Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Mar 2:
Senior Congress leader and former minister Niranjan Patnaik today came down heavily on the Odisha government for depriving the people of Keonjhar district of their legitimate demand for a full-fledged government medical college.
In a statement released here, Patnaik said the Centre, on the recommendation of the state government, had approved setting up four medical colleges with 100 seats under 12th Five Year Plan at Baleswar, Koraput, Mayurbhanj and Balangir districts.
“While the state government has sanctioned two government medical colleges in Baleswar and Mayurbhanj districts within a distance of 50 kms, it has left out Keonjhar district that contributes maximum revenue to the state exchequer”, he lamented.
The former PCC president also alleged that the state government had shattered the hopes of the people of Keonjhar following the withdrawal of the steel major ArcelorMittal that had proposed to set up a mega steel plant in the district.
“Lack of political will and sincerity on the part of the state government has cost the people of Keonjhar dear since the proposed project would have been a major value addition to natural resources of the district with creation of jobs for the unemployed youths”, he pointed out.
Justifying his contention, Patnaik said even the Shah Commission in its report has referred to the pathetic healthcare services as the district has suffered environmental degradation due to the ongoing mining activities.
He urged all political parties to unitedly fight against the utter callousness and neglect of the state government towards the district.