Balasore: Hundreds of projects taken up under the ‘Ama Gaon Ama Bikash’ Yojana in Balasore district are progressing at a tardy pace due to legal hassles. According to reports, most projects were approved by the district administration without the approval of the Palli Sabhas and people’s representatives. So in many cases people have gone to court, thereby stalling the progress of the works under the scheme. So rural people in search of work, have been forced to sit idle at home.
At some places, construction of projects like roads, community centres, school buildings and Anganwadi centres have d been abandoned. Altogether 1, 628 projects are hanging fire in the district.
Before the 2019 Lok Sabha and the Assembly elections, the Odisha government had launched ‘Ama Gaon Ama Bikash’ Yojana in order to speed up rural development. Even two-and-a-half years later, the benefits of the scheme have failed to reach scores of villages.
There are 12 blocks in Balasore district. The government allocated Rs 87.16 crore for 3,614 projects in these blocks. Work of 1,986 projects was undertaken amid disputes and opposition at the grassroots level in many blocks.
However, it has been alleged that the administration had approved scores of projects without the knowledge of local people’s representatives and approval of Palli Sabhas in Remuna, Khaira and Simulia blocks. Some people moved the High Court against the administration in this matter. As a result, work on 1,036 projects has not taken off till date.
In Remuna block, only five out of 445 projects were taken up, but halted later. Funds to the tune of Rs 9.25 crore have remained unutilised.
A total of 117 projects were sanctioned for the Simulia block but work on only 13 was undertaken. They are now stuck midway. Meanwhile, Rs 3.87 crore has already been spent.
In Khaira block, work on only 93 out of 414 projects was initiated and stopped later. Over Rs 8.12 crore has been spent here.
In the remaining blocks, 2,014 out of 2,578 projects have been completed, while work on 592 projects has been stopped for various reasons.
However, in Basta block, 95 per cent of the sanctioned projects have been completed, while 81 per cent of the projects were completed in Sadar, Oupada and Jaleswar blocks, according to information available from DRDA.
Commenting on the issue, PD Rabindra Kumar Sahu said that projects in three blocks failed to start and resume as the matter is sub-judice in the High Court. However, efforts are on to complete the projects at the earliest, he added.