Wednesday, July 23, 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

PWD-hired contractors violating directions
Shimla, July 22
Despite being top heavy and burdened with a huge surplus workforce, the Public Works Department has been awarding works to contractors in contravention of the government directions for executing specified types of work departmentally.

School board to impart coaching for professional courses
Dharamsala, July 22
The Himachal Pradesh Board of School Education will start coaching classes for professional courses for students of the state.
Chairman of the Board B.R. Rahi told mediapersons yesterday that students from rural areas suffered in competitive examinations such as CET, PMT and other vocational professional courses after plus II due to lack of coaching.

Solan murder takes new turn
Solan, July 22
The murder case of Shashi Gupta took a new turn with the recovery of valuables, including fixed deposits with Rs 1 lakh, gold jewellery and Rs 900, by the police, last evening. The police, which had all along maintained that money was the motive behind the killing, appeared baffled at this new finding.

Young legislators form forum
Shimla, July 22
Some young legislators, who have entered the Vidhan Sabha for the first time, have formed a forum.
Mr Sukhwinder Sukhu, convener of the forum, said the new organisation was a non-party affair and legislators of all political parties had been made its members.



YOUR TOWN
Hamirpur
Dharamsala
Shimla
Nahan
Solan


EARLIER STORIES

Bill hiking salary of ministers, MLAs passed
July 22, 2003
Electricity board in the red
July 21, 2003
Smuggling worries liquor contractors
July 20, 2003
Contractors will have to register workers: CM
July 19, 2003
Cloudburst toll 105, claims CM
July 18, 2003
Budget passed amid BJP walkout
July 17, 2003
‘Manthan Shivir’ spills into House
July 16, 2003
Congress, BJP trade charges in House
July 15, 2003
BJP to corner govt on Shivir issue
July 14, 2003
Race for Youth Cong chief’s post hots up
July 13, 2003
 

Allergy cases on the rise
Parwanoo, July 22
There has been an increase in the number of allergy cases in Parwanoo and its adjoining areas due to the presence of congress grass.
Although Parwanoo and Kalka towns are badly affected, more cases have been found in Sectors 4 and 6 of Parwanoo, Housing Board Colony and the surrounding areas of Kalka because of more open spaces where the congress grass grows freely.

Woman dies due to negligence, alleges husband
Kangra, July 22
Tension prevailed in the Birta area, on the outskirts of this town, last evening following the death of a woman allegedly due to the negligence of doctors of a private nursing home. Relatives of the woman allegedly ransacked the nursing home.

2 die, 8 hurt in accidents
Nahan, July 22
Two persons were killed and eight injured in two accidents in the district in the past 24 hours. A truck, on way to Kheri on the Nahan-Kheri road, on Sunday, fell into a gorge near Badu Sahib.

Rain shelter collapse kills 2
Hamirpur, July 22
Two persons were killed and four injured when the roof of a rain shelter collapsed at Kuthera village in the district this morning. The victims have been identified as Munshi Ram, a former pradhan of the local the Gram panchayat, and Prithi Chand.

Training camp for women held
Chandigarh, July 22
A 10-day training programme for women concluded at Mohal village in Kulu district yesterday.
Dr S.R. Singla, Assistant Regional Director of the Regional Save Grain Campaign Office, Union Ministry of Consumer Affairs, in a press note said the programme was conducted in coordination with the Department of Agriculture, Himachal Pradesh.

SFI, NSUI activists clash  on ‘virodh divas’
Hamirpur, July 22
Activists of the Students Federation of India and the National Students Union of India clashed on the campus of Government Degree College, here today. The clash took place when the SFI burnt an effigy of the HP Transport Minister, Mr G.S. Bali, on the campus in support of ‘virodh divas’ call given by the state unit of the SFI in protest against “anti-student policies” of the state government and the Transport Department.

NSUI for probe into question paper scam
Shimla, July 22
A state committee meeting of the National Students Union of India today passed a resolution reaffirming faith in the leadership of Mrs Sonia Gandhi, Congress President, and added that the foreign origin issue was a non-issue.

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PWD-hired contractors violating directions
Tribune News Service

Shimla, July 22
Despite being top heavy and burdened with a huge surplus workforce, the Public Works Department has been awarding works to contractors in contravention of the government directions for executing specified types of work departmentally.

To utilise the services of 30,000 surplus daily wage and work-charged beldars, the government had issued directions to the Engineer-in-Chief to get seven types of works relating to construction, repair and maintenance executed departmentally. However, contrary to the directions, the department, awarded 919 such works to contractors in 11 divisions during 1999-2000 at an expenditure of Rs 68.47 crore. The irregularity was detected during an audit conducted by the Comptroller and Auditor-General of India. The executive engineers concerned gave shortage of staff as the reason for getting the works executed through the contactors. The reason was found untenable as the department had surplus workforce.

