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THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
H I M A C H A L   P R A D E S H

Virbhadra for more incentives to industry
Shimla, July 13
Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, has urged the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, to treat Himachal Pradesh at par with the North-Eastern states and Jammu and Kashmir in the matter of granting incentives to the industry.

Acid attack: students block traffic
Shimla, July 13
College students and residents of the New Shimla area held demonstration and blocked traffic, a police party today left for Muktsar in Punjab to arrest a youth who allegedly threw acid on a college girl in the New Shimla area. She received 50 per cent burns.

College students raise slogans during a demonstration   CM announces reward for information


College students raise slogans during a demonstration held in Shimla on Tuesday. — PTI photo

IIAS not to be shifted
Shimla, July 13
The Indian Institute of Advanced Study housed in the Viceregal Lodge complex, here, has been allowed to remain in the present premises by the Supreme Court. The institute by an earlier order was asked to move out of the Heritage Complex so that it could be handed over to the Archaeological Survey of India for maintenance.


 


YOUR TOWN
Chamba
Dharamsala
Mandi
Shimla


EARLIER STORIES

 

20-hr breakdown in Net services
Mandi, July 13
Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), the sole Internet service provider in the region, threw services out of gear in Kulu, Mandi and Bilaspur last evening. This hit business and services for more than 20 hours.

Workshop begins on charter of Tibetans in exile
Dharamsala, July 13
An awareness drive on the Charter of the Government-in-exile was started for the commissioned staff of the Central Tibetan Administration, today. The Tibetan Parliament has decided to introduce a test-based on the charter before promoting a staffer.

First high school for deaf, dumb and blind
Shimla, July 13
The middle school for the deaf, dumb and blind at Dhalli, being run by the Himachal Pradesh Council for Child Development, will be upgraded to a high school.

HP to launch snow leopard project
Shimla, July 13
Encouraged by the marginal increase in the number of snow leopards in Himachal, one of the biggest habitat of the endangered species, the Wildlife Department is in the process of launching a project for developing a conservation strategy to increase their population.

Women unaware of rights: Judge
Sundernagar/Karsog, July 13
A legal literacy camp for women was organised by the Department of Social Justice and Empowerment at Karsog, Mandi district about 100 km from here on Sunday. At least 250 women took part in this one day camp.

‘Budget based on political considerations’
Shimla, July 13
Former Union minister and MP Sumitra Mahajan today said it was unfortunate that the Budget presented by the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government was based on political considerations and not on economic needs of the country.

Father, sons held on murder charge
Dharamsala, July 13
The Hamirpur police today arrested Mohan Lal and his sons for allegedly beating to death his nephew, Prakash Chand. According to the police, Rita Devi, wife of the victim, has alleged that the problem started when her husband cut the hedge of land where he wanted to construct his house on July 10.

Sculptures stolen from temple
Kumarhatti, July 13
Two rare stone-carved sculptures were stolen from Prachin Shiva Temple, Jabli, 14 km from here, last night. The theft was noticed in the morning by local devotees.

Chowkidars threaten agitation
Chamba, July 13
The Himachal Pradesh Panchayat Chowkidars Union has threatened to resort to agitation if their pay scales are not increased soon taking into their workload.
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Virbhadra for more incentives to industry
Tribune News Service

Shimla, July 13
Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, has urged the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, to treat Himachal Pradesh at par with the North-Eastern states and Jammu and Kashmir in the matter of granting incentives to the industry.

In a letter to the Prime Minister, he said the exemption in excise duty to industrial units in the state should be granted for 10 years on the pattern of the North-Eastern states.

He said the capital subsidy scheme announced by the Ministry of Commerce on January 8, 2003, was available for a period of 10 years and as such there was no justification for limiting the excise duty exemption till March, 2007, as announced by the Union Finance Minister, Mr P. Chidambaram, in his Budget speech.

He said the specific mention in the Budget that exemption enjoyed by states other than the North-Eastern states and Jammu and Kashmir would be available to industrial units set up on or before March 31, 2007, had disappointed people.

Fixing such a deadline would create panic among investors, as the period was too short for a backward state like Himachal Pradesh to take advantage of the package of incentives.

In fact, the industrial scene had just started looking up after the Centre announced the excise duty and income tax exemptions.

