Your updated source of information about Dehradun & Uttarakhand.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Govindacharya backs Save Ganga movement

Haridwar, February 10
Veteran Rashtriya Sewak Sangh ideologue Govindacharya today extended support to the ongoing “Save Ganga” movement which is currently ongoing at Matra Sadan ashram in Haridwar.
Perturbed by numerous vain attempts initiated by the Centre and the state government on cleaning the Ganga, Govindacharya even urged people not to go on pilgrimage on the Ganga like Char Dham yatra to express resentment against pollution in the Ganga.
He said despite numerous schemes, projects and even spending crores from the World Bank on cleaning the Ganga, nothing much had been done. So now it’s the time that people should express resentment by various modes and also make sure they would not contribute in affecting the sanctity of the Ganga.
Govindacharya supported agitating saint Guru Das Aggarwal, other saints and Ganga activists terming their “tapasya” mode of agitation unique and hoped that it would surely bore results.
While meeting with Matra Sadan founder Swami Shivanand, Govindacharya also had a word on the anti-quarrying movement initiated by the Matra Sadan and dwelt on the future course of this movement. Govindacharya has been associated with cleaning of the Ganga campaigns in past and is a regular visitor to the Matra Sadan ashram.
He also had been quite active during late Swami Nigamamand’s fast unto death agitation against illegally quarrying on the Ganga riverbed in Haridwar and now supported GD Aggarwal during his famous agitation on the closing of Lohari Nagpala and Pala Maneri projects in Garhwal hills.
Meanwhile, a large number of people and social organizations are also extending their support to this movement which is speedily catching attention of the masses. As the mode of agitation is “tapasya” only with no gathering, speeches or awareness drive, people are realising the significance of this movement which is related with the holy Ganga for which billions of rupees have been spent for no result.
Tanveer Ali, a local, said the saints and Ganga activists had resorted to a silent mode of expression of anger which itself indicated the lack of seriousness on the part of the government.

Kanwariyas start coming to Haridwar

Kanwariyas from Gurgaon prepare an on-wheel kanwar in Haridwar on Friday.

Haridwar, February 10
With the completion of the Magh Poornima bath on February 7 and the festival of Mahashivratri coming on Feburary 20, kanwariyas have started coming to Haridwar for fetching holy Gangajal. Though the number is not large, still one can see saffron-clad kanwariyas with beautiful kanwars in their hands at Ganga ghats of Neel Dhara and Pant Deep.
Kanwariyas will start pouring in large number in the next few days as the Shivratri approaches near with kanwariyas from far-off places coming earlier.
One can see kanwariyas at Pant Deep, Laljiwala areas adjacent to Har-ki-Pauri, VIP ghat, Deen Dayal Upadhyaya multi-parking lot and other open spaces.
Like a group of kanwariyas from Manesar, Haryana, were seen giving final touches to their vehicle on which statue of Lord Shiva and shivlingams are placed.
Beautifully decorated, this kanwar takes almost two-day time and Rs 10,000.
Manoj Kumar, a kanwaria, said they got immense pleasure by coming to Haridwar at Har-ki-Pauri for fetching the Gangajal.
He said, “The hard work put up in decorating this kanwar bore fruit when people appreciate their kanwar,with people offering obeisance at Lord Shiva statue and chanting of ‘Bam bam Bholey’ reverberates throughout the route to Gurgaon which is almost 200 kilometeres,” said Kumar. In the coming days, the kanwar market will also be set up at Pant Deep where decorated kanwars will be available for kanwariyas whose number touch lakhs.

