Projects worth Rs 1,700cr approved for development of mineral bearing areas of Odisha

Bhubaneswar: The Oversight Authority has sanctioned projects worth Rs 1,700 crore in the mineral bearing areas of Odisha, an official said.

Taking stock of activities in districts under the Odisha Mineral Bearing Areas Development Corporation (OMBADC), the Oversight Authority headed by Justice AK Patnaik, on Friday, expressed satisfaction over the progress of the existing projects.

The new projects such as safe drinking water supply, education and skill development were sanctioned during a review meeting, which was attended by Oversight Authority chairperson Justice A K Patnaik and Odisha Chief Secretary A K Tripathy.

As per the decision of the meeting, OMBADC cells would be set up at the district level for coordination and monitoring of the projects funded by the corporation, the official said.

Justice Patnaik also launched the OMBADC website in the meeting for putting the activities and projects of the corporation in public domain and getting people’s feedback.

“I have visited different areas in Keonjhar, Sundargarh and Mayurbhanj districts at different points of time and have seen that OMBADC projects are moving fast at the ground level,” Justice Patnaik said suggesting the government to expedite implementation of projects.

The Odisha Chief Secretary directed the departments concerned to enhance the implementation capacity of the projects at ground level with focus on early completion and commissioning.

The meeting also decided that the entire district of Mayurbhanj would be brought under the purview of OMBADC.

The proposal for including mining-affected blocks in the adjoining districts such as Deogarh, Jharsuguda, Dhenkanal and Angul was also given in-principle approval in the meeting.

OMBADC Chief Executive Officer Uma Nanduri said that so far 15 projects worth Rs 10,014.33 crore in seven priority  sectors have been approved.

“Being implemented by 12 departments, these projects are now in various phases of completion,” she said.

The major sectors of the allocation of funds include supply of safe drinking water, education and skill development, health services, water conservation, livelihood, promotion and promotion of green coverage, she said.

Nanduri also presented technical and financial details of the proposed new projects for discussion at the meeting.

The new projects include water supply projects to 13 urban local bodies (ULBs) in major mining affected districts such as Keonjhar, Sundargarh and Mayurbhanj, impact assessment of the development interventions on tribal socio-economic-cultural conditions-development of sustainable livelihood in tribal art/craft through cluster model and promotion of tribal culture and up gradation of the center of excellence and science laboratories.

This apart, the new projects also included a 150 bed hospital and medical college at Jaipur, medical equipment for health facilities in Mayurbhanj, livelihood promotion through animal husbandry and fishery activities, alternative livelihood through horticulture activities, increasing green cover though VSS (vana surakshya samiti) in the mining affected areas and integrated watershed management through water harvesting structures.

The review of financial performance showed that around 93 per cent of Phase-I fund under ad-hoc Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) fund have been utilised.

These projects are in various phase of completion implementation in 691 villages spreading over 121 GPs in 29 Blocks of eight districts.

In this phase, projects worth Rs 10,014 crore were approved and released to the project implementing departments. Nanduri said that 29,829 housing units, 244 drinking water projects and skill development for 200 ST and SC youths, block & avenue plantation, urban plantation, seedling distribution, assisted natural regeneration and soil moisture conservation projects had been taken up.

In phase-II under compensation fund, a total amount of Rs 15,587 crore has been received by OMBADC out of which Rs 11,43 crore has already been released against the sanctioned projects.

With Friday’s sanction, the total worth of projects sanctioned under OMBADC has come around Rs 12,000 crore, an official release said.


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