Despite Poll Drubbing, Digvijaya Singh Reaffirms Commitment to Vision Document for Bhopal
In the run up to the Lok Sabha election, Singh had released a blueprint of the city’s development and had promised to work on it irrespective of the poll outcome.
File photo of Congress leader Digvijaya Singh.
Bhopal: Congress leader Digvijaya Singh who faced flak ahead in the run-up to the Lok Sabha election for not exercising his franchise on Sunday said he had applied for enrolment in Bhopal.
At present, Singh is listed as a voter in his hometown Raghogarh and had skipped voting in the parliamentary election as he was busy campaigning in Bhopal where he was pitted against Malegaon-blasts accused Pragya Thakur. “Earlier I was enrolled as a voter in Raghogarh, but recently I applied for getting listed as a voter in Bhopal so that there won’t be any issues in future,” said Singh.
While many have continued to predict an end to Singh’s political career after his defeat at the hands of Thakur by over 3.5 lakh votes, the former Madhya Pradesh chief minister has refused to bog down and on Sunday, reiterated his commitment towards his ‘vision document’ for Bhopal.
In the run up to the Lok Sabha election, Singh had released the vision document (blueprint of city development) for Bhopal and had promised to work on it irrespective of the poll outcome. “I have discussed the vision document with Chief Minister Kamal Nath and he has responded positively,” Singh told reporters.
The development plan includes a six-lane highway between Bhopal and Indore, a 2031 master plan, sports city and tourism, education and logistics hubs. It also includes efforts to decongest the city’s old areas.
He said public opinion would be sought on the master plan and the government would start work on it by September-October. The Congress veteran said that with the help of the Centre’s logistics hub policy, the state government would moot a proposal and appeal to big companies to set up base in Bhopal. The city’s central location would further help its case, he added.
Calling the Upper Lake a focal point of Bhopal development, Singh said measures would be taken to beautify the lake besides ensuring measures to clear the lake’s catchment area of encroachments. “We will make sure that concerns of those living inside the catchment area are taken care of,” he said.
The state government has agreed in principal to start mohalla clinics (community health centres) and the pilot project would be established in Bhopal, Singh said.
Stating that areas, which are yet to become a part of the municipal corporation, would soon be taken over by the civic body, the ex-CM said, “These would include several areas where we lost (in the poll).”
The veteran Congress leader backed the establishment of a unified agency which could govern developmental work in place of multiple government departments. “We would also establish a metropolitan authority for Bhopal,” he said.
“I have written to the finance minister for lowering the 18% GST imposed on tutorials,” the Rajya Sabha MP said, adding that an education hub was also part of his plans to shift the tutorials from busy areas.
“A 50-acre piece of land has been allotted in the Barkhera Nathu area on the outskirts of Bhopal where a sports hub is being planned,” Singh said. He also hit out at the Centre’s smart city project and called it a flawed one.
When asked about the depleting green cover of Bhopal, the former CM said, “I have asked the state government not to cut down trees for projects. The trees should be shifted elsewhere... Over 15,000 trees have been cut down in the last 15 years in Bhopal and we need to take corrective measures.”
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