ROURKELA: The Union Government’s failure to expedite several key infrastructure and economic projects has put Union Tribal Affairs Minister Jual Oram on a sticky wicket.
This has also led to a political blame game in the district between the BJD and the BJP. While the BJD has launched a tirade against Oram and Rourkela BJP legislator Dilip Ray for failing to push the pending projects, Oram tried to counter the attack by picking holes in the Naveen Patnaik-led State Government.
Oram is the only Lok Sabha member of BJP in Odisha, which has enabled him to start his second innings in the same Ministry after 10 years. Ray, similarly, is the only BJP MLA from seven Assembly seats in Sundargarh LS constituency.
Arch rival of Oram and Ray and former BJD minister Sarada Prasad Nayak said voters of Sundargarh LS constituency are feeling cheated. Nayak, who is also the Rourkela Development Authority Chairman, said almost 10 months after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced to convert the RSP-run Ispat General Hospital into super specialty hospital and medical college, no visible progress is in sight even as health services of IGH have deteriorated due to large-scale vacancies.
Nayak said Rourkela lost out on Indian Institute of Management, while mega project to upgrade NH-143 from Birmitrapur to Barkote is in the back-burner. He said PSU mining company BSLC (Bisra Stone Lime Company Ltd) at Birmitrapur is in deep financial crisis with workers not getting salaries for months, while SAIL is maintaining a stoic silence on its promise to set up a joint venture slag-based cement plant at Purunapani.
“Rourkela Steel Plant (RSP) is also heading for financial crisis,” he said, adding that Odisha Government has given necessary clearance for revival of BSLC and is taking steps to bail out private steel and iron industries.
Nayak further accused the Railways of intentionally delaying the Bimlagarh-Talcher rail link by not simultaneously pursuing land acquisition in Sundargarh and Deogarh districts along with Angul.
Oram said the ‘inefficient’ BJD-led State Government is lagging behind in implementing flagship programmes of the Centre, including Swachch Bharat, MGNREGS, National Food Security scheme and modernisation of police.