The resolution was moved by Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank (BJP) who said the strategic geographical location of the Himalayan states necessitated a dedicated ministry.
    
He urged the Home Ministry to consider the proposal as the Himalayan states, which is "Asia's water tower", is spread over 5,000 km of land area with a population of over 7.51 crore.
    
Highlighting the need for safety and security of people there, Pokhriyal said the region requires attention as the borders need to be protected from infiltration. Also, glaciers are melting which needs immediate attention.
    
An independent ministry would function to identify backward areas of Himalayan states, ensure their development and also provide special financial package for development of backward areas and setting up of new railway lines.
    
Saugata Roy (TMC), while supporting the resolution "in principle", said he was against the way BJP was projecting the issue. He said Himalayas and river Ganga should not be seen the light of "Hindutva" but a scientific approach should be added.
    
He said while "Nishank" mentioned Yoga guru Ramdev in his speech, he ignored people like Sunderlal Bahuguna of the 'Chipko' movement who helped preserve the ecology of the region.
    
PD Rai of Sikkim Democratic Front also supported the resolution saying development of the region was necessary.
    
Ninog Ering (Congress) said the mentality of the sixties that roads in border areas will help the Chinese enter India easily has to be changed. "These are the days of ICBMs (inter-continental ballistic missiles) and Sukhois...roads are a must," he said.

(Agencies)        

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