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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

Centre’s nod to road in Chopal
Shimla, November 5
The Himachal Government has obtained forest clearance from the Centre for connecting the Kupvi area in Chopal from all four sides with a road. This was stated by the Chief Minister, Mr Virbhadra Singh, while addressing a public meeting at Kupvi yesterday.

RBI for action against dubious chit-fund firms
Mandi, November 5
Officials of the RBI said today that the state government should initiate panel action against chit fund companies operating in the state without registration under the Prices and Control of Chit Funds, etc. Act and without the valid permission from the RBI.

Women bearing girl child to get Rs 1,200
Chamba, November 5
The Himachal Government has enhanced remuneration from Rs 500 to Rs 1,200 to women giving birth to a female child in the government health institutions of the state under the Centrally-sponsored National Rural Health Mission, said Mr Harsh Mahajan, Animal Husbandry and Urban Development Minister, while addressing a workshop of representatives of panchayats and anganwaris and health staff here yesterday.

Kokje for free access to information
Shimla, November 4
The Governor, Mr V.S. Kokje, yesterday stressed the need for removing constraints for promoting people's participation in local self government. He was speaking at a seminar on "Citizens Participation in Governance: Reforming Panchayats and Nagar Palikas" organized by PRIA (Participatory Research in Asia), here.



YOUR TOWN
Chamba
Dharamsala
Mandi
Shimla
Nahan



EARLIER STORIES


Don’t dilute job rules: teachers
Chamba, November 5
The Himachal Government Teachers Union has urged the government not to dilute the existing ‘recruitment and promotion’ rules in the education department so that the genuine process of the promotion of teachers may not be affected.

Paonta residents stone police station, block traffic
Resentment over mysterious death of woman
Nahan, November 5
Not content with police action regarding the death of a woman under suspicious circumstances yesterday in the Kishanpura village of Paonta Subdivision, residents of Devi Nagar Mohalla of Paonta Sahib today staged a Dharna in front of Paonta Police station, raised slogans against the Police and threw stones at the police station in which a police jeep was damaged.

Renuka Fair concludes
Nahan, November 5
The five-day-long Renuka Fair concluded at Shri Renuka Tirth this afternoon after the departure ceremony of the palanquin of Lord Parshuram and other deities to their destinations.

10 BJP members reinstated
Shimla, November 5
Mr Suresh Bhardwaj, state BJP chief, has reinstated the 10 party members of Solan block who were suspended from the primary membership of the party for indiscipline during the organisational elections at the party headquarters.

One-fifth population lives in slums
Chamba, November 5
The local Municipal Council has identified 2.18 sq km slum area out of the total municipal area of 4.33 sq km, reveals a report released by the council recently. Amazingly, Chamba town has 4,052 slum population which is one-fifth of the total population of 20,327, according to municipal records.

Western Command quiz competition
Dharamsala, November 5
Western Command inter short quiz competition was organised by Army School, Yol Cantonment at the Rising Star Auditorium. The event was inaugurated by the Maj. Gen. G.S. Grewal.

Six shops gutted in fire
Reckong, November 5
Six wooden shops were gutted in fire in the main market here late last night. Capt Raman Sharma, Subdivisional Magistrate of the area, said the shops were made of wood and got fire possible due to short-circuit.

Mystery shrouds tea vendor’s death
Reckong Peo, November 5
A tea vendor, who had set up his stall in the tribal festival, died under mysterious circumstances late on Friday night. His body was recovered by the police the next day and sent for post-mortem examination.

Raju to tour border areas
Chandigarh, November 5
The Minister of State for Defence, Mr M. M. Pallam Raju is scheduled to visit forward areas of Himachal Pradesh on November 6 and 7. He will also visit Project Deepak of Border Roads Organisation which covers Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand.






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Centre’s nod to road in Chopal
Tribune News Service

Shimla, November 5
The Himachal Government has obtained forest clearance from the Centre for connecting the Kupvi area in Chopal from all four sides with a road. This was stated by the Chief Minister, Mr Virbhadra Singh, while addressing a public meeting at Kupvi yesterday.

