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Apple Growers in Himachal Duped of Rs. 80 Lakh, Govt Issues Guidelines for Horticulturists to Avoid Frauds

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Fraud with Himachal Apple Growers

Shimla-About 44 apple growers of Karsog region of Mandi district were allegedly duped by a dealer. These growers had sold the dealer 5000 boxes of apple approximately worth Rs 80 lakh during the months of July and August 2019.

It was revealed by Member of Legislative Assembly, Karsog Constituency, Hira Lal, in a letter to Chief Minister Jairam Thakur.

As per the MLA Hira Lal, a person named Parvaiz Ahmad Wagay, the owner of Sahil Fruit Company based in Singhanpura, Kulgaon, Kashmir, along with Kamal Singh of Village Bahli, Tehsil Kumarsain, Shimla, visited the Seri Bunglow, one of the area in MLA’s constituency, during the month of July-August, 2019.

Parvaij allegedly purchased packed apple boxes of approximately Rs 80 lakh from various growers of the area and gave them posted dated cheques as payments. These cheques were drawn on the HP State Cooperative Bank, Seri Bunglow, where Parvaij had opened an account recently, the MLA said in the letter.

“This person made purchases in the name of his firm without any challan and merely cheques were handed over to the growers, which was gross negligence on the part of my constituents,”

Hira Lal said.

“After taking almost 5000 packed boxes of apple, he suddenly disappeared from the area and switched off his mobile number. On the due date, when growers tried to encash the cheques, they bounced as the account lacked sufficient amount.”

he added.

An FIR has been filed at the Karsog Police station in this regard, he informed. However, he said, as the accused hails from Jammu and Kashmir, the local police would find it difficult to investigate the case. He urged the Chief Minister to form a Special Investigation Team comprising of high-rank police officials to nab the accused and recover the hard-earned money of growers from the accused.

The Additional Superintendent of Police, CID, confirmed the report and said about half-a-dozen of growers have approached him with a complaint of fraud by a Kashmiri dealer.
Following this case, the state government on Thursday issued guidelines to “prevent fraud against horticulturists/apple growers.”

The Guidelines Said:

  • Horticulturist must sell their apples to the registered/authorized dealers only and should ensure that the dealer is verified by the police.
  • The horticulturist should also check the authenticity of the license of the dealer.
  • For the transportation of the crop, the horticulturist should use vehicles of Registered Transport Union or Goods Transport Union.
  • The sales of the crop should take place through an online transaction.
  • If the dealer makes the payment through cheque, then the horticulturist must avoid post-dated cheque of long duration.
  • In case of failure in payment process by the dealer or cheque bounce, the horticulturist must immediately inform Secretary, APMC or Deputy Director Agriculture through a written complaint.

It’s not the first time that such case of fraud has appeared in Himachal Pradesh. A large number of cases are pending where dealers have not made payments to growers. Kisan Sangharsh Samiti had been raising this issue for several months now. With the help of the Samiti, some of the money was recovered after growers filed FIRs against dealers. Samiti had been alleging that inaction of APMC and the state government in checking entry of unregistered dealers or dealers with bad history into the market and allowing them to conduct business is encourging such cases.

The Agriculture Minister, Ramlal Markanda, in a statement to media a couple of days ago, had washed his hands of this responsibility by stating that he has no control over the APMC as it is not governed by the state government. He had further added that the markets of the entire state would come under the state government only after the APMC Bill 2019 is passed.

This statement of Markanda was questioned by MLA, Theog constituency, Rakesh Singh. Sinigha said that all the members of the APMC board are officials of the state government. Therefore, the state government can’t say that the board is not under its control. He had termed it a misleading statement.

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Himachal: 53 Succumb to Severe Covid Symptoms in 24 Hours, Spike in Fatality Rate Among Patients With No Comorbidities

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Shimla-On Monday, Himachal reported 4,359 new cases of coronavirus while 53 people succumbed to severe symptoms of infection. This took the state death toll to 1,925 and the total number of infections to 1,35,782 till now according to official data.

 Kangra district continues to report the highest numbers of daily deaths due to coronavirus. In the last 24 hours, the district reported 18 deaths. While the Solan district reported the second-highest casualties with eight deaths in the last 24-hours. The youngest patient to succumb to coronavirus was a 24-year-old man from the Solan district. The man died of sudden cardiopulmonary arrest with severe SARS COVID 19 Pneumonia according to official data. No other comorbidity was cited in the report.

About 16 of the deceased persons were aged below 50 years. According to the official statistics, at least 45 (84%) of the deceased had no comorbidities.

View the District-wise Details of all COVID-19 Cases for May 10, 2021 (Till 7 pm) Below:

dailly covid case himachal

Source: HP NHM

Meanwhile, in its recent press statement, a state government spokesperson said that the positivity rate of Covid-19 across the state has come out to be 26.3% in the last week. Districts of Kangra, Bilaspur, Hamirpur, Shimla, Mandi, Solan, and Sirmour have recorded a positivity rate of more than 20 percent from May 3 to May 9. 

In the last 24-hours, a total of 10,746 Covid testings was done across the state out of which 1,180 remains awaited.

Till now the state has conducted 16,33,923 sampling across the state however, the daily testing rate continues to fluctuate and remains below 20,000 tests per day.

Further, according to the government, by May 10, a total of 16,59,619 people had received the vaccine, out of which 38,0791 people had received both doses. Meanwhile, the state has gone under stricter corona curfew with restrictions imposed on interstate travelling as well.

View the District-wise Details of all COVID-19 Deaths for May 10, 2021 (Till 7 pm) Below:

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Himachal Achieved Highest Full Immunisation Coverage & Zero Vaccine Wastage, Claims HP NHM

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COVID-19 Vaccination in Himachal Pradesh

Shimla-The Government of Himachal Pradesh on Sunday claimed that the state has been able to achieve zero vaccine wastage during the COVID Vaccination programme that started on Jan 16, 2021 The vaccine wastage is -1.4% whereas, for some other states, it has been even more than 10%, the government claimed.

Dr. Nipun Jindal, Director, National Health Mission, said that the state received a total stock of 2119710, out of which a total of 1986812 doses were administered till 7h May 2020. The stock available at Cold Chain points after utilisation as per eVIN(Electronic Vaccine Intelligence Network) was 160730.  Hence, the number of net utilised doses was 1958980, he claimed.   

He informed that the vaccine is being administered through an AD (Auto Disabled) syringe.

Dr. Jindal claimed that according to NFHS-5 data, Himachal Pradesh has the highest Full Immunisation Coverage among all States in the entire country. Himachal Pradesh has sustained its routine Immunisation activities during the COVID pandemic as well.

Further, he informed that there are basically three reasons that lead to wastage. Transportation-related vaccine wastage occurs when vials and syringes get damaged in transit. Storage-related vaccine wastage happens when doses need to be thrown out because they could have developed possible defects as a result of improper temperature or humidity conditions. A vial not being used with maximum efficiency leads to wastage at the Vaccination Centre. A vial once opened also needs to be used up within a certain time limit. If the doses from the vial are not administered in time, they have to be thrown away.

Dr Jindal also informed that the vial generally contains more doses than mentioned and the state ensured to use the extra doses. He added that the Vaccinators were trained for loading and administering the doses as per the guidelines by the Health Department to ensure minimal wastage of the vaccine.  

“To minimise the vaccine wastage, the facilitated Cohort Mobilisation was done by the Health Workers, ASHAs and AWWs to maintain a staggered and continuous movement to the COVID vaccination Centre in Himachal Pradesh,” Dr. Jindal said.

He also informed that Govt. of India allocates vaccines to States/UTs based on the criteria of performance, the extent of infections and wastage of vaccines. Based on the above criteria, the State would be able to secure more vaccines from the central Government for the prioritized groups

Dr. Jindal also informed that 50 portable ventilators have been received from Switzerland and 150 oxygen concentrators from China in the form of international aid. He also informed that the State has also made the PSA Oxygen plant at Dr. RKGMC Hamirpur functional which is of 300 LPM capacity.

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Himachal Pradesh: Read Curfew Relaxation Timings in All Districts

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Himachal pradesh Curfew relaxation timings

Shimla-New curfew rules came into effect from Monday. The District Administrations have issued notifications regarding rules in their respective districts and timings of the opening of shops. Only shops dealing with pubic ration, daily needs and essential commodities like food grains, groceries, fruits, vegetables, dairy products, meat and fish, animal feed, fodder, seeds, fertilizers and pesticides, optical shops and motor mechanics shops would be allowed to open for only three hours. The people and shopkeepers would have to adhere to Covid SoPs, the notifications said.

However, the new curfew rules in Himachal would not apply to pharmaceutical and medical stores that can operate as per usual timings. The government has also allowed construction in government and private sectors, but

Further, movement of all public stage and contract carriage is restricted except for essential services. The public transport would remain completely closed and private vehicles would only be allowed for medical and other emergencies, vaccination, testing and treatment of Covid-19, performance or delivery of essential, medical and public services.

Restaurants and dhabas along the national highways have been allowed to operate as per usual timing. However, dhaba/restaurant owners say it doesn’t make much difference as private and public transport is restricted and most decided to remain closed.

Further, industries in Baddi-Barotiwala-Nalagarh (BBN), Parwanoo, and Chambaghat would remain open. The workers would have to carry identity card that mentions their timings of their shifts. 

Timings for Opening of Shops in Himachal Pradesh

Kangra 8 am-11 am
Shimla 10 am -1 pm
Mandi 10 am -1 pm
Hamirpur 8 am-11 am
Solan 8 am-11 am
Bilaspur 8 am-11 am
Kullu 10 am -1 pm
Chamba 10 am -1 pm
Kinnaur 9 am – 12 pm
Una 8 am-11 am
Lahaul-Spiti 11 am- 2 pm
Sirmaur 8 am – 11am
   

 

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