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Haryana

Posted at: Mar 14, 2018, 12:46 AM; last updated: Mar 14, 2018, 12:46 AM (IST)

Sparks fly over state’s contribution to Chandigarh airport

Sparks fly over state’s contribution to Chandigarh airport
Kuldeep Sharma, Congress MLA

Geetanjali Gayatri

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 13

Members of Treasury Benches and those of opposition parties sparred today over the state’s contribution to the Chandigarh international airport even as the government maintained that the proposal to develop the Hisar aerodrome as an international airport had not been dropped.

Replying to a question on the fate of the Hisar international airport during the Question Hour, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ram Bilas Sharma said that Rs 201 crore had been provided in the Budget for airport development in Haryana which was 610 per cent more than previous allocation.

BJP MLA Aseem Goel said that while the Budget for Haryana’s airports was indeed commendable, he said that the state had been cheated when it came to the Chandigarh international airport.

“In the previous government, the state gave its contribution for an airport that had practically no benefit for Haryana. We have no share in the airport other than the funds we gave. Is there any proposal to make an expressway from Ambala and Panchkula to the airport so that residents of Haryana can also benefit?” he asked.

To this, Congress MLA Kuldeep Sharma responded by asking why the BJP government was keen on getting it named after Mangal Sen if Haryana did not have any share in the Chandigarh airport, but the Treasury Benches would hear none of his arguments. Finance Minister Capt Abhimanyu took on the Congress and maintained that some thoughtfulness should have gone into the planning if so many funds were being diverted for the airport.

He stated that the linkages to the airport should have been established before giving away the amount for an airport that was not even located in Haryana. Goel also demanded an inquiry into the “wrongful” giving away of funds for the airport. Earlier, in reply to a question on kisan model schools (KMSs), Education Minister Ram Bilas Sharma said that the state government had spent Rs 20.02 crore on construction work of KMSs at four places in the state. He said classes in these schools would commence shortly.

The Education Minister said that approval had been given to open 21 KMSs, one in every district, in 2010. He said that in the first phase in 2012, KMSs were started.

He said in 2015-16, only 35 students had got admission in three schools and not a single student had shown interest in admission at the KMSs of Bhanbhewa and Nangal Sirohi. He said as a result of this, all these schools were closed in 2016. Former Education Minister and Congress MLA Geeta Bhukkal said a government that claimed to be pro-farmer had closed the KMSs and transferred all teachers. To another question, CLP leader Kiran Choudhry said water for irrigation was not reaching the tail-ends of minors. Irrigation Minister Om Prakash Dhankar replied that the Congress was only playing politics of water.

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