New Delhi : Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur, while addressing the 30th meeting of North Zonal Council held at Jaipur today, urged the Union Government to resolve pending cases of Pong Dam oustees in accordance with the decision of Hon’ble Supreme Court at the earliest. He said that Himachal Pradesh has always played an important role in the development of the nation. He said that the people of the state have suffered the pain of displacement for the construction of Pong dam and other hydroelectric projects. He said that 2.25 lakh acres of land was reserved in Rajasthan to rehabilitate 16,352 displaced Himachalis due to the construction of Pong Dam. He said that out of these, only 8,713 displaced were provided land/murabbas.
The meeting was presided over by Union Home Minister Amit Shah which was attended by Chief Ministers and Lieutenant Governor of eight states/Union Territories attend this meeting to discuss issues related with Law & Order, internal security, border areas and inter-state water issues.
Jai Ram Thakur said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had laid foundation stone of Renuka ji dam project worth Rs. 7000 crore to be constructed on Giri river in Sirmaur district on 27th December 2021. He said that this 40 MW project would produce 200 million units of energy annually. He said that this would meet 40 percent of the drinking water requirements of Delhi. This ambitious project would prove to be very important in meeting the energy and drinking water needs of several States in the Northern region, he added.
Chief Minister appreciated the decision of the Centre Government to ban single use plastic in the country. He also thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his efforts to construct Atal Tunnel Rohtang. Due to this, tourism business has increased in the State besides facilitating the quick movement of military forces to borders of the country bordering China, he added.
Jai Ram Thakur said that share of Himachal Pradesh in the BBMB projects was 7.19 percent, yet the State does not have the status of a full time member. He said that over one lakh acres of fertile land of the State was submerged in Bhakra project and 65,563 acres of land in Dehar and Pong projects of Beas river, while the State has not been given the right to proper use of electricity and water from these reservoirs.
Jai Ram Thakur also took up the matter of construction of four laning of Pinjore-Baddi-Nalagarh road stretch.
Expressing concern over the problem of drug abuse that has emerged as a major challenge for our society, Chief Minister said that Himachal Pradesh government was running an awareness campaign, especially among the youth, to bring awareness about the ill effects of drugs. He said that the State Government was also maintaining constant coordination with neighboring states. He urged all the states to take a pledge to make this campaign more effectively to eradicate this social vice. He also took up the matter of telecom connectivity in 585 uncovered remote villages of the State.
While underlining the effective role the State was playing in conservation of forests, Chief Minister suggested a few amendment in the Forest Conservation Act, 1980.
Retreating the commitment of the State Government to protect interests of women and prevent incidents of crime against them, Chief Minister said that complete investigation of cases registered under Section 376 and POCSO Act was being ensured within 60 days. He said that Superintendents of Police have been asked to keep an eye on the ITSSO portal regularly. He said that compliance rate has increased from 49.9 percent in 2020 to 82.2 percent in 2022.
He also urged the Union Government for speedy redressal of long pending issue of rail connectivity to Baddi-Barotiwala-Nalagarh industrial area of the State.
Jai Ram Thakur while sharing some of the best practices introduced by the Himachal Pradesh Government in the meeting said that the State has started Jan Manch to bring more transparency in administration and to solve their problems of common man. He said that Himachal Pradesh government has increased the scope of social security and with the reduction of the age limit for getting old age pension from 80 years to 60 years, almost all old people have become entitled to get pension. He said that the State Government has started Mukhyamantri Sahara Yojana for the seriously ill patients of the economically weaker sections. He said that Himachal Pradesh has started Prakritik Kheti – Khushal Kisan Yojana to promote natural farming in the state.
He said that over 1.71 lakh farmers have been benefited by natural farming in the state and 9421 hectare area has been covered under it.