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Politics delayed Bilaspur’s Baagchal bridge construction, will be completed by 2019: CM

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Baagchal bridge bilaspur

In 2016, the High Court of Himachal Pradesh had slammed the state and centre government over such a long delay and wastage of public tax money. The court had asked why government wasted the money on the pillars without proper assessment of the strata. 

Bilaspur -While addressing a gathering at Ghandir in Jhanduta Assembly segment in Bilaspur district, once again the Chief Minister Virbahdra Singh gave another assurance to the locals over the revival of abandoned construction work of the Baagchal Bridge over Sutlej in Bilaspur.

The Chief Minister had laid the foundation stone of the bridge in 2005 and the tender was allotted to the Gammon Indian Private Ltd. More than 18 crores were already spent by the year 2008. In 2017, the bridge is still far away from completion.

After allotment of tenders in 2005, the company worked for three years. The work was to be completed by 2008. But in 2008-9, the work was abandoned. As a matter of fact, the bridge was very crucial for the socio-economic development of the region. But both BJP and Congress government ruled the state during this period but none of them could complete it.

The villagers had no choice but to take the grievance to the court over the delayed construction of the bridge. In 2016, the High Court of Himachal Pradesh had slammed the state and centre government over such a long delay and wastage of public tax money. The court had asked why government wasted the money on the pillars without proper assessment of the strata. 

The bridge was expected to connect Naina Devi and Jhandhuta. A population of over 20,000 of 17 panchayats located on left bank of Govind Sagar and 25,000 of 19 Panchayats on the right bank of the river were desperately waiting for the early completion of the project.

The bridge would have cut down about 70 kilometers from the distance between two destinations.Currently, people travel 100 kilometers to reach Bilaspur and Swarghat from Jhanduta. This distance would have shortened to only 13 kilometers – a huge relief to the population of over 45,000 people.

Currently, people travel 100 kilometers to reach Bilaspur and Swarghat from Jhanduta. This distance would have shortened to only 13 kilometers – a huge relief to the population of over 45,000 people.

The bridge was also meant to shorten the distance between Chandigarh and Shah Talai. He said that the delay in construction increased expenditure to Rs. 15 to 20 crore.

On Friday, in view of assembly elections, the CM again revived the hope of the people. He informed than an additional amount of rupees 16 crore was sanctioned for completion of Bagchaal bridge.

He said that Gammon India stopped decking work on the ground as strata around the pier was not the same as envisaged during designing the foundation. However, revised proposal for the foundation of bridge pier was submitted and now again the Gammon India Limited has taken up the job for completion of the bridge.

The Gammon India Private Ltd is given two years to complete the construction of the bridge, said the Chief Minister

The Chief Minister blamed politics played over the construction of Baagchaal Bridge for the delay in its completion.

Misc News/Press Release

Schools in Himachal to Open With 50% Staff  for Students of 9th to 12th Classes

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Himachal Pradesh Schools Opening

Shimla: After lifting all restriction on entry into Himachal Pradesh in the previous Cabinet meeting, today the state government also gave nod to re-open schools from September 21, 2020. The decision was taken in a meeting of HP Cabinet held on September 18, 2020, in Shimla. 

Only those educational institutions would be opened which are outside containment zones. Schools would be opened as per the standard operating procedure (SOP) of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, it was informed.

Also Read: Himachal: No E-Pass, No COVID-19 Negative Report, No Registration Needed to Enter State

Only fifty per cent teaching and non-teaching staff would attend students from 9th to 12th standard, provided the students are willing to take guidance from the teachers, the government informed. The students would be able to visit their teachers for guidance, but it won’t be mandatory to come to schools.

Also, written consent of the parents or guardians of the students has been made mandatory.

It is speculated that there are bleak chances of opening primary schools this year as the community spread is in its initial phase and would be wreaking havoc in upcoming months. Himachal Pradesh has reported over 400 cases with 12 deaths today only.  

It would mean a huge loss in terms of education. There are several other obstacles and issues which make online classes for students of primary classes a difficult and less efficient mode of education. Imparting education amid the COVID-19 pandemic has become a challenging task for the state government.

