|H I M A C H A L
P R A D E S H
Thursday, October 22, 1998
|BJP not to break ties with HVC: CM
SHIMLA, Oct 21 Himachal Chief Minister, Mr P.K. Dhumal, today made it clear that the ruling BJP would not terminate its alliance with the Himachal Vikas Congress even after getting majority on its own in the Assembly by winning the byelection to the Baijnath seat.
10,000 ex-gratia for
SOLAN, Oct 21 Four of the six persons killed in yesterday's bus accident near Danoghat, in the Darlaghat-Shimla road in Arki sub-division of this district have so far been identified.
CMOs to oversee drug
inspectors in HP
BJP not to break ties with
SHIMLA, Oct 21 Himachal Chief Minister, Mr P.K. Dhumal, today made it clear that the ruling BJP would not terminate its alliance with the Himachal Vikas Congress (HVC) even after getting majority on its own in the Assembly by winning the byelection to the Baijnath seat.
Mr Dhumal told The Tribune that the BJP would continue to give due respect to the HVC chief, Mr Sukh Ram, who had extended his support to the BJP at a critical period. He said the BJP had never thought of snapping ties with the HVC after improving its strength in the Assembly.
The Chief Minister did not react to the reported submission of resignations by the three HVC ministers, including the two who had joined the BJP, to Mr Sukh Ram, at a function at Mandi yesterday, but only said that all grievances would be redressed.
He said that intentions of the BJP were very clear. He added that he would meet Mr Sukh Ram shortly and the grievances if any would be redressed. The state BJP chief, Mr Suresh Chandel, will also meet Mr Sukh Ram.
Meanwhile, the HVC has been getting restive over the ticket for the byelection for the Baijnath seat. It has been mounting pressure on Mr Dhumal to allow the HVC to field its candidate for the seat for which election will be held on November 25. These resignations are also being described as pressure tactics.
It is being said that another reason for the three Ministers, Mr Mohinder Singh, Mr Mansa Ram and Mr Prakash Chand submitting their resignations to Mr Sukh Ram for being forwarded to the Chief Minister might be aimed at setting at rest the reports that they were no more having cordial relations with the HVC chief.
The BJP has on the other hand, staked its claim for contesting the Baijnath seat. The party chief, Mr Suresh Chandel, had also assured the HVC leadership that the alliance between the two parties would continue even after the Baijnath byelection.
However, political observers feel that Mr Sukh Ram has taken a tough stand on the issue amidst speculations that the BJP might change its attitude towards the HVC if it won the byelection for the seat to get a simple majority of 35 in the Assembly of 68.
It is learnt that the Pradesh Election Committee of the BJP is meeting at Delhi on October 25 to finalise a panel of candidates.
The Pradesh Election Committee of the Congress party is also meeting here on October 26 to finalise the list of candidates. The candidates of both parties will be finalised by the respective high commands.
A meeting of office-bearers of the PCC has been convened here on November 1 apparently to discuss strategy for the byelection for the seat.
SOLAN, Oct 21 Four of the six persons killed in yesterday's bus accident near Danoghat, in the Darlaghat-Shimla road in Arki sub-division of this district have so far been identified. Their names were: Ms Anjana Sood, wife of Mr Vijay Kumar, Dehra in Kangra district; Mr Deep Kumar, S/o Mr Bhajan Lal of Ram Nagar, Shimla; Mr Vijay Kumar son of Mr Ganga Ram of Thalog, Tehsil Arki; and the Conductor, Mr Ravinder Pal S/o Mr Rattan Chand of Thattal Chak, Tehsil Amb, Dist. Una.
The following injured were still in the Civil Hospital Arki: Ms Indira of Bakhalag, Tehsil Arki; Tek Chand also of Arki. Two others who had been identified as Kashwanand and Shalig Ram had not yet been able to give their addresses.
Fourteen persons, including those referred from the Arki hospital were under treatment at IGMC hospital, Shimla. Their names are: Ms Soma Devi of Ganagughat (Arki); Ravinder (Una); Ms Kanta of Battal (Arki); Mr Ram Bahadur (Darlaghat); Joginder (Ghumarwin, Bilaspur) Mr Devinder of Battal (Arki); Mr Vivek of Dehra (Kangra); Mr Kishen (Darlaghat). The addresses of Mr Kuldeep, Mr Dhani Lal, Mr Nitin, Mr Des Raj, Mr Virendra Thakur and Master Pushkar could not be ascertained.
