Tuesday, December 4, 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 flays Cong stand on POTO
Solan, December 3
Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal today lashed out at the Opposition Congress over the latter’s stand on POTO. Mr Dhumal, who addressed a public meeting at Manpura, about 5 km from Baddi, said it was strange that while the world had expressed itself strongly against the cult of terrorism plaguing many countries, the Congress had opposed measures taken by the Centre to counter terrorism.

Shanta justifies POTO
Palampur, December 3
Mr Shanta Kumar, Union Minister for Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs, justified today the action of the NDA government in introducing POTO (Prevention of Terrorism Ordinance). Addressing a press conference here this morning, Mr Shanta Kumar said in view of the increasing threat of terrorism in the country, a law like POTO was necessary.

Virbhadra: HP Govt on brink of bankruptcy
Mandi, December 3
Former Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh has alleged that the BJP-HVC government in the state was on the brink of bankruptcy and the state was at present under a debt of Rs 5000 crore.

Composition of Cong committee draws flak
Shimla, December 3
The formation of a coordination committee by the Congress high command to bring peace among the warring factions of the party in Himachal Pradesh is unlikely to yield the desired results as certain senior leaders were not satisfied with the composition of the committee.

55-crore sewerage scheme by Dec, 2002
Shimla, December 3
The Rs-55 crore OPEC-funded Shimla sewerage scheme will be completed by December, 2002. This was stated by Mr Ramesh Dhwala, Irrigation and Public Health Minister, after inspecting various works being undertaken under the project, here today.



YOUR TOWN
Chamba
Dharamsala
Kulu
Mandi
Shimla
Solan


EARLIER STORIES
 
Fresh snow in Himachal
Shimla, December 3
The higher reaches in the tribal areas of Lahaul-Spiti, Kinnaur and Pangi are experiencing moderate snow since this afternoon, reports reaching here said.

Irregularities in tender allocation alleged
Kulu, December 3
The Himachal Pradesh Timber Extraction Labour Organisation will approach an appropriate court of law to challenge the “illegal” and “wrong” allocation of labour works to a sitting MLA of the J&K Assembly and two others on November 26 at Dharamsala.


Disabled children
take a look at artificial limbs at an exhibition in Shimla on Monday.
— photo Anil Dayal

World Disabled Day observed
Shimla, December 3
All disabled persons in the state will be provided identity cards so that they can avail various concessions being given by the government without any problem.

Blind observe ‘black’ World Disabled Day
Shimla, December 3
Members of the State Blind Persons Association observed the World Disabled Day as a black day here today in protest against the failure of the state government to accept their demands.

Drinking water in all HP hamlets by 2005
Shimla, December 3
The state government has drawn up a programme to provide drinking water in all 1,444 uncovered and 11,349 partially covered hamlets by 2005. Stating this here today, Mr Ramesh Dhwala, Irrigation and Public Health Minister, said out of the total 45,367 hamlets, 32,574 had been provided the facility by August, 2001.

DPEP brings hope to poor children
Chamba
The District Primary Education Programme has emerged as a ray of hope for children belonging to the under-privileged, poor and resourceless families. Never had seven-year-old Kavita, an orphan belonging to the Muslim community, dreamt that she would go to school like other children belonging to well-to-do families.

Mandi resident gets national award
Chandigarh, December 3
Mr Tej Singh Goyal, a resident of Mandi town of Himachal Pradesh, has done his state proud by being chosen by the Government of India for the National Innovation Foundation Award.

B’desh atrocities: RSS to hold protests
Shimla, December 3
The state unit of the RSS will hold a demonstration here on December 5 in protest against the atrocities being committed on Hindus in Bangladesh.

BADDI DIARY
Funds raised for tubewells
Baddi
The villagers of Mandhala in Kasauli tehsil have decided to install tubewells in the village at their own cost. This village has about 3,500 bighas of agricultural land but is without any irrigation facility and depends essentially on rain. The government has sanctioned funds for sinking tubewells in the adjoining Nalagarh constituency but this area is, according to Mr Lajja Ram, MLA, ignored because it is represented in the State Assembly by a Congressman.

