Friday, October 19, 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

Channeling seasonal torrents
Kasauli
An experimental project has been launched by scientists of the horticulture and forestry university at Nauni, near Solan, to channelise seasonal torrents in the Baddi-Barotiwala area. 

Cong memo against George’s reinduction
Shimla, October 18
The Congress Party today submitted a memorandum to the Governor, Dr Suraj Bhan, against the re-induction of Mr George Fernandes in the Union Cabinet without waiting for the report of the Venkataswamy Commission which was enquiring into the allegations of corruption against him.

2 widows issued marriage certificates
Hamirpur, October 18
A controversy has arisen after the grant of marriage certificates by SDM, Nadaun (Hamirpur) to two women both claiming to be wives of late Prof Narain Chand Prashar, a former Congress Minister of Himachal.

HP to be cataract-free by March
Kangra, October 18
Himachal Pradesh will attain the goal making the state free from cataract by March 31, next year where as eye check-up of six lakh schoolchildren, will be completed by the end of this month.

New VC assumes charge

Shimla, October 18
Dr S.D. Sharma took over as the new Vice-Chancellor of Himachal Pradesh University here today. He has come from Kurukshetra University where he was a professor in English. 

The new vice chancellor of the HP University, Dr.S.D.Sharma, being received by the pro-vice chancellor
The new Vice-Chancellor of HP University, Dr S.D.Sharma, being received by the Pro Vice-Chancellor, Dr N. K. Sharda, on his arrival at the campus in Shimla on Thursday. — photo Anil Dayal



YOUR TOWN
Hamirpur
Mandi
Shimla
Nahan


EARLIER STORIES
 

HP launches project for aged
Mandi, October 18
The Himachal Pradesh Police has launched a unique project to help the ailing and the aged. It will be extended to other districts as well. Disclosing this at a news conference here today, the DIG Central Range, Mr M.L. Negi, said a comprehensive list of senior citizens living alone would be drawn up with their addresses by 22 police stations selected in this range.

BJP yatra fails to take off
Kangra, October 18
The fortnight-long “vikas yatra” of the BJP to highlight the achievements of the Dhumal government, which was to start from the head-quarters of each of the 68 Assembly constituencies today, could not take off from Kangra, Nagrota Bagwan, Dharamsala and Indora constituencies of this district.

Restore pay scales of clerks, CM urged
Shimla, October 18
A joint meeting of the Punjab and Himachal Pradesh Ministerial Services Union today urged the Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Prakash Singh Badal, to restore the pay scales of the clerical staff as agreed upon in 1990.

2 killed as  jeep falls  into river
Nahan, October 18
Two persons died on the spot when a jeep coming from Ambala fell into Jala river, near Dadahu, early this morning. Among the deceased were driver Kamal Dev (23), resident of Dhaun Kiarga village, and Rakesh Kumar of Sainwala village in Nahan tehsil.

Arrested for making fake certificates
Kangra, October 18
The police today claimed to have unearthed a racket of fake certificates following the arrest of the owner of a printing press at Shahpur. 







 

Channeling seasonal torrents
Ambika Sharma

Kasauli
An experimental project has been launched by scientists of the horticulture and forestry university at Nauni, near Solan, to channelise seasonal torrents in the Baddi-Barotiwala area. The project, financed by the World Bank, is being undertaken under the aegis of the Indian Council for Agricultural Research.

A team of scientists from the university headed by Dr I.P. Sharma visited the area and selected a stretch of about 1.5 km along the river bed in Johranpur and Kulariwala villages.

Dr Sharma said seasonal torrents, which caused widespread damage every monsoon, would be channelised in such a way that the flow of water was concentrated towards the centre and the sides were protected against erosion. These high-pressure torrents wore away the sides and caused a change in the course of rivers, damaging nearby plantations and habitations.

Massive plantation would be undertaken aimed at strengthening the sides of the rivulets. Besides, the seasonal torrents would be channelised by the construction of bundhs, spurs and retaining walls along the embankments. The silt and gravel deposited in the catchment could be used for growing various viable species. Locally available material like loose boulders would be used for building the spurs.

A committee comprising 26 local families had been formed under the project. Ten per cent of the total cost would be borne by them. Help had been sought from the Kandi Project and Rural Development Department.

The project has been launched on an experimental basis initially for a period of three years. If it is successful, the entire responsibility of the project will be given to a society formed at a later stage with the consent of the villagers involved in the scheme. The project will act as a developmental model for various agencies.

The area has a number of torrents which erode huge chunks of arable land. In addition, the area is plagued by the problem of indiscriminate quarrying. Residents say stones, clay, etc, are being extracted from the river bed in an unscientific manner. They doubt whether the project will be successful.

