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Central government approves Rs.22,800 crore to Himachal in 12th Five-Year Plan

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Vigyan-Bhawan

Central-government-approves-Rs.22,800-crore-to-Himachal-in-12th-Five-Year-Plan

Council (NDC) held in Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi today. In his address, Chief Minister, Shri Virbhadra Singh revealed that the 12th five year plan allocation was 65% higher in comparison to 11th five year plan which was highest in the country.

Chief Minister said that State Government had targeted an annual growth rate of 9% per annum in comparison to National average growth rate of 8.2% per annum. He said that higher growth rate of 4.5% was targeted in agriculture and allied sectors as compared to 4.2% growth rate at present, by increasing the farm productivity. He said that Government was spending more then nine percent of its plan allocation on agriculture and allied sector and requested the Union Government to offer incentives to the State Government by providing at least 50 percent of state outlay under Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojna (RKVY) during the 12th plan period. He said that Government would ensure efficient management of pre-harvesting and post harvesting operations and encourage cultivation of off-seasonal vegetables, organic farming, setting up poly houses, drip and micro irrigation facilities to raise the farm income during plan period.
He said that State Government would bring additional 27000 hectare of land under irrigation during plan period by executing different irrigations schemes. He said that target had been fixed to provide 70 litres drinking water per person per day in the State in comparison to National average of 55 litres per person per day. He said that all the left-out 10,725 habitations out of total 53,201 habitations would be provided safe drinking water during the plan. He requested the Union Government to increase the cost norms under Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Project (AIBP) programme keeping in view of the tough geographical, topographical conditions and limited working season in the hill state. He requested for increase of per hectare cost norm from present Rs. 1.5 lakh to four lakh and increase the completion period from present two years to three years.

Chief Minister, Shri Virbhadra Singh urged Government of India (GoI) to assist the State Government for setting up food processing industries in the state and to increase the import duty three times on imported apples in order to safe guard the interest of fruit growers of the State besides to restore the air traffic to the state to promote tourism and also provide subsidy on heli-taxi service on the pattern of north eastern states. He requested GoI for liberal financial assistance for expansion and up-gradation of existing civil aviation infrastructure in the state and pleaded for extension of Shimla airport runway through extensions. He urged to declare Baddi- Kalka and Bilaspur- Leh via Manali railway lines as project of National importance and early completion of ongoing Nangal-Talwara and Bhanupalli-Bilaspur-Beri railway line by allocating adequate budget provision. He said that State Government would construct about 7500 Kms of new road network to connect all the villages with population of more than 100 persons during the plan and added that 2000 Kms of National Highways and proper maintenance of already existing road network would be undertaken.

Chief Minister Shri Virbhadra Singh said that additional 4630 MW Hydropower would be generated in the state during the plan period and added that the state had so far harnessed 8368 MW hydro-electric potential out of total potential of 23000 MW. He requested the central Government to delegate the power of environmental clearance to State Government to expedite the power generation process in the state.
He insisted to continue the subsidy on LPG cylinders due to higher fuel requirements in the in high altitude areas and said that in absence of LPG subsidy, the demand of fuel wood would increase leading to extra pressure on forest wealth. He also requested to revive the industrial package of the Himachal Pradesh and suggested that hilly backward areas of the neighboring states could also be included in the new industrial package on the basis of tough geographical conditions similar to Himachal Pradesh.

He said that Himachal has been ranked as third on human development indicators by Union Government and added that the state had achieved 83.78% literacy rate. Besides, the State Government proposes to make right of secondary education during twelfth plan with an object to universalize the access to secondary educations.

Chief Minister Shri Virbhadra Singh told that infant mortality rate would be brought down to 22/1000 from existing level of 40/1000 and hundred percent institutional deliveries would be achieved in Government health institutions in the plan period. He said that so far 2.07 lakh persons had been benefited through 108 ambulance service introduced through NHRM in the state. He requested the Prime Minister to upgrade Tanda Medical College to the status of AIIMS, new Delhi and said that demand of specialists, physicians and other trained medical professionals would be met through three medical colleges of the state. He requested the Union Government to provide more fiscal autonomy to the states and provide flexibility while implementing centrally sponsored schemes and other flagship programmes keeping in mind the local conditions.

