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    Cantonment boards have failed to fulfil mandate: CAG

    Vijay Mohan,Tribune News Service,Chandigarh, December 20

    Most cantonment boards have failed to fulfil their stipulated mandate of executing government schemes and providing the required civic amenities to residents in these areas.A test check of 17 cantonment boards (CBs) by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has revealed that during 2009-14, barring one board, none of the 17 CBs had prepared and implemented town planning schemes, plans for economic development and social justice in their respective areas.There are 62 cantonments located in 19 states across the country. The main functions of these are broadly the same as those of municipal bodies in towns.Section 62 of the Cantonments Act 2006 stipulates that it shall be the duty of every board to make reasonable provisions for civic amenities in their areas. The CB is headed by a chief executive officer, who is independent of the Army and is the civil executive interface of the civil population.None of the CBs provided all 24 types of civic services, mandated under the Cantonments Act, to its residents and no central government schemes applicable in the CBs for uplift of the poor and provision of infrastructure facilities were implemented in the cantonments.The CAG, in its latest report, has also pointed out that the position regarding revenue generation was also not encouraging as the CBs were unable to optimize revenue generation through taxes and non-taxes, leading to their increased dependency on grant-in-aid from the Ministry of Defence.This, CAG observed, was mainly due to non-revision of taxes every five years, recovery of property tax at a lower than the stipulated rate and non-levy of vehicle entry tax and various other factors.

    Schemes fail to take off

    • A Comptroller and Auditor General report says barring one of 17 boards examined, none had prepared or implemented town planning schemes, plans for economic development and social justice
    • There are 62 cantonments across 19 states and function just like municipal bodies in towns
    • The boards are responsible for making provisions for civic amenities in their areas
    • But none of these provided all 24 types of civic services, mandated under the Cantonments Act, to its residents, said the report

    Army holds seminar on human rights issues

    Tribune News Service,Jammu, December 18

    The White Knight Corps today organised a seminar on human rights at Sangha Auditorium in Akhnoor subdivision of Jammu district.Centered on the theme, “Human Rights issues and their impact on the security forces — the road ahead”, the seminar was an effort by the Army to increase awareness about issues related to human rights and generate new ideas through mutual exchange of experiences and thoughts of eminent participants at the seminar, said a Defence spokesperson.In his keynote address, the GOC, 16 Corps, Lieutenant General RR Nimbhorkar, highlighted the methodology with which the Army approached counter-insurgency and how upholding of human rights fit in the paradigm.Speaking of J&K in specific, Lieutenant General RR Nimbhorkar said as the ground situation had improved, Army operations had evolved in sync with refinement in the Army’s thinking, operating procedures and rules of engagement.Speakers at the seminar were Justice Cyriac Joseph (retd), Acting Chairman of National Human Rrights Commission Nitin Gokhale, Vrinda Grover, Lt Gen SA Hasnain (retd) and Col Ranjit Singh (retd).


    5 new Chandigarh-Doon Volvo buses from today

    Tribune News Service,Dehradun, December 17

    As many as five new Volvo buses will be plying between Uttarakhand and Chandigarh beginning Friday.Uttarakhand Transport Corporation general manager Deepak Jain said the Chandigarh Transport Department had given the no objection certificate (NOC) to the state transport corporation following which five new Volvo buses would start plying between Uttarakhand and Chandigarh from tomorrow.Jain said the Uttarakhand Transport Corporation had been holding a series of meetings with the Chandigarh Transport Department in the past. The latest letter was sent to the Chandigarh Transport Commissioner for the NOC, which was finally granted.While four Volvo buses would be plying between Dehradun and Chandigarh, one bus would ply between Haldwani and Chandigarh. A large number of people would be benefitted with these buses, he said. Referring to the schedule of the buses, Jain said the bus plying between Haldwani and Chandigarh would leave Dehradun for Chandigarh at 6.30 am while it would return from Chandigarh to Dehradun at 2.25 pm.The first Volvo bus from Dehradun would depart for Chandigarh at 7.30 am and would start from Chandigarh for Dehradun at 1.30 pm. The second bus would depart from Dehradun at 10 pm whereas the same bus will depart from Chandigarh at 6.50 am.The third and fourth buses would reach the final destination, Katra, from Dehradun via Chandigarh. These two buses will depart for Katra from Dehradun at 6 pm and on return would reach Chandigarh at 2 am from Katra.The Schedule

    • The bus plying between Haldwani and Chandigarh will leave Dehradun for Chandigarh at 6.30 am while it will  return from Chandigarh at 2.25 pm.
    • The first Volvo bus from Dehradun will depart for Chandigarh at 7.30 am and start return journey at 1.30 pm. The second bus will leave Dehradun at 10 pm and return at 6.50 am.
    • The third and fourth buses will reach the final destination, Katra, from Dehradun via Chandigarh. These two buses will depart for Katra from Dehradun at 6 pm and on return would reach Chandigarh at 2 am from Katra.

