Tuesday, October 9, 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

Dhumal Cabinet reshuffle on cards?
Shimla, October 8
The exercise being undertaken by the Chief Minister, Prof P.K. Dhumal, to review the functioning of his ministerial colleagues here tomorrow is being viewed as a step towards a reshuffle of the ministry and toning up of the administration.

HC notices to forests, education secretaries
Shimla, October 8
Taking serious notice of the alleged misappropriation of timber and funds to the time of Rs 10 crore in Kulu forest division, a Division Bench of the Himachal Pradesh High Court, comprising Chief Justice C.K. Thakker and Mr Justice R.L. Khurana, today issued suo-motu notices to Secretary (Forests), Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Additional Director General of Police, Enforcement, and five others.

Group for mentally challenged formed 
Una, October 8
With a view to creating a pressure group for enacting legislation as per the UN Charter and networking with the central and state governments for the interests of the mentally challenged, the National Federation of Parents Association, Bangalore, has formed the Parents Mobilisation Action Group, India.

Street shows by German group
Dharamsala, October 8
The street theatre being enacted by the 25-member German group, “Irwisch”, has proved beyond doubt that laughter and happiness know no boundaries of language, colour, creed or nationality. The theatre group, founded in Germany in the year 1984, in currently touring India, and holding street shows in and around McLeodganj.


YOUR TOWN
Hamirpur
Dharamsala
Shimla
Una


EARLIER STORIES
 

Protest against teachers’ suspension 
Dharamsala, October 8
Students of Class XI and Class XII of Government Senior Secondary School for Girls today boycotted classes and held a demonstration in protest against the government decision to suspend three teachers on a complaint by fellow-students.

Chamba to have 600 cr cement plant 
Kangra, October 8
Himachal will have another Rs 600 crore cement plant at Majir in Chamba district. The Ministry of Mining has proved the project and approval of the Ministry of Forest and Environment was expected soon.

Forum directive to pradhikaran 
Shimla, October 8
Mr P.D.Goel, president, District Consumer Forum has directed the H.P. Nagar Vikas Pradhikaran to refund Rs 4,77,000 with 12 percent interest to Dr Neena Arora a resident of Shimla.

5 more medical students held 
Kangra, October 8
The police today arrested five more students of Dr Rajender Prasad Government Medical College, Tanda, taking the number of the arrested students in connection with the Saturday roiting in the town to seven.

HIMSU enrols 3500 members
Shimla, October 8
Mr Sandeep Kumar, president of the Himachal Students Union (HIMSU), has said the union has enrolled about 3,500 students as members in the three districts of Shimla, Solan and Sirmour . The union has also extended the membership drive till October 30.

BADDI DIARY
Steps to improve power supply
Baddi
The Electricity Department has undertaken the upgradation of the transformers in Baddi and Barotiwala to improve the supply of electricity in this industrial area.The project, which is estimated to cost of Rs 18.87 crore, will benefit a population of 95,000 in 1100 villages. Work is also in progress on another project to set up a sub station at Baddi which will ensure better power supply to 37,212 households with a population of 218000. This project is expected to cost Rs 20 crore.
Protest by varsity students             
Shimla, October 8
Students of the Public Administration Department of Himachal Pradesh University today held a protest outside the H.P. secretariat here against the “shrinking” employment openings in the subject.

Leprosy Day observed 
Hamirpur, October 8
The Himachal Pradesh Parliamentary Secretary, Mrs Urmila Thakur, has asked the doctors and the paramedical staff to be polite with patients and go to the masses to educate them about various diseases and their cures.

Students of the Public Administration Department demonstrating outside the Himachal Pradesh Secretariat on Monday.
Students of the Public Administration Department demonstrating outside the Himachal Pradesh Secretariat on Monday.

Founder’s Day celebrated
Kumarhatti, October 8
Dagshai Public School, 4 km from here, celebrated its 44th Founder’s Day yesterday.
Addressing schoolchildren and their parents, Air Vice Marshal Nirmal Thusu, Western Command, appreciated the school management for its efforts to provide quality education.

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Dhumal Cabinet reshuffle on cards?
S.P. Sharma

Tribune News Service

Shimla, October 8
The exercise being undertaken by the Chief Minister, Prof P.K. Dhumal, to review the functioning of his ministerial colleagues here tomorrow is being viewed as a step towards a reshuffle of the ministry and toning up of the administration.

