SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

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

BBMB ‘misusing’ HC order
Throwing silt into Suketi khud
Sundernagar, July 12
The BBMB authorities are trying to mislead the HP Forest Department on the dumping of “silt into the Suketi khud” as the board has been using a state High Court order dated 25.5.2004 as a face-saving device, which is not applicable in the matter. The order pertained to “illegal mining and not throwing of silt into the Suketi khud”.

Number of leopards up in HP
Shimla, July 12
The leopard population in Himachal Pradesh has registered an almost 20 per cent increase with their number going up from 650 to 783, according to the latest census undertaken by the Wildlife Department after a gap of almost seven years.

Govt vehicles go off the road
Shimla, July 12
Even some senior bureaucrats had to trek long distances in the pouring rain to reach their offices as the ban on plying of official vehicles on Mondays came into force today.

ABVP burns effigy of district administration
Hamirpur, July 12
ABVP activists burn an effigy of the district administration and college authorities Activists of the ABVP today burnt the effigy of the Hamirpur district administration as well as the college authorities for not accepting their demands. They held a demonstration on the college campus and also raised  slogans.

ABVP activists burn an effigy of the district administration and college authorities on the college campus in Hamirpur on Monday. — Photo by Chander Shekhar Sharma



YOUR TOWN
Hamirpur
Shimla
Solan


EARLIER STORIES

 

Pensioners want demands accepted
Solan, July 12
The Solan District Pensio-ners Association has decided to celebrate its silver jubilee function in December to coincide with All-India Pensioners Day.


Preparations on in full swing for Miss Tibet.
(28k, 56k)

Acid thrown on college girl
Shimla, July 12
A 19-year-old college girl today sustained almost 50 per cent burns when two boys threw acid on her face in broad daylight while she was on her way to college, near Bishop Cotton School, in the New Shimla area.

New born girl found abandoned
Kumarhatti, July 12
A new born girl was found abandoned in a drainage along the Kalka-Shimla national highway near the Prachin Shiva Temple, 2 km from here, today. The girl, who seemed to be hardly a couple days old, was noticed by two locals around 12 noon who after paying obeisance at the temple were going towards Darampur.

Special scholarships for students
Shimla, July 12
In order to encourage students to perform better and provide opportunity to meritorious students who are otherwise unable to continue studies, the state government has launched special scholarship schemes for various sections.

Sky bus metro for Shimla mooted
Shimla, July 12
The Himachal Pradesh Government is exploring the possibility of introducing a sky bus metro service here to ease traffic congestion. The Konkon Railway Corporation has prepared a pre-feasibility report for the project under which a 5-km bi-directional route will be constructed. Starting from the Indian Institute of Advanced Studies it will pass through the Vidhan Sabha-Lakkar Bazar-Tourism office-Oberoi Clark-Bus Stand area. The total cost of the project is over Rs 275 crore.

Dalhousie water scheme by March
Dalhousie, July 12
The Himachal Pradesh Government has set a deadline of March, 2005, to complete the Dalhousie water supply scheme, the work on which is going on a war footing. The water supply scheme is being constructed with an outlay of Rs 10.75 crore.

Former IAS officer dead
Shimla, July 12
A retired IAS officer of the Himachal cadre, Mr S.M. Kanwar, died after a prolonged illness at New Delhi yesterday. Mr Kanwar, a 1962 batch IAS officer, had undergone surgery at a private hospital in Delhi recently. 

Hamirpur discriminated against: BJP
Hamirpur, July 12
The district BJP today charged Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh and the Congress with giving step-motherly treatment to Hamirpur and Kangra districts on the issue of representation in the state Cabinet.

Top










 

BBMB ‘misusing’ HC order
Throwing silt into Suketi khud

Mahesh Chander Sharma

Sundernagar, July 12
The BBMB authorities are trying to mislead the HP Forest Department on the dumping of “silt into the Suketi khud” as the board has been using a state High Court order dated 25.5.2004 as a face-saving device, which is not applicable in the matter. The order pertained to “illegal mining and not throwing of silt into the Suketi khud”.

The BBMB has been throwing silt from the BSL project into the Suketi khud for the past more than two decades in violation of the Forest Conservation Act, 1980. This has destroyed thousands of bighas of agriculture land in the Balh valley, the most fertile valley of Himachal Pradesh, besides aquatic life in the 24-km-long stretch of the khud and the 6 km-long Lohara khud.