No mechanism was devised by the department to ensure optimum utilisation of the work-charged staff for departmental works. Not only that, new circles and divisions were created in violation of the norms. According to the criteria laid down in the PWD manual, a circle could be created for three or four subdivisions. However, in utter disregard of the criteria, the government formed three circles for six divisions and 10 divisions for just 17 subdivisions. In fact, three divisions had only one subdivision each to look after.

The department had also not been planning the construction of roads as a result of which many projects could either not be completed or were useless. For instance, in Kalpa, Kumarsain and Kangra divisions, construction of five bridges at a cost of Rs 2.78 crore between August 1997 and February 2002 could not be put to use as roads had not been completed. Similarly, in two other cases, motorable roads constructed at a cost of Rs 27.60 lakh could not be utilised because motorable bridges were not built on their alignment. The footbridges were of no use. In three other divisions, bridges to be constructed on roads were not provided for in the estimates. As such, in the absence of bridges, an expenditure of Rs 80.71 lakh on the constructed portions of roads remained unfruitful.
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School board to impart coaching for professional courses
Our Correspondent

Dharamsala, July 22
The Himachal Pradesh Board of School Education will start coaching classes for professional courses for students of the state.

Chairman of the Board B.R. Rahi told mediapersons yesterday that students from rural areas suffered in competitive examinations such as CET, PMT and other vocational professional courses after plus II due to lack of coaching. He said only rich parents could send their children to towns like Chandigarh for coaching for professional courses, but students due to climatic and environmental change fail to do their best. He said rural students were most disadvantaged in this respect.

The chairman said a proposal for starting such classes in the state had been sent to the state government and hoped that classes would start the next year. He said lecturers who were free during April, May and June would be involved in the programme with consent of the Education Department. He said modalities would be finalised after the approval was received. Mr Rahi said efforts were on to get approval from the state government for appointment of an Academic Director. The post of Academic Officer is already there and efforts are on to induct some subject experts on the Board so that its working became more specialised.
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Solan murder takes new turn
Our Correspondent

Solan, July 22
The murder case of Shashi Gupta took a new turn with the recovery of valuables, including fixed deposits with Rs 1 lakh, gold jewellery and Rs 900, by the police, last evening.

The police, which had all along maintained that money was the motive behind the killing, appeared baffled at this new finding.

The SP, Mr S.R. Sharma, said the police adhered to its initial theory, which was corroborated by the receipts of jewellery worth Rs 90,000, which was not found in the victim’s room. An Ambala residence, Kamal Kuku, who was engaged to Shashi, was also interrogated today. The SP said to widen the scope of investigation, the police was interrogating all those who knew the victim.

The police was, however, not able to solve the mystery of who opened the victim’s door on Thursday and set the body ablaze. It was also intriguing that despite Shashi’s sister residing next door and noticing blood flowing from the drain leading to her kitchen, made no inquires.

Rather, she reportedly washed the blood with water, stated police officials. No clue of the weapon of murder has been found and the police officials believed that more than one attempt was made to burn the body.

A door curtain was used to burn the body, said a witness who was interrogated by the police, added the officials.
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Young legislators form forum
Tribune News Service

Shimla, July 22
Some young legislators, who have entered the Vidhan Sabha for the first time, have formed a forum.

Mr Sukhwinder Sukhu, convener of the forum, said the new organisation was a non-party affair and legislators of all political parties had been made its members. He said the young legislators wanted to dispel the general impression that politicians were corrupt and politics was a way to mint money. All those up to 40 years of age had been made members of the forum. He said the members would strive to restore the confidence of the people in the system and the stress would be on rooting out corruption and bring transparency in the day-to-day functioning.

The forum would also take up issues concerning present and former legislators and organise meetings with intellectuals. The founder members of the forum included Mr Sohan Lal, Mr Satpal Satti, Mr Navin Dhiman, Mr Sudhir Sharma, Mr Vikram Thakur, Mr Virender Kanwar, Mr Subhash Manglait, Mr Rohit Thakur, Mr Rakesh Kalia and Mr Tilak Raj.
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Allergy cases on the rise
Our Correspondent

Parwanoo, July 22
There has been an increase in the number of allergy cases in Parwanoo and its adjoining areas due to the presence of congress grass.

Although Parwanoo and Kalka towns are badly affected, more cases have been found in Sectors 4 and 6 of Parwanoo, Housing Board Colony and the surrounding areas of Kalka because of more open spaces where the congress grass grows freely. The allergy is more prevalent among children and old people.

Women are less prone to allergic disorders as they are less exposed to the open environment. Unhygienic conditions and dirty water in slums contribute to more cases in these areas.

Children in these areas are found to be suffering mostly from bronchitis and the old people from throat and skin diseases. Cow dung also causes skin allergies, say doctors.

Failure on the part of the local administration to prevent the sale of unhygienic food at local dabhas and rehris also leads to the spread of such diseases.
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Woman dies due to negligence, alleges husband
Our Correspondent

Kangra, July 22
Tension prevailed in the Birta area, on the outskirts of this town, last evening following the death of a woman allegedly due to the negligence of doctors of a private nursing home. Relatives of the woman allegedly ransacked the nursing home.

