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In Himachal tribal areas witness new era of prosperity and development
Keeping in view the tough topography and geographical conditions of the tribal areas of Himachal Pradesh, the state government has been giving special attention for their development and ensuring welfare of the people. Undoubtedly, various development plans, policies and programmes have brought forth a perceptible improvement in the socio-economic status of the Scheduled Tribes.

The socio-economic development has been accelerated of these areas by making available adequate funds under various schemes. The consistent efforts of the state government have brought fruitful results as the tribal areas of the state, that are today equal to other areas in terms of economic growth, development and prosperity, which is evident from various indicators.

The tribal areas which were once most backward and there was nothing to count in the name of development, today have a vast network of roads, educational and health institutions and other basic facilities. The flow of funds to Tribal Sub-Plan has substantially increased over a period of time and presently nine per cent of the State Plan is being spent on this. The size of the Tribal Sub-Plan which was Rs 333 crore in financial year 2012-13 was enhanced to Rs 468 crore for 2016-17.

Under the Border Area Development Scheme, a provision of Rs 25 crore has been made for the current financial year. A sum of Rs 43.70 crore was spent on transport, Rs 49.09 crore on roads and bridges and Rs 59.45 crore on construction of houses during last three financial years whereas budgetary provision of Rs 62.09 crore has been made for 2016-17.

With a view to implement Scheduled Tribes and other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 at the earliest in tribal and non-tribal areas of the state, the government has constituted the monitoring committees at state, district and sub-division levels. Besides, 16,707 forest right committees have also been constituted at village level. Moreover, 200 officers were provided special training about the Act with the cooperation of UNDP and HIPA, Shimla, Mandi and Dharamshala and also to the newly elected non-official members of district level committee at Shimla.

The present state government has given priority on opening and up-gradation of more educational, health and other institutions besides giving thrust on provision of roads, irrigation schemes and other civic amenities. A mini secretariat has been constructed at Pooh and helipad at Chango in Kinnaur district while Sub-Depot of HRTC has been opened in Pangi. The bed capacity of the Reckong Peo regional hospital has been enhanced to 125 beds and CHC Kaza, Bharmaur and Kilar have been upgraded to civil hospitals. New primary health centers have been opened at Chhitkul, Neugalsari and health sub-centers at Labrang and Yangpa.

 In order to provide specialist medical services in the Lahaul and Spiti district, the state government has opened tele-medicine centres in regional hospital Lahaul and civil hospital Kaza.

During last four years, 16 high schools were upgraded to senior secondary schools, 11 middle schools to high schools and five primary schools to middle schools.

The Tribal Sub-Plan covering the majority of Scheduled Tribes was started in 1974-75 and by 1987-88 the entire Scheduled Tribes population was brought under the ambit of the Tribal Sub-Plan. The adoption of single consolidated demand in the annual budget and introduction of single-line administration in the Integrated Tribal Development Projects (ITDPs) have been outstanding achievements of the state in furtherance to the cause of socio-economic development of tribal community.

To make Tribal Sub Plan more need based, practical and result oriented, decentralized planning process in Scheduled Areas Integrated Tribal development projects has been started by taking ITDP as planning unit. The Single-Line Administration was introduced in 1986 for Pangi and to the entire Scheduled Areas in the year 1988. The Tribes Advisory Council under the Chairmanship of Chief Minister was constituted in the State in April, 2013 and the recommendations of the Council are given high consideration.

As soon as the present state government came in to power, it started a special drive to fill up the large number of vacancies in the tribal areas for ensuring effective implementation of various programmes and schemes and also accelerating the pace of development. The government has created a Difficult Area Sub-Cadre of all the posts/services of various departments. To encourage the employees to work willingly in the tribal areas, the government has been giving them various incentives from time to time.

The winter allowance to the employees of the government has been enhanced to Rs 300 per month by the present government. For those employees who are serving in the tribal areas after completion of three years of service period, are being given additional allowance on year wise basis.

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