Bhubaneswar: In a bid to silence the
ruling BJD which dubbed him as "anti-Orissa", Union Rural
Development minister Jairam Ramesh sanctioned Rs 1467 crore
towards road construction in the state, official sources said
"I believe there are no proposals from Orissa pending
with us," Ramesh said in a letter to chief minister Naveen
Patnaik and also hoped that the state would be able to submit
more road work proposals by next month.
Ramesh, who as union minister of state for environment
and forest had rejected Rs 5,000 crore mining plan of Vedanta,
was dubbed as "anti-Orissa" by BJD. Even the issue was raised
in assembly with BJD MLAs shouting anti-Ramesh slogans.
During subsequent visits, Ramesh had repeatedly
claimed that he was not an enemy of Orissa, but a friend. "I
am pained over being dubbed as anti-Orissa," Ramesh had told a
meeting last year in presence of the chief minister.
With his new ministry clearing all road work proposals
of the state, Ramesh said Centre had sanctioned 602 road works
for 2498 km worth Rs 994 crore under PMGSY in 15 IAP
(integrated action plan) districts of the state.
Ramesh also pointed out that his ministry had cleared
proposals of 284 road works for 1052 km worth Rs 473 crore for
the 15 other non-IAP districts.
As Centre had sanctioned all the proposals, Ramesh
said: "We are expecting the state to submit proposals worth
around Rs 1200 core for 15 IAP districts by the end of
"When this is also sanctioned soon thereafter, I would
have fulfilled the commitments I made regarding Orissa when we
had met in Bhubaneswar on August 14," Ramesh told the chief
Orissa`s rural development minister Bikram K Arukh
said the state government would certainly submit more
proposals to Centre for road works.
"For 15 IAP districts, 3959 roads of 16905.62 km had
been sanctioned. At least 2659 roads covering 11005.27 km had
been completed," he said.