NEW DELHI

State to approach Centre on Renuka Dam

SHIMLA, JUNE 1. The Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister, Virbhadra Singh, has said the State Government would immediately take up the matter regarding the construction of Renuka Dam with the Government of India and request them to start construction within this financial year. While speaking in Renuka area of Sirmaur district at the closing ceremony of the two-day long traditional "Bishu" fair he said the construction of the dam had already been delayed, resulting in cost escalation and depriving the local people of benefits.

The Chief Minister said no progress has been made in this direction during the preceding regime. He assured that he would personally take up the matter with the quarter concerned and get the matter expedited. He said his government was committed to start construction of the project, which would benefit the people of Himachal and Delhi. He said the water stored in the dam would be channelled to meet the requirements of Delhiites. On the issue of tribal status to locals Mr. Virbhadra Singh said the matter to grant tribal status to the people of Trans Giri area of Sirmaur district was first raised by him. He said since the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance at the Centre had taken over, the State Government would pursue this matter vigorously. He said it was a genuine demand of the people of this area, which needed to be acceded to, and justice should be done to the people of the area.

Mr. Singh said his government had inherited a huge deficit of over Rs. 15,000 crores as a result of financial mismanagement at the hands of previous BJP government. He said his Government had already initiated a number of resource mobilisation programmers and has stopped the unproductive expenditure.