Bhubaneswar, Mar 10 (PTI) Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday inaugurated projects worth Rs 2337.15 crore and laid foundation of other projects worth Rs 50.29 crore in the backward tribal dominated Nuapada district.
The projects for which Patnaik laid the foundation stone include irrigation, rural piped water supply, communication and other social infrastructure.
Patnaik inaugurated the Lower Indra Irrigation Project constructed at a cost of Rs 1925.63 crore in Nuapada which includes spillway, three dykes, canal and underground pipelines through which water will be supplied. The project will benefit 20,000 farmer families of Nuapada and 25,000 farmer families of Bolangir district.
Patnaik, during his visit to the backward district, also inaugurated rural piped water supply projects worth Rs 332.85 crore to supply potable drinking water in Nuapada. The project will supply clean drinking water to households addressing the problem of fluoride water, he said.
'1,100 fluoride removal plants have been set up to address the problem of fluoride in drinking water,' he said at a public meeting adding that Rs 700 crore has been allocated to set up 205 pipe water supply projects and one mega piped water supply project to supply drinking water to every household.
Meanwhile, Patnaik's second visit to the backward KBK (Kalahandi-Bolangir-Koraput) region after his tour to Kalahandi last month, has been criticized by the opposition BJP and Congress.
'The ruling BJD has planned to ensure that Patnaik inaugurates and lays foundation stones for as many projects as possible before the upcoming urban panchayat elections,' said BJP leader Pradip Purohit.
Purohit alleged that the government is misleading people by saying that 1.5 lakh hectare of land will be irrigated after inauguration of Lower Indra Project as work for connecting canals are yet to be completed.
'The project is inaugurated even before its completion and this is just an eyewash for the people of western Odisha,' Purohit said, adding that the farmers in the region may have to wait for another 5-10 years to get their farmland irrigated by water from the project.
'In 2004, the CM had laid the foundation of Uttali project in Sohela but even after 17 years, canal work is yet to begin. The Rs 1,200-crore Gangadhar Meher irrigation project, foundation stone for which was laid by the Odisha CM in 2017, is yet to see the light of the day,' Purohit said.
Congress Legislature Party leader Narasingha Mishra alleged that the BJD government has mastered in misleading people by making such inaugurations and foundation stone laying ceremonies. PTI AAM RG RG