After a series of review meetings, the government has found the performance of these companies to be ‘not satisfactory’

The solid waste management (SWM) projects in Uttarakhand under the public private partnership (PPP) are not yielding satisfactory results despite a series of review meetings by top government officials. Under the Rs 50 crore Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) scheme, the government awarded contracts to private companies for picking up wastes from thethree cities of Dehradun, Haridwar and Nainital. All the projects have been delayed considerably.

The ban on the sale of gutkha, pan masala and other chewing tobacco-based products in Uttarakhand came into effect from Tuesday.

“This is a comprehensive ban on the sale, stocking and production of gutkha and all other tobacco chewing products in Uttarakhand,” a top government official said. Most of the shopkeepers and vendors in Dehradun city, said they were not selling gutkha or any other tobbaco-based products anymore. Health Minister Surinder Singh Negi said the government would strictly enforce the ban on the sale of gutkha and similar products in the state.

Uttarakhand's CM and health minister disagree over banning gutkha

The Uttarakhand government has decided to ban the sale of gutkha in the hill state.“We are seeking an approval of the state Cabinet to ban the sale of gutkha in the state,” said Ranbir Singh, principal secretary, health.

The Uttarakhand government has sought a relief package of Rs 800 crore in the wake of a series of natural disasters caused by heavy rains that has wreaked havoc in the hill state.

“We have already sent an official memorandum to the Centre for a relief package of Rs 800 crore,” a top government official said on Thursday. The state has already got an interim relief of Rs 150 crore.

Year-on-year increases in the number of new micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) set up in Uttarakhand over the last four years show that the hill industrial policy is slowly yielding results in the state.

The policy came into effect in 2008 to encourage the growth of MSMEs. The government claims that between then and June this year, more than 3,000 small (mostly micro) units, entailing an investment of Rs 400 crore and employing an estimated 12,000 people, have been set up.

The committee is expected to give its report in mid-October

Ahead of the B K Chaturvedi committee's assessment on the impact of hydel projects on the Ganga river, the Uttarakhand government is expecting a positive report on the issue. It has also started lobbying for the allocation of coal blocks. During the past three years, a series of hydel projects had either been scrapped or suspended on environmental and religious grounds in the hill state, with the Centre setting up the Chaturvedi Committee to examine the impact of hydel projects on the biodiversity in the state. The committee is expected to give its report in mid-October.

In a move to bring down the accumulated losses of the Uttarakhand Power Corporation Limited (UPCL), the government has given a package of over Rs 915 crore to the sole state-run power distribution company.

The accumulated losses of the UPCL stood at Rs 1,948.22 crore till the year 2010-11, the auditing for which has been completed. The annual losses of the UPCL for the same year were Rs 204.46 crore.

With an aim to boost growth, the Centre has announced a series of new sops with an estimated cost Rs 250 crore for Uttarakhand. These include a textile park, two spice parks, two convention centres and horticulture cold- storage chains.

“We have brought new schems to boost growth in Uttarakhand with an estimated cost of Rs 250 crore. We have also held talks for increasing investments and FDI in the state,” said Anand Sharma, Union commerce, industry and textiles minsiter, after holding talks with Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna and industrialists here yesterday.

Nearly 402 families have been uprooted; rescue operations on with the help of the army and paramiltary forces; prime minister, UPA chairperson assures of all possible help

Uttarakhand Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna on Tuesday met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and sought a relief package of Rs 600-crore for the flood-hit state. Bahuguna, along with Union minister Harish Rawat and some of the MPs from the state called on the prime minister in New Delhi and apprised him of the situation arising from the recent devastation caused by flash floods.

The Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) group and Volkswagen—the two auto major groups—have evinced interests in setting up new manufacturing facilities in Uttarakhand, claimed a government official from the hill state.

“We have received two proposals from the two auto companies (M&M and Volkswagen) for setting up new manufacturing facilities in the hill state,” said the official. The state-owned State Infrastructure and Industrial Development Corporation of Uttarakhand Limited (Sidcul), which is the nodal agency for industrialisation in the hill state, has promised the two companies it can provide land at Sitarganj where it is planning to develop a new industrial estate.