    Baglihar reservoir cause for concern

    Amir Karim Tantray,Tribune News Service.Jammu, December 17

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    Call it a deliberate attitude of the government to remain unaware of the fallout of the Baglihar hydroelectric project reservoir or inability of officers to deal the situation, uncertainty is increasing in the twin districts of Doda and Kishtwar, where the threat of a huge disaster is becoming a major concern for the populace.This 900-MW power project is fast turning the area into a no-habitation zone with huge mountains ‘merging’ into the Chenab slowly and steadily.The stagnant water has started to show its effects with loose soil becoming its first victim. Water has entered deep inside the mountains with the area being home to different kinds of stone, including lime and gypsum, for which water is a great threat.Soil erosion had started within months of the creation of the reservoir and sinking of a portion of a 100-metre road near Assar in January 2009 was its first evidence. Since then, rock after rock and mountain after mountain started to feel the heat. Soil erosion is fast turning the area into a death zone.“This was bound to happen as the government did not pay any heed to our report in 1997 when we called for taking remedial measures before starting the project. This report is gathering dust in government offices and no action has been taken,” said GM Bhat, a geological expert.Construction on the state-owned Baglihar project near the Chanderkote area of Ramban district was started in 1999. In October 2008, the 450-MW first phase was commissioned, which was inaugurated by then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. On November 7 this year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the 450-MW second phase and made the project fully functional.The threat seems to be increasing with time as water can lead to localised earthquakes in the near future. The area already falls under Seismic Zone V and violating natural norms adds to the threat.“The fault line passes through the area and water entering the mountains can lead to earthquakes. Though the process has not started yet, it cannot be ignored. It can start any moment in the future, but we cannot tell the exact time for want of instruments and technology,” Bhat cautioned.He said a major disaster like an earthquake of magnitude of above 7 on the Richter scale could break the dam wall and the area downstream would be nowhere.The Baglihar power project authorities and the Power Development Department are not willing to accept this fact. They feel that the soil erosion occurring in the area is not due to the reservoir.“The Baglihar project reservoir has nothing to do with soil erosion and sinking of land in the upper reaches. Even if it is due to the reservoir, the impact cannot be more than 50 metres. The widespread road network which is coming up in the area has led to the sinking of the road,” said Abdul Wahid, Chief Engineer, Baglihar project.“If these experts have anything to say about the project and its fallout, they should share it us and the higher authorities. I am not buying the argument that the Baglihar reservoir is responsible for the damage,” he said.Elected representatives of the erstwhile Doda district have failed to take up the issue at the highest level and take it to its logical end. Despite being a part of the government, several elected members failed to convince the high-ups that the Baglihar project was becoming a threat to the area. Local residents have expressed concern over the impending disaster, but there is nobody to listen to them.“The Baglihar project may have given a boost to the state’s economy, but it has surely added to the misery of people of the erstwhile Doda district. We are living on a potential time bomb which can explode anytime, causing extensive damage to the region,” said Syed Asim Hashmi, president, Bar Association, Doda.“If any such thing happens, it will not only have an impact in our area, but the area downstream will be affected as well. The state has behaved like a chronic capitalist which has failed to address the issues and pay back royalty to people and the region,” he said.


    Western Command remembers martyrs

    PANCHKULA: As part of the Vijay Diwas celebrations, a wreathlaying ceremony was held at the Veer Smriti at the Western Command headquarters here on Wednesday.

    Lieutenant General KJ Singh, General Officer Commanding-inChief, and all ranks of Western Command, General VP Malik, ex-chief of armystaff andalarge number of veterans and serving soldiers laid wreaths in honour of valiant martyrs.

    A befitting tribute was also paid to the renowned war hero of 1971 War, 2nd Lt Arun Khetrapal, by Lt Gen KJ Singh, Army Commander, Western Command, Lt Gen SR Ghosh (retd), former-Army Commander and the senior veterans and officers, JCOs and jawans of 17 Poona Horse, at Khetrapal Memorial in Chandimandir Military Station.

