28HP01A.qxd 8/27/2013 6:51 PM Page 1 c 16.8° 24.4° Shimla m b y VIGNETTES HIMACHAL DIARY 3 I bow to thee! Glorious Mother India 4 'Curfew' brings out superficiality in relationships The Tribune Himachal Plus Shimla Wednesday August 28 2013 Kangra miniature wall paintings in Damtal in need of restoration LALIT MOHAN amount of gold and locally produced poison for long life of paintings. Generally the Kangra paintings are used to depict the gods as Radha Krishna or the local rulers during their war campaigns and durbars of local rulers. The Kangra miniature paintings have further offshoots as Guler paintings that flourished in the reign of Guler rulers. The Kangra miniature wall paintings are even rarer and cry for the attention of the government for preservation. There are very few Kangra miniature wall paintings that are still in a condition from where they can be preserved or restored. Besides, the Damtal temple Kangra wall paintings are still surviving in old forts of Kangra rulers in Sujanpur Tira. The Deputy Commissioner, Kangra, Paul Rasu, who is the administrator of the temple, said they would try to restore the wall paintings in Damtal temple. However, the state government has to adopt a concrete long-term policy for preserving the heritage of the region. The INTACH, an NGO, had restored a temple near Dharamsala that got damaged during the earthquake in Kangra in 1905. The NGO can also help in restoration of the art heritage of Kangra. TRIBUNE NEWS SERVICE DHARAMSALA, AUGUST 27 Ram Gopal temple located in the Damtal area of Kangra district is located in an old fort associated with the rulers of former Nurpur state. The walls of the temple have famous Kangra-style miniature wall painting frescos. The paintings are historic as they display Rajput warriors fighting in local wars and durbars of local kings. Sources here said that paintings were created by local artists during the reign of Nurpur rulers about three centuries ago. However, this historic wealth is getting lost due to lack of upkeep and ignorance on the part of those who were till today managing the affairs of the temple. The temple was earlier being managed by local Mahants. However, now its control has been restored to the government by the Supreme Court. A visit to the temple revealed that just one outer wall still supports the wall paintings. Even this wall has been damaged due to ignorant handling on the part of local electricians or carpenters who tried to carry out repairs in the buildings. However, the paintings are in a condition that they can still be restored with the help Kangra wall paintings in the Ram Gopal temple at Damtal that are decaying. Photos by writer of Kangra paintings experts from the district. In case the wall paintings are restored, they will not only add grandeur to the temple but also restore the heritage of the area. Kangra paintings flourished during the times of the famous ruler of Kangra, Sansar Chand Katoch. The Kangra paintings not only have similarities with the other miniature painting styles of the country but also their own uniqueness. The artists practising Kangra paintings use local material like stones and leaves of local trees for producing colours. They also use a slight ‘Will Chamba cement plant be an election issue all the time’ BALKRISHAN PRASHAR CHAMBA, AUGUST 27 The cement plant of Chamba has often been the key issue in every election -whether it be Assembly or the Lok Sabha elections since the proposal of the cement plant was conceived way back in 1977. Yet again it is the talk of the town that Chamba cement plant will be an 'election issue' in the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections, scheduled for 2014. A memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the execution of the cement plant had been signed by the present Congress government with Jai Prakash Associates on February 1, 2007, during its previous regime. But as soon as the process for obtaining clearances such as forests, environment, pollution etc for the setting up of the proposed cement plant was in the process, the Congress government was replaced by the BJP-led government in the 2007 Assembly elections. Prior to it, the MoU with regard to the cement plant was signed by the state BJP-led government with Larsen and Tubro (L&T) on September 24, 1998, and had also granted the mining lease to the enter- prise. But the then BJP-led NDA government at the Centre could not accord environment clearance to the cement plant. The much-publicised cement plant to be set up at Baroh-Sikridhar hills in Churah subdivision of Chamba district was conceived way back in 1977 during the rule of the Janata Party's government at the Centre. Over 35 years have elapsed but the cement plant has not be started so far. The inhabitants of the region are of the opinion that the cement plant will be a source of their livelihood and economic uplift by way of employment. The roads, bridges and other development activities in the area will get a boost with the start of the cement plant. The cement Continued on page 2 PALAMPUR, AUGUST 27 Despite specific order of the Himachal Pradesh High Court and subsequent notification from the state government to remove encroachments from state and national highways in the state, the local administration, the PWD and the NHAI authorities were yet to initiate steps in this regard. There are over 100 encroachments in different parts of the town of which around 80 per cent are on roads under the PWD. Over 50 fruit and vegetable vendors and have encroached upon various parts of the Mandi-Pathankot National Highway, which is one of the busiest roads of the town. The administration is not initiating any action against them. The road near the local gurdwara and the police station has turned into a death trap. In November 2012, the local Municipal Council shifted these vendors from the highway to a place near the Toy Centre where sheds were constructed for them. The then MLA Parveen Sharma inaugurated the new complex. However, after two months they left the new shops and again occupied the highway. The stretch of the highway near the local gurdwara has become an accident-prone area due to encroachments on both Continued on page 2 c m Sanawar students meet President AMBIKA SHARMA/TNS SOLAN, AUGUST 27 The seven-member team of students of Lawrence School, Sanawar, who had successfully scaled Mount Everest on May 21 and had set a record of being the youngest team to conquer the world’s tallest peak met President Pranab Mukherjee along with the school’s headmaster Praveen Vasisht in New Delhi recently. The successful expedition of the cub mountaineers, aged between 15 and 17 years, also made the school to come in the category of the world’s only boarding school to have achieved the feat. Six students are from Class XII namely, Prithvi Singh Chahal, Fateh Singh Brar, Guribadat Singh Somal (all The seven-member team of students of Lawrence School, Sanawar, with President Pranab Mukherjee and school's headmaster Praveen Vasisht and other staff members. from Punjab), Ajay Sohal (Himachal) and Shubham Kaushik (Delhi). While, Raghav Joneja (Uttar Pradesh) is a Class X student of the school. The seventh member of the team, Hakikat Singh Grewal (Punjab), had to stay back at balcony, ahead of camp four due to a technical problem. The Sanawar Everest Expedition-2013 scaled the peak at 4:37 am. They unfurled the tricolour and the school flag atop the 8,848 metre peak. Prithvi Singh Chahal and Ajay Sohal were among the first to reach the summit at 4:37 am while the rest of the team members scaled the summit around 12:30 pm. Raghav Joneja is 15-yearsold and became the youngest Indian to scale the peak. He was the third to reach the summit. Sarkaghat-Jogindernagar state highway cries for care KULDEEP CHAUHAN TRIBUNE NEWS SERVICE JOGINDERNAGAR (MANDI), AUGUST 27 Travelling on the main Sarkaghat-Jogindernagar and Baijnath-Ladbharol-Kandapatam state highways and the AjuBathai-Kolang and BathaiTulah-Khadiar, Burail-PattGangrot link roads, which are crucial for residents of Jogindernagar, Sarkaghat and Dharampur areas, have become nothing less than a night mare for commuters. The long stretches of roads have been damaged by landslides and rain turning these into slushy potholes. The link roads are the lifeline for residents, especially farmers as they transport their produce like vegetables and other cash crops to various markets. “Most of the link roads are kachha and prone to landslides. Mud and slush block theses roads for days together every rainy season,” said Tek Singh and Ranjit Singh, farmers from the Bathai area. The Jogindernagar-Sarkaghat road in a bad shape. A Tribune photograph The recent flash flood in Kolang has washed away the 500-m stretch of the BathaiAju road and the bus service has also not been restored on the road beyond Kolang, residents said. “The widening work on the Sarkaghat-Jogindernagar highway has worsened the condition of the road between Dharampur and Jogindernagar and the 12km-long stretch of the road has become prone to landslides, said commuters. The 36-km-long BaijnathLadbharol-Kandapatan road has also become prone to landslides as over 20 landslides had occurred on this highway during the rainy season. It has been restored temporarily by the Public Works Department. Roads have suffered a massive damage pegged at Rs 11 crore due to landslides triggered by rains in the region. Executive engineer, Joginderangar, BS Barwal, said the widening work had been completed on 21 kilometers while the work was in progress on the 24-km stretch of the Sarkaghat-Jogindernagar highway. The road connectivity on the two highways and link roads has been restored temporarily as they need funds worth Rs 11 crore for proper repairs, he added. In the flush of youth Encroachments on state, national highways go unchecked RAVINDER SOOD www.tribuneindia.com Children perform in a cultural programme organised at Chelsea School in Shimla. Photo: Amit Kanwar y b
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