|Thursday, March 23, 2000,
All-party meeting on deodar
HP restricts free travel for
21,000 TB patients in Kangra
Declare Pak terrorist State:
Hailstorm, snow hit life in
Thakur opens Nalwari fair
meeting on deodar felling
SHIMLA, March 22 An all party meeting is being convened by the Chief Minister, Mr P.K. Dhumal, to discuss the sensitive issue of amending the system of timber distribution (T.D.) under which costly deodar trees were being allowed to be cut by the right holders at a throwaway price in Himachal Pradesh.
This was disclosed by Mr Dhumal while talking to newsmen here today in connection with completion of two years in office of his government.
Mr Dhumal said that trees valuing several thousands were being allotted to the right holders at a paltry amount ranging between Rs 1.50 to Rs 5 per tree.
He said that any step to amend the T.D. rules or discontinue the practice would be taken only after arriving at a consensus with other political parties.
He said that various alternatives, including providing of the salvaged timber to the right holders instead of cutting green trees could be considered.
Mr Dhumal said that the Centre has accepted his demand for allowing flight of civilian aircraft from the Pathankot airbase of the Indian Airforce. He had pursued the matter with the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, and the Defence Minister, Mr George Fernandes.
He hoped that the step would help promoting tourism in Himachal Pradesh which does not have a big airport. The Airport Authority of India will construct an access to the runway from the portion of the airport which touches the territory of Himachal Pradesh.
The Chief Minister said that opening of the Pathankot airbase for civil flights will help promote tourism particularly in Kangra and Chamba districts.
He said that during the two years rule of the BJP HVC combine government, the biggest achievement was that the gap between the common persons and the government had been bridged.
Mr Dhumal listed various measures which had been taken to tap the hydro-electric potential in the State and said that power projects of about 3264 mw, which will be completed by 2010, will generate an annual income of Rs 1500 crore for the State Government.
He said that the policy of his government will be to participate only in elementary education and leave the higher and technical education for the private sector.
A new scheme will be introduced under which all such villages will be linked with roads where the land is offered by the residents without demanding any compensation. The thrust will be in Chamba and Kulu districts which have remained neglected in the matter of construction of roads in the past.
Replying to a question regarding amendment of the section 118 of the H.P. Tenancy and Land Reforms Act, Mr Dhumal said the issue was being examined but there was no possibility of much relaxation.
He said that 518 tourism projects with an investment of about Rs 600 crore have been approved and the stress was on adventure, nature and heritage tourism. Basic infrastructure was being created to facilitate setting up of enterprise by the private entrepreneurs.
A website on the famous Jawalamukhi temple will be launched in the coming Navratras. Some industrialists have offered to contribute for providing better civic amenities in the temple area and also in the pilgrimage town.
Single man clearance and escort services have been introduced in the industrial policy of the State. An export promotion park was being constructed at a cost of Rs 20 crore at Baddi in Solan district.
Steps have been initiated to downsize the top heavy administration and Rs 190 crore have been saved by better management of finances.
Four new national highways have been sanctioned by the Centre and work on various railway projects has been started.
Mr Dhumal said that the social security has been accorded top priority and the allocation for the sector had been increased from Rs 396 crore in 1997-98 to Rs 613 crore during the current financial year.
He said the balanced
development of all areas of the State has been ensured by
the government and people have endorsed the policies of
the BJP-HVC combine government by ensuring victory of the
alliance candidates in all the elections and
restricts free travel for disabled
SHIMLA, March 22 The Himachal Pradesh Government has decided to restrict the free travel facility for handicapped persons within districts.
A notification in this regard was issued last week and the Himachal Road Transport Corporation (HRTC) has accordingly directed its field staff to implement the decision.
Hitherto, the handicapped persons were allowed free travel in the corporation buses without restriction.
The government also raised the monthly charges for free bus travel for police personnel from Rs 20 to Rs 100 in a bid to cut down concessions at the cost of commercial undertakings.
Chetna, a social organisation, has urged the government to review the decision and restore free travel facility to handicapped persons.
Mrs Malika Nadda,
secretary of the organisation, met the Chief Minister, Mr
P.K. Dhumal, here today and urged him to allow the
patients of cancer and thalassaemia free travel in buses.
She also urged him to set up centres for providing
artificial limbs or organs to the handicapped.
patients in Kangra district
KANGRA, March 22 Himachal Pradesh has 84,000 tuberculosis (TB) patients, 1.4 per cent of the total population, undergoing treatment in the state. In Kangra district alone there were 21,000 TB patients.
Dr Vyom Bhardwaj, District TB Officer, today said here that under the Revised National Tuberculosis Programme (RNTCP), which started in Kangra district in November 1998, so far 2,000 TB patients had been registered. These patients were being given treatment. He said under this programme, 8,000 sputum samples were examined in the district. Out of these 1,220 cases were found TB positive. He said that they had been put on the Dot treatment.
Dr Bhardwaj said that 200 doctors from all over the district were imparted training in the latest techniques of treating TB cases. Under the programme lab technicians and para-medical staff were also imparted the training.
He said that under this programme five TB units, one each at Dharamsala, Palampur, Kangra, Dheera, and Nurpur were set up.
Sputum examination centres have been set up in each TB centre. In the district 28 sputum examination centres are there.
He said it costs a patient Rs 500 for the Dot treatment. Those who can afford the cost were being put on the conventional method of treatment.
Pak terrorist State: Dhumal
SHIMLA, March 22 The Chief Minister, Mr P.K. Dhumal, has urged President Bill Clinton to clarify the stand on declaring Pakistan a terrorist state.
Mr Dhumal, who was talking to mediapersons here today, said that the USA should not treat Pakistan on a par with India as the former has been indulging in terrorism in Kashmir.
He said that the world community should take a serious view of the mischief of Pakistan and hoped that Mr Clinton during his stopover at Islamabad would in clear terms ask Pakistan to behave.
Mr Dhumal condemned the brutal killing of 35 Sikhs by Pakistani terrorists in Kashmir and urged the people to foil the attempts of the enemy to create a communal divide.
He said that it appeared that the terrorists were now trying to make the Sikh community flee from Kashmir.
Meanwhile, the Siri Guru Singh Sabha has condemned the killing of Sikhs in Kashmir and has demanded a judicial inquiry into the incident.
snow hit life in Himachal
SHIMLA, March 22 The entire Himachal Pradesh came in the grip of a severe cold wave following fresh snowfall in the upper reaches of Shimla and Kulu districts and the tribal areas.
According to reports received here, the entire tribal belt comprising Kinnaur, Lahaul-Spiti and Pangi is having heavy snow since last night. Kalpa in Kinnaur had recorded 30 cm of snow till this evening.
Narkanda, Kharapathar and the Chansal area in upper Shimla and Solang nullah, Marhi and Gulaba in Kulu district also had snow since afternoon.
Normal life in Shimla and its surrounding areas was thrown out of gear as a severe hailstorm lashed the region this afternoon.
opens Nalwari fair
SUNDERNAGAR, March 22 A state-level Nalwari fair was inaugurated by Mr Rup Singh Thakur, Forest Minister, today.
A procession which was started from the P.W.D. rest house concluded at Nagaun Khud, where the Forest Minister performed worship of bullocks and by putting a khundi (stake) in the ground.
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