The Tribune – Monsoon expected to reach Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh in next 48 hours

Monsoon has arrived in Uttarakhand

Vibha Sharma – Tribune News Service

New Delhi – India, 23 June 2020. The Southwest Monsoon has arrived over the hill state of Uttarakhand and is expected to reach Haryana, Punjab, Delhi and Chandigarh in next 48 hours, the IMD said on Tuesday.

Conditions are becoming favourable for its further advance into the remaining parts of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, entire Western Himalayan Region, Haryana, Chandigarh and Delhi, most parts of Punjab and some parts of Rajasthan during the next 48 hours, the weather office said.

In the past few days, it further advanced into the remaining parts of north Arabian Sea, most parts of Kutch, some more parts of Gujarat region, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh and some parts of Uttarakhand.

The Northern Limit of Monsoon (NLM) now passes through Ahmedabad, Shajapur, Fatehpur and Rudrapraya.

Published in: on June 24, 2020 at 5:45 am  Leave a Comment  
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The Tribune – Labourers shuttled back to Punjab from UP border, feel they ‘don’t belong to this country’

Karam Prakash – Tribune News Service

Patiala – Panjab – India, 18 May 2020. Over 150 Uttar Pradesh bound migrant labourers held a protest on National Highway near Punjab and Haryana border on Sunday.

The migrant labourers protested at the Shambhu border after they were dropped back from Haryana-UP border. In fact, labourers had reached the Haryana-UP border and about to cross into UP when Haryana authorities picked them and dropped them back to Punjab.

The migrant labourers reportedly walked over 200 kilometres from Ludhiana to UP-Haryana border. Unfortunately, when the migrant labourers tried to enter Uttar Pradesh, they were stopped by Haryana Police.

The labourers were huddled into three roadways buses and dropped at Haryana-Punjab border near Shambu village. Anguished over this, the labourers staged a sit-in protest at the highway for an hour.

Heart-wrenching scenes were witnessed when the labourers broke down into tears and pleaded the authorities to drop them to their native places in Uttar Pradesh. In the meantime, the officials from Patiala reached the spot and pacified them.

Mahesh Kumar, a migrant labourer, who walked from Ludhiana, said that they were dropped back into Punjab by Haryana Police.

He said, “We walked over 200 kilometres along with our children to reach home. However, I was stopped by Haryana Police.”

Another labourer, Vineeta of Lucknow, said, “We are stuck in the city and running out of money without jobs. We feel as if we don’t belong to this country. We don’t have any other option but to walk down to our homes. Sadly, they are not even letting us go to our home. We don’t want to die on the road. Please, let us go to our home.”

Manpreet Singh, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), Ghanaur, who reached the spot, said, “We are asking the migrant labourers to stay in Punjab as the government is providing food and shelter to them. Today, we provided them food and asked to return to their cities in Punjab and register themselves for the train journey.”

The Statesman – Punjab Police arrests ‘one of the biggest drug smugglers of India’ from Haryana

Rana was wanted in a narcotics haul case in which the Customs department last year had seized 532 kg of heroin worth Rs 2,700 crore in rock salt consignments at the Integrated Check Post at Attari in Amritsar.

New Delhi – India, 09 May 2020. The Punjab Police arrested a drug smuggler from Haryana’s Sirsa, who was wanted in a 532 kg heroin seizure case, police said on Saturday.

“The wanted smuggler Ranjeet Singh Rana was arrested from a hideout in Sirsa,” Punjab Director General of Police (DGP) Dinkar Gupta was quoted as saying by news agency Press Trust of India.

DGP Dinkar Gupta took to Twitter and said, “Following up further on arrests of Hizbul operatives in Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab, the Punjab Police juggernaut moved further to arrest Ranjeet of Amritsar, one of the biggest drug smugglers of India from Sirsa today.

Cheeta was wanted in 532 kg heroin haul from Attari in June 2019.”

“Ranjeet Rana & his brother Gagandeep@Bhola arrested from Begu village in Sirsa, Haryana. Ranjit Rana@Cheeta, suspected to have smuggled in heroin & other drugs from Pakistan, camouflaged in as many as 6 rock salt consignments through ICP Amritsar between 2018-2019,” Gupta said in another tweet.

