On Statehood Day, HP raises pension

Celebrating the 43rd statehood day of Himachal Pradesh, the state government on Friday announced free travel facility in HRTC buses for all students studying in government-run educational institutions besides raising social security pension from Rs 450 to Rs 500 per month.

Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, while presiding over the statehood function in Sunni area — an old town bordering Karsog sub-division of Mandi district, announced a number of schemes aiming to benefit the people.

Social security pensions, which mainly cover old-age, widow and handicapped persons are currently being given to 2.84 lakh people. After the raise, the liability on the state will go up by nearly Rs 18 crore.

Virbhadra Singh recalled rapid progress made by Himachal Pradesh during past four decades and resolved that state will be made a model of hill development in next five years time with greater focus on education, hydro-power generation, development of horticulture sector and tourism promotion.

The chief minister later laid the foundation stone of an old-age home at Basantpur in Shimla, to be constructed at a cost of Rs. 3.66 crore.

5 police officers get President's medal

Inspector General of Police B N S Negi, Chief Vigilance Officer, Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam, SPs Virender Sharma and Ajay Singh Bodh, and two police inspectors Nidhi Singh and Bhagwan Singh were awarded on the eve of Republic Day, on Friday, with the President's medal for their distinguished services. Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh and Director General of Police I D Bhandari congratulated the police officials.

Other decisions

Free ambulance service for mother and newborn child after delivery under Janani Suraksha Yojna

Creation of new Sub-tehsil at Dhami and upgradation of schools

Hydropower and tourism development to get high priority; 5,000 MW power generation to be added in next five years

Upgradation of Primary Health Centre Halog Dhami to Community Health Centre

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