Tuesday, October 16, 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

Ban on SIMI justified, says Anwar Ali
Shimla, October 15
Dr Anwar Ali Khan, National Secretary of the BJP Minority Morcha, today said that the global fight against terrorism must be taken to its logical end and called upon the Muslim community not to be misled by those working against national interests.

Damaged electric poles hit system
Kulu
More than 10,000 electric poles are in a damaged state in the HPSEB circle comprising Kulu and Lahaul-Spiti districts, hitting the system. Residents also complain that in many cases live wires are dangerously close to windows and roofs of dwellings here. 

Scrap Margin of Profit Act: HP traders
Mandi, October 15
At its state-level conference held here yesterday, the Himachal Pradesh Beopar Mandal expressed “deep resentment” over the state government failing to fulfil promises made to traders before coming to power.

S.D. Sharma is VC of HP varsity
Shimla, October 15
Dr Shruti D. Sharma, Professor, Department of English, Kurukshetra University, will be the next Vice-Chancellor of Himachal Pradesh University. His appointment was notified by Raj Bhavan here today. The three-member search committee headed by Mr Harsh Gupta, Chief Secretary, selected him from among 35 aspirants. 

‘Cement plant in Chopal soon’
Shimla, October 15
Mr Prem Kumar Dhumal, Chief Minister today announced that a cement plant would be set up at Gumma in Chopal subdivision of Shimla district at a cost of Rs 1200 crore soon. Addressing a public meeting at Nerwa, 80 km from here, he said the proposed plant would create direct and indirect employment to 15,000 persons in the area. 



YOUR TOWN
Chamba
Kulu
Mandi
Shimla
Nahan


EARLIER STORIES
 

PARWANOO DIARY
Workers sore with ESI hospital

Parwanoo
Industrial workers and ESI card-holders are disappointed with the conditions in the ESI hospital. Representatives of workers’ unions point out that there is a shortage of medicines in the hospital and the workers are made to buy medicines from the market and their bills are not cleared by the ESI for years.

Seminar on better telecom services
Nahan, October 15
The Telecom Engineering Officers, Association, HP circle, organised a seminar on better and efficient telecom services to subscribers of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) on the occasion of the circle executive meeting which was held at Jamta Nahan yesterday.

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Ban on SIMI justified, says Anwar Ali
Tribune News Service

Shimla, October 15
Dr Anwar Ali Khan, National Secretary of the BJP Minority Morcha, today said that the global fight against terrorism must be taken to its logical end and called upon the Muslim community not to be misled by those working against national interests.

Addressing a press conference here, he said the campaign started in the wake of terrorist attacks in the USA should continue until the menace was stamped out from the world. Time was also ripe to tell Pakistan once and for all that it should not interfere in the affairs of the country.

He criticised the call for a “ Jehad” against America given by Shahi Imam Abdullah Bukhari.

Dr Khan justified the decision to ban the Students Islamic Movement of India and said the government had to discharge its responsibilities towards the country. Moreover, those who were not happy with decision could move the tribunal and seek justice.

He denied the ban had anything to do with the ensuing Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh.

Referring to the demand of Muslims for a separate wakf board to look after the properties in Himachal Pradesh, he said the exercise was on in this regard. Since the new board was to be carved out from the Punjab Wakf Board certain formalities were to be completed. He said a separate board for the state would be in place before the next Assembly elections.

He claimed that the Vajpayee government had done more for Muslims in the past three years than the Congress in 50 years. In Uttar Pradesh computers had been provided to one lakh ‘madarsas’ and an old Jamia Milian madarsa of Rampur accorded the status of a university.

Besides, Maulana Azad Foundation had been given Rs 500 crore for taking up welfare activities for the uplift of Muslims.

Earlier, he presided over a meeting of the state BJP minority cell at which a resolution urging the government to reintroduce “Urdu” in schools.

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Damaged electric poles hit system
Subhash Sharma

Kulu
More than 10,000 electric poles are in a damaged state in the HPSEB circle comprising Kulu and Lahaul-Spiti districts, hitting the system.

Residents also complain that in many cases live wires are dangerously close to windows and roofs of dwellings here. At places HPSEB officials have not even thought of the danger while fixing poles on the rooftops of private houses. The matter was raised at a District Grievances Committee meeting here but no action has been taken so far.

Mr Vijay Anand, Executive Engineer, says a comprehensive plan has been submitted to the board for the replacement of the poles. He says unless the plan is considered under the Accelerated Power Development (APD) programme, replacement will not be possible.

He says the HPSEB, despite financial constraints, has changed 1,700 poles during the past one year Under the APD programme, in which Kulu was not included this year, the grant-in-aid by the Union Government is 90 per cent. Four districts of Himachal Pradesh — Shimla, Sirmaur, Solan and Hamirpur — have been brought under the programme this year. It is learnt that Kulu was excluded to include Hamirpur even though the former is the most backward district in terms of electrification.

Contrary to the claims of the Himachal Government on achieving 100 per cent electrification in the state, the Kulu circle of the HPSEB has many villages which do not have power supply.

In the four divisions of the Kulu circle there are long waiting lists for power connections. The reason for the delay in the provision of connections is said to be the shortage of wires with the power board. It is reported that the supply is only about one-tenth of the requirement. An additional financial burden is put on those consumers who have to purchase wires from the market.
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Scrap Margin of Profit Act: HP traders
Our Correspondent

Mandi, October 15
At its state-level conference held here yesterday, the Himachal Pradesh Beopar Mandal expressed “deep resentment” over the state government failing to fulfil promises made to traders before coming to power.

In his presidential speech, the chairman of the state coordination committee of the mandal, Mr Madan Lal Khurana, lamented that despite the promise in its election manifesto, the government had done nothing to do away with inspector raj which had got on the nerves of traders and was breeding widespread corruption.

The mandal in a resolution described the Margin of Profit Act as “draconian” legislation and urged the government to scrap it without further delay as such an Act existed nowhere else in the country.

It was also resolved that the Market Committee Act should be implemented in the entire state in a “just and fair manner” and the rate of the market fees should be the same all over the state. He described 2 per cent charge of market fees in Mandi district as illegal and warned that if it was not stopped forthwith, the state beopar mandal would challenge it in the high court. In most places, 1 per cent market fee was being charged, he said.

In another resolution, it protested against the prevailing high-handedness by officials on tax barriers in the state and suggested that checking, if necessary, should be done in the godowns of transport companies.

Mr Khurana alleged that the Chief Minister who himself was a trader understood their problems but had failed to solve them because the bureaucracy had been prevailing on him. Mr Khurana warned that if the government slept over their problems, 4.5 lakh traders of the state would be forced to resort to other measures.

He also questioned the wisdom of applying the provisions of obligatory filing of returns to Himachal Pradesh on the basis of six economic indicators and added that it was an exercise in futility.
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S.D. Sharma is VC of HP varsity
Tribune News Service

Shimla, October 15
Dr Shruti D. Sharma, Professor, Department of English, Kurukshetra University, will be the next Vice-Chancellor of Himachal Pradesh University.

His appointment was notified by Raj Bhavan here today. The three-member search committee headed by Mr Harsh Gupta, Chief Secretary, selected him from among 35 aspirants. His name had not figured anywhere among the probables. Incidentally, he is the second professor from Kurukshetra University to become Vice- Chancellor of the university. Earlier, Dr C.L. Kundu served a three-year term from January 1996 to 1999.

A doctorate in English, 51-year-old Dr Sharma is also proficient in Hindi. He topped in the Prabhakar examination of Panjab University in 1967 and went on to acquire a postgraduate degree in Hindi. His main interest, however, continued to be English. After obtaining his Ph.D in American literature, he joined Kurukshetra University as Lecturer and became Professor in 1993. He remained Chairman of the English Department from 1999 to 2000.

Till date he has nine books to his credit.

“I am an out and out academician and my main aim will be to establish the identity of the university as an institution of academic excellence”, he told The Tribune when contacted on the telephone.

Dr Sharma is likely to assume charge on October 18. 
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‘Cement plant in Chopal soon’
Tribune News Service

Shimla, October 15
Mr Prem Kumar Dhumal, Chief Minister today announced that a cement plant would be set up at Gumma in Chopal subdivision of Shimla district at a cost of Rs 1200 crore soon.

Addressing a public meeting at Nerwa, 80 km from here, he said the proposed plant would create direct and indirect employment to 15,000 persons in the area. The cement plant would not have any effect on environment.

