What is being done by your government to attract investments to Uttar Pradesh, which could generate the much-needed jobs?
The government is making all efforts to attract investments to Uttar Pradesh. We have organised an Investor’s Meet at Agra and an Uttar Pradesh Investors Conclave at New Delhi. In the New Delhi event, MOUs worth Rs 54,000 crore were signed. Besides, the government is making serious efforts to increase power generation in the state as industries cannot flourish without it. Moreover, infrastructure is required for attracting investments to the state. The Agra-Lucknow Expressway is an ambitious project being undertaken by the government. This Rs 15,000 crore project will considerably bring down the travel time between Agra and Lucknow. Besides, it would encourage the setting up of industries along the Expressway. So, many employment opportunities would be created in the coming years. For better connectivity, all district headquarters are being connected by four-lane roads.
An IT City is being set up at Lucknow, which would make the capital of Uttar Pradesh an ideal IT hub; going forward, it would create job opportunities as industrialists head to Uttar Pradesh to set up their IT ventures here. In fact, reputed companies such as HCL, Infosys and Amul have already made investments here. Besides, the Times Group is establishing a university at Greater Noida with an investment of Rs 600 crore.
Infrastructure, including, but not limited to, roads and electricity, is key to the development of a state. What steps have been taken so far by your government for improving the infrastructure?
Apart from roads and electricity, the state government is also focussing on other necessary infrastructure such as stadia, parks, super speciality hospitals, cancer institutes, IIITs (Indian Institutes of Information Technology), IT parks, etc. A world-class, modern cricket stadium at Lucknow would attract sports lovers to the state. It would be a big addition to the infrastructure of the state. The trans-Ganga city project of Unnao and the Lucknow metro rail are other examples of the Samajwadi Party Government’s commitment to improving the infrastructure. We have also decided to execute metro rail services in the four other cities of Agra, Kanpur, Varanasi and Meerut.
What were some of your government’s initiatives insofar as education, particularly for girls, is concerned?
The government is fully aware that education is the key to success, prosperity and all-round development of the state. Without education, we cannot achieve our goals, be it at the individual level or at the societal level.
After coming to power, my government revived the ‘Kanya Vidya Dhan Yojana’ for encouraging girls to opt for higher education. The schemes such as ‘Hamari Beti, Uska Kal’ and ‘Padhein Betiyaan, Badhein Betiyaan’ also were launched to encourage girls belonging to the minority communities to opt for education.
The government has earmarked a sum of Rs 300 crore under the ‘Kanya Vidya Dhan Yojana’ for the fiscal year 2015-16. Also, it has arranged Rs 244 crore for the construction of hostels for girls studying in colleges. So, you can conclude that the government is making serious efforts to provide good education to the students.
Has distributing laptops to students really served its purpose?
Yes, it is one of the most successful and popular schemes, not only in Uttar Pradesh but countrywide, too. The government has taken care to provide laptops to students without any discrimination. The free laptops gave an opportunity to the students from rural areas and from economically weaker sections of the society to carve out a better future for themselves. It also helped to remove the fear of technology from their minds and instead boost their confidence. You can visit any village in Uttar Pradesh and you will find the positive changes this scheme has brought about for students. It has changed their life. Our effort was successful in bridging the digital divide. Now, the sky is the limit for them. You can see happiness on their faces. So, the government has succeeded in its efforts.
Toilets in rural areas are a challenge for any government. How is your government addressing this issue?
Yes, the government is aware of it. We are making efforts to provide toilets in the rural households. The allocation for construction of a toilet has been increased from 10,000 to 12,000. An allocation of Rs 1,533 crore has been made in the budget for the year 2015-16. Similarly, Rs 16 crore has been allocated for a pilot project for the construction of a bathroom along with a toilet in the rural areas.
I can assure that my government would leave no stone unturned to deal with this problem. We are committed to a ‘Clean and Green UP’.
Please throw light on some of your dream projects.
The Lucknow Metro Rail Project, the CG (Chak Ganjaria) City on the outskirts of Lucknow, an IT City, the Agra-Lucknow Expressway and a cancer hospital are some of the dream projects of the government. The implementation of ‘108’ Samajwadi Swasthya Sewa, ‘102’ National Ambulance Service, ‘1090’ Women Power Line and the Samajwadi Pension Scheme are some of the other dream projects of the government which have already come into existence.
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