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Villagers in Lahaul-Spiti join relief efforts, bring free food and warm clothing for stranded people 

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Lahaul-Spiti-Villagers-provide free food to tourist

Kullu: On Thursday, the Indian Air Force and Border Security Forces reportedly moved over 800 people including tourists from tribal district Lahaul-Spiti. More people would be evacuated from the spots where they were stranded after a snowfall and rains.

Untimely snowfall in the tribal district has disrupted the normal life, which left many tourists and local People stranded at different places in the district.

Efforts were afoot to evacuate them. Four helicopters of the IAF are carrying out the evacuation of tourists and other people from snow-affected areas.

Along with the rescue teams, the villagers are also gathering an appreciation for joining in the relief efforts. Local women under Tod Mahila Mandal and Yuva Mandal had decided to provide free food, beverages, bedding etc. to stranded people until they are not moved to safer locations.

villagers help people stranded in lahaul spiti

Locals of Lahaul-Spiti faced a complete loss of their crops due to untimely snowfall and rains, however, they still considered helping the stranded people as thier priority. The untimely snowfall has destroyed apple orchards, tomoato, cabbage and cauliflower crops.

The locals had also urged the local dhaba owners and hoteliers in Keylong, Sissu, Udaipur, and Koskar to join the relief efforts.

Khangsar, Gondhla Shooling, Sissu, Koksar along with some other villagers were said to be worst hit in terms of crop destruction. As per the villagers, potato and cauliflower crops were riped and ready to be harvested. The villagers are now looking towards the government for some relief.

Moreover, there was no news of overcharges or extortion from stranded tourists by hoteliers or dhabas.

On Friday, about 26 people including some bikers were evacuated from Chhattru and Chhota Dara. Some labourers were also evacuated from Killing Sarai near Sarchu through helicopters.

Further, the Government informed that in order to know the whereabouts of the tourists and local people trapped near the Chandratal Lake and to provide food items to them ADM Kaza Vikram Singh Negi, along with his rescue team of 10-12 people reached Chandratal Lake after 16 hours walking on Thursday.

Around 45 tourists and others stranded people were transported to safer places besides 13 tourists were also airlifted today to safer places.

Nine people stranded in Baralacha and Sarchu including one woman were brought to Kullu by helicopter. A helicopter sortie took place yesterday to airlift snow bound stranded people from Stingiri to Kullu. Further, about 200-300 people stranded in the Saruchu and Darcha of the district were also airlifted through helicopter.

Three buses of HRTC and a private bus were put in service to transport stranded people from north portal of Sissu Tunnel to Manali Bus Stand. Persons who want to go to Lahaul from Kullu -Manali can avail the facility of these buses from Manali bus stand.

Eleven heavy types of machinery including JCBs were engaged in the district to clear the roads. The BRO has been asked to open the road from Grampho side and they are working on it.

The State Government hopes that the situation in the district would restore to normal in the next few days. 

 

Misc News/Press Release

Staff of Two HRTC Buses Quarantined After Passenger Tests Positive, Village in Sirmaur Declared Containment Zone

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Himachal-Pradesh-corona case update for june 7

Shimla– On July 6, Himachal Pradesh reported seven cases from Kangra, Chamba, Hamirpur, and Una districts. By June 7, the tally rose to 401. Yesterday, five patients recovered including two each in Hamirpur, Chamba and one in Una.

According to the Mid-Day COVID-19 bulletin released by the Health Department for June 7, 2020, now the total number of active cases in Himachal was 200, while 191 have recovered.

Hamirpur has reported 121 cases – highest in the state, followed by Kangra district at second place with 105 cases.

District-Wise COVID-19 Cases in Himachal Pradesh Till June 7, 2020 (12:00 PM)

  

A person, who was employed with a factory in Harayana, had returned to Bag Pashog village in Sarahan. He travelled in two different HRTC buses to reach his village. He tested positive yesterday. Following the confirmation of the report, Bag Pashog village was notified as containment zone and Kangar Dharyar, Tikkar Pajreli, Gharon Plashon etc. have been declared buffer zones.

The staff of two buses along with some passengers and his family members were said to be under quarantine.

Similarly, another case that is keeping the district administration of Sirmaur on its toes pertains to a 25-year-old woman who was admitted to a hospital and gave berth a child. Later, she tested positive for COVID1-19.  Following it, Dakra village under Burma Papri panchayat was notified as containment zone and several other villages around it as buffer zones. So far, over 15 persons who had come in contact with this woman in Dakra village have been identified.

