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Home / Cities / Centre to blame for delay in Central University project: HP revenue minister

Centre to blame for delay in Central University project: HP revenue minister

The revenue minister made it clear that the state government has taken prompt action in converting forest land for the Central University under the Forest Conservation Act 1980.

cities Updated: Nov 21, 2020, 22:11 IST
Gaurav Bisht
Gaurav Bisht
Hindustan Times, Shimla

Amid escalated blame game over setting up of two campuses of the Central University of Himachal Pradesh, the state government has now put the ball in the Centre’s court.

Five days after Union minister Anurag Thakur took a dig at chief minister Jai Ram Thakur for the delay in setting up of two campuses of Central University in Dehra, revenue minister Mahender Singh Thakur claimed that the state government had written to the Centre numerous times for forest clearance for the land allocated for setting up the campuses, but to no avail.

Mahender, who is the second most senior minister in Jai Ram’s cabinet, said that the state government has taken up the matter with the ministry of forest and environment.

“We have urged the Centre to redress these technical issues so that the construction work of the university and the pending works of over 30 other projects could be started and the pace of development could be accelerated,” he added.

“The state government is taking necessary steps for getting approval for the establishment of Central University and all other developmental projects by taking action under the Forest Conservation Act 1980, but in view of the clarification of the ministry of forest and environment, the Central University and the works of many other important projects are getting delayed,” said Mahender.

The revenue minister made it clear that the state government has taken prompt action in converting forest land for the Central University under the Forest Conservation Act 1980.

It was decided during the Prem Kumar Dhumal government that two campuses of the CUHP would be built at Dehra and Dharamshala.

The state government had transferred 34.55 hectares of land in 2010 to the Central University of Himachal Pradesh for the construction of the southern campus in Dehra, the mutation of which was done in 2010.

Apart from this, the approval to divert 81.79 hectares of forest land under the Forest Conservation Act was received on December 11, 2018, in the name of User Agency Director Higher Education, Himachal Pradesh, but this included the condition that the land which has been granted permission to convert cannot be transferred in any case to another agency, department or any other person without the approval of the Central government. There will be no change in the legal status of such diverted forest land.

On the request of the department of revenue for this matter and some other matters, the forest department had urged the Union ministry of forest and environment, on April 22, 2019, for the necessary clarification, whether the diverted forest land agency may or may not be transferred to user agency through mutation mode. The revenue department had also urged the Union ministry of forest and environment, whether the documents for possession of the converted forest land can be entered in the revenue records or not.

On this, the Union ministry of forest and environment, through a letter on July 30, 2019, had clarified that the legal status of the forest land that is diverted under the Forest Protection Act 1980 will remain as forest land only. In such a diverted land arrangement, the name of the user agency or user department cannot be transferred by the revenue department in the revenue records.

Anurag Thakur softens stance on Central University

SHIMLA: Days after slamming the state government for delay in setting up campuses of the Central University of Himachal Pradesh, Union minister of state for finance Anurag Thakur seems to have softened his stance on the issue as he expressed gratitude to the chief minister for prompt action and expressed hope that work would start soon.

In a press statement, Thakur said that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was the biggest political party in the world, as well as a family.

He said that the double-engine BJP government at the Centre and the state is committed to the all-round development of the state and working in tandem in this direction.

“I am grateful to chief minister Jai Ram Thakur for his prompt action to provide approval for land transfer at Dehra and resolve the long-pending issue of setting up of CUHP campus,” said Thakur expressing delight that the chief minister took quick action over the issue he had raised while sharing the dais at a programme at Dehra.

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