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

Govt to hike travelling allowance
Shimla, December 16
The Himachal Pradesh Government has agreed in principal to hike the fixed travelling allowance and bring uniformity in the pay scales of old and new multi-purpose health workers.

Nathpa engineers find tungsten carbide useful
Shimla, December 16
Protective coating of tungsten carbi de-based material has been found effective in enhancing the life of the vulnerable parts of turbines of the 1500 MW Nathpa Jhakri project. These have been eroding at an alarming pace because of the excessive silt in the Satluj.

CM takes on Dhumal in his home dist
Barsar (Hamirpur), December 16
Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh here today took on BJP leader and former Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal in his home district saying his frequent anti-Congress outbursts were an indication of his falling confidence level.

Villagers help officials rescue leopard
Forest officials and residents carry the injured leopard at Chakali village, about 20 km from Sundernagar, on Friday. Sundernagar, December 16
Forest officials with the help of residents of Chakali village, about 20 km from here, rescued a leopard from a trap laid on a private land on last Thursday evening.

Forest officials and residents carry the injured leopard at Chakali village, about 20 km from Sundernagar, on Friday. — Photo by writer








YOUR TOWN
Hamirpur
Kangra
Shimla
Solan
Sundernagar


EARLIER STORIES

CBI probe sought into police dress material purchase
Solan, December 16
Accusing the police of purchasing sub-standard dress material from a “fictitious” Hamirpur-based firm, M/s Jawala Udyog, chairman of the Joint Action Committee Gopal Dass Verma today demanded a CBI inquiry into the purchases made.

Stone laid for tourist centre
Kangra, December 16
The Transport and Tourism Minister, Mr G.S.Bali, yesterday laid the foundation stone of a tourist reception centre adjacent to the yatri niwas at Dharamshala. It would be completed within nine months at a cost of Rs 40 lakh.

 

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Govt to hike travelling allowance
Tribune News Service

Shimla, December 16
The Himachal Pradesh Government has agreed in principal to hike the fixed travelling allowance and bring uniformity in the pay scales of old and new multi-purpose health workers.

This was announced by Mr Virbhadra Singh, Chief Minister, while addressing the first general conference of the state multi-purpose health workers and surveyors association here last evening. He said the government would also take steps to make the recruitment and promotion rules more realistic, fill vacant posts and engage part-time sweepers in all health institutions. He also accepted the demand for the continuation of training of surveyors.

He said his government had always been sympathetic and considerate towards the demands of state employees and it was one of the selected few states, which merged 50 per cent dearness allowance in the basic pay and released all due installments of dearness allowance to give financial benefits to the employees to the tune of Rs 440 crore. He said besides creating vast promotional avenues for various categories of employees, over 70,000 new posts had been created in different departments during the past three years.

Mr Virbhadra Singh said his government had converted the state cadre of multi-purpose health workers to district cadre and options had been sought from employees so that their final posting could be decided. It would help the employees get local postings.

He said the government had passed the Parents Maintenance Act to provide security to elderly people by making it mandatory for the children to look after their aged parents, which would entitle them for inheritance of the property. He said it would be the discretion of the parents to transfer their property to their children as per their wish. He said ill treatment of the parents would attract action as per the provisions of the act.

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Nathpa engineers find tungsten carbide useful
Tribune News Service

Shimla, December 16
Protective coating of tungsten carbi de-based material has been found effective in enhancing the life of the vulnerable parts of turbines of the 1500 MW Nathpa Jhakri project. These have been eroding at an alarming pace because of the excessive silt in the Satluj.

The engineers of Sutluj Jal Vidyut Nigam have been trying various measures to protect the erosion-prone parts of the turbines ever since the project was commissioned three years ago. They coated the cheek plates, guide vanes, runners and some parts with a 300-micron thick layer of tungsten carbide-based material. This step has proved to be highly effective and may enable them to find a permanent solution to the problem caused by the silt which has been causing repeated shutdown of the project.

The turbines, which earlier got damaged after passing just 3.5 lakh cubic metre of silt, are in reasonably good shape even after 7 lakh cubic metre. Thus, the coating had doubled the life of turbines. The nigam has now decided to put a 500-micron coating on the parts for the next season. It expects that a thicker layer will enable the machines to withstand at least 8 lakh cubic metre of the silt. Once this happens the nigam will be able to operate the turbines right through the monsoon without any problem.

Mr H.K.Sharma, Chairman-cum-Managing Director of the nigam, says if things worked out as expected the machines will eventually be provided with a 1-mm thick protective coating to further enhance the life of the erosion-prone parts. Besides, increasing the height of the dam at the Nathpa will help in raising the water level of the reservoir by about 10 m.

The repeated shutdown of the project due to silt last year prompted the Union Ministry of Power to scale down the generation target. It directed Sutluj Jal Vidyut Nigam not operate the project beyond the silt level of 4,000 parts per million (ppm), even though the project was designed for a silt load of 5,000 ppm. Accordingly, the generation was scaled down from 6950 million units to 6400 million units.

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CM takes on Dhumal in his home dist
Vibhor Mohan
Tribune News Service

Barsar (Hamirpur), December 16
Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh here today took on BJP leader and former Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal in his home district saying his frequent anti-Congress outbursts were an indication of his falling confidence level.

