Ghaziabad: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Monday gave laptops free of cost to over 8,000 students of Gautambuddh Nagar and Ghaziabad districts.
The aim behind implementing the scheme is to bridge the gap between urban and rural students so that those residing in villages can make use of technology and gain high level of knowledge, he said on the occasion.
While addressing the students at Kamala Nehru Nagar ground, the Chief Minister said the laptops would help them in this age of competition.
The name of the state would shine on the national stage when the children progress with the support of the laptops, he added.
As many as 8,074 students were given the computers.
Meanwhile, over 100 Congress workers protested the Chief Minister's visit to Ghaziabad and were lathicharged for blocking his route in Kavinagar area, official sources said in Lucknow.
A group of girl students of a college in Chandauli also blocked traffic on Varanasi-Mughalsarai GT road for over an hour, protesting the non-inclusion of their names in the laptop distribution programme.
On the occasion, national-level chess player Sweta Priyadarshini, a native of the state, was also gifted a laptop.
Mr Yadav directed that a decision on converting Loni into a tehsil will be taken after its inspection, Khoda will be converted into a Municipal Corporation subsequent to delimitation and both areas be provided with 2 and 1 additional police stations respectively.
He also announced that Uttar Pradesh and Haryana would share 50 per cent cost each on building a bridge on river Yamuna in between Baghpat and Panipat.
His government was committed to help farmers, Mr Yadav said, adding that efforts were being made to strengthen the power situation in the state.
The government was also encouraging industries to flourish, he said.
Various programmes worth Rs 3,750 of Ghaziabad Vikas Pradhikaran were inaugurated, including the construction of 5,000 houses for economically weaker sections.
Police sources said several local BJP leaders and party activists were arrested as they were going to protest at the venue. They were released after the end of the event.
Meanwhile, Mayor Teluram Kamboj, who was present during the programme, met the Chief Minister to request CBI inquiry into the murder of seven members of a family last month and asked for a special package for the development of Ghaziabad.
SSP Nitin Tiwari also said the kin of those murdered had met the Chief Minister on the matter.
Meanwhile, a number of students claimed they did not receive laptops despite getting themselves registered for the scheme.
"I had registered for the scheme, and was given an acknowledgement also. Despite that, I did not receive the laptop," said Mohit, a student of Diwan Intermediate College.
Likewise, some more students made similar complaints.
On this, district school inspector Raj Singh Yadav said those students who could not receive laptops will be given the same in the second round of distribution.
"The company has not been able to provide laptops against the requirement. Once they are able to meet our need, we will start laptop distributions again," Raj Yadav said.