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Haryana

Maharashtra, Haryana go to the polls to elect new legislative assemblies

Polling began this morning to elect new state legislative assemblies in Maharashtra and Haryana, the first states to go to the polls after the April-May Lok Sabha elections which brought the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to power with an overwhelming majority.

 
Peaceful polling in Maharashtra and Haryana for Assembly seats
Polling began this morning to elect new state legislative assemblies in Maharashtra and Haryana, the first states to go to the polls after the April-May Lok Sabha elections which brought the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to power with an overwhelming majority.
 
Counting of votes will be taken up on October 19 and all the results are expected to be in by that evening.
 
Polling began at 7 am tomorrow and end at 6 pm in both states, except in some constituencies in the Left-wing extremism affected areas of Maharashtra, where it will end three hours earlier due to security reasons.
 
Long queues of voters were seen at many places in both states, with people turning out in large numbers to exercise their franchise.,
 
Along with the Assembly elections in the two states, bye-elections are being held for two Lok Sabha seats -- Beed in Maharashra and Kandhamal in Odisha -- and five Assembly constituencies.
 
The Beed seat had fallen vacant after the death of BJP leader and Union Rural Development Minister Gopinath Munde in a road accident in Delhi on June 3.
 
The five Assembly constituencies where bye-elections are being held are Kanubari in Arunachal Pradesh, Hiyanglam in Manipur, Northern Angami-II in Nagland, Kairana in Uttar Pradesh and Rajkot West in Gujarat.
 
The BJP is making a strong bid to capture power in both Maharashtra, where the Congress-Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) alliance ruled for the past 15 years, and Haryana, where the Congress has been in power since March 2005. The results of the recent Lok Sabha elections have given it some hope of wresting power in both states.
 
The term of the present Maharashtra Assembly will end on November 8 and that of the Haryana Assembly on October 27.
 
Of the 288 seats in the Maharashtra Assembly, 29 are reserved for Scheduled Castes (SCs) and 25 for Scheduled Tribes (STs). Of the 90 seats in the Haryana Assembly, 17 are reserved for SCs.
 
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There are a total of 83538114 eligible voters in Maharashtra, including 44026401 men and 39363011 women.
 
In all, 4119 candidates, including 276 women, are in the fray for the 288 seats.
 
The two main alliances in the state -- Congress-NCP and BJP-Shiv Sena -- broke up just before the elections and all four parties have gone it alone after long years.
 
The Congress, which was heading the ruling coalition till the state was brought under President's rule recently, is contesting 287 seats, while the BJP has put up candidates in 280. The Shiv Sena has fielded 282 candidates and the NCP 278.
 
The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) has fielded 219 candidates, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP 260, the Communist Party of India (CPI) 34 and the CPM 19.
 
There are a total of 16318577 voters in Haryana, including 8737116 men and 7479439 women.
 
There are 1531 candidates in the fray, including 109 women, for the 90 seats in the Assembly.
 
The ruling Congress is contesting all 90 seats as is the BJP. The Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) has put up 88 candidates, the BSP 87, the CPI 14, the CPM 17 and the HJC (BL) 65.
 
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Maharashtra, Haryana to go to the polls on Wednesday

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Polling will be held tomorrow to elect new state legislative assemblies in Maharashtra and Haryana, the first states to go to the polls after the April-May Lok Sabha elections in which the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had scored an overwhelmingvictory.
 
Counting of votes will be taken up on October 19 and all the results are expected to be in by that evening.
 
Polling will begin at 7 am tomorrow and end at 6 pm in both states, except in some constituencies in Left-wing extremism affected areas of Maharashtra, where it will end three hours earlier due to security reasons.
 
Along with the Assembly elections in the two states, bye-elections will be held for two Lok Sabha seats -- Beed in Maharashra and Kandhamal in Odisha -- and five Assembly constituencies.
 
The Beed seat had fallen vacant after the death of BJP leader and Union Rural Development Minister Gopinath Munde in a road accident in Delhi on June 3.
 
The five Assembly constituencies where bye-elections will be held are Kanubari in Arunachal Pradesh, Hiyanglam in Manipur, Northern Angami-II in Nagland, Kairana in Uttar Pradesh and Rajkot West in Gujarat.
 
The BJP is making a strong bid to capture power in both Maharashtra, where the Congress-Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) alliance has been ruling for 15 years, and Haryana, where the Congress has been in power since March 2005. The results of the recent Lok Sabha elections have given it some hope of wresting power in both states.
 
The term of the present Maharashtra Assembly will end on November 8 and that of the Haryana Assembly on October 27.
 
