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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

 

Misc News/Press Release

13 More COVID-19 Deaths in 2 Days, Total Mounts to 130

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Himachal Pradesh COVID-19 update for september 22, 2020

The COVID-19 fatality rate in Himachal Pradesh is on the rise as the death tally reaches 130 with 13 new deaths in the last two days. According to the Health Department’s official COVID-19 Bulletins, State reported seven deaths on September 21 and six on September 22. 

Today, the state registered 331 new confirmed cases with which the COVID-19 tally for the state rose to 12769. Of this total, 4124 are active cases, 8491 have recovered, and 20 migrated to outside the state. The infected also include Nachan MLA Vinod Kumar.

Details of COVID-19 Casualties on Sept 21-22

details of COVID-19 deaths in Himachal pradesh

Today, the highest cases were reported from Sirmaur district (79), followed by Mandi (66), Shimla 48, and Solan 38, and Kullu (25). (Scroll down to view more district-wise statistics.)
However, the actual number of cases could be higher as the state is in the community spread phase. No projection regarding the actual number of cases and deaths has been issued by the state government.

So far, the state government has tested only 271449 persons for COVID-19. Considering the community spread, the state government is supposed to increase the number of tests.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Jairam Thakur said that people should refrain from going to crowded places and take all precautions. However, tourists thronging the state are hardly following any rules. After lifting all restrictions on inter-state movement, the state government is now preparing to open the inter-state bus services, which would fuel the community spread.  The people are already expressing their resentment with the decision to suddenly lift all restrictions on movement of tourists. Amid these uncertain circumstances, rising fatality rate is the main concern. 

HP Health Department COVID-19 Bulletin- September 12, 2020 (9 PM)

  

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Campus Watch

UHF Nauni Bags Rs.25 Crore Funding, Set for Major Overhaul

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UHF Nauni gets IDI funds

Solan: The learning and teaching environment at the Dr YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry (UHF), Nauni is set for a major overhaul under the Indian Council of Agricultural Research’s (ICAR) National Agricultural Higher Education Plan (NAHEP) funded by the World Bank, informed the Public Relation Officer, Suchet Attri. He said that under NAHEP, UHF has been awarded the prestigious Institutional Development Project  (IDP). The total outlay of the three-year project is Rs 25 crore with ICAR share of Rs 20 crore and Rs 5 crore funded by the state.

He said that this is one of the biggest projects in UHF’s history and a major achievement for the university. It will help to provide a holistic learning and teaching environment to the students and faculty as scientists and students will be exposed to foreign universities to learn and exchange researchable ideas and issues. The University Vice-Chancellor is the project leader while Dr KK Raina, Professor and Head, Department of Business Management is the coordinator and Principal Investigator of the overall project, he informed.  

The main objective of the project entitled ‘Quality Education in Horticulture and Forestry to generate Human Resource’ is to revamp the university’s UG education through innovative and modern pedagogy, skill development, improving placement opportunities and catalyzing entrepreneurship through global thinking and input. He further said that under IDP, the university will look to strengthen collaborations with leading academia and industry for student exchange and faculty development programmes. 

He informed that around 150 UG students and 50 faculty members will be selected through a competition, to visit top-flight foreign universities for a period of 3-6 months. Organization of webinars and seminars, workshops and capacity building, and engaging industry experts as adjunct faculty is also included in the project. In addition to the creation of several student amenities, the university will establish UG and language labs for improving soft skills, eight smart and two virtual classrooms. He said that the project will also push green initiatives like the use of solar energy for cooking, lighting, use of battery-operated vehicles, solid waste management and recycling, campus landscaping and development of nature parks.

He said that one of the highlights will be the development of Short-Term International Certificate course on temperate horticulture and forestry crops and the strengthening of Student Development and Career Development Cell by developing a proactive industrial interface to create job and internship opportunities. Remedial courses, special attention towards weak students, agri-incubation centres on hi-tech plant nursery, processed food and forest products for entrepreneurial and agribusiness skills will also be taken up during the course of the project.

He further informed that several works have already begun under the project, and initiatives like raising new plantations have been undertaken. The students are eagerly looking forward to this project and have been actively taking part in all activities. A review meeting of the core project team and the statutory officers under the chairmanship of the Vice-Chancellor was held on Saturday. Director Extension Education Dr PK Mahajan, Deans Dr Bhupinder Gupta and Dr ML Bhardwaj also took part in the meeting. 

“This is a very proud moment for the university as we are among the national group that has got grants under this project. It will help us to improve the work culture and change the outlook of the students by providing a holistic learning environment. Besides, it will also help to enhance the quality of study and potential of the faculty will be fully utilized,”

said Dr Parvinder Kaushal, UHF Vice-Chancellor.

He said that only a select few agricultural universities have managed to bag the project through nation-wide competition.

The university will further focus on skill enhancement of students through study programmes with international collaborations and provide an inclusive and equitable quality education for the students through the faculty development programme. Dr Kaushal added that under the project, the university will ensure the sustainability of quality education and system effectiveness through the strengthening of the University Alumni network and industry interface. 

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Misc News/Press Release

Himachal Pradesh: Nine More COVID-19 Deaths in Two Days Including a Doctor

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Shimla-As the COVID-19 pandemic tightens its grip on Himachal Pradesh, the number of casualties witnessed an alarming rise. According to the Health Department’s COVID-19 Bulletin, during the last two days, the state has reported nine COVID-19 deaths and detected 502 new confirmed cases. Five deaths were reported on September 19 and four on September 20. The state has also reported death of a doctor. Dr Pradeep Bansal succumbed to the infection at a hospital in Chandigarh. The death tally for the state has now jumped to 117.

Rakesh Jamwal – a BJP MLA from Sundernagar- also tested positive on Sunday. Mandi reported the highest 80 cases.

The total for the state has now risen to 12129, of which 4444 are active.  Of the total cases, 7548 have recovered. However, the actual number could be much higher as not all new cases are traceable due to ongoing community spread. The state, as well as, the Centre government have no strategy to contain the spread. Himachal Pradesh has even begun to witness tourist activity without any restriction at all, which would further aggravate the situation. Though the state government has been maintaining that it is prepared to combat the community spread, the rate of casualties is alarming and likely to rise further.

The people have taken government’s this casual approach as a hint that there is no escape from the spread, resulting in relaxation in precautions like wearing a mask and social distancing. There is hardly any sanitization drive for public transport and public places. The SOPs are hardly being followed. According to health officials, what is fueling the spread is the reluctance of people with mild Influenza-like Illness (ILI) to get themselves tested.

Further, as the infection has now reached the rural areas, where health infrastructure is mostly in tatters, it’s to be seen as to how prepared the government is in saving lives.

Those having elderly and chronic disease patients in the family need to be more precautious.

Find the details of the deceased persons below:

Himachal PRadesh COVID-19 deaths on september 20, 2020

Feature Image: [email protected]

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