SHIMLA -15 August, 2018-The functions were organised at all district headquarters and Sub-Divisions of state to mark the 72nd Independence Day. At district level Independence Day functions, Ministers unfurled the National Flag and took salute to the march-past.

Speaker, HP Vidhan Sabha Dr. Rajiv Bindal presided over the district level function at Nahan in district Sirmour. Speaking on the occasion, he said that the state government has launched various schemes and programmes for welfare of every section of the society and overall development of the state. He said the government of India has sanctioned 69 national highways which include nine national highways in Sirmaur district. The work on survey and preparation of DPRs of national highways in the district was under progress and after construction of these roads, rural tourism would get a big boost.

He said that the state government was promoting zero budget natural farming in a big way which would go a long way in achieving the target of doubling the farmer's income by 2022.

Dr. Bindal honoured Suneel Sharma, a resident of Maina village of Sangrah development block, who has earned name on international level in marathon race. He also honoured Pyar Chand for his contributions in environment conservation and office bearers of Childline foundation. Besides, he also honoured 20 employees for their commendable services.

MLAs Sukh Ram Chaudhary and Suresh Kashyap, former MLA Baldev Tomar and District BJP President Vinay Gupta were also present on the occasion.

MLA Surender Shourie, Sunder Singh Thakur, former Minister Satya Prakash Thakur, former MP Maheshwar Singh, Chairman Zila Parishad Rohini Chaudhary were also present on this occasion.

Food, Civil Supplies & Consumer Affairs Minister Kishan Kapoor who presided over the function at Una, said that the state government has launched e-PDS app to provide ration to the consumers in an effective manner besides checking the quality of the ration. This app has also helped in improving the public distribution system in the state. Referring to Una district, he said that 1.37 lakh digital ration cards have been distributed in the district so far.

He said that the foundation stone of National Institute of Technology has been laid at Una and the work on railway expansion was also in progress in the district.

MLA Satpal Raizada was also present on the occasion.

The district level Independence Day function in Shimla was presided over by Education Minister Suresh Bhardwaj. He said that in order to ensure quality education to the youth, the state government has launched Mukhyamantri Adarsh Vidya Kendra scheme under which schools with hostel facility would be opened in every Assembly constituency. The government has also decided to give two sets of smart uniform to more than nine lakh students of government schools.

The Minister said that the government has given extension in the services of SMC teachers and their honorarium has also been enhanced by 20 percent. This decision of the government has benefited 2630 SMC teachers in the state.

State BJP President Satpal Singh Satti, former Speaker, HP Vidhan Sabha Radha Raman Shastri, MLA Balveer Verma, Mayor Kusum Sadrate and Deputy Mayor Rakesh Sharma were also present on the occasion.

MPP and Power Minister Anil Sharma presided over the district level function organised at Reckong Peo in Kinnaur district. Speaking on the occasion, he said the state government has taken various initiatives in the direction of environment conservation and a plantation drive has been taken up under which every individual was being encouraged to plant at least two saplings.

The Minister said that ‘Himachal Grihini Suvidha Yojna’ has been launched in the state under which domestic gas connections were being provided free of cost to those eligible families, which were not covered under the Centre government’s Ujjwala Yojna and do not have any gas connection.

He said that with a view to facilitate the electricity consumers of the state, the government has reduced the electricity rates from rupee one to 75 paisa per unit.

Agriculture Minister Dr. Ram Lal Markanda presided over the function at Keylong in Lahaul-Spiti district. In his address, he said that the state government has accorded top priority for crop diversification for which special emphasis has been laid on provision of irrigation facility. He said government has decided to implement Rs. 224 crore Saur Sinchayee Yojana Rs. 174.50 crore flow irrigation schemes under which financial assistance up to 90 percent would be provided to the farmers.

He said that the state government has also decided to start Rs. 20 crore ‘Rajya Krishi Yantrikaran Programme’ in the State for farm mechanization. Under this scheme, 50 percent subsidy will be provided to the eligible beneficiaries belonging to small and marginal farmers, women, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes on purchasing of small tractors, power tillers, weeders and other need based/ approved machineries.

Rural Development & Panchayati Raj Minister Virender Kanwar while presiding over the function at Chamba said that Himachal Pradesh was also known as Veer Bhoomi and keeping in view the contributions of the paramilitary forces for the country, the state government has taken a decision to give employment to the kin of the Martyrs of the paramilitary forces on compassionate ground at par with the army.

He said the state government has enhanced the honorarium of the representatives of the Panchayati Raj Institutes. The government has also enhanced the men days under MNREGA from 100 to 120 days. He said the government was according priority for welfare of the minorities and recently the Chief Minister has launched Minorities Welfare Scheme in the state.

MLA Pawan Nayyar and other prominent persons of the district were also present on the occasion.

Deputy Speaker Hans Raj presided over the Independence Day function organised at Tissa sub-division of Chamba district. Speaking on the occasion, he urged the youth to restrain from drug abuse and engage themselves in constructive activities.

He said that Churah area of the Chamba district was once considered as most backward but today it had witnessed tremendous development. He personally was endeavouring for providing better education facilities in the valley besides expansion of agriculture and tourism activities. He said the state government has made adequate provision of funds for maintenance and construction of roads in this area.

Industries Minister Bikram Singh while presiding over the function at Mandi said that the state government was working for promoting local entrepreneurship and providing ample opportunities of employment and self-employment to the youth. He said that various initiatives have been taken for skill development of the youth. Various schemes were being implemented for skill development under which training would be imparted to more than one lakh youth as per demand of the industry and other sectors.

He said that 3358 industrial units have been established in the Mandi district with an investment of about Rs. 14, 847 lakh and employment to 14440 people. He said nine micro and small industries were set up in the district during this year. As many as 2841 youth have been registered for skill development from the Mandi district and more Rs. 53.28 lakh were provided to the illegible youth during last seven months.

MLAs Vinod Kumar, Rakesh Jamwal, Jawahar Thakur, and Inder Singh Gandhi, District BJP President Ranveer Singh, Chairman Zila Parishad Sarla Devi and Chairman Nagar Parishad Suman Thakur were also present on this occasion.

While presiding over the function at Bilaspur, Social Justice & Empowerment Minister Rajiv Saizal said that the valiant soldiers of Bilaspur district have earned name for the district who have always led from the front to safeguard the frontiers of the country. He said presently about 3560 officers and soldiers from Bilaspur district were giving their valuable services in the security forces of the country.

Dr. Saizal said that the state government was according top priority for upliftment of the weaker sections of society. The government has reduced the age limit for social security pension without any income limit was from 80 to 70 years, thereby benefitting 1.30 lakh elderly persons. Today, about 4.47 lakh eligible persons of different categories are being provided social security pension for which a budget provision of Rs. 600 crore has been made for this financial year.

MLAs Subhash Thakur, Rajender Garg and J.R Katwal and former MP Suresh Chandel were also present on this occasion.