Odishatv Bureau

Phulbani/Bhubaneswar: Not happy with the decision of chief minister Naveen Patnaik to send four senior officials to Kandhamal district, the Opposition today said the chief minister should have personally visited the backward district to understand the plight of the people.

“The chief minister must visit the district. Why he (Naveen Patnaik), any chief minister, who thinks himself/herself as a political leader, must visit the area. The fact remains that after becoming the chief minister he (Naveen) has distanced himself from the people and not shared their feelings,” senior Congress leader and leader of the Opposition Narasingh Mishra told media persons here.

Senior BJP leader and former minister Biswabhusan Harichandan said there are no basic amenities for the people of Kandhamal district. There is no road communication, no drinking water facility and no power connectivity in this district.

“The chief minister should have visited the district to know the ground reality and the plight of the people. Instead of visiting the district, he has made a farce and is trying to hoodwink the people by sending some senior officials,” he pointed out.

Countering the allegation of the Opposition leaders, BJD spokesperson Samir Dash said it is improper to say that the chief minister is not visiting the district. “The chief minister is visiting the districts and he will also visit Kandhamal district,” he added.

He said the state government is sincerely examining the problems in Kandhamal district and taking adequate steps in phases.

“It is the people of each district who can say better on the developmental works undertaken by the state government. Considering this, the statement of the media, the Opposition and even the ruling party leaders on this matter has no relevance,” he observed.

Meanwhile, acting on the directive of the chief minister to review the developmental works in Kandhamal district, four senior IAS officers arrived in the district today.

The four officials— Rural Development Secretary Madhusudan Padhi, Works secretary Nalini Pradhan, Energy secretary Rajesh Verma and Health and Family Welfare secretary Arati Ahuja—arrived at Baliguda sub divisional headquarters and had a meeting with senior district officials on the developmental works in the district.

The four officials also discussed about the developmental works to be taken up in the remote and inaccessible villages like the Gumudumaha village.

Talking to the media after the meeting, Padhi said not only Gumudumaha village, the meeting discussed about the integrated development of the Kandhamal district as a whole.

“The meeting decided to expedite the commitment the state government has made for the overall development of the district with special emphasis on power and drinking water connection to each Health Centre of the district,” he added.