for repairs
Ambala, August 4
There will be no train movement on the Ambala-Chandigarh rail line till August 7 while the Ambala-Amritsar mainline has been closed for carrying out repairs till August 14.
A bridge on the Ambala-Chandigarh-Kalka section of Northern Railway at Saddopur village that was damaged by rain on Tuesday.
A bridge on the Ambala-Chandigarh-Kalka section of Northern Railway at Saddopur village that was damaged by rain on Tuesday.
— Tribune photo by Manoj Mahajan

Is Punjab to be blamed for Ambala’s flooding?
Chandigarh, August 4
Has Ambala been inundated because of the use of the controversial SYL canal as a drain by Punjab? “Yes”, say officers of the Haryana Irrigation Department. They allege that the Punjab authorities deliberately made cuts in the Narwana branch of the Bhakra system and the SYL canal in their territory so that the flood waters from that state could be drained out to Haryana.

Main parties not serious on SYL: Varma
Fatehabad, August 4
The Ekta Shakti president, Mr Virender Varma, today accused all four main political parties of Haryana — the Congress, the Indian National Lok Dal, the Haryana Vikas Party and the Bharatiya Janata Party — of adopting a lackadaisical approach on the SYL issue.


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


YOUR TOWN
Ambala
Bhiwani
Chandigarh
Fatehabad
Hisar
Karnal
Sonepat

 

EARLIER STORIES

 

Cong should protest against Capt: Chautala
Hisar, August 4
Haryana Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala said today that instead of protesting against his government, the Congress members should protest against the Punjab Government and seek the dismissal of Capt Amarinder Singh.

Haryana BJP activists clash with police
Chandigarh, August 4
After becoming a pioneer in the resignation of MLAs to protest against the Punjab Termination of Agreement Act, the Haryana BJP today followed it up by holding a militant demonstration here to decry the legislation.

Verma report smacks of politics: HVP
Sonepat, August 4
The Haryana Vikas Party (HVP) has termed the Verma Commission report a political document and has threatened that if the Chautala government makes any attempt to register a case against the HVP supremo, Mr Bansi Lal, and his son Surender Singh, the party will oppose it at all costs.

‘Kundi’ connections to be regularised: Chautala
Bhiwani, August 4
The Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, today announced that ‘kundi’ connections would be regularised and replaced with metered connections to check power theft in the State .

Affiliation of colleges to Devi Lal University set aside
Chandigarh, August 4
The Punjab and Haryana High Court today quashed the notification issued by the Registrar of Devi Lal University, Sirsa, through which the affiliation of many colleges, including technical institutions of Bhiwani, Sirsa, Hisar, Fatehabad and Jind had been changed from Maharishi Dayanand University (MDU), Rohtak, to Devi Lal University.

High Court
Last chance
Chandigarh, August 4
The High Court has granted one last opportunity to the Haryana Government to file a written statement in a long pending case filed by a JBT teacher for grant of selection grade.

Bijander nominated chairman of Vichar Vibhag
Chandigarh, August 4
The Haryana Congress president, Mr Bhajan Lal, has nominated Mr Bijander Singh as the chairman of the Vichar Vibhag of the party.

Sustain personal links with people, Surjewala tells partymen

Chandigarh, August 4
President of India Youth Congress-cum-Secretary All-India Congress Committee Randeep Singh Surjewala today expressed anguish over poor performance by the Congress in the state during Lok Sabha elections.


Randeep Surjewala, President, All-India Youth Congress, addresses Youth Congress office-bearers from Punjab at Punjab Congress Bhavan, Chandigarh on Wednesday.
— A Tribune photograph

Randeep Surjewala, President, All-India Youth Congress, addresses Youth Congress office-bearers from Punjab at Punjab Congress Bhavan, Chandigarh on Wednesday.

Karnal MP injured in road accident
Sonepat, August 4
Mr Arvind Sharma, a Congress MP from Karnal, and his three associates were injured when his car met with an accident on the National Highway No. 1 near Rasoi village, about 15 km from here, last evening.

Consumers protest against truant official
Sonepat, August 4
A large number of consumers, belonging to Mohalla Kalan and its adjoining areas, held a demonstration at a collection centre set up by the Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (UHBVN) in the old power house premises here today to protest against the absence of cashier from duty.

