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Misc News/Press Release

PM Modi’s Himachal visit: Virbhadra Govt. ask for 1000 crore compensation grant, More powers to hill states



PM Modi in HImachal Pradesh

SHIMLA- Prime Minister Narendra Modi today arrived in district Mandi for inauguration of Central Sector Hydel Projects in Himachal Pradesh. Other than chief minister Governor Acharya Devvrat, Union Health Minister J.P. Nadda, Health Minister Kaul Singh Thakur, MPP and Power Minister, Sujan Singh Pathania, Leader of Opposition Prem Kumar Dhumal were also present during the inauguration.

The Prime Minister arrived at Paddal at 11.10 AM dedicated three projects namely, the Kol Dam (800 MW) hydel project of National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC), Parvati (520 MW) hydel project of National Hydel Power Corporation (NHPC) and Rampur (412 MW) hydro project.

PM Modi’s Speech at Mandi

Himachal Pradesh Government presents memorandum to Prime Minister

Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, who was present to receive the PM, submitted a detailed memorandum regarding various issues of Himachal Pradesh.

Rs.1000 crore Compensation Grant

HP Govt. requested a compensation grant of at least Rs. 1000 crore per annum to Himachal Pradesh for immensely valuable environmental and ecological services rendered by imposing ban of green felling and preserving the forests in the Hill States.

Speedy Environment Clearance for Hydel Projects

Speedy environmental clearance for construction of hydel projects was also requested. The memorandum said that Himachal fulfills the criteria of having forest area more than 33% of total geographical area, fixed by Environment Ministry, Govt. of India, whereas HP has 66.5% of its area classified as forest.

Therefore, said the memorandum, Ministry of Environment, Forest, GoI should speedily clear all forest diversion cases for Hydel Projects which are pending in the Ministry of Environment& Forest, GoI due to insistence of the Ministry to make available non-forest land to carry out the Compensatory Afforestation which is not available in Himachal Pradesh since Himachal Pradesh already meets the Govt. of India criteria.

Resume Commercial Flights in Shimla Airport

Shimla is one of the very few State Capitals without air connectivity. The Prime Minister was requested to direct the Ministry of Civil Aviation and other concerned organizations to ensure resumption of commercial flights to and from Shimla airport.

Grant More Powers to State Government

The memorandum also requested the centre to grant more powers to the State government to make it easier to divert forest land projects like Roads, Water, Irrigation and Hydel Projects from 1 hectare to 10 hectares.

Include Cannabis Removal and Other Activities under MGNREGS

State government said that cannabis plants grow wildly in the several parts of the State and causes major social hazards. Therefore, the State Govt. has requested to make cannabis’ removal an eligible activity under MGNREGS. Similarly, it was requested to permit tea plantation rejuvenation as a permissible activity under MGNREGS.

Funds for Himalayan Circuit (Swadesh Darshan Scheme)

The State Government has submitted projects worth Rs. 100 crore to the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India for release of funds under the Himalayan Circuit of Swadesh Darshan Scheme. The Chief Minister requested the release of funds under the Himalayan Circuit Scheme by Government of India.

Rest of the demands in memorandum given to the PM include reversion of surplus SJVNL land to Himachal for Engineering College at Kotla(Jeori), to include Himachal Pradesh as whole time member in BBMB, to waive off the condition of NOC for Water Supply from BBMB Projects within HP Territory, payment of energy arrear Claims to the State of Himachal Pradesh as per Supreme Court Order, to pay the Central Sector Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Programme(AIBP) and Flood Management Programme(FMP), to release funds for Central Sector Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Programme(AIBP) and Flood Management Programme(FMP).

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Misc News/Press Release

Himachal’s senior journalist Sunil Sharma passes away at 49



Himachal's senior journlist sunil sharma dies

Shimla: A senior journalist and the State Bureau Chief of the Hindi daily Divya Himachal, Sunil Sharma, today passed away suddenly. He was 49-year-old and was at his house in Jakhu, Shimla while he died.

The media community and political leaders including the Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur, Governor Acharya Devvrat, and Director, Information and Public Relations Anupam Kashyap have extended their condolences.

Media persons begin to pay visits to the bereaved family as soon as they received the news. The cause of sudden death has not disclosed yet officially.

The CM Jai Ram Thakur said Sunil Sharma was a committed journalist, and always maintained ethics of journalism. He said that his demise has created a void in the field of journalism.

The Chief Minister along with Education Minister Suresh Bhardwaj visited the residence of Sunil Sharma at Jakhu and expressed their sympathies with the bereaved family members.  

Governor Acharya Devvrat expressed his sympathies with the grief-stricken family members.

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Misc News/Press Release

Rohit Kumar Saval joins as CM Jairam’s media adviser



Rohit Kumar Saval

Shimla: Rohit Kumar Saval, who has an extensive experience in media, today joined as Media Advisor to Chief Minister, Jai Ram Thakur, at Shimla. Later he called on the Chief Minister and discussed issues related to media in the State.

Chief Minister said that Rohit Kumar Saval has been working for a long time with media and has a rich experience of working at State and National level. He said the role of media is very important in the dissemination of programs and policies of the state government.

His appointment as an advisor will strengthen media liaison as well as promote professionalism in the government system, he said.

Political Advisor to Chief Minister, Trilok Jamwal, OSD to Chief Minister, Mahender Kumar Dharmani, Additional Chief Secretary-cum- Principal Secretary to Chief Minister, Manisha Nanda, Director, Information and Public Relations, Anupam Kashyap, were also present on the occasion.

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Misc News/Press Release

HP E-Vidhan wing gifts Galaxy Note 8, laptop, printer to all MLAs, ministers



HP E-vidhan wing gifts mlas

The government said that these gifts were given to the MLAs and ministers by the E-Vidhan wing of the HP Vidhan Sabha and will be used for official work.

Shimla: The Himachal Pradesh Government on March 16, 2018, gifted electronic devices including a Samsung Galaxy Note 8, which currently costs between 68,000 to 70,000 INR, a laptop, and a printer to all the elected members of the 13th Assembly including the council of ministers.

The average cost per MLA is estimated to be above one lakh INR. The total cost touches almost 1 crore INR. The Information and Technology Minister, Ram Lal Markanda, personally visited the Speaker Rajiv Bindal to deliver the gifts.

The news has attracted criticism from several groups, especially on social media and regional online news portals. The Bhartiya Janata Party has been opening scathing attacks on the previous Congress government over a debt of 46,000 crores INR.

Also, the state government did not take timely cognizance of the media reports about a 16-year-old poverty-stricken girl of Solan district who required lakhs of rupees to undergo a kidney transplant after she lost both of her own kidneys.

In the list of priorities, the gifts did come above the announcement of relief money to the girl.

Therefore, the reason for the criticism was quite apparent.  

It is being speculated that some of the MLAs have even sold or handed their copies of devices to subordinate staff or family members as they already had high-end smartphones.

However, the government said that these gifts were given to the MLAs and ministers by the E-Vidhan wing of the HP Vidhan Sabha and will be used for official work  during the current government tenure.

The Speaker said, the MLAs and Ministers will be given training regarding the operation of these electronic devices.

The effect of this step will be visible directly or indirectly in coming days. The government’s explanation that these electronics were gifted as part of the E-Vidhan program will be visible if all the recipient make themselves available to the public online.

Currently, the State government’s official websites are either not user-friendly or are in tatters and hardly contains latest data or information.  As we had mentioned earlier, the official website of the State government has still not updated the name of the Chief Minister.

The average response rate to e-mails is critically low for the government departments and the offices of the ministers.

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