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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

Construct helipads to promote tourism: CM
Shimla, July 29
The Chief Minister, Mr Virbhadra Singh, has stressed the need for expanding the existing airstrips and constructing helipads at places of tourist interest all over the state to attract the high spending tourists to Himachal Pradesh.

Truck drivers’ families panic after execution of Pak hostages
Una, July 29
Residents of upper Dehlan and Dharampur Kangar villages in Una district are praying for the safe return of Antaryami and Tilak Raj, two of the three Indian drivers abducted last week, after the execution of two Pakistani hostages.

Heavy rain in Himachal areas
Shimla, July 29
Several areas in Himachal Pradesh have been receiving intermittent heavy rain since last evening triggering landslides and disrupting traffic at various places. Palampur, Dharamsala, Jogindernagar received heavy rains, while Shimla was lashed by rains at regular intervals and thick fog engulfed the region.

Electricity consumers for better service
SHIMLA: Electricity consumers in Himachal Pradesh are satisfied with the quality of power. They feel the state electricity board should improve its services. The consumers of Shimla district are the most satisfied, followed by Chamba and Kulu.



YOUR TOWN
Chamba
Kangra
Shimla
Una


EARLIER STORIES

 
Amitabh Bachchan is in Shimla for the shooting of Sanjay Leela Bhansali's "Black".
Amitabh Bachchan is in Shimla for the shooting of Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Black. — Photo by Anil Dayal

Move to evict illegal tenants from temples
Kangra, July 29
In a move to evict those who have illegally occupied temple properties in Kangra district and to restore these to those who had got tenancy of these properties included in the revenue records, the Deputy Commissioner, Kangra, has directed all revenue officers of the district to collect information regarding illegal tenancies and occupations so that records could be set right and the tenancy reverted back in favour of ‘ deities’.

Commercial use of Chowgan challenged in court
Chamba, July 29
Mr Devinder Singh and Mr Jatinder Singh Bakshi, both residents of Chamba town, have filed a suit in the court of Civil Judge against the state of Himachal Pradesh involving the Chief Secretary, the Secretary, Local Government, Shimla, and the Deputy Commissioner and the Municipal Council, Chamba, seeking permanent prohibitory injunction restraining the defendants from putting Chamba Chowgan on commercial use during the Minjar fair and other commercial events.

OBC panel recommendations to be implemented, says CM
Shimla, July 29
The state government will implement the recommendations of the other backward classes commission regarding reservation in government jobs to ensure their uplift.

Rs 5 lakh looted from employee
Palampur, July 29
Mr Ram Chand, an employee of the state Education Department was robbed of Rs 5 lakh, which he had reportedly withdrawn from the local branch of the State Bank of India, here today.

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Construct helipads to promote tourism: CM
Tribune News Service

Shimla, July 29
The Chief Minister, Mr Virbhadra Singh, has stressed the need for expanding the existing airstrips and constructing helipads at places of tourist interest all over the state to attract the high spending tourists to Himachal Pradesh.

Mr Virbhadra Singh today presided over a review meeting of the Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (HPTDC) and HP Tourism and Civil Aviation Department. “Himachal has emerged as a favoured destination for tourists and what we need to do now is to create the necessary infrastructure to facilitate and make comfortable the stay of those coming here,” he stressed.

The Chief Minister said big chain of hotels could be contacted for facilitating the endeavour of the government and for this, accessibility and other facilities were needed to be strengthened to target the upper class tourists. “In order to involve the entire state in tourism-related activities it is essential to construct helipads at places which have tourism potential and, moreover, people are now showing interest in rural places so as to get a glimpse into the local customs, traditions and way of life,” he said.

It was informed that the proposal for expansion of the Kullu-Manali airport had been approved by the Centre and efforts were being made to transfer the funds form the Ministry of Civil Aviation to the state government so that work could be taken up on priority basis. A project report for expansion of other airports was also being prepared

Mr Virbhadra Singh directed the officials to ensure that all safety measures were followed while undertaking adventure tourism and sports like paragliding, heli-skiing, river rafting and mountaineering. “We shall take up the issue of construction of the Naina Devi ropeway with Punjab and the Central Government . He said ropeways and golf courses could be developed at a number of places so that new tourist destinations could be set up.

The Principal Secretary, Tourism, Mr Ashok Thakur, said that Himachal Pradesh had emerged as the ninth most favoured tourist destination in the country. Apart from spending Rs 6 crore on heritage tourism, an International Angling Festival and International Bird Watching Festival were being organised at Pong Dam.
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Truck drivers’ families panic after execution
of Pak hostages

Una, July 29
Residents of upper Dehlan and Dharampur Kangar villages in Una district are praying for the safe return of Antaryami and Tilak Raj, two of the three Indian drivers abducted last week, after the execution of two Pakistani hostages.

