Himachal seeks help for better infrastructure on China border

New Delhi, June 5 (IANS) Himachal Pradesh Wednesday sought central assistance to strengthen civil and military infrastructure in its areas along the border with China.

Raising the issue in the chief ministers' meet on internal security here, Health and Family Welfare Minister Kaul Singh requested the central government to provide liberal financial assistance to strengthen police and civil establishments in Kinnaur and Lahaul-Spiti districts, which fall along the Indo-Tibet border.

He requested the union government to enhance financial allocations under the Border Area Development Programme.

Pleading that a broad-gauge rail line be built to link Manali with Leh in Jammu and Kashmir, he said this would help in transporting men and material to border areas of Ladakh, which are strategically important from the security point of view.

He also demanded 100 percent funding for police for equipping forces with high-altitude mountain gear and disaster management equipment to tackle natural disasters.

Singh also demanded reimbursement of the entire expenditure on security for Tibetan spiritual leaders the Dalai Lama and the 17th Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje, who reside in Dharamsala, the headquarters of the Tibetan government-in-exile.

He said that at present only a part of expenditure of the Dalai Lama is being reimbursed by the Ministry of External Affairs while the entire expenditure on the security of the Karmapa is being borne by the state.

He said the state would set up a Tibetan refugee unit in the state intelligence department, and a Tibetan refugee cell in Dharamsala.

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