|Tuesday, February 8, 2000,
Probe ordered into admissions
Cabinet okays power purchase
HP Govt to initiate hydro-power
Plea to reconsider decision on
Cold wave persists in region
Two killed in road mishap
1 killed, 30 hurt in bus mishap
Probe ordered into admissions
DHARAMSALA, Feb 7 The Governor, Mr Vishnukant Shastri, has ordered an inquiry into the controversial admission of four students in Palampur Agriculture University. The students were wards of university employees who had died in service.
The notification issued by the Governor, who is also the Chancellor of the university, has directed the Additional Chief Secretary, Mr Harsh Gupta, to hold a probe into the matter.
In the notification, which was issued in January, 2000, the Governor has said that after going through the rules the feels that the unsavoury controversy has adversely affected the image of the university and that even the Academic Council and the Board of Management took a decision in haste.
The issue of admission of the four students in the Animal Sciences and the Animal Husbandry Department in 1998-99 generated much heat, to the extent that the Vice-Chancellor, Dr P.K. Khosla, was suspended.
The Governor has also directed that it should be found out if there has been misuse of power or any person got benefit for giving these admissions illegally. He has directed the Registrar of the university to help the inquiry officer by providing all required documents. It has also been pointed out that the persons concerned must be given a chance to present their case.
The manner in which the Vice-Chancellor, Dr Khosla, joined at Palampur, on March 18, 1998, after relinquishing charge as Director, Extension, of Dr Y.S. Parmar University for Horticulture and Forestry, had also raised a controversy. A writ petition was filed before the Himachal Pradesh High Court and strictures were passed against the Vice-Chancellor, in which all four admissions were cancelled and Dr Khosla was asked to pay a fine of Rs 10,000. The Chancellor was also asked to take action against Dr Khosla.
Later in January, 1999, the then Chancellor, Mrs V.S. Rama Devi, suspended Dr Khosla. He then approached the Supreme Court against the decision of the high court, stating that he was not given an opportunity to be heard. The Supreme Court, in its decision, referred the case back to the high court, saying that Dr Khosla be reinstated, with the condition that he should proceed on a long leave, till the case is decided by the high court.
The High Court, on its part, asked the Chancellor to hold an inquiry and take suitable action in the matter. After this Dr Khosla resumed charge on January 8,2000.
Cabinet okays power purchase
SHIMLA, Feb 7 The Himachal Pradesh State Electricity Board will purchase power generated from micro by hydroelectric projects at the rate of Rs 2.50 per unit.
The general power purchase agreement (PPA) for the projects was approved by the state Cabinet which met under the chairmanship of Mr Prem Kumar Dhumal, Chief Minister, here today. The government has assigned as many as 208 micro hydroelectric projects with aggregate generation capacity of 270 mw to the private sector.
It also decided to assign eight more projects having a generation capacity of 254 mw to the private sector. These include Budhil (70mw), Harsar (60mw), Kugti (45mw) and Bharmour (45mw).
The Cabinet also decided to put in place a system of privatisation of government vehicles on an optional basis. Government servants opting for such a system would be paid maintenance charges and loans through state cooperative and other banks. The officers would be allowed to retain the services of official drivers and it will not have any adverse effect on the services of the drivers.
With a view to give fillip to construction of roads and other infrastructure envelopment in the state, the Cabinet decided that pre-feasibility study would be conducted by the private parties approved by the Himachal Pradesh Road Infrastructure and Development Corporation.
It also finalised the
modalities to disburse the fund collected through the
cess levied at the rate Re 1 per liquor bottle to the
panchayats and urban local bodies. The amount would be
distributed amongst the panchayats and urban local bodies
in which liquor vends are located and also those where
there are no liquor vends.
Dhumal's statement undemocratic:
SHIMLA, Feb 7 Mrs Vidya Stokes, Congress MLA, has criticised the Chief Minister, Mr P.K. Dhumal, for his statement that development works in Solan might get slowed down if the ruling BJP candidate did not win in the coming byelection for the seat.
Mrs Stokes described his statement as "undemocratic" and said this indicated that Mr Dhumal was not confident of his workers who were divided over the candidature of Mr Rajeev Bindal.
She said it was the duty of the government to work for the development irrespective of the condition whether the constituency was represented by an MLA of the ruling or the opposition party.
Identify Pong dam oustees:
SHIMLA, Feb 7 Dr Rajan Sushant, Minister of State for Revenue, has directed the Deputy Commissioner (Relief and Rehabilitation), Raja ka Talab, to identify Pong dam oustees to whom land in Mohangarh and Ramgarh in Rajasthan could be allotted.
Presiding over meeting of a high-level committee set up by the Government for the welfare of the oustees, he said the Rajasthan Government had already agreed to allot land to leftout allottees.
The committee was of the view that fresh allotment of land in 1,559 cases should be done by the Deputy Commissioner (Relief and Rehabilitation) without delay.
The Revenue Minister further directed that a serai at Anupgarh and Gharsana should be constructed soon.
