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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.

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CM Jairam Thakur Tests Positive for COVID-19, Quarantined

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HImachal Pradesh CM Tests Positive for COVID-19

Shimla-Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh, Jairam Thakur, have tested positive for COVID-19 and has been quarantined at his official residence. The report was confirmed by the Chief Minister through a tweet in which he informed that he was under quarantine at his residence after coming into contact with a COVID-19 positive person. On the appearance of symptoms, he got himself tested and the report was found to be positive, he informed.

According to the initial report, the Chief Minister had come in contact with some COVID-19 positive persons in Manali. MLA of Banjar, Surinder Shourie, who was positive for COVID-19 had participated in the event organized on the occasion of the inauguration of Rohtang Tunnel, had also tested positive. Shourie had spent the entire day with the Chief Minister, reports said.

His private secretary had also tested positive, and there are chances that the Chief Minister might have contracted the infection from him. However, there is no certainty regarding the contact who infected the Chief Minister.

Other than Chief Minister, three Cabinet ministers – Urban Development Minister Suresh Bharadwaj, Power Minister Sukh Ram Chaudhary, Jalshakti Minister Mahender Singh- have tested positive so far.  Over ten MLAs have already tested positive and some of them have recovered too.

Meanwhile, despite community spread, the testing and tracing seem to have fallen and the fatality rate has witnessed a steep rise. Till 12 pm today, the COVID-19 death tally for the state was 245, and the total number of cases registered was 17414. But these are official statistics and these numbers are likely to be much higher. 

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Himachal: COVID-19 Kills 59 in 9 Days, Govt Still Clueless About Actual Number of Cases

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Himachal PRadesh Jairam Thakur

Shimla-COVID-19 continue to wreak havoc in Himachal Pradesh as the death tally spirals upward rapidly. Currently, 240 people have lost their lives due to COVID-19. Fifty nine of these deaths have been reported during the last nine days of October month, which is quite alarming. But contrary to that, the attitude of the state government, as well as, the public is becoming more casual. The SOPs issued by the government are hardly being followed anywhere. The fact that with the community spread, the cases of COVID-19 are falling in the official information released by the state Health Department.

On October 9, the Department traced only 199 cases but reported seven deaths. The total number of active cases was cited to be 2856. The deceased included three females and four males aged between 49 -75 years. View details of the deceased in the below-given table:

Shimla-covid-19 deaths in himachal pradesh

The total number of cases, as per the official statistics, had reached 16977 till yesterday evening (9 PM). But these are official statistics and the real number is likely to be much higher due to a community spread. Similarly, the actual number of COVID-19 deaths could be higher than the official statistics. Despite it, the state government is reluctant to release any projection regarding the real numbers. No statements have been issued regarding the current situation and strategy to combat the rising fatality rate. Rather, the state appears to be refraining from bringing up the matter.

The oppositions, HP Congress and CPI (M), are targeting the government over its failure to combat the spread of COVID-19. However, this opposition is quite feeble and hasn’t resulted in any reforms in the attitude of the government.

In a statement to media, Sanjay Chauhan, former Mayor of Shimla and a senior CPI (M) leader, said that the rise in fatalities is the result of the government’s lackadaisical attitude. The suicide committed by a positive patient at the DDU COVID-19 hospital is evidence of it, he said. He said this approach has endangered health lives of ministers, officials, and the staff at their offices. Further, he said, health staff, paramedical staff, and police staff are getting infected, and even losing lives due to the government’s unpreparedness.  The government had even compromised the safety of the Prime Minister and Education Minister by violating norms set regarding COVID-19, he said.

HP Congress chief, Kuldeep Rathor also expressed shock over the presence of COVID-19 positive MLA of Banjar, Surender Shourie, in the event organized for the PM. He alleged that by violating all norms, the MLA concealed information regarding his COVID-19 positive status and did not quarantine himself, which reflects the state government’s attitude toward management of the corona pandemic. He had demanded registration of an FIR against Shourie and action against erring officials.

Sanjay Chauhan, further said that the government did not prepare itself to combat the pandemic the way it was expected to. The people of the state had followed the lockdown and sacrificed their livelihood with a hope that the government would prepare itself during this period to combat the spread and to strengthen the health infrastructure and services. But instead, the government indulged itself in making people clap and beat ‘thalis’.  The Chief Minister adopted and preached unscientific practices like performing a ‘havan’.  Despite a steep rise in fatalities, the government is still not serious about the situation, he said. 

He said the CPI (M) demands that the government starts working on war footing to prepare a strategy by involving health experts, strengthening the health services by recruiting doctors, para-medical and other staff, and constitute a task force to deal with the situation. The government should work diligently on following the norms set for prevention from COVID-19, he added.  

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Shocker for Himachal as Ex-CBI Chief & Governor Ashwani Kumar Found Dead at His Shimla Residence

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Himachal IPS Officer Ashwani Kumar found deat in shimla

Shimla-Ashwani Kumar – 1973 IPS officer from Himachal Pradesh cadre who had served as the Director-General of HP Police (2006-2008) and CBI chief (August 2008 to November 2010), and was later appointed the Governor of Nagaland in 2013-was found dead at his residence in Shimla on Wednesday evening. The news came as a shocker as Kumar was considered as one of India’s finest and honest officers.

Superintendent of Police, Shimla, Mohit Chawala, in statement to news agencies, confirmed the report. According to the initial report, he reportedly hanged himself and ended his life. However, no formal statement was issued regarding the suicide. According to the police, a suicide note was also recovered from the spot. However, the note was yet to be verified.

Kumar was a well known name as he had dealt with famous cases including that of Arushi Talwar murder and fake encounter of Sohrabuddin Sheikh in which current Home Minister Amit Shah was arrested in 2010.

He was one of the first appointees made to resign from the post of Governor, Nagaland, as soon as the current ruling party came into power in 2014. He also remained Governor of Manipur for a short period of time. After his retirement, Kumar was serving as the Vice-Chancellor of a private university in Shimla.

The officials who have served under Aswani Kumar have expressed shock over his demise in such a manner. 

Director-General of Police, Sanjay Kundu, and a team of medical staff was rushed to the spot. More details are awaited as the district police have not issued any formal statement regarding the incident.

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