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Despite spending Rs. 50 Crores in 19 years, HPSEB couldn’t complete Bokhtu-Pooh-Kaza–Losar power line

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Bokhtu-Pooh-Kaza–Losar

To fill vacancies in electricity Board Limited, as many as 3000 posts of the field staff would soon be filled and deputed in tribal and other areas, said the CM

SHIMLA-   The proposed 66 KV power transmission line from Bokhtu (Karcham Wangtu) to Kaza uptill Losar is not complete after 19 years despite expenditure of Rs. 50 Crores by Himachal Pradesh State Electricity Board (HPSEB). The 66-KV/22-KV lines were to be laid between Karcham to Kaza covering distance of over 150 km, which would have provided uninterrupted power supply to far-flung areas of Lahaul and Spiti and Kinnaur district.

The project was conceived way back in 1997 and it should have been completed till now. The department should have thought of laying underground cables, wherever feasible, to overcome the natural impediment.

However, in reply it was disclosed that the line from Bokhtu was made operational in 2005, but due to heavy snowfall in 2015, the wires were snapped at many places which were made operational and power restored in January 2016.

The board has assured that the 66 KV electric sub-station at Pooh would be set up soon as all formalities are complete. From Akpa to Pooh, 110 towers had been installed and the electric supply was now normal, claims the CM while presiding over the meeting of the State Tribal Advisory Council (TAC). From Pooh to Kaza 107 kilometers of transmission wire is proposed to be laid covering 107 kilometers but there were few sliding and glacier zones. The department proposes to install 206 electric poles leaving aside glacier and sliding zones which included the transmission line from Chango to Sumdo (13 Kms), Hurling to Poh (33 Kms), Sichling to Lingti (8 Kms), and Lidaang to kaza (12 kms). The survey, he said, is complete and estimates were being prepared and the detailed project report from Kaza to Losar was also ready.

Atargu-Mudh-Bhawa Road Progress

The slow pace of work on Atargu-Mudh-Bhawa road (106 Kms), which would shorten the distance of around 100 kilometers to Pin valley, is another matter of concern. A stretch of 33.5 Kms of road was completed from Kaza side and a portion of around 28 Kms falls in Pin Valley National Park Wildlife Sanctuary. He said the matter pertaining to forest clearance would be taken up in State Wild Life Board meeting and directed the forest department to pursue the matter with central empowered committee so that the road could be through giving much relief to inhabitants of Spiti.

Urni Dhank Tunnel Construction 

Discussions were also held regarding construction of tunnel at ‘Urni Dhank’, for a permanent solution to overcome the huge blockade. The two alternate bridges were recently opened for vehicular traffic and as far the issue regarding tunnel is concerned a consultant had been appointed and the report is awaited. Directions were issued to complete ongoing work on Leo by-pass road in Kinnaur district. Being border road it will also shorten the distance between Ka and Chango villages to approximately 17 Kilometers.

Kahdu Nallah to Sansari Nallah Road Widening

The Chief Minister said that improvement, resurfacing and widening of road from Kahdu Nallah to Sansari Nallah, bordering Jammu and Kashmir, in Pangi subdivision of district Chamba should be done systematically. At present the road is under GREF and as per GREF authorities, few kilometers of portion was outsourced and they can do only after permission from Ministry of Defence (MoD) for which they were pursuing the matter.

Mooling Bridge Construction Progress

The Chief Minister also directed to complete the work on Mooling Bridge by June 2017. It was also disclosed that a bailey bridge on Chandra River connecting North Portal of Rohtang Tunnel would be completed within a week. The bridge was constructed in 2006, near Telling village at Sissu in Lahaul and Spiti collapsed on July 29 2016 due to strong current of River Chandra and was on the material supply bridge to North Portal of Rohtang tunnel.

Deluxe Bus between Sangla and Delhi

Decision was taken to ply deluxe bus between Sangla and Delhi, and few local buses in Keylong Trilokinath and Udaipur. It was disclosed that 22 HRTC buses were being deployed in Tribal belts of the State to facilitate the people.

