MALKANGIRI: The Malkangiri administration is sparing no effort to develop the backward district, and the cut-off area in particular. Amidst reports of the failure of the district administration in reaching out to the poor tribals living in the cut-off region, on other side of the Chitrakonda reservoir, administration sources said things have improved for better.
Collector Balwant Singh told mediapersons that the Maoist intervention and recent attacks have not hampered development works in the area. The development works were certainly interrupted in the region for sometime after the abduction of the then collector R.Vineel Krishna in February last year, he added.
Development works have been continuing in the region, Singh said and added that welfare schemes are being implemented in the cut-off areas in particular. The huge sum of ` 2.50 crore has been spent on opening anganwadi centres during 2010-11 followed by ` 50 lakh during 2011-12.
Moreover, as the area is approachable only by water transport, 14 motorboats have been provided to the inhabitants of the cut-off region. With an aim to spread literacy, 350 students from eight panchayats have been selected and accommodated in various hostels in Malkangiri town where they are being given free quality education and health service.
On the infrastructure front, 85 of the 140 villages have been electrified and work is in progress in the rest. A fair price shop would be opened at Janbai ghat in memory of Balimela-based 107th Battalion Commandant JR Khaswan who was killed along with three other officials in the Maoist ambush near Janiguda recently, Singh added. To improve health services eight mobile health units have been deployed.
Also strengthening the banking services in the region, to avoid unnecessary delay in payment of NREGS wages, the administration is planning to pay cash to the beneficiaries under the scheme and a proposal for this has already been sent to the State and the Centre.