|Monday, June 5, 2000,
to lay stone of Kol Dam
HVC apprises PM of Sukh Rams
Milk yields doubled
Fire averted on The Mall
Rains worry farmers
Gram sabhas to select IRDP
Six HAS officers get postings
Make Naggar road national
Shimla felicitates new Bishop
Lalita Bansal tops in class X HP
PM to lay stone of Kol Dam
SHIMLA, June 4 The 800 MW Kol Dam hydel project, which has been hanging fire for the past over two decades, is all set to take off with the laying of its foundation stone by the Prime Minister, Mr A.B. Vajpayee, at Kangra, 25 km from Bilaspur, tomorrow.
The project marks a major shift in the policy of the National Thermal Power Corporation, which has decided to diversify into the hydro power sector. The Rs 5,000 crore project will be its first hydel venture. Hitherto, the National Hydel Power Corporation was the only central agency executing hydel projects in the country.
The state government has been keen on seeing work started on the project since 1980 but it could not do so due to the lack of funds. The Central Electricity Authority granted techno-economic clearance to the project in 1988 but it could not find a suitable agency to assign its execution.
It was only after the privatisation of the power generation sector that hopes of early execution of the project were raised. Bids were invited for the project in the joint sector in October, 1995, with the government having 25 per cent equity participation and the independent power producer (IPP) 75 per cent. However, it turned out to be a futile exercise as the bidding process could not reach any conclusion due to the lack of interest on the part of IPPs. In fact, only one price bid was received for the project.
The Dhumal government, which assumed office in March, 1998, made relentless efforts to see the project through and ultimately succeeded in persuading the Centre to take it up. Since the NHPC was already executing the Chamera II and Parbati projects, it was decided that the Kol Dam should be assigned to the NTPC to ensure its expeditious execution. Besides, it also had surplus funds to invest in thus hydel sector.
A final agreement was signed on February 26 last with the NTPC which initiated the process of taking over of the assets of the state power board which investigated the project and created some infrastructure.
The project comprises construction of a 163m-high rock fill dam on the Satluj upstream the Dehar power house which will be located at the toe of the dam on the river bank. It will generate 3,073 million units of electricity in a 90 per cent dependable year.
The river water will be diverted to the power house. In all, four generating units, each of 200 MW, will be installed at the power house. The power house will be constructed 4 km upstream the Dehar project and the tail race water will be again diverted into the river through a 100m-long open channel. As many as 14 desilting chambers, each 18m wide, will be constructed to help remove particles up to the size of 0.25 mm.
Himachal will get 12 per cent free power as royalty and a 15 per cent share at generation cost. It will also be entitled to 3 per cent to 4 per cent share as the state of the region. The free power component alone will fetch a revenue of over Rs 150 crore to the state annually.
In all, 351 families will be displaced and later rehabilitated in Solan, Bilaspur and Mandi districts. Each family rendered homeless on account of the acquisition of land for the project will be entitled to a compensation of Rs 60,000 in the form of houseless grant and infrastructural facility in the oustee colony along with a developed plot of 50 ft by 40 ft. Families who do not opt for a plot will be entitled to Rs 25,000 as infrastructural grant.
HVC apprises PM of Sukh
MANDI, June 4 A delegation of the HVC (M) led by the PWD Minister and HVC leader; Mr Mahinder Singh, met the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, here last evening and apprised him with the sequence of events which led to the split and held Mr Sukh Ram responsible for the unfortunate developments. Other members of the delegation were Mr O.P. Ratan, working President of the HVC, Mr Ranjit Singh Verma and Mr Dilip Bisht.
Giving details of the meeting with the Prime Minister to newspersons at the Rest House here today, the members of the delegation said the Prime Minister had been misinformed by Mr Sukh Ram about the facts. "We told the Prime Minister that Mr Sukh Ram had adopted a rigid and dictatorial attitude and sabotaged the unity efforts. We narrated the development of April 25, 2000, when Mr Mahinder Singh and his supporters were not allowed to attend the meeting by bolting the doors from inside". Mr Ratan said the Prime Minister was surprised to listen to their version.
