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LUCKNOW: Chief minister Yogi Adityanath on Thursday dedicated 2,042 infrastructure projects and civil works worth Rs 8,754 crore to the residents of the state.

With the state gearing up to hold urban local bodies elections this month, the new projects are expected to give an edge to the ruling party as the state has 6.50 crore to 7 crore urban population.

Addressing the gathering, Yogi said that 100 small towns selected by the state government are going to be transformed into aspiring cities within the next few years.Insisting that Uttar Pradesh has the maximum number of municipal bodies in the country, Yogi said that these bodies have become the ‘axis’ of the positive change being witnessed in the state for the last six years.

Sharing more details, senior officials of the urban development department said that the majority of projects and works are going to be initiated within the Nagar Palika Parishads (municipal councils) and nagar panchayats (town councils) while only a limited number of projects are going to be undertaken across the key cities which are governed by nagar nigams (municipal corporations).

The chief minister also flagged off the motor vehicles that are deployed by the local bodies for daily operations within their jurisdiction.

The CM said that 17 lakh economically backward families staying in the urban limits have been given a house.

The CM praised the efforts made by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the Covid-19 pandemic and stated that Uttar Pradesh is now receiving the benefits of all schemes. “A pandemic like this had already arriv ed 100 years ago also in which people died not only of illness, but also of starvation whereas during the Covid pandemic, free vaccinations, tests, rations, and facilities were made available to the people for the first time in the history of the country, thanks to PM Modi’s leadership.”

Pointing out the scale of the exercise that was undertaken, Yogi said that a lot of states in the country have an annual budget worth Rs 8,700 crore. “Look how high the poverty rate has gone up in neighbouring Pakistan. People are struggling to get two proper meals. Good governance can change things on the ground and the results benefit every individual of the society,” said Yogi.

The CM also launched numerous books, including those related to the state’s urban digital mission, Swacch Bharat Mission, Govansh protection, and a Manual to protect dogs among others. He also flagged off tempo tripper vehicles and handed over keys of houses to beneficiaries of the PMAY (Urban) scheme.

Deputy chief minister Brajesh Pathak, energy and urban development Minister AK Sharma, and minister of state urban development Rakesh Rathore ‘Guru’ were present on the occasion.