Your updated source of information about Dehradun & Uttarakhand.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Ganga canal closed for cleaning, repairing ghats

Haridwar, October 15
The annual Ganga canal water flow closure commenced last midnight in Haridwar, drying up the canal from Brahmkund, Har-ki-Pauri. The Ganga canal will remain closed till the eve of Diwali next month. During this time, the Ganga canal will be cleaned up and the ghats repaired.
This will the affect water supply to New Delhi and Uttar Pradesh, particularly for irrigation purpose. Owing to the accumulation of silt and garbage on various barrages, bridges and ghats falling on this landmark canal, the Irrigation Department annually cleans the Ganga cana from Haridwar to Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh.
The full capacity of the canal is 10,500 cusec , with water flow in the canal being controlled from the Bhagirathi point, prior to Har-ki-Pauri and the Chaudhari Charan Singh Bhimgoda barrage supply channel.
Due to a dispute over property transfer, the Ganga canal in Uttarakhand is still controlled by Uttar Pradesh, of which it was a part till 2000.
Talking to TNS, Subdivisional Officer of the Ganga Canal Headworks, Uttar Pradesh, Veer Veerendra Singh said the closure was done last midnight, though a minimum flow for Brahmakund, Har-ki-Pauri, had been allowed so that religious rituals could be performed at the sanctum sanctorum.
The Ganga Sabha, managing authority of Har-ki-Pauri, has registered its resentment over the scant water flow at the sanctum sanctorum. It has sought additional water flow for Har-ki-Pauri as pilgrims and devotees are facing problem in performing religous rites.
Anshul Shri Kunj, member of the Ganga Sabha, said that they have demanded additional flow of water at Har-ki-Pauri. Chief of the Teerth Maryada Raksha Samiti Sanjay Chopra said that from Bhagirathi Bindu to Mayapur Check Dam, at least five-foot water should be released during the Ganga closure to ensure that minimum water availability at Brahamkund, Har-ki-Pauri, and adjacent ghats.
IIn 2011, for first time since 1947, the water flow at the Ganga canal, popularly known as Gang Nahar, was not fully stopped, prior to the festive of Diwali, as the then Mayawati-led Uttar Pradesh government had declined to give permission.
Emphasising the need of total Ganga closure annually, officers of the Irrigation Department it was necessary for the maintenance of this 160-year-old canal. If not done, it will have long-term repercussions.Like last year, this time too, the Akhilesh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party government has given the nod for the Ganga canal closure in the festival time, despite protests by local people, the Ganga Sabha, sants, traders and teerth purohits and pandits.

DAV College students gherao principal

Students of DAV (PG) College gherao principal
Dr Devender Bhasin in Dehradun on Tuesday.
Dehradun, October 15
Students of DAV College (PG) College gheraoed Dr Devender Bhasin, principal of the college, here today in protest against lack of cleanliness and the dilapidated condition of the college building.
The students raised slogans against the college authorities and went to the office of the principal. They alleged that the building of the Zoology Department was in a bad condition and an accident could happen any time. The protesters said students were suffering as teachers had refused to teach in the building but the college authorities had done nothing to repair it.
A student leader had a heated exchange with the principal. The students threatened to start a stir in front of the college gate if the principal failed to address their concerns. 

Overloaded vehicles in Jaunpur pose danger

Mussoorie, October 15
The incidence of overloaded vehicles, especially Jeeps and Commanders plying in the Jaunpur development region of Tehri Garhwal district are posing a risk to the lives of commuters allegedly due to the apathy of the Transport Department.
Overloaded with schoolchildren and the local commuters, the vehicles can be seen on the Aglar-Thatyur-Mussoorie road plying with impunity and posing a risk to human lives in the process.
The damage to the roads due to the flood disaster in June is making the vehicles less stable and difficult to steer and resulting in resulting in bumpy rides for the commuters.
Most of the Jeep owners ignore the specification regarding the amount of weight one vehicle can bear.
Apart from this, due to overheating, most of the vehicles plying on the roads are in a worn down condition, thus increasing the chance of premature, dangerous and expensive failure or blow-outs.
The risk increases during the night time when the headlights of most of the vehicles blind oncoming drivers to possible debris or obstructions on the road.
The driver’s control and operating space in the overloaded vehicle is also diminished, escalating the chances for an accident and making it difficult to overtake. The brakes too have to work harder due to ‘the riding of brakes’ and because the vehicle is heavier due to overloading, the brakes overheat and lose their effectiveness.
The hapless commuters are forced to travel on the roof and sometime hanging at the back of the vehicles as no roadways bus or vehicle has been allocated on the Aglar-Thatyur-Mussoorie route.
The insurance cover on overloaded vehicles is void as overloading is illegal. So in case of accident the commuters are not able to receive any medical benefit too.
Surendar Kumar, Assistant Road Transports Officer (ARTO), Tehri, said they had they had started a campaign against the overloaded vehicles when some vehicles were seized and fined.
However due to the strike of the RTO constables, the campaign had stopped. Once the strike is called off, the campaign against overloading would begin earnestly, he added.

