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

Incommunicado Sonia returns to Delhi
Shimla, August 14

Wanting to keep her four-day family holiday in Shimla completely private, the Congress president, Ms Sonia Gandhi, managed to steal some private moments with her grandchildren even if it meant getting caught in traffic jam and following the normal route sans the high security that surrounds the high profile family.

RITES to conduct survey for ropeway projects
Mandi, August 14
To attract investors, the Department of Tourism and Civil Aviation has roped in RITES, an autonomous body of the Ministry of Railways, to conduct a preliminary survey on four different sites selected for the ropeway projects in Kullu, Naina Devi, Dharamsala and Shimla in Himachal Pradesh.

Power generation resumes at Nathpa Jhakri
Shimla, August 14
Power situation in the North improved with the resumption of power generation at the 1,500-MW Nathpa Jhakri Project today after a gap of 21 days. The first of the six 250 MW units was made operational in the wee hours after the level of silt in the Sutlej came down within the permissible limit of 4,000 ppm (parts per million).

Cops warned against hobnobbing with builder
Chamba, August 14
Condemning the arrest of Mr Parmod Sharma, district president of the Chamera Project Workers’ Union, on fictitious charges, the Centre of Indian Trade Unions and the All-India Kisan Sabha have warned the police to desist from acting in league with a construction company executing the project.





YOUR TOWN
Chamba
Kangra
Mandi
Shimla
Solan



EARLIER STORIES

Doctor booked for causing death by negligence
Solan, August 14
The local police has booked a medical practitioner for negligence causing the death of a patient on August 12. The doctor, who was employed with the state health services, had been practising privately for the past several months.

Agricultural varsity to have science courses
Palampur, August 14
The CSK Agricultural University is all set to introduce new post graduate courses and research programmes in science subjects from the next session. This follows an approval from the HP Council of Agricultural, Horticultural and Forestry Education and Research.

Documentation of folklore on cards
Shimla, August 14
The government will document all legendary folk tales of the state so as to enlighten the younger generation about the rich culture of Himachal Pradesh and encourage them to take research work in this area.

Landslide blocks highway
Kangra August 14
The National Highway-88, connecting the Kangra valley with rest of the country and the state capital remained closed for the second day today following a big landslide at Baner on the outskirts of Kangra town.

Fire destroys two houses
Palampur, August 14
Two houses were destroyed in a fire that broke out at Kamand village in Jaisinghpur subdivision last night. Almost the entire goods lying in the house were burnt. According to reports received here, the fire broke out in the early hours when there was none in the house as the owners were away to the house of their relations. 


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Incommunicado Sonia returns to Delhi
Tribune News Service

Shimla, August 14
Wanting to keep her four-day family holiday in Shimla completely private, the Congress president, Ms Sonia Gandhi, managed to steal some private moments with her grandchildren even if it meant getting caught in traffic jam and following the normal route sans the high security that surrounds the high profile family.

Her visit, away from the heat and dust of Delhi’s politics, was kept a closely guarded secret and only a handful of people in the state capital were aware of her movements. Away from the media glare and the rigmarole of politics, she visited Naldehra where a nine hole golf course was set up by Lord Curzon during the British rule and Glen, a secluded area close to Annadale. Besides, she also visited the treks in the thickly wooded deodar forests surrounding the private resort at Charabra where the family camped.

Ms Gandhi, who arrived here with daughter Priyanka and her two children on August 10 evening, left for Delhi today. She drove down to Chandigarh today in the morning from where she took a flight to participate in the Independence Day function at the National Capital. Priyanka along with her husband, Robert Vadra, and children is likely to be here for a day or two.

This is the second consecutive year when Ms Gandhi has taken out time from her hectic political schedule to spend time with her family. However, this time too her son Rahul did not join the family while her son-in-law joined them two days later.

Even if it was out of choice, getting stuck in traffic jam at Kalka and Parwanoo and later at the Victory Tunnel on the Cart Road here was a completely different experience for the VVIP’s, who did not want special treatment the family is used to.

Wanting to enjoy a quiet family holiday, she had made it clear before her arrival that she would not be meeting anybody. “However, some eager politicians, including three ministers, did try their luck as they sent her bouquets, which probably did not even reach here leave alone acknowledgement from madam,” said sources. Even the Chief Minister, Mr Virbhadra Singh, did not call on Ms Gandhi allowing her some private moments with her family.

Barring the Special Protection Group (SPG) and a few state police personnel in plain clothes, there was not much security. She travelled in different vehicles, including the Prado owned by the hotel where she was staying. Even while on her way to Glen she drove through the Cart Road rather than taking the shorter route through the Mall saving both the locals and the tourists from inconvenience of being stranded.

