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Himachal witnesses fury of parting monsoon, claims 8 lives, triggers flash-floods, landslides

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Flash floods in Kullu

Shimla: The parting monsoon season has hit Himachal Pradesh hard as continuous rains caused flash floods and an alarming rise in water levels in Beas and Ravi Rivers along with their tributaries during last two days. About eight persons were said to have died in different regions while a half-dozen others were said to be missing. The government has issued a high-alert warning in Mandi for September 25 considering a prediction of heavy rainfall.

As per the Meteorological Department, the rains could continue on Tuesday as well. The State Disaster Management Authority has issued an avalanche warning in vulnerable areas of Kullu, Lahaul-Spiti, and Kinnaur districts.

In Kullu, the tourism industry took a hit while farmers  in Kinnaur and Lahaul & Spiti faced losses as snow and rain destroyed their crops. All private and government schools in eight districts remained closed on Monday.

The Chandigarh-Manali National Highway (NH) and Pathankot NH were blocked at various points due to landslides and landslips. In Kullu, several bridges were said to have washed away as water level in Beas and its tributaries were recorded above the danger mark.

Kullu, Mandi and Chamba were worst hit as the furious Beas and Ravi swept away vehicles, habitats, and livestock. The people residing along river banks had to evacuate their homes.

The district administrations had to call the National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF) to undertake rescue operations to get stranded locals as well as tourists in Kullu district to safety. The gates of Pandoh and Largi dams were opened to release excess water that also added to overflow in rivers.

In Shimla, the NH-5 and other roads were disconnected from upper parts of the district due to landslides. The Theog-Hatkoti and Narkanda roads were blocked on Monday as rain continued on the third day.

On Sunday, a truck union office at Bashing in Kullu was hit by gushing water of Beas and washed away two vehicles. The newly built helipad at Bahang near Manali is said to have been damaged as well.

As per the review meeting of the Cabinet held on Monday, 120 stranded persons were rescued from Koksar in Lahaul-Spiti, 23 from Marhi and 31 from Rohtang (Kullu). Apart from, it, 33 persons stranded at Phojal in Kullu were also rescued. Out of these, 21 persons were rescued by Air Force and 14 persons were rescued by adopting other means.

A chopper of the Indian Air Force was deployed in Kullu region to carry out rescue work in emergency situations.

As many as 45 vehicles were retrieved from Koksar in Lahaul-Spiti. Similarly, 600 students and teachers were shifted from Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya Chamba and 100 students from Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya Mehla in Chamba district. In addition to this, three families of Rakh in Chamba district were also shifted to PWD Rest House.

Twelve tourists from Sikkim State were evacuated from Keylong in Lahaul-Spiti to a Hotel at Keylong.
Due to heavy rains on 23rd and 24th September, 60 sheep/goats were buried alive due to a landslide at Bharmour.

In Chamba, the Chamba-Tissa, Salooni and Pangi road was closed to traffic. Deputy Commissioner Harikesh Meena estimated the losses at over Rs. 100 crores so far. The Pangi valley was also cut off following heavy snowfall at the Saach Pass. The Rohtang Pass also witnessed snowfall that led to the closure of the traffic.

Yesterday, the videos showing a Volvo bus and truck being swept away in Beas went viral on social media, creating a stir among the people. As per reports, water entered a truck union and washed away vehicles as well as three shops.

The government is assessing damages sustained in two days to be over Rs. 1200 crores. The government has written to the Centre for the release of funds considering the damage caused by natural disaster.

Environment

The GHNP and Tirthan Wildlife Sanctuary Ranked as Best Managed Protected Areas of India

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MEE Rank himachal pradesh GHNP

Shimla-The Great Himalayan National Park and Tirthan Wildlife Sanctuary (WLS) have been ranked as the best managed protected areas in India. Sainj WLS has also been placed among the top five Sanctuaries.

Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Prakash Javadekar, on January 11 released Management Effectiveness Evaluation (MEE) of 146 National Park and Wildlife Sanctuaries in the Country. At present, India has a network of 903 Protected Areas in the country covering about 5% of the total geographic area of the country. The purpose of it was to assess the efficacy of Protected Areas, evaluation of management effectiveness.

The evaluation process was executed by the Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun, in which  nation-wide 146 National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries, including 13 protected areas of Himachal Pradesh, were assessed through a team of evaluators. The score is given for various parameters including staff position, provision of financial resources, degree of protection, peoples’ participation and awareness of the communities towards the conservation values. Against a national average of 62 percent GHNP and Tirthan WLS scored a high of 84.17 percent while Sainj recorded 82.5 percent.

Currently, Himachal Pradesh has a network of 5 National Parks, 28 Wildlife Sanctuaries and 3 Conservation Reserves covering 8391.42 km2 which is 15 percent of the total geographical area of the state.

Top five and bottom five scored NP&WLS

Management Effectiveness Evaluation (MEE) of 146 National Park and Wildlife Sanctuaries in India 2

Source: MEE Evaluation Report

According to this Evaluation three of the top five best managed Protected Areas in the country are from Himachal Pradesh. However, the Evaluation also mentioned weaknesses in management in these National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries. (Scroll down for details info)

Top two highest and lowest scored NP&WLS in five regions

Managemaent Effectiveness Evaluation (MEE) of 146 National Park and Wildlife Sanctuaries in India

Source: MEE Evaluation Report

What is Management Effectiveness Evaluation (MEE)?

