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

Storm hits apple growers hard
Fruit-laden trees uprooted

Shimla, September 3
Apple growers suffered a further setback as an unseasonal storm hit the higher hill belt of Shimla district causing heavy droppings of fruit over the past two days. The maximum damage has been caused in Jarol, Kotgarh, Shilazan and Kharapathar and Jubbal where the crop was ready for harvesting.

CIPA project to make police techno-savvy
Dharamsala, September 3
The fact-file of all police cases in the district would soon be available to investigating officers in the form of digitised data. Besides making the policemen techno-savvy, the step would enhance the efficiency in all aspects of policing by reducing manual records.

Rohru college sans facilities, allege parents
Kangra, September 3
Resentment prevails among parents and students of Government College of Pharmacy, Rohru, for being charged without any facilities in the college.

No rules flouted, says Principal
Chandigarh, September 3
Reacting to a news-item “Health Dept flouts rules” carried in these columns on July 17, the Principal of Dr R.P. Government Medical College, Kangra at Tanda, Dr N.K. Kaushik, has clarified that the 18-week training programme for anaesthetists was “duly certified” by the Government of India.

BJP alleges step-motherly treatment with lower areas
Chamba, September 3
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has accused the ruling Congress government of meting out step-motherly treatment to the lower areas of Himachal Pradesh, including Kangra.






YOUR TOWN
Chamba
Dharamsala
Kangra
Mandi
Shimla


EARLIER STORIES



Decision not implemented, says forum
Palampur, September 3
The Palampur Welfare and Environmental Protection Forum (PWEPF) yesterday regretted that despite repeated meetings with the local administration, it had failed to implement the decision taken at a meeting held on July 31.

SP holds interactive session
Mandi, September 3
To bridge the gap between the police and the public, the SP, Mr M. Chander Sekhar, yesterday urged the public to assist and inform the police about bad elements under its novel community policing to solve petty disputes, thefts, drug addiction among the youth and other serious crimes in the town and outside.

Transport staff demand separate flying squad
Kangra, September 3
The Himachal Transport Workers Union (HTWU) has demanded that a special flying squad be constituted to keep tabs on the working of flying squads, which were allegedly fabricating false cases against conductors of the Himachal Road Transport Corporation (HRTC).

Father, son buried in landslide
Reckong Peo, September 3
A father and his son were buried alive in a landslide triggered by heavy rain in Udaipur subdivision of Lahaul and Spiti district last evening. Intermittent rains in the entire tribal belts of Kinnaur, Lahaul and Spiti with snowfall on higher reaches continued on the third day today.

Rs 50 lakh to develop Chamunda Temple
Palampur, September 3
The Union Government has sanctioned Rs 50 lakh for the development of the Chamunda Temple (Chamunda Nandikeshwar Dham) in Kangra district under the rural tourism plan. This amount would be utilised for the development of a green belt around the temple.

300 trees felled ‘illegally’
Kumarhatti, September 3
In a case involving gross violation of norms, over 300 trees were felled at Khajret village under Ganguri panchayat near Kasauli. Not only were the fully grown pine trees chopped to make way for a road to a proposed hotel site, but the common panchayat road leading to three villages and IPH water pipes were also damaged.

Dehar power house yet to resume operations
Sundernagar, September 3
Even after seven days of water entering the Dehar power house, the BBMB is not in position to start power generation operations. Due to non-functioning of the power house, the BBMB is incurring heavy revenue loss which is estimated at more than Rs 3 crore per day.

7 of family get life term for murder
Chamba, September 3
A local court has sentenced seven members of a family to life imprisonment for killing a man. The court, in its order, found the seven family members, including three women, guilty of killing a fellow villager over a property dispute in March, 2004, and sentenced them to life imprisonment and a fine of Rs 10,000 each.

Yamini says yes to acting
Kumarhatti, September 3
Finally, the charm of the tinsel world succeeded in persuading Yamini Sharma to accept the offer of Satish Kaushik to act in his forthcoming film. Disclosing this at a press conference in Solan today, Yamini hoped that she would bring fame to her state by her work in the highly competitive world of Bollywood.

