BHUBANESWAR: The State Government on Thursday assured the Opposition Congress that the proposed second Agriculture University will be set up in KBK (Kalahandi- Balangir-Koraput) region of the State. The Government has decided to establish its second Agriculture University in KBK districts and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik will lay the foundation stone of the proposed university next year, Agriculture Minister Pradip Maharathy said while replying to the supplementary demand of grants for his department in the Assembly. The Minister’s reply was in response to the demand of Leader of Opposition Narsingh Mishra for setting up the proposed university in Balangir district. Mishra urged the Minister to set up the university in his district of Balangir which is devoid of any industry. Ruling BJD MLA from Kantabanji in Balangir district Ayub Khan demanded that the University be located in his constituency. This prompted senior BJD MLA and former minister Prafulla Samal to press for a degree college on agriculture in Bhadrak district. Claiming that Bonth block of the district has created a record by registering highest productivity of paddy in the State, he said such an institution will boost agricultural activity by extending the research work to the field.
The Minister asked Samal to submit a proposal which he will refer to the Odisha University of Agriculture and Technology for consideration. Initiating the demand discussion, Congress MLA Naba Kishore Das said the State Government has miserably failed in protecting the interest of farmers resulting in increasing number of farmers’ suicide. Das said sharecroppers of the State are the worst victims under this Government. Even as the State Government announced that crop compensation will be given to actual farmers, the compensation never reached the sharecroppers. Dubbing the district Collectors’ report on farmers’ suicide as a trash, the Leader of Opposition asked the Government to admit truth and extend necessary assistance to the bereaved families. Alleging that the Collectors have submitted false report on farmers’ suicide, Pradip Purohit of BJP demanded action against them. The Minister, however, refuted the allegations of Congress and BJP and said farmers never committed suicide during crisis.