(Part II of a two-part series)
The state of Uttar Pradesh, long struggling with the challenges of development, has embarked on several initiatives to realise an ambitious vision – to raise its GSDP to USD 1 trillion by 2025, when India aims to become a USD 5 trillion economy. These initiatives which happen to align themselves with the Growth Diagnostics Framework (GDF – which we discussed in Part I) are expected to raise outcome and income per household. However, thirteen of them, if implemented well, can transform UP and catapult it into the league of India’s most developed states. Here are their snapshots.
Thirteen developmental projects that can transform UP
The UP government has been undertaking large-scale public infrastructure projects while facilitating investments by the private sector through the ‘Nivesh Mitra’ portal. The portal is a single-window system providing as much as 166 services to investors.
Several foreign companies from about 10 countries have already sent in investment proposals worth INR 450 Billion (USD 6 Billion) to the UP government, for infrastructure and industrial development projects.
Some of the important ones are –
1. Jewar Airport
Phase-I of the Jewar airport, expected to be completed by 2024, will cater to 12 million passengers, as well as lead to substantial crowding-in of other investments, especially in the real estate sector.
2. Film City
The UP government’s plans to construct a a full-fledged Film City in India near Hastinapur area on the Yamuna Expressway (just 6 kms from the Jewar airport) promises expansion of employment and skillsets, as well as competition which augurs well for the film industry, as competition is the single most important factor in improving efficiency, and better utilization of resources.
3. Financial City and Electronics City
The UP government is also planning to set up a Financial City and an Electronics City near the Film City and in NCR (National Capital Region) respectively. By dedicating infrastructure to certain sectors, it aims to consolidate resources and services, create jobs, attract, and augment talent within the state, and turn it into a major hub in these sectors. Especially in the case of electronics, the UP government has targeted investment of about INR 200 billion and 0.3 million new job opportunities over the next few years.
4. Warehouses for Farmers
The UP government plans to set up 5000 warehouses for its farmers across the state. According to reports, at least one warehouse will be constructed for every 10 villages. The INR 25 billion scheme is expected to increase the storage capacity of the state by 8.60 lakh tonnes, helping farmers to better protect their produce during natural calamities and till they get good prices.
5. Ayodhya – the Global Pilgrimage City
Leveraging India’s civilisational ethos, the UP government intends to develop Ayodhya as a global pilgrimage city, boosting tourism and employment.
6. Toy Manufacturing Hub
As many as 92 domestic toy manufacturers have approached the UP government to set up units at the upcoming 100-acre toy manufacturing industrial hub, with an investment of INR 30 billion, near Jewar airport.
7. Defence and Aerospace
The UP government is also looking to invest INR 500 Billion (USD 7.46 billion) in defence and aerospace over the next five years, creating 0.25 million jobs in the process.
8. Green Infrastructure
UP is among the fastest growing states in terms of green infrastructure. It has more than 570 such projects (nearly 10% of India’s green projects), covering over 1,400 million sq ft area, according to the Indian Green Building Council (IGBC).
9. Reviving UP’s Rivers
The UP government has embarked upon a programme to revive 19 rivers in the state. Two mythologically significant rivers, Mandakini and Tamsa, have already been revived while work is on for the remaining 17. The UP government has roped in a Chennai-based company to clean the Pandu river through bioremediation technology, a great instance of Knowledge Application and Productivity. UP’s Rural Development Department runs the entire project in close coordination with the Union Jal Shakti Ministry, which is a good example of Cooperative Federalism.
10. “One Village, One Pond” Initiative
Under this initiative, Jhansi district has revived 406 ponds by early October 2020. The initiative has provided employment to about 11,000 migrant workers returning home during the pandemic and would help to improve groundwater levels in drought-hit Bundelkhand.
11. Mission Shakti Programme
The UP government has launched the Mission Shakti Programme out of the recognition that girls’ and women’s safety is essential for facilitating productive livelihoods, and the need for societal change. Accordingly, the programme combines awareness, legal action, and punitive measures to improve girls’ and women’s safety in UP. Its twofold effort concentrates on building a capable defence system for their protection, and on pushing awareness through campaigns, teachers, self-help groups, and very importantly, village chiefs.
12. Control of Encephalitis
UP has long suffered from encephalitis (inflammation of the brain, mostly due to viral infection), with monsoons being called the “season of death” due to its rampant spread in those months. UP government’s programme to control encephalitis is already showing results; from 661 deaths in 2014, the number has come down to 31 in 2020. This health achievement implies potential to lead more productive lives.
13. Cattle-based Zero Budget Natural Farming
The UP government is planning to develop destitute cowherd shelters into cow-based natural agriculture and products centres. While Bundelkhand has been selected as the main centre for this initiative, the government is planning to promote natural farming across the state by including it in the curriculum of agricultural universities, and under the Namami Gange project as well. The first phase consists of preparing master trainers in 1038 Gram Panchayats who will impart farmers with training in cow-based farming.
These are some select examples of GDF-consistent initiatives of the Yogi Adityanath-led UP government promising to transform the state. With them, UP is certainly emerging as a key growth node. If other states too adapt their initiatives to the GDF, India could be well on its way to becoming a major global power.
(Read Part I of the two-part series here)
(A version of this article was first published here on MyIndMakers.)
Dr Mukul Asher
Dr Mukul Asher retired as Professorial Fellow at Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore, in June 2018. He specialises in public financial management, pension reforms, and application of economic reasoning to public policy, especially in India.
The views and opinions expressed in the above article belong to the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official opinion, policy or position of Lokmaanya.