Odisha govt’s apathy posing hindrance in developmental projects: Pradhan

Bhubaneswar: Soon after a review meeting convened at the State Guest House in Bhubaneswar to discuss several developmental projects of the Centre was cancelled today, Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan came down heavily at the Odisha government alleging lack of support from the State in the developmental and infrastructural projects.

Though the Union Minister and officials of GAIL and NHAI were present for discussion, the meeting had to be cancelled as Chief Secretary AP Padhi did not turn up for the same.

Criticising this, Pradhan said, “Despite being invited for the meeting, the Chief Secretary did not come. May be he was busy in some other work, bigger than this meeting. Several developmental and infrastructural projects of the petroleum, railway, NHAI and other companies are hanging in balance and today’s meeting was important as government’s approval is also needed at different stages. These projects are important for the development of Odisha, may be the Chief Minister is not aware. Anyways, I will ask why they did not give priority to this meeting.”

Pradhan further said, “Developmental projects to the tune of Rs 1,36,417 crore have been affected due to unsupportive nature of the Odisha government- Rs 51,395 crore in petroleum, Rs 56,563 crore road transport, Rs 12,286 crore in railway, Rs 15, 413 investment in non-petroleum sector and Rs 560 crore in healthcare.”

The Union Minister also alleged that he has written as many as 44 letters to CM Naveen Patnaik after 2017, but so far received acknowledgement letter only once.

Responding to the allegations, BJD asked 20 questions to Pradhan. “Where are the names of beneficiaries in Ujjwala Yojana website? What happened to 2nd bridge on Brahmani River and promise to upgrade IGH into a super speciality hospital?” asked BJD spokesperson Amar Patnaik.