Welfare of Union Territories In The Last Decade

Published By : Admin | April 12, 2024 | 18:33 IST

India as the Mother Of Democracy has been persisting in its greatness, ensuring the fundamental right to democratically elected governance at every level. Be it the States or the Union Territories, despite being diverse in their administrative set up are encouraged to be identify and work out their optimal models for delivery of growth and development. In an unconventional approach, PM Modi has advocated and fostered the use of Union territories as ideal platforms for launching novel projects. Trial initiatives are allowed to undergo comprehensive testing within the Union Territories before being expanded for adoption across broader regions and states.

The Union Territories, known for their small scale and efficient administrative frameworks government has thus been able to capitalise on the Centre’s focus on infrastructure development, including the improvement of road networks, healthcare facilities, education and tourism. Due this approach, Union Territories such as Chandigarh, Puducherry, Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman are thriving now, with varied levels of economic success and they have human development indicators that could cross and exceed higher than those of the average Indian state. The government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has spearheaded various initiatives and development projects with the objective of augmenting the advancement of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu, two union territories. In order to improve efficiency and streamline administrative procedures, these territories were combined in January 2020.

Such an alignment has streamlined the ability of these four Union Territories to significantly contribute to the realization of our common goal of a Viksit Bharat. Seeing merits on offer, the local self-government organizations now support a bottom-up strategy that empowers communities, especially by guaranteeing women's equal involvement in decision-making processes in these territories. Both Chandigarh and Puducherry have scaled up in terms of per capita income across the last 3 years.

In the last decade, due to the enabling environment in the nation, the Union Territories are proudly promoting the awareness and dissemination of their heritage across India. The national leadership has pursued structural reforms in a manner such that within a decade, the nation has escaped the grouping of Fragile Five economies to enter the grouping of Top 5 economies. The clarity in the goal has enabled UTs seize this opportunity to serve the nation effectively.

Union Territories are witnessing the development of vast tourism potentials. The aim is to foster the growth and sustainable development of tourism destinations through participatory initiatives, known as Jan Bhagidari initiatives. The Prime Minister has inaugurated and launched 52 tourism sector projects valued at over Rs 1400 crores under the Swadesh Darshan and PRASHAD Scheme and UTs are beneficiaries of this. Moreover, initiatives like the Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan, which promotes independence and entrepreneurship, have been used to stimulate economic development.

Ensuring the prosperity of millions of farmers and realizing the vision of "Sahkaar Se Samriddhi", major effort to computerize Registrar of Cooperative Societies (RCSs) and Agriculture & Rural Development Banks (ARDBs) have been made to improve RCS offices' efficiency, accountability, transparency, and integration with the national database in the UTs. The Ayushman Bharat scheme has been expanded to give health insurance coverage, and initiatives like the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY) have been established to improve healthcare accessibility and affordability for residents in these UTs.

Emphasis on social connectivity, promotion of physical connectivity, democratization of technology has ensured that these UTs should feel scarcity of opportunity and rise up to its full potential. Optical fiber to all the villages and the cheapest data cost has eased access to information. A new push to digital entrepreneurship in villages is on offer and UPI has helped small businesses and street vendors in these UTs to access banking services.

Another major area of concentration has been infrastructure development, with large sums of money invested in enhancing the roads and transit systems of numerous areas within these UTs. To improve connection in rural and coastal areas, the Indian government has launched a number of programs. Furthermore, the goal of creating a high-speed rail network in India has led to the operation of Vande Bharat trains on more than 51 routes. These advancements are providing substantial advantages to the Union Territories, such as more convenient travel and exciting job prospects have opened up. The Sagarmala Scheme-funded Puducherry Port Development project is one such most quoted initiative. Similarly, under the Khelo India program, Puducherry's young now have access to top-notch sports facilities, enabling them to compete well at national and international levels.

Chandigarh has been added to the Smart City Mission, which aims to use technology to raise the standard of living and enhance facilities in metropolitan areas. More than 200 kilometers of bike lanes and walkways, demonstrating significant advancements in this area are on display. The city has been able to improve last-mile connectivity by putting Public Bike-Sharing (PBS) networks in place. This PBS effort, which consists of 5000 bicycles and 617 stations, is the most densely stationed system in India and is the first pan-city PBS system. The opening of the first Indian Air Force Heritage Centre in Chandigarh has been praised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Setting new benchmarks in governance, in March 2024, the 'NITI for States' platform, a cornerstone initiative empowering states and UTs to contribute significantly to the collective vision of a developed India was launched to foster collaborative governance. Such innovations empower frontline functionaries, facilitate replication of successful initiatives and effective addressal of local challenges strengthening cooperative federalism through knowledge sharing and cross-learning among these four UTs. Its thus undeniable that PM Modi’s robust follow-up and frequent visits to these areas has accelerated ease of commute, ease of living, ease of business and thereby enhanced standard of living to the masses here.

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PM Modi’s Vision Fuels Delhi’s Development
April 12, 2024

“Delhi has the good fortune to get an opportunity of keeping the flag of nations' prestige flying high.”
- PM Narendra Modi as Delhi prepared to host the G20 Summit

The last ten years of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government have set in motion the creation of a New India—from rural to urban, from water to electricity, from houses to health, from education to employment, from castes to classes—a comprehensive plan bringing growth and prosperity to each doorstep.

