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MC Shimla proposes park in Tutikandi to deal with monkey menace

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After years of failure to get rid of monkey menace, Shimla Municipal administration now plans a park for monkeys in Tutikandi forest

Shimla-To deal with the menace that the monkey gangs have been creating in Shimla, Municipal Corporation has proposed a new park in Shimla, in the woods of Tutikandi, where, one hectare of area would be sealed with barb wire fences and two forest guards would be employed to make sure monkeys don’t escape. The plan proposes providing water resources, growing radish, carrot, beans etc to ensure sufficiency of food and water in the park.

That’s so nice of MC Shimla. Everyone is aware of the efficiency with which the department successfully implement its reformatory plans, especially, when it comes to tackling monkey menace and growing stray dog population.

By the way, MC had built a dog shelter near Kachi Ghati to tackle the issue of stray dogs in Shimla, which is not being used in anyway. That suggests that the shelter is closed for reason unknown. The dogs are all on the Shimla Mall, and on a sunny day, most of them enjoy sunbath in front of MC’s office.

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Picture of Abandoned dog shelter in Shimla

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THE SAD TRUTH BEHIND THE STRAY DOG SHELTER IN SHIMLA (Published on Mar 8, 2012)

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Published on Mar 14, 2013 (After one year)

As far as the monkeys are concerned, they have become more like unavoidable bullies in Shimla town, who could rob anyone, anywhere and most of the time, women and kids are preferred for they are easy targets. A year ago, the situation became so sensitive that people were forced to protest against the department’s inability to ensure safety against the monkey menace.

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In 2011, a Senior citizen Devki Nandan Kaushik wrote to the chief justice on the menace of monkeys, langurs and dogs and the problems being faced by the residents of Shimla. After which, a division bench comprising Chief Justice Kurian Joseph and Justice Rajiv Sharma directed the municipal commissioner of Shimla and the divisional forest officer (Wildlife) to file affidavits as to what steps have taken by them check the problem.

However, nothing appealed to Municipal administration of Shimla until present date.

The main cause of failure of these two departments, Wildlife wing of Forest department and MC, to handle the issue is due to outdated methods, impractical strategies, and the lousy attitude e.g. farmers from district Bilaspur complained that there were no monkeys in their area until many were captured from troubled urban areas and released in their villages, and they started destroying the crops. No attention was paid to the fact that the growing population also required attention, and because of that, the population of monkeys went over six lacks during 2012.

In 2010, the situation became uglier when Himachal government allowed farmers to kill monkeys with other wild animals, which caused harm to crops. It was only after a Public Interest Litigation(PIL) in 2011 that the Himachal High Court directed the State Government to stop issuing such permits to the farmers and observed the following: “The state should have to protect all the beings… by giving permission to kill the problematic monkeys, the state has not understood and applied its mind to understand the basic intent of the Wildlife Protection Act and the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act”

In 2012, the Forest Department had put a target of sterilizing two lack monkeys along with opening 21 sterilizing centers in Himachal by June 30 2012, which required 35-40 crores as expenditure. Hardly, one fourth of the target was achieved, and, of course, it would be idiotic to ask a question as stupid as asking about promised 21 new centers.

Wild Life Wing of Forest Department had even adopted unethical method of capturing monkeys. Public was invited to capture and handover monkeys to the department for which an incentive of Rs. 500 were being paid for each monkey captured. It’s a well established fact that the animal handling is a specialized task, for which people with adequate training are required. How could the department expect any common man to do the job. Nobody knows what method, unscientific or unethical, they would use to capture monkeys.

Previous BJP government spent near about Rs.1.5 crore on seterlization, but did not get any success in curbing the issue.

In 2013, the Congress government assured relief to the farmers, who were facing a large-scale destruction of their crops due to monkeys. For the assurance government claimed that a Rs. 100 crore monkey menace control project plan was drafted and was sent to the Central government for its approval.

However, nothing actually has been done to curb the issue. The issue of human- animal conflict in cities had began many years back, many plans and assurances were made, but the issue has rather taken a form worse than it was 5 years ago.

This time, MC Shimla’s plan for a monkey park is the latest assurance to the citizens and the tourists in Shimla. However, it is obvious that Tutikandi forests are very near to the main town, and it would need fences higher than the trees to keep the monkeys from hopping into residential areas. Further, in number, one hectare is not going to accommodate much. Let’s see, how much the plan appeals to the government.

Madan has studied English Literature and Journalism from HP University and lives in Shimla. He is an amateur photographer and has been writing on topics ranging from environmental, socio-economic, development programs, education, eco-tourism, eco-friendly lifestyle and to green technologies for over 9 years now. He has an inclination for all things green, wonderful and loves to live in solitude. When not writing, he can be seen wandering, trying to capture the world around him in his DSLR lens.