Prof Dhumal, who had gone to Gujarat to participate in the swearing in of Mr Narendra Modi as Chief Minister, after his return tomorrow will first preside over a meeting of the Cabinet and thereafter evaluate the functioning of each ministry.

It is learnt that the ministers have been summoned by Prof Dhumal in the afternoon to discuss the functioning of each department under their charge.

The Chief Minister has himself written letters inviting the ministers for the discussions.

The implementation of the commitments made by the BJP-HVC combine government after coming into power three years ago are expected to be discussed department-wise.

Many of these commitments have already been implemented by the government, Mr Dhumal has said in the letter.

Most of the departmental heads were today busy preparing documents for the meeting.

This is for the first time that Prof Dhumal was undertaking an indepth review of each department, although a Cabinet sub-committee has been undertaking the exercise from time to time.

Mr Dhumal had sometime ago said that he would examine the functioning of his ministerial colleagues and might reshuffle the ministry. The tomorrow ’s exercise is being viewed by the officialdom in that context.

It is expected that the Chief Minister might also take certain steps to further tone up the administration and particularly the departments where implementation of the government’s decisions and commitments was slow.
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HC notices to forests, education secretaries
Legal Correspondent

Shimla, October 8
Taking serious notice of the alleged misappropriation of timber and funds to the time of Rs 10 crore in Kulu forest division, a Division Bench of the Himachal Pradesh High Court, comprising Chief Justice C.K. Thakker and Mr Justice R.L. Khurana, today issued suo-motu notices to Secretary (Forests), Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Additional Director General of Police, Enforcement, and five others.

The matter was brought to the notice of the court through a letter written to the Chief Justice by a retired Dy Ranger, Haripur, Kulu, Mr Yog Raj and Mr Yadvindra Singh of Loren village in Kulu district in which they alleged that flying and misutilisation of funds in Kais, Raison, Prinibeat and Khakhnul beats of the Kulu forest division but instead of prosecuting the persons involved in the wrongdoing the department was resorting to compounding of the cases at its discretion.

While issuing the notices, the court directed the respondents to file their reply within four weeks.

In another case, a Division Bench of the high court comprising Chief Justice C.K. Thakker and Mr R.L. Khurana today issued notices to Secretary, Education, Director, Education and Director, Primary Education on a petition filed by a JBT teacher, Mr Ishwar Dass Bhandari, in which he sought from the court to direct the respondents to grant the state award for his outstanding services in the field of education.

The petitioner alleged that he was among the seven teachers selected for the award, but was refused the award at the eleventh hour for some lapse in the “selection”. He contended through his counsel that he reached the venue on due date and kept waiting for his turn, but to his dismay, his name was never announced.

He further contended that the withholding of the award on the part of the respondents was malafide and arbitrary. The court issued notices to all the respondents and directed them to file their replies with in four weeks.

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Group for mentally challenged formed 
Our Correspondent

Una, October 8
With a view to creating a pressure group for enacting legislation as per the UN Charter and networking with the central and state governments for the interests of the mentally challenged, the National Federation of Parents Association, Bangalore, has formed the Parents Mobilisation Action Group, India.

This was stated by Mr Vijay Kant, programme manager of the group, while addressing parents of mentally challenged children at the local Prem Ashram last evening.

Mr Kant said the government had made legislation to protect the interests of the mentally challenged children, but it was not implemented properly. Parents of the children were most affected and only they could join hands for the proper implementation of the laws, he added.

To secure legal rights for persons with mental handicap, cerebral palsy and multiple disabilities and to fight for human rights and social justice against exploitation, abuse and discrimination, the formation of parents’ bodies and groups was required, he added.

Mr Kant said the Parivaar National Federation of Parents Associations and the Inclusion International had signed an agreement on May 14, 2000 to promote and strengthen vital programmes of the association.

He said to prevent mental disorders of newborns, physical health of pregnant women must be good and unnecessary medication should be avoided. Proper immunisation should be provided to the mother and the child, he added.

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Street shows by German group
Pratibha Chauhan
Tribune News Service

Dharamsala, October 8
The street theatre being enacted by the 25-member German group, “Irwisch”, has proved beyond doubt that laughter and happiness know no boundaries of language, colour, creed or nationality.

The theatre group, founded in Germany in the year 1984, in currently touring India, and holding street shows in and around McLeodganj. The 90-minute play, “The Flower of Friendship — A European Present to India”, has been performed at the Tibetan Children Village School, Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts and in Sidhpur and Rakkar villages.

