Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami has emphasized the importance of considering ecology in the development model of the state. In an interview with NDTV, he stated, “We want to call everyone’s attention to increasing industries without hampering the ecology.” This statement comes in the wake of a recent incident where 41 laborers were rescued from an under-construction tunnel after 17 days.
The tunnel in question is part of the Char Dham route, and the state has faced criticism for its lack of proper security measures leading to the mishap. In response, Chief Minister Dhami announced that the Centre has ordered safety audits for the Char Dham project. He stressed that while development is crucial for the state, safety takes precedence. “Vikas (development) is very important for the state, but safety is even more important. Our focus was on the rescue… Safety will be a priority,” he affirmed.
Chief Minister Dhami also expressed gratitude towards Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his support during the rescue operation. “I thank God and the Prime Minister that he kept asking about the ops. He guided us. He helped us get every machine we needed. That is why we were successful,” he acknowledged.
Regarding the state’s development plans, Dhami highlighted initiatives such as providing affordable wifi and improving infrastructure. “We are offering wifi at the lowest prices here. Roads and expressways are being constructed. By 2024, the road from Delhi to Dehradun will be ready, reducing travel time to 2.5 hours. Air connectivity is also being enhanced, with plans to upgrade Dehradun and Pantnagar airports to international standards. Additionally, heliports are being established,” he explained.
Furthermore, the Chief Minister mentioned that Uttarakhand has shown support for a Uniform Civil Code (UCC). He stated, “We share international borders, people are in the forces… hence the law should be the same for all… We have reached out to people and experts and taken their opinions. Once we get the draft, we will proceed with it.”
Overall, Chief Minister Dhami’s focus on balancing development with ecological considerations, prioritizing safety, and acknowledging the support received during the rescue operation reflects his commitment to the well-being and progress of Uttarakhand.