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Rural development projects moving at slow pace in Odisha

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Of the 62,743 projects worth ₹1,554 crore sanctioned, only 29,327 have been completed; about 50.32% of the funds spent

The Odisha government’s much-hyped ‘Ama Gaon, Ama Bikash’ (Our village, Our development), in which development projects were directly sanctioned on the basis of interaction between Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and villagers, has failed to achieve even 50% progress.

To bridge the gap

The State government had launched the programme in order to bridge the gap and the missing link in infrastructure development which were not taken out of any other State or Central government schemes.

Of the 62,743 projects worth ₹1,554 crore sanctioned under the programme, only 29,327 projects have been completed. About 50.32% of the funds earmarked for these projects have been spent.

Stating that the achievement was not satisfactory, the State Panchayati Raj Department has threatened to link the achievement with performance appraisal of field level officers.

“Total 29,327 projects have been completed out of the 62,473 sanctioned projects, which is not satisfactory. The progress of completion of the projects will be reflected in confidential character report of the project director of the district rural development agency and the block development officers,” said Deoranjan Kumar Singh, Panchayati Raj Secretary, in a letter addressed to all the Collectors.

The AGAB, which was widely seen as the BJD government’s attempt to expand its support base before last Assembly elections, is found to have achieved physical progress of around 30% in some districts.

Launched in 2018

In Balasore and Rayagada districts, it was just above 29%. The central Odisha district of Boudh has completed 88% of the AGAB projects.

The government had launched AGAB on March 5, 2018, but its guidelines were approved by the Cabinet after six months.

Video vans used to be pre-positioned in panchayats which were selected by the Panchayati Raj Department. Mr. Patnaik was usually holding interactions with people through videoconferencing at the panchayat level about the development of villages and immediately approving projects.

In October last year, the field level departments were directed to complete all projects by December, but the progress was no way near the target.

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Printable version | Jan 23, 2020 2:20:04 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/rural-development-projects-moving-at-slow-pace-in-odisha/article30552831.ece

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