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H I M A C H A L   P R A D E S H

State products to go global, courtesy e-commerce
Shimla, September 18
Branded Himachali products like Kangra miniature paintings, Chamba rumals and Kulu shawls will now be marketed through the worldwide web.

HP mulling fresh survey on OBCs
Shimla, September 18
The Himachal Pradesh Government will consider to carry out a fresh survey of other backward classes (OBCs) in the state to ascertain that no eligible persons was left outside the list.

CM launches Bharat nirman information campaign
Nahan, September 18
The Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh, Mr Virbhadra Singh, launched a Bharat nirman public information campaign, a five-day-long public awareness programme organised by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, at Dhaulan Kuan, about 25 km from here, today. The Chief Minister said any government working with political bias could not be true representative of the people of the state.

Flats allotted, but sans water
Solan, September 18
Despite investing lakhs on purchasing flats from the Himachal Pradesh Housing and Urban Development Authority (HIMUDA) at Basaal, near here, the investors have been provided no water facility.

Power policy ‘will disturb state ecology’
Kulu, September 18
Himachal Angling Association has expressed concern over the power policy being adopted by the Himachal government.






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EARLIER STORIES



Fish-pond test to check pollution
Shimla, September 18
The state Environment Protection and Pollution Control Board has come up with an innovative idea to check contamination of water by polluting industries in the Baddi area which has been repeatedly causing largescale mortality of fish in the Sirsa river flowing through the area.

Water scarcity in Chamba
Chamba, September 18
With an increase in population, the use of water has increased manifold and Chamba town has started facing water problem. It is high time for another water supply scheme for the town to meet the present requirement of water.

SCA members sworn in
Shimla, September 18
The newly elected members of the Students Central Association (SCA) of Himachal Pradesh University were today administered the oath of office.

2 killed, 3 hurt in mishap
Kangra, September 18
Two youths were killed and three others were injured when an Indica car in which they were travelling rolled down into a 100-foot-deep Nagni nullah, near Jawalamukhi, last evening, the police said here today.

3 killed, 32 hurt in road mishap
Baddi, September 18
Three migrant labourers were killed and 32 injured, two of them seriously, when the tractor-trailer (HP-12-5635) they were travelling in overturned on the Katha road here in the evening at around 4.30 p.m.

 

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State products to go global, courtesy e-commerce
Tribune News Service

Shimla, September 18
Branded Himachali products like Kangra miniature paintings, Chamba rumals and Kulu shawls will now be marketed through the worldwide web.

The office of Divisional Commissioner, Mandi, has in collaboration with M/s Shoghi Communications developed an innovative e-commerce portal offering products and services on a common platform.

The portal www.himachalproducts.com is also developing a business model to market apples on this portal. It is the first of its kind in the country, where products and services are offered on a common platform. The portal will be self-sustaining. A part of the revenues received will be spent by Deputy Commissioners on empowering self-help groups. It also covers areas of interest to visitors, such as business directory, city information, trade advice, online calculators and international and domestic trade.

The portal provides for global showcasing, promotion and real-time offerings of produce, products and services. The objective is to offer every entrepreneur, government undertaking, fruit and vegetable grower and processor, artisan, self-help group and co-operative society, handicraft and handloom-maker, unique service providers of Himachal Pradesh, an equal opportunity to offer and sell globally.

It will enable all registered users to display their products and prices to the global community. They can also receive business queries and answer them via e-mail. It also offers useful services to customers such as hotel reservation and transport and airline booking services.

There will be no registration charges for self-help groups. The one-time registration charges during the first year from tiny industrial units will be Rs 1,124, small industrial units Rs 2,245, medium and large-scale units Rs 5,612 and all government organisations Rs 3,367. There is no commission or processing fees on trading and no other hidden charges. 

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HP mulling fresh survey on OBCs
Tribune News Service

Shimla, September 18
The Himachal Pradesh Government will consider to carry out a fresh survey of other backward classes (OBCs) in the state to ascertain that no eligible persons was left outside the list.

This was stated by Mr Virbhadra Singh, Chief Minister, while addressing the eighth annual meeting of the Gorkha Welfare Board here today.

He said so far 48 communities were listed in the OBC category with a population of 9.27 lakh. The government had constituted the OBC Commission to advise it on reservation in government service.

At present, 12 per cent reservation was being given in direct recruitment to class I and II posts and 18 per cent in class III and IV categories. He said the government would implement the recommendations of the commission in letter and spirit.

Welfare of the OBCs was the top agenda of the government and it had already constituted OBC Development and Finance Corporation to provide liberal loans at low rate of interest through nationalised banks.

He said 2,486 eligible persons were given loans to the tune of Rs 23.40 crore till March and 274 more beneficiaries would be covered during the current financial year. The income limit for availing benefits had been raised from Rs 2 lakh to Rs 2.5 lakh.

