76th Independence Day was celebrated throughout the State with great enthusiasm, fervor and gaiety today. Functions were held at State, District and Sub-Division levels to mark this historic occasion. Unfurling of Tri-colour, impressive march past by contingents of State Police, Home Guards SSB, ITBP were main attractions of the celebration.
The state level function was held at Sarahan in Sirmour district which was presided over by Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur.The Chief Minister hoisted the national flag and took salute from the contingents of State Police, Home Guards, NCC and NSS. DSP Pranav Chauhan commanded the parade.
While addressing the people on the occasion, Jai Ram Thakur announced the first installment of arrears of pay revision to the employees and pensioners of the State Government due to them from 1st January, 2016. He said that the State Government would provide a benefit of Rs. 1000 crore on this account.
He said that this would benefit about 2.25 lakh employees and 1.90 lakh pensioners which also include employees and pensioners of public sector undertakings. He said that employees and pensioners had got a benefit of Rs. 3500 crore due to revision of pay scale and pension.
The Chief Minister also announced revised pay scales to the employees working under Zila Parishad Cadre in Panchayati Raj Department of the State. This would benefit about 4000 employees.Jai Ram Thakur announced that Panchayat Chowkidars who were providing 12 years continuous services would be made daily wagers.
Chief Minister said that the State Government was providing mustard oil to BPL families (NFSA) at Rs. 134 per liter and APL (OTNFSA) families at Rs. 139 per liter, refined oil to BPL families (NFSA) at Rs. 122 per liter and APL (OTNFSA) at Rs. 127 per liter.
He said that the State Government was giving subsidy of Rs. 5 per liter to APL (OTNFSA) families and Rs. 10 per litre to BPL (NFSA) on edible oil. He announced to double the subsidy on edible oil from Rs. 5 to Rs. 10 to APL (OTNFSA) families and from Rs. 10 to Rs. 20 per litre to BPL (NFSA) families.
Jai Ram Thakur also announced that to strengthen the pre-primary education in the State, Pre-Primary Education Policy would be made and pre-primary teachers would be recruited as per requirement.Chief Minister said that to benefit the farmers of lower and mid areas of the State, the Government would appeal in the Supreme Court to exclude 'khair' from 10 years felling programme.
While extending warm greetings to the people of the State, the Chief Minister said that it was a special occasion for the people of the state as we are celebrating Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav while various celebrations were also being organized in state on the occasion of 75th year of the formation of Himachal Pradesh.
He also paid his tributes to the freedom fighters as it was the result of the tireless efforts of brave freedom fighters that India attained independence. He said that under the able leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the nation was celebrating the Har Ghar Tringa on this auspicious occasion.
He said that the freedom fighters, mass movement leaders and people of Himachal Pradesh also made their unforgettable contributions in the freedom movement of the country, which has been recorded in history. Jai Ram Thakur said that it was indeed a matter of honour for the people of the State as on this 76th Independence Day the State was also celebrating 75 years of its existence.
He said that the State Government was celebrating this event in a befitting manner by organizing 75 events throughout the State. Main objective of organizing these events was to showcase the developmental journey of the State during these 75 years, he added. He urged the people to actively participate in these events and be part of this glorious 75 years journey of the State.
Chief Minister said that despite geographical constraints, the State witnessed unparalleled development during these years and credit of this goes to the able leadership and hardworking and honest people of the State. He said that the State not only grew in size during these years but it has also made impressive growth in various sectors.
He said that the literacy rate at the time of formation of the State was only 4.8 per cent, whereas today it has gone over 83 percent. He said that road length at that time was 288 kms and today it has gone upto 39,500 kms. Similarly, at the time of formation of the State, there were only 301 educational institutions, whereas today the State has over 16,124 educational institutions in the State, he added.
Jai Ram Thakur said that despite difficult geographical conditions and limited resources, Himachal Pradesh has emerged as a model of development and public welfare for other States of the country. The State has got a distinct identity and the achievements of the state in various fields have been appreciated at the national level, he added.
Chief Minister said that the present tenure of the State Government has ensured that the pace of development goes uninterrupted despite the corona pandemic. He said that the State Government has made every effort to increase the self-respect of Himachalis and provide them ample opportunities to improve their standard of living.
He said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi not only successfully guided the Nation through this testing and hard time, but also motivated the scientists to develop indigenous vaccines against this virus. He said that the biggest vaccination campaign was also successfully carried out in the State and Himachal emerged as a pioneer State in administering first and second doses of vaccine.
Jai Ram Thakur said that the State Government in its very first cabinet decided to reduce the age limit of old age pension from 80 years to 70 years so that senior citizens should lead a dignified life, which was further reduced to 60 years. He said that the social security pension being paid to various sections has been increased and 3.07 lakh new cases of pension have been approved during this tenure.
A budget provision of Rs. 1300 crore has been made for social security pension in this financial year, whereas about Rs. 436 crore were spent in 2017-18, he said.Chief Minister said that to ensure redressal of public grievances at their door-steps, a unique initiative of 'Jan Manch' was introduced which resulted in saving people's money and time.
He said that so far, 55, 249 complaints were received in Jan Manch organized at 256 places and most of them have been resolved. He said that Mukhyamantri Seva Sankalp Helpline-1100 has also been launched to enable people to resolve their grievances sitting at home and about 4.14 lakh complaints and issues have been resolved.
Jai Ram Thakur said that under the Mukhyamantri Grihini Suvidha Yojana, free gas connections were provided to 3.34 lakh families by spending Rs. 131 crore. He said that Mukhyamantri Grihini Suvidha Yojana of the State Government and Ujjwala Yojana of the Centre Government ensured that Himachal Pradesh has been declared as the first chulha smoke free state of the country.