Seven die as bus rams into truck
Shamgarh (Karnal), August 4
Seven persons were killed and at least 11 injured when a private tourist bus (PB-01-4247) going from Amritsar to Delhi rammed into a stationary truck on the national highway here this morning.

Injured persons being evacuated from the tourist bus that rammed into a truck claiming seven lives and leaving at least 11 injured on the national highway at Shamgarh village, near Karnal, on Wednesday. — Photo by Kulwinder Sandhu
Injured persons being evacuated from the tourist bus that rammed into a truck claiming seven lives and leaving at least 11 injured on the national highway at Shamgarh village, near Karnal, on Wednesday.

Rs 101.5 cr approved for sewerage, water schemes
Chandigarh, August 4
The Haryana State Sanitary Board has approved Rs.101.50 crore for the implementation of new and ongoing schemes of water supply and sewerage. Out of this, Rs. 65.40 crore would be spent in rural areas and Rs.36.10 crore in urban areas to improve the availability of drinking water and make the sewerage system more effective.

Additional charge for three IAS officers
Chandigarh, August 4
The Haryana Government has given additional charge to three IAS and one HCS officer with immediate effect.

Fire due to oil spill over flood waters
Ambala, August 4
A fire broke out at 12 Cross Road due to oil spillage over flood waters early this morning.

Women inmates shifted as jail is flooded
Ambala, August 4
The Ambala Central Jail administration had to shift its women prisoners to other jail as flood waters entered the female ward of the jail yesterday.

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Seven girls feared washed away
Narwana canal breached
Rahul Das
Tribune News Service

Ambala, August 4
A number of villages in the Naggal area were inundated following a breach in the Narwana canal today even as Union Minister and Ambala MP Kumari Selja expressed her unhappiness with the district administration over the pace of relief work.

The canal was breached at two places. Water began to fill rapidly in the villages and people were forced to take refuge on rooftops. Two Army columns were rushed to evacuate the villagers.

Seven girls were feared to have drowned in flood waters near Ismailpur yesterday. The girls used to work in a factory at Lalru. Ten girls had started off from home along with a village elder. The water suddenly began to rise and the group was washed away. Three of the girls could be saved while the remaining seven — Sita Devi, Renu Bala, Meena Devi, Swaran Kaur, Promila Devi, Jassi Devi and Kulbeer Kaur — are still missing.

While an aged cyclist lost his life near Nahan House, Ambala City, a 15-year-old youth of Dalipgarh is believed to have been drowned. The youth, who was trying to swim in the flood waters, fell into an overflowing drain. Another boy of Chormastpur village is suspected to have drowned in the flood waters. Unconfirmed reports state that a person died in Khatik Mandi, Ambala City, and another person was killed in Ram Nagar.

Hisar road, which passes through the Naggal area, has been damaged. People, who managed to come out of the area, have reported that there is an acute shortage of potable water and eatables.

A former Haryana minister, Mr Nirmal Singh, said some of the villages which had been affected included Amipur, Naggal, Chugna, Bugna, Mitla, Segta, Bishangarh, Udaipur, Ismailpur, Shekhopur, Jagoli, Khera and Nadiali.

Army men continued to rescue people. A number of villagers were safely evacuated by the soldiers at Dadiana village. Four columns of Army men were working round the clock to plug the breach in the Ghaggar river bank near Devi Nagar.

An Army man said work was likely to be completed by late evening. The support from the civil administration was far from satisfactory. Not only did they have to place sand bags, but also they have to fill up those with sand. “The task of filling up gunny bags with sand could have easily been undertaken by labourers hired by the district administration. If the sand bags are readily available, our task can be accomplished quickly,” he observed.

The Army personnel also distributed food and water among trapped villagers. A number of villagers, who lived in safer areas, were helping affected villagers.

District Transport Officer Narsingh Dhull said traffic had been restored on the Ambala-Chandigarh road. A portion of the road was washed away near Drive-In 22 yesterday.

A number of houses in Baldev Nagar, Saddopur and Ambala Sadar were damaged. Water entered the houses. While water had subsided in some parts of Ambala Cantt, many areas of Mahesh Nagar were still inundated during the day.

