|Wednesday, June 28, 2000,
CVC action against Nathpa project
DAV Public School row takes new
No hike in apple support
AIGBWO seeks revision of wages
Cong leader denies ministers
Tributes paid to Capt Subramanian
Union seeks action against
PWD union opposes contract system
Notice to Centre on petrol sale
CVC action against Nathpa
SHIMLA, June 27 While four cases registered by the state vigilance police in connection with irregularities in the execution of the Rs 10,000 crore Nathpa Jhakri power project last year have not made much headway, the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) has initiated action against Mr V.K. Sharma, general manager of the project, in another case.
According sources in the project, a charge sheet had been served on Mr Sharma, who had been in the thick of a controversy relating to the detection of large-scale irregularities and corruption by the Vigilance Department, after the CVC took a serious view of the indifferent manner in which the management was handling such sensitive cases.
The CVC took exception to the fact that the management promoted Mr Sharma general manager even though the registration of a vigilance case was being contemplated on the basis of an enquiry report of the Chief Technical Examiner of the commission. It had even questioned the Union Power Ministry on the issue.
The report of the Chief Technical Examiner had pointed out serious irregularities in the award of the contract for the installation of electrical fittings in the C-type residential colony at Jhakri. The contract was given at higher rates, causing a loss of over Rs 6 lakh to the corporation. Initially, an estimate of Rs 12 lakh was prepared for the work. However, later it was awarded for Rs 18 lakh.
Meanwhile, it is learnt that the Income Tax Department has conducted simultaneous raids on the residences of a contractor at Shimla and Jhakri. His name figures in the cases registered by the state Vigilance Department. He had been illegally allowed cost escalation in a number of works.
However, no headway has
been made in the cases registered by the state vigilance
police involving irregularities to the tune of over Rs
3.5 crore. The state government had indicated its
intention to transfer the cases to the Central Vigilance
Commission as the Centre had 75 per cent equity in the
project. Almost one year has passed but the cases have
neither been handed over to the commission nor is the
state Vigilance Department pursuing investigation.
DAV Public School row takes
KANGRA, June 27 The controversy which had arisen between the DAV Managing Committee and the residents of old Kangra township over the alleged mismanagement of the DAV Public School, old Kangra, took a new turn today when local residents, some of whom claim to be the office-bearers of the Local Managing Committee (LMC) of the school, resolved to delink the school from the DAV chain of schools and re-named it as Raja Sansar Chand Memorial Public School, after the great ruler of Kangra.
This was stated by Capt Partap Choudary, former MLA, Janata Dal leader and president of the new managing committee of the school, at a press conference here today. Captain Choudary alleged that the principal had misappropriated funds to the tune of lakhs of rupees. The Principal, Mr Viryam Singh, however, denied these allegations.
Mr Choudary said the office of the school was locked by them only to save documents of the school as the LMC had an apprehension that the documents might be stolen and tampered with. However, lock of the office was opened and the keys were handed over to the Regional Director, Mr S.K. Sharma, after the documents were recovered, allegedly, from the residence of the Principal.
He said the Principal had been asked to submit the balance sheet by March 31, 2000, before the LMC, which he failed to do thereafter he was placed under suspension by the LMC till he was cleared of the charges levelled against him.
Mr Choudary circulated the letter to the mediapersons which he had addressed to the regional director of DAV here saying that the school was not being run according to the DAV norms and also not according to the rules of the Education Department and was being run by one man allegedly resulting in lot of trouble and mismanagement of funds. Thus, the LMC had decided to detach the school from DAVs and a new managing committee had been framed in the interests of the students.
Mr Choudary said that Rs 68927 which was cash in hand in the bank collected just in three months.
Meanwhile, Mr S.K. Sharma, Regional Director of DAV schools and Principal of DAV College, Kangra, said, "It is sheer lawlessness and they cannot delink the school unless it is done by the DAV management, New Delhi". He said, "Even if LMC exists it is simply a recommendatory body to the DAV management and only DAV management can take such a decision".
He also said,
"there may be a possibility of filing a suit in the
court, if required, against those who want to usurp the
legal rights of the authorised managing committee."
Moreover, the court had directed the police to
investigate into the allegations levelled against the
Principal, so they should have not taken this decision until the allegations were proved, he said. The
Principal of the school has been attached to the regional
office here till matter was sorted out.
No hike in apple support
SHIMLA, June 27 There will be no increase in the support price for apple and mango under the market intervention scheme during the ensuing harvesting season.
