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Anurag Thakur should stop inaugurating PMGSY projects for the sake of taking credit: Virbhadra

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SHIMLA- The Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh, Virbhadra Singh yesterday performed Bhoomi Pujan of Rs. 10.27 crore Nagnoli-Ispur road. Interestingly, Anurag Thakur, sitting member of Parliament and BCCI President, had also performed ‘Bhoomi-Poojan’ (Inaugural Ceremony) for the aforesaid road prior to the CM claiming it as a developmental step from the Centre government.

The CM slammed Anurag Thakur and said that instead of taking credit for Centrally sponsored schemes under obligations, the BCCI President should work for strengthening State-Centre relations.

“It is pertinent to mention that sitting Member of Parliament Anurag Thakur from the region also performed the Bhoomi Pujan of the said road from Panjawar to Bathri just to take credit though the road required strengthening from Nagnoli to Ispur”, said the CM.

Under Pradhan Mantri Grameen Sadak Yojna, (PMGSY) or any other Central scheme, it is obligatory for Union government to provide State’s share for development. Besides, over and above the land belongs to the State and it was the right of the State government to either lay foundation stone or inaugurate the centrally sponsored projects. The Central government can claim ownership of land in Union Territories. It is the duty of the Union government to ensure progress of the states equally, he said.

CM advised Anurag Thakur that instead of concentrating on inaugurations and taking credit of the States share, he should rather fight for and take up the matter for release of funds for the Swan River Channelisation, which is withheld by Union Government since long.

“If Anurag Thakur is a true benefactor of the people of the area, as Member of Parliament, he should take up the pending works and grants which were hanging at different levels in union ministries,” said the CM.

The Chief Minister appraised the recommendation of Lodha Committee which was tightening its noose around the office bearers of the State Cricket Associations holding office of profit and the administrative body of ever rich Board of Cricket Control of India (BCCI).

Washing Machine Distribution under Welfare Scheme for Women

Chief Minister gave these statements at a function held at Khad village in Haroli constituency of Una district. He also launched the State level Welfare Scheme for women registered with Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Board at a function. Washing machines were distributed to the women under the scheme with assurance of distribution of washing machines all over the State in phased manner.

As per official statement, 1100 washing machines will be distributed to the women registered under the Board. The CM was also urged to enhance the token amount for marriage of two issues of the families registered under the Construction Welfare board from Rs. 25 thousand to Rs. 51 thousand in near future. In case of natural and accidental death, it was urged that the sum is enhanced from Rs. 50 thousand and Rs. one lakh to Rs. 2 lakh each respectively.

Under the scheme, it was requested to the CM to spend around Rs. 100 crore under the scheme till march to benefit the working class under the Board.

On Demonetization

The CM also spoke over the decision of demonetisation taken by Centre on the name of curbing black money. He welcomed the decision, but pointed out that Rs. 2000 notes should have been made considering compatibility with ATMs. The Union Government should have worked on all ifs and buts before introducing the currency besides other technicalities which are now posing huge inconvenience to common masses.

Land Ceiling for Purchase of Tractors Abolished

The CM announced abolition of land ceiling for purchase of tractor for agricultural purpose, which was 20 Kanal earlier along with one time waiving off the pending arrears and taxes of tractor owners. The Chief Minister also announced depositing one time tax to be paid by tractor owners for purchasing tractors for agricultural purpose.

Earlier, the Chief Minister inaugurated Rs. 9.00 crore 3 storey building hospital building besides Modern Rural Health Research Centre within the campus of civil hospital at Haroli completed with an outlay of Rs. 1.60 crore. He also announced Helipad and PHC at Beetan in Haroli. He also laid foundation stone of Government Degree College at Khad to cost Rs. 12.25 crore.

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Misc News/Press Release

Snow, rain in Himachal bring little respite from prolonged dry spell

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Snowfall in Shimla

Shimla: As a little respite from the prolonged dry spell that has rung the alarm bells, some districts of Himachal Pradesh are today witnessing scattered to heavy rain and light spells of snowfall in upper parts of Shimla.

The hospitality industry is cheering at the news of light snowfall in Kufri and Narkanda as snow draws more tourists. An ongoing spell of light snowfall was also reported from Sanjuali adjoining areas.

Chamba and Kangra districts were reported to have received a good spell of rain at the time of writing.

The Meteorological Department, Shimla, has predicted snow and rain across the state on 23-24 January. However, thereafter, another dry spell has been predicted by the Met.

As per the meteorological department, the chances of snow or rain are scarce after these two days.

Until yesterday, the temperature in the State was recorded about 6 to 7 degree Celsius higher than the month of January usually witnessed in the past.

The popular cities like Shimla were staring at a dark future this year due to 100 percent dry spell since last November to this day. On the other hand, if post-monsoon rain deficit is considered, it has risen to alarming 46 percent.

