Discusses ongoing NHAI projects and Ropeways under Parwat Mala Project
Chief Minister, Thakur Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu, met Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari, at New Delhi today and held deliberations on various issues of the State, especially about the ongoing four-lane projects being operated by National Highway Authorities of India (NHAI) and other National Highways of the state.
The Chief Minister urged the Union Minister to speed up four-lane projects especially Kiratpur-Manali, Parwanoo-Shimla, Chakki-Mataur-Shimla, Mandi-Pathankot, Nalagarh-Swarghat, Mubarakpur-Amb-Naduan, Paonta Sahib-Kala Amb highways so that it could be completed in stipulated time. Besides this, the Chief Minister also advocated for construction of flyovers to ease traffic congestion besides reducing distance and saving time of commuters. He also urged for converting two lanes highways into four-laning and construction of tunnels on National Highways in the state. Plan to moot construction of ropeways in the state has also been discussed under Parvatmala Project.
He also advocated for releasing funds for the repair work of National Highways keeping in view the tourism season approaching soon. As bulk of tourists love to drive, the condition of roads needs to be improved, he urged. Various issues pertaining to other centrally funded schemes being executed in the state were discussed in length. He also emphasized on up-gradation of inter-state connectivity and the Union Minister agreed on it in principle, he told.
The Chief Minister said that the Union Minister has assured of all the possible assistance and co-operation on the issues raised. Sh. Sukhu thanked the Union Minister for his generous approach towards the hilly state and invited him to visit the State.
PWD Minister Vikramditya Singh, CPS Sunder Singh Thakur and Sanjay Awasthi, Vice Chairman State Tourism Development Board R.S. Bali, MLA Kewal Singh Pathania were also accompanied the Chief Minister.
Himachal Niketan, a third alternative of stay in National Capital
To provide accommodation facilities to the students and the visitors from the State to Delhi, Chief Minister, Thakur Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu, performed the foundation stone laying ceremony of Rs. 57.72 crore, five storey 'Himachal Niketan' to be constructed at Delhi's Dwarka area, today.
Besides two VIP rooms, there will be 36 general rooms exclusively for the students with all facilities, and 40 other general suites. In addition to this there will be three room type dormitories for the staff. It will also have a facility to park around 53 vehicles and 87 two-wheelers in the basement. In all, there will be 81 rooms.
Addressing the people of Himachal gathered on the occasion, the Chief Minister said that this would be an additional facility apart from the existing Himachal Bhawan and Sadan, offering accommodation facility to the Himachali students aspiring for various competitive examinations held in New Delhi from time to time. Himachal Niketan would exclusively offer comfortable stay to students and favorable atmosphere for studies.
"Apart from existing Himachal Bhawan, Himachal Sadan, presently facilitating stay facilities to the residents of Himachal Pradesh visiting New Delhi for various purposes including availing of medical services at AIIMS, Himachal Niketan will be the third alternative to stay in the National Capital", said the Chief Minister.”
Every year many people from Himachal visit other states of the country to spend their winter vacations. Himachal Niketan would be an additional option for their halt in New Delhi, he said. The PWD has been directed to ensure every quality aspect in the construction work and complete it by 2025, as per the deadline for completion is set. He said that the PWD Minister would also review progress of construction at regular intervals so that timely construction could also be ensured.
Earlier, PWD Minister, Vikramaditya Singh welcomed and honoured the Chief Minister. He detailed about the project and assured timely completion of the same.
Chairman, HP State Tourism Development Corporation, R.S. Bali, Chief Parliamentary Secretaries, Sanjay Awasthi and Sunder Singh Thakur, Principal Advisor Media to Chief Minister, Naresh Chauhan, MLA, Kewal Singh Pathania OSD to Chief Minister Kuldeep Singh Banshtu, Advocate General Anoop Rattan, Principal Secretary to Chief Minister Bharat Khera, Resident Commissioner Meera Mohanty were also present on the occasion.
Chief Minister, Thakur Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu paid his obeisance at Kotla Kalan, Radha Krishna Temple in district Una and sought the blessings of Baba Bal ji and attended religious ceremony on the occasion.
Speaking on the occasion, the Chief Minister said that teachings of the Shrimad Bhagvad Gita show the path towards enlightenment. The ultimate purpose of human life is to realize one's true self, as mentioned in Bhagvad Gita which is a guiding force and a pathway for attaining salvation, as the soul is immortal, said he. We should do our duties without expecting rewards, said he.
Deputy Chief Minister, Mukesh Agnihotri said that we all are fortunate enough to get the blessings of Baba Bal ji on the occasion. He also welcomed the Chief Minister on his arrival at Una.
The Chief Minister also performed Bhumi Pujan of the road to be constructed from Lalsingi (Baba Beli Ram) to Jhalera with an outlay of Rs. 3.35 crore.
Education Minister Rohit Thakur, MLA, Chaitanya Sharma, Sudarshan Bablu, Devendra Bhutto, former minister Kuldeep Kumar, former MLA Satpal Raizada, senior Congress leaders and senior officers of the district including were present on the occasion.
