Monday, May 22, 2000,
Chandigarh, India





THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
H I M A C H A L   P R A D E S H

Seven officials suspended
SHIMLA, May 21 — The State Forest Corporation authorities have suspended seven officials following detection of unauthorised felling of trees and unaccounted timber.

Dhumal inefficient, says Mahajan
MANDI, May 21 — The HPCC chief , Mr Sat Mahajan, has described the Dhumal government as "inefficient and ineffective" which has brought all developmental works to a virtual halt, particularly in the constituencies represented by the opposition MLAs.

Advani arrives in Shimla
SHIMLA, May 21 Mr L.K. Advani, Union Home Minister, arrived here today on a four-day holiday in the hill state.

HP averse to sending ‘Rozy’ to Darjeeling
SHIMLA, May 21 — The directions of the Central Zoo Authority to shift the two-year-old Rozy to the Padmja Naidu Zoological Park, Darjeeling, notwithstanding, the state Wildlife Department is averse to sending the rare snow leopard to a place where climatic conditions are very different form those in Himachal Pradesh.

Health services improve
PALAMPUR:
Health services in this remote corner of the state has received a big boost with the setting up of a private hospital in the town. This hospital has proved a boon to the people of the area. It has been taking up all types of surgical operations like laparoscopic surgery for gall bladder stones, appendix and hernia, shock wave lithotripsy i.e. non-surgical treatment of renal stones.

Manali-Leh road trial run today
SHIMLA, May 21 — A trial run of an Army convoy on the Manali-Leh road will be held tomorrow to reopen the road on May 31.

Delay in release of arrears resented
SHIMLA, May 20 — Teachers of Himachal Pradesh University have resented the delay in the release of pay arrears.

A non-functional streetlight of Baddi
A non-functional streetlight of Baddi. — Photo by writer

Streets unlit despite Rs 30 cr revenue
BADDI, May 21 — The industrial town of Baddi is still crying for streetlights. Residents complain that most of the streets have still not been lighted despite the fact that the government has collected Rs 30 crore as revenue from this area.

Toll tax barriers pose danger
BADDI, May 21 — Nestling in the foot of the Shivaliks, Baddi, the gateway of Himachal Pradesh, now has three toll tax barriers set up by the Public Works Department.


For a few districts in Himachal Pradesh facing water shortage during summer the traditional system of harvesting water in hand Hewn cabes 'Khatris' is still the lifeline. Each Khatri is often sealed with iron gates and kept under lock to prevent "theft" of the precious water source
For a few districts in Himachal Pradesh, facing water shortage during summer, the traditional system of harvesting water in hand-hewn cabes 'Khatris' is still the lifeline. Each Khatri is often sealed with iron gates and kept under lock to prevent "theft" of the precious water source. — PTI photo

YOUR TOWN
Bilaspur
Mandi
Shimla


EARLIER STORIES
 

Congress holds rally
MANDI, May 21 — The Congress organised a rally here yesterday on the occasion of the visit of the five-member panel headed by former Speaker Thakur Kaul Singh which is currently preparing a "charge sheet on the omissions and commissions" of the BJP-HVC government.

HVC spokesman
BILASPUR, May 21 — Harikrishan, a veteran freedom fighter and president of the district unit of the All-Party Citizens Rights Protection Committee here, been appointed spokesman of the Himachal Vikas Congress.Top




 

Seven officials suspended
Tribune News Service

SHIMLA, May 21 — The State Forest Corporation authorities have suspended seven officials following detection of unauthorised felling of trees and unaccounted timber.

The senior officers of the corporation carried out physical verification of the stocks in Rampur working division following reports of irregularities. They detected over 2000 cubic metres of timber in excess of what was entered in records. The timber is worth over Rs 51 lakh.

