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Himachal and Sweden exchange understanding on wildlife management

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A delegation of the State Forest Department led by Forest Minister Thakur Singh Bharmouri undertook a consultative visit to premier agencies in Sweden from 21-27th September, 2014. The goal of this high level delegation was to enhance understanding of scientific management of wildlife and develop appropriate long-term collaboration with premier institutes in Sweden.

The Forest Minister disclosed here the delegation exchanged understanding on human-wildlife damage mitigation, animal capture and radio collaring, zoo management, captive breeding of endangered fauna and wildlife disease control. The scope covered wildlife conservation in general with a focus on snow leopard conservation.

He said the Nature Conservation Foundation (NCF) and the Snow Leopard Trust (SLT) have long-term collaboration with State Forest department and various institutions in Sweden to carry out state-of-art wildlife research and management and assisted in organizing this tour.

The team interacted with renowned research scientists of different universities on various methods to reduce and prevent wildlife damage and also saw the demonstration of the techniques that have been successful in warding off conflict with various species which could be used in Indian conditions too. The team also discussed intricate details of zoo management and captive breeding and also had deliberations with the experts regarding concerns of the State due to fears of zoonosis and animal health. The delegation also viewed the facilities, which included their sophisticated necropsy and forensic facilities.

He said the experts from Sweden appreciated the commitment for wildlife conservation at the highest level in the State as a very welcome sign.

Bharmauri said certain aspects of wildlife damage control, zoo management, captive breeding, disease control, and wildlife capture and radio collaring will be immediately implemented in Himachal Pradesh. He said the State would the work towards a more sustained mechanism of exchanging expertise, capacity enhancement and implementing common conservation projects.

The funding for the tour was provided through the Project Snow Leopard funds of the Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change (MoEFCC), Government of India, and supplemented by NCF, SLT and host organizations in Sweden.

The Minister was accompanied by officers representing various aspects of conservation and management in the State. The PCCF (Wildlife) &Chief Wildlife Warden, Dr Lalit Mohan, Addl. Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (CAT Plans) SS Negi, and DFO (Wildlife), Satish Gupta, comprised the delegation and were assisted by Dr Yash Veer Bhatnagar of the Nature Conservation Foundation (NCF) and the Snow Leopard Trust (SLT).

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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