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Rural Shimla constituency gets 105 crore for drinking water supply scheme

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SHIMLA- After launching the 66th State level Van Mahotsav at Kotla in Shimla Rural Assembly segment of Shimla district, Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh said that the decision of the State Government to completely ban the felling of green trees since 1986, though had resulted in loss of rupees 22 thousand crores of State’s revenue, yet we were satisfied and successful in saving thousands of trees from being axed resulting in increase in forest cover during the last two decades.

Virbhadra Singh said that before he became the Chief Minister thousands of trees were axed for making wooden cartons for transporting apple crop resulting in huge loss of forest wealth and the forest mafia in garb of this mechanism use to flourish. The Congress government took a decision to transport apple in corrugated boxes and today it not only captured the market but led to conserving forest wealth of the State.

The Chief Minister said that the motto of such functions were to aware the people about the advantages of forest wealth vis-a-vis saving the fragile Himalayan ecology from degradation besides saving the environment. He remembered the then Union Agriculture Minister, KM Munshi, who in 1950 took the initiative in protecting and saving the forest wealth of the country.

“I have committed my life to protect forest wealth of the State since I became the Chief Minister and to stop Van Mafia from exploiting our Jungles” he said adding that this has also helped in achieving carbon credit and we have achieved the distinction of being the first State in Asia to earn such credits.

The Chief Minister said that Rs. 105 crore drinking water supply scheme (DWSS) was being implemented in Shimla Rural constituency benefitting people of 45 Panchayats for the years to come. He stressed for constructing check dams for irrigational purposes and adopting diary business. He exhorted the people to grow broad leaved and fruit bearing trees. He said that Rs 310 crore KFW German Project was being implemented in Chamba and Kangra districts to ensure increase in green cover and save flora and fauna from the changing climatic conditions.

He said that with the efforts of the State government, the issue regarding granting sanctioning permission for carrying out development activities on forest land upto one hectare now rests with the State government and around 82 cases of forest clearance were given by the State government last year.

“I am rather happy that more than 3000 school children participated in the afforestation drive and planted more than 5,61,000 last year and I hope that apart from school children, the college students should also be part of this drive this year ”, said the Chief Minister. There was a need to create awareness amongst youth regarding the benefits of forest wealth and its advantages, said he.

He also planted white oak on the occasion and thereafter also honoured the forest officers and officials for their commendable performance in service.

The Chief Minister announced Health Sub Centre at Jabhri and construction of new block of Government Senior Secondary School, Chalahal (Thachi). He also announced a sum of Rs 10000 for school children for cultural presentation.

Forest Minister Thakur Singh Bharmouri said that there was a target of rooting out the obnoxious weed Lantana from 12,000 hectares of forest area by spending Rs 19.29 crore. He said that as many as 96,333 monkeys had been sterilized upto June 2015 and a new sterilisation centre to control the vermin population had been opened at Ispur in Haroli assembly segment of Una district. He said that fruit bearing plants were being planted in the Jungles so that the monkeys may not make their way towards the towns and villages.

State Youth Congress President, Vikramaditya Singh said that the afforestation drive by the forest department was helpful in making the people aware of the benefits. He said that the Shimla Rural segment has witnessed massive development during the present government regime. He said that he will personally take up the problems of the people of the area with the government.

Principal Chief Conservator of Forests Sunil Srivastva welcomed the Chief Minister on the occasion He also detailed out various activities being undertaken by the department.

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Video: On Duty Policemen Thrashed by Group of Miscreants in Shimla

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Youth clash with shimla police on holi

Shimla- Two policemen were reportedly injured after a dozen of miscreants clashed with them during Holi celebrations on the Ridge Shimla today.  The celebrations were foiled with violence and hurling of vulgar abuses. The scene was captured by a local on a mobile phone, and the video is being circulated on social media.  

As per the Shimla Police, today some people were celebrating the Holi at the Ridge Shimla. At about 12.15 PM, a group of some youth were spotted creating a ruckus, and when the policemen tried to stop them, they clashed with the police and beat them brutally. Two of the policemen were reportedly injured.

Deputy Superintendent of Police, Shimla, Pramod Shukla confirmed the report. The youths were said to be drunk.

As per initial reports, one of the accused was detained, while remaining accomplices fled the scene. There was no word on the identity of the culprits yet. The police said the rush on the Ridge made it difficult to identify them.

An FIR was filed at the Sadar Police Station under Sections 353,332,147,149 of the IPC for the assault and obstructing on-duty police officials. The police said further investigation is in progress.  

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UHF Nauni Station Becomes India’s ‘Lead Centre of Dahlia Testing’

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Dahlia in full bloom at RHRTS Dhaulakuan

Solan- As good news for the farmers of Himachal Pradesh engaged in floriculture, the Regional Horticulture Research and Training Station (RHRTS), Dhaulakuan of the Dr YS Parmar University and Forestry (UHF), Nauni, has been designated as the ‘Lead Centre of Dahlia Testing’ in the country.

