|Monday, March 27, 2000,
HP Assembly meets today
BRO building Rohtang bypass
Security for Chamba residents
Computer education for 100 schools
CM visit bereaved ministers
Bandh against Sikhs killing
HP Assembly meets today
SHIMLA, March 26 (UNI) The Himachal Pradesh Assembly will re-assemble here tomorrow after 10 days recess in the Budget session.
The vacations started from March 17 to enable house committees do scrutiny of Budget proposals for 2000-2001 and give their recommendations to the House.
The Budget estimates were presented in the House by Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal who also holds the Finance portfolio on March 9.
BRO building Rohtang bypass
SHIMLA: The Border Road Organisation (BRO) has taken over the 76-km-long road between Sumdoh (Kinnaur) and Gramphu (Lahaul-Spiti) from the state PWD to provide another road link for the Army with the frontier area of Ladakh in Jammu and Kashmir.
The road stretch will be widened by Project Deepak of the BRO so as to enable the carrying of the Armys heavy equipment.
The Chief Engineer of the project, Brig B.M. Bakshi, told TNS that Rohtang pass (13,000 ft) would be bypassed by the new road. The pass is snow-bound for about six months during winter.
Brig Bakshi said the road would also provide a year round link with the terrorist-ridden area of Kistwar in Jammu as it meets the Thirot-Kilar Sansari road beyond Rohtang.
He said in the second phase, another road would be constructed to bypass Baralacha La (16,000 ft) and provide a stable link with Kargil and Leh.
These alternate road links were being constructed because the Manali-Leh road remains closed for a long period as the Rohtang and the Baralacha La remain covered under snow. The Leh-Manali road played a crucial role in carrying Army supplies during the Kargil conflict when the Srinagar-Leh road was virtually closed due to constant shelling by the enemy.
Brig Bakshi said not only the road between Sumdoh to Gramphu via Kaza would be widened, but many concrete bridges would be constructed to make it fit for movement of heavy Army trucks as well as arms and artillery.
The highway between Shimla to Sumdoh remains open throughout the year.
The new road will also provide a link to the residents of Lahaul and Spiti who remain cut off from rest of the world during winter when Rohtang is closed.
Project engineers are currently strengthening the Hindustan-Tibet highway by constructing concrete bridges in the difficult terrain. Two major bridges were recently inaugurated by Brig Bakshi on the Sutlej and Spiti.
These bridges, Dabling and Sumdoh, will not only energise the socio-economic development of Kinnaur, but also enhance access to Leh from the highway.
Veterinary conference opened
SOLAN, March 26 The Minister of State for Animal Husbandry, Mr Prakash Chaudhry, inaugurated a two-day seminar on "emerging trends in veterinary medicine and animal resource development" jointly organised by the H.P. State Veterinary Council and Department of Animal Husbandry here yesterday.
Mr Chaudhry, lauded the progress made so far in the field of animal husbandry in the country, particularly Himachal Pradesh. "It was a matter of pride that inspite of severe financial and infrastructural constraints. India today has emerged as the top milk producing country in the world and also that the per capita production of the same commodity within this state far exceeded the national average."
Mr Chaudhry said that we should not forget that the new millennium had thrown up fresh challenges which could only be met by a concerted attempt jointly made by the government, the veterinary scientists and the producers. We must realise that the pressures created by an ever increasing population and shrinking land resources called for an urgent reappraisal of our policies and programmes aimed at ensuring adequate availability of animal husbandry products in the future.
The President of the HP State Veterinary Council, Dr. L.R. Sharma, said the animal husbandry scenario in this state had undergone a sea change since Independence. Up to the fifties, the cow was seen mainly as a provider of calves and manure for the fields while milk was perceived as a by-product only. Today, exotic animals like a high yielding jersey cow has become a status symbol in the villages.
However, this social change and emerging trend for rearing higher-yielding animals had necessitated the introduction of modern techniques like embryo transplanting facilities and other related infrastructural facilities kept pace with the perceived needs of the people.
A perfect vision even at
JUBBARHATTI: A tiny HP village, Phagoli, nestling on the hills near Jubbarhatti airport recently celebrated the 103rd birthday of its oldest resident, Muno Devi, the matriarch of the area. The grand old lady, born in 1897, has now seen three centuries and a new millennium, says her jubilant and thrilled family members.
A mother of 16 children, Muno Devi was married when she was just seven years old. But only four of us are surviving now, says Bharat Ram, her 75-year-old son. She heads a 137-member family, mostly settled nearby. Still having perfect vision and a flawless memory. Muno Devi easily remembers the names of her grand and great-grandchildren. She is the only fourth generation member left in the entire area, say villagers who still come to her for advice and her rich experiences.
