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No scaling down of alert on floods, says CM
Shimla, August 9
Mr Virbhadra Singh, Chief Minister, today said the government would not scale down the high alert despite the wide discrepancy in data regarding the size of the lake formed in Tibet provided by the Chinese authorities and the one made available by the National Remote Sensing Agency, Hyderabad, on the basis of the satellite imageries.

Probe ordered into tunnel mishap
Shimla, August 9
The state government has ordered a magisterial probe into the incident in which 20 workers were trapped inside Parbati project tunnel at Barsaini in Kullu, yesterday.

Resentment over non-start of BPEd course
Hamirpur, August 9
Resentment prevails amongst the youth of the state over the failure of the HP Government for not giving its nod for starting the bachelor of physical education course in three selected colleges at Hamirpur, Sundernagar and Kullu.

JBT course: move to favour rural
students flayed
Nurpur, August 9
The Himachal Pradesh Government has decided to favour students from rural areas while awarding marks in the interviews for selecting candidates for Junior Basic Training course who have cleared the written examination conducted by the Himachal Pradesh Board of School Education held in April this year.



YOUR TOWN
Hamirpur
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EARLIER STORIES

 

Day of rallies in Hamirpur
BJP mandal chief dies on stage
Hamirpur, August 9
It was a day of agitation and rallies in various parts of the district today. Braving heavy rain and bad weather, agitators marched in processions and submitted their charter of demands to respective authorities.



Activists of the Bamsan Mandal of the BJP hold a procession against the state government at Tounidevi, Hamirpur, on Monday. — Photo by Chander Shekhar Sharma
Activists of the Bamsan Mandal of the BJP hold a procession against the state government at Tounidevi, Hamirpur, on Monday.

College students block traffic
Hamirpur, August 9
Braving heavy rain activists of the National Students Union of India, student wing of the Congress party blocked traffic for three hours at the Anoo Chowk near the Government College gate here this morning.



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No scaling down of alert on floods, says CM
Tribune News Service

Shimla, August 9
Mr Virbhadra Singh, Chief Minister, today said the government would not scale down the high alert despite the wide discrepancy in data regarding the size of the lake formed in Tibet provided by the Chinese authorities and the one made available by the National Remote Sensing Agency (NRSA), Hyderabad, on the basis of the satellite imageries.

Talking to mediapersons here, he said the government had based its response to the perceived flood threat on the basis of the information provided by the Chinese authorities, which indicated a much larger size of the lake than the one worked out by NRSA, in the interest of the safety of the people. He said the government would better take more precautions than get caught unprepared in case of flash floods.

He said the Chinese authorities had given a warning yesterday that the lake could overflow or burst within 24 hours because of heavy rain in the area. However, the weather was clear on the Indian side from where the lake site was at a distance of about 25 km. Moreover, the flow had been normal in the Parechu rivulet all through. Certainly there appeared to be some gap in the information but there was no reason to discount the information given by the Chinese authorities who had been gracious enough to forewarn the country about the flood threat.

He said another interesting feature that had come to notice while analysing the old maps of the Tibet available with the Survey of India and the satellite imageries was that there was a depression at the site even 20 years ago which often held water to take the shape of a lake. He said it was all the play of the nature and one should be prepared to face any eventuality.

He said the government decided against dismantling the Bailey bridges on the Satluj river to avoid inconvenience to the people. The step would have disrupted communications. He said the prime concern of the government to ensure the safety of the people living along the banks of the river. Roads, bridges and other amenities and property could be created again if destroyed.

He said the crisis management group headed by the Chief Secretary had been keeping a close watch on the situation and all arrangements had been put in place to deal with flash floods if and when they occur. He said the government would not be found wanting in ensuring the safety of the people and the restoration of the roads and other infrastructure in any eventuality. To ensure that people were not misled by rumours, the All-India Radio would make necessary announcements regarding the situation round the clock.
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Probe ordered into tunnel mishap
Tribune News Service

Shimla, August 9
The state government has ordered a magisterial probe into the incident in which 20 workers were trapped inside Parbati project tunnel at Barsaini in Kullu, yesterday.