While the wife of Tilak Raj, admitted to a hospital at Una, was not aware of the latest developments, her mother who had come from Hoshiarpur to attend to her was apprehensive about the safety of her son-in-law.

Ram Murti, father of Antaryami of upper Dehlan village, who returned from Delhi today, said they could only pray to God as they are helpless and also there has been no fresh information from the External Affairs Ministry during the past three days.

A joint secretary in the ministry had assured the family three days ago that the government was in touch with its Iraqi counterpart and there was not much to worry, but the action against the Pakistani’s has made him nervous and he was very much worried, he added.

Bhago Devi, Kusum and Jitinder Kaur, mother, wife and sister of Antaryami were upset after hearing the news. — PTI
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Heavy rain in Himachal areas

Shimla, July 29
Several areas in Himachal Pradesh have been receiving intermittent heavy rain since last evening triggering landslides and disrupting traffic at various places. Palampur, Dharamsala, Jogindernagar received heavy rains, while Shimla was lashed by rains at regular intervals and thick fog engulfed the region.

Rain caused landslides and uprooted trees in Kangra district, blocking roads in interior areas of Palampur.

The Dharamsala-Negri road remained blocked for several hours due to landslides. Traffic remained disrupted on some link roads due to road blockade caused by uprooted trees.

Meanwhile, a warning has been sounded at several places along the Sutlej following heavy rain along the Indo-Tibetan Border in Lahaul and Spiti and Kinnaur districts.

Kinnaur Deputy Commissioner Maneesh Garg, said there was a rise in the water levels of the Sutlej and the Parshu rivulet, following heavy rain.

He said the information of heavy rain was received by his office from the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) post at Samdhu in Lahaul and Spiti.

Subsequently, a warning was sent to the Rampur subdivisional authorities of Shimla district.

Meanwhile, a report from Una said moderate to heavy showers were reported in the district. The Met office recorded 56 mm rainfall in Una town today.

The capital and its surrounding areas received moderate rainfall during the past 24 hours that led to a fall in the day temperature.

However, the lower regions of the hill state have received little or no rain since yesterday. — PTI, UNI
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Landslides block highways
Our Correspondent

Chamba, July 29
The Chamba-Langera highway, connecting Jammu and Kashmir with Chamba district near Dhargola has been blocked due to landslides following heavy downpour in this alpine region last night.

According to official reports, the Chamba-Hadsar highway, leading to the famous Manimahesh holy place, has also been blocked at different points. The blockade has disrupted the transport services, as a sequal to this passengers have been stranded.
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Electricity consumers for better service
Rakesh Lohumi
Tribune News Service

SHIMLA: Electricity consumers in Himachal Pradesh are satisfied with the quality of power. They feel the state electricity board should improve its services. The consumers of Shimla district are the most satisfied, followed by Chamba and Kulu. The discontented consumers are from Kangra, Mandi and Solan districts. This has been revealed in an A C Nielson Org Marg survey, commissioned by the state electricity regulatory commission.

The consumers feel that faults are attended to promptly and repairs and maintenance is up to the mark. But materials like conductors, meters and transformers of required capacity are not always available. Further, low and unsteady voltage, particularly during the winter, is a major problem in rural areas and some urban pockets too.

The survey report recommends action to cut down delays in meter replacement, a simple procedure for new connection and inadequate payment receiving points.

The consumer satisfaction index( CSI) for services is as low as 0.09 for Mandi and Chamba, followed by 0.11 for Kangra and Solan and 0.20 for Shimla and Kulu. The replacement of a meter can take up to six months. Bills are received in some areas after three months.

The consumers of Mandi feel that the public safety norms are not being enforced in the best possible way. They find administrative procedures wanting. The consumers of Chamba are not happy with the status of correspondence, while those of Kangra don’t find the Board responsive enough to their needs. The consumers of Chamba district say the bills are rarely accurate and seldom delivered in time.
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Move to evict illegal tenants from temples
Our Correspondent

Kangra, July 29
In a move to evict those who have illegally occupied temple properties in Kangra district and to restore these to those who had got tenancy of these properties included in the revenue records, the Deputy Commissioner, Kangra, has directed all revenue officers of the district to collect information regarding illegal tenancies and occupations so that records could be set right and the tenancy reverted back in favour of ‘ deities’.

A letter has been sent to the SDMs, Tehsildars and Naib Tehsildars , in this regard.

The SDM, Kangra Dr Ashwani Kumar, said, the tenancies of the temple land, according to revenue records, have been recorded in favour of the tenants under Section 104 ( 3 ) of the Himachal Pradesh Tenancy and Land Reforms Act 1972. It needs a correction and tenancy reverted back in favour of deities. He said those who had illegally occupied temple land would be evicted.

