|Thursday, February 17, 2000,
1720 cr Plan outlay for Himachal
Felling being mechanised
1720 cr Plan outlay for Himachal
SHIMLA, Feb 16 Himachal Pradesh has proposed an annual Plan of Rs 1720 crore for the year 2000-2001.
This was decided at the meeting of State Planning Board here today which was presided over by the Chief Minister, Mr Prem Kumar Dhumal. With this proposed outlay, Himachal Pradesh would be spending Rs 5768 crore during first four years of the Ninth Five Year Plan on current prices which is a significant achievement against approved Plan outlay of Rs 5700 crore for the entire Ninth Five Year Plan period.
The social services sector has been accorded top most priority by proposing an outlay of Rs 702.36 crore which is 40.08 per cent of the total Plan outlay for the year. Hydel power development has been given the second priority by earmarking a sum of Rs 335.50 crore following by Rs 325.50 crore for agriculture, rural development and irrigation and Rs 246.94 crore for the transport services sector.
Mr Dhumal stressed that his government was committed for bringing a sea change in the socio-economic lot of the people in the State and allocation of 40.08 per cent of the total Plan and according top most priority for the social services sector was a pointer towards this. To ensure better social services to the people was on the priority agenda of the government and substantial increase in funds would be made for these in years to come, he added.
The Chief Minister stressed for the private sector investment in economic and the infrastructure development sector keeping in view of limited resources with the government.
He said the Government would also attract private investment in hydel power generation, tourism, agriculture and horticulture development in a big way so that within available resources more and more funds could be utilised on social services.
He said the state government had started various ambitious and welfare schemes in the field of education, including "Sarswati Bal Vidya Sankalp Yojna", Dr Ambedkar Meritorious Scholarship Scheme, "Yashwat Gurukul Awas Yojna" and "Dr Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan Utkrishth Chhatarvarti Yojana".
The Chief Minister said that Rs 152 crore would be spent on rural infrastructure development like rural roads, irrigation, flood control and construction of primary school buildings with the assistance of National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD), during the year.
Mr Dhumal said Rs 20 lakh had been earmarked for each MLA in the Plan under the MLA Area Development Fund scheme initiated by the government during the current financial year. He said this scheme had been introduced to involve the elected representatives in the development process.
He said keeping in view the difficult geographical and weather conditions in backward areas of the State, the norms for spending funds in these areas had been re-fixed and 65 per cent of the total development fund of the Budget earmarked for these areas would be allocated during first six months and remaining 35 per cent in the next six months. This would accelerate the pace of development in these areas by optimum use of the funds, he added.
He expressed concern that the benefits of various programmes being implemented to uplift the poor people were not percolating down to the needy and deserving and stressed for implementing these in an effective ways to get tangible results. He also stressed for bringing down construction costs in government sectors.
Stressing need for resource mobilisation, Mr Dhumal invited suggestions of the members for raising additional resources and effecting economy in government spendings so that development process could be speeded up.
The Chief Minister expressed his gratitude to the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Vehari Vajpayee, and the Planning Commission for appreciating developmental and other needs of the people of the State and giving liberal assistance to the State during past two years. He said besides a grant of Rs 700 crore Central assistance annual Plan size has also gone up from Rs 1008 crore in 1997-98 to Rs 1600 crore in 1999-2000.
Ms Shyama Sharma Deputy
Chairperson, State Planning Board, welcoming the Chief
Minister said that suggestions given by the MLAs during
Plan discussions had been given due attention while
formulating the Plan for the next year. She said efforts
had been also made to raise resources for development
from NABARD and other financial institutions.
Tibetan Govt to keep off Karmapa
DHARAMSALA, Feb 16 Steering clear of the controversy over the real head of the Kagyu sect, the Tibetan Government-in-exile, today said that interfering in the matters of the sect would amount to "playing with fire."
The secretary in the Department of Information and International Relations Mr Thupten Samphell, said the 14-year-old boy, Ugyen Trinley Dorjee, was no doubt the real incarnation of the 16th Karmapa, but it was for the senior regents and monks of the Kagyu sect to decide as to who was the real head of this school of Tibetan Buddhism.
