BHUBANESWAR: Union Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan on Saturday sought the support and cooperation of people from every stratum of society to reinvent Odisha, which is rich in culture and has a glorious past.
Speaking at the first edition of ‘Odisha Nirman Conclave-2016’ organised by Sambad and Kanak News, Pradhan said there is no need to build Odisha, it needs to be rebuilt and reinvented.
“Small or big, every Odia has responsibility and duty to discharge to make the State excel in all aspects. Not only politicians and bureaucrats, we all have a role to play. Instead of following others, we need to bank on our past history and develop our own model of development for a better tomorrow,” he said.
If someone has the determination, change is invincible, the Minister said wondering for how many years a sense of pettiness would prevail that Odisha is rich but its people are poor. “From the natural resources to manpower, we have everything. Can we not rebuild a state which will set an example for others?” he asked.
Providing a statistical view on the potential of the State to become super power in the Eastern region, Pradhan said Odisha can be compared with at least 20 countries in the world having mineral deposits and natural resources. It is in fact better than a rich country like Australia in two/three areas.
The Union Minister, however, did not forget to take a dig at the State Government stating that 50 per cent of people here are yet to get two square meals a day. “It is high time we have to decide whether we need to make people self reliant or dependent. Instead of becoming arrogant, the government needs to be more pro-people,” he said.
Minister for Agriculture Pradip Maharathy said, the State has progressed a lot in agriculture sector in the last one decade. While the paddy production in 2001-02 was 95 lakh matric tonne, the farmers produced 115 lakh MT of paddy in 2014-15.
“Odisha has received the Krishi Karman award in total food grain production four times and has been awarded `20 crore. This shows the development in the sector. The State Government has also introduced a special budget for agriculture,” he said.
Maharathy, however, admitted that it is lagging behind in many areas including irrigation and marketing of produces which could be better. He announced that a big mandi is being built in Bhubaneswar where agro products collected from farmers across the State would be available for a better price.
Utkal Bharat president Kharabela Swain said, the Government needs to motivate people and provide them ways to earn their livelihood instead of making them beg before others. “People should also change their mentality and support those who come with some real development agendas,” he added.
Among others, Industries Minister Debi Prasad Mishra, Chairman cum Managing Director of Eastern Media Limited (EML) Soumya Ranjan Patnaik, MP Ranjib Biswal and senior BJP leader Suresh Pujhari also spoke.