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A river is a mother as it provides water to survive: Shivraj Chauhan

In an interview with SIMONTINI BHATTACHARJEE, Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chauhan talks about what’s topmost on his government’s agenda

A river is a mother as it provides water to survive: Shivraj Chauhan
What is the reason behind the change of fiscal year to January-December and how the Madhya Pradesh government will implement it?
The current fiscal year was formed by the British government according to their convenience. On the other hand, during previous governments the budget session used to be concluded in May. After that due to two-three months' long monsoon, the work couldn't be done. So, the entire cycle used to take time. However, now under Modiji's governance, states have started getting money by April, 1. But still it is not an ideal year for us to work. If states start working from January, there will be a vast span to continue till June 15 and the money would be utilised in a proper way. So, we will be talking to the Centre to implement January-December financial year.

Will it change the crop pattern of the state?

Certainly! We have made a report on changes in the crop pattern. We are thinking of inter-cropping. But the change will be done by convincing people, not forcibly. There will be a growth in crop production. The price of crops will be better.

What are the other new policies?
We are now mainly focusing on social welfare schemes and with the ongoing Narmada Seva Yatra we are also connecting all schemes with each other. We have connected 'Nasha Mukti' with the Yatra. We have banned alcohol shops situated within a radius of five kilometers from the banks of Narmada. The state government is also planning to conduct various programmes against addiction and make people aware of its bad effects. I think it is the root of social disturbance and the state government would soon implement a total ban on alcohol in various phases. It cannot be done at one time but will happen in various phases.

After Haryana, Madhya Pradesh has also listed its name for a significant change in sex ratio. Elaborate the schemes of the state government?
People are aware of the sex ratio between men and women in Madhya Pradesh, northern part of the country, and even in the western part. So, I personally feel that people make the discrimination and we are trying to make people aware through various campaigns and schemes as "Ladli Scheme" where we feel daughters must be educated and empowered. Our government has facilitated them with proper education, book, cycles to travel to their schools, etc. But above all, people need to change their perception that not only sons are "Kuldeepak", daughters can also be pride of a family. Moreover, we have connected the scheme to Narmada Yatra also, where we worship little girl child. I personally touch their feet as I consider a daughter or a woman a devi. On the other hand, I think it will impact society as the Chief Minister himself is worshiping a girl child. So, I think it would change the psychological order of the society.

In many cases you have been directly monitoring various schemes, like Narmada Yatra. Do you think it impacts voters directly?
Along with a Chief Minister, I am also a global citizen and I have certain responsibilities towards society. As a CM of a state, only building roads, bridges and other infrastructure is not my only duty. Ensuring the future of the youth and the children of my state is also a part of my job. So, I used to be involved directly with various programmes. Narmada Yatra is a six-month long programme that I have been involved with as it is not only a clean-up drive, it is also a major social issue. Many environmentalists and experts are involved into the drive and major social policies are connected to it.
How the clean-up drive Narmada Yatra would impact other similar campaigns, like Namami Gange?
A river is a mother as it provides water to survive. Narmada is our mother. So, it is our duty to save the river. In every sector, the water is being used. The government is in talks with experts, and other stakeholders to continue the drive. The government would also initiate the clean-up drive of Tapti, Son and Kshipra by next year. As far as Namami Gange is concerned, the Centre and the UP state government collectively are trying to start the drive. It is more difficult and different from Narmada Yatra as Ganga is more polluted and various industrial hubs and cities are situated on the banks of the river. But I hope the Centre is taking the issue seriously.

After the recent Sukma attack in Chhattisgarh, how is your government ensuring proper security in the state?
The state is now more secured and has better law and order situation. We have taken a number of measures to combat terror activities, Naxal movements and to provide security to women in the state. We have revived the state's defence system too. If required more policies will be introduced.
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