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Parchu threat: govt to continue with high alert
Shimla, August 19
The government today decided to continue with the high alert sounded in the wake of the lake formed in Tibet due to blockage of Parchu, a tributary of Sutlej, as the exercise to work out the depth of the water body on the basis of various satellite images could not be completed.

CM: Dhumal govt signed MoU on fiscal reforms
Shimla, August 19
Mr Virbhadra Singh, Chief Minister, came down heavily on the BJP on the issue of the memorandum of understanding on fiscal reforms and asserted that it was signed on the sly by the Dhumal government without taking the Vidhan Sabha into confidence.

Cong men, admn invite CMís ire over I-Day function
Hamirpur, August 19
The state Congress in general and the Chief Minister, Mr Virbhadra Singh, in particular are annoyed at the poor response to the district-level Independence Day function as compared to that of the BJP at Hamirpur. While the official function was chaired by the Forest Minister, Mr Ram Lal Thakur, BJP leader, Mr Prem Kumar Dhumal, was the chief guest at a function at Baroha village, on the outskirts of Hamirpur.



YOUR TOWN
Kulu
Shimla


EARLIER STORIES

 

Labourer buried alive; 12-yr-old washed away
Kulu, August 19
A Nepalese labourer, Kali Charan, was buried alive under debris while he was working on the widening of a road at village, Soti village near Saini, in the Banjar subdivision of this district yesterday. The body was retrieved and brought to the Zonal Hospital here for post mortem examination.

Confusion over seats at counselling for dental colleges
Solan, August 19

Confusion prevailed at the counselling for four private/unaided dental colleges of Himachal Pradesh University today as no concrete information on the number of seats allotted to the management quota was available with the officials. 

Revival of sick units sought
Shimla, August 19
About a dozen employees organisations affiliated to Left parties, have urged the Centre to withdraw a notification regarding the closure of the Government of India press , located here, and fulfil its promise to revive sick public sector undertakings.

Employees to hold dharna today
Shimla, August 19
Employees and workers of banks, insurance, telecom, printing press, Central Government, AITUC and CITU in the state will observe National Demands Day, tomorrow. The office-bearers of various bodies, representing these employees, said they would hold a dharna at the Deputy Commissionerís office at 3 p.m., which would culminate in a rally at Naaz.

NTPC emerges largest power utility
Shimla, August 19
The NTPC has emerged as the largest power utility in the country with an installed capacity of 22,249 MW. It generates 26.7 per cent of the countryís entire power. The NTPC is implementing its first hydroelectric venture, Kol Dam (800 MW), on the Sutlej in Bilaspur district of Himachal Pradesh.

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Parchu threat: govt to continue with high alert
Rakesh Lohumi
Tribune News Service

Shimla, August 19
The government today decided to continue with the high alert sounded in the wake of the lake formed in Tibet due to blockage of Parchu, a tributary of Sutlej, as the exercise to work out the depth of the water body on the basis of various satellite images could not be completed.

The Survey of India had been assigned the task following conflicting opinion of experts regarding the depth of the lake. Its technical experts in Dehra Dun were busy anaylsing the satellite imageries to calculate the exact depth so that quantum of accumulated water could be assessed for evaluating the likely impact of floods in a case of breach of blockade. Once the correct depth of water body is calculated, the engineers of the Central Water Commission will work out possible flash flood scenario in case the blockade gives way suddenly. The maximum flood level at various points downstream, thus worked out, will enable the government to decide whether or not to scale down the high alert. The Union Cabinet secretary will convene a meeting tomorrow to take stock of the situation if the report of the Survey of India is available.

There has been no change in the status of the lake and its surface area has not increased since August 12. However, the satellite imageries taken yesterday reveal that overflow was becoming conspicuous and water could be seen flowing over the rocks blocking the river. The experts are sure that the outflow is matching the inflow if not exceeding it, a definite indication of the water body gradually stabilising. The water level will start declining as and when the inflow declines due to slowdown in melting of glaciers over the next two weeks.

The government had also received information from the local people who have been in touch from their Chinese counterparts that the slope of the lake bed was very mild and the accumulated water was not exerting much pressure on the blockade. But they were not certain about the depth of the lake.

Meanwhile, the government has sought financial assistance from the Centre to the tune of Rs 38.70 crore on account of precautionary measure taken by it to deal with the flood threat and the loss of lives and property due to flash floods caused by cloudbursts at various places. It includes Rs 21 crore due to loss of property and Rs 16 crore on account of loss of generation in the Nathpa Jhakri power project which was shut down in the wake of flood threat.

Mr Virbhadra Singh, Chief Minister, who is leaving for Delhi tomorrow, will take up the matter with the Centre.Top

 

CM: Dhumal govt signed MoU on fiscal reforms
Tribune News Service

Shimla, August 19
Mr Virbhadra Singh, Chief Minister, came down heavily on the BJP on the issue of the memorandum of understanding (MoU) on fiscal reforms and asserted that it was signed on the sly by the Dhumal government without taking the Vidhan Sabha into confidence.

Addressing the state-level conference of the Himachal School Contract Lecturers and Teachers Union here last evening, he said the previous BJP regime not only signed it but also implemented it and sent reports to the Centre. The document signed earlier had some harsh clauses like imposition of a ban on filling of posts, which the present government was able to get relaxed. There would be no blanket ban on recruitment to government jobs and functional posts in all departments would be filled.

The Chief Minister said that the decision on regularisation had been coming not only from school contract lecturers and teachers but also from other categories of staff working in different department. He said employment on contract was being made at the national level also and was part of the modernisation process and any decision in this regard had to be taken keeping in view the longer perspective.

Mr Virbhadra Singh said the government was according top priority to education and every year Rs 330 crore was being spent on primary education and Rs 600 crore on senior secondary and high education. He said that 3,833 posts of different category of teachers had been sanctioned recently and during a short period of just 16 months, 20,000 jobs had been provided in the government sector. He said that state had achieved the target of universalisation of primary education and now Rs 532 crore was being spent under the Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan. He said that 10,500 rooms would be completed this year itself.

Mrs Asha Kumari, Education Minister, while presiding over the conference, said 6 per cent budget of the GDP was being spent on education. He said Himachal Pradesh had attained the first position in the social sector in the country, which included education.

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Cong men, admn invite CMís ire over I-Day function
Our Correspondent

Hamirpur, August 19
The state Congress in general and the Chief Minister, Mr Virbhadra Singh, in particular are annoyed at the poor response to the district-level Independence Day function as compared to that of the BJP at Hamirpur.

While the official function was chaired by the Forest Minister, Mr Ram Lal Thakur, BJP leader, Mr Prem Kumar Dhumal, was the chief guest at a function at Baroha village, on the outskirts of Hamirpur.

There were reports that the Chief Minister had sought comments from the Hamirpur district administration. The Hamirpur Deputy Commissioner rushed to Shimla last night to make the Chief Minister and the Chief Secretary aware of both functions.

Sources in the state government told The Tribune here today that the Chief Minister had criticised Congress leaders of the district for their failure to manage a good crowd at Hamirpur. The sources said the Chief Minister had told these leaders that if they did not work for strengthening the party and continued to 
remain busy in transfers, it would not be 
tolerated.

There were indications that the Chief Minister was unhappy over the poor coverage of the function as well as the meagre presence of mediapersons at the official function. Most mediapersons in Hamirpur had attended the Baroha function, terming it to be most important.

A group of Hamirpur-based mediapersons admitted that since a press note on the official function was to be released by government agencies, it was in the fitness of things to cover the function of the BJP. 
There were reports that a number of government officials considered close to the media might face the ire of the 
government.
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Labourer buried alive; 12-yr-old washed away
Tribune Reporters And PTI

Kulu, August 19
A Nepalese labourer, Kali Charan, was buried alive under debris while he was working on the widening of a road at village, Soti village near Saini, in the Banjar subdivision of this district yesterday. The body was retrieved and brought to the Zonal Hospital here for post mortem examination.

Meanwhile, the death toll in the accident of the GREF truck near Manali on Tuesday rose to four. Two of the labourers admitted to a hospital at Manali succumbed to their injuries yesterday.

Both were Nepalese and were identified as Sangeeta and Ram Chander. Their bodies were brought to the Zonal Hospital here for postmortem examination.

SHIMLA: A 12-year-old boy, Bittu, was washed away in the Lanj Khud waters at lanj village in Kangra district on wednesday evening. A student of Class-V, he was bathing in the Khud along with other boys when flash floods swept him away. His body was recovered at a distance of about 500 metres.

Meanwhile, intermittent heavy rain continued to lash various parts of the state as the monsoon remained active in Shimla and Kangra regions. Palampur and Dharamsala were lashed by heavy rain on Thursday morning while Shimla and its surrounding areas had intermittent rain and the region remained covered under fog.

NURPUR: Heavy rain in the area triggered a landslide behind the local Revenue Colony on Thursday. The landslide damaged a house below the colony. It also posed a threat to the colony.

Mr R.K. Mahajan, president of the local municipal council, who visited the affected area, said raising a protection wall near the colony could avert a further landslide.

The Revenue Minister and local MLA, Mr Sat Mahajan, directed the administration to get an estimate for raising a protection wall prepared from the Public Works Department.

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Confusion over seats at counselling for dental colleges
Our Correspondent

Solan, August 19
Confusion prevailed at the counselling for four private/unaided dental colleges of Himachal Pradesh University today as no concrete information on the number of seats allotted to the management quota was available with the officials. The confusion was confounded by the fact that officials of the counselling committee had no clue as to why a separate entrance test was conducted by Dr Y.S. Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry on August 1 in addition to an earlier test conducted by Himachal Pradesh University.

Not only were the committee officials, comprising Director Medical Education, Himachal Pradesh a nominee of the Controller of Examinations, Himachal Pradesh, University, and other officials unable to give a satisfactory reply to this query of the students, but they had no idea as to how the entire 280 seats were distributed. While the officials maintained that the HPU had conducted a PMT for 50 per cent of the total 280 seats falling in the four dental colleges in the state and another test was conducted for 70 seats of the management quota, but they had no clue as to how the remaining 70 seats would be filled. The government had been apprised of this lacuna, pointed out the officials.

The Controller of Examinations, HPU, Mr K.P. Dogar, while asserting that the university was only a facilitating body for conducting counselling for the four dental colleges, said only the instructions of the state government were being implemented. With the state government bound to complete the admission procedure before August 20, the counselling for 50 per cent seats was under way at the university. The committee officials, who could give no clear reply as to when their counselling will finish, added that the whole process had become complex in the light of at least three judgments of the apex court. The state government was not only bound to follow these directives of the apex court but had also been directed to file a reply about having completed its admission procedure within the specified time.

Interestingly a spokesman for the private dental colleges, while maintaining that the entrance test was conducted after due consultation with the state government, said the counselling for the management quota would be initiated in the last week of August.

The recent revision in the fee structure ranging from Rs 85,000 to Rs 1 lakh for the four colleges at Baddi, Sundernagar, Solan and Poanta Sahib on the directions of the apex court had further complicated the matter with parents flaying the decision. Top

 

Revival of sick units sought
Tribune News Service

Shimla, August 19
About a dozen employees organisations affiliated to Left parties, have urged the Centre to withdraw a notification regarding the closure of the Government of India press , located here, and fulfil its promise to revive sick public sector undertakings.

Mr A.C. Chauhan, secretary of the North Zone Insurance Employees Association, demanded review of the decision of the NDA government to slash the rate of interest on Special Deposit Scheme (SDS) from 12 to 8 per cent so that the employees could get higher interest on the contributory provident fund.

He said all workers organisations affiliated to the CITU, AITUC, the Bank Employees Federation of India, the Central Government Employees Coordination Committee and the all-India Insurance Employees Association would observe demands day on August 20. The main demands included reversal of the decision to raise the cap in foreign direct investment in the telecom, civil aviation and insurance sectors and dereservation of 85 items earmarked under small-scale industries, withdrawal of tax on perks of employees and payment of all outstanding statutory dues of the employees of public sector undertakings.Top

 

Employees to hold dharna today
Tribune News Service

Shimla, August 19
Employees and workers of banks, insurance, telecom, printing press, Central Government, AITUC and CITU in the state will observe National Demands Day, tomorrow.

The office-bearers of various bodies, representing these employees, said they would hold a dharna at the Deputy Commissionerís office at 3 p.m., which would culminate in a rally at Naaz.

They also condemned the hike in the prices of petrol, diesel and cooking gas, announced twice within a span of less than a month.

Reiterating their demands, the employees representatives demanded re-examining of the decision on maintaining the interest on the special deposit scheme (SDS), the GPF and the PPF, which was reduced from 12 to 8 per cent by the NDA regime.

They also demanded the scrapping of the decision for enhancing the FDI cap in telecom, civil aviation and insurance sectors.

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NTPC emerges largest power utility
Tribune News Service

Shimla, August 19
The NTPC has emerged as the largest power utility in the country with an installed capacity of 22,249 MW. It generates 26.7 per cent of the countryís entire power. The NTPC is implementing its first hydroelectric venture, Kol Dam (800 MW), on the Sutlej in Bilaspur district of Himachal Pradesh.

The project envisages utilising a drop of about 140 metres by constructing a 163-metre-high rock and gravel fill dam. A surface power station will be constructed at the toe of the dam, housing four vertical francis turbines of 200 MW each. The other important components are diversion tunnels, crest spillway, coffer dams, desilting chambers, power intake and penstock tunnels. The reservoir submergence will extend to about 40 km upstream the dam axis covering about 1,400 hectares in the districts of Bilaspur, Solan, Shimla and Mandi.

The project will benefit Himachalis in a big way as 12 per cent of the power generated at the Kol Dam would go to HP free of cost and 15 per cent at bus bar tariff.

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