|Sunday, January 9, 2000,
child found dead
|Kangra to have krishi kendra
KANGRA, Jan 8 The Himachal Government has decided to set up a krishi vigyan kendra at Kangra, an extension of the Indian Council of Agriculture Research, for which the Government of India accorded sanction yesterday and would help the farmers of the state by providing them with the latest techniques of farm developments.
child found dead
SOLAN Jan 8 Bodies of Vandana, 30, and her son Jeevesh, 5 were found in a room at Hotel Abhilasha, Baddi, in this district. The whereabouts of Vandana's husband, Mr S K Verma, have not been known since yesterday.
The Vermas along with their two relatives, who had gone to Manali to celebrate New Year's Day, had checked in the hotel on January 4 for a brief stay enroute Agra, their home town.
The five had proceeded to the tourist resort in their car (UP-80-P-4381) on December 24. They left Manali on the evening of January 3. Their car collided with a truck near Namhol in Bilaspur district on the following night. All occupants, who were injured, were removed to the District Hospital, Bilaspur. They were discharged from the hospital at their own request the next day. The group then hired a Tata Sumo and reached Baddi on January 4.
Ravi, a cousin of Mr Verma, and Dinesh, a brother of Vandana, left the hotel for Agra on January 5. Soon after the Vermas requested for being shifted to another room. The hotel staff complied.
Sanjeev, a brother of S.K. Verma, reached the hotel on the morning of January 7, accompanied by an unidentified person. After visiting the room occupied by the Vermas, they reportedly asked the hotel staff to let them take Mr Verma to a hospital. The hotel staff informed the police. Mr S.K. Verma was found lying on the roof of the hotel.
The police took Mr Verma to the PGI, Chandigarh, where, he reportedly gave a slip to the police.
Mr Girdhari Lal, father of Vandana, a Mathura-based jeweller, reached Baddi today. He suspected that his daughter and the grand child had been done away with by his son-in-law who had allegedly been pestering him for more dowry ever since the marriage of his daughter to him on May 6, 1994. He had given Rs 90,000 to Mr Verma two years ago. He had also given gold ornaments worth Rs 60,000 to the Vermas on December 22 last. He, however, had not fulfilled the Verma's latest demand for either an Indica or Zen car.
Later, the bodies were
sent for a postmortem, which was conducted by a specially
constituted board of medical officers and forensic
experts. An IPS officer related to Mr S.K. Verma visited
docs transfers play havoc
PALAMPUR: Large-scale transfers of doctors in the state Health Department have adversely affected the functioning of various health institutions in the state. Those living in the rural areas are the worst affected as a number of dispensaries and primary health centres have been left without doctors. In a number of cases the state government had asked the doctors to hand over their charge before November 20, in view of the deadline imposed by the government for relieving the doctors. Most of them have proceeded on leave or are running after ministers and MLAs to get their transfers cancelled.
A fortnight back, the state government has ordered the transfer of over 200 doctors all over the state. Kangra, the largest district of state has borne the brunt as 14 primary health centres and 41 dispensaries have been left without doctors. Enquiries made by this correspondent reveal that most of the doctors have been shifted before the completion of their stipulated three-year term. The state government has not given any specific reasons for such wholesale transfers before the end of the financial year.
The Medical Officers' Association has strongly assailed these transfers. A spokesman of the association told mediapersons that it had already lodged a strong protest against these transfers with the Chief Minister. He said the government should have not ordered such large-scale transfers in mid-year as these would not only cause inconvenience to them but also hit the studies of their wards. The association had asked the government to cancel all these transfers immediately and suggested that transfers should be made only in April or May.
Despite tall claims made by Health Minister J.P. Nadda the rationalisation of the state health services had proved futile over the past 18 months.Over 300 health institutions including rural dispensaries and primary health centres in the state are without doctors resulting in great hardship to residents of the rural areas. Even in urban areas the situation is no better a 100-bed hospital at Palampur has remained without surgeon for almost two years. Now the government, had posted two surgeons against one post.