The delegation members told Mr Vajpayee that the HVC (M) frustrated the designs of Mr Sukh Ram to "weaken and destablise" the coalition government led by Mr Dhumal. Mr Vajpayee was visibly happy to know this, they claimed.
The Prime Minister was also informed that when the Vajpayee government fell by one vote at the Centre, Mr Sukh Ram wanted to reconsider support to the BJP. "We opposed it", they said.
The HVC leaders alleged that Mr Sukh Ram had been promoting his family interests and ditching friends. In 1993 22 MLAs, including Congress stalwarts, supported Mr Sukh Rams claim for Chief Ministership, but Mr Sukh Ram sacrificed all of them and made his son minister in Virbhadra Singhs government. Again in 1998, he bargained to make his son a member of the Rajya Sabha without taking into confidence party colleagues. He manipulated for himself a Cabinet-rank post through pressure tactics when he was forced to resign after being chargesheeted in corruption cases.
Mr Mahinder Singh alleged that due to his personal rivalry with Mr Virbhadra Singh, Mr Sukh Ram prevailed upon the then Prime Minister to withhold financial assistance to Himachal Pradesh and added to the woes of the people of the state.
The delegation expressed gratitude to the Prime Minister for giving special aid of Rs 700 crore to Himachal Pradesh to boost its efforts to harness vast hydel power and tourism potentials of the state. They also thanked the Prime Minister for announcing the approval of the Central Government for the construction of the strategic Rs 1000-crore Rohtang tunnel.
Water supply schemes held up
PALAMPUR: The Himachal Pradesh Irrigation and Public Health Department (IPH) is passing through a financial crisis resulting in the suspension of all development activities in the district. The construction of drinking and lift water supply schemes has come to standstill as the department has failed to release payments to contractors owing to shortage of funds.
Despite tall claims made by the state government that there was no shortage of funds, over 100 contractors in Palampur and Dharamsala divisions of the department are awaiting payments.
Several contractors come to office daily and go back disappointed in the evening. It was expected that the government would release funds in March, but no funds were allocated resulting in deepening of the financial crisis. An A class contractor says that bills amounting to Rs 10 lakh have been passed by the authorities but since no payment has been made, he was forced to slow down work.
On the other hand, with the onset of summer over 100 villages have been facing an acute shortage of drinking water. In many villages residents have been getting drinking water once a day. The Changer valley is the worst hit. A major cause of drinking water shortage is attributed to the poor maintenance of water supply schemes. A senior IPH officer says that as most water supply schemes were designed about 25 years ago for a small population of these water supply schemes have failed to meet the requirements of todays population. All water supply schemes in the district need immediate augmentation.
He says estimates for augmentation of these schemes had been sent to the state government long ago but no action was taken. If no efforts were made the IPH Department would be able to meet the requirements of drinking water in the next two years.
Increasing political interference in the functioning of the department has worsened the situation. No drinking water supply connection is sanctioned without the approval of ruling party leaders. Enquiries made by this reporter reveal that 15000 applications have piled up for water connections in each division. If all these applications are sanctioned, the situation will go from bad to worse as water sources in the region have no water to meet the increasing requirement.
Besides, the department has been facing an acute shortage of cement and the narrow diameter of water supply pipes has delayed completion of various water supply schemes.
Tall claims made by the Irrigation and Public Health Minister, Mr Romesh Chaudhry, from time to time to eradicate the corruption from public life are only confined to the files, as the officials continue to drain the state exchequer.
Milk yields doubled
SHIMLA, June 4 An integrated dairy development project to improve fodder production and inculcate the habit of scientific management of milch livestock has been launched in the Solan district by the Himachal Pradesh Government.
Of the districts nearly 56,000 rural families 49,000 have milch cattle. As land holdings are small cattle rearing is a major source of income.
The district rural development agency had submitted a milch animal development oriented project to the Government of India which was sanctioned in 1999-2000.
The main objective of the 220 crore project is to educate farmers in livestock rearing. It also aims at induction of high production germ plasm in future generations of milch cattle.
