SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI



THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
H A R Y A N A

Relief in Mandoli village
Mandoli (Yamunanagar), November 28
“Ever since charges were framed against Sanju (Sanjay Dutt) we had been saying he is not a terrorist and today the TADA court has vindicated our stand. Sanjay Dutt is a real hero and true Indian”.
Som Dutt and Punita Dutt, uncle and aunt of Bollywood star Sanjay Dutt, in Mandoli village in Yamunanagar on Tuesday after the Mumbai court acquitted Sanjay Dutt of the charges under TADA Act Som Dutt and Punita Dutt, uncle and aunt of Bollywood star Sanjay Dutt, in Mandoli village in Yamunanagar on Tuesday after the Mumbai court acquitted Sanjay Dutt of the charges under TADA Act.

AIDS and Haryana — III
Mother-to-child infection risk can be cut down
Panchkula, November 28
It was celebration time in a small one-room hut located on the outskirts of the city. A few kilometres away, another Naraingarh family was partying for a similar reason. Both Sunita and her country cousin Neha were on the family way. Sunita (name changed) had been to a fertility clinic to meet her desire for motherhood.

Govt flouts RTI Act, provides ‘misleading’ information
Rohtak, November 28
Haryana government officers continue to violate the Right to Information Act by providing false or misleading information to public. The office of the Commissioner, Higher Education and Kurukshetra University are cited as habitual offenders in this regard.

Cops shielding guilty, says father of mishap victim
Chandigarh, November 28
Four months after his 19-year-old son died in a road accident, a Kurukshetra resident has accused the Haryana Police of tempering with evidence to protect the guilty.


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



YOUR TOWN
Ambala
Bhiwani
Chandigarh
Kurukshetra
Panchkula
Rohtak
Yamunanagar


EARLIER STORIES



Poacher held with 6 leopard skins
Panipat, November 28
The CIA wing of the local police has seized six leopard skins from the Lodha locality at Smalkha with the arrest of a resident of Sanoli Road here last evening. The cost of the skins is around Rs 18 lakh in the international market.However, the poachers were looking for a customer who could pay them Rs 15,000 for every skin.

Kurukshetra Utsav begins
Kurukshetra, November 28
The four-day long Kurukshetra Utsav started this evening amidst a light-and-show programme. The Governor and Chairman of the Kurukshetra Development Board (KDB), Dr A.R. Kidwai, lighted a lamp at the inauguration function of Gita Jayanti-2006 held in Purushottam Bagh at the Braham Sarovar.

Panel chief unhappy with absentee VIPs
Kurukshetra, November 28
Absence of several “VIP” associate members from a public hearing here today annoyed Justice Kuldip Singh (retd) Chairman of the Delimitation Commission of India.

Challans in Delhi upset roadways unions
Bhiwani, November 28
The Sarv Karamchari Sangh and Haryana Karamchari Mahasangh staged a joint demonstration at the local bus stand today in protest against the policies of the state government and challans of the Haryana Roadways buses in New Delhi. The unionists declared that no roadways bus would proceed towards Delhi on December 1.

Jeep runs over minor girl
Bhiwani, November 28 The police has charged a jeep driver with negligent driving and crushing a minor. Baljit Singh of the local Friends Colony has lodged a report with the police that his six-year-old daughter Preiti was returning home from her school yesterday when a Tata Spacio driver crushed her near Kharkadi Road. She died on the spot. The police has registered a case against Krishan of the local DC Colony.

2 killed as car, pick-up collide
Rewari, November 28
Two persons were killed on the spot while three others were injured, two of them seriously, in a head-on collision between a car and a pick-up near the Khori village bus stand on the Rewari-Narnaul road, 10 km from here, on Sunday night.

DC orders suspension of JE
Ambala, November 28
Deputy Commissioner Ambala OP Langayan today directed the suspension of a junior engineer Public Health after he found that the work being carried out was substandard.

Student attempts suicide
Jhajjar, November 28
A student of Government Polytechnic College here attempted suicide by consuming poison allegedly for being harassed by one of his teachers. The second year student of ceramic trade in the college, Chaman Lal, a son of Mr Jagdish, was hailing from Jind. He was staying in the college hostel.

