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750 phone conversations were tapped in HP during BJP tenure

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750 phone conversations were tapped in HP during BJP tenure: Report

Shimla: An inquiry report into phone tapping by the previous Bharatiya Janata Party government (BJP) in Himachal Pradesh, in violation of the Indian Telegraph Act, Friday said around 750 telephonic conversations, mainly of politicians and bureaucrats, were recorded. The report, prepared by State Forensic Science Laboratory in Junga near Shimla, has been submitted to the government.

Chief Secretary Sudipto Roy told reporters that the report comprised of around 750 conversations recorded at different periods. “A committee will now look into that how many out of them were recorded without following due norms,” he said.

The laboratory analysed the data retrieved from hard discs of computers seized from the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) headquarters. Official sources said most of the conversations were of Congress leaders while they were in the opposition.

The conversations of some top government functionaries, BJP dissidents and journalists also figured. The Prem Kumar Dhumla-led BJP government was in power in the state from December 2007 to December 2012.

The computers in the CID and vigilance bureau offices were seized Decemeber 26, 2012, a day after Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh assumed charge. The chief minister had said all those responsible for unauthorised recording of telephonic conversations of politicians and officials would not be spared.-IANS

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Himachal Watcher is a Himachal Pradesh Based Non-Funded & Independent Online English Magazine

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Oxygen Plants in Chamba, Hamirpur Operational, Two Make-Shift Hospitals Under-Construction: HP Govt

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Shimla-A Make-Shift Hospital for corona patients was being constructed at Bhangrotu in Mandi district, and the state government claims that it is almost ready and the testing process regarding oxygen supply was in the final stage. This Hospital would have a facility of 90 oxygenated beds with a system of central oxygen supply and an ICU facility for critically ill patients, the state government claimed.  

Another 200 bedded Make Shift Hospital would be coming up at Khaliyar, near Mandi, within a week, it claimed.  All the 200 beds in this hospital would be supplied oxygen through the Central Oxygen facility, the government said.

HP Govt make-shift hospitals

The government also claimed that the facility of oxygenated beds has been increased from 120 beds to 220 in Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri Government Medical College and Hospital Nerchowk and efforts were being made to increase it further to 300 beds. There are 40 oxygenated beds in BBMB Hospital Sundernagar, 50 beds in Mother and Child Hospital Sundernagar and the number of oxygenated beds in the Civil Hospital Ratti has been increased from 25 to 45 beds, the government claimed.

HP Govt Inaugurates Oxygen Plants at Chamba and Hamirpur

The HP government also inaugurated Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) Oxygen Plants at Dr Radhakrishanan Government Medical College Hamirpur and Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru Government Medical College Chamba on Sunday. The plant at Chamba has a capacity of 400 PLM and the one at Hamirpur has a capacity of 300 PLM.  

The state government said that it has taken up the matter of increasing the oxygen quota for the State from the existing 15 MT to 30 MT with the Union Government. The Centre Government has already sanctioned 13 oxygen plants for the State, it said. Out of the seven plants sanctioned earlier, six plants have been established at Dharamshala, Mandi, Shimla, Chamba, Nahan, Hamirpur and the one at Tanda would be completed soon, the state government claimed.

The government also claimed that six Oxygen plants sanctioned for the State recently by the Union Government would be set up at Civil Hospital Palampur in Kangra district, Zonal Hospital Mandi, Civil Hospital Rohru and Civil Hospital Khaneri in Shimla district, Dr. Yashwant Singh Parmar Government Medical College and Hospital Nahan in Sirmaur district and Regional Hospital Solan.

The government said that the PSA plant at Hamirpur is expected to supply oxygen to a 30-bedded fully dedicated Covid ward established in Dr RKGMC Hamirpur at a cost of about Rs 1  crore.

 

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Govt and People Flaunting Interstate Travel SOPs Costing Himachal

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HP govt interstate travel sops

Shimla– Though the Himachal Pradesh Government has now announced imposition of strict curfew, similar to a lockdown, there is no doubt about it that both the government and the public underestimated the second wave of the pandemic armed with double mutant- more deadly than the first one. The government in the state was hardly able to take timely decisions at its own and those taken appeared to be ineffective and half-hearted. My own experience is a testimony to the carelessness shown by the government, as well as, the people during inter-state travel. 

HP Govt was one among the many states that made it mandatory for people entering the state to register with COVID e-pass and to carry a negative RT-PCR report. The measures taken by the government seemed commendable to me until I faced the ground reality.

A week after the official notification was issued, I travelled to the state capital city from New Delhi – one of the major hotspots. Rigorous checking and contact tracing is the need of the hour, but what’s happening at the border is far more different than what is expected of the officials.

It shouldn’t come to us as a surprise if fake e-passes in the names of Donald Trump and Amitabh Bachhan are being produced. This matter should put light on the negligent approach of state authorities. As much as we trust the government bodies to contain the virus, they are dangerously failing. In my own experience, I wasn’t asked to produce a negative RT-PCR report upon entering the state, nobody in the last 72hrs tried to contact trace me. I travelled to Shimla in a public transportation bus, on the eve of 4th May 2021. On entering the state border, the assigned official made no extraordinary attempt to check the passengers. Many were travelling without e-pass and RT-PCR test reports. I even asked the official to check my RT-PCR report, to which he showed no concern. It is due to careless mistakes like these that made India one of the most affected countries in the world.

I also noticed that many passengers were not carrying e-passes, either because they were not aware of the need to carry them, or because they didn’t take this mandatory condition seriously. The sheer ignorance of common people and those who are appointed to keep check of the situation is the reason why we are heading towards a catastrophe. The onus is on us, too. I made sure that I travelled with e-pass, so that the state government stays aware of my movement. I got my test done so that I don’t infect the virus to others unknowingly. I am also observing home isolation for a period of 14 days because there’s no harm in following the precautionary measures.

India is in the second wave of this deadly pandemic, and it is time we take responsibility for our actions. The primary reason for the rise of the second wave in India is the rampant violation of COVID protocols.

Now that the state government has decided to implement a curfew similar to a lockdown, I expect that the new Covid protocols will not have any loophole. This time people along with the administration will have to stay prepared to face the reality. The virus can be stopped, but only with our combined efforts.

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Himachal Heads Towards Full Lockdown as Covid Cases Spike; 5,424 New Infections and 37 Deaths Reported in 24 Hours

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Shimla-With 37 fatalities reported in the last 24 hours due to severe Covid symptoms, Himachal Pradesh’s total death toll has climbed to 1,817 on Saturday. The state reported 5,424 new cases of infection taking the total to 1,28,330.

Kangra district reported the highest number of fatalities with 14 deaths followed by state capital Shimla that reported 11 deaths in the last 24-hours. A 27-year-old woman was the youngest patient to die due to coronavirus and Pneumonia in the district of Kangra.

The infection has claimed the lives of 497 people in Kangra and 391 in Shimla till now.

 A total of 18725 people across the state were sampled for the infection on Saturday, an increase from Friday when 12,930. On Saturday a total of 3,634 tests remain awaited, the maximum is from Kangra district with 1,258 Covid tests awaited.

View the District-wise Details of all COVID-19 Cases for May 8, 2021 (Till 7 pm) Below:

According to a report by The Tribune, many RT-PCR test samples collected in Kangra district on April 29 were still awaited. Considering the fatality of the virus this mismanagement by state health authorities can prove deadly for many patients if they do not receive the diagnosis on time. With a delay of over a week, patients are also doubting the authenticity of the samples since they are potent for testing for just 24 hours under ideal conditions.

Meanwhile, the Indian Medical Association came down heavily on the Health Ministry on Saturday criticising the lack of medical equipment and crumbling medical infrastructure. In a press release on Saturday, the IMA urged the central government to ‘wake up from its slumber’ as thousands of Covid patients succumbed to severe symptoms due to lack of basic medical equipment like oxygen cylinders, ambulances, and more. The IMA also pointed out the lack of Covid vaccine stock even though everyone above the age of 18 is eligible to receive their shots. The press release also mentioned that sporadic night curfew will not be much effective in curbing the spread of infection and requested the government that life is more precious than the economy.

The Himachal government has now planned on imposing a full lockdown in the state considering the rapid increase of infection cases.  However, the government is apprehensive in using the term “lockdown” and is still calling it “corona curfew”.

Also Read: Curfew Rules in Himachal to Change from May 10, More Restrictions to be Imposed

The update comes after a partial corona curfew was put in place from May 7. Under the new lockdown rules, public transport both private and the government will not be running, and shops selling essential commodities will remain open for three hours only. Timing of the shops would be fixed by the concerned Deputy Commissioners. Citizens will also not be allowed to travel in private vehicles unless there is an urgent requirement.

View the District-wise Details of all COVID-19 Cases for May 8, 2021 (Till 7 pm) Below:

Covid-19 deaths in himachal pradesh may 8

Feature Photo:Image by fernando zhiminaicela from Pixabay

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