|Tuesday, May 23, 2000,
refused to travel by govt car
Mining staff meagre in
Advani mingles with tourists
Dulo Ram is Kangra DCC chief
Shanta loyalist resigns
HP launches schemes to help
Mayor refixes designation plate on
Freeing of Hurriyat leaders flayed
ABVP demands probe
Charas, ganja seized
Shastri favours religious tourism
Shanta refused to travel by
KANGRA, May 22 Union Minister for Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution System Shanta Kumar today refused to make use of car of the state government to protest against the violation of the protocol by the state government.
According to the reports Mr Shanta Kumar arrived at Pathankot yesterday morning was received by the SDM Nurpur and the left for Palampur reportedly by a outdated vehicle requisitioned by the district administration at the last minute from the Board of School Education which had a breakdown just before entering Himachal.
Mr Shanta Kumar, who is under "Z" security had to wait on the roadside for quite some time for want of another vehicle before he was joined by his security and other staff following in a Tata Sumo taxi for which Mr Shanta Kumar paid Rs 1200 from his pocket against a receipt when reached Palampur. The supporters of Mr Shanta Kumar today said that the state government led by Prof Dhumal was not taking the visit of the Union Minister Mr Shanta Kumar to the state seriously and violated the protocol.
According to the Shantas supporters the Union Minister should be received by a Cabinet minister or at least two state ministers but in H.P. not to talk of a minister even the district administration does not bother to receive a central minister. Yesterday Mr Shanta Kumar was received by the SDM Nurpur which was violative of the protocol. Sources close to Mr Shanta Kumar government confirmed the refusal of accepting the vehicular facility of the state government under protest.
The sources said that he would use his personal car or the car of his friends during the four day tour in the state. The source disclosed that the tour programme of the minister was circulated well in advance.
Deputy Commissioner R.C. Kapil when contacted confirmed the breakdown of the car in which the Union Minister was travelling before it entered the state. He said that the two cars from Shimla reached here last evening and one was sent from Dharamshala for the Union Minister which he refused to use during this tour.
The Union Minister Mr Shanta Kumar when contacted refused to comment on this incident and his subsequent refusal to accept the vehicle now offered by the state government to him.
Mining staff meagre
SHIMLA,May 21 The Central Mining Research Institute (CMRI), Dhanbad,has asked the Himachal Pradesh government to strengthen the office of the Mining Officer to control the illegal and unscientific mining of limestone in Sirmaur district.
It is learnt that the CMRI in its report on mining in the district has pointed out that keeping in view the vastness of mining activities in Sirmaur,the staff was too meagre to regulate the work in a scientific and a systematic manner.
The Ministry of Environment and Forests had entrusted the CMRI with the job of studying the impact of limestone mining in Sirmaur district.
The Mining Officer has no vehicle and telephone although he has to supervise a mining area of over 400 sq kms.
The CMRI has suggested that additional staff including two Mining Inspectors, six Assistant Mining Inspectors, 10 mining guards and one driver should be sanctioned.The annual revenue by way of royalty from the area was over Rs 5 crores.
The CMRI,which has prepared the report of mining activities in the district for the first time through satellite,has stressed that guidelines should be prepared for granting leases for mining.Check-dams should be constructed near the drainage channels to prevent the flow of debris.
Commenting on the socio-economic conditions of the district,the report has pointed out that almost all village pradhans are in favour of continuance of mining in the area as it benefited them economically and has checked the migration of youth to the plains in search of jobs. The per capita income in the area has increased from Rs 500 during mid-eighties to between Rs 1800 and Rs 3000 during 1994.
Grazing lands,which constituted 28.08 per cent area of the district in 1967-68, was reduced to 26.99 percent in 1993-94. The area under tree cover also witnessed a slight reduction from 16.98 per cent in 1967-68 to 16.44 per cent in 1993-94.
The report has pointed out that the air quality in the residential areas of Paonta Sahib and the industrial hub of Gondpur was poor.The water samples indicated high mineral contents and the spring at Hiyona had higher lead contents.
The report has also pointed out that only about 24 sq km area was considered suitable for mining in a study comprising a 347 sq km area.
The CMRI has suggested that to prevent further damage to the ecology,no mining should be allowed where slope angles are more than 45 degrees and in case of mid-slope the mining, foot wall should be of hand strata. Proper appraisal of deposit should be made and conditions should be imposed that the lease holder will take adequate steps to control soil erosion. No mining should be allowed where proper disposal of mine-waste cannot be arranged.
To control air
pollution,the crushing and screening machinery should be
in an enclosure and materials should be kept sufficiently
moist.The area to be blasted should be sprinkled with
water.Diversion of rain water from the working areas
should be achieved by raising check dams or diversion
channels so that debris were not carried away.
Advani mingles with tourists
SHIMLA, May 22 The Home Minister, Mr L.K. Advani, took the residents of the town and tourists by surprise when he came out for a stroll on The Mall in the evening and freely mingled with them.
He was accompanied by his wife, Mrs Kamla, son, Jayant, and daughter, Pratibha. The Governor, Mr Vishnu Kant Shastri, and the Minister of State for Defence, Mr Hiren Pathak, were also with him.
Mr Advani got down from his car near Rani Jhansi Park on The Mall and walked up to The Ridge via Scandal Point. En route, he had photographic sessions with many tourists and children. He also went near the statue of Indira Gandhi.
The Chief Minister, Mr P.K. Dhumal, joined Mr Advani while he was having tea in the open terrace of the Ashiana Restaurant on The Ridge. Mr L.M. Singhvi was also there.
Earlier during the day, Mr Advani visited Kufri, where, too he obliged tourists by having photographs taken with them. He also visited "The Retreat", Rashtrapati Bhavan, here.
Initially, Mr Advani refused to talk to newsmen on the turmoil in Tripura, saying that he was holidaying here. But after a lot of persuasion, he commented on the situation.
Dulo Ram is Kangra DCC chief
DHARAMSALA, May 22 The ruling BJP faction led by the Chief Minister Mr P.K. Dhumal, suffered a setback today, when a Shanta loyalist and MLA from Baijnath, Mr Dulo Ram, was unanimously elected president of the Kangra district unit of the party.
Both rival factions had made efforts for grabbing the post. Union Minister for Consumer Affairs Shanta Kumar, had been camping at Nagrota for the past two days canvassing for his candidate.
Five persons, had filled nominations for the contest. But the main fight was between Shanta-backed Dulo Ram and Mr Vipin Parmar, MLA from Sulah, put up by the Dhumal faction.
The BJP leaders from Sulah, the home constituency of Mr Shanta Kumar, compelled Mr Parmar, to withdraw from the contest, which virtually paved the way for the unanimous election of Mr Dulo Ram.
Even after the withdrawal of Mr Parmar, the Dhumal faction did not give in, and put their might behind Mr Megh Raj Awasthy, who was still in the fray. It was after a lot of discussion and bargaining that both factions agreed to unanimously elect, Mr Dulo Ram as the district BJP chief.
A leader of the Dhumal camp, claimed that they had agreed to elect Mr Dulo Ram unanimously, only after they had been given assurance that their man would be made the General Secretary, apart from 10 posts in the Executive committee being given to their men.
Mr Shanta Kumar, said that when a party is in power, this kind of struggle is bound to happen, but what is more important is the fact that ultimately there was consensus on one name.
Meanwhile Mr Karipal Parmar Rajya Sabha member and MLA, Mr Rakesh Pathania, said that the outcome of the election had proved that the Dhumal camp had the upper hand, as a number of Shanta loyalists were backing, Mr Vipin Parmar, against the wishes of the Union Minister.
Shanta loyalist resigns
DHARAMSALA, May 22 Following bickering between the Shanta and the Dhumal factions in the organisational elections, the Shanta group yesterday fired first salvo, with a Shanta loyalist and MLA, Mr Des Raj, resigning from the chairmanship of the HP Finance Commissioner in a virtual revolt against Chief Minister, Mr P.K. Dhumal.
