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

CM rubbishes BJP’s claims on panchayat elections
Nurpur, February 8
The Chief Minister, Mr Virbhadra Singh, lambasted the BJP leaders for making false claims of BJP-supported candidates dominating the Panchayati Raj elections held recently in the state.

Villagers stop CM’s cavalcade, protest against police
Nurpur, February 8
Villagers of Ondh gram panchayat in this subdivision who assembled to welcome Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh turned hostile this evening and stopped the cavalcade passing through their area. They protested against the police and raised slogans against the state government.

Virbhadra hints at 100 pc literacy
Kangra, February 8
Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh today praised both government and private educational institutions in the state for imparting quality education to the students.

Ex-MLA voices support for Ford project
Kulu, February 8
Dilaram Shabab, former MLA from Kulu, has decried the move to hold ‘Jagiti Conclave’ of Kulu gods and urged the state government to invite party leaders of Kulu and newly elected pradhans of the concerned gram panchayats for talks to discuss the MoU recently signed by the government with the Ford Company of the USA regarding the proposed Himalayan Ski Village.


YOUR TOWN
Kangra
Kulu
Shimla
Solan
Nurpur
Una


EARLIER STORIES
 

Ban on construction in green areas may be relaxed
Shimla, February 8
Having made relaxation in allowing construction in government-owned health and education institutions in greenbelts, the government is contemplating giving partial relaxation in the ban on constructions in the green areas of the town.

4 held for murder
Kangra, February 8
The police yesterday arrested four persons for the abduction and murder of a person from Jasool village in this subdivision, the police said here. Kangra subdivisional Police Officer V.S. Thakur said that Iswar Dass, Mohinder, Sita Ram and Brij Lal were arrested under Section 364 of the IPC on the complaint of the Ms Neelam Devi wife of Omkar Singh had been missing since January 30, last.

Baspa floods: 1 more probe ordered
Reckong Peo, February 8
The state government has ordered a fresh probe to investigate the floods in the Baspa rivulet, a tributary of the Sutlej. Annulling the earlier decision of constituting a high-level committee into the matter, the state government has now asked Mr R.L. Chauhan, former member of the state electricity board, to technically investigate the cause and damages of the floods in the Baspa within 15 days.

Darlaghat turns into police camp
Solan, February 8
Fearing a backlash from truckers at Darlaghat after the issuance of notices to them, the area has been converted into a cantonment with three armed police reserves being deployed there to avoid any untoward incident.

Snowfall on higher reaches of Kinnaur
Reckong Peo, February 8
Fresh snowfall on the higher reaches of Kinnaur district followed by rain in the inhabited areas has again lowered the temperature in this tribal belt.

ABVP warns govt on MoU with varsities
Shimla, February 8
The Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) yesterday warned the authorities against signing of the proposed MoU with the government as it would erode the autonomy of the university.

Lalsingi in Una or Hoshiarpur?
Una, February 8
Lalsingi village, 2 km from Una at Una-Dharamsala road, is still a part of Hoshiarpur district as far as revenue record of the village is concerned. Prior to November 1, 1966 Una tehsil was part of Hoshiarpur district and after reorganisation of the states, part of Una tehsil of Hoshiarpur district was merged with Himachal Pradesh which became a part of Kangra district. On September 1, 1972, Una was declared an independent district.

Old man burnt alive
Shimla, February 8
Mr Lagan Das (70), was burnt alive in a fire which gutted his house at Kuan nullah village in the Theog subdivision, last night. The deceased lived in the house with his wife Shanti Devi, who had gone to meet some relatives and thus had providential escape.

Video
Nearly 2000-year-old Kunda of Kushmanda Mata opened at Khegasu village in Kullu district.
(28k, 56k)

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CM rubbishes BJP’s claims on panchayat elections
Our Correspondent

Nurpur, February 8
The Chief Minister, Mr Virbhadra Singh, lambasted the BJP leaders for making false claims of BJP-supported candidates dominating the Panchayati Raj elections held recently in the state.

He also ridiculed their assertions that the Congress had suffered an erosion in its mass support after these elections throughout the state.

