Industries minister Mukesh Agnihotri on Sunday ridiculed former chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal's statements in which the latter had alleged that the Congress government was renaming popular schemes started during the BJP regime.
Addressing mediapersons here, he said, "In fact, it was the BJP which had renamed some central government-funded schemes during its regime," adding that wrong precedent was started by the Dhumal-led government.
Agnihotri said Dhumal had renamed the Rajiv Awas Yojna as Atal Awas Yojna. The scheme, he said, was fully funded by the central government and therefore, changing its name on political considerations was inappropriate.
He said while the Congress party had full respect for the former prime minister, the decision of the then chief minister to name the schemes after Atal Behari Vajpayee was wrong and motivated.
Giving another example, Agnihotri, who is also in-charge of the information and public relations department, said the 108 Emergency Ambulance scheme was funded by the union government, but the BJP government had changed the name of the ambulance service to Atal Swasthya Sewa.
Agnihotri said that a delegation of officers from the industries department, led by the director, had recently visited Gujarat to study different models of the industrial setups and to interact with the local industrialists there. He said the industrialists of Gujrat had expressed keenness in setting up their ventures in Himachal Pradesh, adding that the government here would extend full support to them.
The minister said he had directed the officials of the industries department to search for a suitable place to develop a new industrial area in Una district. Already, there are four industrial areas here that include Mehatpur, Amb, Gagret and Tahliwal and that a fifth one would come up soon to give a new boost to the industrial sector here.
Talking about the Una district headquarters, he said close-circuit television cameras would be installed at busy road crossings to monitor traffic congestion and to check crimes and accidents. He said yellow lines would be put along the city roads and parking lots would be earmarked.
He said he had directed the administration to ensure that the stretch of the road between Rotary Chowk and the Old bus stand chowk remains free of traffic congestion during the day. He added that loading and unloading of trucks would be banned on this road from 8am to 8pm.
Later, office-bearers of the district handball association, led by their president Amandeep 'Moni', honoured Agnihotri. Former vice-chairman of the Agro-Packaging Corporation, Omkar Sharma, who is the chief patron of the organisation, was also honoured.