Every Wednesday

No Man’s Land 
Rakesh Lohumi
While the diversion of agricultural land for setting up special economic zones (SEZ’s) has led protests across the country, the sharp decline in agriculture land in the hill state over the past 15 years has virtually gone unnoticed. 

The sun plays peek-a-boo with Shimla’s clouds
Veiled queen: The sun plays peek-a-boo with Shimla’s clouds, on Tuesday.

Justice hanged?
NDPS Act: Himachal’s over zealous judicial academy faces trial
Kuldeep Chauhan

The recent recommendations of the Himachal Pradesh State Judicial Academy on the Narcotic, Drugs Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, as issued to the district and session courts, have kicked up a controversy within the state’s legal fraternity. The legal experts and lawyers have expressed their reservations over the recommendations that talk about pushing up the “low conviction rates.” They argue that such a direction would set up a wrong precedent that goes against the “spirit of free and fair trials enshrined in fundamental principles of criminal judicial system” of the country.

New lease of life for Tanda hospital 
The foundation stone of the building was laid in 1996
Kulwinder Sandhu

The new building of Dr Rajendra Prasad Medical College and Hospital, Tanda, is almost complete and will be functional in a month’s time. The new campus is spread over 46 hectares in Nagrota Bagwan. The shifting process of the institute from Dharamsala to Tanda has already begun and it would benefit the residents of Kangra, Chamba, Hamirpur, Una, Bilaspur and Mandi.

by Shriniwas Joshi 
WO sides of Shimla: British & NativeShimla, during Raj, was generally seen as a place occupied by the British for fun and amusement. It was the colonial equivalent of “Bath or Brighton, cliquish resort where rakish officers, vampish ladies, ambitious bureaucrats, and bored housewives engaged in endless parties and gossip.” We, today, praise the British for excellent use of topography and giving us the Mall, the Ridge, picturesque upper roads and quite a few buildings in exquisite architecture but all this was done with a purpose to separate themselves from the natives. The air was fresh and pure on the upper reaches and they deserved it because they were the rulers. 

Shimla Diary 
Revival of monsoon brings relief
In the nick of time, too... saving apple growers of the higher reaches from disaster 
Rakesh Lohumi
ARMERS, particularly apple growers, heaved a sigh of relief as monsoon showed signs of revival with the onset of August. Most parts of the hill state received widespread rain with Nahan recording over 150 mm in a single day. The monsoon has been playing truant this season with most areas recording 25 to 40 per cent deficient rain. For instance the state capital had so far received only 430 mm of rain as against the normal 550 mm since June.

No naukris for Himachalis 
Despite tall claims of the state government, the induction of 70% Himachali youth in industries hasn’t been possible
Ambika Sharma

WITH unemployment touching a whopping 8.75lakh in the state, the provision of jobs for the educated youth has become a major challenge before the government. Gauging the seriousness of the problem, the government has made induction of 70 per cent Himachali youth in the industries a mandatory clause in its industrial policy of 2004. However, the investors have not been keen to comply with these directions. They prefer to recruit Himachalis either at lower positions or on contractual basis. Earlier, the investors rued that the local youth were not technically qualified but now, they reason that their lack of experience is a deterrent factor in employing them.

Fruitful story
Mango orchards of Hamirpur are contributing their bits in the economic growth
Dharam Prakash Gupta

THE initiative to plant mango trees about two decades back have started bearing fruits now and all blocks under Hamirpur district have come under mango cultivation. The Dushehari variety has attained a good name in the market, besides local varieties.

Go Travel 
Preserving nature as it is
If the concrete jungles of the state disappoint 
you, it’s time to head for Great Himalayan National Park
Subhash Sharma

HOW often have you landed on a hill station after months of planning and felt utter disappointment to find the natural wealth of the hills is in disarray? Well, with tourism growing at an alarming rate, it’s rendered the flora and fauna of most tourist destinations vulnerable. You could, however, visit the Great Himalayan National Park, which promises some hope, having preserved the world’s most endangered wildlife species of flora and fauna

An evening in IIAS 
Jitender Kaushik
YOU have seen it in countless pictures, the imposing façade of the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, the erstwhile residence of the British viceroys, in Shimla. A lot of you may have been there, for it’s one of the most sought after — and easily accessible — destinations on the tourist map of the Queen of Hills.

Shimla after a shower
For some dreamlike, for some nightmarish, 
the rains evoke extreme emotions
Jitender Kaushik

Romantics find it melancholic, sceptics call it depressive. The monsoon season with all its contrasting shades always evokes extreme emotions from folks in the hill. This year round the reactions are even more pronounced because the monsoon arrived in the state right in the middle of local rains.

224-year-old, yet not fully grown
One of the five oldest educational institutes in the 
state is facing neglect

S. R. Pundir
Though it is 224 years old, Shamsher Senior Secondary School of Nahan is still a picture of neglect. It still does not have the basic infrastructure like rooms, furniture and other basic facilities. The school is the oldest in Sirmour and one of the five oldest educational institutes in the state.

Set up in in 1783, the Shamsher Senior Secondary School at Nahan still awaits basic infrastructure.
Set up in in 1783, the Shamsher Senior Secondary School at Nahan still awaits basic infrastructure.

Sinking into the depths
Ground reality: The state govt’s done little to check the depleting groundwater level in the Baddi belt
Ambika Sharma

THE groundwater level in the industrial belt of Baddi-Barotiwala-Nalagarh is facing severe threat, with no authority checking its misuse. While the Irrigation and Public Health Department awaits a notification for the enforcement of Groundwater Act, 2005, the government appears to be sitting pretty after notifying the Act.

The 11th century Nako Monastery in Kinnaur is getting 
ready to receive the Dalai Lama

In the right spirit
Pratibha Chauhan
HE painstaking preservation work at the 11th century Buddhist monastery at Nako village in the tribal district of Kinnaur is being given the final touches as the Tibetan spiritual and temporal leader, the Dalai Lama, will dedicate the cultural complex and perform Avaloketishvara initiation and teachings for world peace from August 22.



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