25092018-TTC-01.qxd 25-09-2018 01:32 Page 1 13 chandigarh | gurugram | jalandhar | bathinda | jammu | srinagar | vol.138 no.265 | 26 pages | ~4.50 | regd.no.chd/0006/2018-2020 established in 1881 | tuesday, september 25,2018 PARRIKAR RESHUFFLES CABINET, TWO AILING MINISTERS DROPPED PAGE 7 US PRESIDENT TRUMP’S SC NOMINEE FACES ANOTHER SEXUAL ASSAULT CHARGE PAGE 13 /thetribunechd THE TRIBUNE RELIEF FUND FOR KERALA ! late city NAVY OFFICER RESCUED, BRINGING HIM BACK STILL A CHALLENGE PAGE 16 /thetribunechd www.tribuneindia.com 8 killed as rain batters Himachal Shimla-Kalka NH damaged I 300 stranded in Manali I Avalanche warning in Kinnaur An Appeal to Readers The flood fury of the Western Ghats has drowned the beautiful coastal state of Kerala in a sea of sorrow. The Tribune readers have always shown their magnanimity during such calamities in the past. The Tribune Trust, which has decided to contribute ~20 lakh, appeals to its readers to donate generously. Your donation will make a difference to the families of those who have lost their lives and homes. The names of all those who donate ~500 and above will be published. All such donations are eligible for deduction under Section 80-G of the Income Tax Act. Donations should be in the form of crossed cheques or demand drafts in favour of the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund and sent to The Tribune Trust, Sector 29-C, Chandigarh – 160030 or to The Tribune offices in various cities. All donations will be duly sent to the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund. While making the donation, please clearly mention your name, address and PAN number. — The Tribune Trust The 18th list of donors appears today on PAGE 7 IN BRIEF Shimla, September 24 Incessant rains on Monday continued to pound Himachal Pradesh, triggering flash floods and landslides and claiming eight lives. Several roads, especially in Kullu, Mandi and Shimla, were washed away. With the Chandigarh-Manali highway closed, more than 300 tourists, BRO labourers and locals were stranded along the KeylongManali and Kaza-Gramphu road — among them five faculty members of IIT-Mandi. The BJP MP from Hamirpur, Anurag Thakur, said 126 roads had been hit by landslides. Sources said those residing in low-lying areas, especially in Kangra, Chamba, Kullu and Mandi districts, were being evacuated. In Kullu district, there were six deaths. Three persons were reportedly washed away in Manali when their vehicle plunged into the Beas. While two boys were killed when their scooter fell into the Parbati near Manikaran, 15-yearold Sultana was carried away by the Beas waters at Kullu. Tilak Raj was drowned in a rivulet in Kangra’s Jawali area. In Gagret, Una, a factory manager was buried alive after the factory collapsed. With snowfall in the upper reaches for the third day in a row, the authorities issued an avalanche warning in Kinnaur, Lahaul-Spiti, Pangi and Bharmour. Several portions of the Swarghat-Mandi and Shimla-Kalka national highway were damaged. — TNS detailed coverage Page 10 1,200 STUDENTS STUCK IN BHARMOUR VILLAGE A car stuck between a tree and boulders in overflowing Neugal Khud in Palampur on Monday. KAMALJEET Around 1,200 students have been stranded at Holi village in Bharmour. Keylong SDM Amar Negi said the students were in the village for a tournament. “We also have reports of tourists, some of them foreigners, stranded near Jingjngbar, Batal, Koksar, Darcha and Sarchu areas of Lahaul-Spiti,” he said. The SDM said rescue operations had been hit as power and communication links were snapped. A news agency reported that 35 IIT-Roorkee students were among 45 persons missing in Lahaul-Spiti, though the district administration denied receiving any such information. Pong dam may release excess water Bhakra continues to be well below maximum level, say BBMB officials Vijay Mohan Tribune News Service Chandigarh, September 24 While the entire inflow owing to heavy rains in Himachal Pradesh has been contained at the Pong dam — on the rain-fed Beas — its spillways are expected to be opened in the next 48 hours to release excess water in a controlled manner, if rains continue. Water would be released once the levels downstream recede to avoid flooding. Entering Punjab via Himachal Pradesh’s Kangra district, the Beas flows along the borders of Hoshiarpur and continued on page 7 STORAGE IN BOTH DAMS WAS BELOW NORMAL TILL LAST WEEK ■ Inflow at Pong was 7,910 cusecs on Sept 22, which jumped to 1,66,559 cusecs by Monday morning ■ The outflow came down from PANDOH PONG 11,507 cusecs on September 22 to just 810 cusecs on Monday morning HP ■ The storage at Pong increased by about 9 per cent in the past two days, Bhakra saw an PUNJAB BHAKRA increase of 3 per cent Course of the Beas and the Sutlej through Himachal Pradesh and Punjab ■ The storage in both the dams ■ “Normally it is 2,100 ppm, was below normal till last the past two days, which by week, which had been a which spiked to 40,000 ppm. itself is not alarming cause for concern This could choke the reservoirs ■ The high volume of sediment ■ The inflow at Pong dam and also damage tunnels and and debris flow, however, is machines in the dam,” they say touched 