Chhattisgarh has potential to be driving force behind India’s growth: CM Vishnu Deo Sai

In an exclusive interview with The Statesman, the CM provides insights into his vision for inclusive governance and charts a course towards prosperity and advancement for Chhattisgarh.

Chhattisgarh has potential to be driving force behind India’s growth: CM Vishnu Deo Sai

Photo: fb/vishnudeosai1

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Vishnu Deo Sai has emerged as a prominent tribal face within the BJP, seamlessly blending tribal heritage with administrative prowess.Born into a farming family in Bagia village of Jashpur district on February 21, 1964, Sai’s journey epitomizes resilience and dedication.

As Chhattisgarh’s inaugural tribal Chief Minister, Sai’s narrative integrates tradition with modern governance, deeply rooted in his Kanwar tribe lineage.

Q. What are the key economic development initiatives the government is focusing on to enhance the state’s growth?


A: The government is diligently working towards the ambitious goal of propelling the state’s economy to reach Rs 10 lakh crore in the next five years. Long-term efforts have begun based on ten major pillars in the economic sector. These include a knowledge-based economy, technology-driven improvements, increasing official capital expenditure (CAPEX), appropriate utilization of natural resources, enhancement of the service sector, promotion of private investment, a focus on Bastar-Sarguja policy, development of decentralized development pockets, encouragement of Chhattisgarhi culture, and transparent implementation of schemes.

Q. How do you plan to attract investments and promote industrialization in Chhattisgarh?

A: Chhattisgarh, with its vast geography and diverse demographics, stands as a beacon of potential within the country. With resolute political determination and the active engagement of its three crore citizens, the state holds the promise of becoming the driving force behind the nation’s growth.

Q. How is your government addressing infrastructure and connectivity challenges in Chhattisgarh to enhance accessibility and promote economic development across the state?

A: Chhattisgarh boasts of abundant opportunities for tourism development, particularly in eco-tourism, which capitalises on the state’s rich culture and biodiversity. With numerous scenic destinations, the state holds potential for weddings and family celebrations, a focus reflected in the budget allocation. Entrepreneurs, both domestic and international, venturing into Chhattisgarh can expect exceptional facilities, underlining the emphasis on business facilitation and law enforcement. Notably, Naxalism’s decline signals a peaceful and conducive environment for economic progress.

Efforts towards digital applications and a streamlined clearance process further enhance the ease of doing business. Additionally, the burgeoning food processing industry is poised to elevate farmers’ income and generate employment opportunities statewide.

Q. What measures are being taken to improve infrastructure and connectivity across the state, especially in rural areas?

A: In our Budget, we have placed significant emphasis on energy and infrastructure development. A provision of Rs 737 crores has been allocated for the construction of 1268 new roads, while Rs 450 crores are earmarked for the Rural Road Program Phase-2.

Additionally, the construction of 349 bridges will swiftly enhance connectivity, with an allocation of 175 crores for this purpose.We believe that improved road connectivity is synonymous with doorstep development. Hence, our government prioritizes energy conservation and enhancement.

A substantial sum of 670 crores is dedicated to the Solar Sudarshan Yojana, while 30 crores are designated for solar community irrigation.

Q. Can you share insights on any upcoming infrastructure projects that will benefit the people of Chhattisgarh?

A: In addition to road construction, we are progressing with railway projects, allocating 300 crores for the Katghora-Dongargarh railway line and 120 crores for the Chirmiri-Nagpur halt line. To bolster the rural economy, we are establishing a Post-Harvest Management and Processing Technology Institute in Balrampur. Furthermore, we are expanding healthcare services by establishing new hospitals in five districts, supported by an allocation of Rs 1812 crores for the National Health Mission.

To promote sports infrastructure and participation, we are launching the Chhattisgarh Sports Promotion Scheme. Additionally, the establishment of power centers in the state aims to enhance religious tourism and further economic development.

