Monday, October 22, 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

HP sleeps over autopsy norms
Kasauli
Despite the National Human Rights Commissioner having blacklisted Himachal Pradesh about two years back for not meeting the required the autopsy standards, the state government is yet to initiate steps to bring on a par with the required norms.

Himachal urges Centre to extend tax holiday
Shimla, October 21
The Himachal Pradesh Government has urged the Union Government to extend income tax holiday for industrial units up to 2007, keeping in view the industrial backwardness in the state.

Rail link between Pathankot, Chamba sought
Chamba, October 21
The Chamba Welfare Association, a registered non-government organisation, has put forth a proposal of linking Dalhousie and Chamba with a railway line from Pathankot from the tourism point of view. These scenic places are visited by many tourists and the railway link can add much to their facility thereby giving a fillip to the thriving tourism industry.

Steel unit raided for tax evasion
Shimla, October 21
The Himachal Pradesh Excise and Taxation Department has unearthed a major scam involving tax evasion to the tune of crores of rupees by a steel unit in the Barotiwala industrial area of Solan district and seized some incriminating documents, providing vital leads scam.

Dalai Lama in ‘great health’
Shimla, October 21
Tibetan spiritual leader and temporal head Dalai Lama, who had a medical check-up at Lilavati Hospital in Mumbai, was stated to be in “great health” by doctors, a spokesman of the Tibetan government-in-exile at Dharamsala said here today.

Thousands throng Bajreshwari Temple
Kangra, October 21
More than 50,000 pilgrims visited the famous Bajreshwari Temple here during the first four days of the Sharad Navratra and thousands were thronging the temple daily.

Governor for more staff in schools
Solan, October 21
Governor Suraj Bhan yesterday expressed concern over lack of adequate educational infrastructure in parts of Himachal Pradesh. Mr Suraj Bhan, who presided over the annual function of Gita Ashram, a senior secondary school here said he had noticed that a number of schools had one teacher only while in many others, a single teacher was looking after five classes.




Following
the trail of cannibis producers and their secret processing units in the Kullu valley in Himachal.
(28k, 56k)


YOUR TOWN
Chamba
Shimla
Solan


EARLIER STORIES
 

1,200 schools to have eco-clubs
Shimla, October 21
The Himachal Pradesh Government under a Centrally-sponsored scheme will set up eco-clubs in 1,200 schools of the state. This task has been assigned to the State Council for Science Technology and Environment.

Staff oppose bureaucrat as HPSEB chief
Shimla, October 21
The Himachal Power Engineers Association has demanded that Mr H.C. Thakur should be promoted as the Chairman of the HPSEB instead of another bureaucrat in place of Mr Harsh Gupta, Chief Secretary, who was holding the post at present.

Reports on ’84 riots cases denied
Bilaspur, October 21
The Himachal Health and Family Welfare Minister Mr Jagat Prakash Nadda, clarified today that the Chief Minister had not ordered the withdrawal of court cases pertaining to the 1984 anti-Sikh violence in Bilaspur district or elsewhere. He said such reports in a section of the Press were misleading and unfounded.

Two killed in road mishap
Hamirpur, October 21
Two persons were killed and two were injured when a truck rammed into a Jeep near Sujanpur Tihra in the district today. The injured have been admitted to the regional hospital here.





 

HP sleeps over autopsy norms
Ambika Sharma

Kasauli
Despite the National Human Rights Commissioner (NHRC) having blacklisted Himachal Pradesh about two years back for not meeting the required the autopsy standards, the state government is yet to initiate steps to bring on a par with the required norms.

Terming the prevailing conditions as abysmal, NHRC had categorised Himachal with 14 other states where autopsy conditions are minimal. Autopsies are essentially conducted for unnatural deaths caused by vehicular accidents, poisoning and dowry-related incidents. The foremost requirement of cold storage for preserving dead bodies is virtually non-existent. The sorry state of affairs can be gauged from the fact that despite IGMC being the premier medical institute of the state, cold storage facilities here have been non-functional since its very founding in 1977. This is despite incurring an expenditure of lakhs on its installation and audit reports taking exception to the money spent on it. No other government hospital has a cold storage facility in the state rues Dr D.K. Ghosh, Medico-Legal Adviser, to the state government and IGMC’s Head of Forensic and Medicine Department.

