Planning Commission asks Himachal to do more for rural development, irrigation and flood control

Shimla: Against a 2006-07 plan outlay of Rs 1860 crore, even though the state overshot the targeted expenditure ending up spending Rs 2017 crores, but Syeda Hameed, planning commission member asked administrative secretaries that more needed to be done in rural development, irrigation and flood control sectors.

Presiding over a review committee meeting of the progress in the current annual plan at Chandigarh, today Hameed said that the development pace needed to be accelerated, especially in rural development, irrigation and flood control. She stressed the need to take more steps for empowering women and improving their socio-economic conditions.

Chief secretary, Ravi Dhingra urged the planning commission to extend support for the hydro power schemes as they were important for the long term financial health of the state. He also asked for a separate central assistance package for meeting the infrastructure needs of transport and tourism sectors as this could not be met by normal plan ceilings.

Dhingra sought funding for a gravity water supply scheme for Shimla and for the accelerated rural water supply and irrigation schemes. He disclosed that that the state had achieved more than 100% targets under 20 point Programme and obtained number one rank in the country under poverty reduction. The chief secretary said that the state desired that the National Rural Employment Guarantee Assurance Scheme, under implementation in four districts need to be extended to the remaining eight other districts of the state.