Shimla: Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh on Saturday announced a six percent hike in dearness allowance for the state government employees and pensioners from January 1.
While addressing a gathering in the state capital amid drizzle on the occasion of India`s 69th Independence Day, the chief minister also announced the initiation of services of eight special ambulances in remote areas of Kinnaur, Lahaul-Spiti and Chamba districts.
These ambulances, which can be availed of free-of-cost by dialling phone number 108, are in addition to the 172 ambulances, possessing life-saving equipment and drugs like anti-snake bite venom, currently operating in the state.
The ambulance service was launched in the state by the previous state BJP government on December 25, 2010. It was initially funded by the National Rural Health Mission.
Virbhadra Singh earlier hoisted the national flag.
A colourful cultural programme was also performed by school students.
Similar Independence Day functions were also organised in all 12 district headquarters.