He said Rs 20 lakh had been sanctioned for replacing old water supply pipes at Khaniara village, Dharamsala, and the work would soon be started. He said detailed project report had been prepared for improvement of the Dari-Badoul water supply scheme. He directed the authorities to execute the schemes expeditiously and ensure that adequate water was supplied to the villagers.

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CM launches Bharat nirman information campaign
Our Correspondent

Nahan, September 18
The Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh, Mr Virbhadra Singh, launched a Bharat nirman public information campaign, a five-day-long public awareness programme organised by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, at Dhaulan Kuan, about 25 km from here, today. The Chief Minister said any government working with political bias could not be true representative of the people of the state.

He said that it was the primary duty of a popular government to see to it that political division of people did not go up to the village or family level. It was the main reason that his government decided not to allow panchayati raj elections on party symbols.

The Chief Minister alleged that during the BJP regime a new definition of democracy, “a government of the BJP, by BJP and for BJP workers” had emerged.

Mr Virbhadra Singh said that the Bharat nirman information campaign could give true picture of development done by the UPA government and the state government.

He said Himachal Pradesh was the front-running state which had implimented the Right to Information Act.

Mr Virbhadra Singh said that Sirmaur and Chamba had been the most backward districts in the state which had been brought under the Rashtriya Sarm Vikas Yojna and the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme aimed at poverty alleviation.

Mr Virbhadra Singh said his government had launched the Indira Gandhi Awas Yojna and 80,000 houses were allotted to the eligible poor families. He said that the Rajiv Gandhi Awas Yojna had also been launched which aimed at constructing 30,000 more houses for allocation to the poor families. He said that more such schemes were under implementation in the state.

Mr Sat Mahajan, Revenue Minister, said late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi had envisioned to revolutionise the Panchayati Raj system. Himachal Pradesh had provided 33 per cent reservation to the women to provide them fair representation in the Panchayati Raj system.

Mr Mahajan said that all PRI representatives had been issued identity cards and all officers directed to extend due courtesy and respect to all the public representatives. He said the state government had decided to provide at least three houses in every gram panchayat under the poverty alleviation programme every year. 

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Flats allotted, but sans water
Our Correspondent

Solan, September 18
Despite investing lakhs on purchasing flats from the Himachal Pradesh Housing and Urban Development Authority (HIMUDA) at Basaal, near here, the investors have been provided no water facility.

The investors were allotted these flats in July 2005 and were promised water within a few months.

HIMUDA was initially banking on the municipal committee to provide water and an arrangement to draw 25,000 litres of water daily was made. The committee, however, refused to provide water, saying that it was barely able to meet its own requirement in the committee area.

As many as 72 flats were built by HIMUDA. Despite all flats having been sold, the possession could not be granted to the investors for over a year. Despite having signed an agreement with the Irrigation and Public Health (IPH) Department, no water could be supplied to it. Initially, the IPH Department had agreed to provide three lakh litres of water per day to the colony.

An investor, Mr Jasbir Singh, rued that they had been allotted a two-room flat in July 2005, but its possession was granted in July this year. He rued that though there was no water, they were directed to take possession of the flat within 45 days or face a penalty at the rate of 0.1 per cent per day.

Terming it as an unnecessary binding, he said they could not occupy the flat as there was no water. The authority had also charged a fee of Rs 1,020 from each occupant. He added that since there was no such clause in the terms and conditions, it was totally unwarranted to collect such funds.

Senior officials of the authority, however, said arrangements for water were in the final stages. 

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Power policy ‘will disturb state ecology’
Our Correspondent

Kulu, September 18
Himachal Angling Association has expressed concern over the power policy being adopted by the Himachal government.

Mr. K B. Ralhan, secretary general of the association, in a press release here today, said the government was not bothered about the ecological imbalance and disturbance. A cursory look at the prevailing scenario revealed that the power policy of the state had attracted several companies from all over the country to start hydel power generation.

Mr Ralhan alleged that the lobby of the rich and resourceful companies had been trying to pressurize the Himachal government into clearing their projects. In view of the prospects of high profits hundreds of projects in which waters of various rivers, streams, rivulets/nallahs were proposed to be harnessed.

Men on the payrolls of these companies were misleading the villagers that they would get free electricity and one member of each family would get employment, he alleged.

He said the Himalayan region was ecologically very sensitive and with the development of these projects (mini, micro or major) would disturb the ecological equilibrium. Blasting of rocks, digging of riverbeds and diversion of streams into tunnels, destruction of green cover etc. was bound to cause irreversible damage to the environment.

Mr Ralhan further said that on one hand the state government was making propaganda of starting schemes to enhance the fish population of various streams to attract sport anglers and on the other hydel power generation schemes which would check the migration routes and destroy the breeding and feeding grounds of fish were being sanctioned for measly production of a few mega watts of power.

Not only the availability of sufficient quality water for undertaking Trout farming was becoming more and more scarce but the supply of water to the main Patlikuhal Trout Fish Farm in this district has been threatened after the coming up of a hydel power project in Sujan Nullah, a few kilometers above the farm.

