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HindustanTimes Sat,30 Aug 2014

HP govt writes to promoter on Ski village project

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Shimla, August 31, 2013
First Published: 00:36 IST(31/8/2013) | Last Updated: 00:37 IST(31/8/2013)

Even as Rs. 1,600-crore ambitious project - Himalayan Ski Village - mooted to promote high-end tourism in the state hangs fire, the Himachal Pradesh government has shot off a letter to the promoter to know its intent.

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Envisaged by the Alfred Ford of Ford Motor Company, the multimillion dollar project was planned to be started in Manali.

The previous Congress government headed by chief minister Virbhadra Singh had given a nod to the project.

In 2004, Ford Motor Company showed keen interest to set up a high-end ski resort project in Manali, while the then Congress government in December 2005 had entered into an agreement with Himalayan Ski Village Private Ltd - company that was floated for setting up the project.

Chief minister Virbhadra Singh on Friday in a written reply to a question by state BJP chief Satpal Singh Satti said on August 5, 2013, the state government had written a letter to Himalayan Ski Village Private Ltd to know the intent of the company for setting up the project.

The Detailed Project Report (DPR) submitted by the company to the state government said around 116 hectares was needed for the project, out of which 68.2 hectares was private land and the rest was the government land, for which mandatory clearance from the departments concerned was needed, said Singh in his reply.

Himalayan Ski village was once again at centrestage during the Mandi bypoll when opposition BJP alleged that the state government is moving ahead with the project ignoring the interest and concerns of locals.

Those at the forefront of the campaign, including the ministers, and the Congress vanguard leaders at that time had denied of any such move.

Following a report of a high-powered committee, the BJP government had scrapped the project after the company failed to furnish the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) report. The company had then moved the high court in January 2010.

It was on June 5, 2012, the Himachal Pradesh high court had quashed the order of the state government to scrap the project terming that prescribed method was not followed by the state.

After the Congress gained power, talks of revival of the project gained momentum.


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