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Fresh case of ‘water tank poisoning’ in Sirmaur village stirs panic

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SIRMAUR- The series of intentional poisoning of drinking water supply tanks in Himachal Pradesh continues as another incident created panic in a village of district Sirmaur. Since September 2016, there have been over five such attempts to contaminate water mainly with pesticides. The Subathu region in district Solan had witnessed terror of unknown culprits who had first mixed pesticide in Kakkadhatti School in Subathu and later moved to other regions like Kunihar. The miscreants had poisoned water tanks at four different locations in four days.

After revelation in Yug-murder case, in which a 6-year-old was abducted for ransom and later murdered by drowning in IPH water supply tank in Shimla, it appears, miscreants have extracted a way to poison people by targeting water supply.

In the current incident, according to sources, on Friday, a family in Toka Nagla village under Kudiyon (कुडियों)Panchayat in Poanta Sahib tehsil of district Sirmaur, was alerted by pungent odor arising from tap water that had turned completely white in color. The odor resembled to pesticides used in agriculture. The news stirred panic among villagers. Last year, too, in the same village, some unknown person had mixed poison with fodder due to which two cows had died.

A team of police arrived at the scene and collected sample of water. The sample would be sent for forensic testing to identify exact chemical composition of the used toxin.

Earlier, during September and October month, unknown antisocial had contaminated the water tank of Kakkadhati Government School with pesticide ‘Nivaan’ along with a nearby IPH water tank that supplied water to an entire village.

Similar incidents of water-poisoning were reported from Chaprauli region and in Jadla village where private tank of panchayt Patwari was poisoned.

A day after it, unknown culprits targeted thousands of devotees at Radha Swami Satsang by poisoning one of the water tanks inside its premises.

In all instances, hundreds of people including school children had narrow escapes and no loss or damage of human life was reported. These people were fortunate that used pesticide emits pungent odor and turns water milky, which alerted users as soon as they opened their taps.

Health Hazards

Cases of accidental ingestion of common pesticides used in farming have shown mild to lethal effects. Depending upon the amount consumed, period of exposure and toxicity level of the chemical composition, consuming a pesticide can cause skin diseases to total collapse of nervous system and reproduction capacity.

Police Still Clueless

Hands of district police Solan are still empty and the culprits remain unidentified so far. Police claims that it had detained several people as suspects for questioning. However, the questioning didn’t yield any solid evidence that could lead to the actual culprits. The fresh case in Sirmaur has further raised concern over safety of people.

These cases had further exposed that IPH department hasn’t done much to arrange security at its water supply tanks even after Yug-murder case and directions of the honorable High Court of Himachal Pradesh. However, people are advised to sure their private water storage arrangements with fencing and locks considering the eminent threat of miscreants, who are targeting individual families.

Madan has studied English Literature and Journalism from HP University and lives in Shimla. He is an amateur photographer and has been writing on topics ranging from environmental, socio-economic, development programs, education, eco-tourism, eco-friendly lifestyle and to green technologies for over 9 years now. He has an inclination for all things green, wonderful and loves to live in solitude. When not writing, he can be seen wandering, trying to capture the world around him in his DSLR lens.

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Vivek Kumar of Kangra Among Those Martyred in Helicopter Crash, Leaves Behind Wife and 2-Month-Old Son

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vivek kumar jaisinghpur kangra

Kangra-The demise of the Chief of Defence Staff, General Bipin Rawat, his wife along with 11 others onboard an Indian Air Force Mi-17V5 helicopter that crashed in Coonoor of Tamil Nadu on Wednesday shocked the nation.

Tributes were pouring in across the world for India’s first CDS and other departed souls.

A village in Kangra district – Thehado (ठेहडू) in Jaisinghpur subdivision-is also mourning the demise of Vivek Raj who was also onboard the ill-fated chopper. Lance Nayak Vivek Kumar 1 Para (SF) was PSO to the CDS, Bipin Rawat.

Vivek left behind a wife and 2-months-old son. He had joined the J&K Rifles in 2012 and later served as a commando. He had got married in 2020. The news of his departure has left the family devastated. A pall of gloom has descended upon his native village. His father Ramesh Chand is a daily wager and his mother is a housewife. His younger brother runs a bakery shop in Baijnath.     

On Thursday, officials from the Defence visited his house for collecting the DNA sample of the parents. The bodies, according to the report, were burnt so badly in the crash that it was difficult to ascertain their identities. The DNA samples would help in the identification.