The inquiry will look into the circumstances that led to the blocking of the entrance of the tunnel besides ascertaining whether or not National Hydro Electric Corporation (NHPC) and the contractors executing the project had taken proper safety measures. It will also ascertain how much machinery had been washed away or damaged in the floods.

The purpose of the inquiry is to identify any shortcomings in the safety measures so that remedial steps can be taken to prevent such incidents in future. The inquiry will be completed within a week. Meanwhile, Mr Virbhadra Singh, Chief Minister, has appreciated the efforts of the district administration, the state police, the Indo-Tibetan Border Police, Home Guards, NHPC, and the construction company in successfully rescuing the trapped workers.
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Devta’s wrath, say villagers
Tribune News Service

Kulga, (Kullu), August 9
Villagers of Kulga, Pulga, Tulga and Barshaini believe that the devta took the revenge as local deity, Jhinglu devta, was uprooted from its original site by the NHPC project authorities.

Simple villagers have their own reason to come to term with what they call the “worst ever flood in this area.”

“The Jhinglu devta has warned the NHPC and the Patel Engineering last week that they suffer a huge loss as they have not properly shifted Him from His sacred site which was now being submerged, believes Dhot Ram of Pulga village. “We have told the NHPC that they should not dump the silt at the mouth of the Jhigrai nullah but they did not listen to us.

However, Linga Reddy of SL Reddy company, which is carrying out the work of the tunnel as subcontractor of the Patel Engineering, the NHPC’s main contractor, said the devta site was shifted with the consent of the villagers. “We have constructed a new temple on the upper roads as the original site falls inside the reservoir of the project”.
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Resentment over non-start of BPEd course
Chander Shekhar Sharma

Hamirpur, August 9
Resentment prevails amongst the youth of the state over the failure of the HP Government for not giving its nod for starting the bachelor of physical education course in three selected colleges at Hamirpur, Sundernagar and Kullu. Himachal Pradesh University had earlier given permission to these three colleges for starting the course and accordingly the syllabus was prepared by the university authority.

Highly placed sources in the state government told The Tribune here this afternoon that as a result of the failure of the Education Department for giving its nod for starting the course, thousands of youth had once again gone to southern states of India to get admissions there by spending a huge money.

Sources say that the NCET, New Delhi, had given its permission to Government College, Hamirpur, MSLN College, Sundernagar, and a private institution of Kullu to start the course after getting the course abetted and other formalities cleared from the university. Accordingly, all the three colleges approached the university authorities and sought its permission.

The university authorities accordingly prepared a syllabus for the course and sent its clearance to all the three college authorities for going ahead with their plan to be started from the current academic session.

However, in the meantime, some one from the office of the Secretary Education to the HP Government wrote a letter to the NCET that since the syllabus was not ready, hence the new classes would not be allowed to start.

When this came to the notice of the college authorities, they were shocked over the denial of permission to them by the NCET.

Enquiries made by The Tribune reveal that a meeting of the Education Department was held under the chairmanship of the former Secretary Education, Sudripto Roy, in October, 2003. The university authorities had also attended this meeting and the permission was given at this meeting to the three colleges to run the BPEd course after getting the report that the syllabus for the course had been finalised and sent to the respective institutions.

Immediately after the meeting, Mr Roy was shifted to New Delhi on another assignment and no minutes of the October, 2003, meeting were signed and given a final touch. When this matter was reported to the new Secretary, Education, he reportedly refused to sign the documents stating that he was not competent for this as the meeting was chaired by someone else.

There are indications that this piquant situation has delayed the start of the course, causing great inconvenience to the students and their parents.

The Principal of the Hamirpur Degree College, Dr Lalit Mohan Sharma, when contacted, said that he was no body to comment on this issue. However, the college was ready to start the class even if the permission is granted today or later this week.

