SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI


THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE
TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
D E H R A D U N    E D I T I O N

UKD withdraws support from state BJP govt
Dehradun, December 27
President of the Uttarakhand Kranti Dal (UKD) Trivender Singh Panwar met Governor Margaret Alva today and withdrew support from the state government headed by Chief Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank.

BJP asserts it enjoys majority in House
Dehradun, December 27
The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Government in Uttarakhand sits pretty with a comfortable majority even as alliance partner Uttarakhand Kranti Dal (UKD) today decided to withdraw support.

Insurgency in tribal areas cause of concern: BJP
BJP national spokesperson and Uttarakhand Rajya Sabha MP Tarun Vijay addresses a gathering in DehradunDehradun, December 27
BJP national spokesperson and Uttarakhand Rajya Sabha MP Tarun Vijay has expressed concern over growing influence of insurgency in tribal areas of the country. 

BJP national spokesperson and Uttarakhand Rajya Sabha MP Tarun Vijay addresses a gathering in Dehradun on Sunday. A Tribune photograph


EARLIER STORIES


BJP councillors seek action against erring safai karamcharis
Dehradun, December 27
BJP councillors of the Dehradun Municipal Corporation (DMC) today protested against the Mukhya Nagar Adhikari (MNA) and locked his office, as he had failed to take action against the safai karamcharis who had abused and threatened them earlier this month.

India, Nepal share common brotherhood bond: Kaushik
Nepalese mass food-cum-cultural event held 
Haridwar, December 27
To forge better ties with people of Nepal origin living in India, state cabinet minister Madan Kaushik has termed India and Nepal as two different nations geographically, but one in mutual regard, brotherhood and special bond the two share.

SSB must upgrade skills, manpower: Governor
Dehradun, December 27
Governor Margaret Alva today said changing geopolitics of the region and the positioning of India as an important player on the international stage would expand the horizon of activity of the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) and as such the force must constantly upgrade itself in terms of skills and manpower to deal with these responsibilities.

Workshop on climate change from tomorrow
Nainital, December 27
A two-day workshop on “Search or Alternative Paradigms in Context of Climate Distortion” will be held at the Gobind Ballabh Pant Institute of Himalayan Environment and Development (GBPIHED) in Almora from December 29. The event is being organised by the Citizens' Global Platform (CGP) India, in collaboration with GBPIHED with the aim to understand and join hands in combating this major problem. Special emphasis will be laid on problems related to global warming that impact the livelihood of mountain populations.

International seminar on clean energy tech begins
Dehradun, December 27
Uttarakhand Technical University, Dehradun, in association with the Harcourt Butler Technologies Institute, Kanpur, and the Shivalik College of Engineering, Dehradun, commenced its three-day international seminar on Clean Energy Technologies and Energy Efficiency For Sustainable Development here today.

‘Avalon Resort management threatening employees’
Mussoorie, December 27
The developments in the ongoing Avalon management-employees’ impasse took an ugly turn when Hotel and Restaurant Karamchari Association patron Darmyan Singh Panwar, in a press note released to the media, alleged that senior managers of the resort had resorted to fear tactics now.

Anti-encroachment Drive
Affected residents call on Mayor

Dehradun, December 27
Residents of Barighat gathered and protested outside the office of Dehradun Mayor Vinod Chamoli here today and asked him to let them stay where they were residing currently.

Roadways employees stage protest
The Uttarakhand Roadways Employees Union stages a dharna in Dehradun Dehradun, December 27
Agitated over various issues that have not been fulfilled by the government, members of the regional managing committee of the Uttarakhand Roadways Employees Union (Garhwal Mandal), Dehradun, protested here today.



The Uttarakhand Roadways Employees Union stages a dharna in Dehradun on Monday. A Tribune photograph

UKD leader Kashi Singh Airi addresses mediapersons in Pitthoragarh CBI inquiry into leader’s death sought
Pitthoragarh, December 27
Top UKD leader Kashi Singh Airi today demanded a CBI inquiry into the death of Ghanshyam Joshi. Joshi was a top leader and leading advocate of the Didihat Bar Association and was found dead in his room in the PWD rest house here last week.

UKD leader Kashi Singh Airi addresses mediapersons in Pitthoragarh on Monday.

Poster, slogan contests held
Dehradun, December 27
On the occasion of the Union Week, girls at MKP PG College showcased their painting talent on the canvas here today. The college, in association with the Eco Restoration Club, conducted poster and slogan competitions based on the theme of environment conservation.