Of the 288 seats in the Maharashtra Assembly, 29 are reserved for Scheduled Castes (SCs) and 25 for Scheduled Tribes (STs). Of the 90 seats in the Haryana Assembly, 17 are reserved for SCs.
 
There are a total of 83538114 eligible voters in Maharashtra, including 44026401 men and 39363011 women.
 
In all, 4119 candidates, including 276 women are in the fray, for the 288 seats.
 
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The two main alliances in the state -- Congress-Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and BJP-Shiv Sena -- broke up just before the elections and all four parties have gone it alone after long years.
 
The Congress, which was heading the ruling coalition till the state was brought under President's rule recently, is contesting 287 seats, while the BJP has put up candidates in 280. The Shiv Sena has fielded 282 candidates and the NCP 278.
 
The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) has fielded 219 candidates, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP 260, the Communist Party of India (CPI) 34 and the CPM 19.
 
There are a total of 16318577 voters in Haryana, including 8737116 men and 7479439 women.
 
There are 1531 candidates in the fray, including 109 women, for the 90 seats in the Assembly.
 
The ruling Congress is contesting all 90 seats as is the BJP. The Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) has put up 88 candidates, the BSP 87, the CPI 14, the CPM 17 and the HJC (BL) 65.
 
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EC says no poll code violation by Haryana govt. in Vadra land deal

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The Election Commission (EC) has told the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) that, from the facts made available to it by the Haryana government, there did not seem to be any violation of the Model Code of Conduct by the state government in the matter of a land deal involving Congress President Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law Robert Vadra.
 
The EC's observation came in a letter dated October 8 in response to a complaint filed by the BJP in which it was alleged that the Haryana government had validated the mutation of land sold to DLF Universal Limited by Skylight Hospitality, owned by Mr Vadra, after the enforcement of the Model Code of Conduct that came into affect after the announcement of the October 15 elections to the state legislative assembly.
 
The Commission said it had enquired into and examined the matter by calling for the reports from the concerned departments of the state government.
 
According to it, the report dated October 7 received from the Financial Commissioner and Principal Secretary to Government of Haryana, Town and Country Planning Department, stated that "the decision on the request for renewal and transfer of licence in favour of DLF Ltd is pending in the Department since October, 2012, for want of clarification regarding the issue of ownership."
 
"The Department has sought this clarification from the Director General, Consolidation of Land Holdings and Land Records, which is yet to be received and hence the request for transfer and renewal of licence is pending in the Department on which no action has been taken since then," he said.
 
The Financial Commissioner has also stated that "it is clarified neither any allegation about any action taken by the Town & Country Planning Department has made in the news reports, nor any action on the subject matter has been taken in the Town & Country Planning Department either during the period of operation of Model Code of Conduct or before imposition of such Code."
 
The Commission said the Director, Consolidation of Holdings, Haryana had also stated, in his report of October 7, that "it is also clarified that no action has been taken by this office on the above-mentioned subject after Model Code of Conduct came into force on 13.9.2014." He has also added that "the Deputy Commissioner, Gurgaonhas informed telephonically that no action has been taken by his office in this regard after 13.9.2014."
 
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The Commission said the Chief Secretary of Haryana had also confirmed this "factual position" in the matter.
 
"From the above facts as made available by the State Government, there does not seem to be any violation of the Model Code of Conduct by the Government of Haryanain the above matter after the coming into force of Model Code of Conduct from 13th September, 2014," the Commisison said in its letter to the BJP.
 
"However, in case you have any further or additional information in this regard, you may furnish the same to the Commission," the letter added.
 
Union Minister and senior BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad said the Commission appeared to have not been apprised of the full facts in the matter.
 
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had raised the issue during his election meetings in Haryana in recent days and urged the EC to look into it.
 
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Modi to campaign in Haryana, Maharashtra assembly elections from Oct 4

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi will start campaigning in the elections to the state legislative assemblies of Haryana and Maharashtra from October 4 to October 13, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has announced.
 
BJP Vice-President Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi told reporters here yesterday that all senior leaders of the party, including Lal Krishna Advani, its president Amit Shah, Rajnath Singh, Sushma Swaraj, Murli Manohar Joshi, M Venkaiah Naidu, Nitin Gadkari and the Chief Ministers of BJP-ruled states will participate in the campaign from that date.
 
In Haryana, the BJP is contesting all 90 seats in the assembly on its own while in Maharashtra it is contesting 257 of the 288 seats while the remaining 31 seats will be contested by its allies.
 
Elections to both assemblies will be held on October 15.
 
