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Heavy Rains Kill Over 20 in Himachal, Educational Institutes to Remain Closed on Monday in 5 Districts

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Monsoon Damages in Himachal Pradesh

Shimla-Incessant rains for the last 36 hours have wreaked havoc in various districts of Himachal Pradesh, killing as many as 20 persons due to landslides, drowning, the collapse of walls etc. Nine deaths were reported from Shimla district only. In a major incident, a landslide near Regional Transport Office, Shimla, killed two girls and their mother. One person died in a wall collapse in the Cemetery area, while one death was reported from Jubbal area where a landslide buried a lady.

People killed in Shimla in landslide near RTO office

Landslide Near RTO Office, Shimla

Chamba and Kullu reported three deaths each. Other deaths were reported in district Solan, Sirmaur, and Bilaspur districts. Over 800 roads and about eight National Highways were closed due to landslide or damages due to overflowing rivers.

Pabbar River in upper Shimla area was seen flowing above the danger level. A large number of trees were also uprooted in Shimla causing damages to houses and vehicles.

Further, the Deputy Commissioner of Shimla, Amit Kashyap informed ANI that over 200 people were evacuated from Chopal and Rohru areas of the district to safe places. The premises of Hatkoti temple also witnessed water-logging. 

Further, the water level in dams like Bhakra, Pong and Pandoh, was reported to be close to the danger level. Like several other rivers and rivulets, the water level of River Beas was also reported to be above the danger level. The water released from the dams added to it. At some places, vehicles were seen being swept away in Beas. The Panchvaktra Temple was also submerged in the water partly. A part of the Manali-KulluNH went under the water near Dwara in Mandi, closing the road for traffic. Water-logging was reported at other places.

Following this widespread destruction, the district administrations of Shimla, Solan, Sirmaur, Kangra and Kullu have declared that all educational institutes including government, private and convent schools, colleges, universities, ITIs, Polytechnics and Anganwari Centres will remain closed on Monday.

Though the damage was yet to be assessed, it is said to be in hundreds of crores.

Misc News/Press Release

Heavy Rain, Snow in Himachal, Yellow Alert Issued for Nov 15

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Hp met weather prediction nov 2019

Shimla-The Himachal Pradesh Meteorological Department has predicted rain and snow from 14 to 16 November 2019. While rain at isolated places is predicted in middle and high hills on November 14, the Met has predicted heavy rain in low and middle hills and heavy snowfall in higher hills.

Weather prediction 2019

A yellow alert has been issued for November 15 in five districts -Chamba, Kangra, Kullu, Mandi, and Lahaul-Spiti.

The weather is predicted to be dry thereafter.  

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17 November Declared Paid Holiday for Municipal Council Elections

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MC elections in himachal pradesh 2019

Shimla-The Himachal Pradesh Government has declared 17 November 2019, as paid holiday in the areas of Municipal Council Solan and Nalagarh in district Solan and Rampur in district Shimla, where bye-election is scheduled to be held to fill up the vacant seats.

A Spokesperson of the state government said informed on Wednesday that all government offices, boards, corporations, educational institutions and industrial establishments of the state under Industrial Disputes Act and shops will remain closed on this day in the said areas.

He clarified that special casual leave may be given to those employees who are working in different places in the state but have a right to vote in these Wards on the production of a certificate from the concerned Presiding Officer that the employee has actually cast his/her vote.

 

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RTI Activist Writes to Governor over HPPSC Member Rachana Gupta’s Participation in Politically Dominated Event

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HPPSC Member Rachana Gupta at Global Investor meet

Shimla-The Member of Himachal Pradesh Public Service Commission, Rachana Gupta, who has been in controversy over her appointment, is again in news. This time, an RTI activist has written to the Governor of the State, Bandaru Dattatreya, pointing out the presence of Gupta in recently held Global Investor Meet, Dharamshala. A picture of Gupta with the wife of the Chief Minister Jairam Thakur at the event was also attached with the letter.

The activist has termed the event as political dominated in nature where prominent leaders of the party were present.

The activist, Dev Ashish Bhattacharya, in his letter, has asked whether Gupta had obtained any permission from the Chairman, HPPSC, to participate in the said event.

The activist also raised a question whether it was appropriate for a member of HPPSC to participate in any politically dominated meetings or events.

“Suppose the wife of a Chief Secretary is a High Court Judge, then can she justify her participation in a political dominated event by arguing that since her husband participated in that event as a Chief Secretary so she can also participate,”

said the activist in his letter.

He said such participation of an HPPSC member would only erode the sanctity of the Commission in the eyes of the candidates and their parents who take the competitive examinations. He also said that such an act would also lead to erosion of the faith that the candidates have in the HPPSC.

The activist said that already a complaint is pending in the office of the Governor relating to criminal case Gupta was facing at the time of her appointment as HPPSC member. In July 2019, Gupta had to obtain bail from the Joginder Nagar court, the activist said.

Referring to the well-known proximity of Gupta with the family of the Chief Minister, the activist said that she was appointed within a very short span of time right after the Jairam Thakur took over the government. A special vacancy was created for her despite the fact that at the time of her appointment there was no such vacancy.

The activist has requested the Governor to initiate an inquiry into the matter and remove Gupta from the membership of HPPSC “in the interest of justice to the candidates who appear in various competitive examinations being conducted by the institution.”

At the time of her appointment in January 2018, the activist had alleged that the Bhartiya Janata Party allegedly created and filled two seats of the member of the HP Public Service Commission by violating the orders of the Supreme Court regarding the proper procedure to make an appointment on such positions.

In addition, two posts were created when all three posts were already occupied, the activist had alleged.

In July 2019, Gupta had filed a defamation suit against a the activist for allegedly tarnishing her image and reputation by posting wrong posts on Facebook.  She had made claim of Rs 1 crore from Bhatacharya.

 

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