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HP Cabinet Decisions: Relief for Tourism Industry, Support to HPTDC, HRTC, HPSEB in Paying Salaries & More

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All HP Cabinet Decisions May 2, 2020

Shimla-A meeting of the Cabinet, Himachal Pradesh Government, was held on May 2, 2020. The Government took several decisions including relief/support to various departments as well as the hoteliers.

 Due to Covid-19 pandemic, agriculturists and horticulturists of the State have been facing huge losses. The farmers suffered huge losses as they were not able to market flowers and other exotic vegetables. Therefore, the Government had decided to compensate them to some extent. The Government said it is also endeavouring to provide all possible help to market their produce in the markets.

The tourism industry is worst affected due to this pandemic Therefore, the Government have decided to waive off electricity demand charges for six months thereby providing them relief of about Rs. 15 crore. Similarly, excise and taxation license fee would be waived off and lifting quota of bars would be on a pro-rata basis.

The government would also provide support to HPTDC by providing support to the Corporation for paying salaries of its employees. In addition to this, token tax and special road tax would be waived off for 4 months and no penalty would be imposed on owners of private vehicles on account of delay on renewal of registration and permits etc. Rs. 55 crore help would be provided to HRTC. 

To support the industry, GST refunds would be made at the earliest. HPSEB Ltd. has also suffered due to less demand of the industry, thus it would be adequately compensated, it the Cabinet decided.

The Cabinet decided that to revive the economy in the State, 120 days assured employment would be provided to the urban populace under a new Mukhya Mantri Shahari Rojgar Guarantee Yojna. For this, if required, adequate training would be provided for their skill upgradation.

During this pandemic, thousands of people of the State have come back from other States having experience and expertise in various fields. They would be identified and trained accordingly to provide them employment and self-employment avenues. It was also decided that expenditure on development works would be expedited in the State.  However, the unproductive and wasteful expenditure would be curtailed.

The State Government had provided Rs.2000 each to about one lakh workers registered under Building and Other Construction Workers Board and for this Rs. 20 crore had been spent. Now the Government decided to provide another Rs. 2000 each to these workers.

The Cabinet also said that the State Government would also take up the matter regarding EPFO , ESIC at appropriate level so that the same could be redressed at the earliest.

The Cabinet decided to convert the part-time  Class-IV workers engaged in various departments (except the part-time water carriers in Education Department) who have completed eight years of continuous services as on 31st March 2020 and those would be completing their eight years of continuous services on 30th September 2020 as daily wagers. 

Extension to Excise Policy, 2019-20 upto 31st May 2020

It also decided to give post facto approval for the extension of Excise Policy, 2019-20 upto 31st May 2020 and operation of Excise Policy 2020-21 from 1st June 2020 to 31st May 2021.  The retail excise licensees would not be required to deposit any excise levies for the period liquor vends remained closed due to the COVID-19 lockdown after 22nd March 2020.

The retail excise licensees will be allowed to lift the remaining Minimum Guaranteed Quota of 2019-20 if due, against the License fee deposited before 31st March 2020 and in case the complete License Fee has not been deposited by 31st March 2020 then such excise licensees will be allowed to lift the pending quota against the deposition of the pending Excise License Fee for 2019-20 in April/May 2020 whenever the vends are opened. If any, retail excise licensee lifts Country Liquor/IMF/Beer /Wine/Cider/BIO brands over and above the pending quota due of 2019-20, Excise Licensee will lift the same against the deposition of the prescribed levies as per the Excise Policy 2019-20.

The Cabinet also gave its nod to post-facto approval of an extension of Toll Policy 2019-20 upto 31st May 2020 and operation of Toll Policy 2020-21 from 1st June 2020 to 31st May 2021. The Toll Lessees will be allowed to deposit monthly toll fees for April and May 2020 based on their actual collection of toll fees.

The Cabinet gave its consent to create and fill up one post of Professor and one post of Assistant Professor in Department of Pathology and two posts of Assistant Professors in the Department of Psychiatry in IGMC, Shimla on regular basis to facilitate the people.

The Cabinet gave its approval to grant petroleum exploration license under Open Acreage Licensing Policy-Bid Round I in favour of M/s Vedanta Limited for petroleum exploration in Bali Chowki, Chachiot, Sarkaghat and Mandi area of Mandi district and Ghumarwin area of Bilaspur district.

