Sunday, November 25, 2001, Chandigarh, India





National Capital Region--Delhi

THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
H I M A C H A L   P R A D E S H

Dhumal keeping tabs on Forest Department
Shimla, November 24
The Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister, Mr Prem Kumar Dhumal, has said he is keeping a watch over the happenings in the Forest Department following its bifurcation and promotion of two officers as Principal Chief Conservators of Forest who have reportedly not been seeing eye to eye with each other.

Chamera project GM decries media reports
Chamba, November 24
Mr Parminder Singh, General Manager of the Chamera Hydroelectric Project (stage-II), has advised certain sections of society and the media not to “blackmail” the project authorities and undermine the morale of engineers at work on the project merely in the name of environment and ecology, otherwise the progress in the ongoing project on the Ravi in Chamba district of Himachal Pradesh will be impeded.

Man tries to stall daughter’s marriage
Hamirpur, November 24
A move by a father to stall the marriage of his daughter for the sake of property proved futile when the marriage of Nisha Bala was solemnised with Mr Sanjay Kumar of Chamned village at her maternal grandfather’s village, Dharnasi, in the district on November 21.

INTUC threatens to launch stir
Kangra, November 24
Mr Bawa Amarjeet Singh, president of the Indian Trade Union Congress (INTUC), state unit, announced that INTUC had decided to gherao the state Assembly during the budget session and the Secretariat at Shimla as part of their agitation which would start from December 1 if their demands were not accepted by the government by then.

Scientists for power from N-energy
Chamba, November 24
A two-day seminar on “Peaceful uses of atomic energy” organised by the Himachal Pradesh State Council of Educational Research and Training in collaboration with the Department of Atomic Energy concluded here. 


 

YOUR TOWN
Chamba
Hamirpur
Shimla

 

EARLIER STORIES

 

Concern over human rights abuse
Shimla, November 24
Concern was expressed over the rising incidents of violation of human rights and terrorism in a three-day seminar which opened here today.

Unchecked sale of unhygienic food
Parwanoo
Vendors selling cut fruit, juices and other food items exposed to dirt and flies have a field day in this town. Their special haunts are the schools where children flock to these vendors during the recess period. The Government School in Parwanoo is situated on the highway and the dirt raised by the heavy vehicular traffic settles on these foodstuffs.

Freedom fighter dead
Kangra, November 24
Founder Captain of Indian National Army, and former state president of the Freedom Fighters Association Jagan Nath Sharma, 99, passed away last evening at his residence here following a cardiac arrest.

Eicher School celebrates annual day
Parwanoo, November 24
The students of the local Eicher School celebrated the ninth annual day function of the school here.

Cong coordination panel for HP
New Delhi, November 24
Congress President Sonia Gandhi has set up a coordination committee for Himachal Pradesh. Comprising six senior Congress leaders of the state, the committee will serve as the apex body to work out the party’s political strategy in the state where the elections are due in about a year.

Air Force recruitment on Dec 4, 5
Chandigarh, November 24
The Air Force is conducting a recruitment rally at Kulu on December 4 and December 5 for the youth of Kulu, Lahaul and Spiti, Shimla and Bilaspur districts of Himachal Pradesh.



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Dhumal keeping tabs on Forest Department
Tribune News Service

Shimla, November 24
The Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister, Mr Prem Kumar Dhumal, has said he is keeping a watch over the happenings in the Forest Department following its bifurcation and promotion of two officers as Principal Chief Conservators of Forest who have reportedly not been seeing eye to eye with each other.

Mr Dhumal told newspersons here yesterday that the interests of the state and the welfare of the department will be kept in mind and individual interests had no place.

The Forest Department has come into focus after it was split by the state Cabinet at its meeting on November 9 when a separate Wildlife Department was created. Thereafter, some ugly incidents have reportedly taken place in the department which were not relished by the bureaucracy or even the public. However, things have started settling down with the passage of time.

Mr Pankaj Khullar, who was the seniormost officer in the Forest Department and was holding the post of Additional Principal Chief Conservator, was unceremoniously shifted to the newly created wing, while Mr R.A. Singh, who was a Chief Conservator, has been appointed the PCCF of the regular department, it is being pointed out.

