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Villages placed in flood-warning zone
Shimla, August 13
The administration has identified as many as 56 villages along the Sutlej from Kinnaur to Bilaspur which could be affected by flash floods in the river. The people living upto a height of 23 m from the riverbed have been shifted to safer places. The water level in the river rose to 12 m during the August 2000 flood. A total of 574 families (3,100 persons) have been shifted.

ITBP despatches 2 disaster control companies to HP
Chandigarh, August 13
The Indo-Tibetan Border Police Force has despatched two specialist disaster management companies to Himachal Pradesh for dealing with any exigency arising from the increase in water levels in the Sutlej in case the artificial lake formed on the Parchu river in the neighbouring Tibet gives way.

Transfer of varsity land to religious body challenged
Solan, August 13
Challenging the transfer of 10-acre land owned by Dr Y.S. Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry, Nauni, to Delhi-based religious trust ‘Delhi Chinmaya Sewa’ for a period of 99 years at a meager amount of Re 1, a retired principal, Mr Virendra Kumar, has filed a special leave petition in the apex court against the agreement signed on March 4, 1999.



YOUR TOWN
Hamirpur
Shimla
Solan
Una


EARLIER STORIES

 

Martyr cremated with honours
Hamirpur, August 13
The mortal remains of Sepoy Pawan Kumar of the Rashtriya Rifles were consigned to the flames with full military honours near his native village, Bharthani, in Hamirpur district today. Pawan Kumar was killed while fighting militants in the Kishtwar area of Jammu and Kashmir.

Antaryami’s kin begin fast
Una (HP), August 13
Parents of Antaryami, who has been held hostage in Iraq along with two other Indians since July 21, today began an indefinite hunger strike to protest the delay in release of the captives and “inadequate” information from the government on the talks to free them.



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Villages placed in flood-warning zone
Tribune News Service

Shimla, August 13
The administration has identified as many as 56 villages along the Sutlej from Kinnaur to Bilaspur which could be affected by flash floods in the river. The people living upto a height of 23 m from the riverbed have been shifted to safer places. The water level in the river rose to 12 m during the August 2000 flood. A total of 574 families (3,100 persons) have been shifted.

The houses perched on steep slopes in most villages fall in the danger zone. The main habitations where sizeable number of families is likely to be affected are Rampur, Sunni and Jhakri in Shimla district, Leo, Moorang, Karcham and Choling in Kinnaur, Luhri, Brow and Jagatkhana in Kullu and Tatta Pani, Firnu in Mandi and Bot, Kasol and Jamthal in Bilaspur.

The following is complete list of villages and hamlets from which people have been shifted.

Kinnaur: Leo, Chango, Shalkar, Spillow, Moorang, Akpa, Powari, Tangling, Karcham, Dalatrang, Kilba, Thikro, Choling, Chholtu, Tapri, Kausthal and Urni. In all 242 families have been shifted from these areas. Besides, about 200 workers engaged in the execution of the Karcham Wangtu project and 300 other labourers have also been shifted. In Choling the army and ITBP units have been shifted.

Shimla: Naini, Bashal, NJPC Colony at Jhakri, Lower Jhakri, Chuhbag, Rampur, Dakolar, Nirshoo, Badhal, Kio, Ghanvi, Bangla, Neogli, Bhaira, Bhadrash, Kepu, Singhapur, Patalri, Chodli, Sainj, Baya, Ogli, Kariyali, Shakrori, Chebri, Garyana and Sunni. As many as 205 families (966 persons) have been shifted from these villages. The maximum number of 364 people have been moved up in Sunni.

Kulu: Behna, Luhri, Brow, Jagatkhana and Thachwa. The total population of these villages is 436 and in all 160 families have been shifted.

Mandi: Shakra, Thalli, Randoul, Tattapani, Tarehadi and Firnu. A total of 79 families have been shifted.

Some villages near Koldam like Bot, Kasol, Harnoda and Jamthal in Bilaspur district also fall in the danger zone.
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ITBP despatches 2 disaster control companies to HP
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 13
The Indo-Tibetan Border Police Force (ITBP) has despatched two specialist disaster management companies to Himachal Pradesh for dealing with any exigency arising from the increase in water levels in the Sutlej in case the artificial lake formed on the Parchu river in the neighbouring Tibet gives way.

"The two companies comprising 115 men each, including medic staff, were asked to move to Himachal Pradesh yesterday after undergoing the requisite training," Mr P.P. Singh, DIG, ITBP, said. "The companies are fully equipped with rescue and relief equipment, including tents, shelters, medicines and communication equipment," he added. Life jackets are also being procured

The companies, will be stationed at two places, one between Shimla and Rampur and the other between Rampur and Sarhan. These will be in addition to the regular ITBP battalions already deployed in that area, which too are capable of undertaking relief and rescue work. An ITBP post has also been set up near the point where the Parchu river enters India, to monitor the flow and provide an early warning in case the water level rises.

