Odisha Sun Times Bureau
New Delhi, Oct 6:
Chief minister Naveen Patnaik today reiterated the demand for special category state status to Odisha during his meeting with prime minister Narendra Modi here, official sources said.
During his 35-minute long discussion with the Prime Minister, Patnaik impressed upon the Prime Minister the need to accord such a status saying the state faces recurring floods, cyclones and drought every year and thus needs adequate inflow of funds from the Centre to catch up with the other developed states of the country, a press release issued by the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) said.
Patnaik also raised the issues of controversial Polavaram project that is likely to submerge some parts of tribal dominated Malkangiri district.
He said the Polavaram project, in its present form, will severely impact the people living in the tribal dominated backward district of Malkangiri.
With the Nabakalebar scheduled to be held in July, 2015, the chief minister urged the PM for an early release of Special Central Assistance of Rs.1397 crore to supplement the efforts of the state in organizing this significant religious event of eastern India, the release said.
He also sought the intervention of the Prime Minister for early completion of railway works for Nabakalebar and modernization of Bhubaneswar and Puri Railway Stations.
The state expects a congregation of over five million people to take the blessings of lord Jagannath on the occasion.
The Odisha chief minister also demanded the release of compensation amount on account of reduction of Central Sales Tax from 4% to 2%, release of central assistance for Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Programme (AIBP) and Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS), inclusion of an additional 5 lakh beneficiaries under Indira Gandhi National Pension Scheme and commencement of international flight operations from Bhubaneswar, the release said.
Among the other demands raised by Patnaik during the meeting were completion of ongoing railway projects and sanction of new projects required to actualize a rail corridor and port connectivity in the state and inclusion of Sambalpuri/ Kosali and Ho languages in the 8th Schedule to the Constitution,