Your updated source of information about Dehradun & Uttarakhand.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Khanduri, Nishank, other BJP leaders court arrest

Dehradun, June 22
Several BJP leaders led by former Chief Minister BC Khanduri courted arrest at the office of the District Magistrate here today as part of the jail bharo andalon against inflation, including recent hike in petrol prices. Former Uttarakhand Assembly Speaker Harbans Kapoor, general secretary and in-charge of Uttarakhand affairs Thawar Chand Gehlot and president of the city unit of the party Puneet Mittal were among other leaders to have courted arrest. They were, however, later released.
Former Chief Minister BC Khanduri being taken away in a police van in Dehradun on Friday; and (right) BJP leaders, including Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, being arrested
Former Chief Minister BC Khanduri being taken away in a police van in Dehradun on Friday; and (right) BJP leaders, including Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, being arrested by the police in Haridwar.

Earlier addressing the party workers at the BJP office in the city, Mittal said the UPA government at the Centre had failed to control prices of essential commodities. “The prices of vegetables, cereals and pulses are shooting like never before, so much so that they are beyond the reach of the common man. The unjustified hike in petrol price has worsened the situation,” he said.
He added the fall in rupee against dollar had dented the image of India as an emerging super power. “Most of the UPA government rule has been spent in inaction and corruption,” he said.
Kapoor criticised the state government for failing to provide relief to the people of Uttarakhand who were facing power and water shortage. “Instead of finding a solution to the problems of the people, the Bahuguna government is engaged in the blatant sale and purchase of BJP MLAs. After the gram pradhan of the Shaktifarm exposed the machinations of the Congress leaders, the Bahuguna government was needlessly targeting BJP workers,” said BJP leader Suman Kant Dhyani.
Later the BJP leaders and workers held a procession that passed through Rajpur Road, Paltan Bazaar and culminated at the District Collectorate office.
It proved to be a harrowing time for commuters who were caught in traffic jams in sweltering heat on the busy Rajpur Road. Long queues of vehicles blocked the parade ground in the morning.
However, the Congress leaders said the protest by the BJP was unjustified as the state government had already provided relief to the people by waiving VAT on petrol.
HARIDWAR: As part of the jail bharo andolan of the BJP in the state, a large number of BJP activists courted arrest at the tehsil office here on Friday.
Led by former Chief Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank a protest was held on the tehsil office premises against anti-poor policies of the Congress-led UPA government at the Centre.
Addressing the protesters, Nishank lashed out at the UPA government saying it was a bunch of self-centered parties the prime motive of which was to safeguard their political interests and accumulate money from companies.
Nishank referred to 2-G, Commonwealth and Adarsh Society scams and the controversy surrounding the former Army General and the failure of the UPA government to control inflation. He said the Congress-led government had failed miserably on all fronts and had led the country to anarchy.
He said the Central government had performed poorly on the economic front despite eminent economist Manmohan Singh being the Prime Minister of the country.
“This UPA government under Manmohan Singh is no match to the NDA government led by the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. While the BJP-led NDA government controlled inflation, brought many pro-poor schemes and implemented them with clarity, the UPA government is least concerned about the common man. The time has come for BJP workers to work hard to take this message to voters so that the party could return to power in the 2014 parliamentary elections and address the problems of the people,” said Nishank while leading the party activists.
District BJP unit president Sushil Chauhan also criticised the Uttarakhand government led by Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna saying its 100 days in power had been 100 days in ‘dilemma’.
He termed the horse-trading of former BJP legislator from Sitarganj Kiran Mandal as a low in politics in the 12 years of the formation of separate state of Uttarakhand. This was being done to garner a majority in the state Assembly and ensure Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna got a vacant Assembly seat as his party legislators were not willing to leave a seat for him.
Poonam Jha, state secretary of the Mahila Morcha, said crime in Haridwar had increased at an alarming rate since the Congress came into power. This was not the case when the BJP government under BC Khanduri and Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank was in power.

