By ARUN PRATAP SINGH
DEHRADUN, 23 Apr: Pushkar Singh Dhami Government has completed one month in power today after the elections. In his second innings as CM so far, he has demonstrated a lot of confidence, as well as some strict no nonsense attitude towards improving the governance. It is a positive beginning but challenges are many and Dhami government needs to overcome them in order to make this state one of the leading states as is being promised. He has also shown some necessary aggression in dealing with inefficiency in administration and given some tough instructions to deal with corruption, besides taking several decisions to improve the conditions of the underprivileged ones. One of the major decisions towards curbing corruption is the launch of App 1064 helpline of the State Vigilance Department. It however remains to be seen how effective this helpline can prove in curbing corruption in the state. Also, it would have perhaps been better if Chief Minister Dhami had gone a step further to implement Lok Ayukta Law in the state. As promised before the elections, Dhami has after coming back as CM reiterated that a Uniform Civil Code would be implemented in the state. In the first cabinet meeting of the Dhami 2.0 Government, it was decided that a committee of experts would be formed for the implementation of Uniform Civil Code in the state. A committee of jurists, retired judges, enlightened people of the society and other stakeholders would be constituted which would prepare the draft of Uniform Civil Code for the state of Uttarakhand. However, this is a tricky issue as it is mainly a Central subject and Goa remains the only state to implement a sort of Uniform Civil Code. However, the government could go the Goa way in implementing the Uniform Civil Code, though it may be a minimal kind of uniform code, rather than scrapping personal laws which are Central laws which is not probably feasible. Dhami does have advantage of the fact that Narendra Modi Government at the Centre has promised all possible help to Uttarakhand in its journey towards rapid development. It may be reminded here that none other than Prime Minister Narendra Modi has declared the present decade as the decade of Uttarakhand. This also indicates that the Centre is willing to help the state toward the goal of rapid development, provided the State Government can effectively manage this. Dhami needs to take full advantage of this while in power and not only bring more and more Central aid, projects and schemes to the state, but also ensuring their effective implementation. The work being done towards improving the connectivity and road and railway network in the state is commendable and is sure to pave way for rapid development and infrastructure facilities across the state. One can have some reservations regarding his second cabinet since some expected and deserving names were ignored in the formation of Dhami Government 2.0. But this issue is mainly political and several political compulsions drive such decisions. Dhami believes that in order to maintain the culture and peaceful environment of Uttarakhand, it is necessary that the activities of chaotic elements entering the state are effectively monitored. So verification drive for all the citizens and for those coming from other states should be a welcome step. Uttarakhand Police has already started the implementation. Tourism and religious tourism is source of livelihood for a large number of people in Uttarakhand. It is a welcome thing that the new government too realises that and to promote and optimise the potential of tourism and religious tourism, a plan has been chalked out to expand physical infrastructure and transport facilities in all the temples and gurudwaras falling in the Chardham circuit. Similar initiative has also been launched toward renovation and reconstruction of several ancient temples in Kumaon as well under the Manaskhand Mandir Mala Mission. Under Mission Mayapuri, a roadmap is being prepared to build high quality infrastructure to transform Haridwar into the International Capital of Yoga and as one of the biggest destination for spiritual tourism in the world. Another commendable emphasis that Dhami appears to be stressing on is improving upon the welfare schemes. It has been decided that under the old age pension scheme would be granted to both the eligible husband and wife. The amount of old age pension, widow pension and the pension for the Specially Enabled persons has been raised by Rs 300 per month to Rs 1500 per month. With the help of the Centre, many very ambitious infrastructure projects are either approved or already under implementation. Chief among them are All Weather Road Project, Rishikesh-Karnaprayag Railway Line Project. Tanakpur Railway Project, upgradation of DehradunPaonta Sahib Highway to four lanes. Parvat Mala Ropeway Project is also another ambitious project. Parking facilities are being developed in the urban areas to overcome the traffic problem. Along with surface parking, multistorey parking, cavity parking and tunnel parking are also being planned. A proposal has been made to provide 4G/5G mobile network and high speed broadband and fibre internet facility in rural areas of Uttarakhand. With the aim of raising the social status of farmers and doubling their income, ‘CM Kisan Protsahan Nidhi’ has been started on the lines of PM Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana. Chief Minister Dhami has also announced initiatives to arrest migration and provide facilities for the villages adjoining the international border. Under this, all necessary assistance will be provided to the ex-servicemen and youth of the state through ‘Him Prahari Yojana’ to settle in the districts adjacent to the international borders. However, the government also needs to focus on improving local road infrastructure in cities like Dehradun, Haridwar, Haldwani and Nainital too. This has not received due focus so far. Besides this health infrastructure in the hills and ensuring of not only health facilities and modern medical equipment but also ensuring availability of doctors including specialist doctors in the remote and hill areas is very important. In the education sector too, availability of teachers in remote and hill areas and improving school infrastructure is very crucial besides ensuring self employment opportunities in the hills to effectively arrest the migration from the hills. Corruption at local level too needs to be more effectively dealt with.