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

100 airlifted from Sangla, Peo
Shimla, June 18
Over 100 persons, mostly stranded tourists, were airlifted from Sangla, Reckong Peo and other areas as the weather god relented and allowed various government agencies to start relief and rescue operations in the rain and snow-ravaged Kinnaur district.

BJP seeks EC’s help to airlift stranded leaders
Shimla, June 18
The BJP today sought the intervention of the Election Commission of India (EC) to facilitate airlifting of its leaders stranded at various places due to inclement weather or allow them to stay even after June 21 as it is mandatory for them to leave the constituency 48 hours before polling.

Rains, snow ruin apple crop in Kinnaur
Nagwani (Mandi), June 18
Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh today said the incessant rains and snow in Hangrang, Chango, Pooh, Ropa, Sangla and other higher valleys in Kinnaur had destroyed apple and other crops.
Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh addresses a public meeting at Nagwani in Mandi on Tuesday Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh addresses a public meeting at Nagwani in Mandi on Tuesday. Photo by writer


YOUR TOWN
Shimla


EARLIER STORIES



Villagers and Fire Brigade crew douse flames in Chamba on Tuesday Mother, son charred in Chamba fire
Chamba, June 18
Two persons, a mother and her son, were burnt alive in a house which was gutted at Kasakra Mohalla in Chamba town, an official report received here today said.


Villagers and Fire Brigade crew douse flames in Chamba on Tuesday.

Govt imposes condition on new cement firms
Solan, June 18
To ensure that new cement plants in Himachal sell cement at prices lower than the rates in the neighbouring states, the government has included this as a condition for new cement plants while granting them the licence.

BJYM activists protest against flesh trading
Nurpur, June 18
BJYM activists hold a protest against flesh trading in hotels in Nurpur on Tuesday Fed up with the alleged burgeoning immoral trafficking in private hotels in Nurpur, activists of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM), Nurpur mandal, held a protest here today. Led by mandal president Sonu Guleria and district delegate Rajesh Pathania, the morcha activists raised slogans against the menace.


BJYM activists hold a protest against flesh trading in hotels in Nurpur on Tuesday. Photo: Rajiv Mahajan

Election material reaches Pangi
Chamba, June 18
For the byelection in the Mandi Parliamentary constituency, which includes Bharmour and Pangi tribal sub-divisions of Chamba district, the entire election material, including 59 electronic voting machines (EVMs), reached Killar, tribal sub-divisional headquarters township, on Saturday last week.

Anurag, Vikramaditya cross swords
Anurag ThakurMandi/Kullu, June 18
Anurag Thakur, president of the HP Cricket Association, and Vikramaditya Singh, son of Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh and president of the Himachal Sports, Cultural and Environment Association, today crossed swords on the issue of cricket and sports promotion during a campaign for the Mandi bypoll.
                                                                        Anurag Thakur

State hopes to get industrial package
Shimla, June 18
The Centre's decision to extend the special industrial package to Jammu and Kashmir by five years has raised hopes of the state getting a similar dispensation ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha poll.

11 killed in road accident near Manali
Manali, June 18
Eleven persons, including nine women, were killed and seven injured after a Mahindra Pik-Up van (HP 66-0722) in which they were travelling rolled down a hill on the Naggar-Jana road near Nathanu Seri village today, 25 km from here.

HC dismisses pleas against govt decision on degree colleges
Shimla, June 18
The HP High Court today dismissed all petitions challenging the decision of the state government vide which it had closed down eight Government Degree Colleges.

Experts to address orchardists’ problems
Shimla, June 18
A team comprising senior officers of the Horticulture Department has been constituted to look into the problems being faced by cherry orchardists, particularly in the Baghi and the Kotkhai areas of Shimla district.

1,000 sedative cough syrup bottles seized, two held
Nurpur, June 18
The Kangra district CID intercepted a Scorpio Jeep at the Kandwal barrier today and seized over 1,000 bottles of sedative cough syrup (Parvo) being transported into the area from neighbouring Punjab.

