SAMBALPUR: Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan on Sunday said work on the proposed ethanol plant at Bargarh will begin shortly.
Addressing mediapersons here on the achievements of the Union Government in the last four years, Pradhan said the State Government has already handed over the land for the project which has already been given environmental clearance. The work on the ethanol project will begin by July or August this year. The estimated cost of the project is `1,000 crore, he informed.
Pradhan said the first pilot project of the State is aimed at making the country self-sufficient in terms of energy. He added that crop residue such as straw and other biomass will be utilised to produce ethanol in the plant. However, work on the ethanol plant was delayed as the State Government failed to provide land on time, Pradhan added. He said Sambalpur will get piped gas distribution network within three years and CNG will be available in the city within a period of two years.
The Union Minister said Odisha has been given special emphasis by the NDA Government at the Centre. Refuting the State Government’s allegation of Centre’s indifference towards Odisha, Pradhan said the State received funds to the tune of ` 1,96,632.27 crore between 2015-16 and 2018-19 fiscal under the 14th Finance Commission against ` 82,185.85 crore between 2010-11 and 2013-14 fiscal under the 13th Finance Commission.
Pradhan said there were only 20 lakh LPG consumers in Odisha till 2014. However, 42 lakh new LPG consumers have been created in the State in the last four years. Of the total 42 lakh new consumers, 25.5 lakh are beneficiaries under Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana, he said. The Union Minister said under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, as many as 8,92,177 houses were constructed in the State in the last 4 years while only 6,67,256 houses were constructed under Indira Awas Yojana between 2004 and 2014. He also spoke about the successful implementation of other Union Government schemes including rural electrification, construction of toilets under Swachh Bharat Mission and Mudra Yojana.
Later, Pradhan visited Kharsanmal village in Jamankira block of the district and attended a ‘Sampark Abhiyan’. He also interacted with beneficiaries of various schemes of the Centres. Pradhan had lunch at the house of a Dalit family in Mundhenpali village of Jamankira village. He later attended a cultural meet organised by the Senior Citizen Forum in the city.