UP cabinet okays proposals for rural jobs, improve Ayodhya’s road infrastructure
LUCKNOW: The Yogi Adityanath cabinet cleared 29 proposals at its meeting on Wednesday, some of them aimed at boosting religious tourism by upgrading the road network in Ayodhya and Mathura while generating employment especially in rural Uttar Pradesh (UP) where the ruling BJP recently swept the rural panchayat polls for the first time.
A 42-kilometre by-pass project, directly connecting Kaushambi to Prayagraj, too was cleared to improve connectivity with Kaushambi, where several archaeological remains of Buddhist period have been found and which, the Yogi government wants to develop on par with other prominent Buddhist circuit sites like Sarnath, Kushinagar, Kapilvastu and Shravasti.
UP minister Sidharth Nath Singh said the government has also decided to create about 1.6 lakh jobs, two in each of the 58,189 gram panchayats in the state by appointing a computer operator and assistant who would work from panchayat bhawans or rural secretariat buildings to be constructed at gram panchayats where such infrastructure doesn’t exist at the moment. At present, rural secretariat buildings exist in 33,577 panchayats and those requiring repair or renovation too would be identified.
The government hasn’t clarified how much the two staffers would be paid. The minister hinted it could be ₹6,000 per month. “I think this is what has been broadly suggested,” Sidharth Nath Singh said while briefing reporters about the 29 proposals cleared by the cabinet chaired by chief minister Yogi Adityanath at the Lok Bhawan on Wednesday evening.
Besides, the government will also recruit 6,000 people against sanctioned posts of village panchayat officers and village development officers. As of now, only 10,000 of the 16,000 sanctioned posts are manned.
“It will be mandatory to employ local people to work in these rural secretariats as this would aid the objective of boosting village economy through job creation,” Singh said.
“The chief minister has set a six-month deadline for completing this process in rural UP,” Sidharth Nath said. The deadline is timed just ahead of the UP polls early next year. The state government has already rolled out ‘Mission employment’ in the state under which all vacancies in the government departments are being filled. Before the cabinet meeting Adityanath had handed over recruitment letters to 130 youths who were appointed as excise inspectors.
40 lakh more to get free medical insurance
The state government has decided to include 40 lakh antyodaya ration card holders, essentially the unemployed, women and elderly, under the mukhyamantri arogya yojana, the chief minister’s free medical insurance scheme that provides for up to ₹5 lakh free insurance cover and is modelled to cover those left out of a similar scheme announced by the Centre.
Mathura road widening project curtailed
A road widening project in Mathura has been curtailed from a four-lane to a two-lane road due to environmental concerns, the state government indicated.
“An 82 kilometre long, four-lane project for which ₹505.72 crore was sanctioned and was aimed at decongesting Kosi, Nandgaon, Barsana, Govardhan route has now been changed to two lane one as the project meant 12,982 trees would have had to be felled,” Sidharth Nath said.
“As per existing norms, this would have had to be compensated by carrying out ten times more plantation. To do that you also require enough land and hence keeping environmental concerns in mind, it has been decided to downgrade the four-lane road widening project in Mathura into a two-lane one,” Sidharth Nath said.
“Trees would still be felled but comparatively a lot fewer as the downgraded road widening project would now require 1,966 trees to be felled.”
The road widening project has been undertaken to facilitate movement of international tourists to places in Mathura that are associated with Lord Krishna’s childhood and are a part of what the minister described as “baal leela of Krishna.”
Ayodhya in focus
Three road widening projects in or around Ayodhya were cleared by the state cabinet.
“A grand temple is coming up at Ayodhya. We expect global tourist footfall to increase and hence a major push to better road infrastructure has been undertaken,” Sidharth Nath said. The road widening projects include the Ayodhya-Akbarpur-Baskhari route. This project is aimed at easing traffic congestion in Azamgarh, Mau, Varanasi and Ballia route, officials associated with the project said.
After the cabinet meeting, the chief minister sat through a presentation by departments of tourism and culture on the proposed spiritual theme park at Ayodhya, culture policy and upgradation of Vindhyavasini temple project.