Chief Minister Thakur Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu today inaugurated the three-day ‘Shimla Flying Festival‘, which will conclude on 15th of this month at Junga in Kasumpti Assembly constituency. On this occasion, the Chief Minister said that such events promote adventure tourism activities in the area and attract global tourism as well, since players from both India and abroad were participating in the event, adding that such events also provide direct and indirect employment opportunities to the locals.

“It is the first event of a National level after the disaster struck the state during the monsoons” said the Chief Minister adding that Himachal was open to welcome the tourists and extend its hospitality. He pointed out that even the Bir-Billing area of Kangra district was one of the most favourite sites for paragliding and has made its mark globally.

The Bir-Billing has also remained host to the pre-paragliding world cup competitions promoting Himachal on Global map. The event is being jointly organized by ‘The Glide Inn’ company and the State Tourism Department. Managing Director, Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation, Amit Kashyap welcomed the Chief Minister and said that the Corporation was taking several steps to promote tourism activities in the state.

He also detailed about the measures being taken to increase the footfall of the tourists in the State. Arun Rawat, Chief Executive Officer of ‘The Glide Inn’ company, gave detailed information about the festival and said that 51 paragliders from India and abroad were participating in this four-day long event. He said that this festival will prove effective in promoting tourism in the area.

Shimla Flying Festival Inaugurated By Thakur Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu

He also appreciated the efforts being made by the state government under the leadership of Chief Minister Thakur Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu to promote tourism. The Chief Minister said that new challenges cannot be met with coded laws and for this very reason the Government is mulling amending various laws and by-laws to bring major changes in education, health and other sectors, which will take some time to bear fruit.

He said that the state government was taking many effective steps to make Himachal Pradesh self-reliant in the next four years and the most prosperous State of the country in the coming ten years. Chief Minister said that there has been a lot of damage during the disaster in the state and many people lost their lives. He said that he was deeply saddened to see the devastation in the areas he visited and saw the plight of the people there and decided to extend all possible help instead of financial constraint. We are repeatedly demanding a special Relief package from the Central government, while the BJP was misleading the people for political gains in the name of disaster, reiterated the Chief Minster.

The BJP MLAs were becoming mute spectators on the resolution brought in the assembly to declare natural calamity as the ‘National Disaster’ and on issues of providing special relief package to Himachal Pradesh. The MPs of Himachal did not raise the issue of a special relief package with the Prime Minister, which shows their callous approach towards the interests of the people of the state. As of now, when the third team has come from the Center to assess the losses that occurred during the disaster we hope that the Union Government will soon provide special financial assistance to Himachal Pradesh after the submission of the report by the team.

He said that despite Himachal Pradesh having a debt of Rs 75 thousand crore and liabilities of Rs 10 thousand crore to the employees, the state government was providing full help to the affected families from its own resources. Meanwhile, the State Government has issued a special relief package of Rs 4500 crore to rehabilitate the disaster-affected people and has amended and enhanced the compensation package, which was approved in the Cabinet held on Wednesday. Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Minister, Anirudh Singh who was also present on the occasion said that such events play a pivotal role in promoting tourism.

The event organised here today was the first after the disaster and will certainly help in attracting tourists. Principal Advisor to the Chief Minister (IT and Innovations) Gokul Butail, Principal Advisor to the Chief Minister (Media) Naresh Chauhan, OSD Ritesh Kaprate and Gopal Sharma and other dignitaries were also present on the occasion.

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