1st session of new assembly begins
By Arun Pratap Singh
Dehradun, 29 Mar: Governor Lt Gen Gurmit Singh (Retd) addressed the first session of the newly elected State Assembly, here, today. During his address, the Governor listed the priorities of the new government as well as informed the House about the achievements of the government during the past one year.
Earlier, the Governor was welcomed in the Vidhan Sabha Bhawan by Speaker Ritu Khanduri and Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami, as well as Cabinet Minister Ganesh Joshi.
In his address, the Governor said that providing excellent health and creating better educational facilities was the topmost priority for the state government. He added that strengthening of hospitals, considerably increasing availability of doctors in every part of the state and improving health infrastructure and facilities was the top priority for the government. The government was sincerely making efforts to fill up the vacancies of doctors, para medical staff and to provide better health facilities at all the hospitals and health centres. Singh further stated that the government was working constantly to promote the Ayush system of medicine besides making modern treatment easily accessible to people.
Singh said that as many as 403 doctors had been selected under the Provincial Medical Health Service cadre, X-ray technicians had been deployed in remote areas and the process of filling vacancies for 40 dental hygienists was also under way. He added that approval has been given to upgrade Someshwar (Almora) and Raipur (Dehradun) Community Health Centres into hospitals with 100 beds. Maternal and child health services were also improving in the state due to sincere efforts of the government.
The Governor also highlighted the priorities and achievements of the government in the education sector. He said that the government had taken novel steps and measures on experimental basis with success in improving the educational facilities in the state. He said that the novel initiatives included implementation of the new National Education Policy 2020 and making available digital study material to the students and setting up an online real-time forum in accordance with the new Education Policy.
The Governor said that new syllabi would also be introduced by the Technical Education Department to suit the changing requirements of the market and to develop the state into a quality education hub. He also said that the steps that were taken by the government included establishment of 189 Atal Utkrisht Vidyalalayas (Atal Excellent Schools) which would function as model schools for other schools to follow. This was aimed at making quality education accessible to all sections of society.
In his address to the House, the Governor also said that under the ‘Mukhya Mantri Anchal Amrit Yojana’, 2.56 lakh children aged 3-6 years coming to Aanganwadis were being provided milk four days a week. He said that under the Mukhya Mantri Vatsalya Yojana, children who lost their parents or guardians to the Covid-19 pandemic would be paid a monthly allowance of Rs 3,000 up to the age of 21.
The Governor also listed some of the priorities of the government regarding the basic infrastructure including new dam projects. He said that a 136.60 metre concrete gravity dam was proposed to be constructed on the Gaula River, 10 kms upstream of Haldwani as part of the Jamrani Dam Multipurpose Project. A drinking water dam project over the Song River (Dehradun) was also proposed to be constructed, which would ensure uninterrupted water supply to residents of Dehradun city and its suburban areas.
Focusing on the welfare of the SC community, the Governor said that the villages with over 50 per cent of Scheduled Caste population had been selected for re-development under the Pradhan Mantri Adarsh Gram Yojana.
Speaking about the welfare of the ex-soldiers, he announced that the pension given to former soldiers of World War II and their widows had been increased from Rs 8,000 per month to Rs 10,000 and a martyrs’ memorial (Sainya Dham) was being built at Guniyal Gaon in Dehradun for which soil had been collected from courtyards of soldiers who had laid their lives fighting for their country. The Governor also spoke about the priority given by the government to improving air connectivity to and within the state. He said the Uttarakhand Civil Aviation Department was given an award under the Most Proactive State category for successfully conducting a regional connectivity scheme under which heliports were being constructed at identified spots in the state. He also spoke at length listing the achievements as well as the priorities of the government in the agriculture and allied sectors such as horticulture and animal husbandry. He also listed several schemes in the agriculture sector which were ‘helping’ the incomes and security of farmers and those engaged in animal husbandry and these schemes included some marketing schemes as well to ensure adequate marketing of the agro produce and value added products.
The Governor also highlighted the steps being taken to create better disaster management facilities such as early warning systems and Doppler radars being installed for floods and other disaster alerts. The Doppler radar installed at Mukteshwar in Nainital district had begun operating successfully, while work was underway on installing two Doppler radars, one each in Surkanda and Lansdowne, he added.
He also expressed the hope that the House would legislate the bills and laws in public interest and towards public welfare as well as towards promotion of social harmony.