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HindustanTimes Fri,26 Dec 2014

BJP lashes out at Cong for scrapping ropeway project

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Shimla, September 08, 2013
First Published: 19:35 IST(8/9/2013) | Last Updated: 19:36 IST(8/9/2013)

The BJP on Saturday castigated the Congress government for rescinding the MoU signed by the BJP government in July 2012 for developing a ropeway from Anandpur Sahib to Naina Devi on public-private partnership (PPP).

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The memorandum was signed with an aim to encourage brotherhood, religious tourism and to facilitate the tourists in the larger interest of the nation and particularly the states of Punjab and Himachal Pradesh, said party spokesperson Ganesh Dutt in a press statement here in Shimla.

Dutt said the government decision had hurt the sentiments of people of both the states. “The decision seems to have been taken on political consideration,” added Dutt.

Elaborating, he said the MoU was signed between both the states as per law - The Punjab Aerial Ropeways Act, 1926, and the Himachal Pradesh Aerial Ropeways Act, 1968, and the project was to be developed in public-private partnership (PPP) mode on 50:50 equity contributions of both the governments.

“The state had its upper hand as the chairmen of the board of directors were to be nominated by the Himachal government,” he said.

He added that the government was intending to develop a ropeway to Naina Devi from Toba instead of Anandpur Sahib. “It doesn't seem to be viable as the same amount of funds would be spent by the state and it will not attract tourism at all,” he added.

Referring to the fiscal condition of the state, Dutt said the financial position of the state was deteriorating day by day and the government was not in a position to spend even a single penny on the development of new projects.

“It is evident from the decision of the government to curtail the pension benefits of the retirees,” he said.

Demanding reconsideration of the ropeway project on old proposal, Dutt said withdrawing the project was not in public interest.


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