Sunday, May 16, 2010

Chardham Yatra for Safety of Pilgrims


Sensing trouble owing to a series of low-intensity earthquakes that struck the Uttarakhand hills recently the State government has directed officials to initiate all necessary measures required for the safety of pilgrims before the famed Chardham Yatra (pilgrimage) commences on May 16.

Badrinath Chardham Yatra Incidentally, the Char Dhams fall in the geologically volatile high altitude region of the Uttarakhand Himalayas. This whole region has been categorised as "Zone V" owing to its susceptibility to seismic events. "Char Dhams" or four fabled religious destinations of Hindus are namely Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamnotri.

Besides, the entire "Char Dhams" circuit owing to its mountainous terrain is also highly prone to road accidents.

"In view of these factors we have directed the officials to initiate all necessary measures required for the safety of thousands of pilgrims who will be visiting the hallowed Char Dhams in the next six months," said Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Disaster Management Khajan Das.

He informed that besides the ex-gratia fund meant for victims of road accidents and natural disasters the Department of Disaster Management has already released to the districts, it (Department of Disaster Management) has also been directed to immediately release an extra fund of Rs 1 crore to the District Magistrates.

"Besides, in view of a series of low-intensity earthquakes that struck the region recently the Department of Disaster Management and district authorities have also been put on alert to deal with any such event if it occurs during the Yatra period," he said.

Saying that in that connection rescue and relief centres are active in eight districts he said the officials concerned "have been directed to expedite the process of setting up similar centres in other five districts as well, so that immediate relief could be provided to affected people in case earthquakes or such disasters strike the Chardham circuits in the coming months.

"Besides, equipment required to carry out rescue and relief operations have also been made available at the Tehsil level as well," Das said.


Thursday, May 6, 2010

Uttarakhand's Scientists use Cow Urine for Apiculture


Nainital (Uttarakhand), May 6 (ANI): Apiculturists in Uttarakhand are making use of cow urine to prevent bees from contacting microbial diseases during the rearing process.

Researchers at the Govind Ballabh Pant University of Agriculture and Technology in Pantnagar have taken to using cow urine extensively while breeding honeybees.

"This is proving to be a sure-shot treatment for the honeybee rearing. Also, when one can get four percent increase in profits by the use of cow urine, what else does anyone want? Honeybee helps in the production and from the last two years, their population had decreased. Despite using medicines and pesticides, there was no increase in their population. The honeybee keepers are now totally depending upon cow urine," said Ruchira Tiwari, a researcher at the Govind Vallabh Agricultural University.

In the course of rearing, bees are kept in fixed-frame boxes for better commercial extraction of honey, which makes them susceptible to microbial diseases during the process.

The medicines used for killing the microbes have had a bad effect on the production of larvae but cow urine does not have such side-effects.

"Medicines used to cost us a lot. The expenditure of medicines and other pesticides was very high. Cow urine is free and further, there is an increase in profit by three to four percent," said Puran Chandra Joshi, a beekeeper.

An average bee colony yields about 10-15 kilograms of honey, which is produced by 20,000 to 60,000 bees.

Bees being fast breeders lay as many as 800 to 3,000 eggs daily, which help breeders multiply their flock and yield without any expenditure. They also get beeswax as an additional by-product.

Honey has numerous uses such as medicine, food and an ingredient in various compounds. It is also an excellent medium for vitamins.


Monday, May 3, 2010

Badri-Kedar University to come up in Himalayas


Kotdwar (Uttarakhand), May 3 (PTI) Sri Badrinath - Kedarnath temple committee, responsible for the management of two famous Hindu shrines, will set up an university here.

A proposal in this regard was passed by the temple committee unanimously in a recent meeting, Temple Committee Chairman Anusuiya Prasad Bhatt today said, adding the proposal has been sent to the Uttarakhand government for its approval.

The University, being christened as Badri-Kedar University, would be nestled in the Garhwal Himalayas and impart degrees in various religious subjects like Vedas, Purans, Brahm Nirupan, Srishti Vigyan, Adhyatmic Vigyan, Jyotish, Bhakti and Medical Education, Bhatt said.

The varsity will be managed by the temple committee, while talks with experts and educationists were going on to finalize other modalities, including the land and estimated expenditure, he said.