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06 October 2012

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister discusses $7,888 million Development Projects with World Bank in Washington DC

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By Pervez Bari

Bhopal: The central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, who is on a visit to the United States of America, held detailed discussions with the World Bank’s top officials in Washington DC on the first day of his visit and sought cooperation for the ambitious development projects in various sectors. He was welcomed by Akihiko Nishio, the acting Vice President South Asia Affairs, of the World Bank.

The World Bank officials appreciated the Chief Minister’s positive development vision describing it the most suitable for sustainable development. They were also appreciative of Mr. Chouhan’s approach to development dialogues saying that it is for the first time a Chief Minister of any Indian state himself is making presentations and opening development dialogues, an official Press release said.

The World Bank officials highly appreciated the e-governance initiatives for sustainable transparency and guarantee of public service delivery. They said that such development initiatives can be easily replicated. The Managing Director World Bank Ms. Mulyani Indrawati assured cooperation and support from the World Bank. She said that proposals for financial support will be positively evaluated at different levels.

The World Bank’s top officials and sector heads looking after South Asia affairs with whom Mr. Chouhan held a series of meetings included Ms. Tamar Manuelyan Atinc-Vice President, Amit Dhar-Sector Manager South Asia Human Development and Education, Hiroshi Saeki- Human Development Officer South Asia, Ms. Jill Armstrong -Country Programme Coordinator India, M. N. Prasad - Executive Director, India-World Bank, Ms. Rachel Kyte-Vice President Sustainable Development, Director Sustainable Development South Asia, Jack Stein - Director Infrastructures and Water, Jose Luis Irigoyen - Regional Industry Director Infrastructure and Natural Resources South Asia Ms. Anita George.

Chief Minister Mr. Chouhan in his presentation informed the World Bank officials about development projects in water resources, water supply in urban and rural areas, establishment of public service centres, renewable energy projects, women and child development, higher education projects and Narmada-Malwa Lift Irrigation and Water Supply Projects. He said that Madhya Pradesh is the fastest growing Indian state. He said that the pace of development can be further accelerated with the World Bank financial support.

The Chief Minister also apprised the World Bank officials of the development strategies Madhya Pradesh has adopted. He listed some novel initiatives like agriculture cabinet, agriculture budget, inclusive growth of urban areas, urban governance and infrastructure building. He also discussed the strategies in rural development, health, women and child development and women empowerment, social security, good governance practices and e-governance.

Giving details about the development scenario in Madhya Pradesh, Mr. Chouhan said that human development indices have improved impressively. Remarkable progress has been visible in key sectors like water resources, power generation, agriculture, storage capacity building, horticulture, surface connectivity and health, he added.

Water Resources

The Chief Minister had discussions on expansion of Madhya Pradesh Water Sector Restructuring Project, which he said requires additional financial support of $181 million. He also urged to expand Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project up to 2016-17 and sought $60.19 million assistance.

Mr. Chouhan apprised the World Bank officials about ambitious plan of providing piped water supply to all urban cities in coming ten years. This project he said will cost $300 million. Madhya Pradesh will arrange $200 million from its own resources.

Urban Development

Mr. Chouhan held discussions on mega urban development projects like urban roads and metro rail project, that would require $300 million. He said that Madhya Pradesh would manage $200 million under CM’s Urban Infrastructure Development Project. Similarly, he discussed $180 million – rural road development project saying that it would improve road connectivity in rural areas. He also sought support for establishment of a network of Public Service Delivery Centres and equipping them with adequate IT enabled infrastructure. The solar, wind, small irrigation and bio-mass energy projects were also discussed. In addition, $1082 million projects for women and child development and $480 million projects for higher education infrastructure building and introducing vocational courses were also discussed in detail.

Narmada-Malwa Drinking Water Project

The Chief Minister elaborated why Narmada-Malwa Drinking Water Project is important for the people living in Malwa region of the state. He said that it will provide irrigation and drinking water in 3000 villages and 70 towns in the region. This project will not only generate 1000 MW power but also ensure irrigation on 16.8 lakh acre command area. He said that this would entail a cost of $3600 million, the release said.

It may be stated here that Chief Minister Mr. Chouhan is on a eight-day tour of USA. During the tour, Chief Minister he will hold discussions with officers of the World Bank, prominent investors of USA, educationists and non-resident Indians. He will given presentations on women’s empowerment in Madhya Pradesh and development works at the World Bank and Michigan University.

It is noteworthy that various schemes like Ladli Laxmi, Gaon Ki Beti, Usha Kiran, Mukhyamantri Kanyadan and reservation to women in jobs and local bodies launched by the State Government have been regarded as very important by the World Bank towards women’s empowerment. The World Bank has invited the Chief Minister to present these achievements of the State Government and measures adopted by it successfully before entire world.

During the USA visit, Mr. Chouhan will deliver a lecture on Madhya Pradesh and India’s basic development possibilities at Michigan University. During the tour being undertaken on the 150th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda, Mr. Chouhan will pay tributes to him at Swami Vivekananda Memorial in Chicago. The Chief Minister will also meet members of Indian community and hold discussions with them on various occasions.

[Pervez Bari is a senior Journalist based at Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. He is associated with IndianMuslimObserver.com as Bureau Chief (Madhya Pradesh). He can be contacted at pervezbari@eth.net]

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