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HP Govt Cabinet decisions: Separate ring-fenced Water Supply and Sewerage Circle for Shimla

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HP-Govt-Cabinet

Decides to create Greater Shimla Water Supply & Sewerage Circle,Nod to Government Degree Colleges at Majheen in Kangra District & Govt. College at Kotli in Mandi,About 580 posts to be filled

SHIMLA- The Himachal Pradesh Cabinet in its meeting held on June 22 decided to create a separate ring-fenced Water Supply and Sewerage Circle to be headed by Superintending Engineer (IPH), with a separate name ‘Greater Shimla Water Supply and Sewerage Circle’ (GWS & SC), having separate account, under the Municipal Corporation, Shimla for delivery of all integrated services related to supply of water and sewerage disposal.

A Technical Monitoring Group (TMG) will be headed by the Chief Secretary, as its Chairman besides Secretary IPH as Member Secretary with other 10 members.

The meeting was presided over by Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh.

The Greater Shimla Water Supply and Sewerage System will be amalgamation of the existing structure available with Municipal Corporation Shimla and the IPH Water Supply & Sewerage Circle Shimla. The SE (IPH) of GWS & SC will be on secondment basis along-with his required staff to the MC.

The Circle will have two divisions viz: Water Production and Sewerage Treatment and Water Distribution and Sewerage Network.

The Health Officer of the corporation would be in-charge of the water quality monitoring and surveillance and would control the water testing labs being transferred by IPH to MC Shimla.

A MoU would be signed between State Government and MC Shimla. The World Bank Identification Mission during its recent visit of Shimla in June, 2016

had also agreed that the IPH Department will hire services of a sector specialist to draft the MoU /service agreement between the MC and the IPH for ring-fenced WSS services to be established at the MC Shimla.

The Cabinet approved enhancement of the rates of honorarium to the office bearers and staff of Panchayati Raj Institutions as per budget announcement for the year 2016-17. The Members of Zila Parishad and Panchayat Samitis will be paid honorarium at enhanced rate of Rs. 3500 and Rs. 3000 per month respectively.

The Cabinet approved to convert more than 663 Takniki Sahayaks who have put in ten years of regular service, as daily wagers. It was also decided to re-name the Panchayat Sahayaks who have completed six years of contractual services as to Panchayat Secretaries (on contract). It decided to regularize in Zila Parishad cadre, the services of as many as 165 contractual Panchayat Secretaries, who have completed five years regular services on 31-03-2016.

The Cabinet approved to set up Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) for implementation of Smart City Mission at Dharamshala. The main reason for the creation of SPV for the Smart City Mission is to ensure operational independence and autonomy in decision making and mission implementation.

The SPV will approve and sanction the projects and will execute the Smart City proposals and mobilize the sources. It will have a Governing Body for taking all major policy decisions with Divisional Commissioner, Kangra as its Chairman or any other person authorized by the State Government including one nominee from Government of India besides Mayor and Deputy Mayor and others.

The SPV at the city-level will be a limited company incorporated under the Companies. Act, 2013 at the City level, in which the State and the ULB will be the promoters having 50:50 equity share-holding.

HEALTH SECTOR

The Cabinet decided to take over ESIC Medical College and Hospital Ner Chowk in district Mandi by accepting the terms and conditions of the agreement. The Government will reimburse the interest free balance liability of Rs. 285.83 crore in five installments.

The Cabinet accorded approval for opening Health Sub Centre (HSC) at Yangpa-II in district Kinnaur.

It also approved to open Primary Health Centre at Chhitkul and Nigulsari in Kinnaur district.

Approval was accorded to open Health Sub Centers at Village Deothi Majhgaon and Village Taali Bhujjal in Sirmour district and also opening of HSC at Chnaal Mazra in Solan district.

EDUCATION SECTOR

The Cabinet decided to open new Government Degree College at Majheen in Kangra district along-with creating and filling up of as many as 18 posts of different categories on contract basis. It also approved Govt. College at Kotli in Mandi.

