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.
HP Govt Employees to Get Higher Pay Scale on Completion of Two Years of Service: CM Jairam
Shimla-Himachal Pradesh Government employees working in different departments before January 3, 2022, would be given a higher scale at par with other employees on completion of two years tenure of regular service. A higher pay scale was also announced for the Junior Office Assistants (IT) on completion of two years of regular service.
Chief Minister Jairam Thakur made these announcements during the Karamchari Maha Sammelan of the Himachal Pradesh Non-Gazetted Employees Federation at the hotel Peterhof on Sunday.
He appreciated the role played by the employee especially frontline workers in the battle against the pandemic.
He said most of the government employees in the state have been given revised pay scales and on average, every employee has got the benefit of a 12 to 15 percent salary hike. There has also been an increase in the pension of about 1.50 lakh pensioners of the state. The financial benefits of Rs. 7801 crore have been given to state government employees and pensioners from the year 2018 to 2022. The pensioners who retired before 2016 are getting the benefit of a 15 to 20 percent increase in the pension while around 40 thousand pensioners who retired after 2016 would be benefitted soon, he said.
He said the daily wages were Rs. 210 in the year 2017 which has been increased by the present state government to Rs. 350. Similarly, 12 per cent interim relief annually has been provided to government employees and pensioners during the present government’s tenure. He said the Himachal government has provided Dearness Allowance to its employees and pensioners on the lines of Punjab and Central governments from the due date. The Punjab government has given only 5 percent interim relief to the employees while the Himachal government has provided 21 percent interim relief to its employees.
“Out of the total interim relief amount given to the employees and pensioners amounting to about Rs. 6500 crore, Rs. 3500 crore has been paid during the tenure of our government” added the Chief Minister.
He said that the state government has increased the government contribution for NPS employees from 10 percent to 14 percent benefitting more than one lakh employees. The NPS employees are being given the benefits of retirement and death gratuity at par with employees falling under the old pension scheme. The government has also increased the upper limit of death gratuity from Rs. 10 lakh to Rs. 20 lakh.
The Chief Minister said the state government has also increased the honorarium of para-workers working in various departments. The salary of outsource workers has been hiked by Rs 1,500 per month.
Non-Gazetted Employees Federation President Ashwani Thakur thanked the Chief Minister for providing various financial and other benefits to different categories of government employees.
Most Covid Restrictions to be Lifted From March 31, Mask and Hand Hygiene to Continue
New Delhi-The Centre has issued a notification to the States informing that the provisions of the Disaster Management (DM) Act, 2005 will not be invoked in the country after March 31. The Union Health Ministry said that the use of face masks and following hand hygiene will continue.
It implies that most of the Covid-related rules and restrictions would end.
Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla issued the notification which said that the decision was taken following the overall improvement in the situation and the preparedness of the government in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, local authorities and State police can still invoke fines and criminal cases against persons violating COVID-19 norms under the Indian Penal Code (IPC), a senior government official said.
The DM Act was invoked on March 24, 2020, due to the pandemic
“Over the last seven weeks or so there has been a steep decline in the number of cases. The total caseload in the country stands at 23,913 only and the daily positivity rate has declined to 0.28%. It is also worth mentioning that with the combined efforts, a total of 181.56 Cr vaccine doses have been administered,” the notification said.
“I would like to mention that in view of the nature of the disease, we still need to remain watchful of the situation. Wherever any surge in the number of cases is observed, the States/UTs may consider taking prompt and proactive action at a local level, as advised by MoHFW (Health Ministry) from time to time,” the notification said.
The Indian government had issued various guidelines and measures for the first time on March 24, 2020, under the Disaster Management Act to curb the COVID-19 situation in the country, which have been modified several times thereafter.
India currently has 23,087 active COVID-19 cases and recorded 1,778 new cases and 62 deaths in the last 24 hours. The daily positivity rate has also declined to 0.28%.
HP Cabinet Decisions: Country Liquor Made Cheaper in New Excise Policy, Read All Decisions
Shimla-A meeting of the Himachal Pradesh Cabinet was held on March 20, 2022, under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur.
The excise policy for the financial year 2022-23 was approved. Approval was also given for the renewal of retail excise vends in the state for the financial year 2022-23 at the renewal fees of 4% of the value of unit/vend.
The State Government said that wants to enhance the government revenue and curb the smuggling of country liquor from the neighbouring states by a reduction in its price.
The brands of Country Liquor will be cheaper as license fees have been reduced. This will help in providing good quality liquor at a cheaper rate to the consumers.
In the new excise policy, the 15% fixed quota of country liquor for manufacturers and bottlers to be supplied to the retail licensees has been abolished. According to the government, this step will give the retail licensees to lift their quota from the suppliers of their choice and further assure the supply of good quality country liquor at competitive prices. The MRP of country liquor will be cheaper by 16% of the existing price.
In this year’s policy, the Gaudhan Vikas Nidhi Fund has been enhanced by Re.1/- from the existing Rs.1.50 to Rs.2.50.
The fixed annual license fee of Bars has been rationalized by abolishing the area-specific slabs of license fee. Now throughout the State, there will be uniform license slabs based upon the room capacity in hotels.
Rates of the annual fixed license fee of Bars in the tribal areas has been reduced considerably.
Further, all the above stakeholders will have to install CCTV cameras at their establishments as it was made mandatory for them.
Wholesale vends and retail vends, the penalty provisions under the H.P. Excise Act, 2011 have been made more stringent.
An end to end online Excise Administration System would be established in Himachal Pradesh, the government said.
HP Government estimates a collection of Rs 2131 crore revenue during the year, which will be Rs. 264 crores higher than the financial year 2021-22 – growth of 14% in state excise revenues.
The Cabinet also gave its nod to amend Himachal Pradesh Disaster Relief Manual-2012 to include deaths due to biting of honey bees, hornet and wasps, accidental drowning and deaths due to accidents of vehicles (including land, water and air) under this Manual.
The Cabinet gave its approval for filling up 11 posts of ‘A’ Class Tehsildar in Revenue Department through direct recruitment on regular basis through Himachal Pradesh Public Service Commission.
HP State Toll Policy 2022-23
The HP Cabinet also gave its nod to HP State Toll Policy for the year 2022-23 which envisages auction cum tender for all the toll barriers in the State. During the year 2021-22, toll revenue has registered a growth of 20 percent of the previous year’s revenue.