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Sanjeev Kumar Patro

Bhubaneswar: In a big embarrassment to the Naveen Patnaik-led BJD government, the Economic Survey 2021 architected by none other than the Chief  Economic Advisor to the Union Finance Ministry KV Subramaniam has put the 'Odisha Development Model' in dim light.

The Eco-Survey that was tabled in the Parliament by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has revealed that access to the 'bare necessities' is the lowest in Odisha, Jharkhand, West Bengal and Tripura.

The survey has concluded to such a big inference after comparing the access to “the bare necessities” in 2012 vis-a-vis 2018, though Odisha has shown improvement in the basic necessity access Index between 2012 and 2018.

But the improvement has proved a minnow as the State still languished at the bottom in the country, which puts a big question mark on the governance delivery apparatus in Odisha. (See the image below)

However, highest access to the basic necessities has been measured in States such as Kerala, Punjab, Haryana and Gujarat.

WHAT IS BNI?

BNI means Bare Necessities Index. It measures access to “the bare necessities” for households in rural areas, urban areas and at the all India levels. These necessities are measured using 26 comparable indicators on five dimensions viz., water, sanitation, housing, micro-environment and other facilities.

As per the Survey, "the indicators are used to capture the availability and quality of drinking water, housing, access to bathroom, kitchen, toilet, waste discharge facilities, clean cooking fuel and disease free environment, etc."

" The composite index for the States/UTs for 2012 and 2018 has been created using data mainly from two NSO rounds viz., 69th (2012) and 76th (2018), on Drinking Water, Sanitation, Hygiene, and Housing Condition in India," the Eco-Survey 2021 further noted.

ODISHA Vs BIMARU STATES

In a big thumbs down to Odisha, when the BIMARU states (Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh), have shown a good improvement by scoring  between 0.50 - 0.70 from 10 in 2018, the fate of the State didn't show any great change.

Despite an improvement in access to bare necessities, Odisha's score in 2018 remained below 0.5 out of 10. And the BNI assigned 'Red' code colour to the State for not showing any significant change in access to bare needs of the Aam admi. (See the Image above)

RURAL - URBAN DIVIDE  

As per the Eco-Survey,  the access to the bare minimum needs was poor in the rural areas in 2012 in as many as 16 states, including Gujarat and Maharashtra - the two rich states in India.

Cut to the year 2018. The BNI has been estimated as poor (means states where the accessibility is still low) in states like Odisha, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and MP. Neighbouring Chhattisgarh has posted an improvement between 2012 and 2018. (See the image above)

URBAN INDIA: As per the Survey, the accessibility to drinking water, housing and other needs in urban areas were higher across the states in 2012. But was desirable (means accessibility good) in only two states/UT - Gujarat and National Capital City Delhi.

Forwarded to the year 2018. As many as 10 states, including MP from BIMARU category of states, had achieved the 'desirable' score in BNI in the urban areas.

But Odisha failed to show any major change during the over a half decade period of 2012-18.

(See the image below).

Note: Odisha hovers very near to the red line in both the urban and rural areas. All other BIMARU states, except Jharkhand, stand taller than Odisha by feet. In the parameter of gains between 2012-2018, the gains by Odisha look dwarfed by smart jumps by neighbouring Chhattisgarh and other BIMARU states.

DRINKING WATER

While spelling about BNI today, CEA KV Subramaniam recalled the famous lines of Big B Amitabh Bachchan in the film Main Azad Hoon (1989), " Chaalish Baras Mein Aap Ek Insaan Ke Liye Ek Glass Pani Nahin De Sakte, To Aap Kya Kar Sakte Hain."

How Is The Scenario In Odisha?

The figure below shows Odisha hanging around the 'Red line', which tells how poor the State in accessibility to drinking water.

HOUSING: No great stride by Odisha, even as there has been a lot of politics over Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana and Biju Pucca Ghar Yojana. The ground scenario takes a dim view of the Odisha government. (See the image below)

Similarly, be it the micro environment or other facilities Odisha has never in the big mover's list. (Take a look at the images below).

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