Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu on Monday inaugurated the five-day national-level winter carnival in Manali in Kullu district.
Sukhu said the carnival has immense significance for tourism, trade, preservation of traditional beliefs and culture.
It provides a platform to artists of different states to showcase their talent, he added.
Sikhu offered prayers at historic Hadimba Temple and flagged off the ‘Carnival Parade’ from Circuit House Manali.
Later, addressing a public meeting, he announced the enhancement in “Protsahan Rashi” of Mahila Mandals from existing Rs 10,000 to Rs 20,000. He also announced that an indoor stadium and ice-skating rink would be constructed in Manali to promote more tourism and sports activities.
Manali bypass would be constructed to ensure smooth flow of vehicles and wayside facilities would be created at Solang Nallah to facilitate the tourists, Sukhu said.
He said Dobhi and Peej would also be developed for paragliding to attract adventure lovers to Manali.
The chief minister said the government was committed to fulfill all the 10 promises made by the Congress during assembly elections in a phased manner.
The Old Pension Scheme would be implemented in the very first Cabinet meeting, he added.
He also said women in the age group of 18-60 would be provided Rs 1,500 per month as promised.
Sukhu said the government was also committed for protection of environment and has decided to encourage usage of electric vehicles To begin with, 18 public transport vehicles will be replaced with electric vehicles by January 15, he said adding better charging infrastructure will be created in the state so that people can opt for electric vehicles.
Sukhu contributed his first salary as the CM to the ‘Chief Minister Sukhashray Sahayata Kosh’ as a part of his “social responsibility”.
This relief fund was constituted on the occasion of New Year by the government. It was created with an aim to help needy students and destitute women to get higher education, officials said.