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CM Virbhadra under fire for his controversial remark on Gaddi community

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Virbhadra Gaddi remark

Shimla – Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh has annoyed the Gaddi community of Himachal Pradesh by making a controversial remark while taking to media persons. The Chief Minister was on a visit to Basdehra in Una district.

Recently, the Chief Minister has faced criticism for alleged insensitive remarks over grieve incidents like the deaths due to Swine Flu and the mysterious death of forest guard Hoshiyar Singh.

This time, the Chief Minister was targeting Satpal Satti, State president of the Bhartiya Janata Party. He was criticizing the use of cheap language and derogatory remarks made by Satti.

However, what appeared to be an intention to insult the BJP President, the Chief Minister said something that has annoyed the Gaddi Community of Himachal.

Talking to the media person, the Chief Minister had remarked “सत्ती अध्यक्ष हैं तो क्या, अध्यक्ष तो गद्दी समुदाय के भी होते हैं”( What if Satii is the President (of BJP). Gaddi people also have a president)

Soon after the video of the news clip appeared on social media, the Chief Minister came under fire for showing insensitivity towards a Himachal’s oldest communities residing in Chamba, Kangra Mandi, Kullu, and Bilaspur districts.

People concluded the Chief Minister wanted to devalue and prove the position of Satii in BJP to be insignificant by citing this example. However, the reference to the Gaddi Community went wrong as the comparison was seen as an insult to Gaddi people.

Some leaders of the Community openly criticized the Chief Minister for his remark. Among these, Onkar Nehria, a sitting councilor and a Gaddi leader, expressed a surprise over the remark. He said it was not expected from a person holding the chair of the Chief Minister.

Another community leader from Palampur expressed anger through a social media post in which he said Gaddi’s will show the Chief Minister his place in the upcoming assembly elections.
Community leaders also warned the Chief Minister of protest rallies for hurting the sentiments of the Gaddi population.

The social media reactions of some leaders and people associated with the community also hinted damage to the image of the Chief Minister.

At the same time, the opposition has received a political opportunity to show sympathy with the community. The remarks are likely to be used by the opposition against the Chief Minister in election campaigns.

Earlier, the Chief Minister, while addressing a public rally, had said the BJP believes in unruly politics, be it Arun Jaitley, or other BJP state leaders like Anurag Thakur or Prem Kumar Dhumal. They have hatched a conspiracy against by framing false cases against him.

He said that his case of Income Tax was being investigated by three central agencies, which was unlikely a rare example to be seen. No matter how hard they try to suppress me, I will come out unblemished, he said.

Those in opposition should be considered as opponents and not as enemies, he said, adding that now the opposition takes ruling party candidates as their enemy. He said that the politics in the state, rather in the country has stooped to the lowest ebb.

Chief Minister said that in s democratic setup, one should not use cheap language or pass derogatory remarks.

Photo: IM Sharma

Misc News/Press Release

Rs 2572 crore for Himachal’s irrigation and drinking water schemes

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HP irrigation and drinking water schemes

Shimla: The State Government today said that it has earmarked an amount of Rs 2572 crore for providing irrigation and drinking water facilities in Himachal Pradesh during the current financial year.

The endeavour, the Government said, was to bring more area under irrigation facility so that farmers could go for crop diversification instead of traditional crops.

The Chief Minister, while addressing a public meeting at Kelodhar in Seraj assembly constituency of Mandi district, provided the information.It is Chief Minister’s first visit to Kelodhar after elections.

Further, it was announced that the Kandha-Bah-Batand road would be strengthened.

Earlier, the Chief Minister performed ‘bhumi pujan’ of Kandha-Bah-Batand road (Phase-II) to be constructed at a cost of Rs. 358.53 lakh.

He laid the foundation stones of IPH Office building and residence at Kelodhar to be constructed at a cost of Rs. 74.36 lakh and of Science Block building of Government Senior Secondary School Kelodhar on which about Rs 1.50 crore would be spent.

The Government announced Rs 15 lakh for Kelodhar Panchayat for various developmental works, Rs 10 lakh each for GP Bara, GP Saroha and GP Parwara. He also announced Rs 3 lakh for Mahila Mandal Kelodhar.

