SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI


THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
H I M A C H A L    P R A D E S H    E D I T I O N

Please-all Budget with eye on elections
Chief Minister PK Dhumal on way to the HP Vidhan Sabha to present the Budget 2012-13 in Shimla on Monday.Shimla, March 19
In an election year “please-all” Budget, Chief Minister PK Dhumal doled out sops, covering almost every section of society except the smokers who will have to pay more for cigarettes and bidis. Dhumal extended financial benefits right from the poorest of poor by raising the social-security pension from Rs 330 to Rs 400 per month as well as to the most influential legislators, by increasing the local area development fund from Rs 30 lakh to Rs 50 lakh and allowing them to spend it anywhere in the district in view of changes in their constituencies due to delimitation.
Chief Minister PK Dhumal on way to the HP Vidhan Sabha to present the Budget 2012-13 in Shimla on Monday. Photo: Amit Kanwar

Populist Budget, says Cong; BJP calls it relief to all sections
Shimla, March 19
The Congress today said the “populist” Budget presented by Chief Minister PK Dhumal with an eye on the Assembly elections would fail to woo the electorate.




YOUR TOWN
Shimla


EARLIER STORIES



How rupee comes and goes
Shimla, March 19
Out of the total Budget of Rs 20,243.92 crore, only 34.51 per cent will be utilised for development activities, the rest will go towards meeting the committed liabilities on account of salaries, pensions, interest and loans.

CLP leader Vidya Stokes, state Congress chief Kaul Singh and supporters raise slogans against the government in Shimla on Monday. Cong resorts to ‘Gandhigiri’ in House
Shimla, March 19
While reiterating their stand on continuing the fight against corruption, Congress legislators today did attend the House while the Budget was being presented but not without conveying their resentment as crisp white Gandhi caps adorned their heads while they sat in the House.
CLP leader Vidya Stokes, state Congress chief Kaul Singh and supporters raise slogans against the government in Shimla on Monday. Photo: Amit Kanwar

RS poll: Nadda files nomination
(From left) JP Nadda, national BJP general secretary, PK Dhumal, Chief Minister, and Satpal Satti, state BJP president, during the filing of the nomination papers for the Rajya Sabha at the Vidhan Sabha in Shimla on Monday. Shimla, March 19
With the Congress not fielding a candidate for the Rajya Sabha election, it is now almost certain that national BJP general secretary JP Nadda will be the state’s nominee in the Upper House of Parliament on the completion of the tenure of Viplove Thakur next month.


(From left) JP Nadda, national BJP general secretary, PK Dhumal, Chief Minister, and Satpal Satti, state BJP president, during the filing of the nomination papers for the Rajya Sabha at the Vidhan Sabha in Shimla on Monday. Photo: Amit Kanwar

Nadda’s assets worth Rs 1.90 cr
Shimla, March 19
BJP’s Rajya Sabha nominee JP Nadda along with his spouse has movable and immovable assets, including ancestral houses, flat and land worth Rs 1.90 crore.

Cong threatens statewide stir
Bilaspur, March 19
Led by district president of the Congress Santosh Dhiman, hundreds of party leaders, activists and workers drawn from across the district, marched through bazars of the town today raising slogans against the alleged corruption of some BJP leaders and demanded immediate resignation of the BJP government.

Goldsmith, jewellery shops closed for third day
Kangra, March 19
Goldsmith and jewellery shops in the state remained closed for the third day today in protest against the hike in the excise and custom taxes on gold. Goldsmiths at different places also held demonstration.

Property worth lakhs destroyed in fire
Bilaspur, March 19
Property and household effects worth lakhs were destroyed as a devastating fire suddenly erupted in the Brahmin basti of Dabhat village in Dabhat gram panchayat in the Naina Devi constituency, 95 km from here, this evening.

Congress takes out protest rally
Solan, March 19
Protesting against the non-acceptance of the resignation letter of local MLA and Health Minister Rajeev Bindal, the District Congress Committee (DCC) today took out a protest rally in the town.

