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Queen of Hills facing ‘civic amenities emergency’, dissolve Shimla MC: Congress to Governor

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Dissolution of Shimla MC 2018

Shimla: With the return of Kusum Sadret, the elected Mayor of Shimla city, from her tour to China, the demands for her resignation as well as the dissolution of Municipal Corporation, Shimla, have gained momentum.

The Mayor has begun to apologize to the people as she is facing severe criticism for abandoning the people of the town amid a crisis for drinking water supply. One failed attempt to derail the MC House has already been made in her absence. The Councilors of her own party were seen coming out against her.

Today, the Legal cell of Himachal Pradesh Congress Committee Shimla, submitted a memorandum to the Governor, Acharya Devvrat, seeking dissolution of the SMC under Section 404 of the MC Act, 1994.

What does Section 404 of the SMC Act 1994 say:

“If, in the opinion of theGovernment, the Corporation is not competent to perform, or persistently makes default in the performance of the duties imposed on it by or under this Act or any other law or exceeds or abuses its powers the Government may by an order published, together with a statement of the reasons thereof, in the Official Gazette, declare the Corporation to be incompetent or in default or to have exceeded or abused its powers, as the case may be and dissolve the Corporation.”

However, the Mayor said she has no idea about the memorandum or the protest Councilors had been staging against her.

The Chief Minister and Bhartiya Janata Party are cursing the previous governments of Congress for not making long-term plans for better water supply to the town.

BJP government alleges that Congress has ruled the state for a longer period as compared to it. The drying up of the natural resources from where the drinking water was being lifted for supply is the second reason that the current government is referring to in its defence.

The error on the part of the previous government can’t be ignored, but at the same time, the fact that the State government had to take charge of the situation and form a special high-level committee to ensure the supply of drinking water to the area falling under SMC’s jurisdiction backfires at the SMC.

Moreover, the State High Court had to intervene once again in matters related to the civic body. Previously, it was the strike of the sanitation workers, and now it was the supply and distribution of drinking water. The court conducted a daily hearing for five consecutive days till May 31.

This is what the opposition is using as ammunition against the current MC House and Mayor.

List of Main Points of Congress Memorandum Seeking Dissolution of Shimla MC

The memorandum said the Historic Shimla town’ “Queen of Hills”, is facing civic amenities emergency. MC has failed to perform its duty; therefore, the High Court took suo moto cognizance of this water emergency in the town and issued appropriate directions to the State government.

Other points:

  1. The court had to direct the state government to take charge of this precarious situation and directed Chief Secretary to file an affidavit on the progress of distribution of the water.
  2. The court also observed in its order that No municipal Councilor shall indulge himself in the choice distribution of water through tankers.
  3. This suggests that there was material before the High Court that councillors affiliated to BJP are involved in malpractice of distribution of water through tanker in a discriminatory manner.
  4. The situation in the town is like a water emergency as the state government, as well as SMC, has even failed to comply with the affidavits filed before the court with regard to the distribution of water in the town.
  5. SMC is getting more than 20 MLD water per day, which is sufficient to supply if the town is distributed in three zones. Despite such zoning of the city, MC has failed to distribute the water properly.
  6. Even the officers of MC are under the scanner and the court observed they have put the city on ransom. MC has failed to top observe such key men. One of the officers of the MC has also been suspended in the regard.
  7. That Shimla city has been facing shortages of water earlier too but, in preceding years, the government used to plan three months in advance for the supply of water and regeneration of sources in summers. This year the government as well MC failed to act in time that resulted in the failure of adequate dirking water supply to the citizens.
  8. The MC Shimla failed to arrange for door to door collection of garbage because workers engaged are maltreated by the corporation. Their salaries are not paid on time, hence, they also abandoned the work, resulting into the failure of civic amenities.
  9. It’s only after the intervention of High court that garbage collectors resumed work. So, the MC also failed to perform this duty as well.