Honour for women achievers of Haryana
Ambala, November 28
The Government of Haryana is committed to improve the status and acceptability of the girl child in the society. This was stated here today by the Commissioner of Ambala Division, Dr Mahavir Singh.

Indian Oil transporters on strike
Ambala, November 28
Indian Oil transporters, going to Himachal Pradesh from Ambala depot, have gone on a strike to press for the restoration of the 'Temperature Variation Allowance' (TVA). The transporters are on a strike since yesterday as a result of which a large number of oil tankers are not plying.

 




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Relief in Mandoli village
Nishikant Dwivedi
Tribune News Service

Mandoli (Yamunanagar), November 28
“Ever since charges were framed against Sanju (Sanjay Dutt) we had been saying he is not a terrorist and today the TADA court has vindicated our stand. Sanjay Dutt is a real hero and true Indian”.

Mr Som Dutt, an uncle of Sanjay Dutt alias Munna Bhai said this after someone from Mumbai informed him that his nephew had been cleared of charges under the TADA Act. “Since last night we were worried but had faith in the judiciary and God”, said Ms Punita Dutt, an aunt of the actor. There were tears in her eyes.

The Dutts and villagers were praying since morning for Sanjay Dutt. The news of his acquittal from ‘serious’ charges was a ‘happy’ news for villagers. They organised prayers in temple, mosque, church and gurdwara of the village in the morning and again in the noon to express ‘thanks to God’.

Sanjay Dutt was facing five charges under different acts in connection with the 1993 Mumbai blasts. Mr Som Dutt who has acted in more than 12 Hindi movies heads the Dutt family. He and his wife Punita Dutt comes to Mandoli, a sleepy village located along the banks of Yamuna each year to take care of their farm.

Mandoli, where Sanjay Dutt spent his childhood and was here last year with the ashes of his father, was a hub of activity since morning. Reporters of electronic media with outdoor broadcasting ( OB) vans reached before dawn. Air of tension in the village cleared as soon as the television channels relayed that Sanjay Dutt had been found guilty only under the Arms Act.

Though Sanjay Dutt spent very little time in the village after he became a star but villagers are attached to him. They talked of 2004 Lok Sabha elections when the star had come here to campaign for Indian National Lok Dal candidates and his movies.

“Like us Sanju is a nationalist and true Indian”, said Mr Som Dutt. He reminded that “Sunil Bhai Sahab” (Sunil Dutt) had taken out a pad-a-yatra with his daughter Priya Dutt from Mumbai to Amritsar for communal harmony and peace in the country. “From day one we have been saying that Sanju Baba is innocent”, said Ms Punita Dutt. The family thanked the villagers in general for their prayers for Sanjay Dutt.

Late Balraj Dutt popularly known as Sunil Dutt and Mr Som Dutt with their mother Kulwanti Dutt and sister Rani settled in this village after the partition. Later Sunil Bhai Sahab shifted to Mumbai but the family kept living at Mandoli, said a Som Dutt.

“We are thankful to God that the word ‘terrorist’ is not meant for our hero”, said a villager. The Dutts’ including MP Priya Dutt, had prayed at several religious places in the country for Sanju Baba.

Earlier, in the morning atmosphere in the village was tensed and crowd started building as soon as the media activities started picking up. Several children skipped schools to come on television.

Temple priest Rama Nand informed Kirtan had started since morning. Power supply ruined the ‘fun’ of the villagers. “A big news was being developing in the village and OB vans were feeding directly their channels but we could not see it on TV sets as the power kept playing hide and seek”, said Dr Subhash Bhardwaj, a villager. 

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AIDS and Haryana — III
Mother-to-child infection risk can be cut down
Naveen S Garewal
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 28
It was celebration time in a small one-room hut located on the outskirts of the city. A few kilometres away, another Naraingarh family was partying for a similar reason. Both Sunita and her country cousin Neha were on the family way. Sunita (name changed) had been to a fertility clinic to meet her desire for motherhood.

Neha (name changed) had ,on the other hand, got pregnant within the first year of marriage - something her family had been pushing her for. Apart from a similar socio-economic background and income group, they had something else in common too- HIV positive status.

