Shimla: Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur presided over the 75th State level Himachal Day function held at the historic Chowgan of Chamba in Chamba  district today. He unfurled the Tricolour and took salute from the contingents of Police, Home Guards, NCC and NSS. The parade was led by SDPO Salooni IPS Mayank Chaudhary.

Message of Prime Minister Narendra Modi was also telecasted on the occasion. In his message, Prime Minister appreciated the developmental journey of the State, despite geographical and other constraints. He said that the State over these years has made tremendous progress in various sectors such as power, horticulture, tourism and allied sectors.

Prime Minister also appreciated the efforts being made by the State Government under the able leadership of Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur. He said that with the strengthening of road network in the State, due to the double engine governments, the State was opening new vistas of development in tourism and other allied sectors. He said that all the Central schemes were being effectively and vigorously implemented in the State under the leadership of Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur. He said that with the honest leadership in form of Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur and hardworking people, Himachal Pradesh was poised to emerge as most developed state of the country.  

While felicitating the people of the State on this auspicious occasion, Chief Minister also paid his respect to the freedom fighters, founder and first Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh Dr. Yashwant Singh Parmar, all the former Chief Ministers of the State who led Himachal Pradesh on the path of progress.  He also paid his respect to former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee for granting industrial package to the State during his tenure as Prime Minister of the country. He said that Atal Tunnel Rohtang was also a vision of Atal Behari Vajpayee, which was realized by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi. This Rs 3500 crore tunnel has provided all weather connectivity to the land-locked Lahaul valley, he added.

Chief Minister also thanked the Prime Minister for his message to the people of the State on this historic day. He said that it was for the first time that a Prime Minister has greeted the people on this historic occasion.

Chief Minister announced 50 percent discount on traveling in HRTC buses for women. He said that with this the women would get a benefit of about Rs 60 crore. He announced that all consumers upto 125 units would get Zero Bill from 1st July and no electricity bill would be charged from them. He said that with this decision about 11.5 lakh consumers would get benefit of about Rs. 250 crores.  He also announced that no water bill would be charged from all the families living in rural areas.  This would provide financial benefits of Rs 30 crore to all our rural families of the State.

Chief Minister also announced rupees five crore for expediting work on Holi-Uttarala road and mini secretariat at Chamba Head Quarters to facilitate people of the district. He announced beautification and improvement at Chamba town, besides taking steps to solve the traffic problem of Chamba town.

Jai Ram Thakur said that the State also faced hard times due to Corona pandemic but with the wholehearted support of the people, the State was able to control the situation and also simultaneously maintained the pace of development. He said that the State Government was getting full support of the Center government in the matter of development. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has a special attachment towards Himachal Pradesh and under his leadership the state has got projects worth thousands of crores, he said. 

Chief Minister said that the State Government has focused on bringing positive changes in the lives of the people and ensuring rapid and balanced development of the state. He said that the State government in its very first Cabinet meeting, reduced the age criteria for providing old age pension from 80 years to 70 years without any income limit, which has now further been reduced to 60 years. He said that Rs. 436 crore were being spent on social security pension whereas today more than Rs. 1300 crore are being spent on it.

Jai Ram Thakur said that the State Government took unique initiative of hosting Jan Manch for redressal of the grievances of the people of the state at their door-step. And till date, 25 Jan Manch have been organized at 244 places and out of 54,565 complaints received, more than ninety percent have been resolved. He said that ‘Mukhya Mantri Seva Sankalp Helpline-1100’ was launched through which a person can register his complaint from any corner to get his issues redressed within a stipulated time period. So far, about 3.55 lakh complaints have been received on this helpline number, out of which 3.41 lakh complaints have been settled, he added.

Chief Minister said that ‘Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana’ of the Union Government came as a boon to the women folk and provided them much needed relief from traditional chullahs and collecting fire-wood by providing free gas connections. He said that the State Government started ‘Mukhya Mantri Grihini Suvidha Yojna’ for the eligible families of the state who could not be covered under Ujjwala Yojna. He said that under this scheme, three cylinders including free gas connection were being provided to 3.25 lakh families besides 1.37 lakh families have been provided free gas connections under ‘Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojna’ as well. Now, the State Government have decided to provide one more additional free cylinder to the beneficiaries under both these schemes from this financial year and the State has become the first state of the country to be declared smoke-free, he added. 

