Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, who unveiled the ‘Biju Pucca Ghar’ scheme at the Collectors’ Conference yesterday, has announced the plan to spend Rs 5,000 crore in the irrigation sector within the next five years. At least 10 lakh hectares of irrigated land will be created during that period. The funds will be spent on major, medium and small irrigation projects, deep borewells, mega lift irrigation projects, restoration of the defunct L.I. points etc. The CM also promised to launch a food security mission in Odisha soon.
“Our focus has been to make it prosperous in terms of agriculture and provide food security to all people. We are the second state in the country to introduce a separate budget for agriculture. Odisha has received the ‘Krishi Karman Award’ thrice during the last four years for agricultural productivity despite the damages caused by Cyclone Phailin. It shows the commitment of my Government to the issues of farmers and food security,” he said.
“The Odisha Government is going to introduce a holistic Odisha Food Security Act very shortly with an emphasis on agricultural production, marketing and equitable distribution of food grains,” he said.
Naveen Patnaik further said,”The National Food Security Act is soon going to be introduced in our State which shall cover about 3.26 crore people. In the process, approximately 72 lakh ration cards are to be issued to the surveyed families. To stop pilferage and ensure complete transparency in the distribution of entitlements to deserving families, digitization of ration cards will be undertaken.”
The Chief Minister also raised the issue of discrepancies in PDS and asked the District Collectors to make sure to revamp the whole system. He asked them to personally undertake surprise checks and make sure to prevent the black marketing of kerosene and other materials. He expressed dissatisfaction over the action taken by the Collectors to check black marketing so far.