Shimla, August 16: Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh on Saturday announced a six percent hike in dearness allowance for state government employees and pensioners from January 1. While addressing a gathering in the state capital amid a drizzle on the occasion of India’s 69th Independence Day, the chief minister announced that all major towns would be provided with Wi-Fi facility in this fiscal. Education was given top priority as a total of 750 educatiol institutions were either opened or upgraded.
He said 22 new colleges were also opened, some of them in far flung and remote areas to eble girl students to have access to quality higher education. Singh earlier hoisted the tiol flag. He flagged off eight special ambulances that would be deployed in remote areas of Kinur, Lahaul-Spiti and Chamba districts.
These ambulances, which can be availed of free of cost by dialling phone number 108, are in addition to the 188 ambulances, possessing life-saving equipment and drugs like anti-ske bite venom, currently operating in the state. The ambulance service was launched in the state by the previous BJP government on December 25, 2010. It was initially funded by the tiol Rural Health Mission. A cultural programme was organised by school students and contingents of police, home guards, tiol Cadet Corps and Indo-Tibetan Border Police took part in the Independence Day parade. Assistant Superintendent of Police Shalini Agnihotri commanded the parade. Similar Independence Day functions were also organised in all 12 district headquarters. (IANS)