Mr Khullar, who had so far not attended the office and was operating from his residence, went to his new office for the first time yesterday. He also called on the Chief Minister in the afternoon.

However, the creation of another post of the PCCF has made the department further top heavy while on the other hand the state government is taking steps to reduce the posts to cut expenditure.

The centre has accepted the state government’s proposal to bring down the size of the IFS cadre by cutting five posts and bringing down the cadre strength to 102 from the existing 107. A notification in this regard was expected to be issued by the Centre shortly.

Meanwhile, Mr R.A. Singh convened a meeting of the Forest Department to review and streamline its functioning.

Some officers have welcomed the creation of another post of the PCCF which, they say, will help in strengthening the efforts of the department to conserve the precious flora and fauna.

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Chamera project GM decries media reports
Our Correspondent

Chamba, November 24
Mr Parminder Singh, General Manager of the Chamera Hydroelectric Project (stage-II), has advised certain sections of society and the media not to “blackmail” the project authorities and undermine the morale of engineers at work on the project merely in the name of environment and ecology, otherwise the progress in the ongoing project on the Ravi in Chamba district of Himachal Pradesh will be impeded.

Describing media reports about environment and ecology around the project area as ill-founded, Mr Parminder Singh said here today that there was no complaint regarding the unscientific dumping of debris on the banks of the Ravi and canards fanned out in this regard by certain people were uncalled for. He, however, said the demand of villagers to plant trees had always been heeded to.

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Man tries to stall daughter’s marriage
Our Correspondent

Hamirpur, November 24
A move by a father to stall the marriage of his daughter for the sake of property proved futile when the marriage of Nisha Bala was solemnised with Mr Sanjay Kumar of Chamned village at her maternal grandfather’s village, Dharnasi, in the district on November 21.

Nisha Bala, 24, daughter of Mr Lal Chand of Tikker Katochan village, was living with her maternal grandfather, Mr Prabh Dyal, since the age of five.

Mr Prabh Dyal, 80, of Dharnasi village of the district solemnised her marriage as per the wish of his late daughter, Kaushlaya Devi.

The old man had made a will in the name of Kaushlaya Devi with the hope that his daughter and the son-in-law would extend him a helping hand. However, when his daughter died and the son-in-law Lal Chand failed to look after him. Mr Prabh Dyal changed the will and made another will in the name of Nisha Bala on February 17. However, Lal Chand and his son, Ashwani Kumar, in a bid to stall the marriage lodged a complaint with the police alleging that the marriage was arranged against the girl’s wish. They alleged that the girl was kept as a captive by her maternal grandfather. Her father also approached a local court to stop the marriage but the girl and her grandfather frustrated his efforts.

Fearing law and order problem, the police took the father and the brother of the bride into custody without arresting them.

Villagers of Dharnmasi enthusiastically took part in the marriage ceremony, to make it a success.

There were tears of joy in the eyes of all, when Mr Prabh Dyal gifted the copy of the will to his granddaughter in the presence of hundreds of villagers and “baratis” amid clapping.

The newlywed couple said today that they would continue to serve their grandfather who had united them.

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INTUC threatens to launch stir
Our Correspondent

Kangra, November 24
Mr Bawa Amarjeet Singh, president of the Indian Trade Union Congress (INTUC), state unit, announced that INTUC had decided to gherao the state Assembly during the budget session and the Secretariat at Shimla as part of their agitation which would start from December 1 if their demands were not accepted by the government by then.

Mr Bawa addressing a press conference here said INTUC had given an ultimatum to the state Chief Minister Prof P.K. Dhumal, that if their demands were not met by November 30 they would launch an agitation from December 1, at the block and district level. It would include road blockades, gherao of deputy commissioner, ministers and Assembly and secretariat.

Mr Bawa demanded that 29,000 posts lying vacant in different departments in the state be filled, seniority lists of government employees which had been allegedly tampered with to benefit BJP workers be corrected and sought group insurance scheme for the private sector employees.

