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Geltus to replace sleepers : TS Bharmouri

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Thakur Singh Bharmouri

Thakur Singh Bharmouri

The HP State Forest Department was considering to formulate a policy of auctioning the felled/grounded trees by chopping them into ‘Geltus’ (round logs) said Forest Minister, Thakur Singh Bharmouri while speaking in a function organized by the HP Rangers Association and HP Forester Association at hotel Peterhoff, late last evening.

The felicitation function was organized to honour the Forest Minister for achievements and contribution in Political and Social fields, as recognized by the Indian International Friendship Society, a voluntary organization with a committee of renowned journalists, bureaucrats, army officers of highest rank, Members of Parliament, Economists etc.

The Minister said that instead of cutting the trees and converting them into sleepers and thereafter bringing them to the sale depots of corporations which were located at quite a distance from the jungles, a policy was under consideration for nearby roadside auction of the ‘Geltus’ (round logs and not sleepers) at the spot only which would not only save the excess labour costs but would also save the corporation from the transportation, and other charges.

Bharmouri said that the department had decided to honour the forest officers and officials for meritorious service on the pattern of Police department, henceforth, adding that the department was more concerned about illicit tree felling and gave clear directions to the officers and officials that no illicit felling of the trees to be allowed in their beat areas.

The Minister said that Forest Check Posts (FCP’s) which were closed during the BJP regime would be re-opened. He said that the forest department had also decided to fence the boundaries with the cement poles rather than wooden ones. Besides, the Government has decided to export the remaining excess timber after it fulfills the needs of the people of the State.

He said that the criteria for the selection of the Guards had been made easier with few changes in the recruitment pattern and the age bar for applying for the Guards have been enhanced to 28 years, which was 27 years, earlier. This would also benefit most of the unemployed youth of the State, said he.

He said that the forest cover had increased in the State by 4 percent and 66.5 percent of the total area of the State was under the forest cover as per State of Forest Report-2013, published by forest Survey of India .

“My dream now is to see Himachal Growing Green and forest area to increase more in times to come”, said Bharmouri, adding that it was due to the initiatives of Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh who during the time of former Prime Minister, late Smt Indira Gandhi, took a pledge to wipe out forest mafia from the State and since then the Chief Minister had left no stone unturned in making eco friendly policies and protecting the forest wealth of the Pradesh.

The Minister assured to the demands regarding the transfer policy of the Deputy Rangers and the Forest guards and credited the award he got to the employees of the department and the corporation.

Speaking on the occasion, Vice-Chairman Forest Corporation, Kewal Singh Pathania said that the department had00088 initiated several measures in the interests of its employees and had appointed 205 Forests Guards in the present tenure of the Government. Besides, 18 Rangers, 75 clerks and more forest guards would be appointed in near future. Apart from this 36 daily wagers were regularized in the department.

He said that the appropriate measures had been adopted to fight forest fires. The decision taken to restore the Timber Distribution (TD) rights was indeed a historical decision which was going to benefit many people of the State, added he.

Misc News/Press Release

Himachal Lost 408 Human Lives, 207 Animals in Winter Season Alongwith Extensive Horticultural, Agricultural Damages

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winter season loss in himachal pradesh 2019

Shimla-Himachal Pradesh suffered major loss and damage in the winter season due to heavy snowfall, avalanches, landslides, hailstorms, and heavy rains. Between January 1 to March 31, 2019. The state lost as many as 408 human lives and 207 animal lives. Similarly, 1346 houses, 9516 water supply schemes were damaged, 30,921 electricity lines were disrupted, 10,260 LT electrical poles were damaged. Besides, 13,733-kilometre roads length and 377-hectare horticulture crop area was affected during the period.

Chief Secretary B.K. Agarwal, who chaired a meeting of the Inter-Ministerial Central Team (IMCT) on Friday, released this information. The Team was on the three-day visit to the State to assess the damages and losses occurred during winter season-2019 in the State.

Based on this assessment, the State has submitted a memorandum of loss and damages to the government of India amounting to Rs. 374.21 crore.

