65th Himachal Day was celebrated with great enthusiasm throughout the State today. On this day on 15th April, 1948 Himachal Pradesh came into existence after merger of 31 odd princely States. Functions were organized at State level and District level to mark the occasion. Unfurling of National Flag, march past and cultural programmes were main attraction of the celebrations.

State Level function was held at Ghandir in Bilaspur district where Chief Minister, Prem Kumar Dhumal unfurled the National Flag and took salute at an impressive march past presented by Police, Home Guards, NCC (men and women) contingents, Yogesh Rolta, Deputy Superintendent of Police commanded the Parade.

Speaking on the occasion, Prem Kumar Dhumal greeted the people of the State on the occasion. He said that starting from a scratch in the year 1948, the State had made rapid progress and Himachal Pradesh has emerged as a pioneer in development not only for hill States of the Country but for other States also. He said that having gained fame as ‘Apple State’ of the Country, it was poised to become ‘Fruit Bowl’ of the Country, besides Power State and Tourism State.

Giving detail of the progress that State had made since its inception, Prem Kumar Dhumal said that endeavour of his Government was to ensure speedy and uniform development of the State with special attention to backward and far-flung areas besides ensuring public welfare. The interests of every section of the society had been safeguarded. He said the focus of polices and programmes of his Government was on speedy uplift of weaker sections of the society and also the betterment of common man.

He said six ‘S’s Sadak, Shiksha, Swasthay, Swarojgar, Swavlamban and Swabhiman were the ultimate objective of the Government, as on these lay the development of the State and betterment of the people.

Referring to the importance of roads in hill areas, Prem Kumar Dhumal said that it had always remained priority of his Government. He said that when he took over as Chief Minister first time, the pace of road constructions in the State was speeded up and such areas were connected with roads where people had never thought of it. He said that 3482 kms of roads had been constructed during last four years and more than 3500 kms roads were constructed during last term of his Government. He said that it was due to the concerted efforts made by his Government that Dodra Kwar area of Shimla district which once considered ‘Kala Pani’ had been connected by road. Harsipatan Bridge had been constructed at a cost of Rs. 18 crore thereby benefiting the people of three districts. Chambapatan Bridge in Kangra district had also been constructed with almost same cost and dedicated to the people thereby fulfilling the long pending demand of the people of the area.

He said that the Government has formulated a perspective plan to connect every village having population of 250 and above by road by the end of this financial year. 1000 villages had been connected with roads during last financial year. He said that to reduce the distance for traveling, the State Government has envisages to construct three tunnels, one between Bagana and Dhaneta, second Bhubhujot and third Holi-Utarala.

Chief Minister said that steps were afoot to make Himachal Pradesh ‘Educational Hub’ of the Country. He said that a number of educational institutions had been opened in the State during last four years including Central University, IIT and Technical University. He said that from this year ‘Atal School Uniform’ is being started under which the students from 1st Class to 10th Class in Government schools would be given uniform free, twice in a year.

Chief Minister said that endeavours of the Government was to ensure better health care facilities at the door-steps of the people for which a number of new ambitious schemes like ‘Atal Swasthaya Sewa’, Matri Sewa’, ‘Mukhaymantri Vidhyarathi Swasthaya Karyakaram’, ‘Muskan’, ‘Pt. Deen Dayal Aushadh Sewa’ have been implemented. More than 1100 MBBS and Ayurvedic Doctors had been appointed during the period and posted in the far-flung areas of the State so that people did not face any inconvenience.

Emphasising the importance of the agriculture in the economy of the State, Prem Kumar Dhumal said that agriculture development had been given added priority by the Government by implementing a number of ambitious schemes. He said prominent among them were 353 crore ‘Pt. Deen Dyal Kisan Bagwan Samrithdui Yojna’ under which Rs. 353 crore were being spent on construction of poly houses and micro irrigation. 80 percent subsidy was being given for construction of poly houses and micro irrigation under the scheme, he added.

He said that Rs. 321 crore ‘Crop Diversification Scheme’ has been started in five districts last year. Focus on this scheme was on diversifying farming, organic farming, water conservation and irrigation. This would bring a sea change in the income of the farmers. He said this scheme would be further extended to other districts also.

Chief Minister said that Animal Husbandry plays a significant role in the agriculture economy of the State. Keeping in view this, the special attention has been paid for this. Rs. 300 crore ‘Doodh Ganga Yojna ‘had been implemented in the State, which would benefit 50,000 families. He said that the loans upto Rs. 5 lac were being given for purchase of milch cattle and Rs. 30 lac for taking up milk related activities. He said that 33 percent subsidy was being given to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes and 25 percent for general categories for this. Other schemes are ‘Mukhayamantri Arogya Pashudhan Yojna’ under which 1012 veterinary institutions were being opened in the State and ‘Bhed Palak Samridhi Yojna’ under which loan upto Rs. one lac was being given for purchase of sheep and ram to the sheep breeders.

