Every Wednesday

Green protest
People rise against cement plants — five more are in the works — that are damaging the fragile eco-system of the state
Ravinder Sood

The decision of the state government to go head with five more cement plants in the state has attracted widespread resentment not only from environmentalist groups but also from the general public.



These kids enjoy a day out in the freezing cold in Shimla.
These kids enjoy a day out in the freezing cold in Shimla.

Feline Fear
Dharam Prakash Gupta 
As the human-leopard conflict continues to rock Hamirpur district, wildlife experts have come out with a long-term solution to this problem. They have suggested that humans learn to co-exist with the beast. The reports of leopard attacks on domestic animals and human beings are quite common in the district as a large part of its terrain is the habitat of the beast and other wild animals. Sujanpur and the Toani Devi area under the Hamirpur forest range and the Bhareri area of the Aghar range have a large number of leopards in the area and the people living near the forests complain of leopard attacks. According to a census report of the Forest Department, 30 leopards have their habitat here. 

Will it be R-Day  blues?
Rakesh Lohumi 
The people of the state will have the first glimpse of the new uniform, which the state police propose to introduce by replacing the traditional “khaki” during the Republic Day Parade. The mounted police and the cops handling the dog squad will be seen in blue trousers and white shirts in the parade. The Police Department for over five years had been working on various colour combinations to replace the “khakis” of the British era and finally it had selected the blue and white combination, which is in vogue the world over.

Calendar of adventure
Choose from snow slopes, seascapes, whitewater and more to make 2008 an activity-filled year! 
Yana Banerjee-Bey

IF you want to adopt adventure sports as a lifestyle or even if you can only manage to squeeze in an activity or two at intervals, you will get the most out of your time, energy and money if you plan well in advance. So here’s a ready reckoner on what happens when and where in India, and the best season to learn if you are a novice. I am listing only the most popular adventure activities – because the infrastructure is already in place and you have more options when it comes to choosing locales, instructors and accommodation. Be adventurous and have a great year!

Ski Resorts
It’s all about thrills, frills and chills
Kuldeep Chauhan
Skier at Solang ski resort After experiencing about 2-3 feet of fresh snow this week, the ski resorts of Solang in Manali and Narkanda in Shimla offer thrills, frills and chills for the skiers and the walk-in tourists from across the globe. The main skiing action this year is at the Narkanda ski resort, which is hosting the juniors and subjuniors national winter games championships from February 4 to 7 this year, for visitors if all goes as planed by the winter games association.

Skier at Solang ski resort

No buyers for Paonta sugarcane 
S. R. Pundir
In the absence of any purchaser for their produce, sugarcane growers of Paonta valley are literally fighting to make two ends meet. Doiwala Sugar Mill in Saharanpur district of Uttar Pradesh is not purchasing sugarcane from the valley any longer.

It"s just white: Forest rest house at Kalatop Develop Dalhousie the modern way
Balkrishan Prashar
Dalhousie is going through a period of rapid change and the people living in this hill town feel that it should be developed as a modern tourist destination. The first engineer was sent here from Lahore in 1851 to map out a town in the wooded forest of the Chamba hills and level its three malls.

It"s just white: Forest rest house at Kalatop

Time’s Old Chariot
by Shriniwas Joshi
The most photographed venue here is the Clock Tower that Shimla has and is attached to the Christ Church on The Ridge. The cornerstone of the church was laid in September 1844, but the project remained in the icebox amidst the coldness of men, who mattered for quite a few years and could only be consecrated on January 10, 1857, the ceremony being performed by the Right Reverend Thomas Dealtry, Bishop of Madras.

Photo by S. Chauhan

Malana is alive but only on celluloid
Rakesh Lohumi
The fire God has swallowed a major portion of the historic Malana, famous for its world’s oldest surviving democratic system, unique culture and autonomous administration. Much of the valuable heritage preserved over centuries due to the inaccessibility of the secluded ancient habitation has been lost, but the people can relive the memories of the bustling village captured in celluloid by film maker Vivek Mohan, a decade ago.

File photo

Geharwin to become model area
Jai Kumar
Geharwin would be developed into a model area and all efforts would be made to ensure that problems relating to roads, drinking water, irrigation and staff in the health centres and schools were solved at the earliest. BJP MLA Rikhi Ram Kondal declared this while addressing a series of village meetings at Salassi, Sundhadu, Chwamb, Kheda, Siru and Bery Darolan yesterday in connection with his public contact programme after his victory in the election.

shimla diary
CM keen to break ‘Oak Over’ jinx 
Pratibha Chauhan
Being the only Chief Minister, who has completed a full term in the official residence of the Chief Minister, ‘Oak Over’ P. K. Dhumal moved in for his second term into the sprawling bungalow with the hope of completing another five years.

Photo by S. Chauhan
TAKE A BREAK: Shopkeepers warm themselves as the chilled winds continued to blow in Shimla
TAKE A BREAK: Shopkeepers warm themselves as the chilled winds continued to blow in Shimla

Fund crunch makes sanatorium ill
TB Sanatorium at Dharmapur is lying incomplete for want of funds. The future of state’s first TB Training, Research and Demonstration Centre looks bleak as the state TB authorities have refused to allocate more funds for the setting up of required infrastructure for the training centre. Rs 18-lakh budget was earmarked for the setting up of infrastructure for the training centre that included conversion of the female patient ward into a hostel and a lecture hall. However, nothing concrete has taken place so far expect the halfway conversion of the female ward into a hostel.

Policy change: Pharma companies cry foul 
With a virtual tug-of-war-like situation between the pharmaceutical manufacturers in the excise-laden and excise-free states the efforts of the former to dilute the tax holiday by imposing duty on loan licensing have once again become strong. Sources in the industry said efforts were afoot to get the tax benefits annulled for those engaged in loan licensing from the Ministry of Finance.



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