1.1. Himachal Pradesh is situated between 30o 22' 40” to 33 o 12’ 20” north
latitudes and 75 o 45' 55" to 79 o 04’ 20” east longitudes. The altitude in the
Pradesh, a wholly mountainous region in the lap of Himalayas, ranges from 350
metres to 6975 metres above mean sea level. It is surrounded by Jammu and Kashmir
in the north, Tibet on north east, Uttaranchal in the east/south east; Haryana in south
and Punjab in south west/west.
2.1 Himachal Pradesh can be divided into three regions: - (i) The Shivalik ranges
(the height from plain upto 915 metres); (ii) Colder Zone (the height is about 4500
metres); and (iii) the Axis and Crystalline core of the whole system (the height above
4500 metres but below 5500 metres).
2.2 The climatic conditions, therefore, vary from the semi- tropical to semi-artic.
Physiographically, the state can be divided into five zones based on altitudes and
moisture regime conditions. These vary from wet humid sub-temperate situation to
dry temperate alpine high lands.
2.3 Besides the seasonal variations, the climate of Himachal Pradesh varies at
different altitudes. The average rainfall is 152 cms. (60 inches). The highest rainfall
occurs in Kangra district followed by Shimla district.

Congress opposes land allotment to DLF in Himachal

The Congress party Tuesday stoutly opposed the Himachal Pradesh government's decision to allot agricultural land to Delhi-based DLF Universal Ltd to set up ultra-luxurious housing projects in the state.

State Congress chief Kaul Singh Thakur told reporters that the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government was promoting the realtors in the state by diverting agricultural land to non-agricultural purposes.

'DLF has recently given advertisements in newspapers inviting applications for the upcoming projects in the vicinity of Shimla and Kasauli,' Thakur said.

'We are totally against the decision of the government to allow the realtor to build high-end cottages. The BJP government in the state is promoting land mafia,' he said.

Sources in the government said that DLF has identified a huge chunk of land around Shimla and Kasauli towns and plans to invest Rs.200 crore in these projects.

Thakur said Shimla town already faces water shortage, besides traffic chaos, and that such projects would only add to the woes of the people.

'By allowing such realtors to set up housing projects, the government is going to multiply the problems of the town. Moreover, the builders are alluring buyers by saying that even outsiders (non-Himachal people) can purchase the villas,' he added.

Under Himachal Pradesh land laws, only the state's permanent residents can buy land in the state. Others who want to purchase land for non-agricultural purposes have to seek relaxations under Section 118 of the Land Reforms and Tenancy Act from the state government.

The DLF projects would have high-end residential villas and apartments.

The Shimla residential project is located at Waknaghat on the Chandigarh-Shimla National Highway-22, whereas the Kasauli project is located near the industrial hub of Baddi.

Karsog villagers voice support for Lafarge plant

Villagers of the areas around the identified plant and mine site of Lafarge India’s proposed cement plant in Himachal Pradesh have issued a statement through the company supporting the plant. According to the statement, they have expressed their anguish over the order of the NEAA.
"We have - the statement on behalf of the villagers says - learnt that NEAA passed an order setting aside the Environmental Clearance granted to the project. To the best of our knowledge Lafarge had duly followed all processes required for obtaining the EC. Our youths will remain unemployed and we will continue to exist in the financial condition that we are in now, if the plant doesn’t come up.
We had earlier submitted a memorandum highlighting the benefits that setting up of the project will bring in its wake. When abundant supply of good quality limestone is available in Tehsil Karsog, why cant the same be utilized for the development of the people and the area? If the limestone reserve can be scientifically excavated following all environmental safeguards it can immensely benefit the local people and the State Government.


We reiterate that during the public hearing conducted by the State Pollution Control Board the support of the local people was documented.
Lafarge was granted all necessary clearance after a detailed site inspection and after all due processes were followed by them.
Individuals opposing the project don’t stay in this area and are blind to our condition. They do not voice the proper facts nor the aspirations of the local people. That is not mass sentiment and not representative of the majority. They have their “vested interest” and selfish motivations. We are happy to welcome the project, as we want our children to have a better life and future. Setting up of the project would result in employment opportunities and also indirect employment through ancillary units. Developmental activities of the company will lead to overall development of the area.
The CSR initiatives taken by Lafarge India in the region has benefited all and sundry. The health center has provided people with medical relief in need. The setting up of the computer training centers will help the children become learn computer operations. Infrastructure and other amenities also will become accessible, once the company is allowed to undertake its operations here. A cement plant in this area has been a long standing demand of ours. We are happy that Lafarge decided to come forward and we will support them all through. We want a prosperous future for our youngsters and we urge the Government to allow Lafarge start operations in Himachal Pradesh."

Monsoon in Himachal breaks 15-year record

The plentiful southwest monsoon across Himachal Pradesh this year has broken the record of 15 years, the weather office said in Shimla on Wednesday.
"From June 1 to September 14 the state saw 816.6 mm of rain against the normal average of 741.1 mm, which means the state got 10 per cent more rainfall," Manmohan Singh, director of the meteorological office in Shimla, said.
"After 1995, it was for the first time that the state got the highest excess rain. In the past 15 years, the highest surplus rain was witnessed in 2003 (4 per cent)," he said.
According to him, in 1995 the state experienced 17 per cent more rainfall than normal.
He said all the 12 districts in the state, except Lahaul and Spiti, got normal to excess rainfall.
"Till date Lahaul and Spiti saw a deficient rainfall of 23 per cent, whereas Kinnaur district recorded 156 per cent more rains," Singh added.
Shimla, once the summer capital of the British, experienced 26 per cent more rainfall till date. It saw 850 mm of rain against the normal of 671 mm.
He said the highest rainfall in Shimla from June 1 to Sep 14 was recorded in 1971 when it was 1,505.4 mm. The second highest was 1,483 mm in 1995.
The southwestern monsoon that reached the state July 5 would remain active in the region for a few more days. Normally, it starts receding by Sep 15.
"There would be mild to moderate rainfall in the state Wednesday and Thursday. But from Friday onwards, the state would experience moderate rainfall. Some places would be likely to witness even heavy spells of rain between Sep 17 and 21," Manmohan Singh said.
Himachal Pradesh's agriculture and horticulture-based economy is highly dependent on the monsoon.

हिमाचल निर्माण में रही थी मुख्य भूमिका

बघाट रियासत (सोलन) के अंतिम राजा दुर्गा सिंह ने पहाड़ी रियासतों को भारतीय गणतंत्र में विलय के लिए मुख्य भूमिका निभाई थी। हिमाचल को राज्य का दर्जा दिलाने का श्रेय भले ही डॉ. यशवंत सिंह परमार मिला लेकिन इसकी पहल भी बघाट के अंतिम राजा दुर्गा सिंह की अध्यक्षता वाले प्रजामंडल नेताओं ने की थी।
हिमाचल प्रदेश की भारतीय इतिहास संकलन समिति द्वारा जुटाए गए तथ्यों पर गौर करें तो हिमाचल इतिहास के कई रोचक तथ्य सामने आते हैं। भारतीय इतिहास संकलन समिति के अनुसार राजा दुर्गा सिंह ने शिक्षा के प्रचारक रहे हैं। 15 सितंबर 1901 को जन्में राजा दुर्गा सिंह की गणतंत्र में गहरी आस्था थी यही कारण है उन्होंने पहाड़ी राजाओं को भारतीय गंणतंत्र में विलय के लिए प्रेरित किया।
भारतीय इतिहास संकलन समिति के अनुसार जब भारत को स्वतंत्रता मिली तो शिमला की पहाड़ी रियासतों का विलय भारतीय गणतंत्र में नहीं हुआ था। 26 जनवरी, 1948 को शिमला की सभी रियासतों के प्रजामंडल के नेताओं की बैठक राजा दुर्गा सिंह ने सोलन में बुलाई।
26 रियासतों के प्रतिनिधियों ने इसमें भाग लिया। जिसमें सत्यदेव बुशहरी, ठाकुर सेन नेगी, लाला देवकीनंदन और विरजानंद (बुशहर से), जुब्बल से भागमल सोहटा और सालिगराम टेजटा, क्योंथल से दवीराम केवला और विजय राम, धामी से पं. संतराम, ठियोग से सूरतराम, बाघल से हीरासिंह पाल, महलोग से चिंतामणि आदि प्रजामंडल नेताओं ने भाग लिया।
इसके संयोजक राजा दुर्गा सिंह ने सर्वप्रथम तिरंगा फहराया और बघाट की पुलिस ने झंडे को सलामी दी। इसके कॉन्फ्रेंस हॉल में अधिवेशन शुरू हुआ और सभा को संविधान सभा का नाम दिया गया। इसमें राजा साहब को अध्यक्ष और महावीर सिंह (आईसीएस) को सचिव चुना गया।
सभा में निर्णय लिया गया कि सभी रियासतों को मिलाकर हिमाचल प्रदेश का नाम दिया जाए। इसके बाद गृहमंत्री सरदार पटेल से निवेदन किया गया कि पंजाब हिल स्टेट की दूसरी रियासतों को भी इनके साथ विलय करके हिमाचल प्रदेश को पूरा प्रांत बनाया जाए।
अंतत: देशी राज्य संबंधी महासचिव वीपी मेनन की मध्यस्थता व सरदार पटेल के निर्देश पर शिमला हिल स्टेट्स व पंजाब हिल स्टेट्स की पहाड़ी रियासतों के विलय से 15 अप्रैल, 1948 को हिमाचल प्रदेश अस्तित्व में आया जो बघाट के राजा दुर्गा सिंह व प्रजामंडल के अन्य नेताओं के प्रयासों से संभव हुआ।

