BJP opposes joint-front slogan of all trade unions by CPI(M)

By : Mohan Verma

State Unit of BJP opposed the joint front move of all trades unions terming the such statement made by CPI(M) laughable on Monday.

BJP state committee statement released said that any such move and slogan by the left leaders are to befool the people as slogan of Shramaiv Jaitay (labour lead to victory) is laughable one.

Defending its rule at centre it alleged that there was indeed no tandem between ‘workers and industrialists’ during last UPA rule as the pace of development was on virtual halt but as incumbent Narendra Kumar Modi government is at centre to end prevailing dichotomy accelerating pace development in the country, statement said.

Hitting CPI(M) Mayor of Shimla Muncipal Corporation Mr. Sanjay Chauhan and Deputy Mayor Mr. Tekinder Singh Panwar, saffron party alleged that instead of concentrating on development fronts in the town both were turning riders to various developmental works.

“Not a single promise made in CPI(M) manifesto released before MC Shimla poll were fulfilled yet,” BJP leader charged in the statement.

State party leadership also said that CPM leaders seemed helpless to do away with unit area method (imposed by BJP and Congress dominated Shimla MC in 2011-12) alleging to take U turn on the issue now.

BJP leaders said that despite it was widely opposed by left unions and it was one of key promise in its manifesto in MC Shimla elections.

Central University to set up at one place : Virbhadra Singh

By : Arvind Sharma

Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh said that the ex-VC of the Central University of Himachal was responsible for delay in the transfer of the allocated land to Central University by the Himachal government, which was the only reason in the delay of the project. Speaking to media at TCV near Mcleodganj in Dharamshala on Monday Mr. Singh said, “Ex-VC of Central University has shown almost no interest in getting this land transferred for the institution.”

Mr. Singh said that the Central University of Himachal shall be established in one place. He said, “such institutions are never allocated and established in different places.” Without naming Mr. Anurag Thakur MP of Hamirpur and son of Ex C.M. Mr. Dhumal, Mr. Virbhadra said, “few politicians, including MLAs and MPs tried to bifurcate the setting of this university at two different places for their own political benefits.”

When asked that whether the land has been sanctioned or allocated for this, he said, “The land has been allocated at one place and it shall be transferred soon.” Though he didn’t mentioned the place for setting up of Central university at Dharamshala, but not even rejected it.

About the setting up of a circuit bench of High Court at Dharamshala Mr. Singh said, “it is for the High Court to decide this, Himachal government has no objection for the setting up of a circuit bench at Dharamshala.”

Pear as new cash-crop in Himachal

By : Mohan Verma

New high yielding varieties of pear and its better shelf-life offers a new cash crop option for farmers in this hill state especially in Kullu valley, replacing senile and decaying old root stock of apple, the official of Horticulture Department said.

Deputy Director of Department posted at Kullu, Mr. B.C. Rana told that farmers are getting better yields from upcoming varieties of pears as 20 kilogram box was fetching price band of Rs. 1400 to Rs. 1800 in the market not only diversifying their age old practice of farming, moreover, offers new avenues with remunerative options.

During 2013-14 state has record 25214 MT of pear as Kullu district lead with 21841 MT followed by Shimla 7149 MT, Kangra 1530 Mt, Solan 1393 MT, Mandi 1075 MT, Sirmaur 819 MT, Una 759 MT, Hamirpur 227 MT, Chamba 266 MT, Bilaspur 135 MT, Kinnaur 17 MT and Lahaul & Spiti 3 MT.

Currently there is about 7220 hectare under this crop and it is 490 hectare in Kullu alone. New varieties like barlet, red barlet, star crimson, kiffer, moti dandi and max red are popular among the farmers.

Red bartlet having better shelf life is getting best price band of about Rs. 1400 to Rs 1800 per box in the market followed by red crimson, though having low shelf value it is fetching Rs. 1500 to Rs. 1700 per box.

Earlier farmers dwindling with senile and decaying apple root-stocks seems to be glad with this new option as it can grow in the low line area at the height of 1700 to 2400 ft from the sea level.

Agriculture experts feels that apple crop having major impact due to global warming and ascending of its belt in high snow line area, its plantation could be better option in the areas like Bajaura etc.

The pears can withstand the heat of 45 degrees Celsius, moreover, it did not require round the year care as apple.

The crop is being spray once in the year as farmers sprinkle the zinc sulphate and phosphors sulphate etc. in the month of April only. Demand of pears is picking up in the market as doctor prescribe pear to their sugar patients.

Apple, walnut, mango, pear, peach, pecan, pomegranate are among number of fruit being grown in the state. The fruit production is the mainstay of people rendering livelihood of about more than 1.50 lakh households in the state.

