|Monday, February 28, 2000,
HP to spend 7 cr on garbage
Lack of safety norms caused
HP to have women forest guards
SHIMLA, Feb 27 (UNI) The Himachal Pradesh Government has taken a policy decision to recruit women as forest guards in the state.
This would not only rectify gender imbalance in the Forest Department, but also facilitate active participation of women in the forestry programmes, according to an official spokesman here.
Conservation of forests has been one of the major concerns of the state government, and participation of women is considered crucial for success of any forestry programme.
The state has a total geographical area of 55,673 sq km and about 35,518 sq km is covered by forests.
In its endeavour to restock and bring additional area under tree cover, the government has fixed a target of 28,000 hectares area for carrying out plantation on it this year. The plan outlay for the forestry sector has been increased to Rs 94 crore during the current financial year.
An Indo-German Changar project to restore the productive potential of the Shivalik Hills by use of watersheds has been further extended to five years.
After successfully implementing pilot phase of Integrated Watershed Development Project, Kandi, in lower Shivalik Hills, the state government has successfully negotiated the second phase of this project with the World Bank. With a total outlay of Rs 170 crore, this project would cover 73,000 hectares area in 32 subwatersheds in Sirmour, Una, Solan, Kangra and Chamba districts.
Yet another project to conserve forests in the state is the Himachal Pradesh Forestry Project. This UK-aided project is being implemented in Mandi and Kullu districts. Under this project, nearly 130 micro-plans are being implemented in these districts.
The Sanjhi Van Yojna, a scheme designed to be a tool of social engineering in empowering the communities to plan and execute various activities for conservation and development of forests, is also being implemented successfully in the state.
Under this scheme village forest development societies consisting of local residents have been constituted. All funds sanctioned are placed with the societies and utilised according to the approved micro-plan prepared by them. So far, these societies have prepared 320 micro-plans envisaging annual expenditure of Rs 8 crore to Rs 10 crore.
The spokesman said
special emphasis had been given on timely completion of
forest working plans. As many as 18 working plans were
finalised and got approved from the Government of India
during the last two years.
HP to spend 7 cr on garbage
DHARAMSALA, Feb 27 With the assistance of the Norwegian Government, Himachal Pradesh has drawn out a Rs 7 crore plan to keep various towns in the state clean and prevent them from turning into garbage dumps.
This was stated by Minister for Urban Development, Roop Das Kashyap while inaugurating the municipal committee complex at Nurpur yesterday. He said it was important to keep the towns clean and maintain the beauty of the hills.
He said under the project, Rs 4.20 crore were being spent on the garbage disposal scheme at Manali in Kulu district. The government had allocated Rs 2.80 crore for launching cleanliness drive in other towns of the state.
He said another big project on the cards was treatment of garbage for converting it into fertiliser at Shimla.
Mr Kashyap said we must say no to the use of polythene. He said the government was contemplating to close down 23 polythene manufacturing units in the state by rehabilitating them in other fields.
The minister urged the people to extend full cooperation to the government in checking encroachments and be vigilant against them.
He announced Rs 3 lakh for various developmental activities being undertaken by the Nurpur Municipal Committee.
Lack of safety norms caused
KUMARHATTI, Feb 27 Lack of safety norms in fire-prone industries sparked a row here today after the death of a three-year-old girl in a fire at Best Plastronics yesterday noon at Parwanoo, 21 km from here. Mr J.N. Kaul, a member to the municipal committee criticised the local units which did not have adequate safety arrangements. He said that it was duty of the government to ensure that all units under industrial law had safety arrangements. "Had the factory, as required by law, kept fire extinguishers tragic death of the child, might have been avoided".
Yesterdays fire at noon claimed the life of Jagyatha, only child of Sandeep Chopra, factory manager. According to information available, the child was asleep on the first floor of factory, used as residence. On sensing something amiss, mother of the deceased Indubala came downstairs. By that time smoke and fire had engulfed major part of factory premises and first floor where the child was asleep. Indubala was unable to go upstairs as fire made it impossible to her to do so. Mr Krishan Kumar, a factory hand dared to go upstairs, but fell unconscious due to heavy smoke. Fire brigade men entered through a window and brought down the child and the worker. They were taken to the ESI hospital where the child was declared dead and Mr Krishan Kumar, who had received face burns and carbon monoxide inhalation, was referred to the PGI at Chandigarh.
Plastic sheets were used
for the factory ceiling and fire became intense due to
these sheets catching fire. The police said that a short
circuit had caused the fire. People were also of the view
that a welding set caused the blaze.
HP hospitals in bad shape
PALAMPUR: Health services in Himachal Pradesh are in a mess. Most hospitals are in bad shape. The government hospitals look after the medical needs of over 22 lakh persons. Over 89 per cent of the HP's population are dependant on state-owned hospitals since there are no private-run medical institutions. Shortage of doctors, paramedical staff, nurses and other class IV employees has become a common feature. In most district hospitals, vacancies of specialists have been lying vacant for many years. It seems that the government is not concerned in filling these vacancies, whereas in many other institutions the government has posted specialists.