He demanded that the services of those daily wagers who had completed 10 years be regularised and entry tax be abolished and daily wages of workers be enhanced to Rs 100. Mr Bawa criticised Professor Dhumal for alleged victimisation of 300 government employees affiliated to INTUC.

The INTUC state chief said in the Minimum Wage Board only BJP-aligned trade unions were included and all major trade unions were ignored.

He levelled charges of corruption against the former INTUC chief Ms Kanta Sood, alleging that she had misused the union funds to the tune of Rs 16 lakh which included Rs 8 lakh received by INTUC from the state government. He said there was no question of her induction into INTUC as she had been expelled from the union for six years.

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Scientists for power from N-energy
Our Correspondent

Chamba, November 24
A two-day seminar on “Peaceful uses of atomic energy” organised by the Himachal Pradesh State Council of Educational Research and Training in collaboration with the Department of Atomic Energy concluded here. Scientists hailing from the Department of Atomic Energy and Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) while delivering their talks on the use of atomic energy said generally the Indian media had been quite supportive of the country’s nuclear programme.

A watchful media could play the role of knowledge facilitators and remove the myths about nuclear power from the minds of the public.

They said the demand for electricity was going to increase at fast pace especially in developing countries and for long-term sustainable development, nuclear option was going to be inevitable.

The public acceptance of nuclear energy as a source of electricity and also for its non-electricity applications was an important key factor in its implementation.

The fear in the minds of people, should be dispelled by putting forward scientific facts before them in a language they can understand.

The scientists from the Department of Atomic Energy and the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre who delivered their addresses in the seminar were Dr S.K. Malhotra, Dr R.P. Garg, Dr G. Sharma, Dr R.N. Panday and Dr Ramesh Chander. Mr P.S. Guleria, coordinator of the council thanked the scientists and participants.

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Concern over human rights abuse
Tribune News Service

Shimla, November 24
Concern was expressed over the rising incidents of violation of human rights and terrorism in a three-day seminar which opened here today.

The seminar on “Challenges to human rights, Indian culture and civil society” organised by the Indian Institute of Advanced Study (IIAS), was inaugurated by the Urban Development Minister, Mr R.D. Kashyap.

Mr Kashyap said protection of human rights was the biggest challenge of the 21 century. Non-governmental organisations and the media could play a vital role in this direction. The Director of the IIAS, Prof V.C. Srivastava, expressed his dismay over the increasing violations of human rights and recalled the steps which various organisations, including the UN, had taken towards the protection of these rights.

In his keynote address, Mr Gobind Thukral, a fellow of the IIAS, and a journalist, said the worldwide concern over the terrorism was because of the attacks in the USA on September 11. Had the tragedy occurred in any other country the response would have been different.

He said each country was trying to define its own agenda and look at the issue of human rights from its own political, social, economic and moral needs. There were not many chances of any agreement as to what constitutes human rights and their violations among the states.

Mr Thukral said the 20th century had seen and suffered more violence than any other century in human history. The worst development was the division of the world into two ideological camps, the west versus the Muslims.

He said how the US had been terrorising several countries and many a times against international conventions and the UN charter or resolutions was another story for the right thinking people to ponder over. Mr Amar Chandel said information was a powerful deterrent to human rights abuse and yet this tool was available only to a select few.

Mr Chandel said the role of politicians had been highly dubious as they had been paying only a lip service to human rights but exercising exactly the opposite. “When the state happens to be the guilty party, it is extremely difficult to nail it down because there are very few independent agencies that can do this task”, he said.

He said if occasional violation of human rights by the security forces was a reality, the murder of hundreds of innocent persons by terrorists was an equally harsh fact. “But should the Army men or police personnel fighting terrorism be treated as ordinary criminals if some innocent persons were killed in the process?”, he asked. Dr Priyankar Upadhyaya, coordinator, Malaviya Centre for peace Research, BHU, said even after five decades of almost uninterrupted constitutional democracy, our polity do not have much pride in terms of its human rights record. The burgeoning expectations of vulnerable sections of the society were hardly being addressed timely and effectively, he said.

