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Shimla Mayor Left Embarrassed as District Admin Breaks into Her Office for Eviction, Makes it Prestige Issue

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Shimla Mayor and DC Shimla

Shimla-Mayor of Shimla town, Kusum Sadrate, faced an embarrassment after a team of district administration broke into her office located at the Deputy Commissioner Office building and evicted it in her absence. The Mayor was in Pachhad to campaign for the candidate of Bharatiya Janata Party. Now, the Mayor has made it a prestige issue. The Mayor said she would meet the Chief Minister, file a case and demand transfer of the DC, Amit Kashyap.

The action of district administration created a stir among the SMC staff and ward councillors.

More embarrassing was the fact that ruling BJP’s own Councillors did not show any resistance or protest. Instead, they watched it like mute spectators. On her return, the Mayor held a meeting with its councillors over the issue. However, only half-a-dozen BJP Councillors attended this meeting.  This silence of BJP’s own Councillor is being seen as the result of friction between the Mayor and Councillors.

The action was even condemned by former Mayor, Sanjay Chauhan, and Councillors of Congress. They termed treating the first citizen of Shimla in such a disgraceful manner as unfortunate.

It’s a clear violation of rights given to Municipal Corporation and its bodies through 74th Amendment in the constitution. There is a provision of a three-tier system of governance and MC, elected democratically by the people, is also a part of it. The attitude towards such a constitutional body raises serious questions over the working of the government in a democratic system, Chauhan said. He has demanded action against the officials responsible for such disgraceful action. He also brought up the issue of ownership of the Town Hall, which used to be the office SMC for decades. He said the government has already deprived the SMC of its own property.

Congress also took a jibe and said that the Mayor’s own government has little or no respect for her.

The team that was formed by the Deputy Commissioner, Shimla, said the action came after the Mayor and Deputy Mayor did not evict the offices despite notices served to them on October 18, 2019. It’s pertinent to mention that the Mayor and the Deputy Mayor have already been given offices in the Town Hall, which was renovated recently.  Some internal sources from the SMC, on the condition of anonymity, said the Mayor wanted to keep both offices, which invited such action from the district administration.

On Saturday morning, the team found that the office of the Mayor was locked. The team broke into the office along with some labourers and removed the belongings and shifted them to a store. Later, the team replaced the lock.

The officials of the Shimla MC said that the team did not ask them even once to hand over the keys to the office and instead preferred to break in without any information.

The SMC official also alleged that they had replied to the notice served by the district administration on Friday in which it was mentioned that the Mayor is out of town and would return after a couple of days. In this letter, it was replied that the office would be evicted as soon as the Mayor arrives in Shimla. However, the SMC said, officials at the DC office declined to receive this letter containing a reply and asked to send it through the post.

The Mayor questioned the need to take such a step. She asked whether there was some kind of emergency due to which the district administration could not wait for a couple of days.

Misc News/Press Release

Himachal Scientist Conferred National Fellowship for Outstanding Work in Floriculture, Landscaping

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Dr YC Gupta, a senior scientist of the Dr YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry (UHF), Nauni 1

Solan: Dr YC Gupta, a senior scientist of the Dr YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry (UHF), Nauni has been conferred fellowship of the Indian Academy of Horticultural Sciences. The fellowship was conferred for Dr Gupta’s outstanding contributions to the field of floriculture and landscaping.

Dr Gupta is presently working as the Dean of College of Horticulture and Centre of Excellence for Horticulture, Research and Extension, Thunag, Distt Mandi. He was conferred with the fellowship during the Indian Horticulture Congress 2019 at NAAS Complex, New Delhi held recently.

Born in Mandi, Dr Gupta obtained his BSc and MSc in 1986 from Agra University. After completing his doctorate in horticulture (Floriculture and Landscaping) from IARI, New Delhi, Dr Gupta joined UHF as Assistant Floriculturist in 1988. He served as Professor and Head of Department of Floriculture and Landscape Architecture for 12 years after which in 2019 he became the founding dean of the fourth constituent college of the university at Thunag.

