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  • Sanjeev Kumar Rana
    HP achieves a hat-trick of apple bumper crop Shimla, August 1,Tribune News Service Despite an erratic monsoon the hill state is heading for a bumper apple crop
    Message 1 of 9 , Aug 1, 2004
      HP achieves a hat-trick of apple bumper crop

      Shimla, August 1,Tribune News Service

      Despite an erratic monsoon the hill state is heading for a bumper
      apple crop for the third successive year, rather unusual as the
      orchards normally experience alternate bearing.
    • Sanjeev Kumar Rana
      Earlier plans of laying rail tracks `better Tribune News Service Solan, August 3 Even as the Union Railways Minister, Mr Laloo Prasad Yadav, has announced a
      Message 2 of 9 , Aug 3, 2004
        Earlier plans of laying rail tracks `better'
        Tribune News Service

        Solan, August 3
        Even as the Union Railways Minister, Mr Laloo Prasad Yadav, has
        announced a survey for laying a new railway track between Parwanoo
        and Darlaghat in the railway Budget not much enthusiasm is seen in
        the railway officials for the proposal. While asserting the need for
        laying a new rail track from Baddi to Chandigarh, the officials
        opined it could, besides fetching the much-needed revenue facilitate
        the industrialists investing in Baddi-Barotiwala after the
        announcement of the new industrial policy.
        The state has received very little since independence as far as
        railway expansion is concerned. While a mere 18-km rail track was
        laid between Nangal to Una some time back another stretch of 18-20
        km track laid further up to Talerala is the only other development
        in this direction. This track is part of a 75 km rail track to be
        laid between Una and Talwara, which is yet to be completed.
        An earlier proposal of the Railways to lay a broad- gauge track at a
        stretch of about 5-7 km between Kamli and Kalka extension stations
        could not materialise despite laying of a foundation stone by the
        then Union Railways Minister, Mr Nitish Kumar, in 1999. This is
        despite the fact that a budgetary provision of Rs 40 crore had been
        made for it. It was later found that the proposal would merely save
        the Parwanoo-based industrialists their octroi duty at the state's
        barrier.
        Investors and railway officials are of the unanimous opinion that an
        earlier survey carried out to lay a rail track from Bhanupalli near
        Anandpur Sahib through Bilaspur to Rampur Bushair covering about 180
        km will prove more beneficial. The survey was conducted by the Chief
        Minister, Mr Virbhadra Singh, during his earlier tenure.
        Another proposal to link the industrial town of Baddi to Chandigarh
        while reducing its distance by as many as 20 km to facilitate the
        industrialists was also mooted some time back. It is learnt that a
        railway land located on the Bharatgarh-Nalagarh road which was
        earlier used to carry stones can be put to use in case this proposal
        is considered. While linking Baddi to Nalagarh as well as to
        Bilaspur, the earlier proposal can also fetch the railways a
        handsome profit with industrial growth in the region. The fact that
        an LPG filling plant existed at Baddi, the new track can prove
        profitable for the Railways.
      • Sanjeev Kumar Rana
        Houses declared unsafe, people shifted Tribune Reporters and PTI Shimla, August 3 Monsoon remained active throughout the state for the past 24 hours. Heavy
        Message 3 of 9 , Aug 3, 2004
          Houses declared unsafe, people shifted
          Tribune Reporters and PTI
          Shimla, August 3

          Monsoon remained active throughout the state for the past 24 hours.
          Heavy rain lashed the state last night and heavy showers are still
          continuing, affecting normal life. Shimla and the interior areas of
          the district were also hit by continuous rains since last night
          which affected transportation of apple boxes. Meanwhile, widespread
          damage has been caused to kutcha houses and land due to heavy rains
          lashing various parts of Hamirpur district since last evening.
          Reports from interiors of the district say that nearly two dozen
          houses were damaged due to rains and landslides. Traffic was
          disrupted at several places. Another report says that Bagloo village
          of the district was in danger as it is on a hillock and the land
          beneath the houses has started sliding. Five houses have been
          declared unsafe and people living there have been shifted to safer
          places. The Hindustan-Tibet road was blocked at Tapri and a landslip
          near Dhalli blocked a link road. The Junga road, which was also
          blocked by a landslide, was opened to traffic by the evening.
          Traffic in the interior of Shimla was hit as some link roads were
          blocked.
        • Sanjeev Kumar Rana
          Manikaran faces flood threat Tribune News Service Manikaran, August 11 The pilgrimage centre faces a flash flood threat as more than 12 nullahs, which feed the
          Message 4 of 9 , Aug 12, 2004
            Manikaran faces flood threat
            Tribune News Service

            Manikaran, August 11

            The pilgrimage centre faces a flash flood threat as more than 12
            nullahs, which feed the Parbati river are carrying loads of debris,
            boulders and logs, posing a threat to low-lying houses, shops and
            gurdwara complex. The surging river rushes down through the middle
            of the temple town.

