|H I M A C H A L
P R A D E S H
Wednesday, September 2, 1998
Rights panel to the rescue
HP to rationalise transport
SHIMLA, Sept 1 The Himachal government has decided to rationalise the transport policy soon with a special thrust on the improvement of bus service in rural areas. This was stated by Mr Kishan Kapoor, Minister for Transport and Tribal Development, today.
He said that a plan was on the anvil to give new route permits of private bus service with a special emphasis on the rural areas.
Mr Kapoor maintained that people in rural areas especially remote and interior areas of the state, were facing hardship on account of poor transport services. In order to mitigate their sufferings new route permits for private bus operators would only be given for rural areas, he added.
The Transport Minister said that in the Congress regime, transport norms were flouted following which the state and national highways were flooded with the buses. On the other hand people in far-flung areas of the state had to wait for hours for buses.
Mr Kapoor said the government had decided to review and rationalise transport policy to benefit rural people. He added that ex-servicemen, unemployed youth and other deserving sections of the society would only be given permits for private buses. This will reduce unemployment in rural areas.
Rights panel to the rescue of
SHIMLA, Sept 1, The efforts of the state Human Rights Commission to ensure a proper treatment of Manbharan, a labourer from Dumka in Bihar, who has been lying paralysed at Indira Gandhi Medical College and Hospital, here for the past over three months, met with success when Safdarjang Hospital, Delhi, agreed to provide a bed in its paraplegic unit.
Manbharan suffered a crippling spinal injury after he fell down while working as mason in Rampur. Since the local hospital did not have a special paraplegic unit required for the treatment of such patients, he was discharged. All this while he was kept in the hospital unfortunately, on humanitarian grounds.
Mr Justice P.C. Balakrishan Menon, Chairman of the commission, took suo motu action on news reports highlighting the sorry plight of the paralysed labourer who had no one to look after him. The commission not only directed the hospital authorities to take care of Manbharan, but also approached Safdarjang Hospital to find a bed for him in the paraplegic unit.
The secretary of the commission, Mr A.R. Basu, himself went to Delhi and personally took up the matter with the hospital authorities.
Mining threatens temple
BAIJNATH (Palampur): The ancient Shiva Temple at Baijnath which was built in 1204 AD, is under threat because of reckless quarrying and mining in the adjoining Binwa river. This historic temple is situated on the bank of the river. The mining in the river has put a question mark on the survival of the monument which encompasses the essential features of the Nagara temples.
It is stated that this temple was founded by two local merchant brothers, Ahuka and Manyuka. It lies on the main road to Kulu, Lahaul and Ladakh, the centuries-old route to Central Asia.
The temple consists of an adytum 8 feet square inside and 18 feet outside surrounded by a spire of the usual conical shape and a mandapa (front hall) 20 feet square inside covered with a low pyramid shaped roof. The adytum contains the stone Shiv ling and is entered through a small ante-room. The roof of the mandapa is supported by four massive pillars. In front of the mandapa rises a stately porch resting on four columns.
Raja Sansar Chand had renovated the temple in the 19th century, but Sir Aurel Steil, who studied the monument in 1892, said it had not undergone much alterations except the roof.
At present the temple is under the control of the Archaeological Department, Government of India. In the past few years, India has spent lakhs of rupees on the maintenance of the temple and development of its surroundings. Thousands of international and national tourists visit the temple.
But it was seen that no proper care is given to keep the temple neat and clean. As one enters the temple compound, heaps of garbage can be seen lying around. Despite the best cooperation from local residents, no efforts have been made to remove the small shops situated in front of the temple.
It is a sad state of affairs that the temple which remained intact during the major earthquake of Kangra in April 1905, has been badly damaged by the unscientific mining in the Binwa river during the past 15 years.
The level of water in the river has gone down and this is affecting the stability of the temple compound. The continuous land erosion can cause a big loss to the monument at any moment if no serious efforts are made to stop the mining in the 2 to 3 km radius of the temple.