The SUV that collided with a mountain near Mussoorie Alert driver averts accident
Mussoorie, December 27
A major accident was averted today on the Mussoorie-Dehradun road, when an SUV (UKO7TA 21335), while avoiding a speeding car, banged into a mountain.




The SUV that collided with a mountain near Mussoorie on Monday.






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UKD withdraws support from state BJP govt
Tribune News Service

Dehradun, December 27
President of the Uttarakhand Kranti Dal (UKD) Trivender Singh Panwar met Governor Margaret Alva today and withdrew support from the state government headed by Chief Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank.

The UKD had extended support to the BJP government in the state on March 3, 2007. Panwar said all these four years, they had been hoping that the state government would solve basic problems of people, but it did nothing about it due to which they had to withdraw support from it.

He also clarified that since they were at loggerheads with the government on many issues, the media and others were questioning them about the moral grounds for the UKD to continue with it.

On the question of the resignation of his party’s senior leader and Cabinet minister in the state Diwakar Bhatt, he said Bhatt had reiterated his commitment to stand by the party’s decision and tendered his resignation to them, which they were yet to submit to the CM.

“The state government had touched a raw nerve by doing away with the compulsion of knowledge of local dialects, Garhwali, Kumaoni and Jaunsari, for the government jobs of ‘C’ category. Instead of focusing on providing relief to residents of disaster-hit 125 villages, the state government came out with queer provisions, such as giving land to MLAs, which is completely unethical, keeping the financial health of the state in mind,” he said.

“The state government also sat silently on the closure of hydro-power projects, despite umpteen protests made by their party as a warning of their impending withdrawal from the government on the issue,” he added.

Panwar also talked about the failure of the state government to act on the nine issues, on the basis of which they had extended their support to it in the very beginning.

He said, “Our first and foremost issue of declaring Gairsain as the capital of the state still remains unresolved. Out of 28,000 optional employees, only 6,000 have been taken back till date. There is a little relief as far as the Land Act is concerned, but the distribution of assets continues to hang in balance”.

“The state government has failed badly in formulating effective policies to provide employment to people of the hills. Similarly, the industrial policies, where people of the state could get benefit, too, do not exist. The issue of delimitation, for which we came out on roads and the Vidhan Sabha and which became the chief reason of our losing out six important seats, still hangs fire,” he said.

“People of the state are facing problems in getting their domicile certificates due to the compulsion of submission of the certificate of permanent residence, which in our view should not be beyond 1966. On the issue of identification of the statehood strugglers, the Nishank Government accepted the basis of 1979, but did not make any law about it till date.”

He said he talked to the CM on these issues and gave him a deadline of December 18 to solve these problems, but to no avail. This was why they had no basis to stay with the government. 

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BJP asserts it enjoys majority in House
Jotirmay Thapliyal
Tribune News Service

Dehradun, December 27
The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Government in Uttarakhand sits pretty with a comfortable majority even as alliance partner Uttarakhand Kranti Dal (UKD) today decided to withdraw support.

Following the UKD’s sudden handing over the letter of withdrawal of support from the state government to Governor Margaret Alva in Dehradun, the ruling BJP asserted that it already enjoyed a comfortable majority in the House and hence the UKD withdrawal of support had little relevance. This, when the split in the UKD also seemed imminent, as the party’s sole representative in the Nishank Government, Deoprayag MLA and Cabinet minister Diwakar Bhatt expressed dismay over such a withdrawal. He held that any such support withdrawal kept little veracity if it did not have the approval of party legislators.

Not perturbed with the development, BJP Media Advisory Committee chairman Devendra Bhasin, in his maiden reaction, said while the BJP was still to get some formal information from the alliance partner UKD about the withdrawal of support from the state government, any such withdrawal kept no relevance as their government sat pretty in the House.

Even after the withdrawal of support, the BJP has support of 39 MLAs in the 71-member House. While the ruling party has 36 MLAs from its own party, it has the support of Rajendra Bhandari, an associate member of the party, Gagan Rajwar, an independent MLA, and also the nominated Anglo-Indian MLA Karen Mayer.

On the other hand, the UKD looks vertically split over the issue of support withdrawal. UKD president Tivendra Pawar, who led the 11-member delegation to the Governor announcing withdrawal of support from the government, was not accompanied by even one of the three party MLAs in the House. While Deoprayag UKD MLA Diwakar Bhatt is a Cabinet minister in the Nishank Government, the other two MLAs are Narendra Nagar MLA Om Gopal Rawat and Dwarahat MLA Pushpesh Tripathy.