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RITES to conduct survey for ropeway projects
Kuldeep Chauhan
Tribune News Service

Mandi, August 14
To attract investors, the Department of Tourism and Civil Aviation (DTCA) has roped in RITES, an autonomous body of the Ministry of Railways, to conduct a preliminary survey on four different sites selected for the ropeway projects in Kullu, Naina Devi, Dharamsala and Shimla in Himachal Pradesh.

According to sources, RITES would conduct the survey on the ropeway project sites to examine their technical and commercial feasibility. “The survey for each project will cost between Rs 3 lakh and Rs 5 lakh, depending on the distance of each ropeway span”.

RITES will conduct survey on the four projects — Shimla-Jakhu, Naina Devi-Anandpur Sahib, Bijli-Mahadev- Kullu and Dharamsala-McLeodgunj-Triund. The projects have been hanging fire over the years as the state government has not been able to attract investors to build the projects.

Hoteliers in Kullu town say that the Bijli-Mahadev-Kullu ropeway can revive tourism, which has been hit badly after Manali emerged as a major tourist destination in the Kullu valley.

Pleading their case, members of the Mandi Citizens Council say they have requested the DTCA to include the Tarna Temple-Mandi town ropeway project for survey.

The 650-metre-long Shimla-Jakhu ropeway project has made no headway for the past 11 years. “The project will cost about Rs 16 crore and dozens of deodar trees will be axed to make room for the ropeway,” reveal sources.

The Naina Devi-Anandpur Sahib ropeway will reduce the distance between the “shakti peeth” of Naina Devi in Bilaspur and the pilgrimage centre of Anandpur Sahib in Punjab by over 60 km.

Similarly, the two-phased Dharamsala-McLeodgunj and the Dharamkot-Triund project in Kangra district will be included in the survey, sources disclosed.

The Commissioner, Tourism, Mr Tarun Shridhar, told The Tribune that the survey was being conducted to examine the technical and commercial feasibility of the each project.

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Power generation resumes at Nathpa Jhakri
Tribune News Service

Shimla, August 14
Power situation in the North improved with the resumption of power generation at the 1,500-MW Nathpa Jhakri Project today after a gap of 21 days.

The first of the six 250 MW units was made operational in the wee hours after the level of silt in the Sutlej came down within the permissible limit of 4,000 ppm (parts per million).

By the evening, all units synchronised and the project was running at its full capacity.

The discharge in the river, which had crossed 1,400 cumecs, also came down to 950 cumecs and the level of silt was hovering between 3,000 ppm and 3,500 ppm.

The project was shut down on July 25 and the closure had deprived the Sutluj Jal Vidyut Nigam of revenue to the tune of Rs 110 crore on account of loss of generation.

In all, it remained closed for 26 days. The project was designed for operation up to a silt level of 5,000 ppm and this level was expected to exceed for only four days in a year.

However, the actual number of high silt days was much higher and even operation of the project within permissible level of limits caused extensive damage to turbines.

The total generation so far has been 3,055 million units and the project has already fallen behind target by about 350 million units.

This is despite the fact that until July 24 the target had been exceeded by about 100 million units.

Last year, the project generated only 4,055 million units as against the target of 6,950 million units as excessive silt, the Parechu lake breach and bursting of labyrinth pipe forced the closure of project for 89 days.

The total revenue generated was about Rs 950 crore as against the targeted 1,600 crore.

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Cops warned against hobnobbing with builder
Our Correspondent

Chamba, August 14
Condemning the arrest of Mr Parmod Sharma, district president of the Chamera Project Workers’ Union, on fictitious charges, the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) and the All-India Kisan Sabha have warned the police to desist from acting in league with a construction company executing the project.

In a joint statement issued here today, Mr Kashmir Singh Thakur, state general secretary of CITU, Ms Sudesh Thakur, district general secretary of CITU, and Mr Kapoor Singh Sipahia, state vice-president of the kisan sabha, alleged that the police had been creating panic among the labourers by harassing and intimidating them. It had been acting at the behest of the construction company so that labourers leave the project site.

CITU had moved an application in the Himachal Pradesh High Court for the protection of Mr Parmod Sharma and demanded a probe by the CBI into the much-publicised triple murder on June 10 at Dakog, the construction site of the Chamera hydroelectric project stage-III in the Bharmour area of Chamba district, these leaders stated.

“Mr Parmod Sharma is not at all involved in arson and damage to the project machinery and he is being deliberately implicated in false cases by the police”, claimed leaders of CITU and the kisan sabha.

The leaders accused the police of failure in arresting other culprits, including a contractor involved in the brutal murder of three CITU leaders. Meanwhile, today their dharna at the Chamera project site entered its 65th day.

