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BJP cracks whip on detractors
Shimla, October 10
Cracking a whip on detractors within the party, the state BJP chief today suspended Devendra Bushairi, a former member of the state executive, and Veena Shukla, a member of the zila parishad.

Old Cottonians rush with help 
Palampur, October 10
Hundreds of alumni of Bishop Cotton School (BCS), Shimla, across the country have come to the rescue of Roshan Lal Vasisth, a former teacher of the school, who has fallen on bad days in the evening of his life.

Still not a bad year for apple
Shimla, October 10
Despite low production, it has not been an altogether bad year for apple growers who have been compensated to a large extent by consistently buoyant market prices throughout the season.

Seminar on image management held
Shimla, October 10
Public relations personnel are service providers and they are required to adopt marketing approach for the image building of the government in the fast-changing scenario. Systematic and sustained branding and image management of the government is a harbinger to a transparent and responsive functioning of any government.


YOUR TOWN
Dharamsala
Shimla



EARLIER STORIES



Unlicenced soya paneer unit found
Solan, October 10
The Parwanoo police today detected an unlicenced soya paneer manufacturing unit which was operating from Khareen village near Kamli. The unit had sought no registration and it was on a tip-off that the police raided its premises this morning.

Rahulís proposed visit stirs political activity
Dharamsala, October 10
The proposed visit of Rahul Gandhi here on October 13 has stirred political activity among youth organisations of the Congress. Various groups have started devising strategies to make their presence felt before the young leader who, they feel, can help even a common worker climb up the ladder in the party.

World Mental Health Day observed
Una, October 10
The District Legal Services Authority, Una, observed the World Mental Health Day at Prem Aashram School for special children here today.

Kartarpur resident killed
Bilaspur, October 10
Balvinder Singh (42) of Kartarpur, Jalandhar in Punjab, was killed on the spot and two others were injured when a jeep No PB-15B-3820 suddenly turned turtle on the road near Badgaon Galu village, 70 km from here, yesterday night.





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BJP cracks whip on detractors
Tribune News Service

Shimla, October 10
Cracking a whip on detractors within the party, the state BJP chief today suspended Devendra Bushairi, a former member of the state executive, and Veena Shukla, a member of the zila parishad.

The action against the two lower-rung leaders has been taken in view of the by-elections to the Rohru constituency slated for November 7. They have been opposing the candidature of Khushi Ram Balnatah, who has been taking on Congress stalwart Virbhadra Singh since 1993. However, with his elevation to the Union Cabinet as Minister of Steel, he will no longer be contesting. His exit from the electoral arena encouraged many leaders to stake a claim for the party ticket, more so, because it will be the last time that a candidate from the general category will be contesting from the seat which had been reserved for Scheduled Castes after delimitation.

Devendra Bushairi, who joined the BJP in 2002, is one of the aspirants for the ticket. He, along with Veena Shukla, had openly opposed the candidature of Balnatah and issued statements to the media.

However, their tactics did not work and the party decided to support Balnatah who had given a good account against Congress leaders and increased the vote share with every election. His performance has been far better than that of Saty Dev Bushair, freedom fighter and grandfather of Devendra, who lost his security deposit contesting against Virbhadra Singh.

While the state election committee, which met in Chandigarh last evening, cleared the name of Balnatah from Rohru, it failed to decide the candidate for Jwali seat. Instead, it recommended a panel of four names to the high command for a final decision. Besides Sudha and Madan Sharma, wife and brother of Rajan Sushant, respectively, the names of Baldev Thakur and Arrjun Singh , have also been recommended.

The seat fell vacant when Sushant resigned after being elected to the Lok Sabha from Kangra. He is keen to field his wife and had even made her resign from a government job.

The husband-wife team has been campaigning in the constituency for the past more than a month. The ongoing tussle for the ticket may create trouble for the party during the poll.

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Old Cottonians rush with help 
Our Correspondent

Palampur, October 10
Hundreds of alumni of Bishop Cotton School (BCS), Shimla, across the country have come to the rescue of Roshan Lal Vasisth, a former teacher of the school, who has fallen on bad days in the evening of his life.

