Your updated source of information about Dehradun & Uttarakhand.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Vijay Kumar wins silver to give India second medal at London Olympics Games

LONDON: Army sharp shooter Vijay Kumar today fought a nerve-wracking battle with five other top marksmen to clinch the silver medal in the men's 25m Rapid Fire Pistol event at the Olympic Games here today. 

Kumar beat back the challenge of world champion Alexei Klimov of Russia, Chinese duo of Ding Feng and Zhang Jian and German Christian Reitz in the 40-shot final to finish runner-up in a thrilling finale behind Cuba's Leuris Pupo who shot his way to the gold with a world record equalling score of 34. 

The 26-year-old army subedar from Himachal Pradesh found the target 30 times out of 40 attempts in the series comprising eight rounds of five shots each. 

This is India's second medal in the ongoing quadrennial extravaganza after fellow marksman Gagan Narang's bronze in the 10m Air Rifle event on July 30. This was also the country's fourth medal in shooting in Olympic history. 

The other medal winners are Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore (silver in 2004 Athens) , Abhinav Bindra (gold in 2008 Beijing) besides Narang. 

Kumar started with a bang, hitting the target all five times and kept himself in the hunt for a medal by consistently finding the target. 

After a perfect five out of five at the start, Kumar, a double gold medallist in the 2010 Commonwealth Games, found the target four times in the second and third series, but missed it twice in the fourth. 

He came back strongly by finding the target four times in the next three rounds and assured himself of a silver. In the last round after Pupo shot four to clinch the gold, Kumar seemed to relax a bit and missed three targets.

The bronze medal was won by Feng with a tally of 27. 

In the final, Kumar was assured of a medal after the the elimination of the trio of Klimov (23), Jian (17) and Christian (13) leaving himself, Pupo and Feng in the fray. 

The silver was in his bag when Feng missed twice in the seventh round and Kumar replied with four. 

Kumar had earlier lifted the Indian shooting team's spirit after the flop show by Narang, who failed to qualify for the final of the 50m Rifle Prone, by entering the finals of his event through the preliminaries. 

En route to his total score of 585, Kumar became the second shooter to break the previous Olympic record of 583 to give a hint of his potential during the second stage of qualification. 

Placed fourth in the list, Kumar, who had scored 293 in stage 1 of the qualification yesterday, shot a series of 98 97 97 in the second stage to take his total score to 585. 

He shot a sequence of 99 96 98 at the Royal Artillery Barracks. 

The Army man then successfully competed with five shooters for a medal. 

Pre-Games medal favourite Ronjan Sodhi had yesterday failed to qualify for the double trap event. 

Klimov had created a new world record by shooting 592 but he could not replicate that in the final. 

He scored a total of 592 after Stage 2, breaking the existing world record of 591 and Olympic record of 583, with 294 points in Stage 1 and a staggering 298 out of 300 in Stage 2. 

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Centre biased against non-Cong states: Sukhbir Badal

Baba Bakala, August 2
Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal today charged the Congress-led UPA Government with “blatant discrimination” against Punjab and other non-Congress states by denying them drought relief.
Addressing a rally here to mark Rakhar Punia, Sukhbir said: “The Centre does not appear to be moved by the plight of Punjab farmers and has not awarded a single rupee to the state as drought relief.This is despite Punjab contributing 65 per cent foodgrain to the central pool.” He said though the government had already purchased power worth Rs 7,000 crore, which is 10 per cent more than last year’s peak demand, the failure of monsoon had raised power consumption in the state.
He refuted allegations of power overdrawal by Punjab, saying the Northern Grid had tripped because of 51 per cent overdrawal by Haryana and 29 per cent overdrawal by UP.
“I salute our enterprising farmers who have put everything at stake to ensure that their crops do not wither away,” Sukhbir said.
He said work on three power plants was underway and these would start functioning by the end of 2013. “With new power plants coming up at Goindwal Sahib, Talwandi Sabo and Rajpura, we will get 3,920 MW of extra power which would reduce our dependence on the Centre and make us self-dependant,” he claimed.

