Tug of war in Himachal Congress over IIM

July 13, 2014

Shmila: Congress leaders are divided over the question of where the Indian Institute of Management should come up. While chief minister Virbhadra Singh wants to set up the IIM either in Solan or Sirmaur, senior Congress leader Ram Lal Thakur wants it in Bilaspur.

Earlier, the chief minister said the IIM should either be opened in Solan or Sirmaur. According to him, around 50 acres of land is needed for the project and if such a huge chunk of land is not available in Solan or Sirmaur, other districts would be explored. He has made it clear that the IIM project will not be delayed.

However, senior Congress leader and former minister Ram Lal Thakur said the IIM should come up in Bilaspur, which has been neglected all these years. "When it comes to reputed educational institutes, Kangra and Mandi are preferred, despite Bilaspur being a central location," he said.

Thakur said people of Bilaspur have sacrificed their lands and homes for construction of the Bhakra dam and have suffered the pain of displacement, getting nothing in return. "The medical college, agricultural university, Central university and National Institute of Fashion Technology are all located in Kangra while Mandi has the IIT," he said.

The former minister, who is chairman of the government's 20 point programme, said Solan has a large number of private universities. "In Solan, some of the panchayats have two universities, while Sirmaur is going to have a medical college. Bilaspur has nothing," he pointed out. Thakur said they would meet the CM to press their demand soon. (source: TOI)

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