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Himachal not to use anti-hail guns to protect crops

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Shimla, The previous BJP government’s plan to install more anti-hail guns to protect fruit crops from hailstorms in Himachal Pradesh may be scrapped, Horticulture Minister Vidya Stokes said here Tuesday.

Expressing doubts over the worthiness of the anti-hail guns installed on a pilot basis in the state, for the first time in the country, Stokes said the government would not make use of three guns installed in 2010 in Shimla district.

The state horticulture department installed the anti-hail guns in Deorighat, Kathasu and Braionghat under a Rs.3.29 crore central government-funded project to protect apples from hailstorms during the flowering and fruit setting season.

“We will study the worthiness of the guns. As per our feedback and experience, they are not worthy to provide protection to crops from natural calamities. If needed, we will stop their use,” Stokes told reporters here.

She said before taking any decision in this regard, local farmers would be consulted.

Anti-hail guns create shock waves to disrupt formation of hailstones.

“The guns are not environment friendly and they are disturbing the weather. We would promote the use of anti-hail nets, the traditional method,” Stokes, a prominent apple grower in the region, added.

According to horticulture department estimates, hailstorms damage 20-30 percent of vegetable and fruit crops in the state every year.

Himachal Pradesh, which has 90 percent of its population in rural areas, produced l.03 million tonnes of fruits in 2011, of which 892,000 tonnes were apples. It also produced a record 1.35 million tonnes of vegetables, valued at $400 million.

The BJP government last year had increased the farm subsidy on anti-hail nets from Rs.25,000 to Rs.50,000.

Stokes said the government was planning to increase the subsidy on nets to 80 percent.

The BJP government last year had submitted a Rs.374 crore anti-hail gun project to the central government for funding to install 300 guns in the state.

A high-level expert committee headed by Gorakh Singh, horticulture commissioner, had toured the apple-growing areas in the state in this regard.
-IANS

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Himachal Records Fresh Spell of Snow, HP Met Issues Alert

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Shimla-The weather in Himachal Pradesh has taken a turn with a prediction of rain and snowfall till December 5, 2021. At the time of writing this report, Kaza in Lahaul-Spiti was receiving a fresh spell of snow, cheering the tourists, as well as, the hoteliers. So far, the traffic movement was normal in the region.

This has caused a sharp drop in temperatures across the state.

The District Administration of Lahaul-Spiti has advised the locals and tourists to avoid wandering to high altitude areas unnecessarily.

The HP Meteorological Department, Shimla, has also issued a yellow alert for December 2 and December 5. While the plains can experience light to moderate rainfall at a few places,  the middle and higher hills could witness widespread rain and snow on December 2.   

For December 4, the HP Met had predicted light to moderate rain across the state. For December 5, however, the Met has issued an yellow alert with a prediction of rain and snow at several places.

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UHF Nauni Extends Online Plant Booking Date Till Dec 7

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Solan-Dr. YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry (UHF), Nauni has extended the last date for online booking of planting material prepared by the university’s main campus and its Krishi Vigyan Kendra(KVK) at Solan. Interested farmers will now be able to book plants on the university online portal till December 7.

This year the booking for the planting material of apple, plum, apricot, peach, kiwi, pear, pomegranate, persimmon, etc. is being done online and farmers can submit their demand for plants by logging on the university website and visiting the ‘Farmers corner’ section. The university has advised the farmers to register themselves through their email address on the university portal.

The farmers who have not been able to submit their demand forms have also been advised to resubmit their demand forms.  

Applicants will have to fill in their complete postal address and the Khasra number of the land where the planting is to be carried out along with their contact details. After the OTP-based registration process is complete, applicants will be able to book plants for varieties supplied by the university. The plant varieties available for sale and distribution on this web portal have been grafted on seedling rootstock. The procedure for the sale and distribution of Nursery Fruit Plants from other University Research Stations and KVK’s will be the same as in previous years.

The university will start the allotment process after the booking is closed. Based on the total demand, the university will allot plants out of the available quantity. The allotment list will be made available on the university portal. The farmers will be also be notified about the date on which the plant will be available and from which nursery they will be provided.

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HP Police Becomes 8th State Police of India to Receive Presidents Colour Award

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Shimla-Himachal Pradesh Police organized the Presidents Colour Award ceremony at the historic Ridge Ground on December 1, 2021.

Governor Rajendra Vishwanath Arlekar was the Chief Guest and Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur was also present as a special guest on the occasion. The Governor honoured the State Police with the Presidents Colour Award which was received by the Director-General of Police Sanjay Kundu.

While extending greetings and expressing happiness on receiving the Presidents Colour by Himachal Pradesh Police, the Governor said that it was the 8th State Police of India which has received this distinction.

“President Colour’ is a special achievement and this proves the state police ranks high in the service of humanity along with performance, professionalism, integrity, protection of human rights and other parameters,” said the Governor.

HP Police Presidents Colours award ceremony

The Governor honoured the State Police with the Presidents Colour Award which was received by the Director-General of Police Sanjay Kundu.

He added that this feat has also been given to the State Police for the contribution of its personnel, who have worked tirelessly over the years to make it reliable, professional, honest and people-friendly. He said it would definitely motivate the Police personnel and they would work more readily in public service.

While interacting with media on the occasion, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur congratulated the State Police for being awarded President’s Colours by the President of India for its meritorious services. He said that this Award was the highest point in the professional life of any uniform. 

Director-General of Police Sanjay Kundu said that the President’s Color’was not only an award but also a responsibility, which the Himachal Pradesh Police has to fulfil with more integrity, efficiency and discipline.

He added that every Jawan of the State Police should take a pledge to maintain security and peace in Devbhumi Himachal Pradesh.

Earlier, the Governor inspected the Parade. On the occasion, the formation of Hollow Square by the Police Band, Pilling of drums and consecration of the colour was the main attraction

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