Half the state is now NCR

With the inclusion of Mahendergarh and Bhiwani districts, the National Capital Region now accounts for nearly half of Haryana's area. The NCR area within Haryana has gone up from 13,428 sq km to 20,105 sq km, or 45.47 per cent of the state's total area. Ten Haryana districts now fall within NCR and the government is trying to add Jind (2,702 sq km) and Karnal (2,520 sq km) too. With inclusion comes the certainty of rapid development. The NCR Planning Board provides soft loans up to 75 per cent of project costs. In the Haryana sub-region, 106 projects worth Rs 4,683 crore have been completed with a loan of Rs 2,581 crore sanctioned by the board, while 76 worth Rs 9,238 crore are going on with a sanctioned loan of Rs 3,728 crore.

Hooda opens up for once

Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, who usually denies infighting in the Congress, went public against his detractors for once. At a party meeting chaired by Shakeel Ahmed, Hooda gave "facts and figures" about Haryana's development and surprised all by adding that the political ambitions of so-called leaders should at least be supported by hard work. Hooda's first term had seen many detractors, including Kumari Selja, Birender Singh, Rao Inderjeet and Haryana ministers Kiran Choudhry and Capt. Ajay Yadav, but many of them have since gone quiet. Choudhry and Yadav are no more criticising him in public, Inderjeet is lying low until the polls, while Birender Singh has been kept out of the cabinet. Selja, however, remains as strong a critic as ever.

Shelter home

suicides

After the abuse in Apna Ghar another shelter home, Nari Niketan in Karnal, has been hit by controversy with the alleged suicide of two of its residents. It came amid claims by the government of having provided better care to residents of shelter homes. Police investigations have found both girls had once escaped out of Nari Niketan, were found by the police in Kaithal district and brought back. In the last one year, there have been several instances of residents fleeing shelter homes, committing suicide or being found dead. The families of both girls are demanding action against police and the Nari Niketan management for having pushed both girls to a stage where they chose to commit suicide.

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