Cong accuses HP govt of allocating funds to only two constituencies

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Shimla, Mar 16 (PTI) Leader of Opposition in the Himachal Pradesh Assembly Mukesh Agnihtori on Tuesday alleged that Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur and Jal Shakti Minister Mahender Singh are taking care of only their two assembly segments and ignoring all other constituencies while allocating funds under various schemes for development.

Denying the accusations, the chief minister said all 68 constituencies in the state are being taken care of while allocating funds for development works.

Thakur said he recently inaugurated and laid foundation stones for various projects worth Rs 162 crore in Jawali assembly segment. The same is being done in other constituencies as well, he added.

Speaking on the cut motion on 'irrigation, water supply and sanitation' in the state Assembly during the ongoing budget session, Agnihotri also demanded issuance of a white paper on allocation of funds under the Jal Shakti Mission.

Agnihtori accused the chief minister and Jal Shakti minister of taking care of only their two assembly segments of Seraj and Dharampur, respectively, while allocating funds under various schemes for development.

The Leader of Opposition stated that Jal Shakti minister Mahender Singh should inform the House that how many tenders have been allotted and for how much money, and how much money has been provided by the Centre and how much from the state under the Jal Jeevan Mission.

Without elaborating, Congress legislator Asha Kumari said the 'Hum Do, Hamare Do' principle is active both at the Centre and in the state.

Replying to the cut motion, Jal Shakti Minister Singh said Haroli (Mukesh Agnihotri's constituency) can not be compared with Seraj (chief minister's constituency) while allocating funds as the former is very small as compared to the latter having a huge geographical area.

'Further, big constituencies like Pachhad, Shillai and Kinnaur can also not be compared with Haroli. So the same amount of money can not be allotted in each of the 68 constituencies,' he added.

The minister said the Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) was launched by the Centre which has earmarked Rs 3,60,000 crore to provide safe and adequate drinking water through individual household tap connections by 2024 to all households in rural India.

The first phase of JJM will be completed in Himachal Pradesh by August 15, 2022 and the Centre has provided Rs 555.61 crore to the state towards the mission, he added.

The minister expressed concern over climate change which he said may prove more fatal as compared to the coronavirus. Alarming situation has arisen as Rohtang in Lahaul-Spiti has received only 3-4 feet snowfall this season as compared to normal 30-40 feet snowfall which may result in water scarcity not only in HP but also in neighbouring states in the coming summer.

Climate change is not a crisis for only the ruling party or the Opposition but common man is also worried about the situation emerging due to it, he added. PTI DJI CK CK