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Demands to Revoke Section 118 to Allow Outsiders Buy Land in Himachal Face Resistance

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Demand to Revoke section 118 of HP tenancy & land reforms act

Shimla-After revocation of special status under Article 370 for Jammu and Kashmir on Monday, a slew of myths, half-truths and cunning manipulations is in circulation in media. Majority of common people, unaware of the history behind the Article 370 and 35A and their complex constitutional aspects, are made to believe that now India owns J&K lock, stock, and barrel and that it would solve every problem related to the development of the state and terrorism.

Party workers are chanting hymns of Bhartiya Janata Party and Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh. Only the Communist Party of India and a Section of Indian National Congress are condemning it and terming as an undemocratic step, which was taken without following constitutional provisions.

Amid this slew of speculations, one of the main advantages of abrogating these Articles that is being preached is that now any Indian citizen can buy land in Jammu and Kashmir and set up businesses, which will lead to the development of the region.

At the same time, the special status granted to other states under Article 371 is being questioned and demands are being made to relax it or revoke it too. Under this article, North-East states like Nagaland, Manipur, Assam etc. have rules that prohibit non-domiciliary persons from owning land in these states. These states are granted special status based on their demographic and cultural histories.

The state of Himachal Pradesh, too, has the Tenancy and Land Reforms Act, 1972. Section 118 of this Act listed in the Ninth Schedule of the Constitution prohibits all non-agriculturists, whether they are Himachalis or non-Himachalis, from buying land in the State.

On Wednesday, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Badal demanded that outsiders be allowed to purchase land in Himachal Pradesh.

Similarly, MP Asaduddin Owaisi, while taking part in discussion in Lok Sabha on Wednesday, asked the government that when he would be able to buy land in Himachal Pradesh.

Other than that, migrants living in Himachal Pradesh for several decades were also heard raising the same demand.

In response to these demands, the HP Congress Committee has criticised Badal’s remark arguing that Section 118 of the HP Tenancy & Land Reforms Act, and said cannot be compared to Article 370.

Congress said this Act was promulgated in 1972 by the first Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh, Dr Y.S. Parmar, to safeguard the interests of the small farmers. Moreover, Congress said, people can buy flats in the state. Also, sub-section 2 (g) has provision for non-agriculturists to purchase a house, or land for building a house, from the Himachal Pradesh Housing and Urban Development Authority (HIMUDA).

Also, unlike J&K, there is no restriction on women married outside the state on buying flats and lands.

Land can be bought for building a house or setting up a business or taken on lease for setting up industries after taking consent of the state government. The newly built residential building of Priyanka Vadra in Charabra of Shimla district is one example of it.

Further, Congress said that forest cover in the state would be destroyed if outsiders were allowed to buy land.

Congress termed this demand of providing relaxation in buying land in Himachal Pradesh to non-Himachalis as some sort of conspiracy in nexus with BJP to dilute the Act.

The President of HPCC, Kuldeep Singh Rathor, alleged BJP government of making efforts to relax the norms to provide land to the industrialists who arranged funds for the party during the recent Parliamentary elections.

This is why, he said, Congress has already launched “Save Himachal” campaign before the 114th anniversary of Dr Y.S. Parmar on August 4, 2019.

So far, BJP is also criticising this demand and terming comparison of Article 370 with Section 118 as illogical.

Misc News/Press Release

COVID-19 Update: 26 More Test Positive in 4 Districts, 70 in 3 Days, State Tally Rise to 273

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Himachal Pradesh daily COVID-19 data for may 27

Shimla: New COVID-19 cases continue to spiral in Himachal Pradesh. According to the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare’s daily COVID-19 bulletin released on May 27 (9:00 PM), 26 persons were tested positive in four districts of the State. Of these, 15 cases were reported from Hamirpur,  seven from Bilaspur, three from Kangra, and one from Una district. In the last three days, the State has reported 70 cases, which is alarming. 

In Hamirpur, five persons hailed from Badsar area, three from Naduan, six from Hamirpur and one from Bhoranj. The majority of them have recently returned from Maharashtra.

Total for Hamirpur district has reached 73 – highest in the State, followed by Kangra with 65 cases.