Indefinite bandh by taxi operators to hit tourism industry
Manali, June 18
Thousands of tourists visiting Manali may have to return without seeing the Rohtang Pass, Manikaran, Naggar and other spots of Kullu district as local taxi operators have announced that they will suspend their services indefinitely from tomorrow following the state government's decision to stop the movement of vehicles older than four years on the Manali-Rohtang road.

HP to adopt Ghana model for making industry green
Shimla, June 18
The model adopted by Ghana and Indonesia for making their industry eco-friendly will now be adopted in Himachal Pradesh which will result in the shrinking of the number of units placed under the negative list for emitting more pollutants.

Principals seek regularisation of service
Bilaspur, June 18
The Himachal Pradesh Association of School Principals and Inspection Officers has urged the government to take immediate steps to regularise ad hoc services of principals and clear all their cases of benefits which are pending at the Directorate level since long.

Private varsities violating govt decision: ABVP
Shimla, June 18
The state unit of the Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) has alleged that private universities are violating the decision of the government and the directions of the State Private Educational Institutions Regulatory Commission regarding admission to various courses for the ensuing academic session.

DC reviews steps for apple marketing
Shimla, June 18
Deputy Commissioner (DC) Dinesh Malhotra has convened a meeting of apple growers, transporters and officers of different departments to review the arrangements for the marketing of apple crop in the coming harvesting season.

Helpline on CBCS to be launched
Shimla, June 18
To clear doubts about the new choice-based credit system (CBCS) under the Rashtriya Uchchtar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA), Himachal Pradesh University (HPU) will soon launch a helpline.

 





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100 airlifted from Sangla, Peo
National highway likely to remain closed for 5 days
Tribune News Service

Shimla, June 18
Over 100 persons, mostly stranded tourists, were airlifted from Sangla, Reckong Peo and other areas as the weather god relented and allowed various government agencies to start relief and rescue operations in the rain and snow-ravaged Kinnaur district.

With the national highway and other roads not likely to open for the next five to six days, the authorities have decided to airlift the stranded people. Besides the state helicopter, two MI 17 choppers of the Indian Air Force have been deployed.

In all, 48 persons were airlifted from Sangla, where a maximum number of tourists had been trapped, and 38 from Reckong Peo. Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, who had been stranded at Sangla since Sunday night, was also airlifted to Mandi from where he resumed campaigning for the byelection.

Air Force choppers also airlifted two companies of the National Disaster Response Force from Bathinda and were deployed in Sangla and Reckong Peo.

Deputy Commissioner JM Pathania said three relief camps had been set up at Reckong Peo, Baltrung and Pangi to provide shelter to the people who had been rendered homeless due to the collapse of over 100 houses. The latest reports said a large number of orchards had been damaged due to landslides.

Officers of various departments had been asked to assess the loss of public and private property and also ensure that roads, electricity, water supply and other amenities were restored at the earliest.

The maximum damage had been caused to roads. The national highway from Neugal Seri to Sumdoh had witnessed 20 landslides. Stretches on the road had been washed away at 10 places.

Machinery has been deployed to clear landslides and the stock of essential commodities, medicines and other necessities was reviewed at a high-level meeting.

It was stated that there were sufficient stocks at Sangla, Puh and other places, though items like bread and milk might not be available in some places.

Meanwhile, two persons died and 12 heads of cattle perished in the heavy rains in Shimla district over the past three days. Deputy Commissioner Dinesh Malhotra said property worth Rs 8.83 crore was damaged.

As many as 22 roads , 22 schemes of the Irrigation and Public Health Department and 186 houses had been damaged.

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BJP seeks EC’s help to airlift stranded leaders
Tribune News Service

Shimla, June 18
The BJP today sought the intervention of the Election Commission of India (EC) to facilitate airlifting of its leaders stranded at various places due to inclement weather or allow them to stay even after June 21 as it is mandatory for them to leave the constituency 48 hours before polling.

In a statement here today, state BJP spokesperson Ganesh Dutt said considering the heavy rain and snow in some parts of the Mandi constituency, many leaders had been stranded. “Either the EC should make provision for a helicopter to airlift them or they should be allowed to stay even after June 21,” he said.