The opposition said that all these facts reflect that the Corporation is not competent to perform and is persistently making default in the performance of duties imposed on it by the MC Act 1994, it said.

The opposition has urged the Governor to consider these circumstances and direct the government to take recourse under section 404 of MC Act and dissolve the present MC Shimla.

Campus Watch

Include Yoga as Compulsory Subject in Himachal’s Schools, Demands HPYSA

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Yoga as Compulsory Subject in Himachal Schools

Shimla-Himachal Pradesh Yogasana Sports Association (HPYSA), Chairman, Prof. GD Sharma, has urged the State Government to include Yoga as a compulsory subject at the school level and to teach it in colleges as well. While addressing a press conference very recently, he said that Yoga has been recognized as a sport by the government of India and sports quota in jobs will now apply to Yoga players.

GD Sharma said the inclusion of Yoga at schools and college would open new avenues for the youth as a career. He said that HPYSA has launched a statewide drive to connect youth in the Hill state with Yoga. It’s all set to organize the first online State level Yogasana Contest in March and winners, thereof, will participate in the national championship to be held from March 24 to 26.

HPYSA is affiliated with the National Yogasana Sports Association, a body recognized by the central ministry of youth affairs and sports, he added.

Sharma, a former professor of HP University, has been instrumental in promoting Yoga across the globe when he was posted in Indonesia by the government of India with a diplomat status from 1992 to 1997 

He said HPYSA will make all efforts to create job opportunities for youth through Yoga.

About Recognition of Yogasana as a Competitive Sport.

On December 17, 2020, the Ministry of AYUSH and Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports had announced the formal recognition of Yogasana as a competitive sport.

The Government of India had said that Yogasana is an integral and important component of Yoga, which is psycho-physical in nature and popular across the globe for its efficacy in fitness and general wellness.

It had further added , “Yogasana becoming a sport will also ensure new technologies and new strategies being inducted into the disciplines, to benefit our athletes and officials towards building fruitful and fulfilling careers in this field”.

The government had also said that it was planning to include Yogasana as a Sport discipline in Khelo India and in the University Games and we will also pitch it at the National Games and in Olympics.

The AYUSH ministry had said that the sports discipline of Yogasana is likely to have 51 medals in 4 events & 7 categories. The proposed events for both men and women include Traditional Yogasana, Artistic Yogasana (Single), Artistic Yogasana (Pair), Rhythmic Yogasana (Pair), Free Flow/Group Yogasana, Individual All Round – Championship and Team Championship.

According to the AYUSH, following steps or activities will form part of the road map and the future development of Yogasana Sport:

  1. A pilot Yogasana Competition named as “National Individual Yogasana Sports Championship (Virtual Mode) to be held in early 2021.
  2. Launching of an Annual Calendar of competitions, events and programs of Yogasana sport.
  3. Development of Automated Scoring System for the Yogasana Championship.
  4. Courses for Coaches, Referees, Judges and Directors of competitions.
  5. Coaching camps for players.
  6. Launch of a League of Yogasana, to ensure a career and social status for performers, experts and practitioners, to create Sports Stars among Yogasana athletes.
  7. To introduce Yogasana as a Sport discipline in National Games, Khelo India and international sports events.
  8. Steps to create job opportunities for Yogasana athletes.

 

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Misc News/Press Release

Himachal Pradesh: Today Last Chance for First Dose of COVID-19 Vaccine for Left-Out Health Care Workers

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Himachal Pradesh last date for first dose of covid-19 vaccine

Shimla-Mission Director National Health Mission, Himachal Pradesh, Dr. Nipun Jindal yesterday informed that 25th February 2021 will be the last date of the mop-up round for the vaccination of Health Care Workers (HCWs).

All the Chief Medical Officers were directed to prepare the list of all such Health Care Workers who are registered on CoWIN portal but have not been vaccinated for the first dose till date. Districts have been directed to create sessions for all such left out beneficiaries as per the requirement to ensure maximum coverage of Health Care Workers.