Mr R. S. Sharma, temple officer, Baiijreshwari Temple, said detailed information about the wrong entries and illegal possessions of temple properties was being collected from all temples under the direction of the Government. It would take at least 15 days to get these details, he added. According to sources there were more than 45 cases of illegal possession of the property of Baiijreshwari temple alone. Out of these nearly 20 cases related to tenancy issues.
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Commercial use of Chowgan challenged in court
Our Correspondent

Chamba, July 29
Mr Devinder Singh and Mr Jatinder Singh Bakshi, both residents of Chamba town, have filed a suit in the court of Civil Judge against the state of Himachal Pradesh involving the Chief Secretary, the Secretary, Local Government, Shimla, and the Deputy Commissioner and the Municipal Council, Chamba, seeking permanent prohibitory injunction restraining the defendants from putting Chamba Chowgan on commercial use during the Minjar fair and other commercial events.

The plaintiffs have further sought mandatory injunction directing the defendants to celebrate the Minjar fair for three days that is on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday only as was being done during the times of erstwhile state of Chamba. They sought orders to demolish the temporary structures and stalls raised during the fair and vacate Chowgan, restoring it to its original condition after the three-day celebrations of the fair.

The plaintiffs have also sought rendition of accounts of income earned by renting out Chowgan on exorbitant rates to the tranders forth past 10 years. The traders with a view to deriving the maximum benefit use this historical Chowgan ruthlessly.

Earlier, the plaintiffs had served a legal notice under Section 80, CPC on May 14 asking the defendants to stop the commercial use of Chowgan and render the accounts of income but the defendants ignored the notice.

The plaintiffs in their plaint have mentioned that in order to save the lush green patch of Chowgan, which is the main attraction of one and all, the Government of Himachal Pradesh through a notification had already framed bylaws for the use of Chowgan.

Meanwhile, Mr Harish Chandra Sharma, convener, Chamba Chapter of the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH), and Mr Yog Raj Sehgal, secretary of the Chamba Welfare Association, have hailed this step of filing the petition with a view to saving the glory and grandeur of Chamba town.
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OBC panel recommendations to be
implemented, says CM
Tribune News Service

Shimla, July 29
The state government will implement the recommendations of the other backward classes commission regarding reservation in government jobs to ensure their uplift.

Stating this while presiding over the first meeting of the newly constituted board, the Chief Minister, Mr Virbhadra Singh said the government was committed to honouring the recommendations of the commission and it was the Congress government which had as an interim measure provided 10 per cent job quota to the OBCs.

It was raised to 12 per cent for class I and class II posts and 18 per cent for class III and class IV posts later.
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Rs 5 lakh looted from employee
Our Correspondent

Palampur, July 29
Mr Ram Chand, an employee of the state Education Department was robbed of Rs 5 lakh, which he had reportedly withdrawn from the local branch of the State Bank of India, here today.

Mr Ram Chand came to the bank to encash the retirement bills of his staff members. He encashed a cheque of Rs 13 lakh and when he started distributing the cash to the staff members present in the bank he found Rs 5 lakh was missing. There was a sharp cut in the bag. The police suspects some pick-pockets who had been following Ram Chand for the past two days.

Mr Sanjay Sharma, SHO, Palampur, told mediapersons immediately after the incident the police locked all the entry and exit points of the bank and no body present in side the bank was allowed to move out. Every one present in the bank was thoroughly searched but the money had not been recovered.
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Minister contributes 21 lakh to CM Relief Fund
Tribune News Service

Shimla, July 29
The Food and Civil Supplies Minister, Mr Singhi Ram, along with senior officials of the department today presented a cheque of Rs 21 lakh as contribution to the Chief Minister’s relief fund. Mr Virbhadra Singh said the contribution would go a long way in helping the poor, needy and the deprived during their hour of distress.

Mr Singhi Ram informed the Chief Minister that the corporation had registered a profit of Rs 3.05 crore as compared to Rs 1.52 crore profit during the corresponding period for the previous year.
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2 labourers buried alive

Shimla, July 29
Two labourers were buried alive and another was injured when debris fell on them while working at the Parwati power project at Barsainy in Kullu district last night.

The police identified the deceased as Deepak Rai and Manoranjan Rai, both from Bihar.

Janardhan Raddy, a driver of the drill machine, who was seriously injured was admitted to the Zonal Hospital in Kullu.

The Superintendent of Police, Kullu, Mr A.P. Singh, who visited the site, told the media that both labourers were working with a private company at the power project.

He said the bodies would be handed over to next of kin of the deceased after a postmortem examination. — UNI
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