The Odisha cabinet led by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Saturday approved three tenders worth Rs 1,287 crore for execution of nine mega piped water supply projects in Malkangiri, Nayagarh and Jajpur districts.

Briefing media persons about the cabinet decisions, Development Commissioner P. K. Jena said supply of safe drinking water to the people living in the rural areas is one of the priority areas of the state government.

Accordingly, the government has taken decision for execution of nine mega piped water supply projects to provide safe drinking water in the three districts out of Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) funding, he said.

The state cabinet has approved the lowest tender amounting to Rs 639.26 crore for execution of four projects in Malkangiri district. By execution of the projects, 3.13 lakh people of 453 villages under 61 GPs of four Blocks of Malkangiri district will be benefited.

Similarly, the cabinet has taken a decision for execution of another three mega piped water supply projects in Nayagarh district with a cost of Rs 393.93 crore. This project will provide safe drinking water to 1.94 lakh people of 619 villages under 42 GPs of three blocks of the district, Jena said.

Another tender of Rs 254.66 crore has been approved by the Odisha government for execution of two water supply projects in Jajpur district. Around 2.50 lakh people of 250 villages under 49 GPs of Korei and Bari blocks of the district will be benefited, he said.

All the drinking water projects work is targeted for completion within a period of 24 months.

Further, the government of Odisha has also taken a decision for construction of a high-level bridge over river Subarnarekha in the district of Balasore under State Plan in the year 2022-23. The bridge project of Rs 101.66 crore is targeted for completion within a period of three years.

The Odisha cabinet has also decided to make an amendment to the Odisha State Commission for Backward Classes (OSCBC) Act, 1993 to include 22 castes in Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBC) list.

Moreover, the Cabinet has also approved the proposal for allotment of 2 acres of land in favour of Bagchi-Sri Shankara Cancer Care Centre and Research Institute (BSSCCRI) for construction of a rest house for accommodation of cancer patients.