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Living in the shadow of Parchu
Rampur, August 14
Uncertainty continues to loom large over hundreds of uprooted families who were living along the Sutlej and have been forced to shift in view of the flood threat due to formation of the Parchu lake in Tibet.

4 years gone, he still remembers
nature’s fury
Rampur, August 14
Having lost his wife and two daughters in the flashfloods that had hit the area four years back, nobody can understand the pain and misery of those affected by nature’s fury better than Mr H.C. Jishtu, who did not even get to see their faces as the bodies were never recovered.

General J. J. Singh visits forward areas in HP
Chandigarh, August 14
The General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Command, Lieut-Gen J J Singh, today visited forward areas along the Indo-Tibetan border to review arrangements made by the Army to deal with floods in the event of an artificial lake on River Pare Chhu busting.

GOC-in-C, Western Command, Lieut-Gen J. J. Singh (centre) discusses flood relief plans with local commanders in forward areas along the Indo-Tibetan border in Himachal Pradesh on Saturday. GOC-in-C, Western Command, Lieut-Gen J. J. Singh (centre) discusses flood relief plans with local commanders in forward areas along the Indo-Tibetan border in Himachal Pradesh on Saturday.






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EARLIER STORIES

 

Antaryami’s family continues fast
Una/Ropar, August 14
The fast being observed by members of the Antaryami’s family at Dehlan village in Una district entered its second day today as even after the lapse of 24 days, the government has failed to get him released from the Iraqi militant’s custody. Similarly, family members of two other Indian hostages — Sukhdev Singh and Tilak Raj — also hinted that they would resort to an agitation, if the government negotiations failed to yield any results.

Board notice to 66 private schools
Hamirpur, August 14
The Chairman of the HP State Education Board, Mr Babu Ram Rahi, said here today that the board would deal firmly with those private schools who fail to fulfil the conditions laid down by the board for their functioning. He said most of the private schools were not observing the time schedule and vacations.



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Living in the shadow of Parchu
Tribune News Service

Rampur, August 14
Uncertainty continues to loom large over hundreds of uprooted families who were living along the Sutlej and have been forced to shift in view of the flood threat due to formation of the Parchu lake in Tibet.

After the panic due to reports of blasting by China in Parchu lake on August 12, some amount of normalcy has returned but people still continue to live under fear.

Some of the shops in the main market which had closed down due to fear of flood on August 12 have been again stocked with goods and redecorated. “For how long can we sit idle as there is no definite information about the flood situation and, moreover, it is a question of livelihood,” said Ramesh Chand, owner of a grocery shop. However, people continue to live in the panchayat bhavan and school building. During day time many of them come down to their houses and return to safer locations in the evening.

Though satellite images have indicated a marginal increase in the size of the lake but there has been only slight fluctuation in the water level of the Sutlej.

Majority of the locals have emptied their lockers and sent jewellery and other valuable to their relatives living elsewhere. The cash and ledgers from the banks are being kept safely at Jharki, Kumarsein and other places. “In fact some people have sent their wives and children to their relatives’ places while many government employees have proceeded on leave,” said Mr Harish Gupta, president, Rampur Beopar Mandal.
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4 years gone, he still remembers nature’s fury
Tribune News Service

Rampur, August 14
Having lost his wife and two daughters in the flashfloods that had hit the area four years back, nobody can understand the pain and misery of those affected by nature’s fury better than Mr H.C. Jishtu, who did not even get to see their faces as the bodies were never recovered.

As people continue spending sleepless nights day after day, Mr Jishtu, a senior assistant in the Himachal Roadways Transport Corporation (HRTC), still rues the day he left his wife alone in their home at Brow village.

“Nobody can escape nature’s fury as despite warnings my wife and two daughters were washed away and even after thorough search by the ITBP and Army their bodies were never found”, he says.

Today’s cloudburst and the formation of a lake at Parchu in Tibet is virtually making him relive those horrifying moments. “It was at 3 a.m. on August 1, 2000, that my wife Shanno Devi (44) and daughters Anu and Pinki, both college students, were washed away in the flashflood, that left village Brow and Jagaatkhana completely devastated,” he says. People should not live in their houses as they will not even know when the might of the water will wipe off every trace of life, he says, while scanning through every bit of information in the newspapers on the flood situation. Even though Mr Jishtu is posted in Rampur, he commutes daily from his native village Halyana, 29 km away, as living on the banks of the Sutlej cannot let him forget how his family must have shouted for help as they met their watery grave. “Since we did not even find their bodies, I tried communicating with my wife through spirits and she told me that by the time they woke up water was already uptill their necks,” he says.

