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New Zealand’s high apple yield tempts Himachal

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Himachal to collaborate with New Zealand for the supply of expertise and technology to boost the Horticulture and agriculture sectors in Himachal

New Zealand would be extending co-operation to Himachal Pradesh in strengthening the horticulture and agriculture sectors by providing expertise and technology transfers. This follows a meeting of Chief Minister Prof. Prem Kumar Dhumal with visiting high level official and business delegation headed by Minister of Primary Industries of New Zealand, Shri David Carter, at his official residence, here today.

Chief Minister welcomed the proposal of the New Zealand Government to collaborate with the State in technology transfer in the field of horticulture and agriculture sectors. He said that horticulture was the major cash crop in the state and was contributing significantly towards state gross domestic product while agriculture had been the traditional avocation in the State as over 90 percent of the population was directly or indirectly dependant for their livelihood over agriculture. He said mutual collaboration between the two countries would be beneficial to the state in the field of horticulture and agriculture sectors. He said that the State had only 4 to 9 MT per hectare of apple yield as compared to over 25 MT per hectare yield in New Zealand. He said that the State would import quality and early variety root-stock of apple from New Zealand for multiplication in different laboratories in the State for further distribution amongst the horticulturists.

Prof. Dhumal said that most of the horticulture and agricultural activities in the state were based upon rain fed irrigation compared to cent percent irrigation facilities in New Zealand. He said that the apple season in the State starts from July end and concludes by October end every year while in New Zealand the season starts in April and ends by June. He said that possibilities could also be explored to meet the demand of fresh apple during off season in the State. He said that the State was keen to take benefit of the expertise in creating irrigation infrastructural facilities to the fruit growers and farmers so that dependence upon rains was minimized. He said that creating cold chain to preserve the fruit and vegetables grown in the state could also be beneficial with mutual cooperation between Himachal Pradesh and New Zealand. He said that since apple crop was highly perishable commodity having limited shelf life and with the facilities of cold chain, the shelf life of the fruit and vegetables could be prolonged to fetch remunerative prices by marketing the same at appropriate time.

Prof. Dhumal said that fruit processing industry was another field where New Zealand could lend its support to the state so that instead of marketing the produce to distant markets the same were processed to produce value based products for marketing. He said that it would go a long way in generating employment and self employment to the growers within the State.

He said that Himachal Pradesh was popularly known as ‘Apple State of India’ and was poised to emerge as ‘Fruit Bowl of India’. He also apprised the delegation of the industrial friendly environment in the State and benefits available to the entrepreneurs. He underlined the need to work out further details at appropriate level to finalize the proposals and invited New Zealand delegation to make more frequent visits to the State to explore other sectors.

Shri Davit Carter, Minister of Primary Industries, New Zealand, apprised the Chief Minister of the possibilities of mutual cooperation between New Zealand and Himachal Pradesh in both sectors. He said that Himachal Pradesh had vast potential to increase apple yield by planting high yielding varieties and replacement of old root stock where New Zealand could lend its support. He said that similarly technology transfer in agriculture sector could be another sector where New Zealand could provide its expertise. He said that New Zealand would explore more sectors where mutual cooperation could be strengthened. He introduced the business delegation to the Chief Minister who individually showed their interests in investing in Himachal Pradesh.

New Zealand delegation consisted of Smt. Heather Carter wife of Shri David Carter, Minister of Primary Industries, Smt. Shari Mannan, Private Secretary, Shri Cris Carson, Director International Policy, Smt. Jan Henderson, High Commissioner of New Zealand, Shri Kanwaljeet Singh Bakshi, MP from New Zealand, Shri Richard White, Trade Comissioner, Shri Gareth Pidgeon, Second Secretary, Ms. Mridu Vats, Policy Advisor. Business Delegation consisted of Shri James McVitty, Fonterra, Shri Jogn Monaghan, Fontera, Shri Ross Verry, ANZ Bank, Shri Sunil Kaushal, India-NZ Business Council/ANZ Bank, Shri Sameer Handa and Shri Swantantra Gagneja, Patton Refrigeration, Shri Jon Calder and Tony Begbie, NZ Fieldays, Shri Tim Ritche, NZ Meat Industry Association, Shri Nadine Tunley and Shri Alan Pollard, Pipfruit New Zealand, Shri Grand Sinclair, Mr. Apple NZ Limited and Shri Mike Simpson, Waimea Nurseries. Shri R.S.Gupta, Principal Private Secretary to the Chief Minister and Dr. Gurdev Singh, Director of Horticulture were also present on the occasion

Press note: Information & Public Relation, HP Govt.

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Vivek Kumar of Kangra Among Those Martyred in Helicopter Crash, Leaves Behind Wife and 2-Month-Old Son

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Kangra-The demise of the Chief of Defence Staff, General Bipin Rawat, his wife along with 11 others onboard an Indian Air Force Mi-17V5 helicopter that crashed in Coonoor of Tamil Nadu on Wednesday shocked the nation.

Tributes were pouring in across the world for India’s first CDS and other departed souls.