Chief Minister said that the present State Government was of the people and for the people. He said that welfare of each and every section was being ensured. The schemes like ‘Atal Swasthaya Sewa, ‘Atal Bijli Bachat Yojna’, ‘Atal Uniform Yojna’, providing of three pulses, two addible oils and salt to every rashan card holders on cheap rates had benefited each and every family in the State.

Chief Minister said that speedy upliftment of the weaker sections of the society was being ensured. He said that the allocation under Scheduled Caste Sub Plan has been enhanced from 11 percent to 25 percent from the year 2008-09 so as to benefit the Scheduled Castes in the State. He said as against Rs. 231 crore spent under Scheduled Caste Sub Plan in the year 2007-08, Rs. 915 crore was being spent during current financial year. He said that under ‘Mata Shabri Mahila Shasakatikaran Scheme’, 50 percent subsidy was being given to the women belonging to Scheduled Casts for new connection of LPG Gas and purchase of stove. He said Traders had been benefit by giving facility of online registration and tax payment and also facility of down loading forms for registration. Now they had not to visit the offices for this purpose. He said that those having less turnover had been exempted from filing returns.

Reiterating his Government’s resolve for providing responsive, accountable, transparent and corruption free governance to the people, Prem Kumar Dhumal said that a number of effective steps had been taken to achieve this objective. He said that Himachal Pradesh Public Service Guarantee Act-2012 had been enacted under which services of 12 public dealing departments had been notified and Government machinery made responsible to provide these in stipulated time failing which the provision of putting fine on the defaulters had been made. He said that ‘Himachal Pradesh Special Courts (Attachment and

Confiscation of Property) Bill 2011 has been passed in the Vidhan Sabha and sent for the approval of the President of India. The provision of confiscation of properties amassed through corrupt means by the public servant had been made under it. He said that Himachal Pradesh Lokayukata Act-2012 has been passed in the just concluded budget session of Vidhan Sabha. All public servants right from Chief Minister to the lowest Panchayat level and local bodies have been covered under its ambit. Besides, suo motto powers, the Lokayukta has been provided investigating wings and power of contempt of Court under the Act, he added.

Referring to the development of the Bilaspur district, Chief Minister said that Hydro Engineering College was being set up at Bilaspur and Mahila Police Battalion had been set up in the district. He said that the work on Changer Medium Irrigation Scheme was expedited by his Government and Rs. 88 crore scheme dedicated to the people which had benefited the people of 28 villages in the area. He said that Rs. 25 crore Seer Khad channalization scheme had been sanctioned.

During the occasion, Chief Minister announced enhancement of cash prize of Parshuram Award from Rs. 20,000 to Rs. 50,000. He also announced giving of Rs. 10 lakh to Kumari Priyanka who participated in Indian team which won World Kabbadi Championship. He also announced Rs. 50,000 each to four State- level coaches. Dhumal announced enhancement in diet money for players from Rs. 80 to Rs. 120 within the State and from Rs. 125 to Rs. 200 outside the State.

Chief Minister further announced that the winners hailing from Himachal Pradesh in the Olympic games to be held in London would be given Rs. one crore for gold, Rs. 50 lakh for silver and 25 lakh for bronze.

Chief Minister announced up-gradation of Government High School, Gharan and Bharoli Kalan to Government Senior Secondary School and Government Middle School Malangan and Gangloh to Government High School and up-gradation of Health Sub-Centre Rishikesh to Primary Health Centre. A colourful cultural programme and police band display was also organized on the occasion.

Rikhi Ram Kaundal, Deputy Speaker Vidhan Sabha, Randhir Sharma and Baldev Sharma, MLAs, Harinder Hira, Chief Secretary, S. Roy, Additional Chief Secretary-cum-OSD, DGP Dr. D.S.Manhas, DG I.D.Bhandri, other senior officers, Freedom Fighters, Ex-Servicemen and prominent persons of the area were present on the occasion.

In Shimla, the District-level function at Shimla, Tulsi Ram, Speaker, H.P. Vidhan Sabha said that ambitious schemes to strengthen the economy of farmers were being implemented in the State which included Rs. 353 crore Pt. Deen Dyal Kisan Bagwan Samridhi Yojna, Rs. 321 crore Crop Diversification Scheme and Rs. 300 crore Doodh Ganga Yojna. He said that Mukhaya Mantri Arogya Pashudhan Yojna had also been started in the State to facilitate the farmers and added that 1012 veterinary dispensaries were opened in the State during last four years.

He also honoured winners under Total Sanitation Campaign and sports persons on the occasion. Suresh Bhardwaj, Local MLA, Ganesh Dutt, Vice-Chairman HIMUDA, Veena Thakur, Chairperson, State Social Welfare Board, Councilors, Onkar Sharma, Deputy Commissioner, senior officers and other prominent citizens were present on the occasion.

