|H I M A C H A L
P R A D E S H
Thursday, September 10, 1998
ST tribunal at Dharamsala
cops nab 8 robbers
Order on unauthorised construction
SHIMLA, Sept 9 In a bid to check unauthorised construction in Himachal Pradesh, the state authorities have ordered that no government building will be built without prior approval of the Town and Country Planning Department.
Genuine tourists harassed
ST tribunal at Dharamsala
SHIMLA, Sept 9 The Himachal Pradesh Government has decided to regularise all daily wage workers who completed nine years' service on March 31.
The decision was taken at a meeting of the Cabinet at Dharamsala today. The Chief Minister, Mr P.K. Dhumal, presided over it.
It was decided that in future all daily wage workers completing five years' service would be regularised every year. The process which would begin next year would cover all daily wage workers in government departments, boards and corporations.
The Cabinet also decided to set up a sales tax tribunal with its headquarters at Dharamsala for speedy disposal of cases.
It was also decided to strengthen and make functional the regional centre of Himachal Pradesh University at Dharamsala. Besides, new professional courses would also be introduced.
Work on sewerage for Dharamsala would be started immediately and Rs 80 lakh spent on the scheme during the current year.
The Cabinet discussed in detail the improvement and development of Gagal airport. It was decided that the Centre would be requested to start regular flights from there and urged to subsidise air fares on the pattern of the North-East.
The Cabinet approved that tea production work would now be looked after by the Agriculture Department in place of Industries Department and the work regarding processing and marketing would also be looked after by the Industries Department.
The Cabinet also approved the setting up of a hops plant in the joint section in the state for the benefit of growers, especially those in the tribal areas.
It was decided that the construction of the Chamba-Holi-Baijnath road would be taken up under the rural infrastructure development fund.
The Cabinet also approved that a committee should be set up to solve the problems of farmers. While the Chief Secretary would be the chairman of the committee, the Secretary, Revenue, and the Secretary, Forests, would be its members.
It was also decided at the meeting that the headquarters of the State Services Selection Board would be at Hamirpur.
The Cabinet okayed an enhancement in gratuitous relief being given under the Relief Manual. The relief in case of death of an earning member of a family in a natural calamity or accident was enahanced from Rs 30,000 to Rs 50,000 and in case of a major injury it was increased from Rs 10,000 to 15,000.
Work on the 240 MW Kuther and 45 MW Bharmaur hydroelectric projects, both in Chamba district, would be taken up with the assistance of the Power Finance Corporation.
It was decided that the foundation stone of the 86 MW Malana hydroelectric project would be laid on September 27 and a private party which was undertaking work on the project had been asked to complete it within four years.
All 383 Gopal Sahayaks appointed by the earlier BJP Government and retrenched by the previous Congress Government would be appointed veterinary pharmacists after imparting them training for nine months. They would be given a stipend of Rs 250 per month and on completion of the training they would be appointed on a regular basis.
The Cabinet also decided to appoint "vidya upasaks" in primary schools against vacant posts of JBT teachers. They would be given an honorarium of Rs 2500 per month and imparted training in the DIET of the district concerned for five years.
Delhi cops nab 8 robbers in Solan
SOLAN, Sept 9 Men of the Operation Cell of Delhi Police, arrested a gang of eight robbers, wanted in 12 different cases of murder and robbery, amidst high drama in the crowded Dharampur Bazaar section of the Kalka-Shimla National Highway around noon yesterday.
The Superintendent of Police, ML Negi, told reporters here today that the eight persons included Krishan Pahalwan, who carried a reward of Rs 15,000 "over his head" and who was also believed to be the kingpin of the gang who had created a reign of terror in West Delhi recently.
He gave the names of other arrested persons as Vijendra, Aman Singh, Kuldip Singh, Yatinder Singh, Surinder Singh all of Delhi, Sat Pal Kala of Haryana, Krishan Kumar of Hisar.
Mr Negi said that a Delhi Police party had visited him some three weeks back, seeking help for the arrest of the gang members some of whom had been hiding in places around Solan.
Krishan Pahalwan and other members of the gang had last committed robbery and murder in the Janakpuri locality of the National Capital on March 3, 1998. The Delhi Police which had been in hot chase after them finally tracked them down in Solan district's small town like Dagshai.
The S.P. said that the Delhi Police party came in strength yesterday after ascertaining that the gang was hiding somewhere in Dagshai and planned to leave the area yesterday. Accordingly they positioned one police vehicle just near the point where the Dagshai road met the National Highway and another a little beyond Dharampur Bazaar towards the Kalka side.
