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Rs 1464 crore Financial Restructuring Plan of HPSEB Ltd. Approved : CM

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Rs 1464 crore Financial Restructuring Plan of HPSEB Ltd. Approved CM

Rs 1464 crore Financial Restructuring Plan of HPSEB Ltd. Approved CM

The Government has approved Rs 1464 crore Financial Restructuring Plan of the Board and it was committed to provide 24 hours subsidized power to the people of the State as well as to every household in the remotest corner of the State, stated Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, while speaking on the occasion of the 24th General Conference of Himachal Pradesh State Electricity Board Limited Powers Engineers Association at Sundernagar in district Mandi today.

He said that subsidized domestic energy to consumers amounting to Rs 388 crore was being provided to the people of the State, adding that the Government has decided that the power producers would not be required to take no objection certificate from the Irrigation and Public Health Department, PWD, Revenue and Fisheries for setting up hydro projects in the State. He said that this was being done to promote the entrepreneurs to invest in Hydel sector in the State. He said that to promote the private participation in hydel generation sector, five new projects were given to HPSEB Ltd for further allotment to private bidders and the techno-economic clearance for three such projects have been accorded by the Government.

The power engineers should come forward to accept new challenges and continue to work with devotion and dedication so as to contribute in making Himachal a pioneer state in the field of power distribution and production, he asserted. “I want to see HPSEB emerging as a strong and economically vibrant power utility to deliver better service to the people of the State and I assure that my Government would always be there to meet out the genuine demands of the board” said the Chief Minister. He said that Himachal Pradesh had been blessed with 27,432 MW hydel potential and was able to harness 8432 MW of hydro potential in the State and was targeting to exploit 2000 MW of power potential in this fiscal.

Virbhadra Singh said that HPSEB Ltd. have completed targets under ‘Rajeev Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojna’ and ‘Restricted Accelerated Power Development and Reforms Programme’. He said that the 10 MW Ghanvi-II in Shimla district has started generating power and 100 MW Uhl project in Joginder in district Mandi was in the final stage of execution. Both the projects were being commissioned by HPSEB ltd.

The Chief Minister said that the Board is also executing capital expenditure works amounting to Rs 440 crore per annum for improving voltage supplies and to manage increasing load in rural and industrial areas. “I am happy to learn that losses of the Board has been brought down to 14.5% and I hope that the Board will initiate measures to reduce it further to improve the Boards income and functioning” said the Chief Minister.

Virbhadra Singh said that for evacuation of power, the Government was considering to set up 220 KV electricity sub-station at Mandhala in Baddi and 132 KV sub-station at Gaura in district Solan has been recently energized, which would not only improve the reliability of electricity supply in Solan area but would also help in lifting adequate water supply for the people of the town.

Chief Minister said that the Government has allocated the Government share of equity power in Nathpa Jhakri to HPSEB to meet the necessary requirement of the Board and to increase its income. He said that the State Government was committed to take all possible measures to improve the financial health of HPSEB limited. He also advised the Board to take corrective steps to curb the unnecessary expenditure and try to fill functional posts as per the requirement in the fields and professional posts. The pattern of field staff has to be changed and it must be ensured that sufficient numbers of employees are deployed all over the State. He advised them to explore more resources of income generation.

He announced for restoration of one post of Chief Engineer (system Planning).

Chief Minister said that the State was not getting its due share from BBMB which was a major power producer in the State distributing power supply to other States. Many people mainly Bhakra oustees were not rehabilitated till date and were offered land in Rajasthan, Haryana and elsewhere”, he said. The BBMB was withholding the share of the State despite the State has won the case pertaining to its share in the Supreme Court. It is a right-full claim that Himachal Pradesh be a part of BBMB share and we will not accept the step-motherly treatment, he asserted.

He said that engineers were the backbone of the Board and the Government has taken numerous decisions to benefit its employees, During last more than 20 months of its regime as many as 24 Assistant Engineers (electrical) have been appointed besides around 25 more such engineers were being appointed soon.

The Chief Minister directed the Board to fill all the functional posts in the board in a phased manner so that the efficiency of the Board could be enhanced. He said that the Government was also providing timely promotion to the employees of the Board and had also created fresh avenues of promotion to them. He said that about 895 posts of different categories have been created in the Board.

He also released the souvenir on the occasion.