US team installs four water chlorinators in two villages


American team members interact with residents of
 Matli village in Uttarkashi district.
Dehradun, October 15
A team from the USA has installed four water chlorinators in disaster-hit Matli and Dilsoar villages, ensuring the availability of purified water to nearly 200 families.
The Himalayee Paryavaran Shiksha Sansthan (HPSS), a Uttarkashi-based voluntary organisation, hosted five American volunteers at its Matli, Uttarkashi campus.
Suresh Bhai, founder and chairperson of the HPSS and an activist of the Save the River Campaign, said, “This project represents a unique opportunity to partner with our global family members and introduce a new water purifying technology to Uttarakhand. We see enormous potential for this in rural India.”
The five American volunteers, namely Tina Ward-Pugh, Joe Jacobi, Lynn Smith, Robin Brothers and Suetta Albin, are associated with a non-profit organisation namely WaterStep, which has its headquarters in Louisville, USA.
WaterStep specialises in installing water chlorinators, giving training in hand-pump repair, providing disaster relief services and teaching health and hygiene practices. Their projects operate in over 25 countries, including Bihar, Meghalaya, Manipur, Assam, Odisha and West Bengal in India.The HPSS and WaterStep were brought together by Margaret Weidner, Fulbright-Nehru student researcher, who spent the last year conducting a research on water management in Garhwal.
Weidner says, “This partnership between the HPSS and WaterStep embodies the aim of the Fulbright-Nehru scholarship to promote cultural exchange and mutual understanding. Through my research, I have the chance to learn from villagers living in Garhwal and this partnership means that they will have access to a technology that can improve their quality of life.”
The water chlorinator, M-100, has been designed by WaterStep engineer Lynn Smith and its production was managed by Joe Jacobi, both of whom led the Matli and Dilsoar installations.
The M-100 is easy to operate, uses local material and is highly durable. “Using table salt and a 12-volt car battery, people are able to purify as much water as they require, up to 40,000 l per day with one machine," he says.
“Both the HPSS and WaterStep look forward to expanding the use of the technology throughout Uttarkashi and hope to promote this technology with local and regional government officials”, said Suresh Bhai.

Animal sacrifice stops in temples during Navratras in the Kumaon region

Pithoragarh, October 15
The traditional ritual of animal sacrifice in various temples of local deities in the Kumaon region during Navratras was stopped this year due to the efforts of animal right activists and initiatives shown by temple committees at various places.
According to the information received from Almora district, devotees at temples in Chitai Golu, Jharkar Sam, Mashan and Kailka worshiped the deities with coconut and flowers.
“It was possible with relentless efforts of administration in awakening the villagers about the courts orders and demand of the time, besides the initiatives shown by respective temple committees,” said Pankah Upadhaya, SDM of Almora.
According to priest of Chitai temple, the temple used to attract dozens of animal sacrifices during the Dashera and Navratras since the time the temples was established, but the tradition broke this year, with no animal sacrifice during the festival.
“The police also guarded the temple for 10 days continuously to revert any attempt of animal sacrifice during Navratras,” said the temple priest Hari Vinod pant.
“This year the people came with bells coconuts, and flags to the temple rather than animals for sacrifice,” said pant.
At the Jhakar Sam temple near Almora town, the age-old tradition of animal sacrifice was stopped this year after the local administration succeeded in persuading the temple committee for not resorting to animal sacrifice.
“Instead we told the villagers, they should come with flowers, fruits, clothes and incenses to please the deity, our efforts were helped by the administrative officers and resulted into no animal sacrifice year this year,” said Devi Dutt Pandey, priest of Sam temple at Jhakarsam temple, which had been famous for animal sacrifice traditions in Navaratras.
The news of no animal sacrifice also poured from other places of the region, including Kali temple at Gangolihat in pithoragarh and Kanda in Bageswar districts as the administration kept a strong vigil during the festival.

Monday, October 14, 2013

In brief

CM lays stone of women's hostel 

Dehradun, October 13
Uttarakhand Chief Minister laid the foundation stone of the Indira Gandhi Working Women’s hostel in Dehradun that would be constructed at a cost of Rs 862 crore.
He said the state government planed to open such hostels in Haridwar and Udham Singh Nagar districts also. He reminded that women have played an important role in creation of Uttarakhand.