The Mall  of change

The cool hill breeze is blowing away the old order on The Mall, writes Saurabh Malik

As you pant up the narrow paths winding through the hill station’s history and the lower bazaar to reach the promenade dotted with nostalgia and colonial heritage on either side, you hear behind your back “time’s winged chariots” hurrying near.

Standing there, looking for familiar signboards that had until recently withstood the tyranny of time, you realise that the ever-whirling wheels of change, rolling on the walkers’ paradise, have finally managed to run them down.

Known for offering you the charms of the hills on a platter, Kwality, Le Gourmet and Paradise restaurants wound up long time back. Even Sahib Singh and Sons pulled down its shutters.

Now, garment merchants Lok Nath and Banarasi Dass and Sons have closed down. After supplying hardware that went in the construction of quite a few commercial, private and public buildings, Govind Lal Chuha Ram too have shut shop.

“Old timers still recall their childhood days of calling up the owners to joke about the store’s name,” remembers Roshan Lal, a businessman now settled for good in Chandigarh, after spending his salad days savouring the charms of The Mall, stretching between Barnes Court in the east and Viceregal Lodge in the west.

This is not the end of the not-so-grand finale. Once known for organising the gala Miss Shimla contest and full of life jam sessions with St Bede’s students, the original Devico’s, too, closed down.

If you are going to The Mall after an exceptionally long time, you will also find missing the hand-pulled rickshaws. The only conveyance of the days of yore, the two-wheeled rickshaws with their majestic cushioned-seats were ubiquitous till the mid 80s. After that, their numbers began to diminish gradually and are now only a part of the bygone era. In fact, the rickshaw tracks and sheds have vanished.

“Now, there are either banks or company showrooms offering branded stuff all around on the Mall,” says Narinder Aggarwal of Minerva Book Store. “In fact, The Mall is now practically branded from head to toe.”

You have brand names like Octave, Pringle, Allen Solly, Dominos, Café Coffee Day, Barista, Reebok, and Woodland. John Player is likely to open up an outlet soon. Even Adidas is expected by May end. Reliance is reportedly considering the feasibility of retailing from The Mall. You also have “US Dollar 99” offering practically everything from across the seas for just Rs 99. Sea change, indeed!

“The changing face of The Mall only reflects the altering attitudes of the people,” says Dinesh Gupta, the managing director of Himani’s Bar and Restaurant. Running the family business in the hill station after completing his degree in engineering several years ago, the entrepreneur says: “Business is changing hands as the residents are altering their ways. Exposed to global culture, they want nothing less than the stuff foreign tourists wrap themselves up in. And then, there are visitors from across the country eager to take back only the best.”

For shopkeepers, the shifting preferences have only spelled business. “Rents have gone up with companies willing to offer as much as Rs 3 lakh a month for space on the first floor. The monthly rental, in reality, is hovering between Rs 300 and Rs 650 a square feet against Rs 100 until recently,” says Gupta.        

Well, in the end you can only cite Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s oft-quoted poem The Passing of Arthur:

The old order changeth, yielding place to new, And God fulfils himself in many ways, Lest one good custom should corrupt the world.



Shimla seems to have lost its charm
Waiting for tourists
Saurabh Malik

Sunlit ranges racing across the horizon, a pleasant evening breeze blowing soft across the stately cedars and majestic pines, little streams of joy gushing out of rock-ribbed hills — the “Summer Refuge” is beckoning, but vacationers are barely trickling in.   

And if you cannot believe it, just take the lift to the pristine environs of Shimla’s downtown, The Mall. With not many tourists around, you will find the seasonal enthusiasm missing.

“In summer, Shimla offers long rejuvenating walks and treks against the backdrop of wooded ravines, flowers and pines. And for enjoying all this, the tourist season in Shimla generally begins around April 15 with sightseers rushing in from West Bengal, Delhi and other parts of the country, even abroad,” says local entrepreneur Vir Singh Negi. “But this time, only tourists from West Bengal have arrived so far.”

Standing along the main Shimla-Kufri highway just short of Wildflower Hall offering visitors a glimpse of the green valley with the help of a powerful telescope, Negi says: “The weekend crowd from Delhi and nearby places is yet to check in.”

Capturing memories for tourists in his camera, photographer Raj Kumar cannot help but agree. Positioned next to Negi on the highway, he says: “Normally, people pack their bags and leave the plains for weekends when the heat gets tough. Now that so many people have their own cars, coming to Shimla is not an uphill task. But this time, things have so far not been going our way.”