File photo of a house sparrow.World House Sparrow Day Today
House sparrows’ population declines
Solan, March 19
With crass commercialisation and decline in natural habitat, the population of house sparrows is showing a gradual decline.


File photo of a house sparrow.

Rehabilitation of fire-hit families on
Chamba, March 19
The district administration has taken all possible measures to arrange temporary alternative shelter at the tribal hostel and the municipal rest house in the heart of Chamba town and the Tribal Bhawan at Baloo on the outskirts of the town to fire sufferers who had been rendered homeless in the aftermath of the fire incident which occurred in the Charpat locality here yesterday.

Cong workers burn CM’s effigy
Kangra, March 19
Congress party, under the leadership of the former Member of Parliament Chander Kumar, held a demonstration and took out a rally at Lipana in this subdivision today and set Chief Minister PK Dhumal’s effigy on fire for his alleged failure on all fronts and shielding the corrupt.

Man-eater leopard shot dead
Hamirpur, March 19
A team of shooters, deployed by the Forest Department, killed a leopard this afternoon.





Top








 

Please-all Budget with eye on elections
CM doles out sops for most sections of society
Rakesh Lohumi
Tribune News Service

Shimla, March 19
In an election year “please-all” Budget, Chief Minister PK Dhumal doled out sops, covering almost every section of society except the smokers who will have to pay more for cigarettes and bidis.

Dhumal extended financial benefits right from the poorest of poor by raising the social-security pension from Rs 330 to Rs 400 per month as well as to the most influential legislators, by increasing the local area development fund from Rs 30 lakh to Rs 50 lakh and allowing them to spend it anywhere in the district in view of changes in their constituencies due to delimitation.

There is something for all categories of employees, including daily wagers and part-timers, pensioners, farmers, contractors, students, youth and women, in substantial or small measures.

There is no proposal for fresh tax or for increasing the existing rate. The only exception are cigarette and tobacco products for which the rate of VAT is to be hiked from 16 per cent to 18 per cent and on bidi from 9.75 per cent to 11 per cent.

The minimum daily wage increased from Rs 120 to Rs 130, daily-waged and contract employees to be regularised after eight years of service and part-time employees to be made daily wagers after 10 years of continuous service as on March 31, 2012. While 7 per cent DA will be released to employees along with the current month's salary, arrears from July 2011 will be paid with the salary of April. Pensioners will be paid 7 per cent DA along with arrears and the pay-revision arrears in April in cash. The rate of fixed medical allowance has been increased to Rs 250 from Rs 100 and drivers will be paid two advance increments on completion of 20 years of service. A policy for absorption of employees of PSUs on secondment with government will be framed.

Atal Nirdhanta Chhatravriti Yojna, to be launched for children of BPL families and top 4,000 students of Plus One, will be provided Aakash laptops. The amount deposited under Beti Hai Anmol Scheme will be increased from Rs 5,100 to Rs 10,000.

VAT on Central Police Canteens, operating in the state, is to be reduced to 4 per cent, pension amount of ex-servicemen and their widows not getting any other pension will be enhanced from Rs 330 to Rs 400 per month. Second World War veterans and their widows will get enhanced financial assistance of Rs 750 per month and “Samman Rashi” of freedom fighters will be increased to Rs 7,500 per month. “Samman Rashi” for widows and daughters of freedom fighters to be increased from Rs 3,000 to Rs 3,500 per month and the monthly ration allowances of policemen increased by 50 per cent. Elderly persons aged over 80 years to be given a social security pension of Rs 600 per month.

The milk procurement price has been raised by Re 1 from April 1 and VAT on sweetmeats and milk products manufactured and sold by manufacturers, milk federation and co-operative societies reduced from 13.75 per cent to 5 per cent. All Cooperative Societies engaged in milk collection, processing and marketing will be given grant equal to the market fee deposited by them. The procurement price of wool increased by 10 per cent and sale price of trout feed to fish farmers will be reduced by 15 per cent.

