Shimla. Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur while addressing the elected representatives of Panchayati Raj Institutions of the State on the occasion of National Panchayati Raj Day, 2021 virtually from Shimla today urged them to give their wholehearted support to the State Government to check spread of the corona virus and also help the people in home isolation in their respective panchayats, besides motivating the people to go for Covid vaccination.
Jai Ram Thakur said that the State was today facing a great threat from the increase in number of Covid-19 cases. He said that during the first phase of this pandemic, the representatives of Panchayati Raj Institutions and Urban Local Bodies did a commendable work in providing help to the people in distress due to the pandemic. He said that free food kits, masks, sanitizers etc were provided to the needy by the Panchayati Raj Representatives. He said that the spread of virus this time was more fast and more fatal, which was a serious cause of concern. Thus the role of elected representatives of PRIs has increased manifold as they should come forward to help the people in their respective panchayats. He said that the elected representatives must play a role in motivating the people to get themselves vaccinated against the virus as this was an effective tool to protect ourselves from this virus.
Chief Minister said that the situation was quite alarming, but the people need not to worry as the State Government has made all possible arrangements to meet out any eventuality. He said that there were adequate beds in the State and the State also have ample provision of oxygen. He urged the elected representatives of the PRIs to motivate the people to strictly follow the SOPs and guidelines laid by the State Government from time to time to check spread of this virus. He also urged the people of the State coming back to the State from other parts of the country to remain home quarantined at their homes for atleast a week and voluntarily go for Covid test if they have any symptoms. He urged the elected representatives of the PRIs to visit the homes of the people coming from other States and motivate and advise them to remain under home quarantine and also generate awareness regarding ensuring covid appropriate behaviour.
Jai Ram Thakur said that there was no dearth of funds for the Panchayati Raj Institutions. He said that the 15th Finance Commission has made a provision of Rs 1600 crore for the Panchayats in the State. He said that the State Government has released Rs. 200 crore out of this. He urged the elected representatives of the Panchayati Raj Institutions to ensure quality work in all the developmental projects in their respective Panchayats. He said that the present State Government constituted 412 new Panchayats in the State, which was aimed at giving more representations to the Panchayats. He said that 50 percent reservation in the Panchayati Raj Institutions was also made during the tenure of the previous BJP Government in the State.
Chief Minister said that the 73rd amendment in the constitution was made in 1992 to empower the Panchayats and thereby strengthening the PRIs in the country. He said that the Nation was forging ahead on the path of progress and prosperity under the able leadership of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Chief Minister also congratulated the State Panchayati Raj Department for winning second prize at National level in e-Panchayat. He also congratulated the Pradhans of the award winning panchayats. Chief Minister also virtually inaugurated three Telemedicine Centers at Thana Kalan in Una district, Thunag in Mandi district and Awah Devi at Hamirpur district. He said that the State Government was committed to provide specialized services to the people even in the remotest part of the State. He said that the Telemedicine Centres would go a long way in helping the people of these areas in getting medical opinions of best medical specialists of the region.
Union Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs Anurag Thakur said that the telemedicine services would help the people of the remote areas in getting specialized health care services at their door steps. He said that the telemedicine service was the best example of effective use of technology to provide people living in far-flung and remote areas of the State.
Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Minister Virender Kanwar congratulated the elected representatives of the Panchayati Raj Institutions on the auspicious occasion of National Panchayati Raj Day. He said that the PRI were the most important grass-root units of democracy. He said that the efforts of the State Government were to expand the telemedicine services in other rural areas of the State in a phased manner. He also congratulated the award winning Panchayats and said that this would also motivate the other Panchayats to perform better.
Health Minister Dr Rajiv Saizal proposed vote of thanks.Director PGI, Chandigarh Dr Jagat Ram said that the telemedicine service has proved a boon to the people at the time of Corona pandemic. Coordinator Tata Health Care Ram Dev made a presentation on the occasion regarding the telemedicine service. Director Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Lalit Jain welcomed the Chief Minister and other dignitaries present on the occasion. He said that three Panchayats, two Panchayat Smitis and one Zila Paridhad of the State has won Deen Dayal Upadhyay Panchayat Sashakatikarn Puraskar, one Panchayat has won Nanaji Deshmukh Garuav Gram Puraskar, one Panchayat has won Gram Panchayat Vikas Puraskar and one Panchayat of the State has won Bal Hiteshi Gram Panchayat Puraskar.
Former Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal joined the event virtually whereas Secretary Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Dr Sandeep Bhatnagar was present at Shimla with the Chief Minister.