Due to the dry spell, the forests of the State were burning due to frequent fires. The rain is likely to extinguish it.

During the previous week, over 100 incidents of forest fires were reported. The fires have destroyed a lot of flora and fauna.  

The peak winter period is about to be over and the State had so far witnessed anomaly in temperature, which was reported have increased by five to six notches upto yesterday. Th

The maximum temperature in Shimla, which otherwise was famous for its bone-chilling winters, was reported to be about 20 Degrees Celsius – about 7 notches above the usual temperature during winters.

In case the state did not receive sufficient spell of rain/ snow during these two days, the two largest sources of income for the state agriculture and tourism will be hit hardest.

Earlier, when the pattern of weather was normal, the State used to receive three to four spells of snowfall by this time with the accumulation of upto 30 to 50 cms snow.

The water level is fast decreasing. The illegal as well legal boring throughout the State for commercial purposes is also adding to the woes related to the groundwater level.

Effect on Agriculture   

The farmers were not able to plough their fields due to the paucity of rain or snow. The Rs. 3,000 crore apple industry is also not out of danger yet. The rain is likely to save the apple trees from burning due to pesticides.

The fresh or new plantation was also in danger. In Himachal, out total 12 states, eight districts namely Shimla, Kullu, Mandi and Kinnaur are the leading producers of apple, which are in dire need of snow.  

Lack of required amount of moisture in the soil for germination of seed had created consternation among the farmers as their seed would have gone waste otherwise.

In Himachal, 70 percent cultivable area is dependent on rain. The farmers would be doomed if the god of rain remained penurious about the rain and snow.

HP Government’s Review Meeting with the IPH Department

The Chief Minister had yesterday called a review meeting of Irrigation and Public Health Department along with the concerned Minister Mahendar Singh Thakur.

So far, the state government was apprehensive about the possible drought-like situation. The government said the state might face acute shortage of water. The IPH department was advised to get ready to deal with the water-shortage in advance.

The water supply schemes could be affected leading to a shortage of drinking in all major towns. The IPH department has been asked to explore the possibilities of installing more hand-pumps and arrange for water tankers if needed.  

Threat of Jaundice Outbreak

The State government has also admitted that the jaundice outbreak threat does loom large in Shimla city as water sources are drying up. Several cases of jaundice were reported during the current month. The Shimla Municipal Corporation has advised people to boil water before use.

The farming community, fruit growers, and hospitality industry are expecting more snow and rain during next 24 hours. 

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Himachal makes HIV/AIDS test mandatory for all expectant mothers

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HP Aids control Society

The cases of AIDS are increasing in the State. Currently, the official number of the people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWH) is around 5700 in Himachal.

Shimla: The State government on January 22, 2018, launched the nutrition scheme for children living with HIV-positive in Himachal Pradesh. The launch was announced by Chief Minister Jairam Thakur during an awareness campaign organised by the HP State AIDS Control Society to mark the National Youth Day.

The purpose is to deliver nutritional supplement and boost immunity of around 400 HIV positive youth up to the age of 18 years. In addition, it aims to enable them to lead a normal and healthy life.

The government has made it mandatory for every expectant mother to go through the HIV test. It would prevent passing on of the virus to the baby in case the mother is HIV-positive.

The cases of AIDS are increasing in the State. Currently, the official number of the people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWH) is around 5700 in Himachal.

The government said the awareness campaign should be intensified in schools and colleges including organisation of skits, street shows, which are effective ways of communicate to the masses.

The education department will work in close coordination with the health department to provide special facility to educate all children living with HIV-positive.

HP AIDS Control Society also organized a Red Ribbon fair on the Ridge along with flagging-off a half marathon.

The AIDS Control Society also launched its official website and twitter handle.

Further, there is a dire need to initiate massive awareness campaigns about this disease up to rural areas. The Non-profit Organizations (NGOs) and individuals will have to come forward and supplement the efforts of the health department in creating awareness.

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Video: Fire in Shimla’s Gumma devours Rs. 40 lakh property  

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Shimla: In a tragic incident of fire breakout in Gumma area of Kotkhai region in Shimla district on Saturday, about six rooms of a three-story building were lost. The fire brigade saved the two storeys and buildings adjacent to it.

No loss of life was reported, but the estimated loss of assets was initially assessed at about 40 lakh rupees.The owner of the house was identified as Rohit Chauhan.

Rohit’s mother was alone at the house when the fire broke out at about 3 PM. His mother called for help. However, the fire gutted six rooms on the third storey along with all belongings by the time the fire service reached the spot.

gumma-fire

The cause of the fire is believed to be a short-circuit.

While the other two stories housed shops, the third one was Rohit’s home.

The district administration has given Rs. 20,000 as a relief to the victim family.

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