HIMACHAL PRADESH ON THE PATH OF PROGRESS
& SELF SUFFICIENCY
-Prof. Prem Kumar Dhumal,
Chief Minister, Himachal Pradesh
INDEPENDENCE DAY (15 AUGUST 2010)
are celebrating 64th Independence Day today. On this day in 1947, India became
free at the stroke of midnight from the colonial rule. The moment was the end of
nearly a century of struggle for freedom. Thus, this day is an occasion to all
of us for rejoicing on the one hand and to pay homage to all those who
sacrificed their lives for the cause on the other. It is a moment of pride and
glory and the day to commemorate the greatest moment of the Indian history, to
signify a feeling of nationalism, solidarity and celebration. We made a tryst
with destiny many years ago and the time has come to make an introspection now
what we have achieved in all these years of freedom.
India has made rapid
strides in various fields after attainment of freedom and today it is a force to
reckon with. It is considered one of the fast developing countries today in the
comity and nations. The progress made in the field of science, technology and
other vital sectors is tremendous. One thing which is of concern is that even
after Independence of 63 years, some fissiparous tendencies for achieving their
selfish ends are posing threat to the hard earned freedom and unity and
integrity of the country. The need of the hour is that we all take a pledge
today that we will march shoulder to shoulder for the sake of the motherland.
Right from the 1857
Freedom Movement to the attainment of Independence in 1947, people from this
hill State remained actively associated with the freedom struggle. ‘Dhami Goli
Kand’ in 1939 and revolt in Kasauli sparked of the feeling of freedom amongst
the people of the State. Praja Mandal Movements in the State also paved the way
for National Movement for freedom in the State. Seeing the courage and feelings
of the people, National leaders of freedom movement, Mahatma Gandhi, Jawahar Lal
Nehru, Molana Abdul Kalam Azad, Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan, Madan Mohan Malviya and
other visited Shimla to chalk out the course of freedom movement from time to
time during the freedom movement. Some of the historic buildings in Shimla where
these leaders chalked out strategy for liberating India are today memorials of
Be it freedom Movement
or wars and aggressions for maintaining the hard earned freedom and unity and
integrity of the country, the brave sons of Himachal Pradesh have always
remained on forefront. The recipient of first Param Vir Chakara for bravery,
Major Som Nath was from Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh. Out of the four
Param Vir Chakras given during operation ‘Vijay’ in Kargil, two were given to
brave sons of this State. A number of Vir Chakras and other gallantry awards
were also conferred upon the brave sons of Himachal Pradesh for their sacrifices
and exemplary courage during this operation. 52 soldiers from this State lost
their lives in Operation Vijay while defending their motherland. We are proud of
them and pay our homage to them alongwith other freedom fighters and patriots
who did not consider any sacrifice too big for the cause of the Nation.
Himachal Pradesh came
into being eight months after, India attained freedom. It has started its
journey from a scratch and various socio-economic programmes were started in the
State for improving the economic lot of the people. It is a happy augury that
Himachal Pradesh, today has emerged as a role model not only for speedy and
sustainable development of hilly areas in the country, but also a trendsetter of
development for other States. Indicators of development speak amply about it.
The per capita income which was merely Rs. 248 in 1948 has gone upto 49211
today. State Domestic Product has also gone up from Rs. 27 crores to Rs. 42278
crores. Literacy percentage has also shot up from 8 percent to 76.5 percent in
2001. After achieving the fame as Apple State of the country, Himachal Pradesh
is poised to become Fruit Bowl of India. Not only this, it is also on the
threshold of becoming Power State of the country. Surveys conducted by various
independent prestigious agencies in the recent past had also revealed that
Himachal Pradesh is at number one in various spheres of development including
Education, Health and Infrastructure development. The State has also attained
first position in the country in implementation of 20 point programme during
2009-10. This programme aimed at socio-economic uplift of the weaker sections.
In various other socio-economic programmes, the State’s achievements are the
best in the country.
