Pradeep Pattanayak

Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Tuesday took a dig at Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik for inaugurating the Gangadhar Meher Lift irrigation in Bijepur and Cancer Hospital in Bargarh, saying the symbolic projects will hardly make any difference in people’s lives. 

The Chief Minister had contested from Bijepur in the 2019 election. Then, the residents were promised the Gangadhar Meher Lift Irrigation Project, a cancer hospital, district status to Padampur, and the establishment of a JMFC court. 

The Chief Minister had won from this seat. However, later he had to relinquish the seat to Rita Sahu. Then he had said he would personally take care of the development of the region. The Chief Minister inaugurated the two projects he had promised during the 2019 election. 

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“I had promised for establishment of a cancer hospital in Bargarh. Today, I have kept that promise. From today, water supply to farmlands from Gangadhar Meher Lift Irrigation Project has started,” the Chief Minister said while addressing the gathering. 

Previously, it was promised that the lift irrigation project would irrigate over 25,000 hectares. On the other hand, the recently inaugurated project will irrigate only 10,000 hectares. 
“Around 10,000 hectares will receive water from the project. The rest of the areas will be gradually added,” said Chief Engineer of Mahanadi Basin, Ananda Chandra Sahu. 
Similarly, even though the 100-bed cancer hospital has been inaugurated, it will function with only three doctors. 
Moreover, Bijepur residents’ dream of a JMFC court has remained unfulfilled and so is the fate of the demand for district status to Padampur. 
“The Chief Minister didn’t say a word about the establishment of JMFC court in Bijepur,” said Ganesh Gadatia, a Bijepur resident. 

Expressing his dissatisfaction, a Padampur resident Ajit Satpathy said, “The Chief Minister’s visit has left the Padampur people dejected. They feel the announcement of district status to Padampur will never materialize.”

Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said, “Symbolic projects hardly make any difference in people’s lives.  In the long run, such tricks won’t work. People know well who announces yojanas for votes.”

BJD's Bargarh district president, Prabhas Singh responded, “CM Naveen Patnaik has done whatever commitment he made.”( 

(Reported by Dharmadutta Padhi )