Himachal lowers bar for power project bidders; to regulate private universities

Shimla: To encourage more participation in the bidding process of new hydropower projects, the Himachal cabinet today lowered the bar even as it decided to bring about uniformity in regulatory provisions for governing private universities, constituted a sub-committee for proposing changes in town planning rules and decided to de-control ‘bamboo’ under forest produce rules.

Presided by chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal the cabinet granted approval to the amendment of Private Universities (Regulation and Establishment) Bills so as to bring about uniformity in regulatory provisions of all such private universities established in the state.

The universities established in the private sector are Chitkara University, Eternal University, Baddi University of Engineering Sciences and Technology, Shoolini University of Biotechnology and Management Sciences, Manav University, Arni University and Indus International University.

The cabinet approved doing away with the condition of compulsory Demand Draft or Bankers Cheque for participating in the bidding process and replacing this Bid Security Deposit condition with an irrevocable Bank Guarantee in place.

This has been done to encourage greater participation of Independent Power Producers to bid for various Hydroelectric project and also fulfills a demand raised by the bidders, said a cabinet spokesman.

With a view to amend Town and Country Planning Rules, a sub cabinet committee headed by Gulab Singh, revenue minister was constituted. The other members of the committee include the Narinder Bragta, horticulture minister, Rajiv Bindal, health minister and Mohinder Singh – the transport minister. The sub-committee has been asked to examine and give their recommendations for proposed changes.

In order to de-regulate harvesting of Bamboo crops, the cabinet decided to amend Himachal Pradesh Land Preservation Rules, 1983 and Himachal Pradesh Forest Produce Transit (Land Routes) Rules, 1978, so as to denotify ‘Bamboo’ from the list of classification of trees grown on private lands.

This will go a long way in uplifting the financial aspects of the bamboo growing farmers and bring it at par Poplar, Eucalyptus, Albizzia, Bahunia, Willow and Mulberry, which are already in the list of exemption, the spokesman said.

With the intention of laying the Himachal Pradesh Taxation (On Certain Goods carried by Road) Amendment Bill, 2010, The Himachal Pradesh Tax on Entry Goods into Local Area (Amendment) Bill, 2010, The Himachal Pradesh Passengers and Goods Taxation (Amendment) Bill, 2010 and Himachal Pradesh Pre-Emption Act-2010 in the forthcoming winter session, the cabinet approved the draft bills today.

To speed up the construction of Sundernagar Engineering College, the cabinet decided to depute a dedicated staff in the PWD Sub-Division for early completion.

The cabinet, in principle, decided to rehabilitate 82 families of Nathpa village who have been affected by land slide at village Saak Kanda of Kinnaur district.

As an e-governance initiative, the cabinet authorized Lok Mitra Kendras (e-kiosks) to issue ‘Jamabandi’ copies to the public on demand by charging Rs 5 per page. These copies can also be procured from the local Parwaris.

To fill up vacancies in the health department the approval was granted for filling up 746 posts, which include 416 Female Health Workers, 53 Trained Midwives, 21 Radiographers and 256 Nurses, on contract basis.

The cabinet approved a 25 year lease of a 335.15 meter plot for a price of Rs 35,18,848 near Shimla bus stand to Shri Guru Singh Sabha, Shimla for for construction of Community Centre and Car Parking.

It also sanctioned one position of Deputy Advocate General at Shimla on tenure basis and grated permission for construction of PWD Rest House at village Thachi in Bali Chowki Sub-Tehsil of Mandi district.

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