|H I M A C H A L
P R A D E S H
Wednesday, December 15, 1999
|HP steps to tone up health
SHIMLA, Dec 14 The Himachal Government has set up a task force for framing a long-term health policy and preparing a document "health vision-2020". This was announced by the Health Minister Mr J.P. Nadda, while making a statement in the Vidhan Sabha today regarding steps taken by the government to strengthen the health services in the state.
CM, Virbhadra have heated
No HP order to extend free legal
HP steps to tone up health
SHIMLA, Dec 14 The Himachal Government has set up a task force for framing a long-term health policy and preparing a document "health vision-2020".
This was announced by the Health Minister Mr J.P. Nadda, while making a statement in the Vidhan Sabha today regarding steps taken by the government to strengthen the health services in the state.
Mr Nadda said the task force was looking at the scenario of the health services in the next 20 years, its impact on people and suggesting measures for modernisation, qualitative improvement and better utilisation of services provided by the health infrastructure. In the next two decades we visualise a scenario where small families will be the norm. We aim to eradicate diseases like malaria, leprosy, polio, water-borne diseases, nutritional deficiency disorder like goitre and reduce the burden of other diseases like tuberculosis, diabetes etc. We will also like the health infrastructure to be geared to meet the challenges of the next two decades such as increased incidence of heart diseases and trauma and accidents.
While we are working on the health vision-2020 we are also trying to mobilise resources from international and other foreign agencies. At present the state is getting assistance from UNFPA for Sirmaur district and from the World Bank for Kinnaur district. The European Commission has already accorded its sanction for a reproductive child health project for Kangra district and UNICEF has also given its approval for projects in Chamba and Kangra districts. In the other districts we would be taking up a project with German assistance in the near future.
We are not satisfied with what we have achieved uptil now and we would like to get assistance for improving the secondary health care in the state, in which zonal hospitals, district hospitals and CHCs will be modernised. We are working on these projects and will soon pose them to the World Bank or OPEC for assistance.
"In addition to seeking donor investment, the state intends to go all out for resource mobilisation. For this the Health System Corporation has already been set up. This corporation will channelise resources from external aid agencies such as the World Bank and also mobilise funds from the market resources for infrastructure development."
Mr Nadda said: "The state government has taken a major step in integrating the health services with the Ayurveda Department. The government is aware that the Ayurveda Department has a large infrastructure with institutions in the remote and most difficult areas in the state. It has been decided that all national health programmes such as the reproductive child health programme, the national control of blindness programme, the national tuberculosis control programme, the national leprosy control programme, the national programme for lodine deficiency, the national programme for AIDS control etc, will be implemented through the ayurvedic institutions so that services under the national programmes are available to the people nearer their homes.
The state government has prepared a policy for rational use of drugs with a view to ensuring the availability of quality drugs to patients from the health institutions in the state.
Mr Speaker sir, the issue of shortage of doctors and the paramedical staff has been raised a number of times in the House. The state government has appointed about 820 doctors since April, 1998. We have also taken out surplus doctors from districts like Solan, Una, and other places and posted them to peripheral institutions in the interiors. All doctors transferred in the month of October as part of the rationalisation exercise have been relieved.
In the rationalisation exercise an attempt has been made to provide specialists in the district hospitals of tribal districts of Kinnaur and Lahaul and Spiti and other hospitals which have 100 beds or more.
It has also been decided to allow the Resident Commissioner, Pangi, to appoint specialists on contractual basis on a lump sum amount of Rs 25,000 per month at least in two specialities, gynaecology and medicine.
For filling posts of paramedical staff, the department has already completed selection of candidates for various paramedical courses. As many as 200 candidates have been selected for staff nurses, sixty laboratory technicians, thirty radiographers, 128 as male health workers. Courses for these categories have already started.
The government has also taken a decision to give contractual appointments to ex-servicemen and retired paramedical staff to fill the functional posts during the intervening period till the persons become available after training.
The government has also decided to delegate financial and administrative powers up to the level of primary health centres to improve efficiency of health workers in the field.
The state government has also decided to take care of elders and the aged. Special clinics are arranged for them on the first Tuesday of every month.
This year under the National AIDS Control Programme, the state government launched a massive family health awareness campaign from December 1 to December 15. Under this campaign Kulu, Mandi, Shimla, Una, Solan and Sirmaur districts are being covered. The total coverage of population is 33 lakh which is about 55 per cent of the state population.
"A survey is also being undertaken under the MLEC programme for the detection of suspected leprosy patients. All leprosy patients will be treated with multi-drug therapy so that the disease is eradicated by the year 2000".
The Congress legislature party leader, Mr Virbhadra Singh, took exception to the ministers statement parts of which, he pointed out, Mr Nadda had already given in an interview on a local TV channel yesterday. He said this amounted to contempt of the House.
CM, Virbhadra have heated
SHIMLA, Dec 14 A heated exchange was witnessed today in the Himachal Vidhan Sabha between the Opposition leader and a former Chief Minister, Mr Virbhadra Singh and the Chief Minister, Mr P.K. Dhumal.
The wordy clash took place between the two leaders during a discussion on a calling attention motion of Mr Kaul Singh (Cong) who demanded a CBI inquiry into the alleged irregularities in various purchases by the PWD office at Mandi.
Mr Dhumal said the Congressmen should not adopt double standards on the CBI inquiry, while they were demanding a CBI inquiry into purchases made by the PWD they were opposed to the CBI inquiry into another matter. Mr Virbhadra Singh reacted to the remark by saying that he never opposed the CBI inquiry against him even though it was "politically motivated".
He said he was not afraid of the ongoing inquiry which had not yielded anything during the past several months despite political pressures.
Mr Virbhadra Singh said he would face the consequences if any case was made out against him by the CBI.
Mr Dhumal assured that the BJP Government would do nothing against him out of vendetta. Moreover, he pointed out that he had not made any reference to the CBI inquiry against Mr Virbhadra Singh.
Mr Dhumal said certain Congressmen had opposed the CBI inquiry against Mr Virbhadra Singh.
Mr Dhumal said there was no question of the government trying to shield any officer involved in alleged irregularities in the PWD purchases in Mandi. The stores have been sealed and a five-member team from the Auditor Generals office has been despatched there to inquire into the allegations and submit their report within 10 days. Strict action would be taken against anyone found guilty.
Mr Kaul Singh was not satisfied with the inquiry being done by the Divisional Commissioner, Mandi, and wanted that the matter be referred to the CBI.
He alleged that irregularities were done in the purchase of bitumen emulsion worth about Rs 6 crore by the Chief Engineer, PWD, Mandi.
He alleged that the PWD Minister, Mr Mohinder Singh, was trying to defend the officer. The practice of purchasing the emulsion directly from the manufacturer or through the Civil Supplies Corporation should have been followed.
Power project to help
SHIMLA, Dec 14 The Chief Minister, Mr P.K Dhumal, today announced in the Vidhan Sabha that the government would spare no effort to develop the hill state into a "power house" of the country and assured that the financial crunch would not be allowed to come in way of expeditious exploitation of the state's vast hydel power potential.
Replying to discussion on a resolution urging the government to formulate a comprehensive policy for the speedy execution of hydroelectric projects, jointly moved by Mr Jai Ram Thakur and Mrs Asha Kumari, the Chief Minister said the government was already giving top priority to exploitation of hydel power potential. While doing so it was trying its best to ensure that Himachalis got employment and the state earned revenue from the projects.
Denying the opposition charge that the accord with the NHPC on Parbati project was not in the interest of the state, he said specific clauses had been included in it to ensure that 80 per cent of the incremental recruitment was done from among Himachalis. Besides, the 75 per cent of the surplus workforce of the corporation to be deployed in the project would consist of Himachalis.
He said the state had got the best deal as far as power share was concerned. It would get 30 per cent without investing a single penny. It included 12 per cent free power as royalty, 15 per cent from central share at generation cost and another 3 to 4 per cent being the state of the region.
He said the state had assigned the project to the NHPC as it did not have the necessary funds to execute such a mega project. He said the merger of the NTPC and the NHPC would not affect the hydroelectric power sector.
Earlier, moving the motion Mr Jai Ram Thakur said the state had one-fourth of the country's total hydroelectric potential of 84,000 mw and its speed exploitation could help make the state economically self reliance.
Mrs Asha Kumari said the government had committed a grave mistake by allowing the NHPC to assign the Chamera II project to a consortium of private companies on turn-key basis. Under such an arrangement Himachalis would not get any employment in the project.
Mr R.R. Kaundal, Minister for Cooperation, urged the government to hand over the Kol Dam project to the state electricity board.
Mr Rangila Ram Rao said the state should have representation in the decision making bodies of the projects.
Earlier during question
hour Mr Dhumal told Mr Harsh Mahajan that the Chamera-II
project was being executed by a consortium of Indian and
Canadian companies led by Jai Prakash Industries on
Bill on assets of MLAs tabled
SHIMLA, Dec 14 A Bill making it compulsory for the ministers and legislators to disclose their assets and liabilities was introduced in the Himachal Pradesh Assembly today by the Chief Minister, Mr P.K. Dhumal.
The Bill provides that members of the assembly shall declare their assets and also of their family members within three months of taking oath. Thereafter, they shall furnish the statement of their assets and liabilities every year on or before April 30.
It provides that if a member fails to submit a declaration of his assets within two months after the due date, the Speaker may place the matter before the House for consideration.
Every complaint or allegation relating to filing of false declaration of assets and liabilities shall be supported by an affidavit sworn by the complainant. The Speaker may take further action on such a complaint as he may deem fit.
The declaration of assets will include the cash and bank balance, jewellery, gold and precious stones, shares, business interests and moveable property.
Under the existing code of conduct, the ministers are supposed to submit details of their assets to the Chief Minister every year. However, the members of the assembly were not covered under the code.
Introducing the Bill, Mr Dhumal said that sometimes there are rumours that incumbents of high elected offices acquire wealth disproportionate to their known means of income after assuming power. This not only lowers the prestige of the office, but also puts a question mark on the integrity of the person holding such office.
To uphold the sanctity
of such offices and the state legislature, it was
desirable to enact a law to make it mandatory for every
member of the assembly to file a declaration of his
assets and liabilities in the prescribed form within the
No HP order to extend free
CHANDIGARH, Dec 14 The District and Sessions Judge, Kangra Division, today clarified that the Himachal Pradesh Government had not issued any instructions to the District and Sessions Judges and the Deputy Commissioners in the state to bring more poor people under the cover of free legal aid as was reported in The Tribune dated December 4.
Mr V.K. Ahuja, Sessions
Judge, said according to the scheme and the funds made
available to the state Legal Services Authority, free
legal aid was to be given to persons eligible under the
scheme. A panel of advocates had been approved by the
Chairman of the state Legal Services Authority.
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