The Hush Post: The Government of India has declared Chamba as a  backward district, the only district in Himachal Pradesh selected among the 115 districts across India. Though Chamba was selected as a backward district in November 2017 when the Prime Minister launched a social sector scheme for development of backward areas, the scheme will be formally inaugurated by veteran BJP leader Shanta Kumar and Union Health minister JP Nadda today.

The benefit of inclusion into the coveted list is that Chamba district would witness rapid development due to more funds flowing in from the Centre and development work being carried out under the direct supervision of officials sitting in New Delhi in North Block.  Senior government officials in the rank of Additional Secretary and Joint Secretary have been designated as ‘Prabhari Officers’ in-charge of coordination between the Centre and the states in addressing the specific developmental needs of the districts. The Government of  India would provide funds to improve basic infrastructure like rural road connectivity health, education, nutrition, rural household electrification, potable water and individual toilet facilities.

Using their experience, the central ministry officials would form a team with representatives of the state governments. States have been accordingly requested to nominate senior level functionary for each district. States are the main drivers of this programme, the Centre has said. It is believed that when one at least one of the backwards district in every state sees improvement, it is likely to spur similar growth in the neighbouring districts through demonstrative effect.

Besides Dalhousie and Khajjiar, the most popular hill stations and vacation spots for people coming in from neighbouring Punjab and Haryana, and hydel projects are a major attraction for tourists. Chamba is the only district in northern India to preserve a well-documented history from 500 AD. It is among the most backward areas of Himachal Pradesh. It has a population of 5.20 lakh as per 2011 census.

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