Atal Swasthya Seva Yojna will be expanded by adding 27 new ambulances to provide inter-facility transfer service, stipend of PG students and senior residents in medical colleges will be enhanced. All allopathic doctors will be reimbursed an amount of Rs 350 bimonthly for mobile phone expenses and higher education allowance of PG doctors will be enhanced. Anomaly in pay structure of lecturers in Ayurvedic College and Ayurvedic Medical Officers will be removed.

The 274 revenue chowkidars will be converted to daily-waged employees and senior nambardars will be given a “Samman Rashi” of Rs 2,000 per year. Grant to gram panchayats for payment of emoluments to panchayat chowkidars will be raised from Rs 850 to Rs 1,050 per month. Honorarium of Tailoring Teachers will be increased from Rs 1,400 to Rs 1,600 per month, minimum monthly payment of takniki sahayaks will be increased to Rs 5,500 per month and monthly payment of a Gram Rozgar Sevak from Rs 1,500 to Rs 1,800 per month.

Category C and D contractors with a turnover of up to Rs 30 lakh will not be required to file any returns for that year after payment of TDS at the rate of 3 per cent and procedure to bring small and medium dealers under the deemed assessment category will be simplified. Turnover limit for registration and exemption from payment of tax for dhabas, canteens and other eateries will be enhanced from Rs 4 lakh to Rs 5 lakh per annum. Traders with a turnover of less than Rs 20 lakh will be provided accident insurance cover of Rs 1 lakh by the government. The entry tax on non-ferrous metals will be reduced from ˝ per cent to Ľ per cent.

All journalists in the state to be covered under the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana with an insurance cover of Rs 1.75 lakh and the corpus of journalist welfare fund will be increased from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 25 lakh. Newsprint used for printing of newspapers will be exempted from levy of entry tax.

The total Budget outlay is Rs 20243.92 crore with a deficit of Rs 1939 crore (2.8 percent of the GSDP), which is lower than the norm of 3 per cent but higher than 2.2 per cent committed for availing development policy loan from the World Bank. The borrowing limit has gone up from Rs 1,647 crore to Rs 2,019 crore. The total revenue receipts are estimated at Rs 16,342 crore and capital receipts at Rs 3,981 crore and with total receipts of Rs 20,324 crore the year 2012-13 will generate a surplus of Rs 80.65 crore.

Bare facts
y The per capita income increased from Rs 43,966 in 2007-08 to Rs 65,535 in 2010-11 and is expected to be Rs 73,608 in 2011-12
y Fiscal deficit projected to be 2.88% of GSDP
y MLA Local Area Development fund increased from Rs 30 lakh to Rs 50 lakh
y Milk procurement price up by Re 1 per kg.
y Atal Swasthya Seva Yojna to be expanded by adding 27 new ambulances
y Stipend of PG students and Senior Residents in medical colleges to be enhanced
y Social Security Pension to be increased from Rs 330 to Rs 400 per month
y Elderly persons over 80 years of age to get a pension of Rs 600 per month
y Amount under Beti Hai Anmol Scheme increased from Rs 5,100 to Rs 10,000
y Second World War veterans and their widows to get enhanced financial assistance of Rs 750 per month.
y “Samman Rashi” of freedom fighters increased to Rs 7,500 per month
y 11,400 rural poor to be provided housing assistance at the rate of Rs 48,500
y Top 4,000 students of Plus I to be given Aakash laptop.
y Minimum daily wage raised from Rs 120 to Rs 130
y Fixed Medical Allowance increased from Rs 100 to Rs 250

Top

 

Populist Budget, says Cong; BJP calls it
relief to all sections

Tribune News Service

Shimla, March 19
The Congress today said the “populist” Budget presented by Chief Minister PK Dhumal with an eye on the Assembly elections would fail to woo the electorate.

“The BJP regime has tried to woo the electorate but people would not be taken for a ride as they are fed up with the ‘anti-common man’ approach of the government,” said Vidya Stokes, Congress legislature party (CLP) leader. She added that rather than coming up with more pro-common man schemes, the Budget was in favour of the traders and the business community. She said the employees had been disappointed by the Budget as no increments had been announced for them.

