“It is a matter of pleasure to inform the members that the e-Vidhan Sabha system was started from August 4, 2014, in the Vidhan Sabha to ensure paperless work of the house and the various committees. Approximately Rs.15 crore will be saved every year, apart from saving the environment,” the governor said in his address on the first day of the assembly session.
The Rs.8.12-crore e-Vidhan Sabha project, commissioned in the last monsoon session, was funded by the union communications and information technology ministry.
In his less than three-minute address, in which he read the first two and the last two paragraphs of his 35-page speech, the governor said: “We have a long way to go in our endeavour to achieve happiness and prosperity for our people. A lot has been achieved, yet many milestones are yet to be reached.”
To save the pristine environment of the hills, Kalyan Singh said, the state action plan on climate change has been finalised as a part of adaptation and mitigation strategies. It has been approved by the national expert committee.
The state received a development policy loan of $100 million from the World Bank for shifting towards green growth and sustainable development, he said.
The environment master plan has been finalised and biotechnology policy document has been reoriented.
During 2014-15, he said, 45 lakh medicinal plants were planted with an investment of Rs.10 crore.
Of the state’s hydropower potential estimated at 27,436 MW, 9,432 MW has been harnessed so far, the governor said.
Following criticism for the drowning of 24 students of Hyderabad’s V.N.R. Vignana Jyothi Institute of Engineering and Technology in the Beas river, who were on an excursion to Manali, the governor said a dam safety state cell has commenced functioning to monitor the safety aspects.
To tackle corruption, he said the crime and criminals tracking network and systems project is being implemented and all police stations would be inter-connected online. This system has already been started in five police stations in Shimla.
For promoting industrial investment, the state government has adopted “industry by invitation” approach.
There were 40,429 industrial units in the state with an investment of Rs.18,307 crore till December last year, he added.
The month-long session will have 22 sittings and conclude on April 10.
Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh will present the budget on March 18.
This would be his 18th budget since he became the chief minister for the first time in 1983.