Health institutes, particularly in the far-flung and inaccessible remote areas, often shift the responsibility of conducting autopsies to the IGMC. At times not even preliminary investigations like noting the nature of injuries, wounds, and other findings, are conducted by the doctors on duty, he observes.

Pointing out the case of Kandhaghat civil hospital, he laments that it has becomes as practice there to refer all cases to the IGMC on the plea that it has no autopsy facilities.

No effort has been made to set up even a make-shift mortuary where at least preliminary investigations can be conducted. It requires only four bamboo poles for erecting a small enclosure with a table and arrangement for water with adequate light. By the time the bodies are referred, these decomposed and impair detection of crucial findings to ascertain the actual cause of death. However, doctors at the zonal hospital stated that only those cases are referred where the bodies have been mutilated by burning or have been badly decomposed.

Hardly any importance is attached to norms for conducting autopsies. Though a corpse, whether fresh or decomposed, should be transported to a mortuary for conducting an autopsy. But incidents come to light where bare rocks, forest floor or even river bodies serve as autopsy sites, he observes. Conducted with a bare minimum kit they often fail to ascertain the cause of death. This plight befalls particularly unclaimed bodies where even the investigating officer considers them a mere formality. It becomes mandatory to conduct an on-the-spot autopsy only in about 2 p.c. of the cases where the bodies have decomposed to such an extent that transportation can led to their disintegration.

The deplorable plight of motuaries in hospitals can be evinced from the fact that hardly any attention is paid to their upkeep. The most glaring example of this apathy is the Rampur mortuary, where a slaughterhouse situated near a river serves the purpose. Yet the condition of another one housed in a primary health centre is equally pitiable where there are no doors or windows in the so-called motuary room and it is also shared by dogs and buffaloes. A pool of slush gathered on the floor speaks volumes about its importance, Dr Ghosh points out.

Efforts to uplift the facilities have fallen on deaf ears with those at the helm of affairs showing little interest. The only progress that has been made in convening a few meetings with high government officials have not yielded any result.

A ray of hope was there when the department was asked to prepare a blueprint of the mortuary complex by these officer’s about two years back but it proved to be damp squib with no subsequent progress.

At least three model mortuary complexes, one each in the three zonal hospitals, are required in the state. This can bring down the number of referred case by as much as 30 to 40 per cent. The department is ready to provide the infrastructural support but the lackadaisical attitude of the government has acted as a damper.

Foreseeing a bleak future for the development of forensic science in the state, Dr Ghosh feels that the recent decision of the state government to reduce the course content of this subject for MBBS students from the existing one and a half years to a year has further affected the prospects of research.
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Himachal urges Centre to extend tax holiday

Shimla, October 21
The Himachal Pradesh Government has urged the Union Government to extend income tax holiday for industrial units up to 2007, keeping in view the industrial backwardness in the state.

At present, the tax holiday for industries is valid till March 2002, according to an official spokesman here. The Union Government had already extended transport subsidy up to March, 2007, for industrial units.

The state has emerged as one of the most favourite destinations for investors. A large number of projects have been set up by reputed industrial houses manufacturing products ranging from cement, textiles and pharmaceutical products.

The state has about 185 large and medium-scale industries and nearly 28,700 small-scale units with a total investment of about Rs 2,950 crore.

As many as 43 projects in medium and large-scale sector with an investment of about Rs 400 crore are in the pipeline. When established, these units will generate employment for about 3,600 persons.

The state government has come out with a new industrial policy that encourages industrial units based on locally available raw material and agriculture and horticulture produce. The government offers entrepreneurs attractive package of incentives and concessions like land at concessional rates, subsidised power, exemption from payment of income tax, for new projects and transport subsidy.

The spokesman said the government had removed obstacles in the way of industrial development. It has simplified rules for transfer of private land for industrial, tourism and hydel projects. The procedure for setting up of medium and large-scale industrial units has been also simplified.

To attract industries, a liaison office has been set up at New Delhi. Till date as many as 49 units have been registered there and industrial plots allotted to them in the state.

An export promotion industrial park has been developed at Baddi-Barotiwala at a cost of more than Rs 20 crore. The government plans to develop Baddi-Barotiwala-Nalagarh corridor into a model industrial township.

