himachal second capital
Source: Wikimedia
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  • Virbhadra Singh, the Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh, has in a major political decision announced that Dharamsala town in the Kangra district will now be the second capital of the state.
  • It is around 250 Km away from the state capital of Shimla.

About Dharamsala (Read in Hindi)

  • It is situated in the snow-capped Dhauladhar Range.
  • It was formerly known as Bhagsu.
  • It is famous the world over as the abode of Dalai Lama and attracts people from across the world.
  • The headquarters of the Central Tibetan Administration (the Tibetan government in exile) are in Dharamsala.
  • It has a Vidhan Sabha building.
  • 12 Winter Sessions of the assembly have been held here so far since 2005.
  • It was also selected as one among the 100 Indian cities to be developed as a SMART city under the Smart Cities Mission.

Benefit of the Announcement

  • People will not have to travel all the way to Shimla for their work.

Criticism of the Move

  • The state is poll-bound and the move has been criticised by the opposition as an election gimmick to woo the voters.
  • Reason: Kangra is the largest district in the state with 15 of 68 assembly seats.
  • The state is already cash-strapped by holding few days of the winter session of the state assembly in Dharamshala.
  • The new status would put additional pressure on the state exchequer.
  • No clarity has been given on how the offices shall shift from Shimla to Dharamshala in winters.

Not the First time

  • Jammu & Kashmir is the only other state to have two capitals: Srinagar (Summer Capital) and Jammu (Winter Capital).

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