Dehradun Diary

Express News Service
Mahakumbh from April 1, no speaical trains & buses

Mahakumbh 2021 will start on April 1 and conclude on April 30, said state government officials. They informed that no special trains will be run for the religious congregation, considering the Covid-19 situation.

Om Prakash, chief secretary, said: “Mahakumbh will start on April 1 and will conclude on April 30. There will be no special trains or buses without permission of Uttarakhand government.”

He added that the state has received 1.46 lakh Covid-19 vaccines, especially for the religious congregation. In the wake of Mahakumbh, the government had requested 2 lakh more. The Centre has granted 1.4 lakh.

Postal marketing boost for Basmati & bay leaves 

Uttarakhand Postal Circle will soon start delivery of Basmati rice and bay leaves, said officials. Both these Uttarakhand products are in high demand, but low on supply due to inadequate marketing opportunities in the hill state.

Chandrashekhar Pargai, chief postmaster of Haldwani post office in Naintal,  said: “The E-portal scheme of the postal department will provide marketing platform to farmers and business persons of the hills. Postal department will bear the responsibility of delivery at doorstep.”

The postal department has selected items from every state. From Uttarakhand, Basmati rice and Bay leaves were chosen. According to data from state agriculture department, over 10,000 farmers in Uttarakhand are into farming and production of bay leaves, also known as ‘tejpatta’.

Drone research centre at IIT Roorkey

A state-of-the-art Centre for Drone Research was inaugurated at Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee, last week. The objective of the initiative is to foster cutting-edge research and innovation.

Dr VK Saraswat, chief guest and member of NITI Aayog, said: “I would like to congratulate IIT Roorkee for this initiative. The drone segment has witnessed a surge in demand by leaps and bounds and is currently being harnessed by 50-60 academic institutions for developing a variety of applications.”

The initiative has secured a seed funding of Rs 100.38 lakh from the alumni of the 1994 batch.

HC upholds water tax on electricity generationUttarakhand High Court has upheld the Constitutional validity of Uttarakhand Water Tax on Electricity Generation Act, 2012, which was enacted by the state government to levy tax on water usage by companies establishing hydropower projects in the rivers of Uttarakhand. Stating that tax levied by the state government is a tax on generation of electricity and not on use of water, the court dismissed the petitions of six companies. The bench of Justice Lokpal Singh in its order dated February 12 stated:

“The purpose of enactment of a tax law by the state legislature is primarily for public interest and has to be used in the welfare of people. Pubic interest should not be sacrificed.”

Vineet Upadhyay

Our correspondent in Dehradun