SAMBALPUR: Dividends for kendu leaf pluckers, houses for construction workers and development of Sambalpur district on all fronts were some of the announcements made by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik during his visit to the city on Saturday.
Addressing the valedictory function of Nirman Shramik Seva Saptaha (Construction Workers’ Service Week) at PHED ground here, Naveen said, “Odisha will be the first State in the country to distribute dividends among kendu leaf pluckers, which will benefit nearly eight lakh workers.”
Measures have also been taken to alleviate the condition of kendu leaf workers and a welfare trust has been formed for them with allocation of Rs five crore.
On the benefits for construction workers, Naveen said his Government has proposed to cover 5,000 construction workers under Pucca Ghar Yojana this fiscal at a cost of Rs five crore. He called upon the assembled construction workers to avail benefits of other schemes announced by the Welfare Board.
Admitting that Sambalpur was an important city in the State, Naveen stressed on development of the city and assured that there would be no dearth of funds for the purpose. The Chief Minister said he was taking ‘personal interest’ to ensure that Sambalpur grows into a modern city.
Highlighting the fact that Sambalpur has found a place in the higher education map of the country after Indian Institute of Management (IIM) was finalised here, he hoped that GM University, VSS University of Technology and Odisha State Open University would open up new vistas for the students.
In the morning, the Chief Minister flew down to Sambalpur for a couple of hours. He dedicated a few projects, laid foundation stones for five projects specific to Sambalpur city.
He also went around the pumping station being constructed to flush out rain and flood water to prevent deluge in the city during monsoon at Balibandha and visited the site of second bridge over river Mahanadi and reviewed the progress.
The newly constructed triple-storey 50-bed Maternity and Child Health Centre (MCH) constructed at a cost of Rs nine crore provided by National Health Mission stands out for its aesthetics and facilities. With facilities like operation theatre, labour room, SNCU, OPD for Obstetrics and Gynaecology, paediatrics, seminar hall, library and skill development station, the MCH is set to strengthen the existing health infrastructure.
The Chief Minister also inaugurated Freedom Fighters’ Memorial Hall and Museum along the Ring Road besides heritage building enclave at Samaleswari temple complex. He also laid foundation stone for Drainage Development Plan and boundary wall for Budharaja Reserve Forest inside Sambalpur city along with drain.