Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal Thursday inaugurated the building of a college dedicated to the memory of an army officer, who laid down his life in the Kargil war.
Remembering the contributions of Captain Vikram Batra, recipient of Param Vir Chakra, the nation's highest gallantry award, Dhumal inaugurated the building of Captain Vikram Batra Degree College at Palampur town, 270 km from here.
The foundation stone of the college was laid in 2004 by the then Congress chief minister Virbhadra Singh.
The construction of the building was completed in January 2008, but it was not inaugurated due to coming into force of the model code of conduct for the Assembly elections.
The Bharatiya Janata Party government had during its previous term (1998-2003) announced that the college would be set up in the name of the slain officer at Parour, 10 km from Palampur.
Dhumal, who was the then chief minister, had laid the foundation stone of the college March 19, 2002. He had even sanctioned Rs.10 million for the college.
When the Congress came to power in 2003, it abandoned the project half way due to 'political' considerations.
The Congress government decided that the college would be constructed at Palampur and not at Parour.
Since then the half-completed college building at Parour is lying abandoned. More than Rs 5 million has already been spent on it.
India and Pakistan fought a bitter war in the Himalayan region of Kargil in 1999 after the former accused Pakistan army of backing armed insurgents who had taken over high-altitude posts. Pakistan denied the accusation and has held that the insurgents were 'freedom fighters' acting on their own.