Mr Naqvi said Mr Modi will address election rallies every day from October 4-14 in Haryana and Maharashtra.
 
Mr Shah will campaign for five days in Haryana and five in Maharashtra during this period.
 
In the recent Lok Sabha elections, the BJP won seven of the 10 seats from Haryana with a vote share of 35%. In Maharashtra, the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance won 44 seats of the 48 from the state, with the party winning 23 on its own.
 
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Election Commission says people under preventive detention have right to vote

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The Election Commission has made it clear that people under preventive detention have the right to vote in elections through postal ballot.
 
In letters to the Chief Secretaries of Haryana and Maharashtra, where elections to the state legislative assembly, are due to be held on October 15, the Commission drew their attention to the provisions of law in this regard.
 
It said the proviso to sub-section (5) of Section 62 of the Representation of the Peoples Act (RPA), 1951, "confers voting rights on the electors subjected to preventive detention".
 
"As per Rule 18 of the Conduct of Elections Rules, 1961, the electors under preventive detention are entitled to cast their votes by post," the letter said.
 
The Commission said that, under Rule 21 (1) of the Conduct of Elections Rules, 1961, the Government should intimate to the Returning Officers the names of the electors, if any, subjected to preventive detention together with their address, electoral roll numbers and places of detention, within 15 days of calling of an election.
 
"This will enable the Returning Officers to send postal ballot papers to such electors to facilitate them to exercise their franchise at the election," the letter added.
 
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Inter-Ministerial Central team to visit Haryana soon for assessing drought situation

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The Department of Agriculture & Cooperation, Union Ministry of Agriculture,  has constituted an Inter-Ministerial Central Team (IMCT) to visit Haryana for assessing the drought situation and recommend requirement of Central assistance from the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF). 
 
The team will visit Haryana soon, an official press release said.
 
The team will be led by the Managing Director, National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC), Department of Agriculture & Cooperation (DAC) and will consist of representatives of Ministries/Departments Finance (Department of Expenditure), Planning Commission, Ministry of Drinking Water & Sanitation, Ministry of Rural Development, Ministry of Power, Ministry of Water Resources, Department of Food & Public Distribution, Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying & Fisheries and Crops Division, Department of Agriculture & Cooperation. 
 
The Government of Haryana has declared the entire state as drought affected for the purpose of extending relief and taking remedial measures for the affected people as per the norms laid down by the State Government and the Central Government.
 
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Maharashtra, Haryana Assembly elections to be held in single phase on October 15

The Election Commission announced on Friday that elections will be held on October 15 to the state legislative assemblies of Maharashtra and Haryana -- the first states to go to the polls after the April-May Lok Sabha elections in which the Bharatiya Janata Party scored an overwhelming victory.

 
Maharashtra, Haryana to go to polls on 15 Oct: EC
The Election Commission announced today that elections will be held on October 15 to the state legislative assemblies of Maharashtra and Haryana -- the first states to go to the polls after the April-May Lok Sabha elections in which the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) scored an overwhelming victory.
 
Chief Election Commissioner V S Sampath told a press conference that the notification for the elections would be issued on September 20 and the last date for filing nominations would be September 27.
 
The scrutiny of nominations will be held on September 29 and the last date for withdrawal of candidatures is October 1.
 
Counting of votes in the single-phase poll will be held on October 19 and all the results are expected to be in by that evening.
 
Along with the Assembly elections in the two states, bye-elections will be held for the Beed Lok Sabha seat in Maharashtra, which fell vacant after the death of Union Rural Development Minister Gopinath Munde in a road accident in Delhi on June 3, and Kandhamal Lok Saba constituency in Odisha.
 
Bye-elections will also be held for five Assembly constituencies in as many states. They are: Kanubari (ST) in Arunachal Pradesh, Hiyanglam in Manipur, Northern Angami-II (ST) in Nagaland, Kairana in Uttar Pradesh and Rajkot West in Gujarat.
 
The BJP is making a strong bid to capture power in both Maharashtra, where the Congress-Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) alliance has been ruling for 15 years, and Haryana, where the Congress has been in power since March 2005. The results of the recent Lok Sabha elections have given it some hope of wresting power in both states.
 
The term of the present Maharashtra Assembly will end on November 8 and that of the Haryana Assembly on October 27.
 
Of the 288 seats in the Maharashtra Assembly, 29 are reserved for Scheduled Castes (SCs) and 25 for Scheduled Tribes (STs). Of the 90 seats in the Haryana Assembly, 17 are reserved for SCs.
 
