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HP Cabinet Decisions: Approves 4 schemes, filling up several posts including 123 of Forest Guard

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HP Cabinet Meeting Sept 24, 2018

Shimla: The Himachal Pradesh Cabinet, in its meeting held on September 25, 2018,  launched four schemes including Vigyan Gram Scheme in five districts of the State,  Jal Se Krishi Ko Bal Yojna, Aaj Purani Raahon Se, and Dev Bhoomi Darshan Scheme. It also gave its approval to fill up various posts including 123 vacant posts of Forest Guards in Forest Department on a contract basis.

Bio-Methanation Plant in Kufri

The Cabinet gave its nod to engage M/s Bijson Innovations Pvt. Ltd., with Bijson Biofuel agency on PPP mode to Design, Build, Finance, Operate and Maintain a Bio-Methanation Plant of 2.5 MTPD capacity using Horse dung/biodegradable waste to bio-fuel on turnkey basis on end to end basis (waste collection till elimination) at Kufri in Shimla district.

It decided that now entire power from the hydroelectric projects upto 25 MW capacity shall be mandatorily purchased by HPSEBL at the generic levelized tariffs as determined by H.P. Electricity Regulatory Commission.

Common Effluent Treatment Plant in Paonta Sahib

It provided 4412 sq. meter land of Industries Department at industrial area Gondpur in Paonta Sahib of Sirmaur district for setting up of Common Effluent Treatment Plant to M/s Sirmaur Green Environ Limited as Special Purpose Vehicle on the lease of the token price of Rs. one by relaxing industrial policy.

Govt Jobs

Other than filling of 123 vacant posts of Forest Guards, the Cabinet gave its approval to fill up 35 vacant posts of Assistant Professor/equivalent in Dr. Y.S. Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry, Nauni on a contract basis.

The Cabinet decided to start two new steams of B.Tech. Electrical Engineering and Diploma in Mechanical Engineering besides filling up of 21 posts of different categories in Atal Bihari Vajpayee Government Engineering College, Pragatinagar in district Shimla.

It also decided to create and fill up 10 posts of Junior Office Assistant (IT) on a contract basis and fill up four vacant posts of Peon in Sainik Welfare Department on a daily wage basis.

It also gave its nod to fill up 14 posts of different categories in Himachal Hospital of Mental Health and Rehabilitation Shimla for its smooth functioning.

It accorded its approval to fill up two posts of Station Fire Officer, three posts of Driver cum Pump Operator and 20 posts of firemen on a contract basis in State Fire Department.

It decided to select 30 employees for posts of SAS-I &II from departments/boards, corporation etc. for training in Himachal Pradesh Public Administration Institute, Shimla through a competitive examination to be conducted by Himachal Pradesh Public Service Commission.

The Cabinet put its seal on the creation and filling up of 14 posts of different categories in Municipal Corporation Dharamshala on a secondment basis.

The Cabinet gave its nod to increase the financial assistance (Old age Pension) of ex-servicemen and their widows from Rs. 500 per month to Rs. 3000 per month.

It also decided to provide 13 motorcycles to the Police Department for maintaining smooth plying of vehicular traffic in Shimla city.

It also decided to release Good Performance Incentive to employees of Himachal Pradesh State Industrial Development Corporation @ 8.33 percent of pay, subject to a ceiling of Rs. 35,000 for the financial year 2016-17.

The Cabinet decided to provide forest/government land measuring 1-22-28 hectare on a lease basis in favour of M/s Shakti Hydro Electric Company Pvt. Ltd. for setting up of 3.5 MW hydroelectric project in Mandi district.

The Cabinet also decided to enhance the honorarium by 20 percent per month from August 1 2018, of different categories of teachers appointed by the School Management Committee in various schools of the State Government.

Govt’s 4 Approved Schemes

Vigyan Gram Scheme will improve the yield of farm produce, income generation from off-farm activities as well as conservation and management of existing natural resources. It was announced for Gram Panchayat Chanju, Development Block Tissa in Chamba district, Mohani Panchayat in Banjar Development in Kullu district, Ghat Panchayat in Seraj Development Block in Mandi district, Piplidhar (Bainsh) Panchayat in Basantpur Development Block of Shimla district and Matal Bakhog panchayat in Rajgarh block of Sirmaur district.

The Cabinet decided to start ‘Dev Bhoomi Darshan Scheme’. The scheme envisages 50 percent concession in bus fare to senior citizens with age 70 to 80 years and above 80 years, it will be free.

The Cabinet gave its approval to launch ‘Jal Se Krishi Ko Bal Yojna’ in the State for water harvesting and runoff recycling of rainwater. It would increase the crop yields and farm income by optimum use of stored rainwater by constructing water conservation and harvesting structures such as Check Dams and Ponds. An outlay of Rs. 250 crore has been made for five years duration.

It also approved to start ‘Aaj Purani Raahon Se’ Scheme in the State saying it would boost cultural tourism and help in preserving the cultural identity of the State.

It also gave its consent to launch individual/Beneficiary Group Handpump Subsidy Scheme in the State. Under this scheme, 75 percent cost shall be paid by the beneficiary and the balance 25 percent shall be paid by the IPH Department.

The Cabinet gave its approval to rename Government Degree College, Sunni as Atal Bihari Vajpayee Government Degree College, Sunni in Shimla district.

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CM Jairam Thakur Tests Positive for COVID-19, Quarantined

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HImachal Pradesh CM Tests Positive for COVID-19

Shimla-Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh, Jairam Thakur, have tested positive for COVID-19 and has been quarantined at his official residence. The report was confirmed by the Chief Minister through a tweet in which he informed that he was under quarantine at his residence after coming into contact with a COVID-19 positive person. On the appearance of symptoms, he got himself tested and the report was found to be positive, he informed.

