Jamir Outlines State’s Growth Plans, Opposition Finds it Stale
BHUBANESWAR: Governor S C Jamir on Thursday spelt out the roadmap of the State Government for the next five years by referring to the resolution of the Council of Ministers to implement the promises made by the ruling party during elections in a time-bound manner following due processes and procedures.
In his address to the first session of the 15th Assembly, the Governor announced that the Government will take steps to convert ‘kutcha’ houses into ‘pucca’ houses in a phased manner by providing suitable financial assistance.
This was one of the major promises made by the BJD in its election manifesto. Referring to the major demand of the ruling party which was also one of the key issues during election campaign, Jamir said the State Government’s fight for special category status (SCS) will be intensified in the coming years till the demand is acceded to by the Centre. An Odia University will be established to facilitate all-round development of Odia language, he said.
Stating that development of Western Odisha and the KBK region will remain a priority, the Governor said the Government will endeavour to include Koshali/Sambalpuri in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution.
All major two-lane roads in the region will be upgraded to four-lane roads, he said and added that an expressway will be laid to connect northern and southern parts of Odisha and run through the backward regions of Western and KBK districts.
The Governor announced that the Government will fulfil all primary infrastructure needs in the areas of road communication, drinking water, electrification, irrigation, agriculture and education in both rural and urban areas in a time-bound manner.
Input management holds the key to sustained agriculture productivity improvement, Jamir said and announced that the Government envisages to create an additional irrigation potential for 10 lakh hectares in the next five years.
The Governor announced the Government’s resolve to implement other promises made by the BJD during the polls which include universal health insurance coverage and constitution of welfare board for all types of unorganised workers for extending benefits to them in line with the construction workers.
The Government will also take up a series of measures to protect the interest of the slum dwellers with the establishment of slum rehabilitation board and introduction of a comprehensive urban slum dwellers rehabilitation policy, he said.
Besides, the Government will also formulate a ‘holistic women policy’ to bridge the gap in holistic social and economic empowerment. “As a mark of respect to all those women of Odisha who have joined the Mission Shakti movement, the Government will endeavour to bring down the interest against loans to women SHGs within a year,” he added.
However, the Opposition political parties criticised the Governor’s address alleging that it does not spell out anything new. The address is ‘old wine in new bottle’, Leader of the Opposition Narasingh Mishra said. The BJP Legislature Party Leader K V Singhdeo said that the address was uninspiring.