The Chief Minister also issued direction to take action against the contractor who had failed to complete the work of Girls Hostel (Eklavya Bhawan) at Nichar in Kinnaur which was in limbo for quite some time.

3000 Posts in Electricity Board

On the issue of vacancies in electricity Board Limited, the Chief Minister revealed that as many as 3000 posts of the field staff would soon be filled and deputed in tribal and other areas. It was also decided to open a IPH rest house at Udaipur instead at Rangwey.

In 2016-17, a provision of Rs 696 crore had been made under Plan and Rs 610 crore under Non-Plan for Tribal areas of the State for development activities.

Expenditure on Roads, Health, Irrigation & Public Health in tribal areas

The Chief Minister said that a sum of Rs 76 crore was being spent on roads, Rs 189 crore on health and Rs 55.44 crore on Irrigation and Public Health sector in tribal areas of the State, besides a sum of Rs 25 crore on Border Area Development Programme (BADP). In addition to this, Rs 20.76 crore had been distributed as relief to the people in Tribal areas due to losses suffered to their property due to natural disaster, he added.

Photo: Representational

 

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Haryana Tourists Fire Bullets in Air at Hatu Mata Temple, Brandish Rifle, Manhandle Priest

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Hatu temple gun fire by tourists

Shimla-Following regular instances of hooliganism and assaults with weapons by tourists from neighbouring states, especially Punjab and Haryana, the Himachal Pradesh Police had announced regular checking of tourist vehicles on borders to prevent them from carrying weapons into the state. However, the tourists continue to bring weapons, including firearms, into the state.   

In a fresh incident, some tourists from Haryana on October 13, 2021, reportedly fired bullets in the air near the Hatu Mata Temple, Narkanda.  On hearing the sound of gunshots, the priest of the temple, Lalit Sharma, approached these tourists and objected to it. The tourists allegedly grabbed him by the neck and gave him life threats.

The priest freed himself somehow and immediately informed the temple committee about the incident. A member of the temple committee also informed the local police.

The priest said that a special pooja (worship) was organized at the temple on the occasion of Durga Ashtami and a large number of people was present inside the premises to participate in the pooja. This incident created panic among these devotees.

A taxi driver, Shravan Kumar, told police that two cars – HR 16X-3753 MG Hector & PB 26G-5555 Fortuner- were parked in the middle of the Hatu Mata link road, blocking the traffic. The tourists in these vehicles were brandishing guns and creating a nuisance. A short video clip showing one of these men brandishing a gun from their vehicle has also appeared. It was speculated that these men were intoxicated. 

Later, the local police arrived at the scene and apprehended about eight tourists for questioning. The police recovered a pistol, a rifle, and a dozen of bullets from the men. Cases were filed against two of them. When inquired in front of the temple committee, the two tourists told the police their names and addresses. They were identified as Kuldeep, 37, of Tehsil Lauharu, District Bhiwani, Haryana,  and Abhishek Kumar, 27, of district Bhawani, Harayana.

A case was filed at the Police Station, Kumarsain under Section 336, 34 of IPC and 25-54/59 of the Arms Act. The Deputy Superintendent of Police, Rampur, Chandrashekhar confirmed the report.

The temple committee has expressed concern over the incident and asked the police and the district administration to take stringent action against these men for hooliganism and creating a nuisance. The committee also urged that steps should be taken to prevent such incidents in the future.

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New Chief Justice of HP High Court Justice Mohammad Rafiq Takes Oath

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New Chief Justice of Himachal PRadesh High Court justice mohammad rafiq

Shimla-The new Chief Justice of Himachal Pradesh High Court, Justice Mohammad Rafiq, was today administered the oath of office by Governor Rajendra Vishwanath Arlekar in a ceremony held at Raj Bhawan.

Justice Mohammad Rafiq was born on 25th May 1960 at Sujangarh in the Churu district of Rajasthan. He completed B.Com in 1980, LL.B in 1984 and M.Com in 1986 from the University of Rajasthan.