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Shimla-Based IT Start-Up Scaling Global Market in Short Span of Time

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Shimla-A youth from a small town of the Mandi district – Sarkaghat- started as a freelancer and went on to launch his own start-up in 2014. By 2021, the start-up grew into a company that has garnered international clients  and also designed and developed websites and web apps for several Departments of the Himachal Pradesh Government.   

Netgen IT Solutions Pvt Ltd- a young agile company- has, so far, developed websites for the Department of Information Technology,  Women & Child Development, Rope & Rapid Transport Development Corporation, HP Milk Federation Cooperation,  and the HP AIDS Control Society.

Besides, it also developed  HimSuraksha Abhiyan App (National Health Mission) and the website of the Department of Tourism & Civil Aviation along with a  Services Portal.

Further, the website of the Department of Information & Public Relations and the single window system was also developed by NetGen.

Having developed over 2500 websites, Netgen IT Solutions has an imprint of having worked for clients spread over 25 countries in Europe, America, Asia and Australia.

Bootstrapped as a Start-Up on 7th July 2014, the company has evolved to offer a diverse set of services for web, e-commerce and mobile solutions that have enabled Global and Indian business to adapt to a Digital First environment. In seven years, this Shimla-based company has carved out a niche for itself.

The company started with a small team of just four people, and today it employs strong-heeled 25 IT professionals. The skillset of web developers, designers, networking specialists, social media marketers and others is expanding with the growth of the company.

To mark the NetGen Foundation Day, the company hosted a live inter-action of the team members with some clients to understand the need for future technologies and solutions for a fast-changing business environment in the shadow COVID pandemic.

Mr Rajneesh Rana, Founder and Managing Director of the company, is a computer science graduate. Speaking about the company’s journey, Rana’s says, “Stepping out from working as a freelancer at the small township of Sarkhaghat, in Himachal Pradesh, to launching a start-up company, was my first step in entrepreneurship. The company was founded on a shoe-string budget with a small capital outlay. After overcoming the initial hesitancy, we’re on the firmer ground today.”

With the growth in demand for IT Services, the company in the initial year faced manpower shortages. The management took to train and equip freshers in a mentorship program to meet its needs for IT Professionals and also to equip others to find gainful employment elsewhere. Netgen till date has trained over 50 freshers with essential and advanced IT skills. Most of them for the first time in their careers got exposure to the IT Industry.

The company’s IT Technical Team today is professionally equipped to work in 20+ technologies that can be deployed across a vast network of industries. 

The Netgen team of IT professionals has expanded the services that the company now provides. A multitude of projects employing creative website design-development; customised software products; e-Commerce solutions; server administration – web security – networking services; mobile application design – development; social media marketing; stand completed.

“There is a growing demand for many other IT and IT-enabled services that the company has successfully delivered for Global and Indian clients,” said Rajneesh. 

“Since the breakout of the COVID pandemic, the demand for online services has increased. It created an environment that demands moving things onto digital platform, bringing more opportunities for the IT sector ,” added Rajneesh.  

“Take the case of the Government of Himachal Pradesh, India. To secure baseline health data of the over 70 lakh residents in the state and to prepare effective strategies for countering the spread of the pandemic in challenging hilly terrain, the state government needed a simple but effective IT-enabled solution to capture the data as fast as possible,” he said.   

“The ‘Him Suraksha Abhiyan’ application designed and developed by NetGen IT Solutions was used by thousands of teams spread under 2300+ sub-centres. In just over a month, the software solution created successfully captured the data of over 68 lakh residents of Himachal Pradesh,” he added.

The 70:30 Percent (%) Global – Domestic revenue stream of Netgen has prepared the company to expand both its export and domestic service portfolios, said Rajneesh. 

Mr Ravinder Makhaik, Director of the company says, “growing steadily, Netgen is a debt-free, profit-making company. A healthy mix of domestic and international businesses, with sound financials, gives the company strength to take up more challenging projects. Our portfolio of government projects is making good progress.”

Founded as a 1 lakh authorized capital company and with annual revenues rising at a 25 % compounded annual growth rate, the Netgen Board of Directors has decided to expand the authorized capital of the company to Rs 10 lakh to meet future growth needs.

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Who is IPS Gaurav Singh, the Officer in News for Slapping CM Jairam’s Security Personnel

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Kullu-Superintendent of Police, Kullu, Gaurav Singh became a national sensation after he allegedly slapped the security personnel of Chief Minister Jairam Thakur on Wednesday. The incident occurred outside Bhuntar Airport where the Chief Minister had come to welcome Nitin Gadkari, Minister, Road Transport & Highway, who is on a five day visit to Kullu.

Also Read:  IPS Gaurav Singh and CM’s Security Personnel Exchange Slaps & Kicks, Video Goes Viral, Inquiry Ordered

The incident, where SP Kullu is first seen slapping a security official of CM’s convoy, ASP, Brijesh Sood, and another security official kicking Gaurav Singh afterwards, was shared widely on social media and has garnered a lot of criticism. This incident has created curiosity among the people to know more about the IPS officer who was once termed as the Singham of Himachal Pradesh.

