Right from the word go, the Yogi Adityanath government has undertaken several good reform measures.
In the short span of one year, the Uttar Pradesh government, under the dynamic leadership of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, has turned around the state and achieved several new development milestones since the Adityanath government took charge a year ago.
Right from the word go, the Yogi Adityanath government set out on the task of reforming the state and has undertaken several measures in many fields in a bid to end corruption in the state and usher in a culture of transparency and good governance.
Be it improving the law and order situation or the education sector or reviving an environment for business or modernisation of Varanasi, the constituency of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Yogi Adityanath government has put in untiring efforts to fast-track development in Uttar Pradesh.
The state government has cracked down on the “cheating mafia” which ruled the education sector and the old familiar scenes of relatives and friends surrounding examination centres with material to copy from, were not there this year. Chief Minister Adityanath has also said that he would order a probe into the recruitments done by the UP Public Service Commission during the past five years.
The general impression among the public is that the law and order situation has improved and mafia dons are under pressure to leave the state. The number of girls walking on the streets without fear of eve teasers is an indication of the improving law and order situation in Uttar Pradesh.
Unique measures like launching of anti-Romeo squads to check public obscenity and crimes against women, the encounters of several top gangsters and giving the UP Police the freedom to act against criminals, have all worked to improve the law and order situation.
The power supply situation in small towns and villages has also improved. In short, improvement is being felt by citizens of the state, though there is a long way to go.
In the course of one year, the Yogi Adityanath government has launched many innovative measures. The state PWD is using a more eco-friendly technology to make roads in the state—recycling granite and stone ballast and reinforcing this with additives. Also, polluting hot tar felt technology will be replaced with cold layer technology to reduce air pollution while making roads.
Road safety and improvement in road technology are top priorities for the state government. The new slogan of the PWD is “eco-friendly road technology”.
The government is making efforts to ensure proper electricity supply to all small towns and villages. Barabanki and Hardoi, which earlier experienced very poor power supply, are now getting uninterrupted power supply for days at a stretch.
The state police have been given directives to ensure that all complaints in police stations are registered and that special grievance redressal mechanisms are set up for citizens to restore faith in the law and order machinery.
On the economic front, the Yogi Adityanath government has ushered in good news with the Investors’ Summit in Lucknow on 21-22 February resulting in MoUs worth over Rs 4.28 lakh crore being signed between the state and leading industrial houses.
The state government has been financially helping the farmers in the state. They are also using new farming technology, thereby creating a conducive environment for agricultural growth in the state. Anti land mafia task forces have been set up in the state to free thousands of acres of land encroached upon by anti-social elements.
Mafia dons have been feeling the heat, as several encounters between gangsters and the police have taken place, leading to a reduction in criminal activities.
Several reforms have been carried out in the education sector, including introduction of biometric attendance for teachers and electronic surveillance in schools and colleges.
Relentless hard work to improve governance in the state paid off recently in the form of huge investment commitments in the Investors’ Summit, which attracted thousands of visitors from all over the globe. Even before the summit was held, the state government had already exceeded the target it had set for itself by signing MoUs worth over Rs 2.75 lakh crore. However by the time the summit was over, the MoUs signed were worth well over Rs 4.28 lakh crore. This clearly showed that a state which was behind Bihar in terms of development, in the perception of people and investors, is no longer lagging behind. The factors contributing to the success of the summit were many, but the efforts to fast-track development in the state in the run-up to the summit mattered the most. The summit attracted the presence of a total of 5,000 businessmen from all over the world, including captains of Indian industry. The single window clearance system and the cluster driven industrial policy of the UP government attracted investors the most.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was present at the occasion, also pitched in with an offer for a defence industrial corridor.
The state government left no stones unturned to make the summit a huge success. There were TV advertisements and road shows were organised in Delhi, Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Mumbai to promote the summit. Industry Minister Satish Mahana played a key role in Mumbai, assuring investors of the safety of their investments in the state. Chief Minister Adityanath told them, “We will take care of law and order, you are requested to start industries and provide jobs.” These are all signs that the people are appreciating the change in governance and that Uttar Pradesh has now started experiencing better governance now.