The present Government
in Himachal Pradesh on assuming office on 30 December, 2007
has tried to give new direction to development in the State. “Self employment’,
‘Self reliance’ and ‘Self respect’, are the all inclusive motto adopted by the
Government, so as to make Himachal Pradesh an ideal State in the country. A
State where people have ample opportunities of employment and self employment,
enough resources for accelerating the pace of development and sufficient scope
for the people to adopt income generating activities so that they live a
respectful life in the society. This will also go a long way in achieving the
economic freedom so essential to realize the political freedom.
More than 90 percent
of the State’s population live in rural areas. 70 percent of them are dependent
on agriculture and allied activities for their sustenance. Keeping in view this,
our Government has given priority for strengthening the Agriculture and allied
sectors like Horticulture and Animal Husbandry. 12 percent of the total plan
resources has been allocated for it during this year. This percentage is the
highest in the country. Efforts are being made to increase investment in this
sector through external aided projects also.
As a strategy to boost
the agriculture sector, the Government has identified priority areas which
include diversification of crops from traditional to high value commercial
crops, adoption of precision farming through micro-irrigation and protected
cultivation. Promotion of organic farming, development of rain fed areas through
watershed approach, post harvest marketing, agro processing and value addition
and insurance coverage to crops have also been given added attention. An
ambitious scheme ‘Pandit Deen Dayal Kisan Bagwan Samridhi Yojna’ has been
started in January, 2009 with an investment of Rs. 353 crores. The scheme mainly
focuses on diversification of agriculture. 15 lac sq. meter area shall be
covered under protected cultivation by constructing of 16,500 poly houses
besides bringing an area of 20,000 hectares under micro-irrigation under the
scheme. Subsidy of 80 percent is being given under the scheme for construction
of poly houses and micro irrigation. For BPL families’ 90 percent subsidy is
being given for construction of ‘Bamboo’ poly houses. This scheme is bound to
transform the rural economy and create ample opportunities of employment to
rural youth. State is also in the process of formulating ‘Organic Farming
Policy’. Every farmer in the State would be encouraged to have Vermi Compost
Unit on his farm.
For promotion of
diversified agriculture and organic farming, Rs. 442 crores project with Japan
International Corporation Agency (JICA) assistance had been prepared. This
project had been put on priority by the Department of Economic Affairs.
Efforts are afoot to
bring more and more area under irrigation as this will enhance productivity and
farm income. A target to double the irrigated areas has been fixed for next five
years. Himachal Pradesh Water Management Board had been set up with the Chief
Minister as Chairman so as to ensure faster development in this field.
Potential of 14277
hectares had been created under major, medium and micro irrigation scheme in
last two years and now we plan to bring 19000 hectares more in next three years.
Three medium irrigation schemes, Balh valley left bank in district Mandi,
Changer area in district Bilaspur and Sidhata in District Kangra are in
progress. The work on Shahnehar irrigation scheme is also in full swing and is
likely to be completed soon.
Kisan credit cards are
under successful operation in the State. Banks in the State have launched a
special campaign to cover all eligible willing farmers. More than 3,16,563 Kisan
Credit Cards had been issued to the eligible farmers.
The State Government
has given a big relief to the small and marginal farmers by waiving off ‘Taccavi
loans’ and loans taken by them for land development during the period of 1950s
and 1960s thereby benefiting 43,485 small and marginal farmers.
Himachal has emerged
as a pioneer in horticulture development in the country. In order to ensure
remunerative prices to the fruit growers, the State Government is implementing
Market Intervention Scheme under which support price is being given for Apple,
Mango and Citrus fruits. There has been remarkable progress in production of off
season vegetables and flowers through protected cultivation. To improve
productivity and quality, root stocks of apple, cherry, almond and plum have
been imported to replace old plantation. Rs. 85 crores Apple Rejuvenation Scheme
is being started from this year to replace the old plantation.