Hong Kong women’s cricket team practises at ACA ground

Dehradun, June 22
Ahead of Asia Women’s Cricket Twenty 20 Cricket Tournament, slated for October in China, six members of the Hong Kong women’s cricket team are practising at the Abhimanyu Cricket Academy (ACA) ground here these days.
Interacting with mediapersons today, coach of the team Charles Burke said the team had come to the ACA because of the excellent cricket ground at the academy. He said the floodlights at the ACA stadium helped them practise for day and night matches.
Connie Wong, captain of the Hong Kong women’s cricket team, said the team members were rigorously practising. He said Hong Kong would be taking on India, Pakistan, Thailand and China teams.
Mariko Hill, vice-captain of the Hong Kong team, said cricket was fast gaining popularity in their country. She said their government was promoting the sport.
Referring to the Indian Premier League, Mariko said the IPL was interesting and they also enjoyed watching it.
She said apart from an excellent cricket ground, the ACA had the best of other infrastructure that included good accommodation.
“We would definitely like to come here for practise on annual basis,” she added.
Manoj Rawat, BCCI level B Coach at the ACA, said the Hong Kong team members were slated to practise at the ACA for one week as a part of the preparations for the Asia Women’s Cricket Cup.

Ex-minister and Cong leader Sadhu Ram dead

Dehradun, June 22
Sadhu Ram, former state minister and senior Congress leader, died of a heart attack this morning.
Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna has expressed grief over his death. Bahuguna visited the house of Sadhu Ram and expressed condolence to the bereaved family.
He prayed for the peace of the departed soul and strength for members of his family.
He described the death of Sadhu Ram as a great loss for the state.

Theft at Raipur temple

Raipur - A bulk of bells and two silver covers placed at the sanctum sanctorum of a local temple in Raiwala were stolen on Thursday night. The police suspected it to be the handiwork of locals. Thefts had been committed in the same temple twice earlier.

DM tells councillors to follow code of conduct

Dehradun, June 22
District Magistrate Ravinath Raman has asked the councillors of wards 37 and 38 to follow the modal code of conduct in force owing to the byelections in the wards.
 He said the candidates should also submit the detail of their everyday expenses. The DM further said they should not paste election posters on anybody’s house wall without the owner’s permission. The use of loudspeakers would be banned from 9 pm to 9 am.
After the elections on June 27, no public meeting would be allowed after 5 pm.
He said the candidates would be allowed to use only one vehicle for which permit would be issued by the returning officer.
The DM said strict action would be taken against those who would flout the modal code of conduct.

State police officers discuss Kanwar mela preparations

Haridwar, June 22
With the Kanwar mela set to begin from July 4, a high-level inter- state meeting was held at the CCR tower here today. The meeting, which was presided over by Garhwal Commissioner Kunal Sharma, stressed on mutual coordination and better dissemination of information among the states.
The decision regarding the strict implementation of law and order and traffic rules was also taken during the meeting. The Dak Kanwar Moto Vehicle Act will also be in place this year. It had been waived in the previous Kanwar seasons.
The pilgrimage on goods ferrying vehicles will not be allowed and kanwariyas driving without helmet will not be allowed to enter Uttarkahand. A special security cell will be established that will monitor security measures during the fair. DIG, Dehradun range, Sanjay Gunjiyal has also been appointed nodal officer for the fair.
The main focus will be on the ultra-sensitive Har-ki-Pauri mela zone, where CCTV cameras would be installed to check the movement of miscreants. Thirty heavily armed mobile squads will also be deployed in the zone.
SP (city) Kiran Lal Shaw said as they had received several threat letters with regard to causing disruption during the fair, the administration is making all efforts to ensure round-the-clock patrolling in sensitive areas.
At the kanwar stretch, Har-ki-Pauri mela zone, high-mast lamp posts are being installed to ensure the smooth conduct and movement of kanwariyas. While 50 handpumps are already in working condition, 50 water tankers will also be pressed into service to quench the thirst of kanwariyas and police personnel on kanwar duty.
As the rush of kanwariyas is increases after July 10 when 'panchak' gets over, the kanwar market alongside the Ganga ghat will be removed.
DM, Tehri Garhwal, Ranjeet Singh, DM, Saharanpur, Ajay Kumar Singh, SSP, Dehradun, Neeru Garg, SP, Tehri, Janmayjay Khanduri, CDO Gaziabad Suresh Kumar Rathore, ADM, Meerut, Vinod Singh, SP (city), Muzaafarnagar RK Yadav, SP (city), Saharanpur, AS Rai, SSP, Haridwar, Arun Mohan Joshi, and SP, Haridwar city, KL Shaw were also present.

