Shimla: A joint committee of Uttarakhand government and Army would be constituted to speed up the progress of pending issues, including that of Annandale ground, between the two sides, Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh said on Tuesday.
Presiding over the Civil-Military Liaison conference between the officers of state government and Western Command held here, Singh said that the committee would meet once in a month to review the progress in all pending issues.
Terming Army, civil administration, para military forces and police as important pillars of democratic society, the chief minister said that the proper co-ordination between them is must for maintenance of internal as well as external security of the nation.
Singh mentioned the importance of the role of the Army during the relief operations at the time of natural calamities, restoration of damaged roads and bridges, water supply schemes and other infrastructure.
Thanking the chief minister for quick response on the Annandale issue, Lt. General Sanjiv Chachra, GOC-in-C, Western Com requested him to consider fresh leasing of the ground to the Army for longer duration.
The 121-bigha ground, surrounded by thick forests just 4.5 km from Shimla`s Ridge, had become the apple of discord between the government and the Army amid an intensified campaign launched by Himachal Pradesh Cricket association headed by Anurag Thakur, MP and son of Dhumal, to restore it to the state authorities.
The matter ended only after the Defence Ministry made it clear that it could not part with Annandale ground as it was of strategic importance for the Army.