Odisha CM orders master plan for mineral-rich districts

Bhubaneswar, June 2 (IANS) Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday directed the rural development department to prepare a master plan within 45 days for the all-round development of seven mineral-rich districts in the state.

These mineral rich districts would be given funds under District Mineral Foundation (DMF).

These DMFs will be funded by additional levy on royalty, and the money collected used for the benefit of people affected by mining activities and for improving infrastructure in the mining-affected areas, an official said.

The mineral-rich districts of Keonjhar, Sundergarh, Angul, Jharsuguda, Koraput, Jajpur and Rayagada would benefit from improved basic infrastructure, including road connectivity, bridges and drinking water supply, said a release from the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO).

Patnaik, who chaired an annual review meeting of the department, also directed the district collectors to make adequate planning for proper utilisation of funds.

In order to ensure better connectivity in rural areas, the state government has decided to construct 200 bridges each under ‘Biju Setu Yojana’ in the next four years.

He also asked the department to construct small bridges over small rivers and nullahs under the scheme.

Rural Development Minister Badrinarayan Patra said that the department had decided to connect 7,535 small villages by constructing 20,000 km roads. The villages with a population of 100 and above would be connected under Mukhyamantri Sadak Yojana, the minister said.

Patnaik also asked the department to ensure safe drinking water through piped water supply in every gram panchayats this year.

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