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Wednesday, Oct 23, 2019

HP to ask Centre to settle boundary dispute with Haryana and Ladakh

The government will raise the issue at the North Zone council meeting to be held on September 20

cities Updated: Sep 14, 2019 22:20 IST
Gaurav Bisht
Gaurav Bisht
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Hindustantimes
         

The HP government will seek the Union government’s intervention in an interstate boundary dispute with Haryana and Ladakh at the North Zone council meeting scheduled to be held in Chandigarh on September 20.

Home minister Amit Shah will preside over the meeting. Apart from Himachal Pradesh, the chief ministers and representatives of  Punjab, Haryana, Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir, Rajasthan, and Chandigarh will also attend the meet.

"We will raise the issue of our boundary dispute with Ladakh in Sarchu and with Lahaul and Spiti over Shinkula,” said chief secretary Shrikant Baldi. Local communities at Sarchu and  Zanskar are squabbling over boundaries. The Haryana  government has also claimed that a large chunk of the land bordering Himachal in Parwanoo. “The forest department has asked the Survey of India to demarcate the land,” said Baldi.

In June, a dispute erupted between the local businessmen of  Sarchu and those in Ladakh when tourism along the Leh-Manali highway picked up after shopkeepers setup a temporary kiosk. Traders from both sides of Lahaul and Spiti and from Zanskar and Kargil in Jammu and Kashmir setup make-shift shops along the Leh-Manali  highway. However, traders from both sides disclaim the other party’s rights.

The row over boundaries at Sarchu between Himachal and its neighbours cropped up for the first time in July 2014 when the Jammu and Kashmir Police set up its post at Sarchu. When the matter came to the notice of the Himachal Pradesh Police, its crime investigation department visited Sarchu to ascertain its position. A team, which was sent to verify the boundary, concluded that Jammu and Kashmir Police had set up its checkpost 14km inside Himachal’s boundary. The government then took up the matter with the Surveyor General of India. Similarly, the Himachal Pradesh government claims that the Zanskar administration has alloted land to landless families inside Himachal’s boundary in Shinkula.

INCREASE EXCISE DUTY ON LIQUOR IN CHANDIGARH 

The Himachal Pradesh government  also wants Chandigarh to increase excise duty on liquor brands being sold in the city. Since, Chandigarh has the lowest excise duty among Haryana , Punjab and Himachal, cheap liquor is being smuggled into our state,” said Baldi.

The Himachal  Pradesh government will also raise the issue of allotting land  to people who were displaced while the Maharana Pratap Sagar dam, popularly known as Pong Dam, was being built. 

The Centre had acquired large chunks of land for constructing the pong dam in 1961. This affected as many as 20,722 families. The construction of  the water reservoir in a village near Pong began in 1961.  The project was conceived as part of a larger project, then known as the Rajasthan Canal project (RCP), which was later rechristened Indira Gandhi Nahar Pariyoyajna, which takes the water from reservoirs to Rajasthan.

Around 75,268 acres of land was submerged in Pong Dam and 226 villages were marooned  and 113 villages were partially-affected. Reservoirs displaced 20,722 families – a population of 1,50,000 was affected. 

 

First Published: Sep 14, 2019 22:20 IST

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