 

 

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Storm hits apple growers hard
Fruit-laden trees uprooted
Rakesh Lohumi
Tribune News Service

Shimla, September 3
Apple growers suffered a further setback as an unseasonal storm hit the higher hill belt of Shimla district causing heavy droppings of fruit over the past two days.
The maximum damage has been caused in Jarol, Kotgarh, Shilazan and Kharapathar and Jubbal where the crop was ready for harvesting.

The high velocity winds which lashed the region last night even brought down fruit laden trees. There is hardly any fruit left on the trees, while floors of the orchards are covered with apples. The fallen fruit has been dented and not fit for marketing.

The unfavourable weather has upset the estimates of the Horticulture Department which had estimated a production of 1.70 crore boxes as against 2.65 crore boxes last year on account of a lean crop.

Thereafter the estimate was revised to 1.50 crore boxes. However, after yesterday's storm the production may not cross 1.20 crore boxes. So far 59 lakh boxes have been exported out of the state which was almost half the figure of the corresponding period last season.

An encouraging feature was the emergence of local markets in small places like Narkanda, Rohru, Dhalli and Solan which were attracting buyers from far off states like Tamil Nadu and Karnatka, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.

Even Chandigarh was emerging as an alternative for Delhi market where almost 80 per cent of the fruit was disposed of till two years ago. This year almost 25 lakh boxes have been sold in these new smaller markets and the share of Delhi had come down to 55 per cent.

The growers have been looking for an alternative as the "arhtias" in Delhi have been illegally charging 6 to 8 per cent commission from growers and resorting to other malpractices to exploit them.

The availability of markets within state is proving a boon for the small growers who are finding it very convenient to dispose of their produce. They do not have to join hands to arrange big trucks to carry the produce to Delhi, which is expensive as well as time consuming.

The fruit is easily carried in utility vehicles or small trucks and they could return home after selling off the produce the same day.

Meanwhile, the Adani Group which has set up three controlled atmosphere stores in the apple belt, has also started procuring fruit. The company is paying Rs 32 per kg for the best quality fruit. 

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CIPA project to make police techno-savvy
Vibhor Mohan
Tribune News Service

Dharamsala, September 3
The fact-file of all police cases in the district would soon be available to investigating officers in the form of digitised data. Besides making the policemen techno-savvy, the step would enhance the efficiency in all aspects of policing by reducing manual records.

As part of a common integrated police application (CIPA) project, networking of police stations in the district has begun so that information regarding incidents of crime could be instantly made available to police officials at different levels.

Talking to The Tribune, Mr Santosh Patial, Additional Superintendent of Police, said six subdivisional police offices were being computerised in the first phase and eventually all the 12 police stations in the district would be inter-connected.

Developed by the National Informatics Centre (NIC), the CIPA project was launched by the Ministry of Home Affairs for police departments with a view to ensuring high levels of transparency in police functioning as the police officials would have round-the-clock access to details and developments in investigations.

“Information from all police stations within the district will be accumulated at the district headquarters for possible sharing by other police stations and investigating agencies. Information about missing persons, stolen vehicles and unidentified dead bodies, including facts required for monitoring at higher levels, would flow from police stations to the district headquarters and state headquarters,” said a police official.

“At the same time, the database created by other departments, such as information concerning registration of vehicles, driving licences and foreigners visiting India would be available to police personnel in the district through the state headquarters,” he added.

An NIC official said that the CIPA project would result in better follow-ups and water-tight scrutiny of cases, instilling confidence in general public. The police officials can eliminate duplication and inconsistency of records, facilitate maintenance of the details of criminals and keep track of the status of cases.

Meanwhile, work is under way to connect all police stations in the state through a satellite-enabled “PolNet” (police network), which would lead to instant sharing of criminal records among all police districts.

The software has been passed to the district headquarters and one constable each has been trained on how to feed the information in the prescribed format. The details of all cases, including petty crimes, would be uploaded, right from the registration of an FIR, findings of the investigations, filing of challans and the eventual verdict of the court, said a senior police official in Shimla.

