Your updated source of information about Dehradun & Uttarakhand.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

PM inaugurates Bathinda refinery

Phullokhari (Bathinda) - The Prime Minister, who dedicated the country's 24th oil refinery - the Rs.21,500-crore Guru Gobind Singh refinery in Punjab's Bathinda district - to the nation on Saturday, said: "We need to rationalise prices and at the same time ensure that the poor and needy are shielded from the effects of such a rationalisation."
He said with imports accounting for about 80% of India's crude oil requirements, spiralling oil prices in the international markets had put a serious strain on the country's import bill.
He said in order to insulate the common man from the impact of rising oil prices, the government has been shouldering a sizeable portion of the burden by pricing diesel, kerosene and domestic LPG below their market prices.
State-owned oil companies have not raised diesel, domestic LPG and kerosene rates for almost a year despite a steep increase in the cost of raw material - crude oil.
Even in case of petrol, where the government had in June 2010 freed prices from its control, state-owned oil companies have not been able to raise prices because of political pressure.
Petrol, priced at Rs. 65.64 a litre in Delhi, is about Rs. 9 short of its cost.

'Refinery will boost growth'
Unveiling the plaque to formally inaugurate the 9 million-metric tonne capacity Guru Gobind Singh oil refinery in Bathinda district's Phulokhari village, the prime minister said it would propel Punjab's economic growth. 
Spread across 2,400 acres, the refinery is located some 40 km from Bathdina city.
The PM said the project was a leap forward in Punjab's industrial development."Right from the beginning of the joint venture of the Rs. 21, 500 crore refinery, between Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) and Mittal Energy Investment Limited (MEL), the Congress-led UPA government has been closely monitoring the progress of the mega project," he said, in chaste Punjabi.
"After our government came to power at the Centre in 2004, we have been making all possible efforts to ensure the competition of the project well in time. I am happy to share that the central government kept all its promises to make the joint venture of the HPCL and MEL a success."

Dr. Aziz Qureshi appointed Uttarakhand Governor

New Delhi, April 28
The Congress-led UPA combine tonight appointed two new Governors, shifted one from Uttarakhand to Rajasthan and gave a second term to serving Governors of Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra. President Pratibha Devisingh Patil issued a notification here tonight.
One of the new appointees is BV Wanchoo, former head of the Special Protection Group (SPG) that guards the Prime Minister. He has been appointed Governor of Goa.
Sources said former SPG boss Wanchoo’s new assignment was expected. He retired in October last year.
Wanchoo, a 1976 batch West Bengal cadre IPS officer, has served in the Intelligence Bureau before he was appointed SPG chief in 2005. Following his retirement, it was believed that he would be appointed Adviser to the PM on internal security.
The other new appointee is Dr Aziz Qureshi. He is considered close to Congress leader Digvijay Singh. He has been appointed Governor of Uttarakhand replacing Margaret Alva who has been shifted to Rajasthan.
Punjab Governor Shivraj Patil holding additional charge of Rajasthan has been relieved of it.
Dr Qureshi belongs to Madhya Pradesh and at one time was being considered for a Rajya Sabha nomination from the state.
ESL Narasimhan, Governor of Andhra Pradesh, has been given a fresh term. Narisimhan is former director of the Intelligence Bureau and has briefly served as Governor of Chhattisgarh. K Sankaranarayanan, Governor of Maharashtra has also been given a second term, the presidential notification said.
After these appointments, the Governor’s post is vacant in Kerala, where Karnataka Governor holds the additional charge. The tenure of existing Governors in Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh as well as that of Lt Governor of Delhi comes to an end later this month. Sources said another round of appointments was expected.
The Congress party core group earlier met and reportedly discussed possible names for gubernatorial assignments. These included former Railway Minister CK Jaffer Sharief, former Madhya Pradesh Assembly Speaker Srinivas Tiwari and Congress general secretary RK Dhawan, who was Indira Gandhi's personal secretary. The names of former Chief Election Commissioner Navin Chawla and former Haryana Pradesh Congress Committee Chief Phool Chand Mullana were also doing the rounds in the national capital.
  • SPG ex-boss Wanchoo is Goa Guv
  • Alva shifted from U’khand to Rajasthan
  • AP, Maharashtra Guvs get second term

