Odisha approves projects worth Rs 700 crore for Rurban Clusters

Bhubaneswar: Odisha government on Tuesday approved projects worth Rs 700 crore for development of nine identified Rurban Clusters under Phase-II and III of Rurban Mission, officials said.

The projects were approved in the State Empowered Committee Meeting held under the chairmanship of Chief Secretary AK Tripathy. While giving nod to the projects, Tripathy directed the Panchayati Raj and Drinking Water department to do third party assessment of the outcomes of the projects already taken up in Phase-I of the Mission.

He also directed the department to undertake regular orientation and training activities for the Block Development Officers (BDOs) and filed level officers for keeping them abreast with the new initiatives and best practices. The meeting also resolved to recommend more eightclusters to the Ministry of Rural Development for inclusion under the Mission.

These proposed clusters included Kalimela in Malkangiri district, Komna under Nuapada district, Kendujhar Sadar, Mohana in Gajapati district, Puri sadar in Puri District, Danagadi under Jajpur district, Ulunda under Subarnapur district and Dhakauda under Sambalpur district.

Integrated Action Plan of around Rs 650 crore was estimated for these proposed clusters, said Panchayati Raj and Drinking Water secretary DR Singh. Director, Rural Mission, Smruti Ranjan Pradhan said the main objective of the Mission is to create urban facilities and economic opportunities in a cluster of villages while preserving the nature and essence of rural community life. The main outcomes of the intervention would bridge the gap between rural-urban divide, enhance economic activities, spread development and attract investment in rural sectors, he said.

The projects under the mission are being implemented through funding support from both the Central and state government. An integrated action plan is prepared after thorough survey of the demographic features, economic activities and productive skills available in an identified area. In general, a plan of around Rs 100 crore is prepared for a cluster in non-tribal area and Rs 50 crore is prepared for a cluster tribal area.

Around 70 per cent cost of the approved projects are met through convergence of various ongoing central and state schemes while remaining 30 per cent is provided as critical gap funding (CGF). This CGF is shared on the basis of 60:40 pattern by the central and state government, he said adding that the projects are implemented and coordinated through Rurban Mission. The major interventions include skill development activities, mobile health units, upgradation of educational facilities, provision of piped water supply, solid waste management, sanitation, e-gram centre, setting up agro processing services, storages and warehousing, provision of street light, inter-village roads and transport.


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