71st Independence Day was celebrated with enthusiasm and gaiety throughout Himachal Pradesh. Functions were organised at State, District and Sub-Divisional levels to mark the occasion. Unfurling National Flag, impressive march-past by contingents of Police, Home Guards, NCC, ITBP and cultural programmes were main attractions of the celebrations. People in large number in their traditional attire had started to assemble the venue of functions early morning to witness the celebration.
The District level function was organized at Seri Manch in a simple manner where H.P. Vidhan Sabha Speaker Shri B.B.L. Butail unfurled the national flag. He paid tributes to those people who lost their lives in massive landslide at Kotrupi in the district on 12 August and prayed for speedy recovery of the injured.
Detailing out the developmental works carried out in Mandi district during the regime of present government, he said Rs. 227 crore were spent under Social Security Pension Scheme and rupees 2.42 crore under Mukhya Mantri Kanyadaan Yojna benefitting 905 girls. He said three sub divisions, 30 kanungo circles and six patwar circles were created during this period in the district besides upgrading five Sub Tehsils and creating one new Sub Tehsil.
Chief Parliamentary Secretary Shri Sohan Lal Thakur, MP Shri Ramswaroop Sharma, Chairman, H.P. Milk Federation Shri Chet Ram Thakur were also present on the occasion.
The district level Independence Day function at Keylong, the headquarter of Lahaul-Spiti district was presided over by Health Minister Shri Kaul Singh Thakur.
He said that the State Government has set up various milestones of development and today Himachal Pradesh was on top in various parameters of development. The present Government opened and upgraded 1485 schools, 50 new colleges and 2300 kms long road besides constructing 215 bridges.
The Health Minister said that 230 new health institutes have been opened in the State while three medical colleges have been opened at Nahan, Chamba and Nerchowk whereas one more medical college at Hamirpur will be opened shortly. He said tele-medicine facility has been started at Keylong and Kaza to facilitate the people of the district to get specialized health services at their door steps.
The Minister said 27 panchayats out of total 28 panchayats of the district have been provided road connectivity and the bridge has been dedicated for the remaining one panchayat Nalda where the work on road will be completed shortly.
MLA Shri Ravi Thakur and Chairman, Wool Federation Shri Raghuver Singh were also present.
Presiding over the function at Nahan, Transport, Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs Minister Shri G. S. Bali said that 40 super deluxe bus services (Him Sewa) would be started shortly in the State at normal fare which would have facilities like volvo buses. He announced that superfast bus service would be plied between Gurudwara, Paonta Sahib and Gurudwara Manikaran within a month to facilitate the pilgrims.
He announced a sum of rupees three crore for modernization of Nahan bus stand and directed the officers concerned to release first instalment of rupees one crore. He announced to provide Rs. 50 lakh each for renovation of HRTC workshop at Nahan and construction of regional transport office besides rupees five lakh for purchase of furniture for RTO office. He also directed for plying bus services on different rural routes in Sirmaur district.
Shri Bali said that three engineering colleges, five polytechnics, 35 Industrial training institutes and a pharmacy college had been opened by the present state government besides spending Rs. 220 crore on strengthening of technical education sector to benefit the youth.
Chief Parliamentary Secretary Shri Vinay Kumar, Chairman, Employment Generation and Resources Mobilization Committee Shri Harsh Vardhan Chauhan, MLA Dr. Rajeev Bindal, Chairman, HIMFED Shri Ajay Bahadur Singh were also present on the occasion.
Agriculture Minister Shri Sujan Singh Pathania unfurled the national flag during district level function at Una.
He said that Mukhya Mantri Khet Sanrakshan Yojna is being implemented effectively in the State under which 80 percent subsidy has been made available to the farmers for protection of their crops from wild animals. He said 3100 polyhouses have been constructed in the State by spending Rs. 63.45 crores.
Highlighting the development in Una district, he said that a new industrial area is being developed at Pandoga at a cost of Rs. 150 crore whereas Tahliwal, Mehatpur, Gagret and Amb areas fast developing as industrial hub. The Government has opened four new degree colleges in the district. Special emphasis has been laid on improving the power supply throughout the district by setting up Power Sub Stations at various places.
He said that three kilometers long Haroli-Rampur bridge is soon going to be completed for which Rs. 56 crore has been provided.
MLA Shri Satpal Singh Satti, former Deputy Speaker Shri Ramnath Sharma, District Congress President Shri Virender Dharmani were also present on the occasion.
Speaking at the function organized at Chamba, Forest Minister Shri Thakur Singh Bharmouri said the State Government has ensured equitable, balanced and speedy development of every nook and corner of the State.
He said that degree colleges have been opened at Bharmour, Pangi, Lilh, Tissa, Saluni, Bhalei, Telka, Sinhuta and Chuwari in Chamba district and credit for opening these colleges goes to Chief Minister Shri Virbhadra Singh. He said that the classes in medical college sanctioned by the UPA Government will be started from this session.
He honoured officers, employees and others on the occasion for their outstanding services in their respective fields.
Former MLA Shri Bodh Raj was also present on the occasion among others.
