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Posted at: Aug 25, 2019, 6:40 AM; last updated: Aug 25, 2019, 9:58 PM (IST)HP offers 14 prime hotels, including at Chail, for lease
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  • HP offers 14 prime hotels, including  at Chail, for lease
  • HP offers 14 prime hotels, including  at Chail, for lease

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The Himachal Government has offered 14 of the 56 properties of the HP Tourism Development Corporation (HPTDC), including Palace Hotel in Chail and Golf Glade at Naldehra, to private players on lease.


Pratibha Chauhan

Tribune News Service

Shimla, August 24

The Himachal Government has offered 14 of the 56 properties of the HP Tourism Development Corporation (HPTDC), including Palace Hotel in Chail and Golf Glade at Naldehra, to private players on lease.
The offer has been made on the website for the Rising Himachal Global Investors Meet, scheduled to be held at Dharamsala on November 7-8. The move has raised many an eyebrow as some of the hotels at Chail, Naldehra and Manali happen to be the pride of HPTDC.
Although most of these properties are making losses, it is strongly felt that these must not be offered to private players as these have the potential to be developed into prime hotels.

Rather than offering the not-so-important units, prime properties with an immense scope for expansion are proposed to be leased out, raising questions on the disinvestment plans.
“The move of leasing out Palace Hotel, Chail, when the example of losing out the biggest money-spinner Hotel Wildflower Hall at Mashobra to the Oberoi group is right before us, is surprising,” a bureaucrat said.
There has been talk in the corridors of power that the conditions for leasing out HPTDC units have been tailor-made to suit some private players. “There is no final decision on leasing out these HPTDC properties although most of these have been in losses for many years,” said Ram Subhag Singh, Additional Chief Secretary, Tourism.
However, point number 17 in the brochure for the Global Investors Meet clearly mentions “disinvestment of HPTDC properties”.
The primary objective of the meet is to attract investment in eight focus sectors.



HP offers 14 prime hotels, including at Chail, for lease
 

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Not paying heed to law, govt invites proposals for promoting tea tourism
Posted at: Aug 25, 2019, 7:34 AM; last updated: Aug 25, 2019, 7:34 AM (IST)

Act prohibits use of land under tea cultivation, brochure put up on website

Not paying heed to law, govt invites proposals for promoting tea tourism


Tea cultivation is primarily confined to Kangra district and a small area of Jogindernagar contiguous to Palampur.


Pratibha Chauhan
Tribune News Service
Shimla, August 24

Despite the Himachal Pradesh Ceiling on Land Holdings Act, 1972, prohibiting the use of land under tea cultivation for any purpose other than agriculture, the Tourism Department has invited proposals from private investors for promoting tea tourism in Kangra and Mandi districts.
The brochure on “Rising Himachal Global Investors Meet”, which has been put on the website to invite proposals for the meet in Dharamsala on November 7 and 8, makes the mention of tea tourism when the revenue laws do not permit it. The mere mention of tea tourism on the site, despite the Cabinet at its last month meeting turning it down, has taken everyone by surprise.
“The construction of eco-tourism activities and eco huts/tented accommodation shall be allowed in tea tourism farms and relevant changes in revenue laws will be carried out accordingly,” announces the invitation by the Department of Tourism and Civil Aviation on the website, specially created to invite private players to invest in Himachal.
It is significant to mention that some tea estate owners have violated the norms by selling land under tea garden for the construction of hotels, while some have raised structures with the purpose of starting hotels, which rules do not permit. These structures are illegal and ways and means are being explored to somehow legalise them.
It was under Section 5 of the Himachal Pradesh Ceiling on Land Holdings Act, 1972, that exemption had been granted to tea estates, state and Central governments, re-registered Cooperative Farming Societies and HP Agriculture University to retain more than 150 bighas. However, through the Himachal Pradesh Ceiling of Land Holdings (Amendment) Act of 1999, a ban was imposed on the sale of land under tea cultivation and gave the government the power to acquire it, if put to use other than agriculture.

Tea cultivation is primarily confined to Kangra district and a small area of Jogindernagar contiguous to Palampur, which has some of the biggest tea estates. Despite best efforts of the government to increase the area under tea, at present only 1,800-bigha land is under tea cultivation in HP and the production stands at a mere 800 quintal with issues like labour problem and old plantations.
An attempt had been made during the previous BJP regime in 2011 and by the Congress government in 2015 and later in 2016 to find a way out by which the sale of land under tea could be made permissible or its use for other purposes allowed. However, a major controversy had erupted even then and the issue had to be dropped. Similar attempts were made during the Virbhadra regime in 2017 so that decks could be cleared for the construction of hotels.
As per Section 6(A) of the amendment, if the tea estate is put to other use, it will be treated as surplus land and deemed to have been acquired by the government. Similarly, Section 7(A) seeks to impose a ban on the transfer of whole or even part of the land under tea estate by way of contact, agreement, custom or usage.


What the Act says
It was under Section 5 of the Himachal Pradesh Ceiling on Land Holdings Act, 1972, that exemption had been granted to tea estates, state and Central governments, re-registered Cooperative Farming Societies and HP Agriculture University to retain more than 150 bighas. However, through the Himachal Pradesh Ceiling of Land Holdings (Amendment) Act of 1999, a ban was imposed on the sale of land under tea cultivation and gave the government the power to acquire it if put to use other than agriculture.

Not paying heed to law, govt invites proposals for promoting tea tourism
 

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Mandi to be among 100 clean cities by ’20: DC
Posted at: Aug 25, 2019, 7:34 AM; last updated: Aug 25, 2019, 7:34 AM (IST)


Mandi to be among 100 clean cities by ’20: DC


Tribune News Service

Mandi, August 24

Deputy Commissioner Rugved Thakur said Mandi would be among top 100 clean cities of India by 2020. The DC convened a meeting with the Municipal Council and asked officials to make proper arrangements for garbage disposal.
The entire area should be clean, including nullahs, rivulets and rivers. There should be no open defecation.
Rugved asked the MC to ensure proper segregation of solid and liquid waste at the household level. “We have set a target to bring Mandi among the top 100 cities of India, for which collective efforts will be made. Public representatives will be asked to lead an awareness campaign among masses,” he said.
As per a survey conducted earlier, Mandi was at the 806th spot. Suman Thakur, president, Municipal Council, Mandi, said the civic body was struggling hard to keep the MC clean. Awareness campaigns would be launched and locals would be asked to join the drive.


Mandi to be among 100 clean cities by ’20: DC
 

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Efforts on to make Dalhousie cleanest
Posted at: Aug 24, 2019, 6:50 AM; last updated: Aug 24, 2019, 6:50 AM (IST)

Our Correspondent

Dalhousie, August 23

The Nestle India, in collaboration with Recity Network and Dalhousie Municipal Council, launched the ‘Hilldaari’ initiative here on Friday, in the presence of officials and residents of the town.
The ‘Hilldaari’ movement aims to transform solid waste management practices and make Dalhousie one of the cleanest hill stations of India.
Commenting on the initiative, Sanjay Khajuria, Director - Corporate Affairs, Nestlé India, said “As a company, we share the ambition that no plastic waste should end up in the landfills. We are delighted in expanding the ‘Hilldaari’ initiative in Dalhousie and are extremely grateful to the local authorities for their support”. “With the support of the Hotel Association in Dalhousie, the project team had conducted a pilot awareness campaign across 96 hotels and partnered with various stakeholders to undertake multiple clean-up and plantation drives,” Khajuria said.

At the event, 12 household waste management professionals were felicitated for their exemplary service to the city. A campaign anthem, ‘Do Ekam Do’, inspiring locals and tourists to be ‘Responsible towards hills’ was also performed by Manzil Mystics, a folk fusion band from Delhi.
Speaking at the event, Dalhousie SDM Murari Lal said “In the pilot stage, we had ensured that the vehicles plying to collect waste from the city had two separate compartments to collect dry and wet waste. In Dalhousie, the terrain makes it difficult to collect waste from certain areas. To tackle this, ‘caged storage bins’ have been installed as a pilot project in Ward 4 of the town”.
MC president Manoj Chadha said the idea was to bring multiple stakeholders on to a common platform. Hilldaari leader Anurag Tripathi said the aim was to effectively implement an integrated solid waste management plan.


Efforts on to make Dalhousie cleanest
 

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Make potato key source of farmers’ livelihood: Guv
Posted at: Aug 23, 2019, 7:11 AM; last updated: Aug 23, 2019, 7:11 AM (IST)


Make potato key source of farmers’ livelihood: Guv



Tribune news service



Shimla, August 22

Himachal Governor Kalraj Mishra today stressed the need to undertake intensive scientific research work on potato to encourage more and more farmers towards potato cultivation and making it a major source of their livelihood.
Speaking at a function organised by the Central Potato Research Institute (CPRI) on the occasion of its 71st Foundation Day here, he underlined the need to tackle new challenges in taking Indian potato to new heights, to balance fluctuations in production, increasing potato processing by more than eight per cent, taking potato exports beyond one per cent and reducing the post harvest losses by 16 per cent.
The Governor sought identification of special potato growing zones and setting up and promotion of import-export areas, exploring potato market within and outside the country and promoting the use of market intelligence and other information technologies to interconnect them.

He said that there is a need to build an environment where farmers get encouraged to adopt small business from their produce like chips production which would also boost ‘start-Up’ campaign.
He said during its journey of last seven decades, the CPRI has contributed immensely in the field of potato research. Himachal Pradesh has suitable climatic conditions for potato cultivation and the farmers of the state have been engaged in its cultivation for the last about 150 years.
The Governor expressed satisfaction over the fact that potato was being cultivated in about 14,000 hectares area in the state with total production about two lakh tonnes.



Make potato key source of farmers’ livelihood: Guv
 

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Posted at: Aug 25, 2019, 7:34 AM; last updated: Aug 25, 2019, 7:34 AM (IST)
50 illegal structures demolished on Matour road

50 illegal structures demolished on Matour road

A JCB machine removes encroachments on the Kangra-Matour road on Saturday. Photo: Ashok Raina

Our Correspondent
Kangra, August 24
The Public Works Department has launched a demolition drive on the Kangra-Matour stretch in the town and during the last two days, 50 encroachments were demolished.
Manoj Sood, SDO, Public Works Department, Kangra, said people had encroached the land on both sides, resulting in accidents and traffic jams all along the 4-km stretch.
The drive was launched yesterday and continued today and 50 encroachments were removed.
SDM, Kangra, Jatin Lal, along with the police, revenue and Public Works Department officials, carried out the drive. The drive will continue even on Sunday too.
Sood said the demolition drive was launched to clear the road ahead of investors’ meet scheduled to be held in Dharamshala.

After the encroachments would be removed, drains on both sides of the road would be constructed to avoid flooding and accidents in the future.


50 illegal structures demolished on Matour road
 

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