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Mega earthquake of 8 magnitude in Himachal to put Govt’s preparedness to test

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Earthquake in Himachal Pradesh in 2018

Shimla: An earthquake measuring 8 in magnitude on Richter Scale will occur at midnight on intervening nights of February 7 and 8, 2017 in Himachal Pradesh. The epicentre will be between Sundernagar and Mandi. The neighbouring States like Punjab will be worst hit after Himachal.  

 This is what the disaster management agencies will presume before conducting the fourth Mega Mock Earthquake exercise on February 8, 2018, in which all the 12 districts will participate, informed the Principal Secretary, Revenue and Disaster Management, Onkar Chand Sharma during the Orientation and Coordination Conference and Sensitization programme on Incident Response System (IRS)

 As reiterated several times, an organization of mock drills are required because Himachal is highly vulnerable to the earthquake as it comes under highly sensitive seismic zones IV and V.

Predicted Mega Himalayan Quake

During past decades, several national and international research institutes, geologists, and seismologists had been repeatedly warning about massive tectonic movement in seismically active 600 km long Himalayan belt. Entire Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand will be worst hit as they fall in seismic zone IV and VI. No expert is able to predict any date, but they have shown confirmation in their predictions based on various historical and contemporary data.

earquake-prone-regions-of-himachal-pradesh

 Mock exercises are conducted to help enhance strategies, level of preparedness and risk resilience of both the response teams as well as the general public. 

Objectives of the Mega Mock Drill

The objectives of these mock drills remain on generating awareness amongst all stakeholders, evaluate response mechanism and to find out strength and gaps in preparedness and mitigation. Other than that, the capacity building of local people and effective coordination between various agencies is also a major objective of the mock drill.

 Earlier such mock exercise was done in November 2016 in which seven most vulnerable districts i.e. Shimla, Kangra, Mandi, Chamba, Solan, Kinnaur and Kullu participated but this time all districts would be covered.

 Each district will conduct an exercise at minimum five places.

As effective areas for carrying out rescue, relief and mitigation work in each district various places such as residential, non-residential, hospitals, educational institutes and shopping complexes will be taken, informed the Special Secretary, Revenue and Disaster Management, D.C. Rana.

 Experts from National Disaster Management Authority will observe the entire exercise. 

Table Top Exercise will take place on February 07, 2018 at 11 AM onwards, and Deputy Commissioners of all districts will attend the exercise through Video Conference.

The State level Officers will be present at State Secretariat.

Earthquake scenario will be laid down in accordance with the studies of  IIT Mumbai, IIT Madras and NDMA.

 There is a visible need of involvement of the community as local people are the first responders in such circumstances as it takes time to the district and State authorities including National level teams to reach the incident place.

predicted-mega-quake-in-asia

 The government has suggested that the Disaster Management training will be incorporated into every training schedule of HIPA and other departmental training.

State Disaster Response Force and NDMA will provide all necessary assistance and specialized training for it.  Himachal is a Hilly State and landslides are frequent and NDMA has assigned IIT Mandi to undertake a pilot project for it, it was informed in the meeting.

 Senior Specialist NDMA, Major Gen  (Retd), Dr. V.K. Naik, gave a detail presentation on  Sensitization Programme on Incident Response System (IRS).

 If the Member NDMA, Lt Gen (Retd),  N.C. Marwah to be believed, Himachal has done remarkable work in the field of Disaster Management and is listed one of the best State in the Country in preparedness. 

The government claimed that the state has incorporated IRS in State Disaster Management Plan, which is very comprehensive and allied to National Disaster Management Plan.

 Senior officers of Army, NDRF, ITBP, SSB, Police, Deputy Commissioners, and Head of line departments were present in the meeting.

 

Misc News/Press Release

Five More COVID-19 Deaths, Three Suicides, Shimla’s Kotkhai Nagar Panchayat Sealed

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shimla kotkhai nagar panchayat sealed

Shimla– Five more COVID-19 casualties were reported in Himachal Pradesh on September 23, 2020. According to the official update from the Health Department, a total of 280 cases were reported till 9:00 pm today . The COVID-19 death tally is rising at an alarming rate with the onset of a community spread. Currently, a total of 135 persons have lost their lives due to COVID-19.(Scroll down for district-wise statistics)

These deaths were reported from Solan (1), Kangra (2), and Mandi (2). The deceased aged between 58 years to 77. Read the reasons for deaths below:

Shimla- kotkhai nagar panchayat sealed

Kotkhai Nagar Panchayat Sealed for Four Days

Kotkhai Nagar panchayat of Shimal district was sealed today after four persons tested positive at the CHC, Kotkhai. However, there is one case which has increased worries for both the people and the administration.

According to the BMO, Kotkhai, one of these persons, identified as Kavinder Kanwar, runs a car parking at the Kotkhai Bazaar. He also runs a newspaper distribution agency in the same area and deals in mobile recharge business. He frequently handles keys of cars parked in the parking as part of his routine task, it was informed.

“It is quite possible that the concerned positive person has also surely visited several shops and public places in Kotkhai bazaar during the last four days. In this situation, it is difficult to find out the exact contact tracing history due to which there is a high risk of surface transmission and risk of a direct contact person to person,”

informed the Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Theog, in a notification issued today.   

Therefore, the administration has declared the entire Kotkhai Nagar panchayat as containment zone and sealed it except for essential services for four days (till September 27th).

The local police have been directed to restrict any entry to or exit from the area. The BMO has been asked to undertake contact tracing and the Secretary of the Nagar panchayat area has been directed to sanitize the entire area.   