Rana was wanted in a narcotics haul case in which the Customs department last year had seized 532 kg of heroin worth Rs 2,700 crore in rock salt consignments at the Integrated Check Post at Attari in Amritsar.

He was the kingpin of the narcotics haul and was arrested following the recent arrest of Hizbul Mujahideen terror operatives in Amritsar.

In today’s Punjab Police’s operation along with Ranjeet Rana, his brother was also arrested in Haryana.

Punjab Police arrests ‘one of the biggest drug smugglers of India’ from Haryana

The Indian Express – Haryana’s Panchkula to seal borders with Chandigarh and Punjab; know about the exemptions

The entry and exits will be sealed from Saturday morning, and essential services will be permitted movement only subject to several conditions, including downloading of Aarogya Setu app.

Pallavi Singhal

Panchkula – Haryana – India, 01 May 2020. Following a sudden rise in COVID-19 cases in adjoining Union Territory of Chandigarh and Punjab’s Mohali district, the Panchkula administration Friday imposed additional restrictions on cross-border movement.

The entry and exits will be sealed from Saturday morning, and essential services will be permitted movement only subject to several conditions, including downloading of Aarogya Setu app.

The administration has ordered that non-Panchkula residents whose jobs require every day travel to the district will have to be accommodated in the district itself by their managements.

The Panchkula residents working in places outside the territory of Panchkula district would have to make similar accommodation arrangements with their management, as per the order from the Panchkula administration.

The cross-border movement in unavoidable circumstances of any “specific case” will be allowed subject to three conditions, the downloading and use of Aarogya Setu app, thermal scanning and symptomatic screening at border checkposts when entering Panchkula, and use of rapid testing facility if any person entering Panchkula is found symptomatic, the District Magistrate said in the order.

The conditions are also applicable to those falling under consolidated exemptions announced by the district authorities.


  • In a list of consolidated exemptions issued in the order, authorised government officers and staff of the offices, officers belonging to the Punjab and Haryana High Court and other courts, health professionals belonging to Government agencies will be allowed movement.
  • Those with specially issued ‘restricted movement passes’ provided by the Government of India, Government of Haryana, Punjab, Chandigarh (UT) are also exempted.

Panchkula is a suburb of Chandidarh in Haryana just like Mohali is a suburb of Chandigarh in Panjab.
Chandigarh itself is a Union Terrirory.

The Tribune – 300 pilgrims from Hazur Sahib on way back

The first batch of Sikh pilgrims stranded in Takht Sri Hazur Sahib, Nanded, have started their journey to Panjab.

Tribune News Service

Amritsar – Panjab – India, 24 April 2020. It is learnt that due to the combined efforts of the Centre and state government, around 300 pilgrims, belonging to Punjab, have started their journey. Hailing mostly from the Majha region, they were unable to return due to cancellation of trains.

According to officials, 10 buses left Nanded for Punjab, Haryana and Delhi. They are expected to reach their destinations by Saturday evening.

Union Minister of Food Processing Harsimrat Kaur Badal had approached Home Minister Amit Shah, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and NCP leader Sharad Pawar, seeking their intervention for helping around 2,000 pilgrims, belonging to Punjab, Haryana and Delhi, who were stranded at Nanded since the lockdown was imposed.

Similarly, Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh too spoke to Uddhav who assured all help in the matter.

Today, 10 buses were arranged to ferry 300 pilgrims while keeping social distancing factor in mind during the journey. Takht Jathedar Kulwant Singh saw them off by presenting them with siropas.

Taking to Twitter, Harsimrat wrote: “Delighted to see the efforts bearing fruit now. The first batch of pilgrims stranded in Sri Hazur Sahib, Nanded, has started its journey back home.

While wishing them all a safe journey, I sincerely thank Amit Shah, Uddhav Thackeray and Sharad Pawar for making it happen.”

