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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

CM concludes Mandi tour
Attacks Shanta, Dhumal regimes
Mandi, October 14
The Chief Minister, Mr Virbhadra Singh, today described the BJP regime under Mr Shanta Kumar as an unpleasant phase in the state’s history during which 13 innocent persons were killed and several injured, the CRPF and BSF had to be called and the state had to pay a bill of Rs 25 crore for the same.

Law to check change in land use soon: CM
Mandi, October 14
The Chief Minister Mr Virbhadra Singh, today said the state government would bring in legislation “checking the change of land use of the fertile and irrigated land for non-agricultural purposes” as thousands of crores being spent on irrigation facilities, were going waste.

Doda residents seek assurance on security
Shimla, October 14
With 65 residents of Swara village in Jammu and Kashmir wanting an assurance on security from their Chief Minister, Gulam Nabi Azad or a senior minister, efforts by the Doda and Chamba administrations to facilitate their return home have not borne fruit.

21 health centres to be upgraded
Move to improve health services
Dharamsala, October 14
With the aim to provide emergency healthcare services in the state, the Health and Family Welfare Department has identified 21 Community Health Centres (CHCs) in the state which will be upgraded to first referral units (FRUs) under the National Rural Health Mission.



YOUR TOWN
Dharamsala
Mandi
Manali
Shimla


EARLIER STORIES



Season’s first snowfall at Rohtang Pass
Manali, October 14
The 13,050 ft high Rohtang Pass, had the season’s first snowfall last night while lower parts of Manali region were lashed by rain.

Bachittar’s body to be brought today
Dharamsala, October 14
The body of Bachittar Singh, who died in Saudi Arabia, will be brought back to his native village, Mainjha, tomorrow.

3rd round of Pulse Polio drive today
Palampur, October 14
The third round of the pulse polio immunisation drive in Kangra will be observed tomorrow.

Theft in Baddi unit
Baddi, October 14
A case of theft in a unit here came to light today. In a complaint lodged with the local police today, Mr Manmohan Sharma, manager of Sham Pipes, alleged that thieves had struck at the unit on the night of August 28.

 

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CM concludes Mandi tour
Attacks Shanta, Dhumal regimes
Tribune News Service

Mandi, October 14
The Chief Minister, Mr Virbhadra Singh, today described the BJP regime under Mr Shanta Kumar as an unpleasant phase in the state’s history during which 13 innocent persons were killed and several injured, the CRPF and BSF had to be called and the state had to pay a bill of Rs 25 crore for the same.

Rounding up his five-day tour here today, Mr Virbhadra Singh cited two “unforgettable” incidents — the Mandal agitation and the Kotgarh firing — during Mr Shanta Kumar’s regime as proof of BJP’s “anti-farmer”, “anti-employee” and the “anti-poor” policies.

“The CRPF and even the Army were called in during that time as the BJP government failed in its primary obligation to protect the interests of the common man and farmers,” he alleged.

Mr Virbhadra Singh claimed that during the Congress regimes, the law and order situation had improved. “Good governance has brought in industrial investments worth Rs 24,000 crore”.

About former CM Prem Kumar Dhumal’s charge that even after 53 years, the Congress government could not get its share in BBMB projects and had failed to tap the power potential, Mr Virbhadra Singh asked what Mr Dhumal and Mr Shanta Kumar had done in this regard during their 10-year-long rule.

“We took up the matter with the Centre and finally the Supreme Court and hope we will get justice by January or so when the case will be decided,” he explained.

On the state’s share of 7.19 per cent as per the Punjab Reorganisation Act in the BBMB and BSL projects, he said he was optimistic the Supreme Court would decide the matter in Himachal’s favour.

“We are getting 5 per cent ad hoc power from Bhakhra, 15 mw from the BSL project and nothing from Pong Dam so far,” he explained.

Mr Virbhadra Singh said a handful of BJP men were trying to “misuse devis and devtas” for political purposes.

“We are satisfied as the private company in Chagoan in Kinnaur has resolved the matter. Like in other cases, 1.5 per cent of the total cost of the Karcham Wangto project is being spent on local area development and we will ensure more funds from executing companies in the state for local development”.

