Wednesday, December 18, 2002, 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

Cong starts short-listing process
Shimla, December 17
The Congress has started the process for the selection of party candidates for the coming Assembly polls in the state. Mrs Vidya Stokes, the Pradesh Congress Committee chief, has directed the block party units to short list the probable candidates and forward the names to the District Congress Committee by December 26. 

Panel to give more powers to panchayats
Shimla, December 17
The Himachal Pradesh Government has given adequate funds and powers to the panchayati raj institutions in the state over the past four years and already 23 out of the total 29 subjects mentioned in the 11th Schedule of the Constitution have been given to these institutions.

Forest training school faces closure
Shimla, December 17
The stateís oldest and only recognised forest training school at Chail is on the verge of closure. Over the past one year the government has shifted most of the faculty and other staff, virtually rendering the institution defunct. With a skeletal staff in place the school is not in a position to conduct training courses. 

Sangh plans chargesheet against minister
Hamirpur, December 17
The district unit of the HP Graduate Teachers Sangh has criticised the Education Minister, Mr Ishwar Das Dhiman, for adopting an anti-teacher stance and following the policy of pick and choose.



YOUR TOWN
Hamirpur
Shimla


EARLIER STORIES
 

CM inaugurates Bal Vatika
Shimla, December 17
Mr Prem Kumar Dhumal, Chief Minister, today inaugurated a Rs 1.05 crore Bal Vatika in Masli village and a foot bridge over Shikhri Khad, near Chaveri village, constructed at a cost of Rs 11.50 lakh, in Rohru.

Strengthen CMís hands: ex-minister
Manali, December 17
Former minister and veteran BJP leader Thakur Kunj Lal has appealed to the BJP rank and file in the state to strengthen the hands of the Chief Minister, Mr Prem Kumar Dhumal.

HP transfers
Shimla, December 17
The Himachal Pradesh Government today transferred four state administrative service officers. Mr Rajesh Sharma, Joint Director, Consolidation of Land Holdings, Shimla, has been posted as Project Director, DPEP, relieving Mr Akshay Sood, Additional Secretary, Finance Regulation, of the additional charge.

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Cong starts short-listing process
Tribune News Service

Shimla, December 17
The Congress has started the process for the selection of party candidates for the coming Assembly polls in the state.
Mrs Vidya Stokes, the Pradesh Congress Committee chief, has directed the block party units to short list the probable candidates and forward the names to the District Congress Committee by December 26. The district units will hold meetings on December 27 and after consideration, submit a panel of candidates for each constituency to the Pradesh Congress Committee by December 30.

The state election committee will meet on January 6 to decide the final list to be sent to the central election committee of the party. Meanwhile, expulsion of Mr Kuldeep Pathania, a former MLA of Bhattiyat and a staunch supporter of Mr Virbhadra Singh, the Congress Legislative Party leader, is likely to be revoked. According to party sources, Mr Pathania has expressed regret over the unsavory happenings during a public meeting held by Mrs Stokes in Chamba district. He has tendered an unconditional apology and given an undertaking to abide by the rules of the district and block Congress committees.
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HP poll roll on website
Tribune News Service

Shimla, December 17
The electoral rolls of the state have been put on the website of the State Election Commission at http:/Himachal.nic.in for the convenience of the public. Stating this here yesterday, Mrs Manisha Nanda, Chief Electoral Officer, said the electoral rolls were also available in all district election offices and offices of electoral registration officers for inspection. She said if the name of an eligible person was not registered in the votersí list, he could apply to the Electoral Registration Officer concerned. Similarly, objections could be filed for the deletion of name and modification of any entry by filling prescribed forms.

She said a special summary revision of electoral rolls was carried out in all 68 Assembly constituencies of Himachal Pradesh as per the guidelines issued by the Election Commission of India. In all on the draft published electoral rolls, 1,16,380 claims and objections (1,01,455 for inclusion of names, 9665 deletions of names and 5260 corrections) had been received.

She said the process of hearing of claims and objections by the electoral registration officers would be completed by January 4, 2003, and thereafter the final electoral rolls along with supplements would be published on January 6.

