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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

COVID19 Update: With 18 New Cases, Himachal Crosses 300 Mark, 24 Recovers in One Day

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Shimla– May 30 brought good news and bad news for Himachal Pradesh. The good news is that 24 patients recovered in one day, and bad news is that new COVID-19 cases continue to appear. According to the COVID-19 bulletin (9:00 PM) issued by the Health Department for May 30, 18 new cases were reported from Hamirpur, Kangra, Solan, and Una. Now, the tally has risen to 313, of which 197 are active.

From yesterday’s cases, six cases were reported from Hamirpur, five from Kangra, four Una, and three from Solan.

In Hamirpur, the persons who tested positive belong to Neri, Kangu, Badsar, Naduan, and Tareri areas. All had returned from Delhi and Punjab. The total for Hamirpur has now reached 107, of which 78 cases are active, 28 have recovered, and one has died.

In Kangra, the patients were identified as residents of Dehra, Palampur, and Lambagaon. Three of these four persons had returned from Delhi and one from Gurugram.

In Solan, the 11-year-old son of a woman who had tested positive earlier also tested positive. Two other persons who had returned from Delhi also tested positive.

In Una, four residents of Bangana area, who had returned from Mumbai, tested positive for COVID-19.

District-Wise COVID-19 Cases in Himachal Pradesh Till May 30, 2020 (9:00 PM)

Corona cases in himachal pradesh on may 30

Further, on Saturday, a total of 1692 samples were tested, of which 1262 were found to be negative and reports of 422 samples were still awaited.

From June 1, the State Government has decided to re-open intra-state public transport without permits. Several guidelines have been issued for bus stand authorities, bus driver and conducts, and passengers. However, making people follow so many guidelines including regular sanitization and social distancing would be a mammoth task for the State Government. Besides, it’s to be seen what effect it cast on the rate of appearance of new cases in the State.

Click to Read All Guidelines Issued For Passengers, Staff, and Authorities. 

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All Activities, Religious Places, Shopping Malls, Restaurants Outside Containment Zones to Re-Open from June 8

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New MHA Guidelines for lockdown from June 1, 2020

New Delhi- Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) issued new guidelines to fight COVID-19 and for phased re-opening of areas outside the Containment Zones, today.  The guidelines would come into effect from June 1, 2020, and would be effective till June 30, 2020.  The current phase of re-opening, Unlock 1, will have an economic focus. The new guidelines have been issued based on extensive consultations held with States and UTs. 

A strict lockdown was imposed throughout the country since March 24, 2020.  All activities were prohibited except for essential activities. Subsequently, in a graded manner and keeping the overarching objective of containing the spread of COVID-19 in view, the lockdown measures have been relaxed.

Note: The below given notification issued by the MHA has been published with no or little editing by Himachal Watcher 

Salient features of the new guidelines

Lockdown measures would continue to be implemented strictly in the containment zones. These will be demarcated by the State/ UT Governments, after taking into consideration the guidelines issued by the Health Ministry. Within the containment zones, strict perimeter control shall be maintained and only essential activities allowed. 

All activities that were prohibited earlier would be opened up in areas outside Containment Zones in a phased manner, with the stipulation of following Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), to be prescribed by the Health Ministry:

 

Phase I (permitted to open from June 8, 2020)

  • Religious places and places of worship for the public;
  • Hotels, restaurants and other hospitality services; and
  • Shopping malls. 

Health Ministry would issue SOPs for the above activities, in consultation with the Central Ministries/ Departments concerned and other stakeholders, for ensuring social distancing and to contain the spread of COVID-19.

Phase II

Schools, colleges, educational/ training/ coaching institutions etc., will be opened after consultations with States and UTs.  State Governments/ UT administrations are being advised to hold consultations at the institution level with parents and other stakeholders.  Based on the feedback, a decision on the re-opening of these institutions will be taken in July 2020.  MoHFW will prepare SOP for these institutions. 

