MARCH FOR BETTER TOMORROW
-Prof. Prem Kumar Dhumal,
Chief Minister, Himachal Pradesh
Statehood Day (25th January, 2012)
January 25, is an historic and significant day in
the annals of our State. Himachal Pradesh became 18th State of the Indian Union
on this day in 1971. I extend my heartiest greetings to the people of the State
on this occasion.
When we look back to 1971 and compare it with today,
we find that State has made a tremendous progress in various fields. It has
emerged as a model of development not only for hill areas but also for other
States in the Country. There has been spurt in development indicators like Per
Capita Income, State Gross Domestic Product and Literacy rate in all these years
of Statehood. Per Capita Income which was Rs. 651 in 1971 has gone up to Rs.
58493 in 2011. State’s Gross Domestic Product has gone up from Rs. 223 crores to
Rs. 52426 crores. The Literacy Percentage has shot up from 23 percent in 1971
to 83.8 percent. The size of Annual Plan has increased from Rs. 17 crore in
1971-72 to Rs. 3300 crores in 2011-12. Food-grain production has increased from
9 lac to 15 lac tones. Fruit production has increased from 1.78 lac tones to
10.28 lac tones. It has made a niche in fruit production, hydel power generation
and above all socio-economic transformation. The credit for this goes to the
hardworking, sincere and honest people of the State and also those who remained
at the helm of affairs during all these years.
With the benevolence of the people of the State, I
also got an opportunity to serve them for more than nine years, first from 1998
to 2002 and again from 2007 to date. Our Government has made sincere and
concerted efforts to fructify the benefits of Statehood by taking up speedy,
balanced and uniform development of the State. Difficult and far-flung areas
which had remained neglected have been given special attention in the matter of
development. From 1998 to 2002, our Government has given top most priority for
construction of roads especially in far-flung areas of the State. 2164 kms. of
new motorable roads had been constructed in the State at that time. Besides road
construction, the Government had also given special attention for Education &
Health at that time.
From 2007 onwards, we have given top most priority
for Road, Health and Education again to consolidate the gains of last term.
These three sectors concern the common man and common man’s betterment and
welfare is the ultimate objective of our Government.
Roads are forerunner of development in hill areas
like Himachal Pradesh. Keeping in view this, we have concentrated our efforts to
connect far-flung areas of the State with roads. A comprehensive plan to connect
every village having population of 250 or above by road has been formulated,
soon after taking over the rein of administration, within five years term of the
Government. 960 villages have been connected by roads in last four years by
constructing 3228 kms of new roads and 260 bridges. All other villages having
population above 250 would be connected by the end of the 2012-13. Notable
achievement of this period is construction of ‘Harsipatan’ bridge over river
Beas near Sandhole in Mandi district, constructed at a cost of Rs. 18 crore,
which has benefited the people of three districts viz. Mandi, Kangra and
Hamirpur. Another bridge ‘Chambapatan’ being constructed at a cost of Rs. 17
crore is almost complete. The construction work of Dodra Kwar road, most
difficult area of Shimla district was speeded up by our Government in 2008 as a
result of which this road was dedicated to the people for vehicular traffic in
the year 2009. Two new National Highways were got sanctioned besides getting in
principal approval for five more National Highways. By-passes in towns are
being constructed to avoid traffic congestion. The work on three by-passes viz.
Palampur, Hamirpur and Kufri is in progress and construction of by-passes at
Sundernagar, Jogindernagar, Mandi and Theog are in the pipeline. To shorten the
distances and save time, construction of three tunnels namely ‘Holi-Utrala’,
‘Kadsatar-Talang’ and ‘Bangana-Dhaneta’ have been planned at a cost of Rs. 270
crore. For such areas which are not possible to connect by road, ‘Mukhyamantri
Gram Path Yojna’ has been started again in the year 2008.
Education is another area which has been given top
most priority. 19 percent of the total budget is being spent on this vital
sector which is highest in the Country. Efforts are afoot to make Himachal
Pradesh an ‘Educational Hub’. Educational institutions of national standard have
been established in the State which include a Central University in Kangra
district, a Technical University at Hamirpur, 11 universities have been opened
in the private sector in various parts of the State. Besides, Indian Institute
of Technology (IIT) has been set up at Kamand in Mandi District, National
Institute of Fashion Technology at Cheb in Kangra district, National Hotel
Management Institute at Hamirpur. Food Craft institute is being set up in Kangra
district. ESI Medical College and Hospital in Mandi, Institute of Engineering
and Technology has been set up at Pragtinagar in Shimla district. Hydro
Engineering College is being set up in Bilaspur district. Our aim is to ensure
higher, professional and technical education to the youth nearer to their homes
and also save the huge amount of their parents which otherwise they had to spend
on their education in other parts of the Country.