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CPI to contest 3 Assembly seats
Our Correspondent

Kumarhatti, December 17
The CPI has decided to fight three Assembly seats in district in the coming Assembly election in the state.
At a party meeting at Shangli village near Dharmapur on Saturday, the party decided to field its candidates from Doon, Kasauli and Arki. However, the decision on Nalagarh and Solan, the other two seats of district, would be taken later on. The sole objective of the party in the elections was to defeat the nefarious designs of the BJP which had harmed the nation on all fronts, asserted Mr Gurdev Singh, secretary of the Solan unit of the CPI.

Meanwhile, Mr Randeep Singh Jogon, an active member of the party from Nalagarh, was expelled for his anti-party activities. Justifying his expulsion Mr Gurdev Singh said he had been warned time and again. The party was forced to take action against him due to his alignment with the BJP, he maintained.

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Panel to give more powers to panchayats
Tribune News Service

Shimla, December 17
The Himachal Pradesh Government has given adequate funds and powers to the panchayati raj institutions in the state over the past four years and already 23 out of the total 29 subjects mentioned in the 11th Schedule of the Constitution have been given to these institutions.

An official spokesman here today said a high-powered committee had been constituted under the chairmanship of the Chief Secretary for further delegation of powers. He said the delegation of powers to these bodies was a continuous process and the government was committed to empower them as per the spirit of the Constitution.

He said against Rs 37.50 crore recommended by first State Finance Commission an amount of Rs 38.07 crore was provided to the panchayati raj institutions to carry out various development works during the past four-and-a-half year. In addition, Rs 11.76 crore were provided during 2001-2002 and Rs 6.20 crore during the current financial year, he added.

To chalk out the modalities for the transfer of funds and functions to these bodies, a separate committee under the chairmanship of the Principle Secretary, (Finance) had been constituted. He said the control of grass-root level functionaries such as panchayat sahayaks, tailoring teachers, technical assistant, panchayat chowkidars, anganwari workers, anganwari helpers, part time water carriers, vidya upasaks and swasthya sahayak had been transferred to panchayat bodies and their appointments were also being done by the respective gram panchayats.

The zila parishads had been empowered to appoint the assistant engineers on contract basis and panchayat samitis had been made the appointing authority of kanisth lekhpal and junior engineers on contract basis.

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Forest training school faces closure
Rakesh Lohumi
Tribune News Service

Shimla, December 17
The stateís oldest and only recognised forest training school at Chail is on the verge of closure. Over the past one year the government has shifted most of the faculty and other staff, virtually rendering the institution defunct. With a skeletal staff in place the school is not in a position to conduct training courses. Only recently the 45-day training course for forest guards of the State Forest Corporation, which was to commence from November 15, had to be cancelled.

Barring one Assistant Conservator of Forests and a few clerks, the entire faculty and other staff have been transferred. It included a Divisional Forest Officer who is principal of the training school, a Superintendent, an Assistant Conservator of Forests, two Forest Rangers, one Deputy Ranger, a physical training instructor one senior assistant and a gardner.

The school was set up in 1956 soon after the Forest Department came into existence. It initially functioned at Dalhousie from where it was shifted to Mashobra, near here, and then to Solan. It was shifted to the present premises in 1988. Since then a lot of funds have been spent on developing requisite infrastructure for the school.

It has facilities for providing training to 110 personnel and also has adequate residential facilities for the faculty and other staff.

The school had been conducting 10-month training courses for Forest Guards and three-month courses for Deputy Rangers, besides, short-duration courses to provide in-service training to various categories of field staff. However, with no new recruitment in the department for the past few years, the school has been only conducting short duration refresher courses.

The functioning of the school was being undermined at a time when emphasis of all forestry project, particularly, those being implemented with foreign assistance, is on training.

The community training school at Kuther in Kangra has also been virtually closed down. The department planned to provide training at the school under the fire prevention scheme. However, the government failed to sanction any such scheme, leaving it with no option but to close down the school.