Mr Sampath said the final electoral rolls for both the states, based on the qualifying date of January 1, 2014, had been published on July 31. There are 8.259 crore voters in Maharashtra and 1.615 crore voters in Haryana. Under the law, eligible voters can enrol themselves until the last date of filing of nominations. He appealed to voters to ensure that their names figured in the electoral rolls. 
 
He said that voters who had not been issued electoral photo identity cards (EPICs) could vote by producing one of several specified alternate identity cards.
 
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The Election Commission will set up 90,403 polling stations in Maharashtra and 16,244 in Haryana for the polls. Electronic voting machines (EVMs) will be used at all polling booths. In 13 constituencies of Maharashtra and six in Haryana, the Commission will also use Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) systems.
 
Mr Sampath said that, as per the orders of the Supreme Court, all the EVMs will have the option of "None of the Above" (NOTA) in case the elector did not wish to vote for any of the candidates in the fray.
 
Mr Sampath said the Commission would make a separate announcement about the elections to the legislative assemblies of Jammu & Kashmir and Jharkhand, whose terms are also due to end by early 2015. He said that, in the case of Jammu & Kashmir, the Commission would also have to take into account the situation arising out of the devastating floods that have hit the state this month.
 
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Minor earthquake shakes border region between UP, Haryana

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An earthquake of slight intensity, measuring 3.5 on the Richter scale, shook the border region between Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh and Haryana this evening.
 
A bulletin from the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said the quake, which had its epicentre at latitude 29.3°N and longitude 77.2°E, occurred at 1701 hours at a focal depth of 16 km.
 
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Reliance, IL&FS separate on Model Economic Township project at Jhajhar in Haryana

The Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) today announced mutual and amicable separation in the agreement for strategic partnership between its wholly owned subsidiary Reliance Ventures Limited (RVL) and Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services Limited (IL&FS) to co-promote the Model Economic Township (MET) project of Reliance Haryana SEZ Limited (RHSL).

The Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) today announced mutual and amicable separation in the agreement for strategic partnership between its wholly owned subsidiary Reliance Ventures Limited (RVL) and Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services Limited (IL&FS) to co-promote the Model Economic Township (MET) project of Reliance Haryana SEZ Limited (RHSL).
 
The project is being developed by RHSL, a wholly owned subsidiary of RVL, in the Industrial Model Township framework. IL&FS became a strategic partner in this project in January 2011.
 
A press release from Reliance said the Model Economic Township project would continue to be developed in the Industrial Model Township framework on the directly purchased land.
 
Development work has been started over 290 acres of land as an Industrial Colony. Some Japanese majors such as Panasonic and Denso have established their manufacturing units in the MET project, it said.
 
On August 30, RHSL had announced that it had, on the previous day, returned 1383.68 acres of land in Gurgaon acquired from Haryana State Industrial & Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd (HSIIDC) for setting up special economic zones (SEZs) due to "revision of strategic priorities".
 
RHSL is a joint venture (JV) between RVL and the Government of Haryana (GoH) through HSIIDC. The JV was established for development of SEZs/Model Economic Township (MET) project and other infrastructure facilities in Haryana.
 
A press release from Reliance said HSIIDC had also exited the JV and the project. 
 
Reliance had entered into the MoU with HSIIDC on December 12, 2005 for development of a large multi-product SEZ. The joint venture was formed on June 9, 2006. The SEZ project was located in Gurgaon and Jhajjar districts of Haryana. 
 
In 2007, HSIIDC transferred 1383 acres of land to RHSL for development of the SEZ. On July 14, 2010, GoH approved the development of SEZ over the land transferred by HSIIDC in Gurgaon and development of Model Economic Township (Industrial Model Township Framework) on the directly-purchased land. 
 
According to the release, in March 2011, the Government of India withdrew the fiscal concessions of exemption of MAT and DDT for the SEZs. 
 
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Consequently, in January 2012, RHSL offered to return the 1383 acres as SEZs became unviable with the withdrawal of fiscal incentives. 
 
On February 7, 2014, the Haryana Cabinet approved the return of the land to HSIIDC at a price much lower than the price at which it was transferred to them. It also approved the exit of HSIIDC from the project.
 
Apart from the 290 acres developed as an Industrial Colony, Reliance has sought another license for an additional 415 acres, the company had said on that date.
 
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Modi seeks people's support for harsh steps to end corruption

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday described corruption as a disease worse than cancer and said he was determined to remove the evil from the country with the support of the people.

 
PM announces Pradhan Mantri Gram Sichai Yojna in Haryana
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today described corruption as a disease worse than cancer and said he was determined to remove the evil from the country with the support of the people.
 
