Patnaik doubles WODC allocation in 2021-22

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Bhubaneswar, Feb 16 (PTI) Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has doubled budget allocation for Western Odisha Development Council (WODC) to Rs 200 crore, official sources said on Tuesday.

Patnaik took the decision to increase allocation to WODC while reviewing its functioning here on Monday, the sources said.

The allocation for the council in 2020-21 was Rs 100 crore.

This will be enhanced to Rs 200 crore in the first phase in the financial year 2021-22, the chief minister's office said.

WODC was given an initial funding of Rs 3 crore in 1999-2000 after it was formed in November 1998. The amount was increased subsequently to Rs 100 crore till 2020-21.

Earlier, the state government had appointed former chief secretary A K Tripathy as the chairman of the WODC, which consists of ten western Odisha districts and a sub- dicision of Angul district. He is the first non-political incumbent of the body.

Patnaik has also ordered for opening up WODC offices in all the 10 districts and at Athamalik in Angul district for the convenience of the people of Western Odisha. The respective district administrations will support WODC in this endeavor, the sources said.

WODCs major projects include Biju Express Way, a road project which will help boost economic growth of the region, an official said.

The WODC funds are aimed to be utilized to fill the critical supply chain gaps in promising sectors of economy in the western districts of the state, he said.

Apart from agriculture and irrigation projects, the WODC also focuses on upgradation of the handloom cluster in Bargarh, Sonepur and Boudh districts, Tripathy said after the review meeting. PTI AAM KK KK KK