Addressing a public meeting in the Nadaunta Assembly constituency, the Chief Minister said the BJP in general and Mr Dhumal in particular had done precious little for the development of the state. He said a reflection of this was the fact that Mr Dhumal could not even set up a water supply scheme in Bamsan, his own constituency, for providing regular drinking water supply.

Accepting a long-pending demand of the people of the area, the Chief Minister also announced the setting up of a government degree college in Barsar. He reiterated his announcement of setting up a medical college in Hamirpur.

Launching an offensive against the BJP, the Chief Minister said their dream of winning the next election would never be fulfilled. He said the way Mr Dhumal was trying to remain in news by giving frequent statements was an indication of his state of mind. There was infighting in the BJP.

Commenting on Mr Dhumal’s tenure as the Chief Minister, he said, “I respect him but at the same time feel that his becoming the Chief Minister was a historical accident. The BJP had not been given the mandate in 1998 as the Congress’ percentage of votes was much higher”.

He said it would be childish to say that the state had not marched ahead on the path of development during the tenure of Congress governments. He said it was the BJP, which indulged in false propaganda by talking of regionalism and casteism.

Earlier, the Chief Minister laid the foundation stone of the bridge over Bumbloo khud on the Nanawan to Biar road to be built with a budget of Rs 50 lakh. He said the work on the project would be completed before August 15, 2007. He also declared that work on the other two bridges in the area, for which the foundation stones had been laid, would also be finished by October 2, 2007.

He also announced giving Bhorang the status of a sub-division, upgrading the health centre in Biar to a First Referral Unit and the introduction of science subjects in Class XII in the government school in Tippar.

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Villagers help officials rescue leopard
Mahesh Chander Sharma

Sundernagar, December 16
Forest officials with the help of residents of Chakali village, about 20 km from here, rescued a leopard from a trap laid on a private land on last Thursday evening. The animal was shifted to the Gopalpur Zoo in Kangra district and was at present undergoing treatment. It was stated to be out of danger, according to information received here today.

According to sources, a leopard was spotted caught in a trap at Chakali village around 9 am on last Thursday. The local residents informed the officials of the Forest Department. A team of the department along with veterinary officials reached the spot. They found that the leopard was injured and was caught in a foot trap installed by a local resident.

Hundreds of residents of adjoining areas gathered to see the animal, which was trying hard to free itself from the trap and in the process had injured itself. The forest officials headed by the DFO, Sundernagar, were unable to control the animal as it was furious. It was decided that to first give it a sedative through a tranquiliser gun shot.

A request was sent through the Conservator of Forests, Mandi, to the Conservator Wildlife, Dharamsala, to send officials along with a tranquiliser gun. A team headed by the DFO, Wildlife, Hamirpur, was sent. The DFO, Sundernagar, and the DFO, Wildlife, Hamirpur, jointly conducted the rescue operation. The leopard was given sedatives through a tranquiliser gun shot. The animal was then taken out of the trap and first aid was given to it. It was put in a cage and was subsequently shifted to the Gopalpur Zoo.

According to the Conservator, Forests, Mandi, Mr C.S. Singh, the operation could be successfully competed due to cooperation from the local residents and the forest officials. He further added that according to census conducted by the Forest Department the number of leopards in Mandi district was 222. They had forwarded a complaint to the police for registering a case against Sher Singh, a resident of Chakali village, as the trap was found laid on his land.

According to the Conservator, Wildlife, Dharampur, Mr V.K. Singh, the necessary treatment was being given to the leopard. The services of veterinary doctors from Palampur were being taken. The number of leopards in the zoo had gone up to 10. These leopards had been brought here from various parts of the state after rescuing them from traps.

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CBI probe sought into police dress material purchase
Our Correspondent

Solan, December 16
Accusing the police of purchasing sub-standard dress material from a “fictitious” Hamirpur-based firm, M/s Jawala Udyog, chairman of the Joint Action Committee Gopal Dass Verma today demanded a CBI inquiry into the purchases made.

Addressing mediapersons, he said it was intriguing how the department had been purchasing material from the firm on rate contract for the past five years when it never existed.

He said it officials were hand in glove with the firm in the facilitating the purchase of various dressing material from it.

He alleged that the firm had been supplying dressing material at higher than normal prices.

The firm had no manufacturing unit at Bhira village in Hamirpur district and instead purchased it from the market and sold it at higher rates to the police department, he claimed.

He added that though the department was aware of the fact that no such firm existed, it continued to give it’s rate contract to it.

He said though the rate contract was revised every year, intriguingly the firm had been bagging the contract for the past five years.

This, he alleged, smacked of official connivance, adding that the Chief Minister was sheltering the firm.

Crores of rupees were involved in the scam and only a CBI inquiry could bring out the truth, he added.

He said the material provided by the firm was substandard and questioned how rate contract could be given to a firm that did not existed.

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Stone laid for tourist centre
Our Correspondent

Kangra, December 16
The Transport and Tourism Minister, Mr G.S.Bali, yesterday laid the foundation stone of a tourist reception centre adjacent to the yatri niwas at Dharamshala. It would be completed within nine months at a cost of Rs 40 lakh.

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