Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot of Jaipur embarked on an endeavour to inaugurate and lay the foundation stones for several infrastructure development projects in the city that are collectively valued at over Rs 1,400 crore on Thursday. The projects aim to enhance Jaipur's connectivity, ease traffic congestion, and elevate urban amenities. However, several of the inaugurated projects remain incomplete.
One of the significant inaugurations of the day was the foundation stone laying for phase 1-C of the metro rail project. This phase will link Badi Chaupar to Transport Nagar, with a stop at Ramganj. Encompassing a total distance of 2.85 km, the metro will span 0.59 km in elevated sections and 2.26 km underground. CM Gehlot visited the underground metro from Chandpole to Badi Chaupar station and even rode the metro train.
Gehlot stated, "We initiated the metro work in 2009 and conducted its trial remarkably quickly in 2013. It all began with an article suggesting that metro connectivity is feasible in Jaipur. Subsequently, I engaged with Shanti Dhariwal and encouraged him to lead this project."
The chief minister also inaugurated a two-storey underground parking facility in Ramnivas Bagh, expanding the capacity to accommodate 1,530 cars. The unveiling of statues honouring freedom fighters took place at the newly inaugurated underpass at Lakshmi Mandir Tiraha.
The CM further laid the foundation stones for satellite hospitals at Tonk Road Shivdaspura, Agra Road Kanota, and Ajmer Road Balmukundpura. He also initiated the construction of an underground parking lot in front of the high court. Moreover, he inaugurated the Sylvan Biodiversity Forest on Agra Road, developed across 113 hectares of land.
CM Gehlot took the opportunity to pledge approximately Rs 120 crore for the renovation of public facilities at the Govind Devji temple, aiming to enhance its entrance gate, drainage system, fountains, toilets, and parking. Additionally, Rs 10 crore was allocated towards the renovation of the Idgah area, located near Galta Gate, which includes improvements to the prayer hall.
This inauguration spree by Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot comes ahead of the Rajasthan Assembly elections slated for later this year.
However, while a number of projects were inaugurated, some remained incomplete due to technicalities, such as the Bisalpur II project. Moreover, the Laxmi Mandir Tiraha project, another incomplete project, has caused traffic congestion due to the pending acquisition of adjacent railway land.
Ashok Gehlot also took jibes at the Opposition party, calling union minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat "good for nothing". Although the chief minister did not take his name, he said, "The minister is from here, he is such a nakara (useless), nikamma (good-for-nothing) minister. He is our minister, our MP from Jodhpur."
"Can't he get a project declared a national project? He makes excuses and confuses people," Gehlot continued.
The Rajasthan chief minister has a running feud with Shekhawat, whom he accused of being involved in the Sanjivani Credit Cooperative Society scam. The Union minister then took him to court for criminal defamation.
(With agency inputs)