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Cabinet approves Rs 1000 crore Horticulture Development Project for Himachal

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The Cabinet in its meeting held here today approved World Bank Funded Rs. 1000 crore, HP Horticulture Development Project for the State and in Society mode besides formation of Society at the apex level under the HP Society Registration Act, 2006.

Under the project, the Cabinet also approved creation of Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) to manage the Progeny cum Demonstration Orchards (PCDO’s) and the farms owned or under the possession of Horticulture and other departments, in a society mode by the society to be created under the HP Society Registration Act 2006.

It also approved the handing over the management of PCDO’s of horticulture/ other departments to the SPV on agreed terms and condition through MoU’s to be signed between the SPV and the concerned department.

Stating this in the meeting, Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh said that the function of the societies or SPV formed therein would be to set up modern nurseries and demonstration orchards of various fruits and cultivars, flowers and vegetables and to manage these PCDOs profitably so that the requirement of quality, plant material could meet on regular basis.

The Chief Minister said that the project would help ensuring better post harvest management besides supply chain management and establishing alternative market management and use of information technology in the development of Horticulture Sector in the State besides enhancing horticulture competitiveness at the farm level.

The Cabinet also accorded its approval for development of ropeway projects in Himachal Pradesh. The main projects approved for development are Neugal (Palampur), Bhunter-Bijli Mahadev,

Dharamkot- Triund, Toba-Nainadevi ji, Shahtalai- Deotsidh and Sarahan- Bashal Kanda as per revised RFP document.

The Cabinet also approved Special Purpose Vehicle constituted by the promoter in the name of M/s Manali Ropeway private limited draft concession agreement and the permission to sign agreement with the promoter on the revised project cost as presently proposed Rs 340 crore by the company. It also gave its nod to recover the balance amount of Project Development Success Fee, if any, with interest of 12 percent per annum from the date of signing of concession from the company at the time of submission of final revised Detailed Project Report be approved or not.

The Cabinet also authorized Director Tourism to sign the Palchan-Rohtang Ropeway Project agreement.

Cabinet approved opening of new IPH Sub-Division at Jawlamukhi along with four sections and as many as six posts of different categories.

It also approved up-gradation of Community Health Centre (CHC) Nagrota Bagwan as civil hospital and enhancing its bed capacity to 50 and creation of six posts of different categories in the same. It approved to open PHC at village Khad in Una district.

To add greater variety in the diet of the common man, the Cabinet agreed to invite tenders on pulses under State Subsidy Scheme in three categories of pulses.

In the first category, Rajmah, Rongi and White Channa (Coarse Dals), in the second category Moong, Urd and Black Masar (Sabut Dals) and the third category comprises Dal Chana, Malka and Masri (Dal Bina Chilka)

Cabinet gave its nod to minor amendments in section 10.4.1 and section 10.4.2 in Interim Development Plan of Shimla Planning Area, where change of land use will be done at Administrative Department level. Re-construction of existing buildings on old lines except Heritage buildings shall be permitted provided the façade and architectural features are maintained.

The Cabinet approved Schemes and guidelines for implementation of State Mission on Food Processing.

It also approved creation of National Optical Fiber Network with a view to connect all the Panchayats in the State subjected to the condition that the damaged roads were repaired. It also gave its nod for revised policy for setting up of Mobile Communication Tower for effective quality of services.

It decided to enhance Block Guarantee from Rs. 10 crore to Rs. 13 crore in favour of National Minorities Finance and Development Corporation, New Delhi and Rs. 10 crore to Rs. 12 crore in favour of National Handicapped Finance and Development Corporation, Faridabad with the objective of social, economic and educational up-liftment to the people of Minorities Communities and persons with disabilities below in poverty line in Himachal Pradesh.

Cabinet’s Nod to create /fill as many as 250 posts

To create 40 posts of junior officer Assistants (IT) on contract basis in co-operation department.

Filling of 40 posts of Inspectors (Audit) on contract basis in each of the next three years i.e. 2015-16, 2016-17 and 2017-18 in the department of co-operation.

Filling of 27 posts of class III in district Kinnaur

Filling of seven vacant posts of Food Safety officers in the department of Health Safety and Regulation.