Union Minister and Ambala MP Kumari Selja said she was unhappy with the district administration over the slow pace of relief work. “It seems that the administration is helpless and they have failed to rise to the occasion,” she said.

Kumari Selja said she was in Mumbai when she learnt about the flood situation in the Ambala parliamentary constituency. “I repeatedly tried to get in touch with the Deputy Commissioner but to no avail. Thereafter, I contacted the Haryana Chief Secretary, who in turn informed me about the situation,” she said.

She said the feedback received from the people showed that the district administration had failed to control the flood situation. “The local administration must ensure that a proper drainage facility is in place. The Army has assisted the civil administration,” she said.

DCC (Urban), Ambala Cantt, president Ashok Jain said they had called an emergency meeting of Congress workers tomorrow to discuss the situation. HPCC deputy spokesperson Pradeep Chauhan said the situation was acute in many parts of Ambala Sadar.

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Ambala-Chandigarh rail line closed for repairs
Tribune News Service

Ambala, August 4
There will be no train movement on the Ambala-Chandigarh rail line till August 7 while the Ambala-Amritsar mainline has been closed for carrying out repairs till August 14.

The General Manager, Northern Railway, Mr R.R. Jaruhar said today that flood waters had caused extensive damage to the Ambala-Chandigarh rail line as well as the Ambala-Amritsar rail line. He said that the extent of damage became clear after the flood waters began to recede.

Mr Jaruhar said that 8-km of rail track between Ambala City and Shambhu on the Ambala-Amritsar rail line was submerged in rising waters of the Ghaggar river. “The track has been damaged in six places and two small bridges have also been damaged,” he said.

He said that four sections of the rail track had been damaged and they were now hanging in mid-air. The damage ranges from 50 metres to 80 metres. Three more 15-metre smaller sections have been damaged. “Power lines have also snapped. We are going to start from bridge no.315,” he said. “Fortunately, the main Ghaggar bridge has not been damaged,” he added.

Mr Jaruhar said that 60 rakes of earth-filling material would be required. “We will be needing 10 bulldozers. About 1,000 labourers and 50 engineers will work round the clock to repair the damage,” he said. He added that the work was likely to be completed by August 14 and till then there would be no train movement on the Ambala-Amritsar rail line.

He said that on the Ambala-Chandigarh rail line, a bridge had been damaged. “Two 12-feet girders have been damaged. The bridge is located between Dhulkot and Lalru. We are going to get it operational by putting in service girder. The task is expected to be completed by August 7,” he said.

Mr Jaruhar said that another bridge near Chandi Mandir had been damaged. “This bridge will also be repaired by August 7,” he said. “The Ambala-Chandigarh rail line is expected to become operational by August 7 evening or August 8 morning.”

He stated that some long distance trains had been cancelled and some trains had been diverted through Dhuri-Jakhal. “Our main concern is to provide 28 coal rakes everyday to power plants and supply 26 rakes of foodgrains from this area to other parts,” he said.

A number of senior officers, including the Divisional Railway Manager, Mr Keshav Chandra, ADRM Dayal Dogra, Principal Chief Engineer J.P. Shukla, Chief Electrical Engineer Ashwini Kapoor and Chief traffic planning manager S.S. Negi, were present.

The DCM, Mr Meena, said that 12,753 passengers had been refunded rail fare. The refund had been done at 12 places. Shatabadi (no. 2005, 2006) between Ambala and Delhi would be running from tomorrow. Two special trains between Ambala-Delhi and Ambala-Saharanpur were operated today.

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Is Punjab to be blamed for Ambala’s flooding?
Yoginder Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 4
Has Ambala been inundated because of the use of the controversial SYL canal as a drain by Punjab?

“Yes”, say officers of the Haryana Irrigation Department. They allege that the Punjab authorities deliberately made cuts in the Narwana branch of the Bhakra system and the SYL canal in their territory so that the flood waters from that state could be drained out to Haryana.

As a result of these cuts Ambala and Kaithal districts of Haryana have been facing critical flood situation since yesterday. There has been loss of life and property as well. The Haryana officers claim that in the past also Punjab, which otherwise opposes the construction of the SYL canal as well as the flow of river waters to Haryana, had been using the canal to drain out flood waters from its territory.

