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3,246 gram panchayats in HP to get broadband connectivity soon

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Shimla: Himachal Pradesh will soon connect all the 3,243 gram panchayats with broadband internet connectivity, an official said here on Friday.

Photo: www.excellbroadband.com
Photo: www.excellbroadband.com

For this, the government is implementing the national optical fiber network project, a government spokesperson told IANS.

At present, optical fiber cable connectivity is available only at the state capital, the district headquarters, and up to the block level.

The national optical fiber network will be done by utilizing existing fibers of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) and also laying incremental fiber, if required.

The spokesperson said that the aim of the project is to empower the rural masses by providing improved access to information and public services.

It would also facilitate electronic delivery of services like e-education, e-health, e-banking, and e-agriculture.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on May 11 had reviewed the project, that is already much delayed.

The project was conceived in 2011 and the deadline to connect all panchayats with broadband was 2013-end. But later, the timeline was deferred to September 2015 by the then United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government.

By the end of March 2015, only 20,000 village panchayats had got broadband connectivity whereas the target was to connect 50,000 village panchayats.

The central government has set a target to roll out broadband in 150,000 village panchayats by March 2016 and the rest by end of 2016.

(IANS)

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Concerned Over The Rise of Drug Usage In The State: Himachal Governor

A three-day horse trade-cum-exhibition was organised before the beginning of the Lavi Fair.

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There are countless mothers who have been constantly tormented by drug-dependent adolescent children. Pixabay

Himachal Pradesh Governor Acharya Devvrat on Sunday expressed concern over the rise in drug addiction, particularly among the youth in the state, and called for concerted efforts to tackle the menace.

“Effective steps have been taken by the government and police administration, but we all need to work together in this direction,” he said at the inauguration of the centuries-old Lavi Fair in Rampur town, which was once a centre of barter trade with Tibet.

He called upon the people to promote natural farming. The state government has made a provision of Rs 25 crore to promote natural or organic farming to produce chemical-free food.

The 400-year-old Lavi Fair has undergone a sea change with the rural folk’s changing lifestyles and aspirations, resulting in a greater sale of gadgets and automobiles than traditional items such as farm implements, livestock and dry fruits.

Himachal
‘The traders from across the border have stopped coming’ Pixabay

The fair dates back to the time when Raja Kehari Singh of Rampur Bushahr state signed a treaty to promote trade with Tibet.

Rampur, 120 kilometres from state capital Shimla, was once a major trade centre as it is located on the old silk route connecting Afghanistan, Tibet and Ladakh in Jammu and Kashmir.

“People have stopped buying farm implements, horses and sheep. Now, they prefer to shop luxury goods like television sets and automobiles,” trader Ishwar Goyal told IANS.

Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur will preside over the concluding session of the fair on November 14.

Another trader Deepak Negi said Rampur was a centre of trade before the 1962 India-China war.

The traders from Tibet used to bring raw wool, butter, herbs and leather products and bartered them for wheat, rice, farm implements and livestock.

himachal
Rampur, 120 kilometres from state capital Shimla, was once a major trade centre as it is located on the old silk route connecting Afghanistan. Pixabay

“Now, the traders from across the border have stopped coming. Indian multinational companies come here to sell their products. The fair has largely lost its relevance,” he added.

A three-day horse trade-cum-exhibition was organised before the beginning of the Lavi Fair. The main attraction during the exhibition were the Chamurthi horses – an endangered species known as the ‘Ship Of the Cold Desert’. Being a surefooted animal, it is mainly used for transporting goods in the Himalayas.

Also Read: Quitting Junk Food May Cause You to Suffer Withdrawal Symptoms Similar to Drug Addition

The Chamurthi horse traces its origin to the Tibet region. In India, it’s bred in the villages of Himachal Pradesh bordering China.

The fair sees several folk artistes from Punjab and Himachal Pradesh perform. (IANS)