State minister for energy, Saurabh Patel Thursday said young girls nowadays do not wish to get married in their own villages as they prefer to have a life in cities.
Speaking on the topic of doubling Gujarat’s GDP by 2025, Patel, a keynote speaker at the FICCI Gujarat State Council Annual Day event, said, “As far as doubling the GDP (of Gujarat) is concerned, the service sector is very important as we have to focus on job creation. We have observed that educated people do not work in factories. They do not want to work in the agriculture sector. Anyone who has done their schooling or college are not very keen on working in the fields. They do not wish to work in the industry where hard work is required. So everyone wants an office job.”
Addressing local industrialists, Patel said, “You may not be knowing, but people do not want to stay in a village. Girls are saying no (to marriage proposals). They do not want to marry in villages. So our economy and infrastructure has to be built in a way that we have to look at inclusive growth for the population who is already there and also the migrating population coming down in the cities. This is going to be one of the biggest challenges.”
In his speech, Patel also mentioned that over 12,000 of the 18,000 villages in Gujarat get piped drinking water from the Narmada dam and villages have access to round the clock power supply.
Claiming that agriculture still has an important role to play in the economy, Patel said the land holdings of the farmers are getting smaller due to property divisions within a family and in the next 10 to 15 years, the size of land will be so small that the government will have to come up with policies whereby land parcels have to be clubbed together to make farming possible.
“Everyone says thermal (power generators) will be a thing of the past. But it is not that easy, because we might talk of solar and renewable energy, but what about power requirements at night? We should not forget that the industry needs power at night, which is more expensive. There is a different of Rs 2.5 per unit in the cost of power generation to the government. This trend will continue and the difference between day and night power will increase,” Patel said. The state government in September 2019 came up with a decision to disallow any new thermal power plants from setting up base in the state.
Renewable energy project
The energy minister said the state government will continue to be aggressive in generating more renewable power and use it to address all the electricity requirements of the farmers during the day. “We have identified 60,000 hectares in Kutch where the biggest hybrid park is going to come up. Permission are awaited from Delhi,” Patel said, adding that the park will have a renewable energy capacity of 30,000 MW.