Bhatt talking to The Tribune over the phone denied having knowledge of any such support withdrawal decision on the part of his party. “The Bajpur meeting scheduled to take place on December 28 certainly had the issue of withdrawal of the support in its agenda. But that meeting was cancelled and no such discussion ever took place in the party,” Bhatt pointed out. He said it was strange that UKD president Trivendra Panwar had handed over the letter of withdrawal of support to the Governor without taking the MLAs into confidence.

Interestingly, senior UKD ministerial rank leader Kashi Singh Airy, who was in Pitthoragarh, when contacted by The Tribune, denied having knowledge of any such withdrawal of support. “I don’t have knowledge of any such withdrawal of support. It was only through some of mediapersons, I have come to know that some of UKD leaders had gone to meet the Governor at the Raj Bhawan in Dehradun. I am now trying to contact party leaders in Dehradun,” he said. 

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Insurgency in tribal areas cause of concern: BJP
Tribune News Service

Dehradun, December 27
BJP national spokesperson and Uttarakhand Rajya Sabha MP Tarun Vijay has expressed concern over growing influence of insurgency in tribal areas of the country.

Addressing people in Dehradun yesterday, Tarun said 24 terror groups were active in tribal areas of the country and around 95 per cent of the total tribal population was getting directly affected due to the insurgency. “It is a matter of concern that tribals in the North East were getting cut off from the rest of the country,” said Tarun.

Referring to Hindu terrorism, Tarun described it as fallout of vote-bank politics. He asserted that even Muslim organisations have started raising their voices against the misleading campaign started by some of the political parties.

On Indian black money in Swiss banks, Tarun said, “The Swiss Government is ready to sign a double taxation treaty with the Indian Government, but nobody in Parliament seems interested to go forward for the treaty. Indian black money to the tune of Rs 30 lakh crore has been deposited with Swiss banks.” Tarun also called upon people to form non-political groups to fight corruption in the country. 

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BJP councillors seek action against erring safai karamcharis
Lock Mukhya Nagar Adhikari’s office
Tribune News Service

Dehradun, December 27
BJP councillors of the Dehradun Municipal Corporation (DMC) today protested against the Mukhya Nagar Adhikari (MNA) and locked his office, as he had failed to take action against the safai karamcharis who had abused and threatened them earlier this month.

Thirteen councillors protested and raised slogans against the MNA and asked him to take action immediately. Though the MNA was not present in the office, the councillors blocked the way to his office. They included Unday Singh Pundir, Amita Singh, Sachin Gupta, Santokh Singh Nagpal, Neeraj Singh, Deepa Shah, Shiv Kumar Verma, Sandeep Patwal, Rajinder Rawat and others.

The councillors were angry that it had been almost 10 days, but the officials had failed to take action against the guilty. It was on December 17 that two of the safai karamcharis attacked the councillors during the lunch hours of the board meeting. The councillors had also registered the case against the karamcharis in the police station.

“The Mayor has assured us that action will be taken on our complaint and the report of investigation will come by Thursday. But it got delayed due to the death of a staff member and some other reasons. The MNA failed to take action even today,” the chief whip of the BJP, councillor Unday Singh Pundir, told The Tribune.

Though the councillors had locked the MNA’s room, the Mayor asked them to open it after an hour and said he would see that action was taken immediately. “One of the employees has already been suspended, one is appointed on the temporary basis, and action will be taken against the third if he is found guilty,” stated Chamoli. 

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India, Nepal share common brotherhood bond: Kaushik
Nepalese mass food-cum-cultural event held 
Tribune News Service

Haridwar, December 27
To forge better ties with people of Nepal origin living in India, state cabinet minister Madan Kaushik has termed India and Nepal as two different nations geographically, but one in mutual regard, brotherhood and special bond the two share.

Kaushik was speaking at the annual Nepalese mass food-cum-cultural event, Van Bhoj, held at the VIP Ghat near Har-ki-Pauri on Saturday. Urging people of both countries, particularly those residing in India, the minister said the special bond which these two countries shared with each other was unique, with mutual love and brotherhood being their USP.

Urging the younger generation of both countries, Maha Mandaleshwar Dr Shyam Sundar Das said, “It’s on your shoulders to take forward this unique loving relationship which should be done in an honest way”.

Presiding over the one-day function, Nepal Vidyarthi Sangh city president Dinesh Dhakkal said the Nepalese community never felt they were in a different country as fellow Indians never differentiated with them and treated them as brothers.

Cultural representative of the Youth Wing Dolly Bisht pointed at the vast cultural diversity and richness that both the countries had and coordinated a variety of cultural programmes that covered classical, regional and local folk culture.