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Doctor booked for causing death by negligence
Our Correspondent

Solan, August 14
The local police has booked a medical practitioner for negligence causing the death of a patient on August 12. The doctor, who was employed with the state health services, had been practising privately for the past several months. His case for seeking pre-mature retirement was still pending before the government.

The police today sought clarification from the Director Health Services, whether a government doctor could practise privately without seeking pre-mature retirement. A letter to this effect was sent to the Director, which also sought a report about Shiva Hospital’s technical aspect.

Udu Ram (48), who was admitted to Shiva Hospital on Saturday for a throat operation, died within two and a half years of the operation. His son, Yashpal, later lodged a complaint with the police alleging negligence on the part of the doctor who operated upon his father. Dr Rakesh Verma, however, pleaded that, “The patient was operated for polyploidal growth in throat, which obstructed his normal speech and caused breathlessness. The operation lasted merely half an hour and was successful. But he had to be revived at least twice in the next two hours. Despite best medical facilities he could not be saved. It was a heart attack which caused his death.”

Denying any negligence Dr Verma added that, “Trained and qualified staff attended upon the patient. Even anaesthesia was given by a well qualified doctor and we are fully equipped to handle such cases.”

The police is now investigating whether the hospital had the requisite facilities to conduct such operations. The doctor, who had been posted at Rekong Peo from here had relinquished his charge some months ago to practise privately. He added that despite appearing being the board stating personal problems his case for pre-mature retirement had not been approved by the government till now.

This could spell trouble for the doctor as he was practising while still being in government job. The police had sought clarification in this matter. According to the police, the doctor had shown himself to be a helper while the clinic was registered under the name of his father Babu Ram.

A woman doctor Shila Bhaghat hailing from Jammu and Kashmir had also been working there earlier, but she left in February.

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Agricultural varsity to have science courses
Vibhor Mohan
Tribune News Service

Palampur, August 14
The CSK Agricultural University is all set to introduce new post graduate courses and research programmes in science subjects from the next session.

This follows an approval from the HP Council of Agricultural, Horticultural and Forestry Education and Research.

New postgraduate courses in Environmental Sciences and Veterinary Public Health, will be introduced in the College of Basic Sciences of the university.

Council has also approved Ph D programmes to be introduced in the disciplines of Biochemistry,

Microbiology and Biology from the next session, according to a highly placed varsity official.

The masters programmes in Veterinary Public Health and the PhD programmes in Biochemistry and Microbiology will have two seats each under open and self-financing scheme, on the recommendation of the management of the varsity.

The University has MSc courses in 27 and PhD programmes in 11 subjects in the four colleges running on its campus: College of Agriculture, College of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, College of Basic Sciences and College of Home Science.

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Documentation of folklore on cards

Shimla, August 14
The government will document all legendary folk tales of the state so as to enlighten the younger generation about the rich culture of Himachal Pradesh and encourage them to take research work in this area.

This was stated by the Chief Minister, Mr Virbhadra Singh, while chairing the state- level Kulu Dashera Organising Committee meeting here today. The meeting was held to approve the guidelines for the effective organisation of the international- level Kulu Dashera festival from October 2 to 8.

Mr Virbhadra Singh said the government was planning to bring in a legislation, which make it mandatory for all government departments to get their old record evaluated by the Archaeological authorities before its destruction so that historically important documents were preserved. — TNS

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Landslide blocks highway
Our correspondent

Kangra August 14
The National Highway-88, connecting the Kangra valley with rest of the country and the state capital remained closed for the second day today following a big landslide at Baner on the outskirts of Kangra town.

Mr P.C. Palia, Executive Engineer, PWD, said the department started removing the boulders and mud this morning and pressed two JCBs and two air-compressors in service. He said the traffic on the national highway remained blocked since yesterday afternoon when a huge landslide blocked the highway.

Mr S.K. Nag, Executive Engineer, National Highway, who had been supervising the landslide removal operation since morning, said that traffic would be restored within four days.

Mr Palia said the traffic had been diverted via old Kangra Rest House road.

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Fire destroys two houses
Our Correspondent

Palampur, August 14
Two houses were destroyed in a fire that broke out at Kamand village in Jaisinghpur subdivision last night. Almost the entire goods lying in the house were burnt.

According to reports received here, the fire broke out in the early hours when there was none in the house as the owners were away to the house of their relations. The fire was noticed by neighbourers who informed the villagers who made all efforts to control the fire but the fire was so devastating that it took several hours to control it. However, villagers succeeded in saving the adjoining house.

Later the SDM, Jaisinghpur, Mr J.C. Patial, reached on the spot and distributed immediate relief among the affected families. He also directed the revenue officials to submit him a detailed estimate of the loss caused by the fire so that extra relief could be granted.

 

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