Himachal Pradesh Government has again demanded the Government of India to make Himachal Pradesh as full- fledged Member in Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB) projects by amending the Punjab Re-organization Act, 1966 so that pending cases could be resolved at the earliest.The demand was made by Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur while participating in the meeting of Northern Zonal Council (NZC) held at Chandigarh today. Union Home Minister Amit Shah presided over the meeting which was attended by the Chief Ministers, Ministers of Northern region and senior officers of the Government of India and Northern States.The Chief Minister said that the people of the State has always upheld the national interest and had provided their fertile land for construction of various dams in the country. He said that a Coordination Committee should be constituted of the Relief and Rehabilitation Officers of Himachal Pradesh and Rajasthan Government, so that time-bound settlement of pending issues of rehabilitation of Pong Dam Oustees of Himachal Pradesh can be done. A National Level Committee be also constituted for monitoring of this issue, he added.Jai Ram Thakur also urged the Union Government to vest the power with the State Government for forest clearances regarding forest land upto five hectares, so that the work on small developmental projects could be completed within stipulated time period and pace of development does not suffer due to delay in forest clearances.Expressing concern over increasing tendency of youth towards drug abuse, Jai Ram Thakur said that a joint strategy had been evolved by Himachal Pradesh and its neighbouring States to tackle this menace which had woven itself deep into the fabrics of our society. He urged the Union Government that the Central agencies should share information regarding drug trade with all the State. CCTV Cameras had been installed in the border districts of the State to keep surveillance on the drug peddlers, he added.
The Chief Minister underlined the need to resolve inter-state boundary disputes with the neighbouring States at the earliest. He said that district administration Leh-Ladakh had made un-authorized encroachments in Lahaul-Spiti district in the territory of Himachal Pradesh. He urged the Union Home Ministry for early settlement of this issue.To check unauthorized mining, Chief Minister said that a joint strategy should be chalked out to tackle unlawful quarry of river beds and alongside river banks. He said that there should be no laxity regarding illegal mining and strict action should be taken as per law against the defaulters.Jai Ram Thakur said that Himachal Pradesh has imposed blanket ban on use of plastic bags many years ago but several daily needs products were using polythene for packaging of their products which were proving a big hurdle in making Himachal Pradesh a plastic free State. He said that there was need to generate awareness among the masses regarding environmental hazards of plastic. He urged the States of Northern India to set an example to other States by imposing complete ban on use of plastic bags in their respective States so that pollution free environment could be made available to the people. The Chief Minister said that the State Government in the larger interest of the Nation has imposed complete ban of felling of green trees and thus was contributing immensely towards the environment conservation of the Nation. He urged the Union Government to consider the Forest Compensation Amount of the State as the part of DPR for all the ongoing projects under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojna (PMGSY) keeping in view the limited resources of the State. He also urged the Union Government to expedite the construction work on four lane projects of Kalka-Shimla,Kiratpur-Ner Chowk and Pathankot-Mandi National Highways keeping in view its importance in the State economy.Jai Ram Thakur also urged the Union Government for providing 90:10 facility under UDAAN Yojna for regional connectivity on the analogy of Jammu Kashmir and North Eastern States keeping in view the limited resources of the State. He also urged the Union Government to take up the construction of the International Airport Nagchala in Mandi district on priority and declare it as a Project of National Importance keeping in view its importance from strategic point of view for the security of the nation. He also requested for taking up the Chandigarh-Baddi rail line project at the earliest.Irrigation and Public Health Minister Mahender Singh and Chief Secretary Dr. Shrikant Baldi were also present on the occasion.