With the state gearing up for assembly polls, government orders for granting last-minute sanctions and additional funds are being issued every 15 minutes. The UP government has fast-tracked what’s usually a slow moving procedure to ensure that ongoing projects meet deadlines.
In what appeared to be a race against time, the state government issued a GO almost every 15 minutes, releasing over 523 such orders in just five working days – from January 2 to 6.
Out of these, 503 GOs were issued from January 2 to January 4 – the day when the Election Commission of India (ECI) announced the poll programme for UP assembly elections and the model of code of conduct came into force.
Besides providing additional funds for schemes related to Dalits, backward classes and minority welfare, orders were issued to upgrade or add facilities at medical institutes and hospitals, and release jail inmates on the basis of mercy petitions.
GOs were also issued to upgrade, widen, strengthen and construct roads – an issue that is often raised at the local level during assembly elections.
In the weeks before the poll schedule was announced, CM Akhilesh Yadav went on a foundation stone-laying and project inauguration spree, to beat the EC’s code of conduct.
In December 2016, the CM had sought ?1,683 crore in the state assembly, as second supplementary demand to get additional funds for his ambitious projects.
A sum of Rs 1,000 crore for the completion of the Samajwadi Purvanchal Expressway, and a supplementary amount of Rs 450 crore for constructing roads and bridges was also demanded.