The Cabinet in its meeting held here today under the Chairmanship of Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur expressed grief over the sad demise of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who passed away on 16 August, 2018. While passing the condolence resolution, the Cabinet lauded the contributions of Atal Bihari Vajpayee for the Nation in general and for the State in particular.Describing Atal Bihari Vajpayee a multi-faceted personality, the resolution said that apart from being the Statesman, he was an outstanding orator, a poet and a passionate journalist. The Cabinet appreciated his special benevolence for the State of Himachal Pradesh and its people who showered his love and affection by giving approval and sanction to various mega projects for the State which people of the State have not dreamt of.The Cabinet in its resolution said that Shri Vajpayee always considered Himachal Pradesh as his second home and has a house at Prini in Kullu district. He loved to visit the State whenever he got time from his busy schedule. The Cabinet, in its resolution while remembering the benevolence and special attachment of Shri Vajpayee ji with the people of Himachal Pradesh, said that the idea to construct Rohtang tunnel connecting landlocked hinterland Lahaul valley with rest of the world was conceived in 1998 by Shri Vajpayee and the project was announced by him on June 3, 2000. This project was nearing completion and would be the biggest gift of Shri Vajpayee to the State.The resolution said that it was National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government led by Atal Bihari Vajpayee that the special package for industrial development was announced for Himachal Pradesh in 2003 as result of which industrial investment of thousands of crores of rupees and employment and self-employment opportunities to lakhs of youth of the State was ensured.
The Cabinet, while acknowledging the contributions of Shri Vajpayee in making India a Nuclear power said that it was the sheer grit of Shri Vajpayee to go ahead with Pokhran Nuclear test making India a nuclear power. In addition, one of the largest education programs 'Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan' was launched during his Prime Ministership.The Cabinet in its resolution said that it was during the tenure of Shri Vajpayee that the Golden Quadrilateral National Highway Project, the lifeline of trade in India came into being. In addition, 'Pradhan Mantri Gramin Sadak Yojna' (PMGSY) aimed at linking five lakh villages of India to cities by all weather roads in particular proved a boon to the hilly states like Himachal Pradesh.It also said that Vajpayee's policies paved way for a very robust economic growth, with special emphasis on SEZs, giving telecom spectrum to private players for quality service to customers etc.The Cabinet also remembered with reverence the foundation stones of Kol Dam and Parvati Hydro Electric Projects in the State besides Mohan Shakti National Heritage Park at Harth near Solan laid by Shri Vajpayee.The Cabinet passed a resolution to request Union Government to name Rohtang Tunnel in the name of Atal Bihari Vajpayee. It was decided to re-name the Mukhya Mantri Adarsh Vidya Kendra Scheme launched by the State Government as Atal Adarsh Vidya Kendra and Mukhya Mantri Aashirwad Scheme as Atal Aashirwad Scheme.The Cabinet also decided to construct a memorial at Manali in memory of late Atal Bihari Vajpayee.It decided that a statue of Atal Bihari Vajpayee will be erected at the Ridge or Mall in Shimla.The Cabinet also decided to send a proposal to the Union Government to rename Kol Dam project in the name of Atal Bihari Vajpayee.The Cabinet observed two minute silence as a mark of respect to the departed soul.