Dharamshala: In the 14th meeting of Himachal Pradesh Gaddi Welfare Board at Dharamshala, Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh said that State Government had always accorded priority to socio-economic development of the weaker, backward and tribal people of the state. He was presiding.

Virbhadra Singh said that the State Government had formulated various schemes for the welfare of weaker sections and has constituted various welfare boards to ensure their speedy development. He said that decisions taken by boards were being implemented by the concerned departments in letter and spirit.

Chief Minster said that tribal people were also residing in non-tribal areas and had constructed their houses in far-flung areas which need road connectivity and other basic facilities. He said that State Government had identified 670 tribal dominated hamlets out of which 480 hamlets were in Chamba and Kangra districts. He said that villages having more than 40 percent population of tribal people were being given Special Central Assistance apart from State Plan and priority was being accorded to complete ongoing schemes in these areas.

Virbhadra Singh said that State Government has constructed Tribal Bhawans/ Sarais at Bhuntar in Kullu, Riwalsar in Mandi, Dhali in Shimla and Chamba districts where boarding and lodging facilities were being provided to the tribal people at nominal rates. He said that construction work of Tribal Bhawans at Sihunta in Chamba and Dari in Kangra districts would be completed soon.

Forest Minister Thakur Singh Bharmouri while welcoming the Chief Minister said that State in general and tribal in particular had made tremendous progress in all spheres under the able leadership of Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh. He said that Congress Government had always been sensitive and considerate towards the development of tribal and remote areas of the State keeping in view their tough geographical and weather conditions. He said that tribal people especially Gaddi community would remain indebted to Chief Minister who had ensured fast development of their areas.

Various issues regarding road construction, water supply, opening of Health Centres, Guest Houses and Bank Branches, Tribal Hostels, Solar Lights, Construction of Shelters for the shepherds, Anganwaris, Public Toilets, Issue & Renewing of Gun Licenses, Ship dip Tank, Formation of Policy for issuing permits for sheep breeders, providing of wool weaving machines, construction of sarai at Dhancho in Bharmour area, prevention of sheep and goat theft cases, providing of tents to the shepherds and subsidy for the purchase of goats and sheeps, Increase of wool support price etc. were discussed in detail in the meeting.

Former MLA and Chairman, Wool Federation Raghubir Singh proposed vote of thanks.

Principal Secretary Tribal Development V.C. Pharka conducted the proceedings and assured that the directions of Chief Minister would be followed strictly in time bound period. Acting Chief Secretary P Mitra, Additional Chief Secretaries, Principal Secretaries, HoD’s, official and non-official members of the Gaddi Board attended the meeting.

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Rahul Bhandari is Editor of TheNewsHimachal and has been part of the digital world for last 15 years.