March towards Prosperous Himachal
-Prof. Prem Kumar Dhumal,
Chief Minister, Himachal Pradesh
Statehood Day (25th January, 2011)
Every year on 25th January we celebrate our
Statehood Day with great enthusiasm. This year, the Day has special significance
to all of us. We have completed four decades of Statehood and are entering into
the fifth decade today. Himachal Pradesh was conferred Statehood on this Day in
1971 and it became 18th State of the Indian Union. I extend my warmest greetings
to the people of the State on this historic occasion. It was their hard work,
sincerity and enterprising zeal that have put Himachal Pradesh amongst the front
runner States of the Country.
From humble beginning since attaining Statehood on
25 January, 1971, Himachal Pradesh has become a trendsetter of development not
only for hill States but for other States also. Per capita income, Gross
Domestic Product, Literacy rate are some of the indicators which speak amply
about the progress that State has made in forty years of its Statehood. Per
Capita Income which was only Rs. 651 in 1971 has gone up to Rs 49211 in 2010,
which is much better than other neighbouring States. Himachal ranks seventh in
Per Capita Income in the Country. State’s Gross Domestic Product has also gone
up from Rs. 223 crores in 1971 to Rs. 42278 crores in 2010. The State’s Annual
Plan has increased from Rs. 17 crores in 1971 to Rs. 3000 crores in 2010. The
Literacy rate of the State has also gone up from 23 percent in 1971 to 84
percent in 2010 and we will surpass Kerala soon. Himachal Pradesh is today
known as the ‘Apple State’ of the Country and is poised to become the ‘Fruit
Bowl’ of India soon. Not only this, it is also on the threshold of becoming
‘Power State’ and ‘Carbon Neutral State’ of the Country.
On the historic day of Statehood, we would be
failing in our duty, if we do not remember the first Chief Minister, late Dr.
Y.S. Parmar who led the people of this State in their struggle to attain the
Statehood for Himachal Pradesh and also laying a strong base for development at
its adolescence. Thereafter, all those who got opportunity to serve the State
had put their efforts, but the contribution of the honest and sincere people of
the State is supreme, who by dint of their hard work had shattered the myth that
hills are destined to be poor.
With the benevolence of the people of the State, I
have got the opportunity to lead the State for eight years, first from 1998 to
2003 and thereafter from 30 December, 2007 onwards. Our Government has tried to
accelerate the pace of development by ensuring speedy and alround development of
all areas of the State during this period besides ensuring welfare of all
sections of the society with special emphasis on weaker sections and
downtrodden. Our endeavour has been to benefit the common man from the policies
and programmes of the Government, first State’s journey of four decades had been
eventful and 40th milestone is marked with many successes in different fields.
We can look at our achievements with justifiable pride which include Best Big
State in the ‘State of States’ survey conducted by India Today magazine in 2010
for excelling in sectors like Agriculture, Health, Education, Governance,
Investment, Macro-Economy, Consumer Market and Infrastructure development.
In another survey conducted by National magazine
Agriculture Today, Himachal Pradesh has been adjudged the Best State for its
outstanding policy initiatives and performance in the field of Agriculture
development and conferred ‘State Agriculture Leadership Award 2010’. The State
has also been ranked number One in the implementation of Twenty Point Programme
by Planning Commission, which vindicates State Government’s commitment for
socio-economic uplift of the weaker sections, poor, downtrodden and development
at grass root level. Himachal Pradesh had been given National Award for
registration of maximum BPL families under National Health Insurance Scheme.
Himachal Pradesh has also come up as ‘Best Travel Destination’ in the survey
conducted by CNBC Awaaz electronic channel. Not only this, Himachal Pradesh has
also been conferred ‘Diamond State Award’ for its outstanding performance in
women empowerment, environment conservation and employment generation in a
nation wide survey conducted by Outlook magazine and IBN-7 electronic channel.
We are now at a historic phase, when the State has
completed 40 years of its glorious journey on the path of development. The human
spirit has a tremendous potential to reach out to new horizons. With faith in
ourselves and with a zeal to excel, we have to move ahead and scale greater
To ensure alround and speedy development of the
State, our endeavours have been to benefit every area of the State cutting
across the party and other considerations. Central University Indian Institute
of Fashion Technology, Food Craft Institute had been opened in Kangra district,
Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) and ESI Medical College and Hospital in
Mandi district, Technical University in Hamirpur district, Atal Shiksha Kunj and
University of Bio Technology Management Science in Solan district, three more
Medical Colleges and Hospitals are proposed to be opened in Una, Hamirpur and
Sirmour districts. Out of the three Police Battalions sanctioned for the State,
one has been set up in Sirmour district, one in Una district, one in Bilaspur
district. Apart from this, Institute of Engineering and Technology has been
proposed at Pragati Nagar in Shimla district and Hydro Engineering College in
Foremost among our tasks is to ensure the welfare of
all sections of the society. For this all schemes and programmes are being
implemented in earnest to bring about tangible improvement in the lives of the
people. We have enhanced the Social Security Pension by 65 percent and daily
wages by 60 percent.