Whereas the officers do not want to be named, the Haryana Chief Parliamentary Secretary, Mr Ram Pal Majra, has gone on record to condemn this “unethical practice”. Terming the Punjab action as “inhumane”, Mr Majra pointed out that the Narwana branch had been cut at RD 155 km and at two other places between RD 145 km and 155 km in Punjab to drain out flood waters from that state to Haryana.

The SYL canal, he said, was also punctured at many places in Punjab so that the flood waters could flow down to Haryana. He said this “inhuman act” had endangered the lives of thousands of villagers along the banks of the Narwana branch and the SYL canal.

He said though only 500 cusecs of water was being released in an authorised manner into the Narwana branch, the SYL canal and Narwana branch were over flowing by nearly 30 times. Mr Majra said this water had come as a result of “a highly condemnable mischief” on the part of the authorities in Punjab.

At the Tangri Super Passage near Jansui Head in Ambala district at RD 188 km of the Narwana branch, the Tangri was flowing at 60,000 cusecs whereas the normal discharge is only 40,000 cusecs. The maximum gauge here was at 50,000 cusecs and the water was flowing one feet above the gauge that is 60,000 cusecs.

He said that the entire Irrigation Department and district administration had been put on constant vigil.

To cope with the excess inflow of water from Punjab, the escapes of the SYL canal and the Narwana and Sirsa branches had been opened so that water flowed to the Bibipur lake and the Amin drain.

Meanwhile, according to the Irrigation Department, because of the flow of water in excess of its capacity had breached the SYL canal downstream on the border of Ambala and Kurukshetra districts, flooding several villages.

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Main parties not serious on SYL: Varma
Our Correspondent

Fatehabad, August 4
The Ekta Shakti president, Mr Virender Varma, today accused all four main political parties of Haryana — the Congress, the Indian National Lok Dal, the Haryana Vikas Party and the Bharatiya Janata Party — of adopting a lackadaisical approach on the Sutlej-Yamuna Link canal issue.

Talking to mediapersons here today, Mr Varma said none of the four political parties was honest in its approach on the issue, resulting in the interests of Haryana being overlooked.

He said his party had set a target of winning at least 65 Assembly seats and forming the next government in Haryana. He said he had finished the task of constituting units of the party in 15 of the 19 districts, adding that the remaining units would be constituted by the end of this month.

Mr Varma said that his party was committed to supplying free power and irrigation water to farmers after coming to power in the state.

He said his party would abolish the value added tax, the fire tax, the house tax and the sweetshop tax. Besides, it would increase the old-age pension to Rs 500 a month

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Cong should protest against Capt: Chautala
Tribune News Service

Hisar, August 4
Haryana Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala said today that instead of protesting against his government, the Congress members should protest against the Punjab Government and seek the dismissal of Capt Amarinder Singh.

He was talking to The Tribune on the sidelines of the inauguration of a block of staff quarters on the Guru Jambheshwar University campus here today. He also inaugurated a multipurpose hall, cafeteria, teaching block and library building. Besides, he laid the foundation stones of another teaching block and women hostel on the university campus.

Mr Chautala said following the recent rainfall in the state, there was no drought-like situation as the rain had revived the crops. He, however, accused the Centre of having a biased approach in disbursing relief packages to states.

The Chief Minister alleged that the Punjab Government’s move on the SYL issue was a threat to the federal structure of the nation. He added that the “impotent” Union Government had not been able to dismiss the Punjab Government or get the controversial Act quashed.

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Haryana BJP activists clash with police
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 4
After becoming a pioneer in the resignation of MLAs to protest against the Punjab Termination of Agreement Act, the Haryana BJP today followed it up by holding a militant demonstration here to decry the legislation.

Haryana BJP chief Ganeshi Lal was arrested along with several party leaders and hundreds of activists when they attempted to gherao Punjab Raj Bhavan to protest against the Act which abrogates river water sharing by Punjab with neighbouring states.

The police had to resort to lobbing tear gas shells, lathicharge and use water canons to disperse the protesting BJP workers near the Sector 8 and 7 roundabout at Madhya Marg. The police used force as the demonstrators tried to break the cordon and started pelting stones at police personnel. A police officer, who was present at the spot, claimed that Industrial Area Station House Officer Nannu Ram and Sub Inspector Ram Chander were injured in the stone throwing.

