Closure of Haldwani ISBT site:  Indira Hridyesh warns govt of launching dharna | dehradun | Hindustan Times
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Closure of Haldwani ISBT site:  Indira Hridyesh warns govt of launching dharna

Contending that already Rs 3.5 crore was spent on the project, Hridyesh says it will not be wise to go for a new site. The Congress veteran alleged there was some other “motive” behind the move to reject the site at Golapar.

dehradun Updated: Dec 29, 2017 20:56 IST
Abhinav Madhwal
Finance minister Prakash Pant said the ISBT would not be constructed in Golapar area as it lies in the flood area of the adjacent Gola river
Finance minister Prakash Pant said the ISBT would not be constructed in Golapar area as it lies in the flood area of the adjacent Gola river(Vinay Santosh Kumar/HT)

DEHRADUN: The Cabinet decision to stop construction of an inter-state bus terminus (ISBT) at Haldwani’s Golapar area has snowballed into a major controversy with none other than Leader of Opposition Indira Hridyesh threatening to oppose it “tooth and nail”.

Finance minister Prakash Pant said the ISBT would not be constructed in the Golapar area as it lies in the flood area of the adjacent Gola river. “It will be dangerous to construct the bus terminus there.” The minister denied the allegation that the site was rejected for its proximity to a Muslim settlement.

Incidentally, work at the site, which lies adjacent to the Haldwani cricket stadium, was stopped in May after removal of bushes revealed stone graves and skeletons.Transport minister Yashpal Arya had ordered an enquiry into the matter. The project was the brain child of the previous Congress government and Hridyesh was its driving force.

On Wednesday, the Cabinet finally decided to not go ahead with construction at the site. “Locals had said that there was a graveyard on the land, therefore we have decided to not construct the bus terminus,” urban development minister and government spokesperson Madan Kaushik said.

Later, chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat stepped in to clear misgiving of the local population and asserted his government has no plan to take the project out from Haldwani.

But Hridyesh demanded the government to reverse its decision within a month failing which she warned of launching a ‘dharna’ (protest) with 10,000 people on the streets of Haldwani. “This is a sinister move to scrap the project and we will oppose it tooth and nail,” the Congress veteran said.

Contending that already Rs 3.5 crore was spent on the project, Hridyesh said it would not be wise to go for a new site. The Congress senior leader alleged there was some other “motive” behind the move to reject the site.

Haldwani block chief and Congress leader Bhola Bhatt said that the main aim of the exercise was to shift the ISBT away from Golapar area. “They (the government) want to start the project afresh so that more funds can be allocated,” he claimed.

Samajwadi Party state secretary Shoaib Ahmed said it was “unfortunate” that the project was being shifted. “Golapar is a suitable site given its proximity to the main city. If it is being shifted due to the presence of Muslim population in the area, it is more unfortunate as the government should focus on development and not look issues on communal lines,” he asserted.

Ahmed urged the government to complete the project within a fixed period so that the people do not have to face problem.