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CM Launches e-district portal to mark Digital India Week

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SHIML- The Digital India program envisages bringing all basic services directly to the public through the use of Information Technology in this fast changing world said Chief Minister, Virbhadra Singh after launching 7 g2c (e-district service from government to citizens) under e-district portal, Aadhar Permanent enrolment center and Digital lockers to members of Vidhan Sabha under the Digital India Programme here today.

Chief Minister said that launching of Digital India Programme was a part of Digital India week launched by Prime Minister of India on Wednesday and today it was launched in the State as a part of larger initiative to empower the people to have access to Information Technology (IT) for better and speedy delivery of services to the people of the State.

The chief Minister said that today we would not have celebrated this week if the last UPA government had not come up with an ambitious National Fibre Optical Network (NOFN) project that provided high speed internet connectivity upto the gram panchayat level.

He said that Himachal Pradesh was one of the leading states in implementing Information Technology in Government sector. The State Government has been endeavouring to bring transparency and accountability through e- Governance in the delivery of services to the people. There has been a constant and sincere effort to introduce same in the entire state since long. As technology keeps changing rapidly with every passing day, I believe that one has to keep pace with it to keep oneself well informed, said the Chief Minister.

He said that all major development works in the State were witnessed during the successive Congress Governments. Though a little has been contributed by others too but maximum development and major achievements took place in the successive Congress regimes.

“The internet has become somewhat like household commodity used by every family and I would like to see the day, when it will be used by everyone, even in the remote corners of the State”, he said.

Chief Minister said that around 1800 offices were connected through HIMSWAN Network. About 2000 Common Service Centers were providing government services to the citizens in almost every corner of the State. It gives me great pleasure to inform that citizens above 18 years of age in the State were having ‘Aadhaar’ Number”, which counts to 96 percent as of now, he said.

I am happy to say that there is a bank account in every home and we have been declared as banking saturated State, he said, adding that these are big achievements for a hilly State like Himachal Pradesh having difficult topographic conditions.

Speaking on the occasion Speaker Vidhan Sabha, B.B.L. Butail said that HP Legislative has a great role to play to ensure participation of people in development process. He said that Digital India week was being celebrated to provide speedy service to the people of the State besides achieving the objective of Digital India.

He said that HP State legislative was the first in the country to adopt e-Vidhan and launch the same on 4th August 2014 and the first legislative assembly to be paperless saving an expenditure of Rs 15 crore per annum.” Our objective is to make all MLAs well equipped with various tools of IT and all the MLA’s were provided internet dongles for surfing”, he said. The teams of other State, Karnataka, Assam, Meghalaya, Uttarakhand, Gujarat and other many States were keen to adopt the system and were in continuous touch with us, remarked the Speaker. He said all correspondence and reply by the departments would soon be on-line saving paper and other related material. Training camps would be organised in respective constituencies for e-Vidhan training camps at Sub-division level.

Director IT, Ms. Priyanka Basu welcomed and honoured the Chief minister and Speaker Vidhan Sabha respectively and detailed about the services under e-district mission mode project. She said that 51 services of eleven departments were being brought under Digital Programme. Various services as Birth and death registration, issuance of BPL Certificate, enrolment and registration under MNREGA ,etc. would be digitized.

Special Secretary, IT, Ms. Nandita Gupta proposed vote of thanks.

A detailed presentation of the services to be digitized was also given by officers of IT department of the State. Director IT Vidhan Sabha, Dharmesh K. Sharma also gave presentation on e-Constituency management which will help the members of legislative assembly to know more about the ongoing development works and its status in their respective constituencies on their mobile apps. This will help in better management and monitoring of works, he added.

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Rs 2572 crore for Himachal’s irrigation and drinking water schemes

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HP irrigation and drinking water schemes

Shimla: The State Government today said that it has earmarked an amount of Rs 2572 crore for providing irrigation and drinking water facilities in Himachal Pradesh during the current financial year.

The endeavour, the Government said, was to bring more area under irrigation facility so that farmers could go for crop diversification instead of traditional crops.

The Chief Minister, while addressing a public meeting at Kelodhar in Seraj assembly constituency of Mandi district, provided the information.It is Chief Minister’s first visit to Kelodhar after elections.

Further, it was announced that the Kandha-Bah-Batand road would be strengthened.

Earlier, the Chief Minister performed ‘bhumi pujan’ of Kandha-Bah-Batand road (Phase-II) to be constructed at a cost of Rs. 358.53 lakh.

He laid the foundation stones of IPH Office building and residence at Kelodhar to be constructed at a cost of Rs. 74.36 lakh and of Science Block building of Government Senior Secondary School Kelodhar on which about Rs 1.50 crore would be spent.

The Government announced Rs 15 lakh for Kelodhar Panchayat for various developmental works, Rs 10 lakh each for GP Bara, GP Saroha and GP Parwara. He also announced Rs 3 lakh for Mahila Mandal Kelodhar.

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British-era Bantony Castle Shimla to become Rs. 25 crore cultural centre     

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Bantony Castle Shimla Picture

CM said the building is also an example of beautiful anglo-gothic architecture. However, this fact appears to be incorrect as the Castle is built in the mock-Tudor style

Shimla: As a ray of hope for the Bantony Castle, Shimla, the Himachal Pradesh Government has announced Rs. 25 crores for the renovation of the British-era structure in order to develop as a tourist attraction.

This was stated by Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur while inaugurating the five-day long State level Gram Shilp Mela which was organized by the State Language Art and Culture Department here on May 17, 2018.

Bantony Castle is one of the historic and monumental buildings of Shimla town and has a very rich history. spread over around 20,000 square meter area between Circular Road and Mall Road.

The Chief Minister said the building is also an example of beautiful anglo-gothic architecture. However, this fact appears to be incorrect as the Castle is built in the mock-Tudor style, part chalet and crowned with sloping roofs with mini-towers.

Nevertheless, he further said that since this building was strategically located on the Mall Road thus could be an added attraction for the tourists.

 This complex as a whole would be developed in such a way that it not only becomes a tourist attraction but also a centre of rich cultural diversity of the State.  

The previous Congress Government had, in 2017, announced that it will be turned into a Heritage museum with a restaurant and recreational park.

Artisans from different parts of the State received an opportunity to exhibit their artefacts at the Gram Shipi Mela. The government said it would also organize District level Gram Shilp Melas besides Inter-state Gram Shilp Melas to promote the artefacts of the State.

It was further informed that the State Government has announced a new scheme named ‘Aaj Purani Rahon Se’ for exploring folklores, historic events and cultural tourism in the State. The government has also decided to introduce miniaturized cultural souvenirs of Himachal Pradesh such as musical instruments, Chamba Rumal, Kangra paintings etc.

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Will tar 1100 km roads, construct 600 km new motorable roads, 750 km cross drainage, 35 bridges in 2018: HP Govt

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HP PWD target for 2018

Shimla: During review meeting of Himachal Pradesh Public Works Department held today, the Government informed that it has set up a target of construction of 600 km new motorable roads, providing cross drainage facilities on 750 km road length, metalling and tarring of 1100 km roads, construction of 35 bridges and providing road connectivity to 40 villages during the current financial year.

The Government said all the formalities regarding the allocation of road and bridge projects would be completed within a stipulated period to facilitate work- allocation within 51 days to concerned executing agencies.  

The e-tendering is expected to speed up the process of allocation of projects.

It has been felt that delay in Forest clearances was one of the major bottlenecks for starting of different road and bridge projects. Therefore, the Government would take up the matter with the Union Government to expedite forest clearances for these projects,

said the Chief Minister, who was presiding over the meeting.

It was informed that the target has been fixed to execute 414 works with a total length of 2400 km, under PMGSY with an outlay of Rs 600 crore during the current financial year.

On completion, 150 habitations would be connected with roads. Similarly, the target has been fixed to complete 209 works under Rural Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF)-NABARD, which include 77 works in Shimla zone, 20 in Mandi Zone, 70 in Kangra zone and 4 in Hamirpur Zone, it was informed.

HPPWD review meeting 2018

During HPPWD review meeting 2018

It was informed that that out of 90 black spots identified in the State, 58 had been rectified and work on remaining black spots was in progress.

The State Government has allocated Rs. 200 crore for maintenance and repair of roads in the State besides Rs. 50 crore additionality for providing drainage facilities on the roads, claimed the Government.

Additional Chief Secretary Manisha Nanda said that 34394 officers and officials were working in the Public Works Department and “were doing their best” to ensure best road connectivity to the people of the State.  

The State today has total 35638 km of roads providing road connectivity to the remotest part of the State, informed the Engineer-in-Chief R.P Verma.

Opposed to the work-culture of the HP PWD, the Chief Minister, who holds Department, is claiming that regular monitoring and inspection of roads and bridges constructed particularly under NABARD, Central Road Fund etc. will be ensured.

 He said that for this, standard quality parameters should be laid down and responsibility of the defaulters must be fixed and strict action taken against the person, which rarely happens.

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