Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar/Puri, Feb 25:
Under attack from various quarters for the tardy progress in infrastructural work ahead of the Nabakalebara of the deities this July, the Odisha government today went into an overdrive holding no less than three review meetings – in Bhubaneswar and Puri – during the day.
While Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik went into a huddle with Health Minister Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak, Health secretary Arati Ahuja, Development Commissioner UN Behera and other senior officials to review the progress made on health and sanitation infrastructure for the Nabakalebar Yatra at the state secretariat here, chief secretary GC Pati held a review meeting with officials of the National Highway Authority (NHAI) and Works department on the timely completion of different road and building projects ahead of the grand event.
In Puri, DGP Sanjeev Marik and additional chief secretary to the Chief Minister AP Padhi held a meeting at Puri to review security preparedness for the Nabakalebar Yatra.
Emerging out of the Chief Minister’s review meeting, Health Minister Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak told reporters that arrangements have been made for provision of additional 500 beds in three major hospitals in Puri. Nayak informed that augmentation of infrastructure in 12 CHCs and three PHCs in and around Puri has been completed at an expenditure of Rs 220 crore. The minister further informed that plans have been drawn up for opening 100 first aid centres during Nabakalebar Yatra.
“Arrangements have been made for providing 500 additional beds in three major hospitals in Puri: the district headquarters hospital, TB Hospital and Gopabandhu Ayurvedic Hospital. Infrastructure development in 12 CHCs, three PHCs and one area hospital at Nimapada in and around Puri and along the approach roads from Konark to Pipili are nearly complete at an expense of a little more than Rs 220 crore. Provision of Rs 4 to 5 crore has been made for purchase of equipment. Purchase of equipment will be completed very soon. Nine hundred medical professionals, including paramedics, doctors, pharmacists and others will be deployed in different hospitals in Puri and at temporary shelters meant for devotees and tourists and arrangements for their deployment will be done very soon,” the Health ,minister told reporters.
Chief secretary G C Pati today reviewed the progress of ongoing construction of different projects for the Nabakalbar Yatra at the state secretariat here.
Pati directed officials of the NHAI to complete work on the Puri-Bhubaneswar national highway by the end of May.
The chief secretary directed the Works department to complete all bypass roads and roads inside Puri town by the end of April while asking Railway authorities to complete all work related to laying of tracks and Yatri Nivas by the end of June.
In Puri, DGP Sanjeev Marik, additional chief secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi, director Intelligence Sunil Roy, RDC (Central) Bikash Chandra Mohapatra and special officer for Nabakalebar Suresh Chandra Mohapatra reviewed security preparedness for the Nabakalebar Yatra.
As the government is expecting a crowd of 50 lakh during the mega event at Puri, preparedness for traffic control and parking arrangements were reviewed in detail at today’s meeting.
DGP Sanjeev Marik who was highly critical of the tardy progress made in the infrastructure development projects for the Nabakalebar Yatra after making an on the spot survey a few days back and had warned that foolproof security could not be provided if the work was notcompleted on time, made a complete ‘U’ turn today appreciating the progress made in infrastructure development and hoping that everything will be in order.
“Infrastructure development for the Nabakalebar Yatra is almost complete. Construction of the road near Manglaghat is almost complete and so has the over-bridge at Malatipatapur that will connect at Konark, Roads have been widened inside Puri town and encroachments have been removed at several places; drainage system too has been developed. All development works are on the verge of completion. I am hopeful with the kind of work both permanent and temporary for development of infrastructure and the amount of money spent on it will surely make Nabakalebar Yatra a success. You have been watching since 2011 the government has never failed in the last five years – be it on account of traffic control, provision of health services or any other service. Everything has been done better than what is needed,” gushed Marik speaking to reporters at Puri at the end of the meeting.
The top cop also appealed to the media for its cooperation. “The Nabakalebar Yatra will be a huge success with everybody’s cooperation,” he hoped.