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‘Bharat Nirman for rural India’
Correspondent Kohima:
Published on 22 Oct. 2008 1:48 AM IST
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Bharat Nirman, a four year business plan for rural infrastructure by the Government of India, is aimed at unlocking the growth of rural India, and filling the gaps between the rural and the urban sectors. Launched in 2004-05 by the Government of India in partnership with the State Government and Panchayati Raj Institutions, Bharat Nirman has under its component action plans for irrigation, road, rural housing, rural water supply, rural electrification and rural telecommunication connectivity. Under the Bharat Nirman, every village would be provided electricity, of the which the programme has a remaining target of 1,25,000 villages to be covered by 2009 as well as connect 2.3 crore households. Every habitation over 1000 population and above (500 in hilly and tribal areas) would be provided an all weather road, where 66,802 remaining habitations are to be covered by 2009. 55,067 uncovered habitations of safe drinking water would be covered by 2009. 60 lakh houses would be constructed for the rural poor and 10 million hectares of additional irrigation capacity to be created by 2009. Every village would be connected by telephone, where a remaining target of 66,822 villages is to be covered. Briefing the media on Bharat Nirman and other projects of the Government on Tuesday, Pankaj Pandey, deputy director (M&C), Press Information Bureau, Ministry of I&B, stated that the participatory method should be stressed where the needs of the community is discussed to fully implement the programmes in the rural areas. Citing Wokha as an example, he said that there had been a huge shortage of drinking water as there was no proposal sent to the Central Government. He urged the VDBs and VCs to send their proposals for funds to be released from the central government. He also added that the VDBc and head of VCs should educate the masses on the programmes of the central government and equip them with their rights. Additional director general, DFP and chairman core committee Nagaland, Ashiko Lassa, claimed Bharat Nirman to be one of the most important programmes for stimulating the growth of rural India. Highlighting the tasks of the project, she stated that electricity connectivity has covered almost 99% in Nagaland, the rest areas being subjected to terrain because of Indo-Burma borders in places like Longleng, Kiphire and Tuensang. Stating that the Public Information Campaign was an alarm call to all citizens, Lassa said that the Right to Information Act (RTI) should be made known to all the citizens in all the interiors of the state. "It should become a people's movement", she said while adding that the masses should realize their rights and responsibilities. Lassa further asserted that every child from age 6-14 should be given their right to education as per the Fundamental Rights of the Constitution of India. She said that free education, free textbooks for students from classes A-8 should be made known to the rural people. Lassa also highlighted on other central projects such as the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), National Rural Health Mission (NRHM), National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA), Jawaharlal Nehru Rural and Urban Mission (JNRUM). Earlier, the same campaign was conducted at Dimapur and Mokokchung. Under the Bharat Nirman, Phiro village, under Wokha district has made a remarkable achievement in rain water harvesting. With a total of 243 households, the village has constructed 243 water tanks. Pankaj Pandey, from the PIB, further informed that the village also has also constructed a common tank where water is supplied to all households for safe drinking water.

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