State Congress chief Kaul Singh Thakur said the Budget was neither development oriented nor focused on the problems faced by the common man. “All that the Budget will do is to leave heavy financial liability for the next government,” he remarked. Taking strong exception to the accusation of discrimination against Himachal by the UPA regime, levelled by the Chief Minister, he said more than 80 per cent of the Budget comprising announcements made today would be met through central funds.

“The Budget is silent on the biggest challenge of unemployment faced by the state as there are a limited number of job avenues and the figures of jobless educated youth are swelling,” said GS Bali, former minister and MLA.

State BJP chief Satpal Satti said the Budget presented by the Chief Minister has brought the much-needed relief to all sections of society which the Central Budget had failed to give. “The Budget will give a new direction to development as it has something to offer to every section of society be it women, youth, farmers, students, employees and the business community,” he said.

He lauded the move to provide laptops to 4,000 students who top the matriculation examination and enhancement in the social security pensions. “The Budget presented by the Chief Minister indicates an increase of 109 per cent over the Budget presented by the last Congress government in 2007-08,” he said.

The CPM today termed the Budget as a build-up to the elections with a shift in approach from the public sector towards promoting private-public participation (PPP). “It reflects the poor handling of macro-economic scenario in the state by the Chief Minister with key sectors like education and health being shifted towards privatisation.

Member, State Secretariat of the CPM, Tikender Singh Panwar, said the demand of linking minimum wages with the price index had not been fulfilled and the crucial sector of agriculture had not been addressed properly. “The Budget has also failed to orient itself in generating resources for further development and growth as the government has shown more concern towards fiscal deficit and FRBM,” he said. He even accused the government of “misrepresenting” facts about revenue surplus by hiding the non-revenue receipts that show a deficit of Rs 400 crore.

Top

 

How rupee comes and goes
Tribune News Service

Shimla, March 19
Out of the total Budget of Rs 20,243.92 crore, only 34.51 per cent will be utilised for development activities, the rest will go towards meeting the committed liabilities on account of salaries, pensions, interest and loans.

As per the Budget estimates, for every Rs 100 spent, the state will have Rs 80.73 as total revenue receipts, including transfers from the Centre. The gap of Rs 19.27 will have to be met by borrowings.

Out of every Rs 100 revenue receipt, Rs 30.95 will accrue from own tax revenues, Rs 12.25 from non-tax revenues, Rs 14.52 from share in central taxes and Rs 42.28 from central grants.

Out of every Rs 100 spent, salaries will account for Rs 31.05, interest payments Rs 11.11, loan repayments Rs 9.57, pensions Rs 13.76 and the remaining Rs 34.51 will be spent on development works, including other activities.

Top

 

Cong resorts to ‘Gandhigiri’ in House
Pratibha Chauhan
Tribune News Service

Shimla, March 19
While reiterating their stand on continuing the fight against corruption, Congress legislators today did attend the House while the Budget was being presented but not without conveying their resentment as crisp white Gandhi caps adorned their heads while they sat in the House.

The minute the Assembly started, CLP leader Vidya Stokes said her party legislators had decided to continue with their protest against corruption but keeping in view the high traditions of the House, they had decided to be present while the Chief Minister presented the Budget proposals for 2012-13.

As such, Congress legislators sat through the almost two-and-a-half-hour Budget speech of the Chief Minister, who too looked visibly relieved at the Congress party’s decision of not boycotting or disrupting the presentation of the Budget.

Opposition members later left the House and attended an anti-corruption rally at Naaz, which was addressed by Stokes. They also marched upto the Ridge and raised anti-government slogans before the statue of Mahatma Gandhi.

Even as the Congress has been continuing with its protest inside the House demanding resignation of Health Minister Rajiv Bindal, there were conflicting views aired by MLAs at the CLP meeting today.

While a number of legislators are in favour of holding a dialogue and resolving the stalemate, others are keen that the party’s protest would continue. Though Stokes today made it clear in the House that there would be no compromise on the issue of corruption, the party remains undecided about its future plan of action.

Top

 

RS poll: Nadda files nomination
Pratibha Chauhan
Tribune News Service

Shimla, March 19
With the Congress not fielding a candidate for the Rajya Sabha election, it is now almost certain that national BJP general secretary JP Nadda will be the state’s nominee in the Upper House of Parliament on the completion of the tenure of Viplove Thakur next month.

Nadda, who is still a member of the state Assembly as he represents the Bialspur (Sadar) seat, today filed his nomination papers in the presence of Chief Minister PK Dhumal, state BJP chief Satpal Singh Satti, ministers, MLAs and senior party leaders.

“I am grateful to party chief Nitin Gadkari and the state party unit for reposing their faith in me and giving me this opportunity to represent the state and the party in the Rajya Sabha,” Nadda said.

He said he, along with MP Anurag Thakur and Virender Kashyap, would try to raise the issues concerning the state before the Centre.

“Unfortunately issues faced by smaller states do not get the kind of attention they deserve, so our endeavour would be to ensure that these are registered forcefully before the Centre,” Nadda said.

Commenting on the state of affairs in the UPA regime, he said the government was suffering from policy paralysis, which was reflecting in all its decisions.

“One thing I can say with certainty is that all is not well within the UPA regime as the government is marred by internal strife and contradictions, which obviously does not augur well for the nation,” he opined.

Nadda in reply to another question made it clear that the Assembly elections would be held under the leadership of Chief Minister Dhumal.

“I have said this even in the past and this is not my stand, but the view of the party,” he clarified.

He said it was under the BJP regime headed by Dhumal that Himachal had emerged as a model hill state, which had earned laurels at the national level while competing with even bigger states.

Wife may not contest seat vacated by him

Nadda, in reply to a question about his wife Mallika being his political heir and claimant for the Assembly ticket from the seat being vacated by him, said he alone was enough in politics and she would not take the plunge. Considering her increased political indulgence lately, there had been speculations in political circles about Mallika, a teacher of the Himachal Pradesh University, making her electoral debut by contesting from the seat vacated by Nadda as and when the elections are held.

Top

 

Nadda’s assets worth Rs 1.90 cr
Tribune News Service

Shimla, March 19
BJP’s Rajya Sabha nominee JP Nadda along with his spouse has movable and immovable assets, including ancestral houses, flat and land worth Rs 1.90 crore.

The affidavit filed by 51-year-old Nadda while filing his nomination for the Rajya Sabha seat indicates that the properties owned by him and his wife, Mallika, are worth Rs 1.40 crore.

This includes a flat in the name of his wife at Zirakpur in Mohali district of Punjab, valued at Rs 60 lakh and landed property in Kullu and his ancestral Vijaypur village in Bilaspur.

The details of Nadda and his wife’s immovable assets include two Innova vehicles valued at Rs 16.40 lakh, 230 gm of gold worth Rs 2.64 lakh and bank deposits, FDRs and bonds to the tune of Rs 4.34 lakh in his name and almost seven lakh in his wife’s name and Rs 3-lakh FDR in the name of his two dependents.

Nadda has done graduation from Patna University, Bihar, and Law from Himachal Pradesh University in 1985.

Top

 

Cong threatens statewide stir
Our Correspondent

Bilaspur, March 19
Led by district president of the Congress Santosh Dhiman, hundreds of party leaders, activists and workers drawn from across the district, marched through bazars of the town today raising slogans against the alleged corruption of some BJP leaders and demanded immediate resignation of the BJP government.

District party spokesman for the party Pravin Sharma said later protesters presented a memorandum to the Governor through the Additional Deputy Commissioner in the absence of the Deputy Commissioner. He warned that if no action was taken against corrupt ministers and no steps taken against the BJP government, the Congress would be forced to take to the streets and start a statewide agitation.

The memorandum also levelled charge of neglecting Bilaspur district in the matter of development and said the district was being given step-motherly treatment for the past over four years.

