No to Palampur MC tag upsets leaders, NGOs

The Vice President, Shri Bhairon Singh Shekhawat releasing a novel written by former Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh Shri Shanta Kumar, in New Delhi on March 23, 2006.

The decision not to upgrade the Palampur Municipal Council into municipal corporation (MC) by the government has not gone down well with town residents. Former Chief Minister Shanta Kumar has reportedly expressed displeasure with Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur.

Sources said the district administration had now sent a proposal to extend the limits of the Palampur Municipal Council. The proposal is being taken as a precursor for upgrading the Palampur civic body.

After the Cabinet decided to upgrade Mandi and Solan to corporations, many NGOs in Palampur have threatened agitation.

Despite the fact that the town was in dire need for expansion of its urban limits, the sources said hoteliers and commercial establishments outside the municipal limits were not allowing it to happen. The reason was that such hotels were enjoying all privileges of the urban centre, but were not paying any taxes. Many of these were owned by political leaders and influential people of Dharamsala.

The Municipal Council of Palampur had passed a resolution and sent it to the government to increase the limits of the town. It was bearing the burden of all villages on the vicinity, which have virtually got converted into commercial hubs.

Ashish Butail, Congress MLA from Palampur, said during the stint of the previous Congress government, then CM Virbhadra Singh had offered to convert Palampur into corporation. However, the residents of the adjoining panchayats did not give their consent for it. “I am in favour of extending the urban limits of Palampur as it will help to provide better facilities for the city,” he said.

Source : The Tribune