U'khand Assembly Speaker for Gairsain as permanent

Dehradun: Uttarakhand Assembly Speaker Govind Singh Kunjwal on Saturday favoured Gairsain as the permanent capital of the hill state saying Vidhan Bhawans are built only in state capitals.

"An assembly building is constructed only at a place where the capital of a state is located. As the process for construction of an assembly building in Gairsain has already been initiated by the state government, it will also have to do something about declaring it as the permanent capital of the state," Kunjwal said.

The Speaker also said the Rs 88 crore approved by the 13th Finance Commission for construction of an assembly building in Uttarakhand will have to be spent over the Vidhan Bhawan project at Gairsain and not on building of a proposed new assembly building in Dehradun for which the land is yet to be acquired by the state government.

Asked about the status of the proposed new Assembly building in Dehradun, Kunjwal said a site in Raipur area of the city has been selected for the purpose but many formalities need to be completed as it is a reserve forest land.

"The site selected for the purpose falls in a reserve forest area and the government will have to get clearances from the cabinet and the Ministry of Forest and Environment before acquiring it," he said.

"As such the amount that is received from the 13th finance commission after submission of the DPR will have to be spent on the Gairsain project," he said.

Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna who laid the foundation stone of an assembly building in Gairsain in January this year has been evasive on the issue of the remote area in the hills being made the permanent capital of the state, saying he prefers to think in terms of immediate goals.

"The task at hand is construction of a Vidhan Bhawan at Gairsain. It will take at least three years. Let the assembly building come up there first. Rest of the things can be decided later," Bahuguna had told reporters here recently.