SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI



THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

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

CPM to protest against MoU on fiscal reforms
Shimla, August 17
Accusing the Virbhadra regime of pursuing the policies and programmes chalked out by the previous BJP regime in Himachal Pradesh, the CPM will launch a statewide agitation against the signing of a memorandum of understanding MoU on fiscal reforms and the anti-people decisions taken by the government.

New industrial policy soon
Shimla, August 17
The Himachal Pradesh Government will soon come out with a new industrial policy, which will focus on the revival of sick units, besides encouraging new industries in the state.

Virbhadra ignoring merged areas, says BJP leader
Palampur, August 17
Mr Ravinder Thakur, a former Power Minister and senior BJP MLA, today said that the Congress Government led by Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh was extending step-motherly treatment to the merged areas of the state and the Chief Minister was spending the budget in a particular region of the state.

Widespread rain in Himachal
Shimla, August 17
Heavy rain lashed Himachal Pradesh today, throwing normal life out of gear. Shimla and its surrounding areas experienced heavy rain today and as a result the temperature nose-dived in the region.

One of the families, which had been shifted to safer place in view of flood threat following the formation of an artificial lake in Tibet, returns home One of the families, which had been shifted to safer place in view of flood threat following the formation of an artificial lake in Tibet, returns home situated on the banks of the Sutlej at Brow, on Tuesday. — PTI



YOUR TOWN
Chamba
Hamirpur
Kulu
Shimla
Nahan


EARLIER STORIES

 

Plant out of order, garbage dumped in open
Shimla, August 17
With the Rs 3 crore waste management plant of the Municipal Corporation lying out of order for the last one month, dumping of garbage is being done in the open slopes, along the bye-pass area here, polluting the nullahs and damaging trees, some of which are drying up.

Landslide claims life in Hamirpur
Hamirpur, August 17
A labourer was killed and another injured due to landslides owing to heavy rainfall at Samirpur village in Hamirpur district today. Hamirpur SP, P.L. Thakur said here this evening that the injured person had been admitted to Tounidevi Hospital.

Chamba-Shimla highway blocked
Chamba, August 17
The Chamba-Shimla highway via Bhattiyat today remained blocked due to heavy landslides at different points following a heavy downpour in the region. The vehicular traffic on the highway was disrupted, causing inconvenience to the passengers.

Jail staff silent over escape of murder accused
Nahan, August 17
For the second day today, the staff of Nahan Model Central Jail remained tight-lipped about the escape of Shyamal Rao Reddy, main accused in the Shimla Aucksland Hotel double murder case who was awarded death sentence by a Shimla court, from the Nahan Jail in the wee hours yesterday.

Baba Sohan Giri denied bail
Chamba, August 17
Mr P.D. Goel, Sessions Judge, Chamba, has dismissed a bail application of Baba Sohan Giri, accused of rape.

SCA elections
Shimla, August 17
The elections to the Himachal Pradesh University (Campus) Students Central Association (SCA) and its affiliated colleges will be held on August 23.

Two killed, 3 hurt in road mishap
Top






 

 

 

CPM to protest against MoU on fiscal reforms
Tribune News Service

Shimla, August 17
Accusing the Virbhadra regime of pursuing the policies and programmes chalked out by the previous BJP regime in Himachal Pradesh, the CPM will launch a statewide agitation against the signing of a memorandum of understanding MoU on fiscal reforms and the anti-people decisions taken by the government.

Addressing a press conference here today, the state secretary of the CPM, Mr Rakesh Singh, said despite change of government in the state the policies and programmes chalked out by the BJP were being followed by the Congress as well.

“We remain committed towards protecting the interests of the farmers, youths, women and the working class and to ensure that they get their due. The CPM will hold statewide agitation from August 25 to 31,” he said. During this week, dharnas, demonstrations and protest rallies would be held all over the state, he added.

Mr Rakesh Singha, demanded the immediate withdrawal of the MoU signed with the Centre. “Our party is very much against the state government’s move of getting all encroachments on its land removed as this was affecting the poor farmers who barely own upto six bighas of land, which is not too productive,” he said. He added that destroying the standing crops and felling of trees on this encroached land was not the right approach being adopted by the government.

He also termed the BJP’s criticism of the MoU as a mere token gesture as they did not want the scrapping of the MoU, which was basically framed by them.

“Those Congress leaders who had staged a walkout in the state Assembly over the MoU issue at the time of the BJP rule, are today shamelessly defending the MoU, which is in no way in the interest of the people of Himachal Pradesh,” he remarked. Mr Rakesh Singh said barring the issue of helping the state gets its share of 7.19 per cent, there was nothing in the MoU which went in the favour of the state.

The CPM also felt that the state government had failed to get any relief money for the drought affected areas of the state from the centre as they could not present their case. They said the second and third rainfall in the state had caused immense damage to fruits, vegetables and other crops and the government must provide immediate relief to the affected.

He also expressed his party’s displeasure over the deviation being made by the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) in the implementation of the common minimum programme (CMP).Top

 

New industrial policy soon
Rakesh Lohumi
Tribune News Service

Shimla, August 17
The Himachal Pradesh Government will soon come out with a new industrial policy, which will focus on the revival of sick units, besides encouraging new industries in the state. Stating this here today, Mr Kuldeep Kumar, Industries Minister, said that while the pace of industrialisation had increased since the Central government announced a new package in January 2003, but there were a large number of sick units which needed to be revived.

The government had identified 622 sick units. Over the past 18 months, as many as 3,176 new units, with an investment of Rs 5,916 crore, had been approved. This would help generate employment for 1.14 lakh persons. With this the total number of industrial units would go up to 34,237 and the total investment to Rs 9,089 crore. The total employment would be 2.78 lakh persons.

He said pharmaceutical companies were making a beeline for setting up units in the state if the present pace was any indication, the state would be producing 70 per cent of the total drugs manufactured in the country over the next five years.Top

 

Virbhadra ignoring merged areas, says BJP leader
Our Correspondent

Palampur, August 17
Mr Ravinder Thakur, a former Power Minister and senior BJP MLA, today said that the Congress Government led by Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh was extending step-motherly treatment to the merged areas of the state and the Chief Minister was spending the budget in a particular region of the state.

Addressing mediapersons here this morning Mr Thakur levelled serious charges against the Chief Minister and alleged that he had failed to protect the interests of people living in Kangra and Hamirpur districts. He said it was evident from the fact that in the recent downsizing exercise of the state Cabinet, the Chief Minister had reduced the political significance of Kangra district to zero as in the exercise four ministers only from Kangra district were removed from the Cabinet.

He alleged, while district like Shimla, the home district of the Chief Minister, which have only five Congress MLAs, three were made ministers but at the same time there were 12 Congress MLAs from Kangra, he inducted only two ministers in his Cabinet from this district. He said even small districts like Una and Chamba had been given more importance by including two ministers from each district as compared to Kangra.

Referring to the signing of the MoU with the Union Government, Mr Thakur said when the BJP was in power the Union Government in 1999, also asked the then Chief Minister, Mr Prem Kumar Dhumal to sign this document. He said the BJP government before going ahead, preferred to discuss this issue in the Assembly first and when the matter came up for discussion, Mr Virbhadra Singh was the first one to oppose the document. He termed MoU as “death warrant”, anti-people, anti-farmers, anti-employees and out-rightly rejected the proposal. Therefore, the BJP government dropped the proposal and told the Union Government that it would not be in the interest of a state to sign the MoU. He regretted that today the Congress government led by Mr Virbhadra Singh had secretly signed this document. Even the Opposition was kept in the dark.Top

 

Widespread rain in Himachal

Shimla, August 17
Heavy rain lashed Himachal Pradesh today, throwing normal life out of gear.

Shimla and its surrounding areas experienced heavy rain today and as a result the temperature nose-dived in the region. Shimla recorded 31.4mm rain this afternoon, according to the Met office.

The rain left the roads flooded in Kangra town and the Kangra head postoffice building was also flooded, a report from Dharamshala said.

The reports of the rains were received from Gaggal, Shahpur, Dehra, Kangra, Chamunda, Jawalamukhi, Baijnath and Palampur. However, there was no report of any loss of life following the rains in Kangra district today.

Kangra town devoid of a proper drainage system left the roads in different parts flooded. Schoolchildren and college students were the worst sufferers. A flood-like situation was experienced on the Dharamshala road of Kangra town and near the new general bus stand.

The worst affected was the Head Post Office of Kangra town where water up two feet entered the building. Mr Prem Chand Postmaster, Head Post Office, said postal documents and the mail was saved from getting destroyed as the counters were cleared of the postal documents and the mail before the water entered the building.

He said the work in the post office came to a grinding halt after 2 pm. Fire brigades were pressed into service to pump out the water from the main building.

Entire Bilaspur region has been experiencing heavy and wide spread rain since today afternoon. This rainfall in catchment of Gobindsagar area would help in increasing the water level in reservoir. Rain is stated to be beneficial for standing Kharif crop, particularly for maize besides promoting of growth of grass in private grassy lands on which depends the cattle wealth, a report from Bilaspur said. — UNITop

 

Plant out of order, garbage dumped in open
Pratibha Chauhan
Tribune News Service

Shimla, August 17
With the Rs 3 crore waste management plant of the Municipal Corporation lying out of order for the last one month, dumping of garbage is being done in the open slopes, along the bye-pass area here, polluting the nullahs and damaging trees, some of which are drying up.

The solid waste management project, constructed with the help of NORAD aid, at Darni-Ka-Bagicha, on the bye-pass has been facing problems, eversince it was made functional three years ago. Since the project has been set up on a nullah, which has a heavy water flow during the monsoons, the pipes are laid down for channelising the water burst causing damage even to the plant.

This year too, following the rains, the plant was closed down. “Since the plant is located on a nullah, it often gets damaged during the rains and now it has been out of order for almost a month,” Mr Sohan Lal, Mayor of the Municipal Corporation said. Since all pipes channelising the nullah water have burst and have to be repaired it would take some time before the plant could be made functional, he said.

Almost 40 tonnes of garbage collected from various parts of the city was being dumped in the Kanlog and the surrounding area, which lead to unhygienic conditions and filth all around. Infact, the residents of the nearby localities including Ram Nagar, Lal Pani, Krishnanagar and the Bemloe area were the worst hit as there was foul smell emanating all around.

As the garbage was being dumped on the slopes all along the by-pass. It was difficult to drive through the area. In the monsoons the water flowing in the nullahs too got polluted as the dirty waters from the garbage drained into it.

“The selection of the site where the plant is located is wrong, being located on a big nullah, it gets damaged every year,” MC official pointed out. He admitted that due to the dumping of the garbage in the open, on an earlier occasion, some of the trees caught fire as the garbage was being burnt.

Efforts are being to shift the plant from the present location to a new site. Though 10 sites were identified near Shoghi, Totu, Tara Devi and Ghanati, the Nagar panchayats of these areas were not giving approval for the shifting of the plant.

The MC officials and engineers pointed out that till the plant was not shifted to a new site, such problems would continue to hamper its smooth functioning.Top

 

Landslide claims life in Hamirpur
Our Correspondent

Hamirpur, August 17
A labourer was killed and another injured due to landslides owing to heavy rainfall at Samirpur village in Hamirpur district today. Hamirpur SP, P.L. Thakur said here this evening that the injured person had been admitted to Tounidevi Hospital.

SDM Narendra Sharma visited the accident site as well as the hospital and gave fiscal help to the family of the deceased and the injured.

Meanwhile, normal life in all parts of the Hamirpur district was badly paralysed due to constant heavy rains since last night.Top

 

Chamba-Shimla highway blocked
Our Correspondent

Chamba, August 17
The Chamba-Shimla highway via Bhattiyat today remained blocked due to heavy landslides at different points following a heavy downpour in the region. The vehicular traffic on the highway was disrupted, causing inconvenience to the passengers.

According to reports received here, work to remove debris on the highway was in progress and the efforts were on to resume traffic as early as possible.

The reports said that sliding of boulders at certain points on the highway passing beneath the fragile hill slopes was still continuing.Top

 

Jail staff silent over escape of murder accused
Our Correspondent

Nahan, August 17
For the second day today, the staff of Nahan Model Central Jail remained tight-lipped about the escape of Shyamal Rao Reddy, main accused in the Shimla Aucksland Hotel double murder case who was awarded death sentence by a Shimla court, from the Nahan Jail in the wee hours yesterday.

Investigations reveal that the accused cut the lower rod of the iron gate of his cell with the help of a steel blade. The accused must have worked at it over the past few days.

There are many unanswered questions into which the police has started its investigation. It has been assumed that the accused fled from the jail around 2.30 am but the staff watching him during night contradict this version. The absence of Reddy in the jail was, according the jail authorities, noticed around 8 am when a guard went to his cell to offer him a cup of tea. Nobody was ready to answer the question as to why the police was informed at around 11 am, much after Reddy’s escape was officially noticed.

A handwritten paper in Telugu language has also been recovered from the room of Reddy which may give important clues to the Nahan police investigating the case. The SP Sirmaur, Mr S.R. Sharma, said the police was investigating the case from two angles, whether it was merely a case of negligence or secondly, whether it was a case of connivance of the jail staff with the criminal.Top

 

Baba Sohan Giri denied bail
Our Correspondent

Chamba, August 17
Mr P.D. Goel, Sessions Judge, Chamba, has dismissed a bail application of Baba Sohan Giri, accused of rape.

The Bharmour police had registered a case against Baba Sohan Giri for allegedly raping a woman at Bharmour, while the Baba had been residing in a temple there for 12 years and during this period she gave birth to seven children.

The police had alleged that Baba Sohan Giri did not allow the woman to leave the place.

While rejecting the bail application, the Sessions Judge held that since the police had collected sufficient material as evidence against the accused, he was not entitled to bail.Top

 

SCA elections

Shimla, August 17
The elections to the Himachal Pradesh University (Campus) Students Central Association (SCA) and its affiliated colleges will be held on August 23.

This was disclosed by the Vice-Chancellor, Prof L.R. Verma, here today. He said that the maximum age limit of the eligible voters had been fixed at 29. He further said the date for inclusion of names in the voters’ list had been fixed for August 18. — TNSTop

 

Two killed, 3 hurt in road mishap
Our Correspondent

Kulu, August 17
Two persons were killed and three injured, two of them seriously, in an accident at Kainchi Mod on the Manali-Leh highway, 6 km from Manali, today when a truck of the General Roads Engineering Force (GREF) skidded off the road and fell into a gorge. The truck was carrying labourers from Gulaba Camp to Manali when the driver lost control.Top

HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |