Dehradun: Flagging revival of tourism which was hit hard by 2013 flash floods as his top priority, Chief Minister Harish Rawat on Tuesday said a number of initiatives have been taken by the state government to give the message of a safe Uttarakhand to the outside world so that the tourism industry in the state could be put back on track.
"Tourism is the mainstay of our economy. Our efforts are directed towards its revival. Giving the message of a safe Uttarakhand to the outside world is necessary for this. Hence we are focusing as of now on the Char Dham and Mansarovar pilgrimages."
"Once we succeed in achieving our priorities, we will shift our attention to the redressal of the problems of employees, " Rawat said, addressing the sixth session of technical and field employees association of Uttarakhand Jal Sansthan here.
Noting that employees can contribute significantly towards putting tourism and the state's economy back on track, Rawat asked them to prepare an atmosphere conducive to the state's rise on the growth trajectory over the next six months.
He said the state has not been able to benefit from a number of central schemes due to its incapacity for increased spending.
"Because of our failure to spend we have not been able to benefit properly from a number of central schemes," he said.
He also regretted the fact that even 14 years after the creation of Uttarakhand, the entire state has not been covered under the water pipeline network.
On the charter of demands presented by the employees association, the chief minister said the conversion of 'Jal Sansthan' and 'Peya Jal Nigam' into government bodies is possible but they need to be unified before that as there cannot be two separate departments on drinking water.
"The employees should come up with a formula to address the incompatibilities likely to emerge from unification of the two institutions. Then alone can the government take steps in that direction," he said.