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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. 

Campus Watch

HP University Offers Special Chance to Complete UG Degrees

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HPU Special Chance for UG Degrees

Shimla– Himachal Pradesh University on July 17, 2019, issued a notification offering special chance to complete BA/B.Sc/B.Com and Shashtri degrees to candidates who had enrolled for academic sessions between 2000 – 2012-13 but could not complete their course in the given time period.

Such candidates can avail this special chance by paying a fee of Rs 5000 per year. The examination will be held in March 2020 in accordance with the old syllabus (2012-13).

Similarly, the candidates, who had enrolled for academic sessions between 2000-2014, can avail this chance to complete their BCA/BBA degrees by paying a fee of Rs 20, 000 per year. The examination for these degrees will be held in September 2019 in accordance with the old syllabus (2013-14).

The notification was issued after a few amendments in decisions taken by the HPU Executive Council in its meeting held on May 31, 2019.       

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HP Cabinet Decisions July 2019: Nod to ‘HP Construction, Demolition Waste Policy and Strategy’ & ‘HP Direct Selling Guidelines, 2019’

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HP Cabinet Decisions July 2019

Shimla– Himachal Pradesh Cabinet meeting was held on July 16, 2019, under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur

The cabinet has recommended the Governor to convene Monsoon session of Himachal Pradesh Vidhan Sabha from August 19 to August 31, 2019, with a total number of 11 sittings.

The Cabinet decided to provide State subsidy of 30 percent of system cost including installation of solar water heating systems of capacities 100 LPD and 200 LPD only to all the domestic consumers in the state.

HP Construction and Demolition Waste Policy and Strategy

It decided to frame Himachal Pradesh State Construction and Demolition Waste Policy and Strategy to avoid, minimise, reuse, recycle and dispose-off construction and demolition waste and avoid and minimize construction waste through design and construction management. This would help in checking the environmental problems that arise owning to open dumping of these wastes. Under the policy, suitable land would be provided for the dumping of construction and demolition waste and further its processing through private operators/agencies or by Urban Local Bodies.

 HP Direct Selling Guidelines, 2019

The Cabinet decided to approve Himachal Pradesh State Direct Selling Guidelines, 2019. The government claimed it would regulate the business of direct selling and multi-level marketing and strengthen the existing regulatory mechanism on direct selling and multi-level marketing. It’ll also prevent fraud and protect the legitimate rights and interests of the consumers, the government said.  

 The Cabinet approved the change of equity in favour of three power projects and also cleared a policy for imposing a penalty in case of change of equity and name without the approval of the government. Project developers would be given a period of 60 days when to get them approved without penalty.

 It accorded approval to

  •  Fill up five posts of Civil Judges in Himachal Pradesh High Court through direct recruitment to ensure speedy disposal of various cases
  • Fill up seven posts of Junior Office Assistant (IT) and 10 posts of Statistical Assistant in Health and Family Welfare Department on contract basis through Himachal Pradesh Staff Selection Commission, Hamirpur.
  • Open Health Sub Centres at Kashimblidhar in Gram Panchayat Kuklah and at Chunani in Gram Panchayat Kashaud in Tehsil Balichowki and in Gram Panchayat Tandi in Chachiot tehsil of Mandi district alongwith creation and filling up of requisite posts.
  •  Open Primary Health Centre at Shilhanu in Mandi district alongwith creation of two posts to man the centre.

 Other Decisions

 Honorarium of Water Guards Hiked

The Cabinet gave its nod to increase the honorarium of water guards from Rs. 2100 to Rs. 3000 and para fitters and para pump operators from Rs. 3000 to Rs. 4000 engaged in Irrigation and Public Health Department. This would benefit about 6220 water guards and about 500 para fitters and para pump operators.

The Cabinet decided to continue the Market Intervention Scheme (MIS) for procurement of apple during the current apple season. It also decided to enhance the procurement price under MIS from Rs. 7.50 to Rs. 8 per kg.  As many as 279 procurement centres would be opened in different parts of the state to facilitate the apple growers.

The Cabinet also decided that state-level function would be organized at Shimla on the birth anniversary of first Chief Minister Dr. Y.S Parmar on 4th August 2019.

 It gave its consent to accord District level status to Nalwar Mela Lambathach in Thunag tehsil of Mandi district.

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Solan Building Collapse: Death Toll Rises to 14 Including 13 Jawans and 1 Civilian, Rescue Operation Concluded

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Solan Building Collapse death toll

Solan-The toll of those killed in the collapse of a multi-storey building yesterday in Kumarhatti of Solan district that also housed a restaurant ‘Sehaj Tandoori Dhaba’ has risen to 14 as the rescue teams recovered more bodies. Over 25 people have been rescued and sent to Dharampur hospital for treatment. The deceased included 13 army jawans and one civilian, confirmed the Vivek Chandel, ADM, Solan. The rescue operation has concluded. As per the administration, total 42 people were trapped including 30 Jawans of Assam Rifles and 12 civilians. 

“Since yesterday, 17 Armymen and 11 civilians have been rescued. Three teams of the National Disaster Response Force have taken over the rescue,”

the Deputy Commissioner KC Chaman told PTI.

The building located on the Nahan-Kumarhatti road that housed a restaurant on one of the floors came down around 4 PM on July 14. As it was Sunday, several army personals of Assam Rifles had come to dine at the restaurant. The hotel owner also lived in the building along with his wife and two children. While the children were playing in the neighbourhood, their mother was present in the building. She reportedly died in the collapse, confirmed Additional SP Shiv Kumar Sharma.

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Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur on July 15 also visited the spot and ordered a magisterial probe to ascertain the cause of the collapse. An FIR against the owner of the building has also been registered.
Jairam thakur in solan

With this tragedy, questions are being raised over the legality of the construction. The building that was constructed in 2009 had at least four storeys. One of the storeys, as per reports, was added recently.Some reports suggested that complaints were also filed regarding the construction of this building.

Solan Rescue Operation

Currently, weak foundation and non-compliance with existing rules regarding the construction of buildings are considered as causes of the collapse. However, the district administration officials said the actual causes could only be ascertained after a probe.

Over 250 men of National Disaster Relief Force, District Police, and army jawans from nearby cantonment were continuously carrying out rescue work since yesterday. 

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