Chief Minister, Thakur Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu held a substantive discussion on various bilateral matters with his Punjab counterpart, Bhagwant Mann in Chandigarh today.
While addressing a Joint press conference, Chief Minister, Thakur Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu said that Himachal and Punjab have a common cultural heritage and share cordial relations since ages.
The Chief Minister said that besides water cess, he also held detailed discussions on hydropower projects in Himachal Pradesh including Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB) and Shanan Hydroelectric Project and various tourism projects. He said that some misconceptions regarding water cess were also resolved in today’s meeting. The water cess levied by Himachal Pradesh would not be imposed on water but on hydropower projects operating within the state and both Punjab and Haryana will not suffer any loss due to this water cess, said the Chief Minister.
He said that a committee of Chief Secretary and Energy Secretary of Himachal Pradesh and equivalent officers of Punjab would be constituted to conduct a detailed discussion over various hydroelectric projects including water. This committee will straighten out the matters in a time-bound manner besides discussing the projects of Bhakra Beas Management Board, said the Chief Minister, besides will amicably solve the contentious issues if any.
Thakur Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu said that he also held a detailed discussion over the further implementation of Shanan project as the 99 years lease of the project is expiring in 2024. Apart from this we also discussed the ropeway between Shri Anandpur Sahib and Mata Naina Devi for facilitating the pilgrims.
Thakur Sukhvinder Singh invited the Sh. Mann to visit Himachal, which he gladly accepted.
Punjab, Chief Minister, said that the issue of religious tourism in Himachal Pradesh besides water cess and various other projects was discussed in detail during the meeting amicably. Himachal and Punjab would work together on various joint projects of religious tourism in future also, said Sh. Mann.
Wife of Punjab Chief Minister, Dr. Gurpreet Kaur, MLA Bhoranj, Suresh Kumar, Media Advisor, Naresh Chauhan, Advisor (IT), Gokul Butail, Principal Private Secretary, Vivek Bhatia and senior officers of Punjab Government were also present on the occasion.