As per the university, this is a big shot in the arm for Dahlia cultivation in the state as the flower has been introduced in Himachal for the first time under the project. The research conducted at the station could pave the way for its adoption by farmers for commercial cultivation.

The Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Authority (PPV&FRA) of the Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers’ Welfare, GoI has given the prestigious national level designation to the research station.

The status of National level Lead entre of dahlia testing is a big achievement for the station as Dahlia is among the most admired winter flowering plant. It is a recognition of the work carried out at the research station and is expected to catalyze commercial cultivation of this flower in the state,

said Dr AK Joshi, Associate Director RHRTS, Dhaulakuan.

He added that several cultivars will be added to the present germplasm and farmers will be able to get rooted plants in the future. UHF Vice-Chancellor Dr HC Sharma and Director Research Dr JN Sharma congratulated the scientists.

The research station forayed into floriculture in 2012, mainly in ornamental plants, but has since made rapid strides in this area. In 2016-17, under a PPV&FRA funded project worth Rs. 18 lakh, over 50 cultivars of dahlia of different shapes, colours, sizes and categories were introduced at the station from different reliable nurseries and departments from Uttarakhand and adjoining areas.

Elaborating on the research, Dr Priyanka Thakur, Principal Floriculturist and main investigator of the project told that the objectives were the development of Distinctness, Uniformity and Stability (DUS) testing guidelines of dahlia and evaluation of species/ cultivars. The morphological characterization, development of DUS testing guidelines and the establishment of DUS centre for dahlia at the station is presently underway.

The farmers of Himachal can adopt this new crop for cut flower as well as pot plant production, which can not only help in diversification but also boost the economy and raise farm incomes.

The newly introduced dahlia cultivars are suitable for pot plant production, borders, mass plantations and cut flowers etc. Cultivars like Matungini, Mother Teresa, Sister Nivedita, Tenzin, Suryadeva, Jishu, Gilody, SP Kamla have been found suitable for low hill conditions. Matungini, Jishu, Sohini, Black Eternity, Surya Deva, Maa Sharda have been found suitable for cut flower production.

Often called the ‘King of flowers’, Dahlia is grown both for indoor and outdoor elegance. The height of plants differs with variety and can vary from two-inch lollipop style pompoms to the giant 10-15 inch ‘dinner plate’ blooms growing to a height of 4-5 feet.

These cultivars remain in flowering from Feb to May. Farmers can reap rich dividends by selling cut flowers, pot and as landscape plants and through the production of rooted plants. The students of the university are also working on the evaluation of dahlia varieties for the low hill conditions of Himachal Pradesh.

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Holding Clean Elections India’s Biggest Challenge as Misuse of Money Increases By Leaps And Bounds: EC

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Multi-Departmental Committee on Election Intelligence

New Delhi: Conducting clean elections is now one of the biggest challenges in our democracy given the prevalent abuse of money power, particularly when it manifests in the inducement of voters, the Elections Commission of India said today.

Unfortunately, the use of the money during the elections has increased by leaps and bounds in recent times. Mischief mongers are ever devising more ingenious ways to beat the system, said the EC Larger seizures have been made by our enforcement teams in successive elections.

To address this paramount problem, the Election Commission of India headed by Chief Election Commissioner  Sunil Arora along with Election Commissioners Ashok Lavasa and Sushil Chandra today held a meeting of Multi-Departmental Committee on Election Intelligence.  Heads of Tax Boards, Law enforcement agencies, Central Paramilitary Forces and representatives of Financial Institutions attended the meeting.

The Chief Election Commissioner, Sunil Arora along with the Election Commissioners, Ashok Lavasa and Sushil Chandra at Meeting of Multi-Departmental Committee on Election Intelligence, in New Delhi on March 15, 2019.

He said Commission is determined to curb this menace and has issued detailed guidelines to monitor election expenditure incurred by candidates and political parties.  He said individually and collectively the agencies participating in the meeting are the bulwarks of clean elections. The outcome of synergised action should exceed the commitments made. 

To ensure clean elections, it is vital keeping track of the legal expenditure incurred by candidates and political parties for election campaigns. More importantly, it is imperative to ensure that there is no illegal use of money and other items for buying of votes, said Election Commissioner Chandra.

Issues Discussed at Committee on Election Intelligence

  • Ways of Curbing of covert expenditure by candidates and political parties
  • Sensitisation of the law enforcement agencies about their role during elections
  • Co-operation and sharing of intelligence of economic offences amongst law enforcement agencies for effective action
  • Preparation of road map for action during the elections
  • Mapping of constituencies by concerned agencies to check transportation of smuggled goods, drugs, liquor, and cash, including fake currency, through seaports, inter-state borders and international borders and pro-active and preventive action by each law enforcement agency

The Heads of Tax Boards, Law enforcement agencies, Central Paramilitary Forces and representatives of Financial Institutions assured the Commission of prompt 24X7 expenditure monitoring and surveillance action.

The Commissions said a greater synergy amongst various enforcement agencies is needed to develop a collective strategy to fight this menace.  Therefore, the Commission expects that all enforcement agencies should have proper sharing of information for taking coordinated action rather than working in silos.

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