Bhubaneswar, Jan 20: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today initiated the establishment of 19 instream storage structures across 13 districts in Odisha, marking a significant step towards agricultural and environmental development.
The government has allocated a budget of Rs 4,006 crores for these transformative projects, aimed at enhancing various aspects of rural life. Despite the geographical dispersion, the Chief Minister virtually laid the foundation stones for these structures in the presence of enthusiastic locals and farmers from the respective areas.
Spread across Bargarh, Balangir, Boudh, Bhadrak, Jajpur, Kendrapada, Kalahandi, Keonjhar, Khurda, Puri, Sambalpur, Subarnapur, and Sundergarh districts, the foundation stones represent a commitment to sustainable development and the well-being of the farming community.
Chief Minister Patnaik expressed optimism about the positive impact these projects would have on farmers, particularly in areas like drinking water supply, fish farming, and animal husbandry. He highlighted the expected rise in groundwater levels and the overall environmental equilibrium.
Emphasizing the importance of such projects for sustainable development, Patnaik underscored their role in flood control. He revealed that the instream storage plan commenced in 2020 with an initial investment of Rs 11,700, outlining a phased approach involving 72 projects.
The Chief Minister reiterated the collaborative nature of these programs, which are shaped by public opinion and participation. Proposals for these projects emerged during the visits of the 5T chairman to various districts, reflecting a commitment to incorporating the views of the people in the development process.
The inter-river wetland project stands out as a significant initiative under the 5T program, focusing on technological applications and timely project completion. Patnaik assured that no displacement of people would occur due to these projects.
Addressing the welfare measures for farmers, Patnaik highlighted initiatives such as the Kalia Yojana, interest-free loans, and payment of crop insurance premiums, emphasizing their role in boosting farmer confidence and contributing to the state's prosperity.
Water Resources Minister Tukuni Sahu and Minister of Food Supply Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak, present in Balangir and Kendrapara respectively, commended the Chief Minister's dedication to farmer well-being and overall district development.
5T Chairman VK Pandian expressed gratitude to the public for their continuous support for welfare projects. He credited Chief Minister Patnaik for his efforts in Japan regarding the ArcelorMittal Nippon Steel project in Kendrapada, announcing the upcoming Bhoomi Pujan for the plant.