By OUR STAFF REPORTER
DEHRADUN, 5 Apr: Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami paid a courtesy call on Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi today. This was the first time, since taking charge again as CM, that Dhami is on New Delhi tour. During the interaction, he expressed gratitude for the Prime Minister’s guidance and cooperation from the Union Government towards development of Uttarakhand. During his meeting, Dhami also briefed the PM in respect of the progress of the development works being carried out in the state. During the meeting, Dhami urged the PM for the extension of the period of GST Compensation available to the state against losses in revenue after the switchover to GST from VAT tax regime in view of the limited financial resources of the state of Uttarakhand. Dhami also requested Modi for establishment of National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER) in Uttarakhand for development of pharmaceutical industry in the state and for the establishment of Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) to promote the latest technology and scientific research in Uttarakhand. Keeping in view the immense potential of horticulture in Uttarakhand, the Chief Minister further requested the Prime Minister to grant a horticulture package of Rs 2000 crore to the state on the lines it had been done in respect of Jammu & Kashmir. He also requested the PM for a special initiative on behalf of the Union Government towards an amicable solution outside the Court for the transfer of shares of Uttar Pradesh to Uttarakhand in the shareholding of THDC India Limited. The Chief Minister also requested for approval of ‘Manaskhand Mandir Mala Mission’ towards linking of pilgrimage destinations and mythological places and temples of Kumaon region as had been done with respect to Char Dham shrines in Garhwal region and for permission to operate air services from Pithoragarh Airstrip. The Chief Minister informed that the DPR had been prepared after the final location survey for the construction of RishikeshUttarkashi railway line by the Ministry of Railways. He requested for permission for construction of RishikeshDoiwala railway track and for shifting of Dehradun railway station to Harrawala. Reiterating that Rishikesh was famous for cultural, spiritual, yoga and Ayurvedic medicines, Dhami said that establishment of All India Institute of Ayurveda here would promote AYUSH system and the youth would get employment here. The Chief Minister said that the road from Tawaghat to Bedang would be connected with the construction of 5 km tunnel between Jaulingkang and 20 km road from Vedang to Go and Sipu. It would reduce the distance between Jolingkang and Bedang by 161 km. Similarly, the construction of a tunnel of about 22 km length between Sipu to Tola would connect Darma Valley and Johar Valley with each other. With the construction of 30 km tunnel from Milam to Lapthal, Johar Ghatbh of district Pithoragarh and Lapthal of district Chamoli could also be connected by road. The Chief Minister also requested for approval for the construction of the above three tunnels.