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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year 2012

Dehradun Weekly Wishes Happy New Year 2012 to all our Readers!

Three girls enjoy the last day of 2011 at the Forest Research Institute in Dehradun on Saturday
Three girls enjoy the last day of 2011 at the Forest Research Institute in Dehradun on Saturday. 

Fighting for survival of state bird Monal

Dehradun, December 31
Ram Babu “Jungli”, environmentalist, is perturbed about the survival of state bird, the endangered Monal. Having barely convalesced from a strong stroke of pneumonia, which rendered his lungs severely affected for life, Ram Babu has not lost much time in embarking upon his campaign to save environment and wild species dependent on it.
Constantly perspiring, the visibly weak Ram Babu presents a demonstration of the sounds of Monal bird and other animals in different situations before mediapersons in the city to send across his message regarding the bird. The name “Junglee” was bestowed upon him by people recognising his passion for jungles and nature at large.
It was after he stirred a campaign to save the Ganges at Srinagar in the state recently and involved people of civil society in fishing out 400 ton of filth out of it, he became critically ill and was diagnosed with pneumonia. His illness was well covered in the dailies and he was visited by people of power galleries and provided with proper medication. But his actual hurt lies somewhere else.
“Principle Forest Conservator RBS Rawat visited me in the hospital and appreciated my efforts in spreading awareness about flora and fauna in villages but neither he nor the state government fulfiled my earnest desire to let me a stay in one of the forest areas, like other forest employees. I can pump in sense among people against causing fire in the forest area. I can also help forest officials in apprehending poachers,” he stated.
He bares his anger against people encroaching upon the territory of wild animals. “It is not elephants but people who are responsible for impinging upon their area and curtailing their sources of food,” he said.
He expressed dissatisfaction in being invited only once in a year by the Forest Department to sensitise people before the forest cover becomes vulnerable to natural and deliberate cause of fire.
After having run from his home in Balaganj village in Kotdwar for penury at the tender age of 6 and staying with Gujjar community in Chilla and the Corbett forest ranges for 18 years, he saw the wildlife from close and learnt the language of birds and animals.
Later he came back to his family, but his love for nature had not diminished even a bit. He had been using his skill to make sounds of animals and birds and earning money by holding such shows at various platforms. But this certainly is not a constant source of livelihood. “I don’t always get shows to perform. I remain worried about the expenses regarding my travels. I would welcome if NGOs related to environment could support me financially. I can also reciprocate the same in their activities,” he added.

Governor, CM greet people on New Year’s Eve

Dehradun, December 31
State Governor Margaret Alva and Chief Minister BC Khanduri have greeted the people of the state on the New Year’s eve. “As 2012 arrives, I wish the people of Uttarakhand a New Year of peace and prosperity,” Alva said in her message on the occasion.
“We need to make the necessary corrections to ensure better future of the nation,” she said. She said she hoped that the coming elections in the state would be peaceful and orderly and voters would exercise their constitutional duty to vote.
Khanduri also wished all success and prosperity to the people of the state on the occasion.

Gurpurb celebrated with fervour

Dehradun, December 31
The birth anniversary of Guru Gobind Singh was celebrated with religious fervour here today. Thousands of devotees paid obeisance at Gurdwara Gobindgarh here. A diwan was organised at Guru Singh Sabha Gurdwara at Arhat Bazar where ragi Baldev Singh recited ‘Asa Di War’ while students of Sri Hari Krishan Public School recited shabads.
The contribution of Guru Gobind Singh in sacrificing his entire family in fighting against tyranny and injustice was recalled by various speakers.
Uttarakhand Assembly Speaker Harbans Kapoor, BJP legislator Ajay Tamta and other prominent political and social leaders also paid obeisance at the gurdwara. Langar was organised in all gurdwaras.

American students meet eminent authors

Mussoorie, December 31
Around 14 undergraduate English literature students from Framingham State University, Massachusetts, 32 km from Boston in the United States, were in the town to meet and celebrate their new year with authors, namely Ruskin Bond and Sudhir Thapliyal, from Mussoorie.
They were accompanied by the Professor, Dr Lisa Eck, who teaches World Literature and Anglophone Traditions, along with Barbara Gardener, member of the legislative council, Massachusetts.
The students exchanged New Year greetings with eminent author Ruskin Bond and interacted with him at Cambridge Book Store in Kulri Bazaar. The students also purchased latest books duly autographed by him.
Later in evening, the students visited author Sudhir Thapliyal at his residence where he read out a passage from his novel- War at Lambhidar.
The Tour Manager for the students, Anuradha, who is also a social activist, speaking to the Tribune said the objective of the tour was to introduce American students to real India, which was much different than the prevailing perceptions in the west. She said as most of western students carried an image of India under poverty, so it was important to show them the multicultural and dynamic facet of the country that was on the path to progress. Anuradha said they would also be meeting author Ganesh Saili, who would be reading out an excerpt from his latest book.
The students of English literature, Paula and Katie, excited to be in Mussoorie among the authors, said they has read Ruskin Bond’s story in past and were really impressed with his poignant style of writing. “The experience of meeting him in person was exhilarating,” said Paula.
Professor Eck said the students were in India for six weeks to learn the global perspective in literature and the students were eager to be here and meet authors.
She said Indian Literature was becoming very popular as a lot of experimental literature was coming from India.
Gardener said such inter-literary tours should be held more often so that students get enough insight about other regions, their traditions and practices closely.
The students would also be visiting NGO “NAAZ”, working for AIDS patients in Rishikesh, and “Salaam Balak Trust” later in the month at New Delhi.


Chief Minister BC Khanduri inspects the demolition drive work on the Chakrata road in Dehradun on Saturday
Chief Minister BC Khanduri inspects the demolition drive work
on the Chakrata road in Dehradun on Saturday.
Speed up work to clear debris, says Khanduri
Dehradun, December 31
Chief Minister BC Khanduri (retd) today visited the Chakrata road where the demolition work of the shops and buildings to widen the road has been going on for the past one week.
The Chief Minister met the people and directed the officials to speed up the work to clear the debris of the demolished buildings so that the road could be widened quickly for the traffic to ply.
Being narrow, the road from the Clock Tower to the Chakrata road up to the Prabhat cinema was one of the worst nightmares for the residents of Dehradun that often traffic congestion. The Chief Minister had taken the initiative to clear the traffic bottleneck by offering alternate sites to the shopkeepers and residents. Last week, the Dehradun Municipal Corporation started the demolition drive for the widening project.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Chakrata road opened to traffic

Dehradun, December 28
On the third day of the second phase of the demolition drive today, the Chakrata road was opened to traffic.
All the debris had been removed last night. The Mussoorie-Dehradun Development Authority did not allot any shop today. As many as 39 buildings were demolished during the second phase of the drive.
Meanwhile, in the new shopping complex, the shopkeepers who were given allotment letters have taken the possession of the shops.
Ramesh Verma, owner of Kumar Sweets, said he would begin his business in the new complex in the next 15 days. He, however, complained of the dusty veranda and pathways and said the MDDA must clean the area outside the shops so that the customers did not hesitate coming here.
Tomorrow, the District Courts will announce its decision regarding the petition filed by the Free Hold Traders Association against the MDDA for not giving them extra shops and preferential treatment in the allocation of shops.
Meanwhile, a case has been registered against an assistant of a contractor who had allegedly thrashed a small boy with an iron road full of nails when he tried to pick the bricks and metals strewn all around.

BJP files code violation complaints

Dehradun, December 28
Describing it as the violation of the model code of conduct, the state BJP today lodged complaints at the Chief Electoral Officer against the advertisements issued by the agriculture ministry with regard to the steps taken for the state farmers and regarding the distribution of blankets by Congress leaders at a function in Dehradun.
Spokesperson for the BJP Vishwas Dabur today met Chief Electoral Officer Radha Raturi and lodged the complaints.
He said the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Processing Industries had issued advertisement in which the steps taken for the state farmers by the ministry had been highlighted. The BJP has also lodged a complaint against the alleged distribution of blankets by former Congress leader Hira Singh Bisht and Congress MLA Jot Singh Ghunsola at a function held to honour ex-servicemen and women.
Joint Electoral Officer Sowjanya said these complaints would be referred to the District Election Officer for examination.

Minister of Panchayati Raj Rajender Bhandari resigns

Joins Cong through mentor Satpal Maharaj

Dehradun , December 28
Rajender Bhandari, Uttarakhand Minister of Panchayati Raj, Home Guards and Jails, today resigned from the Council of Ministers, here today.
According to officials, Rajender Bhandari submitted his resignation to Chief Minister B.C.Khanduri amidst reports that he had joined the rival Congress Party.
Rajender Bhandari, a rebel Congress candidate, had won the Nandprayag Assembly segment in Chamoli district as an Independent after he was denied the Congress party ticket in the 2007 Assembly polls. He won as an Independent.
Later, he gave support to the Khanduri-led BJP Government and was made a minister in the BJP Government. According to Congress Party sources, he has already made bridges with the Congress leadership and would be joining the party to fight the forthcoming Assembly elections as a Congress candidate.
He has joined the Congress again through his mentor and Pauri Garhwal MP Satpal Maharaj.

EC freezes party name UKD, symbol chair

Nainital, December 28
In a decision that would have far-reaching ramifications in the ensuing polls, the Election Commission of India (ECI) has come out with an interim order on the conflict between the two factions of the Uttarakhand Kranti Dal (UKD) on the issue of recognition and granting of the party symbol of the chair.
While both the factions led by Trivendra Singh Panwar and Diwakar Bhatt have been granted the interim status of state parties, the party name, the Uttarakhand Kranti Dal, and the symbol of the chair have been frozen till further orders of the commission.
The two factions have been asked to choose separate names for themselves and apprise the commission of the same within the next seven days.
“It would be open to the two groups to use the name of the mother party with separate appellations/suffixes, but different from the names of other existing parties” the ECI order states.
The two groups have also been told to indicate the choice of symbol to be allotted to them as their reserved symbol till the time they enjoy the interim recognition as state parties. The choice of symbol is to be relayed to the ECI within the next seven days.
The ECI has also called for the list of their respective office- bearers. Meanwhile, the time allocated in the name of the UKD on Doordarshan and All India Radio for propagating the viewpoints of the party will now be divided equally between the two groups.
After the hearing to held on Thursday, the Commission stated: “This, in the commission’s view, will be in the interest of equity and fair play and will meet the ends of justice, in the circumstances of the case.”
The CEC, Dr SY Quraishi, along with the two ECs HS Brahma and VS Sampath had taken up the petition for hearing that had been filed by the Panwar group.
The decision is likely to have a huge impact on the party leadership.
With the very name of UKD being frozen for now, it will be the party leaders who would have to make a fight of their contests merely on the basis of their personal reputations and hold.
Both factions demoralised 

Dehradun December 28
The decision of the Election Commission of India to freeze the ‘chair’ symbol of the Uttarakhand Kranti Dal (UKD) has dampened the spirits of members of both the factions, who fought over it after they split up last year. One faction, the UKD (P), is led by party president Trivender Singh Panwar, and the other faction, the UKD (D), by Diwakar Bhatt, state minister.

Satish Semwal, spokesperson, UKD (D), said they got the symbol by dint of the diligence and dedication put up by party activists for many years. “We have lost credibility before the public by losing our party symbol. It is all due to the immaturity and obduracy shown by Trivender Singh Panwar that we lost the symbol, which we had achieved because of the hard work of our activists.”
Though it has been an interim order, both the factions are considering it final. “As per the Election Commission of India, we need four MLAs and 8% votes to claim the party symbol, which none of us is in a position to do so at the moment. So we are taking this decision as final,” he added.
Party’s two MLAs, Diwakar Bhatt and Om Gopal, are with the UKD (D) and the third, Pushpesh Tripathi, with the UKD (P).
Trivender Singh Panwar, president of other faction, blamed the Congress and the BJP for the decision. He said: “This is the handiwork of the BJP and the Congress that we have lost the symbol. The Congress has influenced the Election Commission in divesting us of our symbol. But we will apply for a new symbol and go among people with an invigorated spirit.”
Sadly, his party mates do not think on the same lines. They are stunned over the decision. Promila Rawat, president of the women’s wing of the UKD (P), said the members felt cheated by the Election Commission of India and demoralised by the decision. “It is sad the Election Commission of India did not recognise us as the regional party though we had been fighting hard in the public on several issues concerning people but it all seemed wasted now.”
NK Gusain, district president, said all was not lost as yet as they would take up the new symbol among the people by using swiftness of the Internet and mobile phones.
It was on November 27 last year that Trivender Singh Panwar, president of the then combined UKD, withdrew support to the state government, but when the party’s member, Diwakar Bhatt, did not resign from his position as minister in the state government, Panwar expelled Bhatt on January 1 this year for lifetime. After the division, some of the senior leaders and members from the Panwar camp shifted to the Bhatt camp. Bhatt constituted a new working committee and got himself appointed as the president of the party and claimed his party was the real UKD. Both went to first state EC and then to the ECI to claim the party symbol.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Santa ready for trip around the world

Santa Claus has passed all required flight and medical tests, clearing him to leave the North Pole on time, Transport Canada announced in a news release Friday.
His sleigh has been inspected, his bag of toys has been scanned, and his reindeer have successfully completed their takeoff and landing tests.
Santa Claus has been cleared for takeoff from the North Pole, Transport Canada announced Friday, and now eager present-seekers can track the man in red's flight through the skies.
The North American Aerospace Defense Command (Norad) is once again providing detailed updates on Santa's movements on its website, or by contacting 1-877-Hi-NORAD starting at 6 a.m. ET. Trackers also can send an email to noradtrackssanta(at)
Norad "Santa cams" are positioned around the world and this year, the command centre also is offering a Santa-tracking app for mobile devices. Tracking opportunities also are offered on Facebook, Google+, YouTube, and Twitter.
Like any pilot, Santa had to pass a series of flight and medical tests before Transport Canada cleared him for flight.
"I'm very happy Santa has passed these latest tests," Mrs. Claus wrote in a text message sent to Transport Canada. "I made sure he focused on his tasks, not emptying the cookie jar or surfing the web too much, lol."
Santa's journey is expected to be smooth as usual, said Norad Capt. Jeff Noel in an interview with Global News.
"In all the years and centuries that Santa's been on the go, there's been no responsibility whatsoever for him ever missing a Christmas Eve," Noel said.
Only Santa knows his route, so Norad can't predict when he'll hit any particular home, Noel said. But one important detail is known.
"He usually arrives only when children are asleep. So in most countries, it seems Santa arrives between 9 p.m. and midnight."
While the technology for tracking Santa evolved, the tradition is more than 50 years old.
In 1955 a Colorado Springs-based Sears Roebuck & Co., advertisement misprinted a telephone number for children to call Santa. The number put children through to Norad's predecessor's operations hotline. The director of operations at the time had his staff check the radar for indications of Santa so the children who called were given updates.
It became a well-received tradition.