A one-day awareness workshop to propagate latest Census Data – 2011 was organized by the Department of Census Operations at Himachal Institute of Public Administration, Fair Lawns here today. Media persons, representatives of various NGOs, universities, educational institutions and officers of various departments of the State Government participated in the workshop.

Inaugurating the workshop, Chief Secretary Sudripta Roy said that the findings of the latest Census indicated that Himachal Pradesh had moved ahead towards improved quality of life especially in respect of communication, transportation, housing and other facilities besides literacy rate and sex ratio. He said that these parameters could be achieved due to good governance and rich ethos of the people of the state.

Chief Secretary said that Census data was very significant for development as it focuses upon the improvement in facilities, quality of life as well as the gaps and the grey areas which need attention. He said that the census data should be published so that Government could evolve effective plans for speedy growth of the State.

He said that according to 2011 census, telephone and mobile users had registered a growth of 82.3 percent against the National average of 63.2 percent. He said that earlier 61.9 percent families lived in good quality houses whereas this number today had gone upto 72.4 percent. He further said that today 69.1 percent of households had an access to toilets as compared to 33.4 percent in the year 2001. Expressing satisfaction over the declining number of people who defecated in the open, he said that the percentage of such people had come down from 66.6 percent to 29.7 percent. He said that drinking water facility in households was available to 55.5 percent of families as against 32.6 percent in the year 2001. He said that percentage of families using LPG had gone upto 38.6 percent from 28.1 percent, which was a notable achievement, keeping in view the endeavours of the State Government in environment conservation. The percentage of families availing banking services had gone upto 89.1 percent from 59.5 percent in 2001, said he.

Roy said that conducting Census operations was a yeoman task in a State like Himachal Pradesh with difficult geographical conditions and congratulated the Department for undertaking the task successfully. Balbir Tegta, Director Census operations welcomed the Chief Secretary and delivered a detailed presentation about latest Census data. Dinesh Malhotra, Director, HIPA was present in the workshop among others.