Friday, November 23, 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

HP water policy needed: Rajendra Singh
Shimla, November 22
A Magsaysay award winner, Mr Rajendra Singh, has stressed that Himachal Pradesh should formulate its own water policy keeping in view its local requirements and plans of hydroelectric projects instead of blindly following the national policy on water.

Women cops resolve disputes
Dharamsala, November 22
With emphasis being laid on improving strained relations between spouses through counselling, the police women cell set up in Kangra district, notorious for maximum crime against women in the state, has succeeded in resolving disputes of aggrieved women.

Andretta school named after Sobha Singh
New Delhi, November 22
Acting on the recommendation of the National Commission for Minorities, the Himachal Pradesh Government has named Government High School, Andretta, after artist Sobha Singh.

Road to troubles
Kumarhatti
The Dharam-pur-Subathu road has remained in a state of neglect for a long time. The 15-km-long road connected Shimla to the rest of the country in the 19th century and was used by the British to reach the summer capital before the Kalka-Shimla road was built in 1856. 



YOUR TOWN
Chamba
Dharamsala
Shimla


EARLIER STORIES

 

Even cremation sites suffer neglect
Chamba
Almost all sites for cremation in Chamba town are in bad shape. Unhygienic conditions prevail at the sites. Besides, footpaths leading to these are damaged and it is difficult to carry bodies. The sites lack essential facilities like rain shelters, bathing and drinking water, and space for pre-cremation rituals.

Distribute land among small farmers: sabha
Kumarhatti, November 22
To increase the purchasing power of small and marginal farmers who hold less than one hectare of agricultural land in the state, there is an urgent need to regularise their encroachments on the government land, said Mr Kuldeep Singh, general secretary of the HP Kisan Sabha.

Watershed schemes to be dovetailed
Shimla, November 22
Mr Harsh Gupta, Chief Secretary, has stressed the need to constitute a task force for looking into all aspects of the integrated planning of watershed, preparation and implementation of watershed projects in the state. He said the committee should be headed by Principal Adviser (Planning).

5-yr permit for truck operators
Shimla, November 22
The state government has decided to give regular permits to truck operators in one go for five years by realising necessary fee. This was decided at a meeting of the HP truck operators’ union, which was presided over by the Transport Minister, Mr Kishan Kapoor, here today. 

Four die as bus rolls down hill
Shimla, November 22
Four persons were killed and 12 injured when a Hoshiarpur-bound bus of the HRTC rolled down the hill at Dhiari Ghat on the Shimla-Kalka national highway today. The ill-fated bus belonging to the Solan depot of the HRTC left Shimla at 11.24 a.m. and met with an accident within 30 minutes when the driver tried to prevent a collision with a car coming from the opposite direction.

Afforestation project formed
Sundernagar, November 22
Forest Minister Roop Singh Thakur has revealed that a Rs 47-crore afforestation project for the catchment area falling under Koldam project had been prepared under which a massive plantation was envisaged to protect and conserve the green cover in mountains and hills around this prestigious power project.

4-hour HRTC bus strike today
Shimla, November 22
Himachal Road Transport Corporation buses will remain off the road from 12 noon to 4 pm tomorrow as corporation employees have decided to observe a four-hour strike in support of their demands.Top








 

HP water policy needed: Rajendra Singh
Tribune News Service

Shimla, November 22
A Magsaysay award winner, Mr Rajendra Singh, has stressed that Himachal Pradesh should formulate its own water policy keeping in view its local requirements and plans of hydroelectric projects instead of blindly following the national policy on water.

Mr Rajendra Singh, acclaimed worldwide for reviving five dried-up rivers of Rajasthan, said water and electricity was the strength of Himachal Pradesh.

He expressed concern over lack of interest in water management among officials in Himachal Pradesh as not a single person from among the 137 who had visited the rejuvenation projects of the dried water bodies in Rajasthan last year participated in today’s meeting on conservation and management of water sources which was organised by the ABVP.

He also met the Chief Minister, Mr Prem Kumar Dhumal, and urged him to draft a separate water policy for the state where almost 85 per cent of water was flowing waste.

He said the national water policy had been prepared under pressure from multinationals by technocrats and bureaucrats with the aim of commercialising water resources.

He said several water bodies here had dried up because of silt and efforts should be made by the community to revive these sources with traditional methods.

Mr Rajendra Singh said villages around Alwar district of Rajasthan, which had once been categorised as a “dark area” in official records, had now turned green because of the efforts of the local residents who voluntarily revived the dried up water bodies and rivers by constructing water-harvesting structures. He said the five dried-up rivers, Arveri, Ruparel, Sarsa, Bhagani and Jahazwali, which flowed in an area of 6,500 sq. km, have been rejuvenated with traditional methods by the local residents.

The Health Minister, Mr J.P. Nadda, and a former president of the ABVP, Mr Mohinder Pandey, were among those who participated in the seminar.
Top

 

Women cops resolve disputes
Tribune News Service

Dharamsala, November 22
With emphasis being laid on improving strained relations between spouses through counselling, the police women cell set up in Kangra district, notorious for maximum crime against women in the state, has succeeded in resolving disputes of aggrieved women.

