|H I M A C H A L
P R A D E S H
Tuesday, October 19, 1999
PDS reforms top priority:
reforms top priority: Shanta
CHAMBA, Oct 18 The Himachal Government will give top priority to reforming the public distribution system and consumer forum network as there are 550 consumer courts functioning in the country.
Addressing a press conference at Chamba today, Mr Shanta Kumar, Union Minister of Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution System, said that after thorough deliberation, the Union Government would draw up future plans with a view to ensuring the proper distribution of subsidised goods to the masses at the grass roots level.
Mr Shanta Kumar said since the consumer affairs and public distribution system was the most significant and sensitive portfolio, the government and the administration too would make concerted efforts to provide consumer goods to common people at the right price and at the right time.
Mr Shanta Kumar said the Centre would revamp and streamline the public distribution system so that the common man did not find any problem in getting the consumer goods.
He said the Union Government was providing subsidy to the tune of Rs 40,000 crore in different spheres of development out of which Rs 10,000 crore were being provided as subsidy on foodstuffs, and added that the government would make allout efforts to distribute these essential foodstuffs to the poor.
The Union Minister underscored the need of price control and quality products under the supervision of the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS). He wanted that the production of spurious goods would not be tolerated.
Earlier, in a thanksgiving campaign after his being elected to Parliament and becoming the Cabinet Minister, Mr Shanta Kumar addressed the BJP-HVC leaders and workers here and expressed his thanks to them for their cooperation in forming the government of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) at the Centre.
Later, presiding over a meeting of district-level officers at the local Bachat Bhavan, Mr Shanta Kumar impressed upon the officers to be committed to the service of the people and accelerate the pace of development.
Mr Kishori Lal, Himachal
Industries Minister, Mr Krishan Kapoor, Transport
Minister, Mr Mohan Lal, Minister of State for Ayurveda,
Mr Tulsi Ram, MLA and Mrs Renu Chadha, President
Municipal Council, Dalhousie, and Mr K.K. Gupta, district
president of the BJP were also present.
to Tanda college may be delayed
SHIMLA, Oct 18 With senior doctors reluctant to comply with orders for their transfer to the 50-seat medical college at Tanda in Kangra district, new admissions are bound to get delayed as the institution will be recognised by the Medical Council of India (MCI) only when the staff strength is in accordance with its conditions.
Nearly three months have passed after Himachal Pradesh University (HPU) declared the results of the entrance examination for the MBBS and BDS courses, but the authorities have not been able to invite the MCI for inspection of the Tanda college as the staff strength does not fulfil the norms.
The government recently transferred nearly 14 doctors from Indira Gandhi Medical College (IGMC) here to Tanda on one-rank promotion, but hardly anyone was willing to go. Most of them have met the Health Minister, Mr J.P. Nadda, seeking cancellation of the orders. They will have to forego their promotion in case they want to stay here according to the transfer orders.
The Tanda college has been in the thick of controversy ever since it was established by the previous Congress regime in 1977. The first batch of students has not appeared in the examinations as the course was yet to be recognised by the MCI.
The college has become a political compulsion for the BJP-HVC combine government as it cannot afford to close down the institution and annoy the people of the area.
Seven doctors were transferred to Tanda from the IGMC a few months ago, but they also did not comply with the orders. Now a few doctors, including the principal of the college, have been recruited on a contract basis to run the institute.
Doctors say transferring faculty members from here will be detrimental to the interests of the IGMC where the MCI has already reduced the number of MBBS seats to 65 from 100 as the staff strength was below the norm.
Doctors are reluctant to go to Tanda apparently because the medical college there has to come up from scratch.
Things had started moving at the MCI level recently with the Chief Minister, Mr P.K. Dhumal, and Mr Nadda personally holding a series of meetings with the authorities in Delhi. However, formal recognition of the college will come only after its inspection by the MCI.
The first batch of students was admitted pursuant to the directions of the high court in January last year. The MCI challenged the decision of the high court in the Supreme Court which stayed the orders.
Thereafter, the state government has been making efforts to meet the norms of the MCI for getting the college recognised for its regular functioning.
Efforts to meet the shortage of doctors through the state public service commission have not been very encouraging.
The annual intake of students for the MBBS course in the state which should have been 150, with 100 seats at the IGMC and 50 at Tanda, has come down to only 65 with the delay in recognition of the latter and a cut of 35 seats at the IGMC.
The reduction of seats at the IGMC was ordered by the Centre last year on the basis of the report of the MCI which pointed out several deficiencies, including the shortage of staff.
HP to be
model state: Dhumal
MANDI, Oct 18 The Himachal Chief Minister, Mr Prem Kumar Dhumal, claimed yesterday that stage had been set to develop Himachal into a model state of the country.
Speaking at a big public meeting organised to celebrate the victory of BJP-HVC in the state, Mr Dhumal expressed the confidence that despite financial crisis Himachal had embarked upon ambitious plan to harness vast hydel and tourism potential in the state. The private sector was also being involved in a big way to ease the power crisis.
