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1,600 trees to be axed for road widening; Is it right to sacrifice the environment for development?

Kurukshetra :
The holy city of Kurukshetra is set to lose about 1,600 trees, a sizeable number of it are fully grown trees, to make it more presentable to the visitors and overcome vehicular congestion.

The PWD (B&R) is undertaking six-laning of the Pipli-Kurukshetra University stretch of the NH-44. The state forest authorities have started chopping trees on the identified stretch of 8.50-km.

JP Kamboj, executive engineer, PWD (bridges and roads), said the Rs 66-crore project had been allotted to a Gohana-based construction firm. The project is expected to be completed by the end of next year, he added.

According to the official, the extended road would have a dedicated cycle track and a special provision for the effective storm water management system.

“The project has got all required environmental clearances in principle. Following the rules, the axing of trees has started and we expect the formal approvals within the next two weeks,” he said.

Denying the charge levelled by a local NGO that the project was in the violation of environmental rules, Kamboj said the Forest Department was entitled to fall trees after getting principle approval from various agencies.

Kamboj said the PWD had deposited Rs 1.36 crore with the Forest Department and nearly 9,700 saplings would be sown as a compensation for felling trees for the infrastructure development project.

Official sources said under the city infrastructural development, the Pipli-KU stretch would have several bus and rain shelters, parking lots, walkways and carriageways. There is a plan to plant 8,500 shrubs and 600 trees to add green lungs to the route, he added.

Local BJP legislator Subhash Sudha said the widening of road from the existing four to now six lanes were needed to improve traffic management.
“Kurukshetra is being developed as a major tourist destination by the Centre and Haryana government. It is important to give strengthen infrastructure to meet expected increased footfalls of the tourists,” said the MLA.

Honorary secretary of the Kurukshetra Development Board (KDB) Madan Mohan Chhabra said the board had also recommended of putting city signages and welcome gates along the NH to attract more visitors to the holy city.

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Two SPIOs fined for delaying RTI info; Is the RTI Act facilitated people?

Faridabad :
The State Information Commission (SIC) has imposed a penalty of Rs25,000 on two State Public Information Officers (SPIOs) for “delaying” giving information sought by an RTI activist.

The erring officers are Anand Sarup, Executive Engineer, Municipal Corporation, Faridabad, and Raman, Superintendent (Election), Urban Local Bodies, Panchkula.
“The penalty has to be recovered in three instalments and deposited within two months of the receipt of the order,” the SIC says in its June 18 order.
A penalty of Rs 14,000 has been imposed on Raman, while Rs 11,000 has been imposed on Sarup.

“The information was required to be provided in 30 days, but officials failed to do so even after 19 months of filing the RTI query,” he said.

The two SPIOs were served showcause notices twice, while hearings were fixed five times, but the information was not provided.

Now, the SIC has given two months to the SPIOs to give the information.

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Poll on mind, BJP appoints ‘prabharis’ for districts; Will the BJP's strategy be successful in 2019?

Chandigarh :
With next year’s parliamentary and Assembly elections in mind, the BJP has appointed senior party leaders, including Union Ministers and Haryana Cabinet ministers, as “prabharis” (in-charge) of districts.

Their job is to strengthen the party in their districts up to booth level and give feedback to BJP leadership.

The decision to appoint “prabharis” was taken by BJP general secretary Anil Jain after a five-hour meeting with state party leaders in Gurugram on Saturday.

Sources in the BJP say state BJP president Subhash Barala has been appointed “prabhari” for Kaithal and Panchkula districts, state organising secretary Suresh Bhatt will look after Karnal and Sonepat, Union Minister Krishan Pal Gurjar has been assigned the charge of Palwal and Nuh, Union Minister Inderjit Singh will be the in-charge of Rewari and Union Minister Birender Singh has been appointed “prabhari” for Hisar.

BJP secretary Sudha Yadav has been given the charge of Bhiwani and Jhajjar; Education Minister Ram Bilas Sharma, Gurugram; Finance Minister Captain Abhimanyu, Jind; Health Minister Anil Vij, Panipat; Agriculture Minister OP Dhankar, Rohtak; Ambala MP Rattan Lal Kataria, Yamunanagar; state BJP general secretary Sanjay Bhatia, Sirsa and Fatehabad; Ved Pal, Ambala and Kurukshetra; and Sandeep Joshi, Faridabad, Mahendragarh and Charkhi Dadri.

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CM orders timely completion of synthetic track, football ground; Are there adequate play facilities in Haryana?

