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War Museum to be established at Shaheed Smarak in Dharamshala
Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh Virbhadra Singh today said that people of the country were indebted to the brave soldiers who made supreme sacrifices in the freedom struggle and then safeguarding the borders and maintaining the integrity of the country. He said that the valiant soldiers of the state had always led from the front in making sacrifices for the cause of the motherland and they have brought laurels to the country and the State.

The Chief Minister was presiding over a function organized by the Sainik Welfare Department at Shaheed Samarak, Dharamshala to commemorate the Vijay Diwas. He paid homage to all martyrs on behalf of the people of the State. He said that the State was indebted for the invaluable contributions of the soldiers which could not be compensated at any cost.

Singh said that 195 brave soldiers of the State laid their lives during the historic war against Pakistan in 1971. The first Param veer Chakra of the country was warded to Major Somnath of Himachal Pradesh and out of total four Param Veer Chakras given for Kargil aggression; two were given to brave sons of Himachal Pradesh. He said that 14 Himachali soldiers had been conferred with Maha veer Chakra, 61 with Veer Chakra and till now 1140 soldiers of the State had sacrificed their lives for the cause of the country.

He said that a War Museum would be established at Shaheed Smarak Dharamshala where brief description of all the martyrs since British period would be highlighted. An Expert Committee would be constituted for this purpose and the War Museum would be developed as per the recommendations of the Committee. He announced Rs. 2 crore for construction of War Museum and added that foundation stone would be laid soon.

Chief Minister said that War Memorial would be further beautified for which all possible assistance would be provided to War Memorial Committee. He said that the busts of the Param Veer Chakras and Shaurya Chakras recipients would also be established here. He announced that all Congress MLA’s and Associate Members would contribute Rs. three lakh each from their MLA Fund for the development of the War Memorial.

Virbhadra Singh said that the State Government was implementing various schemes for the welfare of the soldiers, ex-servicemen and their families. The Shaurya Chakra winners were being provided free travel facility in the State and the amount of Yudh Jagir had been enhanced from Rs. 2000 to Rs. 5,000 from 1st April, 2013.

Similarly, the VAT had been reduced from four percent to two percent in the CSD Canteens and the process had been started to open CSD Depot and Model Cantonment at Una while the matter regarding Dogra Regiment Centre was under consideration. He said that the Social Security Pension for the ex-servicemen and their widows had also been enhanced from Rs. 400 to Rs. 500.

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