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श्रीनगर का नया बस अड्डा भी भू कटाव की जद में आया

श्रीनगर गढ़वाल। अलकनंदा नदी से हो रहे भूमि कटाव की जद में अब श्रीनगर का नया बस अड्डा भी आ गया है। बीते शुक्रवार रात्रि अलकनंदा नदी ने नए बस अड्डे की कंक्रीट सुरक्षा दीवार को भी 30 मीटर तक क्षतिग्रस्त कर दिया। इसमें लगभग दस मीटर लंबी सुरक्षा दीवार नदी में भी जा गिरी है। इसी स्थल पर बिजली का 33 केवी का डबल सर्किट वाला डबल पोल भी गिर गया।

अलकनंदा नदी के बस अड्डे की कंक्रीट की सुरक्षा दीवार 30 मीटर तक ध्वस्त कर देने के बाद बस अड्डा भी खतरे की जद में आ गया है। नदी का बढ़ा जलस्तर निरंतर कटाव कर रहा है। जून की बाढ़ में भारी मात्रा में आए मलबे और बोल्डरों से नदी का जलस्तर भी ऊपर उठ गया है जिससे कटाव अधिक तेजी से हो रहा है। नए बस अड्डे की सुरक्षा को लेकर वर्ष 1998-1999 में नगरपालिका ने लगभग दो सौ मीटर लंबी कंक्रीट की सुरक्षा दीवार का निर्माण कराया गया था। इसमें से लगभग 30 मीटर कंक्रीट सुरक्षा दीवार बीते शुक्रवार रात्रि अलकनंदा नदी की बाढ़ की चपेट में आ गई।


UP to make an employment web portal

Lucknow : The Infrastructure and Industrial Development Commissioner (IDC) Mr. Alok Ranjan has ordered construction of an employment web portal in the line of for the help of 72 lakh unemployed youth of the state and thousands of employers countrywide. He said that this web portal will facilitate employers and unemployed to connect each other at click of computer button.

The IDC Mr. Alok Ranjan was reviewing progress of activities, implementation of programmes and budgetary releases of labour department here today in his office meeting room. He said that the government is helping unemployed youths by providing them unemployment allowance, training and employment counselling etc. and construction of a web portal to help unemployed youths in searching jobs will be an another major step in this direction. He said that registration of the unemployed and other educational background etc. can be entered  and uploaded in the portal and employers from all corners of the country can also be registered in the same way. Thus, both sides of an employment the unemployed and the employed may meet easily to each other by the help of the portal.
The IDC asked the labour department to speed up organization of employment melas and meet the target of 375 employments melas during this financial year. He also asked to speed up career counselling for the unemployed youths.
The Principal Secretary Labour Mr. Shailesh Krishna submitted that a large number of unemployed youth totalling to 1231939 have been provided with unemployment allowance till July 17 last. He said that 85 employment melas have been organized during this financial year and the department is now gearing up for giving more speed to organizing these melas. He said that rehabilitation of bonded labours is being done at a fast track and for the purpose Rs. 90 lakh have been released.

Registration must for Manimahesh pilgrimage in Himachal

Shimla : Taking a lesson from last month's tragedy in Uttarakhand's Char Dham Yatra, the Himachal Pradesh government has made it mandatory for devotees to get themselves registered for the famous Manimahesh Yatra dedicated to Lord Shiva starting next month, officials said Monday.
The devotees during the pilgrimage to the Manimahesh Lake, located at an altitude of 13,500 feet in Chamba district, will be allowed only after registration with the local civic authorities, Deputy Commissioner Sandeep Kadam told IANS.
This year the pilgrimage will start Aug 28, on the eve of Janmashtami festival dedicated to Lord Krishna's birth, and will conclude Radhashtami (the birth of Lord Krishna's consort Radha) Sep 13.
For the safety of the devotees, the administration has decided to form rescue teams with the help of locals, said B.R. Kamal, the additional district magistrate and the pilgrimage in-charge.
He said the administration is also planning to set up barricades at a few places on the way to Manimahesh. This would ensure that the pilgrims are dispatched in groups.
Every year, people trek to the lake in Bharmour Valley to catch a glimpse of Mount Kailash, believed to be the abode of Lord Shiva, and offer prayers.
The uphill journey, starting at around 6,000 feet in Hadsar in Chamba district, is considered as arduous as the trek to the Amarnath cave shrine in Jammu and Kashmir.
Kamal said the 14-km trek track from the Hadsar base camp, some 65 km from district headquarters Chamba, to the oval-shaped glacial-fed Manimahesh Lake, has been repaired.

Tourism in Uttarakhand needs to be regulated: Cabinet secretary

New Delhi : Tourism in Uttarakhand needs to be regulated in the light of last month's natural disaster that killed hundreds of people, Cabinet Secretary Ajit K. Seth said Friday.
Speaking at an event here, Seth also said there was a need to store Air Traffic Fuel at select places in the hilly region for quicker response in the event of any such future disaster.
Terming the Uttarakhand tragedy a "sudden episodic event", he said the disaster has propelled a need for a policy towards more sustainable development of the Himalayan region.
He was speaking on "Rescue Operations in Uttarakhand" at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses here.
On lessons learnt from the disaster, Seth said a National Crisis Management Committee headed by him has decided to map the extent of devastation.
The panel will categorise all the 127 glacial lakes in that area on the basis of risks they pose. 
The committee will also prepare a damage extent report and make actionable recommendations, he said.
Hundreds -- probably thousands -- were killed when cloudbursts and landslides hit the Kedarnath region, causing widespread destruction during pilgrimage season.
Thousands are still missing, and presumed dead.
Seth suggested the need to revamp the Disaster Management Legislation. He agreed that apart from having a more accurate system for weather prediction, tourism in the hills needed to be regulated.
He spoke of better infrastructure, like roads and bridges, along with an alternate system of communications to handle such crises in the mountains.
He said the government was also looking into the hydro electricity dam policy in the region.
The cabinet secretary laid stress on the importance of involving local people while organising relief work and being respectful towards their cultural sensitivities.
Seth defended the National Disaster Management Committee (NDMA), saying that though there was room for improvement, it was incorrect to say that the NDMA had failed to perform its duties.
He said there was a plan to locate a National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) battalion in Haridwar in Uttarakhand. NDRF teams would be located in the Garhwal and Kumaun regions too.
Seth expressed satisfaction over how the various government agencies came together for the rescue work in Uttarakhand.

The army deployed 3,000 soldiers and 12 helicopters that along with over many helicopters provided by the air force and private agencies evacuated more than 38,000 people stranded in the Kedarnath valley, he said. 

No flood worry for Himachal from Chinese lake: Experts

Shimla : The threat of flash-floods in Himachal Pradesh from a high-altitude lake in China has receded as the alarming accumulation of water in the lake eased with the natural clearing of blockades, a senior official said Thursday.
"The water level had increased alarmingly in the Parechu Lake (in Tibet) last month mainly due to blockades along the main stream channel," Chief Secretary Sudripta Roy told IANS.
"There was a threat that the lake would breach its banks. But now the water outflow has started receding naturally. The threat has subsided," he said.
But the government is constantly monitoring the outflow from the lake through satellite images, the chief secretary said. 
The Parechu river, a tributary of the Spiti river, originates in Tibet and joins the Spiti river at Sumdoh, 350 km from here, in Kinnaur district.
The Spiti river is the major tributary of the Satluj river basin. It joins the Satluj at Khab, also in Kinnaur district. The sudden increase in the outflow in the Parechu river posed a grave threat to life and property on the Indian side.
Scientific Officer S.S. Randhawa of the State Council for Science, Technology and Environment said impounding of water in the Parechu Lake was due to huge accumulation of debris.
He said debris had caused partial blockade of the outflow, causing accumulation of the water in the lake depression.
"The water accumulation was first noticed June 22. The blockades were cleared naturally July 5, and the water started discharging normally.
"By July 15, we noticed there was slight change in the water level (in comparison to July 5). The water had again started accumulating in the depression," he said.
"Although accumulated water is there, the outflow now seems to be normal," he added.
Regional Director P. Gyamba Dorje of the Central Water Commission said the water spread of the Parechu river has increased to 100 hectares, from the original 43 hectares.
He said the National Remote Sensing Agency in Hyderabad has been informed about the development, and it has been monitoring the lake on a day-to-day basis.
"Some blockages are still there. The inflow from the lake has exceeded the outflow. But there is no need for panic," Dorje added.
Himachal Pradesh experienced flash floods in 2005, as the Parechu Lake breached its banks. 

हाथियों के झुण्ड़ के घेरे में फंसे तीन पुलिस जवान व यात्री

ऋषिकेश। कांवड़ यात्रा में हथियारों की गार्द में डियूट्ी दे रहे करीब तीन पुलिस जवानों व वहां से गुजर रहे हरियाणा के छह यात्रियों को हाथियों के झुण्ड ने घेर लिया। सूचना मिलते ही मौके पर पहुंची पुलिस ने दो राउंड हवाई फायर कर बामुशक्कत हाथियों को खदेड़ा।
      लक्ष्मणझूला थाना क्षेत्र अन्तर्गत कांवड़ यात्रा के मद्देनजर मोनीबाबा आश्रम के समीप पुलिस ने हथियारों का गार्द बनाया हुआ है। देर रात डियूट्ी पर तैनात तीन पुलिस जवान वहां मौजूद थे और करीब छह हरियाणा के यात्री मोनीबाबा आश्रम के समीप से गुजर रहे थे। इसी बीच छह हाथियों का एक झुण्ड़ वहां आ धमका और गार्द में मौजूद पुलिसकर्मियों समेत यात्रियों को घेर लिया। हाथियों के झुण्ड़ को देख तैनात जवानों व यात्रियों के हाथ-पांव फूल गये। हाथियों ने पुलिसकर्मियों के एक टैण्ड व समीप ही एक झोपड़ी को अपना निशाना बनाते हुए उसे पैरों तले रौंद दिया। हाथियों के आक्रमक तेवर देख यात्रियों व पुलिसकर्मियों के होश फख्ता हो गये। एक पुलिसकर्मी ने इस बाबत थाना पुलिस को सूचित कर दिया। सूचना मिलते ही तत्काल एसआई कृष्ण कुमार पुलिस बल के साथ वहां पहुंचे और दो राउंड फायर किये, जिसके बाद हाथी वहां से वापस जंगल की ओर चले गये। उधर इस सम्ब्ंाध में जानकारी देते हुए एसआई कृष्ण कुमार ने बताया वन विभाग के अधिकारियों को बुलाया गया, लेकिन वह नही पहुंचे। बताया हाथियों के झुण्ड ने किसी जवान व यात्री को चोट नही पहुंचाई है। 

अचानक ही रूक गया शहर का कूड़ा उठान

देहरादून। डोर टू डोर कूड़ा उठान को लेकर नगर निगम व दून वैली वेस्ट मैनेजमेंट (डीवीडब्ल्यूएम) के बीच विवाद गुरुवार को और भी ज्यादा गहरा गया। कंपनी ने गुरुवार को अचानक ही शहर में कूड़ा उठान रोक दिया जिससे शहर की सफाई व्यवस्था चौपट हो गई। दूसरी तरफ, नगर निगम ने भी तैश में आते हुए कंपनी के बजाए अपने स्तर से कूड़ा उठान का कार्य शुरू करा दिया। इसका नतीजा यह रहा कि आधे शहर से कूड़ा उठ ही नहीं पाया। कंपनी का तर्क है कि उसे टिपिंग फीस का भुगतान नहीं किया जा रहा, जिस कारण पेट्रोल पंपों ने भी तेल देना बंद कर दिया है।
नगर निगम ने करीब डेढ़ साल पहले पीपीपी मोड में डीवीडब्ल्यूएम को शहर में कूड़ा उठाने की जिम्मेदारी सौंपी थी, लेकिन इस अंतराल में कभी भी निगम व कंपनी के बीच तालमेल नहीं बना। इसी के फलस्वरूप कई बार शहर की सफाई व्यवस्था प्रभावित हुई, लेकिन पिछले एक माह में हालात बिल्कुल हाथ से निकल गए। स्थिति यह पैदा हो चुकी है कि नगर निगम के मुख्य नगर अधिकारी अशोक कुमार व डीवीडब्ल्यूएम के सीओओ सिद्धार्थ जैन शहर की परवाह छोड़ आपसी लड़ाई में उलझे हुए हैं। गुरुवार को डीवीडब्ल्यूएम ने एकाएक निगम को नोटिस भेज शहर में डोर टू डोर कलेक्शन व कूड़ेदानों से कूड़ा उठाने का काम बंद कर दिया। निगम प्रशासन को इस बारे में भनक लगी तो उसके हाथ-पांव फूल गए, लेकिन कंपनी से वार्ता करने के बजाए निगम ने भी अडिय़ल रुख दिखाते हुए अपने स्तर से ही कूड़ा उठान शुरू करा दिया। हैरत की बात यह कि विवाद का हल निकालने के लिए निगम प्रशासन व कंपनी अधिकारियों ने एक मेज पर आने की जहमत भी नहीं उठाई। केवल एक दूसरे को नोटिस भेजकर ही दोनों एक दूसरे पर खीज निकालते रहे।
इसलिए पैदा हुआ विवाद
नगर निगम व डीवीडब्ल्यूएम के बीच अक्सर ही पैसे के भुगतान को लेकर विवाद होता रहता है। डीवीडब्ल्यूएम द्वारा निगम प्रशासन से टिपिंग फीस के 20 लाख रुपये एवं अंतरिम फीस के रूप में 50 लाख की मांग की गई थी, लेकिन निगम प्रशासन ने इसे कंपनी की ब्लेकमेलिंग करार देते हुए भुगतान से इन्कार कर दिया। जबकि निगम प्रशासन का तर्क है कि समझौते के अनुरूप ही कंपनी को भुगतान किया जाएगा। अंतरिम भुगतान की भी कोई व्यवस्था नहीं है।
निगम ने भेजा नोटिस
कंपनी द्वारा काम रोके जाने के बाद गुरुवार को निगम ने भी कंपनी को एक नोटिस भेजकर जवाब मांगा है। नगर निगम का कहना है कि कंपनी निगम को वाहन उपलब्ध कराए ताकि शहर में कूड़ा उठान कराया जा सके। उधर, कंपनी ने स्पष्ट किया है कि अपने एक्सपर्ट से जांच के बाद ही निगम को गाडिय़ां हैंडओवर की जाएंगी ताकि बाद में हमें गाडिय़ों की स्थिति के बारे में पता रहे।
मेयर के निशाने पर एमएनए
ताजा विवाद से मेयर विनोद चमोली भी पल्ला झाड़ रहे हैं। मेयर का कहना है कि गुरुवार को हुए घटनाक्रम के बारे में एमएनए अशोक कुमार ने न तो संवाद किया और न सलाह-मशविरा ही किया। वह अपने स्तर से ही फैसले लेते जा रहे हैं और बोर्ड की भावनाओं के अनुरूप काम नहीं कर रहे। उन्होंने इस मामले में एमएनए पर कांग्रेसनीत प्रदेश सरकार के इशारे पर काम करने का आरोप जड़ा। उन्होंने कहा कि सरकार निकायों को कमजोर करने के लिए यह सब करवा रही है। उन्होंने कहा कि शहर की सफाई व्यवस्था जैसे गंभीर मसले पर राजनीति नहीं होनी चाहिए।
मुख्य नगर अधिकारी अशोक कुमार, का कहना है कि बुधवार शाम दफ्तर बंद होने के बाद गुरुवार को काम नहीं करने का नोटिस कंपनी से मिला। कंपनी केवल ब्लेकमेलिंग कर रही है। यही कारण है कि विवाद का हल न होने तक निगम ने कंपनी से वाहन मांगे हैं ताकि शहर की सफाई व्यवस्था सुचारू रह सके। वहीं, ट्रांसफर स्टेशन व शीशमबाड़ा में कूड़ा निस्तारण प्लांट में भी कंपनी के स्तर से ही देरी की गई है। हमारी वजह से कंपनी को नुकसान नहीं हो रहा।
डीवीडब्ल्यूएम के सीईओ, सिद्धार्थ जैन, का कहना है कि हम लगातार टिपिंग फीस व 50 लाख रुपये के अंतरिम भुगतान की मांग निगम से कर रहे हैं। स्थिति यह है कि पेट्रोल पंपों ने भी हमें पेट्रोल देने से मना कर दिया है। निगम को पैसे के भुगतान के बारे में जनवरी में ही अवगत करा दिया गया था, लेकिन निगम इस मामले में कुछ करने को तैयार नहीं है। एमएनए जानबूझबकर एक बनी बनाई व्यवस्था को ध्वस्त करने पर तुले हुए हैं।

