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High Court come to the rescue of elderly homeless and mentally challenged inmates of Old Age Homes in Himachal

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SHIMLA- The High Court of Himachal Pradesh has come to the rescue of elderly homeless destitute and disabled persons living in the Old Age Homes in the State.

Taking suo motto cognizance of a letter written by Ajai Srivastava, honorary chairman of a public welfare trust Umang Foundation, narrating the violation of human rights of inmates of Old Age Home at Basantpur near Shimla, Court directed the government to establish a separate Home for adult disabled shelterless destitute persons and another Home for mentally retarded persons within a period of one year.

The Court also ordered to grant relevant pension benefits to all inmates without discrimination on the basis of domicile, nationality or disability and to constitute a special team of Police to find out the relatives of inmates of all Old Age Homes in the State.

The Bench also awarded Rupees One lac to Umang Foundation to be spent on the welfare of disabled, shelter less, destitute and mentally retarded persons of Himachal Pradesh while putting on record “appreciation for the sincere efforts made by the petitioner Ajai Srivastava by bringing to the notice of the court the conditions prevailing in the Old Age Homes in the State of Himachal Pradesh.”

 

Read Related Story : HP High Court’s landmark judgment brings huge relief to children with disabilities

The division bench comprising Justice Rajiv Sharma and Justice Tarlok Singh Chauhan in their landmark judgement said,

It is the constitutional duty of the State Government to look after the interests of shelter less, disabled, destitute, mentally retarded males and females by providing them necessary assistance.

Ajai Srivastava in his petition stated that many inmates of the Old Age Home at Basantpur were disabled and mentally sick or retarded and it was difficult for the untrained staff to take proper care of them. He prayed to establish separate Homes for the mentally retarded and the disabled persons. Taking serious note of the situation prevailing upon the Home, the Court directed the State Government to establish one separate Home for the destitute adult disabled and another Home for mentally retarded persons within a period of one year. It said that the fund for the purpose be released by the government within eight weeks.

The Court directed the Director Welfare to visit the Old Age Homes situated at Basantpur, Dari (Dharmshala), Bhangrotu (Mandi), and Alleo (Kullu) “to look into whether basic amenities are being provided to the inmates lodged therein, if not, the same be made available within a period of two weeks after visiting the Home.” The Chief Secretary has been directed by the Court to provide rations at subsidised for all inmates lodged in all Old Age Homes.

The Director General of Police has been directed by the Court “to constitute a special team headed by an officer not below the rank of Superintendent of Police to find out the relatives of the inmates of all Old Age Homes in the State.” The government has been directed to provide necessary vocational training to the inmates, and also to provide news papers and magazines.

The Court had also took serious cognizance of the plight, narrated in the petition, of one Sonam Bahadur (45), a Nepalese who lost his both legs right from the hip while working with a contractor in District Kullu, more than a decade ago. The State government has asked the Managing Director of H.P. State Forest Corporation to make proper inquiry of the accident relating to him. The High Court said,” The Chief Secretary of Himachal Pradesh shall be personally responsible to implement and execute the directions in letter and spirit.”

 

 

 

 

Madan has studied English Literature and Journalism from HP University and lives in Shimla. He is an amateur photographer and has been writing on topics ranging from environmental, socio-economic, development programs, education, eco-tourism, eco-friendly lifestyle and to green technologies for over 7 years now. He has an inclination for all things green, wonderful and loves to live in solitude. When not writing, he can be seen wandering, trying to capture world around him in his DSLR lens.

Misc News/Press Release

Rs 2572 crore for Himachal’s irrigation and drinking water schemes

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HP irrigation and drinking water schemes

Shimla: The State Government today said that it has earmarked an amount of Rs 2572 crore for providing irrigation and drinking water facilities in Himachal Pradesh during the current financial year.

The endeavour, the Government said, was to bring more area under irrigation facility so that farmers could go for crop diversification instead of traditional crops.

The Chief Minister, while addressing a public meeting at Kelodhar in Seraj assembly constituency of Mandi district, provided the information.It is Chief Minister’s first visit to Kelodhar after elections.

Further, it was announced that the Kandha-Bah-Batand road would be strengthened.

Earlier, the Chief Minister performed ‘bhumi pujan’ of Kandha-Bah-Batand road (Phase-II) to be constructed at a cost of Rs. 358.53 lakh.

He laid the foundation stones of IPH Office building and residence at Kelodhar to be constructed at a cost of Rs. 74.36 lakh and of Science Block building of Government Senior Secondary School Kelodhar on which about Rs 1.50 crore would be spent.

