Bhubaneswar: Hitting out at the Naveen Patnaik government in state, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Monday said it has failed to fulfill its promises made during the 2014 election vis-à-vis creation of irrigation
Addressing the ‘Swabhiman Samabesh’ rally organised by the BJP at Barunei foothills in Khurda, Modi said the Odisha government has failed to address issues of farmers in the state due to sheer apathy and callousness and it has adversely affected the entire farming community in the state. Though the Prime Minister did not name Naveen once during his speech, he slammed the latter’s government on several issues ranging from farmers to corruption.
“Before the 2014 elections the regional party had promised to provide irrigation facility in 10 lakh hectares, but only 22,000 hectares have been irrigated. More than 70 per cent of land in one-third of the blocks in the state lack irrigation facilities despite five major rivers flowing through Odisha,” he said.
Claiming that children in the state are suffering from malnutrition, Modi said farmers are struggling due to lack of remunerative prices for their produces.
The BJP government at the Centre implemented the Swaminathan Committee report, which the Congress failed to do during its reign, and also increased the minimum support price (MSP) of 22 different crops, including paddy, he claimed.
“However, due to lack of proper management by the state government, farmers here are not getting the right prices. As a result, they are being forced to move to neighbouring states. Lack of irrigation, mandis and other facilities are depriving Odisha farmers from getting the profit that they deserve,” the Prime Minister pointed out.
In a campaign mood, Modi also lashed out at the Odisha government stating that the ruling party members here are deeply involved in chit fund scam and ‘percentage commission (PC)’ practice.
The BJP leader asked, “Who is feeding the demon (of corruption)?” “The demon of corruption has grown in chit fund and percentage commission culture… The truth of Odisha’s development is not hidden. Farmers, women and others are raising their voices now,” he said.
“The BJP is committed to all-round development of farmers in Odisha and in the country. The party is taking all measures to give the farmers what they deserve by linking Mandis with the Internet and creating more and more cold storage facilities. Besides, Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana is there for timely payouts to farmers in case of losses, said Modi.
Accusing the state government of inaction on the Swahh Bharat campaign, the PM said that the country has achieved 97 per cent ‘swachhata’ (cleanliness), but Odisha is lagging far behind other states in becoming open defecation free (ODF).
The Prime Minister asked a series of questions to the BJD government. “Why Odisha is still lagging behind in achieving ODF? Why youths of Odisha are migrating from the state? Why women and children are dying due to malnutrition? Why hospitals don’t have sufficient doctors? Why farmers here are still crying over irrigation facilities? Why farmers are resorting to distress sale? Why major parts of Odisha still don’t have access to drinking water? Why teachers are taking to streets to get their salaries? “If these questions are answered honestly, development in Odisha can happen in a more transparent manner,” he said.
Lashing out the BJD government for not implementing Aushman Bharat scheme, Modi said around six lakh people have benefitted from the Centre’s flagship healthcare scheme. “However, I regret that not a single Odia is among the beneficiaries.”
Invoking Lord Jagannath and paying tributes to Odia freedom fighters during his speech, the Prime Minister said the Centre is spending five times more than ever before for infrastructure and connectivity in villages and cities.
Listing out the development works done by his government for the state, Modi said a whopping Rs 1.5 crore is being invested in oil and petroleum sector in the state which would make Odisha the country’s petro-hub.
While a plastic park and polypropylene project are coming up in Paradip near the Indian Oil refinery, a bio-fuel plant is being set up in Bargarh and a strategic oil reserve is being established in Chandikhole, he said.
Modi said people in 19 districts of the state would be able to get cheap piped cooking gas with the expansion of these pipeline projects.
Asserting that the Centre is taking all steps to strengthen connectivity and road networks in Odisha, Modi said Rs 4,361 crore is being spent for 4 National Highway projects to streamline traffic and check mishaps in the state.
Over 12 lakh houses have been sanctioned under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, while over Rs 1,700-crore assistance has been provided to farmers due to crop loss so far under PMFBY.
“Free gas connections have been given to nearly 35 lakh women in Odisha. Four and a half years ago, only 20 per cent of the households had a connection to gas and today it has become almost 70 per cent. In near future, everyone whould have a gas connection. We’re working in that direction,” said the Prime Minister.
“With the efforts of the Central Government, Odisha is also becoming a centre of higher education. Institutes like IIT Bhubaneswar, IIM Sambalpur, IISER Berhampur, will help young people in getting new height,” he added.
Besides, a world-class Skill Development Institute has been established in Bhubaneswar while more than 90 Eklavya schools are being opened for the education of tribal children, he further added.
Stating the BJP is focusing on a four-prong growth strategy with emphasis on development of people, farmers, women and entrepreneurs, the BJP top brass said, “While the BJP’s efforts are on, things can be turned around only with the help of people. This huge gathering here is a testament to what people want and I am seeing the future of Odisha.”
Odisha to be petro hub: PM
Bhubaneswar: Laying the foundation of Indian Oil’s Paradip-Hyderabad product pipeline and GAIL’s Bokaro-Angul pipeline project via video conference at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Arugul campus Monday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Odisha would soon become the ‘petroleum hub’ of the eastern India. The Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, meanwhile, assured all support to the Centre’s assistance to the state. He said, “I assure providing full support of the state government for timely completion of the projects in the state. I thank the Prime Minister for his support to the state.” The PM also released a commemorative stamp and coin on the Paika Rebellion and inaugurated a Chair on the Paika Rebellion in Utkal University. He also inaugurated the Lalitgari Museum, the newly expanded ESI hospital in city and laid foundation of Khandgiri flyover, 4-laning of Cuttack-Angul section of NH-42, 6/4 laning of Tangi-Puintola Section of NH5 among other projects through video conferencing.