Rawat asks Swaraj to bat for Uttarakhand's special status

Drawing attention to the limited resources at the disposal of?Himalayan states, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat on Friday requested Union Minister Sushma Swaraj to take up with the Centre the issue of maintaining the state's special category status which helped it get generous help from the Centre in the past.

Dehradun: Drawing attention to the limited resources at the disposal of?Himalayan states, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat on Friday requested Union Minister Sushma Swaraj to take up with the Centre the issue of maintaining the state's special category status which helped it get generous help from the Centre in the past.

"Uttarakhand cannot be placed in the same category as states like Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka, Goa or Haryana. But ours is a young state tucked away in the Himalayas.

"With 65 per cent of our land covered by forests, our sources of income and revenue generation are limited. This basic difference between the Himalayan states and the rest of the states should always be taken into account," Rawat said in a statement here.

Requesting the Union Minister to bat for keeping up Uttarakhand's special category status under which it used to get funds from the Centre for schemes in the ratio of 90:10, he said without a generous helping hand from the Centre disadvantaged Himalayan states cannot be expected to prosper.

"Uttarakhand has been stripped of its special category status. Implementation of eight schemes have been left entirely to the state's own resources?and the funding pattern for at least 24 schemes has been changed with the ratio revised to 50:50," he said.

Taking a dig at the BJP's state leadership, he said all this would not have happened if it presented facts related to the state before its central leadership in the right way.

Rawat said Swaraj is a leader of national stature and he takes her very seriously but simultaneously he would like to politely remind her that in the past five years the state received Rs 110 crore for police modernisation but this year no funds have so far been received from the Centre for the purpose.

Similarly, not a penny has been received for jail modernisation or the 2016 Ardhakumbha Mela despite repeated requests made to the Centre in this regard, Rawat said.

"Everyone knows unseasonal rains have affected the state badly. Still no help has as yet come from the centre for either farmers or sugarcane growers," he said. 

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