Deputy Commissioner Balram Sharma had announced an ex gratia grant of Rs 25,000 each to the next of kin of the dead. Rs 10,000 to the seriously injured and Rs 1000 to 2000 to those who received minor injuries.
The survivors were full of praise for the local police, the medical and medical staff and the local people who went all out to mount the rescue operations in extremely difficult conditions. The Superintendent Police, Mr M.L. Negi had deployed every available policeman and home guard jawan in the rescue work which continued up to 2 a.m. today.
The district administration had not ordered any magisterial enquiry till the filing of this report.
SHIMLA (TNS): Chief Minister, Prem Kumar Dhumal, today visited the Indira Gandhi Medical College Hospital to enquire about the welfare of those injured in the bus accident near Danoghat last evening.
The Health Minister, Mr J.P. Nadda and the Minister of State for Horticulture, Mr Narinder Bragta accompanied the Chief Minister.
Mr Dhumal directed the district administration of Solan to ensure that the injured admitted at the civil hospital, Arki, were also provided proper treatment.
The Health Minister, visited the accident site last night and supervised rescue operations. He also visited the Civil Hospital, Arki, to enquire about the welfare of those admitted there.
CMOs to oversee drug inspectors
SHIMLA, Oct 21 The Himachal Government has decided to place the drug inspectors under the administrative control of Chief Medical Officers to check effectively the sale of spurious and "misbranded" medicines and their growing use as sedative by the youth.
The decision has come in the wake of the death of Mr Bimal Sharma, a local youth who collapsed, allegedly after consuming a heavy dose of cough syrup and some other sedative tablets, which he had obtained from a chemist shop in the Sanjauli locality.
The government also initiated action against the defaulting drug inspector for his failure to check unauthorised sale of medicines including sedatives.
An official spokesman said that active involvement of chief medical officers alongwith drug inspectors in surveillance and control would go a long way in curbing the abuse of medicines among youth. Frequent checks would be conducted and it would be ensured that medicines were not sold by chemists without prescriptions by doctors. They would be required to maintain proper record of sale and purchase.
The drug inspectors had been directed to seize stocks of medicines stored in contravention of the provisions of the Drug and Cosmetics Act.
The government also decided to launch a campaign to create awareness among vulnerable groups against drug abuse.
Meanwhile, the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Ram Subhag Singh, convened a meeting of officers for launching the campaign from October 25 from the Sanjauli Colony.
Save our career: students
DHARAMSALA, Oct 21 Instead of the Tanda Medical College issue getting resolved, the dithering attitude of the government has brought the students and the authorities on a path of confrontation.
With the government being unable to clarify the legal position of the case with the Medical Council of India, the agitating students and their parents are just not ready to be taken for a ride as has been the case in the past. Accusing the Chief Minister and the Health Minister of issuing contradictory statements, they are now demanding written assurances from both regarding the safe future of the children.
A large number of parents of the children, who have been on fast, arrived here yesterday to persuade them not to take any extreme step. "We are not concerned with the politics behind this 'jinxed' college as all we are demanding is a secure future for our children," commented one of the office-bearers of the Parents Association. They added that when they were themselves not sure and convinced with assurances given by the government, how can they ask their children to start attending classes. "While the Health Minister is asking the students to start attending classes, the Chief Minister during his meeting with us said that the holding of classes would amount to contempt of court," disclosed parents. "These conflicting statements have led us and the students to doubt the intentions of the government," they added.
The parents demanded that the students should be informed about the factual status of the college. "Their examinations should be held along with those of the Indira Gandhi Medical College students so that they do not lose a year," demanded the parents. They said that if all this was not possible, the government should adjust all these students by sending them to various medical colleges anywhere in the country. The students have decided to launch fast on October 23 if the government does not clarify the position in writing.
Meanwhile, there is a feeling in the political circles that the government was not sincere and wanted to keep the issue hanging till the Baijnath byelection is held on November 25.
People feel that what the government has done now could have been done much earlier. This gives rise to speculation that all this is being done in view of the Baijnath byelection.
