Thursday, April 9, 2009

Decades of struggle has not brought INC, BJD and BJP come politically to address problems in KBK

Dr. Manmohan Singh, Honorable PM of India
Ms. Sonia Gandhi, President of Indian National Congress Party (INC)
Mr. Naveen Patnaik, Chief Minister of Orissa and President of Biju Janta Dal (BJD)
Mr. Jual Oram, Vice-President of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)

CC: Media

Dear Dr. Singh, Ms. Sonia Gandhi, Mr. Naveen Patnaik and Mr. Jual Oram,

Though your respective parties have come with your own manifesto for Orissa assembly and for national general elections, it has rarely promised anything towards long term development of KBK region.

The manifesto by INC, BJD or BJP do not mention important and urgent infrastructure requirement of KBK region such as in higher education, health, railway, industry, major bridges and highways.

Kalahandi, Koraput and Nabarangpur Lok Sabha constituencies are among the bottom five constituencies in India in socio-economic development by a survey carried out by India Today. Promised made by various political parties in Orissa during this election largely concentrates on subsidy in rice which is required for poor people in KBK but is not enough. Without addressing other important issues such subsidy will keep people in KBK region still in the same risky acute poverty level. Instead of making them self-dependent and respectful in the society it will by default drag them to live like beggar largely depending on Governmental aid.

KBK has to go a long way to meet national average standard in many social indicators and in human development index. To achieve long term sustainable growth KBK needs simultaneous major developments in intensive agriculture, highway infrastructure, railway, higher education, technical education, health and industries apart from generous promises such as subsidy in rice, pulses, free power, etc by political parties during this election time.

KBK at this moment needs intensive irrigation projects, new railway line, railway factory, Govt. medical colleges, state highway, new bridges and downstream industrial development. Many of the local demands have not been addressed since past two decades despite promised made by Chief Minister of Orissa and other leaders such as on a high laying bridge over Hati River near Junagarh, railway link between Balangir and Koraput via Nuapada, Kalahandi and Nabarangpur, a railway coach factory in Kalahandi in past two elections.

When there is similar policy adopted in other part of the state in a different name, tall claim of Biju KBK Yojana specially designed towards KBK development is meaningless and futile. On the other hand without any targeted goal and with a small budget Biju KBK Yojana is a political eye wash to the people of KBK region as this region is home to 20 % of Orissa’s population covering 31 % of geographical area of Orissa. Based on factual data and social need KBK region should have a budget at least not less than 30 % of the state budget which is not the case in infrastructure and social development programs.

Serious health problem and diseases such as malaria, AIDS are becoming acute in the region. A proposal of a downstream industrial park in Kalahandi is in cold storage since past five years. No initiative was taken for directly connecting various district headquarters within KBK districts by state highways.

Unfortunately, even after decades of struggle INC, BJD or BJP have not yet come politically together to addresses problems in KBK some of which were badly expected such as new irrigation projects in Nabarangpur, Balangir, Koraput, Sonepur, Nuapada, Malkangiri, Rayagada and Kalahandi districts, high over bridge near Jungarh over NH201 which is heart line in connecting KBK internally, approval of Kantabanji-Jepore and Lanjigarh road –Angul via Phulbani railway lines, railway coach factory in Kalahandi, Government polytechnique colleges in all KBK districts and Government medical colleges in Kalahandi, Balangir and Koraput, a KBK state highway to connect Bongomunda (Balangir) with Raniguda (Koraput) via Sindhekela, Kegaon, Dharamgarh, Moter, Jaipatna and Mukhiguda and completion of Khordha-Balangir & Lanigarh road- Jungarh railway lines.

Without political involvement and consensus, solution to socio-economic problems in KBK, one of the most socio-economically backward regions in the nation will be impossible.

Therefore, I urge to immediately address and include the above in your party manifesto towards long term development of KBK.

Thank you and with kind regards

Digambara Patra

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