State Government would be providing adequate funds for completion of on going sewerage scheme and Mini Secretariat building at Sundernagar. This was stated by Prem Kumar Dhumal, Chief Minister while addressing public meeting at Sundernagar in Mandi district after performing foundation stone laying ceremony of Integrated Housing and Slum Development Programme (IHSDP) Scheme under JNNURM today. 208 dwelling units would be constructed at a cost of Rs. 10 crore. He said that sewerage scheme and mini secretariat would soon be dedicated to the residents of the town.

Chief Minister said that in the first phase, Rs. 107 crore complex of Jawahar Lal Nehru Government Engineering College had been dedicated to the students of the college and would be developed as the best engineering college in the State. He said that more courses had been added to the academic curriculum of the college so that more disciplines were taught in the college. He said that Himachal Pradesh happened to be the first state in the country for having constituting the HP State Private Educational Institutions Regulatory Commission to monitor the activities of private educational institutions. He said that the decision had been lauded by the UGC and other National Level Educational Authorities who recommended it to other states.

Prof. Dhumal said that the State Government was allowing only those to set up their educational institutions in the State who have experience and also financially sound to run different vocational courses so that youth of the State were provided quality vocational courses facilities within the State at affordable costs. He said that it was during Congress regime that MOU for setting up of a cement factory in the area was signed. He said that Himachal Pradesh happened to be the leader in the country for providing adequate land at a token lease money to the Government of India to pave the way for setting up of ESI Medical College and Hospital at Ner Chowk. He said that seats had been reserved for Himachali students in the Medical College.

Chief Minister said that he had personally convinced Union Human Resource Minister for setting up of IIT in Mandi for which adequate facilities had been made available to the IIT Management and most likely the next session would be started at new complex. He said that IIT and ESI Medical College were two important milestones added to the development history of the district. He said that equitable distribution and opening of national level institutions had been ensured. He said that NIFT and central University had been opened in district Kangra, Atal Behari Vajpayee Government College of Engineering and Technology had been opened in district Shimla. He said that the State had been awarded at national level for Horticulture and Agriculture besides dozens of Awards in Tourism Sector. He said that there had been hardly any sector where Himachal Pradesh had not set new record and won National Level Awards. He complimented the people of the State who had been the driving force behind all such achievements. He said that the schemes envisioned and implemented during past four years had benefited each and every family in the State. He said that the SGDP had increased from Rs. 32,000 crore to Rs. 52,000 crore; per capita income reached Rs. 58,496 in past years. He said that the State had been adjudged best in implementation of the twenty point programme in last two years and was confident to attain the first position during this financial year.

Prof. Dhumal said that Politics for him had always remained to serve the people. He said that common man had been the focal point of all policies and programmes of the BJP Government. He said that the funds which earlier were earmarked for urban areas for implementation of IHSDP Scheme, were got diverted to semi-urban areas resulting into laying foundation stone of the project at Sundernagar where 208 dwelling units would be constructed and each unit would be constructed at a cost of Rs. 1.94 lakh.

Chief Minister said that the proposed IHSDP scheme aimed at providing dwelling units to economically weaker sections of the society living in urban and semi-urban areas. He said that under the scheme besides housing units, retaining walls, roads, culverts, drains, electrification, community centre and informal market facilities would be created to cater to the basic necessities of the people. He congratulated the residents of Sundernagar town for getting one of the ambitious project sanctioned for the urban poor.

Transport and Urban Development Minister Mahender Singh Thakur thanked Chief Minister for laying foundation stone of the IHSDP Project for urban poor. He said that about Rs. 2 lakh would be spent over construction of each dwelling unit besides channelizing the drains in the town. He said that it had been due to the consistent pursuance that the funds provided under IHSDP were got diverted to semi-urban areas. He said that Rs. 17.38 crore had been earmarked under the scheme for execution of the scheme in Sundernagar and Sarkaghat towns. He thanked the Chief Minister for opening IIT and ESI Medical College and Hospital at Ner Chowk which would be instrumental in providing people of the area state of the art medical services. He said that efforts were on to create quality urban infrastructural facilities in 49 towns of the State. He said that six towns of the State, including Mandi town, had been recommended for inclusion in the Rajiv Gandhi Awas Yojna.

Roop Singh Thakur, MLA, also welcomed the Chief Minister to his home segment and thanked him for laying foundation of ambitious project and provide residential facilities to the urban poor. He said that Sundernagar had made rapid strides in different developmental activities under the dynamic leadership of Prem Kumar Dhumal. He thanked the Chief Minister for providing adequate funds for completion of sewerage scheme which although was started in year 1991 but no funds were provided by preceding governments. He said that the scheme was nearing completion and would soon be dedicated to the residents of Sundernagar. He also thanked for providing Rs. 9 crore DWSS for the town and an ambitious Engineering College project. He also thanked for connecting 24 gram panchayats with motorable roads in the segment. He said that two rural DWSS were under execution at a cost of Rs. 17 crore in the segment.

Girija Gautam, President, Municipal Council, welcomed the Chief Minister and other dignitaries to Sundernagar and thanked him for sanctioning IHSDP Project for Sundernagar which would go a long way in facilitating the slum dwellers in getting best living conditions. She said that it would also add to the developmental milestones created in the area during past four years of governance under the leadership of Prem Kumar Dhumal, Chief Minister. Gulab Singh Thakur, Public Works Minister, Jai Ram Thakur, Panchayati Raj and Rural Development Minister, Dile Ram, MLA and Chairman, State Finance Commission, Khira Manni, Chairman, Zila Parishad, Ved Sharma, Chairman, APMC, Devesh Kumar, Deputy Commissioner, Abhishek Dullar, Superintendent of Police, other senior officers and prominent people of the area were present on the occasion.