IMPROVING LAW & ORDER
Ensuring safety of women in the state has been a top priority of the Yogi Adityanath government right from the word go. The state’s anti Romeo squads have checked over 26,36,070 persons and cases were filed against 1,987 persons. The Women’s safety helpline has been expanded from 11 districts to cover all 75 districts.
The Jan Sunwai Portal was set up to resolve issues online. Over 22,316 complaints were received and dealt with online. To reduce road accidents, a “helmet day” and a “seat belt day” will be observed in the state regularly every Wednesday. The idea is to promote traffic safety norms in the state and encourage motorists and those using scooters to use helmets and seat belts while driving.
A women’s security week was observed in December 2017 and over 10,43,375 students of 5,632 colleges were sensitised by police personnel. To strengthen the STF, several new posts have been created. In all, 267 new posts were created. The fear of the law enforcement authorities is now evident among criminals of Uttar Pradesh as several have fled the state.
When the Yogi Adityanth government came to power in the state, it made it clear that improving the law and order situation would be the top-most priority for the government. It ordered a crackdown on criminal gangs that were ruling the state and had carved out their fiefdoms.
The Chief Minister made it clear that he would leave no stones unturned to sort out the problems in the state and the police were given strict orders to go ahead and tackle crimes with all the methods at their disposal.
In the last year, 44 criminals were killed in 1,322 encounters till March 2018. Four policemen lost their lives, and 283 men in uniform were injured in these encounters.
Nearly 3,900 major gangsters have been arrested till date and almost 112 have been booked under the National Security Act and properties worth over Rs 1,000 crore, belonging to nearly 126 criminals, have been confiscated.
The police have been told to intensify searches against criminals and their unlawful dealings, including illicit arms, liquor business and extortion rackets.
Out of fear of the police, as many as 40 criminals cancelled their bail and went back to jail and over 80 criminals surrendered before the court in neighbouring states like Delhi, Bihar, Uttarakhand and Haryana.
When CM Yogi Adityanath and his Cabinet colleagues were doing road shows across the country to attract big corporate houses and potential investors and reaching out to foreign missions to invest in Uttar Pradesh, his first and most important projection of Uttar Pradesh was that the state was safe for investment as it was crime free.
For the first time, major effort is underway to undertake major police reforms in the state. Apart from setting up the anti-Romeo squads and ordering a crackdown on gangsters and crime lords in the state, the Yogi Adityanath government is focusing on reforms to make life easier for the common man and strengthen the police force in a state.
The police have been given strict instructions to lodge all FIRs and complaints and with this in mind, for the first time, an FIR centre has been set up in the office of the SSPs of each district.
Meanwhile, efforts are being made to fill up several vacancies in the police department. The police have, meanwhile, resolved several cases online through the Jan Sunvai Portal. A total of 22,316 cases were solved online.
‘A STATE OF IT PARKS’
Uttar Pradesh has embarked upon a new and bold policy to create jobs and make IT parks in several cities, apart from Noida and Greater Noida. The aim is to develop and promote an attractive business ecosystem in UP by offering congenial, business-friendly and progressive reforms, initiatives and unique value propositions. The aim is also to promote human and infrastructure development by means of IT Cities, IT Parks, and IT-BPM units. A state-of-the-art IT City has been built over 100 acres of land at Lucknow.
The project entails an envisaged investment worth Rs 1,500 crore and aims to provide employment to 75,000 people. It is based on the “Walk to Work” model. As much as 60% of land is earmarked for core area activities and 40 % land has been designated for non-core activities. IT parks are being established at Agra, Meerut, Gorakhpur, Kanpur, Lucknow, Varanasi, Bareilly etc, for encouraging employment avenues in Tier-II and Tier-III cities. They will contribute significantly towards boosting the IT exports of the state. Separate guidelines will be released to promote IT parks in Uttar Pradesh.
With the goal of breeding innovation and entrepreneurship, the state government has collaborated with premier institutes like IIT -Kanpur, IIT-BHU, IIM-Lucknow (Noida), and KNIT Sultanpur to establish incubators. The country’s biggest incubator is envisaged to be established in Uttar Pradesh.
UNINTERRUPTED POWER SUPPLY
Earlier, people in small towns like Hardoi and Barabanki had power supply only for a few hours in the morning and gensets had to be used almost throughout the day. Today, however, the gensets are a thing of the past and there has been a drastic improvement in the power supply situation in the state now.
