The Himachal Pradesh government was committed towards promoting religious tourism at Tattapani where Makar Sakranti would be celebrated as a district level fair from next year, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur said today. Addressing a public meeting on Makar Sankranti at Tattapani, 65 km from here, Thakur also accused the previous Congress government of burdening the state with a debt of Rs 46,500 crore. Congress leaders have still not reconciled with their defeat in the assembly elections, he said. He said the issue of restoration of the hot sulphur springs and bathing ghats would be taken up with the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) and the Sutlej Jal Vidyut Nigam limited (SJVNL). A detailed project report (DPR) would be prepared by the organisations and restoration work would be taken up soon, he said. Thakur said religious places like Mahu Nag, Kamru Nag, Shikari Devi, Rewalsar would be developed from a religious point of view to promote tourism and the issue would be taken up with the central government for funding. He said Makar Sankranti was celebrated with great devotion and fervour at Tattapani and recalled the days when he used to visit the place to take a dip in the Sutlej river. There was vast scope for religious and adventure tourism in the state and every possible measure would be taken to restore the lost glory of Tattapani and exploit the tourism potential, he said. Taking a dig at the Congress, Thakur said the party was yet to reconcile to the fact that the people had voted it out of power and asked its leaders to accept the verdict with grace. He alleged that the Congress had burdened the state with a debt of Rs 46,500 crore and despite liberal financial assistance from the Centre, there was no development. In run up to the elections, 40 to 50 inaugurations and foundations stones were laid by the former chief minister and the Congress leaders to fool the people but it was all in vain, he claimed. He alleged that under the Congress rule the law and order situation was bad in the state. "The Gudiya rape and murder case had shocked the people and the arrest of nine police officials, including an IG and an SP, in the custodial death case had sullied the image of police.
Its credibility had dipped so much that demands were made to hand over all sensitive cases to the CBI," he alleged. He said that the age limit for old age pension had been reduced from 80 to 70 years to benefit senior citizens and a sub-committee was set up to formulate a substantive policy in this regard. The chief minister dubbed the decision of the previous Congress government to grant unemployment allowance to jobless youths as a "disastrous" decision and an election stunt. The chief minister asked the officers concerned to prepare a detailed project report of the Karsog bypass. He also issued directions for preparation of a DPR of the approach road to Maanjuand announced the release ofRs 10 lakh for it. Earlier, he had inaugurated the state-level Legal Services Camp at Sunni and unveiled the statue of Lord 'Shani Dev' near Lakshmi Narayan Temple. He alsoinaugurated the medical camp organised jointly by Hedgewar Samiti, Durga Devi Bihari Lal Birochan Lal (DDBL) Charitable Trust and Almighty Blessings at Tattapani. Named after Keshav Baliram Hedgewar, the founder of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the samiti is involved in social welfare.
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