|Thursday, February 24, 2000,
committed to uplift of poor: CM
Shimla's cleanliness drive succeed?
committed to uplift of poor: CM
SHIMLA, Feb 23 Mr Prem Kumar Dhumal, Chief Minister, said that the government was committed to the speedy uplift of the poor and downtrodden and development of the rural areas. He stressed the need for implementation of poverty alleviation and rural development programme in right earnest to achieve the desired results.
He was presiding over state-level coordination committee meeting of the Rural Development Department here today.
The Chief Minister said that out of total 10.37 lakh families in the state 2.86 lakh were still living below the poverty line and needed to be brought up at the earliest, which was possible only when the benefits of various programmes launched for their uplift percolated to them speedily.
He expressed concern that although crores of rupees had been spent on poverty alleviation programmes in the state during the last so many years but still about one-fourth of the total families in the state were living below poverty line. Where these funds had gone all these years, he asked.
The Chief Minister said Rs 120 crore was being spent under various state and Central Government-sponsored programmes of poverty alleviation and rural development during the current financial year.
A sum of Rs 11.59 crore was being spent under the Jawahar Gram Samridhi Yojna, which also aimed at development of rural infrastructure in a planned way and also for providing gainful employment to the people living below poverty line. Rs 12.79 crore was being spent under assured employment scheme and suggested that panchayat samitis and zila parishads to include the works of micro plan at panchayat levels approved by the gram sabha under it so that the works prioritised at the grassroot level were executed speedily.
Providing shelter to the eligible houseless persons in the state was one of the priorities of the government and 73,385 houses had been constructed under the Gandhi Kutir Yojna and Indira Awas Yojna against a target of 72,000 fixed for the period 1994-95 to 1998-99.
As many as 125 watersheds for Bilaspur, Solan, Chamba, Kangra, Shimla and Hamirpur districts had been sanctioned this year under which Rs 35.22 crore would be spent in a five-year period.
He asked the Deputy Commissioners to ensure that the law and order situation was maintained and miscreants who try to disturb it were dealt with firmly.
Dr Ram Lal Markendey,
Minister of State for Rural Development, stressed for
timely achievements of targets under various rural
development programmes. Priority should be given to
complete the incomplete works first instead of taking so
many new works in hand.
Kapoor denies rift in BJP
DHARAMSALA, Feb 23 The Transport Minister, Mr Krishan Kapoor, said there were no rift within the state BJP, following the byelection to the Solan Assembly constituency.
Mr Kapoor, was speaking at the press, at the local Press Club here today. He denied that there were any differences between Mr Shanta and Mr Dhumal supporters. In reply to a question about the absence of Mr Shanta Kumar from the election campaign in Solan, he said the Union Minister himself or the state party President, would be in a better position to give an answer.
Mr Kapoor added that the election in charge for the Solan byelection, was in a better position to answer whether Mr Shanta Kumar, was invited to campaign for the party candidate Mr Rajiv Bindal, or not. He denied that there was any tussle within the party over the organisation elections and selection of the state party President.
He said the decision regarding the Special Road Tax was taken at a state Cabinet meetings and he was aware of it.
Sending a word of caution to the private bus operators, who owed crores of rupees to the government, he said a list of defaulters was ready and strict action would be taken against those who haven't paid their dues.
'Convene' finance panel meeting
SHIMLA, Feb 23 A member of the Executive Council of Himachal Pradesh University (HPU), Mr Subhash Puri, has urged the Vice-Chancellor to convene a meeting of the Finance Committee before the meeting of the Executive Council scheduled to be held on March 4.
Mr Puri, in a letter to the Vice-Chancellor yesterday, pointed out that the meeting of the Finance Committee, which was scheduled to be held on February 18 was postponed and as a result many demands of the university employees had remained pending as these would not be taken up at the meeting of the council.
He also demanded that the meeting of the Executive Council should be held every month. The council has met only once during the past about one year.
Meanwhile, Mr Puri and
Mr Waryam Singh Bains, member of the university court,
have served a notice on the HPU authorities warning that
the employees would stage a dharna in front of the office
of the Vice-Chancellor on March 7 in case their
long-pending demands are not met. Their three demands
regarding the implementation of reports of various
committees was listed on the agenda of the Finance
Committee meeting which has been postponed.
Will Shimla's cleanliness drive succeed?
Shimla is an important town. Its link with British heritage makes it a place of pride for residents, as well as a most-sought-after destination for tourists domestic as well as foreigners.
But the town can be a true image of its well-known historical grandeur only if the town's cleanliness is of a matching high order. And, right from the lowliest resident to the town's Mayor, everyone earnestly wishes to see every nook and corner of the town in a neat and tidy state. This, however, is a tall order. Neatness is possible only if all concerned join hands, as well heads, and make a concerted effort to bring about these changes. The community should launch a special cleanliness drive and give this, once regal habitation, a facelift.
However, the heartening part of the story is that the new Mayor, a determined has already announced a drive in the direction and it is being launched.
Nevertheless, any resident can observe small, but vital snags in the cleaning procedure. The Municipal Corporation has placed truck-hauled containers as well as small wastebins for disposing of garbage. Residents are supposed to put household waste in these containers only. But many residents tend to be careless. Only a few throw garbage into these bins.
The second point is about the design of the wastebin and the safaiwala's scrubbing pan. The mouth of the scrubbing pan for collecting waste issued to safai workers by the Municipal Corporation is just 30 cm wide. And the opening of the waste bin is only 25 cm wide. (see photo). The safai karamchari, therefore, finds it difficult to unload the rubbish straight into the bin. Ever in a hurry to dispose their work in the least possible time, they tend to scatter the last bit of the rubbish outside the bin. The cleanliness drive thus takes a step backwards.
A suitable modification of the scrubbing pan, to widen its mouth and the opening of the waste bin could help the safaiwala do a neater job.
Freedom fighter dead
NAHAN, Feb 23 Freedom fighter and social worker Basti Ram Pahari (80) died yesterday in his native village Palu in Rajgarh Tehsil. Mr Pahari had been ill and was under treatment for the last three months.
He had participated in the Pajhota freedom movement against Maharaja of Sirmour and was imprisoned in Nahan jail with other freedom fighters of the Pajhota valley.
Mr Shyama Sharma,
Vice-Chairperson, State Planning Board, Mr N.S. Tomar,
President District, Congress Committee and Mr
Chandermohan Thakur, state unit secretary of the BJP
expressed condolences on the demise of Mr Pahari.
Sub-centre locked for 3 months
MANDI, Feb 23 The lone health sub-centre at Kalhani in the Chachiot valley in the district has been locked for the past three months as the staff have been transferred.
Disclosing this, Mr Kesar Singh, vice-president, Yuva Jan Chetna, Kalhani, said people in the remote village which was not connected by road were suffering hardships as patients had to be taken to the hospital at Pandoh which was 25 km from the village.
"Our plight speak volumes about the callous attitude of the government towards people of the backward areas," he lamented.
Convene finance panel meeting
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