Hold WODC meetings in different districts on rotation: Naveen

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha govenment on Friday decided to hold meetings of the Western Odisha Development Council in all member districts rotationally instead of holding it in the state capital.

"Holding meetings at different places will help to develop a particular area," an official said after a meeting presided over by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik here.

WODC, an autonomous body, was set up in the 1998 with the objective of removing regional imbalance between the underdeveloped western districts and comparatively better coastal district.

The WODC operates from the state capital though its focus remains in remote districts.

The state government since 1998 has sanctioned Rs 883.05 crore to WODC for the overall development of 11 member districts comprising Angul, Bargarh, Bolangir, Boudh, Deogarh, Sonepur, Jharsuguda, Kalahandi, Nuapada, Sambalpur and Sundergarh.

"About 74 per cent of the sanctioned money has been spent in different projects of WODC," the official said.

He said 33 per cent of the sanctioned amount is spent on improvement of road communication and 30 per cent on minor and lift irrigation in the WODC region.

Chief Minister Patnaik has ordered to set up a Project Monitoring Unit to oversee implementation of WODC projects.

"The chief minister has also asked the collectors of concerned districts to review progress of development every month and revenue divisional commissioners to undertake similar exercise every three months," the official said.

Patnaik directed officials to prepare a specific guideline for expenditure of WODC funds as is done in case of MLAs development funds.