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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

BJP charge baseless, says minister
Palampur, July 23
Mr G.S. Bali, Transport Minister and Congress leader from Kangra district, denied the charges of BJP leaders and former ministers Romesh Dhwala and Krishan Kapoor that development activities in the district had come to a standstill after the Congress came to power.

Denial will only worsen AIDS epidemic: NACO
Shimla, July 23
The National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) has stressed on the need for overcoming denial of the AIDS epidemic, for which it was essential to target the core group of transmission.

Plan suffers as HP withholds NTPC money
Sundernagar, July 23
Though the Catchment Area Treatment Plan of the 800 MW Kol Dam was approved on December 12, 2003, by the Ministry of Environment and Forests, it has not been implemented as the Himachal Government is not releasing Rs 32.23 crore deposited by the National Thermal Power Corporation (the executing agency of Kol Dam) with it in March, 2004.

Specialised medical aid for ex-servicemen soon
Mandi, July 23
Himachal’s ex-servicemen, including Mandi’s over 19,000 ex-servicemen will soon get the specialised medical services and treatment under the Ministry of Defense-run Ex-servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS).



YOUR TOWN
Mandi
Shimla


EARLIER STORIES

 

HC contempt notice to Chandresh Kumari
Shimla, July 23
A Division Bench of the Himachal High Court consisting of Chief Justice V.K. Gupta and Justice Arun Goel yesterday issued contempt notice to former Himachal Health Minister Chandresh Kumari for not complying with court’s directions to set up the state Dental Council by December 3, 2003, and directed her to appear in the court on August 19.

PWD cement stolen; 2 arrested
Palampur, July 23
In two different raids at Sidhpur and Kharot villages today the local police arrested two persons and seized 92 bags of cement allegedly stolen from the stores of HP Public Works Department. The 92 bags had marking for HPPWD supply.Top





 

 

 

BJP charge baseless, says minister
Our Correspondent

Palampur, July 23
Mr G.S. Bali, Transport Minister and Congress leader from Kangra district, denied the charges of BJP leaders and former ministers Romesh Dhwala and Krishan Kapoor that development activities in the district had come to a standstill after the Congress came to power.

Addressing mediapersons at Dadh, 10 km from there this morning, he said the allegations of the BJP leaders were baseless.

He said the Vir Bhadara government had given special attention to Kangra district and over two dozen new development projects valuing Rs 200 crore had been taken up in the district. He claimed that there was no shortage of funds for development works.

Twenty eight new major water supply schemes had been taken up and about a dozen new bridges in different parts of the district were ready which the Chief Minister would inaugurate during his visit to the district next month, he said.

Criticising the BJP leaders, he said Kangra district had paid a heavy price because of the differences between Mr Shanta Kumar and Mr Prem Kumar Dhumal.

He said because of the attitude of Mr Krishan Kapoor and Mr Romesh Dhwala with the then Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal, many projects were diverted to other districts and their dissidence caused a net loss of Rs 500 crore to the district.
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Denial will only worsen AIDS epidemic: NACO
Tribune News service

Shimla, July 23
The National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) has stressed on the need for overcoming denial of the AIDS epidemic, for which it was essential to target the core group of transmission.

The Joint Director (Technical) NACO, Dr Muhammad Shaukat, today said that though a majority of the northern states were in the low prevalence group, but there was need to target groups like commercial sex workers, intra-venous drug users and other high-risk groups to keep the infection rate low. Special target intervention projects had been started by NGOs for more vulnerable groups.

“Unfortunately some of the states like Haryana have been adopting an attitude of denial as they feel that AIDS was not much of a problem,” he said.

Dr Shaukat is here to attend a conference of AIDS Control Societies of 10 states of the north.

Certain international agencies, too, had pointed out that there was gross under-reporting of AIDS and HIV positive cases in the rural areas of North India. The problem mainly arises due to the fact that because of the social stigma attached with the disease, people do not come forward and as such cases remain unreported.

Dr Shaukat, interacted with officials from all 10 states to review the methodology and procedure being adopted during the ongoing sentinel survey across the country. The survey is undertaken every year from July to September.

“It is in mid-October that we will analyse the results of the survey on the basis of which we shall formulate a policy or introduce modifications. During the survey, the state core group comprising senior officials from the State AIDS Control Societies will visit the field thrice to ensure quality assurance,” he added.
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Plan suffers as HP withholds NTPC money
Mahesh Chander Sharma

Sundernagar, July 23
Though the Catchment Area Treatment Plan of the 800 MW Kol Dam was approved on December 12, 2003, by the Ministry of Environment and Forests, it has not been implemented as the Himachal Government is not releasing Rs 32.23 crore deposited by the National Thermal Power Corporation (the executing agency of Kol Dam) with it in March, 2004.

