Dehradun: Uttarakhand Chief Minister Ramesh Pokhariyal Nishank has reshuffled his cabinet, the first after he assumed the charge last year.

Nishank, who was in-charge of seven departments, on Monday distributed some key portfolios, including health and family welfare, forests and environment, technical education and AYUSH, to his other ministers.

In the revamping of his ministry, Nishank, however, did not touch the portfolios of ministers from Uttarakhand Kranti Dal, an important ally, and independent MLAs.

UKD ministers hold land, food and civil supplies and army welfare portfolios.

The chief minister also kept with himself key departments like home, PWD, finance, energy, information, civil aviation and higher education.

Matbar Singh Bhandari has been given additional charge of language, whereas Prakash Pant has been given the charge of employment department. Banshidhar Bhagat has been relieved from the charges of rural engineering and cooperative departments and he will now look after health and family welfare and AYUSH.

Balwant Singh Bhauryal will have an additional charge of cooperative department. Govind Singh Bisht will now look after the environment and forests department.

Terming it as a general exercise, Nishank said the move was taken to ensure better coordination among various departments to speed up development works.

"This is to give pace to ongoing development works in the state. The ministers will be able to ensure effective reach of the development works initiated by the government," Nishank said.

(Agencies)