Nagpur News: Union Minister for Surface Transport & Shipping with additional charge of the Ministries of Rural Development expressed his dreams for the development of Vidarbha region along with performing his Ministerial functions.
He was speaking on “Nagpur and Vidarbha’s Development 2020” with Senior Journalist Sunil Chawak of Maharashtra Times at the function organized by Bhaurao Deoras Research Foundation on July 19, 2014.
While speaking about Agriculture, he said that he is studying about how cow-dung can be utilized for mass production of Domestic gas thereby saving gas imports. He spoke about Rural Housing. He said that the present scheme of making houses of 400 square feets is next to impossible. There has to be a realistic scheme which ensures cemented houses with sufficient space for poor and needy. He said that it is Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s dream that by 2015, everybody in the country should have a pucca house.
While expressing his vision for the rural unemployed youth, he said that he intends to generate employment for them.
Corruption free RTO:
On a lighter note he said that if one goes to RTO, they will find the place with many Touts (Dalal) doing brisk business. He also said that the Traffic Cops too often indulge in corruption. He said that he is going to follow the 9 Rules of RTO to the word like in Germany, japan, Korea, America etc. He said that he has already made plans and has approved the monitoring of every square on important roads with CCTVs. The cops will just be issuing computerized tickets. They payments have to be made in the court only. All the functions of RTO will soon become computerized removing middlemen and touts’ role. He opined that this will root out corruption from the RTO.
Water conservation leading to prevention of farmers’ suicide
He said that if we clean all the lakes and put pipe lines from catchment areas like Wena dam etc, we can provide 24 X 7 water to everyone in Vidarbha including farmers. With sufficient water, they can do farming and will not have to commit suicide. However, he also opined that water wastage should be prevented and conservation at all costs should be done to ensure proper utilization for everybody including farmers.
Inflation in costs of various goods
While speaking on the inflation of various goods, he said that the inflation in costs of various goods depend directly on Global economy. He quoted an example how, if the sugarcane in Brazil get destroyed, the price of Sugar goes up. However, he said that he has a plan to make our country self sufficient in every sphere so that we can avoid imports making it costly in domestic market. He felt we should undertake “Diversification of Agriculture towards power. He said that growing non-edible oil seeds can yield chemicals like Ethanol. He said that with 2-3 months, he is going to get Swedish company made Buses that run on Ethanol. He spoke about “Energy Crops” like Jathropa. He said that this is grown in Gadchiroli and undertaken by Reliance Company. This is a good alternative to Petrol. He opined that this will help us to save Rs 6 Lakh Crores we spend on importing Petroleum products.
Similarly, if there is optimum use of waste land of areas with Sea Shore can grow good Palm trees. This in-turn will yield Palm Oil. While we can generate employment for the youth in these areas, this will also ensure that we save Rs 80,000 Crores that we spend on importing edible oil.
He said that we as Indian have brilliant ideas. All that is necessary to provide the right impetus and we will be able to solve ever so many problems. One such Bank is said to be inaugurated in Delhi. Incumbent Speaker of the Lok Sabha from BJP Sumitra Mahajan and Former President Dr A P J Abdul Kalam will be inaugurating this Idea bank.
While speaking about providing free power to the farmer, he said that that is not possible. He said that many power plants have shut down since so many problems exists like Coal allocation, supply etc. If a farmer does not get power, he cannot do cultivation since water has to be pumped to his fields from his well. He opined that if two departments or Ministries (Coal & Environment / Forest) function properly, the GDP will certainly increase to 8.5% soon. However, he assured that many stalled Power projects will also start soon.
While speaking about his favourite field of expertise, he said that by August 15, many projects will get underway. Work on many 4-lane National Highways will get underway. However, he said that the Forests and Environment ministry has created many hurdles. On a lighter note, he said that both these ministries have come up with miraculous decisions. He said that one place, they had to make an elevated road only because the tigers and other wild animals cross the road and the sound of horn will cause deafness in them. He opined that these Microscopic Minority Environmentalists should have the progress and development of the nation in mind too before resorting to absurd justifications and getting the Courts to bring a stay on various projects. He assured that I have given directions that No tree should be cut, instead should be transplanted. While we do need Environment and Forests, development is equally important. He assured that the work on all the flyovers will get underway in the next 2-3 months.
While making it abundantly clear, he said that there has been no Central or State policy made on land acquisition for Railways, Roads or other Industrial development projects. He opined that many projects in Vidarbha are stalled because of land acquisition issues. He said that I want that the Revenue officials and Chief Ministers of states (immaterial of their party) should come together and make an uniform policy so that there will be no hassles in making roads and others development projects. However, he said that there should be no compromise on the Compensation nor in Rehabilitation.
While speaking about Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Gurantee Act (MNREGA), he said that this is one of the best, biggest and popular schemes. However, if any changes have to be brought about, it has to be brought about by the Parliament.
He said that Vidarbha is rich in minerals and coal. However, many mining projects are stalled because of forests and environmentalists. He said that Gadchiroli is the richest place in Vidarbha in terms of minerals and coals etc, yet it is the poorest areas. Many cases of extreme poverty, under-development and malnutrition is found there. Given a free hand, 75% Vidarbha youth will get gain-full employment.
He said that CIDCO is developing a Hill Station in Chikhaldara. He said that there are many tourism ideas like making a Lord Budha Circuit. Bankok, Malasia, Indonesia, Bodhgaya, Deekshaboomi etc. This could be an international tourism possibility. He said that Nagpur is declared as the Tiger Capital of India. If we could develop proper tourist destinations at Karmazhari, Tadoba, Pench, Melghat etc, the tourism in Vidarbha could really develop in leaps and bounds.
He said that it is his dream to develop water ports on various rivers starting from Ganges. He said that he has started working in all earnest in the cleaning project of the Ganges River. He opined that transporting by water is low cost and faster and cheaper. According to him, Transporting by Road costs Rs 1:50, by Railways it costs Rs 1:00 and only Rs 0:50 by Water. He spoke of making Sea Ports and lake ports in various states and even in Nagpur. He has plans to induct Sea planes that transport goods and can land in lakes and sea.
He said that he wants to make a water way with many ports on River Ganges from Gangotri to Haldia
He spoke of how he got permission and funds to start All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Nagpur so that poor people can get free or very cheap treatment. He decried the position of Government Medical College and Hospital.
While expressing and speaking of his self-appraisal, he said that within one month, he has got approval, sanctions and release of Rs 12, 000-13,000 crores for various projects. He assured that he will perform and finish works that were never done in the last 10 years.