“With the approval being granted by the Ministry of Environment and Forests for the construction of road through the forest land, the people of the area would be saving a lot of time in travelling to Shimla and Nerva,” he said.

The Chief Minister directed the PWD authorities to carry out the construction work of the road from Sarahan, Jokhar, Taren-Sainj, Pulwal-Sarahan and Bamta-Kharapathar on a war footing. He also laid the foundation stone for the Tarah-Banah and Nora-Kulog roads and a building of veterinary dispensary.

“The government is according top priority for linking villages with roads and Rs 2,000 crore would be spent in the coming two years to achieve this objective,” he said. He added that by March 2008 all unconnected gram panchayats would be linked with roads and the existing network of roads would also be improved.

While stating that no contractor would be awarded more than two assignments, he warned that penalty would be imposed in case of substandard work or delay in completion. He assured that development of Kupvi would be accorded top priority and all projects would be completed in a time-bound manner.

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RBI for action against dubious chit-fund firms
Tribune News Service

Mandi, November 5
Officials of the RBI said today that the state government should initiate panel action against chit fund companies operating in the state without registration under the Prices and Control of Chit Funds, etc. Act and without the valid permission from the RBI.

According to the RBI officials, chit funds are not allowed in Himachal Pradesh unless they have the valid permission from the RBI under the Act.

The RBI officials who were here in connection with the sensitisation of the police in its campaign to check the growing cartel of the dubious chit fund and other non-banking companies in the state and outside, on panel provisions of the RBI Act and that the law enforcement agencies could take action against such companies.

In fact, the RBI has targeted as many as 31,000 non-banking companies operating in different parts of the country without the mandatory registration. "Each company needs to have a mandatory RBI registration certificate in original and a security of Rs 2 crore deposited in the bank before it starts operation,"they said.

Speaking on the one-day training programme on non-banking finance companies and on the penal provisions of the Act for police officials here today, the RBI, AGM, Mr Ravinder Kumar, said the companies which are not registered with the RBI could be booked under the Act. However, there are over 112 registered A-class and 409 B-class companies in Chandigarh, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh, which has six companies so far, he added.

Talking about the safeguards for the investors and the depositors, Mr Kumar said they should first check RBI's valid registration number and bank security of Rs 2 crore in the area of its operation. "The depositors can forward the complaint to the Company Law Board, Ministry of Company Affairs, Shashtri Bhavan, New Delhi".

As per the Act, no company can offer more than 11 per cent interest on deposits to the investors. Secondly, no company can give more than 2 per cent commission to its agents. The chit fund should have at least 15 per cent of its deposits in the bank.

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Women bearing girl child to get Rs 1,200
Our Correspondent

Chamba, November 5
The Himachal Government has enhanced remuneration from Rs 500 to Rs 1,200 to women giving birth to a female child in the government health institutions of the state under the Centrally-sponsored National Rural Health Mission, said Mr Harsh Mahajan, Animal Husbandry and Urban Development Minister, while addressing a workshop of representatives of panchayats and anganwaris and health staff here yesterday.

The workshop was organised under the Parivar Kalyan Salahakar Samiti scheme especially for the identified Pukhri and Choori medical blocks of Chamba district.

Eulogising the role of health staff and the representatives of panchayats and anganwaris in the effective implementation of the National Rural Health Mission, Mr Mahajan appealed to the participants to work with a concerted approach so that the objective of the mission could be achieved.

Mr Mahajan expressed his gratitude to the Central Government for allocating Rs 1 crore for the district under the mission for which Rs 500 crore had been earmarked during the current fiscal year.

Mentioning key aspects of the mission, Mr Mahajan said the panchayats excelling in checking female foeticide would be rewarded with Rs 5 lakh. He said cases of female foeticide were decreasing day by day in the wake of stringent provisions laid down in the mission.

“The girls are not behind in any sphere of activity and have registered their considerable presence all over”, asserted Mr Mahajan.

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Kokje for free access to information
Tribune News Service

Shimla, November 4
The Governor, Mr V.S. Kokje, yesterday stressed the need for removing constraints for promoting people's participation in local self government.

