outstanding debt 12,393 cr
CM meets Russian
Elaborate arrangements have been made for the smooth run of the 310-km road show of the Congress president, Mrs Sonia Gandhi, who will kick off the party’s poll campaign during her two-day visit to the state on March 3 and 4.
The state unit of the BJP has ridiculed the statement of Mr Virbhadra Singh, Chief Minister, alleging step motherly treatment meted out by Vajpayee government to Himachal Pradesh and asserted that the special assistance of Rs 2,000 crore which the state had received during the past five years was unprecedented.
BJP dissidents to
The Himachal Pradesh Government is upset about the assault on the family of the state Forest Minister, Mr Chander Kumar Chaudhry, at Nadaun in the district on Saturday night.
The notification for Lok Sabha election in the four parliamentary constituencies in the hill state will be issued on April 16.
Former Himachal Chief Minister P.K. Dhumal today criticised the Virbhadra Singh government for bad law and order situation in the state. He was addressing reporters here.
Parshotam Singh (50), an employee of the Public Works Department, today died at the official house of the Executive Engineer, PWD, Nurpur division, under mysterious circumstances.
The district police claims to have solved the mystery shrouding the murder of a 19-year-old boy Rishu, a resident of Kaloh village.
The State Social Welfare Advisory Board has decided to take up the matter regarding the implementation of a pension scheme for its employees with the government.
On the second day of the Tsechu Fair the Dalai Lama along with thousands of Buddhist pilgrims from different parts of the world, performed “parikrama” of the holy lake of Rewalsar this evening. Ugaen Trinla Dorje Karmapa, who had arrived last evening also participated in the ceremony.
Deputy Commissioner, Mr Shubhasheesh Panda, has exhorted students to diversify their activities and take interest in various fields to ensure self-employment as there are very few avenues left in government services.
Special Police Force, including three reserved units and 100 Home Guards, has been deputed for “Holla Mohalla” fair to be held at Guru Ka Lahaur and “Sehri Sahib at Bassi village in the district from tomorrow till March 7.
The Vigilance Department yesterday arrested a kanungo of the Suhumita circle of Bhettiyat tehsil at Chamba district for accepting a bribe of Rs 15000, vigilance department sources said here today.
P.D. Goel also announced sentence in case of rape of minor girl of sixteen. Rakesh Kumar, son of Jaisi Ram, a resident of Bandla in Kangra district, was sentenced to three years rigorous imprisonment in a case of rape of a minor. A fine of Rs 1,000 has also been imposed on him for the offence committed under Section 363, IPC.
Kulwant Singh, a resident of Muktsar, who was apprehended by the local police on January 31, 2003 from Manikaran chowk for possessing 1.550 kilograms of charas, was convicted by P.D. Goel, Sessions Judge, Kulu, today.
During checking on the inter-state Minus bridge this morning, the shillai police seized 2.25 kg of charas from Rizwan, a resident of Chilkana Sultanpur village in Saharanpur district. The suspect is in police custody.
Mr Mangat Ram, driver of a Tata Sumo car escaped when he jumped out the vehicle before it fell into the Sutlej at Broh near Rampur, 145-km from here last night, police sources said.
Pardeep Kumar, a resident of Kasauli, was killed when the van (HP-02-5325) in which he was travelling carrying rolled into a 150-meter-deep gorge near Lawrence School, Sanawar, last night.
The Himachal Pradesh Board of School Education yesterday decided to change the dates of the Sanskrit and English papers of the middle examinations conducted by the board following the leakage of the papers in Mandi district, sources said here.
Himachal’s outstanding debt 12,393 cr
Shimla, March 1
Growth of Revenue expenditure has exceeded the rate of growth of the gross state domestic product (GSDP) and the revenue receipts. The state is increasingly resorting to borrowings to meet revenue expenditure. Overall fiscal liabilities of the state grew at an average annual rate of 21.58 per cent average over the five-year period. The liabilities as ratio to the GSDP increased from 60 per cent to 73.49 per cent and stood at 2.72 times of its revenue receipts and 7.49 times of its own resources.
In addition, the outstanding government guarantees which are in the nature of contingent liabilities, increased from Rs 1869 crore in 1998-99 to Rs 4503 crore in 2002-03. Direct fiscal liabilities of the state are growing at much faster than the GSDP. On average for each one per cent increase in the GSDP the fiscal liabilities increase by 1.748 pre cent over the period.
Increase in fiscal liabilities to the GSDP and revenue receipts coupled with the growing revenue deficit, indicate that the state is slipping into debt trap. There has also been a decline in the net availability of funds from its borrowings due to larger portion of the funds being used for debt servicing.
The ratio of the state’s assets to
liabilities has also deteriorated.
