HP seeks President's intervention in expediting projects

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Shimla, May 31 (UNI) Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal today urged President Pratibha Patil, who is here on a six-day tour of the state, to help expedite various projects vital for development of the hill state.

The Chief Minister urged President Patil to hand over the Annadale ground to the state to develop it into an international stadium, saying it was the property of the state that had been leased out to the Ministry of Defence on a lease, which had expired on March 31, 1984.

The state had identified and proposed suitable sites for the Army for carrying out training activities and taken up the issue in various civil and military conferences, but to no avail, he said.

Mr Dhumal requested the President to speed up the construction of Rohtang Tunnel and take up the matter of Bhanupalli-Bilaspur with the Centre on a priority basis.

Construction of a railway line to connect the border areas of the country with China border via Mandi, Manali, Keylong on the analogy of the Tibet Railway line was another important project, he said.

He also sought extension of the special industrial package to the state to 2013, saying this was essential for rapid industrialisation of the state.

Another demand of the state was for compensation for preservation of the environment and protecting the valuable forest wealth of the state, he said.

The Chief Minister said due to global warming, the protection of the forests had emerged as the top necessity and the state had adopted all steps required to check the degradation of the environment by completely banning green felling, unscientific mining and use of recycled polythene bags.

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