ADB sanctions Rs 428-cr loan for Himachal to promote tourism



Dharamsala (Dec 7): Asian Development Bank has sanctioned a sum of Rs 428 crore rupees as loan for promotion of tourism activities in Himachal Pradesh. Out of this, a sum of sixty-five to seventy crore rupees would be spent in Kangra district alone.

This was stated by Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal in a sue motu statement in the Vidhan sabha today, which was hailed by all sections of the House with clapping. He said that while 70 per cent of the total sanctioned amount would come through central government, rests 30 per cent would come directly to the state.

He said that this loan was sanctioned during a meeting of the bank at Manila recently and an MOU in this respect between the bank and the state government would be signed shortly. Dhumal said that the state would spend this amount for promoting tourism in different parts of the state thereby helping the local people to flourish. He said that under the plan, while ancient temples would be renovated, efforts would also be made to provide more facilities to tourists and pilgrims.

Meanwhile, while replying to a question by Urmila Thakur of BJP, Dhumal told the House that the state government was aware of the difficulties being faced by the people from mobile and telephone towers, instruction had already been issued to the respective agencies to ensure that towers were located at isolated places and no such towers would be allowed to raise on heritage buildings.

He told the house that there were 184 such towers in Hamirpur district and no complaint from any local had been received about the bad effect of the towers on their health. “If any such complaint was received, the government would definitely take action.”

Replying to a question from Kaul Singh Thakur of Congress party, Health and Family Welfare Minister Dr Rajeev Bindal told the House that there were 295 posts of medical officers lying vacant in different medical institutions of the state. The state government had recruited fifteen doctors on regular basis and 453 through rogi kalyan samitis.

He said that at present there were thirty-nine primary health centers and civil dispensaries without doctors and steps were being taken to fill the 150 vacant posts of doctors through HP Public Service Commission on regular basis.

In reply to a question by Gangu Ram Musafir of Congress party, Sarveen Chaudhry, the minister for social justice, informed the House that no money had been surrendered under the special component plan for scheduled castes and tribes and 99.95% of the allotted money had been used for the welfare of these two communities for raising permanent assets for them.

Earlier, the house approved the report of the HP Public Service Commission for the year April1, 2008 to March 31, 2009, which was presented in the House by Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal. Kuldip Singh Pathania of the Congress party, who was the lone persons who took part in the debate on the report of the Commission, said that efforts should be made to make its working more efficient as the recruitment process at present was slow.

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