Earlier, SGPC president Gobind Singh Longowal had also written to Amit Shah and the Punjab CM, requesting their intervention to ensure return of the pilgrims stranded at Nanded.

The Hindustan Times – In hot-spot Chandigarh, VIPs out on a morning walk to be named and shamed

According to an officials release, UT Administrator V P Singh Bandore said strict restrictions are required in the wake of the Centre declaring the city a corona-virus hot-spot.

Chandigarh – Panjab – India, 15 April 2020. In hotspot Chandigarh, VIPs out on a morning walk to be named and shamed

Chandigarh on Wednesday was declared a corona-virus hot-spot, and one casualty of the move could be city’s VIPs who have continued with their morning walks despite the curfew so far.

The administration is now threatening to name and shame them, if they continue with this.

According to an official release, UT Administrator V P Singh Bandore said strict restrictions are required in the wake of the Centre declaring the city a corona-virus hot-spot.

The city, which serves as the capital for both Punjab and Haryana, has so far reported 21 cases, nine of which have recovered.

In a tweet on Wednesday, UT Adviser Manoj Parida said, “From tomorrow, we will publish name and designation of VIPs violating curfew orders and going for morning and evening walks. Be warned.”

Parida’s tweet has come as a warning to some retired bureaucrats who ventured out out of their homes for morning and evening walks despite the curfew imposed in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak.

On Monday, the Chandigarh Police had arrested 182 people who stepped out of their homes for morning and evening walks.

Police have been regularly issuing warnings to people against going to city parks for a walk.

Meanwhile, the UT administrator directed officials to ensure that the instructions received from the Centre are strictly implemented and supervised.

Badnore also ordered a total ban on spitting in public places.

The principal secretary (home) was directed to issue a necessary notification in this regard, the release said.

Director Health G Dewan said 5,75,670 lakh people have been screened in a door-to-door survey.

Chandigarh Director General of Police Sanjay Beniwal said till date, 3,772 vehicles have been impounded and 485 persons booked for violating the curfew orders.

The Tribune – Haryana and Punjab refuse to budge on SYL: Government to Rajya Sabha

Ravi S Singh – Tribune News Service

New Delhi – India, 16 March 2020. The government informed the Rajya Sabha today that in a follow-up to the Supreme Court’s directive, it tried to mediate between the governments of Haryana and Punjab to thrash out a mutually acceptable solution to the ticklish Sutlej-Yamuna Link (SYL) canal issue, but failed.

Responding to a supplementary by Congress member Kumari Selja, Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat said the two states refused to arrive on a “middle ground”.

“We have apprised the Supreme Court, which had asked the Centre to explore for a middle ground between the two states,” Shekhawat said.

The minister’s statement was in response to a pointed question by Selja as to what steps the government was taking with regard to the SYL canal, which was meant to provide water to presently parched areas of south Haryana, where ground water had depleted.

He said that the National Green Tribunal had ordered that drinking water supply should be provided to a village in Rewari district in the matter of Raghunath Singh versus Union of India and others.

As reported by the Public Health Engineering Department, Haryana, drinking water supply had been provided to Chirhara village in Rewari district through a tube well installed near the Jalalpur distributor, the minister stated.

He said the Central Ground Water Board and State Ground Water Department had jointly carried out estimation of the Dynamic Ground Water Resources of India. As per the assessment, total annual ground water recharge of Rewari district had been assessed to be 42,7000 hectare metre (ham) and annual extractable ground water resources 38,430 ham.

The total current annual ground water extraction was 35,079 ham, 29,559 ham for irrigation, 5,156 ham for domestic use and 364 ham for industrial use.

The Tribune – Sex ratio at birth static in Haryana; declined in Punjab and Himachal

Bhartesh Singh Thakur – Tribune News Service

Chandigarh – Panjab – India, 09 March 2020. Sex ratio at birth (SRB) in Haryana has been static at 914 for the last two financial years. It has declined from 907 to 900 in Punjab and from 931 to 927 in Himachal Pradesh.

A total of 13 states and union territories have lower SRB than national average of 931, with Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh among these.

