Wednesday, August 20, 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

State may lose 2 biotech projects
Shimla, August 19
The fund-starved state may lose two major biotechnology projects due to tussle between its two farm universities and its failure to promptly finalise the implementing agency.

Grant quota on basis of social status, says BSP
Shimla, August 19
The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) is not in favour of granting reservation to high castes on an economic basis, saying that social status should be the only consideration for extending the benefits.

Housing board plan faces rough weather
Solan, August 19
Even as the Himachal Pradesh Housing Board has drawn up a plan to set up a satellite town at Kathlighat-Kairibangalow on the Kalka-Shimla highway, the plan to acquire land has run into rough weather.

Chandigarh man held for murder
Solan, August 19
Following the arrest of a building contractor based at Kandaghat, the police today claimed to have solved the case of alleged murder of a young girl, whose partially burnt body was recovered from the forests of Kasooli village near Chail, about 40 km from here, on May 25.

Devotees queuing up to enter the Krishna temple Devotees queuing up to enter the Krishna temple on the occasion of Janamashtmi at Shimla on Tuesday. — Photo Anil Dayal.



YOUR TOWN
Chamba
Shimla
Solan


EARLIER STORIES
 

Ultras not involved in cop’s death
Chamba, August 19
The Superintendent of Police, Chamba, Mr Ajay Yadav, today stated that there was no terrorist involvement in the death of constable Mohinder Raj at Riwadoo Goth in the Bhujhladhar ranges along the border with Doda district of Jammu and Kashmir on August 8.

Manimahesh pilgrims stranded
Chamba, August 19
Devotees from different parts of the country heading for pilgrimage to Himachal Pradesh’s Manimahesh were stranded today following landslides triggered by heavy rains on the Hadsar-Pathankot highway.

Nine student activists held
Mandi, August 19
Nine members of the warring Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad and Students Federation of India have been arrested as a preventive measure in the wake of frequent clashes in and outside Postgraduate Vallabh Mahavidyalaya here. An activist of the BJP Yuva Morcha was also arrested and later released.

Poor response to home science course
Palampur, August 19
The College of Home Sciences in Himachal Pradesh Agriculture University here has failed to attract candidates for admission this year too. There are 25 seats in this colleges, and despite the admission having already been closed, only 10 have been taken, so far. There are no applicants for the remaining seats.

Teachers’ union flays HP govt
Hamirpur, August 19
The district unit of the Himachal Pradesh Government Teachers Union has blasted the state government for suspending five teachers on the charges of taking part in the elections.

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State may lose 2 biotech projects
Rakesh Lohumi
Tribune News Service

Shimla, August 19
The fund-starved state may lose two major biotechnology projects due to tussle between its two farm universities and its failure to promptly finalise the implementing agency.

The state had taken lead in promoting biotechnology and even managed to get a biotechnology-park project sanctioned by the Centre last year. The Rs 6 crore project under which quality planting stock of medicinal plants, orchids and potato was to be produced in bulk through tissue culture, was to be set up in the joint sector. It was decided to set up the park at Dr Y.S. Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry, Solan, which has the mandate for carrying out research in medicinal plants and orchids.

However, the project hit a roadblock when the university said it did not have adequate water and power for the park. It urged the government to give Rs 2 crore for creating these facilities. The government then approached Agriculture University, Palampur, which agreed to give these facilities, including the required 150 acres. The project, thus, had to be shifted to Palampur.

Once the decision to shift the project was taken, the Solan university also came forward with willingness to give the required facilities. The matter has been hanging fire as the government has failed to decide which institution will implement the project.

Simultaneously, the Biotechnology Department also got a Rs 14.71 crore project formulated by Agriculture University for bulk production of medicinal and aromatic plants. It was accepted in principle by the Union Ministry of Rural Development, but soon after the acceptance, the Solan university entered the scene and staked claim for implementing it. The government has not been able to decide the issue for the past four months, despite several high-level meetings.

Agriculture University, which prepared the project and worked hard to get it accepted by the Centre, is not interested in implementing it anymore. Dr Tej Pratap, Vice-chancellor, who played a key role in securing the project, did not attend the meeting convened by the Principal Secretary, Biotechnology, on the issue early this month. Instead, he sent him a fax that many stake holders had emerged, so he would not like to be party to any decision. Senior officials apprehend that if the things are allowed to drag, the state may lose both projects.

