New Delhi, Aug.15 : Colourful celebrations marked the 62nd Independence Day in various states.
In Chhattisgarh capital Raipur, Chief Minister, Dr. Raman Singh hoisted the national flag and took salute of the joint parade. His cabinet colleagues took part in the Independence Day functions in other places in the state.
Rajasthan held its Independence Day function in Bikaner. Chief Minister Vasundhra Raje hoisted the Indian flag and after unfurling it, she announced a five-day week for state government offices from September 1. The Chief Minister also announced plans to create a Municipal Corporation in Bikaner.
In Puduchery, Chief Minister N. Rangaswamy unfurled the national flag at the Indira Gandhi Sports Complex. He also presented the awards and medals to the meritorious police personnel.
He also said that nearly 7200 farmers had benefited in the Union Territory under the waiver of agricultural loans under the central government scheme. He said the administration would ensure uninterrupted and reliable power supply to all four regions of the Union Territory.
In Assam, however, there were reports of ULFA militants exploding three powerful bombs in Dhubri and Sirang districts just before the start of the Independence Day functions.
The first bomb went off about 100 meters away from the Kajalgaon Parade Ground in Sirang District. Simultaneously, two other bombs went off near the Block Office at Dharamsala and Mahamaya Play Ground in Dhubri District. There was, however, no casualty.
Elsewhere in the State, the Independence Day celebration was peaceful.
Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi unfurled the flag at the Latasil playground at Guwahati amidst tight security. A large number of people attended the function despite a boycott call given by three banned outfits, including ULFA.
In his speech, the Chief Minister appealed to the militant outfits to come forward to settle their issues amicably across the table. He said violence has no place in democracy.
He welcomed the A and C companies of the 28th battalion of ULFA who recently laid down arms and came for negotiations with the Government.
He also announced the execution of a rehabilitation scheme for widows and children of the victims of insurgency under the Rajiv Gandhi Memorial Rehabilitation Trust by August 20.
He said the State Government has constituted 21 additional Tribunals for identification and deportation of foreign nationals. Police Station level committees have been strengthened and number of police outposts in the border has been increased to check infiltration.
Gogoi appealed to the people not to take law in their hands in the name of identification of foreign nationals. He also warned of stringent action against those harassing the genuine citizens.
Referring to various developmental activities taken place in the State, Gogoi announced that 17,000 meritorious students will be provided computers at free of cost this year under the Anandoram Baruah Award.
In Gujarat, the function was held at the Palanpura district headquarters of Banaskantha. Chief Minister Narendra Modi unfurled the tricolor and announced plans for more than 800 developmental projects at a cost of Rs.142 crores.
The Independence Day function in Bihar was held at Patna's Gandhi Maidan. Chief Minister Nitish Kumar used the occasion to demand more central assistance to meet requirement for all-round development of the state. He said that for the implementation of the Sixth Pay Commission's recommendations, the Centre should extend financial help.
In Maharashtra, Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh paid homage to martyrs and freedom fighters who had sacrificed their lives for the cause of independence.
Stating that the government was aware of the drought like situation in some parts of the state, he said every effort was being made to ease the plight of the farmers. Deshmukh said that various villages in the state have made their vital contribution for the success of the Mahatma Gandhi Tantamukt Mission and added that over 380, 000 farmers have benefited form the debt waiver given by the central government.
He also said, a provision of Rs.6000 has been made for improving irrigation facilities in the state.
He announced the ambitious plan of building 10 lakh houses in next two years. Around 40 thousand houses will be built for the backward classes. For the development of Mumbai, Deshmukh spoke about various projects undertaken by the state government like Metro Rail, Mono Rail, Skywalk, Flyovers, Bandra-Worli sea link and renovation of Mumbai International Airport.
n Pune, Maharashtra Governor, SC. Jamir, hoisted the flag at a special function attended by various government officials.
Independence Day was celebrated with great enthusiasm and patriotic fervour in Lakshadweep Islands. The Lakshadweep Administrator B V Selvaraj unfurled the National Flag at the Stadium grounds in Kavarathi Island.
The Administrator later inaugurated a digitisation project linking all anganwadis in the islands.
The project, which is said to be the first in the country, will act as community information centres accessible to the public.
In Orissa, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik received the salute in Bhubaneswar.
In Kerala, Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan inspected the guard of honour and took salute at the impressive march past in Thiruvananthapuram.
The Chief Minister announced many welfare message and initiatives for the development of Information Technology Institute, including a cyber park in Kozhikode in the North Kerala
In West Bengal, Chief Minister Buddadev Bhattacharjee unfurled the flag at the State Secretariat. State Governor Gopal Krishna Gandhi paid floral tributes at the martyrs column at Gandhi Ghat in Barrekpur.
The Governor also paid homage at Gandhi statue in Kolkata. Various programmes have been organized throughout the State on the occasion. The State is also observing the birthday of Rishi Aurovindo with befitting manner.
Speaking at a function on the occassion of Independence Day in Kolkata today, the Information and Broadcasting Minister Priyaranjan Das Munshi urged all the political parties to come forward to fight against the communal forces.