Monday, November 26, 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

Dhumal’s hand behind HRTC strike?
Shimla, November 25
The strike of the Himachal Road Transport Corporation employees on Friday has caused rumblings in the ruling BJP about the “connections” of its organiser, Mr Ashok Purohit, with some senior leaders of the camp of the Chief Minister, Mr Prem Kumar Dhumal.

Shahnahar project boon for farmers
Shimla, November 25
Being one of the most ambitious irrigation projects of Kangra district, Shahnahar project has started proving a great boon to the farmers within a short span of three years. The project area is situated on the western part of the Himachal Pradesh bordering Punjab below Pong Dam.

Kangra farm project submitted to govt
Nurpur, November 25
The Himachal Pradesh Agriculture Technology Management Agency has submitted an agriculture project worth Rs 7.5 crore for Kangra district to the Government of India for approval.

14 held for immoral trafficking
Una, November 25
The police on November 23/24 night raided the three hotels on Mubarakpur-Bharwain road and arrested 14 persons including six women. The police on Saturday arrested a call girl Pooja from Delhi from Ashwani Resorts along with two clients who had reportedly paid her Rs 3000 each.

HP hotels offer discount
Shimla, November 25
Not only private hotels but those of the state government too have started offering discount up to 50 per cent as the arrival of tourists to Himachal Pradesh has dipped during the past two months. Most of the tourist places around here and Manali, which used to generally hum with flocks of tourists at this time of the year, are virtually deserted this time.



YOUR TOWN
Bilaspur
Dharamsala
Mandi
Shimla
Nahan
Una


EARLIER STORIES

 

CM speaks of Central aid
Shimla, November 25
The Central Government sanctioned the assistance of Rs 1,251 crore to Himachal Pradesh during the current financial year. It includes special plan assistance of Rs 200 crore sanctioned by Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, and Rs 115 crore one-time additional Central assistance.

Halt torture, urge Tibetan women
Dharamsala, November 25
The Tibetan Women Association today called upon China to halt violence against Tibetan women. Members of the association, along with hundreds of monks, nuns, other and Tibetans took out a protest march from McLeodganj to Dharamsala, demanding an end to the gender-based violence against women in Tibet.

Lecturers oppose promotion rules
Bilaspur, November 25
The Himachal State Association of Lecturers of Government Senior Secondary Schools has expressed its resentment against the recruitment and promotion rules enforced in 1992 under which lecturers, promotion quota was reduced by 5 per cent from 45 per cent to 40 per cent instead of being increased to 50 per cent for the post the principals in senior secondary schools.

HVC, Cong flay hike in user charges
Shimla, November 24
The ruling BJP has come under criticism from its coalition partner, the HVC, and the Congress for increasing the user charges in hospitals. They say it has made the health cover beyond their means.

Sukh Ram neglecting native village: leaders
Mandi, November 25
At the all-party rally held today at Kotli, native village of HVC supremo and former Union Minister Sukh Ram, leaders criticised him for neglecting the constituency with regard to development.

Abolish tax on khair wood sale: BKS
Nurpur, November 25
The Himachal Pradesh Bharatiya Kisan Sangh has taken strong exception to the imposing of taxes on the sale of khair wood to neighbouring states.



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Dhumal’s hand behind HRTC strike?
S. P. Sharma
Tribune News Service

Shimla, November 25
The strike of the Himachal Road Transport Corporation (HRTC) employees on Friday has caused rumblings in the ruling BJP about the “connections” of its organiser, Mr Ashok Purohit, with some senior leaders of the camp of the Chief Minister, Mr Prem Kumar Dhumal.

Mr Purohit, who is the general secretary of the action committee of the HRTC employees steering the agitation, is also a member of the Board of Directors of the corporation. He was a leader of the Bharatiya, Mazdoor Sangh, which is considered to be the labour wing of the BJP.

It is being alleged that the strike was organised to let down the Transport Minister, Mr K.K. Kapoor, who belongs to the camp of Union Minister Shanta Kumar.

It is pertinent to mention here that the vice-chairman of the HRTC, Mr Khushi Ram Balnatah, is also a supporter of Mr Shanta Kumar. There were indications that Mr Kapoor and Mr Balnatah might meet Mr Dhumal soon to discuss the issue amid allegations by an INTUC leader that some persons from the Dhumal camp had supported the strike behind the scenes.

The Dhumal supporters have strongly denied these allegations and have said that such reports were being circulated to create a misunderstanding between the Chief Minister and Mr Shanta Kumar. Meanwhile, Mr Rajendra Pal, spokesman for the action committee of the HRTC employees, in a statement accused Mr Kapoor of trying to mislead the people about the success of the strike.

