Sending across a clear message that he is unfazed by dissident activity of any sort,Uttarakhand Chief Minister BC Khanduri launched a series of public oriented schemes on Tuesday.
The government has decided to make education for all free till class twelve in government and government aided educational institutions. Till now education was free for both boys and girls up to class eight and for girls till class twelve. Now it has been decided to waive of the fees of boys also till class twelve, announced Khanduri in Dehradun while pointing that this will add a financial burden of Rs 3.95 crore on the government exchequer.
He further stated that his government has also decided to give scholarships to students coming from low income families of general category so that they can pursue education in government polytechnics and engineering institutions. Earlier such scholarships were given to students from Scheduled Castes (SC) and Scheduled Tribes (ST) categories. These scholarships will be given on the basis of merit cum means, explained Khanduri.
He announced that in order to ensure that the people get the full benefits of National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA),the government has decided to chip in with finances for the non labour component of the scheme. It is often seen that the people do not get complete benefits on account of shortage of things like implements etc. In such cases the government will come forward with finances, said Khanduri.
Khanduri also announced a scheme aimed at construction of small bridges up to the length of six metres to ensure year round accessibility to villages. Such spots which make entry into villages impossible during rains will be identified for construction of such bridges.
A Home Stay Development Scheme has been announced to promote tourism on trekking routes. Under the scheme villages along trekking routes would be provided with grants to renovate their houses and add rooms for renting out to trekkers. Since these routes are not frequented by tourists in large numbers it is not feasible to construct Tourist Rest Houses (TRH). Under the scheme the locals would be able to get employment while being at home, said the Chief Minister.
Khanduri said that the scope of the scheme for providing free gas connections to people with low income in remote areas is being expanded. Five more blocks in the state are being included in the scheme aimed at providing free gas connections to 10754 households.
He also stated that on the lines of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) smaller and medium sized town of the state will be selected for urban development where particular emphasis will be laid provision of water and solid waste management.