Filling up of 16 posts of Junior Engineers in department of Panchayati Raj on contract basis.
Creation of one post of ACS in IAS cadre of the State.

Creation of one post of computer operator in Town and Country Planning department.

Creation of nine posts of junior office assistant (IT) on contract basis in HP Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Board.

Creation and Filling of 25 posts of Junior Office Assistant (IT) in Social Justice and Empowerment department

Creation of as many as 30 posts in newly upgraded Tehsils which will include posts of Tehsil Welfare Officers, Junior Office Assistants on contract basis and 10 Daily wagers.

Filling up one vacant post of Mechanic in Ayurveda department on contract basis.

Creation of 50 posts of Multipurpose Workers for Forest Rest Houses/Inspection Huts on contract basis.

The Cabinet approved staffing norms for Sub-Divisions, Tehsils and Sub-Tehsils.

It decided to regularize contractual Medical Officers (General) working in Health Department.

The Cabinet also approved constitution of Waqf Tribunal as per Waqf (amendment) Act 2013 and to seek the concurrence of the Chief Justice of High Court for appointing a District and Session Judge as Chairman of the Tribunal.

The Cabinet also approved regularization of Ayurveda Officers appointed on contract basis under Rogi Kalyan Samitis in Ayurveda department.

It also decided to wave off 90 percent entertainment tax from Kings XI Punjab for the matches played on 15th, 17th and 21st May, 2011 at Dharamshala.

HYDEL PROJECTS

The Cabinet agreed to allot 960 MW Jhangi-Thopan-Powari Hydel Project to M/S Reliance Energy Ltd. Further decided that it Reliance Energy Ltd. Does not accept the offer the project may be advertised a fresh for biding.

The Cabinet approved allotment of 217 Mini and Micro Hydel projects upto 5 MW capacity.

The Cabinet approved restoration of Chahod (2MW) hydel project in district Mandi.

The Cabinet approved rationalization of circle rates to determine stamp duty and registration fee in the State based on distance of land from the roads i.e. Circle rate of land (persquare Meter/per Bigha) will be equal to(=) Base rate of land (per square meter) X (multiplied by) Factor-1, i.e class of land (cultivated/ uncultivated).


Cabinet approved opening of New Industrial Training Institutes and introduction of trades therein

Approval for opening New ITI at Nagrota Bagwan, in district Kangra.

Approval for opening new ITI for WOMEN at Bharari in sub Tehsil Bhararim in district Bilaspur.

Nod was given to open ITI in Dodra Kwar in district Shimla

Approval was accorded for introducing Draughtsman (Civil) trade in Government ITI Dargi in Shimla Rural assembly segment.

To open New ITI at Siari in district Solan.

New ITI at Badressa/ Mohi in Gram Panchayat Chouri, Sarkaghat , district Mandi.

New ITI at Padhar and Katoli in Mandi district.

Regulations and Acts

The Cabinet also accorded approval for amendment in HP Private Medical Educational Institutions (Regulation of Admission and Fixation of Fee) Act, 2006. It was decided to incorporate a new sub-section 6a of section 3 in the Act wherein “in order to ensure common standards for maintaining the excellence of medical education in the State, only the Himachal Pradesh University shall have the exclusive to affiliate private medical colleges set up in the State”.

The Cabinet also agreed upon appointing all Additional Deputy Commissioners and Additional District Magistrates as ‘Administrator’, all Divisional Commissioners as Commissioners and all Sub Divisional Officers (Civil) , all Land Acquisition Collectors of different departments be appointed as Collectors for the purpose of Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Re-settlement Act, 2013.

Earlier, the Chief Minister accorded warm welcome to Health Minister Kaul Singh Thakur who had undergone by-pass surgery. The Chief Minister wished him healthy life.

Campus Watch

Nauni Varsity Admissions Open for Diploma in Fruit, Vegetable Processing & Bakery products

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Nauni varsity admissions for diploma

Solan-The Dr YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry, Nauni has invited applications for its one-year Diploma in Fruit and Vegetable Processing and Bakery products. The diploma will be run by the Department of Food Science and Technology of the university.