We have taken effective steps in the direction of
women empowerment and started various schemes for their welfare. Himachal
Pradesh was one of the few first States in the Country in 2008 to reserve 50
percent seats for women in Panchayati Raj Institutions and Local Bodies. The
women employees have been given special leave on ‘Raksha Bandhan’, ‘Karva Chauth’
and ‘Bhaiya Dooj’ besides free travel facility on ‘Raksha Bandhan’ and ‘Bhaiya
Dooj’ in Himachal Pradesh Road Transport buses. Various other schemes are being
implemented for their welfare. The amount under Matri Shakti Bima Yojana has
been enhanced four times. Now in case of death of a woman of poor family or her
earning spouse, Rs. one lac is being given, in case of injury, Rs. 50,000 is
being given. Under ‘Mukhyamantri Kanyadan Yojana’ the financial assistance has
been enhanced from Rs. 5000 to Rs. 11000 for the marriage of girls of poor
families. Under ‘Mother Teresa Asahaya Matri Sambal Yojana’ the assistance being
given has been doubled. A new scheme ‘Beti Hai Anmol’ has been started under
which, on birth of a girl child of BPL family, Rs. 5100 are being deposited in
the name of girl in post office, which is given to them after 18 years with
interest. This is applicable upto two girl child. For the remarriage of widows,
the assistance money has been doubled from Rs. 25,000 to Rs. 50,000. A New
scheme ‘Matri Sewa Yojana’ has been started under which, free institutional
delivery is being done in 100 health institutions in the State. ‘Jeevan Shree
Bima Yojana’ has been started in the State for Anganwari workers and Anganwari
Sahiyikas under which, provision of grant of Rs. 75000 in case of accidental
death, Rs. 30,000 in case of natural death and Rs. 20,000 in case of death due
to illness has been made.
We have focused our attention on improving the
socio-economic lot of the poor, downtrodden and other weaker sections of the
society. To solve the housing problem of the poor, ‘Atal Awas Yojana’ and
‘Indira Awas Yojana’ schemes are being implemented in the State. The financial
under these schemes has been enhanced from Rs. 27,500 to Rs. 48,500 in each
case. 22719 houses have been constructed under both these schemes in the State
in last three years by spending over Rs. 99 crores.
To ensure that poor does not find any difficulty in
treatment in case of illness, National Health Insurance scheme is being
implemented in the right perspective. Out of 2,98,291 BPL families in the State
over 90 percent have been covered under the scheme so far. Financial help of Rs.
30,000 is being given to the beneficiaries for treatment in case of illness. The
State Government has gone one step further by giving Rs. 1.75 lakh in case of
critical illness in each case. For this, beneficiaries have not to pay any
To benefit the Scheduled Caste community in the
State, the allocation under Scheduled Castes Sub Plan has been enhanced from 11
percent to 25 percent of the total State’s Annual Plan. Ambedkar Bhawan is being
constructed in each Assembly Constituency.
The maximum annual income limit for creamy layer of
Backward Classes has been enhanced from Rs. 2.5 lakh to Rs. 4.5 lakh, besides
introducing scholarship schemes for the students of Backward Classes as being
given to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes students earlier.
Cordial relations have been maintained with the
employees keeping in view their important role in the development of the State
and implementing Government policies and programmes. Financial benefits worth Rs.
3420 crore have been given to them in last three years. Besides, the limit of
maximum gratuity has been enhanced from Rs. 3.50 lacs to Rs. 10 lacs. The
eligibility for full pension has been reduced from 33 years to 20 years and time
period for family pension in case of death of a employee has been enhanced from
seven years to ten years. Minimum Family Pension has also been enhanced from Rs.
1310 to Rs. 3500 per month.
A number of innovative and ambitious schemes have
been started to benefit the farmers and fruit growers. Priority has been given
to agriculture and allied sectors by allocating 12 percent of the total State
Plan. The Planning Commission has appreciated the State’s initiatives. Rs. 353
crore ‘Pt. Deen Dayal Kisan Bagwan Samridhi Yojana’ has been started from
January 2009 in the State, which envisages construction of 16500 poly houses in
15 lakh square meter area and bringing 20,000 hectare area under micro
irrigation. For this, 17,312 micro irrigation schemes will be implemented. 80
percent subsidy is being given for construction of poly houses under the scheme.
