Himachal Pradesh seeks central funds for airport, rail expansion

New Delhi: HP Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur met 15th Finance Commission Chairman N.K. Singh here on Tuesday and discussed state’s priorities and need for funds for upgradation of airport connectivity infrastructure and railway expansion.

Thakur also sought Rs 2,000 crore special grant for construction of an international airport at Nagchala in the Mandi district.

He said technical survey related to obstacle limitation surfaces had been completed by the Airport Authority of India (AAI) and discussions were on for facilities to operate of wide-bodied aircraft.

Stating that the state was vulnerable to natural disasters, like flash floods, cloudbursts, forest fires, droughts, cold waves and avalanches, the Chief Minister sought hike in the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF).

The SDRF must be 100 per cent funded by the central government, he added.

The state should also be compensated for the externalities arising from environment conservation and forest protection, the Chief minister said.