As soon as the gang members, who were travelling in brand new Honda City and Zen cars descended down on to the highway and proceeded towards the Kalka side, the waiting personnel in the car stationed there signalled their colleagues waiting at the other end. Both police vehicles zeroed in on the criminals' vehicles right in the most crowded Dharampur Bazaar.
As the police vehicle coming from the Kalka side came to a halt in front of the criminals' cars, an ASI, alighted with speed from the police car from the Dagshai side and put his revolver at the temple of Krishan Pahalwan, who was seated besides the driver of the Honda at the front seat.
Simultaneously other members of the police party took up positions with one covering the Honda and Zen car with a stengun. The eight wanted persons surrendered without resistance, staring at their leader who had been put under the shadow of the police revolver.
The Delhi cops huddled all eight robbers into one of their vehicles, a Gypsy and left the scene.
The raiding party deserved praise as they organised the operation keeping in view the dilapidated conditions of their own vehicles Gypsy and an oldish Ambassador and also the brand new and superior vehicles of the criminals.
Also planners of the operation took full advantage of the crowded bazaar situation further congested by seasonal apple carrying trucks.
In sharp contrast, the Solan police showed itself in poor light. While a handful of policemen from Delhi tracked down such a dreaded gang, the local police had so far not even been able to locate the place of hiding of the gang, even after the arrest.
When asked about it, the SP, denied any knowledge of the place of hiding or the particulars of persons who had harboured the wanted criminals. He said that that was still being ascertained. That kind of reply coming after nearly 25 hours of arrest episode did not reflect well on the efficiency of the local police outfit.
Logically the police
should treat the act of harbouring of criminals, if any
such thing happened and that could take place only if the
criminals vanished into some jungle hideout alongwith
their Honda and Zen, as a criminal act that had been
perpetrated within the jurisdiction. The SP, however,
pooh-poohed the whole idea adding that arresting the
harbourer of arrested persons was the business of Delhi
Order on unauthorised construction
SHIMLA, Sept 9 In a bid to check unauthorised construction in Himachal Pradesh, the state authorities have ordered that no government building will be built without prior approval of the Town and Country Planning Department (TCPD).
Taking serious note of the haphazard construction in the state, the government has warned officials that they shall be held directly responsible if any of their department buildings is constructed without the approval of the TCPD.
Those departments which have undertaken development and deposit works have also been asked not to do so till they obtain permission from the TCPD.
It has been ordered that all such government buildings which are being constructed without the permission of the TCPD should be got regularised by getting ex-post facto sanction.
The orders have come in the wake of reports of unauthorised construction in various parts of the state. Most of the government buildings are being built without the permission of the TCPD.
A circular sent recently to all central and state government officials has asked them to set an example to ensure the implementation of rules and regulations framed under various acts and help implement the government's policy in letter and in spirit.
The circular has also warned that if immediate action is not taken to regularise unauthorised construction and stop fresh unauthorised construction, the government will take appropriate legal action against departments and agencies and officials directly involved in such activity shall be held responsible.
The Chief Minister, Mr P.K. Dhumal, had recently given an assurance in the assembly that no government building would be allowed to be constructed without prior approval of the TCPD.
Sources say that at least 13 government buildings are being unauthorisedly constructed in Shimla alone at present.
Interestingly, 11 storeys of the high court building here have been constructed although the government had sanctioned the construction of eight. An eight-storeyed block of the police headquarters has been constructed on the Cart Road without permission. A lift block for the building is also being constructed without permission.
It is being pointed out that an additional three-storeyed block of Hotel Holiday Home of the HPTDC is being constructed here unauthorisedly. The TCPD had served notices to this effect.
A total of 10,559
unauthorised constructions were identified in the
planning areas of the state by the TCPD till June. Shimla
tops the list with 3949 unauthorised constructions
followed by Solan where the number was 3182, Chamba
(622), Hamirpur (672), Mandi (689) and Kangra (657).
Genuine tourists harassed too
PARWANOO (Solan): Week-end tourists from Chandigarh and surrounding areas, who visit various regular and improvised picnic spots along the Kalka-Shimla national highway, are increasingly being subjected to harassment by anti-social elements, especially unemployed youth.
The problem has been created by unmarried couples who travel to secluded spots along the highway and adjoining roads, like the Chakki-ka-Mor and Dharampur-Kasauli roads. Some of them allegedly indulge in intimate acts in jungle tracts, unaware that most of these areas are used by villagers, particularly women, and children, for grazing their cattle.
