Chandigarh, March 29
Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on Wednesday flagged the issue of the proposed water cess on hydropower plants by Himachal Pradesh with his counterpart Sukhvinder Sukhu.
The Himachal CM called on Mann at his official residence here on Wednesday morning.
A press release issued here said that during the meeting, the Chief Minister expressed the concern of the state over the proposed water cess on hydropower plants being implemented by the Himachal government. Mann said this should not be implemented as it is against the interests of the state. However, Sukhu clarified that the water cess would be levied only on the hydropower plants within their own state, adding that it would not be applicable to Punjab.
Meanwhile, in order to resolve the issue, both chief ministers agreed that the chief secretaries and power secretaries of the state would meet every fortnight to ensure that there is no bickering among the states. They said the top brass bureaucrats of both the states would amicably resolve the issues confronting the states. Both the CMs agreed for mutual cooperation in various fields for benefiting the people of both the states.
Flagging another issue, the Chief Minister batted for the ropeway between Anandpur Sahib and Naina Devi to mutually benefit the two states. He said the ropeway would facilitate lakhs of devotees visiting the two places.
The two CMs also agreed over setting up the Pathankot-Dalhousie ropeway project to boost tourism. They said that besides facilitating the tourists it would also help boost the socio-economic development of both the states.
The Chief Minister also sought mutual cooperation between both states in the power sector too. He said Himachal could sell excess power available with it to the state during the peak season. Mann said it would help resolve the issue of power in the state during the paddy season.
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