हुक्के का आनन्द लेने पहुंची थी छात्रायें, पुलिस ने धर दबोचा

देहरादून। आज जहां एक ओर समाज महिलाओं को बराबरी का दर्जा देने के लिए संघर्ष कर रहा है ऐसे में कुछ स्कूली छात्राओं ने छात्रों की बराबरी के लिए हुक्का बार को चुना और जा पहुंची वहां नशा करने। जब पकड़ी गयी तो नानी याद आ गयी और कहने लगी हम तो लडक़ों का पीछ करते हुए पहुंची थी। ये देखने की ये लडक़े आखिर यहां रोज क्यों जाते हैं। स्कूल से छुट्टी के बाद माता-पिता को धोखा दे हुक्का बार पहुंचे 20 बच्चों को पुलिस ने पकड़ लिया। राजा रोड पर एक कांप्लेक्स में चल रहे इस अवैध हुक्का बार में छात्र ही नहीं बल्कि स्कूली छात्राएं भी हुक्का पीते मिलीं। इस दौरान बार संचालक फरार हो गया। पुलिस बार सील कर संचालक की तलाश में जुट गई है।
मामला गुरुवार दोपहर कोतवाली क्षेत्र के राजा रोड स्थित एक कांप्लेक्स में चल रहे डिजीटल कैफे में सामने आया। सीओ सिटी हरीश चंद्र सती ने गुरुवार दोपहर कई टीमें बनाकर डिजीटल कैफे में छापा मारा। वहां करीब 20 स्कूली नाबालिग छात्र-छात्राएं नशा करते मिले। इस दौरान बार का संचालक भाग निकला। बच्चों के परिजनों को वहां बुलाया गया और जरूरी कार्रवाई के बाद बच्चे उन्हें सुपुर्द कर दिए गए। पुलिस ने कैफे के सभी दस्तावेज सीज कर लिए व कैफे सील कर दिया। सीओ सिटी ने बताया कि आरोपी संचालक की तलाश की जा रही है।
..सर प्लीज लीव अस
फ्लेवर्ड हुक्के की आड़ में नशा करते पकड़े गए स्कूली बच्चे पुलिस अफसरों के आगे गिड़गिड़ाकर उन्हें छोडऩे की अपील करते रहे। लड़कियां सर प्लीज लीव अस.. सर प्लीज लीव करती दिखीं, मगर पुलिस ने किसी को भी परिजनों के आने तक नहीं छोड़ा।
प्रतिष्ठित स्कूलों के थे बच्चे
पकड़े गए सभी 20 छात्र-छात्राएं शहर के प्रतिष्ठित पब्लिक स्कूलों में दसवीं, 11वीं व 12वीं के छात्र बताए गए। इतना ही नहीं अधिकांश बच्चे प्रतिष्ठित परिवारों से जुड़े निकले। किसी के पिता इंजीनियर तो किसी के बड़े व्यापारी बताए गए। एक राजनेता का बेटा भी इनमें शामिल था।
अफसरों की कलह आई सामने
हुक्का बार पर हुई कार्रवाई में पुलिस अधिकारियों के बीच की कलह की पोल खोल दी है। हालात ये हैं कि कोतवाली क्षेत्र में छापे के दौरान, सीओ सिटी द्वारा कोतवाली पुलिस को ही सूचना नहीं भेजी गई। पुलिस टीमें भी दूसरे थानों की बुलाई गईं। रात तक कोतवाली पुलिस को अपने क्षेत्र में पड़े छापे की सूचना नहीं थी। सूत्र बता रहे हैं कि, अफसरों की कलह तो वजह है ही, इसके अलावा हुक्का बार का संचालन कोतवाली पुलिस के संरक्षण में होने का संदेह भी है।
गर्ल फ्रैण्ड को लाया था
इस दौरान एक युवक ऐसा भी मिला जो अपनी गर्ल फ्रैण्ड को लेकर यहां यह दिखाने आया था कि वह किस तरह से ऐस करता है। उसका स्टेटस क्या है और वह उसके लिए कुछ भी कर सकता है। इस दौरान हाालांकि पुलिस ने इनको सिर्फ समझाकर वहां से चलता कर दिया।

Wells Fargo grants $100,000 for Uttarakhand flood relief

Washington : Wells Fargo, an American multinational banking and financial services company, has made a $100,000 grant to provide flood relief and rehabilitation in the Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh areas in north India.

Wells Fargo also is temporarily waiving all remittance transfer fees for 'ExpressSend' transfers from a linked checking or savings account for customers sending money using the ExpressSend service to friends and family in India impacted by the floods, according to a media release.

The fee waiver is effective until July 31. Additionally, the company is also mobilising team member contributions across its India businesses.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with all the individuals and families affected by the recent flooding," said Daniel Ayala, head of Wells Fargo Global Remittance Services.

"We hope that our contribution will help assist with the relief and rebuilding efforts and that our customers will take advantage of our fee waiver to send support to their friends and families back home."

Heavy rainfall during the week of June 20-26, 2013, led to extensive flooding, landslides, and destruction to property and lives in the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand with a very important Hindu pilgrimage site.

Wells Fargo is committed to corporate social responsibility and runs regular programmes and interventions in various countries, including India, the San Francisco based company said.

Wells Fargo India Solutions Pvt. Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Wells Fargo & Company, was founded in August 2006 in Hyderabad.

The grant has been made through United Way Worldwide under a programme which enables Wells Fargo to provide grants to local non-profit organizations in the communities outside of the United States where its team members live and work.

Machines to dig out hundreds of buried bodies

Dehradun : A month has passed since Uttarakhand was swamped by the rain-flood tragedy, and hundreds of bodies and animal carcasses still lie buried under several feet of silt and rubble in the Kedarnath Valley. The authorities will now deploy  machines to dig out these remnants.
State Health Minister Surinder Singh Negi told IANS Monday that the state government will use special machines to dig out the bodies buried deep in the debris in the flood-affected areas of the state.
"The machines have already been air-dropped in the Munsiyari area Sunday and will soon be dropped in the Kedar Valley as well," he said. Munsiyari is over 100 km from Kedarnath.
Negi said they have removed almost all the bodies which were lying strewn around on the surface in the aftermath of the floods, but the bodies buried in the silt are difficult to be removed.
"Since it is impossible to dig out all the bodies manually, we are using machines," he said, adding that two machines are being sent to the Kedar Valley.
Negi said inclement weather and a damaged helipad have hindered and delayed the process of airlifting the machines earlier.
"The issue we are facing in Kedarnath is bad weather. One other factor is the helipad is badly damaged and not equipped for landings as of now," the minister said.
To prevent the putrefying bodies from causing infection and  spreading disease, the authorities have scattered tonnes of bleaching power in the flood-hit areas and also sprayed disinfectants, including from helicopters. 
"We have also provided lakhs of fluoride tablets to people to make their drinking water safe," he said.
Negi said there have been no health issues in the affected areas so far.
"We have made efforts to ensure that there are no outbreaks of diseases," he said, adding that a team of 80 doctors from the central government is camping in the state.
The state government Monday declared 5,748 people are still  missing, and that it would start disbursing compensation to the next of kin. But the government clarified that search for the missing would continue.

Over 5,700 still missing, says Uttarakhand chief minister

Dehradun : Uttarakhand Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna Monday said that over 5,700 people are still missing in the rain-flood tragedy that hit the state last month.

"A total of 5,748 people are still missing in the flood, including tourists and pilgrims who came from other states," Bahuguna told reporters. 

"The state cabinet has decided to give monetary compensation to the families of those who are still missing. Distribution of the compensation will be started tomorrow (Tuesday)," he said.

The chief minister said the government has received the list of missing people from various other states. 

The Uttarakhand government will give Rs.1.5 lakh each for every dead and missing person, in addition to the Rs.3.5 lakh compensation declared by the central government. 

"The missing will not be declared dead. Search for them will go on," he added. 


Karnataka priest to rebuild amenities at Kedarnath

Kedarnath : A Karnataka priest who is the head of Shiva temples in flood-ravaged Kedarnath and Ukhimath will rebuild amenities for thousands of pilgrims visiting the holy shrines in Uttarakhand.
Raval Jagadguru Bhimashankarlinga Shivacharya, 55, the 324th descended pontiff of the 5,000 year-old twin shrines, has set up the Kedarnath Vikas Committee to raise Rs.10 crore (Rs.100 million) for rebuilding infrastructure facilities - including roads - between Ukhimath and Kedarnath, transit homes for pilgrims, relief centres and hospitals.
"We have collected Rs.51 lakh within 24 hours of setting up the development committee. Hundreds of donors have generously contributed to the fund to take up the rebuilding work on priority basis before winter sets in there," committee secretary T.G. Mruthyanjaya told IANS here.
Recalling the natural calamity that wreaked havoc nearly a month ago (June 16-17), Shivacharya said except the temple precincts, the flood fury devastated everything else at Kedarnath though the damage was not so much at Ukhimath, 50 km away in Rudraprayag district of the northern mountainous state.
"I have never seen such a calamity nor heard about such a disaster striking the holy towns over the centuries. Though cloudbursts, heavy rains, snowfall and landslides are common in the Himalayan region, the scale and magnitude of this event was unprecedented," Shivacharya told IANS late Sunday.
As head pontiff (mathadhipath) of Kedar Peeta, Shivacharya appoints five priests to perform rituals, worship the Shiva lingas (idols) and offer prayers at both the shrines every year on rotation.
When the temple at Kedarnath is closed for six months from October to March every year due to severe winter, the idols are brought down to Ukhimath for rituals and worship and taken back during summer and rainy seasons for the remaining six months from April to September.
"As facilities within the temple premises at Kedarnath have all been damaged, the committee will also reconstruct rooms for priests, offices, book store, kitchen, rest rooms and a store room," the secretary said.
With thousands of pilgrims going to the four dhams (Uttarkashi, Kedarnath, Badrinath and Gangotri) via Haridwar and Rishikesh, the pontiff said a massive yatri niwas (travellers' inn) will be built at Rishikesh to house at least 1,000 people at a time.
"Rebuilding and restoring facilities will be taken up on war-footing as we have hardly three to four months before winter sets in when it becomes difficult to stay at Kedarnath. We are hoping more donors, charitable trusts, religious institutions and governments will contribute to our efforts," Shivacharya said.
He appealed to the central and Uttarkhand governments to constitute a national level Kedernath Development Authority (KDA) to renovate and restore the sanctity and glory of the Shiva temple there. 

Thed authority shopuld also regulate flow of pilgrims to the temple town, remove all encroachments and illegal structures along river valleys - which compounded the natural disaster - and enforce stringent regulations for construction and other development activities to protect the fragile environment of the Himalayan region, he said. 