The state government has been spending crores of rupees on health services but still the common man has not benefited. The tall claims made time and again by Mr J.P. Nadda, Health Minister, regarding rationalisation of the health services have proved futile. Over the past 10 years there has been manifold increase in the population but the department has failed to meet the medical needs of the people. Most hospitals lack the latest instruments. Except for Shimla, other hospitals have obsolete instruments. Some hospitals do not even have ultra-sound scan.
Though the state has upgraded many district hospitals into zonal ones, neither the medical officers or paramedical staff needed have been provided nor additional buildings added to these institutions. As a result, there is no provision to attend to emergency cases. Serious cases are always referred to the PGI, Chandigarh, and the CMC, Ludhiana, which is beyond the reach of the common man.
There are instances when the patient dies for want of medical care. Recently an engineering college student died in absence of medical care at Dharamsala. He was admitted to the zonal hospital and when his condition deteriorated he was referred to the PGI, where he died. In another case, a poor woman was referred to the CMC, but she had no resources with her to reach Ludhiana. Ultimately she died.
The other problem being faced by government hospitals is an acute shortage of accommodation. The general ward of these hospitals remain over-crowded and the patients are adjusted on beds in corridors and verandahs. There is always a shortage of medicine, including life-saving drugs. In most cases, the patients are asked to buy medicine from the market. Even cotton and bandages are not available.
There is no place in the hospital to keep the bodies of patients who had died. Mortuaries in most hospitals are 50 to 60 years old and have outlived their utility. To keep bodies in such buildings is unsafe. Even doctors find it difficult to perform post-mortem examinations in such circumstances. Recently at the zonal hospital in Dharamsala, the body of woman, brought for a post-mortem examination, was found eaten by wild animals.
Political interference in the functioning of health institutions has made the situation worse. Quite a number of doctors and other paramedical staff are posted and transferred at the behest of political leaders. A majority of them enjoy political patronage of MLAs and ministers and manage their postings according to their convenience. Whenever a senior officer takes action against the erring doctors, political bosses come to their rescue.
In rural areas, where 90 per cent of the population lives, the situation has gone from bad to worse. Most health centres here are without doctors. The minister himself has quoted that 300 posts of the medical officers are lying vacant in rural areas. Doctors in rural areas do day duty and as a result there is no one to attend to emergencies at night.
Smuggling whisky under false truck
PARWANOO: The Parwanoo police has detected a unique way of liquor smuggling by impounding a Canter truck at the Parwanoo police barrier.
The specially designed truck has a false flooring by which the bottles of liquor can be hidden under the floor of the truck which cannot be detected in normal checking because other material is loaded on the floor. Partitions have been made under the floor and at one time about 1000 bottles of liquor can be carried valuing about Rs 2 lakh.
According to Kanwar Varinder Singh, Deputy Superintendent of Police, there has been a tremendous rise in liquor smuggling through the Kalka-Shimla national highway and strict vigilance and checking is being done at the Parwanoo police barrier.
The DSP added that the police has registered eight cases under the Excise Act in January, 2000, recovering 95 bottles of whisky and 6400 pouches of liquor and four cases in February seizing 24 bottles of whisky and 2500 pouches.
The DSP said the reason behind this increase in cases is that the smugglers get very high rate in the colder regions of Himachal Pradesh on selling smuggled whisky. A bottle of whisky is bought by the smuggler for Rs 100 from the nearby states and can be sold in Himachal Pradesh at Rs 200 and a pouch worth Rs 8 can be sold at Rs 20-25.
The driver-cum-owner of
the truck, which was impounded by the police on Friday,
told the police that he had been using this truck for
smuggling liquor when there was total prohibition in
Haryana. He had also been using this truck for carrying
liquor to various places in Himachal Pradesh.
SHIMLA, Feb 27 (PTI) The annual auction of excise licences (L-2, L-10, L-14A and L-20-B) will be held at different places in Himachal Pradesh during March, 2000, according to a spokesman of the Excise and Taxation Department.
In Una district the auction will take place in Town Hall near the Sainik Rest House, Una on March 10. In Kangra district the auction will take place in Zila Parishad Hall, Dharamsala on March 11. In Hamirpur district the auction will take place in Bachat Bhawan, Hamirpur on March 12, in Mandi district in Beas Sadan, Mandi on March 13, in Solan district in Sunder Cinema, Solan on March 14, and in Bilaspur district in Kisan Bhawan, Bilaspur on March 15, 2000.
In Kulu and Lahaul
districts the auction will take place in Bachat Bhawan,
Kulu on March 16, in Shimla district in Community Centre,
New Shimla, Shimla on March 17, in Chamba district in
Bachat Bhawan Hall, near Irawati Hotel, Chamba on March
18, in Sirmaur district in SFDA Hall, Nahan on March 18
and Kinnaur district in Bachat Bhawan Peo on March 21,
CHAMBA, Feb 27 Residents of Mangla panchayat in the district are protesting against the police for its "inaction" in apprehending a rapist who is "prowling the area".
The father of a 16-year-old girl lodged an FIR stating that his daughter was raped . He alleged that the police had failed to arrest the rapist, who was wandering freely in the area.
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