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Himachal lost Rs 120 cr due to Transport Dept’s apathy, Rs 98.35 crore pending collection since 1971-72: CAG




SHIMLA- The state government has suffered a revenue loss of Rs 119.96 crore due to non-short-realisation and under assessment of token tax, special road tax, registration fee, permit fee, driving licence fee, penalties and composite fee under the National Permit Scheme in 227 cases by the State Transport Department.

Evasion of passenger and goods tax in 20 cases caused a revenue loss of Rs 60.81 crore while non/short-realisation and evasion of token tax and composite fee caused a loss of Rs 31.44 crore in 99 cases as per the report of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) for the year ending March 2015.

In 50 cases of non/short-realisation of Special Roads Tax, the audit teams detected short-non-realisation of Rs 24.30 crore and the department accepted under-assessment and other deficiencies of Rs 26.34 crore in 349 cases and said Rs 6.06 crore had been realised in 291 cases.

The report further pointed out that arrears amounting to Rs 98.35 crore were pending collection since 1971-72. The department supplied information about only 18 out 69 cases and out of this taxes amounting to Rs 30.91 crore were pending recovery for more than five years.

Special Road Tax (SRT) amounting to Rs 20.47 crore was payable by the Himachal Roadways Transport Corporation from April 2013 to March 2014 and Rs 91.15 lakh in 167 cases was recoverable from the private state carriage (PSC) as on March 2015, which was neither being deposited by the HRTC and owners of the PSCs nor demanded by the department, resulting in non-recovery of SRT of Rs 21.38 crore.

The report said token tax and entry tax amounting to Rs 17.73 crore in respect of 22,527 vehicles for 2010-11 to 2013-14 was neither demanded by the department nor paid by these vehicle owners.

Additional goods tax of Rs 59.90 crore was neither paid by two cement companies which had transported limestone and shale from mining areas to cement plants for manufacturing of cement and clinker, nor was it demanded by the department, resulting in evasion of revenue and caused loss to that extent.

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Misc News/Press Release

Krishi Karman Award to Himachal for increased food grain production



Himachal wins national Krishi Karman Award

The total food grains production in the state increased from 14.94 lakh tonnes to 16.40 lakh tonnes during last five years

Shimla: Himachal Pradesh has received the Krishi Karman Award for its achievement in showing highest production of food grains, said the State government. 

Agriculture Minister Dr Ramlal Markanda received ‘Krishi Karman Award’ for the year 2015-16 from Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a ceremony organized at New Delhi, yesterday.  The award consists of a trophy, citation, and cash prize.

Besides, two progressive farmers of the state including a woman farmer also received the prizes.

Congratulating the Agriculture department for this achievement, Additional Chief Secretary, Agriculture Dr Srikant Baldi said this feat was achieved by the department by extending technological inputs and services to the farmers of the state.

As per the government records, the total food grains production in the state increased from 14.94 lakh tonnes to 16.40 lakh tonnes during last five years.  Besides, the department claims it has also done commendable work in promoting poly-house cultivation, crop diversification, micro-irrigation, organic farming and soil health management.

Krishi Karman Awards are instituted by the Union Ministry of Agriculture in 2010-11 to reward the best performing States in the production of rice, wheat, cereals, pulses and total food grains.

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HP Cabinet Minister Vipin Singh Parmar celebrates birthday with special children



HP Cabinet Minister Vipin Singh Parmar Birthday

Shimla: Health and Family Welfare Minister of Himachal Pradesh, Vipin Singh Parmar, visited the school for deaf and dumb at Dhalli, Shimla, in the late evening  and celebrated his birthday with special children.

Health Minister distributed fruits, vegetables, cake and sweets to the children. He also attended the cultural programme presented by the children on this occasion.

Parmar said the State government is giving special emphasis on the welfare of special children, education, food and shelter facilities. He urged teachers and staff members at school to work for the welfare of these children with commitment and dedication.

These children are an important part of the society. These children have some traits and talents in them which need to be honed for their better future, he said.

He said many special children are contributing to the society at par with the general citizens. These children are also serving efficiently in the government services.

Parmar interacted with children and encouraged them to learn more. He said that these children are special to the society. They should have a progressive approach to the life and a passion for learning.