At that time, IPS Gaurav Singh had also been in news for being the youngest serving IPS in the state. He has been in news for his extraordinary work ethics often and has an impression of an honest and fearless officer. A 2013 batch IPS officer Gaurav Singh was born on 1 July 1990 in Agra. He has earlier served as the ASP Shimla, Baddi, Kangra and Solan, before assuming his duties in Kullu.

Gaurav Singh is widely known in Himachal Pradesh for his exceptional case solving skills. He, as ASP Shimla in 2015, had solved the infamous (Boileauganj) blind murder. In 2017, he was awarded the prestigious Disc Award by then DGP Sanjay Kumar for solving the murder case and for his good working culture and behavior.

Also Read: Himachal’s Singham is back in Baddi – hub of drug and mining mafia

IPS Gaurav Singh was also praised for solving 177 cases of illegal excavation in Baddi and imposing a fine of 26 Lakh rupees. Similarly,  he had also busted 13 cases of illicit drug and 75 cases of illicit liquor manufacturing.  Gaurav was then transferred under alleged political pressure by Virbhadra government. He served for a period of 7 months in that office.

Also Read: Baddi’s Singham – IPS Gaurav Singh slapped with transfer orders for standing against mining and drug mafia

Other than his exceptional case solving skills, Gaurav is also known for his strict work ethics. He had taken action against 26 police and home guard officials, out of which 22 were from Lahaul-Spiti and 4 from Baddi. As ASP Solan, Gaurav Singh had solved cases of ATM cash theft, chain snatching, and two murder cases. He challaned the tipper of  ex-Congress MLA’s wife in relation to illegal mining. He was transferred immediately to Kangra following alleged political pressure from the Doon MLA. 

Following the Buntar incident, Gaurav was transferred to the Range office Kullu. DGP Sanjay Kundu is conducting an inquiry into the matter. He has sent two Chief Minister’s security personnel, involved in the incident, on compulsory leave till the inquiry is complete.

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No Dialysis at Tanda Medical College; No Nephrologist, Machine Dysfunctional, Patients from Five Districts Left in Lurch

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Tanda Medical college dialysis facility

Kangra: Amid regular press statements of Chief Minister Jairam Thakur led Himachal Pradesh Government over its consistent efforts to improve the state’s health infrastructure, media reports have been highlighting facts contrary to these statements.

According to a report published in Hindi daily, Covid-19 patients with kidney-related medical conditions from Hamirpur, Mandi, Una, Kangra and Chamba are left in the lurch. The report said that these patients have no nearby options as none of the hospitals in the above mentioned five districts have dialysis facility for Covid patients. These patients are either referred to IGMC, Shimla, or PGI, Chandigarh. Also, the report says, the multi-specialty Hospital Tanda Medical College does not offer dialysis to kidney patients. Dharamshala hospital is unable to offer dialysis to Covid positive kidney patients as it lacks ventilator support.

The report cited a reference of a local who alleged that his mother, who was on dialysis, was admitted to a hospital in Nurpur. She was referred to Tanda Medical College where she tested positive. He said the hospital told him that they don’t offer dialysis facility. He was told that dialysis is performed at Dharamshala. But the hospital in Dharamshala lacked ventilator support for covid patients. The mother died while the son tried to arrange dialysis outside the state. The son said his mother would have survived if she could receive timely dialysis.

Dr. Bhanu Awasthi, the principal of the College, told the daily that Tanda Medical College does not have a Nephrologist and the available dialysis machine is not functional. The hospital has been requesting the government to fill the vacant post, he said. G.D Gupta, CMO Kangra, confirmed that patients in the district have died as they could not receive dialysis treatment because the hospitals in the district don’t have dialysis facilities for COVID patients.

Another report published in an English daily highlight the plight of cancer patients who are deprived of their chemotherapy session, posing threat to their lives.

The report says that various hospitals in the state were converted into Covid-19 treatment centres, and patients suffering from other severe illnesses were not receiving treatment in the districts of the lower Himachal Pradesh. Cancer patients in Kangra have alleged that they are not receiving treatment at Tanda Medical College which they fear could be life-threatening.
The report said Tanda Medical College is the only hospital with a facility for cancer treatment in the lower Himachal which was converted into a Covid hospital. The super-speciality wing of the hospital which caters to cancer, cardio and neuro patients has remained closed since last month. This is causing a delay in the completion of chemotherapy sessions.

Dr Bhanu Awasthi told  the daily that the treatment was suspended temporarily due to a surge in Covid cases. He said that patients who require immediate chemotherapy can go to Indira Gandhi Medical College. He said the cases in Kangra district were coming down and if the situation improves, they will be able to open the super specialty wing soon.

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