A state BJP spokesman said a senior leader of the party’s youth wing, Mr Jaiveer Godara, had received serious injuries in the lathicharge. Mr Krishan Pal Gujjar, leader of the BJP in the Haryana Assembly, and Ms Sarita Narain, member of the Haryana Assembly, were among the 25 others who received injuries in the police action, the spokesman said.

Workers and leaders of the BJP from various parts of Haryana assembled at the Aggrasen Bhavan here in the morning from where they started their march towards the Punjab Raj Bhavan. The party had organised six foot marches — from Nangal Chaudhary, Hodal, Dabwali, Bahadurgarh, Samalkha and Kalesar (Chachhrauli) — which reached Chandigarh today to take part in the programme to gherao the Punjab Raj Bhavan.

The foot marches took off on July 28 and on the way the marchers stopped at various places and held meetings at villages on the water issue. The gathering at the Aggrasen Bhavan was addressed by BJP leaders, including Mr Ganeshi Lal, Mr Krishan Pal Gujjar, Mr Ranjit Singh and others.

Mr Shivraj Singh Chauhan, Lok Sabha member and the party’s national general secretary, who is in charge of the Haryana unit of the BJP, told reporters at Aggrasen Bhavan that the Termination of Agreement Act could not have been moved by the Congress Government in Punjab without concurrence of the Congress president, Ms Sonia Gandhi. On the support given to the Act by the BJP legislators of the Punjab Assembly, Mr Chauhan said the BJP MLAs of Punjab were not fully aware of all the implications of the Act when it was presented before the Punjab Assembly. He said later the party’s Central leadership apprised the Punjab BJP functionaries about the party’s decision to oppose the Act.

On figuring of Mr Ganeshi Lal’s name in the Verma Commission report, constituted by the Haryana Government to look into illicit trade of liquor during prohibition imposed by the Bansi Lal-led regime, Mr Chauhan said the report was politically motivated.

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Verma report smacks of politics: HVP
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, August 4
The Haryana Vikas Party (HVP) has termed the Verma Commission report a political document and has threatened that if the Chautala government makes any attempt to register a case against the HVP supremo, Mr Bansi Lal, and his son Surender Singh, the party will oppose it at all costs.

Addressing party workers here last evening, the general secretary of the party, Mr Rajiv Jain, questioned the validity of constituting a commission. He said a commission was constituted only when complaints were received, but in this case, there was no complaint, which indicated that there was a political motive behind it.

He said Mr Bansi Lal had challenged the constitution of the commission in the Punjab and Haryana High Court and the next date of hearing was August 8. He said without waiting for the high court decision, the government hurried to make it public to tarnish the image of party leaders.

HVP activists demanded that along with the report of the Verma Commission, the government must table the report of the Saikai Commission in the Assembly to let people judge which government was misusing power.

The Saikai Commission was constituted to probe the murder of Amir Singh during the byelection to the Meham Assembly constituency in 1990.

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‘Kundi’ connections to be regularised: Chautala
Our Correspondent

Bhiwani, August 4
The Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, today announced that ‘kundi’ connections would be regularised and replaced with metered connections to check power theft in the State .

The Chief Minister was redressing the grievances of people under the fourth phase of the Sarkar Aap Ke Dwar progarmme at Buwani Khera, 18 km from here, today.

Mr Chautala said teams would visit all villages and wherever ‘kundi’ connections would be found, these would be provided with meters and stern action would be taken against power thieves. The transformers of low capacity would be replaced with those of high capacity to ensure uninterrupted supply of power in urban as well as rural areas. All old and damaged electricity poles would be replaced and loose transmission lines would be tightened.

He directed the officials of the Irrigation Department to ensure adequate water at the tail ends of canals. He pointed out that whenever an official of the Irrigation Department would measure the level of water at the tail end, he would have to get the reading signed by the sarpanch or Namberdar of the village to satisfy the villagers.

He directed them to check theft of canal water. He said they should conduct patrol along canals with the help of police personnel and legal action should be initiated against those found making theft of water.

