Sunday, August 25, 2002, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

HP Cabinet okays new norms
Tribune News Service

Shimla, August 24
The Himachal Pradesh cabinet today approved new guidelines for the regularisation of unauthorised constructions in the nagar panchayats of Dhalli, New Shimla and Totu and the creation of journalist welfare fund in the state. It also approved a youth policy.

The Cabinet which had met here under the chairmanship of Prof Prem Kumar Dhumal, Chief Minister, also decided to set up fast track courts at Ghumarvin and Hamirpur in pursuance of the 11th Finance Commission scheme for the establishment of such courts to dispose of old cases, particularly the criminal sessions trial cases.

Mr Harsh Gupta, Chief Secretary, said the compounding fee for the regularisation of unauthorised structures in the three nagar panchayats was slashed to Rs 2,500 for the first storey, Rs 3,500 for the second storey, Rs 4,500 for third storey and Rs 5,500 for the fourth storey and beyond the specified limits regularisation would be done at the rate of Rs 250 per sqm.

Regarding the laying of pipelines for water, electricity and sewerage connections, the applicant would have to provide enough space so that these facilities could be provided to them. For setbacks, workable space would have to be allowed. Sale Deed, Jamabandi and Tatima or Kisan Passbooks would be given for establishing ownership and no demarcation would be necessary unless the plot was on the national highway or abutted the government land. However, the applicant would have to file an affidavit that he had constructed his house on his own land. Where possible photographs would be obtained and wherever it was not possible, an official of the department would visit the site and verify the exact position of the buildings at the site before finalisation.

For regularisation, the applicant would be required to file requisite affidavit, along with the application. The time for filing the application had been extended up to September 30.

The creation of journalists welfare fund was approved with a contribution of Rs 2 lakh from the state government. Professor Dhumal had announced Rs 1 lakh for this fund which aimed at providing assistance to the journalists. It would be administered by a committee headed by the Chief Minister and the Information and Public Relations Department would be nodal department to administer this fund.

The Cabinet took note of the directions received from the Delimitation Commission that the existing boundaries of various administrative units in the states as on August 1, 2002, should not be altered or changed in any manner till the delimitation of the states concerned was finalised and decided that its sub-committee as well as officers committee would continue to function and carry out the mandate given to them. The officers committee would deliberate upon various pros and cons of the proposals to be considered, work out the minimum possible financial implication, including rationalisation proposals of officers and staff presently posted at district headquarters, and go into the details of administrative modalities involved in a logical manner.

It further directed that certain proposals and suggestions be also made to the Delimitation Commission, besides discussing problems of the people in some Assembly constituencies on account of geographical factors and anomalies being faced by the people in such constituencies to ensure greater administrative convenience and public interest.

A proposal regarding the delegation of powers to the sub-Divisional Magistrates for the registration of societies under the Societies Registration Act was also cleared.

The Cabinet gave approval to amendment in the State Home Guards Act to be introduced in the ensuing session of the Vidhan Sabha. The amendment would enable the home guards volunteers to continue serving up to 58 years subject to fitness. It also decided to reduce the criteria of minimum service from three to two years for the home guards volunteers for being eligible for recruitment as constables in the Police Department.

The Cabinet also approved the enhancement of monthly pension of ex-servicemen and their widows who were above 60 years, including veteran soldiers of the Second World War from Rs 150 to Rs 200.

The youth policy envisaged the establishment of youth hostels at each district headquarters with an investment of Rs 1 crore under 100 per cent central assistance programme. He said four projects in respect of Dharamsala, Mandi, Kulu and Shimla districts had already been submitted for approval of the Central Government.

Mr Gupta said it had been made mandatory for giving 30 per cent representation to women in each youth club while registering the youth clubs in future. A provision for giving cash awards of Rs 25,000, Rs 15,000 and Rs 10,000 to the first three best youth clubs in the district every year had been made. Special assistance to Yuvak Mandals up to Rs 30,000 would be provided in case of new youth clubs.

The formation of the state youth commission on the pattern of the National Youth Commission and the constitution of a legislation committee to review all programmes for the youth were the highlights of the policy framed for the first time.

The Cabinet also gave approval for the enhancement of freedom fighters pension from Rs 750 to Rs 1,000 per month from August 1, 2002. This would put a burden of about Rs 40 lakh annually on the state exchequer.

It decided to set up an office of the Regional Transport Officer at Bilaspur keeping in view the workload on account of the huge rush of truck traffic from Barmana and Darlaghat Cement factories.

The appointment of Sanjeev Kumar, a resident of Bhaira-khad village, in Kumarsain as constable in relaxation of rules was approved in recognition of the commendable work done by him in saving 27 human lives and property at the risk of his life during floods in Satluj river in July, 2000.

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