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Unchecked sale of unhygienic food
M.M. Bhandari

Parwanoo
Vendors selling cut fruit, juices and other food items exposed to dirt and flies have a field day in this town. Their special haunts are the schools where children flock to these vendors during the recess period. The Government School in Parwanoo is situated on the highway and the dirt raised by the heavy vehicular traffic settles on these foodstuffs. School children come out of their classes during the recess and that is the time when these vendors have a brisk sale. The Nagar Parishad has employed a sanitary inspector but that does not have any effect on these vendors.

Children coming from the nearby villages depend largely on these vendors for a mid-day snack and are the primary victims of the unhygienic food. The vendors sometimes even exploit the innocent children by overcharging them.

Vendors selling sugarcane juice do not wash their machines and the tumblers properly and swarms of flies keep hovering over the juice-extracting machine and the utensils. Those who sell cut fruit do not cover the fruit properly which also attract flies and dust.

The dhabas on the roadside also do not pay attention to cleanliness and sell unhygienic food. There is no check on them to ensure the quality of the food. Drinking water is stored in rusty drums.

The air of the town is already polluted with smoke emitted by factories and the sale of such eatables adds to the hazards. There is a demand from the residents for a joint drive by the administration and the Health Department to check the sale of such food, particularly near the schools.

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Freedom fighter dead
Our Correspondent

Kangra, November 24
Founder Captain of Indian National Army, and former state president of the Freedom Fighters Association Jagan Nath Sharma, 99, passed away last evening at his residence here following a cardiac arrest.

He is survived by a son and four daughters.

Jagan Nath Sharma was born at Bihan village in Dheera subdivision of this district. He was a close associate of Subhas Chander Bose and was jailed during the freedom struggle.

He was cremated at the Gupt Ganga crematorium today. The funeral was attended by a large number of people from all walks of life.

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Cong coordination panel for HP
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 24
Congress President Sonia Gandhi has set up a coordination committee for Himachal Pradesh. Comprising six senior Congress leaders of the state, the committee will serve as the apex body to work out the party’s political strategy in the state where the elections are due in about a year.

AICC sources said besides Ms Mohsina Kidwai, general secretary-in-charge of Himachal, the committee comprises CLP leader Virbhadra Singh, PCC chief Vidya Stokes, All-India Mahila Congress president Chandresh Kumari, Congress spokesman Anand Sharma, former PCC chief Sat Mahajan and former state Chief Minister Thakur Ram Lal.

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Eicher School celebrates annual day
Our Correspondent

Parwanoo, November 24
The students of the local Eicher School celebrated the ninth annual day function of the school here.

Mr Sanjay Murthy, Deputy Commissioner, was the chief guest on the occasion. Mr H.D.S. Malhotra, chairman of the school, Mr Sanjay Sharma, Assistant Commissioner, Mr Sanjeev Lakhanpal, Deputy Superintendent of Police; and Principal, Army Public School, Dagshai; were also present on the occasion. The programme was started by the lighting up of a lamp by the chief guest.

Around 200 students were awarded for excellence in scholastic and curricular activities. Scholar badges, scholar ties, Eicher cup and proficiency certificates were given to the students for their good performance.

Mr H.D.S. Malhotra, welcoming the chief guest and parents of students, said the management, teachers and parents flayed an important role in developing the future of the students.

Ms Shalini Kashyap, giving the details of the activities, said 10 students from Classes IV to XI were awarded Eicher cup for the year 2000-2001, 53 students were awarded scholar badges for getting more than 80 per cent marks and scholar ties for obtaining 80 per cent marks in half-yearly examinations. Kashboo Mittal was awarded a watch for topping in the class X in the last session by scoring 87 per cent marks.

Tiny tots of the school presented a cultural programme on the occasion.

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Air Force recruitment on Dec 4, 5
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 24
The Air Force is conducting a recruitment rally at Kulu on December 4 and December 5 for the youth of Kulu, Lahaul and Spiti, Shimla and Bilaspur districts of Himachal Pradesh.

According to a statement issued here today, the recruitment will be done for non-technical trades. Candidates should have passed matric or equivalent examination with at least 45 per cent marks in aggregate and should be born between June 1, 1983, and June 1, 1986.

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