He further alleged that Mr Kapoor had failed to handle the Transport Department properly and had remained in the forefront in defaming the Dhumal government by making allegations of corruption against it.

He warned of serious consequences in case any action was taken by the minister against the employees who had gone on strike in support of their long-standing demands.

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Shahnahar project boon for farmers
Tribune News Service

Shimla, November 25
Being one of the most ambitious irrigation projects of Kangra district, Shahnahar project has started proving a great boon to the farmers within a short span of three years. The project area is situated on the western part of the Himachal Pradesh bordering Punjab below Pong Dam. With the construction of Mukerian Hydel Channel by the Punjab government, the entire water of Beas River was diverted, depriving a large in the territory of Himachal of irrigation.

According to an official spokesman, although the Shahnahar project was conceived two decades back yet it kept on hanging fire as no headway was made for its implementation due to the indifferent attitude of the than Punjab government. Soon after assuming power in March 1998, the present government took up the matter with the Punjab government. It was agreed upon to spare 364 cusecs of water from Mukerian Hydel Channel. I was also decided to construct proper irrigation system to irrigate 15,287 hectares of agricultural land in Himachal.

The Shahnahar Irrigation Project estimated to be executed at a cost of Rs 143.32 crore was sanctioned in 1998 and the construction cost was to be shared by the Punjab and the Himachal government both, to the extent of Rs 88.49 crore and Rs 54.83 crores respectively. The project envisages irrigation facilities to

93 villages of Fatehpur and Indora tehsils of Kangra district. The project is to be constructed in two parts i.e. one on the right bank canal and the other on left bank canal of river Beas. The length of the main canal on right bank will be 48.85 km. and on the left bank 33 km. Long canal is to be constructed. Both canals are being lined with cement concrete. The utilisation of ground water resources is another important feature of this project. So, in order to ensure proper use of water drilling and development of 44 tube wells in the command area is presently underway.

More than 4 km long canal has been constructed on the right bank and it has been put to use by bringing water into it. The people of the area have also started drawing benefit of irrigation. Out of the 44 tubewells envisaged to be drilled, 36 tubewells have been developed of which seven have been commissioned already. One lift irrigation scheme for Sathana village has been constructed and commissioned on the right bank canal. At Jakhbar-Bhanoli village, another lift irrigation scheme is ready for commissioning. The right bank canal head regulator has been completed. During the past three years potential for irrigation of 400 hectares of agricultural land has been created and target of 55 hectares has been fixed for the year 2001-2002. Out of the total outlay of Rs 143.32 crores earmarked for the project, a sum of Rs 37.16 crore has been utilised by March 2001. A budget provision of Rs 9.65 crore has been made for the current year. In addition, the Punjab government will also release Rs 5 crore as its share for the year 2001-2002.

With the implementation of this irrigation project, the cropping pattern is likely to witness changes. The entire command area, which was almost rained earlier is expected to emerge as a fertile bowl in the near future. The farmers of the area have already started growing vegetables, sugarcane apart from other cash crops.

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Kangra farm project submitted to govt
Our Correspondent

Nurpur, November 25
The Himachal Pradesh Agriculture Technology Management Agency (ATMA) has submitted an agriculture project worth Rs 7.5 crore for Kangra district to the Government of India for approval.

This was disclosed by Mr H.R Noor, Director, National Agriculture Technology Project (NATP), while presiding over the two-day workshop of the Farmers Advisory Committee organised by ATMA at Horticulture Regional Research Station, Jachh, near here, yesterday.

He said the project envisaged diversification in agriculture, increase in farm produce, solving the marketing problem of agricultural produce, besides ensuring uplift of the women in the farming community.

Farmers from Nurpur and Jawali subdivisions attended the workshop in which experts from the State Agriculture Management and Extension Training Institute, Mashobra, educated them.

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14 held for immoral trafficking
Our Correspondent

Una, November 25
The police on November 23/24 night raided the three hotels on Mubarakpur-Bharwain road and arrested 14 persons including six women.

The police on Saturday arrested a call girl Pooja from Delhi from Ashwani Resorts along with two clients who had reportedly paid her Rs 3000 each. Raids started from Kailash Parvat Hotel where four men and three women were arrested. The police said four of the six women arrested were married and one carried six-month-old child with her.

Hotels and resorts with loan from financial institutions have came up between Mubarakpur-Bharwain road under the Amb police station but barring one or two, others hardly have any business and the police says that with less or no business are being used for flesh trade or drug abuse.