An hotelier on The Mall believes that the still-not-so-hot weather in the plains due to the occasional showers is one of the reasons behind the phenomenon. The “bad road patch” near Zirakpur is another deterrent. “Earlier Pinjore and Kalka were the only problem areas but now with construction of the flyover you face dust, pollution and regular traffic jams on the stretch. And if you are coming just for the weekend, you cannot afford to waste time on such irritants,” the hotelier says.

For the record, tourism in Shimla is expected to scale new heights this year. Tourism department figures put the estimate of sightseers at 11 lakh in 2007 as against 9.5 lakh last year. In all, tourists are expected to generate additional revenue of Rs 110 crore.

And for welcoming them, almost all the 375-odd big and small hotels are making preparations. In a lucky few hotels, tourists have made advance bookings for May-June.

Relaxing against the doorpost of his cozy office on The Mall, Suresh of City Point Tours `n’ Travels says: “This time the crowd will come only after the schools close for summer vacations. We are hoping for the best.”



No longer strollers’ paradise
by Shriniwas Joshi

As Shimla’s walking paths get disturbingly deserted, a nature walk through the deodar forests from Bangapani to Tungesh refreshes

Bangapani deodar forest
Bangapani deodar forest

People are gradually forgetting the adage ‘I have two doctors, my left leg and my right.’ They prefer to ride and develop lifestyle diseases than to walk. Even the three rounds of Shimla — Summerhill or Rhododendron, Bharari or Himalayan Oak, Jakhu or Cedar — that the British developed for walking witness the whiz of the two and four wheelers. Foot passengers, in these rounds, are a rarity.

The Mall of Shimla, however, has ever been the strollers’ paradise. But that is not the type of legwork I am talking about. Martin Luther King’s quote, “If you can’t fly, then run; if you can’t run, then walk; if you can’t walk, then crawl. But whatever you do, keep moving,” accommodates them. By and large, his quote is outdated and replaced by “If you can’t fly, then drive; if you can’t drive then take a ride.”

A local voluntary society — Shimla Amateur Garden and Environment Society (SAGES) was formed in 1995 — and its annual nature walk is a big hit. It is a good walkie-talkie hop of about five kilometers in which a knowledgeable member tells others about the flora and fauna of the area. Seventy members of different age groups went up the hill this year and luckily none came tumbling down!

This nature walk amidst the majestic deodars was from Bangapani to Tungesh. Bangapani, about thirty kilometers from Shimla, by the side of Fagu, has a thick deodar forest and groves of fresh saplings on the foot of the hill (see photograph).

Forests and seashores are the two gifts of nature that everyone enjoys and sings with Stevenson green days in forests and blue days at sea. That is why visitors swarm the Hasan Valley beyond Dhalli en route to Mashobra. The place offers Germany’s Black Forest-like view of aging but majestic Deodars in Seog. It has been made famous by a taxi-driver Hasan who used to bring his clients here. Now, tidbits and eatables are also sold by stand-in-vends.

The fresh deodar saplings at Bangapani reminded me of the words of a forester that the deodar trees seen in Shimla town were the last growth. He had said that thinning of the forests in town killed the shade and reduction of sources of water percolating systems like cobbled-stone drains, natural baolis, hand-pumps, cementing kachha places subsided the humidity. The loss of these two nutrients for the growing trees — shade and humidity — badly affected south facing slopes. Denizens claim there are pockets in the southern slopes where deodar saplings are seen but they die due to lack of sincere efforts from the foresters. I am puzzled.

The two-kilometer walk for the hikers from Bangapani to Tungesh amidst the huge deodars — a few were uprooted during the snowy storms in February — was refreshing and educating. M. R. Sharma, a practical botanist, informed the gathering about a herb, Daphne Cannabina, that has therapeutic properties and the fibre of which was earlier used for manufacturing durable paper. It was in abundance there besides skimmia laureola. The smoke of the burning leaves of this herb purifies the air. Incense, too, is prepared from it. It is grown as domestic foliage as well; so many walkers while returning had these thick leaved plants in their hands.