A degree college has been opened at Haripurdhar in
Sirmour district besides upgrading 75 high schools to senior secondary and 96
middle schools to High Schools in last four years. Degree colleges at Bilaspur,
Chamba, Hamirpur, Dharamshala, Kullu, Mandi, Solan, Nahan and Una have been
upgraded to Model Colleges. ‘Atal Shiksha Kunj’ has been set up at ‘Kalujhanda’
in Solan district where educational institutions of par excellence are being
State Education Regulatory Commission has been set
up to ensure that standard and quality of education in the private universities
and other institutions being opened in the Private Sector is maintained.
Himachal Pradesh is the first State in the Country to set up such a Commission.
The State Government is also ensuring that every
child in the State goes to school to get education. For this, various innovative
and ambitious schemes are being implemented, the latest in the series is
providing of free uniform to all students in the Government schools from 1st
class to 10th class standard twice in a year. This scheme to be implemented from
this year has been named as ‘Atal School Uniform Scheme’ and would entail an
expenditure of Rs. 60 crores annually on the State exchequer. The similarity of
uniform would bridge the gap between the children of haves and have’s not and
instill a feeling of confidence amongst the students of poor families.
Under ‘Dr. Ambedkar Medhavi Chatarvriti Yojna’ 4000
meritorious students, (2000 Scheduled Castes and 2000 Backward Classes) are
being given scholarship of Rs. 10,000 annually in plus one and plus two classes.
4000 meritorious students of general categories are also being given annual
scholarship of Rs. 10,000 each in plus one and plus two classes under ‘Swami
Vivekanand Utakrishth Chatarviriti Yojna’. 400 meritorious students of
Scheduled Tribes (200 boys and 200 girls) are being given annual scholarship of
Rs. 11000 each under ‘Thakur Sen Negi Utakrishth Chhatarvriti Yojna’. The girl
students belonging to ‘Balmiki’ families engaged in unclean occupations are
being given scholarship of Rs. 9000 each per annum after matric standard to
enable them get education at college level. All the girls in the State are being
imparted education free of cost upto university level. Under ‘Protsahan
Chattarvriti Yojna’ all students from such areas where no government school
exists, and they have to go for study upto five kms, a monthly scholarship of Rs.
200 per month is being given. Those who have to go more than 5 kms. upto 8 kms.
are being given scholarship of Rs. 300 per month.
Technical Education has been given special emphasis.
30 Polytechnics, 17 Engineering Colleges, 13 B. Pharma Colleges and 191 ITIs
both in the Government and private sector have been opened in the State and
maximum of these have been opened during the present Government regime. A number
of ITIs have been set up in the State by the present Government to ensure
atleast one ITI in each assembly segment in the State.
With these efforts of the State Government, the days
are not far, when students from all over the Country would look towards Himachal
Pradesh for higher, professional and technical education and Himachal Pradesh
would emerge Educational Hub of the Country in true sense.
Health is another top most priority of the
Government. Efforts are being made to ensure better health care facilities at
the door steps of the people and also that poor people do not face any
difficulty in their treatment. Health Insurance Scheme has been implemented in
the State for the purpose under which Rs. 30,000 is being given for treatment of
each patient of BPL families during hospitalization. In case of serious illness
upto Rs. 1.75 lac is being given. Under this scheme more than Rs. 26 crores
have been spent on the treatment of 61386 patients of poor families in last
three years. The patients of BPL families are also being given 38 medicines free
in all the OPDs of Government Health Institutions in the State under ‘Pt. Deen
Dyal Jan Aushdhi Sewa’.
Under ‘Atal Swasthya Sewa’ scheme being implemented
in the State, free ambulance is being made availlable within 35 minutes to all,
in case of illness and emergency. More than one lac persons have availed benefit
of this in last one year, out of them, 20,000 are expectant mothers. ‘Matri Sewa
Yojna’ is another ambitious scheme being implemented from last year. Under this
scheme free institutional deliveries of expectant mothers, irrespective of their
income are being done in all Government hospitals in the State. All medicines
are being given free to them during hospitalization and on discharge from the
hospital, they are given transport facility free for going to home. The newly
born child is also provided treatment free for one year under this scheme.
‘Mother and Child Tracking Scheme’ has been launched on 25th December last,
under which all pregnancy cases in the State are being registered. Health
workers are keeping contact information, such as mobile/telephone numbers of
pregnant women, medicines being given to them.
‘Mukhya Mantri Vidyarthi Swasthya Programme’ has
been started from 15 August, 2010 in the State under which free medical check up
of all the students in Government schools is being done. As many as 7.15 lac
students have been medically examined by covering 15045 schools in first phase.
