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

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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.

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Himachal: Report Forest Fires on Toll-Free Numbers 1077 and 1070

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helpline for Forest Fires in himachal pradesh

Shimla-Forest fire is a recurrent annual phenomenon in Himachal Pradesh and causes losses worth several crores every year. Dry spell and summers make forests, especially chir pine forests, highly vulnerable to forest fires. These forest fires not only damage the forest wealth but also hit wildlife and biodiversity in general. The forest department attributes most fires to human factors.

Like every year, the forest department has claimed that it is all geared up and ready to combat forest fires this year too. Principal Chief Conservator of Forests Dr. Savita on Monday held a virtual review meeting with Forest Circles on preparedness for forest fires in the state.

She said that the Forest department was well prepared to fight the forest fires and a rapid forest fire fighting force and rapid response teams had been set up at forest division and range levels.

“Approximately 40,000 man-days of fire watchers would be engaged by the department in addition to existing frontline staff for preventing and combating forest fires,” she said. The state disaster control room with toll-free number 1077 at the state level and 1070 at the district level were operational for reporting of the forest fire by the local community, she informed.

Dr. Savita said messages regarding forest fire had been shared with the members of the rapid forest fire fighting force, in which approximately 50,000 volunteers had already been registered. Awareness to the community was also conducted through Nukkar Nataks, songs, speeches and other activities at different locations in the state. Besides, a massive state-level awareness program was also conducted at 45 places from 10 to 17 March 2021

She said that the department had created forest fire lines and did control burning and also constructed water storage structures in the forest areas to combat forest fires. Additional multi-utility vehicles and water loaded tankers in 80 fire-sensitive ranges had been engaged for three months. She that matter regarding Standard Operating Systems (SOPs) for requisition of helicopter services for dousing the forest fires had been sent to the Government for approval. 

Feature Photo: Unsplash@Thematthoward

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Himachal Counts 108,578 Waterbirds of 96 Species This Year With Increase in Habitat

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Annual Bird Count in Himachal Pradesh 2021

Shimla-The habitat of migratory and resident water-birds in Himachal Pradesh has gradually improved, said Forest Minister Rakesh Pathania.

The annual water-bird count at Pong Dam Lake Wildlife Sanctuary was conducted in the first of February, 2021 and the exercise was conducted under restrained conditions due to the prevailing Avian Influenza outbreak in Pong Dam Lake as well as the COVID-19 Pandemic, he said.

The exercise was conducted by Wildlife wing of Himachal Pradesh by deploying 57 staff members in 26 sections of the sanctuary for counting the water-dependent birds.

Total 108,578 birds of 96 species were counted during this year. Out of the total number, 101,431 of 51 species are water-dependent migratory birds and 6,433 of 29 species are water-dependent resident birds. As many as 714 birds of 16 other species were also recorded. The total population of the flagship species, Bar-Headed Geese, is 40,570.

The other species which have higher population count during this year are Eurasian Coot (24,163), Northern Pintail (12,702), Common Teal (8,444), Little Cormorant (3,649), Great Cormorant (3,410), Grey Lag Goose (2,297), Northern Shoveler (2,275) and Common Pochard (2,138). The species which find noticeable mention are Red Necked Grebe, Great Bittern, Lesser White-Fronted Goose, Red Crested Pochard, Ferruginous Pochard, Pied Avocet, Northern Lapwing, Peregrine Falcon etc. During the counting exercise, one Bar-headed Goose and one Grey Lag Goose with collars were also spotted.

This year the Annual bird count exercise assumes significance, considering the Avian Influenza outbreak in the Wildlife Sanctuary. Further, the Minister expressed satisfaction over the timely and effective containment measures taken by Wildlife Wing to control and contain Avian Influenza outbreak in the Wildlife Sanctuary.

PCCF (Wildlife) Archana Sharma and CCF Wildlife (North) Dharamshala Upasana Patial also participated and supervised the Annual Water Bird Count.

The total population of birds, as well as number of species, counted this year are marginally less as compared to last year, probably due to the impact of Avian Influenza outbreak which was first reported on 28th December 2020.

Although the total population of water birds declined during the peak of the Avian Influenza outbreak, there is a gradual increase in the total population of birds, the Minister informed.

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Himachal First State to Complete Assessment of Snow Leopard and its Wild Prey

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Snow Leopard Population Assessment in Himachal Pradesh

Shimla-The assessment of snow leopard population in Himachal Pradesh has been completed by the state wildlife wing in collaboration with Nature Conservation Foundation (NCF) Bangalore following the protocol aligning with the SPAI (Snow Leopard Population Assessment in India) protocols of the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change. Himachal Pradesh has become the first state to complete assessment of snow leopard and its wild prey.

The state has an estimated population of up to 73 snow leopards.

It is the first scientifically robust estimate of snow leopards and its prey for the State. Since snow leopard is the state animal, the study assumes great significance for Himachal Pradesh.
The exercise revealed that snow leopard density ranged from 0.08 to 0.37 individuals per 100 sq.km., with the trans-Himalayan regions of Spiti, Pin valley and upper Kinnaur recording the highest densities, both of the predator and its prey, mainly ibex and blue sheep.

This study covered the entire potential snow leopard habitat of Himachal Pradesh: an area of 26,112 sq.km., utilising a stratified sampling design. Camera trapping surveys were conducted at 10 sites to representatively sample all the strata i.e. high, low and unknown. The camera trap deployment over the mountainous terrains was led by a team of eight local youth of Kibber village and more than 70 frontline staff of HPFD were trained in this technique as part of the project. Snow leopards were detected at all the 10 sites (Bhaga, Chandra, Bharmour, Kullu, Miyar, Pin, Baspa, Tabo, Hangrang & Spiti) suggesting that snow leopards are found in the entire snow leopard habitat in Himachal Pradesh either as resident individuals of a population or as dispersing individuals navigating through these connecting habitats.

Another revelation from the study is that a bulk of snow leopard occurrence is outside protected areas, reiterating the fact that local communities are the strongest allies for conservation in snow leopard landscapes.

The NCF and wildlife wing collaborated in the effort and it took three years to complete the assessment. MoEFCC had launched the First National Protocol on Snow Leopard Population Assessment in India, on the occasion of International Snow Leopard Day. You can read the complete protocol here.

Snow leopard is the icon of high mountains of Asia. In India, they inhabit the higher Himalayan and TransHimalayan landscape in an altitudinal range between approximately 3,000 m to 5,400 m above MSL, spanning c. 100,000 km2 in the five states of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh. This area contributes to about 5% of the global snow leopard range.

Snow leopards occur over a vast, relatively remote and difficult to access mountainous area. Together with their elusive nature, this makes a complete population census of snow leopards an unfeasible goal. Even their distribution remains unclear. For example, recent surveys show that they do not occur in 25 % of the area that was thought to be their range in the state of Himachal Pradesh Their density is expected to be variable in space, dependent on several factors such as habitat suitability, prey availability, disturbance and connectivity. Variation in density across space also poses the risk of biased sampling, and, indeed, most of the snow leopard population assessments conducted so far across the world are biased towards the best habitats.

Feature Photo: Pexels/Charles Miller

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