He suggested for incorporation of special chapter to elaborate strategy for development of northern hill states on the analogy of north eastern states and also requested for enhancement of Gross Budgetary support to all special category states alike and to provide uniform funding pattern in the ratio of 90:10 for all special category states. He urged the Union Government to compensate the Himalayan states for conserving ecology and said that the State would review the forest policy to ensure that natural resources were not over exploited and livelihood of those people who depend on forest resources are not adversely affected. He requested for raising the financial allocation of the state to meet its developmental needs.

Chief Minister Shri Virbhadra Singh welcomed the Union Government’s decision of direct cash subsidy and told that entire population of the state would be covered under the scheme in phased manner. He said that State Government would follow policy of zero- tolerance towards corruption and clean, transparent and accountable administration would be provided to the people. He said that e-governance would be utilised to ensure timely and effective redressal of public grievances.
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Press note: Information & Public Relation, HP Govt.

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Video: On Duty Policemen Thrashed by Group of Miscreants in Shimla

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Youth clash with shimla police on holi

Shimla- Two policemen were reportedly injured after a dozen of miscreants clashed with them during Holi celebrations on the Ridge Shimla today.  The celebrations were foiled with violence and hurling of vulgar abuses. The scene was captured by a local on a mobile phone, and the video is being circulated on social media.  

As per the Shimla Police, today some people were celebrating the Holi at the Ridge Shimla. At about 12.15 PM, a group of some youth were spotted creating a ruckus, and when the policemen tried to stop them, they clashed with the police and beat them brutally. Two of the policemen were reportedly injured.

Deputy Superintendent of Police, Shimla, Pramod Shukla confirmed the report. The youths were said to be drunk.

As per initial reports, one of the accused was detained, while remaining accomplices fled the scene. There was no word on the identity of the culprits yet. The police said the rush on the Ridge made it difficult to identify them.

An FIR was filed at the Sadar Police Station under Sections 353,332,147,149 of the IPC for the assault and obstructing on-duty police officials. The police said further investigation is in progress.  

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UHF Nauni Station Becomes India’s ‘Lead Centre of Dahlia Testing’

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Dahlia in full bloom at RHRTS Dhaulakuan

Solan- As good news for the farmers of Himachal Pradesh engaged in floriculture, the Regional Horticulture Research and Training Station (RHRTS), Dhaulakuan of the Dr YS Parmar University and Forestry (UHF), Nauni, has been designated as the ‘Lead Centre of Dahlia Testing’ in the country.

As per the university, this is a big shot in the arm for Dahlia cultivation in the state as the flower has been introduced in Himachal for the first time under the project. The research conducted at the station could pave the way for its adoption by farmers for commercial cultivation.

The Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Authority (PPV&FRA) of the Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers’ Welfare, GoI has given the prestigious national level designation to the research station.

The status of National level Lead entre of dahlia testing is a big achievement for the station as Dahlia is among the most admired winter flowering plant. It is a recognition of the work carried out at the research station and is expected to catalyze commercial cultivation of this flower in the state,

said Dr AK Joshi, Associate Director RHRTS, Dhaulakuan.

He added that several cultivars will be added to the present germplasm and farmers will be able to get rooted plants in the future. UHF Vice-Chancellor Dr HC Sharma and Director Research Dr JN Sharma congratulated the scientists.

The research station forayed into floriculture in 2012, mainly in ornamental plants, but has since made rapid strides in this area. In 2016-17, under a PPV&FRA funded project worth Rs. 18 lakh, over 50 cultivars of dahlia of different shapes, colours, sizes and categories were introduced at the station from different reliable nurseries and departments from Uttarakhand and adjoining areas.

