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When will Delhi-Shimla flights start, asks Supreme Court, hoping there is nothing political about it

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Shimla Airport

SHIMLA- The Supreme Court on Thursday asked the “competent authority” to tell it if it was going to ensure air connectivity between Delhi and Shimla as it hoped that there was nothing political about the issue.

Asking the “competent authority” to tell it before next date of hearing when it was going to start air connectivity between Delhi and Shimla, a bench of Chief Justice TSThakur, Justice R Banumathi and Justice Uday Umesh Lalit observed: “We only hope there is nothing political” in a reference to Himachal Pradesh is ruled by the Congress.

Dispelling the apprehension of the court about any political consideration being in play, Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar, appearing for national carrier Air India, told the court that there was no such thing as flights were operating from Delhi to Kulu and Dharamshala in the state.

The court was also told that government has included Shimla airport in category III airports thereby making it obligatory for private airlines to bring it on the map of their operations.

Under the licence conditions, private operators including Air India are obliged to operate 10 percent of their total flights at category I airports comprising metropolitan cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkatta and others to category II airports at Lakshadweep, Port Blair, Srinagar and northeastern states.

At this, the court also sought details about the airports, both in categories I and II, where private airlines were flying.

Making it clear that it may pass order on starting air operations between Delhi and Shimla in the next hearing of the matter on May 4, the bench asked the Directorate General of Civil Aviation to issue directions to the private airlines to start flights to Shimla.

As Additional Solicitor General P.S.Patwalia, appearing for the civil aviation ministry and Airports Authority of India, said that they can’t give any directions to private airlines, the bench said:

You have issued guidelines, you enforce them.

The court also made it clear that its December 16, 2015 order putting on hold Himachal Pradesh High Court order directing Air India to start test flights between Delhi and Shimla would not come in the way of government asking private airlines to bring Delhi-Shimla route on the map of their operations.

Noting that Srinagar too have been included in Category II airports, Chief Justice Thakur how could Srinagar airport be equated with airports in northeastern states and Shimla.

How can you compare Srinagar with Shimla and North-East. Take out Srinagar (from category II airports). The very fact that you are comparing Srinagar with the northeast shows your intentions,

the court said pointing out that the situation in Kashmir had no bearing the status of the airport.

Contending that at one point Srinagar was comparable to northeast, Patwalia said:

We are not scared. We only wanted to respect the sentiments of the court.

He said that the including Shimla in category II airports was the best that could be done.

Seeing the court was insisting on bringing Shimla on the air map of the country, Patwalia urged the court to ask Air India to commence its operations as it had 42-seater ATR 42 aircraft.

But Ranjit Kumar told the court that Air India had three of these aircraft, one of which has got badly damaged and two others are in operation to Port Blair and the northeast and any diversion of flights would result in curtailing operations, to these areas.

He said all other private airlines had such aircraft and they could be asked to start Delhi-Shimla flights.

Photo: Tribune

Misc News/Press Release

Himachal Reports 87 COVID-19 Deaths in 11 Days With a Steep Rise in Cases

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COVID-19 deaths in Himachal pradesh on november 10

Shimla-With nine more COVID-19 deaths on Wednesday, the tally for Himachal Pradesh has jumped to 399. The state is witnessing a surge in November as 87 deaths were reported during the last 11 days. Yesterday’s fatalities included seven males and two females aged between 45 to 87 years. Find the reasons for these fatalities below:

himachal pradesh -Update on covid-19 deaths

Further, according to the state Health Department’s official statistics, 610 new cases of COVID-19 were detected yesterday, of which Shimla reported highest (118) cases, followed by Mandi (116).

In Mandi district, as many as 26 more teachers and some students reportedly tested positive yesterday. The infected also included two doctors of Tanda Medical College, Kangra, and a couple of policemen in Sakoh.

Operation theatre at the Kamala Nehru Hospital, Shimla, was reportedly closed for a week. Similarly, the women police station in Shimla was also closed following the detection of a case.

Further, the state High Court has taken suo moto cognizance of a news report published in an English daily and issued a notice to the government. The news pertained to Indira Gandhi Medical College, which ran out of space for COVID-19 patients in isolation wards.