रायवाला से ऋषिकेश तक शराब माफिया का नेटवर्क फैला

देहरादून।  भले ही तीर्थनगरी को ड्राई एरिया घोषित किया गया हो, मगर यहा लोगों को शराब मुहैया कराने के लिए शराब की तस्करी हो रही है। पुलिस व आबकारी विभाग की नाक के नीचे रायवाला से ऋ षिकेश तक शराब माफिया का नेटवर्क फैला हुआ है, जो प्रतिबंधित क्षेत्र में शराब पहुंचा रहे हैं।
रायवाला में शराब बिक्री के कई अड्डे खुले हुए हैं, जहां हर समय शराब उपलब्ध रहती है। इस गोरखधंधे में सक्रिय लोग गली-गली तक शराब पहुंचा रहे हैं। गलियों में खुली इन दुकानों में देर रात तक शराब पीने पिलाने का कारोबार चलता है। कई होटल ढाबों में भी अवैध रूप से शराब पीने पिलाने का धंधा चल रहा है। इतना ही नहीं, इन तस्करों का नेटवर्क श्यामपुर, हरिपुरकलां, छिद्दरवाला व ऋषिकेश तक फैला है जहां रोजाना लोडर विक्रम व स्कूटरों में भरकर अंग्रेजी व देशी शराब पहुंचाई जाती है। शराब के अवैध कारोबार का आलम यह है कि शराब के शौकीनों को इसकी होम डिलीवरी तक की जा रही है। सुबह सबेरे व शाम ढलते ही शराब तस्कर तीर्थनगरी तक इसकी सप्लाई करते हैं। जाहिर है कि यह सप्लाई कैश काउंटर की बजाए बैक डोर से होती है। इसके अलावा अन्य राज्यों से भी शराब यहां पहुंच रही है, मगर आबकारी विभाग व पुलिस प्रशासन इस धंधे पर लगाम लगाने में नाकाम साबित हो रहे हैं। थानाध्यक्ष रायवाला मणिभूषण श्रीवास्तव ने आरएनएस को बताया कि शराब के अवैध बिक्री के खिलाफ पुलिस कई बार अभियान चलाती है। शराब के अवैध कारोबार में लिप्त लोगों के खिलाफ सख्त कार्रवाई की जाएगी। रेलवे स्टेशन व अन्य संवेदनशील जगहों पर भी पुलिस गश्त बढ़ाई गई है।

Himachal to re-green 17,500 hectares: Virbhadra Singh

Shimla : Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh Sunday said 17,500 hectares of land in the state would be re-greened this fiscal.

Speaking at the state-level 'Van Mahotsav' (sapling plantation) function at Shamlaghat near here, he said 60 percent of the trees planted would be broad-leafed species, of which 20 percent would be wild fruit species. 

"Planting of wild fruit species will go a long way in checking the monkey menace in towns and villages, as the animals will get enough fruit in the forests," the chief minister said. 

Virbhadra Singh, who launched the plantation drive by planting a "jamun" or syzygium cumini sapling, said the government was considering restoration of the timber distribution rights of farmers to fulfil their needs in house construction or for cremation.  

The chief minister said forest and agricultural land at some places was infested by  weeds, especially 'lantana'. "About 1.85 lakh hectare of forest land was infested by weeds and the government has made a provision of Rs.5 crore during this year for the treatment of 5,000 hectare weed-infested land," he said.

Wooden crates were banned for use in packaging apples, and cardboard boxes were to be used, the chief minister said, to help save forest wealth in a big way. 

He said a modern cardboard carton factory was set up at Gumma in Pragatinagar in Shimla district, to supply packaging material to fruit growers.

He said it was unfortunate that the carton factory was closed (by the previous BJP government) and its machines, costing about Rs.80-90 crore, sold at a throwaway price of Rs.2 crore.

"I have got information that the same machines were re-assembled in Nagpur (in Maharashtra) and were producing cartons which were being sold in Himachal. I am ordering an inquiry into the matter," he said. 

Regarding unscientific exploitation of the medicinal herb "nag chhatri" in view of its recent growing commercial value, the chief minister asked officials to check its illegal extraction.

An official said "nag chhatri" is being used as an aphrodisiac, and was smuggled out of the state, mainly by Nepalese labourers.

The Forest Survey of India report of 2011 showed that the hill state's forest cover had increased in the last two decades from 21.16 percent to 26.37 percent. 

Uttarakhand will always remain a location for filmmakers

New Delhi : Devastating floods and landslides flattened houses and left  hundreds dead in Uttarakhand a month ago, but for Bollywood filmmakers like Subhash Ghai and Karan Malhotra, the state will remain a location as picturesque as always. They're sure they will return there to roll the cameras.
"A tragedy happened in Uttarakhand and it gives me grief, but the state will always be a lucrative place for producers to shoot because of its undying beauty," Subhash Ghai, who shot his new film "Kaanchi" in Nainital, told IANS.
A recent report quoted Uttarakhand line producers talking about film shootings being cancelled post the flash-floods in the Garhwal region while the Kumaon region was unscathed. Shocking images of the destruction caused by thundering cloudbursts and torrential rains were seen across the media but filmmakers say there's still scope to capture scenic shots, albeit after a few months.
Ghai said: "Though I shot my film 'Kaanchi' in Nainital and at other places in May, I shall always look forward to picturise other locales (in Uttarakhand) in my future projects".
"Kaanchi", slated to release Aug 30, features Kartik Tiwari and newcomer Mishti in the lead roles.
In the past, the nature-endowed environment of Uttarakhand, complete with greenery, hills, rivulets and rivers, has served as the backdrop for films like "Koi Mil Gaya" (2003), "Kisna" (2005) and "Bunty aur Babli" (2005), and even "Student of the Year" (2012).
Director Karan Malhotra, who helmed the remake of 1990 film "Agneepath", is considering adding Uttarakhand as one of the shooting destinations of his forthcoming film "Shuddhi", after Ladakh and Mumbai.
"I feel Uttarakhand is one state which is not yet explored fully. I had gone with my team sometime back to explore the beautiful locations there. We finally decided to shoot at Gangotri and Rudraprayag," Malhotra told IANS.
"But now we'll go there once the state is back in shape... may be after a couple of months. Till then we will wind up shooting in Mumbai and Ladakh," he added.
In the meantime, TV channels, producers, filmmakers and actors from all quarters have been lending a helping hand to alleviate the situation in the state.
While some like actors Shatrughan Sinha, Anupam Kher, Ram Charan Teja, Allu Arjun and yesteryear Tamil actress Sripriya Rajkumar, made monetary contributions, some, like the team of popular TV show "C.I.D." actually went on the spot to provide aid.
Veteran director-producer B.P. Singh of "C.I.D." fame, said that on their way, they came across "depressing" sites in places like Banswada, which was "wiped out".
"It was too chaotic and the pathway was blocked," he said, adding that it is not the best time to visit Uttarakhand as no administration or system is in place to help you out with shooting permissions.
"It's not because of the fear that one should not go, but because of the general depression surrounding the place. We saw hundreds of dead bodies lying there. Also, it's the monsoon season, and people usually shoot there in summer or winter," Singh added.
However, he feels brighter days will shine upon the state after "four or five months".

Thoughtful construction style saved Kedarnath from serious damage

New Delhi : The thoughtful construction style of the Kedarnath temple in Uttarakhand saved the 11th century structure from any serious damage during last month's devastating floods, says an Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) official, adding that a barrier would be constructed to protect the shrine from any future calamity.
"The safety of the structure despite this calamity is because of its orientation and style of construction. The domes of the temple are interlocked with each other using iron clamps; that is why they are intact. Only loose and cracked stones of the temple have come out," B.R. Mani, ASI additional director general, told IANS in an interview.
"Another rare aspect of this temple is its north-south orientation. Mostly temples face east or west. But this temple is facing south, which is a rare phenomenon. It may be possible that in the 11th century the people had thought of the stones rolling down from the north or any such calamity; hence they structured it like this," he added.
The 'Himalayan tsunami' last month killed hundreds of people and thousands are missing. Thousands of houses were uprooted, hundreds of bridges and roads washed away or destroyed in landslides and gushing rivers. Amidst this devastation, Mani says, on a scale of hundred the temple is 99 percent safe.
"Whatever we have seen in pictures is that a door of one of the 'mandaps' (canopy) has been broken, and on the back side of the temple a few stones have come out. On one side of the temple there was an Ishan temple -- it seems to have been washed away, as we can't see it in the photos," he added.
Standing majestically tall at an altitude of 3,969 metres above sea level, the  Kedarnath temple has been built in the Rekha-Sikhara style with three different horizontal divisions. Despite the fact that the Kedarnath temple doesn't come under ASI-protected sites, due to the religious sentiments attached with this holy shrine, restoration has been entrusted to them.
A team had flown from the capital in June to chalk out a restoration plan after visiting the site, but due to inclement weather and no road connectivity, the team had to return. From whatever they could see from the photos and understand after reading the history of the temple, they have identified its vulnerable areas.
"We will be building a barrier on the sides of the temple. The mountain side makes it vulnerable to rocks and possible floods. The length of the wall would be such that the beautiful view of the valley is not obstructed," Mani said, adding the barrier will be similar to the Shore temple in Mahabalipuram.
"We had constructed a grand wall around the Shore temple to prevent the waves of the sea from coming into the temple premises. So we are planning a barrier like this to stop the rush of stones or boulders, if any," he explained.
Till the team visits the site physically, no budget estimation can be quoted for restoration, but the ASI would be focussing on bringing back its original glory.
A meeting with experts from conservation architectures to engineers along with help from the state government will be used in devising a plan for restoration.
"Conservation is a slow process. It is not rebuilding a structure but it is conserving the structure as per the original. For that we have to use the same material to keep it close to the original. We would also be using more iron than mortar," Mani pointed out.
"The first part of conservation is that a person would not be able to differentiate between what is new and the original. It is because the same set of materials is used and that allows to maintain the glorious past of our history," he added.

In India there are thousands of monuments, some of them are centrally protected, whereas some are under protection by private bodies or trusts. Mani feels all their efforts become helpless in the face of natural calamities like earthquakes. But, the ASI takes all precautions to maintain is what comes under their aegis. 

Kedarnath has become a 'ghost town', SC told

New Delhi : As Supreme Court Friday asked the NDMA to file a status report on the rescue and relief operation in flood-devastated Uttarakhand, it was told that pilgrimage centre of Kedarnath has become a "ghost town" with scores of bodies buried under the earth brought by rain and floods.
A bench of Justice A.K.Patnaik and Justice M.Y.Eqbal was told this by the additional advocate general of Uttarakhand, as he informed the court on the steps taken by the state government on pursuance to its rescue and immediate relief operations and restore normalcy.
The Uttarakhand government in its affidavit said that the list of the missing people was being prepared and the chief secretaries of various state have been asked to provide details of the people from their states who were in Uttarakhand before and during the period when floods had hit the hill State.
The affidavit was filed by the Uttarakhand government in pursuance to the court's July 3 order asking it to put on record that rescue operations were over and immediate relief has been provided.
The court was told that except for Kedarnath, the communication lines in the rest of the flood affected areas have been restored. The court was also informed that flood affected families have been assured free ration for three months or until they remain cut-off from rest of the State.
The Uttarakhand government told the court that mule tracks and footpaths were being restored so that supplies to villages is restored. "every effort is being made to restore normalcy", the court was told.
The state government told the court that some people in Badrinath, Gangotri and Yamunotri have refused to leave the place as they have said that they would leave only after the doors of their temples are closed in third week of November. However, the court was told that in case they decide to leave early, special arrangements would be made to evacuate them.
The court has given the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) two weeks time to file its affidavit.

Contract killer shot dead by victim!

Ghaziabad : In a daring and quick response, an injured businessman shot dead the contract killer who came to murder him in Modi Nagar town of this Uttar Pradesh district, police said.
The incident occurred  Thursday night in Manavta Vihar colony of Modi Nagar, 40 km from Delhi.
According to police, the contract killer, who was identified as Babloo Tyagi, fired about seven shots from an automatic pistol at Dhanesh Tyagi and his brother Paresh, also a local businessmen, at their home.
Both were injured but Dhanesh managed to take out a pistol and fire back at his assailant, killing him on the spot. Three accomplices of the contract killer, however, succeeded in fleeing in a car.
Babloo Tyagi had killed Dhanesh's uncle in 2005 and was in jail for the crime. He was presently out on bail.
"Babloo had sustained three gunshot injuries. Dhanesh and Paresh have been admitted in a local hospital in Ghaziabad. Three big bullet holes were found on the wall of their house" said Superintendent of Police (Rural) Jagdish Sharma.
"Both brothers also sustained gunshot injuries. A criminal case for attempt to murder has been registered against Babloo's three accomplices," police said.

Central team to tour rain-ravaged Himachal: Pratibha Singh

New Delhi : A central team will tour rain-ravaged parts of Himachal Pradesh to assess the damage, Mandi MP Pratibha Singh said Thursday.
The central team, led by joint secretary (home) Veena Kumari Meena, will conduct an on-the-spot assessment of the damage in last month's heavy rain, Singh told reporters after meeting union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde here.
She said the team comprises officials from the ministries of agriculture, finance, road transport and highways and rural development as well as the Planning Commission.
"The state government will be showing sector-wise damages with financial loss to each sector to the central team," she added.
A day before meeting Shinde, Pratibha Singh called on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and sought central assistance of Rs.1,000 crore as calamity relief. She had apprised the prime minister of the initial estimates that put the loss to the state from the heavy rains at Rs.2,575 crore.
Incessant rainfall in the region June 16-17 triggered massive landslides that blocked many roads in Kinnaur district.
In her meeting with Shinde, Pratibha Singh said that 10,000 head of cattle and other domestic animals have also perished in the flash floods and 1,000 houses and 2,120 roads were severely damaged.
The newly-elected Lok Sabha member, who is wife of Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, told the home minister that landslides had badly affected the state's tourism sector, and the state required huge investments in infrastructure sector to bring complete normalcy in the region.

Shinde assured her that the government would provide all possible assistance to the state.  

Six die in Nainital landslide

Dehradun : Six people were killed in a landslide in Uttarakhand's Nainital district, officials said Friday.
The landslide came after a heavy spell of rains in Bheemtal area late Thursday.
Five people of a family and one other person were buried following the landslide triggered by incessant rains in the past few days. 
Police confirmed the death of six people even as the met department predicted more rains in the region. 
Seven people, all labourers, were killed two days back in Chamoli when a JCB machine caved in and fell in a gorge while clearing rubble from a road. 


Army begins work on new route to Kedarnath shrine

Dehradun : The army Thursday commenced work to open a new route to the rain-ravaged Kedarnath shrine in Uttarakhand.
According to officials, the work is being done at the request of the state government and the National Disaster Response Force.
With heavy rains again lashing the region, helicopters deployed in relief and supply work have been grounded. The pace of rescuing people who are still missing has also slowed down.
The land routes to the hills suffered extensive damage during the cloudburst and flash floods of June 16-17, blocking access by foot to the revered shrine.
Kedarnath and its surrounding areas suffered the worst in the natural disaster which has claimed hundreds of lives and left a trail of destruction.
A team of soldiers and experts have conducted a reconnaissance of the Kedernath area and started work to open a route along a fresh alignment, the army's Central Command said.
"After much difficulty, we were successful in establishing a crossing over the Vasuki Ganga at Sonprayag Wednesday," an official said.
The team of 21, including four officers, reached Gomkara and camped there for the night at an altitude of 13,000 feet above sea level.
The official told IANS that another team with logistic support Thursday crossed the river at Sonprayag. This team will establish a staging area in the area of Gomkara. 

Tamil actress Sripriya donates Rs.23 lakh for Uttarakhand victims

Chennai : Yesteryears Tamil actress Sripriya Rajkumar, who has turned director with upcoming drama "Malani 22 Palayamkottai", has announced a contribution of Rs.23 lakh towards the Uttarakhand relief fund.
"Towards Uttarakhand relief fund, Sripriya and her husband-producer Rajkumar Sethupathy donated Rs.11 lakh and Rs.10 lakh, respectively. Sripriya's daughter Sneha and son Nagarjun have donated Rs.1 lakh each, thus making the total of Rs.23 lakh," said a statement.
A popular actress of 1980s and 1990s, Sripriya has acted in over 200 films and a few TV serials. She is best known for her performance in films such as "Aval Oru Thodar Kathai", "Aame Katha" and "Billa".
She is making her directorial debut with "Malani 22 Palayamkottai", the Tamil remake of critically acclaimed Malayalam film "22 Female Kottayam".
The film, which was launched recently, features Nithya Menon, Krish Sathar, Naresh, Kovai Sarla, Kota Srinivasa Rao, Vidyullekha Raman and Anjali Rao.
"Malani 22 Palayamkottai" is being produced by Sripriya's husband.

Post office to carry relief parcels free for Uttarakhand

New Delhi : The Department of Posts has decided to dispatch parcels of relief material free of postage charges to the flood victims of Uttarakhand.
This facility has been made available in the head offices of Delhi Postal Circle which would book free of charges parcels up to 35 kg of relief material such as clothes, blankets, woollens, bedsheets, medicines, tarpaulin, plastic sheets, torch, long shelf-life food etc.

This free-of-charge facility will be available up to July 20, said an official release. 

केदारघाटी के लिए नया रास्ता बनाएगा प्रशासन

देहरादून। उत्तराखण्ड प्रदेश में चारधाम यात्रा के दौरान जून के मध्य में आए जलप्रलय ने घाटी में भारी तबाही लाकर रख दी। केदारघाटी पहुंचने के रास्तें बुरी तरह क्षतिग्रस्त हुए। रामबाड़ा में मची भारी तबाही के बाद यहां से सडक़ मार्ग से होकर केदारघाटी पहुंच पाना मौजूदा हालातों में असंभव है। राज्य सरकार की ओर से तीस सितंबर से फिर से यात्रा शुरू करने की बात कही गई। जिसके बाद केदारघाटी पहुंचने के लिए नया रास्ता बनाने को लेकर सेना ने मुहिम संभाली है। 
केदारघाटी पहुंचने के लिए पुराने रास्ते जगह-जगह से टूट चुके हैं। आपदा के बाद सेना ने बचाव महाभियान के लिए हेलीकॉप्टरों की मदद ली। पुराना रास्ता सोनप्रयाग, जंगलचटटी, रामबाड़ा, गरूड़चट्टी होते हुए केदारघाटी पहुंचता था। रामबाड़ा में भीषण तबाही और सडक़ मार्गों के टूटने से अब पहले वाले रास्ते से होकर केदारनाथ तक नहीं पहुंचा जा सकता। नए रास्ते के लिए सेना की ओर से मुहिम शुरू कर दी गई है। इसके लिए जो खाका तैयार किया गया है, उसमें सोनप्रयाग से नया रास्ता बनाने के लिए देवविष्णु से होते हुए केदारघाटी तक पहुंचा जा सकेगा। 

Telecom mergers and acquisitions guidelines by July-end: Sibal

New Delhi : The government is planning to announce the detailed guidelines on mergers and acquisitions in the telecom sector by this month-end, Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal said here Wednesday.
“I am sure before July 31 that policy will be in place, the guidelines for mergers and acquisitions,” he said. 
Sibal, who is also the law minister, was speaking on the sidelines of a roundtable on legal system organised by Assocham.
The telecom ministry came out with the broad guidelines in February last year on mergers and acquisitions. But the detailed guideline is still awaited.
 At present, there are around 13 mobile phone service providers in the country and it is likely that some of them will look forward to consolidation once the final, detailed guidelines are out.

81 pilgrims from Andhra missing in Uttarakhand

Hyderabad : As many as 81 pilgrims from Andhra Pradesh are still missing in flood-hit Uttarakhand.
Andhra Pradesh government has uploaded the details of the missing people on its website. It has provided photos of the missing, their addresses and contact numbers of their relatives.
These people belonging to 10 districts went missing in Kedarnath and Gaurikund. They include 33 from Ranga Reddy district, 14 from Krishna, eight from Hyderabad, five each from Chittoor and Visakhapatnam, four each from Guntur and YSR Kadapa, three each from Anantapur and West Godavari and two from Nizamabad district.
Anxious relatives of the missing are waiting for some information about their near and dear ones. The officials of disaster management department are in touch with their counterparts in Uttarakhand for any information about these pilgrims.
According to officials 2,785 people from Andhra Pradesh had gone to the hill state for the pilgrimage. Thirteen pilgrims were confirmed dead while the remaining returned home in batches during last two weeks.
National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) vice-chairman Marri Sashidhar Reddy said at least 4,000 pilgrims from various parts of the country were missing in Uttarakhand. However, Sphere India, an NGO, has put the figure at 11,600.

आपदा पीडि़तों को राहत राशि बांटने का काम प्रारम्भ

रूद्रप्रयाग। प्रशासन ने आपदा पीडि़तों को राहत राशि बांटने का प्रारम्भ कर दिया। इसके साथ ही प्रभावितों में रोष भी उत्पन्न होने लग गया है। प्रशासन द्वारा प्रभावितों को जा राशि दी जा रही है उस पर भी संदेह उठना लगा है। यहां तक कि अहैतुक राशि के वितरण में भी धांधली का आरोप लग रहा है।
अगस्त्यमुनि के ासल्ली सेरा में कई लोंगों को सिर्फ अहैतुक राशि ही मिली है। वहीं कई लोंगों ने उस राशि में भी हेराफेरी का आरोप लगाया है। ासल्ली निवासी जय सिंह एवं जोतसिंह दो भाई है। जिनको पूर्व में अहैतुक राशि के तौर पर 2700 रू0 अलग अलग मिला था। परन्तु सरकार द्वारा इस राशि में बढ़ोतरी करके आठ हजार किया गया। इस लिहाज से प्रत्येक परिवार को 5300 रू0 की राशि और मिलनी थी। परन्तु इन दोनों भाइयों को एक ही नाम से 5300 रू0 का चेक मिला। वहीं कृष्णानन्द गोस्वामी तथा विष्णुदत्त गोस्वामी के मकान भी इस आपदा में बह गये थे। लेकिन उनका राहत राशि में कहीं भी नाम नहीं है। जबकि उनके अगल बगल के मकानों को राहत राशि मिली है। इसी तरह प्रतापसिंह रावत का भी आरोप है कि उनके अगल अगल के दुकानदारों को तो अहैतुक राशि मिल चुकी है परन्तु उनका लिस्ट में कहीं भी नाम नहीं है जबकि उनकी भी दुकान आपदा में बह गई है। ऐसे ही कई क्षतिग्रस्त मकानों को आंशिक क्षरति में दिखाया गया है।
इस पर भी उनको कोई शिकायत नहीं थी परन्तु सरकार द्वारा उनको केवल 1900 रू0 की सहायता दी जा रही है। जबकि सरकार द्वारा आशिंक क्षतिग्रस्त मकानों को पचास हजार रू0 देने की घोषणा की गई थी। आपदा पीडि़तों ने इस प्रकार से उनके साथ छल किए जाने का आरोप लगाते हुए उक्त राशि लेने से इनकार कर दिया। आपदा पीडि़तों में सरकार द्वारा क्षति के आंकलन के लिए किए गये सर्वे पर भी सवालिया निशान लगाये जा रहे हैं। आपदा पीडि़तों ने सरकार से पुन: सर्वे कराने की मांग की है। 

गुलदार की खाल के साथ पकड़े गये : सश्रम कारावास

हरिद्वार। गुलदार की खाल के साथ पकड़े गये आरोपी को द्वितीय सिविल जज (एसडी) चन्द्रमणी राय ने सश्रम कारावास और जुर्माने की सजा सुनाई है।
अभियोजन पक्षानुसार २५ जनवरी ९१ का वन अधिकारियों को मुखबिर से सूचना मिली थी कि कुछ व्यक्ति जंगली जानवरों की खाल बेचने आशुतोष पुत्र महावीर प्रसाद निवासी मोती बाजार हरिद्वार के घर आने वाले हैं।
सूचना के आधार पर राजाजी नेशनल पार्क के अधिकारियों जिसका नेतृत्व एन.श्रीवास्तव कर रहे थे आशुतोष के घर पहुंचे और दबिश देकर दो हाथो में ली हुई गुलदार और बाघ की खाल के साथ अमरनाथ पुत्र बाबूलाल नि.हनुमान घाट, हरिद्वार व आशुतोष को पकड़ा था जबकि दो लोग खाल उठाकर भाग गये थे।  भागने वालो में जयकिशन तथा निधीश गर्ग के नाम सामने आये थे।  
विवेचना के उपरांत जयकिशन, आशुतोष व अमरनाथ के विरूद्ध न्यायालय में मुकदमा चला जिसमें अभियोजन पक्ष की ओर से पांच गवाह प्रस्तुत किये गये थे जबकि बचाव में कोई भी गवाह प्रस्तुत नहीं किया गया था।  बचाव पक्ष की ओर से बताया गया कि इस मामले में पुलिस व वनाधिकारियों ने झूठा केस बनाया है। जयकिशन ना तो मौके से गिरफ्तार है और ना ही उसके कब्जे से कोई बरामदगी है जबकि आशुतोष के फर्द बरामदगी पर कोई हस्ताक्षर नही हैं। विद्वान जज ने दोनों पक्षों को सुनने के उपरांत जयकिशन को संदेह का लाभ देकर दोषमुक्त कर दिया जबकि आशुतोष को तीन वर्ष के कारावास की सजा सुनाई है तथा दस हजार जुर्माने से भी दंडित किया है।  वहीं दूसरी नाबालिग लडक़ी के साथ बलात्कार करके हत्या करने के मामले में विनोद निवासी टांडा भागमल की जमानत सत्र न्यायाधीश के.डी.भटृ ने जिला शासकीय अधिवक्ता अनिल राणा के द्वारा प्रस्तुत किये गये तर्कों को सुनकर निरस्त कर दी। विनोद पर २९ जून ०७ को नाबालिग लडक़ी को अपने साथी बबलू के साथ बहला-फुसला कर गंगा नदी की तरफ ले जाने व दुष्कर्म करके हत्या करने का आरोप था।

बड़ा हादसा होने से टला : हरिद्वार रेलवे स्टेशन

हरिद्वार। हरिद्वार रेलवे स्टेशन से गंगानगर जाने के लिये प्लेटफार्म नं०-१ पर खड़ी इंटरसिटी एक्सप्रेस में शंन्टिग के दौरान एक बड़ा हादसा होने से टल गया, बावजूद इसके कुछ यात्रियों को चोटे आई। सूचना मिलते ही रेलवे व प्रशासन के आलाधिकारी मौके पर पहुंचे।
मिली जानकारी के अनुसार श्री गंगानगर को जाने वाली हरिद्वार इंटरसिटी एक्सपे्रस प्लेटफार्म नं०-१ पर खड़ी थी जिसमें गंगानगर जाने के लिये यात्री सवार थे इसी बीच इंजन की शन्टिग के दौरान ट्रेन के एक डब्बे का बफर (ब्रेक) जाम होने के कारण वैकयूम का प्रेशर पड़ते ही टूट गया तथा झटक कर दूसरे डिब्बे पर जा लगा जिसके कारण ट्रेन में झटके लगने के कारण यात्रियों में दहशत का माहौल दौड़ गया तथा सीटों पर बैठे यात्री ऊपर से नीचे गिर पड़े तथा दरवाजे के पास खड़े कुछ यात्री तेज झटके के कारण बाहर प्लेटफार्म पर गिरे जिसके कारण उनके सिर पर हल्की चोटें भी आई हैं। एकाएक मची हडक़ंप के कारण यात्रियों में अफरातफरी का माहौल बन गया।
घटना की गंभीरता को देखते हुए तुरन्त स्टेशन अधीक्षक जी.के. दास रेल अधिकारियों के साथ मौके का मुआयना किया। जी.के. दास का कहना है कि बफर जाम होने के कारण वैकयूम का प्रेशर पड़ते ही बफर झटक पड़ा जिसके कारण प्लेटफार्म पर खड़े डिब्बों में जबरदस्त झटके लगे जो लोग समझ नहीं सके। जिन दो लोगों को चोटे आई हैं रामसुन्दरदास, नेत्रराम को प्राथमिक उपचार के बाद ट्रेन के साथ जाने दिया गया। 
घायल दोनों प्रत्यक्षदर्शियों ने बताया कि छोटे-छोटे बच्चे चीखने चिल्लाने लगे झटका बहुत ज्यादा तेज था जिस कारण कोई भी कुछ नहीं समझ पाया। दर्जनों लोग झटके की वजह से डिब्बों के अंदर गिर गये अफरातफरी का माहौल बन गया। जबकि सोमवती अमावस्या के स्नान के बाद हरिद्वार रेलवे स्टेशन से लोगों की भीड़ गंगानगर व अपने गन्तव्य स्थानों की ओर लौट रही थी।  यह हादसा रेलवे स्टेशन हरिद्वार पर घटित हुआ। जिसके चलते यह सूचना आग की तरह पूरे शहर में फैल गई रेलवे स्टेशन पर यात्रियों व आम लोगों का जमावड़ा लग गया। रेलवे सुरक्षा बल व जीआरपी पुलिस ने घटना स्थल से लोगों को हटाया। स्टेशन अधीक्षक जी.के. दास का कहना है कि श्रीगंगानगर के लिये इंटरसिटी का समय ४:१० बजे निर्धारित है जिस डिब्बे पर हादसा हुआ उस डिब्बे को तलाश कर इंटरसिटी को रवाना किया जायेगा। ज्ञात हो पूर्व में भी शटिंग के दौरान ट्रेनों के पटरी से उतरने जैसी घटनाएं हो चुकी हैं लेकिन रेलवे के अधिकारियों ने जांच तो बिठाई लेकिन लगता है जांच के परिणामों से कोई सबक नहीं सिखा।

