Surat: In a bid to woo Odia voters in Surat, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today announced a slew of measures during his visit to the city in Gujarat. Addressing a gathering during the Odisha Mahotsav in Surat, Patnaik said his government is trying to establish a Plus-II college for Odia students in Surat city.

Besides, the State government is trying to help Odia students to appear for Matric exams in Surat. Patnaik stated that Odia text books will be provided to the children residing in the city.

Stating that he has written to the Gujarat CM requesting the latter to provide land for setting an Odia cultural centre in Surat, Patnaik announced Rs 10 crore for the project. Moreover, he assured the prabashi Odias that he has already requested the Centre to run Berhampur-Surat train and direct flight between Bhubaneswar and Surat.

The CM also clarified that Odias residing in Surat can get benefits of the Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana as the Odisha government has taken steps to provide the benefits to Odia people across the country.

“There is no need for Odias to fulfil APL/BPL criteria to avail the benefits. Under the yojana, medical coverage worth Rs 5 lakh will be provided to each family whereas Rs 7 lakh coverage will be given to women members of the family,” the CM added.