The Chief Minister criticised the previous government for discriminating in the matter of development on the basis of region. He said the Congress had always posed to have done the maximum for apple growers, but the fact was that it had paid a subsidy of only Rs 11.36 crore during the last three years of its regime, whereas the present government during the past three years had paid a subsidy of Rs 57.45 crore.

Mr Dhumal said the problem of ‘shamlat’ land had also been solved by his government.

The government would go to the people with its achievements during the “vikas yatra”.

Road construction had been given top priority and 2,100 km of roads had been constructed in the state during the past three years as against 1350 km constructed by the previous government in its last three years of rule. As many as 213 villages had been connected by road during the period as against 82 connected by the previous state government.

Referring to the development of Shimla district, he said 931 rooms had been constructed in the district under the “Sraswati Bal Vidya Sankalp Yojna” at a cost of Rs 8.17 crore out of which 94 had been constructed in Chopal area alone.

Besides, Rs 10.40 crore had been spent under the water-shed programme, bringing 1980 hectare of area under irrigation. He said in Chopal area, 3.17 crore had been spent on nine micro-shed projects.

He said 194 villages had been provided with the facility of drinking water by his government in Shimla district at a cost of Rs 6.10 crore, whereas Rs 2.26 crore was being spent on a water supply scheme in Chopal.

The Chief Minister said Rs 57 lakh had been sanctioned for the construction of the Chambidhar-Basadhar road. Vacant posts in educational and health institutions would be filled in a priority basis.

Earlier, he inaugurated the Shalu bridge constructed at a cost of Rs 45.52 lakh at Nerwa and laid the foundation stone of Hardev bridge to be constructed at a cost of Rs 18 lakh.

The Chief Minister also inaugurated a 3.5 km stretch of the Sakroti-Tikri Maneoti road constructed at a cost of Rs 87 lakh.

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PARWANOO DIARY
Workers sore with ESI hospital

M.M. Bhandari

Parwanoo
Industrial workers and ESI card-holders are disappointed with the conditions in the ESI hospital. Representatives of workers’ unions point out that there is a shortage of medicines in the hospital and the workers are made to buy medicines from the market and their bills are not cleared by the ESI for years.

The ESI hospital in Parwanoo was constructed in 1994 at a cost of Rs 4 crore. But the workers are suffering for want of attention to the hospital. The hospital does not have an ultrasound specialist and the post has been lying vacant for the past two years. On an average, four or five patients are referred for ultrasound tests to laboratories in Chandigarh and Panchkula every day. The workers have to spend money to go to Panchkula and Chandigarh for this purpose. In addition, the post of an ortho specialist has been vacant for the past three years.

Leaders of various workers’ unions have warned the government that if the vacant posts are not filled, the working of the ESI is not improved and the medical bills pending for years are not cleared soon, the workers will be forced to start an agitation against the Health Department.

***

A three-day free eye camp was organised in the ESI Hospital by Mr Brij Mohan Mittal, owner of Swastik Industries, India. The camp was conducted by Dr Paramjit Sharma and her team from Solan.

Mr Mittal said that the camp served the people of Parwanoo, Dharampur, Kalka, Baddi, Nalagarh and the surrounding villages where specialised treatment for eye diseases was not available. Mr Mittal said that food, spectacles and medicines were provided free of cost to the patients.

***

Sapna (15) and Mansavi (13)who won the quarter-finals and semi-finals of the Close-Up Antakshri — National Challenge Series-Children Special, were here in connection with a cultural programme. They said they were hoping to win the final but narrowly missed the honour.

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Seminar on better telecom services
Our Correspondent

Nahan, October 15
The Telecom Engineering Officers, Association, HP circle, organised a seminar on better and efficient telecom services to subscribers of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) on the occasion of the circle executive meeting which was held at Jamta Nahan yesterday.

Telecom officers, members of the association and representatives of the consumers took part.

Mr W. Seshagiri Rao, general secretary of the Telecom Engineering Officers Association, said the customers expected timely and fault-free service. He appealed to the BSNL administration to procure quality telephone instruments.


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Chamba rocked
 Our Correspondent

Chamba, October 15
Chamba town and its surrounding areas were rocked by an earthquake measuring 4.3 on the richter scale at about 2.45 a.m. The tremors lasted for about five seconds.

According to the Deputy Commissioner, Mr S.C. Mehta, no report of loss of life or property has been received so far.

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