|Friday, January 28, 2000,
10 cr earmarked for Chamba roads
Rs 10 cr earmarked for Chamba
CHAMBA, Jan 27 The Himachal Pradesh Government has earmarked Rs 10 crore under the "backward area sub-plan" for strengthening the road network in the militancy-infested borderland of Chamba district adjoining Jammu and Kashmir during the current fiscal year.
Speaking to newspersons here yesterday, Mr Mohinder Singh, State Public Works Department Minister said two major bridges would be taken up for construction, besides development of roads to link up inaccessible areas of Chamba district.
The PWD Minister said to keep a strict vigil on the sensitive areas, the state government had already decided to construct four helipads at Satrundi, Bhanjradu, Khundi Mural and Salooni for the aerial recce of the area.
He said the work on the Bhanjradu helipad would be started soon as the state government had already sanctioned Rs 40 lakh for its construction. He further said the land for Satrundi helipad had been acquired by the government whereas the process to acquire land for Khundi Mural and Salooni helipads was in the pipeline.
The minister said snow on the Dalhousie-Khajjiar highway would be cleared to resume traffic.
Refuting the allegations of the Congress concerning unemployment, he said the state government was committed to provide employment to the unemployed. About 2,000 labourers had already been absorbed in the Public Works Department.
Regarding the Solan
Assembly seats, Mr Mohinder Singh asserted that the
Himachal Vikas Congress (HVC) had already staked that it
would field Mr Mohinder Thakur. He said the claim
regarding this had been submitted to the national high
command of the BJP for consideration and he hoped that
the BJP would definitely take a wise decision.
CM leaves no trail of
DHARAMSALA, Jan 27 The usual trail of promises to woo the people of this area, was missing during the recently concluded winter sojourn of the Chief Minister, Mr P.K. Dhumal, to Kangra.
This was contrary to the expectations of the people of Kangra, who are used to being "pampered" during the winter tours of Chief Minister. It was Mr Virbhadra Singh, who had started the tradition of moving along with important officials to Kangra and Chamba districts for a fortnight in the winter.
Though Mr Dhumal was averse to the winter move, but it was out of political compulsion that he was forced to carry on the tradition. This year too he spent about 10 days in Kangra, the biggest district comprising 16 Assembly constituencies.
Surprisingly, Mr Dhumal refrained from making major announcements or accepting the demands placed before him in the areas he toured. "No doubt the poor financial position of the State prevented him from doing so, but it is a good thing that he laid more stress on the completion and expediting of the ongoing works," admitted a Congress leader.
The Chief Minister, held a number of meetings to review the progress of the schemes he had announced last year and sent a very strong signal that he would not accept unnecessary delays, which led to cost escalation, which Himachal cannot afford.
Though, the Chief Minister held a number of official meetings, but the people were seen complaining that he did not devote much time to hearing their grievances. The number of public meetings he addressed this time was also less than his previous winter sojourn.
Interestingly, it is Palampur, the home town of the Union Minister, Mr Shanta Kumar, which has benefited the maximum. It is common knowledge that Mr Dhumal and Mr Shanta Kumar, are rivals, who are at the moment engaged in a fierce tussle over the allotment of the party ticket for the Solan byelection. This is one reason, which forced the Chief Minister to rush to Delhi for a day in between his winter tour of Kangra. In Kangra, it was the issue of ticket allotment which kept the Chief Minister occupied.
With the intention of making a dent in Kangra, the citadel of Mr Shanta Kumar, the Chief Minister held the statehood day function at Palampur. It was on this occasion, that he assured the people that the super specialised Appolo project along with the medical college, would soon be set up at Holta, near Palampur. He also laid the foundation stone of the 15 MW-Neugal power project, to be set up at a cost of Rs 91 crore near Palampur.
One of the major Cabinet decision, granting the OBC status to the 6,670 residents of the Chotta Bhangal and Bara Bhangal area of the Baijnath constituency, was also taken with the intention of strengthening his base in the Baijnath area.
During his stay in Kangra, the Chief Minister was most of the time accompanied by Shanta Kumar loyalists like Mr Vidyasagar, Mr Ramesh Chand, Mr Kishan Kapoor and Mrs Shraveen Chaudhary. His own supporter, Mr Rakesh Pathania, was present only during the functions in Nurpur, which is his constituency. Mr Rajan Sushant Revenue Minister, was absent during the winter stay from Kangra, as he was out of the State.
Virbhadra: govt has gone bankrupt
JAWALAMUKHI, Jan 27 The former Chief Minister, Mr Virbhadra Singh has claimed that the BJP-HVC Government led by Mr Prem Kumar Dhumal is "under grave financial crises" and the Government has become "bankrupt". Withdrawals from GPF accounts had also been banned for the past several weeks, he said.
While addressing mediapersons here today, Mr Virbhadra Singh said the BJP leaders used to raise a hue and cry when the previous Congress Government took loans to give a boost to development work in the state. But now the BJP-HVC state government was also doing the same. The Dhumal government had gone in for market borrowing to the tune of Rs 800 crore apart from raising funds though boards and corporations.
He alleged that economic measures announced recently by the state government were an eyewash as ministers, chairmen and vice-chairmen of boards and corporations were still making extravagant expenditure.
On the Rs 300 crore provided by the Prime Minister to the Himachal Government, Mr Virbhadra Singh claimed that this amount was actually a part of the state's funds and not aid from the centre. He added that the state government had got Rs 200 crore from the Centre at time of the Lok Sabha elections, but this was Himachal's share in the Central government taxes paid one month in advance.
Mr Virbhadra Singh
challenged Prof Dhumal to publish a White Paper on the
financial position of the state during the past
one-and-a-half years, giving details of the loans and
funds being raised by the government.
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