The project has also helped in changing patterns of rearing livestock for more production, lower mortality and early maturity. Similarly, production of more & better green fodder has reduced expenditure on concentrates and increased milk production. The plantation of grass and fodder has also helped check erosion. 4650 families were brought under the fold of this project in the entire district. Of these, 1275 farmers were sent to National Dairy Research Institute, Karnal for 4-day training-cum-demonstration trips. For improvement of livestock. Exotic germplasm was imported from New Zealand in the shape of progeny tested semen straws. Apart from this, nearly 65,000 straws were purchased from other reputed organisation to induce the best available germplasm in livestock. Till date, about 80,000 inseminations have been done and total progeny of 36,000 both male and female, at various stages of development is anticipated by the year 2000-2001.
This has resulted in the average increase of milk production. The milk production which was 2 to 3 litres per day from local cows has to more than 6 to 7 litres per day due to induction of better potential germplasm.
Not only this, green fodder production has also picked up manifold in the district with production of better quality and high yielding grasses instead of weeds and other poor quality grass.
Fire averted on The Mall
SHIMLA, June 4 (PTI) A major fire was averted on the posh Mall Road area here due to prompt action by the local fire brigade and property worth crores of rupees was saved.
A fire started from the godown of a shopkeeper located in multistoreyed building on the Mall Road near Rani Jhansi Park. Certain shopkeepers who noticed the smoke called the fire brigade.
The fire brigade men immediately reached the spot and controlled the fire before it could spread to adjoining shops and residential buildings in one of the most congested areas of the town. A fireman, Mansa Ram, displayed rare courage and managed to enter the room with the help of a mask.
He spotted the source of
fire in the godown which was full of smoke and started
throwing the inflammable goods out from the godown.
Later, the firemen entered the room and had to break a
wall to make the access easy for controlling the fire.
Rains worry farmers
SHIMLA, June 4 The changing weather cycle is causing concern among tribals of the cold desert area of Lahaul-Spiti district, which has started having rains in the past couple of years.
Before this, rain was almost unknown in the area. Even now most of the precipitation is received in the form of snow during winter.
The changing weather phenomenon has affected the life style of residents of tribal area. Many of them are planning to construct pucca houses as the traditional mud houses are prone to collapse during rains and the roofs start leaking during a downpour.
Brick houses were seldom seen here as mud structures are considered most comfortable even in winters, when the area is buried under a thick sheet of snow. There is no brick kiln in the area either. Some government buildings are constructed of stone or bricks transported from Kulu.
Although rainfall is not alarmingly high at present the tribals are not accustomed to rain and mostly depend on the traditional "kuhals" for irrigating their fields.
Many paintings in the 1000 years old Tabo monastery were damaged sometime ago due to seepage of water from the roof of the mud-structure.
Lama Zamgpo of the monastery told TNS that the Archaeological Survey of India, which was taking care of the monastery, has taken steps to prevent further damage to the ancient paintings. The team of the ASI has so far not visited Tabo this year and maintenance is being done by the local chowkidar.
However, this time the rain has been less and the grasslands have dried. There was also less snow in winter, due to which there is little water in the kuhals, and there is almost a drought like situation.
Tabo had heavy rain in 1996 when celebrations of 1000 years of the monastery were being held in July.
The adjoining Kinnaur district has also started experiencing more rain now. This has led to landslides at many places.
The soaring mid-Himalayan mountain ranges generally kept out the monsoons and as a consequence summer rain was scanty. Thy sky remains heavily clouded in winters between December and May when there is heavy snow.
Summer rain is of little benefit to local farmers as it is untimely and scant.
HP Governor opens summer
SHIMLA, June 4 The Himachal Governor, Mr Vishnu Kant Shastri, inaugurated a 21-day international summer school on "working of the mind at the Indian Institute of Advance Study here today.
He said the Indian concept was particularly rich in theorising the mind and explaining its functioning whereas the western theories left much to be answered.
More than 40 scholars from within the country and abroad, including the USA, Europe, Israel, Lithuania, Spain, Austria and Nepal, are taking part in the summer school. Besides, 12 experts in the field of quantum mechanics, brain studies, computer science, medical science, natya sastra, ayurveda, alankara sastra, yoga and veda will deliver special lectures.
