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Misc News/Press Release

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




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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Art & Culture

Shimla’s emerging filmmaker grabs 3 more awards for short-film “Papa”



Papa Short Film by Siddharth wins awards

Shimla: Shimla-based emerging short-film maker Sidharth Chauhan (27) has grabbed more awards for his work “Papa.”  His short-film Papa has received three awards at the Vintage International Film Festival, 2018.

As per the results announced on March 20, 2018, the movie won Sidharth the best short-film award in the National category. The film also won the best director award for Siddhartha and best cinematography award for Yashwant Kumar Sharma.

The film is written, produced, and directed by Sidharath.

Papa is the same film that was first screened at the International Documentary and Short Film Festival in Kerala in 2016 where it claimed its first award (best film).

Later, Papa made its first international premiere at the London Indian Film Festival in 2017 where the short film won the Satyajit Ray award. 

It was a mature storytelling which balanced a realistic sense of frustration and claustrophobia, with a finely nuanced thread of subtle and deadpan humour,

said the jury.

The film is a story of a paralyzed mother, Sushma and her young son, Rajiv, who are living a tough life post an accident, which left their lives scarred forever.

You can read more about the film, its crew, location etc. in one of our previous posts.

Other than Papa, Sidharth’s short-film Pashi has also fetched appreciation and awards for Sidharth.

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Misc News/Press Release

4 Himachali among 39 killed in Iraq by ISIS



list of Himachali killed in iraq by isis

Shimla: Four people among the 39 Indian hostages killed by ISIS at Masul in Iraq after abduction in 2014 were from Himachal Pradesh. Out of four, Sandeep (38), Aman Kumar, and Inderjeet hailed from Kangra and Hemraj (32) from Mandi, confirmed the State government.

All these Indian had gone missing in 2014. Since then, there was no trace of them. They had migrated to Iraq in search of livelihood. However, now the families of the deceased are receiving news of their killing after a wait of four years. 

The confirmation of their killing came today after the External affair Minister Sushma Swaraj, in the Parliament, revealed that the bodies were recently found buried in a mound of earth near Badush, a village northwest of Mosul.

The remains of human skeletons were recovered from this mass grave recently. Through DNA testing, it was confirmed that these remains belonged to the missing Indians.

The Chief Minister, Jai Ram Thakur, has also expressed his condolences to the bereaved families.

This tragedy is not only unfortunate but also an inhumane act of brutality which should be condemned by one and all, he said.

The Chief Minister assured that the State Government has contacted the Union Government for bringing back their mortal remains at the earliest.

The mortal remains of deceased hailing from Punjab and Himachal will be brought to Amritsar, thereafter; the State Government will make all arrangements for carrying the remains of deceased to their native places in the State.

The news has triggered protests among the families of the deceased over government’s false assurances to locate them.

We demand the government provide us DNA reports. It’s being politicised. We had been running from pillar to post since four years and now we’re being told via TV that we lost one of our own,

the family of a victim told ANI.  


The opposition Congress has opened attack by alleging the ruling government of intentionally hiding facts from the families of the victims. They asked the Minister to reveal details about the date of the killings.

Photo Credits: Amar Ujala/News 18

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Misc News/Press Release

Govt plans Rs. 150 cr protected flower cultivation project in Himachal under Pushp Kranti Yojna



protected flower cultivation in himachal pradesh

Shimla: Himachal Pradesh Government has planned to invest in the protected cultivation of flowers under the “Pushp Kranti Yojna” during the next five years.

The revelation came to the light after State Irrigation and Public Health Minister, Mahender Singh Thakur, who also holds the portfolio of Horticulture,  on March 20, 2018, requested the Union Agriculture Minister, Radha Mohan Singh grant a funding of Rs. 150 crores for the said project.

Himachal is fast emerging as the Flower State due to its congenial agro-climatic conditions for the cultivation of different types of flowers around the year under protective covers, he claimed.

The protective cultivation of flower will not only safeguard the farmers from weather vagaries, monkey menace and protection from wild animals but also provides ample opportunities for a better livelihood for the educated unemployed youth of the state, he added.

He also requested a grant of Rs. 120 crores for other proposals for the inclusive development of horticulture sector in the State.

Read More on Protected Flower Cultivation in Himachal Pradesh

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