The steel and mines minister, Biju Patnaik, is flying to West Bengal for an aerial survey of the flooded steel mills at Durgapur and the Indian Iron and Steel Company (IISCO), Burnpur. Patnaik said that according to his information, Durgapur steel plant, IISCO and the nearby coal mines were under heavy floods and in many places water was flowing four to five feet deep. (According to a Calcutta report, the Durgapur power project has been shut down, affecting power supply to Calcutta). Patnaik said due to heavy rains in the catchment areas, about 7.5 lakh cusecs of water were flowing into the Damodar with only one lakh cusecs of outflow. This had resulted in the flooding of all the five tributaries of the Damodar leading to inundation of a large area.
The Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Sheikh Abdullah said that the former Deputy Chief Minister Mirza Afzal Beg, had used the Speaker of the state assembly Mohl-ud-din as a “tool” to bring about “defections” in the party during the recent elections to the state legislative council. “On Mohl-ud-din’s return from his tour abroad,” he said, “action will be taken against him.” The Sheikh was addressing a public meeting at Gol Bagh, Srinagar. The National Conference candidates for the municipal elections on Srinagar were administered an oath for remaining loyal to the party at the meeting.
The Punjab Government has banned the entry of the chief of the Nirankari Mission. Baba Gurbachan Singh, into the state for six months with immediate effect. The circulation of the Nirankari weekly, Ek Nazar, has also been banned in Punjab. The two orders came after a day of strenuous political activity in which the ruling coalition partners, the Akalis and the Janata, as well as the CPM supporting it, participated.
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