2012: Year of hectic political activity in Himachal

Dec 28 2012, 12:42 IST
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SummaryCongress defeated BJP in recently concluded Assembly elections.

amended Lokyukta Bill and appointed retired Supreme Court judge L S Panta as Lokayukta but civil society leaders disapproved of the bill and said it did not meet their aspirations.

In a landmark judgement, the Himachal High Court slapped a fine of Rs 100 crore on Jai Pralash Associates Limited for flouting environmental norms for setting up a cement plant and a captive power plant in Solan.

The court also struck down some provisions of the Himachal Pradesh Freedom of Religion Act, 2006, (anti- conversion law), terming these as violative of article 14 of the Constitution which guarantees equality before law to all citizens.

The government repealed the Apartment Act of 2005 and decided to incorporate its provisions in Town and Country planning Act as recommended by Benami Land commission which detected 126 cases of violation of section 118 of tenancy and land reforms Act.

The government suffered a setback as its ambitious plan to change police uniform from khaki to blue for image makeover fell flat with the Union government not giving its nod. The uniform was changed in January 2011 but policemen were back in khaki by the end of the year.

The Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association headed by Anurag Thakur, MP and son of former chief minister P K Dhumal, launched a vigorous campaign for getting the sprawling Annandale ground back from the Army but it flatly refused to part with the ground for strategic reasons.

While, the chief minister announced sops for every section of the society and was liberal in accepting the demands of employees and pensioners, power tariff went up by 13 per cent.

More than 200 people including 17 BRO personnel died in major road accidents in the state while excessive rains caused losses to the tune of Rs 350 crore.

The state imposed complete ban on sale of gutka and other tobacco products, signed MOU with Punjab government for construction of the Rs 85 crore Sri Naina Devi-Anandpur Ropeway with a span of 3,751 m and the ambitious Atal free school uniform scheme for providing free uniform to 9,28,365 school students was also launched.

Shimla Municipal Corporation imposed 'green tax' on vehicles registered outside the state for entering Shimla town.

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