For BPL families, this has been enhanced to 90 percent for setting up of Bamboo
poly houses. 5928 poly houses have been constructed and 7.09 square meter area
brought under irrigation since inception of the scheme. This scheme will ensure
self employment to 45000 persons in the State. A Rs. 350 crore project has been
approved to promote Organic Farming and Water Harvesting. This will be
implemented with the Japan International Cooperation Association (JICA).
The ‘Tacavi’ and land development loans taken by
small and marginal farmers between 1950 and 1960 have been waived off by our
Government which has benefited 43,485 farmers in the State.
Work on most modern Regulated Market Yard has been
started at Parala in Shimla district at a cost of Rs. 100 crore. Five more
modern yards are also being set up in other parts of the State.
Irrigation plays an important role in enhancing
production thereby increasing farmer’s income. An area of 2.36 lakh hectare has
been provided with irrigation facilities. The State Government has made a plan
to double the irrigated area in the State in next five years. 16322 hectares of
area has been covered under irrigation and 2832 hectare area covered under flood
control during last three years.
Efforts are afoot to improve the horticulture
economy of the State to benefit the fruit growers. Rs. 85 crore Apple
Replantation Project is being implemented to replace the old and low yielding
varieties of apple trees with quality ones in an area of 12500 hectare in next
five years. Anti Hail Gun and Radar has been installed at Khara Pathar in Shimla
district on pilot basis. Market Intervention scheme is being implemented so as
to ensure remunerative prices to the growers.
Apple and Mango have been brought under weather
based Crop Insurance Scheme for the first time so as to save the growers from
economic hardship in case of failure of their crops due to natural calamity. An
agreement has been signed between HPMC and Patanjali Yog Peeth for purchase of
apple concentrate by the Yogpeeth.
Rs. 300 crore ‘Doodh Ganga Yojana’ is being
implemented in the State, which envisages to benefit 50,000 families through
10,000 Self Help Groups. Each beneficiary is being provided loan upto Rs. 15
lakh for purchase of milch cattle and taking up milk related activities. 25
percent subsidy is being provided to general categories and 33 percent for SCs
and STs under the scheme.
‘Mukhya Mantri Arogya Pashudhan Yojana’ has been
launched this year to open veterinary institutions in left out panchayats in
next three years. For this 1272 new institutions would be opened in the State.
187 have already been opened this year.
‘Bhed Palak Samiridhi Yojana’ has been launched to
benefit the shepherds of Kangra, Chamba and Mandi districts. Financial
assistance upto Rs. one lakh is being given to each beneficiary under this
scheme for purchase of sheep and lambs. Out of this, 33 percent is being given
Education, Health and Roads are the three top most
priorities of the Government. We are making sincere efforts to make Himachal
Pradesh an ‘Educational Hub’ of the Country by opening educational institutions
of par excellence in the State. In last three years, one Technical University in
the Government sector and 10 universities in the Private Sector have been set up
in the State. Besides, a Central University IIT, National Institute of Fashion
Technology (NIFT), one Engineering College, one ESI Medical College and Hospital
had also been established in the State. The Government has also opened one
Degree College, 44 Senior Secondary schools, 58 High Schools, 62 Middle Schools
and 33 Primary Schools in last three years. Bilaspur, Chamba, Hamirpur,
Dharamshala, Kullu, Mandi, Solan, Nahan and Una Degree Colleges have been
upgraded as Model Colleges. Over 12,000 posts of various categories of teachers
have been filled during last three years.
Sincere efforts have been made by the State
Government to ensure better health care facilities at the doorsteps of the
people in the State. 600 allopathic doctors, 703 staff nurses and a number of
para medical employees have been appointed during last three years and posted in
far-flung areas of the State. From 15 August last year, 38 medicines are being
given free of cost to the BPL families in all the OPDs of the State Government
hospitals in the State. In 100 health institutions free institutional deliveries
are being done from last year.
From December 25th last a new scheme ‘Atal Swasthaya Sewa’ has been introduced
which envisages providing of free Ambulance service to the patients. Initially
this scheme has been introduced in seven districts and would be extended to
other five districts soon. Rs. 150 crores Super Specialty Hospital in Dr. R.P.
Medical College Tanda (Kangra) has been started in the recent past. Two new
Health programmes, one ‘Chief Minister School Health Programme’, envisaging
medical check up of all students and another ‘Muskan’, for providing dentures
free of cost, to senior citizens above the age of 65 have also been started.