To commemorate the 60th anniversary of the enthronement of the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, function was being held in the main monastery, outside the palace of the Tibetan spiritual and temporal leader in McLeodganj, on February 18.
Apart from the Dalai Lama, the heads of the four schools of Tibetan Buddhism, had been invited to take part in the event. The heads of the Sakya, Gelup and Nyingmapa schools would attend the function.
Despite the 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorjee, who fled from Tibet, being here in Dharamsala, the Kagyu sect will be represented by regents like Tai Situ Rimpoche and other monks. "To decide as to who would be the head of the Kagyu sect, there needs to be unanimity within the sect, as it is totally their internal matter," commented Thupten Samphell.
Ogyen Trinley Dorjee, shot into limelight, when he mysteriously fled from Lhasa to surface in Dharamsala on Jan 5, Mr Samphell, said the Dorjee, was the head of only one sub- sect of the Kagyu school and as such could not be considered to be its over- all head. The issue of the real head of the Kagyu sect was a very long and complicated story. " A debate is going on within the Kagyu sect over the matter and our government has nothing to do with it," he said. However, the 14 year old Karmapa is likely to attend the function, but not in the capacity of the overall head of the Kagyu sect.
Ever since, Ogyen Trinley Dorjee. was recognised the reincarnation of the 16th Karmapa, a major controversy had been raised. While the two regents of the Kagyu sect, Tai Situ Rimpoche and Gyaltsab Rinpoche, were instrumental in his selection, Shararpa Rimpoche, questioned and opposed their decision.
"The head of the Kagyu sect has to be a knowledgeable and senior monk, who has undergone rigorous spiritual training," he stated. He disclosed that it was in 1962 at Bodh Gaya, that the Dalai Lama had suggested that the 16th Karmapa, be made head of the Kagyu sect to which everyone agreed, at that stage.
In case of the Sakya sect, it is hereditary appointment, as the monks are allowed to marry and the son of the head takes over after his death. At present it is, Sakya Trizin, who is the head of the Sakya School, which has its headquarter at Dolma Phodrang, at Rajpur, in Dehra Dun.
It is Pener Rinpoche, who heads the Nyingma sect with its headquarter at Bylakupee in Karnataka. In the case of the Gelug sect, it is Lobsang Nyima, who heads it, with its base at Dharamsala. The head of the sect is given the title of Gaden Tripa. To become the head of the sect, one has to prove his worth and had to undergo 25 years of religious studies and become the abbot of the main monastery.
Admitting that there is
controversy amongst the Kagyu sect over the real head,
the Tibetan Government had decided to release literature
on February 18, giving details of the history and
complexity of the issue, while keeping itself away from
the conflict within the Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism.
Cong charge found baseless by
SOLAN, Feb 16 Ms Asha Kumari, a general secretary of the HPCC, currently doing campaign duty in the Kandaghat area, in a telephonic message to the Deputy Commissioner, Mr R.D. Dhiman, lodged a complaint that the PWD Minister, Mr Mohinder Singh, had indulged in blatant violation of the model code of conduct by holding and addressing an election public meeting in the compound of Government School, Kwarag, in Kandaghat block of this district today.
She alleged that the minister had compelled the school teachers to attend the meeting. While addressing it he had promised to fulfil a longstanding local demand for the Kiari-Kwarag-Sainj-Malga road on a priority basis. He even promised to start the tracking work by detailing a bulldozer immediately.
The Deputy Commissioner, Mr R. D. Dhiman, said that he had detailed Ms Rakhil Kahlon, S.D.M., Kandaghat to inquire into Ms Asha Kumari's allegation immediately after the receipt of her complaint. He said as per the SDM's report the Congress leader's charge had been found as completely baseless.
Ms Asha Kumari had also taken strong exception to a recent order of the district election officer, purportedly under the direction of the Election Commission, to the effect that counting of votes polled in the Solan bye-election would be done on the polling station basis. She said this revised procedure would enable the government to brandish the long stick against voters of those polling stations found having voted against the candidate of the ruling HVC-BJP combine. She describes this as a gross violation of voters right to secret ballot.
