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BJP Govt in Himachal faces criticism due to misunderstanding over a clarification

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Non-Himachali govt employees can buy land in Himachal

Shimla: Recently, after a clarification was issued by the Himachal Pradesh Revenue Department to the Deputy Commissioner of Kangra district regarding Section 38-A of Section 118 of the HP Tenancy & Land Reforms Act stirred a controversy. The clarification said children of non-Himachali employees of the State government can also buy upto 500 square metres of land in the State for building a house.

The ruling government led by the Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur faced severe criticism with allegations of ‘selling land to non-Himachali people for a non-agricultural purpose’. The same clarification was issued earlier in July too, but that did not catch the attention of the media or the people.

It was repeated in August and this time it did rounds of social media. The Chief Minister yielded to the mounting criticism and withdrew clarification issued.

However, the original provision was actually introduced by the previous government through an amendment. The current government was just extending this provision to other family members of the eligible employees. However, only one member of the family was allowed to apply under Section 118 of the said Act.  Moreover, there was no exemption from the Section 118. The candidates were still required to apply under the Act to obtain permission.  

In July 2014, the then ruling government led by Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh had embedded provisions in Rule 38- A of Section 118 of the said Act through an amendment. It was called the ‘Himachal Pradesh Tenancy and Land Reforms (Amendment) Rules, 2014’. The amendment was mostly related making it easier for non-Himachali for setting up industrial units in the state.

The amended Act in its sub-section 3 of the Rule 38-A along with other points said,

“A person working in the state for more than 30 years recommended by the concerned local body ( DC) for grant of permission” can buy a land upto 500 square metres for constructing a residential building.

Read A Notification of the Revenue Department Issued in Sept 2014:

Similarly, a person who fulfils the above-mentioned eligibility can also purchase land up to 300 square metres for construction of a shop.

The previous Congress government and several petitioners had been reaching the court time to time terming the provision to ban non-agriculturists and non-Himachali’s from buying land in the State as a violation of the “Articles 14, 15, 19 (e) and (g) of the Constitution. Section 19 (e) of the constitution says that an Indian citizen has the constitutional right to reside anywhere in the country as per his wish.

In June 2016, the Chief of HP Congress, Sukhwinder Sukku, had also supported the need to amend the Act on similar grounds.

The petitioners argued that this rule is also creating hindrances in developmental activities in the State. It was claimed that even non-agriculturist Himachali people were also barred from buying land for any purpose other than agriculture which was unfair.  

The Act was amended multiple times since its adoption and the current government is also in favour of making amendments in the Act to relax conditions for acquiring land in the State. The government believes the dilution of this Section would make it easier to invite more investments, thus, help in the growth of the economy.

Moreover, acting on these petitions, in September 2016, the Himachal Pradesh High Court had even directed the state government to make suitable amendments in rules to facilitate the purchase of land, both agriculture and non-agriculture, by non- agriculturist Himachalis.

This court deems it fit and proper to direct the state government to make suitable amendments to Section 118 of the HP Tenancy and Land Reforms Act, 1972 read with HP Tenancy and Land Reforms Rules, 1975 in order to facilitate to purchase any land (agricultural and non-agricultural) in the state by non-agriculturist Himachalis residing in the state for decades, prior to the date of commencement of the HP Tenancy and Land Reforms Act, 1972, within a period of 90 days from today,

a division bench of justices Rajiv Sharma and Sureshwar Thakur said.

At the same time, the people of the State and social organizations have always been against any dilution of Section 118 of the Act, which was passed in 1972 to check to sell of agricultural land to wealthy non-Himachalis by the poorer agrarian community. The government feared the trend would lead the native farmers landless and the economy of the state would also be affected as the majority of the population was dependent on agriculture and horticulture for livelihood.

Madan has studied English Literature and Journalism from HP University and lives in Shimla. He is an amateur photographer and has been writing on topics ranging from environmental, socio-economic, development programs, education, eco-tourism, eco-friendly lifestyle and to green technologies for over 9 years now. He has an inclination for all things green, wonderful and loves to live in solitude. When not writing, he can be seen wandering, trying to capture the world around him in his DSLR lens.

Misc News/Press Release

HP Govt’s ‘Fake News Portal’ Uploads List of Offenders to Check Circulation of Incorrect COVID-19 Info

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HP Govt Fake News Portal

Shimla-Himachal Pradesh Government has launched a web portal for uploading information of fake and unverified news related to COVID-19. The purpose of the portal is to ensure appropriate action to check such news.

The Web portal could be accessed here.  A list of such offenders including social media platforms, online web portal, print etc have also been uploaded.

The information of the person reporting such fake news/false information about COVID-19 will be kept confidential. Provision of many security features like OTP etc. has been made in this web portal to ensure that such information is not provided by any anonymous person, the Government informed.

