CHIEF MINISTER Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Monday came in for praise from former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee for expediting development activities in the State.
Dedicating the Bansagar inter-state river project, aimed at generating electricity for the State and irrigating large parts of Vindhya area in the State and neighobouring Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, Vajpayee said he would be happy if development activities also picked up speed across the country. He said all-round development was taking place in MP.
The project on River Sone at Devlond village near here will generate 425 MW hydel power and help irrigate 1.54 lakh hectares agriculture land in the State. Besides, it will help irrigate 1.5 lakh hectare land in UP and 0.94 lakh hectare in Bihar. The State bore 50 per cent cost of the Rs 2,964-crore project and the remaining cost was shared equally by other states.
He said the Bansagar project would come as a blessing for the farmers. It is an irony that farmers are committing suicide for their inability to repay high interest loans. This should end, he remarked.
He said the rural employment guarantee scheme was a good initiative to help the people. Any scheme, he said, will produce results only when it is properly implemented and doesn’t get mired in corruption.
Remembering RSS ideologue Deendayal Upadhaya on his birthday, Vajpayee said one of the founders of Jansangh he always advocated and worked for betterment of the country.
Late Prime Minister Morarji Desai had laid the foundation stone of the ambitious project on May 14, 1978. Though the project was to be completed in 10 years, it took 28 years for completion due to financial constraints. Presiding over the function, Chouhan announced the launching of the Atal Gram Sarovar Project in the State aimed at constructing 1,000 ponds in villages to irrigate 1lakh hectares of land.
Development activities are being undertaken in the State, the Chief Minster said, adding the industrialists of other states have invested huge amount in MP.
Those present on the dais included, former chief minister and Industry Minister Babulal Gaur, Water Resource Minister Anoop Mishra, Minister of State for Water Resources Juggal Kishore Bagri, Bihar Water Resource Minister Ram Prasad and State BJP president Satyanarayan Jatia.