In Kullu I.D. Dhiman, Education Minister presided over the District- level function. Speaking on the occasion he said that infrastructure was being strengthened besides focusing upon providing quality education in educational institutions. Dhaneshwari Thakur, Chairperson, State Women Commission, Chandersen Thakur, former MLA, Rishabh Kalia, Chairman Nagar Parishad, B.M. Nainta, Deputy Commissioner, senior officers and other prominent persons of the district were present on the occasion.

In Chamba district, Irrigation & Public Health Minister Ravinder Singh Ravi Presiding over the District-level function at Tissa. The Minister also gave away prizes to participants of cultural programmes, winners of Total Sanitation Campaign and honoured five Police persons, two Home guards and one Forest Deputy Ranger.

B.K. Chauhan, Renu Chadda, Surinder Bhardwaj, MLAs, Mohan Lal former Minister, Santosh Thakur, Chairperson, Zila Parishad, Bhupinder Chauhan, District BJP President, Sh. Sharabh Negi, Deputy Commissioner and prominent persons of the area were present among others on the occasion.

In Kangra Horticulture Minister Narinder Bragta presided over the District-level function at Dharamshala. While addressing gathering, Horticulture Minister said that 46131 farmers have been benefited by spending Rs. 80 crore under Horticulture Technology Mission during last four years. He said that the State had bagged first prize at national level for promoting horticulture activities.

He said that Rs. 23 crore was spent under Horticulture Technology Mission in Kangra District facilitating 21,000 farmers. He said that 2526 hectare additional land had been brought under horticulture activities in the district during last four years and 14 lac fruit plants had been planted. He said that 47000 tonnes production of mango, litchi and other citrus fruits was registered every year in the district.

He honoured Anchal Rana for winning bronze medal in International Shooting competition by awarding Rs. 10,000 and Rs. 1400 to Rajesh Kumar for winning bronze medal in National Level Boxing Championship. R.S. Gupta, Deputy Commissioner, Sanjay Sharma, Member State Media Advisory Committee, senior officers and prominent citizens of the town were present on the occasion.

In Una, Health Minister Dr. Rajeev Bindal presided over District-level function at Basdehra. Satpal Singh Satti, State BJP President, Balbir Chaudhary, MLA, Santosh Saini, Chairperson HIMFED, Mamata Kashyap, Chairperson Nagar Parishad, Balbir Bagga, State President, SC Morcha, K. R. Bhari, Depupty Commissioner, senior officers and other prominent persons were present among others on the occasion.

In Mandi, Sarveen Chaudhary, Social Justice and Empowerment Minister, presided over function. Minister honoured 18 sports persons and coaches besides 63 schools. Dile Ram, Chairman, HP Finance Commission, Mohan Lal Joshi, Chairman, Milk Federation, Khira Mani, Chairman, Zila Parishad, Susheela Sonkhla, Chairperson, Nagar Parishad, Devesh Kumar, Deputy Commissioner, senior Officers and other prominent persons were present on the occasion.

In Solan, Jai Ram Thakur, Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Minister Presided over the District-level function. Virender Kashyap, MP, Dr. Rajeev Saijal, Govind Sharma, Vinod Chandel, MLAs, Kul Rakesh Pant and Pawan Gupta Chairman and Vice-Chairman Nagar Parishad, Kumari Sheela, Chairperson Zila Parishad, C. Paulraso, Deputy Commissioner and prominent persons of the town present on the occasion.

In Sirmour Mahender Singh Thakur, Transport & Urban Development Minister headed the District-level function that was held at Dadahu. Sukh Ram Chaudhary, Chief Parliament Secretary, Hirday Ram, MLA, Balbir Chauhan, Vice Chairman, SCST Corporation, Baldev Tomar Distt. BJP Chief, Vikas Labroo, Deputy Commissioner, senior officers and prominent citizens of the town were present on the occasion.

Khimi Ram, Forest Minister presided over District-level function at Reckong Peo in Kinnaur district. Tejwant Singh Negi, MLA, Chet Ram Negi, former Chief Parliamentary Secretary, Surat Negi, District BJP President, Dr. Sunil Chaudhary, Deputy Commissioner, senior officers and other prominent citizens of the town were present on the occasion.

In Hamirpur, Virender Kanwar, Chief Parliamentary Secretary presided over the District-level function. He also gave away the prizes to the commanders of parade and participants of the cultural programme. Urmil Thakur, MLA, Rasil Singh Mankotia Chairman KCCB, Des Raj Sharma Disrtict BJP President, Deep Sharma Nagar Palika President, Rajender Singh, Deputy Commissioner, Kuldeep Sharma, SP and prominent persons of the town were present on the occasion.

In Lahaul & Spiti Rajeev Shankar, Deputy Commissioner Lahaul & Spiti presided over the District-level function held at Keylong, Headquarter of Lahaul & Spiti district. He said that nine percent of the State Plan Budget was allocated for Tribal Sub-Plan to ensure speedy economic upliftment of Scheduled Tribes. Present among others on the occasion were Sham Nalwa, TAC Member, Shashi Kiran, Member Zila Parishad.

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