Dharamsala: The 63rd Independence Day was celebrated with great enthusiasm throughout Himachal Pradesh today. The state-level function was organised at Fatehpur in Kangra district, where Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal unfurled the national flag and took salute at an impressive march-past by contingents of police, home guards, NCC and school children.
Speaking on the occasion, Dhumal, paid glowing tributes to the freedom fighters, patriots, who made supreme sacrifices for the cause of freedom and gave a clarion call to all to maintain the hard earned freedom and unity and integrity of the couontry.
The Chief Minister announced implementation of 5th Pay Commission recommendations based upon the Punjab pattern to the regular employees of the state government with effect from September, 2009; release of six percent Dearness Allowance instalment from January, 2009 to be paid in cash; UGC pay scales to all eligible college and university teachers from September 1, 2009. He announced regularisation of contractual and daily wages completing 8 years of service on 31st March, 2009; enhancement in the ‘Samman Rashi’ of veteran freedom fighters from existing Rs. 2,000 to Rs. 4,000 per month and enhancement in the ‘Samman Rashi’ being paid to the widows and unmarried daughters of Freedom Fighters to Rs. 3,000 per month. He also announced enhancement in the daily allowance of the Home Guards from existing Rs. 150 to Rs. 170 to be effective from September 1, 2009. He also announced enhancement in the monthly honorarium to Gram Panchayat Chowkidars from Rs. 800 to Rs. 1,000.
The Chief Minister announced construction of three vital double lane tunnels, Uttrala-Holi to connect district Chamba with district Kangra; Bangana-Dhaneta and Ghatasani-Telang in district Kullu at a cost of Rs. 270 crore with total length of 9 kms. which will shorten distance by tens of kilometers. Dhumal also announced dearness allowance at the rate of 10 percent to the temple employees of the state and daily wages to the daily wagers at par with the daily wagers of the State.
Dhumal, conferred ‘Prerna Srot Samman Puruskar’ upon Smt. Gambhri Devi of Ghumarwin, for her life-long contribution in the field of folk dance; Shri Hari Man Sharma, of Ghumarwin for successfully cultivating apple crop in lower areas; Dr. Harinder Kumar Chaudhary of Sundernagar for setting up of High-Tech Molecular Cytogenitic and Tissue Culture Lab and research in Double Hyploidy Breeding in agriculture sector; ‘Saathi’ an NGO operating in district Sirmour for solving water woes of 20 villages in the district.
The Chief Minister conferred ‘Himachal Gourav’ title upon Sonia Rai, of Baijnath in district Kangra, for bringing laurels to the state at international level in air pistol, Dr. Vishwa Chand Ohri, of district Chamba, for promotion of art and culture, Dr. Pritam Kalia, of district Una, for scientific innovations in the field of agriculture, Shri Lal Chand, Police Inspector of district Kullu, for carrying rescue operation effectively thereby saving lives of 382 people crossing Rohtang Pass.
Dhumal also honoured Shri Jai Sen Chauhan, Additional Secretary SAD, with the ‘Civil Seva Puruskar’ instituted by the state government to award officers and officials of the state government rendering exemplary services in addition to their assigned duties and responsibilities. A cash prize of Rs. 51,000 was given to Shri Jai Sen Chauhan, which he donated towards Chief Minister’s Relief Fund.
Chief Minister honoured Shri Samresh Jung of district Sirmour for winning gold in team events in 15th Asian Games, Doha in Centre Fire Pistol with a cash prize of Rs. 73,000 in abesntia, in addition to Rs. 30 lakh already granted in 2006; Smt. Sonia Rai, of Baijnath, with a cash prize of Rs. 5 lakh for 2006 for outstanding and winning medals in shooting in various international sports events in addition to Rs. 50,000, Shri Vijay Kumar of Barsar, Hamirpur for winning Bronze Medal in 15th Asian Games at Doha with cash prize of Rs. 60,000 which was in addition to Rs. 10 lakh granted in year 2006.
Dhumal also conferred State Level Mahrishi Valmiki Sampuran Swachhta Puruskar upon Gram Panchayat Nouni Majhgaon of district Solan with State Level Prize of Rs. 10 lakhs; gram Panchayat, Maidhi Kathla of district Solan with a cash prize of Rs. 5 lakh for standing First at the Divisional Level; Gram Panchayat Lana Paddhar of distict Sirmour with cash prize of Rs. 5 lakh for standing first in the Divisional Level an Gram Panchayat Fatehpur in district Kangra for sharing the First Prize among the Divisional Level competetion with a cash prize of Rs. 5 lakh while Gram panchayat Jaind of district Kangra and Gram Panchayat Har of district Kangra were adjudged winners at the district level and awarded cash prize of Rs. 3 lakh each.
Chief Minister also honoured Kumari Anju and Poonam Sharma of Sai Hostel, Dharamshala for athletics; Kumari Ruchika Jamwal, Singh Thakur, Vinita
Sharma, Shreya Rana and Anjli Thakur of Baijnath, for Karate; Kumari Sunita of Sai Hostel, Dharamshala, Kumari Banti Devi, Kumari Champa and Uma Devi of Mandi, Pooja Thakur of Sai Hostel, Dharamshala, Ranu Devi of Sai SCT Dharamshala, Kumari Suman of Dharamshala, Anita of Mandi, Laxmi of Mandi, Reeta Devi of Sai SCT of Dharamshala, Sudesh of Sai Hostel, Dharmshala, Nisha, Priyanka, Babita, Reeta Devi of Sai SCT Dharamshala, Neelam, Reena Devi, Champa Devi, Lalita, Sheetal and Ankita of SCT Dharamshala for their remarkable achievements in Kabbaddi sport.
District-level Total Sanitation Campaign Awards were given to Shri Balbir Singh, Pradhan, GP, Jaid, Sulah, Shri Jagdip Singh, Pradhan, GP Har, Nagrota Surian, Shri Sanjay Kumar Dhiman, BDO, Sulah, Shri Muneesh Dadwal, BDO Bhawarna, Shri Amar Singh Dhiman, Pradhan, GP, Rajehar (Baijnath), Shri Kulwant Bhuria, SO, Maa Saraswati Society, Smt. Aruna Somal, SO, swarag Society, Shri Kewl Krishan Sharma, SEBPO, Pragpur, Shri Vikas Dhiman, Block Coordinator (TSC) Nagrota Surian, Shri Mast Ram Dadhail, Bureau Chief, Divya Himachal, Shri Sanjay Rana, Secretary, GP Garh of district Kangra.