Son of Kanchan Singh Parmar, Vipin was born at village Nanao, Tehsil Palampur, in Kangra on March 15 March, 1964.


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Rohtang Tunnel access road facing increased avalanche threats as Himachal’s average temp on rise: Study



Shimla: A research carried out in Himachal Pradesh within the framework of the Indian Himalayas Climate Adaptation Program (IHCAP), a partnership led jointly by the Indian and Swiss authorities with strong scientific input from University of Geneva (UNIGE), Switzerland, has a bad news for the Hill State.

The impacts of global warming are felt especially in mountainous regions, where the rise in temperatures is above average, affecting both glacierized landscapes and water resources.

The repercussions of these changes are manifold and varied, from retreating glaciers to an increase in the frequency and intensity of snow avalanches.

A team of researchers from the UNIGE, Switzerland, has employed endrochronology– the reconstruction of past disasters as recorded in growth series of trees– to disentangle the role of global warming in the triggering avalanches.

The results of this study are published in the Proceedings of the National Academic of Science – PNAS.

Read Detailed Study

Avalanches are a natural phenomenon and occur repeatedly in mountain areas; nonetheless, rising temperatures are altering their triggering. This can lead to disasters and serious consequences in mountain areas where they can severely affect the socio-economic development and the destruction of traffic infrastructure, and buildings.

This is the case in Himachal Pradesh, where increasing residential numbers and tourism are exerting pressure on land use. Along the road to Leh, 500 km north of New Delhi, the Indian government has drilled one of the largest tunnels of the Indian sub-continent.

study of glacier melting in himcahla pradesh

Avalanche slope in the Western Himalayas used for the reconstruction of changes in avalanche frequency. Red dots indicate the locations of sampled trees. Potential release areas are indicated with semitransparent white surfaces and have been detected using the approach suggested by Bühler et al. (26). The access road to the new Rothang tunnel crosses the lower part of the slope.

With the ongoing climate warming, snow avalanches are increasingly threatening the access road to the tunnel. This is why UNIGE researchers conducted their fieldwork at the spot from 2013 to 2015, in a valley located at between 3,000 and 4,000 m.

Trees: silent witnesses to the upsurge in the number of avalanches

The aim of the research group was to evaluate – and add to – the information currently available about avalanches with two goals:

(i) To identify the nature of the changes in avalanche activity currently taking place; and

(ii) To assess future needs for tackling these changes.

In the absence of data comparable to the information collected in European surveys, for which records often exist for the past few centuries, the UNIGE researchers focused on trees: they examined stumps (when the tree had been removed) or cored trees that were still standing to reconstruct past snow avalanches at the study site.

The scientists were able to date individual events by analysing the growth rings and wounds left on the trees by avalanches. The research included nearly 150 trees.

Since we knew the position of each affected tree, we were able to reconstruct the dynamics, lateral extent and runout distance of every avalanche,

explains Juan Antonio Ballesteros-Cánovas, a senior lecturer at UNIGE’s Institute for Environmental Sciences (ISE).


This technique meant we could go back to 1855 and record 38 avalanches over this period in the valley, the largest survey conducted to date in the Himalayas.

he added.

The models used for testing the impact of climate change combine the risks of avalanche with local climate data. They were adjusted to include the likely effect on topographical features resulting from earlier avalanches.

Since they destroy the plant cover, they are an aggravating risk factor. The results brooked no argument: from the second half of the twentieth century, there has been an increase in the number of avalanches, both in terms of frequency and intensity. The frequency has risen from one event per decade to almost one event every year.

The impact of temperature on the cryosphere

Avalanches are bigger, travel greater distances and are triggered earlier in the year. These changes can be attributed clearly to rising temperatures, which have reached 0.2 to 0.4 degrees annually in some parts of the Himalayas.

And rising air temperature are also affecting the cryosphere: glaciers are receding and permafrost is melting, losing its role as a sediment stabiliser.

 In addition, the structure of the snowpack is changing: it is being transformed by increasingly warmer air temperatures and/or altered by rain-on-snow events.

Snow is now also falling earlier in the season and is being destabilised before spring, at a time when it is thicker, leading to an increase in the number and intensity of avalanches.

Since the snow is wet, avalanches are descending slowly but over greater distances than in the past.


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