Chief Parliamentary Secretary (CPS), Information and Public Relations (IPR) Sanjay Awasthi, stressed upon to utilize various media platforms and to reach to the people through new mediums. He was presiding over a meeting of the department here today.
Public Relations has an important role to play in taking welfare schemes of the Government to the grass root level through media, which helps in changing the perception of the people towards the government for the betterment of the citizens, said he adding that this helps to establish a strong and positive relations between the government and the people.
"PR is a two way tool, which acts as a bridge between the people and the government and it helps a lot by way of essential feedback of the masses to the government in order to formulate, amend or improve the various schemes and policies" said Sh. Awasthi.
The department should focus more on providing instant information to the media for a wider impact. Welcoming the suggestions to strengthen the department, the CPS said that efforts would be made to fulfill the demands related to the department at the earliest.
Earlier, Director Information and Public Relations Kiran Bhadana, honoured and welcomed Sh. Awasthi. "I thank the CPS for sparing his valuable time and to be with the family of IPR and acting as guiding force for the future initiatives of the department" she said.
500 MW solar energy to be harnessed by 2024: CM
Chief Minister, Thakur Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu in a meeting with the World Bank team, headed by Regional Director (Sustainable Development), South Asia Region, Mr. John Roome here today, discussed the Green agenda of the State and the measures to be adopted to achieve the target of 'Green Energy State' by 2025, with the assistance of World Bank.
The World Bank indicated that it is keen on Green Resilient Integrated Development programme for the state with Basin approach with an estimated cost size of Rs. 2500 crore (300 Million US dollars) depending upon the technical analyses, which may be enhanced further.
The visit of the team was going to be a landmark for the transformation of State towards Green Resilient Himachal, said the Chief Minister and highlighted the priorities in terms of Green Agenda for the State.
"As a step towards achieving the target, the State has fixed a time-bound action plan to achieve installation of 200 MW solar power energy projects in next nine months and state will acquire more land for the installation of 500 MW by end of the year 2024", said the Chief Minister.
Transformation towards adoption of Electric Vehicles in the State is of utmost priority and hopes for generous contribution and launch of some key programmes from the World Bank for this purpose, said Sh. Sukhu. Making his intentions clear, Chief Minster said that maximum departments would be switched over to Electric Vehicles (EVs) by next year in the first phase.
Apart from this the Chief Minister also indicated to the team that the State is all set to go ahead in line with National Green Hydrogen Energy Mission in a big way apart from the production. Though the technique of production of Green hydrogen is expensive yet the government will consult Indian Oil Corporation for the same as IOC has taken the first significant step towards Green Hydrogen Economy in India with the commissioning of country's first pure Green Hydrogen pilot plant in Northeast. The Government is committed to make Himachal as the first non-polluted State by reducing carbon emissions completely, claimed Chief Minster.
Mr. John Roome appreciated the farsightedness of Sh. Sukhu for achieving a target of Green and Clean State and said that such commitment and initiatives were a good beginning and wished success in this direction. He said that the EV policy envisioned by the Chief Minister would be taken up on priority and shortly a team from the Bank would visit the state for technical analysis.
Discussions about the future plan of action of the World Bank in the implementation of various programmes in the State focusing on Sustainable Forest Management, Community Forestry, Ecosystem Services, and Disaster management along the Basins, Water Resource Management, Nature-Based Tourism and Payment on Ecosystem Services were also held. The World Bank agreed upon providing its support in the implementation of proposed projects.
Chief Parliamentary Secretary Sanjay Awasthi, Chief Secretary Prabodh Saxena and other senior officers attended the meeting.
Will promote religious tourism in big way
Chief Minister, Thakur Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu alongwith his wife Kamlesh Thakur paid their obeisance at Mata Jwalaji temple in Kangra district today.
Chief Minister was accorded rousing reception by the people at various places en-route Jwalamukhi from Nadaun. Besides listening to the grievances of people, the Chief Minister also interacted with media persons.
Chief Minister said that the religious places would be provided with all basic amenities to facilitate the devotees. Apart from parking places, the basic infrastructure would be strengthened in all the religious shrines.
The State Government mulls to develop Kangra district as Tourism hub of the State so as to be recognized as the Tourism Capital. This would go a long way in enhancing the income of the people, he added.
Chief Minister said that the State Government was taking steps to strengthen the air connectivity which would attract high-end and international tourists to the State. Much is to be done in developing infrastructure for promoting tourism on large scale and the present government has given special focus to strengthen the same by building helipads, ropeways, promoting water sports activities, Aero sports, religious tourism etc.
The water sports activities will soon be started in Pong dam reservoir besides State Government was mulling to set up a Zoo matching international parameters at Dehra in Kangra and Golf Course of International standard in district Kangra.
Political Advisor to Chief Minister, Sunil Sharma, MLA, Sanjay Rattan, OSD to Chief Minister, Gopal Sharma, Senior Congress leader, Surinder Mankotia and other senior officers were also present on the occasion.
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