A group of old students, led by Dr Smeet Seghal from Pathankot, reached here last night after reading a report in these columns. They called on Vasisth in his native Khalet village and provided him financial help.

Sehgal said old students had floated a Roshan Lal Welfare Society on the Internet and appealed to all former students of BCS all over the world to come forward and send him financial help so that necessary accommodation could be arranged for him.

Meanwhile, Dr Ram Kumar Sood, an old student of Vasisth, provided him two suits and announced a monthly pension of Rs 500.

Bhupinder Singh (Bhupi) from Mumbai, while talking to The Tribune, appreciated its efforts in highlighting the plight of the teacher. He said he would make sure that Vasisth had a decent house to stay.

A group of old students from the US also inquired about bank accounts of Vasisth in Palampur and announced to deposit money in them. Meanwhile, the students today shifted Vasisth from his hut to a local rest house till a rented accommodation was arranged for him.

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Still not a bad year for apple
Tribune News Service

Shimla, October 10
Despite low production, it has not been an altogether bad year for apple growers who have been compensated to a large extent by consistently buoyant market prices throughout the season.

A few royal delicious variety of apple from Kinnaur fetched a record Rs 3,200 per standard box at the Delhi market. The prices have been high all through and even the emerging fruit markets within the state did good business, accounting for almost 20 per cent of the total produce marketed.

With only 1.16 crore standard boxes exported out of the state till date as against 1.77 crore boxes in the corresponding period last year, the total output is not likely touch the 1.50 crore mark. Last year, the state reaped a bumper crop and the total production was 2.56 crore boxes.

Crop in the lower and middle hills has been harvested and plucking of fruit is being carried out only in orchards located in Kinnaur and higher reaches of Kullu and Shimla district.

The number of fruit-laden trucks, moving out of the state to various markets daily, has come down from 525 in the last week of September to 160 yesterday. Only 84,000 boxes of apple were exported yesterday as against over 2.25 crore being marketed daily until last week.

The procurement, under the market-intervention scheme, has only been 710 tonnes so far as compared to 35,500 tonnes last year. The total procurement may not exceed 900 tonnes this year whereas last year, it was as high as 45,000 tonnes.

However, economically the growers have not suffered much as the market remained buoyant with various varieties of apple selling at rates 60 per cent to 100 per cent higher that last year. The rates of superior grade of royal delicious variety have been hovering between Rs 1,400 and Rs 1,550 per box as against Rs 800 to Rs 900 per box last year. The harvesting season officially comes to a close on October 31.

While growers may not suffer much economically, inadequate procurement under the market-intervention scheme will severely hit the state-owned HPMC.

The corporation has never achieved full capacity utilisation and, on an average, it has been processing 6,000 to 8,000 tonnes of fruit to produce 600 to 700 tonnes of apple juice concentrate (AJC). This year only about 90 tonnes of AJC will be produced. The only redeeming feature is that the corporation has last yearís unsold stock of about 450 tonnes which will enable it to meet the demand. 

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Seminar on image management held
Tribune News Service

Shimla, October 10
Public relations personnel are service providers and they are required to adopt marketing approach for the image building of the government in the fast-changing scenario. Systematic and sustained branding and image management of the government is a harbinger to a transparent and responsive functioning of any government.

These views are expressed by Dr Umakant Mishra, a former director general of the Press Information Bureau (PIB), while delivering the keynote address at a seminar organised by the Shimla chapter of the Public Relations Society of India (PRSI) here today.

He said it was high time that all government programmes at the state and national-level were needed to be branded in order to ensure that the benefits of policies and programmes reach the people at the grass-roots. The citizen consumers today could easily except or reject the services available through the political process.

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Unlicenced soya paneer unit found
Ambika Sharma

Solan, October 10
The Parwanoo police today detected an unlicenced soya paneer manufacturing unit which was operating from Khareen village near Kamli. The unit had sought no registration and it was on a tip-off that the police raided its premises this morning.

Parwanoo SDPO Ramesh Pathania said after verifying antecedents of the unit, the Chief Medical Officer and food inspector were informed. A team of medical officials, led by medical officer Shrivastava, also visited the unit and took stock of the situation.

