|Monday, May 1, 2000,
power tariff hikes cripple Parwanoo industry
Computer education for 100 schools
Quota stir: two parents awarded
CM defends decision on
Dalai Lama values love of Indians
Cong leaders rebut Dhumals
Dhumal: Cong has lost direction
Frequent power tariff hikes
PARWANOO, April 30 The recent announcement of the increase in power tariff by the Himachal Pradesh State Electricity Board, has sent a wave of resentment in the industrial sector of Parwanoo, Baddi and Nalagarh. Industrialists complain that the industry is always at the receiving end. The frequent revisions in power tariff have hit them adversely. The economic viability of the industry in Himachal Pradesh depends upon the cost of power and other factors.
Some industrialists say that they had to set up their units in the state basically on account of the availability of cheaper power as promised by the state government.
The government claims regarding surplus cheap power available are false as the industry suffers from shortage of power, voltage fluctuation and poor quality of power during the winter mainly due to problems at generation stage, they allege.
No doubt at this moment, the power is cheaper comparatively than the other states, but this low cost equalises with the non-availability of basic infrastructural support from the state. The industrialists have to incur a heavy transportation cost in bringing raw material and sending their finished products to the markets in other states due to the hilly terrain of Himachal Pradesh.
The water-based units in some industrial areas have to spend lakhs of rupees to buy water from other adjoining states to run their industry during the summer. The industrialists added that no tangible steps have been taken to augment the water supply system in the planned industrial areas and they have to spend a large amount to install tubewells to meet the requirement.
The state government has been increasing the power tariff almost every year for the past four years. As a result, the power tariff has gone up by 75 per cent in this period for an average industrial unit. For bulk consumer, the increase has been even more. Consequently, some induction furnaces were forced to close down and the others are on the verge of closing.
The industrialists fear that the further revision of tariff will make the industry very uncompetitive with the industry elsewhere. The small-scale industry is the most hit by the recent tariff hike. They added that as the small-scale industry is passing through a rough time, this hike will be another blow on it.
Computer education for 100
HAMIRPUR, April 30 The HP Chief Minister, Prof Prem Kumar Dhumal, has ruled out opening of new educational institutions in the state without first the fully equipping the existing schools. He said the state had seen saturation point in field of educational institutions and efforts would be made to provide all facilities in schools so that students were imparted good education.
Addressing a public meeting at Parol village in his assembly constituency last night, he said that it was shocking that the standard of education was falling day by day. He said copying could get one good marks in examinations but would be of no help at in competitive examinations for good jobs.
Prof Dhumal called upon the teachers to devote their maximum time and energy for teaching and shun irrelevant issues.
He said the government was examining a proposal to introduce state level prizes to teachers of schools and colleges for showing good results. A decision to this effect would be taken shortly.
Earlier the Chief Minister performed the upgradation ceremony of the local high school to plus two school and inaugurated a few new rooms of the schools constructed by the government. He said adequate facilities would be provided in the school for the children.
The Chief Minister said computer education was the need of the hour and it would be introduced in 100 senior secondary schools on compulsory basis.
He said the state government had recently adopted a bill to ban persons with more than two children to contest the panchayat elections. It would be effected with prospective effect and not on retrospective effect. He said all old guards were free to contest the elections and the bar was on the new generation only.
Education Minister, Ishwar Dass Dhiman, to pointed out that despite government actions copying and tuition culture was still flourishing in the state. He appealed to the people to help the government to end this menace.
The Chief Minister announced a grant of Rs 10,000 for the local school children for cultural activities.
Earlier, the Chief
Minister inaugurated a bus-stand complex constructed at
Jahoo costing about Rs 25 lakh. Few local people donated
the land for the complex. He said that 20 more buses were
being added to the fleet of the corporation every month.
He assured people that their demand for grant the of
nagar panchayat status to Jahoo would be considered.
Quota stir: two parents
SUNDER NAGAR, April 30 In two significant judgements passed yesterday by Mr D.D. Sharma, Additional District Judge, Mandi, has awarded Rs 3.6 lakh and Rs 2.4 lakh along with interest at the rate of 12 per cent from the date of filing of these cases to the parents of the victims rioting of Mandal Commission rioting.