In April 2017, the Uttar Pradesh government and the Centre entered into an agreement which promises to provide 24×7 power supply to all the households in the state. The state government also announced that it would expand the ambit of the Dial 1911 helpline through which consumers in rural areas can communicate their grievances pertaining to power supply.
The Energy Efficiency Services Limited will install 10,000 energy efficiency solar-panel pumps. The power situation has vastly improved all across Uttar Pradesh in the past six months.
In another milestone for the Uttar Pradesh government, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Emmanuel Macron inaugurated the state’s biggest solar power plant in Mirzapur district recently. The Prime Minister and the French president pressed a button to energise the solar panels and dedicated the 75 MW facility to the people.
This plant has been built at a cost of around Rs 500 crore by French firm ENGIE; the 75 MW solar plant has come up at Dadar Kalan village on the hilly terrain of the Vindhya Mountain range. The solar panels have been set up in over 380 acres. Power would be transmitted to the Jigna sub-station of Mirzapur range of Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation Ltd, officials said. The plant will generate 15.6 crore units of electricity annually, about 1.30 crore units per month. Prime Minister Modi had called for concessional financing and less risky funds for solar projects to raise the share of solar power in the energy basket, provide cheaper electricity and cut carbon emissions to reduce the risk of global warming.
BETTER ROADS, AIR CONNECTIVITY
The new motto of the state PWD now is “reuse, reinforce and recycle” to make roads stronger and more eco-friendly. For this, the state PWD has adopted a new technology of reusing ballast and granite used in road building to save the quarries of the state from being overused. The quarrying during the earlier regimes has exhausted some of the major quarries for pink stone in the state. Given the tremendous demand for road building in the state, the new technology is vital. It will help improve the state’s connectivity, but not at the cost of the environment.
The new process makes it imperative for the state PWD to also use a cold layer tar felting technique as opposed to the old technique of heating and using tar coal which caused severe air pollution.
Road laying and road widening work is, therefore, a prime area of focus in the state. Road projects in places as distant as Pilibhit, Lakhimpur Kheri, Basti, Sant Kabir Nagar or Chandauli are not only getting attention, but witnessing rapid speedy progress. No doubt, a number of National Highway projects are also helping the road infrastructure in the state. Work on two new expressways—the Poorvanchal Expressway from Lucknow to Ballia and Bundelkhand Expressway connecting Agra to Jhansi—is being speeded up.
Fifteen new airports are being planned to improve air connectivity.
NEW INDUSTRIAL POLICY
The bold new industrial policy announced for investors has several fringe benefits. These range from cheap electricity and monetary incentives to building film cities. The policy is proof that the Yogi Adityanath government has plans to revive the shattered economy of the state and embark on the path of rapid development. The aim is to get investors into the state to set up shops, factories and industrial hubs so that the youth of the state can get jobs.
The new industrial policy lays out a road map and will help in creating land banks, promoting country-specific industrial parks to attract FDI and help in setting up private industrial parks around the Lucknow-Kanpur, Kanpur-Allahabad and Varanasi-Allahabad zones.
Everything is on the plate, including information technology, ITeS, electronics manufacturing, agro and food processing, dairy, green energy, handloom, textile and tourism, including religious tourism. To provide proper connectivity, the policy stresses on linking air and rail and road networks in the state.
NEW TOURISM POLICY
Ayodhya, Chitrakoot and Nemisharan will be developed as tourist spots to promote cultural and religious tourism. Uttar Pradesh will promote heritage tourism under the new tourism policy 2018. Over 150 artistes took part in the Suraj Kund Handicrafts Festival for the first time, with UP as the theme state. A one-stop travel solution portal has been set up for tourists to make it easy for them to come to the state. The branding of Uttar Pradesh is underway, with the slogan “If you have not seen UP, you have not seen India”.
For the first time, a Kumbh logo has been created to promote the Kumbh Mela on an international scale. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has been constantly undertaking a review of the development works and law and order situation in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Lok Sabha constituency of Varanasi. The CM has held several meetings with senior officers in this regard. Varanasi has several developmental projects in progress.
An elevated road connecting Babatpur to the city, several flyovers, a ring road, water connections under Ramana STP and a first-of-its kind integrated transport hub, metro train and an ambitious project to provide cooking gas through pipelines, promise to change the face of the city. CM Adityanath is personally supervising the development projects in Varanasi. Instructions have been given to ensure disbursement of compensation money for lands acquired for National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) road projects connecting Varanasi to nearby eight districts within 15 days of acquisition.
In basic education, the state saw an increase in the number of admissions taking place from Class 1 to Class 8. In 1,58,837 schools of the Basic Shiksha Parishad, almost 1,54,22,047 students were enrolled, an increase of over 2 lakh from 2017. Free books for students were distributed in all primary schools from Class 1 up to Class 8.
A total of 1.67 crore students were issued free uniforms of new design and colours in the state.
Apart from uniforms, students were also issued free sweaters in the winter and bags, shoes and socks as well. Special committees have been set up to examine the content and quality of the mid-day meals offered to students. To upgrade education facilities, students are being provided with computers in their schools. Facilities for online transfer of teachers have been introduced. Private institutions can also apply for recognition through the online process. Attendance of teachers and students is now being uploaded daily on a digital platform to keep records up to date. Funds were given to 5,865 primary schools to purchase furniture for children. Technical education has also received a fillip with 19 polytechnics being set up in the state and 17 hostels being constructed. In all, 33 polytechnics were provided free Wi-fi facitlies for students, as per the government’s directives. Virtual class rooms were set up in 19 polytechnics and 15 more polytechnics to get virtual classrooms. A placement cell is being set up in polytechnics with financial aid from the state government to enable diploma holders to get jobs. On Uttar Pradesh Diwas, foundation stone was laid for two women’s polytechnics, one state polytechnic and 15 women’s hostels in the state. Funds have been sanctioned by the authorities for engineering colleges in Pratapgarh, Basti, Gonda and Mirzapur.
FARMERS GET LOAN WAIVER
To improve the condition of farmers in the state, in the last one year, the Uttar Pradesh government waived the crop loans of over two crore farmers in the state. Crop loans of up to Rs 1 lakh of small and marginal farmers in the state were waived. For small and marginal farmers in the state, the government gave a windfall in the form of a crop loan waiver which was carried out through banks. All farmers were eligible for a loan waiver subject to a limit of Rs 1 lakh. A total of 34.11 lakh farmers were given loan waivers to the tune of Rs 20598.31 crore.
Health minister Siddharth Nath Singh has said that the decision was in accordance with Prime Minister Modi’s announcement to provide relief to farmers. However, the limit of Rs one lakh on the loan waiver will remain in force.
BETTER MEDICAL FACILITIES
The government has taken several steps to augment medical facilities in the state. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s dream that his hometown Gorakhpur gets an AIIMS hospital will soon be a reality, as his government has already transferred 112 acres of land to the Centre for the purpose. The registry of 112 acres of land, belonging to the Sugarcane Research Centre, has been done in Gorakhpur in favour of the Centre. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had laid the foundation stone for AIIMS at this land in 2016.
The coming of the AIIMS in the region will take the load off the over burdened BRD Hospital in the state.
HOMES FOR THE POOR
A target to build at least 9.75 lakh homes has been set for 2017-18 in the state under the Prime Minister’s Gram Avas Yojana.
From April 2017 till November 2017, almost 9.89 lakh families have been registered for the scheme. Geo tagging of 9.42 lakh homes has already been done, while 8.69 lakh houses have been approved by the state government.
The first instalment of the aid and money from the government has already been released to 7.52 lakh persons for building houses.
While these houses are under construction in the state, the government has already released the second instalment of funds for 1.84 lakh homes.
On 18 September 2017, the UP government made special efforts and received a grant of Rs 2091.48 crore from the Centre for the scheme. Under this scheme, the government has so far received Rs 5212.86 crore and has already utilised 82% of the funds or Rs 4286.63 crore.
To hasten house construction work in the state, the government has changed the manner in which the money used to be allocated earlier, in three equal instalments. House owners who have utilised the first instalment of Rs 40,000 will now get an instalment of Rs 70,000, instead of 40,000, so that they can speed up work.