Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur on Monday called on Union Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman at New Delhi and demanded ‘Himachal Regiment’ to recognise the gallant services of soldiers.
“More than 1,200 soldiers had laid down their lives for the motherland and 1,100 gallantry awards, including four PVC have been conferred to Himachali soldiers,” he said.
Thakur said, armed forces are the most preferred career choice for the youth of the state, however, recruitment quota for the state has been reduced after implementation of RMP (Recruitable Male Population) concept. He requested for increasing the same.
He urged the Defence minister for development of the Kangra airport for the Air Force and said after the expansion, it can be used for defence purposes as landing fighter planes, heavy aircrafts.
“The airport can be an alternative to Pathankot airport as the second line of defence on account of its safe distance from the border and strategic location,” he said.
The CM said this will require acquisition of additional 571 acre land, the cost of which will need to be met by the Defence ministry.
He also requested for an assurance that civilian flights will continue to be operated from the airport even after its development as defence asset.
He also requested for support of the Ministry in shifting war equipment to War Memorial at Dharamshala which has been constructed as a tribute to brave martyrs.
He urged for taking forward the case of Manali-Leh railway line which is strategically important to the nation from the defence point of view.
Nirmala Sitharaman assured CM of all possible assistance on these issues raised by him.