Dharmendra alleges State’s non-cooperation in carrying out central projects in Odisha


Bhubaneswar: Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan today alleged that several central welfare projects in Odisha have faced hurdles due to lack of co-operation of State government. Many projects worth Rs 1.36 lakh crore have been halted in Odisha for same reason, he added while addressing media about the details regarding State government apathy.

Maximum projects worth Rs 51.395 crore in the field of Petroleum have been affected while Rs 56.563 crore projects in road transportation sector and Rs 12.286 crore projects of Railways have been affected due to non-cooperation of State. Similarly, various projects worth Rs 560 crore in Health sector have also been halted by the State government, Pradhan alleged.

“I have written 62 letters to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on various issues, seeking his cooperation. As many as 44 letters were shot off to the chief minister since 2017 to till date. But, I have received acknowledgement of only one letter”, he rued.

Pradhan was scheduled to review the progress of various central projects in State in presence of chief secretary AP Padhi. However, the review meeting was cancelled as the chief secretary didn’t turn up after a long time wait.

Coming down heavily on the State government, Pradhan asked the chief minister why the list of farmers has not been sent to the Centre for the benefit under PM-Kisan scheme. The CM is not giving emphasis to the interest of farmers rather he is busy on his own interest, Pradhan alleged.

Narendra Modi took charge of Prime Minister in 2014 and after two years he inaugurated IOCL refinery in Paradip and announced that Odisha will be the gate way of development of the eastern India, the Petroleum minister said.

The Union Minister further informed that the Centre has planned for the expansion of Paradip refinery at an additional cost of Rs 22,000 crore. But the state government has not yet provided the required land for the purpose. Similarly, Taiwan government is keen on investing Rs 43,000 crore in petrochemical sector in Paradip, but Odisha government is not cooperating with the Centre and not taking interest in providing water, land, electricity and transportation facilities, Pradhan alleged.

He further said the Centre extended all possible support for the plastic park to be set up in Paradip at a cost of Rs 106 crore. Even Centre has finished all formalities for the project, the State government didn’t take interest to carry forward the project. Rather, the government provided around 60-7- acres land to fraudster Nirav Modi, Pradhan pointed out.

Similarly, Strategic Petroleum Reserve project which is proposed to be set up in Chandikhol of Jajpur has been stalled in want of 600 acre land. If the State government extends cooperation, it would get adequate revenue from the project and employment opportunities would be created, he maintained.

The lackadaisical attitude of the State government also led to halting of Gopalpur-Digha 415 km coastal highway, a project which is proposed to be set up in Odisha for better transportation at a cost of Rs 10,000 crore.

Similarly the State also created hurdles in making Jagannath Sadak a national highway, establishment of Aluminium park in Angul. The State’s apathy also acted as major bottleneck in the expansion of NTPC expansion worth Rs 10,000 crore.

If the proposed marine food processing plant is set up in Derasa in Puri district, thousands of people can get employment. The Centre is ready to spend for the project but the State posed major hindrance, Pradhan further alleged. He said the Odisha government had promised to provide land for the Buxi Jagabandhu Memorial in Khurdha, but later it turned a blind eye even as two months have passed since it agreed to give land.

Pradhan also hit out at the State government for not ensuring electricity, toilets, health care facilities under the central schemes.

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