 

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HP Cabinet Decisions Sept 24: Approval to Open Schools from 27 Sept,  Fill 8,000 Posts, Changes in Transfer Policy of JBT, C, and V Teachers

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HP Cabinet Decisions september 24, 2021

Shimla-Himachal Pradesh Cabinet, in a meeting held today, has decided to open schools from September 27 for the students of 9th to 12th classes. The students of class 10th and 12th would attend schools on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, whereas students of class 9th and 11th would attend schools on Thursday, Friday and Saturday in a week. Online classes and examinations will continue for classes upto 8th standard.  

Further, the HP Cabinet also decided to create and fill up 8000 posts of Multi-Task Workers in the educational institutions under the Higher and Elementary Departments as per the provisions of the Part-Time Multi-Task Workers Policy 2020. As per the policy, these Multi-Task Workers would be provided with a consolidated honorarium of Rs. 5625 per month for 10 months in one academic year.

The Cabinet decided to amend the transfer policy for inter-district transfer of JBT and C and V teachers in the State by reducing the existing tenure from 13 years to five years, including the contract period, for transfer to another district and also increase the quota from existing 3% to 5%.

It also decided to enhance the honorarium of IT teachers outsourced in various educational institutions in the State by Rs. 500 per month from April 1st, 2021.

It also gave its approval for renaming Forest Training Institute and Rangers College Sundernagar as Himachal Pradesh Forest Academy.

The HP Cabinet gave its consent to draft a proposal for the Customised Package of Incentives for Mega Industrial Projects in the State under Himachal Pradesh Industrial Investment Policy and Rules -2019.

It gave its approval for filling up 20 posts of Naib Tehsildar in the Revenue Department through direct recruitment on regular basis.

It also gave its approval to the policy of replacement/maintenance of damaged crash barriers in the State.

It also decided to rename Himachal Grihini Suvidha Yojna as Mukhyamantri Grihini Suvidha Yojna.

It also decided to rename Himachal Health Care Yojna- Himcare as Mukhyamantri Himachal Health Care Yojna-Himcare.

The Cabinet gave its nod to rename Sahara Yojna as Mukhyamantri Sahara Yojna.

The Cabinet gave its consent to create and fill up 10 posts of different categories in Himachal Pradesh Staff Selection Commission, Hamirpur for its smooth functioning.

The Cabinet decided to upgrade Primary Health Centre Swarghat in Bilaspur district to Community Health Centre along with the creation of requisite posts.

It also decided to upgrade Primary Health Centre Gadsa in Banjar area of Kullu district to Community Health Centre along with creation of requisite posts to man this health institution. 

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Kinnaur Landslide: 14 Bodies Recovered in 30 Hours, Several Still Missing

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Kinnaur landslide rescue operation photos

Kinnaur: Landslide in Kinnaur district is unfolding as one of the biggest catastrophe in Himachal Pradesh as the of fatality count continues to rise. After 30 hours of the rescue operation, which was hampered multiple times due to shooting stones at the site, 14 dead bodies had been recovered till the suspension of the operation on Thursday evening. While 10 bodies were recovered on Wednesday, four more were exhumed from the rubble on Thursday.

As many as 15 persons were rescued and taken to Bhavanagar CHC for treatment.

The wreckage of the HP Road Transport Corporation bus was found scattered about 500 meters below the National Highway-5 in Nigulsari – the site of the massive landslide. The condition of the wreckage suggested there was little hope of survival of any passenger. The distraught relatives of the missing persons remained at the site, grieving with diminishing hope to see their family members alive as the rescue operation for today was suspended.

Kinnaur HRTC Bus wreckage

HRTC Bus Wreckage

The state of exhumed bodies added to the horror of the families, as well as, the rescuers. Some of the bodies were in such a state that their identification was next to impossible. While some bodies had their limbs cut off, one of them was found without the head.

As the rescue operation would be entering its third day on Friday, the death toll is likely to rise as the driver of the bus, who had survived the accident and was seriously injured, had estimated that 25-30 passengers were onboard when the landslide pushed it down the NH.

Further, there is still no sign of one vehicle (Bolero SUV), informed Director, State Disaster Management, Sudesh Kumar Mokhta. The exact number of people feared to be buried under the rubble was yet to be ascertained. According to the district administration, based on calls received from families, the number of missing people could be anywhere between 30-50.

Kinnaur rescue operation resumes

Meanwhile, some family members of the missing persons complained that while the rescue operation was initiated immediately from the Negulsari side, JCB machines took over five hours to reach the spot from the Chauri side. They complained that such a big delay was crucial and could have saved more lives.

It’s pertinent to mention that the HRTC bus had remained untraceable on Wednesday and the wreckage was found on the second day of the rescue operation. However, most passengers were yet to be traced.  

According to the Deputy Commandant, ITBP, Dharmender Thakur, shooting stones and sliding rubble posed a huge challenge for the rescue teams, which comprised of hundreds of personnel of NDRF, ITBP, Home-Guards, local police, and CISF. Undertaking this operation on a steep slope further created difficult circumstances for the teams. The lives of the rescuers were also at risk as the site remained vulnerable to reactivation of landslide.

This landslide in the Kinnaur district has become a matter of debate for geologists, environmentalists, seismologists and climatologists. Unscientific cutting of fragile mountains and blasting for the widening of roads and construction of tunnels for hydropower projects, changing patterns of rains, and seismic activity are being referred to be the reasons behind the increased incidents of landslides, especially in Kinnaur district.

At the same time, the inability of the state government to consider technical suggestions given by geological experts from time to time for mitigation of such hazards is also finding mention in the critical comments given by experts. The lackadaisical attitude of the government in the adoption of technologies, such as the early warning system developed by the IIT Mandi for mountainous regions vulnerable to landslides, is also attracting criticism.

It’s pertinent to mention that after the Kotrupi disaster – a massive landslide that had buried two buses and claimed 48 lives in August 2017-experts from IIT Mandi had carried out surveys and studies and provided several suggestions for minimizing damages, which fell into deaf ears.  

The deceased were identified as:

  1. Rohit Kumar
  2. Vanshuka
  3. Meera Devi
  4. Nitisha
  5. Prem Kumar
  6. Gyan Dassi
  7. Devi Chand
  8. Kumari Radhika
  9. Bhupender
  10. Kamlesh Kumar
  11. Lakshman Thapa
  12. Vijay Kumar

Two others were yet to be identified. The state government has announced ex-gratia of Rs 4 lakh to the kin of the deceased and Rs 5o thousand to the injured. HRTC has also announced Rs. 1 lakh ex-gratia to the passengers of the bus killed in the mishap. 

Further, Chief Minister Jairam Thakur and several other political leader visited the spot and met the relatives of victims on Thursday. 

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Kinnaur Tragedy: HRTC Bus Wreckage Found, Death Toll Rises to 13 and Likely Rise

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Kinnaur HRTC Bus wreckage

Kinnaur-The rescue operation at the site of the landslide in Nigulsari, Nichar Tehsil of the Kinnaur district, was resumed on Thursday morning. The wreckage of the ill-fated bus of the HP Road Transport Corporation was found 500 meters below the road and about 200 meters above the Sutlej River. The pictures showed that the bus was completely crushed and torn to pieces. 

So far, 13 dead bodies had been recovered and 14 injured including the driver and the conductor of the HRTC bus, which was on its way from Reckong Peo to Haridwar, were rescued and taken to hospital. The death toll is likely to rise as the passengers were yet to be traced. According to the driver, there were 25-30 passengers in the bus when it was hit by the landslide. A Bolero SUV alongwith passengers was also missing and was yet to be traced.  

Kinnaur rescue operation resumes

The mishap occurred at about 12:30 pm on Wednesday. The rescue operation was suspended at 9 pm due to dark conditions and shooting stones, which made the rescue operation difficult.

Till the suspension of the operation, the rescue teams comprising of NDRF, ITBP, Home-Guards, Central Industrial Security Force, and local police had traced three cars and a tipper.  

The rescue teams were searching from two directions and were using drones too.   

Kinnaur tragedy drone picture

The landslide had hit about 200 meters patch of the National Highway-5 – about 10 kilometres away from Bhavanagar.

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