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Posted at: Sep 15, 2018, 1:14 AM; last updated: Sep 15, 2018, 1:14 AM (IST)

Govt apathy behind Chamba’s backwardness, says morcha

Our Correspondent

Chamba, September 14

Chamba District Sanjha Morcha comprising 26 social organisations has attributed the “backwardness” of the district to the apathy of all governments in the state after Independence.

Morcha convener PC Oberoi blamed the successive governments for the backwardness of the district. “Even so far, the district has been deprived of air and rail connectivity and heli-taxi service,” he lamented, adding that the only lifeline of the district —Chamba-Pathankot National Highway — needed to be widened.

“Chamba is one of the richest districts of the country in terms of its forest wealth, medicinal herbs, horticulture, hydropower and tourism potential,” he said.

Recalling the days of erstwhile Chamba state, Oberoi said the far-sighted rulers had set up infrastructure such as general hospital and leprosy asylum, museum, hydro powerhouse for electricity in Chamba, constructed roads network and opened schools at justified distances. Besides this, administrative buildings with unique architecture and town planning, public rest houses and forest rest houses were built by the rulers, said Oberoi.

Not only this, the NHPC, which produces 1,269 MW every year from its four hydroelectric projects operational on the Ravi basin in Chamba district, had been contributing royalty in crores to the government every year, Oberoi said.

However, Oberoi thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for including the district among 115 identified “most-backward districts” of the country for improving its socio-economic profile.

Although the previous Manmohan Singh government had already launched “Rashtriya Sam Vikas Yojana (RSVY)” which was later renamed as “Backward Region Grant Fund (BRGF)”, Oberoi stated.

Oberoi hoped that the Modi government would do its best to eliminate the slur of backwardness from the district by making available basic facilities such as healthcare, education and sanitation as well as basic infrastructure in a time-bound manner under its “Aspirational Scheme for Chamba district.”

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