10 lac students would be examined this year under second phase. For the benefit
of senior citizens ‘Muskan’ scheme is being implemented in the State under which
dentures are being provided free of cost to those who are more than 65 years of
The Government is also strengthening the existing
Health institutions in the State with men and material both. Over 800 MBBS
doctors, 300 Ayurvedic doctors and almost similar number of para medical staff
have been appointed and posted in far-flung areas of the State in last four
years. The work on Rs. 150 crore Super Specialty Hospital in Dr. R.P. Medical
College Tanda in Kangra district has been taken in hand last year. Most modern
64 Slice (MDCT) Scan machine had been set up in Indira Gandhi Medical College (IGMC)
Shimla at a cost of Rs. 6.56 crore. Besides Rs.3.40 crore Teleco Watt Unit for
the treatment of cancer patients has been set up in IGMC, Shimla. Eye Bank has
also been set up in IGMC Shimla. The work on Rs. 23 crore State Mother and Child
Care Hospital has been started and Rs.5.34 crore has been spent on Library and
Auditorium of the college. Nursing College has been opened in IGMC and four more
private Nursing Colleges have also been opened. Intake capacity of MBBS seats in
IGMC Shimla and Dr. R.P. College Tanda (Kangra) has been enhanced from 115 to
200 and Post Graduate (PG) seats from 39 to 110 so as to ensure more specialized
doctors within State.
To facilitate the patients and their attendants
visiting Chandigarh for medical treatment, ‘Himachal Pradesh Sewa Sadan’ has
been constructed at Chandigarh at a cost of Rs. 10.50 crore . The work on Rs.
730 crore ESI Hospital and Medical College Complex Mandi is in progress. Classes
are likely to start from next academic session in this college. The Government
endeavours is to open Medical Colleges in Hamirpur, Una and Sirmour districts
For raising more sources of income of the State,
natural resources like hydel potential, industrial and tourism potential are
being harnessed expeditiously. Himachal Pradesh has immense identified hydel
potential, out of which 23230 MW had been identified so far. Out of these, 7256
MW could be harnessed so far. We have formulated a perspective plan to generate
12000 MW of power by the end of year 2015 in the government, joint and private
sectors. Seven projects with an installed capacity of 1247 MW have been
commissioned during last four years. These include 12 MW Khauli, 16 MW Patikri,
10 MW tones, 5.40 MW Sarbari II, 192 MW Alian Duhangan, 1000 MW Karcham Wangto
and 12 MW Upper Joiner. Mini and Micro hydel potential are also being harnessed
expeditiously through Him Urja. Projects upto 2 MW are being allotted to
Himachalis and in projects upto 5 MW, Himachalis are being given preference.
Government has entrusted major role to Himachal
Pradesh Power Corporation in hydel power generation. Projects having generation
capacity of 896 MW had been allotted to the Corporation. 13 more projects of
1195 MW are under survey and investigation of the corporation.
One main Government’s achievement is that the State
had succeeded in getting 7.19 percent share in all BBMB hydel projects in the
State under Punjab Reorganization Act from the date of their commissioning. This
has been possible due to presentation of State’s view point by the Government
before the apex court of the Country in the right perspective. The decision of
the Hon’ble Supreme Court will ensure income of crores of rupees to the State
Emphasis has been given for setting up of
Environment friendly, income generating and employment oriented industries in
the State. Approval to set up 4857 industrial units of different scales
involving an investment of Rs.17, 253 crores and employment potential of 1.98
lac have been given in last four years. 3765 industrial units having investment
of Rs.8000 crores and employment to 50,000 persons had been set up in the State
in this period. Information Technology Park is being set up at Waknaghat in
Solan district. Steps are also afoot to set up Biotechnology Park in Solan
The State Government has signed MoU with Gas
Authority of India for exploring the possibility of supplying natural gas for
industrial, commercial, domestic and transport sectors. Inland Container Depot
is being set up at Baddi in association with Container Corporation of India at a
cost of Rs. 58 crore. The Depot will meet the growing demand of export and
import business out of the State. This will also go a long way in setting up of
growth of export oriented units in the State. Two workers hostels are being set
up at Baddi for male and female workers at a cost of Rs. 12 crore.
Tourism development has been given big boost in the
State with special emphasis on rural, historical, nature, adventure and
religious tourism. This sector is contributing 9.5 percent to the State’s Gross
Domestic product besides generating direct and indirect employment to thousands
of people in the State. ‘Home Stay’, ‘Har Gaon Ki Kahani’, ‘Har Ghar Kuch Kahata
Hai’ are some of the ambitious schemes started in the State in the recent past.
