Friday, August 10, 2001,
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

Cloudburst plays havoc
Houses damaged, land washed away
Nahan, August 9
Thousands of bighas of land was washed away and many houses were damaged following cloudburst last night in the Jabbal Ka Bag area about 3 km from Nahan. No loss of life has been reported so far. Residents of the area said that heavy rain has been continuing in the area since last evening but they came out from their houses when at 2 a.m. they heard thunder of clouds in the sky.

Bearing the brunt of govt apathy
Chandni (Nahan), August 9
Residents of Kathwar, a panchayat in Paonta tehsil declared backward, are sore over the indifferent attitude of the government towards their area. They feel alone in their fight against poverty and the struggle for survival.

Animal Husbandry to pay damages
Sundernagar, August 9
In a significant judgement, Mr L.N. Sharma, President, Consumers Disputes Redressal Forum, Mandi division, has directed the Animal Husbandry Department to pay an amount of Rs 47,000 to Chet Ram of Dhaban village for selling diseased cow to him.

Value forests, Thakur urges people
Dharamsala, August 9
The Forest Minister, Mr Roop Singh Thakur, has asked the people to understand the value of forests and help the government in implementing various schemes and programmes for protecting this wealth. Mr Thakur, was speaking on the occasion of vana-mashotsava in Ladoh village, falling under the Rajgir assembly constituency.



YOUR TOWN
Hamirpur
Dharamsala
Kulu
Shimla
Nahan


EARLIER STORIES

 

Three expelled from Congress
Shimla, August 9
The group rivalry in the Congress has come to the fore again with District Congress Committee (Urban) expelling the former Mayor, Mr Manjoj Kumar, and two others from the party for six years.

Mittal gets charge of language dept
Shimla, August 9
The Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister, Mr Ajay Mittal, was stripped of his charge of the excise and taxation in a reshuffle of IAS officers in Himachal Pradesh today. Mr Mittal has been given additional charge of the art, culture and language department.

HPSEB suspends 3 officials
Nurpur, August 9
The Himachal Pradesh State Electricity Board reportedly has suspended two assistant engineers and one junior engineer of the Damtal industrial area of this subdivision for their alleged involvement in the power theft by the industrial units.

SPís warning on drug abuse
Kulu, August 9
The use of the drugs and alcohol mars the campaigning for elections of the Central Students Association of Government Post-Graduate College to be held on August 11. Mr N. Venu Gopal, Superintendent of Police, in a press note issued here today, said many anti-social elements, who were not the students in the college, were involved in the elections.

ABVP leads in studentsí body poll
Hamirpur, August 9
The Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad has been leading in the elections to the Students Central Association of the local Netaji Subhash Chander Bose Memorial College. The ABVP, the RSSí student wing has already won 11 seats of class representatives as against three by the Students Federation of India, the CPMís student front. The polling will take place on August 11.

HP orders takeover of DAV, RVMSD colleges
Shimla, August 9
The Himachal Pradesh Cabinet today ordered the takeover of the DAV and RVMSD colleges at Sujanpur-Tihra in Hamirpur district by the government. It also ordered that these be merged and named after Thakur Jagdev Chand.

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Cloudburst plays havoc
Houses damaged, land washed away
S.R. Pundir

Nahan, August 9
Thousands of bighas of land was washed away and many houses were damaged following cloudburst last night in the Jabbal Ka Bag area about 3 km from Nahan. No loss of life has been reported so far.

Residents of the area said that heavy rain has been continuing in the area since last evening but they came out from their houses when at 2 a.m. they heard thunder of clouds in the sky. After a few minutes heavy rain started falling and there was flood-like situation on the top of the hill.

Mr Mani Ram Saini, ex-president of Nahan panchayat, said that when the whole hill top, including his house was sinking at 3 a.m. he and members of his family were witnessing the disaster. His house has been damaged completely. Some other houses in the Jabbal Ka village have been damaged and more than 18 landslips triggered around the village, which have damaged farm land and posed a threat to many other houses.

