Independence Day celebrated with great fervor and enthusiasm in Himachal Pradesh

Shimla: The 75th Independence Day was celebrated as Amrit Mahotsav with great enthusiasm, fervor and gaiety through-out the State today.

Functions were held at state, district and sub-division level 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 historic Seri Manch in Mandi 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 SSB and ITBP. Pranav Chauhan commanded the parade.

While addressing the people, the Chief Minister announced six percent dearness allowance (DA) for the state government employees and pensioners from 1 July, 2021. This decision would provide financial benefits of Rs 450 crores to the employees and pensioners.

He also announced enhancement in subsidy being provided to the BPL and APL families on edible oils from existing Rs 10 per liter to Rs 30 per liter to the BPL card holders and from Rs 5 to Rs 10 per liter to the APL card holder for the next four months. This would benefit over 18.71 lakh card holders of the State.

The Chief Minister also announced Rs 15 crore for Municipal Corporation Mandi to ensure that it carry out its developmental works smoothly.

He said that since last about two years the whole world was fighting the Covid-19 pandemic and the timely and effective steps taken by the Prime Minister proved life-saving for the citizens of the country. To deal with the adverse economic conditions, the Prime Minister announced an economic package providing direct financial assistance to the needy people and free vaccine facility to all the citizens. He said that despite the challenges of Covid-19, the State government has tried to bring the state’s economy back on track by reviving the basic amenities smoothly.

He said that for the prevention of Covid-19, the biggest vaccination drive of the world was launched in the entire country. Himachal Pradesh was among the leading states in this campaign and the steps taken by the State for Covid management have been appreciated by the government of India. He said that despite all its best efforts, the State lost over 3500 people due to the pandemic. he also thanked the Corona warriors for their selfless services provided by them during the pandemic.

The Chief Minister paid rice tributes and homage to the freedom fighters, who laid down their lives for the sake of the nation’s pride and glory. He also extended rich tributes to the martyrs, who made supreme sacrifices for sovereignty of the nation. He said that it was a matter of pride that the country’s first Param Vir Chakra was bestowed on Major Somnath Sharma for his supreme sacrifice and thereafter, Colonel D.S. Thapa, Captain Vikram Batra and Rifleman Sanjay Kumar also received this highest honor for their unmatchable bravery. He said that apart from this, the brave soldiers of the state have been honored with two Ashok Chakras and 1096 gallantry awards for showing exemplary courage and valour. These bravery medals received by the soldiers of the state would continue to inspire the future generations.

Chief Minister said that today, under the strong and visionary leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India has emerged as a strong nation in the world. During last three and a half years, the state government has launched many schemes for the all-round development of the state and welfare of the people. He said that as soon as the state government assumed power lowered the age limit of Social Security Pension from 80 years to 70 years without any income limit and their pension was increased to Rs. 1500 per month. He said that under Swarna Jayanti Nari Sambal Yojana, all eligible elderly women in the age group of 65 years to 69 years were being provided Rs. 1000 per month without any income limit. Shagun Yojana has also been launched in the state, under which a grant of Rs. 31000 is being given to the daughters of the families living below the poverty line at the time of their marriage, he added.

Jai Ram Thakur said that the state government has started Jan Manch to establish direct communication with the public and to redress public grievances immediately. He said that Mukhyamantri Sewa Sankalp Helpline-1100 has been launched for the people to redress their grievances sitting at home. Till now, 2.48 lakh complaints have been received under this helpline and most of them have already been redressed, he said.

Chief Minister said that free gas connections have been provided to more than 3.17 lakh families by spending Rs. 116 crore under Himachal Grihini Suvidha Yojana, whereas under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana, free gas connections were provided to more than 1.36 lakh families by spending about Rs. 21.81 crore. He said that the State Government has provided health cover to the people under Himcare scheme and a total 5.13 lakh families have been registered under the scheme and 1.74 lakh people have got free treatment, on which Rs. 162 crore have been spent. In order to provide financial assistance to the economically weaker patients suffering from serious diseases, assistance under the Sahara Yojana amounting to about Rs. 31 crore has been distributed to 14,254 beneficiaries, he said.

Chief Minister said that for the first time Global Investors’ Meet was organized in the State in 2019, in which investors from different countries participated. He said that during this event, 703 MoUs were signed with a proposed investment of Rs. 96,721 crore. He said that first ground breaking ceremony of 240 projects with an investment of Rs 13,656 crore has been successfully organized. He said that Mukhyamantri Swavalamban Yojana has been started to make the youth self-reliant so that they do not seek employment but become employment providers. He said that over 6,000 people were provided employment by implementing 1,903 projects and a subsidy of Rs. 122 crore has been provided under Mukhyamantri Swavalamban Yojana.

He said that the state government is implementing various schemes to promote tourism. Rs. 200 crore have been sanctioned under the Nai Rahein-Nai Manzilen scheme. He said that Kangra’s Bir-Billing is being developed as Paragliding, Shimla’s Chanshal valley as Ski and Mandi’s Janjehli as eco-tourism destination. He said that construction of roads is amongst the top priorities of the state government. He said that under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana, 780 works worth Rs. 2,700 crore have been completed in the state. He said that efforts were made in all the villages and habitations of the State to provide clean drinking water to the people. Drinking water connections have been provided to about six lakh households under Jal Jeevan Mission, he added.

Jai Ram Thakur presented civil services award to national health mission, department of Information technology and Himachal Pradesh state rural livelihood mission and BDO Gohar Nishanat Sharma. The Prerana Satrot Puruskar to Dr. R.K Pruthi and Satpal, Himachal Gaurav Puruskar to Subedar Sanjay Kumar, Subedar Major Balwant Singh, Kartar Singh and Rahul Raina. He honored various players of the state excelling in various sports.

He also honoured the sportspersons Ashish Kumar, Priynka Negi, Ritu Negi, Kavita Thakur, Ajay Thakur, Khila Devi, Diksha Thakur, Priynka Thakur, Jyotika Datta, Vikas Thakur and Coach Naresh Kumar. They were also given cash prizes by the Chief Minister.

The Chief Minister flagged of new fleet of 34 light motor vehicles for police department.

Tableaus of different departments was the main highlight of the event.

A colourful cultural programme was also organized on the occasion.

Earlier, the Chief Minister visited the Saheed Samarak and paid floral tributes to the freedom fighter and martyrs who laid down their lives for the cause of the motherland. He also paid floral tributes to the Father of Nation Mahatma Gandhi by garlanding his statue.

Jal Shakti Minister Mohinder Singh Thakur, MLAs Col. Inder Singh Gandhi, Rakesh Jamwal, Vinod Kumar, Inder Singh Gandhi, Jawahar Thakur, Hira Lal, Anil Sharma Kishori Lal and Prakash Rana, Chairman MILKFED Nihal Chand Sharma, Mayor Municipal Corporation Mandi Deepali Jasswal, Chairman Zila Parishad Pal Verma, General Secretary Child Welfare Council Payal Vaidya, Chief Secretary Ram Subhag Singh, DGP Sanjay Kundu, Secretary GAD Devesh Kumar, Deputy Commissioner Mandi Arindam Chaudhary, Director Information and Public Relations Harbans Singh Brascon, and other senior officers and people from different walks of life were present on the occasion.