These facts have come to light in the Parliamentary Standing Committee Report to the Ministry of Women and Child Development. The child sex ratio was 918 in this decade and 927 in the previous decade.

After launch of the ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’ (BBBP) in 2015, progress of the scheme was measured in terms of SRB collected by the health management information system of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

Haryana’s SRB was 902 in 2016-17, rose to 914 in 2017-18 and remained static in 2018-19. Punjab’s SRB was 902 in 2016-17, rose to 907 in 2017-18 and dropped to 900 in 2018-19.

Chandigarh’s SRB was 921 in 2016-17, dipped to 897 in 2017-18 and rose to 910 in 2018-19. In Himachal Pradesh, it was 916 in 2016-17, rose to 931 in 2017-18 and dipped to 927 in 2018-19.

“Our SRB figures have further improved to 923 in 2019. We have saved 25,000 girls under the campaign. We have improved from 871 in 2014 to 923, a rise of 52 points,” said Dr Rakesh Gupta, CEO, BBBP.

In Haryana, 60 cases were registered under PCPNDT Act in 2017 and 33 in 2018. The committee pointed out that the Centre had allocated Rs 200 crore to the BBBP for 2019-20, of which only Rs 57.9 crore (20.67 per cent) had been spent till January 31.

The Indian Express – Independent MLA withdraws support from Haryana government, calls Khattar ‘leader of corrupt’

“There is a major difference in what CM Khattar says and what he does,” Balraj Kundu said.

Chandigarh – Haryana – India, 28 February 2020. Haryana’s independent MLA from Meham constituency Balraj Kundu announced his withdrawal of support from the BJP-JJP government in the Vidhan Sabha on Friday.

Referring to Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar as “bhrashtachariyon ka mukhiya” (leader of corrupt), Kundu submitted his two-page letter to Speaker Gian Chand Gupta, immediately after the Question Hour concluded in the ongoing Haryana Vidhan Sabha budget session.

“After getting elected from Meham, I had discussed with people of my constituency and given my support to an honest Chief Minister and an honest government. Considering Manohar Lal as a truthful leader, I wanted to work with him with utmost honesty and wanted to fight against corruption for the development of my constituency,” Kundu wrote.

Kundu, who had accused a former BJP minister in two alleged scams, said, “I thought that the chief minister will take stern action against the corrupt former BJP minister.

I had full faith that the CM will take strict action in the sugarcane mills scam and against those who indulged in disturbing communal harmony of the state during Jat reservation agitation.

But, on February 2, the way in which a clean chit was given to that corrupt minister, it becomes clear that there is a major difference in what the CM says and what he does.”

Continuing his tirade, the MLA added, “I do not have any hesitation to say that all this is happening with the blessings of CM Khattar. He is only doing a show-off of honesty.

If I may, I’ll say that the CM is the leader of these corrupt and I am extremely anguished after seeing this face of his. I am a representative of people and member of Vidhan Sabha.

When a voice raised by him is snubbed like this, then how would voice of a common man reach anywhere? I have come to politics to become the voice of a common man, a poor man. I followed honorable Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘na khaunga, na khaane doonga’ policy.

But right under his nose, if his government’s representatives are shielding an anaconda of corruption, then I cannot support such a government. Hence, I withdraw support”.

Alleging that the state’s cooperative sugar mills had recorded a loss of Rs 3,300 crore, Kundu has time and again raised the issue in the House. However, it only led to a heated exchange between him and the CM, to which latter replied, “You may go to the court.

There is a clean chit from my side.” On Wednesday, Kundu had accused Rohtak Medical College’s Vice-Chancellor O P Kalra of indulging in “corrupt practices” and demanded stern action against him.

Later, on the sidelines of the House proceedings yesterday, Khattar had said that he would speak to Kundu, but he added: “We are open to ordering a probe if there is credible preliminary evidence to support his allegations. But if there is no evidence, there is no point in ordering any inquiry.”

The Print – ‘Audis don’t give milk’ – why Haryana farmers would rather buy a Murrah buffalo

Famous for high production of fat-rich milk, Murrah buffaloes have changed the fortunes of their owners in rural Haryana.

