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Will do away with Himachal’s ‘retired & tired’ officers and VIP culture: Jairam

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Jairam Thakur press conference

The oath-taking ceremony of Thakur on the historic Shimla Ridge Maidan will be attended by the Prime Minister, BJP Chief Amit Shah, and over a dozen of Chief Ministers of other states.

Shimla: The Chief Minister-designate Jairam Thakur, in his first media interaction, made admirable announcements over vital issues like firing “retired and tired” officials and abolishing the VIP culture. The first thing the new government would do is to send all those employees home who were re-appointed by giving them extensions after their retirement, said Thakur.

Secondly, the new BJP government would abolish the prevailing VIP culture, he told the media.

Firing unworthy, retired bureaucrats, who were granted extension as incentives for their loyalty to the ruling Congress party, is a much-needed action to cut-lose the additional financial burned on the State and to pave way for promotion of worthy and deserving officials.

All the retired and blue-eyed bureaucrats who were re-employed by the previous government will have to go now,

he told the media.

Further, all decision taken by the government during the period of three months before elections would be scrutinized and reviewed, Thakur told the media, which means re-shuffling of the bureaucrats as per the suitability of the party. It is not about political vendetta or revenge, he explained.

The oath-taking ceremony of Thakur will be held on December 27 on the historic Shimla Ridge Maidan, which will be attended by the Prime Minister, BJP Chief Amit Shah, and over a dozen of Chief Ministers of other states.

Though still to sworn in, Thakur has been given all facilities provided to the CM, and his mobility has also increased as the CM.

On December 25, Thakur visited the patients at the Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hospital on the occasion of the birthday of the former Prime Minister of India Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

Jairam Thakur at the Rippon hospital shimla

Pursing works of “social good and alleviate suffering” was cited to be the main motto of his government.

Meanwhile, after a boisterous show and lobbying for the top post, the elected MLAs are eyeing seats in the 11-membered cabinet of Himachal.

Thakur says his cabinet would incorporate both new and old generation leaders.

The cabinet will have both experienced and new faces, he said.

The speculated names for the Cabinet includes Rajeev Bindal, Kishan Kapoor, Sarveen Chaudhary, Mohinder Singh, Anil Sharma, Narinder Bragta and Ramesh Dhawala. Among the new faces, Gobind Thakur, Vikram Jaryal, Rakesh Pathania and Rajeev Sahjal are believed to be the eligible candidates that the government could include in the Cabinet.

The State Transport Authority Secretary Vinay Singh has been appointed Principal Private Secretary to the Chief Ministers.

The hopes of the people from the new, younger Chief Minister are sky-high owing to his individual image and political history.

The 13th Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh, a five-time Member of the Legislative Assembly of Himachal Pradesh, Jairam Thakur hails from a poor family of farmers in Tandi village of Mandi’s Thunag region, and he has struggled a lot for education. This is what Thakur and his octogenarian mother, Biri Singh, told the media about the family background.

His mother is the happiest of all among those who wanted to see Jairam Thakur as the Chief Minister.

My son has seen extreme poverty in his childhood,

she said.

My childhood was like any other village lads. My parents worked in the fields, and for us (three brothers and two sisters) life was not a luxury due to our father’s limited earning,

Thakur told the English daily Indian Express.

I realised my parents could not have afforded my college education, so I did not force them to. I used to work with my parents and helped augment the family income until I managed to collect money for college,

he added.

The new to be Chief Minister has an image of clean politician,  and hardly any controversy surrounds him despite a long political career in which he has not only represent the Seraj constituency as the elected MLA but also held the command of the State unit of the Bhartiya Janata Party in Himachal from the year 2009 to 2013.

Thakur had done a much better job as the party president than the current chief and defeated candidate Satpal Singh Satti. 

Misc News/Press Release

Quarantine Facility for Migrant Labourers Responsibility of Industrialist/Contractor: HP Govt

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Himachal-pradesh-new directions for migrant labourer entry

Shimla-As the relaxation in entry and quarantine rules for migrant labourers seems to be backfiring, the Chief Minister Jairam-led Himachal Pradesh Government has come into a damage control mode. Today, the Government said that it has decided that the industrialists or their contractors in the industrial area would be allowed to bring labourers after due approval of the administration. They would be kept in quarantine as per guidelines issued by the Health Department, it said.  

As per the Government directions, big industrial units will have to create adequate quarantine capacity, whereas small units can pool for creating the quarantine facility. The Industries and Labour and Employment Departments have also been asked to keep a strict vigil on industrial units to follow the SOP issued from time to time in this regard, the Government said.

The directions came following a widespread criticism of recent decision taken by the State Government to allow entry of all including tourists to Himachal with merely registering on an online portal and furnishing a COVID-19 negative test report of an accredited laboratory. Any such person did not require any prior permission and their details were confirmed only on their arrival at the State borders.Also, quarantine rules were relaxed for migrant labourers after industries and apple growers faced a shortage of labour due to the return of these workers to their home states amid corona pandemic. However, with an explosion of COVID-19 cases among workers of factories in the BBN area, the government seems to be backtracking to control it. 

All Persons with ILI Symptoms to be Tested

The Chief Medical Officers have been asked to increase the testing capacity of COVID-19 in their respective districts. Directions have been given that all the persons with ILI symptoms should be invariably tested for COVID-19 besides ensuring proper testing of all the primary and secondary contacts of COVID-19 patients.

Temples to Remain Closed for Now

Given the festive season, the State Government has decided not to open the temples and other religious places in the State for the time being to avoid overcrowding.  The officers have been asked to strictly enforce the decision of allowing the participation of not more than 50 persons in marriages and other family functions.

