Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur while addressing the Panchayat Pradhans of various Gram Panchayats of Shimla and Bilaspur districts today through video conferencing from Shimla thanked the elected representatives of Panchayati Raj Institutions for providing wholehearted support to the State Government to fight the COVID-19 pandemic in an effective way.Chief Minister said that the representatives of the PRIs have also played a major role in providing face masks and food to the needy and the poor. He said that most of the Panchayats have also done a great work in motivating the people to maintain social distancing and use of face masks and face covers while going out of homes. He said that the representatives of PRIs have ensured availability of basic necessities to migrant labourers. Jai Ram Thakur thanked the Union Government led by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi for providing Rs. 20 lakh crore economic reforms package for the country. He said that the package envisages welfare of all sections of the society and something to offer for each and every sector. He said that the State would immensely be benefitted by this package. Chief Minister said that Rs. 40,000 crore additional funds have been provided for MGNREGA which would definitely help in generating more employment opportunities in the rural areas besides improving developmental infrastructure in rural areas of the State. He said that the announcements regarding package for MSMEs would also help the industrial sector in the State in the post COVID-19 era. Jai Ram Thakur said that the State Government has been getting SOS messages from thousands of Himachali people stranded in various parts of the country and providing all possible help to bring them back. He said that this has resulted in sharp increase in number of corona patients in the State. He said that prevention and social distancing was the only remedy which could check spread of this virus.
Chief Minister said that all the people coming from other states were being kept under quarantine. He said that the role of the elected representatives of PRIs becomes all the more important at this time. He said that no one should be allowed to jump home quarantine and if a person does not follow quarantine protocol the same could be brought to the notice of the district administration so that the violator could be shifted to institutional quarantine centre.Jai Ram Thakur said that Pradhans were one of most important part of our democratic setup as they head the grass root institutions of the democracy. He said that their proactive role in development of their areas as well as in social issues was of paramount importance. He said that Pradhans should come forward to help the poor and migrant labourers in providing them food and shelter. He said that panchayats must also come forward to provide face covers and masks to the people. Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Minister Virender Kanwar while welcoming the Chief Minister in the video conference said that the corona pandemic has badly affected the economy of the country. He also thanked the Chief Minister for adopting proactive approach to bring back the people of Himachal Pradesh stranded in different parts of the country. He said that till date five trains have arrived from different parts of the country to bring back stranded Himachalis. He said that, after proper medical check up, these people have reached their homes and it becomes duty of the representatives of Panchayati Raj Institutions to ensure that they do not jump home quarantine. Chairperson Zila Parishad Shimla Dharmila Harnot, Chairman Zila Parishad Bilaspur Amarjit Singh Bagga, Pradhan Gram Panyhayat Narain, district Shimla Naresh, Pradhan Gram Panchayat Balghar Bilaspur district Rachna Devi, Pradhan Gram Panchayat Behal Bilaspur district Ram Kumar Sharma, Pradhan Gram Panchayat Nandpur, Jubbal district Shimla Shakuntala Devi, Pradhan Gram Panchayat Kui, Rohru district Shimla Surinder Verma also shared their views on the occasion.Director Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Lalit Jain conducted the proceedings of the video conference. Chief Secretary Anil Khachi, Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister Sanjay Kundu, Secretary Rural Development Dr. R.N. Batta were also present on the occasion among others.