In the present era of communication, the role of media has increased manifold and it was vital for a vibrant and healthy democracy that the Fourth Pillar of Democracy was strong. This was stated by the Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur while addressing the Rising Himachal Conclave organised by an Electronic News Channel 'Khabrain Abhi Tak' here yesterday evening.He said that the eight month tenure of the present State Government has been full of achievements and accomplishments. He said that he has a vision of making a strong and vibrant Himachal. He said that the State Government has succeeded in getting Central Assistance of Rs. 6310 crore sanctioned for the State. This was the biggest achievement of the present State Government which has given a new direction to the developmental endeavours of the State Government, he added.Jai Ram Thakur said that being a hilly State, Himachal Pradesh has its own developmental aspirations. He said that this require a strong will power and commitment. He said that the Government was working with set goals and set targets.He said that the State Government was committed to make Himachal Pradesh a favourite tourist destination of the country. He said that for this, the Government has prepared a roadmap and was trying to explore lesser known tourist destinations. He said that that State Government has also launched a new scheme 'Nai Rahai Nai Manzilae' for tourism promotion. He said that the State Government has provided the State Helicopter to be used as Heli-taxi services. This helicopter is plying three day a week between Shimla and Chandigarh.
Chief Minister said that the Government was also giving special stress on maintenance and construction of roads and bridges. He said that Rs. 200 crore has been provided for maintenance of roads in the State for this fiscal. He said that it was unfortunate that not much progress has been made on expansion of rail network in the State. He said that the State Government was endeavouring to construct the Bilaspur-Beri-Leh rail line as it was of strategic importance.Jai Ram Thakur said that the State was also endeavouring to make Himachal Pradesh an industrial hub of the country. He said that the special Industrial package announced by the Vajpayee Government in 2003 gave a big boost to industrial development of the State. He said that now the government was ensuring that the entrepreneurs were provided best possible facilities so that they could be attracted to invest in the State. Expressing concern over the increased cases of drug abuse, Chief Minister said that the Government was serious to eradicate this social vice from the society. He said that it was on his initiative that recently a meeting was held between the northern states at Chandigarh in which four Chief Ministers of Punjab, Haryana, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh participated. Apart from it, senior officers of Delhi, Rajasthan and Chandigarh also participated in the conference. He said that it was decided in the meeting that joint strategy would be chalked out to curb this social vice.
He said that all these states also agreed to start joint operation to check this vice.Chief Minister said that the State government was equally sensitive towards conserving the environment of the State. He said that environment conservation require joint steps. He said that the State Government has banned use of plastics in 2009 and recently the Government has banned use of thermocol cutlery and plastic water bottles in government functions. He said that the State Government was working with the aim of development of the State without any intention of vengeance.Chief Minister said that the State Government would help in providing more and more employment and self-employment opportunities to the youth of the State in the fields such as agriculture, tourism, Horticulture, adventure tourism and food processing sector. He said that the youth would be motivated to start their self employment ventures in these sectors.Vishal Garg Managing Director Khabrain Abhi Tak welcomed the Chief Minister and other dignitaries present on the occasion.Speaker Vidhan Sabha Dr. Rajiv Bindal, Education Minister Suresh Bhardwaj, Urban Development Minister Sarveen Chaudhary, Health Minister Vipin Parmar, Industries Minister Bikram Singh, Deputy Speaker Hans Raj, BJP State President Satpal Satti, MP Ram Swaroop Sharma, Mayor Municipal Corporation Shimla Kusum Sadrate, MLAs and other senior officers were present on the occasion among others.