Akhilesh gives Maya’s rural scheme a new name,selection yardstick

Villages will be chosen for backwardness,not for their Dalit population.

Written by Lalmani Verma | Lucknow | Published:May 4, 2012 4:21 am

Villages will be chosen for backwardness,not for their Dalit population.

The Akhilesh Yadav government is going to put the Mayawati government’s Ambedkar Gram Sabha Vikas Yojna,which was meant to provide basic facilities in villages having Dalit population,on the back burner and,instead,launch another scheme for rural development where the criteria of selection will be the villages’ backwardness.

The new scheme will be named “Samagra Gram Vikas Yojna”. Chief Secretary Jawed Usmani has called a meeting on Friday to give a final shape to the scheme and the infrastructure facilities to be developed in the selected villages.

Around 12,500 villages were selected under Dr Ambedkar Gram Sabha Vikas Yojna during the five-year BSP regime. These had more than 50 per cent population of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.

“Under the new scheme,around 2,000 village will be selected in the first year,on the basis of criteria of backwardness in infrastructure,” said UP’s Agriculture Production Commissioner Alok Ranjan. The criteria would include absence of approach roads and internal roads,drinking water facility,toilets,electricity and medical facilities.

Under the scheme,the villages will be provided these facilities. Besides,villagers below poverty line would be given houses under the Indira Awas Yojna,old-age pension on priority and land on lease for both residential and agricultural purpose.

It is essentially the Ambedkar Gram Sabha Vikas Yojna,but under a new name and with new criteria for selection of villages.

Among the few new features of the scheme are 100 per cent vaccination of children,development of health sub-centres and schools,and vaccination to animals. Distribution of unemployment allowance and scholarships to minority students would also be ensured. The government will spend a maximum Rs 40 lakh and a minimum Rs 20 lakh on each village.

An official said the Samagra Gram Vikas Yojna was first launched by the Mulayam Singh Yadav government on December 9,2003,but then there were no criteria for selection of villages. MLAs and MLCs selected the villages according to their own preferences. In 2007,Mayawati abolished it and brought her own scheme in which villages having 50 per cent or more Dalit population were covered.

A new department,Dr Ambedkar Gram Sabha Vikas Vibhag,was specially created. Now the department may be renamed Dr Ambedkar Gram Samagra Vikas Vibhag,but the Ambedkar Gram Sabha Vikas Yojna will exist only on papers.

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