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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.

Misc News/Press Release

MHA Guidelines: Schools, Cinema Halls and Other Facilities Allowed to Open from Oct 15

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Cinema-halls-in-shimla j

Shimla-Amid community spread in India, the Central government has decided to allow more activities including opening of schools, cinema halls, theatres, swimming pools, entertainment parks, and business exhibitions on a conditional basis. The Ministry of Home Affairs, GoI, on September 30 issued a notification regarding the same. These facilities/services would be allowed only outside containment zones and in accordance with the SOPs, the notification said.

Lockdowns would remain in force in notified containment zones till October 31.

Allowing opening in a graded manner after October 15, the Centre government has left the decision to re-open the schools and coaching institutions on the state governments. However, attending schools physically would not be compulsory and would require a written consent of the parents. The students who want to attend the classes online can opt to not attend schools physically. The Centre has directed not to enforce attendance on the students. Further, the schools would have to follow the SOPs, which would be prepared by the state governments.

The higher institutes would be opened only for PhD and post-graduate students in the science and technology stream who requires laboratory/experimental works.

Cinemas, theatres, and multiplexes have been allowed to open from October 15 with upto 50 percent of their seating capacity. SOPs regarding the same would issued soon.

Business to Business Exhibitions have also been allowed from October 15. Swimming pools which are being used for training of sportspersons will be also be allowed to open.

Social, academic, sports, entertainment, cultural, religious, political functions and other congregations have already been permitted with a ceiling of 100 persons. In closed spaces, a maximum of 50 percent of the hall capacity will be allowed with a ceiling of 200 persons. Wearing face masks, maintaining social distancing, and provision for thermal scanning and use of hand wash or sanitizers have been made mandatory.

Himachal Pradesh government is expected to release SOPs regarding the opening of these facilities soon. The opening of these activities in Himachal Pradesh would be a challenge as the state has just begun with community spread and heading towards peak level. By September 30 (till 9:00 PM), the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases had reached 14976, of which 3400 were active. A total of 181 COVID-19 deaths have been reported in Himachal Pradesh. A high portion of these casualties has been reported during the last two months. Yesterday, the state health department could only trace 229 new positive cases. Three more persons died yesterday.

It’s pertinent to consider that the fatality rate is rising but the number of traced COVID-19 cases has been falling in the daily COVID-19 Bulletin issued by the state health department. At the same time, the state government seems to be under-prepared to combat rising number of cases. The shortage of quarantine facilities is one of the these challenges. Himachal Watcher had yesterday covered a similar issued reported from Kaithu market in Shimla city. (Watch the video below)

View the Complete MHA Notification Issued on September 30, 2020

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Alarming Rise in COVID-19 Deaths in Himachal as 18 Die in Two Days, 46 in a Week

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Himachal Pradesh COVID-19 daily update for september 27

Shimla-The traced number of patients of COVID-19 in Himachal Pradesh is falling in the official update issued by the state Health Department, but the fatality rate is rising at an alarming rate. During the last two days, the state has reported 18 COVID-19 deaths and 46 in the last week. On September 27, the state reported 11 fatalities.  The deceased aged between 48 – 93 years. As per the official statistics, a total of 195 cases were traced yesterday, which took the tally of confirmed cases in the state to 14191. The COVID-19 death tally for the state has now risen to 170.

Solan district has reported the highest 2918 cases, while Kangra district has reported the highest 42 deaths. 

Amid community spread, the state government was yet to issue any projections regarding the actual number of cases and deaths in the state. (Scroll down for latest district-wise statistics)

Details of COVID-19 Fatalities 

COVID-19 deaths in Himachal pradesh september 28

State government appeared to have woken up to issue a statement over the alarming rise in the fatality rate. It is now that the government has realized that the situation asks for a strong strategy.

Also Read: COVID-19 Claims 116 Lives in 25 Days, Still No Concrete Strategy to Combat Community Spread

It’s pertinent to mention that Prime Minister Narender Modi would be paying a visit to the state on October 3, 2020, to commission the Rohtang Tunnel. The state government is tirelessly working to facilitate VVIP guests.

“A common strategy must be prepared to provide proper treatment to the COVID-19 patients, especially with co-morbid illness,”

said an official statement issued yesterday.

“Proper strategy for Information Education and Communication (IEC) must be framed to motivate the patients with ILI symptoms to immediately rush to the hospital without delay, so that they may be provided with immediate treatment. This would help in timely treatment of the patients,”

the government said.

The doctors have been asked to ensure proper treatment to the patients, especially the patients with the co-morbid illness.

“Proper protocol must be adopted for home isolation for the asymptotic patients at home. It has been felt that such patients at home do not get proper treatment and care. Such patients must be treated as per the standard operating procedure,”

the government said.  