The Biotechnology Department is also in a bad shape. Some of its staff like computer operators have already been repatriated and one of its two scientists is keen to return to the parent institution because he has been denied the agreed pay scale. In contrast, the newly carved out Uttaranchal is doing much better in promoting biotechnology. It has already established an institute for development of aromatic plants and taken a decision to set up a biotechnology and bio-business board to expedite matters.

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Grant quota on basis of social status, says BSP
Tribune News Service

Shimla, August 19
The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) is not in favour of granting reservation to high castes on an economic basis, saying that social status should be the only consideration for extending the benefits.

Mr Narinder Kashyap, in charge of party affairs in Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh and Himachal Pradesh, said here today that the upper castes were getting support from various quarters but the Dalits were being ignored.

He said there was much scope for the growth of the party in the hill state which had a large chunk of Dalit population.

He announced a team of 19 office-bearers that would organise party units. The team comprises Mr Tulsi Ram, Mr Balwant Singh, Mr Ashok Mehra, and Mr Amin Chand, Mr Puran Chand, Mr Sujan Singh, Mr Narpat Ram, Mr Madan Lal, Mr Dhani Ram, Mr Dharam Pal, Mr Somnath, Mr Santosh Kumar, Mr Ravi Kumarand, Mr Karan Singh, Mr Ram Pal, Mr Pramod Kumar and Mr Kanshi Ram Himachali. 

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Housing board plan faces rough weather
Our Correspondent

Solan, August 19
Even as the Himachal Pradesh Housing Board has drawn up a plan to set up a satellite town at Kathlighat-Kairibangalow on the Kalka-Shimla highway, the plan to acquire land has run into rough weather.

The availability of about 2,000 bighas has become a major obstacle with the identified land falling in the common pool of villages which cannot be transferred for any other purpose.

It is learnt that the five villages where the housing board has shown interest for acquiring land do not have much of it. These villages include Sudhag, Malga, Baror and Manjhol.

While 300 bighas there have been earmarked for the development of information technology-based industry and entrusted with the Industries Department, only 125 bighas of private land are available in the region. The rest despite being shamlat land has no scope of being surrendered for the project.

It is also learnt that about 60 per cent of the land belongs to the common pool village land which cannot be diverted for any other purpose as per the HP Community Village Land Act, 1974. This also comprises shamlat land which too has to be reverted to individual owners as per the directions of the former BJP government.

With no land available in the pool which comprises about 40 per cent of the land, there is virtually no land for the township in the area, say sources.

With common pool land being reserved only for villagers’ use, the possibility of transferring this has been ruled out. The Deputy Commissioner, Mr Bharat Khera, at a meeting held with the Chief Secretary a few days ago not only communicated the inability of the revenue authorities to transfer the land but also informed that no other space was available for the township in the area.

The Chief Secretary is said to have conveyed the information to the housing board.

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Chandigarh man held for murder
Our Correspondent

Solan, August 19
Following the arrest of a building contractor based at Kandaghat, the police today claimed to have solved the case of alleged murder of a young girl, whose partially burnt body was recovered from the forests of Kasooli village near Chail, about 40 km from here, on May 25.

The arrested has been identified as Gurmail Singh, of Chandigarh, who had started taking building contracts in the Kandaghat-Chail belt about three years ago.

The victim could not be identified as her face and neck had been burnt in an apparent attempt to conceal her identity. However, the police managed to get a lead from certain documents, including the business letter head of the arrested person, to trace the culprit. These documents were found at the spot from where the body was recovered.

The SP, Mr S.R. Sharma, said he would release full details of the case after securing the remand of Gurmail Singh in police custody for which “the relevant application had been made in the court of the local Chief Judicial Magistrate.”

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Ultras not involved in cop’s death
Our Correspondents

Chamba, August 19
The Superintendent of Police, Chamba, Mr Ajay Yadav, today stated that there was no terrorist involvement in the death of constable Mohinder Raj at Riwadoo Goth in the Bhujhladhar ranges along the border with Doda district of Jammu and Kashmir on August 8.

Talking to mediapersons here, he said special police officer Dhiyan Singh, who was accompanying the constable, had been arrested and had confessed that it was a case of accidental death because of him. The police had registered a case of accidental death on the basis of preliminary investigations.

Dharamsala: Constable Mohinder Raj cremated with full state honours here on Tuesday. Earlier, his mortal remains were sent to Dr R.P.G. Medical College here, where the postmortem examination was conducted.