He also urged the EC to take notice of the fact that many government officials were accompanying Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh in Sangla. “The EC must take strict action against such employees who are virtually functioning as Congress workers and campaigning in favour of the Congress candidate,” he said.

He also expressed apprehension that taking advantage of bad weather, the Congress could indulge in unfair practices to sway voters.

“The EC must deploy additional paramilitary forces as the Congress can make a desperate attempt to rig the poll,” he remarked.

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Rains, snow ruin apple crop in Kinnaur
Revenue team to assess loss, provide relief: CM
Kuldeep Chauhan
Tribune News Service

Nagwani (Mandi), June 18
Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh today said the incessant rains and snow in Hangrang, Chango, Pooh, Ropa, Sangla and other higher valleys in Kinnaur had destroyed apple and other crops and the government was assessing the losses. The rescue operations had been launched on a war footing and over 100 tourists evacuated by helicopters, he added.

The PWD and the BRO were trying to restore the Shimla-Kinnaur national highway and road connectivity was expected to be restored till Tapri from Rampur tomorrow, he added.

After being stranded at Sangla for the past 48 hours, the Chief Minister took off in a private helicopter and landed at Pandoh this morning and addressed public meetings. He said the state government had given immediate relief to those killed in Pangi (one), Chigaon (four), Moorang (two). Thousands of tourists stranded at several places in Kinnaur were being evacuated, he added.

"It is a big disaster as most of the apple and other crops in Kinnaur have perished due to snow and the rains," he said while addressing a public meeting.

After the public meeting here, he told The Tribune that a revenue team would assess the loss first and provide relief to people. The work on the restoration of roads had been started and connectivity to the valley would be restored soon as the weather had eased up, he asserted.

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Mother, son charred in Chamba fire
Our Correspondent

Chamba, June 18
Two persons, a mother and her son, were burnt alive in a house which was gutted at Kasakra Mohalla in Chamba town, an official report received here today said.

The report said there were four members inside the house when the fire broke out. The mother was identified as Uma Devi and her son as Balveer Singh.

Two women Pinki Devi and Mohinder Kaur, who had received burn injuries, were rushed to the local Regional Hospital.

The bodies of the deceased had been handed over to their kin after an autopsy in the Civil Hospital, the report said.

In a joint operation, local residents, crew of the Fire Brigade, Home Guards and the police helped in dousing the fire.

Officials of the district administration, including DC Kadam Sandeep Vasant and SP BM Sharma, reached the fire incident site and supervised the relief and rescue operations.

Necessary assistance had also been provided to the fire victims as per the relief manual.

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Govt imposes condition on new cement firms
Plants in state told to sell cement at lower rates
Ambika Sharma
Tribune News Service

Solan, June 18
To ensure that new cement plants in Himachal sell cement at prices lower than the rates in the neighbouring states, the government has included this as a condition for new cement plants while granting them the licence.

Reliance Cement Private Limited, which is setting up a cement plant of the 2-million tonne capacity in Chopal tehsil of Shimla district, has been directed to include this as a condition while signing the memorandum of understanding with the state government.

This condition was imposed following a meeting of the screening committee to shortlist cement companies on limestone deposits at various villages, including Sugrathi, Thangar, Kura Khera, Kandal and Badera, in Chopal on March 19.

The company had been directed to take immediate steps to comply with this condition as per a letter issued to the company on May 13.

The letter stipulates that the company will not sell cement at rates higher than the prices in Punjab, Chandigarh, Haryana, J and K and Uttarakhand.

The high price of cement sold by ACC Limited, Ambuja Cements Limited and JP Cements vis-ŕ-vis the neighboruing states has been a point of contention with the successive governments trying to bring down the price.

Though these units had recently reduced prices marginally, the rates are still considered higher than the rates in the neighbouring states.

Cement manufacturers have been blaming the high freight charged by transporters as a major reason contributing to the manufacturing cost.

It remains to be seen how Reliance Cement Private Limited will cope with the freight factor, especially since its plant will be located in the far-off Chopal tehsil while the other cement units are located closer to the inter-state borders.

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BJYM activists protest against flesh trading
Our Correspondent

Nurpur, June 18
Fed up with the alleged burgeoning immoral trafficking in private hotels in Nurpur, activists of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM), Nurpur mandal, held a protest here today. Led by mandal president Sonu Guleria and district delegate Rajesh Pathania, the morcha activists raised slogans against the menace.

The BJYM also submitted a memorandum to the local SDM. It said immoral trafficking in private hotels right from Kandwal, gateway to the Kangra valley, to Jonta was on the rise and the police administration was unable to curb this menace. The BJYM rued that youngsters were being spoiled and there was a rise in crime in the area. It also warned that it would launch a stir if the police didn’t check immoral trafficking in the area.

Meanwhile, SDM Ashwani Sood said he had forwarded the memorandum to the district administration and directed the local DSP to take quick action in this connection.

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Election material reaches Pangi
Our Correspondent

Chamba, June 18
For the byelection in the Mandi Parliamentary constituency, which includes Bharmour and Pangi tribal sub-divisions of Chamba district, the entire election material, including 59 electronic voting machines (EVMs), reached Killar, tribal sub-divisional headquarters township, on Saturday last week.

Stating this here today, Chamba Deputy Commissioner (DC) Kadam Sandeep Vasant, who is also the District Election Officer, said the election material had been received by the Resident Commissioner of Pangi at Killar.

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Anurag, Vikramaditya cross swords
Tribune News Service

Mandi/Kullu, June 18
Anurag Thakur, president of the HP Cricket Association, and Vikramaditya Singh, son of Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh and president of the Himachal Sports, Cultural and Environment Association, today crossed swords on the issue of cricket and sports promotion during a campaign for the Mandi bypoll.

Anurag led a Bharatiya Yuva Morcha protest march in the town after the campaign entered the last leg.

Anurag brushed aside all allegations levelled against him, the cricket association and the BJP by the Congress and the Himachal Lokhit Party.

Addressing a press conference, he said, “These are false propaganda to grab public attention”.

He dismissed the allegations on the five-star hotel of the association and corruption in land deals.

On turning the cricket cooperative body as a private company and the recovery of the payment of security charges incurred on the IPL matches played at Dharamsala, Anurag posed counter-questions.

“Nobody has popularised cricket in the state like me and the Congress tried to grab the sports body by bringing a sports Bill. But it has failed,” he claimed.

Addressing a public meeting at Bhuntar, Vikramaditya said the HPCA was promoting outsiders in cricket while the Congress government was building a multipurpose stadium in Shimla district to promote the youth not only for cricket, but also other sports.

The skill development allowance for the youth and the promotion of adventure sports would open new avenues for the unemployed youth, he added.

Anurag blamed the Congress government for the poor condition of state sports and cricket. “We built a cricket stadium at Dharamsala and it has been appreciated by top cricket stars,” he claimed.

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State hopes to get industrial package
Rakesh Lohumi/ TNS

Shimla, June 18
The Centre's decision to extend the special industrial package to Jammu and Kashmir by five years has raised hopes of the state getting a similar dispensation ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha poll.

The Congress government has been pursuing the state's case for the revival of the package, which was terminated prematurely in March 2010 ever since it came to power. The government maintains that the state needs a Central incentive for accelerating industrialisation till 2020.

The UPA will have to come out with some scheme to blunt the attack of the BJP which cites the premature termination of the industrial package to substantiate its charge that it has been discriminating against the state.

In all, industrial projects involving over Rs 48,000 crore were approved after the grant of the package, but projects worth Rs 13,500 crore were set up. Projects with the proposed investment of Rs 35,000 crore did not come up. It is clear that the incentives are required to enable the state to realise its full potential for industrialisation.

Industries Minister Mukesh Agnihotri said the data made it clear that the opposition of the neighbouring Punjab and Haryana governments that the industrial package was leading to the flight of industries to Himachal was misplaced. The state's case had only been strengthened by the Supreme Court which observed that conditions in Himachal and Uttarakhand were entirely different and other states should not oppose it. He asserted that there had been no flight of industries and companies had mostly set up additional units in Himachal to take advantage of incentives.

The Union Commerce Ministry had not only recommended the state case for the continuation of the Central investment subsidy, which ended on January 5, 2013, but also to raise its limit from Rs 30 lakh to Rs 75 lakh.

The transport subsidy has already been restored and out of the outstanding amount of Rs 34 crore, Rs 29 crore has been released. The excise exemption was withdrawn in March 2010 and income tax exemption in 2012. The state hopes to secure at least some of these incentives if not all under a modified package with interest subventions as one of the components. Congress circles are hopeful that something concrete will emerge after the Mandi byelection as there is not much time left for 2014 poll.

The state has also sought Central assistance of Rs 1,500 crore for upgrade of industrial infrastructure (Rs 240 crore), setting up two textile parks (Rs 110 crore each), promoting exports (Rs 95 crore), 10 centres for skill upgrade in handlooms and other projects. It has also revived the proposal for setting up SEZ (special economic zone) in Una district which was scrapped.

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11 killed in road accident near Manali
Our Correspondent

Manali, June 18
Eleven persons, including nine women, were killed and seven injured after a Mahindra Pik-Up van (HP 66-0722) in which they were travelling rolled down a hill on the Naggar-Jana road near Nathanu Seri village today, 25 km from here.

The victims were returning home after purchasing ration from Nashala villages when the driver lost control of the van and it fell from the hill near Nathanu Seri village. The driver was also among the deceased. The injured were rushed to the Primary Health Centre at Naggar village.

The deceased have been identified as Nimu Devi (50), Monhi Devi (45), Kusum Lata (22), Devendra Devi (25), Kamla (24), Radhika (six month), Dolma (55), Nirmala Devi (34), Kamla Devi (26), Besru Devi (33) and driver Heera Lal (40).

The injured are Fagni Devi, Chet Ram, Manoj, Lot Ram, Ijatu Devi, Tikam Ram and Kamla Devi.

Kullu Deputy Commissioner Saurabh Negi said Rs 10,000 would be given to the kin of the deceased and Rs 5,000 to the injured. The bodies of the deceased had been handed over to their family members after the post-mortem at Naggar hospital.

Virbhadra, Pratibha express grief

Kullu (TNS): Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh and Congress candidate Pratibha Singh today condoled those who had lost their near and dear ones in the road mishap at Jana village on the Jana-Naggar road in Kullu district.

In a press note here, the Chief Minister said the administration had been directed to provide immediate relief to them.

Transport Minister GS Bali, the Chief Minister's son Vikramaditya Singh and local BJP MLA Govind Thakur visited the spot and expressed grief with the families who had lost their kin in the accident.

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HC dismisses pleas against govt decision on degree colleges
Legal Correspondent

Shimla, June 18
The HP High Court today dismissed all petitions challenging the decision of the state government vide which it had closed down eight Government Degree Colleges.

The writ petitions have been filed by students or parents of the students studying in eight Government Degree Colleges, who claim to be affected by the decision of the state government.

It was stated in all these petitions that the previous state government by issuing notifications between June 23, 2012, and September 6, 2012, started Government Degree Colleges in Rewalsar, Nihri, Ladbharol, and Baldwara in Mandi, Sarahan in Sirmaur, Nankhari in Shimla, Kasauli and Kotla Behar in Kangra district. The petitioners said the plea taken by the present government in its reply about the financial difficulty could be no basis to overturn the decision taken by the previous government.

The state government contended before the court that after the opening of the colleges, only 19, 14, 37, 10, 12, four, two and 16 students in the respective colleges took admission. It was further contended that none of these colleges had their own building. The arrangement was purely temporary. The decision of the government was taken in haste and without making necessary budgetary arrangement to meet the expenses for the construction of the building and other infrastructure.

While dismissing the petitions, a Division Bench comprising Chief Justice AM Khanwilkar and Justice Kuldip Singh observed: “We are not inclined to accept the grievance of the petitioners that the decision was purely because of political vendetta. That is only a vague and unsubstantiated allegation. Once it is found that the government has had the intrinsic power to review the earlier decisions, it is not open to lightly brush aside the subjective satisfaction of the executive. Thus, it is neither a case of casual decision taken by the new government, nor of any political vendetta, but purely on the basis of the record considered during a Cabinet meeting in which the decision has been taken. The record reinforces the position on all counts, namely, strength of students, lack of infrastructure and close proximity of other colleges”.

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Experts to address orchardists’ problems

Shimla, June 18
A team comprising senior officers of the Horticulture Department has been constituted to look into the problems being faced by cherry orchardists, particularly in the Baghi and the Kotkhai areas of Shimla district.

This was stated by a spokesperson of the Horticulture Department here today. The team would submit its report to the Director, Horticulture, for necessary action. — TNS

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1,000 sedative cough syrup bottles seized, two held
Our Correspondent

Nurpur, June 18
The Kangra district CID intercepted a Scorpio Jeep at the Kandwal barrier today and seized over 1,000 bottles of sedative cough syrup (Parvo) being transported into the area from neighbouring Punjab.

The CID staff from Nurpur and Jawali subdivisions, led by Sub Inspector Arjun Singh, had set up night nakas at Kandwal, Raja Ka Bagh and Jassur. The jeep occupants, identified as Narinder of Bharmolli and Akshey Kumar of Talara village, were arrested by the team. The sedative drugs were being carried in plastic bags.

Badri Singh, DSP, CID, Kangra, said the department had been working for the past one week to act against drug traffickers who were active in the area.

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Indefinite bandh by taxi operators to hit tourism industry
MC Thakur

Manali, June 18
Thousands of tourists visiting Manali may have to return without seeing the Rohtang Pass, Manikaran, Naggar and other spots of Kullu district as local taxi operators have announced that they will suspend their services indefinitely from tomorrow following the state government's decision to stop the movement of vehicles older than four years on the Manali-Rohtang road.

Hundreds of taxi operators of Manali, who are dependent on the Rohtang Pass for their livelihood, are concerned as to how they will deposit bank instalments for their cabs and earn bread for their families. Operators say the government decision is all set to destroy self-employment of hundreds of youth of the valley.

As tourist vehicles are not allowed to the Rohtang Pass every Tuesday for the convenience of BRO jawans in maintaining the road, most of the tourists plan to visit Rohtang on Wednesdays. Now that taxi operators have called for a total bandh, tourists will have to return without seeing the snow point.

A meeting was held in the office of the Taxi Union, Manali, today in the presence of Beopar Mandal, Hoteliers, Travel Agents, Paragliding and River Rafting Associations, including 25 associations linked to tourism sector and panchayat representatives. A decision was taken that all operators would freeze their cabs from Wednesday till their demands were heard.

Puran Chand Thakur, president, Him-Aanchal Taxi Operators Union, said they had locked their offices on Tuesday itself.

"Most of our taxis are more than four years old. If we are not allowed to ply on the Manali-Rohtang road, which is the main tourist spot of Manali, how will we survive?" he asked.

Also, they have decided to ask all operators in Himachal to join hands with them and they will not cast their votes in the upcoming Lok Sabha by-elections.

Meanwhile, an emergency meeting was held between members of the Kullu-Manali Paryatan Vikas Manch under the chairmanship of its president Anup Thakur, who is also president of the Manali Hoteliers Association. A memorandum was forwarded to the Chief Minister through the Manali Sub-Divisional Magistrate. In the memorandum it has been mentioned that if the government does not approach the Supreme Court in favour of local residents linked to the tourism industry till June 21, all organisations will not cast votes on June 23.

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HP to adopt Ghana model for making industry green
Pratibha Chauhan
Tribune News Service

Shimla, June 18
The model adopted by Ghana and Indonesia for making their industry eco-friendly will now be adopted in Himachal Pradesh which will result in the shrinking of the number of units placed under the negative list for emitting more pollutants.

A high-level team from the World Bank (WB) in Washington yesterday held a meeting with senior functionaries of the state government to review the progress of the initiatives taken under the Rs 1,100-crore Policy Development Loan (DPL) extended by it.

The team expressed a desire to see the industry become environment-friendly not through punitive action, but by way of the grant of incentives which would be monitored by an environment economist of the WB.

"Certain initiatives will have to be taken so that more industrial units move from the category of high-polluting units to more eco-friendly units," said Chief Secretary Sudripta Roy, who chaired the meeting.

He said the measures taken in a similar experiment in Ghana and Indonesia would be replicated in Himachal. As per the conditions under the DPL, certain reforms had to be initiated in various sector like power, tourism, forest and industry.

The Industries Department has placed 22 industries like cement plants, mini steel plants, plastics, thermal power, paper and fiber glass in the negative list.

Similarly, it also has a list of thrust areas which includes 27 industries like handicrafts, fruit and vegetable processing units, sericulture, floriculture and wool and its products.

"The WB is keen that we undertake categorisation of industry and provide it incentives so that it installs new pollution control devices," said Mohan Chauhan, Director, Industries. He said the whole process would be accomplished by laying down policy parameters which had to be put in place by September before the next visit of the WB team.

The department would collect exhaustive data on various kinds of industry in the state and its adverse impact on environment. However, it was the State Pollution Control Board (SPCB) which would be the regulatory authority.

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Principals seek regularisation of service
Our Correspondent

Bilaspur, June 18
The Himachal Pradesh Association of School Principals and Inspection Officers has urged the government to take immediate steps to regularise ad hoc services of principals and clear all their cases of benefits which are pending at the Directorate level since long.

Talking to mediapersons here on Wednesday, association senior vice-president Surender Pal Sharma said the association had been trying to get these demands accepted and now once again the executive committee would take up the matter with the Chief Minister after the Mandi bypoll.

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Private varsities violating govt decision: ABVP
Tribune News Service

Shimla, June 18
The state unit of the Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) has alleged that private universities are violating the decision of the government and the directions of the State Private Educational Institutions Regulatory Commission regarding admission to various courses for the ensuing academic session.

As per the decision of the government, admission to MTech courses was to be carried out on the basis of the national entrance test (GATE) and the state entrance test conducted by the State Technical University, but private universities were entertaining students who had not qualified any entrance test. They were also charging Rs 1,500 for the prospectus.

It urged the commission to enquire into the high cost of the prospectus and also get the details of prospectus sold by universities. Once the admissions were over, the commission must get the details of the entrance test passed by the students admitted to these courses, it added.

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DC reviews steps for apple marketing
Tribune News Service

Shimla, June 18
Deputy Commissioner (DC) Dinesh Malhotra has convened a meeting of apple growers, transporters and officers of different departments to review the arrangements for the marketing of apple crop in the coming harvesting season.

He said the administration had started contacting truck unions to help mobilise 5,000 trucks for the transportation of apples to various markets across the country. Besides, small utility vehicles would also be arranged.

The global positioning system would be used by the police and the administration to monitor the movement of trucks engaged for the transportation of apples. All SDMs had been asked to ensure the registration of all the agents for the apple season.

Apple growers Pratap Chauhan, Dinesh Justa and others raised the issue of the maintenance of roads in apple-growing areas. Officers of the PWD said the maintenance of roads was in progress.

The DC asked the PWD to position adequate number of earth movers and other required machinery in bottleneck areas to ensure a smooth traffic during the period.

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Helpline on CBCS to be launched
Tribune News Service

Shimla, June 18
To clear doubts about the new choice-based credit system (CBCS) under the Rashtriya Uchchtar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA), Himachal Pradesh University (HPU) will soon launch a helpline.

Vice-Chancellor ADN Bajpai has said the purpose of the helpline is to clear doubts regarding RUSA and its implementation in affiliated colleges of the state.

The helpline will be available within two days from 10 am to 5 pm to receive queries and clear doubts regarding implementation of the CBCS.

Professor Bajpai said the university had taken a number of initiatives to bring academic reforms, one of which was being rolled out from the current academic session. He said the university had completed preparing syllabi and regulations for undergraduate classes.

He said the new system would be teacher-centric with scope for group work, individual work, data collection, field work, quizzes, class tests and coinvolvement.

He said the new system would be able to meet new challenges of globalisation by making curriculum inter-disciplinary which would help in integration of concepts, theories, techniques and perspectives from two or more disciplines to advance fundamental understanding.

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