According to investigations made by the police, the unit manufactured two products---soya paneer, plain and masala,--- and this was transported through luxury buses to Delhi where it was being sold since the past over a year. Unit owner Shubash Khanna had also been evading sales tax and excise by operating in this illegal manner.

Food inspector Satish Thakur said he had taken samples of the food being prepared there and since no licence had been sought as required, a case had been registered under Section 50 of the Food and Adulteration Act. A challan had also been made out against the illegal activity.No medical check of workers had been conducted. Further, the unit had been sealed and since it was an illegal activity, no production would be allowed from there until a valid licence was sought.

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Rahulís proposed visit stirs political activity
Lalit Mohan
Tribune News Service

Dharamsala, October 10
The proposed visit of Rahul Gandhi here on October 13 has stirred political activity among youth organisations of the Congress. Various groups have started devising strategies to make their presence felt before the young leader who, they feel, can help even a common worker climb up the ladder in the party.

They are likely to exhibit their show of strength at the landing site or enroute, as the entry of venue where Rahul is going to hold interactive sessions with the youth, is likely to be restricted due to security reasons.

The Youth Congress has appointed its former leader from the state and present spokesperson of the HPCC Kewal Singh Pathania as coordinator for Rahulís visit. While talking to The Tribune, Pathania, who was also accompanied by Pankaj Kochar, general secretary of the All-India NSUI, said Rahul would hold an open interactive programme with youth from various colleges in Kangra and Chamba districts, students from Palampur Agriculture University and of Tanda Medical College. The interactive session would be held at the community centre of Dharamsala municipal council, he said.

The interactive session would not be limited to NSUI members. Any student could come in the session and interact as Rahul wants to gather feedback about improvement in the system from youth, he added.

Ahead of the Rahulís proposed programme that is being coordinated by the NSUI, questions are raised regarding the membership drive in the Dharamsala area. The drive of the NSUI is going on since September 15 and would end on October 15. Sources here, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the NSUI had enrolled around 350 members in regional centre of Himachal Pradesh University here against the total strength of about 500 students. The NSUI has set a target of enrolling 2,000 out of about 3,300 students as their members.

However, the fact is that in the recent elections to student bodies, the NSUI failed to win even a single seat in Dharamsala government college and just two seats in the regional centre. The sources here alleged that if the NSUI had such predominant presence as was being indicated by the current membership drive, the organisation should not have lost in the recent elections.

Coordinators for Rahulís visit, when asked to comment about the same, said now members were being made against a payment of Rs 10 each.

However, critics alleged that instead of forcibly increasing the membership, the NSUI could be strengthened by giving representation to a few but committed members.

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World Mental Health Day observed
Our Correspondent

Una, October 10
The District Legal Services Authority, Una, observed the World Mental Health Day at Prem Aashram School for special children here today.

Canwar Chirag Bhanu Singh, ADJ, Una, presided over the function. Canwar while addressing gathering said only framing laws would not fulfil the purpose but to provide aid and proper care to persons suffering from mental disabilities is required.

Abira Basu, Judicial Magistrate, court No 3, Una, explained the difference between mentally retarded and lunatic. Pankaj Gupta, JIMC court No 4, Una, explained legal position of the Mental Health Act.

Sister Superior Gladies, in charge of Prem Aashram, said special children require love and affection more than medical care. KG Kapoor, ASP, Una, and Kanwar Hari Singh, chairman, Himotkarsh, also spoke on the occasion. CL Kotchar, presiding officer, fast track court, was also present.

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Kartarpur resident killed
Our Correspondent

Bilaspur, October 10
Balvinder Singh (42) of Kartarpur, Jalandhar in Punjab, was killed on the spot and two others were injured when a jeep No PB-15B-3820 suddenly turned turtle on the road near Badgaon Galu village, 70 km from here, yesterday night.

Driver Shyam Lal, whom the two other friends had accompanied to visit the home of his father-in-law at Ghraan village, near Shah Talai in this district, was also injured, along with other occupant Devender Kumar, both of Kartarpur as they were returning to Kartarpur from Ghraan. The police has registered a case against Shyam Lal.

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