CM meets Russian envoy
Shimla, March 1
This was stated by Mr Virbhadra Singh, Chief Minister, during a meeting with the Russian Ambassador, Mr Alaxender M. Kadakin, who called on him here today.
The Chief Minister said the state, especially Naggar in the Kulu valley, had come on the world map because of the association Roerich had with the valley. He said the painting school being established at Naggar would bring out new talents and help in encouraging creativity under the guidance of the eminent artists. All possible assistance would be provided to the trust to make the school functional. The construction of the school was being carried in the traditional hill architecture style. The project was likely to cost about Rs 8 crore.
Mr Virbhadra Singh said the road leading to the art gallery at Naggar was being widened and maintained.
Mr Kadakin said efforts were afoot to invite Mr Nicholai,
Deputy Chairman of the upper House of the Russian Diet, to head the
celebrations in India. A commemorative postal stamp was also proposed to
be released to mark the occasion. Besides a commemorative coin would
also be released by the State Bank of Russia.
No rallies during Sonia’s tour
Shimla, March 1
The whistle-stop tour, during which she will visit 18 Assembly segments, will help her cover large parts of three out of the total four parliamentary constituencies of the state. While there will be no rallies, Mrs Gandhi will have brief halts to interact with the people at 27 places — 15 on the first day and 12 on the second day. There could be some unscheduled halts too.
Mr Virbhadra Singh, Chief Minister, and Mrs Vidya Stokes, PCC chief, will accompany her during the show. Apart from security vehicles, only the car of the Chief Minster will form the part of the convoy. Mr Virbhadra Singh said the show would be a grand success as the people of Himachal Pradesh had a special affection for Mrs Gandhi and the Nehru family, which had played a vital role in shaping the destiny of the hill state.
As many as 40,000 posters of Mrs Gandhi, over 2000 banners and over 150 welcome arches will be put up along the route. She will start the show from Gaggal, near Dharamsala, and pass through Ichhi, Mataur, Samloti, Nagrota, Parore, halt for lunch at Palampur. Thereafter, she will proceed to Mandi via Baijnath, Paddar, and Jogindernagar. On the second day she will visit Ner Chaowk, Sundernagar, Jahu, Bhota and Badsar. She will fly to Chandigarh from Lathiani in Una. Thousands of security men will be deployed all along the route and anti-sabotage checks will be conducted at al the places of halt.
HAMIRPUR: The road show which will cross Hamirpur district on March 4. Ms Gandhi will enter the Bhareri area of Hamirpur district from Sarkaghat and then proceed to Barsar via Bhoranj and Bhota.
Stokes, HP Congress Chief, who is also the Power Minister, held
discussions with the district-level leaders of the party at Bhota today.
He issued instructions to the party leaders to ensure that maximum
number of persons lined up along both sides of the road in between
Bhareri and Barsar.
Virbhadra’s remark on Vajpayee govt
Shimla, March 1
In a statement here today Mr Randhir Sharma, BJP spokesperson said only an ungrateful step son could make such an allegation to mislead the people on the eve of the Lok Sabha poll.
He said such words did not behove the Chief Minister, who during his earlier tenure could not get even a single rupee not to speak of any financial package, from his own Congress Government headed by Mr Narasimha Rao.
The BJP spokesman said the present Virbhadra government was subsisting on the funds given by the Centre either as an advance, grant-in-aid or loans, otherwise it would have gone bankrupt.
He claimed that the state government had no
worthwhile achievement to its credit except the projects that had been
financed by the Vajpayee government, whether it was the Prime Minister’s
Sadak Yojna, Swarozgar Yojna, Swajaldhara, Hariali, Antodya Ann Yojna or
the opening of new schools. He said Mr Vajpayee had sanctioned a special
industrial package for the state extending numerous incentives and
facilities to entrepreneurs for setting up industrial units in the
BJP dissidents to meet today
Hamirpur, March 1
The party dissidents had contested the last Vidhan Sabha elections and had harmed the cause of the official nominees of the party. Only one of them, Naveen Dhiman was elected to the state Assembly. He is also among those who will attend the March 2 meeting along with other dissident leaders like Mahendra Sofat from Solan, Kamal Padha from Shahpur (Kangra) and Narendra Thakur and Raghubir Singh Thakur from Hamirpur.
A recent decision of the state unit of the party, taken at Jwalamukhi, regarding taking back all such persons who offered unconditional apology has made these persons to think about rejoining the party.
A meeting of the party dissidents had taken place at Ghaloon (Nadaun) in the Hamirpur district recently at which two senior BJP leaders — Mr Prem Kumar Dhumal and Mr Suresh Chandel — were present. Both leaders had held long talks with the dissidents and had told them to return to the party mainstream.
However, no final decision was taken in the meeting about their re-entry into the party. The meeting, however, decided to work for making Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee the Prime Minister of the country once again.
