Tuesday, Jul 05, 2022

CM Invites PM Modi To Inaugurate ‘Swarnim Rath Yatra’ On Himachal Day

A special Himachal Assembly session also likely to be held, to be addressed by either the President or Vice-President

L-R: Jai Ram Thakur, Narendra Modi, Rajnath Singh DD/PTI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who could not make it to the golden jubilee celebrations of Himachal Pradesh’s statehood on January 25 at Shimla’s historic Ridge, is likely to arrive in Mandi on April 15 – Himachal Day.

Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur, who met Prime Minister Modi at New Delhi on Monday, said on his return here, “I have invited Modiji to flag off ‘Swarnim Rath Yatra’ – an yearlong event showcasing Himachal’s 50 glorious years of journey of development. The yatra is aimed at reaching out to 25 lakh people in the state's 12 districts.”

He was initially slated to attend the January 25 event, held at the Ridge, but due to his engagements relating to Republic Day, the Prime Minister could not make it, yet promised to attend any event next in Himachal Pradesh.

The Prime Minister was in Himachal Pradesh on October 3, 2020 to inaugurate the world famous Rohtang Tunnel.

His Mandi visit holds more importance because the state will soon be witnessing four municipal corporation elections at Dharamshala, Palampur, Solan and Mandi. Mandi is also the home district of the chief minister.

Besides the “rath yatra”, massive preparations are on for three other key events to get highest political mileage out of Modi’s visit ahead of the 2022 Assembly polls.

He will inaugurate the 111MW Sawra Kuddu hydel project located in the Rohru area of Shimla district on Pabbar river, a tributary of the Yumana. The project, which is running at least eight years behind schedule, enjoys a distinction of having an 11km-long underground tunnel.

This could turn out to be a very expensive project with the cost of producing 1MW of power likely to be around Rs 14.50 crore.

Another mega hydel project in queue for laying foundation stone is Luhri (stage-II), a 210MW hydel project, which was cleared by the Union cabinet in November 2020 for implementation by Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam (SJVNL).

The project is located in the downstream of the 1,500 Nathpa-Jhakri hydel project and 412MW Rampur hydel project. The project had been facing a lot of opposition from local people and environmental groups.

The BJP government has also proposed a special Assembly session to be addressed by the President or Vice-President in connection with 50-year celebrations of the state.