Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh said that the state was proud of the brave soldiers of the state who had been serving at the frontiers to safeguard the interests of the nation. These soldiers have brought laurels for their feats and bravery for the cause of peace and honour of the nation. He said a war museum was being constructed at Dharamshala at a cost of Rs. nine crore to display might of soldiers and military. Reservation of 15 per cent is, also, being given to the ex-servicemen, war widows, disabled soldiers and their wards in government jobs, said Shri Virbhadra Singh.
He was speaking while presiding over a meeting of the Ex-Servicemen Kalyan Board held at Dharamshala today.
Chief Minister said that a total of 1,400 Ex-Servicemen had been provided jobs during the last four years in the state. A sum of Rs.5.21 crore were spent to distribute grants under different bravery awards to the beneficiaries. He said that top priority was being given to settle the issues related to the serving and ex-servicemen. The state government was committed for speedy redressal of their issues. He assured that the state government has always been sympathetic to their demands.
Earlier, Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Dr. Dhani Ram Shandil while welcoming the Chief Minister and members of the Ex-Servicemen Kalyan Board said that the society would ever remain grateful to the soldiers, both serving and retired.
Chief Secretary Shri V.C. Pharaka presented vote of thanks.
Director, Ex-Servicemen Kalyan Board Brigadier (Retd.) Suresh Kumar Verma welcomed the Chief Minister and members of the board. He briefed about the steps being taken for the welfare of the serving and retired soldiers.
Issues like exemption from payment of toll tax at the toll barriers of Himachal Pradesh, opening of CSD Depot in Una district, allocation of funds for construction of park in war memorials, repair and renovation of existing Sainik Rest Houses and construction of such rest houses at Rohru, filling up of posts reserved for the Ex-Servicemen, exemption in civil qualification on the basis of courses accomplished in army, allocation of land for centres to be set up for the community, enhancement of grant under Kirti Chakra at par with Mahavir Chakra both being same in the status, extension of transport facility to the gallantry award winners in Volvo and deluxe buses as being given in ordinary buses etc. were discussed during the meeting.
ACS Shri Tarun Shridhar and Principal Secretary Shri R.D. Dhiman were among the prominent persons present on the occasion.