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 HP Govt approves hydro-policy amendments, regularization of contractual staff, white cement plant  

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HP cabinet decision taken in may 8, 2018 meeting

Shimla: The Himachal Pradesh Cabinet on May 8, 2018, approved amendments to the existing hydropower policy of the State to rationalize the rates of royalty to be applicable for allotment of new projects.

The decision was taken in view of the provisions of national hydro-power policy and also keeping in view the provisions of bordering the States of Uttarakhand and Jammu & Kashmir, the government said.

Now, the State would defer 12 percent free power for first 12 years in case of the already allotted projects.  Also, the government made it mandatory for the HP State Electricity Board to purchase the power of hydro projects up to 10 MW capacities.

The generic tariff will be applicable in case of HEPs up to 25 MW from the date of commissioning instead of that of the implementation agreement.  The wheeling charges/open access charges will not be levied for HEPs up to 25 MW capacity.

The government expects these decisions would gear up the execution along with offering a lifeline to 737 stalled projects of around 5100 MW capacity

There are 300 projects of 2200 MW capacity in the State for which there were no takers despite repeated advertisements under the old policy.

The government said it would catalyze private investment in hydropower sector at least to the tune of Rs. 70,000 crore over the next ten years.

School To Be Named After Kasauli shoot Out Victim

It was informed that the Government Senior Secondary School, Baldwara in Mandi district as Smt. Shailbala Government Senior Secondary School, Baldwara, as a mark of respect to late Smt. Shailbala, Assistant Town and Country Planner, who was shot dead by a hotelier during demolition drive against illegal constructions.

Prakritik Kheti Khushhal Kissan Scheme

Further, the Cabinet accorded approval to guidelines for implementation of ‘Prakritik Kheti Khushhal Kissan’ scheme worth Rs. 25 crore. It would reduce the cost of cultivation and enhance farm income through zero budget natural farming, the government said.

The Cabinet gave its nod to allocate 66 MW Dhaulasidh hydro project on Beas river in Hamirpur district to SJVN Ltd. for implementation on standalone, BOOM basis instead of Special Purpose Vehicle on the pattern of Luhri Stage-I, II and Sunni Dam hydroelectric projects.

Regularization of Contractual Staff

It also decided to regularize the services of contractual employees working in different departments of the state government who have completed three years of continuous services as on March 31, 2018, and September 30, 2018.

It gave its nod to regularize the services of daily waged/ contingent paid workers appointed in various departments who have completed five years of continuous services as on March 31, 2018, and September 30, 2018.

White Cement Plant in Sirmaur

The Cabinet also decided to issue ‘Letter of Intent’ for grant of mining lease over an area measuring 108 hectares for setting up of a white cement plant at Noradhar in district Sirmaur in favour of M/s FCI Aravali Gypsum and Minerals India Ltd.  (a Government of India undertaking), Jodhpur, Rajasthan.   

Yuva Vigyan Purskar Yojna

In order to encourage students to take interest in Science subject, the Cabinet decided to introduce ‘Yuva Vigyan Purskar Yojna’ for 10+2 students.  Under the scheme, ten meritorious students obtaining highest marks in Science stream of 10+2 standard Board examination will be given a scholarship.

 The Cabinet gave its nod to open new government college at Jawali in district Kangra along-with 18 posts of various categories to manage the educational institution.

It gave its nod to upgrade Sub Tehsil Thural to Tehsil in Kangra district along-with requisite staff to manage the office. 

The cabinet gave its approval to Himachal Pradesh Victim Compensation Fund (Victim of Crime-Compensation) Scheme, 2018.

It decided to fill up six posts of different categories from wards of freedom fighters in Home Guards and Civil Defence Department. 

It also decided to create a post of Assistant Professor, Physical Education in Government Degree College, Jukhala in district Bilaspur and one post of Junior Office Assistant (IT) in State Court Management Committee in H.P. High Court on a contract basis.

The Cabinet accorded its approval to fill up 12 vacant posts of sweepers in H.P. Secretariat on daily wages.

