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Friday, Nov 15, 2019

Delay in important decisions delaying Science City project

The Allahabad Science City project, a brainchild of former Human Resource Development Minister Dr Murli Manohar Joshi, has failed to move forward in Allahabad due to various official hurdles whereas a similar project, which was simultaneously planned for Ahmedabad, has become functional there and a large number of people are getting befitted there.

india Updated: Jan 08, 2006 00:43 IST
Prem Kant Tiwari
Prem Kant Tiwari
PTI
Hindustantimes
         

The Allahabad Science City project, a brainchild of former Human Resource Development Minister Dr Murli Manohar Joshi, has failed to move forward in Allahabad due to various official hurdles whereas a similar project, which was simultaneously planned for Ahmedabad, has become functional there and a large number of people are getting befitted there.

In a tête-à-tête with Prem Kant Tiwari, the officer on special duty (OSD) YK Upadhyay revealed how had he taken up the work for the Allahabad Science City project after he was assigned the job, how he succeeded in accomplishing various difficult tasks in this connection and what were the hardships which have now hampered the progress of the project.

How come you were chosen as OSD for the Allahabad Science city project?
In fact, this project was conceptualised by Dr MM Joshi, the then HRD Minister, and he had planned the project for Allahabad and Ahmedabad. The project in Ahmedabad started functioning as there were no procedural hurdles but in Allahabad there were several hurdles. I was district development officer in Allahabad when I was entrusted with this responsibility. Dilip Kotia, the then personal secretary to the HRD Minister had earlier observed my style of functioning in Etah when he was the district magistrate and I was Vikas Adhikari of the Grameen Awas Parishad and had additional charge of the district small savings officer. The Etah district had topped in small savings in the State for two consecutive years. Obviously, I became Kotia's choice. Besides, Dr Joshi had also enquired about me with the then district magistrate of Allahabad Alok Tandon before my appointment as OSD.

What are your achievements as OSD to the Allahabad Science City Society?
Actually, these achievements are not personal. But after becoming OSD, I started my work with utmost enthusiasm and my first priority was that the project must have adequate land for setting up the project. The Central Government had urged the Allahabad Nagar Nigam (ANN) to give land for the Science City project. The ANN, after overcoming several hurdles, proposed to give the land of the sewage-fed fish farm, which too was a Central project but had failed to serve the purpose.

Ultimately, the Uttar Pradesh Government also gave its consent for allotment of this land to the project. I had to visit Lucknow and Delhi many a time for getting these formalities completed and I heaved a sigh of relief only after the work was done. Now the land has been acquired in Naini area. But, still some more land has to be acquired for the project.

Why the Science City project could not take off so far?
I had joined my duties as OSD on April 9, 2003. After acquisition of land Dr MM Joshi had laid foundation stone of the the project on February 9, 2004. In the beginning the work was going on in right direction but the procedure consumed time and when some crucial decisions were to be taken, dates for the Lok Sabha elections were announced in 2004 and model code of conduct was implemented.

And, after the elections, there was change of government at the Centre and apparently the project got delayed.

The Allahabad Science City Society, which was registered on July 23, 2002 to look after the project has nine persons as its members. These members are scientists and senior government officers. The governing body of the society, according to norms, should have fresh members after every 12 months.

However, these members can also function till appointment of new members. Unfortunately, several important decisions could not be taken because the governing body could not hold its meeting and necessary resolutions could not be passed.

What are your future plans?
Term of my deputation with the Science City Society will expire on April 9, 2006. Now it is up to the HRD Ministry, the nodal department to extend my deputation. However, I feel the work is progressing at snail's pace and a lot more could be done. I have my own limitations as an OSD. I am not even getting my salary regularly. However, if the things are improved and I am given another chance I am ready to prove my worth.