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Thursday, January 27, 2022

Bhupendra Patel: Want to make 200 types of govt services available online in villages

Addressing a public meeting on the ground of Dharmendrasinhji Arts College here, Patel said successive BJP governments in Gujarat have paid special attention to the development of rural areas and villages as emphasized by former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

By: Express News Service | Rajkot |
January 1, 2022 12:48:17 am
CM Bhupendra Patel hands over a cheque of Rs 8.5 lakh in grant to a village sarpanch under samras gram scheme, in Rajkot on Friday. (Express Photo by Chirag Chotaliya)

Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel Friday said the state government wants to make access to government services easier for those living in villages by increasing the number of digital services available in villages from the existing 60 to 200.

Addressing a public meeting on the ground of Dharmendrasinhji Arts College here, Patel said successive BJP governments in Gujarat have paid special attention to the development of rural areas and villages as emphasized by former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. “When antyodaya (the rise of the poorest) becomes the objective, good governance extends unto the last… While the sushasan saptah (good governance week) is culminating here today in Rajkot with this event, we have to keep the good governance march on. Late Atal ji believed that if the rural areas of the country become happy and rich, the entire nation will become happy and rich automatically. Only then can comprehensive development of the country be possible,” Patel said while addressing the public meeting that marked the end of the week-long celebrations by the state government.

Since Narendra Modi was elected the Prime Minister in 2014, the state government has been celebrating the last week of December as good governance week as a tribute to Vajpayee. The celebrations start on December 25, the birth anniversary of the former PM.

The CM said his government targets to make 200 types of government services available online in villages also thereby, making them easily accessible to the villagers. “Farmers will get access to a world of information about farming, organic products, and a range of other subjects at their homes in their villages through the e-Gram online platform. Today, almost every household has started using technology. Today, an MoU has been signed by AgroTech company and e-Gram Vishwagram with an objective to make all services and benefits of schemes, available online to people living in villages. e-Gram centres have been set up in more than 14,000 village panchayats of the state. As of now, 60 types of services are available at the e-Gram centres. But we want to increase this to 200,” said Patel.

The MoU was signed between the e-Gram Vishwagram Society and BVG AgroTech Private Limited in the presence of the CM at the public meeting. It aims to make agricultural intelligence available to farmers in the state.

Addressing the meeting earlier, Vipul Mitra, additional chief secretary (panchayat, rural housing and rural development), said 14,200 e-Gram centres in the state are providing services like farmers registration for crop procurement by the government, downloading copies of land records, paying electricity and gas bills, etc. He said more than three crore applications have been disposed of by these centres since April this year. He added that under the Digital India initiative, 14,35 villages have been connected to the fibre optic network that provides high-speed Internet services.

Calling schemes like Kisan Credit Card, Pradhan Mantri Gramin Sadak Yojana, etc as gifts by Vajpayee, Patel said Gujarat has been striving for the development of villages when Narendra Modi was the CM.

“The mahayagna of rural development launched by the Gujarat government under the leadership of Modi continues till date. Gujarat was number one in the good governance index announced by the government of India recently. Gujarat’s model of good governance has reached not only cities but villages too. Villages with modern facilities have become the identity of Gujarat,” said Patel while addressing his maiden public meeting in Rajkot after being sworn in as CM in September this year.

The CM also handed over cheques of government grants to sarpanches of village panchayats where winners in the recent elections were decided unopposed and those panchayats were declared samras. “In the recent village panchayat election, 1,183 village panchayats were declared samras, including 116 mahila samras (where all members of the panchayat are women). Today, by allotting a Rs 63 crore grant to these samras village panchayats, we are pointing to a new direction of development,” said Patel.

The CM said 2.92 lakh houses had been constructed in Gujarat under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana-Gramin and an additional 1.33 lakh are being constructed. Former Karnataka governor Vajubhai Vala, former Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani, local BJP MLAs and MPs were also present at the meeting.

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