Anganwari centre sans facilities
Dharamsala, December 3
The rooms housing the 35 anganwari women teachers, who are undergoing a three-month training here, are no better than cowsheds. The training centre has been opened at Gamru village, on the outskirts of the town with no proper provision for lodging and bathrooms.

Credit card scheme benefits 1 lakh farmers
Dharamsala, December 3
Over one lakh farmers in Kangra district have benefited from the credit card scheme which caters to their needs by providing loans and security against accident.

2 forest officials suspended
Nurpur, December 3
A deputy ranger and a forest guard working at Kandi development project here have been suspended for creating nuisance and disturbing a public meeting at Khanni gram panchayat where the Chairman, Tourism Development Corporation, Mr Rakesh Pathania, presided a few days ago.

1 killed as truck falls into khud
Kangra, December 3
One person was killed when a private truck (HP No. 40-1260) rolled down 400 feet into the Baner Khud near the Puarana Kangra chungi last evening when the driver lost control on the truck.
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Dhumal flays Cong stand on POTO
Our Correspondent

Solan, December 3
Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal today lashed out at the Opposition Congress over the latter’s stand on POTO.

Mr Dhumal, who addressed a public meeting at Manpura, about 5 km from Baddi, said it was strange that while the world had expressed itself strongly against the cult of terrorism plaguing many countries, the Congress had opposed measures taken by the Centre to counter terrorism.

He reminded the people that while only 5,874 soldiers had lost their lives in the two major wars between India and Pakistan, more than 60,000 persons, mostly innocent civilians, had been done to death by the cross border terrorists in the on going proxy was in Jammu and Kashmir.

Mr Dhumal said he had always welcomed healthy criticism aimed at improving the quality of governance, but had depreciated ill-founded criticism made for the sake of criticism only “which the present leadership of the Himachal Congress seemed to be doing all the time.”. He ridiculed the Opposition party for calling the BJP’s recently concluded Vikas Yatra as “vinash yatra”. He said such acts showed the difference between the government and the Congress party’s approaches towards development, adding that while the government had concentrated on increasing the pace of development, the Congress was organising “dhikar divas”.

Referring to the development of Solan district, the Chief Minister said the government had spent Rs 48.13 crore on streamlining the supply of electricity to Solan the “industrial district” of the state during the past three and half years. Similarly, Rs 22.46 crore had been spent on the construction and maintenance of roads in the district.

He announced that the Government High School at Manpura would shortly be upgraded to the senior secondary level. He also announced that the road to Gurdwara Sahib, Haripur, would be double-laned soon and directed the PWD authorities to do the needful on a priority basis.

The Minister of State for Town and Country Planning, Mr Hari Narain Singh Saini, said the government had sanctioned Rs 4.80 crore for the construction of the Baddi-Chandigarh road. 
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Shanta justifies POTO
Our Correspondent

Palampur, December 3
Mr Shanta Kumar, Union Minister for Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs, justified today the action of the NDA government in introducing POTO (Prevention of Terrorism Ordinance). Addressing a press conference here this morning, Mr Shanta Kumar said in view of the increasing threat of terrorism in the country, a law like POTO was necessary.

He said after the repeal of TADA in 1995, there was no other specific law to deal with the cases of terrorism. He said the government had taken measures to check its misuse. Besides, the government had also held consultations with the law commission and state governments before promulgating POTO. He said the government was also committed to remove shortcomings if any in the ordinance.

The minister said in the past five years, subversive activities in Jammu and Kashmir and other North-Eastern states had taken a new turn, but the country had no law to deal with such cases. He said provisions in the proposed POTO made way for the speedy disposal of all cases, whereas under the existing law, trials were being delayed.

He said till date 45,182 cases of terrorist activities had been registered in Jammu and Kashmir in which 20,506 persons had been killed. He said all over the country more than 70,000 innocent lives had been claimed by violence. Besides, the country had spent over 64,000 crore to check terrorist activities.

He said the Opposition parties had failed to play a positive role in this matter. He regretted the Congress had forgotten that it had lost Indra Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi in terrorist violence. He urged the Opposition parties to extend support for the passage of law.
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Virbhadra: HP Govt on brink of bankruptcy
Our Correspondent

Mandi, December 3
Former Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh has alleged that the BJP-HVC government in the state was on the brink of bankruptcy and the state was at present under a debt of Rs 5000 crore.

