Odisha: 381 crore for Govt Medical College at Keonjhar from DMF

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Report by Malay Mohapatra; Keonjhar: The fifth board meeting of Keonjhar District mineral foundation was held in Durbar Hall, Keonjhar where new development projects were approved for implementation in the mining affected areas. According to reports,The DMF which is yet to be registered as a Trust as per the Central govt guidelines has collected 1100 crores,48 lakhs,96 thousand 787 rupees by end of August from operating mines in the district but has been able to utilize only 36 crores eight lakhs 86 thousand so far. The Board has approved 381.30 crore rupees for 439 projects but slow progress of work has left major part of the funds unspent. An average of about 4 to 5 crore rupees is collected daily by the DMF. The members have granted 326 crores for Infrastructure development of new Govt Medical College at Keonjhar in addition to 55 crores approved earlier. The Board had approved 16 crores for setting up a driving school in the town outskirts near Bodapalsa village a year back but no progress was noticed. Hence the members decided to assign the work to new agency instead of the present one. Similarly, Rs 12,32,50,000/- for 140 projects to develop infrastructures in different govt schools approved by the foundation last year is yet to begin. The member expressed their dissatisfaction as they learnt that even the Plan and estimate of many such proposals approved earlier has not been prepared yet. 233 mining affected villages in Joda, Jhumpura, Banspal, Harichandanpur and Hatadihi block were included in the DMF working area but after fresh survey 263 new villages in the mines periphery were added increasing the number to 495 villages. New proposals to develop health services in the Dist Hospital and Subdivision was approved in the meeting. Lack of Vision Planning for the district, non involvement of peoples forum, no public participation has been the hindrance behind proper and systematic utilization of the DMF funds for district development it is alleged. Political leaders and Govt Officials who are members of the DMF, attended the meeting.

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