In the 43rd Tribal Advisory Council (TAC) Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh said that Government was committed to equitable and balanced development of the State and special attention was being accorded to the tribal and hard areas to ensure their development at par with other areas.

Virbhadra Singh said that nine per cent of the total budget had been allocated for Tribal Sub-Plan which had helped in improving the socio-economic level of the tribal people. He said that Rs. 2052 crore had been proposed for 12th Five Year Plan 2012-17 and Rs. 369 crore had been allocated under Tribal Sub-Plan during current fiscal which was about 11 per cent higher than previous year. He said that Rs. 385.99 crore had been allocated under Non-Plan for tribal areas development. He said that Rs. 53.66 crore were being spent on roads and bridges, Rs. 69.70 crore on education and health services while Rs. 15.82 crore had been provided for irrigation and drinking water schemes during current fiscal for the tribal areas.

Chief Minister said that heavy rains have caused massive damage and loss in the Kinnaur tribal areas during this monsoon. The State Government provided Rs. 25 crore to the Deputy Commissioner Kinnaur for rehabilitation of affected people. Apart from it, Rs. 30.55 crore had been given for repairs of roads, Rs. 14.78 crore for I&PH department for repair of drinking water and irrigation schemes, 5.80 crore for restoration of electricity, Rs. 13.39 crore to Agriculture department and Rs. 7.14 crore for Horticulture department to carry out restoration work.

Virbhadra Singh said that Congress led Government in the State had taken various decisions for the speedy and overall development of tribal areas. The decision of allocating nine per cent Tribal Sub-Plan was taken during 7th Five Year Plan which was still being followed. He said that a separate demand was created in the year 1981-82 for Tribal Sub-Plan. To ensure speedy development of tribal areas Single Line Administration was implemented in the year 1986 under which concerned Deputy Commissioner, Resident Commissioner and Additional District Magistrate were given powers of Head of the Departments. He said that tribal areas remained cut off during winter due to heavy snowfall. Keeping this in view the helicopter service was started for the tribal areas in the year 1981-82.

Chief Minister said that he had extensively toured the tribal areas recently and solved grievances of the local people on the spot. He said that Government had taken a decision that vacant functional posts of various departments in tribal and hard areas would be filled up by local eligible youth under Sub-Cadre.

Virbhadra Singh congratulated newly elected members of Tribal Advisory Council and said that three women members from tribal areas would be included in TAC to give representation to the women and this meeting would be held regularly at least twice or thrice in a year.

Chief Minister said that sufficient number of health institutions had been opened in the tribal areas and he directed the health department to fill up the posts of Doctors and Paramedical staff including Specialists Doctors on priority and ensure adequate stock of generic medicines in all the tribal areas. He said that it had been brought to his notice that certain posts were promoted and shifted from tribal areas to other areas which would be restored. He said that academic session would be restored to old pattern from next academic year and examination would be held in the month of December.

Virbhadra Singh said that Forest Right Committees would be formed at Village Level which would help in preserving and implementation of Forest Rights of the bonafide people. He said that more liberal and broad TD Policy was being framed to benefit the people of the State.

Chief Minister said that pre-feasibility study of Holi-Chamunda tunnel was being conducted through SJVNL which would reduce about 240 kms distance. He directed to give top priority to construct Mudh-Bhaba road which would reduce the distance of 90 kms and will benefit the people of Spiti Sub Division. He directed that Naygran-Bajol road should be completed at earliest as the work on only one km road and a bridge construction was left. He also directed to complete Shilti road in Reckongpeo-Karchham at earliest.

He said that a Sub-Depot of HRTC would be opened at Killar headquarter of Pangi Valley to regulate the bus services. He said that efforts would be made to open Bank branch at Sach in Pangi and Market Yard at Gondla in Lahaul valley. He directed the Deputy Commissioner, Kinnaur to submit detail report of the development works done by the Jaypee Company under Local Area Development Policy. He also directed the PWD authority to include manual tendering alongwith e-tender process like I&PH department to facilitate the small contractor living in the remote areas.

Forest Minister Thakur Singh Bharmouri welcomed the Chief Minister while Deputy Speaker HP Vidhan Sabha Jagat Singh Negi presented vote of thanks.

Principal Secretary Tribal Development V.C. Pharka conducted the proceedings.
Vice-Chairman National Tribal Development Commission & MLA Lahaul & Spiti Ravi thakur, TAC Members, Acting Chief Secretary P. Mitra, Additional Chief Secretaries, Principal Secretaries, Secretaries, E-in-C PWD & IPH and other Senior Officers were present in the meeting.