Protected area (PA) management effectiveness evaluation (MEE) is defined as the assessment of how well NP&WLS are being managed—primarily, whether they are protecting their values and achieving the goals and objectives agreed upon.

The term ‘management effectiveness’ reflects three main themes of PA management -design issues relating to both individual sites and PA systems, the adequacy and appropriateness of management systems and processes, and delivery of the objectives of NP&WLS, including conservation of values.

 Management Effectiveness Evaluation (MEE) of Protected Areas (PAs) has emerged as a key tool for PA managers and is increasingly being used by governments and international bodies to understand the strengths and weaknesses of the protected area management systems.

MEE is a very important document that provides valuable guidance on various aspects of wildlife and protected area expand MEE of Marine Protected Areas. A new framework for MEE of Marine Protected Areas has been also jointly prepared by WII and MoEF&CC.

In recent years there has been a general concern amongst PA professionals and the public that many NP&WLS are failing to achieve their objectives and, in some cases, are actually losing the values for which they were established (Hockings et al. 2008).

As a result, improving the effectiveness of PA management has become a priority throughout the conservation community. Protected areas that are effectively managed generally lead to improved biodiversity outcomes.

However, only 20% (21,743 NP&WLS) of the total coverage of protected areas reported in the WDPA has been assessed for management effectiveness according to the Global Database on Protected Areas Management Effectiveness (UNEP-WCMC, IUCN and NGS 2018). The result indicated that only 17.5% of the countries have achieved the 60% score of management effectiveness (Coad et al. 2015).

Further, Javadekar also announced that from this year onwards 10 best National Parks, 5 coastal and Marine parks and top five Zoos in the country will be ranked and awarded every year.

Management Strengths and Weaknesses of National Parks and Wild Life Sanctuaries in Himachal Pradesh

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Campus Watch

Proposed HPBOSE Date-Sheets for 8th, 10th, 12th Exams 2021 Issued, Objections Invited till Feb 10

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HPBOSE Exam Datesheet 2021

Shimla-Date-sheets for Class 10, 12, and 8 yearly examinations for the 2020-21 session have been released by the Himachal Pradesh Board of School Education yesterday. These schedules would apply to both regular and State Open School (SOS) students. 

These are proposed date-sheets, which have been uploaded on the official HPBOSE website and objections have been invited from teachers, students, and parents. Objections can be mailed on [email protected] till 10 February 2021.

According to the proposed HPBOSE date-sheets, examinations for 10th class would be held from May 5 to May 20, 2021. For 12th class, exams would be held from May 4 to May 29. Exams for 8th class would be held from May 5 to May 19. While timings for class 10th and 8th would be 8:45 to 12 PM, class 12th exams would be conducted from 1:45 PM to 5 PM.

The Board has already decided that yearly examinations of HPBOSE for Class 10th and 12th for the session 2020-21 would not be conducted online. The decision was taken considering the fact that several regions of the state do not have Internet connectivity due to which students face difficulties.

HPBOSE Class 12 Date-Sheet 2021

HPBOSE Class 10 Date-Sheet 2021

HPBOSE Class 8 Date-Sheet 2021

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Misc News/Press Release

Himachal to Administer 93,000 Dozes to Frontline Workers in First Phase of COVID-19 Vaccination

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COVID-19 vaccination in himachal pradesh

Shimla-In the first phase of COVID-19 vaccination in Himachal Pradesh, 93 thousand dozes would be administered to front line warriors including health care workers of the State, Central Government and armed forces, informed the State Government on Tuesday. For this purpose, 46 sites have been selected all over the State, it said. The dozes are expected to arrive in the State during the next couple of days. 

The Government said that the State has received AD syringes in sufficient quantity as per beneficiary and has been distributed to the districts. An additional stock of 0.5 ml AD syringes has been stored at State Vaccine Store, Parimahal, Shimla, Regional Vaccine Store, Mandi and Regional Vaccine Store Dharamshala to meet out any situation, it said. 

A State ‘Vaccination Store’ has been set up at Shimla whereas regional vaccine store had been set up at Mandi and Dharamshala, it was informed.

District Vaccine Stores had been set up in all 12 districts of the State, besides 371 stores in Medical Colleges, block-level, CHC and PHCs.

The Government said that tentative vaccine allocation would be calculated for each launch site with an additional 10 percent wastage of vaccine. Vial once opened would be utilized within four hours. The second dose for the beneficiary would be secured –First in First Out with the current allocation.

Three phases of Dry Run for COVID-19 vaccination have been conducted on 2nd January 2021 at State Capital, on 8th January in all district headquarters and 11th January in the entire State, the Government informed.

The Government also said that Adverse Events Following Immunization (AEFI) management training have been given to the session site vaccinators for establishing referral mechanism and report on COWIN app. AEFI Committees at State and District level have also been notified with additional members of Pulmonologist and Medicine Specialists for casualty assessment of AEFI cases and spokesperson workshop would be held on 13th January.

Further, the State Government has constituted State Level Steering Committee under the chairmanship of Chief Secretary, State Task Force chaired by Secretary Health, District Task Force by concerned Deputy Commissioner and Block Task Force chaired by respective SDM to monitor effective administration of vaccination of COVID-19.

No COVID-19 Death Reported on January 12

On Tuesday, according to the State Health Department, only 75 new cases were recorded in the State. As a sigh of relief, no COVID-19 death was reported. The tally for COVID-19 cases in Himachal Pradesh had reached 56596 till January 12, 2021.  So far, the pandemic has claimed 949 lives.

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