District-review reports lay bare failure of welfare schemes
Bhubaneswar: The reports submitted by the Secretary-rank IAS officers who had been given charge to review various developmental works in backward areas of Odisha have exposed the loopholes in execution of many welfare schemes leading to its failures.
Orphaned Rajesh Narayan (10) in ward No-1 of Malkangiri Municipality is an example of how the programme to address malnutrition in the district has failed. “How will I take him to hospital without any money as we both have to sustain with Rs 300 only. His father and mother have passed away and I am the only person taking his care,” said Rajesh’s grandmother Kusuma Narayan.
On the other hand, the story of two elderly women Sundari Kanhar and Dutika Kanhar at Panchayat Sahi in Solaguda Village under Phiringia Tehsil of Kandhamal district who are living in abject poverty in absence of ration cards, pension and other government facilities reveal how the promises of social security have not been fulfilled.
“We are not getting any food items or any ration card. We are not able to work in this age and are leading a very difficult life,” said Dutika Kanhar.
District visits by the secretaries have revealed various such irregularities and negligence in sectors such as education, health, rural electrification and transportation.
Under such circumstances, Odisha’s opposition to the appointment of Prabhari (in-charge) officers (IAS) in eight most backward districts of state by the Centre seems surprising. Claiming that senior IAS officers have already been appointed by the State for monitoring the developmental works in all the districts, Odisha has opposed the Centre’s scheme.
“The report of the officers appointed by State government has proved that development is unable to reach the people in Odisha. There is some irregularity somewhere and if the Centre has extended support the State government should be glad rather than oppose the move,” said senior BJP leader Pratap Chandra Sarangi.
“Many backward districts are facing various irregularities and an impartial report of the officers would have exposed the false claims of the State government,” said Leader of Opposition, Narasingha Mishra.
“The secretaries have reported the success and failures of various development programmes based on which the Chief Minister and Chief Secretary will take appropriate measures. What extra will an officer appointed by the Centre will do?” questioned BJD spokesperson Pratap Deb.
Meanwhile, the State government has initiated action based on the findings in the reports submitted by the secretaries.