Kullu : , Aug 15 (IANS) The 74th Independence Day was celebrated with enthusiasm and gaiety by maintaining social distancing throughout Himachal Pradesh amid the Covid-19 pandemic on Saturday.
Presiding over the state-level function at the historic Dhalpur Maidan here, Himachal Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur hoisted the national flag and took salute from the contingents of the police, ITBP, home guards and SSB cadets.
Deputy Superintendent of Police Veeny Minhas commanded the parade.
Speaking on the occasion, the Chief Minister paid tributes to the freedom fighters who made supreme sacrifices for the freedom of the country and to the martyred soldiers who laid down their lives while protecting the frontiers of the country.
He said the 'Dev Bhumi' (Himachal Pradesh) was also the 'Vir Bhumi' as the first Paramvir Chakra of the country was conferred upon Major Somnath Sharma and heroic soldiers like Capt. Vikram Batra and Havaldar Sanjay Kumar.
He also paid rich tributes to the brave soldiers of the state who were martyred recently while guarding the borders of the country in the Galvan Valley in Eastern Ladakh.
The Chief Minister said the state government was committed to the welfare of the freedom fighters, soldiers, ex-servicemen and their families.
The Chief Minister said that Himachal Pradesh has made unprecedented development in education, tourism etc.
He also said the Atal Tunnel in Rohtang would be developed as a major tourism attraction. He said the state government is contemplating to start a Vistadom bus for tourists in this tunnel.
He said the Bijli Mahadev temple in Kullu would also be developed from a tourism point of view.
Efforts are on to provide a rope-way facility there, the Chief Minister added.