Water ATM out of order on the Ridge : Shimla

By : Mohan Verma

First of its kind water ATM at Ridge is out of order for last five days, forcing about 400 ATM holders to render post to pillar to have drinkable water.

We are purchasing mineral water bottles as ATM is out of order for last five days as it had developed some snag recently, Ramesh Chand one of the ATM card holder who draw water daily from the outlets told media.

Deputy Mayor Shimla, Tekinder Singh told media that ATM was dedicated to the people two and half month ago but the firm offering this services could not maintain it as it was out of order and people were registering complaints with the MC.

MC would act against the firm as it remained fulfill its obligations accepted in the job contract. Moreover, MC was giving round the clock free supply of drinking water on Ridge near the ATM as people could also use it as it was properly treated.

The ATM was dedicated to the people by Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh on July 28, 2014 at historical Ridge ground to provide filter water with nominal price to tourists and local people.

The ATM run by IPH (public health department) function like payment pattern on metro as ATM card get issue to the applicants after receiving payment near the water quask.

Filtered water disbursed in bottle and big containers is to be charged Rs. 0.50 per liter.

This district witness footfall of more than 30 lakh tourists every year and can be benefited with creation of such capacity building scheme.


After venturing ‘Raid De Himalaya’ Indian armed forces drivers return to their barrack

The strongest contingents of Indian Armed Force comprising of seven seasoned driver has returned to their barrack after venturing 16th edition of Raid De Himalaya suspended in the mid of event following snowfall on Kunzum Pass in Spiti valley recently.

Spokesman of Indian Army at Chandimadir Mr. Pavitar Singh said in a press statement today that seven member teams (five teams in extreme category and two teams in adventure category) from Indian Army participated in the event comprising of Lt Col. S Bajaj, Lt Col. RV Kondalkar, Maj. Himanshu Pareek, Maj. H. Dankar, Capt. Madhavi Singh, Lt Col. Himanshu Dixit and Capt. Vikram Yadav.

Beside joining this competition Army had also played active role to held this event as various administrative detachments (representatives) were provided by them at various remote locations enroute to facilitate the conduct of the rally smoothly, spokesman said.

Every year continents from Indian armed forces took part in the event and play important role to help for organization of event.

The Rally flagged off from Shimla on 05 October 2014 covered Shimla-Manali-Kaza-Komic-Dhankar-Kaza-Gramphoo-Sarchu-Dat-Debring-Sarchu-Manali route.

The rally passed smoothly from Shimla to Manali route but due to snowfall on high reaches it has shifted towards Gramphoo & Kaza and ended at Manali cutting short the event from Gramphoo onwards as it did not venture might snow passes like Sarchu-Dat-Debring route this year where Army had its posts and men, spokesman said.

Named as Maruti Suzuki Raid De Himalaya Car Rally 2014 is an international level motor sport event and is listed among the seven target rallies in the world.

The rally flagged off from Shimla on October 3 and ended at Manali on October 11 with formal prize distribution ceremony.

“Snapdeal” to sell Philately products

By : Mohan Verma

E-commerce website would also sell the Philately products as India Post has entered in a deal after inking an agreement in this regard recently.

Disclosing this on Monday, Post Master General of Himachal Pradesh circle, Mr. A.N. Nanda told media that 14 products of Philately are being made available on the ‘snapdeal’ website as the arrangement has been made by the India Post keeping volume of business being transacted on the E-commerce websites in the country.

Stamps’ fans and philatelists are also shopping it on the India Post site, he added that outlets of Himachal Tourism (HPTDC) are being used as sale centres for the Philately products to promote it among the people.

Meanwhile, department has also organized number of exhibitions in the town where Philatelists are being invited to sell and exchange their collections among each other’s besides opting for new issue products.
On the direction of prime minister Mr. Narindra Modi, India post is to hold a ‘Republic Day 2014-15 stamp design competition’ on the theme of “Sawachh Bharat” (a sanitation drive kicked off by the PM on October 2, 2014), the entries are invited across the country till October 15, 2014. The best sample stamp is to be given prize of Rs. 10,000 followed by Rs. 6000 to second best and Rs. 4000 to the third.

The Sawachh Bharat memorial stamp and its first day release cover would issue and print the India Post.

Similarly, Gaiety Theatre complex new heritage stamp have been released by the Philately on August 20, 2014. In the history of state three states Philately exhibitions containing Philatelists from Himachal, Punjab and Haryana came together under one banner as state level exhibition was held at Gaiety Theatre, Shimla on June 9 and 11, 2014.

On the Philately day, Shimla Bureau organized 300 students visit to Bureau so that new aspirants could be facilitated towards this creative habits. Under Himachal Pradesh Post Circle Philately’s two Bureau and 26 counters were delivering its services.