Jai Ram Thakur said that the State Government has started ‘HIMCARE’ scheme from January, 2019 under which five members of the beneficiary family were being provided free treatment facility up to Rs. 5 lakh per year. He said that till date 5.40 lakh families have been registered under HIMCARE and a sum of Rs. 218 crore has been spent on cashless treatment of 2.40 lakh patients. He said that ‘Mukhya Mantri Sahara Yojna’ has been started to provide financial assistance to the economically weaker sections suffering from serious ailments. Under this scheme, financial assistance of Rs. 3,000 is provided to them every month and so far Rs. 60.50 crore has been provided to about 18 thousand beneficiaries under this scheme, he added.

Chief Minister said that under the ‘Mukhya Mantri Shagun Yojna’ financial assistance of Rs. 31 thousand was being provided for marriage of daughters belonging to families living below poverty line. He said that under the ‘Mukhya Mantri Swavalamban Yojna’ 25 percent subsidy was being given to the youth for investing in machinery, equipment and industrial plant of upto rupees one crore for startups. He said now the subsidy for women have been increased from 30 percent to 35 percent for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and specially-abled from 25 to 30 percent. As of today, 3758 units with an investment of about Rs. 624 crore have been established in which more than 10 thousand youth have got employment opportunities, he said.

 Jai Ram Thakur said that ‘Prakritik Kheti Khushal Kisan Yojna’ has proved effective in giving a new dimension to the agriculture sector in the State as more than 1.68 lakh progressive farmers have adopted this scheme. He said that it was for the first time that a mega Global Investors Meet was organized in Dharamshala in November, 2019 in which 703 MoUs with an investment of Rs 96,721 crore were signed. He said that ground breaking of 240 projects amounting to Rs. 13,656 crore was held at Shimla and second such ground breaking ceremony was performed by the Prime Minister at Mandi on 27th December, 2021 on the occasion of completion of four year’s tenure of the state government in which 287 projects worth Rs. 28,197 crore were grounded. 

Chief Minister said that in order to encourage tourism sector in the state, Rs. 200 crore were being spent under the ‘Nai Rahein-Nai Manzilien’ scheme to develop various tourist destinations in the state. He said that minimum wage of unskilled daily wagers has been increased by Rs. 50 to Rs. 350 per day and during the tenure of the present government, daily wage has been increased by Rs. 140. He said that honorarium of Anganwadi workers has been enhanced to Rs. 1700, ASHA workers and SMC to Rs. 1825. He said that honorarium of teachers has been increased by Rs. 1700. Similarly, the honorarium of employees working in various departments has also been increased by Rs. 900 per month.

Chief Minister also presented Civil Services Award to District Administration Kullu (Deputy Commissioner Ashutosh Garg) for starting Online library facility during the Covid-19 pandemic and National Health Mission (MD NHM Hemraj Bairwa) for its overall role in vaccination drive and District Administration Kinnaur (Deputy Commissioner Abid Husain) for its achievement in vaccination drive.

Chief Minister gave ‘Prerana Sarotra Award-2022’ to Police Orchestra Harmony of the Pines, Dheeraj Mahajan of NGO Kranti working for helping stray animals, first voter of India Shyam Saran Negi, Dr. Tek Chand, Padam Shree Baba Ikbal Singh (received by Sardar Jagjit Singh), Padam Shree Vidya Nand Sariak, Padam Shree  Lalita Vakeel, noted writers Dr. Gautam Sharma, Dr. Pritush Gularia and Vijay Raj Upadhaya. 

He also provided ‘State Innovation Awards-2022’ to Information Technology Department (Mukesh Reshpar received the Award) for Chief Minister Sewa Sankalp Helpline and Dr. Navidita Sharma of Dr. Y.S.Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry.

A colourful cultural programme was also presented on this occassion.

Speaker State Vidhan Sabha Vipin Singh Parmar, MP Kishan Kapoor, Chief Whip Vikram Jaryal, MLAs Pawan Nayar and Jiyal Lal Kapoor, Chairmen and Vice Chairmen of various Boards and Corporations, Chief Secretary Ram Subhag Singh, Director General of Police Sanjay Kundu, Secretary GAD Bharat Khera, Deputy Commissioner Chamba D.C. Rana, Director Information and Public Relations Harbans Singh Brascon were present on the occasion among others.

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