    MARTYRS’ KIN HONOURED

    Kin of tricity martyrs were also felicitated by Anita Singh, regional president, Army Wives Welfare Association (AWWA).

    The day is celebrated to commemorate the spectacular victory achieved by the Indian Armed Forces on both the Eastern as well as Western fronts in 1971. It was on this day 43 years ago that over 90,000 Pakistani troops surrendered to Indian armed forces, which resulted in creation of Bangladesh.

    SERVING, RETIRED DEFENCE PERSONNEL FELICITATED

    Senior citizens marked Vijay Divas in a novel way by felicitating the serving and retired defence personnel during a function organised at Manekshaw Auditorium, Chandimandir, to recognise their selfless services in protecting the integrity, honour and dignity of the nation.

    President of the Chandigarh Senior Citizens’ Association Daljit Singh Grewal, in his welcome speech, lauded the role played by defence services in protecting integrity of the nation through round-the-clock vigil and preparedness for any eventuality – be it against external aggression, internal disorder or to provide succor during natural calamities..

    A special feature of the programme was honouring of 10 veterans and serving soldiers under various categories. Lt Gen KJ Singh, in his address, praised the association for its activities in looking after interests of elderly and ensuring that senior citizens continue to play an active part in the society. He particularly appreciated its role in the field of healthcare, women empowerment and adult literacy.


    OROP AWARENESS :WATCH YOU TUBE: CLICK LINK TO OPEN

     

    Part 1 is by Maj Gen OP Sabharwal( Retd )

    P 3 and 4 are by Lt.Gen OP Kaushik.
    These videos are uploaded primarily to create awareness and acquaint maximum people with the ABCD of One Rank One Pension Issue of the ExServicemen.

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    One Rank One Pension | The Truth and more | Part 1

    https://youtu.be/QxZv9oLy2is

    breakl line

    One Rank One Pension | The Truth and more | Part 2

    https://youtu.be/H8KilegdmPw

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    One Rank One Pension | The Truth and more | Part 3

    https://youtu.be/9HCpbD_mrwY

    breakl line

    One Rank One Pension | The Truth and more | Part 4

    https://youtu.be/x0MWOZORDfk

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    OROP1

    OROP2


    Army XI lift football title

    Tribune News Service,Dehradun, December 13

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    The Army XI, Bangalore, team with the 4th Narendra Singh Kharola Memorial All-India Football Tournament trophy in Dehradun on Sunday. Tribune photo: Abhyudaya Kotnala

    Army XI, Bangalore, clinched the trophy of the 4th Narendra Singh Kharola Memorial All-India Football Tournament by defeating ONGC, Mumbai, 2-1 in the final played here today.The ONGC team dominated the first half of the game with Enock Annan scoring the first goal in the 6th minute.Boby Chand of the Army XI team scored the second goal in the 34th minute of the game and Ajit Kumar scored the winning goal in the 52nd minute of the game.Avdesh Chaudhry, president of the Volleyball Federation of India, gave away prizes to the winners.


    Afghan cadets excel in passing-out parade

    Himanshu Kumar Lall,Tribune News Service,Dehradun, December 12

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    Two Nepalese cadets who passed out as officers at the IMA in Dehradun on Saturday. Tribune photo: Vinod Pundir
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    General Dalbir Singh Suhag pip stars on the shoulders of foreign cadets after the passing-out parade at the Indian Military Academy in Dehradun on Saturday. Tribune photo: Vinod Pundir

    Out of 50 Foreign Gentleman Cadets (FGCs), who participated in the passing-out parade, the maximum number of them (31) were from Afghanistan, followed by Tajikistan (10). Six FGCs were from Maldives, two from Sri Lanka and one from Nepal.Nabin Shrestha from Nepal was adjudged the best cadet. Anwesh Gurung from Nepal said training helps in the overall development of a cadet. “Rigorous training, sports, drill and map-reading, extra-curricular activities shape the personality of an individual,” he added.Jawad Ehsani from Afghanistan said the training at the IMA would help them neutralise terrorists in their country. He would share warfare techniques and counter-insurgency skills with his fellow officers when he joins the Afghan army. Similar feelings were expressed by cadet Hadir Rasa from Afghanistan.FGC Adam Naseem from Maldives said the training schedule of the IMA for transforming young men to vibrant Army officers was the best in the world. Every cadet was mentally and physically groomed during the pre-commission training.According to Naseem, the life of a Gentleman Cadet at the IMA was a tough one but it helped us to cope up with challenges in life.FGC Dima from Tajikistan said the training at the IMA was scientifically-evolved and special focus was laid on the overall development of a cadet. He said the pre-commission training helps to improve cadets’ strength, endurance and swiftness.It may be recalled that 1,863 FGCs have passed out from the portals of the IMA so far.


