Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu on April 15 announced a 3% increase in the dearness allowance (DA) of the State employees and pensioners on the occasion of the 76th Himachal Day.
The pensioners and State government employees will now receive a 34% DA, which was 31% earlier.
The decision will benefit around 2.15 lakh employees and 1.90 lakh pensioners. It will also put an additional burden of about ₹500 crore on the State's exchequer, a statement issued here said.
The Chief Minister also announced a monthly allowance of ₹1,500 to all 9,000 women of Spiti above the age of 18 years from June 2023 in the second phase as promised in the Congress manifesto.
The Congress, during the Assembly polls last year, had promised to give this monthly allowance to women between the ages of 18 to 60 years under ‘Har Ghar Lakshmi, Nari Samman Nidhi’.
The Himachal Day celebrations were held at Kaza town, the 'Land of Lamas' bordering China, in the Spiti sub-division of tribal Lahaul and Spiti district for the first time.
After unfurling the national flag, Mr. Sukhu conveyed his heartiest greetings to the people of the State and expressed his gratitude to Yashwant Singh Parmar, the first chief minister of Himachal Pradesh.
Mr. Sukhu also announced a 50-bed Community Health Centre (CHC) and a college in Kaza.
He said that the State government would take up the issue of developing an airstrip at Rangrik in Spiti Valley with the Defence Ministry.
Besides, being important from a strategic point of view this will also help in boosting tourism activities, Mr. Sukhu added.
He said that a road will also be constructed from Atargu to Mud in Pin Valley for ₹34 crore, as part of the third phase of the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana.
Additionally, the government would also prioritise the construction of a road to connect Bhawa with Mud, which will be the world's highest altitude road, Sukhu said, adding that a star-gazing observatory would be set up in the Langza, the fossil village of Spiti valley, with the assistance of the Union Government.
The land for setting up Rajiv Gandhi Day-Boarding School at Shego near Kaza has been identified. It will prove to be a significant development in the education sector, he said.
The Chief Minister also dedicated three ambulances for the Spiti Valley and planted a sapling in a cricket ground in Kaza. He also inspected the development exhibitions set up by various departments.
Earlier, Chief Minister Sukhu took a salute from the contingents of Police, Home guards, traffic police, Jawans of the Indian Reserve Battalion (IRB), NCC cadets, ITBP, Bharat Scouts and Guides led by parade commander IPS Amit Yadav during a march past. A colourful cultural program was also presented on the occasion.