**Bhubaneswar/Jajpur:** Following the shocking deaths of over 15 malnourished children in the mineral-rich district of Jajpur and several others still affected, Odisha Government on Monday has initiated firefighting measures to prevent such mishaps in future.
Reviewing the situation at the State Secretariat here, Development Commissioner R. Balkrishnan briefed media that Government has taken up a slew of steps to be implemented on a war-footing manner in the affected and inaccessible rural pockets of Jajpur district.
He informed that a Task Force has been formed and it is to be monitored by the Central Range Revenue Divisional Commissioner (RDC).
Since the remote rural pockets are situated in the hilly terrains, the villages have no road connectivity, drinking water facilities, electricity (not even solar energy facility), proper healthcare service, food security and SC/ST developmental activities there, Balkrishnan said.
To look after the developmental activities undertaken on each of the spheres charted out, a respective nodal officer has been appointed to oversee the on-the-spot progress on a daily basis manner which is to be video-graphed and submitted with the RDC. RDC to submit reports with the Development Commissioner on the progress associated with the video footage of each field collectively on a weekly basis, he added.
“The activities of each team on the spot will be tracked by android-based global positioning system (GPS) for which WhatsApp has already been talked to,” informed the Development Commissioner.
Notably, the deaths of over 15 malnourished children have put the Odisha Government in a tizzy.
There have been at least 15 such deaths of children below 5 years of age while 10 children are still affected in Chingudipal Panchayat of the district.
The most affected villages are Nagada and Guhiashala situated on hilltop under Chingudipal Panchayat in Sukinda block.
Talking to media at the State Secretariat last week Health Secretary Arati Ahuja had said that she had been to the district on July 13 and reviewed the situation.
She had also informed that the state health team has been visiting there for the previous one month and taking stock of the situation extending all necessary healthcare services.
She had also informed that primarily due to absence of road connectivity to the villages, the people are being deprived of several services and it has been decided that an overall approach has to be taken by the state administration for enhancing the income of the people, facilities of drinking water and other basic amenities.
Meanwhile, the Health Department asked the Regional Medical Research Centre (RMRC) and RMRC has already sent a team to the spot last week to find out the exact cause of death.
The Health Department has immediately opened a temporary nutrition rehabilitation centre there and the Women and Child Development Department (WCD) has been asked to provide immediately supplementary nutrition and take-home ration, the Health Secretary had informed last week.