This year, the university has also reduced the fee charged for the diploma to Rs 5000. Earlier, the fee for this diploma was Rs 20,000. The decision was taken to ensure that more and more people can apply for the programme.

In addition, the programme has also been linked to the Skill Development Allowance scheme of the Government of Himachal Pradesh. Any person enrolled in the programme can also apply for this allowance.

The minimum educational qualification for this diploma programme is Class 10+2 with at least 40 per cent with no age cap for admission. The last date of application is 17 January 2019 and the counselling will be held on 19 January.

A total of 35 seats are available in the programme. Prospectus and application form can be downloaded from the university website(www.yspuniversity.ac.in).

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234 Ambulance Roads in Shimla City Declared ‘No Parking Zones’, Parking woes to Intensify

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List of ambulance roads in Shimla City declared no parking zones

Shimla- The parking woes have intensified in Shimla City as the District Magistrate of Shimla, Amit Kashyap, issued an official notification on December 19, 2018, in which 234 ambulance roads in Shimla city were declared as “No Parking Zones.

As per the notification, based on the report received from the Superintendent of Police, Shimla, it was found that the residents, as well as outsiders, had turned link roads into unauthorized parking spaces, which results into huge traffic jam and inconvenience to the smooth passage of ambulances carrying patients along with the general the public.

Therefore, the District Magistrate declared all the following 234 ambulance roads as “No Parking Zones”:


He said the decision was taken keeping in view the necessity of smooth flow of traffic and passage to ambulances on ambulance roads in Shimla City.

As per the notification, the matter was highlighted as the local residents of the Middle Cemetery, upper Gahan, Bhatttakufar, Dhingu Bawari, Frud, Lower Gahan, and Nerridhar had requested to declare the ambulance roads leading from Dhigu Bawari to Lower Gahan and From PWD Workshop Bhattakuffer to Jai Moti Bhawan (Cemetary) as “No Parking Zone” as some of the people park their vehicles on these roads resulting in traffic jams and obstruct ambulances.

While the government has a policy to allow buying vehicles only if an applicant could provide evidence of having a parking space, there are a large number of cars which were either bought before the formation of this policy or are registered in other districts of the State.

A section of vehicle owners have expressed unrest against this decision and argued that it was not fair, as the government did not provide sufficient authorized parking spaces in localities.

Having a personal parking space doesn’t matter as soon as an individual drives to other parts of the city. Sufficient parking spaces based on the required capacity of a particular Ward or locality are needed to fix this problem, and it is apparently the government’s job

said a resident of Khalini, Shimla.

On the other hand, the majority of the general public has supported the decision expecting that it would make these roads more convenient and smoother for traffic.

However, the district police is likely to face a lot of resistance from local residents while ensuring compliance with the orders passed.

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Opposed to Tribal Minister’s promise in Assembly, FRA claims of Kinnaur tribals rejected to favor hydro-power company

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HP Govt Rejects FRA Claims of Kinnaur villagers

Doling out forest land to the company but cannot grant tribal rights, shows government priorities; Empty promise on FRA made in Vidhan Sabha: Lippa Forest Rights Committee

Kinnaur: Barely few days after tall promises were made about implementation of the Forest Rights Act in the Legislative Assembly by the Tribal Minister Ramlal Markanda, the District Level Committee (DLC) at Rekong Peo has rejected the Individual Forest Rights claims of 47 tribal claimants of Lippa Village in Kinnaur District, said Forest Rights Committee, Lippa in a media statement. The order of the DLC, which was not signed by the three non-official members of the committee out of the six members, was termed as illegal and unjust by the Lippa Forest Rights Committee.

We condemn this order led by the Deputy Commissioner because the arguments for not recommending the 47 claims are totally baseless. It is clear that the officials are ignorant about the provisions of the FRA 2006. The DLC has just blindly accepted the incorrect decision taken by the bureaucratic members of the Sub Divisional Level Committee, where as we have provided the DLC detailed objections to the same, based on the provisions in the Forest Rights Act 2006,

said Subhash Negi of President of the Forest Rights Committee, Lippa.

