I-Day celebrated with fervour in Mumbai, Pune

August 15th, 2008 - 8:24 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, Aug 15 (IANS) Maharashtra celebrated India’s Independence Day Friday with much enthusiasm as Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh unfurled the tricolour here and Governor S.C. Jamir presided over the ceremony in Pune. The day passed off peacefully amid tight security in the wake of serial bombings in neighbouring states - Karnataka and Gujarat - last month.

Deshmukh hoisted the national flag at Mantralaya, the state government headquarters in south Mumbai, and paid tribute to the martyrs of India’s freedom struggle.

Accompanied by his wife Vaishali, Deshmukh garlanded the statues of Chhatrapati Shivaji, the Maratha warrior king, and Jijamata in the Mantralaya building.

Addressing the gathering, Deshmukh dwelt on the food scarcity, floods and power shortages currently confronting the state and appealed for unity in tackling these issues.

He said that the state government has allocated an amount of Rs.60 billion to improve irrigation facilities in Maharashtra and it would construct 200,000 affordable houses for the poor within two years.

Deshmukh said that the farm loans waiver package by the central government had benefited 3.80 million farmers in the state and that loans worth about Rs.80 billion had been written off so far.

The chief minister later attended a flag-hoisting ceremony at the Bombay High Court where Chief Justice Swatanter Kumar unfurled the tricolour.

In Pune, Governor Jamir hoisted the national flag at the Council Hall. Present on the occasion were his wife Alemla, Pune Mayor Rajlaxmi Bhosale, Pune University Vice-Chancellor Narendra Jadhav and city police commissioner Satyapal Singh.

Apart from functions in government offices, there were celebrations in schools and residential complexes where people participated with great enthusiasm and the national anthem could be heard playing out from various localities.

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