By Chandrakant Naidu
Bhopal, Aug 10 (IANS) Chief Minister Kamal Nath's two-day trip to Mumbai has yielded key investment proposals for Madhya Pradesh with high-tech 'gaushalas' to be built in the state by the Birlas.
Industrialist Kumar Mangalam Birla has agreed to build 100 high-tech 'gaushalas' in the state from the group's corporate social responsibility (CSR) fund during the next 18 months.
While the previous BJP government had placed cow welfare in the state high on the agenda it had left the stray cows to fend for themselves. The Congress added cow protection to its manifesto in an attempt to blunt the BJP's Hindutva edge. The BJP government's neglect of stray cows had added to its unpopularity.
Building 'gaushalas' was one of the main promises made by the Congress ahead of the Assembly election. In January this year, the Congress government had announced that it will build 1,000 gaushalas within four months to accommodate nearly one lakh stray cows on the roads.
But the project got delayed causing embarrassment to the government. The government was also in touch with other corporates for the project. The Birlas' offer would give the state some respite.
Animal husbandry department sources say the government has already signed a non-binding agreement with another company to build 300 'smart' gaushalas over the next five years. The company is likely to begin with building four cow sheds.
The Chief Minister also had discussions with N. Chandrasekaran of Tata Group, Pawan Goenka of Mahindra & Mahindra, Praveer Sinha of Tata Power, Dilip Gour of Grasim, Harsh Goenka of RPG Group, Dilip Akhuri of ACC Cement, Yashwant Holkar of Ahilya Heritage Hotels and Amrish Patel of Narsee Monjee.
The government is yet to announce the proposals made by these companies. Earlier on Wednesday Mukesh Ambani of the Reliance Group had announced plans to set up a global logistics hub in the state.
The Chief Minister's campaign to provide job opportunities to the youth of the state was supported by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). The CII national team assured to open skill development centres in every district on the Chhindwara model. With the skill development centre opened by CII in Chhindwara, a large number of youth have got employment.
The Chief Minister said that skill development is necessary for employment. When it started in Chhindwara, positive results came out. Now the government has prepared a roadmap to redesign the skill development centers. Trades that have become unusable will be closed and training will be imparted in new areas with the need of industries.
Nath also held discussions with Cyrus Mistry of Shapoorji Pallonji regarding the planned development of cities and smart cities. He said that the priority of the government is EWS housing in urban areas. The government is studying diverse models. The state secretariat annexe has been built by Shapoorji Pallonji in Bhopal.
Pawan Goenka, Managing Director of Mahindra & Mahindra, discussed manufacturing e-rickshaws in the state.
Nath said the government's top priority is employment generation with investment.
"Industrial development without employment is meaningless for a state. We have no shortage of hardworking youth power and talent. They just need employment opportunities. We want to move fast in the fields of dry ports, satellite cities, artificial intelligence, tourism and skill development.