Bhubaneswar, Aug 15 (IANS) The Independence Day was celebrated with much patriotic fervour in Odisha on Monday. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik hoisted the national flag at Mahatma Gandhi Marg here.
About 64 troupes, including school and college students, participated in the march-past. Two troupes from Andhra Pradesh also took part in the parade.
Addressing the gathering, the Chief Minister recalled sacrifices of the freedom fighters on the occasion.
Patnaik said that while the country had carved a niche in terms of development, Odisha had strengthened its position in the country by taking several development initiatives for the people.
He said the per capita income of people was on the rise and poverty had reduced in the state.
Patnaik said additional three lakh beneficiaries were included from Monday in Madhu Babu Pension Yojana.
He also said that steps were taken to make Odia as the official language of the state.
The Mahanadi water issue also figured in Patnaik’s address. He criticised the Chhattisgarh government for unilaterally exe3rcising its rights over inter-state rivers.
“There should be no exercise of unilateral rights over inter-state rivers. It shouldn’t be entertained. However, the state government is working efficiently to resolve the water disputes,” he said.
Patnaik said that participation of six Odia girls in Rio Olympics 2016 was a matter of pride for the state.
Elaborate security arrangements were made across the state for peaceful celebration of the country’s 70th Independence Day, police said.
Adequate security forces were deployed in Maoists infested areas in the state, said the police.