Misc News/Press Release

A dozen of BJP Councillors demand removal of Kusum Sadrate as Mayor, warn of boycott

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MAyor kususm sadret

Shimla: The Shimla city is facing more neglect from the Municipal Corporation as it continues to be in a defunct state owing to the internal feud between the Ward Councilors and the current Mayor Kusum Sadrate and Deputy Mayor Rakesh Sharma.

The Mayor was seen running after the annoyed Councillors to save her seat while the Deputy Mayor has no say.

A couple of days ago, about 11 BJP Councilors had reportedly expressed their disappointment with the performance of the Mayor by submitting a written complaint to the government.

The Councillors have warned the government that they will boycott the upcoming monthly meeting of the SMC House if the Mayor and Deputy Mayor were not removed.

The Sadrate has completed one year in the office of the Mayor on June 20, which made the situation more awkward for the party. 

In order to avert an embarrassment, the duo would have to make sure that majority of BJP Councillors attend this meeting.

The Councillors alleged the Mayor of displaying arbitrary attitude while conducting the business of the house. They also complained that majority of the developmental projects in their wards are either stuck or progressing at a snail’s pace.

The Councillors say they are not able to face the people of their respective wards, especially after what happened during the water-paucity.

Moreover, the Councillors were not happy with Mayor’s decision to leave the city for about a week to attend a conference in China amid an acute shortage of drinking water supply.

If that was not enough, she denied the suffering of the people by rejecting reports of a water-crisis situation in the town. According to the Mayor, the crisis was just a media hike and propaganda of the opposition.

At the same time, the Councillors are complaining that despite such clamour in the city, the Mayor is still not available even for them as she hardly stays at the office.

The Mayor reportedly joined the Chief Minister’s visit to Sawada while the Councillors were waiting for her to arrive at the office.

The Councillors said the Mayor is seen attending events or photo-shoots with Chief Minister or the Ministers, and rest of the time is spent in visits to the party office and Secretariat.

Further, these Councillors have been maintaining that the Mayor was not able to run the business of the MC House properly. The meetings of the House were not conducted regularly, and whenever they are conducted, there was hardly any time to debate the issues of the public interest. The last meeting did not last for even half-an-hour, said one of the offended Councilors.

Councillor Arti Chauhan has asked the Mayor to resign by taking moral responsibility of failure to fulfill the commitments made to the people before the elections.

Another Councillor said they had not elected Sadrate to enjoy tours and photo-shoots.

While the Mayor was in China, for the first time, Councillors and the Deputy Mayor of the ruling party had staged a walked out from a meeting when they were cornered by the opposition over the issue of failure to respond properly to the water crisis.

The rebel Councillors also expressed concern over degrading state of sanitation as the workers remained on strikes as many as four times during last one year. Further, the workers are now annoyed with the MC for its decision to out-source the door-to-door garbage collection in five Wards to a private contractor.

The Mayor, however, said she has done the best she could do. She showed faith in the government and her organization by denying news of revolt among the Councilors.

In the 34-member SMC, BJP had managed to grab power of the civic body for the first time in the elections held in 2017. While BJP has a support of 19 Councillors including two independent, Congress is not far behind at 14. The CPI (M) has one elected Councillor in the house too.

Earlier, the opposition Congress had almost convinced one of the BJP’s Councillor to support a motion to dissolve the MC and dethrone the Mayor and Deputy Mayor. The Councillor was reportedly offered the Deputy Mayor’s chair as an incentive. The opposition had even taken signatures of 14 Councillors who were supporting the dissolution of SMC.

However, the party high command had somehow managed to silence this Councillor as well others protesting against the current Mayor.  As it turned out, the situation has now become more complicated as the Councillors report no change in the attitude of the Mayor. 

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Meet Himachal’s Virender who bagged silver for India in his first international boxing tournament

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Himachali boxer Virender Kumar wins medal in russia 9

Mandi: Virender Kumar (25), a resident of Bobar (बोबर) village of Sundernagar in Mandi district, has made Himachal Pradesh proud by bagging a silver medal at the Umakhanov Memorial Tournament in Kaspiysk, Russia. The tournament was held between June 5 to 13, 2018.

