|H I M A C H A L
P R A D E S H
Sunday, May 30, 1999
Red alert in Himachal
MC against move to transfer pond
Symbol of missionary zeal
Aid from temple for college
Accreditation of scribe withdrawn
Complete projects in time:
JE booked for diesel pilferage
French delegation meets CM
Four terrorists sighted
SHIMLA, May 29 A red alert has been sounded in Himachal Pradesh following the sighting of four suspected Kashmir terrorists by men of the ITBP in the Thirund area of Chamba district.
Highly placed sources said all police set-ups, particularly along the Manali-Leh road, which is being reopened on Tuesday for sending Army convoys to the strife-town Kargil, have been put on high alert. The security forces fear that the Afghan mercenaries and Pakistan-trained Kashmir terrorists may try to damage the road to cut off Army supplies to the Kargil and Ladakh areas.
The Manali-Leh road is an alternative for reaching the sensitive areas of Kargil, Leh, Dras and Siachen.
The first convoy of the Army this summer is scheduled to leave Pathankot tomorrow for Leh via Kulu and Manali.
The sources said a manhunt had been launched for the four persons in the forests of Chamba district adjoining the terrorist-affected Doda area of Jammu and Kashmir. Security personnel do not rule out an influx of terrorists into Himachal because of the pressure being mounted on them in Jammu and Kashmir areas.
When contacted, the DGP, Mr T.R. Mahajan, said it had not yet been verified whether the persons spotted were terrorists. He confirmed that an alert had been sounded.
He said in view of only one company of the ITBP having been made available to the state by the Centre for deployment in the Chamba areas, state police personnel were being sent there from other areas.
Mr Mahajan said he had proposed the recruitment of nearly 300 retired Army personnel immediately for deployment in the sensitive areas. Another proposal had also been moved to recruit an equal number of policemen.
He said police posts were being established on the Manali-Leh road to prevent any mischief by the intruders.
Panel to rehabilitate oustees
SHIMLA, May 29 The Himachal Pradesh Government has decided to set up a district-level committee to select suitable land at Bilaspur or its suburbs for the rehabilitation of left out oustees of Bhakra Dam. Public representatives will also be included in the committee.
This was decided at a state-level Bhakra Dam Oustees Rehabilitation and Advisory Committee meeting held here today which was presided over by the Chief Minister, Mr Prem Kumar Dhumal.
It was decided to give one more opportunity to the oustees for pursuing their claim to ensure that genuine oustees were not deprived of the benefit given to others.
Mr Dhumal stressed the need for practical and realistic approach to solve the problems of the Bhakra Dam Oustees keeping in view the sacrifices made by them for a national cause and also keeping in view the fact that the matter had already been much delayed.
He expressed concern that although Bhakra Dam had been constructed about 45 years back, some of the oustees had still not been rehabilitated.
Mr Dhumal said two sectors would soon be created after receiving recommendations of the district committee to rehabilitate the oustees.
He directed the authorities to consider whether such oustees who could not be covered under the award given earlier due to technical reasons could be considered as a unit for the allotment of plots for rehabilitation.
He said the state government and the Bhakra Beas Management Board would made coordinated efforts to solve the problems of the oustees and that the matter would also betaken up with the central government.
The Congress legislators, Mr Ram Lal Thakur and Mr Kashmir Singh, who are members of the committee, said no agenda had been circulated for the meeting.
National park areas denotified
SHIMLA, May 29 To clear the decks for enabling Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, Prime Minister, to lay the foundation stone of the 2051 MW Parbati hydroelectric project in Kulu district, the Himachal Pradesh Government today quietly issued a notification to exclude certain areas of the Great Himalayan National Park which will be covered under the project.
Mr Vajpayee is likely to lay the foundation stone of the project on June 5. The project will be constructed by the National Hydroelectric Power Corporation.
It is learnt that the entire process for denotifying 10.6 hectares of the national park was completed within eight days without waiting for the final approval of the Union Ministry of Environment.
Sources said the entire administration of Kulu district and the authorities concerned here were assigned the job of only clearing the hurdles in the way of the foundation laying ceremony by the Prime Minister as the ruling BJP would derive political mileage on the issue in the Lok Sabha elections.
