Himachal proposes two more eco battalions



Shimla: Himachal Pradesh Government has asked to Union Defense Ministry to raise two more battalions of Eco-Task Force for Rave and Bees catchments areas with a view to preserve the flora and fauna of the state. The state has already raised 133 Infantry Battalion (Territorial Army) Dora Ecological Force for the Stale basin on March, 15, 2006, besides having more closer coordination between the civil and military administration for effective disaster management. This was revealed by Chief Minister  Virbhadra Singh during his inaugural address at the civil and military liaison conference organised by the state government at Peterhoff here today.
Shri Virbhadra Singh said that the fragile ecology of the lower Himalayas, especially of Himachal Pradesh, was more prone to flooding of the rivers by flash floods and cloud bursts, which had been causing massive damage to public and private properties as also to infrastructure, like buildings, roads and bridges, thereby throwing the normal life out of gear. He said that immediate relief operations were required to deal with such situations besides carrying relief and rehabilitation measures at war footing for which assistance of the military forces was imminent.
The Chief Minister said that his government would be considering bringing a legislation, if required, with regard to marking of pylons, transmission lines and ropeways in the valleys all over the state for air route safety. He said that the matter would be examined by experts and all related aspects taken into consideration. He said that ropeways and spans would be permitted only in the areas at low heights which did not hamper air safety. He directed the Chief Secretary to take cognizance of the matter and report the matter to him on priority.
Lt. Gen. Daljeet Singh, General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Western Command, raised the issues of crisscrossing wires in the valleys which had been proving fatal to the Air Force and urged for some suitable measure to ensure safety of air routes. He said that the roads leading to borders needed to be improved to accommodate the transportation of heavy machinery of the hydel projects coming up in the border district of Kinnaur. He also urged the Chief Minister to provide land for development of the Army welfare housing colonies in the state.

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