Shimla, Sept 22 (UNI) Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh today warned of strict action against people displaying ''press'' stickers on their vehicles, while not being given accredition by the state's Department of Public Relations and Information (DPR) "Necessary directions have been issued to the authorities for the implementation of the orders and ensure misuse of press stickers," he said in his meeting with the executive committee of the National Union of Journalism here.
Mr Singh said action was being taken following misuse of the press stickers by people who were not working journalists from various parts of the state.
The government would ascertain the genuineness of such stickers, failing which strict action would be taken against such unauthorised users, he said.
He said the Director of Information and Public Relations would be the nodal agency to issue the signed stickers to the working journalists subject to renewal annually.
Effective steps would also be taken to check the stickers on all vehicles entering the state from the adjoining states, he said.
The Chief Minister also directed the deputy commissioners, superintendants of police, sub-divisional magistrates and deputy superintendants of police to meet the local press at least once a month and reply to the querries of the media persons.
The local press should be provided information about the ongoing developmental activities in the respective areas so that people of the area were kept posted with the status of developmental projects, he said.
He said frequent interactions with the media persons would go a long way in removing various apprehensions and misconceptions about government activities.
The Himachal Government was encouraging developmental journalism and was awarding them for their developmental stories at national, state and district level with a citation and cash awards of Rs 25,000, Rs 20,000 and Rs 15,000 respectively, he said.
He said the State Press Accreditation and Press Advisory Committees constituted by the government were being consulted to carry various journalist welfare related activities.
Taking into consideration the economic condition of the deceased journalists, the Himachal Government would provide ex-gratia grant of Rs one lakh each to the next of the kin of late Shabir Quereshi, correspondent of Indian Express from Bilaspur district and Sunil Kumar, correspondent of Dainik Tribune from Chamba district of the state.