Jyoti Yadav

New Delhi – India, 15 February 2020. Around 13 km from the district headquarters of Jind in Haryana lie the cobbled lanes of Bibipur village. The neat row of pucca houses in this small but prosperous hamlet is awash with stories and posters of ‘Mohini’, a nine-year-old buffalo that is more precious than a few Audis parked along the narrow lane.

“We won’t sell Mohini even if we are offered tens of millions in exchange. It has received several awards from the (Manohar Lal) Khattar and (Parkash Singh) Badal governments (of Haryana and Punjab, respectively). Our buffaloes win more awards than our boys,” said dairy owner Jasvir Singh, as he stood watching his herd of buffaloes drink water from a pond near his house.

Mohini isn’t any other buffalo one finds strolling down the roads. It is a purebred Murrah, a coveted, high-yielding variety.

A talk about rural Haryana is incomplete without a reference to the Murrah buffaloes. Famous for its high production of fat-rich milk, Murrahs have changed the fortunes of their hookah-smoking owners in remote Haryana. The per capita availability of milk in the state is 878 grams per day, much higher than the national average of 329 grams a day, all thanks to the Murrahs.

Mohini yields 24 litres of milk on an average every day.

“Murrahs have served us for three generations. We have earned more than Rs 20 lakh by selling milk and breeding these buffaloes,” Jasvir said, grinning ear-to-ear.

Over 70 km from Jind, in Hisar’s Litani village, Sukhbir Dhandha has a similar ‘success story’ to tell. He had recently sold one of his prized Murrahs, ‘Saraswati’, for Rs 51 lakh. With a daily average milk produce of 33 litres, Saraswati reportedly held the world record in milk yield. “It had broken the record previously held by a Pakistani Murrah buffalo.

I earned crores from this buffalo. In comparison, Rs 51 lakh is a meagre amount,” Dhandha added.

Kapoor Singh, a resident of Hisar’s Singhwa Khas village known globally for its Murrah buffaloes, had also made headlines in 2013 by selling his buffalo for Rs 25 lakh. Not only milk, the semen of these prized buffaloes are also in high demand. A Kurukshetra-based farmer earned over Rs 40 lakh per annum by selling semen of his Murrah bull, ‘Yuvraj’.

The demand for these purebreds is so high that their prices are often fixed when a calf is still in the womb. A four-month-old at Dhandha’s house is now priced at about Rs 4.5 lakh, he said. To better understand just how Murrah buffaloes are redefining farm economics in this north Indian state, this reporter travelled more than 500 km across Haryana.

What are Murrah buffaloes?

A breed of water buffaloes, Murrahs originated in India and its home tract is Fatehabad, Gurgaon, Jind, Jhajjar, Hisar and Rohtak districts of Haryana. The breed is also found in Nabha and Patiala districts of Punjab. Murrah buffaloes are in particular demand for its high-fat milk yield, around 7 litres every day, which is used for making mozzarella cheese and preferred for sweets.

India has 57 per cent of the global buffalo population and there are 13 recognised breeds in the country.

Satbir Kumar, a resident of Singhwa Khas, described the “best trick” to identify a purebred Murrah. “You can spot a purebred among thousands of other buffaloes. Slender head and legs, thin black tails and curved black horns are some of the telltale identity markers.”

When told how a Murrah buffalo was costlier than an Audi car, he quickly remarked, “But Audis cannot produce milk, can they?”

‘Murrah hit the ramp’

With a glistening jet black body, curved ring-like horns, a light neck and head, Murrahs have become so popular that many of these beasts also have a huge fan following on social media.

When Dhandha had announced that he wanted to sell ‘Saraswati’, the buffalo’s fans on social media were “disturbed”. He soon arranged for an event so that admirers can “see it for one last time”, he said.

A host of very popular beauty pageants for buffaloes, where the animals are decorated with painted horns, ornaments and garlands are also held across the state. The prize money in these contests can range anywhere between Rs 1,100 and Rs 5 lakh.