The state government had spent over Rs 10 lakh on purchase of ultra-sound scanning unit, but it is lying idle in the absence of radiologist at the hospital. Likewise, against one post of ENT, the government had already posted two, whereas in other institutions these posts are lying vacant. Even the Health Minister dares not to take action against doctors doing private practice in gross violation of service rules. Several doctors run parallel nursing homes.
The state government should come out with a transparent transfer policy for doctors so that people can get better health services. The government is spending over Rs 200 crore on health services at present but still people have to go to the adjoining states for better medical care as the state-owned hospital are not only ill-equipped but also without adequate staff and medicine.
SHIMLA, Jan 8 The continuing decline in the productivity of apple, the mainstay of state's economy is causing concern to farm scientists and growers.
While the area under apple has become more than three times over the past three decades, production has not increased proportionately. Apple cultivation started picking up only after independence and the area under the fruit went up from a few hundred hectares to 26,000 hectares in 1970 and finally to 85,600 hectares in 1999.
However productivity, which ranged from nine to 10 tonnes per hactare three decades ago, decreased to six tonnes per hectare during the 1990-2000 period. In fact average productivity for the past five years has still been lower at five tonnes per hectare.
Indiscriminate use of pesticides and fungicides, inadequate plantation of pollinisers, lack of irrigation facilities indifferent management of orchards and changing weather pattern have been the major factors responsible for the ever declining productivity. The obsession of growers with commercial varieties like royal delicious, red delicious and rich-a-red, which fetched a good price, and total neglect of pollenising varieties is one of the causes for erratic and poor fruit setting in most orchards.
According to scientists in every orchard one third of the plants should be pollinisers like golden, Kali Devi, mcakintosh, Spartan, stayman winesap and coxes orange pippin. However, in Himachal their percentage was not even five per cent. The growers replaced the traditional varieties with commercial ones but did not plant the requisite number of pollenisers. Consequently, the process of pollination, which leads to fruit setting, has been hit.
Changing weather pattern, with snow, considered as white manure for orchards, becoming increasingly scarce and prolonged dry spells in winters, which have become a regular feature are leading to wide variations in day and night temperatures. While in the absence of adequate snowfall the plants were denied the necessary chilling hours, the abrupt rise and fall in temperature affects insect activity essential for proper pollination.
A temperature ranging between 15 degree celsius to 22 degree celsius is most favourable for pollination. But that has not been the case over the past few years and mercury has been shooting up abruptly at the time of flowering.
Failure of the growers to manage the orchards on scientific lines is also one of the main reasons for poor productivity. A majority of the growers have not been following the recommended spray schedules and using the pesticides and fungicides injudiciously. Consequently, the disease has been multiplying. While the dreaded scab fungus has been stamped out, a plethora of other problems like premature defoliation, mite, root borer have emerged. The growers often complain that recommended fungicides were proving ineffective in overcoming the problems.
However, Dr R.P. Awasthy, Vice Chancellor of the Dr Y.S. Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry, maintains that the problem was more of management. Properly managed orchards in Kotkhai and Rohru area recorded a yield of 25 tonnes per hectare even during the last season when overall production was as low as 15 per cent of the normal.
Apart from declining productivity the irregular and erratic bearing was a major problem. The university now was laying emphasis on the plantation of regular bearing varieties in view of the climatic changes. It had successfully introduced some exotic ones like scarlet gala and red fuji from the USA and a few others were under trial among the existing varieties golden, Kali Devi and Kulu commercial were still doing fine but these accounted for a very small percentage of plants in orchards, he adds.
Plants in old orchards which came up in 1950's had completed their productive life and need immediate replacement. However, replanting of orchards was not easy as the fungal, bacterial other micro organisms in the soil hampered growth of new plants. The soil has to be funnigated and disinfected or replaced before replantation.
made without passing of bills
SUNDERNAGAR, Jan 8 The office of the Executive Engineer, Irrigation and Public Health, Sundernagar, has made the payment of Rs 15 lakh to a contractor even without passing bills.
According to a source, the payment was made by flouting provisions at the behest of a minister.