Industries Minister Shri Mukesh Agnihotri presided over the district level function at Hamirpur. Speaking on the occasion, he said that State government has provided employment to 63,000 youth and decision has been made to give employment to 20,000 more youth during this year.
The State government has implemented Chief Minister Start Up Scheme with facility of loan upto Rs. 10 lakh at four percent rate of interest. The Government is also ensuring registration of new industries within 15 days. In major initiative, the Skill Development Allowance scheme has also been implemented and so far 1.66 lakh youth have been benefitted. The government has also taken a major decision to give unemployment allowance of Rs. 1000 to the educated unemployed youth.
Shri Agnihotri honoured the widows of freedom fighters on this occasion.
Chief Parliamentary Secretary Shri I.D. Lakhanpal, Chairman of Ex-Servicemen Corporation Col. Vidhi Chand Lagwal, PCC delegate Shri Rajender Zar, Vice Chairman of State Disaster Management Authority Shri Rajender Rana were also present on the occasion.
Presiding over the function at Dharamshala, Urban Development Minister Shri Sudhir Sharma said the decision of the State Government to declare Dharamshala as second capital of the State was a historic step for which the people of the area will always remain indebted towards Shri Virbhadra Singh.
He said that the efforts are being made to develop all towns of the State in a planned manner and special emphasis has been given on providing employment and self employment avenues to the youth by effective implementation of National Urban Livelihood Mission.
He announced to construct memorial in memory of Captain Ram Singh who composed the national anthem at his native village Khaniyara and rename the Khaniyara school after his name.
The Minister also distributed washing machines and cycles free of cost to the labourers on behalf of Labour Welfare Board besides honouring the players for their outstanding performance in various sports activities.
Prime Minister of the Tibetan Government in exile Shri Lobsang Sangye, Chief Parliamentary Secretary Shri Jagjivan Paul, Mayor Ms. Rajni Vyas were also present on the occasion.
Excise and Taxation Minister Prakash Chaudhary presided over the district level function organized at Solan and paid glowing tributes to martyrs at Shaheed Samarak at Chambaghat.
He said Solan was among the best developed districts of the state and state government was emphasizing on planned development of the district. He said 488 new industries worth investment of Rs.755 crore were established in the district during last 55 months and 6632 Himachalis and 2044 non-Himachalis had been employed in these new industrial units.
Prakash Chaudhary said that Chief Minister recently inaugurated Rs.26 Crore Mini Secretariat at Solan. Six new degree colleges at Dharmpur, Kandaghat, Barotiwala, Diggal, Jainagar and Darlaghat had been started in the district. He said that a total of 20,114 eligible persons were getting social security pension in the district.
General Secretary HPCC Vinod Sultanpuri and other distinguished persons in large number were present on the occasion.
Speaking at Bilaspur, Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Dr. (Col.) Dhani Ram Shandil said the State Government has benefitted 3.90 lakh pensioners by enhancing social security pension from Rs. 450 to Rs. 700. The Government has also enhanced amount given to the recipients of Paramveer Chakra, Ashoka Chakras and Mahaveer Chakras and a war memorial is being constructed at Dharamshala by spending Rs. 10 crore.
He said the financial assistance for the marriage of daughters of war widows has been increased from Rs. 15000 to Rs. 50000 whereas the honorarium of freedom fighters from Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 15,000.
Dr. Shandil said the grade pay of the contractual employees has been enhanced to 75 percent and the daily wages to Rs. 210.
Chief Parliamentary Secretary Shri Rajesh Dharmani, Chairman, 20 Point Programme Implementation Committee Shri Ram Lal Thakur, MLA Shri Bamber Thakur were also present on the occasion among others.
Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Minister Shri Anil Sharma while presiding over the function at Kullu said that Rs. 963 crore have been made available to panchayats for developmental works under 13th and 14th Finance Commissions. The State Finance Commission has also provided Rs. 399 crore to the panchayats.
He said that the honorarium of panchayat sahayaks has been enhanced to Rs. 7000 and that of panchayat chowkidars to Rs. 2350. Recently the government has also enhanced the honorarium of tailoring teachers from Rs. 2300 to Rs. 6300.
Shri Anil Sharma said that more than 37000 families have been provided employment under MNREGA in Kullu district during this financial year. More than 29000 people are getting social security pension in the district and during this financial 3253 new eligible persons have been sanctioned this pension. He added that Skill Development Allowance has been approved to more than 12000 youth of the district.
MLA Shri Maheshwar Singh, former Minister Shri Satya Prakash Thakur, Chairman Zila Parishad Rohini Chaudhary and other prominent persons were also present on the occasion.
At Reckong Peo
Deputy Speaker Shri Jagat Singh Negi presided over the function at Reckong Peo, the headquarter of Kinnaur district. He said that the government has set the target to connect all panchayats with roads. So far all panchayats of Pooh block have been connected with roads while the work in Kalpa block will be completed soon.
He said that to improve power supply, 66 KV Sub Station has been set up at Akpa and 22 KV Sub Station at Boktu. The government has provided special relaxation for two years so that the people of the district could be provided nautor.