|H I M A C H A L
P R A D E S H
Wednesday, December 29, 1999
HP national highways
set-up to stay
Rs 263-cr plan to modernise
Panel to probe theft of detonators
Move to privatise education flayed
HP national highways set-up
SHIMLA, Dec 28 Following serious objections from the Centre, the BJP HVC Government has reversed its decision of abolishing the national highways set-up in Himachal.
Highly placed sources told TNS that the move to scrap the national highways set-up had been shelved and the organisation would now be rather strengthened.
The decision to abolish the set-up, which includes the office of the Chief Engineer, two circles headed by Superintending Engineers at Narkanda and Shahpur and four divisions headed by Executive Engineers at Solan, Rampur, Pandoh and Jogindernagar, was taken last month at a meeting of the Cabinet. It was decided to merge the set-up with the PWD.
The sources said the Union Ministry of Surface Transport took serious note of the move and warned the state government of stopping the annual grant of about Rs 50 crore for maintenance of the three existing national highways Chandigarh- Manali, Pathankot-Mandi and Kalka-Shimla.
The Centre is also learnt to have made it clear that it shall be forced to review the decision of sanctioning four new national highways for the state in case the set-up was wound up.
The PWD Minister, Mr Mohinder Singh, reportedly met the Director-General of the National Highways Authority and other senior officers of the Surface Transport Ministry and conveyed to them the decision to shelve the move to abolish the national highways set-up.
It is learnt that instead of abolishing the office, a new Chief Engineer, National Highways, is being appointed after the present incumbent, Mr R.A. Chaudhary, retires on December 31.
The sources said at least two new circles might be created at Hamirpur and Dharampur on the plea that the four new national highways mostly fall in these areas. The newly sanctioned highways are: Pinjore Nalagarh-Swarghat, Jalandhar-Amb-Hamirpur-Kotli-Mandi, Ambala-Paonta Sahib-Hardwar and Shimla-Bilaspur-Hamirpur-Kangra.
It is being said that the Dhumal Government took the decision to wind up the national highways set-up hurriedly without looking into the pros and cons minutely.
Rs 263-cr plan to modernise
SHIMLA, Dec 28 (PTI) The Himachal Police has prepared a Rs 263-crore plan to modernise, and revamp the police force to meet the challenges of the next century, Mr T.R. Mahajan, DGP, said yesterday.
The plan envisages modernisation of training at all levels, weaponry, equipment, communication, the intelligence network and other facilities, the DGP said.
Mr Mahajan said the plan had been submitted to the state government to get it approved from the Union Government.
The plan also contained a proposal to downsize the police force at the lowest level and strengthen it at the middle level. Privatisation of routine patrolling and watch-and-ward duties would also be considered, the police chief said.
Panel to probe theft of
SHIMLA, Dec 28 The Director-General of Police, Mr T.R. Mahajan, has constituted a special team headed by the Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Mr K.S. Rana, to investigate the theft of 68,400 detonators from a store of the Public Works Department at Karcham in Kinnaur district.
Although such thefts
were not uncommon in the state as detonators were used
for blasting by miners and contractors, the police was
not ruling out the hand of militants. Mr Mahajan said
that the police was also taking the assistance of central
agencies like the Intelligence Bureau to nab the
Plan to strengthen tribal
CHAMBA, 28The Himachal Government has given priority to the construction of the Bharmour-Badgram and Hadsar- Kugti highways by raising Bailey bridges at crucial points enabling the road department to take heavy machinery across for early completion of these significant highways in the tough terrains of Bharmour tribal subdivision in Chamba district under the tribal area sub-plan during this year.
Resident Commissioner, Bharmour, informed this today that
the state government had allocated Rs 24.67 crore for
this plan. He said the main focus had been on
strengthening the "rural roads network" in the
tribal region under this plan for which an allocation of
Rs 8.39 crore had been made. He said Rs 3.58 crore had
been kept for the construction of Holi Hydroelectric
Project as well as for strengthening of power supply and
transmission system in the entire tribal terrain.
Move to privatise education
CHAMBA, Dec 28The Himachal unit of the Students Federation of India (SFI) has opposed the move of the Himachal Government to privatise the system of education in the state which will be a disastrous step.
Speaking to mediapersons
here today, Mr Prabhas Rana, state President of the unit,
resented the exorbitant fees charged by private
professional colleges and institutions as was the case of
Kala Amb Engineering College where donations were
allegedly collected from the students. He urged the
government to carry out reforms in the present system of
education. He also demanded that the admissions to M.
Phil. should be made on merit.
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