But for the timely detection, the timber would have been smuggled out by the lower-level staff outside the state. The excess timber pertained to 15 forest lots worked by the corporation over the past couple of years. Those whose services have been placed under suspension include an assistant manager, Deputy Ranger, forest guard and two timber watchers. Besides, disciplinary proceedings have been initiated against 18 other officials responsible for the lapse.

In another case unauthorised felling of 101 trees was detected in Sundernagar forest working division. The corporation was assigned felling of 550 trees to make way for laying a power transmission line. However, during checking it was found that 101 trees, which were not marked for felling has also been axed.Top

 

Dhumal inefficient, says Mahajan
From Our Correspondent

MANDI, May 21 — The HPCC chief , Mr Sat Mahajan, has described the Dhumal government as "inefficient and ineffective" which has brought all developmental works to a virtual halt, particularly in the constituencies represented by the opposition MLAs.

Talking to mediapersons last evening after participating in a rally on the occasion of the visit of a committee headed by former Speaker, Kaul Singh preparing a charge sheet against the BJP-HVC government for its acts of "omissions and commissions", Mr Mahajan said lack of experience in running the government had made the matters worse.

He ridiculed the Chief Minister for obtaining the resignations of the ministers, holding them for 10 days and finally maintaining the status quo.

Mr Mahajan said increase in the prices of the essential commodities consumed by poor through the PDS showed that the BJP was following "anti-people" policies. Massive increase in the power tariff and over 20 per cent increase in the bus fares had also burdened the common man, he added.Top

 

Advani arrives in Shimla
Tribune News Service

SHIMLA, May 21 Mr L.K. Advani, Union Home Minister, arrived here today on a four-day holiday in the hill state.

Accompanied by his wife Kamala Advani, son Jayant and daughter Pratibha, Mr Advani was received at the Parwanoo Circuit House by Governor Vishnukant Shastri.

During his stay, Mr Advani is likely to visit Narkanda, Chail and other hill resorts in the state.
Top



 

Health services improve
From Ravinder Sood

PALAMPUR: Health services in this remote corner of the state has received a big boost with the setting up of a private hospital in the town. This hospital has proved a boon to the people of the area. It has been taking up all types of surgical operations like laparoscopic surgery for gall bladder stones, appendix and hernia, shock wave lithotripsy i.e. non-surgical treatment of renal stones. This is the first institution in the state which has made available this type of medical treatment to the people. Even at the Indira Gandhi Medical College and Hospital at Shimla, such surgery is not conducted.

Earlier, the patients had to go to Delhi, the PGI, Chandigarh, and the CMC, Ludhiana, for availing such medical facilities, which were not only costly but also inconvenient. In this hospital the patients are admitted a few hours before surgery, kept for a night and discharged next day. In Ludhiana and Chandigarh this laparascopic surgery is costing between Rs 18,000 and Rs 20,000 whereas here patients spend only from Rs 10,000 to Rs 12,000.

Due to the peculiar dietary habits and high content of calcium etc. in water, ‘stone disease’ is very common in Himachal Pradesh. Official sources reveal that every 10th patient is suffering from gall bladder or kidney stone. Perhaps the state has the highest number of such patients. The state owned hospitals lack all such facilities. The Karan Hospital and the Himachal Stone Clinic are multifaculty centers which perform such advanced surgical procedures which involve minimum trauma to the patients and a short stay at the hospital.

Another ailment which is very common in this area are gastric disorders and peptic ulcer. Even for small tests like endoscopy and colonoscopy one has to go to the distant places outside the state, but this hospital has also provided this facility. Many times the experts from premier institutions are also invited here to treat patients.

This hospital is also introducing laproscopic removal of uterus and its tumours which would further help the people.

Every year the state government is spending over Rs 120 crore on health services in the state, still the common man is deprived of health facilities and he has to run to adjoining states for medical care. Most of the zonal hospitals of the state are in bad shape. Serious cases are seldom treated here. Such cases are either referred outside the state or to private hospitals. In Himachal Pradesh, over 89 per cent of the state’s population is dependant on state owned hospital and over 22 lakh persons visit the government hospitals every year.

It is a sad state of affairs that despite spending crore of rupees every year, still the government hospital in the state has failed to meet the medical needs of the people. There has been manifold increase in the population but the state health department has not equipped itself accordingly. It is unfortunate that the Indira Gandhi Medical College of the state has no such medical facility which is being provided by this hospital set up only a year ago in the town.

The state government must come out with its health policy and decide that what should be kept in public sector and what left to the private sector.Top

 

HP averse to sending ‘Rozy’ to Darjeeling
From Our Correspondent

SHIMLA, May 21 — The directions of the Central Zoo Authority (CZA) to shift the two-year-old Rozy to the Padmja Naidu Zoological Park, Darjeeling, notwithstanding, the state Wildlife Department is averse to sending the rare snow leopard to a place where climatic conditions are very different form those in Himachal Pradesh. The CZA approved a proposal to send Rozy, kept in captivity at the Himalayan Nature Park, Kufri, near here, to Darjeeling in exchange for a pair of snow leopards after the authorities here failed to find a mate for the animal. The arrangement, it observed, would not only end the isolation of Rozy but also solve the problem of inbreeding at the zoological park.

The state wildlife authorities, however, assert that shifting the animal to Darjeeling will not be in the interest of the animal and the state. Rozy, they point out, was found as a month-old cub in the cold desert of Lahual and Spiti whereas the climate at Darjeeling was very wet and comparatively quite hot. It was hardly suitable for an animal found along the snowline at an altitude of 9000 feet to 11,000 feet. It has taken quite some time to get acclimatised to the conditions at Kufri, which are quite cold, and it has been doing well at the park. Sending it out to Darjeeling could tell upon its health.

Instead, senior officers suggest that the Padmja Naidu Zoological Park authorities should shift one of the two male snow leopards which were found in Leh. Since they were of Himalayan origin, they will prove to be ideal mates for Rozy and help in breeding of the endangered species in captivity. All other pairs in the Darjeeling park were of European origin. It will be in the fitness of things if the state conserved and propagated its native endangered species rather than exotic ones.

The plight of Rozy had also attracted the attention of Ms Maneka Gandhi, Union Minister, who is an ardent wildlife lover. Some time back she wrote a letter to Mr P.K. Dhumal, Chief Minister, expressing concern over the upkeep of the animal at the Kufri Park. She had pointed out that Rozy had been kept in a very small enclosure and she was also not being properly fed and lacked proper medical care.

However, Mr Dhumal while appreciating the concern of the minister for the well-being of the rare animal pointed out in his reply that Rozy had adapted well to the conditions at Kufri and was in fine fettle. A bigger enclosure had been provided for her and she was getting the requisite medical care. He had also emphasised that shifting the animal to a far-off place like Darjeeling at this time of the year was not feasible. The weather was too hot for the animal which was found in very cold areas.

The Wildlife Department is bound to follow the directions of the CZA, but it hopes that it will review the proposal in the light of the fact that male leopards of Himalayan origin were now available at the Darjeeling park.Top

 

Streets unlit despite Rs 30 cr revenue
From Prem Singh

BADDI, May 21 — The industrial town of Baddi is still crying for streetlights. Residents complain that most of the streets have still not been lighted despite the fact that the government has collected Rs 30 crore as revenue from this area.

In the absence of streetlights, there is a rise in the theft cases. The few streetlights installed by local Nagar Panchayat have become a show pieces because none of them are in operation.

The streetlights installed at the bus stand, excise & sale tax barrier and Baddi-Sai road market are also out of order.

The local shopkeepers and employees of factories have urged the government to provide streetlights here. Top

 

Toll tax barriers pose danger
From Prem Singh

BADDI, May 21 — Nestling in the foot of the Shivaliks, Baddi, the gateway of Himachal Pradesh, now has three toll tax barriers set up by the Public Works Department.

Two barriers are on the Pinjore-Nalagarh road — one at Baddi and the other at Bhud — and the third is on the Nalagarh-Bharatgarh road. The barriers are operated by the local truckers’ union. As per the norms, it is necessary for every vehicle to deposit toll tax. Heavy vehicles like buses, trucks and goods carriers pay Rs 30, jeeps, cars, vans and tractors Rs 20 and autorickshaws Rs 15.

At times, these barriers lead to traffic jams, with the vehicles taking 20-30 minutes to cross the area.

According to sources, the PWD has decided to put another toll tax barrier on the Bald River bridge situated on the Baddi-Brotiwala road. Local people have opposed the move. Top

 

Manali-Leh road trial run today
Tribune News Service

SHIMLA, May 21 — A trial run of an Army convoy on the Manali-Leh road will be held tomorrow to reopen the road on May 31.

This was disclosed by Brig B.M. Bakshi, Chief Engineer of the Deepak project of the BRO, here today.

Despite a heavy snowfall during the winter, the BRO had been able to clear the road in a record time to enable army convoys to carry supplies to Kargil, Siachen and Leh.

The importance of the Manali-Leh road was recognised during the Kargil conflict when the Srinagar-Leh highway was under constant Pakistani firing and supplies were sent through the Manali-Leh road.

Brigadier Bakshi said personnel working on the Deepak project had cleared snow up to Sarchu by April 26 despite a heavy snowfall.

This could be done with the help of the state-of-the-art machinery acquired from Austria and Germany.

He said buses had been plying between Lahaul-Spiti and Manali since May 8 following the clearing of the snow at the Rohtang Pass.

Tourists were earlier being allowed to take their vehicles up to the Beas nullah, near Rohtang. But now, it had been decided to allow them to take their vehicles up to Rohtang.

Brigadier Bakshi said the thrust of the project now would be on the maintenance and improvement of the road network in the state.Top

 

Delay in release of arrears resented
Tribune News Service

SHIMLA, May 20 — Teachers of Himachal Pradesh University (HPU) have resented the delay in the release of pay arrears.

In a statement here yesterday, Prof Sunil Gupta, president of the H.P. University Teachers’ Association, (HPUTA), said the state government had transferred only Rs 2.07 crore of Rs 6 crore to the university released by the UGC for purpose. He said the arrears amounted to about Rs 7 crore.

He said the arrears released on May 1 had not been transferred to the accounts of the teachers.

The executive committee of HPUTA would meet on May 23 to finalise the future course of action.

In another statement, Dr Shashi Kant Sharma, a member of the Executive Council of the HUP warned that the teachers would boycott the forthcoming examinations in case the arrears were not released.Top

 

Congress holds rally
From Our Correspondent

MANDI, May 21 — The Congress organised a rally here yesterday on the occasion of the visit of the five-member panel headed by former Speaker Thakur Kaul Singh which is currently preparing a "charge sheet on the omissions and commissions" of the BJP-HVC government.

Mr Sat Mahajan, PCC chief, claimed that the people of the state had been disillusioned with the Dhumal government and its anti-people policies.

Former minister Rangila Ram Rao said the development work in the constituencies of the Congress MLAs had come to a virtual halt and the Congress workers were being harassed and humiliated.

A large number of former and present MLAs and former ministers from the adjoining districts also addressed the rally.Top

 

HVC spokesman
From Our Correspondent

BILASPUR, May 21 — Harikrishan, a veteran freedom fighter and president of the district unit of the All-Party Citizens Rights Protection Committee here, been appointed spokesman of the Himachal Vikas Congress (HVC).

This was stated by HVC supremo Sukh Ram while talking to mediapersons here yesterday. He said the post was lying vacant since the expulsion of former MLA and spokesman O.P. Rattan of Una from the party.Top

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