Himachal Pradesh celebrated its 44th statehood day with gaiety and enthusiasm at Shaheed Bhuvnes Dogra Stadium in Dehra of Kangra district on Saturday.
Presiding over the state-level function, chief minister Virbhadra Singh unfurled the national flag and took salute at the march past presented by contigents of police, IRB, home guards and NSS.
Felicitating people of the state on the occasion, the chief minister while emphasising on the importance of roads in the development said over 7,500 km new roads would be constructed in the state in the next four years.
“An amount of `285.75 crore has been sanctioned under World Bank Rural Road Project for the construction of 19 new roads and three bridges,” he said.
The chief minister said a technical park would be developed at Baddi in Solan district by spending an amount of `147 crore while a regional centre of Indian Institute of Foreign Trade would be set up at Shimla for studies of small and medium enterprises and new industrial areas would be developed in Solan, Una and Kangra districts, Singh said.
Terming the one-year tenure of the present government as fruitful and productive, Singh said that the government had strived hard for the welfare of the common man and balanced development of all areas of the state.
“From underdeveloped to developed state, Himachal Pradesh has not only emerged as a model hill-state but has also shown the way to big states by becoming a pioneer in various fields,” Singh said.
He claimed that successive Congress governments at the Centre and state level also gave positive direction to the developmental endeavours in Himachal.
Retreating that the government has given priority to education, the chief minister said that services of more than 6,300 PTA teachers were being converted on contract basis after completion of eight years of continuous service and services of about 2,100 para teachers would be regularised after completion of 10 years of continuous service.
Singh said second campus of Indira Gandhi Medical College, Shimla, would be constructed near Ghanahatti.
The chief minister said that due to concerted efforts by the state government, the Centre had extended central capital investment subsidy for Himachal and a more liberal freight subsidy scheme had been introduced in place of the earlier transport central subsidy scheme.
Singh distributed 25 digital notebooks to meritorious students. Various cultural troops also presented a colourful programme on the occasion.
Eyeing elections CM doles out sops
Eyeing the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the chief minister announced sops to Kangra people particularly Dehra constituency which is part of Hamirpur parliamentary constituency represented by Anurag Thakur, son of former BJP chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal.
The chief minister announced `40 lakh for development of Shaheed Bhuvnesh Dogra Stadium, CT Scan Machine on Public-Private mode at Civil Hospital Dehra and `4.30 crore for Government College, Haripur.
Besides, Singh announced to upgrade five schools in Dehra and adjoining Jawan- Pragpur.
He also announced opening of SDM office for Jawalamukhi constituency and sub tehsils at Haripur, Gangath and Panchrukhi while Jaisinghpur civil hospital was upgraded to 50-bedded.
Division of Kangra not acceptable
The chief minister said Kangra was the largest and most important district of the state and the government was committed to maintain its identity.
In a scathing attack on the opposition BJP, Singh said owing to their vested interests some forces mooted the division of Kangra by carving out new district which is not acceptable. “Government is committed to maintain identity of Kangra and will not allow its division,” the chief minister added.