The incident of cloudburst has affected the area around the Jabbal Ka Bag and people living on the bank of Salani river. At the top of the hill the area in 3 km radius has been damaged badly. On the Nahan-Jabbal Ka Bag road the whole Bikram Castle hill has sunk, cracked and many landslides have occurred spelling danger for the villagers residing downside the road.

There are reports of similar heavy landslips and damage to the houses in the Dhan Kiyari and Talon area also. Due to flood in the Salani river thousands of bighas of land, crops and mango trees have been uprooted and washed away. People said that land in the Cheela belt in Burma-Papri panchayat has been washed away by the flood.

Heera Singh, a driver in the government department had to shift his family and animals to safer place amidst heavy rains when flood water started swallowing his land and house in Janjli village.

Mr Rama Nand had to vacate his house late last night when flow of water under the Salani bridge was blocked, whole area was converted into a lake and water entered his house. The channels under the bridge were blocked due to heavy arrival of mud, stones and big trees in the river due to which the bridge submerged in the water and water flowed over the bridge damaging its both sides. When contacted Mr J.C. Chauhan, Superintending Engineer, told that the bridge had not been damaged by flood. Approach roads have been damaged and these would be repaired and arrangements would be made to face the situation by constructing an additional RCC structure there. Villagers said that when they contacted Mr Rakesh Sharma, SDM, Nahan. he reached the area this morning. When contacted Mr Sharma confirmed heavy losses to houses and farm land in the area. He said that a team of revenue officers were assessing losses carrying out survey and relief operations in the area. He also stressed the need of protection work in the area. He also said that district administration had cooperated with the residents of the flood-hit area.

Residents of the area said that they had not seen such a high-level of flood in the Salani river in their life. They said that rain was so heavy that it was very difficult to face it in the open.

Due to heavy rains the Shimla, Renuka, Kolanwala Bhood, Rama Dhuan, Birla and Bacher Ka Bag roads were blocked following heavy landslides on these roads. The PWD has, however, opened Paonta and Shillai roads after three hoursí blockage in the morning. According to sources additional machinery and labour had been shifted to the Shillai area keeping in view the visit of the Himachal Chief Minister to Shillai on the Independence Day.
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Bearing the brunt of govt apathy
S. R. Pundir

Chandni (Nahan), August 9
Residents of Kathwar, a panchayat in Paonta tehsil declared backward, are sore over the indifferent attitude of the government towards their area. They feel alone in their fight against poverty and the struggle for survival.

The people of Kathwar, an interior area of the trans-Giri region of Sirmaur district, are looking forward to the visit of Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal to Shillai on Independence Day. Their grievance is that the Chief Minister has not visited their panchayat and they want that he should do so now and see their plight for himself.

Mr Mahender Singh, president of the Kathwar Gram Panchayat, and other residents of the area said local people were planning to boycott the next elections as they had been neglected by successive state governments and the Centre.

They alleged that more than 40 residents had deposited security for telephone connections since 1996 but no connection had been provided. They said the Telecommunication Department had proposed to establish a telephone exchange in Kathwar in 1996 but the proposal had been put on the back-burner. They alleged that several telephone exchanges had been set up after 1996 by the department but Kathwar had been overlooked.

Mr Mahender Singh said he and his panchayat colleagues were running from pillar to post to get staff posted at the high school and the ayurvedic dispensary in Kathwar. He said Government High School, Kathwar, was being run by only one teacher for the past two years and the dispensary by a Class IV employee.

He said the veterinary dispensary in Madhi village of the panchayat was inaugurated about three years back and it had remained locked since then for want of staff. He said furniture, medicines and medical equipment of the Veterinary Department in the dispensary had almost gone to waste due to lack of maintenance.

People of the area told this correspondent that they were paying Rs 100 per 40 kg of their agriculture produce, like ginger, potato and pepper, to transport it to its destination. Ginger is the only cash crop of the people but it is often damaged by ginger rot.