    NSA, Modi-Sharif talks to run parallel

    NEW DELHI: With prime ministers Narendra Modi and Nawaz Sharif deciding in Paris last month to take the Indo-Pak dialogue process forward, talks between the national security advisers will now run parallel to the comprehensive bilateral dialogue between the neighbouring countries.

    The two mechanisms will also be linked to the progress made by Islamabad on its commitment to cooperate in the fight against terrorism and expedite the 26/11 trial, official said. The twin-track process may come up for bilateral review by the two PMs on the sidelines of the SAARC regional summit in Islamabad next year.

    After a green signal from the PMs, a successful meeting in Bangkok between NSA Ajit Doval and his Pakistani counterpart, Lt Gen Nasir Khan Janjua, prepared the ground for talks between the foreign ministers and the revival of the comprehensive dialogue in a sign of thawing ties. Sources said first Doval and then external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj made it amply clear that Islamabad would have to move fast to conclude the 26/11 trial as public perception in India about the neighbouring nation was coloured by the Mumbai attacks, which bore the imprints of both Pakistan’s state machinery and the LeT terror group. When the two NSAs met in Bangkok, Doval apparently asked Janjua to produce proof of Indian agencies working against Pakistan or even indicate if any Indian had been incarcerated for terror crimes in that country.

    Doval explained India’s concerns at length, citing examples of various terrorists and “a Karachibased mafia don” who were supported by the Pakistani establishment. Islamabad should not live in denial about Pakistan-sponsored terrorism in India as no less than 70 of its nationals are in Indian jails on terror charges and another 3,000 have been killed, he said.

    Sources said Janjua heard “with positivity” Indian suggestions that evidence collected by Mumbai police should be made admissible in the 26/11 trial in Islamabad as both countries agree that the attack and conspiracy were hatched in Pakistan. It was also suggested that Pakistan should take action against the four terrorists sitting in the 26/11 control room, whose voices have been identified based on Indian communication intercepts. No dossiers were exchanged between the NSAs as the two sides decided to hammer out all key issues.

    Though Indian opposition parties have criticised the Narendra Modi government for allowing the “Kashmir” word to enter the NSA-level dialogue, importantly, the ground situation on terrorism, cross-border firing and the Kashmiri separatist Hurriyat group’s past links with terrorist organisations were discussed at the meeting. While India allowed the reference to Kashmir, NSA Janjua indicated that Pak army action would not remain confined to terrorists operating on the Durand Line separating his country with Afghanistan but would also focus on its eastern borders with India.

    India and Pakistan have agreed to hold a comprehensive bilateral dialogue on outstanding issues, including terrorism and Kashmir
    KEY POINTS

    THE WORD ‘comprehensive’ replaces ‘composite’ in the structured dialogue between the two sides. The comprehensive dialogue will have the eight baskets of issues that were part of the earlier composite dialogue, and two additional components. Two new components are humanitarian issues and religious tourism. Already on the table were peace and security, confidence-building measures, Jammu and Kashmir, Siachen, Sir Creek, Wullar barrage/Tulbul navigation project, economic and commercial cooperation, counter-terrorism, narcotics control and people-to-people contacts.

    HT FILEThe comprehensive dialogue will have eight baskets of issues that were part of the earlier composite dialogue.

    FOR THE first time, the two national security advisers will play a key role in talks. The joint statement said Swaraj and Aziz had noted the successful talks on terrorism and security-related issues by the NSAs in Bangkok and decided that the “NSAs will continue to address all issues connected to terrorism”. Under the composite dialogue format, terrorism was handled by the foreign secretaries.

    PAKISTAN HAS assured India of the steps being taken to expedite the early conclusion of the Mumbai attack trial. THERE IS no green signal yet to cricketing ties between the two nations. Pakistan Cricket Board chief Shahryar Khan was quoted in the local media as saying that India “did not respond positively” to proposals for a bilateral cricket series.