This has led to resentment among village elders, most of whom have been unable to do anything about the problem, owing to the fact that most of these miscreants come on fast vehicles and vanish from the scene before they can be nabbed.
Last week, Mr Bhim Dutt, Pradhan of Chammon panchayat, lodged a report with the Garkhal police about six youths (including two college girls from Chandigarh), who were bathing naked close to a waterfall near Jangesu village on the Kasauli-Parwanoo road. They were nabbed while still bathing there.
The Pradhan of Jabli panchayat, Mr D.C. Dhiman, says that obscene acts by tourists have become a common phenomenon on the Chakki-ka-Mor-Jauharji road, which diverts from the national highway.
Fiscal powers 'not' given to
MANDI, Sept 9 Mr D.D. Thakur and Mr Guman Singh, chairman and member of the Zila Parishad, respectively, have alleged that the evasive attitude of the state government in granting financial powers to panchayati raj institutions has rendered the recent amendment to the Panchayati Raj Act "ineffective and unfructuous". Consequently, the objective of involving them in administration and development has been defeated.
Talking to mediapersons today, they alleged that the bureaucracy was unwilling to transfer financial powers to elected bodies as it was not in tune with the spirit behind the panchayati organisations. All powers had been vested with deputy commissioners, making a mockery of the system, they alleged.
Despite a notification being issued under the amended Act, the district planning committee had not been constituted so far. The Zila Parishad chairman had become a mere "rubber-stamp", without any administrative or financial powers.
The previous Congress government, in a notification issued on July 31, 1997, had entrusted the supervision of 15 departments to panchayati raj institutions without giving them corresponding powers.
Poor widow cries for relief
SHIMLA, Sept 9 A poor widow, Mrs Ganu Devi, has complained that she was being denied financial assistance for the construction of a house under the Indira Awas Yojna.
Mrs Ganu Devi has written a letter to Chief Minister P.K. Dhumal that her repeated pleas to the Mayali panchayat for the purpose have yielded no result. More influential persons were being provided the assistance, she alleged.
She has said that she was receiving a widow pension of Rs 100 per month which was her only income. However, the assistance was given to a person who had 10 bighas of land and one member of the family was serving in the Home Guards.
HP government college Principals
SHIMLA, Sept 9 The state unit of the NSUI has criticised the Principals of government colleges for opposing elections to the students central associations.
Mr Ajay Solanki, general secretary of the state NSUI, said that instead of adopting dilatory tactics to postpone the elections, the university should change the pattern of elections as demanded by the union. The present system of elections was defective and encouraged violence.
He criticised other student unions for their failure to force the university authorities to hold elections.
Book on Pangi valley released
SHIMLA, Sept 9 Mrs V.S. Rama Devi, Himachal Governor, released the book titled "Exploring Pangi Himalaya a World Beyond Civilisation" authored by Meenakshi Chaudhary, a young journalist, who spent two years in the land locked tribal area.
Appreciating the effort, Mrs Rama Devi, said that the book would provide authentic information regarding life style and culture of the tribal people inhabiting the inaccessible land.
The book covers all aspects of the valley and Pangwals such as history, flora, fauna, customs, festivals and also provides detailed information about numerous unexplored trek routes and unscaled peaks. The author has also analysed the development policies of the government and highlighted the problems of employees.
Pen-down strike by HPU staff
SHIMLA, Sept 9 Non-teaching employees of Himachal Pradesh University observed a pen-down strike here today in protest against the alleged manhandling of Mr Vinod Sharma, an employee, by a student.
The employees also held a rally in front of the office of the Vice-Chancellor to demand action against the culprit.
The Himachal Pradesh University Administrative Officers Union has also condemned the incident.
Suicide cases on rise in Nahan
NAHAN, Sept 9 There has been an increase in the number of suicides and attempted suicides in the district this year.
The SP, Mr Prithvi Raj, said while 23 cases of suicide were reported last year, 26 cases had already been registered so far this year.
"Of the 26 cases, the cause was known in only eight cases, the SP said.
In five cases of attempted
suicide, the police was making further investigations, Mr
Prithvi Raj added.
Rs 598 cr HP outlay for education
HAMIRPUR, Sept 9 The HP Government will spend Rs 598 crore on education in the state during the current fiscal year, Mr Ishwar Dass Dhiman, Education Minister, said inaugurating girls' sports competitions at Didiwin village yesterday. The government aimed at providing education to all and stopping drop-out cases. He criticised the menace of copying as it harmed intelligent and deserving students.
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