Chhattisgarh economy will soon get major boost; ‘naxal image’ of State will change: Bhupesh Baghel


Mr. Baghel said his government is committed to boosting employment, especially in naxal areas as this would stop youngsters from taking the path of violence.

Emphasising that his government was adopting innovative ways to boost employment, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel has said the State’s economy would soon get a major boost which would in turn curb naxalism and change the image of the State.

Mr. Baghel said his government is committed to boosting employment, especially in naxal areas as this would stop youngsters from taking the path of violence.

In an interview with PTI, Mr. Baghel listed several out-of-the-box schemes his government has implemented which have yielded good results for fast-paced development.

Hailing the ‘Narva development plan’ project, Mr. Baghel said the State comprises 44% forests and mountains, and water channels emanate from there which can be treated and recharged for multi-purpose use, including in irrigation.

He said the scheme has given a boost to biodiversity with the number of animals in the forests increasing and also resulting in more greenery.

Tribals are getting water, which is also being diverted to farm lands, he said adding that the scheme would also help in keeping a check on global warming.

“We had taken up 1,300 nalas last year. This year we will take up 3,000 nalas under the project for water recharging,” he said.

He also highlighted his government’s innovative idea in dealing with stubble burning.

“What we have done is that we are feeding the animals the stubble and from ‘gobar’ (dung), we are making vermicompost. So, we are putting it back in the farm lands and burning is not being done,” Mr. Baghel said.

Talking about his government’s initiative of Gaudhan Nyay Yojana, Mr. Baghel said the State has 11,000 panchayats and approval was given to 7,400 ‘gauthans’ out of which 4,700 have been established.

In these ‘gauthans’, cow and buffalo dung are being procured from cattle owners through ‘gauthan’ committees and are being utilised for making vermicompost and other products.

The Chhattisgarh government is procuring the dung at ₹2 per kilogramme from cattle rearers, he said. The landless people are getting employment from the scheme and people are even buying motorcycles by collecting ‘gobar’ and selling it, he added.

“We have taught how money can be made from ‘gobar’,” Mr. Baghel said.

Asked about Chhattisgarh being known for naxalism and of an impending image makeover, Mr. Baghel said work was being done at a fast pace and it was on the cards that the State would be known for its development and economy.

“We are developing gauthans as rural industrial parks. Some are polishing millets, some are making energy bars from ‘mahua’,” he said.

Mr. Baghel also said centres for women’s employment where they can stitch clothes are being set up especially in naxal areas, including one which has come up in Dantewada.

Mr. Baghel cited the government’s focus on forest produce and processing of lak to underline the progress being made by the State.

“So the (State’s) economy will soon get a major boost. The main thing is, who becomes a naxal, you give them employment and they will not become naxals,” he asserted.

Mr. Baghel also urged the Centre to consider a proposal made by him two years ago that States should be allowed to use the surplus foodgrains, be it ‘Makka (maize) or Dhaan (paddy)’, to produce ethanol.

“But it is stuck. If you give this permission to States there will be less pressure on the Centre as well as States,” Mr. Baghel argued.

He also demanded that the government should ensure the welfare of the farmers and guarantee Minimum Support Price for their produce.

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