Saturday, July 5, 2008

Separate ministry demanded for KBK

The Statesman, June 24, 2008

Separate ministry demanded

Statesman News Service
BHUBANESWAR, June 23: Former law minister and Congress legislator Mr Narasingha Mishra strongly pleaded for a separate ministry at the central level for tribal dominated districts and the KBK area like the north eastern states’ ministry. He said that these areas were still in acute distress and were proving a fertile ground for Naxalite operations.
"Creation of such a ministry will help in ensuring speedy development of the KBK area and Baster district of Chhatisgarh," he said before insisting that the proposed Central University and IIT ought to be established in the KBK region.
KBK districts of Orissa and Bastar district of Chhatisgarh are amongst the most backward areas of the country. Of the eight districts of KBK region, four have more than 50 per cent tribal population. Ninety per cent of the population live below poverty line, in Bolangir.
In his letter to AICC president Mrs Sonia Gandhi, he mentioned that barely three per cent of the land is irrigated, health care services are non-existent and more than 50 per cent of the posts of teachers and doctors are vacant.
Every year a lot of people migrate from these regions to other states in search of livelihood.
“Inspite of efforts like the KBK long term action plan and implementation of NREGA, there has been no material change in the distressed situation,” he said.
Urging upon Mrs Sonia Gandhi to consider formation of a separate ministry which could include 10 districts of Orissa and Bastar district of Chhatisgarh, Mr Mishra said: “the central government should also consider establishing the proposed central varsity either at Bolangir or any other place within the KBK districts”.

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