The Government also informed that about 1560 people of the State have arrived from 78 cities of 61 countries to the State after being medically examined. Out of these 1117 persons had arrived at New Delhi Airport, 192 at Amritsar Airport and 248 persons at Chandigarh International Airport. As many as 613 flights were attended by the Officers of the State Government at New Delhi, Amritsar and Chandigarh Airports.

 

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Himachal: After Widespread Backlash, HP Govt Again Make Changes in Rules for Entry, Quarantine

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Himachal Pradesh New Rules for Entry

Shimla-Rules for entry into Himachal Pradesh were again changed by the State Government on Tuesday. After facing widespread criticism over its decision to open the State borders for all including tourists amid sharp increase in COVID-19 cases, the Government has yet again accepted that opening State borders for entry without e-pass or any permission has created problems of its own.

Additional Chief Secretary Health R.D. Dhiman on July 14 said that e-passes are not being issued presently to the people entering the state. They are being allowed to enter the state based on the information they provided, but many people are hiding their proper address and identity, he accepted. Also, instances have been reported where such person entered the state by furnishing fake COVID-19 negative report or lying about their purpose of their visits.

“Keeping this in view now every entrant will have to verify the required information and only after certifying this information they would be registered to enter the state otherwise strict legal action would be taken against them,” said Dhiman informing about the new guidelines.

Further, after the appearance of a record 69 cases in the Baddi area -the industrial hub of the State – on Monday, Chief Minister Jairam Thakur-led State Government has been facing backlash over relaxing quarantine rules for migrant labourers coming to the area.

Also Read: Himachal Reports 78 Cases in Single Day Including Record 69 from Solan Alone

Following this backlash, the State Government was compelled to again make changes in the rules regarding the condition of quarantine for migrant labourers entering the state. 

“The return of industrial labourers has also begun from other states. However, keeping in view the increase of COVID-19 patients due to people coming from other states, it has been decided by the State Government to keep the industrial labourers in either institutional quarantine or in-home quarantine,” Jairam said. 

The contractor and industrial institutions would be completely responsible for it, he said.

“They would be allowed to work after their report for COVID-19 is found negative,” he said.  

It’s pertinent to mention that it is almost impossible for such labourers to follow home-quarantine as they mostly live in shared spaces with common facilities like a toilets/washrooms and water supply. In many cases, they use common toilets located outside their living spaces. 

Further, as per the orders, the inter-state movement of public transport buses would remain prohibited. However, taxis can ply through registration on COVID-19 e-Pass portal. Taxi drivers coming into the State for dropping would be exempted from quarantine if they return within 24 hours of the entry.

Also Read: Institutional Quarantine Mandatory for All Persons Coming from These 20 Cities/Districts of India

The State Executive Committee under Disaster Management Act, 2005 has partially amended orders issued on 2nd July 2020. As per the amendment, the medical colleges would remain closed for final year students from 15th July 2020 in the State. Similarly, Medical Training Institutions would also remain closed. 

As per the amendments, the condition of quarantine for the students and accompanying parents moving in and out of State for competitive examinations has been waived off, if they exist or re-enter the State or vice-versa within 72 hours.

The State Government has also decided that any person having been tested negative for COVID-19 through RT-PCR Test (Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction) by an ICMR accredited/approved laboratory not earlier than 72 hours at the time of entry would also be exempted from the requirement of quarantine.

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Himachal: Institutional Quarantine Mandatory for All Persons Coming from These 20 Cities/Districts of India

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HP Govt new list of high-load cities

Shimla-The Himachal Pradesh Health Department has revised the list of cities/areas/districts having high-load of COVID-19 cases. Earlier, the government had listed 13 such regions in various states. The updated list has mentioned 20 such cities/districts. All the mentioned places come under the red zone and an institutional quarantine is mandatory from anyone travelling from these areas to Himachal Pradesh.

The updated list includes the following:

  1. Mumbai, Maharashtra,
  2. Chennai, Tamil Nadu
  3. Thane, Maharashtra
  4. Pune, Maharashtra
  5. Hyderabad, Telangana
  6. Ahmedabad, Gujarat
  7. Delhi (All districts)
  8. Bengaluru (Urban), Karnataka
  9. Palghar, Maharashtra
  10. Kolkata, West Bengal
  11. Aurangabad, Bihar
  12. Chengalpattu, Tamil Nadu
  13. Surat, Gujarat
  14. Raigad, Maharashtra
  15. Gurugram, Haryana
  16. Nashik, Maharashtra
  17. Thiruvallur, Tamil Nadu
  18. Ranga Reddy, Telangana
  19. Madurai, Tamil Nadu
  20. Faridabad, Haryana

So far, India has reported over 9 lakh infections, which makes it the third worst-hit country after the United States (3,363,056) and Brazil (1,884,967).

The COVID-19 death tally for India was 23,727 till yesterday, 3,11,565 patients are still under treatment, and 5,71,460 have recovered. The rate of increase in the appearance of new COVID-19 cases continues to grow.

Despite the increasing rate and number of cases, Himachal Pradesh Government has opened the State borders for tourists and other visitors without obtaining any permission or E-Pass. All that one needs to enter Himachal and roam around without any restrictions is to present a COVID-19 negative certificate not older than 72 hours and a pre-booking of hotel/homestay for a minimum period of five nights.

The decision of the government to allow tourists amid a sharp rise in cases, both in the State and India, has invited scathed criticism. Even hoteliers in Shimla, Dharamshala, Manali etc. have decided to remain closed despite the government’s permission to resume operation. The SOPs issued by the state government are not acceptable to these hoteliers.

At the same time, relaxation given to migrant labourers in quarantine rules also appears to be backfiring as a large number of such labourers have been tested positive in the industrial hub – Baddi in Solan district. Yesterday, the district reported a record 69 COVID-19 cases, of which 59 were reported from a textile factory.

  

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