Mr Chautala directed the officials of Public Health Department to ensure that the people did not face any problem in getting the supply of safe drinking water.

Mr Chautala announced a number of developmental schemes.

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Affiliation of colleges to Devi Lal University set aside
Our High Court Correspondent

Chandigarh, August 4
The Punjab and Haryana High Court today quashed the notification issued by the Registrar of Devi Lal University, Sirsa, through which the affiliation of many colleges, including technical institutions of Bhiwani, Sirsa, Hisar, Fatehabad and Jind had been changed from Maharishi Dayanand University (MDU), Rohtak, to Devi Lal University.

The decision was passed during hearing in writs filed by a student, Sameer Tyagi, and others, praying for quashing of the notification of August 2, 2003. The issuance of notification was followed by large-scale protests by students of many colleges.

The petitioners had claimed that the decision to change the affiliation of the colleges would affect the careers and job prospects of the students.

They stated that MDU, Rohtak, had been given B++ rating by the National Accreditation Council, as a result of which these students enjoyed better job opportunities.

In its order, the Bench comprising Mr Justice G.S. Singhvi and Mr Justice M.S. Gill also allowed the prayer of the students that they be awarded certificates for the final year from MDU, Rohtak, despite the fact that they appeared in the exam conducted by Devi Lal University, Sirsa.

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High Court
Last chance

Chandigarh, August 4
The High Court has granted one last opportunity to the Haryana Government to file a written statement in a long pending case filed by a JBT teacher for grant of selection grade.

The Bench headed by Mr Justice J.S. Khehar also ordered that Rs 5,000 be paid as costs in the matter. The money could be recoverable from the officer who was responsible for not having filed the written statement despite passage of so much time.
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Bijander nominated chairman of Vichar Vibhag
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 4
The Haryana Congress president, Mr Bhajan Lal, has nominated Mr Bijander Singh as the chairman of the Vichar Vibhag of the party.

While Mr Rakesh Sharma has been made convener, Mr Sham Lal Gupta, Mr Zile Singh, Mr Sandeep Singh, Mr Tara Chand Dhanwal and Mrs Saroj Bala Jain have been nominated as Vice-Chairmen.

Dr Naresh Kushal, Mr Pardeep Goyal, Mr Ram Niwas Sharma, Mr S.K. Rishi, Mr Kushal Pal Singh and Mr S.P. Singh will the general secretaries. Mr Narender Malhotra, Mr Ashok Kumar Kubber, Mr Ram Kumar Singh, Mr Jagjit Singh, Mr Vinod Tanwar, Mr Mohd Rafiq and Mr Surinder Singh have been made secretaries. While Mr Sanjay Chauhan will be the treasurer of the Vichar Vibhag, Mr S.S. Garg, Mr Sulekh Chand, Mr Rakesh Kumar Nagpal, Mr Ravinder Singh and Mr Chaman Singh will be the members of its Executive.

Mr Manoj Kumar Tyagi (Karnal), Mr Deepak Sharma (Kurukshetra), Mr Naresh Attri (Panipat), Mr Brejesh Partap (Yamunanagar), Mr Sunil Dhull (Kaithal), Mr Devinder Bajaj (Ambala), Mr Sudhir Singhal (Panchkula), Mr Vijay Pal Singh (Rohtak), Mr Mahi Pal Singh (Bhiwani), Mr Udeybir Singh (Jhajjar) and Mr Krishan Vir Singh (Gurgaon) will be the district chairmen.

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Sustain personal links with people, Surjewala tells partymen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 4
President of India Youth Congress-cum-Secretary All-India Congress Committee Randeep Singh Surjewala today expressed anguish over poor performance by the Congress in the state during Lok Sabha elections.

Addressing the gathering at Congress Bhavan this morning, Mr Surjewala asked party members to “popularise the party by sustaining personal links with people by holding free medical camps, besides blood donation camps”.

He also asked them to strive hard for providing “artificial limbs to the physically challenged by collecting small donations”. This he claimed, would go a long way in popularising the Congress.

He said the Punjab Youth Congress had faced “extremely hostile atmosphere during the Akali-BJP regime”. It was now holding “innumerable rallies, public meetings and demonstrations against the misrule of the previous government to keep the flag of Congress President Sonia Gandhi high”.