The district police chief, Mr S. Zahoor H. Zahdi, said today that Mr Rajesh Kumar, a resident of Gurkhari village, lodged a complaint last evening that the condition of his wife, Monika Saini, who was pregnant and delivered a baby girl, deteriorated after the surgery. He alleged that due to the negligence of the doctors she died in the nursing home. A case under Section 304-A of the IPC has been registered.

Dr R.K. Choudhry, however, denied the allegations of negligence. He said after Monika was operated upon another Caesarean was done and he and his wife were present at that time.
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2 die, 8 hurt in accidents
Our Correspondent

Nahan, July 22
Two persons were killed and eight injured in two accidents in the district in the past 24 hours.

A truck, on way to Kheri on the Nahan-Kheri road, on Sunday, fell into a gorge near Badu Sahib. Truck driver Kamal Raj and conductor Desh Raj died on the spot while two other persons travelling in the truck were injured as they jumped out of the vehicle. Names of the injured could not be known as they left the site of accident.

Another accident took place on Sunday near Sirmouri Tal under Paonta subdivision, where a truck (No. H.P. 17-5153) fell into a 50-metre-deep khud in which six persons were seriously injured. The injured are Kuldeep Singh, Gangbir Singh, Kuldeep son of Ranjit Singh, Jagdish Chand, Gyan Chand and driver Balbir Singh. The injured were admitted to the Paonta Subdivisional hospital and later referred to the Civil Hospital, Nahan. 
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Rain shelter collapse kills 2
Our Correspondent

Hamirpur, July 22
Two persons were killed and four injured when the roof of a rain shelter collapsed at Kuthera village in the district this morning. The victims have been identified as Munshi Ram, a former pradhan of the local the Gram panchayat, and Prithi Chand.

Eyewitnesses said a truck, which was on its way to Hamirpur, hit the shelter resulting in its collapse. All six persons, including a woman and a child, were trapped under the debris. The ADM, Hamirpur, Dr K.D. Lakhanpal, and the ASP, Mr Sunder Lal, reached the spot and supervised the rescue operation.

The cleaner who was driving the truck, was arrested and the driver escaped.

The injured have been admitted to the zonal hospital here. The police has registered a case against the driver and the cleaner.
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Training camp for women held
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 22
A 10-day training programme for women concluded at Mohal village in Kulu district yesterday.

Dr S.R. Singla, Assistant Regional Director of the Regional Save Grain Campaign Office, Union Ministry of Consumer Affairs, in a press note said the programme was conducted in coordination with the Department of Agriculture, Himachal Pradesh. As many as 50 women participated in the programme.

The participants were informed on the storage and preservation of foodgrains and were persuaded to adopt modern storage practices. Information was also given on the construction of storage structures in houses. The participants purchased metal bins by utilising the stipend-cum-assistance of Rs 22,500, provided by organisers.
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SFI, NSUI activists clash on ‘virodh divas’
Our Correspondent

Hamirpur, July 22
Activists of the Students Federation of India (SFI) and the National Students Union of India (NSUI) clashed on the campus of Government Degree College, here today.

The clash took place when the SFI burnt an effigy of the HP Transport Minister, Mr G.S. Bali, on the campus in support of ‘virodh divas’ call given by the state unit of the SFI in protest against “anti-student policies” of the state government and the Transport Department.

The NSUI activists allegedly assaulted the SFI activists with sticks in the presence of police officials. However, the NSUI activists have denied the allegation.

The Principal of the college, Mr Lalit Mohan Sharma, said today’s incident was shocking and he had instructed the SFI activists not to burn the effigy. He said he had called the police to maintain law and order on the campus.

Later, the police took the SFI activists to the police station. The NSUI activists also reached the police station, along with their leaders, raising anti-SFI slogans.

The police did not confirm whether a case would be registered against the students. The SP and the ASP could not be contacted for a comment on the issue.
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NSUI for probe into question paper scam
Our Correspondent

Shimla, July 22
A state committee meeting of the National Students Union of India (NSUI) today passed a resolution reaffirming faith in the leadership of Mrs Sonia Gandhi, Congress President, and added that the foreign origin issue was a non-issue.

Addressing a press conference here, Mr Kewal Singh Pathania, state president of the NSUI, said the organisation wanted a thorough inquiry into the question paper scam in the university, recruitment of the maximum number of Himachalis in hydel projects and the maximum reservation for Himachal students in JP University.
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Varsity denies report on Russian language paper
Our Correspondent

Shimla, July 22
The Himachal Pradesh University yesterday denied the report that hand-written papers were given to students of Russian language in a university examination.

In a press note here, university spokesman Ranvir Verma (PRO) said the news was not based on facts and was false and an attempt to tarnish the image of the university. He said people’s protest in this regard was baseless.
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