Dhumal reclaims Annadale Ground from army chief

Shimla: Chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal raised the issue of Annadale Ground that the state government is trying reclaim from control of the army with Chief of Army Staff General VK Singh who called on him on Friday.

Dhumal let the army chief know that though the state government was owner of Annadale Ground but it was in control of the army and the state needed the ground for operating heli-taxi services which by the state had been offered to attract high end tourists.

Other issues that the chief minister raised were extending the proposed Bhanupalli-Bilaspur-Barmana railway line to Leh for strategic advantages. The track would also facilitate tourism along the route that passes through Mandi, Manali and Keylong, he said.

He also let the visiting general know about the state offer to re-locate the Dogra regimental center at Una from Faizabad in Uttar Pradesh. Majority of the serving and ex-servicemen from the state belonged to the regiment and were emotionally attached to it, said Dhumal.

General Singh informed the chief minister about sanctioning of a CSD depot for the state that would be made functional soon.

Supporting the demand for construction of a railway line to Ladhak through Himachal Pradesh, the army chief said that possibility of constructing another road to connect border areas of Ladhak through Kinnaur would be explored.

General Singh also sought land from the chief minister for setting up a military housing project, said a government spokesman. Brigadier VK Chand, of ARTRAC, Arun Sharma, special secretary to the chief minister were also present on the occasion.

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