Riding on the development agenda, a youth leader Akhilesh Yadav came to power in March 2012. He promised industrial growth, more jobs while swearing in as the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh. Infamous for having housing criminals in the party, Akhilesh vowed that the crime graph would come down under the Samajwadi Party government. The five-year time allotted to the youngest CM of the state is now nearing its end. But the crime ratio in the state is still at a discouraging high.
The elections are due in early 2017. While some of the promises that the CM made have been able to see the light of the day, many others are yet unbloomed. So how has Akhilesh done? Has he been able to fulfil his promises?
The answer is not a no!
Five years is a short time to analyse development projects but Akhilesh has initiated what he promised. Here is a look at some of them:
Agra-Lucknow Expressway: Akhilesh inaugurated the highway in Unnao on Monday amid huge pomp and show. By this expressway, the travel time between Delhi and Lucknow which is nearly 10 hours by road will be reduced to 5-6 hours. The Rs 13,200-crore project has been completed in a record time of 23 months. A three-km strip on the expressway will also be used by the Indian Air Force fighter for emergency landings.
Lucknow IT City: Lucknow Metro Rail, Agra-Lucknow Expressway and Lucknow IT City are among the troika of the pet projects of the Chief Minister. Lucknow promises to be the next big hub for IT sector after NOIDA. Despite being the capital, there is a severe job crunch in Lucknow. job aspirants from all walks of life have to move out of the state to look for brighter opportunities. Akhilesh’s dream project aims to give the requisite opportunities to engineers to hone their skill set so that the 20,000 engineers that the state produces annually, do not have to venture out in search of jobs.
Lucknow metro: In 2013, Akhilesh had promised a better infrastructure in Lucknow by announcing the Lucknow Metro Rail Project. Four years down the lane, the metro project is nearing its completion. While the Lucknow metro rail line is set to roll out before the 2017 elections in the state, reports suggest that work for a similar rail infrastructure has also begun in other major towns of the state, including Agra, Kanpur, Varanasi, and Meerut.
Film promotion policy: The Uttar Pradesh government is taking up various steps to promote film production in the state. As per the government policy, Rs one crore will be given if 50 per cent of a film is shot in the state. Also, the amount increasing with subsequent shoots like Rs 2 crore will be given for shooting of the second film and Rs 2.5 crore and Rs 2.75 crore for shooting of third and fourth film respectively. Film shoots not only help in the promotion of the state but also shootings offers employment opportunities to the locals. The seriousness behind the move is such that the government has decided that all districts of the state have been ordered to have film promotion and facilitation committees.
UP 100 Project: Aiming to reduce the crime index in the state, the Chief Minister recently launched a service to offer state-wide integrated emergency facilities UP-100. The high-tech centralised emergency system promises to ensure that police reach a caller in a maximum of twenty minutes in rural areas and within 15 minutes in urban areas. The state government has allocated Rs 2,200 crore for round the clock services in the project.
Gomti beautification project: The Chief Minister on November 16, inaugurated the Rs 1,500-crore Gomti riverfront development project. The river which is the lifeline of the water that is circulated in the state is in a dire shape. The project launched by the CM incorporates water transport that links the old city to new Lucknow. A diaphragm wall has been made on both banks of the river to channel its water flow. The land between the waterway and the embankment has been developed for public use, like tracks for cycling, jogging and walking, apart from the play area for children. A lake has also been developed along with the installation of a musical fountain, an area reserved for doing yoga, a ground for weddings, and an amphitheatre with a seating capacity of 2,000.
Cancer institute: Not just IT and infrastructure, Akhilesh also aims to make Lucknow the ‘medical capital’ of the country. The CM has on multiple occasions said that an infrastructure is being laid in Lucknow to cater to the needs of the entire country. Apart from the already existing PGI and Lohia institute in the city, an international cancer institute is due to come up in Lucknow.
It is, however, important to note that the speed of these projects has increased just before the elections. Nevertheless, all these projects are sure to bring a heightened status of the state in the country’s map. Starting the campaign for the upcoming polls, Akhilesh has promised to work on the existing plans as well as offer more projects for development in the state.
But amid the political drama within his own party and with allegations of crime in the state on a high, only time will tell whether the people of the state will give him another chance to sit on the golden throne of Uttar Pradesh.