A joint action committee formed by various social organisations, panchayats and local bodies for the grant of the district status to Palampur has decided to resort to direct action from the first week of April, if the state government failed to declare Palampur a district.
The committee has threatened to gherao Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal during his visit to the town on April 7. President of the committee Jagmel Katoch, said is a press conference that till date injustice had been done with Palampur. The beautiful hill town had turned into a slum because of the apathy on the part of the state government. In the absence of the district status for Palampur, the region failed to get a dozen major development projects funded by the Union Government, whereas small towns that were declared districts had received a major share of Central funds.
Jagmel Katoch said recently the state government had distributed Rs 42 crore, received under the Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission from the Union Government, to five district towns. Despite the Palampur region having a population of seven lakh, it failed to get even a single paisa under this programme. Districts like Una, Solan, Kulu and Bilaspur with less population had received a major share.
Criticising the Congress and BJP leaders who were opposing the reorganisation of districts in the state, Katoch said they should restrict their political activities to their respective constituencies and not interfere in other areas.