Himachal to get Rs.200 crore from UP for power

Shimla : Himachal Pradesh would shortly get arrears of Rs.200 crore from Uttar Pradesh for power supplied to it in 2011, an official said here Tuesday.
"Uttar Pradesh has agreed to release arrears of Rs.200 crore for the electricity supplied by the state electricity board in 2011," Himachal's Principal Secretary (Power) S.K.B.S. Negi told IANS.
He said a communication in this regard has been received by the state through the national power exchange.
The previous Bharatiya Janata Party government in the state had sold electricity worth about Rs.200 crore in 2011 to Uttar Pradesh.
Pleading the case at a conference of energy ministers in Delhi on Feb 5, Power Minister Sujan Singh Pathania had asked the central government to release the amount directly from Uttar Pradesh's planning fund.
Officials of Himachal Pradesh State Electricity Board Ltd said that Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand were among the regular buyers of power from the hill state.
Himachal Pradesh, one of the country's largest hydropower producers, earned Rs.700 crore last year by selling electricity to other states.
This fiscal, say officials, it hopes to earn an additional Rs.200 crore as royalty with the commissioning of 30 projects to add 2,200 MW to the existing 8,418 MW. 


Over 5,000 died in Uttarakhand floods: ActionAid

Dehradun : More than 5,000 people perished in last month's landslides and flash floods in Uttarakhand, NGO ActionAid said onTuesday.
The NGO, which is carrying out relief operations in the state, added that estimating the number of dead was difficult.
"Tourists, migrant labourers and others had not registered on government lists, so they cannot be counted. Every time a place is cleared of debris, more bodies are found," said Barkha Chakrabarty, programme officer with ActionAid.
She said relief operations that had been severely hampered due to excessive rains were slowly picking up.
The organisation said it was trying to procure ration from local shops as food was rotting in some places.
"We will try to reach Joshimath with more relief Wednesday," Chakrabarty said.

Rescuers in Kedarnath run out of supplies; hit by diseases

Dehradun : A team of 74 members of the  National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has run out of food and medicines in Uttarakhand's Kedarnath after repeated attempts to airdrop supplies for them failed due to inclement weather, officials said Tuesday.
The NDRF team, which is in Kedarnath Valley after the mid-June flash floods and landslides, is left with just one day's ration and some of the members have taken ill in the past one day, official sources said.   
The rescue team has not received supplies for the last five days owing to poor weather. Several attempts by the state government to airdrop supplies were aborted Monday as inclement weather and continued rains grounded air traffic, added the sources. 
K.K. Tamta, nodal officer of the health department stationed in Guptakashi, said that doctors with the NDRF team told him about outbreak of diseases. Of the 74 members, at least 40 were suffering from diarrhoea and gastroenteritis (inflammation of the stomach and intestines), he said.
"At Guptakashi, ration and medicines are awaiting to be airdropped to Kedarnath for the past two days," an official told IANS.
"Two special planes full of ration, medicines and other material were not able to fly out Monday owing to poor visibility and bad weather," said Subhash Kumar, chief secretary of the hill state.
The weather can imperil the team's wellbeing, admitted an official, adding that a 15-member team of the army's Sikh Regiment has been sent from Rudraprayag to help the rescuers in Kedarnath Valley.  
A team of trained mountaineers will also be dispatched to the valley from the Kalimath-Ukimath side Tuesday.
Officials said that 93 bodies have been cremated so far but lack of wood for funeral and inclement weather has been delaying the cremation of the remaining bodies. 
"Several tonnes of wood, ghee and other things required to perform last rites of Hindus were to be airdropped in the Kedar Valley but the operations have been hit by fog and rains," an official involved in the operations told IANS.
Meanwhile, torrential rains have killed at least seven people in other parts of the hill state in the last two days. Apart from this, cloud bursts have flattened over a dozen houses in Chamoli. Four bridges have also been washed away, officials said.
Four people, all labourers, were killed in Dwarikhal area of Pauri Garhwal when they were clearing a road, while three people -- two children and a woman -- died when a wall of a house in Vikas Nagar area of the state capital Dehradun collapsed. The Mandakini river also washed away five shops in Agastyamuni.
The Ganga river is in spate in Haridwar and Rishikesh and many villages are flooded. The Rishikesh district administration has alerted people living on the riverside of an impending flood as the Ganga is flowing well above the "warning mark" of 339 metres and is likely to breach the 339.70 metres danger mark Tuesday.
Authorities have ordered evacuation of people from the Chandrabhaga and Mayakund areas. The Met department has forecast heavy rains in the state Tuesday. 
Hundreds were killed and thousands went missing after torrential rains battered Uttarakhand last month.

चरस की डिलीवरी देने आया युवक पुलिस के हत्थे चढ़ा

देहरादून। लाखों की कीमत की करीब 11 किलो चरस की खेंप लेकर डिलीवरी को पहुंचे तस्कर को पुलिस ने दबोच लिया। आरोपी उत्तरकाशी का रहने वाला है और दून में रोडवेज बस में चरस की डिलीवरी देनी थी। पुलिस का दावा है कि चरस की खेंप दून में स्कूल व कॉलेजों के छात्र-छात्राओं को बेचने की नीयत से लाई गई थी। गैंग से जुड़े बाकी आरोपियों की भी तलाश की जा रही है।

सोमवार देर शाम प्रेस वार्ता में एसएसपी केवल खुराना ने बताया कि जिले में मादक पदार्थो की तस्करी रोकने के लिए हर थाना स्तर पर टीम बनाई हुई है। इसी संबंध में सोमवार शाम नेहरू कॉलोनी थाना पुलिस को सूचना मिली कि चरस की बड़ी खेंप रोडवेज बस से दून लाई जा रही है। जिस पर सीओ सदर स्वतंत्र कुमार और एसओ नेहरू कॉलोनी अबुल कलाम की दो टीमों को जांच में लगाया गया। टीमों ने रिस्पना पुल पर चेकिंग के दौरान रोडवेज बस से पहुंचे एक तस्कर को दबोच लिया। उसके कब्जे से लाखों की कीमत की करीब 11 किलो चरस बरामद हुई। एसएसपी खुराना ने आरोपी का नाम कुंदन सिंह पुत्र नत्थी निवासी ग्राम पुनारा पोस्ट नैटवाड़, तहसील मोरी जिला उत्तरकाशी बताया। एसएसपी ने बताया कि चरस उत्तरकाशी से लाई गई थी और आरोपी को इसे दूसरी रोडवेज बस में रखना था। जहां से दूसरा तस्कर इस खेंप को लेता। चरस देहरादून में स्कूल-कॉलेज व हॉस्टलों के छात्र-छात्राओं को उपलब्ध कराने के लिए लाई गई थी। आरोपी कुंदन के खिलाफ नेहरू कॉलोनी थाने में मादक पदार्थो की तस्करी का मुकदमा दर्ज किया गया है। एसएसपी ने पुलिस टीम को ढाई हजार रुपये का इनाम देने की घोषणा की। प्रेस वार्ता में एसपी सिटी डॉ. जगदीश चंद्र भी मौजूद रहे।

नशे के तस्करों पर शिकंजा
राजधानी में युवा वर्ग खासतौर से स्कूल, कालेज व हॉस्टलों के छात्र-छात्राओं को नशे का आदी बना रहे तस्करों पर पुलिस ने शिकंजा कसा है। इस दौरान पूरे जनपद में लगभग सवा सौ तस्कर पकड़े गए और 10 करोड़ से ऊपर का माल बरामद हुआ। 

Doppler radar network to improve forecasting in Himalayan region

New Delhi : The Indian government has decided to create a network of 15 state-of-the-art Doppler radars across the entire Himalayan range to improve forecasting in a region that witnesses extreme weather conditions like last month's torrential downpour that induced flash floods in Uttarakhand.
This will be in addition to the 14 Dopplers that are currently deployed across the country.
The Himalayan region spans 10 states and covers over 16 percent of the country's geographical area, which is prone to heavy rains, flash floods, cloudbursts and landslides, leading to loss of life and economic damage.
The Ministry of Earth Sciences, which is spearheading the project, has decided to increase the Doppler network in northern India from the current four to 12 in the next three years.
"We will place three Doppler radars in Uttarakhand, while a total of 15 will be placed in the 12th Five Year Plan (2012-17) period," Shailesh Nayak, secretary in the ministry, told IANS.
Doppler radars are capable of predicting severe thunderstorms and enabling warnings to be quickly issued. They are also capable of generating accurate data on wind changes and rain clouds.
"We hope to acquire and put them in the next two-three years. The Doppler radar will help in improving the forecast of extreme weather conditions in future," Nayak said.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) had warned of rains in the Uttarakhand region, but state Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna has said "routine information" that was not "specific" and "actionable" had been received.
Incessant rains in Uttarakhand for over three days from June 14 triggered flashfloods and landslides leading to hundreds of deaths.  Over 100,000 people were evacuated in a major rescue operations by different agenicies, including the Indian Army and the Indian Air Force.
Doppler radars capable of weather surveillance in a 400-km radius have already been deployed at Lucknow, Jaipur, Patiala and Delhi in northern India. The radar was installed in the national capital during the 2010 Commonwealth Games for weather forecasts.
Nayak said the focus is now on Uttarakhand, Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh, where eight Dopplers will be deployed.
In Uttarakhand, the radars are expected to be placed in the Dehradun, Nainital and Joshimath areas.
Seven Dopplers are slated for the northeastern region and will be deployed according to the requirements of the states, Nayak added.
He explained that existing radars and systems put in place by other agencies, including the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), would also be taken into account to properly create a network across the entire Himalayan region spread across Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, and the hill regions of Assam and West Bengal..
"The cost of the Doppler radar may vary depending on the specifications and customization as per the needs of specific states," Nayak said.
The IMD has already started upgrading and augmenting its conventional radar systems with Dopplers in a phased manner.

Demand for packaged food rises as vegetable, fruits get expensive

New Delhi : Over 58 percent of people in the middle and low income groups have switched to packaged food items like tomato puree, ketchup and fruit juices owing to the rise in the prices of fresh fruits and vegetables, said a survey released here Saturday.

"Rising prices of fruits and vegetables" was conducted by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham) and it interviewed over 5,000 people from the middle and lower income groups in cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Dehradun.
"Over 58 percent have switched over to precooked and ready-to-eat food items like tomato puree and packaged juice to keep the kitchen budget intact as the fear of a bad monsoon has hiked the vegetables and fruits prices by 300 percent," said the survey.
As per the survey, in the last three years, "the average salary of the respondents had gone up by 10-15 percent while the prices of vegetables have risen by 250-300 percent".
As a result, over 88 percent of the people surveyed found it tough to manage their household budgets.
D.S. Rawat, secretary general of Assocham, said that almost all vegetables and fruits in the market have become costly due to the early onset of monsoon rains.
"The prices of most of the widely consumed vegetables have shot up during the last two weeks with the early onset of monsoon rains.. Prices of brinjal, onion, cucumber and tomato besides fruits have sky rocketed," he said.
The survey noted that fruits have "also become a luxury" for the lower middle class and they are now preferring to buy a litre of fruit juice than a kilo of fresh fruits. Similarly, the demand for tomato puree and ketchup has risen.
"The main categories of packaged food are canned/dried processed food, frozen processed food, meal replacement products and condiments."
Over 50 percent agreed that the expenditure on fresh fruits and vegetables, Rs. 5,000 per month, has gone up by four times to what is used to be five years ago.

NGOs told to distribute dry rations in Uttarakhand

Dehradun : The health department in Uttarakhand has issued an advisory for NGOs to distribute only dry rations in the flood-hit areas after cases of diarrhoea were reported due to eating stale food.
The government departments have been supplying dry rations only, a statement from the union health ministry said. 
Constant monitoring is on under the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) in all affected districts. 
"No outbreak of water-, food-, air-borne or direct-contact disease has been reported from the affected areas," a statement from the health ministry said.
Ten lakh chlorine tablets have been delivered to the state along with seven essential drugs. Uttarakhand has sought two crore Chlorine tablets, 100 tonnes of bleaching powder and three lakh ORS packets.
The National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP) team is assessing the situation in the foothill districts. They have assessed the situation in Uddham Singh Nagar district. 
A team of health ministry also went to Rudraprayag and visited relief camps there. Facilities there were "adequate".
A third three-member team from NIMHANS, Bangalore, for psycho-social relief work, has been deployed at Uttarkashi for relief work. Two such teams are already in the other affected district.

