Himachal Pradesh celebrated 68th Independence Day function with enthusiasm and gaiety. Functions were organised at State, District and Sub-Divisional levels to mark the occasion. The State level Independence Day function was organsied Historic Chowgan at Nahan in district Sirmour. Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh presided over the function. He paid tributes to the martyrs at Shaheed Samarak and hoisting the tricolor at Historic Chowgan at Nahan.
Chief Minister, while addressing the gathering, said that we were grateful and will ever remain indebted to those valiant soldiers who had shown us the light of freedom by sacrificing their own-self for the sake of the Nation and the future generations ought to know this.
He said that the people of the State played a pivotal role in the struggle for Independence. The Dhami firing incident, Pajhota agitation, Suket Satyagraha and Prajamandal Andolan had been the witness of the sacrifices made by the people of Himachal Pradesh in the struggle for independence. Many youth of the State were part of the ‘Azad Hind Fauj’ and actively participated in the struggle for freedom, he added.
Remembering the first Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh, late Dr Yashwant Singh Parmar, Virbhadra Singh said that Dr. Parmar played a significant role in the formation of Himachal Pradesh and initiated all possible measures for uniform development of the State and make it self sufficient.
He said that the State had made a rapid progress since Independence and the present Government from more than last one and a half years had achieved many milestones in the field of development.
To ensure welfare of all the sections of the society, our Government has taken many steps in this direction. He claimed that the government has fulfiled most of its promises made in the election manifesto.
Chief Minister said that the Government was also giving added priority to the health sector, adding that opening of three new medical colleges at Nahan, Hamirpur and Chamba had been announced by the Government and the work on them would begin soon in near future. A provision of Rs 190 crore had been made for the medical college to be opened at Nahan and the land had also been selected for the same, he said. To ensure improvised medical services to the people, 638 posts of doctors and other paramedical staff had been filled besides the process was on to fill the remaining 719 posts.
He said the Government was committed for development of the roads and development of existing road infrastructure. As many as 3027 panchayats out of 3243 have been connected with motorable roads and efforts were afoot to connect the remaining panchayats soon.
Virbhadra Singh also assured to connect every census village with road connectivity besides maintaining and up-keeping the existing.
Referring to development works undertaken or earmarked for Sirmaur district, the Chief Minister said that the present Government aims at equitable development of all the areas of the State and the development of district Sirmaur had been on the top agenda of the Government and in this direction many effective steps had been taken. He said that three new Sub-Tehsils, viz, Haripurdhar, Pajhota and Narag had been sanctioned by the Government besides opening of SDM office at Shillai. He said that Shillai and Sangrah tehsils had been included in hard area sub cadre so that speedy development of the areas could be ensured. Besides, the government was committed to provide Tribal status to the Trans-Giri area of the district and will strongly pursue the matter with Government of India.
The Chief Minister said that as many as 105 schools had been opened/upgraded in the district besides opening a degree college at Sarahan for which a sum of Rs 12 crore had been sanctioned. He said that appropriate land had been identified for the college building at Nahan and the construction work of colleges at Sangrah, Haripurdhar and Rajgarh was in progress. He said that a college building was constructed at Shillai at a cost of Rs 14 crore.
Virbhadra Singh said that Rs 5.40 crore new OPD block was constructed at Regional Hospital Nahan besides hospital buildings at Sarahan and Paonta were being constructed at a cost of Rs 6.30 crore and Rs 7.70 crore respectively.
He said that Rs 72.57 crore, Giri drinking water supply scheme had been sanctioned for Nahan to solve the drinking water problem of the town and the work on which would begin soon. Tenders worth Rs 11 crore had been invited for the boring of tube-wells and the pumping machinery for the same and on completion it would solve the water problem of the people of the town for the next 25 years.
Apart from this, a sum of Rs 29 crore was being spent on improving the electricity lines and rupees six crore had been sanctioned for Nahan for the same so that the people of the town could have uninterrupted power supply round the clock.
