The old adage “where there’s a will, there’s a way”, holds true for Chhattisgarh. The 16-year young state, which had started its journey with few resources, has achieved wonders in a relatively short time. The state government, which recently completed 5,000 days in power, has left no stones unturned to make Chhattisgarh a “powerful state” from a “power surplus” state. The massive development of the state can be attributed to the sensitive and sincere regime headed by Chief Minister Dr Raman Singh.
Chhattisgarh, which is full of energy, is rapidly transforming into a favourite destination for industries. Apart from power, Chhattisgarh has made notable advancements in every sector since its formation in 2000 from erstwhile Madhya Pradesh.
In 2000, Chhattisgarh used to produce 4,732 MW of power that was not enough to satisfy its own appetite, resulting in load shedding and loss to industrial houses. However, today the state is generating 22,764 MW power.
Apart from power, Chhattisgarh has made notable progress in other key sectors. For instance, the annual income per person, which in 2003 was Rs 10,000, has now jumped to Rs 82,000. It shows how business-friendly policies of Chhattisgarh have turned the state into a fertile ground for financial activities.
The landlocked state took the challenge of improving connectivity in the state and in the past three years alone, has constructed 2,352 km of roads. The state public works department is now working to construct 5,097 km of new roads.
The state is taking special care of Naxal infested regions and under the LWE scheme, 19 roads stretching over 2,021 km have been constructed by spending Rs 2,905 crore.
On the railway front, it is worth noting that in the past 160 years, only 1,280 km of railway tracks had been laid, but in the next 10 years, about 1,380 km of railway tracks will be laid in Chhattisgarh with the assistance of the Union Ministry of Railways.
The state is also developing two railway corridors which will cover the industrial belts of the state falling between Korba-Dharamjaigarh-Kharasia and Gevra to Pendraraod.
When completed, phase I (Kharasia to Dharamjaigarh) will mainly facilitate movement of about 60 MT of coal from the region to various parts of the country, apart from providing train facility to the local populace.
Another sector which has undergone drastic improvement is the education sector. In the past 13 years, the numbers of schools have trebled from 21,000 to 60,000.
Notable higher education centers like IIT, IIM and AIIMS are functioning in the state. Currently, there are seven government-run and three private medical colleges in the state.
Likewise, 50 engineering colleges and 51 polytechnic colleges are providing quality education to the young generation.
Public health has also seen a sea change. The child mortality rate has decreased from 63 to 46 out of every 1,000 births. Likewise, the mother mortality rate has also dipped from 365 to 221 for every one lakh births, thanks to improved institutional deliveries and schemes like “102 Mahtari Express”. The malnutrition rate, which earlier was at alarming 52%, has gone down to 30%.
Special supplementary foods being provided at Anganwadi centers have played a crucial role in curbing undernourishment in Chhattisgarh.
Irrigation is one of the key factors responsible for good agriculture. The state government understands this well and hence has been focusing on improving irrigation facilities.
Currently, there are over 4 lakh irrigation pump connections compared to 72,000 a decade ago.