Venture to give low-cost medical treatment to needy, saints

Haridwar, June 22
In the first of its kind joint venture, Bhoomanand Dharmarth Charitable Hospital has joined hands with Noida-based Kailash Hospital, a professional medical service provider. The venture aims at providing free and low cost medical treatment to poor, needy and saints in Haridwar.
Revered religious guru Mahamandaleshwar Swami Achutyanand Teerth Maharaj announced it here today. He runs the charitable hospital wing, which was established in memory of his guru late Bhoomanand Maharaj. The hospital has made a name for itself owing to minimum expenses taken from poor and needy patients.
“As medical science is taking leaps with newer researches and equipment, it was felt that to run a specialised medical hospital and nursing college purely by saints and charitable trust was not efficient. That’s why we are collaborating with Kailash Hospital,” added Swami Achutyanand at a press conference here today.
Dr Mahesh Sharma, Director of Kailash Hospital group, said within six weeks, Bhoomanand Hospital would have state-of-the-art facilities and equipment like CT scan, radiators, MRI, Intense Care Unit, specialised heart care unit and other super speciality facilities as are found in other leading hospitals these days.
The charitable objective of Bhoomannad Hospital will not change a bit with the core focus being poor, needy and saints who can’t afford expensive treatment facilities. For the Char Dham pilgrims, nearby hilly district and rural people, this will come as a boon as in whole Haridwar district, there are no such facilities,” said Dr Mahesh.
While Dr Ritu Verma, Director of the medical group, said in the country, this was the first of its kind joint initiative where charitable aspect met super-speciality facilities.

Swami Sanand detained, released

Haridwar, June 22
Fearing deterioration of law and order situation due to their presence in Haridwar, the police today detained Swami Gyan Swaroop Sanand, Magsaysay award winner Rajendra Singh, Balbeer Tomar and Ved Pratap Vedic as soon as they reached Haridwar from Pauri Garhwal this afternoon.
Later, the police took them to the district border at Narsain and released them.
According to information, after reaching Haridwar, Swami Sanand wanted to hold a press conference in the evening. However, as soon as the local intelligence unit and the police got to know about this, they detained the engineer-turned-saint along with others from the Sapt Rishi region and took them to the district border at Narsain.
Meanwhile, Matra Sadan Ashram has condemned this describing it as tyrannical as Swami Sanand has always been carrying out non- violent and peaceful agitations.

Congress still eyeing BJP MLAs: Nishank

Haridwar, June 22
Former Chief Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank today claimed that the Congress was still eying BJP legislators and trying to lure them by offering money or other illegal means as it had done in the case of former BJP legislator from Sitarganj Kiran Mandal.
Nishank was speaking to mediapersons at the state guest house near the Ganga canal at Damkoti here. He said it was the lowest ebb in the state politics as state Cabinet ministers were applying all illegal measures to lure opposition legislators so that the Congress could reach the majority mark of 36 in the Uttarakhand Assembly.
NIshank defended the induction of the then Congress legislator from Dhumakot, Pauri Garhwal, Tej Pal Singh Rawat, into the BJP and said the cases of TPS Rawat and Kiran Mandal were different as Rawat had resigned from the Congress owing to his disenchantment with the polices of the party while Mandal defected to the Congress for the sake of money and assurance of landownership rights to Bengali migrants.
Nishank, MLA from the Doiwala, also criticised Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna for declaring many cities, including Haridwar, as power-cut free zones and said making lofty claims should also go with ground work. He cited a power cut during his press conference at the state guest house to stress the point.
Asked about the projection of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi as a probable Prime Ministerial candidate by the BJP, he said as soon as the party high command took a decision every one would get to know. He, however, refused to comment on a debate on Modi’s ‘secular’ credentials started by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.
Nishank also denied that there was factionalism in the BJP both at the national and state levels. He said as it was a national party the family was growing with thousands joining it regularly. Hence, conflict of ideas or interests was bound to be there but it did not mean that there was factionalism in the party. 

10 booked for illegal mining in Ferozepur

Ferozepur, June 22
Deputy Commissioner S Karuna Raju, accompanied by Hardial Singh Mann, SSP, and officials of the Industry Department, raided various places where mining was being carried on in a clandestine fashion.
Raju said there were specific instructions from the Chief Minister to check illegal mining of minerals and sand. Hence, 10 persons had been booked following raids at various sites.
The DC said there were 57 authorised sand mines in the district. He instructed officials to provide basic facilities like shelter and drinking water to labourers working at places where mining was permitted.
He asked locals to pay contractors only at the rates approved by the government. “Fleecing will not be tolerated,” he warned.

Passport offices in seven cities to stay open this weekend

New Delhi, June 22
Stung by reports of delays in processing online passport applications, the government today announced that passport offices in Delhi, Ghaziabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Lucknow and Amritsar will function normally tomorrow and on Sunday.

“In order to address the unprecedented demand for passport services during these months, the MEA has decided to open regional passport offices, including passport seva kendras (PSKs) under their jurisdiction on June 23 and 24” at these seven centres, an official statement here said.
At a media briefing, senior MEA officials said that 25,000 to 30,000 passport applications were proposed to be handled over the next two days at the PSKs in these seven centres.
The MEA also defended what it called the citizen-centric online application system and said it has successfully completed the setting up and operationalisation of 77 PSKs in the country.
The applications for all passport-related services “other than tatkal” shall be accepted during the 'Passport Mela', the officials said.
Based on its success, such ‘melas’ will be organised on a regular basis not only at these seven centres but at other places too.
Taking note of reports in the media about applicants being fleeced by touts and middlemen for uploading applications and arranging appointments, the ministry clarified that the appointment system has been introduced in keeping with the objective of making government services accessible to the common man through common service delivery outlets.
The process is aimed at ensuring efficiency, transparency and reliability of such services at affordable costs.
The MEA is also improving governance in passport offices by focusing on citizen-centricity, service orientation and transparency.
Clearing Backlog
* Delhi, Ghaziabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Lucknow and Amritsar passport offices to have working weekend
* 25,000 to 30,000 passport applications will be handled in these two days at the passport seva kendras in seven centres

Monday, June 18, 2012

Kalam says ‘no’,BJP may turn to Sangma

Shiv Sena set to back Pranab, JD(U)’s Nitish Kumar calls him a capable leader
New Delhi, June 18 - In a major embarrassment to the BJP-led NDA and the Trinamool Congress, the former President, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, politely turned down vociferous appeals from these parties and sections of the non-political class to stand against the UPA Presidential candidate, Pranab Mukherjee.
In a brief statement, Mr. Kalam referred to the Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee and other political parties' demand that he be their Presidential nominee and observed that he had “considered the totality of the matter and the present political situation, and decided not to contest.”
Though hopes of prevailing upon Mr. Kalam to enter the fray for another term in Rashtrapati Bhavan faded after the Samajwadi Party, which originally mooted the idea along with the Trinamool, threw its weight behind Mr. Mukherjee, constituents of the NDA, particularly the BJP, tried till the last minute to convince the “Missile Man.”
After vain efforts by Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy to persuade Mr. Kalam to contest, NDA Working Chairman and senior BJP leader L.K. Advani got into the act. Mr. Kalam conveyed to Mr. Advani his inability to accept their offer before issuing a public statement.
The decisive ‘no' from Mr. Kalam leaves an already divided NDA in the lurch.
The only option before the BJP at the moment is to line up behind the BJD and the AIADMK and back the former Lok Sabha Speaker, P.A. Sangma, for President. BJP leaders believe that it is a politically prudent option for a party which is on the lookout for potential allies in the 2014 general elections. The moot question is whether it can sell the idea to the other constituents in the NDA.
The Big Snub 
n Kalam said he didn’t aspire to serve another term though Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee and other political parties wanted him to be their candidate
n Senior BJP leader LK Advani on Monday called up Kalam thrice to persuade him to contest while his emissary Sudheendra Kulkarni called on the ex-President twice but to no avail
n The BJP is now likely to support Sangma whose candidature has been proposed by Tamil Nadu CM Jayalalithaa and Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik to reach out to potential allies with an eye on the 20
4 Lok Sabha polls
I have considered the totality of the matter and decided not to contest the Presidential election
— APJ Abdul Kalam