Uttarakhand gets new Governor

New Delhi: The Congress on Saturday finalised four names for the post of governors of different states. They are BV Wanchoo, who currently heads the Special Protection Group; former Railway Minister CK Jaffer Sharief; former Madhya Pradesh Assembly Speaker Srinivas Tiwari and Congress General Secretary RK Dhawan who used to be Indira Gandhi's personal secretary. All four are party old-timers and this will be their first stint as Governors.
On Friday, the Congress top brass, including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and party president Sonia Gandhi, met amid indications that a number of states will be seeing change of Governors in the next few days.
Sources said the issue of Governors' appointment as well as the current political situation came up for discussion. Other members of the Congress Core group, which took up the issues, included Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Home Minister P Chidambaram, External Affairs Minister SM Krishna and Gandhi's political secretary Ahmed Patel.
The posts of Governor is vacant in Rajasthan and Kerala while the tenure of existing Governors in Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Goa as well as that of Lt Governor of Delhi are coming to an end later this month.
Punjab Governor Shivraj Patil is currently holding the additional charge of Rajasthan.
Although there is no constitutional binding on their tenure, a number of these states are likely to see new faces. The confabulations also took place a day when MPs from UPA ally Trinamool Congress held a meeting with Prime Minister Singh over the issue of financial assistance to West Bengal.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh earlier assured Trinamool Congress that the Centre would do everything possible to bail out debt-ridden West Bengal as party MPs sought a three-year moratorium on interest payment.
A day after they placed their demands before Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee including restructuring of the "massive debt burden" faced by the state, a delegation of Trinamool MPs met the Prime Minister to raise the issue.
Trinamool's support is crucial to the government which seeks easy passage of the Finance Bill in Parliament.

Dangerous - Do not drink Coka-Cola and eat MENTOS together...!!! Seeing is believing ?don't you think ?!!! Last week a little boy died in Brazil after eating MENTOS and drinking Coka-Cola together. One year before the same accident happened with another boy in Brazil .. Please check the experiment that has been done by mixing Coka-Cola (or Coka-Cola light are the same) with MENTOS........ So be careful !!

Coke and Mentos 1 Coke and Mentos 2
Coke and Mentos 3 Coke and Mentos 4
Coke and Mentos 5 Coke and Mentos 6

Thursday, April 26, 2012


Satish Ranjan Das, the founder of The Doon School, was one of pre-Independence India´s eminent barristers and a member of the Executive Council of the Viceroy of India. His mission was to constitute India´s first public school in an era when ´Chief´s Colleges´ were the ultimate school experience. The Doon School, started in September 1935, was meant to provide youth with an opportunity to get an all-round education based on an adaptation of the English public school system. Anniversary celebrations, Founders, a calendar event for Doscos, will be momentous in this 75th year. Celebrations are spread over four days running October 21st to 24th where between dinners, speeches, sound and light shows the annual classic cricket match between old boys and students will take place.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Feast day at St Joseph's Acadamy

Dehradun, April 23
St Joseph’s Academy celebrated the feast day of the Principal, Bro AJ George, here today.
He has taken St George, one of the most prominent military saints, as his patron and constantly strives to follow his footsteps.
On this occasion, the junior section conducted a special assembly to celebrate the feast day.
Speaking on the occasion Bro AJ George said he was overwhelmed by the students’ performance and thanked the junior section coordinator Hasan and the staff for all their efforts.
The middle and senior section also celebrated the day with exuberance. A special assembly was conducted in the school auditorium to honour the Principal.
After the prayer, girls of the senior and middle sections presented a dance followed by a power point presentation. The school choir also presented a song to congratulate him.
In his address, Bro George enlightened the gathering on the relevance of the day and also about the life of St George. He also thanked the entire SJA family for making the day memorable.

Hungarian quartet plays at Doon School

Dehradun, April 23
After performing to full house in Mumbai and Pune, the famous Hungarian chamber ensemble Kodály String Quartet has several programmes lined up in Dehradun.
They gave a charming performance at the Rose Bowl of Doon School here today. The quartet played classical pieces of Beethoven, Mozart and Franz Peter Schubert.
Facilitated by the Dehradun chapter of SPICMACAY and the Hungarian Information and Cultural Centre (New Delhi), the quartet’s visit to Dehradun is to provide the younger generation a glimpse of the rich Hungarian classical music tradition.
“The Kodály Quartet was established in 60s as a tribute to the legendary Zoltán Kodály, who was not only an excellent composer but also a chronicler of the Hungarian folk songs. In his lifetime, he roamed the villages, busy collating old folk songs written nowhere but often heard song by people of that time. Later, he simplified learning of music by giving sound names based on tonality. The pedagogue developed by him is popular in schools across the world,” said Erika Toth, a violinist in the quartet.
Buoyed by the response that the quartet received in Pune and Mumbai, the ensemble members say, “Even though were told about the limited audience for the western classical music in India, the audience in Mumbai and Pune was quite responsive and floored us with their minute observations, “ said János Fejérvári, the viola player of the quartet.
The leader of the string quartet, Attila Falvay and the first violin player joined the Kodály String Quartet in 1980. He said, “We never had a chance to play with the Indian classical musicians.
There is lot of improvisation even in the Indian classical music but this cannot be said about the chamber music that we play. We adhere to the principle of sight-reading and sight-playing,” he added.
The fourth member György Eder performed on cello. 