Tungesh at a height of about 2,400 metres has an ashram of Baba Avnishevaranand of Ramakrishna Mission who had come here from Silhat (Bangladesh) in 1962 in spiritual pursuits. He got built in local architecture a Kali Ma temple accommodating a tiny library (see photograph). He died in 1974 but his sister Ma Aditi still resides in the ashram. There’s also a government-aided Sanskrit college where Pragya, Visharad and Shastri are taught to no less than 200 students, a feather in the cap of knowledge state, Himachal.



A reason to cheer
Forest dept to revive cheer pheasant breeding project
Rakesh Lohumi

The forest department’s decision to revive conservation breeding of the endangered cheer pheasant has spread cheer among wildlife enthusiasts.

The core group on conservation breeding of pheasants had approved a Rs 3.3 crore project for ex-situ conservation of the pheasant to supplement its dwindling population in natural habitats. But the Central Zoo Authority (CZA) rejected it two years ago. Now, the forest department has reviewed the project and decided to submit it again before the CZA.

A team comprising zoologist-cum-forester Dr Lalit Mohan, and range officer Sat Pal Dhiman have already achieved success in parent rearing of the cheer pheasant in captivity. They have also published a research paper on stress management in breeding behaviour of cheer pheasant. England is the only other country in world to accomplish such a feat. The International Union for Conservation of Nature has made Mohan a member of the pheasant specialist group and species survival commission in recognition of his achievement.

The project will be implemented in the Chail Pheasantry where seven pens will be constructed for parent rearing. Temperature and moisture control equipment will be installed to create conditions conducive to breeding. Close circuit television facility will also be provided. In case the parent rearing failed, hatching will be carried out through broody hens. If this also fails, incubators would be used.

Cheer pheasants are shy birds and require not only isolation but also a sense of safety, besides mutual affinity, for successful breeding. The chicks produced will be released in pre-identified natural habitats in the state in accordance with IUCN guidelines.

A project for breeding the Western Tragopan is already under implementation. The department also plans to initiate a project for the conservation of pure bloodlines of the Red Jungle Fowl.

Under threat

A Tribune photographCatreus wallichi for zoologists, the magnificent bird is found only in the Western Himalayas from North Pakistan to Nepal. The bird already figures in the red data book of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and is included in Schedule 1 of protected species under the Wildlife Act. Once found in abundance in the state, the bird has of late been confined to a few isolated pockets in Chamba, Great Himalayan National Park, Kulu and the Sarhan, Chail and Majathal sanctuaries.



The sun shines down
Back to his roots, Sun Jay Veer Saagar is doing what he loves the most
Pratibha Chauhan

Rather than playing second fiddle to much less talented artistes in Bollywood, Sun Jay Veer Saagar would rather promote acting and film making in his home state which has given stars like Anupam Kher, Preity Zinta and the latest debutant, Kangana Ranaut, to the tinsel world.

After trying out practically everything, right from script writing, directing, singing and composing, Saagar has just released Aadhaar, the first short Hindi film of Himachal.

Back from the premiere of his dream venture in Jammu and Kashmir, Haryana, Punjab, Delhi and Uttrakhand, he is a happy man. Because the response has been overwhelming.

In fact, the acknowledgement he has received from artistes of the entire region has encouraged him to hold a five-day North India Film Festival in Shimla from April 15, next year, which happens to be the Himachal Day. Interestingly, he has kept the festival open for all categories of cinema as there will be five sections—folk, classical, comic, main stream and educational film for children.

“If things works out fine, artistes from Pakistan and Azad Kashmir will also participate international colour,” he says beaming. It was during the premiere of Aadhaar where he interacted with artistes from Pakistan and Azad Kashmir.

Before leaving for Mumbai, Saagar was associated with theatre and other cultural activities since 2000 and later organised workshops for the Sangeet Natak Akademi. He hails Peer Saluhi village in Kangra but he grew up in Shimla.

Among the forthcoming projects lined up, he has three films Shukria Zindagi (Hindi), Perfect Proposal (English) and Happy Singh in Talaash of Laari (Pahari). In fact, he has written the lyrics and sung the songs in his first movie, practically making it a one-man show.

He will shortly be releasing three albums Jannat Ks Naam Himachal, Jaanam Maan Jao Naa and Mitti. Having directed, produced, edited, acted as well as rendered the songs for his first film, Aadhaar under the banner of Sun Jay Veer Saagar Art Empire, he feels the going ahead would be much easier than what he has been through in the past.