Addressing a public meeting at Sadwan near here, he claimed that 75 per cent of zila parishads and block development committees had been swept by the Congress supported candidates in the state.

“The government will shortly make public and publish the names of the Congress-supported Panchayat Pradhans which will clear the misinformation being spread by the BJP leaders in the state,” he announced.

Mr Virbhadra Singh reiterated that the government was committed to overall development of the state without any prejudice.

He claimed that it was only Congress government which gave an impetus to the development of the state after merging hilly areas of Punjab into Himachal Pradesh on November 1,1996.

The public meeting was also addressed by the Irrigation-cum-Public Health Minister, Mr Kaul Singh, Revenue Minister and local MLA Sat Mahajan and MP, Kangra Parliamentary Constituency, Mr Chander Kumar.

Mr Kaul Singh informed that Himachal Pradesh was the first state in the country providing 70 lt of water per capita whereas it was only 40 lt in other states.

He stated, in the first phase of the ‘Employment Gurantee Scheme, Chamba and Sirmour district had been picked up which would directly benefit the unemployed persons.

In a one-day visit to Nurpur Assembly constituency, the Chief Minister laid foundation stones of drinking water supply schemes at Hatli Jawalan, Madanpur-Thana, Janera-Samula and 33 KV/11 power substation at Sadwan and two bridges at Dhaneti and Charuri.

He also inaugurated Nagabari-Bhadwar link road and its bridges and augmentation of water supply scheme at Nurpur.

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Villagers stop CM’s cavalcade, protest against police
Our Correspondent

Nurpur, February 8
Villagers of Ondh gram panchayat in this subdivision who assembled to welcome Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh turned hostile this evening and stopped the cavalcade passing through their area. They protested against the police and raised slogans against the state government.

According to the information one police official reportedly slapped the husband of the pradhan of Ondh gram panchayat which infuriated the villagers. However, the vehicles of the Chief Minister and accompanying ministers passed peacefully but the government vehicles in the cavalcade were stopped by the irate mob.

The mob broke the red light of a vehicle (HP 07-633) of the Irrigation Minister Mr Kaul Singh. Meanwhile Mr Ajay Mahajan the HPTDC, director and son of the local MLA and Revenue Minister Sat Mahajan intervened and pacified the mob and assured action against the erring police official.

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Virbhadra hints at 100 pc literacy
Our Correspondent

Kangra, February 8
Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh today praised both government and private educational institutions in the state for imparting quality education to the students.

He was speaking at the Pratibha Samman Samaroh organised by Hindi daily Amar Ujala at Dharamsala today.

He said it was due to the dedication and devotion of teachers and students that the state had ranked number 2 in the country. Only Kerala was ahead of Himachal in education, he said. He said the state was poised to achieve the target of 100 per cent literacy in the coming few years.

He said quality education, coupled with job-oriented approach, would secure the future of the coming generation.

He said the media was the watchdog of society. He asked journalists to adhere to the code of ethics and principals of journalism while informing the public about various issues.

Mr G.S. Bali, Transport Minister, and Maj-Gen R.S. Mehta, Chief of the Staff of 9th Core, also spoke on the occasion.

Earlier, Amar Ujala Editor Uday Kumar welcomed the Chief Minister.

Mr Kaul Singh Thakur, Irrigation and Public Health Minister, Mr Sat Mahajan, Revenue Minister, and Mr Brij Bihari Lal Butail, Political Adviser to the Chief Minister, were also present on the occasion.

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Ex-MLA voices support for Ford project
Our Correspondent

Kulu, February 8
Dilaram Shabab, former MLA from Kulu, has decried the move to hold ‘Jagiti Conclave’ of Kulu gods and urged the state government to invite party leaders of Kulu and newly elected pradhans of the concerned gram panchayats for talks to discuss the MoU recently signed by the government with the Ford Company of the USA regarding the proposed Himalayan Ski Village.

He released a statement today saying that in the public interest, it was important to set at rest the conflicting statements issued by a section of political leaders to the media.

Mr Shabab said after many a summer, the people of Himachal Pradesh had got something to smile and be happy that the Ford Company planned to develop a world-class ski slopes, the first of its kind in India, to cater to the well-heeled enthusiastic tourists.

He deplored how amusing it sounded of the call given by Mr Maheshwar Singh, a former MP and the scion of the Kulu royal family, to hold an audience of Kulu village gods at the ‘Jagati Seat’ scheduled for February 16 at Naggar.

Mr Shabab said that interestingly the forward-looking youth and serious-minded people felt concerned as what purpose this ‘Jagati Conclave’ would serve when the proposed project was going to attract a huge investment by the company involving millions of dollars to provide highly modern Gondola-Ski-Lifts, a 600 room five star hotel, 300 chalets, a conventional centre, food courts, handicraft complex and even a sanatorium.

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Ban on construction in green areas may be relaxed
Pratibha Chauhan
Tribune News Service

Shimla, February 8
Having made relaxation in allowing construction in government-owned health and education institutions in greenbelts, the government is contemplating giving partial relaxation in the ban on constructions in the green areas of the town.

However the Jakhu hill, which is already faced with haphazard construction, will be excluded from the partial relaxation. Both private individuals and agencies like the housing board have already done a lot of damage in the Jakhu area, which is considered the crown of the town.

Political pressure is being mounted by owners of plot owners in these fragile pockets that are facing severe depletion.

The matter is under consideration at the highest level and there is a move to give some relaxation keeping in view the request made by persons who own plots in the green pockets of the town.

Relaxation has already been made for expansion of government educational and health institutions in the greenbelts of the town. The notification making amendments in the Town and Country Planning Act for allowing expansion in greenbelts was issued in October.

According to the notification, certain norms have been laid down. The norms require that the minimum size of the plot should be 1,000 sq mt and only 40 per cent area should be covered. Four storeys and one parking floor are allowed.

However, a complete ban on construction in the Jakhu area would continue.

About 40 plot owners had submitted a representation to the government to adopt a lenient view and give them some relaxation. With complete ban on construction in the green areas, the plot owners can neither build houses nor can they sell it as there are no buyers.

Although a committee headed by the Chief Secretary, constituted to look into the matter, had given recommendation against lifting of the ban in green areas in 2002, the government is likely to give some relaxation.

Sources said the relaxation would be strictly need based and only one storey and attic would be allowed.

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4 held for murder
Our Correspondent

Kangra, February 8
The police yesterday arrested four persons for the abduction and murder of a person from Jasool village in this subdivision, the police said here.
Kangra subdivisional Police Officer V.S. Thakur said that Iswar Dass, Mohinder, Sita Ram and Brij Lal were arrested under Section 364 of the IPC on the complaint of the Ms Neelam Devi wife of Omkar Singh had been missing since January 30, last.

He said that Ms Neelam suspected that the four had abducted her husband and murdered him when she sat on dharna in the Nagrota Bagwan Police Post for two days to demand arrest the accused persons.

Mr Omkar Singh left his house on January 30, last to collect his dues from a contractor with whom he was working earlier but he did not return till today. The DSP said a missing report was lodged with Nagrota Bagwan Police Post on February 4, and since then the police had been raiding places to search for him.

The residents of Jasool village held a demonstration outside the Nagrota Bagwan police post and blocked traffic on the Pathankot Mandi Highway on Sunday to demand the arresting of the culprits.

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Baspa floods: 1 more probe ordered
Tribune News Service

Reckong Peo, February 8
The state government has ordered a fresh probe to investigate the floods in the Baspa rivulet, a tributary of the Sutlej.
Annulling the earlier decision of constituting a high-level committee into the matter, the state government has now asked Mr R.L. Chauhan, former member of the state electricity board, to technically investigate the cause and damages of the floods in the Baspa within 15 days.

The local people alleged negligence on part of the Jaypee group of industries who are running a hydel power project and established a reservoir at the entrance of the valley. They say that the Jaypees, to save the gates of power plant, had released water into the Baspa in July last year without sounding any alarm to the local people and the district administration that resulted into floods.

Mr Chauhan will visit the valley and interact with both flood-affected people and the authorities concerned of the Jaypees to find out the reasons that caused damage to the public as well as private property.

Meanwhile, the state government was also taking up the matter with the higher authorities of the Jaypees to withdraw their appeal filed in the high court and ask them to honour and implement the judgement passed by the local District and Sessions Court wherein the Jaypees had been directed to provide oustees at enhanced compensation for the land acquired by them for constructing the project.

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Darlaghat turns into police camp
Our Correspondent

Solan, February 8
Fearing a backlash from truckers at Darlaghat after the issuance of notices to them, the area has been converted into a cantonment with three armed police reserves being deployed there to avoid any untoward incident.

Police officials said night patrolling had been initiated since last night though the law and order situation was under control. DSP (Headquarters) R.C. Chhajta was monitoring the situation. Meanwhile, truck unions concluded the elections to their organisations today. They were slated to meet soon to devise their future course of action in the wake of time-bound notices issued to them.

With their strike entering the eleventh day, the shortage of cement was being felt in the industrial area of Baddi-Barotiwala-Nalagarh where a number of new industrial units were under construction. A random survey of the area revealed that cement prices had shot up by Rs 7-10 in the past 10 days.

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Snowfall on higher reaches of Kinnaur
Tribune News Service

Reckong Peo, February 8
Fresh snowfall on the higher reaches of Kinnaur district followed by rain in the inhabited areas has again lowered the temperature in this tribal belt.

After two weeks of sunshine, weather again took a U-turn with light to moderate showers in the inhabited areas just past midnight. Rain continued till morning in almost all parts of the district.

Later, clouds hovered over the sky all the day even after the rain stopped. The minimum temperature last night again dipped down to sub zero in the inhabited areas of middle and upper Kinnaur.

Weather experts say that if the cloudy weather persists for another 24 hours, Kinnaur may witness its third spell of snowfall in the next couple of days in the inhabited areas.

Reports from upper areas Kinnaur revealed that there were blustery weather conditions with cool breeze blowing. Most people beyond Pooh preferred to remain in door in the day because of the biting cold wave.

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ABVP warns govt on MoU with varsities
Tribune News Service

Shimla, February 8
The Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) yesterday warned the authorities against signing of the proposed MoU with the government as it would erode the autonomy of the university.

A delegation of ABVP activists led by the state secretary, Mr Umesh Dutt gave a representation to the Vice-Chancellor (VC), Dr L.R. Verma here yesterday. The ABVP, while requesting the Vice-Chancellor not to sign the MoU, said that this would lead to a steep hike in the fee structure and make education unaffordable for many.

Mr Umesh Dutt said that in case the MoU the ABVP would launch a statewide agitation as the interests of the students, teachers and employees would be hit badly.

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Lalsingi in Una or Hoshiarpur?
Our Correspondent

Una, February 8
Lalsingi village, 2 km from Una at Una-Dharamsala road, is still a part of Hoshiarpur district as far as revenue record of the village is concerned. Prior to November 1, 1966 Una tehsil was part of Hoshiarpur district and after reorganisation of the states, part of Una tehsil of Hoshiarpur district was merged with Himachal Pradesh which became a part of Kangra district. On September 1, 1972, Una was declared an independent district.

Residents of Lalsingi village made several representations to Sat Mahajan Revenue Minister, Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh and to various other authorities for change of the revenue record and deletion of Hoshiarpur from the record and enter Una instead.

Jamabandi of this village was prepared in 1955-56. Thereafter, it had not been prepared. Some legal cases pertaining to this village were pending in the high court. Now, during the recent visit of the Chief Minister to Una district, gram panchayat pradhan of Una Jarnail Singh and other residents of village had given a representation to him to direct the settlement department to complete the settlement of the village at the earliest so that this district too becomes a part of Una.

As per the representation, settlement proceedings started in this village during 1989-90 but these had not been finalised yet and entry in jamabandi of this village still continues to be of Hoshiarpur district. Jamabandi record of this village, which was procured on June, 2005, still mension village Lalsingi as part of Hoshiarpur.

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Old man burnt alive
Tribune News Service

Shimla, February 8
Mr Lagan Das (70), was burnt alive in a fire which gutted his house at Kuan nullah village in the Theog subdivision, last night.
The deceased lived in the house with his wife Shanti Devi, who had gone to meet some relatives and thus had providential escape.

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