Mr Des Raj, who represents the Ganggath constituency of Kangra district, said yesterday that he had decided to quit from the post of chairman to put an end to continued humiliation and injustice being meted out to him by the Chief Minister and those who enjoyed his blessings. "I feel that the only reason why I am being given such shabby treatment is because I am a Shanta loyalist, but despite all this I will always remain indebted to him as he is my leader," he stated.
The reason cited by Mr Des Raj for tendering resignation was the stalling of the election of the BJP Mandal president of Ganggath constituency by the Rajya Sabha member of the party, Mr Kripal Parmar. "On the day of the election on May 13, Mr Parmar decided that he would not allow the holding of the elections and if these are conducted he would get them cancelled." alleged Mr Des Raj. He alleged that after this the Election Assistant Returning Officer, Mr Megh Raj Awasthy, was whisked away by Mr Parmar, without accepting nomination forms of the probables. "It was after bringing the matter to the notice of the DRO, Kangra, Mr Suresh Bhardwaj, that fresh dates of May 21 and 22 were fixed with Mr Vikram, vice-chairman of state Khadi Board, being appointed as the ARO. Despite more than 500 party workers and voters waiting for him all the day, he did not turn up, stalling the process of election," revealed Mr Des Raj.
Mr Des Raj, along with a host of office-bearers from the Ganggath constituency alleged that the election process was being stalled by Mr Kripal Parmar with the blessing of the Chief Minister. "In order to put an end to the humiliation and injustice I have suffered, the people of my constituency asked me to resign from the chairmanship. Moreover, they unanimously elected the present Mandal president, Mr Ranjit Singh Pathania, for second term," stated Mr Des Raj.
Pointing fingers at the all-India BJP general secretary, Mr Narender Modi, who is in charge of Himachal, he said that all those loyal to the Union Minister for Consumer Affairs, Mr Shanta Kumar, were being discriminated against.
Mr Des Raj justifying his decision to resign, said that in a way it was also a protest against the Chief Minister, who had given full political patronage to Mr Kripal Parmar, who was working in a high handed manner. Giving details of the injustice he has suffered so far, he said that after efforts to deny the party ticket to me failed, Mr Parmar, helped the Congress candidate in the Assembly election. "Despite being a senior third term MLA I was not included in the ministry and to add insult to injury I was not given the chairmanship of the Civil Supplies Corporation, for which I had been considered earlier," said a dejected Des Raj.
Fun camp for the disabled
SOLAN: Eyes sparkled and faces beamed as a group of 50 muscular dystrophy patients sang songs of joy and hope, at a fun camp, organised by the Indian Association of Muscular Dystrophy (IAMD), at the fishing resort of Gaura on the Giri, 15 km from here on Sunday.
IAMD had thoughtfully organised the camp with the specific purpose of bringing a few hours of cheer into the lives of patients afflicted with the yet unconquered disease of muscular dystrophy that keeps on gradually wasting the muscles, ultimately making them totally immobile. None of the participants could stand or take their seats without help from their attendants. Barring those who had attended similar camps held by IAMD in the past few years most were sceptical about the usefulness of such a camp to them when they received IAMD invitations. After all they had not even dreamed of venturing out of their homes for as long as they could remember. None had any idea of what a fun camp or picnic out in the open could mean to them.
And here, they swayed to the beat of music even as the pure, glacial waters the Giri rippled past as if symbolising life eternal. Some even went into the dancing mode using props like walking aids and even wheel chairs.
The Health Minister, J.P. Nadda, who inaugurated the camp, paid handsome compliments to the organisers and declared that he would extend all possible help to alleviate the suffering of MD patients. He also promised to sympathetically examine the ways and means for setting up a rehabilitation camp and a counselling centre at Solan at the earliest.
Mrs Manisha Nanda, Director, Social Welfare Department, gave details of various government schemes aimed at helping the poor. She said that handicapped persons were entitled to free, up to the university level education in the State.