Addressing a big rally at Janjehli in remote Chachiot valley yesterday, Mr Virbhadra Singh, said when the BJP came into power only a debt of Rs 350 crore was standing.

He alleged that corruption had assumed alarming proportions and added that even jobs were being sold for a price. The Subordinate Services Board at Hamirpur had become a den of corruption, he added.

He admitted that his decision to hold elections a year ahead of the scheduled date was a blunder though it saved Rs 15 crore. It was an irony that despite the majority the Congress could not form a government and the “corrupt forces” joined hands to keep it out of power.

Former Chief Minister claimed that the development works all over the state had come to a halt and health and educational institutions had become non-functional without staff.

Congress leaders, including former Vidhan Sabha Speaker Thakur Singh, Veteran Congress leader and former Finance Minister Thakur Karam Singh, former minister Natha Singh and MLA Tek Chand, and former DCC President Vir Singh Chauhan also addressed the rally.
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Composition of Cong committee draws flak
Tribune News Service

Shimla, December 3
The formation of a coordination committee by the Congress high command to bring peace among the warring factions of the party in Himachal Pradesh is unlikely to yield the desired results as certain senior leaders were not satisfied with the composition of the committee.

Former Speaker and sitting MLA, Thakur Kaul Singh, is learnt to have protested to the high command for ignoring the politically volatile central zone of the state, consisting of the Mandi region, in the committee.

He is learnt to have written a letter to the high command pointing out that the committee was not a balanced one as the central zone and the weaker sections had been completely ignored. Persons belonging to Shimla and Kangra were only included in the six-member committee, being headed by the AICC General Secretary, Ms Mohsina Kidwai.

Thakur Kaul Singh, while welcoming the setting up the committee, has reportedly pointed out that the central zone of the state was politically important because the Chief Minister, Mr P.K. Dhumal and the HVC chief, Mr Sukh Ram, belong to this area.

He is also learnt to have said that no person from Hamirpur, Una, Mandi, Bilaspur and other such areas had been included in the committee.

It may be recalled that the two factions led by Mr Virbhadra Singh and the PCC chief, Ms Vidya Stokes, were at loggerheads following the alleged irregularities in the organisational elections. The former group is demanding that nearly two dozen election petitions should be settled by the party high command. 
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55-crore sewerage scheme by Dec, 2002
Tribune News Service

Shimla, December 3
The Rs-55 crore OPEC-funded Shimla sewerage scheme will be completed by December, 2002. This was stated by Mr Ramesh Dhwala, Irrigation and Public Health Minister, after inspecting various works being undertaken under the project, here today.

A sum of Rs 36 crore has already been spent on these works. The minister inspected the treatment plants being constructed at Dhalli, Lal Pani, Summer Hill, Snowdon, Sanjauli and Bara. Later, he held a meeting with the officers concerned to review the progress of the scheme. It was informed at the meeting that out of the total 179 km of sewerage line to be provided, 88 km had already been laid.

The sewage water would be released after proper treatment into nullahs after the completion of the scheme. It would not only improve the environment within the township but also reduce the pollution in various sources of water like Ashwini khud, which cater to drinking water need of the towns located downstream. He also reviewed the water supply position in Shimla town and the progress of Rs-27 crore augmentation schemes.

Under the scheme, 102 km of new pipeline and 11 storage tanks are being constructed. It was also informed at the meeting that Rs 9.50-crore Nauti khud augmentation scheme would make 45.40 lakh litre of additional water available per day. Besides, Rs 10.88 crore have been spent on replacing the old pumping machinery.

The government has prepared a Rs-75 crore scheme to lift water from the Giri river to find a permanent solution to the water problem in the district. The scheme would help meet the water requirement up to 2021. It was also informed at the meeting that alternative sources of water were also being developed and so far 26 hand pumps had been installed in the hill town.
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Fresh snow in Himachal

Shimla, December 3
The higher reaches in the tribal areas of Lahaul-Spiti, Kinnaur and Pangi are experiencing moderate snow since this afternoon, reports reaching here said.