The government issued the notification (number FFE-B-F(3)-2/99) under clause (3) of Article 348 of the Constitution defining the new boundaries of the Great Himalayan National Park.
It is learnt that all this was done by ignoring the objections raised by the Environment Ministry. Moreover, the clearance was yet to be received from the Centre on the points explained by the state government, the sources said.
The national park was established in 1984.
However, certain officers claimed that clearance of the Centre was obtained before denotifying the area comprising two villages, Kundan and Mahajan, which fell under the national park.
The sources said the entire denotification job was done within eight days of the District Collector of Kulu giving his award on the boundaries of the park. The papers were got cleared right from the Chief Minister to the lower levels by hand by the senior authorities.
It is learnt that the Centre had raised at least five objections to the denotification.
The authorities had initially sought permission to denotify nearly 90 hectares of forest area to make place for the project.
It is learnt that the state government has accepted the award of the Collector wherein it has been suggested that Rs 7.50 crore should be earmarked for creating pastures in lieu of the land which was being transferred to the project.
Various environmental action groups have already criticised the state government for denotifying various wildlife sanctuaries and national parks for setting up power projects and industries.
The denotification of parts of the national park coincides with the order of the Supreme Court which had fixed a deadline for all states to finally settle the boundaries of the national parks and wildlife sanctuaries. However, the Himachal Pradesh Government had sought one year's extension for issuing the notifications.
Concern has been expressed by environmentalists over the denotification of various sanctuaries one by one. The Great Himalayan National Park has rare species of the ibex, the snow leopard, the monal and the Himalayan snow cock.
The authorities were
taking the plea that the denotification was necessitated
as the national parks were supposed to be free of all
rights and private holdings Two villages in the park area
were denotified in 1994, they pointed out.
MC against move to transfer
NURPUR, May 29 The local municipal councillors are up in arms against the state government's move to transfer the historical Brijeshwari pond to the Waazir Ram Singh Memorial Committee.
The municipal council at a meeting yesterday took a strong exception to the government's proposal and passed a resolution, demanding that the pond not be transferred at any cost.
Meanwhile, Ms Krishna Mahajan, President of the council, in a statement warned that residents would launch an agitation if the proposal was not withdrawn.
Dhumal's attitude vindictive:
SHIMLA, May 29 Mr Atul Sharma, President of the Himachal unit of the National Students Union of the India (NSUI), has taken a serious view of the move of the BJP-HVC government to "tarnish" the image of the former Chief Minister, Mr Virbhadra Singh, by initiating a CBI inquiry against him on the basis of "false" cases.
In a letter to the Chief Minister, Mr P.K. Dhumal, the NSUI leader accused him of functioning with a vindictive attitude and flouting all conventions.
He accused Mr Dhumal of setting a wrong precedence by ordering such an inquiry.
Symbol of missionary zeal
CHAMBA: A century has passed when the foundation stone of a church here was laid. The occasion was celebrated with a function on April 11, 1999 which was presided over by Mr A.C. Lal, Bishop, Diocese of Amritsar.
According to the annals of the erstwhile state of Chamba, the Christian missionary work was started in the Chamba state in 1863 by Rev Willian Ferguson. In 1864, a site near the district hospital of Chamba, where doctors' quarters and the nurses' hostel now stand, was granted by Raja Siri Singh to Rev Ferguson. A small church was established there.
Rev Willian Ferguson was joined by Rev Wallesley C. Bailey after 12 years. Rev Bailey served the people till 1879.
Till 1894, the charge of the missionary work remained with another pastor. In 1894, a well-known medical scholar Dr John Hutchison took over the charge of missionary work. Dr J. Hutchison served the people for more than 50 years.
Dr Hutchison started the Mission Hospital at Chamba in 1894. He set up the first lepers' asylum in the country at Sarol village near Chamba town in 1875.
Dr Hutchison made efforts to have another spacious piece of land from the king. He wrote letter to Raja Sham Singh urging him to grant land for building a church.
The Raja not only granted a beautiful site but also got the church built at the state's expense. The Raja laid its foundation stone on February 17, 1899.
Gopal Dass, the then Superintendent of Works, completed the church building within six years at a cost of Rs 13806 when Raja Bhuri Singh was the ruler of Chamba state. The church was inaugurated on May 7, 1905.
