Karnataka governor unfolds BJP government’s development plans

June 6th, 2008 - 4:52 pm ICT by IANS  

Bangalore, June 6 (IANS) Karnataka Governor Rameshwar Thakur Friday spelt out the development programmes of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government, seeking to transform it into a model state. Addressing the first joint session of the state legislature after the new government assumed office May 30, Thakur said that in building a prosperous Karnataka, the administration would focus on ensuring food, health, education, housing and social justice to the 60 million people of the state.

“To fulfill these basic needs, my government will redefine poverty by recognising families as extremely poor and poor. The thrust of the government’s policies and programmes will be all-round development of the state, with emphasis on improving the lot of farmers by rejuvenating agriculture. Focus will be on dry-land farming, de-silting of tanks and ground water revival,” Thakur told members of both the houses.

Listing out the priorities of the new government, the governor said women would be involved in the decision-making process of the state and local bodies.

“Girl students of BPL (below poverty line) families will be provided free education up to college level. A law will be enacted to protect women from harassment at workplace. Self-help groups (stree shakti) for women will be strengthened to promote entrepreneurship, and financial assistance will be given for building women hostels,” Thakur noted.

Stressing on infrastructure development, the governor said the state would double power generation to 10,000 mw over the next five years to provide energy for all.

Similarly, a comprehensive plan will be drawn to complete drinking water supply projects in rural and urban areas. The Kalasa-Banduri drinking water project in north Karnataka will be completed in time-bound manner.

The irrigation potential of the state will be harnessed to increase agriculture production. Optimal utilisation of Krishna and Cauvery river waters flowing across the state will be accorded top priority.

The state will protect the interest of its people, especially farmers, in the century-old Cauvery water dispute, which is in the Supreme Court.

“For providing road connectivity, a master plan will be prepared for road development, particularly in villages. Some of the state highways will be developed through public-private partnership. Similarly, development and expansion of railway network, ports and airports will be taken up in consultation with the central government,” the governor pointed out.

Work on airports at Gulbarga, Shimoga, Hassan and Bijapur in north Karnataka will be commenced soon to provide air connectivity

To revive industrial development, which lagged behind due to political instability and fall of three coalition governments over the last 40 months, the government plans to set up separate industrial zones across the state for steel, cement, food processing and IT and BT (biotechnology). The private sector will be given incentives to set up industries in the backward areas of the state.

“The fruits of IT will be taken to every village by setting up cyber cafes in rural areas and providing training to villagers for accessing information pertaining to agriculture, weather, commodity prices and employment,” Thakur asserted.

In his 30-minute address given in English amid noisy protests by a section of Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) legislators over the administration’s failure to provide financial assistance to sugarcane and cotton farmers in north Karnataka during the six-month president’s rule, Thakur said the new government would also accord priority to housing for BPL families, welfare of minorities, backward classes, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.

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