Embedded in the heart of India is Uttar Pradesh – a land synonymous for its Ganga-Jamuni tehzeeb – where cultures have evolved and religions converge. It is a land of Rama, Krishna and Buddha, where religious saints with their spiritual teachings and modernity have evolved together since ages. The greatness of Uttar Pradesh, which had till now been for confluence of cultural and religious traditions and intellectual enlightenment has moved leaps and bounds in recent years through modern technological advances, social welfare schemes and the concern shown by the Akhilesh Yadav government towards initiating and implementing betterment programs for the masses.
The young and dynamic Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh – Shri Akhilesh Yadav – calls his Government “liberal” and “accessible” to everyone. This approach, says he, has resulted in creating a positive atmosphere of development in the State. Speaking at an ASSOCHAM organized conference in Lucknow recently, Shri Akhilesh Yadav said: “My government is liberal and easily accessible due to which a positive atmosphere of development has been created in the State. One cannot see India progressing if UP’s contribution to the economy is ignored.” It is due to public and business friendly policies initiated by the Government that the State has attracted industrialists and investors in large numbers. Says the Chief Minister: “Our policies are lucrative and we have been able to provide an overall positive environment and thus today we can think of attaining double digit growth.”
Lauding the efforts of his government in fast-tracking metro rail construction in the state capital, the Chief Minister is opinion that “Today whosoever visits Lucknow, he/she cannot escape from witnessing the growth in the state.” Attempts towards developing Noida as an international financial hub too have shown good dividends. In recent years, the Government has striven to work for all sectors be it cities or rural areas, through adopting a balanced approach.
In a major initiative launched recently in the State, the Government has implemented the Food Security Act in the State. As per the Act, poor families will get wheat at Rs. 2 and rice at Rs. 3 per kg. Until now, only families under the ‘Antyodaya’ scheme were being benefited and the families above and below the poverty line (APL and BPL) had to pay more.
With a view to create a better atmosphere for business as well as the employees working therein, the State have initiated a provision for self-certification under The Factories Act, 1948 for certain type of industries and also a provision for self-certification under The Minimum Wages Act, 1948, for certain type of industries. Also a proposal for pension to labourer by the department was in offing, under which labourers would get a pension of Rs. 1000 per month if they attain the age of 60 and are registered as labourer for three consecutive years.
Decision to open residential schools for the children of labourers has also been taken. Initially 18 such schools are being opened in the State. Moreover, the Government has also decided to provide mid-day meal to labourers at a nominal charge of Rs. Ten per day. A tie-up with Indian Railways has been made in this regard and efforts are on to provide to provide them mid-day meal according to menu.
To deal with rising cases of cybercrime, the Uttar Pradesh government is considering a separate law at the State level.
A new act under the tourism policy 2016 is on the anvil to ensure the safety and security of tourists. Preparations are being made to develop tourism as a brand in the State. Giving tourism the states of industry and extending the various facilities on offer are a few steps in this direction. Help of private sector too is being sought for developing the infrastructure related to tourism. New tourism centres are being identified and being made more attractive. Seven new circuits will be added under the new policy.
A memorial has also been planned to South Korean queen Heo Hwang-ok in Ayodhya. She was a princess of Ayodhya before her marriage to a Korean ruler.
On the path to progress
The State of Uttar Pradesh is fast moving on the path to progress, courtesy several new measures and initiatives launched and implemented by the young Akhilesh Yadav Government. The resulting change is being witnessed by the masses, be it the farmers, the minorities, the youth and student community, the business houses and industrialists and also the neglected and poor masses.
During the present tenure of the State Government, Uttar Pradesh has surged ahead, in comparison to other Indian states, on various indices. Here are just a few of the various efforts put in by the State Government, which are slowly bringing about a great change in the lives of the inhabitants of the State.
1. Free irrigation scheme for farmers
Department of Irrigation, during the tenure of current Government, has so far waived irrigation tax of Rs. 700 crore. This has benefited the lives of 256 lakh farmers who will now be able to do additional savings. In the Bundelkhand area, irrigation is being done through 7300 km canals and 1589 Government installed tubewells. Out of these canals irrigate 6.52 lakh hectares while state installed tubewells/tanks/borewells irrigate 4.61 lakh hectares of land.
Minor irrigation department has, during the tenure of the current Government, installed 4,64,385 free boring/shallow tubewells, 5908 deep borings, 24,709 medium deep borings, 1543 check-dams, 5715 community blast coupes and 863 community tube-wells which have combined irrigation facility of 12.43 million hectares of land.
