The 46th Statehood Day of Himachal Pradesh was celebrated with great gaiety today. Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh presided over the Statehood Day function organized at Jaisinghpur in Kangra district.
He hoisted the National flag and took salute from the impressive march past by contingents of Police, Home Guards, NCC Cadets and school children.
Speaking on the occasion, the Chief Minister said 25 January was a historic day for the people of Himachal Pradesh as this hilly State got Statehood status on this day. He remembered first Chief Minister of the State Dr. Y.S. Parmar and former Prime Minister late Smt. Indira Gandhi who played a significant role in getting Statehood status for the State in 1971.
He said that the real credit of the unprecedented development goes to the hardworking people of the State and also to the leadership provided by successive Congress governments at the Centre and the State.
Virbhadra Singh announced Sub-Divisional offices at Nagrota-Bagwan and Shahpur, HPSEB division at Jawalamukhi, DSP office and Fire Brigade unit at Jaisinghpur and up-gradation of Panchrukhi police post to fully fledged Police Station in Kangra district. He also announced government Degree College at Rakkar in Dehra sub-division and to take Sugh-Bhatoli and S.D Rajpur private colleges under the control of State government.
He announced up-gradation of Government Middle School Jhunga-Devi to Government High School and GHS Harsi to Government Senior Secondary School, construction of science block at Jaisinghpur College and starting of science classes at GSSS Sari. He also announced up-gradation of GHS Tangroti to GSSS at Dharamsala. He also announced construction of additional accommodation in PWD rest house Jaisinghpur and new Primary Health Centre (PHC) at Jagrupnagar besides a Veterinary Hospital at Harsi.
The Chief Minister said Dharamshala had been made second Municipal Corporation of the State to ensure planned development of this town. He said Chadiar, Haripur, Gangath, Panchrukhi, Alampur and Darini were made Sub-Tehsils and Dadasiba as Tehsil by the present government. Apart from this, a new sub-division had been approved for Jawalamukhi whereas Tehsil Welfare Offices had been opened at Shahpur, Nagrota-Bagwan and at Rakkar in Pragpur in Dehra sub-division.
Counting the development achieved in the Kangra district during last three years, he said a sum of Rs. 26 crore was being spent under Rajeev Gandhi Electrification programme and to give fillip to tourism in the district, approval had been given for Himani-Chamunda rope-way and the foundation stone of rope-way between Dharamsala to Macleodganj had been laid which would be completed within one and a half years. The work to replace the old transformers in Dharamsala and Yol Cantt was in progress and Rs 3.60 crore new electric Sub-station would be constructed at Damtal.
The Chief Minister said 166 kilometres of new roads and 29 bridges were constructed in the district. He said 8842 hand-pumps were installed during this period and 62 new irrigation schemes were under construction. AS many as 66,450 persons in the district were being provided social security. He added the decision had also been taken to open Football academy at Dharamshala.
Virbhadra Singh said last three years had witnessed speedy and all-round development of all areas of the State and government was implementing various policies and programmes to ensure welfare of every section of the society. He said with the blessings and affection of the people of the State, he was fortunate to serve the State as the Chief Minister for sixth time and his top priority was ensure a transparent, responsive and efficient administration for welfare of the people.
He said that government had adopted its election manifesto as a policy document and had gone beyond to fulfill the promises made in the manifesto. Around 1365.65 kilometers of new motor-able roads and 134 bridges were constructed during last three years and 255 villages had been provided road connectivity.
The Chief Minister said emphasis was being laid on providing houses to poor and needy. As many as 13652 houses had been constructed under Indira Awas Yojana by spending Rs. 8538.65 lakh and 2141 under Rajiv Awas Yojana at a cost of Rs. 2280.47 lakh. Besides, three Biswas of land was being provided to the landless in rural areas and two biswas in urban areas.
He said 994 new schools had been opened or upgraded and 25 new degree colleges have been opened in rural areas during last three years. More than 100 health institutions were opened or upgraded and 1775 posts of various categories had been created for three new medical colleges to be opened shortly in the State. The government was effectively implementing ”Rajiv Gandhi Anna Yojana” to provide ration at subsidized rates to about 37 lakh people of the State. All ration card holders covering more than 77 lakh people of the State had been brought under PDS BPL families were being provided 35 kilograms ration as before.
The Chief Minister said social security pension had been enhanced from Rs 450 to Rs 600 per month and persons above 80 years of age were being given Rs 1,100 per month irrespective of their income. As many as 6,949 additional habitations had been covered under rural water supply scheme and Rs.
773 crore were spent on water supply schemes besides installing 4,887 hand pumps during this period. He said 10,586 hectare area had been provided irrigation facility by spending Rs. 400 crore. The work was in progress on channelization of Swan river in Una district and Chhonchh Khad in Kangra district while Rs. 191 crore River Pabbar channelization Project in Shimla district had also been approved.
Virbhadra Singh said new state-of-art industrial areas were being established at Kandrauri in Kangra district and Pandoga in Una district at an estimated cost of Rs 95.77 crore and Rs 88.05 crore respectively. Time bound clearances are being ensured within 45 days from the date of submission of common application form for setting new industries. He said that 1,07,887 youth had been benefitted under Skill Development Allowance Scheme so far being implemented for skill development of the unemployed youth.
The Chief Minister also distributed the prizes to the participants of the cultural troupes.
Forest Minister Thakur Singh Bharmouri, Housing and Urban Development Minister Sudhir Sharma, Chief Parliamentary Secretaries Jagjivan Pal and Neeraj Bharti, MLAs Sanjay Rattan, Ajay Mahajan, Kishori Lal and Yadvinder Goma, Vice-Chairman Freedom Fighter Welfare Board Pandit Sushil Rattan, Chairman State School Education Board Balbir Tegta, chairman KCCB Jagdish Saphehiya, Vice-Chairman State Forest Corporation Kewal Singh Pathania, Ex-MLA Milkhi Ram Goma, Chief Secretary P. Mitra, DGP Sanjay Kumar and senior civil and police officers were present on the occasion.
Video: Fire in Shimla’s Gumma devours Rs. 40 lakh property
Shimla: In a tragic incident of fire breakout in Gumma area of Kotkhai region in Shimla district on Saturday, about six rooms of a three-story building were lost. The fire brigade saved the two storeys and buildings adjacent to it.
No loss of life was reported, but the estimated loss of assets was initially assessed at about 40 lakh rupees.The owner of the house was identified as Rohit Chauhan.
Rohit’s mother was alone at the house when the fire broke out at about 3 PM. His mother called for help. However, the fire gutted six rooms on the third storey along with all belongings by the time the fire service reached the spot.
The cause of the fire is believed to be a short-circuit.
While the other two stories housed shops, the third one was Rohit’s home.
The district administration has given Rs. 20,000 as a relief to the victim family.
Sirmaur Tragedy: 7-year-old mauled to death by pack of stray dogs
Shimla: In a spine-chilling incident, a pack of about half-a-dozen stray dogs on Saturday attacked and mauled a 7-year-old boy in Amarkot village in Paonta sub-division, Sirmaur district, Himachal Pradesh. As per the initial reports, the brutal attack by the dogs inflicted severe injuries on the head, throat, and neck.
On hearing the cries of the boy, the nearby people rushed to rescue the boy. However, dogs were so aggressive that they bit a couple of these people too.
The boy succumbed to the injuries on the way to the hospital. The boy was identified as Vikki, son of a migrant labour of Uttar Prades. The family was heart-broken after their piece of heart died a horrible death.
The head of the Amarkot village, Rakesh Mehraloo, said repeated complaints were made regarding the growing stray dog menace to the administration. Rakesh told media that some incidents of attack by stray dogs were also reported previously, which were also brought to the attention of the administration.
The administration, however, turned a blind eye towards the complaints and did not take any measure to solve this grieve issue, he said.
If the administration had acted timely, such a horrific incident could have been prevented.
It is pertinent to mention that the state government has also ignored the provision of dog-shelters and showed lackadaisical attitude in regular sterilizing of stray dogs.
Rest, the littering of food waste attract stray dogs and facilitate their reproduction, leading to such a nightmare.
The incident has created panic among the residents about the safety of their children.
Drought-like situation haunts Himachal as no rain, snow in stock, HP DM holds emergency meeting
Shimla: As snow and rain continue to evade the peak winter season in Himachal Pradesh, which is already facing 49 percent post-monsoon rain deficiency, the State Disaster Management called a meeting to embraces for the impact of the drought-like situation in the State.
Today, the maximum day temperature in the capital Shimla was recorded at 19 Degree Celsius while the day was hottest for Una at 27 Degree Celsius.
While a debate over the role of global warming behind erratic changes in the weather can also be heard, the Met Department blamed the western disturbances, which, it said, are not strong this year, hence, there is no precipitation.
The nigh temperature in winters remains close to seven to nine Degrees Celsius, which is four to five notches above from the average temperature witnessed during this time of the year. If the same pattern continues for the next two weeks, then it will not only hit the Rs. 20,000-crore apple industry but the tourist influx too.
The apple growers need moisture and several hundred chilling hours to ensure ample apple crop, and this year they are short of the required chilling hours.
The apple production, which was over 850 metric ton in 2011, has already been reducing.
Other crops like green almonds, tomatoes, pears, apricots, cabbage, cauliflower etc will also be affected due to dry weather.
The hoteliers and ski resorts are witnessing fall in tourist influx as the chances of snowfall are scarce.
Meeting of HP Disaster Mangement
In wake of the drought-like situation, the Principal Secretary (Revenue and Disaster Management) Onkar Chand Sharma held a meeting with senior officers of various departments including the Deputy Commissioners of all 12 districts video conferencing.
Onkar Sharma said the government has analyzed entire rainfall data of all districts. It was found that there is a deficiency of 49 percent in the State (post-monsoon).
The meteorological department has predicted chances of scattered to moderate rainfall during 23-24 January 2018. Except that, the weather is likely to remain mostly dry until January 22 and January 25 onwards.
However, the government said that the state has received ample rainfall during December 2017, therefore, the Rabi crops and the drinking water supply are unaffected so far.
The Disaster Managment will prepare a contingency plan to combat the drought-like situations, said the Secretary.
There are 45 labs of the IPH department for the testing of drinking water supply, he informed.
The Deputy Commissioners were asked to ensure water quality testing randomly up to the subdivision level and arrange water tankers in water-scarce areas as well as fodder for livestock.
All the districts were also directed to take remedial measures to stop contamination of drinking water sources. Besides it, the Secretary directed super chlorination in all districts to prevent water-borne diseases like Jaundice.
Special Secretary, Revenue and Disaster Management Shri D.C. Rana, Director, Indian Meteorological Department Shri Manmohan Singh, Chief Engineer of IPH Department, senior officers from Horticulture and Agriculture also attended the meeting.
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