Some BJP workers in Kangra district accuse the Chief Minister, Mr P.K. Dhumal, of adopting a discriminatory attitude with the people of Kangra. "The government hardly did anything to pursue the Tanda Medical College issue during the past seven months, and even Apollo Hospital project to be set up at Holta, near Palampur, is not being pursued seriously", commented a local leader. A feeling is growing amongst the BJP cadres in Kangra that the district is being ignored on political considerations. People in the district, irrespective of their political affiliations, feel that the rivalry in the senior BJP leadership would be detrimental to the progress of Kangra.
The Tanda students, too, feel that instead of blaming the previous government for having opened the college in a haste, the present government should seriously think about securing their future.
6 porters die of cold in Pin valley
SHIMLA, Oct 21 (UNI) Six Gorkha porters accompanying a Swedish trekking party died of severe cold following heavy snow near Mudh village in the Tribal Lahaul-Spiti district, police sources said today.
The incident occurred last Sunday when the area experienced heavy snowfall. Local authorities have left for the spot along with the police and medical team.
The five-member Swedish team, which was on trekking expedition from Manikaran to Pin valley along with 17 Gorkha porters, however, reached the village safely, the sources said.
The snowfall and cold had also claimed the lives of three people in Hangrang area of Kinnaur district and damaged houses of several people in the district.
KULU (FOC): 12 persons were airlifted to safety by Air Force helicopters from the snowbound Baralacha Pass on Manali-Leh highway. They had been trapped by heavy snow fall on October 16. They were flown to Bhuntar and five of them were admitted to the district hospital for treatment of snow stroke and frostbite. Durga Bahadur, one of those hospitalised said there were still ten Nepalis and two Ladakhis trapped at the pass. They would be taken out by IAF helicopter tomorrow. He said they were coming from Manali to Leh when heavy snow at the pass reduced visibility to zero stranding them on the 4880 metre high pass. A woman and two children were also among those trapped. Continuous snowfall prevented them from returning to Sarchu about six kilometres below the pass. He said the snow was six-foot deep at the pass.
NJPC to use HP engineers
SHIMLA, Oct 21 The Himachal Pradesh Electricity Board and the Nathpa Jhakri Power Corporation will soon sign an agreement under which the latter will take engineers from the former on secondment for maintenance of the 1500 MW project.
Stating this here today Mr
P.K. Dhumal, the Chief Minister, said that he had taken
up the matter with the Union Energy Ministry. Mr P.K.
Kumarmangalam, who agreed to take at least 25 per cent of
engineers from the state board on secondment after
commissioning, said that it was for the first time that
engineers of the state would be associated in the
maintenance of projects executed by a central agency.
7 houses damaged by landslide
NURPUR, Oct 21 At least seven houses here have been damaged in a landslide. The owners of the affected houses have vacated them as unsafe. The local MLA, Mr Rakesh Pathania, along with revenue authorities visited the spot and assured panic-stricken residents that the government would build spurs to prevent fresh landslides.
The local administration has provided tents to affected families. Mrs Krishna Mahajan the president, Municipal Council, Nurpur has demanded allotment of land in the municipal area to those rendered homeless and financial assistance for construction of their houses.
HP Speaker calls on New Zealand
SHIMLA, Oct 21 The Speaker of the HP Vidhan Sabha, Mr Gulab Singh, yesterday called on Governor-General of New Zealand, Sir Michael Hardie Boys, and discussed with him issues of mutual interests.
The Speaker is on a tour to New Zealand to take part in the 44th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference.
He said there was general realisation that the future lay not in pursuing political one-upmanship, but in achieving all-round development on a global scale.
Mr Gulab Singh stressed the need to minimise pressures and derive maximum advantage from globalisation.
Two killed, 4 hurt in accident
MANDI, Oct 21 Two persons were killed and four others injured when a minitruck (HID-1977) in which they were travelling met with an accident near SDM's office at Gohar, 30 km from here.
Those killed have been identified as Tej Singh and Mainu Ram. All occupants were PWD workers.
All four injured persons have been admitted in the regional hospital here. They have been identified as Muni Lal, Maya Ram, Khema Ram and Karam Singh, all working in the PWD as beldars.
An ex-gratia relief of Rs 5000 has been given to the next of the kin of the killed while injured have been paid according to the relief manual.
The truck belonged to Mr Bhagwant Singh of Gohar.
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