Dhumal walking towards austerity

Shimla, July 15 (IANS) Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal walks his way to his office as an austerity measure following the hike in petrol prices.

‘I prefer to go to the office on foot as petrol prices have jacked up massively, putting a massive burden on state’s exchequer,’ Dhumal told IANS.

‘Walking is more than a fashion in the hills. It keeps you healthy and active,’ he added.

He says saving petrol is part of the government’s austerity drive.

‘The financial health of the state is in the red. Saving every penny is our priority. I have also directed the government functionaries to help in curtailing wasteful expenditure,’ he said.

For the past three days, Dhumal has been seen trudging more than a kilometre from his official residence to the state secretariat.

Soon after taking over the reins of the state for the second time Dec 30, 2007, Dhumal had said garlands, bouquets, shawls or mementoes presented to him at public functions involve gross wastage of money.

He directed party workers to instead donate the money to the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund.

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