Jharsuguda (Odisha): Biju Janata Dal president and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Thursday said the state would no more tolerate "Central negligence".
"We will no more tolerate the Central negligence towards Odisha and its development," Patnaik said, addressing a public meeting at Amalipalli ground in Jharsuguda where Prime Minister Narendra Modi on September 22 attended a BJP rally.
Patnaik has planned to follow PM Modi's trail and address public meetings where the opposition BJP held congregations during the past few months, according to a BJD official.
Assembly elections in Odisha are due along with the Lok Sabha election.
The chief minister also accused the Centre of "failing" to give justice to Odisha over Mahanadi river water row with Chhattisgarh and said the state had to move the court because of BJP-led government's "apathy".
He said a new airport was inaugurated at Jharsuguda with much fanfare in September, but it is non-functional now. "There is no flight operation at the airport. I have told them (Centre) that Odisha will provide required funds for flight operation, but there has been no progress," Patnaik said.
The chief minister said he has demanded the introduction of a Shatabdi Express train from Bhubaneswar to Rourkela via Jharsuguda. "Let us see whether the Centre make any arrangement for train operation," he said.
Noting that Jharsuguda area is home to a number of coal mines, Patnaik came down heavily on the Centre accusing it of not revising the coal royalty. "The coal royalty revision is pending since 2015. But, the Centre is not concerned over this. As a result, the state is losing thousands of crores of revenue," he said. Patnaik said.
"We will face pollution due to the coal mines, but not the benefit. You people should consider this issue."
Naba Kishore Das, the Jharsuguda Congress MLA, who had resigned from the party on January 16, Thursday joined the BJD along with eight other Congress leaders, including the chairman of Jharsuguda Zilla Parishad and the chairpersons of five blocks, in the presence of Patnaik. "I welcome Naba Das and his associates to the party. This will further strengthen BJD in Jharsuguda district," Patnaik said.
During his one-day visit to Jharsuguda, Patnaik laid foundation stones and inaugurated projects worth Rs 618.66 crore which included the starting of construction of a cancer care hospital.
The cancer hospital will be constructed at a cost of Rs 145 crore.
This apart, Patnaik inaugurated six lift irrigation projects built at a cost of Rs 32 lakh and two grid stations worth Rs 13 crore.
Patnaik laid foundation stones for four mega water supply projects at a cost of Rs 388 crore, a railway overbridge at an estimated cost of Rs 35.62 crore, a Nidan Kendra worth Rs 15 crore and irrigation project to be built at an estimated cost of Rs 18.22 crore.
Patnaik also distributed Rs 1 crore digital empowerment incentives among 3,489 women self-help groups (SHGs), social security benefits to 30 beneficiaries, assistance to 1,422 Nirman Shramiks and land pattas to 1,002 landless persons.