Berhampur: Ahead of panchayat elections, the state government has given approval to two mega drinking water projects in Ganjam.
However, politics is hotting up over the mega drinking projects in the district. Opposition parties have slammed the government for announcing the project ahead of the elections while the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) has welcomed the step.
According to reports, the state cabinet has approved a plan outlay of Rs 325.75 crore for the two projects. It was decided that the two projects will be completed within next two years – in 2024 well ahead of the general elections.
The two drinking water projects are aimed at providing safe drinking water to people in 304 villages under Rangeilunda, Chhatrapur, Ganjam and Khallikote blocks.
These projects will be carried out on a private public partnership (PPP) mode. A Mumbai-based construction firm will build the project.
Following approval of the project, BJD’s district unit president Rameshchandra Chyau Patnaik held a meeting of party workers and thanked Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik for making a provision of safe drinking water to thousands of people.
When contacted, Chyau Patnaik said the sites of the two projects have not been identified.”It is not known when it will be started. However, since the projects have got the Cabinet approval, they will be constructed definitely. Long-awaited dream of people in the four blocks will be realized,” he said.
The BJD’s meeting to welcome the state government for these projects has not gone down well the BJP and the Congress in the district.
The district unit of the BJP is skeptical about the execution of the projects.
The BJP has issued a statement saying that the Chief Minister had announced several projects for Ganjam in the past, but many have not been executed. These mega drinking water projects are under cloud.
Slamming the state government, Congress-backed labour union INTUC has dubbed the announcement of the two mega drinking water projects as a political gimmick ahead of the panchayat and the general elections.
“Two and a half years have passed since Janibila mega drinking water project was inaugurated. The project is still incomplete. Announcing two more mega drinking water projects at this time is only a farce,” the INTUC said.