Shimla: The 66th Republic Day was celebrated with traditional gaiety and enthusiasm across Himachal Pradesh on Monday inspite of chilly weather and partially overcast sky.
The Governor Urmila Singh who presided over the state level function at historic Ridge Maidan unfurled the National Flag and took salute at an impressive march past by contingents of Army, ITBP, SSB, Police, Home Guards, Ex-servicemen, Scouts and NSS.
Like last year a thirteen member band of prisoners lodged in different jail of Himachal and led by murder convict Ram Krishan also took part in the march past.
Hundreds of people gathered at the Ridge Maidan braving extreme cold conditions with state capital recording minimum temperature at 0.6 degree while people in tribal districts of Lahaul and Spiti and Kinnaur participated in R-Day celebrations at Keylong and Rekong Peo under biting cold wave conditions with mercury staying 6-7 degree below freezing point.
Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, Forest Minister Thakur Singh Bharmouri, Vidhan Sabha Deputy Speaker Jagat Singh Negi, and host of other dignitaries were present at the R-Day function at Shimla.
A colourful cultural programme was organised on the occasion and tableaux depicting the developmental activities, displayed by various Departments were main highlights of the function.
Republic Day was also celebrated in Himachal High Court and Himachal Pradesh University and Chief Justice Mansoor Ahmad Mir unfurled the tricolour at the function in High Court complex while Vice Chancellor Prof A D N Bajapi presided over the function at the varsity campus.
Presiding over the function at Chamba, Vidhan Sabha Speaker B B L Butail said that housing grant under 'Rajiv Awas Yojana', 'Indira Awas Yojana' and other State housing schemes had been enhanced from Rs 48,500 to Rs 75,000 and 12,170 houses had been constructed under Indira Awas Yojana at a cost of Rs 76.50 crore.