A village in Kangra district – Thehado (ठेहडू) in Jaisinghpur subdivision-is also mourning the demise of Vivek Raj who was also onboard the ill-fated chopper. Lance Nayak Vivek Kumar 1 Para (SF) was PSO to the CDS, Bipin Rawat.

Vivek left behind a wife and 2-months-old son. He had joined the J&K Rifles in 2012 and later served as a commando. He had got married in 2020. The news of his departure has left the family devastated. A pall of gloom has descended upon his native village. His father Ramesh Chand is a daily wager and his mother is a housewife. His younger brother runs a bakery shop in Baijnath.     

On Thursday, officials from the Defence visited his house for collecting the DNA sample of the parents. The bodies, according to the report, were burnt so badly in the crash that it was difficult to ascertain their identities. The DNA samples would help in the identification.

According to the official reports, the sole survivor of the crash, Group Captain Varun Singh, was on life support at the Military Hospital at Wellington.

Meanwhile, the Indian Air Force has retrieved the Flight Recorder of the Black Box of the helicopter. The cause of the crash was still under investigation.

Bipin Rawat along with his wife and other 13 was on his way to the Defence Services Staff College in Wellington to deliver a lecture.

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Shimla, Manali Receive Season’s First Spell of Snow, Cheers Tourism Industry

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Shimla-First spell of snow in Shimla’s tourist destinations, Narkanda and Kufri, has cheered the tourism industry as it would increase the footfall of tourists. Similarly, higher parts of Manali also reported a light spell of snow on Sunday evening. Lahaul-Spiti, however, reportedly witnessed heavy snowfall and Atal Tunnel, Rohtang, was closed for traffic. Parts of the Kinnaur district also recorded a spell of snow.

Chopal in Shimla had received 2-3 inches of snow, while Dodra Kwar recorded one foot of snow, according to the Met Department.

In Kullu, Jalori Pass had received 3 inches of snow, Rohtang top 2.5 feet, and Atal Tunnel 1.5 feet.

In Lahaul-Spiti, Koksar/Sissu had recorded 18 inches of snow, Keylong 8 inches, Darcha 12 inches, Udaipur 4 inches, Tindi 2 inches, Kaza 1 inch, and Lossar 2 inches of snow.

In Kinnaur, Chitkul had recorded 15.4 cms of snow, Kalpa 5 cms, and Sangla 7.62 cms. Nichar also received a light spell.

This change in weather has triggered a cold wave across the state. Further, the Himachal Pradesh Meteorological Department had issued a yellow alert for December 5, 2021. The Met has predicted rain and snow on December 6 too. While the weather is predicted to be dry on December 8, the state could witness more rain and snow on December 7 and December 9, according to the Met Department.

Most roads, except in Lahaul-Spiti, remain open to traffic movement, the district administrations of Shimla and Kullu confirmed. Further, the administrations said preparations are being made to keep the roads clear in case of heavy snowfall.

This tourist season is crucial for the hospitality industry which was worst hit by the pandemic induced restrictions. However, the entry of Omicron – the new variant of Covid-19 that has been termed as a variant of concern by the WHO-haunts the season. India had reported as many as 21 cases of Omicron till Sunday. If the HP Government decides to impose restrictions on the entry of the domestic tourist in view of the spread of the new variant, the hospitality industry could again face losses.  

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Himachal Achieves 100% Vaccination Target, OPD at AIIMS, Bilaspur, Inaugurated   

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Shimla-Himachal Pradesh has achieved the 100 percent target of the second dose of Covid vaccination, the State government informed on Sunday.  Himachal Pradesh has become the first State of the country in achieving the target of cent per cent vaccination of targeted eligible age group, it informed.  

According to the HP Government, all eligible 53,86,393 adults have been administered the second dose of the vaccine.

District-Wise Vaccination Details

District

Number of People Vaccinated 

Bilaspur  318150
Chamba 352605
Hamirpur 361954
Kangra 1140439
Kinnaur 68460
Kullu 322643
Lahaul-Spiti 25494
Mandi 738818
Shimla 634019
Sirmaru 410187
Solan 584326
Una 429298

A complete vaccination was performed first in the inaccessible areas and tribal areas of the state and Kinnaur district became the first district in the entire country to administer the second dose of the vaccine to all eligible adults, the government informed.

On this occasion, Jagat Prakash Nadda, the Member of Parliament and National BJP President, also addressed a felicitation ceremony of Covid Vaccination Workers at Bilaspur on Sunday.

Nadda also dedicated the first OPD at AIIMS Kothipura in Bilaspur. The AIIMS Bilaspur would be made fully functional within the next six months, said Nadda.

 

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JP Nadda at AIIMS Bilaspur

He said that the foundation stone of this institution was laid about three years back and it would have been completed a year ago, but the pace was affected due to the corona pandemic. He said that Himachal Pradesh has got an Rs. 500 crore Satellite centre of PGI Chandigarh at Una.

He also congratulated the State Government, doctors, health care workers and all the frontline workers for achieving this unique feat. 

Union Minister of Health, Chemicals and Fertilizers Mansukh Mandaviya, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur and Union Minister of Information and Broadcasting, Youth Affairs and Sports Anurag Singh were also present on the occasion

 

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