According to the official reports, the sole survivor of the crash, Group Captain Varun Singh, was on life support at the Military Hospital at Wellington.

Meanwhile, the Indian Air Force has retrieved the Flight Recorder of the Black Box of the helicopter. The cause of the crash was still under investigation.

Bipin Rawat along with his wife and other 13 was on his way to the Defence Services Staff College in Wellington to deliver a lecture.

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Shimla, Manali Receive Season’s First Spell of Snow, Cheers Tourism Industry

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snowfall in shimla 2021

Shimla-First spell of snow in Shimla’s tourist destinations, Narkanda and Kufri, has cheered the tourism industry as it would increase the footfall of tourists. Similarly, higher parts of Manali also reported a light spell of snow on Sunday evening. Lahaul-Spiti, however, reportedly witnessed heavy snowfall and Atal Tunnel, Rohtang, was closed for traffic. Parts of the Kinnaur district also recorded a spell of snow.

Chopal in Shimla had received 2-3 inches of snow, while Dodra Kwar recorded one foot of snow, according to the Met Department.

In Kullu, Jalori Pass had received 3 inches of snow, Rohtang top 2.5 feet, and Atal Tunnel 1.5 feet.

In Lahaul-Spiti, Koksar/Sissu had recorded 18 inches of snow, Keylong 8 inches, Darcha 12 inches, Udaipur 4 inches, Tindi 2 inches, Kaza 1 inch, and Lossar 2 inches of snow.

In Kinnaur, Chitkul had recorded 15.4 cms of snow, Kalpa 5 cms, and Sangla 7.62 cms. Nichar also received a light spell.

This change in weather has triggered a cold wave across the state. Further, the Himachal Pradesh Meteorological Department had issued a yellow alert for December 5, 2021. The Met has predicted rain and snow on December 6 too. While the weather is predicted to be dry on December 8, the state could witness more rain and snow on December 7 and December 9, according to the Met Department.

Most roads, except in Lahaul-Spiti, remain open to traffic movement, the district administrations of Shimla and Kullu confirmed. Further, the administrations said preparations are being made to keep the roads clear in case of heavy snowfall.

This tourist season is crucial for the hospitality industry which was worst hit by the pandemic induced restrictions. However, the entry of Omicron – the new variant of Covid-19 that has been termed as a variant of concern by the WHO-haunts the season. India had reported as many as 21 cases of Omicron till Sunday. If the HP Government decides to impose restrictions on the entry of the domestic tourist in view of the spread of the new variant, the hospitality industry could again face losses.  

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Himachal Achieves 100% Vaccination Target, OPD at AIIMS, Bilaspur, Inaugurated   

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vaccination second dose in himachal pradesh

Shimla-Himachal Pradesh has achieved the 100 percent target of the second dose of Covid vaccination, the State government informed on Sunday.  Himachal Pradesh has become the first State of the country in achieving the target of cent per cent vaccination of targeted eligible age group, it informed.  

According to the HP Government, all eligible 53,86,393 adults have been administered the second dose of the vaccine.

District-Wise Vaccination Details

District

Number of People Vaccinated 

Bilaspur  318150
Chamba 352605
Hamirpur 361954
Kangra 1140439
Kinnaur 68460
Kullu 322643
Lahaul-Spiti 25494
Mandi 738818
Shimla 634019
Sirmaru 410187
Solan 584326
Una 429298

A complete vaccination was performed first in the inaccessible areas and tribal areas of the state and Kinnaur district became the first district in the entire country to administer the second dose of the vaccine to all eligible adults, the government informed.

On this occasion, Jagat Prakash Nadda, the Member of Parliament and National BJP President, also addressed a felicitation ceremony of Covid Vaccination Workers at Bilaspur on Sunday.

Nadda also dedicated the first OPD at AIIMS Kothipura in Bilaspur. The AIIMS Bilaspur would be made fully functional within the next six months, said Nadda.

 

jp nadda at aiims bilaspur

JP Nadda at AIIMS Bilaspur

He said that the foundation stone of this institution was laid about three years back and it would have been completed a year ago, but the pace was affected due to the corona pandemic. He said that Himachal Pradesh has got an Rs. 500 crore Satellite centre of PGI Chandigarh at Una.

He also congratulated the State Government, doctors, health care workers and all the frontline workers for achieving this unique feat. 

Union Minister of Health, Chemicals and Fertilizers Mansukh Mandaviya, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur and Union Minister of Information and Broadcasting, Youth Affairs and Sports Anurag Singh were also present on the occasion

 

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