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Kotkhai Case: Blacklist DC Shimla for display of incompetency, says RTI activist in letter to PMO India and Governor

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Shimla – The Deputy Commissioner, Shimla, Rohan Chand Thakur, yesterday visited the family of Kotkhai rape and murder victim. It was the first time the DC met the family or visited the crime spot or talked to locals since July 6. The DC faced criticism for his alleged indifference toward the sensitivity of the case. He should have visited the grieving family and the spot much earlier.

On Friday, the DC Shimla, along with the new Superintendent of Police, Shimla, Somya Sadasivan, visited the area and met the family. The DC offered the family a Rs. 2 lakh from District Red Cross Fund with assurance to take full responsibility for the education of victim’s brother. He said the administration is taking confidence building measures to restore peace.

However, people are still miffed over the fact that, as the head of the administration, he remained completely silent earlier.

RTI Activist, Dev Ashish Bhattacharya, called it a “display of incompetency, indifference, and callous attitude” by the IAS officer. In a letter written to the Governor, HP, PMO India, the Secretary, Department of Personnel & Training, Delhi, and the Union Home Secretary, Delhi, the RTI activist demanded blacklisting IAS Rohan so that he isn’t assigned any sensitive post.

The activist said the most unfortunate incident of rape and murder of a school girl “Gudiya” took place in Kotkhai area of Shimla district, entire state boiled under rage, and mass demonstrations were held daily. However, said Bhattacharya, the DC remained seated in his office and did not use his sense and acumen to deal with the situation.

Astonishingly, the DC did not visit the spot of the crime even once during this entire period of turmoil, he said.

Thus, Rohan Chand Thakur, IAS, demonstrated an act of cowardice and displayed the least of leadership qualities as were expected from any well-trained direct IAS recruit,

 said Bhattacharya.

The law and order situation kept degrading, and distress of public over discrepancies in the probe conducted by HP Police SIT continued to rise. Despite all this, the DC just watched the show, alleged Bhattacharya.

The activist asked the authorities to take action against him, and ask him to explain his position that why he did not perform his duties as District Magistrate on receiving information of the gruesome crime. The DC should be asked that why he did not visit the crime scene even once as the head of the district administration.

An explanation should be sought from the DC that why he did not come out amid distressed people as law and order situation worsened with each passing day, he said.

Bhattacharya has requested the Secretary DOP&T to put Mr. Thakur in the blacklisted category of the IAS officers till the time proves that he has improved upon his competency in administration.

Meanwhile, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBi) took over the case from HP Police on Friday and initiated a probe. Sources suggest the team had arrived in Shimla on Thursday, but CBI did not make any official confirmation.

The State High Court had directed CBI on Tuesday to form an SIT within two days and submit its report within two weeks.

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Mandi Greenfield Airport: HP Govt to Acquire upto 3150 Mts Land for Phase-II

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Mandi-Himachal Pradesh Government yesterday held a meeting regarding the construction of Greenfield Airport at Nagchala in Mandi district and expansion of Kangra and Shimla Airports. 

It was informed that land measuring 2936 bigha has been identified for construction of Greenfield Airport in Mandi district and site clearance has been obtained in January 2020.  During the meeting held with the Ministry of Civil Aviation in November 2019, it was decided that AAI go ahead with 2100 meters length of the runway in phase-I. However, Government of Himachal Pradesh would acquire land for proposed runway upto 3150 meters for phase-II and additional land would be kept unutilized as a buffer zone, he added.  The State Government had signed MoU for development and operation of this Greenfield airport through a Joint Venture Company on 15th January 2020, it was informed.

As per estimates, a total expenditure of Rs. 7448 crore would be incurred on this project on land acquisition, terminal building, runways and allied activities. An expenditure of Rs.  2786 crore on land acquisition, Rs. 2965 crore on other developmental activities, Rs. 900 crore on the terminal building, runway and allied infrastructure,  Rs. 782 crore on structures and Rs. 15 crores on compensatory levies for FCA  would be made. This proposed airstrip would require channelization of Suketi khad.

It was informed that 1780 bigha of land has been identified for the development and expansion of Kangra Airport for the operation of A-320 type of aircraft and cost of acquisition of land and allied activities would be Rs. 3347.18 crore. This proposed airstrip would require channelization of Manjhi khad alongwith construction of new approach road to the airport.

While referring about the expansion of Shimla Airport, it was informed that Union Civil Aviation Minister in November 2019 has agreed to provide funds for expansion of Shimla Airport runway adding a length of another 300 meters for which land measuring 182-11 bighas had been identified.  Proposal for the Social Impact Assessment (SIA) has been submitted.

Photo: [email protected]

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1802 Job Opportunities for Those Who Returned to State Due to COVID-19: HPKVN

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Shimla-Managing Director, Himachal Pradesh Kaushal Vikas Nigam (HPKVN), Rohan Chand Thakur, informed on October 30, 2020, that thousands of unemployed skilled and semi-skilled citizens have returned to the state due to COVID pandemic. He claimed that through its Skill Register portal, till date, over 16,406 people have registered themselves for employment.

HPKVN approached various industries and companies located in the state and identified about 1802 employment opportunities. Some big names include HAVELLS, Voltas, Tafe, Indoco Remedies and organizations like MT Autocraft, Parwanoo etc, he informed.

He said that these job opportunities were mapped as per the eligibility, qualification and aspiration of the citizens registered on the ‘Skill Register’ portal and based on such mapping, HPKVN identified 1685 candidates eligible for the job opportunities offered by various industries.

These candidates were individually contacted, counselled and motivated to join the available job opportunities. Consequently, 405 candidates expressed their interest in joining the job. Out of these, 282 candidates appeared for the interview and 102 candidates got shortlisted through interview.

“For rest who could not join the job opportunities are being further counselled and motivated by the HPKVN team so that suitable matching job opportunity can be offered to them,”

he informed.

He cited job location, higher salary expectations etc as the reason behind candidates not willing to join despite having requisite qualification. HPKVN is also working on providing multiple offers to each candidate so that they have options to choose from.

Managing Director said that skilled and semi-skilled unemployed citizens returning from outside states can register themselves on ‘skillregister.hp.gov.in’ where companies and industries can also register their requirements, after which the Himachal Pradesh Kaushal Vikas Nigam will attempt to provide job opportunities to the applicants in the nearest company or industry according to their ability and eligibility.

 

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Himachal: Education Minister, 22 Teachers in Three Schools, SDM Test Positive for COVID-19

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Shimla-Ahead of re-opening of schools for regular classes from November 2,  22 teachers in three schools of Mandi district – Sarkaghat, Killing, Thunag- have tested positive. Today, Education Minister Govind Singh Thakur and a person in his staff also tested positive. He informed regarding the report through a social media post. He has quarantined himself at his residence, he said. He has requested other people who have come in contact with him recently to get tested and isolate themselves.

Besides, the Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM), Joginder Nagar, has also tested positive.

A total of 332 new cases with two deaths were recorded on Wednesday, according to the statistics provided by the Health Department. So far, about half a dozen ministers and the Chief Minister have tested positive for COVID-19 and recovered too. 

Four deaths have been reported today (till 12 pm), and the COVID-19 tally for the state had reached 21150, of which 2513 were active cases.  

So far, a total of 298 persons have lost their lives due to COVID-19, if the official statistics to be believed. The actual number of cases, as well as, deaths could be higher due to a community spread. However, so far, the state government has not given any projection regarding the actual numbers.

Till yesterday evening (9 PM), a total of 380415 persons had been tested for COVID-19 in the state.   

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