Friday, October 12, 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

CM opens ‘MLA at-your-doorstep’ programme
Hamirpur, October 11

Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal has asked the people to make full use of the policies and programmes of the state government launched for them from time to time. Inaugurating the “your legislator at you doorstep” programme at Kakker village, 40 km from here, this morning, the Chief Minister disposed of more than 100 applications put before him.

IN FOCUS
Doon area victim of bias
Nalagarh
The neighbouring constituencies of Doon and Nalagarh, the former represented by a Congress legislator and the latter by a member of the ruling party, provide a contrast as far as development is concerned. The latest instance is of the allocation of funds for sinking tubewells in the area where agriculture is the primary occupation of the people.

HC notices to Chief Secy, institute
Shimla, October 11
In a writ petition filed by residents of Sargheen village, Shimla district, against Himalayan Forest Research Institute, Panthaghati, Shimla, the Himachal Pradesh High Court issued notices to the Chief Secretary, Secretary, Forest, Secretary, Town and Country Planning, Secretary Revenue, and the institute in connection with violation of forest laws.

Stir threat by HP teachers
Kangra, October 11
The HP Government Teachers Union has threatened to hold an agitation if the government fails to order a thorough inquiry into the case in which three teachers were suspended for the stripping of three girl students of Government Senior Secondary School, Dharamsala.



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Hamirpur
Kulu
Shimla


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CM opens ‘MLA at-your-doorstep’ programme
Our Correspondent

Hamirpur, October 11
Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal has asked the people to make full use of the policies and programmes of the state government launched for them from time to time.

Inaugurating the “your legislator at you doorstep” programme at Kakker village, 40 km from here, this morning, the Chief Minister disposed of more than 100 applications put before him.

He assured the people on the occasion that the main aim of the BJP government was to deliver justice to the people at their doorstep.

He, however, hit out at those who presented before him transfer applications. He clarified that in future, transfers would be effected only in the month of April. 


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IN FOCUS
Doon area victim of bias
Ambika Sharma

Nalagarh
The neighbouring constituencies of Doon and Nalagarh, the former represented by a Congress legislator and the latter by a member of the ruling party, provide a contrast as far as development is concerned. The latest instance is of the allocation of funds for sinking tubewells in the area where agriculture is the primary occupation of the people.

Rs 2.72 crore has been allocated for sinking 22 tubewells in Nalagarh constituency, while funds for not even one tubewell have been given to Doon. The last tubewell sunk in the Doon area was in 1998. A letter to the Irrigation Department from the Chief Minister and the MLA concerned called for an estimate to be prepared for sinking 18 tubewells in Nalagarh. While these big wigs have ensured release of the necessary funds for these tubewells, the less privileged Doon constituency cries for even basic improvements in the irrigation schemes.

Another sum of Rs 2.33 crore has been sanctioned for tubewells in Nalagarh area which were approved in 1999. In the same year, Rs 2.20 crore was approved for 19 tubewells in the Doon area but the amount has not yet been sanctioned. Nabard provides funds for tubewells, and according to officials of the Irrigation Department despite an assurance from the Nabard Director to provide funds for sinking at least two tubewells in the Doon area, nothing has been done in this regard by the bank.

The Doon area, which includes Mandhala, the biggest revenue village of the area with 3500 bighas under agriculture, has a rich source of underground water and the farmers of this village had sunk a tubewell under a cooperative scheme about 18 years ago. This tubewell irrigated about half the land of the village. It functioned smoothly for one year after which the IPH Department took it over. The department, instead of increasing its command area and developing it further, started supplying drinking water to about 15 villages from this tubewell. The villagers of Mandhala were denied water for irrigation and their fertile lands became barren. Two more tubewells were approved to provide irrigation water to the farmers but in the absence of funds the scheme has remained only on paper. IPH officials say that another scheme has been approved to improve irrigation facilities in this area but has remained unimplemented for want of funds.

Officials of the IPH Department say that they had drawn up a scheme to improve the water distribution system in Mandhala and Kotiyan villages. The Rs 8.08 lakh scheme was intended to increase the capacity of the storage tank from 50,000 litres to 83,500 litres. In addition, some repair work was also proposed. But no work could be done in the absence of funds.

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HC notices to Chief Secy, institute
 Legal Correspondent

Shimla, October 11
In a writ petition filed by residents of Sargheen village, Shimla district, against Himalayan Forest Research Institute, Panthaghati, Shimla, the Himachal Pradesh High Court issued notices to the Chief Secretary, Secretary, Forest, Secretary, Town and Country Planning, Secretary Revenue, and the institute in connection with violation of forest laws.

Meanwhile, a Division Bench comprising Chief Justice C.K.Thakker and Mr Justice R.L. Khurana has directed the institute not to fell any tree nor carry out any digging work. The petitioners have claimed that Sargheen village is adjoining to Shimla town and cutting of trees and construction activities will damage the ecology and beauty of the town. 

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Stir threat by HP teachers
Our Correspondent

Kangra, October 11
The HP Government Teachers Union has threatened to hold an agitation if the government fails to order a thorough inquiry into the case in which three teachers were suspended for the stripping of three girl students of Government Senior Secondary School, Dharamsala.

Mr Kartar Singh Rana, state president of the union, said here today that the incident to save a poor student of being deprived of Rs 1,100 and the search of girl students by women teachers appeared to have been snowballed allegedly by certain vested interests of the department to settle their personal scores.

Mr Rana alleged that the preliminary inquiry conducted by the District Education Officer seemed to have been done under the influence of some persons.

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No timetable for defaulters: RTO
Our Correspondent

Kulu, October 11
The bus operators who have not paid the outstanding special road tax (SRT) in this district will not be allocated new timetable in the forthcoming joint timetable meeting.

This was stated by Mr B.R. Kaundal, Regional Transport Officer (RTO), Mandi, who is also holding additional charge of Kulu region.

He said the habitual defaulters would face stern action. However, the allocation of new timetable could be considered on merit basis to those who would deposit the outstanding SRT within time.

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Stamp on Sobha Singh
Tribune News Service

Shimla, October 11
The Postal Department will release a stamp on the world-famed artist Sobha Singh on the occasion of his 100th birth anniversary next month.

A decision to this effect has been taken by the Ministry of Communications on the initiative of Mr P.K. Dhumal and Mr Parkash Singh Badal, Chief Ministers of Himachal Pradesh and Punjab, respectively.

Mr Vijay Bhushan, Chief Post Master-General said here today that the stamp would bear a portrait of Sobha Singh.

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