The Himachal Pradesh
Horticulture Marketing & Processing Corporation (HPMC) has signed an MOU with
Patanjali Yogpeeth Ltd. Haridwar for sale and purchase of Apple Juice
concentrate and other products.
continued to be an integral part of Agriculture in the State. The Government has
given added priority to this sector. A Rs. 300 crore ‘Doodh Ganga’ project had
been started in the State last year, which envisages helping 50,000 families in
the State through 10,000 Self Help Groups. For this, they are being provided
loans on subsidized rate of interest. Some of the self help groups have already
started income generating activities by taking benefit of this scheme. Another
ambitious scheme ‘Mukhya Mantri Pashu Arogya Yojna’ is being implemented from
this year. The aim of the scheme is to establish a Veterinary Institution in all
such panchayats that are uncovered from veterinary cover at present. In all
1150 panchayats will benefit form the scheme.
Information System and Networking (AGRISNET) portal has been launched to address
the problems faced by those engaged in agriculture and allied activities. This
would enable the farmers to access all required information of agriculture,
horticulture, animal husbandry and fisheries through a common platform. This
portal will serve as a knowledge bank to the farmers.
We have taken a number
of pragmatic steps to strengthen the Panchayati Raj Institutions, the grass root
institutions of democracy, so as to accelerate the pace of development in rural
areas. A decision has been taken to hold direct election for Vice President of
Gram Panchayat. The honorarium of Panchayati Raj Institutions functionaries has
been enhanced by 21 percent. The financial assistance for construction of
Panchayat Ghars has been enhanced from Rs. 2 lacs to Rs. 3.40 lacs each
Panchayat Ghar upto Rs. one lac is being given for repair and maintenance of
each Panchayat Ghar. A sum of Rs. 10.20 crores had been spent on construction
and Rs. 6.30 crores for repair of Panchayat Ghars during last year.
Computerization of all 3243 Panchayats, 75 Panchayat Samitis and 12 Zila
Parishads is in progress. A sum of Rs. 21 crores is being spent for this
purpose. Instructions had been given to keep the office of Gram Panchayat open
from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on all working days. This decision has been taken to
ensure that people do not face any inconvenience for want of record etc. from
To create employment
avenues in rural areas, the State Government is ensuring effective
implementation of MNREGA. So far 9,94,969 rural families have been given job
cards thereby covering 82 percent of the rural families. Over 9 lacs rural
families have been provided employment under the scheme during last two
financial years by generating over five crore mandays. 5529 Self Help Groups
have been provided financial assistance in the form of credit to the tune of Rs.
64 crores to enable them start self employment ventures in last two years.
programme is being implemented vigorously in the State. Out of 3243 gram
panchayats in the State, 2754 have been made declared Open Defection Free (ODF)
by 31 May, 2010 and the process to cover remaining is in progress. Provision of
toilets is being made in schools and Anganwari Kendras.
To solve the housing
problems of the poor, 21733 houses have been constructed under ‘Atal Awas Yojna
and Indira Awas Yojna’ during last two financial years in the State and given to
the poor houseless persons. A target of constructing 9790 houses has been fixed
for current financial year under these schemes. The financial assistance for
construction of houses under these schemes has also been enhanced from Rs. 28500
to Rs. 48500 each house by our Government.
Roads, Health and
Education are on the priority agenda of the Government as these are synonymous
with the betterment of the lot of common man, which is ultimate objective of our
We have drawn up a
perspective plan to provide road connectivity to all the villages by 2012 having
population of 250 or more in the State. At present, the State has a network of
30444 kms. of roads. Out of this, 2768 kms. of motorable roads have been
constructed in last two years. 133 bridges have been constructed during the
same period to ensure all weather connectivity in every nook and corner of the
State. 846 villages have been linked with roads in last two years. The State
Government has succeeded in getting five National Highways having length of
494.8 kms. sanctioned from Govt. of India. With this, the number of National
Highways in the State have gone from 11 to 16 in the State having length of
1751.6 kms. It is worth mentioning here that four National Highways having
length of 5114 kms. were got sanctioned by our Government in last term i.e.
1998-2003. Two National Highways of 252 kms. length were got sanctioned in the
Our Government is
committed for providing better medical care facilities at the door steps of the
people in the State. For this, State and National Health programmes are being
implemented effectively, as a result of which, various health indicators of the
State are better than the national indicators. Himachal Pradesh has stood first
in the country in the enrollment under ‘Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojna’ covering
2.44 lakh BPL families which is more than 80 percent of the total 2.98 lakh BPL
families in the State. The scheme envisage to give health insurance cover of Rs.
