Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur today inaugurated five days long 9th National Winter Carnival-2020 at the tourist destination Manali in Kullu district and flagged off Winter Carnival Parade.

The Winter Carnival is organised from 2-6 January every year.

Speaking at the Carnival, the Chief Minister said Himachal is known for its rich tradition and cultural diversity.

He said that the Winter Carnival Manali attracts lakhs of tourists from all over the world every year.

He said that this festival has been gaining popularity amongst foreign tourists as well day by day. “The popularity of this tourist destination and ease of accessibility is what makes Manali a perfect venue for the carnival,” he said.

Thakur said that Rs 163 crore sewerage scheme would provide sewerage facilities to Manali town and adjoining areas. He said that the state government was committed to promote Manali town as the favourite tourist destination of the country as well as world. He said that efforts would be made to create adequate infrastructure in Manali town so that locals and tourists could be facilitated immensely.

The Chief Minister said that it was heartening to know that over 153 Mahila Mandals and other NGOs of the area participated in the procession based on different important issues such as cleanliness, drug abuse, Gau Sanrakshan, women empowerment, awareness regarding female foeticide and environment conservation, etc.

He said that the messages were not only vital but emphatically presented by the women for which he congratulated the participants.

While appreciating the spirit of the people of Kullu district for being passionate in preserving and conserving the rich cultural repository of the district, Jai Ram Thakur said that Kullu district was not only a culturally rich district, but the culture was also diverse and vibrant. He said that he was proud of the Pahari culture and tradition and was committed to promote and preserve the same.

The Chief Minister said that the country was fortunate to have strong leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi who was committed to make India one of the strongest countries of the world. He said that Prime Minister has a special love and affection and bond with the State of Himachal Pradesh. He said that the same benevolence was showered on the state by former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who even has a home at Prini near Manali.

He said that ‘Atal Tunnel’, which was earlier known as Rohtang Tunnel would be completed by June end this year and Prime Minister Narendra Modi would dedicate the same nation.

Thakur said that the abrogation of Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir, Triple Talaq and Citizen Amendment Act, 2019 were the biggest gift of the Prime Minister to the Nation and this was possible only due to the strong leadership provided by Narendra Modi.

The Chief Minister announced that light and sound show would be organized at Manali.  Earlier, the Chief Minister flagged off Manali Winter Hill Climb, a car rally.