The Deputy CM said all major cities would be connected with four-lane roads and Rs 13,000 crore would be spent on the road network in the next three years. He said he had directed the SSPs to intensify the police drive against petty crime such as snatching. He said non-performing police officers would face the music.

Mining mafia now digging an environmental grave in Sutlej riverbed

Shifts base from Ropar to Nawanshahr district for its nefarious activities 

Nawanshahr, August 2
The powerful sand mining mafia seems to have shifted its base from Ropar to Nawanshahr for extracting sand and gravel from the Sutlej riverbed.
A lax administration has ensured that the mafia gets away with everything - altering the course of the Sutlej, breaking the dhussi bundh (that protects villages along the Sutlej in case of floods) making way for trucks to ferry sand and gravel and mining the material right under the big bridges in violation of law.Mining is banned 1 km upstream and 500 metres downstream from big bridges.
Even worse, the mining contractors are using big excavators to dig the riverbed in addition to earth mowers. Residents of nearby villages allege that their protests and appeals to the district administration have fallen on deaf ears.
With hundreds of trucks ferrying sand and gravel quarried illegally, dhussi bundhs near Saidpur Kalan and Phul Makauri villages have sunk.
Though the district administration has imposed Section 144 of CrPC, banning the plying of heavy vehicles on dhussi bundhs, trucks ferrying sand and gravel continue to use these.
Santokh Ram, sarpanch of Saidpur Kalan village, said that miners had begun digging 10 ft to 12 ft deep trenches along the banks of the Sutlej in April this year.
“As a result, the Sutlej, with its course altered, has started flowing near populated areas,” he said.
The fertile land along the river, which was once cultivated, now has over 10 ft deep pits. Other than the legally auctioned quarries of Malakpur, Behlur Khurd, Madhala, Mehndipur, Sedpur Khurd, Knaun, Lalewal, Begowal, Burj Tehildas, Jhungian, Khoja, Bersal and Baramad Rel, illegal mining is going on at Phul Makauri, Saidpur Kalan and the riverbed near Niyamatpur and Shekhan Majara.
More importantly, the miners are targeting larger areas around the legally auctioned quarries than areas auctioned by the Industries Department. In Saidpur Khurd, the government has allowed mining on 11.60 acres. But miners are extracting minor minerals from 100 acres of land. This includes land owned by the Forest Department. Mining in forest land is banned.
Similarly, in Behlur Khurd, quarrying is allowed only on 9.84 acres of land, but the miners are extracting material from over 25 acres of land.
It is learnt that mining is allowed in 13 quarries, covering 115.97 acres.
As per the terms of the auction, the miners can lift 5,22,765 tonnes of riverbed material from these quarries avery year. But with an estimated 3,500 trucks (each truck ferrying 29 tonnes) carrying material daily, over one lakh tonnes of sand and gravel is being lifted from here everyday. This means almost 365 lakh tonnes of material is being lifted every year and over 360 lakh tonnes illegally.
Ruining Ecology
Miners dig 10 ft to 12 ft deep trenches along the banks of the Sutlej
With hundreds of trucks ferrying sand and gravel quarried illegally, dhussi bundhs near Saidpur Kalan and Phul Makauri villages sink
Illegal mining at Phul Makauri, Saidpur Kalan and the riverbed near Niyamatpur and Shekhan Majara on
Miners target larger areas around legally auctioned quarries
In Saidpur Khurd, miners illegally extracting minor minerals from 100 acres of land
This includes land owned by the Forest Department. Mining on forest land is banned
Modus Operandi
The illegal slips, called the ‘jhhota parchi’, are used rampantly here to allow the movement of the trucks ferrying illegally mined sand and gravel. The legal slips are called ‘weighment slips’ and should mention the quarry from where the material has been mined. The illegal slips are called “stand slips”, and are given to truck drivers and checked by goons who then collect ‘royalty’ from the truck owners.
Demand Up
With mining in Haryana banned, Punjab is now the sole supplier of sand and gravel in the region. With major infrastructure and real estate projects coming up in the region, there is a high demand for construction material. The supply, however, is at an all-time low. The price of sand has zoomed to Rs 2,300 per 100 cubic ft.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

