Naveen lays foundation for mega foodpark, faces black flag demo

Rayagada: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Monday laid the foundation stone for a Rs 80.17 crore mega food processing project in Rayagada district even as opposition parties showed black flags to him during the visit.

Patnaik faced black flag demonstration at Rayagada after facing similar agitation at Bolangir and Puri.

At least 30 persons belonging to opposition Congress, BJP and Kalinga Sena, a fringe political outfit, were taken into custody from different places, town police station IIC, Prasant Kumar Bhupati said.

However, they were let off after the chief minister left the district, he said.

Those arrested included, district Congress president Durga Prasad Pranda, vice-president Sunil Panda, district BJP chief Tapan Tapadar and district president of Kalinga Sena Janmejaya Swain.

Patnaik during his one-day whirlwind visit to the district laid the foundation stone for a Rs 80.17 cr mega food processing project at Bhujabala, about 15 km from here which had the potential to provide employment to about 30,000 people in next one and a half years.

The project would come up over a sprawling 50 acres land in partnership with state owned IDCO, Cavanter Agro, Majhigariani Institute of Technology and Science (MITS) and Expo Byotech.

The project on completion would be third of its kind in the country after Haridwar in Uttarkhand and Sirni in Andhra Pradesh.

The chief minister said food processing industry was feasible in Odisha and the proposed project had the potential to provide employment to many people.

Earlier, Patnaik had laid foundation stone for river bridges over Bansadhara at Bainaguda near Gudari and Nagabali at Chekaguda and Gunupur with a total investment of Rs 29 crore.