Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jairam Thakur on Monday met Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and sought setting up of a “Himachal Regiment” in the Army.
Thakur said the creation of such a regiment would help recognise the gallant services of soldiers from the state in the defence forces, noting that more than 1,200 personnel laid down their lives and 1,100 were conferred gallantry awards, including four Param Vir Chakras.
During his meeting with the defence minister, the chief minister said the armed forces were the most preferred career choice for Himachal Pradesh’s youth, but the recruitment quota for the state had been reduced after the implementation of the RMP (Recruitable Male Population) concept. He urged the minister for increasing the same, according to a state government statement.
The chief minister also sought the development of the Kangra airport for the airforce, saying it could serve as an alternative to the Pathankot airport. He said it would require the acquisition of additional 571-acre land, the cost of which would need to be met by the Defence Ministry. He also asked for an assurance that civilian flights would continue to operate from the airport even after its development as a defence asset.
The chief minister requested for the ministry’s support in shifting war equipment to Dharamshala’s War Memorial which was constructed as a tribute to brave martyrs. He also urged for taking forward the case of Manali-Leh railway line which is strategically important to the nation from the defence point of view.