Thursday, August 6th, 2020

Four years of good governance, development and spectacular achievements

                                 The present BJP Government in Himachal Pradesh headed by Prof. Prem Kumar Dhumal, Chief Minister, completes four years in office on 30 December, 2011. Looking back at these four years, one finds that this period has been full of spectacular achievements, speedy and balanced development, good governance besides commitment of the Government to better the lot of the common man in the State. The Government has not only fulfilled all the promises made in its Election Manifesto but has also gone beyond that by implementing various ambitious programmes and schemes in the larger interest of the people and development of the State. ‘Sarvajan Hitay; Sarvajan Sukhaya’ has remained the guiding principal of governance of the Government. Per Capita Income of the State which was Rs. 42076 in 2007-08 has gone up to Rs. 58493 in 2010-11. Similarly, the State’s Gross Domestic Product which was Rs. 33963 crore in 2007-08 has gone up to Rs. 52426 crore in 2010-11. Having been conferred 51 Awards in four years by prestigious national, international agencies and also by Government of India, speaks volume about good governance and development that has taken place.

All sections of the society have been benefited from the policies, programmes and schemes implemented in these four years in the State. Focus has remained that common man is benefited of these first. Farmers, fruit growers, workers, employees, weaker sections, deprived women and youth have been given special attention in speedy upliftment and betterment as per Government’s commitment. It has also succeeded in its objective to a great extent. Today, everyone in the State considers this Government as his own Government and has full faith in it.

 ‘Sadak’, ‘Shiksha’, ‘Swasthya’, ‘Swarojgar’, ‘Swablamban’ and ‘Swabhiman’, these  six ‘S’ have remained priorities of the Government.

3228 kms of new roads and 231 bridges have been constructed in last four years. 2848 kms of roads had been mettled and 5251 kms of roads covered under cross drainage. 913 villages have been connected by road. One of the biggest achievement of this period is the construction of Harsipatan bridge on river Beas at a cost of Rs. 18 crore which has benefited population of over 50,000 of Mandi, Hamirpur and Kangra districts. Government is working on a plan to connect every village having population of 250 and above by road by next year. Two national highways have been got approved and Govt. of India has also given in principal approval for 5 more new National Highways in the State. The construction work of three By-passes at Hamirpur, Palampur and Kufri is in progress and Government has also planned to construct By-passes at Sundernagar, Jogindernagar, Manali and Theog. Construction of three tunnels: Holi-Utrala, Kadsatar-Talang and Bagana-Dhaneta at a cost of Rs. 270 crore have been planned.

Education has been given added priority by the Government.   19 percent of the total budget is being spent on education.  Endeavour of the State Government is to make Himachal Pradesh an ‘Educational Hub’ of the Country. For this, educational institutions of standard are being opened in the State. 96 middle schools have been upgraded to high schools and 75 high schools to senior secondary standard during last four years besides opening one degree college at Haripurdhar in Sirmour district. One Technical University in the Government Sector, one Central University, 11 Universities in the private sector and a number of other educational, technical and professional institutions have been opened during this period in the State.  Some of these are: one Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) set up in Mandi, one National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) in Kangra, Indian Hotel Management Training Institute in Hamirpur, ‘Atal Shiksha Kunj’ at Kalu Jhanda near Baddi in Solan district, Atal Behari Engineering College at Pragtinagar in Shimla district and Government Engineering College at Sundernagar in Mandi district. Hydro Engineering College is being set up in Bilaspur district. The State Government has also opened a number of Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) in last four years to ensure one ITI in each Assembly segment in the State.

As many as 19251 posts of teachers of various categories have been filled since the present Government took over and process to fill up 5000 more is in progress. Himachal Pradesh is one of the first few States in the Country which has implemented Right to Education Act, in the year 2009. It is also first State in the Country to set up State Education Regulatory Commission for ensuring qualitative education in the educational institutions being set up in the State.

 Health is another sector which has been accorded top most priority. As against Rs. 396 crores spent on Health Sector in 2007-08, Rs. 862 crore is being spent during this financial year. The endeavour of the Government is to ensure better health care facilities at the door-steps of the people. Over 800 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 so that people do not face any inconvenience in treatment nearer to their home. The work on Rs. 150 crore Super Specialty Hospital in Dr. R.P. Medical College Tanda has been taken in hand. Most modern 64 Slice (MDCT) Scan machine had been set up in IGMC Shimla at a cost of Rs. 6.56 crore besides Rs.3.40 crore Teleco Watt Unit for the treatment of cnacer patients. 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 spent on Library and Auditorium in the college. Nursing College has also been opened in IGMC and four more Nursing Colleges have been opened in Private Sector. MBBS seats in IGMC Shimla and Dr. R.P. College Tanda has been enhanced from 110 to 200 and Post Graduate (PG) seats from 39 to 110.