"Should corruption be removed from society? Will you support me if I take harsh steps to remove it?" he asked the assembled gathering after laying the foundation stone of the four-laning of the Kaithal-Narwana-Hisar-Rajasthan Border section of the national highway at Kaithal in Haryana.
 
Mr Modi said the "Mera Kya, Mujhe Kya" attitude had taken the country down the path of destruction and must be ended immediately. "The nation is not willing to bear these ills much longer," he said.
 
He said that, in many states like Haryana, there had been development on both sides of highways, but there was hardly any development beyond that.
 
Stressing the importance of a network of roads, Mr Modi said his government's vision of modern infrastructure included world class roads, optical fibre networks, and power, gas and water grids.
 
He said the project launched today would connect Haryana and Rajasthan and give a boost to trade and transportation links between the two states, which would benefit the nation as well
 
The Prime Minister said youth needed employment opportunities, and development was essential for generating jobs. 
 
Describing himself as the Pradhan Sevak (Prime Servant) of the nation, he said Haryana had a special claim on him. He said his government was committed to early completion of all central sector projects pending in the state.
 
Saluting the farmers of Haryana for filling the granaries of India, he called for adoption of modern agricultural practices and technologies, which not only help in filling granaries, but also ensure that the farmer gets well-remunerated. (
 
Referring to the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana, launched by former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Mr Modi said his Government would ensure irrigation for the farmers through the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana. 
 
Haryana Governor Kaptan Singh Solanki, Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and Union Road Transport & HIghways Minister Nitin Gadkari were amongst those present on the occasion.
 
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Modi to launch 4-laning of Kaithal--Haryana/Rajasthan border highway on Tuesday

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi will launch the four-laning of the 160 km section of the national highway from Kaithal in Haryana to the Haryana-Rajasthan border tomorrow.
 
The road passes through Kalayat, Narwana, Barwala, Hisar and Siwani towns of Haryana and is expected to improve the living standards and connectivity and help bring economic prosperity in four districts.
 
There will be 23 underpasses and 20 km of service roads along the road near villages to ensure the safety of pedestrians.
 
The project is expected to help the area attract investments in sectors like industries, education and agriculture.
 
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80 new houses for naval sailors inaugurated at Palam in Delhi

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Chief of Naval Staff Admiral R K Dhowan inaugurated 80 new houses in the Nau Sena Bagh - III area of Palam here yesterday for married sailors posted in the national capital.
 
The houses have come up as part of the Married Accommodation Project (MAP) Phase II, an official press release said.
 
Each house has a plinth area of 65 sq mtrs with all modern basic amenities it said.
 
Among other things, the houses have been provided with solar geysers, rain harvesting system and planned arboriculture.
 
The houses are for sailors of the rank of Leading and Petty Officers (equivalent to Lance Nayik and Havaldar in Army). 
 
The housing complex has various community support facilities in place such as family clinic, canteen extension counter, a school, a gymnasium and a basketball court.
 
Another 87 houses are being constructed under the same scheme in Gurgaon near here and are scheduled to be ready by December this year, the release added.
 
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Gateway Rail commissions new Faridabad Inland Container Depot

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Gateway Rail Freight Ltd, a private container train operator and a subsidiary of Gateway Distriparks Ltd. (GDL), today said it had commissioned rail operations at its third Rail Linked Logistic Park at Faridabad in Haryana. 
 
After receiving all the regulatory approvals, Gateway Rail has operated the first freight train service to the newly commissioned rail terminal, a press release from the company said.
 
It said the new international cargo terminal at Faridabad would cater to the needs of exporters, importers and domestic clients based in Delhi, Haryana, Uttaranchal, Uttar Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh. 
 
"The EXIM trade based in Delhi cluster (Tughlakabad – Faridabad – Ballabhgarh – Palwal), Mathura, Agra, Sahibabad, Gaziabad, NOIDA, Greater Noida, Baddi, Haridwar has been eagerly waiting for inauguration of train service from Faridabad Terminal," it said.
 
Mr. Prem Kishan Gupta, Chairman and Managing Director of Gateway Rail Freight Ltd said, “This is the third offering of Gateway Rail to the manufacturing and trading community of North India. We will provide storage, customs clearance and rail transportation services for international cargo between NCR and the west coast maritime ports of JN Port, Mundra and Pipavav. In line with our principle of providing wholesome service to the trade, we will offer road transportation for door pick-up and delivery of cargo. We will also offer special consolidation services to the 3PL Freight Forwarders who provide consolidation service to the exporters and importers of North India. We have built a separate warehouse for consolidation (CONSOL) business and will also provide value added services like Garment on Hangers (GOH) and refrigerated cargo transportation (Reefer) services.”
 
Gateway Rail provides storage, warehousing and customs clearance service for containerised international and domestic cargo through its Inland Container Depots (ICD) based at Garhi Harsaru (Gurgaon, Haryana), Sanehwal (Ludhiana, Punjab) and Faridabad (Haryana). It also operates a Private Freight Terminal at Kalamboli in Navi Mumbai. It offers rail and road transportation solutions with own fleet of 21 trains and over 250 tractor trailers. 
 
Gateway Rail Freight Ltd is one of the 11 private container train operators of India who have been given permission to operate container trains over the entire Indian Railways network. It has plans to build terminals in Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Nagpur, Bengaluru, Jaipur and Jodhpur to provide pan-India service.
 
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Haryana Power Minister Ajay Singh Yadav resigns

 
Haryana power minister Capt Ajay Yadav resigns
Haryana Power Minister Ajay Singh Yadav today resigned from the state Cabinet today, delivering a severe blow to the Bhupinder Singh Hooda government ahead of assembly elections in the state.
 
Capt Yadav, a retired Army man, said there was discrimination in the state in the matter of jobs and development.
 
Talking to newspersons, Capt Yadav also said bureaucrats were being given key posts in various Commissions instead of appointing Congress workers and people from other walks of life.
 
According to him, the Congress had failed to learn any lessons from its defeat in the recent elections to the Lok Sabha, when it won just one of the 10 seats from the state.
 
He, however, claimed he had no links with the BJP and would remain within the Congress. "Congress president Sonia Gandhi is my leader and I will abide by whatever she decides," he said.
 
Another Congress leader, Rao Inderjit Singh, had left the party before the Lok Sabha elections and went on to win the Gurgaon seat as a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate. He is now Minister of State for Planning and Statistics and Programme Implementation in the Narendra Modi government.
 
Capt Yadav's move comes close on the heels of the resignations of senior Maharashtra minister Narayan Rane and Assam minister Himanta Biswa Sarma earlier this month in protest against the styles of functioning of the respective chief ministers.
 
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BJP leader Kaptan Singh Solanki appointed Governor of Haryana

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Veteran Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Kaptan Singh Solanki, currently a member of the Rajya Sabha from Madhya Pradesh, has been appointed as the new Governor of Haryana.
 
A press communique from Rashtrapati Bhavan said here late last night that the appointment would be effective from the date he assumed charge of his office.
 
Mr Solanki, 75, will succeed Mr Jagannath Pahadia, who completes his tenure today.
 
Born on July 1, 1939 at Garhpara in Bhind district of Maharashtra, Mr Solanki studied at Vikram University, Ujjain, P.G.B.T. College, Ujjain and Maharani Luxmibai College, Jiwaji University, Gwalior. He served as teacher at Banmor in Morena district during 1958-1965 and as a professor at P.G.V. College Gwalior from 1966-2000. He has an M.A. and a B.Ed. degree.
 
He was first elected to the Rajya Sabha in August 2009 and re-elected for a second term in August 2012.
 
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Minor earthquake recorded in Jhajjar area of Haryana

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An earthquake of slight intensity, measuring 2.5 on the Richter scale, was recorded in the Jhajjar area of Haryana, near here, this afternoon.
 
A bulletin from the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said the quake, which had its epicentre at latitude 28.6°N and longitude 76.7°E, occurred at 1412 hours at a depth of 5 km
 
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Senior journalist Jehangir S Pocha passes away after cardiac arrest

Jehangir S. Pocha
Jehangir S. Pocha
Senior journalist Jehangir S. Pocha, who was head of NewsX television channel and a senior editorial member of the ITV Group, passed away in Gurgaon near here early this morning after a cardiac arrest, sources said.
 
He was 46. His funeral will be held at the Nigambodh Ghat here this afternoon, the sources added.
 
Mumbai-born Pocha had earlier served as Editor of Business World and also worked as the Beijing-based Asia Correspodent of the Boston Globe from 2003-07.
 
He had also worked for about a decade in the IT industry, holding senior positions in various companies in the United States and Singapore.
 
He had a BA in Economics and an MBA from the Mumbai University before getting a Master's in Public Administration from Harvard.
 
He was a co-founder of IndiMedia Pvt Ltd, which owns NewsX television channel.
 
The Broadcast Editors’ Association (BEA) condoled Pocha's death, saying it was a big loss to the world of TV journalism.
 
"Jehangir was a dear colleague of ours and was a guiding force in BEA's activities,” the statement said.
 