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British-era Bantony Castle Shimla to become Rs. 25 crore cultural centre     

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Bantony Castle Shimla Picture

CM said the building is also an example of beautiful anglo-gothic architecture. However, this fact appears to be incorrect as the Castle is built in the mock-Tudor style

Shimla: As a ray of hope for the Bantony Castle, Shimla, the Himachal Pradesh Government has announced Rs. 25 crores for the renovation of the British-era structure in order to develop as a tourist attraction.

This was stated by Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur while inaugurating the five-day long State level Gram Shilp Mela which was organized by the State Language Art and Culture Department here on May 17, 2018.

Bantony Castle is one of the historic and monumental buildings of Shimla town and has a very rich history. spread over around 20,000 square meter area between Circular Road and Mall Road.

The Chief Minister said the building is also an example of beautiful anglo-gothic architecture. However, this fact appears to be incorrect as the Castle is built in the mock-Tudor style, part chalet and crowned with sloping roofs with mini-towers.

Nevertheless, he further said that since this building was strategically located on the Mall Road thus could be an added attraction for the tourists.

 This complex as a whole would be developed in such a way that it not only becomes a tourist attraction but also a centre of rich cultural diversity of the State.  

The previous Congress Government had, in 2017, announced that it will be turned into a Heritage museum with a restaurant and recreational park.

Artisans from different parts of the State received an opportunity to exhibit their artefacts at the Gram Shipi Mela. The government said it would also organize District level Gram Shilp Melas besides Inter-state Gram Shilp Melas to promote the artefacts of the State.

It was further informed that the State Government has announced a new scheme named ‘Aaj Purani Rahon Se’ for exploring folklores, historic events and cultural tourism in the State. The government has also decided to introduce miniaturized cultural souvenirs of Himachal Pradesh such as musical instruments, Chamba Rumal, Kangra paintings etc.

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Will tar 1100 km roads, construct 600 km new motorable roads, 750 km cross drainage, 35 bridges in 2018: HP Govt

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HP PWD target for 2018

Shimla: During review meeting of Himachal Pradesh Public Works Department held today, the Government informed that it has set up a target of construction of 600 km new motorable roads, providing cross drainage facilities on 750 km road length, metalling and tarring of 1100 km roads, construction of 35 bridges and providing road connectivity to 40 villages during the current financial year.

The Government said all the formalities regarding the allocation of road and bridge projects would be completed within a stipulated period to facilitate work- allocation within 51 days to concerned executing agencies.  

The e-tendering is expected to speed up the process of allocation of projects.

It has been felt that delay in Forest clearances was one of the major bottlenecks for starting of different road and bridge projects. Therefore, the Government would take up the matter with the Union Government to expedite forest clearances for these projects,

said the Chief Minister, who was presiding over the meeting.

It was informed that the target has been fixed to execute 414 works with a total length of 2400 km, under PMGSY with an outlay of Rs 600 crore during the current financial year.

On completion, 150 habitations would be connected with roads. Similarly, the target has been fixed to complete 209 works under Rural Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF)-NABARD, which include 77 works in Shimla zone, 20 in Mandi Zone, 70 in Kangra zone and 4 in Hamirpur Zone, it was informed.

HPPWD review meeting 2018

During HPPWD review meeting 2018

It was informed that that out of 90 black spots identified in the State, 58 had been rectified and work on remaining black spots was in progress.

The State Government has allocated Rs. 200 crore for maintenance and repair of roads in the State besides Rs. 50 crore additionality for providing drainage facilities on the roads, claimed the Government.

Additional Chief Secretary Manisha Nanda said that 34394 officers and officials were working in the Public Works Department and “were doing their best” to ensure best road connectivity to the people of the State.  

The State today has total 35638 km of roads providing road connectivity to the remotest part of the State, informed the Engineer-in-Chief R.P Verma.

Opposed to the work-culture of the HP PWD, the Chief Minister, who holds Department, is claiming that regular monitoring and inspection of roads and bridges constructed particularly under NABARD, Central Road Fund etc. will be ensured.

 He said that for this, standard quality parameters should be laid down and responsibility of the defaulters must be fixed and strict action taken against the person, which rarely happens.

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