Residents complained that a road from Khalakyar was under construction for the past 20 years but only a 3-km stretch had been built so far. On a request of the general public and panchayat functionaries of the area, Mr Rakesh Kaushal, Deputy Commissioner, Sirmaur, recently sanctioned Rs 5 lakh for the construction of the road.

People of the area have demanded that the construction of the road should be done by the PWD by providing employment to local residents.

Residents alleged that they were getting impure water through the gravity pipeline scheme of the Irrigation and Public Health Department.

They said there was no provision to filter the water and residents of Udayana, Madhi, Shoti, Tipri, Chambola and Piplat villages had no option but to drink contaminated water.

Kathwar is considered to be a gastroenteritis-prone area and during the past two years, three persons have died and many taken ill due to the disease.

Though the Kathwar panchayat, for the past many years, has remained on the list of backward panchayats, development work is at a standstill and the uplift of people has been ignored due to lack of political will, according to the residents.

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Animal Husbandry to pay damages
Our Correspondent

Sundernagar, August 9
In a significant judgement, Mr L.N. Sharma, President, Consumers Disputes Redressal Forum, Mandi division, has directed the Animal Husbandry Department to pay an amount of Rs 47,000 to Chet Ram of Dhaban village for selling diseased cow to him.

The forum further observed that the department should avoid selling diseased animals to the poor. The complainant had filed a complaint under Section 12 of the Consumer Protection Act alleging that he purchased a cow in a public auction conducted by the government. Livestock Farm and he was told that the cow would yield 20 litre of milk per day. The cow gave birth to a calf but it was observed that no milk was coming out of the teats of the cow. It was taken to a veterinary doctor who told him that teats of the cow were blocked. The cow also got admitted to the Veterinary Hospital. The complainant requested the department to replace the cow but when no action was taken, he filed the complaint.

The Animal Husbandry Department denied the allegation and stated that the blockade of teats had occurred due to a disease which was developed later on.

The forum ordered the department to pay an amount of Rs 10,000 along with interest at the rate of 12 per cent per annum from the date of purchase of the cow and also pay an amount of Rs 30,000 for maintenance of the calf by the complainant and Rs 5,000 on account of harassment suffered by the consumer and also directed the department to pay Rs 2,000 as cost of litigation.
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Value forests, Thakur urges people
Tribune News Service

Dharamsala, August 9
The Forest Minister, Mr Roop Singh Thakur, has asked the people to understand the value of forests and help the government in implementing various schemes and programmes for protecting this wealth. Mr Thakur, was speaking on the occasion of vana-mashotsava in Ladoh village, falling under the Rajgir assembly constituency. He said under the Sanjhi Van Yojna, the share of the village development committees had been raised from 60 to 100 per cent, out of which 25 per cent would go to the local panchayat.

Mr Thakur said Rs 30 crore were being spent in the Kangra district under the Indo-German changer project, phase-II. Apart from this 58 crore were being spent under the second phase of the Kandi project in the forest sector.

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Three expelled from Congress
Tribune News Service

Shimla, August 9
The group rivalry in the Congress has come to the fore again with District Congress Committee (Urban) expelling the former Mayor, Mr Manjoj Kumar, and two others from the party for six years.

Mr Manoj Kumar, who is a sitting council corporator in the municipal corporation, is considered to be a close lieutenant of the CLP leader, Mr Virbhadra Singh.

The two others who have also been expelled on the charges of anti-party activities are Mr Pawan Banta and Mr Arun Kumar.

The decision to expel them was taken in a meeting presided over by Mr Harbhajan Singh Bhajji, president of the DCC, who is reportedly in the camp of the PCC chief, Mrs Vidya Stokes.