Apart from this, people can report information about fake and unverified information circulating in media related to COVID-19 on e-mail: [email protected] or whatsapp number 9816323469.

The public has also been requested to bring fake news related to COVID-19 being telecast or broadcast or circulated by any media platform to the notice of the Fake News Monitoring Unit constituted by the Government so that necessary action could be taken.

The Government said that newspapers, television news channels and digital/social media are making significant contribution in dissemination of factual information related to COVID-19. Due to this, the people of the state are getting correct information about this epidemic.

However, the Government said that it has also been noticed that news media, especially some social media platforms, were circulating unverified information related to COVID-19, thus, creating panic in the public.

All media platforms and all the stakeholders have been urged not to spread rumors and unverified news and to cooperate with the Government in providing the verified information to the people in order to fight for prevention of spread of this epidemic in the state together.

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Seal Coronavirus Hot Spots in Himachal, Wearing Masks to be Made Mandatory: HP Govt

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Shimla-Hotspots of coronavirus in Himachal Pradesh must be sealed to prevent further spread of the virus, the State Government directed the Deputy Commissioners, Superintendents of Police and Chief Medical Officers of the State on Thursday. Chief Minister Thakur said that at present Kangra, Chamba, Sirmaur, Solan and Una districts are such hotspots.   

Jai Ram Thakur said that there will be no relaxation in curfew in hotspot areas. The directions were given to district officials that essential commodities must be provided in such hotspots through the home delivery system. Plying of vehicles will be banned in these areas.   

All public places of hot spots would be sanitized. The Active Case Finding Campaign would be launched in these areas besides opening fever clinics. Persons reporting fever and cough symptoms would be tested.

The State Government said that wearing masks would be made mandatory. The NGOs have been urged to come forward in providing home-made masks to the people. 

The officials were also directed to immediately install CCTV cameras in all major religious places of worship in Himachal, which will help to trace out people disobeying the Government orders. Strict action will be taken against such violators, the Government said.

Further, Charitable Hospital Bhotain Hamirpur district, S.S. Memorial Ashirwad Hospital Chamba, Civil Hospital, Sarahan, district Sirmaur and Agarwal Hospital Jwalamukhi in district Kangra have been notified as Secondary Care Hospitals.

Daily Update COVID-19 Himachal Pradesh

So far, as many as 5035 persons had been kept under surveillance for coronavirus in the State so far out of which 2556 people have completed 28 days of surveillance period. Ton Thursday, a total of 114 persons were tested for COVID-19 in the State. Out of this number, 57 samples have been found negative and report of 57 samples is still awaited.

Additional Chief Secretary Health R.D. Dhiman confirmed that, as of now, a total of 773 persons have been in the State for coronavirus. He said that presently reports of 28 people have been found positive, out of which two persons have been discharged. Besides, four persons have migrated to other State. The State has reported one death due to COVID-19 He said that remaining 21 persons were under treatment in the hospitals of the State. 

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Pics of This Policeman Are Making HP Police Deptt Proud, Melting Hearts

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Policeman in Chail solan helping elderly during curfew

Solan-Pictures of a policeman approaching an elderly woman and later carrying a heavy bundle of fodder for her are making Himachal Pradesh Police proud. This policeman is being applauded by not only the people but also by his department. 

The pictures are taken in Chail area of the district where an elderly lady was carrying fodder for livestock from jungle during the relaxation period in curfew.

Head Constable Jasvir Singh Chail Solan

On seeing the elderly lady struggling with a bundle of fodder (green tree-leaves), which appeared to be heavy for her, an on-duty policeman carried the bundle on his back for her.

HP Police Helping People During COVID-19 Curfew

A resident of Kunihar in Solan district posted these pictures on his social media handle. He recognized this policeman as Head-Constable Jasvir Singh, who was also his classmate 17 years ago.

policeman in himachal helping old lady

We don’t know about this policeman in his personal life, but a mention of this gesture is important if seen symbolically in context to the police-citizens relationship.

This compassionate gesture of a policeman, in a time when the police is enforcing curfew and mostly seen dealing strictly with people to make them comply with the law, is melting hearts.

Visuals of people either being beaten or punished physically for breaking curfew did attract criticism not only from the people but also from the DGP SR Mardi.

However, the same policemen are also going a step ahead to help people in various ways during the COVID-19 crisis. In various districts, there are instances where policemen are even spending from their own pockets to help the needy around them. Perhaps, pictures of all of them won’t appear on social media but good policemen are there helping people while discharging their duty. 

These pictures remind us that policemen aren’t devoid of emotion and compassion.  Therefore it becomes duty of every citizen to support the police and make its job of maintaining law and order easier.

 

..SABHI POLICE KI VERDI WALE BURE INSAN NAHI HOTEInka naam mr.jasvir singh hai.mere shehar.(KUNHAR) ke nazdeek…

Posted by Sunny Shandil on Wednesday, 8 April 2020

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