According to the initial report, the Chief Minister had come in contact with some COVID-19 positive persons in Manali. MLA of Banjar, Surinder Shourie, who was positive for COVID-19 had participated in the event organized on the occasion of the inauguration of Rohtang Tunnel, had also tested positive. Shourie had spent the entire day with the Chief Minister, reports said.

His private secretary had also tested positive, and there are chances that the Chief Minister might have contracted the infection from him. However, there is no certainty regarding the contact who infected the Chief Minister.

Other than Chief Minister, three Cabinet ministers – Urban Development Minister Suresh Bharadwaj, Power Minister Sukh Ram Chaudhary, Jalshakti Minister Mahender Singh- have tested positive so far.  Over ten MLAs have already tested positive and some of them have recovered too.

Meanwhile, despite community spread, the testing and tracing seem to have fallen and the fatality rate has witnessed a steep rise. Till 12 pm today, the COVID-19 death tally for the state was 245, and the total number of cases registered was 17414. But these are official statistics and these numbers are likely to be much higher. 

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Himachal: COVID-19 Kills 59 in 9 Days, Govt Still Clueless About Actual Number of Cases

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Himachal PRadesh Jairam Thakur

Shimla-COVID-19 continue to wreak havoc in Himachal Pradesh as the death tally spirals upward rapidly. Currently, 240 people have lost their lives due to COVID-19. Fifty nine of these deaths have been reported during the last nine days of October month, which is quite alarming. But contrary to that, the attitude of the state government, as well as, the public is becoming more casual. The SOPs issued by the government are hardly being followed anywhere. The fact that with the community spread, the cases of COVID-19 are falling in the official information released by the state Health Department.

On October 9, the Department traced only 199 cases but reported seven deaths. The total number of active cases was cited to be 2856. The deceased included three females and four males aged between 49 -75 years. View details of the deceased in the below-given table:

Shimla-covid-19 deaths in himachal pradesh

The total number of cases, as per the official statistics, had reached 16977 till yesterday evening (9 PM). But these are official statistics and the real number is likely to be much higher due to a community spread. Similarly, the actual number of COVID-19 deaths could be higher than the official statistics. Despite it, the state government is reluctant to release any projection regarding the real numbers. No statements have been issued regarding the current situation and strategy to combat the rising fatality rate. Rather, the state appears to be refraining from bringing up the matter.

The oppositions, HP Congress and CPI (M), are targeting the government over its failure to combat the spread of COVID-19. However, this opposition is quite feeble and hasn’t resulted in any reforms in the attitude of the government.

In a statement to media, Sanjay Chauhan, former Mayor of Shimla and a senior CPI (M) leader, said that the rise in fatalities is the result of the government’s lackadaisical attitude. The suicide committed by a positive patient at the DDU COVID-19 hospital is evidence of it, he said. He said this approach has endangered health lives of ministers, officials, and the staff at their offices. Further, he said, health staff, paramedical staff, and police staff are getting infected, and even losing lives due to the government’s unpreparedness.  The government had even compromised the safety of the Prime Minister and Education Minister by violating norms set regarding COVID-19, he said.

HP Congress chief, Kuldeep Rathor also expressed shock over the presence of COVID-19 positive MLA of Banjar, Surender Shourie, in the event organized for the PM. He alleged that by violating all norms, the MLA concealed information regarding his COVID-19 positive status and did not quarantine himself, which reflects the state government’s attitude toward management of the corona pandemic. He had demanded registration of an FIR against Shourie and action against erring officials.

Sanjay Chauhan, further said that the government did not prepare itself to combat the pandemic the way it was expected to. The people of the state had followed the lockdown and sacrificed their livelihood with a hope that the government would prepare itself during this period to combat the spread and to strengthen the health infrastructure and services. But instead, the government indulged itself in making people clap and beat ‘thalis’.  The Chief Minister adopted and preached unscientific practices like performing a ‘havan’.  Despite a steep rise in fatalities, the government is still not serious about the situation, he said. 

He said the CPI (M) demands that the government starts working on war footing to prepare a strategy by involving health experts, strengthening the health services by recruiting doctors, para-medical and other staff, and constitute a task force to deal with the situation. The government should work diligently on following the norms set for prevention from COVID-19, he added.  

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Shocker for Himachal as Ex-CBI Chief & Governor Ashwani Kumar Found Dead at His Shimla Residence

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Himachal IPS Officer Ashwani Kumar found deat in shimla

Shimla-Ashwani Kumar – 1973 IPS officer from Himachal Pradesh cadre who had served as the Director-General of HP Police (2006-2008) and CBI chief (August 2008 to November 2010), and was later appointed the Governor of Nagaland in 2013-was found dead at his residence in Shimla on Wednesday evening. The news came as a shocker as Kumar was considered as one of India’s finest and honest officers.

Superintendent of Police, Shimla, Mohit Chawala, in statement to news agencies, confirmed the report. According to the initial report, he reportedly hanged himself and ended his life. However, no formal statement was issued regarding the suicide. According to the police, a suicide note was also recovered from the spot. However, the note was yet to be verified.

Kumar was a well known name as he had dealt with famous cases including that of Arushi Talwar murder and fake encounter of Sohrabuddin Sheikh in which current Home Minister Amit Shah was arrested in 2010.

He was one of the first appointees made to resign from the post of Governor, Nagaland, as soon as the current ruling party came into power in 2014. He also remained Governor of Manipur for a short period of time. After his retirement, Kumar was serving as the Vice-Chancellor of a private university in Shimla.

The officials who have served under Aswani Kumar have expressed shock over his demise in such a manner. 

Director-General of Police, Sanjay Kundu, and a team of medical staff was rushed to the spot. More details are awaited as the district police have not issued any formal statement regarding the incident.

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