Both Mr Jishtu and his wife had gone to their native village Halyana in Kumarsein for a family function. Wanting to be with her two daughters in Jagaatkhana, Shanno Devi returned. A neighbour, who fortunately moved to a higher place, said till 2.30 a.m. all of them kept sitting in the lawn and a little later Mr Jishtu’s wife went to sleep with her daughters, terming it as a false alarm. “Within half an hour the gushing waters swept off all houses close to the river and all we could see were trees, boulders, gas cylinders and furniture floating in the water,” he says. “I still curse myself for staying back in the village as I feel had I been with them they would have been alive,” he says.

Life for Mr Jishtu has never been the same as he carries on with his job while his daughter Manju, unable to come to terms with the loss, has given up studies.
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General J. J. Singh visits forward areas in HP
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 14
The General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Command, Lieut-Gen J J Singh, today visited forward areas along the Indo-Tibetan border to review arrangements made by the Army to deal with floods in the event of an artificial lake on River Pare Chhu busting.

The Army Commander was briefed by the local formation commander at Puh regarding early warning arrangements on issuing warning in case of rise in water levels in the Sutlej is noticed by the forward-most post in the Sugar Sector.

General J J Singh was also briefed by the Task Force Commander and Commander, Project Deepak, who are responsible for maintenance of line of communication in the region. Chief of Staff, Western Command, Lieut-Gen P K Grover also accompanied him.

The Western Command Chief directed the local commanders to maintain the highest state of alertness and stressed that the aim of the operation should be to ensure that there was no loss of life and minimal loss of property.

The Amy has already positioned a large number of troops, along with requisite equipment, in the area and two Army Aviation choppers have been positioned at Rekong Peo. The AIR Force has also been instrumental in airlifting large quantities of flood relief stores to the area.
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Antaryami’s family continues fast
Kiran Deep

Tribune News Service

Una/Ropar, August 14
The fast being observed by members of the Antaryami’s family at Dehlan village in Una district entered its second day today as even after the lapse of 24 days, the government has failed to get him released from the Iraqi militant’s custody. Similarly, family members of two other Indian hostages — Sukhdev Singh and Tilak Raj — also hinted that they would resort to an agitation, if the government negotiations failed to yield any results.

Family members of the hostages said initially a number of government official visited their houses and everyday they got calls from several officials. But now they hardly received any call from any official.

Expressing regret over the government inability to ensure his brother’s release Sukhdev’s brother Harvinder of Makrona village in Ropar district, said he did not receive a single call from any of the minister after all. It’s the responsibility of the state to ensure the safety of their people”, he said.

He said his aged mother, Gurdev Kaur and father Sher Singh had not taken proper meal since the last one week. They are on medication to overcome anxiety and distress. Harvinder said they would wait for few more days and would resort to fast keep up pressure.

Antaryami’s parents had now stopped watching television after conflicting reports about the hostage crisis had appeared in the media. They blamed the media for releasing such unconfirmed reports. Antaryami’s father Ram Murti, mother Bhago Devi and sister Harjinder Kaur observed a fast yesterday.
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Board notice to 66 private schools
Our Correspondent

Hamirpur, August 14
The Chairman of the HP State Education Board, Mr Babu Ram Rahi, said here today that the board would deal firmly with those private schools who fail to fulfil the conditions laid down by the board for their functioning. He said most of the private schools were not observing the time schedule and vacations.

Talking to reporters here today, he said the board had issued notices to 66 private schools of the state for their failure to implement certain norms and conditions of the board. They had been asked to improve their working conditions.

He said the private schools would be put under three categories on the basis of their performance. Those found doing well would be given recognition for three years.

Mr Rahi said it was sad that though many private schools were getting 95 per cent aid from the state government but were not giving full salary to the staff. Action would be taken against such schools, he said.

The board had directed the managements of all private schools to submit the inventories of their staff along with the details of their salary to the board so that complaints of less disbursement of salaries could be verified.
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