|H I M A C H A L
P R A D E S H
Monday, August 24, 1998
Father smells a rat in
convention: Shugden issue
Manimahesh yatra begins today
CHAMBA: The Manimahesh pilgrimage in this district of Himachal Pradesh will commence tomorrow and the holy "Chhari" (mace) yatra will start from the 1300-year-old historic town of Chamba like every year.
project to begin in April
complain of raw deal
promotion scheme: doctors
faces threat of sinking
Father smells a rat in son's
SHIMLA, Aug 23 Bal Bahadur, a resident of Rajgarh, has been running from pillar to post to find out the whereabouts of his young son who has been missing since August 3.
Bal Bahadur, who was here to seek the intervention of the Chief Minister, in the matter alleged that the Rajgarh police initially refused to register an FIR as the person behind the disappearance of his son was very influential. He had to approach the SDM to lodge a complaint but the police took no interest in the case.
Giving details, he said Madan Singh his son, had been working as a truck driver with an arhtia of Rajgarh for the past three months at a monthly salary of Rs 2000. He used to go to Ludhiana, Chandigarh and other towns in the region.
However, on August 3 he went to Chandigarh in the truck with the arhtia and Ravinder, the cleaner, but never returned. The arhtia returned with the vehicle alone and he refused to tell the whereabouts of his son. The evasive replies of the arhtia forced him to lodge a complaint with the polie on August 6. However, the complaint could be registered only on August 7 following the intervention of the SDM.
When the arhtia came to know about the complaint, he rushed to Chandigarh and lodged an FIR, with the police.
Bal Bahadur said the arhtia was now levelling allegations against Madan Singh. He was now claiming that he had asked the driver to get a payment of Rs 40,000 from a trader in Chandigarh. Madan Singh took the payment and vanished after leaving the truck at Mani Majra. There was, however, no receipt of the payment.
Bal Bahadur suspects foul play and contests the claim of the arhtia. He says if Madan Singh had run away on August 3 then why he did not lodge a complaint immediately.
He said the police did not interrogate either the arhtia or the cleaner of the truck to solve the mystery of his son's disappearance.
Tibetan convention: Shugden issue
DHARAMSALA, Aug 23 The general convention of the three provinces of Tibet, called by the United Cholsum Organisation here on August 27, is likely to be a stormy one, with the Shugden controversy being the core issue.
The United Cholsum Organisation represents three regions of Tibet, U-Tsang, Do-toed and Do-med.
The central executive body of the United Cholsum Organisation has invited delegates from five Tibetan religious traditions, members of the local assembly and the Tibetan Freedom Movement, Centre of the TYC and the Tibetan Women Association, representatives of monasteries, self-support groups and welfare associations of Dharamsala.
As some Shugden supporters have decided to come to Mcleodganj uninvited, there is apprehension that there could be trouble on the inaugural day. The general secretary of the Dorjee Shugden Devotees Charitable and Religious Society, Delhi, Mr Chime Tsering, said since the convention was to discuss the issue of Shugden deity worship, they wanted to face the scrutiny of the charges and the evidence, in view of the Tibetan public, so that truth finally comes out.
Mr Chime Tsering said as per the July 22 announcement, made by the United Cholsum Organisation, the convention was to identify and expose the "bad elements", who at the behest of Chinese and Taiwanese money and means, have been engaged in systematic implementation of the enemy's designs, thereby undermining the Tibetan cause.
"The allegations against our society need to be proved so that doubts in the minds of the Dalai Lama and amongst the Tibetan public will subside and die out," said Chime Tsering.
He said the Shugden society did not have any contacts with China or Taiwan, nor did it have political objectives, and it wholeheartedly accepted the leadership of the Dalai Lama, and could never contemplate causing harm to him.
Officials of the Tibetan government-in-exile are tight-lipped over the affair and nobody is ready to make comments.
Supporters of the Dalai Lama point out that the real motive behind denouncing the worship of Shugden was that its practice degenerates Buddhist practice into a form of spirit worship.
Secondly, the practice of Shugden is extremely sectarian, whereas the Dalai Lama himself practices teachings from other traditions such as Nyingma, Sakya and Kagyu, besides the Gelug tradition to which he belongs.
The Dalai Lama supporters claim that only a small section of Tibetans propitate the Shugden deity and even amongst them, a vast majority had given it up of its own free will.