Mr Sanjeev Kuthiala, general secretary of the DCC, said Mr Manoj Kumar failed to reply to the show cause notice. The other two did not withdraw the cases filed by them against the party, he alleged.
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Mittal gets charge of language dept
Tribune News Service

Shimla, August 9
The Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister, Mr Ajay Mittal, was stripped of his charge of the excise and taxation in a reshuffle of IAS officers in Himachal Pradesh today. Mr Mittal has been given additional charge of the art, culture and language department.

Kanwar Shamsher Singh, Financial Commissioner, Irrigation and Public Health, has been given additional charge of the Excise and Taxation Department.

Mr A.K. Mohapatra, Resident Commissioner in Delhi, has been sent on deputation to the Centre as a Joint Secretary, Food and Public Distribution and Mrs Renu Sahni Dhar, Financial Commissioner, Social Welfare, has been appointed as the new Resident Commissioner.

Mr V.K. Bansal has been given an additional charge of the secretary, transport. Mr B.S. Chauhan, Secretary, personnel, has been given an additional charge of the Ayurveda Department.

Mr Deepak Sanan, Secretary, Finance, has been given an additional charge of the Technical Education Department.
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HPSEB suspends 3 officials
Our Correspondent

Nurpur, August 9
The Himachal Pradesh State Electricity Board (HPSEB) reportedly has suspended two assistant engineers and one junior engineer of the Damtal industrial area of this subdivision for their alleged involvement in the power theft by the industrial units.

The Executive Engineer, Nurpur division, received their suspension orders this evening.

According to a spokesman for the HPSEB the Chief Engineer (North) had conducted an inquiry into this case and the board had found the officials responsible in the preliminary enquiry. The enforcement wing of the state police has also booked a case in this connection.
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SPís warning on drug abuse
Our Correspondent

Kulu, August 9
The use of the drugs and alcohol mars the campaigning for elections of the Central Students Association of Government Post-Graduate College to be held on August 11.

Mr N. Venu Gopal, Superintendent of Police, in a press note issued here today, said many anti-social elements, who were not the students in the college, were involved in the elections. He said they were allegedly carrying drugs and intoxicants in the college premises and using them to woo the students.

The Police Chief said this was also confirmed by the Principal of the college, who had requested the SP to restrain such elements from entering the college premises.

The SP has issued a warning to those involved in the mischief to stop any kind of interference in the college elections. He said strict action would be taken if anybody, including students of the college, was found using drugs within the premises of the college.
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ABVP leads in studentsí body poll
Our Correspondent

Hamirpur, August 9
The Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad has been leading in the elections to the Students Central Association of the local Netaji Subhash Chander Bose Memorial College. The ABVP, the RSSí student wing has already won 11 seats of class representatives as against three by the Students Federation of India, the CPMís student front. The polling will take place on August 11.

Hamirpur Degree College is one of the biggest colleges of the state. It has nearly 5000 students on rolls. Hamirpur is the home district of Chief Minister, Prof Prem Kumar Dhumal. He represents state Assembly from Bamsan Assembly segment of the district.

Sources reveal that the ABVP is trying hard to maintain the position it obtained last year in the SCA elections. The ABVP had won all four seats of the President, Vice-President, General Secretary and Assistant Secretary last year. The ABVP has fielded candidates for all four seats and is locked in a fight with the candidates of the SFI and National Students Union of India, the Congress partyís student wing.

The Himachal Vikas Congress Students Union which had decided to contest all seats in the college drew a blank as it failed to field any candidate this time.

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HP orders takeover of DAV, RVMSD colleges
Tribune News Service

Shimla, August 9
The Himachal Pradesh Cabinet today ordered the takeover of the DAV and RVMSD colleges at Sujanpur-Tihra in Hamirpur district by the government. It also ordered that these be merged and named after Thakur Jagdev Chand.

The decision was taken in a meeting of the Cabinet which was presided over by the Chief Minister, Mr Prem Kumar Dhumal.

The Cabinet approved the allotment of seven small hydroelectric projects of the total capacity of 13.6 MW to the private sector. These projects will result in an investment of Rs 75 crore in the next five years.
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