HC Asks Govt To Counter Plea Against ‘Ama Odisha, Nabin Odisha’ Scheme In 3 Weeks

Cuttack: The Orissa High Court here has asked the Odisha government to respond to a plea, opposing the works executed under ‘Ama Odisha Nabin Odisha’ scheme, within three weeks.

“Let there be filing of counter affidavit within a period of three weeks of service of copy,” the Single-Judge bench of Justice Biswanath Rath said while posting the next hearing for September 27.

The petitioners had alleged that the works under the scheme are being executed without involving Gram Panchayat or conducting gram sabhas, defeating the purpose behind the creation of the three-tier governance.

“As an interim measure, it is directed that execution of the work brought under complain of the brief, the public authority shall remain abided by their own commitment under the resolution dated 11.07.2023 and in the execution of works involved therein while also keeping in view the best interest of the Panchayat and in practical involvement of Grama Sabha, as ultimately works likely to be undertaken is in the larger interest of people in the Grama Panchayat involved,” the court further said.

The petition was filed on behalf of nine sarpanchs of Basta area in Balasore district and Panchayati Raj Secretary, Balasore Collector, DPO, and BDO of Basta were made parties to it.

In July, the Odisha Cabinet approved Rs 4,000 crore ‘Ama Odisha, Nabin Odisha’ (Our Odisha, New Odisha) scheme for rural development and to spread ‘Jagannath culture’ by modifying the guidelines of a previous initiative, Ama Gaon Ama Bikash (our village our development). It will cover all gram panchayats in each block with entitlement of Rs 50 lakh. The projects under the scheme will be recommended by local people, community organisations, public representatives and other stakeholders, Cabinet minister Pratap Keshari Deb had then said.

“The scheme is aimed at providing the missing links to the existing small and essential projects and development of infrastructure in rural areas. It will also lay stress on empowerment of women, youth and bridge the critical gap in primary education, digital and sports facilities. Additional facilities will be created for Mission Shakti groups at gram panchayat level under the scheme,” he further said.

It also included smooth and hassle-free access to banking facilities in rural areas, improvement of digital access in terms of mobile connectivity, optical fibre connectivity, WiFi and internet connectivity.


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