The contribution of industrial sector to the gross domestic product of the state has gone up to 13 per cent.

The government has decided to confer the status of industry on information technology projects. A software technology park has been set up at Shimla which will provide high speed data connectivity in and around Shimla. The Government of India is giving discount of 50 per cent on services utilised from the park for a period of one year. UNI
Top

 

Rail link between Pathankot, Chamba sought
Our Correspondent

Chamba, October 21
The Chamba Welfare Association, a registered non-government organisation (NGO), has put forth a proposal of linking Dalhousie and Chamba with a railway line from Pathankot from the tourism point of view. These scenic places are visited by many tourists and the railway link can add much to their facility thereby giving a fillip to the thriving tourism industry.

In this connection, the association has sent a memorandum to Minister of Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution System Shanta Kumar, including various other problems of the region.

The association in the memorandum has apprised the minister of the proposal for laying a railway line from Pathankot to Dalhousie Sanitorium and cantonment that was okeyed in 1910 but the work could not start due to the sudden demise of Raja Bhuri Singh of the erstwhile Chamba state.

The association has also demanded the upgradation of low-power television transmitter to a high-power transmitter installed opposite to Chamba town.

The association has expressed concern over the serious menace posed by the Ravi to Chamba where the thickly populated Sheetla and Tatwani mohallas of the lower town on the river banks were washed away by the Ravi. If it was not diverted to the other side in time, the river would take its course in between the Sheetla Devi temple and the new bridge under construction thus causing more problem. The association has expressed resentment about the transferring the property temples in the district by the state Revenue Department to the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).
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Steel unit raided for tax evasion

Shimla, October 21
The Himachal Pradesh Excise and Taxation Department has unearthed a major scam involving tax evasion to the tune of crores of rupees by a steel unit in the Barotiwala industrial area of Solan district and seized some incriminating documents, providing vital leads scam.

The industrial unit was raided by a team of the Excise and Taxation Department headed by Deputy Excise and Taxation Commissioner S.K. Awasthi on the intervening night of October 17 and 18 on a complaint received by the department under the scheme to reward those providing reliable information about tax evasion, a senior official of the department said.

He said the unit was allegedly importing sizeable quantity of scrap without paying the taxes and also selling the finished product (steel ingots) to some firms in Rajasthan, Delhi and Punjab under the pretext of “consignment transfer” evading sales tax, additional goods tax and Central excise duty.

The government had reduced the sales tax from 4 per cent to 1 per cent but even then the industrial unit was evading the tax, the official regretted.

The modus operandi of the unit was to import scrap allegedly from some firms which supposed to have already paid the excise duty and avail the concessions given by the government. It evaded additional goods tax and sales tax on one hand and sell the product to buyer units allegedly against fake bills to avoid payment of taxes.

During the raids, which followed interception of truck carrying steel ingots without payment of taxes at Barotiwala barrier, the raiding party seized some duplicate bills, suggesting that the material had been sold under fake bills.

It was believed that during this year alone at least 400 trucks had crossed the barriers without producing Sales Tax 26(A) Form and other documents and the total amount of tax evasion pertaining to sales tax, penal tax, additional goods tax and excise duty was likely to run into crores of rupees.
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Dalai Lama in ‘great health’

Shimla, October 21
Tibetan spiritual leader and temporal head Dalai Lama, who had a medical check-up at Lilavati Hospital in Mumbai, was stated to be in “great health” by doctors, a spokesman of the Tibetan government-in-exile at Dharamsala said here today.

The Dalai Lama was scheduled for a routine medical check-up in Paris but had cancelled his visit due to the ongoing developments in Afghanistan. He chose to undergo the check-up at Mumbai instead. The Dalai Lama would fly from New Delhi to Strasbourg tomorrow where he is scheduled to address the European Parliament, the spokesman said. UNI
Top

 

Thousands throng Bajreshwari Temple
Our Correspondent

Kangra, October 21
More than 50,000 pilgrims visited the famous Bajreshwari Temple here during the first four days of the Sharad Navratra and thousands were thronging the temple daily.

Yellow-clad men, women and children, from Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Delhi, Rajasthan, Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir and locals chanting vedic hymns and bhajans comes to the temple for a glimpse of the idol which is in the form of “pidhi”.