UPP demands withdrawal of bus fare hike

Nainital, February 10
The Uttarakhand Parivartan Party (UPP) has demanded immediate withdrawal of the increase in bus fares that came into effect from January 31, a day after the Assembly elections in the state.
The UPP held a demonstration in Almora today and termed the bus fare hike as treachery with the masses of the state. It said the fare hike, which was nearly 100 per cent in the hill areas as compared to the hike in the plains, indicated the anti-hill mindset of the state government. The UPP added that it would fight against injustice meted out to the people.
Party workers gathered at the district headquarters to hold a protest this morning. The protesters said while the bus fare hike in the plain areas was 18 paise per km, it was 34 paise per km in the hill areas.
The UPP leaders said the people travelling in the hills were compelled to pay more as they had to travel more on winding roads to cover short distances. In the process more time was also consumed.
UPP president PC Tiwari said the Congress and the BJP were systematically destroying all the possibilities of the development of the hills. He charged the two parties with working against the spirit that underlined the creation of Uttarakhand state. Tiwari also criticised the Congress and the BJP for their approach on the issue of a permanent capital for the state. He said the regressive policies of the two parties were responsible for villages witnessing a large scale migration, chronic unemployment and spiralling prices.
Tiwari claimed that the delimitation exercise had resulted in a decline in leadership in the hills. Senior party leader Govind Lal Verma said the bus fare hike was a result of the regressive mindset of the government led by Bhuvan Chandra Khanduri and the bureaucracy.
The UPP leaders later submitted a memorandum, addressed to Governor Margaret Alva, to District Magistrate DS Garbyal. Besides the withdrawal of bus fare hike, the UPP demanded an end to the contractual mode of employment, regularisation of the services of employees and an end to corruption in the state. It also sought similar bus fares for both hill and plain areas.


Vigil stepped up along Nepal border 

Pithoragarh, February 10
The Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) guarding the Indo-Nepal border and the Pithoragarh police have intensified vigil along the border to check the smuggling of fake currency into India. "Personnel of our intelligence wing deputed at Jhoola Ghat and other bridges along the Indo-Nepal border have been asked to find out the sources of the smuggling of fake currency into India,” said NA Bharane, SP, Pithoragarh.
According to information, last week when a shopkeeper had gone to deposit money in a local bank at Jhoola Ghat town, two notes of 1,000 denomination and one note of 5,00 denomination were found to be fake.
According to the shopkeeper, one of the notes of 1,000 denomination was given to him by a Nepal citizen who had purchased grocery items from his shop at the Jhoola Ghat market.
In the wake of the incident, SSB officials have increased vigil near all five bridges to check the smuggling of fake currency from Nepal. “As the border of India and Nepal is open, we cannot stop Nepal citizens from shopping in Indian markets situated near the border. However, we have asked our personnel guarding all five bridges across the Kali river, which makes the border between the two countries in this part of the country, to keep vigil on the persons whose activities are found to be suspicious,” said SD Serekhane, an SSB official.
A newspaper vendor said when he went to collect newspaper bills from a client in Nepal last week the latter gave him Rs 1,000, which was later declared fake by a bank employee in Jhoola Ghat town. “This shows that fake currency is being smuggled into India as Nepal citizens are dependent on Indian markets for their daily needs and usually come here to buy things,” he said.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Indian Tourism -Dehradun

Dehradun is the well-known hill station and a capital city of the Uttarakhand State of north India. This striking capital is situated in the Garhwal region and it is just 255 km away from New Delhi. Dehradun has been selected as one of the Counter attractions of the NCR (National Capital Region). It is also the alternative centre of expansion to help the relocation/migration and populace bang in the Delhi.

This hill station is notorious for its usual resources, services such as publishing, and for its impressive learning organizations like Indian Military Academy, Forest Research Institute and boarding schools. These educational centers are highly reputed throughout the nation. Some more national foundations such as Survey of India, Indian Institute of Petroleum, the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation and Wildlife Institute of India.

Dehradun is situated on the peak of the Himalaya Ranges. The Doon Valley is located between two mightiest rivers of India. These rivers are the Ganges which is on the east portion and Yamuna which is on the west side. The charming scenery and enjoyable weather of Dehradun is also attracting visitors. The nature beauty is like a gateway to the adjacent areas. This astonishing city is properly linked and in close to well-liked Himalayan tourist spots for example Nainital, Mussoorie and Auli. The Hindu holy cities like Rishikesh and Haridwar beside the Himalayan pilgrimage tour of Char Dham is another best and nearest places of Dehradun.

Dehradun is the headquarter and capital of Uttarakhand and it is also having nickname as Doon Valley. According to history of Dehradun sources say this place is blessed by many holly spirits such as Lord Ram and Laxman. The sources explained that Dronacharya, the legend guru of Kauravas and Pandavas was also born in this place. Proof of such period is available as the ancient temples and idols are still located in the city. 