Mr Virbhadra Singh said the BJP had awarded the project to JP Industries without inviting global tenders. “Still we have not cancelled the award,” he added.

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Law to check change in land use soon: CM
Kuldeep Chauhan
Tribune News Service

Mandi, October 14
The Chief Minister Mr Virbhadra Singh, today said the state government would bring in legislation “checking the change of land use of the fertile and irrigated land for non-agricultural purposes” as thousands of crores being spent on irrigation facilities, were going waste.

Mr Virbhadra Singh, who was accompanied by IPH minister Kaul Singh Thakur and Excise and Taxation Minister Rangila Ram Rao, said the Medical college in Mandi would be started in the next session and the Rs. 120 crore beautification barrage project was being finalised.

“The barrage will have a motorable road around it, making it unique attraction for tourists”.

On the merger of the Mandi Urban Cooperative Bank, he said the government would ensure that recovery of loans was complete.

Responding to a query Mr Virbhadra Singh said the vigilance inquiry into the Larji project was in progress and would probe as to why the project was delayed had that made it one of the costliest projects in the state. 

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Doda residents seek assurance on security
Pratibha Chauhan
Tribune News Service

Shimla, October 14
With 65 residents of Swara village in Jammu and Kashmir wanting an assurance on security from their Chief Minister, Gulam Nabi Azad or a senior minister, efforts by the Doda and Chamba administrations to facilitate their return home have not borne fruit.

The 65 residents from J and K have been camping in the company headquarters of the IInd India, Reserve Battalion at Tarela since their arrival here on October 3. The ASP and Tehsildar, Doda went back after holding several rounds of talks with these residents at Tarela as they want an assurance from the Chief Minister or a senior minister about their security.

The Chamba administration is awaiting a reply from the J and K authorities while these 65 residents are being taken care of at Tarela. Majority of the people in this group are family members of the 16 Village Defence Committee (VDC) members of Swara village in Doda district.

Those who have crossed over into Chamba are 21 men, 14 women and 30 children. They are accompanied by Mr Mela Ram, who is BJP Mandal president of the area. They are putting up in a community hall at Tarela, which is headquarter of the IInd IRB.

These people said in the absence of adequate security they are at the mercy of the Lashkar-e-Toiba militants and as such they cannot risk going back home. They have alleged that the Doda police had failed to protect them and their property when a temple was burnt and a bomb exploded by militants in their village in the recent past.

The officials from Doda have been alleging that these people have fled Doda to avoid arrest for the involvement of five VDC members in the murder case of a local. However, none of these five VDC members whose name figure in the FIR have come to Chamba.

Villagers from J and K are learnt to have told the police that after the shoot out in which a local died, the police seized all arms including AK-47 which given to them for defence. As such now they were more vulnerable to militant attack or any other enemy.

“It was at 6 a.m. on October 1, that these people fled their home and reported at our Nodaldhar out check post (OCP) on October 3,” informed Mr Upender Thakur, SP, Chamba. They came via Gandoh and Maila Vardhar in J and K and crossed the 12,000 foot Singradhar in Chamba district before reaching Tarela, he added.

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21 health centres to be upgraded
Move to improve health services
Vibhor Mohan
Tribune News Service

Dharamsala, October 14
With the aim to provide emergency healthcare services in the state, the Health and Family Welfare Department has identified 21 Community Health Centres (CHCs) in the state which will be upgraded to first referral units (FRUs) under the National Rural Health Mission.

A circular issued to all Chief Medical Officers says that it had also been decided to upgrade 50 Primary Health Centres (PHCs) to emergency service centres in all 12 districts of the state.

“Funds to the tune of Rs 20 lakh for each FRU are being released shortly. The requirement of infrastructure, equipment and medicines for the proposed FRUs should be worked out by October 15 and communicated to the Director of the National Rural Health Mission, Shimla,” reads the circular.

As per the guidelines of the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, each FRU should have at least six specialists from the Gynaecology and Obstetrics, Paediatrics, Surgery, Medicine, Orthopaedics and Anaesthesia Departments. It should also have its own blood bank or a tie-up with a private blood bank in the area.