The basic information about all FIRs registered in a police district would first be set to the district headquarters, from where it would be passed on to the state headquarters. The state headquarters would, in turn, transmit it to the National Crime Records Bureau at a fixed time daily in a compiled form. The bureau would make it available to all police stations in the country through the satellite.

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Rohru college sans facilities, allege parents
Our Correspondent

Kangra, September 3
Resentment prevails among parents and students of Government College of Pharmacy, Rohru, for being charged without any facilities in the college. In a letter to the Chief Minister, Mr Virbhadra Singh, which was circulated among mediapersons here yesterday, the parents of the students alleged that the annual fee had been fixed at Rs 45,000 against Rs 5,600 for the same B.pharma course charged by Panjab University, Chandigarh, with the best infrastructure. They alleged that the annual fee for the MBBS, BAMS and B.V.Sc courses in IGMC, Shimla, RGAC, Paprola, and Veterinary College, Palampur, was Rs 12,000 with the best infrastructure.

Expressing concern, the parents said since the inception of the college in August, 2005, the posts of lecturer and other staff required for the B.pharma course had not been filled and the staff of D.pharma was managing the show despite getting overburdened. They said that B.pharmacy was mostly depending on the laboratory activity but no  laboratories had been set up in the college since last year.

The parents said that despite their wards having been charged Rs 2,000 as library fund, the required books were not available in the college library and the 40-odd members of this first batch of students had to rush to Chandigarh to purchase their own books.

They said that Rs 3,000 were being charged from each student as the building fund without any building and Rs 2,000 as computer charges where as the computer course was only for one semester. This college had 2 or 3 students from the Rohru area and the rest belonged to other parts of the state, particularly from the merged areas of Himachal Pradesh who got the admission on a merit basis.

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No rules flouted, says Principal
Tribune News Services

Chandigarh, September 3
Reacting to a news-item “Health Dept flouts rules” carried in these columns on July 17, the Principal of Dr R.P. Government Medical College, Kangra at Tanda, Dr N.K. Kaushik, has clarified that the 18-week training programme for anaesthetists was “duly certified” by the Government of India.

In a communication to The Tribune, Dr Kaushik has added that the programme would go a long way in ending the deficiency of anaesthetists in the far-flung areas. It was “very much in the interest of the suffering humanity”.

Claiming to have been misquoted as saying that medical norms did not approve of short-term training programmes and the same could lead to medico-legal problems, Dr Kaushik has further stated that he believed that there would be no such problem.

The Tribune Correspondent adds: The fact that the programme was certified and had the government’s approval was never mentioned by the Principal during the course of our conversation. Otherwise, this fact would have been incorporated in the news-item. 

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BJP alleges step-motherly treatment with lower areas
Our Correspondent

Chamba, September 3
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has accused the ruling Congress government of meting out step-motherly treatment to the lower areas of Himachal Pradesh, including Kangra.

In a statement here today, Mr Mohan Lal, a former minister and senior BJP leader, said the artificial face of the ruling Congress government had been exposed.

The Congress was sympathetic to the woes of the people of the state before the elections, but had now forgotten the promises made to the public.

Mr Mohan Lal alleged that by hampering the development of the far-flung backward Chamba district, which was speeded up during the BJP-regime, the Congress government had penalised the masses of this alpine region.

Quoting the instances of the Chamera hydroelectric project (stage-III) and a cement plant at Sikridhar in Chamba district, Mr Mohan Lal criticised the government for bringing the development of these projects to a halt.

There were no new plans and projects with the government, which could generate employment, Mr Mohan Lal lamented, adding that the ruling government had been acting with vested interests and was not bothering for the common peoples’ problems.

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Decision not implemented, says forum
Our Correspondent

Palampur, September 3
The Palampur Welfare and Environmental Protection Forum (PWEPF) yesterday regretted that despite repeated meetings with the local administration, it had failed to implement the decision taken at a meeting held on July 31.

The PWEPF at its meeting held here today reviewed the charter of demands submitted to the SDM in July in which certain issues pertaining to the welfare of the town were highlighted. Later on July 31, SDM C.P. Verma convened a meeting of officials of the local Municipal Council, the IPH, the PWD and members of the PWEPF to discuss the matter.

