Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat struck a confident pose today over the holding of Assembly session in Gairsain, a remote hill town in Chamoli district, even as doubts were expressed over the move's feasibility. Asserting that all efforts would be made to conduct the session, beginning June 9, at minimum costs, Rawat said with the cooperation of all, including the opposition, it would not be difficult.
"I am confident that the forthcoming session of the state Assembly next month will be held succssfully if we get the cooperation of all including the opposition party," Rawat told reporters after a meeting with Assembly Speaker Govind Singh Kunjwal.
Yesterday, Kunjwal had announced that the monsoon session of the Assembly was proposed to be held at Gairsain from June 9. BJP, however, argued that it will not be practical to hold a session there as it will be a waste of money. Though the Assembly building at Gairsain would take a few years more to come up, Rawat has tried to strike an emotional chord with the hill people by holding a session there as a large section of those who fought for statehood favoured the hill town as the permanent capital of the state.
Rawat's predecessor, BJP's Vijay Bahuguna had laid the foundation stone for an Assembly building at Gairsain on January 14, 2013, and announced that at least one session of the state Assembly will be held there every year. In the absence of proper infrastructure, the Assembly session will be held in a tent.
Explaining the reason behind the delay in construction of the Assembly building at Gairsain, Kunjwal said tender allotment and other formalities took longer than expected. However, the NBCC which has been entrusted with the task will launch work on the project next month, he said. "Rs 25 crore, out of a total estimated cost of Rs 170 crore to be spent on the project, have already been given to the NBCC to start work," he said. The Chief Minister also said that an infrastructure board has been constituted under the chairmanship of Assembly Deputy Speaker Anusuya Prasad Maikhuri to speed up work on the project.