BJD reiterates demand for spl focus to Odisha

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New Delhi: The Biju Janata Dal (BJD) Monday reiterated its demand for special focus state tag to Odisha citing that the state has been suffering due to natural calamities every year.

Speaking on Motion of Thanks on the President’s address, BJD Parliamentary Party leader in the Lok Sabha Pinaki Mishra said, “Our state has suffered five severe cyclones in last eight years. Every cyclone pushed the state 20 years back.”

“And this appeal for special focus on the states affected by natural calamities has gone unheeded in the President’s address. We were praised internationally for the minimum casualties in such cyclones but there has been huge loss of infrastructure. The Union government has to keep this mind. Our Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had demanded that special focus tag should be given to the state.The special focus would help us recover much faster from such devastations,” the Puri MP said.

The Puri MP also opposed the Union government’s decision of not selecting any Archaeological site of Odisha for its development as iconic site. He also demanded grants from the Centre to make Puri the cultural capital of the country.

The BJD MP informed the House about the suffering of people due to mining activities in the state.

“We are the state where maximum mining takes place. Our people suffer due to water and air pollution. We are asking for clean environment cess but our request has not been met,” said Mishra adding that the state has got nothing as GST compensation since September. The BJD MP also sought revision of coal royalty.

While speaking about the state’s contribution to Railways’ revenue, Mishra said over Rs 17,000 crore is coming to railways from Odisha. “We request you to invest at least 50 per cent of this in the state. We ensure you that Railways’ revenue will be doubled from the state,” he added.

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