चकराता मोटर मार्ग पर बस खाई में समाई, 27 की मौत

त्यूनी-चकराता मोटर मार्ग पर कैलन खड्ड के हुआ हादसा
हनोल से विकासनगर जा रही थी बस, हादसे के छह घंटे बाद पहुंचे एसडीएम और नायब तहसीलदार 
त्यूनी। हनोल से विकासनगर जा रही सवारियों से खचाखच भरी एक प्राइवेट बस त्यूनी-चकराता मोटर मार्ग पर कैलन खड्ड के पास करीब 200 मीटर गहरी खाई में जा गिरी। जिससे बस में सवार 22 लोगों की मौके पर ही दर्दनाक मौत हो गई। पांच लोगों ने अस्पताल ले जाते समय रास्ते में दम तोड़ा। मृतकों में आठ महिलाएं और दो बच्चे शामिल हैं। हादसे में 27 लोग घायल हो गए, जिन्हें चकराता स्थित सेना के अस्पताल में भर्ती कराया गया है। वहां के कई घायलों को सीएचसी विकासनगर, लेहमन अस्पताल हरबर्टपुर के साथ ही दून के लिए रेफर किया गया है। 
यात्रियों से भरी बस (संख्या यूके-07 पीए-1307) सुबह सात बजे हनोल से विकासनगर के लिए रवाना हुई। हनोल से करीब 40 किमी दूर कैलन के पास करीब 8.30 बजे बस अनियंत्रित होकर गहरी खाई में जा गिरी। बस के परखच्चे उड़ गए। चीख पुकार सुनकर बंद्रौली और चिल्हाड़ गांव के ग्रामीण घटनास्थल की ओर दौड़ पडे़। ग्रामीणों ने लाठी डंडों और रस्सों के सहारे बमुश्किल शवों को बाहर निकाला। दुर्घटना के करीब छह घंटे बाद मौके पर पहुंचे एसडीएम और नायब तहसीलदार को लोगों के विरोध का सामना करना पड़ा। आक्रोशित लोगों ने उनके साथ धक्का मुक्की करते हुए प्रशासन के खिलाफ नारेबाजी की। पुलिस कर्मियों ने किसी तरह मामले को शांत कराया। शाम करीब 3.15 बजे जिलाधिकारी रविनाथ रमन और एसएसपी नीरू गर्ग घटना स्थल पर पहुंचे। जिलाधिकारी ने दुर्घटना के मजिस्ट्रेटी जांच के आदेश दिए हैं। उन्होंने मृतक आश्रितों को एक लाख, गंभीर घायलों 50 हजार और सामान्य रूप से घायल लोगों को 20 हजार रुपये देने की घोषणा की। 
पंचायतीराज मंत्री और क्षेत्रीय विधायक प्रीतम सिंह ने भी घटना स्थल का दौरा कर घटना के बारे में जानकारी ली। बताया जा रहा है कि 35 सीटर इस बस में 54 लोग सवार थे। प्रथम दृष्टया ओवरलोडिंग को दुर्घटना का कारण माना जा रहा है।


Doon SSP concerned about crimes against women
Dehradun, May 5
The first woman Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) of Dehradun, Neeru Garg, an IPS officer of 2005 batch, is composed and sincere. Within a week of taking the charge as Dehradun SSP, she had made it clear to her collegues that she wanted strict compliance with duty.
She has directed the police officials to take the public into confidence and encourage them to assist the police in controlling crime.
Providing a much-needed relief to the police personnel, who were subjugated under extreme pressure to be in field from morning till mid night to rein in the crime, she judiciously divided their responsibilities and working hours.
She is specifically concerned about the escalating crime rate against women. “I am intending to prepare a work plan soon in order to minimise the crimes committed against women such as stalking, eve-teasing, rape, domestic violence, dowry etc,” she says.
Garg, who hails from Delhi, studied B Tech in Electronics. She says, “Though I was an engineering student, I was more interested in human beings than machines. I wanted to serve society through civil services. My first preference was to become an IAS officer but destiny had some other plans for me and I got commissioned as an IPS officer in 2005. I have had a satisfactory and fruitful career.”
She fondly remembers her first posting as Rudrapur SP, which was demanding but she sailed through successfully.
It is indeed a challenge for a woman police official to lead a team of police personnel. Under such circumstances, the women officials are considered to be resorting to either aggression or soft approach to assert their authorities.
Garg opines, “The women officials should not be looked at a from different prism.”
She firmly believes that women need not to be conscious of their gender or be vulnerable but must work sincerely to prove their mettle.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