Source: Bhaskar

Virbhadra Singh


Virbhadra Singh (born June 23, 1934) is the current Minister of Steel of Republic of India. He became the Union Minister of Steel of the United Progressive Alliance government, led by the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on May 28, 2009. He was also three-time Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh state, from 1983 to 1990, from 1993 to 1998 and from 2003 to 2007. He is a member of the Indian National Congress.

Early life

Virbhadra Singh was born on June 23, 1934 at Sarahan, Shimla in a Rajput family. He is the son of Raja Sir Padam Singh. He has a B.A. (Hons) and an M.A. He studied at the prestigious Bishop Cotton School, Shimla where he was the House Captain of Ibbetson House in 1951 and St. Stephen’s College, Delhi. He was also an honorary captain in the Indian Army. He is also associated with numerous cultural and social organisations including President of Sanskrit Sahitya Sammelan and Friends of Soviet Union Society (Himachal State Branch).

Political career

Singh was elected to the Lok Sabha in 1962, 1967, 1972 and in 1980. He was the member of Indian delegation to the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1976. He remained Deputy Minister of Tourism & Civil Aviation in Government of India from December 1976 to March 1977. He was the Minister of State for Industries in Government of India from September 1982 to April 1983. He was twice elected to the State Legislative Assembly from Jubbal-Kotkhai Constituency (first on 5 October 1983 in a by-election and again in 1985 general elections). He was the Chief Minister of the State from April 1983 to March 1990 and from December 1993 to March 1998. He was the Leader of Opposition in the Assembly from March 1998 to March 2003. He was once again appointed as Chief Minister on 6 March 2003. However he lost the December 2007 elections and resigned on the 30 December, 2007.

General election, 2009

In the general election, 2009, Virbhadra Singh was elected from the Mandi parliamentary constitency in Himachal Pradesh. The three-time chief minister defeated his nearest rival Maheshwar Singh of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) by 13,997 votes. Virbhadra Singh bagged 340,973 votes and Maheshwar Singh got 326,976 votes. Pratibha Singh, the wife of Virbhadra Singh, had defeated Maheshwar Singh in the 2004 poll by 66,566 votes.This constituency saw the maximum voter turnout of 64 percent when the state went to the polls on May 13, 2009.

Dhumal to flag-off The 12th Raid-de-Himalaya, 2010 rally October 9

Chief Minister of Himachal Prof. Prem Kumar Dhumal would ceremonially flag-off The 12th Raid-de-Himalaya, 2010 rally on 9th October from Peterhoff, Shimla.

Being organized by the Department of Youth Services and Sports in collaboration with Federation of Motor Sports Club of India and Himalaya Motor Sports, The rally will be stged from 10th October to 15th October this  would cover a distance of about 2500 Kilometers through Shimla, Nalagarh, Solan, Manali, Kaza, Keylong, said V.C. Pharka, Principal Secretary, Youth Services and Sports.

Shri V.C.Pharka said that In total 175 teams were participating in the event which is a record. Teams like Thundervolt with their driver Suresh Rana, W+K Team with their driver Sunny Sidhu, champion of Moghul Rally and team of the Indian Army are also participating in the Championship.

In the X-treme Motorcycle category, Team Contiger of Austria has fielded 6 Motorcycle entrants, which also include woman biker Klaudia Honeder. Team W+K Racing's Jonah Street, who was a Dakar 2010 top ten finisher was also participating in the event.

The rally will concentrate around Spiti the Cold deasert area of the state for the most part using the rough roads around Kaza to provide scenic backdrops to this International Event.

Himachal Chief Minister expresses concern over Chinese threat

In the wake of many strange developments in the recent past with China, the Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister, Prem Kumar Dhumal has voiced his concern over the threat posed by China.

Speaking on sidelines of a function to inaugurate a building of Consumer Forum here, Dhumal cited that China had denied a visa to an IAS officer from Arunachal Pradesh cadre when around 100 IAS officers were going on an official visit to China in 2008.