MPP & Power Minister, Sujan Singh Pathania while speaking on the occasion said that the rapid development in power sector has taken place and initially in the year 1971 where there were only 3279 electrified villages, today the State has achieved cent percent electrification target which was a stupendous achievement. He said that a vast network of transmission and distribution lines had been laid in the

State. Initially, it was 8800 kilometers in 1972, and now the length of these lines was 92,869 kilometers. Besides, the energy consumption has also undergone a tremendous growth which stands as one thousand and seventy two units as of date. He said that the Government was allowing preferential allotment of up to 5 MW projects to the bonafide residents of Himachal Pradesh.

Sohan Lal, Chief Parliamentary Secretary also spoke on the occasion.

Earlier, Er Ram Parkash General Secretary of the Association welcomed the Chief Minister and other dignitaries present on the occasion and detailed various demands of the Association.

Health and Revenue Minister Kaul Singh Thakur, Excise and Taxation Minister Parkash Chaudhary, District Congress President Puran Chand, Deputy Commissioner Mandi Sandeep Kadam, Superintending of Police Mohit Chawla, Managing Director HPSEB Ltd Er. P.C. Negi, Director Finance and Administration Akshay Sood, President of the Association Er Rajesh and other dignitaries were present on the occasion.

CM Visits Engineering College site at Sundernagar

Later, Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh visited the construction site of Jawaharlal Nehru Engineering College at Sundernagar.

He directed the authorities to ensure proper architecture of the College building. He also directed them to make adequate provision of playground and other basic infrastructure in the College campus.

Misc News/Press Release

Quarantine Facility for Migrant Labourers Responsibility of Industrialist/Contractor: HP Govt

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Himachal-pradesh-new directions for migrant labourer entry

Shimla-As the relaxation in entry and quarantine rules for migrant labourers seems to be backfiring, the Chief Minister Jairam-led Himachal Pradesh Government has come into a damage control mode. Today, the Government said that it has decided that the industrialists or their contractors in the industrial area would be allowed to bring labourers after due approval of the administration. They would be kept in quarantine as per guidelines issued by the Health Department, it said.  

As per the Government directions, big industrial units will have to create adequate quarantine capacity, whereas small units can pool for creating the quarantine facility. The Industries and Labour and Employment Departments have also been asked to keep a strict vigil on industrial units to follow the SOP issued from time to time in this regard, the Government said.

The directions came following a widespread criticism of recent decision taken by the State Government to allow entry of all including tourists to Himachal with merely registering on an online portal and furnishing a COVID-19 negative test report of an accredited laboratory. Any such person did not require any prior permission and their details were confirmed only on their arrival at the State borders.Also, quarantine rules were relaxed for migrant labourers after industries and apple growers faced a shortage of labour due to the return of these workers to their home states amid corona pandemic. However, with an explosion of COVID-19 cases among workers of factories in the BBN area, the government seems to be backtracking to control it. 

All Persons with ILI Symptoms to be Tested

The Chief Medical Officers have been asked to increase the testing capacity of COVID-19 in their respective districts. Directions have been given that all the persons with ILI symptoms should be invariably tested for COVID-19 besides ensuring proper testing of all the primary and secondary contacts of COVID-19 patients.

Temples to Remain Closed for Now

Given the festive season, the State Government has decided not to open the temples and other religious places in the State for the time being to avoid overcrowding.  The officers have been asked to strictly enforce the decision of allowing the participation of not more than 50 persons in marriages and other family functions.

The Government also informed that about 1560 people of the State have arrived from 78 cities of 61 countries to the State after being medically examined. Out of these 1117 persons had arrived at New Delhi Airport, 192 at Amritsar Airport and 248 persons at Chandigarh International Airport. As many as 613 flights were attended by the Officers of the State Government at New Delhi, Amritsar and Chandigarh Airports.

 

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Himachal: After Widespread Backlash, HP Govt Again Make Changes in Rules for Entry, Quarantine

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Himachal Pradesh New Rules for Entry

Shimla-Rules for entry into Himachal Pradesh were again changed by the State Government on Tuesday. After facing widespread criticism over its decision to open the State borders for all including tourists amid sharp increase in COVID-19 cases, the Government has yet again accepted that opening State borders for entry without e-pass or any permission has created problems of its own.

Additional Chief Secretary Health R.D. Dhiman on July 14 said that e-passes are not being issued presently to the people entering the state. They are being allowed to enter the state based on the information they provided, but many people are hiding their proper address and identity, he accepted. Also, instances have been reported where such person entered the state by furnishing fake COVID-19 negative report or lying about their purpose of their visits.

“Keeping this in view now every entrant will have to verify the required information and only after certifying this information they would be registered to enter the state otherwise strict legal action would be taken against them,” said Dhiman informing about the new guidelines.