‘Murrah hit the ramp’ is one such popular contest that is organised by the state government.

At Jasvir’s house, the cupboards and walls are adorned with awards won by ‘Mohini’. He gives an example of just how popular the buffalo is: “If you ask any one in the village about her or his date of birth, they may have to look for their ration or Aadhaar cards. But ask about Mohini’s and they will promptly give you the answer.”

Many other proud owners similarly displayed photos of their prized buffaloes on their mobile phones.

For the pageants, the animals are groomed from a very young age. A typical grooming session includes bathing, massaging their horns and body with oil and trimming their hooves.

Government incentives for rearing Murrahs

To motivate farmers and encourage rearing of Murrah buffaloes, the Haryana government had recently floated several schemes. The state’s animal husbandry department has launched an Integrated Murrah Development Programme under which owners of high-yielding buffaloes are rewarded at village and tehsil levels.

The owner of a buffalo that gives 15-18 kg of milk every day is given Rs 15,000 and those producing 18-22 kg are awarded Rs 18,000. An owner whose buffalo gives 22-25 kg of milk every day gets Rs 20,000 and those owning buffaloes yielding above 25 kg of milk get Rs 30,000.

Another programme, Departmental Dairy Training, is also organised to attract the youth towards animal husbandry. As part of this training, unemployed youth are informed about the best methods of breeding and raising animals.

Many dairy owners, however, also rued that a growing market of synthetic milk has dampened the business of selling buffalo milk.

Gulshan Pruthi, owner of a private dairy in Jind, said, “The business of selling milk has not been as profitable. Prices of pure milk have remained static for years due to the growing market of synthetic milk.”

“Also, fodder for buffaloes that usually consists of cottonseed and ‘khali’ (mustard cakes) are becoming increasingly expensive. In such a scenario, running a dairy has been a loss-making venture,” he added.

Murrahs are a ‘lifeline’ for women farmers

For several women farmers of the state, rearing Murrah buffaloes has helped them manage the smaller household expenses with ease.

Kavita, a farmer in Rewari district, said, “Our buffaloes give around 19 kg of milk. We can easily manage the monthly expenses with the money received by selling milk. Income from farming comes in our hand only on an annual or half-yearly basis but the buffaloes help get by every month.”

Ravinder Hooda, deputy director of the animal husbandry department in Jind, said, “Buffaloes are the spinal cord of rural economy. A rural woman can easily handle every small expenditure in her household by rearing buffaloes.”

An officer at Jind’s Vita Milk Plant, which is under the Haryana Dairy Development Cooperative Federation Limited, said, “We make payment for procured milk on the 1st, 11th and 21st of every month. A woman farmer can manage her household expenses with the amount she gets once every 10 days.”

‘80% milk come from Murrah buffaloes’

In Haryana, a livestock census is carried out every five years. According to the 2012 census, the state had 60.85 lakh buffaloes, including the Murrah variety. This number was 59.50 lakh in 2007.

While the numbers for 2017 are yet to be officially released, sources told ThePrint that it is likely to come down by 20 per cent.

Hooda cited several reasons for this likely decline. “In the last few years, Andhra Pradesh had procured a large number of Murrah buffaloes from Haryana’s villages. Also, more and more people have started living in cities and the government has denied permission to keep buffaloes in residential areas of towns.”

He, however, believes the numbers will go up again in the next five years. “Thanks to Digital India, every village is now getting connected to the Internet. Several farmers and dairy owners from Haryana have created their own YouTube channels where they upload videos of their buffaloes. This helps them publicise their farms and attract buyers.”

Many government reports ThePrint accessed to also concur with the fact that dairy entrepreneurs have influenced rural economy in a good way. Milk production in Haryana during 2018-19 was 10,72,6000 tonnes, of which 80 per cent was buffalo milk, officials said.

Officials at the Jind’s Vita plant also said more than 80 per cent of the milk coming to their plant is from Murrah buffaloes. With more than 700 dairies, Jind is called the hub of animal husbandry.

‘Audis don’t give milk’ — why Haryana farmers would rather buy a Murrah buffalo