A 21-year-old was tested positive in Una but she was said to have no travel history. She was among suspected patient with flu-like symptoms. She was taking treatment at a private hospital and the doctors had suggested her to get herself tested for COVID-19.

Getting infected without any travel history is a matter of worry as it suggests community spread.

In Kangra, a 46-year-old man from Baijnath, a 32-year-old man from Mahakal, a 48-year-old man from Bana village in Jawalamukhi and a 27-year-old man from Lambagaon who had returned from Delhi on May 28, 29, 30 and June 4, respectively, were found COVID-19 positive on Saturday, a district official confirmed

These four were under institutional quarantine at different places in the district.

In Hamirpur, a woman with a travel history from Ludhiana tested positive, Deputy Commissioner Harikesh Meena confirmed. She had gone to Ludhiana for her mother-in-law’s treatment and returned in a car. She was home quarantined.

Hamirpur district administration found itself in yet another controversy.

This time, a delay of one day in shifting a COVID-19 positive woman in Hamirpur to the COVID-19 care centre was reported. The woman had returned from Ghaziabad on May 28 with her husband and child. They were home-quarantine. The family alleged they weren’t even informed regarding the report timely.

Chamba had also reported one case yesterday in which a woman tested positive in Salooni area of the district. She was under institutional quarantine.

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Art & Culture

Himachal Academy Shikhar Samman 2017-18 Announced, These 4 Persons Would be Honored

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Himachal Academy Shikhar Samman 2017-18

Shimla– ‘Himachal Academy Shikhar Samman’ Award has been announced for the year 2017-18, informed the Secretary Academy Dr. Karam Singh on June 6, 2020.  

The recommendation of the jury the winners have been announced, he said, adding that four Shikhar Samman (awards) would be given in the field of language, culture and literature for two years and Rs. one lakh each would be given to each awardee.

He said that for the year 2017, Prof. Keshav Sharma would be honoured for contribution in Literature and special achievements. Folk Singer Mohan Rathour would be honoured with Language and Culture Shikar Samman.

For the year 2018, Dr. O.C. Handa would be honoured with Sahitya Shikhar Samman, whereas Dinesh Kumari of Kangra would be honoured in Art and Culture sector.

The ‘Shikhar Samman’ is given to the Himachali writers in the field of art and culture and to littérateurs from the country who worked for the promotion of Himachali language, traditions and culture.

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Misc News/Press Release

Health Dept Scam: One More Person Arrested by Vigilance

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Himachal-PRadesh-Health-department-scam

Shimla-In the alleged scam related to the purchase of medical equipment including PPE kits by the Health Department, Himachal Pradesh Government, the Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau has arrested another person – Prithi Singh – the man who had accepted to have recorded telephonic conversation with the ex-director Ajay Kumar Gupta.

Gupta was arrested on May 21 after the said recording appeared in media. Later, he was granted bail by a special court, Shimla (forest). The vigilance had questioned Prithvi Singh earlier but had not arrested him. Prithi had claimed that he recorded the audio because his payment worth a crore was put on hold. Gupta, Pritiv had told Vigilance, was demanding a bribe to release the payment. It wasn’t clear what charges have been labelled against Prithvi – an employee of the firm which had supplied equipment to the Health Department.

About the Case

Director, Health Services, Dr. Ajay Gupta was suspended after a 43-second-long audio clip leaked in the media on May 21, 2020. In the audio, two persons can be heard talking about bank accounts and transactions of Rs. 5 lakh. The charges are that the Director was allegedly asking for a bribe in purchase-related to health equipment in wake of the pandemic.

Additional Chief Secretary RD Dhiman had to hand over the case to the Vigilance department soon after the audio clip appeared. Ordering immediate probe is something that BJP is presenting as proof of State Government and Chief Minister Jairam Thakur’s innocence.

Just after a week of an audio clip of an alleged deal between the Director, Health Services, Dr. Ajay Gupta and an employee and close aid of a politician appeared; Dr. Rajiv Bindal resigned from the position of State BJP Chief. His resignation was also accepted almost immediately. He claimed that he resigned on “moral grounds” as he was hurt after the party’s name was associated with the alleged scam. 

The opposition, some senior leaders of the ruling party, MLAs, and activists in the State have been demanding a probe under a sitting judge of the State High Court and the resignation of the Chief Minister as he holds the charge of the Health Ministry. They are of the opinion that the Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau is just another tool under the State Government. Chief Minister Jairam Thakur is running the Health Ministry, and the sudden resignation of BJP Chief Rajeev Bindal after a week the scam came to light has already raised several questions.

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