SHIMLA - 20 July, 2019

CM directs to explore possibilities for developing Riwalsar for tourism activities

Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur said that the state government is endeavouring to promote tourism in a big way with special emphasis on developing basic infrastructure in virgin tourist destinations. He said that the government would implement each tourism project in a phased manner and the focus would be laid on providing best infrastructural facilities to all age group tourists.

He was speaking during the presentation made by CSRD foundation here today on a comprehensive plan to develop tourism infrastructure in the state.

Jai Ram Thakur said that the government would develop Chanshal for skiing, Bir-Billing for paragliding, Pong Dam for water sports and Janjehli from eco-tourism point of view on priority basis.

The Chief Minister directed to explore the possibilities to develop Riwalsar in Mandi district which is visited by the tourists in a large number especially Hindu, Buddhist and Sikh pilgrims. He also directed to prepare detailed project report for developing Buddhist circuits in the state.

He said that state government has also planned to develop Shiv Dham in Mandi town as an added attraction to the tourists visiting the area. He said ample parking, restaurant and other facilities would be developed to cater to the requirements of tourists of all age groups. The Shiv Dham, which is proposed to be developed on Kangnidhar hill top above Mandi town will be connected with cable car ropeway facility which would also be a mode of transportation for the locals. Moreover, the banks of the Beas river in the Mandi town would also be developed besides an artificial lake.

The Chief Minister asked to explore the possibilities to connecting Kangnidhar with Tarna temple. He said the project to develop Mandi town as tourist destination would be funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) however, till the government receives funds, the work on this project would be started through state funds in the first phase.

Directors of the CSRD foundation Hitesh Trivedi, Ojas Hirani and Bharat Patel, senior officers of the tourism department were present on the occasion.


Excise and Taxation department collects Rs. 6421.55 crore

The Excise and Taxation department collected Rs. 6421.55 crores towards government ex-chequer during the financial year 2018-19 against the target of Rs. 5860.63 crores whereas the department has collected Rs. 1159.74 crores up to May, 2019 during current fiscal.

This was disclosed in a review meeting held here under the chairmanship of Principal Secretary (E&T) Sanjay Kundu, in which the officers from all the zones and districts participated.

Sanjay Kundu expressed his satisfaction with the performance of the department regarding achieving the revenue targets and stressed on the need to run special campaigns for realization of arrears due under all heads so that more revenue could be added to government ex-chequer. He also directed to work for plugging loopholes and leakages at all levels.

While expressing concern over pending arrears, he directed the department to take fresh look at the provisions of Excise and Toll policy to make it more effective and realistic to achieve and secure higher revenue. He exhorted to make the excise policy more tourist friendly by amending the relevant provisions and also by securing the government revenue.

It was emphasized to increase professionalism in the department by way of conduct of intensive and adequate training programmes for capacity building and to emulate the best practices and models available in the country.

He directed that the department should adopt a more proactive approach for revenue enhancement under Goods & Services Tax Act. The departmental officers in the field should take more interest in tax collection from the service sector in co-ordination with various government departments.

Sanjay Kundu assured that the department would be adequately strengthened and equipped with all such facilities which are required for effective and efficient tax administration to maximize the government revenue by way of transparency and efficient functioning.


Meeting on Techno-legal regime for construction activities held

A meeting on techno-legal regime for construction activities was held here yesterday under the chairmanship of Principal Secretary Revenue and Disaster Management Onkar Chand Sharma.

Onkar Chand Sharma said that Urban Development Department will share the compliance report on adoption of Model Building Bye Laws by every Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) in the State as per directions of State Executive Committee constituted under Disaster Management Act 2005. The District Disaster Management Authorities (DDMAs) will also follow with the ULBs of their district to adopt Model Building Bye Laws.

He said that Urban Development Department alongwith DDMAs would ensure that constructions will be regulated as per the adopted Model Building Bye Laws by the ULBs. He said that Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Department will ensure safe construction practices in the rural areas for which adequate Information Education and Communication (IECs) activities will be carried out.

Shri Sharma said that all construction activities involving buildings such as educational institutes, housing colonies, hotels and resorts or any other commercial structure such as dhabas, tea stalls, home stay etc. will be got screened for structural and fire safety by the DDMAs. He said that in future PRIs will ensure that such structures are constructed as per safety standards. He said that Rural Development and Panchayati Raj ( RD&PR) Department will spread the knowledge about safe construction practices and traditional building practices in villages and Gram Panchayats with the help of IEC material and activities in association with SDMA and DDMAs.

He said that it was decided also in the meeting that DDMAs headed by the Deputy Commissioner of each district will check that the vulnerable building or commercial structure developed in hazards prone zone may be surveyed and proper action to ensure safety will be taken with the help of tourism department and other line departments to avoid repeat of Kumarhatti like incident in future. He said that RD&PR department will support the SDMA and DDMAs for implementation of the scheme on training of masons, carpenters, bar binders and other artisans in hazard resistant construction by training 5-10 masons from each panchayats in order to institutionalize and promote the safe construction practices in the state.

Shri Sharma said that SDMA will develop a data base of retired engineers, architects and technocrats in the state from various departments so that general public can use their service for safe construction in urban and rural areas.

Director cum Special Secretary Revenue and Disaster Management D.C. Rana welcomed the participants and conducted the proceeding of the meeting.

Director RD&PR Rakesh Kanwar, Director Town and Country Planning C. Paulrasu, Architect-in-Chief N.K. Negi, Additional Director Rural Development Sachin Kanwal, Joint Director Urban Development K.C. Gaur, Deputy Secretary PWD Ritu Raj Verma, Assistant Town Planner Rohit Bhardwaj and other officers attended the meeting.


No. 693/2019-PUB SHIMLA 20 July, 2019

A meeting to develop Earthquake Early Warning System held

A meeting to develop Earthquake Early Warning (EEW) System in Himachal Pradesh was held under the Chairmanship of Principal Secretary Revenue and Disaster Management Onkar Chand Sharma here today.

Shri Sharma said that seismic hazard is very high as maximum area of the state lies in Himalayas which is one of the most seismically active regions in the world. A developed Earthquake Early Warning System could be an effort in the direction to mitigate the seismic hazards in the state. He said that in this regard, IIT Roorkee had sent a proposal to the State Government to establish Earthquake Early Warning System. IIT Roorkee has already installed such Earthquake Early Earning System in Uttarakhand with the help of State Government which is running very effectively by generating database of earthquake events, generating public awareness and detailed research on seismic activities.

He said that according to IIT Roorkee’s proposal Himachal Pradesh may put earthquake sensors in different parts of the State which will detect earthquake activities in real time. The warning may be communicated to the general public by a network of sirens. If the earthquake has its epicenter in Kangra or Mandi regions, the people in the State Capital may get lead time to take action say by 30 to 35 seconds. Similarly, the expected lead time to the major cities if 1905 Kangra earthquake repeats in the region would be Solan 42 seconds, Mandi 20 seconds, Dalhausie 8 seconds, Dehradun 77 seconds, Chandigarh 43 seconds, Ludhiana 37 seconds, Amritsar 38 seconds, Panipat 93 seconds and Delhi 123 seconds.

Shri Sharma said that timely action may save many lives if there is earthquake in the State in future and such an early warning system is in place and institutionalized and such EEWS will help generating database of earthquakes in the state and generating mass awareness on earthquake safety.

After detailed deliberations, Onkar Sharma said that the State Government may consider and more discussion will be held to take up this proposal to minimize the expected loss and damage due to impending earthquakes in the State of high magnitude in future by creating a culture of safety, improving the mock exercises familiarities and awareness for earthquake safety in general public.

Associate Professor IIT Roorkee Dr. Kamal, Dean-School of Earth & Environment Sciences Central University Himachal Pradesh, Kangra Prof. A.K. Mahajan, Director IMD Shima Dr. Manmohan Singh, Principal Scientific Officer, HIMCOSTE Dr. S.S. Randhawa and Director-cum-Special Secretary (DMC) D.C. Rana were present in the meeting.



CM expresses grief over demise of Sheila Dixit

Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur has expressed grief over the demise of former Chief Minister of Delhi, Sheila Dikshit, who passed away on Saturday evening.

He said that contributions of Sheila Dixit would always be remembered by the people for the development of Delhi.

Jai Ram Thakur has extended his condolences to the bereaved family members and prayed to the Almighty for peace of the departed soul.


CM mourns death of Himachali soldier

Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur has expressed grief over the death of Army Jawan Sahil Kumar, who made the supreme sacrifice during a terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir.

Aged 24, Sahil Kumar was resident of Nanspo village of Kinnaur district.

In his message to the bereaved family members, the Chief Minister has expressed his deep condolences with the bereaved family members. He prayed to the Almighty for peace to the departed soul.