Under ‘Atal Swasthya Sewa’ started on 25th December, 2010 on the birthday of Shri Atal Behari Vajpayee, who has special affection for the people of the State, Ambulance service is being provided free of cost within 35 minutes to all those ill and in emergency. In a period of one year, more than one lakh persons have availed benefit of it; out of these over 19,000 were expectant mothers. Under ‘Matri Sewa Yojna’ started last year, free institutional delivery is being done in all Government hospitals in the State. All medicines are being provided free to them during hospitalization besides free transport facility for going back home after delivery. The newly born child is also provided free treatment for one year. Mother and Child Tracking Scheme has also been launched from December 25 last. Under this scheme, each pregnancy case would be registered. Health workers are keeping contact information, including mobile number of pregnant women, medication being given to them. This would also help in checking female foeticide.

To give medical care cover for the poor, Health Insurance Scheme is being implemented in the State. Health Insurance Cover of Rs. 30,000 has been given under the scheme in case of hospitalization.  Rs. 1,75,000 cover has been given in case of serious illness. 2,35,000 families have been covered under this scheme. 61306 persons have been benefited under the scheme so far by spending Rs. 25.9 crore. Himachal Pradesh has been adjudged the first in implementation of this scheme in last three years consecutively.‘Mukhya Mantri Vidyarthi Swasthya Yojna’ has been started from 15 August, 2010 under which free medical check up of the students in Government schools is being done. As many as 15045 schools have been covered so far.  5.92 lakh students have been medically examined since the inception of the scheme.

For senior citizens, dentures are being fitted free of cost in Government hospitals under ‘Muskan’. The patients of BPL families are being provided 38 types of medicines free of cost in all the OPDs of Government Health Institutions in the State under ‘Pt. Deen Dayal Jan Aushadhi Sewa’.

ESI Hospital and Medical College is being set up in Mandi at a cost of Rs. 730 crore.  Classes are likely to start from next academic session in this college.

In the direction of fulfillment of poll promises, Social Security Pension and Daily Wage were enhanced on the very first day of assuming office by the Chief Minister. The Social Security Pension was enhanced from Rs. 200 to Rs. 300 per month and daily wage of the daily wagers from Rs. 75 to Rs. 100. Later on, further increase has been made in both these and now ‘Social Security’ Pension is being given at the rate of Rs. 330 per month and daily wage at Rs. 120 per day. 2.77 lakh persons are getting Social Security Pension in the State, out of which 79033 have been sanctioned in last four years. Today, every eligible person is getting social security pension in the State. All the daily wagers and contractual employees, who have completed eight years of service on 31 March, 2011 have been regularized.

To fulfill its promises of Women Empowerment, the State Government reserved 50 percent seats for women in Panchayati Raj Institutions and Local Bodies in the year 2008. A separate Department ‘Women and Child Development Department’ has been opened for the benefit of women.  Four time increase has been made in the money being given under ‘Matri Shakti Bima Yojna’. Now, Rs. one lakh is being given in case of death and Rs. 50,000 in case of injury.  ‘Jiwan Shree’ Insurance Scheme is being implemented for ‘Anganwari Workers’ and ‘Anganwari Sahayikas’ under which Rs. 75000 cover has been given in case of death due to accident, Rs. 30,000 in case of natural death and Rs. 20,000 in case of death due to disease. Honorarium of ‘Anganwari Workers’ and ‘Sahayikas’ has also been increased.

‘Mata Shabari Mahila Sashaktikaran Yojna’ has been started from this year under which 50 percent subsidy is being given for gas connection and purchase of stove for women of poor families. Under ‘Beti Hai Anmol,’ Rs. 5100 is being deposited in the post office on the birth of girl child which is given to them on the attainment of 18 years of age with interest. This is being given up to two girl child.  Rs. 25000 financial assistance is being given for widow’s remarriage. Under ‘Mukhya Mantri Kanyadan Yojna,’ Rs. 11,001 financial assistance is being given for the marriage of girls of poor families.

Effective steps have been taken to strengthen the economy of the farmers. Ambitious schemes like Rs. 353 crore ‘Pt. Deen Dayal Kisan Bagwan Samridhi Yojna’, Rs. 321 crore ‘Crops Diversification Scheme’ and Rs. 300 crore ‘Doodh Ganga Yojna have been started by the present State Government. Under  ‘Pt. Deen Dayal Kisan Bagwan Samridhi Yojna’, 80 percent subsidy is being given for construction of poly-houses and micro irrigation. For construction of ‘bamboo’ based poly-houses the subsidy component for BPL families is 90 percent. This scheme besides revolutionizing the agrarian economy is also ensuring self- employment to over 45,000 persons.

