Shimla: The Himachal government today made self-reliance and creating employment avenues as the top priority areas that would be tackled over the next five years.
Speaking at the annual plan meet with legislators, chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal said that there were daunting financial challenges before the government. â€œChecking unproductive expenditure was the need of the hour,â€ he said.
Proposals for mobilizing additional financial resources, without resorting to greater borrowings and save the state from falling into debt trap would be explored, he added.
Talking about unemployment, the chief minister said that the problem was being addressed on top priority and efforts would be made to generate employment and self- employment avenues in public and private sectors.
â€œWith a near 100 percent literacy rate, issues of educated unemployed would not be ignored,â€ said Dhumal.
Sounding a warning to officialdom, Dhumal said that corruption and inefficiency would not be tolerated. â€œOfficials achieving financial and physical targets before schedule would be rewarded and those found wanting in discharging their duties would face action,â€ he said.
In education the government would strive to make qualitative improvement in the prevailing system, said the chief minister. â€œThe need was to create quality educational infrastructure to meet global challenges,â€ he said. The government would emphasize on consolidating existing infrastructure and new health and educational institutions would only be opened on a need basis, he added.
Towards conserving ecology, especially along rivers and streams, the government would make mining rules more stringent. â€œUnscientific mining would be considered an offence and a provision of heavy fines with deterrent punishments would be evoked, said Dhumal.
Narrating their priorities, MLAs from district Kangra urged for more funds for completion of on-going projects and more road connectivity in their segments.
Des Raj, MLA, Gangath emphasized maintenance of the existing road network, completion of drinking water supply schemes, boring of more tubewells in his segment.
Neeraj Bharati, MLA, Guler urged for completion of Nagrota-Surian road, bridge over Dehra khad and more water supply schemes for his segment.
Yog Raj, MLA, Pragpur requested for completion of Chamba-Pattan bridge, better road connectivity and public transport services to the remote gram Panchayats of Tutru and Magru and staff to man the PHCs of Saluhi and Rakkar.
Nikhil Rajore, MLA Jaswan emphasized need for quality educational infrastructure, exploitation of available tourism potential, staff for ITI Dadasiba.
Capt. Atma Ram, MLA, Rajgir urged for 33 KV Sub-Station to solve the low voltage problem in the area, completion of Sungal bridge. He urged for expansion of road network in his segment.
Shri Sudhir Sharma, MLA Baijnath appealed for finalization of Holi-Uttrala tunnel project to connect Bharmour area with Baijnath, connecting Bara-Bhangal with motorable road and to give boost to the tourism activities in the area. He also urged for bamboo-based industry in the area to generate rural employment.
Praveen Kumar, MLA, Palampur urged for completion of on going projects and proper maintenance and beautification of Gopalpur zoo, Neugal cafÃ© area besides extending due honour to the martyrs memorials.
Vipan Parmar, MLA, Sulah urged for feeding the eight irrigation channels with adequate water including Kripal Chand, Rai-Di Kuhal, Batul Kuhal etc, water harvesting projects over Moul khad, maintenance of hand pumps, Haldara-Pouna 10 bedded hospital to be made functional and staff for other health institutions.
Sanjay Chaudhary, MLA Kangra urged for upgradation and replacement of the pipes of water supply scheme for Kangra town, completion of sewerage scheme, checking unscientific mining in Maanji and Mahrooni khads.
Gobind Thakur, MLA Kullu requested for widening of left Bank road, Bastori-Lathan and remote area Rampur-Dobha, Kullu-Shihal-Badhani roads to connect area with Jogindernagar area, bridge at Satarah Mile, flood protection project for Akhara Bazar, Kullu, water supply scheme for Kharal valley, Simsa-Rangri,Simh-Dobhi,Kais Nallah irrigation schemes and upgradation of Manali hospital.
Kishori Lal, MLA Ani sought tunnel to bypass Jalori Jot to connect Ani area with district headquarters, ITI for Dalash, employment to local people in Rampur hydro electric project, tourism promotion in Ani constituency.