Today Dehradun is turned as most popular tourist spot and people are visiting this city throughout the world. Some of the famed holiday spots of Dehradun are Tapkeshwar temple, Kalanga monument, Malsi Deer Park, Chandrabani, Laxman Siddh, Forest Research Institute, Guchhupani, Tapovan, Wadia Institute and Santala Devi temple. The other attractions in Dehradun are nature beauty, events and sports, museums, sanctuary and educations centers. The close hills are renowned for its scenery and temples. The sanctuary for bird and animal lovers is also best place of Dehradun to visit. The sporty activities such as trekking, rafting and rock climbing is also available to tourists. Reaching Dehradun will also help the tourist to visit nearby hill stations like Dakpathar, Ssahssradhara, Mussoorie, Chakrata and Lahkhamondal. The world-known temples Tapkeshwar and Santala Devi are also easily accessible and local transport is available to reach these holy places. The amusement parks are ready for fun and food with astonishing view of deep valleys.

Dehradun is all time visiting spot, though the best period to reach this hill station is September to October and March to April. 

Transportation services for reaching Dehradun:
By Air- the Dehradun Jolly Grand Airport is having continued services and flights from different pats of the country. The direct flights every week from Delhi is easy source for visitors to reach Dehradun. The airport is just 25 km away from the valley of Dehradun.

By Rail- the Dehradun railway station is well-known and best way to reach this hill station. This station is connected with many broad gage rails throughout the country and people can use the available trains to reach the spot. The major services are available from Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Varanasi and Lucknow. Some of the best trains of Dehradun are Mussoorie Express, Shatabdi, Doon Express and Jan Shatabdi.

By Road- This hill station is properly connected through road with all parts of the country. Luxury and deluxe coach buses are accessible from Delhi and some more states of India. The semi-deluxe and deluxe buses are running from Shimla and Mussoorie regularly so users will get lots of sources to reach the destination in lesser time then any other hill station of India. The luxury bus services offered by UPSRTC are also good way to reach Dehradun. Those who love to go through road can hire the taxi or can move by their own vehicles. The average distance of Dehradun from Delhi is about 255 km, Risikesh about 42 km, Haridwar about 54 km, Agra about 382 km, Yamunotri about 279 km, Nainital about 297 km, Shimla about 221 km and Kedarnath about 270 km.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Tapkeshwar Mahadev Temple Fair and Festival at Dehradun on Shivratri

Tapkeshwar Mandir Dehradun

Tapkeshwar Mandir Dehradun

Tapkeshwar Mahadev Temple is dedicated to Shiva and the fair and festival held here during Shivratri is highly auspicious. Tapkeshwar Mahadev Temple Mela date is February 20. The temple is around 6 km from Dehradun city center and is located in Ghari area. The Mahashivratri day in phalgun month attracts thousands of devotees.

Tapkeshwar Mahadev Temple is located on the banks of a river and the highlight of the temple is that water falls drop by drop atom the Shivling in the temple from a rock crevice.

During Mahashivratri there is night long jagran at the temple. Special pujas and bhajans are held on the occasion.

Tapkeshwar Mandir Dehradun

The Tapkeshwar temple is situated in the Garhi Cantonment area around 6.5 kms from the Dehradun city. Tapkeshwar is a heavenly place along a seasonal rivulet in the dense forest valley where a large number of devotees throng mainly during the Shivratri. Tapkeswar Mahadev temple is the auspicious place where the guru Drona of Pandavas and Kauravas, meditated to gain further knowledge. The water or moisture collects from the hills and trees and flows down as droplets onto the shivling, hence the name (Tapkeshwar). Thousands and thousands of people flock to this place to see the special marriage ceremony of Shiva and Parvati.

Tapkeshwar Temple Dehradun

The main Entrance of the Tapkeswar Shiv Temple in Dehradun with shops all around from where you can take parshaad. The stairs take you down to the main mandir entrance gate.