Neha has to visit a local hospital every month with Ishya (name changed) - her two-year-old daughter. They have to be monitored for the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). Ishya has got the virus from her mother.

Sunita has to do the rounds of the hospital too. Each time she has to look for a babysitter for her son Varun (name changed). Varun escaped HIV infection because Sunita choose to go in for institutional delivery. Treatment is now available where the risk of parent-to-child transfer of HIV can be reduced to 1 per cent with medical intervention.

“It is a myth that every HIV positive mother will transfer the infection to the child. Normally,this happens in around 35 per cent cases. But treatment is now available where the mother and child are injected with an anti-HIV drug, reducing the risk to around 1 to 2 per cent. This information we drill into expecting HIV positive mothers”, says Dr Sonia Trikha Khullar, Project Director, Chandigarh AIDS Control Society.

Pooja, president of Chandigarh Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS, is doing a lot of good work in and around Chandigarh to dispel myths about HIV/AIDS and educating girl students, who are particularly vulnerable. She believes that awareness alone can curb this menace.

Being told of HIV positive status at an antenatal clinic comes as a shock to almost all women. It takes them a long time to cope with the emotional and psychological trauma. What scares them most is the thought that they could transfer this disease to their child.

During routine tests, about 100 women, many from Haryana were tested positive for HIV at various antenatal clinics in Chandigarh. But despite counselling, only 50 came back for institutional delivery. Neha was one of them. “Only if I had listened and come for delivery to the hospital, Ishya would have been like Varun”, she says with remorse.

It is the hope that science may find a cure during their lifetime that keeps a lot of Hiv infected people going, says Dr Umesh Lamba, Additional Director, Haryana AIDS Control Society. But what is more important today is to appraise the affected about the treatment available and dispel myths.

Not many are aware that a prophylaxis is available for people who get exposed to HIV/AIDS by accident. A 28-day prophylactic treatment with Zidovudine (an antiretroviral drug, the first one approved for treatment of HIV) and Lamividine started within two to four hours after exposure to HIV in terms of sexual encounter with a HIV positive person or contact with blood or blood constituents, or even sharing of a needle with an HIV person can prevent HIV transfer.

A South Haryana-based gynaecologist, Dr Veena (name changed), received a scalpel cut while delivering a baby.She was exposed to the HIV from the mother, who was HIV positive. She received the prophylaxis from the Ante- Retroviral Treatment (ART) at the PGI, Rohtak, and tested negative. HIV takes three to six months after exposure to appear in blood test.

Again, Dr B.N. Bose (name changed), a surgeon received a splash of blood in his eyes while conducting a surgery on a HIV positive patients. But for the four-week treatment at Rohtak (the only treatment centre in Haryana), his life would have been very different today. He now makes it a point to tell all his patients about the prophylaxis.

HIV/ AIDS diagnostic centres functioning at the sub-divisional level insist that patients do not share blades for shaving or cutting nails. In South Africa 0.9 per thousand infections take place through infected blades, says Dr S.B. Siwach, Nodal Officer, ATR Centre at Rohtak.

(Concluded)

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Govt flouts RTI Act, provides ‘misleading’ information
Raman Mohan
Tribune News Service

Rohtak, November 28
Haryana government officers continue to violate the Right to Information Act by providing false or misleading information to public. The office of the Commissioner, Higher Education and Kurukshetra University are cited as habitual offenders in this regard.

Mr Anil Bhatia, a senior lecturer in D.N. College, asked Kurukshetra University whether every DAV College in Haryana had separate governing body. He also sought to know if the posts of principal and lecturer in DAV Colleges were selection posts or whether these could be filled by way of transfer. The information was sought under the RTI Act.

Instead of citing rules enunciated in its own calendar this is the reply of the university: in this connection it is to inform you that all queries raised by you have already been examined and answered by the Punjab and Haryana High Court in CWP No. 17306 of 1995 titled Anil Bhatia Vs the state of Haryana and others. This CWP came up for hearing and court dismissed it on July 4, 1997.

The Dean of Colleges of the university also wrote that another related CWP No 7388 of 1990 was pending in this court and as and when the court took a decision it would be communicated to the applicant.