This has resulted in attracting more than 1.52 crores tourists to the State. Rs.
428 crore project with assistance of World Bank has been implemented to create
infrastructure for tourism development in the State. Under this project Heritage
Museum has been set up in Shimla. The work on beautification and improvement of
the Pong Dam Tourism Complex has also been taken in hand. When the project is
implemented fully, Himachal Pradesh would come up as a most favourite
destination for tourists from all over the world.
Our Government besides speeding up development in
the State has also ensured the welfare of all sections of the society with
special focus on common man. To ensure that every section of the society benefit
from policies and programmes of the Government, various schemes have been
implemented during last four years in the State. Some of them are ‘Atal Bijali
Bachat Yojna’ under which four CFLs have been given to each 16.5 lac domestic
electricity consumers free of cost by spending Rs. 65 crore. Electricity is
being supplied to all domestic electricity consumers in the State on subsidized
rate. This year Rs. 166 crore is being spent by the Government on this.
Essential commodities are being supplied on
subsidized rates to all ration card holders in the State so as to save them from
the onslaught of rising prices. Each ration card holder in the State is being
given three pulses, two edible oils and salt on subsidized rates every month.
State Government is spending Rs. 130 crore on it annually. BPL ration card
holders and poorest of the poor are getting essential commodities including
‘atta’ and ‘rice’ on highly subsidized rates.
All persons in the State are being provided
ambulance free under ‘Atal Swasthya Sewa Yojna’ in case of serious illness and
any other emergency. ‘Matri Sewa Yojna’ is another scheme under which all
expectant mothers irrespective of their status and income have been given the
facility of free institutional delivery in Government Health Institutions.
From this year, ‘Atal School Uniform Scheme’ is
being implemented. Under this scheme all students from 1st to 10th standard in
Government schools would be given uniform free of cost twice in a year by
spending Rs. 60 crore annually.
Efforts have been made to strengthen the agrarian
economy of the State. 12 percent of total State budget is being spent on this
vital sector during this year. Various ambitious schemes have been implemented
to raise the income of the farmers and create self employment opportunities to
the youth in rural areas. These schemes include Rs. 353 crore ‘Pt. Deen Dayal
Kisan Bagwan Samridhi Yojna’, Rs. 321 crore ‘Crop Diversification Scheme’ and Rs.
300 crore ‘Doodh Ganga Yojna’. To raise production, efforts have been made to
bring maximum area under irrigation during last four years. 2319 hectare area
have been brought under irrigation in the State. The Changer area irrigation
scheme in Bilaspur district have been completed at a cost of Rs. 88 crore. This
has irrigated 2350 hectare in Changer area of the district. The work on 205
crore ‘Fina Singh Irrigation Project’ is in progress which will irrigate 4025
hectare area. The work on 104 crore ‘Balh Valley Irrigation Scheme’ is likely to
be completed soon, which will irrigate 2780 hectare area. The work on various
other small and medium schemes is also in progress.
To fulfill our commitment to provide responsive,
transparent and corruption free governance to the people, Our Government has
taken various historic decisions. ‘The Himachal Pradesh Public Service Guarantee
Act, 2011’ has been enacted recently under which rules have also been approved
for providing of services by different departments within stipulated period,
thereby ensuring accountability and responsiveness in the administration. The
provision of penalizing the erring officers and officials for delay in delivery
of services has been made, besides taking disciplinary action against them. Now
people will have not to run from pillar to post for getting various services.
To check corruption at various level of
administration, ‘The Himachal Pradesh Special Courts (Attachment & Confiscation
of Property) Bill, 2011’ has been passed in the last Monsoon Session of Vidhan
Sabha under which provision has been made to confiscate the property amassed
through corrupt means. For trial of such cases speedily, the Special Courts
would be set up in the State.
Aryabhatta Geo-Informatics and Space Application
Centre had been set up in the State to felicitate in decentralized planning
monitoring and evaluation of Government schemes and programmes.
For redressal of public grievances, ‘Prashashan
Janta Ke Dwar’ camps are being organized in various parts of the State from time
to time in which me and my colleagues alongwith senior officers listen to the
grievances and problems of the people and try to redress and solve these there
and then. Public grievances are also being redressed through ‘e-Samadhan’ within
stipulated period. Various other decisions like payment of amount of Rs. 10,000
and above by the Government departments through e-payment and by draft have been
taken for ensuring transparency and check corruption. The Government is
committed for providing responsive and transparent governance to the people and
will not hesitate to punish the guilty, howsoever, influential, he might be.
Our endeavour is to make Himachal Pradesh a
prosperous, self dependent and a Model State in the Country. Let us, on this
auspicious occasion of Statehood, we all join hands to achieve this.
Jai Hind ! Jai