On September 27, 1990 when agitation against Mandal Commission recommendation was going on, one Ramesh Rana committed self-immolation in the main market of Mandi Bazar and on the same day there was a police firing in order to defuse the tension. Four persons, including two of the victims died and 12 others were injured.
The parents of the victims had filed two cases alleging that the act of police officials was not justified and the government along with the guilty officials was liable for damages. Himachal Pradesh, Collector, Mandi,and Prem Singh the then DIG police appeared as defendants in these cases. The parents of these victims have also filed criminal cases against the DIG who was later on acquitted by the court.
One of the victim Ajay Guleria was a student of B.Sc. II (non-medical) and other Karan Malhotra, a student of class IX. They died due to indiscriminate police firing. The parents of victims have filed civil suit for claiming Rs 5 lakh as damages.
The contention of the state was that the officials were doing their duty and have not committed any unlawful act and the state has already given Rs 1.5 lakh to the kin of victims.
The court held that the
state was liable for any act committed by its official
while discharging their duty and awarded Rs 3.6 lakh to
parents of Ajay Guleria and Rs 2.4 lakh to that of Karan
Malhotra. It took more than nine years to dispose off
CM defends decision on
DHARAMSALA, April 30 The Chief Minister, Mr P.K. Dhumal, today said that it was his prerogative to drop any minister or change his portfolio and he could exercise this option any time he wished to.
Addressing a press conference here today, he denied that the resignation by his ministry had been done to enable him to drop some ministers. "It was a decision taken by all to express faith in my leadership, and I had at that stage only made it clear that the resignations had not been accepted and all would continue to function normally, he pointed out.
Reacting to queries as to why so much of time was taken in making the minor changes, he said that the delay was caused due to the meeting of the HVC on April 25, only after which he could take a decision. When asked about Mr Sukh Rams statement that he would meet the Prime Minister to protest against the inclusion of the expelled MLA, Mr Mohinder Singh, in the Cabinet, the Chief Minister said that since both factions of the HVC, had extended unconditional support to him, he included them in the government. He added that he tried his level best to avert a split in the HVC by taking both to Mr Sukh Ram as well as the PWD Minister, Mr Mohinder Singh.
Mr Dhumal regretted that today the Congress party, which was facing a crisis of leadership and was directionless, was doing unhealthy criticism.
He ridiculed HPCC Vice-President Vijay Singh Mankotia for demanding a white paper on the financial position of the state and asked that where were the Congress leaders when a detailed white paper was presented during the winter session of the Vidhan Sabha and discussions were held.
Earlier, the Chief Minister said that computer education would be introduced in 100 senior secondary schools in the state soon.
He was addressing a
large gathering after performing upgradation ceremony of
Lala Memorial Senior Secondary School, Dera Parol in
Hamipur district last evening. He also dedicated newly
constructed building of the school to the people.
HVC: CM playing dangerous
BILASPUR, April 30 The HVC supremo, Mr Sukh Ram, has declared that sooner than later the Chief Minister, Mr Prem Kumar Dhumal, would have to choose between him and the PWD Minister, Mr Mohinder Singh, as it would be impossible for him to continue getting support of both diametrically opposed leaders. Mr Mohinder Singh had been expelled from the party for six years and he would ensure that he was not allowed to continue in the Council of Ministers for long, Mr Sukh Ram added.
Addressing media persons here last evening, he declared that he would not allow Mr Mohinder Singh and a handful of his other supporters to hijack the HVC. He said that the Chief Minister was playing "dangerous game" and giving a wrong signal to the masses by retaining Mr Mohinder Singh in the Cabinet.
Dalai Lama values love of
DHARAMSALA, April 30 The Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, today said had it not been for the love and support of the Indian people for the Tibetan refugees, they would not have been able to achieve so much.
He was speaking on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of his arrival here in McLeodganj on April 30, 1960. A big function was held for the Dalai Lama, where he was felicitated by 100 organisations and thousands of people from all walks of life.
