Tuesday, March 25, 2003, 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

Six of family burnt to death
Manali, March 24
Six members of a family were burnt to death after a wooden house located near Hadimba Temple here was gutted in a fire that broke out last night.

Three held in jhuggi-burning case
Hamirpur, March 24
The Hamirpur police has arrested three persons in connection with the burning of the jhuggis of labourers from Bihar, near Bakarti village on Sunday morning.

Labourers, who were dispossessed from their jhuggies by a fire that broke out on Sunday, take shelter under a mango tree Labourers, who were dispossessed of their jhuggies by a fire on Sunday, take shelter under a tree in Khad, Hamirpur, on Monday. ó Photo Chander Shekhar Sharma.

CM demands Rs 491 cr grants
Shimla, March 24
Mr Virbhadra Singh, Himachal Chief Minister, who also holds the charge of finance portfolio, today presented in the house supplementary demands for grants for Rs 491.28 crore for the current year.

Fire destroys hospital block
Dharamsala, March 24
A block of the old zonal hospital complex here was gutted in a devastating fire today. The dilapidated block was more than 90 years old and had been declared unsafe and was being used as a store for condemned items.



YOUR TOWN
Hamirpur
Dharamsala
Shimla
Manali
Nurpur

 

EARLIER STORIES
 


Recruitment issue dominates House proceedings

Shimla, March 24
The functioning of the State Subordinate Services Selection Board dominated the question hour in the Vidhan Sabha which reassembled today after a 13-day recess.

Women to fight liquor menace
Nurpur, March 24
Following the failure of the police to curb the illegal sale of liquor in the residential areas in ward number 2 and 5 here, women of these wards have launched an anti-liquor drive.

Bus permits for jobless youth in HP
Shimla, March 24
Mr G.S. Bali, Himachal Transport Minister, said today that new routes would be identified so that permits could be given to unemployed youth of the state.

Water to cost more in Parwanoo
Parwanoo, March 24
Residents of the industrial town may have to face another hike in the rates for drinking water. Sources from the HP Housing Board said the board was planning to revise the rates.

World TB day
DHARAMSALA: One-third of the world population is suffering from TB and one-third of these patients are in India. Every year more than five lakh persons die in the country due to TB. 



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Six of family burnt to death
Our Correspondent

Manali, March 24
Six members of a family were burnt to death after a wooden house located near Hadimba Temple here was gutted in a fire that broke out last night.

The members have been identified as Nagender Pal (32), Kamla, wife of Nagender, Sunita (9), Anita (7), Anju (4), and Neha (1). Nagender, who was working as an autorickshaw driver, belonged to Pajon village in the Barot area of Mandi district.

According to information, the door of the house was bolted from the inside. The fire started at around 11 p.m. Firemen and residents made massive efforts to extinguish the flames. According to eyewitnesses, the victims had already died before the door of the room was opened.

The SDM and the DSP visited the scene. The police did not suspect foul play. The bodies were cremated after post-mortem.

The local administration has released relief to the next of kin of the victims.
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Three held in jhuggi-burning case
Our Correspondent

Hamirpur, March 24
The Hamirpur police has arrested three persons in connection with the burning of the jhuggis of labourers from Bihar, near Bakarti village on Sunday morning. The arrested persons have been identified as Suman Chaudhry of Bakarti village and Rakesh Kumar and Manjeet Kumar of Jangel village. They have been booked under Section 436 of the IPC, according to an official spokesman.

The spokesman said here today that a police team visited the spot and held an inquiry into the incident. The team also got statements of a number of labourers, who are now living in the open in Kunah khud near Masyana village.

A team of Hamirpur-based reporters visited the khud site today and talked to the labourers. It was found that nearly 200 persons were living in the open in the khud without any shelter and food. They were living near a stone crusher and getting food from the contractor, who had engaged them for the extraction of Bajri and sand from the khad.

Labourers said Rs 4,900 had so for been given to them.
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CM demands Rs 491 cr grants
Tribune News Service

Shimla, March 24
Mr Virbhadra Singh, Himachal Chief Minister, who also holds the charge of finance portfolio, today presented in the house supplementary demands for grants for Rs 491.28 crore for the current year.

Out of this, Rs 213.76 crore pertained to plan schemes, Rs 95.29 crore to centrally-sponsored schemes and Rs 182.23 crore under non-plan expenditure. An additional provision of Rs 213.76 crore has been sought for various schemes and projects and for meeting committed liabilities. This expenditure is to be met by corresponding receipts for plan funding from the Government of India.

Some of the major expenditures proposed under the plan include Rs 86.87 crore as stateís share to the NJPC Rs 21.78 crore as assistance to the HPSEB for various plan schemes, Rs 6.61 crore for Market Intervention Schemes and Grant in Aid to the university of horticulture and forestry. Likewise, Rs 5.36 crore has been kept for agriculture university, Palampur and Bio-Technology Department. Rs 2.14 crore has been provided for water supply schemes under special component plan and for repayment of HUDCO loan, Rs 6.70 crore for free textbooks and meeting expenditure on Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, Rs 36.09 crore for providing Grant-in-aid to urban local bodies, and of Rs 15 crore on account of house building advance for government employees.

Under different centrally sponsored schemes additionally of Rs 72.28 crore for different water supply programmes, Rs 11 crore for central transportation subsidy, Rs 2.89 crore for DIETS in the education department and Rs 2.43 crore has been made for promotion of science education.

