Tribune News Service
Shimla, March 2
Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur said on Saturday that think tanks and policymakers should suggest programmes that were realistic and practical, keeping in view the topographic conditions and terrains of the region.
He was addressing the inaugural session of the two-day ‘Development models for hilly states in new emerging India’ conclave organised by the Centre of Policy Research and Governance here.
Thakur said it was vital to forge ahead on the path of progress and prosperity in a planned and sustainable manner. He said planners should ensure that public money was utilised judiciously, so that people could derive maximum benefits out of development projects.
The Chief Minister said the conclave was a unique initiative and first of its kind, where regional disparities, analysis of developmental achievements of hilly regions and the need for policy intervention to get adequate financial support would be discussed.
“The state government is developing virgin and unexplored destinations in the state to attract maximum number of tourists. Chanshal in Shimla district will be developed as a skiing destination, Jhanjheli in Mandi as an eco-tourism spot and Bir Billing in Kangra district as a paragliding destination,” said Thakur.
The Chief Minister said it was essential that a dialogue be initiated on various dimensions and regions which remained neglected in national policies.
Education Minister Suresh Bhardwaj said the theme of the conclave was vital as the hilly states had different development needs and required massive infrastructural development.
Ramanand Pandey, Director, Centre of Policy Research and Governance, said the conclave aimed at building a platform for the Himalayan region, where all hilly states could discuss their policies and learn from each other’s experiences. Noted economists, political scientists and policymakers are participating in the conclave.