Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on Wednesday flagged the issue of proposed water cess on hydropower plants with his Himachal Pradesh counterpart Sukhvinder Sukhu. However, the latter clarified that the cess is not imposed on Punjab.
Sukhu called on Mann at his official residence here.
During the meeting, the Chief Minister expressed the concern of the state over the proposed water cess on hydropower plants being implemented by the Himachal Pradesh government.
Mann said the water cess should not be implemented as it is against the interests of the state.
However, the Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister clarified that the water cess will be levied only on the hydropower plants within their own state, adding it will not be applicable in Punjab.
Meanwhile, in order to resolve the issue Sukhu and Mann agreed that the Chief Secretaries and the Power Secretaries of the two states will meet after every fortnight to ensure that there is no bickering amongst the states.
They said the top brass bureaucrats of both the states will amicably solve the issues confronting the states so that there is no issue between them.
Both the Chief Ministers agreed for mutual cooperation in various fields for benefitting the people.
Flagging another issue, Sukhu batted for ropeway between Sri Anandpur Sahib and Naina Devi-ji to mutually benefit the two states.
He said the ropeway will facilitate lakhs of devotees visiting these two historic and religious sites in a smooth and hassle-free manner.
The two Chief Ministers agreed that the project will ease the travel of devotees visiting the two shrines, which were located quite far from each other, with hilly terrain compounding their problems.
Meanwhile, they also expressed concurrence over setting up the Pathankot-Dalhousie ropeway project to boost tourism. They said besides facilitating the tourists it will also help to boost the socio-economic development of both the states.
The leaders also stressed on the huge tourism potential in the region and said it was in the interest of both the states in the region to work collectively to facilitate tourism.
Mann also sought mutual cooperation between both states in the power sector too.
He said Himachal Pradesh can sell excess power available with it to the state during the peak season, adding that this will help resolving the issue of power during the paddy season in the state.