Chief Minister, Jai Ram Thakur today said ‘golden jubilee’ of statehood of Himachal Pradesh would be celebrated by organising 51 programmes throughout the year in different parts of Himachal Pradesh to trace the developmental journey of the hill state.

Presiding over 50th Statehood day function today at Saheed Ashwini Kumar Memorial Senior Secondary School at Jhandutta in Bilaspur district, the CM urged people to be part of this celebration.

The CM hoisted the National Flag and took salute from the impressive march past by contingents of Police, Home-guards, NCC cadets, NSS Cadets, Scouts and Guides and school Children. Additional Superintendent of Police Ashok Rattan led the Parade.

The Chief Minister also unveiled the Golden Jubilee Plaque to mark the 50thStatehood day.

He announced 5 per cent DA (Dearness Allowance) to the employees and pensioners of the state government from 1 July, 2019. This would involve the financial benefit of over Rs 250 crore to the employees and pensioners. He also announced Rs 3 crore for additional building of Saheed Ashwini Kumar Memorial Senior Secondary School Jhandutta and a new police band in Mandi.

In his address, Jai Ram Thakur said since 25 January, 1971, the state has witnessed unprecedented development in all spheres of development credit of which goes to the active support and cooperation of the people of the state besides able leadership provided by the successive governments.

He said that when Himachal attained statehood, the length of roads was mere 7740 km and the literacy rate was 31.3 per cent. He said that there were only 4963 educational institutions and 482 health institutions and only 2944 villages had electricity. He said that the State has witnessed unprecedented development in all sectors as today the State has a sound network of 37207 km roads and 3128 Panchayats out of total 3226 have been connected with roads.

Thakur said that present state government completed two years in the office on December 27, 2019 and significant efforts were made to provide benefits of developmental schemes to all areas and sections of the state by launching innovative and new welfare and development-oriented schemes.

Thakur said that new schemes such as Jan Manch, Mukhya Mantri Seva Sankalp Helpline, Himachal Grihini Suvidha Yojana, Himcare and Sahara have been successful.

He said that in the first meeting of the cabinet, the present state government reduced the age limit for receiving a social security pension from 80 to 70 years without any income limit. With this first decision, 1.30 lakh senior citizens were benefited at that time and at present 2,63,798 senior citizens are receiving a social security pension of Rs. 1500 per month, he said.

Thakur said that the Jan Manch, which was started with the objective of establishing a direct dialogue with the people of the state, has yielded good results.

While expressing concern over the increasing cases of drug abuse particularly amongst the youth, the Chief Minister said that the state government has taken concerted steps to check this social vice. He said that for this the active participation of every citizen is required.

He said that it becomes the responsibility of each one of us to make Himachal Pradesh a drug free state.