Having made a humble beginning with a short film like Aadhaar, Sun Jay hopes to make the state of Himachal vibrant as far as theatre and films are concerned with special focus on folk and Himachali culture. It remains to be seen how far he can go in realising his dreams but it is certainly an earnest effort not only to give the hill state its own films but also to provide a platform for the talented youth of Himachal.



shimla Diary
On the lookout for new wards
Pratibha Chauhan

With the date of the Shimla Municipal Corporation (MC) elections being fixed on May 23, a large number of aspirants, who have been dislodged due to the reservation of seats for women and scheduled caste in rotation, are looking for new wards from where they can seek the party ticket.

With some seats being reserved in rotation for women and scheduled caste, those who have been dislodged, are trying to build ground in new areas. Even though neither the BJP nor the Congress has fixed any criteria for a person from outside the ward not being fielded, but some party men are trying to float the idea as it suits them.

While the BJP has already received over 200 applications from prospective candidates, the Congress has invited applications for the party ticket after the issuing of the notification on May 23. Those keen to get the Congress seat can apply to the Himachal Pradesh Congress Committee (HPCC) office by April 27.

All senior Congress as well as BJP leaders will remain confined to the sate capital as neither of the two political parties can afford a defeat as it will have an adverse bearing on the Assembly elections due early next year.

Spiritual brush

Having worldwide following, the Art of Living spiritual guru, Sri Sri Ravishankar visits 40 countries every year and addresses various social and health issues but on his scheduled visit to Kullu on May 3, he is keen to have a special interaction with the youth, who he feels need to be shown a way out from the drug menace, which has gripping the ‘Valley of Gods’.

While a maha satsang will be held on May 3 at Dhalpur in Kullu, followed by a pranayam dhyan camp the next day, it is the interactive session with the youth aptly called ‘Yuva’ to which the guru is attaching great importance.

The Art of Living Foundation, established in 1981, and later the International Association for Human Values, have a presence in almost 140 countries.

With the range of social work being done by his organisations encompassing conflict resolution, disaster and trauma relief, women empowerment, eradication of child labour and female infanticide, his followers are confident that he can help the youth, who are going astray. They point out that he can heal them through the many self- development modules, which can help calm minds and heighten enthusiasm.

Praying for water

More than the locals, it is the hoteliers and others associated with the tourism industry who are worst hit by the acute water shortage problem plaguing the ‘Queen of Hills’ every summer.

With the peak summer season in Shimla commencing from April, this is the time of the year when the hotel industry can do to maximum business. However, reports of water scarcity and rationing being done by the Municipal Corporation at times affects tourist flow into the town.

The MC on its part has pointed out that though water supply was being made on alternate days but rather than terming it as rationing, it should be called rationalisation. However, the hoteliers and locals rue that during most part of summer they do not get supply for three days and at times the duration becomes even longer. The MC officials say that with such a huge floating population of tourists there was bound be some shortage.

It is the hoteliers who have to pay thorough their nose to ensure that their guests are not put to inconvenience and a regular supply of water is made. This year, they are just keeping their fingers crossed that the water shortage does not get too acute.



IT is the education
Kuldeep Chauhan

The latest buzz-word in government-run schools is the Information Technology (IT) literates’. The government has launched computer literacy programme in 282 elementary schools and 567 senior secondary schools (SSS) to churn out its “first generation of computer literates or computer-savvy generation of government-run schools” in the state. But “computer bug” still has to bite a lot more in the state as many schools lack both IT teachers and computers.

Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh had launched the IT education programme under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) at Himri school in Shimla district in 2005. The purpose was to make the school children computer-savvy to achieve the cent percent literacy rate in Himachal within few years.

The government has signed a MoU with the NIIT to run the IT in elementary schools under the SSA. It has signed another MoU with the DOEACC, a society to run IT subject in the SSSs till March 2008.

NIIT has to provide one IT teacher per school and government will provide three computers per school depending on students’ strength. The elementary students from class VI to class VIII are getting the IT education for free under the SSA.

In the second case, DOEACC provides IT teachers and charge Rs 130 as IT fee per student and government provides computers as per the MoU. IT education in SSSs is an optional subject from class 9th to class 12th, but students are very keen to get computer education. Most cannot afford IT from private institutes as they belong to poor economic sections in the state.