Fresh snow has created severe cold wave conditions in the adjoining higher and mid-hills. The day temperature registered a fall of three to five degrees in mid-hills and icy winds continued to lash the region.

The minimum temperature dipped to minus 22°C in Spiti and other higher hills in the tribal areas and most of the natural lakes, springs and rivulets had frozen. The Surjtal and Chandratal lakes had already frozen. PTI
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Irregularities in tender allocation alleged
Our Correspondent

Kulu, December 3
The Himachal Pradesh Timber Extraction Labour Organisation will approach an appropriate court of law to challenge the “illegal” and “wrong” allocation of labour works to a sitting MLA of the J&K Assembly and two others on November 26 at Dharamsala.

Mr Jog Dhian, Thakur chairman of the organisation, said at a specially convened press conference here yesterday that the procedures and norms of the tenders were not adopted by the Divisional Manager of the HP Forest Corporation. He alleged that about 120 labour contractors were present for the tenders at Dharamsala but none of them were given the tender forms by the Divisional Manager. He further alleged that the Divisional Manager obliged contractors from Jammu and Kashmir instead to benefit the BJP leader from Jammu.

Mr Thakur alleged that there were many discrepancies in the earlier tenders of November 12, 2001, as well. He alleged that the carriage distance had been enhanced to 8 km from 6.3 km to benefit the contractors from Jammu and Kashmir. He further said that the tenders were given at higher rates, harming the interests of the state.

He said the HP Forest Corporation was also violating the decision of the Himachal Pradesh High Court which has decided the case in favour of the labour contractors, with regard to the EPE (Employees Provident Fund) and termed the HP Forest Corporation as the principal employer.
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World Disabled Day observed
Tribune Reporters

Shimla, December 3
All disabled persons in the state will be provided identity cards so that they can avail various concessions being given by the government without any problem.

Stating this here today while presiding over a district-level function organised in connection with the World Disabled Day, Mr Roop Das, Urban Development Minister, that so far 14.5 lakh disabled persons had been issued identity cards in the Shimla district.

He said the government was spending Rs 2.35 crore to provided allowances to the disabled in the state.

The government was also providing financial assistance to the disabled for taking up self-employment ventures. Other facilities include 3 per cent job quota and free travel in the state roadways buses. An exhibition of artificial limbs for disabled was also organised on the occasion.

NAHAN: The World Disabled Day was celebrated at the Pucca Tank ground here today. Presiding over the function, Mr Rakesh Kaushal, Deputy Commissioner, Sirmaur, appealed to the social organisations and workers to work hard for bringing a change in the attitude of the society towards the disabled.

He also appealed to the people of the district to extend all possible help to ‘Astha School’, a special school for the mentally and physically challenged children here. The Deputy Commissioner distributed prizes among the disabled students of Astha and other schools who participated in different competitions.
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Blind observe ‘black’ World Disabled Day
Tribune News Service

Shimla, December 3
Members of the State Blind Persons Association observed the World Disabled Day as a black day here today in protest against the failure of the state government to accept their demands.

Wearing black bands around their heads the blind persons who have been agitating for the past over three months, marched in procession from the state secretariat to Naz, where they held a rally. The indefinite dharna of the association entered its 92nd day today.

Mr Shobu Ram, president of the association, lamented that the state government had been observing the World Disabled Day as a ritual and not doing anything for these hapless persons.

He said Mr P.K. Dhumal, Chief Minister, had assured the association in December, 1998, that the blind would be given 1 per cent quota in the government jobs, but nothing had been done till now in this regard.

He said there were only 266 blind persons eligible for getting jobs. The association had been demanding that out of those 266, 35 should be given jobs immediately and the rest in a phased manner. Under the 1 per cent quota, 1117 posts will be available for the blind but the government was not prepared to accommodate even 35, he said.

The association had suggested that until jobs could be provided, the unemployed blind persons should be given subsistence allowance of Rs 2,000 per month but this has also not been accepted, he added.
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Drinking water in all HP hamlets by 2005
Tribune News Service

Shimla, December 3
The state government has drawn up a programme to provide drinking water in all 1,444 uncovered and 11,349 partially covered hamlets by 2005. Stating this here today, Mr Ramesh Dhwala, Irrigation and Public Health Minister, said out of the total 45,367 hamlets, 32,574 had been provided the facility by August, 2001.

He said during the current year, 1,450 hamlets were being covered under the centrally sponsored schemes at a cost of Rs 55.52 crore and another 400 hamlets had been covered under the state schemes.

The government has also planned to bring 3.35 lakh hectare of the total 5.83 lakh hectare of agriculture land under irrigation in a phased manner. So far only 1.95 lakh hectare had been covered under the irrigation programme.

A Rs 20 crore pilot project to ensure peoples’ participation in the drinking water scheme was being implemented in Sirmaur district. He said the beneficiaries would share 10 per cent of the cost of the scheme and would also maintain it.
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DPEP brings hope to poor children
Balkrishan Prashar

Chamba
The District Primary Education Programme has emerged as a ray of hope for children belonging to the under-privileged, poor and resourceless families. Never had seven-year-old Kavita, an orphan belonging to the Muslim community, dreamt that she would go to school like other children belonging to well-to-do families.

The programme being successfully implemented in the four districts of the state has fulfilled the dreams of children who could not even think of joining school due to dearth of resources.

Similar is the story of a 14-year-old Reena, who was forced to leave the school after class II because she had to assist her parents in household chores. Due to intervention and encouragement of officials of the DPEP, Reena has rejoined school and her parents are hopeful that their daughter will get education like others.

The scheme has proved a boon to children of Sirmaur, Chamba, Kulu and Lahaul and Spiti districts where this programme is being implemented as thousands of children of these districts have started going to school. Today, the enrolment of children from I to V has reached the magic figure of cent per cent and the school drop out rate has gone down to less than 2 per cent in these districts.

The District Primary Education Programme was started in the year 1996 in Chamba, Lahaul and Spiti, Kulu and Sirmaur districts of the state. The cost of this Rs 129-crore project is being shared between the Centre and the state in 85:15. The main objective of this project is to ensure cent per cent enrolment of children in schools, give a special thrust on girl education, check of schooldrop and create an infrastructure for better primary education.

Before the launch of this programme in the year 1996, the dropout rate in the state was more than 20 per cent which has come down to less than 2 per cent in the four districts of the state where the DPEP is being implemented. This rate in the state is about 3 per cent. The dropout rate in Sirmaur district has gone down to less than 1 per cent, which indeed is an achievement.

Under the DPEP, the main objective of enrolling children belonging to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribe families has been achieved. Various activities have been undertaken to strengthen the primary education network. About 808 new primary schools have been opened in these four districts, besides creation of 1616 posts of teachers. Up to March 2001, as many as 321 new primary school buildings have been constructed with the active participation of people. Work is in progress on 365 primary school buildings.

In order to ensure active participation of local people and better understanding between parents and teachers, village education societies and parent teacher societies have been constituted in every school. Efforts are afoot to provide toilet for girl students in every school. Till date, toilets have been constructed in 350 primary schools and efforts are on to provide this facility in the remaining schools.

It is noteworthy that the female literacy rate, which was only 2.9 per cent in 1948, when this state came into existence, has gone up to 52.13 per cent in 1991 and now in the 2001 it has shot up to 68.08 per cent. The male literacy rate, which was only 7.5 per cent in 1951, has also gone up to 86.02 per cent during the year 2001. The female literacy rate during 1991 to 2001 registered a growth of 15.95 per cent, which is higher than the male literacy growth of 10.66 per cent registered during the same period.

At present, about 6,65,994 students are enrolled at the primary level and 32,952 teachers are employed in 10,519 primary schools. In order to ensure adequate teachers in these education institutions, 2100 vidya upasaks have been appointed and the government plans to appoint more to meet the shortage of teachers in far-flung areas of the state.

Apart from the DPEP, several other programmes are also being implemented in the state to strengthen primary education infrastructure. In order to ensure at least 3 ‘pucca’ rooms in every primary school by March 2002, an ambitious Rs 126 crore scheme named ‘Sarswati Bal Vidya Sankalp Yojna’ was launched in the year 1999, under which 13,612 new rooms are being constructed at a cost of Rs 126 crore. This will provide better environment to tiny-tots in the schools.

