BARIPADA: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Friday inaugurated Subarnarekha and Deo irrigation projects in Mayurbhanj, the home district of President Droupadi Murmu. The CM’s visit to Mayurbhanj is seen as the ruling BJD’s strategy to counter attempts by the BJP to take mileage out of the election of Murmu to the highest Constitutional post of the country. Scheduled tribes (STs) constitute 53 per cent of the population of the district.
Addressing a function at Rasagobindpur from where he launched the two irrigation projects, Naveen said welfare schemes started by the State government for the STs have started bearing fruit because of proper coordination. Government schemes to educate and give employment to tribals have succeeded.
“Tribal children have been successful in making a name for themselves due to their talent. The State government’s 5T initiative has made it possible for students of the district to avail world-class education in their village schools. This change has come not just for the students but for the district and the State as well,” he said.
The CM further said schools have been transformed under the 5T initiative and facilities of smart classrooms, library, laboratory, computer education and playground are availed even by students in remote villages.
Showering praise on the art and culture of Mayurbhanj district, Naveen paid rich tributes to Pandit Raghunath Murmu, the writer and educator who developed the Ol Chiki script for Santhali language. Describing Droupadi Murmu as the daughter of the soil, the CM said she has further enriched the rich cultural heritage of Mayurbhanj.
Naveen said the two irrigation projects will immensely benefit the farmers of Mayurbhanj and Balasore. The projects can irrigate around 27,000 hectare agricultural land in the two districts. The Subarnarekha project, built at a cost of Rs 685 crore, can irrigate 17,121 hectare farm land in the two districts. Around 55,000 farmers will be benefitted by it. Similarly, the Deo project, which cost `823 crore, can irrigate 9,900 hectare agricultural land. Around two lakh people of 100 villages in Mayurbhanj and Keonjhar districts will be benefitted by it. Naveen’s visit to Mayurbhanj, which came after nearly three years, lasted over an hour.