Rides bike in Karnal, pays surprise visit to Karan Stadium

Karnal :
Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar rode a motorcycle in the city and paid a surprise visit to the Karan Stadium to check the construction work of the synthetic track.
Khattar, after reviewing the work, directed DC Aditya Dahiya and the Sports Department to ensure timely completion of the track and football ground.

“The issue of delay in the work came to my notice, so I visited the stadium and directed the authorities to ensure its timely completion. This stadium will have better facilities and I have directed the authorities to increase the seating capacity of the stadium,” said Khattar.

He directed the Superintending Engineer (SE) PWD and B&R to ensure that the water drainage system of the stadium was alright so that the problem of water-logging could be solved at an early stage.

The CM was told that the work of the synthetic track and football ground, to be developed at a cost of Rs 7 crore, would be completed by November 2018 ahead of the deadline of December 2019.

Reacting to the demand of players, Khattar sanctioned a skating hall and directed the DC to chalk out a proposal for the skating hall.

2 sub-stations inaugurated

Khattar, meanwhile, inaugurated and laid the foundation stone of various development works worth Rs 32.28 crore. He inaugurated two 33-kv sub-stations, each in Sector 32 and Sector 4. He laid the foundation stone of the augmentation of the main lower line of Western Yamuna Canal which would be constructed at a cost of Rs 13.38 crore.

The CM laid the foundation stone of a platform in Jundla grain market to be constructed at a cost of Rs 7.78 crore. The foundation stone was laid of a pavement on bank of the Hansi-Butana minor from Salwan to the Hafed sugar mill in Assandh. It would be constructed at a cost of Rs 4.37 crore.

Khattar also distributed cheques of loans amounting to Rs 1.86 crore to 126 women self-help groups under the Haryana State Rural Livelihood Mission. He released a book depicting the success stories of beneficiaries of the mission. He reviewed the exhibition of women self-help groups.

Cleaning staff honoured

Expressing gratitude to the cleaning staff of the MC, due to whose efforts Karnal ranked 41st out of around 4,000 towns and cities of the country in Swachh Survekshan 2018. He congratulated the house members and residents of the city.

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Khattar suspends patwari, orders probe against DSWO; Are Khattar doing a good job?

Karnal :
Miffed over a complaint regarding “demand of bribe” from residents of Mohidinpur, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Friday directed DC Aditya Dahiya to suspend patwari (land consolidation) Nafe Singh.

Minister of State for Food and Supplies Karan Dev Kamboj pointed out “irresponsible behaviour” of the patwari towards the public.

The CM ordered an inquiry against District Social Welfare Officer (DSWO) Satyawan Dhillorh for not releasing the pension of an elderly woman Jaidevi, a resident of Taraori, for the past one year.

Taking note of the complaint of Jaidevi, who alleged that she has been running from pillar to post to get her old-age pension, Khattar directed the DC to initiate an inquiry against the DSWO and added that he would be suspended if allegations were found true.

Khattar also asked the DC to take action against the woman if her complaint was found to be false.

The CM also directed the GM, Roadways, Ashwini Dogra, “to improve his conduct towards the public as well as public representatives”. Harvinder Kalyan, Hafed chairman and Gharaunda MLA, raised the issue of “non-cooperative behaviour of the GM, Roadways”.

Reacting to a complaint by Deepak Kumar, a commission agent of the newly developed vegetable market, the CM reprimanded the market committee authorities and said all entry points should be opened.

Khattar was redressing grievances of people during his fourth “khula darbar” on Friday at New Grain Market, which witnessed plethora of complaints.

As many as 382 complainants got themselves registered to meet the CM. Of them, around 200 were registered on the spot. As many as 85 complaints were related to the CM Camp Office, followed by 59 were of police, 56 of the KMC, 48 of the DDPO office, 26 of the UHBVN, 25 of the ADC office, 12 of the Revenue Department, 11 of the DSWO office, eight of the Marketing Board, seven each of the Civil Surgeon Office and Public Health Office, four each of the Education Department and Transport

Department and three of the DFSC.

After about three hours of listening to around 100 complainants, the people were instructed to hand over their written complaints to the CM, who took around 15 minutes to get complaints.

Scores of complainants were left unattended and disappointed. They sought maximum time of the CM with people at such events.

Earlier, the CM directed the BDPO, Nilokheri, to remove the encroachments from government and panchayat land without delay. He made it clear that strict action would be initiated against officers who were would found involved in encroachment of any land.

Khattar directed Municipal Commissioner Rajiv Mehta to make arrangements for rainwater disposal during monsoon. The CM gave consent to include Kalron village from Gharaunda block to Munak block. This was supported by Gharaunda MLA.

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