As monsoon grips U'khand,CM directs speedy removal of river

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Harish Rawat
Dehradun, July 17: Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat today directed officials to expedite removal of silt from major rivers so that populated areas located close to their banks are safe from flooding.

Keeping in mind the complaints of rampant illegal mining in the state, Rawat said it should be ensured that illegal mining is not encouraged on the pretext of silt removal exercise. At his first meeting with senior officials here after his return from Delhi, the Chief Minister said CCTV cameras should also be installed at locations where silt removal exercise is underway.

Opposition BJP has alleged a mining scam worth thousands of crores in Uttarakhand and asked Rawat government to step down on moral grounds. Rawat, who arrived in the state capital yesterday after recuperating from a neck injury at AIIMS in Delhi, met senior officials including Chief Secretary Subhash Kumar, Additional Chief Secretary Rakesh Sharma.

He also asked officials to explore methods to increase non-taxable income of the state without burdening the people.

"One reforms task force each should be constituted in mining, forest and power departments to suggest ways to make these sectors economically more viable," he said. He also directed officials to develop new trek routes in the state to give a boost to tourism which was dealt a blow by last year's natural calamity.

The chief minister also asked Power department to develop a professional approach and cut down on line loss besides improving the quality of transformers.

PTI 

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