Balbir Singh, MLA Gagret urged for Thermal Power Plant for the district to meet industrial power requirements, taking over all Anganwari Centres from private control under ICDS, more Vocational Centres in Dr. B.R. Ambedkar Government Polytechnic Gagret.
Rakesh Kalia, MLA Chintpurni urged for taking gram Panchayats out of SADA control, completion of on-going roads besides lifting ban on TD in the State.
Mukesh Agnihotri, MLA Santokhgarh urged for more tubewells, construction of Haroli-Una bridge, Police Station for Santokhgarh, completion of Government Degree College, Beetan and link roads.
Satpal Singh Satti, MLA Una sought development of Una town as gateway to the State, conduct survey to construct a combined office building to house all offices under one roof, completion of sewerage scheme for Una, development of parking slots, bye-pass to Una, remodeling Bhagor Sahib irrigation scheme.
Virender Kanwar, MLA Kutlehar urged for relief from wild animals menace, widening of Una-Aghar-Mandi road, obtain forest clearances on priority, upgradation of various health institutions, completion of Kodra-Tutru WSS, 33 KV Sub Station at Thanakalan.
Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu, MLA, Nadaun suggested village-wise irrigation tanks for assured irrigation, opening of central school in Nadaun area, revise IRDP list and imposing cess on hydel potential.
Urmil Thakur, MLA, Hamirpur requested for gynecologist specialists for district hospital, completion of Hamirpur bye-pass, ban mining in Pungh and Kunah khad, parking-cum-shopping complex in Hamirpur town, more check dams in the area and member wise Public Distribution System rations.
Baldev Sharma, MLA Nadaunta, urged for new machinery for Badsar PWD Division, complete Deothsith-99 village schemes make all health institutions functional, continue with central Watershed Project, ensure utilization for VMJSY funds, provide funds for completion of on-going schemes.
Dr. Ram Lal Markandaya, MLA, Lahaul & Spiti sought helicopter to be under Tribal Development Department control, Separate Marketing Board for Lahaul & Spiti, setting up of Mini and Hydel Project in the valley for the local power needs, 33 KV Sub-station at Udaipur, complete codal formalities for improvement of Tandi-Killar road during lean season.
Tejwant Negi, MLA, Kinnaur urged to keep BADP and special assistance, budget provision over and above State Plan Size, besides more central sponsored schemes, improve condition of national high-way connecting valley with outside world, complete Powari-Ugani bridge on priority post specialists in District Hospital, plan tribal tourism promotion, give priority to local people in allotment of hydel potential upto 5 MW, decide the nautor cases on priority, take effective steps to protect the valley from Parechoo river floods.
ID Dhiman, Education Minister proposed vote of thanks by saying that the State was poised to witness speedy development and setting up of developmental landmarks in coming five years.
Earlier Ravi Dhingra, chief Secretary welcomed the Chief Minister and MLAs . He said that the inter-action on MLAs priorities would help in formulation of a popular Annual Plan wherein best efforts would be made to incorporate the priorities given by the members. He said that besides development, emphasis would be over the generation of additional resources and optimum utilization of the public money.
Ravinder Ravi, Irrigation and Public Health Minister, Kishan Kapoor, Transport Minsiter, Ramesh Dhawala, Food and Civil Supplies Minister, Smt. Sarveen Chaudhary, Social Justice and Empowerment Minister, Khimi Ram, Deputy Speaker, H.P. Vidhan Sabha, Smt. Parminder Mathur, Avay Shukla, J.P. Negi, Additional Chief Secretaries, Principal Secretaries, Secretaries, Special Secretaries, Heads of Departments and senior officers attended the meeting.
As Editor, Ravinder Makhaik leads a team of media professionals at Hill Post.
Spanning a career of over two decades in mass communication, as a Documentary Filmmaker, TV journalist, Print Media journalist and with Online & Social Media, he brings with him a vast experience. He lives in Shimla.