Mussoorie remembers Shakespeare

Mussoorie, April 23
Local historians and residents of Mussoorie remembered the greatest English playwright of his time William Shakespeare on his 448th birth anniversary and 396th death anniversary here today.
Students from public and Hindi medium schools recited verses from his famous play Macbeth and Julius Caesar, which are presently in the syllabus of the schools. A biography of the playwright was also read out to the students.
Principal of Mussoorie Public School Mukesh Lal said that his school had been actively observing the birth and death anniversary of the “Bard of Avon” that coincidentally falls on the same day.
He said the plays of Shakespeare were relevant even today as they often have in them an element of racial tension. Othello, The Merchant of Venice and Titus Andronicus reminds us not to engage in racial scuffles as it lead to unnecessary bloodshed.
Eminent historian and chronicler from Mussoorie Gopal Bhardwaj showed the original scrap book of Captain Fredrik Young, the founder of the town. He said love for Shakespeare could be proven from the etching of bard found in the scrap book that has been preserved in its original form even today. The etching, if sold today, could fetch more than £400 in Sotheby’s, added Bhardwaj.
He also said the town use to reverberate with the plays at the theatres, especially built for the Shakespearean plays during the British rule.
Until 1884, the Landour theatre in the Lal Tibba area, which was a convalescent depot for the soldiers passing their time on furlough, acted as a hub to showcase the plays by Shakespeare where eminent personalities enacted various characters from “Macbeth” and “As You Like It” . Alice McDonald, the mother of eminent author Rudyard Kipling, also actively participated in the Shakespearian plays in Mussoorie.
The plays were also held at the Himalaya Club and the Rink Theatre often. The British were so fond of Shakespeare that the Rink Theatre was constructed in 1892 resembling the Globe Theatre of London and the measurement of the theatre was exactly the same to the last inch. Later with the advent of cinema halls in 1910 in Mussoorie, the Shakespearean plays lost their sheen and after Independence, the theatre in the town came to an abrupt end.
Gopal Bhardwaj lamented the fact that the plays are not performed in the town anymore and believes that his plays inculcated a sense of adventurism and creativity among students. Therefore, the revival of his plays in the town would benefit not only the students but the old likely.

12 workers of Rockman, Satyam go on fast

Dehradun, April 23
Twelve workers of Rockman and Satyam companies launched an indefinite fast at the Parade Ground here today.
Addressing a press conference, Amit Kumar, a leader of an employees' union, said they were disappointed with the response of Chief Minister Vijay Kumar Bahuguna whom they met yesterday.
"When we informed the Chief Minister about a meagre salary we are getting (Rs 5,000), he replied that none of the worker in the SIDCUL area was getting this much salary. He asked us not to spoil the atmosphere of the capital city and the SIDCUL," he said.
Amit Kumar further said if the administration failed to decide on their main demand of the reinstatement of suspended and dismissed workers in two days, they would again hold a march to the Secretariat, where they would stage a dharna and would not lift it till they get final answer on their demands.
He said the Additional Secretary, Labour Department, had also given them an assurance to discuss the matter with both managements of the companies.