Referring to Ms Gandhi’s visit to Assam and Bihar, Mr Surjewala said she was pained to see the plight of people due to the floods and expressed her desire to help the victims.

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Karnal MP injured in road accident
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, August 4
Mr Arvind Sharma, a Congress MP from Karnal, and his three associates were injured when his car met with an accident on the National Highway No. 1 near Rasoi village, about 15 km from here, last evening.

The injured were identified as Mr Mohinder Kaushal, Mr Surinder Sharma and Mr Ranbir Singh. The incident occurred when the victims were going to Karnal from Delhi. When their car reached near Rasoi village, one of its tyres suddenly burst due to which the car overturned in a roadside pit.

A number of persons rushed to the accident spot and extricated the occupants from the car.

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Consumers protest against truant official
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, August 4
A large number of consumers, belonging to Mohalla Kalan and its adjoining areas, held a demonstration at a collection centre set up by the Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (UHBVN) in the old power house premises here today to protest against the absence of cashier from duty.

The consumers also raised slogans against the officials of the city sub-division and the state government. Many consumers alleged that the Sub-Divisional Engineer had completely failed to take any action against the cashier who did not turn up for the duty.

The collection centre, they pointed out , was supposed to remain open from 9.00 a.m. onwards. They rued that the collection centre existed on paper only and they had often returned disappointed without depositing their electricity dues.

The Residents Welfare Association and the Sonepat Citizens Forum today criticised the UHBVN authorities for failing to appoint a permanent employee for the collection counter.

Enquiries made by The Tribune revealed that no permanent employee had been posted at this counter for the past 8 months.

Whenever the consumers organised demonstrations, a cashier on temporary basis was appointed.

Meanwhile, following by the call the Sarv Karamchari Maha Sangh, Haryana, the All Haryana PWD Mechanical Karamchari Union organised meetings in front of the offices of the Irrigation Department, the Public Health Department and the PWD (B&R) here today to press for its demands. The meetings were addressed, among others, by Mr Ved Vyas Arya, a leader of the Sangh and he strongly condemned the transfer of the employees on political groups. The Sangh also warned that if the transfers were not revoked immediately, a statewide agitation would by launched on the issue.

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Seven die as bus rams into truck
Tribune News Service

Shamgarh (Karnal), August 4
Seven persons were killed and at least 11 injured when a private tourist bus (PB-01-4247) going from Amritsar to Delhi rammed into a stationary truck on the national highway here this morning.

The SHO of Taraori police station, Mr Jai Singh told The Tribune that a case under Sections 279, 237 and 304 of the IPC was registered against the bus driver for negligence in driving. However, the driver was absconding.

The injured were immediately rushed to the trauma centre at Karnal where 10 persons are said to be out of danger. One person was later referred to the PGI, Chandigarh.

The District Magistrate of Karnal, Mr R.S. Doon, Superintendent of Police, Mr Vikas Arora, and other senior police and civil officials of the district administration visited to the trauma centre of the local Civil Hospital and talked to the injured. They assured all possible help in treatment to them.

Those who died have been identified as Harish Gupta (37), resident of Budh Vihar (New Delhi), S.N. Maro, resident of Kolkata, Angrej Singh (60), resident of Panjwara village, Tarn Taran, Surinder Rana, resident of Kolkata, and Ravinder Singh (22), resident of Baghria village, Amritsar district, two persons could not be identified.

Those injured include Vijay Bhardwaj, resident of Amritsar, Bablu, resident of Sultanwind village, Amritsar district, Neeraj Kumar, resident of Bihar, Rehan Ahmed, resident of New Delhi, Gurmeet Kaur, resident of Panjwara village, Amritsar district, Manjit Singh, resident of Bara Bazaar, Kolkata, Palwinder Singh, resident of Pathankot, Ranjana Gupta, and her 10-year-old son Pankaj, residents of Budh Vihar, New Delhi. Two injured persons could not be identified.

The post-mortem examinations of identified bodies were conducted at the local Civil Hospital and handed over to the family members in the evening.