A senior official of the Health Department said due to acute paucity of specialists in the state, the Health Department might barely be able to appoint these specialists in all FRUs. In Kangra, the CHCs in Chadiar, Nagrota Bagwan and Sahpur would be upgraded to FRUs. Besides, 24-hour emergency services would be provided at the PHCs in Dharini, Baroh, Sulah, Termehar, Khundian, Kotla, Haripur, Ladori. The PHCs in Bir, and Panchrukhi had already been approved.

In Hamirpur district, the FRUs would be set up in the CHCs in Nadaun and Bhoranj and PHCs in Dhaneta, Uhal, Jangalberi and Patlander had been identified for providing 24-hour emergency services.

Chamba would have FRUs in Bharmaur and Saluni and 24-hour emergency services in Mehla, Purthli, Jasoorgarh and Jhajakothi.

The FRUs would go a long way in providing easy accessibility to healthcare services to the vulnerable groups of children and women.

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Season’s first snowfall at Rohtang Pass
Tribune News Service

Manali, October 14
The 13,050 ft high Rohtang Pass, had the season’s first snowfall last night while lower parts of Manali region were lashed by rain.

According to sources, the 4,883 metre-high Baralacha Pass, the 5,065-metre Lachulang La and the Tanglang La at 5,328 metre also the second highest motorable pass in the world, had snowfall.

According to Border Roads Organisation (BRO) sources, snow-clearing operations were in full swing, allowing for free flow of traffic on the Manali-Leh highway.

The Manali-Leh highway would be closed to traffic on October 31 as a precautionary measure.

According to Himachal Pradesh Transport Corporation sources, all buses to Keylong, Udaipur, Trilokinath, Darcha, Jalma and Kaza had resumed their services late this morning. The Kaza-Manali bus service had also been 
resumed.

Meanwhile most tourists rushed to Murhee and the Rohtang Pass to see the snow.

All taxis and tourist buses had to return from Murhee, 35 kms from here.

The higher reaches in the Kulu valley, including the Pir Panjal ranges, Bhrigu slopes, Chanderkhani and Hamta Passes also had fresh snow. Due to fresh snowfall in the upper Manali region, wintery conditions made people take out their woollen clothes.

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Bachittar’s body to be brought today
Tribune News Service

Dharamsala, October 14
The body of Bachittar Singh, who died in Saudi Arabia, will be brought back to his native village, Mainjha, tomorrow.

A district administration official said the brother of the deceased, Ishwar Das, had left for Delhi in an ambulance of the local hospital.

The family received intimation of Bachittar’s death on July 14 from a fellow Indian, Kadoor.

He called up Bachittar’s sister in Chandigarh and told her about his sudden death, believed to be due to heart attack.

Since then, the family had been desperately waiting for his body.

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3rd round of Pulse Polio drive today
Our Correspondent

Palampur, October 14
The third round of the pulse polio immunisation drive in Kangra will be observed tomorrow.

A massive rally was organised here this morning by the health department in which students from various educational institutions, NSS volunteers from the local Vikram Batra College, Rotarians, health functionaries and social activities participated.

Addressing the rally, Dr H.K. Vasisth, Block medical Officer-cum-campaigner of the programme, talked of the need to remain vigilant since polio cases had been reported from the adjoining states Punjab, Haryana, Uttaranchal and Chandigarh this year.

He pointed out that in Himachal Pradesh no polio case had been reported for the past nine years. “however, we have to be vigilant keeping in view the regular flow of migrant labourers into the state from the states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal where a number of cases of polio have been reported”.

Dr Vasisth appealed to the people to participate in this “holy yagna” with enthusiasm. He said 96 booths had been set up in Palampur region and 400 people from various government departments and social volunteers had been deployed for the same.

He said on October 16 and 17, activists would go door-to-door to ensure not a single child was left without polio drops. 

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Theft in Baddi unit

Baddi, October 14
A case of theft in a unit here came to light today. In a complaint lodged with the local police today, Mr Manmohan Sharma, manager of Sham Pipes, alleged that thieves had struck at the unit on the night of August 28.

They broke open the lock of the unit store and stole 320 kg copper besides 6,000 small pieces of copper from there. A case has been registered. — OC

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