BHUBANESWAR: The State Government on Thursday directed Rural Development Department to prioritise household connection of piped water supply in 523 villages covered under Odisha Mineral Bearing Areas Development Corporation (OMBADC) fund.
The Board of Directors’ meeting of OMBADC held under the chairmanship of Chief Secretary AP Padhi reviewed the progress of housing, skill development and drinking water schemes. Padhi asked departments concerned to follow saturation model in addressing housing and drinking water needs in mining affected villages.
Though initially, 523 villages in the mining areas were covered under the funds, the number later increased to 668 villages following a survey.
Panchayati Raj Secretary DK Singh said 26,409 families in 668 villages of Angul, Dhenkanal, Jajpur, Jharsuguda, Keonjhar, Koraput, Mayurbhanj and Sundargarh districts have been identified to be covered under Biju Pucca Ghar Yojana in the first phase.
Each family will get an assistance of `1.2 lakh in plain areas and `1.3 lakh in hilly areas for construction of houses. So far, 18,538 families have been provided with the first instalment and 5,346 given the second instalment of assistance. Singh said 219 houses have been completed and the rest were in various stages of completion.
Rural Development Secretary MS Padhi said the tendering process for drinking water supply projects has been initiated and would be expeditiously completed within the scheduled time.
It was decided in the meeting that villages not covered by drinking water projects of Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd (MCL) will be taken up in the first phase.
Skill development training for ST and SC youths has also been taken up under the fund. About `2.4 crore have been provided to ST and SC Development Department for the purpose, said department Secretary Surendra Kumar.
Kumar said training will be a residential intensive programme for two years in demand-based skills for enhancing employability and productivity of tribal youths.