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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

Now, CM asks Dhumal to point out Katwal’s ‘godfather’
Shimla, November 29
Pointing the finger on Mr P.K. Dhumal, on the Thind issue, the Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister, Mr Virbhadra Singh, today asked the former Chief Minister to speak out who actually was the ‘godfather’ of former Chairman of the State Subordinate Services Selection Board S.M. Katwal.

HRTC inks pact with Uttaranchal
Solan, November 29
The Himachal Road Transport Corporation (HRTC) yesterday signed an agreement with the Uttaranchal Transport Roadways Corporation (UTRC) to enable plying of buses within an area of 8,000 km between the two states.

Man kills himself at in-laws’ house
Kangra, November 29
A 32-year-old person, resident of Nehrian village in Amb tehsil of Una district, committed suicide by consuming poison at his in-laws’ house at Gahlian village in this subdivision today, the police said here.

Ayurvedic doctors want posts filled
Nurpur, November 29
The Himachal Pradesh Unemployed Ayurvedic Doctors Association has taken strong exception over the failure of the state government to appoint 85 ayurvedic doctors who had been interviewed by the Directorate of Ayurveda Department in May, 2005.

FAI Golden Jubilee Award for S.P. Sharma
New Delhi, November 29
Dr S.P. Sharma, Senior Soil Chemist, and Dr S.K. Subehia, Scientist, Department of Soil Science, Himachal Pradesh Krishi Vishvavidyalaya, Palampur, have been awarded the FAI Golden Jubilee Award for the Best Work Done on the “Effect of Long Term Fertiliser Use on Soil Fertility and Crop Productivity” by the Fertiliser Association of India, New Delhi.





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Minor girls record statements in rape case
Mandi, November 29
The odds have staked against the Founder-President of the Mandava Charitable Trust (MCT) in the sexual abuse case as the three destitute minor girls recorded their statement in the presence of a magistrate here today, and struck to their statements accusing him of “sexual abuse and outraging their modesty and making obscene gestures” in the Kanya Anath Ashram run by the trust.

HCC to train local talent for power projects
Chamba, November 29
The Hindustan Construction Company (HCC), which is executing various hydroelectric projects in Himachal Pradesh, including Chamera (stage-III) in Chamba district, has embarked upon a unique scheme to develop engineering talent within its project areas in the state.

Online payment of electricity bills
Shimla, November 29
The Himachal Pradesh State Electricity Board (HPSEB) today launched the gateway for online payment of electricity bills for large parts of Shimla town.

Miners flout ban
Nurpur, November 29
Villagers of lower and upper Khanni and Kandwal gram panchayats in this subdivision have urged the Chief Justice of the state High Court to get illegal mining in the Chakki rivulet stopped. The illegal mining is going on the rivulet bed despite the High Court ban.

 

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Now, CM asks Dhumal to point out Katwal’s ‘godfather’
Tribune News Service

Shimla, November 29
Pointing the finger on Mr P.K. Dhumal, on the Thind issue, the Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister, Mr Virbhadra Singh, today asked the former Chief Minister to speak out who actually was the ‘godfather’ of former Chairman of the State Subordinate Services Selection Board S.M. Katwal. He had been convicted in four cases pertaining to irregularities committed in recruitment during the BJP regime. The Chief Minister said Mr Dhumal should also tell the people of the state who was the ‘kingpin’ at whose instance Mr Katwal acted.

Launching a scathing attack on the BJP leader for unnecessarily dragging his name into the Thind controversy Mr Virbhadra Singh said the state government had nothing to do with the property case pertaining to Punjab which was being handled by the CBI. He said Mr Dhumal should see his own track record before pointing finger at him. He should also make public who actually was the ‘godfather’ of Dr S.D. Sharma, a former Vice-Chancellor of Himachal Pradesh University, who was facing a criminal case in connection with the question paper printing scam.

