Skilling centre in Uttarkashi
Uttarakhand will soon get a ‘Centre of Excellence for Skilling’ in Uttarkashi district. At a meeting between Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat and Union Minister Mahendra Nath Pandey, the decision to set up the institute was taken. A skill university will also come up to train youths of the hill state. The Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship will send experts for discussing avenues for promotion of skill development and entrepreneurship. The team will look into areas and aspects which require skill development such as wellness, healthcare, tourism and adventure sports.
Blood banks violating rules
A Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) report tabled in the recently concluded Uttarakhand Assembly revealed that out of 35 blood banks, a dozen are running without licence. It observed that blood banks operating without licence were in violation of rules, thereby risking the supply of unsafe blood. The report found improper screening of blood for HIV and a lack of regular inspection of blood banks. The licences of 12 blood banks — 12 govt and one privately run — were not renewed after the expiry in June 2018. Of these 13 blood banks, six were operating without licence for a period ranging from six months to two years. The Pithoragarh and Uttarkashi district hospitals were running without blood bank licences for 20 and over 10 years, respectively.
Workshops on ‘Keeda Jadi’
The forest department’s research wing organised workshops last week in Munsyari and Dharchula villages to spread awareness about ‘Keeda Jadi’ also known as Yarsa Gambu. The two villages were chosen as the locals of these regions go to alpine lands to collect ‘Keeda Jadi’ every year. The fungus is in heavy demand in the international market and fetches prices in lakhs of rupees per kilogram given its use as medicine, aphrodisiac and for various other purposes. Earlier, a study had reported that Keeda Jadi is not only a source of income for the villagers but also checks migration from hills.
UPCL proposes hike in power tariffs
The Uttarakhand Power Corporation Limited (UPCL) has proposed a 7.7 per cent hike in power tariffs from next year. The proposal was sent to the Uttarakhand Electricity Regularity Commission (UPCL) for its consideration. Citing no hike in past three years, UPCL officials said that the decision is necessary for the functioning of UPCL given the financial health of the corporation.
The proposed hike will help the UPCL to reach its revenue target of Rs 7,689 crore in financial year 2020-21. If approved, the hike will affect more than 25.5 lakh people, including BPL families.
Our correspondent in Dehradun