Shimla to have ropeway to tackle heavy traffic

Shimla : To overcome Shimla's chronic problem of traffic congestion, the Himachal Pradesh government has decided to go for a multi-million ropeway project, an official said here Tuesday.
A Rs.250-crore aerial ropeway project connecting Shimla's inter-state bus terminus at Tutikandi with the Mall road, the famous strolling street, will be built under the public-private partnership (PPP) mode, a government spokesperson told IANS.
He said Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh gave approval to the project at a meeting of the Himachal Pradesh Infrastructure Development Board here Monday.
The spokesperson said the ropeway would help reduce traffic congestion in the town.
He said the three-km ropeway would carry around 1,500-2,000 people per hour each way and the one-side travel time would be around 10 minutes.
Officials said the chief minister also gave the nod to link Aadi Himani Chamunda temple in the Dhauladhar mountain range in Kangra district with a ropeway.
This would help the pilgrims to visit the ancient hilltop shrine, which can be reached only through an uphill trek of about 16 km from the famous shrine of Chamunda Devi near Dharamsala town, some 250 km from here.
The Aadi Himani Chamunda six-km-long ropeway with a carrying capacity of 1,000-1,200 people per hour each way would be constructed at a cost of Rs.200 crore, an official said. He said the total travel time would be around 20 minutes.
He added that the presentation on a ropeway project to carry apples from Shimla's prominent apple belt Kotgarh to Parwanoo, bordering Haryana, was also made by consultant Usha Breco Reality Ltd. at the meeting.
It undertook the feasibility study to transport the horticulture produce from Shimla district to Parwanoo.
The material ropeway would help reduce ground transport and traffic and would take off 64,000 truck trips at 40 percent capacity utilisation, says the study.
Upper Shimla areas alone account for 80 percent of the total apple production in the state.
The state's normal apple yield is 25 million boxes. 

राहत साम्रगी लेकर जा रहा ट्रक खाई में गिरा

मसूरी। मूसरी चंबा मार्ग पर देहरादून से राहत साम्रगी लेकर जा रहा ट्रक कपलानी के पास घने कोहरे के कारण मोड़ पर अनियंत्रित होकर खाई में जा गिरा। ट्रक में सवार चालक को घायल अवस्था में लंढौर स्थित कम्यूनिटि अस्पताल में भर्ती करवाया गया।

मसूरी चंबा मार्ग पर देहरादून से राहत साम्रगी लेकर जा रहा ट्रक कपलानी के पास पास घने कोहरे के कारण मोड़ पर अनियंत्रित होकर करीब 100 मीटर खाई में जा गिरा।मौके पर पहुंची पुलिस ने ट्रक के चालक ओमप्रकाष पुत्र किषनदत्त को खाई से बाहर निकालकर 108 की मदद से लंढौर स्थिति कम्यूनिटि अस्पताल लाया गया, जहां पर उसका उपचार चल रहा है। वहीं खाई में गिरे राहत साम्रगी को पुलिस द्वारा स्थानीय निवासीयों के सहयोग से अपने कब्जे में ली। एसएसआई आरपी सती के कहा कि ट्रक का परिचालक सुरक्षित बाहर निकाला गया।


Lost in Uttarakhand, bodies being found in rivers in UP

Lucknow : Three weeks after the heavy rains and subsequent flash floods killed hundreds and left several thousand missing in Uttarakhand, bodies are being fished out of rivers in neighbouring Uttar Pradesh.
The toll in the heavy rain and flash floods of June 15-17 that ravaged Uttarakhand, setting off landslides and washing away pilgrims and mules and other cattle into the rivers is still not accurately estimated. 
In the past fortnight, more than 80 bodies have been recovered from different districts of Uttar Pradesh. 
Officials fear that more bodies might be washed down, in the strong currents, as the rivers are still in spate. In the last two days, as it rained heavily again, over a dozen bodies flowed down the rivers into Uttar Pradesh.
Police officials told IANS that bodies were recovered at Allahabad, Meerut, Bijnore, Moradabad, Narora and Muzaffarnagar. 
"Most of the bodies are in bad shape, eaten up by aquatic animals and barely recognisable," a senior official said, adding that traces of clothing that might still have stuck to the bodies are the only means of identifying the gender, as the bodies themselves are mostly beyond recognition. 
Uttar Pradesh Police, who posted a special unit in Uttarakhand at  the peak of the disaster, have so far recovered 30 bodies from near Haridwar, of which 29 were cremated after preserving DNA samples in the form of hair, teeth and bone pieces. 
"We are preserving the DNA, but we do not know what to do with it. We await guidelines from the top," said a doctor of the district hospital in Haridwar.
Some clothes and accessories like wrist watches and wallets have been recovered. Job identity cards have also come floating down the river, said a member of the Seva Samiti in Haridwar, who had aided the police effort to retrieve bodies from the Ganga there.
"Some of the bodies recovered here (at Haridwar) were not in very bad condition, and we have taken photographs and stored personal belongings, just in case someone turns up later to claim them," said a policeman who regretted that bodies further downstream were in even worse condition. 
Inspector General of Police (Law and Order) R.K. Vishwakarma conceded that the task was mammoth, and said that bodies were recovered from Pilibhit, Bulandshahr, Baghpat, Sambhal and Hapur as well. 
"Most of the rivers in western Uttar Pradesh flow into the state from Uttarakhand, and are carrying a large number of bodies," he said, adding that police are maintaining a vigil near the river and the floating dead are being retrieved. 
Under the law, authorities must keep the bodies for some time, in case relatives later claim them. But in these cases, owing to the advanced state of decay, policemen have been engaged in performing the last rites and consigning the bodies to the flames, with the help of local non-government organisations. 
"At the district level, we have neither the space nor the know-how to preserve such a large number of bodies, and we cannot help but dispose them of after keeping DNA samples," an official posted in a western UP district said.
From Meja Manda, Jhoosi and Saidabad areas of Allahabad, 17 bodies have so far been recovered. Thirteen bodies were found in the Ganga  near Narora barrage, Anoopshahr and Garh Mukteshwar on the outskirts of Ghaziabad. 
The bodies, heavy with silt, are sometimes reduced to skeletons when recovered, an official said, adding that all the bodies were being photographed. Local newspapers will receive copies of the photographs for publication, in the hope that surviving kin may recognise the dead. 
"It is a colossal tragedy. By keeping the belongings and photographs of the dead, at least those who are still searching for their missing loved ones in Uttarakhand may be able to end their search," the official said, adding that there were those still clinging to hope and doing the rounds of the base camps where rescue choppers flew in people evacuated from the Kedarnath Valley and nearby areas. 
The police fear that once the rivers recede, even more bodies may be found lying strewn in the silt. 
The Uttarakhand government Sunday put the number of those still missing at 4,700.

A temple in Nepal will carry on Kedarnath prayers

Kedarnath : On a request from an Indian holy man, a Hindu shrine in Nepal has started prayers and rituals which were being carried out at Kedarnath temple in the Indian state of Uttarakhand before it was damaged in floods, an official said here.

Secretary at Nepal's Prime Minister Office, Krishna Hari Baskota, declared the resumption of the puja Saturday at Kedarnath Shir Doleshwar Mahadev, a temple built some 1,000 years ago and believed to be linked to the epic Mahabharata.  

"The head priest of Kedarnath asked us to resume puja with same rituals and functions that were halted in Kedarnath following the recent floods," said Bharat Jangam, member of the management committee of the temple at Bhaktapur, 15 km from capital Kathmandu.

As it will take another three years to restore the Kedarnath temple, the head of the Kedarnath temple wanted their shrine's prayers to continue at Kedarnath Shir Doleshwar Mahadev uninterrupted till resumption of rituals at the Indian shrine, Jangam said.

The first puja, which began Saturday amid a special function, was supported by the Nepal government. 

Baskota said the government will extend all necessary help and support to the temple.

As soon as the request came, the government of Nepal instructed the local management committee of the Bhaktapur temple to come out with a detailed plan on how to preserve the sanctity of the temple, improve road access, protect the forest around the temple, safeguard the shrine from floods and landslides and preserve the archaeology.  

Baskota said it will take NRs.70 million (over $726,000) for constructing dharmashalas and office.

In August 2009, the Kedarnath Shir Doleshwar Mahadev temple was declared as head (Shir) of the Kedarnath temple on the recommendation of Jagatguru Bhima Shanker Linga Shivaacharya Mahaswami.

Himachal gets heavy rain; rivers high

Shimla : The hills of Himachal Pradesh experienced heavy rainfall with Dharamsala town recording 159.6 mm -- the highest in the state, officials said here Sunday.
"Areas in Kangra and Sirmaur districts experienced heavy rainfall in the past 24 hours," an official from the Met Office told IANS.
He added that more showers could aggravate the situation in the state as most of the rivers and their tributaries are full and in spate.
Tourist towns of Shimla, Narkanda, Kufri, Kalpa, Kasauli, Chamba, Palampur and Manali have been experiencing rains. More rains are in store in the next few days, according to the official.
Paonta Sahib in Sirmaur, the district adjoining Uttarakhand, experienced 140 mm rainfall.
Shimla, situated at an altitude of 2,130 metres, saw 7.9 mm rain, while it was 8.2 mm in Manali, 3 mm in Kalpa and 27.2 mm in Sundernagar.
The official said that heavy to very heavy rainfall would occur at some places in the state till Monday.
"The water levels in the Beas and Satluj rivers have increased abnormally due to continuous rainfall. But the rivers are still flowing below the danger mark," a government spokesperson said.
A bridge located on a tributary of the Beas river near Solang, just 13 km uphill from Manali, was washed away due to flooding Saturday, the official added. 

Flash floods in Uttarakhand : Health Sector Situational Report as on 05.07.2013

•      The members of the high level central team are to proceed to Rudraprayag to review the public health situation in that area. They earlier visited the relief camps in Uttarkashi town, Primary Health Centres and Community Health Centres and interacted with doctors, staff and patients.
•      Two fresh public health teams consisting of two members each drawn from NCDC and Central Hospitals are to proceed to Dehradun on 6.7.2013, to replace the first public health teams currently stationed there since 24.06.2013. A public health team has been posted at Hardwar.
•      36 Senior Residents/Specialist doctors from 3 Central Government Hospitals and hospitals under DHS, NCT of Delhi State Government have reached to Dehradun to join the CHS doctors already stationed there.
•      The Government of Uttarakhand’s fresh demand for a large complement of Central Doctors has been held in abeyance on advice of Central Team in situ after consultations with DGHS & Secretary (HFW). Further requirements will be regularly reviewed by the Team in Dehradun and conveyed to the competent authorities for concurrence.
•      The third three member team from NIMHANS, Bangalore, for psycho-social relief work, has been deployed at Uttarkashi for relief work. Two such teams are already in the field in the other affected district.
•      10 lakh chlorine tablets have been delivered to the State along with 7 essential drugs.  A further request from the State authorities for 2 crorechlorine tablets, 100 metric tonnes of bleaching powder, and 3 lakh ORS packets is being swiftly processed for despatch
•      District units of Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP), NRHM is conducting health surveillance in all affected districts. No outbreak of water borne / food borne / air borne or direct contact diseases has been reported from affected areas.
•          The NVBDCP (National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme) team is assessing the vector situation in the foothill districts. They have assessed the situation in Uddham Singh Nagar district.
•         The Indian Red Cross Society has deployed a two member team from National HQ on 19th June 2013 to Uttarkashi and another team toPittoragarh. A high level team from the HQ has also visited the State for assessment and coordinating relief work with State Red Cross unit.
•         IRCS has provided 7 truckloads of relief material that includes tents, family packs, kitchen sets, blankets, lanterns etc.
•         The situation is being monitored

Uttarakhand requests centre for more doctors

New Delhi : The Uttarakhand government has urged the union health ministry to send more doctors to the flood-ravaged state.

The state has made a fresh request for 238 specialists in the fields of anaesthesia, surgery, general medicine, paediatrics and gynaecology, a senior health ministry official here said, adding the request is being processed on a fast track basis.

Members of a medical team from the centre are already stationed in Uttarakhand since June 26. Two fresh teams with two members each drawn from National Centre for Disease Control and central government hospitals are on way to the Uttarakhand capital Dehradun to replace the first team.

A three-member team from National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS), Bangalore, has also been deployed for relief work in the affected districts. "Two such teams are already in the field," the ministry official said.

Three truck loads of medicines from central government hospitals have been handed over to the state health authorities for distribution.

Hundreds, probably thousands, were killed after unprecedented floods and landslides caused havoc in Uttarakhand last month.

While over 100,000 people have been evacuated from flood-hit areas of the state, thousands have been reported missing.


Uttarakhand CM assures reconstruction of state

New Delhi : Uttarakhand Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna has assured that his government has begun reconstruction and rebuilding of the hill state which was ravaged by last month's deluge.

"We are on the path to swift reconstruction and building of our divine land and restore it to its lost glory," Bahuguna was quoted as saying in an advertisement published in leading dailies Friday.

He also offered condolences to the families of victims of the devastating floods after torrential rains and expressed gratitude to the people of the state who helped the stranded pilgrims and tourists.

"We also salute the brave sons of Indian armed forces, para-military and the state police force who performed the biggest rescue operation at the cost of their own lives and safety," the chief minister said.

SC asks Uttarakhand to file affidavit on rescue work

New Delhi : The Supreme Court Wednesday directed the Uttarakhand government to file an affidavit stating that rescue and relief work were over and those rescued were provided immediate relief.
Justice A.K. Patnaik and Justice Fakir Mohamed Ibrahim Kalifulla asked the state to file the affidavit after its claim that rescue operations had got over was disputed by the counsel for PIL petitioner Ajay Bansal.
"We call upon the state of Uttarakhand to file an affidavit indicating therein that the rescue operations are over and immediate relief was provided to the rescued people," the ccourt said in its order.
The court listed the matter for July 12 and asked Uttarakhand to file its affidavit by July 10.
Hundreds, probably thousands, were killed after unprecedented floods and landslides caused havoc in Uttarakhand last month.

Himachal gets highest rainfall in 10 years

Shimla : Himachal Pradesh got 143 percent more rainfall than normal in June, the highest in 10 years, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said here Tuesday.
The state recorded 241 mm rain against the normal 99.3 mm, regional meteorological office director Manmohan Singh told IANS.  
He said this was "the highest ever precipitation since 2004. The highest precipitation (35 mm) on a single day in the state was recorded June 16."
Kinnaur district, where incessant heavy rain wreaked havoc, recorded the state's highest rainfall of 335.4 mm against the normal of 37.1 mm.
"This works out to be 804 percent more than normal," he added. Singh said Kinnaur, Una and Sirmaur districts were badly hit by the rains.
The Met official said temperatures during June were also normal or below normal due to the continuous rainfall and early arrival of the southwest monsoon in the state.

'Outside help not required to restore Kedarnath temple'

New Delhi : Culture Minister Chandresh Kumari Katoch said Wednesday outside help was not required to restore Uttarakhand's 11th century Kedarnath temple that was damaged in last month's deluge.
"We want to restore the temple to its original glory and we have the best experts. It should be left to the department (Archaeological Survey of India) to do it," Katoch said at a press conference here.
"Others shouldn't interfere, otherwise they will bring their own ideas," she added.
The minster's response came on a question whether the central government would accept Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi's offer to help rebuild the temple.
Katoch said the ministry had sent a team of experts to assess the damage to the temple but they could not reach there due to bad weather. "As soon as the weather clears, we will do it," she said.
On the funding required to rebuild the temple, she said the ASI will seek funds from the centre, the National Culture Fund and also raise money through public participation.
"The state government can also contribute whatever they can," she said.
 ASI director general Pravin Srivastava said the Kedarnath temple was estimated to have been built in the 11th century and the front wall had been rebuilt or restored in the 18th century.

Ghaziabad, Allahabad most polluted in UP, says survey

Lucknow : Ghaziabad and Allahabad have emerged as the two most air polluted cities in Uttar Pradesh in a recent survey by a research and advocacy organisation.
The survey conducted by Delhi-based Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) found pollutants of the size of 10 micron in Ghaziabad, Allahabad, Kanpur and Bareilly, which was four times the acceptable size of particulates in urban areas.
It also found air pollution levels three times more than the prescribed limits in Lucknow, Firozabad, Agra, Mathura, Khurja, Saharanpur, Moradabad and Gajraula. 
The status report on the pollution levels in the state's major cities was released at a workshop here Tuesday. 
The air quality in Unnao, however, has come out as the cleanest despite a heavy presence of tanneries in the town. 
The presence of nitrogen-di-oxide is found to be growing dangerously in Meerut, Gorakhpur, Ghaziabad and Kanpur. It is the highest in Meerut and lowest in Rae Bareilly, the survey said.
Sulphur-di-oxide has been found mixed in the air at dangerous levels in Khurja and Ghaziabad. The presence of multi-pollutants has been found in cities like Mathura, Khurja and Ghaziabad. 
The study also revealed that in most cities the manifold increase in the number of vehicles has  emerged as the leading source of pollution.
In the state capital Lucknow, Vikasnagar, Chowk, Amausi and Charbagh localities have been found to be pollution "hot spots". CSE said that serious and sustained efforts are needed to minimise the air pollution in these areas of the city.
It added that the growing use of diesel was a major contributor to the growing air pollution levels. CSE said that emissions were leading to serious ailments and diseases like cancer. Poor traffic management and growing number of vehicles is also adding to the scourge, it said.

पुल ध्वस्त होने से तीन दर्जन से अधिक गांवों का आवागमन ठप

विकासनगर।  मूसलाधार बारिश के बाद हुए भूस्खलन से मौका खड्ड पर बना पुल ध्वस्त होने से तीन दर्जन से अधिक गांवों का आवागमन ठप हो गया। किसान अपने खेतों तक नहीं जा पा रहे हैं। भूकटाव के कारण खेती को भी क्षति पहुंची है। ग्रामीणों ने तहसील प्रशासन से मौका खड्ड पर नया पुल बनवाने की मांग की है। इसके अलावा शिलीगोथान का बमराड़ नदी पुल भी क्षतिग्रस्त हो गया।
मौका छानी क्षेत्र में जाने के लिए मौका खड्ड पर वर्षो पहले पुल का निर्माण कराया गया था। पुलों के टूटने से ग्राम पंचायत समाल्टा, मलेथा, पानुवा, दातनू, बडऩू व ददौली समेत एक दर्जन से अधिक गांवों के लोगों का आवागमन प्रभावित हुआ है। खड्ड पार ही किसानों के खेत होने के कारण अब जाने के लिए कई किमी की अतिरिक्त दूरी नापनी पड़ रही है। ग्रामीण सरदार सिंह, जनक सिंह, जगत सिंह, भगत सिंह, सूरत सिंह, अर्जुन सिंह, मुन्ना सिंह, आनंद सिंह आदि का कहना है कि भूकटाव व भूस्खलन के कारण मलबे में दबने से धान, टमाटर, आलू आदि की फसलें भी बर्बाद हो गई हैं। इसके अलावा सिंचाई गूल भी क्षतिग्रस्त हुई है। मौका खड्ड पर पुल बहने के साथ ही समाल्टा निवासी सूरत सिंह का घराट भी बहने से प्रभावित के सामने परिवार के भरण पोषण का संकट गहरा गया है। ग्रामीणों ने तहसील प्रशासन से धराशायी पुल के स्थान पर नया पुल बनाने की मांग की, ताकि किसानों को अपने खेतों तक जाने में दिक्कत न हो।

Uttarakhand evacuation ends; relief work continues

Dehradun : The massive 15-day effort by the Indian Air Force (IAF) to evacuate stranded people in flood-ravaged  Uttarakhand concluded Tuesday with the last pilgrim rescued from  Badrinath. Officially, over 3,000 are still missing, but NGOs fear the figure could be well above 10,000.
As authorities continued their efforts to account for the missing and reach out to far-flung areas with relief material, National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) vice chairman Shashidhar Reddy said the official count of the missing was over 3,000 but the NGOs' estimate of 10,000 missing "cannot be ignored".
IAF spokesperson Squardon Leader Priya Joshi said that the first phase of Operation Rahat concluded Tuesday with a group of 150 being taken out to safety from Badrinath.
 It was one of the biggest heli-lift evacuation of civilians in aviation history," Joshi told IANS.
State government officials said around 1.1 lakh people stranded by flashfloods and landslides were evacuated by personnel of the army, IAF, Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) and National Disaster Response Force (NDRF).
They said that some labourers remain in the affected areas and would be taken out as soon as roads were restored.
Officials said authorities now faced a challenging task of cremating badly decomposed bodies in Kedarnath area. The situation was compounded by a variety of factors, including bad weather.
Uttarakhand Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna Tuesday said that over 3,000 people were missing and the focus was to reach out to people stuck in far-flung regions of the state.
He said that 800 people would be evacuated from Pithoragarh in choppers.
Asked about a UN report putting the missing number at 11,000, Bahuguna said that the figure of 3,000 has been arrived at with help of various agencies.
He said that thousands remain missing and parts of Uttarakhand were cut off even a fortnight after the devastating floods.
The NMDA put the number of villages affected by the tragedy -- one of the worst to hit India in recent times -- at over 2,000. Incessant rains in Uttarakhand for over three days from June 14 triggered flashfloods and landslides, leading to hundreds of deaths.
Reddy admitted that supply of food to the affected villages -- many of which have been washed away -- posed a challenge as vast stretches of roads and bridges were not accessible. On Tuesday, 100 tonnes of rice were given to the Badrinath administration for distribution among the needy.
Reddy said choppers were being used to send supplies and eight teams of the NDRF were camping in the affected areas.
He said 1,025 people injured in the nature's fury were being treated in hospitals. Of the 3,727 villages, 2,283 villages have been restored their power connectivity.
The Ministry of Women and Child Development has sent a two-member team to flood-hit Uttarakhand to asses the impact of the tragedy on children.
The team comprises National Commission for Protection of Child Rights chairperson Kushal Singh and joint secretary in the ministry Vivek Joshi.
The health ministry has sent 1,600 body bags to Uttarakhand as part of relief efforts. While 1,100 body bags have been provided by the Indian Red Cross Society (IRCS), the health ministry has procured 500 bags.
A three-member team of the ministry is stationed in Dehradun to coordinate with state health authorities to provide assistance.
An official statement said that India has sought financial and technical assistance from the multilateral development agencies, especially the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank (ADB), to help rebuild infrastructure in Uttarakhand.
IAF officials said eight to 10 helicopters would continue to be stationed in Uttarakhand. They said that the second phase of Operation Rahat will focus on relief and rehabilitation.
The officials said that under first phase of Operation Rahat, IAF conducted 2,240 sorties from June 18, evacuating 19,100 people and dropping 353,580 kg of relief material.

Badrinath rescue operations coming to end, says NDMA

New Delhi : Rescue operations at Badrinath in flood-ravaged Uttarakhand will end Tuesday as all stranded pilgrims have been evacuated, vice chairman of the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) said here.
"Pilgrims who were stranded in Badrinath have been evacuated. About 150 locals will be evacuated by this (Tuesday) evening if the weather permits," M. Shashidhar Reddy, vice chairman of NDMA, told reporters.
He added that the supply of food to affected villages was a challenge as a roads and bridges were not accessible.
"Officials are trying to reach relief material to remote villages but poor road connectivity is a major problem. Choppers are being used to send supplies," Reddy added.
NDMA has put the number of villages hit by the tragedy at over 2,000.
Incessant rains that ravaged Uttarakhand for over three days from June 14 triggered flash floods and landslides, leading to hundreds of deaths, while hundreds are missing.

लापता लोगों के परिजनों से पैसे ऐंठने वाला ठग दबोचा

देहरादून। उत्तराखंड के पहाड़ी क्षेत्रों में आई प्राकृतिक आपदा पीडि़त परिवारों से पैसा ऐंठने वालों के खिलाफ अब सख्त कार्रवाई की जा रही हैं। ऐसे ही एक मामले में गुजरात के एक परिवार को उनके लापता परिजनों से मिलाने की सूरत में हजारो की रकम लेने के बाद आरोपी फरार हो गया था। दून पुलिस ने शिकायत के चंद घंटों बाद ही आरोपी को धर दबोचा है। गुजरात में रहने वाले गांधी परिवार के तीन सदस्य प्राकृतिक विभिषिका के बाद से ही लापता चल रहे थे जिसके एवज में जानकारी एवं उन तक पहुंचाने के एवज में एक व्यक्ति ने ५० हजार रुपये ठग लिए थे। 
पीडित परिजनों ने सोमवार को पुलिस लाइन कंट्रोल रूम में इस संबंध में पुलिस को सूचना दी थी जिस पर एसएसपी केवल खुराना ने तत्काल कार्रवाई करते हुए सीओ स्वतंत्र कुमार को जांच करने के आदेश दिए थे। सूरत गुजरात निवासी जितें गांधी बीते कई दिनों से अपने परिवार के गुमशुदा तीन सदस्यों को तलाश रहे थे। इसके लिए व दून सहित हरिद्वार एवं ऋषिकेश में बनाए गए सभी हैल्पलाईन केंद्रों एवं जौलीग्रांट एयरपोर्ट व सहस्रधाारा हेलीपैड के चक्कर लगा रहे हैं। लंबी मेहनत एवं हर तरफ भटकने के बाद भी उनके परिजनों का पता नहीं चल पा रहा था। अपनी शिकायत में जितेंद्र गांधी ने बताया कि इसी दौरान रविवाद को उनके पास एक फोन कॉल आई जिसमें कहा गया कि उसने उनके परिवार के तीनों सदस्यों पूजा कटारिया, निशा गांधी एवं दीपक गांधी को रामबाड़ा से लगभग छ: किलोमीटर आगे रामपुर क्षेत्र में देखा है। उसने बताया कि वे जीवित और सकुशल हैं और वह इस क्षेत्र से अच्छी तरह से वाकिफ होने के कारण उन्हेें वहां तक पहुंचा सकता है। साथ ही इस व्यक्ति ने श्री गांधी को  हेलीकॉप्टर से वहां तक ले जाने की बात कही। इसके लिए डेढ लाख रूपए की रकम मांगी गयी जिसके तहत श्री गांधी रविवार को आराघर के पास एक होटल में इस व्यक्ति को पचास हजार देने पहुंचे। यहां पर श्री गांधी ने इस व्यक्ति को पहली किस्त के तौर पर उसे ५० हजार रुपये दे दिए। सोमवार का दिन सहस्रधाारा हेलीपैड पर पहुंचने का था, लेकिन श्री गांधी के पहुंचेन के बावजूद उक्त व्यक्ति हैलीपैड पर कहीं नजर नहीं आया। श्री गांधी को शक हुआ तो उन्हेांने उसके मोबाईल पर संपर्क किया लेकिन फोन बंद मिला। 
सारा माजरा समझ मे आने पर श्री गांधी समझ गए कि उनके साथ धोखा हुआ है। गांधाी ने पुलिस लाइन पहुंचकर एसएसपी केवल खुराना को इस बात की सूचना दी जिस पर श्री खुराना ने घटना की जांच सीओ स्वतंत्र कुमार को दी। कल पूरे दिन भर पुलिस ने इस मामले में जांच को आगे बढ़ाया और मोबाईल नंबर के आधार पर इस धोखेबाज व्यक्ति को एमडीडीए पुल के पास से धर दबोचा। आज एक प्रेस वार्ता में आरोपी को पेश किया गया जहां आरोपी ने पूरी कहानी मीडिया के आगे रखी। पुलिस के अनुसार पकड़े गए ठग का नाम एमडीडीए डालनवाला निवासी कासिफ पुत्र दिलशाद है। पुलिस के अनुसार कासिफ टैक्सी चलाने का काम करता है और आपदा में अपनों केा तलाश रहे लोगों से पैसे ऐंठने के लिए उसने यह पूरा षडय़ंत्र रचा था। हैलीपैड पर उसने गांधी परिवार के लोगों के फोटो देख कर जितेंद्र गांधी से संपर्क किया था। मामले से जुड़े कुछ अन्य लोगों के नाम भी सामने आ रहे हैं जिनके बारे में कासिफ से पूछताछ की जा रही है। कासिफ से पचास हजार रूपए एवं उसकी बाईक बरामद कर ली गयी है। 
जितेंद्र गांधी से पचास हजार रूपए ठगने वाला कासिफ टैक्सी चलाता था जिसके लिए उसके पास एक इंडिका कार है। इस कार को बेचने के लिए ही उसने यह सारा प्रपंच रचाा था। कार के लिए उसने कई लोगों से उधार लिया था लेकिन पैसा नहीं चुका पा रहा था। लोग उसके साथ तकाजा करने लगे थे। इसी दौरान सहस्त्रधारा हैलीपैड पर लापता लोगों के फोटो एवं उनके परिजनों के फोन नंबर देख कर उसने जितेंद्र गांधी को अपना निशाना बनाया। यहीं से कासिफ ने पूरी घटना को मूर्त रूप देने की योजना तैयार की और जितेद्र गांधी से पचास रूपए लेने के बाद अपना मोबाईल बंद कर दिया। 

Around 8,500 pilgrims of Punjab evacuated from Uttarakhand

Chandigarh : Over 8,500 pilgrims from Punjab, most of whom had gone to the Sikh shrine of Hemkund Sahib, have been rescued from calamity-hit Uttarakhand, officials said here Thursday last.