There was abject poverty and no materialism at all in our times, recalls the centenarian who worked day and night for her family and children. They became forestry workers, teachers, bankers and farmers, she proudly claims. This great-grandmother of the village had cooked food on the stove as she had no money to buy an iron plate. But later doing backbreaking work, she even sent money to others in emergencies. The daily wage then was 20 paise and the cost of ghee was less than Re 1 a kg.
Pointing to her house, in which wood worth lakhs of rupees is used, she says, we made it for Rs 760, remember the role of her husband who died in 1977. The carved doors and chiselled windows, which still look fresh, shows the craft and skills of those times, she adds.
Muno Devi has a strict
regimen, which she feels in the main reason for her long
life. Cooking food for herself till a few years ago, she
is a total vegetarian and never touches spices. She has
done char dham (pilgrimage to the
four Himalayan shrines) and still narrates her travelling
experiences. The dadi has a
unique talent she remembers hundreds of proverbs,
and maxims in the Pahari dialect, informs Surinder, her
grandson who is now compiling these into an anthology.
Young women come to learn special songs for marriages and
other festive occasions from her.
Town sans basic amenities
KHUNDIAN: This town presents a picture of total neglect. Situated about 20 km from Jawalamukhi, Khundian, the central point of the Changar area, was upgraded as a tehsil in 1988 having 19,013 hectares in 210 villages of 17 panchayats. However, the state government has not provided "proper facilities" to the local residents.
"Politically overlooked", the tehsil headquarters is facing many problems, including lack of a proper bus stand, sanitation and hospital. All government offices are working in private buildings. The police chowki is in a bad shape here. The police lacks a proper communication system and has no vehicle to check crime.
The building of the public health centre is in a poor condition. The centre was constructed in 1991 but because of being located outside the main town, a majority of patients face problems to reach it. The centre has a shortage of staff. Women patients suffer more, especially while getting treatment for gynaecological disorders, in the absence of nurses and a female health worker. There is a need to upgrade the lab and set up an X-ray unit and ECG facilities.
The people of the area are forced to visit Jawalamukhi for an X-ray and other pathological tests. The centre is not equipped to handle emergency cases and has no ambulance. Many times patients die due to a lack of proper treatment. Patients have to live in unhygienic conditions. There is a shortage of potable water and toilets of the health centre stink.
Residents allege that
they have been neglected by the government and say that
there is a shortage of ration and kerosene in the area.
Heaps of garbage, animal and household waste can be seen
at various places in Khundian. Residents allege that they
have brought the matter to the notice of the local MLA
and IPH Minister, Mr Ramesh Dhawala, many times but in
Security for Chamba residents
SHIMLA, March 26 The Congress party has criticised the Union Home Minister, Mr L.K. Advani, for celebrating the completion of two years of the BJP-HVC combine government in Himachal Pradesh while innocent Sikhs were being massacred by Pakistani terrorists in Kashmir.
In a statement here yesterday, the party said when the presence of the Home Minister was required in Kashmir, he was rejoicing and inaugurating the BJP office while camping here.
The party urged the government to provide immediate security cover to residents of Chamba villages which border the terrorist-prone areas of Jammu and Kashmir. Such measures were necessary in view of the massacre of 35 Sikhs by terrorists in Kashmir.It demanded that protection should be provided to Sikhs living in about 130 villages of Kashmir.
The Congress accused the BJP government at the Centre of having miserably failed to anticipate the attack on the minority community in the valley.
The statement pointed
out that reports of about a dozen terrorists having been
noticed in border areas of Chamba had been received, but
the government had yet to take any measures to ward off
any untoward event.
Computer education for 100
HAMIRPUR, March 26 The Himachal Pradesh Government has decided to introduce computer education in 100 senior secondary schools of the State from the next academic year. Mr Ishwar Dass Dhiman, Education Minister, said this, inaugurating a two-day conference on challenges before higher education here last evening.
The conference is being organised by the Himachal Government College Teachers Association and nearly 400 delegates are attending the conference.
The Education Minister stressed the need for change in the educational system, the marking pattern of papers and said that it was possible only with the active support of the teachers.
Mr Prem Singh Thakur, the president of the HP Government College Teachers Association, stressed the need for a rational transfer policy for the college teachers in the state. He also demanded construction of housing colonies for teachers all over the state.
He urged college teachers not to take private tuitions. The key not address of Dr. S.K. Gupta, Vice-Chancellor, HP University, also read in his absence.
CM visit bereaved
SHIMLA, March 26 Mr Prem Kumar Dhumal, the Chief Minister today visited Karsog and expressed condolences over the death of Mr Tilak Raj, a son of the Food and Civil Supplies Minister, Mr Mansa Ram.
Mr Dhumal also expressed deep sorrow over the death of Mr Ganga Ram, the father of Mr Ravinder Singh, the Minister of State for Technical Education, who died at his home village in Kangra.
Bandh against Sikhs
NAHAN, March 26 A two-hour bandh was observed in the town in protest against the killing of 35 Sikhs in Chatti Singhpora village of Jammu and Kashmir.
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