As per official data, the total for COVID-19 in the state had reached 27418 till yesterday evening (9 pm), of which 5605 were active cases. Mandi district has reported highest 4194 cases, followed by Solan (3958), Shimla (3725), and Kangra (3635).

The state government is barely speaking on the alarming rise in fatalities and its strategy to control it. But Chief Minister, while addressing a public meeting at Sihunta under Bhatiyat Assembly Constituency yesterday, did hail the Prime Minister and claimed that the nation is out of COVID-19 crisis.

“He (PM) has successfully brought the Nation out of Covid-19 crisis,”

Chief Minister said.

HP Health Department COVID-19 Bulletin for November 11, 2020 (9 pm)

 

 

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Himachal Reports 12 COVID-19 Deaths in Single Day, Surge in Cases in Shimla

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Himachal Pradesh COVID-19 deaths till diwali

Shimla-COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc in Himachal Pradesh as a record 12 fatalities were reported on Tuesday. Of the 611 new positive cases yesterday, Shimla reported highest 148 with seven fatalities. The deceased included 11 males and a female aged between 47 to 92 years.  During the last three days, the state has reported 25 fatalities. Find the details regarding the causes of deaths below:

Himachal Pradesh Record COVID-19 deaths

The state government had yesterday decided to close all educational institutes in Himachal for 15 days after over a hundred teachers and students tested positive in schools. The government termed it as a special vocation for students, teachers, and non-teaching staff of all educational institutes.

The capital has witnessed a surge as over 750 cases were reported during the last six days. In the season of festivity and marriages, social distancing and other guidelines issued by the MHA for personal protection are being flaunted, which is only fueling the spread. 

On top of it, the COVID-19 Hospitals in the state have begun to run out of beds for patients in isolation wards. The largest medical facility in the state – Indira Gandhi Medical College & Hospital- was packed to its full capacity, which was only 85 beds. Dr Rajneesh Pathania, Principal of IGMC, confirmed the report. According to media reports, DDU hospital, Shimla, had also run out of space. The government is yet to prepare the make-shift hospitals it had announced a couple of months ago. 

So far, according to the official statistics, the state had reported a total of 26808 cases till yesterday evening (9 pm), and the official COVID-19 death tally had mounted to 390.

HP Health Department COVID-19 Bulletin for November 9, 2020 (9 pm)

Update Himachal Pradesh COVID-19 for november 10, 2020

Featured Image: [email protected]

 

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Amid Alarming Surge in COVID-19 Cases and Deaths, Hospitals Including IGMC Running Out of Space

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covid-19 in himachal pradesh igmc beds full

Shimla– Amid the festive season, Himachal Pradesh is witnessing an alarming surge in COVID-19 cases and fatalities. As a matter of huge concern, the Indira Gandhi Medical College & Hospital, Shimla, has run out of beds in isolation facility and can’t accommodate more patient, unless someone is discharged or dies. There was space for only 85 patients at the hospital, which is full presently.

The DDU hospital, too, is running out of capacity with a surge in cases. Further, make-shift hospitals announced by the state government haven’t seen light of day. IGMC is the largest medical facility of the state and COVID-19 patients in critical condition were referred here.  

The situation could worsen due to the ongoing festive and wedding season. Markets are crowded and people are hardly following social distancing norms in marriages.

Further, yesterday seven people including a 16-year-old girl lost their lives. The decision to open schools seems to be backfiring as hundreds of teachers and several students were found positive for COVID-19 during the past few days. There are speculations that the state government could decide on closing schools for some time in the Cabinet meeting to be held today.

Details regarding the causes of fatalities below:

Himachal Pradesh COVID-19 deaths in november 2020 f

On Monday, five doctors and nine staff nurses at the Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri Government Medical College and Hospital, Nerchowk in Mandi district, tested positive.

Yesterday, the state reported a record 711 confirmed cases with seven fatalities in a single day. Shimla district reported the highest 204 confirmed cases.

The COVID-19 death tally has now mounted to 378, while the total number of cases had reached 26197 till yesterday evening (till 9 pm).

HP Health Department COVID-19 Bulletin for November 9, 2020 (9 pm)

 

Himachal Pradesh covid-19 cases on november 10

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