Saturday, September 16, 2017

New bridge across Tehri lake to complete by Jan, end people's woes

DEHRADUN: During monsoon season, people of Chinyalisaur in Uttarkashi face an uphill task in crossing the Tehri reservoir. The only existing bridge (at a height of 815 m) gets submerged when the water level in the reservoir is raised and people are forced to take a boat ride — provided free by Tehri Hydro Development Corporation — to go to the other side. During these four rainy months, every day people from nearby villages are seen jostling with one another for their turn to board the boats which take them across the reservoir to Chinyalisaur, which is the main tehsil town where schools, colleges, hospitals and various offices are located.

The district magistrate of Uttarkashi Ashish Shrivastava has now assured the people that the new bridge being built at a height of 840 m will be ready by January next year. “I have taken a written undertaking from the company building the bridge that it would complete the work by January next year. The bridge has been built at much greater height so that it does not get submerged if THDC raises the water level.”

Around 50,000 people of 42 villages have been forced to go through this rigmarole every year since the past eight years. The metal bridge — constructed at a height of 815 and connects Chinyalisaur to their villages — gets submerged for nearly four months when water level in the reservoir rises to 830 m. The bridge is located at far end of the 42 sq km tehri reservoir in Uttarkashi.

“Tehri Hydro Power Corporation has the permission to raise the water level up to 830 m. The bridge, which has been built at a height of 815 m gets submerged when the water level of Tehri lake is raised beyond that level. So, we provide boat service to the people free of cost for three-four months until the water level goes down below 815 m and bridge becomes usable again,” said a THDC official on condition of anonymity. The official added that THDC is funding the construction of a new bridge at a greater height — which is estimated to cost Rs 35 crore.

Villagers, however, are not satisfied with the services provided by THDC. Bhuvan Chaudhary, a teacher in Chinyalisaur, said, “The work on the new bridge started way back in 2011, but the construction was stalled for several years for want of funds. Now, work on the bridge is going on at a snail’s pace.” It is not feasible for all the villagers to commute by boat all the time as the services are time-based. Moreover, people cannot carry whatever luggage or goods they want to as there is a limit. Hence, people are forced to take road transport even if this means travelling an additional distance of 25 km.

Yamunotri National Highway closed for the fourth consecutive day

UTTARKASHI: The Yamunotri national highway has remained closed to traffic for the four consecutive day after intermittent landslides at Ojari region in Uttarkashi district. Officials said a hill between Badkot and the Yamunotri shrine was breaking off intermittently triggering the landslides is disrupting all efforts to open up the route for vehicles.

However, the district administration has managed to restore yatra to the Yamunotri Shrine on Thursday by opening a 3km bypass trek. Pilgrims and villagers will now have to trek through Tirkhali village to reach Siyana band from where taxi operators are transporting them to Janki Chatti, Yamunotri.

As many as 14 villages have been cut off from the district headquarters due to the blockade including Ojari village which has suffered maximum damage.

Ashish Kumar Shrivastav, district magistrate, Uttaarkashi has send a letter to the secretary of disaster management and has asked for a team of experts to come and examine the affected zone.

“We have successfully transferred 1,313 pilgrims to safe areas who were stuck as a result of the landslide and over 620 pilgrims has reached the Yamunotri temple,” said Shrivastav. “A team of national highway authorities along with officials from the police department and the local administration is positioned with earthmover machines in the area. The entire stretch will be cleared as soon as the rock fall stops.”

Shrivastav added, “The administration has identified 18 pregnant women in villages near the affected region and has decided to shift them to Barkot town at the earliest. We have also prepared a list of people who have suffered losses from the landslide all of whom will receive their due compensation amount.”

Uttarkashi DM writes to ASI for timely restoration of 8th Cen Sun temples

MDEHRADUN: District magistrate of Uttarkashi Ashish Shrivastava has written to the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) urging it to take timely action to restore eighth to ninth century Sun temples.

Talking to TOI, Shrivastava said, “The group of Sun temples are ASI protected. But due to lack of proper maintenance and safety, this historical heritage is on the verge of dilapidation. It is very important to ensure restoration as well as safety of these temples. I have written to ASI to take timely action in this regard.”

The DM added that the early medieval temples in Bhatwadi could be a huge draw for tourists when properly maintained.

Local residents said that beautiful carvings, such as images of river Ganga and Yamuna at the entrance of one of the temples, have fallen prey to vagaries of time and weather.

Social worker Lokender Bisht said, “The main Sun temple has almost crumbled except at the top. Idols of Vishnu, Ganesha, Kuber and Surya have suffered damage.”

Bisht also said that in the absence of security squatters are having a free run in the temples.

V K Saxena, director, Dehradun circle of Archaeological Survey of India, said that the Sun temples held much importance and he would take appropriate action once he receives the letter.

Meanwhile, historians have said that immediate steps should be taken for conservation of temples.

Historian D R Purohit, a professor at Garhwal University, said that there are very few Sun temples in the country. “Uttarakhand is blessed to have Sun temples, the state government must promote these so more and more people can visit them. This could help generate funds for their restoration.”

Lokesh Ohri, anthropologist and heritage expert, said, “If devotees are permitted to worship at the temples regularly then safety and security of these structures can be ensured.


Fake degrees: SIT recommends FIR against 4 teachers

DEHRADUN: The Special Investigation Team (SIT), which was set up to probe fake certificates and degrees of government teachers, has recommended registration of FIR under section 420 (cheating) against four teachers in Dehradun who hold degrees from unauthorized educational institutions.

In its report to the education department, the SIT has recommended strict action against the teachers identified as Neelam Pandey, Kamlendra Singh, Ajay Singh and Sunita Singh.

SIT chief, additional superintendent of police (ASP) Shweta Choubey, told TOI, “We had received complaints against teachers of Savitri Junior High School in Harawalla. After investigation, we found that their BEd degrees are from institutions which are not recognized by the state government, University Grants Commission (UGC) or National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE).”

The accused teachers have degrees from Bhartiya Siksha Parishad in Lucknow, Hindi Sahitya Sammelan Allahabad and Hindi Sahitya Sammelan Prayag.

During verification, SIT sleuths found that a nursing school was running at the registered office address of Bhartiya Siksha Parishad in Lucknow while the office of Hindi Sahitya Sammelan Prayag was shut.
According to SIT chief, the high school where the teachers are employed is a government-aided school and education department officials who gave a no-objection certificate (NOC) to the school are also under scanner. “We have written to the department to identify the officer who granted NOC to the school and take action,” said Choubey.

The SIT has received complaints against 200-odd teachers whose degrees are under question. The SIT has also served a notice under section 91 of CrPC (whenever any Court or any officer in charge of a police station considers that the production of any document or other thing is necessary or desirable for the purposes of any investigation) to district education officer of Haridwar for not extending support in the investigation.


Uttarakhand Government, Indian Institute of Petroleum to sign MoU for making bio fuel soon

NEW DELHI: Uttarakhand government and Indian Institute of Petroleum have agreed in principle to make bio fuel and turpentine oil from “Perule” (pine needles). In this regard, a MoU is likely to be signed between them soon.

Uttarakhand government has issued a press release in this connection on Wednesday.

According to the release, centre for collecting pine needles (Perule) would be set in the state’s eight hilly districts- Almora, Chamoli, Nainital, Pauri, Rudraprayag,  ..

Pine forests cover a major part of the Uttarakhand. Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat said the government also aims to control forest fires during summer with the help of this particular initiative. He added initially about 40 tones pine needles would be required. It would be purchased from the village panchayats. He hoped the initiative would help generate employment also.


Uttarakhand minister's math gaffe during school inspection

Uttarakhand Education Minister Arvind Pandey had to cut a sorry figure after he got his math wrong during an inspection visit to a government school.

The minister took it upon himself to ask a class 8 school teacher some questions in mathematics. It so turned out that his arithmetic fundamentals did not appear to be sound and what's more, he stood his ground.

He asked the teacher how much would minus one and minus one add up to. The minister insisted that the answer was zero whereas the correct answer is minus two. The entire episode has been caught on camera. The minister, who had defended himself on the first day, went into damage-control mode the next day. The teacher was, however, left insulted. The teachers in other parts of the state were irked by the incident and even demanded ministers' apology, reported NDTV. The Congress also lashed out at the minister.

Friday, September 15, 2017

New poster of Sushant Singh Rajput and Sara Ali Khan’s Kedarnath will pique your curiosity

Sushant Singh Rajput and Sara Ali Khan starrer Kedarnath goes on the floor today. To make the occasion special, the makers have released the poster of the film which just like the previously released motion poster is spiritual in nature. From the Trishul, an idol of Lord Shiva to the shrine of Kedarnath and the majestic Himalayas, the poster is painted in the shades of blue as it is the colour used to depict Shiva in Hindu mythology. The tagline of the movie, “Love is a pilgrimage” still intrigues us and we wonder what’s going to follow.

Sharing the poster on Twitter, the Raabta actor described the film as, “A journey of faith…and love.” In the poster, we see the silhouette of a man kissing the forehead of a woman and presumably the man and the woman are the leads of the film Sushant and Sara. Also, there is a pitthu, a person who carries pilgrims on his shoulders  standing at the brim of  destruction which hit Kedarnath back in 2013. If reports are to be believed Sushant Singh plays a pitthu in the movie and Sara is a pilgrim stuck amidst the floods.

Abhishek Kapoor who has directed Sushant in Kai Po Che, on Monday praised the actor as he wrote, “discovered this thunderstorm of an actor in #kaipoche n this time hes harder hungrier & evn btr preped.

Kedarnath, a love story set against the holy temple town of Kedarnath, marks the much-awaited debut of Saif Ali Khan and Amrita Singh’s daughter Sara Ali Khan. The makers of the movie are planning to release it in the summers of 2018. Until then, a lot of buzz has been created around the film with many pictures of the fresh pair Sushant and Sara with the team of Kedarnath posted on social media.
Ekta Kapoor who is co-producing the film also shared the poster on her Twitter handle and earlier said about the movie, “The film is an emotional and riveting story set in India’s heartland, where raw romance unfolds amidst the beauty of Kedarnath.”

The Indian Express