Hamirpur: Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal today unfurled the national flag and took salute from the contingents of HP Police, IRB-5, NCC cadets, Sainik school cadets, Home guard jawans, NSS cadets and cadets of schools and also inspected a colourful parade by the 17 contingents on the occasion of Himachal completing four decades of statehood.
Addressing a function organised here to mark the completion of four decades of the state’s existence, he said with 84 per cent literacy rates, the state was poised to surpass the literacy rate of Kerala in 2011 from just 23 per cent in 1971. He said the state’s per capita income has gone up manifolds from Rs 651 in 1971, when it attained statehood, to Rs 49,211 in 2011.
Referring to the rapid strides made in various fields of development during the past 40 years following statehood, he said for this reason the state was adjudged as the best state last year.
He said at present Himachal Pradesh was known as the ‘apple bowl’ of India. However, efforts were on, to make the state the ‘fruit bowl’ of India as the production of fruits had gone up from 1.50 lakh tonnes to 8 lakh tonnes in 2010.
Mr Dhumal also pointed out that the work for the generation of hydel power in the state was going on speedily. The state had the potential to harness 22,000 MW of power. However, at present it was generating only 6,676 MW of power which would be increased to 17,000 MW of power by the year 2017.
He announced that Hamirpur would also come on the power map of India and a 66 MW hydel project would be installed between Nadaun and Sujanpur Tira at Dhaulasidh in coming years.
The Chief Minister said keeping in view the importance of animal husbandry in the state, the state government has decided to have one veterinary dispensary in every gram panchayat.
He complimented the people of state for holding the PRI and civic body elections in the state peacefully and added that it was a matter of pride that about 58 per cent women representatives had been elected to these bodies.
About the health services, the Chief Minister said some medicines were being provided to the BPL families free of cost in all OPDs of the state from December 25, 2010 and added that free ambulance facility to the people would also be extended within thirty minutes in case of emergency.
Mr Dhumal gave a clarion call to the people to take part in the census operations of the central government as it would help them in getting many benefits.