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Watch: BJP MLA threatens to sue media & opposition over alleged Jakhu water theft case

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MLA Balbir Verma water theft case

Shimla: Balbir Verma, the elected MLA of Bhartiya Janata Party from Chopal constituency, on Monday appeared in a video posted by one Mast Ram Verma on social media challenging the opposition and media over the case related to the alleged illegal connection of water supply to the Verma Apartments located in Jakhu, Shimla.

Mr M.R. Verma made a call to party-workers to share the video as much as they could to prove that it was just propaganda of the opposition to defame the innocent MLA.

This video should be uploaded on social media from at least 50 Facebook accounts,

Verma wrote to the workers.

He had made headlines in several Hindi and English Dailies and online media portals. The ruling BJP is facing a backlash from not only the opposition but also from the people.

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The MLA took four days to come out of his shell and provide his first reaction to these serious allegations.  On Monday, Balbir Verma, in a 46 second-long video, said he would file a defamation case worth crores against those who termed him as a ‘water thief’, especially the opposition leaders. He also challenged that he would quite from the elected position of the MLA and would never fight elections again if it was proved that the connection was obtained on his name or it was an illegal connection.

However, the statement is shrouded by ambiguity as he is heard claiming that it was not illegal. It was hard to analyze what exactly the MLA wanted to convey. To clear these doubts, Himachal Watcher tried to reach the MLA multiple times but did not receive any response.

It wasn’t clear whether he wants to say that he was aware of the said connection and was confirming it was not illegal, or he was trying to distance himself from allegations.

The Deputy Commissioner of Shimla, Amit Kashyap, had ordered disconnecting a supply line in Jakhu locality on the complaint of some residents and photographs circulated on social media. The allegations said the apartment was constructed by the MLA, who is a contractor and builder by profession.

On May 31, 2018, the DC had found that a pipeline was connected to the main supply line of the Shimla MC. As per allegations, this pipeline, which was equal to the main line in terms of capacity, was leading to the Verma Apartments.

The residents had further alleged that this pipeline was illegally connected and was drawing their share of water.   

The DC has asked the Commissioner of Shimla MC to file a report regarding the same within 15 days.

Misc News/Press Release

COVID-19 Update: 26 More Test Positive in 4 Districts, 70 in 3 Days, State Tally Rise to 273

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Himachal Pradesh daily COVID-19 data for may 27

Shimla: New COVID-19 cases continue to spiral in Himachal Pradesh. According to the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare’s daily COVID-19 bulletin released on May 27 (9:00 PM), 26 persons were tested positive in four districts of the State. Of these, 15 cases were reported from Hamirpur,  seven from Bilaspur, three from Kangra, and one from Una district. In the last three days, the State has reported 70 cases, which is alarming. 

In Hamirpur, five persons hailed from Badsar area, three from Naduan, six from Hamirpur and one from Bhoranj. The majority of them have recently returned from Maharashtra.

Total for Hamirpur district has reached 73 – highest in the State, followed by Kangra with 65 cases.

In Bilaspur, two persons were said to be bus and cab drivers. Details of other patients from the district were awaited.

In Kangra, three persons who tested positive were identified as a 29-year-old resident of Fatehpur, a 30-year-old from Khaniyara, and a resident of Palampur. These people had returned from Delhi and Gurugram recently.

In Una, a person who had returned from Delhi with his family was tested positive.  

Most of the person who tested positive were under institutional quarantine except for three persons in Kuther of Bilaspur district who were home-quarantined.  

Refer to the below-given table for more details on district-wise COVID-19 data:

District-Wise COVID-19 Cases in Himachal Pradesh Till May 27, 2020 (9:00 PM)

Himachal Pradesh District wise Covid-19 data till 27 May

The number of total confirmed positive cases in Himachal has risen to 273, of which 198 are active. So far, 66 patients have recovered, five died, and four migrated to outside the State for treatment.

Further, today 1480 samples were sent for testing, of which 912 tested negative and the reports of 560 persons were still awaited.

 

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COVID-19 Update: Himachal Reports 24 New Cases in 5 Districts, 44 in 2 Days

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Quarantine rules in himachal pradesh for returnees

Shimla-Himachal Pradesh didn’t receive any respite from growing COVID-19 positive cases on May 26 too. According to the State Health Ministry’s daily COVID-19 bulletin, on May 26 (till 9:00 PM), 24 more persons tested positive in five districts. Yesterday, the State had reported 20 cases including a 7-month-old baby.  

Hamirpur, the worst affected district in the State, reported highest 15 cases, taking the district’s COVID-19 tally to 78. Shimla and Kangra reported three cases each. Two tested positive in Chamba and one in Una district.  All patients in Hamirpur had returned from Thane in Maharashtra on May 24 and were under institutional quarantine. The Deputy Commissioner, Hamirpur, Harikesh Meena, confirmed the report. The patients would be shifted to COVID-19 care centres.

Shimla, which remained unaffected during three phases of the lockdown, reported three more cases including two from Chopal area and one from Rohru.  All three are returnees from Maharastra. The senior health official confirmed. Two of them were quarantined in Deha and one in a rest house in Rohru, which have been sealed.

District-Wise COVID-19 Cases in Himachal Pradesh Till May 26, 2020 (9:00 PM)

Himachal Pradesh District wise Covid-19 data till 26 May

In Kangra, three members of a family – husband, wife, and their 7-year-old kid- tested positive. The family had returned from Gujrat on May 20. The DC, Kangra, Rakesh Prajapati, confirmed the report.

In Chamba district, two persons who had returned from Uttar Pradesh on May 20 in a cab, tested positive and were under institutional quarantine in Sarol.

According to the last official update from health ministry at 9:00 PM, the total has risen to 247, of which 175 are active. Of the total, 63 have recovered, five died, and four migrated outside the State. 

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Himachal Sold Retail Liquor Vends Worth Rs. 1180 Crores: Govt

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Sale of HP Excise Liquor vends in 2020

Shimla-Principal Secretary, Excise and Taxation Sanjay Kundu on today informed that despite lockdown and recession in economy due to COVID-19 pandemic in the State, left out retail liquor vends of Shimla, Nurpur, Kangra and Sirmaur zones have been sold for Rs. 35.52 crore today.

Sanjay Kundu said that against a total retail liquor vend business of Rs. 1190 crore, the Excise and Taxation Department have been able to sell the business for Rs. 1180 crore in the State.

He said that except today’s auctions, rest of the business has been sold at full value. The liquor vends have been sold for the first time without negotiation on renewal tender cum auction basis.  Last year the retail liquor business was valued at Rs. 1085 crore and after negotiation, the price went down to Rs. 126 crore and net business was Rs. 959 crore, he informed. Against Rs. 959 crore last year, this year the business has been sold for Rs. 1180 crore, he said.

Principal Secretary said that the liquor vends of Shimla zone have been sold at Rs. 2.30 crore, of Nurpur for Rs. 6.03 crore, of Kangra for Rs. 4.80 crore and of Sirmaur for Rs. 22.39 crore. 

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