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46th Statehood Day celebrated at Jaisinghpur

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The 46th Statehood Day of Himachal Pradesh was celebrated with great gaiety today. Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh presided over the Statehood Day function organized at Jaisinghpur in Kangra district.

He hoisted the National flag and took salute from the impressive march past by contingents of Police, Home Guards, NCC Cadets and school children.

Speaking on the occasion, the Chief Minister said 25 January was a historic day for the people of Himachal Pradesh as this hilly State got Statehood status on this day. He remembered first Chief Minister of the State Dr. Y.S. Parmar and former Prime Minister late Smt. Indira Gandhi who played a significant role in getting Statehood status for the State in 1971.

He said that the real credit of the unprecedented development goes to the hardworking people of the State and also to the leadership provided by successive Congress governments at the Centre and the State.

Virbhadra Singh announced Sub-Divisional offices at Nagrota-Bagwan and Shahpur, HPSEB division at Jawalamukhi, DSP office and Fire Brigade unit at Jaisinghpur and up-gradation of Panchrukhi police post to fully fledged Police Station in Kangra district. He also announced government Degree College at Rakkar in Dehra sub-division and to take Sugh-Bhatoli and S.D Rajpur private colleges under the control of State government.

He announced up-gradation of Government Middle School Jhunga-Devi to Government High School and GHS Harsi to Government Senior Secondary School, construction of science block at Jaisinghpur College and starting of science classes at GSSS Sari. He also announced up-gradation of GHS Tangroti to GSSS at Dharamsala. He also announced construction of additional accommodation in PWD rest house Jaisinghpur and new Primary Health Centre (PHC) at Jagrupnagar besides a Veterinary Hospital at Harsi.

The Chief Minister said Dharamshala had been made second Municipal Corporation of the State to ensure planned development of this town. He said Chadiar, Haripur, Gangath, Panchrukhi, Alampur and Darini were made Sub-Tehsils and Dadasiba as Tehsil by the present government. Apart from this, a new sub-division had been approved for Jawalamukhi whereas Tehsil Welfare Offices had been opened at Shahpur, Nagrota-Bagwan and at Rakkar in Pragpur in Dehra sub-division.

Counting the development achieved in the Kangra district during last three years, he said a sum of Rs. 26 crore was being spent under Rajeev Gandhi Electrification programme and to give fillip to tourism in the district, approval had been given for Himani-Chamunda rope-way and the foundation stone of rope-way between Dharamsala to Macleodganj had been laid which would be completed within one and a half years. The work to replace the old transformers in Dharamsala and Yol Cantt was in progress and Rs 3.60 crore new electric Sub-station would be constructed at Damtal.

The Chief Minister said 166 kilometres of new roads and 29 bridges were constructed in the district. He said 8842 hand-pumps were installed during this period and 62 new irrigation schemes were under construction. AS many as 66,450 persons in the district were being provided social security. He added the decision had also been taken to open Football academy at Dharamshala.

Virbhadra Singh said last three years had witnessed speedy and all-round development of all areas of the State and government was implementing various policies and programmes to ensure welfare of every section of the society. He said with the blessings and affection of the people of the State, he was fortunate to serve the State as the Chief Minister for sixth time and his top priority was ensure a transparent, responsive and efficient administration for welfare of the people.

He said that government had adopted its election manifesto as a policy document and had gone beyond to fulfill the promises made in the manifesto. Around 1365.65 kilometers of new motor-able roads and 134 bridges were constructed during last three years and 255 villages had been provided road connectivity.

The Chief Minister said emphasis was being laid on providing houses to poor and needy. As many as 13652 houses had been constructed under Indira Awas Yojana by spending Rs. 8538.65 lakh and 2141 under Rajiv Awas Yojana at a cost of Rs. 2280.47 lakh. Besides, three Biswas of land was being provided to the landless in rural areas and two biswas in urban areas.

He said 994 new schools had been opened or upgraded and 25 new degree colleges have been opened in rural areas during last three years. More than 100 health institutions were opened or upgraded and 1775 posts of various categories had been created for three new medical colleges to be opened shortly in the State. The government was effectively implementing ”Rajiv Gandhi Anna Yojana” to provide ration at subsidized rates to about 37 lakh people of the State. All ration card holders covering more than 77 lakh people of the State had been brought under PDS BPL families were being provided 35 kilograms ration as before.

The Chief Minister said social security pension had been enhanced from Rs 450 to Rs 600 per month and persons above 80 years of age were being given Rs 1,100 per month irrespective of their income. As many as 6,949 additional habitations had been covered under rural water supply scheme and Rs.

773 crore were spent on water supply schemes besides installing 4,887 hand pumps during this period. He said 10,586 hectare area had been provided irrigation facility by spending Rs. 400 crore. The work was in progress on channelization of Swan river in Una district and Chhonchh Khad in Kangra district while Rs. 191 crore River Pabbar channelization Project in Shimla district had also been approved.

Virbhadra Singh said new state-of-art industrial areas were being established at Kandrauri in Kangra district and Pandoga in Una district at an estimated cost of Rs 95.77 crore and Rs 88.05 crore respectively. Time bound clearances are being ensured within 45 days from the date of submission of common application form for setting new industries. He said that 1,07,887 youth had been benefitted under Skill Development Allowance Scheme so far being implemented for skill development of the unemployed youth.

The Chief Minister also distributed the prizes to the participants of the cultural troupes.

Forest Minister Thakur Singh Bharmouri, Housing and Urban Development Minister Sudhir Sharma, Chief Parliamentary Secretaries Jagjivan Pal and Neeraj Bharti, MLAs Sanjay Rattan, Ajay Mahajan, Kishori Lal and Yadvinder Goma, Vice-Chairman Freedom Fighter Welfare Board Pandit Sushil Rattan, Chairman State School Education Board Balbir Tegta, chairman KCCB Jagdish Saphehiya, Vice-Chairman State Forest Corporation Kewal Singh Pathania, Ex-MLA Milkhi Ram Goma, Chief Secretary P. Mitra, DGP Sanjay Kumar and senior civil and police officers were present on the occasion.

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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