Balasore: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik launched Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana (BSKY) smart health cards in Balasore district amid heavy security in view of the opposition parties’ protests over the Kalahandi teacher’s kidnap and murder wherever he attends meetings.
As many as 25 platoons of police were deployed in and around the venue and roads leading to the meeting were fortified to prevent any breach, two days after eggs were hurled at Patnaik’s convoy in Puri.
The BJP’s local unit had given a call for social boycott of Patnaik. Members of the saffron party held a demonstration waving black flags and shouting slogans but far from the venue. The police detained 32 members of the party and Congress prior to the chief minister’s visit.
Addressing a public meeting at Balasore town, Patnaik claimed that the scheme introduced by the Odisha government was a “milestone” in providing free and quality healthcare to the people of the state.
“BKSY will provide health security to 20-lakh people in the district”, Patnaik said.
Under BSKY, the Odisha government bears the full cost of all health services to patients in public health facilities. The card also provides annual health coverage of Rs five lakh per family and an additional like amount for the women members in empanelled private hospitals for economically vulnerable families.
Patnaik also inaugurated and laid the foundation of many development projects worth Rs 1,552.96 crore. They include water supply, bridge and road, education infrastructure and urban development.
Addressing the function, he said a large wholesale fish market will be set up in 20 acres at Basta at an expenditure of Rs 50 crore. Fisherfolk of not only Balasore, but Kendrapara and Jagatsinghpur districts will benefit by it, Patnaik said.
Besides, a mega piped water-scheme will be built at an expense of over Rs 750 crore for 6.5 lakh people in 660 villages in six blocks of Balasore district, he added.
BJP supporters had hurled eggs at Patnaik’s convoy in Puri on Wednesday demanding the sacking of minister Dibya Shankar Mishra for his alleged links with the prime accused in the Kalahandi teacher’s kidnap and murder.
The 24-year-old woman teacher’s half-burnt decomposed body was exhumed on October 19 from the playground of the private school in Kalahandi district where she taught.
The prime accused had managed to escape on October 17 from a police barrack in Bolangir where he was detained in connection with the alleged abduction. The accused was arrested two days later along with another suspect.
Patnaik, who has faced several protests by the opposition parties in various places, has maintained silence on the issue.