After questions were raised over the arrangements at the COVID-19 hospitals following the suicide of a positive patient at the DDU hospital Shimla, the government asked the officials to ensure proper hygiene and cleanliness at these hospitals.

The government asked the officials to provide hot water, Kada and nutritious food and develop a mechanism for communication of the COVID-19 patients and their family members.

Senior doctors have been asked to daily visit the patients. Directions have been given to Medical Superintendents of all the Medical Colleges and major Zonal Hospitals in the State to ensure at least two rounds in a day to monitor all the facilities such as ward cleanliness, treatment to the patients, quality of food, and condition of toilets in their hospitals.

Further, the government said that the isolation wards in Chamba, Hamirpur and Nahan Medical Colleges would start functioning from tomorrow.  It would also reduce the referral cases to IGMC Shimla, Dr RPMC, Tanda and LBSMC, Ner Chowk, the government said. The government also informed that 15 to 20 bedded isolation facilities would be provided in each of these medical colleges to facilitate the patients.

HP Health Department COVID-19 Bulletin- September 25, 2020 (9 PM)

himachal pradesh covid-19 situation in september

 

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Himachal: COVID-19 Claims 116 Lives in 25 Days, Still No Concrete Strategy to Combat Community Spread

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himachal pradesh covid-19 community spread

Shimla: Himachal Pradesh didn’t get any respite from rising number of fatalities on September 25 too. Seven more patients succumbed to the infection. These deaths were reported from Shimla (2), Solan (2), Chamba (1), Siramur (1), and Hamirpur (1). The patients included six males and one female aged between 35-66 years.  According to the Health Department, two of the deceased were patients of diabetes mellitus.  (View details of the deceased below). So far, 152 people have lost their lives due to COVID-19 infection.

COVID-19 deaths in himachal pradesh

Further, according to the official report, a total of 293 cases were traced yesterday. The official tally had reached 13679 till 9:00 PM yesterday. (Scroll down for district-wise statistics).

Despite the onset of community spread, the state hasn’t come out with any projection of the actual number of cases and deaths. There is no word on a strategy for combating community spread and minimize the casualties. Of the total 152 deaths traced by the government, 116 casualties were reported in the last 25 days of the September month. On average, the state is reporting four COVID-19 casualties per day during the current month.

Meanwhile, Dr Lokender Sharma, who was removed from the position of the Medical Superintendent, DDU, Shimla, following a suicide of a COVID-19 patient, has come out with statements which refer to the callous attitude of the state Health Department and its higher officials. He said that there was no negligence on his part and that he was ready for any inquiry. He said the higher officials are washing their hands of responsibilities by putting the entire blame on hospital administration and doctors. He again referred to the shortage of staff and his repeated reminders to the department regarding the same. However, it’s pertinent to mention that the actual cause of the suicide was yet to be ascertained.

Govt Not Prepared for Peak Period of COVID-19 Spread: Sanjay Chauhan

The incident has led to protests from oppositions who allege ill-preparedness of the government in combating COVID-19. Sanjay Chauhan, former Mayor of Shimla and a leader of Communist Party of India (M), said that the incident highlights miserable state of and mismanagement at the COVID-19 hospitals. He said there is an acute shortage of health staff including doctors, nurses, and paramedical staff at the DDU hospital. More than 30 percent of posts are vacant at the hospital, he added.

The government has been claiming it an achievement to receive 500 ventilators, but there is no staff to operate them, he said. He said that the leaders of the ruling government are also criticizing the miserable state of the COVID-19 hospitals and asking to fix it.

“Instead of formulating any concrete plan to attend to this issue, the government is emphasizing on ‘Havans’ which is unscientific. It clearly displays the backward and unscientific approach of the ruling party,”

Chauhan said.

He said that the government should prepare a strategy to combat the spread on a war footing and constitute a task force under able leadership. The Chief Minister should call for an all-party meeting to gain their support  to ensure appropriate preparedness to combat the peak period, he said.

Chief Minister Focused on PM Visit ahead of Rohtang Tunnel

The Chief Minister, however, did preside over a “Media Plan” meeting yesterday pertaining to the proposed visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the State on October 3, 2020 to inaugurate Atal Tunnel Rohtang.

Chief Minister directed the officers to ensure elaborate arrangements for installation of LED screens at different locations for the live telecast of the event. He directed the authorities to make special arrangements for the VVIP visits. He said that appropriate hoardings must be installed at different sites including district headquarters. A proper media centre with the internet and other facilities must be established to facilitate the media persons, he directed the officials. 

HP Health Department COVID-19 Bulletin- September 25, 2020 (9 PM)

Himachal Pradesh COVID-19 deaths on september 25, 2020

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