A large number of Nepali community people from across the districts of Haridwar, Dehradun, Pauri Garhwal, Tehri Garhwal and special guests from Nepal participated in the annual fest.

“Despite Nepal being my birthplace, I have been brought up in India and feel more Indian. Such is the natural love and bonhomie between people of both the countries. The presence of a large number of local people itself indicates the respect and mutual admiration the communities share with each other,” said Payal Bisht, an MCom student.

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SSB must upgrade skills, manpower: Governor
Tribune News Service

Dehradun, December 27
Governor Margaret Alva today said changing geopolitics of the region and the positioning of India as an important player on the international stage would expand the horizon of activity of the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) and as such the force must constantly upgrade itself in terms of skills and manpower to deal with these responsibilities.

Delivering her address after reviewing the convocation parade of Assistant Commandants at the SSB Academy at Srinagar today, the Governor said, “Ever since its inception, the SSB has been rendering yeoman’s service to the nation with a high level of professional excellence, dedication and devotion to duty while guarding and defending our borders with Nepal and Bhutan. The SSB currently guards 1,751 km along the India-Nepal border and 699 km along the India-Bhutan Border,” she said.

She said it was living up to its slogan of Service, Security and Botherhood.

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Workshop on climate change from tomorrow
Tribune News Service

Nainital, December 27
A two-day workshop on “Search or Alternative Paradigms in Context of Climate Distortion” will be held at the Gobind Ballabh Pant Institute of Himalayan Environment and Development (GBPIHED) in Almora from December 29. The event is being organised by the Citizens' Global Platform (CGP) India, in collaboration with GBPIHED with the aim to understand and join hands in combating this major problem. Special emphasis will be laid on problems related to global warming that impact the livelihood of mountain populations.

Around 100 social activists, environmental activists, research scholars, mediapersons, representatives of non-governmental organisations (NGOs), civil society movement groups and grassroot workers from different parts of India will participate in the workshop.

Spokesperson of the CGP Mukesh Dhasmana says, “We are living in an unprecedented era. Unusual events are occurring now. These events are not only threatening us, but questioning the life of our entire universe”.

He says glaciers in Arctic, Antarctic and Greenland are melting fast and these regions are slowly getting transformed into plains.

According to him, the fast-melting glaciers in the Himalayas result in the flooding of rivers followed by drought. The perennial rivers are in danger of drying up soon. The entire world is experiencing a similar situation today. The rise of the sea level forces people to shift from low-lying areas to high altitudes. Islands are under the threat of sinking into the sea.

He says that changing climatic conditions, depleting water resources and increasing temperature will seriously hamper farming practices and agricultural production. “The production of paddy and wheat will be drastically affected. In the very near future, our food security is at stake. In most of the areas, we will not be able to cultivate even minor millets. Unusual long summers, rising temperatures, floods followed by droughts, cyclones, tsunamis, and earthquakes are frequently occurring now as if these are usual happenings of the world,” he says in a concept note.

According to him, a radical shift in the paradigm of development is the urgent need of the time. 

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International seminar on clean energy tech begins
Tribune News Service

Dehradun, December 27
Uttarakhand Technical University, Dehradun, in association with the Harcourt Butler Technologies Institute, Kanpur, and the Shivalik College of Engineering, Dehradun, commenced its three-day international seminar on Clean Energy Technologies and Energy Efficiency For Sustainable Development here today.

The seminar comprised presenting research papers, holding a technical session on solar energy (thermal), solar energy (PV) and a meeting on power sector policies chaired by Prof DS Chauhan, Vice-Chancellor, Uttarakhand Technical University.

The chief guest on the occasion was Prakash Pant, Minister for External-aided Projects and Water Resources, Uttarakhand. Accompanying him was Rakesh Sharma, Principal Secretary, Technical Education, Uttarakhand.

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‘Avalon Resort management threatening employees’
Our Correspondent

Mussoorie, December 27
The developments in the ongoing Avalon management-employees’ impasse took an ugly turn when Hotel and Restaurant Karamchari Association patron Darmyan Singh Panwar, in a press note released to the media, alleged that senior managers of the resort had resorted to fear tactics now.

He further revealed that the two senior managers of the resort were trying to threaten the young employees and had also firmly stated that the two ministers in the Uttarakhand Government were behind the closure of the resort. President of the union Sobhan Singh Panwar said with these revelations, it was clear that the administration had been working at the behest of the two ministers.

