07HP01A.qxd 8/6/2013 6:26 PM Page 1 c Shimla 20.6° 17.8° m b y VIGNETTES 4 Headless Raja fought battle for an Hour HIMACHAL DIARY College girls, volunteers participate in tree-plantation drive 4 The Tribune Himachal Plus Shimla Wednesday August 7 2013 www.tribuneindia.com Shravan Navratra begins at Naina Devi Setting sun’s artistry OUR CORRESPONDENT BILASPUR, AUGUST 6 The famous Shravan Ashtami Navratra fair began at the hill top shrine of Mata Naina Devi today. The fair would continue till August 16. Deputy Commissioner cum Mela Management Committee Chairman and Temple Commissioner Ajay Sharma said all the arrangements have been made for smooth, peaceful and orderly conduct of the fair. He said the District Magistrate has issued notifica- tions, prohibiting carrying and keeping all types of weapons and explosives including arms, ammunition and sharp edged weapons in the Kot police station area during the fair. The order has been passed under Section 144 IPC with a view to maintain total peace and human safety during the fair. Under the notifications, offering of 'Haluwa', 'Prasad' and coconuts to the deity is banned. Use of microphones and loud speakers are also banned during the fair. All announcements regarding lost and found shall be made from the official loud speakers, fixed the by department of Information and Public Relations at suitable places for helping the pilgrims. Another notification issued under Section 115 of Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, bans plying of trucks, tempos, large vehicles, tractors and canters on road-tract from Toba to Naina Devi. Only taxis, cars and small buses shall be allowed on this tract with a view to ensure safety and to avoid traffic jams. NGO leader Ram Singh retires OUR CORRESPONDENT People enjoy the sunset in Shimla. Photo: Amit Kanwar BILASPUR, AUGUST 6 3 children working as bonded Ex-MLA gives one month’s labourers rescued ultimatum to cops IMMORAL TRAFFICKING IN NURPUR KULDEEP CHAUHAN/TNS OUR CORRESPONDENT nia, the first freedom fighter of the country, and former minister and Congress stalwart Sat Mahajan, but now it seems that people will acknowledge it as a den of rampant prostitution,” he rued. He alleged that there was no check on trafficking girls from the neighbouring Punjab to some local hotels where immoral trafficking was on the rise nowadays, bringing shame to our Dev Bhoomi. “All development activities have come to astandstill during the past seven months and the local MLA, Ajay Mahajan, is trying to appropriate credit for the works which had been started by me during the reign of the Dhumal government. The blood-storage centre and the ultrasound machine in the local Civil Hospital have become non-functional. The ICU status has been de-graded,” he said. MANDI/KULLU, AUGUST 6 A team of Child Line (1098), a children's helpline, on Saturday rescued three children, Ranjit (12), Guddu (14) and Suraj (15), who were working as bonded labourers at a sweets shop in Sundernagar. The shop owner was booked for violation of the Labour Act, Minimum Wages Act and Juvenile Justice Act. The children were produced before the Judicial Child Welfare Committee, Mandi, which sent them to Dehar Children Home till Monday. Gopal Gautam, Mandi coordinator for the Child Line, said the children were bonded labourers and forced to work from 6 am to 10 pm in the shop. They were beaten up if they refused. They wanted to go back to their families, he added. Ranjit and Guddu are brothers, while Suraj is an orphan, all from Uttar Pradesh. Both the brothers had been working NURPUR, AUGUST 6 Members of the Child Line, a children's helpline, rescue three children from a dhaba at Sundernagar in Mandi on Saturday. Photo: Jai Kumar in the shop for the last one year, while Suraj was there for the past two months, the investigation said. Gautam said the owner had violated the Labour Act, the Minimum Wages Act and the Juvenile Justice Act as they were being paid less than Rs 4,500 per month and were forced to work for 16 hours daily, while the Act forbids work exceeding four hours for children. However, the Child Line is yet to bring certain hoteliers, restaurant owners, farm owners and orchardists in Kullu- Manali, Lahaul-Spiti, Shimla, Mandi and Kangra under the scanner of the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR). A NCPCR team that visited the state on July 31 found 39,000 cases of child labour and child rights violations in the state. The visit follows