The order of the DLC dated December 17, 2018, gives three arguments for not recommending the claims. The first is that the claims are not from ‘unsurveyed villages’ but from revenue villages. The second argument is that the evidence submitted by the claimants does not provide proof of three generations. The third argument says that the act was only for those who are primarily residing in forests and dependent on the forest land, implying that the claimants were not eligible. As per the FRC as well as the written objection submitted by the Individual claimants, all three arguments have been legally countered.

This Act is not just for ‘unsurveyed villages’ but is also applicable to revenue villages with residents who are dependent for their ‘bonafide livelihood’ needs on forest land. This has been adequately clarified by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs in a circular dated June 9, 2008.

This argument by the officials that claimants from revenue villages are not eligible is ridiculous because all 17,503 FRCs in Himachal are formed at Revenue Village level. If we go by their argument then the FRA 2006 cannot be implemented in Himachal at all since there almost no forest villages here. The FRA 2006 is applicable where ever people depend on forest land,

according to Prakash Bhandari, of Himdhara Collective advocating for the implementation of the Act.

Secondly, the Act requires the three-generation evidence clause only for non-tribal people (referred to as Other traditional forest dwellers in the Act), Whereas the applicants in the case of Lippa are all belonging to the category of Scheduled Tribe. Thirdly, the SDLC and DLC have both recommended the Community forest rights for the Lippa village without any objections.

This is s a partial reading of the law. While issuing the CFR title we are considered as ‘primarily residing in the forest, forest dwellers’, while considering the individual claims won’t the same criteria apply? This shows that the officials do not have even basic knowledge of the act,

added Negi.

It needs to be noted that individual claims can be made, as per the law for both housing as well as land being cultivated. The Gram Sabha of Lippa has recommended all 47 claims almost 6 months ago.

The decision of the DLC is also contentious because the forest land under Lippa Village was leased out to Himachal Pradesh Power Corporation Limited for the Kashang Stage 2 and 3 hydropower projects by the State cabinet on 0ctober 13, 2018. The Paryavaran Sangharsh Samiti, Lippa which has been opposing the forest clearance to the project, has objected to the cabinet decision taken on the grounds that it “is a clear violation of not only of the PESA, FRA, 2006 and the NGT judgment dated 5th May 2016 but also the state’s own legislation”.

In 2016 the Green tribunal had ordered that the forest rights of the communities be settled as per provisions of the FRA and only after that the project proponents could approach the Gram Sabha for NOC.

The lease order was made under Himachal Pradesh Lease rules, 2013 for an underground area of 06-03-20 ha, situated in Up-Mohal Lappo of the Lippa Village. According to Tashi Chewang, Secretary Paryavaran Sanrakshan Sangharsh Samiti, “Rule 11 sub-rule 2 (iii) of the Himachal Pradesh Lease Rules, 2014 clearly states that

In Scheduled areas, the Sub-Divisional Officer (Civil) shall also refer the lease application to the concerned Gram Sabhas for consultation. He shall proceed further only after obtaining the Gram Sabha’s resolution

in this regard.

But during the whole process of leasing out land to HPPCL, neither the SDM has ever approached or consulted with the Lippa gram sabha nor the gram sabha ever passed any resolution in this regard.

The ‘Vanya Prani, Van Evam Jaivividhta Sanrakhsan Samiti’ formed under rule 4(E) of the FRA 2006 by Lippa Gram Sabha has issued a legal notice to the Chief Secretary and 6 other high level officials challenging the lease order.

The people of Lippa village for the last ten years have been struggling against the projects because of the havoc that diversion of the Kerang Khad would cause. Kerang is a perennial stream that flows adjacent to the Lippa village and it helps in flushing out the huge silt and debris that come towards the village from another stream called the Pager Khad.

If the Kerang is diverted by the project then the Pager khad will destroy the village, added Chewang. The Chilgoza forest and other biodiversity on which the livelihood of locals is directly dependent will also be impacted by the forest diversion and construction

, according to members of the Paryavaran Sanrankshan Sangharsh Samiti.

Our struggle is for our day to day survival and livelihood using every law that is available for protection of tribal rights. But when the State is violating all these constitutional laws and provisions, what is the community to do?

asks R.S Negi leader of Him Lok Jagriti Manch, Kinnaur, a platform for tribal rights in the District.

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