They include Dr Jonathan
Shear from the USA, Prof Vidya Nivas Misra from Varanasi,
Dr D. Prahaladacharya, Vice-Chancellor, Sanskrit
University, Tirupati, Dr Ranjit Nair from Nistads, New
Delhi, Dr V.N. Jha from the University of Poona, Dr
Vijaylaxmi Ravindranatha from the National Institute of
Brain Studies, New Delhi, and Dr Sobhini Rao from the
National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences,
Dairy development project launched
SHIMLA, June 4 (PTI) The Himachal Pradesh Government has launched a Rs 220-crore integrated dairy development project in Solan district to enhance fodder production and inculcate the practice of scientific management of milch livestock.
The District Rural Development Agency has submitted a milch animal development-oriented project to the Centre, the main objective of which is to educate farmers in livestock rearing.
As many as 4,650 families were brought under the project in the entire district. Of these, 1,275 farmers have been sent to the National Dairy Research Institute, Karnal, for a four-day training-cum-demonstration trip.
Under the project,
high-yielding germplasm is being imported from New
Zealand in the shape of progeny-tested semen straws to
improve the livestock. Besides, nearly 65,000 straws were
purchased from reputed organisations.
Six HAS officers get
SHIMLA, June 4 Mr Anupam Kashyap has been appointed Assistant Commissioner (Development)-cum-BDO, Jubbal, in Shimla district.
The government issued appointment orders of six HAS officers today on completion of their training in HIPA.
Mr Rohit Jamwal has been appointed AC (Development)-cum-BDO, Nichar, in Kinnaur district.
Dr Ashwani Kumar Sharma
has been sent to Kalpa in Kinnaur. Dr Rakesh Kapoor to
Gohar in the Mandi district, Mr Duni Chand Rana to Tissa
in Chamba district and Mr Yash Paul Aima has been posted
at Bhatiyat in Chamba.
Gram sabhas to select IRDP
KULU, June 4 Mr Prem Kumar Dhumal, Chief Minister, said today the government had decided that IRDP and social security pension beneficiaries would be selected through gram sabhas. This decision had been taken to ensure transparency in the selection of beneficiaries and see to it that the needy were not deprived of benefits under various government programmes.
The Chief Minister, who inaugurated the building of Zila Parishad here, laid stress on close coordination between the government and panchayati raj institutions of get better results.
Mr Dhumal said the government was keen on giving more powers to panchayati raj institutions in the state and intended to make them the main mode for the expansion and strengthening of the health and educational facilities in rural areas.
Make Naggar road
SHIMLA, June 4 A youth leader, Mr Nakul Khullar, has urged the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, to declare the Ram Shilla (Kulu)-Naggar-Manali left bank road a national highway.
In a statement here today, Mr Khullar said this was very important from the nations security point of view because during floods, most sections of the right bank of the highway were submerged or damaged. This would also help in development of the area and boost tourism.
Shimla felicitates new Bishop
SHIMLA, June 4 Bishop Gerald John Mathias, Head of the Catholic community, on his first visit to Shimla concelebrated Mass at St. Michaels Cathedral and exhorted the people to work for peace, truth and justice.
People of Shimla felicitated the new Bishop with a community lunch.
The Bishop visited all
Catholic institutions and took keen interest in their
well being. St. Bedes College, St. Edwards
School, Sacred Heart Convent School, Convent of Jesus and
Mary School and San Daminano, Mashobra, assured the
Bishop of their cooperation.
Lalita Bansal tops in class X
HP board exams
DHARAMSALA, June 4 Lalita Bansal of Him Sarvodya High School, Ghumarwin, has topped the matriculation examination, results of which were declared by the Himachal Pradesh Board of School Education, here today.
The pass percentage this year is 46.85 per cent compared to last years 47.38 per cent. Of the 1.21 lakh students who took the exam, 56,011 were declared pass, while 23,757 were placed under compartment.
The first five toppers
are:- Lalita Bansal (634), Devender Pal Singh of
Government High School, Dangri (630), Binny Mahendru of
St Pauls School, Palampur (625), Ankita Sharma of
Him Sarvodya High School, Ghumarwin (623), and Sonali
Thakur of High School, Jowar (621).
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