Nod to submergence of cheer pheasant habitat

The Union Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) has directed the government to initiate action against officials responsible for giving nod to the submergence of the habitat of the endangered cheer pheasant in the Kol Dam water and identify 22 habitats for the highly protected bird within two months.

The final Census data has brought out an overall improvement in sex ratio in the state from 968 to 972 over a decade, but a declining trend in the rural areas is a cause of concern.

The state Wildlife Department will get a fresh population estimation of leopards, snow leopards and monkeys done with the help of experts who will suggest ways and means to reduce man-animal conflict resulting in increased attacks by wild animals.

Experts from an NGO headed by Vidya Athreya, a wildlife biologist, will hold a meeting with the officials of the Wildlife Department here on May 20 to work out a strategy for reducing the increasing man-animal conflict. There is also a proposal to undertake radio-collaring of at least six leopards which will help in analysing their behaviour and tracking their movement.

The state government has provided Rs 2.44 crore for the Bhapraal-Ladhiyani-Sumadi-Bharadi drinking water supply schemes so that all the villages falling in this area get sufficient drinking water in hot summers.

This was said by the Chief Parliamentary Secretary, Forests and Fisheries, Rajesh Dharmani, while addressing a large gathering at Bhapraal village after hearing the grievances of villagers in a day- long "Meet the People" camp here on Wednesday.

The state government is taking special precautions to overcome the challenge of paucity of drinking water in commonly draught-affected Bilaspur district this summer and 25 new hand pumps would be set up in each subdivision this summer here in the district.

This was stated by Ram Lal Thakur, chairman, HP State Planning Development and 20-Point Implementation Committee, while talking to mediapersons at Suharghat, 42 km from here, on Tuesday.

Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh has sanctioned Rs 1 crore for providing facilities of drinking water and roads in two gram panchayats of the Bilaspur Sadar constituency during this month. This was stated by Bilaspur Sadar MLA Bambar Thakur while talking to mediapersons at the Circuit House here today.

He said in Morsinghi gram panchayat, Rs 9 lakh was provided for drinking water to the Kasol Harijan basti, Rs 17 lakh for drinking water of the Balha-Kajin village areas, Rs 3 lakh for the Kasol-Maatyal link road and Rs 15 lakh for tarring of the Morsinghi-Kasol road.

Hundreds of oustees affected by the Kol Dam project from the districts of Mandi, Shimla and Solan, besides Bilaspur, held a demonstration in the town today.

They carried banners and placards displaying their demands and raised slogans against the Kol Dam management of the NTPC and the district administration. They alleged that both had collaborated in trying to end forcefully their peaceful agitation and the latter had tried to vitiate the atmosphere at the dam site.

Oustees and the NTPC, which is executing the 800-MW Kol Dam project, are on a collision course. Oustees continued to paralyse work for the eighth consecutive day today.

They stuck to their demands of a permanent job for a member of each family or Rs 25 lakh as compensation and free electricity and treatment at the NTPC dispensary, but the NPTC termed their demands as unjustified.

A Rs 2.53 crore project for improving power supply in the town has been sanctioned, which will be implemented by October 31. This was stated by Bilaspur Sadar MLA Bambar Thakur while talking to mediapersons here today.

Bambar said 10 new transformers would be installed and three transformers would be updated from 25 KV to 65 KV. He said 600m of new broader conductor would replace old conductors to reduce power losses.

On June 4, 2008, Arvind Jain, chairman of CII Chhattisgarh, wrote a letter to the divisional forest officer, Korba, saying that since coal blocks of a few companies fell in the area of a proposed e