 Under ‘Crop Diversification Scheme’, emphasis is being given on organic farming, vegetable production, training, extension and creating infrastructure like roads to the fields.

To raise production of crops in the State, maximum area is being brought under irrigation. 23197 hectare has been brought under irrigation in the State in last four years. The work on Rs.104 crore Balh Valley Irrigation Scheme and Rs. 204 crore Fina Singh Medium Irrigation Scheme is in progress. Rs. 93 crore Nadaun Medium Irrigation Scheme has been sent for Government of India’s approval.  Swan river channalization and Bata river channalization would be completed by next year. The present Government’s biggest achievement is dedication of Rs. 68 crore Water Supply Scheme which has benefited 1,31,293 population of Changer areas of Dehra, Khundian, Jaisinghpur and Palampur.

‘Doodh Ganga Yojna’ has come as a boon in supplementing the income of the people in rural areas. 50,000 persons will be benefited from this scheme. Loan upto Rs. 5 lakh are being given for purchase of milch cattle on which 33 percent subsidy is being given to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes and 25 percent to general categories. For milk related activities such as purchase of machinery and setting up milk producing units, loan upto Rs. 30 lakh is being given. 4135 persons have availed benefits of this scheme so far.

To give relief to small and marginal farmers in the State, ‘Takavi’ and Land development loans taken by them between 1950 and 1960 have been waived off which has benefited 43854 farmers in the State. Tomato, Potato and Ginger have been covered under weather based crop insurance scheme. 4,30,250 Soil Testing Cards have been issued to the farmers. Emphasis has been given to strengthen the marketing infrastructure. The work on Rs. 100 crore most modern Market Yard at Parala in Shimla district has been started and one similar market yard will be set up in lower areas to benefit the farmers. 14 Market Yards have been set up in various parts of the State by spending Rs. 25 crore during last four years. To ensure remunerative prices to the fruit growers in the State, support price have been given every year for apple and citrus fruits like mango, kinnoo, malta and ‘galgal’. Rs. 85 crore ‘Apple Replantation Scheme’ is being implemented under which age old plants are being replaced with new and quality ones. Under Horticulture Technical Mission 46131 farmers in the State has been benefited by spending Rs. 80 crores.

 Keeping in view, the role of Animal Husbandry in the agrarian economy of the State, ‘Mukhya Mantri Arogya Pashudhan Yojna’ has been started from last year under which 1272 veterinary institutions are being opened in the State. Out of these 200 have been already opened so far and remaining will be opened by the end of next year. For the benefit of shepherds, ‘Bhed Palak Samridhi Yojna’  has been started in Mandi, Chamba, Kangra, Kullu and Shimla districts under which loan up to Rs. one lakh is being made available for purchase of ‘Sheep’ & ‘Rams’.  Out of this 33 percent is being given as subsidy.

Subsidized Essential Commodities:

To save the people from rising prices, the State Government is providingthree pulses, two edible oils and salt on cheap rates under special subsidized scheme to all the ration card holders in the State. State Government is spending over Rs. 120 crores every year. Every A.P.L. family having ration card are being given 18 kg. wheat Atta @ Rs. 8.50 per kg and 9 kg rice @ Rs. 10 per kg. Every BPL ration card holder is being given 20 kg. wheat atta @ Rs. 5.25 per kg. and 15 kg. rice @ Rs. 6.85 per kg. Under ‘Antodya Ann Yojna’ 20 kg. of atta is being given @ Rs. 2 per kg. and 15 kg. rice, @ 3 per kg. for poorest of poor every month. Under ‘Annapurna Ann Yojna’ 10 kg. of rice is being given to each senior citizen of 65 years and above age having none to look after him.

Under ‘Atal Awas Yojna’ and ‘Indira Awas Yojna’ 34000 houses have been constructed for poorest of poor.

The allocation under Scheduled Caste Sub-Plan has been enhanced from 11 percent to 25 percent from 2008. Rs. 2226 crores have been spent under Scheduled Caste Sub-Plan during last three years and Rs. 816 crores is being spent this year so as to ensure speedy upliftment of the member of Scheduled Castes.  Under Scheduled Tribes Sub-Plan, 9 percent of the total plan of the State is being spent.

The other backward classes have also been given special deal. The maximum annual income limit for creamy layer has been enhanced from Rs. 2.50 lac to Rs. 4.5 lac. Members of backward classes are being given loan on subsidized rates for starting their own vocations.

