Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh has announced to open Government Degree Colleges at Diggal in Solan district. He said that the work on new block of Arki hospital would also be started soon. He was addressing a public meeting at Arki on the occasion of inauguration of two day long ‘Sayar Utsav’.

Virbhadra Singh said that with the opening of college at Diggal the students of the area would be able to get their higher studies near their homes. He also announced to provide Rs. five crore for construction of building of Dharampur Government College. He said that previous BJP Government announced various colleges without making any budgetary provisions and creation of proper infrastructure for sake of political benefit. Dharampur College in Solan district was one of them which was started in the office of Block Primary Education Officer. The State Government would construct new college building besides creating educational infrastructure in this college.

He visited the FRU Civil Hospital Arki. He said that a new hospital block having capacity of 50 beds would be constructed adjacent to the present hospital thereby increasing the bed capacity to 75. He directed to revise the estimate and start the construction work.

He said that education and health were the top priorities of the State Government and paucity of funds would not come in the way of these vital sectors. Similarly, construction of roads was another priority of the Government as roads were the life line for the development of the State.

Chief Minister said that strong winds had caused heavy losses to the maize crops on Sunday night in the State. He directed the revenue authorities to make assessment of the losses so that affected farmers could be compensated suitably. He said that Himachal Pradesh suffered excessive damages during this monsoon season and State Government had maintained the roads, power supply water supply from its own resources to bring back normalcy.

Virbhadra Singh urged the people to come forward in providing land voluntarily for the construction of roads under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojna as lot of roads projects were pending due to non availability of land. This would go a long way in development and would also increase their land values.

He gave a clarion call to the educated youth of the State to make maximum benefits of Skill Development Allowance Scheme of the Government. He said that Government had changed the age limit and educational eligibility criteria with a view to bring more and more youth under its ambit. He said that youth should enhance their skills so that they could adopt self employment avenues instead of running after white collar jobs.

Chief Minister said that Himachal Pradesh had made tremendous progress in every field of developmental sphere for which credit goes Congress Governments who ruled the State for maximum times.

Virbhadra Singh greeted the people on ‘Sayar Utsav’ and wished them prosperity. He said that these fairs were the integral part of our culture and we should strive for preserving our rich traditions and culture.

Chief Minister also laid foundation stones of ITI, Arki to be constructed at a cost of Rs. 8.63 crore and Ayurvedic Dispensary to be constructed at a cost of Rs. 20 lakh. He also inaugurated the Examination Hall of GSSS, Arki constructed at a cost of Rs. 95 lakh.

He also released the souvenir brought out on the occasion of ‘Sayar Utsav’. He also announced Rs. 50,000 to students of various schools of the area who performed cultural programmes on the occasion. He announced Rs. 10,000 to Shri Birbal Sharma, the folk Singer from Chopal area.

Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Dr. (Col.) Dhani Ram Shandil said on the occasion that social welfare was being given added priority by the Government. The social security pension had been enhanced from Rs. 450 to Rs. 500 and pensioners aged above 80 years were getting Rs. 1000 per month. He said that Rs. 1375 crore were being spent on social welfare activities which was 34 percent of the total plan. He urged the Chief Minister to convert Arki Hospital into 100 bedded hospital.

Vice Chairman, State Small Saving Advisory Board Prakash Karad thanked the Chief Minister for announcing College at Diggal. Local MLA Govind Ram, District Solan Congress Committee President Rahul Thakur, Block Congress Committee, Arki President Sanjay Awasthi also spoke on the occasion. Nagar Panchayat President and Chairperson, Mela Committee Smt. Seema Sharma welcomed the Chief Minister while Satish Kashyap, Member, RTA, Solan proposed vote of thanks.

Chairman, Himachal Pradesh Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Board, Shri Hardeep Singh Bawa, President Marketing Committee, Solan Ramesh Thakur, Director, BoD, HPTDC Surender Sethi, Member, PCC, Shri Ramesh Chauhan, General Secretary, District Congress Committee, Pratap Thakur, General Secretary, H.P. Mahila Congress, Janeb Chandel, Deputy Commissioner Madan Chauhan, S.P. Ramesh Chhajta and other prominent persons were present on the occasion among others.