In a meeting lasting about half-an-hour,Uttarakhand Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna and his Uttar Pradesh counterpart,Akhilesh Yadav,tried to thrash out issues pending between the two states for 11 years when Uttarakhand was carved out of UP. Top on their list was pension dues of about Rs 1,000 crore that have to be paid by UP to Uttarakhand,transfer of about 21 hectares of land to Uttarakhand for the National Highway-58 and transfer of prisoners to both states.
Akhilesh also requested Bahuguna to ensure adequate water flow in the Ganga during the Kumbh Mela at Allahabad early next year.
Sources said the talks began with Bahuguna talking about his UP connection and Akhilesh about his Uttarakhand link his wife Dimple hails from that state. While Bahuguna said he was a Brahmin who had come to UP to beg for certain things,Akhilesh said he was the son-in-law of Uttarakhand and,thus,deserved certain things.
The UP CM has assured to pay the pending pension dues of about Rs 1,000 crore in instalments to us. He also requested us not to stop the flow of river Ganga during Kumb Mela,for which he got our assurance, said Bahuguna outside the UP CMs residence after the meeting.
He said Akhilesh has also assured to look into the issue of about 21 hectares of land needed for the development of NH-58,which falls in Uttarakhand but is in possession of UP Irrigation department. It is a very significant road project for Uttarakhand and the UP CM has assured us to resolve the matter soon, said Bahuguna.
NH-58 connects Noida in UP to Uttarakhand. NHAI had plans to take up four-laning of the project from Muzaffarpur to Dehradun. However,despite repeated attempts in the past five years,no agreement could be reached between the two governments on the stretch.
Discussions also took place on distribution of assets,properties and even employees between the two states. It was also agreed that the prisoners of one state,who are lodged in the jails of the other,would also be transferred as soon as possible.
On the outstanding issue of transfer of employees from one state to another,it was agreed between the two CMs that the Chief Secretaries of both states would meet next week. Akhilesh assured that UP Chief Secretary would visit Uttrakhand next week.
On tourism,it was agreed that Uttarakhand would soon call a three-day convention for four states Delhi,Uttar Pradesh,Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh and would try to create a common pass system for roadways buses in the four states. While the issue with Delhi and Himachal Pradesh would be taken up later,Akhilesh and Bahuguna agreed for the pass system between UP and Uttarakhand on Wednesday.
Earlier in the day,Bahuguna paid a brief visit to the state Congress headquarters in Lucknow and also met UP Governor
B L Joshi.