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RTI on Priyanka Vadra’s Shimla land deal wrongly rejected, disclose details within 10 days: HP Information Commission

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For delaying the information, the bench also issued notice to the ADM and the Shimla DC asking that why penalty should not be imposed on them for fooling a citizen seeking information regarding a matter of public interest.

SHIMLA- On Monday, Priyanka Vadra, daughter of Congress Chief Sonia Gandhi and wife of Robert Vadra, received a blow from the Himachal Pradesh State Information Commission. Priyanka had made a plea to HP state government not to disclose her property details to anyone.

While hearing an appeal made by RTI activist Devashis Bhattacharya, the bench, comprising of Chief Information Commissioner Bhim Sen and Information Commissioner KD Batish, ordered the Public Information Officer to release the information within 10 days.

Devashis Bhatacharya had filed an RTI seeking details of land deals made by Prinyanka Vadra near Shimla in Himachal Pradesh. He was denied information calling it violation of SPG security provided to Priyanka. He was told that disclosure of information poses threat to Priyanka’s life.

The activist had moved to the commission against the violation of RTI guidelines and misuse of political influence to cover the case. The bench found that there is no rule under which such information can be withheld for security reasons. The bench sited that the information was wrongly withheld by ADM and DC Shimla.

All politicians declare details of their property during elections. Hence, the information should be given to the RTI activist. Priyanka Gandhi Vadra is daughter of Congress president Sonia Gandhi and sister of vice-president Rahul Gandhi. She did not contest in any election, other than canvassing for mother and brother,

observed the SIC bench.

Bhattacharya finally managed to get justice. Ridiculing the misuse of district administration to favor Congress Chief’s daughter, Bhattacharya said:

I have not asked for any personal or private information relating to Priyanka Gandhi. I asked for the Govt. file notings of the approval of the Govt. That cannot be denied.”

He further laughed on reason given by the DC for not disclosing the information. He said

It is laughable to know that the disclosure of the file notings pertaining to the Shimla Land Deal of Priyanka Gandhi will put her life in danger. Entire world knows the location of the said property. Hundreds of workers are working on the site. Architects are having the maps of the house under construction. Then what kind of danger the poor file notings are going to create for her?

For delaying the information, the bench also issued notice to the ADM and the himla DC asking that why penalty should not be imposed on them for fooling a citizen seeking information regarding a matter of public interest.

The date for next hearing was fixed on July 23.

Priyanka Vadra had bought 4.25 Bighas of land in Himachal between 2007 and 2013 in relaxation of section 118 of Tenancy and Land Reforms Act. The construction work of a house is in progress near Chharabra.

priyanka gandhi shimla land deal

The RTI activist had asked how Priyanka was allowed to buy land in Himachal when section 118 of Tenancy and Land Reforms Act bars any non-agriculturist from purchasing land without the consent of the government.

Worst part of the entire episode is that Priyanka Gandhi wanted to take disadvantage of being an SPG protectee to scuttle the disclosure of the file notings of her Shimla land deal. Her SPG protection should be withdrawn and Z+ be allowed,

said Bhattacharya.

Priyanka’s lawyer hasn’t made it clear weather she will make further appeal in court against this judgment of the Commission.

Source: DNA India

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 9 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 the world around him in his DSLR lens.

Misc News/Press Release

447 Cases of Adverse Effect Including 3 in Himachal Reported Post COVID-19 Vaccination

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Shimla– Amid skepticism over the COVID-19 vaccination, India has reported over 400 cases of adverse effect post-vaccination, informed the Ministry of Health. To be more specific, a total of 447 Adverse Event Following Immunization (AEFIs) were reported on 16th Jan & 17th Jan’21.

Out of these, three required hospitalization. Of these, one was discharged from Northern Railway Hospital Delhi within 24 hours; one was discharged from AIIMS Delhi, and one is under observation in AIIMS Rishikesh and is being monitored.

Most of the AEFIs reported so far are minor like Fever, Headache, Nausea etc.

In Himachal Pradesh, about three cases of AEFIs were reported on day 1 of vaccination drive. These were reported from Dr Rajendra Prasad Government Medical College Tanda, Kangra, Civil Hospital Paonta Sahib, and Maharishi Markandeshwar University Medical College, Solan.

In these cases, symptoms reported included dizziness, anxiety, nausea and shivering and persons recovered after management as per protocol, it was informed.

In Himachal, 2,499 health care workers were to be administered dose through 27 identified sites in the State on January 16. However, only 1535 healthcare workers could be vaccinated on the first day. It was 61 percent of this set target. The second round would be held today.  

Two types of COVID-19 vaccines have been supplied for the vaccination drive. These include Covishield vaccine (made by Serum Institute of India Ltd) that has been supplied to all States/UTs.