“The theatre shows have received overwhelming response from children as well as adults, thereby proving that the language of the heart is the same, be it any nation or community,” said Dr Annette Fried, from the Academy of Reuschberg.

The group comprises professionals form various fields, including teaching, medicine, students, social workers, craftsmen, therapists, apart from professional actors. “Seeing the response of the Tibetans, and local people to our theatre, we feel our task has been accomplished, as we could light up their faces with a smile and laughter,” says Dr Joachim Keller, who holds a degree in Social Sciences and Philosophy. The German group works at the Academy of Reuschberg, an educational centre for theatre, pedagogics, humour research and communication analysis.

Regarding selection of Dharamsala as the place for their performances, Dr Annette says that it is the ideal inter cultural mix where Tibetans, gaddis, gorkhas, Muslims, locals and a large number of foreigners live together. She added that their group had tried to make its contribution to the humour and playfulness, for which the Tibetans were known.

Though Dr Annette and Dr Keller, have been visiting India for the past 25 years, many of the other members of the group have visited the country for the first time. “Indians are very warm and open hearted, making it very easy for us to strike in instant rapport, unlike backhome in Germany," observes Christina Elssner.

“Though I had heard about the Tibetan problem earlier, but it is only when you meet the Tibetan refugees that you realise that it means to be driven out of our homeland,” said Christina. Another member of the group Christ Rastert, said coming to India had been a very rich and fulfilling experience.

The group has given a performance at the Max Muller Bhavan in New Delhi, but was forced to refuse all other invitations, as they wished to spend maximum time at McLeodganj.
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Protest against teachers’ suspension 
Tribune News Service

Dharamsala, October 8
Students of Class XI and Class XII of Government Senior Secondary School for Girls today boycotted classes and held a demonstration in protest against the government decision to suspend three teachers on a complaint by fellow-students.

The government had suspended three schoolteachers — Mr Rajiv Sharma, Ms Champa and Ms Meena Kumari — on a complaint by five girl students that they had been virtually stripped and searched for Rs 1,000 stolen from a student. The parents of the five girls had lodged a complaint with the school authorities and demanded action against the teachers involved.

The District Education Officer, Mr R.D. Sharma, after a preliminary inquiry took the action against the three schoolteachers.

The Deputy Director, Education, Mr R.C. Chawla, visited the school and assured the students of a regular inquiry into the incident. He asked the students to attend classes since in the absence of the school principal and the DEO (Secondary), who had conducted the inquiry, he could not do much. On his persuasion the students returned to the classes.
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Chamba to have 600 cr cement plant 
Our Correspondent

Kangra, October 8
Himachal will have another Rs 600 crore cement plant at Majir in Chamba district. The Ministry of Mining has proved the project and approval of the Ministry of Forest and Environment was expected soon.

Himachal Minister for Industries Kishori Lal stated this at a ‘meet the press programme’ organised by Trigarth Press Club here today. He said the plant would be pollution-free in private sector. He said stone of Sikridar village would be used in this plant. He said that the government was contemplating to permit a private company to set up a telecome electronic complex at Nagri village.


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Forum directive to pradhikaran 
Legal Correspondent

Shimla, October 8
Mr P.D.Goel, president, District Consumer Forum has directed the H.P. Nagar Vikas Pradhikaran to refund Rs 4,77,000 with 12 percent interest to Dr Neena Arora a resident of Shimla.

According to the complainant the H.P. Nagar Vikas Pradhikaran floated a scheme known as the “self-financing scheme” for the residential complex in Kasumpti. Pursuant to this, the complainant applied for an MIG-II flat on June 31, 1996, and deposited Rs 80,000 as the earnest money. The complainant alleged that flat 8 in Block C-48 in the MIG-II category was allotted to the complainant under professional allotment.

The pradhikaran was to deliver the possession of the flat to the complainant by the end of April, 1997, but it failed to do so even after receiving the full and final payment.

While delivering the order, Mr Goel directed the H.P. Nagar Vikas Pradhikaran to refund Rs 4,77,000 with 12 per cent interest to the complainant.
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5 more medical students held 
Our Correspondent

Kangra, October 8
The police today arrested five more students of Dr Rajender Prasad Government Medical College, Tanda, taking the number of the arrested students in connection with the Saturday roiting in the town to seven.

