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Community Spread Haunts Solan, Sirmaur, Cases in Shimla Also on The Rise

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Himachal pradesh - solan and Sirmaur covid-19 cases

Shimla: Himachal Pradesh reported 33 new cases of COVID-19 infection on Tuesday from Sirmaur (13), Solan (7), Kangra (7), Shimla (3), Hamirpur (2), and Kullu (1). Yesterday, a 75-year-old woman who was suffering from chronic-kidney disease died at the Nerchowk COVID hospital, taking the official COVID-19 death toll to 10.

Today, according to the Health Department’s latest update (12 PM), 17 more persons tested positive in Chamba (4), Mandi (3), Una (3)and Sirmaur (7) districts, taking the state’s COVID-19 tally to 1681. Of these total cases, 577 are active and 1077 have recovered.

Community spread haunts Solan (381) and Sirmaur (130) districts as more cases continue to appear. In Solan, the industrial belt is the worst-hit. Seven more workers of Sara Textile in Nalagarh tested positive on Tuesday. Officials of the district administration and the Health Department are concerned about the situation and are trying to prevent a community spread. But the government maintains that the spike in cases is merely due to entry of migrant laborers and returnees from other states.

HP Health Department COVID-19 Bulletin July 22 (12 PM)

Himachal pradesh community spread in sirmaur and solan

Sirmaur district reported 12 cases on Tuesday of which 10 persons belonged to Govindgarh (Mohalla) locality. This morning seven more reported to have tested positive in Sirmaur including five from Govindgarh that has become a hot-spot now. The locality alone has reported 75 cases within the last seven days. People in Nahan are also in a state of panic with this explosion in COVID-19 cases.

The district administrations in Solan and Sirmaur are compelled to review the availability of beds and medical facilities.

A BJP Leader in Mandi and a Staff Member at Chief Minister’s Office Test Positive

Today, a local leader of Bharatiya Janata Party in Mandi district and a staff member at the Chief Minister’s office tested positive. The staff member who tested positive is said to be a Deputy Secretary to the Chief Minister. Following the appearance of this case, the Chief Minister has been quarantined and samples of several other staff members and officials at the state secretariat would be taken for testing. Not much detail is available regarding the contact and travel history as of yet, there are speculations that BJP leader from Mandi had been meeting other leaders of the party regularly. The Deputy Secretary is said to have met the same leader recently. 

The four cases reported in Chamba this morning includes an army jawan and a policeman.

Further, a stir can be witnessed in Shimla district as more cases continue to appear. The total for Shimla district has risen to 97 and is inching towards the 100 mark.

Meanwhile, Additional Chief Secretary (Health) RD Dhiman has attributed the rise in the number of cases to the entry of migrant labourers to the state. Defending the state government’s decision to open the state for all including tourists, Dhiman said that no cases have been reported among tourists so far.  On Wednesday, Dhiman claimed that the spread of coronavirus is under control in the state. He also claimed that there is no threat of community spread and the state is doing much better than other states. The spike in the cases was temporary he had told media. 

The number of COVID-19 cases in India is also rising fast with over 1.1 million people already infected and over 28,000 thousand dead. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology estimates that by the end of next year, India will have the worst outbreak in the world.

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Himachal First State to Complete Assessment of Snow Leopard and its Wild Prey

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Snow Leopard Population Assessment in Himachal Pradesh

Shimla-The assessment of snow leopard population in Himachal Pradesh has been completed by the state wildlife wing in collaboration with Nature Conservation Foundation (NCF) Bangalore following the protocol aligning with the SPAI (Snow Leopard Population Assessment in India) protocols of the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change. Himachal Pradesh has become the first state to complete assessment of snow leopard and its wild prey.

The state has an estimated population of up to 73 snow leopards.

It is the first scientifically robust estimate of snow leopards and its prey for the State. Since snow leopard is the state animal, the study assumes great significance for Himachal Pradesh.
The exercise revealed that snow leopard density ranged from 0.08 to 0.37 individuals per 100 sq.km., with the trans-Himalayan regions of Spiti, Pin valley and upper Kinnaur recording the highest densities, both of the predator and its prey, mainly ibex and blue sheep.

This study covered the entire potential snow leopard habitat of Himachal Pradesh: an area of 26,112 sq.km., utilising a stratified sampling design. Camera trapping surveys were conducted at 10 sites to representatively sample all the strata i.e. high, low and unknown. The camera trap deployment over the mountainous terrains was led by a team of eight local youth of Kibber village and more than 70 frontline staff of HPFD were trained in this technique as part of the project. Snow leopards were detected at all the 10 sites (Bhaga, Chandra, Bharmour, Kullu, Miyar, Pin, Baspa, Tabo, Hangrang & Spiti) suggesting that snow leopards are found in the entire snow leopard habitat in Himachal Pradesh either as resident individuals of a population or as dispersing individuals navigating through these connecting habitats.

Another revelation from the study is that a bulk of snow leopard occurrence is outside protected areas, reiterating the fact that local communities are the strongest allies for conservation in snow leopard landscapes.

The NCF and wildlife wing collaborated in the effort and it took three years to complete the assessment. MoEFCC had launched the First National Protocol on Snow Leopard Population Assessment in India, on the occasion of International Snow Leopard Day. You can read the complete protocol here.

Snow leopard is the icon of high mountains of Asia. In India, they inhabit the higher Himalayan and TransHimalayan landscape in an altitudinal range between approximately 3,000 m to 5,400 m above MSL, spanning c. 100,000 km2 in the five states of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh. This area contributes to about 5% of the global snow leopard range.

Snow leopards occur over a vast, relatively remote and difficult to access mountainous area. Together with their elusive nature, this makes a complete population census of snow leopards an unfeasible goal. Even their distribution remains unclear. For example, recent surveys show that they do not occur in 25 % of the area that was thought to be their range in the state of Himachal Pradesh Their density is expected to be variable in space, dependent on several factors such as habitat suitability, prey availability, disturbance and connectivity. Variation in density across space also poses the risk of biased sampling, and, indeed, most of the snow leopard population assessments conducted so far across the world are biased towards the best habitats.

Feature Photo: Pexels/Charles Miller

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Himachal Records 81% Turnout in 3rd Phase of PRI Polls, Congress Makes a Come Back in Theog MC after 20 Years

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third phase of Panchayat elections in himachal pradesh

Shimla-The third phase of elections to Panchayati Raj Institutes in Himachal Pradesh recorded around 81 percent polling on January 21, 2021. The elections were held in 1137 Gram Panchayats in this phase. The highest 94 percent polling was registered in Lodhi Majra Panchayat of Nalagarh development block in Solan district. This information was released by a spokesperson of HP Election Commission

District-wise, Sirmaur recorded 85% turnout, followed by Solan (85%) Kullu (84%),Chamba (82.8%), Mandi (82.7%), Una (81.1%), Shimla (82%),Una (81%), Bilaspur (80.3%), Hamirpur (78.1%), Kangra (78%), and Kinnaur (70%).

 Further, 48 COVID-19 patients and persons in isolation also cast their votes.

The Spokesperson said that the poll was held peacefully and there was no report of any untoward incident in the state.

Counting of votes for Zila Parishad and Panchayat Samiti will be held on January 22, 2021, at block headquarters.

Congress made a come back to Theog Municipal Council after 20 years. While Vivek Thapar was elected as the Chairman of the MC, Reen Roy was elected as the Vice-Chairman. Congress has already registered wins in Rohru and Rampur MCs and Chopal, Kotkhai and Sunni Nagar panchayats.

Theog MC Polls 2021

Congress After Registering Victory in Theog MC Elections

The HPCC chief Kuldeep Singh Rathore, while speaking to media persons yesterday, said that of the total seven Wards of the Theog MC, Congress has claimed victory on four wards while remaining three Wards went to independent candidates. Congress alleged that BJP had left no stone unturned to pressurize, lure, and threaten elected members to gain their support. 

Rathore mocked at the defeat of BJP MP’s bother in Mandi district. Further, the candidate in Ghumarwin of Bilaspur – home district of BJP Chief Jagat Prakash Nadda-  had also faced defeat, Rathore said. BJP candidate in Sujanpur – home to Union Minister for State for Finance and Corporate Affairs Anurag Thakur-could also not register a victory and lost, he said.

Congress also registered a victory in elections to Parwanoo MC. Kuldeep Singh Rathore, said that winning candidate Nisha Sharma joined Congress yesterday. She had won twice from the same Ward on BJP ticket. This time, she was denied ticket and fought the elections as an independent candidate. 

Parwanoo Counciloor Nisha sharma

Nisha Sharma Joins Congress

Rathore alleged that the government has been trying to threaten Nisha by registering a fake case of illegal construction. Similarly, husband of Chandrawati – another Congress councilor in Parwanoo- who runs a depot was fined wrongfully yesterday, Rathore alleged.   

While BJP has been making claims of victory on the majority of seats, Congress had been terming it as a bluff.  Also, it had been alleging BJP of misusing government machinery. Independent candidates are being bought and allurements are being given to winning Congress candidates, Rathore alleged.  

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Himachal: 80% Voter Turnout in 2nd Phase of Panchayat Polls

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Second phase of Panchayat elections in himachal pradesh

Shimla-Himachal Pradesh Election Commission informed that the elections for 1208 Gram Panchayats were held today in the second phase in which around 80 percent polling was registered.

Overall, 75 COVID-19 patients and persons in isolation cast their votes as per the standard operating procedures.

The highest polling has been registered in Nandpur Gram Panchayat of Nalagarh developmental block of Solan district where the voter turnout was reported to be 96 percent.

The poll was held peacefully and there was no report of any untoward incident in the state. The counting of votes for Pradhan, Up-Pradhan and members was under the process and the results were awaited till late evening. The counting of votes for Zila Parishad and Panchayat Samiti will be held on 22 January 2021 at block headquarters.

Election-related process and results have been uploaded for the general public on sechimachal.nic.in.

The election for third and final phase for 1137 Panchayats would be held on 21 January 2021.

The first phase of elections to Panchayati Raj Institutions in Himachal Pradesh was held in 1228 Gram Panchayats on January 17, 2021. The overall polling percentage in the first phase was reported to 77.50%.

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