President, Ram Nath Kovind on Tuesday said Himachal Pradesh is a role model for other states.

Addressing the locals at his civic reception organised by the state government, Kovind, who was accompanied by his wife, Savita Kovind, lauded HP for its brave soldiers. “I had come to Himachal first in 70s and since then I have been associated with the state. Himachal is not only a ‘dev bhoomi’, but a ‘veer bhoomi’ too.

He talked about the sacrifice of state soldiers in Kargil war and said two out of four Paramvir Chakras in the country went to Himachal. Kovind said Himachal had done enormous progress with time.

“Rohtang tunnel was the dream project of former Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee. The tunnel would boost tourism in Himachal,” he said.

Kovind said he always tries that common people are not inconvenienced by his visit. “But despite sensitive administration, the common people were affected. I apologise for that,” he said.

The President presented a ‘brick’ to Sanjeev Rana of Bilaspur for construction of martyr memorial under ‘Ek Eeent Shahidon key naam’ programme and invited the people of HP to visit Rashtrapati Bhawan.

He was honoured by Chief Minister, Jai Ram Thakur and Governor, Acharya Devvrat by presenting a memento, while Shimla Mayor, Kusum Sadret presented him a honour citation (Maan Patra).

Earlier, the CM said that the presence of the President had provided an opportunity to the people of the state to show their affection and respect to him. He said that it was the practice in the past that the President visits the state for a few days for summer retreat, but this visit of the President was a more of work and less rest.

The President is on six-day visit to Shimla and is staying at official summer residence, The Retreat in Chhrabra on the outskirts of Shimla.