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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.

Campus Watch

As major achievement, Nauni varsity scientists bag International project on oilseed research

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Nauni varsity scientists bags international project

Solan: Dr YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry (UHF), Nauni, was in news last week after Jagriti Thakur, a research scholar at the varsity, won US-based International Plant Nutrition Institute (IPNI) Scholar Award for the year 2018.

This week, in a major achievement, the scientists of Department of Plant Pathology at the UHF, have bagged an International collaborative project on developing cutting-edge technology for inducing biotic and abiotic stress tolerance in mustard rape for economic and environmental sustainability.

The University will work with nine leading research organisations of the country besides seven renowned research institutes of United Kingdom in the project. The three-year project has a total budget outlay of more than Rs 7.27 crore as Indian component, which will be distributed to the 10 Indian institutes, which are part of the project. Each Indian institute will work on a different aspect of the project with a researcher working on the same area in the UK.

The project has been sanctioned under the prestigious NEWTON BHABHA Fund UK- India Pulses and Oilseed Research Initiative (PORI). The fund has been created by BBSRC of the Government of the United Kingdom and the Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology, GoI.

BBSRC which is a part of UK Research and Innovation, a body which works in partnership with universities, research organisations and government for promoting research and innovation is also making upto £3.5 million available to support the UK components of this research.

Dr HR Gautam, Professor and Head of Department of Plant Pathology informed that Dr Anil Handa, Professor of Plant Pathology will be the Principal Investigator and coordinator of this project while Dr Rajnish Sharma working in the Department of Biotechnology will act as the Co-Investigator.

He added that this achievement is one of the cherished moments in 55 years history of the department. Dr JN Sharma, UHF Director of Research, said that the University is making continuous efforts to get projects from various funding agencies and engage in collaborative work to strengthen the research capabilities and infrastructure.

India is one of the major producers and consumers of oilseeds crops in the world. The university scientists will work on ‘Genomics-led improvement of biotic and abiotic stress tolerance in mustard rape for economic and environmental sustainability’ by utilizing state-of-art advanced molecular approaches like CRISPER/Cas9 for mapping the genes conferring resistance to turnip mosaic virus (TuMV).

UHF Nauni Lab

The Plant Virology laboratory of the Department of Plant Pathology

The Plant Virology laboratory of the Department of Plant Pathology is an internationally acclaimed laboratory and has facilities for conducting molecular level research for determining the genetic diversity of TuMV in Northern India and developing a panel of Indian TuMV isolates for evaluating European and Indian sources of resistance.

Besides Dr YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry, Nauni, the University of Delhi, South Campus; NIPGR, New Delhi; NBPGR, New Delhi; NRCPB, New Delhi; IARI, New Delhi; PAU, Ludhiana; CAZRI, Jodhpur; DRMR, Bharatpur and IIT Kharagpur will be a part of the project. The University of York, University of Hertfordshire, University of Warwick, University of Essex, Earlham Institute and Rothamsted Research will be the investigators from the United Kingdom.

While congratulating the scientists, UHF Vice-Chancellor Dr HC Sharma said that the project will go a long way in using the latest techniques in biotechnology for disease management to increase the productivity of oilseed crops. This project will also help train our students in using molecular markers for crop improvement.

Through this collaborative project, efforts are being made to encourage multi-institutional collaborations between UK and Indian researchers to undertake high-quality research aimed at increasing crop productivity, resilience, sustainability and quality of pulses and oilseeds grown for food or feed in India. Pulses and oilseeds are important crops in India.

Pulses are relatively under-used crops in the UK but are a major source of dietary protein in India. Oilseeds are grown in both countries and are a valuable source of oil for a variety of uses, as well as animal feed. This collaborative project aims to develop exploit genomic and bioinformatic resources to aid the development of improved varieties for sustainable crop production.

