Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat. (File Photo: IANS). Image Source: IANS News

Dehradun, July 12 : The issue of Gairsain as Uttarakhand's capital on Friday heated up after scores of Congress workers led by former Chief Minister Harish Rawat courted arrest against the state government's decision to allow sale and purchase of land there.

A group of statehood activists are demanding Gairsain be made the permanent capital, a demand which is not fully supported by both the ruling BJP and Congress. The state Cabinet this week took the decision to allow the sale and purchase of land at Gairsain which had been stopped by the previous Congress government.

Nearly 250 Congress workers courted arrest. Rawat also demanded that Gairsain should be declared as a district. He also said he would fully support the Gairsain Sangharsh Samiti which has launched an agitation on the issue.

Ever since the creation of Uttarakhand as a separate state on November 9, 2000, Gairsain remains an emotive issue in the hill state. A number of Vidhan Sabha sessions have been held so far at Gairsain.

But successive governments never showed seriousness in solving the issue of the permanent capital and also did not consider the report of the V.N. Dixit Commission which was set up to solve the imbroglio.

The commission had looked into the feasibility of five places - Dehradun, Gairsain, Rishikesh, Kashipur and Ramnagar as the state capital on several parameters including geographical conditions, population, accessibility, transport system, seismic conditions and security. The commission submitted its 250-page report in 2008 to the then BJP government.

But since then, no action had been taken on the report which recommended that Dehradun should be made the permanent capital and rejected Gairsain as it is prone to earthquakes.

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