Further, after the appearance of a record 69 cases in the Baddi area -the industrial hub of the State – on Monday, Chief Minister Jairam Thakur-led State Government has been facing backlash over relaxing quarantine rules for migrant labourers coming to the area.

Also Read: Himachal Reports 78 Cases in Single Day Including Record 69 from Solan Alone

Following this backlash, the State Government was compelled to again make changes in the rules regarding the condition of quarantine for migrant labourers entering the state. 

“The return of industrial labourers has also begun from other states. However, keeping in view the increase of COVID-19 patients due to people coming from other states, it has been decided by the State Government to keep the industrial labourers in either institutional quarantine or in-home quarantine,” Jairam said. 

The contractor and industrial institutions would be completely responsible for it, he said.

“They would be allowed to work after their report for COVID-19 is found negative,” he said.  

It’s pertinent to mention that it is almost impossible for such labourers to follow home-quarantine as they mostly live in shared spaces with common facilities like a toilets/washrooms and water supply. In many cases, they use common toilets located outside their living spaces. 

Further, as per the orders, the inter-state movement of public transport buses would remain prohibited. However, taxis can ply through registration on COVID-19 e-Pass portal. Taxi drivers coming into the State for dropping would be exempted from quarantine if they return within 24 hours of the entry.

Also Read: Institutional Quarantine Mandatory for All Persons Coming from These 20 Cities/Districts of India

The State Executive Committee under Disaster Management Act, 2005 has partially amended orders issued on 2nd July 2020. As per the amendment, the medical colleges would remain closed for final year students from 15th July 2020 in the State. Similarly, Medical Training Institutions would also remain closed. 

As per the amendments, the condition of quarantine for the students and accompanying parents moving in and out of State for competitive examinations has been waived off, if they exist or re-enter the State or vice-versa within 72 hours.

The State Government has also decided that any person having been tested negative for COVID-19 through RT-PCR Test (Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction) by an ICMR accredited/approved laboratory not earlier than 72 hours at the time of entry would also be exempted from the requirement of quarantine.

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Himachal: Institutional Quarantine Mandatory for All Persons Coming from These 20 Cities/Districts of India

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HP Govt new list of high-load cities

Shimla-The Himachal Pradesh Health Department has revised the list of cities/areas/districts having high-load of COVID-19 cases. Earlier, the government had listed 13 such regions in various states. The updated list has mentioned 20 such cities/districts. All the mentioned places come under the red zone and an institutional quarantine is mandatory from anyone travelling from these areas to Himachal Pradesh.

The updated list includes the following:

  1. Mumbai, Maharashtra,
  2. Chennai, Tamil Nadu
  3. Thane, Maharashtra
  4. Pune, Maharashtra
  5. Hyderabad, Telangana
  6. Ahmedabad, Gujarat
  7. Delhi (All districts)
  8. Bengaluru (Urban), Karnataka
  9. Palghar, Maharashtra
  10. Kolkata, West Bengal
  11. Aurangabad, Bihar
  12. Chengalpattu, Tamil Nadu
  13. Surat, Gujarat
  14. Raigad, Maharashtra
  15. Gurugram, Haryana
  16. Nashik, Maharashtra
  17. Thiruvallur, Tamil Nadu
  18. Ranga Reddy, Telangana
  19. Madurai, Tamil Nadu
  20. Faridabad, Haryana

So far, India has reported over 9 lakh infections, which makes it the third worst-hit country after the United States (3,363,056) and Brazil (1,884,967).

The COVID-19 death tally for India was 23,727 till yesterday, 3,11,565 patients are still under treatment, and 5,71,460 have recovered. The rate of increase in the appearance of new COVID-19 cases continues to grow.

Despite the increasing rate and number of cases, Himachal Pradesh Government has opened the State borders for tourists and other visitors without obtaining any permission or E-Pass. All that one needs to enter Himachal and roam around without any restrictions is to present a COVID-19 negative certificate not older than 72 hours and a pre-booking of hotel/homestay for a minimum period of five nights.

The decision of the government to allow tourists amid a sharp rise in cases, both in the State and India, has invited scathed criticism. Even hoteliers in Shimla, Dharamshala, Manali etc. have decided to remain closed despite the government’s permission to resume operation. The SOPs issued by the state government are not acceptable to these hoteliers.

At the same time, relaxation given to migrant labourers in quarantine rules also appears to be backfiring as a large number of such labourers have been tested positive in the industrial hub – Baddi in Solan district. Yesterday, the district reported a record 69 COVID-19 cases, of which 59 were reported from a textile factory.

  

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