According to officials of the department, a minimum faculty required to make the school functional is one Divisional Forest Officer, two Assistant Conservators of Forests and three Forest Rangers, besides supporting staff like Deputy Rangers and Forest Guards. With just one Assistant Conservator of Forest in position the school cannot function.

Mr Shiv Kumar, up pradhan of Chail, alleges that the school was being closed down by systematically shifting the staff. He urged the government to post the required staff and make the school functional again. He said the local people would not allow the closure of the school.

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Sangh plans chargesheet against minister
Our Correspondent

Hamirpur, December 17
The district unit of the HP Graduate Teachers Sangh has criticised the Education Minister, Mr Ishwar Das Dhiman, for adopting an anti-teacher stance and following the policy of pick and choose.

The sangh held a meeting here last evening. Members expressed their concern over the growing political interference in educational institutions. This has led to down-grading the educational system in the state, Mr Ashwani Chambyal, general secretary of the district unit of sangh alleged.

Mr Chambyal in a statement, issued, here today said teachers would frame a charge sheet against the Education Minister and it would be submitted to the state Governor for action.

He said while no rules were observed in case of the near and dear ones of the minister, others were being victimised.

Mr Chambyal said the meeting demanded an immediate end to political interference in transfers of teachers, two advance increments to graduate teachers who had 15 years of government service and to appoint only those persons as headmasters in schools having B.Ed degree with them.

The sangh also supported the ongoing agitation of the teachers of private schools and those employed on contract basis.

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CM inaugurates Bal Vatika
Tribune News Service

Shimla, December 17
Mr Prem Kumar Dhumal, Chief Minister, today inaugurated a Rs 1.05 crore Bal Vatika in Masli village and a foot bridge over Shikhri Khad, near Chaveri village, constructed at a cost of Rs 11.50 lakh, in Rohru.

Addressing a public meeting at Chaveri soon after, he said the government had given equal attention to development in all areas of the state, irrespective of regional or political considerations.

He paid tributes to the late Pandit Padam Dev and Mr Satya Dev Bushari, who hailed from the area, and said the people of th estate would not forget their contributions.

He said the foot bridge at Chaveri was sanctioned by the previous government but it was not completed during its tenure. The present government provided the necessary funds and completed it in record time.

The Chief Minister also listened to the grievances of people at Rohru.

After his arrival at Rohru the Chief Minister visited the Civil Hospital and enquired about the welfare of the passengers injured in the bus accident that took place on December 11 and directed the medical authorities and the administration to provide all possible assistance to them.

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Strengthen CMís hands: ex-minister
Our Correspondent

Manali, December 17
Former minister and veteran BJP leader Thakur Kunj Lal has appealed to the BJP rank and file in the state to strengthen the hands of the Chief Minister, Mr Prem Kumar Dhumal.

In a press statement issued here today Thakur Kunj Lal stated that the state government under Mr P.K. Dhumal would become a model power state. He said the Parbati hydel power project, Malana power project and Larji hydro power project in Kulu and Mandi districts were examples of the state governmentís commitment.

He added that the recent recruitments of water carriers and vidya upasaks was a step towards eliminating unemployment.

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HP transfers
Tribune News Service

Shimla, December 17
The Himachal Pradesh Government today transferred four state administrative service officers.
Mr Rajesh Sharma, Joint Director, Consolidation of Land Holdings, Shimla, has been posted as Project Director, DPEP, relieving Mr Akshay Sood, Additional Secretary, Finance Regulation, of the additional charge.

Mr Deva Negi, Assistant Settlement Officer, Shimla, goes as Deputy Director, Consolidation of Land Holdings, Shimla. He will also hold the additional charge of the Assistant Settlement Officer, Shimla.

Mr Rakesh Kapoor, Project Officer, Integrated Tribal Development Project (ITDP), Keylong, has been posted as District Tourism Development Officer, Dharamsala. He will hold the additional charge of the Land Acquisition Officer, the Public Works Department, Kangra. Mr Pankaj Raj, Subdivisional Officer, Keylong will also hold the charge of the Project Director, ITDP.

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