Aid from temple for college
JWALAMUKHI, May 29 The controversy over the opening of a degree college here with financial assistance from Temple Trust has thickened. While the plan of the proposed college is still not complete the issue has taken political overtones.
The local MLA had promised the college to the electorate during election time and now he is facing a lot of pressure from the public in this regard.
The MLA, Mr Ramesh Choudhary, however, announced that the classes at the college would be started from this academic session. As per PTI news the Chief Minister, Mr Prem Kumar Dhumal, will inaugurate the college next month. However, the building of the proposed college is not ready and according to sources the college will start functioning from Yatri Nivas at the Agro Industries. According to the MLA the college will be shifted to another place as and when the requisite infrastructure will be available.
But the people see it as a political gimmick and feel that the MLA is not serious about the proposed college.
The Executive Committee of the Temple Trust also decided in principle to provide financial assistance to the proposed college at the MLA's behest. A meeting of the trust was held today and was presided over by the SDM of Dehra, Mr S.S. Chambial, who is also holding the charge of Assistance Commissioner, Temple. Three members out of eight were not present at the meeting.
Although, former Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh has welcomed the decision but he is not in favour of opening a college with funds from the temple. Talking to this correspondent he made it clear that the college should be opened with assistance from the state government instead of the Temple Trust. He alleged that the BJP government was not serious enough to open the college here and was delaying it.
Meanwhile, the issue of
financial assistance for the college has been opposed by
various organisations of the city. It will be an
"additional burden on the temple's coffers",
says Mr Vimal Sharma, priest of the temple.
Accreditation of scribe withdrawn
SHIMLA, May 29 In an unprecedented move, the Himachal Pradesh Government has withdrawn the accreditation of freelance journalist, Rattan Singh Himesh.
Mr Himesh was given provisional accreditation on behalf of the daily, Desh Sewak. He, however, had been writing on various issues, including those of public interest, in other newspapers also.
Complete projects in time: Governor
SHIMLA, May 29 (PTI) Himachal Governor V.S. Rama Devi today called upon engineers to work with more dedication and commitment to ensure timely completion of projects and schemes entrusted to them.
She said undue delay resulted in escalation of projects cost adversely, affecting the progress of the projects, besides putting additional burden on the exchequer. Time frame should be set up and strictly adhered to for saving public money.
The Governor was addressing a council meeting of the Institution of Engineers at HIPA Fairlawns, near Shimla.
Expressing her concern over the haphazard growth of cities and suburbs, she asked the engineers to come forward with bold initiatives and innovations to suggest cost-efficient and space-economic technologies.
Lauding the role of the
institution in upgrading the competence and technical
skills of the engineers, the Governor said the creative
potential of the engineers should be fully exploited by
giving them autonomy of decision making and more
JE booked for diesel
SUNDERNAGAR, May 29 The local police has registered a case against a Junior Engineer of the Bhakra Beas Management Board on a charge of pilferage of diesel.
According to sources the office of Chief Engineer, BBMB, received a report about less quantity of diesel in tanker. The tanker had been loaded from Ambala. On this the Junior, Engineer concerned was asked to unload the tanker in the presence of senior officers, but the JE started pumping diesel from main tank to the tanker after breaking the seal of the tanker. This was detected by the senior officers present on the spot.
Later, the matter was handed over to the police, which registered a case under Sections 420, 409, 120-B of the IPC. Earlier, the JE had confessed that the tank contained 3000 litre less of diesel, but later he escaped from the spot.
The police has impounded the tanker.
French delegation meets CM
SHIMLA, May 29 (PTI) A French delegation comprising Mr Darragen Philippe, Global Director, Mr Martin M Acintes Pari, France-India Division Director, accompanied by representatives for Acintec Paris-France Iyengar V and Timble-D met the Chief Minister, P.K. Dhumal, here yesterday and discussed with him the execution of hydel power projects in the state.
The Chief Minister informed them regarding various projects and said his government would welcome foreign participation as it would help in generating the income of the state exchequer and also give employment to the local people.
| Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Chandigarh |
| Editorial | Business | Sport |
| Mailbag | Spotlight | World | 50 years of Independence | Weather |
| Search | Subscribe | Archive | Suggestion | Home | E-mail |