Shimla April, 15; Himachal Pradesh is celebrating 70th “Himachal Day” function. The hill state came into existence after the merger of 30 odd princely states in 1948. In 1948, state’s per capital income was mere Rs 240 and State Gross Domestic Product was just Rs 26 crore which now increased to Rs 1,47,277 and Rs 1,24,570 crore respectively. In last seven decades, literacy percentage has gone up from 7 per cent in 1948 to 83.78 per cent.
This time state level function would be held in Chamba which would be attended by chief minister Virbhadra Singh. “When we look back at the path and the progress that state has traversed, we find that it has achieved unparalleled and unprecedented development. Our state has emerged as a leader of hill area development in the Country and is a fast growing economy. Manifold growth in all the sectors is a testimony to it,” said Virbhadra Singh.
He said that when state was formed only 6 villages had electricity and 331 villages had drinking water facility. But today all the villages have piped water facility and every household has electricity. He said that there is a government school within a radius of 3 kms and health institutions even in the farthest corners.
He said that roads are life lines of development and an essential infrastructure for prosperity of rural economy, particularly in a hill state. He said that 3138 panchayats out of total 3226 panchayats have been connected with motorable roads and work is in progress to connect the remaining 74 panchayats.
He said that providing potable water to every household and irrigation facility to agricultural fields is a priority of the government for which Rs 2238 crore would be spent on various water supply schemes and irrigation schemes during the current financial year.
Stating that 70 per cent population of state depends on agriculture for their livelihood, he said that World Bank funded Rs 1134 crore Horticulture Development Project has been launched in the state to increase production of quality fruits.