after a Kullu-based NGO, Himalayan Environment Protection Society (HEPS), lodged a complaint with the NCPCR in 2010 and later pointing out the cases of child rights violations under the RTE, Act. Up in arms against the increasing cases of flesh trade in most of the hotels in Nurpur, a gateway of the Kangra valley, former local MLA, Rakesh Pathania, has given one month’s ultimatum to the Kangra district police administration to check the menace; otherwise the next line of action will be planned in consultation with the local residents. Talking to mediapersons here, he alleged that the local hotels had become a safe heaven for prostitution in connivance with the police administration and under political patronage to flesh racketeers in the area during the past seven months after coming of the Congress government into power. “This area was known by the historical name of Wazir Ram Singh Patha- No flood worry for Himachal from Chinese lake: Experts SHIMLA, AUGUST 6 The threat of flash-floods in Himachal Pradesh from a high-altitude lake in China has receded as the alarming accumulation of water in the lake eased with the natural clearing of blockades, a senior official said recently. “The water level had increased alarmingly in the Parechu Lake (in Tibet) in June mainly due to blockades along the main stream channel,” Chief Secretary Sudripta Roy said. “There was a threat that the lake would breach its banks. But now the water outflow has started receding naturally. The threat has subsided,” he said. But the government is constantly monitoring the outflow from the lake through satellite images, the Chief Secretary said. The Parechu river, a tributary of the Spiti river, originates in Tibet and joins the Spiti river at Sumdoh, 350 km from here, in Kinnaur district. The Spiti river is the major tributary of the Satluj river basin. It joins the Satluj at Khab, also in Kinnaur dis- trict. The sudden increase in the outflow in the Parechu river posed a grave threat to life and property on the Indian side. Scientific Officer SS Randhawa of the State Council for Science, Technology and Environment said impounding of water in the Parechu Lake was due to huge accumulation of debris. He said debris had caused partial blockade of the outflow, causing accumulation of the water in the lake depression. “The water accumulation was first noticed June 22. The blockades were cleared naturally on July 5, and the water started discharging normally. “By July 15, we noticed there was slight change in the water level (in comparison to July 5). The water had again started accumulating in the depression,” he said. “Although accumulated water is there, the outflow now seems to be normal,” he added. Regional Director P. Gyamba Dorje of the Central Water Commission said the water spread of the Parechu river had increased c m to 100 hectares, from the original 43 hectares. He said the National Remote Sensing Agency in Hyderabad had been informed about the development, and it had been monitoring the lake on a day-to-day basis. “Some blockages are still there. The inflow from the lake has exceeded the outflow. But there is no need for panic,” Dorje added. Himachal Pradesh experienced flash-floods in 2005, as the Parechu Lake breached its banks. — IANS y b A prominent NGO leader and State NGOs Federation Ram Singh, retired from the government service as Head Draughtsman from the HP PWD Department, after 36 years of service, here recently. Chief Minister Virbhdra Singh sent a message of congratulations and good wishes to Ram Singh on his superannuation. The Chief Minister has said the employees are the back bone of the government and it is through their cooperation and hard work that the gov- ernment schemes and programmes reach the people. Former Chief Ministers Shanta Kumar and Prof Prem Kumar Dhumal also extended their good wishes to Ram Sigh on his retirement. Farewell community lunch which was organised in honour of Ram Singh, was attended by hundreds of employees at Dholera Temple complex here. Prominent among those who attended and appreciated constructive, selfless and fearless role of Ram Singh in interests of employees and his services to trade union movement in state included top former leaders of HP state Employees Federation, Gopal Dass Varma, Subhash Sharma, VK Kaul, Adan Singh Thakur, OP Goyal, Chaman Sharma, Sita Ram Dhiman, Kesh Pathania, Lekh Ram Kaundal and Mast Ram Varma.
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