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Three-member team is led by Abhijeet Sen
Citizens' forum submits memorandum to the team
BERHAMPUR: A three-member team of the Central Planning Commission reached Rayagada district on Wednesday to make on the spot assessment of socio-economic status of people living in Orissa's KBK (Kalahandi-Bolangir-Koraput) region.
This team is headed by Planning Commission member Abhijeet Sen. Apart from him Planning Commission's senior advisor L.P. Sonekar and its deputy advisor Indira Patnaik are also in the team. They would visit areas of Rayagada and Koraput districts, which recently faced cholera and diarrhoea epidemic.
According to sources, a team of the Planning Commission is visiting the KBK region for the first time during the rule of the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) government in the State. The team also held discussions in Bhubaneswar with Chief Secretary B.K. Patnaik, KBK chief administrator Santosh Kumar and other senior secretaries regarding the state of affairs in KBK districts..
Mr. Sen stressed on the drinking water facilities and other health measures in KBK region, particularly in Rayagada district where cholera deaths had been routine occurrence.
KBK Roundtable, a citizens' forum submitted a memorandum to Mr Sen in Rayagada. They met the him in the Rayagada circuit house and held discussion about the socio-economic condition of the area as well its main problems. The forum highlighted the data based on CAG report that states that under Revised Long Term Action Plan (RLTAP) only 31 per cent of the outlay was spent under agriculture, horticulture and soil conservation sectors in this region. Out of Rs. 2,763.48 crore available during 2002-07 for utilisation under the nine schemes, Rs. 221.76 crore remained unspent with the implementing agencies by March 2007. The forum activists also demanded statistics based and unrealistic budgetary plans and priorities to be enquired into and development of holistic region centric plans fro KBK region. They also demanded people's access to Forests Rights Act and restoration of alienated tribal land to the tribal farmers. There was also demand for enhancement of man days of employment under MGNREGA from 100 days to 200 days in KBK region and timely payment of wages. The other demands included special skill building training for youths, more watershed projects, and special centre for communicable diseases in the region.
They also demanded that on the lines of WODC (Western Orissa Development Council), the undivided Koraput district should have a South Orissa Development Council (SODC). A special Centre for communicable disease surveillance should be set up in the districts which are experiencing diarrhoea, cholera and other communicable diseases in the region.
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