The National Capital Territory of Delhi has emerged as a pivotal part of this dynamic developmental momentum spearheaded by PM Modi throughout this transformative decade.

The city has been at the heart of the infrastructural shift that has given a dedicated facelift to the entire nation. Today infrastructural marvels like Atal Setu, Chenab Bridge, Statue of Unity, and Zojila Tunnel dot India’s ever-evolving landscape.

With its focus on revamping transportation networks, upgrading urban amenities, and expanding digital infrastructure, the Modi government has launched an array of transformative initiatives. From railways, highways to airports, these initiatives have been key in galvanising inclusive and sustainable development across the length and breadth of the country.

The impressive expansion of the metro rail network has revolutionised urban commuting in India. From a mere 5 cities in 2014, the metro rail network now serves 21 cities across the nation—expanding from 248 km in 2014 to 945 km by 2024, with 919 km of lines under construction in 26 additional cities.

The Union Cabinet has recently approved two new corridors of Delhi Metro Phase-IV—Lajpat Nagar to Saket G-Block and Inderlok to Indraprastha. Both the lines have a combined length of over 20 kms with a project cost of over Rs. 8,000 crore (funding being sourced from the Union Govt, Govt of Delhi, and international agencies). The Inderlok- Indraprastha line will play a significant role in enhancing connectivity to the Bahadurgarh region of Haryana. Additionally, India’s first Namo Bharat train, operating on the Delhi-Meerut Regional Rapid Transit System (RRTS) corridor further underlines the Modi government’s commitment to enhancing regional connectivity and upgrading its transportation infrastructure.

Further, the Bharatmala Pariyojana envisages improved logistics efficiency and connectivity via the development of nearly 35,000 km of National Highway corridors. 25 greenfield high-speed corridors have been planned under the plan out of which four intersect with Delhi’s growing infra capacity: Delhi-Mumbai Expressway, Delhi-Amritsar-Katra Expressway, Delhi-Saharanpur-Dehradun Expressway, and the Urban Extension Road-II. The total project length sanctioned for Delhi is 203 km with an allocation of over Rs. 18,000 crore.

Over the past decade, the Modi government has consistently dedicated efforts towards augmenting capacity and decongestion of airports. After the IGI Airport Delhi became the first airport in the country to have four runways and an elevated taxiway, the expanded state-of-the-art Terminal 1 has also been inaugurated recently. In addition, the upcoming Noida International Airport (Jewar) shall further contribute to decongestion of the Delhi airport which is serving millions of passengers annually.

Besides, the inauguration of the New Parliament has further added civilisational yet modern connotations to the city’s landscape. Inauguration of the Yashobhoomi (India International Convention & Expo Centre) has given Delhi India’s largest convention and exhibition centre, offering a mixed purpose tourism experience. Along with Yashobhoomi, the Bharat Mandapam, a world-class convention and exhibition centre, showcases India to the world.

In terms of welfare, the Modi government has launched several schemes benefitting people hitherto on the margins of growth and development. Women’s safety in Delhi has been a key concern. To address the same, the Modi government strengthened the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013 by increasing the quantum of punishment for rape, including capital punishment for rape of a girlchild below the age of 12.

The Union Home Ministry established a separate Women Safety Division back in 2018. One-stop centers, Sakhi Niwas, Safe City Project, Nirbhaya Fund, SHe-Box, Investigation Tracking System for Sexual Offences, and Cri-MAC (Crime Multi-Agency Center) among others are significant additions in the government’s campaign towards women safety.

In addition, Swachh Bharat Mission, PM Ujjwala Yojana, PM Matru Vandana Yojana, and Beti Bachao Beti Padhao have further led to the empowerment of Nari Shakti in India.

As India becomes the 3rd largest startup ecosystem in the world, Delhi is also contributing significantly towards this development. Today over 13,000 DPIIT-recognised startups are functioning in Delhi even as the government is promoting self-employment through PM MUDRA Yojana with over 2.3 lakh loans sanctioned worth over Rs. 3,000 crore for FY2023-24 (as on 26.01.2024).

PM SVANidhi, which provides collateral free loans to street vendors, is supporting over 1.67 lakh beneficiaries in Delhi. Further, under the Aatmanirbhar Bharat Rozgar Yojana, launched in 2020 to incentivise employers for creation of new employment and restoration of loss of employment during Covid-19 pandemic, over 2.2 lakh employees benefitted in Delhi.

Further, nearly 30,000 houses have been sanctioned and completed in Delhi under PM Awas Yojana (Urban).

Air pollution has been a recurring problem for the people of Delhi. Conscious of this reality, the central government has launched the National Clean Air Programme as a national level strategy to reduce air pollution level across the country.

The Modi government's tenure over the last decade has brought about a remarkable transformation in Delhi across various fronts. From infrastructure development to governance reforms, from education to employment, the government's initiatives have left an indelible mark on the capital city. As Delhi continues on its journey of progress and development, the contributions of the Modi government are set to shape its future trajectory for years to come.