|H I M A C H A L
P R A D E S H
Sunday, January 10, 1999
Congress decries govt for
power tariff hike
govt urged to look into 'transfer scam'
Regularisation of workers
among HP doctors
temple of learning languishes in neglect
Congress decries govt for power
SHIMLA, Jan 9 The Congress has condemned the coalition government for increasing the power tariff for various categories of consumers "without taking the public into confidence" and threatened to start a statewide agitation if the hike is not withdrawn immediately.
Reacting to the decision, Mr Kaul Singh, Mrs Viplove Thakur and Mrs Asha Kumari, all general secretaries, and Mr Yoginder Chand, spokesman for the HPCC, said the manner in which the tariff had been revised was questionable. The notification in this regard, made in September last, was never made public. The consumers came to know about the hike only when they received inflated bills.
Even though the winter session of the Vidhan Sabha was held in December, the government chose not to inform the House about the decision already taken and implemented, they alleged. When the 1998-99 Budget was presented, the government had proposed taxes worth Rs 50 crore, some of which were later withdrawn following opposition from the Congress.
The power tariff increase effected now amounted to direct taxation to the tune of Rs 58 crore and this was a huge burden on the poor domestic consumers who could ill-afford to pay even the earlier rates, the congress leaders claimed. From a maximum of 70 paise, the rate was now Rs 1.25 paise per unit, an increase of almost 100 per cent.
The increased power tariff should be withdrawn immediately otherwise the Congress would be forced to launch an agitation, they added.
The rates have been increased from 10 paise per unit to 40 paise per unit for four different slabs of domestic consumers. The first slab will now be of 45 units instead of 50 units. The rate has been revised from 60 paise to 75 paise per unit for consumption up to 100 units, from 70 paise to Re 1 for 150 to 500 units and beyond 500 units, a uniform rate of Rs 1.25 per unit will be charged.
For the non-domestic
sector, mainly the commercial and bulk consumers, there
has been a minimum hike of 25 paise per unit in three
different slabs. First slab of up to 200 units now
requires payment of Rs 1.25 per unit, second slab of up
to 500 units, Rs 2.50 per unit instead of Rs 2.15 per
unit. In the third category, the rate will be Rs 2.80 per
unit against Rs 2.40 per unit of consuming power above
Dhumal govt urged to look into
SHIMLA, Jan 9 The Himachal Non-Gazetted Services Federation has criticised the Dhumal Government for not taking prompt action in 'transfer scam', which was one of its main planks during the Assembly election.
Addressing a joint press conference here today, Mr Gopal Dass Verma and Mr M.R. Sangroli, president and general secretary of the federation, respectively, expressed surprise over the fact that the government had conducted neither any inquiry to bring the guilty to book nor taken action against those errant employees leaders against whom complaints supported by affidavits had been filed.
Referring to the Vigilance probe initiated against some employee leaders, they said the scope of the inquiry should be enlarged to bring corrupt politicians and official who had amassed assets disproportionate to their known sources of income.
He said the Vigilance inquiry was a ploy to harass employees.
They said that all employee leaders would declare their assets before elections to the state body of Federation scheduled to be held on February 26 and 27.
They lamented that the
BJP-HVC coalition government had invited neither the
federation for talks nor convened a meeting of the Joint
Consultative Committee over the past nine months. Since
the process of election was already underway the
federation would not take up the course of confrontation
and leave the matters for the new body.
Row over poll venue, dates
HAMIRPUR, Jan 9 The Hamirpur district Non-Gazetted Services Federation has expressed its concern over separate dates and separate venues for the state-level federation elections.
While Mr Gopal Dass Verma, the state president of the federation, has decided to hold the election at Hamirpur on February 21 and 22, Mr M.R. Sangroli, general secretary, has announced the holding of elections at Bilaspur on February 26 and 27.
Mr Prem Chand Verma, district president of the federation, told presspersons here today that there was no fun in holding elections at two venues. He called upon Mr Gopal Dass Verma and Mr Sangroli to sit together and finalise new dates and venue for the elections.
He said that it was the
duty of the state body to hold the new elections and to
decide the venue. However, the consent of the district
concerned was a must which has not been taken yet by any
leader from any district unit of the federation.
Regularisation of workers urged
HAMIRPUR, Jan 9 The HP State Power Board Bijlee Majdoor Ekta Union has demanded regularisation of the services of daily paid employees working in the board.
The union has criticised the authorities for not initiating any action in this direction despite orders from the state government, according to Mr Pratap Singh Thakur, president of Hamirpur unit of the union. He said here yesterday that a gate meeting was held at the Mattensidh office and slogans were raised against the board management.
The union leader demanded
regularisation of the services of daily-paid employees
having completed nine years of service in the board, an
end to the contract system in the board, filling of all
vacant posts of clerk and creation of more posts of
Resentment among HP doctors
CHANDIGARH, Jan 9 There is resentment among doctors against the Himachal Pradesh Government for not issuing a notification with regard to time bound promotion after four, nine and 14 years of service on the pattern in Punjab.
Mr Harminder Singh, Joint Secretary of the Himachal Pradesh Medical Officers Association, said in a statement issued here today that the notification in this connection was to be issued by the authorities concerned but it was held back at the last moment for unknown reasons.
