06HP01A.qxd 11/5/2013 6:14 PM Page 1 c Shimla 21° 10° m b y VIGNETTES 3 Public-private partnership in Himachal attacks tobacco menace HIMACHAL DIARY 4 Mind Scan Art group to provide platform to budding artists The Tribune Himachal Plus Shimla Wednesday November 6 2013 www.tribuneindia.com Vandalism, encroachment go unchecked in temples Graceful movements KULDEEP CHAUHAN TRIBUNE NEWS SERVICE MANDI, NOVEMBER 5 According to a recent government inquiry, the heritage of this temple town continues to be in tatters and up for grabs for encroachers. It also faces threat of vandalism. A stern action has been recommended against offenders in the report. The inquiry report was submitted to the Chief Commissioner Temples, Principal Secretary and Director, Art, Language and Culture, in July last year, but no action had been ini- tiated till date. Even the premises of the three temples protected by Archaelogical Survey of India (ASI) are turning into junkyards. Around 100 other temples have been turned into money-minting business by the pujaris, who control them. The report said the District Art, Language and Culture, municipality, local administration, and the ASI had failed to check the vandalisation of temple heritage. The state government had appointed officer on special duty (OSD), Temples Administration and Assis- tant Director, Archives, Prem Prasad Pandit as an inquiry officer. He was deputed by state Governor Urmila Singh after Lakshmender Guleria, convener, Mandi Bachao Manch lodged a complaint about deplorable condition of temples in Mandi last year. Though the enquiry reported has recommended stern punitive action against offenders, nothing had been done by the government so far. The enquiry found ASI temples - Panchvakhtar, Ardhanaraeshwar, Burseilla sites - as good as junkyards. Stray Continued on page 2 Students of Highland Public School present a dance at their annual function in Sudher near Dharamsala. Photo: Kamaljeet Govt committed to eradicate land mafia: CM TAKEOVER OF STADIUM Club HPCA members worried about their lot 100 members had taken up membership for `1.20 lakh each LALIT MOHAN TRIBUNE NEWS SERVICE DHARAMSALA, NOVEMBER 5 Virbhadra Singh OUR CORRESPONDENT PALAMPUR, NOVEMBER 5 Chief Minister Virbhadhra Singh has categorically stated that the government was committed to eradicate the land that flourished during the BJP regime with the blessings of BJP leaders and corrupt officers. Talking to mediapersons during his one-day tour to Palampur, Virbhadhra Singh said during the BJP regime Himachal Pradesh was virtually on sale as a number of outsiders managed to buy land in gross violation of rules. Likewise, a number of persons also managed to get permission for the sale of tea gardens. He said since he had taken over the charge of the Chief Minister of the state, the permission for the purchase of land and sale of Continued on page 2 The Club HPCA members who had paid about Rs 1.20 lakh as membership are a worried lot about their status and investment after the takeover of the Dharamsala international cricket stadium by the state government. The HPCA had floated a scheme offering membership of the Club HPCA about 18 months ago. Under the scheme, the people who paid Rs 1.20 lakh for membership of the club membership were entitled to all facilities created in the Dharamsala international cricket stadium like the gymnasium, the indoor sports facilities and subsidised food in Aveda restaurant being run inside the stadium. The club membership was given to 100 people including many doctors, businessmen and bureaucrats from Dharamsala. The HPCA allegedly collected about Rs 1.2 crore from the members as membership fee. Some of the club members have now come forward and expressed concern about their investment as membership fee of the Club HPCA. Sumit Khanna, one of the members while talking to The Tribune alleged that though they became members of the club about 18 months ago, the club was never formally functional. He alleged that in the recent past, they had written to the HPCA to formally inaugurate and launch the Club HPCA. We had asked the HPCA to form the club governing body and include some members into it for the smooth functioning of Club HPCA. The members should be provided the provisions and facilities that were promised at the time of agreement and the general body meeting of the club should organised at the earliest to address club issues including fund allocations and management of the Club HPCA, the members had demanded. The members said that they had also demanded that an area should be specially earmarked for the club members and staff and the management should give exclusive preference to club members. Khanna said they had been pursuing their demands with the HPCA, but now another problem had cropped up: The state government had taken over the stadium. We request the state government to protect our rights as members of Club HPCA. The spokesperson of the HPCA, Sanjay Sharma, said that they honoured the membership of the Club HPCA members. However, since now the state government had taken control of the stadium, they should approach the appointed administrators for enjoying the facilities given under the Club HPCA scheme. Technically though the HPCA had given the membership of the Club HPCA, it was Aveda that was the operating agency for the scheme. Since the state government has stopped the operations of Aveda, the Club HPCA scheme has also been shelved for the time being. In case the HPCA is handed over the control of the stadium by court, we shall once again offer the promised facilities to Club HPCA members, he said. The Himachal Pradesh administration has locked the HPCA cricket stadium in Dharamsala. Photo: Kamaljeet c m y b The ancient Mahamrityunjay temple in Mandi.
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