Sharmili Mallick

Following the inauguration of Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana (BSKY) in Malkangiri, Sundargarh and Balangir districts, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik launched the distribution of Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana (BSKY) smart cards in Gajapati district on Monday.

As per reports, as many as 1.36 lakh families will be benefited under the scheme in the tribal-dominated district.

The CM also inaugurated and laid the foundation stone of 37 development projects which will be constructed at an estimated cost of Rs 819.61 Crore. The slew of projects include the Harbhangi piped water project, other roads, school building and hospitals. The CM also assured the development of Mahendragiri into a tourist destination.

Addressing a public event at Paralakhemundi during his one-day visit to the district today, Patnaik stated that people are well of Biju Babu's relationship with Gajapati and the district has a special significance for him too.

“I am very happy to launch the distribution of smart health cards among the people. Gajapati is a land of art and prosperity. Although a small district, Gajapati's contribution to modern Odisha is significant,” said Patnaik.

Recalling Maharaja Krushna Chandra Gajapati, one of the forerunners in the formation of separate Odisha State, Patnaik said, “The State will never forget his contribution. He was a symbol of development and self-esteem.”

The Chief Minister also remembered the contribution of poet Gopal Krishna Patnaik and eminent historian Dr Satyanarayana Rajguru for their immense contribution towards strengthening the culture of Odisha.

“Nearly 3.5 crore people of 96 lakh families of Odisha will benefit from the BSKY scheme. The smart health cards will help the poor access medical services without getting into any financial problem. Beneficiaries can avail services at 200 major hospitals of the country by producing the health card without any hassle,” the CM added.

The Chief Minister further stated that every life is precious to him. “Be it a farmer or a miller or a rickshaw puller - let everyone live with dignity. It's the goal of the various welfare programs," the CM said.

Minister for Health and Family Welfare Naba Kishore Das, Minister for Scheduled Tribes and Scheduled Tribes Development Jagannath Sarka, Industries and Energy Minister Dibya Shankar Mishra, MP Chandrashekhar Sahu and MLAs were present at the function.