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Politics over SYL canal set to hot up again; Is SYL a big election issue for Haryana?

Chandigarh : Politics over the SYL canal, which has been a big political issue in Haryana for the past over five decades, is set to hot up again as the INLD will launch a campaign of court arrests from Bhiwani.

Under the campaign named as “Jail Bharo Andolan”, the INLD has already announced a schedule of programmes to be held in the month of May.
As per the programme, the INLD will hold a rally at Bhiwani on May 1, following which thousands of workers will court arrest, said sources in the party.

“After Bhiwani, our workers will court arrest at Yamunanagar on May 4, Nuh on May 8, Sirsa on May 11, Narnaul on May 15, Kurukshetra on May 18, Fatehabad on May 22, Palwal on May 25 and Kaithal on May 29,” said Leader of the Opposition in State Assembly Abhay Singh Chautala.

Chautala alleged that the present BJP government in the state and at the Centre was not interested in constructing the SYL canal, which is a lifeline for farmers in the state.
He claimed that ever since Haryana was carved out as a separate state in 1966 and was allotted its share of waters, the INLD was the only party that had sincerely tried to build the SYL canal.

“The Congress remained in power from 1966 to 1976, but it did nothing to construct the canal. Devi Lal took over in 1977 and released Rs 1 crore to Punjab for the acquisition of land and Rs 2 crore for the construction. But then Bhajan Lal, who remained in power from 1980 to 1986, did nothing and the matter went to courts. On June 16, 2002 when the Supreme Court gave its verdict in favour of Haryana, it was the Congress government in Punjab that promulgated the Punjab Termination of Water Agreement Act, 2004, which was challenged by the Haryana Government headed by Om Prakash Chautala at that time. For the next 10 years, the Congress government also did not make any efforts for early hearing of the case in the court. Now when the SC has ordered to construct the canal, the BJP government is not showing any interest,” he said.

He said the party has given time to the government to start the construction of the canal by May 1 or face agitation.

Ever since the INLD launched its Jal Andolan in February last year, the party “digged” canal at Shambhu on February 23, ‘Sansad Gherao’ on March 16 last, dharna at Jantar Mantar from April 1 to 8, blocked roads from Punjab on July 29 and organised a rally at Ramlila Maidan on March 7.

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Engg students will develop ponds : CM; Is the Haryana government providing employment to the youth?

Panipat : Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said that the government was planning to engage the youth in engineering colleges among the state under the Prime Minister’s ‘Swachh Bharat’ summer internship project.

He said the Haryana Government would inaugurate 401 ‘vyayamshalas’ in the state on May 5 with a single click so that the youth of the state got advanced facilities for games and yoga.

The Chief Minister was addressing the gathering after listening to ‘Mann ki Baat’ of Prime Minister Narendra Modi with the general public in Babail village of the district.
He said the Prime Minister had praised youth of the state who had won laurels for the state and the country in the recent Commonwealth Games.

Appealing to the youth not to waste their time during the two-month vacation, he said the government was planning to engage engineering students in the creative work of development of ponds.

A scheme for pond development and water conservation would be prepared through the Haryana Pond Development Authority under this project, he added.

He said the ‘Swachh Bharat’ summer internship initiative of the Prime Minister would provide direction to the youth in the country and they would get training through skill development and other schemes.

Making mention of gold medallist Anish Bhanwala in his speech, the Chief Minister said the youth of the state were capable of achieving all their goals. He praised the youth who had cracked the civil services examination.

He asked women present in the gathering about the success of the Ujjawala scheme. After Ramrati pointed out that she did not have an LPG connection. He directed officials to provide her an LPG connection at the earliest.

The Chief Minister announced a shed for the grain market in Babail and Rs 2 crore for all development works sought by sarpanch Rakesh Kumar.

Transport Minister Krishan Lal Panwar, MLAs Rohita Rewri and Mahipal Dhanda and media adviser to CM Rajiv Jain were present during the event.

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Haryana expects all-time high wheat production; Are the farmers of Haryana working hard?

Chandigarh : On the back of a bumper wheat harvest, Haryana is expected to better its previous record of production achieved in 2011-12. Then, the state had produced 131.19 lakh MT of wheat.

“The estimated wheat production this year is 132.19 lakh MT. The present trends of harvesting show that we are going to cross the target easily. Last year, 113.12 lakh MT of wheat was produced in the state,” said Dushmanta Kumar Bahera, Director, Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Department.

Of 33 lakh hectares of cultivable land, wheat was grown on 25.23 lakh hectares this year.

“Due to favourable weather conditions, and efforts of farmers as well as field staff of the department, the average yield of wheat is 52.39 quintals this time,” Bahera said.
He further said the temperature as well as humidity was conducive this year. Hence, there were few complaints of pest attack and yellow rust.

Sources said almost similar climatic conditions were observed in 2011-12, when Haryana witnessed a record production of 131.19 lakh MT of wheat.

The state has, meanwhile, already surpassed last year’s figures of wheat production as 75.90 lakh MT of wheat was procured till Thursday.

Additional Chief Secretary (Food, Civil Supplies and Consumers Affairs) Ram Niwas said that last year, the state had procured 74.25 lakh MT. “This time, the government plans to procure 80 lakh MT.”

