Chalking out a path of industrial growth for Himachal Pradesh, Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal has said that his government will adopt the "Gujarat model" for development of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) in the state.
"Like Gujarat, 'banjar' (barren) land will be acquired for SEZs in Himachal Pradesh. Since there is scarcity of fertile land in the state, only infertile land can be put on offer for developing industries," he said.
The government would formulate a growth plan by "picking up beautiful flowers (positive points) from all the states and trying to make a handsome bouquet out of them", he said.
The 63-year-old Dhumal, who took oath as 16th chief minister of the state on December 30, told PTI his government will give top priority to environmental issues and industrial projects would be cleared only after proper assessment.
"Mountains in Himachal are fragile, so we can't allow unchecked industrial growth which harm the environment," he said.
The government would also promote tourism by "lifting the state's control over temple management", he said.
"State government shall not indulge in functioning of temples. It shall add facilities to the temples so that more pilgrims and tourists visit them...My government will lift state's control over temple management," he said.
When asked about the CD and audio cassette purportedly implicating former chief minister Virbhadra Singh and his wife of corruption charges, Dhumal said the law would take its own course.
"The matter is in the Himachal Pradesh High Court and the government will follow the directives of the court in the case," the chief minister said.