Notwithstanding the ever-increasing number of cases of crime against women in Kangra, the police women cell here, has a majority of the cases, succeeded in amicably settling the disputes. Set up here on August 29 last year, the first women cell of Himachal has even managed to bring about a compromise between spouses who had been divorced.

According to the Director-General of Police, Mr A.K. Puri, of the 43 cases received at the women cell last year, all have been solved. Of the 87 complaints of cruelty against women received this year, 53 have been settled amicably. Effective counselling by women police personnel posted here has saved many women from going through the tardy legal course in the court of law.

Figures of crime and atrocities against women are indicative of the fact that it is within the four walls of the house that a woman faces maximum torture and misery. The number of cases registered under Section 498-A of the IPC. Involving torture by in-laws was 50 in 1998, 61 in 1998, 64 in 2000 and 55 till October this year in Kangra district.

The number of cases registered under Section 306 of the IPC, for abetment to suicide, are the highest in Kangra as there were 21 cases in 1998, 21 in 1999, 19 in 2000 and 19 during this year. Most of the complaints being received at the police women cell pertain to dowry demand, second marriage and torture by husband and in-laws.

It was because of these disturbing figures that the police opened the first women cell in Kangra. Manned fully by women police staff, it has helped women in narrating their tale of trauma and sufferings without any hesitation. Sub-Inspector Babita Rana, in charge of the cell till recently, said the biggest problem she felt was the lack of awareness among women about their rights.

Babita said the most tragic fact was that mostly women were inflicting atrocities and torture against their own sex.

The DIG, Mr Prithvi Raj, said the success attained by women cells clearly proved that counselling and persuasion were the most effective tools to sort out domestic problems and atrocities against women.Top

 

Andretta school named after Sobha Singh
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 22
Acting on the recommendation of the National Commission for Minorities, the Himachal Pradesh Government has named Government High School, Andretta, after artist Sobha Singh.

A press note issued by the commission here on Thursday said Sobha Singh built his studio at Andretta, near Palampur, and lived there till his death. The state government had also named the road linking Palampur with Andretta as Sobha Singh Road.

In a letter to the Vice-Chairman of the National Commission for Minorities, Mr Tarlochan Singh, the secretary-general of the Sobha Singh Memorial Art Society, Andretta, Mr Hirday Paul Singh, has expressed gratitude to the commission for all these gestures.Top

 

Calendar on Sobha Singh
Tribune News Service

Dharamsala, November 22
The government calendar for 2002 will have the portrait of legendary artist Sobha Singh along with his famous paintings.

The government decision came in the wake of declaration of 2001 as his birth centenary year. The portrait of the artist made by himself, along with his paintings “The Gaddan” and “Kangra bride”, will adorn the government calendar.

The Postal Department will issue a stamp on the artist at Shimla on November 29.Top

 

Road to troubles
Jagmeet Singh

Kumarhatti
The Dharam-pur-Subathu road has remained in a state of neglect for a long time.

The 15-km-long road connected Shimla to the rest of the country in the 19th century and was used by the British to reach the summer capital before the Kalka-Shimla road was built in 1856. Its condition has been deteriorating with the passage of time. Occasional repair work undertaken by the PWD has failed to keep it in good shape.

Even though traffic on the road has increased manifold, its width has remained the same as in 1814. Owing to the lack of proper maintenance, drivers face a tough time covering the distance as the road is potholed and has many blind curves. During heavy rain, water collects at various points due to the lack of a proper drainage system.

The worst stretch is around 1 km from Dharampur where unplanned construction along the road has led to congestion. Besides, sewage is often noticed on this stretch.

Residents blame the authorities concerned for not taking action to check unauthorised construction along the road.

A bridge, popularly known as the Dagroh bridge, on the road about 2 km from Dharampur is in poor shape. It requires immediate repair as heavy traffic from the Ambuja Cement plant at Darlaghat and 14 Gorkha Training Centre at Subathu passes over it.
Top

 

Even cremation sites suffer neglect
Our Correspondent

Chamba
Almost all sites for cremation in Chamba town are in bad shape. Unhygienic conditions prevail at the sites. Besides, footpaths leading to these are damaged and it is difficult to carry bodies. The sites lack essential facilities like rain shelters, bathing and drinking water, and space for pre-cremation rituals.

There are six sites — at Bhagot, near Sheetla Bridge, near the Mai-ka-Bagh market, beneath Dharog, beneath Lower Julahkari and near Moogla. The sites are located on the banks of the Ravi. The local administration and the civic body need to pay attention to the development of these areas.