He appealed to citizens of the town to come out in their support, so that they could fight the battle against the resort management. Meanwhile, a State Tourism Minister had visited the resort a couple of days back on a private visit and following that the decision to shut down the hotel was taken by the management.

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Anti-encroachment Drive
Affected residents call on Mayor
Tribune News Service

Dehradun, December 27
Residents of Barighat gathered and protested outside the office of Dehradun Mayor Vinod Chamoli here today and asked him to let them stay where they were residing currently.

The houses of the residents were removed last week, as they were constructed illegally on the nigam land, near the river and streams, which blocked them. It was decided in a board meeting that all the encroachments would be removed.

The Additional Mukhya Nagar Adhikari gave the encroachers a week’s time to leave the place.

During the drive taken out by a team of the Dehradun Municipal Corporation (DMC), people had pelted stones on them and tried to stop them from removing the encroachments. A case was also registered against BJP leader Naresh Punj, who intervened in the matter.

The agitated people asked the Mayor to take the case back against Punj, as he was trying to calm down the residents pelting stones. “If Punj had not stopped the people, someone might have got injured that day. Thus, the nigam should take back the case against him,” they said.

“We have paid around Rs 50,000-Rs 60,000 to Uma Thapa and Sekhar Srivastava. How can we be removed from the place?” they asked.

Earlier, the residents were not ready to take the name of the person from whom they had bought the land. It was later in the day that they disclosed the name of Uma and Sekhar.

The Mayor stopped the people from encroaching the nigam land and said, “If I let you reside on the nigam land, I will not be able to stop others, and in that case, the city will be filled with encroachers”.

Meanwhile, the Mayor assured them that the action would be taken against those, who had illegally sold the government land to them. He has asked the officials to look into the matter and investigate it as soon as possible.

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Roadways employees stage protest
Tribune News Service

Dehradun, December 27
Agitated over various issues that have not been fulfilled by the government, members of the regional managing committee of the Uttarakhand Roadways Employees Union (Garhwal Mandal), Dehradun, protested here today.

Hari Singh, regional president of the committee, said they were suffering due to their salary not being delivered to them on time. Other than this, they had not been paid various arrears like the ones to be paid on January 26, August 15 and October 2, along with 10 per cent of the inflation arrear.

Employees from the regional workshop, depo workshop, gramin depo, Rishikesh, Haridwar, Roorkee and Kotdwar etc participated in the protest.

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CBI inquiry into leader’s death sought
Our Correspondent

Pitthoragarh, December 27
Top UKD leader Kashi Singh Airi today demanded a CBI inquiry into the death of Ghanshyam Joshi. Joshi was a top leader and leading advocate of the Didihat Bar Association and was found dead in his room in the PWD rest house here last week.

Addressing a press conference here, Airi said Joshi was a devoted UKD worker, who fought the Assembly election from the Didihat constituency twice and lost with a very narrow margin. His sudden death is a great loss to the UKD, now when the Assembly elections are due in 2012. “We will meet Chief Minister Ramesh Pokhariyal Nishank and submit a letter seeking a CBI inquiry into Joshi’s death,” said Airi.

Besides the bar associations of Didihat, Pitthoragarh, Champawat, Almora, Nainital and Bageshwar, teacher associations of Pitthoragarh district have also demanded a CBI inquiry into Joshi’s death, as the wife of the deceased is a teacher. Joshi’s wife has already lodged an FIR with the Pitthoragarh police. The Pitthoragarh police after initial investigation said the death seemed to be natural. 

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Poster, slogan contests held
Tribune News Service

Dehradun, December 27
On the occasion of the Union Week, girls at MKP PG College showcased their painting talent on the canvas here today. The college, in association with the Eco Restoration Club, conducted poster and slogan competitions based on the theme of environment conservation.

Fiftysix participants expressed their views on the topic, while Dr Nimmi Raina, Head, political science department, Dr HL Saxena, former Head, home science department, and Sukriti Arya, librarian-in charge, adjudged them.

The competition was followed by a talk on the subject of environment conservation headed by Dr Saroj Oniyal, resourceperson, Garima Aggarwal, BSc III, Kanchan, Monika, BSc III, and Smita Burman, MSc I. 

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Alert driver averts accident
Our Correspondent

Mussoorie, December 27
A major accident was averted today on the Mussoorie-Dehradun road, when an SUV (UKO7TA 21335), while avoiding a speeding car, banged into a mountain.

Five persons and driver Sohan Lal, a resident of Sahastradhara, were injured in the accident. The SUV was coming towards Mussoorie. The alertness of the driver saved the lives of the occupants of the car.

The injured were released after the first aid examination.

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