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Himachal Pradesh

Great Himalayan National Park Conservation Area added in World Heritage list

India’s Great Himalayan National Park Conservation Area (GHNPCA), has been inscribed on the World Heritage List as per Criterion (X) of UNESCO Guidelines. The Criterion X is “To contain the most important and significant natural habitats for in-situ conservation of biological diversity, including those containing threatened species of outstanding universal value from the point of view of science or conservation.” 

The Great Himalayan National Park Conservation Area (GHNPCA):

Location: Kullu District, Himachal Pradesh, India

Area and Rivers: 905.40 sq km, includes the upper mountain glacial and snow melt water source origins of the westward flowing JiwaNal, Sainj and Tirthan Rivers and the north-westward flowing Parvati River.

Located at the convergence of Oriental and Palaearctic realms, GHNP offers a unique opportunity for the species from both biogeographic regions to flourish, propagate and evolve. Several rare and threatened species including the Western Tragopan, Himalayan Tahr,Chir Pheasant, Asiatic Black Bear, Snow Leopard, Himalayan Musk Deer, Blue Sheep and Serow inhabit in this area. Around 25 threatened IUCN Red-listed plant species have been registered from the park. The area has more than 35 peaks of greater than 5000m and two greater than 6000m. The boundaries of GHNP are also adjoining the recently established (2010) Khirganga National Park, the Pin Valley National Park in trans-Himalaya, Rupi-Bhabha Wildlife Sanctuary in Sutlej watershed and Kanawar Wildlife Sanctuary (61 sq km).

Founder of Himalayan mineral water Dadi Balsara passed away

Dadi Balsara (81) who founded Himalayan natural mineral water brand passed away at his home “Taj Mansingh Hotel” in Delhi.

Dadi Balsara:

He started his career as an LIC officer in Nagpur on a monthly pay of Rs 600. He later tried his hand in different careers and went to the US to study psychiatry on a scholarship.  Though he obtained a doctorate, his practice did not take off.
Later, a Japanese television channel decided to host Balsara’s holistic lifestyle programmes.  His shows — “You & your destiny” and “Power of the mind” — became quite a hit and money started coming. Balsara later settled in Singapore and began selling perfumes, earning the title “Perfumes king of Asia”.

In 1991, he invested $20 million to set up the largest natural mineral water plant in Dhaula Kuan in Himachal Pradesh. Under the Himalayan brand manufactured by his Mount Everest Mineral Water Limited. In 2001, Tata Global Beverages acquired Himalayan brand, which marked the company’s venture into the packaged water market.

Even after selling Himalayan to Tata, Balsara he continued his relationship with the celebrated business house by becoming their hospitality brand’s long-standing guest at their Taj Mansingh hotel and had been residing there since the hotel’s inauguration 36 years ago.

BHEL commissions Rampur Hydro Electric Project in Himachal Pradesh

Government-owned power equipment manufacturer Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL) commissioned 68 MW Unit at the Rampur Hydro Electric Project in Himachal Pradesh. With this, BHEL has commissioned four units of the 412 MW hydro power plant of SJVN Limited.

Rampur hydel project has been built on River Satluj in Himachal Pradesh – 120 km from Shimla. In this project BHEL contributed in supply, construction and commissioning of turbines, generators, Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition system (SCADA), associated station auxiliaries, Gas Insulated Switchgear (GIS) and other electrical and mechanical machinery.

“Rani-ki-Vav and GHNP” nominated by India for UNESCO’s World Heritage Site Status 2014

India nominated Rani-ki-Vav and the Great Himalayan National Park (GHNP) for UNESCO’s World Heritage Site Status for 2014. The World Heritage Committee will convene in Doha, Qatar, in June 2014 to review the nomination and take a final decision.

Process to confirm World Heritage status

Only countries that have signed the World Heritage Convention and pledged to protect their natural and cultural heritage, can submit nomination proposals for properties on their territory to be considered for inclusion in UNESCO’s World Heritage List.

The nomination process for selecting World Heritage site:

  • Tentative List: Countries create an inventory of potential monuments and natural sites and include them in the Tentative List.
  • The Nomination File: The concern department in particular country selects a few sites and nominates them for final inscription, every year to the World Heritage centre. The centre sends it to the Advisory bodies, the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) and the World Conservation Union (IUCN) for evaluation mandate by the World Heritage Convention.
  • Advisory Bodies: UNESCO appoints advisory committees to evaluate the nominations.
  • World Heritage Committee: Once a site has been nominated and evaluated, the intergovernmental World Heritage Committee meets to decide which sites will be inscribed on the World Heritage list.

About Rani-ki-Vav

  • Location: Patan, Gujarat.
  • Constructed by Queen Udayamati of the Solanki dynasty.
  • The 11th century stepwell and is one of the finest examples of stepwells in Gujarat.
  • The well is subterranean structure with a series of steps, board landings, pavilions and sculpted walls which provides access to water in deep water.  It is of seven storeys with five exist and there are more than 800 elaborate sculptures which are survived. This is a protected monument under the Archeological Survey of India. 

About Great Himalayan National Park (GHNP)

  • Location: Kullu region in Himachal Pradesh.
  • Established: 1984 and declared as National Park in 1999.
  • Area: 452 sq mi.
  • Known for its biodiversity and has more than 25 forest types, 800 kinds of plants and is home to more than 180 bird species.
  • Habitat to numerous flora and more than 375 fauna species that comprises nearly around 31 mammals, 181 birds, 3 reptiles, 9 amphibians, 11 annelids, 17 mollusks and 127 insects.

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