The State suffered damage to the horticulture and agriculture sector to the tune of 0.54 crore, animal husbandry Rs. 0.19 crore, fishery 0.015 crores, housing Rs. 10.46 crore, community assets Rs. 2.50 crore, forest Rs. 6.78 crore, Public works department Rs. 242.27 crore, IPH Rs. 43.97 crore and Power Rs. 51.17 crore. Besides Rs. 16.32 crore have been distributed as ex-gratia for human lives lost during the calamities in the winter season, informed Director-cum-Special Secretary, HP Disaster Management Authority D.C Rana.

The IMCT team headed by Joint Secretary, KB Singh from Freedom Fighters Rehabilitation department assessed the damages at various places in Shimla, Kinnaur, Chamba, Kullu and Mandi districts.

The other members if the IMCT were Director (Horticulture) Dr. M.N. Singh, Director (Expenditure) S.C. Meena, Deputy Director (Ministry of Rural Development), Deputy Director from Rural Development SS Modi, Director, Central Water Commission OP Gupta, Deputy Director, Power OP Suman, Regional Officer, Road Transport and Highways Vipnesh Sharma.

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Shimla-Rash Private Bus Driver Allegedly Rams Bus Loaded With Passengers Into a Parked Tipper

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Private Bus Accident in Shimla due to rash driving

Shimla-Private bus operators of Shimla are already infamous for rash driving and racing with each other, competing over timings. Several accidents and incidents of rash driving have been reported in the past as well. However, the laxity of the district administration and the police continue to encourage them to carry on with their death races.  

In yet another such incident, driver of a private bus ‘Rajendra’ rammed the bus loaded with passengers into a tipper parked on the roadside near BCS in Shimla City on Saturday evening. Fortunately, except a couple of passengers who received minor injuries, no one was hurt. The collision crushed the front part of the tipper. No one was present inside the tipper when the incident took place.

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While the driver cited mechanical fault ( broken axle) as a reason for the accident, the passengers narrated a different story. The passengers could be seen telling the police that the driver was driving very rashly right from the Old ISBT. Several passengers asked the driver repeatedly to not drive rashly. The driver and the conductor, the passengers said, did not listen at all. Rather, they told passengers that it’s not a big deal and nothing would happen.

The passengers also complained that the driver and conductor were continuously passing obscene remarks to drivers of other vehicles including tourist vehicles. They also alleged the driver appeared to be under the influence of some intoxicating substance.

On the other hand, instead of apologizing to the passengers, the driver was seen arguing with them in the presence of the police. While the driver of the bus and tipper arrived at a mutual compromise, the injured passengers were not taken for medical examination, and simply sent to fetch medicines from nearby chemist.

The passenger also complained that the police took their statements, which were not recorded, lightly.

The accident has again exposed how laxity on the part of the district administration and the traffic police is turning private bus operators into a mafia. This mafia doesn’t care for traffic rules or the lives of the passengers.

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Bilaspur – Girl Kidnapped, Molested, Then Thrown Out of Vehicle, Two Suspects Nabbed

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Bilaspur Kidnapping Case

Bilaspur-Safety of females in Himachal Pradesh is again in question as a case of attempted kidnapping and molestation was reported from Bilaspur district on past Wednesday.

As per the police, a girl, who is a student, got off a Himachal Pradesh Road Transport Corporation (HRTC) bus near College Chowk in Roura Sector at approximately 9 PM on Wednesday. She was walking towards her home in Diara Sector when two men forcibly dragged her inside a white car taking advantage of darkness as power supply was disrupted due to stormy conditions.  The girl tried to escape but was overcome by the men.

When they tried to molest her, the girl began to shout loudly. The kidnappers then threw her out of the vehicle and sped away. The girl informed her parents about the incident, who then reached the police station and filed a complaint.

The Superintendent of Police, Bilaspur, Ashok Verma, confirmed the report. He informed that a case has been filed for kidnapping and molestation. Based on the statement of the girl and CCTV footage, two suspects were arrested on the following day. On Friday, these suspects were produced in the court. The court has sent them to judicial custody till July 17.

Considering the sensitivity of the case, the SP said he would himself monitor the investigation.

Both of the arrested suspects were said to be sanitation workers employed with the town’s Municipal Council. After receiving permission from the court, an identification parade would be conducted.  No further details of suspects were released.

   

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