|Saturday, May 6, 2000,
gets prime land for Rs 15,000
BJP for cordial ties with HVC
Water crisis grips Shimla
Police on high alert in Chamba
Thakkar sworn in as Himachal Chief
Agriculture oil spray
B.Ed entrance test
Favourite gets prime land for Rs
SHIMLA, May 5 In undue favour to an influential businessman who reportedly has links with a top bureaucrat, the Industries Department has allotted him a prime piece of land worth about Rs 30 lakh at the throwaway price of Rs 15,000 within the premises of the fruit canning centre of the Horticulture Department at Kulu.
The Horticulture and the Industries Department are at loggerheads over the issue. The businessman allegedly demolished the compound wall of the canning centre and forcibly tried to take possession of the land. The Horticulture Department has lodged a report against him with the police. But no action has so far been taken because of "pressure" from above.
The precious land is situated on one side of the highway at Shamshi between Kulu and Bhuntar. The canning centre was established in 1974 on 8 bhigas and 5 biswas. Now the land has been cut for being allotted to the businessman.
The staff of the fruit canning centre were taken unaware when the businessman accompanied by 80 labourers allegedly demolished the compound wall of the centre and started construction there on April 27.
Orchardists of 30 surrounding panchayats have sent fax messages to the Governor, Chief Minister and others against the allotment of land in violation of rules and regulations.
The market value of 600 square metres piece of land was estimated at around Rs 30 lakh, but it has been leased to the businessman for a paltry sum of Rs 15,000. Plum and willow trees were planted on the land by the canning centre about 25 years ago and these were now fully grown.
The Financial Commissioner (Horticulture), Mr S.S. Parmar, said an FIR had been lodged with the police and the Deputy Commissioner, Kulu, had been asked to get the area demarcated.
Interestingly, the entire process of handing over the land to businessman was completed by the Industries Department within two days. The Director of Industries initiated the move for allotment of the disputed land on April 17 even before the businessman had formally applied for it.
The application for allotment of the land was received by the District Industries Office on April 19 and the allotment made by the General Manager, District Industries Centre, the following day. The lease deed was signed by both parties the same day.
The land allotment letter does not mention any plot number and only specifies the measurement of land as 600 square metres.
In his communication, the District Industries Office had reportedly described the disputed land as "vacant".
The authorities have
pointed out that under the FPO Act, no unit could be set
up within about 20 metres of the fruit juice and canning
centre. Moreover, the approach to stores and the fruit
receiving platform would be blocked due to constructions
by the businessman.
BJP for cordial ties with
SHIMLA, May 5 The BJP high command may intervene to resolve the crisis in the Himachal Vikas Congress (HVC) and remove the irritants which have strained the relationship between partners.
An indication to this effect came after Mr Sukh Ram, HVC supremo, met senior BJP leaders L. K. Advani and Narinder Modi and explained the circumstances which led to the expulsion of Mr Mohinder Singh, PWD Minister, from the party.
According to party sources, the high command is concerned at the developments and wants the differences with the party, which extended support at a crucial juncture to pave way for the installation of the coalition government, sorted out at the earliest. It may ask Mr Sukh Ram and Chief Minister P. K. Dhumal to sit together and find a way out to resolve the crisis amicably and ensure that the relations between the two parties were not further soured.
Mr Sukh Ram, when contacted, said he was satisfied with his talks with Mr Advani and Mr Modi and was confident that the crisis would be resolved. He said he apprised the two leaders of the political developments in the state over the past two months, particularly the expulsion of Mr Mohinder Singh, from the HVC and the floating of a new party by the errant leader.
He also complained to the high command that instead of removing the expelled leader from the party, Mr Dhumal re-allocated him the important PWD regarding which there were serious complaints. Not only that the lone HVC minister in the Cabinet, Mr Ram Lal Markandey, was downgraded by stripping him of the Rural Development and Panchayati Raj portfolios and giving him a less important Animal Husbandry portfolio.
