Dehradun: Taking exception to his government "not being involved" in the ceremony to mark the start of Rishikesh-Karanprayag rail project, Uttarakhand Chief Minister B C Khanduri on Wednesday said development programmes should not be politicised as it affects Centre-state relations.
   
Sonia Gandhi was scheduled to lay the foundation stone of the Rishikesh-Karanprayag rail project in Gauchar in the hilly district of Chamoli but cancelled her visit due to fever.
     
"I talked to the Prime Minister expressing my resentment for not involving Uttarakhand government in the Guachar ceremony," Khanduri told reporters.
   
In the absence of Gandhi, Defence Minister A K Antony and Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi laid the foundation stone of the 125 km-long rail line project near the Gauchar airstrip.
   
Khanduri said such development programmes "should not be allowed to be politicised" and told the Prime Minister that "it would badly affect the centre-state relations".
   
The Chief Minister said he did not believe in taking false credit for any development scheme and asserted that he had too raised the issue related to rail project several times when he was member of the Lok Sabha in 1990s.
   
"Our colleague Bhagat Singh Koshiyari (former Chief Minister) also made lot of efforts for early sanction of the project as chairman of petition committe of Parliament," the BJP leader said.
       
The Chief Minister also took a dig on Congress saying a similar ceremony related to the Karanprayag project was performed in 1997 at Rishikesh. "After spending thosands of rupees, the project did not take off," Khanduri said.
      
"I strongly believe that such functions should be organised only when some concrete work plan is ready," Khanduri said.

Sops announced ahead of Uttarakhand polls

   
Setting his eye on the upcoming Assembly polls, Uttarakhand Chief Minister B C Khanduri on Wednesday made a slew of announcements including 5 percent interest subsidy on education loan and free travel for all girl students in state transport buses.
   
Announcing a total of 28 decisions taken by his government, Khanduri said a 5 percent interest subsidy for a maximum of five years on an education loan upto Rs 10 lakh for pursuing higher education by children, whose parents are permanent residents of the state and whose annual income is not more than Rs 3 lakh, will be given by the government.
   
All girl students would travel free in the buses of state transport corporation within the state, he said.    

The government has also decided to give an award of Rs 50,000 to each student, who are permanent residents of the state and selected for professional and technical courses at IIT, IIM, NIT, NDA, IMA and medical colleges, Khanduri said.
   
The scholarship amount given to the students belonging to families of retired soldiers has also been doubled to Rs 24,000 per annum from the existing Rs 12,000 for engineering and medical education and to Rs 20,000 per annum from Rs 10,000 for PhD students.
   
A new mining and quarrying policy would be implemented this month to stop illegal mining and to preserve the environment as well as increase the state's revenue, he said.
   
The amended industrial policy would come into existence this month for expeditious establishment of industries in Uttarakhand, he said.
   
'Dev Bhoomi Jan Sewa Kendras' would be established at block and tehsil headquarters for delivering public services under the Right to Service Act, Khanduri said.
   
He also announced that a work plan would be prepared for regularisation of illegal dwellings in urban areas.
   
The amount under the Vir Chandra Singh Garhwali Paryatan Swarozgar Yojana being operationalised by the tourism department has been enhanced to Rs 10 lakh from the existing Rs 5 lakh, Khanduri said.
   
The CM said 100 polyhouses, a protective structure used for growing high value agricultural products, would be set up in each of the 13 districts for which the government would give a grant of 30 percent.
   
A policy would also be formulated this month to provide various facilities to the retired paramilitary force personnel and their families, he said.

Agencies