He congratulated the people of Dharampur for having given the highest lead to the BJP in the state. "I have come personally to celebrate the victory of the coalition government to your place", he said. The Dharampur Assembly segment had given a lead of 20,317 votes to the BJP candidate Mr Maheshwar Singh in the recent Lok Sabha elections.
He said the victory of the BJP on all four seats in the state had confirmed the faith of the people in the leadership of Mr Vajpayee and the performance of the BJP-HVC in the short span of 16 months.
The Chief Minister announced the opening of a new power division at Dharampur and promised to open IPH division soon. He also sanctioned a 33 kva power station for Badwar to ease the problem of low voltage in a cluster of villages in the area. He also upgraded four schools.
Earlier, the Chief Minister laid the foundation stone of Rs 3.5 crore Kandhapatan Mandap lift drinking water supply scheme near Dharampur which would cater to the requirement of 12,000 persons living in 22 villages around Dharampur.
Addressing another rally at Sarkaghat, subdivisional headquarter, where he laid the foundation stone of Rs 2 crore mini-secretariat-cum-commercial complex, Mr Dhumal sought the cooperation from all sections of people for the development of the state.
Referring to the shortage of doctors and teachers he blamed the previous Congress government which went on opening institutions without providing necessary infrastructure and staff. The vacant posts were being filled but it would take time to stem the rot set in over the past 50 years.
hospital, subzi mandi to start soon
SOLAN, Oct 18 Chairman of the Himachal Pradesh State Marketing Board Virendra Kashyap, addressing a press conference here today, said the construction of the multicrore civil works of the Zonal Hospital and the Subzi Mandi would begin here shortly.
He said 26 bighas of land had been allotted to the Health Department at the Solan bypass road for the proposed hospital and the Chief Minister would lay its foundation stone soon.
Tenders for the construction of the Subzi Mandi complex comprising of 52 shops cum offices for the commission agents, eight booths for eateries and shops and auction platforms were being floated. June end next year has been set the deadline for the completion of this project.
The IPH Department had been entrusted to prepare a blue print for the setting up of an artificial lake by erecting a dam over the Ashni rivulet near the Sadhupul on the Kandaghat-Chail road. The Government had already allotted Rs 60 lakh for this proposed tourist attraction. It was hoped that this project too would be completed sometime next year.
Mr Kashyap said the Board proposed to provide marketing infrastructure like link road, ropeways and auction houses to all key fruit and vegetable growing areas in the state. A modern marketing yard was nearing completion at Dharampur and similar facilities were proposed to set up at Vaknaghat, Sadhupul, Bhojnagar, Gumber Pul and Banalgi in this district.
He said that a policy decision had been taken to give top priority to the speedy construction of all those link roads whose total length ranged between one to five kilometers. This would ensure benefits of link roads to a large number of villages with a smaller outlay.
Mr Kashyap said that the Board had also sanctioned Rs 10 lakh for the provision of marketing subyard in Lahaul and Spiti district. This would be the first ever facility of it's kind in that remotely situated area known for it's potato need, hops and peas crops. It would help end exploitation of poor farmers by middlemen.
decision to shift office: union
SHIMLA, Oct 18 Employees of the HP State Electronics Development Corporation (HPSEDC) have urged the government to review its decision to shift their office to Solan.
In a statement here today, Mr Arun Dev, general secretary of the HPSEDC Employees Union, said there was resentment among the employees over the "irrational and populist" decision of the government.
The government has ordered the shifting of six boards and corporations to other districts from here.
by CPM activists
SHIMLA, Oct 18 Activists of the CPM demonstrated here today against the hike in bus fares by the state government and the increase in diesel prices by the Centre.
Mr Rakesh Singha, district secretary of the CPM, said the hike in the diesel prices had come as a major set back to the people. The step would have an inflationary effect.
"Police collecting money from
JAWALAMUKHI, Oct 18 The Himachal Police has been collecting money for those who have organised "langars" in and around this town during ongoing Navratra fair. Devotees as well as langar" organisers have resented this illegal act of the police.
With the start of
Navratra hardship of devotees coming from far off places
have increased. No facilities exist. The Jawalamukhi
police reportedly has been collecting substantial amount
from those organising the community langar in and around
the town. The so-called contribution is being collected
on the plea that it towards the aid of the annual police
meet to be held at Dharamsala in the near future.
According to them, they are taking it as a part of their
duty at the behest of high-up. As such, they have termed
it as donation.
Rs 35 lakh
for girls' hostel
SOLAN, Oct 18 The Minister of State for Town and Country Planning, Mr H.N. Singh Saini, said here today that the government had allocated Rs 35 lakh for the construction of a girls' hostel at the local government Postgraduate college.
The minister, who was the chief guest at the Freshers' Day function, organised by the Swami Vivekananda Students Welfare Association, said the hostel would be completed within a year.
He stressed the need to follow Swami Vivekananda's principles and exhorted students to lead disciplined lives.
He announced a grant of Rs 5,000 from his discretionary fund and Rs 10,000 from his personal fund to the association.
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