State Government has formulated an ambitious plan to
connect every village having population of 250 and above by road by 2012. Over
2700 km. of roads have been constructed during last three years in the State,
besides providing cross drainage in 4231 kms. and mettling 2324 kms. 858
villages have been connected by roads during this period. Two National Highways,
Nagrota- Ranital-Dehra-Mubarkpur (90 kms) and
Paonta-Rajban-Shillai-Menus-Hatkoti (160.5 km) have been added in last three
years and five more National Highways have been got sanctioned.
Himachal Pradesh has emerged as a pioneer State in
preservation and protection of environment. It is among the first few states in
the Country to ban the use of recycled polythene and plastic carry bags. The
‘Polythene Hatao-Paryavaran Bachao’ campaign had been implemented in various
parts of the State from time to time in which Chief Minister, Ministers have
participated alongwith senior officers.
Nine point ‘Environment Protection Code’ has been
introduced for school children, so as to inculcate values of environment
protection in them. It has been made mandatory for all schools to administer
‘Environment Protection Pledge’ to the students daily in morning prayer.
Afforestation and protection of forests has also been given special attention.
‘Jan-Jan Sanjeevani’, ‘Sanjha Van- Sanjivani Van’, ‘Apna Van-Apna Dhan,’ and
‘Pipal-Bargad’ afforestation programmes have been started in the State in last
The State Government is working on a plan to provide
facility of drinking water to all left out habitations in the Sate. There are
53205 habitations in the State as per survey conducted in 2003 out of which
28640 had been covered upto March 2007. 14462 habitations have been provided
with drinking water since the present State Government has taken over. Besides,
6885 hand pumps have been installed during this period.
Rs. 341.86 crore scheme to provide electricity in
left out sub villages and improvement of voltage has been prepared. 34036 poles,
551 new Electricity Distribution Sub Centers have been set up so far. An
ambitious scheme ‘Atal Bijli Bachat Yojna’ has been implemented in the State
under which every consumer had been provided four CFL free of cost. More than 15
lakh consumers had been benefited from this scheme by spending Rs. 64 crore.
Domestic consumers and consumers of agriculture sector are being provided
electricity on subsidized rates for which State Government is contributing Rs.
146 crores. The consumers of BPL families are being given the electricity at
consessional rate @ 70 paise per unit.
We are working with a motto of Self-employment,
Self-reliance and Self-respect. For this, the emphasis has been laid on speedy
exploitation of natural resources available within the State. Himachal Pradesh
has identified hydel potential of 23230 MW out of which 6676 MW has been
harnessed so far. We plan to harness 17000 MW of power by 2017 in the State,
which would not only go a long way in meeting energy requirements of the Country
to a great extent but also help the State to become prosperous one.
Industrial development has been given big boost with
a view to generate income and employment. Environment friendly, income and
employment oriented industries are being encouraged. The approval for setting up
of 3334 industrial units involving an investment of Rs. 13,365 crore and
providing employment to 1.27 lakh persons have been given. In last three years,
2806 new units with an investment of Rs. 6406 crores and employment to 38982
persons have been set up. Information Technology (IT) Park at Mauja Majhole near
Waknaghat in Solan district is being set up at a cost of Rs. 400 crore, in which
about 25000 persons would get employment.
Tourism development has also been given big boost
with a view to generate income and create employment and self employment
opportunities. Himachal Pradesh has emerged ‘Best Tourist Destination’ and
Shimla town as Best Mountain Town in a survey conducted by CNBC Awaaz last year.
Various new tourists circuits are being developed so as to attract tourists to
new places of tourism importance. Adventure, religious, heritage, rural and
eco-tourism is being encouraged in the State so as to attract more and more
tourists to the State.
To promote rural tourism in the State, ‘Home Stay’
and ‘Har Gaon Ki Kahani’ schemes have been started. Heli Taxi Services are being
started in the State to facilitate tourists. Efforts are afoot to set up a
ropeway between Shree Naina Devi and Anandpur Sahib at a cost of Rs. 30 crore.
Ropeways between Bhunter-Bijli Mahadev, Palchang-Rohtang, Dharamkot-Triund,
Shahtalai-Deothsidh and Neugal-Palampur would also be established.
Friends, we have successfully completed four decades
of Statehood. While entering into the fifth decade let us join hands and take
pledge that we will march shoulder to shoulder for better and prosperous
Himachal Pradesh, where ample opportunities of development and employment to the
people are available. Our State is self reliant, people live with self respect
and Himachal Pradesh is ‘Sab Se Upar.’
Jai Hind ! Jai