72th Independence Day was celebrated with enthusiasm and gaiety throughout Himachal Pradesh.Functions were organised at State, District and Sub-Division levels to mark the occasion. Unfurling National Flag, impressive march-past by contingents of Police, Home Guards, NCC, ITBP and cultural programmes were main attractions of the celebrations. People in large number in traditional attire had started to assemble the venue of functions early morning to witness the celebrations.While presiding over the State Level Independence day function at Indora in Kangra district, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur hoisted the National Flag and took salute from the impressive march past by contingents of State Police, Jammu and Kashmir Police, Home-guards, NCC, Scouts and Guides and NSS cadets.The Parade was led by DSP R.K. Thakur. Addressing on the occasion, the Chief Minister said that the state government was working with a sole motto of “Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas” for ensuring over all and all-round development of the State.The government was committed towards safety and security of the women and ‘Shakti Button App' and ‘Gudiya Helpline-1515' have been started for their safety. 'Hoshiyar Singh Helpline-1090' has also been started to strictly deal with the forest mafia, mining mafia and drug mafia, he added.He said that 'Chief Minister Dashboard' has been started for online review and monitoring of the progress of various schemes and projects launched in the state. He said that 30 new schemes for the welfare of the people have been announced by the state government for welfare of every section of the society and adequate provision has been made in the budget for these schemes.
The Chief Minister said that upliftment of weaker sections of society has been the topmost priority of the government. In the very first meeting of the state Cabinet, the age limit for social security pension without any income limit was reduced from 80 to 70 years, thereby benefitting 1.30 lakh elderly persons. Today, about 4.47 lakh eligible persons of different categories are being provided social security pension for which a budget provision of Rs. 600 crore has been made for this financial year.Jai Ram Thakur said that 'Jan Manch' programme has been launched for speedy redressal of the public grievances at the door-steps of the people. This programme has emerged as useful and effective tool of communication and establishing a direct link with the masses in the state. The programme was being monitored regularly from the Chief Minister’s Office.He said that the state government has started ‘Himachal Grihini Suvidha Yojna’ under which domestic gas connections are being provided free of cost to those eligible families, which were not covered under the Centre government’s Ujjwala Yojna and do not have any gas connection. He urged all to sensitize the people living in rural areas about to this scheme so that maximum number of household could be covered under it. Similarly, ‘Mukhya Mantri Swavalamban Yojana’ has been launched with the aim of providing self-employment opportunities to the youth and promoting the local entrepreneurship. He said that a provision of Rs 80 crore has been made in the budget for the current financial year.
Jai Ram Thakur said the state government has succeeded in getting six major projects amounting to Rs. 6310 crore from the government of India. These projects for tourism development, horticulture development, strengthening drinking water facility, water conservation, rain-water harvesting and forest management would certainly prove a boon in doubling the income of farmers, providing employment to the youth and empowerment of women. He said that the state government and the people of the state were grateful to the Centre government for extending liberal financial assistance to the State. He said that this has been possible due to the benevolence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.The Chief Minister said that another new scheme ‘Nai Raahein-Nai Manzilien’ with an outlay of Rs. 50 crore has been started, under which tourists are being attracted to visit unexplored places having natural splendour. He said that the centre government has recently sanctioned an ambitious tourism development project of Rs. 1892 crore which will give boost to this sector. He said that Heli-taxi service has been started between Shimla and Chandigarh and the state government has provided the State helicopter to start Heli Taxi service between Shimla and Chandigarh for three days in a week. Efforts are being made to start such services for other important tourist destinations, he added.
He said that the state government was endeavouring to double the farmers income by 2022 for which zero budget natural farming was being promoted in a big way and a provision of Rs. 25 crore has been made for natural farming. The Chief Minister said that extensive work has been started for extension and improvement of roads and till date Rs. 200 crore has been released for maintenance of roads. A target of construction of 600 kilometers new roads and providing road facility to 40 new villages has been set up for this year. Out of newly approved 69 National Highways of 4312 kilometers, the letter of acceptance have been issued to consultants in most of the cases, he added.He said that effective steps have been taken to provide better health services to the people of the State. He said that several posts of doctors have been filled up during this period and free medicines were being provided to the needy patients in hospitals. As many as 330 generic medicines are being provided free of cost at I.G.M.C., Shimla round the clock, he added. He said that under the Mukhya Mantri Ashirwad Yojana, 'Nav Agantuk' kits of Rs. 1500 are being provided to all newborn.The Chief Minister said that the state government was endeavouring to improve quality of education in the State. The Mukhya Mantri Adarsh Vidya Kendra' has been formulated under which an ideal residential school will be opened in a phased manner in every Assembly constituency where there was no Navodaya Vidyalaya or Eklavya Vidyalaya. In the first phase, 10 such schools will be set up, out of these, five schools will be established only for girls, he added.
He said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi while addressing the nation from the historic Red Fort today made special reference regarding daughters of Himachal Pradesh for succeeding in Sagar Parikrama which was indeed a matter of great pride for the State. He also expressed concern over the increase in incidents of drug abuse amongst the youth and urged the people of the State to come forward to eradicate this social vice from the society.The Chief Minister announced 4 per cent interim relief to the employees and pensioners of the State government from 1 July, 2018. This would provide financial benefit of Rs 260 crore to them.He announced that the ex-servicemen and their widows who were not getting any pensions and were being provided social security pension of Rs. 500 per month would now get social security pension of Rs. 3000 per month.He also announced that the income limit for getting benefits of different schemes being implemented by the State Sainik Kalyan Department would be increased from Rs. 3 lakh to Rs. 7 lakh. This would benefit about 5000 ex-servicemen families of the State.The Chief Minister announced opening of PWD Division and construction of Mini Secretariat at Indora.He also announced setting up of Gau Sadans at Indora, Jawalamukhi and Jaisinghpur in Kangra district.
The Chief Minister announced upgradation of CHC Indora to 50 bedded hospital and setting up of X-ray machine and ultra sound machine in this institute.He also announced upgradation of Police Post Damtal to Police Station besides five tube wells for Indora.He announced that commerce and science classes would be started in two senior secondary school of the Vidhan Sabha area.He announced enhancement of grant being provided to the kin of the person who die due to attack of wild animal from Rs. 1.20 lakh to Rs. 4 lakh and for those seriously injured from Rs. 1 lakh to Rs. 2 lakh.He also announced to enhance the grant being given in case of death of milching cattle from Rs. 10000 to Rs. 30000.He announced Rs. 51,000 from his discretionary fund to the school students presenting cultural programme on the occasion.Jai Ram Thakur also awarded Himachal Gaurav Puraskar on this occasion to Shail Bala (posthumously) and Gulab Singh (posthumously), Himahal Pradesh State Innovation Award to Dr. Pradeep Kumar, a Scientist of Chawdhary Sharwan Kumar Agriculture University Palampur for agriculture sector, Director Elementary Education in field of education, Director Himalayan Research Group Dr. Lal Singh, DGP (Prison) for Social Welfare and Employment.The Chief Minister also gave away prizes to the participants of culture performances and others. Health Minister Vipin Singh Parmar, MLAs Ramesh Dhawala, Rakesh Pathania, Rajesh Thakur, Arjun Singh, Rajesh Thakur, Ravinder Singh, Arun Mehra and Rita Dhiman, Former MP Kripal Parmar, Former MLA Dulo Ram, Chief Secretary Vineet Chawdhry, DGP S.R. Mardi and other senior civil and Police officers were present on the occasion amongst other dignitaries and luminaries from the town.