Dr Gaurav Gupta of the PGI said that medical science could now, hopefully be said to be very near to a breakthrough in finding a cure for muscular dystrophy. He said that researchers were exploring the possibilities of curing this deadly disease through gene therapy as well as medicines.
Ms Sanjana Goyal, President of IMDA said that at present there were an estimated 1.5 lakh MD patients in India. She emphasised the need for providing mobility improving gadgets and other aids at cheap, and if possible, at subsidised costs to MD sufferers.
Mr Vipul Goyal, the moving spirit behind IAMD said that doctors had collected blood samples of MD patients attending the camp. These would be sent to a research organisation in the USA for conducting trials of a medicine, which had shown promising results in certain isolated cases.
Some of the participants exhibited their paintings and hand crafted greeting cards at the camp. One painting, done by Ms Suman (permanently immobile from waist downwards) of Bilaspur was bought for Rs 500.
This years award
for the outstanding MD patient went to Mr Vipin Kaushal,
a lecturer in electronics at the Punjab Engineering
College, Chandigarh. Mr Kaushal had not only succeeded in
educating himself but also helped his similarly
handicapped younger brother set up an STD booth and his
sister take up a technical course at a Chandigarh
HP launches schemes to help
SHIMLA, May 22 The Himachal government has started several schemes to help disabled lead a dignified life.
Besides giving financial assistance to fulfil basic needs, it is also providing modern appliances like hearing aids, crutches, artificial limbs and tricycles to enable them lead an active life. The handicapped persons with 40 per cent disability or more and whose annual income is less than Rs 6000 were being given a monthly subsistence allowance Rs 150. During the last financial year Rs 2.36 crore was given to 12,510 disabled persons in the state under the scheme.
Handicapped persons having monthly income up to Rs 1200 are being provided artificial aids free of cost and the those having monthly income between Rs 1200 to Rs 2500 at 50 per cent cost. As many as 68 persons were given these last year at a cost of Rs 2.30 lakh under the scheme.
Usually, the marriage of handicapped poses a big problem to the parents. Therefore, the government decided to provide incentives for their marriage in form of cash award of Rs 5000 to the spouse of the handicapped. During 1999-2000 Rs 9,25,000 were spent and 210 persons benefited under the scheme.
Financial assistance is also being given up to Rs 2500 to those having annual income below Rs 7500, for setting up small ventures like tea stall and tailoring work and during 1999-2000 and 216 persons were provided Rs 5.42 lakh under the scheme.
Scholarship is being provided to the disabled students and main purpose of the scheme is to assist disabled in acquiring such academic, technical or professional training as will enable them to earn a living.
The scholarships up to class VIII are being provided out of state funds and beyond class VIII under the centrally sponsored scheme. The rate of stipend in primary standard is Rs 50 per month, from 6th to 8th class Rs 70 per month and 9th and 10th class Rs 85, 10th to BA Rs 150 and for MA Rs 170 per month. During 1999-2000 Rs 3.85 lakh were spent under this scheme and 473 handicapped students were given stipend.
The state government has
issued identity cards to the disabled persons for
travelling free of cost in state roadways buses. Besides
this, a special cell has been set up in the Directorate
of Labour and Employment to register the names of
disabled persons. The disabled government employees were
being provided Rs 75 per month as vehicle allowance. A
provision has been made to allot 20 per cent Municipal
Committee stalls to educated unemployed disabled persons.
Financial assistance is also being provided to the
voluntary organisations for providing educational and
vocational training besides rehabilitation.
Centre keeping watch on
SHIMLA, May 22 Mr L.K. Advani, Union Home Minister, today said that Centre was keeping a close watch on the situation in Tripura where 45 persons had been killed by NLFT (National Liberation Front of Tripura).
Talking to newsmen here today, Mr Advani said he was in constant touch with the Chief Minister of Tripura, Mr Manik Sarkar, and he had already rushed additional security forces to the state. Companies of the CRPF and Assam Rifles would be in position by tomorrow.
The Prime Minister, Mr A.B. Vajpayee, was also in touch with the Chief Minister and him. He had also discussed the issue with Mr George Fernandes, Defence Minister, and the Chief of the Army Staff to deal with any eventuality.