Clearly, the university evaded the issues and sent a totally misleading reply. As per the Act it should clearly state the legal position.

In reply to Mr Bhatia’s query regarding constitution of DAV Colleges management it sent him an uncertified copy of a list purportedly sent by DAV College Managing Committee, New Delhi which is a non-statutory body not recognised by the government and the universities concerned. Besides, this letter was sent for the university’s approval. The university failed to say whether it had approved the same.

Mr Bhatia had sought similar information from the Commissioner, Higher Education, Haryana. This office too sent him misleading and contradictory information. It stated that DAV Colleges in Haryana were allowed to constitute one governing body on October 18, 1996 and enclosed a copy of proceedings of a meeting held in this regard.

However, the fact is no university in Haryana amended its calendar to make provision for the constitution of a single committee and therefore the decision taken at this meeting remained on paper only. Legally, no such committee can exist.

There are other reasons too why such a body cannot be constituted. The magaing body of a college can have only 11 to 21 members. These include representatives of teachers and non-teaching staff of the college concerned. If this condition is to be fulfilled, the common governing body of DAV Colleges would have more than 100 members. Besides, in the case of DAV Colleges in Haryana the so-called common governing body has only 15 common members. The rest of the members including government and university nominees and staff representatives are different for each college.

The Commissioner, Higher Education, also informed that all posts in affiliated colleges were filled through duly constituted selection committees but in some special cases the government allows shifting of employees from one DAV College to another by transfer. But, the CHE failed to cite the rules that empowered him to do so simply because there is no such provision.

The CHE stated in a reply that seniority of all employees is maintained college wise. This contradicts its own submission that DAV Colleges in Haryana were allowed to have one managing body because if there has to be one management, there has to be common seniority list which the DAV Colleges in Haryana do not have.

There have been similar complaints from the public about other government offices too.

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Cops shielding guilty, says father of mishap victim
Writes to Haryana CM, police chief
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

The accident vehicle with two number plates.
The accident vehicle with two number plates.

Chandigarh, November 28
Four months after his 19-year-old son died in a road accident, a Kurukshetra resident has accused the Haryana Police of tempering with evidence to protect the guilty.

In complaints to senior police officers, including Haryana’s Director-General of Police, Mr Tilak Raj, father of Riyasat Ali, has alleged that the numberplates of the “offending vehicle” were changed to help the accused go scot free.

He has alleged that even though a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) found the investigating officer to be erring in an inquiry, yet no action has been initiated against the guilty so far.

The police had brought back the vehicle involved in the accident only when the issue was brought to the notice of the Director-General of the Haryana Police, he has said.

His struggle for justice seems. The ‘errant cops’ and culprits are not only moving without any fear of the law, but also threatening him against following up the matter. He has apprised the Chief Minister of Haryana about the case, but without any respite.

Accident victim Riyasat Ali
Accident victim Riyasat Ali

Seeking action against the cops, Mr Raj, an Ayurvedic physician, in his complaints addressed to the Chief Minister and the state Director-General of Police has stated that his son died in an accident involving his motorcycle and a Mahindra Bolero (HR-45-8131) vehicle on July 20 this year. He succumbed to his injuries in the government hospital at Yamunanagar and a case was registered in this connection at the Indri police station.

The driver of the Bolero fled the spot, abandoning his vehicle. However, a photographer managed to take photographs of the vehicle stuck in the roadside bushes. The police, in an attempt to shield the guilty, did not bring the vehicle to the police station for four days and later “produced another vehicle.”

“Inspection of the vehicle shown by the police revealed that it numberplate was changed. Its original number (PB-11-S-8556) was visible under the fake numberplate displayed on the vehicle,” Mr Raj claimed.

The SHO of the Indri police station said the case was shifted to the crime branch by senior officers. Inspector Laxman Dass in the crime branch at Madhuban said the investigation report had been submitted to the authorities. He, however, maintained no irregularities on the part of police officials were found during the course of investigation. 

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Poacher held with 6 leopard skins
Tribune News Service

Panipat, November 28
The CIA wing of the local police has seized six leopard skins from the Lodha locality at Smalkha with the arrest of a resident of Sanoli Road here last evening.
The cost of the skins is around Rs 18 lakh in the international market.However, the poachers were looking for a customer who could pay them Rs 15,000 for every skin.

