Malkangiri: Odisha chief secretary Suresh Chandra Mohapatra Friday reviewed the progress in the implementation of the state government’s Rs 100 crore special package for ‘Swabhiman Anchal’, once considered a Maoist hotbed, in Malkangiri district.
About 99 per cent of the area has been freed from Maoist activities, the chief secretary was apprised at a review meeting, an official release said.
Field level progress of projects relating to horticulture, fishery, alternative livelihood for inhabitants, enhancing the income of farmers, improvement of quality health care, functioning of education and hostel complex, growth of eco-tourism, irrigation, electrification, road connectivity to all villages, and telecom connectivity were reviewed by the chief secretary, the release said.
Mohapatra is the first chief secretary to visit ‘Swabhiman Anchal’, earlier known as the ‘cut-off area’ as the place is encircled by water on three sides while the other one connects to a dense forest of Andhra Pradesh, a state government official said.
Left-wing ultras operating in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh used to take shelter in the area as it was almost inaccessible for security personnel.
Mohapatra asked the district officials to intensify infrastructure laying and livelihood creation activities in all gram panchayats and villages of the district.
A review showed that a large chunk of the population was engaged in fishing, forestry, and horticulture activities, an official accompanying the chief secretary said.
While at least seven tele-towers are operating in the ‘Swabhiman Anchal’ area, mobile handsets have been distributed in all households in nine gram panchayats.
During his visit, Mohapatra interacted with people at several places including a horticulture farm at Chitrakonda, and an Eco-park at Chitrakonda.
He also witnessed the functioning of lift irrigation projects, the progress of piped drinking water supply, and the 33 KV Power substation at Chitrakonda.
He also went to a BSF camp, interacted with the officials, and discussed with people road connectivity and service delivery in the area.
On the first day of the tour on Thursday, Mohapatra had reviewed the high school transformation project in Madhusudan High school, Motu, agricultural activities in the deep bore-well irrigation cluster in Potteru area, progress of an under-construction bridge over the river Saberi connecting Odisha and Chhattisgarh.