Mr K.B. Ralhan, president of the PWEPF, while addressing mediapersons here yesterday said at the meeting held on July 31, it was agreed that effective measures would be initiated to solve the traffic problem in the town. Three new parking sites would be developed to regulate the parking of vehicles. It was also assured that the regular supply of LPG would be made available to the consumers in the town and adjoining panchayat areas. Besides, it was also agreed that encroachments would be removed for easy movement of vehicles.

Mr Ralhan said even after the expiry of one month, no action had been initiated to implement these decisions taken at the meeting. The traffic problem in the town had gone from bad to worse. There were frequent traffic jams in the town but the administration had become a silent spectator. Still, there was a shortage of LPG.

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SP holds interactive session
Tribune News Service

Mandi, September 3
To bridge the gap between the police and the public, the SP, Mr M. Chander Sekhar, yesterday urged the public to assist and inform the police about bad elements under its novel community policing to solve petty disputes, thefts, drug addiction among the youth and other serious crimes in the town and outside.

Holding an interactive session with senior citizens, councillors, ex-servicemen and other conveners of the community policing here today, Mr Chander Sekhar said the success rate of solving crimes had turned out to be over 90 per cent due to community participation.

The participants urged the SP to make it mandatory for the contractors who employed migrant labourers to register them and own the responsibility if they indulged in crime in the town. “It is the duty of the house owners to inform the police about outsiders about whose whereabouts they were not sure,” suggested Mr H.R. Vaidya, president, Mandi Municipal Council.

The SP said such interaction would continue to make the community policing more active process to give a responsive policing to residents in the town.

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Transport staff demand separate flying squad
Our Correspondent

Kangra, September 3
The Himachal Transport Workers Union (HTWU) has demanded that a special flying squad be constituted to keep tabs on the working of flying squads, which were allegedly fabricating false cases against conductors of the Himachal Road Transport Corporation (HRTC).

Mr Maggar Singh, president of the union, Dharamsala unit, said 50 per cent cases framed against the conductors were fabricated. He demanded that the Chief Minister should get the cases investigated by some independent agency.

He demanded that the government should provide cloth for two uniforms to the employees and GPF dues should be disbursed as and when required by the employees.

When contacted, the HRTC Regional Manager, Mr M.S. Rana, said an inquiry was being conducted at the Divisional Manager level regarding the allegations against the inspection flying squads. Regarding the GPF fund, he said the disbursements were being made according to the rules.

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Father, son buried in landslide
Tribune News Service

Reckong Peo, September 3
A father and his son were buried alive in a landslide triggered by heavy rain in Udaipur subdivision of Lahaul and Spiti district last evening. Intermittent rains in the entire tribal belts of Kinnaur, Lahaul and Spiti with snowfall on higher reaches continued on the third day today.

Police sources in Keylong said that Neel Chand (25), a son of Sher Chand, and his 19-month-old son, whom he was carrying on his shoulders, were buried alive in a landslide between Purthi and Rohli villages.

The police had recovered the bodies from the spot and handed them over to the family members after a post-mortem examination. The local administration has given an immediate relief of Rs 20,000 to the family of the deceased.

Meanwhile, the tribal people of Kinnaur and the Lahaul and Spiti valley shivered in a cold wave as the mercury stayed several degrees below normal for the third consecutive day with intermittent rains that continued to lash the entire area followed by continuous snowfall on higher reaches.

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Rs 50 lakh to develop Chamunda Temple
Our Correspondent

Palampur, September 3
The Union Government has sanctioned Rs 50 lakh for the development of the Chamunda Temple (Chamunda Nandikeshwar Dham) in Kangra district under the rural tourism plan. This amount would be utilised for the development of a green belt around the temple.

This was disclosed by Mr G.S. Bali, Tourism Minister, while talking to mediapersons at Dadh this morning. He said the government had made a plan for the expansion and development of the Chamunda Temple so that pilgrims could be benefited. He said under this plan a green belt would be developed, street lights installed around the temple and a tourist information centre equipped with the latest technology would be set up in the temple complex.

