R E G I O N A L   B R I E F S


Distribute funds under welfare schemes: HC:
Taking up a petition for disbursing funds to the needy girls under various schemes in Punjab, the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Thursday directed the State of Punjab and other respondents to pay the amounts after verification. The Bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Augustine George Masih directed the amount be given at the earliest to the eligible applicants under the Aashirwad scheme for years 2006-07; and within three months under the Shagun scheme for years 2001 to 2003. 

Videoconferencing facility: Punjab Governor Shivraj V Patil today inaugurated videoconferencing facility in the office of the Punjab State Information Commission here on Thursday. The facility aims to help the aged, handicapped, poor and people unable to travel to Chandigarh from far off places. 

Rights panel member: The Punjab Government has appointed Baljinder Singh as the member of Punjab State Human Rights Commission with immediate effect. He replaced Avinash Rai Khanna who had resigned following his elevation as Rajya Sabha MP. 



Water supply to be disrupted :
Chandigarh: Water supply to the city will remain suspended between 1 pm and 2 pm on Friday. The municipal corporation’s spokesperson said there would be low water pressure from 3.30 to 9.30 am and full supply from 7 to 9.30 pm to the city. Residents are requested to bear with the MC. 



Former XEN’s pension cut for causing loss to exchequer
: The goverrnment decided to impose a cut of 2 per cent in the pension, along with “recovery of loss”, of a retired Executive Engineer of the PWD (B&R) as he has been found guilty in a case by the investigating officer. The proposal to impose the penalty was approved by the Chief Minister .
The retired XEN, SP Gupta, was chargesheeted under Section 7 for some lapses. Investigating officer RP Chander had found him guilty and responsible for the lapses. As per the findings of the investigating officer, Gupta intentionally avoided the provisions of the PWD Code, thus causing a loss of Rs 3,060 to the state exchequer in the shape of earnest money in connivance with the Superintending Engineer and other staff, he added. 

CM’s assurance to farmers’ delegation: Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda today said that acquired land would be released for agriculture purposes alone and a notification would be issued in this regard as demanded by farmers. He was interacting with a delegation of farmers of Gurgaon, accompanied by Gurgaon MP Rao Inderjit Singh in Delhi today. The farmers were from eight villages- Kukrola, Fazalwas, Sahrawan, Fakarpur, Kharkharhi, Mokalwas, Bas Lambi an Kasan villages.



Man’s body recovered 
: The police recovered the body of a man near a liquor shop in the New Plot area here on Thursday morning. The deceased has been identified as Shashi Bushan (50), a resident of the New Plot area. Reports said Bhushan was heavily drunk on Wednesday and might have died due to cold. The body was taken to the Government Medical College and Hospital for a post-mortem and was later handed over to Bhushan’s family. The police is investigating the case.

National highway remains closed 
: The Srinagar-Jammu National Highway remained closed to traffic for the third day on Thursday due to rain and snow near the Banihal Tunnel area. “There was nearly one foot of snowfall near the Jawahar Tunnel area. As a result, the national highway remained closed for the third day on Thursday,” a senior traffic police officer said. He added personnel of the Border Roads Organisation were clearing the road. Meanwhile, there was a fall in the night temperature in the Valley due to the fresh spell of rain and snow. 



Four killed as Sumo falls into river
: Four persons were killed and one was seriously injured when the Sumo they were traveling in fell into the Patalganga river in Chamoli district. According to the police, the Sumo (UK 07-D-994) was going to Joshimath when the accident happened at about 4:30 pm. The four persons died on the spot. All the persons are said to be residents of Ganadi village. 

Woman sets herself on fire; suffers 70% burns: A 26-year-old woman on Thursday set herself on fire by pouring kerosene on her following a heated argument with her husband at her parents’ house in Subhash Nagar here. She sustained 70 per cent burns and was admitted to the Coronation Hospital in a very critical situation, said the police. According to the police, Tanu Chetri, a resident of Subhash Nagar, was married to Arun Chetri, a resident of Indra Puri, four years ago. They have a baby girl of about two years of age. Both had been fighting over some reason for sometime now. Tanu had come to her parents’ house four days ago. And her husband had gone to Subhash Nagar to bring her back to his house. But two had heated arguments over some issue following which the women set herself ablaze. 

Youth commits suicide: A 20-year-old ward boy of Indresh Hospital committed suicide by jumping in front of a Jan Shatabdi Express train early this morning. He has been identified as Ajay Kashyap, a resident of Mothrowala, said the police. The police said no motive of suicide has come up yet. 

DM orders to stop salary of Block Education Officer: District Magistrate of Udham Singh Nagar BVRC Purshottam has ordered the stopping of salary payment to Block Education Officer of Gadarpur Shivnarain Prasad Verma. The order was given over the latter’s lack of interest in getting infrastructure pertaining to the Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan constructed. Purshottam has also issued a show-cause notice to two teachers for spending more money on a construction than the estimates. At a meeting of the Education Department held in Rudrapur on Thursday, Purshottam asked the officials to be sensitive to the needs of the disabled children and to ensure that they were enrolled at schools. He has also directed the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) to constitute teams to carry out checkups and issue disability certificates to 196 disabled children being educated at home so that they can avail the benefits of the disability scholarship.

Two drowned as dumper falls into Bhimtal lake: Two persons were drowned when a dumper fell into the Bhimtal lake on Wednesday night. The accident took place when driver of the dumper Prakash Pande was reversing the vehicle and he lost control over it. The vehicle hit the railing on the road and fell into the lake. The second passenger in the vehicle was Rajesh. A lack of proper lighting and the time taken by the cranes in reaching the spot from Haldwani caused delay in the rescue operations.

Car plunges into canal; one killed: One person was killed while another was rescued when the car in which they were travelling fell into a canal in Haldwani. The accident took place near the Sheesh Mahal area of the town on Tuesday night. The deceased has been identified as 57-year-old Jagdish Chandra Mishra who worked as a manager at a private school. Mishra, along with Devkinandan Pande, was attending a marriage at a venue on the Nainital Road when the two decided to go for a smoke. Since the shops were closed, they decided to drive to Kathgodam to purchase cigarettes. While a police patrol managed to save Pande, the body of Mishra was retrieved some distance away from the spot.

Villagers protest substandard work by contractors:The villagers of the Chorgaliya area near Haldwani are agitated over the poor quality work done under the flood-prevention programme on the Nandhaur river. The villagers of Amkheda village forced the stoppage of work on Wednesday and demanded an inspection of the works by the District Magistrate. They were pacified only when Tehsildar Pratyush Singh, along with Executive Engineer MC Pande of the Irrigation Department, carried out an inspection of the works and ordered the demolition of 14 blocs. The villagers alleged that the contractors were getting the work done at night to hide the use of substandard material. The blocks are being made on the river to prevent floods and a budget of Rs 8.5 crore has been approved for the project. Besides ordering the demolition of the substandard blocks, the Tehsildar ordered for stopping the payments to contractors working at night and blacklisting them.

Youth dies as pistol goes off accidentally: In a freak accident a youth, alleged to be having a criminal background, died when a loaded country-made pistol went off while he was trying to keep it in the back pocket of his trousers. According to the police, Naresh Bisht of the Pilikothi area in Haldwani died while undergoing treatment at the Sushila Tiwari Hospital where he had been referred to from a private hospital. The deceased was 26 years of age.


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