Pradeep Pattanayak

The BJD-led government is earning plaudits for getting the world class Hockey stadium in Rourkela ready in a record 15 months. And at the same time, it is earning criticism in equal measures for not being able to complete projects, some declared 20 years ago. 

If the construction of the Birsa Munda Hockey Stadium in Sundergarh was completed in 15 months, it was possible only because of the unprecedented level of alacrity shown by the administration mechanism. 

Here the question arises that why such alacrity has been elusive in case of other projects the government declared for the people of Sundergarh. 

The case in point is Kuanrmunda Medical College. 

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had himself announced the establishment of a medical college at Kuanrmunda in 2003. For this, a piece of land was also earmarked. But with the passage of the time, the same land is now under a private company. 

Similarly, before 2014 general election, the CM during his visit to Rourkela announced a barrage on the Koel river and a ring road. After nine years, the ring road remains confined to the foundation plaque only. And the barrage construction work has also not achieved as much progress as it should have had during this 10 years’ time. 
“They (the BJD) are only giving assurances and far away from keeping them. The government’s such attitude can be seen in all the districts,” alleged Jayshankar Nanda, a Kuanrmunda resident. 

This failure has provided the Oppositions a peg to hang their attack on the government. 
The State unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) accused the government of cheating the people as it has failed in keeping its promise given to the people. 
“You could complete a stadium in 15 months. But you don’t have time to complete the medical college. Since 2014 was the election year, announcements were made to garner votes. Now in 2023, they have started the work. They should feel ashamed of it,” alleged BJP MLA Shankar Oram.

On the other hand, the BJD in its response said the Chief Minister has given a lot of things to Sundergarh. Koel barrage work will end soon. 
“It is a mega project at an estimated cost of Rs 313 crore. The project completion period is two years. The agency that has been awarded the project has started the work on war-footing. They will complete the work in the right time and the progress of the work is being monitored,” said Chairman, District Planning Committee, Sundargarh, Sarada Prasad Nayak. 
“Since Hockey will give the government international repute, it worked with alacrity. But such alacrity should also have been shown to other two projects or else it would suggest the government is unable to keep its promises,” said senior journalist Arabinda Das.

Speaking of failed promises, recently a social activist Muktikanta Biswal climbed atop a hoarding near the Naveen Niwas and tried to end his life. His allegation was that the promises made by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik years ago are yet to be fulfilled. 

(Reported by Pawan Tiwari from Rourkela, OTV)