Mr Naresh Kumar Laath, SDM said all arrangements had been made for the convenience of the pilgrims, besides langar. Parking places had been identified and the police had been deployed to regulate traffic.

The pilgrims, however, complained that there were no lavatories en route from the bus stand to the temple causing inconvenience. Union Minister Shanta Kumar had announced that 10 lavatories would be constructed but nothing had been done in this regard.

Those who fail to find places in serais have to spend nights in the open as the district authorities have abandoned the idea of setting up a tent colony on the municipal ground.

A Chandi “mahayajna” has been organised on the temple premises for global peace.
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Governor for more staff in schools
Our Correspondent

Solan, October 21
Governor Suraj Bhan yesterday expressed concern over lack of adequate educational infrastructure in parts of Himachal Pradesh.

Mr Suraj Bhan, who presided over the annual function of Gita Ashram, a senior secondary school here said he had noticed that a number of schools had one teacher only while in many others, a single teacher was looking after five classes. This kind of workload and lack of infrastructure were bound to tell heavily on the quality of education.

He stressed upon the need for improvement in school buildings and the teacher taught ratio. He also laid stress on the need for educating women.

The Governor also released a book entitled ‘How to be Successful in Interview and Get a Job’, authored by Mr Hemant Goswami.
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1,200 schools to have eco-clubs

Shimla, October 21
The Himachal Pradesh Government under a Centrally-sponsored scheme will set up eco-clubs in 1,200 schools of the state. This task has been assigned to the State Council for Science Technology and Environment.

A spokesperson for the council today said in every district 100 schools would be selected where eco-clubs would be set up. Students would undertake activities on environment and bio diversity protection, conservation and management.

These clubs would provide a platform for the students to know about the flora and fauna. They would also be able to identify plants traditionally used for medicinal purposes.

These clubs would act as watch dogs for the protection of natural resources and in this process they would also assist the forest and ayurveda departments. The Centre had provided Rs 12 lakh for this purpose in first instalment. PTI
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Staff oppose bureaucrat as HPSEB chief
Tribune News Service

Shimla, October 21
The Himachal Power Engineers Association has demanded that Mr H.C. Thakur should be promoted as the Chairman of the HPSEB instead of another bureaucrat in place of Mr Harsh Gupta, Chief Secretary, who was holding the post at present.

Mr Suneel Grover, General Secretary of the association, told newsmen here today after an executive committee meeting that Mr Thakur, had 40 years experience in the power engineering.

The executive committee said the supervisory control of the power sector should be retained with the Chief Secretary for a better liaisoning with the Centre.

They demanded that extension in service should not be given to retired persons in view of the stagnation in the cadre of power engineers.

The executive committee urged the Chief Minister to review the decision of the government’s budgetary support to the HPSEB which had been stopped for the past two years.
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Reports on ’84 riots cases denied
Our Correspondent

Bilaspur, October 21
The Himachal Health and Family Welfare Minister Mr Jagat Prakash Nadda, clarified today that the Chief Minister had not ordered the withdrawal of court cases pertaining to the 1984 anti-Sikh violence in Bilaspur district or elsewhere. He said such reports in a section of the Press were misleading and unfounded.

Talking to mediapersons, the Health Minister said the Chief Minister while addressing a BJP rally here on Thursday, had ordered the withdrawal of 84 court cases of encroachments by Bhakra Dam oustees in the town.
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Two killed in road mishap
Our Correspondent

Hamirpur, October 21
Two persons were killed and two were injured when a truck rammed into a Jeep near Sujanpur Tihra in the district today. The injured have been admitted to the regional hospital here.

An official spokesman said here this evening that the deceased had been identified as Anita Devi and Rattan Lal Rana of Kamand village in Kangra district. The police had registered a case against the truck driver under Sections 279,337 and 364 of the IPC.

HP Minister of State for Technical Education Ravinder Ravi visited the spot. He went to see injured and also consoled the bereaved families.
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1 dies in mishap
Our Correspondent

Solan, October 21
One person died and four were injured, two of them seriously, when a Maruti car (PB-10-035) allegedly rammed into the rear of a truck at Patta Mor near Dharampur on Sunday. The deceased had been identified as Harvinder Singh of Adrash Colony, Patiala.
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