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Shimla prison break spoils HP Police’s first Raising Day celebrations, State on high-alert

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Kanda Jail Break

Shimla: After the arrest of nine police officials in the Gudiya case, a jailbreak at Central Model Jail Kanda in Shimla district has spoiled the HP Police’s first Raising Day celebration that begun today on December 7.

The sentries or the inmates had no clue of when and how three prisoners, who were undertrial in separate cases of murder, abduction, and rape escaped. As per the statement given by Sushil Kumar Thakur, Superintendent prison, the prisoners Liladhar Khadak alias Lalit (22), Pratap Singh (37) and Prem Bahadur (22) escaped from Jail by cutting the iron roads of the window of the barrack No.-4 and crossed the main wall with the support of a pipe on the intervening night of November 5 and 6.

As per the the Superintended of Shimla, Soumya Sambasivan, escaped prisoners were Nepalese, and were lodged at the said barrack along with several other inmates. They managed to cut the bars without making any noise, and crossed a 16-feet high wall under the nose of the sentries. Two sentries were placed under suspension right after the prison break.

The prisoners were last seen in their barracks at 10:30 PM on December 5 during the routine counting. It was only during the morning roll call that the prison staff found the said prisoners missing. As per initial theory of the police, the prisoners might have managed to steal a hexa-blade from the under construction block. They used some iron pipes/roads and, may be, their blankets to cross the wall.

A FIR (No.241/17) was registered under IPC Section 223 and 224 at the Boileaganj Police Station on Wednesday morning in connection to the escape from confinement due to negligence of the staff.

Surprisingly, the facility, considered to be one of the safest prisons in the State, have only a few CCTVs and majority of the premises did not have any surveillance. The spot from where the prisoners crossed the wall also lacked CCTV surveillance.

The police said a special committee has been formed under the SP Kanda Jail to investigate the case, and collect more information regarding the jailbreak.

The SP, Shimla, personally visited the prison and launched a search operation by constituting multiple teams of police. The boarding district Solan and Sirmaur were sealed along with release of the photographs of the escaped prisoners.

So far, the hands of the police are empty. The police fear that if the said prisoners manage to cross the Indo-Nepal border, it would be very difficult to nab them.

ASI Vijay Kumar I.O PS West was given the task of investigating the case.

The jailbreak came a day before the celebrations of the first Raising Day of the HP Police, which is already facing wrath of the people after nine of its officials including an IG, SP, and DSP were arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation in case relating to the custodial killing of an accused lodged at the Kotkhai Police Station on the intervening night of July 18 and 19.

The CBI has filed an elaborate chargesheet against the officials, and is claiming to have sufficient evidences to established the guilt of the arrested accused.

The trust of the people in HP Police has shattered due to alleged criminal conspiracy in the investigation of the gangrape and murder of 16-years-old girl in Kotkhai in July this year.  Therefore, the current matter pertaining to the carelessness of the police in security of prisons has posed more questions on the working of the police. 

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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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