New Delhi: Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal Saturday requested the central government to set up a Himalayan regiment in the Indian Army comprising youth from the hill states.
“India faces a major military threat from neighbouring China and the Indian Army should be made fully capable of fighting in the tough hilly terrain,” he said at the National Development Council meeting here.
“For this, a separate Army regiment drawn from the youths of hilly areas should be set up so that the soldiers are fully conversant with tough topography of the region.”
He asked the central government to make suitable provision in the 12th Plan.
On the allocation of additional funds to the education and health sectors, Dhumal said: “The Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government had promised allocation of six percent and three percent of gross domestic product (GDP) during the 2009 general elections but this commitment remains unfulfilled even by the end of this Plan.”
He asked the central government to formulate a land use policy and demanded that a draft should clearly mention that all scarce natural resources be bought and sold through auction only.
On promotion of tourism in the hilly state, the chief minister demanded setting up of an all-weather international airport in the state during the 12th Plan.
He also demanded subsidised heli-taxi services in the tribal areas during winter, for the locals and the tourists, on the pattern of north-eastern states.
Tourism is an important contributor to Himachal Pradesh’s economic development, besides horticulture and hydro-power generation.