The state government is committed to providing qualitative education in the state and a number of other schemes are being implemented to achieve this objective.
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Mandi resident gets national award
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 3
Mr Tej Singh Goyal, a resident of Mandi town of Himachal Pradesh, has done his state proud by being chosen by the Government of India for the National Innovation Foundation Award.

Award, instituted this year by the Union Government to encourage technological innovations at the grassroot level, has four categories national awards, state awards, students awards and consolation prize recipients.

Mr Goyal, (55) who has had education only up to the high school level, has been conferred the state award for his invention of thermo water lifting pump which can be used for lifting water in places where there is no electricity.

He was given a cash of Rs 25,000 by Mr K. C. Panth, Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission, at the award-giving ceremony in Delhi on November 30. Mr Goyal has earlier got recognition for his work from the ICAR as well as the Ministry of Non-Conventional Energy Sources.
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B’desh atrocities: RSS to hold protests
Tribune News Service

Shimla, December 3
The state unit of the RSS will hold a demonstration here on December 5 in protest against the atrocities being committed on Hindus in Bangladesh.

Mr Chet Ram, general secretary of the unit, said a reign of terror had been let loose on the Hindus after the recent change of government in

Bangladesh. Hundreds of temples had been demolished and a large number of Hindus had been massacred and women raped. Members of the minority community were being asked to either convert to Islam or leave the country. Consequently, thousands of Hindus had been forced to flee and take shelter in India.

The Centre had not taken any effective measure and the West Bengal Government was treating them as infiltrators, he alleged.

The RSS, he said, had drawn up an elaborate plan to provide succour to the refugees and it had launched a drive to collect funds for the purpose. Demonstrations would also be held at Solan and Nalagarh on December 5 and at Nahan on December 6.

The state unit of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad has also condemned the atrocities being perpetrated on Hindus in Bangladesh.

It has urged the Centre to hold immediate talks with the Bangladesh government to end the woes of the Hindus. It would also join the protests being organised by the RSS.
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BADDI DIARY
Funds raised for tubewells
Ambika Sharma

Baddi
The villagers of Mandhala in Kasauli tehsil have decided to install tubewells in the village at their own cost. This village has about 3,500 bighas of agricultural land but is without any irrigation facility and depends essentially on rain. The government has sanctioned funds for sinking tubewells in the adjoining Nalagarh constituency but this area is, according to Mr Lajja Ram, MLA, ignored because it is represented in the State Assembly by a Congressman. Mr Lajja Ram alleges that all development work in his area had come to a halt. Now the farmers of this village have decided to raise loans to sink tubewells for irrigation.

* * *

When the International Publishing House announced its Man of Achievement Award for Mr Ramesh Puri in 1999, they picked up a man who had worked in the field of Education with missionary zeal for more than four decades. The same year he had joined Surendra Public School at Nalagarh as its Principal. Earlier, in 1991 he was honoured with Bal Sahayog Award, presented by the then Union Minister for Petroleum, Mr S.P. Malaviya.

Born in London and educated in Lahore and Ludhiana where his family migrated after Partition, Mr Puri began his career in Ludhiana in 1955 as a lecturer in English in Arya College. After that he worked in some reputed public schools such as Sainik School, Kapurthala, and Guru Nanak Public School, Chandigarh. In 1999, he was invited to join Surendra Public School as Principal. Since then he has focused his attention on uplifting this school.

A strict disciplinarian, he believes that dedicated and sincere approach of a teacher can guide the youth to progress and success. A number of his students have achieved distinction in various fields such as the armed forces, medicine and engineering. His proudest moments are those when some of his former students come to visit him after gaining high positions in life. These are the moments that prompt and encourage him to inculcate in his students the higher values of life.

* * *

The Solan District Congress has demanded that vehicles registered in Himachal Pradesh should not be charged the entry fee. Mr K.D. Sultanpuri, a former MP, says that people should not be made to pay a fee to enter their own state. The Congress has also criticised the decision of the state government to transfer the powers to construct school buildings from the panchayats to school teachers.