In the non-plan expenditure Rs 43.30 crore has been proposed as one time grant for meeting the committed liabilities of the HRTC, Rs 3.34 crore for preparing photo-identity cards and holding of Vidhan Sabha elections Rs 5 crore for meeting pension liability.
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Fire destroys hospital block
Our Correspondent

Dharamsala, March, 24
A block of the old zonal hospital complex here was gutted in a devastating fire today. The dilapidated block was more than 90 years old and had been declared unsafe and was being used as a store for condemned items.

According to eyewitnesses, the fire was observed by some persons at around 10.30 am.

Two fire tenders arrived on the scene immediately but were unable to control the fire as there was no water in the fire hydrants of the area. Another fire tender from Kangra was pressed into service and fire tenders attempted to control the fire by bringing water from Dari, 3 km from here but failed. The fire soon engulfed the entire building. However, no loss of life was reported.

The Deputy Commissioner Kangra, Mr Prabodh Saxena, the Superintendent of Police, Mr Zahoor H.S. Zaidi, and other senior officials visited the fire site. A case has been registered by the Dharamsala police.
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Recruitment issue dominates House proceedings
Tribune News Service

Shimla, March 24
The functioning of the State Subordinate Services Selection Board dominated the question hour in the Vidhan Sabha which reassembled today after a 13-day recess.

The issue was raised by Ms Anita Verma of the Congress who wanted to know whether the government would allow the board to continue or wind it up in view of the controversies over recruitment made through it.

The Chief Minister, Mr Virbhadra Singh, while answering a volley of supplementaries, gave a detailed reply, giving an indication that all was not well with the board.

He said it was virtually a one-man show as all powers were vested in the Chairperson of the board, who was patronised by the government of the day. The board, instead of adopting the rules of business of the State Public Service Commission, which recruited class III employees before it came into existence, made its own rules which contravened the provisions of the office manual. Under the rules of the business framed by the board, the record of recruitment was destroyed just after three months, which was patently wrong. In the state public service commission and similar boards in other states, the record is maintained for three to seven years for various reasons.

He said the plea of former Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal that an aggrieved candidate could seek legal remedy within a month of the declaration of results, and as such three months time for keeping the record was enough did not hold. He said the cause of action could arise any time up to the point when the appointment was actually made, which could take much more time.

He said the inquiry being conducted into the functioning of the board would also ascertain whether the rules were framed with some mala fide intention. He said it was intriguing that even the secrecy work like setting of question papers and evaluation of answer sheets, which was with the Secretary in the commission, was assigned to the Chairman.

He said the board in all made 6689 recommendations but selection record pertaining to only 585 cases had been retained. The record of some other selections, which had been challenged in court, was also available. He said of the 6689 candidates recommended for appointment, 448 were from Bilaspur, 405 from Chamba, 882 from Hamirpur, 1189 from Kangra, 1292 from Mandi, 761 from Shimla, 261 from Sirmaur, 89 from Kinnaur, 420 from Una and 88 for Lahaul and Spiti.

The Chief Minister said incriminating material had been found in raids conducted by the Enforcement Department following reports that record was being burnt on the board premises in Hamirpur.

Replying to a question of Mr Mohinder Singh, the Chief Minister said that the government would review the list of 452 roads to be submitted to the centre for funding under the Prime Ministerís Rural Roads Scheme. 
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Women to fight liquor menace
Our Correspondent

Nurpur, March 24
Following the failure of the police to curb the illegal sale of liquor in the residential areas in ward number 2 and 5 here, women of these wards have launched an anti-liquor drive. They have formed on organisation named the Women Welfare Sudhar Sabha to check the rampant sale of liquor.

Members of the sabha have been organising nakas in their localities to check the illegal sale of liquor. Encouraged by the results of their efforts to curb this menace, the sabha has called upon the women of other localities in the town to follow suit.
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Bus permits for jobless youth in HP
Our Correspondent

Shimla, March 24
Mr G.S. Bali, Himachal Transport Minister, said today that new routes would be identified so that permits could be given to unemployed youth of the state for plying buses to provide them with gainful employment, and for transport facilities to the people living in rural areas. He was addressing the office bearers and members of the Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC) here today.

Mr Bali said to cope with losses of the HRTC effective steps would be taken. He called on the employees of the HRTC to ensure work culture, punctuality and efficiency. 
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Water to cost more in Parwanoo
Our Correspondent

Parwanoo, March 24
Residents of the industrial town may have to face another hike in the rates for drinking water.

Sources from the HP Housing Board said the board was planning to revise the rates as it was facing heavy losses on account of the water supply scheme due to commercial rates being charged by the state Electricity Department.

Residents of the town have been demanding that the water supply scheme should be handed over to the Irrigation and Public Health Department.

Local leaders, social organisations, industriesí association, residents and the Parwanoo Welfare Association said they would launch an agitation in this regard if the rates were hiked.
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World TB day

DHARAMSALA: One-third of the world population is suffering from TB and one-third of these patients are in India. Every year more than five lakh persons die in the country due to TB. This was disclosed here on Monday by the District TB Control Officer, Dr V.P. Bhardwaj, while addressing a seminar organised on the occasion of World TB Day.

Many senior physicians and doctors from various governments institutions participated in the seminar held on the occasion. Dr Chhetin Dorje from the Health Department of the Tibetan Government-in-exile was a special invitee.
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