The HVC leader clarified that he was not against the allocation of the portfolio earlier held by Mr Markandey to Mr Prakash Chaudhary, who was elected on his partys ticket but was sent to the BJP as part of a tactical split to prevent the Congress from coming to power in the state again in the wake of a hung assembly. He said Mr Chaudhary was made a minister of state at that time as he was new to politics and had no experience. Now having worked as a minister for two years, he not only deserved good portfolios but also the Cabinet rank. He alleged that some vested interests were trying to create an impression that he was against allocation of the Rural Development portfolio to Mr Chaudhary.
He said, Mr Markandey, should also be elevated to the Cabinet rank to ensure a fair deal to the coalition partner in the changed political scenario.
Water crisis grips Shimla
SHIMLA, May 5 A severe water crisis has hit here with the level falling sharply in the main reservoirs of Sanjauli and The Ridge.
Water supply in the new Shimla areas was also been badly affected as there was very less discharge in the Ashwani Khad scheme which provides drinking water to the area.
The water level in the Sanjauli and Ridge reservoirs, which supply water to the old city, has fallen far below the minimum requirement. Many parts of the town were receiving water supply on alternate days.
Several areas did not receive the evening water supply because of frequent power cuts from Dehar as electricity was being supplied to Delhi from there. There was little water supply in Lakkar Bazar, Mall Road, housing board colony, U.S. Club and Boileauganj.
While senior officers claimed that the water supply was normal, sources in the Shimla Municipal Corporation told the TNS that against the installed capacity of 72.43 lakh gallons, only about 40 lakh gallons of water was pumped.
The water level of The
Ridge reservoir yesterday was 7 ft against the minimum
requirement of 10 ft and the level of the Sanjauli
reservoir was 9 ft 8 inches against the minimum
requirement of 13 ft. Residents of Khelini, New Shimla,
Vikas Nagar, Kasumpti and areas on the other side of the
town were also crying for water. Against the supply of
6807 cubic metres of water from the Ashwani Khad last
year, the supply yesterday was only 3642 cubic metres
against 4270 cubic metres on Wednesday.
Police on high alert in Chamba
SHIMLA, May 5 The police has been put on high alert in Chamba following reports of foreign mercenaries and Kashmir terrorists having made several visits to the Gandoh area of the adjoining Doda district in the past few days.
The authorities were reportedly not taking any chances following reports that the Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist outfit had replaced its local commander with an Afghan mercenary whose code name had been identified as Noorani.
Reports indicated that
Noorani had made several visits to the Jammu and Kashmir
areas adjoining the Chamba district of Himachal Pradesh.
The Gandoh area of Doda where Noorani has reportedly
established his headquarters is situated very close to
the Sappacholu sector of the Chamba district where the
terrorists struck last year and massacred 35 innocent
Thakkar sworn in as Himachal Chief Justice
SHIMLA, May 5 (PTI) Justice Chunilal Karsandas Thakkar, a Judge of the Gujarat High Court, was today sworn in as Chief Justice of Himachal Pradesh at a function held at Raj Bhavan here.
Governor Vishnu Kant Shastri administered the oath of office and secrecy to Justice Thakkar.
Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal, his Cabinet colleagues, Judges of the High Court, members of the Bar Association, advocates and senior officials of the state government attended the function.
Mr Justice Thakkar
replaces Mr Justice D. Raju who was sworn in as Judge of
the Supreme Court on January 28. Since then Ms Justice
Kamlesh Sharma had been working as acting Chief Justice
of the High Court.
Agriculture oil spray launched
SHIMLA, May 5 Caltex, a multinational company, today launched in the country "D-C-Tron Plus", its latest fifth generation agriculture oil spray which protects fruits and vegetables crops against a host of insects, pests and fungal diseases.
The new product, which was formally launched by Mr Ganesh Dutt, Vice-Chairman of the state housing board, will be useful for apple growers.
Dr Zong Min, a scientist
from China, who has conducted studies to evaluate
efficacy of the spray in various countries, said that the
new spray was most effective against a host of plant
diseases like mites scales, thrips, aphids and powdery
mildrew. Its biggest advantage is its zero phytotoxicity
and high molecular weight which formed a protective film
over the leaf without damaging the tissue.
B.Ed entrance test
SHIMLA, May 5
Himachal Pradesh University will hold an entrance test
for admission to B.Ed on May 28. However, the entrance
test for admission to diploma course in human resource
development and master of tourism will also be held on
the same day.
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