Public Works Minister Vikramaditya Singh unfurled the tricolor at the district level function of 77th Independence Day at Sirmaur district headquarters Nahan Chaugan. He took salute from the impressive march past presented by the contingents of Police, Home Guard, NCCA NSS and Scouts and Guides. Earlier, he Dr. Y.S. Paid floral tributes to Parmar’s statue. He also paid homage to the martyrs at Shaheed Chowk.
Addressing the gathering on this occasion, Vikramaditya Singh congratulated the residents of the district on Independence Day and said that this glorious day of Independence Day is an opportunity to remember those brave sons who gave us freedom by sacrificing everything. He said that the brave sons of Himachal participated enthusiastically in the freedom struggle. Dhami firing, Prajamandal movement, Suket Satyagraha and Pajhota movement have a prominent place in the freedom struggle. He said that from the freedom struggle to the security of the borders of the country, the soldiers of the state have shown the flag of bravery. It is a matter of pride for the state that the country’s first Paramveer Chakra was received by Major Somnath Sharma, a brave son of the state. Capt. Vikram Batra, Col. D.S. Thapa and Subedar Major Sanjay Kumar were also awarded Param Vir Chakra for their remarkable bravery.
Vikramaditya Singh said that the state government was committed for the welfare of freedom fighters, their dependents, soldiers, ex-servicemen and their families. A provision of Rs 51,000 has been made for the marriage of daughters of freedom fighters and Rs 21,000 for the marriage of granddaughters. Dependents of freedom fighters are being given two per cent reservation in government and semi-government services. Vikramaditya Singh said that an annual amount of Rs.3 lakh is being given to Paramveer Chakra and Ashok Chakra winners and Rs.2 lakh to Mahavir Chakra and Kirti Chakra winners in the state. One lakh rupees are being given annually to the Vir Chakra and Shaurya Chakra winners.
Vikramaditya Singh said that Himachal Pradesh would write a new saga of development in the coming years. For this, he called everyone’s cooperation necessary. He said that natural calamity in the state this year showed a terrible scene of devastation. This is the biggest disaster in the last several years in which many roads, bridges, hydropower and drinking water supply schemes were heavily damaged. He said that by working hard for the reconstruction of the state, we will once again establish it as an ideal state.
The Public Works Minister said that due to unexpected rains, floods, cloudbursts and snowfall in tribal areas, innumerable tourists got stuck and lost contact with the country and the world. Working on a war footing, the state government restored electricity, water and telecom services in the worst affected Kullu Valley in a record 48 hours. 125 people were safely evacuated from Sangla in district Kinnaur by army helicopter. As part of the arduous rescue operation, 303 tourists stranded at an altitude of 14,000 feet in minus 4 degree temperature were rescued at Chandratal in Lahaul-Spiti district. During the disaster, the state government rescued about 75 thousand tourists stranded in the state. In this hour of calamity, the government is standing with those who have lost their loved ones.
Vikramaditya Singh said that the loss in the state is estimated to be around Rs 8,000 crore. The Public Works Department alone has suffered a loss of Rs 2 thousand crore in the state. The state government urged the central government to immediately release an amount of Rs 2,000 crore for relief and rehabilitation works.
The Youth Services and Sports Minister said that disasters on such a large scale cannot be called havoc of nature. Somewhere human is responsible for this. He said that dumping in river-drains, dumping on the side of roads, competition to build houses near roads and near river-drains, all these reasons are going to invite floods and landslides. He said that there is a need for the government, the administration and every individual to introspect on the deteriorating environment and climate change. He said that every person should be aware of the environment. Construction work needs to be done in a scientific way. He said that we will learn a lesson from the shortcomings in the past and will work to take the state forward on the path of development.
331 crore drowned in rain in Sirmaur, 18 precious lives too
Vikramaditya Singh said that like other districts of the state, Sirmour too could not escape from natural calamities. Due to heavy rains in the district, there was a loss of more than 331 crores and 18 precious lives were lost, 22 people were injured. He said that the loss of roads in the district has been estimated at Rs 157 crore. 107 crores to drinking water schemes, 9 crores to power sector, 37 crores to Agriculture Department, 1.36 crores to Horticulture Department, 80 lakhs to Animal Husbandry Department, 4 crores to Health Department. About 3.47 crores to Education Department, community There has been a loss of 8 crores to the properties. There are reports of damage to 40 houses in the district while reports of partial damage to 212 houses have been received.
The Public Works Minister said that so far an amount of Rs 27.56 lakh has been made available to the affected families in Sirmaur district as interim relief. An amount of Rs 5.50 crore has been released to the Public Works Department, Rs 2.57 crore to the Water Power Department and Rs 1.69 crore to the Electricity Department.
Independence Day celebrations were also celebrated in all the sub-division headquarters of the district, in various educational and Panchayati Raj institutions.
MLA Sukh Ram Chaudhary, MLA Vinay Kumar and Ajay Solanki, former MLA Kiranesh Jung, former MLA Kanwar Ajay Bahadur, District Council President Seema Kanyal, PCC Secretary Dayal Pyari, District President Congress Party Anand Parmar, State Congress Committee Spokesperson Rupendra Thakur, State Congress Committee member Tapendra Thakur, Block President Gyan Chowdhary, Councillors, Deputy Commissioner Sumit Khimta, Superintendent of Police Raman Kumar Meena, representatives of Panchayati Raj Institutions, Congress Party officials, officers of various departments and a large number of local people became part of the ceremony.