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Rs 101.5 cr approved for sewerage, water schemes
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 4
The Haryana State Sanitary Board has approved Rs.101.50 crore for the implementation of new and ongoing schemes of water supply and sewerage. Out of this, Rs. 65.40 crore would be spent in rural areas and Rs.36.10 crore in urban areas to improve the availability of drinking water and make the sewerage system more effective.

The Haryana Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, who presided over a meeting of the board here today, directed the state Public Health Department to launch a special drive to check the menace of unauthorised connections of drinking water in the state as these not only lead to unaccounted use of water, but also create water-borne diseases, thus adversely affecting the health of the people.

The Chief Minister, who is also the president of the state Sanitary Board, said that those who had taken connections of drinking water supply in an unauthorised manner, should be given regular connections by the department. In case of such defaulters, he said the penalty should be waived off so as to motivate them to cooperate with the department in getting regular connection. However, Mr Chautala added that those, who would not follow the directions of the government in this regard, should be dealt with sternly.

Mr. Chautala directed the Financial Commissioner and Principal Secretary, Public Health, Mr. Bala Bhaskar, that the functioning of all the 3200 water works in the state should be reviewed within a fortnight to ensure that the people got adequate supply of drinking water.

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Additional charge for three IAS officers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 4
The Haryana Government has given additional charge to three IAS and one HCS officer with immediate effect.

Mr. Alok Nigam, Chief Administrator, Housing Board, Haryana, has given the additional charge of Director, Urban Development Department, vice Mr. T. K. Sharma, who has proceeded on leave. Mr. Balbir Singh Malik, Deputy Commissioner, Hisar, will also look after the work of Joint Secretary, Cultural Affairs Department, relieving Mr.R.K.Khullar of the said charge.

Mr.R. S. Doon, Deputy Commissioner, Karnal, has been given the additional charge of Joint Secretary, Rehabilitation-cum-Chief Settlement Commissioner, relieving Mr.H. S. Rana of the said charge.

Mr. Balraj Singh, HCS, ADC-cum-CEO, DRDA, Gurgaon, has given the additional charge of Administrator, HUDA, Gurgaon, vice Dr. Prem Chand Verma, who has proceeded on leave.

Mrs. Ashima, HCS, Extra Assistant Commissioner (under training), Bhiwani, has been posted as Extra Assistant Commissioner (under training), Ambala.

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Fire due to oil spill over flood waters
Tribune News Service

Ambala, August 4
A fire broke out at 12 Cross Road due to oil spillage over flood waters early this morning.

The incident took place when the chowkidar of a government school ignited the gas cylinder to prepare tea. There was an explosion and surrounding areas caught fire.

Apparently, the government school is located close to where oil tankers are parked. At least three rooms of the school caught fire. The chowkidar sustained burn injuries.

Local residents said a thick plume of smoke rose from the area. Smoke could be spotted from a distance.

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Women inmates shifted as jail is flooded
Our Correspondent

Ambala, August 4
The Ambala Central Jail administration had to shift its women prisoners to other jail as flood waters entered the female ward of the jail yesterday.

According to jail sources, as many as 11 women prisoners were lodged in this jail. The ward was got vacated when around three to four feet flood waters entered the ward. The women prisoners were shifted to another ward in the jail. Later for the security reasons they were sent to the Hisar Central Jail this morning.

The jail is surrounded with boundary wall and the flood water flowing from the Kanshinagar side cannot easily enter the jail premises. The jail sources said that the flood water flowed through a nullah, which is being used for the disposal of water by the jail authorities.

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School board members

Chandigarh, August 4
The Haryana Government has nominated Mrs. Shoba Vijay, Lecturer, Aggarwal Girls Senior Secondary School, Ballabgarh, Mr. M. S. Chhikara, Lecturer, T. R. College of Education, Sonepat, Dr. B. N. Singhal, Professor and Head of the Department of Hindi, MDU, Rohtak, and Dr Neelima Dahiya, Professor and Head of the Department of History, MDU, Rohtak, as non-official members of the Haryana School Education Board. — TNS

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ITI admissions postponed

Ambala, August 4
The Industrial Training Institute (ITI), Ambala City, has postponed its admission schedule as flood waters entered the institute premises. According to the principal of the institute, Mr Shamsher Singh Sihag, the admission to various trades will now start from August 9. Earlier the admission was scheduled from August 5. — OC

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