Since area specific exemption in excise duty had been allowed to continue for the North-Eastern states without any time frame, it would only be fair that states like Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim and Uttranchal, which also face similar handicaps due to geographical constraints, were treated at par.
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Acid attack: students block traffic
Tribune News Service

Shimla, July 13
College students and residents of the New Shimla area held demonstration and blocked traffic, a police party today left for Muktsar in Punjab to arrest a youth who allegedly threw acid on a college girl in the New Shimla area. She received 50 per cent burns.

Police sources said an incident of acid throwing took place with the victim in Chandigarh in April, this year also. Then she had saved herself by ducking. The police suspects the same youth to be behind yesterday’s attack.

The victim had stayed in Chandigarh as a paying guest for coaching for medical entrance test from a tutorial centre. “The girl has confirmed that the said boy had proposed to her. When she spurned the proposal he threatened to follow her to Shimla,” said Mr J.R. Thakur, SP.

He said the acid attack on the girl had been reported to the Chandigarh Police. The police here had got the address of the suspect, who hailed from Punjab. A party has left for Punjab to ascertain if the same boy was behind yesterday’s incident,” said Mr Thakur. He added that the police was also trying to find out the possible involvement of locals.

After getting information from the victim’s friend the police confirmed about the Chandigarh incident from the girl, to the Indira Gandhi Medical College, here.

Residents of the New Shimla, Vikasnagar and Bishop Cotton School areas blocked traffic on the bypass for three hours in the morning to protest against the incident and police failure to nab the culprits. The road blockade was lifted when the Deputy Commissioner and the Superintendent of Police assured people that the culprit would be arrested.

Students of the Rajkiya Kanya Mahavidyalaya, also marched from their college in Lakkar Bazar to the Deputy Commissioner’s office, demanding protection for the girls. They also aubmitted a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner.
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CM announces reward for information
Tribune News Service

Shimla, July 13
Mr Virbhadra Singh, Chief Minister, today announced a reward of Rs 10,000 for the person who could provide a definite clue to the identity of the two boys who threw acid on the face of a college girl here yesterday.

The Chief Minister visited the victim, Ishita, at Indira Gandhi Medical College Hospital and inquired about her well-being. He said the government would come down on such anti-social elements and ensure that they were brought to book.

He said the police was already on the job and the people could supplement its effort by providing information which could help establish the identity of the culprits.

He directed the hospital authorities to provide best possible medical care to the girl.
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IIAS not to be shifted
Tribune News Service

Shimla, July 13
The Indian Institute of Advanced Study housed in the Viceregal Lodge complex, here, has been allowed to remain in the present premises by the Supreme Court. The institute by an earlier order was asked to move out of the Heritage Complex so that it could be handed over to the Archaeological Survey of India for maintenance. The court had set deadline of December 2003 for the shifting of the institute and asked the Union Ministry of Human Recourse Development and the Ministry of Culture to vacate the complex over the next five years.

The order was passed by the court on a public interest litigation filed in 1990 by Mr Rajiv Mankotia, contesting government to shift the institute and establish a five-star hotel there. The institute became a silent victim in the legal battle.

It got an opportunity to plead its case when the court sought a clarification after deadline for shifting the institute had expired. It was pointed out that the petitioner had not prayed for the shifting of the institute.

His concern was that the historic complex should not be converted into a hotel.

It was also pleaded that the institute be allowed to function from the premises gifted for the purpose by philosopher President, Dr S. Radhakrishnan.

Academics had launched a campaign to make the government reverse its decision to shift the institute from the Viceregal Lodge.

It was in a state of suspended animation since the order to shift it out was passed by the apex court.
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20-hr breakdown in Net services
Tribune News Service

Mandi, July 13
Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), the sole Internet service provider in the region, threw services out of gear in Kulu, Mandi and Bilaspur last evening. This hit business and services for more than 20 hours.

The BSNL restored connectivity around 3 pm today in most places. The users complained of frequent snags, disconnections and breakdowns throughout the day.

Medical representatives, media users and daily surfers in Mandi and Kulu districts failed to get Internet services from last evening till late this afternoon. “The Internet was down since last evening,” rued Mr Manmohan Singh of Kulu.

Cyber café owners called up the BSNL office several times, but there was none to listen to their problem.

“The BSNL has two servers and we are trying for ISDN lines, but the BSNL has been postponing the ISDN facility in town,” said cyber cafe owners.

The General Manger of BSNL Mr Pradeep Kumar, who was out of station yesterday, today dismissed the complaint. He said it was not brought to his notice so far. “I will look into it”, he added.