The matter regarding issuing of identity cards to the oustees was also discussed.
HP Govt to initiate
MANALI, Feb 7 Mr Dinesh Sen, district BJP chief, and Mr Govind Thakur, national executive member of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM), in a joint press note issued here yesterday claimed that the BJP-HVC nominee, Mr Rajiv Bindal, would be elected with a landslide victory in Solan Assembly by-elections. They said after the BJP-HVC government came to power in Himachal Pradesh, the coalition had emerged victorious in all by-elections held for the state Vidhan Sabha.
They said the credit for the BJP-HVC success goes to development work undertaken by the state Chief Minister, Prof Prem Kumar Dhumal, as he had, succeeded in getting Rs 700 crore package from the Centre.
The BJP-HVC government
was committed to make Himachal Pradesh a model state by
initiating many hydro-power projects. The laying of stone
of 2051 MW Parbati Hydel Project by the Prime Minister,
Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, and a progress made in the works
of Larji and Malana Hydro-Power Projects in the district
were examples of government resolve to make Himachal
Pradesh a model state in the country.
Plea to reconsider decision
BILASPUR, Feb 7 Prominent freedom fighter and president of the All-Party Citizen Rights Protection Committee Harikrishan has urged Chief Minister Prof Prem Kumar Dhumal to reconsider the decision of the government to fell green trees in government forests.
Addressing mediapersons here yesterday, Mr Harikrishan said the felling of trees was banned by the government about 16 years ago and it had improved the environment and discouraged farmers to cut trees in their fields.
He said the felling of
trees by the government would encourage more scams in the
Forest Department as this could become an excuse to hide
several irregularities and it would also encourage
private parties to fell trees on their land and would
reduce green cover in the state, he added.
Cold wave persists in region
SHIMLA, Feb 7 (PTI, UNI) Most parts of Himachal Pradesh continued to shiver under severe cold wave conditions even as the region has some respite from rain and snow.
The mercury fell sharply and the minimum temperature was recorded three to four degree below normal.
The state capital had a clear day in the morning but thick clouds overcast the sky as the day advanced. Water tapes were frozen at many places in the upper areas of the town and thick ground frost affected the vehicular traffic during the morning hours.
The twin tribal valley of Lahaul and Spiti and Pangi valley in Chamba district groaned under freezing cold wave conditions with minimum temperature ranging between minus 12 and minus 26 degrees Celsius.
Avalanche threat loomed large in the high-altitude tribal areas and people had been advised to restrict outdoor movement.
The cold wave persisted in Shimla and its adjoining areas even as a bright sunshine greeted people in the capital town today.
The town was enveloped in dense fog in the evening, reducing visibility. Icy winds blew across the town and upper areas, including tourist places in Shimla district. Shimla town recorded the minimum temperature of 1.4 degrees Celsius.
Hindustan-Tibet road has been made thorough for vehicular
traffic after it remained blocked for three days due to
snowfall. However, Narkanda-Thanedar and Baggi-Khadrala
roads and the road leading to Chopal continued to remain
Youth Cong okays working
SHIMLA, Feb 7 The state Youth Congress yesterday approved the working manual concerning its activities for this year.
A resolution approving the manual was passed at the first meeting of the newly reconstituted body held under the chairmanship of Mr Sukhwinder, its president, Mr Harbhajan Singh, general secretary of the Pradesh Congress committee, also attended the meeting. As per the manual the Youth Congress will organise three state-level and five district level functions. It also lays down norms for collection and utilisation of funds to make the youth wing financially self-reliant.
Through another resolution the Youth Congress warned disciplinary action against those indulging in anti-party activities.
It also opposed the move to amend the Constitution and "saffronisation" of education in the state. It urged the government to ensure that Himachalis were given employment in the Chamera-II project and other hydel projects.
It expressed concern over growing corruption in the state under the Dhumal government and criticised its anti-people policies.
Two killed in road mishap
KULU, Feb 7 Two persons were killed in head-on collision here when their scooters collided near College Chowk yesterday.
Rajesh (23) died on the spot while Sharad (18) succumbed to his injuries in district hospital. One person was injured and admitted to the zonal hospital whose condition is stated to be out of danger.
1 killed, 30 hurt in bus
KANGRA, Feb 7 At least one person was killed and 30 persons were injured, some of them sustaining multiple fractures and one person suffering serious head injury, when a private bus carrying them rolled into a khud at Saproo village, near Khundian, under Jawalamukhi police station, this afternoon, the police said.
The district police chief, Mr K.C. Sadiyal, today said that the ill-fated private bus was on way to Jawalamukhi from Tirri in this district when the accident took place. The SSP said that the SDM and Deputy Superintendent of Police, Dheera, had gone to the spot.
Twenty of the injured persons were admitted to the Jawalamukhi Hospital. The Block Medical Officer, Jawalamukhi, Dr K.K. Rattan, told this correspondent that some of the injured were discharged after being given first aid.
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