The state Cabinet, which met here under the chairmanship of Mr P.K. Dhumal, Chief Minister, approved a support price of Rs 3.75 kg for apple, the same as last year, with an expected procurement of 60,000 tonnes of processable grade of fruit. It will involve a financial implication of Rs 16.80 crore. The procurement agencies, the HPMC, Himfed and the State Agro Industries Corporation, will be allowed Rs 1.30 per kg as handling charges. In all, 240 procurement centres will be set up in the state and the scheme will be put into effect from July 1.
Last month the Cabinet had approved a subsidy of Rs 10 crore on the purchase of apple packing cartons.
The procurement price for seedling mango will be Rs 3.08 per kg and for grafted mango Rs 3.75 per kg. The total procurement under the scheme is expected to be 3,000 tonnes.
The Cabinet also decided to give a government guarantee on a loan of Rs 18 crore to be raised by the state road transport corporation to buy 250 buses. The loan will be raised from state cooperative and commercial banks.
The Cabinet also sanctioned 13,672 new cases under the old age pension scheme. Pension will be given at the rate of Rs 150 per month out of which Rs 75 will be contributed by the Government of India and the rest by the state government. The tolal annual liability on the state on this account will be Rs 1.29 crore, and Rs 1 crore for the current year July 1 onwards.
The Cabinet also
approved the issue of 10 kg of rice per family per month
to those living below the poverty line in addition to 10
kg of wheat already being given to them under the public
distribution system. The Cabinet also allowed the Food
and Supplies Department to sell old stocks of foodgrains
as on March 31 at the old rates.
KANGRA: In order to boost tourism in the Kangra valley a six-day `Trigarth 2000 organised by the Tourism and Civil Aviation Department in collaboration with the Department of Art, Languages and Culture, was inaugurated by the Agriculture Minister, Mr Vidya Sagar , in the Kangra fort at Old Kangra on May 20.
"Trigarth 2000" is aimed at focusing the attention of tourists on the past of the Kangra valley. Mr Vidya Sagar said at present the tourism projects under implementation in the State involve an investment of Rs 600 crore. These projects were likely to generate employment for about 2.82 lakh persons. He said that total investment in tourism was of nearly Rs 2200 crore, yielding a net income of Rs 150 crore annually. He said that the State Government was focusing on generating employment potential. Youths were being trained in the adventure sports. Concessions were being given for acquiring equipment of adventure sports to local youths. According to Tourism Department sources, 10 million domestic and 2.5 lakh foreign tourists were expected to visit Himachal during 2000.
There are plans to develop the Rajgarh valley in Sirmour. He said the project required an investment of Rs 100 crore in the first instance. He said ropeways were being constructed between Kulu and Bijli Mahadev, Mandi and Tarna, Dharamkot and Triund, Narkanda and Hattu Peak and Taradevi and Shimla.
He said more facilities were being provided at the Maharana Partap Sarovar where 220 species of birds migrate every year from across the Himalayas. Many of these birds were being studied. He said major attraction were pollution free and fresh water lakes like Gobind Sagar, Chamera, Pandoh, Renuka, Rawalsar and Khajjiar which has 27 species of fish.
The sources said in view
of the influx of tourists, the State Government was
trying to develop all temples, particularly the Shakti
Peeths, forts and lakes. The State Government has decided
to set up a musical fountain in the Kangra fort. The ASI
has to grant permission for the project. Last year the
government spent Rs 20 lakh to install 115 halogen lights
in the Kangra fort.
AIGBWO seeks revision of wages
MANDI, June 27 The All-India Gramin Bank Workers Organisation (AIGBWO) and the All-India Gramin Bank Officers Organisation (AIGBOO) on the conclusion of the three-day meeting of their joint national executive committee held at Beas Sadan here demanded immediate implementation of the sixth and seventh bipartite wage board revision settlement and the pension schemes to do away with the existing disparities between the regional banks and the rest of the banking industry of the country.
Talking to mediapersons here today, the national president of the two bodies, Mr D.C. Sharma, said the network of 105 regional banks and more than 14,500 rural branches spread over the country was catering to the needs of the rural masses and working with missionary zeal despite heavy odds.
The conference lamented the delay in the implementation of the pay package which the Ministry of Finance had agreed to and under which the basic salary, dearness allowance, CCA and HRA were to be paid on a par with the rest of the banking industry.
The trade union leaders of Gramin Bank had also met the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, who had reportedly directed the Finance Minister to concede their genuine demands.
Cong leader denies
SHIMLA, June 27 Mr Singhi Ram, a Congress legislator and member of the charge sheet drafting committee of the party, has denied the allegations levelled against him by Mr Mohinder Singh, Public Works Minister, as baseless, and politically motivated.
