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CS stresses opening bank branches in unbanked GPs of LEW affected areas in State




 Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad today urged the Centre to open bank branches in the unbanked gram panchayats of left wing extremism (LWE) affected areas.

In a video conferencing meeting with Cabinet Secretary Pradeep Kumar Sinha to review the developmental issues in LWE affected districts in Odisha here today, Padhi said in the absence of any bank in about 85 pc gram panchayats, it becomes extremely difficult to carry forward the schemes aimed at financial inclusion.

The chief secretary requested the Cabinet Secretary for allocation of more funds to the State under solar water pump scheme and solar lantern as these schemes have been very successful and popular among people in LWE areas. Focusing upon the need for data connectivity in these areas, Padhi urged the Ministry of Telecommunication to upgrade the existing towers to 3G level. He further requested the Cabinet Secretary for release of central grant of Rs 280 crore under security related expenditure the accounts of which was already audited and approved.

Further, the chief secretary urged the Cabinet Secretary for starting the construction work of Jeypore-Malkangiri Railway Line (130 km). Padhi highlighted the need of the project for a backward and large district like Malkangiri. Review revealed that realizing the need and importance of the project, the Ministry of Home sanctioned it in the financial year 2016-17. The State government had signed a MoU with Ministry of Railways on October 10, 2016 for construction of the project under joint collaboration. As per the MoU, the State government was to share 25 pc of the construction as well as land cost for the project. But East Coast Railway, instead of starting the project work asked for more financial assistance from the State government in June, 2017. The State government had communicated its inability for further contribution.

Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi along with Additional Chief Secretary Home Asit Kumar Tripathy, Director General of Police Kunwar Brajesh Singh and other senior officers discussed with the Cabinet Secretary over a video conferencing from Secretariat conference hall. The issues relating to electrification of villages, establishment of Solar Parks, School Education, Literacy, Skill Development, Promotion of Entrepreneurship, Financial Inclusion, Railway projects, Tele Connectivity, Rural Development and security matters were reviewed in the meeting.

The chief secretary said a total number of 21 girls; hostels were sanctioned for Koraput and Malkangiri district. Out of this nine hostels are in completion and finishing stage which would be completed soon.  The work of balance 12 hotels is in progress. Padhi apprised the Cabinet Secretary that only 50 pc of the Central grant has been received so far. The State government has provided its full share, he said. The chief secretary requested for early release of funds for completion of projects. The Cabinet Secretary was also apprised about the 222 residential schools with a total borders of 83,981 being run by ST & SC development department in the districts of Koraput and Malkangiri.

Available data show, the electrification work in LWE districts of Koraput and Malkangiri has been expedited and mile stones have been achieved as per the time schedule for the project. In Malkangiri district only 4 un-electrified villages remain to be electrified under Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana. Similarly, in Koraput district 41 un-electrified villages remain to be electrified under DDG (Solar) scheme. Target has been fixed to complete electrify these remaining 45 villages by October, 2017.  It may be pertinent here to mention that Odisha used SECC, 2011 data for identification of deserving households to be provided electricity. With this data 10 lakh additional households would be provided electricity connection over and above the 1997 BPL list. In case of Koraput and Makangiri around 80,845 additional houses would be covered under the programme.       

Principal Secretary Commerce and Transport Sanjay Rastogi, Secretary Energy Hemant Kumar Sharma, Secretary Panchayatiraj Deoranjan Kumar Singh, Secretary Science and Technology Vir Vikram Yadav Special Secretary Commerce and Transport Manoj Kumar Mishra, Special Secretary Home Lalit Das along with senior officers from concerned departments joined the chief secretary in the review over video conference.






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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