The Congress high command has asked Union Minister of Water Resources Harish Rawat and Uttarakhand Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna not to air their differences in public, after the two leaders openly criticised each other on the issue of implementation of centrally sponsored schemes in Uttarakhand.
"Since the rivalry between the chief minister and the union water resources minister is turning serious, the party high command is now trying to douse the fire," a senior Congress leader said. The two leaders had been asked to remain calm, specially when civil elections in the state are round the corner.
Top government officials said the differences between Bahuguna and Rawat were affecting the working of the government. Meanwhile, Pradesh Congress Committee chief and Irrigation Minister Yashpal Arya had also accused Rawat of not showing any helpful attitude toward scores of pending irrigation and flood control schemes worth Rs 600 crore in the Ministry of Water Resources.
The issue stems from Rawat's recent criticism of the state government for failing to provide land at his Haridwar parliamentary constituency for implementation of the certain centrally sponsored projects.
On the other hand, Bahuguna denied the charge and said unavailability of land would not come in the way of setting up various central government institutions in the state. He also directed Chief Secretary Alok Kumar Jain that appropriate action be ensured to make available land for setting up central institutions and implementing central schemes in the state, an official spokesman said.
Bahuguna said a land bank should be created in the state for facilitating implementation of schemes and setting up institutions.
Top officials said 26.5 hectares of land had been earmarked in Laksar in Haridwar district for setting up an institution of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF). The government had also assured necessary resources would be made available for setting up one company of NDRF in Srinagar (Garhwal) and one in Almora.
About 11 acres of land had been earmarked for setting up two nurseries for floriculture in Haridwar. Land for setting up the National Floriculture Directorate in Dehradun district could be made available to the central government.
A proposal has been given by state Employees' Insurance Scheme of Uttarakhand for 45 acres of land, free of cost, to be given for ESI medical college in Haridwar. Five acres of land for a 100-bed hospital in Sidcul (Haridwar), one acre for dispensary in Pharma City (Industrial Area-Selaqui), four acres for diagnostic centre and hospital at Tarla Nagal and five acres for a 100-bed hospital at Kichha in Udham Singh Nagar had been given.
For setting up a Unani Medical College in Roorkee, the state government had decided to upgrade the community health centre at Bhagwanpur to a Unani Medical College and Hospital. Land had been identified for setting up the Central Sugarcane Research Institute in Haridwar district.
Four villages out of the proposed nine had been acquired to set up the Deoband-Roorkee railway line. The state government had also provided land for the Haridwar-Roorkee gas pipeline.
The chief minister also said a team of officials from the state would go to Delhi this month. He said he too would go to Delhi and meet several union ministers regarding the schemes for Uttarakhand. He said request letters for meeting the ministers had already been sent.