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THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

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

Docs go on strike against quota
Shimla, May 15
With about 400 junior and senior residents at the Indira Gandhi Medical College staying away from the OPDs today, the patients were put to a lot of inconvenience as only emergency services could function.


Medical students burn an effigy of Human Resource and Development Minister Arjun Singh in Shimla Medical students burn an effigy of Human Resource and Development Minister Arjun Singh in Shimla on Monday.
— Photo by Anil Dayal

Water scarcity worsens in Kangra district
Kangra, May 15
Water scarcity in different areas of this district has worsened with the administration still not in a position to provide drinking water through tankers in the required quantity in the drought-hit areas.

Minister criticised for “protecting” CDPO
Mandi, May 15
Himachal Excise and Taxation Minister Rangila Ram has come under fire from residents of Sarkaghat, including BJP men for “protecting a superintendent, who is officiating as the Child Development Project Officer, Gopalpur at his behest, violating norms.





YOUR TOWN
Chamba
Kangra
Mandi
Shimla
Sundernagar


EARLIER STORIES

 

MC chief refutes charges
Chamba, May 15
Local municipal council president Kusum Devi and vice-president Lakshmi Dhar Sharma yesterday refuted the charges levelled by opposition councillor Jai Singh. They stated that the council had been functioning smoothly, describing the councillor’s statement as ridiculous.

Bad weather causes loss to fruit growers
Kumarhatti, May 15
The hopes of getting good production of fruits have turned sour for Solan farmers this year. The unfriendly weather conditions have spelt doom for fruits production in the district.

BBMB celebrates raising day
Sundernagar, May 15
The BBMB celebrated its 31st raising day here today. Mr Rakesh Nath, Chairman, BBMB, along with all other senior officers of the board was present on the occasion. As per a press note issued by Senior Executive Engineer, Township Division, the BBMB had started social welfare activity as per its policy.

Contractor booked for abetment to suicide
Dalhousie, May 15
Mr Parvati Devi, wife of deceased Nepali national Beli Ram got a case registered against a contractor with the Dalhousie police station.
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Docs go on strike against quota
Tribune News Service

Shimla, May 15
With about 400 junior and senior residents at the Indira Gandhi Medical College (IGMC) staying away from the OPDs today, the patients were put to a lot of inconvenience as only emergency services could function.

The students of the IGMC and Himachal Pradesh Government Dental College, the IGMC Resident Doctors Association and the IGMC Junior Doctors Association today blocked traffic for one hour in front of the Secretariat here today. They took out a procession and submitted a memorandum through the Governor, addressed to the President, the Prime Minister and the Chief Justice of India.

Medical services at the IGMC were badly hit as only emergency cases and surgeries were performed. All routine operations and none of the OPDs could be held with the resident doctors joining the striking medical college students. The students of the IGMC have been observing a chain hunger strike from May 12 in front of the Secretariat.

The Medical Superintendent of the IGMC, Dr Hardyal, said services were badly hit as only emergency cases were dealt with. He said with the strength of consultants being only about 120, it was not possible to undertake routine surgeries and run the OPDs. He said the call for strike was given by the resident doctors only for today.

The president of the IGMC Resident Doctors Association, Dr Rajesh Sood, made an appeal to all voluntary organisations, student associations and all other non-political bodies to oppose reservation for OBC’s. “It is not just the medical students who will be hit by reservation for OBC’s, as the entire society will be affected,” he said.

He said the students were not opposed to reservation but since the benefits were being availed only by the creamy layer, it was better to provide reservation on economic criteria.

Dharamsala: Resident doctors of the Dr Rajendra Prasad Medical College and Hospital here today went on token strike to express solidarity with agitating medical students against proposed reservation policy. Emergency services were, however, maintained to avoid inconvenience to patients.

An effigy of HRD Minister Arjun Singh was also burnt by protesting doctors and students.

Dr Prahlad Duggal, president of the Resident Doctors Association, said they would intensify agitation in case the government took no steps immediately. The association also condemned lathi charge on students in Mumbai and demanded strict action be taken against the guilty police officers.

The medical students, interns and resident doctors marched in procession from the zonal hospital to the Deputy Commissioner’s office and a memorandum was of demands was submitted to the district administration.

Dr Manish Saroch, general secretary, said the RDA had suggested that on the lines of minority institutions, separate universities and professional colleges be set up for the students from reserved category, instead of dividing society on caste lines.

The resident doctors made an appeal to all medical students in the state to join the agitation and also sought public support.

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Water scarcity worsens in Kangra district
Our correspondent

Kangra, May 15
Water scarcity in different areas of this district has worsened with the administration still not in a position to provide drinking water through tankers in the required quantity in the drought-hit areas. The Irrigation and Public Health (IPH) authorities have fanned out flying squads to check the misuse of water by consumers.

According to a survey conducted by The Tribune, the drought has left people in the lurch in different areas of this district and the most parts of Dehra subdivision, the villages surrounding Pragpur heritage village, Sarohtri, Changer belt of Thural, some parts of Shahpur, most parts of Indora belt, Chidyar in Palampur subdivision, some villages in Kangra, particularly the Changer belt, Ranital, Dhaulatpur and Sammela, Ramnagar and Shyamnagar localities of Dharamsala town.

