Question hour: PRI, local body polls to be held as per schedule – chandigarh
Elections to Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) and urban local bodies (ULBs) will be held as scheduled and the process will start after new panchayats are constituted, chief minister Jai Ram Thakur said on Thursday in response to a question posed by legislators Hira Lal, Inder Dutt Lakhanpal and Vinay Kumar.
The CM said new panchayats had not been formed in the state in 15 years.“The process to constitute new panchayats was started in 2010 but could not be completed due to the census,” he said.
“The government had received proposals to form new panchayats before the elections. In the meantime, another notification for population census was issued by central government and panchayats and new revenue units could not be formed. Later, due to the pandemic, the central government withdrew the census notification, which left the state free to create new panchayats and revenue units,” the CM said.
The CM said there were many remote and backward areas in the state and the rules had been relaxed to form new panchayats in the area. Panchayati Raj minister Virendra Kanwar said 206 new panchayats had been formed in 2005. “There are many big panchayats in remote areas where people have to walk 20-25 km to reach the panchayat headquarters. He said a total of 325 new panchayats were being formed.”
Leader of opposition Mukesh Agnihotri asked the CM when will the voter list be finalised, reservation roaster issued and code of conduct enforced. He also alleged that the CM had changed rules and regulations to create new panchayats in his constituency, to which Thakur replied that the new panchayats had been constituted as per the demand and suggestions of the people.
In response to a question asked by BJP MLA from Bhatiyat, Bikram Singh Jaryal, regarding the stalled construction of a link road in his constituency, the CM said the work will be resumed as soon as government receives permission to cut 587 trees.
He said ₹ 2.75 crore was sanctioned for the construction of the 10-km road in 2007-08 under Phase-7 of the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY), of which only 5km of road had been laid.
Responding to BJP MLA Ramesh Dhawala, power minister Sukhram Chaudhary said there were no restrictions on setting up a solar energy project and anyone who had completed the formalities will be allowed to do so.
Chaudhary said the conditions for setting up big projects was different and those interested must provide details regarding consumption of electricity.
He said project promoters could sell equity shares at any times as per the provisions of the hydropower policy approved by the government.
He further said that there were different criteria for projects with a capacity up to and above five mega watts (MW), under which the promoter can transfer 100% equity shares to Himachal residents while 49% equity shares can be transferred to non-Himachalis.