In Bilaspur, two persons were said to be bus and cab drivers. Details of other patients from the district were awaited.

In Kangra, three persons who tested positive were identified as a 29-year-old resident of Fatehpur, a 30-year-old from Khaniyara, and a resident of Palampur. These people had returned from Delhi and Gurugram recently.

In Una, a person who had returned from Delhi with his family was tested positive.  

Most of the person who tested positive were under institutional quarantine except for three persons in Kuther of Bilaspur district who were home-quarantined.  

Refer to the below-given table for more details on district-wise COVID-19 data:

District-Wise COVID-19 Cases in Himachal Pradesh Till May 27, 2020 (9:00 PM)

Himachal Pradesh District wise Covid-19 data till 27 May

The number of total confirmed positive cases in Himachal has risen to 273, of which 198 are active. So far, 66 patients have recovered, five died, and four migrated to outside the State for treatment.

Further, today 1480 samples were sent for testing, of which 912 tested negative and the reports of 560 persons were still awaited.

 

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COVID-19 Update: Himachal Reports 24 New Cases in 5 Districts, 44 in 2 Days

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Quarantine rules in himachal pradesh for returnees

Shimla-Himachal Pradesh didn’t receive any respite from growing COVID-19 positive cases on May 26 too. According to the State Health Ministry’s daily COVID-19 bulletin, on May 26 (till 9:00 PM), 24 more persons tested positive in five districts. Yesterday, the State had reported 20 cases including a 7-month-old baby.  

Hamirpur, the worst affected district in the State, reported highest 15 cases, taking the district’s COVID-19 tally to 78. Shimla and Kangra reported three cases each. Two tested positive in Chamba and one in Una district.  All patients in Hamirpur had returned from Thane in Maharashtra on May 24 and were under institutional quarantine. The Deputy Commissioner, Hamirpur, Harikesh Meena, confirmed the report. The patients would be shifted to COVID-19 care centres.

Shimla, which remained unaffected during three phases of the lockdown, reported three more cases including two from Chopal area and one from Rohru.  All three are returnees from Maharastra. The senior health official confirmed. Two of them were quarantined in Deha and one in a rest house in Rohru, which have been sealed.

District-Wise COVID-19 Cases in Himachal Pradesh Till May 26, 2020 (9:00 PM)

Himachal Pradesh District wise Covid-19 data till 26 May

In Kangra, three members of a family – husband, wife, and their 7-year-old kid- tested positive. The family had returned from Gujrat on May 20. The DC, Kangra, Rakesh Prajapati, confirmed the report.

In Chamba district, two persons who had returned from Uttar Pradesh on May 20 in a cab, tested positive and were under institutional quarantine in Sarol.

According to the last official update from health ministry at 9:00 PM, the total has risen to 247, of which 175 are active. Of the total, 63 have recovered, five died, and four migrated outside the State. 

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Himachal Sold Retail Liquor Vends Worth Rs. 1180 Crores: Govt

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Sale of HP Excise Liquor vends in 2020

Shimla-Principal Secretary, Excise and Taxation Sanjay Kundu on today informed that despite lockdown and recession in economy due to COVID-19 pandemic in the State, left out retail liquor vends of Shimla, Nurpur, Kangra and Sirmaur zones have been sold for Rs. 35.52 crore today.

Sanjay Kundu said that against a total retail liquor vend business of Rs. 1190 crore, the Excise and Taxation Department have been able to sell the business for Rs. 1180 crore in the State.

He said that except today’s auctions, rest of the business has been sold at full value. The liquor vends have been sold for the first time without negotiation on renewal tender cum auction basis.  Last year the retail liquor business was valued at Rs. 1085 crore and after negotiation, the price went down to Rs. 126 crore and net business was Rs. 959 crore, he informed. Against Rs. 959 crore last year, this year the business has been sold for Rs. 1180 crore, he said.

Principal Secretary said that the liquor vends of Shimla zone have been sold at Rs. 2.30 crore, of Nurpur for Rs. 6.03 crore, of Kangra for Rs. 4.80 crore and of Sirmaur for Rs. 22.39 crore. 

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