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Manimahesh pilgrims stranded

Chamba, August 19
Devotees from different parts of the country heading for pilgrimage to Himachal Pradesh’s Manimahesh were stranded today following landslides triggered by heavy rains on the Hadsar-Pathankot highway.

The famous pilgrimage in Chamba district, which started today on Krishna Jayanti, will conclude on September 3.

The Hadsan-Pathankot highway is the lifeline of the mountainous region of Chamba and the only link connecting the Manimahesh pilgrimage centre nestled in the ranges of mighty northwestern Himalayas with the outer world. — PTI

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Nine student activists held
Our Correspondent

Mandi, August 19
Nine members of the warring Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad and Students Federation of India have been arrested as a preventive measure in the wake of frequent clashes in and outside Postgraduate Vallabh Mahavidyalaya here. An activist of the BJP Yuva Morcha was also arrested and later released.

The Superintendent of Police, Mr S.P. Singh, told newsmen this evening that no breach of law would be tolerated and students should not risk their careers.

A case had already been registered against some students under Sections 147, 148, 149 and 323 of the IPC.

Though these students were later released on bail, the police has advised the Principal to prevent outsiders fomenting trouble from entering the colleges. The current turmoil in the college is being attributed to the impending elections of student unions.

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Poor response to home science course
Our Correspondent

Palampur, August 19
The College of Home Sciences in Himachal Pradesh Agriculture University here has failed to attract candidates for admission this year too. There are 25 seats in this colleges, and despite the admission having already been closed, only 10 have been taken, so far. There are no applicants for the remaining seats.

Sources in the university said: “Last year, 27 seats were vacant in the college. Though the HPAU has given several relaxations in the admission rules this year, this too has failed to attract candidates. Earlier, only women were eligible for admission in the college, but this year, the HPAU had allowed even boys to join this institution. Besides, the cut-off percentage of marks for admission has also been reduced from 60 to 50 in class XII examinations this year.

Dr Manoranjan Kalia, Dean of the college, said a major reason for the decline in numbers was lack of employment opportunities for home science graduates in the state. Besides, the four-year graduate-degree programme seems too long, which has also discouraged students.

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Teachers’ union flays HP govt
Our Correspondent

Hamirpur, August 19
The district unit of the Himachal Pradesh Government Teachers Union has blasted the state government for suspending five teachers on the charges of taking part in the elections.

In a statement here today, the union described these charges as baseless and demanded action against those who had actively taken part in the election activities and who were now working under the patronage of the Congress government.

The union demanded an immediate revocation of the suspension orders to create an atmosphere of goodwill and mutual understanding between the government and the teachers.

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HP Govt forms crisis groups
Tribune News Service

Shimla, August 19
The state government today constituted crisis groups at the district and subdivisional levels. The Deputy Commissioner concerned will be the Chairman of the district crisis group and the General Manager, District industries Centre, will be the member secretary.

The subdivisional crisis group will be headed by the Subdivisional Magistrate and have the local Labour Inspector as the member secretary.

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Heavy rain hits traffic
Our Correspondent

Hamirpur, August 19
Life in almost all parts of Hamirpur district was paralysed today due to heavy rain since last evening. The temperature fell sharply and compelled everyone to remain indoors.

Today being a holiday in government offices and educational institutions, the rain failed to affect government employees and students much. Reports from the interior say that rivulets there are in spate and it is difficult to cross khuds and nullahs. Traffic on various roads was hit as falling boulders blocked the routes. Locals had a hard time removing the debris as employees of the Public Works Department were enjoying the holiday.

However, farmers are happy as the rain will be good for the kharif crop.

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Allowance for kanungos hiked
Tribune News Service

Shimla, August 19
The Himachal Pradesh Government has enhanced the fixed travelling allowance for kanungos working in the Revenue and Forest Departments from the existing Rs 150 to Rs 200 per month. A notification to this effect was issued here today.

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16,500 bottles of liquor seized
Our Correspondent

Mandi, August 19
The police has seized 16,500 bottles of liquor and beer from a house at Bijni, near here.

A case under Section 61 of the Excise Act has been registered. The owner of the house has been booked under Section 179 of the IPC 

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24 injured in bus collision

Una, August 19
Twentyfour persons were injured when a private bus collided with an HRTC bus at Jawar village near Amb, 40 km from here, today.

The driver of the bus has been referred to the PGI, Chandigarh, and the other injured have been discharged after first-aid.

The HRTC bus was on its way from Palampur to Delhi. — UNI


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