Category Archives: Himachal Pradesh

Government to take up grievances with National Green Tribunal

Shimla: Himachal Pradesh  Government was considerate towards the grievances of the people of the Manali town who had been affected due to the decision of National Green Tribunal (NGT) and this matter will be taken with the NGT and also with the Government of India as well, said Chief Minister Shri Virbhadra Singh while addressing a public meeting at Manali, today.

He said that environment must be protected at all cost but at the same time the problems of the people should also be taken into consideration while implementing or passing any orders which could prove detrimental to the interests of the people of concerned areas. He said that the government would take up the grievances of the people effectively with the NGT and the Union government and if the need was felt, the issue and the problems of people would also be taken up with the Supreme Court.

“Our preference is to preserve and keep Himachal ‘Green and Clean’ but not at the cost of welfare of the people,” he said. “I think plying of CNG buses to Rohtang is not feasible as the issue of environment is not limited till Rohtang pass only but we have to care for preserving the same throughout the state and therefore, plying of CNG buses for facilitating tourism just till Rohtang is not feasible” said the Virbhadra Singh.

Speaking on the side-lines of the function with the media, the Chief Minister said that Rs. 101 crore Manali sewerage scheme and augmentation of water supply scheme was in the offing and detailed project report of the same had been prepared. The scheme will benefit the population residing on left bank of the river besides the residents of old Manali town and left out areas. Efforts would be made for funding the projects from NABARD or other agencies, he said, adding that there was a need to bring in such schemes to benefit the people in large.

He announced PHC at Patlikhul and up-gradation of High School Nathan to Senior Secondary School and  Middle Schools  Soyal and Bashing to High School. He also announced construction of link road from Bhanu to Jagatsukh.

Amidst heavy snowfall earlier the Chief Minister performed the foundation stone laying ceremony of the automated Manali drinking water supply scheme to cost Rs 15.04 crore which will benefit as many as 32000 people of Manali and its suburbs besides catering to the needs of the people till 2046. The water will be lifted from Manalsu Nallah. He also laid foundation stone of renovation and improvement of Manu Rangshala to cost rupees  90 lakh and also laid foundation stone of jeepable Bridge at Kalath to be completed at cost of 1.43 crore which will benefit residents of Jagatsukh and  Gojra Panchayats besides those residing on the left bank of river Beas. He also performed foundation stone of nature park at Bandrol.

Irrigation and Public Health Minister Smt. Vidya Stokes also spoke on the occasion and detailed about the schemes of the IPH department for the Kullu and Manali towns.

Earlier, Local MLA Govind Singh Thakur welcomed the Chief Minister and thanked him for laying foundation stone of the water supply scheme for Manali town which will benefit the people in future and thanked him for visiting Manali.

Himachal Doctors express deep concern about Junior Doctors in UP

Shimla: Members of Himachal Pradesh Medical Officer Association expressed deep anguish over the atrocities committed by the UP Police and goons of the Samajwadi Party against Junior Doctors in Kanpur. While expressing complete solidarity with their brethren in UP, members strongly urged the UP government to take strict action against the perpetrators of this injustice.
Members of the Association said that in the past same violence also happened in the past with doctors in Himachal Pradesh and same is condemnable. The members of Association request the Hon’ble Chief Minister that the strict law should be made and a conducive atmosphere will be made so that the doctors and paramedical staff can work in fearless atmosphere.


Himachal CM welcomes approval of One-Rank One-Pension

Shimla: Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister, Mr. Virbhadra Singh welcomed the decision of approving the One-Rank One-Pension (OROP) to the ex-servicemen of the country in the Interim Budget today.

Chief Minister said that Himachal Pradesh has a distinguished history of its brave soldiers who had sacrificed their lives for the sake of the Nation. He said that the soldiers from Himachal Pradesh were decorated with highest Military honors and had received various medals for their valor. May it be the war fought for Independence of the country or the Kargil war, the valiant soldiers from Himachal Pradesh had always been in front and had earned laurels for the State by proving their gallantry and receiving highest military decorations.

virbhadraHe said that the approval by the Union Government for OROP for its Jawans was a real tribute to the serving and retired soldiers. The Chief Minister said that the decision has come at a right point when the ex-servicemen and serving soldiers were pressing for their demand to be fulfilled on priority. There are 14 lakh serving and 24 lakh retired military personnel in the country.