Sources in the dissidents, camp
told this correspondent here today that they would discuss the offer of
the BJP leadership at the meeting. However, a section of the dissidents
is unhappy with the condition laid down by the BJP leadership that all
those who wanted to return to the party would have to submit their
applications to the respective mandal units. They said they should be
readmitted to the party without any pre-conditions.
CM seeks details of assault on minister’s family
Hamirpur, March 1
The Chief Minister, Mr Virbhadra Singh, has taken a serious note of the incident and has sought complete details from the Director-General of Police, Shimla, and the Deputy Commissioner, Hamirpur, in this connection.
The SP here has sent the ASI, Nadaun, to Jwali to record the statement of the minister and his family members to send a detailed report to the Chief Minister and the DGP, Shimla. The ASI is likely to submit his report by late tonight, according to sources in the district administration.
The Nadaun police again summoned all three suspects to the police station this morning and interrogated them about the incident. The police had released the suspects after taking them into custody following complaints by the minister and his gunman.
Mr Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu, Congress MLA from Nadaun, has expressed
concern over the incident and the “deteriorating” law and order
situation in the district.
poll notification on April 16
Mrs Manisha Nanda, chief electoral officer, said here today the last date for filing of nomination papers would be April 23. Scrutiny of nominations would take place on April 24.
The last date for the
withdrawal of candidature would be April 26. Polling would be held on
May 10 she said.
Dhumal alleges lawlessness in state
Dharamsala, March 1
Referring to an attack on Forest Minister Chander Kumar and his family on Saturday night. Mr Dhumal said when a minister and his family were not safe, how could the government protect life and property of people.
He said in one year more than 300 murders had taken place in the state. He said rapes, abductions, people going missing and their bodies being found and unclaimed bodies have become very common and the government had failed to check it.
He said that the Prime Minister had given additional package of Rs 553 crore to Himachal and the Vidhan Sabha.
He said roads were in bad condition in the state.
denied that he was a candidate for Hamirpur Lok Sabha seat.
Employee dies under mysterious circumstances
Nurpur, March 1
According to the DSP, the body of the deceased was found hanging by the ceiling fan in the lobby of the house. The body was first noticed by the milkman who came to the house in the morning. He informed the neighbours who called the police. The police took the body in its custody and handed it over to the family of the deceased after conducting a post-mortem.
The police believes it to be a case of a suicide.
According to the DSP, the Executive Engineer of the PWD was away when the incident took place. Parshotam Singh had been guarding the house since Saturday.
However, Rajinder Singh, nephew of the deceased, suspected foul play in the “mysterious” death of his uncle. He demanded a probe into the suspicious circumstances accompanying his uncle’s death.
According to preliminary investigations, the feet of the
deceased were touching the ground when his body was taken into custody
by the police.
Una, March 1
His body was recovered from behind the bushes on the old Amb road on January 16 this year.
SP Ashok Sharma today told newsmen that the murder was planned and executed by Raj Kumar, resident of the same village.
Giving details, he said Rishu was being offered a government job on compassionate grounds because his father who was an employee had expired two years ago.
The family had also received some money from the employers of Rishu’s .
Rishu’s mother decided to deposit Rs 50,000 of the money in a post office and hence the services of Raj Kumar were requisitioned, who was employed at the Gagret post office.
According to the police, on January 15, Rishu handed over the money and the deposit slip to Raj Kumar, who asked him to come to the post office to take the receipt.
When Rishu reached the post office this afternoon, Raj Kumar was not there. As he proceeded towards his village, he spotted Raj Kumar coming on his scooter. The latter asked him to accompany him to some place.
Next day, Rishu’s body was recovered, which bore injury marks. The SP said Raj Kumar has confessed his crime.
The SP said investigations had revealed that a Kaloh resident, Som Nath, who was working in the ITBP had given a sum of Rs 1 lakh to Raj Kumar for depositing in his wife’s account.
Raj Kumar had reportedly spent Rs 50,000 out of this amount on his brother’s marriage and he was finding it hard to return the sum to Som Nath. The accused was in search of Rs 50,000 and he got an easy prey in Rishu.
Though Raj Kumar has claimed that Rishu’s uncle, Dilbagh Singh, was also a co-conspirator, the SP said inquiries had not been able to prove the theory of the accused.
Board to take up pension issue with govt
Shimla, March 1
Stating this here today, Mrs Satya Kapoor, chairperson of the board, said she had discussed the issue with the Central Social Welfare Board which had given sanction for the pension scheme. She said that the central board had also released pending amount of the funds sanctioned for vocational training programme for the last two years. Out of the pending Rs 45 lakh, Rs 37 lakh had been released which was further being disbursed to the institutions concerned.
Mrs Kapoor said the Chairperson of the Central Social
Welfare Board, Mrs Mridula Sinha, had instructed the board officers to
release Rs 13 lakh for the payment of salaries to the mahila mandal
Dalai Lama performs parikrama at Rewalsar
Mandi, March 1
The Dalai Lama began his day in Rewalsar with the invocation of oracles session which lasted for 90 minutes. This was followed by a two-hour long Cham dance.
Later, in the evening, the Dalai Lama delivered a religious discourse for two hours and initiated some devotees to Buddhism.
The Dalai Lama also visited the Shiva temple, the shrine of Lomas Rishi and a Gurdwara. Karmapa also went to the cave of Padama Sambhava located on Sar Ki Dhar hill.
He also went to Kagyu Drinking Monastery and returned to Nyingma Monastery where he is staying. He will leave for Dharamsala tomorrow morning along with his 10-member entourage.
A rousing reception was given to the
Dalai Lama at Rewalsar yesterday. Rewalsar had worn a festive look to
host around 50,000 pilgrims who had come to participate in the Buddhist
Ensure self-employment, DC tells students
Bilaspur, March 1
Addressing the annual prize distribution function of the Government Postgraduate College here today, Mr Panda said the youth would have to change their mental make-up of always deciding to go in the government jobs after finishing their education. They should get technical training and other specialised training to equip themselves to face challenges of life.
distributed prizes to the students who excelled in academic, sports,
cultural, NSS and NCC activities. The Principal of the college, Ms
Manjula Sharma, read the annual report of the college.
Security beefed-up for Holla Mohalla
Bilaspur, March 1
The Superintendent of Police, M. Chander Shekhar, said here today that all arrangements had been finalised for the smooth conduct of the fair.
crowd-control measures would remain in force and traffic would be fully
regulated. He said Headquarters Deputy Superintendent of Police had been
deputed as the Police Mela Officer and carrying of any weapons,
fire-arms and explosives would be banned.
Kanungo held on bribe charge
Mr Bargava, Superintendent of Police, Vigilance Zone, Dharamsala, today said the kanungo Rattan Chand was accepting a bribe of Rs 15000 from Mr Yumuna Dass, a resident of Thural of Kangra district of verification of demarcation for felling of khair trees in the private land and was caught red-handed by a team of officials of the Vigilance Department.
He said the raid was conducted jointly by the vigilance
officials by A.C. Zone, Dharamsala, and Chamba. Mr Bargava said a case
under Section 713 (2) of the Public Corruption Act was registered
against the accused kanungo.
Two convicted for raping minor
Kulu, March 1
In case of failure to pay he will have to undergo simple imprisonment for three months. He has also been convicted and sentenced to undergo rigorous imprisonment for five years and pay a fine of Rs 1000 for the offence under Section 366-A, IPC.
In case of default of
payment of the fine he will have to undergo simple imprisonment for
three months. He has also been convicted and sentenced to undergo
rigorous imprisonment for seven years and pay a fine of Rs 3000 for the
offence committed under Section 376, IPC. The sentences will run
concurrently. Rajiv Sood, son of Gorkhu Ram, a resident of Dharamsala,
too has been sentenced to undergo rigorous imprisonment for two years
and to pay a fine of Rs 500 in the same case. In case of failure to pay
the fine he will have to undergo simple imprisonment for three months.
Man gets 10-yr RI for possessing charas
Kulu, March 1
In another case Takashi Sato, a Japanese holder of passport (No. Mr -z066193, visa No. K-597468) who was apprehended by the district police on December 3, 2002 from near Mahini nullah for possessing 0.650 kilogram of charas was also convicted and sentenced by the Sessions Judge here today.
He has been sentenced to
four years’ rigorous imprisonment and fine of Rs 5,000 has also been
imposed on him.
Man held with 2.25 kg of charas
Mr S.R. Sharma, Superintendent of Police, Sirmaur district said here this evening that when the Shillai police, led by Sub-Inspector Dilshad Mohammed stopped a bus for checking on the Minus bridge, one passenger, Rizwan (36) jumped from the rear door and tried to escape but he was arrested by policemen.
The police seized charas
wrapped in a jute bag from him. A case under the NDPS Act has been
Shimla, March 1
Mr Mangat Ram became unconscious and was brought to Shimla for treatment.
1 killed as van falls into gorge
According to information available the vehicle caught while
rolling down the hill. The villagers who witnessed the accident rushed
to site, and found Pardeep with serious burn injuries. The villagers
immediately rushed him to the Community Health Centre at Dharampur.
Later due to his worsening condition he was refereed to PGI. But he died
on way to the hospital.
Sanskrit, English exam dates changed
Mr B.R. Rahi, Chairman of
the board, said the two examinations would now be held on March 19 and
20. He said the rest of the date- sheet would be the same. He said the
middle examinations would start on schedule from March 4.
Leopard killed by villagers
Dharamsala, March 1