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HP schools to remain closed till 4 Sept

The decision was taken in the Cabinet meeting held here today under the chairmanship of chief minister Jai Ram Thakur.

SNS | Shimla |

The Himachal Pradesh government on Tuesday decided to further close the schools in the state till 4 September in view of the rise in Covid cases in the state since 26 July.

The decision was taken in the Cabinet meeting held here today under the chairmanship of chief minister Jai Ram Thakur.

State parliamentary affairs minister Suresh Bhardwaj said the schools will remain closed till 4 September while teaching and non-teaching staff will continue to attend schools.

Earlier, the state government had extended closure of schools till 28 August.

Bhardwaj stated that further decision to open the schools will be taken in September which will depend on Covid situation in the state.

“A presentation was also made on Covid-19 situation in the state and preparedness to effectively tackle the possible third Covid wave, though the number of active cases have now decreased to 2,000 from earlier over 2,500,” he added.

He stated that the Cabinet had decided to fill up 4,000 posts of different categories of teachers including 820 posts of drawing teachers and 870 posts of physical education teacher posts in the education department.

Out of these 4,000 posts, 2,640 posts of teachers would be filled in the elementary education department, and 1360 posts in the higher education department will be filled up on contract basis to ensure quality education to the students near to their homes.

The Cabinet had also decided that batchwise recruitment for different posts of teachers should be expedited, Bhardwaj said.

He further stated that the Cabinet approved the draft negotiation package of the urban development department with the World Bank and Union Ministry of Finance for funding Shimla Water Supply and Sewerage Services Delivery Program.

This was being done for improvement of water supply services in the Greater Shimla area for financial assistance from the World Bank with a total financial outlay of 250 million dollars (Rs 1,813 Crore).

Out of 250 million dollars (Rs 1,813 Crore), the World Bank will provide financial assistance to the tune of Rs 1160.32 crore and the rest amount of Rs 652.68 crore will be borne by the state government.

The Cabinet authorized the principal secretary, urban development department to finalize and sign the negotiation package with the World Bank.

The main components of the Shimla Water Supply and Sewerage Project are augmentation of Shimla Water Supply from river Satluj with additional 67 MLD to meet the water demand upto year 2050.

It will also ensure bulk water supply to Shimla peri-urban areas to meet the water demand of Special Area Development Authorities (SADA) Kufri, Shoghi, Ghanahatti and additional planning areas up to the year 2050.

The plan will aim to provide 24X7 water supply to all domestic and commercial consumers within Shimla municipal corporation area and improved sewerage services within the MC area.

The project envisages lifting water from Satluj near village Shakrodi, involving lifting to a height of 1.6 km and pipe laying of 22 km to augment 67 MLD water at Sanjauli.

The project also seeks to replace the distribution pipe network across MC Shimla to upgrade it to a 24×7 water supply system.

Additionally, the sewerage network in areas of Mehli-Panthaghati, Totu and Mashobra will be provided.

This will be a flagship project for the State as it seeks to provide best in class water supply and sewerage systems in Shimla that will cater to requirements of the town up to year 2050.

The urban development development has been able to secure this funding from the World Bank and Union Finance ministry despite fiscal constraints posed due to Covid, he added.

The Cabinet also decided in principle to extend benefits of retirement gratuity and death gratuity to the employees of urban local bodies who had been covered under the New Pension Scheme.