Thursday, October 25, 2001, Chandigarh, India





National Capital Region--Delhi

THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
H I M A C H A L   P R A D E S H

Bungling in Tanda college, alleges Bali
Dharamsala, October 24
Demanding details of the equipment purchased and the money spent at Tanda Medical College, the Congress legislator and HPCC general secretary, Mr G.S. Bali, today alleged that the state government had bungled in the running of the hospital.

Dasehra festival begins with fervour

Jaisinghpur, October 24
A three-day district-level Dasehra festival began here with enthusiasm. Mr Kishan Kapoor, Transport Minister, who was the chief guest, said fairs and festivals were part of the Indian heritage and strengthened its culture.

Effigies of Ravana, Kumbhkaran and Meghnath being prepared
Effigies of Ravana, Kumbhkaran and Meghnath being prepared for Dasehra at the Jakhu Temple Ground in Shimla. — Photo Anil Dayal

Bragta inaugurating old buildings: Mayor
Shimla, October 24
Heavy police cover was provided to the Horticulture Minister, Mr Narendera Bragta, today as he went on a foundation stone-laying spree, ignoring the protest of the Mayor and councillors of the Congress-controlled Shimla Municipal Corporation (SMC).

Health centre with meagre staff
Kumarhatti, October 24
Situated on the most accident prone stretch of the Kalka-Shimla National Highway, the Community Health Centre, Dharampur, near here, gets many accident cases. Due to inadequate staff it fails to render proper service.


Anthrax fear grips Shimla after a local post office received two letters containing suspicious white powder.

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Bungling in Tanda college, alleges Bali
Tribune News Service

Dharamsala, October 24
Demanding details of the equipment purchased and the money spent at Tanda Medical College, the Congress legislator and HPCC general secretary, Mr G.S. Bali, today alleged that the state government had bungled in the running of the hospital.

Addressing a press conference here today, he demanded that the state government make public the total amount spent on Tanda Medical College during the past three years. “The college authorities have purchased a lot of equipment which is not required at all and the Congress will hold an inquiry into this when returned to power,” stated Mr Bali.

He further alleged that the hospital equipment was being purchased arbitrarily, by flouting all government guidelines in this regard. “Today Tanda Medical College has become a place for holidaying for retired doctors from outside the state, who are being paid handsomely by the state government,” he alleged. He added that despite the willingness of competent doctors hailing from Himachal, to work at the hospital on the same salary and contract, the government was giving preference to doctors from outside the state.

Mr Bali said that the Union Health Minister, Dr C.P. Thakur’s statement at Palampur yesterday, that majority of the private health institutions remain out of the reach of the poor, will also apply to the Vivekanand Medical Research Institute. The people are just being misled, as the hospital will only cater to the needs of the rich and the elite, he alleged.

Mr Bali said that he was surprised as to why was the state government showing such keen interest in setting up of the Vivekananda Hospital at Palampur, despite it being set up by a private trust. He said the state government and the Health Minister never made any effort to sort out the problems being faced at Tanda Medical College. He refuted claims of the BJP that there was a public movement for making donations for the hospital by adding that all the money was being given by big industrialists, who had been honoured at the foundation stone laying ceremony of the Vivekananda Hospital, at Palampur yesterday.

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Dasehra festival begins with fervour
Our Correspondent

Jaisinghpur, October 24
A three-day district-level Dasehra festival began here with enthusiasm. Mr Kishan Kapoor, Transport Minister, who was the chief guest, said fairs and festivals were part of the Indian heritage and strengthened its culture.

Earlier, a colourful ‘shobha yatra’ was also organised.

The minister also inaugurated an exhibition by various government departments. The minister gave Rs 11,000 to the Dasehra committee from his own fund.

Mr Ravinder Singh Ravi, local MLA and Minister of State for Technical Education, conveyed his wishes to people on the eve of Durga Ashtami.

A number of prominent people of the area, including Dasehra committee president Uma Parkash Shashtri, were present on the occasion.

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Bragta inaugurating old buildings: Mayor
Tribune News Service

Shimla, October 24
Heavy police cover was provided to the Horticulture Minister, Mr Narendera Bragta, today as he went on a foundation stone-laying spree, ignoring the protest of the Mayor and councillors of the Congress-controlled Shimla Municipal Corporation (SMC).

The Mayor, Ms Jenny Prem, has summoned a meeting of the house to discuss the conduct of the Commissioner of the SMC, Mr H.N. Kashyap, and other officers who, the Congress councillors alleged, were functioning like active workers of the BJP and also participating in its “vikas yatra”.

Mr Bragta laid the foundation stones of a multi-storeyed car parking and a rain shelter on The Ridge. In a hurriedly convened press conference, Ms Prem and other councillors alleged that Mr Bragta was inaugurating old buildings and structures which had existed for the past several years. In a bid to take credit for these works, the minister was doing it on the name of “re-dedication”.

Mr Shashi Shekhar, Deputy Mayor, and other councillors said the rain shelter which Mr Bragta had come to “re-dedicate” to people was standing there since the past 26 years.

They said the plan to construct a multi-storeyed car parking was actually approved during the Congress regime but the project was shelved to preserve the green belt. The Mayor alleged that the SMC commissioner was not taking the house into confidence on vital issues and had been spending huge amounts of money without their approval.

She said the state government was sitting over the resolution of the house which had demanded that about 12 officers on deputation with the SMC should be recalled as they had completed their tenure of five years.

She alleged that the SMC had not received a single penny for development works since the past three and a half year. Not even a single development project had been started during Mr Bragta’s tenure, she said.

She said she had sought explanation from Mr Kashyap for allowing these inaugurations without her approval and remaining out of office for most of the time while people waited for him to get their grievances redressed.

The incident has brought the two warring factions of the Congress on one platform as leaders of both groups participated in the demonstration against Mr Bragta yesterday and were also present in today’s news conference.

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Health centre with meagre staff
Our Correspondent

Kumarhatti, October 24
Situated on the most accident prone stretch of the Kalka-Shimla National Highway, the Community Health Centre, Dharampur, near here, gets many accident cases. Due to inadequate staff it fails to render proper service.

The centre was upgraded about a year ago. Instead of firming up the staff, one post of medical officer was reduced. At present the posts of medical officer, nurse and para-medical staff are lying vacant. The health centre has only two doctors, one of them works as the block medical officer, Dharampur. The sole nurse performs duty in three shifts. The paramedical staff consists of only two persons.

After the upgradation the service of the dental surgeon has regularised. As many as 12 beds remain unoccupied. Many cases, including delivery cases, are referred to the District Hospital, Solan, lamented a staff member. The X-ray machine remains locked, as there is no radiographer to operate it. The State Tuberculosis Bacillus (TB) sanatorium has extra radiographers. The centre had urged the sanatorium to transfer one radiographer to the centre, but it has yet to happen.

Water has to be fetched from the old building as the new building has no water connection. Only the signboard of the centre has been changed, according to the staff.

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