The Chief Minister said that under the Backward Area Grant Fund, a scheme worth Rs 80.60 crore had been implemented and a sum of Rs 17 crore was being spent in this fiscal.
He said that Skill Development Centre was set up in Nahan in the campus of ITI with an outlay of Rs 1.21 crore to facilitate the youth in skill development so that they could be trained in different trades.
The Chief Minister said that an amount of rupees six crore had been sanctioned for construction of indoor stadium at Nahan and a shooting range worth rupees 1.15 crore was being set up in the town.
The Chief Minister expressed satisfaction that out of 228 panchayats in district Sirmaur as many as 220 panchayats had been provided road connectivity. Besides a sum of rupees 33 crore had been sanctioned for Laldhang-Shillai-Rohru National Highway and to speed up the work on this project a PWD sub division had been opened at Kafota. Apart from this a sum of Rs 142 crore had been spent on metalling and widening of Nahan- Kumarhatti road. The Government would assist and rehabilitate those who had suffered losses due to heavy rains and would ensure that all the roads in the interior of the district as well as the State would be restored soon.
He appealed to the people to contribute in the development of the State so that Himachal Pradesh could emerge as a pioneer State amongst the entire hill States in the Country, adding that the Government was committed for zero-tolerance towards corruption and the benefits of development should percolate to the last man in the queue.
The Chief Minister announced to set up Indian Institute of Management (IIM) at Dhaulakuan in Nahan constituency of district Sirmaur and Government Engineering College at Kotla near Jeuri in district Shimla.
He also announced 10 percent DA to the employees and Pensioners with effect from January 2014 and would be added in Septembers pay. The arrears would be deposited in the GPF of the employees, CM assured.
The Chief Minister also distributed ‘Civil Service Award’ to State Election Commission for making innovation in preparing electoral roll by using the primary data of election commission of India. The award was received by Anupam Kashyap Secretary, HP State Election Commission. The award comprised of Rs 2,50,000 in cash besides a citation.
He gave ‘Prerna Srot Award’ to Anju Devi, for donating the dead body of her husband to PGI, Chandigarh where he breathed his last. She was awarded Rs 51,000 in cash besides a citation.
The Chief Minister awarded ‘Himachal Gaurav Puraskar’ to Om Prakash Sujanpuri in the field of art and promoting Kangra and Pahari School of paintings and gave him cash reward of Rs 21000 besides a citation.
He also honoured Vikas Thakur for winning silver medal in the recently held commonwealth games at Glasgow. He was given a cheque of Rs 10 lakh, besides a citation.
The award for taking up plantation drive was given to senior secondary school Nahan, Rajgarh and Nauradhar and to High school Danda Pagar. For better services in the police department the award was given to Constable Navraj Sharma and head constable Kanwar Pal Singh of Police department.
The Cultural Programme awards were given to Jawahar Navodaya Vidalaya, Nahan, Senior Secondary School, Amboya and Senior Secondary School (Girls) Nahan.
Earlier, the Chief Minister also took salute at an impressive march past presented by the contingents of the Police, Homeguards, NCC cadets, Scouts and Guides and the school children.
Chief Parliamentary Secretaries, Mansa Ram, Jagjeevan Pal and Vinay Kumar, Chairman, Employment Generation and Resource Mobilisation, Harsh Vardhan Chauhan, Vice-Chairman State Planning Board, Gangu Ram Musafir, MLA, Karnesh Jung, Chairman, HIMFED, Ajay Bahadur, Chairperson, Women Social Welfare Board, Satya Parmar, Ex MLA, Kush Parmar, Chief Secretary, P Mitra, DGP, Sanjay Kumar, ACS, VC Pharka, Secretary GAD, Bharat Khera, Director, Information and Public Relations Rakesh Sharma, Deputy Commissioner Vikas Labru, Superintendent of Police, Balbir Thakur and other dignitaries of the town were present on the occasion.