1.10 lakh cusecs in worrying, say BBMB officials A portion of the Chandigarh-Bathinda bypass road that collapsed near Dakala village in Patiala on Monday. TRIBUNE PHOTO: RAJESH SACHAR Punjab toll 3, many towns waterlogged Tribune News Service Chandigarh, September 24 Three persons, including two children, were drowned on Monday as heavy rain continued for the third day across Punjab, leaving cities and towns waterlogged and paddy fields flattened in many areas. The state government announced a ‘red alert’ and ordered that all educational institutes will remain closed on Tuesday. The Army has also been asked to remain on alert. Even as people living close to the Sutlej and Ghaggar rivers were put on alert, there were no reports of serious flooding. At the ‘Sodal Mela’ in Jalandhar, an eight-monthold daughter of a Rajasthani stall owner drowned after she fell off a bench on which she was asleep in the night as the area was inundated. In Amritsar, a man and his 12- year-old son drowned after their car fell off a bridge into an overflowing drain near Khiyala village during heavy rain. Villagers in the Bet area of the Sutlej in Ludhiana were tense as the level in the river was rising continuously. The Ghaggar was also rising rapidly in Patiala and Sangrur areas, though the level was well below the danger mark. While the state on an average received 60.8 mm of rain between Sunday and Monday morning, 243 mm of rain was recorded at Pathankot IAF base, followed by Gurdaspur at 225 mm and Amritsar 203.1 mm. The Meteorological Centre said the worst may be over, though the sky would remain “generally cloudy”. Meanwhile, the Punjab Government has ordered a special girdawari to assess crop damage. More on Page 2 Centre’s eviction notice to Nehru Memorial Fund New Delhi: The Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry has sent a notice to the Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Fund to vacate the Teen Murti Bhavan premises even as the body denied it was in illegal possession of the property. The notice followed a letter from the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, requesting more space for expansion. Established in 1964, the Fund has been located at Teen Murti, once the residence of India’s first PM, since 1967. PTI Bishop Mulakkal remanded in 12-day judicial custody Kochi: Bishop Franco Mulakkal, arrested on charges of repeatedly raping a nun, was remanded in 12-day judicial custody by a court in Kerala's Kottayam district on Monday. Meanwhile, the priest moved a bail plea in the Kerala High Court on Monday, after it was rejected by the magistrate court on Saturday. Justice Raja Vijayaraghavan posted the plea for consideration on Thursday. PTI Nepal to award 1,200-MW hydro project to China firm Kathmandu: Nepal has revived a deal with a Chinese state-owned firm to construct a USD 2.5 billion hydroelectric plant, that had been scrapped by the previous Sher Bahadur Deuba government, officials said. PM KP Oli's governmnt last week decided to hand over the 1,200 MW Budhi Gandaki project to the China Gezhouba Group Corporation. PTI Travelling in Himachal buses costlier by 25 pc Shimla: Travelling in Himachal buses will cost 25 per cent more with the state Cabinet on Monday giving approval for a hike in bus fares. The minimum bus fare has now been fixed at Rs 6 for a minimum distance of three km. TNS Cong moves CVC, seeks case on Rafale Gurdaspur jawan dies in gunfight militants operation BJP terms it ‘international conspiracy against Modi’, cites Pak leader tweet ThreeSeptember 24 also gunned down in Kupwarakilled in the operaSrinagar, tants were Tribune News Service New Delhi, September 24 The Congress today intensified its offensive against the Narendra Modi government on the Rafale issue by petitioning the Central Vigilance Commission to register a case of alleged corruption and seize all documents relating to the deal. In a fresh twist to the Rafale purchase agreement, the party stopped short of demanding cancellation of the deal, saying it should not be irreversible. The ruling BJP returned fire, terming the issue as an “international conspiracy against PM Modi” and citing tweets by former Pakistan minister Rehman Malik, who called Congress president Rahul Gandhi India’s “next Prime Minister”. The Congress advocated reversibility of the Rafale deal when asked if it wanted the deal cancelled. The Indian Air Force has been demanding fighter jets to regain squadron strength for 18 years now, with the first Rafale jet expected to arrive by September 2019. “We have no issue with the Rafale jets. But the deal has to be examined. All documents have to be frozen. The government must send a warning to Dassault Aviation that jets could be returned if something is found wrong with the deal. We are not for irreversibility of the deal,” said Congress spokesman Abhishek Singhvi. Petitioning the CVC, a delegation of Congress leaders demanded a probe into the “Rs 41,000-crore scam” involving alleged undue benefits to a private industrialist at the cost of defence PSU Hindustan Aeronautics Limited. Maldives strongman loses Yameen’s surprise defeat in polls possible blow for China Colombo, September 24 The strongman