Virender, who is currently serving in the Indian Army, was one of the three Indian boxers who bagged medals for India in their respective categories. Other two were Brijesh Yadav and Gaurav Bidhuri who won a silver and bronze in 86 kg and 56 kg categories respectively.

Himachali boxer Virender Kumar wins medal in russia 2

It was Virender’s first foreign tournament and he made it count. Kumar had entered the finals after defeating Azerbaijan’s Gulguseyn Agazade in 91 kg category by a score of 5-0.

He was not born with a silver spoon and he completed his education from Government Senior Secondary School Jarol. He continued his college education at Maharaja Lakshman Sen Memorial College, Sundernagar.

Himachal Boxer Virender

His first experience with boxing dates back to his school days. However, it was not his school that encouraged him or offered any sort of assistance in his training. The spark for boxing in Virender grew as his parents supported him.

Virender has trained in Sundernagar under the guidance of his coach Mr. Naresh Kumar, who is also a local.

Virender had first come to me when he was a class IX student, thereafter, he trained under me until his college was finished. I have several students who have won medals at national level tournaments, but Virender made me proud by claiming a medal at his first international tournament,

the coach Mr Naresh told Himachal Watcher.

Mr. Naresh had begun his own career back in 1989, but the scope of boxing was very bleak in the State at that time. However, Mr Naresh still decided to develop this sport in his native place. He started his journey with 12 pairs of boxing gloves, and today he is training over 60 students daily.

Himachali boxer Virender Kumar wins medal in russia 8

Virender has won medals for his university, which was followed by several medals at the national tournaments.

After completion of his college education, he joined the Army in 2013 and trained further at the Army Sports Institute, Pune. There he bagged a gold medal at the Inter Command boxing championship organized by Indian Army at the national level.

His father Mr. Prakash Chand(54) is serving with the State Electricity Board while his mother is a housewife.

Other than his parents, Virender gave credit of his success to the Army Officials and Boxing Federation of India too. 

It was an incredible experience for me to compete in Russia. I settled with a silver medal this time, but I will try my best to perform better in future,

said Virender.

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Linking Digital Ration Cards to Adhaar caused automatic cancellation of bogus cards: CM

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digital ration card holders in Himachal pRadesh

Shimla: As a step to make Public Distribution System more effective against diversions, leakages and inefficiency and to ensure benefit of subsidy to the genuine beneficiaries, the Himachal Pradesh Government has provided as many as 18.26 lakh QR Based PVC digital Ration Cards to the consumers of the State, informed the Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur on Tuesday.

About 87 per cent ration cards have been linked with Aadhar Number of the beneficiaries. This has resulted in an automatic cancellation of bogus ration cards and fake beneficiaries, he further informed. He said that this would reduce the diversion/pilferage of food articles, which in turn would reduce the burden of subsidy on the State Government.

In order to ensure easy availability of essential commodities to the consumers at subsidized rates and quality of products being supplied, ‘e-PDS’, ‘HP Mobile App’ has been introduced for mobiles of the consumers, he informed adding this initiative has further strengthened the PDS in the State.

He said the consumers can obtain a print of their duplicate ration cards through the official website of PDS, if they don’t have PVC ration cards.

After getting these cards signed by the specified authority i.e concerned Panchayat Secretary or Inspector Food and Supplies, the consumer can receive their monthly quota of ration from the Fair Price Shops, he said.

Chief Minister said that cashless transaction at Fair Price Shops was also underway and was likely to be implemented very shortly, which would further facilitate the consumers in getting ration from the Fair Price Shops.

He said that in order to educate and motivate the general public about their Digital Ration Card and Aadhar Seeding, video tutorials in simple Hindi have been posted in the transparency portal of the department at the website.

He said the entire digitization process and seeding ration cards with Aadhar Number of the beneficiaries would go a long way in eradicating ghost/bogus and duplicate ration cards. This would help the genuine consumers in getting food grains and other essential commodities at subsidized rates easily.

He said that a Toll-Free No 1967/1800-180-8026 has been established at the ePDS Call Centre to redress grievances of the general public. This facility is functional on all working days from 10 am to 5 pm.

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