The evacuation was done from Rishikesh through buses of Punjab Police, Punjab Roadways and other hired vehicles. The total number of pilgrims so far evacuated from different parts of Uttarakhand is expected touch 8,500

The Punjab government Thursday sent a special rescue team headed by Adapa Karthik to Badrinath to evacuate over 350 Punjab residents who are among the 2,500 pilgrims stranded there.

Reports said the 15,200-feet high Hemkund Sahib shrine has been shut down due to inclement weather in the upper reaches of Uttarakhand.

Karthik said that sick pilgrims were being evacuated from Badrinath on priority.

"Weather permitting, we are planning to complete the evacuation operation by Friday or Saturday evening. Heavy rains and bad weather in afternoon halted the rescue operations," he said.

He said that rescue teams from Punjab had evacuated pilgrims from Hemkund Sahib, Gobind Dham, Gobind Ghat, Nagrasu and other hilly areas. They were being brought to base camps set up in Joshimath and Rishikesh.

Ranbaxy donates Rs.15 lakh for Himachal relief

Shimla : Pharmaceutical giant Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd on Tuesday contributed Rs.15 lakh towards the Chief Minister's Relief Fund for rehabilitation and relief works in flood-hit areas of Himachal Pradesh's Kinnaur, an official said here Tuesday.
Ranbaxy officials called on Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh in New Delhi and presented him a cheque of the company's contribution, a government spokesperson told IANS.
Incessant rains that triggered flash-floods June 16-18 killed 20 people in Kinnaur, displaced hundreds and damaged more than 300 houses. 

55 travellers in UP found unconscious in bus

Lucknow : Fifty-five people travelling in a chartered bus, including the driver and conductor, were found unconscious in a Uttar Pradesh town early Tuesday, police said.
A passerby raised an alarm after spotting the bus with unconscious passengers near a check post in Saharanpur, some 575 km from here. The bus was coming from Bijnor and headed to Gangoh, a police official said. 
The passengers were rushed to a nearby medical facility. The condition of 35 people is stated to be serious. 
An eye witness said that a man has been arrested on suspicion that he drugged the passengers by feeding them drug-laced eatables. 
"We have launched an investigating. Hopefully more arrests would be made soon," a police officer told IANS. 

Health ministry sends 1,600 body bags to Uttarakhand

New Delhi : As part of relief efforts in disaster-hit Uttarakhand, the central health ministry has sent 1,600 body bags to the state.
While 1,100 body bags have been provided by the Indian Red Cross Society (IRCS), the health ministry has procured 500 bags, an official said Tuesday.
Hundreds died after an intense and heavy rain led to flash floods and landslides in Uttarakhand two weeks ago.
The IRCS has also provided seven truckloads of relief material including tents, family packs, kitchen sets, blankets and lanterns.
A three-member team from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare is stationed in Uttarakhand's capital Dehradun to assess the health situation and coordinate with state health authorities to provide assistance.
The team comprises directors of the Emergency Medical Response and the National Centre for Disease Control and joint director of the National Vector Borne Diseases Control Programme.
To ensure safe drinking water, 40 chloroscopes and a large quantity of reagents, sufficient to test up to 5,000 water samples, have been sent to the state.

A man and son return escaping death; story worth sharing

Dehradun : The man and his 25-year-old son have seen death and destruction from close range. Even when people were dying all around them and structures were falling like twigs, they had supreme faith in the powers of the almighty, and today they are alive to tell the horror story of June 17 that wiped out the entire Kedarnath valley and turned many areas into a ghost town.
For 15 years Raj Kishore Trivedi had been running a small shop selling photographs of gods, posters and idols outside the revered Kedarnath shrine. But on June 17 in just five minutes, his entire world collapsed. But today, he is not worried about how his family of seven will survive as their only source of livelihood, the shop, no longer exists.
Trivedi is happy that he and his elder son Sandeep are alive, and for that he gives credit to only two - the army and god.
Lying in the state-run Doon Hospital emergency ward, Trivedi can't move as he has fractured his left leg. His son helps him wash his matted and dirty hair.
His leg pains him immensely, but ask him about the fateful day, and he gathers enough courage to narrate the sequence of event that changed their lives - forever.
"It was 7 a.m. on June 17 that we heard a loud gurgling sound. I heard people shouting 'run, run and save yourself'. Looking up at the commotion, I saw mud, boulders, stones coming at us with the torrent of water. The force of the water was so much that the roofs of many shops were swept away. Both of us then ran towards the temple. I had just entered the temple, when its massive gates were forced shut by the wind. It looked like god was waiting for us to enter.
"Soon water filled the temple. Only our neck was out of the water, while our entire body was submerged. The force of the water even shook the temple, and many things fell, including the donation box. The box was not so heavy, but as it fell with force, two-three people got trampled under it. They died. We were all very scared.
"In front of our eyes, we saw several people falling off and dying as they could not take standing submerged in the water for hours. There were around 600 people inside the temple at that time," Trivedi told IANS.
"The deluge happened in five minutes. But those five minutes have turned into an eternity."
His eyes take on a faraway look as he recalls how he and some of the people thought of stepping out of the temple after the water began receding after several hours.
But the sight that greeted them stunned and shocked them.
"There were just dead bodies, in front of the temple and all along the market, just bodies. No shop was intact. The structures had fallen as if some invisible hand had touched it with great force. There was only mud, boulders and huge stones. The bustling market place had turned into a cremation ground," he added.
The next nearly 40 hours wait for help was agonising for them. They got shelter at the only remaining structure of a guest house.
Like them, there were a few hundred who took shelter on the roof top of the guest house. As they had come with food and water they survived the wait for help.
The sight of a helicopter was like manna from heaven. And all of them cheered, he says, despite the fact that all they saw was bodies and destruction around.
Asked whom he credits for his life.
"God, He had something in mind for me. If he had not showered his blessings on my son and me, we would not be here, talking to you and sharing our story," Trivedi told IANS.
Asked what he thinks of the hundreds of rescue workers, including the army, his eyes fill up.
"They are next to god. They were like angels of mercy. There was no state authorities, just them. Both of us owe our lives to them. To god for considering us as his special children, and to the Indian Army who took us in the helicopter and brought us to safety. We are indebted forever to them," Trivedi said.
His son Sandeep does not want to talk about their brush with death.
He just talks about what he saw -- bodies and more bodies.
"It was like a cremation ground. I find it difficult to sleep thinking about those bodies and the damage. I don't know whether I will ever be alright or I will be able to live a normal life. I wonder whether I will ever be able to smile. I don't know.. let's see," said Sandeep, as he turned away when asked to talk more.
For both of them, the future looks bleak. They have lost everything in the flood, But the only hope is that they are alive, and maybe one day when Kedarnath opens again to pilgrims they will be able to set up shop once more and forget those horrible five minutes that altered their lives.

DLF contributes Rs.50 lakh for Uttarakhand victims

New Delhi : A known Real estate company, DLF on Tuesday has donated Rs.50.50 lakh to the Prime Minister's relief fund to provide help in flood-hit Uttarakhand.

"All DLF employees have voluntarily contributed their one day’s basic salary towards the relief effort along with a matching grant from the organisation,” DLF said in a statement. 
The company has also sent two medical teams and food items for the flood victims.

Focus on evacuating people in far-flung regions: Bahuguna

Dehradun: With over 3,000 people still missing after last month's devastating floods, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna Tuesday said the focus is now to reach out to people stuck in far-flung regions of the state.

He said the state government and various relief and rescue agencies are trying to reach out to people still stuck across the state.
"Now the mission is to provide relief to our people and to reach out to them. Thankfully the weather is clear today (Tuesday)," Bahuguna told reporters here.
"In Pithoragarh, where 800 people have to be evacuated, they will be evacuated through choppers. The situation in far-flung regions of the state is bad and the main aim is to provide water and ration to the people in various villages of the state," he said.
On a United Nations report putting the missing number at 11,000, Bahuguna said: "What we have is that over 3,000 people are missing and that has been done with the help of the various agencies and the centre."
"I will say the administration should see this report," he added.

Sufficient ration being ensured in rain ravaged Kinnaur district

Shimla : An official spokesman said here today that necessary electrical equipments had been sent to Sangla and Pooh of rain-ravaged Kinnaur district to meet the electricity requirements in the areas where the main electric cables were snapped due to massive landslides in the district. 

He said that sufficient amount of fuel had been dispatched for the machinery involved in clearance of roads in the district. The work on roads is being carried out on war footing and till date, 22 out of 43 roads have been operational and rest of the link roads would be cleared by 5th July, 2013. 
However, as per Border Road Organization authorities, road between Malling to Chango will take over a month to get restored for vehicular traffic. He said that sufficient amount of ration was being sent to the affected areas to meet the requirements of the people. 

Rescue and Relief operations by State Government

 •         The Hon’ble CM of Uttarakhand did a VC with all DM’s . He instructed them to do relief and reconstruction work on  war footing . A team consisting of public representatives has been assigned in each district to oversee relief work . He instructed that sufficient food supplies for the next three months should be kept in all affected areas . He also instructed to streamline the works relating to missing people .

•         Rescue operations are on in Badrinath and it will be fully evacuated today .
•         A team of 200 people is being sent to Kedarnath to cremate the people as per proper religious rites .
•         Total 109550 people have been evacuated so far .
•         Food material and other civil supplies along with medical supplies are being air dropped by choppers in Rudraprayag ,Chamoli , Uttarkashi , Bageshwar and Pithoragarh Districts .
•         In the next 03 days it will be ensured that there will be no food shortage in any affected village.
•         Till road connectivity is restored, the District Magistrates have been provided with helicopters to ensure that connectivity to affected villages is ensured.  These choppers will take supplies to the affected villages and also airlift ill or old people requiring medical attention.  They will also airlift all those people who have some important commitments like, interview, examination etc.
•         All the Secretaries of various departments and District Magistrates have been instructed to assess the damage caused to the public infrastructure and start reconstruction on top most priority.
•         More than 5445 vehicles have been arranged by Transport department to ferry strandedpeople.
•         Rs. 2000/- isbeing given by State Government to every rescuedperson.
•         Free train tickets and Bus Tickets are being given to rescued people to reach their destinations.
•         All State Govt. Guest houses and Tourist Houses have been provided free of cost to stranded people.
•         Free access is being arranged for stranded pilgrims at various places where mobile / landline connectivity is available as to contact their next of kin .
•         Missing people are being identified and their families are being  contacted on an urgent basis. Efforts have been geared up to ensure that the friends and relatives of those missing / affected get updated information regarding the situation on the ground. Every information is immediately being updated on the state website ( ) .
•         Efforts have also been intensified to have exact details of the missing persons and the facilities has been created in the state website so that the friends / relatives can upload details / photographs of their near and dear ones.
•         PWD has opened 1182roads,364 heavy machinery and employing 5775 personnel. Till now out of 4200 habitations affected , connectivity has been restored in 2865 Habitations.
•         Joshimath,Uttarkashi, Yamnotri and Guptkashi roads opened.
•         Electricity has been restored in 3333 affectedhamlet/habitations.  Two power stations Galogi and Badrinath-II have been restored and running effectively.
•         313 Doctors along with 4977paramedics have been employed to provide medical facilities . Medical team is doing DNA sampling of the dead bodies at Kedarnath . There has been no outbreak of any disease and this has been confirmed by GoIteam .
•         Water supply restored in Badrinath , Pandukeshwar , Govinghat , Ghangria , Joshimath, Gopeshwar , Gauchar,Rudraprayag , Phata , Agaytsamuni , Srinagar , Uttarkashi and various other places.  More than 2300 personnel from the water supply department are working day and night to restore water supply in all the affected areas. More than 930 water supply schemes have been restored.
•         There is no shortage of food in any affected area. BKTC( BadriKedar Temple Committee) in Badrinath  is running a langar and DM has provided all the necessary supplies.  Apart from the above hard hit districts, wheat stock of 10043.3 MT, rice stock of 12176.8 MT, sugar of 837.3MT is available.  In addition to this 344.2 kilo litres of kerosene and 48943 LPG cylinders are available at district level.Apart from above more than 309 trucks carrying relief material has been dispatched to Districts.
•         9.4 lakh litres of Diesel and 4.76 lakh litres of petrolhave been made available to affectedareas.
•         103 crores released from State for relief operations.  DMs have been given a free hand to incur expenditure on rescue and relief operations.
•         2000 additional police personnel, 800 PRD Jawans of State government and 6500 army and para military people are engaged in rescue and relief operations.

Ministry of Finance Will Shortly Visit Uttarakhand to Assess the Needs of the State

New Delhi : The State of Uttarakhand has suffered extensive damage to physical infrastructure like roads, bridges, embankments, public buildings, house etc. due to the recent heavy rains, flash floods and landslides. The task of reconstruction and rebuilding the infrastructure would require huge quantum of funds. 

Ministry of Finance, Government of India, has decided to seek external assistance from the Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) like Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the World Bank for rebuilding of damaged infrastructure in the State. Loans from the MDBs would be passed on by Government of India to the State of Uttarakhand as 90% grant and 10% loan, since it is a special category state. 
In view of the emergency situation, both ADB and the World Bank have been requested to fast track the processes of needs assessment, project preparation and approval. A preliminary meeting has been held in Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) with World Bank and the ADB, wherein both these MDBs have assured their full cooperation. 
To assess the needs of the State and to firm up project proposals for long term recovery of the state, a Joint Mission of the World Bank and ADB, led by Shri Shaktikanta Das Additional Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, will shortly visit Uttarakhand and interact with the State Government officials.