2. Agricultural Debt Waiver
The current government has initiated a loan waiver scheme-2012 to waive of loans up to Rs. 50,000 taken by farmers. Loans of farmers who have borrowed money through mortgaging agricultural land and are unable to repay the debt have been waived. Thus, 786,000 farmers have been saved from selling their land through repaying debts of Rs. 1788 crore.
In order to enable farmers to sell their produce directly to consumers, Kisan Bazaars are being developed in big cities – on the lines of Agri-malls – through acquiring 2 to 10 acres of land.
So far, work on 1643 Agricultural Marketing Hubs has been initiated in the State, out of which 874 have commenced operations. In each Agricultural Marketing Hub, 10 shops of Type-C, one semi-shady Auction Platform, 2 Type India Mark, 2 hand-pumps, pavement, etc. have been developed. The priority of each of the Mandi Samitis is to develop a well-equipped modern mandi space. Through these premises, merchandising of agricultural commodities and their sale purchase is being managed.
3. Farmers’ Accident Insurance Scheme
The maximum cover of insurance under the Farmers’ Accident Insurance Scheme, being run for two and a half crore farmers of the State, has been increased from Rs. one lakh per person to Rs. 5 lakh per person. During the present Government’s tenure so far more than twenty one thousand farmers have been given assistance of over Rs. 1,000 crore.
Likewise, Rs. 1330.71 crore of grants were distributed among 2,95,253 farmers whose crop got damaged due to untimely rain and hail shower.
4. Kamdhenu / Mini Kamdhenu / Micro Kamdhenu Scheme
State Government has initiated Kamdhenu, Mini Kamdhenu and Micro Kamdhenu Schemes for the benefit of farmers. There are plans to commence 300 units of 100 dairy animals in Kamdhenu Scheme, 1500 units of 50 dairy animals in Mini Kamdhenu Scheme and 2500 units of 25 dairy animals in Micro Kamdhenu Scheme. Under Kamdhenu Scheme, 250 units have been approved till October 2015 out of which 189 are operational. The milk production through these is 1.5 lakh litres daily. Likewise, 1411 units have been approved under Mini Kamdhenu Scheme, out of which 1053 are operational, giving a daily production of 3.6 lakh litres. Under Micro Kamdhenu Scheme, 233 units are producing 5 lakh litres of milk on daily basis.
5. Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia Samagr Gram Vikas Yojna
Under Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia Samagr Gram Vikas Yojna, a massive rural development exercise has been initiated which will cover 34 programs to be run by 18 departments in about 10,000 villages of the State. 1598 villages in 2012-13, 2104 villages in 2013-14, 2098 villages in 2014-15 and 2,100 villages in 2015-16 have been identified and plans related to infrastructure development of villages and services of public benefit have been initiated. Various infrastructural development plans have been initiated so as to develop the villages completely and join them with the connecting roads.
6. Janeshwar Mishra Gram Yojana
Under Janeshwar Mishra Gram Yojana, there is provision to construct CC Roads and Drains in the selected villages. 1488 villages in fiscal year 2012-13, 1452 villages in 2013-14 and 1000 villages in 2014-15 have been approved under this scheme. Development projects to the extent of Rs. 40 lakh per village are to be undertaken under this scheme.
7. Lohia Rural Housing Scheme
Lohia Rural Housing Scheme has been initiated to provide free accommodation to homeless people in the villages, whose family income is less than Rs. 36,000 p.a. Under this scheme, the amount of Rs. 1,45,000 which was earlier been provided to each eligible person has been increased to Rs. 2,75,000 and keeping in contention the current building standard rates in the area, as calculated by Department of Public Works and Housing, this amount has now been fixed at Rs. 3,05,000. Stipulated amount under NEDA to provide solar electricity has been increased from Rs. 15,000 to Rs. 30,000. Under this scheme, 42,567 houses have been approved in 2012-13 and 41,905 approved in 2013-14, most of which have been completed. In the fiscal year 2014-15, work is in progress for construction of 1 lakh houses.
8. Samajwadi Shrawan Yatra Yojna
Samajwadi Shrawan Yatra Yojna has been initiated for providing free pilgrimage to senior citizens of Uttar Pradesh Government. In the first phase, pilgrims were sent to Devabhoomi Haridwar and Rishikesh. In the second phase, senior citizens were sent to Ajmer Sharif and Pushkar while pilgrims were sent to Tirupati and Rameshwaram as well.
Additionally, Uttar Pradesh government has arranged for a grant of Rs. 10,000 to pilgrims going for Sindhu Darshan. Likewise, pilgrims coming back from Kailash Manasarovar Yatra are being given grant of fifty thousand rupees.
9. Construction of fence to protect cemeteries and burial sites
In order to prevent illegal encroachments of minority cemeteries / funeral sites in public use, plan to secure them by constructing a boundary has been implemented. As part of the scheme, a total of 87,696 cemeteries/funeral sites have been selected out of which construction of boundary of 5314 cemeteries/funeral sites has been completed and the work is presently in progress for 1121 cemeteries/funeral sites. Work of boundary construction for all the remaining cemeteries/burial sites is targeted to complete in the fiscal year 2016-17.
10. 20 percent out of various running schemes marked for minority
In order to ensure all round development of the minority community and to bring them into mainstream, the State Government has marked 20 percent of the targets set under various schemes for the minorities. The minority community is benefitting out of 85 of these schemes, under 30 state-government run departments. This plan is being implemented in all districts of the State.
11. Freedom fighters pension scheme
The pension given by the State to the freedom fighters and their dependents has been raised from Rs. 8,811 to Rs. 12,000 and the pension given to Loktantra fighters has been increased from Rs 6,000 to Rs 10,000 per month. Additionally, these freedom fighters are also being given free medical treatment and free travel with a colleague in the Department of Transportation buses.
Upon the death of the freedom fighter his eldest daughter, who has not got married, regardless of her age, is eligible for family pension. The pension will continue until she marries or becomes self-reliant.
12. Samajwadi Pension Scheme
The Samajwadi Pension Scheme has been initiated in the State to benefit the poor, who have no appropriate source of income. As part of the scheme, there is provision to give Rs. 500 per month as pension. 45 lakh families will benefit out of this scheme. Rs. 50 per annum is being increased to this amount which is being spent on meeting literacy, health and education standards. The upper ceiling for this pension has been fixed at Rs. 750. The budget provision of Rs. 2727 crore has been made for this cause. Payable quarterly, an amount of Rs. 5049.084 lakh has been sent to accounts of 33,66,056 pension beneficiaries.
13. Samajwadi Ambulance Service
In entire Uttar Pradesh, free ambulance service has been provided at all district headquarters and block levels for serious patients and injured people. Ambulance service may be availed at any time by calling free/toll free number 108. A total of 1488 ambulances have been put into service in the State, making it the country’s largest emergency medical transport service. The ambulance service is reaching the beneficiary within twenty minutes. So far, nearly 48 lakh patients have benefited from this service.
Similarly, 1972 ambulances are being brought into operation under 102 National Ambulance Service. The service has so far benefited more than 46 million pregnant women and newborns.
14. Free medical scheme for 14 incurable diseases
Provision for free treatment is available in the State for poor people suffering from severe/chronic diseases (kidney, liver, heart and cancer). All treatment and testing is being provided free to BPL cardholders.
Also, BPL card holders and poor patients suffering from serious diseases are being given financial assistance for treatment from the Chief Minister’s Fund.
Patients in all government hospitals in the State are being provided free medicine, X-rays, pathology and ultrasound. Admission fee for all patients admitted to hospitals in the State has been eliminated.
15. Historic decision in education field
In order to overcome the shortage of teachers in Basic Education Schools, recruitment of teachers is being prioritized. So far, 18,127 teachers have been appointed under B.T.C./Vishesh B.T.C./Muallim categories and process of appointment of 15,000 teachers is in process. 60,000 T.E.T. trained teachers have been recruited and appointment of 12,825 teachers is proceeding at different stages. In addition, 1,37,310 Shiksha Mitras have been adjusted while case for adjustment of 27,820 Shiksha Mitras is under consideration in the Supreme Court. For Upper Primary Schools, appointment of 26,000 science and mathematics teachers has been completed while the process for appointment of 3,334 teachers is undergoing. Besides, proceedings are on for hiring 3,500 Urdu teachers.
A State Award Scheme has been launched for higher education teachers. Award money for ‘Saraswati Puraskar’ has been increased from Rs. one lakh to Rs. three lakh while award money for ‘Shikshak Shree Puraskar’ has been increased from Rs. 50,000 to Rs. one lakh. As part of the Rajkiya Uchtar Shiksha Abhiyan, a total of Rs. 142 crore has been released for setting up Rajkiya Model Mahavidyala in 26 districts of the State.
