Staff Correspondent

Chauhan holds show of strength in Sagar

Medical college, with a 500-bed hospital, for SagarRs. 243 crores to be spent on 81 irrigation projects

SAGAR (MADHYA PRADESH): Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan announced a bonanza of schemes and development projects for the Bundelkhand region of Madhya Pradesh at a huge public rally here on Friday.

Sagar is in the heart of the Bundelkhand region, the stronghold of the former Chief Minister and expelled Bharatiya Janata Party leader Uma Bharti.

Mr. Chauhan's rally, attended by several State Cabinet Ministers, is being described in ruling BJP circles as a "Shakti Pradarshan" (show of strength). Addressing the rally, Mr. Chauhan announced a new medical college, with a 500-bed hospital, for Sagar. He said that provisions would be made for this purpose in the 2006-2007 Budget. He added that Rs. 100 crores would be spent on the medical college project in the next three years.

After 1962-63, this would be the first Government medical college to be set up in the State, he added.

'Water priority'

Mr. Chauhan said water restructuring was main priority and Rs. 243 crores would be spent on 81 irrigation projects in the Bundelkhand area. He said that the Government was committed to bring maximum area under irrigation for the larger benefit of farmers.

The Chief Minister said that his Government had a vision and a perspective for the future and the idea was not to stagnate the power generation capacity around 2300 MW as has been the case in the past. The vision is to build new roads and augment the power generation capacity keeping in view the demand more than 25 years from now, he asserted.

Mr. Chauhan said that the State Government would focus its efforts to meet the demand for power by also exploring alternate sources of energy, whether bio-mass, gobar-gas or solar. The target is to repair old distribution lines, lay new ones and make Madhya Pradesh a power-surplus State in the next three years, he said.

Mr. Chauhan further announced that a Krishi Upaj Mandi would be set up at Bijapur and an ambitious Rs. 108 crore project would be taken up with Japan's help for increasing the output of pulses and oilseeds in the Bundelkhand region.