Illegal mining has not only posed danger to the temple, but has also damaged a number of roads, water channels and forests in the area. The roads leading to Bhatoo, Sansal and Deol have also been badly damaged because of quarrying in Sansali and Bhatwali khuds. Even at Pathankot Jogindernagar, the narrow gauge railway line, which passes through the town, has become quite unsafe as the mining and quarry has hit this line at various points.
The state Mining Department has been a silent spectator for the past five years and has failed to regulate the mining activities in the Baijnath area. This has not only affected the environment balances in the region, but also caused a huge loss to the state exchequer.
Though Baijnath is a
subdivision headquarters, the local administration is
unconcerned about illegal mining activities. Another
factor which has encouraged such mining in the region is
new route to Mansarovar
SHIMLA, Sept 1 Mr Prem Kumar Dhumal, Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh has urged the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, to explore a new route to Kailash Mansarovar through Himachal Pradesh via Kinnaur district which would involve a journey of less than 10 days.
He said a trade agreement had already been signed between India to China through Kinnaur district.
In a letter to the Prime Minister, Mr Dhumal said Mansarovar has special significance for the pilgrims and they visit the sacred place in thousands. The necessity for alternative route was all the more important keeping in view the tragedy that had taken place in Pithoragarh recently, he added.
He informed the Prime
Minister that this route was situated on National
Highway-22 and would facilitate the devotees up to the
boundary of Himachal Pradesh and would also be of great
use, keeping in view the security aspect of the devotees.
"Whatever we (state government) are required to
contribute for this, we are committed to do that,"
Vikas Patras worth Rs 6 lakh
HAMIRPUR, Sept 1 Indira Vikas Patras worth Rs 6 lakh were stolen from Bhaleth Post office in the Sujanpurtira area of the district last night. This was stated here today by Mr Jagjit Kumar Gupta, SP, Hamirpur.
He told reporters that on receiving the complaint about the theft, the police got into action and found patras worth Rs 2.35 lakh lying in a nearby bush. Efforts were on to nab the thief responsible for the theft, he added.
DCC chief takes up minorities' cause
SHIMLA, Sept 1 Mr Om Prakash Sood, president of the District Congress Committee, Shimla, has criticised the BJP-HVC government for denying representation to the Muslim and Christian communities in the Shimla Municipal Corporation.
In a statement here yesterday, Mr Sood said the tradition of nominating representatives of the minority communities as councillors which was started by the Congress government and was also continued by Mr Shanta Kumar of the BJP, has been broken by the Chief Minister, P.K. Dhumal.
He said the BJP-HVC government had nominated only one member of the Sikh community as councillor this time, while the two other seats have been filled by activists of the ruling BJP.
Mr Sood criticised Mr Dhumal for seeking a CBI probe against Mr Virbhadra Singh on the basis of a charge sheet prepared by the Himachal Vikas Congress, Mr Sukh Ram's party.
He said Mr Dhumal had degraded the office of the Chief Minister by bowing to the pressure of Mr Sukh Ram who was himself facing a CBI inquiry in several cases.
District celebrates foundation day
SOLAN, Sept 1 The Deputy Commissioner, Mr Balram Sharma, while addressing a meeting organised to mark the 27th foundation day of Solan district here today, complimented the residents for making it the foremost district of the state in growing off-season vegetables, stone fruits, flouriculture and industrialisation.
Ms Krishna Mohini, MLA, who was the chief guest, emphasised the traditionally cosmopolitan character of the town, where people from all parts of the state and country, irrespective of their caste or creed lived harmoniously.
A folk dance competition was also organised which was highly appreciated by the audience.
The Lok Sanskriti Dal,
Kalaharan, near Arki, bagged the first prize while the
second and third prizes went to the Sargam Kala Manch,
Oachghat, 10 km from here, and the local Government
Senior Secondary Girls School, respectively.
First dropsy case in Una
UNA, Sept 1 First case of dropsy has been reported in Una district.
Mr Des Raj, Deputy Commissioner, said today that Kuldeep Kumar, a resident of Delhi who was working there as a labourer used to purchase open mustard oil from a shop there.
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