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MoU to construct Naina Devi-Anandpur Sahib ropeway signed

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Shimla: A Memorandum Of Understanding (MoU) to build ropeway between Shri Naina Devi and Shri Anandpur Sahib was signed by Additional Chief Secretary Tourism Ram Subhag Singh, Himachal Pradesh and Secretary Tourism Punjab Vikas Pratap Singh, in Chandigarh today.

The MOU in the presence of Himachal Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur and his Punjab counterpart Captain Amrinder Singh.

This ropeway will be constructed by Shri Naina Devi and Sri Anandpur Sahib Ji Ropeway Company Pvt Ltd with an estimated cost of Rs. 210 crores. The ropeway would cover a distance of 3.5 km.

A 10-member Board of Directors would be formed, and each government would nominate five members. The Chairman of the Board of Directors would be nominated by the Punjab government and the Managing Director would be appointed by the Himachal government. Both the governments will deposit 50 Lakhs each as an initial investment.

Chief Minister said that the lower terminal of this project would be at Rampur near Shri Anandpur Sahib, the Intermediate station will be at Toba in Himachal and the upper terminal point would be at Shri Naina Devi. The tourism departments of both the states would work as nodal agencies for this work.

The Tourism and Local Bodies Ministers Navjot Singh Sidhu said that inking of MoU by both the Chief Ministers on the auspicious birthday of Sheed-e- Azam Bhagat Singh is a big gift to the mankind.

In 2012-13, the efforts were made to build this ropeway and 14 acres of land was also acquired for this but due to some circumstances, the work could not be completed.

Naina Devi is one of the 52 famous Shakti Peethas of the country and is one of the most prominent religious places for not only the peoples of the country but the entire world. Likewise, Shri Anandpur Sahib is also a prominent international the religious place.

This project would boost the tourism sector in both the states alongwith strengthening the bond between two states besides facilitating the devotees visiting these two religious places.

It was informed that 80 percent pilgrims come to Shri Naina Devi from Punjab and during last one year, 20 Lakh devotees paid their obeisance in this Shakti Peeth.

The Chief Minister informed that for the construction of this impending ropeway, the matter had been taken up with his Punjab counterpart Captain Amarinder Singh on February 26, 2018.

The Chief Minister of Punjab said that with the construction of this ropeway the pilgrims of Punjab would get rid of the difficulty in reaching Shri Naina Devi.

He said that people of both the states would like to see this project completed at earliest and three year’s time frame has been fixed for its completion.

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Himachal suffers Rs. 1479 crore losses in 4 days alone, Centre releases Rs. 122 crore for rehabilitation

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Monsoon losses in Himachal pradesh in 2018

Shimla: Himachal Pradesh has suffered losses of about Rs. 1479 crore and during the last four days alone. Five choppers of Indian Air Force had been pressed into service to evacuate the stranded tourists and local people.

Chief Minister, who chaired a review meeting today, informed that the Centre Government has released Rs. 122 crore as the first instalment for the State for undertaking immediate rehabilitation measures.

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Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur during meeting held today

Over one thousand people have been rescued from Lahaul valley out of these 147 have been airlifted and remaining have been evacuated by road.

He said the road would be cleared upto Baralacha by this evening. All the rescued people were being taken for medical examinations. Efforts were being made to restore communication network in Lahaul valley.

He directed the officers to ensure adequate availability of essential commodities in the valley. He said that a team of BSNL would visit Sisu today for the restoration of communication in the area. The Government has assured all possible help to the BSNL in restoration work.

Out of 18 towers of BSNL in the valley, seven were working properly.

It was informed in the meeting that 18000-litre petrol and 27000-litre diesel was made available. LPG and other food items were also in sufficient quantity. It was informed in the meeting that water Supply to Manali has been restored and Lahaul valley was also almost restored.

Till the electricity supply was restored in the valley, efforts would be made to provide solar lamps and lights to the people, it was informed. Small transformers would be airlifted from Kullu to replace damaged transformers.

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