On the other hand, Shugden followers allege that the Dalai Lama's remarks had instigated the Tibetans to harass the deity's followers. The Tibetan Government has been refuting allegations levelled against it by the Shugden supporters. The Shugden activists point out that it was imperative for the Tibetans to resolve the issue rather than remain entangled in mutual conflicts.
Manimahesh yatra begins today
CHAMBA: The Manimahesh pilgrimage in this district of Himachal Pradesh will commence tomorrow and the holy "Chhari" (mace) yatra will start from the 1300-year-old historic town of Chamba like every year. It will reach the Manimahesh lake on August 29 and the pilgrims will take a holy dip the next day (Sri Radha Ashtami) and start their return journey.
Situated in the Bharmour tribal valley, Manimahesh is about 210 km from Pathankot railhead. The beautiful Mount Kailash (abode of Lord Shiva) at an altitude of about 5,656 metres is clearly visible from the lake at an altitude of 4,170 metres.
Manimahesh is considered as a sacred centre of pilgrimage in Himachal Pradesh. The Manimahesh yatra attracts nearly one lakh pilgrims from various parts of the country.
The pilgrimage has been declared as a state-level fair by the government. This pilgrimage centre gains added importance on Janmashtami and Radha Ashtami. The former occasion belongs to saints, while the latter is celebrated by pilgrims from all walks of life.
The Manimahesh yatra commences exactly seven days prior to the day fixed for the holy dip. The beginning of the yatra is called "Chhari yatra" in which the holy mace of Lord Shiva is carried to Manimahesh from Chamba in a procession.
Kapoor, Deputy Commissioner, who is chairman of the
Manimahesh Pilgrimage Committee, told The Tribune that
the departments concerned had made elaborate arrangements
for providing basic amenities to the pilgrims.
One killed in accident
KASAULI, Aug 23 One person was killed and four were injured when their car fell into a gorge near the Timber Trail resort early today.
The deceased was identified as Karan Pathak, a student of the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT), SAS Nagar.
Sewerage project to begin in April
SHIMLA, Aug 23 Work on the Rs 40 crore OPEC-funded sewerage project here will get under way in April next.
Insanitation has been a major problem in the fast-growing "Queen of the Hills", many areas of which have been without the sewer facility. The civic amenities have not kept pace with the increasing population as the local Municipal Corporation did not have the funds to expand the existing facilities.
The century-old sewer system and water supply network laid during the British days had been unable to take any more load. In the past the corporation had prepared many schemes but these could be implemented for want of funds.
However, the decision of OPEC to provide financial assistance for the project has removed the major hurdle which had held up its implementation all these years.
It has agreed to advance Rs 40 crore at a nominal interest rate of 2 per cent per annum for the purpose. Under the agreement, OPEC will provide 73 per cent of the total cost, and the remaining 27 per cent, Rs 14.80 crore, will be given by the state government.
The project envisages the laying of sewer pipes and the construction of treatment plants by adopting the latest technology. Treatment plants are proposed to be constructed at Sanjauli, Dhalli, Malayana, Lalpani, Snowdon and Summer Hill. AIC Wetson Consultants, Mumbai, will provide services like design for the construction of the treatment plants, quality control and project management. The treatment plants will be so designed that they are able to carry the sewage load of the town up to the year 2030.
These will also be designed to convert effluents and suspended salts into solid form and pump the dry solid waste on to the surface.
The Irrigation and Public
Health Department will undertake the responsibility of
planning and coordination for the project to implement
which a steering and monitoring committee has already
been constituted as per the agreement with OPEC.
KULU: Badah and Math areas in Kulu town are examples of haphazard growth of residential colonies here. There is neither a drainage system nor a drinking water system in these colonies. In Math Colony no house has a road link. The outlet for sewage has yet to be decided. A massive landslide occurred due to accumulation of sewage at one point causing the land to slide down. The seepage of sewage may sink the whole area. The Department of Country and Town Planning is working out ways for proper development of the area. The Deputy Commissioner visited the area and issued directions to the local municipal council an year ago.
