Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal announced to launch ‘Atal Adarsh Gram Puruskar Yojna’ in the State from 15th August, 2012 under which panchayats doing outstanding work would be given cash awards. The panchayat adjudged first at State level would be given Rs. 20 lakh, at Divisional level Rs. 10 lakh each, District level Rs. five lakh each and at Block level Rs. two lakh each. He said that total amount on this account comes to Rs. 2.66 crore. He said it in the State level function organized at Mandi to give away ‘Nirmal Gram Puruskar to 323 Gram Panchayats which had done excellent work in cleanliness.

Chief Minister said that every family should have their own toilet to keep in the environment healthy and clean. He advised the panchayat representatives to make proper arrangements for collecting plastic garbage and hand over the same to the Public Works Department for which Rs. 3 per kg would be given to them. This would not only keep the environment clean but also be used for tarring of roads.

Prof. Dhumal said that State Government had enhanced the honorarium of representatives of Panchayati Raj Institutions keeping in view their role for the development. He said that honorarium of Chairman, Zila Parishad had been increased to Rs. 5000 from Rs. 2200, Vice Chairman, Zila Parishad to Rs. 3500 from Rs. 1800, Chairman, Panchayat Samiti to Rs. 2500 from Rs. 1200, Vice Chairman, Panchayat Samiti to Rs. 2000 from Rs. 1000, Pradhan, Gram Panchayat to Rs. 1800 from Rs. 750, Up Pradhan to Rs. 1500 from Rs. 650 besides enhancing the honorarium of other representatives of these institutions reasonably.

Chief Minister urged the representatives of these institutions to fan out the policies and programmes of the State Government in their respective areas so that maximum people could be benefited from these. He also urged them to exercise their duties in a judicious manner so that common man could get justice.

Jai Ram Thakur, Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Minister welcomed the Chief Minister and said that people in rural areas of the State had become aware of cleanliness and preservation of environment as a result of which the State had emerged as pioneer for other States. He said that 50 reservations had been given to women in PRIs and Urban Local Bodies by the present State Government. He said that provision of Rs. 40 crore had been made for training of representatives of PRIs. He said that two training Centres had been set up in Shimla and Kangra districts and third training was coming up at Thunag in Mandi district.

SKBS Negi, Principal Secretary, Rural Development and Panchayati Raj welcomed the Chief Minister and detailed out the various activities of the department. Devesh Kumar, Deputy Commissioner proposed vote of thanks. Roop Singh Thakur, Dile Ram, Col. Inder Singh, MLAs, D.D. Thakur, former MLA, Praveen Sharma, State BJP Secretary and senior officers of the State Government were present on the occasion.