Opposition Congress today raised issues regarding farmers and alleged irregularities in various schemes of the Chhattisgarh government on the first day of the Budget session even as Governor Balramji Das Tandon delivered his customary address. In his address, the governor lauded the state government’s efforts for betterment of villages, poor and farmers. “My government has worked exemplary for the welfare of farmers-villagers and each section of the society including scheduled caste, scheduled tribes and other backward castes. The state government, while keeping the need of people in mind, drafted policies and schemes that benefited children, women, youth, divyang-jan (differently-abled) and senior citizens,” Tandon said. He said Chhattisgarh, ruled by the BJP under Chief Minister Raman Singh, has registered a rapid growth in several sectors and has emerged as an ideal state in implementing key welfare schemes.
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Stressing that reforms in the agriculture sector are a long and continuous process, the governor said that it can be understood by the achievements of the past 14 years of this government during which a significant increase in production of various crops was reported in the state. The production of rice increased by 47 per cent, wheat by 147 per cent, pulses by 43 per cent, oilseeds by 158 per and horticulture crops by 406 per cent, he said.
As per the vision of the prime minister, the state government has chalked out a roadmap to double the income of farmers by 2022, the governor said. He said the state government had been focusing on crops which are best for any given region according to a climate condition and soil type of the respective area, he said.
Due to scanty rainfall this (crop season) year, the state government has declared 96 tehsils in 21 districts as drought-hit and released an amount of Rs 437 crore to the respective district collectors for providing relief to farmers against their crop loss, Tandon said. The irrigation capacity of Chhattisgarh has been increased from 23 per cent since its formation to 36 per cent now. To achieve 100 per cent irrigation capacity by 2028, the state government has been running “Lakshya Bhagirathi” mission, he said. The governor also mentioned about the strategies adopted by the government to counter the left wing extremism.
To combat the menace of naxalism, police personnel were not only being provided a high-level training but for launching effective counter-insurgency operation, four special task force hubs have also been set up, he said. Specialised District Reserve Guard (DRG) force was raised in naxal-hit districts and were provided special training on anti-Maoist operations, he said. “Besides, a special Improvised Explosive Device (IED) school was set up for training on detection of explosives,” the governor said. “Under Swachh Bharat Mission, the Chhattisgarh government has been successfully heading to achieve its target of becoming an Open Defecation Free (ODF) state by October 2 this year. All 168 municipal bodies have so far been declared ODF in the state,” he said.
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In 2014, only 20 villages were ODF in the state whereas 18,851 villages have become ODF now, he said. The governor further said that Chhattisgarh has been ranked fourth in the ‘Ease of Doing Business’ which has ensured success in inviting investors for industrial development in the state.
“MoUs worth Rs 2.40 lakh crore have been signed in the state for investment in various sectors including steel, cement, aluminium, electronics, food processing, solar, rail corridor, fertilisers and others”, Tandon said, adding that of them, 54 projects have been commissioned. Under “Mukhyamantri Baal Bhavishya Suraksha Yojna”, the state government has been providing a high level education and training along with facilities like hostel, food, sports and entertainment to children from naxal-affected pockets for their overall development, he said.
After delivering his speech for about half-an-hour, the governor said that rest of the speech be considered as read. Meanwhile, Congress MLAs, including the party’s state unit chief Bhupesh Baghel, Satyanarayan Sharma, Dhanendra Sahu and others, tried to interrupt the governor’s speech alleging that farmers were neither getting compensation against their crop loss nor the benefits of the crop insurance schemes.