Further, the Cabinet gave its approval to start BSc (Hons.) in Forestry in Government College for Forestry and Horticulture, Thunag in Mandi district from the academic session 2020-21.

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Himachal: Seven COVID-19 Deaths, 395 New Cases in a Day

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Himachal pradesh corona deaths

Shimla-On Thursday, Himachal Pradesh reported 395 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 infection. Seven fresh casualties were reported, taking the COVID-19 death tally in the state to 96. According to the official Bulletin released by the Health Department for September 17, 2020 (9 PM), the total for the state has risen to 11190, of which 4145 are active cases and 6919 had recovered.  

Seven fatalities also included a 14-year-old male from Shimla. He was a patient of Burkitt’s Lymphoma. Remaining six aged between 50-82 years.  As per the Health Department’s official Bulletin, all seven patients had pre-existing medical conditions like Diabetes Mellitus, severe Sepsis, severe ARDS, Hypertension etc.  

Details of COVID-19 Fatalities on September 17 (till 9 PM)

covid-19 deaths in himachal pradesh on september 17, 2020-

Among Thursday’s cases, Sirmaur reported the highest 82 cases, followed by Kangra (76), Mandi (70), Solan (49), Una (38), Shimla (30), Lahaul-Spiti (15), Kullu (13), Bilaspur (12), Chamba (7), and Hamirpur (3).

Further, Solan has reported the highest number of cases (2525), and Kangra district has reported the highest number of casualties (20), followed by Solan (18), and Shimla (17).

For more statistics from all districts, view the table given below:

Himachal Pradesh-september 17, 2020, covid-19 update

Several media persons complained that the Health Officials have even stopped taking their calls and release required information. The Chief Minister, in today’s Vidhan Sabha session, compared fatality rate of Himachal Pradesh (0.8%) with the national rate (1.64%) and states having larger population like Punjab (2.8%). He claimed the state government was comfortable with the situation and rising number of cases. He said five make-shift COVID-19 hospitals, which are yet to be established, would take care of the rise in cases.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Jairam Thakur today patted his own back by releasing an e-book “Sewa Hi Sangathan” brought out by the State BJP.

In this book, BJP has claimed that various initiatives and steps were taken by the party to effectively tacking the COVID-19 pandemic.

Chief Minister also termed the “Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan” as a success and went on to say that it has stabilized rural economy of the country and the State during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Defending the decision to lift all restrictions on inter-state movement of people, including tourists, amid a community spread, he termed it a necessary step to revive the state economy. In a way, the government has made it clear that the people would have to learn to live with COVID-19.

Feature Image: [email protected]

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Himachal: 460 New COVID-19 Cases with One More Death, Situation to Worsen as State Borders Open for All

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Shimla-Himachal Pradesh on Wednesday reported a single-day spike of 460 COVID-19 cases with one death, confirmed the state Health Department. According to the latest update (9 PM), Solan district (117) had reported the highest number of cases. Remaining cases were reported from Kangra (92), Mandi (58), Shimla (51), Lahaul-Spiti (46), Una (31), Kinnaur (14), Sirmaur (14), Bilaspur (13), Chamba (12), Kullu (8), and Hamirpur (4).

The COVID-19 tally has now reached 10795, of which 4146 are active, 6531 recovered, and 89 died.

HP Health Department’s COVID-19 Bulletin for September 15, 2020 (9 PM)

Himachal Pradesh daily covid19 update september 16

The number is likely to witness a huge surge as the state government has removed all restrictions on the inter-state movement of people. No permission or registration of any sorts is required to enter the state. Tourists won’t need to present a COVID-19 report and advance booking to enter the state. At the time of the writing, a large number of tourists and other people had already entered the state as the borders were opened today evening.

Also Read: No E-Pass, No COVID-19 Negative Report, No Registration Needed to Enter State

Tourists are happy with the decision. According to a media report, earlier tourists reaching state borders without registration were being tricked to pay Rs. 300 to register and enter the state.  It was later that they found out that registration process was free of any charges. 

Inter-state bus services are also expected to resume operation soon.

Feature Image: unsplash/@sonance

 

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