Ahead of panchayat polls, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Monday launched various development projects worth Rs 2,556.13 crore in Cuttack and Khordha districts, officials said.
Visiting the two districts to launch the distribution of smart health cards to beneficiaries covered under the Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana (BSKY), Patnaik launched the projects spread over various sectors including roads, bridges, drainage, education, health, livelihood, irrigation, energy, women and child development.
He first inaugurated 40 projects worth Rs 93.28 crore and laid the foundation stones for 95 projects worth Rs 1,474.88 crore in Cuttack. Later, he visited Begunia in Khordha district, where he inaugurated 126 projects costing Rs 85.53 crore and laid the foundation stones for 406 projects worth Rs 902.44 crore.
Addressing a gathering at Baliyatra ground in Cuttack city through a video message, the Chief Minister said his government is taking steps for developing the SCB Medical College as a world-class healthcare institution. The medical college would be a milestone in the country’s health care sector in the coming days, he said.
Remembering Biswanath Pandit, labour leader from Cuttack, Patnaik announced that the Biswanath Pandit Central Library would be redeveloped as a state-of-the-art library near the Puri-Angul bus stand in the city.
At Begunia, the Chief Minister said Khordha was the land of the first freedom struggle. Saluting the brave peasant soldiers known as Paikas who fought for the Odia people, he said, “We will continue our fight for the rights of the Odia people.”
The Naveen Patnaik government is demanding that the Centre recognise the ‘Paika rebellion’ as the first war for Indian Independence. Recently, the state assembly had adopted a resolution to recommend to the Centre to declare the ‘Paika Bidroha’ (Paika rebellion) of 1817 as the ‘first War of Independence’.
The Chief Minister has been launching the BSKY smart health card distribution programme in various districts by either visiting the district or through video conferencing. So far, 26 out of 30 districts have joined the initiative.