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BJD rubbishes Opposition allegation on Govt’s failure in irrigation sector




 Ruling BJD today rubbished the allegation of Opposition Congress and BJP that the State government has utterly failed in providing irrigation facility to farmers in State.

In a strong reply, BJD spokesman Pratap Deb retaliated saying that the Centre was responsible for the delay in completing several irrigation projects in State.

“The Centre did not provide enough funds to develop the irrigation facility in the State,” he added.

Deb told reporters that instead of blaming BJD, the BJP should first share details of Central assistance to the State towards development of irrigational sector.

Deb’s outburst was in response to BJP spokesperson Sajjan Sharma’s caustic comments that the State had a defunct Water Resources Department, headed by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, which has not been able to complete the irrigation projects announced in 2004, 2009 and 2014 elections..

“It is Odisha’s misfortune that the Irrigation Department has an ‘incompetent’ minister. Several Central projects are yet to see the light of the day. Work for 77 playgrounds out of 480 is also yet to be completed. CM Naveen had also assured jobs in local areas to village youths. When will the youth policy of the ruling government come into force?” Sharma had told reporters.

Deb said te Saffron party had mentioned in its manifesto before the 2014 Lok Sabha election to provide better irrigation facility to all the agricultural regions across the country.

“Based on that manifesto, I had asked them to share details of the Central assistance to each State. However, BJP is trying to escape from the question,” he added.

The BJP spokesman said that as per the State government’s target to irrigate 10 lakh hectares of land by 2019, as much as four lakh hectares have already been irrigated in the last three years.

Earlier, the Congress had also described the Water Resources Department as ‘Corrupt’.

Party spokesman Sourabh Mohanty had alleged at a press conference that the Department has virtually collapsed in the past 17 years.

He had demanded a list of those major irrigation projects the State government claimed as having undertaken.

He had also alleged that several irrigation projects have virtually become defunct due to lack of maintenance and the State government is unable to realize over Rs 10,000 crore water Cess from several major industries, including government owned industries.






Editorial

Précis 2017
From asking his party men to ‘live a simple life and serve the people’ to taunting the BJP for its ‘crocodile tears’, Chief Minister and BJD supremo Naveen Patnaik has not only become politically invincible, he seems to be so in the coming years too.

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