Home Dehradun Many achievements to credit of PushkarSingh Dhami Govt!

Many achievements to credit of PushkarSingh Dhami Govt!

302
0
SHARE

By ARUN PRATAP SINGH

The one year tenure of the Pushkar Singh Dhami led BJP Government in Uttarakhand has witnessed several major and tough decisions and some notable achievements. One year is not a sufficient period to comprehensively judge any government’s performance but it does indicate the intentions of the government and the direction taken by it towards the remaining four year term. Some of the achievements have been bringing in a very stringent anti-copying law, implementing 30 percent horizontal reservation for women of the state, implementing 10 percent horizontal reservation for statehood agitationists, a strict anti mass-conversion law and a decision to implement the Uniform Civil Code. However, at the same time, there are several challenges ahead in achieving the government’s resolve to make Uttarakhand one of the leading states in the country by 2025, when it will be Uttarakhand@25. Although, the Dhami Government did face several major challenges during the first year of its term which it completed on 23 March, 2023, it did manage to keep its image more or less intact.

FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT

On the financial front, the government has managed to keep the finances within the desired parameters of efficiency. A revenue surplus budget of Rs 4309 crores and a total budget of over Rs 77,400 crores has been brought for the Financial Year 2023-24 by the government. This is an increase of 18.05 percent over last year’s budget and is not a small increase by any means. The budget focuses more on agriculture, horticulture, rural development, health, tourism and infrastructure, along with the basic mantra of providing better education and greater employment for the youth. However, it needs to be reminded here that Uttarakhand is a special category state and therefore a large part of the expenditure budgeted in the Annual Budget for rural development, roads and other infrastructure, horticulture and agriculture, and health has a liberal share of central funds and schemes. Tourism, perhaps, needed a bigger allocation than the Rs 302 crores allocated for the financial year 2023-24 in the budget. A fair amount of Rs 1,000 crores has also been allocated for the Joshimath disaster affected but whether it will prove adequate for this year only time can tell. As far as the government is concerned, it claims to have given the best rehabilitation package to disaster affected families in Joshimath. Final reports on the extent of damages and what can be done to keep further subsidence in check are still awaited from the Central Institutions that were engaged in the ground studies with the help of technical experts.

INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT

The Dhami Government has done quite well on improving road, rail, air and even ropeway connectivity in the state, of course with the very generous help of the Centre in what can also be termed as a positive impact of the ‘Double Engine Government’ concept. Progress on the Char Dham All Weather Road project, the Delhi-Dehradun Elevated Road Project and a few roads in Kumaon under Bharat Mala projects has been significant. Progress on the Rishikesh-Karnaprayag Railway Line has been good, and the project is progressing ahead of schedule. While Prime Minister Modi provided free cylinders for Ujjwala gas connections, the Dhami Government has made arrangements for free refill of an additional 3 cylinders a year, which will help the rural poor, particularly in the hills and help reduce women’s drudgery.

HEALTH SECTOR

In the Health Sector, good progress continues in providing Atal Ayushman cards to the entire population of the state. More than 47 lakh Ayushman cards have been distributed under the scheme. More than 6.67 lakh persons have benefitted under the scheme, so far, and an amount of Rs 1,200 crores spent on the treatment of these patients by the government. Clearly, this scheme has helped in reducing pressure on government hospitals to some extent. In the education sector, Uttarakhand is among the first states to implement the New Education Policy, both, at school and the university level education.

PREPARING A BLUEPRINT FOR UTTARAKHAND@25

Another initiative taken by the Dhami Government that indicate its resolve towards planned development and progress of Uttarakhand has been holding of a summit for bureaucrats, subject matter specialists and departmental officers in Mussoorie. Top bureaucrats were asked to prepare blueprint of the departments under their charge and make a presentation before the CM and other ministers at Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration (LBSNAA). Such an initiative has never been seen in Uttarakhand before.

DEALING WITH CHALLENGES

Regarding the irregularities that were found in the recruitment examinations for various posts conducted by UKSSSC and UKPSC, the government has appointed SITs to investigate and has also agreed to supervision of the investigations by a sitting HC judge for the sake of transparency. Not only this, enacting a very stringent law to stop irregularities and paper leaks in competitive examinations should prove a strong deterrent against future irregularities, with very strong punishments provided. This, the government claims, is perhaps the strictest such law in the country.

Due to efficient financial management by the government, Uttarakhand today has become a fast growing economy. That’s why a surplus budget of Rs 4309 crores has been brought with an increase of 18.05 percent in the budget size. Importance has been given to agriculture, horticulture, rural development, health, tourism and infrastructure along with the basic mantra of providing better education and better employment to the youth.Through women’s reservation, the effort to give full rights to half of the state’s population is going to be fruitful. On the other hand, by taking the decision to give reservation to the statehood agitationists, the government has done the work of honouring the martyrs and others involved in the formation of the state.

Some of the major events and incidents that could have dented the image of the government included a series of scams and irregularities in recruitment examinations conducted by the Uttarakhand Subordinate Services Selection Commission (UKSSSC) and Uttarakhand State Public Service Commission (UKPSC). However, by ordering SIT inquiries into each of such examinations where there were complaints or indications of any irregularities, and arresting more than 80 persons allegedly responsible, it managed to salvage its reputation. Not only this, the government has also brought in a very stringent law that provides for confiscation of all properties of those found involved in such irregularities and also provides for long imprisonment to those convicted. With this, the government has made a serious and sincere attempt to ensure that the future recruitment examinations and processes are conducted in a fair and transparent manner. As a result of this initiative, not only has the blueprint for sector-wise development of the state been prepared by the government on the theme ‘Strong Uttarakhand @ 25’ in Mussoorie, but work has also been started on it. How much difference this initiative towards building a good future for Uttarakhand will be seen in times to come.

The Ankita Bhandari murder case was another such incident that was turned into a major political issue by the Opposition and rightly so. But the facts do indicate that the government has been sincere in ensuring that the investigation and the case are taken to their logical end in a fair manner. Joshimath land subsidence presented as another challenge some months ago. Although the subsidence is more or less under control at present and the government claims to have planned rehabilitation of families affected by the disaster, the issue is still alive. It remains to be seen how the rehabilitation is carried out and also what steps and decisions are taken towards ensuring that Joshimath land subsidence can be checked and controlled. The government has sought a rehabilitation package of Rs 2,000 crores from the Centre for this.

PROMISES MADE BY THE DHAMI GOVERNMENT

  • Family identity cards will be prepared on the lines of the Haryana Government.
  • Organic outlets will be opened in all districts to market organic products.
  • The National Digital Livestock Mission Scheme has been launched in Udham Singh Nagar, Champawat, Dehradun and Haridwar.
  • Check dams and stop dams will be built for water conservation on small rivers and streams.
  • In the first phase out of 48, the infrastructure facilities at 16 temples will be developed under the Manaskhand Mandir Mala Mission scheme.
  • For the Chardham Yatra, there will be arrangement of online registration and token and slot booking for darshan. Pilgrims will not have to wait for more than an hour.
  • The Jageshwar Mahasu Devta will be developed under the master plan.
  • 20 new places will be developed for adventure activities.
  • A new tourism policy is on the anvil to promote investment.
  • Parking facility will be made for 1050 vehicles in Dehradun.
  • Government will provide employment opportunities and training to the youth.
  • Linkage cells will be formed in industries under the Work Force Development Project.
  • Domain experts will be arranged for skill training. Domain experts in the fields of IT, agriculture, drone technology, solar, tourism, beauty wellness, electronics, etc., will train the youth.
  • On-the-job training and accommodation facility for trainees coming from far off places will be created in Dehradun, Haridwar, Kashipur, Dineshpur hostels near industrial locations.
  • Workshops and finishing schools will be opened with the help of industries in the field of electrical, manufacturing, RAC, industrial production. Foreign Employment Cell, Model Career Centre, while Departmental Training Centres will be set up under Skill Hubs.