The arrested persons include Gurmail Singh, Harbhajan Singh of Mahitpur, Vinay Pal Talwara, Pradeep Kumar, Mandeep Kumar, Deepak Arora, Manjeet Kumar and Vandana all from Hoshiarpur, Pradeep Kumar, Jagraon, Ashok Kumar, Baljeet Kaur, Kulvinder Kaur alias Lovely, Mewa Singh all from Ludhiana and Pooja from Delhi.

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HP hotels offer discount
Tribune News Service

Shimla, November 25
Not only private hotels but those of the state government too have started offering discount up to 50 per cent as the arrival of tourists to Himachal Pradesh has dipped during the past two months.

Most of the tourist places around here and Manali, which used to generally hum with flocks of tourists at this time of the year, are virtually deserted this time.

The Mall here is almost deserted in the evening with just a trickle of tourists.

The position is stated to be grim in Manali too where the hoteliers are offering even more than 50 per cent discount to tourists.

To compete with the private sector, the HPTDC has also announced a discount ranging between 25 per cent and 40 per cent in all its over 33 hotels for five months with effect from November 16, 2001, to April 14, 2002.

However, the discount will not be available during Christmas and New Year in certain hotels. A 10 per cent additional discount is being offered to those helping boost the trade of HPTDC hotels.

Mr Ajit Butail, vice-president of the Hotel and Restaurant Association of North India, and that the depression in the tourist trade was because of uncertainty caused due to the war in Afghanistan and the scare of India getting involved in a conflict with Pakistan.

Restrictions put on LTC on government employees and in certain cases by the private sector are the other reason for the slump.

Mr Anil Kant, a tour operator of Manali, lamented that a number of tourist groups consisting of particularly college and school students had been cancelled and his buses were lying idle.

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CM speaks of Central aid
Tribune News Service

Shimla, November 25
The Central Government sanctioned the assistance of Rs 1,251 crore to Himachal Pradesh during the current financial year. It includes special plan assistance of Rs 200 crore sanctioned by Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, and Rs 115 crore one-time additional Central assistance.

Stating this here yesterday, Mr Prem Kumar Dhumal, said the Central assistance for the Plan in the current year was 73 per cent which was highest in the past 10 years.

He said in addition to this, the state government got special projects and schemes worth Rs 1,270 crore sanctioned from the Central Government against the schemes of Rs 516 crore sanctioned during the corresponding period of the previous government.

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Halt torture, urge Tibetan women
Tribune News Service

Dharamsala, November 25
The Tibetan Women Association (TWA) today called upon China to halt violence against Tibetan women.

Members of the association, along with hundreds of monks, nuns, other and Tibetans took out a protest march from McLeodganj to Dharamsala, demanding an end to the gender-based violence against women in Tibet. On the occasion of the International Day for Eliminating Violence Against Women, the TWA drew the attention of the world to the violence against Tibetan women at the hands of the Chinese.

Tibetan Buddhist nuns, who account for over 80 per cent of the political prisoners are subjected to severe beating, starvation, rape, attack by dogs, apart from sexual assault, alleged the TWA. Blood extraction and hard labour are other forms of torture imposed on the women, it added.

The TWA said that despite being one of the most sparsely populated countries in the world, women in Tibet are subjected to severe and coercive family planning measures. As a result, 20 per cent women are no longer able to produce.

They accused China of pursuing the population control policy to make Tibetans a minority within their own homeland.
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Lecturers oppose promotion rules
Our Correspondent

Bilaspur, November 25
The Himachal State Association of Lecturers of Government Senior Secondary Schools has expressed its resentment against the recruitment and promotion rules enforced in 1992 under which lecturers, promotion quota was reduced by 5 per cent from 45 per cent to 40 per cent instead of being increased to 50 per cent for the post the principals in senior secondary schools.

Addressing mediapersons here today, after a meeting of the association, state unit president Joginder Singh Rao and general secretary Anil Nag said under 1980 recruitment and promotion rules promotion quota between lecturers and teachers was in the ratio of 45:45.

But in 1992, instead of giving equal promotion chance to lecturers and teachers, injustice was done with their cadre and teachers were given 60 per cent quota. The association alleged that this was a clear case of less qualified persons being given preference over qualified cadre. The Chief Minister and the Education Minister should look into the matter and amend the rule, he added.
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HVC, Cong flay hike in user charges
Tribune News Service

Shimla, November 24
The ruling BJP has come under criticism from its coalition partner, the HVC, and the Congress for increasing the user charges in hospitals. They say it has made the health cover beyond their means.

Mr Virbhadra Singh said here today that the Dhumal government had increased these charges even as the demand for scrapping these was coming from all parts of the state.