Mr Harbans Lal Mehta, vice-president of the Krishi Vikas Sangh, a voluntary organisation, while welcoming the project, has demanded a ban on mining and quarrying in the area. 
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Cong memo against George’s reinduction
Tribune News Service

Shimla, October 18
The Congress Party today submitted a memorandum to the Governor, Dr Suraj Bhan, against the re-induction of Mr George Fernandes in the Union Cabinet without waiting for the report of the Venkataswamy Commission which was enquiring into the allegations of corruption against him.

The PCC President, Mrs Vidya Stokes, led the delegation of the delegation of the urban and rural district Congress committees of Shimla to Raj Bhavan to present the memorandum. Senior Congress leaders, including a former Chief Minister, Thakur Ram Lal, Mr J.B.L. Khachi, Mr Lajja Ram and the party spokesman, Mr Kuldeep Singh Rathore were among those who were in the delegation.

The memorandum also criticised the induction of Mr Harin Pathak as Minister of State for Defence Production although he was charge sheeted. The memorandum accused Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee of having compromised with the ethical standards of democracy by reinducting Mr Fernandes in the ministry as he had resigned in the light of the Tehalka tapes. Mr Fernandes had said that he would join the ministry only after being cleared by the commission constituted by the government.

The memorandum pointed out that although Mr Vajpayee had said that the country required a full-fledged Defence Minister at this juncture, it was not imperative that a person whose conduct was under cloud should have been asked to join the Cabinet in the same capacity. The memorandum pointed out that the position required a person with integrity. The memorandum was signed by Mrs Stokes, Thakur Ram Lal and presidents of the urban and rural units of the district Youth Congress.
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2 widows issued marriage certificates
Our Correspondent

Hamirpur, October 18
A controversy has arisen after the grant of marriage certificates by SDM, Nadaun (Hamirpur) to two women both claiming to be wives of late Prof Narain Chand Prashar, a former Congress Minister of Himachal.

Two women namely Mrs Swaran Lata Prashar and Mrs Roshni Devi had applied for the certificate of being legal wives of late Prashar.

Prof Prashar a Hindu, embraced Buddhism later on.

While Mrs Roshni Devi, who lives in Sera village was legally married to Prof Prashar, the other woman Mrs Swaran Lata had married Prof Prashar later on. Both women had children from Prof Prashar and the marriage certificate was needed by them for getting pension and other benefits of the property of Late Prashar.

Official sources in the state government said yesterday that from the revenue record and other records, it was found that while name of Mrs Roshni Devi was found to be on electoral rolls and other revenue documents as the legal wife of Prof Prashar in Sera village of Hamirpur district, the same record was found in name of Mrs Swaran Lata, in New Delhi where Prof Prashar lived with his second life, before his death.

The Himachal Vidhan Sabha and the Lok Sabha so far have not given any decision about the claims of both women about the grant of pension of late Prashar to his wives. Sources say that these bodies might divide pension in two parts to end the controversy.

Legal experts say that by issuing marriage certificates to two women the SDM has gone beyond powers, as the issue was to be decided by a judicial court only.

Mr R.S. Jasrotia, SDM, Nadaun told this reporter on phone that he had issued marriage certificates to both women on basis or the records presented by them before him. He said that he had committed no wrong by doing so.
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HP to be cataract-free by March
Our Correspondent

Kangra, October 18
Himachal Pradesh will attain the goal making the state free from cataract by March 31, next year where as eye check-up of six lakh schoolchildren, will be completed by the end of this month.

Disclosing this today, Dr Shiv Kumar, State President of the National Society of the Prevention of Blindness while addressing on the occasions of 16th anniversary function of M.M.S. Rotary Eye Hospital at Maranda said out of 25,000 cataract blindness cases. At the time of launching of the project, only 5000 remain to be operated. He said these 5000 cataract patients would be operated upon and the target would be achieved by March 31 next year.

He said under the school eye check-up programme out of six lakh students over 4 lakh had been screened and remaining 17 lakh would be screened by the end of this month.

He said the final survey of identifying cataract patients was under way. Blindness rate in the state was 0.87 per cent which was considerably lower than the national average of 1.49 per cent.

He said in 1997-98 12,835 operations were performed against the target of 11,200. In year 1998-99 13,104 operations were performed, in 1999-2000, 14,213 and the achievement in the last financial year was 14,172 operations. He said for the current financial year the target of the cataract operation was fixed at 24,350 with highest number 5,350 in Kangra district and lowest of 150 in Lahaul and Spiti.