Cyber café owners in the Indira Market complex complained that the BSNL dismissed the complaints without caring for the customers. “You try their number, but nobody answers,” they said.

Three days ago, a cable breach between Bilaspur and Darlaghat on the Shimla-Bilaspur highway threw Internet services in the region out of gear.

The BSNL had rerouted the Internet traffic through the Neri route, but the problem continued, rued the town’s surfers.
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Workshop begins on charter of Tibetans in exile
Tribune News Service

Dharamsala, July 13
An awareness drive on the Charter of the Government-in-exile was started for the commissioned staff of the Central Tibetan Administration, today. The Tibetan Parliament has decided to introduce a test-based on the charter before promoting a staffer.

On the first day of the three-day workshop organised by the Public Service Commission today, 170 staff members of the government-in-exile were informed about general rules and regulations of the affairs of the Tibetan government departments.

Mr Pema Jungney, Chairman of the Assembly of the Tibetan People’s Deputies was the resource person.

Mr Tashi Norbu, secretary, Public Service Commission said that although office of the auditor ensured the observance of rules and regulations given in the Charter but most of the commissioned staff was not very familiar with it. “This affected smooth functioning of the government department and the need to make them aware,” he said.

“Prepared by Tibetan Parliament in 1991, the Charter lays down how the government should function in exile. It also deals with electoral and financial affairs of the administration,” informed Tenzin Lekshey, press co-ordinator.

Similar workshop would be organised in the settlements in Southern India from July 29 onwards,” said Mr Norbu.

“The Charter of the Tibetans-in-exile is the supreme law governing the Central Tibetan Administration and adopted by the Assembly of Tibetan People’s Deputies on June 14, 1991.

Before the Charter was adopted, the Central Tibetan Administration functioned as per the draft democratic constitution for future Tibet,” said another official.
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First high school for deaf, dumb and blind
Tribune News Service

Shimla, July 13
The middle school for the deaf, dumb and blind at Dhalli, being run by the Himachal Pradesh Council for Child Development, will be upgraded to a high school.

The Chief Minister, Mr Virbhadra Singh, who paid a surprise visit to the school today, said that with the construction of a new building this would become the first high school for the deaf, dumb and blind children in the state.

He said the new school building would have eight classrooms, library, staff room and other facilities. He directed the authorities to transfer the land owned by the Red Cross to the school so that work on the construction of the building could be started on priority basis.

The Chief Minister, who interacted with the students studying in the school, assured them that immediate redress of their grievances would be done while providing them all possible academic facilities. He said the government was committed to safeguarding the interest of the physically and mentally challenged persons and efforts would be made to provide them the maximum possible benefits.
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HP to launch snow leopard project
Pratibha Chauhan
Tribune News Service

Shimla, July 13
Encouraged by the marginal increase in the number of snow leopards in Himachal, one of the biggest habitat of the endangered species, the Wildlife Department is in the process of launching a project for developing a conservation strategy to increase their population.

For the implementation of the snow leopard project, the wildlife authorities are already in touch with the Nature Conservation Foundation, Mussorie. Even a marginal increase in the number of snow leopards from 32 to 35, during the latest census this year has encouraged the department to launch the project at the earliest.

The fact that during the latest census undertaken in June, for the first time the mapping of the exact location of the snow leopard has been done, which will help in their conservation and increase in number. The habitat status analysis of the snow leopard will be done to identify the areas where it has been found in larger numbers.

“During the recent census, our staff has recorded 24 snow leopards in Spiti, eight in Lahaul and Pangi and the three new animals have been sighted in the Parbati valley and Great Himalayan National Park in Kulu district,” informed Mr A.K. Gulati, Additional Principal Chief Conservator (Wildlife).

Himachal apart from Jammu and Kashmir, Uttaranchal and Sikkim is one of the few states in the country where the snow leopard is found. In Himachal, it is mostly found in Kaza, Lahaul Spiti, Pangi, Parbati and the Great Himalayan National Park. The project will take care of the proper management of the Himalayan habitat of the snow leopard. “Another important aspect that the project will take care of will strengthen the number of Himalayan Thar and Ibex, which are the natural feed of the snow leopard,” said Mr Gulati.

The wildlife authorities are also keen on getting a project for the conservation of the Himalayan wolf also know as the Tibetan wolf as it is considered the mother of all wolves.

