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The Union Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan in presence of CM Virbhadra Singh today laid the foundation stone of Rs. 507 crore Indian Oil Terminal at Pekhubella in Una Assembly constituency. HP CM Virbhadra Singh while addressing the gathering said that the State Government provided 61 acres of land on one-rupee lease in the year 2014 to pave the way for the opening of the terminal.
He said that it was after a long driven struggle that the Himachal State Government was able to convince the Government of India to open Indian Oil Terminal at Una, which would also be important from the strategic point of view. The State Government was successful to obtain forest clearance in May 2016 and thereafter all the necessary codal formalities were completed. He said that the Governments keep on changing but it becomes the Constitutional duty of the Government in power at the Centre to cater to the development and financial needs of all the States.
There were many instances wherein the Governments at the Centre and the State belonged to different political parties but that did not mean that the development and welfare of the people were ignored. The development was a continuous process and different Governments at the Centre and the State should work in unison for the betterment of the people at large and not to achieve their political aspirations. Congratulating the people of the State, the Chief Minister said that the entire need of petroleum products would be easily met in the state itself, which at present was being catered from Ambala and Jalandhar.
The Una terminal would be strategic storage point for Indian defense to meet annual winter fuel stocking in Leh and Ladakh and en route Pathankot to Srinagar besides for Indian defense at Karu, Nima, Upshi, Kyari through the mighty Rohtang. It would cater to 224 retail outlets, 22 Superior Kerosene Oil agencies, 125 consumer pumps meeting requirement of 580,000 KL annually in Himachal Pradesh. Under advance winter, stocking approximately 90,000 Kilo liter petroleum products would be supplied to Ladakh region when road links open through Rohtang and Jojila passes.
Dharmendra Pradhan said that opening of the Indian oil terminal will be a new milestone in the history of Himachal Pradesh and also from a strategic point of view. An underground pipeline would also be laid from Jalandhar up-till Una. He said that the terminal would be dedicated to the people of the state in 2018. He said that around 200 trucks would transport the petroleum, oil and lubricants to different parts of Himachal Pradesh every day besides giving employment to thousands. A tender in respect of transportation of petroleum products would be invited and opened in Shimla.
Pradhan also said, “I am committed to the welfare of the poor and weaker sections of the society”. Virbhadra Singh was a man of masses and always ready to serve the poor and because of this, he was with us on the occasion, he added. The Union Minister said that two bottling plants of around 90,000 MT capacity would be established in the hilly region of the State for LPG refill. Virbhadra Singh and Dharmendra Pradhan along with other dignitaries also distributed LPG connections under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY), a flagship scheme of the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, to the Below Poverty Line (BPL) families. The scheme was launched on Thursday in Solan. Chairman, Indian Oil Corporation Sanjiv Singh, earlier said that the terminal would start functioning by 2018.