Kalahandi: Even amid the prevalent pandemic situation, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik wished to fly to western Odisha’s tribal-dominated Kalahandi district in the new year in a bid to dedicate the long-cherished Indravati Mega Lift Irrigation and 160 other development projects worth Rs 2085 crore to the people here on the auspicious occasion of Makar Sankranti.
The Chief Minister inaugurated the main mega lift irrigation project at Mangalpur in Jaipatna block.
Addressing the mammoth gathering, Naveen said, “Kalahandi is today a model of development in the entire country. It has turned today the rice bowl. Farmers of Kalahandi are now providing food to the nation.”
Recounting his nostalgic experience, he said, “Biju Babu as the Chief Minister had visited Bhawanipatna in the 1990s when he was hurled stone at the Statue Chhak. But, he was least bothered about it as he immensely loved Kalahandi and always dreamt of its development and prosperity.”
The Chief Minister said that the words of Biju Babu, “People of Kalahandi love me a lot and I also love them. I will work 10 times more for the development of Kalahandi in comparison to the drops of blood I have shed in Kalahandi,” have inspired him for the development of the district.
Some people were trying to turn Kalahandi into a laboratory of poverty, but the concerted efforts of my government have turned it to be a development model in the entire country, he added.
Naveen also appealed to the people not to pollute the sacred water of Indravati river as it is a motherly figure and lifeline of Kalahandi. He also announced to set up a museum and park in Kalahandi in honour of Indravati river. The museum will tell the development story of the district to the whole world, he added.
Prominent among others, Odisha Water Resources Minister Raghunandan Dash, Principal Secretary Anu Garg, local MLA-cum-Minister Dibya Shankar Mishra and Women & Child Development Tukuni Sahu addressed the function.
Krishna Reddy-led Indian Idol fame Prince Dance Group presented a mesmerizing theme dance based on the present proud foray into the progressive path of the then poverty-stricken and undeveloped Kalahandi.