A limited number of activities to remain prohibited throughout the country

  • International air travel of passengers;
  • Operation of Metro Rail; 
  • Cinema halls, gymnasiums, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres, bars and auditoriums, assembly halls and similar places; and,
  • Social/ political/ sports/ entertainment/ academic/ cultural/ religious functions/ and other large congregations. 
  • Dates for the opening of the above activities would be decided in Phase III, based on an assessment of the situation. 

Unrestricted Movement of Persons and Goods

  • No restriction on inter-State and intra-State movement of persons and goods.  No separate permission/ approval/ e-permit would be required for such movements.
  • However, if a State/ UT, based on reasons of public health and its assessment of the situation, proposes to regulate the movement of persons, it would give wide publicity in advance regarding the restrictions to be placed on such movement, and the related procedures to be followed. 

Night curfew would continue to remain in force, on the movement of individuals, for all non-essential activities.  However, the revised timings of the curfew will be from 9 pm to 5 am. 

National Directives for COVID-19 management would continue to be followed throughout the country, to ensure social distancing.    

States to decide on activities outside Containment Zones

States and UTs, based on their assessment of the situation, may prohibit certain activities outside the Containment zones or impose such restrictions, as deemed necessary. 

Protection for vulnerable persons

Vulnerable persons, i.e., persons above 65 years of age, persons with co-morbidities, pregnant women, and children below the age of 10 years, are advised to stay at home, except for meeting essential requirements and for health purposes.

Use of Aarogya Setu

The Aarogya Setu mobile application is a powerful tool built by Government of India to facilitate quick identification of persons infected by COVID-19, or at risk of being infected, thus acting as a shield for individuals and the community.  To ensure safety, various authorities are advised to encourage the use of the application.

Click to Read Complete Notification Issued by MHA on May 30, 2020

 

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Bus Services in Himachal Resumed, Read All Directions for Passengers, Staff, Management

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Himachal Pradesh bus Service from june 1

Shimla– The Department of Transport, Himachal Pradesh, has issued notification confirming nod to restoring public transport within the State from June 1, 2020. The transport services would be allowed only between 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM. The buses are allowed to ply with a maximum of 60 per cent seating capacity to maintain social distancing. The District Magistrate and Superintendent of Police have been directed to provide adequate police force for crowd management

General directions have been issued for the staff and passengers.

GENERAL CONDITIONS: –

  1. The District Magistrate and Superintendent of Police shall provide adequate police force for crowd management and law & order maintenance at all bus stands.
  2. All Stage Carriage buses (except AC buses) shall operate on their respective routes.
  3. To maintain social distancing and avoid overcrowding in above-said buses, the occupancy shall be maintained at no more than 60%.
  4. All passengers shall wear masks from the time of boarding till alighting from the bus.
  5. Driver, conductor and passengers should undergo self-monitoring for flu-like symptoms and in case any symptom appears, then she/ he shall report the same to the nearest health institutions.
  6. The buses shall be sanitized completely in the late evening hours or early morning before plying on their routes. The critical areas/touch points in the bus must be sanitized, periodically during the day.
  7. All safety protocols of the Health Department shall be followed by driver, conductor and passengers.
  8. No standing passengers shall be allowed in the buses during the journey.
  9. No e-pass shall be required for inter and intra district movement. However, for inter-state journey passengers must have e-pass issued by the District Magistrate.
  10. The Gram Panchayat/Municipal Committee shall render all possible assistance to the private operators and HRTC for boarding and lodging arrangement as and when demanded.