Under the “one rank, one pension” rule, retired soldiers of the same rank and length of service will receive the same pension, regardless of when they retire, said the Chief Minister. Thanking Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for addressing the subject comprehensively, Chief Minister hoped that “our forces and Jawans will be happy with the announcement.”

Development of Sirmour District on Priority: Virbhadra

Shri Renuka ji: The overall development of Sirmaur district has been given added priority by the Government and various developmental schemes worth crore of rupees are being implemented in the district. Chief Minister Shri Virbhadra Singh stated this while addressing a public meeting at Dadahu in Sirmaur district, today. He dedicated and laid foundation stones of projects amounting to over Rs. 20 crore during his visit to the district.

Chief Minister laid the foundation stone Lift Water Supply Scheme Shirguldhar and group of villages to be constructed at a cost of Rs. 3.23 crore. It will benefit more than 2600 people of 14 villages of Kotla-Bholar, Katah-Sheetla, Beer-Bagad and Panar Panchayats. He inaugurated HPPCL Renuka Dam Office Building constructed at a cost of Rs. 3.47 crore and laid the foundation stone of Rs. seven crore Referral Hospital at Dadahu. He also laid foundation stone of Lift Water Supply Scheme Kando Kansar, Mandhana, Barog Bhaneri to be constructed by spending Rs. 2.84 crore.  This scheme will benefit more than 6400 people of 26 habitats of 13 villages of the area. He also dedicated 14 kms. long Khala Kiar-Bandal-Surakh road which has been constructed by spending Rs. four crore.

Shir Virbhadra Singh said that 220 panchayats of the district had been connected with road facility while remaining eight Panchayats would soon get this facility which includes one panchayat each in Nahan and Paonta Sahib, two in Shillai and four Panchayats in Sangrah.  Out of total 971 villages of the district 724 had been given road connectivity facility.

He expressed happiness that Sirmaur district was one of the leading districts in implementation of Skill Development Allowance Scheme and more than 3000 youth had been benefited with the Scheme.

Chief Minister said that Rs. 28 crore had been sanctioned for 125 villages of the district having high percentage of scheduled castes and Rs. 16 crore would be spent under Scheduled Castes Sub Plan during this financial year. Rs. 35 crore would be spent in the district during this year for providing drinking water, irrigation facilities and hand pumps and flood control works.

Shri Virbhadra Singh said that 26 drinking water supply schemes amounting to Rs. nine crore had been sanctioned for the district by the present Government. Besides, 114 habitats have been provided with drinking water benefiting 7421 people during this year.

Earlier, Chief Minister received Devatas and participated in Shobha Yatra at Government Senior Secondary School, Dadahu.

Irrigation and Public Health Minister Smt. Vidya Stokes, Health Minister Kaul Singh Thakur, Agriculture Minister Sujan Singh Pathania, Chief Parliamentary Secretary Vinay Kumar, Deputy Chairman, Planning Board G.R. Musafir, MLA Karnesh Jung, District Congress President Ajay Solanki, Chairman, HIMFED  Ajay Bahadur Singh, former MLA Kush Parmar, Deputy Commissioner Vikas Labroo, SP Smt. Sumedha Dwivedi, senior officers and other prominent persons were present on the occasion.

First Drupal Camp organised in Dharamshala, providing exposure to IT students

Dharamshala:  Large number of IT students from Dharamshala region in Himachal availed benefits from the first Drupal Camp, orgainsed at Zila parishad hall Dharamshala.
The camp witnessed the presence of around 120 participants from different engineering colleges and IT professionals from Delhi, Pune, Bangalore, Chennai and Dharamshala itself.
More than 70 students from Government Degree college Dharamshala, Dronacharya college, Kangra polytechnic and Central University participated in the event.

The event was an initiative to introduce IT students from this region about open source technologies and Drupal in particular. Drupal is used to build large scale websites and applications.
Welcoming the participants on behalf of the organizing team, Varun Rattan Singh, emphasized the need for creating more such platforms, giving opportunity for students to network with IT professionals and seeking advice early on in their careers.
Later on the students were given an introduction about Drupal. Talk about interactive web design using Javascript by Avneesh Raghava was liked by one and all. The participants were introduced to the world of software testing and gamification for attracting visitors.

The post lunch session, saw active participation by students in learning Drupal during a two hour long hands-on session conducted by Ashok Negi. The event concluded with a quiz competition and distribution of certificates to the participating students.
The event turned out to be a success under the sponsorship of Srijan Dhauladhar Technologies, a technology company based out in Dharamshala , Axelerant, a software company from Gurgaon and Jetking Dharamshala.

Himachal Industries minister meets Anand Sharma

Shimla: Himachal Pradesh govt. today requested the union commerce ministry to enhance the limit of capital investment subsidy from present 30 lakh rupees to rupees 50 lakh. The demand was made by Himachal industries minister Mukesh Agnihotri who called on Anand Sharma union minister for commerce and industry in Udyog Bhawan New Delhi. Himachal industries minister Mukesh Agnihotri thanked the union minister for commerce and industry minister Anand Sharma for restoring the capital subsidy and transport subsidy to the industrial units of the state.

Himachal industries minister Mukesh Agnihotri said that union govt. has agreed in principal to sanction funding amounting to rupees one hundred crore for six ASIDE projects of the state and added that state govt. has already submitted detailed project reports of all these projects. He thanked the union minister for sanctioning a sum of rupees 15.15 crore for improvement and strengthening of road network from Ajouli to Santokhgarh and Tahliwal industrial area upto Laluwal and requested him to sanction a sum of rupees 165 crore for various infrastructural development projects of the state. He told that state govt. would provide  suitable land for setting up 30 crore cost regional centre of Indian institute of foreign trade in Shimla and added that it will largely benefit micro small and  medium enterprises units in the state.

Himachal requests centre to ensure reliable & affordable air connectivity

Shimla: Himachal government today requested the union civil aviation ministry to ensure reliable and affordable air connectivity to the state. While speaking in civil aviation ministers conference Himachal industries minister Mukesh Agnihotri said that at present there is no regular and reliable flight at all the three major airports of the state.

He said that flights at Shimla airports have been suspended due to erosion in the air strip while flights at Bhunter and Kangra airports are not operating due to various other reasons.

He requested the civil aviation ministry to take effective steps to restore the air services in all the airports in the state immediately. He said that VAT on air fuel has been reduced from 5% to only 1% from 1st April 2013 to provide cheap fuel to aircraft flying in the state. He told that Shimla, Kullu and Kangra towns have been identified as places of major importance for encouraging tourist and citizens of the state. He requested the union ministry to subsidize the heli-taxi flights in the state on the pattern of north eastern state to provide connectivity on loss making routes and told that “Seat Underwriting” on flights by state govt. to incentivize private run airlines is not possible due to financial constraints of the state govt.

Himachal industries minister Mukesh Agnihotri told that state govt. plans to construct Green Field Airports at Kandaghat, Jawalamukhi, Ranital to promote tourism and air connectivity in the state and told that Airport Authority of India has been requested to prepare prefeasibility report on all these airports. He said that state govt. has selected suitable land for construction of all these airports. He said that state govt. also proposes to extend the airstrip at Kullu airport for which technical assistance from IIT Roorkee has been taken.

Himachal industries minister Mukesh Agnihotri said that at present there are 63 operational helipads at various places of the state and added that the state govt. has identified new locations for constructions of helipads in the state.

He told that state govt. has provided free land to AAI for construction of Shimla, Kullu and Kangra airports in order to strengthen air services in the state and has taken initiative to extend the airstrip of Kullu airport. He said that the state govt. is not imposing any property tax on airport land.

He requested the civil aviation ministry to include Himachal Pradesh in the development of 50 new low cost airports and 20 new bigger airports so as to strengthen the air services in the state in absence of rail network in the state.

Himachal CM Virbhadra Singh called on P. Chidambaram

Shimla: Himachal CM Virbhadra Singh today called on union finance minister Mr. P Chidambaram in north block New Delhi and requested him to provide special assistance for various ongoing developmental projects in Himachal Pradesh. Thakur Kaul Singh revenue minister and Mukesh Agnihotri industries minister accompanied the chief minister in the meeting.

Virbhadra Singh requested the union minister to provide Rupees 500 crore to the state for strengthening the infrastructural network in the state. He requested for declaring the Chandigarh -Baddi new railways line as project of national importance keeping in view of its geographical and strategic importance. He said that survey of this new railway line has been completed and added that this new railway line will facilitate the movement of goods and services from the industrial areas of the state. He said that state govt. is willing to provide all necessary support and infrastructure for setting up this new railway line.

Virbhadra Singh said that the central team has visited the state to assess the flood losses and has submitted its report to the union govt. He requested the union govt. to expedite the process of the report and release the funds for undertaking various socio economic and development projects in the flood affected areas.

He requested the union finance minister to start construction work on Bhanupalli-Bilaspur railway line as per the decision taken in Prime Minister office on 8th August 2007 in which it was agreed to fund the project in the pattern of 75:25 between railway and the state govt. He said that so far only 44 kms of the rail line has been constructed in the state since independence and requested the union minister to provide adequate funds to railways projects in the state.

Himachal cabinet meets Indian PM in New Delhi

New Delhi: Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh today said that central government will immediately release the adequate funds from National Disaster Response Fund to Himachal Pradesh for undertaking relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction works in flood affected areas of the state.

Himachal Pradesh Cabinet led by Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh called on Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh at 7 Race Course New Delhi and requested him to provide financial assistance from National Disaster Response Fund for relief and rehabilitation works in flood affected areas of the State.

Mrs. Ambika Soni General Secretary AICC also accompanied the delegation. Virbhadra Singh told the Prime Minister that state has suffered massive losses due to heavy rainfall and requested the Central assistance under NDRF and Prime Ministers Relief Fund. He told that first installment of SDRF amounting to Rs. 68.12 crore was released by the Central Govt. in July 2013 and State Govt. has released its share of Rs. 15.14 crore. He said that total 129.24 crores has been released to various departments and district administration for providing immediate relief to the affected areas. He told that state as whole experienced heavy rainfall which was 576% to 1358% above the normal rainfall during the 15-17 June 2013 and Kinnaur and Sirmour district were the worst affected. He told that total 69 human lives have been lost and 2427 animals have perished in the flash floods. He told that 11157 houses, 4519 roads, 2763 water supply schemes have been badly damaged in the flash floods.

Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh requested the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh to restore the industrial package of the state till the year 2020 to remove regional disparity in the field of industrial development and create employment avenues to youths in the state. He told that special package to the industries was introduced in the year 2003 for the period of 10 years till March 2013. However the incentive of central excise duty was withdrawn in March 2010 and income tax incentive was withdrawn in March 2012.  He told that the these incentives to special category states were not adversely affecting the industrial development of  bigger states and told that about 16500 units in small, medium and large scale sector with the proposed investment of Rs. 48,830 crore having employment potential of 5,42,580 persons was approved between 6th  January 2003 to 31st March 2013. However out of these approved units only 9,353 units with investment of Rs. 14,557 crore having employment potential of 1,20,602 persons were actually set up in the state. He said that State Govt. has made massive investment to improve infrastructural facilities in industrial areas to facilitate the industrial investment.

Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh requested the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh to provide uniform funding in the ratio of 90:10 in centrally sponsored schemes for all special category states. He told that at present the funding under Sarv Shisha Abhiyan (65%), Mid Day Meal Scheme (75%), Indira Awas Yojna, Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (75%), Swaran Jayanti Gram Swarojgar Yojna(75%), Nutrition Component of  ICDS (50%) and the Ambulance  Service Under NHM (20%) is less for the Himachal Pradesh compared to other special category state  in North East. He requested that funding pattern for all special category states should be exactly at par with north eastern states and requested to issue guidelines to all Central Ministries to modify the guidelines for the existing schemes and adopt uniform norms for all special category states.

Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh assured the delegation that all the demands of the state govt. like extension of industrial package, Special Plan Assistance, strengthening of rail network will be positively considered by the central govt. in time bound manner to increase the pace of the development in the region and fulfill the aspirations of the people from present congress govt .

The delegation comprised Smt. Vidya Stokes IPH, Horticulture Minister, Kaul Singh Thakur Health and Family Welfare Minister, G.S. Bali, Food & Civil Supplies & Consumer Affairs Minister, Sujan Singh Pathania, Agriculture Minister, Thakur Singh Bharmouri Forest Minister, Mukesh Agnihotri Industries & IPR Minister, Sudhir Sharma Urban Development Minister,  Prakash Cahdhary Excise & Taxation Minister, Dr. (Col) D.R.Shandil Social Justice & Empowerment Minister, Anil Sharma Rural Development & Panchayati Raj Minister, Himachal Pradesh Congress Committee President Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu, Shrikant Baldi Pr. Secy. (Finance),were present in the delegation.