2 die in house collapse
SOLAN, Jan 9 Two
persons were buried alive and one was injured seriously
in a house collapse at Gharati village of Baruna
panchayat 20 km from Nalagarh yesterday. The dead had
been identified as Lala Bahadur and Barasi Ram of Sihor
Akri village of West Champaran district of Bihar. They
were repairing the house when it collapsed.
A temple of learning
languishes in neglect
JWALAMUKHI: The Sanskrit Institute, set up for the promotion of the language in this region, is in bad shape because of the state government's apathy. The pathetic condition of the institute has been a cause of concern to lovers of Sanskrit. The institute is paralysed these days due to political interference. The management has been running the institute in an arbitrary manner, instead of upgrading standards.
The institute, established in 1905, was set up to preserve, promote and propagate Sanskrit language and literature in general and its learning in particular.
At that time the institute was aimed at for the welfare of the younger generation. There are over 200 families of priests connected with the institute. The religious duties still performed by them and almost all rituals are conducted in Sanskrit. At one time the institute was famous among astrologers. It was a time when students of this institute would sing bhajans praising the glory of Durga. The institute soon became a seat of higher learning of Sanskrit in the region. But, unfortunately, circumstances changed with the passage of time and that this seat of learning started to fall into neglect.
Enquiries reveal that a few years ago the state government had drawn up a plan to upgrade the institute, which included a modern building, a library and a sports ground. The number of seats was also increased. There was also a plan to affiliate this institute with a state university or Kendriya Sanskrit Sansthan. But as ill-luck would have plan was shelved with the change of the government and after that nobody took any interest in it.
The institute does not have the appearance of a temple of learning. A narrow hall has been bifurcated into two classrooms. The classrooms are too small for students to sit properly and there are hardly any lights hence one can't see even during the day. The hostel has been converted into an office and the classroom remains locked most of the time.
There is no arrangement for removal of garbage. Lack of proper furniture and other problems create a situation of uncertainty.
The staff consists of three teachers and their working conditions are pitiable. Working on meagre salary of Rs 3,000 per month, these teachers are neither considered college lecturers nor school lecturers. Adding insult to injury is the callous attitude of administration. One Shastri qualified Daroga has been entrusted with the work of the principal. He is far less qualified than these teachers and does not have the requisite qualification for the post. It is learnt that the post of "Daroga" was created to look after temple watchmen.
Nobody bothers to improve
things. Vimal Sharma, a priest of the temple, said
instead of opening a degree college in the town, the
government should provide adequate facilities. Besides,
the institute should be affiliated to the university.
Without affiliation, study in this institute was useless,
Leopard cub shifted to zoo
KANGRA, Jan 9 A two-year-old male leopard was trapped by certain Bangalis near Kachiari village on the Pathankot-Mandi highway today and later was shifted to Gopal Poka zoo by Forest Authorities.
District Forest Officer Dr Rakesh Sharma, who supervised the shifting of the leopard to Gopal Pora zoo said that the leopard was trapped by Bangalis during night. The leopard was shifted from the site to zoo after he was given anaesthesia.
HP's R-Day state function at
SHIMLA, Jan 9 State-level Republic Day function in Himachal Pradesh will be held on January 26 at Shimla where the Governor, Mrs V S Rama Devi, will take the salute.
Mr Gulab Singh Thakur,
Speaker, H P Vidhan Sabha will preside over the function
at Kulu while Mr Kishori Lal, Industry Minister at
Chamba, Mr Mohinder Singh, PWD Minister at Mandi, Mr J P
Nadda, Health Minister at Bilaspur, Mr Kishan Kapoor,
Transport Minister at Una, Mr Ramesh Chand, IPH, Minister
at Dharamsala, Mr Mansa Ram, Food and Supplies Minister
at Kinnaur, Mr Roop Singh, Thakur, Forest Minister at
Solan, Mr Vidya Sagar, Agriculture Minister at Hamirpur,
Mr I D Dhiman, Education Minister at Nahan and Mr Ram Lal
Markanda, Minister of State for Rural Development will
preside over the function at Keylong.
UNA, Jan 9 State Congress president Sat Mahajan, talking to mediapersons here today, said political witch-hunt and opening of cases against former leaders would neither help the people nor the state.
He was replying to a specific question regarding a CBI inquiry against former Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh which has been ordered by the BJP.
He lashed out at the BJP for "not maintaining" law and order and said atrocities on women and weaker sections had increased considerably.
Mr Sat Mahajan also criticised the increase in power tariff for domestic and commercial users though the government claimed that Himachal was a power surplus state.
2 arrested in murder case
BILASPUR, Jan 9 The police has arrested Charan Dass and Desh Raj, husband and brother-in-law, respectively, of Sheela Devi of Gwalthai village, 70 km from here, under Sections 302, 201 and 34, IPC, on charges of murdering Sheela on December 31 night.
Superintendent of Police
Anurag Garg said here yesterday that Sheela Devi's mother
Mrs Simro Devi, had complained that her daughter was
being harassed and had been murdered by Charan Dass, Desh
Raj and her sister-in-law.
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