|Tuesday, February 1, 2000,
HP to revamp power board
HP to revamp power board
SHIMLA, Jan 31 The failure of the powermen to put the Uttar Pradesh Government on the mat on the issue of power sector reforms has emboldened the Himachal Government which is all set to initiate the process of restructuring of the state electricity board.
The process will commence with the setting up of the State Electricity Regulatory Commission which will be but in place before the end of the current financial year. Unlike Haryana and some other States, which enacted their own legislation, the Himachal Government has decided to constitute the regulatory authority under the Central Act.
The State has proposed a single-member commission, which will have all the mandatory powers provided under the Central Electricity Regulatory Authority Act.
A 21-member committee will also be constituted to advise the commission. The main job of the commission will be the fixation of tariff for the electricity supplied by the board and independent power produce (IPP). It will thus have a major role in power purchase agreements with IPPs. After the restructuring of the board it will also have to decide on the financial issues relating distribution and transmission of electricity like wheeling charges.
The government has also initiated the exercise for the restructuring of the board. It has decided to conduct a number of studies for the purpose. The findings of these studies will enable it to decide the model to be adopted for the reorganisation of the board. The main issue is whether to trifurcate the board, with independent corporations looking after generation, distribution and transmission of power or to set up regional agencies for undertaking all the three functions. There is a feeling in the official circles that Himachal being a small State could do with just two corporations one for generation and other for distribution and transmission.
The power finance corporation has agreed to provide funds to the State for carrying out reforms. It has committed funds for studies which will be got conducted through consultants over the next six months.
Besides, the government
has also decided to formulate a power systems master plan
which will take care of the infrastructure required for
transmission and distribution of electricity in the State
in future. The projections of the investment required for
this sector will enable the State to arrange funds and
get the projects executed in time.
Slate miners flint ban orders
DHARAMSALA, Jan 31 The death of two persons in the Khaniyara slate quarries has once again exposed the illegal mining being undertaken there in violation of the Supreme Court's orders.
Two persons, Ishru and Aati, residents of Sidhpur Rakka village, were found buried under debris in mines in the Khaniyara area yesterday. The police said the bodies had been sent for postmortem and a case would be registered after the postmortem report was received.
The families of the deceased have reportedly told the police that the two had gone to the mining area to fetch wood.
A complete ban had been imposed on slate quarrying by the Supreme Court order, directing that no non-forest activity should be undertaken in the forest area, without the prior permission of the Ministry of Forest and Environment. An area of 140 hectare would be thrown open for quarrying after the permission is received.
But in spite of the
court orders illegal mining has been going on the
The mining department officials, however, say that once the Forest Department grants permission NOCs will be given to the mining lessees. The DFO, Forest, Dr Rakesh Sharma, said so far 50 cases had been detected by the department and reports of the damage done had been prepared during the past one year.
However, with its limited staff the Forest Department is unable to maintain a round-the-clock vigil. Two years ago a raiding party of the Forest Department had been attacked by persons engaged in illegal mining. Besides there is also a need to demarcate the entire area properly.
The police has been deployed in the area to check fresh mining and transportation.
For over 10,000 persons in the Khaniyara, Yol and Bhagsu Nag areas mining is a major source of income and political parties too have taken up the issue of reopening of the mines in their manifestoes.
concede that there is a need to strike a balance between
the economic and environmental factors but in the case of
Khaniyara none seems to be bothered as more and more
damage is being caused each day by this illegal activity.
Officials as well as environmentalists are unanimous in
the view that mining can be undertaken scientifically if
the entire process is tackled with some seriousness.
RAW team talks to Karmapa
DHARAMSALA, Jan 31 A team from the Research and Analysis Wing and the Ministry of External Affairs met the 17th Karmapa, Orgyen Trinley Dorjee, who fled Tibet and reached here on January 5.
According to sources, the Joint Secretary, Ministry of External Affairs, Mr Rangrajan, called on the Dalai Lama, at his palace in McLeodganj. He is also learnt to have met the Karmapa and asked him about the circumstances that compelled him to flee Tibet and his journey to Dharamsala.
Interestingly, this time
the intelligence team from Delhi, brought their own
interpreter, instead of relying on the one provided by
the Tibet government-in-exile. They met the Karmapa, at
the Gyuta Tantrik monastery, where he has been staying
since his arrival here. The meetings with the Karmapa
assumes significance as the Dalai Lama, is learnt to have
stated that India will commit a great blunder if it does
not grant political asylum to the Karmapa.
More Gramin Bank branches for
HAMIRPUR, Jan 31 The Union Finance Ministry has agreed in principle to open branches of Himachal Gramin Bank in Hamirpur, Una and Bilaspur district. This was stated here today by Mr D.C. Sharma President, All India Gramin Banks Workers Organisation.
He told media persons that the Reserve Bank of India had cleared the proposal for extending the network of Himachal Gramin Bank to three more districts of the state and now a final notification was awaited from Finance Ministry in this respect.
He said the Union Finance Minister, Mr Yashwant Sinha, had asked the All India Gramin Bank Workers and Officers Associations to submit concrete proposals for the six bipartite wage settlement within a month. This, he said, was based on a meeting with the minister by the office-bearers of the All India Gramin Bank Workers and Officers Organisation.
Mr Sharma said a proposal of Rs 350 crore had been submitted by the Finance Ministry for restructuring the regional rural banks in India in year 2000-01.
Regarding staffing pattern, he said that the report of the Chief General Manager of the Nabarad that was due on December 31, 1999, would now be made available by March 15, 2000.
Census-2001 meeting held
SHIMLA, Jan 31 Mr A K Goswami, the Chief Secretary, has stressed the need of taking up census work with diligence, care and effective supervision at all levels as its out- come was vital for micro-level planning and policy making.
Presiding over Census-2001 meeting here today, he said that census not only provided firm data base for planned development but also important information about people like religion and mother tongue.
He said care should be taken to collect authentic and accurate information as it would be a benchmark data. He said prescribed rules and time frame should be adhered to ensure time-bound completion of work.
Mr Goswami said due to geographical and climatic conditions census would be conducted in two stages. In the tribal and snow-bound areas, the census would be conducted from September 11 to October 5, 2000 whereas in other areas the exercise would be conducted from February 9 to March 5, 2001, he added.
JAWALAMUKHI, Jan 31 The mortal remains of Daljit Singh of 7 Dogra who sacrificed his life on January 24 in the Akhnoor sector of Jammu and Kashmir were consigned to the flames at his native village, Jouran de Lahar, near here yesterday with state and military honours.
His father, Dhanna Singh lit the pyre. Thousands of people attended the funeral.
Dental Services chief retires
SHIMLA, Jan 31 Dr R.S. Pathania, the first Director of Dental Services, who retired today after a distinguished career of more than three decades, was given a warm farewell.
During this period he served the state in various capacities as a dental surgeon, a specialist and in January 1996 he was elevated to the post of Director of Dental Health Services.
10 hurt as bus overturns
SHIMLA, Jan 31 (UNI) Ten people were injured, two of them seriously, when a Himachal Road Transport Corporation bus overturned at Sandoo, near Theog, in this district this morning.
The injured were admitted to a hospital at Theog.
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