UP, Uttarakhand resolve most issues about division of assets, liabilities
Most of the issues concerning the division of assets and liabilities between Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand were resolved, UP chief secretary Anup Chandra Pandey said here on Monday.
“We have resolved more than 95% issues,” said Pandey, who led the UP team for discussions with his Uttarakhand counterpart Utpal Kumar Singh at the Civil Service Institute, Dehradun, on August 17.
Principal secretary Jitendra Kumar, who was part of the UP team, said, “Yes, both Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand have reached an understanding on most of the issues. As of now, there are no serious issues that remain unresolved.”
A list of nearly 35 pending issues concerning 11 departments was part of agenda of both teams.
The issues concern the departments of irrigation, energy, transport, finance, housing, food and civil supplies, tourism, animal husbandry and fisheries, forest, industrial development and agriculture.
A time line has been finalised to find a solution for each item on the agenda and orders in this regard are being issued to respective departments.
“Only the items that need further discussion may be taken up at the next meeting,” said a senior officer who did not wish to be named.
After the state of Uttarakhand was carved out of districts in UP’s Himalayan region on November 9, 2000, both the sides have made consistent attempts to distribute assets and liabilities.
Uttar Pradesh has seen five chief ministers during this period. They are defence minister Rajnath Singh, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati, Samajwadi Party (SP) patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav, SP chief Akhilesh Yadav, besides UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath.
During this period, Uttarakhand chief ministers were Nityanand Swami, Bhagat Singh Koshiyari, Narain Datt Tiwari, Bhuwan Chandra Khanduri, Ramesh Pokhriyal, Vijay Bahuguna, Harish Rawat and Trivendra Singh Rawat. Both states have also seen brief spells of President’s rule. Yet, some issues have remained pending.
“Yes, there has been a fresh initiative every time a new government is installed in UP and Uttarakhand. A large number of issues have been resolved at the meetings held in the past few years,” said the officer.
A new beginning to resolve pending issues was made when Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath and his Uttarakhand counterpart Trivendra Singh Rawat met here on April 10, 2017. Both the chief ministers decided to expedite the issue of division of assets and liabilities. Besides the discussions held at the departmental level, the chief secretaries of the two states met in June 2018 to resolve the pending issues.
MAJOR ISSUES RESOLVED
Uttar Pradesh has agreed to transfer 379.385 hectares of its land situated in Haridwar, Udham Singh Nagar and Champavat to the Uttarakhand irrigation department. At the departmental level, both the sides had earlier agreed to transfer 428.788 hectare land situated there. For the remaining land, officers of both the states decided to conduct joint inspection and identify the land that can be transferred. Action to transfer the land will be taken soon thereafter. Both the sides have also agreed to transfer 348 residential buildings situated in the three districts to the Uttarakhand irrigation department.
Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand have already signed a Memorandum of Understanding on construction of Jamrani dam. Both the states have agreed to make a joint request to the Centre to declare the Jamrani dam a project of national importance.
The Uttar Pradesh government has agreed to the Uttarakhand government’s proposal to use the Upper Ganga canal for launching water sports. Uttarakhand Tourism has been asked to submit the project to UP irrigation department and approval is likely to be granted in the next two months.
NEEDING FURTHER DISCUSSION
Uttarakhand has demanded 665 cusec additional water for irrigation at Hardwar. The Uttar Pradesh government had contended that the state’s demand for irrigation water too had gone up. A decision to get a feasibility report prepared about the demand has been taken. The Central Water Commission will also be approached for its opinion and Uttar Pradesh will make Uttarakhand aware of the decision taken on the issue in the next two months.
Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand have agreed to divide liabilities of pension payment to retired employees as per provisions of the Uttar Pradesh Reorganisation Act 2000. The Uttar Pradesh government has released the amount of pension liabilities. The Uttarakhand government has requested UP to pay the interest too as the hill state made the payment of pension after taking a market loan at 7.5-9% interest rate.