Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh said that the State Government was committed for uniform and balanced development of the State and special emphasis was being given for tribal areas so as to bring them in main stream. He was addressing a public meeting at Udaipur in Lahaul & Spiti district today.
Earlier he paid obeisance in Mata Mrikula Devi temple, Udaipur. Virbhadra Singh said that the State Government had allocated Rs. 369 crores under Tribal Sub-Plan for the year 2013-14, which was 11 per cent higher than the previous year. Total budget of Rs. 764 crores have been allocated including Non-Plan allocations to ensure speedy development of tribal areas. He said that Rs. 3.60 crore would be spent on roads, bridges and buildings in Lahaul Division during current fiscal. Apart from it Rs. 25 lakh would be spent on metaling and tarring under NABARAD, he added.
Chief Minister said that the State Government had provided free travel facility in HRTC buses to all the students studying in Government schools from their homes to school and back and free school uniforms would be provided to all the students studying in Government schools under ‘Mahatma Gandhi Vardi Yojna’. He said that Rs. 41 lakh were being spent for qualitative improvement in education and technical education in the Lahaul valley.
Virbhadra Singh said that the State Government had enhanced the Social Security Pension from Rs. 450 to Rs. 500 per month and senior citizens above 80 years would be given social security pension of Rs. 1000 per month. He said that Rs. 88 lakh had been allocated to provide social security pension in Lahaul valley during current fiscal year.
He said that Rs. 1.73 crore had been allocated for agriculture sector in Lahaul valley under Tribal Sub-Plan. Besides, Rs. 46 lakh were being spent to provide subsidized seeds, fertilizers and pesticides under Special Central Assistance. He said that Rs. 10 lakh were being spent under National Agriculture Development Scheme while 44.36 lakh would be spent under ‘Kisan Bagwan Samridhi Yojna’. He said that agriculturists of Lahaul valley were being provided subsidized potato and pea seeds.
Virbhadra Singh said that there was no dearth of money for the development of tribal areas and targets were being set for the officers to ensure proper utilization of funds. He took strict notice of slow pace of certain development schemes in Lahaul valley and said strict action would be taken against the concerned officers. He said that contractors who do not complete their assigned work in stipulated time would be blacklisted. He directed the officers to ensure the completion of construction work of Udaipur stadium before winters.
Chief Minister said that the transfers of Government officers and employees would not be cancelled in tribal areas and they have to join their duties otherwise their promotions would be affected. He said that vacant posts in various departments such as education and health etc. would be filled up on priority basis in Lahaul valley. He said that demand of opening Sub-BDO office at Udaipur would be considered sympathetically.
Virbhadra Singh said that appropriate funds would be provided to mitigate the damages occurred in Mayad valley due to natural calamity. He also announced Rs. 10 lakh for setting up a span at Karpat village to facilitate the farmers to send their products to the markets. He said that interests of local people would be safe guarded while constructing the power projects in the tribal areas.
Later, while addressing a public meeting at Keylong, Chief Minister said that the UPA Government had brought revolutionary Food Security Act to provide food security to the people. He said that it would benefit about 37 lakh people in the State who would get three kgs wheat at Rs. two per kg and two kg rice at Rs. 3 per kg. while the families not covered under this Act would continue to get subsidized ration i.e. three pulses, two edible oils, sugar, rice, flour and iodized salt on previous pattern.
Virbhadra Singh said that people of the State should welcome setting up of hydel projects as they benefit not only the State but also the country, as power was must for development. He said that large number of people were displaced due to construction of Bhakra and Pong Dam while least were affected due to 1500 MW Nathpa Jhakri Project. He said that the Government would allow only run of river projects as they affect minimum population. He assured that the affected people would be given proper compensation in these projects. He said that projects upto 5 MW would be given only to Himachalis and preference would be given to them upto 25 MW projects so that people of State come forward in this sector.
Chief Minister said that the Government would provide relief of Rs. 86 lakh to the Lahaul Potato Society which suffered huge losses due to rottening of 21,667 bags of potatoes in the year 2011-12. He said that if there were enough money available in this budget the same would be released this year otherwise it would be provided in two instalments.
Virbhadra Singh announced to upgrade Government High Schools Gosal and Chimrat to Government Senior Secondary Schools.
Member Parliament Pratibha Singh said that she was striving hard to ensure the speedy development of Lahaul-Spiti along with other areas of Mandi Parliamentary Constituency. She also expressed her gratitude for providing massive mandate to ensure her victory in recent held by-elections.
MLA Ravi Thakur welcomed the Chief Minister and detailed about the various development activities being carried out in Lahaul valley. He also put forth the various demands of the area.
President Block Congress Udaipur Dalip Bodh presented vote of thanks at Udaipur. While at Keylong MLA Thakur, former MLA Raghuvir Singh Thakur, President Block Samiti Norbo Pans, Tribal Advisory Council Member Nabag Bodh and President Mahila Congress Shashi Kiran also spoke. Forest Minister Thakur Singh Bharmouri, Advisor to Chief Minister T.G. Negi, Principal Secretary to Chief Minister & Tribal Development V.C. Pharka, DC Lahaul-Spiti Beer Singh Thakur, SP Shiv Kumar and prominent persons were present on the occasion.