The Government announced Rs 15 lakh for Kelodhar Panchayat for various developmental works, Rs 10 lakh each for GP Bara, GP Saroha and GP Parwara. He also announced Rs 3 lakh for Mahila Mandal Kelodhar.

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British-era Bantony Castle Shimla to become Rs. 25 crore cultural centre     

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Bantony Castle Shimla Picture

CM said the building is also an example of beautiful anglo-gothic architecture. However, this fact appears to be incorrect as the Castle is built in the mock-Tudor style

Shimla: As a ray of hope for the Bantony Castle, Shimla, the Himachal Pradesh Government has announced Rs. 25 crores for the renovation of the British-era structure in order to develop as a tourist attraction.

This was stated by Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur while inaugurating the five-day long State level Gram Shilp Mela which was organized by the State Language Art and Culture Department here on May 17, 2018.

Bantony Castle is one of the historic and monumental buildings of Shimla town and has a very rich history. spread over around 20,000 square meter area between Circular Road and Mall Road.

The Chief Minister said the building is also an example of beautiful anglo-gothic architecture. However, this fact appears to be incorrect as the Castle is built in the mock-Tudor style, part chalet and crowned with sloping roofs with mini-towers.

Nevertheless, he further said that since this building was strategically located on the Mall Road thus could be an added attraction for the tourists.

 This complex as a whole would be developed in such a way that it not only becomes a tourist attraction but also a centre of rich cultural diversity of the State.  

The previous Congress Government had, in 2017, announced that it will be turned into a Heritage museum with a restaurant and recreational park.

Artisans from different parts of the State received an opportunity to exhibit their artefacts at the Gram Shipi Mela. The government said it would also organize District level Gram Shilp Melas besides Inter-state Gram Shilp Melas to promote the artefacts of the State.

It was further informed that the State Government has announced a new scheme named ‘Aaj Purani Rahon Se’ for exploring folklores, historic events and cultural tourism in the State. The government has also decided to introduce miniaturized cultural souvenirs of Himachal Pradesh such as musical instruments, Chamba Rumal, Kangra paintings etc.

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Will tar 1100 km roads, construct 600 km new motorable roads, 750 km cross drainage, 35 bridges in 2018: HP Govt

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HP PWD target for 2018

Shimla: During review meeting of Himachal Pradesh Public Works Department held today, the Government informed that it has set up a target of construction of 600 km new motorable roads, providing cross drainage facilities on 750 km road length, metalling and tarring of 1100 km roads, construction of 35 bridges and providing road connectivity to 40 villages during the current financial year.

The Government said all the formalities regarding the allocation of road and bridge projects would be completed within a stipulated period to facilitate work- allocation within 51 days to concerned executing agencies.  

The e-tendering is expected to speed up the process of allocation of projects.

It has been felt that delay in Forest clearances was one of the major bottlenecks for starting of different road and bridge projects. Therefore, the Government would take up the matter with the Union Government to expedite forest clearances for these projects,

said the Chief Minister, who was presiding over the meeting.

It was informed that the target has been fixed to execute 414 works with a total length of 2400 km, under PMGSY with an outlay of Rs 600 crore during the current financial year.

On completion, 150 habitations would be connected with roads. Similarly, the target has been fixed to complete 209 works under Rural Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF)-NABARD, which include 77 works in Shimla zone, 20 in Mandi Zone, 70 in Kangra zone and 4 in Hamirpur Zone, it was informed.

HPPWD review meeting 2018

During HPPWD review meeting 2018

It was informed that that out of 90 black spots identified in the State, 58 had been rectified and work on remaining black spots was in progress.

The State Government has allocated Rs. 200 crore for maintenance and repair of roads in the State besides Rs. 50 crore additionality for providing drainage facilities on the roads, claimed the Government.

Additional Chief Secretary Manisha Nanda said that 34394 officers and officials were working in the Public Works Department and “were doing their best” to ensure best road connectivity to the people of the State.  

The State today has total 35638 km of roads providing road connectivity to the remotest part of the State, informed the Engineer-in-Chief R.P Verma.

Opposed to the work-culture of the HP PWD, the Chief Minister, who holds Department, is claiming that regular monitoring and inspection of roads and bridges constructed particularly under NABARD, Central Road Fund etc. will be ensured.

 He said that for this, standard quality parameters should be laid down and responsibility of the defaulters must be fixed and strict action taken against the person, which rarely happens.

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