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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

Part of heritage church compound demolished
Dalhousie, July 28
A portion of the compound of St. Francis Church at Subhas Chowk was demolished by the civic body here yesterday. This is being done to broaden the chowk area. The church is a heritage property built by the British in 1894. The church is surrounded by several green deodar trees.

Central teams’ visit to assess drought loss in rainy season
Dharamsala, July 28
The region has been witnessing heavy rain. Two teams of the central government will visit parts of the state to assess “drought-affected” areas for grant of financial assistance.

CM’s assurance on foreigners’ arrest
Shimla, July 28
The Himachal Pradesh Government will ensure that respective embassies of the foreign nationals arrested in connection with various unlawful activities in the state are informed within 24 hours with all details.

RIL introduces plastic cartons in Kinnaur
Reckong Peo, July 28
Aimed at setting up as many as 75 rural hubs in the interior of Himachal Pradesh during the next couple of years, Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) has made inroads into the tribal areas of the state by bringing in plastic cartons for packaging of apple.






YOUR TOWN
Dalhousie
Dharamsala
Mandi
Shimla


EARLIER STORIES

Legal notice to Cadbury
Palampur, July 28
The “Save Palampur” a voluntary social organisation of the town yesterday served a legal notice on Cadbury India Limited for telecast of an advertisement on TV channels presenting a cow as Miss Palampur.

DGP Narayan given farewell
Dharamsala, July 28
Mr Ajit Narayan, Director-General of Police (DGP), who is slated to retire on July 31, was here today given farewell by police officials from Kangra, Chamba and Una districts. Those present on the occasion included Mr P.S. Thakur, DIG, and Mr Zahur H. Zaidi, SP (Vigilance).

Bank staff hold rallies
Shimla, July 28
Banking services in Himachal Pradesh were affected as officers and employees of various nationalised banks observed a day’s strike in protest against the move of the move to outsource the banking operations.

Rs 18 crore for potable water
Mandi, July 28
The Irrigation and Public Health Minister, Mr Kaul Singh Thakur, today said that the government would construct filter tanks to supply clean potable water under Swajal Dhara scheme in the state for which the government had allocated Rs 18 crore.

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Part of heritage church compound demolished
Our Correspondent

Dalhousie, July 28
A portion of the compound of St. Francis Church at Subhas Chowk was demolished by the civic body here yesterday. This is being done to broaden the chowk area. The church is a heritage property built by the British in 1894. The church is surrounded by several green deodar trees.

The people of Dalhousie were shocked to see the dismantling work with a recline machine and the earth has been dug up to about 10 feet inside the compound and very close to one of the trees.

It is understood that at least eight fully grown trees may be axed to widen Subhas Chowk.

The 112-year-old church is situated in the hub of the town and the tall deodar trees in front of the church add to its beauty. People feel that the Chief Minister, Mr Virbhadra Singh, should intervene and order stalling the damage to this heritage property and order a high-level inquiry into the matter.

Just a month ago, a green oak tree, about 40-foot high, was felled here with the permission of officials despite the orders of the Supreme Court and the state High Court, banning cutting of green trees.

A social worker, Mr Paramjit Singh, who is also a member of the state Minority Welfare Board, had at that time lodged a complaint with the Divisional Forest Officer, Dalhousie, on this issue.

It is feared that permission for cutting green deodar trees in the St. Francis Church compound has presumably been granted and these trees may face the axe any time, which is against the law.

The Subdivisional Magistrate, Mr D.C. Rana, however, maintained that it was an open space along the church which was being developed for the facility of parking of vehicles, and even then the work progressed with the consent of the priest of the church. Moreover, this minor work was not going to affect any green trees and the question of permission with regard to felling of trees at this site did not arise at all, the SDM stated.

Despite best efforts, the father of St. Francis Church, and the president of the Municipal Council, Mr Manoj Chadha, could not be contacted for their versions.

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Central teams’ visit to assess drought loss in
rainy season
Tribune News Service

Dharamsala, July 28
The region has been witnessing heavy rain. Two teams of the central government will visit parts of the state to assess “drought-affected” areas for grant of financial assistance.

The district administration has been asked to organise ‘field visits for the teams to enable them to assess losses suffered by the state due to drought.

A senior official said there was no point in visiting the once drought-affected areas as the situation has changed on the ground and now there was water-logging in many parts of the Kangra district.

“There is no shortage of drinking water and lush green vegetation stand in fields and pastures. The teams can only interact with affected farmers to assess loss suffered by them during April-May,” he said.

A circular issued by the divisional commissioner to the district administration says, “the scarcity of water for drinking and irrigation during the last rabi season should be highlighted during the visits.

“While one team will visit the Mandi region, the other team, headed by Mr Satish Chander, Joint secretary, Government of India, will come to Dharamsala on August 1 and visit Kangra, Hamirpur and Una districts.

Assistant Commissioner, A.L. Sharma, said the district administration had been sending details of drought situation to the centre from different departments on a regular basis. He, however, did not comment on the delay in arrival of the teams from the Centre to assess to loss.

Due to the shortage of water in April-May, the district administration had detailed tankers to supply drinking water and vehicles to take fodder to the farmers. Financial relief would be released only after the two teams give the assessment report.

At a press conference in Dharamsala on May 3, Revenue and Panchayati Raj Minister, Sat Mahajan, said that Himachal was on the brink of becoming a drought-hit state, the situation was being studied and the matter was being taken up with the Centre for relief package.

As a first step in this direction, he said, the government had decided to give 100 per cent subsidy on the transportation of cattle feed.