PIFAA - 1st Punjabi International Film Academy Awards 2012

Toronto - The first ever PIFAA Awards will be held in Toronto over 4 days -Saturday 4th August 2012 with a number of events in addition to the Awards function.The awards function will be 3 to 4 hours long with lots of entertainment with performances from leading Punjabi actors, singers, comedians and performers. It will be attended by a large number of Punjabi film personalities from India and around the world. Leading Punjabi film personalities have already agreed to come to Toronto for the event. About 100 renowned people from Punjabi film industry are expected to attend the awards function in Toronto.

Rajesh Khanna: The superstar laid to rest; grandson Aarav lights pyre

Mohd Rafi's native village remembers the legend

Chandigarh, July 31

Legendary playback singer Mohammed Rafi's native village Kotla Sultan in Punjab's Amritsar district remembered him on his 32nd death anniversary today, with scores paying a tribute to him.

"We organised a function in the village. A number of people and Rafi sahab's fans thronged to pay tribute," Rafi's childhood friend Bakshish Singh's grandson Jodh Singh Samra told PTI.

Samra, district president of the Youth Akali Dal and SGPC member, said village sarpanch Kuldeep Singh along with sarpanches of some neighbouring villages took part in the function, that also had many school children participating.

"A singing competition was also organised for the children," Samra said.

He said that government should help the villagers set up a library, which will have a collection of Rafi's songs.

Rafi was born in Kotla Sultan village, about 30 kms from Amritsar in Punjab and about 250 kms from here. Born on December 24, 1924, Rafi died of a heart attack in Mumbai on July 31, 1980. He was honoured with the Padma Shri in 1967.

Rafi, who began singing by chanting the notes that a fakir sung in his village, went on to lend his voice to Bollywood megastars including Amitabh Bachchan, Shammi Kapoor, Dharmendra and Dev Anand in his career as a successful playback artist.

He has numerous hit songs to his credit including several duets with famous playback singers Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle.

Working with music directors like OP Nayyar, Laxmikant Pyarelal and RD Burman, Rafi delivered some evergreen hits including 'Yeh duniya yeh mehfil', 'Chura liya hai tumne', 'O Haseena', 'Tum jo mil gaye ho' and 'Aaj mausam bada beimaan'.

Samra recalled that Rafi was a simple man who used to speak from his heart and help everyone in need.

He said that the village is trying to do its own bit to keep the memory of the singer alive. 

Monday, July 30, 2012

Heavy rain continues in Uttarakhand

Rishikesh-Gangotri and Rishikish-Badrinath routes witness blockages

Dehradun, July 30
Heavy rain continued in the state today, disrupting traffic movement at a number of Char Dham routes. The Rishikesh-Gangotri and Rishikish-Badrinath routes witnessed main blockages. However, the district administration, in assistant with Border Roads Organisation officials, managed to open the routes by the evening.
Executive director, Disaster Mitigation and Management Centre, Piyush Rautela said all Char Dham routes were open by the evening. The Rishikesh-Gangotri route was blocked between Bhatwari and Gangnani at Bishanpur early in the morning. The Rishikesh-Badrinath highway was blocked at a number of places at Patalganga, Pagalnala, Birahi and Kodiya.
Meteorological Department officials in Dehradun said rain would continue in parts of the state in the next 24 hours. Heavy rain could take place in the hilly areas.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Two students of ABVP held for DAV violence

The police arrested two more students wanted in the DAV College violence. The police arrested Sidharth Rana and Manish Rawat on Wednesday and booked them under Sections 147/148/323 for rioting and assaulting people. Both the boys belong to Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad.
Interestingly, the arresting came a day after ABVP tried to put pressure on the police to withdraw cases against its activists. The ABVP had staged a protest outside police headquarters on Tuesday and a delegation had submitted a memorandum to the IG. “The police can’t be influenced through such tactics. We will do whatever is necessary to maintain law and order in the city,” said a senior police official.
Besides, the police are also going to invoke Section 107/116 of the CrPC
against about two dozen more students.