Postcard & inland letter would not die sudden death like telegram : N. Narayan Anand

By : Mohan Verma

Post cards and inland letters, two economical popular mail services of India post would not die sudden death like telegram, despite it was facing multi pro-long challenges as it is virtually becoming outdated today with upcoming Internet mailing, messaging and courier services.

Relevance of post card and inland letter in the time of whatsapp, facebook, twitter, Internet mailing etc. appears to be old and out-fashioned today but both services are being rendered with equal zenith, Post Master General of Himachal Pradesh circle Mr. N. Narayan Anand responded to a query raised by media on the occasion of postal day yesterday.

India post have emotional bounding with these two postal services despite both of them are not considered much popular and economical but two would not be allowed to die sudden death like telegram by BSNL.

“We should have retained these services. They are of public need even today. The post card is priced at 50 paisa and the government incurs a loss on it. Yet the post card remains in use because it’s an obligation and service to society”, “No challenge from courier services are there as mailing services being rendered by India Post was made relevant after launching ‘speed post’ giving healthy competition are there with private courier services”, he said.

Moreover, people still repose faith on us as frequent delay of its schedule delivery and censure with courier services it could not enjoy same rapport and credibility as postal mail, he claimed.

To further improve the handling transmission and delivery of parcels on the analogy of speed posts, hubs have been established at Parwanoo and Shimla GPOs to trace the movement of parcels and its schedule
delivery to the costumers.

Narrating an appreciation and success story of Himachal Pradesh circles, Mr. Anand said that they were patted by Union Ministry of human resources for delivery of consignment of questions papers to conduct recruitment examination of public services examinations at Killar in Pangi valley of Chamba district on March 2014.

Due to snowfall on the roads linking valley India post faced nature challenges to overcome hurdles as consignment was posted to Pathankot via Kishtwar areas of J&K but it was herculean task to the staff to
further carry it to Killar, headquarters of Pangi before commencing of exam on next day at 1000 hours.

Now the dedicated staff need to fathom snow passes overnight. Despite PMG office on phone directed them to not take risk of life the staff made it possible by showing extreme dedication to their services as
question papers were delivered one hour before the examination.

India post were rendering its services in such hard areas where no one affords due to cost and topographic reason. The hard areas like Kaza in Lahaul & Spiti, Killar in Pangi, Kargil in Jammu and Kashmir, India post is spanned in each nook and corner of this country and could not be become irrelevant.

India Post to roll up banking services by next years

By : Mohan Verma

India Post would roll up banking services by next years as modalities have been sorted out linking it with core banking system as MOU had been signed two years back with IT firm M/s. Infosys to design new  software called ‘Pinnacle’, senior officer of postal service informed at Shimla on Wednesday.

On the eve of 140 years of establishment and World Postal Day, Himachal Pradesh Circle Post Master General N.Narayan Anand told media persons that banking services and ATMs would be started in 22 places in this hill state by next years.

“We have already identified three locations for postal ATMs in Shimla, Solan and Bilaspur while banking services would be lined with core banking system as work of linking, cleanage and mucking is in the process,” Mr. Anand said adding that proposal to switch over to CBS is pending with Union Ministry of Finance likely to be okay by RBI soon.

Small saving having inclusive domestic investment uniformly are being raised by India post which is much beneficial to stabling national economy rather than FDI and institutional investment, official observed. Expressing hope for success of banking services PMG observed that clientage of India post relent strong faith on its services as likely to strengthen further.

“We are optimistic to compete with other market force, India post is not starting it from ground zero, moreover, it is formative experience for us. After serving and delivering such services for more than one hundred and thirty years we have no threat from any competitors likely to make stronger with upcoming and induction of modern art of science and latest IT services,” he said.

He said that project Arrow started to renovate ancient post offices and induction of electronic panels India post is spending Rs. 5000 crores. We are inducting different level of IT solutions to every post office as 18 head offices, 447 departmental sub post offices and 2315 outlets. He further informed that all the HPO and SPOs have been computerized so far. He said, “Project Arrow was launched under 409 post offices of HP circle have been under core operation.”

To improve the conditions of fifteen post offices at Jawali, Nurpur in Kangra district Sujanpur Tirra and Nadaun in Hmairpur district, Ghumarwien in Bilaspur district, Jogindernagar, Karsog, Sunderngar and Sarkaghat in Mandi district, Rewalsar in Kullu district, Mashobra and Rohru in Shimla district, Baddi in Solan district and Poanta Sahib of Sirmaur district have been shortlisited to be modernized in year 2012-13, moreover five post offices at Theog in Shimla district, Rajgarh in Sirmaur district, Chail in Solan district and Kothi in Kullu district have been shortlisted for this year.

He said that National postal week would start from today onwards as October 9 being dedicated to World Postal Day, October 10 as Saving Bank Day, October 11 Mail Day, October 13 as Philately Day and October 14 as Business Day.

History – On October 9, 1874 universal postal Union was established at Swiss Capital Berne and it was declared as World Post Day in 1969 during universal Union Congress held at Tokyo Japan. India post is world largest postal services having network of about 154846 post offices and 466903 employees.

Post-monsoon showers further bring down mercury in Himachal

By : Mohan Verma

Post-monsoon showers lashed this hill state in last 24 hours and brought down mercury substantially as it recorded decline of three to four degrees in the minimum temperature.

Headquarters of tribal Lahaul-Spiti district, Keylong was coldest of the season in the state as it recorded low at 5 degrees, down by 3.5 degrees of yesterday.

Regional headquarters of Kinnaur, Kalpa was low at 6.4 degrees, down by 2 degrees, Dalhousie experienced 26 mm rainfall and recorded low at 6.6 degrees, a down by 5.7 degrees of yesterday, Shimla town recorded rainfall of about 10 mm this afternoon and was low by 10 degrees, which was a down by 3.7 degrees of yesterday.

Nahan in Sirmaur district got 10 mm rainfall and was low at 13 degrees, 3 degrees down of yesterday, it was 14 degrees each at Sundernagar in Mandi district and Bhuntar in Kullu district which received 5.7 mm and 10 mm rain respectively, Palampur in Kangra district got 20 mm and Chamba 14 mm rainfall respectively.

Minimum temperature of Abode of Tibetan Spiritual leader Dalai Lama, Dharamshala, Kangra and Una was at 15 degrees each and experienced 21 mm, 11.6 mm and 33 rainfall respectively.

Mandi town was low at 18 degrees and got 10 mm rainfall. Hamirpur and Bilaspur was 19 degrees each and got 1 mm and 11 mm rainfall, respectively.

The Met office said that Mehre in Kangra district had 38 mm rainfall which was highest in the state followed by Bhandal 30 mm, Gohar in Mandi district and Bangana in Una district 25 mm each, Kalatop in Shimla 19 mm, Kheri in Kullu district 14 mm each, Jogindernagar in Mandi district 13 mm, Seobagh in Kullu district 12 mm each.

The Met. office forecast more rain in the middle hills, however, the weather will remain maimainly dry weather in rest of the state.

Shimla hosts brain storming sessions on ‘colonial inheritance’

By : Mohan Verma

Celebrating 150 years of British Summer Capital of India, Indian Instituted of Advance Study located in one of relic of same era would explore harmonizing colonial inheritance, urban aesthetics and modernization with special reference to this town as two days seminar began on Tuesday.

Inaugurating the first day of the session, Director of IIAS, Prof. Chetan Singh said that various aspects of hill stations established by Britishers across India drawing researchers from different streams to explore peculiarity of such townships, regardless of alien imposition upon the geographical landscapes.

“So deeply entrenched is the imagined ‘Britishness’ in and about the towns that almost seven decades after independence it continue to grip the minds of residents, planners and tourists alike” he added.

“However serious contradiction has always marked their (townships came in Raj day) existence…for Shimla- the most British and Imperial of such retreats, this contradiction now threatens to become a fatal embrace.” Director of IIAS highlighted the apathetic states of landmarks in the town underscoring the need to preserve hill stations founded by the Britishers Additional Chief Secretary (Language & Art) of Himachal Ms. Upma Chaudhary said in her introductory remarks that Shimla has lost its old glory of its colonial civility and grandeurs.

“During frequent annual summer visits to this town since during my (her) childhood from Jalandhar of Punjab, this fact is saddening to note here that Shimla is virtually crying.” “Transformed completely compared to its past with coming up of high rising structure, vanishing public places, landscapes, missing splendid green especially the beauty of Deodars, choking drains and shabby civic places, Ms. Chaudhary lamented.

Speaking on the urbanization of South Asia in the Railway Age (1860-1960, Former Prof. of Jamiya Meliya Islamiya and prominent historian Ms. Narayani Gupta) said that London Metro which came up in 19th century is the best prototype of modern public transport system protecting past heritage.

India house as many as 200 colonial civilities entities most of them located in Rajasthan, explores un-parallel medical past another is Varansi reflects rich religious and culture heritage inheritance.
However, she added that most of hill stations and cantonments founded by Britishers were here for lodging their infantries during its invasions.

Expressing concern over pace with which public place are squeezing especially the pavement, Ms. Gupta said that modern arts and public facilities have enough to learn from the colonial past as cases of deaths are increasing with widening and congested roads and heavy traffic in the metropolis.

She informed that growing of grass in the lawns, parks and pubic places is pure British notions despite it is difficult today to manage as it swallow lot of water for its growing in any civic station.