The Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh Jairam Thakur has requested the N. K. Singh, the Finance Commission Chairman, to sanction Rs 2000 crores grant for the state, for construction of the international airport at Mandi district. He also discussed other priorities and need for funds for various development activities at the state.
According to Thakur, the Airports Authority of India (AAI) has already completed the technical survey related to Obstacle Limitation Surfaces (OLS) required for the construction of the airport at Nagchala in Mandi district of Himachal Pradesh. In the Obstacle Limitation Surfaces (OLS) survey, AAI determined a series of surfaces that set the height limits of objects around an aerodrome. Objects that project through the OLS become obstacles. The discussions are currently underway to construct an airport fir for wide-bodied aircraft at Himachal Pradesh.
Funds for Disaster Management
Besides the request for airport funding, Thakur also raised the need to enhance the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) to Singh. Himachal Pradesh is vulnerable to natural disasters such as floods, forest fires, droughts, etc. The state wants the Central Government to fund the complete SDRF of the state. Moreover, the state needs grants for infrastructure developments in various sectors, especially railway expansion.
Thakur pointed out that Himachal Pradesh deserves the compensations for the externalities arising from environment conservation and forest protection. Sanctioning adequate revenue deficit grant will not only keep the deficit neutralized, but the state will also have surplus funds to bear the CAPEX.
Senior officials from the state accompanied the Chief Minister Jairam Thakur for the meeting.