After the matter was highlighted by The Tribune (May 25), the Forest Department asked the BBMB authorities not to dump silt into the Suketi khud in violation of the Forest Conservation Act.

Besides having written several letters to the Chief Engineer, BBMB, not to throw silt into the Suketi khud, the Forest Department has also issued instruction to the DFO, Mandi, and the DFO Sundernagar, to get the area demarcated where the silt is being dumped as the khud falls under these two forest divisions.

The Forest Department is seeking legal opinion so as to initiate legal action against the BBMB for violation of the Forest Conservation Act.
Top

 

Number of leopards up in HP
Pratibha Chauhan
Tribune News Service

Shimla, July 12
The leopard population in Himachal Pradesh has registered an almost 20 per cent increase with their number going up from 650 to 783, according to the latest census undertaken by the Wildlife Department after a gap of almost seven years.

The census was undertaken in all 37 territorial units, three wildlife divisions and the two national parks simultaneously on June 16 so that chances of duplication or overlapping could be minimised. Though the figure of 972 leopards was given by the Wildlife Department after the 1997 census figure, the authorities now say that there was a lot of duplication and the actual number is about 650.

The number of snow leopards during the census has registered a marginal increase from 32 to 35, in the Great Himalayan National Park and Pin Valley.

As per the preliminary analysis of the census, the highest concentration of leopards is in Mandi district at 222. “As compared to other parts of the state, the increase in Mandi has been almost 30 per cent as during the last census, their number was much less,” informed Mr A.K. Gulati, Additional Principal Chief Conservator (Wildlife).

Apart from the census figure of 783, there are 24 leopards in various zoos of the department in the state. In Chamba district too, the number of leopards has gone up from 113 in 1997 to 141. Another area that has registered a high increase in leopard population is the Rajgarh-Renuka-Poanta belt in Sirmaur district where their number has risen from 30 to 58. In the Dharamsala forest division, the number of leopards has gone down marginally from 110 to 107.

The number of leopards in the state has gone up from 199 in 1984 to 533 in 1989 and finally to 783 in this year’s census.

Mr Gultai said the figures are not 100 per cent accurate as the field staff have either recorded the animal on direct sighting or indirect evidence as per the information given by villagers and local inhabitants. “Though we have based the figure on a number of indicators like sighting by villagers, pugmarks or scratch marks on tree trunks left by leopards, the chances of duplication cannot be ruled out completely,” explained Mr Gulati.

Wildlife officials who are scanning the data received from all over the state are trying to work out the gender ratio to see if it has changed, changes in migratory trends and the concentration of the animal. 
Top

 

Govt vehicles go off the road
Tribune News Service

Shimla, July 12
Even some senior bureaucrats had to trek long distances in the pouring rain to reach their offices as the ban on plying of official vehicles on Mondays came into force today.

The ban was observed in toto and no violations were observed. While a number of officers chose to walk, some others went to their offices in private vehicles.

With the government vehicles off the road for the day, officers were forced to make alternative arrangements for sending their children to school. As a result, long queues of government vehicles, seen daily in the front of various public school, were missing today.

While officers were put to inconvenience by the decision, drivers, who had a day off, were happy. Most officers go on a tour at the weekend and we seldom get rest even on Sundays or for that matter any gazetted holiday,” a driver said. If the government really wanted to check their misuse, official vehicles should be banned on all holidays, he suggested.

Emergency services like fire brigade, police patrols and ambulance were exempted from the ban. In the case of an exigency, permission of the Chief Secretary will have to be obtained.

Dharamsala: As part of cost-cutting drive to keep government vehicles off the road every Monday, the district administration, Kangra, abstained from using state vehicles. Confirming this, Deputy Commissioner Shrikant Baldi said that although they had been given the discretion of using vehicles in emergency situation, no such need was felt today.
Top

 

ABVP burns effigy of district administration
Our Correspondent

Hamirpur, July 12
Activists of the ABVP today burnt the effigy of the Hamirpur district administration as well as the college authorities for not accepting their demands. They held a demonstration on the college campus and also raised anti-government and anti-administration slogans.

Students leader Vikas Chagotra claimed that the agitation was a success and would continue till their demands were accepted.

He alleged that the state government had failed to construct a library block on the campus and nothing had been done for the starting of BPEd classes in the college.

Meanwhile, activists of the NSUI continued their 24-hour relay fast for the fourth day today in support of the various demands of the organisation. NSUI activists urged the college authorities to accept their demands, failing which the agitation would be intensified.
Top

 

Pensioners want demands accepted
Tribune News Service

Solan, July 12
The Solan District Pensio-ners Association has decided to celebrate its silver jubilee function in December to coincide with All-India Pensioners Day.

Resentment prevails among the pensioners against the delay by the Himachal Government in accepting their demands on the Punjab pattern in spite of repeated requests. The demands include grant of fixed medical allowance at Rs 250 per month, old-age allowance and leave travelling allowance, merger of 50 per cent dearness relief in the basic pension, release of additional instalment of dearness relief, payment of dearness relief arrears for nine months from July 1, 2003, and nomination of pensioners’ representatives on grievances committee at the state, district, subdivisional and tehsil levels.

The Solan pensioners have decided to help popularise the ban on polythene bags.
Top

 

Acid thrown on college girl
Tribune News Service

Shimla, July 12
A 19-year-old college girl today sustained almost 50 per cent burns when two boys threw acid on her face in broad daylight while she was on her way to college, near Bishop Cotton School, in the New Shimla area.

The girl who has been admitted to Indira Gandhi Medical College, is a B.Sc (I) student at Rajkiya Kanya Mahavidyalaya in Long Wood. She is staying with her family in the New Shimla area. The girl’s family refused to say anything about the incident while stating that they did not know who the culprits were.

According to doctors attending on her, she has suffered 50 per cent burns with the maximum damage to the face. They said had it not been for the pullover and dupatta that the girl was wearing she could have sustained more injuries.

According to the Additional Superintendent of Police (City), Kanwar Virender Singh, the girl could not provide any information about the identity of the boys or the number of the scooter on which they came. “On the basis of information provided by her family members we should be able to nab the culprits within a short time,” he informed.

The police has registered a case under Section 326 of the IPC and has launched a hunt for the culprits who, too, are suspected to be college students. The police said cops in plain clothes had been deputed around most of the girls colleges like St Bede’s, Government College for Girls and even schools.

With incidents of acid-throwing still unheard of in a peaceful state like Himachal Pradesh, today’s incident has raised questions about the deteriorating law and order situation in the capital town. Moreover, the incident took place at about 9 a.m when all the roads and bus stops are crowded with office-goers and students. Though there have been frequent cases of eve-teasing, especially in and around educational institutions, a crime as serious as acid-throwing has never taken place in recent years.

Police sources said the victim was learnt to have told her sister that she would not go to college alone and somebody should accompany her. The police suspects that the culprits could be some boys who were known to the victim since her school days.
Top

 

New born girl found abandoned
Our Correspondent

Kumarhatti, July 12
A new born girl was found abandoned in a drainage along the Kalka-Shimla national highway near the Prachin Shiva Temple, 2 km from here, today. The girl, who seemed to be hardly a couple days old, was noticed by two locals around 12 noon who after paying obeisance at the temple were going towards Darampur.

The girl appeared to be dumped in the morning at the spot in the thick pine forest.

The police took the girl to the Community Health Centre, Dharampur. After first-aid the girl was referred to Zonal Hospital, Solan. The condition of the child was stated to be normal. A case has been registered.
Top

 

Special scholarships for students
Tribune News Service

Shimla, July 12
In order to encourage students to perform better and provide opportunity to meritorious students who are otherwise unable to continue studies, the state government has launched special scholarship schemes for various sections.

Giving utmost priority to the education sector, the government is spending close to Rs 330 crore annually on primary education and over Rs 600 crore on secondary and higher education. “Special merit scholarship schemes are being provided to students from the Scheduled Castes, the Scheduled Tribes, the backward classes and IRDP families,” an official spokesperson said here yesterday.

Under the Maharishi Balmiki Chhatrvriti Yojna, bona fide girl students belonging to the Balmiki families, engaged in unclean occupation, are being given Rs 9,000 per annum to complete college and professional courses after matriculation. Other scholarships are also being provided to students belonging to the IRDP families and studying in government-aided schools in the state beyond class six.

Under the Dr Ambedkar Medhavi Chhatrvriti Yojna, 1,000 students each from the Scheduled Castes and the OBC category are given scholarships in plus one and two. Students who secure more than 72 per cent marks and above in 10th or plus one are given a scholarship of Rs 10,000 per annum under this scheme.

Under the Thakur Sen Negi Utkrisht Chhatravriti Yojna, 200 tribal students who secure more than 72 per cent marks in tenth and eleventh are given Rs 11,000 as annual scholarship.

“By providing all these scholarships to needy students from various sections, our endeavour is to encourage students and ensure that none of these meritorious students are deprived of continuing their studies,” he said. 
Top

 

Sky bus metro for Shimla mooted
Tribune News Service

Shimla, July 12
The Himachal Pradesh Government is exploring the possibility of introducing a sky bus metro service here to ease traffic congestion. The Konkon Railway Corporation has prepared a pre-feasibility report for the project under which a 5-km bi-directional route will be constructed. Starting from the Indian Institute of Advanced Studies it will pass through the Vidhan Sabha-Lakkar Bazar-Tourism office-Oberoi Clark-Bus Stand area. The total cost of the project is over Rs 275 crore.

Mr A.K. Bhardwaj, Chief Electrical Engineer of the corporation, who was here to discuss the issue with Mr Virbhadra Singh, Chief Minister, said the project was based on the sky wheel technology and very little land is required for it. The sky bus coaches would have a capacity of 50 seats but for a short journey lasting five to seven minutes, it could carry double the number standing. It was an environment friendly proposal, which could help slve the prbolem of traffic congestion in the busy hill resort.

Mr Virbhadra Singh said all aspects relating to the increasing traffice congestion and ever-growing number of visitors would have to be taken into consideration before making any such proposal for the town. If the sky bus metro facility proves to be a viable mode of mass transportation, it could be implemented in other towns too. 
Top

 

Dalhousie water scheme by March
Our Correspondent

Dalhousie, July 12
The Himachal Pradesh Government has set a deadline of March, 2005, to complete the Dalhousie water supply scheme, the work on which is going on a war footing. The water supply scheme is being constructed with an outlay of Rs 10.75 crore.

Giving this information here yesterday, Mr Kaul Singh Thakur, Irrigation and Public Health Minister, said with the commissioning of this scheme, the hill resort would have plenty of water round-the-year to meet the needs of residents and tourists.

The minister alleged that the paucity of funds during the regime of previous BJP-led government had hampered the progress on the scheme, which was undertaken by during the Congress rule in 1995. The scheme envisages lifting of water, 1.5 km vertically, from Sherpur about 11 km away from the Dalhousie town.

Attributing the inordinate delay to the BJP regime, the minister claimed that the Congress government had spent Rs 5.25 crore on the scheme last year and a sum of Rs 2.50 crore was required for its completion.

The minister said the rising main of the scheme had been laid and pumping machinery arranged. Funds had also been deposited with the Himachal Pradesh State Electricity Board for the supply of power.

It may be recalled that the water supply scheme for Dalhousie was constructed in 1875, about 129 years ago. All five available sources around Dalhousie stand tapped, the cumulative discharge of which have drastically reduced to 74 per cent. At present against the present water requirements of 30 lakh litres per day, only 4.5 lakh litres are available from the sources.
Top

 

Former IAS officer dead
Tribune News Service

Shimla, July 12
A retired IAS officer of the Himachal cadre, Mr S.M. Kanwar, died after a prolonged illness at New Delhi yesterday. Mr Kanwar, a 1962 batch IAS officer, had undergone surgery at a private hospital in Delhi recently. 

He served in various capacities as Finance Secretary, Agriculture Production Commissioner, Member of the State Administrative Tribunal and the Managing Director of TRIFED at Delhi.

The Chief Minister, Mr Virbhadra Singh, while condoling the death of Mr Kanwar, said he was an able administrator who made valuable contribution while in service.

The IAS Officers Association also met under the chairmanship of the Chief Secretary, Kanwar Shamsher Singh, and observed a two-minute silence in memory of the departed soul.
Top

 

Hamirpur discriminated against: BJP

Hamirpur, July 12
The district BJP today charged Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh and the Congress with giving step-motherly treatment to Hamirpur and Kangra districts on the issue of representation in the state Cabinet.

Mr Pyare Lal Sharma, Mr Vinod Thakur, President and General Secretary, respectively, of the district BJP, and Mr Rasil Singh Mankotia and Mr Rajendra Rana, Secretary and joint media in charge of the state BJP, respectively, in a joint statement alleged today that the way ministers were dropped from Kangra and no representation was given to Hamirpur proved that the Congress was against these areas.

They criticised the three Cabinet Ministers for saying that nothing wrong had been done while dropping their colleagues from the ministry. — OC
Top

HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |