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HP Govt. to amend Hydropower Policy 2006 to allow Himachalis to sell shares to non-Himachalis



HP Govt. Cabinet Meeting

Honorarium of Water Guards enhanced, Tribal APL families to get 35 kilograms ration per month, 100 units free electricity to families affected due to HEPs, miscellaneous Adventure Activities Rules, 2004 approved

SHIMLA-  Himachal Pradesh Cabinet, in its meeting chaired by  Virbhadra Singh, decided to make amendments in Hydropower Policy 2006 in respect to transfer of shares by Himachalis to Non-Himachalis. The Himachalis can sell or transfer 49 percent equity shares to Non-Himachalis at any stage after allotment of projects upto 2 MW capacity and full disinvestment after two years of commissioning of the projects. Similarly, in case of bonafide Himachalis to whom projects upto 2 MW to 5 MW capacity are allotted, they can sell/transfer 51 percent equity share to non-Himachalis at any stage after allotment of projects and full disinvestment after two years of commissioning of the projects. However, subjected to the condition (in both the above cases), it was decided to levy some appropriate fee for transfer of equity.

Besides, the Cabinet gave its nod to cancel the four projects namely Joiner-II (3MW) in district Chamba, Kanda (0.80 MW) in district Sirmaur, Rawin (1 MW) in Shimla district and Chahod (2 MW) in district Mandi.

Cabinet also accorded approval for enhancement of honorarium of Jal Rakshaks (Water Guards) engaged through Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) from Rs. 1350 to Rs. 1500 per month.

The Cabinet also accorded approval to 100 units of free electricity per month to the families affected by Hydel projects in the State as per the subsidized tariff determined by Himachal Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission (HPERC) from time to time with respect to Local Area Development Committees of the districts and the balance amount equivalent to the quantum of subsidy with the state government. This shall be done once in a year since the tariff is determined by HPERC.

Besides, it was also decided to provide 35 kilograms of ration to the Above Poverty Line (APL) families in Tribal areas of the State. A decision was taken to provide all three pulses to all the ration card holders irrespective of the number of units on the cards/scale as fixed by the state government.

Jobs/Posts  Filled or Created

It approved for creation of 855 posts of various categories for Shri Lal Bhadur Shastri Medical College, earlier known as ESIC, medical college and hospital Mandi at Ner Chowk.A decision was taken to fill 70 vacant posts of Firemen and 30 posts of Driver-cum-Pump Operators on contract basis in Fire Services Department.

To filling up of 65 posts of Drivers in Irrigation and Public Health Department amongst the lower categories in the Department by  relaxation of R& P Rules.

The Cabinet approved for creation and filling up of as many as 61 posts of various categories for new Government Polytechnic for women at Rehan in district Kangra.

It approved to filling up 50 posts of class-IV on contract basis in Co-operation Department besides filling up three posts of Driver in Co-operative Department.

Approval was accorded to create ten posts of Law Officers in H.P. Secretariat. It approved to up-grade four posts of Junior Assistant to Senior Assistant in the Directorate of Small Saving.

Decision was taken to fill two posts of Junior Office Assistant (IT) on contract basis in Co-operative Department and filling up two posts of computer Operators by promotion from amongst Class-IV employees in Planning department.

Approval was accorded for creation of two posts of Protocol Officer with supporting staff in the establishment of District and Sessions Judges.

Approval was accorded to fill up two vacant posts of Statistical Assistant  and two posts of Junior Office Assistant in Horticulture Department through direct recruitment and to fill up ten posts of Peons on daily wage basis in HP Election Department.

A special recruitment drive would be launched to fill the backlog posts against the new posts in every discipline for other Backward Classes (OBC) to overcome the shortfall of the category in the Government job.

Health Sector

The cabinet gave its nod to upgrade Civil Hospital Jawalamukhi to the level of 75 bedded Civil Hospital and  up-gradation of HSC Dhanote (Jurahi) to PHC in district Kangra along-with creation of requisite  posts.Approval was accorded to open Primary Health Centre in Shivpur Gagret Constituency of Una district and Primary Health Centre at Raja Ka Talab  in district Kangra alongwith creation of adequate staff.

The Cabinet also approved opening of PHC at Basantpur in Shimla district.

It also approved to open Health Sub Centre at village Mohal district Kullu along-with adequate staff.

Approval was accorded to upgrade Community Health Centre (CHC), Jawali to 50 bed Civil hospital Jawali along with creation of requisite posts. Besides, it approved  CHC with 30 beds at Rey in Jawali.

It approved upgradation of Primary Health Centre (PHC) Chandi to Community Health Centre (CHC) and Health sub-centre (HSC)  Baba Haripur to PHC in Solan district and PHC Kungrat to CHC, HSC Kuthar Beet to PHC in district Una alongwith creation of  requisite staff.

It also approved Health dispensaries at Dhalaya, (Bathuwana Jabri), Gawahi (Kohbag) and in Gram Panchayat Okhroo in Shimla district

Other Important Decisions

The cabinet gave its approval to open Sub-Tehsils  at Sarahan and at Taklech in Rampur Sub-Division of Shimla district.It approved to open new Hydro Power Engineering College Bandla in district Bilaspur.

It approved proposal to the scheme for awards for prisons personnel.

The Cabinet approved the proposal for grant of ex-gratia compensation amounting to Rs. 10 lakh on death and Rs. five lakh on permanent disability to the staff deployed on election duty by State Election Commission

The Cabinet decided to open HP PWD Sub-Division at Khundian in district Kangra.

It approved to regularize the daily waged workers of Nepali origin in relaxation of R&P Rules.

It approved construction of PWD rest house at Bhalei in Salooni Tehsil of Chamba district  and construction of additional accommodation of PWD rest house Namhol in Bilaspur district.

The Cabinet gave its approval for declaration of Summer Festival Ghumarwin as a District level Fair.

The Cabinet approved upgradation of Veterinary dispensary Pali in Drang Sub-division of Mandi district

Approval was accorded to up-grade Veterinary Dispensary Majhwar to Veterinary Hospital in Mandi district and Veterinary Dispensary Goshani to Veterinary Hospital in Kullu district along-with requisite staff.

The Cabinet approved to take over the services of teaching and non-teaching staff of erstwhile privately managed Jawalaji Degree College, Jawalamukhi and Deen Dayal Mahesh Degree College, Sugh-Bhatoli in district Kangra which now would be named as Government Degree College Sugh- Bhatoli.

Amendments and Rules

It was also decided to make amendments in Rule 69-B of Himachal Pradesh Motor Vehicle Rules, 1999.The Cabinet approved the Himachal Pradesh Miscellaneous Adventure Activities Rules, 2004, which would besides the existing  HP Aero Sports and River Rafting Rules will include many Miscellaneous Adventure activities as river crossing, zorbing, hot air ballooning, skiing, trekking, rock climbing, bungee jumping, rolling balls/water balls, zipline etc. However the objections/suggestions with regard to rules would be invited from the general public before finalization.

The Cabinet approved amendments in section 3 of the Himachal Pradesh Tax on entry of goods into Local area Act, 2010.

Misc News/Press Release

DC Kangra confirms abduction of 3 Himachalis in Nigeria, CM seeks Centre Govt’s help



Himachali held hostages in nigeria

Shimla: The Deputy Commissioner of Kangra today confirmed that Nigerian sea pirates have held three men hailing from Kangra hostages for ransom.

The state government said it has taken up the matter with the Government of India and requested the safe release of all three hostages.

The step came after the news appeared in regional media.

The State government claimed that in a communiqué to the Western Africa Division, Ministry of External Affairs, the state government said the three youths namely Sushil Kumar, Pankaj Kumar and Ajay Kumar, who belong to Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh have been kidnapped by the Nigerian pirates as per the confirmed report.

Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur has sought the intervention of Union government to ensure the safe release of three hostages.He hoped the union government will act fast and get the hostages released safely.

You can read the entire matter here in HW’s previous article.

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Misc News/Press Release

Govt silent over safety of 3 Himachali youth allegedly held hostages by Nigerian pirates for ransom



Himachali held hostages in nigeria

Shimla: Three youths hailing from Himachal Pradesh’s Kangra district, who were serving in Merchant Navy, have reportedly ended in the hands of armed Nigerian sea pirates as hostages. The armed pirates hijacked their ship and demanded a ransom of 11 million nairas (20-22 Lakh INR) from the parents of one of the hostages.

The details are scanty as no official confirmation has been made by the State or Centre Government. It is not clear when they were abducted. 

The news broke out when Raghubir Singh (62) of Nagrota, father of one of the hostages, reached media yesterday.  

As per the information given by Raghubir, the other two men included Pankaj Kumar of Samloti and Ajay Kumar of Palampur.

The three men were currently working for a private shipping company named Max Marine Services in Cortnou Benin.

On March 12, the parents of one of the abducted youth, Susheel Sharma (37), who was the captain on the ship, received a call through a satellite phone. Susheel told the parents that he along with two others had been held hostage in some jungle. He told the parents about the pirate’s demand for ransom in exchange for their release.

On March 21, Himachal had received a shock after the External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj confirmed, while speaking in the Parliament, the killing of 39 Indians in Iraq including four men from Himachal. Three of them hailed from Kangra while remaining one belonged to Mandi district.

Now, this fresh case of abduction has again jolted Kangra.

Surprisingly, as alleged by the parents, the Centre or State Government have not given any reaction to the situation.   

The district administration also said it was not aware of the situation.

The parents also alleged the shipping company of keeping them in dark whenever they contacted it to know whereabouts of their son. The owner of the ship told the parents that a negotiation was ongoing with the pirates.

However, recently, the owner stopped picking up phone calls from the aggrieved parents.  

Ultimately, the family on March 18 approached the External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and the Prime Minister, Modi,  through a mail with their plea to intervene and rescue their son.

However, the parents allege that they did not receive any satisfactory response from anyone. 

As per the statement of the parents, Sudhir had told them that they are getting only one meal per day. The pirates will starve them to death if the ransom is not paid, Sudhir had told the parents.

Now, the parents do not trust the company anymore and have put their hope on the Government.   


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Misc News/Press Release

Man killed as stone rolls down hill, breaks through moving HRTC bus window in Kullu



Bizzare Bus Accident in Himachal's Kullu

Kullu: A big round stone rolled down a hill and broke through the window of a moving Himachal Pradesh Road Corporation (HRTC) bus that was heading towards Kullu from Rampur today. The accident occurred near Luhri in Kullu.  A co-passenger who was sitting beside the deceased also came in spate and received injuries.

However, the deceased, who was identified as Manohar Singh (60) of Tippal village in Anni, died on the spot.  The injured was identified as Vijay Kumar of Kumarsain. He was taken to hospital in Rampur. 

The death came from nowhere and picked up its prey within a fraction of a second, said the eyewitnesses. The stone hit Manohar right on his head, which was badly crushed.  

Other passengers were horrified by the bizarre and sudden manner the stone broke through the window like a bullet.  

A police team from Luhri rushed to the spot and took custody of the dead body.  The elected MLA Kishori Lal Sagar also arrived at the spot on hearing the tragic news. The body was later handed over to the family after the postmortem.

The district administration provided Rs. 20, 000 to the victim’s family as immediate relief. The HRTC also announced Rs. 10,000 as relief money.  

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