Besides, an amount of Rs 7.69 crore for compensatory afforestation was deposited by the NTPC with the government for 2,000 hectares. Interestingly, the first instalment of Rs 2.40 crore was deposited with the government in June, 2003, but so far the government has not released any amount for the purpose. As a result, plantation work in six forest divisions in three districts could not be started this rainy season. According to officials of the Forest Department, the work was scheduled to be completed by the end of this month. The Union Ministry of Environment and Forests had approved the CAT Plan for 1,22,000 hectares at a cost of Rs 65.23 crore. Of this amount, the NTPC had deposited Rs 32.23 crore with the government. The period of this plan is for six years. The period of the compensatory afforestation plan is for five years.

According to the Kol Dam authorities, the remaining amount of the CAT Plan will be deposited with the Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority, created on the order of the Supreme Court, once it starts functioning.

The Assistant Inspector-General of Forests, Union Ministry of Environment and Forests, had written to the Chief Secretary of Himachal on June 11 to release Rs 32.23 crore immediately and place it at the disposal of the divisional forest officers concerned.
Top

 

Specialised medical aid for ex-servicemen soon
Kuldeep Chauhan
Tribune News Service

Mandi, July 23
Himachal’s ex-servicemen, including Mandi’s over 19,000 ex-servicemen will soon get the specialised medical services and treatment under the Ministry of Defense-run Ex-servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS). The Northern Command, Udhampur has already started the process of short-listing the private hospitals in the region for their empanelment.

The Chief of the Staff, Northern Command, Lieut-Gen KK Khana airdashed here this morning, inspected the site for the building for the polyclinic in the town and also discussed the issue with the in charge of the ECHS’s polyclinic, Mandi, Brig (retd.) Upender Kumar.

After this, General Khana flew to Army’s Pandoh transit camp, and inspected the camp, before he came back to Udhampur.

After a discussion with Gen. Khana, Brig. Kumar (retd) said that the policlinic had already been started here in April this year. This clinic catered to the ex-servicemen from Mandi, Kullu, Lahaul and Spiti districts. “We have three to four sites in mind and authorities will take the final decision soon to construct a proper building for the polyclinic in the town”.

The Army sources said that other polyclinics under the ECHS included Kangra and Chamba, the areas which fall under the jurisdiction of the Northern Command. “Similar policlinics have been started at Shimla, Solan, Hamirpur and Bilaspur, the areas which fall under the jurisdiction of the western command, Chandi Mandir, catering to the ex-servicemen of that region”.

Though the Station Commander-led team of Army experts had already visited the sites to shortlist the private hospitals and diagnostic centers in the state to enroll them for ECHS services, but the final decision would be taken by the Army authorities, disclosed sources.

In Mandi, three private hospitals and labs had been inspected by a team of experts and final nod would be given by the top authorities, after examining their infrastructure and services, said Brigadier Kumar. “Ex-servicemen, widows and those who are drawing the disability family pension and their dependents are eligible for the ECHS. The policlinics have two doctors, a dental surgeon and nursing staff and facility for the minor operation”.

The patients, who did not get the required facilities at the polyclinics would be referred to listed private hospitals here. “Even if they do not get the services here then they will be referred to the policlinic in Chandigarh, which in turn will refer them to various specialist hospitals, both the private and government, which are on the ECHS’s panel”, added Brigadier Kumar.
Top

 

HC contempt notice to Chandresh Kumari

Shimla, July 23
A Division Bench of the Himachal High Court consisting of Chief Justice V.K. Gupta and Justice Arun Goel yesterday issued contempt notice to former Himachal Health Minister Chandresh Kumari for not complying with court’s directions to set up the state Dental Council by December 3, 2003, and directed her to appear in the court on August 19.

The court earlier had asked the Health Secretary to file an affidavit explaining the delay in the constitution of the council.

The Health Secretary in his supplementary affidavit said that he had sent the file to then Health Minister Chandresh Kumari on December 1, 2003, who sent it to the Chief Minister on February 26, 2004. 
Top

 

PWD cement stolen; 2 arrested
Our Correspondent

Palampur, July 23
In two different raids at Sidhpur and Kharot villages today the local police arrested two persons and seized 92 bags of cement allegedly stolen from the stores of HP Public Works Department. The 92 bags had marking for HPPWD supply.

Talking to mediapersons here today Mr Sanjiv Gandhi DSP, who supervised this operation, said that police had received reports that cement, meant for government works, was being sold in the open market by some contractors with the help of some PWD officials.

Soon after this information the police raided the house of Ashok Kumar, a beldar in HP PWD at Palampur, and recovered 36 bags, which he had purchased from a local contractor. During investigations Ashok Kumar told the police that he had purchased a total of 50 bags for Rs 5,500.

Out of the 50 bags he had already used 14 bags in the construction of his house while 36 bags were lying in his house. The police also recovered empty gunny bags with marking for government supply from the house of Ashok Kumar.

Mr Gandhi said in another case police raided the house of Rodha Ram Chaudhry of Kharot village and recovered 42 bags, which were also meant for PWD supply only.

Mr Rodha Ram admitted that he had also purchased this cement from a PWD contractor.

The DSP said so far he had neither disclosed the name of contractor nor PWD officials who made him available this government supply cement. He said investigation was in progress. Mr Gandhi said some senior officers of the HP PWD were also likely to come in the net of the police.
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