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Auli in Uttarakhand to be developed as international tourist destination: Gadkari

Union road transport minister Nitin Gadkari on Monday reiterated his idea of developing a Davos-like city and an international hub of winter tourism in Auli, a well-known skiing destination in Uttarakhand

dehradun Updated: Jan 08, 2018 20:38 IST
Deep Joshi
Deep Joshi
Hindustan Times
Uttarakhand News,Auli,skiing destination
Union road transport minister Nitin Gadkari (second from left) and chief minister TS Rawat (left) during a function in the state capital. (Vinay S Kumar /HT)

Union road transport minister Nitin Gadkari on Monday reiterated his idea of developing a Davos-like city and an international hub of winter tourism in Auli, a well-known skiing destination in Uttarakhand.

Speaking at a private function here, the minister said plans were also afoot to develop electricity powered alternative mode of transport facilities in Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh.

“Under that plan which will be completed in the next two years electricity powered transport facilities like funicular railways, ropeways and cable cars will be developed in the two states,” he said, adding in that connection 100 places had been already indentified.

A survey of those places had been carried out by McKinsey, an international consultancy agency.

“The experts of the consultancy firm will soon have a meeting with the officials of the state government to decide on the modalities of implementing the project,” Gadkari said.

“The consultancy firm will also prepare a Detailed Project Report (DPR) for developing Auli as an international hub of winter tourism.”

A network of alternative modes of transportation would also be developed in Auli, Gadkari said.

In February last year, Gadkari mooted the idea of a Davos-like city after attending the World Economic Forum in the Swiss city.

He also announced that the upcoming Delhi-Dehradun highway would also be developed like an expressway, for which the work of preparing DPR had been initiated.

To a query by a person in the audience, he admitted that the implementation of the Delhi-Dehradun highway had been delayed.

“Among the highway projects being implemented across the country this is the only black spot I encountered, so far,” Gadkari said referring to the highway that, he assured, would be completed by December 2018.

Gadkari said the national highway projects worth ₹8 lakh crore had been completed across the country under the BJP regime.

“All these works had been carried out with full transparency and honesty,” he asserted.

Breaking his silence for the first time on the ₹300 crore scam pertaining to the widening of the NH-71 in Udham Singh Nagar, the union minister suggested the state government “thoroughly carry out” its ongoing probe into the swindle.

Indirectly referring to the reports about the Centre’s reluctance to order a CBI probe into the scam pertaining to the land acquisition for the nh-71 project , he suggested it (Centre) had no role in that (land acqusition)

“We have no role in land acquisition for the NH-71 project,” he said contradicting media reports about National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) officials being involved in land acquisition.

DP Singh, an official and the prime accused in the NH Scam, was recently sent to jail following a Special Investigation Team (SIT) probe ordered by chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat. Enquiry is also on against half-a-dozen officials of the state government allegedly involved in the multi-crore NH-71 swindle.

Gadkari said the NHAI had no role in acquiring land for highway projects.

“It is something which falls under the jurisdiction of the state government…The entire process of land acquisition is carried out by the district magistrates,” he said while dubbing the media reports about the differences between him and the chief minister over the NH scam probe as “media manufactured”.

“Let nobody harbour any doubts that the chief minister and I are on the same page on the issue,” he said, adding that he fully supported the chief minister for his zero tolerance for corruption.

Sharing his vision of development for the mountain state, Gadkari said he had plans to introduce sea planes in the state for tourism promotion.

“In that connection, we are also planning to introduce an air service under which it will be possible to land aeroplanes on agricultural fields, the minister said.

First Published: Jan 08, 2018 20:36 IST