 ‘Samman Rashi’ of Freedom Fighters has been enhanced from Rs. 2000 to Rs. 5000 monthly. Ex-Servicemen are also being helped in their rehabilitation. Increase has been made in annual annuity of ‘Sewa Award Winners.’

Transparent, Responsive and Corruption Free Administration:

To fulfill the promise of providing transparent, responsive and corruption-free administration, two bills namely, Himachal Pradesh Public Services Guarantee Bill, 2011 and Himachal Pradesh Special Courts (Attachment and Confiscation of Property) Bill 2011 have been passed by the Vidhan Sabha in Mansoon Session and the provision to punish the guilty has been made besides confiscating the property amassed through corrupt practices.

The redressal of public grievances has also been given priority and solved in a time bound manner. E-Samadhan of public grievances is being done. Chief Minister Office constantly monitors it.  ‘Prashashan Janta Ke Dwar’ programmes are being organized in far-flung areas of the State in which Chief Minister; Ministers along with senior officers listen to the grievances of the people and try to solve these on the spot. ‘Sugam Kendras’ and ‘Lok Mitar Kendras’ have been set up in different places in the State where various public services are being provided to the people under one roof.

Aryabhatta Geo Informatics Space Application Centre (AGISAC) has been set up with the technical assistance of Bhaskaracharya Institute for Space Application and Geo Informatics Gujarat which will help in decentralized planning and decision making.

Effective steps are being taken to provide better transport facility especially in far-flung areas of the State. The Government has taken a decision to give routes to private operators to carry people up to Focal Points in small transport from where HRTC buses and other buses will ply under ‘Mukhya  Mantri Parivahan Yojna’. Besides facilitating people, this would also generate employment for the youth. Most Modern Inter State Bus Terminal has been constructed at Shimla at a cost of Rs. 80 crore and dedicated to the people. Bus Stands at Parwanoo, Hamirpur and Una would be dedicated soon and seven more Bus Stands at Baddi, Dhalli, Mandi, Chintpurni, Baijnath, Bilaspur and Rohru would also be constructed. 75 buses have been introduced in Shimla under JNURM and 21 AC buses have also been introduced on important routes.

Himachal Pradesh’s endeavours in conservation of environment in last four years have been appreciated at National and International level. It has been conferred ‘Prime Minister Award’ for sustainable management of plastic and also ‘Diamond State Award’ for the best initiatives in Environment preservation and protection. ‘Himachal Pradesh Environment Fund’ has been set up to further intensify the efforts. Nine Point Pledge is being administered in the prayer to school children. An agreement has been signed with the World Bank for Carbon Emission and Himachal Pradesh is the first State in the Country to do it. Himachal is heading towards becoming Carbon neutral State.

 ‘Swarojgar’, ‘Swablamban’ and ‘Swabhiman’ is ultimate objective of the Government. For this, exploitation of the natural resources within the State has been given special attention. Four CFL have been given free of cost under ‘Atal Bijli Bachat Yojna’ to all the domestic electricity consumers in the State by spending Rs. 65 crores. This has resulted in saving of 270 million annually there by saving Rs. 109 crores. 309 MW of electricity has been generated in last four years and work on various hydel projects in the Government, private and joint sectors have been expedited. The Government plans to generate 12000 MW of power by 2017. At present 7256 MW is being generated. Hydel projects upto 5 MW are being exploited through HIMURJA. Projects upto 2MW are being allotted to Himachalis and they are being given preference in the projects upto 5 MW.

Tourism development has been given big boost by encouraging rural tourism. ‘Har Ghar Kuch Kehta Hai’ ‘Har Gaon Ki Kahani’ ‘Home Stay’ ambitious schemes have been implemented during this period. Rs. 428 crore is being spent on developing infrastructure for tourism in the State with the assistance of Asian Development Bank. Heritage Museum in Shimla, Pongdam complex and beautification of Masroor temple complex have been taken in hand under this project.

Industrial development has also been given big boost by encouraging environment friendly, employment and income generating industries in the State. Approval to set up 4300 industrial units involving investment of over 16,500 crores and employment to about 1,48,000 persons has been given in last four years. Information Technology Park at Waknaghat in Solan district is being set up.

The State Government has zealously taken various issues of State’s interest with Government of India. The Government by taking up the cases in the Supreme Court has succeeded in getting 7.19 percent share in BBMB project and other issues concerning the State are also being taken up with the Government of India time and again.

 Four years of the present BJP Government in Himachal Pradesh are full of achievements, development, and public welfare besides fulfillment of promises. Himachal Pradesh is heading towards becoming a prosperous and an ideal State under the present regime

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