Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur today led the State in paying rich tributes to former Prime Minister and Bharat Ratan Atal Bihari Vajpayee on his 95th birth anniversary.Main function was held at Prini in Manali and Atal Bihari Vajpayee Mountaineering Institute Manali in Kullu district today. Chief Minister performed puja and paid floral tributes to the great leader at Prini. Chief Minister formally launched ‘Ek Buta Beti Ke Naam’, from the premises of Atal Bihari Vajpayee's house at Prini. Under this scheme five tree saplings would be presented to the families of newly born girl child alongwith other kit. He presented five deodar saplings to the mothers of newly born girl child, besides twenty kilograms vermi-compost, five tree guards and name plate of the girl child to the family members. Chief Minister, alongwith the other senior leaders, officers and people from different walks of life at Atal Bihari Vajpayee Mountaineering Institute Manali, listened to the address of Prime Minister Narendra Modi from Vigyan Bhawan New Delhi on the occasion of 95th birth anniversary of Atal Bihari Vajpayee.While addressing the nation on the occasion, Prime Minister announced naming of Rohtang Tunnel being constructed in the State as ‘Atal Tunnel’ after the name of former Prime Minister and Bharat Ratan Atal Bihari Vajpayee.Prime Minister also launched Rs 6000 crore ‘Atal Bhujal Yojna’ which would cover 78 districts of seven states of the country.
While addressing the people on the occasion, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur said that Atal Bihari Vajpayee always considered Himachal Pradesh his second home and has a house at Prini in Kullu district. He used to visit the State whenever he got time from his busy schedule. He said that during Prime Ministership, Atal Bihari Vajpayee not only visited Manali, but also organized Kavi Sammelan where he used to recite his favourite poems. Not only this, he had written a poem on Manali which showed his love for the town, he added.Jai Ram Thakur said that Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee was a multi-faceted personality and apart from being a great Statesman, he was an outstanding orator, a passionate poet and a committed journalist. He said that he always showed special benevolence on Himachal Pradesh and its people. He said that Vajpayee showered his love and affection by giving approval to various mega projects for Himachal Pradesh. He said that statues of Atal Bihari Vajpayee would be installed at Mountaineering Institute Manali, Atal Sadan Kullu and at The Ridge Shimla.Jai Ram Thakur said that the idea to construct Rohtang tunnel connecting landlocked winter-land Lahaul valley with rest of the world was conceived by Shri Vajpayee and the project was also announced by him. He said that this project was the biggest gift of Shri Vajpayee to the State. He said that in the very first Cabinet Meeting of the State Government after the demise of Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the State Cabinet passed a resolution to urge Centre to name Rohtang Tunnel as 'Atal Tunnel' after the name of former Prime Minister late Atal Bihari Vajpayee, as a mark of respect to the great leader. He thanked the Union Government for acceding to the request of State Government in this regard.
Chief Minister said that this tunnel would not only provide all weather connectivity to the land locked Lahaul-Spiti district but also attract tourists to this beautiful district. He said that this tunnel would also go a long way from strategic point of view.He said that the State Government would be completing two years in office on 27th of this month. He said that the State Government has launched several schemes for socio-economic upliftment of the people of the State during the period. He said that the results of Lok Sabha elections and thereafter the verdict in the State bye elections showed the faith of the people in the policies and programmes of the State Government.Jai Ram Thakur also presented State Level ‘Best City Award’. He presented prize of Rs. one crore to Nagar Council Sundernagar for the best performance, prize of Rs. 75 lakh to Nagar Panchayat Chopal for outstanding performance and Rs. ten lakh to Nagar Councils Rampur and Nurpur for excellent work in cleanliness and providing best public utility services and Rs. five lakh to Nagar Panchayat Arki for outstanding work in cleanliness and Rs. five lakh to Nagar Panchayat Rajgarh for providing the best public services to the people in the year 2018. He also presented Rs. one crore to Nagar Council Palampur for the outstanding work, Rs. 75 lakh to Nagar Panchayat Rajgarh for the best performance, Rs. five lakh each to Nagar Council Naina Devi Ji and Nagar Panchayat Sarkaghat for best work in cleanliness and Rs. five lakh each to Nagar Council, Bilaspur and Nagar Panchayat Nadaun in providing best public utility servicesChief Minister also released a book on Atal Bihari Vajpayee brought out by the State Language, Art and Culture Department which has been edited by Dr. Inder Singh Thakur. He also released the logo of ‘Ek Buta Beti Ke Naam’ on the occasion.
Urban Development Minister Sarveen Chaudhary said that ‘Atal Shrestha Shahar Puraskar’ was an endeavour of the State Government to motivate the Municipalities in the State to work with commitment towards maintaining cleanliness in the towns of the State.Transport and Forest Minister Govind Thakur said that Atal Bihari Vajpayee had special love towards the State in general and Manali in particular. He said ‘Ek Buta Beti Ke Naam’ would go a long way in increasing the green cover of the State as every family with the newly born girl child would be provided five tree saplings. Member of Parliament Mandi Ram Swaroop Sharma, MLA Surender Shaurie, Former MP Maheshwar Singh, Vice Chairman HPMC Ram Singh, Additional Chief Secretary Ram Subhag Singh, Secretary Urban Development C. Palrasu, Director Urban Development Ram Kumar Gautam, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests Ajay Kumar, Deputy Commissioner Kullu Dr. Richa Verma, Director Mountaineering Institute Col. Neeraj Rana, SP Kullu Gaurav Singh were present on the occasion among others. Later, while addressing the gathering at Shuru village near Manali, Chief Minister said that the people Prini and Shuru villages were fortunate that Atal Bihari Vajpayee belonged to these villages and had great affection towards the villagers. Chief Minister announced Rs. 10 lakh for construction of temple inn so that tourists and visitors could be facilitated. He said that Rs five lakh each would also be provided by MP Ram Swaroop and Govind Thakur. He announced that Arjun Gufa would be developed from tourism point of view. He announced improvement of this Village Road, besides providing adequate drinking water facility to the people of the Village.Transport and Forest Minister welcomed the Chief Minister and other dignitaries present on the occasion.‘Preeti Bhoj’ was organised by the people of Shuru village at the temple complex of Mata Sharbari on the occasion of birthday of Atal Bihari Vajpayee.