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Sufficient health staff in rural Himachal, but doctors unwilling to serve in remote regions: CM Virbhadra

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junga bridge foundation stone

Nowadays this profession has become a source of minting money, he said. Doctors are found busy adjusting their transfers and framing reasons for not going to rural and far-flung areas.

SHIMLA- To counter the regular complaints regarding lack of doctors in Himachal Pradesh’s remote rural regions, the Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, while addressing a public meeting in Junga Tehsil, Shimla, blamed unwillingness of the doctors to serve. He also took the command of transfer and posting of doctors in his own hands. He directed the department to take his approval first before making any transfer or posting. He said that the government had appointed adequate number of doctors and para medical staff, opened Primary Health Centres ( PHCs) Community Health Centres (CHCs) in remote areas, but it had been observed that these institutions still lack staff and doctors.

The Chief Minister was addressing a public meeting at Junga where he also laid foundation stone of Rs.1.66 crore bridge over Ashwani Khud and Rs.4.80 crore Industrial Training Institute (ITI) at Junga.

virbhadra

Laying Foundation Stone

Wherever he goes he receives complaints from people about vacancies in health institutions, the CM remarked. The HP Health Department will have to ponder on this issue seriously and should strictly adhere to his instructions, said the CM.

He expressed dissatisfaction with the medical profession. Nowadays this profession has become a source of minting money, he said. Doctors are found busy adjusting their transfers and framing reasons for not going to rural and far-flung areas. He directed the health department to take approval of Chief Minister before transferring or posting any doctor.  Priority should be given to post doctors in rural and far-flung areas, he said.

Virbhadra Singh Foundation Stone

Foundation stone laid for construction of new bridge over Ashwani Rivulet near Junga

He warned that the para medical staff or doctors, if found absent in his/her place of posting, strict action would be taken.

We have to be strict and frame a policy that doctors posted in rural areas should complete their tenure and work with dedication, in service of people and not just adopt the profession for earnings,

he said.

The Chief Minster also directed to fill all vacant posts of doctors and para medical staff in the hospital at Junga within a day.

Contrary to this statement, the doctors in remote regions had been creating hue and cry over lack of even basic amenities including poor condition of residential quarters.  

The Health Minister, Kaul Singh Thakur, in July 2016, had admitted that inspite of the recruitment of 516 doctors, the back log of vacancies was huge and there were about 650 vacant posts of doctors in government hospitals. In an effort to deal with this backlog of shortage of staff, the department had increased the sanctioned strength of MBBS doctors from 1597 to 2091. The department had even announced walk-in interviews to fill the posts.

Moreover, the retirement age of General Duty Doctors (GDO) was raised from 58 to 60 years. The retirement age of Medical Teachers, deployed in four under-construction medical colleges, was raised to 65. The government had hinted that the age could be further raised to 70 years.

Misc News/Press Release

Solan Building Collapse: Death Toll Rises to 14 Including 13 Jawans and 1 Civilian, Rescue Operation Concluded

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Solan Building Collapse death toll

Solan-The toll of those killed in the collapse of a multi-storey building yesterday in Kumarhatti of Solan district that also housed a restaurant ‘Sehaj Tandoori Dhaba’ has risen to 14 as the rescue teams recovered more bodies. Over 25 people have been rescued and sent to Dharampur hospital for treatment. The deceased included 13 army jawans and one civilian, confirmed the Vivek Chandel, ADM, Solan. The rescue operation has concluded. As per the administration, total 42 people were trapped including 30 Jawans of Assam Rifles and 12 civilians. 

“Since yesterday, 17 Armymen and 11 civilians have been rescued. Three teams of the National Disaster Response Force have taken over the rescue,”

the Deputy Commissioner KC Chaman told PTI.

The building located on the Nahan-Kumarhatti road that housed a restaurant on one of the floors came down around 4 PM on July 14. As it was Sunday, several army personals of Assam Rifles had come to dine at the restaurant. The hotel owner also lived in the building along with his wife and two children. While the children were playing in the neighbourhood, their mother was present in the building. She reportedly died in the collapse, confirmed Additional SP Shiv Kumar Sharma.