Dr Gupta During the Indian Horticulture Congress 2019 at NAAS Complex, New Delhi


Dr Gupta has been associated in the development of seven hybrids of Gladiolus, five hybrids in Marigold, four hybrids in Antirrhinum and 3 hybrids in Pansy besides a patent named ‘HIMFLORA- a computerized botanical database of wild ornamentals of Himachal Pradesh’. Two varieties, Solan Mangla of Gladiolus and Solan Shringar of Chrysanthemum were released in 2014 and Virbhadra Singh, a variety of carnation was released in 2016.

Besides being the National Chairman for DUS testing of Carnation and Lilium under PPVFRA, Dr Gupta is a life member of various professional societies. The American Biographical Institute, USA conferred on him an honorary appointment in the year 2000. He is also the Fellow of Society for Recent Development in Agriculture and Indian Society of Ornamental Horticulture (ISOH) and the recipient of ISOH’s Lotus Puraskar 2011. He also won the Dr Manmohan Attawar Gold Medal Award in floriculture for the year 2016 by the Horticultural Society of India.

In his career spanning over nearly 31 years in teaching, research and extension including administration, Dr Gupta has guided several MSc and PhD students and has numerous research papers, books, book chapters, popular articles, and technical bulletins to his credit.

He has handled more than 17 externally funded and 8 state-funded research projects. UHF University Vice-Chancellor Dr Parvinder Kaushal and other scientists and staff and students congratulated Dr Gupta on his achievement.   

 

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ITBP Head Constable from Himachal Among 6 Shot Dead by Own Colleague

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Himachal ITBP head constable mahinder singh

Shimla-Six personnel reportedly died and two were injured when one of them opened fire with his service rifle following some dispute at an ITBT camp in insurgency-hit Narayanpur district of Bastar, Chhattisgarh on November 4, 2019.  This information was released by the Director General of Police,Chhattisgarh, DM Awasthi.

One of the personnel, Head Constable Mahender Singh, hailed from Barthi area of Bilaspur district. He is survived by his parents, wife, and two sons.

As per the DGP, there was some dispute which led to this fratricidal incident in which one of the personnel, Constable Masudul Rahman (West Bengal), opened fire on his colleagues at the Kedarnar camp of ITBP’s 45th battalion.  

“The ITBP personal who shot his five colleagues committed suicide with his own rifle and died on the spot,”

TOI quoted DGP.

As per another report, while the reason for the dispute is still not known, there is a speculation that the constable accused of opening fire was upset as he wasn’t granted leaves. However, the exact cause was yet to be ascertained.

Other four deceased included Head Constable Daljit Singh (Punjab), Constable Surjit Sarkar (West Bengal), Biswaroop Mahtoo (West Bengal) and Brijeesh (Kerala).

 Injured were identified as constable SB Ullass (Kerala) and constable Sitaram Doon (Rajasthan).

A probe has been ordered, ITBP officials confirmed.  

 

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Monkey Sterilization in Himachal Working, Farmers Feeling Relieved, Claims Forest Minister

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Monkey Sterlization in Himachal Pradesh

Shimla-Forest, Transport and Youth Sports Minister, Govind Singh Thakur, claims that sterilization of monkeys has proved to be a successful solution in Himachal Pradesh and providing relief to the farmers. So far, one lakh 57 thousand monkeys have been sterilized in eight monkey sterilization centres of forest department in the state, the Minister claimed.

While the people did not report any relief from monkey menace, the Minister claimed the situation has improved as per the government.

He said the incentive to capture monkeys has been increased to Rs. 1000. Local people would be given training by the forest department to capture monkeys. It was discussed that workshops should be organized in vulnerable panchayats to provide training to the locals.

The Minister was presiding over one day workshop on ‘Human-Wildlife Conflict’ at Shimla organized by the Wild life wing of Himachal Pradesh Forest Department on November 3, 2019.

Forest Minister said that 548 panchayats of the state are vulnerable to monkey menace.

Principal Chief Conservator Dr Savita said 1100 monkey hotspots have been identified in the state. She informed that 91 Tehsils/sub-Tehsils and Municipal Corporation Shimla area have been declared vermin for a period of one year.

Emphasis was laid on the plantation of fruit-bearing saplings in forests so that monkeys don’t enter human settlements in search of food.

However, no discussion was done on keeping human settlements clean and discourage littering of food waste which attracts monkeys, especially in cities.

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