Dehradun, August 14
Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna, in a message to the people of the state on the eve of Independence Day today, said the government was committed to providing relief and rehabilitation to disaster-hit people of Uttarkashi district.
He expressed grief over the death of people in the Uttarkashi cloudburst and said the government would provide all possible assistance to the affected families.
He further said the government had not only released Rs 20 crore for the victims but also directed the district administration to provide sufficient ration, drinking water and medical facilities to them. The Centre had allocated Rs 150 crore for the same purpose.
The Chief Minister appealed to NGOs and social organisations to actively contribute to the cause of the cloudburst victims. He said the government had doubled the relief amount. While Rs 1.5 lakh given to next of kin of the deceased under the NDRF norms had been increased to Rs 3 lakh, financial assistance given to a person with more than 80 per cent disability had been enhanced to Rs 1 lakh from the existing Rs 62,000. Similarly, other funds had also been increased.
Bahuguna further said a Cabinet meeting would be convened at Gairsen in Chamoli on October 2.
He claimed that the government, exhibiting its efficient economical management, had presented a revenue-surplus Budget without imposing any additional tax on the general public. The government had also been able to get Rs 8,200 crore approved for its Annual Plan from the Union Planning Commission.
Bahuguna said the financial assistance given to war widows for the marriage of their daughters had been increased to Rs 50,000 from Rs 20,000. He said the government was serious about safeguarding the welfare of farmers and had given ownership right of land, allocated to them on lease for agricultural purpose under the Government Grant Act- 1895, to them. They had also been given right to sell the land. Farmers could register their respective lands as per the circle rate of 2005, depositing just 5 per cent of it. He said the government had decided to provide 10 kg rice per month instead of 2 kg to APL card holders.
Looking into the shortage of doctors, the government had decided to increase the salary of doctors on a contract basis on a par with regular doctors. Their contract term would be increased to three years from one. Efforts were also going on start AIIMS, Rishikesh, and the first course would begin from September. He said improving the condition of roads in hill areas was also one of the priorities of the government.
Bahuguna said a decision had been taken to take up the repair work of roads as soon as the monsoon was over. A scheme worth Rs 200 crore in this regard had also been approved.
For Dehradun city, an action plan was being prepared for the construction of flyovers at the ISBT, Balliwala Chowk and Bhandari Bagh. Efforts were being made for the extension of railway lines and air service. The Centre had approved air service between Dehradun and Kathmandu.
Bahuguna said the government was seriously pursuing development in the tourism sector. With the support of the Union Tourism Ministry, a Rs 250 crore mega project had been prepared. The establishment of the Tehri Lake Development Authority and the Adventure Sports Academy were in the pipeline, he said.
Bahuguna said the Chinyalisoud runway would be extended to provide easy accessibility to Tehri for tourism development in the area. He said an action plan was being prepared to bring Piran Kaliyar and Hemkunt Sahib on the international tourism map.
He said the Centre had approved Rs 160 crore for the development of tourism in Uttarakhand. International standard sports stadium would be constructed in Dehradun with the help of the ONGC.
Bahuguna said a higher education recruitment commission would be formed to recruit 850 professors. The retirement age of teachers had been increased to 65 years from 60 as per the UGC norms. The responsibility of passing the maps for house constructions had been given to local units. The government was keenly looking forward to end power crisis and had urged the Centre to restart stalled hydropower projects, he added.
Meanwhile, the Centre has approved the 300 MW Lakhwad Dam Project.
The Chief Minister said a mega industry project was being launched to attract more investors. A separate directorate would be formed for mining and a separate department for small, micro and medium industries.
The subsidy given to Khadi had been increased to Rs 5 lakh from Rs 2 lakh.
He said border allowance would be paid to government employees serving in the border areas. “Our government has resolved to lead the state to a new direction of development for which concrete action plans are being chalked out. We have taken comprehensive initiatives for the welfare of workers, business fraternity, unemployed youths, ex-servicemen, farmers, students and other sections of society,” he claimed.

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