Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik laid the foundation stone for 19 Instream Storage Structures across 13 districts in the state. The government is allocating Rs 4,600 crores for these projects. The CM virtually laid the foundation stones, with the enthusiastic presence of local residents and farmers. These initiatives are spread across Bargarh, Balangir, Boudh, Bhadrak, Jajpur, Kendrapada, Kalahandi, Keonjhar, Khurda, Puri, Sambalpur, Subarnapur, and Sundergarh districts. In Kendrapara, over 15,000 individuals, including 10,000 women farmers, participated.
During the event, the Chief Minister emphasized the significant benefits these projects would bring to farmers, particularly in terms of drinking water supply, fish farming, and animal husbandry. The initiatives aim to enhance groundwater levels and maintain environmental balance. Patnaik highlighted the importance of such projects for sustainable development, emphasizing their role in flood control.
Patnaik informed that the instream storage plan began in 2020 with an initial investment of Rs 11,700 crores. Currently, 72 projects in three phases are in progress, guided by public opinion and participation. Projects were proposed during the visits of the 5T chairman to various districts, reflecting the collaborative implementation with public input.
The Chief Minister assured that the inter-river wetland project under the 5T initiative focuses on technology application and timely completion without displacing any people. He underscored the government’s commitment to farmers’ welfare, referencing existing programs like Kalia Yojana, interest-free loans, and crop insurance premium payments.
Water Resources Minister Tukuni Sahu and Food Supply Minister Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak commended the Chief Minister’s dedication to farmer development in Balangir and Kendrapara, respectively. 5T Chairman VK Pandian expressed gratitude to the public for continuous support. He praised the Chief Minister’s efforts during the ArcelorMittal Nippon Steel project in Kendrapada and announced the Bhoomi Pujan for the plant soon.
MLA Mahidhar Rana and farmers present at the ceremony extended their thanks to the Chief Minister, expressing confidence that these projects would address the farmers’ drought-related challenges. Development Commissioner Anu Garg delivered the welcome address, and the vote of thanks came from the EIC of the concerned department.