President of the Maldives on Monday conceded defeat in elections, easing fears of a fresh political crisis in the archipelago at the centre of a battle for influence between India and China. “I have accepted the results,” Abdulla Yameen said in an address to the Indian Ocean nation after the joint Opposition candidate unexpectedly triumphed. “I met with Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, who the electorate has chosen to be their next President. I have congratulated him,” Yameen said. There had been concerns that Yameen might not accept the outcome. He had borrowed hundreds of millions of dollars from China for an infrastructure blitz, to the alarm of Maldives’ traditional Abdulla Yameen Mohamed Solih NEW DELHI RELIEVED New Delhi: Relieved at the result, the Indian government said the “election marks not only the triumph of democratic forces in the Maldives, but also reflects the firm commitment to the values of democracy and rule of law. In keeping with ‘Neighbourhood First’ Policy, India looks forward to working closely with Maldives in further deepening our partnership”. Later, PM Narendra Modi called up Ibrahim Mohamed Solih to congratulate him on his victory. TNS backer India. In the last election in 2013, the Supreme Court annulled the result after Yameen trailed former President Mohamed Nasheed, giving Yameen time to forge alliances and win a second round of voting that was postponed twice. Results from Sunday’s election showed Yameen on 41.7 per cent of the vote, well behind Solih on 58.3 per cent — the only other name on ballot papers. The official result will take up to a week. The result was a major surprise, with Yameen’s main political rivals either in prison or in exile, media coverage of the Opposition sparse and monitors and the Opposition predicting the vote would be rigged. Nearly 90 per cent of the 262,000 electorate had turned out to vote. — AFP Today’s issue is of 26 pages, including six-page Chandigarh Tribune and four-page Life+Style. “The government must disclose the price of 36 aircraft so the CVC can examine the serious allegations of corruption. We request the CVC to undertake its statutory duty by examining the record threadbare so that corruption, crony capitalism, violation of law and procedure and loss to public exchequer is brought out at the earliest,” the party memorandum said. It also referred to former French President Francois Hollande’s recent remarks that France did not have a choice in the offset partner’s Continued on Page 7 A commando from Kotla Khurd area of Gurdaspur in Punjab and three unidentified militants were killed in an ongoing counter-infiltration operation in the Tangdhar sector of Kupwara district of Jammu and Kashmir on Monday. The slain commando has been identified as Lance Naik Sandeep Singh (30) of the 4 Para unit. He had joined the Army in June 2007. The number of militants killed in the operation, which began along the LoC on Saturday afternoon, has Lance Naik Sandeep Singh gone up to five. Two unidentified militants were killed in the operation on Sunday. Srinagar-based defence spokesman Colonel Rajesh Kalia said three more mili- tion on Monday. The operation was launched by the Army after noticing suspected movement near Pathri Behak, Tangdhar, over 190 km from Srinagar. Since Saturday, the Army has been able to establish contact with the militants eight times in the dense forest area. The latest contact with the militants was established on Monday morning, leading to the killing of three more militants and the commando. Police sources say the bodies of four militants had been retrieved. — TNS NIPER director suspended Chandigarh, September 24 The director of the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER), Mohali, Prof Raghuram Rao Akkinepally, has been placed under suspension. “The Board of Governors has decided to place Prof Akkinepally under suspension with immediate effect,” read the orders issued by the BoG’s chairman, Dr VM Katoch, on Monday. Prof PV Bharatam, Dean, NIPER, will act as officiating director till further orders by the Department of Pharmaceuticals, Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilisers. Earlier, the director had been served a show-cause notice for failure to implement the board’s June 14 order to revoke the suspension of the registrar, Wg Cdr PJP Waraich. — TNS SEPT 24, 2018 A patient scales the wall to enter the Rewari Civil Hospital on Monday. TRIBUNE PHOTO 2 months later, same story, no lesson learnt ■ Despite the death of a farmer barely two months ago as he accidentally touched a hospital transformer while scaling the hospital’s outer wall, the Rewari Civil Hospital authorities have not learnt any lesson. ■ With the entrance to the hospital inundated on Monday, patients continued to jump over the wall, putting their lives in danger. Sources say the district administration has installed motors near the hospital to JULY 23, 2018 drain out the water, but the process will take some time. ■ “The hospital transformer has been barricaded and rear gates opened. Next, we plan to raise the height of outer wall,” explained Civil Surgeon Krishan Kumar.
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