Sirsa district is on top with procurement of 9.75 lakh MT followed by Karnal (8.27 lakh MT), Jind (7.01 lakh MT), Kaithal (6.76 lakh MT) and Fatehabad (6.2 lakh MT).
Sources said that normally, two-thirds of the production of wheat is procured by agencies in the state, while the remaining is held back by farmers for their own use.
Crop on 85 acres gutted

Kurukshetra: In separate fire incidents in the last few days in the district, the standing wheat crop on over 85 acres of land was charred. DC SS Phulia said the crop of Dilip Singh of Amin village had reported the maximum damage on his 30 acre land. He said a special drive to assess losses had been started. The DC said the compensation would be granted as per the policy drafted in 2015. He said the officials had been tasked to undertake girdwari. The DC visited Amin, Hathira, Sirsma and Umri villages on Friday for overseeing the crop loss assessment.

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After boycott threat, CWG winners may not get cash; Will this cause conflicts between the government and the players?

Chandigarh : Commonwealth Games (CWG) medal winners who do not play for Haryana may lose the award money after their threat to boycott the felicitation function of the state government, which was scheduled for Thursday before being cancelled.
Most in the state government were of the opinion that the government should give cash awards only to those players who were residents of Haryana and played for the state.

Of the 22 CWG medal winners from the state, gold medal-winning sportspersons were to get Rs 1.5 crore, silver medal winners Rs 75 lakh and bronze medal winners Rs 50 lakh.

Of these 22, only nine sportspersons played from Haryana while the other 13 played for institutions like the Army and Railways.

Sports Minister Anil Vij said the state’s Sports Policy provided award money only for those who not only were residents of the state, but also played for Haryana.
“It was only because we felt that sportspersons from Haryana representing other institutions will feel disheartened with the disparity that we went beyond our policy to accommodate them. Haryana has been paying the highest award money to sportspersons in the country and the amount given by the Railways and Army is nowhere near it. We decided to reduce the amount they will get from their respective institutions because we did not want our own players to be demoralised. We cannot help if they do not like our extra efforts to accommodate them,” said Vij.

He said the matter would be considered afresh whenever a meeting was held for the purpose. Sources said a majority view in the government was to deny the award to those playing for other institutions.

A day before the state government was scheduled to felicitate its CWG medal winners at function to be held in Panchkula, it cancelled the function on Wednesday following a boycott threat by Vinesh Phogat, Bajrang Poonia and Manoj Kumar.

The sources said while the boycott threat by these sportspersons was the immediate trigger, Vij was already unhappy with the way Olympic bronze winner Sakshi Malik had tried to “disparage” the state government’s policy towards sportspersons though she was given Rs 2.5 crore as award money immediately after her arrival from Rio.
Sakshi, playing for Railways, had posted a series of tweets, accusing the state government of not keeping its word. Later, a controversy over bill for a tea party attended by Vij had erupted.

While Sakshi’s family had accused Vij of refusing to approve payment for the bill in connection with a function organised to felicitate her, the minister had maintained that the function had been organised by the sportsperson’s family and he was a guest invited by her mother.

It was only because we felt that sportspersons from Haryana representing other institutions will feel disheartened with the disparity that we went beyond our policy to accommodate them. Haryana has been paying the highest award money to sportspersons in the country and the amount given by the Railways and Army is nowhere near it. We decided to reduce the amount they will get from their respective institutions because we did not want our own players to be demoralised. We cannot help if they do not like our extra efforts to accommodate them. —Anil Vij, Sports Minister

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Rule 134-A: Protest holiday in Rohtak on April 30; Is the movement of private school operators justified?

Rohtak : All private schools in Rohtak district will remain closed on April 30 to register their protest against the alleged misuse of Rule 134-A of the Haryana School Education Rules and Right To Education (RTE) Act.

The private school-owners, who have observed strikes in Hisar, Bhiwani and Rewari earlier, maintain that if the state authorities do not wake up after the strike in Rohtak, a statewide agitation will be launched from Rohtak.

Talking to Vote Voice on Saturday, Haryana Private School Sangh president Satyawan Kundu said the state government had agreed to many of their demands in 2015, but had not implemented the same till date.

“Moreover, the private school-owners are being defamed by stating that they are not admitting students who belong to economically weaker sections (EWS) or BPL families as mandated under Rule 134-A. In reality, the Rule 134-A is being misused by certain well-off people who want to evade the school fees of their children,” he said.

Ravinder Nandal, the district president of the private school-owners’ association, alleged that such parents, in connivance with the officials concerned, wanted to get their children admitted on the basis of fake certificates.

Nandal said on April 30, the private school-owners of Rohtak would keep their schools closed, assemble at the Mansarover Park and march towards the local mini-secretariat, where they would hand over a charter of demands addressed to the CM to the local DC.

The school owners said they were collecting details of property owned by well-off parents of children, who had applied for admission to private schools under Rule 134-A. “Proofs of their property details will be shown to the top state functionaries to nail their lies. If the government still fails to act, we will take the legal recourse,” he said.

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