According to Mr Alok Mittal, SP, the accused Dharampal (26) and his father Ram Kishan killed the animals in the forests of Rishikesh in Uttaranchal six months ago and brought the skins here.

While producing the accused before mediapersons, the SP said on a tip-off the police sent a customer to the accused and raided the place when the accused was showing the skins to him.

When asked, Dharampal said he sold two skins last year for Rs 35,000 only to a dealer from New Delhi.

“We follow the footmarks of animals near a water body when they go to drink water and lay a 'khatka' ( a trap made of iron) and when the paw of an animal gets stuck in the trap, we kill it,” said Dharampal.

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Kurukshetra Utsav begins
Tribune News Service

Kurukshetra, November 28
The four-day long Kurukshetra Utsav started this evening amidst a light-and-show programme.
The Governor and Chairman of the Kurukshetra Development Board (KDB), Dr A.R. Kidwai, lighted a lamp at the inauguration function of Gita Jayanti-2006 held in Purushottam Bagh at the Braham Sarovar.

Dr Kidwai also launched a website dedicated to the KBD which is prepared by Mr Rajesh Purohit, curator of the famous Sri Krishna Museum. The website contains information about Kurukshetra.

On the occasion, Sandeep Bhatt, a resident of Patreri village in Ambala district, presented a tiny version of the Gita to the Governor.

Earlier in the day, the authorities had arranged an exhibition of various aspects of Haryana around the sarovar.

Among the main attractions in the days to come is a musical function by Punjabi singer Hans Raj Hans on Wednesday.

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Panel chief unhappy with absentee VIPs
Tribune News Service

Kurukshetra, November 28
Absence of several “VIP” associate members from a public hearing here today annoyed Justice Kuldip Singh (retd) Chairman of the Delimitation Commission of India.

The commission organised a meeting to hear grievances and suggestions and received over 148 objections from individuals and elected representatives.

Chief Election Commissioner of India (CEC), N Gopalaswami, also a member of the commission, said assembly elections in Punjab would be held before March next year.

However, final dates to be finalised. He expression satisfaction over photo voter cards. People from Karnal, Kurukshetra, Panipat, Kaithal, Panchkula, Ambala and Yamunanagar gave suggestions on restructuring of Assembly seats.

Most of the MLAs and MPs from these areas failed did not turn up at the meeting. Justice Kuldip Singh objected to the absence of the associate members. He stated it was a difficult task to rope in the MPs and MLAs in such works. He said only the media could ask these absent members about the justification of their act.

Among those who were absent at the meeting were Dr Arvind Sharma and Naveen Jindal Congress MPs from Karnal and Kurukshetra, respectively.

Similarly Congress MLAs from Faridabad Avtar Singh Bhadana, Vidhan Sabha Speaker Dr Raghbir Singh Kadyan and Chairman of the Agriculture Marketing Board Shadi Lal Batra were absent from the proceeding.

Justice Kuldeep Singh added work of the delimitation process in the country would be completely by July 2007. He said the commission was receiving a large number of objections and hoped to settle these.

Annoyed with the VIP politicians trying to speak out of turn, Justice Kuldip Singh threatened to stall the proceedings.

The Chairman added a large number of the persons showed resentment over proposed inclusion of Shahabad in Ambala assembly constituency. In their objections, voters also demanded to scrap the reserved status to Shahabad in the Kurukshetra district.

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Challans in Delhi upset roadways unions
Our Correspondent

Bhiwani, November 28
The Sarv Karamchari Sangh and Haryana Karamchari Mahasangh staged a joint demonstration at the local bus stand today in protest against the policies of the state government and challans of the Haryana Roadways buses in New Delhi. The unionists declared that no roadways bus would proceed towards Delhi on December 1.

The employees of the local depot of the Haryana Roadways raised anti-government slogans under the leadership of their president Jagdish Sangwan. Mr Sangwan said the Haryana Roadways buses were being challaned without any reason by the New Delhi transport authorities.

He alleged that the employees had to pay the fine from their own salaries. Demanding constitution of a new wage commission, he alleged that the the Haryana Transport Department was running in losses because of the policies of the state government.