The Congress had also
filed complaints of violation of model code of conduct by
the member of Parliament, Mr Dhani Ram Shandil, who had
allegedly promised to allocate Rs 2 lakh from his MP's
development fund in the Chail area recently, and also
against the raising of slogans by BJP workers after
yesterday's rally addressed by the Chief Minister. This
was, according to Congress President, Sat Mahajan,
sometimes well after 5 p.m.
NJPC reject accord
SHIMLA, Feb 16 The Nathpa Jhakri Power Corporation Employees Association has rejected the latest agreement between the Centre and the State Government on various issues related to the service conditions and perks of seconded staff of the Himachal State Electricity Board and served a 15-day notice on the management to settle its grievances.
Terming the accord as one-sided and totally against the interest of the direct recruits of the NJPC, it threatened to start direct action if its demands were not accepted within the stipulated period.
The association lamented that despite its repeated pleas and the directions of the State high court the management ignored the view point of the direct recruits agreed to modify the equivalence of the two cadres at various levels and the terms and conditions of deputation of the seconded board employees. In the process it had created more anomalies. For instance, a non-executive of the board had been equated with an executive of the corporation. Not only that a highly qualified assistant engineer of the NJPC had been put on a par with fresh diploma holder of junior engineer and certificate holder draftsmen of the board.
Similarly, a matriculate non-executive of the board could now be promoted as an executive on the basis of length of services, whereas a non-executive of the NJPC will require a higher qualification for the purpose.
It expressed surprise that the NJPC management which followed the norms laid down by the Department of Public Enterprises had ignored the equivalencies as per these norms. The biased attitude is indicated by the fact that the recommendations of the 75th meeting of the board of directors pertaining to the seconded staff of the board had been implemented in toto, but those concerning direct recruits had been deleted in the final orders.
The agreement, it
warned, would further intensify the tussle between the
two cadres which in turn would affect work on the
project. The demands of direct recruits had been
repeatedly turned down on the plea of paucity of funds.
But the same management was ready to bear an additional
annual burden of over Rs 3 crore to placate the seconded
Felling being mechanised
SHIMLA, Feb 16 Alarmed at the large-scale import of timber under the open general licence (OGL), the Himachal Forest Corporation has decided to mechanise forest felling work so that its produce could stand up to the growing international competition.
Although the need to replace the age old system of manual felling was being felt for the past quite sometime, the corporation woke up to it only when the prices of timber started crashing with the arrival of imported timber. The domestic market has been over the past one year flooded with foreign timber which is not only cheaper but also quite good in quality.
Consequently, prices of timber have registered a steep fall. For instance the rates of domestic pine, the worst hit, have already come down from Rs 250 to Rs 130 per cft (cubic foot).
However, the New Zealand pine and some other fast growing foreign species, which are available in plenty, are still cheaper at Rs 110 to Rs 120 per cft. Even the prices of deodar, most precious timber has dwindled by Rs 2000 to Rs 3000 per cubic metre with the arrival of Russian deodar.
The market of domestic produce squeezing by the day as more and more consumers are switching over to imported timber. The main reason for lower prices of imported timber is that felling is carried out mechanically. This not only saves the cost of labour, but also leads to a better conversion ratio and quality of produce.
Since timber could not be removed from the OGL list, imports will continue, leaving no option for the State Forest Corporation but to bring down the cost of extraction and improve the quality of timber. This can be achieved only through mechanisation of felling, senior officers point out.
A mechanised felling unit has been created for the purpose. It will use diesel engine operated power chain saws for cutting trees. The felled threes will be transported out in the form of logs and not sleepers as was being done in manual felling. This will reduce wastage to the bare minimum and almost 90 per cent of the tree will be utilised.
The eight member unit, which is headed by a gazetted officer,will be provided training at the Forest Research Institute, Dehra Dun. More such units will be set up subsequently and even the labour suppliers, who carry out the manual felling for the corporation will be made to switch over to mechanised felling in a phased manner.
A major constraint is that mechanised felling is possible only in those forest lots in which trees marked for felling are concentrated in a small area. It becomes a tedious job to carry the power driven saws over long distances in hilly terrain for felling scattered trees. Thus, mechanised felling will be mostly useful in green lots marked to fulfil silvicultural requirements. In such lots a large number of trees are cut in a particular forest area due for felling. It is ideal for the forest areas accessible by roads.