"When our Prime Minister goes to Arunachal (Pradesh), so China objects on that; when IAS delegation has to got to China, it objects in giving visa to the IAS of Arunachal (Pradesh). Right now, I have learnt that they have set missiles in Tibet, which would target main cities of India. All these things are problematic. They are a threat to the nation's security, and I am saying this repeatedly that India has the greatest threat from China only," said Prem Kumar Dhumal.

He suggested that India should construct an international-level airport in Himachal Pradesh, both for tourism and from security point of view.

"We also brought this topic in the National Development Council meeting. On one side, China is making several airports and helipads, and making railway lines as well (in Tibet region)," Dhumal added.

Last month Beijing had refused a visa to an Indian Army General presently posted in Kashmir which happened to be the latest diplomatic spat between two Asian giants jostling for global influence and resources.

It may also be noted that in spite of decades of mistrust, China is today India's biggest trade partner. The value of bilateral deals was expected to pass $60 billion this year, a 30-fold increase since 2000, raising the stakes in maintaining peace.

Exiled Tibetans debate with PM aspirants in Dharamsala

Dharamsala (Himachal Pradesh), Sept.12 (ANI): The National Democratic Party of Tibet (NDPT) organized a debate here on Saturday as a part of a campaign to decide who will be the next Prime Minister-in-exile.

The aspirants to the post of 'Kalon Tripa', - Kasur Tethong Tenzin Namgyal and Lobsang Sangay debated and also took questions from the audience on a range of issues related to the Tibetan cause.

"Both (the candidates) answered in the same manner, that they both will work under the guidance of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and their political stand will be middle-way approach," said Yangzom, a Tibetan exile.

"The general election is very soon (to come), so many Tibetan people are so excited and they want to know so many things from the candidate. So, we brought them in front of the Tibetan public, so that the Tibetan public can see and they can ask many questions and they can say whatever they want, whatever they want to know," said Chimme, President, NDPT.

The first round of campaigning included tours and democracy awareness talks in about 21 places all over the India.

An estimated 80,000 Tibetans arrived in India along with the Dalai Lama after an abortive uprising against the Chinese rule in 1959 and over the years their numbers have swelled.

China accuses the Dalai Lama of seeking independence for Tibet, but he says he only wants autonomy for the Tibetan people.

The Dalai Lama has in recent years called for limited autonomy for Tibet, but some Tibetans demand full independence.

Himachal to use EVMs for panchayat, urban body polls

Himachal Pradesh will go into the election mode, once again, before the end of the year to complete the process for electing new panchayat and urban local bodies.

The state Election Commissioner Dev Swaroop told media persons the commission has already set in motion the process for verification of the voters’ list ahead of the polls and electronic voting machines (EVMs) will be used for the first time in the polls.

“The announcement of the election schedule could be made any time after the commission gets reports on completion of the electoral rolls. The process for verification of the rolls have already started from today and would be completed by September 20,” he informed.

All block development officers (BDOs) have been instructed to appoint teams for house-to-house verifications. The team will include panchayat secretary of sahayak, patwari, school teachers and anganwadi workers. The teams will be handed over working copies of the existing rolls generated from the data of the election commission.

To make the data foolproof and eliminate duplications, the commission has devised a form to be filled in by head of the family for authentication of the family voters’ details. The commission has decided to take the help of state’s Information Technology department in the electoral rolls.

All voters eligible on January 1, 2010, will be included in the voters list.

The elections will be held for nearly 3243 panchayats and 48 urban local bodies. The election process, said Swaroop, will be completed by December 25.

He, however, refused to elaborate on the reservation for women but added that since the Act had been already passed a provision of 50 reservation have been made for the women. In all 27,453 representatives of the panchayats will be elected and 406 for the urban local bodies.

63 Himachal students pass class X without taking exam

Sixty-three students of a Himachal Pradesh school have passed the class X state board examination without appearing for it. Two persons, including school owner Ashwini Kumar Dogra, have been arrested in this connection.

During preliminary investigation by Dharamshala-based Himachal Pradesh Education Board, answersheets of the students of Kangra's Divya Jyoti Academy were found even though they had not written the exam, said OP Jamwal, ASP Dharamshala.

According to police, Dogra allegedly bought answersheets from examination centres. He then got his school teachers to write the answers on behalf of the students. The filled-in answersheets were then sent to the Board office by post. From there, these were distributed to various evaluation centres.

Dogra was arrested on Thursday and remanded in four-day police custody. Police suspect the involvement of an organised gang, including board employees and invigilators of the exam, in the racket. SSP Kangra Atul Fulzhele said the Board's 2010 exam record has been confiscated.