Dehradun: The Uttarakhand government on Wednesday sought a one-time assistance of Rs 500 crore from the Centre for the Ardha Kumbh mela that is scheduled to begin in January next.
The mela sees a vast congregation of people converge on the banks of the Ganga in Haridwar.
In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat said the event is likely to be attended by 7-8 crore people this year and the state government is making all efforts to ensure that it passes off smoothly.
Infrastructural works of permanent nature are being taken up on a large scale this time in the Ardha Kumbha mela area, Rawat said adding that out of a total of projects worth Rs 500 related to the event works of permanent nature are worth Rs 325 crore.
Apart from sanctioning Rs 321 crore for the Ardha Kumabh out of its own resources the state government has already approached Finance Minister Arun Jaitley with a request for an assistance of Rs 500 crore, Rawat said in the letter.
Even the Niti Ayog has recommended an assistance of Rs 166.67 crore to Uttarakhand for the purpose.
Considering the importance of the event and the limited resources at the state government's disposal, the Centre should give a one-time assistance of Rs 500 crore to Uttarakhand as early as possible, the CM said in his letter to the Prime Minister.
Rawat also sought extension by another year of the period for transfer of forest land upto 5 hectares for infrastructural work in disaster-hit areas of Uttarakhand.
Though thanking Modi for recently extending the period for relaxation of the norm by a year in consideration of Uttarakhand's special circumstances, Rawat said as most of the work to be done in affected areas is likely to take longer the period should be further extended by another year.
In another letter to Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, Rawat demanded installation of Air Traffic Fuel (ATF) supply facilities at the Pantnagar Airport.