Bhubaneswar: With the BJD government completing the fourth year of its fourth-term in power on Monday, the party supremo and chief minister Naveen Patnaik has given three mantras to his ministers.
“I have told the ministers that transparency, teamwork and technology will be our mantra for the development of the state,” he told media persons after presiding over the meeting of the council of ministers at the State Secretariat here.
He said as a measure of the depth of the commitment to the people, his party has resolved to adopt its manifesto as the policy of the government.
Highlighting 10 major achievements of his government, the chief minister said one of the topmost promises was the housing security. Claiming that Odisha is a trailblazer at the national level in rural housing, he said in the last four years, nearly 17 lakh pucca houses have been constructed while the remaining seven lakh houses will be completed by March 5 next year as a humble tribute to the legendary leader Biju Patnaik.
The chief minister further said the state government has enacted historic legislation to enable slum dwellers in urban areas to have land and property rights. Nearly 10 lakh people will be empowered through this initiative unprecedented in the world in its scope and scale, he added.
Talking about the achievement of his government in the agriculture sector, Naveen said Odisha is the only state to have doubled the income of the farmers in the last decade. “We had promised 10 lakh hectares of additional irrigation potential of which we have already achieved 7 lakh hectares. Efforts are on to achieve the target by April 1 next year,” he informed.
Stating that food grain production in Odisha has an all-time high of 117 lakh metric tonnes, he said Odisha is one of the highest contributors to the nation’s food security.
Referring to the policy of his government for the farmers, the chief minister said the share croppers will be provided crop loans while farmers in rain-fed areas will get remunerative prices under the Millets Mission.
Giving details on the road communication network in the state, he said Odisha leads the country in the construction of rural roads with a record 22,500 km in the last four years. While 600 bridges have been constructed under the Biju Setu Yojana, the Biju Expressway connecting north and south Odisha passing through the KBK region is on the anvil. The Utkal Gourav Madhusudan Setu over Mahanadi and key bridges over Ib and Kathjodi rivers have been completed in record time and reduced distances considerably. Besides, the Gurupriya bridge in Malkangiri will also be operational very soon, Naveen said.
On the health sector, he said ‘Health for all’ is the mission of his government. To provide better health services to the people, four new medical colleges have started at Koraput, Baripada, Balasore and Bolangir while five more medical colleges are in the offing.
The chief minister also claimed that Odisha has recorded a sharp decline in infant mortality among all the states which is better than the national average.
He further said as part of women’s empowerment, more than 30 lakh women have availed the benefits of the Mamata Yojana while nearly 70 lakh women are part of the Mission Shakti programme. “This apart, 50 percent reservation for women in Panchayati Raj Institutions has ensured a strong representation of women in the decision-making platforms,” he noted.
The chief minister said since education and skill development are critical to empowering the next generation, 190 Adarsh Vidyalayas or Model Schools have been made operational with more than 56,000 students. “To bridge the gap in education, the state government has provided education loans at 1% interest and scholarships for nearly 20 lakh students. Besides, Mo School campaign is an innovative intervention to link community and alumni to their alma maters, he pointed out.
Besides, the Odisha Skill Mission has been set up to skill 11 lakh aspiring youth. The state government has already trained nine lakh young people as part of our commitment to provide employment and strengthen livelihoods, he said.
On the employment-oriented industrial growth, Naveen said nearly Rs 1.8 lakh crore worth of projects have been initiated with an employment potential of 1.32 lakh. In the last four years, exports have increased over two and half times with the highest growth rate in the country.
Highlighting the achievement of his government in the electrification programme, the chief minister said 17 lakh households have been electrified in the last four years and efforts are on to provide electricity to all households by October 2 this year.
He further said at least two villages in every panchayat will be provided piped water supply by the end of this year.
To achieve inclusive growth, Naveen said Special Development Councils have been constituted in nine tribal districts to preserve and protect unique cultural identities among our tribal groups. These councils will have representation from all the tribal groups that they constitute.
He also said the Odia language has been accorded the status of a classical language. “The Special Cabinet held at Puri on December 26 last year took several decisions to promote our mother tongue in all walks of life,” he added.
Speaking about the major sporting events in the state, the chief minister said “We hosted the 22nd Asian Athletics Championships in a record 90 days. Our people’s love for hockey prompted us to become the sponsors for our national teams and it is indeed a matter of pride for us when Team India sports the Odisha jersey and logo”.
Thanking the four and a half crore people of Odisha for reposing their unstinting faith in the commitment and capability of his government for working towards an empowered Odisha, the chief minister called on the ministers all pledge to work hard every minute to honour the faith of the people with dedication, determination and devotion.
It may be mentioned that the chief minister had conducted the performance appraisal of the departments from May 8 to 20.
The chief minister had also informed the ministers that on the completion of the fourth term of his government, success and achievement of their respective departments will be discussed in the meeting of the council of ministers and made known to the people of the state.