It decided to open new Block Primary Education Office at Ransar (Jangla) in Shimla district and approval was given to open new Primary School at village Ropa in Banjar and at Phalyani in Kullu.

In view to strengthen the Directorate of Technical Education, the Cabinet gave its node to re-designated existing one post of Head of Department (CCDC) as Deputy Director (TE), One post of Deputy Director (TE) to be created and four posts of Junior Office Assistant (IT) to be created/filled up on contract basis.

The Decision was taken to establish Institute of Hotel Management and Catering Technology at Balla Kharot (Parour) in Kangra district.

POSTS CREATED/FILLED

The Cabinet gave its approval to fill up 244 posts of Assistant Professors (College Cadre) on contract basis, and also for creation of posts of Music Teachers in all colleges of the State.

It approved to fill up 159 posts of Supervisors in Social Justice and Empowerment Department on contract basis.

Approval was give to fill up 24 posts of Clerk in Transport Department on contract basis.

The decision was also taken to keep 18 Data Entry Operators on outsource basis in Transport Department.

It approved for creation and filling up twenty posts of Junior Office Assistant (IT) in CSK HP Agriculture University Palampur on contract basis. and to create 17 posts of various categories in HP Vidhan Sabha.

It approved to create ten posts of Law Officers (English) in HP Secretariat, to filling eight vacant posts of Junior Scale Stenographers on secondment basis from amongst eligible Steno Typist of various Departments.

It approved to create and fill up 12 posts of District Coordinators and 12 posts of Junior Office Assistant (IT) on outsources basis in Social Justice and Empowerment Department. It also approved to fill up ten posts of Mali/Beldar on daily wage basis in Sericulture wing of the Industries Department.

The Cabinet approved to fill up six posts of different category in fisheries department and six posts of different categories reserved for the Ex-servicemen and one post of Dark Room Attendant in Printing and Stationary Department on contract basis. The Cabinet approved filling up of six vacant posts of Drivers on Daily Wage basis in State Vigilance & Anti Corruption Bureau.

The Cabinet gave its nod to fill four posts of Tehsil Welfare Officers on contract basis through Direct Recruitment on contract basis in Social Justice and Empowerment Department.

The approval was gven to fill up four posts of Junior Office Assistant (IT) in HIPA, four posts of Junior Office Assistant (IT) and One post of Driver in Himachal Pradesh Staff Selection Commission.

The Cabinet approved to create and fill two posts of Junior Office Assistant (IT) in Local Account and Audit Department. Approval was accorded to create and fill up one post of Assistant Programmer (IT) in Treasuries, Accounts and Lottery, two posts of Junior Office Assistant (IT) on contract basis and nine posts of Part-time Sweeper in Social Justice and Empowerment Department.

The approval was accorded to create one post of DIG in the Department of Prisons & Correctional Services, to fill one post of Assistant Director (Chemistry/Toxicology Division) in Regional Forensic Science Laboratory, Dharamshala and to fill one vacant post of Craft Teacher in Institute for Children with Special Abilities, Sundernagar, one post of Junior Office Assistant (IT) in HP State Women Commission.

It approved creation of one post of Driver in the office of Advocate General and to fill one post of Junior Scale Stenographer in the office of District Attorney Kinnaur at Rampur.

OTHER DECISIONS

The Cabinet gave its nod to provide Rs. 10,000 as ex-gratia (in lieu of bonus) to the officers/officials of H.P. State Civil Supplies Corporation not covered under the payment of bonus Act for the 2014-15.

It approved transfer of land in favour of Intelligence Bureau, Ministry of Home Affairs, GoI for construction of office-cum-residence building at Up-Mohal Baag in Una district.

It approved the change the name of Govt. Polytechnic Banikhet to Rajiv Gandhi Government Polytechnic Banikhet at Kanda in Chamba district.

It decided to open Sub-Tehsil at Saach (Pangi) and to upgrade Sihunta Sub- Tehsil to Tehsil in Chamba district.

It approved the proposal regarding sanitation/cleaning services on outsource basis in Rajiv Gandhi Government Engineering College, Kangra at Nagrota-Bagwan. Besides, it also approved for services of two mates on outsources basis.

The Approval was given to enhance share capital from Rs. 10 crore to 13 crore and Block Government Guarantee from Rs. 15 crore to Rs. 20 crore in favour of H.P. Minorities Finance and Development Corporation Shimla

It decided to revise Monetary Benefits to Gallantry Award Winners.

The decision was taken to cancel Small Hydro Power Projects on Tirthan River, its tributaries and sub-tributaries.

It approved to open Sub-Jail at Nalagarh (Deronwal) in Solan district and Sub-Tehsil at Bihru Kalan at Mandli in Una district.

Decision was taken to open regular Veterinary dispensary at Nurpur along-with the requisite posts on contract basis as Sub divisional Veterinary Hospital was shifted to Matholi. It also decided to open regular Veterinary dispensary in Village Niyal and village Sikhnara in Kangra alongwith staff.

It also approved to upgrade Veterinary Dispensary Suhani, Balugaloa, Rajhiyana in Kangra disitrict and Taryambli in Darang Mandi district to Veterinary Hospital. It decided to open new Veterinary Dispensary at Village Ogli and Shanot and to upgrade three such dispensary at Khalag, Dargi and Madawag to Veterinary Hospitals in Shimla district.

ACTS & RULES

It gave its approval to amendment in Himachal Pradesh River Rafting Rules, 2005.

It approved amendment in Appendix-III under Rule 10(1) and Clause © of Appendix-V under Rules 10(3) of H.P. Administrative Service Rules, 1973.

Approval was given to make amendments in Skill Up gradation with Job/Outsourcing Guarantee (SUJOG) Scheme.

The Cabinet approved proposed amendment in the Rule of Mukhya Mantri Kanya Daan Yojna 2006” wherein the marriage grant to the guardians of destitute women/girls is enhanced from Rs. 25,000 to Rs. 40,000. In case of inmates of Nari Seva Sadan, the marriage grant is enhanced from Rs. 25,000 to Rs. 51,000.

Approval was accorded to framing the H.P. Anand Marriage Registration Rules, 2016 amendments in the Interim Development Plan (IDP) for Shimla Planning Area.

It approved Himachal Pradesh District Mineral Foundation Trust Rules, 2016 and amendment in HP Factories (Amendment) Rules, 2004.

Environment

New Shimla Youth Carry Out Forest Cleaning Drive, Request Residents to Maintain Cleanliness

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yatan youth club new shimla

Shimla-Littering and waste disposal in forests in Himachal Pradesh is becoming a grieve environmental issue. Not only the tourists, but locals too contributing towards filling the forest with solid waste. The worst affected are the forests in tourist towns. The district administrations, the pollution control board, and the Municipal Corporations and Councils have no plan of action to deal with this problem. As usual, they are in deep slumber. They are only interested in getting photographed with brooms and masks, sweeping floors of some park, which is already clean.

There is only one Solid Waste Treatment Plant in the State, and that’s, too, has been turned into a dumping yard. A week ago, the heaps of waste were on fire, causing air pollution.

Unfortunately, a section of educated youth is responsible for littering. However, at the same time, a section of the same youth is making efforts to rectify the situation and create awareness in the society regarding cleanliness.

The latest example is the forest area near Kanlu Temple in Sector 4 of New Shimla.

The Yatan Youth Club of New Shimla carried out a cleaning campaign and found that not only domestic solid waste is being dumped into the forest but also the construction waste. The members of the club are carrying out this campaign in multiple rounds as it is not possible to collect entire waste in one day.

New Shimla Youth Club Cleaning Campaign
In the first round, the members collected a large amount of beer and plastic bottles, which were thrown into the forest by ignorant locals.

New Shimla Youth Club Cleaning Campaign 2

In the second round, they found plastic bags, baby diapers, sanitary napkins etc dumped into the forest, which are not only an environmental hazard but also a sanitation issue. Diapers and sanitary napkins, especially in monsoons, attracts flies and mosquitoes alongwith emitting a foul smell.

The members of the Club took the pain of taking out this waste from the forest as well, which is highly appreciable.

“Though the door-to-door garbage collection service is available in the locality during morning hours, the locals throw garbage generated during the day into the forest at evening,”

the members of the Youth Club told Himachal Watcher.

“Waste generated from maintenance or construction activity in the locality is also dumped into the forest, which is extremely harmful to the environment,”

the members added.

New Shimla Youth Club Cleaning Campaign 3

Forest After Cleanliness Drive

The Youth Club, through their campaign, has requested the locals to at least keep their surrounding clean and refrain from dumping waste into forests. The locals should take responsibility for their locality instead of indulging in littering, the members said.

At the same time, the Youth Club has sent out a message to youth in other localities to come ahead and take similar initiatives if they really want to bring a change.

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Over 500 Forest Fire Cases Reported in Himachal, Forest And Fire Deptts Remain Irresponsive, Allege Locals

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Forest Fires in Himachal Pradesh in 2019

Shimla-Over 500 forest fire cases have been reported from Himachal Pradesh affecting an area of over 2600 hectare of forests in the state. These forest fire incidents in the state have caused huge financial loss, which is expected to rise in days to come as forest fire incidents are increasing each day.

The forest fire incidents in and around Shimla town are also increasing each day. The local residents in Totu, Chakkar, Tara Devi, Shogi, Bhatakufer and Mehli areas say they are facing troubles due to the forest fire.

Locals allege that neither forest department nor any fire department responds to their information of fire in the region.

“We called the fire services yet no fire brigade or firemen came to our rescue. The administration also did not help us nor take any information regarding the forest fire.Ultimately we had to douse the fire with whatever water we had collected on our own,”

Praveen, a local of Chakkar area of Shimla told ANI.

 

Locals in Chakkar and Totu on Monday and Tuesday had to collectively save the forests from fire and also had narrow escape by saving their houses from the forest fire.

They alleged that the forest and fire departments spend a huge amount of money to constitute fire fighting teams but they all have failed to control the incidents of the forest fire. They also said that the forest department’s claims of helicopters being deputed to control the forest fire are just fake claims.

“We left everything and started dousing the fire as soon as we got to know that the forest fire is reaching our homes. The government claims to have to spend a lot on controlling the forest fires but nobody in the administration responded to our calls for help. Either the information has not reached the officials or they are not doing anything about it,”

Anay Kant, another resident told ANI.

Locals say they hired labourers to control the forest fire. Dev Raj, one of the local labourers told the agency:

“We reach the spot and try to douse the fire as soon as possible. We don’t know about the help from the administration as we were busy in our work.”

The forest minister of the state, Govind Singh said that despite all efforts to sensitize the people about the forest they could not stop these incidents.

He said that the department has announced money rewards for those informing about those responsible for fire in the forests.-ANI

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Hydropower Projects in Himachal Not ‘Eco-Friendly, Govt Keeps People in Dark Through Biased Environment Impact Assessment Reports

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Himachal's Hydropower Projects Are not eco-friendly

Shimla- The Himachal Pradesh Government, as witnessed on several occasions, favours hydropower companies over the environmental impacts and affected people. It believes that these projects would boost the economic growth of the state and that there are hardly any environmental hazards linked to the construction of excess hydropower projects. There is a long list of pending projects that the government wants to get constructed.

In its environmental assessment reports,  the government preach that hydropower is eco-friendly. However, as a bitter reality, it does not appear to be true. There are severe environmental hazards linked to the construction of these projects, which the government is not ready to admit. As a result of this deliberate neglection, the villagers, rivers, local water sources, farming lands, local wildlife etc. are suffering. Houses of people were destroyed due to seepage of water from tunnels of hydropower projects and they are forced to evacuate. Let’s take a look at a new report compiled by an environmental group explaining why hydropower projects in the Himalayas are not eco-friendly.  

In the month of the ‘World Environment Day’, Himdhara Environment Research and Action Collective released their report titled “The Hidden Cost of Hydropower” to highlight the risks associated with hydropower construction, especially in Himalayan regions like Himachal Pradesh.  Over the last few years, increasing evidence has emerged that hydropower production may not be so ‘clean and green’ after all. This document compiles primary and secondary pieces of evidence of the impacts triggered by underground construction for the run of the river (ROR) hydropower projects highlighting the issues of environmental hazards and risks involved.

Echoing the fragility of the Himalayan region due to geological instability and climate change-related disasters like flash floods and cloud bursts, the report highlights the role of construction activities that accentuate this fragility.

 “A report of the state’s own disaster management cell says that around 10 Mega hydropower stations are located in the medium and high-risk landslide area,”

states the document.

  The report explains that the magnitude of the underground component of the civil work in hydropower projects involving blasting and dynamiting exacerbate existing vulnerabilities. These impacts are yet to be adequately studied and understood.

Visuals and testimonies of affected people from project sites in Kinnaur, Kullu and Chamba falling in the Satluj, Beas and Ravi basin collected over the years have been used to show the impacts. Case studies like that of the Parbati II, Karccham Wangtoo, Kashang and Bajoli Holi projects illustrate how landslides, drying up of springs, damages to houses, farms and forests have made difficult the lives and livelihoods of the people in the project area.

Landslide in Jhakri village of shimla due to hydropower project

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The report finds that the existing studies available on these impacts are inadequate or biased in favour of the hydropower producers, with economics as the main concern. Environment Impact Assessment reports of hydro-power projects gloss over the geological & seismic vulnerability of the project sites, with an explanation that the ‘hurdles’, ‘surprises’ and ‘incompetencies’ of the mountain geology would be handled at a later stage, if and when they occur. ‘Scientific’ linkages become difficult to establish later, and during EIAs, the concentration is to only rush through the studies to get ‘clearances’.

“They say there is no scientific evidence that the landslides are because of project activities and so we cannot claim compensation in case of cracks in the houses or damage to fields”,

according to Ramanand Negi of Urni Village located in the affected area of the Karchham Wangtoo project and now sitting on a huge landslide. 

The report also refers to the Audit reports of the Comptroller Auditor General to show how the costs of these ‘surprises’ are borne by the affected people or transferred to the public exchequer. The costs that producers have been forced to bear have led to financial losses, bad loans, and cumulatively a slump in the hydropower sector over the last few years. 

According to the report,

“The contribution of hydropower sector today to the country’s total electricity production has halved from 25% to 13% in the last decade. Where this state of hydropower industries was an opportunity to review hydropower policy and the sector’s viability, the report of Parliamentary standing committee on energy that reviewed the performance of hydro projects in 2018 turned a blind eye to environmental impacts and safety norms”.

 

Based on the committee’s recommendations the Ministry of Power issued an order in March 2019 recognizing hydropower projects with a capacity of more than 25 MW as ‘renewable’ source of energy, thus eligible for further subsidies. Himdhara’s report, however, brings out that hydro projects do not deserve the ‘green’ tag and the government should stop further subsiding the sector, especially large projects.

Water Sources drying due to hydropower projects

Water sources drying in himachal due to hydro projects

 

The report also identifies the institutional failures of the Central Water Commission, the Central Electricity Authority that are supposed to assess the Detailed Project Reports and give techno-economic clearances, monitor the progress, and reasons for the delay in projects.

This list also includes the Ministry of Environment that has blindly granted environment and forest clearances overlooking the above impacts and non-compliance; the State Directorate of Energy and State Disaster Management Authority, who have failed to fulfil their regulatory roles and ensure that there is no negligence.

The environmental group demanded that an independent scientific review of the immediate or long-term implications of construction work for hydropower development in the Himalayas should be commissioned. Citizens’ engagement, public consent mechanisms need to be strengthened, and a grievance redressal process needs to be put in place.

 

Loos of wildlife in himachal due to hydropower projects

 

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