The ITPB had raised two special- disaster management battalions last year and they had been imparted specialist training at the ITBP Basic Training Centre in Bhanu, near here. The ITBP has been nominated as the nodal agency for disaster management in North India.

The Air Force and the Army Aviation, meanwhile, are carrying out regular aerial reconnaissance of the Sutlej-Spiti-Parechu valleys to monitor the water levels. The IAF has placed five Mi-17 helicopters on standby at Chandigarh, with another two at Sarsawa, while Army Aviation helicopters have also been stationed at Puh in Kinnaur. An operations centre has been set up at Chandigarh for controlling flood- relief sorties, and an officer of the rank of a Wing Commander has been detailed to liaise with the Himachal Government's disaster management group.

The Army too is maintaining a round- the- clock vigil and it's men and equipment are in place, ready to move on the first signs of danger. Sources said five columns, comprising about 80 men each, along with relief and rescue equipment, have been deployed at strategic places so that no time is lost

Bridging equipment, boats with outboard motors, life jackets, medical supplies and emergency provisions have been "adequately" catered for, the sources said. Special emphasis is being laid on communications, and a three-tired system comprising land lines, radio and satellite communications has been established.
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Transfer of varsity land to religious body challenged
Our Correspondent

Solan, August 13
Challenging the transfer of 10-acre land owned by Dr Y.S. Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry, Nauni, to Delhi-based religious trust ‘Delhi Chinmaya Sewa’ for a period of 99 years at a meager amount of Re 1, a retired principal, Mr Virendra Kumar, has filed a special leave petition (SLP) in the apex court against the agreement signed on March 4, 1999.

The agreement was signed between the then Vice-Chancellor of the university Dr B.R. Sharma, and the Chinmaya trust secretary, Mr Swami Jyothirmayananda. The petitioner has challenged it on the basis that it had bereft the children below the age of 14 of the constitutional right of getting free education at the state expenditure. This has also been challenged on the basis that a state-owned university had been converted into a private school. This defeated the very purpose of offering free or subsidised education to the wards of poor of the area, who had surrendered their land for the setting up of this university. The Chaitanya Sewa Trust instead of offering concessional education had commercialised the institution by admitting children from the elite class.

The petitioner has questioned whether the Vice-Chancellor of a state university could transfer the ownership of a university school, along with 10-acre agricultural land owned by the government. He has further asked whether a school set up for providing free education to children could be transferred to a religious sect and if that religious sect could give preference to its followers in admission to the school.

The case will come up for hearing in the Supreme Court on September 6.
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Martyr cremated with honours
Our Correspondent

Hamirpur, August 13
The mortal remains of Sepoy Pawan Kumar of the Rashtriya Rifles were consigned to the flames with full military honours near his native village, Bharthani, in Hamirpur district today. Pawan Kumar was killed while fighting militants in the Kishtwar area of Jammu and Kashmir.

He is survived by his wife and a kid. He joined the Army in 1997.

Anil Kumar, cousin of Pawan Kumar, lit the pyre in the presence of hundreds of mourners.

While the state government and the district administration were represented by the Tehsildar, Bhoranj, a former Chief Minister and senior BJP leader, Prof Prem Kumar Dhumal, was present along with district-level party office-bearers to pay their last respects to the martyr.

Surprisingly, no one from the HP Sainik Welfare Board and the HP Ex-servicemen Corporation attended the cremation.

Mr Baldev Singh, a schoolteacher, retired Army man and father of the martyr said he was proud of his son who had made the supreme sacrifice for the nation.

However, he was shocked with the treatment meted out to the family by the state government, the district administration and the Army authorities. He said he received the sad news from one of the friends of Pawan Kumar and not from any government source.
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Antaryami’s kin begin fast

Una (HP), August 13
Parents of Antaryami, who has been held hostage in Iraq along with two other Indians since July 21, today began an indefinite hunger strike to protest the delay in release of the captives and “inadequate” information from the government on the talks to free them.

Antaryami’s parents Ram Murthi and Bhago Devi, sister Harjinder and some other members of the family began the hunger strike at noon at their house in Dehlan village, near here, and were soon joined by some villagers.

Ram Das, Antaryami’s uncle, said their patience was running out as there was neither any authentic information about the progress of talks nor signs of release of Antaryami, Sukhdev Singh and Tilka Raj even after 23 days.

“The External Affairs Ministry spokesman has been saying for the past 15 days that talks were progressing. But nothing has come out... We do not even know about the condition of our son and people are agitated,” he said.

He said: “We have resorted to democratic method of protest and are sitting on hunger strike at our house”.

It has not yet been decided as to how long the protest would continue, he said.

Villagers in large numbers gathered outside the house of Antaryami as the news spread about the protest. — PTI
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