London Olympic fever grips Mussoorie

Mussoorie, July 28
The Olympic fever has gripped the hill town of Mussoorie. Students from Rama Devi Inter College, along with several dignitaries from the town, gathered at Jhoola Ghar in large numbers with the Tricolour in their hands and extended their best wishes to the Indian Olympic team and prayed for the athletes for better performance so that they return with a rich haul of medals and bring laurels to the country.
Eminent roller skater of yesteryear Gopal Bhardwaj also wished for a sterling performance of the team in the London Olympics by skating on roller wheels from Jhoola Ghar to Library Bazaar and back.
Gopal Bhardwaj said that the town had the rare distinction of being part of the Olympic movement in true sense as more than 6 students from the town had represented the country in hockey in the Amsterdam (1928) and Berlin (1936) Olympics.
According to Gopal Bhardwaj, the students from Oak Grove and St.George's School, Richard Carr, George Eric Martin, C Carrol Tapsell, Willy J Cullen, Erin J Cullen and Elsey represented the country along with Major Dhyan Chand, considered wizard of hockey, in the gold medal winning Olympic team in 1928 and 1936.
The Mussoorie Sports Association president, Suresh Goyal, speaking on the occasion, said that the entite country was behind the Olympic team and was praying for their return with a rich haul of medals in these Olympics.
The students from Rama Devi School also sung the famous song from the film, “Chak De India,” depicting hockey, in order to motivate the Indian team.

Nishank, other BJP leaders meet Ramdev aide Balkrishan

Former CM Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, along with other BJP leaders, comes out of the Suddhowala jail after meeting Balkrishan in Dehradun on Saturday. A Tribune photographDehradun, July 28
With Yoga teacher Ramdev’s aide Bal Krishan lodged in the Dehradun jail, the Uttarakhand BJP leaders have utilised the opportunity to meet him to strengthen their association.

After former Chief Minister Bhagat Singh Koshiyari paid a visit two days ago, today it was the turn of former Chief Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank to meet the jailed aide for one hour.
Later speaking with media persons, he criticised the manner in which Balkrishan was arrested. “The Central government has been misusing the premier investigating agency for it’s own political end. Why did the CBI take 16 years to detect the forgery,” he questioned.
He said the CBI action against Balkrishan was unwarranted and he is being targeted because the Central government is afraid of the agitation under way at Jan Mantar. “Baba Ramdev would be joining the dharna and the Central government is using every trick in the book to undermine the movement,” charged Nishank. In the initial years both the Congress and BJP governments had extended support to Ramdev but the Congress party began distancing itself after Ramdev began launching attacks on the Central leadership. “The BJP cannot disown Ramdev as he has the support of the RSS and the party is keen to project itself on the side of Ramdev, especially when his aide is in jail,” said a BJP leader.

State reeling under power cuts

Haridwar residents resent power cuts, burn Bahuguna’s effigy 
Haridwar, July 28
Local people, particularly traders, today held a protest against intermittent power cuts being imposed in the city.

The protesters burnt effigies of Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna and power corporation officials for their failure to provide regular electricity supply.
Kailash Keshwani, a representative of traders, criticised the Congress-led government in the state saying it was beset with infighting and had no concern for the public. Keshwani said while the public was reeling under power cuts, Cabinet ministers and officials of the power corporation were enjoying their time in air-conditioned rooms.
Mridul Kaushik, a Chandracharya Chowk trader, said the Chief Minister lacked control over his Cabinet colleagues and government departments.
“Power corporation officials give an excuse that the people are facing intermittent power cuts, roasting and low voltage due to stalled hydroelectric projects. But aren’t we paying taxes and electricity bills,” said Kaushik.
Another protest against power cuts was held at Kathaira Bazaar in Jwalapur. Activists of the youth wing of the Rashtriya Krantikari Manch, which supported the protest, burnt an effigy of the government. Sanwar Abbasi, city secretary of the youth wing of the manch, warned the government that if regular power supply was not restored immediately, they would not allow any Cabinet minister to enter the city.