Shimla-Himachal Pradesh Cabinet on Wednesday held a meeting under the Chairmanship of Chief Minister Thakur Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu. Here are the decisions taken by the Cabinet:
Approval to Construction in Shimla’s Green Belt Areas
The Cabinet also decided to amend the Shimla Development Plan and construction would be permitted in green belt area lying above the road, from Navbahar to Ram Chandra Chowk to Machhiwali Kothi to Christ Church to Lakkar Bazar to IGMC to Sanjauli Chowk to Navbhar where there are no trees.
As per the Government, residential construction in the Green Belt area as per the Shimla Development Plan will be permitted only on those plots in which there are no trees.
It also decided to amend HP Town and Country Planning Rules to allow construction at a distance of 5 meters and 7 meters from Nallah and khad respectively.
The Cabinet decided to provide two Biswas of land in urban areas and three Biswas of land in rural areas who have been rendered homeless and those who are not left with land suitable for the construction of new houses.
HP Govt’s Special Package Approved
Nod was given a Special Relief Package for the disaster-affected families in the State as announced on 30th September 2023 by Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu.Under the Special Package:
- The compensation of Rs. 1.30 lakh for a completely damaged house would be increased five and a half times to Rs. 7 lakh.
- The compensation of Rs. 4,000 for partial damage to a ‘kutcha’ house would be increased by 25 times to Rs. 1 lakh, while the compensation for partial damage to a ‘pucca’ house to be increased by 15 and a half times, from Rs 6500 to Rs. 1 lakh.
- Compensation of Rs. 25,000 given in case of damage to a shop or dhaba would also be enhanced four times to rupees one lakh.
- The HP Government will also provide increased financial assistance of Rs. 50 thousand instead of Rs. 3000 for damage to the cowshed. T
- The state government will provide assistance of Rs. 50 thousand for damage or loss to the belongings of the tenants thereby marking a 20 times increase, from the existing Rs. 2500.
- For the loss of large milch and draught animals compensation of Rs. 55000 and for goat, pig, sheep and lamb Rs. 6000 per animal compensation would be provided.
- The compensation of Rs. 3615 per bigha for damage to agricultural and horticultural land would be increased to Rs. 10 thousand.
- The compensation on crop loss of Rs. 500 per bigha is to be increased eight times to Rs.4000.
- The financial assistance for removing silt from agricultural and horticultural land is to be enhanced from Rs. 1384.61 per bigha to Rs. 5000.
This special package would be granted from 24th June 2023 to 30th September 2023.
‘Van Mitra’ Scheme Approved
The Cabinet approved the Forest Department ‘Van Mitra’ Scheme. Under this scheme, one ‘Van Mitra’ each, in 2061 Forest Beats would be engaged. It also decided to fill up 100 vacant posts of Forest Guards in the Forest Department on a contractual basis.
It decided to enhance the honorarium of Jal Rakshaks, Multi-Purpose Workers, para fitters and para pump operators of Jal Shakti Vibhag by Rs. 500 per month raising it to Rs. 5000, Rs. 4400, Rs. 6000 and Rs. 6000 respectively.
Chintpurni Passenger Ropeway
The Cabinet approved in principle to establish a passenger ropeway system from Chintpurni Baba Mai Dass Bhawan Parking to Chintpurni Temple in PPP mode in district Una with a cost of Rs. 76.50 crore.
It also gave its approval to hire 15 e-taxis in the Transport Department.
It decided to promote Amateur and Community Radios for ‘Alternate Communication during emergencies in all districts of the State. This would provide effective information exchange between information sources, emergency managers and those impacted by disaster or emergent situations.
The Cabinet decided to reduce the Additional Goods Tax on lead by 25 paise per kg.
It also accorded approval to grant 234 routes for private operators and additional 100 routes for tempo travelers to provide better transport facilities to the people of the State.
It also gave its approval for declaring Traffic Inspectors, Motor Vehicles Inspectors, Senior Motor Vehicle Inspectors of the Transport department and Assistant Sub Inspector and Head Constable of the Police Department as designed authority to compound the offences under various Sections of the Motor Vehicle Act, 1988.
Himachal Aims to be India’s First Green Energy State by 2025
Shimla-To make Himachal Pradesh India’s first Green Energy State by the end of 2025, the State Government would harness hydro, hydrogen and solar energy and switch to green products, said Chief Minister Sukhvindar Singh Sukhu.
It will enhance the premium and advantage in export, he added. He was presiding over a meeting of senior officers of the Energy Department and HPSEBL late Thursday evening.
The HP Government has directed all concerned departments including HPSEBL, HIMURJA, Himachal Pradesh Power Corporation Limited (HPPCL) and the Department of Energy to make policy changes wherever required, he said.
Further, to ease the norms, Chief Minister said the officers have been asked to make necessary amendments to the existing power policy and open all the solar projects upto 5 MW capacity for allotment. The State Government would also invest in Solar plants and will install 500 MW Solar projects during the year 2023-24, he said. Out of it, 200 MW would be installed by HPPCL. For this purpose, land has been identified for 70 MW capacity and the rest of the sites will be finalized soon, he added.
Solar projects upto 150 MW capacity would be installed by HIMURJA through private participation and locals would be given priority in awarding these projects, said the Chief Minister. The capacity of the projects will range from 250 KW to 1 MW, he said.
The Chief Minister said HIMURJA has been asked to evolve a mechanism by seeking royalty of solar projects above 3 MW capacity. In case any land is given to PSUs for developing solar projects, some percentage of land equity would be charged, he added.
The HP Government aims to ensure a 5 percent premium for the state in each solar power project up to 5 MW and a 10 percent share in the solar power projects of more than 5 MW capacity.
Further, the HPPCL was asked to expedite the incomplete power projects like Kashang II and III, Shongtong and Karchham. The State Government aims to complete all these projects by 2025, the Chief Minister said.
The HPPCL was also asked to appoint a consultant for the preparation of a Detailed Project Report (DPR) within 10 days and submit the report within a month so that the work on the Solar projects could be started. The Department of Energy and HPPCL will identify sites in other States like Rajasthan etc. where the land is available at discounted rates for the installation of Mega Solar Plant, he said.
HP Govt Employees to Get Higher Pay Scale on Completion of Two Years of Service: CM Jairam
Shimla-Himachal Pradesh Government employees working in different departments before January 3, 2022, would be given a higher scale at par with other employees on completion of two years tenure of regular service. A higher pay scale was also announced for the Junior Office Assistants (IT) on completion of two years of regular service.
Chief Minister Jairam Thakur made these announcements during the Karamchari Maha Sammelan of the Himachal Pradesh Non-Gazetted Employees Federation at the hotel Peterhof on Sunday.
He appreciated the role played by the employee especially frontline workers in the battle against the pandemic.
He said most of the government employees in the state have been given revised pay scales and on average, every employee has got the benefit of a 12 to 15 percent salary hike. There has also been an increase in the pension of about 1.50 lakh pensioners of the state. The financial benefits of Rs. 7801 crore have been given to state government employees and pensioners from the year 2018 to 2022. The pensioners who retired before 2016 are getting the benefit of a 15 to 20 percent increase in the pension while around 40 thousand pensioners who retired after 2016 would be benefitted soon, he said.
He said the daily wages were Rs. 210 in the year 2017 which has been increased by the present state government to Rs. 350. Similarly, 12 per cent interim relief annually has been provided to government employees and pensioners during the present government’s tenure. He said the Himachal government has provided Dearness Allowance to its employees and pensioners on the lines of Punjab and Central governments from the due date. The Punjab government has given only 5 percent interim relief to the employees while the Himachal government has provided 21 percent interim relief to its employees.
“Out of the total interim relief amount given to the employees and pensioners amounting to about Rs. 6500 crore, Rs. 3500 crore has been paid during the tenure of our government” added the Chief Minister.
He said that the state government has increased the government contribution for NPS employees from 10 percent to 14 percent benefitting more than one lakh employees. The NPS employees are being given the benefits of retirement and death gratuity at par with employees falling under the old pension scheme. The government has also increased the upper limit of death gratuity from Rs. 10 lakh to Rs. 20 lakh.
The Chief Minister said the state government has also increased the honorarium of para-workers working in various departments. The salary of outsource workers has been hiked by Rs 1,500 per month.
Non-Gazetted Employees Federation President Ashwani Thakur thanked the Chief Minister for providing various financial and other benefits to different categories of government employees.
Most Covid Restrictions to be Lifted From March 31, Mask and Hand Hygiene to Continue
New Delhi-The Centre has issued a notification to the States informing that the provisions of the Disaster Management (DM) Act, 2005 will not be invoked in the country after March 31. The Union Health Ministry said that the use of face masks and following hand hygiene will continue.
It implies that most of the Covid-related rules and restrictions would end.
Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla issued the notification which said that the decision was taken following the overall improvement in the situation and the preparedness of the government in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, local authorities and State police can still invoke fines and criminal cases against persons violating COVID-19 norms under the Indian Penal Code (IPC), a senior government official said.
The DM Act was invoked on March 24, 2020, due to the pandemic
“Over the last seven weeks or so there has been a steep decline in the number of cases. The total caseload in the country stands at 23,913 only and the daily positivity rate has declined to 0.28%. It is also worth mentioning that with the combined efforts, a total of 181.56 Cr vaccine doses have been administered,” the notification said.
“I would like to mention that in view of the nature of the disease, we still need to remain watchful of the situation. Wherever any surge in the number of cases is observed, the States/UTs may consider taking prompt and proactive action at a local level, as advised by MoHFW (Health Ministry) from time to time,” the notification said.
The Indian government had issued various guidelines and measures for the first time on March 24, 2020, under the Disaster Management Act to curb the COVID-19 situation in the country, which have been modified several times thereafter.
India currently has 23,087 active COVID-19 cases and recorded 1,778 new cases and 62 deaths in the last 24 hours. The daily positivity rate has also declined to 0.28%.