Sunday, 18 March 2018 | Dehradun-
Exactly a year ago on March 18, 2017, BJP Government led by Trivendra Singh Rawat assumed office in Uttarakhand after a sweeping electoral victory in assembly elections. In an interaction with Gajendra Singh Negi of The Pioneer, the Chief Minister talked about wide ranging issues, achievements and his priorities on completion of one year in office. Here are the excerpts.
Question– Congratulations for completing one year in office sir. How do you analyse last one year in terms of governance and delivery?
Answer: In last one year we have set up a roadmap for our ‘Target 2020’ and have started work to realise this. We have set up targets for ourselves in different sectors and are confident of achieving them.
Question: What are the major achievements of your Government in the year which has gone by?
Answer: Our first and foremost achievement is our zero tolerance policy on corruption. The transfer posting, mining and liquor mafia which were ubiquitous earlier are now nowhere to be seen. The public perception is that we have acted against corruption and brought it down. Our Government has brought the Central Institute of Plastic Engineering and Technology (CIPET), NIFT and Science city in the state. For the first time regular Principals in all government colleges have been appointed. Uttarakhand is the only state where 93 percent faculty positions in colleges are filled. We have started the process of clubbing of schools to provide better academic environment. The teacher student ratio in Uttarakhand is 1: 12 which is among the highest in the country. A decision to implement NCERT books in all the schools is taken. A centralised kitchen system to provide nutritious food to students has started. Our Government has acquired Rs20000 Crore, 900 acre land of IDPL in Rishikesh; an International convention centre would be developed there. We have started outcome based CM dashboard for micro monitoring of different departments. Biometric attendance system is implemented at Block level.
Question– The opposition blames you for financial mismanagement in the state. What would you say?
Answer– In last one year we have brought down the loss of power sector from Rs 280 Crore to Rs80 Crores. In transport department the revenue receipts have increased by Rs140 Crore and by adopting E -auction system, the revenue from mining leases has shown an increase of 27 percent from last year. We have stopped leakages in the departments and saved hundreds of Crores in the process.
By the year 2020 we are confident of taking our revenue collections to Rs30000 Crores from present Rs17000 Crores. We have earmarked Tourism, Mining and Power sectors as the key areas from where more revenue could be collected for the State.
Question– The focus of the government understandably is on development but it has ruffled the environmentalists who have raised serious concerns over works like ‘All weather road’ and power projects. How the Government is striking balance between these two issues which usually contradict each other?
Answer– I firmly believe that development and environment are friends. Development is important but preserving environment is more important. The projects which are being undertaken are not antagonistic to environment. In Rishikesh -Karanprayag project for example electric power would be used and large part would be in tunnels. Plantation of trees on large scale to compensate for environment loss due to projects is being undertaken.
Question– The demand for Gairsain as capital of Uttarakhand is old one and soon after swearing in last year you had said that Government would make a big announcement on Gairsain but nothing has been done till date.
Answer– The Government is for a period of five year term. Gairsain is associated with emotions of the people and it is true representative of mountains and its people. Our Government has taken many steps to develop remote and mountainous areas. Border villages Ghes and Himni are now digitally connected.
Question– What is the stand of your government regarding Gairsain being the permanent state capital?
Answer– Our Government is convening second session of assembly at Gairsain. The fact that the budget session is being organised there reflects our plan for Gairsain. We are undertaking infrastructural development activities on a big scale in Gairsain; a big artificial lake is being designed for future needs. All these show our commitment and plans for Gairsain.
Question– In the budget session is there any plan to pass Lokayukt bill?
Answer– As you know the Lokayukt bill is property of the house so I would not comment on it. The objective of Lokayukt bill is to put control on corruption and in last one year our government has worked with honesty and started a crusade against corruption.
Question– Health sector has been a problem area for the state. What steps the government has taken to address it?
Answer– Our government has recruited 1161 new doctors and 900 nurses in last one year. There are now 44 hospitals in the state that have E registration and E medical facilities. We have started Tele-radiology facility in 22 and Tele -Medicine facility in 36 hospitals. Intensive Care Units (ICU) have been set up in three district hospitals and soon all remaining district hospitals would have this facility. We will add 111 new ambulances in the fleet of emergency 108 ambulance service.
Question– Four former Chief Ministers are in BJP and in last one year of your government what do you think about role played by them?
Answer– The government received their total support and from time to time they have provided their valuable advice to us. All of them are very Cooperative and supportive.
Question– How much the electoral reversal in UP By- election would affect BJP in Uttarakhand, especially since the Municipal body election and Tharali assembly By -elections are on anvil?
Answer– The By -election loss will have no impact in Uttarakhand and I am confident of support of people of Uttarakhand in forthcoming elections.
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