**Bhubaneswar: ** Odisha Government on Thursday requested the Union Government to better up internet connectivity and banking facilities in the two most left-wing-extremist-affected south Odishan districts of Koraput and Malkangiri.
The State Government put forth its proposals during a video conference with the Cabinet Secretary of Government of India.
Briefing media later on the important development today at the State Secretariat here, Odisha Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi said, “The Cabinet Secretary today discussed with us relating to the developmental activities and security related issues in the two most affected Koraput and Malkangiri districts.”
“On the development issues, mainly electricity figured up. Besides, railway issue also cropped up, especially, the Jeypore-Malkangiri line. This line has been taken under 25% funding by State Government and 75% funding by Government of India. In this respect, we had signed an MoU in last October. But in June, it has been written to us that Odisha Government should go in for complete land acquisition. We requested that as an MoU has been signed in presence of the hon’ble Railway Minister and hon’ble Chief Minister, the Central Government should stick to the norms laid down during signing of the agreement,” he added.
The Chief Secretary further added, “Under the SRE scheme being implemented, Rs 280 crore, audited expenditure, has to be released to us by the Government of India. For the last 2-3 years, we’re yet to receive it. We urged to release the amount soon.”
He also informed, “Discussion was also held on banking and mobile infrastructure. Banking facility in those two districts is very weak. In the last one year, only 15 bank branches have been established there which is extremely insufficient. About 85% gram panchayats there still lack banking infrastructure. For operating banking infrastructure, mobile infrastructure is a must. Only voice connectivity is available. Data connectivity is very poor. This issue was also discussed. We have requested that these two districts ought to be developed so far mobile and banking facilities are concerned.”