He said that the State Government started HIMCARE scheme to cover beneficiaries who could not avail benefit of the Ayushman Bharat Yojana of the Central Government to provide facility of free treatment. He said that under both these schemes, Rs.472.88 crore has been spent on the treatment of 4.57 lakh people of the state.
He said that going a step forward, financial assistance of Rs. 3000 per month was being provided to the people belonging to economically weaker sections of the society who were suffering from serious ailments under Mukhyamantri Sahara Yojna. Financial assistance of Rs. 80 crore has been released to more than 20,000 beneficiaries for medical treatment, he added.
Chief Minister said that Mukhyamantri Shagun Yojana was started by the State Government and Rs. 31,000 being provided as ‘Shagun’ to girls belonging to BPL families at the time of their marriage. He said that Mukhyamantri Swavalamban Yojana was launched by the State Government with the aim of providing self-employment opportunities to the youth.
He said that about 4,377 units with an investment of Rs. 721 crore have been set up for which the state government has given a subsidy of Rs. 200 crore. He said that for the first time in the state the 'Global Investors' Meet' was held at Dharamshala in which 703 MoUs with an investment of Rs 96,721 crore were signed. Industrial projects worth about Rs. 42,000 crore have been grounded, he added.
Jai Ram Thakur said that the ambitious Prakritik Kheti Khushal Kisan Yojana has been adopted by 1.71 lakh farmers and the government has spent Rs. 58.46 crore on this scheme. He said that efforts were being made towards women empowerment and they were provided 50 per cent reservation in PRIs and ULBs when he was Panchayati Raj Minister of the State.
He said that now the State Government is also providing 50 percent concession to the women in the fare in normal buses of Himachal Road Transport Corporation operating within the state. He said that under the Jal Jeevan Mission, 8.65 lakh tap connections have been provided in just two and a half years, whereas before this Mission 7.63 lakh tap connections were provided in the state.
He said that the State Government has taken a historic decision to provide free electricity to the consumers' upto 125 units, besides exempting people of the rural areas from paying water bills. Chief Minister said that wages of unskilled daily wagers had been increased from Rs. 210 to Rs.350 during the tenure of the present State Government.
He said that honorarium of para workers has also been increased and the Government employees and pensioners have been given the benefit of the revised pay scales. He said that respectable increase has been made in the honorarium of the office bearers and members of Panchayati Raj Institutions and local urban bodies, ASHA workers, Anganwari workers etc.
While thanking the Central Government and especially to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, for his benevolence towards the State and its people, the Chief Minister said that centre has sanctioned development projects worth Rs. 10,000 crores besides a special economic package of Rs. 800 crores.
He said that it was due to the able and strong leadership of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi that today the Nation was poised to become 'Vishva Guru'. He said that the Prime Minister today while addressing the Nation from the Red Fort has urged the people to take five vows to make India strong and vibrant.
He urged the people of the State to work in this direction so that India could regain its old glory.A colourful cultural programme was also presented by the school students and other cultural troupes on the occasion. The Chief Minister also launched Mobile Ambulances Health Clinic on the occasion.
The Chief Minister also honoured Prem Kumar of Karsog area of Mandi district, Virender Singh of Nauharadhar of Sirmaur district, Dr. Ajay Pathak Chief Medical Officer Sirmaur, Parade commander Pranav Chauhan and others for their exemplary works on the occasion.
Power Minister Sukh Ram Chaudhary, Member of Parliament and State BJP President Suresh Kashyap, MLAs Dr. Rajiv Bindal, Reena Kashyap, Chief Secretary R.D. Dhiman, DGP Sanjay Kundu, Principal Secretary GAD Bharat Khera, Vice Chairman State Civil Supplies Corporation Baldev Tomar, Vice Chairman State Agriculture Marketing Board Baldev Bhandari, Chairperson Zila Parishad Seema Kanyal, former MLA Roop Singh, Chairman Panchayat Simiti Surinder Nehru, chairman Panchayat Simiti Rajgarh Saroj Sharma, District BJP President Vinay Gupta, Deputy Commissioner Sirmour Ram Kumar Gautam, Director Information and Public Relations Harbans Singh Brascon, SP Omapati Jamwal was present on the occasion among others.
The 76th Independence Day was also celebrated in all districts of the State with great enthusiasm, fervor and gaiety.Speaker, HP Vidhan Sabha Vipin Singh Parmar presided over the district level function at Dharmashala of Kangra district, Jal Shakti Minister Mahender Singh Thakur at Bhangrotu in Mandi district, Urban Development Minister Suresh Bhardwaj at Shimla, Technical Education Minister Dr. Ram Lal Markanda at Keylong in District Lahaul-Spiti, Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Minister Virender Kanwar at Una, Industries Minister Bikram Singh at Hamirpur, Education Minister Govind Singh Thakur at Kullu, Health and Family Welfare Minister Rajiv Saizal at Solan, Forest Minister Rakesh Pathania at Banikhet in District Chamba and Food & Civil Supplies Minister Rajinder Garg at Bilaspur and Deputy Speaker HP Vidhan Sabha Dr. Hans Raj presided over the district level Independence day function at Reckong-Peo in Kinnaur district.The 76th Independence Day was celebrated with great zeal and enthusiasm at Himachal Bhawan in New Delhi also. Meera Mohanty Resident Commissioner hoisted the national flag to mark the occasion.