With more action and less talk, many milestones achieved in five years
Nilesh Shukla | August 7, 2021
The BJP has ruled Gujarat for more than 25 years now. On Saturday, Vijay Rupani who was known as a soft-spoken politician has smartly completed five years as a chief minister in spite of many challenges. With 1,825 days in power, Rupani is the fourth CM in the state with the longest rule. Before him, prime minister Narendra Modi ruled Gujarat for the maximum period – 4,610 days. Earlier, Hitendra Desai (2,062 days) and Madhavsinh Solanki (2,049 days) of the Congress had long rules.
Rupani, the 16th chief minister of the state, has remained popular regardless of the caste factor plays a key role in Indian politics. The best part about him is that he has not made enemies in personal life or in politics. He has a habit of taking opinion of everyone before taking any major decision in the interest of people of Gujarat. There are very few leaders like him in politics.
After starting his political career as a student leader in ABVP, he has worked as an activist. In 1976, when he was only 24, he was imprisoned for 11 months for protesting against the Emergency. This activism is probably why he is so popular because he has stood with the citizens as their leader. His image is that of a simple man who is firm in his beliefs.
Under his leadership, the state government has taken many remarkable decisions that have taken Gujarat far ahead in many sectors. Gujarat has always proved its calibre with its better policies and ease-of-doing-business policy in the industrial sector and as a result it received the highest investment in the country in 2020-21. The state received a total FDI of USD 30.23 billion last year (37 percent of all FDI in India), retaining the top position among all states in the country for the fourth consecutive year.
The Gujarat government has done excellent work in the field of water conservation. The Sujalam Sufalam Jal Abhiyan, launched with public participation in 2018, changed the picture of the state which once faced the problem of water scarcity because of its barren land and lower rainfall. More recently, PM Modi has said that the day is not far when Gujarat will achieve 100 percent target of the Nal Se Jal Yojana.
The Jal Shakti Ministry also allocated Rs 3,411 crore to Gujarat for 2021-22 under the Jal Jeevan Mission. There are 92.92 lakh rural households in Gujarat, of which 77.21 lakh (83%) households now have piped water supply. Today, there is so much water in the Sardar Sarovar Dam that even if rainfall shortens in Gujarat, there will be no shortage of water. The water level of the reservoir has increased from 121.92 metres to 138.68 metres for the first time.
The Gujarat government has taken many exemplary initiatives towards renewable energy to preserve the environment. In the solar energy sector, Gujarat is at number one position in the country. A new solar energy policy has also been announced this year. Gujarat tops the list with 25% solar rooftops in the country. The world's largest hybrid energy park is coming up in Gujarat to generate 30,000 MW of electricity. For the purpose of clean energy, the Gujarat government has also announced an e-vehicle policy, under which the state government will give a subsidy of Rs 20,000 to Rs 1.5 lakh per vehicle.
There was a time when on the tourism map Gujarat was known only for Rann of kutch, Somnath temple and Dwarka. But in the last five years, the picture has changed completely. Today Gujarat is in the list of global tourist destinations. Champaner near Pavagadh, Rani ki Vav in Patan, and Harappan city Dholavira are included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. The number of visitors to the world's tallest statue, the Statue of Unity, is rising. Shivrajpur beach has also got the International Blue Flag tag for its cleanliness and beauty. Robotics Gallery, Aquatic Gallery and Dinosaur Park are also promoting tourism in Science City. Surat, Ahmedabad, Rajkot and Gandhinagar are among the cleanest cities of India.
/The education sector has witnessed a tremendous boost in Gujarat. The state government started initiatives like Gyankunj Project, School on Wheels, Study in Gujarat, Command Control Centre 2.0 etc for this purpose. Gujarat became the first state in the country to implement the National Education Policy (NEP). The 'Study in Gujarat' campaign has connected the universities of Gujarat at the international level.
Gujarat is one of the leading industrial states of India. Gujarat's Gross Domestic Product (GSDP) from 2020 to 2021 was Rs 16.59 trillion (US$ 267.40 billion). Gujarat's Kandhla Special Economic Zone (KASEZ), has become India's "first green industrial city" to get platinum rating. Strong infrastructure gives strength to industries, so the state government has made a provision of Rs 11'185 crore for the road and building department in the budget 2021-22. Gujarat also announced a new industrial policy last year to attract huge investments.
A strict law and enforcement is very important for the smooth functioning of any state. Gujarat government has given its police modern technology support to enhance their working. Applications like Guj-cop have proved to very helpful to curb to crime the state. Gujarat has also won the SKOCH Award in the Police and Service Sector. Last year, Gujarat Police became the 7th state police to get 'President Colours'.
Development happens only when you involve every section and people standing last in the row, in this process. Considering this state government has done a lot for farmers, women safety, tribal population and for the young generation.
Gujarat has also faced difficult situations in recent times that have taken a toll on the economic and social structure of Gujarat. Be it Covid-19 or Takute cyclone, timely decisions of the Rupani government have garnered the confidence of state’s citizens. When whole country was fighting the coronavirus, Gujarat also faced a huge natural disaster along with pandemic. Takute cyclone brought disaster in the state. But the state government made it sure that its people suffer least. The PM and CM conducted aerial survey of cyclone hit areas and announced 1000 crorers Relief Fund. Takute cyclone affected the farmers and fishermen of the state the most. So a relief package of Rs 105 crore was announced for fishermen and Rs 500 crore were allocated for the farmers.
Although every government does some developmental work during their rule, and so had the Rupani government; but there is one point to be noted. Unlike other regimes, this government has no stain of corruption and scams. Further fate of the Rupani government will be decided by next election in December 2022 but last five years has definitely changed the life of people of Gujarat.
Nilesh Shukla is Joint Director of Information, Government of Gujarat, Gujarat Bhawan, New Delhi.
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