Not enough computers

Though IT education is catching the fancy of students at the elementary and secondary levels, but nodal agencies and IT education providers have yet been able to reach out to the average students in many schools. Even as programme has completed two years, but the NIIT and SSA have yet to employ proper IT teachers and computers in targeted schools, complain school teachers.

Insiders attribute many reasons for the slow pace of IT education: schools do not take the pain for initiating it and poor monitoring by the DIETs, the nodal agencies in each district centre, which oversees functioning of the computer literacy programme in the targeted schools.

Many schools have more strength and less availability of computers. For instance, for as many as 78 elementary schools in which the student strength varies from 125-200, have just a single or two computers.

But SSA mission-cum-elementary education director B.M. Nanta says the department is providing three computers in each school. “We have asked the NIIT to provide IT teachers. The DIETs monitor the IT education through school principals. In case they face problem they should send us report.”

The students complain that IT teachers mostly teach theory as most students do not get the access to a computer. Some computers do not function. “Others remain with teachers or principal. Even some teachers have taken computers to their home,” allege students.

Teachers’ plight

IT teachers with the DOEACC rue the society pays them paltry sum of Rs 3,000 per month, while their counter-parts in Punjab get Rs 7,000-Rs 8,000 per month. They demand regularisation as government IT teachers.

Additional Director, DOEAC, Vivekananda Sharma claims that they have provided IT teachers in all schools and charges Rs 130 per student per month as fee. “The society is running into losses as there is not enough students’ in schools and IT in Himachal is an optional subject,” he adds.



A tragic love story
Jagmeet Y. Ghuman

People carry away pieces from this marble tombstone at Dagshai to have a boy child
People carry away pieces from this marble tombstone at Dagshai to have a boy child

This is a love story with a tragic ending. A tombstone on the grave of a British officer’s wife is now in ruins, thanks to the apathy of the local administration and superstition of the people.

The fine piece of marble architecture on the grave has been distorted beyond recognition. There were days when it used to get a daily wash during the British regime besides proper maintenance of the cemetery. According to a local belief, if a woman can have a piece of marble from the grave, she would be blessed with a baby boy. This belief has led to the destruction of the tomb.

The marble structure was brought to Dagshai from England by the officer. The officer’s wife, Mary Rebecca Weston had died along with her unborn child in December, 1909. The marble statue of a woman lying along with her baby in the lap of an elf, showering blessings with her two hands, was put up on the grave of Mary at the Dagshai cemetery. During the British rule, Indians were not allowed to enter this area.

The faces of the statue now cannot be recognised. The head and wings of the elf have been broken and even the baby is missing. Broken pieces of marble can be seen lying near the grave. Four years backs the two unidentified youths allegedly reached the cemetery and badly damaged the memorial. They even took away Mary’s head. Residents say vandalism of the grave was started by a few Army personnel stationed at Dagshai after Independence.

The damage began when the wives of the jawans started taking away pieces of marble to be blessed with a baby boy. Soon the superstition gained momentum in area and people from far reached the cemetery to get marble pieces. The record shows that the cemetery was renovated by 2 Battalion of the Bihar Regiment in 1968. No renovation took place after that. Like Mary’s grave, the whole cemetery, with some graves dating back to the 19th and early 20th centuries, now is in bad shape.

One can find broken pieces of old graves piled inside in one room opposite the chowkidhar room just near the entrance. The local Christian population has no funds to maintain the cemetery. They say the British High Commission had not responded when they approached for financial support a few years back.



Farmers’ own
Vidya Rattan Sharma

Farmers’ markets in the state have proved beneficial for both the farmers and the people who likes to buy fresh produce. Farmers get to bypass the middlemen and shun the market chains and customers find easily rare varieties of fruits, vegetables and meat products. Under the guidance of researchers, many farmers are growing herbs and vegetables.

These markets are also providing information on new crops to the farmers. “That’s how we know about the latest varieties of mooli and saag,” says a farmer. He had grown about 50 different varieties of vegetables, 20 of which were spread out in vibrant piles at the market.

Big market chains demand a uniform diameter of 2.5 inches for an apple. Any fruit with minor skin blemishes or those, which are not red enough by the standard norms, would get rejected at a super market.



Trouble for Kangra SEZ
Kulwinder Sandhu

The proposal to set up a special economic zone (SEZ) in the politically-sensitive Kangra district may run into rough weather with the Union Government’s fresh guidelines minimising the interference of state governments.