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was shocked and saddened to hear about Pocha's demise.
 
"My condolences to his family in this hour of grief. May his soul rest in peace," he said on micro-blogging site Twitter.
 
"Jehangir Pocha will be remembered as a leading voice on TV, print & social media. His frank & insightful views on issues will be missed," Mr Modi added.
 
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Monsoon advances into Delhi, more parts of UP, remaining parts of Haryana, Punjab

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The south-west monsoon today advanced into all of Delhi, some more parts of Uttar Pradesh, remaining parts of Haryana and Punjab and some parts of north Rajasthan.
 
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) said that the northern limit of monsoon (NLM) passed through latitude 21°N / longtiude 60°E, Lat.21°N / Long. 65°E, Veraval, Surat, Nasik, Wasim, Damoh, Lucknow,  Aligarh, Bikaner and Lat. 28°N / Long. 72°E.
 
It said conditions were favourable for further advance of the monsoon into remaining parts of Uttar Pradesh and some more parts of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh during the next three days.
 
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IRB Infra wins contract for four-laning of Kaithal-Rajasthan border highway in Haryana

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Road builder IRB Infrastucture Developer has said that its wholly owned subsidiary Kaithal Tollway Private Limited has executed a concession agreement with the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) for the four-laning of a section of the Kaithal-Rajasthan border section of National Highway (NH) 152/65 in Haryana.
 
The project will be implemented under Phase IV of the National Highway Development Programme (NHDP), a press release from the company said.
 
It said the project is to be executed on DBFOT pattern with a concession period of 27 years. The estimated project cost is approximately Rs. 2300 crores and the construction is to be completed within 910 days.
 
With this project, IRB’s construction order book will increase from Rs. 8,600 crores to approximately Rs.10,600 crores, to be executed in the next three to four years, which will boost the company’s construction order book, the release added.
 
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Two Additional Judges appointed in Punjab & Haryana High Court

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The President has appointed Ms Rekha Mittal and Mr Inderjit Singh to be Additional Judges of the High Court of Punjab and Haryana.
 
An official press release said the appointments were for a period of two years with effect from 15th June, 2014. 
 
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IRB Infra bags Rs. 2,300 crore contract for 4-laning of Kaithal-Rajasthan border highway in Haryana

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Road developers IRB Infrastructure Developers Ltd today said it had bagged a Rs 2,300 crore contract for four-laning of the Kaithal-Rajasthan border section of national highway (NH) 152/65 in Haryana.
 
A press release from the company said it had emerged as the selected bidder and received letter of award from the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) for the 166 km project to be executed on BOT (Toll) basis on DBFOT pattern under National Highway Development Programme (NHDP) Phase-IV.
 
The project has a construction period of 910 days and the concession period for it is 27 years, the release said.
 
With this, IRB’s construction order book will increase from Rs. 8,600 crore to approximately Rs.10,600 crore, to be executed in the next three to four years.  
 
"This will boost the company’s construction order book visibility for next three to four years," it added.
 
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Additional Judges appointed to Punjab & Haryana, Patna High Courts

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The President has appointed Ms Lisa Gill as an Additional Judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.
 
An official press release said here today that the President had also appointed Mr Chakradhari Sharan Singh to be an Additional Judge of the Patna High Court.
 
The appointment will be for a period of two years with effect from the date she assumes charge of her office in the case of Ms Gill and for two years with effect from April 5 in the case of Mr Singh, the release added.
 
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Swaraj opposes return of Sriramulu to BJP, Sharma as BJP-HJC candidate

File photo of Sushma Swaraj
File photo of Sushma Swaraj
Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Sushma Swaraj today voiced her strong opposition to the proposed return of Badava Shramika Raitha (BSR)Congress MLA B S Sriramulu's return to the party fold in Karnataka.
 
"I am opposed to the BSR alliance or merger with BJP in Karnataka," Ms Swaraj said in a post on micro-blogging site Twitter today.
 
She said she had conveyed to BJP President Rajnath Singh in writing that the party must not permit this.
 
Ms Swaraj's reaction came after media reports that the BJP's Karnataka unit was trying to convince her to agree to Mr Sriramulu's return to the party.
 
The reports said the state unit of the party had decided in favour of re-admitting Mr Sriramulu in the party. The reports also suggested that the BJP might field Mr Sriramulu for the Bellary seat in Karnataka for the coming Lok Sabha elections.
 
Mr Sriramulu, 42, was the Minister for Tourism, Textiles, Civil Aviation and Infrastructure in the BJP government in Karnataka, but resigned in September 2011 in protest against the alleged humiliation of his mentor and jailed former Minister Gali Janardhan Reddy by the BJP leadership. He later won the election to the state assembly from the Bellary Rural constituency and floated the BSR Congress.
 