Elaborating on the research, Dr Priyanka Thakur, Principal Floriculturist and main investigator of the project told that the objectives were the development of Distinctness, Uniformity and Stability (DUS) testing guidelines of dahlia and evaluation of species/ cultivars. The morphological characterization, development of DUS testing guidelines and the establishment of DUS centre for dahlia at the station is presently underway.

The farmers of Himachal can adopt this new crop for cut flower as well as pot plant production, which can not only help in diversification but also boost the economy and raise farm incomes.

The newly introduced dahlia cultivars are suitable for pot plant production, borders, mass plantations and cut flowers etc. Cultivars like Matungini, Mother Teresa, Sister Nivedita, Tenzin, Suryadeva, Jishu, Gilody, SP Kamla have been found suitable for low hill conditions. Matungini, Jishu, Sohini, Black Eternity, Surya Deva, Maa Sharda have been found suitable for cut flower production.

Often called the ‘King of flowers’, Dahlia is grown both for indoor and outdoor elegance. The height of plants differs with variety and can vary from two-inch lollipop style pompoms to the giant 10-15 inch ‘dinner plate’ blooms growing to a height of 4-5 feet.

These cultivars remain in flowering from Feb to May. Farmers can reap rich dividends by selling cut flowers, pot and as landscape plants and through the production of rooted plants. The students of the university are also working on the evaluation of dahlia varieties for the low hill conditions of Himachal Pradesh.

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Holding Clean Elections India’s Biggest Challenge as Misuse of Money Increases By Leaps And Bounds: EC

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Multi-Departmental Committee on Election Intelligence

New Delhi: Conducting clean elections is now one of the biggest challenges in our democracy given the prevalent abuse of money power, particularly when it manifests in the inducement of voters, the Elections Commission of India said today.

Unfortunately, the use of the money during the elections has increased by leaps and bounds in recent times. Mischief mongers are ever devising more ingenious ways to beat the system, said the EC Larger seizures have been made by our enforcement teams in successive elections.

To address this paramount problem, the Election Commission of India headed by Chief Election Commissioner  Sunil Arora along with Election Commissioners Ashok Lavasa and Sushil Chandra today held a meeting of Multi-Departmental Committee on Election Intelligence.  Heads of Tax Boards, Law enforcement agencies, Central Paramilitary Forces and representatives of Financial Institutions attended the meeting.

The Chief Election Commissioner, Sunil Arora along with the Election Commissioners, Ashok Lavasa and Sushil Chandra at Meeting of Multi-Departmental Committee on Election Intelligence, in New Delhi on March 15, 2019.

He said Commission is determined to curb this menace and has issued detailed guidelines to monitor election expenditure incurred by candidates and political parties.  He said individually and collectively the agencies participating in the meeting are the bulwarks of clean elections. The outcome of synergised action should exceed the commitments made. 

To ensure clean elections, it is vital keeping track of the legal expenditure incurred by candidates and political parties for election campaigns. More importantly, it is imperative to ensure that there is no illegal use of money and other items for buying of votes, said Election Commissioner Chandra.

Issues Discussed at Committee on Election Intelligence

  • Ways of Curbing of covert expenditure by candidates and political parties
  • Sensitisation of the law enforcement agencies about their role during elections
  • Co-operation and sharing of intelligence of economic offences amongst law enforcement agencies for effective action
  • Preparation of road map for action during the elections
  • Mapping of constituencies by concerned agencies to check transportation of smuggled goods, drugs, liquor, and cash, including fake currency, through seaports, inter-state borders and international borders and pro-active and preventive action by each law enforcement agency

The Heads of Tax Boards, Law enforcement agencies, Central Paramilitary Forces and representatives of Financial Institutions assured the Commission of prompt 24X7 expenditure monitoring and surveillance action.

The Commissions said a greater synergy amongst various enforcement agencies is needed to develop a collective strategy to fight this menace.  Therefore, the Commission expects that all enforcement agencies should have proper sharing of information for taking coordinated action rather than working in silos.

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