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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.

Misc News/Press Release

Bat deaths in Himachal not due to Nipah Virus, Don’t panic: Govt

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Nipah virus in Himachal Pradesh

Shimla: To put an end to the rumours of Nipah virus outbreak in Himachal Pradesh after dead bats were found in Sirmaur a couple of days ago and then in Mandi district on Friday, the State Government today issued a statement asking people not to panic about it.

Apart from the outbreak of Nipah Virus in two districts of Kerala State no information regarding its spread has been reported from any other part of Himachal as well as the country, stated Additional Chief Secretary, Health B.K. Agarwal in a meeting held here today.

He said that only fruit bats (flying fox) have been found carrying this virus. These types of bats are found in the coastal regions of the county.

Therefore, there is no possibility of Nipah Virus in the bats found in Himachal Pradesh.

He said that the bats reported having died in the state were not due to the virus as these species do not die by Nipah Virus.

Agarwal said that a few days back samples from dead bats in Sirmaur were collected and sent to the National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune for testing and all the samples were reported negative for Nipah Virus.

Additional Chief Secretary has advised people not to panic about the Nipah Virus. He said that all the medical colleges of the State were prepared to deal with the situation if needed.

Officers of Health, Animal husbandry, Forest & Horticulture department were present in the meeting, chaired by Agarwal.

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Misc News/Press Release

Met predicts state-wide rains in Himachal on May 31 and June 1

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rain prediction for himachal in 2018

Shimla: As a ray of hope amid acute water-scarcity prevailing in Himachal Pradesh’s various regions including the capital town Shimla, the Meteorological Department, Shimla, has predicted state-wide rain with thunderstorms on May 31 and June 1.

If lucky, four districts including Kangra, Kullu, Mandi, and Shimla can receive a spell of rain on May 29 and 30 too.

With the rains, the people also hope to see a relief from the scorching heat of summer sun and forest fires. The Fire Department is reportedly facing trouble in dousing forest fires due to water scarcity.

As per the Met department, District Bilaspur and Una recorded 41℃ and 43℃ temperature on Saturday.

The farmers in rural areas and the public in towns, both are facing a hard time due to a shortage of water. Shimla town has run into a situation of chaos as the Mayor Kusum Sadret on Friday left for her China visit. The situation is such that the Chief Minister had to call an emergency meeting with Irrigation & Public Health Department to take stock of the situation.

The High Court had also taken cognizance of the media report and directed the Union Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation to provide adequate funds to the State for water-supply schemes worth over Rs. 700 crores.

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Environment

400 fire watchers deployed, Rs. 1.75 cr. sanctioned for checking forest fires in Himachal: Forest Minister

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Forest fires in himachal pradesh

Shimla: The Forest Minister of Himachal Pradesh Govind Singh Thakur today informed that four hundred fire watchers have been deputed across the State and added that Rs. 1.75 crore has been sanctioned by the GoI for checking and management of fire incidents in the State.

Every year, forest fires in summers turn a large amount of forest wealth to ashes. 

He said that State government has started a new project from this year for management of fire incidents by spending Rs. 1 crore additionally.

He also claimed that with a view to check the number of forest fire incidents in the State, the department implemented an awareness campaign in the month of March which proved effective and a lot of support and cooperation is coming from people in tackling fire incidents.

He said that about 9500 people got connected to the website of Forest Survey of India Dehradun which proved helpful to them in receiving information about fire incidents in their areas.

He said that the department also started a toll-free number for receiving this information. He said that the information regarding fire incidents is coming faster this year as compared to previous years due to these measures and action is being taken instantly.

He urged the people of the State to extend support to the department.

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