The BSR Congress is said to have the blessings of the Reddy brothers, who were arrested in the mining scam in the state. It had won four seats in the 2013 Assembly elections.
 
The Bellary Lok Sabha seat is currently held by Mr Sriramulu's younger sister J Shantha of the BJP.
 
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Ms Swaraj has also expressed her opposition to the move to field former Congress leader Venod Sharma as the joint candidate of the BJP and the Kuldeep Bishnoi-led Haryana Janhit Congress (HJC) from the Karnal Lok Sabha constituency in Haryana.
 
"I am strongly opposed to this. I have conveyed my views to Shri Kuldeep Bishnoi," she said on Twitter. 
 
Mr Sharma has quit the Congress and, according to media reports, is set to join the HJC. He is the sitting MLA from Ambala and is a former member of the Rajya Sabha. His resignation comes close on the heels of the exit of Gurgaon MP Rao Inderjit Singh from the Congress. He has since joined the BJP. 
 
Mr Sharma's son Manu Sharma has been convicted in the Jessica Lall murder case in Delhi.
 
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ASI discovers Pratihara period mint in Rohtak district of Haryana

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Excavation by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) have revealed the remains of a mint that belonged to the Pratihara period at Bohar Majra in Rohtak district of Haryana, the first such find ever in the country.
 
The ancient mounds at village Bohar Majra in Rohtak are gradually disappearing in the wake of construction of new colonies.
 
The mounds located near Sri Baba Mastnath University have never been protected by either the ASI or the State government, an official press release said.
 
In the middle of January this year, Prof. Manmohan Kumar, a retired professor of MD University, Rohtak informed Dr. B R Mani, Additional Director General, ASI to do something to understand the site as it has yielded some terracotta moulds for making coins. The site was under constant levelling, he said. 
 
ASI decided to immediately do some salvage operation through exploration followed by excavation, if required. 
 
Dr. Mani visited the site on February 2 and, in a brief exploratory survey, could collect 31 pieces of terracotta coin moulds for casting coins of King Mihira Bhoja, the mighty ruler of the Pratihara dynasty of Kannauj who ruled between 836 and 885 AD and whose empire covered almost entire northern and central India. 
 
Regular salvage excavation at the site started on February 15 under the direction of Dr. Mani, assisted by Mr V.C. Sharma and staff of the Chandigarh Circle of ASI. 
 
So far, seven trenches of 3 squares of 10 x 10 m have been excavated, revealing remains of a rectangular structure considered to be the mint, of almost 20 x 10 m which seems to have belonged to about 8th century AD and probably continued to exist till about the 11th century. The bricks used are around 30 x 20 x 5 cm in measurement.
 
"The ceramic assemblage and other evidences of material culture suggest that it is a single culture site, though there are three structural places connected with the habitational deposit which is at the maximum around 3.25 m in thickness. The site has yielded hundreds of terracotta coin moulds and crucibles from the last phase of the site and an interesting fact is that some potsherds are having glazed surfaces of primitive type over red ware pottery. Knife edge bowls are the features of all the three phases of the site,"  Dr Mani said.
 
The mint site is spread over an area of about 100 m in east-west and 50 m in north-south direction amidst a comparatively very large spread of an early medieval city site at village Majra which seems to have been occupied after the destruction of the earlier city site of Rohtak which is located at Khokra-Kot, a few kilometers towards north-west from the locality of Majra. 
 
"The discovery of the mint belonging to the Pratihara period is the first of its kind ever found in the country," the release added.
 
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CCEA okays 6-laning of Eastern Peripheral Expressway of NH NE-II in Haryana, UP

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The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) yesterday gave its approval for six-laning of Eastern Peripheral Expressway of National Highway (NH) NE-II in Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.
 
The cost is estimated to be Rs. 6284.20 crore including the cost of land acquisition, resettlement and rehabilitation and other pre-construction activities. The total length of the road will be approximately135 km. 
 
An official press release said the project would expedite improvement of infrastructure in Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. 
 
"Development of this stretch will also help in uplifting the socio-economic condition of this region of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. The project is covered in the districts of Sonepat, Faridabad and Palwal in Haryana and Baghpat, Gautam Budh Nagar and Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh. It will also increase employment potential for local labourers for project activities. Implementation of this project will free the roads of Delhi from huge volume of trucks and buses that enter the capital everyday on their way to other destination. This will also reduce pollution levels in the city," the release added.
 
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