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DC Shimla catches illegal supply line to BJP MLA’s apartment, was getting 24X7 water supply despite scarcity

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BJP balbir verma's jakhu apartment

Shimla: As a setback for the ruling Bhartiya Janata Party, the name of one of its sitting MLAs has appeared in a case of water-theft. The Deputy Commissioner of Shimla on Thursday caught an illegal connection taken from main water supply line to an apartment in VIP locality of Jakhu. 

The Government had been maintaining that there is a severe scarcity of water in Shimla for almost past two weeks as the supply schemes had dried up. However,  this claim appears to be misleading as this apartment was allegedly receiving a 24×7 supply to his apartment.

It was on the complaint of the people that the DC had to visit the spot where he found the allegations to be true. The people alleged that this large pipeline connected to the SMC supply line was drawing most of the water to the apartment, depriving the people of their share of water.  

While the common people of the Shimla City have been lining up for two bucket drinking water for past two weeks now, the apartment was receiving 27×4 water supply despite government’s claims of water scarcity due to drying up of natural resources.

Though the district administration and the Municipal Corporation tried not to reveal the identity of the leader, media reports said the apartment belonged to Balbir Verma, who was recently served a notice by the SMC for due water bill of over Rs. 40 lakh.

When Himachal Watcher contacted the DC, he said he was busy in a meeting. Thereafter, we did not receive any response from him.   

The flats in the apartment have been sold to various people in 2014, the reports said. As per the buyers, they had bought it from Balbir Verma, Chopal MLA. The DC claims he has given the MC Commissioner a time of 15 days to file a report regarding the same.   

As per the District Administration, the Deputy Commissioner, Amit Kashyap, took note of a complaint and images circulated on social media.

The DC has reportedly ordered the concerned engineer of the Irrigation and Public Health Department to disconnect the line and seal it.   

Other than the apartment, the DC also ordered a shut down of a guesthouse being run illegally in the same area.

The people are claiming that the leader was not the only one who had been stealing water from main supply lines. They said the administration had been ignoring such cases deliberately.

However, now as the State High Court has taken cognizance of the matter and is reviewing daily status reports from the SMC, the officials have begun to attend to the complaints of the people.

As a matter of fact, the government is using police to suppress the protests by the distressed people. 

FIRs have been lodged against several protestors and some of them were even taken into custody for protesting.

Amid such chaos, it is ironical that the ruling party’s own leaders are displaying a disregard to the promises made by their party, which is in power currently. It is to be seen what action would be taken against this leader of the ruling party if anything is proved or the matter was not hushed up.  

The protests still continue as the people are claiming they did not receive much relief despite announcements of the Chief Minister.  The district administration is claiming that it has seized some illegal borewells on Wednesday. But reports suggested that these borewells were still active, mostly after the sun goes down. 

Meanwhile, the State High Court, who is supervising the Government’s measures to deal with the water scarcity, was reportedly disappointed as the public was still not relieved.  The court has also summoned Secretary, Irrigation and Public Health, to provide details of the water sources. 

 

Misc News/Press Release

HP Civil Supplies Selling Onion at Rs. 64 per kg

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HP Govt Onion Sale in Himachal PRadesh

Shimla-The Himachal Pradesh Civil Supplies Corporation has purchased 1200 quintals of imported onion from M/s NEFAD Delhi, which is being distributed through various godowns and fair price shops of the Corporation, to provide relief to the consumers from unexpected rise in onions prices.

A spokesperson of the corporation informed that the onion are being made available to the common public at rate of Rs. 64 per kilogram as per the directions of the State Government, which would be available to the public on ‘first come first buy’ basis. Till now, almost 800 quintal onion has been distributed and the remaining 400 quintal onion would be distributed within a period of seven to ten days.

He said that the State Government has bought the onion from imported stock of the Union Government. Spokesperson said that department is keeping strict vigil on hoarding of onion and if any such case is found, strict action would be taken against the defaulter.

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Misc News/Press Release

More Rain/Snow in Himachal Till Jan 22: HP Met

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Snow prediction for shimla 2020

Shimla-Shimla has received yet another spell of snow on Thursday, leading to road blockage and blackouts in some places. In Shimla, Narkanda, Kufri and Hatu Peak were covered in thick layer of snow. The traffic movement on National Highway-05 was hit in the upper region of Shimla. Hundreds of people including tourists were stranded in snow.

Local police had to carry out rescue work till late at night. With the help of machines, the road was opened for hundreds of stuck vehicles, buses, and tourists.  

Driving towards Kufri has become a dangerous task due to frozen roads. Therefore, the local police has urged tourists to avoid driving towards Kufri.

Other than Shimla, Lahaul-Spiti, Chamba, peaks of Kullu, and Kinnaur have also witnessed a fresh spell of snow, affecting daily life.

Following it, the state is reeling under a coldwave. Keylong was coldest at -10 Degree Celsius, followed by Kalpa at -4.2, and Kufri -1.8, Dalhousie at -0.8, and Shimla at 0.6.

The HP Meteorological Department has predicted more rain/snow till January 22 except on January 19. According to the Met, while plans/lower hills are likely to witness rain/thundershowers at isolated places, the middle and higher hills can receive scattered rain/snow.

The Met has predicted widespread rain/snow on January 21.

 

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Campus Watch

Hamirpur’s Reena Among 100 Meritorious Students Invited to Watch Republic Day Parade from PM Box

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UHF Nauni Dr Reena Kumari

Solan-Dr Reena Kumari, a Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Vegetable Science at the Dr YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry (UHF), Nauni, has been invited to watch Republic Day Parade 2020 from the Prime Minister’s Box at Rajpath, New Delhi.

She is among the 100 meritorious students selected from across the country by the Union Ministry of Human Resource and Development (MHRD), Government of India to witness the event. The travel and lodging expenses are being borne by the MHRD. 

Hailing from a small village Kashmir in District Hamirpur, Dr Reena was the topper of her school in class 10 +2 and joined UHF in the year 2009. She completed her master’s and doctorate in the discipline of Vegetable Science under the guidance of Dr Ramesh K Bhardwaj and has worked on improvement and development of new varieties in cucumber. Dr Reena has scored 88.00 and 86.60 % marks in MSc and PhD programme respectively with a gold medal in her PhD programme.

She was the university merit scholarship holder during her graduation and post- graduation programmes. Besides, she has also published eight research papers, one book chapter, review paper and popular article. Dr Reena has qualified various examinations like JRF and SRF.

An ecstatic Dr Reena thanked the MHRD and the university and for giving her the once in a lifetime opportunity to witness the grand parade from the Prime Minister’s box. Dr Parvinder Kaushal, UHF Vice-Chancellor, senior officers and students of the university congratulated Dr Reena on her selection.

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