Shimla:  Uproar over benami land deals, relinquishing of political role by Dalai Lama and seizure of foreign and Indian currency worth Rs 6 crore from the monasteries of Karmapa marked 2011 in Himachal Pradesh.

Another highlight of the year was the state's long pending claim of 7.19 per cent share in hydel projects under Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB) projects finally being accepted by the Supreme Court after 40 years. Punjab and Haryana have been opposing the state's claim.

The issues of benami land deals coupled with misuse of Apartment Act and mushrooming of private universities were vociferously raised by Opposition Congress and CPI-M forcing the P K Dhumal government to set up a judicial commission to probe the land deals.

The government also came out with two legislations providing for attachment of property amassed through corrupt means and Public Service Guarantee Bill to assure people that the government was keen to take on corruption.

The Dalai Lama relinquished his role as political head, paving way for installation of first democratically-elected Tibetan government sans the spiritual leader.

The Karmapa was involved in an unsavoury controversy following recovery of currency worth Rs 6 crore from his monastery and a charge sheet was filed against him.

Former drug inspector Sher Singh was convicted in a corruption case while former Union minister Sukh Ram convicted in the telecom scam. Senior BJP leader Anita Sandal and her husband were arrested in the recruitment scam.

To add to the embarrassment of the government, the BJP dissidents formed 'Himachal Bhrastachar Mukti Morcha' (anti- corruption front) to expose the corruption in the state. The morcha leaders toned down their attack after their meeting with party president Nitin Gadkari but have cautioned to step up the campaign in case the high command did not redress their grievances.

The Congress also launched 'Himachal bachao campaign' with sole aim to return to power and was holding rallies and demonstrations across the state.

Himachal Pradesh became the first state to ink a pact with World Bank for earning carbon credits by reducing greenhouse gases emission. The World Bank will buy carbon credits of 350,000 temporary certified emission reductions for plantations raised over 4,003 hectares in the first phase till 2017.

Two sitting MLAs, Hari Narain Saini (BJP) and Prem Singh (Congress) died during the year and in the by-elections BJP wrested the Renuka seat from Congress while it lost the Nalagarh seat to it.

The high court quashed environment clearance to a cement plant being set up by Lafarge in Mandi district while it took a tough stand in case of tainted officers holding sensitive posts.

The appointment of Director of Forensic Science

Laboratory J R Gaur was quashed on the ground that he did not fulfil the necessary qualifications.

The government raised the age of superannuation of government medical teachers from 58 years to 62 to check exodus of doctors but did not raise the retirement age of college and university teachers to 65 years as recommended by UGC.

(Agencies)