He, later on, joined the Bar and practised as an Advocate after enrolment with the Bar Council of Rajasthan on 8th July 1984. He practised exclusively in Rajasthan High Court at Jaipur in almost all branches of law and specially conducted constitutional matters, service matters, land acquisition cases, land revenue cases, preventive detention cases, customs & excise matters, railway claims cases, tax matters, company matters and criminal matters before the High Court.

He worked as Assistant Government Advocate for the State of Rajasthan from 15th July 1986 to 21st December 1987 and Deputy Government Advocate from 22nd December 1987 to 29th June 1990. He appeared before the High Court as panel advocate for various Departments of the State Government for five years i.e. from 1993 to 1998.

He also represented the Union of India as Standing Counsel from 1992 to 2001 before the High Court. He also represented the Indian Railways, Rajasthan State Pollution Control Board, Rajasthan Board of Muslim Wakfs, Jaipur Development Authority, Rajasthan Housing Board and Jaipur Municipal Corporation before the Rajasthan High Court.

He was appointed as Additional Advocate General for the State of Rajasthan on 7th January 1999 and worked as such till his elevation to the Bench. He was appointed as Judge of the Rajasthan High Court on 15th May 2006. He also worked as Acting Chief Justice of Rajasthan High Court twice; from 7th April 2019 to 4th May 2019 and from 23rd September 2019 to 5th October 2019. He was also the Executive Chairman of the Rajasthan State Legal Services Authority and the Administrative Judge of the Rajasthan High Court before elevation as the Chief Justice. He was the Chief Justice of the High Court of Meghalaya from 13th November 2019 to 26th April 2020. Justice Mohammad Rafiq was administered the oath of office of the Chief Justice of Orissa High Court on 27th April 2020, on being transferred from the Meghalaya High Court. He was administered the oath of office of the Chief Justice of the High Court of Madhya Pradesh on 3rd January 2021, on being transferred from the Orissa High Court.

The ceremony took place at the Darbar Hall of Raj Bhawan, where Chief Secretary Ram Subhag Singh conducted the proceedings of the oath ceremony and read out the notification issued by the Government of India, Ministry of Law and Justice regarding the transfer of Justice Mohammad Rafiq as Chief Justice of the HP High Court.

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HP Bypolls 2021: Bragta Doesn’t Withdraw Nomination, Remains Out of Sight Entire Day to Evade BJP Leadership

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chetan bragta's election symbol is apple

Shimla-Chetan Bragta, who has revolted against the Bharatiya Janata Party over denial of ticket to him, didn’t withdraw his nomination. October 13 was the last day for the withdrawal of nominations.  BJP leaders, who had been claiming that Bragta would withdraw his nomination, kept searching for him throughout the day but couldn’t find him or connect to him.

As per reports, Bragta had disappeared this morning to avoid BJP leaders and his mobile numbers were also switched off. However, Bragta posted a video on social media after the time for withdrawal of nomination ended. In this video, Bragta informed that the Election Commission has allotted “apple” as his election symbol. He also said that he would not step back and would fight the elections as an independent candidate.


The reports also said that BJP workers and leaders kept searching for Bragta in order to convince him to withdraw his nomination. However, the reports said, to avoid this pressure for withdrawal, he decided to disappear and switch off his mobile numbers.

Meanwhile, there are speculations that BJP is likely to expel him from the party. BJP, while denying him a ticket for the HP by polls 2021, had cited discouraging ‘dynastic politics’ as the reason. 

Pertinent to mention that BJP had denied a ticket to Chetan Braga – son of former MLA Narender Bragta- from the Jubbal-Kotkhai Assembly seat that had fallen vacant after the demise of his father. The ticket was instead given to Neelam Seraik.

While the chances of Neelam’s victory already seems to be bleak, Chetan Bragta has further aggravated the tension for BJP. This rebellion could benefit Congress Candidate Rohit Thakur.

BJP had faced revolt on all three Assembly seats over denial of ticket. However, somehow it convinced the miffed leaders on Arki and Fatehpur Assembly seats to not file nominations as independent candidates. However, BJP failed to do so in the case of Chetan Bragta. BJP had been maintaining that there is no resistance to its selected candidates from within the party.

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