They demanded that the construction work of the Berry-Dadolan bridge be started immediately, steps taken to make clean and clear and hazard-free paths on both banks of the Gobind Sagar here for commuters. They also demanded a press room for journalists at Ghumarwin.

Former MLAs Dr Biru Ram Kishore, Dr Babu Ram Gauttam and Tilak Raj Sharma, zila parishad member Hoshiar Singh Thakur, state executive member Jitender Chandel, district general secretaries Gopal Sharma and Ram Prakash Dhiman, former zila parishad chairman Dila Ram Dhiman, Col AP Gauttam (retd) and office-bearers Narendra Billoroia and Anjana Dhiman, zila parishad members Basant Ram Sandhu, Pratap Kaundal, Tejaswi Sharma, Raj Kumar Tadu and Kamlender Kashyap were among those present.

Top

 

Goldsmith, jewellery shops closed for third day
Our Correspondent

Kangra, March 19
Goldsmith and jewellery shops in the state remained closed for the third day today in protest against the hike in the excise and custom taxes on gold. Goldsmiths at different places also held demonstration.

Tilak Raj Soni, state president, Tank Surankar Sudhar Saba, Himachal Pradesh, disclosing this here today said they were demanding a rollback of the anti-goldsmith steps in the Budget presented by the Finance Minister on Friday in Parliament.

He said the present steps in the Budget would encourage “Inspector Raj” in the country which was prevalent between 1963-1982 when the Gold Control Act was in force. He alleged that a number of goldsmiths during that dark period had committed suicide and the situation was reeling back to that age again.

He said goldsmiths and jewellers had lodged the protest for the past three days in a peaceful manner and if the UPA government did not accept their demands they would be forced to come to the streets.

Top

 

Property worth lakhs destroyed in fire
Our Correspondent

Bilaspur, March 19
Property and household effects worth lakhs were destroyed as a devastating fire suddenly erupted in the Brahmin basti of Dabhat village in Dabhat gram panchayat in the Naina Devi constituency, 95 km from here, this evening.

Reports said the fire spread from one house and took other three houses and one cowshed into its fold. At the time of this incident all members of families of affected houses namely Diwan Chand, Des Raj, Ram Lal and Roshan Lal were away on work and only children were at home.

Alert villagers removed all children safely from the burning houses. However, they could not succeed in saving anything inside the houses.

Local MLA Randhir Sharma rushed to the spot on hearing about the incident and ordered payment of Rs 10,000 and tarpaulins to each affected family as temporary relief.

Village elders, led by panchayat president Parvinder Singh, has urged the district administration to provide suitable financial help to these families.

Top

 

Congress takes out protest rally
Seeks Bindal’s resignation
Our Correspondent

Solan, March 19
Protesting against the non-acceptance of the resignation letter of local MLA and Health Minister Rajeev Bindal, the District Congress Committee (DCC) today took out a protest rally in the town.

Led by DCC president Rahul Thakur, party leaders raised slogans against the government for patronising corruption and failing to accept the resignation of Dr Bindal.

They took out a rally from the PWD guest house to the DC Office chowk and later sat on a dharna at the chowk.

The protest was organised in a bid to mount pressure on the government to accept Bindal’s resignation. It had also become imperative for the Congress to raise voice against Bindal as the latter had been honoured by 93 organisations on Saturday, thus proving his popularity among the masses.

Congress leaders also gave a memorandum to the Governor, which was handed over to the Deputy Commissioner, Solan.

Terming the working of the state government as corrupt, they said the government was sheltering the land mafia that had sold out the state’s land to outsiders.

PCC general secretary Ramkumar Chowdhary, Nalagarh MLA Lakhwinder Rana, Arki BCC president Sanjay Awasthy, Kasauli BCC president Roshan, former MLA Krishan Mohini, representatives of frontal organisations, including the Sewa Sal, the Youth Congress and the Mahila Congress were among those participated in the rally.

Top

 

World House Sparrow Day Today
House sparrows’ population declines
Ambika Sharma

Solan, March 19
With crass commercialisation and decline in natural habitat, the population of house sparrows is showing a gradual decline.

