Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Allocate funds for disaster proofing: Patnaik to Centre

Noting that Odisha is impacted by natural disasters almost every year, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Sunday urged the Centre to make it a special focus state and allocate funds for disaster proofing.
His remarks came at the seventh NITI Aayog Governing Council meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“Team India” has shown its resolve under the prime minister’s leadership in effectively handling the COVID-19 pandemic, Patnaik was quoted as saying in a statement.
Today India is showing its sports prowess in the Commonwealth Games, he said, congratulating the athletes who are making the motherland proud.
India is at the crossroads of becoming a great economic superpower rooted in inclusive growth and NITI Aayog can play an important role in facilitating this, he said.
“We all accept that the state and central governments are political entities and sometimes there are disputes in the implementation of central schemes. NITI Aayog can resolve these issues like an ombudsman,” Patnaik said.
This will promote cooperative federalism and speedy implementation of schemes, he said.
“As regards my state, historically we have been neglected in the subjects in the central list viz telecom, railways and banking. We have the lowest density in all these crucial infrastructures and I would urge the central government to give special focus for Odisha,” he said.
“As we all know Odisha is impacted almost every year by natural disasters. It’s important to have disaster resilient infrastructure to protect the state and its people from the vagaries of nature. I would sincerely request the central government to make Odisha a special focus state and allocate funds for disaster proofing,” Patnaik said.
The Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana has some implementation issues in the field because of which genuine farmers are deprived in some cases, he pointed out.
NITI Aayog may study this and suggest ways to protect the interest of farmers, the chief minister said.
He said most of the state’s tribal and KBK (Koraput, Balangir and Kalahandi) districts have been bypassed from new allocation under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana.
“I would request the central government to immediately resolve this issue and allocate houses. The state government has complied to all the queries raised in this regard,” he said.
The role played by Modi as the then chief minister of Gujarat in protecting and conserving step wells in Gujarat, including the Rani ka Vav listed as a UNESCO heritage site, is praise worthy, he said.
“As you know, conservation and preservation systems has gone huge changes globally. Both in terms of technology and legal framework. I would suggest that ASI should be transformed and the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act (or AMASR Act) amended to make our systems on par with global benchmarks,” Patnaik said.
This will greatly help in protecting heritage sites including Konark, he added.
“I am sure with the inputs from the esteemed colleague chief ministers and the leadership of Hon’ble PM, Team India will keep shining in the true spirit of cooperative federalism,” he said.

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