Tardy progress in the establishment of industrial training institutes (ITIs) and skill development centres (SDCs) in Maoist-affected districts of the State has pushed their schedule way beyond the target. Academic sessions in these institutions now can only start in February next, not this year.
The Centre, which is funding the establishment of these institutions, had sanctioned Rs 20.80 crore, but so far, utilisation certificate for only `1 crore has been submitted by the Odisha State Police Housing and Welfare Corporation (OSPH&WC), which has been entrusted with the job.
As per the scheme, one ITI and two SDCs each are to be set up in Rayagada, Malkangiri, Gajapati, Deogarh and Sambalpur districts. Though construction work has started, it has been stuck in different stages. In Malkangiri, work for ITI has commenced, but establishment of SDCs has not taken off yet. The SDCs are sited at Kalimela and Korumonda, two major Maoist stronghold areas.
In Gajapati, work for SDC has started, but that of ITI is yet to commence.
The projects in Deogarh have been hit because of non-handing over of the land since the category is identified as “jungle kisam” which needs approval of the district-level committee. The projects in Sambalpur also faces similar issues.
The Employment and Technical Education and Training department, which is monitoring the scheme called “Skill Development of Youths in Districts affected by Left Wing Extremism,” has shot off a letter to the OSPH&WC seeking to expedite the pace of work.
“It has been decided that the ITIs and SDCs shall be made operational from February 2014. The slow progress of the work of the projects and poor utilisation of funds are putting the department in a spot at high level review meetings,” Commissionmer-cum-Secretary Dr Chandra Sekhar Kumar stated in the letter.
The Ministry of Labour and Employment, which is funding the scheme, has sought submission of UCs for at least 50 per cent of the sanctioned amount by September end, he said.
Kumar has urged Chairman-cum-Managing Director of the corporation Satyajit Mohanty to take immediate steps to complete the work by January so that academic sessions can start next month. He has also asked for submission of 30 per cent UCs by August end.