'Greed-based mining root of scandals'

PANAJI: A need-based and not greed-based approach should be adopted towards mining, saidDr V Bahuguna, director general of the Indian council of forestry research & education, Dehradun, recently.
He made the statement while referring to the illegal mining scandals in the country. Bahuguna was speaking at a conference on 'mining for sustainability', While stating that "very good mining infrastructure was needed for a country's progress," Bahuguna also said that "sizeable area needs to be retained under forest in view of climate change".
He faulted the industry for adopting an unscientific approach to mining. "Despite being such an important activity, why is mining not clean, clear and sustainable?" he questioned.
Bahuguna attributed the growing public attention mining was drawing to this fact. Expressing the need to develop a symbiotic relationship between economic needs and conservation, he observed that factors such as food security and rainfall depend on forest resources.
Bahuguna was of the view that futuristic mining practices such as underground mining done inSweden should be adopted in India too.
Referring to the poor compliance of environmental laws by mining companies, Dr R N Patra, chairman of Indian Rare Earths Ltd, felt that "corruption happens when the legal framework is not implemented properly".
Elaborating, Patra said companies calculate the trade-off between loss occurred through compliance (with regulations) and the gain achieved through non-compliance.
K P Nyati, CEO, Sustainable Mining Initiative, said, "Compliance with rules and regulations is the basis for foundation of sustainability."
He wondered whether scientific mining practices would be possible when 83% of mines in the country are below 40 hectares and hence operated by small mining companies.

Varanasi-Dehradun Exp to resumed

DEHRADUN: The train nos. 14265/14266 Varanasi-Dehradun Express, which remained cancelled since December 20 till now, resumed its run from Saturday. The train 14265 starts running from Varanasi from Saturday. In return direction, train no. 14266 starts running fromDehradun from Sunday. All mail/express/passenger trains which were cancelled/partially cancelled during foggy weather, have been restored except train nos. 14115/14116 Allahabad-Haridwar Express which will remain cancelled till further notice.
In order to make it convenient for passengers, Lucknow division of NER has opened computerised reservation centres at post offices.

A lesson for devotees and pilgrims to learn

Ganga Ghat, Haridwar
Haridwar, February 5
While millions throng Haridwar to take a dip in the holy Ganga, many of them leave behind waste material at Ganga ghats, not even thinking what wrong they are doing.
Though Ganga Sabha and other agencies maintain these ghats, the devotees, pilgrims and tourists should themselves realise the importance of the sanctity of these ghats.
Despite several cleaning drives and projects being carried out, the responsibility of the citizens to keep the ghats clean is imperative. A physically handicapped man, who selflessly is seen cleaning Ganga ghats on his own, is giving one such message, far from media limelight.
This man, despite being disabled, cleans the Ganga ghats with his legs and also manages to do it with his affected hands.
But when one asks his name and about his social service, this man doesn’t reveal but goes on doing his job. He points out that he does not want any media coverage, nor is he doing it for any firm but he himself realises that the ghats of the holy Ganga, which is worshipped by billions, needs to be cleaned so that the pilgrims get a clean ghat to take the holy dip.
Though he accepts that people wash clothes and use detergents, soaps, shampoos, which should not be done as these affect the sanctity of the ghats and impurifies the holy Ganga water, he makes sure that he is the first one to carry out the cleaning job before he asks others.
Seeing the commitment of this man, many people also make sure that they clean the ghats and remove the litter and plastic material. Many people are seen not using soaps while bathing.
Teerth purohits and hawkers who see this man doing the voluntary work on a regular basis are all praise for him and say that slowly but in a silent and effective way he is conveying the message, and many point out that it is not only about having a budget for cleaning the Ganga. Strong will and awareness will do much more than that.

Medical students awarded degrees

Dignitaries at the first convocation of the Himalayan Institute Hospital Trust near Dehradun
Dignitaries at the first convocation of the Himalayan
Institute Hospital Trust near Dehradun. 

Dehradun, February 5
A total of 63 medical students of different streams were awarded degrees on the first convocation ceremony of the Himalayan Institute Hospital Trust (HIHT) here yesterday.
The chief guest on the occasion was Dr C Rangarajan, chairman, Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister. He inaugurated the event by lighting up the ceremonial lamp. Accompanying him was the Vice Chancellor of the HIHT, Dr Vijay Dhasmana.
Addressing the students on the occasion, Dr Rangarajan advised them to work hard for achieving their goals in life. He said, “The profession of a doctor is very respectful and dignified.” Terming the students as nation builders, Dr Rangarajan appealed to the students to work hard for the betterment of society and the nation. The ceremony concluded with the vote of thanks delivered by Dr Dhasmana.

Youths arrested for theft

A gang of thieves nabbed by the Dehradun police
A gang of thieves nabbed by the Dehradun police.
Dehradun, February 5
The state police yesterday arrested two youths from Sahastradhara and Dehradun, who were involved in number of thefts in the region. Acting on a tip off, the Uttarakhand police intercepted the youths from the Sahastradhara road.
The youths, who were on a motorcycle, tried to flee from the spot but were apprehended by the police. On interrogation, the two were identified as Gaurav Chowdhary, a resident of Bagpat in Uttar Pradesh, and Mohit Kumar, a resident of Meerut. The two confessed of having committing number of thefts in Dehradun.

Shops on Chakrata Road unsafe for occupants

The demolished buildings on Chakrata Road in Dehradun
The demolished buildings on Chakrata Road in Dehradun.

Dehradun, February 5
The partly demolished commercial buildings on Chakrata Road have become perilous for the safety of those who live in them, or run shops, or even pass by the road. The bricks have become loosened and parts of the structure are hanging in the air on higher storeys.
It has become dangerous to walk near the shops as at any point of time the hanging concrete pieces can fall on the passersby and cause extreme injuries, something which happened just a day before when two persons got injured and as rickshaw got completely crushed.
The authorities seem nonchalant about the glaring realities and are sitting mum about them.
The side space of the road dug up to lay sewerage lines has added to the peril as poor children who come to collect debris or passersby can fall in them at night when it gets dark.
Despite the prevailing scary situation, the shopkeepers have begun business from the remnants of their shops, and in some cases begun living on the upper storeys where they used to live earlier. Manoj Uniyal, who runs Sagar CD shop on the first floor and has a house on the second floor, said: “There is very little verandah space left outside the rooms of my house, and it has become unsafe to even walk over that. I have a seven-year-old boy and old parents. I am quite worried about them. A little carelessness on their part can prove costly.”
The concrete debris lying below the broken buildings has made it more dangerous. Any one falling from even the first storey will get badly hurt on the debris.
Many buildings have become too small at the front to run any proper shop. In such places, people have opened up small tea-shops, cigarette or paan corners etc, whilst those who were left with slightly bigger spaces have set up some of their old stock like medicines, paints and electronic items.
Shalini, who owns a big electronic shop, said : “Now and then loosely-held bricks keep falling from the upper storeys but we cannot sit at home any more as the shops provided in the new shopping complex do not have proper water and electricity connections. Customers do not go there. After waiting for almost 45 days when the first demolition took place, we have come back to our shops.”
The customers hardly go in the new shopping complex where barring three or four shops, the rest are closed. The construction activity is still going on there because of which the place is still dirty and dusty.
The renowned Kumar Sweets, however, has opened its shop and is having a few customers every day. Owner Ramesh Verma said: “It will take three to four months for the shopkeepers to start their business from here. Water connections have been provided but transformers for electricity connections for all are yet to be set up. I am taking five KW from a nearby transformer and using a generator, though earlier I had a connection of 20 KW. The shopkeepers are demanding permission to use their old meter connections.

No health facility in remote Nainital areas

Nainital, February 5
The residents of the remote Okhalkanda region of Nainital continue to face an acute paucity of health services. Despite tall claims of the government with regard to the appointment of doctors and improving the health facilities in the areas, nothing has materialised on the ground.
With the result, the people of this region have to cover long distances to reach Haldwani, Nainital and Champawat to get some medical attention. There is widespread resentment amongst the people against
the prevailing state of affairs in the region. Reports suggest that the government hospital in Joshyuda village has been functioning without a doctor for several years. Built during the Bristish era, the condition of the hospital has gone from bad to worse.
Similarly, the posts of doctor in the Primary Health Centres at Dholigaon, Dalkanya, Khanasyu, Patlot, Nai and Gauniyaron have been lying vacant for several years. There are about 40,000 people in the area who have been deprived of medical assistance. All this in the face of the government that has been making tall claims with regard to improving health facilities in the remote areas of the hilly terrain in the state. The people have expressed hope that the new government would look into the issue after assuming office.

ND Tiwari an enigma in Uttarakhand

ONE person who came back to limelight during the poll campaign after a political hibernation in the state is Narayan Dutt Tiwari. The octogenarian hogged lots of publicity all the while.
From getting three ticket for persons of his choice (including one for his nephew Manish Tiwari from the Gadarpur seat) from the Congress high command, the grand old man of Uttarakhand politics was all over the place in the media, be it the print or the electronic medium.
There was lots of news for mediapersons as Tiwari never disappointed them by his acts and words. The first major news was his campaigning for his friend-turned-foe to being a friend again Indira Hridayesh. Hridayesh was a Cabinet Minister in the Tiwari government from 2002 to 2007 and contested the current poll from her traditional Haldwani seat. Tiwari not only held a media briefing in her favour but also participated in a road show in her favour. He went to the Muslim-dominated area of Vanbhoolpura seeking votes for her.
He gave a story to the mediapersons when he said he rued not having been able to become the Prime Minister in 1991. At that time he was one of the top contenders for the post after the demise of Rajiv Gandhi but he had lost the Lok Sabha poll held after Rajiv’s assassination. PV Narasimha Rao had been chosen the Prime Minister.
Sometime later during the campaign he sent the Congress into a disarray when he said he would not mind becoming the Chief Minister once again for a spell of two years.
People are yet to comprehend what he had meant when asked in Gadarpur about who would win the poll. He had said, ”Jai Maa Kali” and had gone to make the traditional invocation sound of Bengalis. Incidentally, an independent candidate with a nickname of Kali was also contesting from the seat against Tiwari’s nephew Manish Tiwari.
No matter, what Tiwari continues to be an enigma in Uttarakhand.
During a visit to his native area of Padampuri on the day of polling, some journalists came across an old man who narrated a story that during his young days, boys were asked to fetch wooden blocks brought down by gushing waters of local streams. The old man says, “I had a friend who could not swim. Same was the case with me. My friend had made an arrangement with other boys who were good swimmers that they would extract the blocks from the stream and we would carry them up half the distance to the village only to split the booty equally later. This friend was none other than ND Tiwari. You can imagine how good a manager he was even as a child.”
Political gossip on rise
With the votes having been cast and results awaited in the first week of March, the people of the area have enough time for political gossip and speculation. This is precisely what the people are doing these days. For those who have contested the poll, the wait is a bit too long but for those who just played the part of the voter or the supporter, there is enough time to indulge in gossip and analyse the polling that took place from various angles.
The question foremost on the mind of the people is that who will form the government. The second scenario being analysed is whether there will be a party securing a simple of two-thirds majority.
The third obvious question is who will be the Chief Minister. While in case of the BJP it is expected to be Bhuvan Chandra Khanduri as it was in the name of his “clean” image that the party had gone out seeking votes in the state.
But in case of the Congress forming the government, there are several claimants and choices available at hand. Speculation is rife whether it will be the Hardwar Lok Sabha member Harish Rawat who will eventually be the Chief Minister or will it be someone else.
This brings the people yet another point to ponder whether Congress president Sonia Gandhi will want a bypoll in Hardwar as making Rawat the Chief Minister will also mean one Lok Sabha member less in Parliament at a time when the graph of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) is not looking too good.
It is amid all this that people are spending their time particularly in places like Nainital where it is an off-season in context of tourism-related activity which is the mainstay of the majority of the people of the town.
Koshiyari hai majboori
There is a question among the young BJP workers with regards to former Chief Minister Bhagat Singh Koshiyari. These youngsters are perplexed over the party giving so much importance to Koshiyari despite the fact that he has played the role of a “destabiliser” every time someone other than him from the party was in the driving seat.
The youngsters point out that be it the case of Nityanand Swami, Bhuvan Chandra Khanduri and later Ramesh Pokhariyal Nishank, Koshiyari has had a role to play in the removal of every single one of them.
When the curiosity of the young brigade from the party was aired to a senior party functionary, he evaded the issue while joking, “Our slogan for the poll ‘Khanduri hai zaroori’ should have had a rider. It should have read Khanduri hai zaroori aur Koshiyari hai mazboori.”
There is a sentiment among a section of BJP workers that Koshiyari supporters were annoyed when the slogan “Khanduri hai zaroorie” was coined. “Did that mean that Koshiyari and others were gair zaroori (unimportant)?” they asked.