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HP Health Dept Scam: Vigilance Probe an Eyewash, ‘Medical Mafia’ Given Time to Destroy Evidence, Alleges CPI(M)

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Himachal PRadesh Health department scam vigilance probe

Shimla-The alleged scams in the Health Department of Himachal Pradesh Government in the purchase of medical equipment like PPE kits, ventilators, sanitizers etc. in a time of a pandemic has shocked the people. Alleged corruption in the Government Departments has come as a shock because during an emergency like corona pandemic when the positive cases are still spiraling upward in the State, it was expected that corrupt officials and politicians would spare the people as it was about their lives.  

Also Read: HP Health Dept Scam: Accused Director Granted Bail

The State Government led by the Chief Minister Jairam Thakur might have ordered a probe into the scam but questions are being raised over the authenticity of these investigations as influential politicians from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party have been linked to these scams.

Also Read: Official Suspended in ‘HP Secretariat Sanitizer Scam’

The opposition, some senior leaders of the ruling party, MLAs, and activists in the State are of the opinion that the Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau is just another tool under the State Government. Chief Minister Jairam Thakur is running the Health Ministry, and the sudden resignation of BJP Chief Rajeev Bindal after a week the scam came to light has already raised several questions.

Also Read: HP Health Dept Scam: There is More to It Than Just Alleged Bribery

The opposition Congress and the Communist Party of India (Marxist) have been expressing fears of biased investigations in which justice won’t be served. Both had been demanding transfer of the case to the State High Court. Congress has already submitted a memorandum regarding the same to the Governor. On June 3, 2020, Theog MLA Rakesh Singha with a delegation of CPI(M) also met the Governor with a demand of transferring the case to the State High Court for a fair probe.   

In its memorandum, the party said that there is prima facie evidence to establish the failure of the government to prevent corruption in the purchase of vital health equipment required to combat corona pandemic. 

Also Read: HP Health Dept Issues Clarification Over Alleged Irregularities in ‘Ventilator Purchase’

In the memorandum, the party cited several reasons to convince the Governor that the Vigilance Inquiry instituted by the HP Government is just an eye wash.

Following are the reasons/facts cited in the memorandum:

(Note: The below-given information has not been edited by Himachal Watcher and published as mentioned in the memorandum)

  1. The Vigilance investigation failed to take steps between 21.05.2020 and 25.05.2020 to siege relevant documents, question the possible chain of culprits, and take relevant persons in their custody when one of the accused Dr. AK Gupta was allowed admission in IGMC. In fact, it is with the tacit approval of the Vigilance that the accused was permitted to avoid investigation at the earliest point of time and opportunity was given to the “Medical Mafia” to destroy relevant evidence available. Political Powerful of the ruling party are remote controlling the Corruption Gangsters.
  2. It is indigestible that Mr. Prithvi Singh the Marketing Manager of Apex Diagnostics and Former President (SC Morcha) BJP, District Sirmour was not taken into custody under the provisions of Section 8 of the Prevention of Corruption (Amended) Act 2018. He has been given preferential treatment for obvious reasons.
  3. The of the Vigilance team is determined to exonerate the accused, which is evident from the fact that by examination of the purchase of various items essential for dealing COVID19 pandemic would have unearthed another corruption deal of the 10 ventilators purchased by the Health Department. Which, as per the report of the Danik Jagran, the so-called ventilator were purchased for approximately Rupees Ten lacs each while the same ventilator cost approximately Rupees 3 lacs only. Had it not been for the vigilante media, this vital fact would also have been brushed under the carpet.

Moreover, historically the organ of Vigilance department has been used as a tool by successive governments:

(i) To dilute the obvious resentment of the people whenever corruption cases are brought to light by the media, by competing groups attempting to corner the fruits of corrupt practices, or unearthing corrupt deals by progressive forces in the society.

(ii) To shield the corrupt but at the same time create illusions amongst the people that the government is serious on the issue of corrupt practices and the culprits would not be spared.

“ You are also well aware under the era of crony capitalism the nexus of the corporate, bureaucracy and politicians needs to be smashed to save the system from a total collapse which is heading towards given the depth and intensity of the crises which is the visible world over,”

the memorandum stated.

Therefore, the party requested the Governor to intervene under the special  powers bestowed  on his honorable office  by the Constitution  of India to direct the government  on specific  issues i.e.:

  1. To direct the Government to hand over the corruption case of purchase of medical items and equipment (e.g. Personal Protection Equipment (PPEs), sanitizers etc.) being investigated by the Himachal Pradesh Vigilance department to the Hon’ble High Court for appropriate directions as well as investigations.
  2. To direct the Himachal Pradesh Government to place all fund collections received by it for combating COVID-19 pandemic in the public domain by publishing a white paper.
  3. To advice the Government to constitute an Ethical Committee for approval of all medical equipment purchased for dealing with COVID-19 as mandated per the Medical Devices Rules, 2017 and abide by the guidelines of the Drug Controller General of India in relation to items which fall within its purview. The system should be placed to put all the details of purchases, tenders and stock be placed in the public domain, preferably on Government web site.

 

 

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Himachal Records Fresh Spell of Snow, HP Met Issues Alert

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snowfall in himachal pradesh

Shimla-The weather in Himachal Pradesh has taken a turn with a prediction of rain and snowfall till December 5, 2021. At the time of writing this report, Kaza in Lahaul-Spiti was receiving a fresh spell of snow, cheering the tourists, as well as, the hoteliers. So far, the traffic movement was normal in the region.

This has caused a sharp drop in temperatures across the state.

The District Administration of Lahaul-Spiti has advised the locals and tourists to avoid wandering to high altitude areas unnecessarily.

The HP Meteorological Department, Shimla, has also issued a yellow alert for December 2 and December 5. While the plains can experience light to moderate rainfall at a few places,  the middle and higher hills could witness widespread rain and snow on December 2.   

For December 4, the HP Met had predicted light to moderate rain across the state. For December 5, however, the Met has issued an yellow alert with a prediction of rain and snow at several places.

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UHF Nauni Extends Online Plant Booking Date Till Dec 7

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Plant booking at uhf nauni 2021

Solan-Dr. YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry (UHF), Nauni has extended the last date for online booking of planting material prepared by the university’s main campus and its Krishi Vigyan Kendra(KVK) at Solan. Interested farmers will now be able to book plants on the university online portal till December 7.

This year the booking for the planting material of apple, plum, apricot, peach, kiwi, pear, pomegranate, persimmon, etc. is being done online and farmers can submit their demand for plants by logging on the university website and visiting the ‘Farmers corner’ section. The university has advised the farmers to register themselves through their email address on the university portal.

The farmers who have not been able to submit their demand forms have also been advised to resubmit their demand forms.  

Applicants will have to fill in their complete postal address and the Khasra number of the land where the planting is to be carried out along with their contact details. After the OTP-based registration process is complete, applicants will be able to book plants for varieties supplied by the university. The plant varieties available for sale and distribution on this web portal have been grafted on seedling rootstock. The procedure for the sale and distribution of Nursery Fruit Plants from other University Research Stations and KVK’s will be the same as in previous years.

The university will start the allotment process after the booking is closed. Based on the total demand, the university will allot plants out of the available quantity. The allotment list will be made available on the university portal. The farmers will be also be notified about the date on which the plant will be available and from which nursery they will be provided.

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HP Police Becomes 8th State Police of India to Receive Presidents Colour Award

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HP Police Presidents Colours award

Shimla-Himachal Pradesh Police organized the Presidents Colour Award ceremony at the historic Ridge Ground on December 1, 2021.

Governor Rajendra Vishwanath Arlekar was the Chief Guest and Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur was also present as a special guest on the occasion. The Governor honoured the State Police with the Presidents Colour Award which was received by the Director-General of Police Sanjay Kundu.

While extending greetings and expressing happiness on receiving the Presidents Colour by Himachal Pradesh Police, the Governor said that it was the 8th State Police of India which has received this distinction.

“President Colour’ is a special achievement and this proves the state police ranks high in the service of humanity along with performance, professionalism, integrity, protection of human rights and other parameters,” said the Governor.

HP Police Presidents Colours award ceremony

The Governor honoured the State Police with the Presidents Colour Award which was received by the Director-General of Police Sanjay Kundu.

He added that this feat has also been given to the State Police for the contribution of its personnel, who have worked tirelessly over the years to make it reliable, professional, honest and people-friendly. He said it would definitely motivate the Police personnel and they would work more readily in public service.

While interacting with media on the occasion, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur congratulated the State Police for being awarded President’s Colours by the President of India for its meritorious services. He said that this Award was the highest point in the professional life of any uniform. 

Director-General of Police Sanjay Kundu said that the President’s Color’was not only an award but also a responsibility, which the Himachal Pradesh Police has to fulfil with more integrity, efficiency and discipline.

He added that every Jawan of the State Police should take a pledge to maintain security and peace in Devbhumi Himachal Pradesh.

Earlier, the Governor inspected the Parade. On the occasion, the formation of Hollow Square by the Police Band, Pilling of drums and consecration of the colour was the main attraction

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