He was speaking at a seminar on "Citizens Participation in Governance: Reforming Panchayats and Nagar Palikas" organized by PRIA (Participatory Research in Asia), here.

"Accountability right at the lowest level of government is a pre-requisite for improving performance of any public body and free access to information is a key element in this," he said.

Mr Kokje said that it was only through a strong network of elected representatives that higher levels of governance could be made accountable to the people. He further added that there could be good governance only if the elected representatives were elected on merit.

While lauding the work being done by self-help groups of women in villages all over the state, he said they were playing a crucial role in promoting micro credit savings and taking up social issues. He appreciated the role being played by PRIA in bringing about social change in India and developing a democratic society based on values of equality and justice.

The Vice-Chancellor of Himachal Pradesh University, Prof L.R. Verma, and Dr Rajesh Tandon, president, PRIA, and Mr Kamleshwar Sinha also spoke on the occasion. The Governor also released a study report on gram panchayats and education published by PRIA and a book titled 'Geography of Himachal Pradesh' written by Dr Manoj Jaret in association with the Institute of Integrated Himalayan Studies, HPU.

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Don’t dilute job rules: teachers
Our Correspondent

Chamba, November 5
The Himachal Government Teachers Union (HGTU) has urged the government not to dilute the existing ‘recruitment and promotion’ (R&P) rules in the education department so that the genuine process of the promotion of teachers may not be affected.

The state senior vice-chairman of the union, Mr Suman Kumar Minhas, in a handout issued here today said that according to the existing R&P rules, 60 percent of the principals were promoted from the cadre of headmasters and 40 per cent from the lecturers cadre.

Welcoming the introduction of elementary education by the government recently, Mr Minhas requested the Chief Minister, Mr Virbhadra Singh to commence the study work of the elementary education from the next academic session so that the ongoing course of study of the students might not be affected in the middle of the session.

Mr Minhas said at the moment there were 60,488 teachers, including elemental and secondary levels and about 6,000 lecturers, including direct recruited and promotees from the trained graduate teachers (TGT) cadre. While the strength of teachers under the newly established directorate of elementary education was 54,500, Mr Minhas said.

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Paonta residents stone police station, block traffic
Resentment over mysterious death of woman
Our Correspondent

Nahan, November 5
Not content with police action regarding the death of a woman under suspicious circumstances yesterday in the Kishanpura village of Paonta Subdivision, residents of Devi Nagar Mohalla of Paonta Sahib today staged a Dharna in front of Paonta Police station, raised slogans against the Police and threw stones at the police station in which a police jeep was damaged.

Protesters more than 150 in number were demanding the registration of a case of murder under Section 302 of the IPC against the husband of deceased Maya Devi and family members of his maternal uncle. The mother of deceased woman who was a resident of Devi Nagar and her relatives were hold responsible husband Ganga Ram and family members of his maternal uncle for the death of Maya Devi.

They also alleged that suicide story of Maya Devi had been fabricated by her husband and other family members to ‘cover up’ the episode.

This afternoon protesters also gathered at the official residence of DSP Paonta and raised slogans against the police. Protesters sat on a Dharna on the Nahan-Paonta road and blocked traffic for over 45 minutes. Paonta police Dy S.P. Padam Chand said that the police had already registered a case under Section 306 of the IPC and a postmortem report was awaited. The body of Maya Devi was found hanging at her residence in Kishan Pura village, yesterday.

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Renuka Fair concludes
Our Correspondent

Nahan, November 5
The five-day-long Renuka Fair concluded at Shri Renuka Tirth this afternoon after the departure ceremony of the palanquin of Lord Parshuram and other deities to their destinations.

Governor of Himachal Pradesh V.S. Kokje performed the traditional pooja of the palanquin of Lord Parshuram on the banks of the Renuka Lake and announced departure of the palanquin in the presence of thousands of devotees who were singing traditional songs with traditional Sirmauri musical instruments. The Governor also gave departure to four other palanquins of the deities to their native villages.

The Governor presided over the closing ceremony of the fair and called upon the people of Himachal Pradesh to work hard for the preservation of folk culture and cultural heritage of the state. The Deputy Commissioner of Sirmaur, Mr R.S. Negi, and Mr C.M. Vashishtha, Vice-Chairman of the Renuka Development Board, welcomed the Governor. A cultural programme was presented on this occasion.