Going down memory lane he said. "Though 40 years is a long span, yet due to the love and affection showered by you, the time has just flown by." He hastened to add that this period had been very fruitful in terms of the strides made by the Tibetan freedom struggle, as international community had now come out openly in support of the Tibetan cause.
Advocating the path of non-violence for attaining freedom, he said that each religion had something good to offer so we must respect and imbibe these. He said it was necessary for a Tibetans to preserve their religion and culture and for this a number of institutions had been set up here in India.
The function began with recitations from the Gita, the Bible, Guru Granth Sahib, koran and the chanting of mantras from Buddhist scriptures.
The Governor, Mr Vishnu Kant Shastri, said the Dalai Lama, with his courage and determination had instilled hope among the people. "Even the most averse situations have not deterred him from following the path of non-violence," he said.
The Chief Minister, Mr P.K. Dhumal, assured the Tibetan leader, that the government and the people of the state would continue to support them in achieving their mission of a free Tibet.
The Union Minister for Consumer Affairs, Mr Shanta Kumar, said there was no need for the Dalai Lama to be indebted to India for granting him asylum, as it was his spiritual home, the land of the Buddha with whose message he had come back with. He said the people of India pray that the day comes soon when the Dalai Lama and his people can return back to a "free Tibet".
An Indonesian woman, Elisabeth Presto, presented the relics of the great Buddhist monk, Dipankar Ati Shah, who had gone from West Bengal for the propagation of Buddhism, hundreds of years back.
The function was organised by the Bharat Tibet Sahyog Manch. However politics cast its shadow on todays function. The function was organised by the Bharat Tibet Sahyog Manch, an organisation dominated by the functionaries of the BJP, and the RSS. It was a grand function where apart from the Governor, the Chief Minister, a Union Cabinet Minister, thousands of people from various organisations, felicitated the Tibetan spiritual leader, people from over 100 organisations, felicitated him but not even a single Congress leader or a representative of the Indo-Tibetan Friendship Association, was present on the occasion.
However not even a
single functionary from the Indo-Tibetan Friendship
Association, which is dominated by Congressmen and the
oldest Indo-Tibetan body here, thought it wise to be
present here, for the felicitation of the man because of
whom Dharamsala has attained international fame.
Cong leaders rebut
SHIMLA, April 30 The state unit of the Congress has ridiculed the statement of the Chief Minister, Ms Prem Kumar Dhumal, in which he had stated that the Congress would disintegrate in the state and at the Centre.
In a joint statement here, Mr Yoginder Chand, the party spokesperson and Mr Vineet Gautam, secretary of the Pradesh Congress Committee, said it was wishful thinking of the Chief Minister. The reality was that the BJP and the HVC were working at cross purposes.
A frustrated Mr Dhumal could not even restructure his own Cabinet, despite Mr Sukh Rams demand for dropping Mr Mohinder Singh, he could only take away the Excise and Taxation portfolio from the minister.
They also condemned the
recent hike in power tariff which, they said, would hit
all sections of the society. It was for the second time
in two years that there had been a massive increase in
power tariff, putting an additional burden of Rs 150
crore annually on the people of the state.
Dhumal: Cong has lost direction
UNA, April 30 Mr Prem Kumar Dhumal has said the Congress leadership at the Centre and in the state has no programme policies and direction and this was proved in the Rajya Sabha elections when a number of Congress MLAs voted for BJP candidate.
Addressing mediapersons at Una on Friday, Mr Dhumal said Mr Virbhadra Singh should try to find out who the black sheep were in his party.
In reply to a question
the Chief Minister said Mr Sukh Rams objection to
Mr Mohinder Singh remaining in the ministry was baseless
as Mohinder Singh was no longer member of Mr Sukh
Rams party as he had already expelled P.W.D.
Minister from his party.
SOLAN, April 30 The District and Sessions Judge yesterday convicted Talvinder Singh of Khera Sitaram tehsil and police station Kalka, under Section 376, IPC and sentenced him to undergo rigorous imprisonment for 10 years and fined him Rs 10,000 and in case of default imposed further simple imprisonment of one year.
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