            If the level of the Parbati rises by another five to seven feet,
            there will be a threat to these houses and buildings as these lie in
            what earlier used to be the flood plain of the river. At risk are
            the houses located in the Ward No. 5 of the Manikaran Notified Area
            Committee. The Dara Bairh and Soura Bairh areas in ward lie in
            the `flood plain of the river'. The river flow is checked by big
            boulders near the bridge and if these are washed away, town will be
            flooded," said Mr Gopal Verma, a local shop owner.

            Raising their fear are the recurring floods in the nullahs that feed
            the Parbati. The Brahm nullah washed away four houses, a temple, and
            around 12 `gharaats,' water-run floor mills, last year. Villagers
            complained that the Kulu administration cared more for National
            Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC) and private companies than
            about the local people, who were the actual sufferers of floods in
            the long run.

            "Nobody came to help me last year when Brahm nullah water washed
            away my gharaat, my sole source of income" rued Mr Uday Ram, a
            villager. "Nobody cares for poor villagers. The government wakes up
            only when the entire village is washed away", he added.

            Though the NHPC and private companies had donated Rs 1.2 crore to
            construct 100 m protection wall along the river banks in the town,
            the wall's height is 7 m whereas it should have been at least 9
            metre, added Mr Devan Khampa, a local resident, whose house was
            damaged by flash flood in Brahm nullah last year.

            "We had taken up the matter with the Mandi MP, Ms Pratibha Singh,
            when she last visited the place, but the district administration
            officials did not bother to visit the place when the nullah flooded
            again on August 8 this year," he added.

            However, Mr H.R. Chouhan, ADM, Kulu, said there was no flood report
            as regards Brahm nullah this year.
          • Sanjeev Kumar Rana
            Control room set up to help people Tribune News Service Dharamsala, August 11 The district administration today decided to set up a control room in the Police
            Message 5 of 9 , Aug 12, 2004
              Control room set up to help people
              Tribune News Service

              Dharamsala, August 11

              The district administration today decided to set up a control room
              in the Police Lines, Dharamsala, to deal with any disasters due to
              the heavy rains in the area. Rescue and relief teams have been
              deployed there, which would be rushed out after receiving any
              information regarding incidents of flood, landslide or house
              collapse in the district.

              Giving details of the facility, Deputy Commissioner Shrikant Baldi
              said that anyone in need could dial (01892) 224967, 224905 and
              223318 to contact the control room and seek help. He said that the
              rescue teams would be available round the clock throughout the week.
              The teams have been provided with adequate vehicles to cover
              distances.

              On a suggestion from the Department of Irrigation and Public Health,
              it has also been decided to make electronic axes at all
              subdivisional levels so that the problem of road blockades due to
              falling of trees is solved.

              The administration has also asked the police to be in a state of
              readiness to deal with any eventuality related to floods and
              landslides in the area. The Subdivisional Magistrates (SDMs) have
              been asked to take the help of the police and Home Guards in the
              case of any natural calamity.
            • Sanjeev Kumar Rana
              Apple growers hit by flood threat Pratibha Chauhan Tribune News Service Tapri (Kinnaur), August 15 It is not just the threat of flood in the Sutlej that
              Message 6 of 9 , Aug 15, 2004
                Apple growers hit by flood threat

                Pratibha Chauhan
                Tribune News Service

                Tapri (Kinnaur), August 15
                It is not just the threat of flood in the Sutlej that continues to
                haunt the people of Rampur and adjoining areas but the apple growers
                in this belt are likely to face huge losses in case the uncertainty
                continues for few more days.

                The formation of the Parchu Lake in Tibet has led to fear among the
                truckers, who are rather reluctant to send their vehicles for
                transporting the apple to the market. There are large number of
                apple orchards in Gaura, Mashno, Sarahan, Barabish, Narainbali and
                Nankhari areas around Rampur.

                Though apple from the upper belts of Kinnaur will be plucked by the
                end of this month, it is the growers in and around Rampur, Tapri and
                other lower parts of Kinnaur and Ani subdivision of the Kullu
                district, who have been hit by this threat looming large over the
                areas along the Sutlej.

                "We are finding it difficult to get trucks for sending the apples to
                the markets and the few who are willing to take the risk are
                demanding very high transportation charges," said Mr Kanan Singh
                Negi, a resident of Tapri in Kinnaur. Other areas of Kinnaur where
                there are apple orchards include Nichar, Sungra, Bhaba, Bari,
                Taranda, Paunda and Kilba.

                Though large amount of apple from the Rampur and nearby areas have
                already been transported to the markets in Chandigarh and Delhi,
                growers have stopped plucking the remaining produce as they fear in
                case of a flood it will rot here only. "If earlier on, trucks were
                charging Rs 25 per box as transportation charges now they are
                demanding anywhere between Rs 30 to Rs 35," said Mr Bhag Chand of
                Rampur.

                The growers point out that drivers are not willing to go to orchards
                located in the remote areas connected by link roads as they fear in
                case of flood they would be stranded there. Furthermore, extensive
                media coverage of the flooding of the Sutlej and possible washing
                out of the national highway has made the truckers more cautious.

                Since the apple growing belt of Ani subdivision of Kullu, located
                two km from Rampur, sends its produce through Shimla, the growers
                there have also been affected. The areas of Kullu district which
                send apple from Rampur side includes Bagi Pul, Arsu, Sarahan, Nithar
                and Chowar.

                In case the uncertainty regarding the exact situation at the Parchu
                Lake does not get sorted out fast, the apple growing areas located
                in higher reaches of Kinnaur will also be affected as their season
                will start towards end of August or first week of September. "Right
                now the flood threat is not affecting us but in case the uncertainty
                continues, we will be badly hit even though this year we had a good
                crop," says a worried Ramesh Kumar from Sangla.
              • Sanjeev Kumar Rana
                Separate directorate for elementary education Tribune News Service Shimla, August 22 The government has decided to set up a separate directorate of elementary
                Message 7 of 9 , Aug 22, 2004
                  Separate directorate for elementary education
                  Tribune News Service
                  Shimla, August 22

                  The government has decided to set up a separate directorate of
                  elementary education to ensure the proper implementation of the
                  Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan in the state.


                  Pollution Control Dept set up
                  Tribune News Service

                  Shimla, August 22
                  The Himachal Government has created a new Department of Pollution
                  Control and bifurcated the non-conventional energy sources from the
                  multi-purpose projects and the Power Department.

                  Ms Vidya Stokes, Power Minister, will hold the charge of both
                  Pollution Control Department and the Non-conventional Energy Sources
                  Department.

                  Originally the pollution control was under the Science Technology
                  and Environment Department but it was made a part of the Forest
                  Department in January last.
                • Sanjeev Kumar Rana
                  Prasar Bharti not to install new TV transmitter Tribune News Service Shimla, June 22 Prasar Bharati will not install any new television transmitter and instead
                  Message 8 of 9 , Jun 22, 2005
                    Prasar Bharti not to install new TV transmitter
                    Tribune News Service

                    Shimla, June 22
                    Prasar Bharati will not install any new television transmitter and
                    instead popularise the satellite-based DTH (direct to home)
                    television in the areas which did not receive the Doordarshan
                    signal.

                    Stating this at a press conference here yesterday Mr K.S. Sarma,
                    Chief Executive Officer, Prasar Bharati, said that a DTH set which
                    allowed 33 channels cost only Rs 3,500 and was affordable. In
                    Himachal Pradesh DTH sets were to be provided free of cost in the
                    tribal districts of Lahaul-Spiti and Kinnaur as announced by the
                    Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, during his recent visit to the
                    state. A proposal to provide television sets to public institutions
                    along with the DTH set was under consideration.

                    Underlining the need for a broadcast regulatory authority he said
                    the relevant Bill was likely to be introduced in Parliament in the
                    monsoon session. He said Prasar Bharati had, on its own, decided to
                    limit advertisements to just 35 seconds in a 10 minute bulletin.

                    He announced that the "news on phone" service would be introduced in
                    nine more cities including Shimla, Raipur, Lucknow, Ahmedabad,
                    Jaipur, Guwahati, Banglore, Imphal and Thiruvananthapuram shortly.
                    News updates would be available through this service round the clock.

                    He said the combined revenue of the Doordarshan and All India Radio,
                    which stood at Rs 825 crore last year, was likely to cross the Rs
                    1,000 crore mark in the current year.
                  • Sanjeev Kumar Rana
                    Pahari programmes may be replaced Tribune News Kumarhatti, July 6 Himachalis may be deprive from viewing regional programmes through the Kasauli Doordarshan
                    Message 9 of 9 , Jul 6, 2005
                      Pahari programmes may be replaced
                      Tribune News

                      Kumarhatti, July 6
                      Himachalis may be deprive from viewing regional programmes through
                      the Kasauli Doordarshan Centre if a proposal forwarded by the
                      Chandigarh Doordarshan Production Centre to the Doordarshan
                      authorities based in New Delhi to replace "Pahari" programmes with
                      Punjabi programmes is accepted.

                      Well-placed sources in Doordarshan, speaking on the condition of
                      anonymity, said in the proposal the plea was taken to expand the
                      network area of Punjabi programmes.

                      The proposal sought to show Punjabi programmes between 5 p.m. and
                      7.30 p.m.

                      At present, the Kasauli centre is airing Himachali regional
                      programmes during that time.

                      The transmission of the "pahari" programmes has vast coverage area
                      due to the location and height of the Kasauli TV tower.

                      The signal from the tower can easily be caught in remote areas of
                      the state. The transmitter at Shimla, airing the same programmes has
                      limited coverage area.
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