To improve the cremation site at Bhagot, Geeta Bhavan and a small but beautiful garden have been set up and seating arrangements provided. The initiative was taken during the Congress regime. However, there is lack of cleanliness in the area.
Top

 

Distribute land among small farmers: sabha
Our Correspondent

Kumarhatti, November 22
To increase the purchasing power of small and marginal farmers who hold less than one hectare of agricultural land in the state, there is an urgent need to regularise their encroachments on the government land, said Mr Kuldeep Singh, general secretary of the HP Kisan Sabha.

In a press note issued here yesterday, Mr Kuldeep Singh, who has recently completed an intensive study on the plight of those farmers who hold meagre landholdings in the state, revealed that small and marginal farmers constituted 84.5 per cent of the total farmers in the state and had only 47.1 per cent of the total landholding.

Among those, 64.4 per cent who hold less than one hectare of land have 23.3 per cent of landholdings. The number of such families was 5.56 lakh and among them 3.60 lakh were such families who held even less than half a hectare of land. He said with such meagre landholdings they were not in a position to make both ends meet. The purchasing power of the small and marginal farmers has fallen drastically and in order to increase it the government should distribute the cultivable wasteland among the farmers, he said.

He stressed for the promotion of agricultural cooperative societies in the state. He demanded enhancement in the assistance given by the state government for the agriculture sector.
Top

 

Watershed schemes to be dovetailed
Tribune News Service

Shimla, November 22
Mr Harsh Gupta, Chief Secretary, has stressed the need to constitute a task force for looking into all aspects of the integrated planning of watershed, preparation and implementation of watershed projects in the state. He said the committee should be headed by Principal Adviser (Planning).

Presiding over a meeting on watershed development programme of the agriculture department here on Tuesday, the Chief Secretary said henceforth, all ongoing programmes would be dovetailed.

The Chief Secretary said watershed development projects in the state were being implemented by the Department of Agriculture under the national development project for rainfed areas, the Rural Development Department under various programmes like the integrated water-land development project, drought prone area programme, desert development project and the Forest Department under river valley project and other World Bank-aided projects like Kandi, Changer etc. He said till now the departments had separate implementation committees under the chairmanship of respective secretaries.

He said to have proper coordination and synergy effect, the government had constituted a watershed committee under his chairmanship comprising secretaries from finance, rural development, forest, agriculture, horticulture, animal husbandry departments and heads of the departments. 
Top

 

5-yr permit for truck operators
Tribune News Service

Shimla, November 22
The state government has decided to give regular permits to truck operators in one go for five years by realising necessary fee. This was decided at a meeting of the HP truck operators’ union, which was presided over by the Transport Minister, Mr Kishan Kapoor, here today. The minister said the government would also consider providing single-window service to the truck operators for collection of token/goods and other taxes levied on them.

He said the government had also taken steps to bring uniformity in tax collection and now penalty would be imposed according to prescribed norms.

He said the matter would be taken up with Punjab and Haryana governments regarding inconvenience faced by truck operators of Himachal Pradesh in those states. 
Top

 

Four die as bus rolls down hill
Tribune News Service

Shimla, November 22
Four persons were killed and 12 injured when a Hoshiarpur-bound bus of the HRTC rolled down the hill at Dhiari Ghat on the Shimla-Kalka national highway today.

The ill-fated bus belonging to the Solan depot of the HRTC left Shimla at 11.24 a.m. and met with an accident within 30 minutes when the driver tried to prevent a collision with a car coming from the opposite direction.

Three persons died on the spot, while one succumbed to injuries while being shifted to hospital. Atma Ram, a constable of the CID wing of the state police, was among those killed. Dalip Thakar, a resident of Jalandhar, was also killed. Two bodies have not been identified.

Eight of the injured have been admitted to the IGMC here and four in the hospital at Kandaghat. Chief Minister P.K. Dhumal has directed the district authorities of Solan to provide immediate relief to the affected families.

The Transport Minister, Mr Kishen Kapoor, and the vice-chairman of the HRTC, Mr K.R. Balnatah, visited the accident site.
Top

 

Afforestation project formed
Our Correspondent

Sundernagar, November 22
Forest Minister Roop Singh Thakur has revealed that a Rs 47-crore afforestation project for the catchment area falling under Koldam project had been prepared under which a massive plantation was envisaged to protect and conserve the green cover in mountains and hills around this prestigious power project.

The minister was addressing a rural gathering at Haraboi, a remote village this subdivision, today. He said the Forest Department had launched here a land conservation project costing Rs 35 lakh so as to maintain an ecological balance in the area. He asked rural people to supplement this task by coming forward.
Top

 

4-hour HRTC bus strike today
Tribune News Service

Shimla, November 22
Himachal Road Transport Corporation (HRTC) buses will remain off the road from 12 noon to 4 pm tomorrow as corporation employees have decided to observe a four-hour strike in support of their demands.

The employee leaders have alleged that the authorities are delaying the acceptance of their demands. The employees’ GPF amounting to over Rs 18 crore has not been deposited in the fund, they have alleged.

They are also demanding more promotional opportunities and filling of vacant posts.

Meanwhile, Ms Kanta Sood, president of the INTUC, has announced support for the strike of HRTC employees.
Top

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