New Delhi, Sep 10 (IANS) Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh Tuesday called on union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram here and requested special assistance for developmental projects.
The delegation led by him, which also comprised two ministers, demanded declaration of a railway line project to link Chandigarh with the state's prominent industrial hub Baddi as of national importance.
The chief minister sought Rs.500 crore for strengthening infrastructural network in the state, an official statement said.
He said the Chandigarh-Baddi new railway line should be declared a project of national importance keeping in view its geographical importance.
Virbhadra Singh said survey of this new line has been completed and it would facilitate the movement of goods and services from the industrial areas of the state.
For laying this line, the chief minister said the state is willing to provide all necessary support and infrastructure.
Revenue Minister Kaul Singh and Industries Minister Mukesh Agnihotri accompanied the chief minister at the meeting.
The chief minister requested Chidambaram to start construction work on Bhanupalli-Bilaspur railway line as per the decision taken by the Prime Minister's Office Aug 8, 2007, in which it was agreed to fund the project in the pattern of 75:25 between the Indian Railways and the state.
He said that so far only 44 km of rail line has been constructed in the state since Independence and requested Chidambaram to provide adequate funds to the railway projects.
Regarding the early release of calamity relief, the chief minister said a central team has already toured the state to assess the flood losses and has submitted its report.
Virbhadra Singh and his entire cabinet met the prime minister here Monday and briefed him about the massive losses on account of heavy rains.
At the meeting, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh assured the ministers that the centre would release adequate funds to the state from the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) for relief and restoration in flood-affected areas.
The prime minister said all demands of the state government, like extension of industrial package, Special Plan Assistance and strengthening of the rail network will be positively considered in a time-bound manner.