Staff Correspondent

SHIMLA: The Himachal Pradesh Cabinet has decided to cancel allotment of seven small hydro-electric projects for not complying with the terms and conditions laid down in the MoU entered into with the State Government by independent power producers, forfeit their earnest money and bank guarantee for not starting the project construction work within the prescribed time frame.

The projects include Machhad-I, 3 MW; Machhad-II, 2 MW; Koot, 5 MW, in Shimla district; Anu, 2 MW; Chennari, 3 MW and Bakhli, 4.5 MW, in Mandi district; and Moujhi-III, 2.5 MW in Kangra district. It has been decided to invite proposals for the same.

The Cabinet also approved bringing of 14,766 new old age, widows, handicapped and leprosy patients under the Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme from April 1, 2008, thereby raising the number of such beneficiaries in the State to 252,048 and disburse among them Rs.105 crore annually as pensioner benefits.

New pensioners will receive arrears totalling Rs.4.5 crore for 10 months of the current financial year.

The Cabinet decided to grant permission for setting up 23 B.Sc. Nursing and General Nursing Midwifery (GNM) courses in the private sector with an intake capacity of 400 in B.Sc. Nursing and 960 in GNM courses to meet the need for skilled manpower to man health institutions in a professional manner.

The Cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Dhumal also gave its approval for introduction of the Himachal Pradesh Sports (Registration, Recognition and Regulation of Associations) Repeal Bill, 2009, during the ensuing budget session of the State Assembly to maintain the autonomy of the associations in the State.