The name of UP Technical University has been changed to Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam Technical University. In the financial year 2015-16, following the establishment of seven new polytechnics, teaching has commenced. Construction of two Polytechnic institutions in Faizabad and Moradabad is at various stages. Technical and vocational education for students of four new trades is being provided in 100 government schools. Ten computers each and accompanying equipment have been provided for this purpose.
Previously approved medical colleges in Kannauj, Jalaun and Azamgarh have been completed by the present government and academic session has begun this year. Academic Session in Banda Medical College will begin next year while the session at Saharanpur Medical College will commence this year. This apart, new medical colleges have been sanctioned in Jaunpur, Chandauli and Budaun, whose construction work is progressing quickly.
5000 seats have been increased in the MBBS colleges in the State. A high-level cancer and heart disease institute is being established in Lucknow.
16. Free laptop distribution scheme
In order to encourage students for higher education, especially for science and technical education, approximately 15 lakh free laptops have been given to students. In the current fiscal year, this scheme is being changed to give free laptops to meritorious students.
17. Free vocational training to youth
With an aim to provide skill development training for youths between the ages of 14 and 35 years, Skill Development Mission has been established where vocational training is being provided in various businesses free of charge.
Under the scheme, in fiscal year 2014-15 fiscal, approximately 1.92 lakh unemployed youth were provided free vocational training. In the fiscal year 2015-16, total of 8 lakh and in fiscal year 2016-17, total of 9.26 lakh, i.e. total of 23.18 lakh unemployed youth will be given free vocational training. Presently 15,618 trainees are receiving vocational training at various centers. So far more than one lakh young people have been trained and provided employment.
18. The historic improvement in power supply system
Detailed action plan has been prepared to increase power supply in the State. Under the project, goal has been set from October 2016 to provide at least 14 to 16 hours of electricity in rural areas and 22 to 24 hours of power supply in urban areas. The Government has made arrangements from October 2016 to get 4000 MW electricity from privately owned Bara, Lalitpur and Srinagar power projects and 1000 MW from State-owned Anpara-D project.
Other projects by the State Government which are under various stages of construction include 1.660 MW Panki Super Critical Thermal Power Project and 2.660 Obra C Project. Also, Karchna Super Critical Thermal Power Project of 2.660 MW and Jawaharpur Super Critical Thermal Power Project of 2.660 MW too are in various stages of progress. In addition, two joint venture projects – 2.660 MW Super Critical Thermal Power Project in Meja with NTPC and 3.660 MW (1980) Ghatampur Super Critical Thermal Power Project jointly with NTPC and Neveli Lignite – are being run.
Three solar power plants of 10 MW each have been inaugurated in Village Amarpur of Lalitpur district and in Mehraunikhurd and Cheera. A 225 KW Solar Power Plant has been handed to public in Faqirpura village of Kannauj district.
19. Construction and maintenance of roads and bridges
With a view of joining all the district headquarters of the State with 4-laned roads, the Public Works Department has already joined 4 district headquarters out of 20 district headquarters. Work to join remaining district headquarters is progressing rapidly. In addition to this, work to make a four-lane road is being carried out between Orai and Jalaun, Bhadohi and Mirzapur, Gorakhpur and Deoria and Salempur and Deoria.
In the present fiscal year, as part of Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia Samagra Gram Vikas Yojna, target has been fixed to connect 680 out of 2097 demarked villages with main roads, and as part of this, 40 villages have already been connected with main roads. In this scheme, 32.93 km roads have been constructed at a cost of Rs. 4209.59 lakhs. Under Shri Ram Sharan Das Gram Sadak Yojana, out of remaining 660 settlements, work in 582 settlements has been completed.
Out of target of broadening/strengthening 7,200 kms of road network in the State, work on 2882 km has been completed in the year 2015-16. Similarly, in 2015-16, out of Rs. 2500 crore marked for maintenance of roads, Rs. 767.06 crore for renovation of 8157 km roads and Rs. 1091 crore for repair of 11675 km roads, i.e. total of Rs. 1858 crores is being spent on maintenance and repair of roads.
In the current financial year, out of total of 80 long bridges, 35 railway bridges and 120 small bridges, construction of 25 major bridges, 89 small bridges and 7 railway bridges has been completed. Construction is in progress on the rest.
To encourage the use of bicycles, 80 km cycle track is being built in Lucknow, Agra, Mathura and Etawah.
20. Agra-Lucknow Expressway
This being one of the current government’s most ambitious projects, 300 km of six lane road is being constructed for Agra-Lucknow Expressway. The Expressway will cost around Rs. 15,000 crore. The project is the country’s longest green field project. After its completion, the distance between Agra and Lucknow will be reduced to mere three and a half hours instead of present seven hours. Four development centers, two Krishi Mandis, freight centers, schools and ITI will be set up on the Expressway.
