Education minister Suresh Bhardwaj on Monday said the Central University of Himachal Pradesh will function from Dehra and Dharamshala in Kangra district.

Replying to a question by CPM MLA from Theog, Rakesh Singha in the state assembly, Bhardwaj said the state government has transferred land in the name of Central University at Dehra. In Dharamshala, the government had earmarked land for the varsity, but the same has to be transferred yet.

He said the location issue of the Central University had been hanging fire for long, but the government will settle this and lay the foundation stone for the varsity this year. He asked the members to let the government set up the Central University with no more controversy.

Singha asked the government to settle the issue for once and for all and ensure that the standard of the varsity is not hit because of the delay.

In reply to another question by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA from Nurpur, Rakesh Pathania, regarding illegal stone crushers in Chakki Khad in Kangra district, Industries Minister Bikram Singh said the government was committed to check illegal mining across the state.

The minister said the government will ensure that the blood relations of the defaulters will also not be given permission to run stone crushers.

He informed the House that 40 stone crushers were running on Chakki Khad in Nurpur and Indora subdivisions and 20 units have been closed.

Earlier, raising the question, Pathania said there was a trend that if a stone crusher is declared illegal, a close relative of the owner gets the permission to run it. He said there were many cases, where the industries department gave land on lease for stone crushers and the owners later got permission for fisheries ponds as well in Chakki Khad, but as per official information, there was no fish production there. He said the outstanding amount of penalty due from the defaulter stone crushers in Chakki Khad was Rs 80.71 crore.

“One can imagine, how much money would be pending from defaulter stone crushers from the entire state,” Pathania said. On this, the minister said 34 illegal stone crushers have been served fresh notices. “No permission has been given by the present government,” he said.