Minister for Sainik Welfare Col (retd) Dhani Ram Shandil announced that the government has proposed to set up two eco-battalions in the state to provide jobs to ex-servicemen.
Col (retd) Dhani Ram Shandil said that there were over one lakh ex-servicemen and there were hardly any jobs available for them under the 15 per cent quota. He added that these two battalions would help provide employment to over 5,000 ex-servicemen.
Minister said that the government would seek assistance from the Defence Ministry for the purpose as the state government lacks funds. He said that eco-battalions will carry out works for improving the environment and could be also pressed into service during natural calamities.
Shandil further added that the state would also pursue the matter for setting up a Himachal or Himalayan regiment so that more youth from the state could join the Army. He lauded the contribution of the youth of Himachal Pradesh and said that the Army had been a tradition with the people of Himachal, but the change in the policy of the Centre to carry out recruitment on the basis of “recruitable” male population denied them a fair opportunity, he said that he will work in this regard and will give Himachal youth its due.
Sainik Welfare Minister also announced that the government would also make efforts to have a big CSD canteen in Una like Ambala and Pathankot to help meet the requirements of 27 canteens and 55 mobile canteens across the state. Shandil also said that the government also proposed to give 10 per cent reservation to ex-servicemen in PDS outlets.
Photograph: Rashim Himanchal