Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh today inaugurated Dr. Lakshmi Singh Negi Auditorium at Dr. Y S Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry, Nauni, Solan constructed at a cost of Rs. 11 crore. This air conditioned Auditorium is the second largest in the State having sitting capacity of 1038 persons.
While presiding over 29th Foundation Day of Dr. Y.S. Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry at Nauni, Solan, Chief Minister said that the University has contributed immensely towards development of horticulture and allied activities in the State. He said that it was due to the concerted efforts of the scientists and scholars of the University that Himachal Pradesh has earned a name in fruit production, floriculture, mushroom production and forestry. He said that the alumni of the University were making commendable contribution in various fields while serving in different parts of the country.
Virbhadra Singh said that topographical and climatic conditions of the State were suited for cultivation of different varieties of fruits. He urged the scientists of the University to provide best technical know how to the farmers and horticulturists so that they could be benefited from the research. He also asked the teachers of the University to distance themselves from politics, as this spoils the academic environment of the University.
Chief Minister said that it was during his earlier tenure that complete ban was imposed on felling of green trees in the State. He said that over 95,000 trees were axed every year for preparing apple boxes prior to introduction of carton boxes for marketing apples from the State. He said that State Government also imposed complete ban on hunting, as animals and birds have all rights to co-exist with human beings in the world. He said that Himachal Pradesh was playing a major role in protecting the fragile Himalayan ecology for the greater interest of the Nation. He said that the State Government would provide all possible financial help for strengthening the infrastructure in all the three Government Universities in the State.
While appreciating the contribution of Dr. Lakshmi Singh Negi, Virbhadra Singh said that born in a remote Chini village of Kinnaur district of Himachal Pradesh in 1913, Dr. Negi rose to become Vice Chancellor of Jawahar Lal Nehru Agriculture and Horticulture University, Jabalpur, Assam University, Jorhat and Himachal Pradesh University, Shimla.
Chief Minister felicitated Rajender Kumar Negi, former Pro Vice Chancellor Dr. D.R. Thakur, former Vice Chancellor Dr. J.M. Singh, former MLA Major Krishna Mohini, senior journalist Sant Ram and President, Gram Panchayat Nauni Baldev Singh on the occasion.
Chief Minister also released calendar of 2014 and various publications brought out by the University on the occasion. Virbhadra also honoured over 100 progressive farmers, horticulturists and meritorious students on the occasion. Chief Minister also visited the exhibition put up by farmers on the occasion and evinced keen interest in it.
Irrigation & Public Health and Horticulture Minister Vidya Stokes said that the Nauni University has played a major role in strengthening the rural economy of the State. She said that the State was today fast emerging as a fruit bowl of the country after becoming ‘Apple State’. She said that the apple production has gone up to 5,55,708 MT during the year 2011-12. The area under apple production had also gone up from 28,308 hectare in 1971 to 2,14,474 hectares during the year 2011-12, she added.
Forest Minister Thakur Singh Bharmouri said that a special provision of Rs. five crore had been made for eradication of lantana in the State. He said that in order to solve problem of monkey menace, the Government had decided to plant 60 percent fodder plants and 20 percent each herbs and sherbs in barren lands.
Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Dr. Col. Dhani Ram Shandil said that the Garima, Sindur and Red Round varieties of tomato developed by Nauni University has earned a name for the State in general and Solan district in particular.
Later, I&PH and Horticulture Minister Vidya Stokes inaugurated Solar Energy Part constructed at a cost of Rs. 95 lakh.
Forest Minister Thakur Singh Bharmouri inaugurated Examination Hall Building, College of Forestry constructed at a cost of Rs. 50 lakh.
Social Justice & Empowerment Minister Dr. (Col) Dhani Ram Shandil laid foundation stone of Girls Hostel constructed at a cost of Rs. 1.50 crore.
Vijay Singh Thakur, Vice Chancellor of the University while welcoming the Chief Minister said that the University till date has conferred 3987 degrees to the students in different disciplines. He said that horticulture was contributing about six percent of the State’s total GDP as horticulture was a Rs. 4098 crore industry in the State. He read out annual report of the University on the occasion.
Director Research Dr. R.C. Sharma while welcoming the Chief Minister paid rich tributes to Dr. Lakshmi Singh Negi.
Director, Extension Education, Dr. N.B. Singh proposed vote of thanks. Vice Chairman, State Planning Board Gangu Ram Musafir, Chairman, Nagar Parishad Solan Kul Rakesh Pant, Chairman, DCC Solan, Rahul Thakur, Chairman, Himachal Pradesh House and Other Construction Workers Welfare Board Bawa Hardeep Singh, Chairman, Jogindra Cooperative Bank Mohan Mehta, Member BoD, HPTDC Surender Sethi, Member, Pollution Control Board Arvind Gupta, Deputy Commissioner, Solan Madan Chauhan, S.P. Solan Dr. Ramesh Chajjta, and other senior officers were present on the occasion.