Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today said the fight over Mahanadi river water and Polavaram issue is for safeguarding the interests and rights of the people of the state.
“Our fight for Mahanadi and Polavaram is beyond political or electoral gains. Since it is a fight for the rights of our people, the Government has stood firmly with the people to ensure our due share of water from Mahanadi river,” Patnaik said in the state Assembly.
The chief minister was replying to the motion of thanks to the Governor for his address to the House on the opening day of the budget session on February 21.
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To prevent unauthorised construction by Chhattisgarh on upstream of river Mahanadi and to safeguard interest of people of Odisha for whom Mahanadi is the lifeline, we have moved Government of India to constitute a tribunal to resolve the issue and have also moved the Apex court,” he said.
“The Government will leave no stone unturned to protect the interests of the people of the state on Mahanadi and Polavaram issue,” Patnaik asserted.
Stating that the Government has made significant achievements in all key areas of governance, the chief minister said financial position has improved significantly and the state is able to undertake various developmental activities from its own resources.
“By extending the scope of ongoing state schemes like Gopabandhu Gramin Yojana to the whole of Odisha, in view of the closure of important schemes by the Central Government, we have fulfilled many of our promises and are proud of our achievements in placing Odisha in the forefront of economic and social prosperity,” he said.
Poverty eradication programmes are being implemented on a mission mode to create sustainable livelihood opportunities for rural households, Patnaik said adding the thrust is to provide proper road connectivity, electricity, safe drinking water, sanitation and other infrastructure facilities to holistically develop the rural areas.
Stating that the Government is sensitive to the needs of farmers, Patnaik said a separate budget is prepared for agriculture sector and the state is among the few states to have constituted an exclusive Agriculture Cabinet to look into issues relating to the welfare of farming community.
Farm income has doubled in last 10 years, he said adding foodgrain production has touched an all time high of 118.24 lakh metric tonne in 2014-15, registering a growth of 22.7 per cent over 96.36 lakh tonne during 2013-14.
During last two years, 2.94 lakh hectares of additional irrigation potential has been created through all sources, Patnaik said.