Mr S.D. Chaoudary, SDO, IPH, Kangra, confirmed that water scarcity was acute in the Changer belt of Kangra, Ranital, Dhaulatpur and Sammela. He said the SDM, Kangra, had been requested to provide tankers so that the people were provided drinking water in these drought-affected areas.

He said in the Changer belt most of the water sources had dried up to 50 per cent. He said some water schemes were likely to be augmented. Mr. H.S.Rana, a social activist of Tiara, said there were old worn-out machines to pump Taira Sammerpur schemes, which put people to inconvenience during summers.

Mr Atul Bhardwaj, leader of the BJYM, described the water scarcity in Ramnagar and Shyamnagar localities in Dharamsala as grim. However, Mr Rajeev Mahajan, SDO, IPH, Dharamsala, said the water supply scheme for Shyamnagar and Ramnagar were rural schemes and the department was maintaining water supply of 40 litres per capita per day (200 litres per connection per day).

Mr Mahajan said the water scarcity in both localities was because the demand had gone up and the population had increased from 5000 to 12,000.

He said 13 hand pumps with energised motors were also functional in the area. He said in view of the scarcity in these localities the IPH Department had received funds to the tune of Rs 2 crore under Nabard for the urban augmentation of these schemes.

The situation was no way better still in Dehra subdivision where 24 schemes were affected by the hot weather conditions. Mr P.C. Daroch, Executive Engineer, IPH, Dehra, disclosed today to The Tribune that against the demand of 36 tankers and 26 tractor-trailers only 11 tankers and 18 tractor- trailers were made available to the department by the district administration. He said there was water scarcity in 36 villages of this subdivision.

The district administration woke up following a traffic blockade for six hours at Bhin village last week and 11 tankers and 18 tractor- trailers were pressed into service.

The residents of these areas were agonised and some of the residents alleged that as a non-Congress MLA represented their area the authorities were taking things lightly.

Gangath, most of the parts of Indora and Chadiyar were also facing acute water scarcity.

The Chief Engineer, IPH, refused to comment on the situation in this district and the arrangements made to face it.

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Minister criticised for “protecting” CDPO
Tribune News Service

Mandi, May 15
Himachal Excise and Taxation Minister Rangila Ram has come under fire from residents of Sarkaghat, including BJP men for “protecting a superintendent, who is officiating as the Child Development Project Officer (CDPO), Gopalpur at his behest, violating norms. They have demanded an inquiry against him and transfer of the official.

The BJP men accused the CDPO, Gopalpur, for harassing a BJP woman worker for the past few months. “He had published publicity materials and had misused his official vehicle for non-official purpose ever since he has been officiating as the CDPO, 11 months ago, violating norms in this regards”, they charged.

The protesters led by the BJP men even burned an effigy of the minister last week in protest against him and demanded that the charge be taken back and some permanent CDPO be appointed there. But the department has ignored as the superintendent is being protected by the minister, who represents the constituency, alleged Col Inder Singh, a BJP leader from Gopalpur.

The BJP men alleged the said official had committed irregularities in the repair of an official vehicle, and has harassed a BJP woman activist and was misusing funds for his publicity. Officiating CDPO denied the allegations, claiming that some people were creating a controversy.

The Programme Officer Mandi, Mr RK Sharma, claimed that the superintendent was officiating as the CDPO after it was approved by the government. “We have not received any written complaint about the misbehaviour with the woman, misuse of funds and vehicles against him so far”, he added.

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MC chief refutes charges
Our Correspondent

Chamba, May 15
Local municipal council president Kusum Devi and vice-president Lakshmi Dhar Sharma yesterday refuted the charges levelled by opposition councillor Jai Singh.

They stated that the council had been functioning smoothly, describing the councillor’s statement as ridiculous.

Defending the credibility of the council, they said it had been working in a transparent manner and allocating funds without any discrimination.

Regarding sanitation of the town, they claimed that it figured among the most hygienic towns of the state.

They said new schemes would be undertaken after discussions while development schemes would be submitted to the government for approval.

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Bad weather causes loss to fruit growers
Our Correspondent

Kumarhatti, May 15
The hopes of getting good production of fruits have turned sour for Solan farmers this year. The unfriendly weather conditions have spelt doom for fruits production in the district. As the weather vagaries were not enough in April the dust storm on May 9 night dashed all hopes of the fruit growers.

As per a recent survey by the Solan Horticulture Department, the mango crop alone suffered the brunt of the bad weather. The dust storm virtually wiped out the whole mango crop in the district.

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BBMB celebrates raising day
Our Correspondent

Sundernagar, May 15
The BBMB celebrated its 31st raising day here today. Mr Rakesh Nath, Chairman, BBMB, along with all other senior officers of the board was present on the occasion.

As per a press note issued by Senior Executive Engineer, Township Division, the BBMB had started social welfare activity as per its policy.

The Chairman donated 40 desks to Primary Schools at Bhoun and Nagrda. He also gave four ceiling fans, four blackboards, 50 lazium, two badminton nets, three-metre pipe and other items to Primary School, Katli, today.

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Contractor booked for abetment to suicide

Dalhousie, May 15
Mr Parvati Devi, wife of deceased Nepali national Beli Ram got a case registered against a contractor with the Dalhousie police station.

A case in this connection against contractor Desh Raj of Kariyan, Chamba, has been registered.

Widow Parvati Devi of Gurei, Gurei tehsil and Dang district Nepal has been living at Banikhet 6 km from here. — OC

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