30,000 to BPL families for which they do not have to pay any premium. Not only
this, the State Government has gone one step further by giving health insurance
cover of Rs. 1.75 lacs in case of critical illness for BPL families.
‘Atal Health Service’
is also being started from October 2 next on Gandhi Jayanti. Patients in the
State will get free Ambulance service under this scheme. A sum of Rs. 20 crores
would be spent on this scheme. Rs. 5000 is being deposited at the birth of a
girl child in her name in the post office upto two child under ‘Beti Hai Anmol
Scheme’, which she can withdraw on attaining the age of 18 years with
Institutions of standard are being opened in the State. We have decided to open
five Medical Colleges-cum-Hospitals in the State in the private sector, out of
which work on two in Solan and Mandi is in progress. The intake capacity of
MBBS in IGMC had been enhanced from 65 to 100 and Post Graduate from 38 to 62.
Besides, 21 post graduate seats have been approved in R.P. Medical College Tanda.
The General Nursing Medical School (GNMS) in IGMC Shimla has been upgraded and
permission to start M.S. Nursing and BSc Nursing had been given.
More than 400
allopathic doctors and a number of specialists doctors have been appointed
during last two years and posted in far flung areas of the State so that people
do not have to travel long distances to get treatment. The doctors have been
allowed special incentives ranging from Rs. 3000 to Rs. 12000 for opting posting
in tribal difficult and far-flung areas of the State.
The Ayurvedic System
of Medicine and treatment is also being strengthened. Permission has been given
to appoint 200 ayurvedic doctors, for which the recruitment process is underway.
The Post Graduate seats in Ayurvedic Medical College, Paprola have been
increased from 24 to 39. B. Pharma (Ayurvedic) course is being started in
Jogindernagar and BSc Nursing (Ayurvedic) in Paprola. A branch of Patanjali Yog
Peeth is being set up near Kandaghat in Solan district with a view to give boost
to herbiculture in the State. From October 2, next, Atal Swasthya Yojna is being
started in the State under which free Ambulance Service would be provided to the
patients in the State and Rs. 20 crores would be spent under this scheme.
Education is our
another top priority. We want to make Himachal Pradesh an ‘Educational Hub’ of
the country. Our plan is to open educational institutions of par excellence in
the State. We have given permission to open 16 Universities in the private
sector out of which nine have come up. A Technical University had been set up at
Hamirpur in the Government Sector. A Central University has also started
functioning in Kangra District. ‘Atal Shiksha Kunj’ had been set up at
‘Kalujhanda’ in Baddi area of Solan District where educational institutions of
repute are being opened. National Institution of Fashion Technology (NIFT) has
also been started at Cheb in Kangra district. National Institute of Hotel
Management had been opened in Hamirpur. Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) has
also started functioning in Mandi.
Himachal Pradesh is
the first State in the country to make and implement Anti Ragging Act in all the
educational institutions besides forming Anti Ragging committees in educational
institutions of the State.
Efforts are afoot to
strengthen the educational infrastructure. The Government has given sanction to
fill up and create more than 18000 posts of various categories of teachers
during last two years. Out of these, more than 10,000 had been filled in.
Computerization of all educational institutions was also being done in a phased
For achieving the
objective of Self Employment, Self Reliance and Self Respect, we have given
added priority for speedy exploitation of the natural resources available within
the State. The State has vast hydel, tourism and industrial potential, which if
harnessed fully, would undoubtedly make Himachal Pradesh one of the prosperous
State in the country.