COVID-19 Positive Woman Ends Life at DDU, Shimla

A woman, who was tested positive for COVID-19, and was admitted to the DDU hospital, Shimla, ended her life on the intervening night of September 22-23. The exact reason for the suicide was yet to be ascertained.

Further, two suicides in Kangra district have been associated with the financial distress caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the deceased worked at a fuel station.  The second person was a cab driver. According to the English daily, The Tribune, he had recently received a notice from the bank over non-payment of his loan that he had taken to buy a cab. These suicides are indicators that the people are in dire need of relief from the state government. 

HP Health Department COVID-19 Bulletin- September 23, 2020 (9 PM)

Himachal Pradesh COVID-19 Fatalities on september 23

 

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Misc News/Press Release

13 More COVID-19 Deaths in 2 Days, Total Mounts to 130

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Himachal Pradesh COVID-19 update for september 22, 2020

The COVID-19 fatality rate in Himachal Pradesh is on the rise as the death tally reaches 130 with 13 new deaths in the last two days. According to the Health Department’s official COVID-19 Bulletins, State reported seven deaths on September 21 and six on September 22. 

Today, the state registered 331 new confirmed cases with which the COVID-19 tally for the state rose to 12769. Of this total, 4124 are active cases, 8491 have recovered, and 20 migrated to outside the state. The infected also include Nachan MLA Vinod Kumar.

Details of COVID-19 Casualties on Sept 21-22

details of COVID-19 deaths in Himachal pradesh

Today, the highest cases were reported from Sirmaur district (79), followed by Mandi (66), Shimla 48, and Solan 38, and Kullu (25). (Scroll down to view more district-wise statistics.)
However, the actual number of cases could be higher as the state is in the community spread phase. No projection regarding the actual number of cases and deaths has been issued by the state government.

So far, the state government has tested only 271449 persons for COVID-19. Considering the community spread, the state government is supposed to increase the number of tests.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Jairam Thakur said that people should refrain from going to crowded places and take all precautions. However, tourists thronging the state are hardly following any rules. After lifting all restrictions on inter-state movement, the state government is now preparing to open the inter-state bus services, which would fuel the community spread.  The people are already expressing their resentment with the decision to suddenly lift all restrictions on movement of tourists. Amid these uncertain circumstances, rising fatality rate is the main concern. 

HP Health Department COVID-19 Bulletin- September 12, 2020 (9 PM)

  

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Campus Watch

UHF Nauni Bags Rs.25 Crore Funding, Set for Major Overhaul

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UHF Nauni gets IDI funds

Solan: The learning and teaching environment at the Dr YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry (UHF), Nauni is set for a major overhaul under the Indian Council of Agricultural Research’s (ICAR) National Agricultural Higher Education Plan (NAHEP) funded by the World Bank, informed the Public Relation Officer, Suchet Attri. He said that under NAHEP, UHF has been awarded the prestigious Institutional Development Project  (IDP). The total outlay of the three-year project is Rs 25 crore with ICAR share of Rs 20 crore and Rs 5 crore funded by the state.

He said that this is one of the biggest projects in UHF’s history and a major achievement for the university. It will help to provide a holistic learning and teaching environment to the students and faculty as scientists and students will be exposed to foreign universities to learn and exchange researchable ideas and issues. The University Vice-Chancellor is the project leader while Dr KK Raina, Professor and Head, Department of Business Management is the coordinator and Principal Investigator of the overall project, he informed.  

The main objective of the project entitled ‘Quality Education in Horticulture and Forestry to generate Human Resource’ is to revamp the university’s UG education through innovative and modern pedagogy, skill development, improving placement opportunities and catalyzing entrepreneurship through global thinking and input. He further said that under IDP, the university will look to strengthen collaborations with leading academia and industry for student exchange and faculty development programmes. 

He informed that around 150 UG students and 50 faculty members will be selected through a competition, to visit top-flight foreign universities for a period of 3-6 months. Organization of webinars and seminars, workshops and capacity building, and engaging industry experts as adjunct faculty is also included in the project. In addition to the creation of several student amenities, the university will establish UG and language labs for improving soft skills, eight smart and two virtual classrooms. He said that the project will also push green initiatives like the use of solar energy for cooking, lighting, use of battery-operated vehicles, solid waste management and recycling, campus landscaping and development of nature parks.

He said that one of the highlights will be the development of Short-Term International Certificate course on temperate horticulture and forestry crops and the strengthening of Student Development and Career Development Cell by developing a proactive industrial interface to create job and internship opportunities. Remedial courses, special attention towards weak students, agri-incubation centres on hi-tech plant nursery, processed food and forest products for entrepreneurial and agribusiness skills will also be taken up during the course of the project.

He further informed that several works have already begun under the project, and initiatives like raising new plantations have been undertaken. The students are eagerly looking forward to this project and have been actively taking part in all activities. A review meeting of the core project team and the statutory officers under the chairmanship of the Vice-Chancellor was held on Saturday. Director Extension Education Dr PK Mahajan, Deans Dr Bhupinder Gupta and Dr ML Bhardwaj also took part in the meeting. 

“This is a very proud moment for the university as we are among the national group that has got grants under this project. It will help us to improve the work culture and change the outlook of the students by providing a holistic learning environment. Besides, it will also help to enhance the quality of study and potential of the faculty will be fully utilized,”

said Dr Parvinder Kaushal, UHF Vice-Chancellor.

He said that only a select few agricultural universities have managed to bag the project through nation-wide competition.

The university will further focus on skill enhancement of students through study programmes with international collaborations and provide an inclusive and equitable quality education for the students through the faculty development programme. Dr Kaushal added that under the project, the university will ensure the sustainability of quality education and system effectiveness through the strengthening of the University Alumni network and industry interface. 

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