The second is Covaxin vaccine (made by Bharat Biotech International Ltd) that has been supplied to 12 States.

An Adverse Event Following Immunization (AEFI) is any unexpected medical occurrence which follows immunization. It may not be related to the vaccine or vaccination process. The Ministry had laid down protocols for reporting, immediate case management at vaccination session site, transportation and hospitalization and further care of such cases. Protocols are also in place for systematic investigation and causality assessment of serious AEFIs, the Ministry said.

India has vaccinated the highest number of persons on Day1 under its COVID19 vaccination program, the world’s largest such exercise.

Total of 2,24,301 beneficiaries have been vaccinated till today as per the provisional report.

The second day of the massive countrywide COVID-19 vaccination program was also conducted successfully. A total of 553 sessions were held in six States. As many as 17,072 beneficiaries were vaccinated on Day2, as per the provisional reports.

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Environment

Himachal Gets First Fully Automated ‘Doppler Weather Radar’, Would Provide More Accurate Short Range Forecast

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Dopper Weather Radar in Himachal Pradesh's Kufari

Shimla-India Meteorological Department (IMD) January 15, 2021, celebrated its 146th Foundation Day. IMD is one of the oldest, scientific service organizations in the country, in existence well before Independence.

On the occasion, Dr. Harsh Vardhan inaugurated Doppler Weather Radars at Mukteshwar, Uttarakhand and Kufri, Himachal Pradesh; Multi-Mission Meteorological Data Receiving and Processing System in IMD in collaboration with ISRO (MMDRPS).

According to the IMD, these modernized Radars would give a more specific short-range weather forecast.

It’s pertinent to mention that accurate and advance weather information is of utmost importance to Himachal Pradesh – a state largely dependent on agriculture and tourism.

The one installed in Kufari, Shimla, is Indigenous dual polarised X-Band Doppler Weather Radar. Two more Radars would be installed at Mandi and Dalhousie in Chamba district of the State. A site had already been finalized at Mandi and a site for Radar at Dalhousie would be finalized soon, the State Government informed.

This specific type of Radar uses the Doppler effect to gather velocity data. The Radar transmits a signal, which gets reflected when hits a raindrop. Based on the changes in the frequency of the reflected signal, data is obtained about the motion of droplets and intensity of the precipitation. Scientists can analyze this data to determine the structure and severity of storms.

Radar installed at Kufri is on test mode for a period of two weeks. Thereafter its data would be used for forecasting purposes. This Radar has a range upto 100 kilometres in radial distance. It would observe and provide the weather data of 100 kilometres in all directions, which would be used for forecasting purpose, especially for the short-range forecast. More précised area-specific weather forecast and warning can be issued for a particular place, for the weather phenomenon like thunderstorm, lighting, hailstorm, heavy rainfall/snowfall, gusty winds etc.    

This Centre would help the horticulturists and farmers of the State by providing them with accurate weather information.

The DWR Kufri would run round the clock and it is fully automatic. It would transmit the data in various digital format and picture form.

 Forecasting monsoons is the lifeline to India’s food security and affect the economy as the nation’s GDP is dependent on agriculture. Moreover, weather prediction is critical to reducing the loss of lives from various extreme events like a cyclone, heavy rain, thunderstorm, heatwave and cold wave, monsoonal floods and droughts.

India Meteorological Department says that it is modernizing its observational network in the Central and Western Himalayas by the installation of Doppler Weather Radars in a phased manner, at different locations.

IMD said that this radar will be providing severe weather information to the weather forecasters, thus, improving the safety of the public in the states of Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh. It will also provide support to the disaster managers and the pilgrims undertaking the pilgrimage to Kailash Manasarovar and Char Dham yatra. 

 

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Misc News/Press Release

77.50% Voter Turnout in First Phase of Himachal’s Panchayati Raj Polls: EC

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Shimla-The first phase elections to Panchayati Raj Institutions in Himachal Pradesh was today held in 1228 Gram Panchayats, informed a spokesperson of State Election Commission.

According to the information received till 7 PM, the overall polling percentage was 77.50%. As many as 123 COVID-19 patients and isolated voters cast their votes as per the Standard Operating Procedures, he informed.

Gram Panchayat Rihada in development block Naggar of Kullu district recorded the highest voter turnout (94 %). Counting of votes for Pradhan, Up-Pradhan and members will be completed today. Counting of votes for Zila Parishad and Panchayat Samiti will be held on 22nd January 2021 at block headquarters.

Further, 103-year-old Shyam Saran Negi, the first voter of independent India, cast his vote at a polling booth in Kalpa of Kinnaur district.

Election-related process and results have been uploaded for the general public on sechimachal.nic.in., the spokesperson said.

The second phase of polling for 1208 Panchayats will be held on 19th January followed by the third phase on 21st January 2021.

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