A Delhi-based company — DS Constructions Limited — had been granted approval in principle to set-up the SEZ on the Pathankot-Delhi national highway, about 20 km from Pathankot.

The firm was supposed to submit its detailed project report to the state government on or before April 2 but did not do so. Rather, it sought another year to negotiate with farmers for obtaining their land to develop the SEZ.

Going by the past agreement, the sanction to set up the SEZ automatically stands cancelled after April 2 as the company failed to submit the report. “The company’s demand for one-year time would be considered as a fresh case as per the new guidelines issued by the Centre post-Singur. Technically, the approval is null and void,” a senior state government official said.

DS Constructions had recently bagged the prestigious 260-MW Kutehr hydel project on the Ravi river in the state.

The firm now has to negotiate with landholders on its own in three villages. A visit to the villages of Meelma, Tamota and Dhamota villages revealed that the area, until a few years back, was almost barren but construction of the Pong Dam upstream had protected this land from occasional floods. Of late farmers had developed it into rich, fertile arable land and were regularly cultivating sugarcane, wheat, paddy and fruits.

Since the land is under cultivation, the company would have to shell out more for the land. Low-lying areas would require protection walls on the riverside so as to protect units from flash floods and would require huge funds.

No wonder DS Constructions is not clear on whether to set up the SEZ in these villages. Company officials visited these three villages only twice during the last year. It was expected that this SEZ would create jobs for more than one lakh persons.

Although the company has not submitted the project report, it is learnt that it does have plans to develop a 100 MW captive power plant for providing exclusive power to the SEZ and an ICD with truck parking area. Spread over 2,500 acres, the project envisages an investment of Rs 2,000 crore.

Farmers of Meelma, Tamota and Dhamota villages whose land is proposed to be acquired are also gearing up to prevent the acquisition. The state government had already made it clear to the company that it would not allow it to purchase arable land and also would in no way interfere at the administrative level in the acquisition process.

Sources in DS Constructions said that the company was reconsidering the commercial viability of the project.



HP’s reed warbler isn’t extinct
The bird was spotted after 140 years in Kolkata recently
Vishal Gulati

PTIThe discovery of a large-billed reed warbler, long-feared extinct, sent ornithologists into euphoria over its ability to survive.

The bird was spotted recently in Kolkata after 140 years. A team of birdwatchers saw it feeding amidst the tall bamboos. A single bird was last spotted in the Sutlej valley in Himachal in 1867.

The large-billed reed warbler, a small, rather plain brown creature, is little smaller than a house sparrow. It is considered the world’s least-known bird. The wetland bird has a longer beak than the sparrow. From a distance, one could almost mistake it for a sparrow.

Ornithologists of the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) have confirmed the bird’s identity from preserved specimens of warblers.

Last year, the same bird was spotted in Thailand after 139 years by Philip Round, an assistant biology professor at the Mahidol University, Bangkok. He trapped the bird and extracted two of its tail-feathers for DNA tests, which later proved a match with the only other known specimen, collected in Himachal.

After the discovery, Round had remarked: “I was really, really excited. I’ve known the existence of this bird for many years through reading and old references, but I never, ever expected to find it here. We thought it was probably extinct, but now we have proved that the bird still exists.” He is a leading authority on Thai birds.

The Red Data Book — a compendium of species facing extinction — says: “The large-billed reed warbler is known only from one specimen, collected in the Sutlej valley near Rampur, Himachal, in 1867. Its taxonomic status has been uncertain for more than a century and it was treated as synonymous with the clamorous reed warbler. Its morphology, with a relatively rounded wing, suggests that it represents a resident or short-distance migrant. Given the lack of information and the previous confusion over the status of this taxon, it is best treated presently as data deficient.”

“A priority now is to find out where the large-billed reed warbler’s main population lives, whether it is threatened, and if so, how these threats can be addressed,” says BirdLife International.

“This discovery gives ornithologists an opportunity to continue their search for the large-billed reed warbler in India,” says Asad Rahmani, director of BNHS.

“Right now, the priority is to find out its breeding grounds, especially in Himachal, to know whether it is threatened or not. After this, conservation measures could be taken,” say bird watchers.



Drug unit starts

The Nalagarh plant of Promed Exports has started commercial productions since last week. This unit will be manufacturing products like eye drops, inhalation tubes, injectables, wound care solutions, ear drops and nasal drops. — TNS





HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |