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THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

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

Minister decries Bharadwaj’s remarks
Shimla, February 27
The Minister for Civil Supplies, Mr Singhi Ram, today accused the state BJP chief, Mr Suresh Bharadwaj, of issuing misleading statements regarding the supply of essential commodities through the public distribution system to malign the government.

Envoys brief Dalai Lama about talks
with China

Kangra, February 27
Two envoys of Tibetan temporal head and spiritual leader the Dalai Lama— Lodi G. Gyaltsen and Kelsang Gyaltsen— returned to India and have submitted the report to the Dalai Lama regarding the developments in the talks with the Chinese leadership on the Tibet issue.

EPTI team arrives in India
Kangra, February 27
As many as 31 members of the European Parliament Tibet Intergroup (EPTI) arrived in India today. They would visit Dharamsala and meet the Dalai Lama on March 2.

CM rules out early Assembly poll
Shimla, February 27
The chief minister, Mr Virbhadra Singh, today ruled out the possibility of holding Assembly elections in the state before the full term of the Vidhan Sabha.

Isolate those misusing dev sanskriti: CM
Mandi, February 27
Apart from assuring a “tax-free people’s budget” to be presented on March 3 in the coming Assembly session, the Chief Minister, Mr Virbhadra Singh, today urged the people here that time had come to isolate the vested interests who were misusing the “dev sanskriti” for political purposes, to save the ancient culture and tradition of devis and devtas in the state.






YOUR TOWN
Kangra
Mandi
Shimla
Solan




EARLIER STORIES

 

Engineer’s date of birth changed
Shimla, February 27
The date of birth of Mr S.P. Negi, Engineer-in-Chief of the Public Works Department, has been changed.

Auction of excise barriers on March 1
Solan, February 27
The seven excise barriers of Solan district will be auctioned on March 1 and the Excise and Taxation Department has pegged reserve price at Rs 7.02 crore.



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Minister decries Bharadwaj’s remarks
Tribune News Service

Shimla, February 27
The Minister for Civil Supplies, Mr Singhi Ram, today accused the state BJP chief, Mr Suresh Bharadwaj, of issuing misleading statements regarding the supply of essential commodities through the public distribution system to malign the government.

Addressing mediapersons here today, he said there was no truth in the allegation that levy sugar and other essential commodities were being short supplied. It was irresponsible on the part of Mr Bharadwaj to allege that it was a Rs 5-crore scam.

The controversy might have arisen due to the fact that the state civil supply corporation was making a nominal deduction as cost of the bag. Asserting that the public distribution system in the state was the best in the country, he said a recent survey carried out by the Planning Commission stated that the level of pilferage was lowest at .41 per cent as against the national average 17 per cent. In case of Punjab, the pilferage was as high as 33 per cent. Himachal was rated as the top state in the survey.

The quantum of supplies had increased significantly as compared to the previous regime. For instance, in 2002-03 only 28,551 tonnes of wheat was supplied to the BPL (below poverty line) as against 46,333 tonnes during 2004-05. Similarly, the quantity of rice increased from 50,519 to 73,481 tonnes over the period.

Regarding the allegation that the corporation purchased substandard bandages, he said two batches were found substandard but the supply order was placed during the BJP regime in 2002 and executed in the following year. The corporation withheld payment when the matter came to the notice.

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Envoys brief Dalai Lama about talks with China
Our Correspondent

Kangra, February 27
Two envoys of Tibetan temporal head and spiritual leader the Dalai Lama— Lodi G. Gyaltsen and Kelsang Gyaltsen— returned to India and have submitted the report to the Dalai Lama regarding the developments in the talks with the Chinese leadership on the Tibet issue.

After Losar, the Tibetan New Year which is to be celebrated tomorrow, the envoys will brief the chairman and the vice-chairman of the Assembly of the Tibetan People’s Deputies and the members of the Kashag (Cabinet of the Tibetan Government in Exile) .

The envoys and their aides arrived in China on 15 February for the fifth round of talks on the Tibetan issue.

Members of the Tibetan delegation had first round of meeting with their Chinese counterparts in September 2002. The second round of talks was held between May 25 and Junne 8 2003, and the third one was held in September 2004. The fourth round of talks was held from June 30 to July1, 2005.

The first three rounds of talks were held in Beijing while the fourth round was held in Berne, Switzerland. 

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EPTI team arrives in India
Our Correspondent

Kangra, February 27
As many as 31 members of the European Parliament Tibet Intergroup (EPTI) arrived in India today. They would visit Dharamsala and meet the Dalai Lama on March 2.

According to sources the visiting group comprises 11 members of the European Union and a list of 20 aides to members of the EPTI. Sources said Mr Thomas M. Mann, president and Ms Lissy Groner, vice-president of the EPTI, were leading the group.

Tenzin Wangmo Dunchu, coordinator of the office of Tibet in Brussels, and Tsering Jampa, member of the International Campaign for Tibet in the Netherlands, are accompanying the group.

According to sources the group arrived in Delhi today and left for Dekyiling Tibetan settlement in Dehra Dun, where they will visit the Sakya centre and take part in the Tibetan new year celebrations. They are also expected to visit the Sakya nunnery and Dekyiling Tibetan settlement.

During their visit to Dharamsala, they will meet Kalon Tripa Prof Samdhong Rinpoche and his Kashag colleagues and visit the Assembly of Tibetan People’s Deputies (ATPD), followed by a meeting with the standing committee members of the ATPD.

They will also visit the Library of Tibetan Work and Archives, Tibetan Medical and Astrological Institute, Tibetan Reception Centre, Norbulinka Institute and meet Tibetan NGOs like the Tibetan Youth Congress, the Tibetan Women’s Association, the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy, the National Democratic Party of Tibet and the Gu-Chu-Sum, an association of former political prisoners.

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CM rules out early Assembly poll
Tribune News Service

Shimla, February 27
The chief minister, Mr Virbhadra Singh, today ruled out the possibility of holding Assembly elections in the state before the full term of the Vidhan Sabha.

Talking to media persons here, he said the BJP was trying to mislead the people on the issue of holding early elections. “When the Congress has been given a clear mandate by the people, the question of holding early elections simply does not arise,” he stated.

He said the BJP instead of misleading the people should play the role of a constructive opposition. “The BJP has failed to play a positive role in and outside the Vidhan Sabha and the people are disappointed with this,” he said.

He said the mafia the BJP is talking of was its own creation. “I have always waged a relentless war against the land, liquor and forest mafia and the Congress government is still continuing in its effort,” he said.

He said the ongoing investigations in the tarcoal scam against a BJP leader would bring out some startling revelations. He added that during the BJP regime there were endless scams, including the one in the Subordinate Services Selection Board and in Himachal Pradesh University.

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Isolate those misusing dev sanskriti: CM
Kuldeep Chauhan

Tribune News Service

Mandi, February 27
Apart from assuring a “tax-free people’s budget” to be presented on March 3 in the coming Assembly session, the Chief Minister, Mr Virbhadra Singh, today urged the people here that time had come to isolate the vested interests who were misusing the “dev sanskriti” for political purposes, to save the ancient culture and tradition of devis and devtas in the state.

Addressing a large gathering of the Mahashivratri festival at Paddal Stadium here after he dedicated the Rs 4.46-crore Suketi bridge to the public and led a large Shivratri shobha yatra here, Mr Virbhadra Singh asserted that certain elements were misusing the ancient “dev sanskriti” and people’s sentiments attached to the devtas”, to further their political agenda.

Though he did not name the politician, he referred to a former Mandi BJP MP, Mr Maheshwar Singh, when he urged the “kardars” and public at large to isolate the political elements from the festivals and institution of the devis and devtas so that rich tradition remained alive in all its purity and sanctity.

“Whether it is Lord Raghunath or others, the devtas are not personal property of an individual, they are worshipped by all and belong to all,” Mr Virbhadra Singh asserted and urged people to fight the ill designs of such elements, who were dragging the devtas into politics as their own property.

Mr Virbhadra Singh announced a grant of Rs 65 lakh for the construction of a swimming pool, and directed the HRTC to start the construction work on Rs 8-crore bus stand in the town.

Mr Virbhadra Singh said the government was opening 10,000 new anganwadi centres that would employ 22,000 women.

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Engineer’s date of birth changed
Tribune News Service

Shimla, February 27
The date of birth of Mr S.P. Negi, Engineer-in-Chief of the Public Works Department, has been changed.

A government spokesman here today clarified that the date of birth of Mr Negi was October 28, 1948, as recorded in the matriculation certificate, which was final unless otherwise changed through the due process of law. Confusion was created as his date of birth was mentioned as February 28, 1948, in the tentative seniority list of chief engineers issued by the Department of Personnel. It was issued on the basis of the date of birth given in the seniority list of superintending engineers.

Mr Negi had, in response to the tentative seniority list, represented that his date of birth be corrected as per his service book entries and matriculation certificate. His representation was examined. The date of birth recorded in the seniority list of assistant engineers issued on October 22, 1986, was December 28, 1948, whereas in the seniority list of executive engineers and superintending engineers it was February 28, 1948.

However, as per the matriculation certificate issued by Panjab University in July 1963, the date of birth was October 28, 1948 and the entries in the service book opened in 1972 after he joined service also indicated the same date.

A correction was made in the final seniority list of chief engineers and in the seniority lists of assistant engineers, executive engineers and superintending engineers issued from time to time by issuing a corrigendum on September 14, 2005.

As such, no change of date of birth had been effected. Only a clerical error in the seniority lists issued earlier, which was brought to the notice of the government after the tentative seniority list of chief engineers was finalised, had been corrected.

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Auction of excise barriers on March 1
Our Correspondent

Solan, February 27
The seven excise barriers of Solan district will be auctioned on March 1 and the Excise and Taxation Department has pegged reserve price at Rs 7.02 crore.

The Parwanoo excise barrier, — is slated to fetch the maximum revenue, has been pegged at Rs 4.12 crore while other two units Barotiwala and Derowaal have been reserved at Rs 2.25 lakh and Rs 65 lakh respectively.

Auction of the barriers for the collection of entry tax however has drawn flak from the people, who rue that it was absurd to pay tax for entering one’s own state. The locals staying within periphery of 2 km from the barriers have been extended the provision of quarterly passes.

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