The Nature Conservation Foundation, Mussorie, is keen to develop policy document and action plan that will promote wildlife conservation. Another area which they feel needs immediate attention is better understanding and management of the human and wildlife conflict, which is on the increase due to human interference with their natural habitat.

With regard to the snow leopard, efforts would be made to focus on its conservation and recovery programme as it is one of the endangered species. In this regard it is felt that a programme must be developed for wildlife conservation outside the protected areas and promote ecologically responsible development.
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Women unaware of rights: Judge
Mahesh Chander Sharma

Sundernagar/Karsog, July 13
A legal literacy camp for women was organised by the Department of Social Justice and Empowerment at Karsog, Mandi district about 100 km from here on Sunday. At least 250 women took part in this one day camp.

Mr J.L. Gupta, Sessions Judge, Mandi, chief guest, while addressing the gathering said many legislations were enacted for the betterment for women but these could not be implemented in view of lack of awareness among women.

He spoke on various laws such as maintenance laws, criminal laws, consumer protection Act, free legal aid scheme of the government, motor accident claims and Lok Adalats. He appealed to the women to get their problems solved through local bodies before approaching the court.

Mr Kasmir Chand, Director of Social Justice and Empowerment who presided over this function said the Himachal Government had made a law for the compulsory registration of marriages and in all documents regarding the birth of child, the name of mothers were must. He said schemes of Swan Siddya Yojna and Kishori Shakti Yojna for women was being implemented in Karsog.

Mr Padam Singh Thakur, Judicial Magistrate, Karsog, Mr Gopal Chand, SDM Karsog, Mr P.K. Sharma, Programme Officer, ICDS , Mandi spoke on the rights of women. It being a World Population Day many spoke on the topic of family planning. 
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‘Budget based on political considerations’
Tribune News Service

Shimla, July 13
Former Union minister and MP Sumitra Mahajan today said it was unfortunate that the Budget presented by the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government was based on political considerations and not on economic needs of the country.

Addressing a press conference here, she said the interests of some states and parties had been protected while most states like Himachal Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh had been ignored. “This is an unhealthy trend and against democratic norms,” she lamented.

Ms Mahajan, expressed resentment over the removal of Governors of some states because they believed in a particular ideology while retaining tainted ministers in the Cabinet. She said these were issues which the BJP would take to the masses to create awareness and generate public opinion.

“The fact that the Congress won a few more Lok Sabha seats than the BJP does not mean that they have the national verdict to form the government. The BJP had decided to oppose all such decisions in a peaceful manner as per democratic norms,” she remarked. 
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Father, sons held on murder charge
Tribune News Service

Dharamsala, July 13
The Hamirpur police today arrested Mohan Lal and his sons for allegedly beating to death his nephew, Prakash Chand. According to the police, Rita Devi, wife of the victim, has alleged that the problem started when her husband cut the hedge of land where he wanted to construct his house on July 10.

This irked Mohan Lal and around 10 pm his son, Charanjit, came to their house and started beating up Prakash Chand.

Soon Mohan Land and his another son also came there and threw Prakash Chand from the gallery of his house.

They kept beating him till the vice-president of the gram panchayat, who was passing by, stopped there.

The victim was brought to Government Hospital, Dharamsala, where he died today. The case is being investigated. 
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Sculptures stolen from temple
Our Correspondent

Kumarhatti, July 13
Two rare stone-carved sculptures were stolen from Prachin Shiva Temple, Jabli, 14 km from here, last night. The theft was noticed in the morning by local devotees.

The stolen sculptures of Lord Ganesh and Bhairon were more than 60 years old, said Mr Ganesh Dutt uppardhan of the Jabli panchayat. Interestingly, the sculpture of Durga Ma that was also in temple was not stolen. The gate was not locked as renovation work was underway in the temple.
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Chowkidars threaten agitation
Our Correspondent

Chamba, July 13
The Himachal Pradesh Panchayat Chowkidars Union has threatened to resort to agitation if their pay scales are not increased soon taking into their workload.

In a press release issued here today, Ms Sudesh Thakur, convener of the Centre for Indian Trade Unions (CITU, alleged the government had indifferent attitude towards the other demands of panchayat chowkidars who were working with several duties and responsibilities.

Ms Thakur warned that if the demands of panchayat chowkidars were not accepted by the government, the union would be constrained to follow the path of confrontation.
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