Meanwhile, the BJP, alleged the state government was callous regarding the drought likely to hit the state and that it had failed to formulate strategy to cope with the situation even though

the Opposition had raised the issue in the Assembly session held at Dharamsala.

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CM’s assurance on foreigners’ arrest
Tribune News Service

Shimla, July 28
The Himachal Pradesh Government will ensure that respective embassies of the foreign nationals arrested in connection with various unlawful activities in the state are informed within 24 hours with all details.

This was stated by Mr Virbhadra Singh, Chief Minister, during an interaction with the Italian Ambassador, Mr Antonio Armenilli, his wife and Mr Trichilo, Visa Counsellor, who called on him here yesterday.

The Chief Minister said the state had been receiving a large number of foreign tourists who visited various places and also undertook adventure sports activities. The government had been ensuring that best hospitality was extended to such foreign nationals to make their journey and stay comfortable.

Mr Virbhadra Singh said some foreign visitors had been indulging in unlawful activities which was not good for tourism as they were being arrested. He said the state was concerned about the safety and security of the visitors and a number of agencies had been working to look after them.

He said the outside visitors involved in criminal and other illegal activities were being arrested and dealt with as per the law of the land since the government would not let anyone take law into its own hands.

He said although the information with regard to the arrest of foreign nationals was being sent to the embassies concerned, but the government would ensure henceforth that it was done within 24 hours of the arrest.

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RIL introduces plastic cartons in Kinnaur
Kulwinder Sandhu
Tribune News Service

Reckong Peo, July 28
Aimed at setting up as many as 75 rural hubs in the interior of Himachal Pradesh during the next couple of years, Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) has made inroads into the tribal areas of the state by bringing in plastic cartons for packaging of apple.

This is for the first time that plastic cartons have come to Kinnaur to replace the cardboard boxes currently being used by the farmers.

The RIL has circulated thousands of pamphlets among the farmers to market its product in the apple-producing belt of the district.

Claiming that the “cello bubble guard board” cartons are much better than the already in use cardboard cartons, the RIL has also come out with a few attractive prizes for the buyers.

Despite the efforts and marketing strategy being adopted by the RIL, the tribal apple growers are reluctant to purchase these cartons for the basic reason — the ongoing controversy in which the company is involved in Punjab and Haryana with regard to the special economic zones, revealed Harsh Negi, an apple grower of Kinnaur.

Moreover, the apple cartons manufactured by the RIL are being sold at much higher price — Rs 75 per carton as compared to a cardboard carton which is available at Rs 20 to Rs 25.

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Legal notice to Cadbury
Our Correspondent

Palampur, July 28
The “Save Palampur” a voluntary social organisation of the town yesterday served a legal notice on Cadbury India Limited for telecast of an advertisement on TV channels presenting a cow as Miss Palampur.

Briefing mediapersons here today Ms Neelam Sood, chairperson of “ Save Palampur” said the advertisement was being telecast wherein Amitabh Bachhan presented a cow as Miss Palampur was highly objectionable, defamatory and insulting to women folk of Palampur.

She said her organisation had decided to drag Cadbury India Limited and others to the court of law as they had hurt the sentiments of women in Palampur region of Himachal Pradesh.

Ms Sood said she had sent a legal notice to the Managing Director of the Cadbury India Limited though her counsel and had asked the company to withdraw the advertisement with immediate effect or face suit for damages of Rs 10 crore.

Ms Sood said Palampur was a region from where great soldiers of this nation sacrificed their lives for this country.

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DGP Narayan given farewell
Tribune News Service

Dharamsala, July 28
Mr Ajit Narayan, Director-General of Police (DGP), who is slated to retire on July 31, was here today given farewell by police officials from Kangra, Chamba and Una districts. Those present on the occasion included Mr P.S. Thakur, DIG, and Mr Zahur H. Zaidi, SP (Vigilance).

Mr Narayan shared his experiences in the police force. He narrated how things were so different when he got his first posting in Dharamsala in 1972 as there used to be no vehicles or sources of communication in police stations and the investigating officers had to travel by bus.

He exhorted the police personnel to be tactful, firm and cordial with the general public.

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Bank staff hold rallies
Tribune News Service

Shimla, July 28
Banking services in Himachal Pradesh were affected as officers and employees of various nationalised banks observed a day’s strike in protest against the move of the move to outsource the banking operations.

The call for strike was jointly given by the All-India Bank Employees Association, the All-India Bank Officers Association and the Bank Employees Federation of India. The agitating bank men held demonstrations in front of the bank branches all over the state and held rallies at district and state headquarters.

Addressing the rally near the CTO here, the leaders alleged that the government was succumbing to pressure for freeing interests and it was least concerned about the employees. This was being done to exploit the youth who would be made to work for 12 to 14 hours a day for meagre wages.

They also condemned the government for not accepting the demand for allowing one more option for pension. The attempts to allow the foreign banks have a foothold in the financial sector by bringing legislation and removing cap on their voting rights was also opposed.

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Rs 18 crore for potable water
Tribune News Service

Mandi, July 28
The Irrigation and Public Health Minister, Mr Kaul Singh Thakur, today said that the government would construct filter tanks to supply clean potable water under Swajal Dhara scheme in the state for which the government had allocated Rs 18 crore.

Addressing the gathering at a workshop for panchayat pradhans at Bipasha Sadan here, Mr Kaul Singh Thakur said the filter tanks would be installed at the IPH water sources which had been left out so that the residents got clean portable water

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