|H I M A C H A L
P R A D E S H
Sunday, December 26, 1999
Cost of hospital triples in an
Rifle missing from Home Guard
workers criticise leader
SHIMLA, Dec 25 Young Congress workers are annoyed over the manner in which certain senior leaders of the party are "toeing" the official line of Mr P.K. Dhumals BJP-led government.
This has demoralised workers, whose morale was already low following a string of defeats in the Lok Sabha and Assembly elections.
The "unstinted" support extended to Mr Dhumal by a senior Congressman, particularly on the issue of the white paper on the finances of the state and on 'controversial' recruitments by the BJP government, has become a talking point here.
While party workers have been accusing the Dhumal government of saffronising the services, the senior leader not only announced his support to the government but asked the Chief Minister to bury the past and make a new beginning.
A Congress leader said this has sent wrong signals among grassroot workers, who have started believing that they are being made sacrificial rams for certain senior leaders.
It is being said that the particular leader has been pre-empted various moves of the party against the Dhumal government.
Thus what the senior leader said about the white paper was contrary to the views of CLP leader Virbhadra Singh who has been demanding that the Centre provide a substantial financial package to the state. He warned that the Dhumal government was raising loans which the state government did not have the capacity to replay.
He also said that the Congress would not support levying of taxes on the poor.
He described the economy measures of the Dhumal government as cosmetic and said the Chief Minister should downsize the government at the political level by cutting the size of his ministry and reducing the number of chairmen. Similarly foreign jaunts of ministers and chairmen should be banned.
appointment of Mr Moti Lal Vora, former Chief Minister of
Madhya Pradesh, as the new general secretary incharge of
Himachal affairs in the AICC, is expected to strengthen
the badly divided party unit here. Mr Vora has knowledge
of the party affairs as he has been here in connection
with various issues.
powers of CEs to be cut
MANDI, Dec 25 The Himachal Pradesh PWD and Excise Minister, Mr Mohinder Singh, said here today that the "unlimited purchase powers" enjoyed by the Chief Engineers of different zones would now be curtailed in view of the purchase scam of the central zone of the PWD in the wake of which Mr S.K. Sikand, Chief Engineer, Mandi, was suspended and a case registered against him by the vigilance wing of the state police.
Addressing a press conference at the local circuit house, he said the government was seriously considering to entrust the purchases to a committee of high officials and experts who would ensure that only need-based purchases were made in such a manner that "middlemen" played no role leaving no scope for corrupt practices.
Asked whether the minister was aware of the dubious role being allegedly played by the office of the Controller of Stores by granting rate contracts overnight to the firms, including even those which had been blacklisted, the minister said the department was not under him and, therefore, it would be improper for him to make any comments.
To a question why the practice of "supply order", which was breeding corruption was not abolished, the minister said the government would seriously think over it.
Mr Mohinder Singh said
the procedure of issuing LOC was being rationalised in
order to avoid bad practices. "I was shocked to
learn that LOCs were issued for consideration", he
lamented. Directions were being issued that LOC should
first be given for the payment of labour and then for the
payment of diesel and petrol.
JAWALAMUKHI: The allotment of shops by the Block Samiti, Dehra, has led to resentment among people here. In spite of the orders of the Panchayati Raj Minister, Mr Ram Lal Markandey, for an inquiry into the alleged irregularities into the allotment of shops, nothing has been done. Last month Mr Markandey ordered the the Block Development Officer to probe into the matter.
The Samiti had promised shopkeepers and kiosk owners who were evicted that they would be given shops as per their serial numbers in the under-construction shopping complex. The complex is to have 170 shops.
Of 25 shops constructed, in the first phase, 15 have been indiscriminately allotted to either encroachers or persons known to the authorities, allege residents. The old shopkeepers were not informed about the allotment, the residents allege. In letters written to the then Chief Minister, the Himachal High Court Chief Justice, Divisional Commissioner and other officials, the affected shopkeepers had complained that the shops were allotted to those who had occupied the samiti land unauthorisedly.
Rattan Chand had been paying rent for four shops to the Samiti for the past 20 years. During the allotment he was given two shops that too not in a sequence. He said he would bring the matter to the notice of the Chief Minister, Mr Prem Kumar Dhumal.
Sarwan Kumar used to
sell medicines from a shop at the complex site. When the
samiti allotted shops his claim was ignored. He moved
court. The court directed the samiti to allot a shop to
Sarwan Kumar, but the shop meant for him was allotted to
some one else.
KUMARHATTI, Dec 25 Various international bodies and national institution, including Bombay National History Society have expressed concern over the disappearance of vultures and a nation-wide vulture alert has been sounded. Obviously they have not heard of Kumarhatti. Indeed, nothing seems to bother the people of this hill town more than the many vultures.
The worlds best
natural scavenger can be sighted, perched atop pine trees
here and the adjacent Daghshai hills. They descend
whenever they sight a dead animal. Some days ago,
Kumarhatti witnessed a flood of vultures, when the
buffalo of local farmer died. The bird have their home in
a cluster of pine trees in the Daghshai hills.
hospital triples in an hour
SOLAN, Dec 25 The District Congress Committee alleged that the district administration had issued verbal orders to certain categories of government employees and students to be present at the public meeting addressed by Chief Minister P.K. Dhumal here yesterday.
The D.C.C., in an official release signed by it's vice-president, Ramesh Mehta, and general secretaries Arvind Gupa, Shiv Kumar and Ajay Chauhan, also alleged that government vehicles were also used to 'gather audience' for the meeting.
They also criticised the saffronisation of the old bus stand situated on The Mall, which begun to be used as a venue for public meetings by BJP. The over three-hour-long police imposed ban on plying of vehicles on The Mall before and during meetings has also caused great inconvenience to the public, they said.
The D.C.C. leaders termed Mr Dhumal's claim of having made budgetary allocations for the proposed zonal hospital here as a 'blatant lie'. They said no such reference existed in the Budget as passed by the Vidhan Sabha. "Significantly, while the treasurer of the H.P. B.J.P. in his address at the meeting said that the zonal hospital would cost Rs 7 crore, the Health Minister's claimed that it would cost Rs 15 crore. But when the Chief Minister rose to speak, he said that the hospital would cost Rs 20 crore!
The D.C.C. was also
critical of Chief Minister's claims of having
successfully launched the "Polythene Hatao"
campaign, it said. It was a pity that while pictures of
the Chief Minister clearing the streets of polythene bags
had appeared in newspapers, his partymen had used
polythene in its party election symbol buntings which had
been hung all over The Mall for his public meeting.
missing from Home Guard centre
KANGRA, Dec 25 A .303 rifle was found missing from the Home Guard Training Centre, Danootu, falling under Shahpur police station in this district. A case under Section 380, IPC, was registered on Friday in this connection, police sources said.
According to Mr Virender
Kumar, ASI, Police Station, Shahpur, the rifle was found
missing on the intervening night of December 19 and 20.
Home Guard, Commandant, Mr Rakesh Bhardwaj, has been told
about the theft.
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