PM Modi’s Himachal visit: Virbhadra Govt. ask for 1000 crore compensation grant, More powers to hill states
SHIMLA- Prime Minister Narendra Modi today arrived in district Mandi for inauguration of Central Sector Hydel Projects in Himachal Pradesh. Other than chief minister Governor Acharya Devvrat, Union Health Minister J.P. Nadda, Health Minister Kaul Singh Thakur, MPP and Power Minister, Sujan Singh Pathania, Leader of Opposition Prem Kumar Dhumal were also present during the inauguration.
The Prime Minister arrived at Paddal at 11.10 AM dedicated three projects namely, the Kol Dam (800 MW) hydel project of National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC), Parvati (520 MW) hydel project of National Hydel Power Corporation (NHPC) and Rampur (412 MW) hydro project.
PM Modi’s Speech at Mandi
Himachal Pradesh Government presents memorandum to Prime Minister
Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, who was present to receive the PM, submitted a detailed memorandum regarding various issues of Himachal Pradesh.
Rs.1000 crore Compensation Grant
HP Govt. requested a compensation grant of at least Rs. 1000 crore per annum to Himachal Pradesh for immensely valuable environmental and ecological services rendered by imposing ban of green felling and preserving the forests in the Hill States.
Speedy Environment Clearance for Hydel Projects
Speedy environmental clearance for construction of hydel projects was also requested. The memorandum said that Himachal fulfills the criteria of having forest area more than 33% of total geographical area, fixed by Environment Ministry, Govt. of India, whereas HP has 66.5% of its area classified as forest.
Therefore, said the memorandum, Ministry of Environment, Forest, GoI should speedily clear all forest diversion cases for Hydel Projects which are pending in the Ministry of Environment& Forest, GoI due to insistence of the Ministry to make available non-forest land to carry out the Compensatory Afforestation which is not available in Himachal Pradesh since Himachal Pradesh already meets the Govt. of India criteria.
Resume Commercial Flights in Shimla Airport
Shimla is one of the very few State Capitals without air connectivity. The Prime Minister was requested to direct the Ministry of Civil Aviation and other concerned organizations to ensure resumption of commercial flights to and from Shimla airport.
Grant More Powers to State Government
The memorandum also requested the centre to grant more powers to the State government to make it easier to divert forest land projects like Roads, Water, Irrigation and Hydel Projects from 1 hectare to 10 hectares.
Include Cannabis Removal and Other Activities under MGNREGS
State government said that cannabis plants grow wildly in the several parts of the State and causes major social hazards. Therefore, the State Govt. has requested to make cannabis’ removal an eligible activity under MGNREGS. Similarly, it was requested to permit tea plantation rejuvenation as a permissible activity under MGNREGS.
Funds for Himalayan Circuit (Swadesh Darshan Scheme)
The State Government has submitted projects worth Rs. 100 crore to the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India for release of funds under the Himalayan Circuit of Swadesh Darshan Scheme. The Chief Minister requested the release of funds under the Himalayan Circuit Scheme by Government of India.
Rest of the demands in memorandum given to the PM include reversion of surplus SJVNL land to Himachal for Engineering College at Kotla(Jeori), to include Himachal Pradesh as whole time member in BBMB, to waive off the condition of NOC for Water Supply from BBMB Projects within HP Territory, payment of energy arrear Claims to the State of Himachal Pradesh as per Supreme Court Order, to pay the Central Sector Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Programme(AIBP) and Flood Management Programme(FMP), to release funds for Central Sector Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Programme(AIBP) and Flood Management Programme(FMP).