The parents of the students desiring to join the BPEd course have appealed to Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh to intervene in the issue and start the course in all the three selected colleges from the present academic session.
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JBT course: move to favour rural students flayed
Our Correspondent

Nurpur, August 9
The Himachal Pradesh Government has decided to favour students from rural areas while awarding marks in the interviews for selecting candidates for Junior Basic Training (JBT) course who have cleared the written examination conducted by the Himachal Pradesh Board of School Education held in April this year. The candidates invited for interviews being conducted from August 16 to 31 at subdivisional headquarters were surprised to know that the government had earmarked special 10 marks for those candidates who had passed plus two examination from any senior secondary school within rural areas.

Out of total 100 marks, 75 and 15 marks were earmarked, respectively, for written test and interview to be conducted by a team of government official headed by the local subdivisional magistrate. The remaining 10 marks were being given as bonus to rural candidates only.

Though the state government has enforced this system to benefit candidates coming from the rural areas but the move has disappointed rural candidates, too. A large number of candidates from the rural areas had passed their plus two examination from government senior secondary schools in the neighbouring urban towns as most of the rural areas have no government senior secondary schools in the state.

This has caused a lot of resentment among the urban as well as rural candidates who have been preparing for appearing their round the corner interviews.

The local Town Welfare Committee has alleged that this would create a wedge between the people living in urban and rural areas. Capt Mr Shiv Singh and Mr P.D. Sahotra, vice-chairman and general secretary, respectively of the committee have appealed to the Chief Minister, Mr Virbhadra Singh, to revoke this marks awarding system.

Mr Kartar Singh, president, gram panchayt pradhans association, Nurpur, has also flayed the government for introducing such irrational system in awarding marks to the candidates.
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Day of rallies in Hamirpur
BJP mandal chief dies on stage
Our Correspondent

Hamirpur, August 9
It was a day of agitation and rallies in various parts of the district today. Braving heavy rain and bad weather, agitators marched in processions and submitted their charter of demands to respective authorities.

The Nadaunta, Bamsan and Mewa mandals of the BJP hold dharnas at Tounidevi, Mahre and Bhoranj against the state government for signing the MoU on fiscal reforms. They dubbed the MoU as selling out of state interests to the Centre without taking its people into confidence.

The rallies were led by Ishwar Dass Dhiman, MLA at Bhoranj, Rasil Singh Mankotia, state secretary BJP, at Tounidevi and Baldev Sharma, MLA at Mahre.

The Mahre rally was a sad affair though as the mandal BJP chief, Capt Rattan Chand (retd), died due to cardiac arrest on the stage. He was taken to the Barsar hospital, where he was declared brought dead. This led to the calling off of the rally. However, the BJP leaders and activists handed over a memorandum to the SDM, Barsar, enlisting their various demands.

Members of the District Tent House Dealers’ Sangh held a procession demanding scrapping of service tax on their services. They also handed over a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner, in support of their demands.

At Nadaun, activists of the new tempo union affiliated with the BMS held a rally at the Dev Pal chowk in support of their demands. They also held a rally through various parts of the town before terminating it same at the SDM office.

They demanded the withdrawal of cases registered against them a few days ago.
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College students block traffic
Our Correspondent

Hamirpur, August 9
Braving heavy rain activists of the National Students Union of India, student wing of the Congress party blocked traffic for three hours at the Anoo Chowk near the Government College gate here this morning. They were protesting against insufficient bus service from Hamirpur to Jangle Beri and police action against one of their activists.

They raised anti-government and anti-police slogans. NSUI activists raised slogans against their own Chief Minister and Transport Minister for not solving problems of students.

The blockade was lifted when the Regional Manager of the HRTC reached the spot and talked to students along with DSP, Krishan Gopal Kapoor.
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Special audit of licensing branches
Our Correspondent

Hamirpur, August 9
The state government has decided to get conducted a special audit of the licensing branches of the SDM offices at Mahre (Barsar) and Nadaun by a team of the Auditor-General, Himachal Pradesh. A similar decision as regards the office of Hamirpur SDM had already been taken following exposure of fake driving licence there.

Sources said the Chief Minister had instructed the revenue authorities to take timely steps to check their records so that no fake licence was issued from there.
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