* * *

A Bihari labourer has been awarded seven years’ imprisonment and a fine of Rs 20,000 on a charge of rape and kidnapping. Gurdeep Singh of Kotlakala in Nalagarh tehsil had lodged a complaint with the police on November 18 last year that his minor daughter had been enticed by two youths, Mohammed Laddo and Mohammed Zakir, and taken to Delhi, where she was raped by the two men. The police arrested them from Delhi and recovered the girl. Mohammed Zakir was let off for lack of evidence while an additional imprisonment of one year was awarded to Mohammed Laddo in default of the fine.
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Anganwari centre sans facilities
Tribune News Service

Dharamsala, December 3
The rooms housing the 35 anganwari women teachers, who are undergoing a three-month training here, are no better than cowsheds. The training centre has been opened at Gamru village, on the outskirts of the town with no proper provision for lodging and bathrooms.

The newly opened Anganwari Training Centre started functioning from November 26 in six rooms in two houses without proper facilities. The classroom also serves as a bedroom for these teachers from all over Kangra district. The trainees are facing great inconvenience as there is only one makeshift bathroom.

Though the office and the classroom are housed in a relatively decent building, one room for the warden and two for the teachers are virtually cowsheds. Teachers from this building have to go to the other building to use the toilet as there is only one for all 35 of them. The Anganwari teachers say they face a lot of inconvenience during the night.

This training centre is one of the four that have been recently opened in the state for providing training, orientation and fresher courses for the Anganwari teachers. While the four old centres are at Sundernagar, Sunni, Theog and Gaggal, the new ones have been opened at Dharamsala, Chamba, Karsog and Jahoo in Hamirpur district.

No doubt the opening of the centre will facilitate the training of these teachers, but without even the bare minimum facilities, it is only making life difficult for them. These teachers have to spend a total of three months here and that too during winter. Instead of opening the centre at a proper place in a town, the authorities chose Gamru village where one has to walk about 2 km as there is no bus service from the road head.

The Principal of the centre, Ms Sangeeta, said the matter had been brought to the notice of the higher-ups and improvements would be made soon. She added that getting a decent accommodation in Dharamsala at a reasonable rent was a major problem.

The Anganwari teachers, too, were critical of the government for opening the centre without proper infrastructure and facilities. They said they were running a cooperative mess and doing all the cooking with the help of one person whom they were also paying.
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Credit card scheme benefits 1 lakh farmers
Tribune News Service

Dharamsala, December 3
Over one lakh farmers in Kangra district have benefited from the credit card scheme which caters to their needs by providing loans and security against accident.

Out of a total of 1.69 lakh farmers covered under this scheme, 1.09 lakh are getting the benefit. The remaining owe money to cooperative societies and banks.

The Lead Bank Manager of Punjab National Bank, Mr B.R. Sharma, said this year 2000 credit cards had been issued. He said a farmer owning up to 1 acre was entitled to a loan of Rs 15,000, those with 2.5 acres Rs 30,000, those with 2.5 acre-7 acres Rs 1 lakh while those with more land could get up to Rs 3 lakh.

Mr Sharma said one of the most important aspects of the scheme was the security it provided to the farmers against accident. “By paying a premium of merely Rs 5 per annum, the farmers can get Rs 50,000 as accident insurance in case of death and Rs 25,000 in case of disability”, he said.

Stressing the need for creating awareness among the farmers about the benefits of the scheme, he said the notion that by taking the card one had to file income tax returns was wrong. A farmer could continue to benefit from the scheme for three years and get it renewed later.
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2 forest officials suspended
Our Correspondent

Nurpur, December 3
A deputy ranger and a forest guard working at Kandi development project here have been suspended for creating nuisance and disturbing a public meeting at Khanni gram panchayat where the Chairman, Tourism Development Corporation, Mr Rakesh Pathania, presided a few days ago.

According to the Assistant Project Director, Mr S.K. Kalia, these employees, allegedly under the influence of liquor, misbehaved and one of them even manhandled a senior official of the project.
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1 killed as truck falls into khud
Our Correspondent

Kangra, December 3
One person was killed when a private truck (HP No. 40-1260) rolled down 400 feet into the Baner Khud near the Puarana Kangra chungi last evening when the driver lost control on the truck. The driver of the truck Mohinder Singh, 30, resident of Jogipur, was injured seriously and later succumbed to his injuries on way to the PGI, Chandigarh. 
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