Get tough with project stallers, Chief secy tells Odisha officials

Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Mar 10:

Concerned over several projects in the railways, national highway, coal, steel and power sectors getting delayed in the state on account of a host of road blocks, Odisha chief secretary G C Pati on Monday asked officials and police to take tough action against those creating trouble.

Gokul C Pati, Chief Secretary, Odisha
Gokul C Pati, Chief Secretary, Odisha

The chief secretary issued the directives while presiding over the meeting of the Project Monitoring Group (PMG) of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs here. The meeting was attended by joint secretary, Cabinet Secretariat Dr VP Joy and other senior officials.

The meeting reviewed around 40 projects and resolved issues raised by project proponents, said official sources. Some habitual trouble makers were obstructing projects on some pretext or the other, they added.

While asking project proponents to take possession of land already handed over to them to prevent encroachment, Pati directed field level Forest and Revenue officials to take proactive steps for grounding of investment projects.

Pati asked project proponents to expedite implementation, fulfil rehabilitation commitments and corporate social responsibility obligations.

Sources said Forest and Environment department has been specifically asked to identify 10,000 hectares of degraded forest land and create a land bank with it for compensatory afforestation against the forest diversions done for railway, national highway and coal mine projects.

Pati directed Forest Department to move the Central government for constitution of regional forest and environment committee for quicker decision on diversion proposals.

The major projects which were discussed in the meeting included Jharsuguda-Barpalli-Sardega Railway line, Jharsuguda-Rengali doubling, Talcher-Bimlagarh new railway line, Angul-Sukhinda new line project, Angul Sambalpur Toll Road project, Cuttack Angul Toll-way Project, Birmitrapur- Barkote Highway and Panikholi-Rimoi NH.

The projects of Mahanadi Coalfields (MCL) like Kulda open cast project (OCP) Siarmal OCP, Balaram OCP, Kulda OCP, Lakhanpur OCP, Bhubaneswar OCP, Jagannath OCP, Bharatpur OCP, Lingaraj OCP, Hingula OCP, Gopalprasad OCP, Samaleswari OCP, Talabira OCP, Nataraj underground mine, Hingula OCP, MJSJ Coal Gopalprasad, Kaniha OCP, Ananta Extn. OCP, Garjanbahal OCP, also figured in the meeting.

Project proponents raised issues relating to forest diversion, alignment of roads, disbursement of compensation, laying of underground pipelines, felling of trees, social implication studies, DGPS survey, land acquisition, taking possession of the acquired land by the project developers and FRA at the meeting.

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