However, this is not the case in salvage markings as dry, damaged and felled trees are scattered over a large area. Moreover, the difficult hill terrain also makes it impossible to carry out mechanised feeling in certain remote forests.
Foresters feel that mechanisation of felling work will help up to an extent in bringing down the cost of extraction. The major reason for the high cost was the heavy administrative set up of the corporation which must be pruned down to reduce the overhead charges. Besides large-scale pilferage of forest produce, which earned the corporation a bad name must be effectively checked.
CBI probe sought into attack on
SOLAN, Feb 16 The Independent candidate in tomorrow's byelection here, Mr Netar Singh, has demanded a CBI inquiry into the entire episode that lead to last Sunday's attack on the PWD Minister, Mr Mohinder Singh, resulting in grievous injuries to the latter.
He told mediapersons that he was deeply pained at reports in a section of the press (not The Tribune) that Mr Mohinder Singh suspected involvement of his (Netra Singhs) supporters in the attack, and said that the "false accusations" had been made to tarnish my name, after I had emerged as a strong contender in the poll fray."
Making a counter allegation, Mr Netar Singh said the facts gathered by him revealed that "the whole drama of assault was enacted by Mr Mohinder Singh himself with the active connivance of the Chief Minister as part of cheap poll plank."
He recalled that "Mr Mohinder Singh had similarly befooled the people in the 1993 elections in the Dharampur (Mandi) constituency. At that time too, alleging assault by his political opponents, Mr Mohinder Singh had been moving about with one of his hands in plaster. The plaster came off the moment the results were announced".
Mr Netar Singh wondered as to how would any minister take the law into his own hands and start acting like a PWD watchman. Logically, upon finding any damage done to the public property, the minister would have deputed his staff accompanying him to take whatever action was necessary. He also wanted to know as to how many times in the past, Mr Mohinder Singh had tried to save public property being damaged in a similar fashion?
Meanwhile, the HVC Senior General Secretary, Mr Chaman Lal Gachli, in a press statement released here today, while condemning the attack, had denied the hand or any leader having differences with Mr Singh over the allotment of party ticket for the Solan seat.
Mr Mohinder Singh, while addressing a press conference at Shimla on Monday, indicated that the attack might have been engineered by certain politicians at Delhi "who were not happy over his stand in the matter of allotment of ticket for the Solan seat to the BJP's Mr Bindal.
Bad, dirty roads
BADDI: The condition of roads: Pinjore-Swarghat, Nalagarh-Shimla via Ramshahar and the Nalagarh-Ropar, has deteriorated. One can see foot-deep potholes on the road branching from Brotiwala, Baddi towards the Pinjore-Swarghat national highway. Loaded trucks, tempos and three-wheelers can be seen here for days together as the road becomes slippery with a shower. It has not been repaired for a long time. The road is busy due to Kulu, Manali rush from Chandigarh and Delhi.
On the main bazar and the bus stand areas one can see heaps of garbage for days. The toilets of the bus stand stink. A portion of the road near the Shiv Mandir in Purana Bazar has not been repaired for the last one year.
The local Municipal Council has failed to provide parking space in the city. The situation becomes chaotic near banks and markets. One can see vehicles at sixes and sevens on the Nalagarh-Ropar road.
Pathania cremated with state
HAMIRPUR, Feb 16 Thousands filed past to pay their last respects to J.S.Pathania, Assistant Commandant of Border Security Force, who was cremated with full state honours on the banks of the Beas near Bara village of Hamirpur district of Himachal Pradesh. Mr Pathania was killed in an encounter at Padshahai Bagh locality of Srinagar.
Gaurav, his son, lit the funeral pyre.
The body of the martyr had been brought to his native village early this morning.
Mr B.R.Verma, Additional Deputy Commissioner and Mr Ahmed Pyam Syddiqui, SP, Hamirpur represented the district administration while leaders of various political parties and other organisations were also present.
Senior district officers assured bereaved family of full support to the next of kin.
|| Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
| Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh Tribune | In Spotlight |
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
| 119 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |