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Rupani's dedication pays off: Gujarat in the fastest growth track

By Nilesh Shukla - 07 Aug 2021


New Delhi (07.08.2021): As Vijay Rupani completes five years as the state CM, he has proved that a soft-spoken leader with conviction can rule a dynamic state like Gujarat. Not only he sustained himself at the helm he won friends all across the political spectrum. Big or small, except few critical ones, he has the habit of taking decisions on all issues through a consultative process.

Consequently, he has been able in the last five years to take the state further ahead on the road of development by his predecessor and PM Narendra Modi. This has boosted investors' confidence and Gujarat has benefited by being the top FDI destination in the country for the last four years with the inflow reaching USD 30.23 billion in FY21.

Since Gujarat has a water problem in certain parts of the state, he deployed the government machinery on water conservation. The Sujalam Sufalam Jal Abhiyan, launched with public participation in 2018, has changed the picture of the state which once faced the problem of water scarcity because of its barren land.

The success of the project has made PM Modi assert that the day is not far off when Gujarat will achieve a 100 percent target of Nal Se Jal Yojana. The Jal Shakti Ministry has also allocated Rs 3,411 crores to Gujarat for the year 2021-22 under the Jal Jeevan Mission. There are 92.92 lakh rural households in Gujarat, of which 77.21 lakh (83%) households now have piped water supply. Today, there is so much water in Sardar Sarovar Dam that even if there is a shortfall of rain, there will be no shortage of water in the state. The water level of the reservoir has increased from 121.92 meters to 138.68 meters for the first time.

Further, the Rupani administration has flagged off many schemes for harnessing renewable energy to preserve the environment. In the solar energy sector, the state's ranking is No. 1. To maintain its lead in the renewable energy sector, a new solar energy policy has also been announced this year.

With a share of 25% in the solar rooftops in the country, Gujarat has set a new record.

Adapting to the latest innovations, the state administration is on its way to set up the world's largest hybrid energy park to generate 30,000 MW of electricity.

To reduce emissions, the Gujarat government has also made an e-vehicle policy, under which the state government will give a subsidy of Rs 20,000 to 1.5 lakh per vehicle.

Readers may recall that there was a time when Gujarat was known only for the Rann of Kutch, Somnath temple, and Dwarka. But in the last 5 years, the picture of tourism has changed completely. Today, Gujarat is on the list of Global Tourist Destinations on the world map.  Champaner near Pavagadh in Gujarat, Rani ki Vav in Patan, historical city, and Harappan era city Dholavira are included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Tourism is another project that has been receiving the high priority of the Rupani administration. And efforts are paying off. Interestingly, the number of visitors to the world's tallest statue is more than the Statue of Liberty. The Shivrajpur beach, near Dwarka, has also got the International Blue Flag tag for its cleanliness and beauty. Robotics Gallery, Aquatic Gallery, Dinosaur Park are also promoting tourism in the Science City of the state. Gujarat’s Surat, Ahmedabad, Rajkot, Gandhinagar are among the cleanest cities of India.

Rupani has also focused on education. Initiatives like Gyankunj Project, School on Wheels, Study in Gujarat, Command Control Centre 2.0, etc for the same purpose have boosted educational activities. The state is also the first state in the country to implement the National Education Policy (NEP).  'Study in Gujarat' campaign has connected the universities of Gujarat at the international level.

It goes without saying that Gujarat is one of the leading industrial states of Bharat. Gujarat's Gross Domestic Product (GSDP) in FY2021 was Rs 16.59 trillion (US$ 267.40 billion). Gujarat's Kandla Special Economic Zone (KASEZ) has become the country's "first green industrial city" and has received a platinum rating.

Since strong infrastructure gives strength to industries, so the state government has made a provision of Rs 11,185 crore for the road and building department in the FY22 budget. This is in combination with a new industrial policy announced last year to attract huge investments.

Strict law and enforcement are very important for the smooth functioning of any state. So the state equipped its police with modern technologies to enhance their effectiveness. Applications like Guj-cop have proved to be very helpful to curb crimes in the state. The state has also won the SKOCH Award in the Police and Service Sector. Last year, Gujarat Police became the 7th state police to get 'President Colours'.

Despite the Corona pandemic and the Takute cyclone, timely decisions of the Rupani administration have helped mitigate the suffering of the people. To provide relief to farmers and fishermen who bore the brunt of the Takute cyclone, a package of Rs 105 crores to the latter and of Rs 500 crores to the former. 

Remarkably, the Rupani administration has managed to execute development at a grand scale without inviting the stigma of corruption. That's not a small thing.

Vijay Rupani is the fourth CM of the state who remains in power for 1825 days. Before him, Narendra Modi ruled Gujarat for a maximum of 4,610 days, followed by Hitendra Desai for 2062 days and Madhav Singh Solanki for 2049 days.

Starting off his political journey as an ABVP activist, Rupani was imprisoned for 11 months during the emergency at the age of 24. And from then onwards, his journey in public and social service has displayed his dedication, and the fortitude to weather out the toughness of political life.
(By Nilesh Shukla)

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