State seeks Rs 238 cr for development of Sunabeda area

Bhubaneswar: Accepting the Centre's proposal for the development of Sunabeda Sanctuary area, which has turned to be a Maoist hub, Odisha government on Tuesday submitted a Rs 238 crore project for the development of the Hilly Area in Nuapada district, official sources said.
 
"We have submitted a Rs 238 crore plan for the overall development of Sunabeda Hilly Area," Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik wrote to Union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh.
 
Earlier, on January 17, Ramesh during his visit to the sanctuary area in Nuapada district, had described Sunabeda as a "hub" of Maoists. The Union Minister in a letter to the Chief Minister had suggested to submit a development plan of Sunabeda area in the line of Saranda Jungle area.
 
Ramesh had also promised to support the state government's plan for the development of Sunabeda area. The Union Minister was scheduled to visit the Sunabeda area again on February 15.
 
"In Nuapada district, it is clear that incidents of Maoist violence have gone up sharply in last few years. Sunabeda forest area has become the hub of Maoist activities and the attacks on neighbouring districts like Kalahandi and Bolangir are being executed from Sunabeda area," Ramesh had mentioned in his earlier letter to Patnaik.
 
The state government's proposal would benefit at least 7,000 tribal families in Sunabeda Hilly Area, Patnaik said in the letter welcoming Ramesh for his proposal. He also informed the Union minister that the state government has prepared the plan keeping in view the local needs of Sunabeda area.
 
Among others, the state government's plan included development of drinking water, health, education, housing, road development, electrification and job opportunities for the local people, Patnaik said in the letter.
 
He said the residents of 86 villages under 12 gram panchayat area would get the benefit.