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Govt unsure about number of villages in State


 The Ministers of the Naveen Patnaik-led BJD Government are not sure about the exact number of villages in the State.

Rural development Minister Bikram Keshari Arukha quoted the number as 50,188, while Panchayatiraj and Drinking Water Minister Pradeep Maharathy said there exists 47,675 villages in Odisha, in separate replies to the question raised by senior BJP legislator Dilip Ray .

In response to Ray’s question, the Rural Development Minister said that as per the Road Core Network prepared under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana, there were 50,188 villages in Odisha of which 29,109 were not connected through roads. So far, the Centre has granted permission to connect 16,555 of the 18,176 non-coordinated villages through roads, and of these 13,048 villages have road communication, Arukha added. However, the Minister remained silent about the fate of the rest 1,621 villages.

Arukha further said that at the start of the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana, only 21,079 villages were connected through roads. He said the State Government is taking initiatives to connect villages having population between 100 and 250 under Mukhyamantri Sadak Yojana.

The Rural Development Minister affirmed that all the villages selected under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana would have road communication by March 2019.

In reply to a separate question, Minister Maharathy said that there are 47,675 villages under 6801 gram panchayats in 314 Panchayat Samitis. Of these, 39,668 villages have been provided safe drinking water through Piped Water Supply scheme, where as the rest of the villages are provided with drinking water through borewells and sanitized wells. Soon, these villages would be covered under the Piped Water Supply Scheme in phased manner keeping in view the financial grant for the purpose, the Minister said.

EDITOR : Bijoy Ketan Mishra
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