A contract of Rs 78.89 lakh pertaining to the Sundernagar sewerage phase-II was awarded to Sanjay Kumar who is stated to be a relative of a BJP leader. Interestingly, the work was started prior to the awarding of the tender. The contractor asked Parveen Kumar to do the work and executed a power of attorney in his favour. The source said the power of attorney was not in proper form.
On December 18 last
year, an amount of Rs 15 lakh was released to the
contractor through a cheque which was encashed the same
day without passing the bills. The source said the cheque
was signed by the officer when he received a telephone
call from a BJP minister. Interestingly, the payment was
not shown on the cash book of the department and even 20
days after the payment, the bills had not been passed for
reasons best known to the XEN, I&PH. Officials from
the department admitted that there had been a lapse in
traffic bylaws for Hamirpur
HAMIRPUR, Jan 8 The district administration has finalised new Traffic bylaws for Hamirpur town.
A decision to this effect was taken at a meeting of the Traffic Control Committee headed by the Deputy Commissioner, Mrs Anuradha Thakur, here last evening. This decision has been taken to ensure the smooth flow of traffic in the town.
An official spokesman told mediapersons here today that all vehicles entering into main bazaar area would have to follow the one-way traffic rule. Vehicles would move only from the Gandhi chowk area towards the hospital chowk. However, no vehicle will ply between 7 a.m. and 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. and 5.30 p.m. on this road.
He said that no heavy vehicle would enter the town area after 8 a.m. Such vehicles would be allowed to enter the main bazaar area between 8 p.m. and 7 a.m. only and all loading and unloading work would be completed between this period.
The district administration has also fixed points for the parking of light and heavy vehicles in the town. While taxis would be parked behind the main stadium, trucks would be parked 100 m beyond the local patrol station towards the Nadaun area and on the Hamirpur-Bhota road beyond Dosarka.
However, this order will not be applicable to the vehicles of the local Nagar Parishad, law-enforcing agencies, Department of Health, gas services and those supplying milk in the town.
soldier cremated with military honours
BILASPUR, Jan 8 Rifleman Ajay Singh Chandel, son of ex-serviceman Khushal Singh Chandel, of Badgaon village near Barthin 47 km from here, who is the ninth martyr to lay down his life for the motherland in the district here, was cremated with full state and military honours at the village cremation ghat at Sunhani yesterday among shouting of "Ajay Singh zindabad" and "Pakistan murdabaad" slogans by thousands of people present there.
Rifleman Chandel died while fighting Pakistan armed forces in the Ramgarh sector on the Indo-Pakistan border on January 6 and his body was brought here to his home village on Sunday night.
Himachal Minister for Cooperatives Rikhi Ram Kondal placed wreath on the body of the soldier on behalf of the Himachal government and the Chief Minister while SDM Ghumarwin B.L. Raghava paid floral tributes on behalf of the Governor Vishnu Kant Shastri, Ms Shakuntla Devi zila parishad member on behalf of the BJP and Ms Rooprani Mandal president on behalf of the Congress party.
Major Bishan Singh, Capt
Narinder Singh and Sub Major Mehar Singh also paid last
tributes to the departed soldier. Cooperatives Minister
expressed sympathy with the father of Ajay Singh and
other members of the family and said not only Bilaspur
district but Himachal Pradesh and the entire country was
proud of the sacrifice of Ajay Singh. He assured all help
to the family from the Himachal Government.
have krishi kendra
KANGRA, Jan 8 The Himachal Government has decided to set up a krishi vigyan kendra at Kangra, an extension of the Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR), for which the Government of India accorded sanction yesterday and would help the farmers of the state by providing them with the latest techniques of farm developments.
Disclosing this here yesterday Himachal Agriculture Minister Vidya Sagar said work on this Rs 2.50 crore project would start soon and Chief Minister P.K. Dhumal would lay the foundation stone during his winter stay at Dharamsala which is scheduled to start from January 15. He said eight hectares, of land at Chaib, near hear, was provided by the government for this project.
He added that this was Central Government's project to provide the latest technology in the field of agriculture to the farmers of this area.
He said in charge for
this kendra would be posted here shortly alongwith needed
staff and funds for this kendra were available with the
government. Mr Vidya Sagar had been trying for the
setting up of this kendra here.
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