Birthday girl Mayawati announces Rs.4,000-crore projects

Saturday, January 15, 2011

LUCKNOW - Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati announced some 600 new projects and welfare schemes worth Rs.4,000 crore on her 55th birthday Saturday.

She also chose to give a new name - “Jan Kalyankari Diwas” (public welfare day) - to her birthday that she used to earlier term as “Arthik Sahyog Diwas” (financial support day).

While her birthday was observed in each of the 72 districts of the state, the mega event at the newly constructed state-of-the-art Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar convention centre in the vicinity of Ram Manohar Lohia National Law University here was presided over by her.

Attired in her birthday favourite pink silk brocade “salwar-kurta” and wearing her big, dazzling diamonds, she made it a point to hit out at those who may criticise her for the opulence and extravagance.

“I am aware that some people would only focus their attention on my jewellery or my family members who have arrived here to join me on this occasion today, but I don’t care about them as my mission on this day is to do as much as I can for the good and well being of the poor and the needy,” Mayawati said in her 25-minute address.

While the projects announced by her included a number of roads, bridges and other infrastructure-related works, she laid special emphasis on dedicating the recently renovated Hazratganj - Lucknow’s main shopping street - to the people.

“The makeover of Hazratganj was carried out as part of completion of its 200 years and I am glad to dedicate it to the people of the city today,” she told the gathering.

“I have decided to take up several other development projects in other cities which have remained neglected in the previous regimes,” she claimed.

Besides increasing the monthly pension to the poor and widows from Rs.300 to Rs.400, she also announced a hike of 10 percent in dearness allowance to all state pensioners.

Referring to an ordinance she issued for bringing in a new law for fixing accountability of all government officials under the “Janhit Guarantee Kanoon” (public welfare guarantee law), she said: “With a view to making lax government functionaries accountable to the people, I have decided to fix a time frame for various tasks.”

“If any official fails to deliver within the prescribed time frame, he would be liable to be penalized,” she said.

A new mobile hospital facility was also introduced under the banner of Mahamaya Sachal Hospital Scheme.

In a governance-oriented exercise, she proposed setting up village-level “mini-secretariats” at all places with a population of more than 5,000.

“These mini-secretariats would have government functionaries of various departments to sort out issues for which people have to run from pillar to post and even come down all the way to Lucknow,” she pointed out.

Mayawati also ordered release of 574 undertrials who were languishing in jails because they did not have the resources to seek bail in cases of petty crimes.

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