Every Wednesday

Weather pleases, puzzles
First a near-drought and now almost a deluge. What’s next, wonder farmers and residents

It’s a busy time for farmers in the state. Ever since the record-breaking snowfall of February, they’ve been trying to assess its damage and benefit to agricultural and fruit crops.


Mushroom city to concrete jungle
Solan is going the Shimla way
Battling the population growth of a staggering 57.26 per cent, Solan, which is rated as the fastest growing towns in the state, is now bursting at the seams. The haphazard and unplanned constructions have converted this town, known as the Mushroom City of India, into a jungle of concrete.

Frosty future
Losses Rs 81 cr
Drought in the months of December and January followed by severe frosts has wiped out almost half of the fruit crop and newly planted saplings in the Kangra district. As per a recent survey conducted by the Horticulture Department, the total loss due to drought and frost, has been estimated at Rs 56 core and Rs 25 crore, respectively.

The Ridge, as it was

Were you in Shimla of 1874, you would have visited ‘Hamilton and West’ for clothing, got yourself photographed at ‘De Russet’ and carried cakes and pastries home from ‘O’Connor and Peliti’ – all this at the ‘Upper Bazaar’. Where was the ‘Upper Bazaar’ located? It was where at present the wide, open Ridge is. There were marts on the sides of a narrow street.

To start or not to?
The government’s decision to open medical colleges at Mandi and Hamirpur kicks off a debate 
Members of the Citizens’ Council, Mandi, various sabhas, NGOs and the medical associations in Mandi have hailed chief minister Virbhadra Singh’s announcement to open a government medical college at Mandi and a private medical college at Hamipur. But medical experts take it with a pinch of salt.

Targeting pensioners
Pension funds are the latest to catch the foreign investors’ eye 
The fast-growing global insurance sector is targeting the pension funds in India and is awaiting a nod from the Centre. Since pension industry has not yet been opened to the insurance sector, the global players feel this virgin sector will lead to immense gains. These views were expressed by Rene van der Poel, vice-president of ING Vysya. He said while every foreign player was keen to invest in India as its rural segment offered huge returns.

Tale of Trilokpur
Where Navaratra fair is a 15-day affair 
During Navratras, which comes after every six months, fairs takes place at 14 Shakti temples in Sirmour but the biggest Navratra fair is organised at Trilokpur village where the ancient temple of Mahamaya Shri Tripur Bala Sundri is situated.

Seeing red
23 PSUs have drained the state’s financial resources
Despite all the loud talk about restructuring, disinvestment and other reform measures to improve the financial health of Public Sector Undertakings (PSU) - the losses are mounting with each year.

 Election 2008 
Mud-slinging begins

The political temperatures is hot up here as the ruling Congress and the opposition BJP have launched the populist image-building political campaigns to grab the limelight, keeping in mind the upcoming Assembly elections in February 2008.

 A world of colour
A three-day painting exhibition of women artists was organised by the Language and Culture Department in Kangra Museum at Dharamsala last week. The exhibition displayed different styles of paintings and depicted various themes.

Women are active here
Winds of change are gradually sweeping across the Kangra valley with women’s participation in social and political development increasing at a rapid pace beyond expectations.

It’s getting hot

The issuing of a charge sheet by the BJP, levelling corruption charges against ministers, officials and Congress leaders has generated a lot of heat in the otherwise cold environment of the hill state.

Where there’s a will...
Society for Disability and Rehabilitation Studies (SDRS), Himachal Pradesh chapter, with the support of the Rehabilitation Council of India, conducted a state level workshop on “Human Resource Development in Disability Sector” in Shimla. As many as 150 representatives of NGOs from various districts participated.



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