PROTOCOL FOR BUS STAND, BUSES AND STAFF: –

(a) At Bus Stand

  1. The entry/exit points shall be managed jointly by the team of District Administration, Health and Police department to ensure health check-up, screening and maintenance of Law & Order.
  1. Aarogya Setu App status would be checked preferably (for compatible device only) to ensure that passenger is free of COVID-19 symptoms. Passenger with “Red” status in AarogyaSetu App would not be permitted to travel.
  2. Only passenger(s) shall be allowed to enter the bus stand through single-entry point.
  3. Every toilet shall be sanitized and must have soap dispenser.
  4. HRTC shall ensure availability of masks, hand sanitizers at bus stands and their price shall  all be regulated the Regional Manager
  1. Bus Stand Management and Development Authority shall ensure adequate signages to guide the passengers.
  2. Public announcement system at bus shall regularly disseminate information about the precautions to be followed during travel.
  3. Physical distance of at least one meter shall be ensured while boarding and de-boarding.
  4. Proper queue system should be followed during boarding and at the ticket counter.
  5. Anyone moving inside the bus stand shall mandatorily wear the face cover.
  6. Adequate bins shall be placed for disposal of used material like etc. All such waste to be handled and disposed of as per the prescribed procedures.
  7. HRTC shall ensure that person sitting at cash counters be provided with adequate safety protective gears like gloves, masks, face cover, face shields, hand sanitizers etc.

 

(b). Inside the bus (passenger protocol)

  1. All passengers shall wear mask/face cover throughout the journey and ensure that co-passenger shall also wear masks.
  2. Passengers must use hand sanitizers regularly during their journey for their safety.
  3. It shall be ensured that only 60% of seats are occupied and seats marked as “Not to be used” are left vacant.
  4. Avoid unnecessary touching of common contact points.
  5. Avoid travelling in case of any illness. In case of emergency and illness, inform to the conductor for maintaining physical distancing during the journey.
  6. In case of any symptoms of illness of co-passenger, the information shall be provided to crew members of the bus.

 

(c). Bus protocol

  1. Boarding and de-boarding in the bus shall be from the rear and front door respectively. 
  2. A sticker shall be pasted on seats marked as “Not to be used”. 
  3. Every alternate seat shall be left unoccupied i.e. in case of three seats, middle seats, shall be left unoccupied and in case of two seats, only window seat shall be occupied. 
  4. While issuing the tickets, the conductor shall avoid physical contact with the passengers and maintain proper physical distance.
  5. Passenger must assist the driver/conductor to maintain 60% occupancy. 
  6. Proper ventilation must be maintained during the journey by opening the window glasses. 
  7. Buses shall be stopped for boarding and de-boarding on the designated bus stands/stops only. 
  8. Stage Carriage buses can pass through containment zones, however, boarding and de-boarding of passenger(s) shall be strictly prohibited within containment zones.
  9. Regional Manager, HRTC shall ensure that the proper hygiene and cleanliness is maintained at authorized Dhabas for passenger’s safety, which are to be notified by the District Magistrate.

(d) Conductor

  1. He shall wear mask/face cover, gloves and face shield throughout the journey.
  2. While issuing tickets, he/she shall ensure physical distancing from the passengers.
  3. He shall not allow passenger(s) to be seated on the seat marked as “Not to be used”. 
  4. He shall educate passenger(s) about the protocol to be followed during the journey and ensure that all safety precautions are adhered to by the all concerned. 
  5. He shall ensure proper ventilation in the bus.

(e) Driver

  1. HRTC/Private operators shall ensure proper segregation of a separate cabin for the driver.  He shall ensure minimum contact with the passengers and the public.
  2. He shall use protective gears like masks/face cover hand sanitizers etc.

 

(f) Way Side Amenities protocol

1, Proper sanitization and cleanliness must be ensured in the dining area, kitchen and toilets at Dhabas/restaurants.

2. Every Dhaba/restaurant must have sanitised for public use.

3. Soap dispenser must be available in the toilet and each washbasin.

4.Seating arrangement in the dining area must be such that proper physical distancing be maintained.

Any violation of these orders will be subject to prosecution under relevant provisions of the National Disaster Management Act 2005, the Motor Vehicle Act 1988 and such other laws as may apply.

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