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Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur on July 15 also visited the spot and ordered a magisterial probe to ascertain the cause of the collapse. An FIR against the owner of the building has also been registered.
Jairam thakur in solan

With this tragedy, questions are being raised over the legality of the construction. The building that was constructed in 2009 had at least four storeys. One of the storeys, as per reports, was added recently.Some reports suggested that complaints were also filed regarding the construction of this building.

Solan Rescue Operation

Currently, weak foundation and non-compliance with existing rules regarding the construction of buildings are considered as causes of the collapse. However, the district administration officials said the actual causes could only be ascertained after a probe.

Over 250 men of National Disaster Relief Force, District Police, and army jawans from nearby cantonment were continuously carrying out rescue work since yesterday. 

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2 killed, Several Trapped as Multi-Storey Building Collapses in Solan’s Kumarhatti

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Solan Building Collapse

Solan– A multi-storey building collapsed in Kumarhatti in Solan district today. Twp people said to have been killed. As per initial information available, over 35 people were present inside the building, which is said to be a dhaba (restaurant) when it collapsed. Over 15 persons were pulled out of debris and rescued while several others are feared to be still trapped. The incident occurred during a heavy downpour.


Several of these trapped people included army jawans. The army personnel and their family members were on their way to Uttarakhand and had stopped at the restaurant for lunch, a district official told PTI.

Solan building

As per a Tweet by the Chief Minister Jairam Thakur, about 40 people were trapped under the debris. Out of these, 19 were rescued and operation is in progress to rescue others.

Latest update from ANI said that 22 people were rescued. The rescued injured were taken to Dharampur hospital for treatment.

Injured in solan building collapse
As per the district administration, a team of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) was sent for from Panchkula for carrying out the rescue operation.

The Deputy Superintendent of Police, Solan, and the Additional District Magistrate had also reached the spot.
Himachal pradesh building collapse

solan

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Shimla’s Popular Baljees Restaurant Shuts Down, Workers Protest Over Unpaid Dues Worth Crores

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Baljees shimla closed, workers protest

Shimla-Today, the iconic Baljees — a 65-years-old restaurant located on the Shimla Mall will be winding up its operation. While the media is highlighting Shimla’s mourning over the closing of Baljees, its 70 workers, who are now rendered jobless, are protesting for the last two days for their unpaid dues. Several of these workers have been serving in the restaurant for over four decades and have contributed a lot towards its growth.

The workers alleged that the restaurant has not paid their dues worth about two crores. As per the workers, these dues include gratuity, bonus, leave encashment, notice pay, retrenchment compensation etc.  However, the Baljees management had earlier assured that all the dues would be cleared before closing.

The Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) has also come in support of these workers. It said the Baljees not only violating the Industrial Disputes Act 1947 but also going against the orders passed by the State High Court on July 12, 2018. In its July 12 orders, the court had made it clear that the management of the restaurant would have to pay all the dues before handing over the building to its owner.  In case the management fails to do so, this action would be considered as a contempt of the court orders, the CITU said.

The workers have urged the district administration and district police to make the management of the restaurant comply with the orders of the court. Otherwise, the workers said, they would file a contempt of court petition along with more protests.

 The Baljees, which was considered a destination restaurant, had gained popularity among both locals as well as tourists. Several influential political names from Virbhadra Singh to Prime Minister Narendra Modi used to visit the restaurant, it is said.  

Chandra Baljee had set up this restaurant in 1954. It was expanded in 1972 after which it became famous for Indian and continental food. The decision to close the building had come in 2018 after Baljees management lost the legal battle against the owner of the building, Lok Nath & Sons. The battle had started over operation charges for the building.

In 2015, the District and Sessions Court had ordered eviction. Later, the matter reached the state High Court where operation charges were hiked from Rs 18,000 to 1.35 lakh per month.  However, the owner was demanding. Then, the case reached the Supreme court, and then back to the High Court. Finally, in July 2018, Baljees management and Alok Nath & sons arrived at a mutual compromise. The management decided to evacuate the building and sought one year’s time to wind up its operation. This deadline ended today.   

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