Lucknow: The Uttar Pradesh government is focusing on the development of the state’s backward Purvanchal and Bundelkhand regions too, amid efforts to boost the size of GSDP to one trillion dollars in five years (2022-2027).
Besides setting up the Purvanchal Vikas Samiti and Bundelkhand Vikas Samiti, both chaired by chief minister Yogi Adityanath, the state government has undertaken several projects for the development of the two regions.
A new agriculture university in Kushinagar, a new township in Gorakhpur, a skill development university in Varanasi, various steps to boost tourism including development of Kashi Vishwanath Corridor in Varanasi, steps for development of the grand Maa Vindhyaavaasini corridor, Mirzapur and new international airports in Kushinagar and Ayodhya are some of the major initiatives.
On the other hand, setting up of the Defence Corridor in Bundelkhand, a pharma park in Lalitpur, move to set up Jhansi Industrial Development Authority and various other development initiatives have been taken for development of Bundelkhand region.
“The state government is working on strategies for development of Purvanchal (comprising 28 districts of east UP) and Bundelkhand (comprising seven districts of UP’s Bundelkhand) regions. It began with a national seminar held on Purvanchal Development from November 27 to 29, 2020 (issues, strategies and way forward). A national seminar was held at Banda University of Agriculture and Technology on January 10 and 11, 2020. We have condensed the large number of papers presented there and these papers obviously have focus on the development of the two regions,” said KV Raju, economic advisor to chief minister. “Recently the state government has acted vigorously for overall development of the state and removing regional disparities,” he said.
Raju said all the 28 chief medical officers of 28 districts had been brought together under the leadership of AIIMS Gorakhpur and an initiative titled ‘Swastha Purvanchal ek pahal’ was launched to bring about an improvement in the health indicators in Poorvanchal region.
“There is a vast potential for development in Purvanchal and Bundelkhand regions. The state government has focused on development of the two regions as part of the exercise to boost the size of GSDP to one trillion dollars,” said Alok Kumar, secretary, planning, who is the state government’s nodal officer to achieve the objective of boosting the size of GSDP to trillion dollars.
The department of economics and statistics’ data of 2019 indicates that the number of beds in allopathic hospitals/dispensaries per lakh population (including dispensaries) has increased from 54.41 in 2011-12 to 59.67 2018-2019 in Bundelkhand. This number is up from 41.80 to 45.89 during the same period in the Poorvanchal region. This number in both the regions is higher than the state’s average of 41.53 and 45.70 respectively.
On the other hand, the total number of PHCs per lakh population in Bundelkhand came down from 3.10 in 2011-12 to 2.42 in 2018-2019. In east UP, this number came down to 2.42 to 1.70 during the same period. This is, however, higher than the state’s average of 2.22 which came down to 1.61 during the same period. The average literacy rate has increased from 59.30 in 2001 to 69.26 in 2011 in Bundelkhand and from 54.27 to 67.40 in east UP. The state’s average was 56.27 in 2001 and increased to 67.88 in 2011.
The state government had focused on bringing investment to east UP and Bundelkhand regions at the Global Investors Summit-2023 organised earlier this year from February 10 to 12, 2023.
Out of total investment of ₹33.50 lakh crore received there, the state government claimed to have received ₹9.54 lakh crore and ₹4.27 lakh crore for eastern UP and Bundelkhand region, respectively, the two most backward regions.
“U.P. has significant regional disparities which need to be addressed so that a balanced pattern of development is ensured. The goal of a trillion-dollar economy too should be achieved in a manner so that the income generation is faster in relatively backward regions like Purvanchal and Bundelkhand. Of the total investment proposals received at the Global Investors Summit-2023, about 28% investment is for Purvanchal and about 12% for Bundelkhand. The challenge is to quickly bring this investment to the ground,” said Professor Yashvir Tyagi, former head of the economics department, Lucknow University.