More properties in four cities under tax net soon

Dehradun, April 23
To check property tax evasion, the Department of Urban Development will soon introduce Geographic Information System (GIS) property mapping (scale 1:100) in Dehradun, Haridwar, Nainital and Haldwani.
With more than 50 per cent of the properties outside the tax ambit in most of the towns, the GIS mapping is expected to create a data base, increase tax collection and attain the objective of the Property Tax Management.
"As part of the pilot project, GIS mapping was undertaken in Salawala near Dehradun which revealed that more than 60 per cent of the property was not recorded. We found a huge gap when we compared the data of the survey work with our present records. The GIS mapping will not only enable the Urban Local Bodies Department to determine the number of properties in their jurisdiction, but also bring several properties under the tax net," said Radhika Jha, Project Director, Uttarakhand Urban Sector Development and Investment Programme (UUSDIP).
The exercise will help in streamlining the property tax assessment and collection system in the selected cities and in the long run it will help in increasing the revenue of the Local Bodies Department.
For undertaking a field-level survey and digitising the data of all properties in four towns of Uttarakhand, the funds will be provided by the Asian Development Bank (ADB). The agency (for field work) will be selected through the bid system for which a request for the proposal has already been prepared. A laboratory will also be set up for imparting training to employees of the Urban Local Bodies Department. "Increasing urbanisation is inevitable and overcrowding of cities is a great challenge for sanitation, disaster management, etc. GIS and remote sensing prove useful for preparing maps, digitising spatial data," said MH Khan, officiating Deputy Programme Manager, Uttarakhand Urban Sector Development and Investment Programme.
The data collected by digital mapping from the National Remote Sensing Centre, an important segment of ISRO, will be used for the implementation of the system.

Sulphur spring brings Haldwari in limelight

Dehradun, April 23
Haldwari village, which is also famous for a natural sulphur spring, could be converted into a tourist destination. It is about 40 km from Dehradun.
The local residents are hopeful that with the concept of rural tourism gaining popularity worldwide, the village having sulphur-rich water spring could be developed into a tourist spot. It will play a key role in the development of this remote village.
Haldwari is accessible by a 2.5 km trek from Ragad village, the last road head. It is 18 kilometre from Maldevta.
The village is known for the sulphur spring, where the local people come to take bath, especially during weekends.
"People from nearby villages and tourists from Dehradun take bath in the sulphur spring in our village. It is believed that sulphur bath is beneficial in a number of aliments, including skin diseases," said Dinesh Singh, a local resident.
In the past, Haldwari was one of the hot spots for mining of limestone. Truck used to move up to the village, but the ban on quarrying in the Doon valley in the late 80s gave a major setback to the road connectivity.
"The companies involved in mining used to maintain the road. Even after the ban of quarrying, the roads were in good shape but after heavy rainfall in 2007, many bridges were washed away. Since 2007, we are struggling and have approached the state government many times for connecting the village with all-weather road. But, nobody is paying any heed to our request," complained Balwant Panwar.
The temporary road connecting Ragad is bumpy and only jeeps and cars move on the Kucha road. At present, two jeeps ferry passengers from Raipur to Ragad and vice versa.
Nature lover Sudhanshu Negi, who is a regular visitor to Ragad, said, "The August 23, 2011 cloudburst in Karligad village had an adverse affect on the sulphur springs in Sahastradhara (Dehradun). Now the sulphur water level in Sahastradhara is low. Compared to it, the flow of sulphur water is very high at Haldwari. It is located near Dehradun and can be developed into a picnic spot."
The free-flowing Song river is another attraction in the village. The houses are located in isolated places and Haldwari is home to 40 families. Most of the villages located in and around Haldwari remain cut off from rest of the world in monsoon due to washing away of the road. 

Tusker found dead

Haridwar, April 23
In a shocking incident, a female elephant succumbed to injuries that she had sustained during fighting with a fellow tusker elephant.
This incident occurred at the Dhaulkhand range of the Rajaji National Park here yesterday evening, which is a protected habitat for Asian elephants.
The female elephant was found dead by a park patrolling team with injuries on the whole body indicating the gruesome fight that had taken place between the two elephants. Post-mortem of the female elephant was carried out today by a panel of wild life doctors.
Dhaulkhand range employees said for the past few days, a movement of the female elephant was being noticed in this region and conflict would have taken place for at least an hour as per the indications of the injuries.

3 kidnapping cases shock US Nagar people

Nainital, April 23
A sense of insecurity prevails in Udham Singh Nagar district following three incidents of kidnapping and abduction being reported from different areas in the past two days.
A three-year-old was abducted by some miscreants from the Bhurarani area of Rudrapur yesterday.
Suraj was playing with his sister, Kajal, outside their house when two motorcycle-borne youths came and abducted the boy. On hearing the noise raised by Kajal, a cyclist tried to chase the motorcycle but his efforts proved futile. Further investigations are on in the matter.
On Saturday evening, a beauty parlour employee was kidnapped from Bazpur. The victim was a class XII student who was allegedly kidnapped by some car-borne persons from the Transit Camp area. The girl, identified as Phulwati, was a resident of Krishna Colony and had gone out on Saturday night when a car stopped and some persons forcibly put her inside and fled the spot. The alarm raised by her brought a few people to the spot but by then the car had driven off.
The police attempts at rescuing her by putting up barricades on various routes proved futile.
The father of the victim, Beni Ram, had accused a youth of his locality of being involved in the crime but a raid at the latter’s place also proved futile.
According to sources, the police has information about the car heading towards Ghaziabad and efforts are on to trace the whereabouts of the accused and rescue the girl.
On Saturday evening, 16-year-old Mobin Jahan was allegedly kidnapped while she was returning home in Bazpur village after her duty at a beauty parlour. Her bicycle, purse and slippers were found in a wheat field.

Uttarakhand Congress expels 35 workers, notice to 100 others

Dehra Dun, Apr 23 - Infighting in the ruling Congress in Uttarakhand today intensified with the party expelling 35 workers and serving show-cause notices to 100 others, including the son of Union Minister Harish Rawat and Alomra MP Pradeep Tamta. The State Disciplinary Committee at its meeting held here expelled the 35 members from the party for six years for indiscipline and anti-party activities and issued notices to 100 others, including Rawat's son Anand Singh Rawat, Committee president Narendra Singh Bhandari said. The party workers, who were given notice, had been asked to furnish their reply within 15 days. Infighting had surfaced in the party after Vijay Bahuguna was sworn in as the Chief Minister of the state after the Assembly elections. Harish Rawat, who was also a contender for the chief ministership, and his supporters had raised a banner of revolt protesting Bahuguna's choice for the post.

Feud continues to divide Uttarakhand Congress

Dehradun, April 20 - There is no end to the factional feud in Uttarakhand Congress. The latest spat between two arch rivals Satpal Maharaj, Pauri Garhwal MP and Harish Rawat, Union Minister of Agriculture, Food Processing and Parliamentary Affairs, has erupted on the issue of efforts by the Congress to look for a “safe” Assembly segment for Uttarakhand Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna.
Vijaya Bahuguna, Congress MP from Tehri Garhwal Lok Sabha seat who was appointed by the party high command as Chief Minister last month after a fragile victory in the state Assembly polls has to enter the state Assembly within six months. Since the Congress has only one seat more than the opposition BJP in the state Assembly, efforts were made by the Congress managers to persuade an opposition BJP legislator to vacate his seat in favour of the Chief Minister.
However, Harish Rawat, who has been unhappy for not being offered the post of the Chief Minister, has thrown a spanner in the works. In a statement, he said the decision to engineer a “defection” amongst opposition BJP would be morally wrong and could trigger unrest in the state with the Opposition hitting the streets.
Most of the Congress leaders view his statement as an attempt to add to the problems of the already beleaguered Chief Minister Bahuguna. Harish Rawat had raised a banner of revolt against the decision of the party high command to choose Bahuguna as Chief Minister. He, along with his supporter legislators, sat on a dharna at his New Delhi residence against the decision of the party high command for a fortnight. To placate Harish Rawat, his supporters were adjusted in the Bahuguna Cabinet.
One of his loyalists Mahendra Singh Mahra, who recently lost Assembly polls, was given a Rajya Sabha seat while another of his supporters, Govind Singh Kunjwal, was made the Assembly Speaker. But it did not bury their differences and the fresh salvo by Harish Rawat has annoyed Bahuguna supporters.
Satpal Maharaj, Pauri Garhwal, Congress MP who had earlier criticised Harish Rawat for allegedly blackmailing the party high command, in a statement here today said that if any of the Opposition legislators offers his or her seat for the Chief Minister Bahuguna, it would be welcome.
He reminded Rawat that the tradition of getting an Opposition legislator to vacate a seat for the Chief Minister was started by the Opposition BJP when Lt Gen TPS Rawat (retd), a Congress legislator, resigned from the party and vacated his Assembly segment for the then Chief Minister Maj Gen BC Khanduri (retd) in 2007.
Meanwhile, Dhirendra Pratap, Uttarakhand Congress spokesperson, also accused Harish Rawat of teaching ethics to party leaders when he himself indulged in rebellion.
The party leaders are also divided on the issue of having a new Uttarakhand Congress Chief. Yashpal Arya, the present Uttarakhand Congress President, has been inducted in the Bahuguna cabinet and Harish Rawat has started pressurising the party high command to appoint Pardeep Tamta, Congress MP from Almora or Mayukh Singh Mahar, Congress legislator from Pithoragarh, as state Congress chief.