Odisha to spend Rs.869 crore for benefit of mineral-bearing districts

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Bhubaneswar, Feb 27 (IANS) The Odisha government will spend Rs.869 crore for socio-economic development of the people in eight mineral bearing districts of the state, an official said on Saturday.

The meeting of the Odisha Mineral Bearing Areas Development Corporation’s (OMBADC) board of directors, chaired by Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi, resolved to address the basic needs of the mining-affected villages, and of the total Rs.869 crore with the corporation, project proposals worth Rs.720 crore were approved.

Accordingly, the projects for housing, sanitation, pipe water supply and farm forestry have been prepared with a preliminary estimate of Rs.720 crore, said a release.

A total 523 villages of 29 blocks in Angul, Dhenkanal, Jajpur, Jharsuguda, Keonjhar, Koraput, Mayurbhanj and Sundargarh districts have been identified as mining-affected villages.

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The meeting decided to spend Rs.350 crore on converting makeshift houses to permanent houses in these districts. In addition to this, Rs.350 crore has been earmarked for providing drinking water facility in the regions and Rs.20 crore will be spent on afforestation.

“The meeting discussed on converting the ‘kaccha’ houses to ‘pucca’ houses, providing piped water supply and afforestation activities in the mineral-rich areas in the state. Similarly, the meeting also discussed the mode of utilisation of mineral bearing areas development fund (MBADF),” said Forest and Environment Secretary Suresh Mohapatra.

The OMBADC’s general manager (operations) Subash Chandra Swain said that about 50 percent of net present value collected from the mining leases would be utilized through this corporation for basic developmental activities in the identified villages.

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The board also resolved that the interest earned from the deposit of this corpus amount would be added to it and used for the same purpose.

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