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Lokayukta not needed as govt acts tough on graft: Uttarakhand CM

A Lokayukta law “is redundant” in Uttarakhand as the BJP government is walking the talk on its anti-graft policy, chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat said on Saturday.

dehradun Updated: Mar 17, 2018 21:13 IST
Hindustan Times
Uttarakhand news,Lokayukta,Govt acts tough
The BJP government in Uttarakhand is all set to celebrate its one year in power. A celebration venue (in pic) at Parade Ground in Dehradun on Saturday. (Vinay Santosh Kumar/HT Photo)

A Lokayukta law “is redundant” in Uttarakhand as the BJP government is walking the talk on its anti-graft policy, chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat said on Saturday.

He added that the state’s permanent capital issue would be resolved soon.

“Something would be done to resolve the issue,” Rawat said when asked if his government would name Gairsain as a permanent or a summer capital in the assembly’s nine-day budget session that commences in the state’s centrally located hill town on March 20.

In an interview on the occasion of his government’s completion of one year on March 18, Rawat rejected the Congress’s allegation that the BJP government was not enacting the proposed Lokayaukta Bill pending in the assembly to “hide skeletons” in its cupboards.

“Where is the need for that (enacting a Lokayukta Bill) when we have been effectively pursuing our anti-graft policy?” Rawat asked. He was reacting to Congress veteran Indira Hridayesh’s allegation that the BJP government failed to fulfil its promise that it would appoint the Lokayukta within 100 days of coming to power.

Rawat said he would soon constitute a new agency to keep an effective check on corruption. “It (Lokayukta) is not required because we have initiated a series of anti-graft measures since forming our government a year ago.”

He referred to anti-graft steps taken by his government in the Rs 300-crore fraud relating to farmers’ lands in Udham Singh Nagar that were acquired to construct NH-74. Around 20 officials allegedly involved in the scam have been jailed.

Rawat said his government had curbed corruption relating to transfers and postings of officials, which had “acquired a kind of institutionalised shape” under the previous Congress regime.

“Similarly, effective monitoring has helped us considerably augment our receipts in sectors, such as mining and power, where leakages have been plugged.” Rawat said he had managed to keep the middlemen away from the secretariat and the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO).

Listing his government’s initiatives in the past one year, he said they were aimed at checking forced migration from the hills. “So, we tried to strengthen three key sectors — health, education and employment, which were in bad shape when our government came to power,” Rawat said, adding that measures were taken to deal with paucity of doctors in the hills.

“We have appointed 1141 doctors in state-run hospitals, so far. This has happened for the first time since the state’s formation 17 years ago,” he said. All 13 district hospitals had been equipped with an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) each.

“We have now 47 state-run e-hospitals; there are other hospitals which are being equipped with tele-radiology and tele medicine facilities,” Rawat said.

To boost the farm sector, he said, cluster-based farming is being introduced in Nyay Panchayat areas, which will be developed as growth centres. “Besides, hill farmers will be encouraged to go for unconventional farming to boost their income.”

In the higher education sector, Rawat said, all posts of principals in state-run colleges had been filled. “All colleges have 93% faculty and the process of filling up the vacancies is currently on.”

PM to monitor Chardham road project

The CM said Prime Minister Narendra Modi would soon visit Uttarakhand to “monitor the progress” of the Chardham all-weather road project.

“He (Modi) will visit the entire project area by road,” Rawat said. Sources said the PM is likely to visit the state during the opening of the portals of the Kedanath shrine in April.

First Published: Mar 17, 2018 21:13 IST