The state Wildlife Department that is celebrating the World House Sparrow Day tomorrow has now decided to spread awareness among people to help save this bird.

Their natural habitat are declining and they are now disappearing from many locations.

DFO, Wildlife (Headquarters), Satpal Dhiman, who has been studying the decline in the sparrow population in Shimla, said: “It is high time to list all possible reasons of the decline. If breeding sites are limited this possibility can be tested by providing

artificial sites or enhancing natural ones. Where food might be limiting, the provision of supplemental food and monitoring the response of the population can give an indication of the extent and nature of the issue.”

Even reasons like electromagnetic radiations emitted through mobile towers are strongly attributed for this decline, which utterly lack in scientific backing.

He suggests measures to protect them which include protecting their nesting sites in our house and surroundings.

He adds that “If your house already has nooks and crannies they are best known nesting sites. Do not replace them with even surfaces and predator proof nest boxes in your housing environs can be tried to gauge the response in these artificial nesting sites.”

Besides, one could hang bird feeders filled with pesticide free grains, Bajra, millets to supplement their feeding. The most significant step was to report the decline in their population to wildlife organisations and raise awareness to protect them, he added.

Top

 

Rehabilitation of fire-hit families on
Balkrishan Prashar

Chamba, March 19
The district administration has taken all possible measures to arrange temporary alternative shelter at the tribal hostel and the municipal rest house in the heart of Chamba town and the Tribal Bhawan at Baloo on the outskirts of the town to fire sufferers who had been rendered homeless in the aftermath of the fire incident which occurred in the Charpat locality here yesterday.

Deputy Commissioner (DC) Sharabh Negi said here today that necessary arrangements had been made to provide ration for one month from the public distribution system to the families.

The DC asserted that officials were constantly on the job providing blankets, bed sheets, pillows, utensils etc to the victims. The officials had also been directed to be careful round-the-clock about the measures taken to rehabilitate about 29 fire-affected families, the DC said.

Sixteen buildings housing shops and residential accommodation, mostly ancient structures, had gone up in flames and property worth crores had been burnt to ashes, the DC said, attributing the fire to one hardware shop dealing in paints, thinner, turpentine oil and other inflammable goods.

Top

 

Cong workers burn CM’s effigy
Our Correspondent

Kangra, March 19
Congress party, under the leadership of the former Member of Parliament Chander Kumar, held a demonstration and took out a rally at Lipana in this subdivision today and set Chief Minister PK Dhumal’s effigy on fire for his alleged failure on all fronts and shielding the corrupt.

Kewal Singh Pathania, Congress spokesman, said Congress workers from Changer belt had gathered at Lipana near Lunj today in connection with the mobilisation of the party cadre for the ensuing March 25 rally at Jawali to be addressed by Union Minister Virbhadra Singh.

He said Prof Chander Kumar addressed the party workers and charged the state government for its failure on all fronts. He described it as unfortunate that the Chief Minister was shielding Health Minister Rajeev Bindal who was charged with accumulating property without its known sources of income.

Chander said the allegations of accumulating property by Bindal were not levelled by the Congress alone, but by those senior BJP leaders who had left the party recently. He reiterated the demand of a CBI inquiry into the charges levelled against the Health Minister.

Pathania said 3,000 party workers would attend the Parivartan Rally at Jawali from the Shahpur constituency alone.

Top

 

Man-eater leopard shot dead

Hamirpur, March 19
A team of shooters, deployed by the Forest Department, killed a leopard this afternoon.

The leopard was shot dead by the shooters in the vicinity of the same ravine, near Tohu village under Bhoranj subdivision of the district, where it had mauled an eight-year-old child to death yesterday.

The Forest Department had declared the leopard man-eater after the Sunday incident. After attacking the cattle in the area, it had been escaping a trap laid by the Forest Department near the village for about two weeks.

Divisional Forest Officer (DFO), Hamirpur, PK Thakur said, “The shooters have killed a two- year-old male leopard near the same spot where a child was mauled by a man-eater.” — TNS

Top

 





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