21. Metro Rail Project
Given the growing problem of traffic in Lucknow, and to provide access to better transport facilities to the general public, Metro Rail Project is being completed with great speed. In the first phase of the Project, the North South Corridor (Chaudhary Charan Singh Airport to Munshi Pulia) is being completed which will have a total length of approximately 23 km. A total of 22 stations will be there on this route. Total construction cost of North-South corridor will be around Rs. 6880 crore. In addition to Lucknow, work on Metro construction is in varying stages in Agra, Kanpur, Meerut and Varanasi. In Noida, work on 40.344 km stretch is moving with blazing speed for Metro construction from Botanical Garden to Kalindi Kunj, Sector 62 to Noida City Centre and Noida to Greater Noida.
22. Promoting Information Technology Sector
Work to develop Chuckganjria Farms in Lucknow on the lines of C.G. City is commencing rapidly. In this, IT City which will also include IT Park, IIIT, Medicity, Super Specialty Hospital, Cardio Center, Administration Academy, Dairy Processing Plant and a Township is being created.
Here, work on development of IT Parks too is moving rapidly. In addition, work for development of IT Parks has also been initiated in Meerut, Agra, Kanpur, Gorakhpur and Ghaziabad.
Uttar Pradesh is the first state where the e-district plan is being implemented in all the 75 districts. As part of work being done on e-Governance Project, attempt is to provide different Government services close to home/in the neighbourhood – like birth, death, income, residence, caste certificates, pension, scholarship-related information/records, khatauni, etc. – through electronic delivery system in a short time and in a transparent manner.
23. Women Power Line
After success of “Women Power Line – 1090” introduced for the protection of women, Women Security App 1090 has been initiated, as part of which till now help has been provided to women through disposing of more than 3.88 lakh complaints. Until now, more than 3.97 lakh complaints lodged by women have been received, which were disposed of after ensuring full security and relief of these women. In addition, 404 cases were registered, while proceedings are being carried forth on remaining applications.
Arrangement has also been initiated to record online complaints against women. Uttar Pradesh Police’s website www.uppolice.gov.in has been commenced for the first time in the State. The State Police has established “Mahila Samman Prakosht” for the first time, with an aim to ensure safety, dignity and empowerment of women.
24. Police Modernization
With an aim to effectively curb crime, the police control rooms in Kanpur, Lucknow, Allahabad, Ghaziabad and Allahabad have been equipped with the latest technology. In addition, after seeing encouraging results of ‘Smart City Surveillance Project’ launched in Lucknow, eleven other cities viz. Kanpur, Agra, Varanasi, Allahabad, Gautam Buddha Nagar, Ghaziabad, Meerut, Bareilly, Moradabad, Aligarh and Gorakhpur have been included in this project. This will bring qualitative improvement to the security concerns of people in public places and effectively control the offenders. New 1411 four-wheeled light vehicles and 416 motorcycles have been added, so as to enhance the mobility of the Police Force.
In Lucknow, work is progressing fast on 8-acre land to build a state-of-the art and comprehensive ‘Master Co-ordination Centre’ to facilitate the Dial 100 scheme. The aim of the project is to provide quick, integrated emergency services to all people anytime and anywhere in the State. As part of this, 4800 vehicles will remain directly attached to the Control Room through GPRS and upon receiving a call on 100, the vehicle nearest located will reach the caller within 10-15 minutes. Upon completion of this Center, it will not only be the biggest such center in the country but also the world’s largest and most modern network. The Center will also have arrangement to take feedback from the victims and the case will be closed only upon getting their complete satisfaction.
25. Heritage Arch
State Government has decided to develop Agra, Lucknow and Varanasi as Heritage Arch. As part of this, about 540 km of area has been included in 12 to 15 districts. Under the Heritage Arch plan, there is an attempt to improve the infrastructure including the road infrastructure in all three districts. Historic buildings are being renovated so as to attract the tourists.
Old buildings will be converted into heritage hotels as part of practical implementation of Heritage Arch. Provisions have been made to simplify the official formalities relating to ownership of documents of forts, havelis and palaces of historical significance. This will make it easier to get loans from banks on these properties.
Domestic State Air Service is being initiated to facilitate tourist traffic. Exemption from tax, VAT exemption and entertainment tax exemption has been approved for air service provider in the State.
Text by Aziz Haider, RNI (Real News Intl.) News Agency