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Socio-Economic Cover for Mining Belt Villagers

In a bid to usher in socio-economic development of mineral-rich pockets, Odisha government has brought 691 villages brought under the purview of Odisha Mineral Bearing Areas Development Corporation (OMBADC) fund.

The corporation had been constituted way back in 2014 following a directive by the apex court. The court had asked the state government to ensure that people of the mining areas of the state get pucca houses, toilets and other basic amenities. Though the government had earmarked Rs 869 crore for the project, it had failed to make any headway as bureaucrats reportedly dragged their feet.

 Residents living in these villages located in eight districts of the state would reap benefits as the OMBADC funds would be spent on priority basis on housing, sanitation, afforestation activity and establishing road connectivity to remote hamlets, said Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi while presiding over a high-level meeting.

OMBADC was incorporated as a non-profit Govt company in the year, 2014 for carrying forward holistic developmental activities in the mining affected areas. Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (PCCF) Subash Chandra Mishra apprised that about 50% of Net Present Value (MPV) collected from the mining leases would be utilized through this corporation for basic developmental activities in the identified villages. 

State Govt had provided Rs.1 lakh as token share capital at the initial level for formation of the Corporation.  So far, the Corporation has got a fund of around Rs.1000 cr .

 In the mean while, survey of the mining affected areas has been completed and 691 villages under 129 GPs of 30 blocks in 8 districts have been identified for inclusion under the OMBADC fund. These districts are Angul, Dhenkanal, Jajpur, Jharsuguda, Kendujhar, Koraput, Mayurbhanj and Sundargarh.

 As of now, the projects of worth Rs.900 cr have been approved for these villages. These include 29,829 housing units, 196 drinking water projects, 855 hector block plantation, 842 kms of avenue plantation, 3600 hectors of assisted natural regeneration and 9800 seedling plantation in towns of the mining affected areas.

 Chief Secretary Sri Padhi directed the Panchayati Raj and Drinking Water department to complete all the housing projects by December, 2017. The department was also asked to ensure piped water supply to each and every household in the identified villages. “Each new house being constructed, directed the Chief Secretary, “must have a toilet and running water”.  The forest department was asked to intensify plantation activities for increasing green coverage in the area. It was further decided to take up intensive soil and moister conservation activities in all forest pockets of the identified area.

 The Development Commissioner Sri R. Balakrishnan, Principal Secretary Finance Sri Tuhin Kanta Pandey, Principal Secretary Steel & Mines Sri Raj Kumar Sharma, Principal Secretary Rural Development Sri Bishnu Prasad Sethi, Secretary ST & SC Development Sri Surendra Kumar, Secretary Panchayati Raj Sri Deo Ranjan Kumar Singh, Secretary Works Sri Nalini Kanta Pradhan, CEO ORSAC Sri Sandeep Tripathy along with other senior officers from respective departments participated in discussion.


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