Mr Harminder Singh, District Governor, Rotary International, who was the chief guest said an eye hospital was nearing completion at Ruaru village in Bhuntar in Kulu district.
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New VC assumes charge
Tribune News Service

Shimla, October 18
Dr S.D. Sharma took over as the new Vice-Chancellor of Himachal Pradesh University here today. He has come from Kurukshetra University where he was a professor in English.

Dr Sharma told the TNS that it was his ambition to make the varsity an excellent institution which students from other parts of the country would cherish.

He said his emphasis would be on class teaching and would make efforts to see that the students remain the centre of attention. But certain parameters had to be observed by the teachers and the students. The primary concern of teachers and the non-teaching staff should be to encourage students so that they make a mark in life.

Referring to the concept of paid seats in educational institutions, Dr Sharma said those who were in a position to pay for a seat should not mind doing so. Big industrial houses should also help education by sponsoring seats as was being done abroad.

He said the main concern should be to see to it that education must cater to practical needs.

Dr Sharma, who joined Kurukshetra University in 1974, belongs to Karnal. He is the second professor to come here as Vice-Chancellor from the Kurukshetra University. Dr C.L. Kundu from that university remained Vice-Chancellor here for three years.

Earlier, Dr Sharma called on the Governor, Dr Suraj Bhan. He was accorded a warm reception when he came to the varsity from Raj Bhavan. The Pro-Vice Chancellor, Dr N.K. Sharma, the Registrar, Mr Dhruv Vashisht, and the teaching faculty and non-teaching employees presented bouquets to him. 
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HP launches project for aged
Our Correspondent

Mandi, October 18
The Himachal Pradesh Police has launched a unique project to help the ailing and the aged. It will be extended to other districts as well.

Disclosing this at a news conference here today, the DIG Central Range, Mr M.L. Negi, said a comprehensive list of senior citizens living alone would be drawn up with their addresses by 22 police stations selected in this range. An official would pay a weekly visit to them and extend all possible assistance, including buying of medicines and other provisions, besides paying of power and telephone bills.

The NGOs would also be associated in this task, he said.

A record of all the visits and the kind of help rendered would be maintained at respective police stations, he added.
Top

 

BJP yatra fails to take off
Our Correspondent

Kangra, October 18
The fortnight-long “vikas yatra” of the BJP to highlight the achievements of the Dhumal government, which was to start from the head-quarters of each of the 68 Assembly constituencies today, could not take off from Kangra, Nagrota Bagwan, Dharamsala and Indora constituencies of this district.

Mr Vidiaya Sagar, Agriculture Minister, who represents the Kangra Assembly segment, said due to the cremation of the father of the Director, Agriculture, Mr J.C. Rana, at Palampur today the yatra could not be launched. It would take off tomorrow.

BJP leaders at other places could not be available for their comments on the failure of the yatra to take off.

Meanwhile, former Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh claimed on phone that the yatra had failed to take off since BJP workers seemed reluctant to face people as no development had taken place at the village level despite the tall claims of the Chief Minister.
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Restore pay scales of clerks, CM urged
Tribune News Service

Shimla, October 18
A joint meeting of the Punjab and Himachal Pradesh Ministerial Services Union today urged the Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Prakash Singh Badal, to restore the pay scales of the clerical staff as agreed upon in 1990.

The joint meeting of the unions of the two states was held here under the chairmanship of Mr Ganga Singh Thakur, president of the H.P. Non-Gazetted Federation. 
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2 killed as jeep falls into river
Our Correspondent

Nahan, October 18
Two persons died on the spot when a jeep coming from Ambala fell into Jala river, near Dadahu, early this morning.

Among the deceased were driver Kamal Dev (23), resident of Dhaun Kiarga village, and Rakesh Kumar of Sainwala village in Nahan tehsil.

According to eyewitnesses, the accident occured at about 5 am.

The Deputy Commissioner Sirmaur, Mr Rakesh Kaushal, has announced a grant of Rs 5,000 each to the next of kin of the deceased.
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Arrested for making fake certificates
Our Correspondent

Kangra, October 18
The police today claimed to have unearthed a racket of fake certificates following the arrest of the owner of a printing press at Shahpur. 

Fake certificates of the HP Board of School Education and HP Takniki Shiksha Board were also seized during a raid yesterday. The printing press has been sealed.
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Dhumal cancels engagements
Our Correspondent

Hamirpur, October 18
Prof Prem Kumar Dhumal, HP Chief Minister, is indisposed. He cancelled his all engagements for the day today and took rest at his Samirpur residence. He was to take part in the “vikas yatra” programme of his area today at Bir-Bagehra.
Prof Dhumal is suffering from high fever and throat pain, according to family sources.
He, however, left for Manikaran in the evening hours, the sources added.
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