Sunday, December 1, 2002, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Power project to be joint venture
Tribune News Service

Shimla, November 30
The 144 Sawra-Kuddu power project will be executed jointly by four partner states of the Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB) and the Himachal government.

The decision to take up the project as a joint venture was taken at a meeting of the state Cabinet held under the chairmanship of Mr P.K. Dhumal, Chief Minister.

The Himachal Pradesh State Electricity Board would work out modalities for the venture.

Earlier, the government had decided to execute the project through International Competitive Bidding (ICB) in the private sector but there was no response from private companies.

Giving details Chief Secretary, Mrs Rajender Bhattacharya, said that the regulations for heritage zone of Shimla for the preservation heritage, developed by British, primarily in the area in between the Vice Regal Lodge and Ellerslie, (secretariat) building with the Ridge and Scandal Point as nodal points were approved. The rules provided for the preservation of built and natural heritage in accordance with the existing features of heritage, including number of storeys, floor height, roof, windows and chimneys and repair and reconstructions in heritage zone were proposed to be carried out accordingly.

Further, heritage conservation experts at national level were involved in formulating heritage rules. The permission to construct buildings in heritage places were to be examined and approved by the heritage advisory sub-committee separately to provide for the preservation of the heritage features.

The Cabinet also approved extension for another 12 months to Om Power Corporation for starting the work on 15 MW Neogal Hydro Electric Project for which the agreement was signed earlier. The company made efforts to get clearances from the Government of India and Himachal government but the construction could not start per schedule.

The Chief Secretary said that the approval to raise loan by the Himachal Pradesh Backward Classes Finance and Development Corporation from the National Backward Classes Finance and Development Corporation for the uplift of backward classes under various schemes by raising the government block guarantee from Rs 10 crore to Rs 15 crore was granted.

The Cabinet also decided to set up a state-level committee for proposing fair and reasonable price for selling forest produce. Earlier, there was provision for constitution advisory committee for each division for the purpose and these were supposed to tender advice by February 15, every year. Experience has shown that there was delay in constituting these committees and the advice was not received on time. Keeping this thing in view the state level committee would be set up in place of committees at the divisional level.

The Cabinet also approved that the Paramedical Council Ordinance, 2002 be promulgated. It would be replaced in the next session of Himachal Vidhan Sabha by a Bill.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to be signed with the Union Ministry of Family Welfare for additional funds under the European Commission-funded health reforms programme was also cleared. By way of the MoU the state government formalised commitment to continued support to the ongoing health reforms that focus on decentralisation of administrative control, local-level autonomy by setting up Rogi Kalyan Samitis, Community participation, rationalisation of staff and infrastructure, devolution of powers to panchayati raj institution, improving skills of health care providers and rational use of drugs, she added.

The government also decided to maintain current level of budgetary support to the Health Department and to ensure stability of tenure for key functionaries. A sum of Rs 23 crore was expected to be provided for these activities in the next five years.


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