Himachal Pradesh Governor Urmila Singh has urged for providing more funds under Border Area Development Programme to Himachal Pradesh keeping in view the difficult terrain and snow bound areas and also more cost of development works in these areas. She said a sum of Rs. 20cr had been earmarked by the Central Government for the year 2011-12 which was not adequate. She said that the increasing military activities by the China on Indo-Tibet border was a matter of concern which warrants strengthening of para-military and police organization on the border besides speedy development of the area so as to improve the socio-economic conditions of the people of these areas.

Urmila Singh who was participating in two days Governor’s Conference at New Delhi said today that the tribal areas of the State were situated adjacent to international border of Tibet and China where the main source of transportation was road and was under Border Road Organization. The National Highways 21 and 22 passing through the State were being maintained by Border Road Organization and both the National Highways needs continued maintenance keeping in view their strategic importance. Besides, there was also need to link Himachal Pradesh with Leh through a broad-gauge rail line so as to facilitate the military movement to the border on the one side and tribal people of Himachal Pradesh on the other.

Referring to Himachal Pradesh, Urmila Singh said that agriculture and allied activities were the main occupation of the people in the State and about 70% population were dependent on agriculture for their livelihood. She said that Himachal Pradesh had taken ambitious schemes like “Pandit Deen Dayal Kissan_Bagwan Samridhi Yojna” and “Agriculture Diversification Scheme” in hand so as to revolutionize the economy of the farmers. Keeping in view the losses being faced due to hails, the State Government intend to adopt hail storm control system for which Rs. 284 crore project had been posed to the Government of India for funding and this needs speedy clearance. The State Government had set up Anti Hail Gun on pilot basis in Shimla District already, she added.

The Governor said that Himachal Pradesh was known as a “Fruit State” and endeavour of the Government was to ensure quality production of fruits and other crops for which effective steps were under way. The Government has embarked upon a Rs. 85 Apple Replantation Project so as to change old plantation with new and quality once. The Governor said that the State Government had constituted Scheduled Tribe Advisory Council headed by Chief Minister which also include Member Parliament and MLAs and its meetings were being organized frequently atleast once in a year. To benefit the Schedule Caste in the State, Himachal Pradesh Government was implementing Scheduled Caste Sub-Plan under which 25 percent of the total State’s Annual Plan was being spent. The State has also started “Mukhya Mantri Aadrash Gram Yojna” from this year for development of Scheduled Caste and scheduled Tribes concentrated area.

Bahra University

Highlighting the steps being taken by the State Government for the conservation and protection of forest wealth and environment conservation, Urmila singh said that Himachal Pradesh should be given “Green Bonus” to compensate the State. The Governor also stressed for early Forest and Environment clearances so as to implement the Hydel Projects expeditiously in the State as State had identified power potential of 23,000 MW out of which 6728 MW could be harnessed so far.