Odisha Has 2,467 Inaccessible Villages

Bhubaneswar: As many as 2,467 villages are inaccessible in Odisha, informed Panchayati Raj and Drinking Water Minister Pratap Jena today.

Replying to a question by Opposition Chief Whip Mohan Majhi, the Minister said that 305 or the highest number of inaccessible villages were in Rayagada district followed by Kalahandi 270, Jagatsinghpur 211, Nabarangpur 188, Gajapati 160, Malkangiri 150, Mayurbhanj 145, Keonjhar 141, Angul 108, Koraput 98, Ganjam 93, Dhenkanal 86, Nayagarh 73, Balasore 64, Sambalpur 58, Nuapada 56, Boudh 54, Deogarh 40, Kendrapara 17, Sundargarh  13, Jharsuguda 6, Khordha 3, and Puri 2.

Six districts of Bargarh, Bhadrak, Bolangir, Cuttack, Jajpur and Subarnapur have zero inaccessible villages, the Minister added.

Jena informed that Rs 50 crore was sanctioned for providing road connectivity to inaccessible villages under UPANTA (Unconnected People’s Accessibility in Tribal Area) scheme. As the scheme is being implemented by the Rural Development Department following a decision of the government from 2018-19 financial year, the sanctioned amount has been transferred to the Finance Department, he added.

The Minister stated that it has been decided to provide funds available under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MNREGS) and schemes under Central Finance Commission (CFC)/State Finance Commission (SFC) for construction of roads of grade-II metalling standard to villages having a population of above 100 under the UPANTA scheme.

A total of 5,525 villages in the State have been identified as inaccessible under the Sampoorna Yojana, Jena informed while adding that the main objective of this programme is to contain maternal and infant mortality.

He said that this special programme has been implemented by the State government since 2015-16.

He informed that the following development work and assistance is being provided under this programme:

  1. Village Health and Nutrition Day (VHND) and Routine Immunization

Special VHND and Routine Immunization sessions are being held in inaccessible villages. In these sessions, mostly immunization of children and health check-up of pregnant women is undertaken.

  1. Red Card

Children and pregnant women found in critical condition are issued with Red Cards. The very purpose of issuing these cards is to provide immediate special treatment at the nearest health centre.

  1. Joint Visit

Provision of health check-up, treatment and consultation at their homes to pregnant women and children identified as critical during VHND and routine immunization by a multi-purpose health worker and multi-purpose health visitor.

  1. Preparation for childbirth.
  2. Alternative Transport Arrangement

A total of 4813 lightweight stretchers have been provided to Gaon Kalyan Samitis as an alternative mode of transport to ferry pregnant women from inaccessible areas to the nearest place where vehicular communication is available.

  1. A sum of Rs 1,000 has been provisioned as transport expenses to ferry a pregnant woman from an inaccessible area to the nearest place where vehicular communication is available or a government hospital.
  2. An incentive of Rs 500 is being provided to a pregnant woman after delivery in a government hospital (a minimum of 48 hours of hospital stay is necessary) and a sick child for returning home after treatment.
  3. Free food for a pregnant woman and her attendant and a child below 5 years of age is being provided in maternity homes.
  4. For high standard child delivery management, High Dependency Units (HDUs) have been made available at VIMSAR Burla, SCB Medical College, Keonjhar district headquarters hospital, and Kandhamal district headquarters hospital.

Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) for specializes treatment of children has been provided at  VIMSAR Burla, Sishu Bhawan Cuttack, MKCG Medical College, Kandhamal district headquarters hospital and Capital Hospital.