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Misc News/Press Release

Lantana weed affects biodiversity in 1800 sq km area in HP





The Lantana weed has affected biodiversity in over 1,800 sq km of forest lands in Himachal Pradesh as per a survey of Forest department, the assembly was informed today.

To root out the exotic shrub, a cut root stock method has been adopted under which foliage fodder is replanted after clearing the weed, Forest Minister Thakur Singh Bharmouri said in a written reply.

From 2009-2013 the weed was removed from 6,305 hectares of forest land and the government targeted to clear 5000 hectares of forest land of Lantana weed during 2013-14, he said.

According to a report published by the Forest Survey of India in 2005, the hill state has 14,752 sq km of forest area of which only 1,097 sq km area was covered under dense forests.

In reply to another question related to Trout Breeding Farm, the Forest minister said every possible effort was being made to encourage trout fish farming in the state.

He said state government would study pattern of fish farming being followed by other states in the country. “If it is found necessary, state government would take steps to include fisheries in the agriculture sector”.

Maheshwar Singh (HLP) raised the demand to include fisheries in the agriculture sector so that people engaged in this activity could avail benefits of various subsidised schemes.

He also raised the demand of increasing the rates of trout fish by Rs 100 per kilogramme.

Asha Kumar (Cong) demanded reopening of the old Trout Breeding Farm at Bhandal in Chamba.

The minister said the fisheries department was exploring the possibility of leasing out this trout rearing unit to some private entrepreneur.

Irrigation and Public health minister Vidya Stokes told Kuldeep Kumar (Cong) that the Detailed Project Report worth Rs 598.72 crore of phase four of Swan River Channelisation sent in November 2009 was yet to get clearance from the Central Water Commission of GoI.-PTI

Misc News/Press Release

Bat deaths in Himachal not due to Nipah Virus, Don’t panic: Govt



Nipah virus in Himachal Pradesh

Shimla: To put an end to the rumours of Nipah virus outbreak in Himachal Pradesh after dead bats were found in Sirmaur a couple of days ago and then in Mandi district on Friday, the State Government today issued a statement asking people not to panic about it.

Apart from the outbreak of Nipah Virus in two districts of Kerala State no information regarding its spread has been reported from any other part of Himachal as well as the country, stated Additional Chief Secretary, Health B.K. Agarwal in a meeting held here today.

He said that only fruit bats (flying fox) have been found carrying this virus. These types of bats are found in the coastal regions of the county.

Therefore, there is no possibility of Nipah Virus in the bats found in Himachal Pradesh.

He said that the bats reported having died in the state were not due to the virus as these species do not die by Nipah Virus.

Agarwal said that a few days back samples from dead bats in Sirmaur were collected and sent to the National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune for testing and all the samples were reported negative for Nipah Virus.

Additional Chief Secretary has advised people not to panic about the Nipah Virus. He said that all the medical colleges of the State were prepared to deal with the situation if needed.

Officers of Health, Animal husbandry, Forest & Horticulture department were present in the meeting, chaired by Agarwal.

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Misc News/Press Release

Met predicts state-wide rains in Himachal on May 31 and June 1



rain prediction for himachal in 2018

Shimla: As a ray of hope amid acute water-scarcity prevailing in Himachal Pradesh’s various regions including the capital town Shimla, the Meteorological Department, Shimla, has predicted state-wide rain with thunderstorms on May 31 and June 1.

If lucky, four districts including Kangra, Kullu, Mandi, and Shimla can receive a spell of rain on May 29 and 30 too.

With the rains, the people also hope to see a relief from the scorching heat of summer sun and forest fires. The Fire Department is reportedly facing trouble in dousing forest fires due to water scarcity.

As per the Met department, District Bilaspur and Una recorded 41℃ and 43℃ temperature on Saturday.

The farmers in rural areas and the public in towns, both are facing a hard time due to a shortage of water. Shimla town has run into a situation of chaos as the Mayor Kusum Sadret on Friday left for her China visit. The situation is such that the Chief Minister had to call an emergency meeting with Irrigation & Public Health Department to take stock of the situation.

The High Court had also taken cognizance of the media report and directed the Union Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation to provide adequate funds to the State for water-supply schemes worth over Rs. 700 crores.

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400 fire watchers deployed, Rs. 1.75 cr. sanctioned for checking forest fires in Himachal: Forest Minister



Forest fires in himachal pradesh

Shimla: The Forest Minister of Himachal Pradesh Govind Singh Thakur today informed that four hundred fire watchers have been deputed across the State and added that Rs. 1.75 crore has been sanctioned by the GoI for checking and management of fire incidents in the State.

Every year, forest fires in summers turn a large amount of forest wealth to ashes. 

He said that State government has started a new project from this year for management of fire incidents by spending Rs. 1 crore additionally.

He also claimed that with a view to check the number of forest fire incidents in the State, the department implemented an awareness campaign in the month of March which proved effective and a lot of support and cooperation is coming from people in tackling fire incidents.

He said that about 9500 people got connected to the website of Forest Survey of India Dehradun which proved helpful to them in receiving information about fire incidents in their areas.

He said that the department also started a toll-free number for receiving this information. He said that the information regarding fire incidents is coming faster this year as compared to previous years due to these measures and action is being taken instantly.

He urged the people of the State to extend support to the department.

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