In fact, the Dhumal government had become synonymous with the corruption which flourished during his regime. Things had come to such a pass that his own ministers and legislators had levelled allegation of corruption against him. He said it was a pity that a national party like the BJP was trying to exploit a case against police officer to revive its sinking political fortunes in the state. Unfortunately for the BJP, the credibility of Mr Dhumal had sunk to such abysmal level that no one believed what he said.

Regarding the query of Mr Dhumal who was the ‘godfather’ of Mr Thind, he said the question should be addressed to the officer who only knows about it. In an attempt to malign him BJP leaders were using media to level false allegation that Mr Thind would be promoted as the DGP. In fact going strictly by the seniority he had appointed two DGP's.

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HRTC inks pact with Uttaranchal
Tribune News Service

Solan, November 29
The Himachal Road Transport Corporation (HRTC) yesterday signed an agreement with the Uttaranchal Transport Roadways Corporation (UTRC) to enable plying of buses within an area of 8,000 km between the two states.

Since there was no pact between the two states, plying of buses on temporary permits often led to disputes and inconvenienced the commuters.

It was way back in 1985 that the HRTC had signed an agreement with the then Uttar Pradesh Government. The Principal Secretary, Transport, Mr Avay Shukla told The Tribune that the agreement would help the HRTC save Rs 20 to 25 lakh per annum on taxes. He said the agreement was significant because the traffic scenario had changed by an estimated 300 to 400 per cent.

The agreement would further enable both states to introduce about 1,000 km of additional routes per day for the next couple of years. A shuttle service would also be started by the URTC between the bordering places like Paonta Sahib.

Since there was no agreement between the two states, no private buses were allowed to ply between Paonta Sahib and Uttaranchal. The HRTC would further benefit by being allowed to ply buses on the main NH-1 through Harbattpur, which was earlier disallowed.

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Man kills himself at in-laws’ house
Our Correspondent

Kangra, November 29
A 32-year-old person, resident of Nehrian village in Amb tehsil of Una district, committed suicide by consuming poison at his in-laws’ house at Gahlian village in this subdivision today, the police said here.

The Deputy Superintendent of Police, Kangra, Mr Virender Singh Thakur, told The Tribune that Vinod Kumar, son of Prakash Chand of Nehrian village, who was married three years back at Gahlian village, had come to his in-laws’ house three days back along with his wife, Minoo, and a son.

Mr Thakur said that Vinod Kumar today consumed some poison and committed suicide. He said the police had recovered a suicide note from his body addressed to his wife, expressing his love for her and his son.

The body had been sent to Dharamshala for a post-mortem examination.

Mr Thakur said Vinod Kumar was working as an accountant at Amb and Mubarikpur in Una district with private businessmen and petrol station owners. The DSP said that, according to the wife of the deceased, some petrol station persons and some businessmen, with whom he was working, visited Gahlian yesterday and were asking for some bills 
from him.

The police has registered a case under Section 306, IPC.

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Ayurvedic doctors want posts filled
Our Correspondent

Nurpur, November 29
The Himachal Pradesh Unemployed Ayurvedic Doctors Association has taken strong exception over the failure of the state government to appoint 85 ayurvedic doctors who had been interviewed by the Directorate of Ayurveda Department in May, 2005. Dr Sanjiv Guleria, state president of the association, in a statement here yesterday lamented that the Cabinet had sanctioned 85 posts of ayurvedic doctor in December, 2004, on contract basis to be filled through batchwise, but even after holding interviews they were not given any appointment.

He said the present government even reduced the maximum age limit from 48 to 45 years. He alleged that due to lack of any proper policy for recruitment of ayurvedic doctors, sanctioned posts could not be filled so far.

Demanding revival of the recruitment policy prevalent before 1998, Mr Guleria urged the Chief Minister, Mr Virbhadra Singh, to remove disparity between MBBS and ayurvedic doctors while rendering contract jobs to the latter.

He said there were as many as 300 vacant posts of ayurvedic doctor in the state.

Demanding filling of all vacant posts of doctor at one time, Dr Guleria urged the Chief Minister to increase the maximum age limit to 48 years so that those candidates who had appeared in interviews in May last year could not be deprived of the job opportunities.