He said that sometimes back, the constructing company threw some poisonous chemical into the nullah, pushing the whole livestock of fish on the brink of mass destruction.

He urged the Chief Minister, Mr. Virbhadra Singh, to issue strict instructions to senior officials of Him Urja and Fisheries Department to ensure protection of aquatic environment and natural resources of important rivers and streams before clearing hydel power generation projects.

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Fish-pond test to check pollution
Rakesh Lohumi
Tribune News Service

Shimla, September 18
The state Environment Protection and Pollution Control Board has come up with an innovative idea to check contamination of water by polluting industries in the Baddi area which has been repeatedly causing largescale mortality of fish in the Sirsa river flowing through the area.

It has decided to make it mandatory for all such units to maintain fish ponds within the premises and pass treated waste water through it before releasing it into a nullah or river. In case the waste water is not properly treated and has a high level of toxicants, the fish will die. Thus, all treated effluents will have to pass the fish-pond test before being released.

Mr S.P.Vasudev, Secretary of the board, said it would provide a foolproof method for preventing contamination of water as the industrial units could themselves effectively monitor the water quality.

All units have installed effluent treatment plants, but still fresh cases of death of fish in the river have been taking place repeatedly.

Every time such an incident takes place, the department had to carry out an elaborate exercise to identify errant units and take action against them. However, that did not help in saving aquatic life. Now, with the new mandatory provision, treated waste water will have to go through the fish-pond test and this will guarantee that toxic contents are not released.

Meanwhile, the board has disconnected the power supply to nine units in Baddi and Paonta Sahib for releasing contaminated water. The water quality was tested after mortality of fish in the Sirsa early last month. 

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Water scarcity in Chamba
Our Correspondent

Chamba, September 18
With an increase in population, the use of water has increased manifold and Chamba town has started facing water problem. It is high time for another water supply scheme for the town to meet the present requirement of water.

The existing water supply scheme was commissioned in 1993 which was constructed at a cost of Rs 1.40 crore. Under the scheme, the water had been tapped from the Chameenu nullah near Jadera village by a 13-km long gravity line. At that time, a water treatment unit with a capacity of 7.28 lakh gallons was constructed which was the first of its kind in any drinking water supply scheme at that time in a hilly tract.

Meanwhile, officials agree that before the town faces a water problem in the days to come, the state government should take up a new water supply scheme for the town.

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SCA members sworn in
Tribune News Service

Shimla, September 18
The newly elected members of the Students Central Association (SCA) of Himachal Pradesh University were today administered the oath of office.

The Dean, Students Welfare and Adviser to the SCA, Prof Suresh Kumar, administered the oath to president Surinder Singh, vice president Gaurav Sood, general secretary Banita Saklani and joint secretary Jagdish Thapa.

The elected departmental representatives also took the oath at the function held in University Auditorium. Mr Suresh Kumar assured the SCA members that they would get full cooperation to solve the problems of the students.

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2 killed, 3 hurt in mishap
Our Correspondent

Kangra, September 18
Two youths were killed and three others were injured when an Indica car in which they were travelling rolled down into a 100-foot-deep Nagni nullah, near Jawalamukhi, last evening, the police said here today.

According to the police the five were travelling in the car after paying obeisance in the Nagni Temple on the Khundia road and were on the way to Jawalamukhi when the car rolled down into the Nagni nullah.

Two occupants, Harvinder Singh (19), a resident of Halora, Punjab, was a trainee in the SSB at Sapdi and Ginee (24), a resident of Amritsar, died on the spot.

Three others Reetu, Gurvinder alias, Tekoo, and Jagjeet Singh were injured in the accident. Two of them were admitted to Jawalamukhi hospital and later shifted to the Dr R.P. Government Medical College Hospital Dharamsala. The driver of the car was among the injured.

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3 killed, 32 hurt in road mishap
Our Correspondent

Baddi, September 18
Three migrant labourers were killed and 32 injured, two of them seriously, when the tractor-trailer (HP-12-5635) they were travelling in overturned on the Katha road here in the evening at around 4.30 p.m.

Two of the injured, one of whom was identified as Bechan Sahni (20), hailing from Muzzarpur in Bihar, were referred to the PGI, Chandigarh. They received serious injuries.

Only one of the three killed could be identified as Khabu (33), hailing from Murshibabad in West Bengal.

The accident occurred when the overloaded tractor-trailer carrying devotees of migrant labourers, failed to negotiate a curve and overturned. The labourers were going for a religious ceremony and were due to take dip in a nearby river.

The accident allegedly occurred due to the negligence of the driver. A case under Sections 279, 337 and 304-A of the IPC has been registered against the driver, who has been detained for interrogation.

All accident victims were rushed to a private clinic by onlookers. The police, which received information at 5 p.m., rushed to the spot and carried out the rescue operations.

The SDM announced Rs 5000 for the next of kin of the deceased.

The administration failed to identify all the victims as only one of the dead could be identified till late evening. this has exposed the much-hyped identity card drive initiated by the Labour Department.

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