The district police chief, Mr Sanjay Kandu, today said Dr R.L. Gupta, Prinicipal of Dr R.P. Government Medical College was asked to take disciplinary action against seven students. Mr Kandu said a criminal case has been registered against Prashant, Sachin, Hashish Soni, Anil Sharma, Amit Aggarwal, Sunil Verma and Dheeraj. He said all seven students were later released on bail.

Dr R.L. Gupta told this correspondent that an inquiry had been ordered into the incident by Prof Sankian the warden of the hostel. He said he had not received any letter from the district police chief to take an action against these students for misconduct. The students were arrested following scuffle with some and police personnel's at Tehsil Chowk of the town on Saturday in which a Home Guard jawan was injured.
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HIMSU enrols 3500 members
 Tribune News Service

Shimla, October 8
Mr Sandeep Kumar, president of the Himachal Students Union (HIMSU), has said the union has enrolled about 3,500 students as members in the three districts of Shimla, Solan and Sirmour . The union has also extended the membership drive till October 30.

Mr Sandeep Kumar said a target to enrol 5,000 members in the three districts had been fixed. The decision to expand HIMSU to other parts of the state would be taken at its state-level convention next month. He said the performance of HIMSU in the recent elections for the students central association of various colleges was quite satisfactory.

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BADDI DIARY
Steps to improve power supply
Ambika Sharma

Baddi
The Electricity Department has undertaken the upgradation of the transformers in Baddi and Barotiwala to improve the supply of electricity in this industrial area.

The project, which is estimated to cost of Rs 18.87 crore, will benefit a population of 95,000 in 1100 villages. Work is also in progress on another project to set up a sub station at Baddi which will ensure better power supply to 37,212 households with a population of 218000. This project is expected to cost Rs 20 crore.

These measures are expected to improve the voltage and also to ensure uniterrupted supply of electricity to the industries.

***

Consumption of cough syrups like phensydryl, corex and tablets like Proxyvon, parvonforte and parvon spasm has become a problem in this region. Truck drivers operating in the region are the main consumers of these medicines, said a doctor who practises in this region.

Every day a driver consumers about 2 or 3 strips of these medicines in addition to a bottle or two of the cough syrups which, are easy to procure. Doctors in the region say that the truck drivers consume these medicines in heavy doses as an addiction.

Heavy consumption of these medicines leads to other problems such as gastro-enteritis and in extreme cases liver and kidney failure. A bottle of cough syrups gives intoxication equal to a few drinks, said one doctor. Easy availability of these medicines, coupled with the ignorance of the drivers, promotes their consumption. Though a doctor’s prescription is necessary to buy these medicines, yet in the absence of any check their sale goes on freely.


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Protest by varsity students
Tribune News Service

Shimla, October 8
Students of the Public Administration Department of Himachal Pradesh University today held a protest outside the H.P. secretariat here against the “shrinking” employment openings in the subject.

They pointed out that the Public Service Commission had singled out the subject by not seeking applications for an eligibility test for recruitment of lecturers in the subject.

They said 70 students had acquired Ph.D in the subject and 200 had passed M.Phil, but most were without jobs.

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Leprosy Day observed 
Our Correspondent

Hamirpur, October 8
The Himachal Pradesh Parliamentary Secretary, Mrs Urmila Thakur, has asked the doctors and the paramedical staff to be polite with patients and go to the masses to educate them about various diseases and their cures.

Addressing a function to observe Leprosy Day here today, she said the Department of Health and Family Welfare had started the third phase of leprosy eradication programme in the district from October 2.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr S.S. Guleria, Chief Medical Officer, Hamirpur, said the department had initiated steps to eradicate leprosy from the district and 140 such patients had been cured during the last five years. It had also identified eight more such cases, including two migrant labourers from Bihar. They were being treated.

He said about 1,081 personnel of the department including doctors, nurses, paramedical staff and technical employees, were working under the programme.


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Founder’s Day celebrated
 Our Correspondent

Kumarhatti, October 8
Dagshai Public School, 4 km from here, celebrated its 44th Founder’s Day yesterday.

Addressing schoolchildren and their parents, Air Vice Marshal Nirmal Thusu, Western Command, appreciated the school management for its efforts to provide quality education. He paid tributes to the founder of the school and on behalf of the Indian Air Force presented a memento to the Principal.

Mr Tejinderjit Singh highlighted the achievements of the school. 

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