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Gaddi Community Remark: Lathicharge on protesters in Dharamsala after they scuffle with police

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Dharamsala gaddi community protest

The protesters included Gaddi leaders (allegedly belonging to BJP Janjati Morcha), Youth wing of Schedule Tribe Unit of BJP, and other members of the Community, who were demanding an unconditional apology from the Chief Minister for his remarks.

The Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh’s controversial remark on the Gaddi Community has again charged the political atmosphere in Himachal Pradesh. Though he had offered an explanation for his remark on Wednesday evening, the situation only got uglier.

On Thursday evening, the fleet of the Chief Minister confronted a protesting crowd in Dharamsala of Kangra district while he was on his way to Dal Lake for an inauguration.

The protesting community leaders carried black posters saying “Virbhadra Singh Go Back” and showed black flags to the Chief Minister. The protestors shouted the same slogan when the cavalcade of the Chief Minister was returning from Dal Lake.

The protesters were dealt with a lathicharge in which some protesters sustained injuries. Pictures of a protestor bleeding after being hit on his head circulated on the social-media too. A video clip uploaded by a user on Youtube also threw light on the actual situation at the spot.

Police also arrested about 20 people.

BJP leader Kishan Kapoor, who was reportedly accompanied by some supporters, tried to stop the convoy of the Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh.

As per Ramesh Jaryal, Kangra district chief of the Schedule Tribe, the people were protesting peacefully against the Chief Minister when the police lathicharged.

As per the police, the protestors allegedly turned hostile and scuffled with policemen on duty. They tried to block the Chief Minster’s fleet and police had to resort to use of force to disperse the crowd, said the police sources.

As per sources, the protestors included Gaddi leaders (allegedly belonging to BJP Janjati Morcha), Schedule Tribe Unit of BJP, and other members of the Community, who were demanding an unconditional apology from the Chief Minister for his remarks.

The opposition launched an attack post the cane-charge. The ex-Chief Minister and BJP leader Prem Kumar Dhumal and Shanta Kumar called it a murder of democratic rights.

They said that Chief Minister should watch his words before delivering controversial statements.

A few days ago, during his visit to Una district, the Chief Minister was targeting the State President of the BJP, Satpal Satti. The Chief Minister was seen and heard on news clips saying, “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).

After he came under fire for this remark and Gaddi Community leaders demanded a sincere apology for it, the Chief Minister offered an explanation on Wednesday evening.

He said his statement pertaining to President of Gaddi Board was concocted and misinterpreted by the media. It is an old habit of BJP to blow issues out of proportion, he added.

He explained, he meant that the President of State Gaddi Kalyan Board had more followers and respect than the BJP State President.

However, the Gaddi Community and BJP are not buying it. The lathicharge has further worsened the condition. The leaders have warned of another protest against the lathicharge.

Earlier, 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.

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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