Shimla, Jul 28 (UNI) To reduce traffic congestion and reducing distances, the Himachal Pradesh Cabinet proposed to construct eight tunnels across the state and at the same time approved bids for two hydel power projects, enhanced procurement prices for apples, exempted stamp duty and registration fees on agricultural loans and created 282 new government jobs.
Presided over by Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal, the cabinet cleared the Rs 1,853 crore tunnel projects for being put up for funding purposes.
The tunnels included are two for Shimla city (Rs 175 crore), one on Swarghat Bilaspur (Rs 297 crore) by-pass road, one at Ranital-Kangra (Rs 35.57 crore), one at Bagana-Dhaneta (Rs 200 crore) in Hamirpur, one at Karsehar-Telang (Rs 400 crore) in Mandi district, one below Khara Pattar (Rs 246.56 crore) in Shimla district and one at Holi-Utarala (Rs 500 crore) in Chamba district.
The cabinet approved allotment of 144 MW Gondhla project to Moser Byer and 261 MW Yangthang project to Gammon India for bidding Rs 193.54 crore as the highest upfront money offered.
At the same time the cabinet decided to re-advertise Bardang (114MW); Tandi (150MW); and Rashil (150MW) hydro electric projects under the government revised power policy to attract global competitors.
A decision approved transfer of 130 hectares of land for construction of Karchham-Wangtoo Hydro Electric Project in district Kinnaur, to Jaypee Karchham Hydro Corporation at a price of Rs 1 lakh per bigha.
The cabinet approved revised capacity increase in allotted small hydro projects with generation potential not exceeding 25MWs.
Under the market intervention scheme the cabinet approved a hiked a rate of Rs 5.25 per kg for 'Fair Average Quality Apple' to be procured by government agencies.
The scheme would apply till end of October and orchardist possessing horticulture cards could avail the rates at the 242 procurement centers that would be operated by state agencies, a cabinet spokesman stated.
The Cabinet has granted exemption on payment of stamp duty and registration fees on loans to agriculturists against their mortgage deeds.
The decision aims at strengthening the basic agriculture sector and would be benefit farmers to the tune of Rs 35 crore.
For widening of Jahu-Kalkhar road an amount of Rs 33.50 crore was approved.
An amendment in concessions to industrial units was carried out which fixes the lease term to 45 years for shed constructed on hire-purchase basis to the period prior to 1998.
Among the 282 post created include the post of director of energy along with 30 additional posts to get the new directorate of energy functional.
UNI AS HS MMS2046