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Jeep runs over minor girl

Bhiwani, November 28
The police has charged a jeep driver with negligent driving and crushing a minor.
Baljit Singh of the local Friends Colony has lodged a report with the police that his six-year-old daughter Preiti was returning home from her school yesterday when a Tata Spacio driver crushed her near Kharkadi Road. She died on the spot. The police has registered a case against Krishan of the local DC Colony.

In another case, the Siwani police has arrested three vehicle owners for wrong parking. The arrested persons have been identified as Satish of Ward No. 9, Ram Niwas of Mehra village and Sanjay of Bhera village. — OC

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2 killed as car, pick-up collide
Our Correspondent

Rewari, November 28
Two persons were killed on the spot while three others were injured, two of them seriously, in a head-on collision between a car and a pick-up near the Khori village bus stand on the Rewari-Narnaul road, 10 km from here, on Sunday night.

The victims have been identified as Attar Singh, the driver of the car and resident of Bhojawas village in Mahendergarh district, and Umed Singh, an occupant of the pick-up and resident of Kundal village in Rewari district.

The seriously injured, Narender Kumar of Rewari and Sunil Kumar of Hisar district, were referred by doctors of the Civil Hospital here to Safdarjung Hospital, Delhi.

The car was on the way to Delhi while the pick-up was going towards Narnaul.

The Rampura police here has registered a case of rash and negligent driving against the pick-up driver, who is at large.

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DC orders suspension of JE

Ambala, November 28
Deputy Commissioner Ambala OP Langayan today directed the suspension of a junior engineer Public Health after he found that the work being carried out was substandard.

Mr Langayan carried out a surprise inspection at Baldev Nagar and found that the laying of the pipelines was not up to the standard. He immediately directed that the junior engineer overseeing the work should be placed under suspension. The samples of the pipeline had also been collected on the direction of Mr Langayan.

“I went on a surprise inspection and found that the work was not upto the standard. I immediately ordered the suspension of the Junior Engineer. I have ordered probe into the matter,” Mr Langayan said. TNS

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Student attempts suicide
Our Correspondent

Jhajjar, November 28
A student of Government Polytechnic College here attempted suicide by consuming poison allegedly for being harassed by one of his teachers.
The second year student of ceramic trade in the college, Chaman Lal, a son of Mr Jagdish, was hailing from Jind. He was staying in the college hostel.

He alleged that one of his lecturers was having some illwill against him and he shortened his attendance.

He was rushed to the Civil Hospital and later shifted to the PGIMS at Rohtak.

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Honour for women achievers of Haryana
Our Correspondent

Ambala, November 28
The Government of Haryana is committed to improve the status and acceptability of the girl child in the society. This was stated here today by the Commissioner of Ambala Division, Dr Mahavir Singh.

He said the state government was going to honour woman achievers of the state, who had excelled in all fields since the inception of the state.

Outstanding women will be honoured at a state-level function to be organised at Panchkula in December this year so that the girls in the state get motivated.

Dr Singh advocated that 2006 had already been declared as 'Balika Year' and the same was to be celebrated before the close of the year.

He added that various schemes were being implemented at the district level, under which incentives and awards were being provided to the women/girl child for their exceptional achievements. 

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Indian Oil transporters on strike
Tribune News Service

Ambala, November 28
Indian Oil transporters, going to Himachal Pradesh from Ambala depot, have gone on a strike to press for the restoration of the 'Temperature Variation Allowance' (TVA).
The transporters are on a strike since yesterday as a result of which a large number of oil tankers are not plying.

The transporters are demanding that the allowance should be restored at the earliest.

The 'Temperature Variation Allowance' provides for the shrinkage in oil when an oil tanker moves from the plains to the high-altitude cold areas.The shrinkage takes place due to the cold. Incidentally, the TVA was being provided earlier.

The transporters pointed out that the oil company was stating that the TVA would not be paid. Resultantly, the shrinkage cost had to be borne by the driver who wasferrying the oil to high-altitude cold area.

The shrinkage cost was being deducted from the 'Trip Allowance' of the drivers since it was the responsibility of the driver to ensure that there was no difference between the loaded and the unloaded oil, transporters added.

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