Q. What steps are being taken to improve healthcare facilities and access to quality education in Chhattisgarh?

A: The government is set to allocate Rs 1562 crores for the Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana and the Shaheed Veer Narayan Singh Ayushman Swasthya Yojana. Our objective is to ensure the delivery of high-quality medical services at primary, district, and community health centers.

In Raipur, significant upgrades are planned for the 1200-bed hospital in Mekahara, alongside the construction of a new 700-bed building. Furthermore, a separate funding of 20 crores has been earmarked for establishing a trauma center in Rajnandgaon.

Q. How do you plan to address challenges related to healthcare infrastructure and educational standards in remote areas?

A: We are dedicated to transforming district hospitals in Gariyaband, Kawardha, Raigarh, Mungeli, Baikunthpur, Jashpur, and Narayanpur into model district hospitals. An allocation of 80 crores is designated for this significant endeavor. Additionally, to fortify the vital link of health services in rural areas, the Mitannin Welfare Fund has been augmented by 325 crores.

Q. How is the government balancing economic development with environmental conservation in Chhattisgarh? What initiatives are being implemented to promote sustainable practices and preserve the state’s natural resources?

A: The state is steadfastly advancing towards inclusive development, recognizing environmentally friendly development as the sole sustainable option. In tandem with initiatives in solar energy, we are promoting the electrification of agricultural pumps, with an expenditure of 200 crores allocated to this endeavor.

Furthermore, the state’s rich biodiversity offers abundant employment opportunities, underscored by the upcoming launch of a new scheme for beekeeping. These concerted efforts are poised to foster inclusive development in the near future.

Q. What are the government’s initiatives to uplift marginalized communities and ensure social welfare across the state?

A: From the Prime Minister’s Housing Scheme, Prime Minister’s Gram Sadak Yojana, to the PM Jan Dhan Yojana and Swachh Bharat Mission, the primary beneficiaries are the poor, farmers, and tribals.

Under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Chhattisgarh government is committed to pioneering new dimensions of public welfare. Payments for the Prime Minister’s Vandan Yojana are being disbursed to the bank accounts of 70 lakh women. This scheme will herald a new chapter in the economic empowerment of women.

Q. What measures are being taken to ensure the safety and security of citizens, particularly in regions affected by insurgency and Maoist activities?

A: The state is witnessing the twilight of Maoism, with law enforcement agencies responding firmly to those resorting to violence. Through initiatives like the Niyad Nellananar scheme, we are ensuring the delivery of essential services to every tribal village.

Q. How do you envision Chhattisgarh’s role in attracting both domestic and foreign investment?

A: Good governance lays the foundation for investment. In Chhattisgarh, we have streamlined the process of establishing industries through a single-window clearance system, replacing red tape with a red carpet to welcome investors. Opportunities in the food processing industry are being actively realized, and I extend an invitation to industrialists worldwide to capitalize on our investment-friendly environment.

Q. What is your vision for the future of Chhattisgarh, and what steps are being taken to realize that vision? How do you plan to ensure inclusive growth and development that benefits all sections of society in the state?

A: We are advancing with the principle of Antyodaya, ensuring that plans reach the most marginalized individuals at the bottom of society. Within three months of assuming office, we have fulfilled every political commitment, establishing a reputation for trustworthiness. Elections served as a means to secure votes, but today, Modi’s assurance symbolizes political credibility. While numerical progress is crucial, qualitative improvements in people’s living standards are equally vital for the state’s economic growth.

Q. The Lok Sabha elections are scheduled to be held soon. What are the BJP’s prospects in Chhattisgarh?

A: We are winning all the 11 Lok Sabha seats in the state. See, every patriotic Indian shares a sense of belonging to Prime Minister Modi’s vision of a developed India, and citizens across the country are dedicated to its realisation. In Chhattisgarh, voters have placed their trust in Prime Minister Modi’s leadership by electing a BJP government with a significant majority in the past Assembly elections. Our government remains steadfast in fulfilling the guarantees made by Prime Minister Modi.