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District status to Padampur in a year, says Odisha CM

Bhubaneswar, Feb 19 (IANS) Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Sunday assured the people of Padampur assembly constituency that Padampur will be given the status of a district within a year.

Patnaik assured this to the people while addressing public meetings at Padampur, Paikamal and Jharbandh in the assembly constituency on Sunday.

Notably, the BJD won the Padampur by-election with a margin of more than 42,000 votes in December last year.

The Chief Minister had announced to make Padampur a separate district during his campaign for the by-poll.

“Last time, I announced something for the Padampur constituency. Out of that, Paikmal primary health centre has been upgraded into a community health centre. Work for Chakradhar dam project has already started and land for setting up a 133/11 KV substation has been identified,” Patnaik said at the public meeting.

Stating he believes in action, not words, Patnaik assured the people to complete other works, promised during the by-poll, within the prescribed time frame.

The Chief Minister said he has sanctioned Rs 64 crore for the development of the Padampur region.

During the by-poll, many people of the Padampur area had met Patnaik and submitted proposals for development of each ward, panchayat and NAC of the Padampur sub-division. The fund has been sanctioned as per the proposal submitted by the people, which is first in the history of Odisha, said the Chief Minister.

Taking a dig at the Union Ministers, who visited the constituency during the last by-election, Patnaik said the Union Ministers have made many promises to the people about paddy procurement, crop insurance, railways, waiving off of GST on Kendu leaf, etc.

Notably, Union Ministers Narendra Singh Tomar, Ashwini Vaishnaw, Dharmendra Pradhan and Bisheswar Tudu participated in the electoral campaigning during the by-election.

Tomar had said about distribution of crop insurance claims to the beneficiary farmers, while Vaishnaw raked up construction of railway line to Padampur and Pradhan stated about GST on kendu leaves.

During the meeting, the Chief Minister distributed credit support of Rs 1.23 crore to women SHGs and said he hopes that the SHGs will become good entrepreneurs utilising the money.

Reacting to Patnaik’s statement, BJP leader and Bargarh MP Suresh Pujari said that the Central government has decided to construct a railway line from Bargarh to Nuapada via Paikamal and Padampur.

However, the state government is yet to complete the land acquisition process, he said.

The BJP MP also expressed his displeasure about not being invited to the Chief Minister’s programmes in Padampur, which comes under his Lok Sabha constituency.

The government does not have the minimum courtesy to invite the MP and MLAs to a programme, said Pujari, adding, he came to know about the Chief Minister’s visit through the newspaper.