The Congress spokesman, Mr Kuldeep Singh Rathore, has also criticised the hike in the user charges which were imposed by the BJP-HVC combine government earlier this year while the Shimla (Urban) unit of the HVC at its executive committee meeting urged the government to withdraw the increase in charges.

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Sukh Ram neglecting native village: leaders
Our Correspondent

Mandi, November 25
At the all-party rally held today at Kotli, native village of HVC supremo and former Union Minister Sukh Ram, leaders criticised him for neglecting the constituency with regard to development.

Leaders of the Congress, BJP, CPI and some others shared the stage to condemn the HVC supremo for making the district politically weak and economically fragile.

Former Congress MLA D.D. Thakur said Mr Sukh Ram had been nepotism at the cost of development of the constituency.

Former MLA and BJP leader Thakur Kanhaya Lal alleged that Mr Sukh Ram had betrayed the people who had reposed faith in him for over the past 40 years.

Congress leader and former Nagar Parishad President, Pushp Raj Sharma wondered why the alliance partner of the BJP was keeping mum on the issue.

Congress leader Janki Dass Dogra and CPI leader Amar Chand Verma suggested that a joint strategy should be adopted to defeat Mr Sukh Ram. Several panchayat pradhans and village leaders also addressed the rally.
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Abolish tax on khair wood sale: BKS
Our Correspondent

Nurpur, November 25
The Himachal Pradesh Bharatiya Kisan Sangh (BKS) has taken strong exception to the imposing of taxes on the sale of khair wood to neighbouring states. The BKS, in a memorandum to the Chief Minister, Prof Prem Kumar Dhumal, stated that the farmers were promised by the state government last year that the ban on the export of the khair wood, a cash crop of farmers in merged areas, would be lifted without any condition. But the farmers were feeling betrayed by the government.

Mr Prem Chauhan, president of the BKS, has urged the Chief Minister to abolish export duty and relax other taxes on the sale of khair wood to protect the interest of the farmers.
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HP Kisan Khet Cong office-bearers
Our Correspondent

Shimla, November 25
Mrs Vidya Stokes, President, HPCC, has nominated the following on the Kisan and Khet Mazdoor Congress:

(Shimla District): Chairman — Mr Ramesh Chauhan, Co-Chairman — Mr Chet Ram Sharma.

General Secretaries: Mr K.D. Kaushal, Mr Ashit Sirkek and Mr Prithvi Raj Machhan, Treasurer — Mr Bhupinder Kanwar, Joint Secretary — Mrs Kaushalaya Shyam. Constituency Presidents: Kumarsain-Sunni — Mr Chander Mehta, Chopal — Mr Hem Raj Chauhan and Kasumpti — Mr Chander Parkash.

Mandi & Kulu district: Co-Chairman Mandi — Mr Padam Dev. Co-Chairman Kulu — Mr Chhering Rashpa.
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112 vehicles challaned
Tribune News Service

Dharamsala, November 25
The Kangra police in a campaign against the violation of the Motor Vehicle Act, so far has challaned 112 vehicles.

According to Mr Sanjay Kundu, SP the campaign would continue till November 30, to ensure that the provisions of the MV Act were not violated. He said that the vehicle owners had been ordered to remove pressure horns, wear helmets, remove all extra-lights and put half black stickers on the head lights.

Mr Kundu said that the police was checking vehicles at various cities in the state.

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Renuka fair opened
Our Correspondent

Dadahu (Nahan), November 25
The traditional fair of Sirmour district, Renuka mela, was inaugurated by Mr Prem Kumar Dhumal here this afternoon. He walked with “Palanquin” of Lord Parshuram and other dieties from Dadahu to Renuka. A large number of people took part in the “shobha yatra” of Lord Parshuram.

Lakhs of people paid their obeisance to Lord Parshuram and Bhagwati Renuka in temples on the bank of holy Renuka lake.

Mr Dhumal also addressed a press conference at Tourist Rest House. He said he do not rule out the possibility of early Assembly poll in Himachal Pradesh.

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Strengthen HP Tribunal: panel
Our Correspondent

Bilaspur, November 25
Mr Ram Singh president, Himachal Pradesh State Draughtsmen (PWD and IPH Departments) Association, has strongly criticised the Himachal Pradesh Non-Gazetted Employees’ Federation, President, Mr Ganga Singh Thakur, for repeatedly favouring the abolition of the Himachal Pradesh Administrative Tribunal.

The Tribunal should be strengthened by appointing more judges and by arranging Circuit Benches of the Tribunal at every district headquarter at least once in a month, he added.

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