The State has
identified 23230 MW power potential so far. We have adopted multi-pronged
strategy for exploitation of this potential through involvement of Public
Sector, Private Sector and Joint Sector. Out of the identified hydel potential,
6460 MW had been harnessed by various agencies so far. We have made a perspective
plan to harness 17000 MW of power by the end of 13th Five Year Plan period. At
present, 13 hydel electric projects with installed capacity of 1125 MW
are under execution in the State Sector. Five Hydel projects with aggregate
installed capacity of 2800 MW are under execution in Central/ Joint Sector. 5986
MW would be harnessed in the private sector by the end of 12th Five Year Plan
The State Government
had also given priority for exploitation of small hydro potential as these are
environment friendly and will create job opportunities in rural areas. 3000 MW
of such potential had been identified so far. Himachalis are being given
preference in small hydro projects. Projects upto 2 MW capacity are being given
to investors of the State and in projects upto 5 MW, they are being given
Tourism is another
Sector, which can generate income to the State and employment to the local
people. Due to varied climatic and geographical conditions, there is vast scope
for development of adventure, heritage, religious, rural and eco tourism. Some
unique initiatives like ‘Home Stay Scheme’, ‘Har Gaon Ki Kahani,’ ‘Har Ghar Kuch
Kehta Hai’ had been taken to boost up tourism activities in the State in the
recent past. Efforts are afoot to start Heli-Taxi Services in the State to
facilitate the tourists visiting far-flung areas of the State. The proposal to
set up six ropeways in different locations in the State under Public Private
Parternership (PPP) mode is under the consideration of the Government. These
ropeways have been planned to be installed at Bhunter-Bijli Mahadev,
Palchan-Rohtang in Kullu district, Dharamkot-Triund and Palampur-Neugal Kangra
district. Nainadevi-Anandpur Sahib in Bilaspur district, Shahtalai-Deotsidh in
has been given big boost for income and employment generation. Environment
friendly, income and employment oriented industries are being encouraged in the
State. No doubt, the scrapping of excise duty by the Govt. of India on March 31,
2010, which was been given by the NDA Government earlier upto 2013, had given a
set back to our efforts in industrial development but State Government at its
own is doing best to attract maximum investments to the State by providing them
best infrastructure, investor friendly environment and abundant supply of power
for industries on reasonable rates. To facilitate the entrepreneurs, most of the
clearances are being given by the Single Window Clearance and Monitoring
Authority. During last two years, investment worth Rs. 12585 crores has been
attracted to the State by giving approval for setting up of 3157 industrial
units. These units will provide employment to more than one lakh persons.
Park is being set up near Waknaghat in Solan District at a cost of about Rs. 400
crores where 25000 persons would get employment. A Biotechnological Park would
be set up at Aduwal near Nalagarh in Solan district with an investment of Rs.
200 crores and employment to about 500 persons.
We owe a great to our
freedom fighters and warriors. As a mark of respect we have raised the ‘Samman
Rashi’ of the freedom fighters from Rs. 2000 to Rs. 4000 per month and Rs.3000
to their widows and unmarried daughters. Freedom fighters wards are being given
2 percent reservation in Government jobs, besides free seats has also been
reserved for wards of freedom fighters in MBBS, BDS and BAMS courses. The
daughters and grand daughters of freedom fighter are also being given marriage
grant of Rs. 10,000. Cash award annual annuity of gallantry award winners and
Yudh Jagir honorarium had also been enhanced by the State Government in
recognition of their services to the Nation. Memorials are also being raised in
various parts of the State to signify the freedom movement events. Government
has decided to raise Suket Memorial at Karsog in Mandi district from where the
freedom movement had sparked to other parts of the State. Similar memorials are
being set up in Rani Jhansi Park, Shimla, Hamirpur and Una. We are also
committed for the welfare of serving soldiers and ex-servicemen in the State.
Keeping in view, the services rendered by them for the Nation. During Kargil
aggression, State Government had given Rs. five lac to the next of kin of those
soldiers of the State who lost their lives while defending the country and upto
Rs. 3 lacs who were injured. Besides, one person of each 52 brave sons of the
State who lost their lives in the ‘Operation Vijay’ were given employment. Rs.
one lac had been given to those soldiers of para military forces who lost their
lives in this operation.
Friends, our vision
for Himachal Pradesh is to make it an ideal, prosperous and self reliant State.
We are sure that with the cooperation of the people, we would be able to achieve
Hind ! Jai Himachal !