* * *
The district is likely to have a cricket stadium of an international standard at Baragran Bihal near Manali on the national highway. The sports complex plan had been ignored by earlier governments. Mr Raghuvir Singh, president, H.P. Cricket Association, told that a high-altitude cricket training centre should be constructed at Baragran Bihal.The Deputy Commissioner told this correspondent that the land has been allocated to a Navodaya school. The area is on the Beas bank. The school hostel on the river bank may prove ensafe, feel local residents
* * *
Inner Akhara Bazar has become a parking lane for local shoppers and tourists. Tourists not only wash their vehicle with water from public taps but also play their vehicle music systems in full blast. Small vehicles, particularly of tourists, are parked in a haphazard manner.In case of a fire in the half-kilometre-long densely populated area fire tenders would not be able to reach the spot. Residents hope the administration would not wait for a disaster to take action.
* * *
The garbage of Kulu town is dumped at village Pirdi on the Beas bank. Half the garbage is alleged to be thrown into the river. The office of the H.P. Environment Pollution Control Board is only a kilometre away from the dumping site, but it has chosen not to broach the issue with the Municipal Council.
* * *
The DoT has planned to install an RSU (Remote Subscribers Unit) at the Bhuntar Telephone Exchange to end the long wait for getting a call through to 10 km distance from Bhuntar. One has to dial more than five times and listen to pips for 30 to 40 seconds to get a Bhuntar number. The telephone on demand scheme in Kulu came to a halt in 1997. The opening of the TDM office at Kulu may bring a sigh of relief to the subscribers.
* * *
The Red Cross society here
has helped 80 poor patients and disbursed about Rs one
lakh to the needy. The society, which remained defunct
for about five years, has been activated by the Deputy
Commissioner, Mr R D Dhiman. Mr K L Sood, a retired
principal, has been elected the secretary and given an
office in the ADM office complex. The society has six
vice-patrons and 52 life members.
Blind complain of raw deal
SHIMLA, Aug 23 Resentment prevails among members of the Himachal Federation of the Blind over the raw deal being meted out to them by the state government.
Unlike other states, Himachal neither has any facilities for the education of the blind nor any scheme for their rehabilitation. Mr Deva Singh Negi, president of the federation, lamented that despite the direction of the state human rights commission, the state government had not taken any steps to set up an institution for providing education to the blind.
The state Child Welfare Council had opened a school at Sundernagar but it was in a bad shape. It does not have specialised staff, Braille and safe drinking water.
The blind were also being ignored in the matter of employment. While in Punjab over 150 blind were given jobs in a year, in Himachal not one of them had been able to find employment. Similarly, in Haryana there was per cent quota for the blind but in Himachal they were not getting their due.
Mr Negi said the
indifferent attitude of the government had forced the
federation to take up the path of agitation and it had
decided to stage a demonstration here tomorrow to draw
the attention of the authorities towards the plight of
the blind. The federation would also submit a memorandum
to the Chief Minister.
Ayurvedic doctors for equal work,
HAMIRPUR, Aug 23 The Himachal Ayurvedic Medical Officers Association has demanded pay scales on a par with allopathic graduates working in various parts of the state.
At a meeting of the association held here today under the Chairmanship of Dr Bhawani Prashad Sharma, the state president of the association, it said that working conditions of both professions were the same and it would be in the fitness of things if their pay scales were revised and equated with those of allopathic doctors.
It demanded the implementation of the equal work, equal pay, norms also.
Notify promotion scheme: doctors
DHARAMSALA, Aug 23 The Kangra branch of the Himachal Medical Officers Association has demanded issuance of the notification on the time-scale promotion of doctors on the Punjab pattern.
In a Press release issued here today, the general secretary of the association, Dr Rajesh Guleri, said though the decision regarding the implementation of time-scale promotions had been taken by the government almost two months ago, the notification in this regard had yet to be issued.
The association further
said that PG doctors working at places other than the
local Zonal Hospital were being given "step-motherly
treatment." While PG doctors at the Zonal Hospital
had been designated as lecturers, assistant professors
and professors, as per their seniority, doctors working
at other places had been denied this benefit.
Village faces threat of sinking
BILASPUR, Aug 23 Kallari village in Nakrana panchayat near Nainadevi, about 80 km from here, is reported to be in danger due to heavy rains for the past about 10 days.
Possible seepage from rising water of Gobind Sagar also poses a threat to the village.
A local sadar panchayat samiti member of the area, Mr Joginder Singh Chauhan, said here today that almost half of the village was sinking and a large tract of land had slipped about 10 feet on which some 50 houses of the village were located. Many houses had developed cracks and were in danger of collapse, he added.
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