Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Aug 16:

The Odisha government today decided to include five more clusters under the Rurban Mission taking the number to 10.


The State Level Empowerment Committee (SLEC) held under the chairmanship of Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi in secretariat conference hall today took a decision in this regard.

“Earlier five clusters were included in the Rurban Mission. Today the SLEC recommended for inclusion of five more clusters. The newly recommend areas include Khalikote of Ganjam district, Bhedan of Bargarh district, Umerkote of Nabarangpur district, Kothgarh of Kandhamal district and Tusura of Bolangir district. Earlier five areas namely Samasingha of Jharsuguda district, Banapur of Khurda district. Talabasta of Cuttack district, Thakurmunda of Mayurbhanj district and Utkela of Kalahandi district were included under the Rurban Mission,” Panchayati Raj Secretary Deo Ranjan Singh said after the meeting.

The committee considered the draft Integrated Cluster Development Plan (ICAP) prepared for earlier included areas. The ICAP envisaged projects of worth around Rs.500 cr for these five areas. While 70% of the estimated expenditure would be arranged from the convergence of ongoing plans and schemes at the state level, around 30% would be provided by Govt of India as grant.

The projects like road connectivity, piped water supply, irrigation, solid waste management, digital connectivity, street lights, sanitation projects, income generating livelihood activities, health services,  LPG connections etc have been seen as common felt needs in these areas.

These clusters would be developed as rurban villages preserving the nature and essence of rural community life with urban living facilities. Each cluster will be developed and managed as one planning area.

Notably, Thakurmunda will be developed as a cluster with multiple sustainable livelihood opportunities, Utkela will be developed as a commerce cluster, Talabasta as a agro cluster, Banapur as a tourism cluster and Samasingha will be developed as a village handicraft cluster. Chief Secretary directed to create facilities for promotion of livelihood and income generating activities in each of the focus sectors in identified clusters.