All the CMOs were further directed to analyse and review their block-wise coverage to assess the left-out beneficiaries and to further direct their Block Medical Officers to arrange sessions in all the blocks. It was also reiterated to utilize all available channels of communication to reach out to the left-out beneficiaries.

Dr. Nipun Jindal further informed that this will be the last chance for all HCWs to get the first dose of the COVID vaccine. He appealed to all registered but not vaccinated health care workers for reporting to their nearest session site on 25th February for getting vaccinated irrespective of receiving SMS for the session scheduling. Such beneficiaries will be scheduled on-site.

He further informed that till now more than 78 percent of registered Health Care Workers have been vaccinated in the State. So far only 0.5 percent AEFI cases have been reported, of which only one needed hospitalization.

He further appealed to the beneficiaries to ignore any rumours and come forward to get themselves vaccinated as the vaccine is completely safe.

Dr. Jindal also informed that Himachal Pradesh is the leading state in the country in 2nd dose coverage of Health Care Workers, achieving more than 91 percent of the expected target.

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HP Govt Notifies New Paragliding, River Rafting Sites, Plans Floating Restaurant at Tattapani

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HP Govt notified new adventure sports sites in himachal pradesh

Shimla-New sites for adventure sports activities in Himachal Pradesh has been notified by the State Government, informed Director Tourism and Civil Aviation, Yunus Khan, yesterday.

On 23 February the State Government had announced that it was planning to open a floating restaurant at Tattapani in Mandi district. Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur had also inaugurated water sports activities at Tattapani from Shimla.

Additional sites for paragliding and river rafting has been notified. Now tourists visiting the state could experience paragliding at new sites in the districts of Kullu, Kangra, Mandi, Chamba, and Shimla.

New notified paragliding sites in Himachal Pradesh include:

  1. Pandhara to Gadsa and Khargan to Nangabag in district Kullu
  2. Tang Narwana to Khirku  in Kangra district
  3. Darouta to Lahra (Khajjiar) and Lahra to Darol and Raina to Nainikhad Jarei in Chamba district
  4. Prashar and Spenidhar in Mandi district
  5. Tikkar, Junga  to Chauri/Junga in Shimla district

New site for river rafting on river Beas from Nadaun to Dehra Bridge has also been notified. 

Other than the notified river rafting sites, already existing sites in Himachal includes

  1. Shamshi to Jehri and Babeli to Pirdi in Kullu district,
  2. Luhri to Tattapani in Shimla district,
  3. Darch to Jispa and Kaza Bridge to Tabo in Lahaul-Spiti. 

He said that for the safety of paragliding pilots and tourists, the Department of Tourism in collaboration with Atal Bihari Vajpayee Institute of Mountaineering & Allied Sports (ABVIMAS), Manali, has taken the initiative to provide training courses to paragliding pilots, which includes SIV course, a safety training course for Tandem paragliding pilots.

Director said that in the last two years an expenditure of approximately rupees two crore has been incurred on imparting training courses to 749 persons, which includes basic mountaineering course, paragliding course, basic, intermediate and advance skiing course including SIV course for providing training to locals from these newly identified areas.

In addition to these new notified sites, there are many other notified sites in Himachal Pradesh for paragliding for adventure enthusiasts. These sites include

  1. Bir-Billing, Chohla Indru Nag near Dharamshala in Kangra district,
  2. Solang Nalah, Marhi, Talaiti-Talogi, Majach-Shanag in Kullu district
  3. Mauja Rehad to Karganoo in Solan district
  4. Ser Jagaas in Sirmaur district.

State Government had already also notified H.P. Miscellaneous Adventure Activities ‘Amendment’ Rules. The government also said that it would start new water sports activities like a speed boat, water skiing, jet skiing, ski-boarding, water scooter, cruise etc. in various water bodies.

In the Karsog area, the Government had said, popular tourist destinations such as Mahunag Temple, Kamaksha Temple etc. would be developed from a religious tourism point of view. 

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