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10 BJP members reinstated

Shimla, November 5
Mr Suresh Bhardwaj, state BJP chief, has reinstated the 10 party members of Solan block who were suspended from the primary membership of the party for indiscipline during the organisational elections at the party headquarters.

The suspension of Mr Mohan Singh, Mr Pawan Gupta, Mr Ravinder Parihar, Mr Inder Singh Mehta, Mr Virender Sood, Mr Shailender Gupta, Mrs Sonia Thakur, Mr Rajender Bharadwaj, Mrs Rashmidhar and Mr Babu Ram was revoked after receiving the reply to the show cause notices served on them. — TNS

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One-fifth population lives in slums
Our Correspondent

Chamba, November 5
The local Municipal Council has identified 2.18 sq km slum area out of the total municipal area of 4.33 sq km, reveals a report released by the council recently.

Amazingly, Chamba town has 4,052 slum population which is one-fifth of the total population of 20,327, according to municipal records.

Likewise, the population living below the poverty line is 3,814, apart from 909 families below the poverty line in the town. As per details available in the municipal records, the council is having 108 shops, 297 wooden shops, 975 streetlights, roads of 29.2 km length, drains of 16 km length, 15 public taps, beside rest houses and other assets.

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Western Command quiz competition
Tribune News Service

Dharamsala, November 5
Western Command inter short quiz competition was organised by Army School, Yol Cantonment at the Rising Star Auditorium. The event was inaugurated by the Maj. Gen. G.S. Grewal. The cluster level winner teams of Western Command namely APS Dhaula Kuan, APS Dhagshai, A.S. Tibri Cantt., A.S. Ratnuchak, & the host team A.S. Yol Cantt participated. Col. K.J. Singh welcomed the Chief Guest.

The Quiz Master Mr Tamojeet Roy, from Kolkata supported by Oxford University, Press created and atmosphere of thrill and enthusiasm.

A few students from audience were called on to dance and were given prizes. The winners of the event command level quiz were the participants of A.S. Ratnuchuk A.S. Dhaula Kuan bagged the second position. The winner team is going to participate at national level in New Delhi on November 30. Maj. Gen. Grewal congratulated the winners and distributed cash prizes.

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Six shops gutted in fire
Tribune News Service

Reckong, November 5
Six wooden shops were gutted in fire in the main market here late last night.

Capt Raman Sharma, Subdivisional Magistrate of the area, said the shops were made of wood and got fire possible due to short-circuit. However, it was still under investigation to ascertain the exact cause of the fire, he said. He said that the administration had announced an immediate relief of Rs 5,000 each to those who were running the shops.

As per the preliminary estimates, the total loss to the building of the shops has been estimated at Rs 12 lakh. The loss of goods according to the shopkeepers has been estimated at Rs 70 lakh.

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Mystery shrouds tea vendor’s death

Reckong Peo, November 5
A tea vendor, who had set up his stall in the tribal festival, died under mysterious circumstances late on Friday night. His body was recovered by the police the next day and sent for post-mortem examination.

The deceased has been identified as Kala (52). He possibly hails from Punjab. The SP ruled out any foul-play in the incident and said, "As per the statements of his colleagues (nearby vendors), Kala was heavily drunk last night and may have fell down from the roadside causing injuries leading to death".

As per the reports available from the district hospital, Kala had received injuries on his head and on foot. The exact reasons of the death could be ascertained only after the examination report.

Meanwhile, the police has initiated inquest proceedings under section 174 of the CrPC into the incident. — TNS

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Raju to tour border areas

Chandigarh, November 5
The Minister of State for Defence, Mr M. M. Pallam Raju is scheduled to visit forward areas of Himachal Pradesh on November 6 and 7. He will also visit Project Deepak of Border Roads Organisation (BRO) which covers Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

During the visit, the minister will interact with Prof Chander Kumar and Mrs Pratibha Singh, both Members of Parliament. The visit will be followed by a high-level meeting of the Border Roads Development Board in New Delhi on October 20. — TNS

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