The minister said a new road to the temple from Barohi Chowk to the Suvidha complex had been approved by the government and Rs 82 lakh had been sanctioned. The construction work on this road would be taken up after the monsson.

He said, the government had also decided to develop the ancient Himani Chamunda Temple. In the first phase, the government had allocated Rs 20 lakh for strengthening the traditional footpath leading to this temple.

Mr Bali said the state government had decided to give top priority to the development of tourism in the state. All efforts were being made to attract tourists.

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300 trees felled ‘illegally’
Jagmeet y. Ghuman

Kumarhatti, September 3
In a case involving gross violation of norms, over 300 trees were felled at Khajret village under Ganguri panchayat near Kasauli. Not only were the fully grown pine trees chopped to make way for a road to a proposed hotel site, but the common panchayat road leading to three villages and IPH water pipes were also damaged.

Mining is also being carried out at the site without the permission of the authorities concerned.

The work continued yesterday despite villagers, led by Social Uplift Through Rural Activities (SUTRA), a Jagjit Nagar-based NGO, getting a stay order from a Kasauli court on Friday.

The stay order was taken against illegal construction activity being carried out on 37 bighas by Chandigarh-based J.D. Realtors Limited.

Inquiries revealed that the land having over 2,000 trees had been purchased from six local families and the work had started even though the registry of the land was yet to be made in the name of J.D. Realtors.

Mr J.S. Ghai of Santa Banta.com, director of J.D. Realtors, had reportedly given the contract for the construction work to a private party.

A large number of locals, including women, gathered at the site to register their protest against ‘‘mindless’’ construction activity.

Ironically, the government departments concerned were not even aware of the developments at the site. Forest Department officials came to know of the matter when mediapersons approached them for comments. Mr D.R. Kashyap, DFO, Kunihar Forest Division, under whose jurisdiction the area falls, assured that suitable action would be taken soon. The Range Officer from Kuthar Forest Range has reached the site to take stock of situation.

Mr Subash Mendhapurkar, head of SUTRA, has said the villagers had agreed to expand the panchayat road by four feet but over 35- foot area had been dug up with the help of a JCB machine.

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Dehar power house yet to resume operations

Sundernagar, September 3
Even after seven days of water entering the Dehar power house, the BBMB is not in position to start power generation operations.
Due to non-functioning of the power house, the BBMB is incurring heavy revenue loss which is estimated at more than Rs 3 crore per day.

The Dehar power house was producing more than 140 lakh units of electricity per day and the loss is in addition to the one caused to machinery which also runs into crores. Water from the Sutlej had entered the power house and three storeys were submerged. All six generators stopped functioning as the level of water touched 34 feet. — OC

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7 of family get life term for murder

Chamba, September 3
A local court has sentenced seven members of a family to life imprisonment for killing a man.
The court, in its order, found the seven family members, including three women, guilty of killing a fellow villager over a property dispute in March, 2004, and sentenced them to life imprisonment and a fine of Rs 10,000 each.

Prem Singh died on his way to hospital after he was beaten up by the seven accused following a land dispute.

The court convicted the accused under Sections 302, 147, 148, 149, 323 and 506 of the IPC, adding that the sentence would be increased by two years if they failed to pay the fine. — UNI

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Yamini says yes to acting
Our Correspondent

Kumarhatti, September 3
Finally, the charm of the tinsel world succeeded in persuading Yamini Sharma to accept the offer of Satish Kaushik to act in his forthcoming film. Disclosing this at a press conference in Solan today, Yamini hoped that she would bring fame to her state by her work in the highly competitive world of Bollywood.

It was a virtual miracle and something never expected by Yamini and her family. “We wanted Yamini to pursue MBA to help her father in his business,” said Yamini’s mother.

“I have got the film script and am preparing myself for the challenge ahead.” The name of the film will be ‘Tere Sang’, she dislosed.

“My role in the movie would be of a girl from a rich family. The hero in the film has tapori-like character, who lives in the Chandni Chowk area of New Delhi”. 

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