State Government would be exploring possibilities of providing of various services Online to Truck Operators in the State. This was stated by Prem Kumar Dhumal, Chief Minister at Barmana, in district Bilaspur today after unveiling the statue of Late Shri Narain Dass and Late Shri Ram Dass, former Presidents of Bilaspur District Truck Operators Transport Society Ltd. (BDTS), at Barmana. He said that with this they would be able to pay taxes Online thereby saving them from the inconvenience which otherwise they were facing at present.

He said that State Government was making concerted efforts to make Bilaspur-Swarghat a four-lane road to cater to the pressure of increasing traffic load

Chief Minister also dedicated newly constructed impressive Government Degree College Building, constructed at a cost of Rs. 7.75 crore and SC/ST Boys Hostel, completed at a cost of Rs. 1.98 crore, to the students of the college and Tourist Information Centre, consisting of ten rooms and art craft gallary, at Bilaspur, completed at a cost of Rs. 1.20 crore. He also laid foundation stone of parking near Gurudwara estimated to cost Rs. 75 lakh and facilitate parking of 94 light vehicles while another parking foundation stone was also laid near Circuit House/Bus Stand, estimated to cost Rs. 1.16 crore, to facilitate parking of 138 more vehicles with provision of shopping complex as well.

Chief Minister said that the State Government was maintaining National Highways out of its own funds as the Government of India had allotted only Rs. five crore against the demand of Rs. 100 crore for repair and maintenance of national highways. He said that since entire transportation in the State rested upon road connectivity hence road construction had been on priority agenda of the state government. He said that Motor Vehicle Inspector would be visiting Barmana for one day every month to facilitate local truck operators on experiment basis thereafter further steps would be taken.

Prof. Dhumal said that the state government would also be exploring possibility of including Barmana area in the proposed Kol Dam LDWSS for Bilaspur and directed Irrigation and Public Health Department to prepare feasibility report for the same. He said that the proposed scheme was likely to benefit over 180 villages in the district and if possible more villages of Barmana could be included in the scheme.

Chief Minister thanked BDTS for its contribution of Rs. 11 lakh towards Chief Minister’s Relief Fund, which was a real service towards suffering humanity who were being provided financial assistance in their hour of distress. He said that out of Rs. 24 crore received under the Fund Rs. 23 crore worth of financial help had been provided to thousands of people in meeting their critical medical expenses. He appealed to people to come forward with liberal donations towards the Fund which would be a great service towards the society at large and could save precious lives of suffering people.

Prof. Dhumal said that former Prime Minister Shri Atal Behari Vajpayee jee had performed the foundation stone laying ceremony of 800 MW NTPC Kol Dam Project, which initially was stated to be constructed in collaboration with Russian Government. He said that UPA Government had imposed complete ban on fresh recruitments while the state government, despite financial constraints, had been generating employment and self employment avenues to educated unemployed youth in public and private sector. He said that Kol Dam and Cement companies had directly and indirectly generating employment and self employment avenues to lcoal youth. He gave a call to hydro power generating companies to responsibly shoulder corporate social responsibilities so that local people were made partner in their progress.

Chief Minister lauded the role of BDTS towards social causes, poor and needy, especially the contribution made towards saving astrayed cows by constructing Gau sadans. He said that the truck Operators’ society had been functioning effectively and inspiring others to form such societies to find themselves employment and self employment avenues. He assured people and members of BDTS of considering their other demands sympathetically. Prof. Dhumal was presented a draft of Rs. 11.00 lakh by Lekh Ram Verma, President, BDTS and other office bearers, as contribution towards Chief Minister’s Relief Fund.

Earlier Chief Minister also addressed students of Government Post Graduate Government Degree College at Bilaspur, after dedicating newly constructed college campus and hostel building, constructed at a cost of about Rs. 10 crore. He said that Himachal Pradesh had the highest percentage of college going students in the country. He said that compared to only 12 percent college going students in the country, Himachal Pradesh had over 20 percent joining colleges for higher education. He said that the State also ranked at the top in budgetary allocations since 19 percent of the annual budgetary provisions had been earmarked for education sector against 4.85 percent at the national level. He said that budgetary provisions on education had been more than doubled as Himachal Pradesh was poised to emerge an ‘Hub of Education’ of the country.
Prof. Dhumal listened to public grievances after the public meeting and the spots he visited to inaugurate and to lay foundation stone of different projects. He passed necessary directions to the concerned authorities to resolve the issues on priority.

Chief Minister was accorded a rousing reception by people of the area enroute from Bilaspur to Barmana, on his arrival in the district. Randhir Sharma, MLA, said that BDTS had been contributing significantly towards the economy of the people in district Bilaspur. He thanked CM for getting Kol Dam HEP sanctioned for the district which had revolutionised economic activities in the area. He appreciated the efforts of the State Government for getting approved Hydro Engineering College and women battalion for the district. He said that it was due to the visionary leadership of Prof. Dhumal that a Rs. 65 crore Lift Drinking water Supply Scheme had been sanctioned for the district.

Suresh Chandel, former MP, and Vice President, National BJP Kisan Morcha, said that BJP had been a progressive minded political ideology which had been ensuring uniform and speedy development of the State. Subhash Sharma and Subhash Thakur, Members, State BJP Executive Committee also addressed the gathering. Gita Ram Sharma, Director, Board of Directors of HRTC proposed vote of thanks. Lekh Ram Verma, President, BDTS, welcomed the Chief Minister and other dignitaries and thanked him for protecting the interests of the truck operators in the district. He also apprised Chief Minister of various demands of truckers in the district and urged him for remedial steps on priority. Raj Pal Gautam, General Secretary, BDTS, thanked Chief Minister for unveiling the statue of founder and former Presidents of the Society.

Ishwar Dass Dhiman, Education Minister, Sarveen Chaudhary, Social Justice and Empowerment Minister, Ranjit Singh Thakur, President, District Bilaspur BJP, Brahm Dass Thakur, President, Bilaspur Sadar BJP Mandal, Vikram Sharma, Director, Khadi Board, N.L. Sharma, Engineer-in-Chief, HPPWD, Dr. Dinkar Burathoki, Director of Education, Ritesh Chauhan, Deputy Commissioner, Santosh Patial, Superintendant of Police, Rakesh Sinha, Plant Head, ACC, Barmana, other prominent people of the area and senior officers were present on the occasion.