"In view of Uttarakhand's unique geographical condition, its environmental concerns and scattered population, the norms need to be relaxed so that the hill state could also be included in the ambitious scheme," Rawat told Union Urban Development Secretary Shankar Agarwal at a meeting in Dehradun on Sunday.

Seeking relaxation in at least six parameters set by the Centre for inclusion in the scheme, Rawat submitted a letter addressed to Union Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu in this regard to Agarwal.

The Chief Minister also moved a proposal to the Centre for developing Haridwar in Garhwal and Almora in Kumaon region as heritage and cultural cities.
He also sought immediate release of funds from the Centre for urban development projects already cleared for Uttarakhand.
Pointing out that in some cases, things have not moved beyond the project appraisal stage, Rawat demanded clearance to such projects at the earliest.

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