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FAI Golden Jubilee Award for S.P. Sharma
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 29
Dr S.P. Sharma, Senior Soil Chemist, and Dr S.K. Subehia, Scientist, Department of Soil Science, Himachal Pradesh Krishi Vishvavidyalaya, Palampur, have been awarded the FAI Golden Jubilee Award for the Best Work Done on the “Effect of Long Term Fertiliser Use on Soil Fertility and Crop Productivity” by the Fertiliser Association of India, New Delhi. The award was conferred on Dr S.P. Sharma by the Union Minister of Chemicals and Fertilisers, Mr Ram Vilas Paswan, at the FAI Annual Seminar on Tuesday.

Dr Sharma has devoted over 15 years of his life in studying the effect of long-term use of fertiliser on soil fertility and crop productivity. He has established the importance of integrated nutrient management on enhancing the use of fertiliser, maintaining soil fertility and increasing crop productivity. He has developed an integrated nutrient management package for dominant maize-wheat cropping system of Himachal Pradesh. He has brought out a number of research publications and technical bulletins on the subject. For the benefit of the farming community, he has brought out a video documentary depicting the different aspects of integrated nutrient management technology.

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Minor girls record statements in rape case
Tribune News Service

Mandi, November 29
The odds have staked against the Founder-President of the Mandava Charitable Trust (MCT) in the sexual abuse case as the three destitute minor girls recorded their statement in the presence of a magistrate here today, and struck to their statements accusing him of “sexual abuse and outraging their modesty and making obscene gestures” in the Kanya Anath Ashram run by the trust.

The police recorded the statements of the three Ashram girls in the presence of the district Magistrate in which they adhered to the earlier statements, accusing the founder-president of the allegations of sexual abuse and outraging of their modesty.

Though the police was probing all aspects involved in the case and questioning persons whose names have figured in the case in a series of allegations and counter allegations, the onus now lies on the accused to prove his innocence, reveals police investigation.

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HCC to train local talent for power projects
Out Correspondent

Chamba, November 29
The Hindustan Construction Company (HCC), which is executing various hydroelectric projects in Himachal Pradesh, including Chamera (stage-III) in Chamba district, has embarked upon a unique scheme to develop engineering talent within its project areas in the state.

In an official communiqué issued here today, the company announced a training programme in which it would impart training to rural youths in different disciplines of project work. They would be trained for a period of six months in various streams such as electrician, wiremen, linemen, winder, electrical fitter, vibrator fitter, turner, mechanic, auto-electrician and equipment operator with a stipend of Rs 1,000 per month.

After completion of their training, a trade test would be conducted and the successful candidates would be brought on the company's pay roll.

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Online payment of electricity bills
Tribune News Service

Shimla, November 29
The Himachal Pradesh State Electricity Board (HPSEB) today launched the gateway for online payment of electricity bills for large parts of Shimla town.

The Chief Minister, Mr Virbhadra Singh, made the facility functional at a function here today. Over 37,000 consumers in the five electrical subdivisions of Ridge, Boileauganj, Chotta Shimla and Sanjauli can avail of this facility.

The online payment can be made through the HPSEB website, www.hpseb.com through the ICICI bank. The board intends to extend this facility to all the consumers in the capital town.

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Miners flout ban
Our Correspondent

Nurpur, November 29
Villagers of lower and upper Khanni and Kandwal gram panchayats in this subdivision have urged the Chief Justice of the state High Court to get illegal mining in the Chakki rivulet stopped. The illegal mining is going on the rivulet bed despite the High Court ban.

The panchayats passed a resolution in this regard here yesterday. The villagers alleged that earth excavation machines of a number of stone crusher units, set up in bordering Punjab state, were being used in mining on the rivulet bed. It had posed a threat to their fertile land and underground water sources.

They lamented thousands of acres of land in their panchayats had become unfit for agriculture due to soil erosion.

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