In strongly worded rejoinder here today he said the minister who had become a symbol of corruption over the past two years, had lost his equipoise due to the Congress move to come out with a charge sheet against the government. The minister, it seemed, feared that his acts of omission and commission would be exposed in the charge sheet and that was why he had started making wild allegations against the Congress leaders.
He clarified that the residential house at Rampur was owned by his father and he had raised loans from various sources for his house being constructed at Shimla.
He also did own any stone crusher as alleged. The fact was that a stone crusher had been set up by the association of local unemployed youth of which his younger brother was the president. Besides, he did not own any fleet of buses. His younger brother, however, did secured a permit to ply a mini-bus in 1986-87 which was financed by the State Bank of India.
Tributes paid to Capt Subramanian
NAHAN, June 27 Tributes were paid to martyr Capt R. Subramanian, who laid down his life for the nation while fighting foreign militants in Kupwara districts on June 18.
Capt R. Subramanian belonged to First Para (SF) at present somewhere in Western Command.
According to information available here, on June 18 during operations in Haphruda forest of Kupwara district in Kashmir valley, Capt R. Subramanian was the Troop Commander leading one of the columns. At around 6.30 p.m. his troops came under fire from a group of 10-15 foreign militants. Quickly analysing the situation, Capt Subramanian moved his troops over adverse and tough terrain and engaged the militants in a fight. As a result of his bold action his troops managed to extricate themselves from the ambush zone and also engaged the enemy. The ensuing fight continued into the night. Capt Subramanian kept the pressure on the militants.
The next morning three militants from a commanding position brought down effective fire on his troop. Realising the tremendous danger to the life of his men, Capt Subramanian charged at the militants, firing from his weapons. The militants fired at him, injuring him in the neck and shoulders. This did not deter the valiant officer who unflinchingly continued to charge at them. He closed in on the militants and killed three of them. He received more injuries in the process in the face and head. By his singularly gallant action he killed three foreign militants and saved the lives of his men.
Capt Subramanian was evacuated from the area immediately in a helicopter but he succumbed to his injuries in the hospital. The bold and daring action and the supreme sacrifice made by him was in the highest tradition of the Indian Army. His indomitable courage and steadfast valour led to the elimination of nine hardcore foreign militants.
Born on August 12, 1976,
to Mr S. Ramchandran and Mrs Subha Lakshmi at Gupegaon,
Capt R. Subramanian was a zealous officer throughout his
short service. He had performed exceedingly well in
operations against militants in the North-East. He was
totally selfless and always gave his best. His motto and
selfless thoughts in life can be understood by the
quotation he told to his friend before going for the
operation: "You have never lived till you have
Union seeks action against
BILASPUR, June 27 The HP State Education Department Class Four Employees Union demanded removal of an employee of the department here for alleged exploitation of class four employees, particularly widows and women.
They accused him of demanding favours even for day-to-day work.
The largely attended state level conference of union held here last evening demanded an immediate high-level inquiry into the functioning of this wing of the department.
It later staged a demonstration and warned that the union would launch an agitation on the issue.
In other resolutions it
demanded Rs 2500 as salary for part-time workers, special
allowance to chowkidars or asking them to work for eight
hours, promotion of all employees whose promotion was due
and promotion of those employees as laboratory attendants
who have passed the eighth and tenth class examinations
PWD union opposes contract
BILASPUR, June 27 A largely attended two-day conference of B.M.S. affiliated Him Shakti PWD Employees Union concluded here last evening.
The conference adopted a resolution demanding abolition of the contractor system and implementation of building and road works etc by the Public Works Department. They said this would save money and end the corrupt commission system.
demanded abolition of work charge system and
regularisation of the entire work charge staff. Mr N.D.
Sharma was elected state president of the Union for the
seventh time at the conference.
Notice to Centre on petrol sale curbs
SHIMLA, June 27 On a petition challenging the orders of the Ministry of Petroleum on restricting the sale of some petroleum products, a division Bench of the high court consisting of Chief Justice C.K. Thakkar and Justice L.S. Panta issued noticed to the Union of India, Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum, Indian Oil Corporation and its branch officers.
The counsel for the
petitioner Mr Kuldeep Singh contended that the Ministry
of Petroleum vide its orders (date June 1, 2000) decided
that the sale of some petroleum products i.e., high
petrol stock, would be sold within the same state where
its outlets are located and there will be inter-state
transaction of these products. He further contended
various industries in the state are adversely affected by
this decision of the Union of India. These products are
used as a fuel to generate power for industries and there
is no outlet of these products in Himachal and now the
case is listed for Thursday.
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