Replying to a question, he said he had no immediate plans to visit the trouble state as he had already made an extensive tour of the region only one and a half months ago and discussed all the issues including, those pertaining to internal security.
Regarding possibility of
holding talks with the guerrillas, Mr Advani said the
Centre would not take initiative in the matter. It was
for the state government to initiate talks to resolve the
Mayor refixes designation
plate on car
SHIMLA, May 22 Apparently defying the administration, Ms Jenny Prem; Mayor of the local Municipal Corporation refixed the designation plate on her official car, which was removed a week ago during the drive against the use of red lights, flag posts in violation of the Motor Vehicles Act.
Perceiving the act of the administration as an insult to the first citizen of town, Ms Prem said that using designation plates and red lights on the official vehicle of the Mayor had been a convention in the country and removal thereof was unwarranted. She said she was taking up the matter with the All India Mayors Council. She had already talked to the Mayor Barodara and Allahabad on telephone. She was writing in detail to the council so that appropriate action could be taken.
The Congress councillors have also criticised the removal of the designation plate which, they alleged, that has an unlawful act.
The council, she said, would raise the issue with the Union Urban Development Ministry. While her designation plate was removed, many officers and political functionaries still were moving around in the town with red lights and designation plates on their car.
The attitude of the
Mayor has created a problem for the administration which
has given a weeks ultimatum for the removal of
unauthorised red lights, flag rods and designation plates
from vehicles. It will have either to challan the
Mayors vehicle or turn a blind eye to the
designation plate affixed on the front.
Freeing of Hurriyat leaders
KANGRA, May 22 The Hindu Mahasaba has expressed apprehension that releasing of the Hurriyat Conference leaders of Kashmir from the different jails of the country by the Centre was a step towards handing over Kashmir to Pakistan. The Mahasaba also demanded that Jammu, Ladakh and Pannun Kashmir part of Kashmir be made one state and the rest of the Kashmir valley be made a union territory and handed over to the Army with free powers to tackle terrorism there.
Mr Dinesh Chand Taygi, All-India president of the Hindu Mahasaba, said this at a press conference here today. He blamed the Congress and the BJP for exploiting sentiment of the Hindus.
He demanded that Article
28 of the Constitution should be amended and brought at
par with Articles 29 and Article 30 of the Constitution
in order to make the rights of the Hindus at par with
rights of the Muslims and the Christians with regard to
the private educational institutions in India.
ABVP demands probe
SHIMLA, May 22 The state unit of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) has demanded an inquiry into the appointment of Physical Education teacher at the Dharmsala Regional Study Centre of Himachal University.
Mr Kamal Nayan, secretary of the Parishad, in a statement issued here yesterday alleged that a teacher had been appointed on contract basis even though Physical Education had not been introduced as a subject as yet. He also criticised the Director of spending most of his time in Shimla as a result of which students faced various problems.
Charas, ganja seized
KULU, May 22 The police, in its ongoing drive against the drug mafia, raided the house of Shambu, a Nepalese national, at Kasol village, about 35 km from here, on receiving a tip-off yesterday and seized 9.8 kg charas and 6 kg ganja from him. This was stated in a press note issued here today by Mr Anurag Garg, Superintendent of Police. The police party was led by the Deputy Superintendent of Police, Mr Kishan Chand.
Shastri favours religious
NAHAN, May 22 Himachal Governor Vishnu Kant Shastri while talking to mediapersons at Paonta Sahib, 40 km from here, on Saturday, said that he favoured the creation of a Governors discretionary fund on the pattern of M.P. fund so that the Governor could contribute more actively to the welfare and uplift of the people.
Mr Shastri said that the Union Government should think seriously about this proposal. He added that he would discuss the issue with the President of India.
Mr Shastri favoured promotion of religious tourism in the state. He said package tours could be organised for pilgrims visiting famous shrines in the state, like Brijeshwari, Jwala ji and Chintpurni.
|| Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
| Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh Tribune | In Spotlight |
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
| 120 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |