Your updated source of information about Dehradun & Uttarakhand.

Thursday, January 12, 2012


77 residential structures razed

Dehradun, January 1
As part of the third and the final phase of the demolition drive on the Chakrata road, the PWD and the Dehradun Municipal Corporation has razed 77 residential, 76 commercial and eight other properties.
Owing to the demolition work, the road was closed to traffic. The drive went off peacefully today. However, it will take some time to demolish RWM Plaza as cellphone towers had also been installed on the building.
According to sources, the allotment of all shops on the first and second floors of the new shopping complex would be completed by January 8.
The registration of all freehold shops will be completed by January 20. ‘Nazul’ land owners could get the registration work done by January 25 after depositing 25 per cent of the total sum to acquire freehold status.
The registration of ‘nazul’ property will be completed by February 10.

Nishank crorepati, doesn’t own vehicle

Also owes Rs 10.57 lakh to bank * Khanduri worth Rs 2.52 crore

Dehradun, January 12
Both present and former Chief Minister of Uttarakhand are members of the crorepati Assembly candidates club, whose membership strength continues to swell.
Chief Minister BC Khanduri, who was instrumental in bringing the Lokayukta Bill in the state and will fight the Assembly elections from the Kotdwar (Garhwal) seat, has declared that his movable and immovable assets are worth Rs 2.52 crore while filing his nomination papers.
The movable and immovable assets owned by him has witnessed an increase of Rs 83.19 lakh since 2007 when their declared assets worth was Rs 1.69 crore in 2007.
Former Chief Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal, who has filed his nomination papers from Doiwala (Dehradun) Assembly seat, too owns assets in crores. In 2012, the estimated worth of Nishank’s assets stands at Rs 71.92 lakh, in 2007 (last Assembly elections) it was Rs 9.28 lakh. His bank balance in 2012 is Rs 63.04 lakh, while he possesses agriculture land valued at Rs 3.5 lakh and a house whose total has been pegged at Rs 78 lakh.
On the other hand Chief Minister Khanduri has an LIC policy of Rs 90,000 in his name, while LIC policy in his wife’s name stands at Rs 1.20 lakh in 2012 while it was 30,000 in 2007. Khanduri is a sitting MLA from the Dhumakote Assembly seat. While the Chief Minister owns a Qualis, the former Chief Minister does not own a vehicle. However, Nishank is also burdened with a loan repayment of Rs 10.57 lakh.
Eunuch Rajni Rawat, who has filed the nomination papers from Raipur (Dehradun), too is a crorepati. She possesses movable assets worth Rs 91 lakh and bank deposit of Rs 53.56 lakh and her house is valued at Rs 25 lakh and gold ornaments worth Rs 11 lakh.
Former PWD Minister and Congress candidate from Haldwani (Kumaon) Dr Indira Hridesh’s economic health has slightly declined as compared to 2007 but she continues to be a crorepati. According to the details of assets (movable and immovable) filed by her, the total value of her movable assets is pegged at Rs 44.69 lakh and that of her husband at Rs 1.45 crore. She is also burdened with a loan repayment of Rs 4.08 lakh. She also does not own a vehicle.
Congress candidate from the Doiwala (Dehradun) Assembly seat Hira Singh Bisht has declared movable assets worth 46.74 lakh in 2012, while fighting the Assembly elections in 2007, he had declared the estimated cost of the movable assets at Rs 25 lakh. He possesses agriculture land valued at Rs 76 lakh in 2012. Vinod Barthwal, Samajwadi Party candidate from Raipur (Dehradun), does not have any cash at hand. Though in the 2007 Assembly elections, he had Rs 2 lakh in hand. His movable assets are valued at Rs 7 lakh.
Rural Development Minister and BJP candidate from Yamkeshwar (Garhwal) seat Vijaya Barthwal’s total assets that she owns with her husband are valued at Rs 1.3 crore. She does not own a vehicle.
Jot Singh Gunsola, sitting MLA and Congress candidate from Mussoorie, has Rs 40,000 cash at hand while his bank deposit stands at Rs 3.27 lakh in 2012. In 2007, it was Rs 7.03 lakh. The estimated value of movable assets is Rs 14.66 lakh.
The sitting MLA from Didihaat (Kumaon) and BJP candidate from the seat BS Chufal has a bank deposit of Rs 8.36 lakh and one Scorpio. In 2007, he possessed an Alto. He also possesses agriculture land worth at Rs 16.65 lakh in Pithoragarh.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

New front adds to confusion in poll scenario

Dehradun, January 11
The formation of a joint front by the Uttarakhand Kranti Dal (D), the Uttarakhand Jan Manch and the Uttarakhand Parivartan Party (UPP) has created a confusion in the political scenario.
The parties are opposing to this unnamed front for adding to confusion to mar their political prospects.
Trivender Singh Panwar, president of the UKD (P), castigated Chief Minister BC Khanduri for using his close associate Rajan Todriya for playing spoilsport. “It is Khanduri who has brought in Todriya to constitute another front just to belittle the front floated by us.”
PC Thapliyal, spokesperson of the Uttarakhand Raksha Morcha (URM) also blamed the Chief Minister for plotting against their outfit. “Khanduri has deliberately created another morcha to confuse people with the
name of our party. He wants to settle scores with our president TPS Rawat, who broke up with his party.”
Both leaders, however, seemed certain that the very fundamentals of the outfit were hollow. Not only this, the parties, part of this new front, themselves are confused to the highest order.
Todriya denied for being a Khanduri’s man saying, “I supported Khanduri in anti-corruption campaign when he was not the Chief Minister of the state as after taking over the position, he presented a weak Lokpal Bill.”
UKD (D) dissidents, led by officiating president Luxman Singh Chufal, are using the name of the party as UKD (D) with which they have quite recently announced to part ways and sent their resignation. Satish Semwal, party spokesperson, said: “It was unbecoming on the part of Chufal for not discussing the issue with the party president. A similar kind of front, floated in 2002 Assembly elections, was a failure”.

Rebel GL Shah quits BJP

Dehradun, January 11
Sitting MLA from Pindar (Chamoli) GL Shah, who was at the forefront of the rebellion that manifested in a massive protest at the BJP state headquarters against the ticket distribution for the 2012 Assembly poll, has resigned from the BJP.
Shah was miffed with the BJP central leadership for denying him a ticket from Tharali (Chamoli) after his Pindar seat was hit by the new delimitation.
“I will hold talks with my supporters and decide on the future course of action whether I should stand as an Independent or join other parties,” said Shah.
As the Congress has already declared the candidate for the Tharali seat, chances of him joining the regional parties are higher.
Meanwhile, Cabinet minister and BJP sitting MLA from Dhanolti today deferred his decision to file his nomination from Rajpur (Dehradun) and will be holding a late night meeting with his supporters.
Khazan Das and another rebel Anil Nautiyal, the sitting MLA from Karnprayag (Chamoli), are being actively wooed by the Uttarakhand Raksha Morcha.

RSS leader joins URM

Rajendra Pant to contest from Doon Cantt
Dehradun, January 11
A senior functionary of the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) in Uttarakhand, Rajendra Pant, joined the Uttarakhand Raksha Morcha here today. He also announced that he would contest the Assembly elections from to the prestigious Dehradun Cantt seat.
Pant accused the BJP of ignoring dedicated party workers. He said the BJP had adopted the use and throw policy, particularly with the local leaders.
He said BJP leaders like Rajesh Sharma, Subhash Issar and Babbal Kalra, who had played an important role in promoting the interests of the party in Dehradun, were expelled from the party at the behest of a local leader.
Pant, however, added though he had joined the Uttarakhand Raksha Morcha, he was still committed to the RSS ideology.
“The RSS is in my blood,” he said. He added he had left his government job to join active politics and would contest the Assembly elections from te Dehradun Cantt seat. 

Dr JP Sharma of SGRR Institute of Medical and Health Sciences,honoured

Dehradun, January 11
The Association of Surgeons of India (ASI) felicitated Dr J P Sharma, senior surgeon of Shri Guru Ram Rai Institute of Medical and Health Sciences, Dehradun, with Fellowship of Association of Indian Surgeon (FAIS).
The felicitation to Dr Sharma was announced during the 19th Convocation Ceremony of the ASI at Kochi, Kerela, last month where about 95 other general surgeons from all over India were also honoured. The ASI has felicitated those who have done commendable jobs in the field of medical surgery.
On behalf of the surgery department, Dr Sharma, also presented research papers on “Traumatic Diaphragmatic Hernia in Hilly Region of Uttarakhand” during the felicitation ceremony.
On his return to Dehradun today, Dr Sharma expressed his heartfelt gratitude to the ASI. He said, “The FAIS is just an added qualification to my credentials. It will prove to be beneficial for me in future while will assist me in my research and project works too.” 

47 candidates file nomination papers in Doon

Rallies, processions hold up traffic

Devender Sethi, Congress candidate from Dehradun Cantt, files nomination papers in Dehradun on Wednesday; and (right) Jot Singh Gunsola, Congress legislator from Mussoorie, goes on a rickshaw to file nomination papers in Mussoorie
Devender Sethi, Congress candidate from Dehradun Cantt, files nomination papers in Dehradun on Wednesday; and (right) Jot Singh Gunsola, Congress legislator from Mussoorie, goes on a rickshaw to file nomination papers in Mussoorie on Wednesday.

Dehradun January 11
On Wednesday 47 candidates from various parties filed their nomination papers for the forthcoming Assembly polls in the district. The traffic snarls at various pockets of the city because of the processions of leaders have become a major irritant.
The candidates who filed their nomination papers were: For Doiwala seat, Jot Singh Bisht from the Congress, Jadish Negi, Independent, Rambir Singh Bisht, Independent, Jitender Mohan Sharma from Uttarakhand,
Kranti Dal (UKD-P), Hemal Bora from Samajwadi Party (SP), Bhargav Chandola, Independent, Kamini Gairola from the National Congress Party (NCP), SP Singh, Independent, and Dinesh Singh, Independent. For Raipur seat, Vinod Barhtwal, state president, SP, Roop Madarwal from NCP, Rajender Prasad Badkoti from Uttarakhand Raksha Morcha (URM), Mahesh Kaushal (TMC), Rajni Rawat, Independent, Shiv Singh, Indendent, Vinod Kumar, Independent, Pankaj Singh Kshetri, Independent, Mohd Satar, Independent, filed nomination papers.
Those who filed papers from Cantt seat were Devender Sethi from Congress, Nupur Gupta from BSP, Subhash Jasoria from SP, Sanjay Bhatt from UKD (P), Jyotsana Sharma, Independent, and Vijender Singh Thapa, Independent.
From Mussoorie, Jot Singh Gunsoa from Congress, Promila Rawat from UKD (P), Amit Singh from URM, Gyanvir Singh Tyagi from UPP, Kailash Chand, Independent, Jagdish Chander, Independent, Bhupender Singh, Independent, Godavari Thapa, Independent, filed their nomination papers.
Similarly, from Rajpur seat, Rajkumar from Congress, Sapna Sonkar from SP and Balesh from UPP filed papers.
Those from Vikasnagar were Arvind Sharma from SP, Suhel Pasa, Independent, Gurumale Singh from BSP, Inam Babu from Janata Dal (Secular). From Sahaspur, Gulfam Ali from SP, Ram Bahadur from Tamang,
Independent and Sanjivan Ram from Lal Jan Shakti Party filed their nomination papers.
From Rishikesh were Lallan Bhardwaj from Rajbhar, BSP, Suresh Chander Dabral, Independent, Vishwanath Raturi from SP, Surender Singh from URM, Devi Prasad, Independent.
The procession of Rajni Rawat, Indendendent, was the biggest. The crowd quite conspicuously comprised hired labourers. Many also spilled the beans about this fact. Rawat was bitter in her tone before the media where she blamed Vijay Bahuguna, Member of Parliament, Congress, for having deceived her in the last Assembly elections.
“Vijay Bahuguna made me his sister by making me tie rakhi on his wrist and promised me the ticket from
Congress in the year 2009, but when the time came, somebody else was given the ticket.” She said she would teach Bahuguna a lesson in this Assembly election, which directly meant that even if she did not win, she would cut into Congress votes by denouncing the party in her campaigns.
Vinod Barthwal, SP president, said the politics was a game of destiny where anybody could click and register a win during the elections. He expressed people’s trust in the SP and said people had put behind the past and were ready to go along with the SP.
Devender Sethi exuded confidence that it was for the first time that Congress had fielded a Sikh candidate and the entire Punjabi community would help in winning this seat to honour the confidence shown by the party.
The traffic in the city became unmanageable with one rally following another rally in the city. Long jams were seen in Garhi Cantt road where Godavari Thapa came with her supporters riding two-wheelers all over the roads. Similar was the situation on other busy roads of the city such as Saharnpur Road, Kanwali Road and Race Course Road. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Auto expo organised

Dehradun, January 10
To promote environment-friendly electric vehicles, Doon Scooter India, a state-based company, organised an auto expo here on Tuesday. A large number of people visited the expo and took information about electric vehicles. Electric bikes were appreciated by almost all visitors for its durability and affordable prices.
 “The company will soon come up with a battery-run three-wheeler, ‘Roady’, having a speed of 35 km/hr. The company has already booked more than 200 scooters for Delhi alone,” managing partner of Doon Scooter India Rajeev Sachar said.

World Hindi Diwas

Dehradun January 10
On the occasion of World Hindi Diwas today, Rajbhasha mukhyalay held a day-long rajbhasha sammelan at Keshav Malviya Petroleum Exploration Institute of ONGC in Dehradun here today. A large number of Hindi littérateurs from Delhi, authors and poets had gathered to participate in the function.
The programme commenced with the lighting of the ceremonial lamp. Following it was the welcoming of the guests and felicitation ceremony of the littérateurs. Later, at a symposium conducted by the ONGC, writers recited poems written by the poet and paid tributes by celebrating Hindi Diwas on the occasion.
The participants appreciated the efforts of the ONGC in preserving the world class Indian heritage of Hindi poems and writings through the celebration of the day and demanded that such an event should be promoted among students so that children could learn from the richness of the language used by the poet.

Jaspal Rana joins Congress

Dehradun, January 10
BJP leader and ace shooter Jaspal Rana, who is a close relative of senior party leader Rajnath Singh, joined the Congress here today.
Birender Singh, general secretary and in-charge of Congress affairs in Uttarakhand, and party MP from Tehri Garhwal Vijay Bahuguna made this announcement at a press conference here.
Rana, an Arjuna awardee, had fought the 2009 parliamentary elections on the BJP ticket from the Tehri Garhwal seat but lost to Vijay Bahuguna. Rana’s sister is married to Rajnath Singh’s son. Rana’s father Narayan Singh Rana was a minister in the interim government of Uttarakhand in 2002.
Rana told mediapersons that he had been impressed by the appeal of Rahul Gandhi, who had motivated scores of youth across the country to join the Congress. “I have not joined the Congress to fight elections and will work as a common worker of the party. I have not taken this decision in haste but after due deliberation. I have been talking about joining the Congress for the past one year,” he said.
Rana criticised the BJP and said it did not use his services in the last three years. “I wasted three precious years as the party did not gave me any work nor invited me to any of its functions or programmes,” he added.
Asked what prevented him from gong to Tehri after his defeat in the elections and working for the common people, Rana said he was no ordinary man and the party deliberately ignored him.
He thanked Congress president Sonia Gandhi for accepting him as a member of the party.

PM to address meetings in Rudrapur, Rishikesh on Jan 20

Dehradun, January 10
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is expected to address election meetings during Uttarakhand Assembly polls at Rudrapur in Udham Singh Nagar district and Rishikesh in Dehradun district on January 20.
Vijay Bahuguna, Tehri Garhwal Cong MP, announced here today that the Prime Minister’s visit would depend on the security clearance by the Special Protection Group (SPG). Congress president Sonia Gandhi will also be visiting Tehri Garhwal and Roorkee on January 17. Gandhi could not visit Uttarakhand on two earlier occasions. She could not make it to attend the laying of foundation stone of Rishikesh-Karanprayag railway line at Gauchar in Chamoli district on November 9, 2011. Later, she also could attend the party’s rally at Haldwani in the last week of December.
Rahul Gandhi, party general secretary, would also be visiting Uttarakhand on January 23 and 24, attending at least six meetings at Uttarkashi, Srinagar, Garhwal, Pithoragarh and Almora.
A large number of Central Congress leaders, including Congress chief ministers would also be attending at least 65 public meetings throughout the length and breadth of the state during the next fortnight. 

CEO wants vehicle-checking drive launched

Dehradun, January 10
Uttarakhand’s Chief Electoral Officer Radha Raturi has directed the state Transport Department and police officials to conduct a vehicle-checking campaign so as to ensure that there is no repeat of Didihaat road mishap incident.
She said that the work of distribution of voter slips to the electorate was in progress. She assured that all voters whose name figured in the voters’ list would be able to cast their votes in the elections.
The Chief Electoral Officer has also requested the Chief Secretary and the Principal Secretary, Transport, to direct the concerned officials to control the incidents of vehicular accidents by making necessary provisions and prescribing time limit for movement of traffic during night time.

Akhil Bharatiya Trinamool Cong to field 50 candidates

Dehradun, January 10
The Akhil Bharatiya Trinamool Congress has also jumped into the election fray and announced that it will field 50 candidates from various seats for the state Assembly poll slated for January 30. The party will announce the names of the candidates tomorrow.
State in charge of the party Dinesh Bajaj said the party would give adequate representation to the youth and women candidates. He alleged that both the Congress and the BJP had failed to solve the problems being faced by the common man and were involved in various scams.
The only regional party, Uttarakhand Kranti Morcha, had also failed to do the needful for the welfare of the people, he alleged. Bajaj claimed that in such a situation, their party had emerged as a viable alternative that could provide a transparent government.
“The party, under the leadership of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has rooted out the 35-year-old autocratic rule of the CPM from West Bengal without any bloodshed and has been successful in giving a transparent and honest administration. We will replicate the same in Uttarakhand,” he claimed.
Bajaj further said they would create a border districts development council which would devise a policy to provide education, employment, promotion to tourism and agriculture. It would also help stop migration from the border villages.
The unemployed youth would be given a special monthly allowance of Rs 2,000 till they got any job.

Rebels may mar BJP’s electoral prospects

Dehradun, January 10
Fourteen BJP rebels, who have been denied party ticket, may mar the electoral prospects of the party in the forthcoming Assembly elections.
From Rajpur to Badrinath the rebels are ready to fight the elections as Independent candidates or on the ticket of regional parties.
The regional parties are not only welcoming the BJP rebels with open arms but are also offering them ticket. Miffed former Tourism Minister and sitting BJP MLA from Badrinath Kedar Singh Fonia, who recently quit the party, has filed nomination papers from the Badrinath seat on the Uttarakhand Raksha Morcha (URM) ticket.
There are 12 sitting MLAs and two Cabinet ministers belonging to the BJP, who have been denied ticket, and the regional parties are willing to oblige them.
On the Purola Assembly seat, the sitting MLA from Sahaspur (Dehradun district), Raj Kumar, has already decided to fight the elections as an Independent candidate. Though Cabinet minister and sitting MLA from Dhanolti Khazan Das has also decided to fight as an Independent candidate, he has been approached by the Uttarakhand Raksha Morcha and the Congress.
Another BJP heavyweight Mohan Singh Gaunwasi, who wanted ticket from the Srinagar seat, MLA Brijmohan Kotwal, MLA from Karnprayag Anil Nautiyal and MLA from Pindar GL Shah, who was demanding ticket from the Tharali (SC) seat in Chamoli district, are also miffed over the denial of ticket.
However, the BJP has deputed leaders to check resentment and rebellion over the allotment of ticket. “The winnability factor was taken into account while allotting ticket. The party will take disciplinary action if all our efforts to placate dissatisfied leaders fail. We are in talks with them and they too have met the high command to register their resentment over the allotment of ticket,” said Bhagat Singh Koshiyari, chairman of the Uttarakhand BJP Election Committee.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Tree-plantation ceremony held

Environmentalist Sunderlal Bahuguna plants a sapling on his 86th birthday in Shuklapur village near Dehradun
Environmentalist Sunderlal Bahuguna plants a sapling on his 86th birthday
 in Shuklapur village near Dehradun on Monday.
Dehradun, January 9
“Opulence and prosperity of the country can be achieved only through greenery. We as humans have a responsibility to conserve forests and plant more and more saplings for the posterity,” said noted environmentalist Padam Vibhushan Sunderlal Bahuguna during a tree-plantation ceremony conducted by the Himalayan Environmental Studies and Conservation Organisation (HESCO), Shuklapur village, here today.
The programme was organised on the occasion of the 86th birth anniversary of Bahuguna where he shared his life experiences with other environmentalists and forest conservers.
He said trees, rivers and hills were the assets of the planet. Bahuguna also encouraged the youth of the country to come forward and take up the mission of preserving the Himalayas.
Dr Anil Prakash Joshi, Founder of the HESCO, also congratulated Bahuguna on his birthday.

Rain, hailstones lash Dehradun

Girls playing in hailstones in Johri village, near Dehradun
Girls playing in hailstones in Johri village, near Dehradun, on Monday. 
Dehradun January 9
Dehradun received hailstorm and rain while the higher reaches of Uttarakhand received snowfall here today.
A few areas of the city, including Rajpur, Johri Gaon and Purkal Gaon, were covered in white hailstones. The people were seen enjoying the view and threw hailstone balls at each others. Till late in the evening, drizzle continued to moisten the city.
According to Dr Anand Sharma, Director, Dehradun Meteorological Department, “Cold wave conditions will continue in Uttarakhand with snowfall taking place in higher reaches and rain in other parts of the state.”
Sharma also predicted rain at isolated places of Dehradun tomorrow.
Snow Blues
MUSSOORIE: Heavy snowfall was witnessed in Mussoorie that resulted into snapping of power temporarily and traffic jam today.
The overnight snowfall led to blockade of more than 12 roads in and around Mussoorie leaving the commuters stranded.
The snow today fell at the lower reaches of Mussoorie till the Malsi deer park, much to the delight of the local residents.
The supply of essential services such as milk and vegetables was also affected as most of the roads such as Mussoorie-Nainbagh, Mussoorie-Thatyur remained closed due to heavy snow.
Supporters of the election candidates from Dhanaulti also found it difficult to reach the district headquarters in New Tehri on time to accompany their candidates for the filing of nomination papers today. The met department is predicting more rain and snow in the coming days, especially in the higher reaches of the Garhwal region.

Dehradun, January 9
With heavy snowfall in the higher reaches of Garhwal district upping the cold wave in the region, the Haridwar district administration today closed all schools till January 12. Because the announcement was made latter in the morning, schools today remained open.

Most of the schools immediately curtailed the studies as soon as they got the written directives, while many school principals carried on studies as the students had already reached the school and classes were going on.
District education officer Anil Kumar Bhoj said the TNS that as per the order of District Magistrate D Senthyl Pendiyan, all schools in the district will remain closed till January 12 and if the winter wave continues, then the closing may get extended.
He also added that any school management violating the directive would be strictly dealt.
“This is a good news as we were facing inconvenience because of the weather,” said Kiran, a Class IX student of Anand Mayi Inter-College. 

State to have automatic weather stations, doppler radars

Air Marshal Ajit Tyagi (retd.) lays the foundation stone of the new building of the Meteorological Department in Dehradun
Air Marshal Ajit Tyagi (retd.) lays the foundation stone of the new building
 of the Meteorological Department in Dehradun on Monday.
Dehradun, January 9
For refinement of weather predictions, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) will be setting up automatic weather stations at the districts and two doppler weather radars in Uttarakhand for monitoring of areas where heavy rainfall, thunderstorms and hailstorms are expected.
“We intend to use technology for real-time access to data. This kind of data will be helpful for farmers. Presently we are unable to provide such data. The GPRS manned automatic weather stations would be able to monitor hour by hour weather updates. We are also installing doppler weather radars in Mussoorie and Nainital,”said Director General IMD Air Marshal (retd) Ajit Tyagi, while speaking with The Tribune.
He was here in Dehradun to inaugurate the meteorological centre.
He said the district-level automatic weather stations in the states would boost the overall improvement in weather prediction at the all-India level. “Though we have a fairly good number of observatories, all the districts are not covered. This kind of data will be helpful for the farmers also,” he said.
The DG said there was also need to strengthen ground-level weather stations and admitted grey areas in weather prediction depended on local conditions. “These have to be minutely observed. Each weather development has to be monitored right from when it starts and how it proceeds to its culmination point. We have to strengthen our observation systems to the extent that we are able to monitor the randomly occurring weather changes and give timely warning to the people,” he said.
Air Marshal (retd.) Ajit Tyagi also said that two 100-year-old weather observatories are already functional in Mukteshwar and Dehradun. “These observatories, established during the British period, continue to provide us data and are testimony to the fact that the record keeping of data with the help of these observatories has continued uninterrupted,” he said.
Meanwhile, the DG today inaugurated the meteorological Centre to be built on Haridwar road by the CPWD, Dehradun circle. Once the centre becomes operational, it will be able to provide forecast to the farmers, aviation centre and the general public. 

Prominent city leaders file nomination papers amid tight security

Dehradun January 9
Prominent leaders of the city preferred to file their nomination papers today, professed auspicious, in the District Magistrate’s office premises amid tight security arrangements. The weather remained pleasantly sunny till the afternoon. All the leaders had filed their nomination papers, except Bahadur Singh Rawat, city president, Uttarakhand Kranti Dal (P), who remained busy in giving statements to media persons and crossed the time limit for filing the nominations. Now he will file the papers tomorrow.
The prominent leaders who filed nomination papers were Manoj Sharma from the BSP from Mussoorie, Tanveer Ahmad from the BSP and Ravinder Kataria of the BJP for the Rajpur seat. Those who filed for the Dharampur seat were Prakash Suman Dhyani from the BJP, Dinesh Aggarwal from the Congress and Haji Salim Ahamed from the BSP.
Phool Singh Lodhi from the BSP was the lone candidate who came to file nominations from Doiwala; so was speaker Harbans Kapoor for Cantt seat.
For the Raipur seat, Maya Mohan Lakhera, Mohan Singh Rawat, both Independent candidates, Ajay Sud of the BSP and Trivender Singh Rawat, Cabinet minister and BJP candidate, filed their nomination papers.
The first one to drop in at the DM’s premises was Dinesh Aggarwal, who filed one set of papers at 11.30 and came again to file the rest. The way he came with fewer supporters for the first round spread the speculations that he hurried for a specific time, as must have been advised by astrologers, to brighten his winning chances. Aggarwal, who may strike a hat-trick with this election, said his priorities would be to beautify the state with better infrastructure, make it the most developed state and provide the fundamental amenities to voters of his segment.
The leaders continued to come with a crowd of their supporters, beating drums, airing slogans and dancing in the form of procession, which defied the modal code of conduct to some extent. Instead of the leader and four of his supporters, as was permissible, hordes of supporters barged inside the nomination room. They also raised slogans inside the office premises, though later on the police became alert and stopped them from doing so. BSP leader Tanveer Ahmed’s caravan came with blue flags and proceeded inside the premises but was stopped at a little distance from the nomination rooms. It was Dinesh Aggarwal and Trivender Singh Rawat’s rallies which were rated biggest among all.
The supporters of Aggarwal seemed genuine but those of Rawat appeared hired, as a lot of buses were seen parked outside his residence.
Speaker Harbans Kapoor came with his wife and son. Beaming with joy, Kapoor, who fought the Assembly elections eight times and registered victory six times, said: “Elections are the biggest festival of democracy, where the public either rewards or punishes the candidates, taking into account the sum total of their work done for the welfare of the people for a period of five years.” He said he was ready to get the verdict from the people and meet the challenges which would come his way.
Vinay Kataria, BJP candidate for Rajpur seat, who is fighting for the first time, said the organisation had rewarded him for his services spanning two decades by giving an opportunity to serve people through active politics.
Trivender Singh Rawat exuded confidence, saying that by seeing the surging enthusiasm among the public for BJP leaders, the party was most likely to return to power this time.
Ajay Sud of the BSP expressed diverse opinion, saying that the BSP was slated to do extremely well as people were aggrieved with both the BJP and the Congress for their tainted leaders and poor administration.
Tanveer Singh, BSP candidate, said his priorities would include checking migration, simplification of issuance of caste certificate and ownership rights to people of slum colonies. 

CM files papers from Kotdwar

Dehradun, January 9
Uttarakhand Chief Minister B.C.Khanduri today filed his nomination papers from Kotdwar Assembly segment for the forthcoming state Assembly elections at the district headquaters of Pauri Garhwal.
Khanduri, who reached Pauri, had to face heavy snowfall as the weather turned bad. The Chief Minister had to walk for 7 km as vehicles were unable to move on the slippery road, due to heavy snowfall.
Khanduri met a large number of supporters en route to Pauri town, where he filed his nomination papers. 

UJM, UKD(D), UPP join hands
Dehradun, January 9
The Uttarakhand Jan Manch (UJM), the Uttarakhand Kranti Dal (D) and the Uttarkhand Parivartan Party (UPP) have joined hands together. Luxman Singh Chufal, officiating president of the UKD(D), said their forum consisted of active social and political people and organisations who were committed for the cause of the state and would address the problems of the hill people.
The symbol, flag, name of the forum, office-bearers, minimum common programme (MCP) and election programmes will be decided by January 14.
Rajan Todriya, general secretary, UJM, said they were constantly in touch with rebel leaders of the BJP and the Congress who were likely to join their forum.
He said the way the number of disgruntled leaders were on the rise both in BJP and Congress, it seemed the internal democracy had died down in these parties and only the supremacy of the high command was ruling above everything.
Rajiv Kothari, spokesperson of the UPP, said their combined forum would give a stable altenative against the misrule of the BJP and the Congress and would not compromise on moral principles in its bid to usurp power. In the same vain, he said they would also not let an anti-people government to seize power in the state as well.
A committee under the chairmanship of Gandhian socialite Virender Penuli has been constituted which will have two members of each of the party and one each nominated member from BJP and Congress rebels in the committee which will formulate issues pertaining to the CMP.
The UPP was earlier a part of the the Uttarakhand United Regional Front and had broken away from it blaming the UKD (P) president Trivender Singh Panwar for his arrogance and dictatorship.

Janata Dal (United) to contest 20 seats
Haridwar, January 9
The Janata Dal (United) today announced the names of its candidates for 20 Assembly seats in the state.
The party is fielding candidates in an equal proportion in districts both in plain and hill areas. In previous elections the party was seen mainly confined to districts of Haridwar and Udham Singh Nagar in the plains and Gangotri,Yamunotri, Kedarnath and Lansdowne in the hill areas.
The party has given ticket to three women, including a Muslim, from Laksar, Roorkee and Jhabreda seats.
State chief of the JD (U) Pramod Kumar Sharma told The Tribune that as the party had got a good response in the previous elections in the state, the party high command decided to field candidates from at least 20 seats.
He said the final list of candidates had been announced in consultation with party president Sharad Yadav.
Sharma said the party would take up local issues of unemployment, migration, a separate hill policy, peasants and other related issues in the elections.
Shiv Raj Singh, national general secretary of the party, said the party would focus on national issues such as inflation, Jan Lokpal Bill, Food Security Bill and corruption to expose the hidden pact between the Congress and the BJP.

Dehradun, January 9
Veteran Congress leader and former Uttarakhand Chief Minister N.D.Tewari, who was sidelined by his party following the sex scandal expose in the Hyderbad Raj Bhawan in December 2009, has been able to pressurise the party high command to get the party ticket for his own favourites with active support and collaboration of party general secretary Birender Singh, much to the chagrin of genuine party men for the forthcoming Assembly poll.

Aryaendra Sharma, a personal assistant, and Manish Tewari, a nephew of Tewari, were given the party ticket by the party high command. Aryaendra Sharma will fight from Sahaspur Assembly segment in Dehradun while Manish Tewari will contest from Kashipur Assembly segment in Udham Singh Nagar district.
Interestingly, N.D.Tewari, a veteran Congress leader, played his cards well and with active support of party general secretary and in charge of party affairs of Uttarakhand Birender Singh, managed to pressurise the party high command to bend to his demand for party nominations for his own men.
Tewari, who was caught on camera with three women indulging in an immoral act as Governor of Andhra Pradesh, had to resign in December 2009. Falling from favour of Sonia Gandhi, Tewari had returned to Dehradun to occupy the official residence provided by the state government as former Chief Minister on FRI campus. He had been active socially and was participating in several programmes.
However, since Birender Singh, a Congress leader from Haryana became the general secretary in charge of Uttarakhand, the hopes of Tewari soared as he had been a close associate in the past. True to expectations, Birender Singh overnight turned Aryaendra Sharma into a political leader in white khadi from the tainted personal assistant of ageing Tewari.
Aryaendra Sharma started participating in Congress party meetings and programmes, which was resented by party leaders and workers. But none of the senior leaders dared challenge Birender Singh as state Congress chief Yashpal Arya, party MPs Satpal Maharaj and Vijay Bahuguna are known supporters of Tewari.
However, the party ticket to Tewari favourites was opposed by Union Minister of Agriculture, Food Processing and Parliamentary affairs Harish Rawat, a strong political opponent of Tewari, who is also a front runner for the post of Chief Minister in case Congress wins the Assembly polls.
To scuttle the opposition by the Harish Rawat camp, Tewari announced that he would field candidates under Nirantar Vikas Samiti, a social organisation floated by him in all the 70 Assembly seats of the state.
Birender Singh, party in charge, and Satpal Maharaj immediately rushed to Tewari to pacify him and pressurised senior party leaders in the national Capital to give in to the demand of Tewari or otherwise he would damage party chances of coming to power.
So finally, after dithering on the decision, the party caved in to his demand and gave the party ticket to Aryaendra Sharma and Manish Tewari. Already another close of relative of Tewari, Navparbhat, a former Uttarakhand minister, had been given the party ticket from Vikasnagar seat in Dehradun district.
After the Congress announced the ticket of his favourites, Tewari wrote to party president Sonia Gandhi, expressing his allegiance with the Congress ideology since childhood and his faith in the Nehru-Gandhi family.

10 BJP supporters killed in accident 
Pithoragarh, January 9
Ten BJP supporters of party candidate from Didhat Bishen Singh Chufal, who along with the later were on their way to file nomination papers, were killed while one was injured seriously when a boulder fell on their vehicle at Rangaun today. They were on their way to Kanalichina.
“ITBP, the Army and the police rescue teams have been deputed at the accident spot. Three bodies have been retrieved from under the debris, which fell on the jeep. The search for other passengers is on,” said Pithoragarh District Magistrate R Rajesh Kumar.
According to the information, the supporters of Chufal, who belonged to the Kanalichina area, most of the part of which has been included in the Didihat Assembly seat after the reorganisation of the Assembly seat, were going to Didihat to witness the nomination filing process of their leader.
As the jeep reached Rangaun, an entire portion of a hilltop from the left side suddenly fell on the jeep, killing three passengers on the spot. “The lone injured woman, Manju, has been referred to a Pithoragarh hospital by the rescue team and is being treated there,” said the DM.
According to district administration sources, the rescue team is facing difficulties due to bad weather conditions and lack of equipment with them.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

India must fully tap investment potential of NRIs, PIOs: Pranab

JAIPUR: Citing example of China, finance minister Pranab Mukherjee on Sunday said that India too needs to fully tap the investment potential of NRIs and their entrepreneurial skills and promote inclusive growth

"We have not yet reaped the full benefits of India's great diaspora. The most obvious area remains that of investment and entrepreneurship. For instance, in China a large chunk of foreign direct investment has come from overseas Chinese," he said, while addressing the 10thPravasi Bhartiya Divas in Jaipur. 

Though there have been "large ticket investments" by NRIs and PIOs, he said, "it is far less than the potential and perhaps too concentrated on the formal sector. Rather, we must pursue an alternative model. One that is more balanced and holistic in a socio-economic sense". 

Overseas Indians, he said, should increase their contribution in social and economic areas like education, healthcare, and skill development and supplement the efforts of the government to promote inclusive growth. Mukherjee made these remarks while addressing a gathering of about 1,900 Non-Resident Indians and Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs). 

The non-resident Chinese have been playing a major role in the development of China and invest substantial in the domestic economy. 

Indian government, Mukherjee said, has been trying to improve the access of the poor and the vulnerable to vital public services by creating entitlements backed by limited legal guarantees which include the right to information, the right to work in rural areas and the right to education. 

Efforts, he added, were made to put in place right to food law which would ensure subsidised foodgrain for the poor population. 

Mukherjee said India does not require just financial contributions from its diaspora, but dedication of time, ideas and endeavour. 

On the economy, he said that though the year 2011 has been "an eventful one", India's achievements over the last few years have been commendable. 

"Though we have witnessed ups and downs, this period has transformed our country and catapulted it into the centre stage in the world...We are widely recognised as a major driver of global growth," he said. India is a member of the G20 and, within the G20, it is considered a part of the systemically most important 7. On the issue of brain drain, the Finance Minister said "the movement of the diaspora is no longer unidirectional as it was in the past. What started as a brain drain, has now become a brain gain, not just for India but the world as a whole". 

Today mobile Indian professionals and entrepreneurs, Mukherjee said are contributing across the global economy and enhancing its resilience in these troubled times. 

"Many have also returned to the home turf and are engaged in its socio-economic fabric. Still others have set up enterprises or professional relations that span national boundaries," he added. The entrepreneurial skills of the Indian business community settled abroad are a matter of envy for other nations, he said. 

Foreign firms are increasingly aware of the sharp business acumen of the Indian entrepreneur and managers. "They have come to respect our business houses and practices," Mukherjee said.

NRIs will get right to vote in Indian elections, promises Manmohan Singh

JAIPUR: Fulfilling a long-standing demand of its diaspora, India on Sunday said it would allowNRIs to vote and participate in the election process. 

"Pursuant to the law that was enacted to enable Non-resident Indians to vote in our national elections, the government has issued notifications for registration of overseas electors under the Representation of People Act, 1950," Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said. 

"This constitutes the first major step to enable Indian residents abroad to participate in our election process," the prime minister said while addressing the annual Pravasi Bharatiya Divasdiaspora meet here. 

He said the diaspora plays an important role in the growth and development of the country. The government recognises it, and was committed to address their concerns and fulfil their demands. 

"The government and people of India recognise and value the important role being played by Indian communities living abroad. We believe that Indian diaspora has much more to contribute to the building of modern India," the prime minister said. 

"We propose to facilitate, encourage and promote this engagement. Over the past year, we have taken a number of steps towards this end," he added, as he formally inaugurated the 10th annual diaspora meet, the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) here. 

Overseas Indian Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi said NRIs would be able to exercise their franchise in upcoming elections. 

"Indian nationals living abroad can now exercise their franchise in India at the time o f the elections," Ravi said. 

Now those NRIs who have registered with the embassies of their respective countries of stay, would be eligible to vote in the upcoming assembly elections in five states including Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Goa and Manipur. Polls will take place in these countries between Jan 28 and March 3. 

Ravi said objective of the government was to further increase engagements with diaspora. "Our objective is to raise the level of engagement to go beyond mere investment related issues and address a broader agenda." 

"We believe that this will provide the vast majority of you the opportunity to benefit from as well as contribute - each in your own way - to India's development story," the minister said. 

Later talking to media person, Ravi said this year's Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) is the largest congregation of Indian diaspora. 

He said almost 1,900 delegates from around 60 countries were participating in the three-day event.