Shimla: Living in the vicinity of a sensitive international border, chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal today apprised President Pratibha Patil about the need for a rail track passing through the state connecting Leh-Ladhak, especially after China was fast expanding its network beyond Lahsa in Tibet.
Speaking to media persons after a civic reception was held in honour of the country’s first citizen, Dhumal said that the president had asked him to put forth the demands in writing so that it could be pursued at the appropriate level.
Being the commander in chief, we have sought the presidentâ€™s intervention into recruitment norms of the army, which have been changed to the disadvantage of our state. Taking into account the sacrifices made by servicemen from the state in defence of the nation, the army recruitment process should favour an extra quota for our young men wanting to join the armed forces, said Dhumal.
Earlier speaking at the civic reception, the chief minister pointed out that on the analogy of the big Tibet rail line built by China, a rail track to Leh Ladhak was not just a state need but national security requirement.
Mentioning that the state had adopted a cautious environment protection plan three decades ago by banning green felling of trees, the centre needed to compensate the state for its efforts by making a Rs 1,000 crore provision each year.
With the state deficient in resources and weak in economic viability, Dhumal said the state should be allowed to levy a water cess on hydro-generation as a revenue resource.
He also sought the presidentâ€™s intervention for settling the long pending asset allocation dispute following the 1966 re-organisation of states into Punjab, Harayna and Himachal Pradesh.
The chief minister said that the government was already working for setting up an Ayurvedic research center with Baba Ramdev Yog Peeth. The state was in the process of setting up another Information Technology Park. We are the first ones to establish an IT University in the country, which is being expanded, said Dhumal.