Uttarakhand government will be looking towards Uttar Pradesh for sharing some of its economic burden as well as its cooperation in developing a joint mega-plan to tap tourism potential in the state.
Uttarakhand Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna will be taking up these and some other pending issues in his meeting with his UP counterpart,Akhilesh Yadav,on Thursday.
Issues that have been pending between the two states ever since Uttarakhand was carved out of UP in 2000 like pension liability,transfer of convicts and undertrials from Uttarakhand jails,inter-change of officers,transport and sharing of power will also be taken up in the meeting.
Addressing a press conference here,Bahuguna,on his first visit to his hometown after becoming the Chief Minister,said: We are a small state and the pension liability on us gets to Rs 1,000 crore every year,which is a heavy burden on us. He added that they looked towards UP as the big brother. The issue of prisoners,who are facing prosecution in cases registered in UP,but were lodged in Uttarakhand jails,is also important, said Bahuguna.
Banking on cordial relations of the Samajwadi Party with the Congress in Centre,Bahuguna said he hoped that the new UP CM would heed his plan for tourism projects involving UP,Uttarakhand and also Himachal Pradesh. If properly tapped,half of our budgetary requirements can be met through tourism projects in the state, said Bahuguna. He added that in the past,several governments have come and gone but they have seldom worked in cooperation.
On the issue of protests from saint activists against 11 power projects in Uttarakhand,Bahuguna said stalling them only on the basis of emotion was not fair. In any case,Ganga gets polluted after Haridwar,when it enters UP, he said. However,he assured that the water flow in Ganga would be adequate during Mahakumbh in 2013.
Talking about disgruntled elements within the party,Bahuguna insisted he was in a much better position than the opposition. We may be in second or third gear,but they are in reverse gear, he quipped,pointing out that the BJP has not yet been able to elect the Leader of Opposition even nearly a month after the election.