Anurag raised CU issue in sight of State Assembly election this year


    Member of Parliament (BJP) from Hamirpur Mr. Anurag Thakur has alleged CM Virbhadra Singh lead Himachal Pradesh Government’s apathy towards Central University of Himachal Pradesh. Even after environment ministry giving environmental clearance for the land acquired for Central University at Dehra (50 kms from Dharamshala), the Government has failed to start the construction work.


    In a press release issued on Monday, Anurag Thakur said, “this situation would not have arisen if Virbhadra Singh had been serious about construction of Central University and started the construction at Dehra, which was also endorsed by him within two week of taking over as Chief Minister.”


    Anurag Thakur said that substantial construction of CU could have been completed in last four years had Virbhadra Singh been serious about the same and CU would have moved to its permanent campus and it would have not been forced to function from rented premises even after 10 years of its establishment and also seek additional building to start new courses. This only shows gross apathy and ignorance of Virbhadra Singh government towards CU.


    On the other hand the Ex CM -BJP MP from Kangra Shanta Kumar when asked about the matter in Dharamshala, replied to PTI,” The HRD Ministry has cleared land sites at Dharamsala and Dehra for Central University. Dharamshala site for the main campus and Dehra for rest. The formalities for taking over the land are in progress.”


    Former minister and Dehra MLA of BJP Ravinder Singh Ravi said site selection committee has made it clear that the university will have South Campus at Dehra and North Campus at Dharamshala. Ravi said the main campus, around 70% to 80%, would come up at Dehra while only around 20% to 30% campus would come up at Jadrangal  in Dharamshala,which would have only administrative block and offices.


    For the last  9  years, Central University of Himachal Pradesh is struggling to get its permanent campus. Owing to politics between Congress and BJP on the issue of opening permanent campus, the university at present is functioning from temporary campus at Shahpur, 20 kms from Dharamshala. BJP wants the campus at Dehra in Kangra district part of Hamirpur Parliamentary Constituency (Anurag Thakurs Constituency)while Congress wants it near Dharamshala.


    It was on August 15, 2007 that the then Prime Minister in his address had announced the establishment of a Central University in each of the states that did not have a central university so far. Subsequently, 11th Plan provided for the establishment of 16 new Central Universities and accordingly Central Universities Act 2009 which received Presidential assent on March 20, 2009 provided for the establishment of Central University of Himachal Pradesh amongst others.


    But all these years, political tussle has left the issue of setting up permanent campus hanging fire. Before assembly or parliament elections politics intensifies and same is happening now ahead of 2017 assembly elections. Hamirpur MP of BJP, Anurag Thakur recently said that on BJP coming to power in Himachal Pradesh the Central University campus would be set up in Dehra. He had alleged that Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh was deliberately delaying the issue so campus could neither come up at Dehra nor in Dharamshala.


    Anurag Thakur said though the announcement of CU and site selected was approved by central government during UPA government’s tenure, Virbhadra Singh government has just resorted to delaying tactics and has pitted people of same district against each other.  In the interest of students and people of Kangra, Virbhadra Singh should stop politics and allow construction to start at already finalized site at Dehra, said Anurag Thakur.

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    Arvind Sharma is a permanent resident of Dharamshala in HP, and is an award winning bi-lingual journalist with more than 22 years of experience. He started his writing career from local weekly Himachal Kesri and later worked with Divya Himachal, Dainik Jagran, Dainik Bhaskar, Vir Partap and Ajit. Currently, he is working with news agency PTI. He was conferred with the Himachal Kesri journalism award in 2010.

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